Category Archives: International

FG will reduce borrowing cost – DMO

The Federal Government will implement prudent fiscal and debt management in the coming years to reduce the nation’s debt cost, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has said.

Ms Patience Oniha, the DMO Director-General, made this assertion on Thursday in Lagos.

Oniha spoke at the listing of the FGN 30 year 1.5 billion dollars Euro Bond and FGN 10 year 1.5 billion dollars Euro Bond on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Other bond listed was FGN 5 Year 300 million dollars Diaspora Bond.

Oniha said that government would rebalance its debt and international debt portfolio to 60:40 split in the coming years.

She said that government was listing some of the securities issued in the international capital market in 2017 on the NSE because of the role of Nigerian capital market in economic development.

“We have already listed N1.5 billion early in the year, and we are coming toward the end of the year to list 3.3 billion dollars Euro Bond.

Oniha said that government had assessed the international capital markets four times in 2017 and achieved overwhelming success amidst uncertainty about the perception of Nigeria.

She said that funding of the budget deficit and refinancing the government’s inherited debt portfolio had been the key drivers behind the capital raising plans.

According to her, the borrowing will lead to significant benefits, particularly a reduction in cost of funds.

She said that the Diaspora bond provided an opportunity for Nigerians in Diaspora to contribute to the country’s development.

She also said that the Diaspora bond had boosted the country’s profile with Nigeria’s first SEC-Registered debt instrument.

Oniha said that funds raised would be applied toward development and to support government drive toward economic diversification from oil revenue and to sustain momentum in tapping the international markets following prior issuances.

The director-general said that DMO would continue with innovative and diverse fund raising plans to ensure the optimal funding structure.

Earlier, Mr Oscar Onyema, the NSE Chief Executive Officer, said that the Federal Government was the largest issuer of bonds on the exchange,

Onyema said that the exchange had collaborated with DMO and the federal government to introduce other types of bonds in the market.

He assured the investing publics that the exchange would introduce other types of products that would give them good asset class to boost product diversification.



Saudi women to be allowed into stadiums from 2018

Saudi women have won another right from their conservative male overlords. From  next year,  they will be allowed  into three sports stadiums for the first time.

The landmark move announced by the authorities on Sunday,  would open up the previously male-only venues to families.

It was one of a raft of decisions announced by Turki Al-Asheikh, chairman of the General Sports Authority, aimed at supporting and stimulating the sports sector”, reported. It was also in line with  with powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious reform drive shaking up the ultra-conservative kingdom, including the decision to allow women to drive from next June

The authority “will start rehabilitating the main stadiums in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah to be ready to receive families starting in 2018,” Al-Asheikh said.

The move is part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to engage women in society as an integral part of the development process.

The kingdom, which has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, has long barred women from sports arenas by strict rules on segregation of the sexes in public.

This month Al-Asheikh, who is also president of the Saudi Olympic Committee, appointed Princess Reema bint Bandar president of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports.

Princess Reema has also opened the new Studio 5 gym in Jeddah.  She seeks to encourage women to take exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Last month, women were invited with their families to a sports stadium for the first time to attend annual National Day celebrations. Such venues had previously been male only.

Under the country’s guardianship system, a male family member — normally the father, husband or brother — must grant permission for a woman’s study, travel and other activities.

But the kingdom appears to be relaxing some norms as part of its “Vision 2030” plan for economic and social reforms, which aims to boost female employment.

In July, rights campaigners welcomed an “overdue” reform by the education ministry to allow girls to take part in sports at state schools.


Nigeria, UNHCR to tackle influx of refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, is partnering with the Nigerian Federal and State Governments to embark on emergency solutions over the influx of Cameroonian refugees fleeing to Nigeria.

External Relations Officer, UNHCR Mr Hanson Tamfu, said that the agency and its partners had commenced emergency activities to provide assistance and protection to the increasing number of refugees.

He explained that the refugees were fleeing from the North West and South West regions of Cameroon following the escalation of violence over the declaration of the independence of Southern Cameroon on 1st October, 2017.

The refugees are currently hosted in Cross River and Akwa Ibom states and are mostly from Akwaya subdivision, of the South West region in Cameroon.

UNHCR, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and Rhema Care, will resume registration of the refugees on Thursday..

The influx of the Cameroonian refugees is believed to be adding more problems for the Nigerian authorities and humanitarian actors, as they prepare for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon, Chad and Niger.


99 indigent children get shelter in plateau

An NGO, Societal Socialize Children Villages International has given shelter to 99 indigent children in Plateau since 2010.

The Programme Director of the organisation, Mr Stephen Davou, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Jos.

Davou said that the beneficiaries had either lost a parent or about to lose, and thus, had no economic and emotional stability to secure their future.

He said that the children were selected from social development welfare offices across the 17 LGAs of Plateau with guardianship from the court of law.

The official said that the organisation had also trained youths on entrepreneurial skills and secured their internship in various organisations.

According to Davou, some of the youths eventually get employed in their places on internship.

He urged the Plateau Government to gazette the Child Rights Law passed in the state since 2005, noting that child abusers were perpetrating the act because the law had yet to be operational.

He said that crisis in Plateau had rendered many children homeless.

According to him, parents should be close to their children, know their friends, monitor where they go and sensitise them to the need to identify and report any form of abuse from anybody for appropriate actions.

NAN reports that the organization, which has headquarters in Austria was established to meet the children’s needs and protect their rights, with offices in seven states in Nigeria.


Coca-Cola to invest $90m in Kenya

Soft drinks maker, Coca-Cola, says it plans to invest up to 90 million dollars in Kenya over three years through 2018 to increase its product range in the region.

In a statement on Tuesday in Nairobi, the company said the wider range of soft drinks in the country would begin in 2018 but did not give details of the range of products

Coca-Cola, which is the leader in the Kenyan soda market with brands like Coke and Fanta, said it had invested a total of 17 billion  dollars in Africa since 2014.

According to the company, the amount doubles what was invested in the continent a decade before.

The group, however, faces growing competition in Kenya from other soft drinks producers like SABmiller and PepsiCo.


Partner to rebuild health system in Northeast, WHO tells FG

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti has advised the Federal Government to engage development partners in rebuilding health systems in the Northeast of the country.

She gave the advice at the weekend during a two-day working visit to the country.

While commending the government for its emergency response in the zone, she said it was time to involve development focused partners, and transit from emergency to the phase of rebuilding.

“We are in a way going to be transitioning from an emergency phase to rebuilding and transitioning to a development phase in the Northeast. There have been huge investments in the response to the emergency as well as response to outbreaks in that context.


Osinbajo at RCCG, blames Church for graft

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Kingdom Summit 2017 of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), blamed the Churches for not speaking against corruption.

Osinbajo, who was at the Kings Court Parish, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, remarked that corruption in the country still existed because the church had failed to speak against.

They failed to speak against graft simply because those involved in graft had relationships with them.

Osinbajo also urged Christians against putting tribe above other things.

He said that at creation, there was no difference in the nature of man and everyone related in an atmosphere devoid of tribe or other differences.

“The canal nature of man is that he places his tribe above others but the only basis for the power and unity of the church is that there is no Jew or Gentile.’’

He also advised the faithful to avoid divisive issues as much as they did to foolish disputes.

Osinbajo added that it was wrong to seek vengeance as the gospel did not give Christians the power to habour hatred.

According to him, when the disciple, Stephen, was killed, if the Apostles had retaliated, there would not have been the gospel.

“The gospel of the Lord says you must overcome evil with good.’’

He said God had a purpose for the Nigeria with the kind of persons in authority.

But he warned that the strategic position God had placed the leaders would be meaningless if they failed to live by the gospel.

“I am so pleased and happy and I believe that the Almighty God has a plan for our nation by putting us in strategic positions in politics, business and everywhere.

“But, the strategic positions He has placed us will have no effect unless we are prepared to live by the gospel.

“There is no wisdom of man that can change men or change nations; it is the power and wisdom of God that can,’’ he stated.

The vice president, who titled his remark “Neither Jew, nor Gentile’’ noted that the gospel of the Lord was transformational, meant to turn the market place around by uniting God’s people.

According to him, the only way to transform the nation is to obey the gospel and to do so that citizens must free themselves from the canal and simply return to the gospel in their practices.

Osinbajo noted that sometimes people thought that God did not achieve His purpose in man because God’s gospel contradicted the purpose of man.

He said that many times, Christians interpreted the gospel to suit their purposes, which explained why it was easy for them to pray against their enemies that prayed for them.

“This canal nature cannot save us; we are completely different from God because the gospel is not a canal word,’’ he stated.

The vice president pointed out that the Bible was not just a book but the wisdom of God, which could not be trampled upon.

He noted that the power of the church lay in its unity.

He traced the history of creation where God made man in His own image, and that man fell apart because of sin, but salvation still came when Christ was born.

Osinbajo prayed for the country and the people and asked God to grant Nigerians faithfulness to Him and give everyone the grace to avoid every form of disunity.