Coronavirus Could Weaken Africa’s Response To Climate Change – IMF  

A sign of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) hosting the 50th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is seen at the entrance of the headquarters, on August 2, 2019, in Geneva. PHOTO: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday warned that coronavirus could further weaken sub-Saharan Africa’s ability to adapt to climate change, as measures to contain the pandemic stretch limited resources.

A recent study on the impact of rising temperatures and extreme weather events on growth suggests sub-Saharan Africa — the region most vulnerable to climate change — will be hit 60 percent harder than the average for other emerging markets and developing economies.

Details of the analysis show that economic activity in the region can shrink by one percent in a month when that month’s average temperature is 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average.

The IMF, which released the study on Thursday, called on policymakers not to sideline responses to climate change in dealing with coronavirus.

“Containing and managing the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on already limited fiscal space and raising debt vulnerabilities in sub-Saharan Africa,” said the report, adding that coronavirus funding could also be used to “simultaneously address climate change”.

The IMF pointed to “intrinsic links” between viral outbreaks, environmental destruction and man-made pollution that weakens humans’ immune systems.

“Adaptation to climate change would also benefit other development areas, such as resilience to pandemics, and ultimately boost growth,” it added.

According to the report, adapting to climate change would cost sub-Saharan Africa between $30 and $50 billion (26.6-44.4 billion euros) per year for the next decade — the equivalent of around two to three percent of the region’s GDP.

The Fund said international support would be “paramount” but also noted that pre-emptive adaptation measures remained less costly than post-disaster relief.

Sub-Saharan Africa has so far lagged behind the global curve for coronavirus infections and deaths, although the number of cases continues to rise steadily across the region.

The continent has recorded more than 163,000 infections and at least 4,600 fatalities to date, according to an AFP tally.

But experts believe those figures could be underestimated due to inadequate testing.

There are also fears poor sanitation and weak healthcare systems could hamper any response to the full-blown outbreak.

AFP

Court Restrains FG From Auctioning Some Marginal Oil Fields

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
Court Gavel

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has restrained the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) from selling, auctioning or accepting bids for some marginal fields belonging to some oil and gas operators.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke said the restraining order would subsist until the hearing and determination of a suit on the issue.

The marginal field operators include Associated Oil and Gas Limited, Dansaki Petroleum Unlimited, Bayelsa Oil Limited, and Bicta Energy and Management Systems Limited.

Others are Del-Sigma Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Goland Petroleum Limited, Independent Energy Limited, Sahara Energy Limited, Sogenal Energy Limited, and African Oil and Gas Limited.

Through their lawyers, led by Tayo Oyetibo SAN, the marginal field operators, commenced a suit in court challenging the purported revocation of the awards of marginal fields by the Federal Government, sequel to a letter of revocation dated April 6, 2020.

They alleged that they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the production and development of the affected marginal fields.

Their lawyers also stated that the purported revocation of their awards of marginal fields by the government violated their constitutional rights to a fair hearing, their rights under the Petroleum Act and under the guidelines governing marginal fields in Nigeria.

They then asked the court to halt the attempt by the Federal Government to include the affected marginal fields in the next bidding rounds, pending the determination of their suit.

After listening to the lawyers, Justice Aneke in granting their request noted that the respondents did not file any process in opposition and were also not represented by any counsel in court though they were served with hearing notices that the matter would come up for hearing today, the 3rd of June.

The court has adjourned to June 29 for the hearing of the substantive suit.

Three-Year-Old Baby Tests Positive For COVID-19 In Imo

A three-year-old baby has tested positive for COVID-19 in Imo State.

This was announced on Wednesday by the Chairman of the COVID-19 taskforce in the state, Professor Maurice Iwu while addressing journalists in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

According to Professor Iwu, the baby is from a family of six, comprising the father and three of his children who all tested positive to the virus.

READ ALSO: Family Members Forcefully Move COVID-19 Patient Out Of Isolation Center

He added that the baby will be preferentially isolated.

Iwu said further that the Imo State currently has seven active cases of the virus and efforts are on in scaling up activities to ensure that about 100 persons are tested per day. He urged people of the state not to panic maintaining that Coronavirus is real but not a death sentence.

He also advised residents of the state to continue to adhere to all the precautionary measures put in place by the government.

Family Members Forcefully Move COVID-19 Patient Out Of Isolation Center

 

The Delta State Ministry of Health has announced that the family members of a COVID-19 patient have forcefully moved him out from one of the isolation centres in Asaba, the state capital.

The State Commissioner for Health, Ononye Mordi, who made the announcement on Thursday expressed displeasure over the forceful removal of the patient.

The patient is identified as a 53-year-old health official named Nwachukwu Michael Mordi.

READ ALSO: Delta Govt Announces No Face Mask, No Movement Rule

He had tested positive to COVID-19 on May 23, 2020, and was admitted into the isolation centre on May 24, 2020.

The Commissioner lamented that the abductors now constitute a grave danger to their own health and that of persons they have come in contact with, including members of their community.

Efforts are ongoing by Health in the state to find the patient and ensure he is back at the centre to continue treatment.

Sexual Violence: Reps Vote Against Castration As Punishment For Rapists

 

The House of Representatives has voted against a prayer seeking to recommend castration as punishment for rapists.

The House, at the plenary on Thursday, rejected the motion which was earlier recommended by a member, Mr James Faleke.

Faleke had recommended that persons found guilty of rape should be castrated.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Man Over Rape Of 70-Year-Old Woman In Ogun

Following the rising cases of sexual violence in Nigeria, the lawmakers also asked the Inspector General of Police to immediately commence an investigation into the cases of Uwa Omozuwa, Tina Ezekwe, the reported rape of a minor in Jigawa state, as well as all other reported cases of violence against women.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, described the rise in these cases as sick, despicable and an ungodly act which cuts across all gender.

The House was reacting to a motion of urgent public importance by Representative Rotimi Agunsoye, on the need to condemn the rising cases of sexual violence and other social vices against women and police brutality.

The lawmakers also urged the Federal Government to launch a more effective campaign against rape and other violence against women and girls.

#JusticeForUwa: Students Protest In Benin, Demand Death Sentence For Sex Offenders

Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday occupied major streets of Benin City, the Edo state capital in protest.

The students demanded justice for Uwaila Omozuwa, an undergraduate of the University of Benin who was recently raped and killed.

They also demanded that a death sentence be pronounced for sex offenders.

The President of the students’ union, Danielson Akpan, spoke with Channels Television during the protest demanding justice for their late colleague.

READ ALSO: #JusticeForUwa: Obaseki Orders Investigation Into Murder Of UNIBEN Student

The lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Dennis Idahosa, who also joined the students in the solidarity march vowed that he would move a motion to support capital punishment at the floor of the house.

Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo had earlier on Wednesday promised that efforts would not be spared in ensuring that the culprits involved in the circumstances that led to Uwaila’s death are apprehended and made to face the law.

Kokumo made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.

Uwa, a 22-year-old student of UNIBEN was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, the Edo State Capital.

The hoodlums were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

The news of her death has continued to spark outrage with trends on social demanding justice and an end to rape.

See more photos from the protest below…

Two Nigerian Air Force Officers Test Positive For COVID-19

Two officers of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have tested positive for COVID-19 in Makurdi, Benue State.

The State Governor Samuel Ortom announced this while releasing new guidelines on the easing of restrictions in the state, on Wednesday.

The governor said contacts tracing has commenced immediately within and outside the NAF base located along the Makurdi/Gboko road to identify and isolate anyone who had contact with the officers.

READ ALSO: NAF’s Locally Produced Ventilators Ready For Use – CAS Abubakar

The new measures in the state include the lifting of the ban on worship places which must not congregate for more than one hour, and the resumption of work by all civil servants with effect from Monday, June 8.

Meanwhile, the NAF has supported the Nigerian government’s effort in combating COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

They recently produced emergency ventilators for patients with respiratory disease including acute lungs injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

The ventilators were unveiled last week at the Nigerian Airforce Institute of Technology in Kaduna State by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Nigeria’s Manufacturing PMI Declines To 42.4 — CBN

A file photo of CBN headquarters in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in the month of May recorded a decline to 42.4 index points after a 36-month consecutive expansion.

This is according to the May 2020 PMI survey conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Of the 14 surveyed subsectors, only the electrical equipment sector reported growth (above 50% threshold) in the review month, while the remaining 13 subsectors reported declines in the following order cement; petroleum and coal products; printing and related support activities; furniture and related products; textile, apparel, leather and footwear; paper products; fabricated metal products; food, beverage and tobacco products; chemical and pharmaceutical products; transportation equipment; plastics and rubber products; non-metallic mineral products; appliances and components and primary metal,” CBN’s survey revealed.

Meanwhile, the survey showed that production level index for the manufacturing sector also declined in May 2020 after 37 consecutive months of recorded growth.

The employment level index for May 2020 stood at 24.5 points, indicating a decline in employment level for the second month.

Out of the 14 subsectors captured, one subsector remained unchanged, while the remaining 13 subsectors recorded lower employment level in the review month.

Similarly, the non-Manufacturing PMI stood at 25.3 points in May 2020, indicating contraction.

Lagos Rules Out Possibility Of Reopening Churches, Mosques

A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu
A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

 

The Lagos State Government has ruled out the possibility of reopening churches and mosques in the state.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, disclosed this on Tuesday on the side-line of the 2020 Ministerial press briefing commemorating the first year of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in office.

Elegushi said the possibility of reopening churches and mosques in the state was ruled out after state government met with some religious leaders.

READ ALSO: Lagos Govt Considers Full Reopening Of Economy, Gives Conditions

According to him, the protocols and guidelines laid down by the state government were not agreed upon by the religious leaders.

“Even before the pronouncement by the Federal Government, we have been having meetings with the religious leaders. We even had one with safety Commission. Looking at the possibility of reopening of religious houses.

“We also had one with the leaders of the two faith and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, the possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.

“They claimed that they cannot take the responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them. Like an Imam said he doesn’t know what is going on at back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back, he is not going to take responsibility for their presence,” Elegushi said.

The Commissioner added that Lagos is the epicentre of the virus and reopening of churches won’t happen until there is a clear coast to do so.

“So in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so. The Federal Government mentioned it, but it never ruled out the state in achieving that pronouncement, so all states will have to look at the possibility of doing so in their respective states.

“We all know Lagos is still having more figures. So definitely that will speak to our decision.”

Elegushi added that the governor will come out with further directives.

Man Bags 15-Year Jail Term For Raping Tenant’s 14-Year-Old Niece

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

A Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of the Island has sentenced a man identified as the James Onuoha for raping his tenant’s 14-year-old niece.

Onuoha, 42, who is a former Exxon Mobil Engineer, was convicted on Monday.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye sentenced him without an option of fine.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 11 Suspects For Raping 12-Year-Old Girl

On Jan 4, 2016, the state government had accused Onuoha of committing the offences at 11:30 a.m., at 25, Samuel Amoore Street, Idowu Estate, Ike-Ira Nla, Ajah, Lagos.

The prosecution led by Jide Martins said the defendant willfully had an unlawful sexual act with the teenager without her consent.

He said the offences contravened Sections 134 (2), 135 (1), and is punishable under Sections 137 and 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

Onuoha, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecution subsequently opened its case and called witnesses including the victim.

After the prosecution closed its case, Onuoha opened his defence and was led in evidence by the defence counsel, Dr Victor Olowonla.

After conclusion of witness testimony in January 2020, parties adopted their final written addresses and the court adjourned the case to March 25, for judgment. But the judgment could not be delivered owing to the COVID-19 pandemic which led to a lockdown in March.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, the court found the defendant guilty but before his sentence could be read, his counsel, Victor Olowonla, made his allocutus.

He said, ” My lord, the convict is a first time offender, he is a family man with wife and children and also the bread winner of his family.

“He has lost his job since this case came up, going by the circumstances of this case, I urge my lord to tender justice with mercy, ” Olowonla said.

Onuoha was first arraigned in January 2016 at the Magistrates’ Court on a four-count charge of defilement.

After his arraignment he was remanded at the Kirikiri correctional centre pending legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Following his indictment by the DPP, the case was transferred to the high court for trial.

The Lagos State Government said the offences contravened Sections 134 (2), 135 (1), and is punishable under Sections 137 and 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

Buhari, AFDB President Adesina Meet In Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari with AFDB President Dr Akinwunmi Adesina at the presidential villa on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. PHOTO: Bayo Omoboriowo.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday held a meeting with Mr Akinwunmi Adesina, the President of the Africa Development Bank (AFDB).

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and the Chief of Staff to the President Ibrahim Gambari.

READ ALSO: ‘I Maintain My Innocence’ AfDB Chief, Adesina Hits Back Over Graft Accusations

The meeting which lasted about 45 minutes ended with Mr Adesina declining to speak with journalists.

This meeting follows a petition by a group of whistle-blowers against Adesina, accusing him of breaching AFDB’s code of conduct, some of which include private gains, impediments to efficiency, preferential treatment, and involvement in political activities.

The group, which noted their allegations were in line with AfDB’s whistleblowing policy, said these activities adversely affected the confidence and integrity of the bank.

Adesina has continued to deny these allegations, he maintained that he was innocent.

“I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped-up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank,” Adesina said recently while responding to the accusations.

The Nigerian government has, however, continued to rally support for Adesina. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed in a letter urged the board of the AfDB to ignore calls for an independent investigation of Mr Adesina.

Nigeria’s Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo in a communique also called on the board of AfDB to ignore calls for an independent investigation of Adesina by the US treasury secretary.

Gbajabiamila Mourns Former Lagos Lawmaker, Senator Munir Muse

Senator Munir Muse

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has mourned former Lagos lawmaker, Senator Munir Muse, describing his death as sad and painful.

Muse represented Lagos Central Senatorial District in the House of Assembly from 2007 to 2011.

Gbajabiamila in a statement signed on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said Senator Muse would be missed by all Lagosians, especially those from his immediate senatorial district.

“On this day, I join millions of Lagosians to mourn a very distinguished man, who served his people with uttermost dedication and commitment. He was a perfect gentleman and silent achiever.

“As a politician myself, I learnt from his wealth of experience. I remember our public engagement at Eko Club, Surulere in 2018 where he encouraged me not to renege on the pursuit for the speakership seat in the interest of the country, A lot of people may have hoped to continue learning from him, but God Almighty has taken him away.

“I won’t forget in a hurry Senator Munir Muse’s towering achievements as council Chairman of Apapa Local Government, which earned him special recognition in Lagos State, hence his elevation by the people of Lagos Central to the position of Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Gbajabiamila said.

He added that as a mark of honour, his successor, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, has been organising a football tournament annually in his honour.

“Though he is no more today, we find solace in the fact that he lived a life worthy of emulation,” Gbajabiamila said.

Senator Muse died on Tuesday in Lagos, at the age of 81.