Nigerian press focuses on rejection of planned regulation of social media by opposition, others

The rejection of the plan by the Nigerian government to regulate the social media by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party…

The rejection of the plan by the Nigerian government to regulate the social media by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and the deadlock in the ongoing negotiation between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.ThisDay reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday rejected the move by the federal government to regulate and social media, describing it as unconstitutional, anti-people and a suppressive design to suffocate Nigerians.

The main opposition party said the renewed frenzy to censor social media is ostensibly targeted at muzzling outspoken Nigerians, particularly the youths, media and civil society organisations, from demanding accountability and competence, as well as exposing alleged widespread corruption, unbridled treasury looting, barefaced injustice, human right abuses, constitutional violations and divisive actions of the APC-led administration.

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Our party rejects the claims that the regulation bill is targeted at checking fake news. This is because our nation already has enough implementable laws to counter the dissemination of fake news and punish offenders.

“It is clear that the APC administration is rather xenophobic of criticisms from citizens against its manifest atrocities that it seeks to surreptitiously re-enact the obnoxious military Decree 4 to suppress Nigerians.”

The newspaper says that Dagote refinery targets marketing of petroleum products by 2021 – Dangote Group has announced that refined petroleum products from its 650,000 per day refinery under construction will hit the market by the last quarter of next year.

Also, products from its completed fertiliser plant will be in the market this month. The Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Group, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, told journalists yesterday in Lagos that the refinery has reached 80 percent completion, adding that engineering and construction were 100 percent over while procurement was 98 per cent ready.

He said: “If you look at the overall percentage completion we are at 80 per cent. But that overall includes engineering and design, which is 100 per cent over. Procurement is about 98 per cent over.

So, it covers various aspects. But the core activity which is going on today is construction. “So, if you look at exclusively construction, we have finished 60 per cent of construction. But overall, it is 80 at per cent level. The progress is going reasonably well. “We had the impact of coronavirus because many of the countries where our equipment are being manufactured were affected.

The Guardian reports that indications from ongoing negotiation between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), is unlikely to yield positive result soon.

The Guardian gathered yesterday in Abuja that while ASUU insists on using its indigenous platform – University Transparency and Accountability System (UTAS) – to pay its members or simply return teaching staff to the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), the government insisted that UTAS is not going to be feasible in the next six months. It also ruled out a return to GIMFIS, saying the platform has been dismantled.

This has now formed a stumbling block to the conclusion of the agreement, as this is the only area of disagreement between the two parties.

In the meantime, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU) said it will not accept the payment of its members via the ASUU platform.

The Punch reports that signing ceremony for the sale of Afam Power Plant for N105bn to the preferred bidder will be done by the Federal Government Thursday (today).

It was gathered on Wednesday that the ceremony, which holds at the Office of the Vice President, would lead to the official sale of the power generation company to the preferred bidder, Transcorp Power Consortium.

In October 2019, the National Council on Privatisation approved Transcorp Power Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Afam Electricity Generation Company (Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited) with a bid price of N105.3bn (about $343.6m).

This was one of the major decisions taken by the council, chaired by the Vice President and Chairman of Council, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the 2nd Meeting of the NCP for 2019 on October 14, 2019. Providing updates on Wednesday on what the Bureau of Public Enterprises had been doing since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Director-General, BPE, Alex Okoh, said the signing of the N105bn deal was part of the work being done by his organisation.

The Nation reports that the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) has determined cases worth over N800 billion in favour of various investors in 13 years of its existence, it was learnt on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), said it plans to integrate Financial Technology (Fintech) into the Capital Market. The Chairman of the IST, Amos Azi, stated this during an interactive session between Capital Market stakeholders and the Senate Committee on Capital Market, in Abuja.

Azi said the IST has delivered on its major Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by delivering judgements within 90 days, that is from commencements to judgement day, publication of its law report and sensitisation.

He said: “From inception till date, we make bold to say that the IST has adjudicated and determined cases of monetary value of over N800 billion in favour of various investors which we believe is very encouraging to investors.

“The investors now know that they have where to approach in case of a dispute.” He said that the IST has established four zonal offices in the country in order to bring adjudication closer to investors at their door steps instead of traveling to Abuja.