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Ex-CBN chief, Moghalu to run for presidency

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A former Deputy Governor of the CBN, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, announced on Monday that he was consulting widely to run for the presidency in 2019.

Moghalu told political correspondents in Lagos that time had come for technocrats, intellectuals and experienced people to take power from Nigeria’s career politicians.

He said that he would not be deterred from joining the race, in spite of speculations that 2023 was the year slated for Igbos to have a shot at the presidency.

Moghalu argued that politics in Nigeria should be detribalised for Africa’s most populous nation to grow and take its rightful place in the comity of nations.

“It is the turn of any competent Nigerian to aspire for the post of presidency because career politicians have failed Nigeria.’’

He said that zoning, which had been used by the major political parties, might have been relevant in the past but that it was no longer necessary because competence should be placed above tribe in present day Nigeria.

“Zoning was an internal arrangement by political parties that was not constitutional. It should no longer matter where the president comes from.

“The future of Nigeria rests in technocratic interventions. We need thinking people that will take Nigeria from the politics of stomach infrastructure to politics of mental infrastructure.’’

The former CBN chief said that the first part to progress for Nigeria was for the people to begin to think differently and beyond tribe in choosing those who would lead them.

Speaking on a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari, Moghalu said that the president had constitutional rights to seek re-election.

“I don’t fathom how anyone can say the president should not run for a second term. It is his choice, the decision on who becomes Nigeria’s president in 2019 rests with Nigerians. ‘’

On the nation’s economy, the economist pointed out that “the economy was in a delicate situation before the present administration.

“The handling of the forex crisis though was misguided. The drop in oil prices actually affected the value of our currency but government should have simply allowed the naira to find its true value which would have reduced the inflation rate.’’

He said that Nigeria must look beyond continued dependence on oil and encourage independent institutions to flourish.

Moghalu, however, advised Nigerians to eschew docility and become more forceful in demanding accountability from their leaders at all levels of governance.

Moghalu, who served as CBN deputy governor from 2009 to 2014, is a political economist, lawyer and a former United Nations official.

He was also a professor of practice in international business and public policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, U.S.

Born on May 7, 1963, Moghalu is a graduate of the London School of Economics. He also read Political Science at the University of Nigeria Nsukka.

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BREAKING: Pinnacle Floors ICPC In Court

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Federal High Court Judge Nnamdi Dimgba has ordered ICPC to unfreeze the account of Pinnacle Communications Limited and counselled anti-corruption agencies of government against taking drastic action that could prevent private enterprises from flourishing prior to concluding investigations to justify such action.

Delivering his ruling in the case instituted against ICPC for instructing Zenith Bank to freeze it’s account Friday, the judge maintained that the anti-corruption war was as beneficial to the society as flourishing private enterprises pointing out that scuttling the operations of major private organizations like Pinnacle Communications Limited also sends negative signals to the international community about Nigeria’s business environment.

Justice Dimgba described ICPC’s action against Pinnacle Communications Limited as “an overkill just like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly” considering that even after six months since the case was instituted and despite lèeway provided by many adjournments by the court, ICPC could not file any charges against the company, emphasizing that it should not have frozen the account without establishing a prima facie against it. The judge remarked that anti-corruption agencies should not base their actions on rumours or “beer parlour stories” but on thorough investigations that could sustain judicial scrutiny.

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Senate Approves $1bn Completion Fund For Ajaokuta

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The Senate on Thursday passed a bill seeking to approve the release of the sum of $1 billion from the Federal Government share of Excess Crude revenue for the immediate completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.

The lawmakers stated through the motion that all monies that may from time to time be appropriated and authorized by any tier of government should be part of the funding for the completion of the company.

The Senate also added that all loans or grants from time to time made to the country for the purpose of completing the Ajaokuta Steel Company should be ploughed in the completion purse.

The bill titled: “Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill, 2018” is in concurrence to the earlier one passed in the House of Representatives on March 28, 2018.

Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan representing Yobe North had presented the bill for concurrence to the Senate which handled the bill at a Committee of the Whole.

The lawmakers clarified that there was the need for the Federal Government to complete the plant as against the then plan to concession it.

According to the proposed law, all fund shall be applied by the minister subject to appropriation by the National Assembly only for the purpose of ‘’the construction, improvement, extension, enlargement and replacement of infrastructure and works, including the provision, acquisition, improvement and replacement of other capital assets required in respect of or in connection with the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company project.

‘’The acquisition of land and of any right or interest in or over land and in respect of the use of any invention.

‘’The carrying on of any survey, research or investigation preparatory to the undertaking of any such purpose as is referred to in paragraph (a) and (b) or the formation of any plan or scheme for the development, improvement, of Ajaokuta Steel Company project.’’

Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, said that the bill if signed into law, would go a long way to facilitate the quick completion of the Ajaokuta Steel complex.

The Senate also adopted the Presidential Programme on Rehabilitation and Reintegration (establishment and implementation) Bill 2018.

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Governors Meet Over Minimum Wage Again

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Governors of the states of the federation have yet again met in Abuja on Thursday night to continue their deliberation over the new national minimum wage which they have yet to reach an agreement on.

The states had offered to pay N22,500 while the federal government wants to pay N24,000 against the N30,000 being demanded by the organized labour.

The meeting presided over by the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state at its National Secretariat in Abuja, did not appear to make much progress as Yari said there was nothing new to report.

Many state governors did not show up for the meeting that was a prelude to the National Economic Council (NEC) scheduled to hold on Friday.

In rejecting the N24,000 proposed by the federal government, the NGF had in their last meeting, set up a committee to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to canvass its position.

It was not clear whether the committee was able to convince the president to back the NGF’s position on the minimum wage.

The NEC meeting to be presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will however focus on the Human Capital Development Programme of the present administration hinged on “investment in our people.”

The meeting is being convened in line with the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) for inclusive growth human development nationwide.

Expected at the extended session are all NEC members including state governors and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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