Connect with us

Business

IMF Raises Nigeria’s Growth Prospects

Published

on

IMF Raises Nigeria's Growth Prospects

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees an increase in Nigeria’s growth prospect to 2.6 per cent and 2.7 per cent for 2021 and 2022, respectively.

But the IMF envisages this increase despite reducing the rate of global growth prospect due to the COVID-19 Delta variant.

In the October 2021 World Economic Outlook Report, which was released on Tuesday, the growth forecast for Nigeria was originally pegged at 2.5 per cent in 2021 and 2.6 per cent in 2022.

However, in view of the 3.7 per cent 2021 and 2022 growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is 1.1 per cent behind in 2021 and one per cent behind in 2022.

Despite the slight positive outlook for Nigeria, the IMF has slightly downgraded global growth projections for 2021.

The projection for 2021 was downgraded by 0.1 percentage points to 5.9 per cent, while the global growth forecast for 2022 remained unchanged at 4.9 per cent.

The IMF justifies this, stating that supply chain disruptions negatively affected recovery in the advanced economies, while lack of access to Covid-19 vaccines held back prospects for the emerging economies.

The Economic Counsellor/Director of Research, IMF, Gita Gopinath, said risks to the economy had increased due to the Delta variant, with the pandemic disrupting supply chains and fuelling inflation.

READ ALSO: Govt To Borrow More To Fund N6tr Deficit In 2022 Budget

She said: “The momentum has weakened, hobbled by the pandemic. Fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant, the recorded global recovery continues but the COVID-19 death toll has risen close to five million and health risks abound, holding back a full return to normalcy.

“Pandemic outbreaks in critical links of global supply chains have resulted in longer-than-expected supply disruptions, further feeding inflation in many countries. Overall, risks to economic prospects have increased, and policy trade-offs have become more complex.”

Gopinath added that the outlook for the low-income developing country group had darkened considerably due to worsening pandemic dynamics.

She said the downgrade also reflected more difficult near-term prospects for the advanced economy group, in part due to supply disruptions.

“Partially offsetting these changes, projections for some commodity exporters have been upgraded on the back of rising commodity prices. Pandemic-related disruptions to contact-intensive sectors have caused the labour market recovery to significantly lag the output recovery in most countries,” Gopinath added.

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Business

Buhari Launches Digital Currency eNaira

Published

on

Buhari Launches Digital Currency eNaira

President Muhammadu Buhari has launched Nigeria’s digital currency eNaira .

The eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work by the Central Bank of Nigeria in advancing the boundaries of the payment system in order to make financial transactions easier for every stratum of society.

The launch was described by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, as the first in Africa and one of the earliest around the world.

READ ALSO: Govt Unveils Digital Currency eNaira

Emefiele said: “Mr President, today you make history, yet again, with the launch of the eNaira – the first in Africa and one of the earliest around the world.

“Mr. President, as you make groundbreaking reforms, there has been continuing debate on the true value of the Naira.

“Rather than worry today on the direction of the exchange rate, let us take a step back and analyse how we got here in the first place.”

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

Business

World Bank Blacklists 18 Nigerians, Firms Over Alleged Corrupt Practices

Published

on

World Bank Blacklists 18 Nigerians, Firms Over Alleged Corrupt Practices

The World Bank has blacklisted 18 Nigerian individuals and firms for engaging in corrupt practices, fraud and collusive practices, a new report has revealed.

A list of debarred individuals and firms was presented in a new annual report titled, ‘World Bank Group Sanctions System FY21.’

The debarments were made by the World Bank Sanctions Board, World Bank Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The debarments made by AfDB were recognised by the World Bank, making the affected firms to be barred under cross-debarment policy.

Based on the World Bank Sanctions Board’s decision, Mr. Elie Abou Ghazaleh and Mr. Fadi Abou Ghazaleh, alongside their firm, Abou Ghazaleh Contracting Nigeria Limited, were debarred for six months for collusive practices.

Based on the decision of the World Bank Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer, a Nigerian firm, Swansea Tools Resources, was debarred for fraudulent practices for two years and 10 months.

Referred to under Sanctions Case No 651, it was disclosed that the firm misrepresented its past experience in its bid for a road maintenance contract.

“The SDO determined that the respondent, a Nigerian firm, engaged in a fraudulent practice by misrepresenting its past experience in its bid for a road maintenance contract under a state employment and expenditure project in Nigeria. The SDO imposed on the respondent a debarment with conditional release for a minimum period of two years and 10 months. As a mitigating factor, the SDO considered the respondent’s limited cooperation with investigators, noting that the respondent produced documents and agreed to be interviewed but did not accept responsibility for the misconduct,” it said.

Another Nigerian firm, Juckon Construction and Allied Services Nigeria Limited, was debarred for three years over corrupt practices. Referred to under Sanctions Case No 649, it was disclosed that the firm made improper payment to a public official.

“The SDO determined that the respondent, a Nigerian firm, engaged in a corrupt practice by making an improper payment to a public official in connection with the award and/or execution of two waste management and refuse collection contracts under a state employment and expenditure project in Nigeria. The SDO imposed on the respondent a debarment with conditional release for a minimum period of four years,” the report said.

A Nigerian, Ms. Okafor Glory, was debarred for fraudulent practices for four years, while the firm involved, Unique Concept Enterprises, was debarred for five years for same reason.

READ ALSO: Govt Unveils Digital Currency eNaira

“The matter which involved Ms. Glory and the firm, Unique Concept Enterprises, was presented under Sanctions Case No 691.

“The SDO determined that the respondents, a Nigerian firm and a Nigerian citizen, engaged in fraudulent practices by submitting false documents in connection with two refuse collection and disposal contracts under a state employment and expenditure project in Nigeria. In particular, the SDO found that: (i) the corporate respondent submitted a falsified income tax clearance certificate in its bids for the contracts; and (ii) both respondents submitted a falsified advance payment guarantee in connection with the execution of one of the contracts.

“The SDO imposed on the corporate respondent a debarment with conditional release for a minimum period of five years. On the individual respondent, the SDO imposed a debarment with conditional release for a minimum period of four years. As aggravating factors, the SDO considered that (i) the corporate respondent engaged in a repeated pattern of misconduct, and (ii) the individual respondent was the managing director of the corporate respondent,” it said.

Another Nigerian firm, Asbeco Nigeria Limited, was debarred for five years for corrupt practices.The matter which involved Asbeco Nigeria was presented under Sanctions Case No 675.

“The SDO determined that the respondent, a Nigerian firm, engaged in corrupt practices in connection with an erosion control contract under an erosion and watershed management project in Nigeria.

Specifically, the SDO found that the respondent (i) made a payment of N2m (approximately $12,000) to the project’s engineer to influence his actions in connection with the procurement and/or execution of the contract, and (ii) made a facilitation payment of N50,000 (approximately $160) to the project’s cashier to influence her actions in connection with the execution of the same contract.

“The SDO imposed on the respondent a debarment with conditional release for a minimum period of five years. In determining this sanction, the SDO considered as aggravating factors the respondent’s (i) engagement in a repeated pattern of corrupt activity and (ii) interference with INT’s investigation, noting in particular that the respondent engaged in acts intended to materially impede the exercise of the Bank’s contractual audit rights,” the report stated.

Based on the World Bank’s Sanctions Board Decision, A.G. Vision Construction Nigeria Limited, was debarred for fraudulent practices and collusive practices for four years and six months.

Not included in the report is a recent debarment of a Nigerian consultant, Mr Salihu Tijani, who is a consultant for the National Social Safety Nets Project- a project designed to ensure cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria.
Tijani was barred for 38 months for engaging in corrupt practices.

Aside from the firms mentioned, there are some firms that were debarred by other multilateral organisations under cross-debarment, which made them to be debarred by the World Bank.

Sangtech International Services Limited; Sangar & Associates (Nigeria) Limited; Mashad Integrated and Investment Co Limited; and Medniza Global Merchants Limited were debarred by the AfDB for two years under cross-debarment recognised by the World Bank.

ALG Global Concept Nigeria Limited; Abuharaira Labaran Gero; Qualitrends Global Solutions Nigeria Limited; and Maxicare Company Nigeria Limited were debarred by the AfDB for three years under cross-debarment recognised by the World Bank.

In his opening message in the report, the President of World Bank Group, David Malpass, stated that the bank had granted over $157 billion to assist developing countries, emphasising the need for integrity and transparency standards in public finance.

“Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed more than $157bn in critical assistance to developing countries. The crisis has required us to be rapid and innovative in mobilising this historic support.

“Yet, for these resources to have the needed development impact on the hundreds of millions of people who live in extreme poverty, we must ensure that resources are used efficiently, effectively, and for their intended purposes. And that means remaining vigilant to the scourge of corruption and ensuring that we promote the highest integrity and transparency standards in public finance,” he said.

He further highlighted some of the consequences of corruption, which he said could be devastating.
“The negative impacts of corruption on lives and livelihoods are well known. Corruption diverts scarce development dollars from the people who need them most and corrodes the systems and services that are integral for reducing extreme poverty.

“Entrenched corruption also comes with greater economic costs for countries, as it distorts public expenditures and leads to inefficient allocations of financing away from productive investments toward rent-seeking activities. And corruption increases the costs of doing business and deters foreign investors from entering new markets.

“As the world moves toward recovering from the pandemic’s damaging impacts, these costs can also restrict the private sector, which plays an important role in revitalizing economic growth and development in our client countries,” Malpass added.

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

Business

Govt Unveils Digital Currency eNaira

Published

on

Govt Unveils Digital Currency eNaira

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to formally unveil the digital currency, eNaira, today Monday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday said the president would perform the unveiling ceremony inside the State House, Abuja.

“Following a series of engagements with relevant stakeholders including the banking community, fintech operators, merchants and a cross-section of Nigerians, the CBN designed the digital currency, which shall be activated on Monday, October 25, 2021.

READ ALSO: CBN Postpones Launch Of Digital Currency eNaira

“The eNaira, therefore, marks a major step forward in the evolution of money and the CBN is committed to ensuring that the eNaira, like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone.”

The statement revealed that the theme of the eNaira is ‘Same Naira, more possibilities,’ and that more details could be accessed on enaira.gov.ng.

It also said the unveiling marked the first step in that journey, which would continue with a series of further modifications, capabilities and enhancements to the platforms.

“Since the eNaira is a new product, and among the first CBDCs in the world, we have put a structure to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira,” the CBN said.

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

Top Stories

%d bloggers like this: