President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed why Nigeria has not agreed to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. According to the President, Nigeria does not have the capacity to supervise other Africa countries to prevent dumping of goods which may eventually affect infant industries.
The President disclosed this on Wednesday while receiving the National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) led by its president, Engr Mansur Ahmed, at the State House, Abuja.
“I don’t think Nigeria has the capacity to effectively supervise and to ensure that our colleagues in AU don’t allow their countries to be used to dump goods on us to the detriment of our young industries and our capacity to utilise foreign exchange for imported goods”
President @MBuhari today received a delegation of the National Council of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), led by the President of the Association, Engr Mansur Ahmed, at the Council Chambers State House Abuja. #AsoVillaToday pic.twitter.com/SBXHtocTBy
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) June 19, 2019
A bid to stop AfCFTA: Nairametrics had earlier reported that MAN urged the President not to sign the trade pact. According to its President, Mansur Ahmed, the measure would save Nigeria from being used as a dumping ground for foreign goods.
“The position of the association is that the government should not sign the framework agreement until wide-reaching sensitization and proper assessment is conducted on its impact on the economy and the manufacturing sector.
“MAN, being a proactive organisation that strongly believes in evidence-based advocacy commissioned a sector-specific study on AfCFTA. We have shared the study, full report and fact sheets on the highlights of findings with the Presidential Committee on AfCFTA.”
Assessing the impact of AfCFTA: Meanwhile, in a statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President disclosed that he is ready to receive the report of a Committee set up to assess the potential costs and impact of signing the agreement establishing the AfCFTA for Nigeria.
Recall that in order to evaluate the extent to which Nigeria was ready to join the AfCFTA pact and what the impacts of doing so would be, the Presidential Steering Committee on the AfCFTA Impact and Readiness Assessment Committee was inaugurated on October 22, 2018.
Some Drawbacks were however witnessed, as President Buhari further disclosed that the Presidential committee’s failure to meet up with an initial 12 weeks given to conclude its assignment slowed down the process. He further disclosed that the AfCFTA is on the agenda for the upcoming AU Summit in Niamey, Niger Republic, in July.
The bottom line: The visit by MAN to the president is apparently connected to the association’s agitation against the signing of the trade agreement which it believes could kill local industries. In the light of this, the President has promised to look into the presentation by MAN highlighting issues of concern to the manufacturing sector, namely the AfCFTA, Export Expansion Grant and other incentives, challenges with the 2019 fiscal policy measures, recent increase in NAFDAC charges, the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) (Amendment) Act, 2019, among others.
“I assure you that I know the enormity of our problems in terms of population growth rate and teeming young people. We need to move very fast, and the government will try and encourage you as very much as possible so that the problem of unemployment and the provision of other services relative to our population and state of development can be tolerated.”
Nigeria to fix irregular power supply in 40 years- Senate
The four decades is needed due to underfunding and the FG’s failure to fix the challenges of electricity generation.
The Nigerian Senate has said that it will take Nigeria 40 years to fix irregular power supply.
This was disclosed by the Senate Committee on Power on Tuesday after the Minister of Power and his team made a presentation to the Committee, according to Guardian.
The four decades wait, according to the lawmakers, is due to underfunding and the Federal Government’s failure to fix the challenges of electricity generation.
The committee was astonished by the submission of the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, that of the N165billion required for capital projects in 2020, N4billion was given as bribe of which only N3billion was cash-backed.
In lieu of this, the Committee dismissed claims made by the minister over raising hope on early provision of constant power supply, while Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, painted a gloomy picture during the ministry’s budget defense.
A member of the Committee, Danjuma Goje, expressed concern that based on Abdulaziz’s presentation, N165billion was proposed, but the ministry gave N4billion in envelope, insisting that it would take 41 years to deliver constant electricity when N165billion is divided by N4billion.
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that it will take nothing less than $100 billion to enable stable power supply in Nigeria.
What they are saying
Mr. Danjuma expressed pessimism over hopes of stable power supply in the country. He went as far as stressing that even if ongoing projects are being completed there is still no hope for stable transmission of power in the country.
Mr. Danjuma was quoted as saying: “Going by the minister’s presentation that transmission gas increased from 5000 to 8000 megawatts, it is not enough. When dishing out figures, we should bear in mind that capacity, transmission, and distribution have increased and that Nigerians, manufacturers, and industrialists want to see stable electricity.”
#EndSARS: ECOWAS calls for protesters to remain peaceful in their demonstrations
ECOWAS has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests and urged Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of protests.
This was disclosed in a statement by the organization on Tuesday and comes on the heels of statements by other International bodies and personalities, who have expressed worry over the nature of brutality meted on protesters, especially after the Lekki shootings.
— ECOWAS-CEDEAO (@ecowas_cedeao) October 27, 2020
“ECOWAS Commission notes with concern that demonstrations by Nigerian youth calling for Police reforms, particularly the abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police force, accused of misconduct by those demonstrating, have turned violent,” they said.
The body said it recognizes the right to peaceful protests and also called for protesters to be peaceful, due to the rising reported cases of lootings post protests during the curfews.
“While ECOWAS recognizes the right of citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and protests, it also wishes to stress that those rights should be exercised in a nonviolent manner.
“In this regard, ECOWAS calls on all protesters to remain peaceful in the conduct of their demonstrations. It also urges the Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of the protests and act professionally.”
The tone of ECOWAS’ message is different compared to the rest of other stakeholders including the statement of the Lagos State Governor, House of Reps Speaker, and the Vice President, who all acknowledged that the protests were peaceful and the protesters were attacked and that the violence from the curfews was not done by the protesters but by hoodlums.
The ECOWAS message is also the first statement by West Africa’s most important regional body since the #EndSARS protests started in the first week of October.
Kano State presents N147.9 billion budget for 2021 fiscal year
Governor Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as Kano State’s proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as its proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year before the Kano State House of Assembly today.
Presenting the budget tagged “Budget for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development,”Governor Ganduje said the budget is in furtherance of his administration’s vision for diversification of the state sources of revenue which will engineer development in the future.
Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported the drive and optimism by Kano State government to boost its Internally Generated Revenue. This might probably explain why IGR increased by almost 10% between 2020 allocations and proposed estimates for 2021.
What you should know: The breakdown of the budget verified by Nairametrics showed the following key highlights:
- The total budget increased by approximately 7.0% from N138.279 billion in 2020 to N147.935 billion in 2021.
- Capital expenditure for the periods under view increased by 10.93% from N60.485 billion to N67.095 billion.
- Recurrent expenditure also increased from N77.79 billion to N80.839 billion, indicating a 3.92%. increase for the periods under view.
- Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) increased by approximately 10% from N24 billion to N26.395 billion during the period under view.
- A breakdown of the budget showed that the Education sector has over N37 Billion representing 25% of the total budget while the health care delivery service has over N25 Billion representing 17% of the total budget.