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Ezekwesili finally speaks on economic plans as presidential bid intensifies

The flagbearer of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) Dr Oby Ezekwesili, has tabled her plans for revamping the struggling economy.

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Oby Ezekwesili

As Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election date continues to draw nearer, the flagbearer of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) Dr Oby Ezekwesili, has tabled her plans for revamping the struggling economy.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting Monday, Ezekwesili said there is an urgent need to overhaul the expensive cost of governance in the country.

According to her, she will consider working with the Oransanye Report which recommended that 220 out of the existing 541 Government agencies be either merged or scrapped completely.

She, however, stated that the report would need to be modified before implementation, especially in the areas relating to its implementation. But this is, of course, dependent entirely on if she wins the presidential election.

In the meantime, Mrs Ezekwesili also spoke about how imperative it is for Nigeria to get its fiscal problems sorted.

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“There is need to implement policies that will boost the economy and lift people from the state of extreme poverty. China has shown us the way to do it, and we can do it, we need to keep hope alive.

“We need to get our fiscal crisis sorted out. The 2017 budget performance that was released by the federal government shows that we are now in a state of imbalance.” -Ezekwesili

A shift from oil-dependent economy and focus on human capital development

Commenting on the issue of the country’s over-dependence on oil, the presidential aspirant said her future government would shift focus from oil and focus on other investment prospects that will ensure better livelihoods for the people of Nigeria.

In specific terms, she said she will make human capital the centre of her economic development agenda. Oil, she said, is not as important as the professional competence of a skilled citizenry.

‘‘The productivity and competitiveness of the people of a country and the companies that operate within are the drivers of economic growth. And when the people are productive and competitive, the quality of growth that you achieve is one that is evenly distributed because everyone is participating in the growth driver.”

As we reported, the former Vice President of the World Bank and ex-Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, earlier this month joined the presidential race hopes of dismantling the current political order. As one of the most prominent opposition figures of the current administration, she has vowed to return political power to the people.

However, her chances of winning are slim as many doubt her political and financial clout to see through a successful electioneering period.

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Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Companies

Neimeth Pharmaceuticals to raise N5 billion in additional equity

The Board of Neimeth is set to raise N5 billion additional equity upon the approval by shareholders of the company at the AGM.

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Neimeth Pharmaceuticals
The Board of Directors of Neimeth Pharmaceuticals has revealed plans to raise N5 billion in additional equity upon approval by shareholders of the company.
The information was contained in a press release published on the NSE and signed by the Company Secretary, Mrs. Florence Onhenekwe.

The disclosure is part of the resolutions reached at the Board of Directors meeting of 15th January 2021. At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that the company would raise additional equity to the tune of N5 billion.

In line with this development, a board resolution proposing to raise equity will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Company scheduled to hold on 9th March 2021.

What you should know

  • The Board of the Company is yet to disclose if the additional equity would be a rights issue or a private placement, as the details of the additional N5 billion equity set to be raised are yet to be finalized.
  • The fund will help the company’s management to execute key strategies that will reposition the company as a leader in the healthcare industry, with the hope to deliver better returns on investment to shareholders.
  • The additional equity financing will also increase Neimeth’s outstanding shares, which will dilute earnings and impact the Company’s stock value for existing shareholders.
  • The move has the potential to trigger a sell-off of the company shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Appointments

Buhari appoints Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as Acting DG of National Directorate of Employment

President Buhari has appointed Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as the Acting DG of the National Directorate of Employment.

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Buhari sacks DG National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Argungu

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the appointment of Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as the Acting Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment.

This was disclosed by media aide to the Presidency, Garba Shehu, in a social media statement on Monday.

He said:

  • President Muhammadu Buhari has formally conveyed to the Hon. Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, his approval of the nomination of Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, as the Acting Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, pending the appointment of a substantive Director-General for the Agency.
  • Last month, the President relieved the former DG of his appointment, and directed the Minister to nominate an Acting DG to superintend over the Agency, pending the appointment of a substantive DG.

What you should know 

  • The Federal Government through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) formally kick-started the Special Public Works (SPW) programme, which was designed to create 774,000 jobs across the nation, with the inauguration of the State Selection Committees in 2020.
  • Nairametrics reported last month that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sack of Dr Nasiru Mohammed Ladan Argungu as the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) with effect from December 7, 2020.
  • The Presidency did not give any specific reason for the sack.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism

The WHO has said that the prospects of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines were at serious risk.

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Dr Tedros Adhanom, Head of the World health organization (WHO), COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure due to the fear of Covid-19 vaccine nationalism by the wealthy countries, while the poor countries are left behind.

This is as the UN health agency revealed that the prospects of equitable distribution of the vaccines were at serious risk just as its COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme plans to start distributing inoculations in February.

According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyrsus, at the opening of the body’s Annual Executive Board virtual meeting.

He pointed out that 44 bilateral deals were signed last year and at least 12 have already been signed this year.

What the WHO Director-General is saying

Tedros warned against vaccine nationalism to avoid making the same mistake during the HIN1 and HIV pandemic.

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The WHO boss in his statement said,

  • This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response and continued social and economic disruption. Such a ‘me-first approach’ left the world’s poorest and most vulnerable at risk.
  • “Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, countries should avoid making the same mistakes made during the H1N1 and HIV pandemics.’

He expressed his reservations over the ‘me-first’ attitude of the rich countries and the vaccine manufacturers who prioritize going for regulatory approval in wealthy countries rather than submitting their data to WHO for approval of the vaccines for use globally.

The global scramble for shots has intensified, as more infectious virus variants circulate.

Tedros said more than 39 million vaccine doses had been administered in 49 higher-income countries, whereas just 25 doses had been given in one poor country.

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Observers say this board meeting, which lasts until next Tuesday, is one of the most important in the U.N. health agency’s more than 70-year history, and could shape its role in global health long after the pandemic ends.

What you should know

  • The WHO and health experts had severally warned against nationalism as a serious threat to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • They had called for an equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine amongst all countries globally, as the wealthy nations will still be at risk of the pandemic if the poor countries are still battling with the disease.

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