Nigeria is treading at the edge of a hunger crisis in the event of any severe disruptions to the country’s agricultural system. According to BusinessDay, the country currently has only about 30,000 metric tons of grains in the strategic grain reserves, or 150 grams per person. This is out of a capacity of 1.3 million metric tons. At the start of the year, the country had about 100,000 metric tons before President Buhari granted approval for 70,000 metric tons of grains to be released from the National Strategic Food Reserve stock as palliatives following lockdowns occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic. This is not the first time in Nigeria that the FG has drawn down its grain reserves. 30,000MT was disbursed in response to food crisis at various IDP camps across the country, noted a PwC report in June on ‘Responding to the impact of COVID-19 on food security and agriculture in Nigeria.
An intervention by the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika into the recent sack of pilots with Air Peace has brought respite for the workers as many of them would soon be recalled to their jobs. The minister had called for a meeting on the matter which involves the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers. At the meeting Tuesday, a verbal agreement was reached where the chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under. Onyema expressed his disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots after everything is done to make them comfortable on the job. He said the airline had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed. The Minister called for the understanding of every party, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals. Air Peace had concluded plans to lay off 69 pilots due to deteriorating economic conditions. In order to survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the airline resorted to downsizing its workforce and restructuring its operations.
Ondo state’s Governor Akeredolu has inaugurated the state security initiative, Amotekun, and expressed optimism that no criminal element will disrupt the relative peace being enjoyed in the state. Mr Akeredolu said that with a workable synergy among the leadership of the security agencies and that of Amotekun, a water-tight strategy capable of arresting crimes even before they occur would be deployed. The governor also reassured the people that the forthcoming election in the state would be very peaceful, adding that the state shall not tolerate any form of thuggery or criminality occasioned by elections. The Commander of the state Corps, Ade Adeleye said that the personnel were trained in collaboration with experienced hands drawn from the various security agencies in the state. Mr Adeleye reiterated the corps resolved on zero tolerance to crime through robust intelligence sharing with security agencies to reduce the spate of criminality in the state.
The unaudited financial report of six of the oil marketing companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange has shown that the total revenue generated by five of the marketing companies dropped by 40.79 percent in the first half of 2020 as three of them posted losses while the rest suffered profit decline. Total Nigeria and Conoil saw their combined revenue for the period ended 30 June 2020 decline by ₦204.52 billion to ₦296.90 billion from ₦501.42 billion in H1 2019. The breakdown of the report said that Total recorded the biggest loss of ₦537.19 million in the period under review. This is compared to a profit after tax of ₦129.97 million in the same period of 2019. Its revenue fell by 29 percent to ₦106.70 billion from ₦150.83 billion. MRS made a loss of ₦329.71 million in the first half of the year, compared to ₦990.71 million loss in the same period of 2019. The company saw its revenue drop to ₦23.68 billion from ₦29.79 billion. Eterna posted a loss of ₦66.58 million in the period under review, up from ₦33.67 million a year earlier as its revenue tumbled to ₦28.52 billion from ₦155.77 billion. Ardova, formerly Forte Oil, reported that its profit after tax plunged to ₦1.01 billion in the first half of the year from ₦5.45 billion in the same period of 2019, while its revenue grew to ₦87.31 billion from ₦82.79 billion. 11, formerly known as Mobil Oil Nigeria, recorded a 40 percent decline in its profit after tax, from ₦4.17 billion in H1 2019 to ₦2.52 billion in the same period of 2020. Its revenue drop to ₦80.54 billion from ₦92.81 billion. Conoil’s after-tax profit dipped by 67 percent to ₦338.69 million in the first half of the year from ₦1.03 billion in H1 2019, while its revenue fell to ₦57.46 billion from ₦72.22 billion. The drop in the fuel marketers’ revenues came on the back of the lockdown imposed by the federal and state governments mostly in the second quarter of the year and the reduction in the petrol pump price from 19 March to 30 June.