Monday, 18 October 2010

News Report: Ruling In James Ibori’s Dubai Extradition Case Sends Jitters To Nigeria’s Top Notch Political Circles

Map Of United Arab Emirates
The failure of Mr. James Ibori, former governor of Delta state of Nigeria to stop his extradition from Dubai, United Arab Emirates(UAE) to United Kingdom(UK) to answer charges of money laundering and fraud have sent jitters to Nigeria’s top notch political circles, chidi opara reports have learnt.

Dubai recently became the investments heaven of most Nigeria’s top politicians, most of whom are apprehensive that investments in Europe and America would not pass money laundering and fraud scrutiny.

Contacts close to some prominent Nigerian politicians known to have investments in Dubai, whom chidi opara reports spoke to immediately news of Ibori’s failure to halt his extradition became public, confirmed fears that the Ibori case may be a prelude to more problems. “My brother, this looks like big trouble”, a close aide of a Nigerian former Vice-president known to have huge investments in Dubai, intoned.

A Dubai court on Sunday 17th October 2010 ruled that Ibori  be extradited to UK to face money laundering and fraud charges. He has 30 days to file for Appeal.

Dubai is one of the seven emirates of UAE.  It has the largest population and the second largest land territory.

UAE according to CIA fact book has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Successful efforts at economic diversification have reduced the portion of GDP based on oil and gas output to 25%. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the UAE has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living.

The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement. In April 2004, the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Washington and in November 2004 agreed to undertake negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement with the US, however, those talks have not moved forward.

The country's Free Trade Zones - offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes - are helping to attract foreign investors. The global financial crisis, tight international credit, falling oil prices, and deflated asset prices caused GDP to drop nearly 4% in 2009. UAE authorities have tried to blunt the crisis by increasing spending and boosting liquidity in the banking sector. The crisis hit Dubai hardest, as it was heavily exposed to depressed real estate prices. Dubai lacked sufficient cash to meet its debt obligations, prompting global concern about its solvency. In February 2009, Dubai launched a $20 billion bond program to meet its debt obligations. The UAE Central Bank and Abu Dhabi-based banks bought the largest shares.

In December 2009 Dubai received an additional $10 billion loan from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Dependence on oil and a large expatriate workforce are significant long-term challenges. The UAE's strategic plan for the next few years focuses on diversification and creating more opportunities for nationals through improved education and increased private sector employment.