Nigerian focuses on Ghana’s pledge to restore damaged building to original state, others

The pledge by Ghana to restore damaged High Commission building in Accra to original state and the Nigerian government resolve…

The pledge by Ghana to restore damaged High Commission building in Accra to original state and the Nigerian government resolve not to delay debt service payments are the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Vanguard newspaper reports that the Ghanaian government on Thursday reiterated its commitment to restoring to its original state, the residential building of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana that was demolished a few days ago, following an attack.

Mrs. Shirley Ayokor Botchewey, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, told journalists in Ghana on the outcome of the investigation into the attack.

“The Land Commission will formerly inform the Osu Traditional Council that in August, 2000, offer was made to High Commission of Nigeria, irrespective of the title of land in question.

“The offer was accepted by the High Commission and payment was made accordingly that constituted a contract,” she said.

ThisDay newspaper says that Nigeria will not request for the delay in debt-service payments this year from bilateral and commercial creditors, the largest economy yet to turn down a debt holiday offered to the world’s poorest nations.

“Nigeria is not planning to ask for debt repayment deferment for our commercial loans or for our bilateral loans from our bilateral creditors,” Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed said in a call with investors, organised by Citigroup on Tuesday.
The decision marks a shift after the government reached out to bilateral and multilateral lenders in May to try to waive debt payments this year as the pandemic battered Africa’s largest economy, according to Bloomberg.

In April, Ahmed had said the government did not intend to suspend Eurobond payments, but planned to seek relief from its biggest bilateral creditor, China.

The newspaper also said that Nigeria’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 41.1 in June 2020, which reflected a contraction in the manufacturing sector for the second time.

The PMI report posted on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s website showed that of the 14 surveyed sub-sectors, five sub-sectors reported growth (above 50% threshold) in the review month in the following order: electrical equipment; cement; petroleum and coal products; transportation equipment and paper products.

However, it listed nine sub-sectors that reported decline to include: printing and related support activities; textile, apparel, leather and footwear; primary metal; plastics and rubber products; nonmetallic mineral products; fabricated metal products; food, beverage and tobacco products; chemical and pharmaceutical products and furniture and related products.

 At 36.6 points, the production level index for the manufacturing sector declined in June 2020 for the second consecutive month.

The Punch reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded Nigeria’s 2020 growth projection, saying the economy will shrink by 5.4 percent.

The IMF had in April 2020 projected that the country’s economy would contract by 3.4 per cent this year.

The IMF disclosed this in its overview of the World Economic Outlook for June, titled, ‘A crisis like no other, an uncertain recovery’, which was released on Wednesday. It stated that, ‘Global growth is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook forecast.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast.”

The newspaper also said that the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the N2.3tn stimulus plan proposed in the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan designed to support the nation’s economy in the face of the disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan was designed by a committee led by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo.

The approval was given at a virtual meeting of the council presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that the total package that we presented today is in the sum of N2.3tn; N500bn of this is a stimulus package that is already provided for in the amended 2020 Appropriation Act.

The Nation newspaper reports that Nigeria recorded a trade deficit of N125. 77billion in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday.

Its report titled “Commodity Price Indices and terms of Trade Q1” that it posted on its website, showed that the country exported items worth N1.8trillion in the period under review. The report said during the period under review, the country spent N1.9trillion on importation of commodities, indicating that import was higher than export by N124.77 billion.

In other words, the difference from the trade transaction was N124.77bilion, which is otherwise known as trade deficit.

The report listed five countries including India, China, Spain, the Netherlands, and South Africa. The NBS in the report said in the period under review, it exported commodities worth N637.53billion to India and imported items of about N395. 53 billion from there.