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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.

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“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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Coca-cola Donates Bio Medical Equipments Worth Over 720 Thousand Dollars To AKTH

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Coca-cola top echelon

 

The Coca Cola company and its partner, Medshare, in collaboration with Federal Government, on Friday donated equipment worth N3 billion to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano under the Safe Birth Initiative (SBI).

The equipment and supplies were formally unveiled and handed over at a special event held at the Hospital in Kano.

At the handover ceremony, the Managing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Alfred Olajide, said the initiative was aimed at improving maternal outcomes and reducing child mortality incidents and to support government initiative in reducing child and maternal mortality.

“The Safe Birth Initiative is a part of the company’s wellbeing Programme, to support the efforts of the government in reducing the alarming numbers of women and newborns who die from birth-related issues,” he explained.

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Olajide restated Coca Cola’s commitment to upholding the health and well-being of women as pillars of the society.

Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Director Public Affairs and Sustainability, said that through the SBI, the company wanted to support the untiring efforts of hard-working doctors, midwives and nurses.

She said the health workers battled against great odds in public hospitals to manage life-threatening complications affecting mothers and the newborn.
”The issue of maternal mortality is very important to us. Globally, Coca-Cola has a commitment to women whom we consider pillars of the society and also pillars of our business in Africa, where they have always played a dominant role in our vast distribution and retail network,” she said.

The equipments

The equipments

She said the equipment donated included anaesthetic machines, baby Incubators, ICU beds, Ultrasound and Auto Clev, among others.

Onyemelukwe added that company, with it’s partner had trained over 20,000 women and youths across the state on series of transformative skills and knowledge programmes.

The company also presented certificates to biomedical engineers trained by the company in collaboration with Medshare International USA.

The biomedical Engineers trained by a senior Biomedical Engineer Ben Armstrong are 46 in number who will man the Biomedical Equipments.

Prof. Auwal Gajida, the Chairman Medical Advisory Council of the hospital, who pledged judicious use of the items, commended the company for the gesture.
He said that the gesture would go a long way in improving maternal outcomes and reducing child mortality incidents.

“I commend and thank the management of Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited for these very wonderful initiative aimed at strengthening our capacity to address the issue of maternal and newborn mortality in Nigeria.
“We are here today, receiving loads of medical equipment worth $720,000,” Gajida added.

Alhaji Ado Kurawa, District Head of Tarauni who represented the Emir of Kano, commended the companies for their efforts in reducing child mortality incidents.

He urged other companies and corporate organizations to emulate coca-cola

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Power Outage :In 3 Month 100 Industries Shut Down In Kano

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About one hundred industries have been shut down in Kano due to power outage in the past three month in Kano.

Kano is the industrial hub of Northern Nigeria since and before independence.

In an exclusive interview with President manufacturers association of Nigeria Kano Jigawa jurisdiction Sani Hussein said the closure of about 100 industries in three months was due to lack of power and rising cost of diesel.

On Job loss he told our correspondent that about 2000 personnel have lost their jobs due to the closure.

He said only industries that are producing essential commodities are up to the task and even some of them are operating at half capacity.

He said those that stop operating are always at loss because with the power outage and high cost of diesel even if they produce due to poverty there is no purchasing power among the teeming populace.

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Sani Hussein further urge the government to make gas cheaper and invest in its production so that the industries in the North can survive like their southern counterparts.

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Train Attack :Female Victim Led Lone Protest 

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Maimuna

 

By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna.

 

A married woman who was among the recently released victims of the Kaduna Abuja train that spent over 70 days in captivity has commenced one -man protest with the aims of calling on government toward dedicating more commitment in releasing the rest of the 50 abducted passengers that are still in captivity at Nigeria Union of Journalists (N U J )Secretariat in Kaduna.

 

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The woman (maimuna)real name withheld says her husband is still in captivity for over 89 days in kaduna forest with the terrorists.

 

She said, She was among the recently released 10 victims of the kaduna Abuja train in the state.

 

According to her, there is need for government to intensify efforts towards dialogue with the terrorists and find ways of releasing the remaining 50 passengers that are still in captivity.

 

Maimuna says there are still children and old women and other people that are still in their Captivity facing persecution, challenges which include ecological conditions, cold, rain, and other dangerous .

 

She then urged government and other stake holders to help release the rest of the abductees.

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