Nigerian press focuses on raging anti-SARS protest despite disbandment, others

The continued ant-police brutality protests despite the disbandment of the notorious special police unit, SARS and the extension for another…

The continued ant-police brutality protests despite the disbandment of the notorious special police unit, SARS and the extension for another week the suspended increase in electricity tariff are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.

The Guardian reports that the raging #EndSARS protest took a dangerous turn yesterday, as the Inspector General of Police (IGP)’s broadcast announcing the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Sunday failed to end days of procession, rallies, and march across the country.

The commercial capital of the country was on tenterhooks for most parts of yesterday as protesters blocked major highways forcing a standstill in the Victoria Island, Lekki axis of Lagos.

As the momentum spread, other locations were visited, which included Surulere, Mushin, Airport Road, Ikeja and Ikorodu Road. This left millions of residents stranded for hours on the first working day of the week.

Amid the confusion, IGP Mohammed Adamu, yesterday, assured Nigerians that the training of a new police unit to take over from the disbanded SARS would commence next week.

The IGP who disclosed this when popular musician, David Adeleke alias, Davido, visited him over the ongoing protests, explained that there was need to get a new structure to carry out the duties of the defunct police unit in fighting violent crimes.

The newspaper says that stakeholders in the electricity sector, yesterday, expressed worry as the Federal Government suspended the increase in tariff by yet another one week. Following the face-off between the Federal Government and labour unions over increase in electricity tariff and petrol pump price, one of the short-term agreements reached was that the 11 electricity distribution companies should suspend the Multi-Year Tariff Order

According to resolutions at the resumed negotiation between the government and labour on Sunday in Abuja, the additional one week extension of the suspension of the increment was to allow the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) work out and implement the decisions reached.

There had been attempts to increase the tariff, which currently enjoys Federal Government subsidy. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had disclosed that over N1.7 trillion was spent on electricity subsidy. But government opted out of the payment recently, citing harsh economic situation caused by COVID-19.

Speaking on the resolutions, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said: “So, by next Monday, we hope that everything about this would have been completed and the new adjustments and reductions would be effected by Executive Order from NERC.”

ThisDay reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja assured Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the country would deploy its entire energy to ensure that she becomes the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).

This was contained in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Okonjo-Iweala is one of two candidates contesting for the top position of the multilateral institution.

Buhari, who received the former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said she deserved more support to get the top job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country, and the world.

“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,” he said.

The Punch reports that new refining capacities expected to come on stream in Nigeria and other African countries in the next few years may increase pressure on existing plants on the continent, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has said.
OPEC, in its newly released 2020 World Oil Outlook, estimated refining capacity additions between 2020 and 2025 at around 5.2 million barrels per day based on the review of announced and planned refinery projects.

“Significant capacity additions are also expected in Africa in the medium-term period. Additions of new refining capacity are clearly in line with oil demand growth expectations, which show positive trends in most developing countries,” it said.

According to the report, the additions expected in Africa total around 0.8 million bpd or 15 per cent of the global volume. It said, “The largest project expected to come online is the Dangote refinery in Nigeria in 2022, as well as several smaller projects in Egypt and Algeria.

“This significant increase in refining capacity is somewhat larger than incremental demand in the medium-term and could help to reduce product imports, especially in West Africa.” According to OPEC, in Latin America and Africa, there are a number of old and inefficient refineries that have relatively low utilisation rates.

The Sun reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lamented the N900billion or 2.27 percent dropin total credit to the economy in August following the slump in credit to the government in the monthunder review.

The apex bank stated this in its Depository Corporation Survey report for August posted on its website yesterday.

Giving the breakdown, CBN explained that credit to the domestic economy (net domestic credit or NDC) fell by 2.27 percent to N38.67 trillion in August from N39.57 trillion in July. It further attributed this to the N730 billion or 10.21 percent decline in credit to the government, which fell to N8.55 trillion in August from N9.52 trillion in July.

The decline in credit to the government was driven by a sharp fall in government borrowings through treasury bills (TBs) auctions, as total TBs held by investors dropped by N510 billion or 14.7 percent to N2.97 trillion in August from N3.48 trillion in July.

The report also shows that credit to the private sector was relatively stagnant at N30.13 trillion at the end of August, slightly higher by 0.24 percent when compared with the N30.06 trillion in July.