Press focuses on UNFPA report on Fistula cases in the world, others

The report of the United Nations Population Fund that Nigeria accounts for 40 percent of Fistula cases in the world…

The report of the United Nations Population Fund that Nigeria accounts for 40 percent of Fistula cases in the world and the concerns expressed by some eminent Nigerians over the growing mistrust among Nigerians are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.ThisDay reports that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has revealed that Nigeria accounts for 40 percent of Fistula cases in the world.

The Head, UNFPA, Dr. Omolaso Omosehin, disclosed this yesterday at the 21st National Council on Women Affairs taking place in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Omosehin maintained that though UNFPA has a robust Fistula project in Nigeria, a lot still needed to be done.

She highlighted the repair cases undertaken by UNFPA to be 3,000 a year in Nigeria.

According to Omosehin, the main causes of Fistula are prolonged labour due to early marriage by underage girls, sexual violence, harmful traditional practice, unskilled birth attendance among others.

Speaking further, the head of UNFPA said 12, 560 repairs have been supported by UNFPA while a total of 5,000 cases have been successfully repaired and established economically.

The Vanguard says that eminent Nigerians, including Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, acting Leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, and spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba- Ahmed, yesterday, expressed worry over the growing mistrust among Nigerians, just as they called for the review of the 1999 Constitution.

They spoke at a dialogue organised by an online newspaper, Ripples Nigeria, at the 2nd Annual Dialogue, themed: ‘Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Nigeria: Advancing the Conversation’, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos.

Governor Okowa, who was the keynote speaker, said that Nigeria was passing through perilous times.

He said: “Nigeria has never been so divided as it is today, or witnessed such magnitude of mistrust of ourselves and our nation. Nigeria is passing through perilous times, aside from during the Civil War (1967-1970).

“Nigeria is better and stronger together and, with appropriate visionary leadership and good governance, we can turn our diversity into a great source of strength, and a springboard to build a strong multi-ethnic and multi-religious country that will be the envy of other nations.

“As 2023 approaches, leadership is key and the focus should be on electing a pan-Nigerian as president, a person with the capacity and charisma to cast a vision for Nigeria and rally all Nigerians behind it. We need a selfless, sacrificial, sincere, broadminded, caring and capable president that will inspire hope and confidence in the country.”

He also lamented that the unending crises in the country, saying that the #EndSARS crisis and labour agitations further placed a wedge between the citizenry and the leadership.

The Punch reports that data usage in Nigeria surged by 202.08 percent in three years, according to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission.

According to the subscriber/network data reports of 2018, 2019, and 2020, data usage rose from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018 to 125,149.86TB in 2019 and 205,880.4TB in 2020.

The total national and local outgoing voice calls were 121,935,927,123.15 in 2018. The calls grew to 149,584,465,210 in 2019 to 150,825,830,687.40.

According to the NCC, in 2018, broadband penetration figures stood at 31.48 per cent. The total active 3G connections were 47,325,726 while 4G connections were 12,761,473 subscriptions. In 2019, broadband penetration grew to 37.80 percent, with the total active 3G connections growing to 50,441,608 while 4G grew to 21,712,216.

In 2020, broadband penetration stood at 45.02 percent, with the total active 3G connection falling to 49,402,994, while 4G grew to 36,538,228.

In the period under review, GSM internet subscribers grew by 53,639,503 from 100,234,283 in January 2018 to 153,873,786 in December 2020. MTN had the largest market share. In 2018, it had an internet subscriber base of 37,201,086, which grew to 59,594,891 in December 2020. In 2018, MTN made N164.79bn from data, and N674.78bn from voice.

The Sun says that the Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) has ordered Multichoice Nigeria Limited, owners of Nigeria’s DSTV, to deposit with the court about N901 billion, being 50 percent of the alleged N1.823 trillion tax debt it owes the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) before its appeal is heard.

The FIRS said the company was guilty of serial violation of the country’s tax regulations since it commenced operations in Nigeria.

The money also includes 10 percent of the deposit as a condition precedent for further hearing of the appeal.

The five-member TAT, led by its Chairman, Professor A.B. Ahmed, issued the order following an application to it by the counsel to FIRS.

The FIRS counsel made the application under Order XI of the TAT Procedure Rules 2010 which enables a party to make an application at any stage of the proceedings. Counsel for FIRS drew the attention of the Tribunal to Paragraph 15(7) of the Fifth Schedule to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act 2007 and urged the Tribunal to direct Multichoice Nigeria Limited to deposit with the FIRS 50 percent of the amount of the Assessment under Appeal as security and a condition that must be fulfilled before the prosecution of the appeal brought before TAT.

The Guardian reports that unless Nigeria domesticates development of gas resources, especially with a N250 billion-intervention fund released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, government’s National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) may remain elusive, stakeholders have said.

While the price of Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has doubled and an autogas policy of the Federal government is struggling to thrive, the government recently launched the NGEP backed by the N250 billion fund to further deepen the domestic gas market.

Currently, a kilogramme of cooking gas, which traded for about N300 earlier this year now sells for over N500 across the country on the backdrop of vulnerable economic indexes, especially the continuous weakness of the naira and the increasing price of natural and refined gas at the international market.

In May, Naira was devalued from N379/$1 to N410.25/$1. As of yesterday, the Naira exchanged for N521/$1 at the parallel market, where most Nigerians purchase their foreign exchange. The global price of natural gas has also witnessed over 60 per cent increase, trading close to $4 per Million British Thermal Unit (MMBtu) yesterday.

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