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Nigerian press focuses on protest over kidnapping of students in Katsina state, others

The protest on the streets of Katsina yesterday over the kidnapping of hundreds of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS) students…

The protest on the streets of Katsina yesterday over the kidnapping of hundreds of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS) students in the Kankara Local Government Area of the Katsina state and the warning by medical experts that Nigeria will likely record frightening figures in COVID-19, are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Guardian reports that there was fury on the streets of Katsina yesterday as residents protested the kidnapping of hundreds of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS) students in the Kankara Local Government Area of the state.

The gunmen, suspected to be terrorists had, on Friday night, attacked the school, shot a policeman in the leg, and took away the students to an unknown destination.

The protesters, made up of women and youths, lamented the fate of their children and wards as they called on relevant authorities to rescue them.

Some of the protesters, whose children or siblings were missing, displayed inscriptions: ‘We need our children back,’ ‘Government must talk,’ ‘Kankara wants the children back,’ among others.

The newspaper says that medical experts have warned that Nigeria will likely record frightening figures in COVID-19.

A major reason for a second wave is predicated largely on the fact most people have abandoned safety precautions in the false belief that it is no longer prevalent. This argument is strongly canvassed by a professor of virology and pioneer vice-chancellor of Redeemer’s University Oyewale Tomori.

Tomori, who is also the chairman of Experts Review Committee on COVID-19, stressed that since the virus arrived on February 27, it had not left the country.

He observed that the country would have prevented nearly 70,000 cases and over 1000 deaths from the disease if necessary protocols were observed.

Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, told The Guardian in an exclusive interview that due to the fact no country in the world had been declared safe, no country could claim to be free from the second wave.

ThisDay reports that the outlook for Nigeria’s banking sector and for banks in Africa will remain negative into 2021 amid difficult operating conditions and sovereign pressures straining banks’ credit profiles, Moody’s Investors Service stated in its recent report.

Specifically, it predicted that South African and Nigerian banks would face acute macro challenges, while loan quality and liquidity would be the main issues for Angolan and Tunisian banks, respectively.

On the other hand, it stated that East African and Francophone West African banks are better placed than Central African banks to weather the pandemic, given their more resilient economies, with Egyptian banks facing the least impact.

Overall, banks’ financial stability in the region would be broadly maintained. “Stable local currency deposit funding, high liquidity in local currency, good capital buffers, and gradual improvements in risk management will help to contain banks’ risk over the next 12 to 18 month,” Moody’s added.

The newspaper says that as the world awaits the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country to embrace best practices as well as ensure that they have Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Satisfactory Analysis Report (SAR) for their products.

The GMP and SAR will position local manufacturers to take competitive advantage of the nation’s involvement in the continental trade agreement and help in reducing the number of Nigerian made products that have been rejected internationally.

Speaking during an exhibition for Made-in-Nigeria products and local contents, with the theme, ‘Source Locally, Sell Globally,’ held in Lagos, recently, the Director, NAFDAC Port Inspection Directorate Yaba, Prof. Adebayo Samson, said in view of the AfCFTA, it behooves on every SME thinking about selling globally to ensure their products fully meet all necessary standards.

 Represented by the Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer, NAFDAC Port Inspection Directorate Yaba, Mr. Christopher Edem, at the event organised by the Association of Titan Entrepreneurs, he urged Nigerian youths engaged in production activities to position for the benefit that would emanate from the continental trade pact.

The Punch reports that the Rural Electrification Agency has secured funding from the World Bank and the African Development Bank for the development of power projects in universities and teaching hospitals.

The Managing Director of REA, Ahmad Salihijo, disclosed this at the inauguration of an 8.25 megawatts solar hybrid power project at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, but made no mention of the sum.

In his address at the event, which was made available to our corespondent in Abuja on Sunday by the REA, Salihijo said the power plants would be constructed under the Nigeria Electrification Project.

He said, “Moving forward, the REA has secured funding from the World Bank and African Development Bank towards the implementation of Phase Two and Phase Three of the Energising Education Programme respectively.

“These phases will see to the design and construction of captive hybrid power plants across a total of 15 federal universities and two teaching hospitals and they will be implemented under the Nigeria Electrification Project.” He said the 8.25MW solar hybrid plant inaugurated at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, was part of the Energising Education Programme of the REA.

The Nation says that regular foreign exchange (forex) interventions in Nigeria and other emerging economies create false sense of security and hope on the local currency, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has warned.

Nigeria, which operates a flexible exchange rate regime, spends about $16 billion annually to defend the naira.

A large part of the forex interventions are auctions at the inter-bank spot, sale of dollar for invisibles; Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); Bureaux De Change (BDC); Investors and Exporters (I&E) Forex window and Forwards.

In a joint report released at the weekend by IMF Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, Tobias Adrian; Director of the Fund’s Research Department; Gita Gopinath and Director of the Strategy, Policy and Review Department Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, the trio said that while flexible exchange rates can act as a useful shock absorber in the face of capital flow volatility, they do not always offer sufficient insulation.

They said the impact of the interventions is worse when access to global capital markets is interrupted or market depth is limited.

 

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