International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kaho has said that the global economy has made remarkable progress and now stands at the cusp of recovery. However, he warned that it still remains highly vulnerable to shocks and policy missteps. In a speech delivered at the Annual Conference of the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) in London, Mr Strauss-Kaho said policy makers stand at a critical juncture where the sustainability of the global recovery will depend on the decisions they make in the months to come.
“Today the storm has passed. T he worst has been averted. And yet the economy remains very much in holding pattern-stable, and getting better, but still highly vulnerable”, Mr Strauss-Kaho said. For policymakers “the challenges are great” during the crisis, everyone was united by a common purpose. Going forward, this might dissolve. So the road ahead will be less clear cut. We will need some debt maneuvering, and perhaps some out-of-the-box thinking. We will certainly need continued collabora tion”, he added.
Mr Strauss-Kaho said policy makers will face four main challenges, which include existing from accommodative policies, adapting to increasing capital flow to emerging market, developing a new global grown modes, and designing and implementing financial sector reforms.
On exit strategies, Mr Strauss-Kaho stressed the importance of waiting for a sustained recovery in private demand, as well as clear indications of financial stability before accommodative measures are withdrawn. “It is too early for a general exit. We recommend erring on the side of caution, as exiting too late”, he said. Plans for fiscal consolidation should be the top priority, especially in advanced economies. And monetary policy can afford to stay accommodative for some time, given little sign of inflation on the horizone.
A related challenge to exit strategies is managing capital flows to emerging markets. “In many countries appreciation should be the key policy response other tools include lower interest rates, reserves accumulation, tighter fiscal policy, and financial sector prudential measures. Capital controls can be part of the package of measures”, he said in his speech. “But we should recognize that all tools have their limitations.
we should be pragmatic”, he added.
Moving to the challenge of creating a new global growth model, Mr Strauss-Kaho said the old paradigm of growth generation based on household in the US was dead. “If we are to have sustained global growth, somebody else needs to step into the breach. The leading candidates are the surplus countries. And we can see some shifts in the right direction. China and other emerging Asian economies are shifting from exports to domestic demand. But they have some way to go.
Mr Strauss-Kaho underscored the importance of forging ahead with a number of reforms to make the financial sector a more stable place. He stressed the challenge posed to policy makers by increased risk taking in the financial sector while financial institutions are still in poor shape while regulators seek to impose tough new standards that may jeopardize recovery.
“How do we square the circle? One possible answer is to reduce regulatory uncertainty. It is throwing up some perverse incentive and might be encouraging a risk taking culture”, he said. Also on addressing risk management in the financial sector, he added t hat it was essential to break the link between risky behaviour and compensation. “In this cont- ext we have been asked by the G-20 to look into financial sector taxes. There are a number of ways to think about this and we will look at it from various angles and consider all proposals he said.
Redeployed Customs Officers Assume Office At New Posts
Redeployed Zonal coordinators and controllers affected by the recent swapping exercise in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have since taken over their new posts.
Assistant Comptroller General and Comptrollers affected by the change of batons have gone into action in the respective Zones and Area Commands respectively.
As at Press time, ACG Bello Jibo, the new Coordinator, Zone A, has begun to hold forth at the Harvey Road Zonal Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi, Jaiyeoba, and Shuaibu have resumed their duties as Customs Area Controllers of Tincan Island Port, Apapa and Idiroko Commands respectively.
Comptroller Timi Bomodi has also begun overseeing customs activities at Seme-Krake Border Command.
In an exclusive chat with The Tide, Chairman, Seme Chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agent (ANLCA), Chief Oyekachukwu Ojinma (aka Sule) described the outgoing Controller of the Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, as a very hard-working and dedicated man, while welcoming the new Customs Area Controller to the border post.
The ANLCA Chairman expressed his wish for a successful tenure of office for Compt. Timi Bomodi.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
‘Electricity Act Will Transform Power Sector’
Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has stated that the recently signed Nigerian Electricity Act, 2023, will play a fundamental role in transforming the power sector.
According to him, it will unlock the potential of the energy mix and promote the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid system.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria Energy Conference and exhibition in Lagos, Adelabu said the Act aims to create an environment that supports sustainable growth and investment in the power industry by focusing on accelerated private investment and the promotion of renewable energy sources.
“As a game-changer that reformed the NESI, the Electricity Act will, undoubtedly, engender increased access to electricity and regulatory oversight, clean energy transition, improved service delivery, and infrastructural developments.
“In particular, the act will stimulate economic growth by creating a conducive environment for investment and competition. It will generate job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract foreign direct investments”, he said.
The Minister called on operators in the power sector to intensify their efforts towards improving communication with the general public, emphasising that the Nigerian masses have a lot of roles to play in safeguarding power infrastructure.
He said issues such as vandalism, passing of meters, and damage to TCN and DisCo infrastructure must be addressed holistically to make significant gains in the power sector.
Adelabu emphasised that the power sector is a cornerstone for economic growth in the country and that the gains made over the years in the power sector can only be consolidated by unlocking equity investments and funds for power development.
He said: “Of course, a lot of investment is required in the power sector. In three weeks, I’ve seen humongous investments that have come into this sector.
“But what are the steps that are required for those investment opportunities to reap the benefit of those investments, additional investments in the form of equity and capex need to come into this industry.
“The power sector is not an industry for short-term players to invest in less than two to three years and expect to make maximum benefits.
“The industry requires medium to long-term investments. Investors must understand that the moment we can break even, we will start making profits in the power sector.
Adelabu also urged operators in the NESI value chain to improve their service delivery, adding that Nigeria’s energy expansion plan of 60,000 Megawatts by 2060 is an achievable target.
He, therefore, called on gas companies, GenCos, TCN, and DIScO to showcase their success stories in generating and transmitting power to the last mile that pays for all the segments of operators in the value chain.
‘Nigeria Loses $1.5bn Annually To Malnutrition’
Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, has said Nigeria loses $1.5 billion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to micronutrient deficiencies.
Bagudu therefore called for coordinated efforts to ensure a swift response with expected positive outcomes.
A statement released by the Ministry said the Minister disclosed this, last Tuesday, while speaking at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria in Abuja.
In the statement, Bagudu noted that the government was determined to tackle malnutrition through the inclusion of nutrition in the National Development Plan, and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
“It is also a commitment to achieving optimal nutrition status for all Nigerians with particular attention to the vulnerable group as highlighted in the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition”, he said.
Bagudu, who urged experts in nutrition in the country to research and develop innovations that will boost nutrition, explained that doing this “would contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring Universal Health Coverage, and bringing about significant positive changes in the nutrition sector in Nigeria”.
He told members of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria “to prioritise innovation and research in the field of nutrition towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage and transformation of the landscape of nutrition in Nigeria.
“Nigeria currently requires nutrition professionals who have extensive knowledge, good communication skills to address nutrition education, emotional intelligence as well and a good understanding of self-motivation and drive to address nutrition dynamics”.
The Minister urged the NSN to embrace technology, leverage digital solutions, and invest in research and development to find sustainable and scalable solutions to Nigeria’s nutrition challenges.
He assured members of the NSN that his ministry would strengthen coordination and provide the required leadership for the nutrition sector.
The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, in his goodwill message, said the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) had identified areas of key commitments for the realisation of a healthier citizen and country, including increasing budgetary spending on nutrition and strengthening the nutrition profile.
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