Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Monday, 23 November, 2020)

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Good Day Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

Recession: Nigeria’s economy on way to recovery, says Osinbajo’s aide

Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, says contrary to predictions by critics, the Nigerian economy is on its path to recovery.

Akande was reacting to the latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics which showed that Africa’s biggest economy entered a second recession in five years.

The NBS, in its report for third quarter of 2020 released on Saturday, said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 per cent in the three months up till September. But speaking Sunday night on a television programme in Abuja, Akande said, “Let me say very clearly that if you look at the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) figures themselves, there is a clear indication of restoration. For instance, in Q2, the contraction was -6.1 but in Q3 which figures were just released, the contraction is -3. So, clearly, the Nigerian economy is on a rebound.

Kidnappers demanded soft drinks before releasing ABU students

The nine abducted students of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, have been released. The Director of Public Affairs of ABU, Mallam Auwal Umar, confirmed the development to PUNCH Metro on the telephone on Sunday.

Umar said the victims regained their freedom on Saturday. Asked if ransom was paid by the families, Umar said, “We don’t want to go into that. Honestly, I don’t know; but all that I can confirm to you is that they have been released. They were released last night (Saturday).”

A relative of one of the students, Julius Mutum, also confirmed the release in a tweet. He wrote, “Some of the #ABU9 including my sister have just regained their freedom. Strictly by family efforts. Thank you @TheAbusite for lending your voice when everyone, including govt and security agents, didn’t care.”

My philanthropy separate from politics, says Okorocha

A former governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has said his empowerment scheme targeted at the less privileged had nothing to do with the 2023 presidency. “It has nothing to do with politics. Rochas Foundation has been in existence before any presidential aspiration or whatever. We have been here for more than 25 years and we have raised about 22,000 children.

Okorocha, representing Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said this, in Karmajiji, one of the slums in Abuja, during the inauguration of a multimillion Rochas Care Outreach and Skill Acquisition Centre, an agency of the Rochas Okorocha Foundation, on Saturday.

The event also witnessed the graduation of 45 participants trained in information and communication technology, tailoring and other vocational skills by the RCOSAC.

Buhari regime’s second recession: Cut governance cost, aid production, diversify, experts tell Federal Govt

Economic experts and interest groups in Nigeria’s economy on Sunday advised the Federal Government to reduce the cost of governance and encourage production.

Experts and groups including a professor of political economy and management expert, Pat Utomi; the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, gave the advice in separate interviews with The PUNCH while commenting on Nigeria’s recent economic recession.

They said government should cut tax for the poor and diversify the economy. According to them, in diversifying the economy, government must match its words with actions.

Amid a rising debt profile, inflation and unemployment, Nigeria on Saturday entered its second recession in five years as official figures showed that the economy shrank again in the third quarter of this year.

Refineries gulped N81.41bn, refined zero crude – NNPC

A total of N81.41bn was expended on Nigeria’s refineries between January and August this year but the facilities refined no drop of crude oil all through this period, latest data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed.

Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, Port Harcourt Refining Company and Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company posted a cumulative revenue of N6.54bn during the eight-month period.

With a revenue of N6.54bn and a total expense of N81.41bn, the facilities ended up with a deficit of N78.87bn, according to figures contained in the just-released August 2020 report of the NNPC.

Labour stages a walkout as fuel talks collapse again

The meeting between the Federal Government and the organised labour on the hikes in fuel pump price and the electricity tariff on Sunday ended in confusion as the labour leaders walked out of the parley in anger.

The dialogue which was meant to take updates on the implementation of resolutions reached during the three previous meetings ended abruptly barely 10 minutes after it commenced at the Presidential Villa banquet hall, Abuja.

The meeting had started at 8.18pm when the Trade Union Congress President, Quadri Olaleye, raised the issue of the latest hike in fuel pump price from N160 to N170. He insisted on the reversal of the hike before the meeting can proceed.

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