Press focuses on army chief’s assurance of tackling security challenges, others

The assurance by the Chief of Army Staff that the Nigerian Army will remain focused in tackling the myriad of…

The assurance by the Chief of Army Staff that the Nigerian Army will remain focused in tackling the myriad of security challenges bedevilling the country and the plan by the Inspector General of Police to beef up security in the country are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Guardian reports that Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army would remain focused in tackling the myriad of security challenges bedevilling the country.

Yahaya gave the assurance in his goodwill message to officers, soldiers and their families on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir celebration 2021, on Monday in Abuja.

He said that Eid-el-Kabir festival highlighted the virtues of loyalty, obedience and sacrifice which were the hallmark of professional soldiering.

“Eid Festival therefore provides a unique opportunity for us to reflect and redouble our efforts towards fulfilling our constitutional roles of defeating our adversaries and defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

“No doubt, the Nation is faced with myriads of security challenges, the Nigerian Army has so far lived up to expectations and will continue to remain focused in tackling these challenges,” he said.

The newspaper says that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Family Homes Funds Limited (FHFL) have signed an agreement to inject N10 billion Sukuk Bond into the construction of 300,000 low-income housing units.

To date, the fund has financed the development of 11,700 affordable homes in Bauchi, Delta, Ogun, Kano, Nasawara, Kaduna, Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states.

It targets to spend $3 billion on this class of homeowners. The agreement was signed by the FHFL Managing Director, Mr. Femi Adewole, and its Chairman, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, while the minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed represented the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Over the next four years, the fund aims to invest up to $3 billion (N1.3 trillion) in the development of 500,000 housing units for the low-income groups. In the process, the company will create 1.5 million jobs and enable homeownership through its creative products.

ThisDay reports that ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba, yesterday ordered Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) in charge of zonal police commands and the Commissioners of Police (CPs) in the 36 states to beef up security in their various commands.

A statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, said the IG ordered the CPs in all the states of the federation, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and their supervisory AIGs to prevent any incident in their areas of responsibility that could mar the celebration of the Islamic festival.

In compliance with the directive, the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bala Ciroma, has ordered uninterrupted patrols, stop-and-search operations and coordinated intelligence-based crime fighting strategies within the FCT during the celebration.

The IG assured the nation of sustained efforts by the police in fighting crimes and improving public safety and security nationwide.

The IG directed the zonal AIGs and state command CPs to take measures to ensure a secure, peaceful and incident-free celebration.

The Sun says that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose from its 19th virtual meeting, comprising both members and non-OPEC members (ONOMM) on Sunday, with a decision to adjust upward their overall production by 0.4 mb/d on a monthly basis starting from August, until phasing out the 5.8 mb/d production adjustment.

The ONOMM, will in December, assess market developments and participating countries’ performance. Consequently, Nigeria’s daily production now stands at 1,829 mb/d effective August 2021. That of Saudi Arabia is 11,500 mb/d, Angola, 1,528 mb/d and the United Arab Emirates, 3,500 mb/d.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, said that the target production is three million mb/d (subject to OPEC quota) from the current production capacity of 2.3 mb/d.

The meeting noted the ongoing strengthening of market fundamentals, with oil demand showing clear signs of improvement and OECD stocks falling, as the economic recovery continued in most parts of the world with the help of accelerating vaccination programmes.

The meeting also welcomed the positive performance of participating countries in the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC). Overall conformity to the production adjustments was 113 per cent in June (including Mexico), reinforcing the trend of high conformity by participating countries.

The newspaper reports that Nigeria has risen to fourth position among key crude oil producers making supply to India which is second Asia’s biggest crude oil importer after China.

Last month, Iraq stayed as the top oil supplier to India, followed by Saudi Arabia while the United Arab Emirates climbed four notches to emerge as third-biggest supplier while Nigeria rose to Number 4 from Number 5 in May.

The United States was at Number 5, followed by Canada. Meanwhile, India’s crude oil imports in June fell to their lowest in nine months, as refiners curtailed purchases amid higher fuel inventories due to low consumption and renewed coronavirus lockdowns in the previous two months.

India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, shipped in about 3.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude last month, about 7 percent down from May, but 22 per cent higher from year-ago levels, tanker arrival data obtained from trade sources showed. India is the second major importer in Asia after China, to post a slump in last month’s crude imports.

The Punch says that Nigeria’s external reserves lost $180m in two weeks, the latest figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed on Sunday.

According to the figures, the reserves, which stood at $33.28bn on July 1, dropped to $33.09bn as of July 12 before gaining slightly to rise to $33.1bn on July 15. The reserves lost $905.5m in June, after it fell to $33.32bn at the end of June 30 from $34.23bn on May 31.

The reserves stood at $34.88bn at the end of April 30, according to the CBN. A member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Adeola Adenikinju, said at the last meeting that as a country, the excessive dependence on oil for revenue and foreign exchange sustenance was no longer tenable in the medium and long term.

Another member of the MPC, Ahmed Aliyu, said beyond the decline in oil prices was the growing paradigm shift from oil to a green economy which posed a threat to future oil demand.

The CBN report at the end of the MPC meeting showed that the share of fossil fuels was set to decline from the current 85 per cent of total primary energy demand in 2018 to between 20 and 65 per cent by 2050.

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