The Federal Government (FG) has disclosed that the N2 trillion it intends to borrow from the current N10 trillion pension funds to finance the development of infrastructure will be through bonds.
According to a source in the National Economic Council (NEC), the funds would be deployed as bonds, which would bring returns when raised and invested. The source said this is better than allowing it to lie idle.
“This is not free money; it’s through investment as bonds. It is not like the Federal Government will just dip hands into the pensions fund and begin to spend the N2tn. When it is raised and invested, it means the private sector can also access the money, use it for investment in infrastructure.
“There will be returns on investment and the principal can be recovered as well. So, the process continues, as against allowing the pension money to lie idle. The pension fund was contributed by both workers and the government as stipulated by law. The money is not for workers alone,” the NEC official told Punch.
Nairametrics had reported when the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai announced the committee’s decision to tap into the pension funds. He made known that the committee’s decision was in line with the Pension Reform Act 2004, which empowers the government to borrow 20% of the fund to address national issues.
The disclosure was made at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in Abuja.
El-Rufai said the funds would be used for infrastructures such as rail and power projects. He said the committee had identified three areas (rail, road and power) where the pension funds would be invested, He restated that the borrowing would be done through bonds with private companies investing in road and rail infrastructure and paying within a period of 20 years.
Whatsapp to require biometric authentication for PC and web access
WhatsApp is adding a new biometric feature to confirm users’ identity when linking accounts to PC or the web.
WhatsApp is adding a new biometric feature to confirm your identity when you want to link your WhatsApp account to a PC or the web.
The social media app is rolling out this new feature for its web and desktop apps, which will let people create an additional authentication layer using biometrics when they want to use WhatsApp on desktop or web.
Users will now have the option (not a requirement) to add in a biometric login, which uses either a fingerprint, face ID, or iris ID — depending on the device — on Android or iPhone, to add in the second layer of authentication.
When implemented, it will appear for users before a desktop or web version can be linked up with a mobile app account.
WhatsApp told TechCrunch that it is going to be adding in more features this year to bring the functionality of the two closer together. There are still big gaps: for example, you can’t make calls on the WhatsApp web version.
To be clear, the biometric service, which is being turned on globally, will be opt-in: users will need to go to their settings to turn on the feature, in the same way, that today they need to go into their settings to turn on biometric authentication for their mobile apps.
WhatsApp has added that it will not be able to access the biometric information that you will store in your device and that it is using the same standard biometric authentication APIs that other secure apps, like banking apps, use.
This new feature will work alongside another, which sends your phone notifications whenever somebody logs into your account on the web or a computer.
What you should know
- The company has been getting a lot of backlashes since it announced it will now share its users’ personal information, including phone numbers, IP addresses, contacts, and more with Facebook from February 8, 2021.
Nigeria, now 2nd most corrupt country in West Africa – Transparency International
Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in W/Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the region.
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 report published by Transparency International indicates that Nigeria occupies the 149th position out of the 180 countries surveyed as well scored 25 out of 100 points.
With the current ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the sub-region.
It can be recalled that in the 2019 report, Nigeria was ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed, scoring 26 points out of 100 points.
What you should know
- The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is an annual survey report published by Berlin-based Transparency International since 1995 which ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
- The CPI scales zero (0) to 100, zero means “Highly Corrupt,” while 100 stands for “Very Clean”.
- Nigeria’s ranking on the corruption perception index has continued to drop in the last four years.
- With the current ranking, Nigeria is two steps worse off than she was in 2018 when she scored 27 points to place 144th out of 180 countries.
- Only 12 countries are perceived to be more corrupt than Nigeria in the whole of Africa. The countries are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Guinea Bissau, and South Sudan.
- Somalia and South Sudan remain the most corrupt nations on earth, according to the CPI 2020 ranking.
- Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Germany, Sweden Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands and Luxembourg are the least corrupt countries in the world.
Significant progress made in China-Africa ties within cooperation framework – AUC Chairperson
AUC chairperson has disclosed that significant, sustained progress is being made in China-Africa ties within cooperation framework.
The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has said that “significant and sustained” progress has been made in China-Africa ties.
Mahamat asserted this in an analysis of his first-term as the AU Commission chairmanship.
He reiterated the AU Commission’s strong commitment to upholding multilateralism and supporting international partners in halting the trend of unilateralism.
He argued that “International cooperation and solidarity are irreplaceable.”
Mahamat, in his analysis, reiterated that global challenges, national egoism, the decline of multilateralism, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and dwindling resources “have hampered our forward march” during the past four years.
The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Elfadil recently also hailed China as a strategic partner of Africa.
What they are saying
- Mahamat submitted that: “With China, significant and sustained progress has been made within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
- “Africa stands with those who fight unilateralism and strongly advocate for a multilateralism of respect, equality and mutual benefit.”
- Amira Elfadil noted that: “We are looking for those who are serious about the future of this continent, and when we say strategic partners and mention strategic partnerships, China comes first and we appreciate this partnership very much.”
What you should know
- The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).
- The African Union Commission acts as the executive/administrative branch or secretariat of the AU and consists of a number of Commissioners dealing with different areas of policy.