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Press focuses on plans to establish national carrier for Nigeria, others

The pledge by the Federal Government to establish a national carrier for the country and the petition by the Human…

The pledge by the Federal Government to establish a national carrier for the country and the petition by the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) to the US President and others on “needless bloodletting by security forces in the South East of Nigeria are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Vanguard reports that the Nigerian Government Wednesday said that it was on course in its determination to provide a national carrier to the country.

The government said that the initial plan to establish a national carrier in 2021 was affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, adding that the project will be realised the first quarter of 2022.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by Vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Fielding questions from journalists, he said that there was no going back on getting a national carrier for the country.

According to him, “It is still on top gear; we are coming back to the council; hopefully in the next two weeks to present the memo on the national carrier. We went to the council to approve the outline business case for the carrier; then, the council raised some questions and asked us to go and look at the memo again and bring it back.”

The Guardian says that the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has written President Joe Biden of the United States of America; Congress and prime ministers of Great Britain, Canada, and Australia for immediate intervention in the “needless bloodletting by the Nigerian Army and security forces in the South East of Nigeria.”

It also pleaded with Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State “to stop the illegal execution of youths by soldiers and police in Imo State.”

The group went on: “We are by this last warning asking the Chief of Army Staff, the governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to stop the genocide being masterminded by the armed soldiers, who are mostly persons of non Igbo speaking states, to stop the shoot-on-sight order by the army chief, which has already led to the killing of many Igbo youths, especially in Imo.

“These persons would not go scot-free and will, in the fullness of time, be brought to face criminal trials in The Hugue, Netherlands before the International Criminal Court. Our earlier warning to go to the ICC will be met soon.”

In the official correspondence, HURIWA observed:  “We appeal that your good offices would spur President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, to molibise necessary agents check o the insecurity in the land.

The newspaper reports that the World Bank has revealed a spending plan of $150 billion to support Africa in the next five years.

Speaking at the Summit on Financing African Economies on Tuesday, the World Bank’s President, David Malpass, said a large portion of the outlay would take the form of grants and zero-interest long-term loans.

He said the spending would consolidate the intervention of the bank in key developmental needs of Africa in the past decade during which it invested $200 billion in the region.

He said the support would continue to provide “positive net-flow” to the continent to address developmental challenges. “Africa needs large inflows of long-term resources.

In addition to the International Development Association (IDA), another important part of our support to Africa will be mobilization of the private sector, either directly through IFC and MIGA mobilizations or indirectly through the mobilization of funding by IDA and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on capital markets,” Malpass said.

ThisDay says that the federal government has stated that Nigeria records 830 daily fatalities among pregnant women during childbirth, totaling about 302,950 yearly.

It also estimated that Nigeria recorded 289, 000 maternal deaths and maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 210 maternal deaths per 100, 000 live births in 2013.

The government also said that Nigeria accounted for 13 percent of all maternal deaths in 2013, adding that the maternal mortality ratio for Nigeria was 814 per 100,000 live births in 2015.

These statistics were contained in a speech made by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, at the regional workshop to disseminate results of research projects on maternal and child health within the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) region.

Ehanire, who was represented by the Director of Health Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Health, Dr. Ngozi Anazodo, said: “Nigeria constitutes just one percent of the world population, but accounts for 13 percent of the world maternal and under-five mortality.

“Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. For every woman who dies in childbirth, a lot more suffer injuries and other form of morbidities.”

The Punch reports that the Senate on Wednesday asked the Federal Government to suspend plans to deploy the 5G network technology in Nigeria till further notice.

The red chamber equally directed the Nigerian Communications Commission, and the Mobile Network Operators to put the exercise on hold for now to enable them to study the trend of 5G deployment across the world.

The Senate took the decision when it considered and passed the report of its Joint Committee on Science and Technology, ICT, Cyber Crime, and Primary Health Chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

The upper chamber had on the 5th of May, 2020 mandated the joint committee to conduct investigations into the status of the 5G network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigerian citizens.”

The Sun says that President Muhammadu Buhari has asked European countries and global financial institutions to consider loan restructure or complete debt relief for African countries. He said this will help reduce the impact of coronavirus pandemic.

Buhari made this call on Tuesday at the Financing Africa Summit held at Grande Palais Ephemere, Paris.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had recently called for a multilateral debt relief for low income countries to boost investment and trade globally. Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, quoted Buhari as saying African countries need more vaccines to protect majority of its citizens.

“It is in this vein that we solicit the support of the French government with its influence in the European Union to lend its voice to the efforts being made to mobilise additional resources for developing economies, most especially Africa in order to strengthen the quantum of investments to our economies. This financial support should also be extended to the private sector,” he said.

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