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Economy & Politics

Buhari suspends NSITF MD and other top management officials, appoints acting MD  

The minister disclosed that the suspension of these officials became imperative after the preliminary investigation.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the indefinite suspension of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mr Adebayo Somefun and three Executive Directors of the Government agency over corruption allegations. 

Also suspended are some other top management staff of the agency.  

This was disclosed in a press statement by Charles Akpan of the Press and Public Relations of the ministry on behalf of the Minister for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Thursday, July 2, 2020.  

The suspended Executive Directors are Jasper Ikedi-Azuatalam, Executive Director (ED), Finance and Investment, Mrs Olukemi Nelson, ED, Operations and Alhaji Tijani Darazo Sulaiman, ED, Administration. 

Also suspended are Mr Olusegun Olumide-Bashorun, General Manager, Administration/Human Resources/Maintenance, Mr Lawan Tahir, General Manager, Finance, Mr Chris Esedebe, General Manager, Claims and Compensation, Mr Olodotun Adegbite, Deputy General Manager, Investment and Treasury Management, and Mr Emmanuel Enyinnaya-Sike, Deputy General Manager, Finance and Accounts. 

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The press statement also mentioned Mrs Olutoyin Arokoyo, Deputy General Manager/Acting Head, Legal, Ms Dorathy Zajeme-Tukura, Deputy General Manager, Administration, and Mrs Victoria Ayantuga, Assistant General Manager, Internal Audit as part of the management team that was suspended. 

The minister disclosed that the suspension of these officials became imperative after the preliminary investigation established prima facie infractions on the extant Financial Regulations and Procurement Act. and other acts of gross misconduct. 

According to the statement, ‘’During the period of their suspension, the officers will face a Joint Board and Audit Investigative Panel that had been set up to look into the financial and procurement breaches, as well as gross misconduct in the NSITF from 2016 to date. 

“The gross misconduct has invariably put the contributions of stakeholders in a perilous state. The affected officers have also been directed to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective departments.” 

The statement also quoted the Minister, Chris Ngige, as directing the most senior General ManagerDr Kelly Nwagha, to take over as the Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive with effect from Monday, July 6, 2020. 

The Labour Minister also charged the Chairman of the Board, Mr Austin Enajemo Isire, to ensure that the investigative panel commenced work as soon as possible. 

The NSITF has not been new to controversies as the Federal Government had alleged that N48 billion out of the N62 billion contributions to the agency was mismanaged by the former board and management between 2012 and 2015. 

Some of the former officials of NSITF including the former Chairman, Ngozi Olejeme, were charged to court for corrupt practices and embezzlement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

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Also, sometime last year, Ngige, had a running battle with the Nigerian Labour Congress over the non-inauguration of the board of the government agency.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chukwudi onuigbo (onwa-apaye).

    July 3, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Chike olisah is a financial expert of a great repute,having known him for twenty years,his impressive impart in the financial firmament in Nigeria will always be a force to reckon with, his ideas will definitely be felt in and around nairametrics.

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Coronavirus

IMF optimistic about global economy but warns new Covid variants could affect recovery

IMF is quite optimistic about the fortune of the global economy but expressed fear that the new Covid variant could derail economic recovery.

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IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed optimism about the global economy but warns that the new COVID 19 variant could affect the global economic growth, according to its latest World Economic Outlook.

According to the report, “the institution now expects the global economy to grow 5.5% this year — a 0.3 percentage point increase from October’s forecasts. It sees global GDP (gross domestic product) expanding by 4.2% in 2022”.

According to its Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath:

  • “Much now depends on the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines to end the pandemic, and on the ability of policies to provide effective support until that happens.
  • “There remains tremendous uncertainty and prospects vary greatly across countries.
  • China returned to its pre-pandemic projected level in the fourth quarter of 2020, ahead of all large economies. The United States is projected to surpass its pre-Covid levels this year, well ahead of the euro area.
  • “Policy actions should ensure effective support until the recovery is firmly underway, with an emphasis on advancing key imperatives of raising potential output, ensuring participatory growth that benefits all, and accelerating the transition to lower carbon dependence.”

What you should know

  • There has been a surge in the number of reported cases of the new variant Covid-19 infections and deaths over the past few months.
  • The new variant has been described as being more infectious and potentially deadlier than the original strain.
  • The IMF had cut its GDP forecasts for the euro zone this year by 1%.
  • It is being projected that the 19-member region, which has been severely hit by the pandemic, would grow by 4.2% this year.
  • Germany, France, Italy and Spain — the four largest economies in the euro zone — also saw their growth expectations cut for 2021.
  • Economic activity in the region slowed in the final quarter of 2020 and this is expected to continue into the first part of 2021. The IMF does not expect the euro area economy to return to end-of-2019 levels before the end of 2022.
  • IMF revised its GDP forecast upward by 2% points on the back of a strong momentum in the second part of 2020 and additional fiscal support, with GDP expected to grow to 5.1% this year.

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Economy & Politics

Updated: President Buhari appoints new Service Chiefs

President Buhari has appointed new Service Chiefs to replace the former with immediate effect.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new Military Service Chiefs, and congratulated the outgoing Service Chiefs for efforts of “enduring peace to the country.”

The appointments was disclosed by Presidential media aide, Femi Adesina in a social media post on Tuesday.

Adesina said: “PMB appoints new Service Chiefs. Maj Gen LEO Irabor, CDS, Maj Gen I Attahiru, Army, Rear Adm AZ Gambo, Navy, AVM IO Amao, Air Force. He congratulates outgoing Service Chiefs on efforts to bring enduring peace to the country.”

President Buhari had come under heavy criticism in the last couple of years over his failure to sack the Service Chiefs for failing to tackle insecurity in the country.

“I have accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service. I thank them all for their overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to Nigeria, and wish them well in their future endeavours,” Buhari disclosed in a separate statement.

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What you should know: The outgoing Service Chiefs were appointed by President Buhari in 2015 and despite clamour from several quarters for the President to replace them with fresh blood, nothing happened until today’s announcement.

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Economy & Politics

Investing in digital economy, infrasture crucial to mitigate impact of COVID-19 pandemic – World Bank

Investing in digital economy will be crucial to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and foster a sustained recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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The World Bank has asserted that investing in the digital economy and infrastructure will be crucial to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and foster a sustained recovery and foster a sustained recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This is according to the World Bank In Africa report – #AFRICAN CAN.

The report noted that in a time of Covid-19, dominated by lockdowns and social distancing, investing in the digital economy and infrastructure will be crucial to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and foster a sustained recovery.

It argued that the adoption of digital technologies by governments, households and firms in Sub-Saharan Africa still lags behind that of other regions in the world.

The report, therefore, maintains that government intervenes to reduce the cost of devices and services, avoid disconnections for lack of payment, and increase bandwidth will be key, considering that the road to economic recovery is projected to be long and arduous.

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What they are saying

The report states that:

“The road to recovery will be long and arduous and will require policies and investments that focus on connecting people to job opportunities, which can help end extreme poverty, particularly post-COVID-19.”

What you should know

Even though the World Bank did not suggest the form that the policies and investments would take in the report, the Bank, in a separate report — flagship report – Global Economic Prospects – as reported by Nairametrics on the 19th of January, 2021, has argued that productivity-enhancing structural reforms are required for quick economic recovery.

The Bank suggests these productivity-enhancing reforms encompass promoting education, effective public investment, sectoral reallocation, and improved governance. Investment in green infrastructure projects can provide further support to sustainable long-run growth while also contributing to climate change mitigation.

According to the report:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050.
  • It is a diverse continent offering human and natural resources that have the potential to yield inclusive growth and wipe out poverty in the region, enabling Africans across the continent to live healthier and more prosperous lives.
  • With the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market, the continent is creating an entirely new development path, harnessing the potential of its resources and people.
  • Knowledge is essential for governments to make better policies and institutions to make more effective decisions, thus, governments should pay attention to research and analysis.

According to World Bank’s Flagship report – Global Economic Prospects.

  • Investment is projected to shrink again this year in more than a quarter of economies – primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where investment gaps were already large prior to the pandemic.
  • Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to rebound only moderately to 2.7% in 2021 – 0.4% point weaker than previously projected, before firming to 3.3% in 2022.

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