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Bad Economy: APC Berates The Economist, HSBC For Predicting Buhari’s Defeat |RN

Yekini-Nabena

APC National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena

Niyi  Odebode, John Alechenu, Olusola Fabiyi, Olaleye Aluko, Ted Odogwu,  Enyioha Opara, Olaleye Aluko and  Godwin Isenyo

 

The All Progressives Congress has rejected what it described as doomsday prophecies by two British-based institutions about Nigeria’s economy and the 2019 presidential election.

The APC position was contained in a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement was the APC’s response to reports by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research unit of The Economist, and a multinational banking and financial services company, HSBC.

The Economist had in a report by its EIU predicted that the Peoples Democratic Party would win the 2019 presidential election.

The HSBC also said the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari would stunt the economy of the country.

But Nabena said the reports were nothing but the usual doomsday prophesies about Nigeria, which had serially proved false, deceptive and unreliable.

The statement read in part, “The All Progressives Congress urges Nigerians to regard these ‘expert analyses and prophecies’ for what they are and dismiss them accordingly.

“We should remember similar prophesies and analyses about the political situation in Nigeria made some years back by similar Western institutions.

“It was prophesied that Nigeria would collapse in 2015, resulting in some ethnic nationalities going their separate ways.

“Here we are, nearly four years after the doomsday prophecy; the Nigerian federation rather than collapse is waxing stronger with President Buhari administration striving to unite the country and consolidate positively on the strength of our diversity.”

The party wondered why it was only negative reports that The Economist, HSBC and similar institutions had about Nigeria.

It added that the two institutions did not see all the positive impacts that the APC administration was making in relation to ongoing economic reforms, fight against corruption, infrastructure drive and counter-insurgency.

The APC listed some of the recoveries made from officials of the immediate past administration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as increases in remittances by public institutions such as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and the Federal Inland Revenue Service as evidence of the Buhari-led administration’s success in transparency.

In a veiled reference to the ex-minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the statement read, “A former minister in the immediate-past administration who is resident in the United Kingdom is alleged to control enough corruptly-obtained assets whose value if put to productive use could have employed thousands of Nigerians.

“How much of this loot has the United Kingdom, the base of these experts, returned to Nigeria? Of course, these experts are conveniently oblivious of these and many similar cases.

“Rather than consider the plight of Nigerians and campaign for the return of the stolen funds, these institutions have chosen to dissipate energy spewing doomsday prophecies on Nigeria.

“We advise these economic experts to focus on their pressing domestic issues and ponder, for example, on the important question of the role Britain will play in the world, post Brexit.”

Nigeria is doomed if Buhari is elected –SDP, ADC

The Social Democratic Party and the African Democratic Congress have lambasted the APC for defending Buhari.

The SDP National Publicity Secretary, Alfa Mohammed, said, “The APC is only denying what is obvious. The reports are genuine and we know these things already. Of course, we all know that Nigeria will be doomed if a President, who is not in charge, returns for another four years.”

In his reaction, the ADC National Chairman, Chief Okey Nwosu, said, “I wish I could rewind to four years back when the APC was condemning Nigeria’s economy based on the same foreign reports.

“Are these reports true? Yes. The poverty and unemployment index in the country is obvious. Even in agriculture and healthcare, we are not catching up. Our President still goes to same Britain periodically for medical attention.

“The APC has closed its eyes to the truth and has tried to suppress the opposition by all means. It has now extended this condemnation to the international community.

PDP hails reports

The PDP said the reports confirmed its position that Nigerians had rejected Buhari ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

The PDP said Buhari’s rejection was predicated on his alleged failure and the deception of the APC in the last three years.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday said the findings by the two organisations that President Buhari stood no chance in the general elections and that his winning portended grave danger for Nigeria was in tandem with the stance of majority of Nigerians.

He noted that Nigerians were fed up with Buhari due to his alleged incompetence and unprecedented corruption under his watch.

This, he said, had resulted in the ruining of the nation’s once robust economy, “with attendant mass job loss, ravaging hunger, starvation and disease, as well as escalated insecurity.”

“The world knows the reason the Buhari-led APC administration has resorted to harassment and vicious attacks on the opposition, assaults on the judiciary and the National Assembly, as well as unrelenting machination to compromise the Independent National Electoral Commission to rig the elections.

“This is also the reason President Buhari rejected the amendment to the Electoral Act passed by the National Assembly, which practically checks all APC’s rigging strategies ahead of the 2019 general elections,” Ologbondiyan added.

He said the fear of imminent defeat was the reason Buhari was allegedly against the amendment that checked the use of underage voters, provided for online publication of voter register in addition to instant transmission of results from the polling to collation centres, thus eliminating interferences and planned alteration of results by the APC.

“Nigerians are aware that this APC and INEC have been conniving to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling units in remote areas, as well as registration of compromised observers to validate their machinations.

“Now that Mr President is aware that his approval rating among Nigerians and across the world has hit the rocks despite the many choreographed endorsement stunts by his handlers, the PDP urges him to rein in his lackeys, bury the idea of rigging the elections and get ready to accept an inevitable defeat.”

The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, also said the APC would lose the 2019 election as predicted.

He spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone on Wednesday.

Abdulsalam said, “The British groups merely stated what some of us already know, Nigerians are tired of this government and will vote it out in 2019 if we have a free and fair election.”

APC’s change brought hunger – Kwankwaso

In a related development, a PDP presidential aspirant and a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Wednesday said he and others who supported Buhari in 2015 made the “greatest mistake.”

Addressing the Niger State PDP supporters at the party’s secretariat in Minna, the former governor said the much talked about change only brought hunger, killings and unemployment.

He said, “I will not support or remain in that type of change. That is why I am back to the PDP to change the change that has brought untold hardship on Nigerians.”

In Kano State, a former Vice-President and PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji  Atiku Abubakar,   promised a turnaround in the “current misfortune of Nigerians.”

He spoke while addressing the PDP chieftains and supporters at the residence the party’s state Chairman in Kano, Ma’sud El-Doguwa.    (Punch)

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Nigeria’s External Debt Rises By $11.77bn In 3 Years |The Republican News

         Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha

Everest Amaefule, Abuja

 

Nigeria’s external debt commitment rose by $11.77bn in the last three years, investigation has shown.

According to debt statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office, the country’s external debt rose from $10.32bn in June 30, 2015 to $22.08bn as of June 30 this year.

This means that the country’s external debt commitment has grown by 114.05 per cent in the last three years.

Although multilateral debt made up $10.88bn or 49.28 per cent of the country’s external debt profile, most of the increases in the last three years occurred in the area of commercial loans.

According to the DMO, commercial foreign loans, which stood at $1.5bn as of June 30, 2015, had risen to $8.8bn as of June 30 2018.

This means that in the last three years, the country’s exposure to commercial foreign loans has risen by $7.3bn or 486.67 per cent.

With a commitment of $8.47bn, the World Bank is responsible for 38.36 per cent of the country’s foreign portfolio.

Apart from the World Bank Group, Nigeria is also exposed to some other multilateral organisations such as the African Development Bank with a portfolio of $1.32bn and the African Development Fund with a portfolio of $843.47m.

Others are the International Fund for Agricultural Development with a portfolio of $159.44m; the Arab Bank for Economic Development with a portfolio of $5.88m; the EDF Energy (France) with a portfolio of $64.96m and the Islamic Development Bank with a portfolio of $16.92m.

On the other hand, bilateral debts make up $2.39bn or 10.87 per cent of the country’s external debt exposure.

The bilateral agencies to which the country is indebted are the Export-Import Bank of China with a portfolio of $1.91bn; the Agence Francaise de Development with a portfolio of $274.98m; the Japan International Cooperation Agency with a portfolio of $74.69m; the EXIM Bank of India with a portfolio of $4.76m; and Germany (KFW) with a portfolio of $132.24m.

Unlike the foreign debt, the domestic component of the country’s total public debt decreased marginally recently as a result of moves to rebalance the local/foreign debt ratio.

According to the DMO, a major highlight in the latest public debt data was the decrease in the Federal Government’s domestic debt, which declined from N12.59tn in December 2017 to N12.58tn in March 2017 and N12.15tn in June 2018.

The DMO said the reduction in the FGN’s Domestic Debt Stock arose from the redemption of N198bn Nigerian Treasury Bills in December 2017 and another N639bn between January and June 2018.

A total of $3bn was raised through Eurobonds to refinance maturing domestic debt as part of the implementation of the debt management strategy for the purpose of substituting high cost domestic debt with lower cost external debt to reduce debt service costs for the government, the DMO said.

It also explained that the implementation of the Public Debt Management Strategy, whose overall objective was to ensure that Nigeria’s debt is sustainable, was already yielding positive results.  (Punch)

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Nigerians Have Lost Confidence In Buhari – Bent |The Republican News

Hindi Livinus, Yola

A former lawmaker, Grace Bent, who represented the Adamawa Southern Senatorial District in the Senate between 2007 and 2011, says Nigerians have lost confidence in the ability of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the security of lives and property.

Despite claims of performance by Buhari and his security chiefs, Bent lamented that insecurity remained a major concern for Nigerians in general.

The former lawmaker spoke on Saturday on the sidelines of a mega rally organised by the Adamawa State Peoples Democratic Party to welcome ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar back into the party.

Bent said, “The insecurity in the country is of major concern to Nigerians. We have reached a point where Nigerians have become helpless as far as insecurity is concerned because they could not bank on the government to secure them.

“If you don’t hear of killings caused by farmers/herders conflict, you will hear of kidnappings and killings for ransoms and rituals and other unfathomable disasters from bandits that Nigerians have been made to live with over the last three years.

“I’m so amazed that the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari and his security chiefs could still be raising up their neck over their shoulders, bragging that they have done well for this country. A government that cannot guarantee the safety of lives and property of the people and live up to this creed does not have any bragging rights over taming insecurity.”

Bent contended that the little achievements that Buhari and the APC were laying claim to were accomplished by the former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

“Everything they are laying claim to as their accomplishment, whether it is in the agricultural sector or railways, these were foundations that were started by the PDP. The structures were put by the PDP. Tell me one major project that they have started and implemented from the foundation,” Bent said.  (Punch)

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Nigeria’s Economy Growing Steadily – Presidency |The Republican News

By Anule Emmanuel

Muhammadu-Buhari6

…releases 41-page documents on Buhari’s achievements

 

The Presidency yesterday said Nigeria’s economy has bounced back and is heading on a steady growth path. The Senior Special Assistant on Media on Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement issued a 41- page document outlining some of the major achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in the last three years. Garba the 41-page document explained that it highlights the administration’s successes in the economy, security and the fight against corruption, “which are the three priorities of the government’s change agenda.”

The complete document according to the presidential aide has been uploaded to the State House website. He said the document is arranged into several sections including, Resetting the Economy; Restoring Growth, Growing What We Eat; Making Business Work; Doing More With Less; Investing In People; New Vision for the Niger Delta; Plugging Leakages; and Justice Reforms. The presidential spokesman explained that the Federal Government will be updating the document regularly.

He said it provides details with the improving economic indices, rising investment in agriculture and infrastructure, successes in the fight against terrorism, and on-going efforts to improve security in the North Central.

“In addition, it lists the several measures taken to promote transparency and accountability in government finances,” the statement read in part. According to the highlights of the statement, Nigeria’s economy is back on the path of growth under Buhari, after the recession of 2016-17 (1.95 percent growth in Q1 2018), Garba noted. (New Telegraph)

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Nigeria’s Population Hits 198m, Says NPC Boss |The Republican News

Nigerian-market

Open Market in Nigeria

NAN

The National Population Commission (NPC) has put Nigeria’s current population at 198 million people with urban population growing at an average annual growth rate of about 6.5 percent.

Chairman of NPC, Mr Eze Duruiheoma, stated this in New York while delivering Nigeria’s statement on Sustainable Cities, Human Mobility and International Migration at the 51st Session of Commission on Population and Development.

Duruiheoma said: “Nigeria remains the most populous in Africa, the seventh globally with an estimated population of over 198 million.

“The recent World Population Prospects predicts that by 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world.

“Over the last 50 years, Nigeria’s urban population has grown at an average annual growth rate of more than 6.5 percent without a commensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure.

”It grew substantially from 17.3 in 1967 to 49.4 percent in 2017. In addition, the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects report, predicts that by 2050, most of the population – 70 percent – will be residing in cities.

”The 2010 human mobility Survey report revealed that 23 percent of the sampled population were of more females than males”.

He said the category of the population mostly engaged in urbanisation and migration were young people of teenage and adolescents’ girls and boys, women of childbearing age and the working age population.

He said existing urbanisation trend coupled with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in cities, pose critical challenges to securing the sustainability of our cities, including efforts to make them smart and responsive to the human influx.

”The Displacement Tracking Matrix round XXI of January 2018 identified estimated 1.7 million IDPs in over 321,580 households across six states of North-East Nigeria with 40 percent residing in camp-like settings in urban areas plus 1.4 million returnees.

“The number of IDPs represented 4.5 percent increase compared to the 1,702,680 identified in Round XX (Dec. 2017).”

Duruiheoma said like in other developing countries, Nigerian cities hosted widespread poverty, under-employment and unemployment at an average of 18.4 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics 2017 report.

The NPC boss bemoaned the insecurity and inadequate and inequitable health care services for adolescents and women of childbearing age.

Nigeria continues to commit to solving the challenges of insurgents in the Northeast, which has induced a high number of internally displaced persons.

“We acknowledge that women, children and particularly the girl child are often the most vulnerable in these displacements, and in this regard, we remain focused on the well-being of these vulnerable parts of our population.
”We are committed to providing adequate health care services, reducing maternal mortality, rebuilding safe schools and empowering our women, ensuring no one is left behind in terms of achieving sustainable development.”

Duruiheoma said these challenges adversely impacted on the quality of life and standards of living of the urban populace.

According to him, Nigeria stays committed to the twin goals of the Habitat Agenda – adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanising world. (NAN)

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Nigerians Misunderstood Bill Gates On Buhari’s Economic Policies – FG |RN

Bill-Gates-and-Buhari

President Buhari with Bill Gates

Okwe Obi, Abuja

Following comments made by Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Recovery Growth plan (ERGP) does not address the needs of Nigerians, the Federal Government, in a swift reaction, said Nigerians misunderstood him. 

The government explained that Mr Gates’ comments depicted that human capital development should have been explicitly indicated as part of the execution priorities of the ERGP, and it is not the same as saying that the ERGP does not address human capital development or that Mr Gates faulted Nigeria’s economic plans as some newspapers have put it.

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on media to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpandem James, the Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, stressed that the ERGP rests on the three pillars of restoring growth, investing in the Nigerian people and building a competitive economy.

Explaining further, Udoma said “the pillar of ‘investing in the Nigerian people’ is nothing other than human capital development consisting as it does of education, health and social investments, and a whole chapter of the ERGP is devoted to this important pillar.

“The ERGP sets out 60 strategies cutting across all sectors of the economy.  Indeed, over one-quarter of them (strategies 31 to 47) fall into the category of Investing in the Nigerian people.

“The execution priorities of the ERGP are restoring macroeconomic balance, achieving agriculture and food security, ensuring energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products, improving transportation infrastructure and driving industrialization through SMEs.

“These interventions were chosen because of their potential for fast-tracking economic recovery and expected contribution of the private sector to accelerating growth, which is one of the key principles of the ERGP. In other words, the execution priorities are catalysts for implementing all the strategies in the ERGP.

“These priority areas have cross-cutting potentials which are all focused towards empowering the people through creating jobs and improving their general conditions.

“In other words, all the areas indicated are underpinned by the emphasis on investing in the people. Every single one of the execution priorities has the people at the centre,” the Minister explained

Not done, the Federal Government stated that there has been a significant increase in capital allocations in human capital related sectors in the last three years in spite of dwindling revenues.

“For instance, capital allocations to education, including Universal Basic Education (UBEC), in the 2015 Budget was N91.903 billion, but the allocation was increased to N112.543 billion in 2016; N152 billion in 2017 and N170.79 billion is proposed for 2018 budget.

“in the health sector, while N22.676 billion was provided in the 2015 budget for Capital expenditure, N28.65 billion was provided in the 2016 budget; N55.61 billion in 2017; and N71.11 billion in the 2018 budget proposal.”    (The Sun)

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SHOCKING: Mother Of Four-year-old Girl Sells For Her N100 |The Republican News

By Uchenna Inya ABAKALIKI

A four-year-old girl in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state Uloma Igwe has been sold to a widow, Nwali Josephine for N100.

The girl’s mother, Veronica Igwe owed Nwali Josephine N100 during a transaction at Abakaliki Rice Mill.

The woman insisted that she must be paid the money and Veronica Igwe decided to use one of her children in exchange for the money pending when she will pay back.

Nwali then took Uloma to her house at CAS campus of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki where she has been since nine months.

However, the bubble burst when the girl became seriously sick with a swollen stomach.

A resident of the area contacted the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Ministry who stormed Nwali’s house and rescued the girl.

The ministry is currently making preparations to take Uloma to a hospital for medical treatment.

Nwali was summoned by the Ministry and handed over to the police.

Mrs Elom Cecilia in charge of child maltreatment at the Ministry confirmed the incident.

“It is child abuse and exploitation because the poor girl did not transact any business with her. This is a serious child abuse

“We received a call that a woman called Nwali Josephine was maltreating children. We hastened up immediately and went to the scene and saw the children. One of the children is four years. Her biological mother, Veronica Igwe told us that she doesn’t even know the woman should sell her child.

“She told us that she met the woman at Rice mill Abakaliki and bought something on credit from the woman. She said she could not pay the
woman N100 that was remaining and suggested to the woman to take her child if she cannot endure for her to pay her the money and the woman accepted to take the child.

“We invited the Mrs Veronica to our office and she honoured our invitation. After interviewing her, we handed her over to the police for further investigation. The child has not been united to his parents because he is sick. We are taking her to the hospital for because her condition is very bad.

On his part, Director of Child Welfare and Protection in the Ministry, Godwin Igwe described it as child trafficking.

The child was placed in debt bondage and it is one of the criteria for human trafficking. The woman who took this girl for N100 debt is a
widow, she gave birth to a baby last Saturday and she has three children already before the present baby”, he said.   (New Telegraph)

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