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Press focuses on appeal to foreign embassies for assistance to tackle kidnapping, others

The appeal by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to foreign embassies in the country to assist Nigeria in getting their…

The appeal by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to foreign embassies in the country to assist Nigeria in getting their home governments to assist in procuring ICT and other needed equipment needed to check the growing cases of kidnapping in Nigeria is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.ThisDay reports that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has appealed to foreign embassies in the country to assist Nigeria in getting their home governments to assist country to procure ICT and other needed equipment it would need to check the growing cases of kidnapping in Nigeria.

Onyeama, who was represented by the Director, Consular and Legal Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bolaji Akinremi, at the public lecture to mark the “2021 International Day of the Disappeared,” which was organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the CLEEN Foundation, said that incidences of kidnapping and abduction in the country has become worrisome and required urgent attention.

He said that Nigeria needed assistance from friendly nations to afford the large financial outlay required to buy the needed ICT and equipment to check against the upsurge in kidnapping.

The minister lamented that kidnapping affected both Nigerians and foreigners who are being kidnapped on a daily basis in the country, adding that “this has become a thing of worries to the country.

The consular in the ministry of foreign affairs is being approached daily by embassies to look for their disappeared citizens in the country.”

He added that fighting kidnapping required technology to track kidnappers to the dens and this is where Nigeria’s friend could come in and make contributions as if it were humanitarian.

The newspaper says that a number of multinational companies from the United States, Japan and Latin America have indicated their eagerness to expand their businesses into Nigeria and other countries in Africa and take advantage of the continent’s market.

Some of the foreign multinationals stormed Lagos, recently to acquaint themselves with the nation’s huge market and other opportunities and kick-start the process of their investment in the country.

Among them were US-based trio of MaC Venture Capital, an investment group passionate about investing in technology start-ups; GE Capital, the financial services division of General Electric, and Trident Capital, an equity firm investing in Software, Services and Internet.

Also, Japanese multinational tech conglomerate, SoftBank Group Corp, which boasts of $342.34 billion asset base as at 2020, according to information on its website, was among the foreign investors jostling for the Nigerian and African market.

SafeRoom – a SaaS platform that provides secure messaging for businesses was also readying to invest in the country.

The Vanguard reports that as part of efforts to help Nigeria overcome the continuous carnage inflicted in its citizens by terrorists and armed bandits, the United States government on Monday night said it was willing to provide Intelligence to assist Nigeria identify sponsors of terrorism in the country.

The US Ambasssdor to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, made this disclosure at a round-table interaction on US – Nigeria military cooperation with journalists at the US embassy in Abuja noting that discussion in this regard was ongoing.

Leonard’s comments followed the disclosure by Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the Commander of United States Europe and African Air Forces Command, that the induction of A-29 Super Tucano Fighter aircraft into Nigerian Air Force operations, will be a defining moment in combating terrorism and other violent extremism.

Gen Harrigian said, “The acquisition of the fighter aircraft for Nigerian military has brought in multitude of capabilities that would help in tackling the prevailing instability in Nigeria. This truly is an opportunity to bring together the capabilities on the human side and what the A-29 brings to the nation, particularly as it will contribute to the tackling i security, and instability not only in Nigeria but more broadly the region.

Emphasizing US readiness to support Nigeria identify and fish out terrorists sponsors, the US Ambasssdor said, “That is something we are very eager to partner Nigeria on. I have had at least three conversations in the last two months on this subject. I won’t like to go into details.”

Asked if US partnership with Nigeria would not collapse like Afghanistan in the face of violent uprising, Mrs Leonard dismissed such fear saying “Nigeria has had a strong bilateral relationship with the US and that both situations are not the same.

 “I hear people making the analogy with Afghanistan a lot, it does not match up. When you listen to what President Joe Biden said on how troops went to Afghanistan in the first place, it was because they were complicit in a horrible tragedy where over 3,000 Americans were killed.

“That is a different construct. The sovereign nations who have had strong bilateral relations. I don’t actually think the two match up.”

The Guardian says that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has summoned six Chief Judges over conflicting court orders that emanated from their states in the last one month.

The affected Judges are those of Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Anambra, Jigawa and Imo States.

Muhammad, who is the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), issued the summons in Abuja, yesterday.

The meeting is a prelude to a larger appearance before the NJC, likely to hold next week.

The summon reads in part: “My attention has been drawn to media reports to the effect that some courts of coordinate jurisdiction were granting conflicting ex parte orders on the same subject matter.”

The Punch reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria, on Monday, announced the formal engagement of a global fintech company, Bitt Inc., as the technical partner for its digital currency.

The CBN said the digital currency, called ‘eNaira’, would be unveiled before the end of this year.

According to a statement by the acting Director, Corporate Communication, Osita Nwanisobi, this was disclosed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who said the benefits of the central bank digital currency include increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper and faster remittance inflows, and easier targeted social interventions.

He said the virtual currency would also ensure improvements in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection.

The bank said, “Project Giant, as the Nigerian CBDC pilot is known, has been a long and thorough process for the CBN, with the bank’s decision to digitise the naira in 2017, following extensive research and explorations.

“Given the significant explosion in the use of digital payments and the rise in the digital economy, the CBN’s decision follows an unmistakable global trend in which over 85 per cent of central banks are now considering adopting digital currencies in their countries.”

The Sun says that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has raised alarm over the worsening insecurity in the sector as investor now spends over $25,000 daily to secure oil installation.

The President of the union, Festus Osifo, in an interview with the Daily Sun, said that the current insecurity in Nigeria is a huge challenge and it is doing a lot of harm to the economy.

He said: “We are advocating and urging government to up the game. Today, in an average offshore installation site, we have between five to 10 security vessels manning the installation round the clock, with 100 to 200 personnel working there.

“The cost of manning each security vessel is not less than $5,000 per day. With about five security vessels, we have $25,000 daily.”

Besides, the PENGASSAN President said the company in addition pay the naval officers, buy AGO and by the time it adds all these costs, it could be $30,000 per day.

That adds to your cost of operation. As an investor, you’ll prefer to go to neighboring countries that is relatively secure instead of investing in Nigeria,” he lamented.

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