The warning by the United States to its citizens against travelling to Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the setting up of a judicial commission of enquiry into the financial impropriety levelled against the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu are the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.ThisDay reports that the United States has warned its citizens against travelling to Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The warning, according to the report, was contained in a travel advisory obtained on its website.
It added that the advisory, which was dated August 6, also cautioned US citizens from travelling to 12 states in Nigeria over security challenges.
Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to COVID-19. Some areas have increased risk,” it said. Among the security challenges listed in the advisory are terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime.
The Vanguard reports that President Muhammadu Buhari appeares to have bowed to public pressure to empanel a judicial commission of enquiry into the financial impropriety levelled against the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, by his supervising minister, Abubakar Malami, by finally authorising one to conduct a holistic probe of the man and the finances of the anti-graft agency from 2015 to 2020.
The panel, which is still headed by the former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, has six others as members.
They are DIG Anthony Ogbizi Michael (NPF)- South-South, Deputy Chairman; Muhammad Abubakar Babadoko, Federal Ministry of Justice (North Central); Hassan Yahaya Abdullahi (DSS) (North Central); Muhammad Shamsuddeen (OAGF) (North West); Douglas Egweme (NFIU) South-East, while Kazeem Attitebi (South-West) will serve as the Secretary.
Buhari in an authority instrument dated July 3, 2020, derivable from the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004), gave the panel five key terms of reference and 45 days to conduct its inquiry and turn in its report to the Presidency.
The Punch reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria on Saturday officially changed the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar from N361 to N379 on its website.
The apex bank had earlier expressed its decision to unify the exchange rates in the country as forex scarcity persisted. It was however yet to announce if this would be the official unified exchange rate.
Meanwhile, the naira exchanged for N473 at the parallel market on Friday. Experts have continued to clamour for a single exchange rate in the country.
The President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, had said, “It will ease regulatory supervision, ensure transparency and effective price discoveries, and deepen market perfections.”
The Sun newspaper says that the recent increase in the ex-depot price of petrol to N138.60 by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), appears to have dealt Nigerian households a deadly blow with majority of the citizenry worried the policy could further impoverish them.
This concern comes as the World Bank in its recent ease of doing business rating listed the country as one of the worst places to conduct business, with the nation’s agriculture sub-sector lamenting that high cost of transportation remained a major factor in the astronomical rise in the cost of food items.
Already some economic analysts have urged Nigerians to brace up for tougher times ahead as the latest hike which brings the cost of petrol to N150 per litre, is set to further drain their already stretched disposable income amid the COVID-19 pandemic still ravaging the global economy.
For most part, there is growing anxiety that high cost of food items and transportation across the country would soon spike with the latest fuel price increase.
The newspaper reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), at the weekend, gave the management of Turkish Airlines, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters two weeks ultimatum to reinstate all the sacked workers, failing which they may be shut down.
President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the congress condemned the recent sack of 100 pilots by Air Peace, 69 pilots by Bristow Helicopters and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) executives working with the Turkish Airlines.
“We call on the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all the sacked workers within two weeks,” he said.
According to him the agreement between labour and employers’ associations presupposes that social dialogue should be used to resolve industrial concerns instead of the current resort to unilateralism.
The Nation newspaper says that for every naira invested, foreign portfolio investors took out N2 in the first half of this year as Nigeria continues to wriggle with disproportionately high outflow of foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) against declining inflow.
Regulatory report obtained at the weekend indicated that foreign portfolio outflows rose to N266.68 billion in first half of the year as against inflows of N129.95 billion, representing a net FPI deficit of N136.7 billion.
The deficits of N136.7 billion in first half 2020 represented 31.1 percent increase on N104.29 billion recorded for last year. Total FPIs for the six-month period ended June 30, 2020 stood at N396.63 billion.
Total FPIs during the first half of 2019 had stood at N472.78 billion with outflows and inflows at N257.81 billion and N214.97 billion. The FPI report, coordinated by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), included transactions from nearly all custodians and capital market operators and it is widely regarded as a credible measure of FPI trend.