- NANS Shuts Down Shoprite in Remonstration Against Xenophobia
The Nigerian Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has began to make good on its threat to end the activities of South African owned companies like MTN, MultiChoice, Shoprite etc by shutting down a Shoprite outlet located in Ota, Ogun State.
This movement by the association and its activities are in response to unchecked xenophobic attacks on Nigerians residing in South Africa. In recent times, over 120 Nigerians inhabiting in South Africa have been murdered by policemen in the country.
NANS had initially offered a requisition to South African owned companies in Nigeria to stop operations and vacate the country.
It had been reported there was a meeting between NANS and the Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, where the association voiced its anger and frustration and Abike pleaded for patience as Presidents of the two countries have planned to meet on the issue. But it now seems as though the association has taken matters into its own hands after their ultimatum was not heeded.
A few days ago, NANS had closed down offices of telecommunication giants, MTN and stopped workers from carrying out their duties. They, again on Saturday, shutdown the popular shopping mall, Shoprite, carrying placards and voicing out their frustration as shoppers fled the area. Some messages on the placards included ‘South Africans must go,” “Enough of the killing of our brothers, sisters and relatives in South Africa,” “You can’t continue to kill our people and still feed fat on us.’’
NANS National Public Relations Officer, Azeez Adeyemi highlighted the willingness of the association to take the unrest even further in its bid to destabilize and subsequently shut down South African owned businesses in Nigeria.
He said, ‘It seems the government of South Africa derives pleasure from the senseless killings and sees the continuous xenophobic attacks on Nigerians resident in South Africa as a norm. “NANS’ struggle against xenophobia has moved beyond ordinary street protests. Our target now is to mobilize Nigerian students and Nigerians towards truncating the smooth running of South African businesses in Nigeria.”
Though it has been reported that the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari are to meet in October to discuss and solve these lingering issues in a bid to encourage peace and foster international relations, it remains to be seen whether NANS are willing to wait that long as NANS National Public Relations Officer, Azeez Adeyemi stated that there will a total shutdown of MTN, MultiChoice and Shoprite and other South African owned businesses on the 14th of August.
NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.
This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.
The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.
Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.
This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.
During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.
Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.
While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.
However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.
CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.
The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.
This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.
Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.
While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.
Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.
President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait
After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.
The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.
Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.
He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.
Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.
He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.
The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.
The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.
The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.
He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.
In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.
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