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Items filtered by date: Monday, 09 July 2018

Sterling Bank Plc, recently declared as a Great Place To Work, has decalred work-free day for all its employees across the country.

The decision, according to the bank, was in line with its Active Citizens Programme (ACP) scheme, encouraging employees to use to register and collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards.

Beyond promoting voting rights, the bank’s ACP also motivates employees to be productive, responsible, caring and be contributing members of their respective communities in alignment with the lender’s purpose of enriching lives.   

The Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, noted that the institution is passionate about promoting active citizenship among employees as a business of wholly Nigerian origin, which makes it important to place national interests above individual preferences.

“We believe that when more citizens are active and perform their duties to the nation, the country becomes a better place for all.

“These duties include abiding by the law, tax remittance and more importantly participating in the electoral process to strengthen our democracy.”

Source: The Guardian

Published in Bank & Finance
The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has said that Nigeria will rely on Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company (NGPTC), a subsidiary of the NNPC, to deliver a 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project.
 
The project, expected to be executed with about $3 billion, includes other key projects that will see the country expending over $38.5 billion on oil, petroleum products and natural gas pipelines between 2018 and 2022, according to data company, GlobalData.
 
Speaking on the sidelines of the 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company, Baru, who also functioned as the chairman of the AGM, said the corporation was relying on the NGPTC’s competence to deliver the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project.
 
He said apart from the AKK gas project, the company was also busy putting together new pipelines like the OB3 projected to come into operation later in the year alongside other significant gas pipeline projects across the length and breadth of the country designed as an integral part of the bigger trans-Nigerian gas pipeline system.
 
The NNPC boss commended the management and members of staff of the company for recording a profit after tax of N6.11 billion in its first year of operation under the new structure.
 
He said the NNPC management was looking forward to a bright future for NGTPC as it continued to show great promise and positive performance despite operating in an environment laden with incessant pipeline vandalism and condensate evacuation challenges.
 
Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power and Chairman of the NGPTC Board, Saidu Mohammed, said the NGPTC was focused on consolidating on its strength and grow to bigger levels, noting that by 2019, the company would have leapfrogged into the big league with most of its ongoing gas infrastructure projects coming on stream.
 
Also, Managing Director of the company, Babatunde Bakare, said the 2017 AGM result showcases the corporation’s resolve to align with the prime objective of the Federal Government to harness the nation’s gas resources for the overall benefit of the Nigerian economy.
 
In another development, the Minna Depot of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Pogo, near Minna in Niger State, was gutted by fire yesterday.
 
The fire, which started exactly at 11.00 a.m., created panic along the ever-busy Minna-Paiko road, leaving commuters stranded.
 
A resident of the area, Malam Ibrahim Paiko, who spoke with The Guardian in Minna, said the leakage started since Saturday but the scooping by the boys started around 2.00 a.m. yesterday.
 
According to him: “When the leakage started early this morning, it ran through the gutters which made black marketers scoop from it.
 
Besides, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the NSCDC, Malam Ibrahim Yahaya, who spoke with The Guardian, said: “For now, we have not been able to ascertain whether there is any casualty.”
 
Also, the Director-General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Ahmed Ibrahim Inga, who confirmed the incident, said: “We thank God everything has returned to normalcy. Evacuation measures have been put in place and thank God the situation is now calm.
 
Source: The Guardian
Published in News Economy

The 10th BRICS summit to be hosted by South Africa is going to be closely watched. It comes at a time when extraordinary global political and economic challenges are facing the world.

The BRICS bloc is made up of 5 of the leading countries in the global South — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The challenges facing the world range from country specific problems relating to domestic poverty, inequality and unemployment to climate change and a global economic system that is biased in favour of corporate interests, particularly in finance and technology.

One of the most immediate political challenges relate to the changing dynamics in global economic governance. The current global powerhouse, the US, appears intent on starting trade wars with both China and the European Union. Africa can’t avoid being adversely affected by a trade war between these three economic powers, which are its three largest trading partners.

The US is also pulling back from multilateral governance arrangements that it created. For example, it withdrew from the upcoming United Nations (UN) conference on migration and from the UN Human Rights Council. And Washington is effectively paralysing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by refusing to agree to the appointment of new judges at the WTO Appellate Body.

These developments are creating a volatile and unpredictable situation for all countries. Small players on the global stage, like South Africa and other countries on the continent, face the prospect of becoming collateral damage in the destruction of the current global governance arrangements.

Given all these complex challenges, how should we judge the success of the BRICS Summit?

We can use three tests: is BRICS being strengthened? What benefits will accrue to Africa? And how is the bloc planning to influence global economic governance reform?

BRICS strengthening

One goal of the upcoming summit should be to strengthen the relationship between the BRICS partners.

A concrete way of measuring this will be to look at the number and quality of agreements to emerge out of the summit. A successful summit will result in a range of substantial agreements being reached. The world will be able to scrutinise the outcome in the communique released at the end of the meeting.

It is important to note that the summit is the apex event in a year-long process. During the year various groups of BRICS government officials, civil society groups and technical experts meet to discuss issues of common interest. They have included technical groups such as the BRICS water forum and a committee looking at customs cooperation. Others have involved political matters, such as meetings of foreign affairs ministers and government officials who help guide their leaders to the summit (known as Sherpas).

The participants in these meetings try to reach agreements on issues of mutual interest – such as establishing a BRICS vaccine research centre – or finding ways to collaborate in sectors like tourism. Their job is also to try and resolve differences.

These efforts feed into the work of the summit as the Sherpas prepare the statement of what has been agreed. Details of the agreements that have been struck will be released in a statement at the end of the summit.

BRICS in Africa

Given that the theme for this year’s summit is: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, it’s reasonable to expect the BRICS summit to produce benefits for Africa.

One area that would be beneficial for the continent would be a signal from the leaders that the BRICS members are willing to commit to funding infrastructure projects on the continent. This is important because Africa is in the process of putting in place an ambitious new Continental Free Trade Agreement. Successful implementation will require constructing infrastructure that can link the continent both internally and with other parts of the world.

BRICS could position itself for a critical role in the funding of these infrastructure projects.

Two obvious vehicles for such funds are the BRICS’s New Development Bank and the funds that China has created to support its One Belt One Road Initiative.

Thus a test for summit success will be whether it generates new financing for sustainable infrastructure in Africa, and the nature of the financing.

Global governance reform

One goal shared by all the BRICS states is reforming global economic governance structures like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The bloc hasn’t been particularly successful in this mission. But this year may be an opportune time to promote reform.

Actions by the US have undermined its leadership position in the world and may have made other countries more open to governance reforms in key international economic organisations. This is particularly relevant for the IMF which is reviewing its quota allocations. A shift would lead to the world body being more responsive to the concerns of its poorer member countries.

There is a longstanding call for the inclusion of a third African chair on the IMF board. It is unconscionable that the 46 sub-Saharan African countries have the lowest level of representation of any region on the IMF board. South Africa should push BRICS to stand behind this call.

The BRICS should also support making the IMF more accountable to countries affected by its operations. This could be done by demanding that the IMF create an independent accountability mechanism. It is currently the only multilateral financial institution without one.

A key benefit of the BRICS is its potential to lead efforts to meaningfully reform the global economic system. It therefore behoves the citizens of BRICS countries to hold their governments accountable for fulfilling this potential.

 

Danny Bradlow, SARCHI Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations, University of Pretoria

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Published in Opinion & Analysis
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now the third richest person in the world, surpassing famed investor Warren Buffett.
 
Zuckerberg's net worth increased to $81.6 billion on Friday, Bloomberg reported, after Facebook shares went up 2.4%. That is the equivalent of around R1.11 trillion.
 
The social network is now valued at about $571 billion, or R7.8 trillion, going into the weekend.
 
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, meanwhile, has a net worth of about $81.1 billion. 
 
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates are still ahead of Zuckerberg, with net worths of $139.6 billion and $92.3 billion, respectively. This is the first time that the top three wealthiest people in the world all made their fortunes in technology. 
 
Despite Facebook's string of scandals in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election — including accusations that the social network helped undermine democracy — Zuckerberg's fortune doesn't appear to be suffering for any of it.
 
Credit: Business Insider
Published in Business

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