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Facebook to expand Coronavirus Information Centre to Nigeria, 16 other African countries

Nigeria and 16 other African countries will now have Facebook’s Coronavirus Information Centres, as the tech giant further expands its media tentacles into Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Facebook set to award $3 million in Community Accelerator program, Facebook to invest $100 million in media houses as coronavirus crashes their revenue, Facebook to expand Coronavirus Information Centre to Nigeria, 16 other African countries

Nigeria and 16 other African countries will now have Facebook’s Coronavirus Information Centres, as the tech giant further expands its media tentacles into Sub-Saharan Africa. The centre is part of Facebook’s contributions to the ongoing efforts against Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus Information Centre, in collaboration with trusted health authorities, provides news, critical information and resources, as well as tips for staying healthy and supporting families and communities amidst the pandemic.

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This is one of the approaches used by Facebook to prevent fake information about COVID-19. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp have become sources of information for individuals around the world.

In an earlier report by Nairametrics, WhatsApp, another social media platform owned by Facebook, reduced the number of contacts that could receive forwarded messages simultaneously. This was intended to help users differentiate fake news from real information.

(READ MORE: Facebook launches new messaging app called ‘Tuned’, just for couples)

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According to a statement received by Nairametrics, users of Facebook will get real-time updates from national health authorities and global organisations such as the World Health Organization. Facebook will also provide helpful articles, videos, and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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The COVID-19 Information Centre will feature at the top of Facebook’s News Feed. Users across 17 African countries will choose to get notifications for updates from official government health authorities.

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Speaking on the expansion of the centre to Nigeria and other countries, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Africa, Kojo Boakye, stated:

“We’ve built the information centres, in collaboration with national health partners, to ensure that people can get access to information from trusted health sources.

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“The launch of the COVID-19 Information Centre on Facebook in more than 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa aligns with our commitment to making accurate, timely information about the pandemic accessible to all communities.”

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READ MORE: Live streaming: Keeping us connected through this lockdown- Facebook updates features

The African countries selected to have the COVID-19 Information Centres are as follows; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Togo.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: fakoyejo.olalekan@nairametrics.com.

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Business News

NNPC discloses basis for employment and managerial progression in the oil firm

NNPC disclosed that academic competence, application of federal character amongst others are part of key consideration in its recruitment process.

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NNPC, Domestic Crude Allocation, Why NNPC’s Duke Oil is quitting London operations for Dubai , NNPC divests stake in four oil wells to NPDC , How NNPC discovered oil, gas deposits in the North , Nigeria to leverage on condensate refineries to be petrol net exporter, How NNPC saved $3 billion from arbitration , NNPC, IPPG donate medical supplies to South West state governments, NNPC discloses bases for employment and managerial progression in the oil firm

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained the basis for employment as well as career progression in the state-owned oil firm, using a recent Graduate Trainee employment process and top management promotion exercise as an illustration.

This is coming against the backdrop of criticism in recent times over management appointments and postings, with claims of nepotism, favoritism, and lack of federal character.

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In a press statement  signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager Public Affairs, Dr. Kennie Obateru, the state NNPC disclosed that academic competence, and application of federal character, amongst others are part of key considerations in employment and managerial progression. The statement said in parts:

Unblemished academic competence, logical thinking, ability to engage meaningfully in problem-solving in addition to the federal character are key to becoming an employee of the corporation.

“To progress in the Management cadre, professional competence, accountability, and transparency as well as ensuring national spread in top management positions are critical factors that are not negotiable.”

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(READ MORE: NNPC pipeline vandalism up by 50% in January, may suspend crude oil production)

Explaining the parameters, Dr. Kennie Obateru stated that the basic academic requirement for newly employed Graduate Trainees in the corporation is a minimum of a Second-Class Upper Division or an Upper Credit for Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate holders. Alternatively, a candidate holding a Second Class Lower Division degree or an HND Lower Credit Diploma holder, must in addition have acquired a Master’s degree in a relevant field.

He pointed out that this was applicable in the last recruitment exercise where qualified applicants undertook a computer-based test conducted by a neutral national examination body, following which the best performers were further taken through a formal interview session to ensure their suitability.

Obateru stated that the end product of the rigorous exercise was the new set of employees who have shown a lot of promise since the beginning of the onboarding programme which started earlier this month; including engagements with the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, and some members of top management of the corporation.

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The NNPC spokesperson said the fairness in the appointment of the new employees was such that many of the new employees expressed astonishment at securing employment in the National Oil Company without any godfather.

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It should be recalled that 1,050 graduate trainees were recently recruited by NNPC and assumed duty virtually on Monday May 4, 2020 due to the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, some top management appointments and postings were done in the first week of March this year.

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Business News

U.S.A calls for an independent probe of AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina

There were allegations of a certain number of appointments and departures deemed questionable and several contracts approved under Adesina’s leadership which were in violation of the bank’s statutory and ethical rules.

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AfDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa, ADB launches $3 billion “Fight COVID-19” Social Bond, US calls for an independent probe of AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina

This appears not to be the best of times for Akinwumi Adesina, the President of Africa Development Bank (AfDB), who is in the process of canvassing votes for a second term. This is because the United States Government is pushing for more investigation into his activities.

The U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, has called for an independent probe into allegations by a group of whistleblowers against the AfDB President, thereby rejecting plans by the bank’s board to stop the investigation on the issue.

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According to a monitored report from Bloomberg, a letter which was dated May 22 and addressed to the Chairperson of the AfDB board of directors, Niale Kaba, stated that the US Treasury Department disagreed with the findings by the bank’s ethics committee that cleared Adesina of any wrongdoing.

According to the US treasury secretary, “We have deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process. Instead we urge you to initiate an in-depth investigation of the allegations using the services of an independent outside investigator of high professional standing.”

It can be recalled that a group of anonymous staff had accused Adesina of multiple cases of abuse and breaches of the bank’s code of ethics. The allegations include various cases of alleged breaches of the code of conduct, unethical conduct, private gain, an impediment to efficiency, preferential treatment, and involvement in political activity, all affecting confidence in the integrity of the bank.

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(READ MORE:AfDB, Asian Bank, others worsen poor nations’ debt problem – World Bank)

There were allegations of a certain number of appointments and departures deemed questionable and several contracts approved under Adesina’s leadership which were in violation of the bank’s statutory and ethical rules.

Although Adesina insisted on his innocence, having been cleared by the bank’s Ethics Committee of all charges brought against him, the whistleblowers expressed serious doubts about the ability of the African Development Bank to conduct an independent investigation. Therefore, they said they did not have enough confidence in the Ethics committee handling the case dispassionately.

The criticism by the United State Government, who is the biggest non-African shareholder, follows questions about the bank’s internal processes and comments by World Bank President, David Malpass in February that multilateral lenders including the AfDB tend to lend money too quickly, and in the process add to the debt problems in Africa. Adesina had refuted this claim, describing it as not fact based.

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Economy & Politics

BREAKING: Nigeria’s GDP grows by 1.87% in Q1 2020, as non-oil sector weakens

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87%(year-on-year) in real terms, representing a drop of 0.23% points compared to Q1 2019 and 0.68% points decline compared to Q4 2019

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Covid-19, Conditional cash transfer: FG gives reason for disengagement of 2 Payment Service Providers, President Buhari asks the Chief Justice to release prisoners due to coronavirus

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87%(year-on-year) in real terms. This is according to the first quarter (Q1) GDP report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.

The performance recorded in Q1 2020 represents a drop of 0.23% points compared to Q1 2019 and 0.68% points decline compared to Q4 2019, reflecting the earliest effects of the disruption, particularly on the non-oil economy. Quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was –14.27% compared to 5.59% recorded in the preceding quarter.

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The oil sector recorded a real growth rate of 5.06% (year-on-year) in Q1 2020 indicating an increase of 6.51% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

Details shortly…..

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