Itohoimo Udosen

Itohoimo Udosen

Samsung announced the Galaxy A9, which debuts as the world’s first rear-quad camera.
 
The Galaxy A9 allows you to capture dynamic photos with little effort. It the camera has four lenses to offer users a 2x Optical Zoom, an Ultra-Wide Lens, an adjustable manual depth of field lens, and a massive 24MP Main Lens.
 
To make things even easier, Samsung have also equipped the cameras with a scene optimiser and a smarter AI Scene Recognition system to identify subject and adjust settings accordingly for the best photos.
 
 
Source: Business Insider
The Shippers Council of Niger has abandoned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) to ship transit cargo through Nigeria, NSC Executive Secretary, Hassan Bello, has said.
 
The country however considered Ghana and Cotonou ports as alternative routes to ship its cargoes.
 
Bello disclosed this last Friday at a seminar organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Freight Forwarders Group in Lagos.
 
According to him, Niger Republic found it easier to transit their cargoes through ports in Ghana and Cotonou rather than Nigeria.
 
Bello, who was represented by NSC Assistant Director of Enforcement and Compliance, Public Service Department, Akujobi Chukwuemeka, attributed the refusal of the operators to honour the agreement with the Nigerian agency to time wasting, insecurity and poor customer service.
 
“If it will take them two days to clear their consignment in Cotonou while it takes them two weeks to do that in Nigeria, they will choose Cotonou.
 
“So, they abandoned that agreement we had with them. If you go to Shippers Council, you will still see them there but they are not doing anything,” he said.
 
Bello said many importers preferred to clear their cargoes through ports of neighbouring countries because of the poor customer service delivery in the seaports.
 
“Do the ports provide good service and in a reliable manner? Is the service consistent? What of the safety of the cargoes, security of the shipment and the issues connected to documentation? How long does it take for documentation processes to be finalised in respect of clearance of cargo?
 
“So, when we talk of customer service, these are small ingredients that will make a customer rate the port as an efficient one. When all these things are not there, you cannot be talking about customer service,” Bello added.
 
The NSC Executive Secretary pointed out that it only takes few hours to discharge oversized cargo in other ports, while in Nigeria, it takes days because the operators would need to hire equipment to perform the duty, making customers spend more days.
 
Besides, he mentioned that the port charges in Nigeria are also high when compared to other ports, noting that this and the usual gridlock at seaports in the country could discourage most of the customers.
 
Source: The Ripples

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, says maintaining stable exchange rate to avoid depreciation of the Naira is better than building foreign reserve buffers.

Emefiele told newsmen on Sunday that this was part of the outcome of the Nigerian delegation’s meetings with investors and institutions at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) Annual Meetings in Bali.

He said that all frontiers and developing markets have suffered not just depreciation, but had also lost reserves.

“We are very conscious of the need to build buffers but unfortunately I must say that we are in the period where it will be difficult to talk about building reserve buffers.

“We can only build reserve buffers if we want to hold on to the reserve and then allow the currency to go, and wherever it goes is something else.

“So it is a choice we have to make and at this time the choice for Nigeria is to maintain a stable exchange rate so that businesses can plan and we do not create problems in the banking system assets.”

According to him, like other emerging markets nations, Nigeria has also lost reserves but only marginally because it had managed to sustain stability in its foreign exchange market.

The CBN governor said that the IMF and the World Bank advised that nations should build country specific policies and fiscal and structural reforms that would boost economic growth.

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, said the World Bank’s Human Capital Development Index (HCI) ranking, which placed Nigeria low at 44 per cent on stunting, was disheartening and depressing.

She, however, said that the Federal Government saw the rating as a wake-up call.

“We admit that this pervasive action was due to long years of under-investment in human capital, which we have before now realised and for which we have been addressing.

“Apart from major policy actions, some decisive actions are being taken to address the situation.”

According to her, the delegation held meetings with the two rating agencies-Fitch and Moody’s and presented to them the summary and synopsis of the recent economic and financial developments in Nigeria.

She added that it was an opportunity for the rating agencies to be able to objectively evaluate Nigeria’s credit.

Ahmed said she also met the IMF Managing Director, Ms Christine Lagarde and discussed Nigeria’s economy in view of the 2019 general elections.

She assured Lagarde that the election year would not pose any threat to the nation’s economic prospects.

Mr Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning, said that to improve HCI, the nation had improved budgetary allocation to health and education.

He said that allocation to education moved from N22.5 billion in 2015 to N102.9 billion in 2018.

He added that allocation to health was reviewed from N26.6 billion in 2015 to N86.49 billion in 2018.

He said also that N55.19 billion had been added to the health budget in 2018 through the National Health Act.

 

Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA

Amazon worked on building an AI to help with hiring people, but the plans backfired when it discovered the system discriminated against women, Reuters reports.
 
Citing five sources, Reuters said Amazon set up an engineering team in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2014 to find a way to automate its recruitment.
 
They created 500 computer models to trawl through past candidates' resumes and pick up on around 50,000 key terms. The system would crawl the web to recommend candidates.
 
"They literally wanted it to be an engine where I'm going to give you 100 resumes, it will spit out the top five, and we'll hire those," one source told Reuters.
 
Amazon scraps AI recruiting tool showing bias against women
 
Amazon.com's machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women.
 
A year later, however, the engineers noticed something troubling about their engine - it didn't like women. This was apparently because the AI combed through predominantly male resumes submitted to Amazon over a 10-year period to accrue data about who to hire.
 
Consequently, the AI concluded that men were preferable. It downgraded resumes containing the words "women's," and filtered out candidates who'd attended two women's only colleges.
 
Amazon's engineers tweaked the system to remedy these particular forms of bias, but couldn't be sure the AI wouldn't find new ways to unfairly discriminate against candidates.
 
Gender bias was not the only problem, Reuters' sources said. The computer programs also spat out candidates who were unqualified for the position.
 
Remedying algorithmic bias is a thorny issue, because algorithms can pick up on unconscious human bias. In 2016, ProPublica found a risk-assessment software used to forecast which criminals are most likely to reoffend exhibited racial bias against black people. Over-reliance on AI for things like recruitment, credit-scoring, and parole judgements have also created issues in the past.
 
Amazon reportedly abandoned the AI recruitment project by the beginning of last year after executives lost faith in it. Reuters' sources said that Amazon recruiters looked at recommendations generated by the AI, but never relied solely on its judgement.
 
Amazon declined to comment when approached by Business Insider, but said it is committed to workplace diversity and equality.
 
 
 
Source: WorldPress.com
China's government has hit back at the Trump administration, accusing the US president of "bullying" over his aggressive tactics in the escalating trade conflict between the two nations, saying it will "rise up" should a full-scale trade war break out.
"China doesn't want a trade war, but would rise up to it should it break out," Zhong Shan, China's minister for commerce said in a statement.
 
So far, the Trump administration has placed tariffs on $250 billion (R3.7 trillion) worth of Chinese goods, affecting more than 5,000 products. The president, however, has said he is willing to "go to 500"- a colloquial term for placing tariffs on all US imports from China.
 
What was initially seen as an empty threat is now viewed by many observers as a genuine possibility after the latest round of tariffs were announced in late September, after which Trump doubled down on his threats to tax all Chinese imports. Such threats, Zhong said, will not lead China to back down and offer the US concessions.
 
"There is a view in the US that so long as the US keeps increasing tariffs, China will back down. They don't know the history and culture of China," he said.
 
"This unyielding nation suffered foreign bullying for many times in history, but never succumbed to it even in the most difficult conditions," he continued.
 
"The US should not underestimate China's resolve and will."
 
Zhong's comments came just a few hours after President Trump once again accused China of taking advantage of the US over trade.
 
"We can't have a one-way street," Trump said during a press conference to discuss the resignation of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday afternoon.
 
"It's got to be a two-way street. It's been a one-way street for 25 years. We've got to make it a two-way street. We've got to benefit also," he told reporters.
 
Alongside increasing tariffs, communications between the two sides have become more and more strained in recent weeks. China in September called off planned talks between mid-level officials, and this week US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exchanged displeased words with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi during a trip to Beijing.
 
"Recently, as the US side has been constantly escalating trade friction toward China, it has also adopted a series of actions on the Taiwan issue that harm China's rights and interests, and has made groundless criticism of China's domestic and foreign policies," Wang said at a press conference.
 
"We demand that the US side stop this kind of mistaken action."
 
Pompeo hit back, saying the US has "great concerns about the actions that China has taken."
 
A currency war brewing?
Away from the escalating tensions over trade, the US Treasury has shown new concern about China's devaluation of the renminbi, an action it believes Beijing is using to strengthen its hand with regard to trade by making Chinese goods cheaper.
 
"As we look at trade issues there is no question that we want to make sure China is not doing competitive devaluations," Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Wednesday.
 
"We are going to absolutely want to make sure that as part of any trade understanding we come to that currency has to be part of that."
 
Trump has frequently criticised China for his belief that Beijing is artificially weakening its currency to make Chinese exports more competitive, something he believes Beijing is doing to hurt the US economy.
 
In August, he claimed that Beijing is a "currency manipulator."
 
 
Source: Business Insider
India agreed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems on Friday.
 
The Kremlin said, as New Delhi disregarded U.S. warnings that such a purchase could trigger sanctions under U.S. law.
 
Although there was no public signing, the deal was sealed during President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing visit to New Delhi for an annual summit.
 
“The deal was signed on the fringes of the summit,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters.
 
The contract is estimated to be worth more than 5 billion dollars and gives the Indian military the ability to shoot down aircraft and missiles at unprecedented ranges.
 
But the United States has said countries trading with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors would face automatic sanctions under a sweeping legislation called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
 
A State Department spokesperson said this week that the implementation of the sanctions act would be focused at countries acquiring weapons such as the S-400 missile batteries.
 
In September, the United States imposed sanctions on China’s military for its purchase of combat fighters as well as the S-400 missile system it bought from Russia this year.
 
India is hoping that President Donald Trump’s administration will give it a waiver on the weapons systems which New Delhi sees as a deterrent against China’s bigger and superior military.
 
After summit talks between Putin and Modi, the two countries signed eight agreements covering space, nuclear energy and railways at a televised news conference.
 
 
Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the issuance of a second tranche of N100 billion Sukuk Bond to finance road infrastructure across the country.

The approval for the second tranche followed the success and oversubscription of the first tranche, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metropolitan Skills, Ummahani Amin, said at a two-day training on Sukuk structurisation and management in Abuja.

The training was organised by the Metropolitan Skills Ltd. in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, and Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC).

Recall that the Federal Government had in September 2017 issued the first N100 billion Sukuk Bond as part of capital raising for the construction of about 25 roads in the nation.

Amino said funds realised from the second tranche of the bond would also be channelled into the construction of roads across the six geo-political zones of the country.

He assured that just like the first tranche, this year’s tranche of N100 billion would be successful.

“We are doing the second tranche now because the first one was successful and over subscribed. N100 billion was involved in the first and the second is on the way.

“So we are looking at the same infrastructure, construction of roads across Nigeria and the six geopolitical zones. This has never happened in the history of Nigeria for infrastructure,” Amin said.

 

Source: The Ripples

The South African economy is in the midst of its longest business cycle downturn in more than 73 years, according to the Reserve Bank, and things aren't looking particularly favourable right now either.
 
The adverse business climate has impacted the stock market too this year, seeing listed companies declining year-to-date on the whole. 
 
According to analysis done by Corion Capital, a boutique hedge fund manager, 60% of listed counters had depreciated by the end of September, with more than a third slumping in excess of 15%. Only 16% of the stocks in the All Share Index gained more than 15% this year to end-September.
 
Topping the list of poor performers are Tiger Brands, off more than 40%, two healthcare companies, Aspen and Mediclinic, MTN, and Woolworths.
 
Performance of the top 40 JSE shares. Tiger Brands and Aspen were the biggest losers, while Sasol and BHP Billiton were the top performers. (Corion Capital)
Performance of the top 40 JSE shares. Tiger Brands and Aspen were the biggest losers, while Sasol and BHP Billiton were the top performers. (Corion Capital)
And the sharp sell-off has continued into October, with only the Resource Index managing to gain ground last week and the Banks Index hardest hit, losing 7%.
 
Garreth Montano, a director of Corion Capital, puts the bout of negativity swamping investor sentiment this year down to:
 
- Low GDP growth. South Africa has unfortunately missed out on a resurgence in the world economy and has been left well behind in terms of GDP growth. The reasons behind the sluggish performance of the domestic economy can be debated at length, but many view the Zuma era as a large contributor to the underperformance of SOEs, heightened corruption, lack of job creation and lack of investor confidence in attracting foreign direct investment.
 
- The land debate and mining charter have further dented prospects of new investment, which would aid growth as well as assist in creating new jobs. All of which are dearly needed.
 
- Many commentators believe that president Ramaphosa’s hands are tied until general elections, and the righting of the ship and benefits to the economy will start gaining momentum once there is more clarity around the land issue and elections are behind us.
 
To add to these internal challenges, emerging markets, as a whole, have had a difficult 2018, being largely led down by the crises in Turkey and Argentina. Trade wars have also had a negative effect, creating concerns about a drag on emerging markets exports due to potential for tariff impositions by the US, Montano says.
 
Locally the negative sentiment towards broader emerging markets has played out in large outflows fromn our bond market, as well as foreigners selling off equities, says Montano. Last week almost R6bn alone was taken out of South Africa by foreign investors.
 
These disinvestments have also played out in currency markets, driving the rand dramatically lower to more than R15 to the dollar at stages compared with its peak of almost R11.50 in February this year.
 
 
Source: Business Insider

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