Press focuses on plan by Nigeria to ban flights from UK, USA, others

APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

The plan by the Senate Committee on Aviation of the National Assembly and the Ministry of Aviation to ban flights from the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries with high rates of COVID-19 is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.

The Punch reports that the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, on Monday said the National Assembly and the Ministry of Aviation were considering banning flights from the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries with high rates of COVID-19.

Adeyemi, who stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, said that a decision on the issue would be announced next week.

The Federal Government’s plan may not be unconnected with pressures on it to stop further spread of coronavirus by banning flights from nations with high rates of the virus.

Recall that the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Prof Innocent Ujah, had in an interview with The Punch on Sunday, said that travellers from the UK and the US were worsening COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.

The NMA president stated, “Government knows that they (travellers from the UK and the US) are the ones responsible for increase in cases and the results have shown that and government knows what they should do.”

The newspaper says that 50 journalists and media workers were killed in connection with their work in 2020, the majority in countries that are not at war, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Tuesday.

The figure shows an increase in the targeting of reporters investigating organised crime, corruption or environmental issues, the watchdog said.

It highlighted murders in Mexico, India and Pakistan.

Eighty-four percent of those killed this year were “deliberately targeted” for their work, RSF said in its annual report, compared to 63 percent in 2019.

“For several years now, Reporters Without Borders has noted that investigative journalists are really in the crosshairs of states, or cartels,” said Pauline Ades-Mevel, RSF editor-in-chief.

Mexico was the deadliest country, with eight killed. “Links between drug traffickers and politicians remain, and journalists who dare to cover these or related issues continue to be the targets of barbaric murders,” said the report.

The Sun reports that the Nigerian Government said it has declared January 2021 a month to campaign on the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) in the country.

This indication was given by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, ahead of the January 1, 2021 takeoff date of the AfCFTA , even as it called on corporate Nigeria and industrialists to take advantage of opportunities offered by the continental economic bloc to promote Made-in-Nigeria goods.

A statement by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, said that Nigeria could not afford to be left out of the world’s largest trading bloc, estimated at $3.4 trillion involving about 55 countries in continental Africa.

The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), the world’s largest free trade area in terms of 55 participating countries, will commence on January 1, 2021.

The commencement date will signal the beginning of the implementation of a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments across Africa.

The Nation says that using the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as yardstick, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has rated Nigeria as the best economy in Africa. In its 2020 World Economic Outlook, the IMF also ranked Nigeria as one of the world’s 26 top economies with an average GDP of $442,976 million.

The outlook ratings put the United States (U.S.) first with $20,807,269; China second with $14,860,775; Japan was ranked third with $4,910,580; Germany came fourth with $3,780,553 while the United Kingdom (UK) came fifth with $2,638,296.

Others are: India $2,592,583; France $2,551,451; Italy $1,848,222 and Canada $1,600,264. Nigeria emerged 26th with $442,976 after Belgium with $503,416. Countries are sorted by nominal GDP estimates from financial and statistical institutions, which are calculated at market or government official exchange rates.

Nominal GDP does not take into account differences in the cost of living in different countries, and the results can vary from one year to another based on fluctuations in the exchange rates of the country’s currency.

Such fluctuations may change a country’s ranking from one year to the next, even though they often make little or no difference in the standard of living of its population.

ThisDay reports that oil and gas industry experts have described Nigeria’s current deregulation of its downstream oil sector as uncertain, contentious and identified some inefficiencies therein.

Speaking during a recent webinar organised by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) to review the government’s deregulation policy, the experts explained that the current legislation and institutional arrangements establishes gaps which include conflicting provisions with respect to who has the power to fix the prices of petroleum products.

In a communique at the end of the webinar, the experts noted that the Petroleum Act of 1969, Price Control Act of 1977, Petroleum Equalisation Fund Act and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency Act of 2003 all have varying provisions and powers on pricing of petroleum products.

According to them, the PPPRA has the power to determine the pricing policy of petroleum products and has been determining the prices of petroleum products in the recent past through its pricing template.

They noted that in the current context, it is equally difficult to establish the true cost of petrol importation into Nigeria with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) reportedly enjoying some monopoly power.


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