The views of the Nigerian Economic Society on the management of the country’s economy and the news that the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has lent its voice to the call for restructuring Nigeria are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Guardian reports that the Nigeria Economic Society (NES) yesterday declared that the nation’s economy was being destroyed due to non-inclusion of its members in the National Economic Management Team (NEMT).
Its President, Professor Sarah Anyanwu, who was accompanied by professors Peter Shibayan and Eyilola Olaniyi of the Department of Economics, University of Abuja, made the assertion during a visit to the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe.
They insisted that amateurs were destroying the nation’s economy, adding, “Nigeria’s economy is nose-diving because those handling it had little or no experience and knowledge of the economy.”
Their visit followed indications that the National Assembly might enact a law to, among other things, compel President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint its members into the NEMT.
They said they were not surprised at the parlous state of the nation’s economy since those managing it have little or no knowledge of how to revive the economy.
ThisDay says that despite the claim by the presidency that those calling for restructuring are threatening the corporate existence of the country, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has thrown its weight behind other regional socio-political groups and prominent Nigerians, calling for restructuring following what it described as the failure of the country.
There have been renewed agitations for the country to be restructured to avoid its break-up with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, joining the fray at the weekend.
Adeboye spoke at a symposium alongside the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke; and a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili.
The respected cleric had warned that it was either the country restructured as soon as possible or it broke up.
The newspaper reports that Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Wednesday confirmed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will begin issuance of visas to intending travelers from 8th of October.
Sirika in a tweet said: “UAE confirmed that they will begin issuance of Visas from 8th of October, 2020. Travelers to have a return ticket, hotel booking, negative PCR result & a Health insurance (similar to Schengen requirement). Health insurance can be paid through travel agents/airline.”
Recall that the Nigerian government recently agreed to lift the ban placed on Emirates from operating into and out of the country based on the undertaking by the authorities of the United Arabs Emirates (UAE).
Sirika had said that the commencement of the airline’s operations would, however, depend on the commencement of visa issuance by the UAE.
The Punch reports that President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday present the 2021 budget estimate at a Joint session of both chambers of the National Assembly.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, made the announcement at plenary on Tuesday. Lawan confirmed the receipt of a letter from the Buhari which he read to his colleagues.
The letter read in part, “May I crave the kind indulgence of the distinguished senate to grant me the slot of 11:00hrs on Thursday, 8th October, 2020, to formally present the 2021 Appropriation bill to the Joint Session of the National Assembly.
“While I look forward to addressing the joint session, please, accept Mr Senate President, the assurances of my highest regard.” Meanwhile the Senate will on Wednesday (today) consider the report of its committee on finance on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper which would be presented by the panel Chairman, Senator Solomon Adeola.
The Sun reports that the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), yesterday charged the Federal Government to provide necessary support that will ensure Nigeria’s candidate, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, gets the keenly contested position of Director General of World Trade Organisation.
The TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, said her emergence would reaffirm to the world that Nigerians, nay Africans are great people, a feat the world can confirm by the country’s exploits.
“Okonjo-Iweala needs no introduction both within and outside Nigeria. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a Development Economist, rose to occupy the number two position of Managing Director, Operations (2007–2011) after which she served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003–2006, 2011–2015),” he said.
He noted that the question is not whether she qualified or capable of handling the task, but the contest is an aspect of international politics and Nigerians must go all out to play it. He said, “Okonjo-Iweala is a renowned global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with decades of experience, having worked in about five continents.
The newspaper says that the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has emphasised the need for fiscal and monetary authorities to synergise to moderate domestic prices to a level conducive for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The chamber also lamented the high level of debt servicing which it noted was hindering robust investments in hard and soft infrastructure which are key to stimulating productivity and improving living standards.
President of the Chamber, Toki Mabogunje, made the disclosure at the briefing on the state of the economy noting that both the state and Federal Government need to promptly address the issue of food wastage responsible for food supply gap in the country.
Commending the various interventions of the fiscal and monetary interventions in reflating and supporting the economy, Mabogunje urged that special attention be given to sectors severely impacted by the pandemic, positing that the federal and state governments need to expeditiously redirect attention to these sectors including aviation, hospitality, entertainment and manufacturing, to protect jobs, preserve investment and provide the much-needed liquidity required to revive the sectors.