Nigerian press focuses on Buhari’s query on source of weapons for insurgents, others

The query by Nigerian president on the source of weapons for Boko Haram insurgents and the plan to eliminate child…

The query by Nigerian president on the source of weapons for Boko Haram insurgents and the plan to eliminate child labour in Nigeria are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Vanguard reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday debunked insinuations that insurgents operating within the country, especially Boko Haram, have more money and sophisticated weapons than government forces.

President Buhari also queried security chiefs on how terrorists in the North East get arms, despite closure of the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries.

The Nigerian leader spoke as the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, urged him to consider a security “bail out” for the states, in view of the enormity of resources they commit in support of the military and the police.

This is even as the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, yesterday asked the federal and Kaduna State governments to stop the current spate of killings in Southern Kaduna now.

ThisDay reports that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) have agreed to collaborate to accelerate the progress on the elimination of child labour in the Cocoa, and Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) supply chains in Nigeria.

This will be carried out through the ‘Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa) project, a four-year initiative funded by the Dutch Government.

The implementation in Nigeria is from May 2019 to October 2022, according to the Director of ILO, Dennis Zulu.

Applauding the commitment of NECA to fight the scourge of child labour, Zulu, who is the director of ILO Country Officer for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, commended NECA for providing a platform to amplify the elimination of child labour in global supply chains.

The Nation newspaper says that to raise the bar in the fight against insurgency, more weapons and fighter aircraft are being imported, President Muhammadu Buhari told governors on Tuesday.

According to Buhari, the military hardware are being imported from the United States, China and Jordan.

But the President called on Nigerians to be patient before the new equipment could be deployed because of the need to train the pilots who will fly the fighter jets.

The report added that Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar gave a hint last week in Kainji, Niger State when he said 12 Super Tucano jets were coming from the United States to join the fleet of the Air Force.

The Punch reports that the supply of electricity remains a major challenge to the development of Information and Communications Technology as over 32,800 generators are used to power ICT infrastructure in Nigeria despite grid electricity, the Federal Government said on Tuesday.

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Isa Pantami, said this in Abuja at the inauguration of 11 ICT projects executed by agencies under his ministry in various states.

Pantami, who was responding to concerns raised by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on the need to deepen Nigeria’s ICT to enhance security and boost the economy, explained that two major challenges confronting the sector were right-of-way issues and power constraints.

He said, “With regards to the issue of backbone, particularly broadband, I think it is an excellent observation. “The intervention of the President on the right-of-way, vandalism, which we were able to resolve, is to improve the quality of service.

The newspaper also says that many of the pilots who were recently sacked by Air Peace will be recalled to their jobs following the intervention of the Federal Government.

It was gathered on Tuesday that this was the outcome of an intervention meeting called by the Minister of Aviation Senator, Hadi Sirika, between the airline’s management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers.

The spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, confirmed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said a verbal agreement was reached as the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, acceded to the minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline could accommodate without going under.

The Sun reports that heads of maritime agencies have agreed to work on modalities for a quick commencement of 24-hour operation at the ports, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has said.

Jamoh, who disclosed this Tuesday in Lagos while briefing the media after the monthly meeting of heads of maritime parastatals, said the meeting discussed issues bordering on maritime safety and security, port efficiency, intermodal transportation as well as synergy among agencies in the sector.

He said the forum of CEOs of the agencies had given the maritime industry a platform to grow and contribute more to Nigeria’s economic development.

He stated: “This meeting is the second in the series and it has started yielding positive fruits. For instance, the issue of berthing the NIMASA floating dock, which has lingered for a couple of years, has been resolved through this meeting and very soon it would be deployed for use.”

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