President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, said he was in the United States (US) to seek President Barack Obama’s help to locate and return $150 billion stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former Nigerian officials.
He said the nation had been badly run in the past, devoid of a governance framework and real checks and balances, a development, he said, had allowed past leaders to plunder the country.
“The fact that I now seek Obama’s assistance in locating and returning $150 billion in funds stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former corrupt officials is testament to how badly Nigeria has been run. This way of conducting our affairs cannot continue,” he said.
Buhari, who is currently on a presidential visit to the United States, in an opinion article in Washington Post, on Monday, also said his cabinet members would be appointed in September, four months after inauguration into office.
“When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office.
“There are too few examples in the history of Nigeria since independence where it can be said that good management and governance were instituted at a national level.
Justifying what Nigerians have perceived as being slow, the president said “it is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim.
“In Nigeria’s case, it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have made these appointments immediately on my elevation to the presidency; instead, Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place.”
The president, in the article, entitled: “Nigeria committed to good governance and fighting terror,” acknowleged that “already, there are voices saying these changes are taking too long — even though only six weeks have passed since my inauguration. I hear such calls, but this task cannot and should not be rushed.
“As I meet with President Obama today — the first time a president of the United States will encounter a Nigerian counterpart, following the peaceful transfer of power in a contested election in our history — I will be discussing my plans for critical reforms. So, too, will I discuss why the formation of my administration is taking time and, crucially, why it must.”
The president also declared that all the new service chiefs would, henceforth, be based in Borno State, the major hot spot of the Boko Haram terrorist.
He told the world in the opinion article that “in one of my first acts since taking office as president six weeks ago, I have replaced the heads of Nigeria’s army, navy and air force. Our new military leadership has not been chosen because of their familiarity with those in government, as was too often the case in the past, but on their track records and qualifications alone.
“These new military leaders will be based in Borno State in northern Nigeria, where the headquarters of the armed services has been relocated. This shift of resources and command directly to the front line, in addition to the replacement of the head of the State Security Service, Nigeria’s intelligence organisation, and a new emphasis on working in partnership with our neighbours, has equipped us to take the fight directly to Boko Haram.”
Noting that the effects of all the actions taken so far against the terrorists had began to yield results, he said “this month, the world moved a step closer to the defeat of Boko Haram, the jihadist group that has terrorised hundreds of thousands in the northern states of Nigeria.
“Already we are beginning to see a degrading of Boko Haram’s capabilities as a fighting force. In recent weeks, it appears to have shifted away from confronting the military directly to an increase in attacks on civilian areas, as we saw only last week when an elderly woman and 10-year-old girl blew themselves up at a Muslim prayer gathering in north-eastern Nigeria.
“We should not be confused by this change, hateful as it is: It does not mean that Boko Haram is succeeding in its aims — it shows that it is losing.”
According to the president, “indeed, the failure of governance, it can be argued, has been as much a factor in Nigeria’s inability thus far to defeat Boko Haram as have been issues with the military campaign itself.
“So the path we must take is simple, even if it is not easy: First, instill rules and good governance; second, install officials who are experienced and capable of managing state agencies and ministries; and third, seek to recover funds stolen under previous regimes, so that this money can be invested in Nigeria for the benefit of all of our citizens.”
Through the opinion, President Buhari sought the support and partnership of the United States in these tasks.
According to him, “the importance of the fight against terrorism and corruption in Nigeria, Africa’s most powerful economy and largest populace, cannot be underestimated.
“Our allies can provide much-needed military training and intelligence as our soldiers take the war effort to Boko Haram. Similarly, we look to US businesses as well as the Obama administration to help develop governance initiatives that can ensure that Nigeria’s wealth benefits all its people, not just a few.
“By taking these steps, we will be positioned to benefit from increased investment — particularly in energy and electricity — from the United States,” he said.
He noted that “I was elected on a platform of change. I know this is what the people of Nigeria desire more than anything else. I know they are impatient for action. I realise the world waits to see evidence that my administration will be different from all those that came before. Yet reforming my country after so many years of abuse cannot be achieved overnight.
“In our campaigns against both Boko Haram and corruption, we should remain steadfast and remember, as it is said: ‘Have patience. All things become difficult before they become easy.’
“My determination should not be underestimated in other matters. This includes instilling good governance and tackling the scourge of corruption that has held Nigeria back for too long.”
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.
Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.
Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.
Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.
Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.
The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.
Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”
Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.
The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.
On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”
Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed
By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,
After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.
The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.
Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?
From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.
In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.
As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.
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