|The Sun newspaper says that after a thorough assessment of the impact of rampaging COVID-19 pandemic on the economies of developing countries at the weekend, the World Bank has predicted that an estimated 95.7 million Nigerians would be joining the “extremely poor club” across the globe by 2022.
The report, released recently, indicated that without the COVID-19 outbreak, 90 million Nigerians were already predicted to live in extreme poverty of less than a dollar per day but that the dreaded disease has pushed additional six million people into the number.
The bank said: “With real per capita GDP growth forecast to be negative in all sectors in 2020, poverty will deepen for the current poor, while those households that were just above the poverty line prior to the COVID-19 crisis will fall into poverty.
The newspaper also reports that President Muhammadu Buhari will on Tuesday finally flag off the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, thereby set to realize the long held dream of building the nation’s biggest domestic gas transmission infrastructure.
The 614 kilometre gas pipeline conceived to provide the highly desired stimulus to domestic industrial growth will be delivered by a consortium of indigenous and international engineering firms.
It added that the project will also signal the finest hour so far for the Nigerian Content Policy goals. The president, by the flag-off of this project at Ajaokuta, Kogi State, would be turning to reality some of the nation’s long-term economic aspirations of boosting domestic energy infrastructure, deepening the local gas market, creating industrial corridors with cleaner fuel, and commercialising the country’s abundant gas resources.
The project, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), will significantly curb gas flaring in the Niger Delta and guarantee better air quality in the oil producing region.
The Punch reports that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency on Sunday insisted that it would continue fixing price bands for petrol despite opposition by oil marketers to the move.
The agency also declared that a regulation for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, had been established in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
The Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, disclosed this while addressing questions on the PMS pricing regime, which commenced on March 19, 2020. Since the introduction of the regime, marketers had expressed concerns over the issuing of monthly guiding prices for petrol..
The newspaper also reports that the Electricity distribution companies in Nigeria on Sunday said the July increase in electricity tariffs was not a unilateral decision by the power firms.
They said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission was involved in the decision as the distribution firms could not increase tariffs without the involvement of the regulator.
The power distributors had since last week been announcing the implementation of the new tariff beginning from July 1.
ThisDay newspaper says that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has increased the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) payable by air travellers on local and international flights by 100 percent.
The FAAN said the new regime of N2,000 from N1,000 and $100 from the initial $50 per passenger would commence on August 1, 2020.
With the implementation, air travellers on regional routes like Ghana, Benin Republic and others, would pay the sum of $100 as PSC, apart from the airfares.
The newspaper also reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has so far disbursed N49 billion out of its N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility meant to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 on the economy.
Also, its Business Expectations Survey Report for June 2020 shows that at -24.3 index points, the overall confidence index (CI) indicated respondents’ pessimism on the overall macro economy in June while the respondents are optimistic in their outlook for July. Giving details of the Targeted Credit Facility disbursement,
The CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, told the newspaper during a telephone interview yesterday that about 80,000 operators of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) and families have benefitted from the intervention fund.
He said the fund was expected to support the federal government’s measures to stimulate economic activities as well as to help the economy avert a looming economic recession.
The Vanguard reported that 10 Nigerian soldiers were reported killed in an ambush by Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday along the Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road in Borno State in northern Nigeria.
The report said that 20 fighters of the Boko Haram sect were also killed during the ambush.
The report added that one of the soldiers lost his life along Pulka-Ngoshe road in another operation.
The newspaper, which quoted several sources, claimed that 10 soldiers were injured during the attack, while some others are still missing as the Nigerian troops were said to be heading to their base at Ngoshe town close to the Nigerian border with Cameroon.