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Mathemagic

Introduction

Welcome to a new week.

Last week was filled was fast paced. Story upon story. Thankfully, we made it to the end.

This post will look at some of the happenings of last week.

How 4th Became 1st

In an amazing turn of events, the 4th would be come first in Imo state.

You can read all the sordid details of the case here.

Election Results for Imo State

I am short of words at the happenings but not surprised. Nigeria has been synonymous with new lows in recent times.

Every time you think it cannot get any lower, it does.

As an engineer, I thought about how 1st could become 4th.

Haven’t you heard of modulus?

It is represented by the % symbol. It is the whole number remainder when you divide one number by another.

4 % 4 = 0
0 + 1 = 1

The proof above should suffice for the mathematically curious.

Forex Intervention

Last year, we spent close to 17 Billion Naira for the defence of the Naira.

No longer is our exchange rate an indicator of our productivity, it is now a measure of how well we can do Currency Warfare.

Such a regime is unsustainable but in this foolhardy administration, the continuation of foolish policies without recourse to common sense is notable.

The first forex intervention happened last week.

Who gives a damn if our banks cannot hold their water?

Group Economics

It wasn’t all doom and gloom.

I would read a story about a group of women who would combine forces to build a 5 storey building in Kenya.

It points to the fact that in unity, there is power.

Amotekun

Amotekun Logo

We all knew that the killings in the country could not go unanswered.

Although slow in coming, the Governors of the South Western states have decided to unite for the defense of their states.

This move marks the beginning of the end for the union called Nigeria.

It has been criticized by the North. Yet, they are unable to state on what basis makes the Hisbah legal and Amotekun illegal.

Amotekun in the South, Hisbah in the North

What will be left will be for other states to follow.

Amotekun means Cheetah in the Yoruba language.

Grid Collapse

Dark Room

It is only common sense that a nation that plans to go to space should have light on earth.

Last week on Thursday, 16th of January 2020, the national grid collapsed.

It would be the first collapse of the year. Nigeria has refused to apply any metric of wisdom in dealing with this problem.

VAT Increase

As if the suffering of Nigerians under bad government policies is not enough, the government has decided to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT).

You can see the announcement below:

VAT Increase Announcement

Not that it will do much good to the economy as the problem with the country is one of capacity.

What Does the Future Hold?

This article covers a possible future for Nigeria.

The writer brings no original thinking to the article and if you read any “Africa Rising” narratives last decade, it is in the same class.

How it Could All End?

Could Nigeria suffer the same fate as Venezuela?

The article gives a harrowing picture of people leaving a defunct nation.

Jetting Off

Despite all the problems in the country, the President is out of the country for another pointless trip.

This time he didn’t slither off. He met with some of his people.

Conclusion

History Repeats Itself

The above image covers all my feelings about Nigeria this week.

Thankfully, the world has been here before.

Have a great week.

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Simple Interest

The concept of Simple Interest is one of the first things anyone learns in Financial Mathematics.

It isn’t really hard to program.

The formula I am using is given below:

Simple Interest Formula

The code to program this is shown below:

# Print out the purpose of the program
print("This program computes the compound amount using simple interest")
print("Reference: An Undergraduate Introduction to Financial Mathematics (Page 2)\n")

# Ask the user for the initial deposit
principal = float(input("Please enter the initial deposit: "))

# Ask the user for the rate as a percentage
rate = float(input("Please enter the rate: "))

# Ask the user for the number of years
years = float(input("Please enter the number of years: "))

# Compute the compounded amount
rate = rate / 100
compounded_amount = principal * ((1 + rate)**years)
print("\nThe compounded amount is:", round(compounded_amount, 2))

You can also find the code on GitHub.

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Negative People

This is a story I will keep telling forever.

When I was in University, most likely 1st or 2nd year, I wanted to participate in the First Bank annual undergraduate essay competition.

The theme for that year was privatization. It was the Atiku days of privatization.

I had read quite a lot on privatization even before the essay. I got more books and started writing. It was flowing and I was looking forward to a good submission.

Until one day, one of my dad’s friends showed up. He asked what I was busy with?

With great enthusiasm, I told him about the competition.

He laughed and said that such competitions from banks are targeted at Finance and Economics undergraduates.

I was studying for a BSc in Mathematics in Ife. He discouraged me totally. I immediately stopped writing.

Fast forward a few months later, the winners were announced.

The top prize winner was an Engineering undergraduate.

I almost became depressed.

But it taught me a great lesson about negative people. I stopped listening to people who say it is not possible.

It was later I realized that the same man was the reason my dad bought a black/white TV in those days and not a Colour TV.

Reason? He said Colour TVs spoil often.

He also discouraged him from buying land in the early 80s because of Omo Onile (Local Gangsters).

Such people exist everywhere around you.

Once you spot them, run!

There will always be good counsellors who will give you great advice.

You will know if you can calm down.

Again, run from negative people who never see good in anything. They will cost you.

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Ayobami Oladejo on Twitter

Featured Image
Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash

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The Year Ahead 2020

Introduction

Welcome to a New Year!

With most of December fading away, a New Year can finally begin.

In this post, I intend to look at happenings in the country as they occurred this week.

One thing last year showed was that bad governance will kill everyone.

Without much ado, here is what went down in Nigeria in the past week.

JAMB Registration

I sincerely believe that in 2020 it is possible to design processes and systems without the need to “See Somebody”.

Sadly, the nature of government agencies in Nigeria make processes unusually harder than they need to be.

It’s like Nigerians want to win the “Sufferhead Olympics”.

For some reason, JAMB made the use of the National Identification Number compulsory for the examination.

The result of this policy is shown below:

JAMB Candidates at NIMC office. Image Courtesy of the Punch Newspapers

In the resulting chaos at the NIMC offices around the country, people started bribing the security agents to allow them in.

That is the effect of badly designed systems. When they break as they often will, you need human interference to keep them working.

Instead of the government asking the banks to handle this process, they insisted on creating bottlenecks for corruption to thrive.

A sad reminder that in Rwanda all processes are digital. They have a system called IremboGov which is a portal for all government processes.

When the clamor got too much, JAMB would rescind the decision making all the stress for nothing.

Increase in Electricity Tariffs

When I wrote my Top 10 Predictions for 2020, I frankly expected that taxation and inflation would increase.

However, I didn’t see why electricity tariffs would increase for electricity.

Word on the streets is that NERC has approved increase in electricity tariffs.

The comic below is from the Punch Newspaper:

A cartoon on the NERC increase in Electricity Tariffs

Regardless of the measures put in place, service delivery will not improve.

I have no confidence in the ability of the current administration to deliver on this.

Loan to Deposit Ratio at 65%

To stimulate growth in the economy, the CBN increased the Loan to Deposit Ratio to 65%.

Banks have been fined for failing to meet this ratio.

Personally, I won’t borrow money from a bank to invest in this economy.

Conclusion

As the year gets into full swing, I would advice everyone reading this blog to refrain from investing in the Nigerian economy.

You can send your funds offshore.

Policies are now implemented in Nigeria with no thought as to their consequences.

Such a system of governance makes political uncertainty a reality.

Do have a great week.

Bad governance will kill everyone.

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Compound Amount using Monthly Compounding

Introduction

I live in Lagos, Nigeria the poverty capital of the world.

This year, I decided to study Financial Mathematics.

I am an Engineer with a BSc in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos.

My decision to study Financial Mathematics stems from the knowledge that to solve a problem, I must thoroughly understand it.

Programming with Python

Whilst reading the book An Undergraduate Introduction to Financial Mathematics I realized that the formulas where jumping over my head.

Besides, its been a long time since I have done any Mathematics.

So I decided to write the compounding formula as a program. You can find the program below:

# Print out the purpose of the program
print("This program computes the compound amount using monthly compounding")
print("Reference: An Undergraduate Introduction to Financial Mathematics (Page 3)\n")

# Ask the user for the principal amount
principal = float(input("Please enter the principal amount: "))

# Ask the user for the rate as a percentage
rate = float(input("Please enter the rate: "))

# Ask the user for the number of years as a decimal value
years = float(input("Please enter the number of years as a decimal value: "))

# Compute the compound amount (Page 3)
r_n = rate / (12 * 100)
nt = years * 12
factor = (1 + r_n) ** nt
compound_amount = principal * factor
print("\nThe compound amount is:", round(compound_amount, 2))

In doing so, I have a ready made program that I can use to solve the exercises in the book without having to use a calculator.

Conclusion

The essence of code is to replace human rigour and tedium.

In creating this program, I had to study the formula and come up with my own program.

Now I understand the formula.

You can also find it on GitHub.