BusinessDay

Five things to know to start your Wednesday

Presidency insists that no state’s security outfit has approval for automatic weapons

The presidency has denied claims circulated in the media about it giving some states the authority to buy automatic weapons for their security outfits.

This rebuttal comes after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State alleged that the Federal Government had allowed the security outfit in Katsina State to go ahead and carry arms. The governor was reacting to the refusal of the federal government to allow the state security outfit codenamed “Amotekun” to carry arms, especially as the security situation in the state worsens.

However, Garba Shehu, the senior media aide of the presidency, on Tuesday said that “there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorised to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits.”

“Under this administration, the President has repeatedly made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry an AK-47 or any other automatic weapon and that they must surrender them.”

“Where they fail to do so, the law enforcement agencies have been given clear directives to deal with any such outlaws,”the media aide noted.

“Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such an authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief, and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.”

He explained that “in the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their vigilantes for a five-day period ‘in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,’ emphasising that ‘the Vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them.”

“The Presidency appreciates the active involvement of states in security matters. As they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts by terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities, ” Shehu said.

Read also: Modu-Sheriff holds closed-door meeting with Obasanjo, says APC will win presidency

Senate vows to pass Electoral Offences Bill

The Senate has reassured Nigerians that it will pass the Electoral Offences Bill for assent by President Muhammadu Buhari before the 2023 general election.
According to NAN, Kabiru Gaya, the chairman, senate committee on Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC), stated this on Tuesday at the screening of 19 nominees for INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja.
“The National Assembly is unswavering in making sure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) succeeds in the conduct of the 2023 general election .”

It will interest you to know that the National Electoral Offences Bill is presently being worked on by a technical committee in the House of Representatives. The legislative intent is to ensure that INEC concentrates on the administration of elections.
“To ensure that electoral offenders are brought to book to deter others and build a positive electoral culture for our nation,” he said.
He said preparation for the 2023 elections was in top gear as the National Assembly was committed to supporting INEC for a credible election.

2023: Southeast PDP stakeholders drum support for Atiku

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in the South-East have assured former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, of the zone’s total support for his presidential ambition come 2023 general elections.

NAN reported that some of them who spoke during the PDP Zonal Stakeholders’ Meeting with the presidential candidate in Enugu on Tuesday said the party’s blood ran in the zone.

Chief Ali Odefa, the national vice chairman, PDP, South-East Zone, said, in his welcome address, that the party is one in the region and devoid of division as being speculated.

“In the next election, we will show that Southeast is PDP and PDP is Southeast,” he said.

Kenya: Ex-central bank chief named finance minister amid rising inflation

Kenyan President William Ruto on Tuesday appointed former central bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u as finance minister to steer the economy through rising inflation, a heavy debt burden and drought.

According to Reuter, Ndung’u, an economics professor, led the central bank between 2007 and 2015, winning praise for presiding over the expansion of the financial sector and condemnation for prioritising growth over price stability in 2011.

Ruto was sworn in this month after a hard fought electoral contest, in which he promised that he would create economic opportunities for the poor.

But he faces a very narrow fiscal space to implement his policies, after the government of predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta ramped up public borrowing to fund infrastructure projects.

The country is also facing its worst drought in 40 years as cattle farmers lose their herds.

“We appreciate that we have a difficult economic situation on our hands,” the president said as he unveiled his cabinet.

Ndung’u, who earned his doctorate from a Swedish university, weathered a political storm in 2012 as parliament tried to oust him over currency turmoil the previous year, when the shilling weakened sharply and inflation soared.

A Reuters poll ranked him as the worst performing African policymaker after the shilling plunged to its weakest-ever level while inflation soared.

He restored his reputation as a central banker in the following years, containing inflation after raising interest rates before gradually stabilising them.

Bank of England warns of ‘significant’ rate rises amid pound sterling rout

The Bank of England has signalled it is ready to ramp up interest rates to shore up the pound as Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng insisted he was “confident” his tax-cutting strategy will deliver the promised economic growth.

According to The Evening Standard, after a day of turmoil in the markets on Monday which saw sterling slump to a record low against the dollar, the Chancellor sought to reassure city investors he has a “credible plan” to start reducing the UK’s debt mountain.

However, the Bank’s chief economist Huw Pill warned they “cannot be indifferent” to the developments of the past days – seen as a signal the cost of borrowing will have to go up to protect the pound and keep a lid on inflation.

“It is hard not to draw the conclusion that all this will require significant monetary policy response,” Pill said in a speech to the Barclays-CEPR International Monetary Policy Forum.

“We must be confident in the stability of the UK’s economic framework.”

After two days of big changes, the pound appeared to settle down on Tuesday, trading at around 1.08 dollars for most of the day, deviating only briefly with a two cent drop.

But it suffered another sudden drop around 5pm – plunging more than half a cent to just below 1.07 dollars in the space of about 30 minutes.

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