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WHAT’S NEWS? September 14, 2023

By Ezinwanne Onwuka

● Nigerian workers gear up for indefinite strike

After a largely successful two-day warning strike, Nigerian workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are set to embark on an indefinite strike next weekover the government’s failure to meet their demands: a pay raise.

President Bola Tinubu, who inherited a struggling economy with record debt and high inflation, is under pressure to offer relief to workers after he scrapped a popular but costly petrol subsidy, which caused pump prices and prices of goods to soar. He also ended currency controls, causing the naira to slump against the USD.

The workers union on September 1 gave a 21-day ultimatum to Tinubu to reverse the reforms which have compounded a cost-of-living crisis. The two-day strike of September 5 and 6 was to show their readiness for an indefinite strike at the end of the 21-day ultimatum on September 21.

● Nigerian-born US Deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, to visit Nigeria

The United States Deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, is anticipated to visit Nigeria next week in a bid to reinforce economic ties between the two nations. This visit marks a crucial step in President Biden’s commitment to deepening the U.S. engagement with Africa. The Administration has pledged to invest $55 billion over the next three years in the continent, reflecting its growing strategic importance.

This journey is particularly significant for Adeyemo, marking his first visit to Nigeria since becoming a high-ranking member of the Biden Administration. Born in Ibadan, Nigeria, Adeyemo emigrated to California with his family when he was two years old. This trip signifies a return to his birth country after many years.

The visit comes at a pivotal time when Nigerian President Bola Tinubu is spearheading efforts to reform and revitalize Nigeria’s economy.

● Nigerians suffer total blackout as power grid collapses

Africa’s biggest economy as early as 00:40 a.m. Thursday morning was thrown into darkness following the collapse of the national power grid which supplies electricity in all of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital, Abuja.

In Nigeria, power grid collapses are a regular occurrence that plunges the country, a major oil and gas producer, into darkness. In September 2022, the national grid collapsed for the eighth time in the year. Before that, the country had recorded more than 200 partial and total electricity grid system collapses from January 2010 to June 2022.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the country’s electricity regulator, has yet to issue a statement on the situation, but some operators have assured the public that all hands are on deck to restore power as soon as possible. Curiously, the collapse comes two weeks after the TCN had rolled out the drum to celebrate a questionable 400 days of uninterrupted grid stability.

● Super Falcons player, Desire Oparanozie takes a bow from professional football

Desire Oparanozie via X.

Nigeria’s senior national women’s football team, Super Falcons forward Desire Oparanozie announced her retirement from professional football on Wednesday. “It’s time to take a bow, as I believe there’s no better time than now. I’m officially announcing my retirement from professional football for both club and country,” the former Super Falcons captain said in a post on X.

The 29-year-old’s last outing for the Super Falcons was at the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where Nigeria crashed out of the tournament in round 16 following a 4-2 loss on penalties to the Lionesses of England.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand was Oparanozie’s fourth World Cup appearance. She was also a member of the Super Falcons team that won the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2018.

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Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja. X handle: @OnwukaEzinwanne.

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