Nigerian press focuses on collapsed 21-storey building in Lagos, others

The report by the Southwest Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency that five persons were rescued alive and four dead…

The report by the Southwest Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency that five persons were rescued alive and four dead when a 21-storey building under construction collapsed in Lagos yesterday is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Vanguard reports that the Southwest Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, says five people were rescued alive while four dead bodies were recovered from the debris of the 21-storey building that collapsed this afternoon on Gerald road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Speaking to Vanguard, Farinloye said the rescue operation is still in progress as they are getting closer to where some of the construction workers are being trapped.

However, he couldn’t ascertain the total number of casualties as well as the number of persons trapped in the building.

Vanguard also gathered more people have been rescued and currently undergoing treatment at the time of writing this report.

The newspaper says that as the world marks the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against journalists today, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has called on government at all levels to make deliberate and sustained efforts to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work freely.

The editors also reminded the government that attacks on journalists have a destructive effect on the dissemination of information and helpful debate in a democratic space.

They expressed concern over the way journalists are increasingly subjected to all forms of threats, including kidnapping, torture, physical attacks and other forms of harassment.

In a statement issued on Monday by NGE’s President, Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uuwgiaren, the professional group also called on the security agencies to immediately locate a missing journalist, Mr Tordue Salem; investigate all forms of attacks against journalists – with the sole purpose of prosecuting the offenders.

Mr. Salem, a journalist with Vanguard Newspapers, who covers the House of Representatives, has been declared missing in the past few weeks.

The United Nations General Assembly had proclaimed every November 2 as the ‘’International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists” in General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163. The resolution urges Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity.

This milestone resolution condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. And also urges the Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability, bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers, and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.

The Guardian reports that the 650,000bpd Dangote Petroleum Refinery, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other modular refineries are expected to be the major drivers of Nigeria’s demand for petroleum products, which is projected to grow massively in the nearest future.

Speaking at the just concluded 15th Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Week in Lagos, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said NNPC Refineries’ 445,000 barrels-per-day (BPD),

Dangote Refinery’s 650,000 BPD and the 250,000 BSD expected to come from the Condensate Refineries through the private sector partnership respectively would supply the requirement of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) needs  

in Nigeria. Kyari’s position only corroborated that of President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote who said he was dissatisfied with the fact that Nigeria is a leading oil producer but imports all her petroleum needs.

Dangote who was speaking on his refinery project in Lagos said it was the unsavoury situation the nation found itself that made him take up the challenge to embark on the construction of the gigantic refinery project, which he said is one of the biggest in the world.

According to him, some 29,000 Nigerians would be employed in the refinery when completed and that would also help in the employment generation drive of the federal government.

The newspaper says that notwithstanding some economic recovery recorded by the government, some private sector operators have expressed concerns that the economy continues to face headwinds triggered by high inflationary pressure, currency depreciation, insecurity and other structural constraints undermining productivity.

According to an economist and chief executive officer, Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr. Muda Yusuf, many businesses are grappling to survive the economic shocks and vulnerability, while inflationary pressures equally remain a key concern.

In its business environment update, the CPPE stated that the biggest challenge reported by investors across all sectors in the past couple of months was around foreign exchange. “Practically all investors expressed serious concerns over this predicament.

The concerns were around the sharp depreciation in the exchange rate, the uncertainty, volatility and unpredictability of the rate and the liquidity problem in the official window of the foreign exchange market.

“Although the inflation rate has decelerated over the past couple of months, inflationary pressure remains a major cause for concern for investors in the Nigerian economy.

“Headline inflation as of September was 16.63 per cent, while food inflation was 19.57 per cent and core inflation was 13.74 per cent. In all of these, there are worries about the implication of the inflationary situation for the Nigerian economy.

The Sun reports that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that it is ready to commence the collection of import duty with the e-naira recently introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The National Deputy Public Relations Officer of Customs,

Mr. Timi Bomodi, said that NCS is ready to embrace the e-naira on import duty as long as payments are routed through authorised dealer banks and confirmed.

However, stakeholders in the maritime industry have said the e-Naira may have little or no significant impact on the maritime sector, even as many exhibit ignorance about the digital currency.

President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) digital currency, the e-Naira, in Abuja recently, while also stating that the purpose of the electronic currency is to take further steps to reverse the country’s over reliance on imports.

Conversely, the immediate past Director General of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yussuf, said that the e-naira would have little or no significant impact in the maritime industry, saying that there is need for stakeholders to be careful not to fall victims of fraudsters through the e-naira platform.

According to him, the country has witnessed amazing transformation in the payment system space with the use of electronic payments, the use of POS, ATM, mobile money transfers, use of debit and credit cards that have all gained tremendous traction and confidence among the citizenry.

The Punch says that power generation in Nigeria dropped from a peak of 4,224.9MW on Sunday to 3,844.3MW by 6am on Monday, data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power show.

Coincidentally, November 1, 2021 made it exactly eight years that the power sector was officially privatised.

Operators had stated that electricity on the grid on November 1, 2013 when the sector was privatised was around 3,400MW, meaning that the sector had been struggling with power generation and supply in the past eight years.

The highest peak power ever generated and transmitted in Nigeria was 5,802MW on March 1, 2021 at 9.30pm. It was evacuated at a frequency of 50.09 hertz. Commenting on the poor electricity production despite the privatisation of the sector, the President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, Kunle Olubiyo, said it was high time that the government reviewed the privatised sector.

He said, “Exactly eight years ago, the power sector was privatised and there was a paradigm shift from public sector-driven business model to a supposedly private sector driven business model.

“Taking a glossary look at the general performances of the power sector, the picture is fluid and toxic and there is little or nothing to celebrate.”