- Southern Leaders Reject Meeting With Miyetti Allah
Leaders from the Southern states and Middle Belt have turned down an invitation to attend a roundtable meeting with Miyetti Allah.
The former military head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.) had extended an invitation to leaders from the South and Middle Belt to discuss the recent killings and insecurity in the country.
But the meeting scheduled for July 29 and 30 in Minna, Niger State was rejected at the last minute when the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) found out Miyetti Allah was equally invited to a supposed state meeting involving heads of security forces.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) comprising pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere; Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Pan-Niger Delta Forum; and the Middle Belt Forum, said “it would not be part of the event because the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria was invited to the meeting.”
In a statement co-signed by Chief Edwin Clark (PANDEF); Chief Ayo Adebanjo (Afenifere); Chief Nnia Nwodo (Ohanaeze); and Dr Bitrus Pogu (MBF) on Sunday in Abuja, they said: “We thank you for your interest in the affairs of our country which made us to accept your invitation in good faith.
“It was in the thick of our preparations for the journey that fuller details of the roundtable came to our attention, some aspect of which has necessitated this last minute communication with you.
“We were comfortable up to that point until we saw the following: Gan Allah Fulani Development Association; Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.”
It added, “While we do not know the members of the first group, the lumping of Miyetti Allah, a trade association for cattle herders and whose members have been accused of various violations of rights, including life, across the country sends worrying signal to us.
“It falls into the categorisation of our respected socio-cultural platforms with Miyetti Allah by Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu.
“We consider the above a grave insult to our bodies and our coming to a roundtable with the group would mean acquiescence to the narrative that put us in the same bracket with those wielding illegal AK-47 all over the country and inflicting terror on fellow citizens.”
President Buhari to Sign 2020 Revised Budget Today
Buhari to Sign 2020 Revised Budget Into Law on Friday
President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the 2020 revised budget on Friday, according to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed.
Ahmed disclosed this on Thursday after a meeting with the leaders of the National Assembly on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
Ahmed said, “In keeping strictly with the January–December budget cycle, the President will tomorrow (Friday) sign into law, the revised N10.8tn budget for the year 2020, which was passed by the National Assembly in June.
“This for us is a journey towards ensuring that the progress that we have made as a collective to return the fiscal year to January – December is maintained for the 2021 budget as well.
“The President has directed that we must deliver the budget to the National Assembly by the end of September.”
Ahmed further stated that between the months of January and May 2020, the Federal Government generated N1.48 trillion in revenue, 56 percent of its initial target.
She added that out of all the total amount generated as revenue during the period, oil revenues were N701.6 billion while the non-oil tax revenues accounted for N439.32 billion.
Companies Income Tax and Value Added Tax contributed N213.24 billion and N68.09 billion, respectively. The Customs realised N158 billion during the period under review.
She said, “Other revenues amounted to N339.51bn, of which independent revenues was N80.22bn.
“Recoveries and stamp duty collected during the period are yet to be booked in the fiscal accounts.”
Africa’s Economy to Contract by $236bn in Value in 2020 Says AfDB
African GDP to Contract by $236bn in Value Says AfDB
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic could cost the entire African continent about $236.7 billion in cumulative Gross Domestic Product.
The bank disclosed this in its latest report on African Economic Outlook (Supplement) released on Tuesday.
The bank predicted that the damage could be far greater if the impacts of the pandemic persist on the continent beyond the second quarter of the year. It said this could lead to a bigger contraction in Africa’s GDP in 2020.
According to the bank, the continent’s Real GDP could contract by as much as 1.7 percent this year if the virus has a shorter duration. This represents about a 5.6 percent decline from the January 2020 prediction.
However, under a long term scenario into the second half of the year, this could result in a deeper contraction in GDP.
This, the bank said could lead to 3.4 contraction, up from the 1.7 percent projected under the shorter duration and represents a decline of 7.3 percent from the previous projection before the outbreak.
It, therefore, said the combined loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa could range between $173.1 billion and $234.7 billion in 2020-2021.
Brent Crude Oil Maintains $43 Per Barrel Despite Surge in US Inventories
Brent Crude Oil Sustains Upsurge Despite Rising US Inventories
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, sustained its upsurge at $43 per barrel on Wednesday during the London trading session despite a report showing a build-up in the U.S. crude inventories in the week ended July 3, 2020.
According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released on Tuesday, crude oil production in the U.S is expected to decline by just 70,000 barrels per day from the 670,000 bpd previously predicted to 600,000 bpd.
While this was below the projected decline, it also points to a build-up in U.S stockpiles and suggested that oil production from the world’s largest economy may not decline as previously projected in 2020.
“The EIA’s forecast of a lower decline in U.S. output was partially offset by its outlook for firm demand recovery, which limited losses in oil markets,” Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities said.
“Still, expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies would taper oil output cuts from August and softer U.S. equities added to pressure,” he said.
The EIA projected that global oil demand will recover through the end of 2021 as demand was predicted to hit 101.1 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of the year.
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