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JP Morgan: Nigeria can not plan with portfolio Investor's funds- Osinbajo

Posted By Theresa Ugwuanyi on Friday, 2 October 2015 | 9:47 a.m.

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has described the JP Morgan index as an index for portfolio investors, whose money cannot be relied upon for economic planing.
According to him, for the fact that portfolio investors’ funds are usually short term and easily pulled out of a country at the slightest sign of risk, a country cannot rely on it for long term planning; adding that the federal government  is not unduly  worried about the delisting of Nigeria because a lot of that money had moved out already.
This is even as  Nigeria plans to re-issue its five- and 10-year bonds in the last quarter of the year to raise up to N270 billion  after JP Morgan’s index on Wednesday delisted half of the maturities belonging to the country.
It will be recalled that half of the Nigerian bonds listed on JP Morgan’s emerging markets bond index (GBI-EM) was removed on Wednesday and the rest to be removed next month. JP Morgan had earlier warned that it would completely drop Nigeria from its index, citing a lack of liquidity and currency restrictions.
In a television program monitored in Lagos, Osinbajo said the removal from JP Morgan index is only for a year. So if the country is anxious to get back on the index, it has a whole year to prepare and get back.
“But it is important to bear in mind that a country does not necessarily change its policies, so as to satisfy portfolio investors. Especially when your policies are to address systemic issues,” the Vice President stated.

He explained further that because of sharp drop in oil prices, the Nigerian economy experienced a shock which it has to deal with and the Central Bank’s way of dealing with it is to introduce exchange controls.

He said Nigeria have tough choices on whether to open up the exchange regime as it used to be or continue with the control measures despite depleting revenues and foreign exchange reserves.
“I think the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), made the right choice by saying; ‘let us take our time on this issue. We need a short term exchange controls even at the risk of being delisted from JP Morgan index.’ Those exchange controls have being reasonably successful. Our foreign exchange reserves have stabilized and our current account deficit has narrowed, which is good in the short term,” he observed.

According to the Vice President, the Federal Government is in regular consultation with the CBN to know what the longterm solution would be, “because you can’t have exchange controls as a long term measure.”
Meanwhile, the 10-year bond, among those to be delisted on the influential index, edged higher to yield 15.09 percent after the Debt Management Office (DMO) on Wednesday released its calendar showing it will re-introduce the benchmark paper, which was not issued in the third quarter.

The DMO said it will sell between N60 billion  and N90 billion  each in five- and 10-year bonds in each of the remaining three months of the year as reopenings of outstanding maturities.
Traders said bond yields were flat  on Wednesday as foreign buyers had cut their exposure to 0.69 percent ahead of the index expulsion.

The 2024 bond to be issued from October will pay a coupon of 14.20 percent while the 2020 paper will pay 15.54 percent.

The central bank on Wednesday said the banking system had enough liquidity to take up what foreign investors might sell after JP Morgan removed Nigeria from its bond index.


NIS confirms Arrest of ISIS supporters in Kano

THE Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has confirmed the arrest in Kano of two men linked to the planned issuance of Nigerian visa to a wanted ISIS chief, Ahmed Al Assir.

This was as the service denied playing any part in the process that led to the issuance of the visa to Al Assir in Lebanon.

According to the Comptroller-General of the NIS, Martin Abeshi, both men were immediately handed over to the National Security Adviser (NSA), General Babagana Monguno (retd).

Abeshi, speaking at a news conference in Abuja, said “from the record available, the Immigration Service did not issue that visa. It might be the officials of the Foreign Affairs ministry, because they also issue visa on our behalf.”
He, however, said the NIS went into action to arrest those connected to Al Assir immediately it gathered an intelligence that he was coming to Nigeria.


We must kick corruption out because it destroys almost everything- Obasanjo

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has listed 7 key issues the country and its leaders cannot afford trivialize.
Obasanjo spoke about the development of the nation, while speaking with journalists at his mansion in Abeokuta, on Independence Day, October 1.
He said Nigeria was on the path to overcoming its problems, but however noted that the country must not play with some pertinent issues.
Obasanjo said: “Fifty-five years in the life of a nation is comparatively young and when you look at the life and history of those that you may call settled societies or reasonably mature countries, we are not doing too badly. And then, we should also be willing to learn from our mistakes.”
“Men, women, Muslims, Christians, young and old, irrespective of our location, our tribe, our social standing, should know that Nigeria needs all hands on deck.
“And we must also realise important issues that we must not play with. We must not play with the issue of education, we must not play with the issue of the health for our people, and we must not play with the issue of employment for our teeming population, particularly for our youths.
“We must not play with the issue of the economy, we must not play with the issue of security and peace, we must not play with the issue of justice. Justice and peace go hand in hand, we can’t have injustice and expect peace to reign supreme.”
“We must kick corruption out because it destroys almost everything and I am not talking about corruption of money alone; I’m talking about the corruption of attitude, nepotism, favouritism. They are corruption in different forms and all aspects of corruption must be kicked out of our society.
They have had missteps just like we are having missteps. They have made mistakes and most of them have learnt from their mistakes. They have been dynamic in the way they have progressed and I believe that we are doing the same thing.”


NSE Cap Recovers N520.96b In Sept

Basic indicators of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed green in September, with investors recovering about N520.961 billion from the N1.749 trillion the market lost in the first 90 days of the Muhammadu Buhari administration between May 28 and February 28, 2015.
In the month of August alone, the investors saw a N137 billion decline in the value of their equity investment.
In September, capitalisation rose from N10.208 trillion to N10.728 trillion at the close of trading on Wednesday, while the NSE All-share Index (ASI) appreciated by 1,532.93 basis points or 5.16 per cent, from 29,684.84 points to 31,217.77 points, reducing the year-to-date loss by 9.92 per cent.
The biggest gainers for the month in percentage terms was Trans-Nationwide Express, which recovered 34.44 per cent price increase, followed by Okomu Oil Palm with 29.63 per cent while United Bank for Africa chalked 27.19 per cent ahead of Ikeja Hotels, 27.11 per cent.
Also on the biggest gainers’ list was Nigerian Breweries, which notched 21 per cent, as its market capitalisation rose from N963.305 billion by the last trading day of August to N1.165 trillion as at September 30, 2015.
Other high cap stocks that recorded gains during the month included Guinness Nigeria which recorded a growth of 12.60 per cent when it closed at N689.603 billion from N665.831 billion in August; Zenith Bank rose by 10.59 per cent from N477.226 billion to N527.775 billion just as Guaranty Trust Bank climbed N31.876 billion or 4.72 per cent up to close at N706.438 billion from N674.562 billion.
Dangote Cement chalked N129 billion or 4.39 per cent from N2.938 trillion to N3.067 with Nestle appreciating by N23.772 billion or 3.57 per cent to close at the end of September at N689.603 billion from N665.831 billion recorded at the close of trading in August.
FBN Holdings, one of the three companies on the premium board platform recorded an improvement of 0.97 per cent when it market cap moved from N220.397 billion at the end of August to N222.550 billion at the close of trading on Wednesday, September 2015.
On the decliners’ side, Greif Nigeria suffered an 18.38 per cent decline; Conoil lost 17.64 per cent in a month when it published its 2014 audited results showing that turnover fell to N128.352 billion from N159.537 billion in the corresponding 12 months of 2013; with cost of sales dropping from N142.498 billion to N114.563 billion; leaving gross profit of N13.789 billion, down from N17.038 billion.
Following the impact of distribution and administrative expenses and finance cost, operative profit came to N1.532 billion from N4.575 billion and net profit of N834 million, representing earnings per share of 120 kobo as against N3.07 billion or 442 kobo.
Despite the decline, the directors have proposed a dividend of 100 kobo per share, as against the situation last year when the shareholders were not compensated.
Besides Conoil, the month’s biggest decliners included Cadbury Nigeria, 15.97 per cent; Academy Press, 15.07 per cent; UACN, 10.18 per cent; Transcorp Hotel, 9.67 per cent; and Northern Nigerian Flour Mills, 9.65 per cent. Others are Unity Bank, Dangote Sugar and Flour Mills Nigeria Plc.

Daily independent 

Emir of Kano SLS responds to Critics

Posted By Theresa Ugwuanyi on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 | 10:19 a.m.

“I am sure NC members all have their views and have kept quiet out of (appropriate) deference to our right to make our individual choice. Obviously I do not need to explain anything to anyone in a purely personal matter but a few points are worthy of note:

1. The lady in question is 18 and therefore legally of age to marry under all laws and certainly under Muslim law

2. She is proceeding for her undergraduate education in the UK in January. She had an A in computer science in her O levels and plans to get a degree in computer science/

3 each and every one of my wives is a university graduate and some have worked and then stopped and in each case the choice was purely theirs

4. It is a tradition in Kano that emirs and princes in choosing wives consider issues beyond the individual. The family is in every sense a social unit. My predecessor was married to princesses from Ilorin, Katsina and Sokoto

5 The relationship between the late Lamido of Adamawa Aliyu Musdafa the father of the current Lamido is well known. Lamido Aliyu was the first emir turbaned after emir Sanusi I and they remained close until Sanusi's death.

6. My own relationship with the current Lamido dates back to 1981 when he was Ciroma and commissioner for works. By the way the Lamido and I are not illiterates we know what we are doing and he does have a PhD in Engineering

7. My own mother was married in Adamawa and lived there for more than two decades and I have eight younger brothers and sisters from there

8 it is therefore natural that if I choose to marry from another kingdom Adamawa would be the first choice for me and I am extremely happy to strengthen these ling historical bonds.

9. The young lady in question gave her free consent and even after the contract the wedding will not happen for a few years. By then she may be 21. If she freely consents to this I do not know on what moral grounds anyone has a grouse. She is an adult, she gave her consent, and her education is not being in anyway interrupted.

10. The real issue is that people do not accept cultural difference. And you can see it in the approach to these issues. I am supposed to be urbane and western educated. Yes but i am not European. I am a northern Nigerian Fulani Muslim brought up in a setting exactly like the one my children are being brought up in.

If you read this and it improves your understanding of this issue that is fine. If it does not just remember it is not your life, it is not your daughter and you are not my wife therefore it is not your business.

I obviously cannot stoop to the level of responding publicly to these kinds of articles. I have always been an advocate of girls marrying after maturing. I personally like the minimum age of 18 even though i understand those who say 16 is fine and indeed this is the law in most so calked @advanced@ countries.

Is this something that I expect a European or western trained or feminist mind to appreciate or endorse? Not at all. But has any American been bothered about my views on men marrying men or women marrying women who frankly I find primitive and bestial? No and my views do not matter. These are cultural issues.

Even in Nigeria I have heard all this stuff as in Pius article about "north" and northerners. Again it is a failure to respect difference. There are parts if this country where parents expect their daughters to live with their boyfriends for years and actually get pregnant before they marry. It has become culture. We do not have that in the north and if your daughter gets pregnant before marriage she brings nothing but shame to the name. But we do not issue condemnations. We agree that this is how they choose to live. And i can give many other examples.

When people use the term libido they do themselves injustice. First of all it shows how they view women and marriage. Women are nothing but the object of sexual desire. Marriage is nothing but sexual gratification. Well I am sorry but in my tradition it is not. Beauty and attraction rank third after religion and lineage in the choice of a wife. 

They see an 18 year old young lady. I see a princess of noble birth whose mother is also a princess, and who has been brought up in a good Muslim home. This is the kind of woman that is prepared for giving birth to princes and bringing them up for the role expected of them in society.
Marriage is both social and political. Expanding the links of kano which have already been established by my predecessors through inter-marriage with katsina, sokoto, ilorin, katagum, ningi, bauchi etc to adamawa is an important and significant step and this is obvious to anyone with a sense of how royal families work and Ibn Khaldun's sociological concept of Asabiyyah. 

When the emir of Kano marries it has to be something beyond what he oersonally desires to what is appropriate for that position and the expectations of the people he represents. You dont just pick up any girl on the street. And by the way for thise who shout libido sex is cheap and available everywhere in all shapes and sizes and all colours if that is what they want. And all ages too. Martiage is a very different proposition. The mother of your children has to be something other than, not at least much more than a mere object of sexual fantasy. But if you do not know that you need to buy yourself a brain.

I have daughters. And they know they can only marry from certain backgrounds. I always prefer family. When my daughter wanted to marry mouftah baba ahmed's son and she asked me, knowing my views on family, i told her mouftah is family. And this is not about me and mouftah or me an hakeem or nafiu. No. It goes back to Baba Ahmed and Emirs Sanusi and Bayero. And the same rule applies to my sons. And it applied to me as well.

It is I am sure very strange that I should even bother to comment on this. But it would be hypocritical for me to just keep quiet so long as these things are being posted and commented upon explicitly or in a snide manner. There was no secrecy in the marriage fatiha. The date was fixed and it was to be done in the central mosque after friday prayers. 

The day before we had a tragedy in Saudi Arabia and decided the fatiha must be very low key as a mark of respect for the dead. All traditional rulers in adamawa were there, as were governors and commissioners, members of my own emirate council and adamawa people. There is nothing here to hide or be apologetic about.

The emirs of adamawa have shown love to my parents and grandparents and it is a sign of my appreciation of their love that i marry their daughter. This is the highest statement of friendship and loyalty on both sides.

Again if you understand this this is fine. If you do not buy yourself a brain, A la Pius.
In any event this is my one and final and only comment on this. And I am making it out of respect for NC members.

"We Can’t Abandon Saraki”- PDP

Posted By Theresa Ugwuanyi on Monday, 28 September 2015 | 10:15 a.m.

PDP has denied reports that it plans to dump Senate President, Bukola Saraki, due to his trial for false asset declaration by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP,  Olisa Metuh,told Punch:
“We have no candidate for the office of the Senate President, because we have a fit person occupying the position for now.
We are behind him and we can’t abandon him just because he is undergoing trial. Anybody can be put on trial, but the question we should ask is whether the trial is political or not.
Does the trial have merit? When we see the merit of the case, we will take position. But for now, there is nothing like that.”
Saraki, who is a former governor of Kwara State, is currently facing a 13-count charge for false declaration of assets when he served as governor of the state.

What I did in 100 days says Ambode

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has explained to the citizens what he achieved in his first three months in office since succeeding Babatunde Fashola.

Ambode who suffered a backlash from Lagosians on social media stated that he used the first three months of his administration to set up an institutional framework, assuring that going forward, Lagosians will begin to witness development across the state.

“I have no choice, I have to do it for all Lagosians, that’s what I am committed to do, I have said I am going to be selfless about service and that’s what I am going to do and you will see it. 
“What I have done in the last three months is to set up the institutional framework and If you want to build a house, you have to lay the foundation, you will now see what I’ll be doing in the next three and half years, just watch and you would see it,” he said.

The governor, who spoke at the 2015 Ojude Oba Epe Festival held at the Epe Recreation Ground, Epe, said the infrastructural renewal drive of the previous administration in the state will receive adequate attention in the course of his administration.

“One of the things that we did promise during the campaign is that we would continue with the infrastructural development of my predecessor and at the same time improve on it and that’s what we’ve started with areas where we feel that there are immediate palliatives that we can give, we have done that but more importantly, is for us to improve on the network in which Mr. Babatunde Fashola had actually laid down,” he said.

Pm news

Preach on only matters that unite Nigerians, Osinbajo tells religious leaders

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria
Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has urged religious to preach on matters that will unite Nigeria, noting that, act of terrorism is not directed at everyone irrespective of their religion.
The Vice President spoke today at the church service marking the country’s 55th Independence Day coming up later in the week on October 1.
He said that terrorist bombs never ask the question about the religious persuasion of its victims or their ethnic origins, before causing havoc and destruction.
“I have travelled the length and breadth of this nation, especially in the Northeastern parts in the last few months and I have seen children, women, men who were bomb victims. I have seen the dead, the wounded, the sick.
“The truth of the matter is that the bulk of all those that I have seen, there were Muslims, there were Christians, there were those who professed no particular faith, but were all Nigerians, and one thing that united them was that they were all poor, and in IDP camps” Prof. Osinbajo recalled asking Nigerians to stand together against terrorism and poverty.
He added that “when a bomb goes off in Potiskum or in a market in Maiduguri or Gombe, it does not ask if you are a Christian or a Muslim, it does not. It never asks if you are Yoruba or Ibo, or Hausa.”
The Vice President urged religious and political leaders to emphasize only what unites the people of Nigeria not what divides them. According to him leaders “must understand that the terrorism is not a contest between Christians and Muslims, it goes well beyond that. It is our duty not to pursue narratives that divide us. It is our duty to do everything that unites us. We must ensure that we don’t create further divisions, but that we bind together those divisions, that is our duty.”
He lamented that Nigeria has been divided against ethnic and religious lines for far too long, calling for a time of unity. “That unity is so crucial, so important. It is all that will make a difference in the next few years,“ he stated.
One of Nigeria’s major problems, he argued is that “we would play politics with everything, but the fate of over 110 million extremely poor Nigerians have not been the central concern of anyone.” He said it is the fate of those vast majority of Nigerians who are poor that should be our concern as a people.
He also expressed deepest condolences to the families of Nigerians who lost their lives in the Mecca stampede tragedy praying that God will comfort them, and their communities.
Praying that at 55, Nigeria will experience double grace, since number five stands for grace, the Vice President also wished Nigerians a time of double favor in their personal lives. 


Lai Mohammed suffering from narcissist syndrome- Metuh

National Publicity Secretary of Nigeria’s major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh in this interview with Temidayo  Akinsuyi, of Daily Independent  accuses Lai Mohammed of suffering from a narcissist syndrome.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC,  Alh. Lai Mohammed last week issued a statement asking you to mind your utterances and avoid the usage of trench languages when making public statements.  What is your take on this?
****Whatever Lai Mohammed says doesn’t bother me. When Lai Mohammed says ‘good morning’, you have to look at your watch to confirm the actual time of the day. I think Lai Mohammed must have been referring to all the lies he is used to dishing out. He is a veteran of hate politics*****. You will recall that when he said he will educate me on how to be a virile opposition and that he will offer me a crash course on opposition politics.  We rejected it by saying that we can’t take a crash course from someone who is used to lying, who is used to instigating crisis, accusing and insulting leaders. So, he has nothing to teach us except noisemaking and lies.  That is not how we are playing our opposition in PDP. If you look at what we have done in the last three months as opposition party, we have always centred our views on issues, our criticisms are constructive and issue-based. But Lai Mohammed at all times, want to be the centre of attraction but we in PDP are not bothered about him. We are more concerned about the programmes of his party and the ruling government.  He is not important. He is completely inconsequential in the scheme of things in this country. He should stop dramatizing himself as a factor. He is not a factor to be reckoned with.  The APC did not win the presidential election because of him or because of the propaganda he dished out.  He is confused and we feel sorry for him.  He is suffering from narcissist syndrome.

The Politics of Bukola Saraki’s Code of Conduct trial By Uche Igwe

Let me state something upfront. The law is (and should be) no respecter of persons. Anyone who is found guilty of an offense or breach by a court of competent jurisdiction should be punished accordingly. Anyone who is accused of any offence is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. However due process must be followed because in all we do, we set and follow precedence. These are my assumptions as I try to appraise the ongoing hullaballoo about the trial of the President of Nigerian Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki for alleged false declaration of his assets and consequent breach of the Code of Conduct Act

Like many Nigerians, I am very angry about the mention of the word corruption. It gets worse when any prominent politician is associated with it. It has very little to do with the Senate President as a person. Just that he is a big man and in naturally on the receiving side of our ongoing class war in the countryPoor people get very irritated and incensed when some of humongous amount of monies are being mentioned in connection with public officers. It is purely as a result of a class warfare where poverty of the majority breeds anger and resentment against a few. It is a struggle for incorporation rather than a matter of justice or equity. No one really borders about the details or tries to stop that anger from distorting their objective reasons. But I beg to differ on this one. 

I attended the session at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) last Tuesday, uninvited. I had to go there because I wanted an opportunity to see things for myself and put the whole saga in context. I left my room about at about 8.00 am and arrived the tribunal premises at about 9.02 am. I spent more than thirty minutes from Jabi junction while enduring humiliating searching and frisking from gun wielding and stern looking policemen. 

At a point they stopped the taxi that was conveying me and I had to resort to renting a motorbike to complete my journey. There were about 483 policemen deployed from the road to the premises of the CCT. They had armoured personnel carriers (APCs) positioned in strategic locations. They were so battle ready such that you will mistake the trial in view to be that of Abubakar Shekau  or Abua QaQa or a known Boko Haram commander. I managed to take a seat in the fully parked room after looking around for ten minutes

I counted about thirty four journalists, nineteen video cameras and three live television broadcast vans in the compound. It was clear that everyone was prepared for a major event. I was a little surprised at the elaborate preparation that I saw. It was as if another OscarPistorius was about to be arraignedI was not exactly sure what to expect neither could I guess who could have paid for such elaborate publicity. The atmosphere in the room was so soaked with tension. Some journalists gathered in clusters to review their expectations for the day while others threw banters at one another as they waited

At about 9.40 am I noticed some movement of a crowd of persons at the entrance after which the delegation from the Senate arrived. I spotted the Senate President Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu, Senator Magatakarda Wamakko, Senator Ben Bruce and others in the crowd. The Deputy Senate President sat on the front row. The Senators waited for another fifty minutes before the Chairman of the Tribunal stepped in about 10. 30 am. I do want to comment further on what transpired in court lest someone will either shout subjudice or accuse me of contempt of court. But I enjoyed the exchanges between the prosecution and the defence team which brought clarity to the undercurrents of the trial.  That said, let me raise some observations making round already in the public domain. 

The first observation is about the credibility of the tribunal under its current leadership.  It was reported in the media that the Chairman of the Code of Conduct tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar is himself facing corruption charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It was stated that the EFCC had invited him on several occasions and he rebuffed all of them.

 How come no one issued a warrant of arrest on him? Now the problem is how can such a man who is yet to clear himself from EFCC be trusted to preside over the corruption trial of another person? Such a man lacks the moral impetus to try anyone. The right thing expected is that either the learned Justice would have stepped aside until he sorts himself out from the EFCC or handed over the trial to an acting Chairman to preside over. 

The second point is about the timing of the alleged offence and the trial. I listened while the charges were read and came to understand that some of the alleged breaches were said to have been committed many years ago when the defendant was serving as governor of Kwara State
Many Nigerians are wondering why it took the CCT twelve years to complete their investigation and bring the matter to trial. Observers admit that part of the sins of the former governor is that he emerged as the President of Senate against the wishes of his party. 

Now if this is true, it means that the CCT trial is now a tool in the hands of the party to punish the Senator for his disobedience. There are those who think that the timing is not as important as the fact about the symbolism of prosecuting a high profile politician. As far as they are concerned offenders can be tried post-mortem. They take it as a credit to the political will of the current administration to fight corruption to take one anyone anytime

True. It sends a clear warning signal. What about others? Is Senator Saraki the only public officer who might have allegedly breached the CCB Act? Are there other Senators and public officers lined up for CCT? Shall we then take this trial as a coincidence or a well-rehearsed plan to use someone as a scapegoat? 

My third and final point is about the implications of the whole saga on the polity. There appears to be a clear battle line that has been drawn between the executive and the legislative arms of government. Can President Buhari afford this now? I am worried because of the complaints from many quarters that the federal government is moving very slowly and whether such executive-legislative face off will not worsen the pace of governance. 

We have been informed that the President will send his ministerial nominees to the National Assembly on the 30th of September. And so what nextIf some of these grey areas are not clarified, how will he expect any expedited clearance of those nominees? Now I have read that some Senators are already asking their President to resign so that Senators like the wife of Lagos strong man, Remi Tinubu or George Akume should take his place. 

How will one expect the Senate to fare per chance any of these handpicked persons take over the leadership?  How come the struggle to replace the Senate President started before his removal? Is it another banana peel as observed by Late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo

Every lover of democracy know the implication of a docile parliament. It simply means that no one will be provided effective oversight or question any form of executive rascality.  Such a situation will create opportunity for the executive to exercise both constitutional and unconstitutional powers without checks which may encourage the President to become dictatorial. The consequences will be too dangerous to contemplate.  In as much as many of us support the current effort of government to fight corruption, such efforts must be systematic, thorough and made to follow due process and not converted to a selective fight. Nigerians have not forgotten how anti-corruption efforts of President Obasanjo yielded results until he converted to an instrument for hounding political opponents. President Buhari must  learn from that experience. While we cannot conclude on Saraki’s own yet, the dramatization of his trail, the undue politicization and media sensationalism curiously leaves a lot to be desired. 

Uche Igwe Writes from Sussex

Buhari promises to ensure Falae’s release

Posted By Theresa Ugwuanyi on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 | 11:19 a.m.

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Inspector-General of Police and other security agencies to take all necessary action to ensure the safe and speedy rescue of Chief Olu Falae who was abducted from his farm on Monday.

President Buhari in a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina condemned the callous and reprehensible kidnapping of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and elder statesman.
The President assured Chief Falae’s family, friends and other concerned Nigerians that the Federal Government will do all within its powers to ensure his swift release.

President Buhari, who has requested constant updates from the police and security agencies on efforts to find and rescue Chief Falae, also denounced the recurring incidents of criminal abductions across the country.

He assured all Nigerians that ongoing efforts to significantly enhance the security of lives and property in the country will continue apace and that under his leadership, Nigerians, irrespective of their status, will no longer be left at the mercy of criminal elements.

The nation

Nigeria’s economy may slip into recession, CBN warns

From the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday came a warning shot on the economy: Nigeria risks sliding into recession next year.

The apex bank also hinted that the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) might affect the country’s economic growth.

Speaking yesterday at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja , CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele lamented that with “two consecutive quarters of slow growth, the economy could slip into recession in 2016 if proactive steps are not taken to revive growth in key sectors of the economy.”

Emefiele added: “The overall economic environment remains fragile. The economy further slowed in the second quarter of the year, making it the second consecutive quarterly less-than-expected performance.”
In the face of the prevailing circumstances, the MPC advocated that a “synergy between monetary and fiscal policies remains the most potent option to sustainable growth.”

The committee specifically “noted that liquidity withdrawals from the implementation of the TSA, elongation of the tenure of state government loans as well as loans to the oil and gas sectors could aggravate the liquidity conditions in the banks and impair their financial intermediation roles, thus affecting the economic growth, unless some actions are immediately taken to ease liquidity conditions in the market.”

Emefiele added that despite the TSA, “banking system liquidity ratio remains moderate, consequently committee advised on the urgent imperative for banks to aggressively support the efforts of government at job creation by channeling available liquidity into target growth enhancing sectors of the economy such as agriculture and manufacturing, this is with a view to promoting employment creation through conscious efforts aimed at directing lending to the growth enhancing sectors of the economy.”

The Committee considered that “the Bank (CBN) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) must strive to reverse the slowing GDP trajectory by actively staking up their efforts at catalyzing economy with substantial new loans to the target sectors earlier highlighted.”

The committee also expressed concerns “that growth had come under sever strains arising from private and public expenditure in particular. It noted the impact of non-payment of salaries at the state and local government levels as a key dampening factor on domestic demands.”

The CBN governor said year on year headline inflation continued to trend upward while month on month measures moderated.
According to him, despite demand, the foreign exchange market “remains significant as oil prices continue to decline. Arising from this development there were indications that some of the banking sector performance indicators could be stressed if conditions worsen further.”

The committee observed that the impact of the persistent decline in global crude oil prices on the fiscal position of government continues to reflect in rising credit to government.

Emefiele said the committee also noted that the initial market reaction to the decision by JP Morgan to exclude the country from its government bond index for emerging markets “has largely dissipated as yields soon adjusted to their pre-announcement levels” but warned that “there may be second round effects over the next two months as the economy adjusts to that decision.”

The committee reiterated its unwavering commitment to the Naira and exchange rate stability despite the pressures stressing that it is “mindful of the possibility of diversion of any extra liquidity to the foreign exchange market.”
As a result of this development, the CBN was urged to “closely monitor the nature and sources of demand pressure in the foreign exchange market to ensure that funds are not diverted to demands for foreign exchange but applied to specific growth enhancing asset creation and lending by the banks.”
It further noted that sectors like agriculture, MSMEs are sectors for rapid generation of productive employment and wealth creation as a result these sectors “must therefore be painstakingly encouraged.”
The CBN governor stated that gross official reserves decreased modestly from US$31.20 billion at end-July 2015 to $30.63 billion on September 17, 2015. Based on this, the Committee underscored the imperative of growing and protecting the country’s foreign reserves and building fiscal buffers in the process of strengthening confidence in the economy which is essential for promoting growth and stability.
Overall the MPC expressed optimism that business confidence will continue to be improved upon as the government continues to unfold its economic plans noting that “in addition, some of the reassuring measures of the administration including efforts aimed at resolving fiscal challenges at the sub-national levels and the fight against corruption and improved business environment will unlock investments.”
At the end of the MPC meeting and after considering what it called “the underlying fundamentals of the economy, particularly the declining output growth, rising unemployment, evolving international economic environment as well as the need to properly position the economy on a sustainable growth path”, the MPC decided to reduce the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) from 31 per cent to 25 per cent.
By a unanimous vote, the MPC voted to retain the lending rate or Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13 per cent; retain the symmetric corridor of 200 basis points around the MPR; and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

The Nation

Some Nigerians’ loot could feed generations unborn – APC Chairman, Oyegun

National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun, stated some select few, stole too much from the coffers of the Nigerian state, hence, they must be prosecuted.
Oyegun said on Monday, that the looting is so bad, that some corrupt Nigerians stole enough to feed their generations unborn.

The APC leader, therefore appealed to the judiciary to ensure that such persons were prosecuted.
He said this while speaking at the post-investiture reception for APC’s National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire, who was recently conferred with the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.

“There must be easier way; there must be either decisive justice, real justice without defeating the purpose of justice and without defeating the means to reform our society.

“Reform we must; and that reform must permeates all sectors of the economy and the polity.
“It is a real pleasure having you on the working committee of APC. It is a period of change and it is my hope that we will now get advice and proposals on how change would also permeates the judiciary.

“I have had cause to be in court once or twice and one of the greatest mysteries on earth is court processes. Before you know what is happening it is over and l did not think l was unintelligent, but I had to ask my lawyer what just happened.

“What is serious is that in a period like this, when we want to change society and change society quickly, it is important that it is in tandem with the judicial system.”

“The matter today is corruption and if we do not have ways that corruption cases can be treated or heard and disposed off quickly today, when we are not talking of a few millions of naira but trillions, these people can keep us in court all year long and for many years.”


Why FG must continue to support Hajj – Sanusi

Emir of Kano and Chairman of the Central Coordinating Team of this year’s Hajj exercise Muhammadu Sanusi II has said  that the Federal Government must continue to support  pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia because of  the nature of the exercise.

He told reporters yesterday in Jeddah that government must be involved in the exercise even if it no longer sponsors pilgrims.

Sanusi II however urged Nigerian Muslims to rise up to the challenges ahead and ensure that hajj exercise was completely independent, so that government would only provide diplomatic or consular services among others.

The emir who emphasised that his position was his personal opinion since the leadership of Muslims in Nigeria was yet to discuss the matter, insisted that the country must continue to have Amirul-hajj team, but not on the bill of government.

He said no responsible government would send over 70,000 of its citizens to a foreign land and say it has no business with them. 


Don urges Ndigbo to invest in kola nut plantation

A Professor of Agric Economics, Ralph Echebiri, on Monday advised Ndigbo to invest in kola nut plantation to boost the revenue of the South Eastern region.
Echebiri gave the advice during the 2015 `idor Orji culture’ (planting of kola nut) ceremony at Obizi, Ezinneihitte Mbaise, Imo.

The don said that large scale cultivation of the kola nut was a veritable avenue to economic wealth.
The professor, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Agric Economics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Aba, said kola nut plantation cultivation was capable of creating job opportunities for the teeming Ndigbo, if well managed.

“Beyond the tradition of using kola nut to promote unity, establishing kola nut plantations in many parts of the South-East geopolitical zone could provide jobs and revenue to the people,’’ he said.
Echebiri also advised the people to venture into other agricultural sector, especially modern agriculture to cushion the effect of dwindling oil economy.

He said with the fertile land, Nigerians had the potential to meet and surpass the food need of its people and earn foreign reserve without relying much on crude oil.

Chief Solomon Nnamocha, the President, and CEO of Solonns Investment Ltd, a maritime company with head office in Port Harcourt, urged corporate and wealthy Nigerians to invest in agriculture to tackle unemployment problem in Nigeria.

“Large expanse of land, which stretched along the Ezinneihitte Mbaise end of the Imo River bank, is enough for mass production of agricultural crops to boost the local economy.
“Presently, we may not have the crude oil as it is in other areas within the Niger Dealt region, but we have fertile land.

“We can take advantage of the fertile land to improve the fortune of our area,’’ he said.
Nnamocha said wealthy people could also invest in aquaculture, livestock, and plantations agriculture, adding that the return on such investment was promising.

He noted that if the people could key into the agricultural policies of the Federal Government, they could obtain credit facilities to further expand their agricultural ventures.

Chief Basil Ogwunga, and Chief Ignatius Okeahalam, both indigenes of Obizi in Imo, said that cultivation of kola nut was significant as the event cements good relationship among the fourteen communities in Ezinneihitte Mbaise.

Ogwunga said that numerous kola nut seedlings sold during the event were avenue of raising revenue for the community to embark on developmental projects and encourage the people to plant cash crops.

Okeahalam, one time chairman of Heartland FC, Owerri, used the medium to call on the youths to re-channel their energies towards agriculture development.

Two traditional rulers, Eze Stephen Azubuine of Obizi community and Robert Ahaneku, the President General of Obizi autonomous community, said the planting of kola nut event was a prelude to the Jan. 1, 2016 iwa orji Ezinneihitte (breaking of kola nut) festival to be hosted by Obizi community.

Business Day

Nigeria 3rd worst globally in tax payment compliance

An interactive table that shows the ‘ease of paying taxes’ ranking and the three sub-indicators results for 189 economies, clearly reveals Nigeria as third most laggard country when it come to the time it takes tax payers to comply.

Tagged ‘the changing face of tax compliance in 189 economies worldwide’ Paying Taxes 2015 measures the ease of paying taxes across these economies by assessing the time required for a case study company to: prepare, file and pay its taxes, the number of taxes that it has to pay, the method of that payment and the total tax liability as a percentage of its commercial profits.

Interestingly, it takes the Nigerian taxpayer an average of 908 hours to comply, followed by Bolivia about 1,025 hours, and the worst being Brazil- about 2,600 hours. Out of the 189 economies, Nigeria –Africa’s largest economy by GDP size, ranks low at 179 with total tax rate at 32.7 percent.

Nigeria ranks below other major Africa countries. For instance, South Africa ranks 19 with 28.8 percent total tax rate, and compliance hours of 200. Ghana ranks 101, with 33.3 percent in total tax rate, and 224 hours compliance time. Kenya ranks 102 with 202 hours in compliance time. The country’s total tax rate is 38 percent. Angola ranks 144 with 282 compliance hours and 52percent in total tax rate.

These indicators evidently signal challenges ahead for the Babatunde Fowler-led Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in meeting the federal government mandate of shoring-up tax revenue and improving on the country’s tax administration.

The new change of leadership at FIRS is predicated on the resolve of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure maximum increase in tax revenue as the era of absolute dependency on oil proceeds seems over, with over 60 percent decline in oil price.
Nigeria’s total tax revenue collection (oil and non-oil) for second quarter to June 2015 was N1.188trillion as against 2014 government quarterly target of N1.021trillion.
At N306.141billion, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) contributed 25.77 percent of to the total collection; while at N881.98billion, non-oil taxes accounted for 74.23percent of the total tax revenue collection as at half year to June 30.
‘Paying Taxes’ records the taxes and mandatory contributions that a medium-size company must pay in a given year, as well as measuring the administrative burden of paying taxes and contributions.

Taxes and contributions measured include corporate income and other profit taxes, social contributions and labour taxes paid by the employer, property taxes, property transfer taxes, dividend tax, capital gains tax, financial transactions tax, waste collection taxes, vehicle and road taxes, and any other small taxes or fees.

On the positives, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks best with total tax rate of 14.8 percent, while in that country it takes just 12 hours for tax payers to comply; Qatar is almost at par with UAE in terms of ease of paying tax ranking, but its tax rate is 11.3 percent and it takes tax payers in that country 41 hours to comply.

These indicators illustrate both successful tax reforms and reform challenges, as well as provide a platform for government and business to engage in constructive discussion around tax reform across a broader range of issues.



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