African leaders pledge urgent action to sustain recovery, build resilience

By Favour Nnabugwu



By Favour Nnabugwu




The African Development Bank Group released the inaugural Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook which attracted significant interest among decision-makers in Africa and globally.

The biannual report offers policymakers, global investors, researchers, and other development partners, up-to-date, evidence-based assessments of the continent’s recent macroeconomic performance. It also provides a short-to-medium-term outlook.

In his opening remarks, African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat told participants that the report would be presented to heads of state at the African Union Summit to help steer national planning. Adesina said.

He called for strong and collective support to Africa to help the continent navigate the challenges it faces, especially debt burden and debt vulnerabilities.

The bank president explained further: “Africa cannot run up the steep hill carrying a bag of debt on its back. The channeling of the additional $100 billion of Special Drawing Rights will make a huge difference. We must join hands to harness the enormous opportunities in Africa. There is no doubt that we will make good progress. However, we must work fast, be inclusive, and be competitive.”the G-21,” he added.

Acting Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank, Prof Kevin Urama, highlighted the importance of Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook 2023.

He said: “As we gather here today, global macroeconomic conditions have become increasingly uncertain due to multiple overlapping shocks that make policymaking and investment decisions very challenging. Countries need regular diagnostics and focused policy actions to address these recurring and overlapping shocks.”

Professor Urama affirmed that Africa remains the place to invest despite suffering global shocks.

What the 2023 Africa’s Macro-Economic Performance and Outlook report says

Following two years of global shocks, the report notes that African economies are set to overcome various domestic and global shocks and return to a path of economic recovery, stability, and growth.

The lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ravages of accelerating climate change, and the impact of rising geopolitical conflicts and tension slowed Africa’s growth to an average of 3.8% in 2022.

To sustain growth, Africa’s economies will require comprehensive information and insights to navigate a labyrinth of intertwined global risks, the report stated.

The bank will release the report in the first and third quarters of each year to complement its flagship Annual African Economic Outlook. The African Development Bank is the first institution to release a macroeconomic outlook for Africa for 2023.

IWMI seeks NiMet’s support on multinational project 

By Favour Nnabugwu
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has requested for support from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NiMet) in the execution of a multinational project that includes Nigeria.
The Senior Researcher at IWMI,  Sander Zwart, made the disclosure when he led a delegation to NiMet Headquarters.
Speaking, Dr Zwart said they were about to embark on a huge project called CLiM O , ” We have this project coming up , it is called the CLiM O. It is led by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
The goal is to assist member states of the Niger Basin Authority to be more climate resilient and of course Nigeria is part of the Niger Basin”, He asserted..
Dr Zwart  explained that based on the information obtained online as well as consultations they discovered that flood and drought are major challenges, especially after last year’s flood.
He said this led them to develop activities that will ensure people are better prepared for flood now and in the future. To achieve this, he revealed that there are four components they have proposed for the project and that as their institution will drive the project, they are keen to have NiMet’s input.
He listed these components to be Hydrological modelling; Flood forecasting; Data sharing and Underground actions that involves how people can adapt themselves to flood.
In his response, the Director Weather Forecasting Services, Engr. Mailadi  Yusuf , who represented the Director General, assured the visitors of NiMet’s support, adding that NiMet is in close collaboration with Federal and State Ministries of Water Resources where the lead sister Agency that develops the Annual Flood Outlook (NiHSA) for the country is resident.
He stated that apart from predicting water availability for farming activities ( Onset of rain, duration and amount expected ) NiMet would soon engage water users across the country on dry season (irrigation) farming activities by delivering and training them on the use of the Seasonal Climate Prediction for optimal harvest outputs.
The CLIM O project, when fully implemented will support the member states of the Niger Basin Authority in strengthening transboundary governance of water resources, adaptation,and mitigation of the impact of climate change. The IWMI will lead the design and implementation of the project in the Benue River Basin.
FG shutdown 40 Universities across nation

By Favour Nnabugwu
The National Universities Commission has ordered a closure of universities of 40 across the country to enable students to participate in the 2023 general elections.
In a letter addressed to vice-chancellors of all universities and directors of inter-university centres, the NUC noted that the directive was based on the directive of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
“As Vice-Chancellors of all Universities and Director/Chief Executive of Inter-University Centres are quite aware the 2023 General Elections have been scheduled to hold on Saturday February 25, 2023, for the Presidential and National Assembly, and Saturday March 11, 2023 for Gubernatorial and State Assembly, respectively.
“In view of the foregoing and concerns expressed on the security of staff, students and properties of the our respective institutions, the Honourable Minister of Education, Mal. Adama Adamu has following extensive consultations with the relevant security agencies, directed that all Universities and Inter-University Centres be shut down and academic activities be suspended between 22 February and 14th March, 2023
FG targets $33, 000 per capita income come 2050

By Favour Nnabugwu




The federal government has set a target of $33, 000 per capita income by year 2050, from the current level of $3, 500.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, made this known at the opening of the on-going Nigerian Economic Summit today

Ahmed said, “I am pleased to inform you that the draft Nigeria Agenda 2050 is being finalised and will be launched soon.

“The Plan seeks to increase the country’s per capita income to $33,000 by 2050 and place Nigeria amongst the rank of Upper Middle Income Countries.

“The Plan will be implemented by successive governments through Six, 5-Year Medium-Term National Development Plans and Annual Budgets.

“The Nigeria Agenda 2050 has a moral imperative to lower the poverty and unemployment rate significantly as this is the only way we can ensure sustainable broad-based growth”

According to Mrs. Ahmed, the government would renew the social contract with Nigerians and encourage the citizens to pay their taxes to enable government fund Programmes and projects.

She said that the federal government would consciously design Programmes and projects that would attract Diaspora Nigerians to invest at home.

Mrs. Ahmed added that the administration was focused on unlocking the economic potential of the non-oil and high employment generating sectors to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth and development.

Earlier in his address, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, said that the administration was review 18 laws and 10 policies considered as o stacked to the private sector businesses.

The minister said that the National Development Plan 2017-2025 paid particular attention to the diversification of the economy, amongst others.

His words, “The NDP 2021 – 2025 has a unique objective of establishing a strong foundation for a concentric economic diversification, implying that the economy had already been diversified but the focus of the Plan is to deepen the diversification effort within the sectors such that each sector could substantially increase its contribution to GDP and create more jobs.

“The Volume III deals with the legislative imperatives identified as binding constraints to Plan implementation and has identified 18 laws and 10 policies that constrained Plan implementation over the years.

” A Technical Working Team (TWT) comprising the Office of the President on Ease of Doing Business, relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and a renowned legal firm has been set-up to review these laws and policies with a view to enriching Plan implementation.”

In his Keynote address, one of the founding fathers of the NESG, Mr. Paschal Dozie, said that “the Nigeria we need” must be “truly federal”, not just in name but in reality.

He said that there the Exclusive and the Concurrent Lists should be reviewed to enable decentralization of government, with a real federal system, as obtained in other federal governments.

He added that the federal government should de-personalise institutions to make Nigeria more attractive to domestic and international investors.

In his contribution as a panelist, economist and banker, Mr. Atedo Peterside, noted that the nation was being held hostage by what he described as “rigged-properity” by a few elite.

According to him those in that class were less than 1 million people but they have improverished the multitudes of ordinary Nigerians.

Mr. Peterside regretted that based on data released by the National Bureau of statistics (NBS), at the end of 2015, 68 million Nigerians were in full employment but that as at end of 2020 the figure of Nigerians in full employment has fallen to a mere 31 million.

He lamented that very few Nigerians had access to the exchange rate at the official rate and those with such access did not represent the generality of Nigerians.

Mr. Peterside also condemned the fuel subsidy which has continued to put pressure on the nation’s fiscal position.

According to him, those who were involved in the massive oil theft were those in government or their cronies.

He wondered how many Nigerians had.the capacity to bring in ships into the country and load crude oil and take it away from the country, without the government stopping them.

NRC lost N531m revenue since Abuja-Kaduna rail attack in March

By Favour Nnabugwu
Federal Government has lost a whopping N531 million revenue to the suspended Abuja to Kaduna train service between March and September, 2022..
The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Fidet Okhiria made this in Lagos while addressing newsmen
We have lost a total of N531million between March 28 to September, 2022, adding that the money would have been remitted to the federal government.
It would be recalled that terrorists unleashed an attack on the Abuja to Kaduna trail which led to the death of eight passengers. About 41 others were injured while scores were kidnapped.
Although, most of those kidnapped have been released, over 22 are still in the den of the terrorists. Reports had it that about 970 passengers were onboard the train during the attack.
In response, the Nigerian Railway Corporation halt service along the Abuja to Kaduna train corridor.
Okhiria said the corporation will not resume service on Abuja to Kaduna rail until all those who remain with the terrorist are released.
The Managing Director further said that four members of the railway corporation are among those still held captive.
He, however, expressed optimism that all those still in captivity will soon be released. He noted that the Minister of Transportation is leading the struggle for the safe release of those still in captivity.
Meanwhile, the federal government has set up a committee to ensure maximum security for train passengers and all train facilities.  The committee is to liaise with the appropriate ministries and agencies to fine-tune a safer railway system.
“We are talking about present-day technology so that we can have real-time monitoring. We will also be deploying a lot of security agencies to be at strategic locations”.
Celestine O. Isele died 5 months after wedding in Turke

By admin



A 35-year-old Nigerian man, Celestine Omorodion Isele, died five months after his wedding in Turkey.

Celestine and his wife, Gloria, got married on April 23, 2022 at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Umunakanu Owerre, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo state.
He returned to Turkey after the wedding and died second week of September.

The Delta State indigene was laid to rest on Wednesday, September, 28, 2022, at Kilyos Cemetery in Turkey.

According to his Facebook profile, Isele graduated from University of Benin, Edo State and seems to dealer in clothes and shoes.


Agencies multiple charges cost Nigeria $250 bn agro-export produce – NEPZA

By Favour Nnabugwu



Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) has said that government agencies have not done well to import and export with complicated roadblocks costing the country US$250billon on agro-export produce to the country alone.

This is just as it has said that eleven (11) out of sixteen (16) sundry charges are illegal stressing that some of these has caused international cargo airlines to prefer flying out of Nigeria empty.

In his presentation, Aviation & Cargo Export in Nigeria, at the 2nd Edition of Aviation and Cargo Conference Managing Director/CEO – NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba made this known highlighting some challenges that are militating against import and exports in the country.

He was represented by Assistant Director Investor Promotion, Augustine Onyekwere who presented his paper at the event.

Professor Adesugba said, “Among the 16 sundry charges tracked for goods coming in or departing the country via airports, only five are officially recognised. Nigeria’s import-to- export airfreight ratio imbalance stood at 87:13 from available statistics.

“The implication according to cargo agencies is loss of at least about USD 250 billon on agro-export produce to the country.

He mentioned other challenges to include, lack of modern Infrastructure, lack of corporate governance, policy and regulation, high cost of aviation fuel, inadequate funding and resources, high cost of operation, insecurity, insurance and corruption.

Adesugba noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to support the Aviation Industry and stimulate multiplier effects in the economy in May 2021 designated the four (4) Major International Airports (Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt) respectively as Special Economic Zones to enable the companies operating at these airports enjoy the benefits of the Free zone scheme.

Stating that ASEZ are designed to accelerate investment in the Aviation sector and its value chain, improve the utilization of the airports, generate more revenues for the Federal Government as well as attract more local and foreign direct Investment and increase aviation contribution to the GDP.

According to him, “SEZ can grow the aviation and cargo export in Nigeria with the incentives and concessions available in the Nigeria Free Zones with concepts like tax holidays, one stop approvals as well as 100% foreign ownership of businesses.

He said, “Complete tax holiday from all Federal, State and Local Government taxes, rates, customs duties and levies, one-stop approvals for all permits, operating licenses and incorporation papers. Duty-free, tax-free import of raw materials and components for goods destined for re-export.

“Duty-free importation of capital goods, consumer goods, machinery, equipment, and furniture.

Permission to sell 100 percent of manufactured, assembled or imported goods into the domestic Nigerian market and meeting the 35% value addition.

The NEPZA boss added, “Export duty into the custom territory is calculated based on the value of the raw material or components used in assembling the product not on the finished product’s value.

“100% foreign ownership of investments. 100% repatriation of capital, profits and dividends as well as waiver on all import and export licenses, waiver on all expatriate quotas for companies operating in the Zones

70% of Nigerian children suffer learning poverty- UNICEF

By Favour Nnabugwu


Not less than 70 per cent of Nigerian children are suffering from learning poverty, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The World Bank defined learning poverty as the inability of a 10-year-old to read or understand a simple sentence or solve basic numeracy problem.

According to UNICEF, “Research has shown that schooling does not always result in learning. Many children, even if in school, are not learning fundamental skills required for proficiency. As a result, many children are experiencing learning poverty, with an estimated 70 per cent of Nigerian children falling under this category, varying from state to state”

“Even before COVID-19, the world was grappling with a learning crisis with half of all ten-year-olds in middle and low-income countries unable to read or comprehend a simple story. In sub-Saharan Africa this is nearly 9 in every 10 children.”

Hence, the import of the ongoing launch of the Nigeria Learning Passport in states across the country.

Usamatu Mohammad Gona, the Katsina State Coordinator of the programme during the launch in Katsina said, “the Nigeria Learning Passport is an electronic distance learning medium fortified with audio-visual materials and books to aid self-based learning has been launched in Katsina State to help fast track learning among pupils and students of primary and junior secondary schools across the state.

“The platform makes learning possible even outside the confines of a school which will help address the spiralling number of out-of-school children, especially in states where insecurity hinders access to schools.”

Gona explained that “the NLP education model offers foundational literacy and numeracy skills, sciences, digital and employability skills. The Learning Passport supports early childhood education, primary and secondary education, and provides adolescent skills, technical & vocational education that is tailored to the needs of children and youth who are either out of school, or in need of support to ensure the education they are receiving is of sufficient quality.”

According to Gona, the NLP has the potential to provide access to learning to every Nigerian child within or outside the four walls of a classroom.

Gona who noted that the NLP platform is geared towards ensuring that no Nigerian child misses out of education said “education isn’t just a fundamental right but the fulcrum around which the engine of development revolves; it is the engine of the progress of any society.

“We plan to reach every Nigerian child over time with the NLP but in the short-term, out target is to reach 4.5 million learners by 2023 and 12 million by 2025.

“Additionally, 30,500 teachers and school leaders are being trained on the use of the NLP and on how to integrate technology in classroom instructional practice.

Narrowing it down to Katsina, the NLP Coordinator in the state said: “In Katsina, we are targeting 10,000 learners and teachers across the over 300 schools in the state before the end of November 2023.”

The Learning Passport is delivered by UNICEF and the Federal Ministry of Education and powered by Microsoft, with funding support from Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and is free of charge for all learners.

Akeredolu @ 66: A Hegemon With Collaborative Praxis, says Jimoh Ibrahim

By admin
Business mogul and All Progressives Congress’ senatorial candidate for Ondo South in the forthcoming general elections, Dr Jimoh Ibrahim, CFR, has described Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, as a hegemon  with collaborative praxis.
He stated this on Thursday while congratulating the governor on his 66th birthday anniversary.
Ibrahim said what God has been using the Chairman of  Southwest Governors’ Forum for in the country, particularly in the Souh-West, on security would remain indelible in the history of the nation.
He commended Arakunrin Akeredolu for the industrialization projects which manifested in Ondo State Industrial Park at Omotosho in Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area of the state.
The popular senatorial candidate noted that the series of industries established in the park has reduced the hitherto high rate of unemployment in the state, particularly in Ondo South.
Jimoh Ibrahim explained that the efforts of the governor in attracting investors to the state paid off through world standard economic policies introduced by his administration in the state.
He said the thoughtfulness of the governor made him decide to construct flyover at Ore, which has brought an end to the ghastly accidents that usually occurred on the busy Ore/Benin highway.
According to Ibrahim, “Arakunrin is a hegemon with collaborative praxis. He ensures unity in our party, APC and members are working collectively with the governor for the success of the party in the forthcoming general elections and beyond.
“He carries everyone along and he’s a good leader who puts all his followers into consideration in all his decisions.
“We thank God for what he has been using him for in Nigeria, Ondo State and Ondo South senatorial district.
“He stands against insecurity in the country because he knows as a governor, the onus lies on him to ensure the protection of lives and property of his people irrespective of their political leaning.
“The governor is well red and enlightened. He is of the view that there’s no way any investor would put his money where security of life and property cannot be assured.
” I commend him on what he had done at the  Industrial Park Omotosho, which has reduced unemployment drastically in the state and Ondo South.
“He constructed the Ore flyover to stamp out avoidable ghastly accidents in which several lives had been lost in the past.”
Ibrahim, therefore, prayed to God to give the governor a long life and sound health to fulfill God’s desires upon him.
West African leaders lift economic, financial ban on Mali

By Favour Nnabugwu


Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have lifted economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali, after its military rulers proposed a 24-month transition to democracy and published a new electoral law.

The bloc imposed stiff sanctions on Mali in January after the junta said it would not organise democratic elections the following month as initially planned.

ECOWAS Commission President Jean Claude Kassi Brou told a news conference that the sanctions will be lifted immediately. Borders with Mali will reopen and regional diplomats will return to Bamako. read more
However, the heads of state decided to maintain individual sanctions, and the suspension of Mali from ECOWAS, until the return to constitutional rule,” Kassi Brou said.

The individual sanctions targeted members of the ruling junta and the transitional council.

Mali has defaulted on over $300 million of its debt due to the sanctions, which cut it off from the regional financial market and the regional central bank.

The West African leaders meeting in Accra also accepted a pledge from the junta that seized power in Burkina Faso in January to restore constitutional order in 24 months.
Kassi Brou said that after a lengthy discussion with the coup leaders in Burkina Faso, a new proposal for a 24-month transition was more acceptable, after the heads of state rejected a proposed 36-month transition.

Economic and financial sanctions on Burkina Faso were also lifted, he said.

But the ECOWAS leaders rejected a three-year transition proposed by coup leaders who seized power in Guinea in September. They told Guinea’s junta to propose a new timeline by the end of July or face economic sanctions.

The heads of state appointed Benin’s former president Yayi Boni as a new mediator and urged the Guinea junta to work with him and quickly propose a new timetable.

“Beyond that, economic sanctions will be imposed,” Kassi Brou said.