Press focuses on decline in Nigeria’s GDP, foreign exchange rate, others

The drop in Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product, Foreign Direct Investment, foreign exchange rate, among others and the darkness across several…

The drop in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, Foreign Direct Investment, foreign exchange rate, among others and the darkness across several parts of the country on Sunday are the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Punch reports that darkness persisted across several parts of the country on Sunday as 10 power plants sat idle. 

The reports stated total power generation fell to 2,943.4mw as of 6am on Sunday from 3585.6mw on Saturday, data obtained from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator showed.

It added that the number of plants shut down increased from eight as of 6am on Saturday to 10 on Sunday and that the affected plants were Sapele (steam), Sapele II, Alaoji, Olorunsogo II, Omotosho II, Ihovbor, Gbarain, Ibom Power, AES and ASCO.

The newspaper also said that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, Foreign Direct Investment, foreign exchange rate, and lending rate, among others, were all weak between 2015 and 2019, the chamber said on Sunday in its report on Nigeria Democracy at 21.

Acknowledging the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented collapse in crude oil prices impacted most macroeconomic variables, and the fact that full year data was not available for 2020, the LCCI said it reviewed the country’s economic performance in 2015 against 2019 for a fair assessment and comparative analysis.

The chamber, which had its sources as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics, the Debt Management Office and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, among others, said the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals were largely weak, and the situation remained the same till date.

“These yardsticks including FDI, balance of trade, and exchange rate were driven to a significant extent by the direction of crude oil prices, an exogenous variable beyond the control of economic managers and policy makers,” it said.

The Nation newspaper says that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into last Thursday’s security infractions involving gunshots reportedly fired around the State House in Abuja.

In a statement yesterday, the Presidency also noted that the incident never took place within the walls of the State House and did not portend any danger to the safety and health of the President.

The statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, also said President Buhari would allow the law to run its course on the matter.

It was the President’s reaction to the alleged shooting incident.

The Nation also reports that the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria on Monday commenced a nationwide strike after the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum.

The NARD President, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, announced this while addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He stated that the union has decided to exempt its members working in various coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation and treatment centres across the country.

Dr Sokomba, however, stated that exemption of the members attending to COVID-19 patients was for two weeks before they join the industrial action.

ThisDay reports that the Presidency and the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) yesterday engaged in a war of words over the worsening insecurity in the north.

Earlier, NEF had fired the first salvo when it accused President Muhammadu Buhari of failure to tackle the deplorable security situation in the north.

It said both the president and governors of the affected states have lost control.

But the presidency dismissed the allegations, describing NEF and its Chairman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, as an irritant without credible membership.

The president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Abdullahi is only synonymous with NEF and vice-versa, describing the former vice-chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, as a General without troops.

The newspaper also says that Dangote Cement has reaffirmed its status as the biggest cement producer in Africa with the exportation of 27,800 metric tonnes of clinker to Senegal.

With this historic maiden voyage at the weekend from its Export Terminal located in Apapa Port, Lagos, Dangote has gradually made Nigeria, which until recently, was one of the world’s largest bulk importers of cement, first self-sufficient in cement production, and now an exporter of cement clinker to other countries.

The exportation of the clinker from the Dangote Cement Export Terminal would also place Nigeria as one of the leading clinker exporters in the world.

The Vanguard reports that the Nigerian government says it is currently tackling the challenge posed by COVID-19 pandemic and resultant recession with fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, who made this known at the weekend in Abuja, expressed optimism that the revision of the 2020 budget by the Federal Government was not intended to bring hardship to the people of Nigeria but to cushion the effect of this trying times.

According to Agba, President Muhammadu Buhari administration was looking at measures that would make economic recovery faster, in the aftermath of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming global recession.

He noted that the major concern of government was how to ensure the retention of existing jobs and creation of new ones, even as the administration is looking at how to save lives; how to keep our economy off the ravages of the pandemic by reducing the impact of vulnerabilities.