Nigerian press highlights Buhari’s delight at political developments in Mali, others

The briefing on the latest political developments in Mali by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and another group of protesters…

The briefing on the latest political developments in Mali by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and another group of protesters against the escalating security challenges in northern Nigeria took to the streets in four northern states are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Guardian reports that President Muhammadu Buhari was yesterday briefed by ECOWAS Special Envoy on Mali, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on latest developments regarding the political impasse in the landlocked West African country.

Buhari expressed delight at the news broken by the Nigerian ex-president during a visit to the State House, Abuja. He was told that the situation had calmed down considerably, following interventions by ECOWAS leaders.

Jonathan said the mission given him by the sub-regional body was almost accomplished, as a government with a largely civilian face had been inaugurated.

He added that ECOWAS Chairman and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, would formally brief the leaders in due course.

ThisDay says that Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) yesterday took to the streets in Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger and Kano States to protest the escalating security challenges facing the North.

In Kaduna, the protesters who marched peacefully from Waff Road to the Kaduna State House of Assembly Complex demanded an “immediate end to banditry, terrorism, and Kidnappings in Northern Nigeria.”

They carried placards and banners with various inscriptions such as: “Stop the killings in the North,” “Empower SWAT to end insecurity,” “End Boko Haram now,” End Banditry Now,” “The North is Bleeding,” and “Stop Rape Now.”

The protesters were received by the Chief Whip of the Assembly, Hon. Shehu Yunusa.

The Punch reports that Nigeria’s inflation rose to 13.71 per cent in September, hitting its highest level since its 13.34 percent rate of March 2018.

The National Bureau of Statistics disclosed this in its Consumer Price Index report for September on Thursday.

Part of the report read, “The consumer price index which measures inflation increased by 13.71 percent (year-on-year) in September 2020. “This is 0.49 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in August 2020 (13.22) percent.”

Increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the headline index. On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.48 percent in September 2020. This is 0.14 percent rate higher than the rate recorded in August 2020 (1.34) percent.

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending September 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 12.44 percent, showing 0.21 percent point from 12.23 percent recorded in August 2020.

The newspaper says that the three tiers of government shared a total of N639.9bn from the Federation Account in September 2020, the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee announced on Thursday.

FAAC announced this after its October 2020 meeting which was chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Aliyu Ahmed, at the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja.

The N639.901bn comprised statutory revenue of N341.501bn; Value Added Tax revenue of N141.858bn; and N39.542bn from foreign exchange equalisation.

Others include N45bn from non-oil excess revenue and N72bn Federal Government intervention revenue. In a communique issued by the committee, it stated the Federal Government received N255.75bn, state governments got N185.65bn, while the Local Government Councils received N138.44bn.

It added that N36.19bn was disbursed to oil mineral producing states as 13 per cent mineral revenue, while cost of collection and transfers got N23.88bn.

The Sun reports that in line with its zero tolerance stance on trade breaches, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday, said it has frozen bank accounts of 15 textile smugglers to serve as a deterrent to others flagrantly bringing contraband.

This was as the bank said it has committed N120 billion to the Cotton, Textile and Garments (CTG) value chain.

The CBN Deputy Governor, Corporate Services Directorate, Mr. Edward Lamatek Adamu, who made the disclosure at a meeting of cotton and garment value chain stakeholders in Abuja said the decision was meant to atone for their atrocities, while urging the undisclosed smugglers to patronise local textile firms to grow the economy.

CBN’s action draws inspiration from Federal Government’s Executive Order 003, which aims to support local content in public procurement. It expressly states that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) shall grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers, in their procurement of goods and services.

The newspaper says that Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (Lekki Port), developers of the Lekki Deep Sea Port currently under construction at the Lagos Free Zone, Ibeju Lekki, has commenced the construction of the 680m long quay wall with the driving of the first pile.

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony held at the project site, the Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Port, Mr. Ruogang Du, stated that the commencement of piling of quay wall, which is a major phase of the construction, symbolises a significant step towards the timely delivery of the project.

He said despite the setback occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, both the investors and the contractors have demonstrated admirable commitment to deliver the project as and when due, with construction now at full steam.

“Thank you very much for coming today to witness this solid step in delivering the Lekki Port. As we all know, the pandemic has harmed global economic development and personnel mobility everywhere.

“However, developers and investors in Lekki Port have not stopped moving forward. We are actively resuming construction and are striving to fulfill our commitment to officially open the port for operations in the first half of 2023.

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