Phew! It’s been a while since we had a week that f̶e̶l̶t̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶had two weekends, we hope for more weeks like this. 😊

The Women’s World Cup began yesterday, and Nigeria’s super falcons would be playing their first game against Norway later today, we wish them all the best.

Before we begin, Tell a friend to try out Cloout today using this line  “Looking for a better way to understand the news, here’s something different.”

Nigeria

Pocket money from Abacha again

The story

A bank account containing £211m (N82bn) has been traced to a former Nigerian military dictator, General Sani Abacha.
 

What’s going to happen to the money?

It’s being held by the government until authorities in Jersey, the U.S., and Nigeria come to an agreement on how it should be distributed.

The Good: It’s ‘free’ money Nigeria wasn’t expecting that could be put to good use. 🎉

The Bad: But you know what happens to ‘free’ money you aren’t expecting, it’s often spent anyhow. 😕

The Ugly: How much more money has been looted that we don’t know about? 😢

What people are saying:

“Funny though, the President had described the former head of state as a saint, saying he never stole anything.

“I am, however, worried that there is nothing to indicate that the money will not disappear again.”
 

SEC vs Oando: Payback time?

The Story

Last week Friday, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), sanctioned the 8 directors of Oando Plc with a fee of about 145 million and ordered Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Wale Tinubu, to resign from his position over serious infractions; including false disclosures, market abuses, amongst others.

How did this blow up so fast?

We’d take you down memory lane. Two years ago, two directors of Oando, Gabriel Volpi, co-founder of Intel’s Plc. and Northern businessman, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal accused the company’s management of financial recklessness and denying them adequate representation on the board, reporting them to the SEC— the body responsible for regulating companies listed on the Nigerian stock exchange.

As Oando battled with SEC, the Minister of Finance suspended the SEC DG, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, accusing him of financial misconduct when he was SEC Commissioner, an accusation Gwarzo denied. The case died down and nobody said anything. Forward to 2018, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun resigned following a media leak about her NYSC status.

With the coast being clear, last week the court ordered the reinstatement of Gwarzo as SEC DG, two days after his reinstatement SEC issued the sanction to Oando.
 

What’s Oando saying?

It has not been given the opportunity to see, review and respond to the allegations, therefore it’d take legal actions to protect itself.
 

Why it matters?

  • Criminal charges brought against a company like Oando by SEC are often hard to win.
  • This would set off another round of investigations into the activities of Oando.
  • This whole drama could be a distraction to the management of Oando which could lead to poor business performance, thereby affecting the investments of shareholders of Oando.

Getting Loans and Contract Staffs

The story

Nigerian Bureau of Statistics released some data on the banking sector for the Q1 of 2019, We’d like to focus on two things—loans given out to different sectors as well as the staff strength.
 

Sectors

The total amount of loans given out by banks in the first three months of 2019 was about 15 trillion Naira.

Sectors that received the Most loan —Oil & Gas (22.96%), Manufacturing (14.67%), Government  (8.96).

Sectors that received the Least loan — Education (0.54%), Transportation & Storage (1.96%) Power & Energy (2.01%).

Why does this matter?

While further analysis might be needed before any connection can be drawn, this could serve as a guide for sectors where more loans are needed.

Tell me about Contract Staffs

Nigerian banks are hiring more contract staffs compared to full staff, Contract staff now make up about 44% of total banking employees.

Why so?

Contract workers cost the bank less, they are cheaper and easier to fire. Also, banks are not violating any laws.

Why it matters?

  • Nigerian tax authorities should be worried as this means a fewer amount of employee taxes would be paid.
  • For people seeking a future in banking, they might need to be exceptionally good to get a non-contract job.
  • This gives people more reasons to migrate out of Nigeria, as millions of young Nigerians are seeking a better life in other countries.

The Slow and Steady

 Guardian.ng

The Story

Looks like the only thing President Buhari isn’t slow with, is his travel decisions. Currently, he’s yet to setup a cabinet, reset the ailing economy and properly deploy the budget’s borrowed funds, even though its weeks after signing the budget and his inauguration. South Africa’s president announced his cabinet within 96 hours.

The Economy

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped during the first quarter of 2019. It has gone down from 2.39 per cent to 2.01 per cent, showing a decline of 0.38 per cent. And the president’s indecision appears to be contributing to the sagging economy.

Why is it so?

According to analysts, the lack of fiscal policy direction would lead to huge withdrawal of investments, uncertainty, near-inactivity in the economy.  And if he keeps waiting, the financial market would eventually further experience a shortfall.

What does this mean for the economy?

A delayed fiscal policy decision would put the economy into reverse. And the effect could lead to a sharp drop in the exchange rate which would increasingly make importation expensive, and cause a recession in the economy.

The 8th Senate comes to an end

@bukolasaraki

The Story

The Senate, the arm of government that makes laws, ended its 8th session (2015 – 2019) earlier this week. Led by Senator Bukola Saraki and Senator Ike Ekweremadu, senators who won’t be continuing their tenure said their goodbyes. Let’s take a look at what happened during the past 4 years in the Senate.

Achievements

Transparent Budgets: In 2017, the Senate began publishing National Assembly budget for the public to see for the first time since 2010.

Budget public hearing: Nigerians, represented by interest groups, were for the first time given the opportunity of contributing to the national budget before passage.

Most Bills Passed: As of May 2019, the Senate had passed 293 bills, more than double what the 7th Senate passed —128 bills; the 6th passed 72 bills.  

Passed the Not-too-young-to-run bill: The law reduces the age limit for Nigerians seeking the office of president from 40 to 35; governorship from 35 to 30.

Failures

Not so transparent Budgets: Even though the National Assembly made public the budget of the parliament in three consecutive years, the releases did not reveal the break down of many figures.

Delay in passing national budget: Every year there was a delay in approving the national budget, It often took about 4 months before the budget could be approved.

Budget padding: For the four years, the National Assembly was accused of inserting extra costs into budgets. In 2018, Lawmakers introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira.

Biased allocations:  Each year, the National Assembly gets up to N100 billion from the national budget to execute constituency projects. Over the years, some lawmakers get more than others. How this is allocated, isn’t clear and is highly subjective.

Africa

No More Elections In Algeria

 New York Times

What’s happening?

The elections set to hold on July 4 have been scraped off by Alegria’s constitutional council. Thus prolonging the interim President Abdelkader Bensalah’s stay.

Why?

According to Algeria’s constitutional council, there is a lack of candidates who would run in the July 4th elections. The two candidates who came to run in the elections were invalid and had not met the quorum of 60,000 signatures in support criteria.

The Consequences:

Well, this would likely prompt a mini-crisis in Alegria. Protesters have already taken to the street on Friday, to call for the removal of the interim President and that of Prime Minister, Noureddine Bedoui, who was appointed by Bouteflika days before he stepped down.

Why it matters?

The July 4th election was supposed to usher Alegria into a democratic political transition, and end the era of Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s tyrannical 20-year rule.

International

Blackstone Pays $18.7 Billion For a WareHouse Unit

The Story

Blackstone an American multinational private equity, alternative asset management and financial services bought the U.S. warehouse portfolio of Singapore’s GLP in the largest private real estate transaction.

Why did they pay $18.7 billion for a warehouse?

This would make Blackstone an even more dominant player in the U.S. real estate.

What’s the catch?

Most recently, Amazon and Walmart have announced plans to offer one-day shipping; and Blackstone’s newly private equity real estate deal solves the puzzle. This could turn out to be the largest logistics property deal for Blackstone as it adds 1,300 properties and 179 million square feet to nearly 2x its existing U.S. industrial footprint.

Tech Giants Face Antitrust Troubles

Techcentral


The story

The Silicon Valley Giants; Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are being scrutinized by the Federal Government over breaking anti-trust laws. The lawmakers are looking into the tech giants’ possible anti-competitive behavior.

Tell me about the anti-trust

The concept —”the Anti-trust” is a law that regulates the conduct of companies, and promotes  fair competition for the benefit of consumers.

Here’s Why:  

The justice department have expressed concerns about personal privacy, economic consolidation, misinformation and free speech among the tech giants. Although the root of the investigations is still unclear, the lawmakers, however, believe the tech giants are becoming too large, are stifling competition, and should be broken up.

What happened next?

Soon after regulators announced their plans to put these tech giants under a probe, their stocks plummeted: Shares in Amazon fell 5%, Alphabet fell 7%, Facebook fell 8%, and Apple fell 2%.

 

What’s for Lunch?

@Justinsuntron

The Story

Justin Sun founder of the 11th largest crypto exchange paid a record $4.6 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett.
The money goes to the Glide Foundation. Every year, Warren Buffett auctions off a three-hour lunch date to benefit Glide, a San Francisco charity that fights homelessness and addiction. Last year’s winner paid $3.3 million.

Who else is coming for lunch?

Some of the well-known names in crypto space such as founders of Ethereum, LiteCoin, and Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, or “CZ,” (even though he’s already declined).

What’s the catch?

Justin hopes to use this opportunity to convince Warren Buffet who isn’t an ardent believer in cryptocurrency.

In an open letter, Justin said: “Even one of the most successful investors of all times can sometimes miss a coming wave. Buffett has admitted he overpaid for a big investment food giant Kraft Heinz Co., while failing to realize the potential of the likes of Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet, the parent of Google and even Apple.”

@Excellion

Question on everyone’s mind: Will a three-hour lunch really be enough time for the top minds in the cryptocurrency world to persuade Buffett that he’s wrong about Bitcoin?

What we enjoyed reading

Artist, Icon, Billionaire: How Jay-Z Created His $1 Billion Fortune

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Give it five minutes

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