The Midday Recap: MOROCCO MOVES ON WITH GREEN PLAN

MOROCCO MOVES ON WITH GREEN PLAN

With progress hinged on the Green Morocco Plan, growth in Morocco’s organic farming looks all set to stay steady for a while longer.

Morocco specializes in two types of organic products: medicinal and aromatic plants on one hand, and products derived from cultivated plants on the other. 

Figures provided by AgriMaroc, following the 2017/2018 campaign for organic farming, show that Morocco’s organic agricultural land reached 282,480 hectares. 

About 11,000 hectares are currently dedicated to cultivated species, with approximately a thousand hectares of crops currently undergoing conversion to organic production.

GAMBIA LAWMAKERS UPHOLD BAN ON SKIN BLEACHING

After a heated debate in parliament, Gambian lawmakers have voted to uphold a ban on skin bleaching.

The attorney general presented the bill on the prohibition of skin bleaching for consideration. While he argued that criminalizing people for using cosmetic products is an unfair punishment, other lawmakers remained in favour of maintaining the ban.

Research over the years show that a more than safe amount of the chemicals used in the production of skin-bleaching creams are hazardous to human health.

The Gambia banned skin bleaching in 1996 during the Yahya Jammeh regime. Yahya Jammeh remained in power for more than 20 years.

KENYANS IN DIASPORA REMIT $260 MILLION IN FEBRUARY

Kenyans living abroad have managed to send home substantial amounts of money in recent months. These remittances occurred despite the numerous Covid-19 related challenges. 

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) show the overseas workers sent home $260.2 million in February 2021, 19% more than the $219 million sent in February 2020.

In January, foreign remittances amounted to $278.3 million, up from $259.4 million sent in the same period in 2020. CBK attributes the rise in foreign remittances to the emergence of safe, affordable and convenient money transfer channels.

In the 12 months to February 2021, the cumulative inflows rose to $3.155 billion, an 11.4% increase from $2.831 billion in the 12 months to February 2020.

NIGERIA RECEIVES 3OO,OOO OXFORD-ASTRAZENECA VACCINES 

Nigeria has received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from MTN Nigeria as pledged.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, made this known while speaking at the National briefing on Monday, March 22.

He lauded the telecommunications company while encouraging other partners to contribute towards the fight against COVID-19.

In a related development, Nigeria has produced two COVID-19 vaccines set to undergo clinical trials and possible certification.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at Monday’s PTF briefing in Abuja, the country’s capital. 

He says Nigerian scientists have produced at least two local COVID-19 vaccines which are awaiting clinical trials and certification is significant. 

Mustapha added that it is a welcome development that will open a new vista in scientific breakthrough.

NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT RAISES ALARM OVER ASTRAZENECA VACCINE SALE

The Nigerian Government has alerted the public over the reported racketeering of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at some designated vaccination centres.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Abdullaziz Mashi Abdullahi, speaking in Abuja during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 noted that Vaccinations have been scheduled in phases such that frontline health workers and those at higher risk of the infection are vaccinated first after registration at the portal. 

Everyone is expected to be vaccinated free and everyone has been promised innoculation.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, notes 122, 410 Nigerians have so far been vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

OPEN SESAME! NIGERIA LIFTS BAN ON IN-FLIGHT CATERING SERVICES

Nigerian authorities have announced the resumption of catering services on domestic and international flights.

The services were banned last year as part of measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika notes the decision was taken in light of businesses that have been affected by the ban.

The protocols for the resumption of the services, however, is expected to be announced by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA).

Authorities have also reiterated their plan to resume flights in Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu airports.

UN IDENTIFIES FUNDING AS A CHALLENGE TO NIGERIAN WOMEN IN POLITICS

The United Nations, at the sixty-fifth Session of United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in Nigeria, has identified a lack of access to funding as a major setback affecting Nigerian Women in Politics

The country representative of UN Women in Nigeria, while calling for a rapid end to gender-based violence has also called for more support for Nigerian women in Politics

NOTABLE NIGERIA OPPOSTION PARTY MEMBERS CROSS TO RULING PARTY

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has received two key opposition members who have defected to Nigeria’s ruling party; “The All Progressives Congress”.

One is a two-time governor of Nigeria’s southwest state of Ogun and the other, a former Speaker of Nigeria’s Parliament.

Both men from Nigeria’s main opposition party say they decided to join Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress in order to lend their support to the Buhari administration.

BUSINESS

NIGERIA MAKES BIG PLANS TO ACHIEVE EXPORT GROWTH

Nigeria continues to work towards achieving export growth across Africa via the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement and earnings of $50 billion by 2035.

Senior Special Assistant to the President and Secretary of the National Action Committee on AfCTA, Francis Anatogu, disclosed this in an AfCFTA overview presentation to the media in Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria.

There are big plans in the making. The National AfCFTA Committee aspires to establish a highly productive workforce, a business-friendly environment, quality infrastructure, export development incentives and a strong national brand.

Anatogu noted that some AfCFTA strategic programs like the N50billion Export Expansion Facility Program and the N2.3trillion National Economic Sustainability Plan for export driven economic growth, as well as the N1bn Nigeria-Africa Trade Investment Program are already underway.

SPORTS

CHAD DROPS OFF 2021 AFCON QUALIFIER WAGON

The Confederation of African Football has disqualified Chad’s national team from the qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

This invariably cancels scheduled qualifiers involving Chad, Namibia and Mali.

CAF media points out that in line with Articles 61 and 64 of the CAF Regulations, Chad is considered a loser of both matches against Namibia and Mali.

Chad had been playing in Group A alongside Mali, Guinea and Namibia. After four match days, Mali topped the group on 10 points, followed by Guinea at 8 points and Namibia at 3 points.

The Chadian team were trailing the group on one point.

MOTORSPORT 

McLaren have signed a contract with 13-year-old Nigerian-American Karter, Ugo Ugochukwu to support him through racing’s junior categories.

The Formula 1 team note the agreement gives them an option to sign Ugochukwu to a race deal in the future.

McLaren Racing Chief Executive Officer, Zak Brown said the team have been watching Ugo’s progress with interest.

The move gives McLaren what they describe as a multi-year contract with Ugochukwu, within which there is an option they can choose to take up and tie him to a further multi-year racing deal. 

This could be in F1 or in other categories.

Ugochukwu, born of a Nigerian mother, won last year’s FIA OK Junior European championship, and has this season graduated to the senior class.

TODAY’S MIDDAY RECAP IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY MOJISOLA ADEBOLA, SHERIF LAWAL AND ISREAL EFEROBOR.

YOU CAN CATCH UP WITH OUR NEWS AND PROGRAMS BY DOWNLOADING THE NEWS CENTRAL TV MOBILE APP ON PLAYSTORE AND IOS. YOU CAN ALSO WATCH US LIVE ON STARTIMES CHANNEL 274.

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