Press focuses on claims by experts that Nigerian economy has slipped into recession, others

The claim by some economists that the Nigerian economy may have relapsed into recession and the position of the International…

The claim by some economists that the Nigerian economy may have relapsed into recession and the position of the International Press Centre (IPC) and the Media Rights Agenda (MRA), on the imposition of N5 million fine on Info 99,3FM, Lagos by the National Broadcasting Commission are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Guardian reports that ahead of the official release of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) result for second quarter of 2020, some economists have said the Nigerian economy may have already relapsed into recession.

Nigeria recorded a positive growth figure in the first quarter of the year, while the figure for the second quarter is yet to be released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the official data agency of government.

The experts’ conjecture about the performance of the economy in the second quarter is that the nation may have recorded a negative growth due to the impact of border closure, and the coronavirus pandemic which attacked the price of oil, Nigeria’s main revenue earner, at the international market.

The economists, most of whom had worked for the government and others now working for government as consultants, said yesterday that the economy was already in recession.

The Sun says that the International Press Centre (IPC) and the Media Rights Agenda (MRA), at the weekend, condemned the National Broadcasting Commission’s imposition of a N5 million fine on the Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos.

The NBC had cited the alleged unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM in the handling of the programme, “Morning Crossfire,” aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30am and 9.00am.

The statement further detailed that, “The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr. Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.”

The Executive director of the IPC, Lanre Arogundade, in a statement, said the NBC gave the impression that it was the radio station that put the words in the mouth of the guest and went on to impose a fine without any evidence whatsoever that the alleged statement had degraded any person or groups of persons, which would have amounted to hate speech.

The newspaper also reports that the World Bank will by September 30, reward states with $2.5 million each in performance-based grants if they implement, tax relief programmes for individuals and business owners as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made at a virtual meeting held on August 14 under the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme for results, jointly organised by the World Bank and Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

The virtual meeting was attended by 125 participants from the 36 States of the Federation including State Commissioners of Finance and Executive Chairpersons of State Internal Revenue Services. In a statement signed by NGF’s Head, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the tax relief programmes include extension of filing and payment dates; tax moratoriums; waivers or reduction of penalties, and interests over the extension period.

Each states is however, expected to meet some criteria before it can receive the $2.5 million grant, one of which is the announcement by the commissioner for finance or the executive chairperson of the state internal revenue service, which will be published on state’s website and in national dailies to ensure widespread awareness amongst taxpayers.

The Punch says that the Nigerian Ports Authority has expressed excitement at the successful berthing of the biggest container vessel to ever call at any Nigerian port.

The Maerskline Stardelhorn vessel which boasts of an overall length of 300 metres and 48 metres in width was received at the Federal Ocean Terminal, Onne in Rivers State at 4:20pm on Saturday, according to a statement by NPA’s General Manager Corporate and Strategic Communications, Jatto Adams.

Jatto identified the ship as a container ship built in 2015 and currently sailing under the flag of Singapore. The vessel has a capacity of 9,971 TEUs. Part of the statement read, “The vessel, which was brought in from Fairway Bouy, Bonny with the aid of three tugboats operated by three of the Authority’s pilots was received by Ports Manager of the Onne Ports, Mr Alhasssan Abubakar.

“The Authority is delighted to state that the landmark arrival of the biggest gearless Maerskline vessel at the Onne Ports is a result of management’s determination to improve the patronage of the Eastern Ports. “It is an indication of the fact that the Eastern Ports are equipped to receive all manner of vessels and an expansion of the options of consignees in the Eastern and Northern parts of the country.”

The Nation newspaper reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed N338.6billion coronavirus (COVID-19)-related intervention funds to beneficiaries across various sectors.

A member, Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Sanusi Aliyu Rafindadi, who made this known in a note released by the apex bank, said reports of the implementation of the CBN’s COVID-19 intervention had shown significant progress in disbursements.

Over N152.9 billion (or 15.2 percent) of the N1 trillion targeted support for the manufacturing sector has been disbursed. Of the N100 billion Healthcare funds, N26.278 billion (or 26.3 percent) has been disbursed to fund 20 projects.

Additional 16 applications for N67.413 billion were under processing. Of the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility for Households and Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), N49.195 billion has been disbursed to 91,736 beneficiaries, while N1.5 billion was disbursed to 169 beneficiaries under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative.