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Electronic Voting Is The Only Way To Credible Elections —- Goodluck Jonathan

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Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria and UN special envoy on crisis management, says for electronic voting is the only way to get to credible elections in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

Speaking on the presidential panel of The Osasu Show Symposium 2020, Jonathan said the outcome of elections should be decided by the ballots, not by any other means — not even the courts.

“To me, if Africa especially will move forward is not just about routine conducts of elections, this year alone in West Africa made up of 15 states, we have five states that had elections,” Jonathan said.

“So in terms of regular elections, we are progressing, but are these elections credible? Are they representing a constructional democratic setting is the issue?

“Regular elections, fine, but elections per se is not democracy. If the votes of the citizens don’t count, then it is as good as a military dictatorship. So from me, the reforms first get to us making the vote counts.

“And taking a critical examination about the way elections are being conducted across the continent at least from the once I’ve observed, I’ve seen that the only thing that we must do to get there is through electronic voting.

“People may feel, yes someone could manipulate, smart boys who can hack into the system and do all kinds of things, yes, but still people still use the electronic system to move hundreds of millions of dollars across the world. So I still believe very sincerely that that is the way to go.”

Jonathan signed Nigeria’s electoral act in 2010, pushing a number of reforms, including the overhaul of voter’s register.

Jonathan, who is known to favour technology, added that for elections to be credible, they have to be decided by the ballot, not by any other institutions, including the courts.

“For elections to be democratic, that means that the outcome of the elections must depend on the ballot, not any other institution, not even the court.

“If the ballots don’t decide who wins, then we are not practicing democracy. And If we are now in a situation where people use the force of arms using thugs that is well in Nigeria to win elections, then we can’t say we are practicing democracy.”

BIG STORY

Nigeria’s Exit From Recession Will Be ‘Historically Fast’ —– Finance Minister

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The Nigerian government is working towards reversing the declining trend in the country’s economy, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Development, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

Responding to the latest gross domestic product figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, which showed Nigeria is now in its second recession in five years, Mrs. Ahmed said the economy would be restored in the path of sustainable inclusive growth in no time using Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan that is being implemented.

On Saturday, the NBS officially announced that the nation has entered into recession as its GDP recorded negative growth of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.

Speaking at a two-day annual event organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning will be on the theme, ‘Building Partnerships for Resilience, the minister said “The administration is fully aware of the current economic situation and is working round the clock to reverse the trend and restore the economy in the path of sustainable inclusive growth.

“For the three quarters combined for 2020, aggregate GDP decline is now 2.60 percent, this is a clear signal that the Nigerian economy is improving, that there are economic activities that are being better,” she said.

She said the negative growth of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020 is much better than the -6.01 percent earlier forecasted by the NBS.

“Let me remind you that before the impact of COVID-19 the Nigerian economy was experiencing sustained growth which has been improving quarter by quarter for 3 years until the 2nd quarter of 2020 when the impact of the covid 19 was felt.

“Despite the recession, Nigeria has outperformed many economies in terms of economic growth.

“Though the economy has entered into a recession in the third quarter, a trend of the growth suggests that this will be a short-lived recession and indeed by the fourth quarter or at worst by the first quarter of 2021, the country will exit recession.

“The NBS had earlier forecasted that Nigeria will close with a negative growth of -4.4 percent but the third quarter performance shows that this trend will not be so.

She said the country’s expectation of a quick exit from recession will be historically fast because of the various interventions that have been proactively introduced by the government to forestall a far worse decline of the economy and alleviate the negative consequence of the pandemic.

“To achieve this government has developed an economic sustainability plan to cushion the effect of covid-19 pandemic and is already vigorously implementing these policies that aimed at stabilizing the economy,” she said.

She said the federal government through the principle in the ESP was taking action to stimulate the economy by preventing business collapse through ensuring liquidity, maintaining and creating jobs through support to labor-intensive sectors, and direct labour interventions.

The minister also said the government will activate the economy by undertaking growth-enhancing and job-creating infrastructure investments in roads, rails, bridges, solar powers as well as communication technologies.

“Promoting, manufacturing and local production at all levels and advocating the use of made in Nigeria goods and services as well as creating job opportunities

“Achieving self-sufficiency in critical sectors of our economy and curbing unnecessary demand for foreign exchange which put pressure on the exchange rate.

“Extending protection to the very poor and vulnerable including women, persons living with disabilities through proper spending” she stated.

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Fidelity Bank CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo Emerges Banker of the Year

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Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo was on Sunday adjudged Banker of the Year at the Business Hallmark People of the Year Awards 2020.

The award, presented during an elaborate ceremony in Lagos, was conferred on Mr. Okonkwo in utmost recognition of his leadership and vision has not only overseen strong financial performance for the bank in recent times but also guiding the financial institution to greater heights in a highly competitive industry.

According to the organizers, Hallmark Newspapers Limited, the award was aimed specifically at recognizing individuals and corporate organizations that made a meaningful impact in supporting the growth of critical institutions that are needed to foster healthy growth of the Nigerian economy.

Under Okonkwo’s watch, Fidelity Bank has grown from being one of several players in the Nigerian banking space to one that has presently registered in the consciousness of many as one of the most dynamic and fast-growing businesses of its type in the land.

Receiving the award on behalf of Okonkwo, the bank’s Executive Director, Corporate Bank, Obaro Odeghe described the award as a very clear testament of his contributions, not just to the bank but the entire banking sector.

While expressing his gratitude to Business Hallmark Newspaper Group for the award, Okonkwo said that the award was not taken for granted. “We are not taking this award for granted, it is a very clear testament to our contributions, not just to the bank but the entire banking sector, he said.

Okonkwo has led Fidelity Bank to consistently post double-digit growth figures, year-on-year profitability, and wealth creation across the bank’s operations over the last six years.

Recall that the bank’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) under Okonkwo grew by 236 percent from N9.06 billion to N30.4 billion and Return on Equity (RoE) increased from 5.5 percent to 13. 3 percent.

Customer deposits grew 68 percent from N806.3 billion to N1.352.3 billion and a savings deposit growth of 275 percent from N83.3 billion to N312.1 billion. Also, under his watch, the bank has recorded unprecedented growth in its digital platforms such that the Tier 2 bank is well on its way of becoming a Tier one bank.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Chairman of the awards, Former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, noted that the year 2020 has been challenging because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. According to him, Nigeria needs to adopt a socio-political framework where everybody feels included.

Speaking further, he said, “Today we have gathered here to honour people who in their respective social classes have tried to make a meaningful impact in supporting the growth of critical institutions that are needed to foster the healthy growth of our country, whether, in the private or public capacities, these individuals have shone like bright stars, spreading light.

“Given the challenges that we face as a country today, we have such achievers that we are celebrating today, and we are glad to be here to honour them.

Other distinguished awardees include Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubarkar Malami, – Public Servant of the Year award; Member, Federal House of Representatives, Dr Ottah Francis Agbo-Lawmaker of the Year award and former Director, Corporate Communication of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Isaac Okoroafor-Professional Excellence in Corporate Communication.

Other awardees are Director-General, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekwe, Former President/ CEO Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, Konga, Heritage Bank and Keystone Bank Limited, among others.

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JUST IN: Senator Ndume To Be Remanded In Prison Over Failure To Produce Maina In Court

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the remand of Senator Ali Ndume over his inability to produce former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who has jumped bail in respect of his ongoing N2bn money laundering trial.

Justice Okon Abang ordered that the Borno South Senator who stood surety for the fleeing defendant in May 2020 would only be released from prison until he either produces Maina in court or sells off the N500m worth of property located in Asokoro, Abuja, which was used as the guarantee for the bail bond and tenders the evidence of the payment of the proceeds of the sale into the Federation Account.

The judge ordered that he be remanded in Kuje prison pending when he meets the condition for release.

Ndume was immediately led away from the courtroom shortly after the judge’s pronouncement.

Details shortly…

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