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World Bank President says debt cancellation needed to help poorest countries

The World Bank boss warned that the pandemic could trigger another debt crisis, hence, the need for debt cancellation.

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World Bank President says debt cancellation needed to help poorest countries

The World Bank President, David Malpass, has advocated that debt cancellation is needed by the poorest countries as the COVID-19 pandemic could trigger a debt crisis in some nations.

While making the disclosure during a media interview on Sunday, Malpass said investors must be ready to grant some form of relief that could also include debt cancellation.

READ: Why Nigeria’s external reserves is stuck at $35 billion

The World Bank boss was quoted during the interview as saying, “It is evident that some countries are unable to repay the debt they have taken on. We must therefore also reduce the debt level. This can be called debt relief or cancellation. It is important that the amount of debt is reduced by restructuring.’’

Malpass spoke about similar steps in previous financial crises such as in Latin America and the so-called HIPC initiative for highly indebted countries in the 1990s.

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It can be recalled that rich countries last month supported an extension of the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), approved in April to help developing nations survive the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen 43 of potential 73 eligible countries defer $5 billion in official sector debt payments.

The Debt Service Suspension Initiative will help free resources for developing countries to respond to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

He renewed his call for private banks and investment funds to also get involved amid warnings that the pandemic could push 100 million people into extreme poverty.

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Malpass said, “These investors are not doing enough and I am disappointed with them. Also, some of the major Chinese lenders did not get enough involved. The effect of the aid measures is therefore less than it could be.’

He warned that the pandemic could trigger another debt crisis as some developing countries had already entered a downward spiral of weaker growth and financial trouble.

The World Bank boss also added, “The enormous budget deficits and debt payments are overwhelming these economies. In addition, the banks there are getting into difficulties due to bad loans.’’

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]

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2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review

The National Assembly is set to commence a review of the 2020 budget implementation.

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National Assembly approves Federal Government’s plan to borrow $11 billion in 2021, Senate urges FG to diversify from crude oil to natural gas production , Senate seeks textile importation ban , Senate receives six aviation sector bills from Buhari , PenCom: Constitute a board, NASS and pension operators tell FG, Nigeria’s total debt now N33trn —Senate, Senate confirms appointment of board members for NDIC, law reform commission, Senate to confirm reappointment of Danbatta as NCC boss, Senate investigates claims of NELMCO, AEDC over govt asset, Senate Investigate Banks over customers exploitation and high fees, 2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review

The two chambers of the National Assembly are set to postpone plenary to give room for its various committees to commence the review of the 2020 budget implementation.

As well as enable ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) defend their 2021 budget proposal. This is according to a disclosure by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

READ: President Buhari approves N37 billion for National Assembly renovation 

The disclosure is the sequel to the passing of the 2021 Appropriation Bill for second reading last week. In addition, the National Assembly is expected to commence debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which was recently forwarded to the house by President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ: FG to inject over N198 billion on capital projects in power sector in 2021

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What they are saying

Commenting on both bills, Mr. Lawan said: “On Tuesday, we will be taking the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). This will be the last function that we would do in the plenary.”

He remarked further: “We will suspend plenary on Tuesday for the budget defense processes to start immediately”.

On an optimistic note, Mr. Lawan stated that the PIB which had scaled the first reading last week will also be passed for second reading today after the debate.

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(READ MORE:U.S. budget suffers a deficit of $3.1 trillion in 2020, as pandemic slams the economy)

What you should know

The National Assembly has fixed the deadline for the 2021 budget defense in the red chamber by MDAs to be the first week of November 2020.

In lieu of this fact, Mr. Lawan urged all ministers and heads of government agencies to ensure they comply with the directives within the stipulated timeframe.

READ: FG gives reasons marketers are not allowed to determine petrol price

Why this matters

The recent development is a big boost in returning the country’s budget cycle back to the January-December timeframe which will expedite effective implementation of the budget provisions as funds will be released on time to concerned ministries, enabling them to execute capital projects and meet their recurrent needs.

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#EndSARS: Human Rights Commission seeks prosecution of 35 indicted police officers

The National Human Rights Commission has demanded the prosecution of 35 indicted police officers.

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) announced that it has submitted a report to the Presidential Investigation Panel on human rights abuse against the now-scrapped Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

As it seeks the prosecution of 35 indicted police personnel by the Attorney-General of the Federation. This was disclosed in a statement by the NHRC on Tuesday morning. The Commission said the report was submitted on Monday. The report contains names of all 35 indicted Policemen that served under the disbanded SARS and expects the AGF to consider their prosecution in accordance with the law.

Backstory

Recall Nairametrics also reported that the NHRC also constituted members of an independent investigation panel into the activities of the dissolved SARS, as the Federal Government finds a way to end the nationwide protests.

The AGF told the NHRC that the report will be implemented by the Federal Government and justice would be served to all parties involved. The NHRC said the report was conducted by listening to complaints of police brutality in the six geopolitical zones and “there were discoveries and all were encapsulated in the report.

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“We have a mandate to establish a constitutional order,” the AGF said.

He added that the Police Act 2020 has provided solutions to some questions asked about the Police Force, including their operations and welfare captured in the Police Trust Fund.

Why it matters

The criminal prosecution of SARS personnel who have been involved in one form of abuse or the other has been a key demand of the #EndSARS protesters who have taken to the streets in the last two weeks to demonstrate against police brutality. They have declared that it is only in the transparent prosecution of these officers, amongst other demands that they will eventually call off their protests and vacate the streets.

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BREAKING : Lagos state imposes 24-hour curfew, as hoodlums hijack #EndSARS protest

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos State.

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Social clubs, recreational centres to reopen August 14, Lagos International Trade Fair to get permanent site soon, Sanwo-Olu vows , Lagos State discloses road expansion plans in an effort to combat traffic, Lagos State cracking down on Uber, Bolt, Ocar a week after Okada, Keke Napep ban , LASG increases health workers’ allowances, commissions local production of face masks

The Lagos State Government has announced the imposition of a 24-hour curfew in all parts of the state, with effect from 4 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

This is due to the raging #ENDSARS protests and demonstrations in the state which has been hijacked by criminals and hoodlums with attacks on innocent citizens and destruction of properties.

The announcement was made by the State Governor via a tweet thread on his official Twitter handle today.

Sanwo-Olu, in his statement, said, ‘’I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society. Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state.”

 “As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the #EndSars movement, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our state.

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“I, therefore, declare a 24-hour curfew in the state starting from 4 pm today, nobody except emergency responders and essential service providers should be found on the streets.’’

The governor said nobody, except essential service providers and first responders, must be found on the streets.

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Details later…

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