Category Archives: West Africa – Nigeria

President Buhari saved Nigeria from failure – Lai Mohammed.

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Minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s assumption of office in 2015 prevented Nigeria from becoming a failed state.

He said in a statement on Sunday that Nigeria is courageously tackling its challenges and building a solid infrastructure that will serve as the basis for socio-economic development, noting that the government is unrelenting in battling insecurity and working hard to ensure greatest prosperity for the greatest number of people.

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

Mohammed said President Buhari came into office at a time that a swathe of the country’s territory was under occupation, a period when many Nigerian towns and cities, including the capital city of Abuja, were a playground for insurgents and a moment that the nation’s wealth had been looted dry, with little or nothing to show for the nation’s huge earnings, especially in the area of infrastructure.

“Whatever situation the country has found itself in, things would have been much worse but for the deft management of resources, unprecedented fight against corruption, determined battle against insurgency and banditry as well as the abiding courage of Mr. President in piloting the ship of state,” the minister said.

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Mohammed boasted that no government in the history of the country has done so much with so little, as the Buhari Administration is doing presently, adding that with 60% less national income, the Administration is making progress on all fronts and setting the country on the path of sustainable growth and development.

The Minister said while naysayers are hyping the instances of insecurity in the country, they have conveniently forgotten that the country could have been overrun by insurgents and bandits if President Buhari had not rallied regional and international allies to tackle, headlong, the Boko Haram insurgency that saw bombs going off like firecrackers before his assumption of office, and an estimated 20,000 square miles of the nation’s territory occupied by insurgents

“They tout the downturn in economic fortunes without putting things in context. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a global shutdown and a drastic fall in global oil demand, Nigeria lost 60% of its earnings, yet the Administration has ensured that not a single worker has been retrenched, has paid salaries as and when due and has continued to build infrastructures like roads, rails, bridges and power, among others, that will serve many generations.

“They aggravate the national fault lines with their angry and unguarded actions and rhetoric, forgetting that while national fissures are amplified at a time of dwindling economic fortunes, what is needed to foster peace and unity is not reckless elocution but responsible and responsive leadership, the kind being offered by President Buhari,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

BBNaija’5: Kiddwaya evicted week after lover, Erica’s disqualification.

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Big Brother housemate and billionaire son, Kiddwaya has been evicted from the reality show.

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that Kiddwaya was put up for eviction alongside fellow housemates; Dorathy, Prince and Ozo.

Prince was presently evicted, followed by Kiddwaya who was nominated and eventually evicted.

When asked about his next plan by Ebuka during the live show, Kidd said he does not want to rush into things but would rather take his time, go to the gym first, consult his team, mentor and then meet his parents.

The 27-year-old obtained his First Degree at Nottingham Trent University and later obtained a Masters Degree in Business Sciences from the same university. His exit from the show leaves seven other housemates fighting for the N85m grand prize


#Newsworthy…

BBNaija’5: Former Deputy HoH, Prince gets evicted.

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Following the normal tradition in Big Brother’s house every Sunday, it was another sad eviction for the housemates as they were forced to say their goodbye’s to their fellow housemate, Prince.

Prince who is also the present Mr Nigeria was evicted from the show for having the least number of votes among Ozo, Dorathy and Kiddwaya, who were alongside nominated for possible eviction.

For those who do not know, 24 year old Nelson Enwerem Prince is an entrepreneur from Abia. A jack-of-all-trades whose portfolio includes modelling, fashion designing and interior decoration. He enjoys active sports and reading about ancient religions and African history. He’s a graduate of pure physics from the University of Calabar and is currently living in Lagos.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Nigeria reports 160 cases

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Nigeria reports 160 fresh COVID-19 cases.

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160 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

FCT-39
Plateau-39
Lagos-30
Kaduna-23
Katsina-7
Rivers-6
Oyo-6
Yobe-3
Benue-3
Bayelsa-1
Abia-1
Edo-1
Ekiti-1

56,177 confirmed
44,088 discharged
1,078 deaths


#Newsworthy…

Forex ban: Gov’t should not punish Nigerian citizens for Central bank’s error – Senior Lecturer.

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A senior lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Abuja, Dr Ahmed Adamu, has said that the timing of the policy which places a ban on giving foreign exchange for food and fertilizer imports.

While featuring as a guest on Friday, Dr Adamu said the decision is coming at a very wrong time, when the nation’s agricultural sector is not matured enough to handle such a major drift.

The scholar argued that there is an already existing inflation and as such this kind of decision can trigger hyperinflation, especially if the recently removed petrol subsidy is also brought into focus.

“This is happening at a time when Nigerians are not ready to boycott foreign food items because of their addiction or their attraction to foreign food items.

“I think its also a wrong time because we have not built the right infrastructure and we have not supplied sufficient agricultural facilities and we have not built the entire agricultural value chain.

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“These are the reasons why I say this is the wrong time to do this.

“We are already facing insecurity, a lot of farmers have been displaced from their farms and they cannot produce much; so we are going to create a lot of scarcity in the country and now you are also discouraging cheaper importation of foreign products, so the only option most people will have is to tap into the comparative advantage from other countries,” Dr Adamu opined.

He further noted that at the moment the country is seeing a high rise in the prices of food items, adding that this new measure is going to increase the prices of food items further at a time when the nation has just come out of COVID-19 lockdown.

The economist stressed that Nigerians should not be punished for the failure and inability of government and policy-makers to protect the naira, reiterating that the government’s decision is “a recipe for hyperinflation”.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: One death case as Nigeria report 188 cases.

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Nigeria reports 188 cases of COVID-19 as total death toll hit 176. Total infections crosses 56,000 benchmark.

19 States in Nigeria had report the 188 COVID-19 cases as total recoveries hit 43,998.

Lagos state leads by 47 cases followed by Enugu which has 25 cases and next,, Plateau with 21 cases.

Edo, Oyo and Kwara tied with 3 cases each as Yobe and Rivers State reports least number of 2 each.

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188 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-47
Enugu-25
Plateau-21
FCT-14
Abia-11
Delta-10
Bauchi-8
Ondo-8
Kaduna-8
Ogun-6
Imo-5
Benue-4
Katsina-4
Taraba-4
Edo-3
Kwara-3
Oyo-3
Rivers-2
Yobe-2

56,017 confirmed
43,998 discharged
1,076 deaths


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Fresh cases of 197; deaths toll hit 1,075

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Nigeria reports 197 fresh cases of COVID-19 pandemic as total death toll hit 1,075.

Plateau reports highest cases of 83 followed by Lagos with 48 cases and Kaduna – 17.

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197 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Plateau-83
Lagos-48
Kaduna-17
FCT-16
Ogun-11
Katsina-7
Imo-4
Edo-3
Nasarawa-3
Rivers-2
Bayelsa-1
Oyo-1
Osun-1

55,829 confirmed
43,810 discharged
1,075 deaths


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Sept. 14 resumption, only for final year students – Lagos Gov. [Nigeria]

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The Lagos state government has announced that only final-year students will be resuming when tertiary institutions reopen next Monday in the state.

Tokunbo Wahab, Special Adviser on Education to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated this.

Wahab said, “Basically, we are at a point where scientifically we’ve been proven to have flattened the curve. And it invariably means that we are not as exposed as we used to be some five, four, three months back.

So, consequently, we have to find a way to bring our lives back to normal. And in doing that, education is very critical to whatever we are going to do.

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“In the past few weeks, we’ve been putting in place measures and facilities that will enable our children come back to school.

“Even at that, what we seek to do from next week is to start a phased reopening of our tertiary institutions.

“On the 14th we have announced that our tertiary institutions are going to open to our students for the first time after six months.”

Wahab said the students have been having their lectures online all along and “they are going to come on campus to have their revision one-on-one and then they can now have their exams and their projects.”

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“For our tertiary (institutions) from on the 14th, we are going to start with the final-year students across our tertiary institutions. With those final-year students, we are sure that they are older, they are more mature, and they are going to meet up with the protocol as put in place by the institutions based on the regulations of the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control).

“After we have phased them out, maybe after their exams, then, those in the penultimate year will come on campus. So, we are not going to put all our students on campus at the same time.

“For our secondary, from on the 21st, they are also going to have a phased resumption.” Wahab concluded.

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that Schools in the country had been shut in March as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly covid-19 disease.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Ondo state INEC office caught fire.

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Several card readers were damaged as fire gutted the head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure, Thursday.

Men of the Fire Service are on the ground to put out the inferno which started about 8 pm and gutted the container housing Smart Card Readers, the electoral body tweeted, Thursday.

“The National Commissioner, Barrister Festus Okoye, who is in Ondo State in connection with preparations for the Ondo State Governorship election scheduled for 10th October 2020, rushed to the office at about 8 pm,” INEC added.

Although the cause of the inferno is yet to be known, Barrister Okoye assured that an investigation would be carried out to unravel what triggered the fire.

Some staff of the Commission and the Administrative Secretary of the State, Mr Popoola were also at the INEC office.

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No Face Masks, No Voting
INEC had earlier said it is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety of voters in the election and has rolled out a no face masks, no voting policy as Nigeria battles COVID-19.

“It is mandatory for every voter to wear a face mask or face covering without which the voter would not be allowed to vote,” the Chairman of the electoral body, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja Thursday.

The INEC boss while giving insight into the nature of face masks voters are expected to wear during the elections, said the electorates do not need surgical masks to cast their ballots.

He explained that “a face covering will be sufficient for a voter to be accredited to vote.”


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Resident doctors suspends strike after agreement with FG.

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The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended the nationwide industrial action.

Dr Aliyu Sokumba who is the President of NARD confirmed this to Media known to Noble Reporters Media

Dr Sokumba disclosed that the union will review the progress made in talks with the Federal Government in two weeks.

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On Wednesday, the Federal Government and the doctors reached an agreement in a bid to end the industrial action.

During the meeting which almost took the entire day, NARD had disclosed that it will liaise with the executive council with a view to calling off the strike.

Both parties had been in talks to resolve the issues which led to NARD declaring an end to the country-wide strike.

After the meeting, the Federal said an additional N8.9 billion has been approved to pay up a large chunk of the June 2020 COVID-19 allowance to all health workers across the nation,

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This was revealed by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Ngige stated that the implementation of the payment of the Special Hazard and Inducement Allowance has been concluded, stressing that this has been cash-backed and the mandate sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for payments to start with effect from September 9.

According to him, this will bring the total disbursement to about N288 billion.

The doctors embarked on the strike to resolve issues bothering on group life insurance for doctors and other health care workers, payment of death-in-service benefit to next of kin/beneficiaries, universal implementation of the medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and state hospitals, immediate review of the hazard allowance of healthcare workers and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Fresh cases of 176; total death toll hit 1,070 in Nigeria

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Nigeria reports 176 fresh COVID-19 cases as total infections nears 56,000.

Seventeen States in Nigeria reports the 176 fresh COVID-19 cases.

After long time of staying behind, Federal Capital Territory took the lead with 40 cases, followed by Lagos State with 34 cases and Plateau state with 26 cases this time.

Kwara, Rivers, Adamawa and Nasarawa state ties with 2 cases and Edo, Osun and Bauchi state reports the least cases of 1 each.

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176 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

FCT-40
Lagos-34
Plateau-26
Enugu-14
Delta-12
Ogun-12
Ondo-9
Oyo-8
Ekiti-6
Ebonyi-4
Adamawa-2
Nasarawa-2
Kwara-2
Rivers-2
Edo-1
Osun-1
Bauchi-1

55,632 confirmed
43,610 discharged
1,070 deaths


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria’s debt profile surpasses N31trn

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Nigeria’s total debt profile rose to N31. 009 trillion ($85.897 billion) as of June 30, 2020, says the Debt Management Office (DMO) on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the figure comprises debt stock of the Federal government, 36 states of the federation and the Federal capital Territory.

“The corresponding figures for March 31, 2020 were N28.628 trillion or USD79.303 billion. The increase in the Debt Stock by N2.381 Trillion or USD6.593 Billion was accounted for by the USD3.36 Billion Budget Support Loan from the International Monetary Fund, New Domestic Borrowing to finance the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act including the issuance of the N162.557 Billion Sukuk, and Promissory Notes issued to settle Claims of Exporters,” said DMO.

DMO expects “the public debt stock to grow as the balance of the new domestic borrowing is raised and expected disbursements are made by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank which were arranged to finance the 2020 Budget.”

A debt service payment document also released by DMO showed that a total of $287.04 million was spent servicing external debt in the three months. Payment of principal took 70.27 million while the remaining was spread on fees and interest.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Outrage over increased fuel price reasonable but not well placed – NNPC.

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The Group Marketing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has reacted to the outburst over the recent increase in fuel price.

During an interview on Wednesday, he said: “the outburst is very understandable but I also believe very strongly that it is misplaced because Nigerians are not aware of the opportunities lost”.

He further explained that the issue of subsidy has been a big issue in the country for many years but the government can no longer afford it because of the economic problems facing the country.

“And not only that, every corruption that you are aware of in the downstream industry is one way or the other connected to fuel subsidy,” the NNPC boss added.

“It is very understandable for people to get angry that prices have gone up. Just like the prices of every commodity, when it goes up, there can be difficulties and challenges that people will naturally face but once prices go up, the other natural thing that must happen is that your income needs to increase so that you are able to procure the things that are now delivered at higher prices.

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“You can’t do this anywhere in the world if there is no productivity.

“And there will be no productivity except there is growth in infrastructural development, industries are able to work, therefore, and there is a connection between production and consumption.

“When people get angry, this is coming from people who practically are not aware of this situation and they are not aware of the loss that they have and most importantly they are being engineered into making those statements, and we understand this perfectly.

“We are the national oil company, it’s our role to ensure energy security. But you can’t do this until you are able to deliver cost. And that cost is lost daily as prices of crude oil goes up and you are unable to do many things.

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On the state of the nation’s refinery, Mr Kyari explained that plans are on the way to rehabilitate the four major refineries to maximum capacity.

According to him, this plan is expected to place Nigeria as the world’s biggest exporter of oil in the next three years.

The increase of fuel price and electricity tariff has sparked outrage with various groups holding nationwide protests across the country.

On Tuesday, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said it was no longer going to be releasing price bands for the sale of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS/petrol) at filling stations.

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The agency reiterated that the price will now be fully based on the forces of demand and supply.

“It is based on bargain power,” the General Manager (Admin and Human Resources) of the PPPRA, Victor Shidok, said. “It is based on where you source your products.”

However, he noted that the government will ensure customers are protected from price-gouging and other ills associated with free markets.

“You could have a regulator that always stand and remain a watchdog to see how these forces are being played out, how the interest if both operators and consumers are being taken care of,” he said


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria’s health minister, Ehanire tells striking doctors to exercise patience.

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The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Wednesday, said striking resident doctors must be patient with the government as their demands are being met.

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) commenced an industrial strike on Monday amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing unmet demands such as the non-payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance.

The doctors, in June, had also downed tools for one week.

Mr Ehanire, on Wednesday, said it was “not a good time to go on strike”.

“Salaries are not outstanding, salaries are paid up-to-date; hazard allowance was outstanding up till a few days ago, as agreed,” Ehanire said. “But there is another tranche that is coming up on stream, which we are talking about with the Ministry of Finance.

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“What they must understand is that there are several ministries dealing with these issues. these ministries have a lot on their plate. We are urging and advocating for attention for the doctors. We are asking the doctors for patience. We want to assure them they will not be shortchanged.”

The provision of life insurance is one of the key demands of the doctors.

“The insurance subject is under the office of the Head of Service; it’s a civil servant activity,” the Minister said. “And we are urging the office in charge to expedite settlement for those who lost their lives, to ensure that the insurance is well kept.

“These are not things that will happen overnight. If you don’t get it today, you will get it tomorrow. We are going to ensure that all those promises are kept.”

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Earlier on Wednesday, the Minister directed youth service doctors to operate instead of the striking doctors, as government representatives continued to negotiate with NARD officials.

“The NYSC members “are not to take over, but to support the consultants,” Ehanire said. “The consultants are a category of senior doctors who run the programs and are supported by young doctors. Consultants oversee the work of resident doctors and resident doctors oversee the work of youth service doctors.

“Consultants will oversee the work of youth service doctors to make sure that the COVID centres are attended to, emergency centres and essential services are attended to, and then routine services, as much as possible, are also attended to.

“The Ministry has a responsibility to ensure Nigerians continue to receive health services.”


#Newsworthy…

Market forces to now determine petrol price in Nigeria.

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The price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly referred to as petrol, will now be fully based on the forces of demand and supply, the Federal Government reiterated on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the General Manager (Admin and Human Resources) of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Victor Shidok, said the market is now open.

“It is based on bargain power,” he said. “It is based on where you source your products.”

However, he noted that the government will ensure customers are protected from price-gouging and other ills associated with free markets.

“You could have a regulator that always stand and remain a watchdog to see how these forces are being played out, how the interest if both operators and consumers are being taken care of,” he said.

PPPRA is a Federal Government agency established in 2003 to monitor and regulate the supply, distribution and prices of petroleum products in the country.

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Last Thursday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said the nation has gone into full deregulation and market forces now determine the price of the product.

The deregulation has been singled out as the reason behind the recent hike in the price of petrol.

According to Sylvia, deregulation will be difficult for Nigerians at the initial stage but will get better in the long run.

He added that since the announcement of full deregulation in March, the Federal Government has saved over N1 trillion.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: 296 fresh cases; total deaths toll hit 1,067

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Nigeria records 296 fresh COVID-19 cases as total infections surge. Total deaths toll hit 1,067.

Plateau, after long rest took the barton, records highest cases of 183 followed by Lagos State which records 33 cases and Abuja (FCT) which records 25 cases.

Rivers, Edo and Gombe State ties with 2 cases each as Akwa Ibom reports least cases of 1.

Fresh cases of 296 COVID-19 in Nigeria was recorded by 15 States.

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296 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Plateau-183
Lagos-33
FCT-25
Ogun-16
Oyo-7
Ekiti-6
Kwara-5
Ondo-5
Anambra-3
Imo-3
Nasarawa-3
Rivers-2
Gombe-2
Edo-2
Akwa Ibom-1

55,456 confirmed
43,334 discharged
1,067 deaths


#Newsworthy…