Press focuses on advice of Catholic Bishops on agitations, others

The advice to the Nigerian government by the Bishops of the Catholic Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri, Imo State on agitations,…

The advice to the Nigerian government by the Bishops of the Catholic Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri, Imo State on agitations, describing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as a metaphor for political exclusion and marginalization dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Vanguard reports that the Bishops of the Catholic Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri, Imo State, have described the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as a metaphor for political exclusion and marginalization.

The Bishops, meanwhile, also advised the Federal Government to handle the growing issue of agitation with care, because the world is keenly watching the happenings.

A communiqué at the end of their meeting at Ahiara, Mbaise, Imo State by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Chairman, and Most Rev. Augustine Echema, Secretary, said: “His (Kanu) recent arrest is an opportunity for the government to initiate dialogues on the issues of justice, equity and fairness that underpin the agitation of his group and the agitation of other groups, like the one led by Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Igboho, for the Yoruba nation, calling for self-determination and restructuring.

“It is worthy of note that the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, will not end such agitations. The mismanagement of his case and any other will trigger avoidable unrest.

Meanwhile, as the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, today resumes the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has cautioned against any form of intimidation, oppression and arrest of members of the Biafra separatist group or their sympathizers.

Also, special counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, Mr Aloy Ejimakor has advised security agents not to restrict or molest Kanu’s supporters expected to throng the Federal High Court, Abuja, today in a show of solidarity as Kanu’s trial resumes.

The Guardian says that 28 students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna regained freedom from kidnappers on Saturday night, as negotiation by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other stakeholders for the release of the remaining 87 continued with the armed bandits.

A woman and her children that were kidnapped from Kachia were also freed by the bandits the same night.

The 28 students were brought to the Bethel school premises to reunite with their parents. The students had been with bandits for 20 days.

Kaduna CAN Chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab, said yesterday: “Twenty-eight of the Bethel Baptist School Students were released to us on Saturday night. Before now, six of them were released, making 34 of them that have been released. We have 87 of them that are still with the bandits. We are trusting God that something will be done and we will have a way out of the problem.”

Hayab, who was silent on the issue of ransom said: “We will not deny or confirm that ransom was paid. This is because their parents were involved. Let me explain to you why we don’t want to go into that. We still have 87 with them there. If we start talking about it, it will jeopardise our negotiation.”

But the President of Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Israel Akanji, said the convention did not pay ransom to secure the release of the student, as Baptists don’t believe in ransom payment to evil-doers.

The Convention is the umbrella body for Baptist congregations in the country.

The newspaper reports that ahead of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting holding today and tomorrow in Abuja, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated the resilience, safety and soundness of the nation’s deposit money banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions under its supervision.

Addressing journalists at the weekend in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the apex bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi, noted that the Nigerian banking system had proven to be very sturdy in spite of the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He made the clarification following media reports in some quarters impugning the soundness and safety of some Nigerian banks. The CBN official explained that routine examination and stress test for financial institutions operating in the country indicated that no licensed DMB was under any form of financial distress. Nwanisobi that the citizenry that the banks have adequate capital to absorb unexpected losses.

The spokesman stated: “In line with the bank’s resolve to ensure adherence to prudential standards, the CBN continues to monitor the activities of banks in order to ensure that no individual or institution breaches the laid down guidelines.”

ThisDay says that a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta has granted an interim order restraining the federal government from taking over the unclaimed dividends of shareholders in the capital market estimated to be over N200 billion.

The order followed a suit instituted by shareholders under the aegis of Palm Wealth Shareholders Association (PWSA).

The Finance Act 2020 signed into law last February by President Muhammadu Buhari provides that any unclaimed dividends of a public limited liability company quoted on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and any unutilised amounts in a dormant bank account maintained in or by a deposit money bank, which has remained unclaimed or unutilised for a period of not less than six years from the date of declaring the dividend or domiciling the funds in a bank account, shall be transferred immediately to Unclaimed Funds Trust Fund.

But shareholders and other stakeholders in the financial sector had faulted the proposal. As part of efforts to stop the federal government from taking over the funds, PWSA instituted a case against the government at the Federal High Court in Abeokuta.

The Punch reports that the Federal Government has extended the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to October 31.

This was contained in a joint statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at Nigeria Identity Management Commission, Mr. Kayode Adegoke issued on Saturday.

The statement was titled ‘FG Extends NIN-SIM verification deadline to 31st October, 2021 as focus shifts to remote and hard-to-reach areas, schools and health centres.

According to the statement, the extension was due to a request by stakeholders to ensure that the registration gets to hard-to-reach areas as well as outside the country.

It read, “The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to the 31st of October, 2021.

The Nation says that Nigeria imported $50.3 billion worth of goods last year, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has said.

The trade map by ITC showed that imports were $4,417,805,000 in January, $3,685,091,000 in February; $4,165,950,000 in March; $2,954,555,000 in April; $3,493,388,000 in May; $4,368,600,000 in June and $4,719,912,000 in July.

Total imports stood $4,882,743,000 in August, $4,580,307,000 in September; $4,678,286,000 in October; $6,345,452,000 in November and $4,672,057,000 in December.

Goods imported included, machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers and parts; vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories; electrical machinery and equipment and parts; sound recorders and reproducers, television; plastics and articles.

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