What’s Going On: Nigeria Unveils New Naira Notes, Power Shortage In Kenya & More

Notable headlines from across the continent

“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.

 Nigeria Unveils New Naira Notes, Effective From January, 2023

Earlier in the week, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria unveiled the new currency notes for the Naira. The newly designed Naira notes is a move that is said to help curb inflation and money laundering. Launched on Wednesday, the new denominations of 200 ($0.46), 500 ($1.15) and 1,000 Naira ($2.30) are the first time Nigeria’s currency has been redesigned in 19 years. However, analysts say the new notes would yield little or no results in managing inflation or in the fight against corruption in the absence of institutional reforms.

Last month, it was announced that the deadline for old notes to either be used or deposited at banks is slated for Janauary 31, 2023. With inflation at a 17-year high of 21.09% that is driven by soaring food prices, the President shared that the new notes will help bring the hoarded currencies back into the banking system and as well as help the central bank regain control of the money being used in the country.

During the unveiling, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emefiele also shared that more than 80 percent of the 3.2 trillion zNaira ($7.2bn) in circulation in Nigeria are outside the vaults of commercial banks and in private hands. The new paper notes designed in Nigeria and featuring enhanced security are set to help the central bank to design and implement better monetary policy objectives.

Ebola Cases In Uganda Reduces Drastically

In the last two weeks, Uganda has recorded a drop in the number of new Ebola cases. The development is a major sign the East African country is having a measure of success in efforts to combat its latest outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever disease more than two months after it was declared. Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said on the local NTV news service late on Wednesday that the country is experiencing a downward trend in the number of cases now being recorded. W

The World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as aid groups, are also relentlessly providing Uganda with assistance and materials to cope with another outbreak. According to the Ugandan Health Ministry, the country has so far recorded 141 cases and 55 deaths. The virus circulating in Uganda is the Sudan strain of Ebola, for which there is no proven vaccine, unlike the more common Zaire strain, which spread during recent outbreaks in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kenya Faces Loss After Electrical Shortage

This past week, Kenyans have experienced a blackout in most parts of the country after interruptions at the Kenya Power & Lightning Company (K.P.L.C). This comes barely three weeks after a similar blackout making business owners face losses. In a statement released by K.P.L.C on Thursday, the company experienced a system disturbance and refused to give more details The outages have been consistent since January causing a pain to business owners such as hospitals and manufacturers to experience losses by switching to generators despite the high fuel prices.

Kenya Power has been facing various challenges such as ageing electricity cables that are prone to break down causing shortages. The outage came hours after Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u  triggered the company’s board to table before the annual general meeting (AGM) an ordinary resolution for the removal of Ms Yeda. The Kenya Electrical Trades & Allied Workers Union (KETAWU) has constantly demanded the removal of Ms Yeda from the board arguing that she has been behind the company’s shortage of critical materials such as poles, meters and transformers through delayed approval of the company’s procurement plan.The workers union stated her as an enumbrance to transformation of the transformation and stability of the company.

Ghana And Zimbabwe Hit Record Tax Increase

The finance ministers of Ghana and Zimbabwe have been delivering their annual budgets amid the cost-of-living crisis that has hit the whole world. Now, they have both announced an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), which you pay when you buy goods. In Ghana, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta – who is under pressure to resign because of the deepening economic crisis – pushed it up from 12.5% to 15%. But in some good news for Ghanaians, the finance minister cut the tax on all electronic transactions from 1.5% to 1%, barely a year after its introduction. In Zimbabwe, the tax on foreign currency transactions has been halved to 2% while a banking tax for the purchase of wheat has been dropped to keep bread prices low.

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