Inflation rate falls for the first time in 15 months as Nigeria’s economy recovers.

For the first time since 2015, consumer price index (CPI), which measures inflation in the economy, fell, signalling a recovery in the Nigerian economy.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the inflation rate dropped from 18.72 percent in January 2017, to 17.78 percent in February 2017.

“On a Headline basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 17.78 percent (year-on-year) albeit at a slower pace in February 2017, 0.94 percent points lower from the rate recorded in January (18.72) percent,” NBS said on Tuesday.

“This represents the first time in 15 months that the headline CPI has declined on year on year basis representing the effects of slower rises in already high food and non food prices and favourable base effects over 2016 prices.”

The country however recorded price increases in “housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel, education, food and alcoholic beverages, clothing and frontware and transportation services”.

Despite the signs of recovery seen in the core inflation rate, food prices remain on the rise, with a surge in the food index, from 17.82 percent in January to 18.53 percent (year-on-year) in February.

The increase was driven by “increases in the prices of bread, cereals, meat, fish, potatoes, yams and other tubers and wine, while the slowest increase in food prices year-on-year were recorded by Soft Drinks, Coffee, Tea and Cocoa”.

Despite the fall, inflation rate remains at one of the highest points since Olusegun Obasanjo’s era as the Nigerian President.


Source: The Cable

Shallow seaports worsen Nigeria’s economic woes – By Sulaimon Salau

Owing to their shallow water challenges, the nation’s seaports are not contributing optimally to the growth of the economy.

The Guardian’s investigations revealed that any vessel that requires about 15 meters’ water depth and above cannot berth at any of the six ports in the country.

The situation is having adverse effects on international trade, as many large ships are diverted to neighbouring countries while others berth on the high sea, requiring feeder vessels to transship their consignments. This attracts additional charges, which further increases the cost of transportation and production in the case of raw materials for industrial goods, which is ultimately transferred to the final consumer.

Apart from the Lagos water channel that has about 14 meters’ draught, other ports in Calabar and Port Harcourt are currently facing the challenge of shallow water which limits their ability to receive big cargo vessels.Today’s ships are worth about 4000-5000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), 1988 evolution of ships, with a depth requirement of about 13.5 meters. These are the vessels that mostly come to Nigeria. But the 2013 vessels (Tripple E) are of 18,000TEU with depth requirement of 15.5 meters. The next generation vessels are targeting 22,000TEU and above.

“Mega ships” reduce transportation costs by half, accommodating more cargoes and saving fuel and manpower.

According to some stakeholders, bigger ships always mean more profit, but they also mean deeper and longer docks as well as bigger container cranes, wider storage space and a more developed logistic infrastructure.

Currently, the Apapa water channel is 14.5 meters, Port Harcourt is seven meters while Calabar ports are six point four meters. This is a far cry from what could freely sail a large ocean liner which is currently being pursued by shipping lines across the world. One of the reasons the Lagos port is usually congested, compared to others in the country, is because it has the deepest draught.

Already, port operators are contending with the high cost of shipping, clearing and multiple charges by a numbers of government agencies. The poor state of the scanners prolongs cargo clearing while also creating a leeway for illegal movement of arms, ammunition and other unwholesome goods into the country. The dilapidated roads to the ports coupled with the high customs tariff and other inefficiencies have impacted negatively on port operations, making the operators to declare 2016 as the “worst year.”

Indeed, recent statistics from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicate a drop in the number of vessels that berthed in all the ports from 5,369 in 2013 to 4,025 in 2016.

Although efforts are being made to float three new deep seaports in Akwa Ibom, Lekki and Badagry, hopes are deeming daily as these projects have overshot estimated costs and construction plan.

Efforts by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to dredge the waterways in many cases have hit brick walls. For example, a particular company collected about $56 million to dredge the Calabar channel, but nothing was done after many years.

Around the world, demand for “mega ships” has increased in recent years and countries that lacked seaports with sufficient size and logistics to take them in are fast adjusting.

The Group General Manager, EcoMarine International, Balogun Moruf Adedayo, told The Guardian that the current position of the ports, in terms of shallow draught and technological advancement, might jeopardise the national aspiration of becoming a maritime hub for the West African region.

Adedayo said: “Nigeria really needs to look at dredging of its ports very sincerely because the dynamics in the shipping world today are in the direction of bigger tonnages. The global shipping industry is now in an era where we can do 7,000-14, 000 TEU capacity vessels. Nigeria will need to have deeper channels to be able to accommodate these bigger vessels (bigger tonnages) because shipping is about economics of size.”

Balogun decried the shallow water in Calabar port, saying: “Looking at the strategic importance of Calabar port to this country in terms of its proximity to 16 northern states and accessibility to the neighbouring countries of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, it has the potential of also becoming a trans-shipment hub for the land-locked countries such as Chad and Niger. It is only natural that such a port should be provided with the required infrastructure and should be dredged to be able to realise such enormous potential. It will also go a long way to reduce overdependence on the Lagos ports.”

The NPA had last year launched a probe into the $56 million Calabar channel dredging contract to ascertain why so much was spent on the project without achieving the desired draught to attract bigger vessels to the port.

The Federal Government awarded the contract at N3 billion in 1996. It was re-awarded in November 2014 at N20 billion to complete the project, and later re-awarded in 2006 at $56 million. The contract, which was signed by the NPA, the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and the Calabar Channel Management, was to dredge the port up to 9.8 metres.

On the investigations, the General Manager, Public Affairs of NPA, Chief Michael Ajayi, said the matter was being handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). But the anti-graft agency could not give details when contacted by The Guardian.

On the shallow channel, Ajayi said the Lagos carriage could accommodate big vessels but could not go to Calabar due to the shallow water.

On attracting bigger vessels, Ajayi said: “That is why there is an emergence of deep seaports that would require little or no dredging. We have other ones under construction in Akwa Ibom, Lekki and Badagry. These ports will be able to accommodate bigger vessels. By the time the newer bigger vessels are ready globally, our own deep seaports would have been on stream.”The President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Olayiwola Shittu, said: “We have been very poor at maintaining our ports.

We need a draught of nothing less than 16 meters. In some places, we have nine meters or eight meters. Now we are building several other new ports when we have not maintained the existing ones.”

Patronage Of ‘Made-In-Nigeria’ Goods Will Drive The Economy – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s determination to drive the Nigerian economy with locally manufactured products.

Professor Osinbajo made the pledge at the 2017 National Productivity Day in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

According to him, the current economic realities indicate that continued dependence on importation is not sustainable.

He, however, called for the patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods.

“Permit me to make a comment on made-in-Nigeria initiative, which has also been recognised here.

“As the president said in his 2017 budget speech, we must grow what we eat and we must use what we make; we must patronise made-in-Nigeria products to encourage local production,” Professor Osinbajo said.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stressed the importance of the occasion.

“We are here today to celebrate and reward excellence in service by recognising individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the nation.

“The National Productivity Day is therefore a day we set aside to demonstrate that high productivity is the bedrock of every economy.

“It is time to reflect on ways of energising all sectors of the economy towards our goal of institutionalising productivity consciousness and excellence in service,” the minister said.

The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on his part highlighted the importance of a reward system in encouraging local entrepreneurship.

“Society can only develop and be productive when our reward systems are robust and effective.

“Good must be rewarded and evil must be punished; government can however, not do this alone.

“It is a task we must all tackle collectively right from the family unit to our community to the nation at large.

“We can only make progress and be productive when we stop celebrating criminal brigands and start recognising unsung heroes in our society,” the minister said.

The National Productivity Day has been set aside by the Federal Government to promote local production of goods and services, as well as reward indigenous entrepreneurs who are contributing to the growth of the economy.

At the 2017 edition, 15 individuals and five organisations were rewarded by the government for their contributions to Nigeria’s economy.

Navigating the Economic Landscape: A Guide for the Masses – By Rasheed Olaoluwa

I was inspired to write this piece by the questions I was asked during a recent panel discussion on Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2017. From the interactions, it was evident that many Nigerians are genuinely confused and unsure what steps to take to improve their lives, especially in the light of the current economic difficulties.


It is important to clarify that we’ve always had high poverty rates in Nigeria. It has only been aggravated by the current economic recession. Even during the period of high economic growth, many ordinary Nigerians were left behind, because the growth was not inclusive.


The Economist magazine wrote a piece in December 2011 titled “Africa Rising” which was based on the optimism induced by the sustained increases in commodity prices and related export/ foreign exchange earnings. African economies which are dependent on the export of crude oil, solid minerals and agricultural produce sustained average GDP growth rates of 5.5% for nearly a decade. Notwithstanding the “economic growth” recorded by Africa during that period, a large segment of the population never benefited.


Millions of people have been excluded because, in many cases, African governments failed to provide economic windows of opportunities for the masses of their citizens through sound educational systems, vocational skills training, small business loans, etc. However,  the introduction of various economic inclusion programs in response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is very reassuring.


The point must be made though that millions of Africans may have also excluded themselves by their inaction and failure to acquire relevant skills. To  appreciate how an individual may become included or self-excluded, it is important o understand the dynamics of economic activities and the place of economic actors.


Gross Domestic Product(GDP) is the sum of all economic activities in the economy, regardless of the concentration of economic sectors or economic actors. It doesn’t matter if 1% of economic actors account for 99% of economic output and 99% of the populace account for 1% of the GDP. This explains why macro-economic indices such as GDP growth rate is a very inappropriate measure of the economic development and welfare/well being of the people.


With UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030, Inclusive Growth has become a very topical issue in many developing countries, with the introduction of several programs aimed at the people at the Bottom of the Pyramid. What has been missing is a proper articulation of the individual’s role in getting him/herself included. Human beings are rational people, not objects. And governments must not assume full responsibility for their future


Every African has a responsibility to seek to “enlist” him/herself or participate in the economic activities that ultimately lead to economic growth. To people who enlist, governments have a duty to provide support. But first, how does an individual determine where, within the economy, to enlist or participate .


Let’s use the analogy of a Pyramid to explain the economic terrain, since most people are familiar with the Egyptian Pyramids. A Pyramid is a structure with a square base, and triangular surfaces converging to a single point at the top. Now, imagine that a Pyramid has four(4) levels or floors: Ground floor, Lower Middle floor, Upper Middle floor and Top floor. Imagine further that ALL economic activities take place inside Pyramids.


Given this scenario, I postulate that there are six(6) Economic Pyramids in any country. Each Pyramid has two wings: the Domestic Wing, which is much bigger, and the Diaspora Wing, which is much smaller. Economic activities within the countries are domestic(hence Gross Domestic Product), while Africans who live abroad constitute the Diaspora wing. Gross National Product is the combination of both domestic and Diaspora economic activities.


Let’s now examine the economic activities that take place inside each of the Pyramids:


  • The Trading Pyramid


What goes on here is basically buying and selling of goods. You have Retailers such as the street corner kiosks or the market stall owner operating on the Ground floor. The Wholesalers operate on the Lower Middle floor, the Major Distributors or Chains  on the Upper Middle floor and the Importers on the Top floor.


  • The Farming Pyramid


The economic activities here relate to agriculture. Subsistence, Smallholder Farmers operate on the Ground floor, the Smallholder Farmers with Tractor power occupy the Lower Middle floor, the Medium-sized Farmers with Tractor power occupy the Upper Middle floor, while the fully Integrated and Mechanized Farmers are on the Top floor.


  • The Services Pyramid


The provision of services to people in the same or other Pyramids is the economic activity in this Pyramid. On the Ground floor are Micro-Service Providers such as barbers, hairdressers, drivers, cooks, masons, plumbers, electricians, etc, for whom the basic requirement is the handyman skills. On the Lower Middle floor, you have Service Providers such as Restaurants, Dry Cleaners, Cinemas, Auto Workshops, Hauling & Logistics firms, etc, where more advanced equipment and facilities are required, in addition to vocational or technical skills.


Operating a level higher on the Upper Middle floor are the Professional Service Providers such as Accountants, Lawyers, Medical personnel, Estate Valuers, Financial Advisers, building/construction companies, film-makers,  etc. At the Top level are the Regulated Service Providers, who are licensed and regulated such as banks, telecommunications companies, broadcasting houses, airlines, etc.


  • The Extractive Pyramid


The actors in this economic space extract naturally occurring minerals from the grounds. On the Ground floor are the Artisanal Miners who basically extract whatever minerals they can get in  their communities, within shallow depths, using basic implements. On the next level up are the Small-Scale Miners who have the benefit of technical knowledge and a few Excavators to dig deeper into the ground.


The Medium-sized Miners occupy the Upper Middle floor. They have extensive operations involving several Excavators and very deep burrows into the ground. At the Top of this Pyramid are the Big Mining companies with long-term mining concessions and the Oil companies with Oil blocks from the governments. They have or acquire the mining or drilling technologies which enable them to go several kilometres into the ground to extract Gold, Diamond, Copper, Coal, Crude Oil, etc.


  • The Manufacturing Pyramid


Processing or Value-addition takes place in this Pyramid. On the Ground floor are the One-Shop Micro-Processors such as Metal Fabricators, Furniture Makers, Bakeries, Shoe-makers, etc. Small Factories with multiple-machine production lines operate on the Lower Middle floor. Such manufacturers produce items such as biscuits, floor tiles, roofing sheets, plastics, textiles, etc.


On the Upper-Middle level are the more advanced electro-mechanical producers of items such as electrical appliances, electronics, mobile devices, etc. At the very top are the Heavy-duty, high-technology producers of items such as automobiles, aircrafts, high-speed trains, turbines, etc. Unfortunately, the Top two floors in this Pyramid are unoccupied in most African countries, because we do not have the technologies required to operate at those levels. Only Industrialized nations have economic activities at the Top of this Pyramid.


  • The Government Pyramid


The actors in this Pyramid operate at the Ward, Council, State or National levels. They are either employed, appointed or elected. This Pyramid has the unique role of enabling the actors in Pyramids 1 to 5 and regulating their activities. The effectiveness of actors in this Pyramid in enabling the players in other Pyramids has become debatable in recent years. It would seem the actors here are more interested in enabling themselves. For instance, in Nigeria, this Pyramid consumes 70-80% of the National Budget through their Personnel Costs and Overhead Expenses, with little left to enable other Pyramids through the provision of infrastructures.


Pyramids 1 to 5 are collectively referred to as the Private Sector while Pyramid 6 is the Public Sector.


The Diaspora Wings


Economic actors  in this space are Africans resident outside their countries of origin, in Europe, America, Asia and Middle East. They operate on the different floors of Pyramids 1 to 5 in their foreign countries of residence, from the Ground floor all the way to the Top level, and make significant contributions to Africa’s economic growth. For example, Diaspora Nigerians remit funds to family and friends in Nigeria in excess of $20 billion annually.


The Pyramid in which you choose to do business and the level/floor at which you operate is, generally speaking, a function of the skills, expertise, experience and network of contacts you have acquired from formal training, on-the-job training, skills upgrade, self development and social networking. People with the minimal skills tend to occupy the Ground floors of the Pyramids. As you acquire more skills, experience and network, you increase your ability to migrate vertically upwards from the Lower to the upper levels.


There is a special class of people known as Entrepreneurs who start businesses in Pyramids 1 to 5 and employ other people with the requisite skills. Unfortunately, there is little room for unskilled applicants, who are condemned to menial works such as laborers,, cleaners, cart-pushers, road sweepers, hotel porters, etc.


So, there you have it. Choose your Pyramid. Start from the floor commensurate with your current skills, and work your way upwards through part-time studies, online/eLearning courses, self development, on-the-job training, etc.


Doing nothing is not acceptable. Not enlisting or participating in the economy is tantamount to self-exclusion. You stand the risk of being left behind, wallowing in poverty. All of us have a personal responsibility to navigate the economic landscape, enlist in the Economic Pyramid that suits our profiles and become economic agents. This in my opinion is how we can collectively achieve Inclusive Growth. So, what’s your Economic Pyramid?



Rasheed Olaoluwa

Former MD/CEO,

Bank of Industry

Does Recession Truly Exists? – By Otolorin Olabode

Prices of goods have skyrocketed, companies are downsizing, We can’t afford to eat regularly, everyone is complaining. There is mass hunger in the land. This obviously is recession in the eyes of the poor.         On the other hand, let’s look at the analysis of recession by the rich. Owambe parties every Saturday, club outings on Friday, Regular online shopping orders, Lunch at upscale restaurants, frequent overseas trips, First class Air Tickets. finally, they acclaim “Recession is not affecting us”.


The two sides of a coin  they say don’t reflect the same outcome. Since, the Government made an official statement about recession in Nigeria, there has been agonizing tales of how Nigerians survive. From a woman stealing a pot of8 Amala to feed herself and her children to people killing Rats for meat. Many have had to subsidize their feeding regime by eating twice per day, while for others, it is a meal per day.


Even the Federal Government had to direct its ministers to fly Economy class when travelling by air. The rate of social vices have notched up higher with everyone seeking to use what they have to get what they want albeit through illegal means. The government has been emphasizing on the need to invest in Made-in-Nigeria goods and has made frantic moves to stop recession from scaling high by pumping money into the economy.


Nevertheless, there is a certain class of people in the society who despite the current recession continue to display their affluent wealth and we beg to ask “Is recession only affecting the poor?” Or is it not affecting the whole of Nigeria? In this case, the rich are not crying. Tales of how a popular senator bought a Rolls Royce worth 180million Naira still rings a bell in our head. Few days back, a Nigerian artiste bought a Mercedes worth 100million Naira.


However, it would have done the Nation enough good if we all can unite and help one another. one seem to wonder why in a 21st century country, there are beggars on the streets and highways. If Buhari and Osinbajo can take pay cuts in their salaries, what is stopping our greedy and self-centered senators from doing such. If Dangote and other rich people can donate to the poor, give scholarship awards to students and set up empowerment centers, what is stopping other so-called millionaires from treading the same path.


President Buhari, there is hunger in the land, the masses are suffering while the rich are enjoying, drinking the choicest wines from Spain, eating assorted meals, going on holiday trips and lavishing money on the latest expensive automobiles courtesy of the Nation’s treasury. President Buhari, the poor have the luxury of using rats as meat, eating an unbalanced diet,  getting sick everyday, the kids in the north are malnourished and one of your ministers is saying “Nigerians are not feeding well” . All is well with Nigeria.


Otolorin Olabode is a student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He is a Creative writer and also a seasoned content writer. He handles Latest9ja, a news and entertainment website.


He can be reached via Email: or through +2348064717949. He can also be followed on Instagram: @viewsfromthebod

Obaseki: “Edo to be the most prosperous economy in the South-South within 3 years”

Governor Godwin Obaseki has expressed his administration’s desire to make Edo State the most prosperous economy in the South-South within the next three years. Besides, Governor Obaseki expressed confidence that in another seven to ten years, his desire was to position the State as the number one economy in the country, a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. John Mayaki contained.


The statement quoted Governor Obaseki while declaring open a 3-day strategic policy dialogue workshop with the theme: Setting Agenda for the new Administration with Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service as participants as well as political leaders and critical stakeholders in the state.


Governor Obaseki said, “15 to 20 years, we want to be the number one investment destination in the continent,’’ adding that to achieve this vision for the state, “first class institutions capable of nurturing transformation policies must be built”. He noted his administration’s quest to deliver on infrastructure that would be better than what was available in the Federal Capital Territory.


“We must deliver on infrastructure that is better than what is available in the Federal Capital Territory. We must aim at generating revenues much more than Lagos without putting unbearable tax burden on our people. “We must therefore aim at developing our institutions because in the cause of this workshop, we shall be working on six thematic areas, which are the key pillars of our goal for the state.’’


He said the workshop would address issues such as how the state would achieve economic revolution that would translate to having a developed world class infrastructure. According to his words, “How do we ensure institutions are reformed so they can deliver? How do we ensure that we can create a state that is socially conscious and create emphasis on the welfare of our people? “How do we ensure that our culture which is world class acclaimed is displayed and made available for the world to enjoy our tourism as well as sustain our environment”.


The governor noted that in the case of the economy revolution, the thematic group should focus on how the State would establish investment bureaucracy that could begin to attract world class investment. He added that focus should be on strategic plan that could create minimum of 200,000 jobs as well as many small scale and medium enterprise that was sustainable. Obaseki further urged other thematic groups on their expectations from the government at the end of their three-day brain storming session, adding that their resolution would be the working document for developing the state.


Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, retired Justice Samson Uwaifo, stated that effective leadership required good decision making, describing the workshop as revolutionary approach to governance. The former Supreme Court Judge therefore urged the people not to misunderstand or abuse the dialogue platform as it was a sign that the governor was ready to serve with the best of intentions. His words, “I think the move to set the Agenda for the new administration in Edo state is well conceived. No doubt it is the first of its kind and the essence of it is revealed in the vision and mission set out.


The vision for the thematic pillars so systematically analyzed is quite attractive and demonstrates a revolutionary approach to change in the art of governance. “This is a practical exhibition of this administration to ensure inclusive government. Let me sound an admonition that this new era of governance should neither be misunderstood nor abused by any one in whatever sense. Let it be taken with gratitude that it is a sign that the Governor has offered to serve the people with the best of intention”, he said.

How Nigeria’s economic challenges affect West Africa – ECOWAS

The depreciation of the naira and other economic challenges affecting member states have slowed down ECOWAS economic integration and the adoption of a single currency, the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports.

This was one of the main issues discussed at the technical meeting of the ECOWAS Macroeconomic Policy Committee on Multilateral Surveillance in Abuja on Thursday.

The out-going Chairperson of the committee, Ommy Sar Ndaiye, said that it was pertinent for member states to develop strategies to address the prevailing economic challenges.

Ms. Ndaiye, however, noted that the commission had made progress in its macroeconomic policies.

“The depreciation in value of the naira and other economic factors in Nigeria are affecting ECOWAS.

“We all know that whatever happens in Nigeria weighs heavily on our economies.

“If there are challenges there, it would reflect on the region,” she said.

She urged the committee to make recommendations that would strengthen sub-regional economic integration and development that could also be implemented through the economic policies of member states.

The ECOWAS Commissioner, Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research, Mamadou Traore, said that the 2015 report on the macroeconomic convergence for the region showed a slowdown the growth of the economy compared to 2014.

Mr. Traore said the lack of raw materials, poor state of infrastructural development in member states and the depreciation in value of the naira contributed to the slow growth rate.

He said that that despite measures put in place by the commission, the ECOWAS economy “is still vulnerable to external shocks”.

He called on member countries to do in-depth analyses to determine the growth factors that made the sub-region vulnerable.

“Member states should get an update of implementation of the ECOWAS single currency programme.

“The deadline for the adoption of single currency is fast approaching; this committee should set an agenda to look into the progress made so far and identify challenges that may hinder its smooth operation.”

He urged member states to regularly update their databases on measures that drive economic growth in their countries.

The commissioner stated that the two-day meeting would review the 2015 report, evaluate and make recommendations that would drive the economies of member states.

He also said that the meeting would discuss the status of the implementation of the ECOWAS Common external Tariff.

NAN reports that ECOWAS has set 2020 to achieve the adoption of a single currency for the region.

Udoma Udo Udoma: Nigeria needs oil to get out of oil-propelled economy

Udoma Udo Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, says Nigeria needs revenue from crude oil to diversify its economy.

In a statement issued by Akpandem James, his media aide, on Thursday, the minister said the country’s immediate priority was to get oil production output back to the desired level to secure revenue needed to diversify the economy.

He told the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regional director for Africa, Abdoulaye Mar Deiye, in Abuja, that “although the country is focused on diversification of its economy, it needs oil to get out of the oil-propelled economy”.

He explained that though the global slump in oil prices introduced some shocks that affected the country’s economy, the immediate reason for the slump into recession was the massive reduction in output caused by militancy in the oil-bearing Niger Delta region.

While exploring a number of engagements that would ensure the return of normal production activities in the region, Udoma said government was intensely focused on a long term economic agenda that would ensure sustainable economic growth and development.

He also briefed the visiting UNDP regional director on the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP) that is currently being finalised by the federal government.

Her acknowledged the support of the UNDP, particularly in the area of technical assistance, including capacity building and the humanitarian situation in the northeast.

In his response, Deiye expressed delight that the ministry of budget and national planning was given the coordinating role of the situation in the northeast and indicated the UNDP’s willingness to support the ministry to ensure success in its defined goals.

He said UNDP was aware of the current complexity of the situation in Nigeria, particularly with respect to the security challenges and the oil price collapse, stating that the fall in oil price which is the country’s main source of revenue had also affected budget implementation.

Despite these challenges, he acknowledged that Nigeria still remains the largest economy in Africa.

Nigeria’s Economy Needs Visionary Leadership- Bloomberg

Africa and the world cannot afford a failing economy in the continent’s most populous nation. Yet that is exactly what Nigeria might be getting: Its economy is on track to shrink by 1.7 percent this year, the official unemployment rate has more than doubled over the last two years, and inflation is at an 11-year high.

One concrete step President Muhammadu Buhari could take to address the crisis would be to eliminate the country’s disastrous foreign exchange controls. Instead, Buhari has made no secret of his desire to defend Nigeria’s currency.

And the central bank has mostly gone along. Despite allowing the devaluation of the naira in June, it is continuing to manipulate the exchange rate — discouraging foreign investors, creating a crippling shortage of dollars for businesses that need to import, and feeding a currency black market. To keep down the street price of vanishing dollars, Buhari’s government has arrested informal money-changers. More capital controls are in the works.

Dismantling Nigeria’s foreign exchange controls will doubtless cause at least a short-term rise in inflation. Yet doing so will not only draw foreign investment and make the economy more productive and competitive, but also cut off a conduit for corruption. Buhari can cushion the blow for Nigeria’s poor through targeted cash payments — an approach Nigeria has used in electronically delivering subsidies to poor farmers. That same mechanism could also shield the poor from the regressive impact of an increase in Nigeria’s value-added tax — which is relatively low but a potentially valuable source of additional government revenue.

There are other ways to stimulate the economy, of course. But Nigeria’s Senate rejected Buhari’s three-year spending blueprint and an ambitious campaign to borrow $30 billion abroad because they lacked details. Meanwhile, his reluctance to sell off state-owned assets has undermined other efforts to raise revenue.

To be sure, Buhari faced ugly circumstances when he took office in May 2015. The plunge in oil prices had left the economy reeling and government coffers bare, and attacks by Boko Haram were ravaging the country. Yet while some progress has been made fighting both terrorism and corruption, Buhari’s rigid leadership style has made the country’s economic problems harder to solve.

Buhari’s election and pledges of good governance rightfully raised expectations across Africa. To fulfill those hopes, however, he will have to demonstrate more flexibility.

Credit: bloomberg

Nigeria’s economy slips further into recession. – Report

Nigeria’s economy further receded in the third quarter, with a 2.24 per cent contraction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while real GDP expanded for the second consecutive quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday.

According to latest data, real GDP, unadjusted for seasonality increased by 8.99 percent quarter on quarter, which was an improvement compared with 0.89 per cent expansion in real GDP in the second quarter of the year. Real GDP had slowed by 13.71 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

The Nigerian economy slid into recession for the first time in 25 years in the second quarter, when a slump in crude prices which is a major contributor to government revenue brought about a 2.06 per cent contraction in the economy.

NBS noted that during the three month period, Nigeria’s oil production as reported by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) averaged at 1.63million barrels per day (mbpd), lower from production in second quarter of 2016. Oil production was also lower relative to the corresponding quarter in 2015 by 0.54million barrels per day when output was recorded at 2.17mbpd

As a result, real growth of the oil sector slowed by 22.01 per cent (year-on-year) in third quarter of 2016, representing a decline relative to growth recorded in same quarter of 2015 at 1.06 per cent. Growth declined by 23.07 per cent points and 4.54 percentage points relative to growth in third quarter of 2015 and second quarter of 2016 respectively. Quarter-on-Quarter, growth was 8.07 per cent.

A senior Moody’s analyst told Reuters that Nigeria’s economy could expand by 2.5 percent next year as long it can produce 2.2 million barrels per day – the level at which the government made its budget calculations.

The 2.24 per cent GDP recorded in the third quarter was lower by 0.18 per cent points from growth recorded in the preceding quarter and also lower by 5.08 per cent points from growth recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2015.

With the latest GDP contraction, analysts say it would be difficult for the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which is holding its meeting to justify an increase in interest rate. They noted that the rising inflation rate will also make interest rate cut a difficult policy option. Inflation had risen from 17.9 per cent in September to 18.3 per cent in October and is expected to continue to rise.

Government revenue has plunged with the decline of oil prices, the country’s main export, since mid-2014, and production fell as militants in the Niger River delta blew up pipelines. The authorities have struggled to manage the economic fallout, at one point pegging the exchange rate against the dollar for more than a year and more recently using law enforcement to bring down the street price of foreign currency.

To Michael Famoroti, an economist at Vetiva Capital Management, the third-quarter data is worrisome because “it was expected that the liberalization of the petroleum sector and foreign-exchange market would have helped. We didn’t see that. It means the monetary and fiscal authorities will have to step up their efforts to address the output decline.”

Recession Gets Worse, Nigerian Economy Shrinks By 2.24%

More headache for President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government as Nigerian economy continued to languish in recession in the third quarter as its shrank 2.24 per cent compared to the same three months in 2015.

This was a further deterioration on the 2.06 per cent contraction in the second quarter, which marked the official start to the country’s first recession in more than two decades.

GDP shrank 0.36 per cent in the first three months of the year.

“Oil output in the third quarter was 1.63m barrels a day compared to 2.17m in the same period last year, stripping out the oil industry, GDP grew 0.03 per cent between July and September”, Dr. Yemi Kale, the head of Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics stated in a series of tweets on Monday morning.

He added that year-to-date, GDP has contracted 1.58 per cent, “meaning Nigeria needs growth in Q4 of 4.32 per cent to avoid full year negative growth”.

The slump in oil prices since mid-2014 has hit Nigeria hard while production was also disrupted by a fresh insurgency in the Niger Delta.Recession gets worse, Nigerian economy shrinks by 2.24%

More headache for President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government as Nigerian economy continued to languish in recession in the third quarter as its shrank 2.24 per cent compared to the same three months in 2015.

This was a further deterioration on the 2.06 per cent contraction in the second quarter, which marked the official start to the country’s first recession in more than two decades.

GDP shrank 0.36 per cent in the first three months of the year.

“Oil output in the third quarter was 1.63m barrels a day compared to 2.17m in the same period last year, stripping out the oil industry, GDP grew 0.03 per cent between July and September”, Dr. Yemi Kale, the head of Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics stated in a series of tweets on Monday morning.

He added that year-to-date, GDP has contracted 1.58 per cent, “meaning Nigeria needs growth in Q4 of 4.32 per cent to avoid full year negative growth”.

The slump in oil prices since mid-2014 has hit Nigeria hard while production was also disrupted by a fresh insurgency in the Niger Delta.

We need oil to get out of oil, says Osinbajo.

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria needs oil to get out of oil.


Osinbajo made the remark on Monday at the presentation of three books written by Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu in Abuja.


The books are, Compendium of Oil and Gas Cases in NigeriaLegal issues in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry and the Petroleum Industry Bill: Getting to the Yes.


Speaking at the presentation Osinbajo said Kachikwu is an expert in the oil industry with over 30 years experience.


The Vice President who spoke on the nation’s need to diversify the economy said, “we need oil to get out of oil”.


He said, “I think it might be important to say that the federal government has had to deal frontally with the critical issues bedeviling the sector: the deregulation of the downstream sector and its continuing challenges, vandalism of pipelines and export facilities and the critical drop in production, gas to power issues, the urgent imperatives of local refining, cash call problems and the plans to exit that regime and empowering indigenous operators.


“As we move to diversify our economy we are acutely aware that we need oil to get out of oil. Yet our window of opportunity to benefit maximally from the petroleum industry is narrowing.


“The development in shale oil which the author spends considerable time on, the increasing breakthroughs in renewable energy use, the incredible speed of the expansion of the use of electric vehicles, Japan now has more electric charging stations than gas stations- all point inexorably to the fact that the party might be over sooner than we expected,” he said.

Greece Out of Economic Recession

The Greek economy emerged from recession for the first time since 2014, managing two straight quarters of GDP growth, figures released Monday showed.

Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.5 percent in the three months to September from the previous quarter, and by 1.5 percent from the third quarter of 2015, statistics bureau Elstat said.

It had already nudged 0.2 percent higher in the second quarter from the first. Two consecutive quarters of growth officially mark the end of a recession.

The Greek government expects the Greek economy to contract by 0.3 percent in the full-year 2016, before returning to growth next year when it predicts GDP to surge by 2.7 percent.

On Thursday it said the growth dynamic was now in better shape than at any point since the financial crisis.

“The Greek economy has not known a comparable growth rhythm since the first quarter of 2008,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said.

He said Greece was counting on debt relief to support growth, as well as on Athens gaining access to the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme which involves purchases of sovereign bonds.

Apart from a brief respite in 2014, the Greek economy has been steadily contracting since 2008 as the country’s creditors as well as the European Union and the IMF imposed harsh austerity measures accompanying successive bailouts.

Falling salaries and pensions combined with tax hikes have had a devastating impact on demand, particularly consumer spending.

In May, Greece’s eurozone partners and the IMF agreed in principle to debt relief as well as series of short-term measures to be finalised in December.

They have not, however, been able to agree on the pace or the scope of long-term debt restructuring. European Union heavyweight Germany has pushed back any such deal to end-2018.


Nigerian cities’ contribution to economy low – FG

The Federal Government has lamented the low contribution of Nigerian cities to the economy, compared to those in developed and emerging countries, stating that this is unacceptable.

It attributed the situation to the current city management style, which it said should be reviewed as it was not working.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said this at the 50th anniversary and 47th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Promoting Liveable Settlements’.

The minister observed that the cities were bogged down by a myriad of hindrances to economic growth, including dilapidated infrastructure, slum growth, transport gridlocks, poor housing, urban poverty, and dismal sanitary conditions.

Fashola said, “With the current urbanisation, Nigeria’s population stands at the threshold of becoming predominantly urban in the near future, having more than 800 urban settlements, including the Lagos mega city with about 15 million people, and about 10 other millionaire cities and so many intermediate cities.

“Indeed, it is estimated that by 2050,about 60 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa will be urban with Nigeria dominating the scene. The scenario is, however, worrisome, bearing in mind that the contribution of our cities to the growth of the economy is embarrassingly low, when compared with examples in developed and other emerging nations.”

Fashola explained that as part of strategies to make the cities and towns liveable, inclusive and sustainable, the Federal Government has launched fresh attempts to confront urbanisation along different fronts.

At the policy front, the minister said the government had successfully pursued the process of reviewing, revalidating and adopting the National Housing and National Urban Development policies.

He stated that his ministry had produced six designs of one-bedroomed, two-bedroomed and three-bedroomed flats, bungalows and condominiums to represent the Nigerian house.

The acting President, NITP, Mr. Luka Achi, in his welcome address, called for the implementation of the 1992 urban and regional planning law “in which the national urban and regional planning commission, state urban and regional planning development boards and local planning authorities are properly constituted.”

He argued that the non-inclusion of physical planning on the concurrent list of the constitution had created a gap in the planning hierarchy.

Canada needs 300,000 immigrants to drive it’s economy.

To replenish its aging workforce, the Liberal government in Canada, will from next year, increase the intake of immigrants to 300,000. The move, according to investigation, was to help drive economic growth.

The previous target from 2011 to 2015 was 260,000 and the increase followed what Minister of Immigration, McCallum, called the “special circumstances” of the Syrian refugee crisis. That number will now be the permanent base.

The government’s economic growth council had recommended raising immigration levels to 450,000 over the next five years, but McCallum rejected the target.

There has been much debate over the targeted immigration level at a time when Canada struggles with high unemployment. There have also been questions about the country’s ability to smoothly integrate newcomers into communities.

The minister said other measures would be announced at a later date to streamline the process for economic applicants and to improve the process for permanent residency for international students. He further reinstated that students were among the best candidates to become Canadians, yet they had been “shortchanged” by the system in the past.

Kevin Lamoureux, the parliamentary secretary to the House Leader, said immigrants not only fill jobs that would otherwise remain vacant and help to develop provincial economies, but they also contribute to the character and social fabric of communities. If not for immigration, population of his province of Manitoba would have declined in the last decade.

Our Main Objective is Economic Diversification – SON

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said that it will double its efforts to help Nigeria achieve her quest for a diversified economy.

The Director General (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, during an inspection visit to the agency’s offices in Enugu and Anambra States recently, said SON has a vital role to play in turning around the nations’ fortune, noting that the Nigeria’s quest for a robust agricultural economy and a strong Industrial development will be realised if the machines and equipment in the SON engineering laboratory, Enugu are fully utilised.

Aboloma noted that the diversification of the economy will bring to bear, doubled efforts in terms of quality and standards, streesing that Nigerians should expect more from the organisation, and therefore, charged staff of the agency to be upright in all aspects of their duties in order to win the confidence of Nigerians.

He emphasised the need to achieve zero tolerance to substandard products in Nigeria, and enjoined the staff to make the best use of the equipment in a way that manufacturers in the country would have no cause to look outside the shores of the country in standardisation and quality assurance of their products.

The Director General noted that the equipment in the laboratory, if well and fully utilised, could cater for Nigeria’s industrialisation demands, which is a component of the National Quality Infrastructure that includes testing and conformity assessment.

Aboloma said though he is in SON to pilot the affairs of the organisation, but stated that his direction will be the same with that of the staff which is to take SON to the next level and also promised to improve on all laudable projects that are ongoing in the organisation including human capital development and staff welfare scheme.

He implored the staff to be good ambassadors of the organisation and change their attitude to work so that SON will be a pace setter for others to follow.

The Director General was also conducted round the construction work at the National Metrology Institute (NMI), and expressed delight over the progress of work done so far and called for accelerated efforts for the project to be completed as scheduled.

He noted that the project when completed will boost Industry and enhance trade and investment both in Nigeria and the ECOWAS, maintaining that it would also improve the diversification drive of the federal government, while also enhancing export of agro- allied and other manufactured goods in the country

Buhari Is Doing The Right Thing By Borrowing – DMO

The $29.9 billion loan request by the Federal Government is not a trap, Debt Management Office (DMO) Director-General Dr Abraham Nwankwo has said.

“The first thing to note is that this borrowing is normal. Normal in the sense that over the past 20 years, there is no year we have not borrowed; so, interpreting the proposal submitted to the National Assembly by Mr President for a three-year borrowing programme to be an indirect way of trapping the country does not seem to be logical because Nigeria has always borrowed every year.”

He stated: “Every year there is a budget and if you check the budgets many years back you will see that we have been borrowing both external and domestic; so there is nothing new about this. Let me also emphasize that since we exited from the Paris and London club debt in 2005-2006 we have always borrowed almost from all these sources we want to borrow from now.”

“If the $29.9 billion external loan is secured, if we build infrastructure in the next five to seven  years before those loans mature in 15 to 30 years, Nigeria would be in a position to service her debt and turn around the economy.”


Source:the nation

Nigeria’s External Reserves Falls 2.8% To $23.948bn in October

Nigeria’s external reserves fell by 2.8% to US$23.948 billion as at October 27, 2016, compared with the US$24.615 billion it was as at September 27, 2016, as attacks of oil installations continues in the Niger Delta region.

The latest external reserves position released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed that the reserves derived mostly from the proceeds of crude oil sales fell by $667 million in the last month, as the country’s earnings continued to shrink.

In spite of the recent appreciation of crude oil price in the global market, quantity shock impacted negatively on allocation to the three tiers of government for the month of September was shared about a fortnight ago as the spate of attacks on oil installations and pipeline vandalism showed no sign of abating.

Why oil economies will remain pressured – IMF

Despite the relative stability in the international price of crude oil in recent times, oil exporting countries’ revenue will not break even soon, as the commodity’s prices will continue to face headwinds.

Besides, the turmoil in financial markets, secular drop in petroleum consumption in advanced countries, plus a strong dollar, have put downward pressure on oil prices and the persistence only points to a “lower for longer” scenario for oil prices.

At the weekend, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Global Economy Forum, noted that the price of the commodity will not return to the high levels that preceded their historic collapse two years ago.

While reduced investment in the sector has been projected this year, even resulting to lower production by non-member countries of the oil cartel, production will still exceed consumption.

The report said many experts have also projected that oil markets will balance in 2017, albeit with high level of inventory, a development that will not improve the earnings of the oil economies.

According to it, shale oil production has permanently added to supply at lower prices, while demand will be curtailed by slower growth in emerging markets and global efforts to cut down on carbon emissions.

The report said: “it all adds up to a ‘new normal’ for oil.”

“Shale has been a game changer. Unexpectedly strong shale-oil production of five million barrels per day contributed to the global supply glut. That, along with the surprising decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to keep production unchanged, contributed to the oil price collapse that started in June 2014.

“Although the price collapse led to a massive cut in oil investments, production was slow to respond, keeping supply in excess. Shale drillers have significantly cut costs by improving efficiency, allowing major players to avoid bankruptcy,” the reported noted.

It also pointed out that there is uncertainty regarding supply, especially regarding the cost associated with extraction, as well as production from so-called shale “fracklog”- drilled but uncompleted wells.

Indeed, while the anticipation of an OPEC production cut in cooperation with other exporters has boosted prices to the current level, the success of Shale and the challenging global growth, particularly that of the emerging markets are threatening oil price rise.

The uncompleted wells, the report noted, can add to production flows in a matter of weeks and hence considerably change the dynamics of production compared to conventional oil—that features long lead times between investment and production.

While OPEC members have recently agreed to cut production, that agreement is yet to be finalized and emerging data, according to IMF, suggest that shale-oil production may be once again more resilient than expected.

IMF said that falling prices spurred demand to a record high of 1.8 million barrels per day in 2015, but now expected to slow to the trend level of 1.2 million barrels per day in 2016 and 2017.

The global institution said that a sizable share of oil demand is attributable to the price drop rather than income gains, hence with limited scope for further declines in prices in dollar terms, increases in oil demand will depend largely on prospects for global economic growth.

“The outlook for demand growth isn’t encouraging. In the past couple of years, oil demand has been driven by China and other emerging-market and developing countries.

“While China accounts for just 15 percent of world oil consumption, its contribution to oil demand growth is significant because its economy is growing much faster than those of advanced nations. Further slowdowns in emerging and advanced economies can change the demand picture significantly,” the report added.

We Are Happy With World Bank Rating – Presidency

The Presidency says the World Bank’s Doing Business R2017 Report, released on Tuesday is an indication that the government’s reform initiatives are yielding positive results. 

Laolu Akande

“The Buhari administration is gratified that the various reform initiatives put in place towards instituting a positive business environment is slowly but gradually yielding some dividends. “Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business remains static, halting a falling trend in the past several years,’’ the Vice Presidential spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, said, via a release issued on Thursday in Abuja.

Akande recalled that the latest report had ranked Nigeria 169 out of 189 countries in the overall Ease of Doing Business rank. He described the ranking as “a positive indication that the focus and tenacity of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the nation’s business and economic environment is working and on course.

“While Nigeria’s position remains the same as at last year on the index ranking, it is encouraging that Nigeria has recorded some positive outlooks in four critical areas of the ranking.’’ Akande listed the areas as: Starting a Business; Dealing with Construction Permits; Registering Property and Access to Credit. He noted that the objectivity and reliability of the report coming from an international development institution, lent weight to the milestone recorded in particular on the distance to frontier (DTF) metric.

Akande observed that on the metric, the country’s score improved slightly from 44.02 in Doing Business 2016 to 44.63 in Doing Business 2017. According to the World Bank report, the improvements noted mean that last year, Nigeria’s business regulatory environment as captured by the Doing Business indicators improved slightly in absolute terms. According to the report “the country is decreasing the gap with the global regulatory frontier.

“This is a morale booster for stakeholders involved in the efforts aimed at removing existing bottlenecks in the business environment.’’ Akande declared that the observation by the World Bank was recognition of the bold initiatives and untiring work of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

He said it was particularly achieved through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

He said Buhari in August had set-up PEBEC, which had an active collaboration with the private sector, “to remove the bottlenecks that stifle businesses and create the right enabling environment and investment climate.” PEBEC has nine ministers, the Head of the Service and the CBN governor as members and is mandated to give progress reports to the Federal Executive Council every month. The council’s secretariat with a team comprising staff from both public and private sector, is supported by knowledge experts and collaborates across ministries, departments and agencies as well as private sector stakeholders to achieve reform objectives.

According to Akande, Buhari is absolutely committed to boosting reform activities so as to continue to arrest the past decline, where the country fell from number 94 in 2006 to number 169 in 2016. He said the reforms would positively project the business climate to an enviable position in the international business community.

“With the reform efforts being put in place now, indications are that in subsequent years, Nigeria will scale up significantly in the ranking,’’ he declared.


PDP Asks National Assembly to Reject Buhari’s Proposal to Borrow

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to account for recovered loot over his proposed decision to borrow $29.96bn.

The president had asked the national assembly for approval to borrow the sum from external sources.

But the PDP called on the national assembly to reject the proposal “because it will plunge the country into huge debts”.

“We totally disagree with the APC led federal government on this latest move,  and call on President Muhammed Buhari to first and foremost explain to Nigerians what his administration has done with the so-called  ‘recovered looted funds’ and how far the 2016 budget is fairing,” the party said in a statement by Dayo Adeyeye, its spokesman.

The PDP said Buhari must itemise what he intends to finance with the proposed borrowing instead of “lumping it up in a coded term, and to plunge the nation into debt.”

It also said that the approach was not the preferred solution to the economic quagmire “which this government created due to ineptitude.”

“Nigerians will recall that the minister of information, culture and tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in June 2016 made public through a press statement, an account of recovered looted funds between May 2015 to May 2016 amounting to the sums of N78.3bn, $185.1m, £3.5m and €11,250m in cash; while others were under interim forfeiture. What happened to the recovered funds? Or is it the same funds the EFCC and DSS are planting in houses of opposition figures and justices instead of channeling it into the economy?” the party asked.

“In addition, the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu recently confirmed our position when he stated that the commission recovered more money in eight months than it recovered in 12 years.

“Nigerians need to know how much revenue government has been able to generate from crude oil, non-oil and independent revenue sources since assumption of office from May 2015 to September 2016. This clarification will boost confidence of Nigerians on the management of their resources especially in this period of recession before thinking of engaging in external borrowing.

“It is no gain saying that the APC led federal government has left no stone unturned in castigating the PDP’s 16 years as wasted even with its obvious achievements; one of which was getting reprieve from the Paris Club of Creditors. The APC-led federal government is again taking Nigeria prior to Year 2005 when external debt burden derailed the growth of Nigeria economy and weakened the GDP before the total cancellation of her debt. This proposed action of the APC’s government will be a great injustice to the citizens of this country now and in the future if they are plunged back into debt.

“Let us state unequivocally, that history will not forgive this APC government and its collaborators if they allow this injustice and maladministration to our economy and citizens to stand. We therefore call on the two chambers of the national assembly to reject this anti-people request by an anti-people government that has no genuine interest for the growth and development of the people of this country.”

IMF Report: Nigeria’s economy is the biggest in Africa.

A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy, in spite of its current challenges.

Nigeria is placed ahead of South Africa and Egypt which are second and third respectively.

In August, Nigeria was reported to have lost its position as Africa’s biggest economy to South Africa, following the recalculation of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

But the IMF’s World Economic Outlook for October, puts Nigeria’s GDP at 415.08 billion Dollars, from 493.83 billion Dollars in 2015, while South Africa’s GDP was put at 280.36 billion Dollars, from 314.73 billion Dollars in 2015.

According to the report, Egypt’s 2016 data is not available, but its 2015 size remained at 330.159 Dollars while that of Algeria, one of the largest economies on the continent, is put at 168.318 billion Dollars.

The United States, China and Japan maintain their spots as the largest economies in the world, ahead of Germany, United Kingdom and France.

According to a review in September, the current economic recession will outlast 2016, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contraction of 1.7 per cent.

The IMF had predicted that Nigeria’s economy would grow away from a recession in 2017.

The country last witnessed a recession, for less than a year, in 1991, and experienced a prolonged one that started in 1982 and lasted until 1984.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has so far disbursed over N700 billion in capital expenditure this year, part of a record N6.06 trillion (30 billion Dollars) budget for 2016.

Citizens need greater involvement in Economy building – Abdulfatah Ahmed

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has called for a collective sense of urgency to diversify the nation’s economy and tackle the current challenges facing the country.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the on-going symposium for Northern Nigeria Governors organized by the United States Institute for Peace in Washington DC, Governor Ahmed said current efforts at diversifying the economy away from dependence on oil and ending the hardship in the country stand a greater chance of success if all Nigerians approach the required  adjustments, sacrifices and drive with the collective sense of urgency.

Citing examples such as the defunct War Against Indiscipline(WAI) and Operation Feed The Nation, Governor Ahmed, who is among ten state governors attending the event, said the current efforts will succeed if all Nigerians buy into the government’s program on economic diversification and approach it with the required dedication and ownership to ensure rapdi economic recovery.

Alhaji Ahmed also emphasized the need for a broad-economic platform among the 19 Northern States to encourage partnership and ensure each leverage on identified strengths in agriculture and other key areas for the region’s collective benefit.

While acknowledging the enormous security and economic challenges facing the region and the resources required to conquer them, Governor solicited the US government’s assistance towards overcoming insecurity and hardship in the region.

Governor Ahmed also called for more reliable empirical data in confronting the twin problems of insecurity and poverty confronting the region, stressing such statistics will ensure that strategies are defined with clear goals, timelines and resource requirements to ensure they succeed in bring peace and prosperity to the region.

Meanwhile, Governor Ahmed and his colleagues are scheduled to meet with the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the US National Security Adviser, Susan Rice today in separate meetings at the State Departments and the White House to discuss areas of economic and security cooperation as well as assistance for the 19 Northern States.

Before Buhari’s Administration, Nigeria’s Economy Had been Diagnosed HIV Positive- Ohakim

Chief Ikedi Ohakim, the immediate former Governor of Imo State, has said that the nation’s economy was HIV positive before the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. He said this at the 2016 Diocesan Synod of Ikeduru Anglican Diocese, while delivering a 52-page lecture, “Leadership in times of adversity: Navigating Nigeria’s turbulent economy” He said:


“There is no doubt that before the Muhammadu Buhari administration, Nigeria’s economy had been diagnosed HIV positive, but it was being professionally managed with anti-retroviral drugs”.


FG, States to Review World Bank Projects In Nigeria

The Federal Government and states would meet soon to review the performance of World Bank-assisted projects in the country.

The Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, revealed the plan while speaking on a television program on the outcome of the just-concluded International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank annual meetings in the United States.

Adeosun said in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Festus Akanbi: “There are a number of other stalled projects. Some of them are health-related. Some of these projects incidentally are at state government level. So, one of the things we have to do is that I will be reporting to the National Executive Council meeting where state governors will be in attendance and the Federal Executive Council quarterly.

“If a project is really failing, I think other governors have the right to tell the affected state governors that look, let them cancel this project and bring it to my state. So there has to be a greater sense of responsibility because the interest rate to these monies is as low as 1.5 percent and you have about 20 years to pay. So if a state or department is fortunate enough to get a World Bank loan, I think it should have some urgency around how it is used. There are some projects in agriculture and some on irrigation that is stalled.

“There is $500 million for irrigation projects which are held up because the counterpart funding, which is Nigeria’s contribution, just $4 million has not been paid. We called the Minister of Water Resources and he said he had just released the money and the World Bank is excited because it means that project will now be on course.

“There is no doubt that the $500 million irrigation project is going to improve agriculture and create jobs. So there are quite a few takeaways that are positive.”

On the outcome of the meeting, the minister said Nigerians should look forward to tapping the immense opportunity created by the glut in the global capital market.

She, however, pointed out that this development does not translate to a change in government’s priorities.

She also spoke on the $500 million World Bank social facility for rebuilding the North East devastated by insurgents.

She said the executive is working with the legislature so that the fund can be accessed without delay.

The minister said the legislature is being carried along on the commitments secured at the IMF/World Bank meetings, adding that representatives of the National Assembly were part of the Nigerian delegation.

External Reserves Hit 11-Year Low Of $24.21bn

The Central Bank of Nigeria is planning to borrow the sum of N952.04bn ($3.02bn) with new issues of Treasury Bills from September 15 to December 1, 2016.

In its latest TBs issuance calendar, the CBN said it would sell N264.47bn worth of three-month bills, N204.88bn of six-month bills and N482.69bn of one-year bills, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The Federal Government is expected to borrow around N900bn from the local market to bridge its budget deficit, which is estimated at N2.2tn in the 2016 budget.

According to the Debt Management Office, the Federal Government is also planning to borrow N120bn ($387m) in local-currency denominated bonds at an auction on September 14.

The DMO had on Tuesday said that it would raise N40bn each from debt maturing in 2021, 2026 and 2036, using the Dutch auction system.

All the bonds are re-openings of previously issued debt.

The CBN has said it is planning to borrow N1.77bn via Treasury Bills in the last three months of the year.

In its fourth quarter Treasury Bills issue programme released on Monday, the CBN said it would raise about N815.37bn, comprising 91 days, 182 days and 364 days debt instruments.

The nation’s overnight naira interbank lending rate had eased to 16 per cent on Friday, down from 20 per cent recorded the previous Friday.

This followed improved naira cash liquidity after the disbursal of July budgetary allocations to Federal Government agencies.

The Federal Government distributes revenues from crude exports and taxes among the three tiers of government every month.

Dollar Scarcity: Banks Suspend ATM Card Usage Abroad

The foreign exchange crisis hitting the economy has assumed a new dimension with Deposit Money Banks announcing the suspension of overseas Automated Teller Machine card services and online transactions denominated in foreign currencies, OYETUNJI ABIOYE writes

Deposit Money Banks have begun suspending their Automated Teller Machine cards (debit and credit) from working overseas as dollar scarcity continues to hit the economy badly.

Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank on Friday announced the suspension of their overseas ATM card services.

Also suspended by the banks are online transactions priced in foreign currencies. This means that customers of the banks will no longer be able to use their debit or credit cards to make online transactions that are denominated in dollars, euros, pounds sterling and other foreign currencies.

In a note to its customers on Friday entitled: ‘Suspension of international transactions on naira debit cards’, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria said, “Please be informed that effective immediately, your naira denominated debit cards will no longer be functional for international transactions.

“This is due to the current volatility in the foreign exchange market. Your naira-denominated debit cards can only be used for local transactions at Point of Sale terminals, Automated Teller Machines and online for Nigerian retailers.”

In a text message to its customers on Friday, Stanbic IBTC Bank similarly said, “Dear customer, kindly note that effective October 18, 2016, your ability to carry out transactions priced in foreign currency using our naira debit and credit cards will be suspended. We apologise for any inconvenience in this regard.”

Both Stanbic IBTC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria advised customers seeking to carry out transactions denominated in foreign exchange to apply for dollar or pounds sterling debit credit cards. According to them, the dollar or pounds sterling debit or credit cards will be linked to the customers’ domiciliary accounts.

GTBank also announced the suspension of the ATM cash withdrawal service abroad. The lender also slashed its monthly ATM forex transactions to $100.

In a notice to customers on Friday entitled: ‘Review of the international spending limit on your naira Master Card’, the bank stated, “We write to inform you of the monthly spending limits currently applicable when using your GTBank naira Master Card for international payments via PoS and online. Previous monthly limit via PoS and online was $250; the new monthly limit via PoS and online is now $100. Kindly note that ATM cash withdrawal on your naira MasterCard is now only available in Nigeria.”

The development will make students studying in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ukraine and other parts of the world to face more challenges getting their monthly stipends from their parents.

Most of the students had relied on the ATM card withdrawal to get their monthly stipends from their parents before now.

This means customers seeking to do foreign transactions will have to open domiciliary accounts and fund same with dollars, pounds or euros purchased from the parallel market at the prevailing exchange rates.

Although other banks have yet to announce the suspension of ATM card services abroad, findings by our correspondent showed that many lenders had reduced drastically the amount that customers could withdraw via ATMs abroad.

This is despite the fact that the banks have in the past few months reduced the monthly total amount of forex-denominated transactions that customers can do, using their naira debit or credit cards via ATMs and PoS terminals abroad as well as online payments or transactions.

As of last week, findings showed that some banks had slashed their daily ATM withdrawal limit abroad from the $300 advised by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Bankers Committee to $100 due to their inability to source for dollars to fund the transactions.

Unconfirmed sources said some banks had reduced their monthly ATM withdrawal limit abroad to $100.

Top banking officials close to the development told our correspondent under the condition of anonymity that banks were increasingly finding it difficult to fund their foreign-currency denominated services, especially online forex transactions and overseas ATM withdrawals, as well as PoS usage overseas by customers.

A top official of Deposit Money Bank, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent on Sunday, “We have to stop the services. Formerly, we were sourcing forex at high prices and we were selling same to customers at similarly high prices. But the situation is now tense; the dollar scarcity has assumed a new dimension.

“This is coupled with the fact that some bank customers are using the platforms to do round-tripping. It is high time we stopped it.”

The decision by some banks to suspend overseas ATM card services and online forex transactions came barely one week after the CBN, through the Bankers’ Committee, raised concerns about what it called the indiscriminate and suspicious manner in which some bank customers were spending dollars and other foreign currencies abroad through their naira debit cards.

Consequently, the regulator said it had concluded that bank customers who spent above the $50,000 annual forex limit it imposed would be barred from the nation’s forex market.

The Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, stated this after the 329th Bankers’ Committee meeting held at the apex bank’s office in Lagos on Wednesday.

She said, “In the CBN’s move to manage the demand for forex, there was a rule that was put in place that people were not allowed to withdraw more than $50,000 annually on their naira debit cards.

“For a while, the policy has been abused by bank customers, and the CBN has not taken any step to that effect. We have decided to take the step now to enforce the rule. So, we want members of the public to remember that that rule is in place.

“All your accounts are linked to a particular Bank Verification Number. Now, that the BVN only allows you to withdraw only $50,000 per annum, if people continue to breach that rule, they will lose access to forex market.”

Dollar scarcity has been ravaging the economy after the price of crude oil, Nigeria’s main forex earner.

It crashed from $110 per barrel to around $44 per barrel from June 2014.

The nation’s foreign exchange reserves have been depleting since then.

On Wednesday, the country’s external reserves hit an 11-year low of $24.21bn, the latest data posted on the CBN website showed.

This means a limited amount of dollars will be available at the official interbank spot market, fuelling concerns over another round of depreciation of the naira.

The foreign exchange reserves fell by $600m in two weeks before shedding $1bn in four weeks, the CBN statistics showed.

An expert at Ernst and Young, Mr. Bisi Sanda, lamented on the dollar pressure on the economy.

He said the Federal Government needed political will to address the issues fuelling dollar scarcity on the economy.

He said, “The issue of dollar is very important to the economy. It is predicated on the fact that we are a dollar-denominated economy. It appears the government is still begging issues as far as the import-dependent state of our economy is concerned.

“We need to fix issues, we need to go back to the drawing board. The CBN said between 2010 and 2016, a total of $11bn was sold to the Bureaux De Change annually. We need to plug leakages in this area.”

Nigeria Hungry For Infrastructure, Not Iphones – Adeosun To World Bank

Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, says Nigeria is hungry for infrastructure that can drive growth —not iPhones and expensive suits — which can only raise consumption.

Speaking at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington on Wednesday night, Adeosun said Nigeria was on a journey of transition aimed at driving short, long, and medium-term growth in Africa.

“We have just started a journey of transition, which will take us from an economy that was really dependent on oil, primary commodity, to a more productive economy, and we recognise that the differentiator will be infrastructure,” Adeosun said.

“We have come from spending 90 percent of our budget on recurrent and only 10 percent of capital. We are trying to move to 70:30, which is not enough.

“From the numbers that we have done, the infrastructure gap that we face, even if we devote our budget [to capital]for the next three years, it is not enough. So we’ve got to look for creative ways to mobilise additional capital.”

Adeosun, who was the only African minister on the high-level panel, said Nigeria —and Africa as a whole — is the new infrastructure and investment destination, adding that there is nothing left in the west.

“We are hungry for infrastructure. We have got 170 million people who don’t have power in sufficient quantities. We don’t have a rail system; we don’t have a road structure. We believe that if we solve those infrastructure challenges, the entire productivity, agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing, our unemployment problems could all be solve.

“It seems very simple, in terms of what needs to be done. We are quite excited about negative interest rates. We like that you’re not earning any money. We are happy to take your money and give you very small positive interest rate.

“We think that the time has come; everyone is thinking out of the west. There is nothing left in the west, everybody has to now come to Africa, but we don’t want investors to come to Africa to sell us iPhones and many expensive suits.

“We want to become productive, and so we want this investment to come into infrastructure, that will enable us to compete and really enable Africans to stay in Africa.”

“We think the narrative around who pays for infrastructure is a very important one in Africa. I think there is a sense of expectation from the people that the government will deliver infrastructure, but we believe that the user pays.

“I say that because at the moment, if you don’t have the infrastructure, you’re paying anyway. The public pays; If you spend six hours on a journey that should take you an hour, you’ve paid.

“So how do we convert that payment, which is currently informal and very painful, into a formal payment and a therefore revenue stream that could attract investors is the challenge that we are working on now.”

Adeosun said Nigeria would not wait for investors to lead in infrastructure, but that the country was already taking a lead that investors can follow.

“As I have said, we are leading with our own money. We are looking at regulatory framework, that would enable investors to come in. We know it’s a new market and we are going to de-risk it.

“So what we are starting with are just infrastructure bonds that we guarantee, and then hopefully, when investors get an appetite for what the Nigerian infrastructure framework can provide them in terms of returns, we believe we will be able to remove some of the safeguards needed at the moment.

“Our population is young; we have to provide a standard of living that keeps young vibrant Africans in Africa because we think that is very important for eliminating poverty.”

Obasanjo Blames Jonathan For Recession

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a swipe at the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, declaring that his advice on the prevailing economic crisis was ignored two years ago.


Obasanjo also blamed Jonathan for lifting the ban on importation of products like toothpick, which he said could have been taken over by local industries without encumbrances.

At the official opening of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) in Abeokuta yesterday, Obasanjo said the only way Nigeria could urgently step out of the current economic recession is for it to seek foreign loan.
Obasanjo, who was the Father of the Day at the opening session, said he had warned the former President on the impending recession in November 26, 2014 When he joined others to celebrate the birthday of retired Justice Akanbi.
I reminded the government that we were spending more than we were earning. that very soon, the country would not be able to fund the budget. Unfortunately, the government then refused to listen to my advice,” he told the gathering.
Obasanjo shocked the gathering when he recalled how it was discovered that the ban on the importation of toothpick was reversed by the Jonathan administration, saying he had visited Jonathan in Abuja to ask why he lifted the ban on toothpick and Jonathan said he did not read before he approved.
Speaking further on the way out for Nigeria, Obasanjo said there were three options, explaining,
“The three options are we have to spend less, we must endeavor to earn and then the last one is to borrow, and this if we must, we do it fast and now. “


He however cautioned against doing the bidding of the World Bank and Inernational Monetary Fund (IMF).

Gov. Ahmed calls for diversification of economy with agriculture

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has called for urgent diversification of Nigerian economy with agriculture as the only credible and sustainable solution to the current economic recession in the country.

The governor made the call on Thursday when First Class Traditional Rulers from Kwara South Senatorial District visited him at the Government House, Ilorin.

He also called on the Federal Government to reconsider diversification of economy to agriculture with deliberate effort on advocacy on agriculture as a source of wealth.

He promised that the State Government would continue to assist farmers with information, seedlings and chemicals to boost agri-business in the state.

Ahmed urged the traditional rulers to develop more interest in agriculture and continue to support programmes as well as policies of the state government.

He called on royal fathers in the country to be major players in the promotion of peace and security in their domains.

The governor noted that it was only when lives of people and their property were secured that government’s developmental and infrastructural efforts could yield desired results.

Ahmed said: “Government will continue to partner with our royal fathers on security so that people can live in peace.

“It is only when we have a secured environment that we can truly progress economically.”

Ahmed promised the royal fathers that his administration would be transparent in the area of project execution.

He noted: “Transparency in governance is necessary for people to have confidence.”

The governor said that all projects to be initiated by the state government would be completed before December, 2018.

Earlier, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye, who led the traditional rulers, explained that the visit was to congratulate the governor on a successful Sallah celebration and promised continuous support to the state government.

Oba Esuwoye sought the support of the government to farmers in the state through the provision of farm inputs and fertilisers with a view to solving problems associated with food insecurity.

Ahmed also received traditional rulers from Kwara North Senatorial District, who were at the Government House to pay him a post Sallah homage.

Receiving the royal fathers led by the Etsu Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Chatta, Ahmed reiterated his administration’s commitment to quality service delivery through effective and responsive governance despite the prevailing economic challenges.

Ahmed promised that his administration will continue to work together with the traditional rulers and other stakeholders through inclusive governance.

He added that the state government remained receptive to constructive criticism that will deepen democratic governance in the state.

The governor promised that the state government will always ensure judicious use of tax payers’ money through even infrastructure development across the state.

He said: “We are very conscious that Kwara North is a major agricultural environment in the state.

“We will support agriculture in the area with road and other support schemes to ease movement of farm produce.”

Earlier, the Etsu Patigi and Vice Chairman, Kwara State Traditional Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Chatta, commended the governor’s style of governance and leadership.

The royal father promised that traditional rulers from Kwara North would continue to support the State government.

“President Buhari’s Economic Reforms Are Bold” – President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama of the United States of America on Tuesday commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic reforms, describing them as “bold”.

Obama made the commendation when he met with Buhari on the sidelines of the ongoing 71st UN General Assembly in New York.

He said America would continue to offer support to Nigeria in the areas of agricultural development, recovery of stolen funds and the fight against Boko Haram.

He said America would put things on ground to sustain partnership and cooperation between the two countries.

He said: “We discussed broader issues on development and the President is taking some very bold economic reforms in allowing for a flexible exchange rate.
“We are focusing on agriculture and we pledged to offer all the assistance that we can in that area and as the president is trying to stamp out corruption and to recover external funds that may have been illegally obtained and are sitting in bank accounts around the world.

“As he continues to work to see that the security forces inside Nigeria are abiding professional and human right standards, what we have pledged is that we will partner in any way that we can be helpful.”

Obama, who spoke at a briefing after the bilateral talks, said his administration was carefully coordinating additional ways to make further progress in not only destroying Boko Haram but to ensure that the region fully recovered.

He said America was also willing to assist Nigeria to facilitate a reduction of the conflict in
the Niger Delta region.

He said: “America is willing to help in any way it can to facilitate a reduction of conflict in the Niger Delta region, a major oil-producing region, but one that has been mired by a number of militant organisations that have appropriated or siphoned off the oil revenues.

“The President, I think, is wisely heading a delegation to bring varying stakeholders together and try to make progress on that front. We want to be helpful in any way that we can.”

In his remarks, Buhari thanked Obama for the assistance rendered so far in the fight against terrorism, especially in the training of Nigerian military in both hard and software.

He said steady progress was being made towards resolving the problem in the Niger Delta region, which led to economic sabotage on a grand scale.

Recession: Senate Tables 14-Point Roadmap to Turn Around Economy

In a bid to find quick solutions to the economic recession in the country, the Senate yesterday commenced debate on the issue, with Senate President Bukola Saraki presenting a 14-point plan to the federal government on how to make the crisis the shortest ever in history.

The Senate’s roadmap out of the recession was contained in Saraki’s speech to welcome his colleagues back from their annual vacation.
Going by the importance attached to finding urgent solutions to the recession, the Senate plenary commenced at 10.10 a.m. after the presiding and principal officers of the Senate filed into the chamber.

The recommendations by Saraki, which will form the basis for an elaborate debate today by his colleagues include:
• The executive must immediately put in place leadership-level engagement platform with the private sector.
• Government must raise capital from asset sales and other sources to shore up foreign reserves.

• Consider tweaking the pension funds policy within international best practice safeguards to accommodate investment in infrastructure and mortgages.
• The federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) must agree on a policy of monetary easing to stimulate the economy and harmonise monetary and fiscal policies until economic recovery is attained.

• Re-tool its export promotion policy scheme with incentives such as the resumption of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG), and introduce export-financing initiatives.
• Engage in meaningful dialogue with those aggrieved in the Niger Delta and avoid an escalation of the conflict in the region.

• Consider the immediate release of funds to ensure the implementation of the budget for the near short term to inject money into the economy.
• Similarly, the agricultural sector and agro-allied businesses should be directly supported to boost value addition and jobs creation.

• While government works on the medium to long-term plans, immediate strategies must be devised that would ease the suffering of the ordinary people across the country.
• The legislature and executive must co-operate to ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law as soon as possible to stimulate new investment and boost oil revenue.

Saraki added that while the executive is working on the recommendations enumerated above, the National Assembly should support it with the necessary legislations and oversight activities such as:

• Accelerate bills aimed at reforming the mortgage sub-sector for growth and accessibility in a manner that deepens people’s access to housing, jobs and economic activities.
• Work on the National Development Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2015 which will provide long term cheaper source of funds to the private sector.

• Quickly commence work on the amendment of the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act (Amendment) Bill 2016; National Road Fund (Establishment, etc); National Transport Commission Act 2001; Warehouse Receipts Act Bill 2016; Review of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Investment and Securities Act (ISA) and Customs and Excise Management Act; Federal Competition Bill 2016; and the National Road Authority. These bills and some of the other economic reform bills will be considered in the coming days.

• Explore the possibility of backing certain key government policies with legislations that have time limitations. This will help give confidence to investors to go into certain areas of the economy and invest without the fear that such policies will suffer reversals and loss of investment.

Read More: thisdaylive

We Must Fight Corruption For Its Damage On Nigerian Economy – VP Osinbajo

It is important that Nigerians insist that the problem of corruption must be dealt with considering the extent of the damage it has caused the country’s economy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, made the assertion today while receiving a delegation of the University of Lagos Alumni Association that paid him a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa.

“We’ve watched corruption fighting back, some people even said bring back corruption, but not the man on the street,” according to Prof. Osinbajo who added that the nation has witnessed excessive corruption.

Said he : “no economy can tolerate the level of corruption seen in Nigeria without consequences. Look at the Northeast, while a war is going, Nigerian lives being lost, some local governments had been taken over, and yet people cannot account for $15B meant for security equipment purchases.”

“The corruption has been so much. Look at the sheer amount of money stolen and decisions taken that fuels corruption, decisions taken just with the sole aim of cornering national resources,” the Vice President lamented.

While explaining the Buhari administration’s approach to the fight against corruption, the Vice President noted that “we are not sitting down focussing on it, all we do is to empower the relevant agencies EFCC and co to do their jobs. Our main focus is the national economy.”

Continuing he said “what catches our attention is the kind of discoveries we get and hear of daily.” But he observed that Nigeria is still blessed with honest people, adding that as a nation it is important to pay serious attention to issues of integrity.

According to him, regarding the current government, “I can say is one that is completely focussed on dealing with issues that concerns this country. I work everyday with the President so I can say so. He is totally focussed on how to make this country a better place to live.”

The UNILAG Alumni Association was led by Dr. Sunny Kuku who noted the group’s support for the Buhari administration, expressing readiness to assist in any way necessary. He said the members of the Alumni Association were proud that one of them rose to the high office of the Vice President. Prof. Osinbajo said he was glad to receive the group in his office and grateful to be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity
In the Office of the Vice President
Sept 20, 2016

FG Releases N350bn To Reflate Economy

Moves to steer the country out of economic recession has received a boost with the decision of the Federal Government to pump the sum of N350 billion into the economy in the next few days as capital allocation to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

The implementation of the N5,000 monthly stipend social intervention programme of the government is also billed to commence at the end of this month with the release of N60 billion.

Addressing journalists on these developments and government’s plan for the economy yesterday, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said: “We are releasing another N350 billion. There will also be the funding of about N60 billion in the social intervention programme, and that is very important in terms of putting money into people’s pocket.”

The finance minister stated that when the N350 billion is released and cash backed in a few days from now, it will bring the total amount released by the Federal Government to N770 billion for capital projects from the N1.8 trillion budgeted in 2016.

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FG releases N350bn to reflate economy

Buhari To Engage UN Leaders In Fresh Talks On Security, Economy

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday hold talks with world leaders at the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York on security issues and restructuring of Nigeria’s economy.

The president is expected to discuss with the leaders steps to improve the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons within the country, as well as returning in north-eastern Nigeria and the Niger-Delta.

Also, the increase in the activities of militants within oil-rich Niger Delta region has had its effects on the nation’s economy, in addition to the prolonged terrorism in North East of the country.

A statement by Mr. Buhari’s special assistant on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said the president will be attending the UNGA meeting from Monday, September 19 to Friday September 23, to address cogent matters affecting the nation’s polity.

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Nigeria will get out of recession soon – Adeosun

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has assured Nigerians that the current economic recession the nation was experiencing will not be prolonged.

She gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja while addressing a news conference.

She said that there was a strategic plan by the administration to see that the recession ended soon and also ensure that the economy recovered fully.

She said, “We have a strategic plan that will take us out of the recession we have found ourselves in; we want to make sure the recession is as short as possible because we do not want a prolonged recession.

“From what we are looking at we do not think that it will be a prolonged recession; we think that some of the initiatives that we are working on will now begin to bear fruits.

“We are on course and are confident that the plan we have put together will work and put the economy back on track.

“It is a long term plan that would reposition the economy so that we do not go into this boom and burst circles that are driven by the oil price.

“The economy has to be more resilient than that so that we do not find ourselves back where we are.’’

She said that measures put in place by the FG showed was that the end of the recession had begun and Nigeria would come out stronger.

Listing some of the measures the administration had taken to address the situation, she said that since the budget was released in May, over N420 billion had been released and cash backed for capital projects.

She said that the largest sector that the money was spent on was Power, Works and Housing.

She also said that a lot had been done in the defence sector to rebuild the capability of the army, especially on efforts in the North East.

She said, “Agriculture has received significant funding because of the time sensitivity of agriculture and because of the fact that food prices were rising, we needed to intervene so that we could get food prices down.

“There is activity resuming on roads, power projects and health projects and we have released money to water resources and solid minerals.’’

Adeosun also said that there was a cash plan to release another N350 billion which would go into the various MDAs.

“The focus is going to be similar, however, there would also be funding of about N60 billion for the Special Intervention Programme and that is very important in putting money into people’s pockets.

“The school feeding programme and the N-Power teachers corps we will cash back today as part of the N350 billion additional release which would take our total capital spending to about N700 billion.”

She also said that N50 billion was set monthly as budget support plan for some state governments from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee to support them with additional money to enable them to pay salaries.

She said that the loan had been on for three months for the interested states because some states which were buoyant decided not to participate.

On recovery of assets, Adeosun said that the committee was in the process of collating with the non-cash assets like farmlands, vehicles and houses and that a fixed asset register would soon be opened to determine their value.

She said that the jewelries were from different locations and were being brought together to determine the market value and that the next line of action would be decided by the committee.

Adeosun explained that the present recruitment by the police and some other government agencies were made possible by the reduction of ghost workers.

She added that the savings that were made from the exercise would enable funding for the new recruitment.

“Sometime in January, personnel cost was N165 billion along with pension cost, but so far so good; we have reduced, through the removal of about 40,000 ghost workers, the personnel cost by around N10 billion per month.

“Now we have saved about N100 billion this year.’’

She said that though the times were tough, there was hope for Nigerians, adding that issues around infrastructure were the biggest problems of Nigeria which resulted in high cost of living.

“The biggest problem we have is not wages but the cost of living which is too high so it is not how much money you have but it is what it costs you to live.

“The problem we have is that many of the things that people are spending money on are the things government should be doing like roads, power and so on.

“So we have to address these things because that is what will really make impact for the average working Nigerian and so when you address the infrastructure you address the cost of living and that is what this government is working on.’’

What Buhari told his ministers, experts at economic retreat

I am delighted to be here with you at this Ministerial Retreat on the Economy and the Budget. The theme of the Retreat which is “Building Inter-ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria” is very apt and timely, especially as we are in the process of developing the 2017 Budget.

Over the years, there has been a mismatch between planned targets and budgetary outcomes at the National and sectorial levels. The Federal MDAs have not also benefited significantly from working together and building consensus around common national objectives. This has impeded growth and development of the country.

It is in this context that this Retreat has been designed to discuss issues around the State of the Economy and build consensus amongst Cabinet Members and top Government officials. The Retreat will also serve as an opportunity to have a general overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 Budget, its key priorities and deliverables.

This Retreat is coming at a critical time in our economic history, when the Nigerian economy is in a recession, with significant downturn in performance in various sectors. It is with regard to the importance of this Retreat that I decided to sit through the first part of the session to listen to the views from experienced economists and development experts on how best to implement our plans to rid the country of its oil dependence and to diversify the economy and bring the country out of the current economic recession.

This is in line with our Administration’s determination to lay a solid foundation for growth and development as outlined in the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of our Change Agenda.

Given that this Retreat is a lead-up to the 2017 Budget, my expectation is that we will come out of the these sessions with a determination and common position on how to have improved synergy amongst the various Ministries and Departments for the effective formulation and implementation of the 2017 Budget.

I also trust that the breakout sessions will enable you to discuss extensively amongst yourselves, the details of the four sub-themes and come up with practical solutions on the way forward in order to come out with a set of prioritized projects and programmes that will fit into the 2017 Budget.

In this regard, let me inform you that because of the need to focus on our key priorities, some Ministries may get significantly less capital allocation than they received in 2016, while others may get significantly more.

You may notice that some key non-spending agencies, such as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), are participants at this Retreat.

This deliberate inclusion underscores the commitment of this Administration to leverage on private sector resources, through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and other arrangements, in order to augment the scarce budgetary resources at our disposal and to accelerate investments in building critical infrastructure.

Indeed, the challenges we face in the current recession require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, to deploy strategies that involve engaging meaningfully with the private sector, to raise the level of private sector investment in the economy as a whole.

We are confident that the level of private investment will grow as we are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria by the reforms we are introducing under the auspices of the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business.

Let me reiterate that this Government will continue to strategize on how we can turn the current challenges into opportunities for our nation and especially for our vibrant youth on whose shoulders lies the future of this nation. This is why we have embarked on measures and actions that will open up the opportunities we have seen in the Power, Housing, Agriculture, Mining, Trade and Investment, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sectors, Tourism, Transport and other sectors.

I wish to reassure its teeming youth that this Government would remain steadfast in its effort to ensure greater progress and prosperity for you.

While Government is taking the lead in the task of repositioning our economy for Change, we cannot achieve this completely by ourselves. We will need, and we ask for the support and cooperation of the private sector’s domestic and foreign investors, the States and Local Governments, the National Assembly and the Judiciary as well as all well-meaning Nigerians in this important task. We are confident that working together, we shall succeed.

Finally, I trust that the cabinet members will learn from the experiences of the Resource persons and facilitators to prioritise their sector programmes and projects to bring the country out of the current economic recession and place it on the path of growth and development.

I therefore urge the Honourable Ministers and other senior government officials here present, to actively participate in the Second Technical Session, which I believe will provide you with deeper insight into the complex issues that will open opportunities for you to identify critical priority projects and programmes for the 2017 Budget.

At this juncture, may I formally recognize and acknowledge the presence of the array of experts invited to serve as resource persons and facilitators at this Retreat. I am confident that Ministers and Senior Government officials will benefit immensely from your expertise and wealth of experience.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations and look forward to receiving the report of the Retreat.

Thank you.

Senate To Investigate Recession As Saraki Calls For Collaboration On Economy

Concerned by the worsening conditions of Nigerians as a result of the economic recession, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said tuesday in Ilorin that the Senate upon resumption next week, would probe the cause of the recession, stating that it was necessary to know why in spite of budgetary provisions, many more citizens have receded below poverty line.

“The Senate on resumption will respond to the economic crisis with a number of measures including getting managers of the economy to give account to the people, making tough recommendations to the president on needed changes, formulating necessary legislative framework for economic recovery and undertaking wide consultations across the private sector,” he told journalists at his residence during the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.

Worries about the ailing economy were shared also by a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who offered some tips on the way out of the woods, saying effective handling of spiralling inflation, foreign exchange problem, fiscal deficit and debts control were key to resolving the current economic crisis.

Okonjo-Iweala who spoke on Aljazeera TV programme, The Stream, said focusing on the basic issues of macroeconomic stability was crucial to fixing the country’s economic challenges.

Saraki, in his intervention, explained why the legislative interrogation of the executive management of the economy had become necessary: “We need to know why the promises of external borrowing have not materialised, why devaluation has not helped to strengthen the naira, why inflow of foreign currency has continued to dry up and interest rate is still very high? Doing this will help us to understand where we are, so that we can determine where exactly we want to go from here.”

Read More: thisdaylive

How Buhari can fix Nigeria’s economic crisis – Okonjo-Iweala

The immediate past Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Monday that having a handle on Nigeria’s spiralling inflation, foreign exchange problem, fiscal deficit and debts control were key to resolving the country’s current economic crisis.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, who spoke on Aljazeera TV programme, The Stream, said focusing on the basic issues of macroeconomic stability was crucial to fixing the country’s economic challenges.

“If you don’t pay attention to the fundamentals of having a stable and good exchange rate policy, inflation under control, manageable fiscal deficit and debts, there will continue to be trouble in the economy,” she said.

Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis in decades. The economy slipped into recession after contracting in the first two quarters of 2016.

Inflation jumped from 16.2 per cent in July to 17.1 per cent in August 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Since the introduction of the floating foreign exchange policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which freed the Naira from a band of N197-N199 to the dollar, the currency has been in a free fall against other international currencies.

From about N281 to the dollar at the beginning of the policy in June, Naira crashed to about N420 to the dollar shortly before the Sallah holidays on Friday.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank Managing Director, told Al Jazeera that she remained optimistic that solutions to the country’s economic decline could still be found.

Asked what would be her top three priorities to resolve the country’s current economic crisis if she had remained the finance minister, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said she would prefer the current managers of the economy talk about it.

“I have contributed the best I could to the country. It is still the most interesting country in the world. It is better to leave those who are managing now to say what they would do.

“All I can say is that there are solutions. Nigeria is a vibrant country. I love it so much. I know it is going to come out of this one way or another,” she said.

On if President Muhammadu Buhari were to ask her to come and help in resolving the country’s economic crisis, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said: “One of the things you learn as you get wiser is to talk less as you grow older.

“I have spent my time contributing to the country. It will be better to leave those managing the economy to do what they know how to do.

“I served my country for seven years and it was a great honour. The second time was very tough, but it was still an honour. I am not the only person who is a repository of knowledge. There are other people who can equally try their hands in running the economy.”

On the continental scale, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, expressed regrets the economic gains recorded in Africa have started being eroded in the last two to three years.

“On the continent, we have seen a period when the economy was doing relatively well. It’s only in the last two to three years that things have started to go a bit south.”

She spoke about the job initiative of the Goodluck Jonathan government, YOU-WIN.

“The whole idea was to have a business plan competition. Beneficiaries were expected to create jobs to employ six people or more.

“Each created 9-10 jobs. The World Bank did an evaluation of it and found it good. I do believe the government should come in. We started a peer to peer mentoring. Now, one of the things I want to say is that creating employment is not only about struggles, it is about managing success,” she said.

On how the anti-corruption war was fought during her time in government, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala described it as “a very tough fight”.

“It was tough. I must thank my team. You don’t do it alone. I had the support of an economic team in the Ministry of Finance. At the end of the day, you need to have some principles,” she said.

Recession: Nigeria at Economic Crossroads

To say that Nigerians are economically hurting at this moment is no exaggeration; to state that most Nigerians have never had it this economically difficult in their lifetime is not an overstatement; the fact that most Nigerians are out of work and go to bed hungry now is no longer news. The pains are palpable in the voices and faces of everyday Nigerians on the streets and in the work and market places across the land – driven by the current economic recession. And while it’s luring to heap the blame squarely at the doorsteps of fallen crude oil prices, it would be best to put the blame to where it rightly belongs – on our visionless and prodigal leadership class, who instead of building the nation’s future by responsibly planning ahead for times like these, irresponsibly chose to build and nurture an unprecedented corruption industrial complex.


What we are experiencing right now in the country is a practical realisation of the age-long saying that “he who fails to plan, plans to fail”. For decades, the leadership class rather than engaging in the patriotic act of nation-building, has spent most of their time perfecting the shameful act of betrayal of public trust by repeatedly engaging in massive looting of our “easy-to-come” petro dollars, at the callous expense of everyday Nigerians. Stories abound of looting in the billions of dollars of monies earmarked for road construction, Niger Delta development, power rehabilitation, refineries turn-around maintenance, and fight against Boko Haram even as innocent Nigerians, women and children were being raped, abducted and killed by the Boko Haram renegades, etcetera. As such, in the light of the above and other several well-documented gross mismanagement of our national wealth by an irresponsible, greedy and visionless political class, it’s unfortunately, fair to conclude that the current economic recession has been a long time coming.


It’s also fair to acknowledge that all of these frustrations led to the CHANGE vote by the Nigerian people in the last election. The election was simply aimed at making a statement against impunity and business as-usual.


While the current administration has recorded some success in the areas of reducing corruption in public service and curbing the free reign of Boko Haram in the Northeastern part of the country, it’s clear to any objective observer that not much has been done to instill needed confidence in the economy, especially by way of sound fiscal and monetary policies. There doesn’t seem to be a steady hand in-charge of the economy at this time and this doesn’t bode well for the administration after 15 months of coming to power.


All one hears most of the times on the pages of newspapers are platitudes and pockets of incoherent and reactionary interventions by the apex bank. It is well known that nothing hurts an economy and scares investors and the business community during an economic recession more than equivocation and non-steady economic steering hands. Considering that recessions are not uncommon in nations’ economic lives, one tends to believe that what our economy is suffering more from right now is not simply the recession, but the feeling of hopelessness in the recession. A time as serious as this calls for decisive economic leadership and clarity of direction.

Mr. President, if I were you, I’ll be on national television engaging in question and answer sessions as often as possible, explaining the present economic problem and possible solutions in very simple and clear terms to the Nigerian people. You owe it to them and they rightfully deserve it. The Nigerian people are hurting so much right now and they don’t seem to get the sense that someone is caring, listening and doing something to alleviate their sufferings.


The Nigerian people are a smart people; they get the fact that the problem did not emanate with this administration, but they also understand that things could really get worse if nothing urgent and serious is done right now by the administration to stem thisugly tide.


Mr. President, there has to be that sense of the fierce urgency of now on the economy, just like you’ve demonstrated in the fight against Boko Haram and corruption.


This time calls for you to seek help from the best Nigerian economic experts wherever you can find them.


Mr. President, now is the time for you to talk to the Nigerian people directly and not via tweets by some aide; you have to be seen instilling hope by directly engaging the Nigerian people on your policy solutions to this very serious economic problem. Now is not the time for you to just listen to one “trusted” aide and sublet decision making to him or her; this time you must listen to all aides and then make decisions in the best interest of the country, bearing in mind that this is your administration and only your name gets attached to any successes or failures of the administration. Now is the time for our time-wasting and financially-draining federal legislature to earn their bloated salaries and allowances by rolling up their sleeves and getting to work for the suffering Nigerian people.


Now is the time for the president to step into the communities and engage with parents who have been left behind by the Nigerian economy even before the recession, and who are now forced to watch their children go to bed hungry and in some cases, die because of skyrocketing costs of food and healthcare. They need to hear directly from the president that things will get better at some point. Now is the time for the president to engage directly with our unemployed graduates.


Now is the time for the president to step out and speak directly to our senior citizens, who after giving decades of their lives in service of country still regularly collapse and die in long queues in an endless wait for pensions and gratuity that never come, simply because their fellow citizens in power conspired and decided to embezzle funds that were budgeted for paying them.


Mr.President, while this is an undoubtedly difficult time for your administration, our country and its citizens, it also provides a golden opportunity for you to separate yourself from the pack of presidents; this time provides a rare opportunity for you to leave your name in the sands of our nation’s annals as the president who led us out of a serious recession andspread economic prosperity across the land. This time provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to re-shape and irreversibly position Nigeria on a path of economic progress so that when historians, our children and our children’s children look back at this moment 50 years from now, it will be told that you were the president that beat back the worst economic recession of our life time,the worst national security threat of our life time – Boko Haram – and an all-time high corruption in our nation’s public service.

FG Vows to Enhance Safety, Prevent Economic Losses on Highways

The Federal Government has vowed to intensify efforts towards reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways cross the country in order to promote safety and prevent economic losses on the roads.

In that regard, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has directed Federal Controllers of Works to ensure the removal of all obstructions on the Right of Ways across the country.

The Minister also directed that the issuance of permits to erect structures on Right of Ways on Federal Highways should no longer be granted and there would be no renewal for those who already have such structures on the highways.

Fashola, was quoted in a statement issued by Hakeem Bello to have giiven the directives at a meeting in Abuja with Federal Controllers of Works and Sector Commanders of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) from across the Federation, said that while those with permit would be allowed to stay till the expiration of such permit, those with no permit should immediately leave the Right of Way.

Expressing dismay at the ease with which the permits are issued in the name of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Fashola told the controllers, “Our first step is how to secure our Right of Way back. We have the right of way in this country; 45 metres from the centre line”.

The Minister pointed out that roads are built to move human beings, goods and services with ease adding, “If after building the roads we issue all sorts of permits on the Right of Way of the roads we have built in the name of Internally Generated Revenue are we not defeating the purpose we set out to achieve?”

He added, “If that road works, you will take personal benefits. One, you will spend less on food, I assure you, because the average transporter, whether the road is good or bad, will move and by the time he gets to his destination he just calculates how much extra fuel he has burnt and he will pass it into the full cost”.

“Then when you come next month you complain that rice has gone to N20,000; you caused it because he cannot do that business at a loss. If a journey that should take him four hours takes him eight hours instead, he will burn more fuel and he will pass the cost to the trader”, the Minister said.

Fashola said although there might not be any scientific measure to put a cost on what the driver had spent, he would like to get as much as he could to cover his cost, adding, “So, you can issue your permit for the Right of Way but be sure you have diminished the value of your own salary; because price of rice has moved up and you must buy. That is one way that we all undercut ourselves”.

Listing further benefits of unhindered traffic, Fashola declared, “If that road moves freer and faster, even if today you don’t get a reversal, at least prices will stay where they are. You may not get immediate price reduction but you can get a stable price economy you can plan your life with”.

The Minister said, however, that although it was in the interest of the government to clear the Right of Way, there was no suggestion to start breaking the structures currently on them adding, “There is an enlightenment process that we must pursue in doing this. But we must plan it together. Tell the people there is no more renewal of licenses you have given. Stop the renewal”.

He further warned, “So anybody who is still renewing is looking for trouble for himself. The ones that have no permits then we tell them to go”, adding that he has notified the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to stop issuing permits for petrol stations on Right of Ways.

According to the Minister, although there is need for petrol stations as people have to buy fuel, such fuel stations should not be built on Right of Way.

“So petrol stations must be approved within the appropriate setbacks. This is where you should partner with the state governments because the state is the planning authority. You have to work with them so that when the final permits are given they don’t land on your Right of Way. They must observe the setbacks” he told the controllers.

Fashola, who said the enforcement of the ban would need the cooperation of State Governments as well as the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), urged the controllers to return to their states with a new mind-set that getting it right on the roads and highways would need the cooperation of all the stakeholders.

The Minister told them, “You must know the number of roads under you and in how many local governments and how many people. You should know how many of your Right of Ways are obstructed. You need to have that data; you must file that report; is it 10 per cent, 20 per cent or 80 per cent? Which one has the heaviest traffic that we may have to attend to quickly?”

Reiterating the benefits of a free flow of traffic, Fashola, who noted that government would not attend to everything at the same time, added, “I am sure if you free all the right of ways, traffic will move better. Some of the best sides of our roads have been covered up by parking”.

Recovered Loot Inadequate To Revive Economy– Minister

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has explained that the looted fund recovered so far by government is far cry from what the country needs to revive the economy.

The minister said this on Friday when he appeared on a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.

According to him, the amount of money recovered is always being made public. “What we have recovered and if my record is right is about N78 billion, and 3 million dollars.

“We have been able to block various accounts in which about 9 billion dollar is found but those are not money available to us because we are still in court over them.

“The government spends N165 billion every month to pay federal civil servants, even what has been so far recovered will not even pay 50 per cent of the salaries in a month.’’

Mohammed assured Nigerians that every penny recovered will be judiciously spent and nobody could re-loot what had been recovered under the administration.

The minister further explained that Nigerians should understand that what had been recovered was so little compared to what the people needed on a continuous basis.

On budget release, he recalled that the Federal Ministry of Finance released N400 billion for capital projects, mostly on roads, railway, and power.

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Pump In Cash To Save Economy, Experts Advise Buhari

The Federal Government should pump money into infrastructure development, which will create more jobs and boost liquidity, economists and private sector players said yesterday.

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its Second Quarter Report released on Wednesday, said the economy contracted by 2.06 per cent to record its lowest growth rate in three decades.

The report said the economy shrank by 0.36 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to hit its lowest point in 25 years. Unemployment grew from 12.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to a record high of 13.3 percent in the second.

Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun  said:  “It’s the worst time possible for us”. She, however, assured all that things will get better.

President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that Nigeria will be prosperous again. He spoke in Osogbo the Osun State capital, at the inauguration of a mega school built by the Rauf Aregbesola administration.

A development economist and financial Expert, Odilim Enwegbara, who is the Chairman/CEO at Pan Africa Development Corporate Company (PADCC), said the government should leverage on its expansive revenue base and spend its way out of the recession.

He said: ”To help our economy, the government needs to pump trillions of naira into infrastructure projects and trillions of naira into social intervention policies so as to make more money available to the citizens to boost their purchasing power, which will make these cash-strapped citizens start consuming, not imported goods and services, but mostly locally made goods.”

By consuming locally made goods, Enwegbara said, more money will get into the hands of local people and artisans. This, he said, will kick-start the once excluded grassroots economy.

In his view, President Buhari needs to inject a minimum of N3 trillion annually into the economy.

 ”Buhari’s social interventionist policies too should, besides making the school feeding programme a priority, monthly stipends of not less than N10,000 (instead of N5,000) should be given to millions of our poor families, widows, elderly, mentally and physically- challenged Nigerians. This should be promoted with the rigour it requires.

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Director-General Muda Yusuf spoke of an urgent need to inspire investor confidence by ensuring that policies are not only credible and sustainable, but also consistent.

He described this measure as critical in building the confidence of investors, adding that there is the need for the injection of private capital by domestic and foreign investors to turn things around.

Yusuf called for government’s stimulus spending to fast-track the growth of the economy, including the speedy implementation of the 2016 budget.

He said this could have very clear positive impact in pulling the economy out of the woods.

According to the LCCI chief, the energy issue has remained a sore point as a result of the poor supply and the high cost of gas, which in most cases is not available.

He said: “Economic empowerment of majority of our citizens by increasing the purchasing power of the economically excluded is the magic wand which increasing their consumer power should increase production and new jobs. In other words, if by empowering the marginalised and excluded millions deep-seated economic malaise will finally be resolved.”

The Vice President (North West Zone), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ibrahim Usman, said to move away from recession, the government must embark on infrastructure development to attract money into the system.

He said in other climes, the government drives the economy, giving it direction, but he admitted that there is no quick fix to get out of the recession.

Usman, who is also the Executive Chairman, Powerseal Nigeria Limited, called on the government to quickly end the Niger Delta militancy issue.

The economic think tank of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, led by Bismark Rewane, expressed optimism that “the lower-than-expected figures for July signal a possible tapering in the rate of increase in consumer prices which might improve market sentiment.”

Usman added that market players “are expected to react accordingly”.


Experts to Buhari: pump in cash to save economy

Economy Will Be Better In Remaining Part Of 2016- FG

The Presidency has said that the nation’s economic ?outlook remains bright notwithstanding the drop in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, the Federal Government said the remaining part of the year would be better.

The National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday released the long-awaited GDP figures for the second quarter of 2016 with the GDP growth rate sliding further from -0.36 per cent in the first quarter to -2.06 per cent year-on-year.

Quoting the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Adeyemi Dipeolu, the statement said the recession would not last because many of the challenges faced in the first half either no longer existed or had been eased.

The statement noted that  the just released GDP figures for the 2016 second quarter by the NBS, while? confirming a temporary decline, has also indicated a hopeful expectation in the country’s economic trajectory.

It also said that apart from? the growth recorded in the agriculture and solid mineral sectors, the Nigerian economy, in response to the policies of the Buhari presidency, was also doing better than what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had estimated with clear indications that the second half of the year would be even much better.

The statement said the Buhari presidency would continue to work diligently on the economy and engage with all stakeholders to ensure that beneficial policy initiatives were actively pursued and the dividends delivered to the Nigerian people.

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Adeeko Ademola Abayomi: The Long Road To Fixing Nigeria’s Battered Economy

The Nigerian economy took a deep plunge this year but make no mistake, it’s not a sudden twist, it’s been long coming and every discernible mind should have seen it coming. However, the un-foretold hardship the current situation of the economy has put on Nigerians have really taken a toll on their memory. The struggle to survive is naturally frustrating millions of Nigeria into believing there should be a quick fix.


Compatriots, there is no quick fix to an economy that took decades to “achieve” its present dilapidated form.


Nigeria is a middle income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors. It is ranked as the 21st largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 20th largest in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. It is the largest economy in Africa; its re-emergent, though currently under-performing, manufacturing sector is the third-largest on the continent, and produces a large proportion of goods and services for the West African sub region. Nigeria recently changed its economic analysis to account for rapidly growing contributors to its GDP, such as telecommunications, banking, and its film industry.


Previously hindered by years of mismanagement, waste, corruption and dependence on just one derivative (Oil) has been one of our major setback.


Apart from the fact that Nigeria, over the years became overly dependent on the Dollar which is as a result of the failure to rejuvenate its manufacturing/production sector, corruption played a huge role in the decay of an economy that was pitched to take over the globe.


Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries. Government, or ‘political’, corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain.


The mirage and ripple effect “Free Government Money” created in the past few years gave an impression that everything was ok with the economy. Alas, underneath, Nigeria was seated on a keg of gunpowder which had already been set on fire, waiting to create a catastrophic blast.


Our economy was touted to be a very buoyant one basically because there was a huge chunk of free money floating around. Padded budgets, inflated contracts, embezzled contract funds, nepotism amongst many other corruption vices flourished and created that mirage that gave people the impression that the economy was just fine. That right there is a result of the fact that majority of Nigerians only think in Naira.


Nigeria’s economy is struggling to leverage the country’s vast wealth in fossil fuels in order to displace the poverty that affects about 33% of its population. Economists refer to the coexistence of vast wealth in natural resources and extreme personal poverty in developing countries like Nigeria as the “resource curse”, although “resource curse” is more widely understood to mean an abundance of natural resources which fuels official corruption resulting in a violent competition for the resource by the citizens of the nation.


Nigeria’s exports of oil and natural gas—at a time of peak prices—have enabled the country to post merchandise trade and current account surpluses in recent years. Reportedly, 80% of Nigeria’s energy revenues flow to the government, 16% cover operational costs, and the remaining 4% go to investors. However, the World Bank has estimated that as a result of corruption 80% of energy revenues benefit only 1% of the population.


Now, take some out to think about it. In October 2005, Nigeria and the Paris Club announced a final agreement for debt relief worth $18 billion and an overall reduction of Nigeria’s debt stock by $30 billion. The deal was completed on April 21, 2006, when Nigeria made its final payment and its books were cleared of any Paris Club debt but as at 2015, Nigeria was borrowing again to pay worker’s salaries. Can you imagine? What a travesty!


Lessons learnt? No! That ridiculous feat does not align with the expected results of a buoyant economy. Projects that were included in the budget were not being executed due to lack of funds. Isn’t that a red flag? We export crude to import Petrol, Diesel and other by-products. Is that a good economic policy?


We were dependent so much on Crude Oil when we have Natural Gas, Rubber, Cocoa, Tin, Columbite, Taolin, Talc, Tin, Quartz, Iron Ore, Gypsum, Zircon, Calcite, Tantalite, Chalcoprite, Mica, Copper Ore, Limestone, Tourmaline, Beryl, Garnet, Muscovite, Aquamarine, Topaz, Marble, Bismuth, Wolfromite and others. We had all the opportunities to diversify the economy and look at other alternatives to revenue generation which in turn will simultaneously rejuvenate the manufacturing sector, yet we failed to take those chances but we kept on rejoicing over a pseudo-buoyant economy.


The largely subsistence agricultural sector has not kept up with rapid population growth, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now imports a large quantity of its food products, though there is a resurgence in manufacturing and exporting of food products. In 2006, Nigeria successfully convinced the Paris Club to let it buy back the bulk of its debts owed to the Paris Club for a cash payment of roughly $12 billion (USD).


The global drop in the price of oil should be an eye opener for Nigeria but I doubt we will learn our lessons. A country that failed to diversify its economy all through 17 years of its democracy cannot be termed a serious one.


The fall of the Naira against the Dollar can be simply traced to the disability to manufacture enough to saturate the local market, let alone export. Hence, our over dependence on the Dollar basically because we import almost everything we use in this country. At that point where we decided to feed only on imports, we threw away the purchasing power of the Naira to the Dollar on a platter. Today, that “Unconscious” decision has come back to haunt us and then all of a sudden we are in a frenzy, expecting a miracle to happen in one year, pretty hilarious.


If there should be a time to revive the economy, it should be now! The government of the day is saddled with the great task of setting the economy back on to the right track to a resurgence. It is not going to be an easy task but it is one that is possible if we put the proper structures in place and that can only mean one thing; a critical review of existing policies and enactment of new ones. It’s so sad that a country like Nigeria with its growing population which really should be our strongest link to attracting investors is still romancing with anti-investment policies. So much for a country that really wants to grow.


We should start looking at alternatives immediately and of course we may need to focus less on derivatives and be more focal on manufacturing/production in order to strengthen the Naira. One laudable feat the government the has been able to embark on is the currency swap deal with China. Once that ball is set to roll, we can have enough time to rejuvenate the manufacturing/production sector of the economy before the “Yuanification” of the economy just like we did with the Dollar over the past decades.


I am so much optimistic about the currency swap policy IF and ONLY IF we follow through with the plan and not prance around like we did with the Amnesty Programme launched in the Niger-Delta.

10 ‘Big Boys’ Hold Economy To Ransom, Owe AMCON N1tr

Efforts by the Federal Government at shoring up economic activities through debt recovery from individuals and organisations are not adding up. High-profile debtors are using the courts to mount blocks in the way of government.

It was learnt that at least 10 of such individuals, referred to as the “big boys”, are collectively owing the government about N1 trillion, which is about 17 per cent of the N6 trillion 2016 national budget.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Ahmed Kuru, told The Guardian that these “big boys with big jets” had perfected the art of going to court to stop the debt-buying agency from taking possession of their assets.According to him, court processes could take up to 10 years, as debtors are willing to go to any length, including getting to the Supreme Court, in delaying suits filed against them. “Obligors in court just want to buy time to continue to live with their lifestyles, which is more important to them than paying up their debts,” he noted.

Kuru, who declined to disclose the identities of the big boys, because he did not “want to fight them on the pages of the newspapers” since the cases are still ongoing, however, vowed that AMCON would recover every penny owed government.

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Buhari Seeks Emergency Powers To Tackle Economy

President Muhammadu Buhari will be seeking emergency powers from the National Assembly to push his planned stimulus for the economy.

The objectives of the action-plan on the economy, which is in recession, include shoring up the value of the naira, creation of more jobs, boosting of foreign reserves, reviving  the manufacturing sector and improving power.

Government sources said the decision to seek emergency powers for the President was based on a proposal from the economic team headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The team reviewed the various policies so far introduced and how they have affected the economy.

The economic team, it was learnt, gauged the mood of the polity and decided that unless there is an urgency which some of the extant laws will not permit, “the recession may be longer than expected and Nigerians will not get the desired respite, which is the goal of this government”.

An executive bill titled: “Emergency Economic Stabilisation Bill 2016” is to be presented to the National Assembly when the Senate and the House of Representatives resume from vacation on September 12.

In the bill, the executive will be asking for the President to be given sweeping powers to set aside some extant laws and use executive orders to roll out an economic recovery package within the next one year.

Buhari will be seeking powers to:

  • abridge the procurement process to support stimulus spending on critical sectors of the economy;
  • make orders to favour local contractors/suppliers in contract awards;
  • abridge the process of sale or lease of government assets to generate revenue;
  • allow virement of budgetary allocation to projects that are urgent, without going back to the National Assembly.
  • amend certain laws, such as the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Act, so that states that cannot access their cash trapped in the accounts of the commission because they cannot meet the counterpart funding, can do so; and
  • to embark on radical reforms in visa issuance at Nigeria’s consular offices and on arrival in the country and to compel some agencies of government like the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the National Agency for Foods Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others to improve on their turn around operation time for the benefit of business.

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Buhari seeks emergency powers to tackle economy

NUPENG Calls For Emergency On Economy

Organised labour in the oil sector has given the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government a hard knock on the parlous state of the economy.
The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), which expressed grave concern, said the Buhari administration was yet to fully tackle the economic challenges facing the country.
President of the union, Igwe Achese, said NUPENG is concerned about the weak naira, growing inflation, rise in the cost of prices of goods and essential services, unemployment and growing incidences of crime rate in the country.
The union stated that, “the current sufferings of the masses, which the President recently acknowledged should be uppermost in the mind of the administration and should be tackled.
“We call for the declaration of a state of emergency on the economy with a view to urgently address the issues.”
Achese advised Buhari to include other stakeholders in the Economic Team headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, even as he added that the team should meet to offer solution, on the way forward.
The union stated that a blessed nation like Nigeria cannot continue to lament with its abundant resources and therefore mandated the Federal Government to diversify the economy by probing into agricultural and solid minerals development through public private partnership.
“It is not enough for it to be involved in rhetoric while time is ticking out,”  the Union said.

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‘Nigeria Has No Other Option But To Borrow’ – Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun

Minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, has hammered that, “at this point, Nigeria has no choice but to borrow — to invest in the Nigerian economy”.

Adeosun said this at a town hall meeting in Abuja, that the federal government is very conscious and conservative about its borrowing, so as not to leave a heavy debt burden for future generations.

“We urgently need to do the railing system to enable agriculture and solid minerals to be competitive, so I really don’t see that there is any option than to borrow.

“We have a very conservative borrowing programme, and we must borrow; because to do rail — the rail that we have now was done in the colonial era — there has been really significant upgrade,” she said.

“The difference is that, we’ve been borrowing in the past to pay salaries; now we borrow to invest in infrastructural development.” she said.

She held that, the size of the public sector is an evidence of the failure to develop private sector, adding that the latter should be the major employer in the country.

Gas Vandalism Crippling Economy– SON

The blowing up of gas pipelines by the Niger Delta terrorists is negatively affecting the nation’s economy, especially the manufacturing sector.

This was the position of the Standard Organisation of  Nigeria (SON),  and a cross section of managers in Lafarge Holcim during an inspection tour of Lafarge Ewekoro Plant by SON.

The acting director-general of SON, Paul Angya, confirmed that the challenges faced by investors are the major factors responsible for high cost of production and expensive costs of Nigerian products, making them non-competitive.

He said, “Clearly, that is a major national challenge, the issue of gas supply and activities of the militants in the Niger Delta with the supply of gas nation-wide. It has of course, hampered the capacity of industries to produce.

“Also, with the downturn of economy, reduction in the inflow of forex because of oil prices, Nigeria has also faced challenge of amount of foreign exchange available to industries. These are problems government is tackling frontally, government is over driven to reverse these negative trends.

“Last week, we were in Lagos with captains of industries and entire industry stakeholders, looking at the challenges, and ways of ameliorating situation, and the situation is not exemption. Government is engaging the militants, trying to find solutions and I think within the shortest possible time, the challenges will be a a thing of the past.”

Two Lafarge personnel, Segun Shoyoye and Hannes Diedericks, managers of Ewekoro Cement Plants I and II respectively, lamented loss of working hours and underutilization of resources being experienced in manufacturing industries as a result of non-availability of gas.

Shoyoye, who jointly spoke with Hannes Diedericks, Ewekoro Cement Plant II on the challenges facing the multinational cement company bordering on lack of gas supply and foreign exchange, appealed to government to help investors fight all challenges that affect manufacturing industries in order to remain in business.

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Learn Your Way Out of Recession – The iCadamy Has Working Solutions For You

The economy is “technically” in recession – Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

These are obviously not the best of times, economically. Companies are downsizing and people are losing jobs. This present situation, though very challenging presents plenty opportunities. Tough times definitely require tough thinking, strategy and innovations

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Buhari Clueless On How Jonathan Successfully Managed Economy – Senator Urhoghide

Senator representing Edo South senatorial district, Matthew Urhoghide, has lamented the worsening economic situation in the country saying President Muhammadu Buhari is at a loss on how former President Goodluck Jonathan was able to manage the economy successfully.


The naira fell to an all-time low of N335 against the dollar on the inter-bank market last Friday
The Central Bank of Nigeria had announced a hike in the benchmark interest rate from 12 per cent to 14 per cent last week, a move seen by analysts as tailored towards braking the downward slide of the Nigerian currency by inducing a return of foreign investors back into local assets.


When asked if he is satisfied with the way the economy is being managed, Urhoghide, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism in an interview with Independent said no right thinking Nigerian will be satisfied given the negative effect the worsening economic situation is having on the citizens.


“How can I be satisfied with the way the economy is being managed? No right thinking Nigerian will be satisfied. Even the illiterates that are in the market places are not satisfied because what it does is that it puts negative effect on everything that is monetary which touches every facet of our life”.

“Because of the ripple effect, even those who are local farmers in the village will tell you ‘don’t you know what the exchange rate is; even when they are selling products that are not denominated in foreign currencies”.


“The multiplier effect of the very negative effect of the high exchange rate cannot be overemphasized. It only means today, that the way with which the Jonathan administration or previous administrations managed the economy is completely unknown to this present administration”.


“That is why even when they said market forces will determine, we are talking of what we know in basic economy, supply and demand; but now things have gone haywire. It tells you that this whole business about governance cannot be pursued from the platform of ignorance and very wrong assumptions. Now, governance is right before you.


“The states have become a bit rudderless because of the people who do not have expert advice and deep knowledge of management of the economy of a state or country. That is what we are faced with,” he said.

Osinbajo, Governors Meet Over Economy

The National Economic Council (NEC) met at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

 The meeting is being presided over by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 Governors in attendance include those of Ogun, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Abia, Katsina, Kogi, among others.

 The meeting is expected to review the state of the economy.

Credit: DailyTrust

U.S. Ambassador Hails Buhari On Economy, Corruption War

The outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, has praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s record in the last one year, saying the administration has done well on the economy, fight against corruption and insecurity, given the circumstances it inherited.

Mr. Entwistle will be leaving Nigeria at the end of July, ahead of his retirement from the U.S. Foreign service, after a career spanning 35 and half years.

He told a select group of media representatives, on Friday that considering the very difficult situation Mr. Buhari inherited, the president did well in his first one year in office.

The envoy, who drew a parallel between President Obama and President Buhari, said although it was understandable for Nigerians to have high expectations of change, they, like the American people, should be patient with the administration.

“I see a parallel between President Buhari and President Obama. President Obama had not been in office very long before the people had the same kind of impatience. A lot of people forgot what difficult situation President Obama inherited,” Mr. Entwistle said.

“I think the same thing is happening to President Buhari. It is completely understandable for the people to have high expectations. They are impatient, because they want to see change. But, the president inherited very difficult circumstances.

“Some of the things he identified that needed to be done, like ending corruption, reforms in the petroleum sector, ending of the conflict in the North East, are things that even when you work as hard as you can, they are going to take some time to yield the kind of result you expect. People should be patient.

“It is good that the expectations from Mr. President are very high. But, I think people should remember what he inherited. And in my opinion, I try to be neutral and balanced, I think Mr. President and his team have done a good job in this first year,” Mr. Entwistle said.

On the economy, the out-going ambassador said the sliding oil prices affected most economies, including Nigeria’s. He said these days no country is an “economic island” and what happens in one economy, affects others.

He said President Buhari’s economic team has done a lot, particularly in the areas of exchange rate and removal of fuel subsidy, which he said could see the economy begin to do well.

Mr. Entwistle also gave President Buhari “very good marks” for his handling of the economy.

On the fight against corruption, the ambassador said he has a lot of respect for President Buhari, saying he has remained consistent with his campaign promise to make it the focus of his administration.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Economy In Volatile Situation- Buhari

Nigeria’s economy is currently in a volatile situation due to the crash in oil prices, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The president’s remark came at a time when oil price yesterday rose to nearly $50 a barrel, even though Nigerian will earn less from the boom due to drop in production in recent times.

 Buhari spoke yesterday at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja at a farewell audience with Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Saeed Koozechi.
Presidential spokesman Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari in a statement as saying the government was determined to diversify the economy in the shortest possible time.
He said he was convinced that with greater diligence, hard work and patriotic determination to achieve self-sufficiency, Nigeria can produce most of the items currently on its import list.
President Buhari stated: “We made a terrible mistake by becoming a mono-product economy hinged on oil and we are now in a volatile situation, due to the crash in oil prices.”
He said his administration had seen the benefits of diversification that helped Iran to survive many years of sanctions and still came out strong.
“We are now fully committed to economic diversification. Most of the things on our import bills can be produced here. And we are determined to achieve that self-dependency,” the president said.
At a separate audience with the outgoing Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Gu Xiaojie, Buhari assured that the Federal Government will meet its obligations under bilateral agreements with China for the development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria.
According to him, because of their importance to Nigeria, his administration will uphold contractual agreements with Chinese companies for the development of essential infrastructure which it inherited from past administrations, and work to ensure that the projects  are speedily completed.
Buhari also reiterated his commitment to the completion of the Mambilla Power Project which, he noted, was of great strategic importance to his government’s efforts towards ensuring that Nigeria did not become over-reliant on gas-powered electricity generation.
Nigeria won’t earn much as crude price rises

Credit: dailytrust

Lead Campaign For Diversification Of ECOWAS Economy, FG Tells OTUWA

The Federal Government on Wednesday in Abuja urged the Organisation of Trade Union of West Africa (OTUWA) to lead the campaign for the diversification of the economy of the ECOWAS sub-region.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the call when he declared open a three-day workshop of OTUWA.

Ngige said the diversification of the economy of the ECOWAS sub-region was imperative because of the adverse effects of the global economic downturn.

He said the mono-economic bases of West African countries were largely responsible for their current economic woes.

“ There is a big threat to the economy of the ECOWAS sub-region because of our largely mono-economic base.

“I am happy that your organisation has been able to live down its challenges.

“ The revived OTUWA must, therefore, help the governments and employers in the sub-region to look elsewhere.

“In Nigeria, we must look for other sources of revenue and the most easily identifiable one is agriculture and of course, mining.

“We are also diversifying in trade and services. And because of the availability of fertile land in West Africa, the same thing goes to sister countries.

“OTUWA, which is our regional component of the World Union of Trade Unions, must, hence, lead this campaign for the diversification of the West African economy, ” the minister said.

Ngige called on the union to help the governments in the region develop the requisite skills for the full maximization of the utility of their cash crops.

He said this would enhance local processing of the raw forms into finished products.

He urged the workshop to be the starting point of this line of thought by getting the people to move from the area of white collar jobs to blue collar jobs in agriculture and mining.

Ngige urged OTUWA to be “ the catalysts in entrenching decent work environment in line with the ILO Convention which all are signatory to.”

Earlier, the President of OTUWA, Mr Mademba Sock, listed challenges facing labour in the sub-region and said the organisation was revived to fight the cause of the workers.

Also, Mr Dennis Zulu, ILO Country Director in Nigeria, said ILO had asked member states to organise national dialogues to come up with suggestions that would be useful for its development initiatives .

Zulu said that the initiatives would focus on work and society, decent jobs, the orgnisation of work and production as well as governance of work.

He called on social partners in the respective countries to contribute to the ILO Future of Work Initiative.




Buhari Scores Low On Economy, Others, See Poll Rating

President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval rating has slipped further from 32.8% in February to 31.2% in March, amid worsening economic crisis and crippling fuel scarcity, according to a new poll.

The monthly poll by Governance Advancement Initiative for Nigeria, GAIN, says more Nigerians again scored Mr. Buhari low on his administration’s handling of the economy, power and fuel shortage.

It is the second time the president’s rating dropped since GAIN in December started monthly tracking of performance of governments at all levels in Nigeria.

In earlier months, the poll found that majority of respondents did not blame President Buhari for Nigeria’s economic troubles. They blamed former President Goodluck Jonathan instead.

In January, the president’s approval rating stood at 63.4%.

The trend however shifted significantly in February as the nation’s economic crisis bit harder.

In March, which is the latest result, the poll said more Nigerians continued to blame Mr. Buhari— not Mr. Jonathan— for the nation’s economic woes.

The falling rating was primarily due to petroleum scarcity, bad economy, power outage, and broken campaign promises, said the poll.

“A crippling fuel scarcity continued to affect individuals and business across the country, and had a concomitant effect on transportation and business costs,” said Malcolm Fabiyi, one of the poll’s coordinators, who previously served as a visiting professor at the Lagos Business School.

The president scored low on economy, power, and rule of law.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Minister Of Finance Unfolds Plan To Reset Economy

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said the government plans to reset Nigeria’s economy with structured borrowing, targeted investment and diversified growth.

Adeosun, who spoke to journalists after a special event hosted by the Lagos Business School at the weekend, also said part of the cash set aside to finance some energy projects would be used to help fund the budget.

“We have inherited a set of conditions that requires us to refine how we collectively work towards ushering in a new era in Nigeria,” she said.

Pointing to the impact of falling oil prices on the economy, the minister said: “In the past, we had the means but not the will. Now we have the will but we no longer have the money to invest. The safety blanket of oil has been ripped away, laying the poverty of Nigeria’s institutions bare.”

She added: “We have spent too many years tinkering at the edges of our institutions, our infrastructure and our economy and the mistakes and misjudgment of the last 40 years have set our clocks back by decades.

“We must collectively adopt a blueprint that equips the future generations to be creative and dynamic, that allows us to articulate a vision of a Nigeria, with a strong educational foundation; rich in depth of knowledge with a breadth of skills, an expansive infrastructure capable of servicing the needs of a nation of 150 million Nigerians.”

On the N1.8 trillion borrowings to invest in railway transportation, roads, housing, power and health, the minister said: “We are committed to a countercyclical budget expenditure model. This has been a success in other nations, offsetting the risk of recession and creating an economy which is not based on either fragile consumer spending or over-reliance on oil.”

Credit: Thisday

NASS To Host Roundtable Session On Economy

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, disclosed yesterday that the National Assembly would host a round table session on the economy today.


According to Saraki, the inaugural National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable, NASSBER, would hold in Abuja with key stakeholders drawn from the executive, legislature and the private sector to seek workable solutions to the nation’s economic problems.


Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the session would deliberate on the recommendations of the Business Environment Legislation Review Report which was submitted by a team of experts on February 29.


He said: “As part of the activities leading up to the inaugural NASSBER, a Business Environment Legislative Review was conducted and the final peer-reviewed report was submitted to the National Assembly on February 29, 2016; which identified institutional, regulatory and legal instruments currently constraining and impeding business activity in Nigeria.” The findings and recommendations of the Business Environment Legislative Review Report, according to him, “provides a framework for the assessment and improvement of legislation and policy affecting businesses in Nigeria and will direct the deliberations at the first NASSBER event.” “The discussions will cover competition; doing business; infrastructure (Public-Private Partnerships, Rail, Maritime and Roads); finance and investment; intellectual property and e-business; and taxation, among others.’’


Saraki, who further explained that the aim of the NASSBER would be to ensure that the private sector played an active and effective role in the formulation of public policy, said: “The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable is a platform designed to ensure that through research and advocacy, the private sector, legislature and executive engage to promote relevant and sound public policy.


“The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable hopes to achieve a number of specific objectives, including: Legislative reform as it pertains to improving the business environment in Nigeria; Strengthening the foundation of the Nigerian Economy by ensuring smart and effective regulation. “Increasing competitiveness and private sector investment; Opening and expanding markets through infrastructure development; and, Creating Engagement, Advocacy and Consultation across key stakeholders.”


He said the roundtable would play host to top government and business leaders, adding that the keynote addresses would be presented by him and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.


He added that the roundtable event would be the first in a series of similar events aimed at driving forward the reforms in the national economy. “The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) is the platform that will lead to the engagement of the private sector, legislature and executive to promote relevant and sound public policy.


‘’Through research, the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable would convene to advocate and promote policies that strengthen the Nigerian economy and guarantee private sector investment,” the senate president said.


Credit : Vanguard

Kingsley Ohajunwa: Before The Naira Is Destroyed (Part 1)

During the week I had the opportunity of meeting a top player in one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions. Of course before now I had always met several people with whom I’ll discuss several things some bothering on politics, others on religion, business, international affairs, security and so on. However I considered my meeting with this fellow a remarkable one; although it didn’t appear so while we were chatting until much later in the day when laid down to reflect on all that had happened throughout that day, including this meeting. As expected we started on a casual note of exchanging pleasantries and asking after the well-being of each other’s family, then to the everyday issues which make the rounds and touch on the areas I had earlier mentioned above. We talked about all these before getting on the issue which concerns him most, our currency. Yes! The naira. At this point his countenance changed to a mixture of mild aggression and sympathy. I could create an excuse for his mild aggression as with some Nigerians who talk about the current state of the naira, but was left somewhat bewildered wondering the place of sympathy in what he was saying. It was much later when I flashed back on all that had happened while with him that it dawned on me that indeed “there’s fire on the mountain”.

While we were having the chat during the day he said to me “Kingsley hold it a minute, what do you really think is the cause of this emaciating state of the naira?” Of course I tried to give a possible reason, while still adding other factors as supporting points when he held my hand as though demanding of me to pause and hear him out and then said to me ”my brother the demand for these foreign currencies is just too much and naturally when demand of a thing is higher than supply the cost of such commodity goes up, that’s exactly what I’m saying”. In line with my knowledge of the economics of demand and supply I immediately understood what he was talking about. It is in line with this statement and what I gave to him as a response that this whole essay will be based. It is to say the least phenomenal that in about a year the value over the naira of a major currency for Nigeria’s foreign exchange which is the dollar has risen about twice what it used to be. Within the last three months however the spate at which the same currency has risen may best be described as outrageous. While some have resorted to calling the governor of the Central bank, Minister of Finance, Minister of budget and national planning and even the President all sorts of names, it is ideal that before these aspersions are made or while people continue with them it will be logical to examine the underlying and general cause of the continued decline of the naira.

The average Nigerian is a lover of imported “stuff”. So it is usually not perceived as being out of place when people prefer things from the US, Japan, Dubai, UK, China and even South Africa to those from Nigeria. Come to think of it from the services rendered by multinationals to the most infinitesimal things we buy for ourselves, they must all be imported, “sent” or shipped in. I was on my way home a couple of weeks ago when I saw a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) whole manufactured by a Nigerian company, I told my friend about the vehicle and as you’d expect he rebuked the vehicle saying in pidgin English “you sure say person fit drive dat moto sef”!  I stood in utter consternation because I expected at least the smallest word of encouragement to the indigenous company that manufactured the vehicle but then I understood his position as being a microcosmic part of that which can be gotten from the Nigerian society. Very often companies and individuals request replacements for their fleet but not for once have I seen a vehicle from this Nigerian Vehicle company in their fleet because we either want to drive a Toyota, Honda, Nissan or ………

Till this day we are yet to develop an indigenous electronics manufacturing company for home appliances and other heavy duty machines. So that means owning a LED television made by Sony, Samsung or LG makes you a “big boy” and buying a Yamaha, Suzuki, Mikano or Tiger generator set makes you a “Chairman”. In fact these days we know how rich you are from the size of generator in your house. That means owning a generator set is a way of life; what is different is the type you own. Can you imagine that! Some even justify this menace of generator ownership by going for “Super Silent Cabins” or a sound proof one from either of these companies. How funny! You’ll be virtually ridiculed by your friend if your shirt, face cap, t-shirt or shoe is not T.M Lewin, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren or Clarks. Infact our effort at making our own clothing here in Nigeria has been degradingly categorized as “Aba made”. So don’t even bother putting on a shirt or shoe made in Nigeria especially when going for a glamorous social function.

Malaysia is said to currently have one of the highest export capacities of palm oil in the world. Reports have it that the boom currently being experienced in this area of the country’s agricultural growth has its root in Nigeria and all began when agriculturists, researchers and scientists explored the rich palm fruits from Nigeria. How interesting! Whether this account in the area of Malaysia’s rise in palm oil production is true or not, the bottom point is that several years ago the position was vice versa with Nigeria even exporting rubber and other cash crops in very large quantities. Today our local palm oil circulation is grossly inadequate. I have heard of people forming “swag” because they drank American coffee before coming to work. Nawa o! American coffee! Is it not the same cocoa that was a major export commodity before its replacement by oil that this American coffee is made from? So what has happened to our cocoa? Infact where did the Nigerian coffee go to? I remember seeing some Michelin and Dunlop stores round town some years back. Do you also recall? But now they’re no more. Infact I hear one of these tyre companies have moved to a neighbouring country due to lack of power supply needed for production. Imagine the number of people now jobless because of that!

The most basic things that matter in our academic institutions are even imported. Can you imagine that pencils used by toddlers and children to put down their first letters of the alphabet are imported from ….. Do you doubt it? Just pick up a pencil beside you and you’ll see the country. I guess this was why our Minister of Science and Technology said Nigeria will soon start producing pencils. What an invention by an aspiring great nation in a 21st century world! The man is “really thinking”. But why haven’t we had “made in Nigeria” pencils all along? Most of our pens are imported leaving our indigenous manufacturers such as Eleganza to beg for a share of the market. The trend has moved to books and other paper materials. Imagine attending a meeting with a notepad or diary made by the Onward Paper Mill when you can patronize one of the big stores in town and get an imported and “very sophisticated” diary or notepad to take for that very special board meeting ……………………………………………………..

to be continued

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Nigerian Miners Need Intervention To Boost Economy – Reps

The House of Representatives on Thursday said the Miners Association of Nigeria needed serious intervention for the country to benefit from other sectors of the economy apart from oil and gas.


Rep. Adams Jagaba (Kaduna-APC) who represented the Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals Development, Rep. Datti Garba, said this while receiving members of the association in Abuja.


Jagaba advised the association to find out available funds in the relevant agencies and report back to the committee to enable it to do a follow up in accessing fund for its members.


“Do a little research and come for an interactive session for the committee to be well informed and assist the association in getting funds.

“If there is any legislation we are going to do to ease the accessibility of the fund or sponsor a bill, we will do that,” he said.


Rep. Henry Nwawuba (Imo-PDP) said that “we will be looking at you in developing the road map; maybe there is an existing road map.


“When next we sit with you, we should be able to know that we have stopped the importation of barite.

“As legislators we can give you legislative solutions, we can back it up law we can enforce during oversight.

“A lot unfortunately is still going to come from you,” he said.


According to him, “We need a serious intervention. You know there is N220 billion in Small Medium Enterprises fund.”

He also said that NEXIM bank had 450 million dollars and only two miners were able to access the loan to the point that they almost returned the fund.

He added that Nigeria had miners association who needed to access the fund.


“This is the time to really sit down and work and come up with a documentation; put up the processes and policies in place that can drive the sector.

“We are ready to work with you,” he said.


Alhaji Sani Shehu, President of the association, said the government should invest in mining for the economic benefit of the country.

“The government should fund this development and ensure we get it for the purpose of mining in Nigeria.

“The association is developing the miners mechanisation programme which will source machinery and we are talking with the NEXIM bank.

“We give these machinery to small scale miners to pay, maybe in 10 years and also hire to others,” he said.




Ololade Ajekigbe: I’ll Buy Nigeria, But…

In the past couple of weeks, there has been some clamour for Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria products. The hashtag “Buy Naija To Grow The Naira” was even created to drive its awareness on Twitter. The aim is simple – Buy locally made goods to save the naira from its current alarming slope downhill. For all intents and purposes this campaign has become imperative especially in the light of the dwindling fortune of the naira against the dollar. Since the price of crude oil has been on a steady decline for a while now, oil producing countries have had to turn their attention to other sectors of their economy to ensure that their gross domestic product does not plummet. In a mono-economy like Nigeria there were no such options.

After jettisoning her first love agriculture for the more attractive oil in the last couple of decades. Nigeria has suddenly found herself in a quagmire occasioned by the consistent fall in the price of crude oil.  This has had a multiplier effect on all other areas of the economy as we never really gave a long term thought to the consequences of our over-dependence on one area of the economy. Now, the prices of goods and services have skyrocketed, organizations are laying off staff every day, the naira now exchanges for N400 to a dollar in the parallel market, while one would have to cough over N500 in exchange for one pound an all time low since its steady decline at the beginning of this year following the stopping of weekly dollar sale to Bureaux de Change’s by the Central Bank.

Bottom line – the prognosis doesn’t look good , and there remains a pervading sense of uncertainty in the air. Hence, the call for Nigerians to strengthen their currency by reducing their long time penchant for buying foreign products as opposed to the made-in-Nigeria ones. One man who has been at the forefront of this crusade is the CEO of Silverd bird and Senator representing Bayelsa East constituency, Mr Ben Murray Bruce. The “commonsense” crusader has taken it upon himself to champion the cause of Obinna who makes shoes in Aba, Iya Kudi who deals in Adire textile in Ibadan and Hassan who manufactures leather wallets in Kano. Mr Bruce put his money where his mouth is by not only sharing photos of himself patronizing Aba made clothes and shoes, but also going further to purchase made-in-Nigeria cars by Innoson Motors.

The Senate President has also added his voice to the “Buy Naija To Grow The Naira” campaign. Promising to re-examine to the laws to seek ways to improve support for domestic manufacturers and producers following his meeting with the CEO of the Nnewi based vehicle manufacturing company, Mr Innocent Chukwuma. These are steps in the right direction. However, the fact remains that the average Nigerian has developed an apathy for made-in-Nigeria goods over the years, and for good reason too. Locally made products are often seen as counterfeit and sub standard. Only very few Nigerian manufacturers put utmost care and attention into their creation. The Anything-goes mentality of the typical Nigerian has eaten deep into the fabric of our manufacturing industry.

Clothes whose colours run as soon as you dip them into water, heels that come off just as you step into the interview room of a potential employer, the locally made soap that makes the hands appear shrivelled after washing, pot handles that come off only a few weeks into using them, diapers that induce rashes in babies and cornflakes that turn soggy just as soon as you introduce a bit of water into them. That has been the narrative associated with made-in-Nigeria products for a while now, yet there are many fantastic Nigerian-made products which have stood the test of time. The truth is as plain as a pikestaff – Nigerians don’t trust their own products. Hence, the “long throat” for foreign goods, even though there are no guarantees that they are any better.

The reality is; if the government of the day is serious about growing the naira, then it must invest heavily in small and medium scale businesses so as to encourage manufacturers to produce their best. The first thing anyone who’s parting with their hard earned cash wants to be sure of is getting value for their money, especially in these austere times. Nigerians are not going to be cajoled or guilt-tripped into buying Nigeria except they are certain of the quality of what they are getting. As a matter of fact, this rule doesn’t apply to Nigerians only. There’s no one in their right frame of mind, in any part of the world who would choose to buy a fake product when they can get the authentic one at about the same price or for a slightly higher amount. It only makes sense.

There are people who have sworn off made-in-Nigeria goods because of the not-too-pleasant and sometimes embarrassing experiences they have had because they dared to put their trust in a home-made good. Essentially, this means that our manufacturers and local industry need to up their game in order to make sure they put out good quality products which speak for themselves. The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) appears to be doing a good job in creating awareness on how to identify original products but things are far from uhuru yet. SON needs to do more to ensure that substandard goods do not define the Nigerian made goods market. The National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) which has been under the radar since the glory days of its late former Director General, Dora Akunyili must be alive to its responsibilities and ensure that chalk isn’t sold as paracetamol in our Pharmacies and Supermarkets. The right structure must be put in place to boost the local market.

In all, while it is shameful that a country with vast human and material resources like Nigeria still imports toothpicks and tomato paste, it is not enough to “shout it from the rooftops” and create a hashtag to encourage locally made goods patronage. If our leaders who are usually the first ones to ship in foreign made goods to satisfy their most basic needs can control their appetite for “oyinbo things” and patronize our own brands here, then the general populace will be more wont to follow suit, and not see this campaign as mere lip service.

FG Committed To Revamping The Economy – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has restated the commitment of the Federal Government to revamp the economy, fight insurgency and corruption.


He made the statement on Monday in Abuja when Dr Yemisi Bamgbose, National President, Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), paid him a courtesy call.


He said that the Federal Government had prioritised agriculture as a sector that would link the other sectors of the economy.


The minister said that one of the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was to boost local production of rice to serve as substitute to imported rice.

He said that the administration had taken the issues of the media seriously, adding that informed the reason he had several meetings with stakeholders in the industry.


Mohammed said that there was need to re-invent media organisations in the country to enable them compete favourably with their counterparts in other parts of the world.


Earlier, Bamgbose said that his union controlled 90 per cent stakeholders in the media and culture sector and commended the Federal Government for its fight against insurgency and corruption.


The RATTAWU president urged the Federal Government to take practical step to diversify economy through agriculture and to ensure that the nation’s refineries were working at optimal level.


While stressing that the government should do something about poor remuneration of workers in the media industry, Bamgbose called for adequate funding of government owned media organizations to enable them function effectively.


He said the culture sector could generate enormous revenue for this country if properly energised.




Plateau To Reduce Dependence On Federal Allocation – Lalong

Plateau governor, Mr Simon Lalong, says his state is already diversifying its economy in order to reduce dependence on allocation from Federation Account.


He made this known in Abuja on Friday at the All Progressives Congress Media Roundtable.


The governor said that development of the state was on course but said that it was gradual.


He appealed to Nigerians to be patient and give President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration at least a year for the change being yearned for to be felt.


“We know people are expecting change but they should also understand the economic situation; we need to be patient with the reform that is going on so that the expected change will come. Let us give ourselves at least one year and see what the president and states are doing. Some of us are already diversifying.


We are moving into agriculture and other ways of diversification.

For me, if you give me between six months and one year and with adequate funding, like getting our full bailout, let me go into Internally Generated Revenue.

By God’s grace, when you come, you will see a different Plateau,’’ he said.


On the president’s trips, Lalong said that they would be beneficial to the nation at the long run.


“I don’t see anything wrong with it. Presently, I am granting an interview in Abuja and not in Jos; if I didn’t travel to Abuja from Jos, who will fight for my bailout?

For example, foreigners have stopped coming to Jos due to insecurity. If you want private investors, you have to travel all the way to Abuja because that’s where the foreigners are.

“That is also exactly what Mr President is doing. He is trying to attract private investors into the country to do business. He has been invited to several workshops and seminars.’’


Concerning the allegation that lawyers were part of the reason why the corruption fight was slow, the governor who is a lawyer said “If there are allegations against a profession like that, it is good to be specific.


“Each profession has a way of disciplining its members. This means that there are members who are recalcitrant.

So, it is better to name those lawyers, arrest, investigate and prosecute them.

I also have been detained by the EFCC in 2005/2006 for more than 40 days before I was later prosecuted, discharged and acquitted by the Supreme Court.

“All of that was because I wanted to follow due process with regards to illegal impeachment.’’


On the need to assign more women into positions of authority, he said that they had important portfolios in his government because he believed in their capabilities.


“We have three female commissioners; the Commissioner for Finance is a woman and that of Agriculture whose ministry is the thrust of our diversification programmes.

“We also have seven permanent secretaries who are doing excellently well; so we are taking good care of women affairs in the state,’’ he said.



Nigerians Need To Be Creative To Boost Economy—Tinubu

Sen. Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), says Nigerians need to be creative and innovative to develop the economy.


He told newsmen in Ibadan on Sunday that the diversification of the nation’s economy was always on the drawing board but had never been implemented.


“We keep talking about diversification of the economy. It is always in the drawing board. We never implemented it. ”


There are so many ways to create and revitalise this economy; it is not as bad into the future as people make it appear.


“The past is nauseating, terrible. There has never been any principle of good governance in the past. It has been cesspool of corruption,” he said.


The former Lagos State governor said that Nigerians needed to support and encourage the present administration in its campaign against insurgency and kidnap.


“We face the challenge. We accept the need for the diversification of the nation’s economy. ”



There are a lot of variables in the oil sector which we have to look at critically. ” We are not the only country that is affected by the effect of this oil crisis. We have to be more creative in a way that will not hurt the welfare of the people,” he said.



“We need to look inwardly. There are so many ways and we are blessed to really create local demand, improve our disposable income and manage our own economy. “We have the resources, people and the blessing of both weather and mineral resources but it will take time.



“There is a gestation, rearrangement and reengineering necessary for the economy to be beneficial to the people. “We must be patient, we must persevere and the leadership must be creative in order to rejuvenate the economy. Just bear with us,” he added.



Speaking on the influx of defectors into the APC, he said that there was the freedom principle which allow citizens to associate with any organisation or political party they want.


Tinubu said that the builders of APC must be tolerant and understand the need to check intrusion of corruption and injustice into the party. “You can’t stop that. You cannot discriminate against that. There is nothing we can do about that. “We cannot prevent people from coming in, the more the merrier, the better, the competitiveness,” he said.





Fall Of Naira, Economy: Blame Jonathan – APC

All Progressives Congress, APC has said that the financial recklessness exhibited by the previous government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was responsible for the fall of Naira and dwindling economy.

It further stated that the People’s Democratic Government, PDP “squandered” the resources of the country, stressing the APC met nothing with which to run the country.

The position of the party was stated by the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, Comrade Timi Frank while speaking exclusively to Vanguard in Abuja on Sunday.

Frank who asked Nigerians to be patient with the government of the President Muhammadu Buhari however assured the people that the president was committed to reviving the economy.

“Personally, I am worried about the current situation of the economy but again I am letting you know it is not our fault because this is what we met. We met a bastardised system. We took over from a government that destroyed our economy. The PDP government embezzled the wealth of our nation. So our economy is something we are fighting to survive.

“And I can assure you that our government is taking every necessary step to make sure we revive our economy and that everything will come to stay. Clearly, I can tell you that this is why the President is moving round to make sure our economy stands again.

“The current situation of our country today, I am asking Nigerians not to blame President Buhari because he is working very hard to make sure things go well with Nigerians that voted APC government to power. They will not be disappointed.

“So the blame goes back again to the previous government, the PDP government which squandered the resources of our country. And today, Nigeria as a nation is suffering because of them. But by the grace of God, things will be fine again”, he said.

Source: Vanguard

Naira Crashes Even Further To N300 Against Dollar

Monday’s stoppage of foreign exchange sales to Bureau De Change operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria failed to lift the naira on Tuesday as the currency exchanged for 300 against the United States dollar in Kano, 290 in Lagos and 292 in Abuja.

Financial experts said the naira would decline further, while private sector operators described the move as a welcome development.

The ban was announced on Monday, when naira trading at 285 against the dollar at the parallel market from 278 on Friday.

The Acting President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, told one
of correspondents in a telephone interview that the currency traded against the greenback at 300, 290 and 292 in Kano, Lagos and Abuja a day after the CBN announcement.

“There is cut of (dollar) supply to the market. The BDC sub-sector has been murdered. We are not coping. The naira is going to head northwards. There is no solution in sight,” Gwadabe lamented.

The Head of Investment Research, Afrinvest West Africa Limited, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said the stoppage of forex sale to the BDCs meant that the CBN wanted everybody to apply to the banks for dollars.

He stated, “But we feel the pressure now will move from the BDCs to the parallel market. We will see significant spike in the value of the naira at the parallel market because the little supply to the BDCs have also helped to cushion the demand at the parallel market.

“It will further compound or increase the spread between the parallel market and the interbank market. So, it will also increase round-tripping and unethical practices within the financial system.”

On the lifting of the ban on cash deposits into domiciliary accounts, Ebo said, “I am still sceptical about how this will work except they are also assuring us that if you deposit it, you can consummate business with it.”

A professor of financial economics at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Leo Ukpong, said, “I don’t think the stoppage of dollar sale to the BDCs will solve the problem. The currency will depreciate some more.

“This move will make the naira to weaken more as demand for dollar will skyrocket because of the short supply.”

Members of the organised private sector, however, applauded the CBN for the stopping the sale of dollars to the BDCs and lifting the ban on cash deposits into domiciliary accounts.

The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said industrialists had earlier kicked against the funding of the BDCs by the central bank, adding that with the development, the forex could be channelled towards funding the real sector in terms of importation of raw materials.

On the removal of the restriction of cash deposits into domiciliary accounts, Jacobs said manufacturers were still waiting for more clarification as to how the money deposited could be utilised by the customers.

The Director-General, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel Cobham, said the forex sale ban was a welcome development.

According to him, although the BDCs are necessary in the economy, they are licensed entities and should, therefore, source for their own funds.

Also speaking on the matter, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf, lauded the forex policy review, noting that it had addressed the concerns of economic operators.

According to him, it is a source of worry that the CBN continues to maintain its official exchange rate at N199 to the dollar at a time of dwindling forex inflow.

“The pressure on the official window will persist. The risk of round-tripping and distortions in the foreign exchange market will consequently remain high,” he said.

Buhari Is Resolute To Diversify Economy – Adamu

Sen. Abdullahi Adamu (APC Nasarawa West) says President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to diversify the country’s economy.


He spoke with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, noting that the present administration had said it on many occasions that Nigeria could no longer depend on oil and gas based economy.


“Oil and gas have tended, over time, to spoil us; people have got used to easy money but now the wells are drying, even if they are not, the market is becoming very hostile.


The price has gone down and the demand for our oil is very low, even though previous administrations sang the idea of diversifying the economy, they did not do it.


Buhari has said that he would make deliberate efforts to diversify the economy and bring on board new attitude toward agricultural production.


He believes as much as we do that agriculture holds the greatest potential for job creation if we enhance,’’ he said.



Adamu said that with agriculture, the nation would have excess food crops as well as industrial crops that would be exported to boost foreign exchange.


Apart from agriculture, he observed that the country had solid minerals that could turn its economy around.


“Buhari has assured Nigerians that he would also address the issue of solid minerals and he is taking a look at the entire policy, operations and the investments in that sector.


We have information that every one of the 774 local governments in Nigeria has one or more mineral deposits.


If we can mine, process and add some value to them, you can only imagine the kind of multiplier effects we will enjoy.


Once you can give agricultural and solid mineral sector a boost, sharpen the processes for revenue generation and block the leakages that we know, our economy will take a leap,’’ he said.


NAN reports that Buhari, while presenting the 2016 Budget to the National Assembly, reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to job creation and economic diversification.


He specifically laid emphasis on developing the agriculture and solid mineral sectors with increased funding, investment in agriculture and solid minerals, among others.


He said that his administration would ensure increased capital expenditure with significant resources to critical sectors of the economy.





Nigeria’s Budget Without Oil Realisable – Fayemi

The Minister of Solid Minerals and a former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said the N6.08tn 2016 budget proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari is realisable.

The minister also said the budget was not bogus despite the dwindling revenues from crude oil.

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, while criticising the budget, had said that, “It is only in a confused and clueless economy that government will plan to spend more when revenue has reduced by more than 50 per cent.”

But speaking in Isan Ekiti on Sunday during a thanksgiving ceremony marking his ministerial appointment, Fayemi said there was no amount budgeted to develop a vast country like Nigeria that was too much.

He lamented the neglect of the solid minerals sector since independence, saying the sector had the capacity to turn around the country’s economy, considering its local consumption by industries and export benefits.

He argued that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that received a staggering sum of N433bn largest share in the 2016 budget could still not boast that the amount would be more than enough to turn around the infrastructural facilities across the nation.

He said, “The former governor of Lagos State who superintends over the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing with about N433bn budgetary provision cannot say the amount is enough to turn around the facilities of this country if you look at what was involved.

“The Lagos-Ibadan expressway alone will gulp a sum of N250bn while the remaining amount may go with the second Niger bridge, so no minister can say the amount budgeted is more than enough.”

Fayemi assured Nigerians that the budget was targeted at improving their lives, promising that it would be pursued with passion to realise its goals.

“The budget presented by President Buhari has a focus and the focus is to improve on the well-being of Nigerians and to improve on the infrastructural facilities across the nation.

“So, what we need now is to prove our mettle by being innovative and be creative. We need to work very hard to actualise the focus of this budget and this will only be measured by the level of impact we are able to make on the Nigerian masses.”

Fayemi maintained that Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement production was enough to prove that the country was richly blessed.

Tony Ademiluyi: Unmasking Budget 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari on getting to the National Assembly where he addressed a joint sitting apologized to the nation for the nauseating fuel scarcity in the country putting the blame on the doorstep of market speculators. However, there was no action packed strategy reeled out to Nigerians on how he intended to tackle the crisis beyond mere sloganeering. This contradicted the position of the garrulous minister for information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who put the blame at the doorstep of erstwhile President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. As the Spokesman of the government, we find this conflicting statement highly disturbing and points to a possible disconnect in the PMB cabinet so early in the day.

The budget at 6.08 trillion naira is the highest in the annals of our nation’s history saw it committing thirty percent of it towards capital expenditure. The President gave the nation hope that in future it will increase from that figure. The capital expenditure is aligned to meet the long term objectives to sustainable development. Given the vagaries of the oil and gas sector which is the mainstay of the economy, it made a whole lot of sense to peg the benchmark at $38 per barrel. However the decision to borrow a whopping 1.9 trillion naira representing about 2.16 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product is capable of greatly mortgaging the future of generations yet unborn. The borrowing agenda is still rather hazy: From which source? We hope it is not from the Bretton Woods Institutions as they have recently been lending their voice to the management of our economic matters. They have been ferocious in their call for the yanking off of the fuel subsidy without any framework for the building of new refineries to cushion the initial early effects. We cannot have amnesia to forget how their loans have crippled the economies of third world nations which we sadly have remained since independence due to our refusal to develop our own homegrown economic agenda that would best suit us. We must resist any temptation to source any of that borrowing from their sinister institutions. I recommend Walter Rodney’s evergreen masterpiece ‘How Europe underdeveloped Africa’ to be part of the reading list for those on the economic team. Nigeria doesn’t need any humungous borrowing. The proposed 1.9 trillion naira should be drastically reviewed downwards as there is no need to become a member of the Paris Club once more and go there cap in hand begging for debt reliefs.

For the first time, education is getting visible attention as it got the second highest chunk of the sectorial allocation with the vote of 369 billion. We commend the administration for heeding the call of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation for allocating at least twenty-six percent of its budgetary allocation to education. This isn’t up to that percentage but this is the best deal we have gotten so far. The proposed decision laid out by the Labour Minister, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige to employ 500,000 youths as graduate teachers is highly pro-people and youth friendly. It’s a much needed relief and soothing balm to the teeming number of unemployed and unemployable youths. However, half a million youths is a mere drop in the ocean when you consider the alarming statistics reeled out by the National Bureau of Statistics that over ten million youths are unemployed. Job creation anywhere in the world is private sector driven. As expected infrastructure as represented by the Power, Works and Housing Ministries got the highest chunk of the allocation with 433 billion given to it. It must go beyond votes. The enabling environment which would encourage entrepreneurs to spring up must be created. The reality of the information age has rendered the education – a byproduct of the industrial age largely obsolete. There should be a drastic shift in the curriculum right from the cradle to reflect this novel reality. There should be a national culture of self -reliance to get the nation out of the woods. The success of this culture is dependent on massive industrialization. The budget must be indicative of an agenda to get this sleeping giant industrialized in a manner reminiscent of the Asian Tigers. The budget implementation must take critical steps to curb import dependence and expand our revenue base through harnessing the power of human capital development. The move towards projecting the mining sector as the next thing after oil is a good one but the world has long advanced beyond mineral resources. Mineral resources is finite but that of human capital is infinite. We expected a budgetary allocation for the development of human capital if we are to stand on our two feet as a Sovereign Nation in a way typical of our Japan got up in barely nineteen years after the battering of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War.

The budget seems to have a job creation agenda which is a critical concern of the ailing economy. Renowned Political Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi called budget implementations in Nigeria a joke on Channels Television few hours before Buhari read out this one. We hope the implementers prove the erudite intellectual wrong. For the first time, the budget implementation won’t be a core function of the finance ministry as it has been transferred to the national planning ministry. Let us hope this signals a good omen for the New Year which will unfold in a matter of hours.

Let’s hope that the change slogan which this government used to bring itself into power doesn’t end up in the citizenry asking what is the difference between six and half a dozen?


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Sunday Odeleke: The New SEC And The Actions That Will Benefit The Market

If you have been following the development between the Nigerian Capital Market Regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the BGL Group, one of the capital market operators in Nigeria, then you should be happy to see the regulator acting in a manner that can help market integrity and restore investor confidence.

Just like the American counterpart, also called the SEC, which has the mandate to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly and efficient market, and facilitate capital formation, the mission of the Nigerian SEC is to develop and regulate a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent and efficient, to contribute to the nation’s economic development. Therefore in the ongoing case of alleged gross market infraction by BGL Plc and its subsidiaries, the regulator must handle the case in manners that would benefit the overall interest of the Nigerian Capital market.  First, a quick review how the capital market regulations have evolved globally would broaden this view.

Globally, capital market regulations are set up to help operators from the problem of illusion of money.  The underlying mandate of all capital market and financial system regulators is to protect investors and depositors from practitioners’ errors, mismanagement, fraud and cheating during the custodianship of third parties assets in whatever forms permissible by law. The complexities of the financial market today however make infractions an unavoidable part of the capital and financial market activities. These complexities, represented by the fungibility of the financial system and significant correlation of assets classes and markets, have made regulators’ approach to dealing with infractions very delicate. A badly handled infraction in the United State of America, the United Kingdom, and even in fragile Europe can take the global financial system to its knee.

The US SEC regularly deals with operators and market participants’ infractions and since the global financial crisis of 2008, the regulator has been more pro-active in its oversight functions than before. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the financial services industry with the primary aim to protect consumers, ensure the industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers. Recently, the FCA dealt with a combination of banks foreign exchange market infractions and LIBOR fixing infractions without roiling the market.

Likewise in Nigeria, the SEC has contributed in significant ways to the market development through astute scrutiny of deals for compliance with envisaged security of investments and integrity of the market. On many occasions, the SEC has also moved quickly enough to deal with market infraction in the bid to mitigate large scale losses to investors. Over the years, the SEC has performed this role using the institutional process as empowered by the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, the SEC Board, the Administrative Proceedings Panel (APC) and the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) depending on the level of infractions. Significant improvement in capital market regulation through the SEC activities has resulted in timely return filing by quoted institutions, reduction in market infractions committed by operators and the resolution of operator-investor conflicts etc. And in all of the cases, investigations by the SEC and resolutions of the matters are usually conducted privately to prevent any backlash on the market.

However, in relation to BGL Plc and its subsidiaries, it is unclear what the SEC wishes to achieve by dealing with the matter in public and on the pages of newspapers. Since the SEC publicly announced the appointment of an Interim management Team (IMT) to take over the management of the company and its subsidiaries in April, the follow up publications on suspension of the companies and their sponsored individuals from capital market activities and the invitation to APC, it might appear as if the SEC is hell bent on liquidating the company and its subsidiaries to the detriment of the investors’ fund currently stuck in the company in particular and the market in general. For example, by suspending the Company and all its subsidiaries from operating and earning revenue, it makes it difficult to settle all outstanding obligations to clients and investors.  It also makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the company to attract additional capital to improve the solvency of the company and put it in a position to continue as a going concern.

The publicity given to this case, including the one by the IST, appears like a moral war against the company so that the public can expect its potential collapse and brace up for it. But like the experience of Lehman Brothers in the US where investors are more educated and follow up the developments, the Nigerian market will never be ready to take such development without a reverberation. It would spread like wild fire and catch other operators. They would experience a run on them; leading to depressed selling of assets and asset deflation. If not well managed, the same market that the SEC is trying to protect may crash, leaving nothing to protect. This is already happening!

Moreover, the moral warfare has its inverse side. The constant publication of the ongoing issues by the SEC is not good for the market, while the publications of clients’ confidential information in the bid to justify the Commission’s actions and perhaps to steer away sentiments from the company, will pitch the public against the SEC. It is an unnecessary propaganda that is unhealthy for the capital market. The market is currently in a bearish mood due to the combined effect of the lull in domestic economic activities, Greece uncertainties, China crisis and arguably the handling of the BGL and operators’ capitalisation issues; loosing over N600 billion in the last couple of months.

The strategic objective of the SEC should be to ensure market integrity and by extension protect investors, which is the ultimate ‘war’ in this case. The tactical actions to achieving these objectives include the mitigated resolution of BGL case which is one of the several ‘battles’ the SEC faces. And in achieving the overall objective of winning the war (ensuring market integrity), the SEC may need to loose some battles (by yielding grounds) for the greater good. The SEC might have already won the war by showing the market and the investors that it stands ready to investigate and punish any erring capital market operator whose actions and conducts put the market at risk. Every market operator now knows that the SEC is ready to go all out to enforce its rules and to carry out its oversight function without fear or favour. That is in itself is an outstanding achievement. Even the company itself would have learnt from its mistake and will be more than willing to do a better job going forward, provided such a chance is given, since “big brother SEC” is watching. However by insisting on putting an operator down, the SEC is trying to win the small battle at the expense of the bigger war and thereby snatching “defeat” at the jaw of “victory”.

The current issue reminds us of the Nigerian banking crisis of 2009/10 in which many Nigerian banks were alleged to be in grave solvency danger due to the financial and economic meltdown and the subsequent stock market crash in Nigeria. Although the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was able to deal with the major institutions with grave conditions and their owners and management without putting depositors’ money at risk, it achieved this by temporarily bailing out the affected banks while adopting a private sector driven resolution strategy through the use of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to manage the crisis. Despite the resolution, it took time for the market to recover as investors lost significant amount of equity in the banks. Some of the banks are still struggling to get back to optimal levels. The SEC does not appear to have the capacity to achieve same in relation to the issue with BGL and many others that may come after it. Hence, the potential systemic risks that the bankruptcy of a “big” market operator poses to the Nigerian Capital Market should prevent the SEC from taking the moral high ground it is currently taking. The manner in which the Commission is currently handling this matter may not be apt and presents great risk to the Nigerian capital market.

Rather the commission should midwife the process for any market operator that may have liquidity issues to get out of these problems to be able to deliver on its core mandate of investors’ protection and upholding market integrity. In the end, when all ends well, the SEC, like in every other clime, can then turn around and punish all individuals that were culpable at putting investors’ money at risks in the company within the ambience of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007. The planned administrative proceedings can then take place where punishments including suspensions and fines can be meted out to culprits.

Sunday Odeleke

@OdelekeSA (please, follow on Twitter)

Houston, TX USA.

 Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

APC Blasts PDP Over Economic Criticism

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) statement on the nation’s economy as part of the opposition’s ploy to distract the Buhari administration from its onerous task of putting the nation on a sound footing.

In a statement issued in Lagos, on Monday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP’s statement was a litany of delusional self praise rather than a genuine concern about the nation’s well being.

“The question the PDP should ask itself is that if it had laid a solid foundation for the economy in its 16 years in charge, could such a foundation have given way in just three months of a new administration?

“If the PDP had been as fantastic as its statement had portrayed, it would still be the ruling, rather than the opposition party that it is now.

“It is therefore important for the PDP to concentrate its attention on re-making its tattered image rather than continuing to act as a desperate attention-seeking opposition,” it said


Buhari Has Changed Economy In 100 Days- Alaafin

Foremost traditional ruler in the Southwest and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his leadership style since he took over the mantle of leadership in the last 100 days.

The paramount ruler made the commendation during his condolence visit to Osun State governor,  Rauf Aregbesola, on the transition of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.

Enumerating the successes recorded by the administration since May 29,  Oba Adeyemi stated that Buhari has proved to the world that corruption was an alien and epidemic disease to Nigeria and Africa.

The traditional ruler said Buhari had shown his capability to the entire world as a man capable and ready to liberate the country from her myriads of challenges of corruption, insecurity, poverty, poor infrastructure, unemployment, poor education system among others crises that have been ravaging and stunting the socio-political and economic growth and development of the nation.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Nigeria’s Economy In Trouble, As Oil Price Crashes Even Lower

Nigeria’s economy may be heading for trouble, as oil price crashed even lower at the weekend, thereby threatening the 2015 budget and fiscal plan.

The international price of crude hit a six-year low below USD40 per barrel with West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures as low as USD39.89, while Brent crude declined further to USD45.10 from previous week’s level of USD48.87 per barrel. Nigeria’s sweet crude is similar to the Brent.

It is envisaged that prices will crash even further once Iran begins to enyoy its international pardon by pumping more oil into the already saturated market.

This will spell more doom for Nigeria, which is producing less than its projected 2 million barrels daily, thereby increasing the cash crunch and liquidity flow in the economy, with many states still unable to pay salaries.economy1

The steep decline in oil prices had in March this year forced the National Assembly to settle for USD53 per barrel as the oil benchmark price for 2015 budget, down from USD65 earlier proposed by the Federal Executive Council under ex-president Goodluck Jonathan. The government had earlier in the year effected downward review of the budget benchmark twice in response to sliding oil price from USD78 to USD73 and later to USD65. It even said it had planned for possible price fall scenarios of up to $50/barrel.

With this development, economists are expecting further downwards adjustments in the budgetary benchmark, revenue projections and ultimately expenditure provisions. Also, they expect further pressure on the value of Naira as the development has wiped off any accretion to the country’s Excess Crude Account.

According to the Global Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital, Mr. Charles Robertson, lower oil price will be painful for the budget. It means less money is available for much-needed investment in infrastructure.

Budget projections

The 2015 budget had envisaged federal government’s share to be about N3.6 trillion of total oil component revenue at USD65 per barrel, with estimated production output of 2million barrels per day.

At current oil price, the component accruable to the federal government would drop massively to less than N2.5 trillion, putting the entire budget in disarray. Evidently all the projected expenditure, Vanguard learnt, are already being curtailed in the recurrent expenditure provisions in the budget, while capital expenditure of N634 billion is completely dropped.

Read full story via:  Vanguard

President Buhari To Accomodate Investors From Japan, Others To Revitalize Economy

President Buhari said his government will welcome greater investment in-flows from Japan and other developed countries to revitalize the Nigeria’s economy and create more jobs.

Buhari said this yesterday while receiving the new Japanese ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke who was at the State House to present his letters of credence.

He said his government would take all necessary steps to significantly improve the operating environment for domestic and international companies in Nigeria.

The president said his government would particularly welcome more trade and economic cooperation with Japan in the areas of technology, manufacturing and agriculture.

“I was very impressed with the role your prime minister played at our talks with G-7 leaders in Germany. He had a deep understanding of the challenge in the North-East of Nigeria and how it is affecting our economy. We look forward to a stronger partnership with your country in many areas, especially in technology, which is now the major driver of job creation across the world today”, he told the Japanese envoy.

Credit: dailytrust 

Buhari Pledges To Diversify Nigeria’s Oil-Dependent Economy

The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday in Abuja said he would shift attention from oil to agricultural and mining sectors to create jobs. Mr. Buhari said this while receiving Northern Elders led by a former diplomat, Maitama Sule.

He said he would address the problem of unemployment as it was one of the biggest challenges facing the nation. ”The biggest message is to try and persuade the people that it is not possible to change the state of affairs now.

”It took 16 years and those 16 years, most of you know it better than myself, Nigeria earned revenue more than what it earned from 1914 till then.

”In the economy, we have to quickly turn to agriculture and mining because that is where you can do the quickest work and earn results.

”In other areas, you need to study them and dust all the books and studies and get people, experienced people, committed people, technocrats to come and help the government.

‘’They need to help the government to identify priorities so that with what is available to us, we can quickly make our people realise their hope for the government they have chosen,” he said.

The president-elect said that for his administration to enjoy relative peace, security, job creation and put infrastructural facilities in place, the power sector was paramount.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Mr. Sule urged Mr. Buhari to be just and fair to everyone irrespective of tribe, colour or religion.

”Sir, it is easy; I know it was easy when you were a military leader and what made it easy was justice.

”With justice, you can rule Nigeria well. Justice is the key; irrespective of tribe, religion and race, justice must be done to whosoever deserves it.

”Power can remain in the hands of an infidel if he is just and fair but it will not remain in the hands of a believer if he is unfair and unjust,” he said.

Mr. Sule also said injustice was the fundamental cause of crisis all over the world and that the only solution to avert crisis was justice. “The world itself can never be governed by force or by fear nor by power; in the end, what governs is the mind, what conquers is the spirit and what governs the mind and spirit are justice and fair play.

”I have always known you to be a man of justice and I ask you to please continue, don’t change or compromise justice for anything.

“I will ask you not to discriminate against any part of Nigeria but I’ll urge you to do justice to all part of Nigeria, justice that will bring about peace and stability, that will lead to the development of Nigeria.

”I know you believe that one day you will stand before God to give account of everything you have done here on earth.

“I will rather prefer that you disappoint me than to disappoint God, your creator,” he stated.

Credit: NAN

”The 2 Finance Ministers, Perm. Secretary And 70% Of Finance Ministry Staff Are Hypertensive” – Okonjo Iweala

The bad state of the Nigerian economy is negatively affecting the health of those charged with managing it. That was the submission of minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at a recent event.

Okonjo-Iweala said that the thorough search for funds for the ailing economy has started affecting her health and that of some other government workers.

The minister explained that most workers in the finance ministry are currently suffering from high blood pressure due to excessive stress at work.

Okonjo-Iweala spoke alongside the Permanent Secretary of the finance ministry, Anastasia Daniel-Nwaobia, at the commissioning of the Federal Ministry of Finance Welfare Facilities, including crèche and clinic on Monday.

She said that many of the workers in the Finance Ministry – including the minister of state, Bashir Yuguda, and the permanent secretary, Daniel-Nwaobia, had hypertension as confirmed after a recent medical test conducted in the ministry.

According to Daniel-Nwaobia, the medical tests became necessary after one of the workers in the ministry who had an emergency medical situation was rushed to the hospital and was later diagnosed with high blood pressure.

“It sounds unbelievable. But, it’s true. The three of us are on medication.  At times, we have to be in the office as late as 1 a.m. looking for how the country will get money to finance her activities,” Okonjo-Iweala said.

She said now that the clinic has been established and certified by the Federal Ministry of Health, the staff can take full advantage of the facility to take care of themselves.

After weeks of intensive medical examination by the team, Daniel-Nwaobia said the result showed that more than 70 per cent of the workers were hypertensive as a result of stress at work.

She said the decision to establish the clinic and the crèche within the premises of the headquarters of the Ministry became necessary to ensure that the medical needs of the workers were met, while a place would be available for their wards to stay during official hours.

Source –

World Economic Summit: Buhari Gets G-7 Invitation

President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari yesterday received invitation by the Group of 7 Countries (G7) to attend World Economic Sumit slated to hold May 8 and 9, this year.

Buhari also got invitation from the president of France, Francea Hollande.

Delivering a letter of invitation to General Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in his Abuja office on behalf of the G7, German Ambassador , Michel Zenner said he was in Nigeria to congratulate and invite the president-elect to attend the important event.

“I am here to congratulate the President-elect, Gen. Buhari on his election and hand over to him the letter from the German Chancellor inviting him to Germany.

“We have a very deep and intense relationship with Nigeria and there are lot of areas where we can deepen our relation and develop them further such as in the area of economy, energy among others.

“We have a by-national commission with Nigeria and we are one of the countries with which Nigeria has this by-national commission and it covers the whole range of political, economic and security areas. There are many areas in which we can move further and deepen our very close cooperation.”

The G7 countries include Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Great Britian, Russia and United States.

Meanwhile French Ambassador to Nigeria Denys Gauer said his country is committed to offering assistance to the Nigerian government in ending terrorism.

He said “As the French Ambassador, I came to congratulate the President elect for his brilliant achievement. His election is an enormous achievement for Nigeria and the democratic development of Nigeria. The people of Nigeria has expressed its confidence in the President elect. The challenges of Nigeria are enomous and I have come to wish him success.

“We also held a small talk about our bilateral relations. As you know, our relationship has developed quite well in recent years. In the economic field, Nigeria is already the first commercial partners of France in Africa.

“We have a strong presence of French companies in Nigeria and we are encouraging them to come more to Nigeria to invest here and establish partnership with Nigerian companies. We also have the French Development Agency that is present here and ready to contribute to development projects.

Our relationship also developed in the area of security. Boko Haram has become a major threat not only to Nigeria, but to neighbouring countries.

“Since the special summit in Paris in May last year, France has worked a lot to perfect cooperation and collaboration among countries in the region and also work with the Nigerian Armed Forces especially in exchange of information and to contribute to the common fight against the terrorist threat.

“I expressed our willingness to continue in the same direction, with the same objective to eliminate that terrorist threat in Nigeria and in the region.

Senate Accuses Okonjo Iweala Of Destroying Nigeria’s Economy

Senators have accused the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, of perpetrating wickedness by refusing to release funds meant for capital projects in the country.

According to The Nation, the senators who met at various committees with ministers, heads of Federal Government departments and agencies in Abuja on February 24, were unhappy that last year’s budget was poorly implemented.

The lawmakers expressed shock when ministers and some heads of agencies told them that they got between 40 to 45 % of their capital votes last year.


Oshiomole Accuses PDP of Wrecking Nigeria’s Economy

Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State has said the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government has destroyed the nation’s economy.

Speaking to a coalition of women from across the 18 local government areas of the state, led by Evelyn Igbafe, who paid him a solidarity visit, Tuesday, Mr. Oshiomhole said, “PDP has mismanaged the economy. You can all see that you need about N220 now to buy $1. When PDP took over power in 1999, $1 was between N60 and N65.

“They have destroyed the economy. After 16 years PDP cannot give light to Edo people and upon the darkness, they are using their might to collect what they call fixed charges from very poor people and because there is no light, the woman that has to grind pepper has to buy a generator; because there is no light, the woman that grinds cassava has to buy a generator; because there is no light, the woman who has to sell articles at night has to buy a generator.

Mr. Oshiomhole said, “I like what the Benin leaders are saying. We cannot say this is what we have gained from the PDP and because we are working, they are very afraid. When I see the PDP Chairman of the State wearing multiple colours and talking and spend all his time abusing Oshiomhole, but fails to spend some minutes to say what the PDP has done in 10 years, I laugh.

“When you are going now, pass through the Central Hospital to see the beautiful work that is being done there. This is what is giving the PDP sleepless nights because all the evil plans they had against that hospital did not work. Before APC came, PDP asked students to pay school fees. We have stopped all of that. If you have two three children in school and you do not pay school fees for any of them, is that not extra savings? Under PDP, they were paying for schools that didn’t have roofs and chairs.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Nigeria’s Economy Among Largest in the World — Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan said, Tuesday, that his administration had managed the country’s economy to become the greatest in Africa and one of the largest in the world. He said this in Port Harcourt at the inauguration of Enugu-Port Harcourt-Enugu intercity train service.

He said: “We have managed the economy such that it has risen to be the greatest economy in Africa and one of the largest in the world.” Represented by his Vice President Namadi Sambo, the president said his government had changed the course of history in the country.

“We have changed the course of history with the railway system in the last 30 years from the neglected sector to a rehabilitated and revitalised one by rehabilitating the existing narrow gauge railway lines, their operations and maintenance,” Jonathan said.

He said the administration would construct coastal railway line from Lagos to oil producing states of the Niger Delta and link up commercial cities in the South-East. According to him, the Abuja-Kaduna rail project was at 90 per cent completion stage while the Warri-Itakpe project was at an advanced stage. “We have introduced programmes that have impacted positively on the lives of the people and addressed key issues in our national agenda,” he said.

According to the president, he had fulfilled all his electioneering campaign promises he made to Nigerians during the 2011 presidential election. In his contribution, Sen. Idris Umar, Minister of Transport, said the construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway line would commerce soon, adding that the Warri-Itakpe rail project was progressing steadily.

He said more than 90 per cent of the existing narrow gauge rail lines in the country was being rehabilitated and noted that the railways were very significant to the country’s economy.

Credit: Vanguard Nigeria

Nigeria’s Economic Pain May Not Decide Election

Nigeria is suffering from a plummeting currency, steep budget cuts, corruption scandals and diving oil prices; yet all this is unlikely to decide a tight race for the presidency.

In many other democracies, such turmoil would probably propel the incumbent from office. A likely rise in inflation in Africa’s biggest economy is unwelcome for President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking re-election on Feb. 14 next year.

But many Nigerians appear willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, while others will vote according to regional, sectarian or ethnic loyalties in the most closely fought election since the end of military rule in 1999.

Jonathan faces main opposition contender, ex-military leader Muhammadu Buhari, with the naira currency devalued 8 percent in the past month and a budget slashed by around 10 percent, both due to a near halving of world oil prices since June.

Yet any undecided voters appear unlikely to be swayed by economic hardship whose immediate cause lies in global markets.

“We are really suffering from the high dollar, but you can’t blame President Jonathan for that. He can’t control the dollar,” said Daniel Ibere, whose sales of electronic goods in Lagos’s overcrowded Eko Idumota market dropped when he raised prices.

 Buhari is likely to benefit from a perception that Nigeria was ill prepared for the energy price shock because so much revenue from oil, its dominant export earner, has been lost to corruption under Jonathan’s administration. He is regarded as a rare example of a graft fighter when president in 1983-85.

When the central bank devalued the naira last month to save foreign reserves, the impact was felt instantly on the streets. Nigeria imports 80 percent of what it consumes.

“Everyone is crying and complaining,” said Ifeanyi Onuchukwu, a clothes wholesaler in the capital Abuja. Onuchukwu tried to raise his prices 10 percent, but the traders wouldn’t buy his wares so he suffered losses.

Economist Bismarck Rewane thinks inflation will hit double digits for the first time in two years by January. “That’s a difficult situation for Jonathan. You really don’t need this two months before an election,” he said.

But a bigger headache comes from allegations that billions of dollars of revenue have “leaked” at the state oil firm, according to ex-central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, among others. Jonathan removed Sanusi in February after he made the allegations.

Critics argue this is one reason why Nigeria failed to build up a savings cushion when oil prices were high. Buhari’s campaign has focused on the economy and alleged corruption.

“The lives of the poor are bled dry while those of the powerful soak in excessive abundance,” he said on Thursday after winning the opposition ticket.

This, however, may not be enough to sway an electorate divided along lines that for the most part have little to do with policy.

Nigeria has been dogged by regional rivalries since independence from Britain in 1960. It suffered a catastrophic civil war in the late 1960s and even today, many Nigerians vote for candidates from their own area or an allied ethnic group. Those who can widen their geographical appeal gain a distinct advantage.

“Policy has never been a great part of politics … If you look at the last election, Buhari lost because he didn’t win as many votes outside his area as Jonathan did outside his,” said Anthony Goldman of Nigeria-focused PM Consulting.

He added that the economic problems could cut either way, since “there’s sometimes a ‘better the devil you know’ factor” in times of crisis in Nigeria, a generally conservative country.

The other factor is money. Vast patronage is often needed to get communities to vote for a candidate, so the incumbent who controls the oil wealth enjoys an advantage.

This time money is running extremely low, and Nigeria’s fiscal position always weakens around election time.

However, a parliamentary source said the funds needed to pay for campaigns on both sides had mostly already been stockpiled before the oil price crash, so the impact may be minimal.

While Nigeria faces a more austere budget, its debt remains low, certainly when compared with the developed world.

“Nigeria with its low debt ratios and fairly liquid markets has more capacity than most to increase borrowing … to see it through a short-term price shock,” says Razia Khan, Standard Chartered’s Head of Africa Research.

And since suitcases of dollars are the preferred means of delivering patronage – carrying funds in naira bills would require trucks – election spending is likely to increase the supply of U.S. currency in the short term. That bodes well for the naira, which has steadied in a week of electoral primaries.

“Huge dollar spending by politicians on both the (ruling) PDP and (opposition) APC primaries saw the Lagos bureau de change markets awash with dollars,” Business Day splashed on its front page on Friday. “This may have contributed significantly to the appreciation of the naira.”

Credit: Yahoo News

Nigeria’s Loss Is East Africa’s Gain as Oil Prices Plummet

Investors targeting Africa are looking east as an oil-market rout depresses economic growth prospects in Nigeria and other crude-producing nations.

Stocks have surged 22 percent in Tanzania, 18 percent in Uganda and 9.4 percent in Kenya since oil began falling from a peak of $115.71 a barrel on June 19. Lower fuel-import costs are helping to keep inflation and interest rates in check and bolster their economies. That contrasts with a 24 percent slump in the benchmark stock index in Nigeria, which relies on oil for 95 percent of foreign-exchange income and faces political instability ahead of elections in February.

“It’s mostly the east African countries that will benefit from the lower oil price,” Joseph Rohm, a fund manager who helps oversee Cape Town-based Investec Asset Management’s $2 billion Africa fund, said by phone on Dec. 2. “Lower inflation implies lower interest rates for longer, which is good for consumers. Low rates are also good for credit growth, which is good for the banks. Kenya (NSEASI) is one area where we have increased our exposure.”

Oil exporters such as Nigeria, Angola and Ghana, which are on Africa’s west coast, have been left exposed to financial market turmoil after a 42 percent plunge in the price of Brent crude in the past six months. Authorities were slow to build adequate savings and reduce the reliance on oil earnings to fund their budgets when crude prices soared, putting their economies now at risk.

Credit: Bloomberg News

Nigeria, not Kenya, is About to Become Africa’s Next Big Technology Hub

Largely off the back of Mpesa, the hugely successful mobile money-transfer system, the Kenyan capital has gained a reputation for technological innovation—and with it an influx of no-strings (or few-strings) development funding that has crowded out some of the private investment searching for tech startups to finance.

 Now investors are looking to the other side of the African continent for results. Nigeria, with nearly 200 million people, a growing economy, and no shortage of local problems, stands out as an option. It’s slowly building up a tech sector of its own. The funding circuit is still small: probably no more than 10 companies investing money, says Kresten Buch, founder of the Nairobi tech accelerator 88mph (which has since expanded to South Africa).
The biggest difference between Nigeria and other major African economies is its sheer size. With roughly four times as many people as Kenya or South Africa, Nigeria is big enough to reward products and services that are domestic in nature.

One example of that is Obiwezy, a venue for selling used smartphones. Nigeria is primarily a pre-paid market, where customers pay the full cost of a handset up front. That puts most high-end devices out of reach for all but the very rich. But the aspiration to own a high-end Apple or Samsung handset remains, as it does elsewhere in the world. Obiwezy’s founders figure that a secondhand market—with warranties—is one way to sate that demand. They have tied up with MTN, a large telco, to offer the service.

 Nigeria still has a big hole where investors willing to put in between $100,000 and $1 million should be. For now, investors are ensconced in Nairobi. But that might change as Nigeria’s companies grow larger, signaling opportunity to deeper-pocketed investors looking for returns.

The Hut

Jake Okechukwu Effoduh Represented Nigeria at the World Economic Forum Meeting at the Vatican. He shares his experience from his meeting with the Pope.

The Hut

by Jake Okechukwu Effoduh.

Insight from the World Economic Forum meeting at the Vatican

 There is a common Igbo[1] proverb that says, ‘A man who does not leave his hut will bring nothing in.’[2] This saying describes a person with self-interest who is only concerned about the business in his hut and does not see the need to go or look outside. The hut represents a mindset. It is a way of thinking, that restricts not only the individual, but also their family and community at large.

Reflecting on this proverb reveals the potential of an increasing value to an individual and the community at large when a person is willing to go outside and bring more people in. The notion of: ‘with more people in the hut, the food gets smaller for everyone’ is a deceitful concept because with more people let inside, there will be more food. There are more resources outside therefore, more people coming in, means more resources and capacities.

“Whoever looks into a mirror in order to improve himself hasn’t really changed”. The capitalist world has looked at businesses in the same mirror for many years and the image it creates is a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Perhaps it is time to look, maybe not at the mirror anymore, but the window – to see who is outside the hut and if possible open the doors to let them in.

This reason why the World Economic Forum called together 80 leaders from around the world was to explore ways of overcoming social and economic exclusion. The event was a result of the collaboration between the Holy See (Pontifical Council for the Laity) and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and it took place on the 18th and 19th of November 2014 in Rome, Italy. The meeting was inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis contained in the book, Evangelii Gaudium[3] and his message to participants at the Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos-Klostiers[4]. His Holiness states that, ‘Business is – in fact – a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life’[5].

Jake Okechukwu Effoduh Speaking With Chidiogo Akunyili, The Senior Manager Africa Of The Global Shapers Community As Well As, Mauro Ometto, A Global Shaper Of The Rome Hub.

Jake Effoduh Speaking With Chidiogo Akunyili, The Senior Manager Africa Of The Global Shapers Community As Well As, Mauro Ometto, A Global Shaper Of The Rome Hub.










Today, half of the largest 100 economies are companies[6]. The governments who are meant to be custodians of the ‘greater meaning’ are now losing economic power to the Fortune 500s. Businesses are more interested in profits than the ‘greater meaning in life’ and this has dragged the world to an extreme poverty trap. With a billion and a half of the world’s population living in slums, the current social inequality has resulted into a global economic dysfunction. Economic and social inequalities are the root causes of social evil. This is evidenced by Oxfam’s statistics revealing that more than half of the world’s population owns the same wealth as the richest 85 persons[7]. In other words, 85 individuals in a world of 7 billion are living in huts that can accommodate half of the world.

Participants at the Vatican meeting comprised of World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders and Social Entrepreneurs communities. Also present were representatives from the Holy See, senior business leaders and global experts on inequality and social inclusion. We examined the drivers of inequality and explored novelties from the private and public sectors, and civil society that can help build more inclusive, entrepreneurial economies that are based on the principles of love and respect for all.

The outcome of the meeting was the creation of a new social contract for all human progress, which will provide essential resources for economic engagement, ensure well-functioning institutions, rights and responsibilities, and enable all global citizens to lead purposeful lives. The three areas to enable the realization of a new global mindset are: personal transformation, organizational transformation and cultural transformation.

Jake Effoduh Discussing With A Caucus Group As They Draft The "New Social Contract"

Jake Effoduh Discussing With The Caucus Group As They Draft The “New Social Contract”









On personal transformation: The Pope made it clear that people can make relevant contribution by placing their expertise at the service of those who are still in poverty; “The vocation of an entrepreneur is a noble work when it is led by a quest towards the broader meaning of life[8].” One hut can change the mindset of an entire community. One person can make the difference. Professor Klaus Schwab is one person. He founded the World Economic Forum in 1971[9] through inspiration from his own book, Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau[10] – in which the stakeholder principle was first ever defined[11]. He is the same person who created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship[12] in 1998, at a time when nobody knew what social entrepreneurship was! Two heads may be better than one, but one head is enough to inspire and commit others to improving the state of the world. Schwab’s ideology is that even if one hut (or stakeholder) may be too small, one must realize that there are those who do not have huts – and they constitute one and a half billion people.

The purport of organizational transformation is to create a new language in organizations. The language of using long term dynamism to meet short term goals; the language of leadership not rulership; the language of owning the responsibility for social transformation and human development. We have to evacuate ourselves from the circular economy of “take-make-waste” to “take-make-retake-remake-retake-remake.” Capitalism in its current model is unequivocally broken and it is going to get worse if we don’t incorporate ecological boundaries as well as the need to embrace equality in humanity. We need a world of plenty and not plenty for a few. Therefore there is need for organizations to transform their mindsets. It’s not about making profits but about making people.

Cultural transformations will only fruition with acceptance. We must work towards a system that embraces all people from all backgrounds, ensuring that each individual and group has the ability to contribute to a prosperous, purpose-driven world to their highest potential. They say what a man can do; a woman can do better. But why do women constitute 70% of the world’s poorest?[13] Anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation have an especially strong correlation with GDP per capita[14]. But do we need a business case before we advance equality? Living by the culture of your hut is like looking into the mirror to improve yourself. Stepping outside your hut will give you an opportunity to have a better perspective. Stereotypes must be unlearned.


The Podium









The new mindset is about recognizing the human dignity. It is about selflessness and sacrifice. It is ensuring that institutions exist for common good and stewardship. Businesses must be capable of feeling emotion, compassion and humanity. ‘How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?’[15]

The Qur’an instructs us to ‘give them [the poor] of the wealth of God, which He has given you’.[16] The bible says ‘whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed’[17]. Charity is a necessity in life because some of us are tested by being rich and some of us are tested by being poor, but charity is not enough. The new mindset goes beyond the thinking that the poor cannot help themselves, or that they have no capacity. Our role in helping the poor is not likened to filling up empty vessels but to ensure that the vessels are uncovered to all their potentials. There is no dignity in giving another man bread, if you are capable of teaching him how to make bread.

Social and economic exclusion is not our inescapable destiny. We can make what seems inevitable, intolerable. We need to change the mentality of “we can’t fix this world” to “we can’t have this world like this” Hence the reason why the pope calls us to action, with a sense of urgency: ‘to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it’[18].


Cross Section of Participants

At The Plenary With Participants





Speaking With Experts On Inclusion


Jake Okechukwu Effoduh is one of the 4,401 Global Shapers: A Community of exceptional young individuals under the age of 30, initiated by the World Economic Forum with currently 359 independent hubs worldwide. Jake Okechukwu is the Deputy Curator of the Abuja Global Shapers Hub, one of the 5 existing hubs in Nigeria. He was invited to The Forum’s meeting at the Vatican where he worked with a selected caucus to draft the new social contract; a framework for meeting the challenge to overcoming social and economic exclusion in the world. It was submitted to, and accepted by His Holiness Pope Francis I. Email:


  • [1] A tribe from the South- Eastern region of Nigeria and one of the major spoken languages in Nigeria.
  • [2] Akporobaro F.B.O and Emovon J.A Nigerian Proverbs: Meaning and Relevance Today Nigeria Magazine, Lagos, (1994), p. 113.
  • [3] His Holiness, Pope Francis I ‘Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Cergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World’ accessed 7th December 2014.
  • [4] The Vatican, ‘Message of Pope Francis to the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum on the occasion of the Annual Meeting 2014 at Davos-Klosters’ (17 January 2014) Vatican.
  • [5] Ibid.
  • [6] Michael Posner, former U.S Under Secretary of State, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, July 2012
  • [7] Oxfam International, “Number of billionaires doubles since financial crisis as inequality spirals out of control”, accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [8] Ibid. (n3).
  • [9] The history of the World Economic Forum, accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [10] Meaning “Modern Management in Mechanical Engineering”
  • [11] This concept states that the management of an enterprise is not only accountable to its shareholders but must also serve the interests of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and, more broadly, government, civil society and any others who may be affected or concerned by its operations.
  • [12]
  • [13] Carly Fiona on ABC’s “This Week” January 12th 2014. accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [14] The Williams Institute, ‘The Relationship between LGBT Inclusion and Economic Development: An Analysis of Emerging Economies’ (2014) P.2.
  • [15] Ibid. (n3), P. 53.
  • [16] The Holy Quran, Verse 24:33.
  • [17] The Holy Bible; Proverbs 19:17.
  • [18] Ibid. (n4).

#SmartStart Skills: 3 Skills for developing Confidence in Public Speaking

Public speaking is feared by many at the same level as the fear of death. Often, this fear comes from not feeling confident in your appearance or with your skills. A life coach shares tips to boost self-confidence to improve public-speaking skills.


Sophie Skover, a coach and inspirational speaker from LSS Harmony Life Coaching, explains how to boost self-confidence so you can deliver that speech with style, not sweat. Skover says to start with the basics. Be prepared — know your overall message and practice your speech with a timer. You’ll be confident in your words and your timing. Then, you can focus on your delivery. Below are Sophie’s top-three confidence-boosting tips for public speaking.

  1. Be you, flaws and all

The fact is, no one is perfect. Let go of that expectation, and keep reminding yourself that you were picked to give this speech. True authenticity and confidence are attractive. Skover explains how to do this. She says, “Give yourself permission to be you, flaws and all. You are the only one in the world who is an expert at being you. Let your true heart shine through your words and know you are great the way you are. Sure, you may have some growth areas, but don’t let that rule your nerves or your approach. Know that everyone standing on stage has experienced the same feelings you are feeling, and you can do it. Say to yourself over and over, ‘Everything is OK. I am OK right now.’ Know it is OK, you are OK, and show your true strong and capable self.”

  1. Laughter is a strategy

Laughter breaks — internally and externally — the ice. You feel good about yourself when you laugh and when you make others laugh. And people look lovely when they smile and feel good about themselves! Skover suggests using a joke to start your speech because by opening with a joke, your smile will lighten your look and mood and set a great — and confident! — tone for the rest of your speech. If possible, try weaving anecdotes throughout your speech for the same reason. Your audience will remember the smiles you shared.

  1. Mind games

Ever since The Secret, everyone who has wanted to has used this truth: Everything is possible. Turn this into what you need to hear: You are wanted, and you are worthy. Skover says, “Now this is something that you can only give yourself. Come from that deep place in your gut where you know and believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Believe you will have a positive impact. Believe that one person out there needs to hear what you have to say and that you saying it is the only way they will hear it, and finally, believe that you are great!” Confidence has the greatest impact on your looks and on your success. Gift yourself the knowledge that you’ve got this, and you’ll look great doing it!

I am @StevenHaastrup.

After 30 weeks of writing straight from my heart, I will for the next 7 weeks be sharing relevant articles, properly referenced and credited; ones I trust will help you grow bigger and better.

Make sure you share it among your followers and mutual friends; it might be all they need to get up and stand tall.

Have a great week ahead.


Mozambicans Vote with Hopes for Economic Boom

Mozambicans votes, Wednesday in elections expected to return the ruling Frelimo party to power in one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, which is looking to escape years of poverty and conflict by tapping into its huge energy resources.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time across the Indian Ocean nation, whose 2,500 km (1,550 mile) coast stretches from Tanzania in the north down to South Africa.

More than 10 million voters were registered to take part in the elections for a new president, parliament and provincial assemblies. Foreign donors and investors hope the ballot will help to bury old animosities still lingering from a 1975-1992 civil war fought between Frelimo and its old foe Renamo.

Ordinary Mozambicans say they want whoever wins the vote to use the country’s newly discovered resources of coal and natural gas to end poverty and inequality and to create more jobs.

“The leaders must think of the people, they must know how to invest the resources,” said engineering student Helder Mesquita, 24, walking to a polling station with his wife and infant son.

#SmartStart Skills: The Seven Things You Must Know About Public Speaking

Toastmasters_1_610_300_s_c1_center_centerToday, I am going to share with you one of the best write ups I have seen on Public speaking by Richard Zeoli, author of The 7 Principles of Public Speaking, He is the founder and president of RZC Impact, a communications firm specializing in executive-level communication coaching and strategic messaging. He is also a visiting associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.


We turn on the television and see people speaking before crowds or handling reporters with confidence and it all looks effortless. In the 15 years I have been training people to become more effective communicators, I have watched for common qualities among great speakers. Are they made, or are they born? Do they have a gift that most of us will never know or is there something more to it? I have seen major political candidates up close and personal, watched prominent chief executives interviewed on national television. I’ve worked with familiar TV personalities who experienced anxiety whenever they spoke in public.

I have learned from it all that even the people we think are the most natural public speakers often undergo significant training. Sure, a few may be born with a gift, but the overwhelming majority are effective speakers because they trained themselves to be so. Either they’ve pursued formal public speaking education or coaching or they’ve taken every opportunity to stand on their feet and deliver speeches.

I have found that being a successful public speaker boils down to following these seven essential principles:

1. Stop trying to be a great speaker.

To truly connect with an audience, first understand that people want to listen to someone who is relaxed and comfortable as well as interesting. In the routine conversations we have every day, we have no problem being relaxed. Yet too often when we stand up to give a speech something changes. We focus on the public at the expense of the speaking. To be an effective public speaker, you must do just the opposite. Focus on the speaking and let go of the public.

If you can carry on a relaxed conversation with one or two people, you can give a great speech. Whether your audience consists of two people or 2,000, and whether you’re talking about the latest medical breakthrough or what you did today at work, it’s never about turning into someone you’re not. It’s all about talking directly to people, being your authentic self and making a connection. That’s all.

2. Stop trying to be perfect. When you make a mistake, no one cares but you.

Even the most accomplished public speaker will make mistakes. Just remember that the only person who really cares about any one mistake is the person doing the speaking.

People’s attention constantly wanders. In fact, most people only really hear about 20% of a speaker’s message. The other 80% they internalize visually. This ratio is true in nearly everything: watching a football game or a television show, or even having a heart-to-heart conversation. When you make a mistake, the audience rarely even notices. The most important thing you can do is keep going. Don’t stop, and unless the mistake was truly major, don’t apologize. Unless your audience is reading along with your speech, they won’t know that you left out a word or said the wrong name.

Whether you’re the president of the United States or a speaking coach like me, you will make mistakes. It’s part of being human, and our humanity is what makes us great speakers, because it’s what enables us to connect with our audience. Audiences don’t want to hear perfection. They want to hear from someone who is real.

3. Visualize. If you can see it, you can speak it.

Great winners in all walks of life draw on the power of visualizing. Sales people envision themselves closing the deal; executives picture themselves developing new ventures; athletes close their eyes and imagine themselves making the basket or hitting the home run.

In public speaking, the best way to fight anxiety and become more comfortable is by practicing in the one place no one else can see you–your mind. If you visualize on a consistent basis, your mind will become used to the prospect of speaking in public, and pretty soon you’ll find that the idea no longer elicits those same feelings of anxiety and fear.

If you have a presentation to give, set aside 30 minutes a day to visualize yourself giving it. Do so in as much detail as possible. See yourself up at the podium. Feel yourself relaxed and comfortable. See yourself delivering the whole thing and connecting with your audience. If you do this every day, by the time the real presentation arrives your mind will be trained to accept the situation as familiar. You will feel much more relaxed and confident in front of the audience.

4. Be disciplined. Practice makes good.

Our goal is not to be a perfect public speaker, since there is no such thing, but to be an effective one. Like anything else in life, that takes practice. It’s easy to take communication for granted, since we spend our lives speaking to people. But when our prosperity is directly linked to how good we are in front a group, we need to give the task the same attention as any other serious job. Even world champion athletes practice their craft on a consistent basis.

When I work with clients, I always record their speeches so they can study their presentations. For most of us, however, the best way to practice is simply by giving a speech in the comfort of our home or office. The more you practice it, the more prepared you will be, and that leads to confidence. If you have a speech to give in a week, rehearse it on a daily basis. Deliver it out loud as soon as you get up in the morning, at least once in the middle of the day and twice before you go to bed. Do this every day, and when it’s time to deliver the presentation, you will be prepared. You’ll know the material inside and out. Along with visualization, this is the most effective way to overcome anxiety and build confidence about performing before an audience.

5. Describe. Make it personal.

Regardless of the topic, audiences respond best when speakers personalize their communication. Take every opportunity to put faces on the facts of your presentation. People like to hear about other people, about the triumphs, tragedies and everyday humorous incidents that make up their lives. Capitalize on this.

Whenever possible, include yourself personally in your public speaking. Not only will it help your listeners warm to you, but it will also do wonders at putting you at ease. After all, where is your expertise greater than on the subject of you?

6. Inspire. Speak to serve.

Yes, talk about yourself, but make the main focus not yourself but your audience. When you think about it, the proper purpose of a speech is not to benefit the speaker but to serve the audience, usually through teaching, motivation or entertainment. So in all of your preparation and presentation, constantly think of how you can help your audience members get what they want from you. When you do this, your role as speaker becomes a role of meeting the needs of the audience. It is sure to take much of the fear out of public speaking, too.

7. Build anticipation: Leave your audience wanting more.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my years in communications is that when it comes to public speaking, less is usually more. Rarely if ever have I left a gathering and heard someone say, “I wish that speaker had talked longer.” On the other hand, I imagine you can’t count the times you’ve thought, “I’m glad that speech is over. It went on forever.”

Surprise your audience. Always make your presentation just a bit shorter than they expect. If you’ve followed the first six principles, you’ve already won their attention and interest, so it’s best to leave them wishing you had gone on for just a few minutes more, rather than squirming in their seats waiting for you to finally stop.

I am Haastrup Steven Adeshope, the E.D of StartUp Nigeria, Initiator of Lagos StartUp School (A startup resource bank) and the principal lead of StevenHaastrup.Org (A communication coaching and consulting firm).

Follow @StevenHaastrup


Don’t read and Quit alone, Share this among your followers and mutual friends, it might be all they need to get up and stand tall.

Have a great week ahead.

#SmartStart Teacher Tribute: “Bitter are the roots of Study, but how sweet their Fruits”


Today, I want to use my column in celebrating and helping you celebrate our TEACHERS. Firstly, I want to help you remember by asking you these simple questions.

Would you be able to read my write up at all if it hadn’t been your teacher who sweated it out that you knew your A to Z? Some of us, our friends and we ourselves believed we were dullards. But these teachers kept trying. Remember?

Ok? What is 6multiplied by 6 divided by 6? You sabi answer abi? (Don’t laugh) Do you know how long it took you to remember the multiplication table? 7 times, 8 times, 9 times… Chai! Me sef hated them.

Let me share with you this story before I go, my teacher in Primary 5 saw that the whole class was excellent with Dictations, so she said… Hey class! It’s time for dictations. Number 1, she said TAWEL (As she pronounced it though), the whole class spelt it as pronounced except me, I was quite smart though (Laughs). The whole class scored 9 over 10 except me; I went home with a brand new pencil. I can never forget how kingly I felt going home and how much I can’t forget that very day till this day. That teachers name is Mrs. Adewunmi.

Read through these 10 quotes, it helped me brew back those memories and it can help you appreciate them better.

  1. “Anyone who teaches me deserves my respect, honoring and attention.” Sonia Rumzi
  2. “Bitter are the roots of study, but how sweet their fruit.” Cato
  3. “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well” Alexander the Great
  4. “In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.” Jacques Barzun
  5. “Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.” Chinese proverb
  6. ”Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher.” Anonymous
  7. “Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” Anonymous
  8. “A good teacher is like a candle: it consumes itself to light the way for others.” Anonymous
  9. Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges. Joyce Meyer
  10. Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives. Andy Rooney

 Our teachers deserve to be remembered and deserve to be proud. They aren’t perfect but they gave their all, especially the best ones. I celebrate all of whom made me so smart by foundation, made my accent prime by flogging out my wrong pronunciations and made my esteem so cool by appreciation.

Mind you, my primary 2 teacher was the first to tell me… “Adeshope, you are handsome, tell your mum I said that”. I heard it first from my teacher and not even my parents. I have not forgotten till today.

I celebrate my teachers!

And proudly, today I can say that I am a Management Consultant and Corporate Trainer.

I am reachable at


Share this as much as you can till you know you have put a smile on a teachers face. Happy Eid-El-Kabir. Happy Holiday!

Have a great week ahead.

#SmartStart #MentorshipSeries (3): Mentorship Lessons from my Trip on a Nigerian Road

Benin-Ore-Lagos-Road1Oya… Manchester United don enter Top Seven, two points behind shouting Arsenal and three points behind silent Manchester City. And to all of the Arsenal fans waiting for Welbeck to save them, you are on a long thing, Welbeck wasn’t what you needed and all of you knew it but it’s good if you cling on to the hope that he becomes an Henry. And for lying Mourinho using scope to beg Spain not to invite Costa, I sensed fear, because he knows the day that guy crashes, he would struggle to get fire, fear and goals upfront. Anyways, No football talk today *laughs*.

Good day, my name is Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

This last weekend was a very busy one for me, one that I had to travel over 12 hours on Nigerian roads, an exercise I haven’t done this year. For months now, friends and colleagues of mine have always complained of DELAYED FLIGHTS due to OPERATIONAL REASONS by airlines in Nigeria, and that is after them sending you a text that your flight has been postponed by 2 hours, they still most times further delay by another 2 to 5 hours depending on their madness for that day. A colleague of mine booked an AERO CONTRACTOR ticket from Enugu during August for 2pm and his other friends went by road and they got to Lagos and have forgotten they travelled before AERO CONTRACTOR boarded from Enugu by 8pm and landed Lagos 9pm.

These experiences made me cancel my ticket for Asaba and made me decide to go to ASABA by road which by average estimate from people who ply this road said may take 6 hours from Lagos. Going to Asaba by road was hell, it was rainy so heavy and the big gutters on the road were covered with water so the pot holes couldn’t be assessed before even an SUV dashes into it. If an SUV could suffer that way, I wonder what a car would have gone through on that road this fateful day.

I left Abeokuta for 2pm, got to Asaba for 10pm, thank God for the TRANSFORMATIONAL Benin–Ore Road that Pastor Reno has advertised tire on Twitter, it helped our speed though. Connecting Benin to Asaba was hell, as we were novice and they were no road signs to say this is the road to Asaba and Onitsha and sorts.

Leaving Asaba on Saturday had drowned me in thoughts, as our president (GEJ) was in Benin and some roads were blocked, we couldn’t afford to miss the way this time around and also the big gutters waiting for us was scary to think of. We joyfully didn’t miss our way till we got out of Benin and after Ore, the terrible road awaited us, the rain was falling so hard and so we expected the same situation as when we were going to Asaba and this is where I learnt my MENTORSHIP LESSON.

We saw a transporter 14 sitter CHISCO bus ahead of us, He was running and could avoid all the ditch on the road, He was so good but fast that others never wanted to follow him, they felt running in the rain would be dangerous especially with the road gutters awaiting you from Ore to Ijebu Ode which was a 3 hour journey on an average. We decided to follow though, if a bus could skip and run this way, an SUV should be able to do same. Then we followed this bus, the bus knew the road like a map, as he avoided every holes so we did. Where he ran, we ran, where he slowed, we slowed. It was a pleasurable journey returning, He saved us so much time that we were so excited about the trip. I got home in 5 hours.

3 things I learnt from that trailing mentorship:

  1. Mentorship brings Speed through leveraged experience.
  2. Mentorship builds in YOU confidence
  3. Mentorship makes you equally smart. 

It was simple, we needed a good trail; we identified an experienced bus which qualified it as the right mentor for the journey, we trailed all through the difficult roads until Ijebu Ode and we were not stupid to stay behind the Bus after Ijebu Ode.

Another Lesson,

  1. We knew when it was time to move on.

We were an SUV so we sped past this angelic Bus. Listen to this, because we were an SUV following a Bus didn’t make us less than an SUV; we knew when we had to trail and knew when we had to blaze.

We couldn’t say thank you to the driver though as we were both glassed up… But please show gratitude and know when it’s time to MOVE ON.

I hope you enjoyed my Asaba story. I did it in a rush.

I am your StartUp Management Consultant – Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

Got questions or comments? You can send me a mail via


If you missed the last series on Mentorship: (Robust Mentoring) Rules of Engagement; search it out on this platform and read it. It is an awesome building block to getting the best off this Mentorship Series. As for next week, I wouldn’t promise a topic but it would be our last episode on the MENTORSHIP SERIES.  Don’t miss this for anything, it might be another story. Make it a date next Monday here exclusively on

Tell your friends and partners, share it among your followers and mutual friends, it might be all they need to get up and stand tall.

Have a great week ahead.

#SmartStart #MentorshipSeries (2): Robust Mentoring: Rules of Engagement

The right mentor coaches to be the Best

The right mentor coaches to be the Best

No football talk today Oh. Man United lost shamefully, Welbeck scored for big mouthed Arsenal, Liverpool reviled & rejoiced as they got a defeated mate in Man United while Lampard turned so Frank with his former side (Chelsea). So, no football talk today, until maybe when Man United wins again *smiles*. I came across a very interesting tweet on Twitter weeks ago and I thought I should share this with you especially for this week where there is the World’s biggest ever Climate march in New York… “Everyone talks about leaving a better planet for our kids, can we also put the same effort in leaving better kids for our planet”

Good day, my name is Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

No story today because Man United didn’t win (joking though), so straight to the issue “How do I make Mentorship work for me?” the answer lies simply is in the response “How do I engage my Mentor?” Engagement means RELATING and it takes two to relate successfully. A mentor to protégé relationship isn’t a friend or peer kind of relationship, so it takes wisdom and patience to relate with a mentor. Today, I would be sharing 7 rules for engagement with your mentor or future mentor.

  1. Put their interest ahead of yours: It sounds stupid you may say but that’s how it works here, no mentor wants a parasite who always want his/her interest dominating their relationship. The truth is when you put their interest first, they respond with all support when yours pop up for help.
  1. Be a Person of Integrity: Your mentor would directly or indirectly or should I say consciously or unconsciously through a test for your integrity, if you can be trusted and the result of this would determine the quality of the relationship. So don’t compromise at all.
  1. Be sincere and ready to learn at whatever speed: Be sincere about what you know and what you don’t know, your mentor can’t teach you everything you might need to know so learn the skills essential to the need of your mentor so as to keep interest alive and growing
  1. Become a Person of Value: This for me is becoming indispensable. When you become a person of value, your mentor would find it so hard to think through a day without thinking about you and how much you can contribute to his success and remember that when you become a person of value, they respond with all support when yours pop up for help.
  1. Don’t ask for Money: I never asked for money until a very broke day that I genuinely asked because I was stuck and he gave me 10 times of what I would need and that was the only time I ever did. It made our relationship robust and made myself sincere about real mentorship.
  1. Always seek advice whenever you stuck: Even though their interest is put ahead of yours but no good mentor wants a slave so they want you to be informed about your pursuit and they want to be involved in advising and networking for you whenever you get stuck so learn to genuinely ask for advice. I have won so many mentors over because of the honesty they saw in my person to learn and always ask.
  1. Ask about their welfare: Your mentors would love to be cared about especially from someone they consider a protégé. It would be nice to ask for their welfare once in a while from them, ask about their family and kids when the opportunity arises and all these make for a robust engagement with your mentor.

The 7 tips that I mentioned to you today are practical for me and without a reference to any book, but note that the personality differences of our diverse mentors should make us wise in how we apply them.

The Holy Bible says in a verse and I quote… “The silence was deafening – they had been arguing with one another over who among them was GREATEST. He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “SO YOU WANT FIRST PLACE? THEN TAKE THE LAST PLACE. Be the servant of all.” (MSG Mark 9:34-35)

So it’s simple, pay the price of greatness today. Someone else will someday pay their price for greatness through you. Knowledge wouldn’t teach you in three years what the right mentorship can teach you one year.

I am your StartUp Management Consultant – Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

Got questions or comments? You can send me a mail via


If you missed the last series on Mentorship: The Guardian of Pursuit, search it out on this platform and read it. It is an awesome building block to getting the best off this Mentorship Series. Next week, I would be talking about “Mentorship Index: Assessing your Quality during Mentorship”. Don’t miss this for anything. Make it a date next Monday here exclusively on

Tell your friends and partners, share it among your followers and mutual friends, it might be all they need to get up and stand tall.

Have a great week ahead.

#SmartStart #PursuitSeries (4): Clarity (Segun’s Story): Just Chill and See

black-mam-worriedI think we have been too serious lately, today I intend to crack you up before we go into our last episode of the Pursuit Series, It’s a joke I stole off Twitter… ”A Bentley just bashed a Range Rover SUV in Lekki. The two owners came out, inspected the damage; exchanged business cards and left”… I know you loved that swags that just happened, but seriously if it were to be you what would you have done? *laughs*

Good day, my name is Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

Segun walks in tired, lies on the couch and with a pack of food he got from an eatery down the road, he flings it on the table. Segun screams I hate this job; It cracks me up, takes all my time and gives me money in return”. On hearing this, I knew Segun has returned from his late work trips around Lagos. I kuku came out of the room and said to him… “Segun Pele o”.

Segun is single, a banker and a focused handsome dude, We have always lived together for the past 3 years now. I can remember Segun usually talks of one day owning his own IT firm that has its own app or service that serves humanity; He says it’s been a longstanding dream for him. I can remember one of those days, Segun came home so tired and said to me while I watched the TV that “My dream seem to be fading, I get consumed chasing customers to bank with us and I so much hate that I feel so stuck”I just smiled to him and said, at least you earn good money, then Segun amazingly replied saying, My earnings hasn’t made me happy.

One fateful day, Segun surprisingly went for a weekend conference which a friend invited him for and a top notch Nigerian career and business coach was among the ones who spoke, Segun said none of them got to me as that man did. Checking from Segun’s jotter, I discovered, the speaker spoke about “Achieving career and business excellence”. I sha knew that on this historic day Segun came home, so excited and threw his jotter on me, He said, Mr Man, open that thing… I have got my vision back. I picked it up and began reading through and as I read through I kept looking at Segun’s smiling face in between, and then some words caught my eyes then I focused by reading them aloud as he wrote it in his jotter.

“Don’t let your Job become your stop in reaching for a more satisfied you, don’t let it be like its for survival in a country like Naija, see it as either your ladder to the top or your pointer to your course that leads to the top of a very satisfied you. You must love what you do, it should bring satisfaction, that’s the only way your day can be productive and to never stay stuck.

Segun screamed “Like this man was just reading my mind”. I just kept reading aloud…

I want you to ask yourself anytime you feel unhappy that… Today, am I the man I saw 5 years ago? If Yes! Renew your love for what you do, by challenging yourself to knowing or learning more about what you do but If No! Don’t stay regretting your past; Start afresh by beginning to ask yourself… What and Who am I seeing 5 years from now?

A smiling Segun tapped me and said… “Steven! Read this part loud abeg”

If your present environment doesn’t look like where you want to be, don’t just jump ship immediately, you need to Chill and See. When you Chill and See, you will stay happy and always having a productive day because of the profound knowing of what you see and what you are working towards. Remember that while you chill, document what you see, strategize your exit, plan your savings… It is like putting yourself on course to your destination. My best advice for you today is “Stay on Course, Be Happy, Be You!

After reading this and still in stare, Segun faced me and started giving me his own perspective for his own dream, He said, I would start reading relevantly and will also talk to my IT friends about how they started up and what is really needed to start up, because I want to beat however they started, so I need their benchmarks. I looked so awed and screamed, Segun! So what happened? Is this how change comes? The he said… It’s all because today I saw that “Clarity is the backbone of sustainable pursuits”, the truth is my dream will remain vague if I don’t get it clear with in terms of sight and action. Clarity keeps you breathing; you only get snuffed out because you lost sight and then you lost the fight.

Today, after 5 years of smartly quitting his job, Segun owns one of the biggest IT consulting firms in the nation today consulting for many international organizations aside the Federal government and several state governments.

It’s easy, just “Smile, Chill and See” and no matter where you feel you are stuck  you would begin to “Stand and Productively Move”. *smiles*

I am your StartUp Management Consultant – Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

Got questions or comments? You can send me a mail via


If you missed the last week episode of the #PursuitSeries – “The Dynamics of Pursuits: Do dreams really change?” search it out on this platform and read it. It is an awesome building block to pursuing productively. Next week, I would be switching to a new series on “Mentorship: Getting your Rib”. Don’t miss this for anything. Make it a date next Monday here exclusively on

Tell your friends and partners, share it among your followers and mutual friends, it might be all they need to get up and stand tall.

Have a great week ahead.

#SmartStart #PursuitSeries (3): The dynamics of Pursuit: Do dreams really Change?

Article picture

This morning I woke up with a moody face, feeling like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I didn’t wake up too happy and I couldn’t just spot the reason why. I muttered some words of prayer then I remembered I had to speak to Adebola. I swung my left hand blindly to pick up my phone from the left side drawer of my bed and accidentally my left hand went hitting the glass cup with which I used in drinking myself to bed last night. With the frustration of a lazy me looking angrily at a broken glass cup and my precious phone in the midst of it and then my phone cried out ringing with the tune “Because I am Happy by Pharrel”

Good day, my name is Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

Sweetheart, don’t tell me you are still on the bed? Chai! You are a Lazy boy. How was sha your night? And then I replied “Adebola you know I am not lazy, it’s just that I have to sleep very well on my Saturdays, anyways, I had a good and cold night”. Sweetheart I called for a reason, Adebola continued… there is something I want to discuss with you and it has been bothering me. What’s that Adebola? It’s about the work I do; don’t be angry I would be talking very serious this early Saturday morning. It’s because I am so bothered… Steven, you know I am into fashion designing but of recent I have been getting a rich network of people and it has been fetching huge jobs for me.

Great! So what bothers you Adebola?

She stammered… it’s that it is requiring me to go the extra mile of cutting my designs to cloth myself and then sew them which I don’t do before, and this is one part of fashion you know that I don’t like but these recent jobs are huge and I don’t want to be doing this niche-thing and lose out of great jobs like this… Steven, you are my amazing coach aside being my sweetheart, and I would want your advice on what I can do in a fix like this.

“Steven are you still there?” I am Adebola… I was just listening to you and wanted you to finish speaking before I say anything about what you should do.

Adebola! It’s simple! Our dreams are like balls. In execution, we kick them towards the goal of full realization and if we can’t do that, we have failed. That’s why from the beginning, we should be so damn clear about what we want, who we are and who we eventually want to be. We don’t know everything, we don’t know the twists but one thing we know is ourselves.

Adebola! You remember the gist I told you? About when I had this meeting with a former minister of this country and I didn’t ask for a job even though I felt tempted to almost throw away my dreams because this former minister asked me to mention anything I wanted and you can remember what I told you? That I knew what I wanted before the meeting with the former minister, all I said was that I needed LEVERAGE and then I detailed it in our conversation.

Adebola! In your life pursuits, advancements are advisable but make sure they still lead to the same life goals or even an improved, aligned one. Make sure your advancement is not momentary; make sure it is an UPGRADE of your whole person. There are 4 heat signals that would let you know it is time to upgrade, they are:

  1. If recurrent opportunities don’t match your expertise for delivery, then skill up
  2. If it is in vogue and it’s the exceptional requirement of the day, then skill up
  3. If this advancement will bring speed to your pursuit, then skill up.
  4. If you are stagnant and you seem stuck, then skill up.

Steven, were you saying ZIP UP? Adebola, you are not listening, only God knows where your mind was, I said SKILL UP! Conclusively, dreams change, they twist, don’t be scared of losing that so called original dream. To skill up is the only way your idea can survive the speed of pursuit, it’s your maneuver in journeying along. If you don’t, you would be trampled upon. So, watch it, make sure you have probed yourself real good with those 4 questions and make sure you could answer at least 3 of those questions to make your twist right.

I am your StartUp Management Consultant – Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

Got questions or comments? You can send me a mail via


If you missed the last week episode of the #PursuitSeries – “Kunle’s Story: It could have been your Story”, search it out on this platform and read it. It is an awesome building block to pursuing productively. Next week, I would be talking on “Clarity: The backbone of sustainable pursuits”. Don’t miss this for anything. Make it a date next Monday here exclusively on

Tell your friends and partners, share it among your followers and mutual friends, it might be all they need to get up and stand tall.

Have a great week ahead.


Today, China’s economy is reasoned to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Their economy is so big, fast and modernized that they are also the biggest donors in Africa in terms of direct investments and openness to trade.

But China’s economy wasn’t always as robust as it is today. Life in China in the nineteenth century was worse than the present day Nigeria; it was associated with economic hardship, poverty and food shortages. It took China’s government, under the Supreme Leader Deng Xiaoping, the determination to make sustainable differences in the life of every Chinese and this determination made him lead a reformation team that ushered in a new era of economic, technological and political reforms which enabled China to open up to the world. That single idea of modernizing strategic areas in China through urbanization and industrialization benefited the country economically as it rises as a world power in the 21st century.

Infrastructure development was, and still remains, a top priority for China’s government. They have long recognized that a modern economy runs on reliable road and effective rail system, they also understand the strategic importance of constant electricity, quality education, excellent health care and the eradication of corruption in their political atmosphere. The country leaders have charted ambitious plans for the future of their country, their goal is to bring the entire nations urban infrastructure and educational standards to the level of standards in the advanced country, a vision which they are still aggressively pursuing.

The explosive growth of China’s middle class is also a contributing factor to the country’s sweeping economic and social transformation. The middle class continued expansion is powered by policy and labour market initiatives that increase wages, financial reforms that stimulates employment and income growth and the rising role of private enterprises which encourage productivity and help more household acquire more income.

Now, China and her rapid development should be a big example for African leaders, especially Nigeria. It is clear that Nigeria’s economy needs re-balancing because from the recent crying out by our finance minister, it is clear that the country is on the verge of collapse and only strategic economic principles are the panacea to the impending problems facing the country. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

It’s high time Nigeria’s leaders acknowledged that Nigeria’s economy must be re-positioned by reducing its reliance on oil and increasing consumption of goods produced by other countries. I haven’t seen a nation that prospered with a single source of income, especially when that source is riddled by the highest proportion of corruption imaginable. China’s prospered because it killed corruption, diversified her economy and vigorously increased consumption by establishing and promoting the country’s manufacturing sector. A sector which is fueled by Africa’s unabashed quest for low cost made in China commodities.

Nigeria’s leaders must understand that maintaining growth and stability in the country requires both sustainable economic and radical political changes. Our economic policy adjustments must focus on eradicating poverty, shifting our Nigeria from a consumer oriented society to a producer oriented one, tackling unemployment through creating more job opportunities and establishing a sound educational model.

Our leaders must acknowledge educational development as instrumental to nation building and socioeconomic development. My belief is that the implementation of a progressive curriculum with an emphasis on practical, adult and teacher training, in a national system of education, is a basis for self-development. And a model that focuses on entrepreneurship, youth policies and science and technology, is the basis for national development.

Entrepreneurship must be allowed to thrive. Globally, SME’s are regarded as the backbone of every thriving economy, it also allows for the creation of environments that allows jobs to flourish.

One salient way to bring about radical changes in our political atmosphere is to make our political environment less attractive. If we look closely, Nigeria’s political environment is one of the most expensive in the world. The leadership of Nigeria is less than 5% of the population of the country, yet they live in the kind of luxury that exists only in the imagination of 90% of the entire population, all in the name of politics. The irony of this is that they lavish the country’s wealth without having anything to account for year after year.

Believe me, if Nigeria’s political environment is sanitized and made less attractive, if the politicians don’t enjoy bonuses and allowances worth huge millions of naira, they won’t bother running for political positions unless they have the motivations and deep capacity to serve. No kind of political transformation will succeed until we have fully embarked on the process of making the political positions less attractive.

 If Nigeria really wants to re-position and re-balance her economy, China’s example must be important because it has shown clearly that it can be done, it also shows that modernization does not mean westernization. China embraced modernization but their management was completely Chinese, they showed that developing countries need to learn from developed ones but they do not have to abandon their cultures and traditions in the process, except the ones that are inimical to modernization. We have to look up to China and copy their best methods. We have to harness their ideas and technologies and build the kind of society that we need, we also need not sacrifice our values and traditions on the altar of modernization.

Westernizing our lives is one of the major problems in Africa and, to a large extent, Nigeria. I doubt if the Chinese are concerned about issues like who has the hottest legs or who has the hottest bum. I doubt if they allow programmes that encourage their youths to spend three months of their adult lives in the atmosphere that encourages acts of moral and cultural degradation. I think they would rather encourage their youths to think creatively. I also think they would create programmes that stimulate the youth’s intellectual capacities to solve huge, impending, problems.

We must act with the urgency of now to correct the ills in our society so that we can re-balance our economy before it collapses. China understands that development depends on good governance, and good governance is that single ingredient that has been missing for a long time in Nigeria. Good governance is the change that can unlock Nigeria’s potentials to the world of immense possibilities and it is a responsibility that can only be met by Nigerians in Nigeria, not the Chinese in Nigeria.

Richard Chilee is a writer, thinker and entrepreneur.



The Senate has called upon the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) to suspend its plans to issue new driver’s licenses and license plates to the Nigerian people for a fee.
The Senate is toeing the line the Representatives took late last year when the lower chamber directed the FRSC to cease and desist from its plans.
The Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs has been mandated to conduct a public hearing on the scheme.
Mover of the motion, Senator Awaisu Kuta said, “The Act empowers the FRSC to primarily, prevent and minimize accidents on the highways and clear obstructions on any part of the highways and educate drivers, motorists and other members of the public generally on the proper use of highways.
“The Commission was not established principally as a revenue-generating agency for the states and federal government. In recent times, the FRSC embarked on frequent and arbitrary introduction and re-introduction of vehicles number plates and drivers’ licenses and the Commission will ultimately be generating a whooping N2 billion annually as its own share of the new scheme.
“The August 31, 2012 dateline issued by FRSC for the enforcement of the new scheme is not feasible because the current demand for vehicle license surpasses supply and thereby subjecting applicants to wait for as long as three months after payment before receiving number plates.”
The motion is supported by 19 other Senators. Also making contributions to the debate, Senator Barnabas Gemade stated that the action of FRSC was “controversial” due to an ongoing court case brought by the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) which hinders the FRSC from embarking on the issuance of license plates.
Senator Smart Adeyemi contributed, “”it’s clear that the FRSC has gone beyond its mandate. It’s our responsibility to call this Commission to order. They should work within the framework of the law. The cost of procuring the number plates is too high for the common man.”
The new driver’s license has been increased to N 6,000 from the previous N 3,000. License plates increased 300% to N 15,000 from the previous N 5,000. Some classes of vehicles would have to pay as much as N 40,000 for the new plates.
Reacting to the development, Ifeanyi Idibia, a commercial bus driver, jubilated stating, “Now I can have more money to feed my family. I was saving to be able to meet up for these costs. Thank God for our senators that is having the interest of the people at heart.”
Via Business News