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Lagos rehabilitates 1,983 destitute persons in one year

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The Lagos State Government said 1,983 beggars, destitute persons, mentally-challenged people and urchins were rescued off the streets of Lagos within one year.

The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Olusegun Dawodu, disclosed this on Tuesday during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing marking the one year anniversary of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in office.

Dawodu said that Lagos had recorded a noticeable reduction in the number of destitute persons, beggars and street children across the metropolis in the last one year.

He attributed the development to the continued rehabilitation, social integration and rescue missions, which had consistently ensured that these categories of people were constantly taken off the streets and given adequate attention.

The commissioner said that the ministry remained committed in its resolve to creating an enabling environment that promoted youth and social development services to give succour to the vulnerable members of the society.

Dawodu said that the rescue and rehabilitation efforts by the ministry were still ongoing in different parts of the state.

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He added that state ministry would continue to strive to be the model Youth and Social Development Agency in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The commissioner said that among those reunited with their families and reintegrated into the society were 31 persons under Institutional Care, 51 persons under Rehabilitation and 18 persons under Child Adoption/Care, making a total of 100 persons.

”We have also rescued 228 children, comprising of 110 males and 118 females, from different forms of abuse,” he said.

Dawodu said that the ministry had also provided guidance and meeting the school children’s individual, intellectual, social and emotional needs during the period under review.

He said that a total of 1,856 children benefitted from individual and group counselling in different areas ranging from absenteeism, cultism and sexual abuse among several other vices.

The commissioner said that apart from its several rescue missions, the ministry, in partnership with some private organisations, was also addressing the rate of unemployment among youths.

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According to him, over 500 were trained in various vocations ranging from Makeovers and Gele Tying, Photography, Tailoring, Beads Making, Cosmetology, Art and Designing, GSM Repairs, Child Care Training, among others.

The commissioner said that some youth centres were currently undergoing reconstruction and renovation.

He said that the centres at Abesan, Lafiaji, Campos, Ojo-Oniyun and Ikeja, were being renovated and equipped to train young people within the areas, thereby promoting social integration and reducing restiveness.

Dawodu said that the state government had commenced the construction of Adult Day Care Centres to complement the services rendered by the State-Owned Old People’s Home, Yaba, in order to expand the net of beneficiaries of vulnerable senior citizens’ care by the state government.

According to him, 145 senior citizens are now benefiting from the services rendered in the Old People’s Home, Yaba.

The commissioner said that the ministry was also responsible for the registration, monitoring, regulation of Homes, Orphanages, Crèche’s and Foundations.

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He said that within the last year, the ministry granted a total of 137 Provisional Approvals to these private establishments out of which 94 were in favour of daycare, creches and playgroup centres.

Dawodu disclosed that the state government, within the last one year, released 105 children for bonding, 89 for local adoption and 16 for international adoption.

”A total number of 116 adoption cases were legalised at various Family Courts, 86 for Local Adoption, 28 for International Adoption and two for Relatives’ Adoption,” he said.

Speaking on the achievements of the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), an agency under the supervision of the ministry, the commissioner said that 300 Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) were trained in January 2020 and empowered with equipment in different vocations.

The Vocational Training Programme took place at three centres across the state, namely; Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disability, Owutu, Ikorodu; Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria, Amuwo-Odofin; and Epe Recreation Centre, Epe.

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AfDB: Nigeria, others risk $236.7b losses in GDP

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has projected that Nigeria and the rest of the continent will suffer a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) loss of $189.7 billion this year.

The AfDB’s African Economic Outlook released yesterday stated: “Africa could suffer GDP losses in 2020 between $145.5 billion (baseline) and $189.7 billion (worst case).’’

The report noted that pre-COVID-19 estimates of African GDP had predicted a growth of $2.59 trillion for the year.

According to the AfDB,

“some losses are carried over to 2021, as the projected recovery would be partial.”

For 2021 projected losses, AfDB said,

“could be from $27.6 billion (baseline) up to $47 billion (worst case) from the potential GDP of $2.76 trillion without the pandemic”.

The continental bank said the most affected economies will be countries

“with poor healthcare systems, those that rely heavily on tourism, international trade, and commodity exports, and those with high debt burdens and high dependence on volatile international financial flows”.

The pandemic, the report stated, has triggered a sudden uptick in inflation, in some cases by more than five per cent in the first quarter of 2020.

This, the bank said, “has mainly been caused by disruptions in the supply of food and energy, the bulk of which are imported”.

According to the AfDB, “overall,  although headline inflation, which includes food and basic energy prices, would be expected to rise, core inflation might remain stable until demand picks up after the pandemic”.

To the governments, the AfDB cautioned that “expansionary fiscal spending could double already high fiscal deficits’’.

“In 2020, deficits are projected to increase twofold, to eight per cent of GDP, in the baseline scenario,  and to go as high as nine per cent in the worst-case scenario,” it said.

This worsening fiscal position, the AfDB said, “would be the result of above-the-line increases in budgetary outlays on COVID-19-related health spending, unemployment benefits, targeted wage subsidies and direct transfers, and tax cuts and deferrals”.

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On the debt side, the AfDB predicted that COVID-19 will “add to sovereign debt burdens as COVID-19 heightens the likelihood of a widespread and far-reaching sovereign debt crisis if debt is not properly managed”.

According to the bank, many countries in Africa entered the crisis period with high debt-to-GDP ratios, which are projected to increase further by up to 10 percentage points beyond the pre-COVID trajectory in  2020  and  2021.

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The sovereign debt buildup the bank lamented “is particularly worrisome because of its changing risk structure in Africa as a result of the increasing share of commercial debt Eurobonds and other private creditors and the high foreign currency denomination of Africa’s debt.”

Remittances which grew to $86.2 billion in 2019 on the back of a pickup in global economic growth and rising migration has now been threatened by COVID-19 and exposed countries which rely heavily on remittances to shocks “especially in high-income economies where migrant jobs and incomes are threatened.”

Foreign direct investment which picked up in 2018 by 10.9 per cent, reaching $45.9 billion, and improved further to an estimated  $49  billion in 2019 is also expected to fall in 2020 as investors reduce or postpone their investments amid uncertainties.

Official Development Assistance (ODA), which has risen since  2016  (by  1.2 per cent in  2018),  could be constrained by the impact of the crisis on advanced economies.

In 2021, the number of extremely poor, the AfDB said: “could increase by 34-49.2 million due to the pandemic as GDP growth continues to fall below population growth rates.”

Specifically, Nigeria being and Africa’s most populous country “would record the largest increases 8.5 in the baseline scenario in 2020, and 11.5 in the worst-case scenario. There will be an estimated job loss in the tens of millions.

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The AfDB advised African governments that “given the global scale of the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions, governments and development partners must respond in a coordinated, targeted, and rapid manner to be effective in limiting its impacts.”

According to the bank, “across Africa, the response must be  well-sequenced  and  multipronged,  involving: a  public  health  response  to  contain  the  spread  of  the  virus  and  minimize  fatalities.”

It called for “a monetary policy response to ease liquidity constraints and solvency risks, a fiscal response to cushion the economic impacts of the pandemic on livelihoods and to assist businesses, labour market policies to protect workers and their jobs, and structural policies to enable African economies to rebuild and enhance their resilience to future shocks.”

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Nigeria records 503 new COVID-19 cases, total now 29, 879

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Nigeria, on Tuesday, recorded 503 new cases of COVID-19 in 20 states, bring the total confirmed cases to 29,879, with 669 deaths.

Of the new cases reported by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Lagos which is the epicenter, leads with a total of 153 cases, followed by Ondo State with 76 confirmed cases.

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Other states are Edo-54, FCT-41, Enugu-37, Rivers-30, Benue-24,Osun-20, Kaduna-15, Kwara-13, Abia-9, Borno-8, Plateau-6, Taraba-5, Ogun-3, Kano-3, Kebbi-2, Nasarawa-2,  Bayelsa-1 and Gombe-1.

So far Nigeria has discharged a total of 12,108 and had recorded 669 deaths as of July 7.

The NCDC report also revealed that 203 cases were discharged in the last 24 hours in 11 states— Edo, 87; FCT, 33; Lagos, 23; Rivers, 19;  Akwa Ibom, 17; Ebonyi, 12; Kano, 5; Gombe, 3; Ondo, 2; Bauchi, 1 and Ogun, 1.

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Also, 11 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours in six states: Oyo -5, Rivers -2 Adamawa 1, Akwa Ibom 1, Bayelsa -1, and Gombe- 1.

503 new cases of COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-153
Ondo-76
Edo-54
FCT-41
Enugu-37
Rivers-30
Benue-24
Osun-20
Kaduna-15
Kwara-13
Abia-9
Borno-8
Plateau-6
Taraba-5
Ogun-3
Kano-3
Kebbi-2
Nasarawa-2
Bayelsa-1
Gombe-1

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29,879 confirmed
12,108 discharged
669 deaths

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Ghana reopens 600 Nigerian shops after six months

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Over Six Hundred (600) shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana have been reopened to business by the Ghanaian government has been under lock and key for over six months.

According to a statement signed on Tuesday by Gabriel Odu of Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) the President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) Ken Ukaoha disclosed this on Solidarity visit to the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Tuesday, in Abuja.

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Ukaoha stated that the visit to NIDCOM is to commend and appreciate the Chairman/CEO Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa for her untiring and unrelenting efforts in resolving the lockdown of Nigerian shops in Ghana for over six months.

Ukaoha believes that the ECOWAS Protocol of the Free Movement of Persons, Goods, and Services shouldn’t be observed in breach but rather be observed in the spirit of brotherhood and diplomatic reciprocity.

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In a similar development, Abike Dabiri-Erewa lauded the NANTS led by its Ukaoha for appreciating NIDCOM’s role in the reopening of Nigerian shops in Ghana, the statement said.

She also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and stated that the intervention was multi-level especially at the highest level of diplomacy and bilateral relations between Ghana and Nigeria. Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerian traders in Ghana to always obey the laws of their host country and conduct themselves with respect and dignity.

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It could be recalled that shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana have been on lockdown since December 2019.

The reopening of the shops may also have been connected with the effort being made by the Ghanaian Government to appease the Nigerian government in order to resolve the recent face-off with Nigeria over the demolition of a residential building within the premises of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.

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