Nigerian press focuses on ECOWAS resolve to return constitutional order in Mali, others

The resolve by the ECOWAS leaders to return constitutional rule in Mali and the step taken by the Nigerian government…

The resolve by the ECOWAS leaders to return constitutional rule in Mali and the step taken by the Nigerian government to protest indiscriminate charges by multinational shipping firms on Nigerian-bound cargoes are the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Vanguard reports that the West African leaders under the regional bloc ECOWAS have said they would dispatch envoys to Mali to help secure “the return of constitutional order”.

In a video conference on Thursday, they called for the ousted Malian president to be restored to office.

“We have decided to immediately send a high-level delegation in order to ensure the immediate return of constitutional order,” the regional bloc ECOWAS said at the end of a video summit.

“We call for the restoration of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as president,” it said in a closing statement read by the president of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, who chairs the group.

The Guardian says that the Nigerian government has taken a bold step to protest indiscriminate charges by multinational shipping firms, who have continued to slam huge surcharges on Nigerian-bound cargoes.

The surcharge, according to the report, is about 400 percent increase from the regular charges and would cripple industries, claim jobs, and shrink revenue accruable to the Government.

Led by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), the stakeholders under the aegis of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), and the Nigerian shipping community met on Wednesday, in Lagos, to resist the arbitrary charges.

The 2020 peak period current charges of between $1,000 and $1,500 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) by shipping firms, is over 400 percent above the previous $200 freight charge per TEU.

Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello, said: “the charge is scary. If a Nigeria-bound container is charged as much as $1,000, then the national economy is in trouble.”

The Punch says that the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee has shared a total of N676.41bn for July 2020 Federation Account revenue to the federal, states and local government councils and relevant agencies across the country.

This was made known after the monthly FAAC meeting for August 2020 held through virtual conferencing and chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmud Isa-Dutse.

The gross statutory revenue of N543.79bn was received for the month of July 2020. This was higher than the N524.53bn received in the previous month by N19.26bn. The gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax was N132.62bn as against N128.83bn available in the preceding month, resulting in an increase of N3.79bn.

A communiqué issued by FAAC indicated that from the total distributable revenue of N676.41bn, the Federal Government received N273.19bn, state governments received N190.85bn and Local Government councils received N142.76bn.

The newspaper reports that power generation in Nigeria dropped to 3,356 megawatts on Thursday less than two days after a new peak of 5,420.30MW was achieved.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria announced on Thursday that the nation’s power industry had achieved yet another all-time national peak of 5,420.30MW.

The TCN, in a statement titled ‘power sector records new improved all-time peak of 5,420.30MW’ said the 5,420.30MW was effectively transmitted through the national grid at a frequency of 50.10Hz at 9:15pm on Tuesday.

But total generation plunged to 3,356.4MW as of 6am on Thursday from 3,877.5MW at the same time on Wednesday, data obtained by one of our correspondents from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator showed. Eleven out of the nation’s 27 power plants did not generate any megawatts of electricity as of 6am on Thursday, up from 10 the previous day, according to the system operator.

The Punch also said that the Nigerian Government on Thursday said the current trade dispute between Nigeria and Ghana was part of issues being addressed at the two-day National Consultation Workshop on ECOWAS Post-2020 Vision ongoing in Abuja.

According to the Nigerian government, everything possible was being done to alleviate the plight of Nigerian traders in Ghana, as it called for calm on the grounds that the issue was being addressed.

The Director, Microeconomic Analysis, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, David Adeosun, who was part of the Federal Government’s delegation at the meeting, said ECOWAS delegates at the workshop would discuss the matter.

He spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the workshop, which held at the headquarters of Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ghanaian officials had sealed off the shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Accra for allegedly failing to have the $1m equity stipulated by the Ghana Investment Promotions Council.

In response, the Federal Government on Monday faulted the closure of the business premises belonging to Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities, saying it would consider retaliatory actions.

The Sun says that diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Nigerian Government, yesterday assumed another positive dimension with the commencement of the Nigeria-Russia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The newly established chamber of commerce and industry had Dr. Obiora Okonkwo as president and founder, with Alhaji Sardina Dantata, a business man with strong links with Russia; Chijioke Okoli (SAN), Mr Linus Awute, a Russian trained-graduate and former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health; Chief Nnamdi Nwigwe, Emeka Obianozie as directors.

Speaking during the introduction of the chamber of commerce and industry to the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, in Abuja, Okonkwo said he was at the embassy to present the founding directors of the Nigeria-Russia Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the Russian envoy.

Okonkwo also said Russia has done to Nigeria what no other nation has done in terms of manpower development, noting that Russia had a whole lot in common with Nigeria, having been a great friend of Nigeria in so many ways.