• Thursday, December 07, 2023
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News Roundup: Nigerians battle unprecedented hardship, Nigeria bans sale of agric produce to foreigners…

News Roundup: Cellphone Health Services to curb Africa’s teenage pregnancies, Nigeria records a new case of Monkeypox…

Nigerians battle unprecedented hardship in Buhari’s tenure
Nigeria’s grim socio-economic situation has seen many plunged into poverty as prices continue to surge and basic utilities such as power and fuel remain scarce. Since last month, Nigerians have faced the worst petrol crisis the country has seen in recent years. Filling stations across the country have either closed or have been operating intermittent schedules, selling at higher prices. In February, the Nigerian government said the scarcity was due to an off-spec product imported into the country, which reportedly damaged vehicles and generating sets. The government also promised to address the scarcity and ensure regular supply of petrol, but over a month since the crisis broke out, it has failed to address the issues and stabilise supply.

Nigeria bans sale of agric produce to foreigners
The Nigerian government via its verified Twitter handle has banned foreigners from purchasing agricultural produce directly from farmers, stating that only licensed and duly registered local buying agents can now buy products directly from farmers in the country. Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said foreigners have been going to the farm gates to buy produce from the farmers at low prices, thus discouraging the farmers from continuing with their trade. While some Nigerians are worried about the implementation of the new policy, others think the decision may constrain the market.

Read also: Nigeria faces fresh spike in food prices on rising diesel cost

To get to the top, women must know there’s no limit
To commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD) held on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, various organisations held programmes where the theme ‘Break the bias’ was the center of discussion. One of such programmes was a webinar held by AllAfrica.com around the UN’s theme of ‘Equality today for a sustainable future’, aimed at enabling African women to access decision-making bodies in order to realize their full potential and have sustainable and inclusive responses to the impacts of climate change. To add momentum, the World Bank has added the Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend in the Sahel (SWEDD) program, which benefits countries strongly affected by climate change and security challenges, as well as the initiatives of the NGO to help women and girls highlight their extraordinary potential, especially in rural areas.

Additional $10.6m to boost COVID-19 vaccination
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced an additional $10.6 million to finance the boosting of COVID-19 vaccination efforts to reach a target of 600,000 people daily in Nigeria. The funds will also support integrating COVID-19 vaccinations into routine immunization and primary health care systems, state level data collection and analytics, health worker training and expansion of vaccination access points at the community level. The funding increases the total U.S. assistance to the Nigerian people to $179 million under the five-year $2.1 billion Development Objectives Assistance Agreement signed between USAID and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning as affirmed by the U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken during his visit to Nigeria in November 2021.

Nigeria records 84 new Covid-19 infections
Nigeria on Wednesday recorded 84 additional coronavirus infections across five states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which tops the infection chart with 62 cases, according to the update released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday. This came 24 hours after the NCDC reported that 60 Ukraine returnees were tested positive to COVID-19 at the FCT. With no fatalities recorded, the new confirmed cases have increased the country’s infection toll to 254,861 while the fatality toll remains at 3,142. With no backlog of discharges reported, the NCDC noted that a total of 249,307 people have now been discharged nationwide.
Sunday Igboho released from Benin Republic prison
Benin Republic authorities have released Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, from prison to his medical practitioners, his lawyer, Yomi Alliyu, said. His release came under the agreement that he should not leave the medical centre or Cotonou for any reason. The confinement of Igboho in the Republic of Benin had been extended by six months after spending the initial six months in prison. According to Alliyu, praises should be given to the intelligence of two prominent Yoruba personalities, Wole Soyinka and Stephen Akintoye for this turn around in our Igboho’s matter.