ECOWAS Calls Off Trade Relations With Mali Following Military Coup
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Wednesday announced it has called off all trade relations with Mali after the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita following a military coup.
On Tuesday, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was arrested alongside Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and taken to the Kati military camp about 15 kilometers northwest of the capital Bamako at around 4.30 p.m local time, stated Le Journal du Mali.
On Wednesday, Keita announced his resignation and immediately dissolved his entire cabinet.
He said, “If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” Mr. Keita stated from a military camp in Kati where he was being detained.
“I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” he said. “I have decided to step down from office.”
While the soldiers that arrested and forced President Keita to resign and dissolve his entire cabinet have promised to conduct a fair and transparent election, ECOWAS and other international organisations have condemned the coup and called for sanctions against those behind the coup and their partners.
ECOWAS also said it has shut down all it’s land and air borders with Mali.
In a statement released by the 15-member nation on Wednesday, it said “ECOWAS has noted with great concern the seizure of power by Malian military putschists.”
It added that the coup would negatively impact on the peace and stability efforts in Mali and its region.
The soldiers, who described themselves as ‘the National Committee for the Salvation of the People,’ said they only acted to prevent the country from falling into further chaos and not interested in power.
“We are keen on the stability of the country, which will allow us to organise general elections to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions within the reasonable time limit,” said the group’s spokesman, Col Ismaël Wagué, the air force deputy chief of staff.
Another statement read on behalf of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People by Wagué on national television, said: “Civil society and political social movements are invited to join us to create together the best conditions for a civil political transition leading to credible general elections for the exercise of democracy through a roadmap that will lay the foundations for a new Mali.”
He added: “As of today, all air and land borders are closed until further notice. A curfew is in place from 09:00 to 17:00 until further notice.”
Flanked by soldiers, Col Wagué said: “Our country is sinking into chaos, anarchy and insecurity mostly due to the fault of the people who are in charge of its destiny.”
Prepaid Meter is Free, Buhari Warns DisCos, Agents
President Muhammadu Buhari once again warned Power Distributing Companies (DisCos) and their agents selling prepaid meters to electricity customers against the Federal Government directive that meter is free.
Ahmed Rufai Zakar, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, who represented Buhari at the FGN/NLC-TUC ad-hoc committee on electricity tariff stakeholders held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday, said President Buhari understood people’s concerns on issues surrounding electricity and was determined to curb and deal with unscrupulous individuals in the power sector.
He said, “We have made it very clear through the regulators direct order as well as intervention from the Ministry of Power that the meters are to be provided to Nigerians at no cost.
“Even for meters that were paid for, there is the directive from the regulator to the discos that they would need to find a way to reimburse those citizens over time.
“In cases where we find any disco or disco representative selling the meters or exploiting Nigerians to be able to get meters by paying, we would take the full measures of the law.
“The President has mandated that these meters must be free. We have also said that they must come from local manufacturers.
“This would create jobs and revive our industry.”
Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS
Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.
“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.
“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”
Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.
Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.
The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.
He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”
Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.
“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.
“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”
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