Gender Inclusion Will Reduce Income Inequality- IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that gender inclusion will not only support economic growth, but can reduce income inequality as well.

The IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, said this in a speech titled: “The Business Case for Women’s Empowerment,” she delivered at a summit in Peru.

According to her, over the past few decades, women all over the world have pushed the boundaries on educational attainment, economic participation, and even political representation.

According to the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap Report, Latin America is the region with the largest absolute improvement over the last ten years, followed by Asia and the Pacific region. So in some respect, APEC is leading the way. And yet, this great progress has not been enough to close the gender gap.

Globally, only 55 percent of women have the opportunity to participate in the labor force, compared with 80 percent for men, the IMF boss stated.

Furthermore, she disclosed that women still earn about 50 per cent less than men for the same type of work, and they represent only 20 percent of parliamentarians across the world.

“Clearly, in many places, gender equality remains an elusive goal. The moral case for gender equity is clear. So is the economic case. As countries around the world struggle to grow their economies more quickly and to reduce inequality, tapping into the huge potential of women can be a game changer. I would even go further to say it is a no brainer.

“The work that we have done at the IMF clearly demonstrates that there is a compelling business case for women’s empowerment. And everyone – government, the private sector, and international financial institutions – has an important role to play,” Lagarde added.

While arguing that women empowerment remains a game changer, she said she had said repeatedly that world growth has been too low, for too long, and benefiting too few.
Some countries are facing transitions, such as adjusting to low oil prices; others are contending with the immutable force of population aging and its impact on the labor force and productivity growth, Lagarde said.

In addition, she said women’s empowerment can boost growth and reduce inequality, saying “if we want everyone to have a bigger piece of the pie, the pie has to grow.”
“Our research has shown that increasing women’s labor force participation can deliver significant macroeconomic gains. For example, if Latin American countries raised their female labor participation to the average of the Nordic countries (about 60 percent), GDP per capita could be up to 10 percent higher.

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No Plan To Reduce Nigerian Flights- Lufthansa

An international carrier, Lufthansa Airline, yesterday said it had no plan to reduce its flight operations in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the airline’s Media Consultant, Mr. Hakeem Jimoh, made the disclosure to aviation correspondents in Lagos.

Two foreign airlines, Emirates and Kenya Airways , recently announced the suspension of their flights to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

While Emirates Airlines said it would stop flights to Abuja from October 22, Kenya Airways said its flights to the nation’s capital would be suspended from November 15.
Both airlines attributed the decision to the economic downturn in the country, foreign exchange challenges, and the shrinking passenger traffic.

Jimoh said Lufthansa Airline, which operates flights to Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airports, would not be following a similar path for now.

“Yes, there has been challenges, particularly with the issue of forex, but I can tell you that Lufthansa has no plan for now to reduce flight operations in Nigeria,” he said.

Jimoh said Lufthansa had been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years, adding that the country was important to the airline’s operation, especially in West Africa.

The efforts of the current administration in the aviation sector have received a boost with the coming in of Airbus Group of France to set up an office in Nigeria.

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Why Yuan Currency Swap Will Reduce Pressure On Forex Market- Emefiele

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, has expressed optimism that the agreement reached between Nigeria and China last week on a currency swap will strengthen the naira and help reduce the strong demand for the US dollar in the country.

Nigeria’s central bank has said it plans to diversify its foreign exchange reserves away from the dollar by switching a stockpile into yuan. It converted up to a tenth of its reserves into yuan five years ago.

Lin said a framework on currency swaps had been agreed with Nigeria, making it easier to settle trade deals in yuan.

Throwing more light on the currency swap, Emefiele said in a phone interview yesterday that Nigeria was not the only country that had agreed to a currency swap with China, as several other countries – developed and emerging markets – with growing trade volumes with China had entered into similar currency swaps with the Asian country.

He said as the second largest economy in the world, more and more countries are turning to China for business, as the country seeks to make its currency a convertible global currency like the US dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and British pound sterling.

To buttress Emefiele’s point, information provided by the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC; China’s central bank) showed that China had bilateral currency swap agreements with 31 central banks for varying sums at the end of 2015.

The countries are the United Kingdom, Belarus, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, Armenia, Surinam, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Canada, Qatar, Russia, the European Union, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, New Zealand, Argentina, Switzerland, Iceland, Albania, Hungary, Brazil, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and the United Arab Emirates, totalling RMB3.137 trillion.

China has a trade volume of RMB10.747 trillion with the 31 countries with which it has currency swaps.

Emefiele said: “The agreement on the currency swap with China will definitely benefit Nigeria because the essence of the mandate is to ensure that Nigeria is designated as the trading hub with China in the West African sub-region for people who want the renminbi as a currency denomination.

“Also for us, we believe that using the renminbi will improve trade with China, as this will encourage importers to open L/Cs in the Chinese currency for the importation of raw materials, equipment and machinery from China, rather than other trading regions, so the agreement will encourage trade between both countries.”

But when reminded that trade between Nigeria and China was skewed heavily in the favour of China, he said: “On the reverse, we are working to encourage the export of raw materials to China in order to reduce the trade imbalance.

“And we aim to become competitive by improving on infrastructure especially in the area of electricity and ensuring that credit is made available to manufacturers at concessionary rates.”

Credit: Thisday

Nigeria Internet Users Reduce To 93.7 Million

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on Saturday said that internet users on Nigeria’s telecommunications networks reduced to 93.75 million as at February 2016.

The commission made this known in its monthly Internet Subscriber Data, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

It said that the number of subscribers that browsed the internet in January was put at 95.94 million; but reduced to 93.75 million in February.

The data revealed that internet users on both the Global System for Mobile communications, GSM, and the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks reduced by 2,194,162

It showed that of the 93.75 million internet users in February, 93.6 million were on GSM networks, while 150,125 users were on the CDMA.

Of the 93.6 million internet users on the GSM networks in the month under review, MTN Nigeria had 35.6 million customers browsing the internet on its network. MTN had a decrease of 2.6 million internet subscribers in February, after it recorded 38.21 million users in January.

According to the report, Globacom had 25.68 million customers surfing the net in February, as the number increased by 248,593 from the January’s record of 25.43 million.

Airtel Nigeria, it said, had 17 million internet users in February, as against 16.85 million customers recorded in January.

Credit: PremimTimes

Ikorodu Kidnap: Abductors Reduce Ransom From N100m To N20m Per Student

There were indications yesterday that the kidnappers who stormed Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, Ikorodu, Lagos, Monday night, abducting three Senior Secondary School female students have reduced the ransom to N20 million per student.

As at midnight Tuesday, the kidnappers who initially demanded for N100 million for each student, succumbed to passionate pleas by their contact in the school, it was gathered that they reduced their demands to N20 million. Besides, the kidnappers have been discovered to be militants turned vandals.

Credit: Vanguard

FG To Revive Ajaokuta Steel To Reduce Steel Imports

Federal Government has disclosed its intentions to revive the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Industry and reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported steel costing trillions of naira.
Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi in a statement said that the legal issues surrounding the National Steel Industry would pre-occupy his ministry this year.
He said that the government would need to clear the legal hurdles surrounding the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited for it to begin to function.
Fayemi added that it would not be in the national interest to leave the complex the way it is given that President Buhari is determined to see it working in the shortest possible time.
The minister who stated this while defending the 2016 Budget proposal before the Senate Committee on Power and Steel on Monday said it would not be in the national interest to leave the complex the way it is given President Mohammadu Buhari’s determination to see it up and working in the shortest possible time.
He decried the trillions of Naira which is being spent annually on the importation of steel into the country and assured that the resolution of the legal issues surrounding the National Steel Industry would preoccupy the Ministry in the year ahead.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Power and Steel, Senator James Manager, observed that the development of any nation is tied to a vibrant Steel Sector. He urged the Ministry to tell Nigerians more about Ajaokuta and use publicity to attract interest towards the company.
The Senators stressed the need to have the revenue profile of the agencies under the Ministry, tackle the legal encumbrances around the steel industry, and explore the Public Private Partnership option in getting the sector to be up and running. It urged the Ministry to commence any necessary legislation process before the year runs out.
Credit: DailyTimes

Cost Of Governance: Governors To Reduce Salaries Of Political Appointees

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has announced plans to reduce the salaries of political office holders as a means of reducing the huge overhead costs of state governments in the face of declining fiscal revenue.

The chairman of the forum, Abdulaziz Yari, announced the decision on Thursday after a 4-hour meeting at the Presidential Villa.

The forum said that it has plans to hold a round-table meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to find a solution to the economic situation confronting the country.

The governors said that something must be done to address the revenue constraints confronting the economy, promising their commitment to ensuring that a new roadmap is worked out.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Aregbesola Intends To Reduce Workers’ Salary, PDP Alleges

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Osun State yesterday al­leged that the Governor Rauf Aregbesola intends to reduce salaries of workers.

The party in a state­ment issued in Osogbo by its spokesperson, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said memo notifying civil servants of a new pay regime that will see them forfeiting all al­lowances their colleagues in other states are enjoying, have already been circu­lated.

Odeyemi said in less than three years, the ad­ministration of Aregbesola has tinkered with the set-up of agencies overseeing pri­mary and secondary educa­tion in the state.

But the government, in a statement issued by Semiu Okanlawon, the director bureau of communications and strategy, dismissed the opposition party’s allega­tion.

The PDP said memo in­forming workers of the for­feiture of their allowances was signed by Permanent Secretary in the office of the Head of Service, Mr Sunday Olajide, stating that the allowances include 27.5 per cent peculiar allowance for teachers, 25 per cent-35 per cent for other catego­ries of workers.

Credit: NationalMirror

Buhari Confirms Plan To Reduce Ministries

As part of measures to reduce redundancy in public service, President Muhammadu Buhari is working on reducing the number of federal ministries which currently stands at about 28. He intends to merge those with similar functions.

Also, state-owned enterprises dubiously allocated to friends or relations under the guise of privatization are to be reviewed and reclaimed by the Federal Government while those that went through transparent and credible processes are to be retained by their investors.

However, to abide by the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that each state shall be represented by a minister at the federal cabinet, the President will still recommend 36 ministerial nominees to the Nigerian Senate for consideration.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo revealed these plans of the Buhari-government in a chat with media organizations in Abuja at the weekend.

Read More: ngrguardiannews

We Will Reduce Lawmakers’ Salaries, Allowances- Senate

The Senate has disclosed that the salaries and allowances of lawmakers will be reduced in line with the existing economic realities facing the country.

The chairman, Senate adhoc committee on information, Senator Dino Melaye, who made this disclosure yesterday when addressing newsmen, ?said the committee saddled with the responsibility of reviewing the salaries of lawmakers had submitted its report.

According him, there was the need to reduce the allowances of lawmakers in response to the directives of the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, who had set up a finance committee to review the allowance of Senators.

He said the senators had made a progressive reduction in their salaries as the Senate president had insisted they must all make sacrifices for the nation.

“The Senate president said we must sacrifice, as we cannot carry out proper oversight of the MDAs (ministries, departments and agencies) if we have not made proper sacrifice,” he said, asserting that the 8th Senate would be a responsible one.

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Reduce Bride Price, Anambra Ex Governor Pleads With Igbo Parents

Former Military governor of old Anambra State, Col. Robert Akonobi (rtd), has pleaded with Igbo parents to reduce the bride price of their daughters so that ‘’our young boys can marry them.” ‘’To me, this topic (bride price) has been dealth with in the past by Ndigbo, who came out with a reduced bride price, to enable our young boys marry our young girls,” Akonobi said.

Akonobi also cautioned that men should study their proposed wives closely and longer before engaging into marriage because “once you marry, no one else can put it asunder.” He spoke at the industrial city of Nnewi, Anambra State during the traditional wedding ceremony of the daughter of a business mogul, Chief Louis Onwugbenu, Onyinye and her husband, Bosah Chukwuogo, weekend.

Nnewi was agog as dignitaries from all works of life trooped to the residence of Chief Onwugbenu for the memorable event. The dignitaries who were from both the military, political and manufacturing circles, including Col Akonobi, Hon. Clement Nwankwu, former member of the House of Representatives; Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of Gabros International Limited and Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Limited, Chief Gabriel and Innocent Chukwuma respectively, among others.

The issue of high bride price was discussed extensively on the occasion. Hon. Nwankwu, in his own speech, prayed that Chief Onwugbenu and his wife would live long to enjoy the fruits of their children, especially those who married from outside their areas.

Also, speaking, Mrs. Onwugbenu expressed gratitude that her daughter’s hand was given out in marriage and prayed that her in-laws who came all the way from Awka to marry her daughter, would go back home safely. Father of the bride, Onwugbenu, in his own speech, said he had already blessed his daughter and her husband to go and make a good home.

Read More: vanguardngr

Buhari Considering Reducing Ministers To Minimize Cost Of Governance

The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, is said to be considering the reduction of the number of ministers as part of his strategies for reducing cost of governance.

This was said to be part of the cost-saving proposals which Buhari presented during the All Progressives Congress’s National Working Committee meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

The NWC which is yet to conclude its deliberations on proposals, according a high-ranking member of the APC NWC, include scrapping the minister of states, streamlining the ministries and parastatals.

The meeting, which was chaired by the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, also reviewed the just-concluded general elections, the deadlock in the Taraba State governorship poll as well as the alleged electoral fraud in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed confirmed that the NWC reviewed the governorship election.

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