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Financial expert tasks policy makers on economic growth



Financial expert tasks policy makers on economic growth
By Mustapha Sumaila
Abuja, Feb 15, 2019 (NNN) A financial expert, Mr Tony Edeh, on Friday urged policy makers to focus on creating better economic policies that would aggressively drive the growth of the economy.
Edeh, the Managing Director of Norrenberger Financial Group, said this while reacting to the 2.38 per cent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Abuja.
He explained that if the country successfully conducted the 2019 general elections, there was need for policy makers to come up with robust policies to sustain the growth of the economy.
He said effective policies geared towards continuous diversification of the economy, domestication of manufacturing materials, formalisation of the non-oil sector and a stronger concentration on tax legislation would help to strengthen the economy.
According to him, the 2.38 per cent growth of the last quarter of 2018 indicates a significant growth in the economy and the strongest recorded in more than four years.
“Although it is less than what both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) projected.
“This is a much better performance compared to the year before. However, this growth could be attributed to the heavy spending during the festive period and preparations for the 2019 elections.
“Nigeria is the biggest oil producer in Africa and we have depended on the oil sector for a long time.
“This 2.70 per cent growth in the non-oil sector indicates that the plan to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil is starting to pick up as we note significant growth especially in Agriculture and Construction,” he explained.
The financial expert said the negative growth of -1.62 per cent, showed that when compared to previous year, the country produced and earned less than it did in 2018.
“This also can majorly be attributed to the continuous decline in the price of crude oil. This downward pressure on oil is attributable to an increase in global oil inventory implying excess supply over demand.
“In addition, the Trump’s administration’s push for lower oil prices may also dampen the excitement of the global oil market.
This price softening could seriously affect the high growth we just recently experienced over the next quarters. However, with current geo-political issues arising around Venezuela and Iran, prices may slightly stabilise in the future. (NNN)
Edited by Salif Atojoko


RB Leipzig get financial boost with 100-million-euro debt relief



RB Leipzig have been given a huge financial boost by backer Red Bull in the form of debt relief tallying 100 million euros (113 million dollars) for the 2018/2019 financial year.

“At first glance it looks like there is no return for Red Bull’s move —– but that’s not the case,” RB Leipzig finance director Florian Hopp told dpa on Saturday.

“It is a transaction that is completely common, especially in the private sector but also in the football industry and also in the Bundesliga.’’

Hopp said it was not a donation and Red Bull would be entitled to a preferential dividend.

He admitted it was a good financial move for the club in the coronavirus crisis.

But Hopp pointed out that any perception RB Leipzig suddenly had 100 million euros more in their account was wrong.

RB Leipzig have surged through the German lower leagues to become a regular contender at the top of the Bundesliga, thanks to the backing of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

“Increasing salaries and improving infrastructure made the deal necessary,’’ said Hopp.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi (NAN)

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Hong Kong’s status as int’l financial center not to be affected: HKEX chief




Chief Executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) Charles Li said on Friday that Hong Kong‘s status as an international financial center will not be affected by the national security legislation for Hong Kong or the sanctions threatened by the United States.

Hong Kong‘s success is largely hinged upon the unique construct known as “one country, two systems,” which remains unequivocally in line with China‘s developmental interests, he said, pointing out that the national security legislation aims at safeguarding Hong Kong‘s long-term stability and “one country, two systems.”

Li also noted that the national security legislation is unlikely to bring about any meaningful changes to the fundamentals of Hong Kong‘s international financial market or to the way it operates.

Li pointed out that Hong Kong is “unfortunately being used as a political football” by the United States against China and the national security legislation for Hong Kong is just a “convenient pretext.”

However, he noted that preliminary consensus is emerging that the impact of the United States revoking Hong Kong‘s special trade status would actually be quite manageable.

As stated by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan in his blog last week, the annual amount of local manufactured goods exported to the United States accounts for less than 2 percent of Hong Kong‘s manufacturing output and less than 0.1 percent of total export value, Li said.

“It may be that the United States is actually hurt harder than Hong Kong as the United States‘s trade surplus with Hong Kong in the last decade has been among the biggest of all its trading partners, totaling almost 300 billion United States dollars,” he added.

Hong Kong has the most critical elements for any international financial center, including the free flow of capital and information, an established and trusted rule of law, internationally accepted language and cultural norms, proximity to large economies and abundant capital, Li said.

“In this regard, it is hard to see that the United States has the real motivation, or the appropriate tools to systematically undermine Hong Kong without also creating serious collateral damage for its own shores and its allies’ interests.”

Looking beyond the current challenges, Hong Kong will continue to play a major role, anchored in the mainland, in connecting with the world and meeting the needs of those in both the East and West, he said. “This is not the end of Hong Kong as some may fear, (but) only another of its many reinventions.”


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eTranzact explains delay in submission of 2019 financial statement



eTranzact International Plc on Friday apologised to its shareholders and stakeholders for failure to submit 2019 Audited Financial Statements (AFS) within the required framework.

The company apologised in a statement by Chidinma Onwubere, its Company Secretary, pasted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website.

Onwubere, however, expressed optimism that the 2019 AFS would be submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on or before June 10.

She attributed the delay to the inability of the External Auditors to conclude on their review work, due to delayed third party confirmation during the initial period of extension granted because of COVID-19 pandemic.

Onwubere noted that the company hand been unable to submit its 2019 AFS to the Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within the required framework.

“The development was unforeseen as the company expected to finalise the audit and publish the 2019 AFS by the stipulated deadline of May 29, 2020.

“The delay was as a result of the inability of the External Auditors to conclude on their review work, as a result of delayed third party confirmation during the initial period of extension granted due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is in view of the fact that the External Auditors needed to gain sufficient evidence on some significant disclosures and subsequent events, to enable the issuance of the audit opinion.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and we are optimistic to submit the 2019 AFS to The Exchange on or before June 10, 2020,” she said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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Lebanon to create fund to support local SMEs with financial problems




Lebanon will create a fund to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) amid the current economic deterioration and the lay-off of more than 100,000 employees in the country, LBCI local TV channel reported on Thursday.

Ibrahim Kanaan, a member of the parliament and also head of the Finance and Budget Parliamentary Committee, said after a meeting of the committee that the ministries have approved such suggestion since the current situation is very dangerous.

The labor and economy ministries agreed to prepare statistics about the institutions that were heavily impacted by nationwide protests that started on Oct. 17, 2019, and COVID-19 outbreak.

The fund will be financed by international institutions and the Lebanese expats who are willing to help local businesses.

Lebanon has been going through a tough economic and financial situation amid severe shortage in U.S. currency which led to the bankruptcy of thousands of businesses and the lay-off of thousands of employees.


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Financial autonomy will radically transform state judiciary – Ex-NBA chairman



Mallam Manzuma Issa, a former Chairman of the Ilorin Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), on Thursday said financial autonomy for state judiciary would ensure rapid improvement in justice delivery.

Issa stated this while reacting to the Executive Order 10 recently issued by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, the signing of  Order 10 will bring efficient and effective service delivery.

“I think over time, the challenge of judiciary at every level is inadequate funding in the system.

“I think the story at the federal level has changed because money due to the judiciary is paid to the National Judicial Commission (NJC) for onward disbursement to the head of various courts.

“But the story has not changed at the state level; dilapidated building, lack of computers and libraries and other facilities are still major challenges.

With the signing of the Executive Order  10 by the president on May 20, 2020, we believe as the funding of the system improves, there will radical transformation in the system and rapid improvement that would bring efficient and effective service delivery.

” What the governors are saying is that Nigeria is a federation and even if the Section 5 of the constitution gives the president the power to defend the constitution, it has to do with the federal judiciary, not the state judiciary.

“In an ideal democracy, this is right. But governors also would have to implement the provisions of the constitution.

“Governor should have power to implement that section of the provision as it regards the state judiciary.

“The provisions of the constitution are mandatory. It does not need approval. It is self implemented.

“In a federation, the money due to the state must be paid into its account and it is the responsibility of the governor to disburse accordingly because funding  is the responsibility of the governor.

“In those days, the judiciary used to be  on the first line charge from the consolidated revenue account of the state, the money due to the judiciary is credited to the account of the head of court for effective running of the system.

“But unfortunately today, we are not running an ideal democracy.

” There is nothing wrong if the president is funding the federal judiciary and the state governors are funding those in states by virtue of the 1999 constitution,” he said.

Edited By: Mufutau Ojo (NAN)

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China vows consistent financial policy to curb housing speculation — Central Bank



China says it will maintain a consistent and stable policy on real estate finance and avoid using the property sector to generate a short-term stimulus to the economy, according to a central bank report.

The country would continue to stick to the principle that “houses are for living in, not speculation,” said the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, in the report on the country’s regional financial operation in 2019.

Home prices across the country remained generally stable in 2019, price indices of new and previously owned houses in first-tier cities rose slightly last year, with their year-on-year monthly expansion peaking at 4.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the growth pace of price indices for new and resold homes in second-and third-tier cities witnessed a marked decrease in 2019.

In its efforts to implement a long-term mechanism for real estate finance, the PBOC stressed the importance of improving the system of government housing support and maintaining the steady and sound development of the property market in the country.

While curbing housing speculation, China will also implement city-specific policies in the sector, according to this year’s government work report.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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Indian state Maharashtra crosses mark of 70,000 COVID-19 cases, financial capital Mumbai crosses 40,000 mark




India’s western state of Maharashtra and the state’s political capital Mumbai crossed the 70,000 and 40,000 marks of confirmed COVID-19 cases respectively, as per the official update late on Monday.

Maharashtra is the worst affected Indian state accounting for close to 38 percent or 70,013 cases in the country, while India’s financial capital Mumbai has now turned into the epic center accounting for over 22 percent or 40,877 cases in India.

The death toll in the state rose to 2,362 after 76 more fatalities including 40 from Mumbai were reported in the past 24 hours.

Several districts in the state with nil cases have seen a spike in cases due to reverse migration from urban hubs like Mumbai and Pune back to their native homes during the past two months of the lockdown.

The western state had extended its lockdown by further one more month till June 30 with some relaxations but the under-funded health care infrastructure and poor living conditions in the city’s slums have acted as a boost to the spread of virus.

To further add to the stress, the coastal districts of the state including Mumbai city are on high alert due to the in-coming cyclone, which is closing in and expected to land on Wednesday evening.

India’s federal health ministry on Monday morning reported 230 new deaths from the COVID-19 and 8,392 more positive cases cross the country, taking the number of deaths to 5,394 and total cases to 190,535.


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Ebonyi indigenes in Diaspora demand  probe of state’s financial records



The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has urged  the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to embark on  comprehensive probe of the state’s  financial records in the last 16 years.
AESID Chairman,  Mr Pascal Oluchukwu, said this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
Oluchukwu said the probe became necessary due to alleged mismanagement of a N2 billion agricultural loan secured by the current administration from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the 2016 farming season.
AESID as a non-governmental organisation whose mandate is to protect and safeguard the interests and welfare of the common Ebonyi people, strongly believe that the state will  be saved from an impending economic doom, if its financial records are holistically ascertained.
“And offenders who have plundered its resources made to face the wraths of the law.
“There exist in our beloved state, many  contracts and projects which have remained uncompleted several years after they were awarded till date,  while the contractors obviously live large on public funds meant for their executions.
“Also, many funds, grants and loans given the state which are still being repaid as debts,  have remained largely unaccounted for.
“This has severely hampered developments on all fronts in critical sectors in the state such as education, health, agriculture, economic and human capacity developments and empowerment, youths and sports development among several others,”he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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General news

Financial Autonomy: Presidential committee tasks governors on strict compliance




The Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy for Judiciary and Legislature,  has urged governors to comply with the Executive Order 10.

This it said would enable effective implementation of the financial autonomy of  states’ Legislature and Judiciary guaranteed by the Executive Order 10.

The Committee’s Secretary, Sen. Ita Enang stated this whiel speaking with newsmen on Sunday  in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Executive Order 10, was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari  for the implementation of autonomy of the two arms of government; the state legislature and the judiciary.

The  Executive Order 10,  granted  financial autonomy to the 36 state Houses of Assembly and its Judiciary.

The executive order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory that all states of the federation should include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.

Enang said that the financial autonomy would  facilitate development and promote financial accountability at states level.

Enang, who is also the  Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, said that the greatest challenge in Nigeria’s democracy  today was wastage at the state level, hence the need to address it.

He said that the Executive Order no 10 would guarantee financial transparency in states.

According to Enang,  one important feature of the financial autonomy is that all the three arms of government will prepare their budget together; they will know what the state government has and what it do not have.

“In the budgeting process, they will know how much each of the arms of government will use in settling salaries and allowances of the legislators, paying their aids, legislative staff and office maintenance, among others.

“The governors will no longer be responsible for their expenses, it will also make the house of assembly responsive.

“So; what the president is doing is to ensure that each state house of assembly is independent not for the purpose of attacking the governors but for the purpose of checking the executive and making  government more responsible and responsive to the yearnings of the people, and development will be faster.

“The governors will know that the judiciary is independent and same with the legislature, these arms of the government need not to get approval from the governors in order to execute their respective duties,” he added.

The secretary also said that the provision stipulated that the governors upon receipt of money due to any arm of government in the consolidated revenue fund of the state from the federation account and internally generated revenue,  should remit same to the respective arms.

“But where any governor fails to remit the money due to the arms, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) will deduct that amount standing to the credit of that state in the federation account and remit directly to arms concerned.

“It is important to emphasise that this deduction is not the first line action, but it is only applicable when one arm of the government is oppressed.

“We are confident that none of the 36 states will in any manner deprive their state legislature or judiciary of the fund that is due to them.

“The implementation committee will be very conciliatory and respectful of the powers of each arm of government at the states level and the powers and privileges of the governors,” Enang said.

He, therefore, advised that all the arms of government at state levels should ensure  they followed the practice that had been at the federal level for proper accountability.

The state Houses of Assembly should follow the process that goes on in the National Assembly, be as independent, inter dependent and consultative as the national assembly is with the executive,  then we will have the best democracy.”

The Presidential Implementation Committee was constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the state legislature and judiciary in compliance with Section 121 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Section 121 (3) of the 1999 Constitution states: “Any amount standing to the credit of the judiciary in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State shall be paid directly to the heads of the courts concerned.”

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma (NAN)





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