Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (749)

The Swiss government has announced that it will return $320m (£240m) of the money allegedly stolen by Nigeria's late military ruler Sani Abacha.

The money was frozen in 2014 by a Swiss court after a legal procedure against his son, Abba Abacha.

Originally deposited in Luxembourg, it is a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly looted during his rule from 1993 to 1998.

Recovering the "Abacha loot" has been a major priority for Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari made the recovery of stolen assets a major part of his 2015 election campaign and this will be the largest yet.

Although an agreement to repatriate the money was signed in March, the Nigerian Ministry of Justice, the World Bank and Switzerland have been grappling with legal complications surrounding the return of the money, says the BBC's Stephanie Hegarty in Abuja.

However an agreement setting out how the money would be repaid was signed on Monday by the three parties at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery GFAR in Washington, which means the funds will finally be sent back to Nigeria.

How much 'Abacha loot' is outstanding?

The Swiss government has paid $700m of the "Abacha loot" to the Nigerian government in the last 10 years and the outstanding $320m is the last of the money on Swiss soil and will be remitted in the next two to three years, ambassador Roberto Balzaretti, head of the Swiss delegation to GFAR told BBC's Gbolahan Macjob in a telephone interview.

"The money will be transferred to the Bank for International Settlements in Basel into the Nigerian government account," he said.

"It will be used to finance projects that will strengthen social security for the poorest sections of the Nigerian population."

What are the conditions of the agreement?

The money will be paid in instalments and in small amounts, specifically to finance the National Social Safety Net projects, which would be agreed with the Nigerian government under the supervision of the World Bank with regular audits.

If the first instalment is not properly accounted for, subsequent payment will be halted. This is to prevent the funds from being stolen again, Mr Balzaretti said.

"It is the first time we are having this sort of trilateral agreement and we feel confident that it will work, plus we signed it in the spirit of trust that the money will be put to good use," he said.

Switzerland said the agreement was in line with its policy on returning illegally acquired assets and would set a good example for future cases, according to a statement from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

"The fight against corruption is one of Switzerland's priorities" Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said, adding that the move should "strengthen social security for the poorest Nigerians", AFP reports.

 
Posted On Wednesday, 06 December 2017 06:43 Written by

Former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar has returned to the country’s former ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party, less than two weeks after he resigned from the ruling All Progressives Congress.

“Today, I want to let you know that I’m returning home to PDP as the issues that led to me leave it have now been resolved,” he said in an announcement on Sunday on Facebook Live.

He is expected to run for the Nigerian presidency on the platform of the PDP, where he was the VP to President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007.

Atiku has defected from the party twice to contest for Nigeria’s top job in the then oppositions parties.

On December 20, 2006, he emerged the presidential candidate of now-defunct Action Congress after falling out with the leadership of the PDP.

He, however, failed to garner popular support as he came third in the 2007 general election behind eventual PDP’s candidate Umaru Yar’Adua and All Nigerian People’s Party’s Muhammadu Buhari.

He returned to the PDP after the 2007 misadventure. There, he vied again for the top job but lost the primaries to President Goodluck Jonathan who succeeded President Yar’Adua.

In February 2014, he, again, defected to the then newly formed All Progressives Congress which comprised major leaders of the defunct Action Congress, a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and Congress for Progressive Change.

In APC, he failed again to realise his presidential ambition as he was defeated in the primaries by Muhammadu Buhari who went on to win the 2015 presidential election.

Not minding his few defections, Atiku doubled down on his criticism of the APC, blaming the party for the bad state of the economy and for its failure to deliver on its campaign promises.

“It is clear that the APC has let the Nigerian people, especially our young people, down.”

In a statement shortly after he announced his resignation from APC on November 24, Atiku alleged that the APC had derailed from the principles that made him join the party on February 2, 2015.

“While other parties have purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalization, the All Progressives Congress has adopted those same practices and even gone beyond them to institute a regime of a draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy within the party and the government it produced,” Atiku said in a statement.

He also, tacitly, acknowledged the existence of a frosty relationship with the leadership of the party and President Muhammadu Buhari, using a controversial leaked memo sent to Buhari by the governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai as a reference.

“Only last year, a governor produced by the party wrote a secret memorandum to the president which ended up being leaked. In that memo, he admitted that the All Progressives Congress had “not only failed to manage expectations of a populace that expected overnight ‘change’ but has failed to deliver even mundane matters of governance”.

“Of the party itself, that same governor said ‘Mr President, Sir Your relationship with the national leadership of the party, both the formal (NWC) and informal (Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso), and former Governors of ANPP, PDP (that joined us) and ACN, is perceived by most observers to be at best frosty. Many of them are aggrieved due to what they consider total absence of consultations with them on your part and those you have assigned such duties’.”

Atiku insisted that since the memo was leaked, neither President Buhari nor the leadership of the APC had made moves to attend to all the points raised by El-Rufai.

He said the party has derailed, failed to deliver on its electoral promises, and has stifled youth participation in its government.

“But more importantly, the party we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people, especially our young people. How can we have a federal cabinet without even one single youth?

“A party that does not take the youth into account is a dying party. The future belongs to young people.

“I admit that I and others who accepted the invitation to join the APC were eager to make positive changes for our country that we fell for a mirage. Can you blame us for wanting to put a speedy end to the sufferings of the masses of our people?”

Posted On Monday, 04 December 2017 03:20 Written by

The new slave trade-human trafficking in Libya is being carried out by many nationalities, including Nigerians and Ghanaians, according to a Cameroonian returnee, who was abducted in the country.

Foka Fotsi, who was trafficked twice, told Reuters that those in charge of one of the places where he was held included Ghanaians and Nigerians. Fotsi story corroborated another testimony by a Nigerian in the southern state of Edo, who identified one Charles, a Nigerian as the trafficking kingpin.

Unable to find work to support his family, Fotsi decided to leave Cameroon last year, but fell into the hands of a Libyan kidnap ring before reaching Europe.

“There was torture like I’ve never seen. They hit you with wooden bats, with iron bars,” he said, removing the hood of his sweatshirt and showing the still raw red wounds on his skull.

“They hang you from the ceiling by (your) arms and legs and then throw you down to the floor. They swing you and throw you against the wall, over and over again, ten times.

“They are not human beings. They are the devil personified.”

Timdi

Christelle Timdi, another Cameroonian recounted her horrendous experience in the north African country.

When uniformed men boarded the overloaded rubber dingy carrying her and her boyfriend to a new life in Europe, she thought the Italian coastguard had come to rescue them.

But the men took out guns and began to shoot. “Many people fell in the sea,” the 32-year-old Cameroonian said as she described seeing her boyfriend, Douglas, falling in the water and disappearing into the darkness.

The gunmen took Timdi and her fellow passengers back to Libya where they were locked up, raped, beaten and forced to make calls to their families back home for ransom payments to secure their freedom.

Timdi, who flew back to Cameroon last week, told her story as international outcry escalated over a video which appeared to show African migrants being traded as slaves in Libya.

Libya’s U.N.-backed government has said it is investigating and has promised to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Timdi said she had not seen the footage broadcast by CNN, but had witnessed the trade in humans while in Libya.

“I saw it with my own eyes,” she said, describing how she had seen a Senegalese man buying an African migrant.

Timdi: witnesses serial raping of women in the slave camps
Libya is the main jumping off point for migrants trying to reach Europe by boat.

Timdi said many traffickers posed as marine guards, police officers and taxi drivers to ensnare victims.

There were around 130 other migrants on her boat when the gunmen opened fire in the middle of the night, Timdi said.

After being taken back to Libya they were locked in an abandoned factory building where men would grab and rape the girls and women – and sometimes even the men.

“We tried to hide the younger girls among us,” Timdi said, describing the terrifying moments when the guards would scour the room with torches, searching for their next victims.

“I was heavily pregnant – that’s why I wasn’t raped. And it’s all done in front of others – they say it’s so that you know what will happen to you if you don’t pay up.”

Timdi said the facilities used by traffickers appeared to be well organised and guarded, adding that most people inside wore fake police or military uniforms.

“The place was surrounded by army-style vehicles with guns ready to fire, so we didn’t dare try and escape.”

Timdi’s family paid 1 million CFA francs ($1,800), frantically collected from relatives and friends, to free her. But she said ransoms were no guarantee of safety.

The traffickers work with a network of taxi drivers who are supposed to transfer released migrants to migrant camps – but who often re-traffick them, Timdi said.

“If they send you a good taxi, you’ll arrive at your destination, but if it’s a bad taxi the driver will sell you on to someone else,” she said.

“There are people who have been resold twice, three times. And when you call your family to tell them that you’ve been resold once again, no one will believe you, they won’t send more money to free you.”

Timdi was released by her captors in October and gave birth to a baby girl, Brittanie, in a Libyan hospital just days later.

Timdi and Fotsi were among 250 Cameroonians who were flown home this week by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of a voluntary return scheme for migrants stranded in Libya.

A group of Cameroonian migrants brought back to Yaoundé from Libya pictured on November 22 2017. Inna Lazareva/ Thomson Reuters Foundation

The programme, funded by the European Union, provided returnees with clothing and medical checks. The most vulnerable, including pregnant women, also received around 400 euros ($475).

IOM Cameroon head Boubacar Saybou said it was launching a programme to help migrants set up businesses, and will also provide start-up funding.

“We need to create opportunities for them here. That’s what’s important,” he said.

Fotsi said he hoped to follow up on the scheme. But for now his most pressing problem was finding a place to sleep.

“I pray that God gives me work that I can do here,” he said.

“If we don’t get work you’ll find many of us walking the streets again.”

*Adapted from a Thomson Reuters Foundation report written by Inna Lazareva

 
 
Posted On Saturday, 02 December 2017 21:51 Written by

Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya and elsewhere will be bought home, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

The decision comes after the emergence of footage showing migrants being sold at slave auctions in Libya.

Mr Buhari said they were being treated like goats, and vowed to do everything possible to prevent more Nigerians making the perilous journey to Europe.

The announcement was made hours after Libya's UN-backed authorities said they were increasing repatriation flights.

About 240 Nigerians were voluntarily flown home in a joint operation by Libya and the UN migrant agency on Tuesday night.

The plight of those trapped in Libya - a major hub for migrants attempting to reach Europe - was highlighted by the footage, published by US news network CNN, which shows young men being auctioned for farm work.

The issue of people attempting to enter Europe illegally was already expected to be high on the agenda of this week's African Union-European Union Summit, being held in the Ivorian city of Abidjan.

Mr Buhari, who was speaking on the sidelines of the summit, said he was appalled by what he had seen.

"Some Nigerians [in the footage] were being sold like goats for few dollars in Libya," Mr Buhari said during the address to the Nigerian diaspora on Tuesday, before lashing out at Libya.

''After 43 years of [Col Muammar] Gaddafi, why are they recruiting so many people from the Sahel including Nigerians?" he demanded. "All they learned was how to shoot and kill. They didn't learn to be electricians, plumbers or any other trade."

Map showing Central Mediterranean migrant routes

Mr Buhari promised those who returned would be "rehabilitated", and vowed to tackle corruption, defeat groups like Islamist militants Boko Haram and improve things like education to stop Nigerians leaving in the first place.

"For people to cross the Sahara desert and Mediterranean through shanty boats… we will try and keep them at home," he said.

Exactly how the Nigerian government plans to enact the repatriation of its citizens is not clear.

 
Posted On Thursday, 30 November 2017 01:32 Written by

Robert Mugabe will continue to have a role to play in Zimbabwean politics, the Jesuit priest who helped negotiate his resignation has told the BBC.

Father Fidelis Mukonori said he would provide "advice" as an elder statesman, including to the new president.

Mr Mugabe, 93, resigned on Tuesday after a military intervention and days of mass protests.

Mr Mukonori said he could not confirm reports that the ex-leader was granted $10m (£7.5m) to ease him out of office.

Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in to replace Mr Mugabe as president on Friday.

Mr Mnangagwa, long a close ally of Mr Mugabe, was sacked earlier this month, triggering the political crisis that eventually saw his boss's downfall.

Father Mukonori, 70, who is close to Robert Mugabe and acted as a mediator between him and the military, said the new president would go to his predecessor for political counsel.

"In the African world, senior citizens are there for advice," he told the BBC's Richard Galpin at a church outside the capital, Harare, after leading a service that included prayers giving thanks for the peaceful transfer of power.

He referred to what Mr Mnangagwa said about his predecessor at his inauguration.

"When he says 'he's my father, he's my leader, he's my mentor', you tell me he's going to stay off from his father, from his mentor, from his leader? I don't think so."

The priest said that Mr Mugabe and his wife Grace remained at their house in Harare and had no plans to leave the country.

The military takeover came in response to Mr Mugabe's decision to position Grace as his successor and sack Mr Mnangagwa from the vice-presidency.

Father Mukonori said he could not confirm reports that the ex-president was granted millions of dollars and promised that his assets would not be touched to persuade him to step down.

"We didn't offer him anything... He resigned for the good of Zimbabwe," he said.

He added: "What I have read in the newspapers is about immunity [from prosecution], and that he will be looked after like any other former head of state."

Mr Mugabe leaving power, he added, was the best thing he had ever done.

 
President Mnangagwa called Robert Mugabe "a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and my leader"

Separately on Sunday, Robert Mugabe was described as being "quite jovial" by a nephew in an interview with the French news agency AFP.

"He is actually looking forward to his new life - farming and staying at the rural home. He has taken it well," Leo Mugabe said.

He said that Grace wanted to focus on already announced plans to build the controversial $1bn Robert Mugabe University in Mazowe, near Harare.

There are fears that President Mnangagwa, who is associated with some of worst atrocities committed under the ruling Zanu-PF party since independence in 1980, will not usher in the democratic reforms that many in Zimbabwe are hoping for.

But Father Mukonori said he believed the former spymaster knows that democracy is "crucial".

Posted On Sunday, 26 November 2017 18:30 Written by

Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, says restructuring Nigeria is inevitable for all-inclusive advantages it will confer on federating units and enhancement of national unity.

Ekweremadu stated this at a two-day Retreat by Southern Senators Forum in Calabar on Friday, and dismissed the fear in certain quarters that restructuring would cause the break-up of the country.

He explained that restructuring was not the same as exclusive resource control as the renewed and aggressive search for oil around the Lake Chad, Sokoto and Benue River Basins in recent times appeared to suggest.

According to him, whereas federating units will have more control over their resources in a restructured Nigeria, there would always be an Equalisation Fund to ensure that every region thrives above a reasonable threshold.

“In fact, oil and gas is among the least strategic endowments of the nation today and in the years ahead. Oil is fast losing its import in the global economy.

“Many of the heavy buyers are not only finding alternatives to oil, but are also setting deadlines for the phasing out of oil-powered engines and automobiles.

“But, what else can cure our fixation on oil except a return to the original master plan – the quest for a return to the old covenant and original foundation laid by the country’s forefathers.

“This quest is to revive the original master plan, removing those ugly and excess weights introduced by successive military regimes.

“It is an admission that we cannot continue to do the same thing that has failed us for more than half a century and expect a different result.

“If you are driving to Abuja from Ibadan and you face Lagos, you can only end up in Badagry or the Atlantic,’’ he said.
The lawmaker pointed out that the subject of restructuring appeared to have had divided opinions.

He recalled that Nigeria’s independence was delayed till 1960 to give room for more dialogue and ensure that no part of the country was left behind.

He explained that it was wisdom of the founding fathers that ensured that the current map of Nigeria was retained.

Ekweremadu said that there was no other viable option than restructuring if Nigeria must reap the blessings and promises of self-rule.

According to him, it must be done in a way that every part of the country will have a true sense of belonging.

He urged Nigerians to embark on more responsible and patriotic public discourse and enlightenment to break down the meaning and processes of restructuring, saying that the fears inherent in restructuring needed to be addressed.

“I believe that the man from Zamfara is unlikely to stand against a return to true federalism if he is made to understand that such would allow the state to exploit the abundant gold and granite in the state.

“The woman from Kogi will not likely oppose restructuring if she understands how rich the state is in solid minerals such as coal, iron ore, ornamental stone, gemstone, limestone, feldspar, phosphate, mica, and granite.

“And, how restructuring the country will give the state constitutional access to those mineral deposits could transform Kogi to one of the richest states in the country.

“The man from the North-East will not likely oppose decentralised policing if he understands that his family and business will be better protected,’’ he said.

The deputy senate president said the Nigeria Police Force needed to be decentralised as a significant component of the envisaged restructuring exercise.

He said the rating of International Police Association and the Institute for Peace and Security of Nigeria Police as the worst police in the world called to mind the imperative of restructuring of the nation’s police.
He pointed out that the rating had been the worst on all the measured parameters because the police had not been effectively decentralised.

He said, “Nigeria is the only country in the world with a federal system of government but running a unitary system of policing.

“Again, it is not realistic to expect the North to easily give away the advantages the status quo confers on it.

“Since revenues, appointments, projects, and other various opportunities are shared mainly on the basis of states and local governments, we will not realistically expect the region to give up the numerous states and local governments it currently enjoys.

“We will not expect the region to give up all these to embrace regionalism or creation of more states to strike a structural balance.

“But, we stand better chances if we engage in good faith, responsible and respectful dialogue to make every section of the country to see the bigger picture.

“Such healthy dialogues will also show that a man cannot enjoy his perceived advantages when his neighbours are angry since a man who feels unjustly treated will never be interested in peace.’’

Ekweremadu said that restructuring could only be addressed by adopting a piecemeal approach rather than seeking to do everything or so much at a go.

According to him, as the people begin to reap the gains of gradual restructuring, they will drop their fears and crave for more.

He said that if some Nigerians insisted on addressing all the issues at once, it would create the grounds for the suspicion that there was a hidden agenda.

“Interestingly, quite a number of prominent voices in the North have also thrown their weights behind the restructuring of the country. I am sure that many will join in due course.

“We must leverage on the influence of those who are on the same page with us on the vexed matter.

“This is having at the back of our mind a restructuring outcome that guarantees our indivisibility and promotes national integration.

“A restructuring that will guarantee our unity and national integration must address the issue of power rotation among the constituent parts of the country.’’

He called for the devolution of powers to make the centre less attractive as well as a single-term presidency that would rotate among the geographical zones.

The legislator said that such may prove reassuring to ethnic groups and promote national unity and loyalty to the nation, while constituent parts would be reassured that power would come at a given interval.

He commended the forum for raising the standard of ongoing national debate on restructuring, adding that he was impressed by the aptness and auspiciousness of the theme of the retreat – National Unity and Restructuring.

He said: “As we sit back to listen to the erudite minds here gathered, and as we share ideas, let patriotism and dedication to a better and greater Nigeria, rule.

“Let us bear in mind that we cannot restructure without unity, and certainly that restructuring will better guarantee a united and prosperous Nigeria.

“So, we should never fear to restructure and we should not restructure in fear.’’

 
Posted On Saturday, 25 November 2017 00:06 Written by

At least 50 people were killed on Tuesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in northeast Nigeria, police said, in an attack blamed on Boko Haram jihadists.

The blast happened during early morning prayers at the Madina mosque in the Unguwar Shuwa area of Mubi, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) by road from the Adamawa state capital, Yola.

“So far we have at least 50 dead from an attack at a mosque in Mubi,” Adamawa state police spokesman Othman Abubakar told AFP.

“Several people were injured. We don’t have the figure now because they have been taken to several hospitals for treatment.

“It was a (suicide) bomber who mingled with worshippers. He entered the mosque along with other worshippers for the morning prayers.

“It was when the prayers were on that he set off his explosives.”

Asked who was responsible, Abubakar said: “We all know the trend. We don’t suspect anyone specifically but we know those behind such kind of attacks.”

The attack bore all the hallmarks of Boko Haram, the Islamist militants whose insurgency has left at least 20,000 people dead and more than 2.6 million others homeless since 2009.

Haruna Furo, head of the Adamawa state emergency management agency, and Musa Hamad Bello, chairman of the Mubi north local government area, both confirmed the attack.

They gave lower death tolls but both said the number of those killed was likely to rise.

Another emergency services official described the blast as “devastating”. He said only that there were “high casualties”.

Roof blown off
Abubakar Sule, who lives near the mosque, said he had just returned home when he heard the blast.

“I was there when the rescue was on and 40 people died on the spot and several others were taken to hospital with severe and life-threatening injuries,” he added.

“The roof was blown off. People near the mosque said the prayer was mid-way when the bomber, who was obviously in the congregation, detonated his explosives.

“This is obviously the work of Boko Haram.”

Boko Haram briefly overran Mubi in late 2014 as its fighters rampaged across northeastern Nigeria, seizing towns and villages in its quest to establish a hardline Islamic state.

The town’s name was changed temporarily to Madinatul Islam, or “City of Islam” in Arabic, during the Boko Haram occupation.

But it has been peaceful since the military and the civilian militia ousted them from the town, which is a commercial hub and home to the Adamawa State University.

In recent months, Boko Haram activity has been concentrated on the far north of Adamawa state, around Madagali, which is near the border with neighbouring Borno state.

Earlier this month, at least two civilians were killed when dozens of Boko Haram fighters tried to storm the town of Gulak but were repelled by soldiers.

There have been repeated suicide bombings in the area, which lies not far from the Sambisa Forest area of Borno, where the militants had a base.

Boko Haram fighters are also said to be hiding in the Mandara mountains, to the east of Adamawa state, which forms the border with neighbouring Cameroon.

Posted On Tuesday, 21 November 2017 14:26 Written by

The Federal Government has floated the much awaited US$3 billion dual series bond to fund approved budgetary expenditures.

A statement from the Federal Ministry of Finance yesterday quoted Minister  Kemi Adeosun as saying that “the government would utilise the proceeds of the Notes in funding the approved budgetary expenditures and for refinancing of domestic debt, as may be applicable.”

According to Mrs. Adeosun, the Notes represent Nigeria’s fourth Eurobond issuance, following issuances in 2011, 2013 (two series) and earlier in 2017.

She noted: “Nigeria is implementing an ambitious economic reform agenda designed to deliver long-term sustainable growth and reduce reliance on oil and gas revenues while reducing waste and improving the efficiency of government expenditure.

“Our economy is beginning to recover, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) having returned to growth in 2017, but we must maintain the momentum behind our investments in order to further drive growth. That is why we are, and will continue to focus investment on the enabling infrastructure we need to broaden economic productivity.

“Successfully extending out debt profile in the international market to 30 years is a key element of that strategy as it establishes a basis for the longer term financing required for transformational infrastructure investment.

“As we have always stated we are progressively replacing debt with revenue, which is reflected in the 2018 Budget proposal. We are establishing the building blocks for inclusive growth and beginning to see the results of the hard decisions that have been made to reset our economy appropriately.”

The aggregate principal amount of the dual series bond is being offered notes under the Federal Government’s US$4.5 billion Global Medium Term Note programme (increased from US$1.5 billion).

The Notes comprise a US$1.5 billion 10-year series and a US$1.5 billion 30-year series.

The Ministry of Finance said “the 10-year series will bear interest at a rate of 6.5%, while the 30-year series will bear interest at a rate of 7.625%, which will be repayable with a bullet repayment of the principal on maturity.

The statement said “the offering, which attracted significant interests from leading global institutional investors, is expected to be closed on or about 28 November, 2017, subject to the satisfaction of various customary closing conditions.”

When issued, the Notes will be admitted to the official list of the UK Listing Authority and available to trade on the London Stock Exchange’s regulated market.

Nigeria may apply for the Notes to be eligible for trading and listed on the Nigerian FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The pricing was determined following a roadshow led by Mrs. Adeosun; the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma; Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele; Debt Management Office (DMO) Director-General Ms. Patience Oniha, and the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze.

Commenting on the Notes’ pricing, the DMO Director-General Patience Oniha said: “With the successful pricing of our 4th Eurobond, Nigeria has become one of the few African issuers whose securities have attracted strong investor interest amongst institutional investors across the globe.

“This time, Nigeria issued a new 10-year bond at a yield of 6.500% and a 30-year benchmark, priced at a yield of 7.625%, which despite the longer tenure remains cheaper than our 15-year issuance earlier this year.

“The 30-year is a landmark as the tenor represents the first by a sub-Saharan country other than South Africa and importantly establishes the basis for long term infrastructure funding, which is a priority for this government.”

Oniha expressed satisfaction with international investors’ recognition of Nigeria’s huge potential.

“Perhaps even more important is that with this dual tranche issuance the objective of reducing the cost of government borrowing has been achieved,” she added.

Posted On Monday, 20 November 2017 23:31 Written by

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party will launch the parliamentary process on Tuesday for impeaching President Robert Mugabe, a government lawmaker told AFP.

The decision on Monday came after Mugabe missed a deadline to resign given to him by his party over the weekend.

Once a simple majority of parliamentarians vote for impeachment, an investigative committee is formed by lawmakers, who report back to both houses of parliament. Each house must then vote by a two-thirds majority for him to be stripped of office.

“We are expecting the motion to be over (Tuesday),” said ZANU-PF lawmaker Paul Mangwana, referring to the initial procedure to commence impeachment proceedings.

He added that ZANU-PF had approached the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party to seek their cooperation to pass the necessary parliamentary votes.

In a televised address late Sunday, the 93-year-old veteran leader defied expectations he would quit, pitching the country into a second week of political crisis.

The speech provoked anger and disbelief among many Zimbabweans, fuelling concerns that Mugabe could face a violent backlash.

Zimbabwe’s crisis erupted on November 13 after a factional squabble over the presidential succession erupted into the open prompting the army to seize power.

Posted On Monday, 20 November 2017 17:51 Written by
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