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Osinbajo: Ekiti has higher GDP than Gambia, Cape Verde, Seychelles

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Ekiti state has a higher gross domestic product (GDP) than Gambia and several other African nations.

Osinbajo advised that states in Nigeria “must think like sovereign nations” to improve the livelihood of their residents.

The vice-president spoke at the Fountain Summit held in Ekiti on Thursday.

He said revenues from federal allocations can “provide infrastructure and services to the communities” but added that “the size of the sum and the quantum of opportunities available for the populace” depends on how well states can attract investment.

“The economy of the subnational is a peculiar animal. A state within the federation is not a nation, but it must behave like a nation. It derives some resources from the federal pool and generates some income,” the vice-president said.

“The sum of those will provide infrastructure and services to the communities. But the size of the sum and the quantum of opportunities available for the populace will depend on how the state enables local and external investors — small and large — to put their resources into businesses in the state.

“Two Saturdays ago, I represented Mr President at the swearing-in ceremony of the new president of the Sao Tome and the Principe Republic. As I sat in that well-appointed hall and took in the solemn grandeur of the oath-taking of the new democratically elected president, I reflected. Here was a country whose GDP is $472 million and it’s a nation.

“It has one vote in the United Nations just as we have. Ekiti state has a GDP of $2.8 billion – five times the GDP of the nation of Sao Tome and Principe but it’s not just Sao Tome and Principe.

“Ekiti’s GDP is higher than that of the nation of Gambia. Gambia has a GDP of $1.9 billion and also a higher GDP than that of Cape Verde with a GDP of $1.7 billion or Seychelles, the lovely tourist destination which has just $1.1 billion.

“Ekiti’s GDP is the same as the GDP of Liberia which just has $2.95 billion and we’re talking about Ekiti state now, we’re not even talking about Lagos.

“The attractiveness of the state to commerce is a radical issue. The very lives and livelihood of the people within the borders of the state depend on it. Nigeria’s subnational is indeed a peculiar animal. There has to be a collective change of mindset. There’s a need for a subnational to think like a sovereign state. You have bigger GDP and even more revenues than many nations.”

“I think the surest way forward is to deepen investments in the niche areas. We have already noted the enormous potential in agriculture and dairy. But clearly, the way of the future, especially for the huge population of young men and women seeking good-paying jobs, is technology. Clearly, the future of the fast-growing economy is in the knowledge economy. Every day we are beginning to see the transition.”

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Sanusi: I Warned Buhari’s Govt that 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 disclosed he warned the President Muhammadu Buhari administration that its economic policies would destroy Nigeria’s economy.

Sanusi also lamented the current state of the nation, saying Nigeria will not be where it is if public office holders take their job seriously.

The former Emir, who spoke in Lagos on Sunday at a stage play titled “Emir Sanusi: Truth in Time”, every inherent dangers in the economic polices he communicated to the administration when he newly came on board in 2015/2016 is what the country is facing today.

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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Saudi Explains Why Lightning Can Only Strike Crescent Moon on Holy Mosque’s Towers

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The Holy Mosque in Saudi (Masjid Al Haram and Masjid Al-Nabawi) has explained in a tweet on Sunday night why lighting only strikes the Crescent Moon on the clock tower.

The mosque, through its handle @theholymosques stated that the lightning only strikes the crescent on the clock tower because of the Makkah clock which consists of 20 automatically extending lightning conductors and 800 fixed rods to protect the watch and lights from lightning.

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“The lightning only strikes the crescent moon on top of the clock tower because the Makkah clock contains 20 automatically extending lightning conductors and 800 fixed rods to protect the watch and lights from the lightning.”
The Holy Mosque attracts millions of worshippers annually.

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