Nigeria: Press focuses on CNN report on shooting of protesters at Lagos Tollgate by soldiers, others

The report by CNN that the military fired live bullets at #EndSARS protests at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos, contrary to…

The report by CNN that the military fired live bullets at #EndSARS protests at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos, contrary to its denial dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.ThisDay reports that the military fired live bullets at #EndSARS protests at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, contrary to its denial, a report by Cable News Network (CNN) said yesterday.

The CNN, in the report watched by THISDAY, detailed the events before and after the shooting and countered claims by the Nigerian Army that its troops did not shoot at the protesters.

The report also established that many protesters were still missing while bodies of slain protesters were yet to be accounted for.

The report titled: “They Pointed Their Guns at Us and Started Shooting,” showed analysis of videos obtained and geo-located by the news organisation depicting bodies, including that of one Victor Sunday Ibanga, drenched in a pool of his blood and wrapped in the Nigerian flag.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), however, decline to speak on the issue, saying the matter is already before the judicial panel set up by the Lagos State Government, to probe the incident.

The Punch says that The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the 2020 Finance Bill for subsequent transmission to the National Assembly.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council presided over by the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

She said the 2020 Finance Bill was meant to support the 2021 fiscal year budget. The minister gave an assurance that the bill would not lead to an increase in taxes because the situation in the country did not warrant increase in taxes.

She, however, said through the bill, the Federal Government was seeking ‘to make incremental changes to tax laws relating to Customs and Excise as well as other fiscal laws to support the implementation of annual budgets’.

Ahmed explained, “In the last Finance Bill 2019, we reduced taxes from 30 per cent to 20 per cent for enterprises that have turnover of between N25m to N100m. “We also moved taxes from 30 per cent to zero per cent for enterprises that have turnover of N25m and bellow, which means they pay no taxes.

The newspaper reports that Nigeria’s manufacturing sector has snapped out of the doldrums after contracting for six straight months, a new survey by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown.

The CBN, in its latest Purchasing Managers’ Index Survey Report, said the manufacturing PMI stood at 50.2 index points in November, indicating a recovery from the contraction recorded in the manufacturing sector since May 2020.

“Of the 14 subsectors surveyed, eight subsectors reported expansion (above 50 per cent threshold) in the review month,” it said.

According to the report, the subsectors that expanded are transportation equipment; nonmetallic mineral products; furniture and related products; cement; textile, apparel, leather and footwear; plastics and rubber products.

Others were food, beverage and tobacco products, as well as printing and related support activities. But six subsectors – electrical equipment; petroleum and coal products, chemical and pharmaceutical products; primary metal; paper products, and fabricated metal products – contracted in November. The CBN said,

The Sun says that in order to tackle the COVID-19 pestilence, the Federal Government on Wednesday announced the disbursement of N66.5 billion to eligible states on the basis of the Amended COVID-19 Responsive 2020 Budget results achievement.

Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr. Hassan Dodo, the Ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations in Abuja, explained that the disbursement followed compliance with the Amended COVID-19 Responsive 2020 Budget by 35 eligible states in the country.

Rivers is the only state that missed out on the grant due to its inability to meet the eligibility criteria which required the states to have passed and published online on a state’s website by July 31, 2020 credible, fiscally responsible COVID-19 Responsive Amended 2020 Budgets duly approved by the State House of Assembly and assented to by the state governor.

The programme is wholly-financed with a loan amount of $750 million from the International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank Group. Each state received the total sum of N1.9 billion equivalent of $5million.

The disbursement, according to the minister, is under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results.

The Nation reports that members of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday voted for the listing of the Exchange after its conversion to a public limited liability company.

At the 59th annual general meeting (AGM), which is expected to be the last before the conversion to a shareholders-owned company, members of the NSE overwhelmingly voted for the listing of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGXG) on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) once the demutualisation of the NSE is completed.

Under the resolution passed by the AGM, subject to the receipt of requisite approvals of relevant regulatory authorities, following the conversion and re-registration of NGXG, the group is authorised to undertake a listing by introduction of its shares on NGX.

Consequently, the NSE will no longer be wholly owned by its dealing and non-dealing members. Also, following the conversion and re-registration of the Exchange as Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, the powers of the National Council of the Exchange will be devolved upon the board of directors of the group. Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo was also re-elected as a member of the National Council of NSE.

President, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo said yesterday’s resolution cleared the way for the listing of NGXG and for a new structure that would enable the Exchange to realise its vision of becoming Africa’s leading exchange hub.