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Recession: Buhari’s Economic Team Meets Experts for Help

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The Federal Government’s Economic Management Team on Tuesday held what it called a consultative forum with a team of economic and financial experts across the country.

The meeting was meant to enable the team, which consists of government officials only, to engage the experts on how to address the challenges facing the country’s economy, which is currently in recession.

At the meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, suggestions on how best to reflate the economy, bring it out of recession and promptly restore growth featured prominently on the agenda.

According to a statement by his spokesperson, Mr. Laolu Akande, the vice president was said to have expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to continuously consider and adopt policies that would boost business, increase employment and provide succour to the poor and the disadvantaged.

Osinbajo was quoted as saying, “We will continue to engage with experts and other stakeholders so that we can measure the progress of the economic policies that have been put in place. The challenges are many but the opportunities are much greater.

“We are clearly on the path to building an economy that will create jobs and ensure inclusive growth.”

Experts who attended the four-hour special meeting included Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Mr. Bode Augusto, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, Dr. Ayo Teriba and Prof. Badayi Sani.

Issues discussed at the meeting included the review of the new foreign exchange regime and its effect on the economy as well as the draft Medium Term Economic Framework for 2017-2019.

Akande said the EMT members and the experts made suggestions on how to reflate the economy, especially through massive infrastructural spending, with active private sector participation, ensure pro-people economic policies, and increase the supply of dollars to the forex market, among others.

Speaking with reporters at the end of the meeting, the Minister for Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said, “We have just finished a special meeting of the economic management team; as you know, we are in the middle of consultations to develop the new mid-term economic framework.

“The meeting is part of a comprehensive consultation process that we are embarking on to make sure that we reach out to a wide spectrum of Nigerians to get a feedback in terms of how best to make sure that we come out of this recession.”

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 markets.

Government

Buhari Declares Oct 1 Public Holiday

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The Federal Government has declared Thursday, October 1, 2020, as a public holiday to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration, congratulated all Nigerians on the celebration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee while stressing the government’s commitment to the socio-economic transformation of the country.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘FG Declares Thursday, October 1, 2020, Public Holiday To Mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary’ and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah.

According to the statement, the minister praised Nigerians for the feats in economy, education, the creative sector, amongst others.

The statement also quoted Aregbesola as saying, “Though celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp and pageantry, but with the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act cautiously, we cannot avoid the imperative of a low-keyed celebration at this time.”

It added, “While wishing Nigerians a fruitful independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that our founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together for Nigeria’s independence.”

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INEC To Introduce E-voting, Talking to Machine Manufacturers

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INEC Commences Process of Introducing E-voting, Discussing With Manufacturers

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday said it has commenced plans to replace manual voting with an electronic voting system.

According to Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this during the demonstration of electronic voting machines, the commission has invited manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world to demonstrate how the machines work and preparatory to the full migration.

He said, “Over the years, the commission has been automating the critical pillars of the process. The biometric register of voters has been updated continuously. At the moment, the INEC register of voters is the largest database of citizens in Nigeria.

“In addition, the combination of biometric voter cards commonly known as the Permanent Voter Card and the Smart Card Reader have revolutionised the accreditation of voters during elections.

“More recently, the introduction of a number of portals has facilitated the seamless nomination of candidates for elective offices by political parties as well as the accreditation of observers and the media.

“Most significantly, the commission now uploads polling unit level results in real-time on Election Day to a portal for public view. These are significant innovations that have deepened the transparency and credibility of elections and the electoral process in Nigeria.

“The commission developed the specifications of the functions required of the machine. After extensive discussion and review, the commission took the decision to invite original manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world for a virtual or practical demonstration of the machines.”

Yakubu explained that more than 40 companies have indicated interest and would be demonstrating to the commission how the IT solutions meet its specifications.

“The commission is aware that Nigerians want us to deepen the use of technology in elections. Let me reassure Nigerians that the commission is committed to expediting the process leading to the deployment of the EVMs in elections in earnest,” the INEC chairman said.

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Mali Sworn In Bah Ndaw as Transition President

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Mali’s interim president, Bah Ndaw, chosen to head a transitional government following a coup last month, was sworn in during ceremonies in the capital Bamako on Friday, AFP journalists witnessed.

A committee appointed by the junta which seized power on August 18, toppling President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, selected Ndaw, a 70-year-old retired colonel, as interim president.

Ndaw is due to lead a transition government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

The ceremony on Friday took place in a theatre filled with officials dressed in military fatigues, senior judges, and foreign diplomats.

During the ceremony, Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor Boya Dembele said the challenges facing both men were “enormous”.

“It will truly require a reformulation of the state,” said the judge, dressed in red fur-lined robes.

The swearing-in comes as the fragile Sahel state’s neighbours have leaned on the military junta to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on the poor country on August 20 to push for a swift return to civilian rule.

A decision by the bloc on whether to ease the measure is possible on Friday, according to former Nigerian president and ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan.

“We are optimistic that this event will signal the beginning of the return to normalcy in Mali,” he said on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to the swearing in of interim-government leaders.

Last month’s coup followed weeks of mass protests against Keita, spurred by frustrations over a brutal jihadist conflict, perceived corruption and the country’s slumping economy.

Mali has struggled to quell an eight-year-old Islamist insurgency which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

AFP

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