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Recession Inevitable, Says Osinbajo as FG Restates Resolve to Restructure Economy




Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday reviewed the state of the economy and explained that the prevailing recession was necessitated by the loss of 60 per cent of the nation’s revenue in the first quarter of the year to the violent activities of militants and economic sabouteurs in the Niger Delta.

But he gave assurances that the recession would be short-lived because the federal government was putting in place some mechanisms that would aid the quick recovery of the economy.

The vice-president, who spoke at a convocation in Ede, Osun State, enjoined Nigerian youths to multitask in order to break even.

Osinbajo’s assurances of a quick return to better days was echoed in China by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who restated the federal government’s resolve to restructure the economy, saying that its policies focused on diversifying revenue sources would help the economy speed up the recovery process.

Explaining Nigeria’s sharp fall into recession, Osinbajo explained that there was no way the country could have avoided the recession since it had in February lost 60 per cent of its revenues to the activities of saboteurs.

He also identified pipeline vandalism coupled with the errors of some past leaders as some of the reasons for the current economic situation in the country.

The vice-president enjoined youths, especially young graduates to be diligent and take advantage of various international trading platforms to improve their status.

Also speaking at the convocation, a Global economic analyst, Mr Dick Kramer, in a lecture entitled, “Nation Building and Nigeria’s Economic Challenges,” said the country was in recession because it had failed to build a strong private economy over the years and also failed to create an economy based on industries.

While noting that the global economy had been relatively weak in the last 18 years, Kramer said Nigeria needed a new long term economic plan which must entail fostering an effective public/private partnership.

Also a former Minister of Defence, Lt-Gen Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), called for serious investment in the education system in view of its impact on the socio-economic development of the country.

Speaking in China, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Enelamah, said the federal government was taking advantage of the difficult economic conditions arising from the sharp fall in oil prices to restructure the economy.

He said China would continue to be an important partner in Nigeria’s ongoing quest for sustainable growth and development.

The minister spoke during a panel discussion at the Second ‘Investing in Africa’ Forum, which took place in Guangzhou, China, and was organised by the government of China’s Guangdong Province, the China Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.

Enelamah said: “Our principal economic policy direction in Nigeria is to diversify the economy, away from the longstanding traditional reliance on oil exports. We are taking steps to structurally transform the economy, so as to restore growth and create jobs.”

He listed some of the steps the government was taking to include: “Strategically aligning monetary, fiscal and structural policies, to engender much-needed investors’ confidence; creating a private-sector driven Presidential Council on Ease of Doing Business that will initiate and implement far-reaching business environment reforms; repositioning the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council to enable it effectively fulfil its core mandate, among others.”

According to the minister, the NIPC would provide the needed incentives and ‘aftercare’ services to investors, as well as proactively create regular opportunities for investors’ engagement.

The minister highlighted a number of “strategic” sectors for intending and potential investors in Nigeria to include: Agriculture and Agro-Processing, Automotive, Infrastructure (Roads, Rail, Ports and Power), Real Estate, Pharmaceuticals, and the Digital Economy.

In his closing remarks, Enelamah praised the ongoing cooperation between China and Nigeria on the part of both governments, and also the private sector.

Enelamah said: “The China miracle is one that provides very many useful lessons from which Nigeria can borrow, and is borrowing. Nigeria will continue to work hard and in close partnership with China for mutual benefits, growth and development.”

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


Mali Sworn In Bah Ndaw as Transition President



Malian Mutinying Soldiers

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.


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Imo State Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery




Uzodinma Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery

The Executive Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has restricted all traffic agents and task forces from operating in the state over bribery and extortions.

Declan Emelumba, the state commissioner for Information and Strategy, disclosed this at the Government House in Owerri on Thursday.

Checks revealed that the task force team that operates from Heroes’ Square still demands as much as N27,000 fines from people arrested. A shocking situation that has plunged the limited resources of hardworking Imo people.

However, the information commissioner, who described the task force as “illegal”, said the state government has sanctioned its personnel.

Emelumba said, “The governor has since banned all traffic agents and task forces in line with the desire of the people.”

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FG Puts Nine-year Presidential Jet Up For Sale



president buhari

The Federal Government has put up for sale a jet in the presidential fleet, Hawker 4000 aircraft with registration number, 5N-FGX/: RC 066.

The business-size jet which entered into service in December 2011, has capacity for nine passengers and three crew members.

Findings indicate that only 73 Hawker 4000 aircraft were manufactured by Hawker Beechcraft between 2001 and 2013 and they were sold for $22.91m each as of 2012.

The FG in a published advert on Wednesday disclosed that the aircraft with a range of 3,190-nautical mile had flown for 1,768 hours.

It said the aircraft could be inspected at the Presidential Air Fleet’s hangar located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Interested buyers were requested to submit their closed bid to the Chairman, Committee for Sale of Aircraft, Office of the National Security Adviser, care of Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

In an advertisement published in some national dailies on Wednesday, prospective buyers were directed to submit a refundable bank draft for $50,000 to the committee with the bid.

It also said that all the bids should be quoted in dollars.

The notice read, “Please note that all bids must be submitted within one week of this publication.

“Background check is required as a pre-qualification for the bid. Prospective bidders who want to inspect the aircraft will be granted access within one week from this advertisement.”

The Presidency had similarly in 2016 put up for sale two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, in line with the directive of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet should be reduced to cut down on waste.

The government also said some aircraft in the fleet would be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations. It could not be confirmed if this had been done.

According to the Presidency, the PAF has 10 aircraft and they include Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or Air Force One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.

Reports said each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m.

The Senior Special Assistant, (Media and Publicity) to the President, Garba Shehu, had yet to respond to inquiries on the number of presidential aircraft sold so far, as of the time of filing this report.

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