Nigerian press highlights guidelines for disbursement of N12-5bn youth investment fund, others

The release of the guidelines for the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund with a take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion by…

The release of the guidelines for the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund with a take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion by the central bank and the reaction of Nigerians to the opposition of the US to the emergence of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate for the post of director-general of the WTO dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.ThisDay reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday released the guidelines for the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (N-YIF) with a take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion.

The CBN also listed the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) as the eligible participating financial institution for the scheme.

The scheme seeks to improve access to finance for youth and youth-owned enterprises for national development; generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youth restiveness and boost the managerial capacity of the youth and develop their potentials to become the future large corporate organisations.

According to the apex bank, the target of the NYIF is to financially empower youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.

The Punch says that Nigerians have taken to the social media to blast the President Donald Trump administration for opposing Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate for the post of director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

Many Nigerians had expressed delight when key WTO ambassadors led by New Zealand’s Ambassador David Walker proposed Okonjo-Iweala as the best candidate for the job.

However, while most of the 164 member states that comprise the WTO supported the former Nigerian finance minister to take up the role, the US delegation opposed the move, saying it supported South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee instead, according to WTO spokesman, Keith Rockwell.

Reacting, some Nigerians likened the US opposition to that encountered by African Development Bank Chief, Akinwumi Adesina, who also faced intense hostility from Washington before his re-election.

The newspaper reports that the global rights group, Amnesty International (AI), has collated and released a timeline of the killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate, Lagos on October 20.

The AI said its crisis response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirmed the security forces were present at the Lekki toll gate when the shootings occurred.

The evidence was published on the group’s website, Amnesty International Home on Wednesday.

The Nigerian Bar Association and an activist, Raphael Adebayo, in their separate reactions to Amnesty’s statement, reiterated their calls for the probe of the Lekki shootings.

The NBA further advised the government to stop denying the incident and admit its error.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has rejected the report by Amnesty International on the Lekki shootings.

The Guardian says that capital market operators have expressed worry that the prolonged coronavirus pandemic and attendant Foreign Exchange (Forex) illiquidity may cause investors to lose their dividends this year.

The pandemic and the accompanying shutdown of economy have adversely affected operations of many listed firms with multiplier effects on their half year (H1) and nine months results.

Operators urged the Federal Government (FG) to reschedule loan repayment obligations of companies and grant tax holiday to listed firms to ease recovery and avoid erosion of equity investors dividend payout in 2020 and 2021 financial year.

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted operations in different sectors of the economy, leading to a fall in demand, sales volume, revenue and underlying profits.

The effect of the lockdown on global and domestic value chain has taken a huge toll on the activities of quoted companies on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).

The Nation reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday urged Nigerians to be wary of actions and utterances that can injure the nation’s unity and progress.

The President spoke at the launching of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day (AFRD) Emblem and Appeal Fund in Abuja.

He said the event should remind Nigerians of the need to guard jealously the unity of the nation, which was won at a great cost.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari said: “We honour the memory of our gallant officers and men who have paid the supreme sacrifice in order to keep the country united as one entity.

“The nation remains grateful for the efforts and sacrifice of the Armed Forces, especially in the fight against insurgency and other internal security challenges confronting Nigeria.”

The newspaper also reports that the Police authorities in nine states on Wednesday paraded more than 400 more suspects for killing, looting and arson that trailed the #EndSARS protests across the country.

The Police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) arraigned 218 suspects in six mobile courts for their alleged involvement in looting at Kuje, Gwagwalada, Jabi, Idu and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp in Kubwa.

Twenty six of the 420 paraded suspects were alleged to be involved in the killing of 10 officers of the Oyo and Anambra State Police commands. They were also said to have participated in the burning of 11 police stations in the two states.

One of the nine suspects in Oyo State, confessed to have stolen two cartons of beer and a generator from the Iseyin Police Station. The Police in Anambra State paraded 17 suspects.

The other states where the police paraded suspects were Adamawa (218), Kano (59), Kogi (56), Kaduna (23) and Niger (17).