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Economy & Politics

Akinwunmi Adesina is expected to reunite AfDB’s member countries after re-election

Adesina hopes to unite members to support a programme that would stabilize African economies.

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Adesina Probe: US Treasury Secretary praises AFDB’s decision on independent review, Growth must be seen in citizens' lives, AFDB President to African leaders, AFDB launches $3 billion “Fight COVID-19” social bond, Adesina Probe: US Treasury Secretary praises AFDB’s decision on independent review

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) is set for re-election, even as expectations are high for him to unite AfDB’s member countries after a corruption probe carried out by an independent panel declared him innocent.

Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina would be voted in during a 2-day meeting starting on Wednesday. He would be seeking to unite the members of the multilateral bank to support a programme aimed at stabilizing African economies which have been heavily affected by the pandemic. Already, AfDB has raised $100 billion for the scheme.

Last month, Nairametrics reported that the investigative panel set up to review an earlier Ethics Committee report which found Adesina not guilty but was rejected by the US, exonerated him of all charges.

READ: Here is what Akinwunmi Adesina said about allegations against him

The panel reviewed about 16 allegations in total and dismissed all of them, agreeing with the Ethics Committee’s findings. The Ethics Committee’s findings were not accepted by the United States, promoting a setup of the investigative panel with the mandate to review the submissions of the ethics committee of the bank.

Adesina was accused of unethical conduct, questionable appointments, and contract awards by a group of whistleblowers. However, he was cleared of all charges by the AfDB’s ethics committee. The AfDB said it supported an internal investigation that cleared Adesina, citing that there was no evidence Adesina helped secure contracts for his friends, which a whistleblower accused him of doing.

READ: AfDB’s debarring of 4 Nigerian companies: Consequences and effects

The second-largest shareholder of the Bank, the United States, rejected the Ethics Committee report asked for an independent probe of those allegations.

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The Investigative Panel cleared Adesina of all charges agreeing with the submissions of the ethics committee.  In its final conclusions, the panel wrote;

“The Panel is mindful of the fact that “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. At the same time, it appears to us to be an undue burden to expect a holder of high office in an international organization, to prove a negative, in the absence of sufficient grounds. An attorney writing on behalf of the President, also argues quite correctly in our view, that a distinction should be drawn between alleged institutional failure at the Bank and the conduct of the president.”

READ: Buhari discloses what it will take to reverse US visa ban

Nigeria almost doubled its voting rights in the African multilateral institution to 16.8% before the lender’s annual general meeting coming up next week, as reported by Nairametrics, which was a boost for the re-election of  Adesina as the President of the African Development Bank.

Nigeria will be the top shareholder in the multilateral bank followed by Germany and the United State with 7.4% and 5.5% respectively.

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Economy & Politics

Insecurity: FG to implement town hall meetings to reach a national consensus

The meetings are set to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.

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Insecurity: FG to implement town hall meetings to reach a national consensus

The Federal Government announced the launch of town hall meetings to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, at the Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, themed “Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria.”

What the Minister is saying

“The correct starting point towards addressing these myriads of problems is the building of an “elite consensus” on the security, unity, indissolubility, and peaceful existence of Nigeria.

“Such elite consensus had worked in the past. Can we make it work now and proffer solutions in order to stave off the threats to our unity as a nation?” he said.

The Minister disclosed that the meetings are necessary to bring all critical stakeholders together to deliberate on the issues and possibly reach a consensus on the way forward.

“We expect this Town Hall meeting to develop concrete, implementable resolutions because a lot of talks and postulations had taken place with little or no requisite outcome.”

In case you missed it 

  • Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar warned that the rising insecurity in Nigeria is a result of rising youth unemployment. He urged Nigeria to tackle out-of-school children cases, pay a monthly stipend to poorer families, incorporate youths who are above school age into massive public works programmes and others.
  • Senator Ali Ndume insisted that the Federal Government needs to increase its total military spending to be able to tackle the rising insecurity in Nigeria which has seen a number of school students in 2021 kidnapped by bandits.

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Business

IMF lifts 2021 global GDP growth to 6%

The group also warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries.

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Kristalina Georgieva, IMF boss hints at 'synchronized slowdown' in global growth , IMF: 40% of African countries can't pay back their debts , Nigeria worse off, posts grows lower than LIDC benchmark - IMF, Measures introduced by Nigeria to ensure transparent use of the $3.4b IMF loan

The International Monetary Fund has lifted its global growth outlook to 6% in 2021 (0.5% point upgrade) and 4.4% in 2022 (0.2 percentage point upgrade), after an estimated historic contraction of -3.3% in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This disclosure was made on the organisation’s website on Tuesday.

The group also warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries, as economies with slower vaccine rollout, more limited policy support, and more reliance on tourism do less well.

READ: Corruption erodes the constituency for aid programmes and humanitarian relief – IMF

What the IMF is saying

“The upgrades in global growth for 2021 and 2022 are mainly due to upgrades for advanced economies, particularly to a sizeable upgrade for the United States (1.3 percentage points) that is expected to grow at 6.4 percent this year.

This makes the United States the only large economy projected to surpass the level of GDP it was forecast to have in 2022 in the absence of this pandemic.

China is projected to grow this year at 8.4 percent. While China’s economy had already returned to pre-pandemic GDP in 2020, many other countries are not expected to do so until 2023.”

READ: Nigeria needs structural and monetary policy reforms to unlock potential – IMF

On divergent recoveries 

The IMF stated that divergent recovery paths are likely to create wider gaps in living standards across countries compared to pre-pandemic expectations.

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“The average annual loss in per capita GDP over 2020–24, relative to pre-pandemic forecasts, is projected to be 5.7 percent in low-income countries and 4.7 percent in emerging markets, while in advanced economies the losses are expected to be smaller at 2.3 percent,” they said.

“Faster progress with vaccinations can uplift the forecast, while a more prolonged pandemic with virus variants that evade vaccines can lead to a sharp downgrade. Multispeed recoveries could pose financial risks if interest rates in the United States rise further in unexpected ways.

For Africa, IMF forecasts economic growth of 3.4% in 2021 and 4% by 2022, Nigeria is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 2.3% by 2022, while South Africa is projected to hit growths of 3.1% and 2.0% for the respective years in focus.

READ: The 4th industrial revolution and the birth of a new international monetary system

In case you missed it 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)  identified some factors that hamper the economic recovery of low-income countries from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, factors including access to vaccines, limited policy space to respond to the crisis, the lack of means for extra spending, pre-existing vulnerabilities such as high levels of public debt in many low-income countries and sometimes weak, negative, total factor productivity performance in some low-income countries. These factors continue to act as a drag on growth.

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