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Nigeria: Press highlights fate of 560,000 persons living with HIV, others

The report that no fewer than 560,000 persons living with HIV are not on treatment as Nigeria joins the rest of the international community to mark the World’s AIDS Day and the blame game over the killing of farmers in Borno State are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Guardian reports that despite efforts by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) to end Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) before 2030, no fewer than 560,000 persons living with the virus are not on treatment. This comes as Nigeria joins the rest of the international community to mark the World’s AIDS Day (WAD).

According to the report, the latest figures from the NACA showed that, of the estimated 1.8 million Nigerians living with HIV, only 1.24 million are currently on treatment.

The report noted that Nigeria needs to invest $2.4 billion to identify and treat additional 540,000 Persons Living With HIV (PLWH) to reach the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) target for epidemic control in the next three years.

According to the report, the estimated number of tests needed to identify these additional persons with HIV is 50 million persons.

The newspaper says that as Nigeria and the world lament Saturday’s killing of farmers in Borno State, the Nigerian Government, yesterday, resisted attempts to blame it for the killing. Instead, it attributed the bloodshed to other factors outside government control.

Farmers working in a rice field at Garin Kwashebe in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State were, on Saturday, attacked by suspected Boko Haram insurgents. Scores of them were killed and many injured.

Commenting on the killing yesterday morning, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), said that the slain farmers failed to get clearance from the military authorities before going to their farms.

He contended that, if clearance were sought, military authorities would have prepared to provide security for the farmers.

ThisDay reports that the Nigerian government yesterday attributed the delay in effectively routing Boko Haram, which it said it had technically defeated, to global powers that are blocking Nigeria’s moves to acquire weapons to fight terrorism and win the insurgency war.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told reporters in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, that the action of the world powers was frustrating Nigeria’s resolve to end the insurgency war.

Mohammed, who was in Makurdi to visit the state Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, spoke against the backdrop of the outrage generated by Saturday’s killing of no fewer than 43 rice farmers by Boko Haram in Zabarmari, Borno State.

“Nigeria had made attempts to acquire better and more effective platforms to deal with terrorists and for one reason or the other, we have been denied these platforms; and without adequate platforms, we will remain at the mercy of terrorists,” he lamented.

The Punch says that the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriations are expected to turn in their report on the 2021 Appropriation Bill on Thursday.

It was learnt that some standing committees have, however, yet to submit their reports on the ministries, departments and agencies.

The National Assembly would also not be holding a public hearing on the money bill this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, the Committees on Appropriations, which were to compile and harmonise the reports by the standing committees (sub-committees), were to lay their joint report on December 3, while the Senate and the House would consider and pass the report on December 10.

The newspaper reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria said on Monday that it had amended the procedures for receipt of diaspora remittances as part of its efforts to boost the foreign exchange market.

It said this in a circular on entitled ‘Amendment to procedures for receipt of diaspora remittances,’ which was signed by Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. O. S. Nnaji.

The CBN said to liberalise, simplify and improve the receipt and administration of diaspora remittances into Nigeria, beneficiaries of diaspora remittances through International Money Transfer Operators should henceforth, receive such inflows in foreign currency through the designated bank of their choice.

It added that such recipients of remittances may have the option of receiving these funds in foreign currency cash or in their ordinary domiciliary account.

The Sun says that former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has warned the country’s economic managers against reckless spending of its resources, saying such a habit would compound the nation’s economic woes as it battles to spend its way out of recession.

Obi stated this during a live interview on Arise Television flagship programme; The Morning Show monitored in Lagos, yesterday.

He said that unlike the 2015 episode when the country borrowed so much to exit recession, it cannot afford the luxury of heavy borrowings and wastages in a bid to rebound the economy.

According to him, government economic and fiscal policies must be properly aligned, structured and targeted at reaching the target audience.

The Nation says that the Bank of Industry (BoI), African Development Bank (AfDB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have okayed $2 billion loan to reduce poverty, end hunger and increase resilience to climate change in rural communities around Nigeria.

The loans will be driving the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) project in the country aimed at raising the productivity and competitiveness of the country’s agriculture sector. Promoted by AfDB, the project will help the government to expand economic opportunities in the farm sector by enhancing processing infrastructure and services to rural families.

The key financial industry players are determined to fund rural development and address poverty and hunger, and underlined that the current pace of development may not be sufficient to achieve the social development goals (SDGs).

Speaking at a webinar, AfDB President’s Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation, Prof. Oyebanji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, said $1 billion is coming from BoI, $500 million from AfDB, and $200 million was pledged by IFAD.

Published on 28.04.2020

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