Connect with us


/">

BIG STORY

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

Avatar

Published

on

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.

BIG STORY

JUST IN: IGP Has Ordered Arrest Of Sunday Igboho —– Presidency

Avatar

Published

on

The Presidency says the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the arrest of Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, for giving Fulani in Oyo State an ultimatum to exit the state.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, was quoted as saying this during an interview with BBC Hausa.

According to the BBC report, Shehu said he had just got off the phone with the IGP who told him that an order had been given to the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Igboho immediately and transfer him to Abuja.

Igboho, who is the Akoni Oodua of Yoruba land and a grassroots politician, had asked herdsmen in Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State to leave within seven days, blaming the leadership of the Fulani of being behind the rising insecurity in the state.

The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, had asked the IGP to ensure Igboho was arrested immediately, accusing him of heating up the polity.

Last week, the Presidency had criticised Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State for asking Fulani herders to vacate forest reserves because the place was being used by bandits and kidnappers.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Dangote, Adenuga, Rabiu Make Africa’s Top 10 Billionaires’ List

Avatar

Published

on

Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is Africa’s richest person and has maintained this position for straight 10 years, according to the 2021 Forbes’ Africa Billionaires List released on Friday.

Also, Mike Adenuga of Globacom, and Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA Group, both Nigerians, made it to the list as the 5th and 6th richest persons in Africa respectively.

Forbes stated that in Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the wealthiest came through the pandemic just fine.

It stated that the continent’s 18 billionaires were worth an average of $4.1bn, 12 percent more than a year ago, driven in part by Nigeria’s surging stock market.

“For the tenth year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the continent’s richest person, worth $12.1bn, up by $2bn from last year’s list, thanks to a roughly 30 percent rise in the share price of Dangote Cement, by far his most valuable asset,” Forbes stated in its report.

The list named the second richest person in Africa as Nassef Sawiris of Egypt, whose largest asset was a nearly six percent stake in sportswear maker Adidas.

At number three was Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, who inherited a stake in diamond firm DeBeers and ran the company until 2012, when he sold his family’s 40 percent stake in DeBeers to mining giant AngloAmerican for $5.1bn.

It said the biggest gainer this year was another Nigerian cement tycoon, Rabiu.

“Remarkably, shares of his BUA Cement Plc, which listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange in January 2020, have doubled in value in the past year,” the report stated.

That pushed Rabiu’s fortune up by an extraordinary 77 percent, to $5.5bn, adding that Rabiu and his son together own about 97 percent of the company, giving the company a tiny public float.

It stated Nigerian Stock Exchange required that either 20 percent or more of a company’s shares should be floated to the public, or that the floated shares were worth at least N20bn, about $50m, describing it as a paltry sum, to be sure.

“A spokesman for the Nigerian Stock Exchange told Forbes that BUA Cement meets the second requirement,” the report stated.

It added that while some got richer by the billions, two from the 2020 list of Africa’s richest dropped below the $1bn mark.

In fact, the only two women billionaires from Africa had both fallen off the list.

Forbes calculated that the fortune of Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria, who owns an oil exploration company, dropped below $1bn due to lower oil prices.

It said Isabel dos Santos, who since 2013 had been the richest woman in Africa, was knocked from her perch by a series of court decisions freezing her assets in both Angola and Portugal.

It stated that the 18 billionaires from Africa hailed from seven different countries.

South Africa and Egypt each had five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two.

Altogether they were worth $73.8bn, slightly more than the $73.4bn aggregates worth of the 20 billionaires on last year’s list of Africa’s richest people.

 

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

No Confirmation Yet On When Pfizer Vaccine Will Arrive Nigeria—– Health Agency

Avatar

Published

on

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency says there is no definite date for when the 100,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria.

The NPHCDA, however, said the vaccines would most likely arrive in February, adding that government officials, vulnerable persons, and health workers would be the first to get them

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said this during an interview with Bloomberg published on Thursday

The Federal Government had in December stated that the vaccines would arrive by the end of January.

Last week, however, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 shifted the date to February but did not give the specific date.

However, speaking to Bloomberg, Faisal said Nigeria was waiting for confirmation from COVAX which is an initiative backed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organisation, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

On when the vaccines would arrive, he said, “We are waiting for final confirmation from COVAX on when the first doses will arrive,” adding that the “most recent indication is they are expected in February.”

The WHO had last week warned again a “me first attitude” in the distribution of vaccines.

It remains unclear why government officials some of whom have no pre-existing conditions, are being placed on the priority list.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says it supports the Federal Government’s decision to reopen schools for the second term of the 2020/2021 academic session because the benefits of having children in school outweigh the risks of transmission of COVID-19.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, gave the reasons at the Virtual Plenary Session and Annual General Meeting of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the theme of the event was, ‘Child survival in Nigeria amid COVID-19 pandemic: Issues, challenges, and way forward’.

He noted that the current data and statistics for the welfare of children in Nigeria was sad and troubling and that having them stay out of school would further aggravate the situation by denying them what they require to have healthy and productive lives.

The director-general said Nigeria had the highest number of out-of-school children; nearly 31 million children under the age of five and about half of the population under the age of 15.

He added that 10.5 million children were currently out of school and the closure of schools may result in 10 million being out of school forever.

He added, “You can see why some decisions around school reopening are so difficult to make by the government; how do you balance the need to control this pandemic versus the other requirements children need to live healthy and productive?

“This pandemic is threatening efforts to prevent major causes of child morbidity and mortality, and threatening the small gains we have made over many years in a very difficult context that is ours.

“If things get out of hand, we may and we will consider this condition but we all understand that the lockdown had a huge impact on children.”

Earlier, the NCDC boss said the worst outcome of the virus had spared children because its manifestation in them was less severe, often asymptomatic, and often not clinically significant to visit the hospitals.

“Just 10 percent of our cases have been confirmed in children and one percent deaths. The few deaths that occurred in children were likely to have happened to them through morbidity that led to deficits in coping with the virus,” he said.

Ihekweazu called for collaboration among governments, schools, and parents to effectively protect children from contracting the virus.

Continue Reading

Most Popular