World Bank elects US nominee as new president
The World Bank’s 25-member executive board on Wednesday elected former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to a five-year term as president, effective June 2, the bank said, ushering in an Indian-born finance and development expert charged with revamping the lender to tackle climate change and other global crises.
Banga, 63, was nominated for the post by United States President Joe Biden in late February and was the sole contender to replace departing World Bank chief David Malpass, an economist and former US Treasury official who served in the Trump administration.
Malpass, who faced criticism for his stance on climate change, with former US Vice President Al Gore labelling him a climate denier and climate activists calling for his resignation, announced earlier this year in February that he would step down in June, nearly a year earlier than his five-year term. Malpass’s last day at the bank will be June 1
Banga’s election came after World Bank board members interviewed him for four hours on Monday. The decision came in a vote by 24 of the board’s members, with Russia abstaining, instead of the usual consensus-based process, a source familiar with the process said.
Sources familiar with the process had expected Banga to win the board’s approval handily after several meetings with board members in recent weeks and Monday’s formal interview.
One of the sources called Banga a “true change-maker” who will help accelerate reforms at the global development bank. It already loans out hundreds of billions of dollars to developing countries but is working to increase its lending to help them address global challenges, such as climate change.
“The Board looks forward to working with Mr. Banga on the World Bank Group Evolution process, as discussed at the April 2023 Spring Meetings, and on all the World Bank Group’s ambitions and efforts aimed at tackling the toughest development challenges facing developing countries,” the bank said.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters last month that attracting more private capital for development goals would be a key area of focus for Banga if he is approved.
Biden announced Banga’s candidacy during Yellen’s participation in a meeting of Group of 20 finance officials in Bengalaru, India, a source familiar with the process said.
Once it became public, she and her top travelling aides immediately began selling their counterparts on Banga’s candidacy, the source said.
President Bola Tinubu Suspend Godwin Emefiele as CBN Governor
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has suspended the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, CFR, from office with immediate effect,” the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Willie Bassey said in a Friday statement.
“This is sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.
“Mr Emefiele has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms.”
Fuel subsidy: Innoson unveils gas powered vehicles
Nigeria’s indigenous automobile company, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, IVM, has mass-produced varieties of Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, buses.
This according to the company serves as a suitable alternative for Nigerians following the rising price of petrol and diesel.
The showcase of the CNG vehicles took place at the company’s factory in Nnewi, Anambra State.
The vehicles range from trucks, mini-buses, ambulances, long buses, SUVs, and several others.
Speaking during the unveiling, the Chief Executive Officer, IVM, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma assured Nigerians of the safety of CNG Vehicles and the availability of various kinds of cars.
“We manufacture according to demand, and we manufactured these buses because there is a demand for them now. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we produced more ambulances, so we are on the ground and ready to produce.
“CNG vehicles bring a solution to total dependence on one or two kinds of vehicles.
“The CNG vehicles are a solution, that’s why we produce them. We made space for CNG, LNG, and Fuel so that anyone available in an area can be used to drive the vehicles. Electric cars, biogas, and solar-powered vehicles are also produced in this factory.”
Similarly, the Governor of Anambra State, represented by the Commissioner for Industry, Anambra state, Mr. Christian Udechukwu stated that the state is gearing up to provide solutions to the challenges facing Nigerians because of the removal of subsidies.
In his words, “We are aware that Innoson has renewable technologies, CNG, LNG and Solar powered technologies that can contribute to the mass transport system in Nigeria and other national solutions”.
“The withdrawal of the subsidy has created a shock and the price of fuel has increased by almost 200% leading to restiveness in the Nigerian Labour Congress, the trade unions, and other Nigerians. The cost of transportation has risen apparently and one of the ways the government can alleviate that is by introducing mass transit systems that run on alternative energies as well as fuel. The more you have the ones that run on gas and solar, the greater the chances of a stable fuel price due to the existence of choices and Innoson offers that”.
He also added that local manufacturing and empowered industries are needed in Nigeria to boost the economy and shrink the national debt profile. All we need is for the industries and everyone else to look to local solutions and Innoson is one.”
The Head of Corporate Communications, IVM, Mr. Cornel Osigwe pointed out the advantages of Natural Gas Vehicles and the need to patronize local manufacturers. According to him, “Gas has high combustion rate than fuel. So generally, gas is more environmentally friendly. Nigerians are used to petrol cars but the abundance of natural gas has provided sustainable alternatives to all.
“Transportation is very crucial to economic development. Beyond the movement of people from one place to another, it also facilitates the quick and effective distribution of goods and services.
“At this stage in Nigeria’s development, better transportation options are the perfect solution to the rising dependence on petrol and diesel to meet the transportation needs of over 200 million persons.
“Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, an indigenous car manufacturing company has produced hundreds of CNG-powered vehicles suitable for Nigerian and African Roads
Mobile subscriptions shrink by three million
Nigeria’s mobile subscriptions shrank by 3.49 million mobile subscriptions in the last three months, leaving a dent in the country’s march toward mobile inclusion for all.
Since mobile subscriptions hit an all-time high of 226.84 million in February of this year, it has been on a steady decline.
It first fell to 225.82 million in March, before slumping further to 223.34 million, according to new industry data from the Nigerian Communications Commission. This is also the first time since June 2021 that mobile subscriptions have fallen consistently.
In 2020 and 2021, a Federal Government policy to link SIMs to National Identification Numbers affected the mobile industry and caused a steep decline in mobile subscriptions. Since then, subscriptions have improved, and risen to record highs.
MTN Nigeria is the only telecommunication firm to have lost mobile subscriptions in the period under review, losing 4.03 million (from 92.71 million to 88.68 million), while retaining its spot as the largest mobile network operator in the country.
Other telcos had better fortunes, with Globacom marginally growing by 172,867 from 60.76 million to 60.93 million; Airtel added 31,705 new subscriptions and grew from 60.30 million to 60.33 million; and 9mobile witnessed the largest growth, adding 330,003 new subscriptions to hit 13.40 million from 13.07 million in the period under review.
Within the three months, teledensity (the number of active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants living within an area) fell to 117.17 per cent in April from 119.01 per cent in February.
In MTN’s first quarter report, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, noted that global macroeconomic factors, inflation, and cash shortages, among others, were affecting its consumers.
He said, “We continued to experience headwinds in our operating environment in the first quarter of 2023. The impacts of the ongoing global macroeconomic and geopolitical developments on energy, food, and general inflation were exacerbated locally by petrol and cash shortages experienced during the period. This placed additional pressure on economic activity, consumers, and businesses.”
Nigeria’s mobile population is the largest in Africa and the prior steady growth in the number of mobile subscriptions had been attributed to increased productivity and efficiency in other sectors
Entertainment4 weeks ago
BREAKING: Yoruba Nollywood actor, Murphy Afolabi, is dead
Crime3 weeks ago
EFCC chairman, Bawa begged me for $2million – Gov Matawalle
Governance1 week ago
JUST IN: Tinubu Makes More Appointments
Governance3 weeks ago
Breaking: Central Bank Gets New Governor
Governance3 weeks ago
Buhari Makes Fresh Appointment 12 Days To Handover
Entertainment4 weeks ago
JUST IN: Popular Nollywood Actor Murphy Afolabi Is Dead
Entertainment4 weeks ago
BREAKING: Hilda Baci Breaks Guinness World Cooking Marathon Record
General3 weeks ago
8-year-old migrant girl dies in US custody