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Op-Ed

For the record: Ahaji Shehu Shagari (1925-2018)

Kayode Soyinka

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Former Nigerian President Shehu Shagari arrives to attend the inauguration of new Nigerian President at the Eagles Square in Abuja, on May 29, 2015 - AFP
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Politically, in the first two years of his administration, Shagari enjoyed reasonable amount of goodwill. His ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN), which called for a government of national unity, succeeded in getting Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) to join it to form a government. This relative support and goodwill, which Shagari received from the electorate, despite legal arguments in court about the validity of his victory at the poll, was partly due to the Nigerian people being genuinely fed up with the military rule of the past 13 years and wanting to give civilian rule a chance. Unfortunately, it turned out that Shagari, despite all the years he had spent in the country’s public service, both as a senior politician and in government, with several key ministerial feathers in his cap, really had little inkling of modern politics and economics.

Lacking a sense of history or of Nigeria’s destiny, the Shagari government threw overboard the cost-cutting measures of its predecessor and began to wallow in profligacy. “The financial recklessness of federal and state governments inevitably resulted in the depletion of an already low revenue (resulting from a fall in oil production and price of crude), high debts, inflation, unemployment, factory shut-downs, food scarcity and general disenchantment,” wrote Nigerian commentator Ray Ekpu in the October 1984 edition of Africa Now.

In short, Shagari’s NPN government of October 1, 1979, to December 31, 1983, was the epitome of political and economic mismanagement in Nigeria of that era – a government that had killed the country’s economy and politics in its first four-year term. What made matters totally hopeless was that the government engineered an incredible elections fraud in 1983 to ensure his re-election.

It was no surprise therefore when Nigerians woke up on the last day of the year 1983 to discover that Shagari’s government had been swept away, there were few mourners. The new military government of General Muhammadu Buhari needed no great oratory to convince Nigerians that the fallen government had been a monumental disaster; almost everyone, except for a few party faithful who profited from the decadence, had felt the rottenness of the government in his bones. As the soldiers broke open warehouses and stores of essential commodities, rice, milk, sugar, cooking oil came tumbling out in large quantities and Nigerians began to dance in the hope that an era had come when such commodities would be both available and affordable.

Even in the last period of his reign, luck was still on Shagari’s side. It had been said that a certain section of the military actually contemplated removing his government as early as March 1980, but that wiser counsel prevailed, namely that the 1983 elections should be allowed to go ahead. What happened during those elections finally provided enough justification for the removal of the government. In his second coming, Shagari provided further evidence of his lack of will and direction. To say that the massive corruption by members of his party and government was the reason for the New Year coup is to miss the point; that was just the symptoms of the cancer that was killing the country. Shagari was just an inept leader and uninformed.

Wrote Dr Ibrahim Gambari, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister under General Buhari: “The issue of large-scale corruption severely damaged the reputation of the operators of the political system. Although this was not a new issue in Nigeria, the nature of the new presidential system and the increase in oil-based revenue accruing to the federal and state governments, especially in the early 1980s, helped to elevate corruption to new heights. Corrupt practices became pervasive at local, state and federal levels, especially in the award of contracts and the manipulation of the import-licensing system. When these practices continued without much regard to declining government revenue, they poisoned the social and political climate, since ever fewer funds were made available to maintain, let alone develop, social services and related institutions. It was not long before essential medical services and the educational systems degenerated and were on the verge of collapse. Social tensions were heightened and antisocial behaviour of the underclass increased very rapidly.”

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SOURCE: NEWS CENTRAL AND NEWS PARTNERS

 

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Op-Ed

Will oil prices help or harm Nigeria’s economy in Q3?

Global Oil prices looked tired, exhausted and ready for an early summer break during the second quarter of 2019

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Will oil prices help or harm Nigeria’s economy in Q3?

Global Oil prices looked tired, exhausted and ready for an early summer break during the second quarter of 2019 as global growth fears overshadowed supply disruptions and ongoing OPEC supply cuts. At the time of writing, Oil prices remain shaky and vulnerable despite OPEC+ latest decision to extend production cuts until March 2020.

The crucial question is whether Oil prices will ever recover and trade back towards the $70+ levels. That depends less on geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and more on whether the US and China can reach a trade deal, settling disputes over tariffs and opening the door to continued global growth.

In this case, it’s likely that Oil prices will be injected with a renewed sense of confidence on the back of boosted global growth expectations and demand for Oil. But what if the current circumstances persist and the US-China trade disputes continue throughout the second half of 2019? 

Taking each scenario one-by-one, starting with the upside for Oil prices, Nigeria’s economy could benefit considerably if a US-China trade deal is reached and global growth expectations become brighter. The manufacturing sectors in the US and China are the Oil-gobbling engines which drive demand for international Oil suppliers.

China is the world’s top crude Oil consumer, importing more than 50 per cent of its consumption, part of which comes from Nigeria. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Nigeria exported ₦23.5 billion worth of crude Oil to China and remains a major trading partner to the Asian giant. It’s likely that if China’s economy roars back to life, Nigeria’s growth would see more long-term support, benefiting foreign exchange reserves and the naira.

Although unlikely, if a trade deal were to be announced early in the quarter, it’s possible the nation’s 2019 budget would also see ample support from increased Oil revenues from China. This argument doesn’t apply to the US which has considerably reduced its crude Oil imports from Nigeria as it heads towards energy independence, relying instead on domestic production to meet its own needs.  

If you take the negative outlook on Oil, it’s more likely the rise in Oil prices is a temporary result of supply shortage fears and the prevalent trend in Q3 will be downward pressure from concerns over a global recession. In this unfavorable scenario, the world’s two largest economies do not reach a trade deal in the third quarter and aggregate demand for Oil continues falling as it tracks economic weaknesses in China and the US.

As demand for Oil is whittled away, Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves may be negatively impacted, along with the Naira, the 2019 budget, and most importantly GDP growth.

In terms of the national budget sheet, expenses like the petrol subsidy may take the limelight as they drag on revenues, overshadowing growth and threatening fiscal stability. 

There’s another factor we haven’t talked about so far but it’s significant in terms of Oil market economics. Oil sales are denominated in US Dollars. Recently, the currency has weakened against its rivals, meaning that Oil is more affordable and possibly giving traders an incentive to snap up contracts at current levels before they rise further.

If the Dollar bears have their way and the currency keeps declining, Oil price benchmarks could see further support in the third quarter. The impact of a weaker USD might not be as strong as a US-China trade deal, but it could feed positively into Nigeria’s Oil revenues and go some way to counter possible losses from ongoing global recession fears. 

To sum up, Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves, currency, growth, and budget will face headwinds should trade disputes persist.

However, provided the USD keeps weakening, there’s scope for support from higher Oil prices based on bargain hunting. There’s always the possibility that the US and China could decide on a trade deal, if this happens sooner than later, Nigeria’s economy would benefit accordingly. 

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect News Central TV’s editorial stance.

SOURCE: NEWS CENTRAL AND NEWS PARTNERS

 

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Op-Ed

The winning habits of successful forex traders

Becoming a successful forex trader may seem like an unrealistic dream at first, but following these steps will bring you closer to reality

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The winning habits of successful forex traders | News Central TV
(File photo)

Who is a forex trader?

A forex trader is an individual who exchanges one currency for another in the global financial market. The financial market is an over-the-counter (OTC) market, where financial instruments are traded. It is considered the largest and most liquid market in the world, with a daily turnover of over 5.6 trillion dollars. 

Anyone who wishes to become a successful trader is responsible for honing their skills through education and consistent practice. At FXTM, we believe educated traders are successful traders, which is why we run very detailed seminars and workshops, both at an introductory and advanced level at our offices and training centres here in Nigeria.

The winning habits of successful forex traders

Anyone can train to become a disciplined trader, through self-analysis to see what drives their operations and also learning from their mistakes & forex psychology.

It is a fact that successful traders think and act differently. They usually have specific habits and follow a series of steps or patterns which guide them daily as they trade in the markets.

When you start trading forex, you know that it can be very lucrative and rewarding, but this does not mean that you do not have risks, or that 100% of the time you will be successful. It is important that you master the basic concepts and understand the foundations necessary to excel to become successful.

Get going!

To achieve what you want, you must focus on trading and make it part of your daily actions. You must also understand that behaviour is an integral part of the trading process and thus, your attitude and mindset should reflect the following attributes.  

Let’s have a look.

1. Manage your money

There is not a single successful trader who does not know how to manage their money. The art of understanding money management – knowing how much you can invest and afford to risk, in addition to being able to establish the appropriate losses and thus, take profits at the right time, are skills that are indispensable and that you must acquire.

The winning habits of successful forex traders

You must preserve your capital always and at all costs, in order to possibly generate wealth in the long-term.

2. Manage your emotions

Remember that in forex trading, there is no place for emotions of any kind. If both the winners and the losers act in the same way, the operations will be executed in a more professional manner and without drastic changes.

You can achieve this with calmness and dedication; for example, if you are upset because one of your trades is experiencing losses, try to take a break from the trade. You can reintegrate once you have calmed down.

Avoid making any emotional decisions, as this can lead you to commit commercial mistakes and disasters that will result in losses.

3. Take advantage of demo accounts. Use them until you are ready

Demo accounts are usually a great way to test the waters in a place where it is not risky since you do not lose real money.

This applies above all if you are a newbie and so you can try different trading platforms. But once you feel very prepared to start a live account, you may try it, and take a chance.

4. Run your winners in order to have as many benefits as possible

Now, in the financial markets, there are many beginners who think that the best traders are the ones who are always right.  This is a myth because, in the world of trading, not everything is theory.

Then, once you have found an asset that meets your skill-set, hold on to it and learn to polish that skill. You should always learn to obtain benefits that are significant enough, as this is the only way in which you can cover your losses.

5. Cut losses early

By taking into account how difficult it is to be profitable in the competitive forex world, you must keep an eye on them and are willing to cut losses ahead of time, even if they are your profitable trades.

This means that when the market moves against you, you should not trust that it will return soon. Of course, unless there is a signal that is clear, precise and expresses what will happen in the market, in that case, leave soon and go to the next, always with the hope that it might be profitable.

5. Learn from your mistakes and see them as knowledge

You learn while doing it. That is why you should not allow a bad experience to truncate the path to success.

It’s a learning curve that would allow better decision-making in the future.

6. Find the perfect strategy and repeat

It is well-known that trading can be like a big battle to take money out of the market. And to be able to achieve this in the most appropriate way, you would need a repeatable and efficient strategy that works for you in the long run.

The market is always changing, which means that you will sometimes need to make adjustments to your strategy.  That way, you might have more chances to win if you can find a way to make your strategy work. Don’t waste more time.

7. Separate your life habits from the trading habits

 It is important that you can make time and maintain a balanced lifestyle to your life outside of trading. Having a healthy and calm lifestyle requires that you take regular breaks from trading during the day.

This will help you to make better trading decisions and as a result, you will have more chances of being successful.

8. Search and use methods that have been tested and you can prove it

Do not believe everything you read and see on the internet, remember that it is a minefield of lies and people seeking profits on the back of frauds.

That is why you should look for a real test of the methods that are being promoted to you and verify that they really work well.

This insurance process can include going with current trends, also reducing your losses, in case you are seeing a benefit, or letting go.

9. Never forget the risk / reward

Do not forget that there is always a risk before a reward. The ratio of risk to reward is not going to be the same all the time, due to the fast-moving nature of the financial market. There are times when it may seem that you are failing in the trade with the risk you see, only so that everything can become a reward in this way.

Then you can proceed to make your withdrawals and they can be about half of your returns or even less. You must pay attention and definitely not expect for every trades to produce profits every time.

10. Keep a trade journal

By having a trading diary, you can keep a record of your winning positions as well as the ones you lost. It is also important to also point out the characteristics that led you to that position, and be able to analyse these results.

The winning habits of successful forex traders

It is necessary to be very orderly in the life of a trader, since keeping a record of trades gives the trader a really objective platform and thus, be able to better understand both their options and their decisions. All of these are important in order to improve the process of trading.

11. Take responsibility for your movements

This habit is linked to controlling your emotions, with the difference that this time you must not just control your emotions, but that you have to accept them.

You must take responsibility for each of the movements or decisions you make, and you should not blame anyone for your losses.

Equally, this means no one but you gets credit for your profits. Do not invest in more than what you can afford to lose.

12. It’s not just habits that make the trader, it’s the personality too

Habits are important because they form a routine for the trader and make them a person who follows certain steps that will lead him to their next gains. However, personality also plays one of the most important roles in being a successful trader and it is the perfect complement for these habits to work in their entirety.

A trader must have a defined personality in order to predict a pattern of behavior that will not only help them to understand the market better, but also the way in which the same trader manages that market.

For example, there are traders who are calm and determined; in case they are not 100% sure of a trade, they may decide not to go ahead with it and thus, maintain their current balance.

In this way, they remain a cautious and patient trader.

At the same time, there are traders who take risks and this can lead them to have huge profits, or big losses. Regardless of personality type, the important thing is that the trader knows themselves, knows what kind of habits are indicators for them and what their movements are in the market.

Summary

Finding at least one advantage in forex trading will help keep you in a superior position; having good trading habits can certainly be one of these advantages.

These habits that were explained previously serve for all types of traders. Organize yourself and create a routine with habits that could lead you to success.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect News Central TV’s editorial stance.

SOURCE: NEWS CENTRAL AND NEWS PARTNERS

 

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Op-Ed

Oil sensitivity set to intensify on conflicting themes

Oil markets are poised to remain highly sensitive and reactive to supply and demand side factors ahead of the OPEC meeting this month.

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Oil sensitivity set to intensify on conflicting themes | News Central TV

It has been a rollercoaster trading week for oil markets as investors tussled with conflicting fundamental themes pulling and tugging at the commodity.

Oil prices initially collapsed roughly 4 per cent mid-week thanks to an unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles and a gloomy outlook for global oil demand. Bulls were later thrown a lifeline after geopolitical tensions in the Middle East rekindled concerns over potential supply shocks.

Oil markets are poised to remain highly sensitive and reactive to supply and demand side factors ahead of the OPEC meeting this month. With oil trading at depressed levels despite the recent rebound, OPEC+ may have no other choice but to extend supply cuts in an effort to prevent any further downside shocks.

Related: Nigeria foreign reserves rise in May; Gold Shines

For as long as Nigeria remains reliant on oil sales as a source of growth, the weakness in oil exposes the nation to significant downside risks. Should oil prices sink deeper into the abyss, Nigeria’s fragile recovery, exchange rate stability and improving sentiment will be under threat.

Looking at the technical picture, WTI Crude is trading marginally below $53.00 as of writing. Repeated weakness below this level is likely to encourage a decline towards $52.00 and $50.60.

Dollar steady ahead of retail sales 

dollar

The Dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies today as trade tensions and global growth concerns supported the flight to safety.

While the Dollar is likely to remain supported by safe-haven flows amid persistent trade tensions, the question is for how long? With the Fed speculated to cut interest rates and recent economic data from the United States nothing to celebrate about, the Dollar is running on borrowed time.

Related: Nigeria’s week ahead: ECB meeting and Oil in focus

Much attention will be directed towards the latest U.S. retail sales figures on Friday which should offer insight into the health of the U.S. economy.

Should the report disappoint, the Dollar is likely to weaken as expectations mount over the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates this year.

Commodity spotlight – Gold 

Commodity spotlight – Gold

This has been a mixed trading week for Gold due to the growing sensitivity of global risk sentiment.

Related: Investors “Sell in May and Go Away” as risk aversion intensifies; Oil collapses

The precious metal has the potential to conclude the week on a positive note if the pending US retail sales report fails to hit market expectations. Looking at the technical picture, Gold is likely to test $1347 if $1324 proves to be a reliable support.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect News Central TV’s editorial stance.

SOURCE: NEWS CENTRAL AND NEWS PARTNERS

 

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