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Prof Mahbubani Predicts Rise of Africa at Afreximbank’s Ndiaye Lecture

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Research Institute and Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, predicted a shift in economic power from the West to Asia in the first half of the 21st Century, with the second half moving into the Afro-Asian Century.

 

He said this on Thursday at the Fourth edition of the Ndiaye Lecture was organised at a time of major tectonic shifts around the world and the choice of the main theme “Africa and the Remaking of the New World Order” reflected these developments at the global level.

“From the year one to 1820, China and India were the two largest economies of the world. It is only in the last 200 years that Europe took off, followed by the United States. In contrast to the plight of the bottom fifty percent in the United States today, the bottom fifty percent in China have had their best forty years of socio-economic advancement in four thousand years of Chinese history,” said Professor Mahbubani, a world-renowned geopolitical thinker and veteran diplomat.

“In the 1990’s, China decided to become more pragmatic and the West decided to focus on ideology,” stated Professor Mahbubani. Four decades later, pragmatism which emphasises the adoption of development models and solutions with a proven track record, enabled China to overtake the US as the largest economy in the world in purchasing power parity terms after a successful demographic transition.

Professor Mahbubani predicted that the second half of the 21st century will be the Afro-Asian century, especially with the African population projected to double in the coming decades. Mainstreaming the culture of Meritocracy, Pragmatism and Honesty (MPH), which helped achieve successful demographic transitions in China, will play the same role in the process of African Renaissance and the return of the continent to the global centre stage.

The MPH structure also has the potential to stem endemic corruption which in the view of Professor Mahbubani has been the single most important impediment to development over the years. Professor Mahbubani exhorted future generations of Africans to aspire to be as honest as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Earlier, Professor Benedict Oramah, the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, underlined the visionary spirit of Dr Babacar Ndiaye and his development impact. “Afreximbank which was created in response to the sovereign debt crisis of the 1980’s has become the African crisis management institution par excellence,” stated Professor Oramah.

The event also featured a tribute to Dr Ndiaye from his former colleague, Ms. Arunma Oteh, who was African Development Bank Vice President for Corporate Services, World Bank’s Treasurer and is currently at the Said Business School at University of Oxford as an Academic in Residence. She gave a moving tribute about Dr Ndiaye’s life as her mentor and shared his vision of Africa as an economic powerhouse.

The poet Dike Chukwumerije gave a rousing rendition of African history, highlighting the exceptional contribution of Africa to the world and paying homage to systematically organized civilizations of Africa’s past. Stressing the importance of history in the survival of civilizations he invited Africans to treasure and preserve their history. “In our African souls we carry always our ability to rise,” Mr Chukwumerije stated in his closing statement.

After thanking the participants and speakers for their exceptional contribution to the fourth edition of Ndiaye Lecture in his closing remarks, Dr Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist at Afreximbank, observed that “the rise of Africa in the second half of the 21st century will take the world back to the beginning of history,” stressing the role played by Africa as the cradle of civilisation.

Participants also enjoyed a musical performance by the virtuoso Ms Sona Jobarteh. The Babacar Ndiaye Lecture was held as a virtual event – due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It attracted more than 2000 attendees.

Professor Kishore Mahbubani’s keynote address can be viewed here: https://ndiayelecture.afreximbankevents.com/

The Babacar Ndiaye Lecture series, launched by Afreximbank 4 years ago, honours the founding role the late Dr Babacar Ndiaye played in the establishment of Afreximbank. As President of the African Development Bank from May 1985 to August 1995, he is credited with championing the Africa’s economic growth and progress.

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BUSINESS

Foreign Inflows Fall by 32%, UK, South Africa, others Slash Nigeria Investments

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has disclosed that capital importation into the country fell by 32 per cent to $500m in October 2021, from $660m recorded in September.

The CBN disclosed these figures in its latest monthly economic report (October) recently released on the bank’s official website.

The decline is a negative turnaround from the increase recorded in September when capital inflow rose by $220m from $440m in August.

The report also shows that there is a corresponding decline in investment inflows from the United Kingdom, South Africa and other countries leading the pack in capital importation into Nigeria.

A breakdown of the inflows recorded in October shows that foreign portfolio investments dominated capital importation with a value of $330m.

The CBN said, “New capital importation decreased by 32.0 per cent to US$0.50bn in October 2021, from US$0.66bn in September 2021.

“Disaggregation of capital importation by type of investment shows that foreign portfolio investment inflow (mainly money market instruments), at US$0.33bn, decreased by 34.0 per cent, relative to the US$0.50bn in September 2021.

“Despite the decline, portfolio inflow remained dominant in total foreign investment, accounting for 65.0 per cent.

“The inflow of other investments, mostly loans, was US$0.14bn or 28.2 per cent of the total, a slight increase from US$0.13bn in September 2021.

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The report also noted that foreign direct investment accounted for only 6.8 per cent of capital inflows in October at $30m.

Considering capital importation by nature of business, the central bank said financing led the chart representing 47.4 per cent, banking stood at 13.8 per cent, shares got 12.9 per cent while trading was 8.9 per cent.

Other sectors such as telecommunication and service contributed 7.4 per cent and 3.8 per cent, production/manufacturing accounted for 3.6 per cent while agriculture contributed 2.1 per cent.

The CBN added that, “Capital importation by country of origin indicates that the Republic of South Africa led the pack (46.1 per cent), followed by the United Kingdom (16.4 per cent) and Singapore (10.0 per cent). The Netherlands contributed 9.5 per cent, the United States of America (9.4 per cent), Guinea (2.0 per cent), Mauritius (1.8 per cent), United Arab Emirates (1.0 per cent), Czech Republic (0.9 per cent), and Denmark (0.9 per cent). Others accounted for the balance.

“Analysis of capital importation by destination (states), reveals that Lagos and Abuja were the main recipients with US$0.44 billion (or 88.3 per cent) and US$0.06 billion (or 11.7 per cent) of the total, respectively.”

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Business Analysis

FIRS Loses N5.8bn to MDAs Tax Evasion, Others – Report

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The non-remittance of tax deductions by ministries, departments and agencies of government as well as the House of Representatives and Senate led to the loss of tax revenue of N5.8bn by the Federal Inland Revenue Service in 2019.

The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation disclosed this in its 2019 Annual Report on non-compliance, internal control, and weakness issues in MDAs of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2019.

The MDAs are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa; Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited; Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Jigawa State; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State’ Department of Petroleum Resources; National Assembly Service Commission; and Nigerian Correctional Service.

The report said between 2018 and 2019, the MDAs failed to either remit one per cent stamp duty, value added tax, withholding tax or Pay As You Earn tax deducted from awarded contracts, thereby contravening sections of the Financial Regulations and Treasury Circular issued on December 29, 2015.

According to the report, Paragraph 234(I) of the Financial Regulations states that ‘it is mandatory for accounting officers to ensure full compliance with the dual roles of making provision for the Value Added Tax and withholding tax due on supply and services contract and actual remittance of same’.

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It quoted Paragraph 235 as saying, “Deduction of VAT, WHT, and PAYE shall be remitted to Federal Inland Revenue Service at the same time the payee who is the subject of deduction is paid.”

According to the report, the Treasury circular Ref No. TRY/A12&B12/2015 and OAGF/CAD/VOL.II/390 dated December 29, 2015 states that “1% Stamp Duty chargeable on contract awards and the remittance be made to the relevant tax authority (Federal Inland Revenue Service).”

It said, “The audit observed that the sum of N5,828,621,715.06 was the amount of taxes not remitted by 12 Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has the highest amount of N2,984,887,250.00 while Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa has the least amount of N1,021,011.13.”

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BUSINESS

Customs Targets N4.1trn Revenue in 2022

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has a revenue target of N4.1 trillion in 2022.

NCS had said it generated N2.3 trillion revenue in 2021, exceeding the target by N63 billion. The FG had set a 2021 revenue target of N1.

67 trillion for the agency last year.

Yusuf Malanta, customs area controller (CAC), Apapa Command of NCS, disclosed this during a press briefing in Lagos yesterday.

According to Malanta, the command gathered N870.4billion from importers in 2021.

Furthermore, he said the revenue profile of the command increased significantly by 68 percent in 2021, compared to N518.

4 billion collected in 2020.

He also said the Apapa command was ready to achieve the 2022 revenue target.

“The revenue target of the NCS has been increased to N4.1 trillion,” he said.

“For us in Apapa Area Command, we have already boarded and fastened our seats towards the realization of this revenue target.

“We hope that the service will surely leverage the deployment of digital transformation of Customs business processes which will further take care of many control mechanisms through its risk management system.”

Speaking on the revenue collected for 2021, Malanta said despite COVID-19, gridlock, and other challenges, they were able to overshoot their target.

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“Despite the enormous challenges faced in the trade supply chain; occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic still ravaging economies around the world, high cost of freight, incessant traffic gridlock, rail construction through the port, as well as ensuring an increase in compliance level from stakeholders, the Command between January and December 2021 was able to collect a revenue of N870,388,340,650.65 and remitted to the federation and non-federation accounts of the Federal Government, respectively,” he added.

“This clearly shows that the revenue profile of the command has significantly increased by about 68% when compared with the collection of N518.4 billion in the year 2020.”

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