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Economy & Politics

Private sector to drive global economic recovery in 2021 – IFC Boss

The IFC Boss has said that the private sector participation is vital for global economy to recover and remain resilient in 2021 and beyond.

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Africa’s internet economy has the potential to reach 5.2% of the continent’s GDP by 2025 - Goggle/IFC
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The Interim MD and COO of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of World Bank, Stephanie von Friedeburg, has stated that for the global economy to achieve the desired recovery and remain resilient in 2021 and beyond, the private sector participation is very important.

She made this disclosure at the special year-end edition of The Development Podcast, featuring her and the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, where she shared her thoughts on some critical events that happened in year 2020 and reflected on key priorities that would drive the global economy towards a resilient recovery in 2021.

According to Stephanie von Friedeburg, “I think the private sector is probably more important now than we’ve ever been in helping the global economy kick-start growth, as we emerge from this pandemic. And I say that because I’m sure we’ll come to this later, but we know there’s just limited fiscal space in our countries of operation and especially in the poorest countries in the world.

“Governments don’t have the capacity to continue to create the economic growth and the jobs that are needed for the citizens in those countries. And so the private sector can and must play a super important role. But even before the crisis, we knew that in those poorest countries, finding ways for the private sector to intervene was extremely difficult.”

What IFC is doing to reinvigorate the private sector participation

According to IFC Boss, Stephanie von Friedeburg:

  • “During the COVID crisis, IFC, from its private-sector strategy perspective, adopted 3-pronged approach i.e. relief, restructuring and refinancing, which is considered desirable for building a more robust and resilient economy, as the fortunes of most businesses dramatically nose-dived over the course of the last year.
  • “IFC is helping their countries of operation as well as the private sector hospitals/clinics figure out on how to get the equipment and supplies they might need by creating a global health platform – an innovative and interactive platform that links up private sector companies in both developed and developing worlds, to transact businesses.
  • “IFC created country private sector diagnostics and country strategies with which they use to have conversations with their bank colleagues in finding out the key sectors in a particular economy where there are impediments or obstacles for the private sector to invest.
  • “In view of the estimated decrease of $950 billion from domestic private investment and foreign direct investment in emerging markets this year, IFC is working towards getting the right policy and regulation and creating projects that will attract the money back to countries of operation fast enough to reach its goal by 2030.
  • “Using the IFC 3.0 strategy, IFC intends to connect with its bank colleagues towards getting the right policy and regulation in place, so that the private sector enterprises can build and share infrastructures, such as mobile towers, internet backbones, open access networks, power, etc that would, to a large extent, reduce their cost of operations.
  • “IFC 3.0 is designed to say, “How can we, IFC, partner with our World Bank colleagues, partner with other MDBs and get the right policy and regulatory environments in place to incense private sector investment? So we call it the cascade. But in essence saying if the private sector can invest and can build something out, use the private sector to do that and use your limited fiscal space as a government only in those places where the private sector can’t play. And then partnering with that is really us.”

What you should know

  • The private sector is the engine of growth in any country.
  • Successful private sector enterprises drive growth, create jobs, and pay the taxes that finance services and investments.
  • In developing countries, the private sector generates 90% of jobs, funds 60% of all investments and provides more than 80% of government revenues.

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Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with B.sc Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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Business News

Isa Pantami: Terrorist sympathizer or victim of his NIN policy

Despite renouncing his past radical views, more people on social media and even public figures, have joined the agitation for his resignation.

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NIMC. Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami, 5G network, NIPOST defiant to FG’s instruction on cash payments  , How the NCC’s Strategic Management Plan Will Drive The Digital Economy, FG set to commission National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Abuja
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The calls for resignation and pressure on the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, over his alleged links to extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram in addition to his pro-Taliban views has continued unabated.

The campaign which started with unconfirmed media reports that the United States Government had allegedly placed him on a security watchlist over alleged links with the late founder and leader of the dreaded Boko Haram group, Mohammed Yusuf, later snowballed into a series of other allegations which border on his extreme Islamic views and activities in the past.

Pantami, an Islamic cleric, in his initial reaction to the allegation of being on US security watchlist due to his extremist views, denied the allegations, saying that he had always preached against the Boko Haram sect for over 15 years over its condemnable doctrines and practices at the expense of his life.

He alleged that those behind these allegations are those who are not happy with his implementation of the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari on security especially the government policy on National Identification Number (NIN) and threatened legal action against the publishers.

READ: Transport Minister says $1.9 billion for Kano-Maradi rail to be sourced from Europe

The Minister in his statement said, ‘’News Wire Nigeria your retraction through your independent investigation has been noted. However, investigative journalism requires the investigation before publishing, not after. Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in court on this defamation of character.

My lectures against the doctrines and all other evil people have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.

For your information, by the Almighty, no amount of intimation will stop Isa Pantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on security.”

READ: President Buhari charges newly appointed Service Chiefs to secure the country

SSKOHN

As the calls from Nigerians for the resignation of the 48-year-old Minister continued, over his religious views, Patanmi, for the first time on Saturday, April 17, 2021, according to some media reports, acknowledged his past religious views but said that he has since renounced those radical comments.

He blamed his past radical leanings on age, immaturity and limited knowledge as well as based on his understanding of religious issues at the time, adding that he has changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity,

However, despite renouncing his past radical views, more people on social media and even public figures, have joined the agitation for his resignation, saying that his views as a student cannot be blamed on age.

Some Nigerians have expressed their views on the matter with a good number of them insisting that the Minister has to resign.

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A Twitter user, Chris Chukwu, said Nigerians are not going to sleep on this issue because he is a threat to National security.

Festus Ogun said that if the President refuses to sack Pantami, he should be prepared for #EndSARS part 2.

Effiong John, while stating why President Buhari would not sack the Communications Minister said that a terrorist apologist will not sack another terrorist apologist.

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A human rights activist Comrade Deji Adeyanju said that a terrorist sympathizer is a terrorist.

Ayemojubar lamented that Nigeria has been taken over by terrorists.

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Another Twitter user, Abiodun Sanusi said that sympathizing with Isa Pantami is the same as showing sympathy for Osama Bin Laden.

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However, while responding to Governor Wike’s reaction to the issue, a former presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore said that the Rivers State Governor was only grandstanding as he was some time ago, caught on tape threatening to kill an INEC official.

Some Nigerians have, however, expressed their support and sympathy for the Minister as they believed that he is being victimized for some of the government’s policies that he is driving.

A Twitter user Khaleel Kumo said that #Pantami must go is purely hypocritical and directed at anything good that comes out from Islam.

A Twitter user Faarees asked that the #PantamiMustGo must stop trending and Nigerians should go and link their SIM with their NIN.

Musbey in his defence for Pantami said that as long as you are a practising Muslim and successful, they will hate you.

 

Also, in defence of the Communications Minister, the Presidency through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said that Pantami, made those extremist remarks when he was in his 20s and has since then retracted them and changed his views.

The Presidency pointed out that this currently manufactured dispute has nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words but rather concerns over his actions in the present which include leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing, deregistering 9.2 million SIMs thereby ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to use mobile networks undetected.

Also reacting to alleged links of Pantami to the death of the late former Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, Rev. John Hayab, warned against linking the death of Yakowa to Dr Isa Pantami.

He called on Nigerians to ignore such insinuations and release of some documents with doubtful authenticity, which endangers national peace.

The very critical question is why these allegations are coming up now after almost 2 years in office as a Minister. Is he a terrorist sympathizer, an allegation he has denied or is he a victim of some of the government policies whose execution he is spearheading?

These are questions that are still begging for answers.

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Business News

Presidency condemns smear campaign against Dr Isa Patanmi, the communications Minister

According to Garba Shehu, the FG stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services.

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The Presidency has dismissed the ongoing smear campaign against the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, instigated by those who want him to be removed from office.

This follows the calls for his resignation by Nigerians over his alleged links to some terrorist organizations and some extremist statements he made over 20 years ago.

This reaction is contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Thursday in Abuja, describing such calls as unfortunate.

He said that it is unfair and unfortunate for anyone to seek for the downfall of a hard-working public servant due to a statement he/she made in the past even after such a statement had been rejected by the affected person.

READ: NCC reacts to claims that minister chased Diaspora Commission’s staff from office complex

What the Presidential Media Aide is saying

Shehu in his statement, said, ”Today, there is an unfortunate fashion in public discourse that makes leaders in politics, religion, and civil society liable in the present for every statement they have ever made in the past – no matter how long ago, and even after they have later rejected them.

This insidious phenomenon seeks to cancel the careers of others on the basis of a thing they have said, regardless of when they said it. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami is, currently, subject to a “cancel campaign” instigated by those who seek his removal.

They do not really care what he may or may not have said some 20 years ago: that is merely the instrument they are using to attempt to cancel him. But they will profit should he be stopped from making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Nigerians.

The Minister has, rightly, apologized for what he said in the early 2000s. The views were absolutely unacceptable then and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them. But he will not repeat them – for he has publicly and permanently condemned his earlier utterances as wrong.

SSKOHN

READ: GITEX 2020: Nigeria receives $50m Start-up investment – Pantami

In the 2000s, the minister was a man in his twenties; next year he will be 50, time has passed, and people and their opinions – often rightly – change.”

Shehu pointed out that Pantami was deliberately being attacked to rubbish the achievements of the Buhari administration in the ICT sector.

He also listed the achievements of Pantami in the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy in the past two and a half years.

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This Administration is committed to improving the lives of all Nigerians – and that includes ensuring they are not over-charged or under-protected for those services on which modern life depends.

The Minister has been leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing. He has revolutionized the government’s virtual public engagement to respond to COVID-19 and save taxpayers’ money. He has established ICT start-up centres to boost youth entrepreneurship and create jobs.

READ: How NCC’s Strategic Management Plan will drive digital economy

He has changed policy to ensure locally produced ICT content is used by ministries, starting with his own; and he has deregistered some 9.2 million SIMs – ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to flagrantly use mobile networks undetected.

In two short years, Minister Pantami has driven the contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to more than 18 percent, making it one of the top two playing a critical role in the emergence of the economy from the COVID 19-induced recession.’’

Shehu said, “The minister and this administration have made enemies. There are those in the opposition who see success and want it halted by any means.

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And there is now well-reported information that alleges newspaper editors rebuffed an attempt to financially induce them to run a smear campaign against the minister by some ICT companies, many of which do indeed stand to lose financially through lower prices and greater consumer protections.

The government is now investigating the veracity behind these claims of attempted inducement, and – should they be found to hold credence – police and judicial action must be expected.

The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services,” he added.

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It can be recalled that Some Nigerians had asked Pantami to resign over his alleged links to some terrorist groups including Boko Haram, an allegation that the Minister had denied.

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