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Rivers APC Warns National Assembly to Perish Impeachment Threat on Buhari

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Rivers APC Warns National Assembly to Perish Impeachment Threat on Buhari

By Nwaorgu Faustinus

The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as unwise and unnecessary the recent alleged plot by some members of the National Assembly to heighten tension in the country by tabling an impeachment threat on President Muhammadu Buhari, who the party said was doing his best to rescue the nation from the dungeon that PDP past government kept her.

“The impeachment plot based on President Buhari’s approval for the withdrawal of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the purchase of 12 Super Tucano aircrafts ordered from the United States aimed at rescuing the country from its present security crisis is to us an exercise in futility,” the Rivers APC said in a statement circulated to journalists today by Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the Media Consultant to Dr Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, Rivers APC Chairman.

The statement said further that the purchase was never a scam as confirmed by President Donald Trump when he met with Mr Buhari few days ago at the White House.

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“We recently sold Nigeria 12 Super Tucano aircraft in the first-ever sale of American military equipment to Nigeria. Nigeria is a valued partner and a good friend,” the statement quoted Mr Trump as saying during the visit.

Rivers APC said, “The National Assembly, considering what President Trump said about our leader and nation should be celebrating this icon of integrity and the new face of democracy in our nation than this unwarranted demonstration of shame and embarrassment.”

Speaking further in the statement today, Rivers APC slammed the state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, “Who seizes any opportunity to demonstrate his disdain for both President Buhari and the APC led government once again using this historical purchase of war aircraft to mobilise his attack dogs in the National Assembly through his lackeys –  Kingsley Chinda (House of Representatives, PDP Rivers, Obio/Akpor Constituency) and Mathew Urhoghide (Senate, PDP Edo South) to initiate this unwise impeachment process against President Buhari knowing very well that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have no impeachment clause in any of its section but a plot of distraction to blackmail this administration and disrupt her efforts to expose and deal with those who have looted our common patrimony with impunity.”

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However, the party urged Mr Wike to leave President Muhammadu Buhari alone so that he can concentrate on how to find solutions to how Mr Wike and his colleagues allegedly looted and milked our common patrimony dry particularly now that he (Wike) has lost direction on how to govern a complex State like Rivers State.

The party said it relies on Section 143 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution and further in Section 143 (11) as (a) to state that President Buhari has neither committed any grave violation or breach of this Constitution, or a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion of the National Assembly to gross misconduct to warrant his impeachment or removal from office if not to play into the hands of those hell-bent of frustrating the corruption fight of this administration.

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“The party therefore admonishes the leadership and members of the National Assembly to consider the general peace, welfare of our nation and put aside this impeachment plot as we need to unite to save our nation from those who wants to plunge this nation into unwarranted crisis in order to safeguard their loots.

“The party notes that with the level of corruption instituted by the PDP administration during its inglorious reign it will be suicidal to succumb to their evil machinations and plots to scheme themselves back to power in order to safeguard their looted funds. God will not permit that,” the statement said.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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FG Blames Poor Management for Apapa Port Congestion

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Apapa Port

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has said terminal operators responsible for the inefficiency of the Apapa Port must work towards its total reconstruction and reorganisation.

This was made by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, citing the drastic change in the Port on the day the President visited to commission the Deep Blue Project.

“I was in the train with the president on that day and noticed that everything had disappeared, even inside the port that looked like a marketplace was very well organized, no persons were found loitering about, no trucks. What it shows is that the problem of the seaport is the problem of efficiency.

“If they had the capacity in just one night, because I was there the previous evening, and when I came back in the morning, everything had disappeared; If that can happen in one night, it means that the problem is management, nothing else.

“Do we need to wait for the President to come before we can be efficient?” Mr Amaechi queried.

“What I’ve done was to have a meeting with the terminal operators, and I told them that they have to contribute to the reconstruction of the Apapa Seaport.

“We must rebuild the Apapa Seaport, taking into cognizance all the issues that we are seeing now that is frustrating the seaport, like where do you park the trucks, how many trucks are coming into the seaport at what point in time?

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“How can a person come into the seaport who has no business being there, what is he doing at the seaport? The seaport is a security area and it is not for everybody, even me, after my tenure as Minister, I’m not entitled to go into the seaport unless I have business in the seaport,” he added.

The Minister noted that the Ministry of Transportation will partner with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to solve the problem, adding that freighting of cargoes from the seaport through the rail, when it begins, will also help in arresting the situation at the port.

“We are going to partner with customs because they are largely involved. Between them and the NPA, they are the operators (or regulators) of the Seaport and see how to arrest this situation. I believe that when we begin to freight cargoes from the seaport through the rail, we’ll reduce some of the challenges that we have at the seaport,’ he said.

Mr Amaechi also said the recently launched Deep Blue Project is overseen by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in partnership with the Ministry of Defence, would not only boost security in the country’s waters but will also improve trade in the Gulf of Guinea and reduce the cost of production for the oil industry while improving revenue for Nigeria’s economy.

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“Before we came, various contractors were contracted to provide security for oil companies in the water. There was a case between the government and OMSL in which the company provides about three or four boats to the Navy and they collect $2,500 per vessel for the first day and $1,500 for about 30 days.

In a year, like in 2020, they made about $67 million, and when you hand over the security of a country to individuals, it becomes very challenging and irresponsible. So, the president kindly approved that the police, army, air force, and other security agencies should be involved in providing security with the equipment that we have provided.

“We have about three helicopters, two fixed-wing planes, 17 interceptor boats, two vessels, drones, and more; what it does is that it gives you information about where the criminals are, those who go and destroy pipes just because they are looking for oil to bunker. It provides you that information, then you deter them or arrest them.

“So, we are able to provide security in the coastal region, both on land and on the sea. Now, those who provide the coastal security on land will be the Nigerian Army and the Police, and we’ve provided them with all the necessary tools they need.

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“We have ammunitions, we have vehicles, like Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and all that for patrol by the coast. All that, we believe will begin to yield fruits between now and next year.”

He added that by the time the government provide the necessary maritime security, the economy will improve as a result of more money coming into the economy through oil.

“That’s the impact it will have when it comes to the Deep Blue project. In fact, the Israelis who did the training said in 6 months to 1 year, if there is no improvement in the economy in terms of how much comes in, both to NIMASA, NPA, and the oil industry, come back to us and we’ll be willing to refund.

“But you know it is simple mathematics; It is true that the moment you can take away the criminals from the water, and the contractors from the water, then the cost of security which is borne either by NNPC or the oil companies will be part of what will come back to us as income. Then on land, in all our rail and train coaches, you have enough armed policemen in any trip we are making to withstand any criminal attack.”

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Kano Approves Siting of AKK Gas Pipeline Project in Tamburawa

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kano state map

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Kano State Government has approved Tamburawa in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area, along Zaria Road as a planning location for the siting of the proposed gas industrial layout under the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC’s) Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (APP) pipeline project.

This was disclosed by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Muhammad Garba, after the State Executive Council meeting.

He explained that the approval was given to the state government NNPC-AKK Gas Pipeline Project Delivery and Gas Industrialization Committee (KNSG-PDIC) to set up its planning location at Tamburawa adjacent to Challawa Water Works where the Kano/AKK Terminal Gas station is proposed to be built.

Mr Garba stated that while a draft of the proposed layout has been produced, the council directed the state Bureau for Land Management to liaise with the committee and come up with final documents for the new industrial layout.

He also revealed that the council has ratified the award of contract for the reconstruction of Challawa Industrial Layout Road network at the cost of N393,237,697.00 million.

He pointed out that the road is of vital economic importance to the economy of the state in view of its proximity to the ongoing construction of Dala Inland Dry Port at Zawachiki that is expected to impact the development of manufacturing and industrial activities when it commences operation.

The council, he added, has given approval for the release of N23, 883, 464.45 million to the state Radio Corporation for the supply and installation of dehydrators, binary power supply and exciter for its transmitters at Jogana Transmission Station.

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Mr Garba noted that the two components, which are essential items for the effective functioning of the transmission, have all gone faulty beyond repairs.

The Commissioner also disclosed that approval has also been given by the council for the payment of N80, 000.000.00 million one year allowances from a backlog of four years’ bursary allowances to the 59 MBBS, B.sc Masters and PhD. Kano state-sponsored students at the Near East University, Cyprus.

He said the council also directed the government verification team to authenticate the students and their academic performance before the implementation of a recommendation for instalment payment of the cumulative sum of N1, 123, 184, 893.5 billion as of November 26, 2020, to the university in two tranches of 50 per cent.

Mr Garba further revealed that with the setting in of the rainy season, the council has approved the sum of N85, 230, 234.00 million for the conduct of the annual drainage clearance exercise in the metropolis.

The Commissioner said the measure is to avert flooding from siltation of drainages as a result of indiscriminate waste disposal by people which affect the free flow of water, posing threat to life and property.

He said the council has also approved the substitution of the ministry of environment’s nursery located at Rano town to a new site within the local government.

The Commissioner said the decision was informed by the fact that the nursery has been inactive for decades due to lack of reliable source of water supply, persistently being encroached by settlement and request from member representing Rano constituency at the state House of Assembly to construct an ultra-modern Jumu’at Mosque and Islamiyya school at the location.

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The council, he said has given approval for the payment of N32, 610, 000.00 as bereaved allowances to 664 deceased civil servants of various grades in the state who passed away from 2017 to February 2021.

He said payment of bereaved family allowance due to their families/heirs for the civil servants who died in active service is in line with extant civil service rule.

The state government also announced that as part of efforts to improve health care delivery services, the council has given approval for the provision of uniforms (yards) for 17, 480 staff of various health cadres at the cost of N193, 639, 136.71million.

He listed some of the beneficiaries of the two sets of uniforms to be provided to include doctors, nurses, midwives, laboratory scientists, technology/technical assistants, image scanning/radiographers/x-ray technicians, physiotherapist, a technical assistant, dental therapist/technical assistant, dietician/nutritionist, among others.

The Commissioner also indicated that the council has approved contract review from N331, 889, 971.51 million to N370, 773, 987.95 million based on a new harmonized rate for general renovation works at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Permanent Orientation Campsite, Kusalla Dam in Karaye local government area.

He said the contract was initially awarded in 2016 and as work progresses, prices of materials and labour charges skyrocketed which the contractor lamented, adding that the council has given approval for the state government to partner with the Sugarcane Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria for the cultivation of sugarcane in commercial quantity in the country.

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He said the measure would go a long way in creating young farmers and entrepreneurs which is in line with the state government policy of skills acquisition programme that will uplift thousands of youth out of poverty and increase revenue generation for the state.

The commissioner also announced approval by the council for additional works in the contract for the upgrading of Gidan Shettima to serve as Emirate Council Headquarters for the five Emirs in the state at the cost of N49,893,466,00 million.

The additional work, he said, include the provision of office of the chairman, construction of additional floor to accommodate offices for four Emirs, increase the size of the council chamber and public gallery to adequately accommodate expanded members of the council and construction of a mosque and car park.

The Commissioner disclosed that the council has ratified the approval for the renovation and upgrading of Dawakin Tofa District Head Palace in Dawakin Tofa local government area.

He said the contract for the renovation exercise, which was initially awarded at the cost of N78, 801, 280.82 million, had to be revised to N99,340,773.87 million as a result of some additional vital works introduced that included among others, main Fada, gallery, Hakimi wing, VIP guest wing, new wall, Shamakhi, Generator house.

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Global Financial Wealth Hits $250trn Despite COVID-19

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global financial wealth

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A new report has shown that despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, global financial wealth reached an all-time high of $250 trillion.

In the new report released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), it was revealed that last year, household savings rose and markets showed unexpected resilience in the face of the health crisis.

It was observed that in the period under consideration, many wealth management clients embraced alternative investments in their quest for higher returns, shifting away from low-yield debt securities.

As part of this trend, real assets led primarily by real estate ownership reached an all-time high of $235 trillion.

Nevertheless, Asia, which has the largest concentration of wealth in real assets ($84 trillion, 64% of the regional total) will see financial asset growth exceed real asset growth (7.9% versus 6.7%) in coming years. In particular, investment funds in the region will become the fastest-growing financial asset class, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6% through 2025.

In the report, BCG identified two attractive markets for wealth managers. One consists of individuals with simple investment needs and financial wealth between $100,000 and $3 million. This “simple-needs segment” comprises 331 million individuals worldwide, holds $59 trillion in investable wealth and has the potential to contribute $118 billion to the global wealth revenue pool.

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The report, titled Global Wealth 2021: When Clients Take the Lead, also revealed that despite the pandemic’s enduring financial impact, global prosperity and wealth grew significantly throughout the crisis and are likely to continue to expand significantly over the next five years, in line with the emerging economic recovery.

It was disclosed that North America, Asia (excluding Japan), and Western Europe will be the leading generators of financial wealth globally, accounting for 87 per cent of new financial wealth growth worldwide between now and 2025.

Anna Zakrzewski, a BCG managing director and partner, global leader of the firm’s wealth management segment, and a co-author of the report said, “Wealth managers often underserve those in the simple-needs segment with a standardized set of products, and the result is a poor client experience with no wow factor.

“This is essentially a missed opportunity. To better serve this key segment, wealth managers must embrace a new approach that lets them reach a larger audience in a cost-effective and scalable way, but with a highly personalized offering.”

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Retirees, one of the world’s fastest-growing demographics, are another appealing market. Many are underserved and adversely impacted by the “advisory gap” that prevails during the retirement phase of life.

Today, individuals over 65 own $29.3 trillion in financial assets accessible to wealth managers. That figure will grow at a CAGR of close to 7% over the next five years, enabling wealth managers globally to target nearly $41.1 trillion in financial wealth by 2025. By 2050, 1.5 billion people globally will fall into the 65+ category, representing an enormous source of wealth.

In addition to the simple-needs and retirees segments, the “ultra” wealth category—individuals whose personal wealth exceeds $100 million—expanded in 2020, with 6000 people joining the 60,000-strong cohort, which has seen year-on-year growth of 9% since 2015. The category currently holds a combined $22 trillion in investable wealth, 15% of the world’s total.

According to the report, China is on track to overtake the US as the country with the largest concentration of ultras by the end of the decade. If investable wealth continues to rise there at its current annual rate of 13%, China will host $10.4 trillion in ultra assets by 2029, more than any other market in the world. The US will be close behind, with a forecasted total of $9.9 trillion in such wealth by 2029.

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The faces of the ultras are changing too, with the rise of the next-generation segment. These individuals, between 20 and 50 years of age, have longer investment horizons, a greater appetite for risk, and often a desire to use their wealth to create positive social impact as well as earn solid returns. Many wealth managers are not yet ready to serve these new ultras.

“High-growth markets represent a massive opportunity, but wealth managers must build a genuine understanding of local differences and also key demographic changes,” said BCG’s Zakrzewski. “For example, women now account for 12% of ultras, most of whom are based in the US, Germany, and China. The next-gen segment is also going to be an influential driver of future growth in the next decade or so. Whether it’s a simple-needs or ultra-high-net-worth client, managers need to offer a personalized service in order to effectively capture the next wave of growth.”

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