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Tanzania’s Unanswered Prayers and a Preying Pandemic

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As the rest of the world hustle and hassle to get COVID-19 vaccines for their population, East African country, Tanzania has underplayed the seriousness of the virus and has resorted to the miraculous footprints of prayers. Albeit, the pandemic has not stopped preying on its citizens.

President John Magufuli, known to be one of Africa’s strongest voices has spoken in hushed tones about the rising rate of virus infection in the country, and called for more prayers as the cure.

For more than six months, Tanzania has told the world that prayers cure coronavirus, and has refused to take adequate measures against the it.

In recent times, reality has taken a more severe turn with deaths linked to pneumonia recorded in the country. Experts believe the pneumonia said to be behind the recent fatalities is actually COVID-19.

Medical doctors in the country have been warned against talking about the presence of the disease publicly, while majority of them prefer to remain anonymous as they deliver their medical verdicts. The disease remains present in Tanzania, and prayers have not cured it.

The last time Tanzania gave figures of the disease was in April 2020, with Magufuli triviliasing it by claiming goats, and pawpaw tested positive for the virus too.

The Africa Centre for Disease Control has called for a careful review of the Tanzanian situation while asking citizens to engage in self–protection.

In June 2020, Magufuli said prayers had delivered the country from the pandemic.

“That’s why we are all not wearing face masks here. You think we don’t fear dying? It’s because there is no Covid-19,” he said.

Researchers in Denmark have discovered the deadly and highly infectious South African variant of the virus in two Tanzanians who arrived Europe from their home country, but back home, Magufuli is in denial of the virus.

Families of dead patients have claimed that the nation is not taking the virus seriously, as the South African variant of the virus gets more devastating in Tanzania.

Despite the President’s stance, the Roman Catholic Church in Tanzania has warned its members against following Magufuli’s prayer posture.

“Our country is not an island. We have every reason to take precautions and pray to God so that we can move unscathed in this pandemic,” the letter addressed to archbishops and retired bishops read.

Many cases are being secretly recorded on a daily basis and the African CDC is also wary of the dangers of taking the disease like a pinch of salt as the Tanzanian government has done.

Magufuli has softened on his previous prayer stance as reality dawns on the country. While accusing some citizens of bringing the disease into the country, he has called on locals to take precautions while waiting for God’s help.

Read: Not every Vaccine Is Important To Us – Magufuli

“We need to put God first in fighting against this dangerous disease, but at the same time take health precaution measures to protect ourselves,” he said.

Tanzania has announced 509 cases, with its last count made in April last year. It has recorded 21 deaths from the numbers recorded and the Africa CDC has placed a special focus on the situation in the country.

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Review: Selling Assets to Fund the National Budget is Irresponsible – Tunji Andrews

These assets are crucial to Nigeria but it’s not compulsory that they are owned by FG. Therefore, we could concession them to private hands, not sell them!

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The Nigerian government is proposing to sell or concession about 36 properties to raise funds to finance the 2021 budget. These properties cut across the energy, industry, communication and infrastructure sectors and are expected to be sold between January 2021 and November 2022.

Tunji Andrews, founder, Awabah Nigeria, thinks these assets are crucial to Nigeria but it’s not compulsory that they are owned by the Federal Government. Therefore, we could concession them to private hands.

But I don’t think we should sell assets to fund budgets. If we sell assets to fund the 2021 budget, what will we sell to fund the 2022 budget? The general problem is the government is DETERMINED not to cut down expenses.

“It’s very clear that if you have shrinking revenue, you should trim down expenses. But the government wants to spend within a reduced revenue. The fact is that we are not making enough money but borrowing or selling off assets is typical of an irresponsible father who has acquired a lot of properties over the years and now that he’s old, he wants to sell them off so he can continue to party and live largely”, Tunji added.

Our legacy and history as a people are as important as funding a budget, it’s worrisome that the government doesn’t see it that way.

Tunji concluded on the issue of government selling crucial national propoerties to fund the 2021 budget.

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Nigerian Military Aircraft Crashes In Abuja

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A Nigerian military aircraft has crashed in Abuja, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika revealed on Sunday.

Sirika in a tweet said the aircraft, a King Air 350 crashed at the Abuja runway, enroute Minna, after an engine failure.

He said the crash appears fatal with lives possibly lost in it but called for calm as the military investigates the number of casualties from the incident.

It is yet another military air crash with a few cases of such accidents recorded in the last three years.

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African development

“Nigeria Wouldn’t Have Gone Into Recession If Okonjo-Iweala Was Still Finance Minister” – Tunji Andrews

Dr. Ngozi would likely push for a lot of trade that would spur job creation and development in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world as well as create some sort of liberation for some of the poorest countries.

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The first woman and first African to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation has a track record of taking on seemingly intractable problems. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said that she can be a ‘clear set of eyes’ for the global trade body.

Asides from reforming trade rules and counter protectionism heightened by COVID-19, her new responsibility would have her broker international trade talks in the face of persistent U.S.-China conflict. Financial expert and founder of Awabah, Tunji Andrews joined us on Breakfast Central to discuss Dr. Ngozi’s work experience in relation to her new position.

Andrews pointed out that jobs that have to do with linking communities or societies are more about the pedigree of the person holding the office. “She comes from a very long pedigree line and has a vast reach, therefore the position cannot be too difficult since she has experts under her. Her main job is bringing these superpowers together.”

“When she was the Co-ordinating Minister of the economy, she did so well that her exit left a vacuum. If she was there, it is unlikely that Nigeria would have fallen into a recession”, he added.

The financial expert also thinks Dr. Ngozi, being a big mackerel person, would push for a lot of trade that would spur job creation and development in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world as well as create some sort of liberation for some of the poorest countries. In his words, “it is one thing to say that Nigeria is suffering and another thing to know exactly what Nigeria needs to get out of hardship. It is important to have someone who has a unique understanding of the pinpoints of the people.”

In establishing the approach to her job delivery, Tunji Andrews suggested that the first point of call would be trying to help the EU and UK smoothen their trade conversations with BREXIT. Also, her job is to try to smoothen the relationship between China and the US. Around Africa, she has a hard nut to crack as regards free trade.

In conclusion, Andrews indicated trust in Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s ability to do the job of WTO DG excellently. “Relationship is most important when it comes to world conversations and I believe this is what she’s bringing to the table, it’s just unfortunate that Nigeria did not observe it about her in good time.”

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