The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi says Boko Haram escapees from the North-East part of the country are infiltrating other parts of Nigeria as bandits and kidnappers. Fayemi said the insecurity in the country is not limited to Borno or the North-East as there is a nexus between terrorists’ activities in the North-East and banditry in the North-West as well as the kidnapping in the South. The Ekiti State governor therefore called for a holistic approach to ending menace. He said, “Insurgency is not limited to Borno State. We will be making a mistake if we do not draw a correlation between what is going on in Borno State and what is happening in other parts of the country – banditry, kidnapping, militancy, they are inextricably intertwined. Some of the insurgents that escaped from the Boko Haram territory are the ones prosecuting the banditry in the North-West, some of them are involved in the kidnapping in the South-West. “ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) insurgents coming down from Sudan, from Niger (Republic) are involved in what is going on. How many states are you going to declare a state of emergency on then? So, we must take a holistic view on this.” The governor said the state governments should be given more powers to handle the security of their domains, adding that anything that will help Nigerians overcome the insecurity in the country, the Federal Government and the National Assembly must do.
About 26,458 workers who lost their jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic started taking its toll on the economy withdrew ₦14.79 billion from their Retirement Savings Accounts in 10 months. Records from the National Pension Commission have revealed that more job losers have continued to approach their Pension Funds Administrators to access parts of the funds in their Retirement Savings Accounts. In its first quarter, the commission granted approval for the payment of ₦4.31 billion to 8,221 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work but unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement. In the second quarter, approval was granted for payment of ₦2.56 billion to 4,668 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work but unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement during the second quarter. In the third quarter 2020, the commission granted approval for the payment of ₦8.1 billion to 13,569 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work but unable to secure jobs within four months of disengagement. Despite the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose to ₦11.35 trillion as of the end of August, the commission revealed. According to the data from the commission, the funds rose from ₦11.08 trillion in June to ₦11.3 trillion in July. The pension commission revealed that ₦7.51 trillion or 66.27 percent of the funds had been invested in Federal Government’s securities.
The Federal Government on Monday announced that it had signed an investment promotion agreement with Singapore and Morocco. It also stated that it was in talks with the World Bank to develop a strategic plan for trade and investment in Nigeria. Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, disclosed this at the virtual/physical technical session of officials of the 12th Meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment in Abuja. Sani-Gwarzo said the FMITI was reviewing many policies to boost trade and investment in Nigeria, adding that it was partnering multilateral agencies to strategically reposition the sector. The permanent secretary said, “The Investment Protection Agreement with Singapore and Morocco has been signed by the Federal Government and efforts are being made to collaborate with the Ministry of Justice for the production of the instrument of ratification for the signature of Mr. President.” He said the ministry was also working to develop a coordinated approach to investment promotion within 25 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Ghanaians voted Monday in a presidential election that’s expected to be tight, as the two front-runners face off for a third time. President Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party is seeking another four years at the helm of Africa’s top gold producer. His predecessor, John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, aims to unseat him with a promise of mass infrastructure spending. The winner of Monday’s contest will be expected to sort out the country’s fiscal challenges. That’s after the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic drove Ghana’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product to 71% in September, the highest in four years. Before the global health crisis, the West African nation was already under fiscal pressure due to the costs of cleaning up the banking sector and meeting energy-sector liabilities. Mahama, 62, defeated Akufo-Addo in 2012 to serve his first full-term as president after completing the mandate of John Atta Mills, who died in office. Akufo-Addo, 76, then beat him in a 2016 ballot, taking over the leadership of one of the continent’s most stable democracies. The top contenders, whose parties have dominated Ghanaian politics since 1992, are competing in a race fielding 12 candidates. The country’s 17 million voters will also choose 275 lawmakers to determine if the ruling NPP will retain control of parliament.