Nigerian President’s condemnation of discrimination against women in their places of work based on their gender and the launch of the Debt Management Roundtable to help Nigeria and West African countries provide a pathway to fiscal sustainability are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.ThisDay reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned in strong terms discrimination against women in their places of work based on their gender.
The President, in a message to mark this year’s International Women’s Day issued yesterday by his Media Adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, however, said despite the gender discrimination, women remain the bedrock of the society.
President Buhari while condemning all forms of gender-based discriminations, abuse, harassment and violence targeted especially at the female folk at work places, schools, community and national levels felicitated most warmly with Nigerian women, describing them as the bedrock of society.
Noting that the theme of the 2021 celebration: Choose To Challenge, is quite apt, the President rejoiced with the womenfolk and reiterated his administration’s commitment to addressing the multifarious challenges confronting them at various levels of the society.
With seven female Ministers, with two of them heading strategic Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning; and Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in addition to scores more in charge of key parastatals and agencies, as well as serving as presidential aides, President Buhari applauded their contributions to the successes recorded by the administration.
He said: “I am proud of our women who have shown by dint of hard work and capacity that they can perform creditably if given the opportunity at home and on the global stage”.
The newspaper says that the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) have launched the Debt Management Roundtable to help Nigeria and West African Countries provide a pathway to fiscal sustainability.
Speaking during the launch, the Chief Executive Officer, NESG, Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola said Nigeria’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has increased over the years.
He stated that Nigeria’s ability to service its debt was worrisome, especially given that about 83 percent of the country’s revenue is spent on debt servicing.
He said the Debt Management Roundtable would provide alternatives and recommendations that the government can apply to ensure that Nigeria’s debt is properly managed.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the NESG-OSIWA Debt Management Roundtable, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, said debt burden is not about the present, but the future and that debt and credit are not necessarily bad if properly managed.
The Vanguard reports that Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has said that nobody stands to gain anything if Nigeria breaks up.
He also said it was not too much for Nigerians to ask the Federal Government to secure lives and property, noting that government at all levels must provide the enabling environment for citizens to thrive.
Kukah, who stated this in a virtual interview with academic and historian, Toyin Falola, on Sunday, said: “I don’t think any Nigerian, in his right sense, should pretend nothing binds us together.
‘’This 923,768 km that Lugard gave us binds us together. All of us are now global citizens. but I know all of us are still nostalgic about this country.
‘’It is not going to remain like this and let none of us be under any illusion that anybody stands to gain anything if this country breaks up, nobody is interested in this country breaking up but the point is that who we were yesterday is no longer who we are today.”
Kukah also lamented that politicians fall back on clerics when they don’t deliver on the issues of governance, but stressed that the Nigerian state must run with a sustainable vision for all to thrive.
The Punch says that Nigeria recorded N7.37tn foreign trade deficit in 2020, latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.
The NBS disclosed in its ‘Foreign trade statistics report for fourth quarter of 2020′ that the total trade in 2020 stood at N32.42tn.
“The annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was recorded at N7.37tn,” the NBS stated. Part of the report read, “In the fourth quarter of 2020, Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N9.12tn, representing 8.9 percent over the level recorded in the third quarter of 2020 but was 9.9 percent lower when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
“The value of trade in Q4 was the highest recorded over the past year. “The export component of trade stood at N3.19tn, an increase of 6.7 percent over the preceding quarter but a drop of 33 per cent over the previous year.
“Further, the share of exports in total trade declined to 35 per cent in Q4 2020 from 47 per cent a year earlier. “On the other hand, total imports reached a record high at N5.92tn in Q4 2020, an increase of 10.1 per cent over the preceding quarter, and 10.8 percent over the preceding year.
The Guardian reports that port operators have called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to overhaul the e-call up system recently introduced to address traffic congestion along the Apapa ports.
Recall that NPA announced the launch of ‘Eto’, an electronic truck call-up system designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island ports, Apapa, Lagos.
The National President of the Nigerian Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC), Prince Adeyinka Bakare, warned that the e-call up system might be truncated by officials of the port authority involved in the process, alleging that the progress recorded so far might suffer setbacks by saboteurs.
Bakare who lauded the innovations by the management of the NPA, in a chat at the weekend, alleged that some personnel who benefitted from the gridlock in time past and may frustrate the e-call up the system.
The air freight forwarding expert said there are indications that the innovation would be scuttled by government officials.