MPC Urges Federal Government To Review Domestic Debt

Godwin-Emefiele-Governor-of-Central-Bank-NigeriaThe federal government needs to evaluate its domestic indebtedness to domestic economic agents and develop settlement plans.

This is part of considerations of members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), at its final meeting for 2016.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its two-day meeting in Abuja, the committee explained that the country’s debt profile has resulted among other things, to a slow down in economic activities.

Addressing the meeting, Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said: “members stressed the need for a robust and more keenly coordinated micro-economic policy framework that would restart output growth and stimulate aggregate demand.

“Consequently, the MPC welcomes efforts at resuscitating planning, noting the progress made in developing the medium term economic recovery plan.

“The MPC urges the government to assess the extent of its indebtedness to domestic economic agents, and develop a framework for securitizing the debts, in order to settle its outstanding domestic contraction obligations, which cuts across all sectors of the economy,” Mr Emefiele stated.

The meeting which is aimed at facilitating the attainment of price stability and supporting the economic policy of the Federal Government, came to an end on November 22, 2016.

Colombian Govt. To Sign New Peace Deal With FARC

Colombia, Peace Deal, FARCIn efforts to try and maintain a peaceful relationship with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), the Colombian government says it will sign a new peace accord with the rebels on Thursday.

To avoid a rejection of the peace deal like it happened last month, the new revised agreement will be submitted to congress for approval, rather than put to a popular vote.

Opposition groups however say it still does not go far enough in punishing rebels for human rights abuses.

The deal is aimed at ending more than 50 years of armed conflict, in which more than 260,000 people have been killed.

In June 2016, the FARC signed a ceasefire accord with the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos in Havana.

On August 25, 2016, Mr Santos, announced that four years of negotiations had, secured a peace deal with FARC and that a national referendum would take place on October 2.

The original deal was signed in September, in an emotional ceremony before world leaders, but was rejected in the referendum on October 2.

The rebel group is expected to be relaunched as a political party, as part of the deal.

Yaba College Of Technology Female Hostel Gutted By Fire

yabafireThe Bakassi block, a two-storey building of the female hostel at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos, has been gutted by fire.

The fire which the Lagos state fire service suspects started as a result of a spark from an electric panel, started at about 5:20 am on Wednesday morning and was on till about 7:00 am.

While rescue efforts have been on-going by men of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos state Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and state fire service, no one has so far been reported hurt.

However, a report by a NEMA official revealed that four ladies who went into a state of shock and were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Yaba, have been stabilised.

20 rooms were reported to have been damaged extensively while five rooms were partially affected at the topmost floor.

Government’s Audit Report To Be Submitted To Lawmakers By 2017

National Assembly in NigeriaActing Auditor General for the Federation, Mrs Florence Anyanwu, says the nation’s first ever performance audit report will be submitted to the National Assembly by the first quarter of 2017.

The performance report was conducted on government Ministries, Departments and Agencies and would be submitted to the National Assembly.

At a meeting in Abuja on Monday, she said that the report would serve as an assessment test for the key government agencies, under review to check their effectiveness in the deployment of available resources.

She stressed the need for a continuous audit process that would help plug leakages and reduce corruption in Nigeria.

Economic Development: Wike Canvasses More Public Private Partnerships

Economic Development, wike, Public Private PartnershipsWith the current economic realities in Nigeria, Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, has canvassed for more public private partnerships to boost economic development.

The situation of dwindling crude oil prices and the consequent economic recession in the country, has made it expedient for states to explore ways to achieve development through such partnerships.

This was the view of Governor Wike, who played host to participants of senior course 39, Armed forces Command and Staff College Jaji, as they visited the state government house in Port Harcourt.

He also noted that the improved security situation in Rivers has continued to attract private partnership investments to the state.

The leader of the delegation and Director of Department of Joint Studies, Armed forces and Staff College, Brigadier General Johnson Irefin, said the theme of this year’s tour is “economic development through public private partnership”.

He explained that the “armed forces command studies tour is an environmental study tour to selected states in the country, in which participants are given the opportunity to analyse some critical socio-economic factors of the state that affect the country at large.

According to him, this visit therefore will afford participants the opportunity to have an ‘on-the-spot’ assessment of the process of economic growth, through public private partnerships”.

The governor in response, emphasized that security is key to attracting private partnership investments.

“I want to tell you that for you to have private investors, you have to create a conducive environment, and by a conducive environment, I mean security.

“When there is security it gives private investors confidence to partner with government. As a policy of this government, of course we have laws that govern public private partnerships in the state.

“We have a lot of projects that are under this arrangement. And so far we have a lot of investors that have come to partner with us in this regard.

“With the assistance of security agencies, we have been able to reduce the insecurity in the state, before now, you will agree with me that there were crisis here and there, militancy, cultism and that really affected us.

“But now with the level of security we have achieved through the help of the security agencies, investors have been trooping in everyday to find ways of partnering with government.

“Government can not do it alone, government cannot embark on all projects because of finances. ” Wike stressed.

Peter Obi, Willie Obiano In War Of Words

Peter ObiThe former Governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi, has debunked rumors that the Governor of the state, Willie Obiano, wants to ban him from the state.

Addressing newsmen, Obi said that the Governor has no right to stop him from visiting Anambra or talking about the state.

Obiano’s aide, Oliver Okpala, alleged that Obi made some unwarranted statements against Obiano.

Meanwhile, some political analysts have opined that this might be connected with Peter Obi’s recent exposure of governments’ wasteful expenditure.

He had revealed in a statement that any unwarranted attack on the Governor would be met with a very tough response.

“Let it be noted that we have done our investigations, and we know that those sponsoring these unfounded attacks against the Governor include those who have tasted power before, either as governor or secretary to the state government.

“We have their records, to the minutest of details, and we will not hesitate to unleash a higher degree of attack on their persons, with verifiable proofs in our possession so that the world would know the dirty stuff they are made of.”

Obi, who described the statement as a threat, said it would be a disaster if the government of Anambra starts acting like a dictatorship in a democratic dispensation.

In his words, “such an order will amount to asking me to go on exile. I have a house in Onitsha and live there.

“I served Anambra State for eight years. As the Governor, I kept saying I would live in the state for the rest of my life to enable me share the joy and grief of the people. Why would somebody say I should not attend events in the state?

“Why would somebody request that I should stop saying what I did as the Governor of Anambra State, when people are still talking about the good deeds of the likes of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief M.I. Okpara?” he questioned.

He further stressed that “most of the things said are not for self-adulation, but to use my experience to demonstrate to our people that we can do certain things we thought were impossible.

Stating examples of projects he accomplished, Obi mentioned that he had returned schools to the church, while providing them with over 30,000 computers, generators and internet connectivity.

“The fact is that under our government, we cleared arrears of pension of over 35 billion Naira, paid for all the certificates generated by contractors without borrowing a kobo, and still left money, including dollars for the state,” he stressed.

CBN Commences Monetary Policy Committee Meeting

CBN, Monetary Policy Committee Meeting The Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, on Monday, began its 6th and the last meeting for the year.

The two day closed door session will see members review major developments in the global and domestic space, with a view to forming relevant monetary policies that would be in place till January 2017.

Since the last MPC meeting in September, the global risk landscape and policy outlook have changed, underlined by shock-waves in the global bonds market, risk-on appetite in the U.S and the under performance of emerging markets assets.

At the last meeting, the committee left all rates unchanged.

In light of the current economic situation, analysts see all rates held constant.

FCT Minister Promises Investigation Into Abuja Attacks

muhammed-belloThe Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Minister, Muhammed Bello, has promised to commence thorough investigation into the attacks on two communities that led to the death of one person and kidnap of 10 others.

He made this known to pressmen after an emergency and security meeting with stakeholders of communities in his office in Abuja on Friday.

A 28-year-old man, Zakariyya Nuhu, was killed, while 10 persons were kidnapped, in the attacks on Darka and Huni-Gade communities on Sunday and Thursday, respectively.

Mr Bello called for calm over the recent attacks in the territory, with the assurance that security agencies were on top of the situation.

The Minister said that the FCT administration and the security agencies had been following the development in the communities and had put measures in place to tackle the problem headlong.

He advised the residents not to give any ethnic coloration to the attacks, stating that killing and kidnapping of the innocent residents were purely criminal and that the culprits would be treated as such.

He assured them that the administration and the security agencies had outlined ways of handling the unpleasant situation and that all those involved would surely be arrested and prosecuted.

He commiserated with the communities as well as the families of those affected in the unfortunate incidents after which he encouraged residents to go about their normal businesses.

To further allay their apprehension, he said security agencies had been deployed to all parts of the territory, especially the affected places, to ensure the security of lives and property.

Mr Bello urged residents to pass any useful information to relevant agencies nearest to them, as well as to traditional and community leaders.

Private Sector Should Partner With Govt. On Economic Development- Saraki

Private sector, Government, Economic development, saraki
Bukola Saraki

In moving the Nigerian economy forward and alleviating the problems facing the nation, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has urged the private sector to partner with the government.

According to him, this is why one of the first legislative initiatives, was to “review all the laws that made it difficult for people to do business in our country and also those that frustrated investors willing to come into our country”.

He said this while addressing guests at the first National Chevening Alumni
Leadership Summit which kicked off at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos, on November 18, 2016.

Calling on the Chevening alumni to take action, Mr Saraki said “we must create a system that enables the best minds to work effectively for the good of the country.

Private sector, Government, Economic development, saraki
John Momoh

Meanwhile, the Chairman Of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, also addressing the Nigerian situation at the event, said Nigeria is replete with some inept and corrupt leadership.

“The gap in Nigeria is indisputable, Nigeria is replete with some inept and corrupt leadership which has been exacerbated by ethnic and sectional and sometimes religious biases, but! this doesn’t imply that we have never had good leaders, he said emphatically.

“Infact we have had many good leaders and some of which are present in this room today.

“A day like this is very important as it gives us an opportunity to meet with Nigeria’s great men and women.

“This is a time for us to reconnect, to swap success stories, a happy time to spend together and even much more a time to relish the experiences and values we all share.

“This morning, we will be able to brainstorm together on a matter of national importance: the economy.

Touching on issues such as corruption, he opined that “corruption has had far-reaching repercussions, including impairing the armed forces ability to combat the Boko Haram insurgency in the North east.

He also spoke of pipeline vandalism and how activities of the Niger Delta Militants have affected the nation which once solely depended on oil.

In line with the theme of the occasion, the Channels Chairman re-iterated the roles of the Chevening alumni, in bridging the leadership gap and ultimately improving the state of the nation.

“We must live beyond our capabilities, let’s dream big, develop leadership skills, and strive to sour beyond our own personal gifts.

“Let’s not wait for things to happen –  Instead, let us make things happen – Let us, as Chevening scholars initiate change.

“We must also help people to discover themselves – We should we can have our heads above the clouds But ensure that we have our feet firmly on the ground, sou that we do not alienate the people.

This according to him has been one of the short-comings of many leaders across the world.

“We must be able to lead ahead of our contemporaries – We must live deeper than our calamities” Mr Momoh challenged the alumni.

Private sector, Government, Economic development, sarakiOn a lighter note, the President of the Chevening Alumni Association of Nigeria (CAAN), Thomas Odemwingi, in his address of welcome, apologized on behalf of the executive, that since the inauguration of the association, it has only had few activities.

He however stated that the British High Commission, could attest to the fact that they have been involved in activities such as conducting interviews for schorlarships, for chevening programs, as well as send forth parties, among others.

He explained that the group was launched in August 2011, as a charity, while stating that the aim of the programme was to “plan what we are going to do at the different levels of governance and in the various geo-political zones”.

“For those of you that are being involved in one assignment or the other, I would like you to be very committed to this, so that at the end of the day, we would pass on the baton to a new generation”, Mr Odemwingi charged the guests”.

He stated that one of the achievements of the association was that it had “successfully made a progamme proposal for Chevening alumni programme funds.

The association president, went ahead to commend a number of people for their immense contributions to the association.

Organisers of the event restated that the Chevening / U.K government global scholarship programme, is aimed at individuals with strong academic and leadership potentials, to network extensively and study for a fully funded masters programme in the United Kingdom.

Private sector, Government, Economic development, saraki
Paul Arkwright

In his address, the British High Commissioner, Paul Ark wright, described the occasion as an “exciting new chapter in the story of this wonderful U.K/ Nigeria Partnership”.

Recalling the “spirits of the chevening awards” Mr Wright said:

“Chevening is a global programme that awards fully funded masters, to people who demonstrate full leadership potential.

“It is a phenomenal opportunity and the competition is fierce, none more so than here in Nigeria, where Chevening attracted more applicants than many other countries worldwide, last year.

Highlighting some of the problems faced by Nigerians, such as the economic recession and attempts to create a more diversified and inclusive government, he sxpressed that:

“The U.K is firmly committed to supporting these efforts”.

He also stated that part of the desires of the Chevening programme, is to empower Nigerians such that the problems being faced in the country, are not only solved by external forces but by Nigerians themselves, having acquired the necessary Knowledge and skills.

Mr Arkwright expressed appreciation towards guests which comprised alumni, industry experts among others.

Kano Police Present Four Officers Allegedly Wounded By Shiites

kano, police, ShiitesPolice authorities in Kano state, have presented four of its men allegedly wounded by the outlawed Shiite members, during their Arba’een procession.

This comes nearly a week since the clash between mobile Police officers in the state and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

Presenting the officers to reporters at the command’s headquarters, Police Public Relations officer, DSP Magaji Majia, confirmed the recovery of some weapons from the Shiites on the day of the clash.

“These are the four Police officers wounded by Shiites before the arrival of police re-enforcement on the day of Arba’een trek and the weapons recovered comprise of one AK 47 rifle they snatched from our officer, one cartridge and many other local weapons were also seen in possession of the Shiites.”

In a related development, leader of the movement in Kano, Sheikh Sanusi Abdulkadir, denied allegations of attacking Police officers by his disciples during the procession.

He maintained that his disciples did not attack the Police and according to him,”even the gun shot on this officer was done by the police themselves”.

“You know if you want to justify hanging a dog, you just give him a bad name, otherwise how on earth will a defenseless man snatch a gun from an armed Police officer, it doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.

A statement by the group on Friday said soldiers at a checkpoint in Potiskum, Yobe State, had attempted to plant weapons in the luggage of members of the sect to blackmail them.  

Meanwhile, over 100 members of the group are still in Police custody for allegedly conducting illegal religious procession, attacking and killing Police officers, carrying dangerous weapons, inciting violence and causing various disturbances across the state.

Agency Assesses Other Mineral Resources In Bayelsa To Grow Revenue

mineral resources, bayelsa, revenueA monitoring team from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is in Bayelsa State to verify number of mining companies and leases issued to them and see to increase in revenue.

The team, which will also consider the revenue generation potential in solid mineral exploration, says the profiling is necessary as part of attempts to check the economic challenges facing the oil-rich nation.

They believe the economic recession the nation is facing was triggered by too much dependence on crude oil sales for revenue.

The members of the RMAFAC have therefore been mandated to search for the next big mineral discovery in Nigeria, beginning with Bayelsa State.

At a meeting with the RMAFAC, the Deputy Governor of the state, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd), who was pleased with the reasons for their visit, was optimistic that both the Federal and the State government would benefit from any success made.

Rear Admiral Jonah requested that the ream should do a thorough job, expressing confidence that the exercise, if properly conducted, would open a vista of opportunities to all the state governments to discover and harness alternative sources of revenue.

While expressing belief that every state is endowed with mineral resources, he said:

“The current economic recession is worsened by the long period of over-dependence on revenues accruing from the oil sector and the lack of political will to explore and exploit other natural endowments, including agriculture to boost the nation’s economy”.

He assured the team of the state’s support and urged them to engage the appropriate government ministries, agencies and departments, as well as other stakeholders in the course of the exercise.

“Identifying alternative potentialities of the state and possible means to harnessing such resources, in line with the present administration’s policy of economic diversification,” he told the team.

“Yes, it is true that Bayelsa State isn’t doing well in the non-oil sector. So they (RMAFC), are going to carry out an audit of what we have because some of the non-oil mineral resources they have in mind may be here and we may not be aware.

“At the federal level, the government is trying to get a consultant to work it out for the entire country.

“I’m firmly of the belief that there is no land in Nigeria that has no minerals. It depends on how you maximise the exploitation of it. So, at the end of this exercise, the team will tell us know what we have and how we can get it out from the soil.

“Just like the Federal Government, we also have interest in taxes. We have common interest, so we will certainly benefit from the exercise. But the extent of benefit is what I will not be able to define now,” he added.

The Bayelsa State Government further described the ongoing nationwide monitoring exercise embarked upon by the RMAFC, as a step in the right direction.

The leader of the visiting team, who is a Commissioner at the commission, Mr Sanyon Omiri, told reporters that Bayelsa State got a paltry 1.2 million Naira as its share of 13% derivation from the non-oil sector.

He said that the state currently occupies the 36th position on the table of non-oil remittance to the Federation Account, as at June this year.

“We believe that at the end of our investigations we will discover a lot of minerals in Bayelsa State that can be tapped for economic benefit,” Mr Omiri stated.

He also noted that, the state could move up in its position and increase its share of the 13% derivation from non-oil revenue, if all leakages were plugged and illegal miners captured into the tax net.

Kogi Govt. To Set Up Committe Against Illegal Felling Of Trees

Kogi, Felling of treesThe Kogi state government has resolved to set up a committee to check arbitrary and illegal felling of trees in all the existing forest reserves across the state.

The State Commissioner of Environment and Natural Resources, Rosemary Osikoya, disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the weekly State Executive Council meeting in Lokoja.

The commissioner also told newsmen that the state government has placed a fine of 1.5 million per truck on anybody caught in the act of deforestation of the reserves.

She condemned the destruction of 36 designated forest reserves across the state, assuring that government will not relent in its efforts to check the ugly trend.

”the state executive council today approves for the setting up of a committee to review kogi state specific laws, deterrent to illegal tree felling activities with severe penalties”.

Osikoya informed journalists that the council approved the recruitment of 100 forest reserves in the three senatorial districts of the state.

The Director-General Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwon, who also spoke to journalists, re-iterated the council’s resolve to ensure that transaction of government business in the state, followed due process in order to boost transparency and accountability in the system.

He intimated newsmen of the council’s resolution to retrieve all government vehicles that were illegally carted away by the immediate past political appointees.

Mr Fanwon expressed the council’s appreciation over the recent visit of the governor, Yahaya Bello, to some companies in Germany to seek their collaboration towards further development of the state.