President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has told the Gabonese military that military coups and government are out of vogue and urged it to respect the country’s constitutional provisions.
 
President Buhari, who was once a military head of state between 1 January 1984 and 25 August 1985, said:
 
“The military officers in Gabon should understand that the era of military coups and governments in Africa and indeed worldwide, is long gone.
 
“Democracy is supreme and the constitutional stipulations on the peaceful change of administration must be respected. That is the only way we can ensure peace and stability not only within the country but also in the region.”
 
President Buhari expressed his view in the aftermath of the aborted coup in Gabon on Monday.
 
Some renegade soldiers, led by a Lieutenant Ondo Obiang Kelly seized the state-owned radio station, sacked the government of President Ali Bongo and announced the formation of a National Restoration Council.
 
Obiang Kelly was the deputy commander of the Republican Guard and head of a previously unknown group, the Patriotic Youth Movement of the Gabonese Defence and Security Forces. He said he was reading a communique by the military and urged the people to join his rebellion.
 
But hours after, the Gabonese government restored order, killed two of the plotters and arrested the chief plotter.
 
President Buhari, who is also the ECOWAS Chairman, urged military officers with political ambitions to resign or face their constitutional role.
 
He also enjoined the people of Gabon to remain on the side of peace, security, stability and democracy in their country.
 
 
Source: PmNews
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday lamented that despite successes recorded by the Economic Community of West African State, ECOWAS, the body is still faced difficulties in the economic, governance, peace, security and humanitarian fields.
 
Buhari, who is the current Chairman of ECOWAS spoke while declaring open the 54th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja, Nigeria.
 
According to him, the regional organisation was still confronted by several challenges that must be tackled, observing that the lofty ideals of ECOWAS, including the promotion of cooperation and integration, leading to the establishment of an Economic and Monetary Union in West Africa as well as the creation of a borderless peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region, would be unattainable without peace and security.
 
He said this was why he decided to make the issue of peace and security the major focus of his chairmanship.
 
Buhari noted that his efforts had started yielding dividends as the organisation had been able to douse tension and restore confidence in some potentially disruptive situations, particularly in Guinea Bissau, Togo and Mali.
On the forthcoming national elections in Nigeria and Senegal in 2019, the Nigerian leader said he had already pledged to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
 
“In the same vein, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and other political stakeholders, have expressed their unwavering commitment to the conduct of peaceful elections devoid of violence, rancour and acrimony, in the higher interest of the nation,’’ he added.
 
But he noted with concern that terrorism and violent extremism had continued to threaten peace and security in the sub-region.
 
The president said: “This threat calls for collective action on our part, if we are to effectively and definitively eliminate it.
“As we work on new strategies to combat and eradicate this menace, we require the support of our partners to ensure the achievement of our objectives.’’
 
Buhari, however, commended leaders of ECOWAS for their efforts in promoting peace, stability and development in the sub-region.
 
The president particularly paid special tribute to President Nana Akuffo-Addo of Ghana, President Alpha Conde of Republic of Guinea and ECOWAS facilitators in the resolution of the Togolese political crisis, for their tireless endeavours towards a peaceful settlement.
 
“I’m also glad for the significant progress made through our collective efforts towards the resolution of the political and institutional crisis in Guinea Bissau.
 
“Within the framework of our regional solidarity, we have assisted the governments of Togo and Mali in tackling political and security problems while also addressing food challenges in parts of the sub-region.
 
“We have also extended electoral support and assistance to several countries and acted pro-actively to neutralise some potential conflicts through preventive diplomacy before they exploded. In this connection, we welcome the successful elections held in Sierra Leone and Mali in 2018,’’ he said.
 
The Nigerian leader further stated that the organisation’s determination to create a safe and stable sub-region must be predicated on a strong and capable ECOWAS, adding that no institution can function effectively without adequate funding.
 
“This would require that all hands are on deck and that all Member States ensure the payment of the Statutory Community Levy as and as when due.
“By so doing, we will empower and enable the Commission to implement the Integration Agenda, as we march towards the year 2020, and actualise our vision of building an ECOWAS of Peoples and not of States,’’ he said.
 
He also stressed the need for member states to join forces to eliminate those factors that were militating against a secure, conducive and prosperous environment for the benefit of the people in the sub-region.
 
The president noted that such actions would enable them (Member States) address the continuing fragility of the sub-region’s economies linked closely to commodity prices, nascent democracies, negative effects of climate change on farming systems and the globalisation of crime and terrorism.
 
“These realities remind us of the need for even stronger intra-ECOWAS solidarity in order to address emerging challenges.
 
“This is indeed the very sense of our Union. To that end, important decisions are taken in the course of our meetings, with the goal of impacting transforming positively on the lives of our citizens,’’ he said.
 
Buhari disclosed that during today’s Ordinary Session, the regional leaders would be expected to take several decisions on a number of issues.
 
He said: “As is our custom, our Session would consider these matters from the reports on today’s agenda as follows: the 2018 Annual Report of ECOWAS ; the Report of the 81st Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers and the Report of the 41st Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council.’’
 
Other matters to be deliberated upon, he said, included the Reports on the Political and Security Situation of the Region, and the Report on the Process for the Establishment of the ECOWAS Single Currency.
 
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn-Chambas, noted that in the past months the sub-region had been witnessing the successful conduct of elections, contributing to the progress the sub-region was making in the consolidation of democracy.
 
Ibn-Chambas, who spoke in both English and French languages, however, stressed the need for more efforts to be made to address contentious issues related to conduct of elections to prevent and mitigate election-related violence, human rights abuses and promote respect for the rule of law.
 
“Upcoming elections in the sub region will present opportunities for further consolidating democracy.
 
“UNOWAS is coordinating efforts with the ECOWAS Commission to ensure appropriate support to these countries in their efforts to organise free, credible and peaceful elections,’’ he said.
 
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) observed that Morocco is not on the agenda of the 54th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS of Heads of State and Government.
 
Morocco had made its request to be a member of ECOWAS while Tunisia requested to be an observer country.
NAN also reports that former Nigerian military Head of State, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, was among the dignitaries attending the summit.
 
 
Source: PmNews
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday gave an overview of the implementation of the N9.12 trillion 2018 budget, saying 67 per cent performance had so far been recorded by Ministries, Departments of Agencies (MDAs) of government.
 
The President revealed this when he presented the 2019 budget estimates at a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja.
 
According to him, out of the total appropriation of N9.12 trillion, N4.59 trillion had been spent by Sept. 30, 2018, against the prorated expenditure target of N6.84 trillion.
 
He said: “This represents 67 per cent performance. Debt service and the implementation of non-debt recurrent expenditure, notably payment of workers’ salaries and pensions are on track.
 
“Despite the delay in the passage of the 2018 Budget on 20th June 2018, the sum of N820.57 billion had been released for capital projects as at 14th December, 2018. We have carried over capital projects that were not likely to be fully funded by year-end 2018 to the 2019 budget.’’
 
The President said the 2018 budget was based on a benchmark oil price of 51dollars, oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N305 to the dollar.
 
He added that based on these assumptions, the federal government’s aggregate revenue of N7.17 trillion was projected to contribute to the 2019 budget of N9.12 trillion while the projected deficit of N1.95 trillion (or 1.73 percent of GDP) was to be financed mainly by borrowing.
 
“In 2018, average oil production up to end of the third quarter was 1.95 mbpd, as against the estimated 2.3 mbpd for the entire year. However, average market price of Bonny Light crude oil was higher (an average of $74 per barrel as at October) than the benchmark price of $51.
 
“As at the end of the third quarter, federal government’s actual aggregate revenue was N2.84 trillion, which is 40 percent higher than 2017 revenue.
 
“The overall revenue performance is only 53 percent of the target in the 2018 budget largely because some one-off items are yet to be actualized. We have now rolled this revenue item over to 2019,” he said.
 
While urging the lawmakers to expedite action for the passage of the 2019 budget, the President stressed the need for the legislature to partner with the executive arm of government for the benefit of Nigerians.
 
 
Source: Business Insider

Clashes in Nigeria between farmers and semi-nomadic herders have killed more than 3,600 people since 2016, most of them this year, Amnesty International said, in a report documenting an upsurge in violence that could sway the results of February 2019 elections.

Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term in those elections, but his campaign has taken a hit from accusations he has soft-pedaled justice for one of the sides responsible for the clashes, the herders, many of whom come from the same Fulani ethnic group as the leader.

The presidency has repeatedly denied those allegations.

The violence is often painted as ethno-religious: chiefly Muslim Fulani herders clashing with mainly Christian farmers. But many experts and politicians say climate change and expanding agriculture are creating competition for land that is pushing the farmers and herders into conflict, regardless of faith or ethnicity.

"The Nigerian authorities' failure to investigate communal clashes and bring perpetrators to justice has fuelled a bloody escalation in the conflict between farmers and herders across the country, resulting in at least 3,641 deaths in the past three years and the displacement of thousands more," Amnesty said in a statement.

Nigeria's military and police did not respond to request for comment.

Of the 310 attacks recorded between January 2016 and October 2018, 57 percent were in 2018, the rights group said.

After a quieter wet season in the summer, experts now fear clashes could surge again as the dry season begins, forcing herders to move south towards greener land and water supplies, often across farmland. Any increase in violence would coincide with the February 2019 vote.

"These attacks were well planned and coordinated, with the use of weapons like machine guns and AK-47 rifles," said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty's Nigeria director.

"Yet, little has been done by the authorities in terms of prevention, arrests and prosecutions, even when information about the suspected perpetrators was available," she said.

The farmer-herder conflict killed six times more people than the war with the Boko Haram insurgency in the first half of 2018, the International Crisis Group said in July.

"In some places, because of the failures of the security forces, competition over resources is used as a pretext to kill and maim along ethnic or religious lines," Ojigho said.

"The conflict has also been dangerously politicized by some state government officials who have inflamed tensions by embarking on a blame game along political party lines," said Osai Ojigho.

 

Credit: Reuters

Nigeria’s main opposition People’s Democratic Party said the bank accounts of its vice presidential candidate had been frozen in an act of intimidation by the government ahead of February general elections.

The accounts of Peter Obi, his wife, family members and their businesses had been blocked “by agencies” of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the PDP said in a statement late Saturday.

“Since his nomination, Peter Obi, apart from facing a series of failed attempts to destroy his reputation, has also continued to receive all manner of threats and blackmail, including threats to his life and those of his wife and children,” the party said.

A spokesman for Buhari, Femi Adesina, referred Bloomberg’s queries to the nation’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Its spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.

Buhari came to power in 2015 vowing to clamp down on endemic corrruption. Critics have accused him of using his anti-graft campaign as a pretext to quash political opponents. The main challenger to the 75-year-old former general’s path to a second term is PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, 72, who was vice president from 1999 to 2007. Obi, a former governor of the southeastern state of Anambra, was chosen as Abubakar’s running mate in October.

The PDP said in its statement that Buhari’s All Progressives Congress was using “smear campaigns” and “direct attacks” on Abubakar and Obi ahead of the vote, scheduled for Feb. 16.

 

- Bloomberg

Two of the largest banking and financial services institutions in the world, HSBC and UBS, have recently closed their local representative offices in Nigeria.

There’s also trouble brewing elsewhere in Nigeria’s business world that’s prompted fears about the climate for foreign direct investment in the country. Foreign direct investment is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.

For instance, Nigeria’s government in September accused HSBC of money laundering after an analyst working for the lender said a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari may stall economic recovery in Africa’s biggest oil producer.

There are also tensions between Nigeria’s central bank and the South African telecom company MTN. In 2015, MTN was fined about $5bn for failing to cut off unregistered SIM cards. This was later reduced to $1.7 billion after a long legal dispute and the intervention of South Africa’s then President Jacob Zuma.

Recently, the central bank has ordered MTN to repatriate $8 billion it said has been taken out of the country illegally.

Analysts are concerned that the Nigerian government’s attitude towards MTN and the two banks may erode the confidence of foreign direct investors. Their fears seem to be well founded: foreign direct investment in Nigeria fell to $1 billion in the first half of 2018, from $1.48 billion in the first half of 2017.

Foreign direct investment is crucial for any economy. So how can Nigeria attract and keep the right kind of investment from global companies? Compromise will be key, both for the government and foreign firms.

Why foreign direct investment?

Foreign direct investment is often preferred to exporting. That’s because while exports merely involve moving goods from one country to another, foreign direct investment actually involves an investor establishing foreign business operations or acquiring foreign business assets.

This often includes establishing ownership or controlling interest in a foreign country (for instance an American business establishing a physical business presence in Nigeria). Many emerging economies like China, Brazil, Vietnam and India have built their growth on FDI flows.

The trick is to attract “quality foreign direct investment” that links foreign investors into the local host country economy. The International Growth Centre, a British-funded research centre that aims to promote sustainable growth in developing countries, characterises “quality” here as contributing to:

  • decent and value-adding jobs and enhancing the skill base of host economies;

  • transfer of technology, knowledge and know-how;

  • boosting competitiveness of domestic firms and enabling their access to markets.

What Nigeria can do

There are a few things Nigeria can do to boost foreign direct investment. For starters, it must play fair. Foreign and domestic businesses should be treated equally. They should be open, transparent and dependable conditions for all kinds of firms.

Another area that needs attention is infrastructure. Businesses need easy access to ports, an adequate and reliable supply of energy and relative certainty that the country will be good to invest in. Good institutions also promote FDI.

The government should encourage partnerships between foreign and local businesses. Foreign firms might be familiar with global good business practices, but local firms will be more familiar with the indigenous context. This synergy could be very beneficial.

It’s also critical that Nigeria gets its regional governments involved: there are many regions in Nigeria, and these regions all have unique opportunities and challenges. Our latest research shows that when the central government of Nigeria ran out of ideas and foreigners wanted to exit the agricultural sector, the regional government of Kwara state stepped in to create a positive business climate based on the cooperation of local banks, community members, and the foreigners themselves culminating in the Shonga farms public-private venture.

This has kept the firm in Nigeria. It’s also brought private investors to the table, bolstering the firm and the local economy.

Nigeria should also tap into its huge diaspora. There are many Nigerians living outside the country who understand its challenges. They should be encouraged to help, or asked to work with their networks to invest in the country.

What foreign firms can do

Foreign firms also have a role to play. They can enhance their success in Nigeria (and elsewhere on the African continent) in several ways.

First, they need a long term strategic plan. This means thinking carefully about what sectors or activities to target. Many foreign firms come to developing countries when things are rosy but leave when conditions change. They don’t properly consider that solving such problems will gain them a competitive advantage in the long run.

If they stay and follow a learning curve, foreign firms will better understand the local business context. They’ll also gain credibility among ordinary people and possibly get more customers and support that way.

In the same vein, foreign businesses should create local solutions that meet ordinary people’s needs. The banks leaving Nigeria have been accused of only catering to the needs of wealthy Nigerians, who are perceived as corrupt. A more diverse portfolio that catered to the needs of ordinary Nigerians would have nullified this claim.

Foreign firms must also work closely with credible and strategic local firms, and be willing to enter into dialogue with the Nigerian government where necessary. This is crucial especially as administrations may change or government policy may evolve. Dialogue could ensure that all parties are on the same page.

Act local, think global

It’s unfortunate that these banking institutions have decided to leave Nigeria. Hopefully both the Nigerian government and other foreign investors can learn from this.

The main takeaway for both foreign investors and governments involved in foreign direct investment is that it would be prudent for all parties to act locally but think globally.The Conversation

 

Tolu Olarewaju, Lecturer in Economics, Staffordshire University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

In its determination to ensure all the refineries belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) begin to perform at full capacity, the Federal Government, Wednesday, said that it would collaborate with Saudi Arabia.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu stated this in Abuja after playing host to the Saudi Minister for Oil and Energy, Khalid Al Falih.

According to Kachikwu, Nigeria was currently tapping from the vast experience of Saudi Arabia, adding that both countries would take strong business decisions on the matter in due course.

The minister, who was making comments on some of the discussions which the Federal Government had with the delegation from Saudi Arabia with respect to refineries at a press conference he addressed, said they looked at what the experience had been for the two countries.

He said: “As you know, the refineries have been very close to my heart. So, I did bring up the issues of experiences that we’ve had so far and he shared his own experiences in terms of successes that they’ve had.

“We’ve got an understanding to come look deeper into how they’ve done their own trajectory to get to where they are today and what experiences we can pick from there. No formal things agreed yet, but there is the willingness to collaborate and learn from one another. These are usually very strong business decisions and at the appropriate time, we will nosedive into the details of that.”

Kachikwu also stated that the meeting with the Saudi delegation was with respect to the current outlook in the global crude oil market, adding that Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, as members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, need to look at the prevalent dynamics in the crude market.

“OPEC is a very strong voice in the oil sector, not just in terms of satisfying the needs of members but also in stabilising the market fundamentals for the rest of the world. Quite frankly, working together is some of the fundamentals to what has been the resurgent OPEC and what we have done with pricing."

Also speaking at the press conference, Al Falih said his country was willing to share experiences with Nigeria on how to help Nigeria revamp its refineries.

Al Falih said: “Saudi Aramco has become successful to a large degree by building a number of large world scale refineries through joint ventures and finding very attractive financing schemes with foreign direct investments.

“There is technical, project management and financing success and Saudi Arabia is becoming a major exporter of value added products integrated with petrochemicals, which improves the profitability of manufacturing companies.”

The Saudi minister further revealed that he had invited Kachukwu to come and see how Saudi Arabian oil giant operates, adding that it would help to improve the operations of Nigerian refineries.

Vice President of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osinbajo said the Buhari administration will expand the N-Power scheme to accommodate one million beneficiaries in the next phase.

This followed the successes recorded so far and the growing need for government’s direct intervention in job creation.

The Vice President spoke in response to a variety of questions from Nigerians across different professions and persuasions, at a town hall meeting in Abuja on Monday.

He said the N-Power programme would become the largest post-tertiary job scheme in Africa.

“The idea of N-Power is supposed to be government’s own programme of direct employment and training. At the moment, we have taken up to 500,000 and in the next phase we are looking at another 200,000 and closely followed by another 300,000.

“In all, we will be employing up to a million, and that will be the largest post-tertiary job programme in the entire Africa. The reason why we have done this is because of the employment problems that we have. We may not be able to engage everybody but at least government must give some direct provision of jobs.”

Prof. Osinbajo explained further that though government could not pay more than the N30,000 currently paid to beneficiaries and also fix all the unemployment issues, it is working on creating the enabling environment to ensure that beneficiaries as well as other unemployed Nigerians become useful to themselves.

“It is infrastructure that will create the opportunities to provide more jobs, especially through manufacturing and Industry.

“So, we are doing roads and rail, providing power; that is the way we can develop industry. We are energizing our markets at the moment, putting solar power in the markets. We have designated 300 markets, we have done Ariaria in the South East, Sabon Gari in Kano, Sura in Lagos, Isikan in Ondo, Gbagi in Oyo and we are expanding so that more people can work.”

On the need to engage more women in productive activities, Prof. Osinbajo said: “one of the ways the Buhari administration is engaging more women is through our GEEP loans.”

“56% of our GEEP loans go to the women. So there is a lot of preferential advantage that we give to women and this is because women are effective managers of resources; they pay back these loans when they are given.”

Speaking on the misconceptions about the borrowing arrangements of the Buhari administration, the Vice President said, the country, under President Buhari, was not in a terribly bad debt situation as insinuated in some quarters.

According to him, very frequently you find people creating fear about the issue of debt and saying that this government has borrowed more than previous governments.

“I want to give you the facts and figures on the debt issue. The dollar denominated debts of Nigeria – that is the debts of the Federal Government, the States and Local governments.

“In 2010, Nigeria’s debt was $35 billion; 2011, it was $41billion; in 2012, it was $48 billion, in 2013, it became $64 billion; 2014, it rose to $67 billion; 2015, it fell to $63 billion; 2016, $57 billion; 2017, $70 billion; 2018, it is $73 billion. So, the difference between 2015 and now is $10 billion.

“One of the things that I always want you to bear in mind is that when oil prices are at their highest, between 2010 and 2014 that was when we had the sharpest rise in debts.”

Continuing on the debt issue, Prof. Osinbajo said “the other thing that I want us to bear in mind is what is called debt to GDP. Our debt to GDP is one of the lowest among the countries that are frequently compared to us. Our debt to GDP is 20%. When you compare it to other countries, you will see that Ghana is about 68% whereas Ethiopia’s is 48%. In terms of the size of our economy and debt, we are doing okay”

He, however, agreed that “Nigeria may have an issue with debt to revenue”, noting that “we are not collecting enough revenue compared to what we want to spend.”

“Are we collecting enough taxes? If you look at the FIRS figures, it says 914 Nigerians pay the self-assessed tax of more than N10 million. Of the 914, 912 live in Lagos and the other 2 live in Ogun state, no other Nigerian outside of Lagos and Ogun pay the self-assessed tax of more than N10 million. So, we are simply not collecting enough revenue,” he added.

The Vice President said the Federal Government in collaboration with the States was working on harmonizing tax collections in order to address issues relating to multiple collection of taxes.

“This is a problem that we are dealing with all across Nigeria. It is one of the issues we are dealing with under the ease of doing business. We are addressing the sub-national. How we can harmonize taxes. The second phase of our ease of doing business is focused on the collection of multiple taxes; there is no reason why that should continue.”

On the ASUU strike, the Vice President said that government is engaging the leadership of the union, noting that “the next meeting is on Thursday, November 15, 2018”.

He, however, explained that “we are dealing with a population of about 200 million people who depend on a budget of about N8.6 trillion and of that amount, 70% of it goes to salaries and overheads, and it goes to less than 2 million people. It is impossible to answer to all of the monetary needs of people by the size of the federal budget”.

On healthcare financing, Prof. Osinbajo said the Buhari administration has done much even as it has earned 60 per cent less than the previous administrations.

“The first thing to bear in mind is that health care financing has suffered over the years even when we were earning the most money, we were underfunding healthcare.

“In 2015 when we came in, the healthcare budget was N22.7 billion and as of today we moved that to N86.5 billion and we are earning 60% less. Education was N23 billion in 2015, now it is N102 billion. The issue really is one of government commitment. For the first time, in the 2018 budget, we are setting aside 1% of our consolidated revenue to the health sector.”

Earlier, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Industry, Trade and investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah; Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; and Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Audu Ogbeh, responded separately to issues relating to their various ministries.

The town hall meeting was organized by Act Now, a non-political group that works in promoting transparency and good governance as well as youth participation in governance.

 

Source: PmNews

HSBC and UBS have closed their offices in Nigeria, the country’s central bank said in a report on Friday as it revealed foreign investment had fallen sharply from a year ago.

The bank said foreign direct investment in Nigeria fell to 379.84 billion naira ($1.2 billion) in the first half of the year from 532.63 billion naira ($1.7 billion) a year earlier.

It did not given reasons for the bank closures.

HSBC was not available to comment and UBS declined to comment.

The central bank said the outlook for the Nigerian economy in the second half was “optimistic” given higher oil prices and production but rising foreign debt and uncertainty surrounding the 2019 presidential election was a drawback.

Investor confidence in the West African country has been shaken since the central bank in August ordered MTN to bring back $8.1 billion to the country, part of profits which the South African telecoms firm sent abroad.

An HSBC research note dated July 18 said a second Buhari term “raises the risk of limited economic progress and further fiscal deterioration, prolonging the stagnation of his first term, particularly if there is no move towards completing reform of the exchange rate system or fiscal adjustments that diversify government revenues away from oil.”

The Nigerian Presidency has reacted furiously after British multinational banks report. In a statement, the Presidency accused the bank of thriving on "grand corruption" and helping past and present Nigerian leaders launder billions of naira.

LOAN LOSSES

The central bank also said three lenders failed to meet its minimum liquidity ratio of 30 percent, without naming them.

It added that non-performing loans (NPLs) have dropped to 12.4 percent as at June 2018 from 15 percent a year ago, still a long way above its 5 percent threshold.

“To further consolidate on the improvement, the Central Bank of Nigeria directed banks to intensify efforts at debt recovery, realisation of collateral for lost facilities and strengthening their risk management processes,” it said in the report.

In September, the regulator withdrew the license of Skye Bank for failing to recapitalise. It then transferred Skye’s assets to a “bridge bank” Polaris wholly-owned by the state-backed asset management company AMCON.

Nigerian banks have been trying to raise fresh capital after huge loan losses worsened by an economy that has just emerged from a recession. Diamond Bank last week denied it was in talks with investors to raise cash but said it was managing its capital, which borders on the regulatory minimum, to grow.

Another lender Unity Bank has been seeking to raise fresh funds to recapitalise.

 

Credit - Reuters

President of Ghana‎, Nana Akufo-Addo‎ has stressed that Nigeria needs to get it’s policy formulation and implementation right, by necessitating value addition, particularly in the oil sector.
 
Akufo-Addo, who was guest speaker at the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN 46th annual general meeting and lecture in Lagos, with the theme; “Mainstreaming Policies To Catalyze Industrial Renaissance”, was represented by Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior minister of Ghana, noted that Nigeria as a big brother to other African countries, need to lead in the area of policies that would make Africa economically sufficient and self-sustaining.
 
‎”Our lazy approach of always rushing to the international market to sell our resources in their raw state which fetch us peanuts must stop. It is far better to leave our resources untapped till our future generations rise up to the challenge and conscientiously develop the best policy-mix that prioritises industrialization as the most convenient cause to drive the much needed effects in our socio-economic development”.
 
‎”Why should Nigeria find it difficult to maximize the fruit of their oil industry for the benefit of her people? Our policies must of necessity move in the direction of value addition – i.e. processing of our raw materials.‎ It is all a function of how defective we have developed the appropriate policy framework to support institutionalization of mechanisms that effectively trigger a more holistic and functional industrialization policy and drive”.
 
Akufo-Addo also added that beyond policies, Africa needs to have the right economic pilots and advisory council and end an era where weak‎ boards are appointed to run strategic economic positions.
 
‎”One other challenge we face in our industrial thinking is our inability to forge and institute a strong and relevant corporate governance culture, systems and processes to drive the purpose, strategy and the vision of our business models. This often lead to the creation of weak, irrelevant boards of governors who are active and rubber stamping of what has been so determined rather than giving a strong and effective responses to counter decisions that are not in the interest of the organizational development”.
 
“Having effective policy alone is not enough. We should have men and women of substance who are resolute and driven by results and understand the policy framework guiding the business environment to play their effective advisory roles for our investment. Let us therefore begin to be circumspect with those we put at the helm of affairs as board members to advise us on the productive application of our investment”.
 
The Ghanaian ‎President did not fail to address the trade issues affecting Africa in general, while mentioning models that could propel the African continent to economic viability.
 
‎”Africa has a population of about 1.3 billion people. Yet our combined GDP is about $2.2 trillion. When we compare to USA with a population of about 328 million people with a GDP of about $18.3 trillion. Same with Europe with a population of about 743 million and a GDP of about $17.3 trillion. By population, Africa is about 4 times that of the USA. Yet, USA’s GDP is about 8times that of Africa. Yet, we are the most endowed continent on earth.
 
“This means that Africa must begin to trade among ourselves concentrating on areas of comparative advantage. We must begin to break the trade barriers among ourselves and form alliances with the various countries Associations of Industries and Chambers of Commerce of the various countries. Through these associations, we may get to know the needs of the various countries and where they are opportunities of trade”.
 
On the ‎Africa Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Akufo-Addo maintained that, the agreement is “critical to our economic development especially its ability to boost private sector multinational businesses within the framework of Public-Private Partnerships in a free movement of goods, services and people”. But, “it is important that we do not rush into taking decisions that will not have the buy-in from all critical stakeholders who drive business growth in Africa”.
 
‎”I welcome the organizers of the AfCFTA to adopt the bold strategy to undertake a wider consultation with all stakeholders in the massive sensitization and road show programme across Africa, and I am happy that this activity is done in consultation with and within the framework of the African Union Commission of Trade and Industry”, he maintained.
 
“Once we get both inter- and intra-Africa trade, investment and industrialization policy mix on the right tangent, we stand the chance of leading the new frontier to affect global industrial decisions for the interest of our people”.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Page 1 of 4

  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« January 2019 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31