The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said it would disburse 1 billion dollars to Angola to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The IMF executive board made the decision after completing a third review of Angola’s three-year economic programme under its Extended Fund Facility approved at the end of 2018, bringing the total disbursements under the arrangement to some 2.5 billion dollars.
“Angola’s economy has been hit hard by a triple, COVID-19-induced external shock.
The shock led to economic and health crises, compounded by the decline in oil prices in view of Angola’s dependence on oil exports,” the IMF said in a statement.
The fund went on to list some “decisive measures” adopted by authorities to tackle the impact of the crisis.
The board’s deputy managing director and acting chair, Antoinette Sayeh, said that “pursuing structural reforms is critical to diversify the economy and lay the foundations for private sector-led economic growth.
“The government will need to remain steadfast in enhancing the business environment, strengthening governance, and fighting corruption.”
In late June, the IMF said that economies in sub-Saharan Africa were projected to contract by 3.2 per cent due to the pandemic, with growth expected to recover to 3.4 per cent in 2021, assuming that the health crisis abates and lockdowns ease further in the second half of 2020.
In the region’s largest economies – Angola, Nigeria and South Africa – gross domestic product was projected to return to pre-crisis levels only by 2023 or 2024.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Ekiti Deputy Gov eulogises late theatre icon, Jimoh Aliu
The Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has paid tributes to the late theatre icon, Chief Jimoh Aliu.
He eulogised the late prominent artiste for using his talent in promoting arts and culture locally, nationally and internationally.
Egbeyemi, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on media, Mr Odunayo Ogunmola, on Saturday, described the late Aliu as a worthy Ekiti Ambassador, who placed the name of the state on the global map of theatre, arts, culture and entertainment.
He described the death of the former National President of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), as a great and monumental loss not only to Ekiti, his state of origin but also to entire Nigeria.
According to him, the late dramatist and producer exhibited the famed Ekiti virtues of honesty, integrity, hard work and good name, which the youths of nowadays must emulate.
Egbeyemi noted that the Aliu mentored many young artistes and promoted local content in the nation’s entertainment industry.
The Deputy Governor said the plays and films produced by the deceased taught moral lessons, bravery, valour, strong will, determination and self-belief in pursuit of dreams and vision.
He said that Aliu rose to stardom by hard work and perseverance, and never forgot his roots as he lived among his people throughout his lifetime.
Egbeyemi regretted that the late Aliu died at a time his wise counsel was still needed, noting that the deceased contributed his quota to the development of Ekiti State.
The Deputy Governor, while commiserating with the family and associates of the deceased, urged them to be consoled by the good life he lived and the legacies he left behind.
“Surely, the vacuum left behind by this great legend of the stage and movies will be difficult to fill owing to his sterling contributions over the years.
“This is a monumental loss not only to Ekiti, but to our entire country. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family of the deceased.”
He prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Felix Ajide
El-Rufai to participate in maiden Kaduna Marathon on Nov. 21
Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Saturday, says the state is making arrangements to host a half-marathon on Nov. 21, 2020, tagged ‘Kaduna Runs’.
According to him, the maiden marathon will hold annually, and is meant to discover talents and attract investors to the state.
“Our hope is that it will also help reinforce Kaduna’s hard-earned reputation as an investment hub. As a fixture on the sporting and social calendars, Kaduna Runs will also attract interested persons to visit our state.”
It is a compelling idea to bring our people together in a common endeavour, he added while unveiling the event to newsmen in Kaduna.
“Let us run together. From those seeking the glory of winning a sporting contest, to young persons out to hone their talent in the half-marathon, to citizens who merely want to exercise or meet people or cheer up the runners, there is something for everyone,” he said.
The governor added that the event can also be used to raise funds for charities or to support good causes.
He therefore called on all residents – old or young, male or female, rich and poor – to support Kaduna Runs, a 13 miles half-marathon.
El-Rufai assured that all COVID-19 protocols will be observed during the event.
NAN reports that the governor obtained form to participate in the Marathon.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
Edo 2020: Group commends INEC on equal access for PWDs
Mr David Anyaele, the Chairman of the group, said this on Saturday in its preliminary statement on the conduct of the election.
Anyaele however, said that although priority voting was given to the PWDs, the elderly and pregnant women, other disability support aids where missing at polling units which hindered full participation of the PWDs.
“EVA4PWDs is impressed to observe that marginalised sects such as the aged, nursing mothers and pregnant women and PWDs generally were offered priority voting in most of the polling units observed.
“However, we are disappointed that INEC displayed minimal commitment to the implementation of the framework on access and participation of PWDs in the electoral process, as provided in the National Disability Act, 2018.
“The promised Braille voters’ guide and Braille ballot paper by INEC for easy access of election day instructions, guidelines and ballot paper for Blind voters were scarcely available.
“Where it was available, many INEC ad hoc staff did not understand its usage but got assistance from observers on how to use the Braille materials.
“This was the case in Polling Unit 003, Car Park Ward 1, Oredo LGA, where an observer assisted in locating the Braille material.
“There was absence of magnified lens at the Polling Units, INEC ad hoc staff who claimed to have at some polling units were unable to neither display it for observation and usage,” he said.
An Observer said that other observers reported that the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials such as Election Day instructions and guidelines to assist the deaf or persons with hearing impairment were also unavailable at majority of the PU’s visited.
Anyaele also said that reports showed that a large numbers of the PUs were not accessible to physically-challenged persons as they were sited at buildings without ramps and handrail, across gutters, and over staircases.
He noted that INEC Covid-19 guidelines were not adhered to in majority of the Polling Units visited due to uncontrolled large crowds.
“We have reports from areas like Greater Tomorrow High School, Oredo Ward 1, Ramat Park at Ikpoba/Okha, Oredo LGA, among other Polling Units, where the crowds were uncontrollably large,” he said.
Anyaele, however, urged INEC to address the major barriers identified in the Edo elections and make necessary provisions ahead of the Ondo State Governorship election slated for Oct. 10.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the group, in collaboration with the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), an NGO, trained and deployed INEC accredited observers to the three senatorial zones of the Edo State.
The observers focused on equal voting access for persons with disabilities and monitored the provisions made by INEC for PWDs. .
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
COVID-19: Lagos govt reopens cinemas, gyms
The Lagos State Government on Saturday permitted the reopening of cinemas and gyms, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this during the 18th update on the management of coronavirus in the state.
Sanwo-Olu said that in October, the state government would announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy.
”Dear Lagosians, henceforth, cinemas and gyms are permitted to reopen as soon as possible, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.
”This means that there must be a minimum of two empty seats between occupied seats; and in the case of gyms, there must be constant disinfection of machines and equipment throughout the course of the day.
”Next month, October, we will announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy: night-clubs, bars, event centres, spas, public parks and so on.
”For now, these will continue to remain closed, until fixed plans for reopening are announced in October 2020,” he said.
Accordings to him, places of worship are also permitted, while the mosques to resume their five times a day prayers; the churches are permitted to resume their mid-week services.
”We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must therefore strive to prioritise the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society.
”All of these resumption guidelines and protocols must be strictly adhered to by the various stakeholders,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state government was committed to continuing the maintenance of a balance between the safety of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods.
He said that the state would continue to make adjustments as required, but the gradual resumption of social, educational and economic activities must never be taken as an excuse to let down the guard against the pandemic.
According to him, some parts of the world are seeing a resurgence of infections, and rising possibilities of the kind of hard lockdowns being experienced a few months ago.
”Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable.
”The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitisers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi