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Tragic incidents in Lagos, Nairobi claim over 30 lives

Tragic incidents in Lagos and Nairobi have claimed over 30 lives, leaving hundreds injured in accidents that occurred between Wednesday and Thursday

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Tragic incidents in Lagos and Nairobi have claimed over 30 lives, leaving hundreds injured in accidents that occurred between Wednesday and Thursday.

On Thursday, a petrol tanker exploded following an accident, leading to the burning of several vehicles and the killing of some people.

The petrol tanker went up in flames in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.

Following the ghastly accident, the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) said over 20 vehicles were burnt in the accident.

“A tanker which had break failure loaded with PMS caught fire on the Otedola Bridge INW Berger. The number of vehicles affected is 20+, Traffic Situation is @ a stand still, all alternative routes advised ATM” the agency said on its Twitter handle.

However, other accounts put the number of vehicles burnt at 54 and the number of the dead at 9.

In Nairobi, at least 15 people were killed in a fire at a market in the Kenyan capital.

More than 70 people were reported injured in the Gikomba blaze, which broke out Wednesday night, destroying many properties. The market is well known for the sale of second-hand clothes, shoes and vegetables, and also hastimber yards

Gikomba is one of the largest open-air markets in the city and fires there are frequent, leading to speculation about possible arson attacks, The Standard newspaper said.

Hospital officials reported four children among the dead.

Metro

Zambia signs creditor agreement deal with China, India to resolve debt crisis

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President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia has announced the signing of an official creditor agreement with China and India that will help resolve the country’s debt crisis.

Hichilema, who made the announcement on Saturday, said the agreement would also help pave the way for the country to negotiate with private creditors.

Before signing the agreement, Zambia had struggled to revive its debt restructuring process after a deal to rework $3 billion Eurobonds was rejected by its official creditors, with international media reporting that China and other creditors did not believe that it offered comparable debt relief to that of bondholders.

Earlier on Friday, Minister of Finance, Situmbeko Musokotwane, had assured that the government was trying to clarify the meaning of a “comparable treatment” with bondholders.

However, while addressing a gathering during the Nc’wala ceremony of the Ngoni speaking people of Eastern Province, President Hichilema confirmed the signing of the agreement with the two Asian nations.

“On the official creditors’ side, the last two countries that had not signed, China and India, have now signed,” Hichilema said.

The President added that Zambia was now turning to the private creditors in a bid to address the debt issue because the had defaulted on its foreign debts in November 2020 and that its restructuring had been beset by delays.

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Metro

Four of 10 Nigerians indebted to loan sharks— Report

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A report from a research carried out by Nigerian fintech platform, Piggy Vest, has revealed that four out of 10 Nigerians are indebted to online loan sharks and are finding it difficult to come out of such debts.

The report noted that 26 per cent of average Nigerians were indebted to different loan apps spread across the country which is as a result of the harsh economic challenges brought about by different unfavourable government policies.

The report which was discussed at a Finance Roundtable in Lagos on Saturday by co-founder and COO of PiggyVest, Odun Eweniyi, lamented the widening wealth divide among Nigerians, saying it was inimical to economic growth as a vast majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line.

According to Eweniyi, the report ‘captures the attitude of different demographics in the country viz- a-viz their savings and spending habits, debt management, and future financial plans.’

As a panacea to solving the problems of indebtedness, Eweniyi advocated ‘savings before spending in order to avoid running into debt,’ adding that the option of savings was still elusive to Nigerians who live below the poverty line of $2 per day dollars per day.

“We must also know that while innovation is key, it cannot go far without social interventions for the people.”

She urged the government to focus on Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid in its conversation as well as simplify access to public credit facilities to improve income status of average Nigerians.

“This is why government must as much as possible explore collaboration with private sector to improve the living conditions of Nigerians and also drive financial literacy and inclusion,” Eweniyi emphasized.

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