Nigeria: Press focuses on tributes by African leaders to late Ex-President Rawlings, others

The Guardian reports that Ghanaians and African leaders yesterday mourned and extolled the virtues of the former Ghanaian president, Flight…

The Guardian reports that Ghanaians and African leaders yesterday mourned and extolled the virtues of the former Ghanaian president, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, who died from suspected COVID-19 complications.
The ex-president died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana, yesterday morning.
A military ruler, who later joined politics, Rawlings ruled Ghana as a soldier from 1981 to 1992 and later 1992 to 2000 as democratically elected president.
Before his death, he was a supporter of former President John Mahama’s re-election plan against current President, Nana Akufo Addo, for the election slated on December 7.
He had on July 2 warned Ghanaians about the danger of COVID-19. He had tweeted: “Fellow citizens, it does not appear that we can afford the comfort of thinking the COVID-19 virus has gone weak or lessened its grip. It is there and very much around, waiting to infect and claim the lives of those of us who will underestimate its danger.”
The newspaper says that 50 percent of the about 700,000 professional developers across Africa operate from Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa.
The e-Conomy Africa 2020 report, which revealed this, noted that African developers use both formal and informal education channels to gain skills and access high-paying jobs.
The report jointly produced by Google and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) disclosed that the top two developer training pathways are through university programmes and self-taught channels.
Specifically, the report revealed that Egypt has 86,599; Ghana 17, 488; Kenya 58, 175; Morocco 46, 483; Nigeria 83,609, and South Africa 118,541, among others.
ThisDay reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said Nigeria’s ethnic and cultural diversities as well as youthful population pose peculiar challenges and urged the international community to explore positive advantage of the trend.
The president, while receiving letters of credence from new ambassadors of Belgium, Mauritania, Austria and Norway at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, charged the international community and investors to take advantage of the nation’s diversity in human and natural resources by investing in the country.He added that youth development, integration and employment remained the priority of his administration.

The president, in a statement by his media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “Nigeria is ready to pursue broader dialogue as well as enhance cooperation and collaboration on the basis of constructive mutual respect and a shared vision for our future.”

The Sun says that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika on Thursday, revealed that more Bilateral/Multilateral Air Services Agreement will be signed in 2021 to give Nigerians more access to international destinations.
Sirika made the disclosure in Abuja when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation for the 2021 budget defence.
According to him, the Federal Government, this year, signed the instrument of ratification of BASA with the United States of America, India, Morocco and Rwanda.
“More Bilateral/Multilateral Air Services Agreement would be signed in 2021 for the benefit of our nation” he stated.
The Minister said the Ministry of Aviation has proposed N78 Billion for capital expenditure and the emphasis will be focused on the implementation of the Aviation Roadmap as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The newspaper reports that the management of Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals has disclosed that the 650,000 barrels per day project will create jobs for not less than 250,000 Nigerians when completed and fully operational next year.
The Group Executive Director, Strategy and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, told reporters at the site that the company’s Refinery has potential to turn around Nigeria’s economy with the employment of thousands of Nigerians for direct and indirect jobs.
He said the huge unemployment rate of Nigerian youths and the need to make the country self-reliant in fuel consumption and attract much needed foreign exchange through export of the products were reasons that motivated the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote to venture into manufacturing.
The Dangote Group boss said he was very optimistic that the refinery will be a game changer for Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
According to him, the Dangote Industries Limited has succeeded in substantially reducing the high rate of unemployment in the country, with the conglomerate already recruiting youths from its various agricultural scheme and also into its other subsidiaries. Dangote Industries Limited is the highest employer of labour outside the federal government.

The Punch says that the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo, says Nigeria has an advantage over other African countries in the export of services.
Awolowo said this at the Africa-China Trade Import and Export Showcase held virtually on Wednesday.
He said Nigeria’s relationship with China had grown over time as it was one of Nigeria’s top three export destinations.
According to him, some of the products Nigeria export to China include sea food, leather, rubber and cocoa beans.
The NEPC boss said for a long time, the country had abandoned the development of its agricultural products while relying solely on oil for its revenue.
The Nation says that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said losses from vandalism and oil theft has reduced from N800 billion in 2018 to less than N82billion, a feat attributable to clampdown on vandals by joint security efforts.
Its Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari who spoke at the official handover of four patrol vehicles and four quad bikes to the Taskforce against vandalism, Operation AWATSE at the headquarters, Western Naval Command (WNC) Apapa, Lagos, said the loss reduction was a feat management was very proud of.
He said by early last year, the level of losses suffered from vandalism along the pipelines from Atlas Cove to Ilorin were impossible to manage.
“We sought support of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who instructed the set up of the operation AWATSE that led to the arrest of this situation reducing our losses to less than 50 percent of what we knew at that time.
“It enabled us also to increase flow into that line from less than 800,000 to 2.6 million tons by the end of 2019. Currently, we know that we will exceed this target.