Anambra Deputy Governor Nkem Okeke officially defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress Wednesday. He was received by President Muhammadu Buhari, APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and Yobe Governor Mai Mala Buni, and Imo Governor Hope Uzodinma. Okeke is now a member of the ruling party after dumping the All Progressives Grand Alliance. The defection of Okeke, who first served as Anambra State Commissioner for Economic Planning, and again as Anambra State Commissioner for Works and Transport in the administration of Governor Peter Obi, comes less than a month to the 6 November governorship election in the state. APGA is the ruling party in the state. Current governor Willie Obiano had recently alleged that members of APGA in the state house of assembly were induced to join the APC. The governor said some lawmakers were given ₦100 million each to defect.
From 1 December, all FG employees will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result to access their offices. Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on the COVID-19 pandemic and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, announced this during the Committee’s briefing in Abuja. “With effect from 1st December 2021, Federal Government employees shall be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done within 72 hours to gain access to their offices, in all locations within Nigeria and our Missions. An appropriate service-wide advisory/circular will be issued to guide the process,” he said. He also informed that the PSC had decided, after a proper review of development within their borders, to relax the restriction imposed on travellers from Brazil, Turkey and South Africa. Speaking on the diplomatic row with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over travel band due to testing conditions, the SGF said that the aviation authorities in collaboration with the diplomatic sector have made reasonable progress in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with discussions still ongoing with Emirati authorities to resolve the impasse.
The International Monetary Fund has raised Nigeria’s economic growth forecast to 2.6 percent in 2021, up from 2.5 percent earlier projected. The institution revealed this Tuesday in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) for October 2021 titled “Recovery During a Pandemic: Health Concerns, Supply Disruptions, and Price Pressures.” The World Bank had, last week, raised the country’s growth forecast from 1.8 to 2.4 percent — based on the strong support from the service sector. For the year 2022, IMF also increased Nigeria’s growth prospect to 2.7 percent from 2.6 percent. Despite the slight positive outlook for Nigeria, the IMF downgraded global growth projections for 2021 due to the COVID-19 Delta variant. The global projection for 2021 was downgraded by 0.1 percentage points to 5.9 per cent, while the global growth forecast for 2022 remained unchanged at 4.9 per cent. According to the IMF, supply chain disruptions negatively affected recovery in the advanced economies, while lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines held back prospects for the emerging economies. Gita Gopinath, the economic counsellor/director of research, IMF, said risks to the economy had increased due to the Delta variant of the pandemic while disrupting supply chains and fuelling inflation. She said “The momentum has weakened, hobbled by the pandemic. Fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant, the recorded global recovery continues but the COVID-19 death toll has risen close to five million and health risks abound, holding back a full return to normalcy. The outlook for the low-income developing country group had darkened considerably due to worsening pandemic dynamics.” “Partially offsetting these changes, projections for some commodity exporters have been upgraded on the back of rising commodity prices. Pandemic-related disruptions to contact-intensive sectors have caused the labour market recovery to significantly lag the output recovery in most countries,” Gopinath added.
Sources in the Sudanese government have said that the country’s security service has slapped a travel ban on members of a task force overseeing the country’s transition to democracy, Reuters reports. This is even as tensions between civilian and military leaders threaten to boil over weeks after a failed coup. Two senior civilian government sources told newsmen Wednesday that the General Intelligence Service’s travel ban affected 11 civilian officials, most members of the Committee tasked with dismantling Bashir’s financial and political legacy. The political crisis in the country erupted on 21 September when Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said rogue troops still loyal to Omar al-Bashir had sought to derail by force the revolution that removed the ousted president from power in 2019. In a statement later on Wednesday, the GIS denied reports that it banned officials from travel and said that was not within its powers. It said in the statement that “The Service affirms that it is operating according to its duties as stated in the transitional constitution. According to the sources, the list included Mohamed al-Faki, who at a news conference last month accused the military of using the failed coup as an excuse to try to seize power. Al-Faki is also part of the ruling Sovereign Council, on which both civilian and military officials sit and which has run Sudan since Bashir’s overthrow. Since the coup attempt, military leaders have withdrawn protection for the task force and demanded changes to the civilian coalition with which they share power. A senior military source said the military had no involvement in the travel ban, and that such measures were not among its responsibilities. The sources said the ban was illegal as it originated from the GIS rather than the public prosecutor’s office, and that the cabinet – which sits below the Sovereign Council – was pressing for an investigation. The ban came to light after another person on it, businessman Salah Manaa, managed to board a flight to Cairo, the sources said.