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The World Bank latest economic analysis for says increasing productivity will be vital to support robust growth and creation and to keep millions from falling into extreme poverty.

In its latest publication on Africa’s largest nation titled “The Nigeria Economic Update, Jumpstarting Inclusive Growth: Unlocking the Productive Potential of Nigeria’s People and Resource Endowments”, the institution listed priority to include increased policy transparency and improved access to .

The report recommended areas where reforms can contribute to economic growth and expand the job market, such as in trade, education and the digital .

“Without robust productivity growth, the report warns that living standards will continue to deteriorate, and the number of people living in poverty will continue to rise, increasing by more than 30 million by 2030”, it said.

Marco Hernandez, World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria, and co-author of the report said: “Nigeria’s population is expected to grow by as much as 35 million in the next decade.

“Unless the pace of growth and job creation accelerates, the country will account for a quarter of all people living in extreme poverty worldwide.

“Creating new opportunities for this rapidly increasing labor will require a new economic model based on productivity growth.”

The update analyzes the evolution of productivity in Nigeria and identifies the policies and institutions which can help accelerate Nigeria’s economic expansion and create new job opportunities.

It further outlined four priority areas that would lay the foundation for Nigeria’s transition to a new economic model.

World Bank urged the Nigerian government to: “Ensure policy transparency and predictability, which will be critical to reduce risk and promote growth outside the extractive industry;

“Enhance factor quality by investing in infrastructure, strengthening land tenure security, improving educational outcomes, liberalizing the trade regime and enhancing trade and transport facilitation to help develop value chains and facilitate the efficient reallocation of factors of production, making Nigeria more cost-competitive;

“Reduce regulatory discretion to help attract foreign and domestic investment to the non-oil sector, encourage competition, and promote formalization;

“Improve access to finance, which could enable new firms to compete with incumbents and allow more productive firms to scale up their operations.

Additionally, the report recommends building momentum for reforms, which are essential to mitigate risks and promote faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth that improves living standards and reduces poverty.

Select reform areas include: “Leverage trade integration to harness the benefits of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area;

“Improve basic education financing to improve human capital outcomes;

“Monitor the impact of conflict on the welfare of households to protect poor and vulnerable people;

“Leverage digital technologies to diversify the economy and create jobs for young .”

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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2 Comments

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    March 25, 2020 at 10:00 am

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Business

War: US, China sign first deal

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War: US, China sign first deal 20200117 020314

The U.S. and China signed a so-called ‘Phase One’ deal on Wednesday, thus putting on hold a trade war between the two economic giants but leaves in place massive tariffs on Beijing’s goods, while also sidestepping some of the thorniest issues.

The trade war has roiled world markets and slowed global growth over the past two years.

The approximately 90-page deal includes Chinese promises to buy some 200 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. products over two years and implement stronger rules on intellectual property, NAN reports

It also established a dispute resolution mechanism, which is meant to ensure the deal is enforceable, and provides further access to the Chinese market for U.S. financial service providers.

The U.S. said that if the sides could reach a more expansive Phase Two deal, Washington would roll back tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports.

The first phase leaves in place Washington’s tariffs on 370 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, while reducing the tariff rate on some of those goods from 15 to 7.5 per cent.

Still, President Donald Trump hailed the “historic” agreement at a lengthy White signing ceremony.

“Keeping these two giant and powerful nations together in harmony is so important for the world.

“The world is watching today.

“Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past,” Trump said, while stressing that he viewed the remaining tariffs as a negotiating tool.

China will buy 40 billion dollars in U.S. agriculture products “in line with market terms,” Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said at the ceremony, while noting that demand would also be a factor.

Trump has made closing the large trade deficit between the U.S. and China one of the goals of his administration.

He also has sought an end to abuses of U.S. intellectual property rights by Chinese companies along with forced technology transfers.

“We are not likely to see in this agreement any provisions addressing the key structural problems with China,” Jennifer Hillman, a trade expert at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, warned ahead of the ceremony.

Hillman cited Beijing’s use of subsidies to “prop up” companies that flood markets with goods and drive down prices among the practices.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who did not attend the event in Washington, praised the deal, in a letter read out by Liu.

“In the next step the two sides need to implement the agreement in real earnest and optimize its positive impact,” Xi said.

“In that spirit, I hope the U.S. side will treat fairly Chinese companies and their regular trade and activities,” the letter added.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday, “(The deal) is an extreme disappointment to me and to millions and millions of Americans who want to see us make China play fair.”

Chinese observers also feel like the deal, while halting a trade conflict that was spiralling out of control, may fail to serve China’s national interests.

Beijing might also find it hard to purchase the set amounts of U.S. agricultural, energy, and manufactured goods outlined in the agreement without alienating other countries, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University.

“I think China has made a lot of concessions, and the implementation of the first phase of the agreement poses a considerable challenge,” he said.

Other countries have raised objections to the deal, saying it would China to adopt a system of “managed trade” to the detriment of other nations, according to Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.

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Business

CBN reduces ATM withdrawal, electronic transfer charges, warns banks

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CBN reduces ATM withdrawal, electronic transfer charges, warns banks 20191223 125411

The Central Bank of (CBN) has reduced the charges of electronic transfer, ATM withdrawal and card maintenance fees.

The new charges were contained in the Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions released by the CBN on Sunday.

Bank customers will now pay N10 for electronic transfers below N5,000, and N25 for electronic transfer between N5,000 and N50,000. Only electronic transfer above N50,000 will attract N50 charge.

CBN slashed charges for cash withdrawal via Other bank’s ATM to “maximum of N35 after the third withdrawal within the same month” from “N65 after the third withdrawal within the same month”.

The CBN also removed Card Maintenance Fee (CAMF) on all cards linked to current accounts, a maximum of one Naira per mille for customer induced debit transactions to third parties and transfers or lodgments to the customers’ account in other banks on current accounts only,

CBN Director, Corporate Communications, explained that the current NIP charges apply to use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), purchase with cash-back will attract a charge of N100 per N20,000 subject to cumulative N60,000 daily withdrawal.

For cards linked to savings account, a maintenance fee has been reduced to a maximum of N50 per quarter from N50 per month amounting to only N200 per annum instead of N600.

CBN declared that there will be no more charges for reactivation or closure of accounts such as savings, current and domiciliary accounts while status enquiry at the request of the customer (like confirmation letter, letter of non-indebtedness and reference letter) will now attract a fee of N500 per request.

On Current Account Maintenance Fee (CAMF), the Guide expressly stated that this would be applicable only to current accounts in respect of customer-induced debit transactions to third parties and debit transfers/lodgments to the customer’s account in another bank. It emphasized that CAMF is not applicable to Savings Accounts.

According to the Director, the CBN carried out the review of the Guide, which also prescribes charges permissible for Other Financial Institutions and non-bank financial institutions, in order to align with market developments.

To guard against excess, unapproved or arbitrary charges by banks and other financial institutions, the Guide stipulates a penalty of N2,000,000 per infraction or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time for financial institutions that breach any provision of the guide.

The Guide also emphasized that failure by any bank to comply with CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract a further penalty of N2,000,000 daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time

CBN has directed banks to log every complaint received from their customers into the Consumer Complaints Management System (CCMS) in addition to generating a unique reference code for each complaint lodged, which must be given to the customer. Failure to log and provide the code to the customer, it added, amounts to a breach and is sanctionable with a penalty of N1,000,000 per breach.

This Guide, which replaces the Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions issued in 2017, takes effect from January 1, 2020, and may be reviewed from time to time to reflect changes in the business environment.

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