The Midday Recap: JUDICIAL STAFF UNION OF NIGERIA STRIKE

WASHED ASHORE 

Ghana’s Ministry of Fisheries has asked people who consumed the dead fish that washed up at the coast to report themselves, so as to help with an ongoing probe.

The Minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson said the government wants to closely monitor those who consumed the fish.

She said samples have already been taken to a laboratory for investigations and a commission was looking into the incident.

Koomson also asked locals to cooperate with the commission.

Several species of dead fish and dolphins were washed up at the Osu beach and the cause of death is yet to be established.

PLATEAU 

Staying in West Africa, Operation Safe Haven, a Special Military Taskforce in Nigeria’s North Central State of Plateau, has paraded several suspected kidnappers.

The commander of the Taskforce, Major General Dominic Onyemulu says investigations have been concluded and suspects will be handed over to the Nigeria Police to be arraigned.

Onyemulu assured the residents of Plateau that the military is resolved to rid the state of all criminals.

JUDICIAL STAFF UNION OF NIGERIA STRIKE   

Members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN have embarked on a nationwide strike. 

The striking workers are demanding financial autonomy for the judiciary. 

News Central’s Omolola Ololade visited the Lagos High Court and filed in this report.

ETHIOPIA-SOMALIA CONFLICT 

In East Africa, dozens of people have been killed in several days of clashes on the border between Ethiopia’s Afar and Somali regions.

Homes have been set on fire in villages on contested land.

Each Ethiopian regional state has its own police force and officials in Afar have accused Somali Special Forces of killing 30 people on Saturday.

Somali authorities say at least 25 livestock farmers were killed by gunmen who came from over the state border in Afar.

It is not yet clear how many people have been killed in the latest revenge attack early on Tuesday.

There are speculations that elections due in June have led to increased tension over the disputed border areas.

KENYA-USAID FACEOFF 

Staying in East Africa, Kenya has exempted tax on a donation of HIV drugs in the middle of a three- month stalemate leading to a shortage of drugs.

The Finance Ministry noted the exemption to the U.S. Development Agency’s donation was made after the Health Ministry made it clear millions of Kenyans who depend on the antiretroviral drugs were affected.

Public hospitals had been given the drugs in rations, to stretch the supply. 

Patients who got six months’ supply of medication in the past can only get weekly doses now.

The shortage had been caused by a tax stand-off because USAID declined to import the drugs through the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), citing corruption and mismanagement of the drugs.

NILE DAM DISPUTE 

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have failed to make progress in the latest round of African Union-led talks to resolve their years-long dispute over a controversial dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile River.

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Foreign and Irrigation Ministers of the three nations met in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the current chair of the African Union. 

The round of talks sought to find an agreed-on approach to resume negotiations on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam.

But the four days of meetings concluded without a breakthrough after Ethiopia rejected a Sudanese proposal, backed by Egypt, to include international mediators in the talks.

Egypt’s top diplomat said they would again take the dispute to the U.N. Security Council.

COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS 

We head to Southern Africa – Zimbabwe is confident of rejoining the Commonwealth, and a senior official says the country’s application is undergoing consultations among member states.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Constance Chemwayi says Zimbabwe is in the second stage of a four-step process to rejoin the Commonwealth.

Earlier, News Central spoke with Executive Director of Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe, Ivan Vava. 

MOZAMBIQUE UNREST 

Staying in Southern Africa, displaced people in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province have received support from the UNHCR after a recent attack by insurgents on the coastal town of Palma. 

This comes after attacks forced at least 11,000 people to flee Palma with thousands more reportedly trapped inside the area.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency has warned that this number could cross the million mark by June this year if the ongoing violence does not stop.

CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS 

Still in Southern Africa, Namibian officials say the Defence Minister, Peter Vilho has resigned over allegations of taking kickbacks.

In his letter of resignation following a meeting with President Hage Geingob, Vilho said he was unable to continue with his duties.

Vilho said his continued membership of the executive is untenable and the ongoing media blitz focusing on him detracted attention from the important work of government.

The case involves foreign bank accounts that were investigated due to alleged kickbacks linked to a 1.8-billion-Namibian-dollar arms tender for the Namibian government around 13 years ago. 

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC ACROSS AFRICA

COVID-19 ETHIOPIA 

In East Africa, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health registered 2,054 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 219,381 on Tuesday.

The ministry said 25 new deaths were reported across the country during the same period, bringing the national death toll to 3,025.

The East African country reported 934 more recoveries, taking the national count to 163,956.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, has so far reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the East African region.

The latest figures from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Ethiopia’s cases account for about 5 percent of the continent’s total.

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COVID-19 NIGERIA 

In West Africa, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has announced 58 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 163,388.

The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Tuesday.

The West African country’s daily new cases continue to follow a downward trajectory, from an all-time high of 2,314 on January 22.

The NCDC said the new cases were reported from 10 states and the FCT, Lagos had 32, Kaduna 5, Enugu 4, and Kano 4.

The NCDC adds that there are currently 7,700 active cases across the country.

COVID-19 AFRICA 

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa surpassed 4.28 million on Tuesday.

The Africa CDC said the death toll from the pandemic stood at 114,122, while over 3.84 million patients across the continent have recovered from the disease.

In terms of the caseload, Southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by northern Africa and eastern Africa.

According to the Africa CDC, Central Africa is the least affected region in the continent.

It adds that South Africa has recorded over 1.55 million COVID-19 cases, the most among African countries, followed by Morocco at 498,329 and Tunisia at 261,177. 

WORLD WRAP

SYRIA UNREST 

A senior UN disarmament official Izumi Nakamitsu in a meeting with the Security Council has called for unity among council members in defense of the global prohibition against chemical weapons use.

Nakamitsu, the UN undersecretary-general and high representative for disarmament affairs, called on the council to ensure that instances of chemical weapons use are never tolerated.

Nakamitsu briefed the Security Council on the progress of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) toward verifying the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile and production facilities. 

WORLD HEALTH DAY   

The World Health Organization say vaccination passports may not be an “effective strategy” for restarting travel.

In a speech ahead of World Health Day on April 7, WHO spokesperson, Dr Margaret Harris, said the UN health agency would not like to see vaccination passports as a requirement for entry or exit because it is not sure at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmissions.

For World Health Day, the UN agency has urged countries to build a fairer, healthier post-COVID-19 world.

BUSINESS

2021 FORECAST 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised Nigeria’s economic growth forecast upward for 2021. 

The growth will now be 2.5 per cent from the previous one per cent it had predicted in January.

IMF, made the prediction in its latest World Economic Outlook titled Managing Divergent Recoveries.

However, it expects a 2.3 per cent economic growth for the country in 2022.

For Sub-Saharan Africa generally, the IMF also anticipates a growth of 3.4 per cent this year, higher than its earlier 0.2 per cent forecast.

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2021 Q1 REPORT 

Coinbase, the cryptocurrency trading platform is reporting an approximate revenues of $1.8 billion preliminary results for 2021 Q1. The results are up from approximately $190.6 million in the same period last year. 

In the unaudited results, the cryptocurrency trading platform recorded profits of $730 million to $800 million, compared to $31.9 million in 2020 Q1, riding on increasing interest in cryptocurrency.

Coinbase reported astronomical growth between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. Net trading volumes grew to $335 billion from $193 billion at the end of 2020. 

The company’s verified user base stands at 56 million, up from 43 million at the end of 2020, reporting monthly transacting users (MTUs) of 6.1 million.

SPORTS

GLOBAL FOOTBALL 

FIFA has banned Chad from global football until further notice over government interference in the running of the Central African country’s football federation.

The move comes after the Minister of Youth and sports’ dissolution of Chad’s Football Associations in March.

The Confederation of African Football disqualified the national team from last month’s final two rounds of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations shortly after the announcement of the dissolution.

An official statement says the Bureau of the FIFA Council may lift the suspension at any time before the next FIFA Congress in May takes place.

DSTV PREMIERSHIP 

In South Africa, Kaizer Chiefs coach, Gavin Hunt bemoaned his side’s poor defending after they twice had to come from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Stellenbosch FC in the DStv.

The draw was probably a fair result, but Hunt was left frustrated by two soft goals conceded as the club went in search of a third win in succession.

Hunt was pleased with the goals for Leonardo Castro and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, but feels his side left some opportunities out there on the pitch.

Meanwhile, Stellenbosch FC Head Coach, Steve Barker shares his post-match thoughts.

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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