• Monday, June 17, 2024
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News Roundup: Fleeing African students face racism, Why Nigeria’s electricity supply became worse…

News Roundup: CBN sues 10 firms over ‘prepaid meter funds diversion’, Airlines lose N4.3bn annually over restriction on 24 hours flight operations…

Fleeing African students face racism
Amidst the Russia-Ukraine crisis, some African students that are trying to flee the invasion speak of discrimination by both officials and fellow refugees and lack of support from their governments. Wasiu Sidiq, a 20-year old student studying at Lviv National Medical University revealed that while they were in a queue, officials told Africans to form a separate line and other refugees started yelling at them. According to official data, at least 20 percent of the foreign students in Ukraine are Africans, and there are at least 4,000 students from Nigeria alone. After hundreds of these experiences were documented online, Fillipo Grandi, Commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) acknowledged the problem.

Ukraine crisis hastens efforts to rethink Africa policy
As the world’s attention is riveted by the dramatic and consequential struggle for Ukraine, last week it was a voice from Africa—that of Kenyan Ambassador to the United Nations Martin Kimani—who clarified the stakes in Ukraine for the rest of the world. This underscored the role that Africa, which soon will account for a quarter of the world’s population, will play in shaping it. African states must be partners, not afterthoughts. The search for lasting global solidarity also requires acknowledging and reckoning with the racism that distorts analysis, obscures opportunities, and fuels injustice. The bravery and commitment to resisting authoritarianism on display in Ukraine is also manifest across Africa.

Why Nigeria’s electricity supply became worse-Minister
Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of Power has explained the reasons behind the recent poor power supply, citing hydro capacity during dry season and maintenance work at gas plants. Since February, most parts of the country have been experiencing poor power supply worse than it used to be. The minister at a press briefing Thursday in Abuja said the outage experienced around the country is being addressed through three approaches. In addressing the challenges, the minister said the government is working on more gas supply contracts for the power sector backed by improved funding. He said the contracts will have stiff financial penalties for underperformance, as well as there will be an increased energy mix to improve energy security.

Read also: Russia – Ukraine Conflict: WTO expresses concern

Nigerian bill for gender equality in government annulled
The National Assembly has voted against a bill providing for affirmative action for women in political parties’ administration. The lawmakers also voted against the bill to create special seats for women in the national and state assemblies. The decision by the lawmakers means women are denied 35 percent appointed positions, 35 percent affirmative action in party administration and leadership. This bill would have come down to creating 111 extra seats for women at the National Assembly. The civil society groups and other concerned Nigerians vowed to name and shame the lawmakers for voting against the bill, aimed at promoting gender equality in Nigeria.

Federal government directs airlines to suspend airfare hike
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has ordered airline operators to immediately discontinue the current implementation of airfare increase pending the outcome of its investigation. Prior to this time, airline operators tagged the least economy ticket at N50,000, citing increase in price of Jet A1, rising exchange rate and other factors. However, the executive vice chairman of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the interim order was in line with Sections 17(a),(e),(l),(s),18(3)(a), 157 and 158 of the FCCP Act. Irukera said that the commission’s investigations revealed that airline operators in supposedly association meetings discussed multiple industry-wide issues; particularly challenges experienced by their members.

Yemi Alade urges vaccination in Africa
On Tuesday, Yemi Alade, global Afropop star was appointed global ambassador for ‘It’s Up to Us’— a pan African campaign driven by the Africa CDC and Mastercard Foundation. The campaign encourages Africans to unite and get vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s Up to Us comes at a critical time in Africa’s fight against COVID-19, as the continent continues to bear the brunt of global vaccine inequity, with cases and deaths rising quickly across the continent. To date, less than 12 percent of the continent has been fully vaccinated against the virus. Given that nearly 60 percent of Africans are under the age of 25, targeting young people is key to ensuring Africa reaches its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of its population by the end of 2022.