Press focuses on return to Twitter platform after 7-month ban, others

APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

The report that many government agencies, parastatals, corporate Nigeria and users returned to the Twitter platform after seven months ban is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.

The Guardian reports that with the lifting of the seven months ban on micro blogging platform, Twitter, yesterday, by the Federal Government, many government agencies, parastatals, corporate Nigeria and users returned to the platform amid intensified calls for accountability and civic engagements.

In the 222 days of Twitter ban, especially from June 5, 2021, when the suspension became effective, many users of the platform have been unable to express displeasure or call out sub-par services rendered by some government agencies and corporate entities.

With the return of Twitter, many users are hoping to explore the platform to address issues of poor customer service and also to demand government accountability.

This is even as more reactions continued to trail the lifting of the suspension as announced in a statement signed by the Chairman Technical Committee, Nigeria-Twitter Engagement and Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi. 

From Twitter, the firm said it was pleased to restore service for everyone in Nigeria. The company wrote on its public policy account that it was delighted with the restoration of its services in Nigeria.

“We are pleased that Twitter has been restored for everyone in Nigeria,” the tweet early Thursday reads. It added, “Our mission in Nigeria and around the world is to serve the public conversation.”

The newspaper says that there are indications that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria may increase their revenue by over $10 billion going by the adoption of solar energy to power businesses.

With persistent grid collapse and erratic electricity supply, experts have described as sacrosanct for businesses in the country, the deployment of renewable through off-grid solutions.

A new report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and All-On, a Shell-funded impact investment company, which analysed solar energy implementation on Health, Education and Food Security outcomes as well as its effect on the Environment and Commercial Activity in the country, stressed on the many opportunities for solar in Nigeria.

According to the report, deploying solar to around 15 to 20 million MSMEs in markets without reliable grid electricity could increase income at these companies by $7 billion to $10 billion.

That is about 40 per cent of yearly MSMEs earnings in the country. The report rated Nigeria’s solar off-grid market as one of the fastest growing in Africa, increasing at a 22 per cent average yearly rate during the past five years.

The Punch reports that manufacturing and non-manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Indices for November 2021 remained below the 50 index points at 47.3 and 47.5 index points.

PMI readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

The Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Aishah Ahmad, who is also a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, said this in her personal statement at the last MPC meeting which was released by the CBN.

She noted that data recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that domestic real GDP grew by 4.03 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021 compared with 5.01 and -3.62 per cent in Q2 2021 and Q3 2020, respectively.

She noted that this marked the fourth consecutive positive output growth following the exit from recession in Q4 2020, adding that real GDP grew by 11.07 per cent in Q3 2021, compared with -0.79 per cent in the preceding quarter.

Ahmad said, “The improvement in real GDP was driven mainly by growth in the non-oil sector by 5.44 per cent, reflecting the importance of ongoing CBN interventions and fiscal stimulus measures alongside efforts to further diversify the economic base and strengthen growth enhancing sectors.

The newspaper says that the Nigeria LNG Limited announced on Thursday that its board of directors had approved the supply of 100 per cent of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (butane and propane) produced by the company to the Nigerian market.

The NLNG said in a statement that it would prioritise the domestic market for 100 per cent of its butane (cooking gas) production. It noted that it supplied its first propane cargo into the domestic market three months ago.

The company said it had developed a scheme to sustainably supply propane for usage in cooking gas blending as well as in agro-allied, autogas, power and petrochemical sectors of the Nigerian economy to further deepen gas utilisation in the country.

It said the initiatives were designed to increase LPG availability in Nigeria, diversify its uses and support the Federal Government’s Decade of Gas initiative.

According to the statement, the NLNG is currently the highest single supplier of LPG into the domestic market, with an estimated 400,000 metric tonnes supplied in 2021.

The Sun reports that for Nigeria to experience a decent outing, there has to be a successful implementation of the 2022 budget, creating investment opportunities, broadening of the tax base and deliberate policy engagements and incentives.

Furthermore, it is believed that the elimination of subsidies and a lower exchange rate will free up funds for all tiers of government while pre-election spending is expected to increase money supply in 2022.

The Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, stated this during the 2022 Nigerian Economic Outlook organized by First Bank in Lagos yesterday.

Rewane, while scoring Nigeria’s performance at 40 per cent in 2021, said the economy did not perform better in 2021 due to the failure of the nation’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

He said although Nigeria spent a lot last year, there was no much impact on its economy, adding that the money spent came from borrowings as well as taxes. “There was a projected revenue of N7.99 trillion but we ended 2021 with N3.06 trillion and that is because our revenue is still largely oil dependent.

ThisDay says that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said the newly launched Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) will simplify cross-border trade and reduce the heavy dependence on the US dollars, Pounds and Euro intra-African trade.

Emefiele said this yesterday in Accra, Ghana, during the launch of PAPSS. PAPSS is a cross-border financial market infrastructure enabling payment transactions across Africa, bridging trade challenges in a continent with over 41 known currencies.

It is expected to boost intra-African trade by transforming and facilitating payment, clearing and settlement for cross-border trade across Africa.

PAPSS provides the solution to the disconnected and fragmented nature of payment and settlement systems that had long impeded intra-African trade.

The Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with African Union (AU) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), officially launched the platform for commercial use.

The CBN governor described the PAPPS as a breakthrough achievement for the continent, saying it would help facilitate trade and enhance payment gateway across West Africa.


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