Weekends typically start on Saturdays but this could change as a growing number of companies are trying out four-week workdays. Most recently, Microsoft tried it in Japan and saw productivity rise up as high as 40%. Now that’s something you could pitch at work. 😉

Let’s dive into the news 😊

Nigeria

Las, Las, God Dey!

The beauty of starting something is that you often get to choose what name to assign to it, it’s obvious Senator Rochas Okorocha, Chairman of Senate Committee on Tourism, used that privilege well as he named a proposed N4 Billion tourism project “God Dey”.

I’m listening…

The specifics of the project aren’t known yet but we know Nigeria is on the path to diversify its economy and this project could help her achieve this. As regards tourism, Nigeria recorded visits from 1,889,000 persons as at 2016, while raking in an estimated N140.2 Million Naira in 2017.

While other countries are cashing out

The basis of the comparison is just to hint that there’s room for growth if a concerted effort is made towards growing Nigeria’s Tourism Industry.

The money is not going to come from outside

N4 Billion seems like a lot but it’s important to remember that according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report on capital importation, the tourism/hospitality sector recorded no investment from outside Nigeria.

Up Next: We look forward to hearing the specifics of this project whose name hints more at the sense of humour of the Senate Committee on Tourism.

CBN Limits sales of T-Bills 

The Central of Nigeria has ordered the stoppage of the sales of Treasury Bills (T-Bills) to Individuals and small businesses from November 29, 2019.

Why so?

This is a move to stimulate the economy by encouraging people to invest in other investment vehicles.

Tell me about T-Bills

T-Bills are short-term debt instruments issued by the Federal Government through the Central Bank to provide short-term funding for the government. They are usually issued for 91 days, 182 days and 364 days.

When an investor buys a Treasury Bill, they are lending money to the government. The Government uses the money to fund its debt and pay ongoing expenses.

They are considered as one of the safest investment options because the FG would always pay its debt even if it has to print extra notes. T-Bills are considered low risk and have a low-interest rate of about 12 – 13 %.

Why this matters

For Individual, this move by the CBN means you’d have to invest in riskier investment options.

For the economy, hopefully, this move would spur economic growth by making people invest in other areas that are in dire need of investment.

There shall be an abundance of Rice

It’s been 3 months and a couple of days since the Nigeria Federal Government abruptly closed Nigeria’s borders, this has brought about the increase in the price of staple food items such as rice and concerns amongst citizens. Worry no more because the days of rice famine are numbered.

The context: Nigeria should experience an abundance in rice farming in the nearest future because billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote has now ventured into rice exportation with an investment worth $1b on 10 rice mills across Nigeria. Alas! The closed border apparently is opening other doors.

The target

Dangote group intends to produce 1million tonnes of rice annually for exportation from its 15,000 hectares rice farmland spread across Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa, Nassarawa, Zamfara and Niger states. 

Bottom line

Dangote is challenging other business owners to join the bandwagon that will end rice hunger in Nigeria. We couldn’t be more proud.

Or is this all a planned move to make all things work together for the Federal Republic of D…

International

US and China are getting closer to settling

Bloomberg

The 19 months of tit for tat between the US and China seems to be coming to an end as both countries have agreed that an initial trade deal between the two countries would roll back a portion of the tariffs they are placing on each other’s products.

But it’s not over until…

This is not the first time both countries have been close to bring an end to this trade war. However, Pres.Trump is heading into a re-election campaign with the effects of this trade war being obvious on the slowing the American economy and as key political constituencies, like farmers and manufacturers, continue to suffer from lost sales to China.

How many tariffs are we talking about again?

American tariffs now cover more than two-thirds of the products imported from China, while Chinese tariffs cover 58 per cent. We’re over talking 15-30% tariffs on over $300 Billion worth of goods.


Big Picture: There’s a lot at stake in this beyond economic terms as there are also political considerations, including ensuring that any deal does not seem like a giveaway to either country.

Google acquires Fitbit

Google recently reached a deal to buy Fitbit Inc – a fitness wearable company for roughly $2.1 Billion. A move to compete in the wearables market which is dominated by Apple and Samsung.

$2.1B, Piece of Cake!

While $2.1 Billion is a lot of money in many circles, in this case, it’s a drop compared to Google’s $121 Billion cash hoard. Also, to put this deal in context, when the announcement was made Google’s market cap (Total Value) saw a $9 billion increase, that’s about 4.5 Fitbits.

What’s this deal worth?

To Google, a better opportunity to leverage on Fitbit’s 27 million users and a wide distribution network to grow its revenue. Also, Fitbit has about 300 U.S Patents in the wearable space, that should count for something. 

To Fitbit, definitely a lot more as this deal was a lifesaver for Fitbit, which lost money nine out of the last ten quarters and has seen a significant drop in its value in the past two years.

Google’s other successful acquisitions.

When a company reaches maturity a good way to ensure constant growth and innovation is by acquiring smaller companies. Since inception, Google has acquired more than 200 companies, including Android ($50 million), AdMob ($750 million), HTC’s Pixel unit ($1.1 billion), Waze ($1.15 billion), Youtube ($1.65 billion), and Doubleclick ($3.1 billion). These acquisitions have been a mix of success and unsuccessful ones such as Motorola Mobility which was bought in 2011 for $12.5 Billion only to be sold to Lenovo for $2.9 Billion in 2014.

Questions on people’s minds: 

Would Google and Fitbit continue to run separately or would they be merged?

Would Google use data from Fitbit for advertising?

Oil demand estimates go down

OPEC – a group made up of 14 of the world’s major oil-exporting nations – announced that it expects demand for its oil to fall sharply.

Why so?

More supply of Oil from the US.

The US has become the world’s largest oil producer, thanks in large part to rising output from the hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – of US shale oil. And that, in turn, is creating an oversupply which is displacing more established producers – namely the oil-producing nations collectively known as OPEC.

What does the future look like?

Not so bright as the oil market is especially sensitive to even a hint of expansion or contraction in supply.

With US oil output expected to increase by more than 40% by 2025, OPEC is under pressure either to cut production further or compete more fiercely over a shrinking piece of the pie.

While OPEC forecasts global oil consumption will continue until 2040, it doesn’t much help that sustainability-minded countries are shifting away from fossil fuels.

Big Picture: For Oil producing states, it’s either a reduction in production or price which translates to less income. Also, it appears Oil dependent countries need to prepare for the inevitable rainy days ahead.

Internet Freedom is on the decline

Axios

Most people use social media as a tool for expression. However, it could also be a tool that curbs expression. Internet freedom is on the decline around the world, with governments using social media to monitor their citizens and spread disinformation at home and overseas, according to an annual Freedom House report.

FYI: A bill seeking to regulate social media use in Nigeria was reintroduced in the Nigeria Senate this week. It passed the first reading. 

Worth Reading 📚


There Is Too Much Stuff

Privacy is a collective concern

Who does Nigeria owe money? 

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