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Press focuses on arrest, re-arraignment of IPOB leader, others

The arrest and re-arraignment of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who jumped bail and…

The arrest and re-arraignment of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who jumped bail and fled the country dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Guardian reports that four years after the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, jumped bail and fled the country, he was yesterday re-arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abuja after his re-arrest by security agents.

Presenting him before the court, counsel to the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran, said Kanu was arrested through intelligence and collaborative efforts of security agencies. He was, however, silent on where and how Kanu was arrested.

Following Labaran’s ex-parte application, Justice Binta Nyako ordered that Kanu, who was brought to court in handcuffs and hooded before the court’s sitting, be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

He granted an accelerated hearing by bringing the charge pending against him from the earlier adjourned date of October 20 to July 26 and 27.

Speaking when he appeared in court on criminal charges of terrorism and treasonable felony, Kanu said he escaped from Nigeria after his house was unlawfully invaded by security men with his life seriously threatened. The separatist leader alleged that he would have been killed along with others on the day of the invasion if not for the wisdom he applied to jump bail and flee the country.

His reaction was provoked by the Federal Government’s information through its counsel, Labaran, that Kanu jumped bail granted by the court to escape trial by running out of the country.

The newspaper says that the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, lamented that Nigeria is bleeding in many parts as a result of terrorism and other vices bedeviling the country.

The group said it would tour the Yorubaland and engage the traditional leaders in the region.

Besides, the socio-political group has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to transmit a bill on restructuring to the National Assembly for legislative processes.

It noted that Buhari should initiate the legal framework that would birth restructuring, having shown that “he has now favourably disposed to restructuring.”These were parts of the resolutions reached at the end of a meeting held at the country home of its leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, at Ogbo-Ijebu, Ogun State.

The resolutions were contained in a communique signed by Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi.

The Punch reports that the Senate on Tuesday approved N329.96bn as statutory budget for the Federal Capital Territory for the year 2021.

The passage followed the consideration of the report of the Committee on Federal Capital Territory on the FCT Appropriation Bill, 2021. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North), said from the projected revenue of N329,96bn, the sum of N74.32bn is for personnel costs; N58.73bn for overheads; and N196.91bn for capital projects.

Kyari further disclosed that most of the projects executed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the Federal Capital Development Administration were still ongoing ‘due to overbearing ineptitude of getting the Due Process Certificates on time’.

The lawmaker added that projected revenue accruing to the FCT Administration was stretched by N30bn due to additional revenue derived from statutory allocation received from the differential distributed from the Excess Crude Account for receipts from January to May, 2021, and expected receipts for the remaining seven months of the year; and Stamp Duty Refunds.

According to him, the Committee on FCT consequently increased the fiscal framework to accommodate revenue receipts from additional statutory allocation and stamp duty fees to bring the total expenditure to N329.96bn.

The newspaper says that the amount spent on subsidising electricity every month in Nigeria is now about N30bn, the Federal Government has said.

It disclosed that the government’s subsidy on electricity had been reduced by N20bn monthly following improvements in the collection of power tariffs by distribution companies. The government stated this in a document on the progress and overview of Nigeria’s power sector.

The document was obtained by our correspondent from the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja. In February this year, the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, stated that the Federal Government was subsidising electricity supply across the country to the tune of over N50bn monthly.

Mamman had explained that the subsidy spending was because the government was worried by the incessant complaints by ordinary Nigerians over the unavoidable and periodic increase in the cost of electricity.

However, in the document on the progress of the sector sighted in Abuja on Tuesday, the government revealed that its subsidy on electricity had dropped by N20bn monthly. Aside from subsidising electricity, the Nigerian government also subsidises Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, despite calls against this by both local and international organisations and experts.

The Sun reports that the Federal Government has been advised to return the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to the ports in a bid to ascertain the difference between raw materials and finished goods imported into the country under the guise of wrong declaration with connivance with releasing officers of the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS).

This has led to huge revenue loss by the Federal Government by evading duty with the support of Custom Officers at the detriment of the nation’s economy and local investors.

A non-governmental organisation, Transparency Network Group, (TANGO), in a statement issued on Monday, stated that, “Nigeria economy is on the verge of total collapse if not urgently rescued”, stressing that there are lots of atrocities being perpetrated by some importers.

The group also corroborated the position of the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who disclosed recently that “Nigeria cannot survive without borrowing” adding that the loss of revenue to importers is enormous and hazardous to the nation.”

Agence Française de Development (AFD), a public sector funding agency promoted by the French government, has expressed its readiness to support the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in her quest to modernise and expand Port infrastructure for a competitive and cost-efficient environment for Port related businesses in Nigeria.

A high-level team from AFD and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) met with the Management of NPA last week to hold discussions regarding credit support for port infrastructure development, among other critical transport assets in the State.

Acting Managing Director of NPA, Muhammed Bello -Koko, told his guests that the Authority welcomes every support to retool and upgrade Port infrastructure in Nigeria to world class status. He indicated the desire of the NPA to collaborate with development partners like AFD, as its credit support does not require sovereign guarantee, as it comes with flexible moratorium and repayment plan.

ThisDay says that following the slow verification of the National Identification Number (NIN) by the Identity Management Commission (NIMC) the federal government yesterday extended the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification from June 30 to July 26.

Yesterday’s extension of the deadline made it the seventh time the federal government would be postponing the deadline, since the beginning of the exercise. The federal government has equally increased facilities for the registration of NIN to 5,410 nationwide. In a joint statement yesterday by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and signed by the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, stated that the decision to extend the deadline was made after a request by stakeholders on the need to consolidate the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process following the rapid increase in the number of enrolment systems nationwide.

 However, the Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) on harmonisation of National Identification Number (NIN) with Subscriber Identification Module (SIM), otherwise known as NIN-SIM Harmonisation Committee, has rated NIN-SIM verification and integration exercise very low for May.

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