EU Advises Nigeria To Devalue Naira

A European Union (EU) official, Fillippo Amato, has advised the federal government to devalue the naira as part of measures to tackle the economic recession.

Amato, Counsellor, Head of Trade and Economics Section of EU, made this known in an interview with journalists yesterday. The EU official, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said recession could not be addressed with traditional development tools.

He added the recession was a recent development which was due to a number of factors, including the fall in oil prices and resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta.

“To come out of recession, the country has to take brave decisions, regardless of how unpopular they may be such as fully and effectively devaluing the naira.

“Devaluing the naira is a measure, which will finally reassure investors and attract new capitals to the country.

“At the same time, it will further reduce imports, thereby removing artificial forex restrictions, and removing any potential waste of scarce resources such as the fuel subsidy.

“Improving security (in the North-east and Niger-Delta) and ease of doing business are also key factors on which the government must urgently work to re-launch the economy,’’ he said.

Read More: thisdaylive

ECOWAS Parliament Advises Against Panic Measures To Address Recession

The ECOWAS Parliament has advised Nigeria to avoid using “panic measures” to address the country’s current economic situation.
The call was made at the presentation of Nigeria’s Report at the ongoing second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja yesterday.

Members of parliament raised concerns over Nigeria’s current economic situation and advised that the country use a more inclusive approach to address the recession.
They commended efforts taken by the federal government to tackle the situation but raised concerns that it was not doing enough. Mr Dominic Azumah, representing Ghana, said Nigeria needed to include its citizens in the process of resolving the country’s economic situation.
“Using panic measures is not necessary; Nigeria needs to be calm, move with and consult the people on the way out of the economic recession.
Mr Alfred Agbeshie, also representing Ghana, raised, concerns about the vandalism of oil pipelines in the country.
“Is the release of money by the government going to solve the Nigerian economic situation?” he asked.
Ms Aïssata Daffe, representing Guinea, noted that despite the measures Nigeria had taken to contain corruption and improve the economy “the naira continues to depreciate”.
In her response, Mrs Lynda Ikpeazu, representing Nigeria, agreed that Nigeria was not doing enough to address the recession, but stressed that efforts were being made to revive the economy.
Ikpeazu reiterated that the federal government was engaging perpetrators of oil pipeline vandalism, which she said, had contributed to the current economic situation.
She also said the government would look into complaints made by some representatives on citizens of member countries facing difficulties in obtaining Right of Residence permits to live and work in the country.
Read More: dailytrust

Christine Lagarde Advises Nigeria To Seek International Help For Economic Woes

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says Nigeria should seek economic help from international institutions.

Speaking at the IMF conference hall in Washington DC on Thursday, Lagarde said Nigeria needs to be open-minded on foreign exchange, and swiftly approve the 2016 budget.

“Our recommendation is that Nigeria should seek help from the international institutions that can best help,” she said.

“Second, that Nigeria should be open-minded in using flexibility of the exchange rates, in order to absorb some of the shocks. We believe that this is more efficient than to have a list of products that are barred from being imported to the country.

“Third, we believe that it’s really important that budget be completed, decided and approved and we stand ready to help Nigeria, if it wants to seek our help.”

Lagarde, who was in the company of David Lipton, IMF first deputy managing director and Gerry Rice, IMF spokesperson, also called on Nigeria to diversify its economy, adding that oil prices may be low for longer.

“I believe, having visited Nigeria in January, that it is also really important that the country looks at diversifying its economy, because it cannot rely exclusively on commodity prices only, particularly oil, because it might very well stay low for longer,” she said.

“Nigeria is full of energy, smart people, and can really transform some of its activities including the agricultural sector where there is just too much by way of import, when there could be a lot of transformation in Nigeria and local consumption.”

She also spoke on the viral panama papers, calling for international cooperation, while assuring the world that IMF would be at “happy” to play a role in resolving such worldwide issues.

Lagarde reiterated that countries must reinforce their commitment to durable global growth and employ a more potent policy mix.

“A three-pronged approach with monetary, fiscal, and structural actions can work as a virtuous trinity, lifting actual and potential growth, averting recession risks, and enhancing financial stability,” she said.

Credit: Sun

WHO Declares Zika Virus Global Health Emergency As Nigeria Advises Travel Restriction

The World Health Organization on Monday declared Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO also said protective measures against mosquito bites remain the most important preventive measure against the virus.

Margaret Chan, the WHO Director General, said at a press briefing in Geneva, Monday, that? a coordinated international response is needed to intensify the control of mosquito and expedite development of diagnostic tests.

“I convened the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee to gather advice on the severity of the health threat associated with Zika ?virus,” said Dr. Chan.

“The experts agreed that a causal relationship between Zika during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected.

“The causal relationship between Zika during pregnancy and microcephaly is not yet scientifically proven.

“The Committee found to public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus.

“At present, the most important protective measures against Zika virus are the control of mosquito populations, prevention of mosquito bites in at-risk individuals, especially pregnant women.”

Dr. Chan, however, advised pregnant women to consider delaying travel to Zika virus-affected areas as well as protect themselves with safe mosquito repellant or long clothing.

The WHO’s position came a day after the Nigerian government advised a travel restriction of its pregnant citizens to Latin America, the worst hit region since the Zika virus outbreak began late last year.

Isaac Adewole, Nigeria’s Health Minister, ?said the restriction would remain in place until “the situation improves.”

Zika virus is transmitted via the bite of Aedes mosquitoes.

The viral infection has been linked with babies born with underdeveloped brains.

?There is currently no vaccine or drug to stop its spread.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Annkio Briggs Advises Buhari On Biafra

Human rights activist, Ms Annkio Briggs has advocated for the self-determination of the Niger Delta people and urged member states of the United Nations to sup­port the demand by people of the oil-rich region for the control of their resources. She argues that the nation has short-changed the region for too long.

She spoke to newsmen after she addressed a conference en­titled: “Nigeria: Equity, corruption and justice” on behalf of a group, Niger Delta Self Determination Movement (NDSDM) in Lagos. Excerpts:

The Niger Deltans are asking for self determination while the Biaf­rans are asking for a separate state of their own, what is the difference in the two agitations?

The Biafrans are saying that they want a different country but we are saying that we want self determi­nation so that we can control our immediate areas of responsibility and pay tax to the federal govern­ment. That does not seem that we are asking for a different country of our own. It sounds like people who want to do for themselves what no other people can do for them. It is like confederation. What we have today is precisely that the centre takes everything and decide what you get whether you are dy­ing, dehydrating or not. When they give you your allocation, they feel you have taken your quota for the month.

On the issue of the Biafrans, if the Nigerian government wants to discuss with the Boko Haram, why not discuss with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Odi was destroyed and so many Niger Delta areas have been destroyed. What would have impressed me is that if President Buhari is going about asking for help to rebuild the North East and to negotiate with Boko Haram so that we can have security and stability, then he should include places like the Niger Delta and the Igbo people and find a way round their grievances and not have this mentality that 95 per cent voted for him and that five per cent did not vote for him.

Credit: SunOnline

“It’s A Trap”, Soyinka Advises Buhari Not To Sign Anti-Rape Bill

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold his assent to the Sexual Offences Bill (also known as the anti-rape bill) passed by the last National Assembly.

In a letter apologizing for his absence at an event marking the June 12 anniversary in Lagos, Mr. Soyinka said that a nation should not be founded on the sexual exploitation of the fragile and innocent.

“President Buhari – and here I make my first imposition on his presidency – should never place his assent on such a nefarious distraction,” Mr. Soyinka, a professor of Comparative Literature, said in the letter to the organizing committee of the June 12 Movement of Nigeria.

“Its implications doom the victim to afflictions that churn the stomach even to think of the human toll. Perhaps those legislators think that vaginal fistula is something thought up by arm-chair critics with nothing better to occupy their minds. No matter, let those who profess a genuine concern declare their stand on this.

“On my part, I find unacceptable any effort to build a nation on perversions that merely minister to man’s sexual appetites. This is a sordid appeasement of a minority who actually require psychiatric help.

“President Buhari should not give his assent to the Bill without amendments that address the earlier Yerimah gift to the nation. It’s a trap.”

The Sexual Offences Bill, 2015, was among the 46 bills passed by the 7th Senate in a last minute flurry of activities last week.
The bill stipulates a life imprisonment for any individual found guilty of rape or sexual intercourse with children under 11 years; 10 years for incest; 10 years for child pornography or a fine of N2 million; and 14 years for sexual abuse, among others.

Mr. Soyinka asked for help in understanding the bill which he described as a case of “rubbing vaseline on leprosy”.

“In this supposedly progressive bill, sponsored by the respected Senator Chris Anyanwu. I could not help but notice a reiteration – as if to ensure that there is no ambiguity – of the word ‘child’, near superfluously,” Mr. Soyinka said.

“Well, we understand ‘child’ as defined in most dictionaries. There is however also child as defined by the Nigerian legislature. This definition is contained in a prior Bill, sponsored, no less, by a notorious serial paedophile and cross-border sex trafficker, yet lawmaker – one Ahmed Yerima.

“Does Yerima’s Bill, gleefully assented to by his peers, not simply vitiate this latter, supposedly humane concern for the protection of the child? Again, I confess to being only a ‘bloody layman’ in such matters.

“However, reading both bills, it strikes me that all the new bill does is empower the clique of paedophiles. All you need do is ‘marry’ even a six-year old under any local laws, and do whatever you want with her. Through marriage, she is already an ‘adult’. Her ‘defiler’ is now fully protected by this law. She is not.”

Mr. Soyinka said that the issue of child protection looms large all over the world, including bills passed or under debate, adding that it defines how a people is viewed in the global community.

“The current bill is the ancient story of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. End of story? Yerimah and his fellow perverts are having the last laugh,” said Mr. Soyinka.

“This latest addition of insult to social injury was tucked within a last-minute avalanche of bills that were passed at lightning speed during the tail-end of the last legislative assemblage – 47 bills in under 3 hours – surely one for the Guinness Book of Records. An accident? Or by design?

“This bill, subjected to wrong arguments, merely consolidates the reduction of female minors to sex objects. As long as you can afford a bag of rice or – as in the case of cross-border tastes such as Ahmed Yerima’s – ten thousand dollars, you are free to rape a child to death.

“This, surely cannot pretend to represent the will of a people who care. Once you re-define female adulthood as marital status, all subsequent protection bills for the girl-child are worthless, cynical.”

Mr. Soyinka called on Nigerians to learn from the heroes of June 12.

“Few people have done more for the cause of liberation than the hero of this day. M.K.O. Abiola was an open polygamist,” he said.
“None of his wives was ever found to be below the only age of consent that is now needlessly under contention – the scientific. We cannot substitute science and observation for any spurious alibis that sacrifice the child to private lust.”


Cleric Advises Buhari To Lead Nigeria With Fear Of God

President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders have been urged to imbibe the fear of God in leading Nigeria.

Dr Jerry Modibbo, President of Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC), gave the advice during interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, on Friday.

He said the advice had become imperative for unity and lasting peace among the diverse ethnic, religious and political groups in the country. “Our role is to preach peace and unity and to advise our members and other Nigerians to live in peace and tolerate one another irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliations. “No society can develop in an atmosphere of rancour and confusion.

“The security challenges facing our state and some parts of the country have affected our lives and socio-economic development negatively.

“I appeal to our president, Buhari and other leaders to lead Nigerians righteously and with the fear of God in the interest of peace and national development.

“If Buhari and others lead with the fear of God, this would go a long way toward uniting Nigerians as well as taking the country to greater height.”

According to him, if the new administration leads Nigeria with the fear of God, it will foster unity and peace and promote socio-economic development. Modibbo urged Nigerian leaders to live exemplary lives and shun evil acts. He also called on Nigerians to intensify prayers for president Buhari and others to enable them to succeed in fighting poverty, unemployment and other social vices.

The ERCC president congratulated Buhari for his successful inauguration and urged him to fulfil campaign promises by tackling corruption, unemployment and insecurity. He urged youths to be law-abiding and respect constituted authority in addition to embracing peace.

Credit: NAN