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Emefiele: Non-oil sector leading Nigeria’s economic recovery

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Nigeria’s output growth remains on the strong side with the non-oil sector leading the country’s economic recovery, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced on Saturday.

Speaking at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) 2021 Annual Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration, he said the economy is on a recovery path following the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines, reopening of economies globally, as well as the implementation of the various stimulus packages by the fiscal and monetary authorities.

In his keynote address read by CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi,  themed  ‘Financing Infrastructure & SMEs for inclusive growth in the post-COVID-19 economy’, Emefiele said the National Bureau of Statistics showed that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.01 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, with the non-oil sector growing by 6.74 per cent, compared with the oil sector which contracted by -12.65 per cent.

He noted that the economic growth was driven by enterprises in agriculture, energy (electricity, gas and steam), road transportation, telecommunications and trade.

According to Emefiele, infrastructure deficit and poor credit access to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs’) remain major setback for MSMEs.

He said financing gap for MSMEs in Nigeria is estimated to be about N617.3 billion annually pre-COVID-19 pandemic, as less than five per cent of these businesses have access to adequate finance to support their working capital and business expansion needs (PwC).

“While MSMEs have been recognised to play a critical role in supporting the growth of the Nigerian economy, poor access to finance, particularly credit, and lack of quality infrastructure such as electricity and access to market, continue to pose significant constraint to the growth of MSMEs in Nigeria.

“Thus, weak and inadequate infrastructure as well as poor flow of credit to businesses impact severely on economic growth as well as human development,” he said.

He disclosed that in realization of the importance of access to finance and infrastructure to economic growth and development, the CBN has taken steps beyond its traditional macroeconomic mandates of ensuring price and financial system stability, as well as maintaining a strong external reserve.

To this end, the bank introduced several development finance policies and programmes to improve access to credit for MSMEs, deepen the Bank’s support to the real sector, support job creation and build a robust payment system infrastructure to help drive financial inclusion.

Emefiele said that infrastructure deficit continues to hinder economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Beyond economic growth, infrastructure impacts the quality of life of the people and the growth of the business sector.

The deficit, estimated to be around $31 billion a year, continues to hinder productivity, increases the costs of doing business and isolating markets.

The CBN boss stated that bridging the infrastructure gap, therefore, as a means of overcoming the region’s economic and developmental challenges cannot be over-emphasised.

“While governments in the sub-Saharan Africa continue to make progress in closing the deficit over the past decade, the continent still lags the rest of the world in coverage of key infrastructure classes, comprising the ICT, energy, roads and rail, transportation, water, and sanitation,” he said.

The CBN boss said Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit remains a major constraint to economic development and attainment of growth average rate of at least five to seven per cent required to boost productivity and sustainable growth for businesses.

According to the World Development Indicators (2019), 56.20 per cent of Nigerians have access to electricity, while electric power consumption stood at 144.52 kWh per capita as of 2018. While infrastructure deficit in Nigeria is estimated to be about 1.2 per cent of GDP, it is projected that the Federal Government needs to commit about US$100 billion annually to address the nation’s infrastructural deficit.

He said the MSMEs sector that has also emerged as a significant source of growth, innovation and job creation is the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). According to the World Bank, this sector represents an estimated 90 per cent of businesses and employs over 50 per cent of world’s labour force. In fact, formal MSMEs have been identified to contribute about 40 per cent of GDP in emerging economies, of which Nigeria is one (PwC).

“Lack of access to quality infrastructure has been a limiting factor to MSMEs in developing countries delivering on their potential for growth and creating employment. Beyond infrastructure, access to finance remains one of the biggest threats to MSME development in both developed and developing economies alike, with serious implications for productivity, economic development, and job creation.

”Access to credit has been identified as a critical enabler for the growth and development of MSMEs, as the overall credit gap for MSMEs in developing countries is estimated to be US$5.2 trillion, representing 19 per cent of these countries’ cumulative GDP (IFC). Of this, the unmet financing demand from MSMEs in sub-Saharan Africa is about $331 billion, representing 18 per cent of the potential demand for credit by MSMEs in the region.”

Other constraints to MSME development in Nigeria, as noted in the survey, include difficulty in finding customers, infrastructure deficit, insufficient cash flows, multiple taxation, regulatory burden, and sub-optimal implementation of the provisions of the MSME policy.

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Ifeanyi Uba seeks court permission to visit Nnamdi Kanu in DSS facility

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The senator representing Anambra South, ifeanyi Uba, has sought an order of a Federal High Court, Abuja to visit leader of the prosecribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, at the Department of State Service (DSS) detention.

Uba, who is also the candidate of Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the Nov. 6 Governorship Election, said he filed the application so that an order of the court could be obtained to direct the DSS allow him access to the detainee.

The lawmaker, in a motion on notice with suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 dated and filed on Oct. 15 by his counsel, Agugoesi Ikem, sought three orders.

 

He said as a senator from the zone, he took it upon himself to carry out his oversight legislative functions to visit the Kanu at the detention facility to ascertain from him “if he is involved in any way in what is happening in the South East.

 

“AN ORDER of this Honourable Court granting Leave to Sen. IfeanyiUba to visit thé Defendant, NnamdiKanu, as part of his oversight legislative function.

 

“AN ORDER of this Honourable court directing the Complainant and/or the Department of State Services(DSS) to allow the said Senator Dr. IfeanyiUba access to their detention facility for purposes of visiting the Defendant, NnamdiKanu.

 

“AND OTHER ORDERS OR FURTHER ORDERS as the Honourable court may deein fit to make in the circ mstances of the case,” it read.

 

In the affidavit in support of the motion, Uba said that as a lawmaker from the South East Geopolitical Zone, he was bound by the oath he took to ensure peace and security not only in the region but the entire Nigeria.

 

It reads in part: “That I state that as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is one of my responsibilities to ensure the promotion of the Constitution of Nigeria and other laws of Nigeria.

 

“That I know that the Defendant in this matter was arrested and brought into Nigeria by the Department of State Services(DSS) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and since he was brought into Nigeria, he had been detained at the detention facility of the DSS pending his trial.

 

“That I know that by the Constitution of Nigeria every citizen, including the Defendant, that is charged with an offence is presumed innocent until the charge is proven.

 

“That I know that the Defendant was charged with several offence and the DSS had only produced him on one occasion in court.

 

“That there is an allegation that criminalities are being championed by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra under the leadership of the detained Defendant; an allegation which has been denied severally; yet the situation continues to worsen.

 

“That I visited and intend to visit the Defendant in my capacity as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for purposes of attempting to ameliorate and fashion a meeting point or create a discussion table aimed at reducing tension and quelling the agitation and killings in the South East,” Uba said.

 

However, no date has been fixed to hear the application.

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FG Files Fresh Charges Against Nnamdi Kanu

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The Federal Government has filed an amended seven-count charge against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

 

The fresh charges border on treasonable felony and terrorism following the pending charges he was facing since 2016.

Meanwhile, the court has issued hearing notice in the case, which is billed to commence on Thursday, October 21.

 

The notice titled Federal Republic of Nigeria Versus Nnamdi Kanu with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/15, was served on Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor and that of the prosecution, Shuaibu Labaran.

 

The notice indicates that the court presided by Justice Binta Nyako made fresh directives on the conduct of the proceedings throughout the case.

 

“This case will be transferred from the General Cause List to the hearing paper for Thursday 21st October 2021at 9 o’clock forenoon and will come on to be on that day if the business of the court permits or otherwise on some adjustment day of which you will receive no further notice,” the notice reads.

 

“If either party desires to postpone the hearing, he must apply to the court as soon as possible for that purpose and if the application is based on any matter of fact, he must be prepared to give proof of those facts.

 

“The parties are warned that at the hearing, they are required to bring forward all the evidence by witnesses or by documents which each of them desires to rely on in support of his own case and in contradiction of that of his opponent.

 

“The proof will be required at the hearing and not on a subsequent day, and parties failing to bring their evidence forward at the proper time may find themselves absolutely precluded from adducing it at all, or at best only allowed to do so on payment of substantial costs to the other side, and on such other terms as the court deems fits to impose.

 

“Parties desirous to enforce the attendance of witnesses should apply at once to the court to issue one or more summonses for the attendance of the witnesses required.

 

“It is indispensable that the application should be made so as to allow time for reasonable notice to the witnesses required.

 

“If the witness is required to bring books or papers, they must be particularized in the summons sufficiently to enable him to understand what is meant.

 

” Any party summoning a witness through the court thereby becomes liable to pay such witness reasonable sum of money to be fixed by the court for his expense and loss of time.

 

“The court may refuse to enforce the attendance of a witness unless such sum has been fixed and deposited in the court.

 

“If either party desires to use in evidence at the hearing, any book or document in the possession or power of the other party, he must give the other party, reasonable notice in writing to produce It at the hearing, failing which he will not be allowed to give any secondary evidence of its contents.”

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Toke Makinwa unveiled as Gulder Ultimate Search 12 anchor

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Popular OAP Toke Makinwa has been unveiled as host for the 2021 edition of the survival reality show, Gulder Ultimate Search.

She was unveiled on Saturday less than 24 hours after the organisers tasked over 61,000 Instagram followers to guess the show’s new host.

“It’s about time! The age of craftsmanship is upon us and@tokemakinwais ready for the journey. Welcome to the #GulderUltimateSearch,” the video’s caption reads.

Confirming the announcement, Makinwa also shared the video via her Instagram page.

“The council of Elders called and I answer. The age of Craftmanship is finally upon us.

“My name is Toke Makinwa. I am the anchor of the Gulder Ultimate Search – The Age of Craftmanship. Now let the adventures begin,” she said.

She added: “Gulder Ultimate Search is back and guess who your host of the season is????

“You guessed correct. The TM season is fully on.

“The council of elders called, the age of Craftsmanship is finally upon us, see you at the jungle.”

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