News Roundup: Chain’s cold chain bridge to Africa, 2021 budget, Nigerian stock exchange close year as world best, NERC to refund consumers…

China Plans cold-chain bridge to ship and distribute vaccine to African nations
The second wave has began in many regions of the world and Africa is not exempted but while many rich countries have rolled out vaccine for their citizens Africa remains at the end of the queue. This is why it is a great new that China is preparing to supply its coronavirus vaccines to African countries with Addis Ababa expected to be the logistical hub with Egypt and Morocco as manufacturing centres. The facility features an ultra-low temperature that would enable the transport of coronavirus vaccines to Africa. The cargo would be sent from Shenzhen to Africa weekly and then shipped to other countries via Addis Ababa.

President Buhari signs 2021 budget
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2021 Appropriation Bill of N13.588 trillion into law alongside the finance bill on the last day of the year 2020 and the implementation will commence in January 2021. A breakdown of the approved budget figures shows about N496.5 billion was approved for statutory transfers, N3.3 trillion for debt services, recurrent expenditure was put at N5.6 trillion, capital expenditure at N4.1 trillion and fiscal deficit at N5.2 trillion.

NIMC adopts booking system for NIN enrollement
In order to decongest enrolment centres and take precautionary measures regarding the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NIMC has adopted a new booking system to simplify the NIN enrollement procedures and protect citizens from contracting the virus. For bookings, applicants are to visit any NIMC office closest to them during stipulated business hours (9am-1pm). During the bookings, NIMC officials will collect personal information for the sole aim of scheduling an enrollement appointment.
Lagos flags off internship programme, promises to pay N40,000 Monthly to Graduates
Lagos state has flag off an internship program to help youths build capacity and change the narrative about graduate lacking work experience and work environment ethic and culture. The big goal is to reduce is surging unemployment rate in the country and also accelerate post-COVID recovery. However, there will be only 4000 beneficiaries and they will be paid a stipend of N40,000 monthly throughout the period of the internship.

Outrage as 11-year old is allegedly maltreated at Deeper Life High School
The story of the young boy sparked nationwide outrage after one Deborah Okezie, Don Davis’ mother, posted videos and photos of her son on social media; describing how he was physically and sexually molested by his seniors, and starved by the school authority for bedwetting. The story left many Nigerians horrified and many took to their social media pages with the hashtag #JusticeforDonDavis, calling on the authorities to ensure justice is served. The school authority in response to the allegation said such act is not tolerated by the school and the incidence did not occur. Currently, investigations are still ongoing to uncover the whole truth.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange ends year 2020 as world’s best with 50% gain.
The record low yield environment in the fixed income space pushed investors into the equities market in search of higher return on investment. The Nigerian stock market closed as the best performing globally with a year to date return of 50 percent. On the last day of 2020, the stock index rose 1.9 percent pushing the year to date gain to the highest in 17 years.
South Africa hits 1 million Corona virus cases as new variant spreads rapidly

South Africa’s COVID-19 spike has taken the country to more than 1 million confirmed cases on Sunday and President Cyril Ramaphosa called an emergency meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council. The country has been hit by the new variant which is said to be more contagious. Although the cases are surging, vaccinations haven’t yet reached South Africa.

Primary school teachers issues 14-day strike notice to Obaseki

Edo State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has issued a 14-day strike notice to the state government, saying its decision was necessitated by failure to meet its financial obligations and settle other entitlements. The 14-day ultimatum which takes effect from Tuesday, 29 December 2020, was to enable the Edo State government meet its demands to the union.

NERC to refund electricity consumer for meter payment

The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) has announced that Electricity customers who paid for meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme will be refunded. Under the MAP scheme, which kicked off on May 1, 2019, customers had two options for acquiring a meter: upfront payment and payment in instalments through metering service charge on a monthly basis. Consumers have wanted to know if the money they had paid for meters under the MAP scheme, would be refunded as the government has recently pronounced that 6 million meters would be distributed at no cost to customers under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

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