The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the African continent needed more fiscal stimulus to engender economic growth and recovery.
Okonjo-Iweala spoke at the UBA Africa Conversations 2021 with the theme: “Africa to the World,” held virtually to commemorate Africa Day on Tuesday in Lagos.
She noted that other developed countries were employing fiscal stimulus for economic growth recovery.
“On catalysing recovery and economic growth, aside from health investments, the next few actions, is to see on the short-term economic side, how we can get more fiscal stimulus into our economy.
“The developed countries are recovering very fast because they have been able to implement massive amount of fiscal stimulus.
”For the rich countries, 29 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, for the emerging markets, 6.9 per cent and for poorer countries, just about two per cent.
“This is the reason for the whole discussions on restricting debts and giving African economies fiscal space to breath so that they can invest not only on the health side but also on the economic side, this will help us recover.
“The good news is that all African presidents like President Kagame of Rwanda, have been pushing for issuance of new Special Drawing Rights at the International Monetary Fund and $650 billion has now been agreed.
”Out of the $650 billion, Africa will get $34bn but more may be allocated.
“We can use this to help prevent more fiscal stimulus so that our economies can have the ability to recover, of that we should use some for liquidity for the private sector,” Okonjo-Iweala said.
She also said there was a need to revive the services sector such as tourism, logistics and others to help the recovery plan of the continent.
Okonjo-Iweala said: “We need to look at how to revive the services sector, many of our countries depend on tourism, logistics and how to get those services revive using these resources is very important.
“In the long or medium term, we need to diversify our economy, we are too vulnerable to movement in commodity prices and it was evident during the pandemic, too much fluctuations in oil and gas and other sectors.
“Some countries in the continent that did better during the pandemic were those that had diversified economies.
“Also, we must take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) agreement. Movement of goods and people should be made easier to get the AfCTA to work,” Okonjo-Iweala added. (NAN)
Senate Confirms Appointment Of Cardoso, Others As CBN Governor And Deputies
The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of Yemi Cardoso as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and four others as Deputy Governors of the apex bank.
They were confirmed on Tuesday following a screening by the upper legislative body.
The deputy governors who were confirmed are Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello.
“The nomination of Olayemi Cardoso is hereby confirmed as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” Senate President Godswill Akpabio said.
Before their confirmation, the nominees had answered questions on matters related to economic and other policies.
During the screening, Cardoso promised to embrace compliance, assuring that under his leadership, the apex bank would remain apolitical.
“I believe that the Central Bank under our watch will have no choice but to embrace a culture of compliance,” he said.
“We will not wait for oversight to come and tell us what to do. We will ensure that by the time the system is passing through us, we catch it and we deal with it,” said Cardoso who promised zero tolerance for abuse of compliance.
“That is a cultural shift, a change in mindset, but we will make sure it happens,” the former Citibank Nigeria chairman assured.
Cardoso’s confirmation comes weeks after President Bola Tinubu nominated him as the acting CBN governor and four others as deputies.
He assumed office last week, replacing the then-acting governor of the CBN Folashodun Shonubi.
The recent appointments followed the suspension and resignation of Godwin Emefiele as the apex bank boss. The Delta-born began his reign in 2014 but got backlash owing to the naira redesign policy.
Emefiele, who was later arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) but released on bail, is being tried on an alleged N6.9b fraud.
Senate Screens CBN Governor, Deputies Today – Bamidele
The Senate will on Tuesday screen former Chairman of the Board of Citi Bank Nigeria, Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso for the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The senate will also screen four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, who will join forces with Cardoso to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.
In a statement by the Media Office of the Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, the senate will screen all the nominees following its resumption from its annual recess.
The statement said: “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will resume plenary on Tuesday, September 26. We will consider the screening of Dr. Cardoso at the Committee of the whole.
“Dr. Cardoso will be screened alongside four deputy governors namely Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.
“Besides, the Senate has scheduled to screen the ministerial nominees – Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim and Mr. Ayodele Olawande, respectively designated as Minister of Youth and Minister of State for Youth on October 3.”
On September 15, President Tinubu approved the nomination of Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He also approved the nomination of four deputy governors for a term of five years each at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
CBN Confirms Emefiele’s Resignation As Cardoso Assumes Office
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the resignation of Mr Godwin Emefiele as its governor, three months after being suspended from office by President Bola Tinubu.
Emefiele was thereafter quizzed by officials of the Department of State Service (DSS) who later charged him to court.
Following his suspension, the Federal Government appointed Mr Folashodun Shonubi, the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), to oversee the affairs of the apex bank.
In a statement by the Director of Information at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, the government said Emefiele’s suspension from office was due to an ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the economy’s financial sector.
However, on September 15, Tinubu nominated Olayemi Cardoso as the new CBN Governor, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.
“President Bola Tinubu has approved the nomination of Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate,” presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said in a statement.
Corroborating this, the apex bank issued a statement on Friday, announcing the assumption of office by the acting governor.
The bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, said Cardoso will act as governor pending his confirmation by the parliament.
“Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso, recently nominated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has on Friday, September 22, 2023, formally assumed duty, in an acting capacity, as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), pending his confirmation by the Senate. This follows the resignation of Mr. Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” the statement said.
The bank also said that the “Deputy-Governors-Designate have also assumed duty, in acting capacities, sequel to the formal resignation of Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu, and Dr. Kingsley Obiora as Deputy Governors of the CBN.”
Cardoso was the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria. He is a distinguished leader in the financial and development sectors with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit organisations.
With diverse corporate governance experience, Mr Cardoso has also sat on the boards of Nigerian subsidiaries of Texaco and Chevron and chaired the board of EFInA, a financial sector development organisation supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
He served in government as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State, where he championed the financial reform process which led to the state’s development of independent tax revenues.
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