The Senate has raised an alarm that Nigeria’s total debt profile would stand at N33 trillion, if President Muhammadu Buhari got approval for the $22.7 billion foreign loan request.
Deputy Chairman of Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Muhammad Bima Enagi, pointed this out while speaking at the one-day public lecture organized by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies ( NILDS), on Public Debt in Nigeria: Trend sustainability and management.
Enagi noted that borrowing had always served as veritable financial platforms for many developing countries of the world in running their economies, on the condition of judicious use of loans for the intended projects.
Unfortunately, the realities on ground including the required infrastructure and the debt accumulated between 2006 till date did not show any correlation, he observed.
He added that about 68% of the N26 trillion owed as at September 2019 were domestic debts, while foreign debts accounted for the rest.
“With the recent approval of the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan, the total debt stock would be about N33 trillion and 21% Debt/GDP ratio.
“What do we have to show as a people for these huge debts accumulated over the last four decades or so?” he queried.
According to him, stopping this trend would require the national assembly to monitor the executive on prompt utilisation of new loans for the specified purposes. This is the only way to gradually reverse the current situation where the annual debt servicing had made it impossible to provide basic amenities and infrastructure without resorting to more borrowing.
His talk came shortly after the Director-General, Debt Management Office, DMO, Mrs Patience Oniha, had expressed fears that the global economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic could frustrate Nigeria’s attempts to service its debts appropriately.
According to Oniha, Nigeria’s debt is sustainable as the total Debt-to-GDP Ratio was within a 25% limit, even lower than the 56% advised by the World Bank and IMF. The actual Debt Service to Revenue Ratio has, however, been high at over 50% since 2015, an indicator of lower revenues and higher debt service figures.
What you should know: The Nigerian senate, penultimate week, approved the $22.7billion foreign loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari.
WHO gives condition for approving Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccine gets a name
Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V for the foreign markets.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that any form of approval of prequalification of the Russian vaccine will require rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.
This disclosure was made by the spokesman of the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic, during a United Nations briefing in Geneva about clinical trials.
He said that the UN health agency and the Russian health authorities are currently discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Tarik Jasarevic, during the UN briefing in Geneva said, “We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.”
Meanwhile, in a related development, Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and it is available for foreign markets. The name references the world’s first satellite, which marked a symbolic accomplishment for the USSR during the cold war and space race era. Now, the Russian Government basks in its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine for COVID-19.
The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) pointed out that Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly registered COVID-19 vaccine.
Nairametrics had earlier reported today the announcement of the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure during a televised government meeting, said that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than 2 months of human testing.
However, the speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some western countries and international scientists to question whether the Russian government is putting national prestige ahead of solid science and safety.
Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement
The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched to provide risk solutions for investors.
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the instrument of accession agreement for Nigeria for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency. This was announced by the Federal Government on Monday night.
President @MBuhari has signed the instrument of accession of the agreement for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency; sequel to the directive of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), that the instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) August 10, 2020
The agreement is coming after the Federal Executive Council ordered that an instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.
The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched in 2001, to provide risk solutions for investors, after the East African economic Union (COMESA) executed a World bank funded study to discover why Africa does not attract more Foreign Direct Investments.
The organization said it added credit insurance to its portfolio in 2006 after its members identified global trade as a major pillar of growth in the continent which has seen it grow as a market leader for risk mitigation in Africa. The ATI also attracts funding from the African Development Bank and World Bank
Nigeria joining the agreement would provide Nigeria with the necessary insurance financing to increase investment inflows into the country and improve economic productivity.
Russia announces the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine
Russian President made the announcement in a televised government meeting.
Russia has announced the registration of its first COVID-19 vaccine in what can be described as a step ahead of other vaccine development.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure, called it effective protection against the deadly pathogen and revealed that one of his own daughters had already received it.
Putin in a televised government meeting said, “As far as I know, this morning the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection in the world was registered,”
The announcement is seen as a propaganda coup for the Russian government against the west amid a global race to develop vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 750,000 people, infected more than 20 million and crippled major global economies.
Pharmaceutical firms like AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc. are still conducting final-stage trials of their vaccines in studies that are expected to soon yield results.
Nairametrics had about 2 weeks ago reported that Russia had concluded plans to register a coronavirus vaccine between August 10 and August 12 in what would be regarded as the world’s first official approval of a vaccine against the coronavirus pandemic.
It also announced plans for a mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus disease from October after disclosing that it had completed trials for the vaccine.
This vaccine which is being developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute in collaboration with the Russian Direct Investment Fund started phase 3 trials last week. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Tatyana Golikova, who was at the meeting, disclosed that medics could start receiving the vaccine by the end of the month.
Russia, which is reported to be the fourth most affected country globally, has recorded almost 900,000 COVID-19 cases with over 27,000 coronavirus-related deaths