No nation that consumes above its production capacity can ever have a strong, reliable and dependable economy with a corresponding strong currency.
Nigeria is an abject consumer nation in the midst of plenty, practicing a lazy consumer federalism that gravitates around a broke father Christmas presidency and where states governed by disingenuous, squander-manic and mostly intellectually barren Governors hold sway.
I love the clamor for resource control and fiscal federalism in Nigeria because it would open the doors to access to opportunities for prosperity for citizens if administered with transparency and accountability, but looking at the history of some of those who are championing it, I get agitated and deeply troubled that they are in it to advance a cause for themselves and their selfish interests against the overall good of the people with them as drivers if awarded without strict control mechanisms that would make it impossible for anybody or group of persons to abuse for personal gains.
Some of Nigeria’s economic policies are unfortunately repressive for Nigerians with creative ingenuity but favorable to new colonizing forces led by China coming into Africa to poison Africans with their fake products for massive profits and so, are in need of urgent rethink for the immediate good of this generation and the long term good of the country and her future generations unless we have agreed to be slaves in perpetuity in our land especially with the way we choose our leadership.
Every vote we sell to a leadership misfit without the passion, compassion and the patriotic zeal to serve Nigeria has an ominous implication on her future and the future of her people, no matter how much it satisfies our immediate need without looking at the big picture”.
Mr. Itohoimo Udosen
People in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have started trying to rebuild their lives after the devastation wrought by Cyclone Idai. Southern Malawi and Mozambique were already reeling when the cyclone hit: these areas were flooded in the days before Idai made landfall.
Nearly a month on, the flood waters have receded. But in some ways, these countries’ problems are just beginning. That’s because floods always increase the risk of major health problems in affected populations during the weeks and months that follow the actual event.
Infection is just one concern. Others include waterborne diseases like cholera – cases have already been reported in the areas hit by Idai and non-communicable diseases such as mental health issues triggered by trauma. Mosquito populations also explode, and with them the risk of malaria: receding flood waters provide more breeding spaces for the insects.
The countries’ governments and international aid agencies are coordinating relief efforts. It’s important that these don’t just focus on the short-term effects of Idai and the floods – it’s crucial to look ahead and try to guard against major health crises.
The immediate consequences of any flooding event include drowning, physical injuries, hypothermia and electrocution. By the second week of April, more than 600 people were reported dead in Mozambique alone. By the first week of April 344 deaths were reported in Zimbabwe and nearly 60 in Malawi. Many others were also still unaccounted for.
In the first ten days after an event like Idai, there are several health issues to look out for. These include skin infections and respiratory infections like pneumonia.
There isn’t enough safe drinking water; sewerage systems overflow and contaminate drinking supply; and people’s hygiene and sanitation suffer in the aftermath of any natural disaster. This increases the risk of diseases that target the intestines, like gastroenteritis and cholera. Cholera had already been reported in central Mozambique before Idai. It will only get worse: by 8 April, more than 3500 cases and three deaths had been reported.
Many people have sought shelter in overcrowded spaces. They have no choice, as their homes were destroyed by Idai. But overcrowding brings its own issues, such as an increased risk of infections like hepatitis A and typhoid being spread.
Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue are always present in Beira and surrounds. But more cases are likely to occur after flooding because of increased numbers of mosquitoes. And they’re tough to control in these circumstances. Spraying homes isn’t possible – homes have been badly damaged or almost entirely destroyed.
It will be important to hand out bed nets that have been treated with insecticide; people can carry these with them as they go, and at least protect themselves from mosquitoes while they sleep. This is already happening in Mozambique as part of relief efforts.
Not all the health risks that follow a natural disaster are physical. Mental health disorders – especially post traumatic stress disorder – are common in the aftermath of flooding and massive displacement. Many people have lost loved ones or suffered injuries in traumatic circumstances
Another problem that these countries will have to tackle is the interruption of health services for communicable and non-communicable diseases – tuberculosis, HIV, diabetes and hypertension, and obstetric conditions.
Mozambique has a high HIV prevalence: about 2.1 million people are living with HIV infection, and about 54% of them are estimated to be receiving antiretroviral therapy. Given the damage to clinics and the fact that roads have washed away, it will be difficult or even impossible for these people to receive their ARVs. This can have health consequences long after the flood damage is cleaned up.
There are huge relief efforts underway.
The Mozambican Ministry of Health is coordinating flood relief efforts with the support of the World Health Organisation and many partners, agencies and non-governmental organisations.
Emergency coordination centres have been established in Maputo and Beira. These are focused on people’s immediate needs: rescue operations, the provision of safe drinking water, emergency shelters, food, restoration of communication channels and transport networks.
The United Nations’ water, sanitation and hygiene programme is providing safe water, installing latrines, coordinating waste management and educating people about the necessity of hygiene despite the tough circumstances.
A key focus has been the establishment of a cholera response plan. Cholera treatment centres equipped with rehydration fluids have been set up. Health care workers are being trained to manage cholera. A vaccination campaign has been initiated, using oral cholera vaccine. The vaccine has been successfully used to prevent and control cholera outbreaks in other post-disaster settings.
Approximately 900 000 doses of the oral cholera vaccine were flown into Beira from the World Health Organisation’s global strategic supply. Teams have started vaccinating vulnerable people in Beira, and are planning outreach to other areas. More than 800 000 people in four districts affected by the cyclone have received the cholera vaccine. A measles and polio vaccination campaign is also being planned.
Specialised diagnostic testing is being provided by the Public Health Institute of Mozambique to identify and confirm cases of epidemic-prone diseases such as cholera and measles.
All these efforts are necessary and welcome. But it will also be crucial to look beyond the initial disaster response to ensure the countries that have been shattered by Cyclone Idai rebuild their infrastructure, and develop response plans to deal with future cyclone damage.
Kerrigan McCarthy, Head of the Outbreak Response Unit, National Institute for Communicable Diseases and Lucille Blumberg, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and a member of the joint staff, University of the Witwatersrand
Nigeria and Cameroon troops killed 27 Boko Haram terrorists in a joint clearance operations, destroyed gun trucks and recovered arms and ammunition belonging to the terrorists.
Col. Sagir Musa, the Acting Director Army Public Relations, confirmed this in a statement on Monday.
Musa said the troops’ encounter with the terrorists took place in the Northern part of Wulgo, Tumbuma, Chikun Gudu and Bukar Maryam villages.
He said that no casualty was recorded on the part of the Nigerian and Cameroonian forces.
Musa listed items recovered as five gun trucks, five AK 47 rifles, one automatic revolver Galil rifle, one G3 rifle, two General Purpose Machine gun and two Anti Aircraft guns.
He said others were four Rocket Propelled gun tubes, one PK machine gun, one M21 rifle, one locally made dane gun, five Rocket Propelled gun tube bombs and 1000 assorted rounds of different calibre ammunition.
Also recovered from them were five AK 47 magazines, several links of 12.7 MM, one land Cruiser Buffalo, one Nissan GT, several motorcycles, one flag and a grinding machine, while one land Cruiser was destroyed.
Musa said coordinated military operation was ongoing, especially in the fringes of Gombaru-Ngala and surrounding areas to deal with terrorists fleeing from the onslaught of the Multinational Joint Task Force.
Mocoh Ghana Limited has acquired 100 per cent shares of Engen Ghana Limited to inject in the Ghanaian Oil Marketing Company industry dynamism to help customers find the right solutions to ever changing market conditions.
The transaction agreement was signed between Engen Holdings (Pty) Limited and Mocoh Ghana Limited on March 1, 2019 and made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra last week.
According to the agreement, Mocoh Ghana an affiliate of Reston Energy, a Ghanaian petroleum company would hold 55 per cent and the Mocoh Group 45 per cent shares.
Mr Kwame Kessie, Mocoh Ghana Managing Director, explained that the company has been active in Ghana for the last four years as a strong supply and trading partner to the public and private sector.
He said the agreement took into consideration the government of Ghana’s vision to increase local content in the petroleum sector, therefore Mocoh Ghana is an indigenous company with the majority of the equity held by Ghanaians.
“Our ambition is to build capacity and equip Ghanaians with the international skills required to compete at all levels. We aim to run a first-class Oil Marketing Company, owned and operated by Ghanaians, to provide value to our customers in every part of the country,” Mr Kessie stated.
The Mocoh Group, headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, has been operating in Africa for 21 years and is actively involved in the trading, logistics and the distribution of petroleum products across the continent.
Mr Michael Hacking, Chief Executive Officer of the Mocoh Group, explained that; “we are very happy to welcome to the Mocoh family, the 250 people working directly or indirectly in the Engen Ghana offices and the service stations spread across Ghana.
“Our plans in Ghana are to create more service stations, employ more Ghanaians, market the best products, provide the best service to our customers and share the fruit of our success with the local community”.
He said the integration of a renowned downstream player such as Engen, which combines trading expertise with distribution excellence, is in line with Mocoh Group’s strategy to become a fully integrated player in Africa.
He said the transaction reinforces the footprint of the Mocoh Group especially in Ghana but also in Africa in general.
The Mocoh Group has trading, supply and distribution activities in Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Madagascar, with an ambition to cover the continent.
The Mocoh Group combines the agility of a local specialist with the rich and connectivity of a global enterprise; “We understand the complexities of the markets we operate in, including local practices, cultures, and supply and demand factors,” Mr Hacking stated.
He said Mocoh is a privately-owned company established in 1998; since inception, Africa has been its focus and with an unrivalled expertise and a wide network of relationships across the continent.
Mr Hacking said “We have successfully navigated global financial crises and energy market volatility, and we trade in some of the most complex markets in Africa.
“Today, Mocoh’s operations have spread far beyond Africa to encompass a global business, connecting markets in Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia,” he said.
Meanwhile in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the change of ownership; Mr Henry Akwaboah, Engen Ghana Managing Director, assured staffs and service station operators of continuity in service.
He said in spite of the change, the brand identity of Engen Ghana Limited would continue to be displayed at all “our 22 Engen-branded service stations at least for the next five years”.
Mr Akwaboah said our service stations would continue to be active players along the following business lines; wholesale/B2B, lubricants, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and bunkering businesses.
He assured customers that services would be improved; and urged customers to have confidence in the brand.
Down Detector, which monitors online services said many Users around the world can no longer access WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, the second time that the popular social media platforms would suffer an outage in one month.
In Nigeria, the Facebook glitch happened after noon, with efforts to open the page unsuccessful. It was the same experience with Instagram.
WhatsApp also has connection issues at 13.26 Nigerian time. The platform could open, but messages were not streaming in as usual.
Facebook Inc, which owns all the three platforms, has yet to comment on the issue.
Down Detector reported that Facebook began having issues at approximately 6:36 a.m(EDT).
Facebook, which has over 2 billion users, recently suffered its longest outage ever on March 13, when some users around the world were unable to access the companies platforms for about 24 hours.
News men quoted DownDetector as saying that, at the peak on Sunday, there were more than 3,000 incidents of people reporting issues with WhatsApp and 7,000 with Instagram.
Downdetector.com’s live outage map showed that the issues were mainly in Europe and Asia. There are incidents in Africa too.
Users took to Twitter to complain about the outage, tweeting jokes and comments along with the #facebookdown, #whatsappdown and #instagramdown hashtags.
Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption has jumped 56 million litres in 2019 from 54 million in 2018, the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, has said.
The agency disclosed this in a statement signed on Sunday by its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, PPPRA said that daily supply of petrol, revealing that consumption of petrol in the country grew from 46 million litres per day in 2017 to 54 million litres in 2018 and 56 million litres in 2019.
According to Saidu, there was no need for panic buying based on availability of the product.
The PPPRA boss said: “The agency has observed the sudden reappearance of queues at some filling stations over speculation of shortfall in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit.
“PPPRA, in line with its mandate to regulate petroleum products supply and distribution as well as establish an industry data bank, has continued to monitor products supply in the sector in line with best practices.
“Thus, PMS average daily supply for the year 2017, 2018 and 2019 are about 46 million, 54 million and 56 million litres respectively. These indicate an improved level of supply in 2019.
“Based on the available data, there is adequate supply of PMS with over 21 days sufficiency.
“PPPRA, therefore, urges fuel consumers across the country to desist from panic buying as the agency would continue to monitor the supply situation and take every step required to ensure that there is no disruption in the supply chain.”