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IMF to Assist 22 African Nations With Aid1 minute read

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The International Monetary Fund has approved new emergency aid for 28 countries, 22 of which are African nations.

Funds will enable these nations to either pay back their debts or mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their soil.

Back in April, the IMF cancelled the debts of 25 of the most economically-challenged countries by activating an emergency mechanism. Then, under the Natural Disaster Response and Assistance Trust Fund about $500 million was released.

This financial assistance is coming as a quick and effective operation that will now also be applied towards the 28 recipients. They could receive a total of $959 million  by April 2022 as a grant, not a loan.

In Africa, with the exception of Rwanda, it is the least wealthy who will qualify for this aid.

The IMF has been waiting for the international community’s validation of the new Malian government before honouring its eligibility as the West African nation sits on the waiting list.

Since ECOWAS has lifted its suspension on the West African nation following its military coup that toppled the elected government, Mali should benefit from the aid deal.

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Nigeria Regulator Grants MTN, 9mobile Approval For National Roaming Service

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted approval for two mobile network operators (MNOs) to carry out trial on National Roaming Service for a period of three months, beginning from Aug. 1, 2020 and ending on Oct. 31.

Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC Director, Public Affairs, said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Adinde named the two telecoms operators as Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) Nigeria and the Emerging Markets Telecommunication Service Limited (EMTS), trading as 9Mobile in Nigeria.

He said that with the approval the EMTS and MTN were expected to configure their networks to begin test and simulation for customer experience.

“The trial approval covers a few Local Government Areas (LGAs), designated as the National Roaming geographic area, in Ondo State,” he said.

Adinde said that Roaming Service will enable a mobile subscriber to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services when travelling outside a particular network geographical area by utilising the network coverage of other operators.

He quoted NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, saying that “the primary objective of the National Roaming Service trial was to encourage network resource sharing among operators.

“This will lead to operational expenditure (OPEX) optimisation and capital expenditure (CAPEX) efficiencies leading to freeing up of resources to expand mobile network coverage to unserved and underserved communities across the country.

“This will lead to improved Quality of Service (QoS) delivery to subscribers.

“The successful implementation of the trial will enable EMTS subscribers to access MTN network service within the National Roaming trial geographical area without the need for an MTN Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card, ” he said.

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Food Prices In Nigeria Went Up In September – Nigeria Bureau of Statistics

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Food prices in Nigeria increased in September according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

NBS made the assertion in a report titled ‘Selected food price watch data’ for the month of September 2020.

The report said the average price of one dozen of eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 5.245% and month-on-month by 0.37% to N480.76 in September 2020 from N478.97 in August 2020.

It stated that the average price of eggs medium size (price of one) increased year-on-year by 3.87 % and month-on-month by 0.28 % to N42.90 in September from N42.78 in August.

The average price of 1kg of rice (imported high quality sold loose) increased year-on-year by 39.07% and month-on-month by 2.87% to N516.13 in September 2020 from N501.71 in August.

Meanwhile, the average price of 1kg of tomato increased year-on-year by 26.12% and decreased month-on-month by -1.01% to N286.92 in September from N289.86 in August.

Similarly, it added, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber increased year-on-year by 29.11% and decreased month on month by -4.08% to N245.62 in September 2020 from N256.06 in August 2020.

Incidentally, as the 24hour curfew across many states in Nigeria last, after the resent spat of violent attacks in some cities it has impacted on current prices. And cause more increase. Now, a piece of egg now sells for N70 to N100 each.

The prices of other food items have increased and could further spiked if movement restrictions are not relaxed very soon.

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Tunisia Exports 3,000 Tonnes Of Fruit To Libya In 20 Days

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Tunisa exported no fewer than 3,000 tonnes of fruit to Libya in the first 20 days of October, local media reported.

The exports were through the three commercial Sfax, Sousse and Bizerte maritime lines.

The head of the Sales Department of the Inter-Professional Fruit Group (GIFruits), Tarek Tira, said the fruit export process, mainly for pomegranates, resumed its regular pace despite the closure of the road linking Tunisia with the Libyan land border since last September.

He said a cargo-carrying more than 1200 tonnes of fruit, including 700 tonnes of pomegranates, left Sfax port on Thursday to Tripoli.

Adding that another ship carrying nearly 350 tonnes of fruit will also sail for Libya from the same port.

Tira pointed out that the Libyan market is the first in Tunisia in terms of fruit marketing (more than 30%).

Since September, the export of Tunisian agricultural products, essentially fruits, has been experiencing a blockage, following the closure of the border road at Ben Guerdane by demonstrators. This has hindered the passage of Tunisian and Libyan trucks in both directions.

Vice-president of the board of directors of GIFruits Ibrahim Trabelsi expressed regret, considering the importance of the Libyan market. “It absorbs between 30 and 50% of agricultural products,” he said, adding the current situation could collapse the Tunisian fruit industry.

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