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Recession: Cost of governance in Nigeria unacceptable anywhere in the world – Peter Obi

Peter Obi has urged the Federal Government to reduce the cost of governance, so as to have enough funding for critical sectors.

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Katsina Abduction, Recession: Economy should be redirected from wasteful-consumption to productivity — Peter Obi

The former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi has said the cost of governance in Nigeria is too high, and urged that it should be reduced to have enough funding for critical sectors like education and health.

He also called on the FG to step back in infrastructure funding and provide the enabling environment for private-sector led infrastructural development in Nigeria.

Peter Obi disclosed this during an interview with Arise TV this morning.

He said, “The cost of governance in Nigeria is unacceptable anywhere in the world. I have operated it and I know that the cost is too much. People cannot put food on their table, whereas our leaders are still drinking champagne. These are the things we should be bothered about and reduced.”

He added that the cost need to be reduced to make way for more funding in education, citing the Covid-19 pandemic which exposed Nigeria’s deficit in human development spending compared to other developing nations as populated as Nigeria.

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We need to reduce it to have money for critical areas of education. What happened with Covid-19 has shown us the consequences of several years of bad leadership and not investing in the education or health sector. You could see it, countries spending billions on education, while we are spending nothing.

“Indonesia is investing $50 billion in education annually, and they are 250 million. We are 200 million and not even spending $2 billion on education. Comparing both populations, we are supposed to spend at least $35 -$40 billion on education, meanwhile that is our entire National budget,” he said.

He disclosed that as Governor, he cut costs of governance by buying government vehicles from local manufacturers, especially Innoson.

He urged for a focus on debt burden of the private sector, which is a sign that the private sector is taking the risks to grow the economy.

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We need to make the economy productive, and its not rocket science. All we need to do is check nations where debt increased in private sector; South Africa is $490 billion in the private sector compared to less than half of that for the public sector, which shows an economy that is working. In Nigeria’s case, its the reverse and we need to support the engine of growth,” he said.

He also added that the private sector be made to take off pressure from the FG in infrastructure debt by building roads and regaining revenue through means like tolling.

For infrastructure development, the private sector needs to be brought in to drive the process of gaining funding from capital markets for infrastructure construction and get the revenues through tolls. Nigerians are willing to drive around in good roads that are tolled.

“It must be private-sector led to make it more effective, FG’s role is to support. It’s not rocket science, it has been done before in Anambra. What we need is to have people who are competent and wealth creators. Let’s do what others are doing to get their economy productive, we have people making money without doing anything,” he said.

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What you should know 

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Nairametrics reported last week that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in real terms declined by -3.62% in Q3 2020, marking a full-blown recession and second consecutive contraction from -6.10% recorded in the previous quarter, Q2 2020.

In an earlier report, Obi stated that Nigeria needs to trim the unnecessary expenditure on its budget and redirect the economy towards a production-based one. He also warned that that the current recession would be worse than that of 2016, because debt raised by the administration was not properly invested.

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The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Monday, November 23, 2020, said the country will exit recession by Q1 2021, as the Nigerian government is working towards reversing the declining economic trend in the country.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jackson

    November 30, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Good talk, let us make it work fellow Nigerians.

    • Anonymous

      November 30, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      Mr Obi stop wasting your time talking to bush illiterate people who are unproductive.they know nothing than stealing and looting the country dry.

  2. Nwaizu Ikechukwu Bruno

    November 30, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Well that is actually one of there joy of being one Nigeria

  3. Bodunrin Ogundare

    November 30, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Why is it so difficult for our legislature to do the right thing, starting from the legislative salaries, and emoluments? They know these should be reduced, but the love of the Nation, and an obligation to the welfare, and development of the Nation is missing!

    History will not be kind to our leaders since independence. They see, but don’t see because of personal aggrandizement.Only leaders with the right mindset will develop Nigeria.We are waiting.

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Access Bank rejects Appeal Court’s suspension of injunction against Seplat, approaches Supreme Court

Access Bank has expressed its displeasure over the ruling by the Court of Appeal which lifted the Mareva injunction against Seplat Petroleum.

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Access Bank Plc has filed a Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court, objecting to the suspension of the interim Mareva injunction on the assets of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, by the Appeal Court.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Court of Appeal had suspended the Mareva injunction, and subsequently ordered the opening of Seplat’s corporate offices.

Nairametrics reported that Access Bank Plc had obtained the Mareva injunction through an Ex-Parte order dated November 13, 2020 to seal offices and freeze the accounts of Seplat, over the indebtedness of Cardinal Drilling Services, a company which Access Bank believes is partly owned by Seplat’s boss, Mr ABC Orjiakor.

After some months of being under lock and keys, respite came the way of Seplat Petroleum on January 22, 2021 when Hon. Justice Ikyegh of the Appeal Court lifted the interim order on Seplat Petroleum assets, pending the determination of the appeal filed by Seplat.

Access Bank’s reaction to the ruling

  • Expressing dissatisfaction over the ruling by the appeal court, Access Bank, through its Solicitors, Kunle Ogunba and Associates maintained that the learned justices of the court erred in law through the suspension of the interlocutory orders made by the trial judge at the Federal High Court. The solicitors regarded the outcome as an abuse of court process filed to interfere with the due administration of justice.
  • The bank in an affidavit maintained that “by discharging the said interlocutory orders, the Lower Court had unwittingly (via a motion) determined the main Appeal which seeks to also discharge the interlocutory orders made by the trial court.”
  • The bank is praying that the Supreme Court reinstate the interlocutory orders made by the Trial Court on December 24, 2020, thereby overriding the judgement of the Appeal court en route.
  • In the same vein, the Bank is also seeking a court order restraining the defendants, that is Seplat, Cardinal Drilling Services Ltd, Mr. Orjiako, Ambrose Bryant, Kalu Nwosu and/or any other person acting through them from taking further steps towards enforcing, executing or giving any effect to the ruling/order of the Court of Appeal pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal it has filed at the Supreme Court.

Flashback:

  • Recall that Nairametrics reported some months ago that Access Bank obtained an Ex-Parte Order dated November 13th, 2020, to seal the assets of Seplat over debt owed by Cardinal Drilling Services Limited.
  • The bank also obtained a Mareva injunction freezing the accounts of Seplat in Nigeria and abroad.
  • Seplat had appealed the December 24, 2020 decision of the Federal High Court granting injunctions that, among others, resulted in the sealing of its corporate offices in Lagos.
  • The Federal High Court had earlier turned down an application by Seplat to access its accounts and offices which were earlier shut down by a Mareva injunction obtained by Access Bank against it.
  • Access Bank is understood to be grappling with a string of bad loans issued under the defunct Diamond Bank and is now stepping up efforts to go after some of the debtors by obtaining several court orders to seize properties.

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Digital transformations and AfCFTA as critical imperatives for the rebound of African economies

Digital transformations as well as AfCFTA are considered necessary for the fast recovery of the African economies.

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Leveraging technology to drive government agenda is a must to keep up with changing times - Tolu Ogunlesi, SA to the President on New Media, tech

Technological transformations through digitization as well as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are considered as quite critical in supporting the fast recovery of the African economies.

This assertion is contained in the Foresight Africa 2021 report published by African Growth Initiatives of the Brookings Institution, a non-profit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions.

According to the report:

  • ”Digital transformation is arguably Africa’s biggest opportunity arising from the crisis.
  • “During the pandemic, the continent has accelerated its adoption of ICTs: lockdown conditions have pushed many sectors to raise their online presence and expand their range of digital services, with developments that would ordinarily take years compressed into several months.
  • “Significant opportunities remain for digital acceleration in key sectors, particularly government, education, retail trade, and finance.
  • The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which also holds promise for accelerating the region’s economies through economic integration and a shift in focus toward high-productivity industrial activities commenced trading on January 1, 2021.
  • “With the increased ease of intra-African trade, African businesses will be empowered to transform continent-wide needs into opportunities for entrepreneurship.”

What you should know

  • From the hard lessons of the COVID-19, African leaders should prioritize scaling up investments in the physical and technological infrastructures needed as impetus for radical digital transformations.
  • The workforce should be appropriately equipped with the requisite trainings to acquire relevant basic and advanced digital skills that would add values in their businesses, from mobile transactions to graphic design and coding, etc.
  • Leaders should also encourage digital practices on the small-scale in order to encourage widespread usage of digital tools, as in countries like Kenya and Rwanda that have lowered their transaction charges in digital payments towards boosting adoption.
  • Leaders should focus on policies and decisions that would have greater and long-lasting impacts, especially around technological adoption and effective implementation of the AfCFTA.

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53,460 3G and 4G Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) deployed in Nigeria – Prof. Danbatta

The 3G and 4G base transceiver stations deployed in Nigeria in the last 5 years increased from 30,000 to 53,460.

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Buhari reappoints Danbatta as NCC Vice Chairman/CEO

A total of 53,460 third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) base transceiver stations (BTS) have been deployed in Nigeria in the last five years.

This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta at a briefing session for the new Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Engr. Festus Yusuf Daudu.

According to Danbatta, the effective regulatory regime put in place by his leadership has created the desired impetus for the increased deployment of infrastructure by various telecoms operators, which in turn, has helped to improve the broadband penetration and other related service delivery in the telecoms industry.

The BTS, fibre optic cables and other related infrastructure are central to the provision of improved service experience for Nigerians by their respective telecoms service providers.

“The licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) are also expected to add 38,296km to optic fibre cables when they commence full operations.

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What they are saying

According to Prof Danbatta:

  • The Commission will continue to put in its best in the discharge of its mandates, especially in facilitating the deployment of broadband, which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and national development”
  • “Also, it is our belief that the communications industry, under the leadership of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, will experience more quantum leaps and retain its current leadership role in the telecommunications space”

In his reaction and comment, the new Perm Sec, Engr. Festus Yusuf Daudu said:

  • “I want to thank NCC for its contribution to the Nigerian economy so far. I am not exaggerating about the achievements of NCC, in terms of contribution to GDP and how NCC’s effective regulatory role has been helping the economy in so many ways

What you should know

  • The BTS system is part of a GSM network that is responsible for the reception and transmission of radio signals from mobile phones.
  • A Base Transceiver Station is a general description of equipment consisting of the telecommunication technology and the air interface of the mobile network (GSM, UMTS etc.).
  • The deployment of the 3G and 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) increased from 30,000 to 53,460, in the last 5 years
  • While the Fibre Optic Transmission cables expanded from 47,000km to 54,725km
  • As at November, 2020, active telephony subscribers stood at 208 million with tele-density standing at 108.92%
  • Active Internet subscriptions of 154.9 million were achieved with broadband penetration rate of 45.07%
  • The number of subscriptions to DND service hit over 30 million as the service empowers Nigerians to be able to protect themselves from the menace of unsolicited text messages and calls.

Why this matters

Having more Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) is quite imperative for driving an improved broadband/telecoms service delivery to Nigerian subscribers.

The poor services currently experienced by many telephony subscribers, especially in areas not sufficiently covered by Base stations, will now be a thing of the past as even subscribers in the remotest rural areas can conveniently receive and make calls and as well as enjoy other subscription services, without hitches.

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