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African Press Review 20 July 2018

Nigeria probes hundreds of civil servants owning posh properties in Abuja. Kenyan teachers smile at last, after fat salary increases and South Africans compete in  a Ramaphosa challenge to fight rising costs of living.

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We begin in Nigeria where the Tribune leads with news that over 400 civil servants of past and the current administration are under investigation for large properties they own in a posh district of the federal capital territory Abuja.

The newspaper reports that the probe into what appears to be a major scandal was launched as part of an Executive Order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari to recover stolen public assets.

The Tribune says that under the properti tracka platform, an Abuja High Court recently ordered the seizure of 86 luxury vehicles, together with four houses and a quarry plant in the capital belonging to civil servants who earn less than N2 million or an estimated 4700 euros a year.

 

Meanwhile Punch is bluffed by the large budget Nigeria's Security and Civil Defence Corps plans to spend on feeding police dogs during the 2019 elections. The paper says the taskforce will need a whopping N310 million (730,000 euros), to keep the dogs in good shape for the work.

According to Punch, President Buhari has asked the National Assembly, to grant the National Security and Civil Defence Force  a total budget of 2.8 million euros which they need this year to prepare for the February 2019, general elections.

 

In Kenya, Daily Nation welcomes a major government deal that is bound to lift the spirits of the country’s teachers -- an announcement that teachers in lower cadres will from next week get their full pay increase while those in special schools will have their allowances collapsed and consolidated with their salaries.

According to the newspaper, more than 160,000 teachers and 3,000 more serving in special schools are set to benefit from the second phase of the Sh54 billion collective bargaining agreement obtained by the Teachers Service Commission.

The Nation says the TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said there would be annual performance evaluations for all teachers working in the country.

As the newspaper observes, the main teachers' union is against the performance tests, which they claim has forced teachers to spend a lot of time away from their stations as they have to visit cyber cafés to download, fill and submit forms to the employer instead of imparting knowledge.

 

And in South Africa, TimeLive publishes a mixed bag of wishes the country's economists are offering President Cyril Ramaphosa after his challenge to ministers to come up with a plan to help consumers cope with rising costs.

Some recommend that he should get rid of costly parastatals, and rethink land expropriation without compensation. Another calls on people to accept the reality that South Africa is getting poorer and start cutting back on their living standards.

Old-fashioned networking and talking to one another might prove an excellent start advises yet another. The Times says ministers in the economic cluster were given two weeks to come up with a plan to deal with the ever-rising cost of living for South Africans, particularly the staggering petrol hikes.

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