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Press focuses on appeal by northern elders to allow South East to pull out of Nigeria, others

The advice by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to the Nigerian Government to allow the South-East pull out of the…

The advice by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to the Nigerian Government to allow the South-East pull out of the country if the support for secession for the region is widespread and have the backings of their leaders is one the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Guardian reports that the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has advised the Federal Government to allow the South-East pull out of the country if the support for secession for the region is widespread and have the backings of their leaders.

It said that political leaders in the region seemed to have submitted to violence and terror of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

The Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, stated this, yesterday, at a press conference in Abuja after a closed-door meeting of the forum.

Baba-Ahmed said: “The forum has arrived at the difficult conclusion that if support for secession among the Igbo is as widespread as it is being made to look, and Igbo leadership appears to be in support of it, then the country should be advised not to stand in their way.

“It will not be the best choice for the Igbo or Nigerians to leave a country we have all toiled to build and a country we all have responsibility to fix, but it will not help a country already burdened with failures on its knees to fight another war to keep the Igbo in Nigeria.”

The newspaper says that the Federal Government, yesterday, declared that attacks on police stations, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices and destruction of critical public infrastructure and facilities should not be considered as vandalism, but a form of terrorism.

It lamented that government’s efforts were being frustrated by those it described as “unpatriotic citizens” through wanton destruction of critical infrastructure, thereby depriving Nigerians of enjoying such infrastructure.

Consequently, the Federal Government has threatened to do everything within its power to stop the destruction of public infrastructure and facilities by exposing, arresting and prosecuting those who steal or buy stolen items.

Speaking at a town hall meeting on protection of public infrastructure organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture in Abuja, the Minister, Lai Mohammed lamented that critical infrastructure being developed by government were being destroyed

He listed such items as railway tracks, bridge railings, manhole covers, streetlights and power infrastructure such as oil pipelines, telecoms facilities and critical aviation groundwork.

ThisDay reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday called for synergy among security agencies as a step towards combating the deteriorating security situation in the country.

This is coming as the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Usman Baba yesterday said unhealthy inter-agency rivalry has been a major issue that limits the capacity to effectively achieve internal security.

He stated that there is so much pressure on the country’s security apparatus which is affecting the positive result expected from the security issues facing the nation.

The president charged the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya, to bring his experience to bear in bringing stability to the polity as the security architecture of the country was under serious pressure.

Buhari spoke in Abuja when the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), presented Yahaya to him.

He expressed confidence that the new crop of service chiefs would tackle insecurity in the country.

The Sun says that the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr Mohammed Barkindo, on Monday disclosed that member nations lost about N$1 trillion between 2015 and 2016 as a consequence of the plunge in crude oil prices.

He made the disclosure in his goodwill message at the opening of the 2021 edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja.

According to him, no member nation of OPEC was insulated from foregone revenues due to a contraction in oil revenues during the cycle.

He noted that from 2014 to 2016, world oil supply growth outpaced demand, with world oil supply growing by 5.8 mb/d, while world oil demand increased by 4.3 mb/d.

“By July 2016, OECD commercial stock overhang reached a record high of about 403 mb over the five-year average.

The OPEC Reference Basket price fell by an extraordinary 80 per cent between June 2014 and January 2016. Some crude oil benchmarks fell below $10/b”, he explained.

The Punch reports that Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent company of the Ecobank Group, has said it is seeking to raise $300m from the international debt capital markets.

ETI said in a statement on Monday that the money would be raised through the issuance of tier-2 qualifying sustainability notes pursuant to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 144A and Regulations.

It said, “An equivalent amount of the net proceeds of the notes will be used to finance or re-finance, in part or in full, new or existing eligible assets in accordance with ETI’s Sustainable Finance Framework.

“ETI intends to list the notes on the London Stock Exchange, with the expectation that the notes will be traded on its regulated market. It should be noted that the issuance of the notes is subject to prevailing market conditions and the conclusion of the necessary transaction documentation.”

The pan-African bank in the first quarter (Q1), 2021 unaudited results for the period ended March 31, 2021 showed remarkable performance in all the key financial indices.

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Government on Monday said moves to produce four million barrels of crude oil per day and grow the country’s reserves to 40 billion barrels will be achieved through marginal oilfields. It stated that last week’s marginal oilfield licensing round would push Nigeria to realise this ambitious crude oil production target.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who disclosed this at the 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, also called for collaboration among operators to achieve this feat.

This came as the Managing Director, Huawei Nigeria EBU, Michael Zhuang, stated that operators in the sector would have to partner and deploy technology to effectively grow the country’s oil production.

Speaking on moves to grow oil production, Sylva said, “This year’s NIPS comes on the eve of the award of new marginal field licences after several failed attempts over the past 20 years.

“Getting these new set of marginal fields off the ground is definitely a stepping stone towards achieving the country’s aspiration of meeting the target of 4mbpd oil production and 40 billion of proven reserves.”

On the need to collaborate, the minister said, “For me, the new approach is collaboration. That is the paradigm shift I want to focus on at this summit.

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