Last Week in Retrospect (Edition 3)

Hello, folks! It’s a new week, and one of the things this newness signifies is the passing of an old week. Last week is gone; all we have of it are memories and our analyses. Find below, analyses of our top headlines from Monday, July 27 2020 to Friday, July 31, 2020:

Social, food businesses lose N300b to COVID-19

This headline, adopted by The Guardian for a July 31st, 2020 story, gives us an insight into how affecting the COVID-19 pandemic has been.
Social businesses — which include restaurants, event centres, hotels and bars — were at the receiving end of a needed measure put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19; the ban on social gatherings which lasted for well over 3 months. During this period, those in this sub-sector claim to have lost billions, which led them to request for a 120 billion Naira palliative from the federal government.
According to the analysis told The Guardian by Patrick Anyanwu, President of the Nigeria Hotel Association, there are about 7, 000 hotels in Lagos alone, and a standard hotel needs to employ at least 30 workers. Meaning that at least 21, 000 people were temporarily laid off by hotels in Lagos alone, due to COVID-19.

In speaking to The Guardian, the president of the Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr Rotimi Oloye, said catfish farmers lost about 150 billion Naira due to COVID-19.

What we should ask ourselves is, are these claims true?

As an answer: while the monetary figures that are claimed to be lost may not be true, it is no gainsaying that hoteliers and farmers have borne the brunt of COVID-19. A lot of families are struggling to have basic meals; fish and other farm meats are a luxury many families do not have resources to currently consider.

FG reopens secondary schools August 4 for SS3 students

A lot of Nigerians would have said “at last!” when news of school resumption hit the nation. School resumption seems the only aspect of the lockdown that has yet to be “unlocked”, save the lifting of the ban on international flights. If you recall, we were curious as to why the federal government would still have schools under lock and key, when the kids they claim they are protecting could well contract the virus from markets, religious centres and other places where the ban has been lifted.

The news of resumption for exit classes is a welcomed one. Also, the federal government has released a timeline for all examinations: WASSCE, NECO SSCE, NABTEB, common entrance into secondary schools and common entrance into unity schools.

Let’s hope this is a step towards more good news.

NDDC received N946.91b allocation in 18 years

The Niger Delta Development Commission has not failed to make headlines for a month now; the gross atrocities in that commission is lamentable. From faked fainting to shamelessly ridiculous contracts to spurious break down of expenses: NDDC sure has a lot to teach to other Nigerian parastatals, when it comes to corruption.

The latest we have heard about NDDC is an investigation conducted by the Nation on July 31, 2020, which revealed that the commission received a whopping sum of 946.91 billion Naira in 18 years. The average Nigerian cannot but be shocked and angry, if the recent deeds of the NDDC come to mind. No wonder they can conveniently share billions as COVID-19 palliative’s, when they have a never-dry source.

The said sum is part of the 9.43 trillion Naira allocated as 13 percent derivative to the nine oil-producing states. What is expected to be spent to better the living conditions of oil-producing states, is sadly being embezzled recklessly.

We can only hope that the president would be true to his promise to punish anyone found guilty after the probe.

FG okays release of 15.21m Euros, 1.78b Naira for electricity deal

It immediately made headlines of major news outlets across the country when the Federal Executive council approved the release of 15.21 million Euros and 1.78 billion naira for a power deal . The amount was approved on 1, August,not2020 as counterpart funding for a deal with SIEMENS AG- a power firm from Germany. The news was disclosed at the end of the virtual meeting held by the FEC.
The Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed as quoted said “the project will also support the regulator, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to transit towards a programme of improving metering in the electricity industry in the country”.
Meanwhile, plans for the power partnership had started since the meeting between president Mohammadu Buhari and the German Chancellor, Angele Merkel as of 2018.
The country is expected to spend about 3.11 billion euros or N1.15 trillion across four major states with the aim of achieving 25,000 megawatts of electricity by 2025.


FG talks tough on EFCC, NDDC, NSITF probes

Stories of the progress of the corruption probes of major agencies in the current administration has been making headlines since inception. Finally, the federal government on the first of Augsust broke the long silence on the ongoing probes of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu and the Interim Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC and the NSITF.
The President said that the above mentioned individuals have abused the public trust given to them. When speaking further the corruption cases against the NDDC, he said;
“A number of assets and money have been recovered. But we have introduced TSA where all the monies are taken and I said assets should be sold and the money be put through TSA so that it can be identified at any level and I will see who will come after us and take it back again to those who misappropriated public funds.”
The President has promised that full investigations would be carried out and that justice will prevail.

Minimum Wage: Labour Declares War on Governors

When the labor Congress, on the 30th of July, threatened to shut down states that have gone back to the 18,000 naira minimum wage under the guise of the pandemic expenditure, it immediately made headlines on popular dailies across the country.
The states that prompted the statement include Delta, Kano,Niger and others. Speaking on behalf of the Union,NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said;

“We are not going to fold our hands and we will use the best approach that will bring result. In fact, we are ready to shut down states that have reverted to N18,000. With or without COVID-19, we are ready to take the battle to their doorstep. The problems we face is occasioned by the greed of the political class.”
The stakeholders in the states involved have so far not made any response.

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