• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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News Roundup: Nigeria drags on vaccination, Oil heading for $60, SSANU, NASU strike, Jeff Bezos steps down as CEO…

News Roundup: Nigeria out of recession, New WTO head, NAFDAC approves vaccine for use, Bitcoin surge, inflation…

Nigeria drags as world speed up Covid-19 vaccination
Nigeria along side a host of other countries are batting the second wave of the pandemic but while others are speeding up vaccination against the virus, Nigeria seems to be dragging its feet as no single vaccination has been carried out in the country. over 50 other countries across Europe, America and Africa have vaccinated some percentage of their citizens against the pandemic. South Africa received the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines, more than 126,000 received their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Morocco, Egypt has received the first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine consisting of 50,000 doses.

SSANU, NASU begins nationwide strike
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities (NASU) kicked off a nationwide strike on February 5 to compel the Federal Government to address their demands. The demands included, rectifying inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), non-payment of arrears of minimum wage, delay in renegotiation with government, NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, among others.

NIN deadline extended to April 6th
After much appeal for an extension of the deadline for Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) registration to the National Identification Number (NIN), the Nigerian government has extended the integration by eight weeks to April 6. This decision was necessitated by the difficulties in enrolling for the NIN amidst Nigeria’s rising coronavirus cases.

Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon chief executive
Amazon CEO and Billionaire Jeff Bezos has announced that he would step down as chief executive of the company he founded 27 years ago. He is giving up the CEO role to focus on other ventures, including the Bezos Climate Fund, the Washington Post and Blue Origin, Bezos’ space flight company. Andy Jassy, head of Amazon Web Services, will take the reins as CEO beginning in the third quarter, while Bezos will become executive chairman.

Oil price is heading for $60
On Thursday, the price of a barrel of Brent crude moved closer to $60 after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other alliances of major producers committed to maintaining reduced oil output to balance fuel demand. This is good news for Nigeria and other oil-dependent economies languishing under ballooning debt and lower government revenues. Nigeria needs the oil price to rise and in the worst case, remain steady at any price above the $40 benchmark of the 2021 budget, this means more funds will be available to fund the budget.

Read Also: Is Covid-19 a rich man’s disease?

FG disburses N27 billion from MSMEs survival fund, last scheme portal opens last scheme portal
The Federal Government on Thursday, disbursed N27 billion to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as part of the MSMEs Survival Fund Scheme. The Federal Government is also set to roll out the last two schemes of the MSMEs Survival Fund component of the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) namely, the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme (GOS) and the General MSMEs Grant. The purpose of GOS is to stimulate direct local production by enabling 100,000 MSMEs in the production sector with funds to produce post-Covid lockdown stimulus products. The government would open portal for the last phase on February 9.

Nigerian Businessman bags most inspiring immigrant in Canada
A Nigerian-Canadian based businessman/ International trade expert, Kenneth Oguzie has been honoured as one of the most inspiring immigrants in Eastern Canada for his contributions to the region, and also actively supporting immigrants from different parts of the world to settle in Canada. Being a masters graduate of social policy and development from the London school of economics Oguzie is presently the CEO of Africa Canada trade and investment venture an organization that promotes international trade and business between Canada and West Africa, both within the private sector as well as creating public sector collaborations.

Nigeria’s Sparkle signs with Network International for virtual and physical payment cards
Sparkle, a mobile-first digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle and business support services to Nigerians across the globe, has partnered with Network International, the enabler of digital commerce across Africa and the Middle East, to power its recently launched payment card offering. Sparkle’s new virtual and plastic debit cards are targeted at SMEs and upwardly mobile, unbanked consumers across Nigeria, bringing them the convenience, flexibility, safety and security of cashless payments across various channels. The cards will enable Sparkle customers to make in-app purchases as well as pay for e-commerce and m-commerce transactions.

Ford to invest $1 billion for Ranger production in South Africa
Ford Motor Co will invest $1.05 billion in its South African manufacturing operations, including upgrades to expand production of its Ranger pickup truck. The investments aim to increase Ford’s installed capacity in South Africa from 168,000 to 200,000 vehicles. The expanded production will create 1,200 jobs with Ford in South Africa, increasing the local workforce to 5,500 employees, while adding an estimated 10,000 new jobs across the carmaker’s supplier network.

US announces job opening for Hausa, Yoruba teacher with travel and housing benefits
An amazing opportunity has opened up for qualified Nigerians wishing to teach Hausa or Yoruba languages and cultures to American students in US universities and colleges by the Public Affairs Section of the US Mission Nigeria. The program also allows participants to refine their teaching skills, increase their English language proficiency and extend their knowledge of the cultures and customs of the United States. The grant covers the grantee’s round-trip airfare to the US, a settling-in allowance, monthly stipend, housing allowance, health insurance, and a tuition scholarship for their coursework.

South Africa candidate drops out of WTO race, opening door for Okonjo-Iweala
South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee ended her campaign to lead the World Trade Organization, leaving former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the likely candidate for the job and setting up a key decision by WTO members to approve her appointment. Although the path seems clear, the Biden administration is yet to lift U.S. opposition to Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy which was blocked by former US president, Donald Trump.