Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said African continent needs partnership that will help to tackle climate change, address security concerns, promote economic prosperity, combat disease and improve governance.
Prof. Osinbajo said this in a Special Address delivered at the virtual edition of the 2022 World Economic Forum featuring leaders from across the world.
The VP was chosen to deliver one of the 12 Special Addresses at this year’s event. In all, about 25 Heads of State and Government featured generally at the virtual forum since Monday.
A statement issued by the VP Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said the 2022 virtual edition of the forum features a mix of visionary “state of the world” special addresses and ambitious high-level leadership panels focusing on critical collective challenges, among others.
Osinbajo listed some of the progress on the African continent, including the recovery from the global pandemic, economic growth by 3.7% last year and a projected 3.8% growth in 2022. He also noted that there is now in place an African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to fast-track economic transformation just as the continent is making giant strides in agriculture, manufacturing and digital technology. He added that in Nigeria for instance, 6 unicorns have emerged in the past six years.
Prof. Osinbajo who spoke on a wide range of issues noted that it was time for the international community to “walk the talk” by meeting its commitments towards advancing growth in developing economies, especially climate changes obligations.
On peace and security, the Vice President said “African countries face a serious threat of terrorism arising from the encroachment of global terror groups and their franchises into Africa.
“It is imperative for the international community to make more robust interventions to clear terrorists from Africa just as it did in the Middle East and other parts of the world. The United Nations Security Council must find unanimity in working with and assisting African countries to eradicate the menace of terrorism in the continent once and for all.”
On the climate change challenge, Prof. Osinbajo noted that “it is now common knowledge that Africa contributes least to climate change but has been most negatively affected by it. We must not allow this worrying situation to be compounded further by global inaction, processes and rules that make it difficult for Africa to adapt to climate change or indeed to develop.”
He then urged “the international community to meet its pledge recently re-affirmed at COP-26 of providing $100 billion annually in climate finance to support climate change efforts in developing countries.”
Continuing, the VP explained that “although we in Africa are working towards the globally accepted net-zero future, we are also conscious that our energy needs are increasing with the growth in our economies.
“We need to ramp up energy access in response to this situation which is why the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies must be just and fair.”
“We are emphatic in our view that natural gas which Africa has in abundance must be accepted as a transition fuel. Moves in the international community especially by development finance institutions to defund gas projects will have severe implications in the medium to long-term for African economies and will slow down the process of phasing out more polluting fuels such as coal, diesel, and heavy fuel oil (HFO),” he added.
In addition to climate finance, the Vice President called for partnership to tackle poverty, access vaccinations and achieve debt sustainability.
“Economic recovery in Africa is contingent on the containment of the pandemic including through wide-spread vaccinations. Right now, less than 10% of African countries have vaccinated 40% of their population.
“The reality is that due to resource constraints, there will be a relatively slow rollout of vaccinations in Africa and that full national rollouts may take several years.
“The international community must accordingly support Africa with the resources including vaccine doses that will assist in making vaccinations available to all,” Prof. Osinbajo emphasized.
Another point made by the VP in his special address was the call on the international community to support African countries overcome fiscal challenges arising from their limited revenues.
According to Prof. Osinbajo, “the creation of $650 billion in new Special Drawing Rights last year was a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to enable African and other developing countries access the SDRs that are not needed or being used by developed or emerging economies.”
The Vice President also urged multilateral organizations to consider the huge obligations placed on African countries and adopt debt relief initiatives such as the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and the Common Framework for Debt Treatments in a manner that will not further constrain the resumption of growth to the continent.
With regard to governance, Prof. Osinbajo called on the international community to support the efforts of West African leaders under the auspices of ECOWAS particularly, their condemnation of the incidences of coup d’etats and unconstitutional changes in government.
Court convicts eight Yahoo boys, recovers N60m duplex, exotic cars
A Federal High Court in Ilorin has convicted one David Oluseyi Ajewole, based in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, over offences bordering on internet fraud.
The convict is to forfeit a duplex, situated in Lekki, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos, worth over N60 million.
According to the presiding judge, Justice Muhammed Sani, Ajewole is also to forfeit RS 350 Lexus car worth over N6 million, which the convict procured with proceeds of his illegal activities, to the Federal Government.
Ajewole was prosecuted alongside seven others over similar offence by the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The seven others are Ebenezer Apata, Obadun Taofeek, Ayeni Kayode, Alade Daniel, Ojo Tobi, Adeyemi Segun and Akinrinmola Olumide, all from Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states.
The convicts pleaded guilty to their charges.
Upon the guilty plea entered by the defendants, the prosecutors, Innocent Mbachie, Sesan Ola and Andrew Akoja ,reviewed the facts of the cases and narrated the circumstances surrounding the convicts’ arrest.
They tendered several materials recovered from the accused persons at the point of arrest and were all admitted as evidence.
The counsel urged the court to consider the guilty plea of the defendants, their extrajudicial statements and evidence, as well as the provisions of the law in convicting them as charged.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the convicts were among the 30 fraudsters arrested by EFCC operatives during a sting operation in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on April 26.
Only Adeyemi Segun was arrested in Ogbomosho Area of Oyo State in October 2021.
BREAKING: Naira Falls Massively As CBN Raises Interest Rates, See New Exchange Rate
Naira has fallen massively as CBN raises interest rates, See New Exchange Rate below.
Naijaonpoint reports that the exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar closed at N419/$1 at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, where forex is traded officially.
Naira recorded a 0.32% against the US dollar to close at N419/$1 compared to N420.33/$1 recorded as of the close of trading activities on Monday, 23rd May 2022. Also, a total of $87.06 million in FX exchanged hands in the market on Tuesday, representing a 15.69% increase compared to $75.25 million traded in the previous session.
Exchange rate at the peer-to-peer market declined by 0.32% to trade at $608.12 on Wednesday morning, compared to N606.2/$1 recorded as of the same time the previous day. The downturn in the market is following the hawkish move of the apex bank in raising interest rates.
The Nigerian Central Bank raised the benchmark interest rate (MPR) to 13% on Tuesday after the MPC meeting, after 2 years of adopting a low-interest rate regime, in response to the 2020 economic recession. However, with the rising inflation numbers, the apex bank has joined other country apex banks in raising interest rates in a bid to curb the inflationary pressure.
Meanwhile, the exchange rate at the parallel market closed at N605/$1 on Tuesday, a 0.17% downturn compared to N604/$1 recorded in the previous trading session. Recall that the exchange rate fell sharply last week as FX liquidity tightened in the market. This is according to information obtained from BDCs operating in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s external reserves depreciated further by 0.26% on Monday to stand at $38.65 billion from $38.75 billion recorded as of the previous day. The decline in the external reserve level can be attributed to the continuous intervention by the Central Bank in the FX market in order to ensure the stability of the local currency.
Trading at the official NAFEX window
Naira gained against the US dollar on Tuesday, with a 0.32% appreciation to close at N419/$1 compared to N420.33/$1 recorded in the previous trading session.
- The opening indicative rate closed at N418/$1 on Tuesday, 24th May 2022, a 54 kobo appreciation compared to N418.54/$1 recorded on Monday, 23rd May 2022.
- Furthermore, an exchange rate of N444/$1 was the highest rate recorded during intra-day trading before it settled at N419/$1, while it sold for as low as N410/$1 during intra-day trading.
- A total of $87.06 million exchanged hands on Monday, representing a 15.69% increase compared to $75.25 million traded on Monday.
Crypto market update
The crypto market closed on a positive note on Tuesday, representing a recovery from the recurrent losses posted in recent weeks. The market gained 1.26% in capitalization to close at $1.252 trillion as of 00:30 (WAT) on Thursday.
Also, bitcoin recorded a 1.74% gain to close at $29.589, while Ethereum gained 0.16% to close at $1,974.16. On the flip side, Uniswap recorded a 0.53% drop in price to trade at $5.59.
Solana and Tera gained 0.95% and 13.64% to close at $49.57 and $0.00018111 respectively.
Meanwhile, despite the regulation released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on cryptocurrency, the Central Bank of Nigeria remained mute concerning the development during the press briefing of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held on Tuesday, 24th May 2022.