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Business

NEPAD assesses its achievements and challenges after two decades of existence

NEPAD was highly celebrated at a symposium where it x-rayed its achievements and challenges in its two decades of existence in the continent.  

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New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), a flagship program of the African Union was recently celebrated at a symposium to assess its achievements and challenges after two decades of existence in the African region.

Participants including Head of states, representatives from the development community, civil society, and private sector, commended NEPAD for its collaborative efforts with the African Development Bank (AfDB) in financing infrastructures and agricultural programs in the continent.

What they are saying

According to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union, “The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on African economies, on public health and indeed the African Union itself. It has served as a stark reminder of our global interconnectedness because, in the end, what affects one, affects us all.”

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Chairperson of AUDA-NEPAD’s Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee said;

  • “NEPAD’s track record makes it the ideal institution to implement Agenda 2063 on behalf of the African Union.
  • “I call on member states to continue supporting the multiple partnerships that AUDA-NEPAD has developed.
  • “Honouring our statutory commitments as member states is not only our duty. It is good value for money.”

African Development Bank President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said;

  • “The Bank’s support has spanned many areas, such as regional integration, agriculture, trade, infrastructure, education, knowledge and the environment.
  • “The African Development Bank stands fully ready to continue to provide strong support and to help to mobilize a lot more support for AUDA-NEPAD as you continue your new strategy, and of course the African Union Commission. Together we will achieve the Africa we want, better and much faster”

According to Outgoing AUDA-NEPAD chief executive Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki, “Our challenge will evidently be resource mobilization, but we have built, thanks to the support of all our partners, a certain level of credibility which can allow us to implement that element of our mandate, which is called full resource mobilization”

What you should know

  • The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is an economic development program of the African Union.
  • NEPAD was adopted at the 37th session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia.
  • NEPAD aims to provide an overarching vision and policy framework for accelerating economic co-operation and integration among African countries.
  • NEPAD has endured multiple global crises since its inception, the most recent being the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The organization was relaunched as the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) in 2018, which participants noted was a turning point in its evolution.
  • The two founding fathers of NEPAD are former South African president, Thabo Mbeki and former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo.

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

FG explains why Lagos-Ibadan rail line was not linked to the sea

The government in its explanation said that the delay was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

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FG needs $656 million to complete Lagos-Ibadan railway project – Amaechi, Nigeria loses N150 billion annually to shipping tariffs, Ibadan to Kano rail construction

The Federal Government has stated why the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited could not link the final part of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line to the sea.

The government in its explanation said that it was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

According to a press statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while on a routine tour of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

The Minister pointed out that the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project was not adhered to by CCECC Nigeria Limited and TEAM consortium and therefore warned that the master plan of the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano rail line project should not be changed.

The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to connect the whole country by rail with the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge Rail project.”

Amaechi forewarned that the master plan of the soon to commence project should not be changed as the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan wasn’t adhered to by Messrs CCECC Nigeria and TEAM consortium. The Minister who rode the train from Ebute-Meta to the 8.72 km Apapa Port Spur line, informed the media that the inability of Messrs CCECC Nigeria to link the final part of the rail line down to the sea is rather due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.’’

The Minister had noted that the Federal Government has paid its share of the counterpart funding of the Ibadan-Kano rail line project and is waiting for China-Exim bank to ratify its side of the agreement for the project to commence.

He also advised the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to acquire more land around the train stations and the rail tracks for future development adding that this will be near impossible to do in the future as whatever space available now would have been taken over by businesses attracted to the rail line.

Sigma Pensions

In case you missed it

It can be recalled that full commercial train services commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line after train operations commenced on December 7, 2020, with only Lagos, Ibadan and Abeokuta residents enjoying the train services.

This is because other minor and major stations along that route were yet to be completed.

 

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Business

MTN USSD saga: Charging subscribers is appalling, unacceptable – Ogunbanjo

National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria has lamented the service charge of N6.98.

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Subscribers of Telecommunication services in Nigeria have said that the new Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service charge of N6.98 is appalling and unacceptable.

They insisted that the quarrel between the banks and the telecom operators should not be resolved by taxing subscribers. This came after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that USSD services for financial transactions would be charged at N6.98 per transaction.

This was disclosed by the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria, Deolu Ogunbanjo, who described the charge as a step back from financial inclusion.

READ: USSD service suspension: FG wades in, resolving issues between MTN and banks

In an interview, he described the development as unacceptable, saying that such a burden should not be placed on subscribers.

He said, “Everything in telecoms that’s meant to put a smile on subscribers’ faces is now being eroded. Why should they increase the USSD transaction fee? It’s appalling and condemnable, and we’ll take it up with them.”

Similarly, the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers also frowned at the new USSD service charge. The National President, Sina Bilesanmi, explained that the charge was unacceptable and must be rejected by every bank account holder.

READ: How Ebola, Covid-19 affected MTN, Glo & the Nigerian telecoms industry

Sigma Pensions

He said, “It is exploitative and this dictatorial act must stop forthwith. I am amazed that the same CBN that was initially opposed to the unjustified increase in USSD service charge in 2019 now made the announcement of the hike.

“If the Central Bank of Nigeria and telecommunication companies do not revert to the previous rate, we shall institute legal action against them.”

What you should know

  • The development could be attributed to threats by banks to withdraw the USSD services rendered to Telco subscribers due to an outstanding debt of over N42 billion.
  • Series of meetings held among MTN, commercial banks and FinTechs to align on longer-term pricing structures on USSD services appeared inconclusive, according to Nairametrics.
  • This was also confirmed by the Telco giant in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Funso Aina on Thursday. According to the statement, which was seen by Nairametrics, MTN stated that the streamlining it undertook is international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels.

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