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Press focuses on averting deteriorating security besetting Nigeria, others

The warning by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state that only a huge investment in the country's education sector by…

The warning by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state that only a huge investment in the country’s education sector by the nation’s political leadership will avert the scenario in Afghanistan and stave off the deteriorating security besetting the nation, especially the northwest region is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.

The Guardian reports that Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, yesterday, declared that only a huge investment in the country’s education sector by the nation’s political leadership will avert the scenario in Afghanistan and stave off the deteriorating security besetting the nation, especially the northwest region.

He spoke yesterday at a forum tagged, ‘Human Capital Development Communications Strategy Validation Meeting’ organised by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led National Economic Council (NEC) in Abuja. Prof. Osinbajo was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Dr Ade Ipaye.

Making his submission, the Kaduna State governor warned that if education was not put on the front burner by the political leaders, the scenario will not augur well in the region and will eventually become worse than the development in Afghanistan.

“I represent the Northwest zone in Human Capital Development Council and as you know our part of the country is afflicted with the highest number of out-of-school children. Some of the highest poverty rates and some of the highest dropout rates are in our schools.

“As if that is not enough, many of our schools are now closed due to the insecurity in our boarding schools, making our educational situation even worse. Our health statistics are not better. Our region is in crisis.

“We have the largest population of any geopolitical zone in the country. That is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing if we keep the population healthy, educate the children and give them skills for the future. Because, if they’re not educated and are not healthy, they feel hopeless. This is what we’re seeing with our insecurity. Most of the bandits we arrest have never gone to school. They have no notion of religion, whether Christianity or Islam, and they have no hope.”
The newspaper says that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday, said the refusal by Federal Government to expose sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria had vindicated its position that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government has been “providing official cover for terrorists and bandits pillaging the nation.”
The main opposition party said its position followed the “declaration of the Buhari Presidency that it was not interested in making public, the names of six Nigerians reportedly sent to the Federal Government by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as sponsors of terrorism in our country.”
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, insisted that “the decision of the APC-led government to cover the identity of sponsors of mindless mass killings, maiming, raping, kidnapping of our compatriots, as well as the endless violent marauding of our communities under the APC watch, validates our stand that such individuals have connections with the APC.”

The party went on: “This unpatriotic stance by the Buhari Presidency raises serious national anxieties of high-level complicity in the administration and further explains the reported compromising of our security system in the escalated killings and acts of terrorism in our country in the last six years under the APC.”

The party said it had always alerted of a “connection between the APC and terrorists ravaging various parts of the nation and how the APC, as a party, had always failed to forcefully condemn acts of terrorism in our country.”

The Punch reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, has asked the Senate to amend certain provisions of the controversial Petroleum Industry Act.

He was, however, silent on the contentious three percent equity share approved for the host communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill approved by both chambers of the federal parliament.

The joint National Assembly committees that worked on the PIB had proposed a five per cent equity share for the development of the host communities, but the Senate led the campaign for its reduction to three per cent while the House of Representatives approved the panel’s recommendation.

The conference committee set up by the presiding officers of both chambers in their recommendation, fixed the equity share at three per cent and was invariably approved by the National Assembly.

The development generated into controversy with senators from the South-South geopolitical zone kicking against it and asked Buhari to resolve the impasse by seeking amendment to increase the equity share to five per cent.

However, the new amendments proposed by the President did not address the concerns on the South-South stakeholders.

ThisDay says that Nigeria has now officially written the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), requesting a higher production quota under the OPEC+ accord, as had been predicted by THISDAY.

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, while speaking on the sidelines of the Gastech 2021 conference in Dubai, yesterday, said the technical problems that had hampered the country’s output would soon be resolved.

Nigeria’s quota, which covers only crude oil and not condensate, is 1.614 million bpd for September and was scheduled to rise by roughly 17,000 bpd each month, in line with the OPEC+ alliance’s plans to gradually ease back on production cuts implemented in the pandemic.

Sylva said the country’s full production capacity was closer to 2.2 million bpd, which should be reflected in a revised quota, even though Nigeria has struggled to produce at its current allocation.

According to S&P Global Platts, Nigeria self-reported crude output of 1.27 million bpd in August, down from 1.44 million b/d in July, one of the lowest in the last few years.

The newspaper reports that the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has announced plan to enter into the Nigerian domestic LNG supply space from July 2022.

It explained that the move was part of efforts to help bridge the perennial gas-to-power and gas-to-industry supply challenge in the country. The liquefaction company also exonerated itself from the scarcity and rising cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) commonly known as cooking gas, saying the Nigerian market has not been able to take all of the 450,000 metric tons of LPG it has dedicated for the country.

The company stated this yesterday in Lagos, during an interactive session with journalists, stating that it was working to ensure that it makes contribution towards solving Nigeria’s energy challenge from the side of LPG and LNG supplies.
In his presentation at the session, the Marketing Manager, NLNG, Mr. Austin Ogbogbo, said the company would be starting its domestic LNG supply to Nigeria with initial one million tons per annum in July 2022.

The Sun says that at a recent interaction with the National Assembly on the 2022–2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) proposed the re-introduction of excise duty on the production of soft drinks in the country. Excise duty is a charge on the production; sale or use of certain locally produced goods.

The principal act for excise duties in Nigeria is the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA). Comptroller General of the NCS, Hameed Ali, had asked the Federal Government to lift tax waivers for companies producing soft drinks within the country.

Following the plea by Ali at the MTEF last month, that all beverages’ companies should be made to pay levies, the House of Representatives Committee on Finance has resolved that it would amend the Finance Act to include levies on all carbonated and non-carbonated drinks.

However, experts were of the opinion that if the plans scale through, consumers of non-alcoholic drinks would be made to pay more and it would be out of reach for the masses.

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