Formation Of Economic Advisory Council Is ‘Timely, Commendable’ – MAN

Chukwuma Soludo                                                                                                               Bismark Rewane

 

 

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has lauded the constitution of an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement on Tuesday by its Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, MAN described the news of the formation of the council as “timely and commendable”.

President Buhari had set up the Council chaired by Professor Doyin Salami, with Dr Mohammed Sagagi as vice chairman and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Development Policy, Dr Mohammed Salisu, as the secretary.

A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, and the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr Bismark Rewane, and three others members.

READ ALSO: Soludo, Rewane, Others Appointed To Economic Advisory Council

In his reaction, the MAN DG said, “This, by far, is a clear demonstration of the determination of Mr President to re-energise the management of the economy in his second term in office.

“Nigerians, and indeed the private sector, are highly desirous of an effective and knowledge-driven team that will lead on the economic front.”

According to him, the beauty of the team, apart from the pedigree of its members, is its composition of private-sector citizens who they believe will operate independently and effectively.

Ajayi-Kadir is confident that the team would not be shackled with the bureaucracy of government and political interference.

He insisted that the members were more likely to be receptive to a wide range of opinions and innovations, even if deferring from the norm.

“MAN, therefore, propose that the team in partnership with the private sector should carry out a critical and comprehensive review of the current policy initiatives that drive the actions of government and urgently harmonise the outcomes to craft an agenda that will guide the management of the economy going forward,” the MAN DG recommended.

He added, “Already on ground are policy initiatives such as the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the 2020-2022 Medium Term Fiscal Framework and Fiscal Strategy.”

Ajayi-Kadir said it behoved the Council to recommend pragmatic programmes that would improve the achievements already made in some areas such as Ease of Doing Business in the country.

He noted that the EAC came on the heels of the promised National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA, according to the MAN DG, is unarguably the most pressing preoccupation of continental economic actors in Africa.

He, however, believes the right composition of the committee will augur well for the needed synergy with the Council to boost Nigeria’s chances of being net gainers in the continental free trade area.

While they look forward to the prospect, Ajayi-Kadir was hopeful that the EAC’s monthly technical sessions and scheduled quarterly meetings with the President would guarantee the attention of government and implementation of its advice.

He said the organized private sector, particularly MAN, would eagerly engage the Council in a bid to achieve the desired growth and development of the nation’s economy.

AfCFTA: MAN Urges FG To Adopt Technology-Based Border Policing

 

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Federal Government to adopt technology-based border policing and surveillance in addressing the issue of the country’s porous border which has encouraged smuggling of foreign goods.

According to MAN, the move will check abuse of the intra-Africa Trade protocols and trade malpractices, following the signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement by MAN’s Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, the government should enhance the capacity of the manufacturing sector and other economic actors to take advantage of the opportunities in the continental free trade area.

“In addressing the issue of the country’s porous border which encouraged smuggling of foreign goods, there could not have been a better time to adopt technology-based border policing and surveillance to check abuse of the intra-Africa Trade protocols and trade malpractices.

“Of urgent attention is for the Government to initiate policies that would encourage startups in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise, this sector contributes over 80% of the Gross Domestic Product, and if properly incentivized and supported could be able to ramp up production and total exports of the country.”

READ ALSO: IMF Boss Lagarde Announces Resignation

On the side of the private sector, MAN called on the government to provide a conducive environment, tackle infrastructure challenges and initiate policies to aid regional competitiveness.

“We shall work together to prevail on the Government to do its own bit by providing the conducive atmosphere. The infrastructure challenges such as poor electricity supply, deplorable road network and lack of adequate transportation system (rail network) etc. that constitute the supply constraints should be removed.

“Needed policies to improve the macroeconomic environment should be put in place and existing ease of doing business initiatives strengthened, especially to lower cost and grow existing capacities.

“To aid the competitiveness of local manufacturers, the government should strongly address the issue of multiple taxations and over-regulation of the production sector which has added to the existing myriad of challenges.

“For an open trade arrangement of this nature, we recommend that Industries that would be negatively impacted by the influx of goods should be supported to invest in new areas and displaced labour retrained to take on new employment or vocation.”

Manufacturers List Poor Electricity, Multiple Taxation As Major Operational Challenges – Survey

Manufacturers List Poor Electricity, Multiple Taxation As Major Operational Challenges

 

Manufacturers have listed poor electricity, multiple taxations, high-interest rates, and poor accessibility to ports as parts of challenges affecting the operational capacity of companies in Nigeria.

This is according to a quarterly Manufacturers CEOs Confidence Index (MCCI), conducted by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to measure the pulse of the manufacturing sector.

The survey which captured the First Quarter of 2019, had over 200 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of MAN member-companies across the six geo-political zones of the country and the ten Sectoral Groups of the Association, respond to questionnaires in a bid to identify key areas that need review.

READ ALSO: SEC Approves MTN’s 20.35bn Ordinary Shares On NSE

The result from the first quarter survey showed that manufacturing stood at 51.3 points, slightly above the minimum 50 points threshold of good performance.

This implies that the Manufacturing sector is still struggling as operators have a seemingly low confidence level but a high expectation that manufacturing performance will improve.

On Capital Expenditure, the majority of respondents did not agree that Government implementation encouraged productivity in the sector.

The Association affirmed the survey by highlighting the available poor economic infrastructure such as inadequate power supply, bad road network, high cost of abstracting water, low patronage and many more.

Meanwhile, 92 percent of the CEOs interviewed, agreed that multiple taxes and levies depress production in the manufacturing sector.

They also agreed that poor access to national ports and the associated gridlock negatively affects productivity in the manufacturing sector.

Although, 44 percent of respondents, agreed that the level of local sourcing of raw-materials has improved in the manufacturing sector. While 37 percent disagreed, and the remaining 19 percent were not sure if local sourcing of raw-materials has improved in the sector.

Effect of Executive Order 003 was also examined and 40 percent disagreed that patronage of Nigeria manufactured products has improved based on the order which mandated all Government establishments to make Nigerian manufactured goods first choice in their procurement processes.

The manufacturers recommended that the Government must make conscious efforts to repair and expand the roads leading to Lagos Ports, make other ports outside Lagos, functional so as to address the gridlock challenges and the associated cost.

They also asked that Forex should be made available for the purchase of manufacturing inputs and there should be a continuous improvement on the power supply and the general upgrade of the nation’s infrastructure.

The survey highlighted that the Capital Expenditure component of the National budget should be conscientiously implemented to bridge the infrastructure gap in the country.

MAN, LCCI Fault Governor Yari’s Claims Of Possible Recession

private sector, deregulation

 

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), have disagreed with the prediction by the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Abdulaziz Yari on the looming recession.

Mr Yari, had told the newly-elected governors on Monday, to prepare for another cycle of possible economic recession by mid-2020.

The recession, according to Yari, who is also the Zamfara state Governor, may not end until the third quarter of 2021.

READ ALSO: Ensure Immediate Implementation Of New Minimum Wage, NUPENG Tells Employers

The Organised Private Sector group, in a reaction on Tuesday, questioned the basis on which Governor Yari made his prediction about another cycle of recession from 2020 to mid-2021.

According to the MAN president, Mansur Ahmed, “although the economy is not growing as fast as expected, it is growing nonetheless and all the projections from the world bank and other international bodies say that it will keep growing.”

The Director-General, LCCI, Mr Muda Yusuf, said “he could not agree with Yari because he was not speaking in the capacity of an economist and did not put parameters forward to back his projections.”

VAT Increase: Economy Will Be More Vulnerable, Manufacturers Warn Nigerian Govt

VAT Increase: Economy Will Be More Vulnerable, Manufacturers Warn FG

 

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has asked the Federal Government to tread with caution in the drive for improved revenue.

The Director-General of MAN, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said this in a statement on Wednesday while reacting to the plan by the government to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT).

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance had defended the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that VAT be increased by 50 per cent during a presentation in the Senate.

READ ALSO: ‘They Have Taken Us Hostage,’ Agric Minister Decries Nigeria’s Rate Of Food Imports

Ajayi-Kadir, however, said such policy was not ‘manufacturing friendly’, adding that implementing it would have a negative effect as a result of the planned increase in minimum wage.

“As plausible as the recommendation to increase VAT may look, implementing it at this time would boomerang because the timing is inappropriate, especially at a time when the minimum wage of N30,000 was just agreed upon,” he stated.

The MAN DG added, “This could send a wrong signal that the government is not sensitive to the plight of the low- and middle-income earners, who are clearly in the majority. The Nigerian economy will be in a more vulnerable state if VAT is increased.

“No controversy, the burden of the tax would be shifted to the Nigerian consumers that are already struggling, the economy would certainly experience demand crunch, inventory of unsold items would soar, profitability of manufacturing concerns would be negatively impacted, many factories will witness serious downturn or wind down operations.”

Ajayi-Kadiri, therefore, advised the government to widen the tax net rather than increase the rate in order to meet the growing need for more revenue to address the development objective of the country.

He also appealed to the government not to increase the VAT at this time but consider the implementation of the afore-mentioned tax specific recommendations.

The MAN DG asked the government to continue to ramp-up support for the manufacturing sector in the best interest of the people.

Lion Mauls Man To Death After Scaling Zoo Wall

file copy

 

An Indian man was mauled to death by a lion after he scaled the wall of a zoo in northern Punjab state, officials said Monday.

The man climbed the 20-foot (six-metre) wall of Chhatbir Zoo, home to four lions, on Sunday and entered the restricted area where he was attacked.

Hearing his screams, the staff rushed to try and rescue the man.

“He was an intruder in the zoo. We took him to the hospital but he succumbed to his injuries,” said Roshan Sunkaria from the state forest department.

The animal that attacked the man was an Asiatic lion — a critically endangered species and a major tourist draw.

Only around 500 exist in the wild, all in the Gir sanctuary in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

The authorities have not yet been able to contact the victim’s family.

The zoo has stepped up warnings inside the premises and advised visitors to travel with an escort and keep vehicles locked.

AFP

Court Jails Man For Sending Death Threats To Ministers

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo

 

A Swedish court on Friday jailed a 43-year-old man for seven years for sending death threats and an unidentified white powder to 21 cabinet ministers, including the prime minister.

The man, identified in court documents as Michael Salonen, was also found guilty of attempted murder for sending a letter bomb to a bitcoin selling company called Cryptopay in London last year. The bomb did not explode and no one was injured.

In August 2017, Salonen sent an envelope containing white powder and a letter saying “you will soon be dead” to each minister’s home address, including Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin and Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, court documents showed.

He also sent similar letters to several other public figures in Sweden.

Analysis of the powder concluded it was harmless.

While the court determined that Salonen had sent the letters, it found him not guilty on several counts of unlawful threats.

In those cases, including that for Prime Minister Lofven, the addressees did not open the letters themselves and therefore did not experience the intended threat, the court ruled.

Salonen, who has been held in police custody since May, had denied any involvement in the crimes.

Sweden is one of the world’s most transparent nations, where income tax information, home addresses and telephone numbers can easily be accessed online.

Elected officials can often be seen out in public running errands and going about their daily lives, sometimes without security.

Sweden’s former foreign minister Anna Lindh died in 2003 after she was stabbed in broad daylight at a Stockholm department store without a bodyguard present.

And former prime minister Olof Palme was shot dead while walking home from a Stockholm cinema in 1986, also without a bodyguard. His murder remains a mystery to this day.

AFP

Man Jumps Into Lagos Lagoon

Police officers watch as emergency officials rescue a man who jumped into the Lagos lagoon on November 2, 2018. Photo: Twitter – @InsideMainland

 

A yet-to-be-identified man on Friday jumped into the Lagos lagoon through the Third Mainland Bridge.

The Director-General of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr Adesina Tiamiyu, confirmed this to Channels Television via telephone shortly after the incident occurred.

He said the man was later pulled out of the lagoon by officials of the Lagos Waterways with the help of local divers.

The body of the victim has since been taken to a police station in the Yaba axis of the state.

The man was said to have alighted from a commercial vehicle before he jumped into the lagoon.

However, reports in some quarters claimed that the victim drove himself to a point on the bridge before plunging into the water.

Man Jumps Into Lagos Lagoon

Rescue officials rescue a middle-aged man from the Lagos Lagoon.

 

A middle-aged man has been rescued from the Lagos lagoon after he allegedly jumped into the water from the Third mainland bridge.

The incident attracted a crowd of passers-by who stopped on the bridge to catch a glimpse of the man while being rescued by some fishermen and officials of the State Waterways Authority.

He is now, however, said to be receiving treatment at a hospital.

This is the latest in a series of suspected suicide attempts off the third mainland bridge.

In June 2018, there were reports of a woman who allegedly jumped off the bridge into the water.

In the same vein, a medical doctor, Allwell Orji, jumped to his death into the lagoon in March 2017.

Man Kills Wife, Children, Mother-In-Law

Police officers (file)                                                                                        FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP

 

A 24-year-old man killed his wife, three toddlers and mother-in-law at their suburban family home, where he remained for several days before turning himself in, Australian police said Monday.

The alleged murders are the third such family tragedy to rock Western Australia state in recent months.

Police charged Anthony Robert Harvey with the murders of his two-year-old twins Alice and Beatrix, his three-year-old daughter Charlotte and his 41-year-old wife Mara in the southwestern city of Perth.

Harvey, who lived in the home, is also alleged to have killed his mother-in-law Beverley Quinn, 73, after she arrived at the same address the next day.

Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told reporters no firearms were used in the attacks which police believe were carried out with several weapons including “a blunt instrument and knives”.

“We’re alleging that the murders took place over two days,” he said.

“The mother Mara and her three children were all murdered over a period of time on the third (of September), and that Mrs. Quinn was murdered the following morning.”

Dawson said the two women were allegedly attacked in the kitchen while the children were killed “in other rooms of the house”.

“We are alleging that Mr. Harvey remained at the… house for some days” before heading north, he added.

Police found the bodies of the five victims at the unassuming detached family home after Harvey walked into a police station in a remote mining area some 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) north of the city on Sunday — a week after their deaths.

A Facebook profile believed to be Mara’s showed her cradling a newborn in her arms, with a man reported to be Harvey beside her and stated that she was engaged in August 2014.

A real estate listing showed a modest three-bedroom house and a standalone garage.

‘Her girls were her world’ 

Mara Harvey’s sister Taryn, also Quinn’s daughter and the children’s aunt, wrote about her heartbreak at the killings.

“There are no words to explain the emptiness and loss that we are feeling,” she wrote in a statement released by police late Monday, adding that Mara’s young children “were her world” and she was “so proud of each of them”.

“This world is a sadder place with the loss of these five beautiful people but Heaven has gained five new angels.”

Earlier a friend of Mara’s told Fairfax Media she was “pretty unlucky in love before she met him… so (when they got together) it was like ‘yay, now she gets to start a family'”.

A neighbour told national broadcaster ABC he had returned from a holiday to “silence in the street”.

“We noticed that the house next door was pretty quiet, which was unusual,” said Richard Fairbrother, who lives next door to the family’s house.

“We could hear and see the kids playing in the backyard quite often.”

Other neighbours spoke of a shocked community that had been close, calm and peaceful.

Dawson said it was the third tragedy involving multiple deaths in a family home in his state since May.

In July a man allegedly killed his mother and two siblings. A grandfather shot dead his wife, daughter and her four children in a murder-suicide in May.

Harvey is expected to return to court on September 19.

AFP

Police Arrest Man For Killing Baby, Ex-Wife

FILE COPY A scene from an underground tube train at a platform at Parsons Green underground tube station in west London. Photo Credit: Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

A man from Niger stabbed to death his German ex-wife and their one-year-old daughter in a brutal attack in a busy train station Thursday, police said.

The bloody knife killings took place mid-morning in the busiest subway station of Hamburg, Germany’s second-biggest city.

“The crime was very, very terrible in its execution, very targeted and very, very extreme,” said police spokesman Timo Zill.

“We currently assume it was a crime of passion.”

The 33-year-old suspect initially ran off but then phoned the police, who arrested him inside the Jungfernstieg underground station.

Police said the child died immediately in the attack around 0850 GMT and the 34-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

Police and firefighters responded in large numbers, and trauma counselling was offered to witnesses and emergency responders.

AFP

Man, 35, Arraigned For Burglary

Court Jails Man For Raping Minor In Ekiti

A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ado-Ekiti has arraigned a 35-year-old man, Gambo Paul, for an alleged burglary and stealing.

According to the Prosecutor, Insp. Johnson Okunade, the accused committed the offence at Mango Area off Federal Housing Estate in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital Oct. 10th of October at about 11:30 a.m.

Okunade told the court on Thursday, alleged that Paul broke into the apartment of the complainant, one Seun Adebayo, and made away with valuables worth over a hundred thousand naira.

He added, “The accused stole one Tiger Generator, valued at N14,000, one Gold Chain valued at N60,000, one Panasonic Television valued at N13,000, Bag of Semovita and Knorr Chicken seasoning valued at N3,000.

“The accused also stole one Solar Lamp valued at N5,000, one torchlight valued at N2,000, one black leather belt valued at N15,000 and Gold Wedding ring valued at N20,000, belonging to the complainant.”

He said that the offence contravened section 383 and punishable under Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap C16 Vol.1 Laws of Ekiti State 2012.

The prosecutor thereafter pleaded with the Court for adjournment, to enable him to study the case file and present his witnesses.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

His counsel, Mr Temitope Omotayo, urged the Court to grant him bail, with a promise that he would not jump bail.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Adesoji Adegboye, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N200,000 with one surety in like sum.