The comments of Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, that Nigerians are not only at war, but are in a war zone and the move by Activists yesterday to make good their threat to resume the EndSARS protest, triggering fresh concerns are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Guardian reports that Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has lamented the insecurity in the country, saying Nigerians are not only at war but are in a war zone.
Soyinka, who decried the seemingly intractable killings and kidnappings in the country, spoke yesterday in Lagos at the public presentation of his latest novel, Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth.
The renowned playwright noted that religion has become one of the fastest-growing businesses in Nigeria today.
“I think we are not only at war, we are all in a war zone. There is no question about that because now, the sense of individual, collective, and community safety has virtually become equivalent to a question of survival,” he said.
Soyinka, who also observed that nothing has really changed, said the nation was in a desperate situation.
The newspaper says that Activists, yesterday, moved to make good their threat to resume the EndSARS protest, triggering fresh concerns.
This came six weeks after a violent turn of events as the #EndSARS protests cascaded into an orgy of violence and destruction across the country.
Worried that there could be a repeat of the mayhem, President Muhammadu Buhari warned, yesterday, that while citizens were at liberty to freely express themselves in a democracy, such latitude did not include acts of hooliganism.
He stated that anyone that would hide behind lawful and peaceful protests to commit crime would be dealt with decisively to ensure peace and stability in the country.
ThisDay says that the Nigerian federal government has caved in to the demand by the organised labour by slashing the pump price of petrol by N5. By this reduction, the new price of a litre of petrol will now be N162.44.
The government said the new price template will come into effect as from Monday next week. Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting with labour leaders that lasted till midnight, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said that the meeting was fruitful.
He said: “Our discussion was fruitful and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which is the major importer and marketers of petroleum product, and customers have agreed that there will be a slide down of the pump price of PMS and that the price cut will get us about N5 per litre and that the price cut will take effect from next Monday, a week today,”
Ngige however said that the price reduction was not meant to suspend deregulation because it did not affect the price of crude oil but on areas where the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC as the main importer has agreed that it cut cost like freight cost and demurrage.
The Punch reports that the pump price of petrol may hit N180 per litre this month, according to marketers, as oil prices extended their rally on Monday, with Brent crude trading near $50 per barrel.
Brent, the international oil benchmark, has risen by more than 15 per cent since November 13 when the pump price of petrol was adjusted in the country. It stood at $49.39 per barrel as of 7:29pm Nigerian time on Monday.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had said in September that the Federal Government had stepped back in fixing the price of petrol, adding that market forces and crude oil price would determine the cost of the product.
The National Operation Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Mike Osatuyi, said fuel prices might increase before the end of December, considering the current realities in the market.
“Once we have deregulated, petrol price is a function of crude oil price. If in the past few months, oil price has hovered around $40 to $44 per barrel, when it moves to $49-$50, we have to be expecting nothing less than N180 per litre of petrol,” he said.
The newspaper says that Federal Government is working to resuscitate the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited at the same time, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Oluwatoyin Akinlade, has said.
Akinlade disclosed this when she paid a working visit to the two companies to ascertain their levels of preparedness ahead of the arrival of a team from Russia scheduled to technically audit the firms.
She said in a statement issued in Abuja by the Assistant Director, Press, Timothy Akpoili, that the Federal Government was committed to resuscitating both companies.
The permanent secretary said the ministry wants the two companies to begin full operations soon. She was quoted as saying, “Ajaokuta is the future, the bedrock of Nigeria’s development. The resuscitation must be done, and can be done.”
The Sun reports that the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has disclosed that the closure of our borders has stopped neighbouring countries from participating in this year’s trade fair.
The Chairman, Trade Promotion Board of the LCCI, Gabriel Idahosa who made the remark noted that the countries’ representatives were physically present at the fair but their goods cannot come in due to the border closure.
He said the chamber has made efforts to permit these countries for the purpose of the fair by applying to the office of the President for permission, but no reply or permission has been granted.
“For countries like Ghana, Cameroon, Benin Republican, Cote de’ Ivoire, and others, they are in town, but their goods cannot come in because of the closure of our borders. We have applied to the office of the President, but till now no permission or response.
Idahosa also disclosed that due to the pandemic and short notice to foreign exhibitors like China, Japan they could not make it to the fair.
He said the short notice did not give them enough time to prepare. “It takes three months on the average to import into Nigeria and clear their goods at the ports and then send them to the TBS ground for the fair.”