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Crisis rocks NANS as Southwest caucus disowns president

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From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

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 The leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), South West zone, has disowned the national president of the association, Mr Sunday Adedayo Asefon, describing him as a fraudster.

Chairmen of the association in Ondo, Ogun, Lagos and Oyo states who jointly addressed a press conference in Akure, on Wednesday called on the law enforcement agencies to arrest Asefon over alleged corruption.

NANS chairman, Lagos State, Mr Olalere Samuel Owoseni, who read the speech delivered by the students’ leaders, alleged that Asefon lacked the moral right and integrity to lead a progressive association like NANS.

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He alleged that Asefon had in the last one year of his leadership smeared the prestige and honour of NANS through corrupt acts.

He further alleged that Asefon who claimed to be a post graduate student of the Ekiti State University was rusticated by the management of the university during his undergraduate days due to alleged forgery of exams permit.

He challenged Asefon to produce his first degree certificate if he truly graduated from the Ekiti State University.

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Dare urges Information Ministry, FCT, others to include NYSC Museum in Museums, Monuments

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From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja 

Minister of Youth and Sports Developments, Sunday Dare, has made an appeal to the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, and the Federal Capital Territory Administration to facilitate the process of including the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Museum in the list of Museums and Monuments in the Country.

Dare spoke when he commissioned the NYSC Museum of Dynamic History on Tuesday in Abuja, expeessing joy to be associated with the pragmatic leadership of NYSC Director General, Majar-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, for many ground-breaking achievements.

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“It is worthy of note that with the complexities of today’s world and the quest for foreign culture, it has become necessary to seek ways to preserve our history and I believe that this may have informed the decision of NYSC Management to establish this Museum of dynamic history so as to preserve innovations, inventions, Arts, and artifacts of the Corps members and the Scheme in general.

“I am pleased to be associated with the pragmatic leadership of the Director General of the NYSC for this and many other ground-breaking achievements and I am highly honoured to commission this project which will serve as a centre for research and documentation – and in the long run, a source of income to the Scheme.

“I am delighted to be part of this memorable event in the history of the country and the NYSC at large. I commend the visionary leadership of the Scheme for not only remaining strong in the face of daunting challenges, but turning the challenges into opportunities which have continued to raise the Scheme to higher pedestal,” he said.

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Speaking earlier in his welcome address expressed confidence that the museum will be a valuable tool of reference and archive for researchers.

“My background as a Historian made me realize the need for the documentation of the activities of the Scheme. This gave rise to a number of activities. The establishment of the NYSC Museum therefore is a continuation of this process.

“The need for a museum as repository of historical and archival materials for an organization with such a rich history of close to five decades cannot be overemphasized. My background as a Historian made me realize the need for the documentation of the activities of the Scheme.

“It is our desire that individuals will find the Museum a valuable tool of reference while availing researchers useful materials on the contributions of the Scheme to the national development. We have equally written the relevant authorities for the museum to be listed among historical sites not only here in Abuja but the Country at large.

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The Director Planning, Research and Statistics, Ahmed Wada Ikaka, announced that the museum is the brainchild of the NYSC DG.

“The NYSC Museum of Dynamic History is the brain child of Maj Gen Ibrahim. This lofty idea was conceived to document and exhibit the rich history of the NYSC from inception till date. It is also aimed at projecting the future of the Scheme in order to consolidate on the achievements recorded over the years,” he said.

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2022 elections: NESG warns against economic stagnation

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From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), yesterday, warned that the political manipulations  of 2022, may relegate focus on the economy and lead to the stagnation of the nation’s economic recovery.

Speaking at the launch of the NESG 2022 Macroeconomic Outlook Report, Chairman of NESG, Asue Ighodalo noted that the  distractions will likely have the effect of amplifying the challenges experienced in 2021 if the government does not immediately move to stem the tide by implementing critical reforms.

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According to him,  the  policies that directly impact the welfare of citizens and the performance, sustainability and job-creating potentials of businesses, in the short term,  must be at the fore of government’s policies and actions in 2022.

The chairman also noted that  the research department of  NESG,  working with other panels of economists, produces  an Outlook Report that reviews the macroeconomic status of the country in the previous year, noting that the recent outlook provides an overview for the new year and suggests reform and policy recommendations geared at improving the nation’s macroeconomic climate;  creating an enabling environment  and catalysing inclusive growth.

“Election-related distractions will likely have the effect of amplifying the challenges experienced in 2021 if the government does not immediately move to stem the tide by implementing critical reforms.

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“We believe that policies that directly impact the welfare, gainful employment and safety of our citizens and the performance, sustainability and job-creating potentials of our businesses, in the short term,  must be at the fore of government policies and actions in 2022.

“Being a pre-election year, 2022 will likely come with its peculiarities. First, increased election spending could motivate a tighter monetary policy stance to curb inflationary pressures.

“Second, attention may shift from effective governance to outright politicking. The pace of decision-making usually slows down in a pre-election year and reform pronouncements and implementation become difficult.

“Third,  the philosophical and political battles which will ensue as each party seeks to choose its presidential candidate and then convince the citizens that they are the party that will form the best government, may relegate focus on the economy and lead to the stagnation of our recovery.

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“Each year, we tailor our recommendations to what we believe is in our country’s best interests – confident in the underlying analysis, and humbly assured that the consideration, acceptance and diligent implementation of some of these recommendations will yield a more stable and stronger macroeconomic environment” he said.

Ighodalo explained  that year 2021 marked the gradual recovery of the global economy from the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic, notwithstanding the emergence of multiple virus variants, adding that the recovery was largely attributable to determined and focused global vaccination campaigns and rollouts, despite the significant disparities across continents.

“In Africa, only about 15 per cent of the population have been vaccinated with 10 per cent fully vaccinated compared with the rates seen in the West (with 51 per cent fully vaccinated in Europe and 62 per cent in the United States) as of January 17, 2022.

“With our government’s effective management of the pandemic, fiscal boosters and the public/private sector response to COVID-19, the economy recovered by 0.5 per cent, 5 per cent, and 4 per cent in the first three quarters of 2021, despite our low vaccination rate.

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“However, our peculiar economic commodities gravely threaten a full economic rebound.

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“We continue to grapple with multiple macroeconomic challenges, exchange rate volatility, fiscal constraints, market distortions, high inflation, an unattractive investment environment (with security concerns at the core of investor reticence) as well as infrastructure deficits.

“The abatement of these impediments must be addressed with a sense of urgency, and the implementation of immediate economic reforms must be prioritised to promote higher productivity, achieve economic efficiency, and deepen inclusive development.

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“The World Bank estimates that an additional one million people were pushed into poverty in Nigeria between June and November 2021, resulting in a total of about 8 million people being relinquished to poverty in 2021 and bringing our nation’s poverty headcount to about 91 million.

“That is 91 million Nigerians afflicted by the ‘poverty virus’, which is every bit as deadly and more infectious than SARS COVID-19, judging by the numbers.

“In parallel with the persistent uncertainty and economic volatility that COVID-19 continues to unleash as new strains emerge, infection rates ebb and flow into 2022.

“Our recommendation, therefore, is that swift action is taken, preferably in the first quarter of this year.

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“As campaigns begin to kick off for the general elections in 2023, we must pay very careful attention to the candidates that the political parties present.

“We, the people of Nigeria, must carefully consider the capacities, track record and love of the country demonstrated by each of these candidates.

“Long-standing issues such as effective deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector, foreign exchange scarcity and pricing, export promotion, enhanced revenue generation without dampening entrepreneurial drive;  acceleration of economic diversification and patient quality investment into priority sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, social (education and  health), trade and information technology sectors, must be given the utmost attention in 2022.

“These issues, if properly dealt with, have immense capacity to propel economic growth, enable employment, reduce poverty, and start us on a new path to sustained development.

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“This year’s NESG Macroeconomic Outlook is themed: “The Last Mile: Reforms towards Significant Improvement in National Economic Outcomes”he stated.

In his remarks, NESG’s  Chief Executive  Officer,  Laoye Jaiyeola argued that  Nigeria cannot afford subsidy payments. He urged the government to map out ways of catering for over 40 million Nigerians who consume just 3 per cent of petroleum products insisting that  government should  liberalise oil and gas sector to be very competitive.   Resources  of subsidies, he advised, must be efficiently and judiciously spent.

He called for transparency and strengthening the framework of the oil and gas sector to ensure  that host communities  work with  investors in order for the country to produce Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) benchmark.

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