Monday, 30 January 2017
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Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) worldwide are confident in their growth prospects and their outlook for the global economy to rise, despite their concern about new risks and economic uncertainty, a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has said.
Findings of PwC’s 20th yearly survey of CEOs worldwide said 38 per cent (2016: 35 per cent) of CEOs are very confident about their company’s growth prospects in the next 12 months, while 29 per cent of them (2016:27 per cent) believe global economic growth will pick up this year.
The findings released at the just-concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland showed that while business leaders are more positive in their outlook, their levels of concern about economic uncertainty is at 82 per cent.
The report of the survey, which was carried out between September and December last year, showed that while the CEOs’ concerns about over-regulation and lack of key skills are at record levels of 80 per cent and 77 per cent, worries about protectionism are growing, with 59 per cent of CEOs’ expressed concern about protectionism increasing to 64 per cent for in the United States and Mexico.
Although positive on the benefits of globalisation in building the free movement of capital, goods, and people, CEOs questioned what globalisation has done to close the gap between rich and poor or mitigated the issue of climate change. This is in contrast to the first PwC CEO survey in 1998 when CEOs were positive about the drivers of globalisation.
On the reports, its Global Chairman, Mr. Bob Moritz said: “Despite a tumultuous 2016, CEO confidence is moving back up –albeit slowly and still a long way from the levels we saw back in 2007.
“But there are signs of optimism right across the globe, including in the UK and US, where despite predictions of a Trump slump and a Brexit exit, CEOs confidence in their company’s growth are up from 2016. And that mood is reflected elsewhere, with more CEOs across the world targeting the US and UK for investment than a year ago.”
While noting that CEOs are more confident in the opportunity for growth, Moritz said “this year they told us these three concerns that were top of mind: a people and technology strategy that creates a workforce fit for the digital age; preserving trust in their businesses in a world of increasingly virtual interactions; and making globalisation work for everyone by engaging ever more with society and collaborating to find solutions.”
The report said in sharp contrast to last year, CEOs confidence in their own one year revenue growth is on the rise in nearly every major country across the world…with India (71per cent), Brazil, where confidence levels have more than doubled (57 per cent), Australia (43 per cent) and the UK (41per cent) topping the table.”
Confidence also rose by 11 points in China to 35 per cent, six points in the US to 39 per cent and three points in Germany to 31 per cent. In Switzerland confidence levels have more than doubled to 34 per cent. Bucking the confidence trend are Spain, Mexico and Japan where confidence levels have dropped, markedly so in Japan where confidence has plunged from 28b per cent in 2016 to 14 per cent today.
Posted by Editor. at 19:49
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has defended its foreign exchange policies, and faulted the continued and unwarranted attack on its policies by a group of Nigerians, whose real interests, it said were self-serving and unpatriotic.
In a statement, CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, said: “While we respect the rights of every Nigerian or stakeholder to their respective views, we find it curious that certain interests have remained persistent in their move to misinform the larger public, with the intention of discrediting genuine efforts at managing the economy, thereby creating public distrust and panic within the financial system.”
Continuing, he said the self-centered individuals, who have failed to assail our patriotic position, have resorted to the sponsorship of serial propaganda to misinform and mislead the public on the objectives of our policies.
“Intelligence reports at the disposal of the bank reveal the involvement of some unpatriotic elements funding the push to have the CBN and the Federal Government reverse its forex policy, which is aimed at conserving foreign exchange, stimulating agriculture and manufacturing and also promoting exports.
“The present economic challenges that we face have been worsened by our past practice of frittering away huge earnings made from oil sales, over the years. As we have explained severally, our decisions on forex management are prompted by the challenge posed by the level of depletion of the country’s reserves, arising from issues such as a drastic reduction in oil earnings, speculative attacks and round tripping.
“It is pertinent to note that pressures on the country’s foreign reserves have persisted due to a huge fall in the monthly foreign earnings, which fell from over $3.2 billion sometime in 2013 to below $500 million per month sometime in 2016, when the demand for the US dollar, particularly by importers, continued to rise considerably. In spite of the challenges and the basic economic fact that countries earn dollars from international trade, we have ensured we meet the genuine demand of importers to pay for eligible imports and other transactions within available resources,” he said.
Okorafor said the CBN will continue to ensure monetary and price stability as well as maintain external reserves to safeguard the international value of the naira.
“While leaving our doors open for genuine partnership with all our stakeholders, we will only take economic decisions that will impact positively on the lives of all Nigerians. We therefore urge all concerned to be more patriotic and contribute to the soundness of the Nigerian economy; rather than engage in acts capable of undermining the efforts being made at moving the country out of the current economic situation,” he said.
Posted by Editor. at 19:39
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s squad strength means he has no need to make any last-ditch signings in the January transfer window.
The Gunners, who thrashed top-flight rivals Southampton 5-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, are second in the Premier League.
A sign of their strength in depth was that veteran French manager Wenger, in charge of Arsenal since September 1996, was able to make several changes to his starting line-up against the Saints.
Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick against his former club, with Danny Welbeck adding the Gunners’ other two goals as Wenger rested the likes of Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Those four players are all set to return for Tuesday’s league match against Watford, where Arsenal will look to close an eight-point gap to leaders Chelsea.
Wenger, who will be serving the second of a four-match touchline ban against the Hornets at the Emirates, told Arsenal fans not to expect any new arrivals between now and Tuesday’s 2300 GMT transfer deadline.
“It’s not only to buy players, you have to have a need in your squad first of all,” said Wenger. “I believe that number-wise and quality-wise, we have what is required to do well.
“Now it’s down to us to perform and to produce with the quality of our focus, the quality of our ambition and desire to produce the performance in every single game.”
The only player Arsenal have brought in during the transfer window is 20-year-old defender Cohen Bramall, who joined from non-league Hednesford Town for £40,000 (46,000 euros, $48,500).
And Wenger forecast there would be few moves elsewhere before the transfer window shut. “(It will be) very quiet. On our front, we have a big squad,” he said. “We are not in need of buying.
“On a general front it has been very quiet. That shows that there are not many players available who can strengthen English teams. “It also shows that all the teams in England, especially the big teams, have big squads.
That’s why not a lot happened.” Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been linked with a move to north London side Arsenal but only “because he is French,” said Wenger.
“And maybe there are some noises that he would leave Madrid, but as I just told you, there is no need for us to buy any strikers,” he added. “In the summer window? That’s not my worry at the moment. My worry is the next game against Watford.”
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte wants his Premier League leaders to inflict the “hard hit” of defeat upon Liverpool when the sides meet at Anfield on Tuesday.
Conte’s men are currently 10 points in front of Liverpool, who have won just once in eight games in all competitions this month.
While accepting that there will be 15 league games for both clubs after Tuesday’s match, Conte believes a Chelsea win would deal a huge blow to the title hopes of a Liverpool side who won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in September — one of just the Blues’ three league defeats so far this term. “
It could be a hard hit mentally for them (if Liverpool lose to Chelsea),” said Conte on Monday.
“It’s important to win this type of game, increase your confidence, take three points from a rival,” added Conte, who took charge after coaching his native Italy at last year’s European Championship.
“I hope to change the result if you compare the first game and the first part of the season.”
Chelsea’s loss to Liverpool was compounded with a defeat by London rivals Arsenal — the Blues’ visitors at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Arsenal are currently Chelsea’s closest title challengers, with Arsene Wenger’s men presently eight points off top spot in second place.
“It’s a very important week, but also I know after two of these games we have 14 games to finish the championship,” said Conte. “
The results are important, but the championship doesn’t finish after these two games.” Having let Chelsea play with a back four at the start of his time with the west London club, defeat by Arsenal led Conte to revert to his favoured 3-4-3 formation.
Chelsea then embarked upon a 13-match winning streak in the Premier League which only ended at Tottenham Hotspur, another London side, on January 4. “
Honestly, I think we are a different team, not Liverpool. I think that we grew a lot,” Conte said. “After the game (against Liverpool) I said ‘today we faced a great team, a really great team, but today we are not a team. Only through work we can improve to become a team’.
I think it happened. “We grew a lot and for this reason now we are top of the table. “It’s incredible this, because it’s not easy to have two defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal and to find the strength to start and to arrive top of the table and to have 13 wins in a row.”
Abuja – Some Nigerian celebrities, say they will boycott the planned anti-government protest by award winning musician Tuface, also known as 2baba.
Tuface, the African Queen crooner recently took to his Instagram handle: @official2baba, calling on his fans and followers to join in the nationwide protest scheduled for February 5. He stated: “First Massive Nationwide Protests’’.
“A call for good governance. A call for urgent explanation into the reckless economic downturn nationwide….to come out and protest this obnoxious and baseless policies and excuses of the government of the day.”
Reacting, popular comedian, Bovi Ugboma said he would not join the protest. Bovi on his Instagram handle: @officialBovi stated, “Boycott” is too strong a word to describe my not attending. I won’t be there. Simple. It doesn’t define whether I support it or not. “I am not joining the protest, and stop saying ‘we’ and ‘us.’ You don’t belong…..my life is not governed by your opinions of me.
Tuface, real name Innocent Ujah Idibia, is also a producer, entrepreneur and one of the most decorated and successful Afro pop artists in Africa. Similarly, popular Yoruba actress, Funke Adesiyan who disagreed with 2face over the plan said that protest was not the only option.
The actress, who recently completed a course in film-making and directing at the New York Film Academy in the U.S, stressed the importance of youth participation in governance.
The Yoruba actress of Ibadan origin who contested and lost Oyo State House of assembly election under the umbrella of PDP in 2015, stated on her instagram handle @funkeadesiyan: “When people ask me why I joined politics, I tell them from the truest of my heart that it is because I got tired of how things were being done in my country. “It’s not enough for us to protest, it’s more important for us, youths of this beloved nation, to get involved in governance.
You could try many times before you achieve it,” Adesiyan stated. Tuface started his music career while studying at Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Enugu where he recorded several jingles for Enugu state radio broadcasting station. His professional career did not begin until he moved to Lagos where he met other members of the rested Plantashun Boyz group, comprising Black Face and Faze in 1996.
Idibia has received several awards including MTV Europe Music Award, world Music Award, Headies Awards (Hip-hop award), and Channel O Music Video Awards. Others are BET awards for his musical work, MTV Africa Music Awards, MOBO award, KORA award among others.
Posted by Editor. at 19:04
Thursday, 26 January 2017
No fewer than 90 Somali nationals and two Kenyans on Wednesday arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi after being deported from the US.
The deportees, believed to have been affected by US President Donald Trump’s implementation of his pledge to crack down on illegal immigrants, arrived at the airport at midday aboard Omni, an American Charter Airline. According to Africa Review, the Somalis then boarded a flight that left for Mogadishu at 3pm (+3GMT).
Security sources at the airport said the travellers were accompanied by security officers, who also accompanied them to Mogadishu. Airport police boss Zipporah Waweru confirmed that there had been a plane carrying Somalis in transit to Mogadishu, but she could not confirm whether they were deportees. “They have left and to me, they looked happy so I cannot for sure tell you that they were deported or not,”
Ms Waweru said. President Trump had vowed during the campaign for the White House to kick out illegal immigrants and immigrants with criminal records, saying they would be deported at their own cost. On Tuesday, President Trump said he was ready to build a wall on the Mexican border and send away illegal immigrants as he rolled out a series of immigration decrees.
Officials said President Trump had directed that migrant quotas and programmes be cut, thus slowing down the processing of visas. The orders would restrict immigration and access to the US for refugees and visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, according to American media. During his campaign, President Trump said he would deport or jail up to three million illegal migrants
Posted by Editor. at 19:37
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has denied the media report that said he led “a high powered delegation to visit President Muhammadu Buhari in London.
President Muhammadu Buhari is on a two week vacation in London and doubts have been raised about his true state of health. Idris, in a statement signed by Don Awunah, Force Public Relations Officer said contrary to media report, he was in London on an official visit to London on the invitation of SO15, the London Metropolitan Police Service.
The SO15 is part of the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command that works for the protection of London and the United Kingdom, against threats of terrorism.
“Contrary to the compelling objectives of the planned visit, however, some sections of the Nigerian online and print media are disseminating invented and incorrect stories, and misrepresenting facts regarding the official visit of the IGP to the United Kingdom. “
For the avoidance of doubt, the IGP did not lead “a high powered delegation” to visit President Mohammadu Buhari, who is on vacation in London. The visit of IGP to London while the President is on vacation is merely coincidental. The statement read.
Posted by Editor. at 19:25
A U.S. appeals court has upheld a ruling against a Nigerian senator who faces drug charges related to the hit TV show “Orange is the New Black.”
Chicago prosecutors accuse Buruji Kashamu of heading a heroin trafficking ring in the 1990s.
Kashamu, elected in 2015 from Ogun state, argues that prosecutors want his dead brother instead. In an April 2015 filing, Kashamu asked a district court to prevent his “abduction abroad by U.S. authorities.”
The court dismissed the complaint, and the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling Monday. It said U.S. agents’ attempt to arrest Kashamu in coordination with local authorities would not constitute “an attempted abduction.”
A dozen people long ago pleaded guilty in the case, including Piper Kerman, whose memoir was adapted for the Netflix show.
Posted by Editor. at 19:20
Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Thursday sentenced the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, Mrs. Ada Ugo-Ngali, to a jail term of 10 years for a fuel subsidy fraud of N754m.
The judge ordered the refund of the N754m to the Federal Government.
Justice Okunnu had on January 13, 2017 convicted Ugo-Ngali, Ontario Oil and Gas Limited and its Chairman, Mr. Walter Wagbatsoma of eight counts pressed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes.
The judge had been unable to pass the sentence on the judgment day as Ugo-Ngali slumped in court after being convicted and just before the judge could pass the sentence.
The convict was subsequently rushed out of the courtroom and and taken to Havannah hospital in Surelere from where she was later moved to the intensive care unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba.
Ngo-Ngali came to court on Thursday straight from LUTH and on a wheel chair, with plasters on her body.
In passing the sentence, Justice Okunnu rejected the plea of the convict’s lawyer, Mr. Edoka Onyeke, praying that the sentence should be non-custodian in view of his client’s health.
“I have considered the plea of the defence counsel for non-custodian sentence of the 2nd defendant. I have to say that the request to grant a non-custodian sentence must be rejected and I can only exercise my discretion on the length of time the convict will spend in prison,” Justice Okunnu held.
She subsequently sentenced the convict to a cumulative jail term of 69 years, which would, however, run concurrently for only 10 years.
The judge said the jail term would begin to read from January 13, 2017, when Ngo-Ngali and her accomplices were pronounced convicted.
Wagbatsoma, who is the first convict in the case, is said to be currently under house arrest in the United Kingdom, where he is being held for money laundering, relating to a £12m National Health Service Trust fraud.
Drama ensued soon after Ngo-Ngali was sentenced as the convict’s relatives and prison officials pounced on the official photographer of the EFCC, for attempting to take Ngo-Ngali’s shots as she was being wheeled towards the waiting prison van.
The EFCC had on August 1, 2013 arraigned the Ngo-Ngali, Wagbatsoma and their company, accusing them of defrauding the Federal Government of N1.9bn, which they fraudulently obtained as subsidy sum for purportedly importing Premium Motor Spirit into the country.
Also charged with the three convicts was an official of the Petroleum Products Price and Regulatory Agency, Mr. Babafemi Fakuade, who was, however, discharged and acquitted by the judge on January 13.
In finding Wagbatsoma and Ngo-Ngali guilty, Justice Okunnu held, “The defendants defrauded the Federal Government of N340m in the third quarter of 2010 and N414m in the fourth quarter of 2010.
“According to a forensic audit by Akintola Williams Delloitte, the defendants did not remit an excess of N754m to the Federal Government.
“The first defendant knowingly received the sum in excess of what the fourth defendant (Ontario Oil and Gas Limited) was entitled to.
“In my opinion, he contributed to the false pretence.”
Justice Okunnu further held, “The second defendant is the MD of the company, she is the alter – ego of the fourth defendant and was aware of the going ons of the company.”
Posted by Editor. at 17:18
Wednesday, 25 January 2017
ABUJA— THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, said General Electric, GE, is proposing to invest in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries.
NNPC, in a statement in Abuja, disclosed that GE made its intentions known in its presentation to the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Maikanti Baru, and his team. GE stated that its teams of partners, including its consortium involving the Engineering, Procurement and Construction, EPC, partners, off-takers, traders and some financiers would be engaged in the initiative.
Leading a high powered delegation to the NNPC Towers, Jeff Immelt, GE Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said: “We were involved in the tenders that started last year which was subsequently withdrawn but our commitment to bringing the refineries on-stream is still very deep and we are very serious about it.”
Immelt also pledged GE’s readiness to work with the NNPC to make production in the off-shore fields profitable for the benefit of both companies and other stakeholders, expressing the hope to consolidate on its existing working relationship with the corporation to expand the prevailing power business and help NNPC achieve its vision of becoming the leading power company in Nigeria.
Welcoming the GE team to the NNPC, Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mr. Maikanti Baru, expressed delight in the interest GE had to intervene in some vital operational areas of the Corporation.
Posted by Editor. at 21:30
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
A maiden flight of Imo Air owned by the Imo State Government, Tuesday, landed at the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport Owerri with the first set of passengers, and with the State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, members of the State Executive Council and thousands of Imo people at the airport to celebrate the feat.
The 140-Seater plane with Imo Air written boldly on the body landed at the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport at exactly 11.42 pm, and is being operated for the State by DANA Airline because according to the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha the State has not got the license to operate full – blown airline.
In his speech at the Airport to herald the arrival of the Maiden Imo Air, Governor Rochas Okorocha said it has been his dream and sincere desire to position Imo State on the fast lane of development, prosperity and growth, adding that he won’t rest on his oars until that dream is realized.
Governor Okorocha also said that Imo is not affected by the much-talked about recession in the Country because some people might wonder why the State should dabble into Airline business in time of recession explaining that the State has cleared arrears of Pension and has paid Salaries upto December 2016, and is about to commence the payment of January Salary. His words, “this is a happy moment in the State.
The aim of going into the Air business is because I want to drive traffic to Imo State as Imo is genuinely becoming the fastest developing City outside Abuja and Lagos. For this, there is need for more airlines to cushion the effects of high traffic coming to the State”. The governor continued “Imo government does not have an operating air license. So we needed to partner with a good and qualified airline operator.
Hence, the choice of DANA Air because of its proven track record and sincerity of purpose. The Imo Air will be operated by DANA and we have a contract of ten years with them. We have five of this aircraft and the first one has just landed and four other ones will start operation in few weeks time”. The governor explained, “The International Cargo Airport will soon kick-start to supplement the efforts of Imo Air. In our pursuit of making Imo better, Imo International Cargo Airport will soon commence operations.
Work is going on smoothly and by April God’s willing the fastest International Cargo Plane will arrive Imo State. This, we believe will help drive up commercial activities in the State. Imo is a hub for business and there is no better place to invest now in Nigeria than Imo State as inspite of the recession the State is still flourishing and progressing because of its visionary leadership”.
He informed that Imo Air will have 10% discount to all Imo indigenes flying the Plane and the operation will equally employ over 30% of Imo sons and daughters to help in the management of the Imo Air”. The DANA AIR Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mbanuzuo Obi said, “The partnership between DANA and the good people of Imo State will create employment and better working relationship for the State.
Imo AIR is in safe hands and the choice of DANA AIR for the partnership is an excellent choice as DANA AIR is registered with INTERATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION operations and security treasuring”. He added that DANA AIR has the best Customer Service Awards for 3 years running and has also been known to operate one of the top most operational brands in Nigeria. He commended Okorocha for his vision and passion for excellence.
Posted by Editor. at 19:32
Monday, 23 January 2017
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