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Nigerian press focuses on plans to resume international flights, others

The plan to reopen the airports for international flights in weeks and not in months and the hike in the price of petrol are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Punch reports that the Nigerian government on Thursday said the airports would be reopened to international flights in weeks and not in months. When international flights eventually resume, passengers are expected to arrive the airport three hours before their flights.

The report quoted the government as saying that the prolonged ban on international travels was not punitive but mainly to keep Nigerians across the country safe from the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in Abuja while answering questions at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

He said, “On the question about the reopening of the airports, I will like to use this medium to reiterate and to be consistent with what we’ve been saying. I want people to understand that this is not purely an aviation function.

The newspaper says that the South West chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has directed all its members in the zone to henceforth, increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petroleum to N150 per litre.

The official pump price had been N143 per litre. IPMAN South-West Zonal chairman, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen, who spoke with journalists on Thursday, in Abeokuta, said the directive became necessary in order to avert the planned shutdown of the filling stations across the zone.

Tajudeen said IPMAN took the decision due to a new price regime announced by the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency.

The PPPRA had increased the depot price of the product from N133.72k to N138.62k without consulting with other critical stakeholders like IPMAN. While berating the PPPRA for what he described as “policy inconsistency”,

The Sun reports that the private sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) yesterday formally announced the flag-off of a nationwide distribution of multi-billion naira food palliative and other relief items to mitigate the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable Nigerians.

The food relief materials for which the private sector operators are spending about N23 billion, will cover 1.7 million families amounting to about 10 million people across the 774 local governments in the country, including the Federal Capital Territory.

CACOVID Administrator and CEO of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), Zouera Youssoufou, told newsmen in Lagos that the food distribution is the next phase in the line of actions mapped out by the coalition to partner government in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and relieve the vulnerable people of the burden posed by the outbreak of the disease.

Zouera disclosed that with the announcement in Lagos, the Coalition has divided the nation into the six geo-political zones and the distribution was being flagged-off simultaneously in states such as Adamawa, Yobe, Ekiti Ogun, delta, Edo, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Plateau, and Nasarawa.

The newspaper reports that the Association of Lawyers, Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association (RAMINBA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to use legal and political means to cancel the commercial loan agreement signed between Nigeria and Export -Import Bank of China. In a press conference at their office in Lagos,

its Chairman, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, said the clause in the loan was outright slavery and mortgaging the future of children yet unborn.

Ogunlana, who quoted the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi as telling the House of Representatives that there is a clause in the loan agreement; like the loan for the construction of Ibadan to Kano rails is $5.3 billion, said the implication is that if we can’t pay the money, whatever they need to take from us they would take, without us talking about our sovereignty.

Most time what the Chinese does is to go after the assets that has been constructed and then use it to recover their money. So what’s wrong about that? Ogunlana said: “How does the Federal Government want to refrain from talking about sovereignty when the Chinese loan givers come asking for what they have constructed?

The Nation newspaper says the Nigerian government has announced that as part of efforts to reboot the economy, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of stimulus packages will soon be made available to assist operators in the private sector.

These include a N50 billion survival fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and a N15 billion Guaranteed Uptake Scheme to save 500, 000 jobs. Under some of these interventions, 40 percent of the funds will be reserved for women-owned businesses.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who made this known at a virtual meeting attended by members of the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN), assured that his ministry would support and work with the private sector to reboot the economy ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Guardian says that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in line with its mandate, has commenced a probe of excessive and unconscionable pricing of potentially vital medication that is perceived or presented as efficacious therapy in addressing COVID-19 by conducting enforcement activities of some pharmacies.

According to the Commission, there have been a rash of posts representing Hydroxychloroquine costing between N50,000.00 and N75,000.

One of the posts allegedly showed the medicine and a price tag of N50,000 of Ebus Pharmacy in Port-Harcourt. The Commission said it is also aware of the price display of N75,000 allegedly by HealthPlus Limited.

“Between 10.00A.M. and 6.00P.M. today, the Commission conducted simultaneous on-site investigations on Ebus, and Avis Pharmacy, both in Port-Harcourt; multiple locations of Health Plus Limited in Lagos and Abuja, Tonia Pharmacy, H-Medix, and New Health Pharmacies, all in Abuja,” it said.


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Published on 28.04.2020

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