The immediate past governor of Oyo State Abiola Ajimobi has died in Lagos, a family source said. He was 70 years old. He was the governor of Oyo State between 2011 and 2019. He died at First Cardiology Consultants Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos, where he was receiving treatment for COVID-19. There was anxiety when his health condition worsened last week. He was transferred to the intensive care unit of the hospital where prominent Nigerians have been receiving treatment for COVID-19. Ajimobi’s condition was managed privately but many developed interest in his whereabouts following his absence at public events, especially at the national working committee meetings of the All Progressives Congress. He emerged deputy national chairman of the ruling party in the south-west, in March, but he has not been involved in strategic meetings held ahead of the Edo and Ondo elections. A former senator, Ajimobi goes into history as the only person who has served two terms as Oyo governor. He governed the state between 2011 and 2019.
Nigeria recorded a trade deficit of ₦125.77 billion in the first quarter of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics has said. The data showed that the country exported items worth ₦1.8 trillion in Q1 and spent ₦1.9 trillion on importation of commodities, indicating that import was higher than export by ₦124.77 billion. Nigeria exported commodities worth ₦637.53 billion and imported items of about ₦395.53 billion to and from India. The NBS report showed that Nigeria exported ₦111. 06 billion commodities from China and imported ₦1.1 trillion worth of items from the country in the Q1 while it exported commodities worth ₦402.9 billion and recorded import of ₦39.9 billion to Spain. The NBS said export to the Netherlands in the quarter under review was ₦395.9 billion while import record was ₦470.11 billion. Nigeria, the report noted, exported commodities worth ₦319.47 billion to South Africa from where the West African country imported ₦40.6 billion worth of commodities. The NBS data said that the All commodity group export price index decreased by 0.59 per cent due to decreases in Boilers, – Overall, the all products terms of trade index rose 0.26 percent driven by increase in the prices of Plastic, rubber and articles thereof, Vegetable products and Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal and articles. The All region group export index decreased by 0.59 percent due to decreases in the prices of exports to all regions Europe, Asia and Oceania, Asia and Europe. The major export to these countries was crude petroleum and natural gas, while the major imports were premium motor spirits, motorcycles and gas oil. The major trading markets for Nigeria in Q1’20 were India, Spain, China, the Netherlands and South Africa.
The All Progressives Congress has inaugurated Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, to head the APC caretaker committee and chairman extraordinary convention after it dissolved its National Working Committee Thursday. The decision was reached at the meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee based on the recommendation of the President Muhammadu Buhari. Buni would combine his job as Yobe governor with the task of running the ruling party until a national convention is held. Buhari’s new media aide, Bashir Ahmad, said this on his Twitter handle. Mala Buni was national secretary of the party until he was elected governor in the 2019 general elections. Other interim leaders were also appointed. Similarly, the NWC ratified the governorship primary in Edo State which produced Ize Iyamu as its governorship candidate as Buhari directed all party members to discontinue all ongoing litigation as they affect the party.
Mr Price Group, a South African retailer has become the latest firm to divest from African markets due to weak economic growth, difficulties with repatriating funds and local procurement. According to the chief executive of the clothing and homeware retailer, Mark Blair, Thursday, the firm was exiting Nigeria after walking away from Australia and Poland last year. Mr Price, which reported a 10.4 percent fall in annual earnings, has closed four of its five stores in the West African country and expects to close the last one in the coming months, Blair said. He added that the firm was not prepared to invest any further whether it’s investment in time or in money into a country that is volatile as it is. However, the firm said it was making money in the early days of its investment in the country but has now been hit by too many roadblocks. In recent years Mr Price has taken a cautious approach to international expansion across and outside Africa as organic growth has proven challenging and “distracting”. The company’s decision to exit Nigeria follows a decision by homeware and clothing retailer TFG last week to leave Kenya and Ghana. Mr Price, which also sells sportswear, saw revenue in the year to March 28 rise 2.1 percent to 23 billion rand ($1.32 billion), with retail sales up by 1.5 percent, boosted by clothing and home divisions.