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Restructuring will turnaround Nigeria’s economy, end insecurity – Peter Obi

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Peter Obi
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* Restructuring will not divide the Country

 

A former Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2019, Peter Obi says restructuring will boost the nation’s economy and end insecurity.

Obi said this on Tuesday at the fourth Adada Public Lecture organised by the Association of Nsukka Professors (ANP) at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

He said with restructuring, governors would look inward to make their states productive, while state, local and community police would be set up to tackle criminality within their areas.

“It is unfortunate that some governors believe in going to Abuja monthly to get federal allocation from proceeds of oil.

They have forgotten the price of oil in the international market has depreciated and will continue to depreciate.

“No developed country in the world depends on crude oil but they invest in their children, agriculture and encourage small and medium enterprises by giving out soft loans and other incentives.

“There is urgent need to restructure the country for the economy to grow to desired level,” said Obi, a former governor of Anambra.

According to him, some Nigerians should stop misleading others that restructuring is a deliberate plan to divide the country

“Rather, it should be seen as a move to build the ailing economy and restore adequate security in the country,” he said.

Obi further said that restructuring would also help to ensure adequate funding of primary and post-primary schools as well as higher institutions.

“We should invest in our children’s education, which is greater than any price of crude oil in the  international market.

“Restructuring the country will bring out the comparative advantage of every state and  our natural resources that are lying waste will be fully harnessed to boost state economy,” he said.

Obi also said that restructuring would enable states to make robust investment in agriculture, achieve food security and create more employment opportunities.

“In  the 1960s and 1970s, agriculture was the major foreign exchange earner for the country.

“In the North, we had groundnut pyramid, in the West we had cocoa and the East had palm oil and Nigeria was among the best economies in the world.

“Today, Netherland as a country uses its exports from agricultural products and flowers to get billions of dollars in foreign exchange to sustain its economy,” he said.

Obi thanked ANP for finding him worthy to deliver the lecture with the topic, “Restructuring, Security Challenges and Development”.

He urged professors and lecturers in the country to use their wealth of knowledge to convince Nigerians on the urgent need to restructure the country.

In a remark, Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa, the Chairman of the occasion, described the lecture topic as timely and “could not have come at a better time than now the country is going through serious security challenges.

“The topic of the lecture is not only apt but offers opportunity to speak directly on problems of insecurity, weak economic base, fragile democracy, dependence on oil, corruption and unemployment, among others.

“I commend ANP for organising this lecture and urge it to explore all  areas of life necessary for growth and development of the country,” Ohaa said.

Prof. Charles Igwe, the Vice Chancellor of UNN, thanked the ANP for organising the lecture that would proffer solutions to some national challenges.

“What ANP has done today is laudable because, as professors, the society is looking up to you all to provide ideas  that will  solve their problems.

“I commend you all for choosing UNN as venue for the occasion and bringing Nigeria’s finest astute businessman and technocrat in the person of Obi as the guest lecturer,” he said.

Earlier, the President of the association, Prof. Osy Okanya, said the group provided the platform for an intellectual discourse on various contextual issues that challenged society and the economy.

NAN

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Business & Economy

We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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CBN Halts 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the circular directing banks to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions in the country.

The CBN announced this in a revised circular dated May 17, 2024.

The circular was addressed to commercial banks, Payment Service Providers (PSPs), non-interest, and merchant banks, among others.

It was signed by the CBN Director of Payment Systems Management, Chibuzor Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”The withdrawal of the circular on the cybersecurity levy followed its suspension by President Bola Tinubu.

it would be recalls that Tinubu suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers on May 14.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, who made this known while speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, disclosed that Tinubu directed the CBN to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for the implementation of the levy.

Idris added that the levy was thoroughly discussed at the FEC meeting, saying the president was not oblivious to the feelings of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that CBN, in a circular dated May 6, directed banks to start charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transfers.

The apex bank stated that the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

This was greeted with wide condemnations by Nigerians, with many groups and individuals calling for the immediate reversal of the levy.

The House of Representatives also asked the CBN to withdraw the directive.

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