Africa press review 27 January 2017

Not so the economy, which affects everyone, every day.

No doubt the Lagos based daily the Guardian had this in mind with its editorial headlined “Nigeria’s way out of economic meltdown.”

Nigeria’s current difficult economic situation has been appropriately attributed to several factors, including falling oil prices and cut in oil production, the paper says.

The lack of fiscal buffers and structural constraints. Shortages of fuel, electricity, and foreign exchange have further compounded the difficulties being experienced by Nigerians.

There are no easy short-cuts for leaders to deal with the economic challenges, it says, but the people need a break from hardship.

Nigeria’s huge agricultural potential is not in doubt and tapping itfor the country’s development is the right thing to do, says the Guardian.

The paper cites the example of Palm Oil, saying it is a shame that production is a meagre 600 metric tonnes annually while the demand is about 1.8 million tonnes.

Millions of people could be employed in the oil palm-related industry alone, the paper says. But, restrictions on oil palm products has led to the loss of over 100,000 jobs in related industries.

Putting the right framework in place to exploit them is the issue and the Federal Government should allow states to harness their resources.

“At times like this, a nation has to be innovative and bold.” Quite right.

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The Punch reports on a court case that showcases another of Nigeria’s woes.

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Justice Latee Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court on Thursday sentenced the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, Mrs. Ada Ugo-Ngali, to a jail term of 69 years for a fuel subsidy fraud of 754 million Naira, that a little over 2,3 million Euro.

The company Chairman, Walter Wagbatsoma, was convicted in absentia on eight counts pressed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

He is said to be currently under house arrest in the United Kingdom, where he is being held for money laundering relating to a £12 million National Health Service Trust Fund.

Ho Hum.

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On a more cheerful note, papers across the continent report on the arrival in Banjul yesterday of Gambia’s new President.

The Vanguard tells readers that “Jubilant Gambians welcomed home Adama Barrow,” who was elected almost two months ago but forced to flee to Senegal when his predecessor refused to step aside.

Dressed in flowing white robes and cap, Barrow was accompanied by his two wives and some of his children, with heavily-armed troops from Senegal and Nigeria standing by.

The Vanguard reminds us that his return marks Gambia’s first democratic transfer of power and capped days of waiting in the tiny former British colony until longtime leader Yahya Jammeh stepped down and left the country after having refused to recognise the result of the December election.

And, it’s largely thanks to Gambia’s African neighbours that Jammeh finally stood down.

So, it’s not all doom and gloom in today’s African press.

Source: rfi afrique