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☕️ "We are responsible!"

☕️ "We are responsible!"

Armed group, Boko Haram, claims responsibility for abduction of more than 300 schoolboys...

 

Good morning. Plastic surgeons say business is up; partly because clients don’t like the way they look on Zoom.


I wager that most people who are not satisfied with the way they look don't know there is an “enhance your appearance” function on Zoom. If only they know it's much cheaper.

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☕️QUICK BITES

Nigeria. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says telecommunications companies have 14 days to block SIM cards not registered with the National Identity Numbers (NIN). 
Nigeria. Nigeria’s inflation rate climbs further to 14.89 per cent in November, due to the spike in the prices of basic food items in recent times due to border closures, dollar restrictions and the recent banditry attacks preventing farmers from producing foods. 
United Kingdom. U.K. supermarkets are starting to stockpile food in preparation for a no-deal Brexit. Despite this, the government is warning shoppers not to do the same as concern rises surrounding the import of necessities from Europe post-Brexit. 
Japan. Japanese scientists have opened a capsule with soil samples from the Ryugu asteroid and said that it contains more materials than they had anticipated. The samples were collected by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft from Ryugu, which is 190 million miles from Earth. 
Germany. Beginning next Wednesday and continuing through the Christmas season, Germany will implement a “hard” lockdown in order to restrict virus transmission - all non-essential shops, services and schools will close until January 10th, with Christmas Day gatherings reduced to only five from two different households.

‍RECOMMENDED

‍#ONTHISDAY

1932 Grace Alele-Williams, professor of mathematics, was born in Warri. She is the first Nigerian woman to become the head (vice-chancellor) of a Nigerian university, the University of Benin.

1920 Frederick Rotimi Alade Williams, lawyer and politician, was born in Lagos. He was the first Nigerian to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

1946 French fashion designer Christian Dior and his backer Marcel Boussac found fashion house Christian Dior.

1995 The official adoption of the name "Euro".

SECURITY

Boko Haram, "We take responsibility"

 

Image Source: Daily Monitor

The Story
An audio message from a man who identified himself as the leader of the Boko Haram has said that the terrorist group was responsible for last week's attack on the Government Science secondary school in Kankara, Katsina state.

Any word from the government on this?
While the man in the Tuesday audio message offered no proof for the claim, and with no video footage released of the missing boys, there was no immediate comment by the Nigerian authorities. “I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina", said the man in the voice message. On Monday, governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state had said the abductors “have made contacts with the government”. “Talks are ongoing to ensure their safety and return to their respective families,” he said on Twitter.

Lack of intelligence.
Nigeria's insecurity problem, which has become worse under president Buhari, is further complicated by a lack of intelligence, especially among security agencies. Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from Abuja, said the fact that Boko Haram’s claim came days after the abduction led some to suggest that the kidnapping could have been conducted by others who then proceeded to sell the schoolchildren to the armed group. While a joint rescue operation was launched on Saturday by Nigeria’s police, air force and army, there continues to be conflicting information on the number of the abducted.

Public anger.
There has been increased public displeasure over president Buhari's handling of Nigeria's insecurity problem, with many saying that his attitude suggests he does not care. “If he was in Abuja, nobody would have expected him to pay a visit. But he was home and nobody has seen him speak to any of the parents or pay a visit to Kankara. Instead, we have seen a viral video of him visiting his ranch, which caused a lot of outrage in Nigeria", Sulaiman Aledeh, a journalist and political analyst in Lagos, said. SOURCE

HEALTH

NCDC, "Be careful as you travel"

Image Source: NCDC.gov.ng

The Story
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned of a possible community transmission of the coronavirus as people travel around in this festive season.

What's the current state of the pandemic in Nigeria?
As many have been observed to be paying less attention to safety measures lately, COVID-19 confirmed cases continue to increase in what appears to be a second wave of the pandemic. As of December 12, Nigeria had 72,757 confirmed cases with 1,194 deaths. The Head of Risk Communication at the NCDC, Dr. Yahaya Disu, who spoke during a webinar organised by a non-governmental organisation, Widows and Orphans Empowerment Organisation, lamented the non-compliance to all the COVID -19 protocols.

Worrying sense of safety.
Disu, who noted that social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing of face masks remain the best preventive measures against contracting the virus, said this was not the time for Nigerians to relax their guards, noting that the erroneous belief that COVID -19 had been conquered and was no more in Nigeria should be discarded. He said the fact that people do not feel at risk anymore and do not comply with COVID -19 procedures was worrisome.

Noting the general excitement over the recently announced development of coronavirus vaccines, Disu advised against shunning various recommended safety measures. “At individual level, we must protect ourselves, support one another and follow advice provided by NCDC, Ministry of Health and WHO. It is not the time to relax and we must stay at home, if there is no need to travel", he said. SOURCE

ECONOMY

IMF, "Forex interventions giving false hope on naira"

 

Image Source: VTC News

The Story
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that regular foreign exchange (forex) interventions create false sense of security and hope on the local currency, especially in emerging economies like Nigeria.

What are these interventions?
Foreign exchange interventions are monetary policy tools used by a central bank as it takes an active, participatory role in influencing the monetary funds transfer rate of the national currency. It usually does so with its own reserves or its authority to generate the currency. They include auctions at the inter-bank spot, sale of dollar for invisibles; Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); Bureaux De Change (BDC); Investors and Exporters (I&E) Forex window and Forwards. Nigeria, which operates a flexible exchange rate regime, spends about $16 billion annually to defend the naira.

Aren't these measures necessary/obligatory for the Central Banks?
In a joint report released at the weekend by IMF Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, Tobias Adrian; Director of the Fund’s Research Department; Gita Gopinath and Director of the Strategy, Policy and Review Department, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, the trio said that while flexible exchange rates can act as a useful shock absorber in the face of capital flow volatility, they do not always offer sufficient insulation.

They said the impact of the interventions is worse when access to global capital markets is interrupted or market depth is limited. “Persistent interventions might feed a (false) sense of security about future exchange rate developments that leads firms or households to take on more foreign currency debt, thus increasing balance sheet vulnerabilities", the report read.

What did the IMF recommend?
The IMF team said that in a continuous effort to help countries manage volatile cross-border capital flows, it has taken a major step toward a new analytical macroeconomic framework that can guide appropriate policy responses. Suggesting that there is no “one-size-fits-all” response to capital flow volatility, the report said that “optimal policies depend on the nature of shocks and country characteristics".

“Generally, in countries with flexible exchange rates, deep markets, and continuous market access, full exchange rate adjustment to shocks remains appropriate. However, when a country has certain vulnerabilities, such as shallow markets, dollarization, or poorly anchored inflation expectations, while flexible exchange rates continue to provide significant benefits, other tools can play a useful role as well", the Fund said. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

Biden becomes Electoral College Graduate

 

Image Source: Aljazeera

WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...

UI shuts down clinic after patient tests positive for COVID-19.

Ganduje: Sanusi not fit to be emir… he was appointed to spite Jonathan.

Jonathan: If not for God, I would have been buried politically.

Insurgency: Tinubu asks military to change strategy.

Nigeria’s external reserve sinks to 8-month low.

Omah Lay, Tems regain freedom from Ugandan detention.

Senate President Lawan swears in Seriake, Abiru, Moses, Dadu’t.

CJN tests positive for COVID-19.

Govt orders immediate closure of schools, reopens isolation centres.

Police re-arrest man behind Ughelli viral video that sparked #EndSARS protest.

World Bank approves $1.5bn for Nigeria to reduce poverty.

Reps suspend FG's 774,000 jobs scheme.

Fear in Abuja as PTF advises minister to reactivate enforcement team.

Russian Hackers Broke Into Federal Agencies, U.S. Officials Suspect.

TikTok owner Bytedance set to become world’s most valuable VC-backed company.

Taylor Swift releases surprise album.

More Indians are Choosing to Hide Their Real Identities on Social Media.

Putin finally congratulates Biden on winning US presidency.

Yemen most at risk of humanitarian catastrophe in 2021: IRC.

After a long delay, McConnell acknowledges President-elect Biden.

Five million more Afghans will need help in 2021: UN.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

McKinsey & Company Leadership Programme 2021 for the Africa Delivery Hub (ADH) in Ethiopia. 

 

The Young Leaders Program (YLP) is a 2 year full time consulting program that develops exceptional young local talent into real leaders. You’ll work in teams of typically 3-5 consultants, playing an active role in all aspects of the client engagement.

 

Benefits

Young Leaders receive exceptional training as well as frequent coaching and mentoring from colleagues on their teams. This support includes a Partner from your local office or the practice assigned to you to help guide your career as well as formal training in your 2- 3 years. DETAILS

 

PICKS OF THE DAY

Understanding The Structure Of Colonial Nigeria: The Religion and Economic Power Play. Guardian Nigeria

What’s Behind The Flight From Silicon Valley? Forbes

An innovative way to support children with special needs | Billy Samuel Mwape. Ted Talks

Everything You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency's Next Big Thing: Decentralized Finance. Entrepreneur

4 Leadership Techniques That Build Trust | Fast Company. Youtube

The Best Advice for Saving as Much as You Can. Lifehacker

How “Stan” Became a Verb. The Outline

A critical human sense could be restored after positive tests on monkeys. Inverse

The Bloomberg 50: The people who changed global business in 2020. Bloomberg

TODAY'S TRIVIA

African History Quiz

1. Where is Swahili generally spoken?
A. South Africa
B. East Africa
C. West Africa

2. The capital of Togo is:
A. Lome
B. Badagry
C. Ports Novo

3. How many countries are there in Africa?
A. 60
B. 54
C. 58

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

What are some past conspiracy theories that have been confirmed by declassified documents and the such?

Sean Leary

I remember a ridiculous story a co-worker told me in 1973, while I was living in Boston. He claimed to know someone in the FBI who told him that secret caverns had been dug out of the Appalachian mountains. They were to house generals, politicians, and their families in the event of a nuclear war. It was provisioned so they could survive for decades, leaving the civilian population to fend for themselves.

These people were going to provoke a nuclear war, and then live in relative comfort for generations while the world above died. I was told that this was not a war room or bomb shelter, but a strategy for a select group of people to survive the destruction of the country. It sounded to me like just another paranoid conspiracy theory (there were a lot going around during that time). I explained to him that a secret like that was bound to get out, being too big to hide, and besides, anyone who claimed to work for the FBI and revealed classified secrets to random people was probably delusional.

Imagine my surprise some 35 years later when I learned about The Greenbrier in West Virginia. Note that this site had supplies to support its population for up to 30 years. You can even take a tour of the facility now: The Congressional Bunker, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. I guess that FBI guy was telling the truth, after all. SOURCE

TRIVIA ANSWER

African History Quiz Answers

1. Where is Swahili generally spoken?
B. East Africa

2. The capital of Togo is:
A. Lome

3. How many states are there in Africa?
B. 54

LITERATURE

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