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Nigeria press highlights cancellation of the planned reopening of domestic flights, others

The cancellation of the planned resumption of domestic flights and the N432 billion intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fund the value chains of nine commodities are the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Punch reports that Nigerian Government on Thursday said it was not feasible to open the airspace for commercial flights to begin operations again on June 21, 2020. According to the government, it will be disastrous to allow domestic flights begin operations from June 21. It, however, noted that the airspace might be opened towards the end of the month.

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this through the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu, at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja. In his address at Thursday’s briefing,

Nuhu said, “We never said aviation is going to start definitely on June 21. “We are supposed to report back based on what we have. We have some work to do and as such June 21 is not a feasible date to resume domestic operations.

“The civil aviation authority, despite pressures coming from all quarters, will not approve the start of operations any day until we are sure and confirm that we are ready to start in a safe, secured, organised and efficient manner.” He added,

The newspaper says that Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, stated that the Federal Government has designated seven of the country’s strategic minerals to unlock the potential in the mining sector.

The newspaper quoted agency reports as saying that the minister said this on Thursday in Abuja at a webinar organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

Adegbite named the minerals as coal, iron ore, bitumen, gold, limestone, lead-zinc and barite.

He noted that the country was endowed with over 44 different mineral resources occurring in over 500 locations across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Sun newspaper says in its efforts to guarantee food security, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday revealed plans to fund the value chains of nine commodities to the tune of N432 billion in the 2020 wet season.

It also intends to release a framework for the integration of non-interest window in all its intervention programmes, particularly the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was disclosed by the Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor and Yila Yusuf, the Director, Development Finance Department, who jointly represented the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, at a stakeholder meeting in Abuja to review the successes recorded under the ABP and the strategies for the 2020 agricultural wet season.

According to Okorafor, the creation of a non-interest window followed appeals by concerned stakeholders for farmers across the country to also be considered for funding under the non-interest window. While revealing that work had been concluded on the funding document, he said the policy would be issued shortly outlining how farmers under the category could apply and benefit from the agricultural programmes of the CBN.

ThisDay newspaper says that Nigeria has stated that former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, remains its candidate for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

According to it, Nigeria, like other sovereign states, reserves the right to nominate, withdraw or replace a candidate for any position, especially when a consensus has not been agreed to endorse a single candidate.

The Nigerian government made its position known in a Note Verbale dated June 18, 2020, that was addressed to the African Union Commission, Members of the Ministerial Committee on Candidatures, among others.

The Note Verbale is a response to an earlier statement that was attributed to the Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) of the African Union, which had earlier faulted the nomination of the former minister.

The newspaper also reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it is finalising works on a framework to integrate non-interest window for all its financing intervention programmes, particularly the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) to boost support for households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, and his counterpart in the Development Finance Department, Mr. Yila Yusuf, told reporters yesterday in Abuja that the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had already directed the Development Finance Department to create the non-interest window, especially for the North-west and North-east.

Published on 28.04.2020

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