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IMF: Dangote Refinery, Supportive Credit Facility, Can Accelerate Nigeria’s Economic Recovery Process

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Aliko Dangote

The International Monetary Fund (IMP) has noted that the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy could be stronger, benefitting from its recent growth momentum, higher production from the new Dangote Refinery, and supportive credit policies.

In IMF’s Executive Board 2021 Article IV Consultation with Nigeria released recently, the global organisation added that Nigeria’s ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement could also yield a positive boost to the non-oil sector while oil production could rebound, supported by the more generous terms of the Petroleum Industry Act.

According to the IMF, Nigeria exited the recession in the fourth quarter of 2020 and its output rose by 4.1 per cent (y-o-y) in the third quarter, with broad-based growth except for the oil sector, which is facing security and technical challenges.

While growth was projected at 3 per cent for 2021, it stated that headline inflation rose sharply during the pandemic, reaching a peak of 18.2 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in March 2021, but has since declined to 15.6 per cent in December.

The institution attributed this to the new harvest season and opening of land borders, although it noted that the reported unemployment rates (end 2020) have yet to come down. It, however, confirmed that more recent COVID-19 monthly surveys have shown that employment was back at its pre-pandemic level.

The beautiful life of the Nigerian university lecturers that you do not know

“Despite the recovery in oil prices, the general government fiscal deficit is projected to widen in 2021 to 5.9 per cent of GDP, reflecting implicit fuel subsidies and higher security spending,” the Fund said. “Moreover, the consolidated government revenue-to-GDP ratio at 7.5 per cent remains among the lowest in the world.

“After registering a historic deficit in 2020, the current account improved in 2021, and gross FX reserves have improved, supported by the IMF’s SDR allocation and Eurobond placements in September 2021.

“Notwithstanding the authorities’ proactive approach to contain COVID-19 infection rates and fatalities and the recent growth improvement, socio-economic conditions remain a challenge. Levels of food insecurity have risen, and the poverty rate is estimated to have risen during the pandemic.”

The directors highlighted the urgency of fiscal consolidation to create policy space and reduce debt sustainability risks and called for significant domestic revenue mobilisation.

“They noted that exchange rate reforms should be accompanied by macroeconomic policies to contain inflation, structural reforms to improve transparency and governance, and clear communications regarding exchange rate policy.

“Directors considered it appropriate to maintain a supportive monetary policy in the near term, with continued vigilance against inflation and balance of payments risks. They encouraged the authorities to stand ready to adjust the monetary stance if inflationary pressures increase,” the consultation noted.

“Directors recommended strengthening the monetary operational framework over the medium term – focusing on the primacy of price stability – and scaling back the central bank’s quasi-fiscal operations. Directors welcomed the resilience of the banking sector and the planned expiration of pandemic-related support measures. They agreed that while the newly launched eNaira could help foster financial inclusion and improve the delivery of social assistance, close monitoring of associated risks will be important. They also encouraged further efforts to address deficiencies in the AML/CFT framework.

“Directors emphasised the need for bold reforms in the trade regime and agricultural sector, as well as investments, to promote diversification and job-rich growth and harness the gains from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Improvement in transparency and governance are also crucial for strengthening business confidence and public trust. Directors called for stronger efforts to improve the transparency of COVID-19 emergency spending,” the IMF added.

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Breaking:Gov. Yusuf Orders Arrest of Deposed Emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero

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The Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has ordered the immediate arrest of the former Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, for creating tension in the state.

The former Emir was smuggled into Kano city last night in an attempt to forcefully return to the palace two days after being deposed by the Governor.

In a statement issued by Mr. Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, the spokesperson to the Governor, it was confirmed that the new Emir, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, arrived at the palace in the company of the Governor, the Deputy Governor, the Speaker of the State Assembly, and other top government functionaries at about 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, 25th May 2024.

As the Chief Security Officer of the state, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has directed the Commissioner of Police to arrest the deposed Emir with immediate effect for disturbing public peace and attempting to destroy the relative peace the state enjoys.

Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa
**Director General, Media and Publicity, Government House, Kano**

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NNPC Ltd Condoles with Tijjani Babangida over Loss of Brother, Son

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Yesterday, the NNPC Ltd paid a condolence visit to Nigeria’s Ex-International, Tijjani Babangida, over the tragic loss of his son, Fadil, and brother, Ibrahim Babangida, as a result of the ghastly road accident which occurred on Saturday, May 11th, 2024, along the Zaria-Kaduna Road. It would be recalled that in the unfortunate incident, Babangida and his wife also sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving medical attention.

During the visit, GCEO NNPC Ltd, Mr. Mele Kyari, represented by the Company’s Chief Corporate Communication’s Officer, Mr. Olufemi Soneye, expressed the Company’s heartfelt commiserations to the Babangida family, praying for God’s mercy upon the souls of the departed and for a speedy recovery of the ex-footballer and his wife.

Earlier in February 2024, Tijjani Babangida was among a selected team of Nigeria’s Ex-Internationals, led by the legendary Austin Jay Jay Okocha, who participated in a novelty football match during the grand finale of the 13th NNPC Sports Fiesta held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

In his response, an elated Babangida expressed his delight to the NNPC Ltd for identifying with him in his trying period, stressing that although lives once lost can never be brought back, the Company’s kind gesture will further strengthen his resolve to overcome the predicament.

 

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ECOWAS Parliament Elects First Female Speaker

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The 6th ECOWAS Parliament has elected Ibrahim Maimunatu, a female from Togo, as the Speaker of the Parliament. She is the first female Speaker to be elected in the parliament’s history.

 

During her investiture speech, the newly elected Speaker expressed gratitude to the Parliamentarians for entrusting the fate of the parliament for the next four years to her.

“I’m grateful for the honour conferred on me. I commended the Chairman of the ECOWAS and Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed for entrusting the 6th Legislature to my country.”

This is the first time the leadership entrusted to a woman, this, has proven the vision of ECOWAS youth and women should be protected. This has further demonstrated the aim and passion of Togo President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé who always support youths and women, particularly with the introduction of the legislation to support youths and women in Togo”

The new Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Maimunatu assured that she will leave no stone unturned to meet the expectations of the member states.

She further commended the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Barau Jibrin, who has demonstrated his skills, commitment, determination, and leadership style in bringing the Parliament to its current stage.

She lamented that the reinsurgence of Terrorism and coup d’ etat in Niger Republic Burkina Faso and Mali and Climate Change were some of the issues bedevelling the sub region.

She lamented that the resurgence of terrorism and coups d’état in Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, and Mali, as well as climate change, were some of the issues plaguing the sub-region.

She stressed that the Parliament would collaborate with member states to address the challenges facing the West African region.

She maintained that the Parliament will work together towards realisation of its 5 pillars envisaged in vision 2050, including a secure, stable and peaceful region; a region endowed with strong institutions, and that complies with the rule of law and fundamental freedoms; a fully integrated and prosperous region; a region mobilized for transformation, inclusive and sustainable development.

After she delivered her inaugural speech, Ibrahima Maimunatu declared the 2nd Extraordinary Session held in Kano closed.

Earlier, Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Barau Jibrin noted that Extraordinary Session held in ancient city of Kano was to bring the Parliament to the people of Kano State.

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