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News Roundup:Why I can’t act on #ENDSARS reports now – Buhari, Nigeria’s GDP slows to 4.03% in Q3, Mo Abudu’s business becomes Harvard case study…

Why I can’t act on #ENDSARS reports now – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday declined to make a categorical statement on the report that indicts the Nigerian Army over the killing of #ENDSARS protesters at the Leki toll gate, Lagos, saying that the Federal Government will allow the system to exhaust itself. This is just as the United States government on Thursday insisted that the Nigerian government must be transparent and should insist on providing justice, in handling the #ENDSARS report. The American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken described the report of the EndSARS probe panel as “democracy in action,” stressing that America equally had its own police brutality, and hoped that necessary reforms would be made. “We are hoping that there will be transparency and accountability on the part of the government and provide justice to victims of the attack.” But President Buhari, while speaking at State House, Abuja, at an audience with the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said his government “will wait for pronouncements from state governments which set up panels to probe police brutality in the country.” He disclosed that “ So many state governments are involved, and have given different terms of reference to the probe panels,” adding that “We at the Federal have to wait for the steps taken by the states, and we have to allow the system to work. We can’t impose ideas on them. The Federal Government has to wait for the reaction of the states.”

Nigeria’s GDP slows to 4.03% in Q3
Nigeria’s economy maintained a positive growth trajectory in the third quarter of 2021, recording a 4.03percent growth. But the reported growth is slower than the massive 5.01percent GDP recorded in the previous quarter, indicating that the base effect from last year may be waning. This is the fourth quarter of positive growth since the 2020 recession which was exacerbated by the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on Africa’s largest economy. Output had contracted by -6.10percent and -3.62percent in Q2 and Q3 of 2020 under the Covid pandemic. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which announced the new GDP numbers in its latest report on Thursday said the Q3 2021 growth rate was higher than the -3.62percent growth rate recorded in Q3 2020 by 7.65percent points but lower than 5.01percent recorded in Q2 2021 by 0.98percent points, indicative of a continuous recovery. “Nevertheless, quarter on quarter, real GDP grew at 11.07percent in Q3 2021 compared to Q2 2021, reflecting a higher economic activity than the preceding quarter.”

Read also: POS usage rises 91% in three years as Nigerians embrace agent banking

Mo Abudu’s business becomes Harvard case study
Mo Abudu, the CEO of EbonyLife Group, is known for several firsts in the media space, and is adding another feather to her hat. For the first time in history, a case study about a female African media entrepreneur titled: ‘The Harvard Business School – EbonyLife Case Study,’ will be taught at Harvard Business School (HBS) to over 1,000 MBA students. “EbonyLife turns 10 next year, so the case reflects on how we started and where we are today. It will also highlight our challenges along the way,” Abudu said. She revealed in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay that she is currently on the HBS campus in Boston where this case study will be taught, and also to share her story with the students and faculty. What this means is that, first-year students at HBS will study a case about an African company, led by a Nigerian woman. It will become one of approximately 500 case studies read by students over the course of the two-year MBA programme. Nearly half of these cases are based on global organisations. “I am looking forward to listening to them and answering their questions. I am humbled and honoured to be chosen for this, and I will always do all I can to encourage everyone out there on the possibilities and results that abound in daring to excel, because as I always say, if you can think it, you can do it,” Abudu said.

IHS buys MTN’s towers, becomes largest asset owner in SA
IHS Towers has signed agreements to acquire MTN’s 5,709 towers in South Africa to make it the largest independent telecom asset operator in the country in a deal worth $412 million. The tower operator is entering the South African market for the first time. The agreement also sees IHS Towers provide Power-as-a-Service (PaaS) to MTN at approximately 12,800 sites across South Africa (including the acquired 5,709 sites). That means IHS will own 70 percent of the South African towers business with the remaining 30 percent owned by a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) consortium. IHS Towers said it is in advanced talks with a consortium of B-BBEE investors and hopes to complete it soon. B-BBEE is an integration programme launched by the South African government to reconcile South Africans and address the inequalities of apartheid by attempting to compensate for land that was repossessed from Africans.

“Our long-standing relationship with MTN Group, coupled with our two decades of operation on the African continent and track record of delivering consistently strong network uptime, will enable us to deliver an infrastructure capable of meeting South Africa’s increasingly sophisticated data demands. Although we have expanded into new regions over the last two years, this agreement is a testament to our continued commitment to facilitating mobile connectivity across the African continent. With this Transaction and our partnership with the Egypt Digital Company for Investment as announced last month, IHS now has a footprint in seven African markets, in addition to our four newer markets in Latam and MENA.”

Real estate emerges world’s most popular store of wealth
Two-thirds of global net worth is stored in real estate and only about 20 percent in other fixed assets, according to consulting firm, McKinsey. A recent report by the New York-based company states that the high share of countries’ wealth that is stored in the property market raises questions about whether societies store their wealth productively. Breakdown of the report reveals that the value of residential real estate amounted to almost half of global net worth in 2020, while corporate and government buildings and land accounted for an additional 20 percent. Global net wealth jumped to $514 trillion in 2020, rising by $358 trillion from 2000 levels, according to a McKinsey report cited by Bloomberg. “We are now wealthier than we have ever been,” Jan Mischke, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute in Zurich, told Bloomberg in an interview. Assets that drive much of economic growth include infrastructure, industrial structures, machinery and equipment; intangibles – as well as inventories and mineral reserves make up the rest. On why most countries store a large part of their wealth in real estate, McKinsey cites the product of high quantity and quality of housing, high construction costs relative to other prices in the economy, or high land prices. The trend has been consistent since 2000. “Growth in household real estate wealth stemmed from rising home prices, with the cost of land and construction also increasing,” it states.

FG warns against inappropriate use of antimicrobials in food production
The Federal government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned against the inappropriate use of antimicrobials, pesticides in food production and preservation, stating that it causes the spread of resistant infection. Speaking during the flag-off ceremony to commemorate the ‘2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week’ in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar said that promotion of good practices in the sector would help fight against resistant infections. According to him, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in recent times has been considered one of the most important threats to public health in all parts of the world as it drastically limits the ability to effectively treat common infections in humans and animals. He said, “it has been projected that by 2050, AMR could account for up to 10 million deaths annually, and about 4million of these deaths (representing 40percent) are likely to occur in Africa. “AMR occurs when the disease agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, no longer respond to the action of antimicrobials which are hitherto susceptible. “Within the agricultural and food resources sectors, a critical factor that promotes anti-microbial resistance is the slaughter, sale and consumption of animals treated with antimicrobials without observance of the withdrawal period. The result is the presence of residues in foods of animal origin such as meat, fish, eggs and milk.”

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