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Libya’s Central Bank Announces $7.3Bn Shortfall In Foreign Receipts

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The Central Bank of Libya (BCL) has announced a shortfall of $7.3 billion in foreign receipts for the January-October 2020 period as a result of a blockade that was imposed on the country’s oilfields by forces of Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

According to the BCL, the deficit has been covered with withdrawals from the Bank’s foreign exchange reserves.

The blockade reduced oil production by 800,000 barrels a day from more than the 1.2 million barrels daily output and deprived the state of its main source of revenue.

In a revenue and expenditure report published on Friday for the 1 January to 30 October period, the CBL said that “total foreign exchange revenues reached US$ 3.8 billion including $2.051 billion for oil exports in 2019”.

Direct loss from the cessation of oil production and exports during the same period amounted to about $11 billion, while total oil revenue amounted to 5.271 billion dinars (about $ 3.819 billion).

Libyan oil exports resumed in September following an agreement between the Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army to restore production after an interruption of about nine months.

According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC), Mustapha Sanalla, the resumption has allowed “a rapid return to previous production averages of 1.250 million barrels per day, which is about the same production level that the Company and its affiliates achieved before the closures”.

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Business Edge | Petroleum Industrial Bill Passes Second Reading In The House Of Representatives

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PIB has passed second reading at the House of Representatives. The PIB in many quarters appears to be the most politicized piece of legislation in Nigeria’s legislative history. It was conceived by the Executive Arm of government some 18 years ago to principally inject transparency and stimulate growth in the country’s oil industry. But controversies arising from vested interests have continued to bog it down, making it one of the longest bills in the National Assembly that had been subjected to legislative fireworks.

To get it passed in the first attempt, the document was balkanised by the two chambers of the Nigerian National Assembly, the Senate, and the House of Representatives which called it “Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB”. With the new name, the Bill was passed simultaneously in both chambers in January 2018.

It was later forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for presidential assent. But the President expressly declined his assent, citing anomalies, particularly the reduction of Powers of the Minister of Petroleum over Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The refusal then necessitated the return of the Bill to the National Parliament.

Also, Ethiopia plans to sell a 45% stake in its Ethio Telecom monopoly, an adviser to the state minister of finance said, as the government pursues the liberalization of the sector despite an armed conflict in the north of the country. Ethiopia’s telecoms industry is considered the big prize in a push to liberalize the African country’s economy because of a vast protected market, which serves around 100 million people. Tolulope Adeleru Balogun discussed these with Nasir Afolabi Agbalaya and Ralph Malik

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South Africa Records Boost In Business Confidence

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Following the easing of lockdown restrictions imposed by the South African government to check the spread of COVID-19, the country has enjoyed a new boost in business confidence.

According to a quarterly assessment of business confidence in the country, conducted by FirstRand Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank unit, it on Wednesday, said business confidence country has increased to 40 from 24. It is the country’s highest since Q2/2018. The index is compiled by Stellenbosch University’s Bureau for Economic Research.

The improvement shown is another proof to the data that suggests the South African economy may be recovering gradually from its low ebb.

The country’s output contracted by an annualized 51% and 2.2 million jobs were lost in the second quarter.

“It only signifies an economy that’s out of intensive care, and not out of high care,” an RMB chief said. “The strong rise in confidence among consumer-facing sectors could easily turn out to be temporary if the ‘kicker’ having come from pent-up demand peters out.”

The confidence boost for businesses may however not be long-lasting due to the overall effects of the pandemic.

South Africa is one of Africa’s worst-hit countries and has been rallying back, following its recession in March. The country has faced two recessions in two years.

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Nigeria Suffers The Worst Economic Recession In 33 Years

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The news of Nigeria sinking into its worst recession in 33 years has left most Nigerians asking how the giant of Africa got here. News Central speaks with Muktar Mohammed, a finance analyst who further explains the implication of this recession.

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