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Hello <<First Name>>,

There are 24 days left in 2019, as usual, the end of the year comes with a lot of introspection, here’s a guide to help you out. It’s also a few hours to the Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr boxing rematch, who are you rooting for?

 

One more thing: We’d be closing out the year on the 21st of December - 2 more newsletters to go.


Let’s dive into the news 😊

Nigeria

 

That doesn’t make sense

 

 

When you hear the words Hokum, folderal and abracadabrantesque (quite a tongue twister) what do you think of?

We’d help you out because you’ve probably never heard them before, they are different words that are used to express a situation that doesn’t make sense.

To us, these words remind us about the recent re-arrest and unlawful detention (over 125 days) of Omoyele Sowore.
 

 

@DrJoeAbah


Backstory:

As per CNN, Nigerian activist and journalist Omoyele Sowore was dramatically re-arrested Friday just hours after being freed on bail, Sowore who is being held by Nigeria's intelligence agency, the Department of State Security (DSS), has been arrested since August 3 -- despite two court orders granting him bail.

Sowore, who is the publisher of US-based Sahara Reporters newspaper and ran for president in February's general elections, was detained after calling for a nationwide demonstration against President Muhammadu Buhari. He was charged with treason, money laundering and cyberstalking the President, He’s denied all charges.



 

Remind me how democracy should work

Sure thing, Democracy is popularly defined as the Government of the people, by the people and for the people but more than this, it also comes with the concept of separation of power. A model for the governance of a state. Under this model, a state's government is divided into branches (Executive, Judiciary, Legislature), each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with the powers associated with the other branches.

When the Executive arm appears to be more powerful than the Judiciary, and the Legislature is pushing a social media bill to clamp down the voice of people, can we say this is truly a democracy?



 

Why it matters

This is a reminder that in a country where the government picks and chooses what/which court orders to obey, no one has hope of lawful protection under the law.

 

 

@AtedoPeterside


Elections come and go, maybe not in Nigeria

 

A few weeks ago, rerun elections happened in Kogi and Bayelsa state. Here’s how it panned out

 

Bayelsa: The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, David Lyon, won the Bayelsa State 2019 governorship election. Outgoing Governor Seriake Dickson has tossed out the results saying no elections happened.

 

Kogi West: APC’s Senator Adeyemi will replace PDP’s Senator Dino Melaye as the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly. 

 

Rerun in Akwa Ibom: The Court of Appeal in Calabar, Cross River state, has ordered a rerun election in Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district which Minister of Niger Delta Godswill Akpabio (APC) contested with Senator Chris Ekpeyong (PDP). The Rerun is expected to happen in 90 days.

 

Moving On: 28 rerun election across 12 Nigerian states are set to happen on Jan 25, 2020.

While Rerun elections are a reminder that petitions against doubtful election results work, we wonder if it really works in Nigeria or it only works for members of the ruling party (APC)?

Blue Chips spending on Ads

 
Nigeria Blue Chips so far have spent a total of N85.7 billion on advertising in 2019, and this amount is estimated to rise up to N114 billion at the end of the year( A blue chip is a nationally recognized, well established and financially sound company).
 

Which Blue Chips are we talking about?

A lot of them. While these companies cut across different business sectors such as oil and gas, manufacturing, insurance, brewing and banking, most ad spend came from the Brewery and the Banking Sector. The brewery sector has seen ad spend amount to N39 billion in the first 9 months of 2019 while banking sector has seen N31.9 billion spent on advertising so far in 2019.

 

Why does it cost so much?

Yea we asked the same question so we examined the Banking Sector and we discovered that spending is cut across activities such as fashion shows, SME fairs, hackathons, billboard, digital ads and other big media events. They also spend on running online TV stations that promote their products and cover their events.


The Future

According to Statistica, ad spend is expected to increase in 2020 with most ad spend on TV and video promotion, out-of-home advertising (e.g billboards,highways,streets,e.t.c) and internet advertising. 


Fastest time a budget has been passed since 1999 but…

 

 

For the first time since the return of democratic government in 1999, the Nigerian Senate has approved the national budget in 59 days  - record time. 

There’s a lot of excitement around the fact that Nigeria will next year return to the January to December budget cycle as opposed to previous mid year budget cycles. However, the budget passed is 260 Billion more than what was presented.

 

So some adjustments were made?

Of course, it’s an annual custom. Now let’s look into what increased and decreased.

 

 

Items Increased

 

Ministry of Works and Housing from 259.201 Billion to 315.563 Billion, Ministry of Defence from N778.589 billion to N784.589billion.

 

Health (Capital Votes) from N46.477 billion to N59.909 billion, Education (Capital) from N50.946 billion to N84.78 billion 

 

Presidency (Capital) from N12.183 billion to N19.031, National Assembly N125 billion to N128 billion.

 

Items Decreased

 

Ministry of Transportation from N123.069 billion to N121.366 billion.

 

Ministry of Education (Recurrent) from N601.992 billion to N490.303 billion.

 

Ministry of Health (Recurrent)  from N380.820 billion to N336.597 billion.


Questions on our minds:  

What could have influenced the reduction of over 100 billion from the Ministry of Education’s recurrent budget?

Should we give the senate credit on the speed in passing the budget or wait till the budget is righty implemented?

Africa

Wakanda is Coming 

 

 

And not only that, it’s coming to the very part of Africa where Marvel® imagined.

 

What’s happening?

Rwanda, an East African country which unveiled the first made-in-Africa smartphones and then electric vehicles earlier this year, is set to launch a ‘Green City’ worth $4.5 billion, also the first of its kind in Africa. Construction is expected to commence in January 2020.

 

What’s a ‘Green City?’

While you could tell a relative in kindergarten that it’s a city full of trees, you’d love to know that there’s much more. Simply put, a green city runs solely on renewable energy—solar, wind,hydro, etc.; takes recycling and waste treatment very seriously; and factors the environment into residential and industrial building designs.

Eudes Kayumba, deputy team leader of the Green City Pilot, says in addition to these, the Kigali-based Green City will incorporate clean technologies, electric vehicles and motorcycles, and urban forests. Heaven on earth.

 

I’m loving this! What else should I know while I wait? 

Haha, good to ask. Rwanda, celebrated as having the third greenest city in the world, is obtaining funding for this project from the Rwanda Green Fund and the German Development Corporation through the KfW Development Bank. Indeed, the Green City is another bold step on the part of this nation.

 

Which do you think will be the next African country in line?

 

South Africa finally regulating Cryptocurrencies

The central bank of South Africa(South African Reserve Bank) is set to create new rules that govern the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. 
 

What are Cryptocurrencies?

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is difficult/impossible to double spend because it is secured by cryptography. They are not issued by any central authority, therefore immune to government interference or manipulation.

 

So why regulation?

Currency control evasion, that’s why. The new controls would put a limit on how much cryptocurrency could be sent outside the country and the current limit for South African individuals and companies to send outside the country is set at R11 million. The availability of cryptocurrency had created the possibility to send money anywhere without limits in the past.

 

Perspectives from other countries

Australia and Canada share a similar view as regards cryptocurrencies being used for money laundering and terrorism and have enacted laws to bring cryptocurrency transactions under the money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws. Other countries like Spain, Belarus and Luxembourg are regulatory crypto-friendly because they see it as an opportunity to attract investment in tech companies that excel in this space.

International

 

US to France: You’ve done yours, now it’s our turn

 

 

After it failed to gain European Union-wide approval, France went ahead and introduced a 3% “digital services tax” anyway in August. However, America has struck back against France’s controversial new tech tax

The US is threatening to push back with 100% tariffs starting early next year on $2.4 billion worth of popular French products, from sparkling wine to perfumes, makeup and handbags – effectively doubling their prices.


What France is saying

While France insists the new tax tackles firms from all countries – including China – the US views it as an unfair attack on American tech companies. The goal is to ensure tech giants pay a fair level of tax relative to the amount of business they actually do in the country. The idea is that they pay tax on revenues generated in France – relatively simple to calculate – rather than on profits that can be shifted to tax havens.

 

Question on our mind: Is a 3% digital services tax worth the potential trade wars that might arise between France and many countries?

 

Also happening in France, a general strike over plans to overhaul the country’s pension system - merge France’s complex of 42 different generous pension schemes into one state-managed system.

Search… I’m in Tears 😢 

Silicon Valley has been losing its icons one by one, and another huge loss was recorded this week.

 

Who were they?

Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The 46-year old founders of Google 21 years ago have stepped down from day-to-day management of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. They’ll still remain on the board, and they still own the majority of the company. But according to them, “It’s time to assume the role of proud parents—offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!”

 

I feel sad already.

We do too. It’s worth noting that their exit is the biggest change at a top US technology firm since Steve Jobs (in blessed memory) resigned as CEO of Apple in 2011, which was the biggest since Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s CEO seat in 2000. Currently, Jeff Bezos is now the only founder-CEO of that era to remain in top control of his company, Amazon.

 

Going forward…

Sundar Pichai, India-born CEO of Google, has been appointed new CEO of Alphabet after their insisting that there was “no better person” to lead the company into the future. And Sundar does have his homework, considering recent occurrences like Google dismissing its workers for alleged data security violations.

 

Our Advice: Wipe your tears and hope that the future brings greater things. 😊

Looks like Progress

 

 

Source: Beautiful News

Worth Reading 📚

 

See How the World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s

 

The Turner Prize Goes to … All 4 Shortlisted Artists

 

 Is Saudi Arabia Embracing Western Sports to Rehabilitate Its Global Image

 

Spotify reveals the decade's biggest songs and artists

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