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Christians, Muslims End 40 Days Prayer, Fasting For Nigeria, Pray Against Disunity, Xenophobia, Others

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Nigerians across religious divides, on Monday, poured out their hearts to God in prayers for the soul of Nigeria and against disunity and retrogression.

The prayer was part of activities to mark the grand finale of the 40 days fasting and prayers organised by The National Interfaith and Religious Organisations for Peace (NIFROP).

The event, which was graced by over 500 clerics and many Nigerians from both Christain and Muslim faiths, witnessed torrential prayers for Nigeria and Nigerians.

The clerics took out time one after the other to intercede for the nation, her leaders and Africa at large.

The well-attended event also witnessed rain of prayers against the spirit of xenophobia in South Africa, which has sent many promising Nigerians to their early graves.

Speaking during the programme, the National President of NIFROP Bishop Sunday Garuba, described the 40 days fasting and prayers as a huge success.

“We have successfully come to the end of the 40 days’ prayer and fasting programme designed by the National Interfaith and Religious Organisations (NIFROP) to pray and fast for Nigeria for God to unite Nigerians in our quest for national unity.

“The 40 days’ prayer and fasting programme was such a huge success in that Nigerians from all ethnic and religious affiliations gathered and prayed in one voice for Gods intervention against the evil plot by some enemies of Nigeria to see to the disintegration of the country.

“The large turnout of clerics from all over Nigeria for the grand finale of the 40 days’ prayer and fasting programme is an indication that Nigerians have indeed have risen above religious sentiments to pray and fast for the unity of the country and to put to shame the evil plans of the enemies against the unity and progress of Nigeria.”

The cleric said he was optimistic that all the prayers tabled before God would receive speedy answers.

Also speaking, Sheik Ahmad Jibrin also stated that what Nigeria needs in this critical point of its existence was prayers and supplication to God for the grace for Nigerians to see that the myriads of challenges been experienced are the handiwork of distractors who are angry with the level of growth and development in the country in the past four years.

“We have prayed and fasted and the revelations we received are indicative of the fact that Nigeria shall experience and unimaginable level of unity now and in the years ahead.”

“We have prayed and fasted and the revelations we received are indicative of the fact that Nigeria shall experience and unimaginable level of unity now and in the years ahead.”

“As you can see, the turnout is massive, and the composition is an indication that Nigerian clerics have indeed embraced this laudable initiative and that is why over 500 clerics have gathered here in Abuja.”

The high point of the event was awe-inspiring performance by rave of the moment and Ekwueme crooner, Prospa Ochimana.

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Inside Nigeria

Loan: Buhari, APC Owe Nigerians Apology — Atiku

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Atiku

Former Vice President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to apologise to Nigerians over what he described as reckless borrowing by the administration and how the terms of such loans could compromise the future of the country.

In a statement on Sunday, the former vice president said that some managers of the party and even the government had denied the allegations that he raised as well as the warning for caution.

But according to him, just last week, a cabinet minister confirmed the allegations.

“Now, we all are aware that Nigeria’s sovereignty may have been traded for foreign loans and God forbids our inability to service those loans, the lender country would take ownership of choice infrastructure on the Nigerian soil. No negotiation could be weaker than that!

“Nigeria had a total foreign debt stock of $7.02 billion on May 29, 2015. Today, our foreign debt is $23 billion and rapidly rising. Debt, by itself, is not a bad thing. But debt budgeted for such unproductive ventures, like the proposed $500 million upgrade of the Nigerian Television Authority and other sundry bogus contracts, is debt that leads to death. To trade Nigeria’s sovereignty for this type of profligacy is the height of irresponsibility!,” the statement read in part.

Atiku said he has long advocated for a more robust engagement of the private sector and promotion of foreign direct investment as sustainable alternatives through which government could fund infrastructure development.

But on the contrary, according to him, the Nigerian government under the banner of the All Progressives Congress threaded the direction of looking for cheap foreign loans in exchange for the sovereignty for Nigeria.

“Recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration initiated a National Privatization Programme with the sole objective of ensuring that the private sector took some measure of influence in social investment portfolio and, in some instances, provided funding for infrastructure development.

“There was nothing in that plan that traded Nigeria’s sovereignty for some cheap loans which, in the light of unfolding revelations of sleaze in some departments of government, would have ended in private pockets,”.

He, therefore, stated that the government and the APC must apologize to Nigerians and make an admittance of guilt for taking the country through the throes of subjugation to another country.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Debt To Rise Again As World Bank Set To Approve Fresh $1.5bn Loan

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World Bank

Nigeria’s debt profile is set to see an increase in August as the World Bank’s Executive Board may approve part of the country’s $3bn loan application on August 6.

Africa’s largest economy has been struggling to cover its fiscal deficits as the $1.5bn from World Bank has been designated for the country’s budget.

Nigeria’s Country Director, Shubham Chaundhuri, had said that due to the urgency of the fund, the board would decide the $1.5bn loan latest early August.

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had in June said that negotiations were on course and the goverment is looking at World Bank going to the board on 6th of August for Nigeria’s approval.

She had said that the country had metall the conditions for the facility.

She had said, “The amount we are raising in the first instance is $1.5 billion for FG and around September October we are hoping to close out on the facility meant for states and the amount is meant to be $1-1.5bn.”

If the loan is approved on August 6, Nigeria’s external debt profile is expected to increase to $34.1bn from $27.67bn in March.

The amount includes recently approved loans from different multilateral lenders, including the international Monetary Fund, World Bank and the African Development Bank, which was not captured in Nigeria’s debt profile as of March this year.

Nigeria had in April received $3.4bn from the IMF to fund its fiscal deficit and current account unbalances.

The AfDB had on June 5, equally approved $288.5mn for it largest shareholder to combat the impact of Covid-19 on its economy.

The World Bank on 25 June approved the Power Sector Recovery Operation $750mn in International Development Association.

Also most recently is the $500m loan approved on July 29, for girls education targeted at Northern Nigeria and Ekiti in the Southwest.

The total is expected to raise the country’s debt by $6.43bn, representing 23.2 per cent rise.

Meanwhile, data from the debt Management Office puts Nigeria’s external debt as of March 2020 at $27.67bn (N9.98tn).

This is excluding the loans approved in the dates succeeding March 31, 2020 as analyzed by THE WHISTLER.

The debt office also placed Nigeria’s domestic debt at $51.63bn (N18.64tn) as of March 31, this year.

Total public debt stock however as of March 31, 2020 was $79.3bn (N28.62tn).

The total public debt when updated with the new loans preceding March 31, will increase by $6.44bn to $85.74bn (N30.95tn).

This is including the $1.5bn set to be approved by the World Bank on August 6, this year.

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Inside Nigeria

Mamman Daura Didn’t Speak Buhari’s Mind On Zoning — Presidency

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mamman daura

The Presidency has reacted to President Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura’s comment on zoning which triggered a controversy last week.

Recall that in an interview with BBC Hausa, Mamman Daura had said it is better for competence to prevail over zoning in government positions.

However in a statement released by Buhari’s spokesperson Garba Shehu which served as a response to the interview, the presidency stated that the Daura did not speak the mind of the President.

The statement read;

“We have received numerous requests for comments on the interview granted by Malam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew to the BBC Hausa Service.

“It is important that we state from the onset that as mentioned by the interviewee, the views expressed were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of either the President or his administration.

“At age 80, and having served as editor and managing director of one of this country’s most influential newspapers, the New Nigerian, certainly, Malam Mamman qualifies as an elder statesman with a national duty to hold perspectives and disseminate them as guaranteed under our constitution and laws of the land. He does not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.

“In an attempt to circulate the content of the interview to a wider audience, the English translation clearly did no justice to the interview, which was granted in Hausa, and as a result, the context was mixed up and new meanings were introduced and/or not properly articulated.

“These issues remain at the heart of our evolving and young democracy, and as a veteran journalist, scholar and statesman, Malam Mamman has seen enough to add his voice to those of many other participants.”

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