Nigeria: Press focuses on release of 27 abducted students, others

The release of 27 students abducted by bandits from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna and the alarm raised…

The release of 27 students abducted by bandits from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna and the alarm raised in Abuja over the presence of hundreds of nomadic herders in Sabon-Wuse in Niger State near Abuja are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Guardian reports that respite came for 27 students abducted by bandits from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna, as they gained their freedom yesterday after 56 days in captivity. The students were released in Kindanda village, Giwa local government area of the state.

The release was reportedly facilitated by the Sheikh Abubakar Gumi dialogue committee with support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The students were among the 39 abducted two months ago. After payment of ransom by parents and the school management, the bandits had last month released 10 of the victims while two others escaped from captivity.

The Chairman of the parents’ forum, Mallam Abdullahi Usman, in an interview with The Guardian, commended the roles played by Obasanjo, Sheikh Gumi and other stakeholders, saying “their facilitation was very helpful in the release of the students.”

Asked if additional ransom was paid to the bandits before the release, Usman said: “I cannot confirm whether ransom was paid or not. Our main joy and happiness is that our students are back.”

Parents of the kidnapped students had on Tuesday protested the prolonged abduction of their wards at the National Assembly complex. The freed students are separate from the 16 students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who are yet to be released, with their abductors threatening mass killing if ransom is not paid.

The Kaduna State Government last night expressed overwhelming happiness with parents of the Afaka students. The freed students were received at the state Police Command Headquarters.

The Vanguard says that tension yesterday enveloped communities in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as hundreds of nomadic herders crossed Abuja-Kaduna highway into Sabon-Wuse in Niger State to camp there.

This development forced some residents of Sabon-Wuse, a few kilometres away from Bwari Area Council, to stay at home in fear of the unknown.

It was gathered that some of the herders, comprising men, women and children, who got to the area around 8:00 am, were from the Niger Republic.

They were moving with a large flock of animals, comprising cows, sheep, donkeys and camels. A local vigilante leader, Hussaini Abubakar, told journalists that on arriving at the highway, the herders made a stopover at Sabon-Wuse due to the gridlock around a military checkpoint between Dikko junction and the town.

“They were able to cross the road after a while, and we met them across the road, which is under Tafa LGA where we operate. “We engaged some of them to know about their mission. However, from what we gathered, some of them are from the Niger Republic and they said they were heading to Bauchi State,” said the vigilante leader.

The Sun reports that the Nigerian Government has announced it is going ahead with arrangements to deploy Fifth Generation (5G) Technology in the telecommunications industry.

The government allayed fears and concerns on health and security implications over deployment of 5G, asserting Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind.

It added the resources and revenues to be earned from the deployment are so huge they cannot be ignored. Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, announced these at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NCC and the Nigerian Communications Satellite limited (NigComSat) at the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja.

The MoU between the two agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy would lay the foundations for acquisition of Frequency Spectrum suitable for the deployment of the technology in the country.

Danbatta said the NigComSat, it was discovered after investigation across the globe, had the appropriate technology to facilitate the deployment. Danbatta said: “Among the Frequency Spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the C-band (3.4GHz – 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity.

The Punch says that Foreign Direct Investment dipped by 33.3 percent which amounted to $30m in January, latest statistics obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed on Wednesday.

According to figures obtained from the CBN’s January report on capital importation and capital outflow, the FDI at $90m in December fell to $60m in January.

Part of the report read, “Estimated data revealed a reduction in capital importation during the review period, reflecting the tight global financial conditions and narrowing interest rate differentials, occasioned by low yields on domestic money market instruments.

“A total of $0.38bn new capital was imported into the economy in January 2021, compared with $0.55bn in December 2020.

“A disaggregation of capital importation by type of investment showed that inflow of Other Investments accounted for the largest share at $0.29bn, and represented 75.5 percent of the total, followed by FDI inflow of $0.06bn, which accounted for 16.4 percent. “Foreign Portfolio Investment inflow, at $0.01bn, constituted 8.1 percent of the total. When compared with the $0.44bn, $0.09bn and $0.02bn for OI FDI and FPI, respectively,

in the previous period, it indicated a decline of 34.1 per cent, 33.3 per cent and 50.0 per cent, respectively.”

The Nation reports that Workers have kicked against a move by the Federal Government to cut their salaries as well as reduce the number of federal agencies.

They registered their opposition yesterday through the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in a reaction to Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who hinted on the possibility of reducing the workforce.

On Tuesday at a “national policy dialogue on corruption and cost of governance in Nigeria”, the minister had spoken of government’s plan to reduce the high cost of governance by cutting the salaries of civil servants and trimming Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The talk shop was organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja. She directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to immediately review the salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies in the country.

But, in a statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC said it was most unthinkable that government would be contemplating to unilaterally slash the salaries of Nigerian workers at this time.

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