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Why you should blur your house on Google Street View? [A 2021 how-to guide]

why you should blur your house on google street view a 2021 how to guide

Launched in 2007, Google Street View is certainly a handy feature but this feature also eerily shows accurate images of your beautiful house. This offered window allows you to peak into your home, reveal what lucrative assets you have purchased – perhaps for your bedroom or it could be a potential bird feeder for stalkers.

Fortunately, we have something that can maintain your privacy. This controversial service, just like Google asks you to upload images per street, you can also ask Google to permanently blur your house from the map. This leaves a blur image of your house or building in its place after blurring it. The process is pretty easy. 

Minnesota suburban North Oaks case and other breaches

Due to unnecessary imagery and trespassing citations, Northern Oak City Council asked Google to take down the images. Google obliged to the letter received from the council. The 4,500+ resident town gained fair traction after this incident.  

A formal privacy complaint was filed to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) in 2009, where Google failed to identify the captured people and faced serious repercussions due to this violation or failure.

Google Street: The needed privacy

Google has never been an advocate for privacy. In 2010, Street View vehicles secretly collated information from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. Just like you value your privacy we do too. Irrespective of these breaches and facts, Google blur requests is one of the best and easiest aspects where you can specifically request Google to blur your bedroom [pun-intended], apartment, and house.

What to do?

The stalker or maybe this thought may have given you an adrenaline rush. We have to set boundaries by respecting and valuing our own privacy [as it is a fundamental right]. Google will have a more beautiful view of your home if you don’t blur it out. 

How to blur the images on Google Street View?

Here are the instructions:

–    Open the Google Maps on your device

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Google Maps interface

–    Add your business or home address. For instance, we added a random consultant business image based in NY, USA.

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An exemplary building

–    Get into the street view mode. You will see a humanoid icon on the bottom right screen corner. Drag this human-shaped icon in front of your home

–    Click on “report a problem” while you see your home in view. This is available at the bottom right screen corner

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Report a problem section on Google Maps

–    You have to move the red box to the place/home image you want to blur. This can be done by selectin “my home” in the “request blurring” field

WhatsApp Image 2021 01 13 at 3.43.55 AM3
Focus on the area to be blurred

–    You have to fill the required fields on the reasons of blurring your image (for instance, safety and privacy concerns)

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Rationale for your action

–    You have to enter your email address and prompt the “submit” button.

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Submit!

Google warns you upon a blurring request as it is permanent. Be sure about your actions, readers! Once you hit submit after captcha, you will receive an email from Google. The email will contain the information that they are reviewing your reported image and will email once the request is processed successfully.

Google will contact again and ask the receiver to be more precise or specific about the place/ focused area to be blurred. This would mean that you have to redo the process, therefore, detailing specific picture areas that are requested to be blurred.

Source

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Namibia: JSE Threatens Trustco With Suspension

namibia jse threatens trustco with suspension
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The Johannesburg Stock Exchange has given Trustco Holdings Limited until 29 January to submit provisional financial statements or risk suspension.

The bourse has annotated the company with RE indicating that it has failed to submit its provisional report timeously and that the listing of its shares is under threat of suspension and possible removal.

According to an announcement made on Friday morning, Trustco failed to submit financials within the three-month period stipulated in the listings requirements.

“If the above-mentioned company still fails to submit its provisional report on or before 29 January 2021, then its listing may be suspended,” said the exchange.

This spells trouble for Trustco.

The JSE last year told Trustco to correct its financial statements and remove specific ‘errors’ that pushed up profits by a combined N$2,1 billion last year.

The company was also left by its Namibian auditors last year and it is unsure whether this is what has led to the delay in the submission of the financials.

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Zimbabwe: ‘Good Times Beckon On Local Equities Market’

zimbabwe good times beckon on local equities market

A FRUITFUL season lies ahead for punters on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in 2021 despite major headwinds that have perennially spelled trouble for the economy, market analysts say.

A positive result from an envisaged Covid-19 vaccine rollout, growing pessimism around the money market, increased appetite for stocks to hedge against inflation and weakening of the local dollar, are positives for the local bourse.

Markets analyst Ranga Makwata said there was a positive outlook for equities in 2021 although the broader economic prospects remain dim.

He said just like what was witnessed in 2020, earnings prospects for listed companies will have little impact on stock market performance although some improvements are expected as a result of a better agricultural season and reduced Covid-19 disturbances once the vaccines are rolled out.

Makwata said activity will be steered by money supply growth as government spending increases to meet growing demands at a time revenue is not increasing.

Some of that money, he said, will find its way onto the stock market as people hedge against value erosion from rising inflation and depreciating currency.

Inflation, currently controlled, is likely to trend upwards as a result of the exchange rate pass through effect, Makwata argued.

He added that it was unrealistic to expect the Zimbabwe dollar stability witnessed in the last six months to continue for long because the foreign currency supply gap was worsening with more companies increasingly resorting to the parallel market as the auction system fails to meet demand.

“In short, bad news will continue to drive performance on the ZSE,” Makwata said.

“We expect increased corporate activity, for example mergers and acquisition as cash-rich local entities riding on government contracts will be looking for a home for their huge ZWL balances.

“We saw many such transactions in 2020, and we could see more in 2021 and these tend to push stock prices of target firms up.”

Foreign investor participation, the analyst said, was likely to be minimal as most foreign investors who exited in the past year are not expected to come back unless there is a dramatic economic improvement.

“The market still looks cheap with most stocks trading at huge discounts to net asset value. This should be another reason for strong performance in 2021,” he said.

The basis of Makwata’s argument is that most of the leading listed businesses invested heavily in property plant and equipment during the dollarisation period and currently their share prices imply valuation way below the value of investment.

Research firm Econometer Global Capital said the bourse will remain decoupled from developments in the real economy while retaining some features of a barometer towards the financial and the external sector.

The firm expressed what it termed “guided optimism” regarding the ZSE outlook, building on a positive performance in the first three quarters of 2020 where the industrial and mining indices outperform a majority of other market indices on the continent.

This strong performance was despite the negative sentiment simmering from the suspension of three fungible stocks on the exchange.

The ZSE unveiled the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange for local and regional counters to raise capital in foreign currency. However, the appetite has been very low with only SeedCo listed since the bourse went live in December.

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Nigeria: Equities Market Rises Further As Bulls Consolidate Hold

nigeria equities market rises further as bulls consolidate hold

The bulls consolidated their hold on the market yesterday as buying interests in Dangote Cement Plc, MTN Nigeria Plc and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc lifted the benchmark index further.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 1.54 per cent to close at 40,963.14, while market capitalisation rose by N325.3 billion to close at N21.4 trillion.

Also, volume and value of trading rose 72.9 per cent and 27.9 per cent respectively to 809.4 million shares and N8.9 billion. Year-to-date, the NSE ASI has gained 1.7 per cent.

The bulls clearly dominated the market as 49 stocks gaineds compared with seven price losers. Champion Breweries Plc led the price gainers with 9.8 per cent, trailed by NASCON Allied Industries Plc with 9.7 per cent. Japaul Gold Ventures Plc and AXA Mansard Insurance Plc chalked up 9.4 per cent apiece.

Ardova Plc (AP) rose further with a gain of 9.2 per cent as investors reacted to the news of its moves to acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

Enyo is one of the newest and fastest growing retail and supply companies in the downstream sector. Enyo is a technologically driven player and currently operates over 90 stations across Nigeria attending to over 100,000 retail customers daily across 15 states of the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of AP, Mr. Olumide Adeosun, had explained that immediately following completion, AP will look to retain the Enyo branded stations which will operate side by side with the AP brand whilst leveraging the strengths of AP and its group companies.

According to him, the parties are committed to concluding the deal by the end of first quarter (Q1) 2021, noting that AP and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited will provide further information on progress made on the proposed acquisition.

Livestock Feeds Plc, Academy Press Plc, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Tripple Gee & Company Plc and Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc garnered 9.0 per cent each.

Conversely, Courtville Business Solutions Plc led the price losers with 8.3 per cent, trailed by Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc with 6.3 per cent. Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc shed 3.1 per cent. Jaiz Bank Plc and John Holt Plc went down by 2.7 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, the most traded stocks by volume were Transcorp Plc (136.6 million shares), Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc (70.6 million shares) and GTBank Plc (69.0 million shares) while GTBank Plc ( N2.3 billion), Lafarge Africa Plc(N1.4 billion) and Zenith Bank (N1.1 billion) topped by value.

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Zimbabwe: Seedco Moves to Acquire Own ZSE Shares

zimbabwe seedco moves to acquire own zse shares

LISTED seed manufacturing giant, SeedCo International Limited has offered to buy its own shares from current holders in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed company.

The decision is in line with its long term strategy of transforming into a continental brand among other reasons.

SCIL’s secondary listing in SeedCo Limited (SCL) on the ZSE was terminated last year with shares being subsequently listed on the Victoria Falls Exchange (VFEX) on 26 October 2020.

In a circular to shareholders released Wednesday, SCIL said the rationale for the offer was premised on a strategic response to the changes in the status of its secondary listing in Zimbabwe brought about by policy initiatives introduced by the government.

“It is now thought that transferring only one of the entities, SCIL, to the VFEX trading in US$ while leaving SCL on the ZSE trading in Zim$ will not protect value for shareholders,” the circular reads.

“Against this background, SCIL deemed it strategically fit to integrate SCL’s operations under SCIL with a view to strengthening the profile of SCIL following its secondary listing’s migration from the ZSE to the VFEX.”

It is believed the integration of the Zimbabwean operations will make SCIL’s profile on the VFEX comparable to its dual listed counterparts whose make-up comprises both international and Zimbabwean operations.

In the company’s long-term strategy of being the “African Seed Company”, such a realisation will not be achieved with the exclusion of the Zimbabwean operations held through SCL.

Despite the partial unbundling and separate listing of SCIL, the majority shareholding structure of SCIL continues to mirror that of SCL.

In addition, benefits of the proposed acquisition of SCL by SCIL also include the harmonisation of synergies as well as the elimination of duplicated functions and associated costs

Under the primary offer to the shareholders of SCL from the date of receiving acceptances aggregating to 35% of the shareholders of SCL will constitute an acquisition of SCIL of a control block in SCL.

On the secondary offer, SCIL intends to invoke the takeover provisions of the ZSE listing requirements immediately after receiving acceptances in aggregate of 35% of the entire issued share capital of SCL.

SCL shareholders will be notified of the intention to acquire their shares on the same terms as those by which it would have acquired the controlling block.

The last method to be used is the drag along acquisition by which it empowers the right of offer or with 90% to squeeze out minorities.

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Nigeria: NSE – Nigerian Stocks Rise for Fifth Straight Day On Bellwether Gains

nigeria nse nigerian stocks rise for fifth straight day on bellwether gains

Market breadth was significantly positive as 49 equities emerged compared to seven losers.

Equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange generally posted their fifth consecutive daily gains on Thursday as leading stocks including Seplat, Dangote Cement and MTNN propelled the N325 billion upward drift.

Also contributing to the uptrend was increase in the share prices of NASCON and Ardova, who gained on the back of the positive sentiment created by Wednesday’s announcement of an expansion involving a planned takeover of Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

A 5.32 per cent jump in the Insurance Index, best advancer of the bourse five sectorial indices, also bolstered gains.

Market breadth was significantly positive as 49 equities emerged compared to seven losers.

Edging up by 1.54 per cent, the All Share Index (ASI) closed at 40,963.14 basis points. In the same vein, market capitalisation climbed to N21.419 trillion.

Year to date, the index is up by 1.72 per cent.

TOP 5 GAINERS

Champion Breweries led gainers, strengthened by potential takeover bid of its majority shareholder Heineken B.V., growing by 9.82 per cent to close at N1.23. NASCON gained 9.72 per cent to close at N17.50. Japaul Gold rose by 9.45 per cent to N1.39. Mansard leapt to N1.51, notching up 9.42 per cent in the process. Ardova completed the top 5, climbing up by 9.25 per cent to N21.85.

TOP 5 LOSERS

Courtville topped the losers’ table, declining by 8.33 per cent to close at N0.22. Neimeth shrank by 6.36 per cent to end the day at N2.06. Union Diagnostic fell to N0.31, losing 3.12 per cent. Jaiz Bank dipped to N0.70, recording 2.78 per cent loss. John Holt closed at N0.50, going down by 1.96 per cent.

TOP 5 TRADES

Some 809.262 million shares worth N8.906 billion were traded today in 6,706 deals, a 72 per cent improvement over Wednesday’s volume.

Transcorp was the most preferred stocks today with 136.578 million units of its stocks worth N130.187 million traded in 232 deals. 70.591 million units of Mutual Benefits shares priced at N27.389 million exchanged hands in 124 transactions.

GTB had 68.993 million shares valued at N2.252 billion traded in 624 deals. WAPCO traded 61.852 million shares estimated at N1.424 billion in 355 transactions. FBN Holdings traded 44.534 million shares valued at N329.473 million in 285 deals.

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Nigeria: How Nigerian Govt Distributed Rice Seeds to Companies in 2020

nigeria how nigerian govt distributed rice seeds to companies in 2020

Nigeria officially banned the importation of rice two years ago, to improve the local production of rice.

As Nigeria plans to increase the production of rice, 20 seed companies benefited from rice seed distribution by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural (FMARD) across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory in 2020.

This was disclosed in a document obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.

Nigeria officially banned the importation of rice two years ago, to improve the local production of rice.

In 2017, the production of rice paddy rose to about seven million metric tons (mmt) under the Buhari administration, which seems to be the highest since 1999.

In August 2019, the Nigerian government closed its land borders, three months after signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

The agreement was to curb the influx of smuggled goods from neighbouring countries such as Benin, Niger and Cameroon, and as well boost local food production.

This distribution of seeds is coming under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Agricultural Transformation Policy of 2016- 2020.

The distribution is part of the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP), which was launched in 2016 but expired in December 2020.

The policy was to consolidate on the already established Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), policy.

The new policy was geared towards the provision of a conducive legislative and agricultural framework, macro policies, security-enhancing physical infrastructure and institutional mechanisms.

This was to enhance access to essential inputs, finances, information on innovation, agricultural services and markets.

The policy was to address eight key areas: access to land, soil fertility, access to information and knowledge, access to inputs, production management, storage, processing and marketing and trade.

The 20 companies

The document said 1.4 tonnes were distributed to the companies. This means each company got 700 kg each; 14 bags of 50 kg each.

According to the document, 13 of the seed companies are located in the North West, six in the North Central, one in the South East and one in the North East.

Among the 13 companies in the North West, four companies are in Kaduna State, five of them are in Kano, one each in Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, and Kebbi.

In the North Central, two seed companies are in Plateau, one each in FCT, Nasarawa and Niger.

Also, the only beneficiary in the South East is in Abia State.

However, the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) was listed as the only cooperative to be part of the sharing.

When PREMIUM TIMES reached out to some of the companies they confirmed receiving seeds from the FMARD.

The President of Value Seed Ltd (Kaduna), George Zangi, told this newspaper he got 700 kg worth of breeder seeds. That is, 50kg bags in 14 places.

Also, the acting managing director Maslaha seeds Nigeria (Zamfara) said the company got 700 kg each of faro 66 and faro 67.

Just like others, the chief executive officers of Jammy Nagari seeds (Kastina) Umaru Yusuf and Richard of Olafare of Romaret venture Nigeria said they were among the companies that received seeds from the government.

The document said the seeds were sourced from the National Cereals Research Institute of Nigeria, Niger.

The rice seeds distributed were breeder seeds, foundation seeds and certified seeds of Faro 66 and 67.

Basically, there are five different categories of seeds: Nucleus Seeds, Breeder’s Seeds, Foundation Seeds, Registered Seeds and finally certified seeds.

A breeder’s seed is obtained from nucleus seed, while the breeder births the foundation seeds and the foundation seeds produce certified seeds.

The seeds which seeds companies sell to farmers “certified seeds”.

The certified seeds which are grown under tight production requirements usually have improved traits such as resistance to pests and tolerance to herbicide and drought.

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Seychelles: Seychelles Hopes to Raise $212 Million On International Bond Market to Cover Projected Deficit

seychelles seychelles hopes to raise 212 million on international bond market to cover projected deficit

Seychelles’ government is looking to raise $212 million (SCR4.5 billion) through the issuing of treasury bills and treasury bonds, as the country finds itself in a dire financial state due to COVID-19 and the downturn in travel, the finance minister said.

“We are in a very critical situation when it comes to the government’s finances. Since the start of the year the amount of money in the government’s coffer, from which it makes all of its expenses, has been zero or in the negative,” said Naadir Hassan, the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Trade.

The minister told a news conference that on an annual basis, the government spends about $566 million (SCR12 billion).

“For this year the revenue that we will collect is projected at about $354 million (SCR7.5 billion), with a deficit of $212 million (SCR4.5 billion). The government is still holding discussions on how to reduce this deficit, which is quite high,” said Hassan.

He explained that when a country has a deficit , there is a need to borrow which is normally done on the domestic market through treasury bills and treasury bonds. Hassan and his team are looking to raise a bond in foreign currency, for Seychellois and foreigners who want to invest. Hassan explained the interest rate on a foreign currency bond is lower than on a rupee bond.

“Looking at the financial situation in the country, there are limitations on the government’s ability to borrow $212 million (SCR4.5 billion) in the system today. Most of the financial resources that the country had were used in 2020. Since April 2020, we have been spending and borrowing to sustain our expenses. We should have realised that this crisis is a marathon rather than a sprint, where we were spending all the resources in 2020. We should have spent in a more responsible and sustainable manner so that our financial resources could have lasted us longer,” he continued.

According to the minister if the government doesn’t find a way to raise finance, “we will not have the money to pay wages for the next quarter. At the moment, people need to valorise their job and for those who do not have one they need to find one. The most important thing now is to put food on the table, it is all about survival now. As a nation we need to show solidarity towards one another. If we were used to making a profit margin of 30 percent, let us live on 10 percent so that everyone can survive,” he further noted.

He added that at the moment it is unclear if there are enough financial resources domestically to raise this borrowing to sustain the expenses.

To further ensure that the government meets this year’s total expense, the Ministry of Finance is looking to reduce duplications, inefficiency and mismanagement within the government. Collection of revenue is another area to be put under the microscope.

“It is important to have a plan on how to reopen the economy. Should we remain closed, we will run out of financial resources and it is clear at this time that the only way to get out of this crisis is through the vaccination programme,” said Hassan.

The minister encourages everyone in the country who can to get vaccinated. He explained that there are other countries, such as the United Arabs Emirates and Israel, where their vaccination programme is moving fast. Should Seychelles and these countries get their population vaccinated, a travel corridor can be established between the island nation and said country.

This will allow Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – to get some tourists, ensuring that economical activities start kicking off, which will, in turn, sustain the country’s expenses.

Hassan added that there are also discussions to restructure the country’s external debts, the repayment of which will be pushed into the future.

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Nigeria: Covid-19 – Anambra Postpones Reopening of Schools, Threatens to Close Markets

nigeria covid 19 anambra postpones reopening of schools threatens to close markets

Following the surge in COVID-19 cases in Anambra State, the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano has postponed the reopening of schools in the state by two weeks.

Obiano stated this yesterday in his broadcast to the people of the state.

He also banned any gathering exceeding 50 people in the state, while threatening to close any market that would violate COVID-19 protocol.

He said the decisions had become necessary following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that was “sweeping across the world”.

“Sadly, it appears that our warnings fell on deaf ears. Our people allowed themselves to be carried away by the joys of the Yuletide and failed to maintain the COVID-19 protocols.”

Obiano added that the state had been faced with a clear and present danger, adding that between December 7, 2020, and January 11, 2021, the state had recorded 110 new cases of COVID-19.

The governor’s address read in part, “My administration has taken a string of hard decisions to stamp out the renewed spread of this pandemic before it gains a serious advantage over us.

“All government offices must observe the standard COVID-19 protocols – washing of hands at the entrance, wearing of facemasks, regular use of hand sanitizers, and strict observance of social distancing. Nobody will be allowed into any government premises without properly wearing a face mask.

“No one should step outside their homes without wearing a facemask.

” The ban on nightclubs is still firmly in place. Hotels are directed to ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

“There should not be more than 50 people in any public gathering.

“The COVID-19 Action Teams in all our 61 markets must ensure full compliance with the standard COVID-19 protocols.

“All markets in Anambra State are given one week to set-up the necessary safety standards and ensure proper compliance. Any market found violating the standards after one week shall be quickly shut down.

“Transport operators are advised to revert to all the practices that helped us during the first wave of the pandemic. They must ensure social distancing inside the vehicles and maintain a passenger manifest.

“Schools in Anambra shall not re-open on January 18, 2021 as earlier scheduled. Rather, schools will re-open after two weeks from today to enable the principals and teachers prepare for the return of our children .

“Churches and other religious organisations are advised to set up Action Teams and go back to the practices that helped us in the first phase of the pandemic. For the sake of emphasis, nobody should go to any market, public places, church, schools, enter any transport, attend functions as stated above without properly wearing facemasks.”

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Nigeria: CBN Meeting and NSE in Focus

nigeria cbn meeting and nse in focus
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Nigerian stocks struggled for direction on Tuesday as investors adopted a guarded approach ahead of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s interest rate decision this week.

After claiming the title as the world’s best-performing stock market in 2020, equity bulls in Nigeria seem to be missing with the NSE All-Share Index down only 0.36 per cent year-to-date.

While appetite towards the local stocks was fuelled by a sense of optimism over Nigeria’s economic outlook, the primary driver behind such gains last year revolved around the bond markets. It must be kept in mind that investors were hunting for gains at a time where the country’s fixed income markets offered negative real yields.

Given how this has drained demand for naira bonds, they may remain unloved and depressed over the coming months.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is unlikely to change its monetary policy stance with interest rates expected to remain unchanged at 11.5 per cent. While central banks across the globe have embraced looser monetary policy and lower interest rates, the CBN may not have the breathing space.

Inflation which has accelerated to a 34 month high of 14.9 per cent in November is likely to push higher amid dollar shortages. On top of this, the country is still battling with COVID-19 with a new variant emerging a few backs back.

On the bright side, oil prices are trading to levels not seen since February 2018 amid signs of tightening global supply. For emerging market oil producers like Nigeria, this is a welcome development and could boost optimism over the growth outlook for 2021. While prices could push higher in the near term, surging coronavirus cases and lockdowns across the globe may fuel fears around weak oil demand.

Oil is up almost 10 per cent since the start of the year with the commodity’s near-term outlook likely to be influenced by the pending OPEC monthly market report on Thursday.

Away from Nigeria, things are set to heat up in Washington after Democrats introduced a resolution to impeach U.S President Donald Trump for a second time, setting the stage for a vote on Wednesday. The idea of Democrats pushing for the removal of Trump who has less than two weeks left in his term is likely to fuel risk aversion and spur demand for safe-haven assets. If this becomes reality, the move would mark a first in history as no president has ever been impeached twice.

Otunuga is a Senior Research Analyst at FXTM