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Buhari Asks France to Help Africa Overcome Its Challenges

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  • Buhari Asks France to Help Africa Overcome Its Challenges

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the partnership between the African continent and France has yielded fruits in so many positive ways but that France can do more to help Africa overcome its challenges.

This call was contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina at the 27th Africa-France Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence taking place in Bamako, Mali.

Buhari said: “Notably, France has been playing important roles in the areas of development as well as peace and security on the African continent. While so many gains have been made, challenges such as terrorism, maritime insecurity, trafficking in persons, trafficking in weapons, drugs, cyber insecurity, illicit financial flows, and infrastructural deficit continue to militate against Africa’s comprehensive infrastructural and economic development which also hinder its emergence as an important player in global affairs.”

He, therefore, called for a strengthening of African Defence mechanisms such that the continent would be able to transform decisions arising from the partnership into concrete action plans that will help Africa confront and overcome its challenges.

“In particular, our cooperation should strengthen our defence in the context of African Peace and Security Architecture as well as in the areas of intelligence sharing, capacity building and acquisition of military hardware needed to confront the security challenges of the African continent.”

The president also called for intensification of efforts that would stimulate the African economy, address social imbalance and steer its youths away from high risk and unproductive ventures. “Efforts should also be geared towards the development and emergence of the continent through investments in critical sectors such as Education, Power, Solid Minerals, Agriculture and ICT.

This will enable African economies to spur productivity and create employment, thereby addressing some of the socio-economic conditions that contribute to gender inequality, radicalism and youth restiveness, as well as the push factors that make our citizens embark on dangerous illegal migration to Europe in search of ‘greener’ pastures,” the president said.

While declaring that African countries were taking their own destinies in their own hands by mobilising resources, Buhari expressed the hope that the partnership would still do more for Africa. The president said: “As we continue to mobilise for our own sustainable, predictable and transparent sources of finance that would help the continent pursue its peace, security and development efforts, and address the infrastructural deficit impeding development on the continent, there is the need for this partnership to continue to assist Africa on how to finance its development.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial market.

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COVID-19: World Bank to Support Nigerian Frontline Healthcare Workers With $114.28m

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World Bank Strengthens Nigerian Response to COVID-19

The World Bank has once again approved another $114.28 million financing for Nigeria to improve its COVID-19 response time and further curb the spread of the virus in Africa’s most populous nation.

The multilateral financial institution said the money will help Africa’s largest economy prevent, detect and respond to the threat of ravaging COVID-19 better.

In a statement titled “Nigeria to boost states capacity for COVID-19 response” and released on Friday, the lender said the fund includes $100 million credit facility from the International Development Association and $14.28 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.

The statement reads, “Through the COVID-19 preparedness and response project (CoPREP), the government of Nigeria will provide grants to 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread of coronavirus through containment and mitigation strategies.

The lender, however, stated that grants for states would be based on the adoption of COVID-19 measures and strategies. In particular, the strategies must be in line with the ones put in place by the Federal Government.

CoPREP will enhance the institutional and operational capacity for disease detection through provision of technical expertise, coordination support, detection, diagnosis and case management efforts in all states and the FCT as per the WHO guidelines in the strategic response plan,” it stated.

The bank added that it would help the Federal Government in such response capacity through the training of frontline healthcare workers and provision of the necessary equipment to aid their work, strengthen public healthcare network for emergencies and generally improve their response efficiency.

Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director, Nigeria said, “Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the COVID -19 outbreak, but more needs to be done at the state level, which are at the frontline of the response.”

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Mismanagement of Public Funds and Resources Will Destroy Nigeria, Says Stakeholders

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Buhari in Port Harcourt

Some concerned stakeholders have said the broad-based financial misappropriation, abuse of public office by Public Officeholders and unchecked borrowing will destroy the nation’s present and future if not checked.

According to Auwal Musa, the Executive Director, CISLAC, who spoke at a stakeholders’ dialogue on ‘Policies, Gaps and Alternatives in Fiscal Transparency in Private Sector Governance,’ organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and Transparency International (TI), with support from OXFAM’s country office in Nigeria, abuse of power and financial recklessness as been going on for far too long.

Musa said, “This has been going on for too long, and every singular effort from the citizens is termed as hate or unpatriotic. Meanwhile, the consequences of this anomaly are staring us in the face on a daily basis and are on the increase. Increased poverty; banditry allegedly occasioned by rising unemployment; and unpatriotic citizens trooping into leadership positions to perpetuate the looting and misappropriation due to no oversight and punitive sanctions, not to mention health, infrastructure and societal decay. The list is inexhaustible.

He also implored the Government that in order to reduce the excessive misuse of public resources, mismanagement of finances and strengthen the financial management system, the holes that encourage people to evade and undermine the collection of taxes must be bridged and in-depth economic improvement devised to close policy gaps.

There are many areas in which the government can increase its revenue drive. For instance, in the Oil and Gas sector, there are a lot of gaps as a result of lack of a clear legal framework through the PIB, which will enable the sector to be more efficient, transparent and competitive. Again, the oil theft needs to be blocked; other areas like maritime revenue can be harnessed in these sectors.

“Also, the government should block the areas where revenues are supposed to be collected and are not collected. For instance, the audit report clearly shows how the government is losing revenue.” he said.

The stakeholders urge policymakers to look for other sources of revenue that can guarantee development in Nigeria.

Also, speaking at the event was the Programme Manager, Tax, Justice, Environment and Conservation of Nature, CISLAC, Chinedu Bassey, who said one of the reasons to strengthen the Nigerian financial management system is to stop people from stealing and mismanaging resources meant for development.

Iheme Madukairo, the Manager, Large Tax Audit, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), advised Nigerians who evade taxes to stop such act that the law will take its course.

He said “Enforcement is out there, sleeves are rolled up to do the job that we are mandated to do by the act and sooner or later, we will catch up with them. The sanctions have also increased by virtue of the finance act. The penalty has been increased, once it is found out that it is a deliberate act to breach the law, the law will take its course.

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Lai Mohammed Says Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds

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Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds

President Muhammadu Buhari government has recovered over N800 billion looted by corrupt Nigerians since the beginning of this administration in 2015.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press conference held in Abuja.

He said, “This administration’s fight against corruption is as strong as ever, and we have the records to back up this claim.

“This administration has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of N800bn, not to talk of forfeiture of ill-gotten properties.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has made recovery of Nigeria’s stolen assets one of his priorities since he became president in 2015.

Several of Nigeria’s untouchables have been convicted despite political experts and social commentators saying the war against corruption should not be only against opposition but also against those in the ruling party that seems to have been overlooked.

Still, the ruling party has insisted that members of the party have been convicted and one of such is Kalu.

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