The main headlines of mainstream Nigerian newspapers of Tuesday, May 21, are focused on Nigeria's GDP which is said to have shrunk to 2.01 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, doctors and nurses' displeasure over poor pay and overwork in state hospitals among others.
Vanguard reports that Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at 2.01 per cent in the first quarter of 2019. This represents 0.38 percentage points decline when compared with the 2.38 per cent growth recorded in fourth quarter of 2018.
The disclosure was made on Monday, May 20, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Reacting to the 2.01 per cent economic growth, Taiwo Oyedele, head of Tax and Regulatory Services at PwC Nigeria, said: “We should be growing at double digit in an inclusive manner 2.01 per cent GDP growth rate means we are still getting poorer each day than the previous."
The Guardian reports that stringent requirements were issued by the National Assembly to media organisations for compliance before the latter covers its activities.
The requirements, which were issued on Monday, May 20, stated that before the inauguration of the ninth National Assembly and other activities of the Assembly could be covered by media organisations, the latter will have to comply with conditions for fresh accreditation before June 11, 2019.
However, Senate president Bukola Saraki has denied knowledge of the new requirement.
According to Saraki's special adviser on media, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the management of the National Assembly never brought issues of media accreditation to the Senate president's attention.
He said: “This is a demonstration of the fact that the political leadership of National Assembly does not decide most of the things that happen there (National Assembly management). This is definitely news to me, even as head of the media team of the chairman of the National Assembly.
“It is perhaps a new policy that will be in force from June 11 when the new National Assembly will be inaugurated. In any case, I will still try to give advice to the relevant people on an issue which I consider as bordering on press freedom and access to information."
According to The Punch, the few doctors and nurses in state hospitals are lamenting poor pay and overwork.
Dr Francis Faduyile, president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said the association had tried to engage state governments on the plight of doctors but all to no avail.
He said: “It is important for us to state that the important thing we need the state governments to do is to open up their facilities so that they can employ doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals to complement the work of the Federal Government.
“Within this year, we have had cases in which doctors had overworked themselves slumped and died while at work. Some of them have done surgery for many patients and they get so exhausted and passed out."
The Nation on its part reports that the early morning rain on Monday, May 20, flooded the streets of Lagos and had motorist stuck in the traffic that left wardens helpless.
Recounting the damage done by the rain, a motorist identified as Ekundayo Onilude, said: "Two trees fell in Oko Oba in Agege due to the windstorm. One of the trees, blown off from the middle, fell on the road, near the Church Bus Stop; the other was from the root, it fell on a car around Olu Adebi Bus Stop.”
This Day also reports that Nigeria's economy slowed to 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the nation’s economy fell from the 2.38 per cent growth rate of the fourth quarter of 2018.
In his reaction, the head of Research at Augusto & Co, Ogbobine Jimi, said: “The new GDP numbers reflect the fragility of the Nigerian economy in the post-recession era. It also reflects the subsisting and undue dependence of the Nigerian economy on crude oil.
“However, the Q1-2019 GDP numbers also reflect a growth, albeit marginal, in economically significant sectors.”
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