Press focuses on attack on Nigerian embassy in Indonesia, others

The attack on Nigerian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia by Nigerians and the plan to announce the date for flight resumption…

The attack on Nigerian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia by Nigerians and the plan to announce the date for flight resumption by the government next week are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.Channels Television reports that Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr, Geoffrey Onyeama has condemned the attack on the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia by some Nigerians over alleged discrimination and infringement of their rights by Indonesian immigration officials.

The report said that Mr. Onyeama stated in a tweet on his official handle, said that there was no justification for the attack.

It added that the Nigerian minister said that efforts were being made to identify those behind the “disgraceful” incident and punish them accordingly.

 “Absolutely deplorable and disgraceful criminal behaviour by Nigerian hooligans, who without justification attacked the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia today,” the minister said.

The Nation newspaper says that the Nigerian Government will announce a date for the commencement of domestic flights next week.

The report said that the Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, said that the sector was stalling the resumption of flights because it still needs to close some gaps.

He explained that a dry run test would be conducted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja as part of the preparation to commence flights.

The minister also said yesterday during the briefing by the members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that “since the last announcement that Sunday 21st of June is no longer feasible for the opening of the airports, we would like to report that we have had significant progress in the readiness of the industry to restart.”

The newspaper also said that the Central Bank of Nigeria-led private sector coalition against COVID-19 (CA-COVID) has gained the support of stakeholders across the economy.

CACOVID has also taken a step further in its COVID-19 sensitisation and education drive into local communities in Nigeria, by gaining the support and partnership of Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo the Alake and paramount ruler of Egba Land, Ogun State.

The traditional ruler in his palace in Abeokuta expressed his support for the coalition while addressing his palace chiefs.

He further educated them on the dangers posed by COVID-19 and demonstrated to them key hygiene practices such as proper handwashing techniques, social distancing practices and use of protective masks.

The Punch reports that Business operators in different sectors showed a lack of trust in the economy in June, a new report by the Central Bank of Nigeria showed on Thursday.

The CBN’s Statistics Department’ disclosed this in its ‘June 2020 business expectations survey’, which was conducted for businesses nationwide.

The report said, “Respondent firms expressed pessimism on the macro economy. Respondents’ outlook on the volume of total order, financial conditions (working capital), access to credit and average capacity utilisation all remained negative, but optimistic on the volume of business activities. “Firms identified insufficient power supply, competition, high interest rate, financial problems, unfavourable economic climate, unclear economic laws, insufficient demand, unfavourable political climate, access to credit and lack of equipment as major factors constraining business activity.”

The report said the respondent firms expected the naira to depreciate in the current month but appreciate from July to December. “Inflation level is expected to rise in the next six and 12 months, while the borrowing rate is expected to rise in the current month, next month, next two months and next six months,” it added. The CBN said the survey was conducted in June with a sample of 1,050 businesses nationwide.

The newspaper also reports that the total businesses underwritten by the insurance companies rose by 15.55 per cent from N413.8bn as of the end of 2018 to N490bn as of the end of 2019 financial period.

The report quoted the Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr, Tope Smart, as saying during the association’s first virtual and 49th annual general meeting in Lagos on Thursday that the volume of business written by the market grew from N413.8bn in 2018 to about N490bn in 2019.

“This represents an increase of 15.55 percent over 2018 figure,” he said.

Despite the challenges in the economy, he said, the insurance industry continued to perform its role of financial intermediation and business restoration in line with its mandate.

ThisDay newspaper says that the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, has said that 17 commercial banks have submitted requests, as at last month, to restructure over 32,000 loans for individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic, according to the World Bank, has become a threat to stability in the banking sector and could push another five million Nigerians into the poverty bracket.

The 32,000 loans for individuals and businesses represent 32.94 per cent of total industry loan portfolio, with the manufacturing and general commerce sectors constituting the bulk of the restructured facilities.

Ahmad, in her personal statement at the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting held in May, posted on the CBN’s website yesterday, said the CBN would continue to monitor potential risks to financial stability.