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Yari Asks Governors to Get Ready for Recession, Draws Criticism

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The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Abdulaziz Yari, has told the newly-elected governors to prepare for another cycle of possible economic recession by mid-2020.

The recession, according to Yari, who is also the Zamfara State governor, may not end until the third quarter of 2021.

Yari spoke in Abuja on Monday at the induction of new and returning governors which was organised by the NGF.

But the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry disagreed with Yari on the looming recession that he predicted.

They questioned the basis on which Yari based his prediction that the country might go into another cycle of recession from 2020 to mid-2021 on.

However, Yari told the new governors that their tenure might not be a smooth ride due to paucity of funds to execute projects and also pay salaries in their respective states.

He said, “As some of us are exiting as helmsmen of our various states, let me quickly remind the new and returning governors that it may not totally be a smooth ride.

“On our part, we made a lot of achievements in infrastructural development and provision of social services because we enjoyed a relatively high oil price of about $100 to $114 dollar per barrel between 2011 and the middle of 2014.

“However, by mid-2014, the price of crude oil, which is sadly the main driving force of government’s expenditure, dropped to $75 per barrel. It, therefore, became very difficult for many states to even pay salaries of their workers.

“This scenario is a wake-up call for all of you to come amply prepared to face this kind of challenge especially since we are expecting the possibility of another cycle of recession by mid-2020 and which may last up to third quarter of 2021.

“Your good spirit of stewardship will make you contain the situation should there be one.”

Yari, who has won election as a senator-elect, said as members of the National Economic Council, the new governors must work hand in hand to boost the economy in tandem with the global best practices.

He regretted that he and his colleagues had faced the challenge or managing state economies that he said “totally dependent on accruals from the Federation Account” rather than exploring what he called viable alternatives to run the economy.

He said for most of the states, Internally Generated Revenue was nothing to write home about.

“You must, therefore, look inward by boosting your revenue generation base and also utilise them effectively for the execution of projects that would touch the lives of your people,” he told the newly-elected governors.

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Lawan: NASS Will Approve Any Request from Buhari

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday said any request from President Muhammadu Buhari would make Nigeria a better place, and such would be acted on “expeditiously.”

Lawan spoke when the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Itse Sagay visited him in his office on Thursday.

Sagay had called for the timely passage of the Special Criminal Court and other similar bills, saying such would  help the anti-corruption war and ensure that the fight was successfully won with speed and energy.

He also appealed to the Senate to consider the confirmation of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Responding, Lawan said, “This is a new Senate. Going by our rules and I believe that goes for the House of Reps too, any issue that was not concluded in the last National Assembly, will have to start all over again.

“So, as far as we are concerned, those bills will have to come again and start to go through the process from the very beginning.

“We are ready. In fact, we are in a haste if those bills are ready for us to start working on them.”

Lawan said there was no request before the Senate for the confirmation of the acting chairman of the EFCC.

“I want to assure you that any request that comes from Mr President is a request that will make Nigeria a better place in terms of appointments or legislation.

“When such request comes, the Senate will act expeditiously to ensure that we play our part in the confirmation or passing of legislation appropriately.”

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Buhari Hails Jonathan @ 62, Says His Humility, Patriotism Will Continue to Resonate

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President Muhammadu Buhari has praised former President Goodluck Jonathan’s humility and patriotism, saying that the qualities will continue to resonate.

This is contained in a message to congratulate his predecessor, who has turned 62.

The message, signed by his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 62nd birthday, joining the nation in praying for longer life, good health and more strength to keep serving the nation.

“President Buhari rejoices with family, friends and political associates of the former president, lauding him for good counsels to leaders within and outside Nigeria since he left office, sharing his experience of serving at different levels of governance.

“President Buhari believes the former President’s legacy of humility and patriotism will continue to resonate, inspiring generations to come on the sacrifices made for the stability of democracy and promotion of sustainable development.

“The President wishes the former President and his family more years of joyful celebrations.”

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Tottenham Hotspur: Pochettino Out, Jose Mourinho In

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Jose Mourinho was on Wednesday appointed Tottenham’s new manager to replace the sacked Mauricio Pochettino, with the club languishing 14th in the Premier League.

The Portuguese former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager signed a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season, the north London club said in a statement.

Pochettino, 47, transformed Spurs’ fortunes after arriving from Southampton in 2014 and although he failed to win a trophy he took the club to the Champions League final for the first time in their history just six months ago.

But the Argentine was sacked on Tuesday, with Tottenham struggling in the league after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games.

This season they were knocked out of the League Cup by fourth-tier Colchester United and suffered an embarrassing 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

“I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters,” said Mourinho, who has won domestic titles in a record four different countries.

“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me.”

Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy said: “In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football. He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician.

“He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”

Spurs hailed their new boss, saying in their statement: “Jose is one of the world’s most accomplished managers having won 25 senior trophies.”

He won Champions League titles with Porto and Inter Milan.

The 56-year-old Portuguese won three Premier League titles over two spells in charge of Chelsea and returned to England to manage Manchester United in 2016.

Mourinho was sacked last December following a poor run of results and has been out of work since, most recently working as a TV pundit.

His first match in charge will be the London derby away to West Ham on Saturday.

(AFP)

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