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Moghalu joins African Democratic Congress, ADC, calls for ‘Third Way’ politics

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Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof Kingsley Moghalu, has Friday decamped to the African Democratic Congress, ADC.

Disclosing this in a statement sent to Vanguard, the Presidential Candidate of YPP in 2019 general elections, gave reasons for joining the party.

According to him: “For the past year I have been part of a group of individuals and political parties working towards the emergence of a “Third Force” in the Nigerian political space.

“Millions of our countrymen and women, tired of the failure of traditional politics, are waiting eagerly for the emergence of such a platform.  I am pleased to announce today that I have joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC) political party.  The ADC is a key player in this effort to create a new and bigger “megaparty” platform through a merger of several political parties to take power in 2023 and begin the work of rebuilding our beleaguered country.

“Every part of our Nigeria today can benefit from being part of one big, united, prosperous and powerful nation. To  achieve this vision, we need a new “Third Way” politics anchored on pragmatic ideology and visionary, competent leadership.  I believe we can re-engineer Nigeria’s economy through a system of developmental capitalism that taps into the well known dynamism and innovative spirit of Nigerian youth.

“My vision is one in which millions of youth can create jobs and move out of poverty and into the middle class, the market functions well,  the government creates an enabling policy environment for all Nigerians to achieve prosperity, and an effective social security system is established to take care of our elderly population.

“I feel ideologically aligned with the ADC.  Since its founding in 2005 to date, including in the 2019 general elections in which the party presented the late Dr. Obadiah Mailafia as its presidential candidate, the ADC has remained consistent in its commitment to the emergence of true democracy in Nigeria, and to the role of belief, passion, and ideas in nation-building. The party has shunned food-is-ready and divisive ethno-centric politics.

“The political status quo and its two major parties have failed Nigerians. To vote for them again is to waste your vote.  The results, for the past 22 years,  include rigged elections, Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world, 4,000 megawatts of electricity for 200 million people, 33% unemployment, terrorism, and our lives today cheaper than the naira to the dollar. We must now focus on governance beyond politics if we are ever to escape from today’s mess and the misery it will surely continue to generate if the same recycled politicians remain in charge.

“I am honoured to become a card-carrying member of the ADC. In doing so, I restate my public announcement on June 1, 2021, making  myself available to lead our country as a competent, 21st century President, and my intention to contest in the 2023 presidential election. I look forward to a close collaboration with the Chairman of our great party, Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu, Alhaji Said Baba “Abdullahi, the ADC National Secretary and the National Executive Committee, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Distinguished Senator Patricia Akwashiki and her colleagues on the BOT, and the members and candidates of the ADC, for the party’s growth and expansion in the months ahead. I ask all my political supporters, including those aspiring to be elected to gubernatorial positions and the national and state legislatures, to join the ADC.”

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DHQ confirms arrest of Owo church attackers

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The Defence Headquarters has confirmed its arrest of suspected terrorists behind the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, that killed scores of worshippers.

Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said this on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja.

Some gunmen suspected to be terrorists on June 5 attacked the church, with 40 people confirmed dead after the incident.

On June 17, the funeral for the slain worshippers was conducted at the Mydas Resort and Hotel in Owo.

The names and photographs of those killed in the church were published in the funeral handbook, while 74 names were listed as those who sustained injuries during the attack.

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Sanusi: I warned Buhari govt its policies will destroy Nigeria’s economy

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Former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II

Former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has said he warned the President Muhammadu Buhari administration that its economic policies would destroy Nigeria’s economy.

He also lamented the current state of the nation, saying Nigeria would  not be where it is if public office holders had taken their job seriously.

The former emir, who spoke in Lagos at a stage play titled “Emir Sanusi: Truth in Time”, said every inherent danger in the economic polices he had warned the administration when he newly came on board in 2015/2016 was what the country was facing currently.

The former Kano Emir recalled how he wrote a confidential letter to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor voicing his strong concerns about the economy.

“If every president, every governor, every minister, every commissioner took their job seriously, this country will not be where it was,” he stated.

“If people are willing to be ministers, commissioners, governors and presidents for eight years, and not tell us how they have improved our lives, we have a problem.”

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He charged politicians to be accountable to the people.

Sanusi asked Nigerians to take charge of the country, he said Africa’s most populous nation will not move forward until actual steps are taken.

The ex-CBN governor also spoke on why he usually criticises government policies he found not to be good enough, saying what many do not know is that he would have advised the officials privately for months before going public.

On the current administration, Sanusi said he warned the Federal Government of the dangers of its policies in 2015, especially how it would destroy the economy.

“With the current administration, I spent the whole of 2015 and 2016 speaking to everybody who should be communicated to, and telling them that the economic policies they were pursuing were going to destroy the Nigerian economy.

“It was only when that failed that I spoke publicly, and we had to speak. Now the question which everybody is asking is should an Emir speak? The answer is yes and it depends on what you are speaking on,” he added.

According to Sanusi, he served as Chief Risk Officer at the United Bank for Africa, at First Bank, and also as CBN governor; as Emir of Kano for six years.

He stated that he would be ungrateful to God if he expressed regret or sadness over his removal as emir despite his position in life.

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Nigeria, three others top World Bank debtors’ list

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Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed

Rising debt has pushed Nigeria up the World Bank’s top 10 International Development Association borrowers’ list.

The World Bank Fiscal Year 2021 audited financial statements, known as the IDA financial statement, showed that Nigeria was rated fifth on the list with $11.7bn IDA debt stock as of June 30, 2021.

However, the newly released World Bank Fiscal Year 2022 audited financial statements for IDA showed that Nigeria has moved to the fourth position on the list, with $13bn IDA debt stock as of June 30, 2022.

This shows that Nigeria accumulated about $1.3bn IDA debt within a fiscal year, with the country taking over the fourth top debtor position from Vietnam.

This debt is different from the outstanding loan of $486m from World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The top five countries on the list slightly reduced their IDA debt stock except Nigeria.

India, which is still the first on the list reduced its IDA debt stock from $22bn in the previous fiscal year to $19.7bn, followed by Bangladesh from $18.1bn to $18bn.

It is followed by Pakistan which cut its debt from $16.4bn to $15.8bn, and lastly, Vietnam, which went down the list to fifth position, from $14.1bn to $12.9bn.

Nigeria has the highest IDA debt in Africa, as the top three IDA borrowers (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) are from Asia. The World Bank disclosed recently that Nigeria’s debt, which may be considered sustainable for now, is vulnerable and costly.

The bank said, “Nigeria’s debt remains sustainable, albeit vulnerable and costly, especially due to large and growing financing from the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

However, the Washington-based global financial institution added that the country’s debt was also at risk of becoming unsustainable in the event of macro-fiscal shocks.

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The bank further expressed concerns over the nation’s cost of debt servicing, which according to it, disrupted public investments and critical service delivery spending.

Economists have also raised concerns over the rising debt profile of the Federal Government.

The Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader of PwC, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, expressed his agreement with the World Bank on the high cost of debt servicing.

He said, “I agree with the World Bank. Although the debt to GDP ratio is not too high, if you think about the debt service cost to revenue ratio, it is already over 70 per cent. That’s when you know it’s costly.

“Nigeria borrows at double-digit, and even when we borrow in dollars, the rates are very high and then you devalue the naira and the cost of servicing the debt in naira goes up because it is dollar-dominated debt.

“Put all of that together, and you can easily say to yourself that even though our debt to GDP ratio is very low, our cost of borrowing is unsustainable because it is very high, and therefore, make it very costly.”

A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and former presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu, also criticised the increasing borrowing tendency of the government, urging the officials to re-consider other ways of generating revenue for the country.

According to Moghalu, it was also not reasonable to borrow for infrastructural development as the government could expand the public-private partnership options for such development.

In a document by the Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, recently obtained by our correspondent, the DMO stated that high debt levels would often lead to high debt services and affect investments in infrastructure.

According to the DMO DG, “High debt levels lead to heavy debt service which reduces resources available for investment in infrastructure and key sectors of the economy.”

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