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Press zooms in on suspension of strike by Resident doctors, others

The suspension of strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) after 64 days and the announcement of the…

The suspension of strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) after 64 days and the announcement of the winner of the 10-week Big Brother Naija Reality Show are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Nation reports that the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its 64-day strike, which began on August 2, 2021.

It has, however, given the Federal Government a six-week window to fulfil its demands after which it will call a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to review the progress made.

The NARD noted that the basis of the suspension was the obvious efforts by the Federal Government to fulfil some of its minimum demands such as the payment of the Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), payment of outstanding salaries to its members on GIFMIS platform, withdrawal of the circular by the Head of Service removing House Officers from the Scheme of Service, payment of death-in-service benefits to its members who lost their lives in the line of duty during the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

The President of the NARD, Dr Dare Ishaya, who confirmed this to The Nation on Monday, stated that its members will resume work on Wednesday this week by 8 am.

The Vanguard says that Whitemoney has won the Big Brother Naija season 6 ‘Shine Ya Eyes’ reality show, with the grand prize of N90 million.

The grand finale began with Biggie giving the housemates a pep talk, while the first housemate to leave Big Brother House was Emmanuel. The 24-year-old Akwa Ibom man spoke about going into fashion.

The second housemate to leave Big Brother House is Angel. Aged 21 year, she wants to open her mental health blog and go into real estate, while the third person was Cross, who said he thinks Angel has a man outside waiting for her.

Then ‘General’ Pere left, leaving Liquorose and White Money as the last two.
Pere said it’s Nollywood and music for him, while Choreographer Liquorose (Roseline Afije) was the last girl standing, when White Money was announced winner of the Reality show.

Liquorose said life after the show would be acting, music and business.

White Money (Hazel Onu) known as Mazi in the house has won the whooping sum of N90 million besides other goodies.

The organisers promised to make the voting data public on Monday and present the prizes.

The Punch reports that the World Bank has said it approved $11.5bn in lending to Western and Central African countries for 98 operations. The World Bank said this in its

‘Annual Report 2021: From crisis to green, resilient, and inclusive recovery’. The bank said, “In fiscal 2021, the bank approved $11.5bn in lending to Western and Central Africa for 98 operations, including $500m in IBRD commitments and $11.0bn in IDA commitments.

Revenue from Reimbursable Advisory Services agreements with one country was $700,000. “To help countries in the region tackle the COVID-19 crisis, we are investing in health and expanding safety nets for their most vulnerable people.

“We are also supporting recovery by helping strengthen the social contract between citizens and governments, bolster job creation and economic transformation, improve human capital, empower women, and boost climate resilience.”

The bank said in its fiscal 2021, it committed $1.5bn through 12 development policy operations to support countries’ pandemic responses and recovery efforts.

The World Bank said it was providing governments with immediate fiscal relief while continuing to promote transparency and accountability and helping strengthen public procurement and revenue management.

“In Nigeria, we are helping the government implement fiscal measures to promote transparency and accountability, strengthen links between states and the federal government, and promote citizen engagement.

The newspaper says that Access Bank Plc announced to investors and the Nigerian Exchange Limited that it successfully priced $500m Eurobond which was over-subscribed by more than 200 per cent on its order book.

In a statement signed by its Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, the bank revealed that the 144A/Reg S Additional Tier 1 Eurobond was priced at a 9.125 per cent yield with the coupons peaking over $1bn.

The eurobond which was issued under the bank’s medium-term note programme is a Basel III compliant Perpetual Non-Call 5.25-year subscribed note to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The eurobond may be called anytime from October 7, 2026, subject to conditions including the Central Bank of Nigeria’s approval, Access Bank said.

The Group Managing Director, bank, Dr Herbert Wigwe, said that the transaction significantly enhanced Access Bank’s tier 1 and total capital ratios, and provided significant room for growth and execution of its strategic objectives.

ThisDay reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has commenced the construction of a 50-megawatt gas turbine power plant, the Maiduguri Emergency Power Project (MEPP), expected to generate electricity to the capital city and its environs.

The national oil company had announced a plan for the gas-powered plant in April as a long-term solution to the incessant attacks and destruction of power lines by the Boko Haram insurgents, who had frustrated attempts to restore power to the beleaguered city.

It was learnt that China Machinery Engineering Company (CMEC) and General Electric (GE) would handle the project meant to ensure supply to the state which had been cut off since January this year following the insurgents’ attacks on lines along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road at least on two occasions.

In August 2021, the NNPC signed an official contract with the CMEC and GE on the project. The ground-breaking ceremony signifies the official commencement of the project as the contractors have since moved to site.

In his remarks at the ceremony to flag off the project, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, explained that the move was a result of a presidential directive to provide emergency intervention to the electricity supply to the area.

The Sun says that rising cost of importing goods especially raw materials for local production of goods meant for the African market may hobble Nigeria’s chances of maximising the potential of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

This is because beyond the high import cost freighting manufactured goods from Nigeria to other parts of Africa may still pose significant challenges with the absence of indigenous carriers. Presently, the cost of shipping 40ft container from China to Nigeria has doubled from $7,200 to about $14,700.

This will definitely put Nigeria to disadvantage and could threaten its commitment to play a leading role in $3.4 trillion continental market.

With other associated operational cost also hitting new highs since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, indications are that the country’s manufacturers would have to contend with rising costs of operations, which may eventually see them playing the catch-up with other African countries under AfCFTA.

Speaking with Daily Sun, an economist and leading importer, Tony Enahoro, said Nigeria could become a dumping ground for finished products from other African countries if its high production cost continues to make it uncompetitive compared to other nations on the AfCFTA.

The Guardian reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has restated its commitment to addressing the challenges affecting the country’s wheat production and other value chain areas as part of efforts to boost local production to reduce dependence on importation.

The Director, Development Finance Department at the CBN, Mr. Philip Yila Yusuf, said this at the Wheat Conference and Stakeholder Engagement, held on Thursday.

Yila highlighted the potential of the wheat value chain for the economy, noting that the apex bank would focus on the product in the 2021/2022 planting season after sustainable progress had been made in the rice and maize value chain.

He said: “The CBN plans to address key problems in the value chain through financing massive production of wheat in Nigeria and seeks to facilitate sustained availability of high yield seed variety in-country and improve general productivity.”

He disclosed that wheat was the second-highest contributor to the country’s food import as over $2billion was spent yearly on the importation of over five million metric tons (MT). In the second quarter of the year, the share of durum wheat in the total imports was N324.7 billion or 4.7 per cent. It was second to the motor spirit in terms of the value of an import.

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