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Sumner Shagari Sambo

Abuja, Nigeria
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About Sumner
Sumner Shagari Sambo is a journalist based in Abuja, Nigeria.

Sumner has always been passionate about television news journalism, working especially with start-ups to rejuvenate broadcasting across Nigeria and Africa. He recently joined one of Africa's newest and promising channels, News Central Television, in a bid to combine his skills with other creative minds to reposition news coverage and program delivery for premium content consumers in Nigeria and on the continent.

He is a multi-skilled Journalist and multimedia professional. He is a 2017/2018 Fellow of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). He also won the 2015/2016 Nigeria Investigative Journalist of the Year (TV) award run by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and was winner of the 2016/2017 Senate Reporter of the Year (TV) award organized by the Senate Press Corps of Nigeria's National Assembly.

Before joining News Central, he was a Senior Correspondent/Deputy Bureau Chief with TVC News, a Pan-African news channel broadcasting from Lagos, Nigeria. Prior to that, he was a Stringer with Reuters and a Senior National Correspondent with NN24 TV, Nigeria. 

He also had a stint with The Nation Newspaper and regularly publishes NEWSMAN, an online newsblog on Facebook. 

An MSc/BSc Mass Communication graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria; he is a technology-savvy and probing mind who also acts as a Fixer for many international news crews coming into Nigeria or West Africa to source for interviews and news stories. 

Sumner was the Media Coordinator of the 2011 NN24 Nigeria Presidential Debate. He has also won other awards like the Most Promising Youth, 2011/2012 presented to him by the Chamber Social Club, Abuja.

A newsy person, he believes that the greatest investment in life is the cross-fertilization of ideas!
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop
Politics Current Affairs War Reporter

UN awaits Kabuga’s transfer to Tanzania for trial, prosecutor lauds arrest

07 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
Felicien Kabuga, a financier of the Rwandan genocide, was arrested in France and is expected to be tried at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) in Arusha, Tanzania. UN prosecutor Serge Brammertz emphasized that the arrest demonstrates the commitment to bringing genocide perpetrators to justice, even decades later. The transfer to UN custody may be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The arrest was a result of coordinated efforts by French authorities, Interpol, and Europol.

Bashir’s family assets confiscated by Sudan’s anti-graft body

06 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
Several large plots of land and residential properties in Khartoum, belonging to relatives of ousted President Omar Al-Bashir, have been confiscated by a Sudanese anti-corruption committee. The Empowerment Removal Committee seized property from Bashir’s relatives and a former defence minister, transferring ownership to the finance ministry. The committee also dissolved the boards of the Khartoum International Airport Company and the Sudan Airports Holding Company over corruption accusations. Bashir, jailed since his ouster, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Emergency law amendment in Egypt raise concerns among rights activists

06 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
Amendments to Egypt's emergency laws, ratified by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, have raised concerns among international rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, which argue that the changes expand repressive powers under the guise of combating the coronavirus pandemic. The amendments grant the president and security agencies additional powers, such as closing schools, banning gatherings, and converting public facilities into field hospitals. Critics warn that these measures could be abused to curb rights in the name of public order, reflecting a security-focused governance approach in Egypt.

Kiir, Machar in fresh clash over states control in South Sudan

06 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar are in disagreement over the control of the country's 10 internal states, threatening the power-sharing deal established earlier this year. Despite forming a new government in February, they have not agreed on the appointment of state governors. Kiir announced a plan for his party to appoint six governors, Machar's party three, and the remaining state to be governed by the South Sudan Opposition Alliance. Machar rejected this, stating no consensus was reached. The East African regional bloc IGAD is intervening to resolve the dispute.

Rwanda genocide suspect okayed for trial by UN tribunal

04 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
A Paris appeals court has ruled that Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga should be transferred to a UN tribunal in Tanzania for trial. Kabuga, accused of financing the 1994 genocide, had requested a trial in France due to health concerns and fears of bias. His defense plans to appeal the decision. Kabuga, once one of Rwanda's richest men, is charged with multiple counts including genocide and incitement to commit genocide. He was arrested in France after evading capture for 25 years. The UN tribunal had indicted him in 1997, and he is accused of forming the Interahamwe militia and inciting violence through media broadcasts.

President Buhari announces former UN Undersecretary as Chief of Staff

04 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has formally appointed Professor Ibrahim Gambari as his new Chief of Staff, announced by Boss Mustapha at a virtual Federal Executive Council meeting. Gambari, a former UN Under-Secretary General, succeeds the late Abba Kyari, who passed away from COVID-19. Gambari's extensive background includes roles as Nigeria's Ambassador to the UN and Minister of External Affairs. His appointment follows speculation and controversy in Nigerian politics, with several prominent figures previously considered for the role.

Cleared ex-Congolese VP not entitled to compensation – ICC

02 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
The International Criminal Court has denied former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba's multimillion euro compensation claim after he was acquitted of war crimes charges. Bemba, who spent a decade in custody, sought nearly 69 million euros for time served, legal costs, and asset losses. The court ruled that Bemba did not prove a grave miscarriage of justice, despite acknowledging the personal suffering caused by his lengthy detention. The ruling also called for a review of trial lengths and pre-trial detention limits by the Assembly of States Parties.

#RevolutionNow – Court fines Nigerian government $2500

02 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
A Lagos court fined the Nigerian government $2500 for using police to disrupt the #RevolutionNow protest against President Muhammadu Buhari. Judge Maureen Onyetenu ruled in favor of lawyer Olukoya Ogungbeje, who argued that the disruption was unconstitutional. The court also ordered a public apology and condemned the mass arrest and harassment of protesters. The protest, led by Omoyele Sowore, aimed to address poverty and hunger. Despite being granted bail, Sowore remained detained for months, highlighting ongoing legal battles and government resistance.

UN condemns use of IEDs against civilians in Libya

02 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has condemned the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against civilians in southern Tripoli amid ongoing conflict between the east-based army and the UN-backed government. UNSMIL expressed concern over civilian casualties and called for adherence to international humanitarian law. The mission praised the efforts of Libyan Police and Military Engineers in clearing explosive remnants of war and reaffirmed its support for Libyan stakeholders. The UN-backed government accused the east-based army of planting mines before withdrawing from conflict zones.

Niger Republic’s President Issoufou mourns Labour Minister, Ben Omar

01 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
Niger's Minister of Employment and Labour, Mohamed Ben Omar, passed away on Sunday, as announced by his party without disclosing the cause of death. President Mahamadou Issoufou expressed his sorrow over the loss. Ben Omar, who led the Social Democratic Party allied with Issoufou's Party for Democracy and Socialism, had been serving as Labour Minister since 2017. His political career began in 1999 under President Mamadou Tandja, and he was known for supporting a constitutional amendment that extended Tandja's term. Ben Omar was previously associated with the Rally for Democracy and Progress.

Nigeria ramps up fight against bandits with air bombardment

01 Oct 2023  |  newscentral.africa
The Nigerian military has launched a series of air raids targeting armed bandits and terrorists in the northwest, particularly in Katsina and Zamfara states. The military claims to have killed over 300 bandits, though these figures are unverified. Residents confirm the air raids but not the casualty numbers. President Muhammadu Buhari authorized the offensive following a surge in violence in Katsina. Despite repeated military operations and peace talks, the region remains insecure, with an estimated 8,000 deaths and 200,000 displacements since 2011.

Tigray region plans election despite Ethiopian government’s disapproval

10 Jun 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The Tigray region in Ethiopia plans to hold elections despite federal disapproval due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) intends to proceed with regional elections, challenging Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's postponement of national elections. The National Elections Board asserts that only it has the mandate to conduct elections. The TPLF accuses the Prosperity Party of using the pandemic to avoid elections, while the Prosperity Party claims the TPLF is attempting to destabilize the country. Analysts warn that this move could exacerbate Ethiopia's political crisis.

Board of Governors agree to independent probe of AfDB President, Adesina

05 Jun 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The Bureau of Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group has authorized an independent investigation into allegations against the Bank's President, Akinwumi Adesina, following US pressure. Despite the Ethics Committee, led by Takuji Yano, initially clearing Adesina of all allegations, the US government questioned the integrity of the process and called for a new in-depth investigation. The independent review will be conducted by a neutral individual with a high international reputation within two to four weeks. Nigeria, the largest shareholder of the bank, opposed the US's call for an independent investigation, citing the bank's governance code. Adesina, who has denied any wrongdoing, expressed that the allegations were unfounded and that he had been exonerated by the Ethics Committee.

Senegalese protesters arrested for kicking against Covid-19 curfew

03 Jun 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Senegalese police arrested over 70 people protesting against a nighttime curfew imposed to curb Covid-19. Protests erupted in several cities, with significant unrest in Touba, where police vehicles and an ambulance were set ablaze, and a coronavirus treatment center was attacked. The Mouride Brotherhood's leader called for calm, while the Council of Broadcasters and Press Publishers of Senegal condemned the vandalism. The curfew, imposed by President Macky Sall, restricts movement between 9pm and 5am and is part of broader measures to combat the pandemic, which has seen nearly 4,000 cases and 45 deaths in Senegal.

Tunisia to reopen borders, airspace on June 27

02 Jun 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh announced the reopening of the country's land, air, and sea borders from June 27 and the repatriation of Tunisian nationals starting June 4. The decision followed a meeting with the national commission to combat coronavirus. Tunisia has confirmed 1,084 COVID-19 cases. The country received medical aid from China, including facemasks, test kits, and medical protective goggles, which was donated to Tunisia’s Ministry of National Defense on April 16.

Senate approves Nigeria’s request for $5.5 bln external borrowing

02 Jun 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Nigeria's Senate approved President Muhammadu Buhari's request for $5.51 billion in external borrowing from international lenders as part of a revised 2020 budget. The revisions account for the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and a significant drop in oil prices, which have affected Nigeria's spending plans. The funds from the International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank, World Bank, and Islamic Development Bank are intended to cover the budget deficit. The House of Representatives is yet to pass or reject its version of the borrowing request.

Nigeria reopens economy, worship centres as flights resume June 21

01 Jun 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The Nigerian government announced the easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures, lifting bans on the banking sector, religious gatherings, and markets. A national curfew was revised, and domestic flights are set to resume on June 21 with reduced passenger capacity. The decision comes as many Nigerians were already violating lockdown measures. The government aims to balance economic reopening with safety regulations in the aviation industry.

Military prosecutors takeover probe of Burkina Faso jail deaths

28 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Military prosecutors in Burkina Faso have taken over the investigation into the deaths of 12 men, previously arrested on suspicion of terrorism, found dead in their cells at the Tanwalbougou gendarmerie. Government prosecutors, who found no evidence of gunshot wounds, handed the case to the military. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore called the situation 'unacceptable' and promised decisive actions post-investigation. Human Rights Watch and local group CISC have demanded independent and international inquiries, respectively. The deaths have heightened tensions, as most victims were from the Fulani community, which has faced accusations of supporting militants and suffered alleged abuses by security forces and vigilante groups.

Algeria recalls its ambassador in France for airing films on protests

28 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Algeria is recalling its ambassador from France after French public television aired documentaries on Algeria's anti-government protest movement, which the Algerian interior ministry views as attacks on its people and institutions. The documentaries in question sparked debates on social media and include 'Algeria, my love' by Mustapha Kessous and 'Algeria: the Promises of the Dawn'. Algeria has accused certain circles in France of not wanting peaceful relations between the two nations. The Algerian government has also blamed foreign NGOs for influencing local media against state institutions and has blocked news websites covering protests. Algeria is ranked 146th on RSF's world press freedom index for 2020.

Zambia pardons nearly 3,000 prisoners, gay couple inclusive

27 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Zambian President Edgar Lungu pardoned nearly 3,000 prisoners, including a gay couple, to decongest correctional facilities amid COVID-19. The gay couple, Japhet Chataba and Steven Sambo, had been sentenced to 15 years under colonial-era sodomy laws, a ruling that sparked a diplomatic dispute with the United States. The pardon aligns with Zambia's constitution, which allows for presidential clemency, and follows efforts to release or bail unconvicted inmates with minor cases.

Tanzania’s road to recovery: Tourism picks up as lockdown ends

25 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Tanzania has reopened its economy and resumed international flights after nearly two months of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. President John Magufuli announced the reopening, citing significantly reduced cases of the virus. Tourism, a critical sector contributing 17% to the GDP, is expected to recover as international flights from Ethiopian, KLM, and Turkish Airlines resume. The Ministry of Health has issued new guidelines for arrivals, including temperature checks and infection prevention measures. High school candidates will resume classes on June 1, while primary and junior secondary schools remain closed. European countries, which are major sources of tourists for Tanzania, have also started lifting lockdowns.

Egyptian security forces kill 21 terrorists planning Eid-ul-Fitr attack

24 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Egyptian security forces killed 21 terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula who were planning attacks during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Two police officers were wounded during raids on hideouts in North Sinai governorate, where automatic weapons and suicide belts were found. The local Islamic State group affiliate has been waging an insurgency in the area, which intensified after the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Since a nationwide operation began in February 2018, around 950 suspected militants and dozens of security personnel have been killed.

South Africa to ease lockdown to tier 3 by June 1

24 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the government's plan to ease lockdown restrictions to level three by June 1, citing the indefinite timeline for a COVID-19 vaccine. The ban on alcohol sales will be lifted for home consumption under strict conditions, while the prohibition on tobacco sales will continue. The easing measures aim to balance economic reopening with intensified public health interventions, as South Africa remains the hardest-hit country by the pandemic in Africa.

Kabuga appears in Paris court over Rwanda genocide, insists on trial in France

21 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Felicien Kabuga, a key fugitive from the 1994 Rwanda genocide, appeared in a Paris court, insisting on being tried in France rather than the International Criminal Court. Arrested near Paris after 25 years on the run, Kabuga faces charges including genocide. His defense lawyer, Laurent Bayon, is challenging his extradition to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) in Arusha, Tanzania. The court granted an eight-day postponement for Kabuga to prepare his defense. Kabuga is accused of financing and supporting the Interahamwe militia and inciting violence through Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines. The court's decision on extradition could be appealed to France's Court of Cassation.

Hunger, xenophobia threaten migrants during Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa

20 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa has exacerbated hunger and xenophobia among migrants, who rely on informal work that has dried up. Despite government aid initiatives, many migrants are excluded, leading to severe hardship. Non-profits and community groups are stepping in to provide food, but the situation remains dire. Criticism is directed at the South African government for institutionalized xenophobia and neglecting the needs of migrants, with calls for international support to address the crisis.

Nigeria extends partial lockdown by two more weeks

18 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Nigeria has extended its partial lockdown by an additional two weeks, with federal authorities planning to impose targeted lockdowns in areas with rapid COVID-19 case increases. The full lockdown in Kano state continues due to a high number of cases and unexplained deaths. The phased reopening of Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun states is proceeding more slowly than initially planned, now extending the current phase by two more weeks. Nationwide curfew hours and mandatory face masks in public remain in effect, with increased enforcement measures to be implemented.

Kenyatta explains border closure against Tanzania, Somalia

17 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Kenya has banned movement across its borders with Tanzania and Somalia to curb the spread of coronavirus, as announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Cargo trucks are exempt from this ban, but drivers must be tested for COVID-19. Additionally, a dusk-to-dawn curfew and movement restrictions in areas heavily affected by the virus have been extended by 21 days. Kenya has implemented various measures including bans on public gatherings and school closures. So far, 78 truck drivers from neighboring countries have been prevented from entering Kenya after testing positive for COVID-19. The country has reported 830 confirmed cases and 50 deaths.

Covid-19: ‘No new cars for top politicians, officials in next five years’ – Namibian President

15 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Namibian President Hage Geingob has imposed a five-year moratorium on new car purchases for top politicians and government officials to reallocate funds towards combating COVID-19. The decision is expected to save around 200 million Namibian dollars, which will be used for urgent priorities amid the pandemic. Namibia, with a population of 2.5 million, has reported 16 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths. The president also set a limit on monthly fuel consumption for top officials. Previously, in 2002, President Sam Nujoma had replaced Mercedes-Benz vehicles with Toyota Camry cars for ministers.

Demand soars as Africans order Madagascan Covid-Organics to battle coronavirus

15 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
A herbal drink called Covid-Organics, promoted by Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina, is gaining popularity in several African countries as a potential cure for COVID-19, despite lacking scientific validation. The drink, made from Artemisia annua, has seen soaring demand and prices, particularly in Madagascar and Senegal. However, Western health organizations and some African officials urge caution, emphasizing the need for empirical testing. The Madagascan government views the product as a potential economic boon, while some local farmers and experts remain skeptical about its market viability and efficacy.

Benin holds local poll despite COVID-19 threat

15 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Benin is proceeding with local elections despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the exclusion of key opposition parties. The government has rolled back some virus-related restrictions, but critics argue the health risks are too high and the vote should be postponed. The political crisis in Benin has deepened since a disputed parliamentary poll last year, with President Patrice Talon accused of suppressing opposition. The African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled the vote should be suspended, but Benin ignored the ruling. Many voters are expected to boycott the election, believing the outcome is predetermined in favor of Talon's allies.

Soldiers kill 50 terrorists in Mozambique, insurgent attacks rise

14 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Mozambican soldiers killed 50 suspected jihadists in Cabo Delgado province after a series of 20 attacks on villages between May 3rd and 12th. Interior Minister Amad Miquidade reported the insurgents had abducted citizens, destroyed infrastructure, and cut off communications. The military intercepted and destroyed a convoy of insurgents, killing 42, and quashed another assault, killing 8. The Islamist group responsible has escalated attacks since 2017, aiming to establish a caliphate, and has been linked to the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for recent attacks. Mozambican authorities, acknowledging the insurgency only recently, have faced challenges in addressing the unrest, which has displaced 200,000 people and raised concerns among energy companies in the region.

Lesotho PM to quit May 22, ruling coalition crumbles

12 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's ruling coalition has collapsed, with National Assembly Speaker Sephiri Motanyane announcing Thabane must step down by May 22. Thabane, suspected of conspiring to murder his ex-wife, has been under pressure to resign. His wife Maesaiah has been charged in the case. A new government is forming, with Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro expected to replace Thabane. King Letsie III has passed legislation preventing Thabane from dissolving parliament to avoid a no-confidence vote, as Lesotho faces ongoing political instability.

Tanzania eases restrictions on international flights

11 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The Tanzanian government has relaxed restrictions on international flights, allowing repatriation, humanitarian aid, medical, and relief flights, among others. The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) now permits airlines to secure flight permits within two hours, a significant reduction from the previous two-week process. All travelers entering Tanzania will undergo a mandatory 14-day isolation and intensive screening for COVID-19. Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) will operate chartered flights to repatriate nationals stranded in India.

Burundi blast leaves two dead as general elections draw close

11 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
A grenade blast in Bujumbura, Burundi's economic capital, killed two people and injured eight, raising concerns about potential violence ahead of the May 20 general elections. The attack targeted a bar owned by a member of the ruling party's youth wing, Imbonerakure, which the UN lists as a militia. The ruling National Council for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) faces opposition from Agathon Rwasa's National Freedom Council (CNL). The presidential race will primarily be between Evariste Ndayishimiye, the protege of outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza, and Rwasa.

Guinea accuses Human Rights Watch of bias

09 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The Guinean government has accused Human Rights Watch of bias towards the political opposition after the NGO criticized the government for alleged abuses during the coronavirus crisis. Human Rights Watch reported harassment and arbitrary arrests by authorities, which the Guinean security ministry has denied, acknowledging only 'possible excesses' by security forces. The tension in Guinea's politics has been high due to a controversial constitutional referendum that could allow President Alpha Conde to seek a third term. International bodies and rights campaigners have expressed concerns over the credibility of the referendum and the government's authoritarian tendencies.

Former South African leader Zuma alleges threat to life, family

07 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Jacob Zuma, South Africa's former president, has alleged that his enemies, who had previously attempted to assassinate him, instead poisoned and killed his son, Nhlakanipho Vusi Zuma, in 2018. Zuma, whose presidency was plagued by corruption allegations, claimed that these unnamed individuals interfered with his son's lupus treatment, leading to his death. He has faced accusations of allowing looting of state funds and influencing government appointments, and is currently on trial for a $3.4 billion arms deal dating back to his tenure as deputy president. Zuma denies all charges, and his next court appearance has been postponed to June 23 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fresh tribal clashes leave 30 dead in Darfur

07 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Thirty people have been killed in tribal clashes between the al-Raziqat and al-Falata tribes in South Darfur, Sudan. The violence, related to a dispute over stolen livestock, is part of long-standing tensions in the region. The conflict in Darfur has historically involved ethnic minority rebels opposing the then Arab-dominated government, leading to significant casualties and displacement. The transitional government is deploying military troops to address the violence and has agreed to transfer former president Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court for trial.

Niger receives ‘Covid-Organics’ from Madagascar to tackle coronavirus

06 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Niger received a shipment of Covid-Organics, a herbal tea promoted by Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina as an effective treatment against COVID-19. The World Health Organization has not tested the tea's effects, and no scientific studies have been published. The consignment aims to treat 900 people, with some designated for those already sick and others as a preventive measure. Niger, which has reported 755 COVID-19 cases and 37 deaths, has implemented strict measures including a health emergency and border closures.

Nigeria receives $311 million Abacha loot, deploys money into infrastructure

05 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Nigeria confirmed the receipt of $311 million from the United States and Jersey, funds previously stolen by the late General Sani Abacha. Justice Minister Abubakar Malami highlighted the government's success in repatriating stolen money, referencing a similar instance with Switzerland in 2018. The recovered funds, including $3 million in interest, will be invested in infrastructure projects such as interstate roads and the Second Niger Bridge. The funds, part of an estimated $5 billion looted by Abacha, were laundered through the US banking system and held in Jersey. They will be managed by the National Sovereign Investment Authority. Nigeria's reliance on oil for government revenue is challenged by falling crude prices and the coronavirus pandemic, leading to budget cuts and increased borrowing.

Tanzania investigates allegedly false Covid-19 tests, suspends top laboratory officials

05 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Tanzania's government has formed a committee to investigate alleged false Covid-19 test results from the country's main public laboratory. The health minister suspended the laboratory's director and a senior official following President John Magufuli's claims of irregularities, including tests where a papaya, a quail, and a goat tested positive. Magufuli has been skeptical about the virus's impact and suggested potential sabotage. Opposition lawmaker Zitto Kabwe supported the laboratory director, urging them not to be disheartened by political interference. Tanzania has reported 480 cases and 16 deaths but has not implemented extensive measures against the virus.

Nigeria’s 2020 budget trembles, oil benchmark price revised to $20

05 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Nigeria is experiencing a significant decline in oil revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a global oil price war, leading to a revision of the 2020 budget with the oil benchmark price reduced to $20 per barrel. Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed and Budget Office head Ben Akabueze highlighted the severe impact on the country's economy, which relies heavily on oil sales for government revenue and foreign exchange. The country is also dealing with the economic aftermath of a recent recession and has received $311 million in recovered funds from former leader Sani Abacha, earmarked for infrastructure projects.

Nigerians protest poor treatment in Covid-19 isolation centres in Gombe

05 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Covid-19 patients in Gombe, Nigeria, protested against poor treatment and lack of medical attention at an isolation facility. They blocked a nearby highway, causing traffic disruptions. Gombe state information commissioner Alhassan Ibrahim Kwami stated that the patients misunderstood their status and did not require drugs as they were asymptomatic. The protest highlighted concerns about the healthcare system's ability to handle the pandemic, given its history of underfunding and neglect.

Rwanda reopens economy after six-week Covid-19 lockdown

04 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Rwanda has partially lifted its strict lockdown measures after six weeks, allowing businesses in Kigali to reopen with restrictions. The lockdown, which began on March 22, had a significant economic impact, leading to job losses and financial hardship. Hair salons and markets are operating with limited capacity, and public transport is running at half capacity with mandatory masks. Residents are relieved to resume physical activities, and the country has reported 259 cases of coronavirus with no deaths.

Museveni extends Uganda Covid-19 lockdown by 14 days

04 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
President Yoweri Museveni has extended Uganda's nationwide COVID-19 lockdown by 14 days while easing some restrictions. Wholesalers, hardware shops, warehouses, repair workshops, garages, metal and woodwork shops, and insurance providers will be allowed to open under strict social distancing measures. Restaurants can operate for take-away meals only. Private and public vehicle transport remains restricted, and borders, airports, schools, universities, places of worship, and public gatherings will stay closed. Uganda has reported 89 COVID-19 cases with 55 recoveries.

Low oil sales, Covid-19 force Algeria budget slash by 50%

03 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The Algerian government has halved its state budget due to the financial crisis caused by the global collapse in oil prices and the coronavirus lockdowns. Despite the budget cut, the government will increase the minimum wage and scrap income tax for low earners. The government has also postponed consideration of a finance law addressing the pandemic. Algeria's foreign exchange reserves have significantly decreased, and President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has ruled out seeking an IMF bailout, preferring domestic borrowing to maintain national sovereignty.

Mass deaths in Kano, Nigeria due to Covid-19, apprehension as work resumes

03 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The mysterious deaths in Kano, Nigeria, have been attributed to Covid-19 by a presidential team led by Dr. Nasiru Sani Gwarzo. The state has seen a significant rise in deaths among senior citizens, prompting federal intervention. Despite initial denials by the Kano State government, autopsies and tests confirmed Covid-19 as the cause. The report comes as Nigeria prepares to ease lockdown measures, with concerns about rising infections and inadequate medical facilities. The Federal Government has mandated facemasks and reduced work hours to curb the virus's spread.

Hunger looms in South Africa as COVID-19 lockdown hinders free school meals

01 May 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Schools in South Africa have been closed for seven weeks to contain COVID-19, halting a national feeding program that provided meals to nine million poor children. Volunteers and officials in Cape Town's Blue Downs community report severe hunger among children, with emergency schemes providing some relief. Economic hardships have intensified since the lockdown began in late March. The government has partially reopened the economy and plans to reopen schools in June, but uncertainty remains over the resumption of the national school nutrition program, increasing pressure on struggling families.

‘Not all African countries deserve blanket debt relief over Covid-19’ – private creditors

17 Apr 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Private creditors in emerging markets oppose blanket debt relief for all African countries, advocating for case-by-case solutions. The Africa Private Creditor Working Group (AfricaPCWG) aims to coordinate responses to COVID-19's economic impact, representing over $9 trillion in assets. The G20 and other multilateral institutions are urged to engage transparently with stakeholders. Critics argue that without debt cancellation, public funds will be misused to pay private lenders. The G20 has agreed to freeze debt payments for the poorest countries, but private sector involvement remains contentious.

Italian diagnosed with coronavirus in Nigeria, health condition ‘stable’

28 Feb 2020  |  newscentral.africa
Nigerian health authorities confirmed the country's first COVID-19 case involving an Italian businessman in Lagos. The patient, who arrived from Milan, is stable and under isolation. The Lagos health commissioner and the Nigerian health minister emphasized the country's preparedness and ongoing efforts to control the outbreak, including activating the State Emergency Operations Centre and identifying contacts of the patient. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control leads the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group to manage the situation.

Guinea referendum, legislative polls must be ‘transparent’: UN rights chief

27 Feb 2020  |  newscentral.africa
The United Nations has urged Guinean authorities to ensure transparency and inclusivity in the upcoming referendum and legislative elections, warning that further escalation of the political crisis could be profoundly harmful. The referendum, seen by critics as a move by President Alpha Conde to extend his rule, has sparked months of protests resulting in dozens of deaths. UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet emphasized concerns over ethnic divisions and irregularities in the voters' register, calling for measures to prevent greater turmoil. The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution has called for a boycott of the vote.

Insurgency, cattle rustling and farmer-herds men clashes. A special report on Northern Nigeria.

Insurgency, cattle rustling and farmer-herds men clashes in Nigeria. A special report on Northern Nigeria

A special report on the blue economy diversification of African countries.


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