The new joint military and police operation tagged “Operation Accord” to root them out bandits in some northern states and the new upward review of electricity tariff are the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Nation newspaper reports that tough time awaits bandits in the Northwest of Nigeria as President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a joint military and police operation to root them out.
Tagged “Operation Accord”, it is targeted at ridding Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states of armed marauders.
There were protests in Katsina and Niger states over rising killings by the bandits.
The Punch says that the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, has insisted that the new increment on electricity tariff would take off in July. He stated this on Tuesday at the Investigative Public Hearing on Power Sector Recovery Plan and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic organised by the Senate Committee on Power.
Mamman said COVID-19 pandemic had affected the laid, out plan for the repositioning of the electricity market towards financial sustainability under the Power Sector Recovery Programme.
According to him, the regulator, following the completion of public consultation on tariff review, has initially planned to conduct a tariff review in April 2020.
The newspaper also reports that Nigeria’s foreign reserves have commenced a downward trend, dropping by $129.83m in one week, the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria have shown.
The reserves, which stood at $36.57 billion as of June 3, fell to $36.45 billion on June 11. According to the CBN, the reserves had maintained a steady rise at a level of $33.52bn as of April 30, 2020, before commencing its downward trend in June.
The reserves had earlier slipped into a decline after hitting a high of $45.17bn on June 11, 2019, losing $11bn to close at $33.89bn as of April 28.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the country’s main export commodity, oil, represents around 90 percent of its exports. “The country’s oil exports are expected to fall by more than $26bn,” the IMF said.
The Sun says that as the Nigerian economy gradually picks up amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, on Tuesday said he was working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the maritime industry grows its annual contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current N1.9 trillion to N7 trillion.
Bello, who disclosed in Abuja while interacting with journalists on how to fully harness the country’s huge maritime endowments threatened to revoke the licence of dormant Inland Container Depots (ICDs) also known as dry ports.
According to him, Nigeria boasts of vast coastline and huge natural resources that can be tapped, processed and exported via the seaports to boost its foreign reserves.
ThisDay says that the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, rolled out the guidelines for the reopening of schools in Abuja yesterday.
The minister spoke at the 2020 Policy Meeting on Admissions to Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Nwajiuba said: “All institutions must have hand-washing facilities; body temperature checks; body disinfectants at all entering points to their major facilities, including the gates, hostels, classes, offices, etc; the whole premises of each institution must be decontaminated; all efforts must be geared toward maintenance of the highest level of hygiene and institutions must ensure social and physical distancing in class sizes and meeting spaces.”
The newspaper also reports that the Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of Animal Science, Prof. Eustace Iyayi, has said the livestock industry in Nigeria could be valued at least N50 trillion over the next decade if all the right structures are put in place.
Making this revelation in a recent interview he granted in Abuja, Iyayi also said the industry is currently growing at an annual rate of 12.7 percent. Currently, according to him, the industry is worth at least N30 trillion.
He cited the right structures to include proper infrastructure for value chain development, expansion and sustenance, financing, research and development for new breeds, and capacity development of operators.
The current worth of the industry would, therefore, constitute approximately 20 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, and more than 30 percent at the rate of the 10 years projected figure against today’s GDP imported, Iyayi said.