Don Challenges CBN As Nigeria’s External Reserves Decline
Nigeria’s external reserves has dropped by $410 million in the past weeks after it had risen by $5.05 billion, the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed.
The CBN data show that the reserves dropped to $41.50 billion on November 14 from $41.79 billion on November 1.
The reserves, which had maintained a growth trajectory in recent months, increased from $36.78 billion on September 30 to $41.83 billion on October 29. It rose by $2.76 billion in September from $34.02 billion at the end of August.
Reacting to this development, the Head of the Economics Department, University of Ibadan, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju, pointed out that the greatest challenge was how to boost foreign exchange supply to the economy.
“Given the four major sources of expanding supply: oil exports, foreign capital flows, remittances and non-oil exports, foreign portfolio investments, while desirable, is, however, very fungible.
“Oil exports are similarly very volatile. The long-term interests of the country would be served by encouraging remittances and non-traditional exports. Hence, suggestions to nationalise remittances will be counterproductive to the economy in the long term”, he said.
Adenikinju, therefore, advised that Nigerians should be encouraged to bring their funds into the economy by removing any uncertainty around the ownership and management of such funds.
He also encouraged the CBN to conduct studies to better understand the working of the foreign exchange market in the country, especially the microeconomic factors that drive economic agents’ behaviour in the market.
“In the light of the above, I would like to make the following recommendations: First, given the limited options open to the bank to expand foreign exchange supply in the near term, there is a need to carry out a comprehensive study of foreign exchange market operations in Nigeria with a view to determining the fundamental drivers, and relative sizes of the segments of the foreign exchange market in Nigeria.
“In addition, there must also be effective monitoring of the DMBs to close loopholes for shady practices, collusion, and round-tripping”, he said.
Digitisation Policy, Impactful On Nigeria – NITDA
Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, has said the digitisation policy drive of the Federal Government as contained in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) is impacting positively in corporate governance, Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Customer (B2C), and Business-to-Government (B2G) relationships.
A statement issued yesterday by the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA, Hajia Hadiza Umar, said Inuwa stated this while delivering a good will message at the Validation Workshop for the National e-Commerce Policy and Strategy by the National Advisory Committee, on Electronic Commerce and Digital Economy (NACEDE), which took place in Abuja.
He said the Digital Economic sector, which is a super-set of e-commerce, remains key to Nigeria’s economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era, deploying new technological innovations, such as e-commerce platforms, including social media-enabled trading handles, and ensuring rapid uptake of e-commerce for economic growth and competitiveness.
“Nigeria is experiencing the positive impact of e-commerce activities due to the growing increase in access to the Internet and related IT tools and services.
“The contribution of the telecommunications sector to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was an average15 per cent in July 2022 and experienced 44.5 per cent broadband penetration with active internet subscriptions that peaked at 151 million,” Inuwa said.
The DG, who was represented by Engineer Salisu Kaka, Acting Director, Digital Economy and Development Department, further said, “We have approximately 2000 digital innovation companies with 384 products in Nigeria.
“These Startups have raised over $2 billion in venture capital funding in 2021 alone. With an estimated 89,000 developers representing 12% of the African developers’ population, Nigeria’s e-commerce market size is about $17 billion. There is annual spending of about $12 billion in 2022, and this is projected to reach $75 billion by 2025.
“Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) appear to be the major beneficiaries of the concept of e-commerce as it enables MSMEs to operate in the global marketplace.
“MSMEs can now participate in regional businesses and enjoy social, economic, and cultural networks seamlessly across international boundaries.
“Global corporations now operate with much consistency while MSMEs experience enhanced participation in international value chains, increased market access and reach, improved internal and external market efficiency, and lower transaction costs,” he noted.
He also said there is a need to maintain the tide and optimize the benefit of technology and e-commerce, which have necessitated Nigeria to have a robust national e-commerce policy and strategy.
“Additionally, Nigeria is a signatory to bilateral, regional, continental, and global treaties on trade and trade-related activities. Having a national policy that recognized these treaties is necessary for the mutual benefit of member nations.
Kaspersky Identifies New Malware Campaign Targeting iOS Devices
Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company, says it has uncovered an ongoing mobile Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) campaign targeting iOS devices with an unknown malware.
The cyber security firm made this known in its latest report on Friday.
It said that the APT which was tagged as ‘Operation Triangulation’, distributes zero-click exploits via iMessage to run malware gaining complete control over the device and user data, with the final goal to spy on users.
It said that Kaspersky experts uncovered the new mobile APT campaign while monitoring the network traffic of its corporate Wi-Fi network using the Kaspersky Unified Monitoring and Analysis Platform (KUMA).
It noted that upon further analysis, company researchers discovered that the threat actor had been targeting iOS devices of dozens of company employees.
According to the company, the investigation of the attack technique is still ongoing, but so far Kaspersky researchers were able to identify the general infection sequence.
“The victim receives message via iMessage with an attachment containing a zero-click exploit.
“Without any further interaction, the message triggers a vulnerability that leads to code execution for privilege escalation and provides full control over the infected device.
“Once the attacker successfully establishes its presence in the device, the message automatically deletes itself,” it said.
According to the report, the spyware quietly transmits private information to remote servers.
“This includes microphone recordings, photos from instant messengers, geolocation and data about a number of other activities of the owner of the infected device,” it said.
The report stated that during the analysis, it was confirmed that there was no impact on the company’s products, technologies and services, and no Kaspersky customer user data or critical company processes were affected.
It noted that the attackers could only access data stored on the infected devices.
Igor Kuznetsov, Head of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Unit at Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team, said: “When it comes to cyber security, even the most secure operating systems can be compromised.
“As APT actors are constantly evolving their tactics and searching for new weaknesses to exploit, businesses must prioritise security of their systems,” he said.
Kuznetsov said this involved prioritising employee education, awareness and providing them with the latest threat intelligence and tools to effectively recognise and defend against potential threats.
He said the company’s investigation of the triangulation operation continues, adding that further details on it would be shared as there could be other targets of this spy operation.
Immigration Seeks Hitch-Free E-Passport System In PH
The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Rivers State Command, has re-emphasised its earlier stand on the provision of seamless e-passort for applicants.
A top official in the NIS, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed this in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt during the week.
Warning against any attempt to put the agency in bad light, saying such will be resisted by the system, the source said there was no need for panic, especially at this festive season, adding that it has a sound digital system to address their needs.
He called on both officers and men of the command to up their game to enable them meet up with the endless demands of their teeming clients
According to him, the Passport personnel have all it takes to deliver tasks on schedule with zero complain.
“Passport system is digitalized. We can meet up with the demands of the people. Our challenge is that people are always in a hurry to collect or do thier new passports”, he said.
He further called on members of the public to learn how to make do with the direct information obtained from the command on passport issues instead of feeding themselves with rumors.
By: King Onunwor
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