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South Africa Goes Into Recession, Against Predictions Of Growth |The Republican News

           South African president Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa’s economy tipped into recession as it shrunk 0.7 percent in the second quarter, official data showed Tuesday, dealing a blow to President Cyril Ramaphosa who came to office in February.

The downturn, which was the second consecutive quarter of negative growth, was driven by contractions in agriculture, transport, trade and manufacturing industries.

StatsSA said agriculture was hit by a fall in field crops, drought in the Western Cape and severe hailstorms in Mpumalanga province that damaged production.

After a revised 2.6 percent contraction in the first quarter, the latest data piled pressure on Ramaphosa who has promised a “new dawn” after his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s scandal-tainted nine-year reign.

Micheal Power, an asset manager at Investec, said domestic and international events had combined to stall economic growth.

“We are getting no help from the outside with the strengthening dollar, the escalating trade war and issues that are now facing emerging markets,” he told AFP.

“In some respects, this can be seen as a good thing if it means that we are now not drinking to avoid the hangover.”

The recession is the first in South Africa since the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, when South Africa experienced three consecutive quarters of economic decline.

Before Tuesday’s data, Bloomberg said only one of 12 economists surveyed had predicted a contraction.

Independent analyst Daniel Silke said on Twitter that the figures reflected an “inability to create confidence-building measures to enhance work opportunities and uplift investor sentiment.”

Ramaphosa, who faces elections in 2019, has been on an investment drive to attract foreign investment and tackle unemployment of about 28 percent.

(AFP)

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Nigeria Records 1.9% GDP Growth In Q4 2017 |The Republican News

Samuel Bello, Abuja

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said the nation recorded a growth of 1.92 percent in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017 while maintaining its positive growth trajectory since the economy exited recession in the second quarter of 2017.

In its Q4 report released on Tuesday in Abuja, NBS stated that the growth compared to a contraction of –1.73 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016 and a growth of 1.40 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2017.

According to the bureau, 2017 recorded a real annual growth rate of 0.83 percent higher by 2.42 percent than –1.58 percent recorded in 2016.

“In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N31,209,137.74 million in nominal terms and higher when compared to N29,169,058.99 million in Q4 2016, resulting in a nominal GDP growth of 6.99 percent. This growth is lower relative to growth recorded in Q4 2016 at 12.49 percent.

The bureau reported that in the period under review, oil production averaged 1.91 million barrels per day (mbpd), -0.12 million barrels lower than the daily average production recorded in the third quarter of 2017.

It added that oil production during the quarter was higher by 0.15 million barrels per day relative to the corresponding quarter in 2016, which recorded an output of 1.76mbpd.

In term of contribution, NBS stated that the oil sector contributed 7.17 percent of total real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2017, up from figure recorded in the corresponding period of 2016 and down from the preceding quarter, where it contributed 6.75 percent and 10.04 percent respectively.

“Quarter-on-Quarter, the oil sector dropped by–25.52 percent in Q4 2017. The annual growth of the oil sector stood at 4.79 per cent higher than the previous year’s growth of –14.45 per cent.

The statistics office also reported that the mining and quarrying sector contributed 8.30 percent to overall GDP in the fourth quarter of 2017, higher than the contributions recorded in 2016 fourth quarter at 6.70 percent but lower than the previous quarter recorded as 11.17 percent. It’s annual contribution to GDP in 2017 stood at 9.22 percent as against 5.39 percent in 2016.  (The Sun)

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I’ll Take Nigeria To The Next Level, Says Buhari |The Republican News

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                         File Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday promised to take Nigeria to the next level despite the nation’s current challenges.

Buhari made the promise in his remarks at the induction of the Nigerian Air Force’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Tsaigumi, in Kaduna.

A copy of his speech was made available to journalists by the Presidency’s media office.

The President said his administration was determined to overcome all challenges militating against the country’s security and development.

He therefore appealed to all Nigerians to support his administration to achieve its objective.

Buhari said, “Let me again reiterate our commitment and firm resolve to take this nation to the next level.

“We remain determined to overcome all challenges to our security and development as a nation.

“I enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with us to make our collective dreams of greatness a reality.”

The President said his government was committed to delivering the much-needed change that would make the difference in the nation.

“Government remains determined, despite numerous challenges to bring about the much-needed change that will lift our beloved nation to its rightful place as a major economic and political force on the world stage,”he added.

Buhari disclosed that part of government’s drive to achieve the goal is to enable enterprise and the improvement of the quality of life through massive improvement of national infrastructure.

He said as he outlined in his New Year Day broadcast to the nation, the present administration has designed a series of key projects to dramatically overhaul national infrastructure and overcome the deficit in that vital area.  (Punch)

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55 Percent Of FG VAT Generated In Lagos, Says Adeosun |The Republican News

 Kemi-Adeosun-Ogun
            The Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun on Tuesday said that 55 per cent of the revenue generated by the Federal Government from Value Added Tax receipts is collected from Lagos State.

Adeosun, according to an online publication-The Cable, said this during a meeting with progressive governors forum.

She explained that the balance of 45 per cent is generated from the remaining 35 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

Giving a breakdown of the receipts from VAT, she said while Lagos accounts for 55 per cent of VAT revenue, 20 per cent comes from FCT.

She added that Rivers, Kano and Kaduna accounts for six per cent, five per cent and one per cent respectively.

Cumulatively, she noted that these four states including the FCT account for 87 per cent of the entire collections from VAT

She described the tax compliance rate in the country as very low, adding that this was why the Federal Government is taking proactive steps to improve the rate of voluntary tax compliance.

She said,“There is no poor country that has a high tax compliance rate, and no rich country that has a low one.

 “55 per cent of Nigeria’s VAT is collected in Lagos State. 20 per cent in FCT, six per cent in Rivers, five per cent in Kano, one per cent in Kaduna”.

“I’m hoping that one day, Finance Commissioners will stop needing to come to Abuja monthly to share FAAC (Federation Account Allocation Committee) because IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) will be sufficient.”

Based on allocation from FAAC, the Federal Government gets 15 per cent of VAT revenue, while the states and local governments get 50 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

Based on figures from the National  Bureau of Statistics, the sum of N204.77bn was generated as VAT in the first quarter of 2017 as against N207.35bn generated in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Out of the total VAT generated in the first quarter of 2017, N126.64bn was received as Non-Import VAT locally while N31.72bn was generated as Non-Import foreign VAT. (Punchng.com)

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The Purpose Of Wristwatch Is to Keep Time, I’ve Had Only One In 17yrs – Peter Obi

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Former Governor Of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi

A former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has said that he has only one wristwatch, which he has worn for 17 years, alongside two pairs of black shoes, which he travelled in with most times.
 
Speaking at The Platform, the flagship programme of Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, Obi said when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) searched his house at Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos, they found nothing.
 
He said the anti-corruption agency said he does not leave there because they could not find wristwatches, jewellery and other exotic materials.
 
Speaking of the Ikoyi cash, Obi said: “Let me tell you what is worrisome; well we don’t know, they are still dealing with who owns the money or who doesn’t own the money, but that will one day be clarified”.
 
“Let me tell you where I am even worried. Why would anybody put it in such a circumstance, what if it caught fire? If that money was put in our banking system, whoever kept it would have earned eight percent per annum so he would have earned about $7 million by now.
 
“$7 million is about N2.8 billion today. That is the amount I spent for all secondary schools in Anambra in a year. If he decided to be generous and give it to graduates, they would have shared it to 2,800 graduates, out of which 2,000 would have been successful.
 
“I live there, but having been governor of Anambra for eight years, I cannot live outside Anambra. The only place I have a house officially built is Onitsha if you see any house in Lagos, Abuja or anywhere else belonging to Peter Obi, confiscate it. I leave that place for my wife and children.”
 
On the search of his Ikoyi home, Obi said nothing was found except his wife’s cloth and shoes, adding that he has only one wristwatch, which he has used for 17 years.
 
“Ask those who searched it. I was abroad, they said they wanted to search my house, I sent the key, and they searched my whole apartment and I can tell you the only thing they found.
 
“They said this man doesn’t live here. It was only his wife’s clothes and shoes that we saw, we didn’t see anything belonging to him.
 
“I have said it to Nigerians, Peter Obi wears only black shoes, and I have two pairs of it, and I travel with it. The purpose of the shoe is to protect the leg from being hurt. Nothing else. I bought this from Marks and Spencer, $49.99, finish.
 
“They said ‘we didn’t even see watch’, and I have said it to everyone, this is the only watch I have, I have worn it for 17 years. The purpose of a watch is to keep time. Why would I keep a watch at home? Whose time is it keeping?”

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Federal Government May Collapse, Atiku Warns |The Republican News

• Says recession has exposed govt’s weaknesses

By Moshood Adebayo

Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar said the current recession in the country has exposed the weaknesses of a federal system of government.

Atiku, an advocate of restructuring, who spoke through his Twitter

account, Atiku Abubakar (@atiku), yesterday, said the federal government could no longer meet its obligations.

Questioning the rationale behind having a central government that can no longer meet its obligation, the former number two citizen asked rhetorically, “does it still make sense to have centrist federal?”

Atiku said responsibilities of the federal government must be reduced to avoid it collapsing “under the weight of too many responsibilities it burdens itself with.”

“So, not only is our federal government too large, the economic downturn has exposed fundamental weaknesses. Yes, federal government duties need to be reduced.’’

Concluding the tweet, the Turaki Adamawa said: “The economic consequence of over-centralisation is that the federal government may collapse under the weight of too many responsibilities it burdens itself with.”

He urged  the federal government to reduce its control on the economy.

Atiku said this would make  the economy more efficient.

The former president has been at the forefront of those canvassing the restructuring of the country’s federalism, saying it is the only way forward to a more vibrant and prosperous nation.

However, he added that although Nigeria’s federalism was due for restructuring, “it is not the way small groups in the country clamour for it.

“Secession and resource control are not antidotes for a better Nigeria.”

Atiku said while the current system in the country might be working for some elite, “it is not in the overall interest of all.”

While proffering immediate restructuring of the country as an antidote to the many of her problems, Atiku said a better federalism would have a ripple effect on every aspect of the country.

“Doing otherwise would only continue to increase the negativity that has become the order of the day in Nigeria.”

“The only way forward is for every part of the country, every arm of government and the Nigerian people to be involved in negotiating the country’s future.” (Punchng.com)

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