The acceptance of the five-point demand of protesters against police brutality by the Presidential Panel on Police Reforms and the IMF projection that Nigeria’s economy will contract by 4.3% in 2020 are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.ThisDay reports that the Presidential Panel on Police Reforms has agreed to the five-point demand of protesters against police brutality, which included halting use of force against protesters and unconditional release of arrested citizens.
Other demands include justice for the victims of police brutality, including payment of compensation, and the psychological evaluation of policemen, including increasing their salaries.
Despite these concessions, including the dissolution of the rogue police squad, SARS, the protests yesterday spread to Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Ibadan in Oyo State, Akure in Ondo State, Owerri in Imo State, Ilorin in Kwara State, Enugu in Enugu State and Yola in Adamawa State.
The protesters also sustained their campaign in Lagos and Abuja, where soldiers yesterday brutalised some of the youths, including the ARISE NEWS Channel crew.
But the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has set up a new outfit to replace the notorious SARS, while the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olum says that he has set up N200 million fund to assist victims of police brutality.
The Punch says that the International Monetary Fund has projected that Nigeria’s economy will contract by 4.3 per cent in 2020.
It disclosed this in its World Economic Outlook report for October 2020 which was released on Tuesday.
The IMF had earlier April predicted a 3.4 percent contraction of the economy. It also predicted 5.4 per cent contraction in June.
It, however, projected that the economy would recover by 1.7 percent in 2021. According to the report, global growth was projected to contract by 4.4 percent in 2020, a less severe contraction than forecast in the June 2020 World Economic Outlook Update.
The revision reflected better-than anticipated second quarter Gross Domestic Product outturns, mostly in advanced economies, where activity began to improve sooner than expected after lockdowns were scaled back in May and June, as well as indicators of a stronger recovery in the third quarter.
The newspaper reports that the Poultry Association of Nigeria says Nigeria has taken delivery of 262,000 metric tonnes of maize imported into the country to augment local production.
A statement issued by the association on Tuesday said following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, poultry farmers in the country had agonised over the shortfall of maize and other feeds.
Four companies, Premier Feeds, Mills Wacot, Chi Farms and Crown Flour, were recently permitted to shore up the supply for maize in the poultry industry through importation.
Confirming the arrival of the 262,000 metric tons of maize, PAN President, Ezekiel Ibrahim, stated that the CBN’s directive aimed at bridging the supply gap. He noted that the association considered the decision to be the right action in the circumstance.
He explained, “As a necessary evil, the CBN approved import licences to some members of our association so that the industry will not be allowed to close down.
The Punch also says that Nigeria is now the largest producer of rice in Africa, the Federal Government said on Tuesday.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, said this in Abuja at an event to mark the 2020 World Food Day, celebrated annually on October 16.
Nanono said, “Significant progress has been made to improve agricultural productivity since the inception of the present administration.
“To boost food security, Nigeria has curbed imports and has established a robust rice production programme to encourage more rice production at home. “Efforts in this direction are starting to show results as Nigeria is now Africa’s largest producer of rice.
The Sun says that even at the risk of plunging into recession any moment from now, the Federal Government yesterday, rejected World Bank’s debt relief offer being dangled at it by the World Bank.
This rejection was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, during the public presentation of the 2021 Budget, in Abuja.
According to her, after reviewing the loan agreements Nigeria entered into with other commercial lenders, it was discovered that the country has limitations to take the offer.
“On the World Bank debt relief offered to all nations, I will say for now the answer is no. The reason being that we have assessed the offer and we also reviewed the loan agreements that we are committed to between us and bilateral partners—that is, other countries that we borrowed from,“ she said.
The Nation reports that Micro and Takaful Insurance contribute less than one per cent of the premium generated in the industry, the Head, Takaful Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Zubairu Darazo, has said.
Darazo, who made this known at a lecture entitled: “Insurance development in Nigeria: The financial inclusion option’, said takaful and micro insurance would take care of the insurance needs of low-income earners.
He stated that lack of understanding of the model of the insurance among insurance firms was a bane for the low penetration. He said the commission is making progress, as it has registered about four takaful and micro insurance firms each and would register more when necessary.
He said: “The registration was to achieve the 40 per cent financial inclusion target in the insurance industry. As at December 2019, the premium paid for takaful insurance stood at just N2 billion while the micro insurance was N350 million.