Nigerian press highlights promise of justice to Nigerian traders in Ghana, others

The assurance given by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo that Nigerian traders in Ghana will get justice and the displeasure of some…

The assurance given by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo that Nigerian traders in Ghana will get justice and the displeasure of some Nigerian groups over the plan to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary for a whole year are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.ThisDay reports that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerian traders in Ghana that they would get justice.

Osinbajo, who gave the assurance on Tuesday evening during a meeting with representatives of the Nigerian community in Ghana, said their well-being was the federal government’s concern.

 A statement issued yesterday by the vice-president’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the meeting focused on the challenges facing Nigerians living in Ghana, including the Ghanaian authority’s recent decision to shut down Nigerian businesses in the country following their inability to pay the unwarranted $1 million slammed on them.

Akande said Osinbajo while responding to the issues raised by leaders of the Nigerian community at the meeting, particularly complaints of maltreatment by Ghanaian authorities assured them of the federal government’s commitment to deal with the issues thoroughly.

The Guardian says that the Federal Government’s plan to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary for a whole year — beginning on October 1, 2020 and ending September 30, 2021 —became subject of controversy yesterday, with ethnic nationalities and socio-cultural organisations taking a swipe at the official decision.

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the Middle Belt Forum, Arewa leaders and stakeholders within the Aka Ikenga, an Igbo socio-cultural organisation condemned the plan as “a joke.”

Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, described President Muhammadu Buhari and his cabinet members as complete jokers who lack focus on what Nigeria actually needed to progress and unite.

Buhari had, yesterday, unveiled a logo and theme for the 60th independence anniversary celebration in a brief ceremony conducted just before the weekly virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. In what appeared a contradiction, the President said the anniversary celebration would be held low-key this year for reasons of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President, who spoke after the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, gave insight into how the logo was adopted and the modalities guiding the anniversary celebration, added that his administration would henceforth ensure inclusiveness.

The President disclosed the theme of this year’s anniversary celebration as “Together Shall We Be,” saying it was chosen to forge a more united and cohesive Nigeria.

The newspaper also reports that the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) yesterday said that local content in the oil and gas sector would hit 70 percent, with hope that it would help the government to save $10 billion yearly.

At the 12th edition of the HSSE Forum, which focused on “Nigerian Content Development: Facing The Future”, the Executive Secretary of the board, Simbi Wabote, said the projections were achievable in the next 10 years.

The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, which came out of decades of agitation for local value and benefits to Nigerians, has facilitated the growth of local content to 31 percent.

Wabote, who noted that as much as $380 billion was going out of the country as capital flight when the content law was not in place, said that about 300,000 jobs would be generated in a decade under the new projections of the board.

According to him, the recent disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic should force Nigeria to prioritise local content development. Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Ahmadu-Kida Musa, said: “We believe in the development of local capacities and will continue to work with all stakeholders, especially the NCDMB to ensure sustainable economic development of Nigeria.”

The Sun says that the Federal Government yesterday raised hopes of a rebound for the Nigerian economy from its COVID-19 induced recession, contrary to fears that it might linger for years.

Speaking at the end of the 15th virtual Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said from the report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Nigerian economy was running better than expected.

According to her, the Nigerian economy will begin to recover by the first quarter of 2021, adding that measures are being put in place to stabilise it and ensure it continues to run despite disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister said: “We presented a memo to Council in respect of the second quarter GDP report, earlier released by the National Bureau of Statistics on August 24. “Why the memo is so dated is because there was a retreat last week and we couldn’t get scheduled as well. Still for us, the information is important and topical.

The Punch reports that a total of $770.58m was utilised for oil imports in the first half of this year, the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria have shown.

The CBN’s data on sectoral utilisation for transactions valid for foreign exchange revealed that $148.32m was utilised in January; $145.23m in February, and $139.55m in March.

Forex for transactions in the oil sector fell to $113.80m in April and $109.11m in May but rose to $114.57m in June. Oil imports accounted for about 4.35 per cent of the $17.70bn utilised for imports in the country from January to June, according to the CBN data.

The amount of foreign currency used for imports in the country stood at $3.98bn in January; $4.98bn in February and $5.36bn in March. It plunged to $1.08bn in April and $1.06bn in May but rose to $1.24bn in June.