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Airport Towns Braced For Jobless Spike

Airport towns braced for jobless spike as furlough scheme ends

Airport hubs Crawley and Luton are facing a sharp jump in unemployment this week as Britain’s furlough capitals bear the brunt of an end to the Chancellor’s jobs support scheme.

Experts warned the towns are the most vulnerable to a wave of job losses after new data revealed they have the most workers stuck on furlough as the travel industry struggles to recover.

The recent loosening of Britain’s travel rules came too late to save the sector’s crucial summer period. The furlough scheme wraps up after 18 months on Thursday.

Crawley, which is close to Gatwick airport, is most threatened by a surge in unemployment with one in 10 of its workforce still on the furlough scheme as of the end of July, according to Centre for Cities figures.

Luton could soon have Britain’s highest claimant count rate. It already has the fourth-highest share of its population on jobseekers’ help but also has 8pc of the workforce stuck on furlough.

While Slough, which is near Heathrow, has a lower claimant count rate than Luton, it is also highly vulnerable, with 9pc of its workers on furlough.

Paul Swinney, director of policy and research at Centre for Cities, said: “The places that continue to be particularly exposed tend to be those airport towns, particularly those close to London which were clearly handling a large volume of traffic in normal times.

“The scheme is removed at the end of this month: that clearly is really big for places like Crawley, Slough and Luton where a large share of people relatively speaking continue to be on furlough.”

It came as economists also warned that staff shortages are being worsened by about 1m workers leaving the labour market as many Britons retire early and go back into education.

The Institute for Employment Studies estimates that an extra 300,000 more workers have retired early as a result of the pandemic, deepening the shortages crippling many sectors.

Tony Wilson, director of the IES, said: “That’s massive and easily as big as the impacts from migration, from young people studying and furlough.

“The things that are driving high levels of vacancies is that there are just fewer people in the labour market.”

An extra 500,000 to 600,000 workers are believed to have gone into education or have migrated.

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DMO Issues Two FGN Savings Bonds At N1,000/unit

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced its Dec. issuance of two Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Savings Bonds at N1,000 per unit.

According to a statement by the DMO, the first offer is a two-year FGN Savings Bond due on Dec. 14, 2022, at an interest rate of 12.255 percent per annum.

The second one is a three-year FGN Savings Bond due on Dec. 14, 2025, at a 13.255 percent interest rate per annum.

It said that the opening date for the issuance of the bonds is Dec.5, the closing date is Dec. 9, the settlement date, is Dec. 14 while coupon payment dates are March 14, June 14, Sept. 14, and Dec. 14.

“They are issued at N1,000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N5,000 and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter, subject to a maximum subscription of N50 million.

“Interest is payable quarterly, while bullet repayment is made on the maturity date, ” it said.

It added that FGN savings bonds qualify as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act.

“They qualify as government securities within the meaning of the Company Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act for tax exemption for pension funds amongst other Investors.

“They are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and qualify as liquid assets for liquidity ratio calculation for banks,” it said.

The statement said they were backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and charged upon the general assets of the country.

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DMO Says It has Raised N130bn From Sukuk For Key Road Projects

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says it raised N130 billion from its N100 billion sovereign al ’Ijarah sukuk opened on November 21, 2022.

DMO, in a statement on Monday disclosed that the offer of N100 billion was “upsized to N130 billion due to the over 165 percent subscription level”.

The Sukuk is a strategic initiative that supports infrastructure development, promotes financial inclusion and deepens the domestic securities market.

Since the establishment of the initiative in September 2017, Nigeria has issued four sovereign sukuk: 2017 (N100 billion), 2018 (N100 billion), 2020 (N162.557 billion), and 2021 (N250 billion).

According to the statement, this year’s total sovereign sukuk issuance moved to N742.557 billion.

“The Debt Management Office (DMO) is pleased to inform the public of the successful conclusion of the issuance of N100 billion sovereign al ’ijarah sukuk. The offer for N100 billion opened on November 21, 2022, and was supported by wide public sensitisation to encourage subscription from diverse investors, particularly the retail investors,” the statement reads.

“The initial offer size of N100 billion was upsized to N130 billion due to the over 165 percent subscription level. The Sukuk was issued at a rental rate of 15.64 percent per annum. This brings the total sovereign sukuk issuance to N742.557 billion as at date.”

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CBN Limits Withdrawal To N100,000 Weekly

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday slashed the cash withdrawal by an individual to N100,000 per week by an individual.

The apex bank also fixed N500,000 as the amount a company can withdraw in a week.

By this new policy, account holders can only withdraw a maximum of N100,000 weekly through Automated Teller Machine (ATM), subject to a maximum of N20,000 daily withdrawal.

Under the new policy, which is to take effect from January 9, 2023, the maximum cash withdrawal via Point of Sale (POS) shall also be N20,000 daily.

This was contained in a circular issued by the CBN on Tuesday, signed by director of banking supervision, Haruna Mustafa and addressed to deposit money banks and other financial institutions.

According to the circular, deposit money banks and other financial institutions are also mandated to ensure that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week.

It further indicated that all cash withdrawals in excess of the stated limits will attract processing fees of 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The new policy also states that third party cheques in excess of N50,000 shall not be eligible for over the counter payment, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques subsist.

“Only denomination of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.

“In compelling circumstances not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits is required for legitimate purposes, such cash withdrawals shall not exceed N5,000,000 and N10,000,000 for individuals and corporate organisations respectively, and shall be subject to the references processing fees in (1) above, in addition to enhanced due diligence and further information requirements,” the circular stated.

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