cement-dangoteA Chinese state-owned engineering company, Sinoma has signed a deal worth $4.3bn to build Cement factories in Nigeria in partnership with Dangote Cement company. The chines company also plans to build seven plants across the continent and one in Nepal.

The new factories are expected to add around 25 million tonnes to Dangote’s cement company which currently has the capacity of 45 million tonnes.

Mr. Dangote who revealed that Hh is keeping a close eye on China’s economic problems and the ensuing lower oil price said although his company is affected by the economic problems in China, the impact is not overwhelming. “Of course we are affected,” he said, “but we are not badly affected because we are not 100% in oil.

“We are a fully diversified company. So today if oil is doing badly it doesn’t mean we are doing badly and that’s the good thing about diversification.” Africa’s economies have been hit hard by the fall in commodity prices but many are seeing a boom in infrastructure, for which cement is vital.


Buhari-702x336A former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, has picked holes in President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption, warning that the president’s fixation on stemming fraud in the country may hamper economic growth.

He advised that the government’s attention should also be on economic development of the nation.

In an opinion article sent to the source, the former bank regulator said President Buhari should not give priority to past events against the future of the country.

Mr. Moghalu, who is currently a professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts, USA, said, “Buhari has zeroed in (so far) on combating corruption and recovering stolen funds, on the one hand, and preparing to give Boko Haram a bloody nose, on the other” without building a solid foundation for the nation’s economic wellbeing.

Although he stressed the importance of fighting corruption and Boko Haram, he however called on the president to strike a balance between the fight against the twin malady and building the nation’s economy.

Mr. Moghalu said the emphasis should also be on “how can industrial policy help Nigeria achieve economic complexity and how can we build the ‘productive knowledge’ that is a sine qua non for complexity?

“How can the combination of a real industrial manufacturing economy, which is what determines the real value of a country’s exchange rate, combine with fiscal policy to incentivize a monetary policy that creates access to real capital at affordable prices? In other words, how can we put capital into our capitalism?”

The former banker said although there is no contention about the importance of security or combating corruption, but the task of building the future is also of paramount importance.

“But there is some dissonance on the matter of the balance between focusing heavily on probing and punishing past corruption and the task of constructing a future that can take us from being a poor country to a truly wealthy one, from a physical country to a real nation with a common goal and destiny. What is the balance between facing the past and building the future?” he asked.

Mr. Moghalu cautioned that once Mr. Buhari deals with “certain categories of past crimes (as opposed to present crimes) such as war crimes or governmental corruption, it all becomes political and prone (rightly or wrongly) to perceptions of selectivity.”

Giving copious examples to bolster his argument, Mr. Moghalu explained that there is corruption in many Asian countries but they look beyond it for economic prosperity.

“In China, Deng Xiaoping began a period of stunning economic transformation in the late 1970s which fundamentally altered China’s communist state to a capitalist one, unleashing the latent productivity of over one billion Chinese. This was a fundamental redesign of the basics on which modern China was established in 1949 by Mao Zedung after a debilitating civil war. Today, China is the world’s second largest economy, set to overtake the United States as the largest in the next two decades. Corruption has risen, along with China’s meteoric ascent, but President Xi Jin Ping is fighting back, with success. But wide scale corruption has not stopped China’s rise, even as it is rightly considered a strategic threat. Why? Because 400 million Chinese have been lifted out of poverty in the past three decades.

“Malaysia, with 27 million people is a rising emerging market that, in the early 1960s was well behind Nigeria in terms of economic prospects. Today it is a newly industrialized country with a GDP per capita of $11,000 (compared with Nigeria’s $3,000), foreign reserves of $100 billion, and a sovereign wealth fund with $41 billion in assets.

“In 1991, then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohammed set a Vision 2020 BHAG in which his country would achieve the status of a self-sufficient industrialized nation by that date. That target has since been met. Manufacturing accounts for 40 per cent of GDP, and Malaysia is the 14h most competitive economy in the world, ahead of Australia, UK, South Korea and Japan in competitiveness. Meanwhile, what about corruption in Malaysia? It hasn’t disappeared, but strong institutions confront the menace. As I write, a special task force is investigating allegations that Malaysia’s current Prime Minister Najib Razak received $700 million from a state investment fund into his personal bank account.

“The point from these examples is that facing forward and building our future successfully will take more effort than facing the past,” he explained. – Prmium Times

China-RamadanChina has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from fasting during Ramadan and ordered restaurants to stay open.

Most Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk during the holy month, which began on Thursday, but China’s ruling Communist party is officially atheist and for years has restricted the practice in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

“Food service workplaces will operate normal hours during Ramadan,” said a notice posted last week on the website of the state Food and Drug Administration in Xinjiang’s Jinghe county.

Officials in the region’s Bole county were told: “During Ramadan do not engage in fasting, vigils or other religious activities,” according to a local government website report of a meeting this week.

Each year, the authority’s attempt to ban fasting among Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang receives widespread criticism from rights groups.

Uighur rights groups say China’s restrictions on Islam in Xinjiang have added to ethnic tensions in the region, where clashes have killed hundreds in recent years.

China says it faces a “terrorist threat” in Xinjiang, with officials blaming “religious extremism” for the growing violence.

“China’s goal in prohibiting fasting is to forcibly move Uighurs away from their Muslim culture during Ramadan,” said Dilxat Rexit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress.

“Policies that prohibit religious fasting is a provocation and will only lead to instability and conflict.”

As in previous years, school children were included in directives limiting Ramadan fasting and other religious observances.

The education bureau of Tarbaghatay city, known as Tacheng in Chinese, this month ordered schools to communicate to students that “during Ramadan, ethnic minority students do not fast, do not enter mosques … and do not attend religious activities”.

abducted-girls-childrensdayEvery country in the world knows quite well that children are the future and does everything possible to safeguard that future by giving the children adequate care and respect their rights.

 

Nigeria is a good country with good people. I have never seen anything that unites the country apart from football and our children. Protests and rallies from every part of the country over the kidnapped Chibok girls attest to this.

 

If Nigerians who do not carrying arms and are not the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces are protesting every day and some are even ready to go to the so-called Sambisa forest, what then are our armed forces doing? Has Nigeria become the ‘Giant of Africa’ in name only? Frankly speaking, our President did say the truth on television that the country is not well positioned to combat terrorists because we have never faced this kind of problem before. Do we say he is just unfortunate that this thing is happening during his tenure? We know we are in this situation because past leaders failed to prepare the armed forces for this challenge.

 

Nevertheless, Boko Haram has been in full operation since the inception of the president. If he had taken adequate action by equipping our forces and seek help from outside the country, the story possibly would have changed. How many people have lost their lives apart from children? What has happened to the defence allocation in the budget? Why is government so indifferent to the safety of its citizens?

 

Now that the Boko Haram leader has declared that they have sold these children to different countries and Nigerians are asking the president to bring them back, is it not high time everybody worked together with the international community that wants to help rather than dancing back to negotiate with Abubakar Shekau like northern elders want to do now. What do we as a nation want to celebrate in the history of Nigeria on May 27, the Children Day?

 

Vanguard