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The next economic crisis could cause a global conflict. Here’s why

The response to the 2008 economic crisis has relied far too much on monetary stimulus, in the form of quantitative easing and near-zero (or even negative) interest rates, and included far too little structural reform. This means that the next crisis could come soon – and pave the way for a large-scale military conflict.

The next economic crisis is closer than you think. But what you should really worry about is what comes after: in the current social, political, and technological landscape, a prolonged economic crisis, combined with rising income inequality, could well escalate into a major global military conflict.

The 2008-09 global financial crisis almost bankrupted governments and caused systemic collapse. Policymakers managed to pull the global economy back from the brink, using massive monetary stimulus, including quantitative easing and near-zero (or even negative) interest rates.

Image: UN

But monetary stimulus is like an adrenaline shot to jump-start an arrested heart; it can revive the patient, but it does nothing to cure the disease. Treating a sick economy requires structural reforms, which can cover everything from financial and labor markets to tax systems, fertility patterns, and education policies.

Policymakers have utterly failed to pursue such reforms, despite promising to do so. Instead, they have remained preoccupied with politics. From Italy to Germany, forming and sustaining governments now seems to take more time than actual governing. And Greece, for example, has relied on money from international creditors to keep its head (barely) above water, rather than genuinely reforming its pension system or improving its business environment.

The lack of structural reform has meant that the unprecedented excess liquidity that central banks injected into their economies was not allocated to its most efficient uses. Instead, it raised global asset prices to levels even higher than those prevailing before 2008.

In the United States, housing prices are now 8% higher than they were at the peak of the property bubble in 2006, according to the property website Zillow. The price-to-earnings (CAPE) ratio, which measures whether stock-market prices are within a reasonable range, is now higher than it was both in 2008 and at the start of the Great Depression in 1929.

As monetary tightening reveals the vulnerabilities in the real economy, the collapse of asset-price bubbles will trigger another economic crisis – one that could be even more severe than the last, because we have built up a tolerance to our strongest macroeconomic medications. A decade of regular adrenaline shots, in the form of ultra-low interest rates and unconventional monetary policies, has severely depleted their power to stabilize and stimulate the economy.

If history is any guide, the consequences of this mistake could extend far beyond the economy. According to Harvard’s Benjamin Friedman, prolonged periods of economic distress have been characterized also by public antipathy toward minority groups or foreign countries – attitudes that can help to fuel unrest, terrorism, or even war.

For example, during the Great Depression, US President Herbert Hoover signed the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, intended to protect American workers and farmers from foreign competition. In the subsequent five years, global trade shrank by two-thirds. Within a decade, World War II had begun.

To be sure, WWII, like World War I, was caused by a multitude of factors; there is no standard path to war. But there is reason to believe that high levels of inequality can play a significant role in stoking conflict.

According to research by the economist Thomas Piketty, a spike in income inequality is often followed by a great crisis. Income inequality then declines for a while, before rising again, until a new peak – and a new disaster. Though causality has yet to be proven, given the limited number of data points, this correlation should not be taken lightly, especially with wealth and income inequality at historically high levels.

This is all the more worrying in view of the numerous other factors stoking social unrest and diplomatic tension, including technological disruption, a record-breaking migration crisis, anxiety over globalization, political polarization, and rising nationalism. All are symptoms of failed policies that could turn out to be trigger points for a future crisis.

Voters have good reason to be frustrated, but the emotionally appealing populists to whom they are increasingly giving their support are offering ill-advised solutions that will only make matters worse. For example, despite the world’s unprecedented interconnectedness, multilateralism is increasingly being eschewed, as countries – most notably, Donald Trump’s US – pursue unilateral, isolationist policies. Meanwhile, proxy wars are raging in Syria and Yemen.

Against this background, we must take seriously the possibility that the next economic crisis could lead to a large-scale military confrontation. By the logic of the political scientist Samuel Huntington , considering such a scenario could help us avoid it, because it would force us to take action. In this case, the key will be for policymakers to pursue the structural reforms that they have long promised, while replacing finger-pointing and antagonism with a sensible and respectful global dialogue. The alternative may well be global conflagration.

Source: WeForum

Single Mother Homeownership Rates in the U.S. Declining Nationally

Residential real estate brokerage firm Redfin is reporting this week that just 31.1 percent of single mothers in the U.S. owned homes in 2017, on par with the 2016 rate and down from 35.5 percent in 2010.

At 63.9 percent, the overall homeownership rate for households across the country was more than double that of single mothers, though it was also down from nearly 70 percent in 2010. Over the same time period, the national median home price rose by more than 40 percent.

The metros with the highest rates of homeownership among single moms tend to be relatively affordable. McAllen, Texas, where the typical home sells for $165,000, has the highest homeownership rate among metro areas with at least 20,000 single mothers in 2017, with 46.6 percent of single moms owning homes.

That’s followed by Salt Lake City (41.7%), Grand Rapids (41.5%) and Minneapolis (40.3%). All but two (El Paso and San Antonio) of the top 10 metros for single-mom homeownership have higher-than-national overall homeownership rates as well.

The four metros with the lowest rates of single-mom homeownership are all in California: Fresno (20.5%), Los Angeles (20.7%), San Diego (22.4%) and Bakersfield (22.6%). The metros with the lowest rates of homeownership among single mothers all have overall homeownership rates below the national rate.

“Although more single moms have entered the workforce since 2015, thanks in part to a growing economy, single mothers haven’t yet been able to gain increased wealth through equity from homeownership. That’s because in many expensive metros, single moms aren’t able to access the benefits of homeownership due to a lack of affordable homes for sale,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.

Fairweather continued, “But in areas like Salt Lake City and Minneapolis, single moms are better able to afford a home without a dual income or financial support from a partner. Beyond being a primary source for building wealth, owning a home can provide some necessary stability for children because homeowners have predictable monthly mortgage payments and don’t have to worry about a landlord raising rent or selling their home.”

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PenCom: N3.4bn pension contribution not remitted into states employees’ RSAs

The National Pension Commission PenCom, on Wednesday, said over N3.4 billion pension contribution fund deducted by states from employees’ salaries was yet to be remitted into the employees’ Retired Savings Accounts (RSAs). The Acting Director-General, PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar disclosed this at the 2019 second quarter consultative forum consisting of critical pension stakeholders in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum, organised by the commission, consisted of critical pension stakeholders from all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The PenCom Acting Director General was represented by Mr Dan Ndackson, PenCom’s Head, State Operations Department.

The platform enables the stakeholders to brainstorm on challenges in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) with a view to proffering solutions to such challenge within the ambit of the CPS. She said that a major item which should occupy a front burner during the deliberations was the recurring issue of non-remittances, which denies concerned employees the investment income that should have accrued to them.

According to her, based on the N3.4billion pension contributions not remitted into the RSA’s as May 31, over 38 per cent of the amount had been outstanding for over one year. “All hands must be on deck to address this problem holistically.

“The stakeholders must be mindful that the hopes of prospective retirees are hinged on the successful implementation of the CPS, which was instituted in response to the failure of the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS). “It is also heart-warming to observe the steady progress of CPS in some states, especially with regards to remittance of pension contributions. “Returns submitted to the commission by the PFAs further revealed that over N8.09 billion were remitted as pension contributions of state employees in the first quarter of 2019,” Dahir-Umar said. (NAN)

Source: Daily Trust

Young families looking to escape housing crisis lead exodus from London

The net outflow of Londoners from the capital to other parts of the UK has topped 100,000 for the second year running, official figures reveal today.

They show that 340,500 London residents quit the capital to move to other regions of the country in the 12 months to June 2018, while 237,270 moved in the other direction.

That left internal migration from London standing at 103,230, slightly down on the 106,608 recorded in the previous year.

But it was still a huge rise on the just over 50,000 seen in 2012 and 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Typically London attracts young people drawn to the capital by university and career opportunities but loses residents in older age groups, particularly families with young children. Today’s figures show a net inflow of 30,094 people aged 20 to 24, slowing to just 5,816 for the 25 to 29 age group

But this has flipped to a net outflow of 19,070 for people aged 30 to 34.

The increase in the net outward migration has been blamed on London’s housing crisis, with sky-high prices and rent forcing thousands a year to relocate to cheaper areas in the commuter belt or other towns and cities elsewhere in Britain.

By borough, the biggest outflows were from Newham, where 8,976 more residents left than arrived, Ealing (7,241) and Haringey (5,795).

But today’s data from the ONS also revealed that the four local authority areas with the fastest growing populations in Britain are all in London — the City, Westminster, Camden and Tower Hamlets.

This is due to their young populations and international immigration. The overall UK population grew by 0.6 per cent to an estimated 66,436,000, the same rate of growth as in the previous year.

Net international migration in the UK was 275,000, which was 6,000 higher than the average for the past five years and 45,000 higher than last year.

Neil Park, head of the ONS’s population estimates unit, said: “In the last two years, population growth in the UK has been at its lowest rate since 2004.

“For the fifth year in a row, net international migration was a bigger driver of population change than births and deaths.

“However, overall population change to the year mid-2018 has remained fairly stable, as an increase in net international migration has been roughly matched by the fewest births in over a decade and the highest number of deaths since the turn of the century.”

Source: Standard Uk

Australia’s property bubble shows the lessons of the 2008 crash haven’t been learned

hen I arrived in Australia and turned on the TV in my hotel room, I was bombarded with adverts for mortgage refinancing, equity withdrawal and cheap credit cards. One ad depicted a woman talking elatedly about how she’d managed to pay off $90,000 worth of credit card debt over just three years.

In St Kilda, a trendy district in the south of Melbourne, entire streets were covered in boarded-up shops plastered with the logos of various real estate companies. On one street, someone had taken a Sharpie and written “lower your rent” over every sign, and homeless men and women could be found sheltering in the unused doorways.

A few days later, I recounted my experience to one of the organisers of the political conference I attended, telling him that all the signs pointed to a property boom that was running out of steam. He nodded in agreement: “my house is worth no more today than it was when I bought it two years ago”.

After 2008, policymakers across the world claimed to have learned the lessons of the financial crisis. They recognised that the pre-crisis approach to regulation hadn’t worked — rather than predictable risks in individual institutions, they realised they should have been focusing on unpredictable, systemic risks.

But the financial crisis didn’t result simply from a failure of regulatory oversight. 2008 was a crisis caused by financialisation — and this means much more than simply bigger, under-regulated banks.

A financialised economy will have a thriving banking system, but it will also be characterised by rising household and corporate debt, soaring asset prices, huge capital inflows, deindustrialisation and growing income, wealth and regional inequality.

In the US and the UK, the deregulation of commercial banking and the removal of restrictions on capital mobility led to a lending boom in the 1980s. Banks faced far fewer restrictions on their ability to create money by extending credit, and mortgage lending in particular soared.

As the money directed into property markets increased faster than the housing stock, property prices boomed. Rising house prices allowed consumers to borrow even more by releasing the equity from their homes.

Capital from all over the world flowed into British and American property and financial markets, pushing up the value of the currency and harming exporters. As tax revenues from the sector flowed into Treasury coffers, the state’s willingness to regulate it waned.

Economists failed to pay attention to any of these indicators before the crash, instead dubbing the period between 1989 and 2007 the “great moderation” — a time of high growth, low inflation and generalised economic and financial stability. Only when the boom finally ended did they realise the veneer of moderation had concealed a wellspring of excess.

But the financial crisis did not spell the end of financialisation — instead, it heralded another phase of its expansion. Since the financial crisis, property prices in Sydney and Melbourne have risen 105 per cent and 94 per cent respectively. Private debt-to-GDP, which includes all household and corporate debt, has increased from 184 per cent of GDP in 2010 to 205 per cent today. Household debt is more than 200 per cent of average incomes, making Australian households some of the most indebted in the world.

As major cities have boomed, those areas less reliant on the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) economy have stagnated. Sydney aloneproduces nearly a quarter of the nation’s GDP, with Melbourne responsible for another 20 per cent. Wealth inequality has risen significantly and stagnant wages and rising profits have led the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to conclude that Australia is facing US levels of inequality.

Wandering around the conference I was attending, there was a palpable sense of disappointment in the air. In allowing the boom to continue as long as they have, Australia’s political and economic elites have clearly prioritised short-term profits over the nation’s long-term economic health.

Yet at last month’s general election, which many expected to bring the opposition Labor Party to power, voters handed victory to the free-market Liberal-National coalition.

I was surprised by the shock over the election result. Radical governments don’t come to power when the finance sector is booming, property prices are rising, and billions of pounds worth of new money is being created out of thin air every day. It is only when the boom gives way to a bust, and peoples’ expectations of constantly rising living standards are shattered on the rocks of post-crash stagnation, that radical politics comes into its own.

Australia’s property bubble will burst at some point over the next few years — most likely when China’s post-crash boom comes to an end. When it does, the socialist resurgence might just find its way Down Under.

Source: Newstateman

Dangote Cement To Open Export Facilities

As part of moves to boost foreign exchange and capacity production, Dangote Cement will open export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt this year.

The company stated that the opening of export facilities would attract about $700 million foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy.

Also, Dangote Cement said it would continue to consider all strategic and financial options for the company to sustain its performance, saying that its 2019 outlook for was exciting.

The chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote, at the company’s 10th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos noted that “As an organisation, we are focused upon improvement in all areas and I wish to pay tribute to all our staff for their constant efforts achieving the vision of our board and executive team.”

He recalled that only a few years ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest importers of cement, saying that “Thanks to the effort of shareholders, we are continuing its transformation into an exporter of this basic but vital commodity.”

Dangote said that later in 2019, the company would open export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt that would enable the company to export clinker, initially to its grinding facility in Cameroon and then to new grinding plants the company is building in West Africa, adding that the company plan to build new integrated factories in Nigeria and Niger that would strengthen its position as Africa’s leading cement producer.

He explained that not only would these generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside of Nigeria, they would also help to increase the output of the Nigerian plants, saying that these would help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria.

According to him, the plans of the company will definitely attract a $700 million foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy through exporting of the products, thereby helping the federal government and also the group in its other activities across Africa.

“We have a lot of on-going projects aimed at increasing capacity and by next year, we will not only export one million tons as we normally do now, we will be servicing both the domestic and other African countries from Nigeria. We will have a capacity of about eight million tons to export and that will generate a foreign exchange of about $700 million into the country.”

The chairman of Dangote also said that “We will continue to improve our efforts in sustainability by applying the Dangote way to the seven Sustainability Pillars of our business culture and operations.”

Meanwhile, shareholders at the AGM were all in high spirits and full of praise to the board and management of the company, after the sum of N16 was approved as a dividend on each 50 kobo share.

Shareholders through their respective association heads, lauded the decision to increase dividend payout by 52.4 per cent from the N10. 50 per share that was paid in the corresponding period of 2017.

Dangote expressed optimism on the prospect of the company, revealing that the company would be effectively operating in a minimum of 18 African countries in a short while by increasing the capacity of its Obajana Plant to 16 million metric tons, making it one of the biggest cement plant in the world.

“All these, surely will translate to an enhanced value appreciation to the shares of Dangote cement and more money in the pockets of the shareholders,” he told the excited shareholders.

Speaking on the company’s performance in 2018, Dangote described the year as the most successful for the company as it recorded an increased in cement sales by 7.4 per cent to 23.5 million tonnes and 11.9 per cent growth in revenues to N901.2 billion.

He further said, “Sales of cement from our Nigerian plants increased by 11.4 per cent to 14.2 million metric tons in 2018. Our pan-African operations contributed 9.4 million metric tons, level on 2017, with strong performances in Cameroon, Senegal and Zambia helping to offset weaknesses in Ethiopia and gas turbines now operating in Tanzania, we expect these two large plants to improve their performance in 2019, further increasing profitability.”

Noting that the future looks very bright for the company, the group chief executive officer, Eng. Joseph Makoju, said the company in 2019, would focus on efficiency gains and achieving higher sales in domestic and export markets.

He said, “A major priority for us is to get these export terminals on stream so we can replace non-African imports in Cameroon, rake in foreign currency for Nigeria and increase the utilisation of our Nigerian plants.”

National coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association (ISA), Chief Sunny Nwosu, expressed satisfaction at the performance of the company describing it as remarkable and unprecedented. He then advised the management not to rest on its oars as the shareholders would be expecting more in the next accounting year.

Beside the performance of the company, Nwosu also noted that the sustainability report of the company was very commendable and that nobody would not like to associate with a company like Dangote Cement with a track record of good corporate governance and sustainability development.

Dangote Cement has production capacity of 45.6 million tonnes per year across 10 countries in sub-Sahara Africa. The company has integrated factories in seven countries, a clinker grinding plant in Cameroon and import and distribution facilities for bulk cement in Ghana and Sierra Leone. Together, these operations make the company the largest cement producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Not easy being green: Australia is still building four in every five new houses to no more than the minimum energy standard

New housing in Australia must meet minimum energy performance requirements. We wondered how many buildings exceeded the minimum standard. What our analysis found is that four in five new houses are being built to the minimum standard and a negligible proportion to an optimal performance standard.

Before these standards were introduced the average performance of housing was found to be around 1.5 stars. The current minimum across most of Australia is six stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).

This six-star minimum falls short of what is optimal in terms of environmental, economic and social outcomes. It’s also below the minimum set by many other countries.

There have been calls for these minimum standards to be raised. However, many policymakers and building industry stakeholders believe the market will lift performance beyond minimum standards and so there is no need to raise these.

What did the data show?

We wanted to understand what was happening in the market to see if consumers or regulation were driving the energy performance of new housing. To do this we explored the NatHERS data set of building approvals for new Class 1 housing (detached and row houses) in Australia from May 2016 (when all data sets were integrated by CSIRO and Sustainability Victoria) to December 2018.

Our analysis focuses on new housing in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, all of which apply the minimum six-star NatHERS requirement. The other states have local variations to the standard, while New South Wales uses the BASIX index to determine the environmental impact of housing.

The chart below shows the performance for 187,320 house ratings. Almost 82 per cent just met the minimum standard (6.0-6.4 star). Another 16 per cent performed just above the minimum standard (6.5-6.9 star).

Only 1.5 per cent were designed to perform at the economically optimal 7.5 stars and beyond. By this we mean a balance between the extra upfront building costs and the savings and benefits from lifetime building performance.

NatHERS star ratings across total data set for new housing approvals, May 2016–December 2018.

The average rating is 6.2 stars across the states. This has not changed since 2016.

Average NatHERS star rating for each state, 2016-18.
Author provided

The data analysis shows that, while most housing is built to the minimum standard, the cooler temperate regions (Tasmania, ACT) have more houses above 7.0 stars compared with the warm temperate states.

NatHERS data spread by state.
Author provided

The ACT increased average performance each year from 6.5 stars in 2016 to 6.9 stars in 2018. This was not seen in any other state or territory.

The ACT is the only region with mandatory disclosure of the energy rating on sale or lease of property. The market can thus value the relative energy efficiency of buildings. Providing this otherwise invisible information may have empowered consumers to demand slightly better performance.

We are paying for accepting a lower standard

The evidence suggests consumers are not acting rationally or making decisions to maximise their financial wellbeing. Rather, they just accept the minimum performance the building sector delivers.

Higher energy efficiency or even environmental sustainability in housing provides not only significant benefits to the individual but also to society. And these improvements can be delivered for little additional cost.

The fact that these improvements aren’t being made suggests there are significant barriers to the market operating efficiently. This is despite increasing awareness among consumers and in the housing industry about the rising cost of energy.

Eight years after the introduction of the six-star NatHERS minimum requirement for new housing in Australia, the results show the market is delivering four out of five houses that just meet this requirement. With only 1.5 per cent designed to 7.5 stars or beyond, regulation rather than the economically optimal energy rating is clearly driving the energy performance of Australian homes.

Increasing the minimum performance standard is the most effective way to improve the energy outcomes.

The next opportunity for increasing the minimum energy requirement will be 2022. Australian housing standards were already about 2.0 NatHERS stars behind comparable developed countries in 2008. If mandatory energy ratings aren’t increased, Australia will fall further behind international best practice.

If we continue to create a legacy of homes with relatively poor energy performance, making the transition to a low-energy and low-carbon economy is likely to get progressively more challenging and expensive.

Recent research has calculated that a delay in increasing minimum performance requirements from 2019 to 2022 will result in an estimated $1.1 billion (to 2050) in avoidable household energy bills. That’s an extra 3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Our research confirms the policy proposition that minimum house energy regulations based on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme are a powerful instrument for delivering better environmental and energy outcomes. While introducing minimum standards has significantly lifted the bottom end of the market, those standards should be reviewed regularly to ensure optimal economic and environmental outcomes.

CAP Plc will use its entire profit after tax to pay dividends

Chemical and Allied Products (CAP) Plc, a subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria Plc, has declared a dividend of 290 kobo per share for the financial year ended December 2018. This implies that the entire CAP Plc’s Profit After Tax of N2.03 billion will be spent on the dividend payout.

The declaration came in the course of the company’s 54th Annual General Meeting, which held recently in Lagos. Shareholders of the firm unanimously endorsed the dividend payout.

CAP Plc
L-R: Group Managing Director, CAP Plc., Omolara Elemide; President, Dulux Decorators Club, Lagos State Chapter, Sam Unwene, Member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Allen Oseghale and Marketing Manager, CAP Plc., Dominic Oladeji.

The Company’s Financial Performance: According to the Acting Chairman of CAP Plc, Mr Solomon Aigbavboa, the company posted a turnover of N7.76 billion, representing a growth of 9% over N7.11 billion recorded the year before.

Similarly, operating profit increased by 15% to N2.08 billion over the corresponding period in 2017. The total assets of CAP Plc also grew significantly by 26% to N6.31 billion from N5.01 billion in the corresponding period in 2017.

He affirmed that CAP Plc managed to achieve a positive performance despite the fact that 2018 was pretty challenging for business.

Company to Explore New Opportunities: The board of directors expressed optimism that an improved economy would yield increased returns in 2019, assuring shareholders that CAP Plc would leverage emerging opportunities to improve performance in the current year.

According to the Acting Chairman, the economy would gain traction this year by reason of stronger household consumption and public spending, which is expected to impact the company’s business positively.

“Your company is closely following developments at all levels and is prepared to key into opportunities that will be created. We are equally poised to take advantage of other structured reforms of the Federal Government, which might impact the housing and real estate sector.” -Aigbavboa

Nigeria remains the best place to invest, says Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria remains the best place to invest, given the population of the country.

In its 2019 state of the world population report, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) pegged Nigeria’s population at 201 million.

Speaking at an interactive session with foreign policy experts at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, US, on Monday, Osinbajo said the potentials of the country will keep attracting companies and investors.

According to a statement by Laolu Akande, his media aide, Osinbajo said the “potential, effort and impact being made by Nigerians in technology can enable the country roll out indigenous technology solutions that can transform the global space”.

He said government would leverage the efforts and resourcefulness of the vast  population of youth to actualise potentials in the sector.

“Our potential in technology and entertainment has been attracting huge attention,” he said.

“First is the market, at 174 million GSM phones, we are among the top ten telephone users in the world, and we have the highest percentage of people who use internet on their phones in the world.

“We are also number two in mobile internet banking in the world, and 17 million Nigerians are on Facebook. Microsoft has announced that it will establish a 100 million dollar African Development Centre in Nigeria.

“Second is the ever-growing number of technology startups, young digital entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to value chain and logistics challenges and creating thousands of jobs in the process.

“Andela, a software company training software developers for many Fortune 500 companies received a $24m dollar investment from Facebook.”

During the session, Osinbajo was asked about Nigeria’s stance on the issue of 5G rollout.

He said even though Nigeria is yet to roll out 5G, the country will do so eventually.

“We do not have those complications (comparatively) in taking decisions in that regard. But, we practically welcome every company that wants to do business with us in Nigeria. Huawei is in Nigeria and so are all the other technology companies,” he said.

“We haven’t gone through any kind of decision making for rolling out the 5G technology; as a matter of fact we are going to roll out 5G ourselves. Talking about the equipment and technology; how did the Chinese get it? How did anyone else get the technology? We will do it ourselves.”

‘Kano plans economic transformation through partnership’

Kano State Governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has restated the commitment of his administration to continue to partner with relevant agencies to ensure higher level of economic transformation in the State.

Ganduje gave the assurance while receiving delegation from the Federal Treasury under the leadership of the Accountant General of the Federation Alhaji Ahmed Idris who paid him a Courtesy Visit in his office.

The Governor represented by his Deputy Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said the partnership linkages would allow the State to provide a befitting atmosphere for both foreign and local investors to come in to the State for their business transactions.

“We have done a lot in terms of economic. As you can see, this administration is partnering with all relevant agencies to ensure economic transformation to a higher level of development.

“Kano has championed the issue of commerce not only in northern Nigeria but in the Sub-Saharan Africa, that is why His Royal Highness Malam Muhammadu Sunusi II has been made to be the chairman of the investment committee in the State ” he explained.

Ganduje further assured the delegation that his door would continue to be opened at all times for any economic issue that may be brought before him, adding that he would be ready to support any effort from individual or groups that would move the State forward.

“We will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable so that you will be able to hold the workshop and the subsequent meeting successfully” Ganduje said.

He conveyed the appreciation of the good people of Kano State to President Muhammadu Buhari for extending the tenure of the present Accountant General of the Federation Alhaji Ahmed Idris for being a patriotic indigent from Kano.

Earlier, the Accountant General of the Federation Alhaji Ahmed Idris told the Governor that they were in Kano for a 3-day workshop tagged ” Accountability and Transparency as Catalyst to economic recovery” organised for Treasury officers and other Stakeholders, as well as Meeting of the Federal Account Allocation Committee.

“The workshop will feature papers presentations by key Stakeholders including regulatory agencies such as EFCC, ICPC, Academies, Bankers and some other Stakeholders. It will be a gathering where we will discuss on public finance management and treasury activities to enlighten ourselves, to educate ourselves and to build capacity ” he disclosed.

Ahmed maintained that he personally found it pertinent to bring the workshop to Kano because of the obvious economic benefits which according to him Kano Stands to drive from.

He added “I must register our appreciation and special recognition of the assistance, support and the hospitality that the Kano State Government has extended to all of us by way of provision of the venue, accommodation, transportation and many other logistics and security in particular”

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