☕️ Apapa 'eyesore' gridlock

☕️ Apapa 'eyesore' gridlock

The FG’s inability to find a solution to the gridlock in Apapa, Lagos, has negatively impacted the cost of...



Good morning. Many of us have been more sedentary than usual this year, for obvious reasons. But new research published in the British Journal of Medicine suggests that the amount of exercise we need to counteract the effects of so much sedentary behavior really isn’t that much at all.

The study compiled data from tens of thousands of people who wore fitness trackers and found that just 30 to 40 minutes a day of moderate exercise -- think taking a brisk walk -- is the sweet spot for folks who spend most of their days sitting.

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Precious Metals. The price of copper, aluminum, iron ore, zinc and other raw materials continue to climb, a classic bet by investors that the global economy will bounce back strongly in 2021.
Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced breakdancing will become an official sport in the 2024 Paris Summer Games. Skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing were also approved by the IOC.
Space. Jeff Bezos’ space enterprise Blue Origin plans to take the first woman to the moon’s surface, as NASA draws closer to a decision to pick its first privately built lunar landers capable of sending astronauts to the moon by 2024.
Nigeria. The United States has finally blacklisted Nigeria for “engaging (in) systematic, ongoing, egregious religious freedom violations”. Such designation could attract economic measures against such country that has “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom”.


‍Attend a Free Financial Planning class to guide you in your financial decisions for the year 2021.

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1868 The first traffic lights are installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

1948 UN General Assembly unanimously approves Convention on Genocide.


1982 World Boxing Council first to reduce the length of championship fights from 15 to 12 rounds, and allows referees to order standing 8-count for fighters in trouble.


Apapa gridlock - The eyesore costing Nigeria

Image Source: Guardian Nigeria

The Story
The FG’s inability to find a solution to the gridlock in Apapa, Lagos, has negatively impacted the cost of shipping containers into Nigeria, which has risen by 600%.

On average, 100,000 containers, carrying various cargos are discharged in Lagos ports monthly. ThisDay reported that with shipping companies now charging $6,000 to ship a container to Nigeria, it costs shippers in Nigeria $600 million (N234 billion) every month to transport 100,000 containers to Nigeria.

What's the link between the apapa gridlock and the rising shipping cost?
As a result of the blockage of the roads in and around the ports, millions of containers are trapped in the ports and shipping companies have had to stay at anchorages for between three to four months incurring various surcharges due to circumstances beyond their control.

Nigeria's loss, advantage for our neighbors.
In the first half of this year, it cost $1,000 to ship a 20-foot container to Nigeria from the Far East, but today, the cost charged by shipping lines for the same service is between $5,500 and $6,000. Also, haulage cost from Tin Can Port to any other part of Lagos has risen by more than 1,000% from about N100,000 to about N1.2 million. The newspaper said that due to the congestion at Tin Can and Apapa ports, many shipping lines have started diverting Nigeria-bound cargoes to neighbouring ports in Cotonou and Ivory Coast. SOURCE


Pension withdrawals gathers pace

Image Source: BusinessDay Nigeria

The Story
About 26,458 workers who lost their jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic started taking its toll on the economy withdrew N14.79 billion from their Retirement Savings Accounts in 10 months.

Aren't these funds meant to be accessed after retirement?
Records from the National Pension Commission have revealed that more job losers have continued to approach their Pension Funds Administrators to access parts of the funds in their Retirement Savings Accounts. In its first quarter, the commission granted approval for the payment of N4.31 billion to 8,221 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work, but unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement.

Worsening unemployment.
In the second quarter, approval was granted for payment of N2.56 billion to 4,668 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work, but unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement. In the third quarter 2020, the commission granted approval for the payment of N8.1 billion to 13,569 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work, but unable to secure jobs within four months of disengagement.

How much more withdrawals can the funds support?
Despite the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose to N11.35 trillion as of the end of August, the commission revealed. According to the data from the commission, the funds rose from N11.08 trillion in June to N11.3 trillion in July. The pension commission revealed that N7.51 trillion or 66.27% of the funds had been invested in Federal Government’s securities. SOURCE


NGF says insurgency feeding national insecurity


Image Source: ekitistate.gov

The Story
The Nigeria governors forum has said that worsening insecurity in various parts of the country is being fueled by insurgency.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, says Boko Haram escapees from the North-East part of the country are infiltrating other parts of Nigeria as bandits and kidnappers. Fayemi said the insecurity in the country is not limited to Borno or the North-East as there is a nexus between terrorists’ activities in the North-East and banditry in the North-West as well as the kidnapping in the South.

Did he suggest any solutions?
The Ekiti State governor therefore called for a holistic approach to ending the menace. He said, “Insurgency is not limited to Borno State. We will be making a mistake if we do not draw a correlation between what is going on in Borno State and what is happening in other parts of the country – banditry, kidnapping, militancy, they are inextricably intertwined. Some of the insurgents that escaped from the Boko Haram territory are the ones prosecuting the banditry in the North-West, some of them are involved in the kidnapping in the South-West."

More power for states.
Explaining that 'a state of emergency' might be ineffective in addressing the problem, Fayemi said ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) insurgents coming down from Sudan and Niger (Republic) are involved in what is going on. "How many states are you going to declare a state of emergency on then? So, we must take a holistic view on this”, he said. The governor said the state governments should be given more powers to handle the security of their domains, adding that anything that will help Nigerians overcome the insecurity in the country, the Federal Government and the National Assembly must do. SOURCE


Ghana votes as presidential rivals face off for a third time


Image Source: africanews

The Story
Ghanaians voted Monday in a presidential election that’s expected to be tight, as the two front-runners face off for a third time.

Who are the front-runners?
President Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party is seeking another four years at the helm of Africa’s top gold producer. His predecessor, John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, aims to unseat him with a promise of mass infrastructure spending.

And how is this their third time against each other?
Mahama, 62, defeated Akufo-Addo in 2012 to serve his first full-term as president after completing the mandate of John Atta Mills, who died in office. Akufo-Addo, 76, then beat him in a 2016 ballot, taking over the leadership of one of the continent’s most stable democracies. The top contenders, whose parties have dominated Ghanaian politics since 1992, are competing in a race fielding 12 candidates.

The task ahead.
The winner of Monday’s contest will be expected to sort out the country’s fiscal challenges. That’s after the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic drove Ghana’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product to 71% in September, the highest in four years. Before the global health crisis, the West African nation was already under fiscal pressure due to the costs of cleaning up the banking sector and meeting energy-sector liabilities.

The country’s 17 million voters will also choose 275 lawmakers to determine if the ruling NPP will retain control of parliament. SOURCE


Buhari: We’ll soon reopen the borders.

Most violent acts against northerners perpetrated by Igbo — Northern Elders.

Dissolution of party structure: PDP asks INEC to deregister APC.

Sex-for-passport: Nigerian embassy in Germany sacks guard.

NPC says Nigeria’s population increased by 8m in two years — now 206m.

Oshiomhole: If I get another chance to chair APC, I’ll reject it.

CBN doubles credit for households to N300b.

Buhari govt reduces pump price of petrol.

The 2021 Finance Bill and public procurement.

Petrol price may hit N180 as oil nears $50.

Lagos Launches Anti-Oneway Taskforce, Arrests Traffic Law Offenders.

90-year-old woman first to receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in UK.

Ethiopian govt admits forces ‘shot at’ UN team in Tigray.

Biden normalizes Trump’s strategy in the Middle East.

Argentina passes new tax on its wealthiest people to pay for Covid-19 expenses.

The World Economic Forum's summit, typically held in Davos, Switzerland, is being moved to Singapore and taking place in May.

India: Unidentified disease kills one, hundreds hospitalised.


Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (GSE) 2021 International Scholarships in Spain  


The Barcelona GSE is able to offer tuition waivers and fully-funded scholarships to international students who are interested in pursuing a degree program at the Institution.


Only applicants with outstanding academic records will receive a financial offer. Candidates who submit a completed application before January 15 will be considered for all funding opportunities. Those who apply after that date will be considered for any remaining available funding. 


Field of Study: Barcelona GSE graduate students earn one of three official master’s degrees: Economics and Finance, Specialized Economic Analysis, or Data Science. SOURCE



Nigerian intelligence bought tool to spy on citizens: Report. Aljazeera

In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress. AP

How to Be Resilient. Psyche

Why a Thriving Civilization in Malta Collapsed 4,000 Years Ago. Nautilus

Why Did So Many Americans Vote for Trump? NYT

Here’s the Type and Amount of Exercise You Need, WHO Advises. CNN

These Algorithms Could Bring an End to the World’s Deadliest Killer. NYT

The Best Things About the Worst Year Ever. GQ

Everything You Know About Global Order Is Wrong. Foreign Policy

9 Ancient Weapons and Tools That Power the Pharaoh's Army. Inside History

It’s not a perfect system, but many are looking to Ghana as an inspiration”—a model election. The Economist


Grammar Quiz

Today, we're asking you to find style/grammar errors in sentences related to media. As always, h/t to the WSJ editors for supplying the words.

1. Warner, for example, is recreating its comedies "Miss Congeniality" and "Blended" through a production venture in China.

2. During the war, filmmakers churned out movies in close to real time, going from script to screen in as few as six months, said Mr. Harris.

3. He came up with the name "Miramax," combining the names of their mother Miriam and father Max.

4. The Justice Department has raised the prospect that the telecom giant would have to divest either the Turner television unit, which includes CNN along with other cable channels, or the satellite DirecTV business, the people said.



What are the craziest timeline facts about prehistory?

Sean Kernan

Most of you know just how long ago the dinosaurs actually lived.

But what is crazy is just how long the dinosaurs were actually here.

If you were to break out the differentials for example, we are closer to when the T-Rex lived than the T-rex is to when the stegosaurus lived.

Dinosaurs lived on earth for ~165 million years. Million. Let that sink in.

The optics on that are nuts.

I would be very surprised to see humans last for a full million years at this 2020 pace.

OR—we will reset a few times, obliterating ourselves down to a smaller population. SOURCE



Grammar Quiz Answers

1. "Recreating" means to play. Warner is "re-creating" its comedies.

2. The WSJ uses "few" for whole, countable items. Since a month isn't experienced as a singular chunk of time, the paper's editors recommend using "in as little as."

3. Since the subject only has one mother and father, there should be commas around the names: their mother, Miriam, and father, Max.

4. A company does not divest a unit, it divests itself of something. This should say "have to divest itself of."




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