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COVID-19, rising debt threatening Nigeria, other nations’ economic growth: World Bank

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The World Bank has warned that global economic growth will suffer a setback due to inflation, policy uncertainty, rising insecurity, and a spike in COVID-19 infections in Nigeria and other developing countries.

“The world economy is simultaneously facing COVID-19, inflation, and policy uncertainty, with government spending and monetary policies in uncharted territory,” the financial institution said.

In the World Bank Group’s latest report on Tuesday, its president, David Malpass, explained that “rising inequality and security challenges are particularly harmful to developing countries.”

By 2023, all advanced economies will have achieved a full output recovery, the report said, but output in emerging and developing economies will remain four per cent below its pre-pandemic trend.

“Putting more countries on a favourable growth path requires concerted international action and a comprehensive set of national policy responses,” it said.

While economic growth experienced a strong rebound in 2021, it is expected to decline markedly from 5.5 per cent last year to 4.1 per cent in 2022 and drop to 3.2 per cent in 2023.

Following a strong rebound in 2021, the global economy is now entering a slowdown amid threats from COVID-19 variants and a rise in inflation, debt, and income inequality—all adding to the risk of a “hard landing” in developing economies.

The slowdown will coincide with a widening divergence in growth rates between advanced and emerging or developing economies.

Mari Pangestu, the World Bank’s managing director for Development Policy and Partnerships, stressed the importance of multilateral collaboration as the choices policymakers make in the coming years would decide the course of the next decade.

“The immediate priority should be to ensure that vaccines are deployed more widely and equitably so the pandemic can be brought under control. But tackling reversals in development progress such as rising inequality will require sustained support,” she noted. “In a time of high debt, global cooperation will be essential to help expand the financial resources of developing economies so they can achieve green, resilient, and inclusive development.”

(NAN)

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NiMet predicts 3-day haziness from Wednesday

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dust haze

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted hazy weather condition from Wednesday to Friday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Tuesday in Abuja, predicted the North-Western states to be under moderate dust haze on Wednesday.

The agency further predicted horizontal visibility between 3km to 7km with the North-East to be in thick dust haze with horizontal visibility between 300m to 1,500m during the forecast period in the region.

“The North-Central cities as well as the inland cities of the South should be predominantly in dust haze throughout the forecast period.

“The coastal region of the country should also experience dust haze throughout the day,” it said.

According to NiMet, the Northern states are expected to be in thick dust haze on Thursday, with horizontal visibility of less than or equal to 1,000m throughout the day.

The agency forecast the North-Central cities to be predominantly in moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility of 2km to 5km throughout the forecast period.

NiMet anticipated the inland and coastal regions to also experience moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility of 2km to 5km throughout the forecast period.

“For Friday, Northern states are expected to be in thick dust haze during the forecast period. The North central cities should be in thick dust haze throughout the day.

“Inland cities of South and coastal regions should be in moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility range between two-km to five-km and localised visibility of less than or equal to 1000m during forecast period,” it said.

(NAN)

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NUC approves two more universities for Lagos: Sanwo-Olu

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Sanwo Olu.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos says the National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the establishment of two more universities for the state. 
Mr Sanwo-Olu dropped the hint at the public presentation of a book titled: Oluwatoyin Temitayo Ogundipe @60; Audacity of Resilience, on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to him, the development is timely, as it will expand access to the teeming youth who aspire for higher education.

He stressed that the two existing universities in the state were not enough to accommodate the quest for the growing number of youths seeking higher education.

The governor emphasised that education remained the only potent weapon to eradicate poverty and breach all limitations.

According to him, there is also the need to groom future leaders, as well as develop a curriculum that speaks to the needs of tomorrow.

Mr Sanwo-Olu added that Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu would henceforth become University of Science and Technology, while Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education would now merge with Michael Otedola College of Primary Education and upgraded as University of Education.

(NAN)

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INEC withholds pay of 630 ad hoc staff over election materials

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Prof. Yakub Mahmood

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it withheld the allowances of 630 ad hoc staff who failed to return election materials and devices used for the gubernatorial election in Anambra on November 6, 2021.

The state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Nkwachukwu Orji, during a news conference on Tuesday, said the commission was displeased that the ad hoc staff failed to return the commission’s materials.

“The commission has taken the unfortunate decision to withhold the allowances of staff involved in the act, pending the return of the materials to the commission,” he said.

The INEC official named some of the materials to include; Bio-modal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, battery chargers, cables and other accessories.

Mr Orji said although some of the staff concerned have started returning the items, the commission has resolved to place an order that all the materials must be returned before payment would be made to them.

The REC also announced that INEC had lifted the suspension placed on the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in the state.

“INEC suspended CVR in Anambra on Sept. 15, 2021 because of the governorship election in the state, but with the election successfully completed, the commission has from today Tuesday Jan. 25 lifted the suspension,” he said.

He said the exercise would take place in the 21 LGAs of the state and the commission’s headquarters in Awka.

(NAN)

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