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Nigerian press zooms in on independence anniversary broadcast of President Buhari, others

The admission by President Muhammadu Buhari that the Nigerian economy under his watch is in crisis and the plan to…

The admission by President Muhammadu Buhari that the Nigerian economy under his watch is in crisis and the plan to use electronic voting machines for the Ondo state governorship election this month are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Punch reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, admitted that the Nigerian economy under his watch is in crisis.

He, however, claimed the situation is the same with every economy of the world.

Buhari, who said this in his nationwide broadcast to mark the nation’s 60th independence, also admitted the various security challenges affecting parts of the country.

He said, “Today, I am aware that our economy along with every single economy in the world is in crisis. We still face security challenges in parts of the country, while our society suffers from a high loss of moral rectitude which is driven by unbridled craving for political control.

“An underlying cause of most of the problems we have faced as a nation is our consistent harping on artificially contrived fault-lines that we have harboured and allowed unnecessarily to fester.”

The newspaper says that over 40 companies have indicated interest and have been invited for a live presentation for a virtual or practical demonstration of electronic voting machines that would be used for the Ondo state governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said.

The commission also stressed that so far, eight companies had made presentations through a combination of physical and virtual means, before an audience of its members and a team of directors and ICT staff.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman (Information and Voter Education Committee), Festus Okoye, stated these in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.

The announcement of the figure came as the Electoral Commissioner in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, Othuke Egwuterai, informed that 207,238 permanent voter cards had been collected ahead of the election scheduled for October 10.

Okoye said, “So far, eight companies have made presentations through a combination of physical and virtual means, before an audience of commission members, a team of directors and ICT staff. Each company had 30 minutes for its presentation, while the question and answer session was also allocated 30 minutes.”

The Guardian reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed power-hungry politicians for the problems with the country’s electoral process.

“The problems with our electoral process are mainly human-induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office,” Buhari said during his Independence Day Speech.

Buhari further added that the “desperation” of these set of people “leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.”

Nigerian elections are usually characterised by violence and political tensions. The intensely acrimonious exchanges between the two major political parties always lead to many clashes, risking further violence during and after the polls.

ThisDay says that the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe and some other Senators on Wednesday reiterated their opposition to the nomination of Aishat Dahir Umar for the office of Director General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Senate Minority Leader had at plenary while seconding the motion by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, that the screening and confirmation of the nominees for the National Pension Commission Board be referred to Senate committee on Establishment and Public Service maintained his earlier position that replacement for the erstwhile Director General of the PENCOM, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu, should have come from the South East.

He said: “I second the motion, but I still maintain my objection to the nomination of Aisha Umar for the position of PENCOM Director General.”

One of the Senators opposed to the nomination of Aishat Umar told THISDAY that Senators across party divides from South West, South East and North Central geo-political zones met on Tuesday night in Abuja to perfect opposition to Buhari’s nominee for Director General of the Board.

The Vanguard reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said that it made no sense for Nigeria to sell oil cheaper than Saudi Arabia or other neighbouring countries that produce the product.

President Buhari also said that Nigerians should collectively resolve to continue their journey beyond the sixty as it was better to remain together than being smaller units of nationalities.

The President stated this in his nationwide broadcast to mark the 60 years independence anniversary of the country. Comparing the petroleum pump prices in Nigeria and other countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia among others, he said, there was no sense for the country to sell petrol cheaper than other countries.

According to him, “In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions. “Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point;

“Chad which is an oil-producing country charges N362 per litre “Niger, also an oil-producing country sells 1 litre at N346. “In Ghana, another oil-producing country, the petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.