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Press focuses on claim that ruling APC is promoting insecurity in Nigeria, others

The claim by opposition Peoples Democratic Party that President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress are “deliberately mismanaging Nigeria's…

The claim by opposition Peoples Democratic Party that President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress are “deliberately mismanaging Nigeria’s diversity” and promoting insecurity in the country is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.

The Guardian reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, accused President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) of “deliberately mismanaging Nigeria’s diversity”, a development, it insisted, was promoting insecurity in the country.

During a press conference in Abuja, the party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, noted that apart from running “a government of exclusion, the APC administration has failed to constructively engage Nigerians, except for erratic statements from the Presidency which further fan the embers of disaffection.”

He added that APC’s “sheer arrogance coupled with an aloof President is a disaster waiting to happen.”

The main opposition party continued: “Increasingly, Mr. President is absent from duty. The symbol of authority of the executive is simply not there, leading to lack of coordination and synergy in government operations.

“The apparent nepotism in the appointment of the top echelon of the security forces and the commanding heights of the institutions of government further fuel agitations across the country. In fact, winning elections has been reduced by the APC to more of sharing the spoils of war than running a government to the benefit of all citizens.”

The Punch says that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is going ahead with plans to review power tariffs in July this year despite widespread resentments by the organised labour, consumer groups and other individuals.
NERC had announced on April 26, 2021 that another tariff review for Nigeria’s 11 power distribution companies would hold in July, explaining that inflation, gas price, among others, had changed.

It disclosed this in its notice of Minor and Extraordinary Review of Tariffs for Electricity Transmission and Distribution Companies, a development that might lead to a rise in the tariffs payable by electricity users. But on April 30, the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, dismissed concerns of a major hike in electricity tariffs, as he clarified that there was no plan to significantly raise tariffs.

Mamman said instead of a significant hike in electricity tariffs, Nigerians should expect increased efficiency in the sector to reduce tariffs, while managing headwinds from foreign exchange and inflation.

However, after the tariff hike dismissal statement of the minister, the NERC on Sunday granted approval for the Extraordinary Tariff Review applications, Performance Improvement Plan and Capital Expenditure for electricity distribution companies.

The newspaper reports that foreign portfolio investment in the Nigerian stock market dropped by eight percent in the first quarter of 2021 to N60.11bn from N65.27bn in the same period of 2020.

Foreign investors injected N16.73bn into the stock market in January; N23.02bn in February; and N20.36bn in March, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

The PUNCH reported last Friday that foreign and domestic investors pulled out a total of N339.06bn from the Nigerian stock market in the first three months of this year.

The data also showed that foreign portfolio investors sold Nigerian stocks worth N90.12bn in the first quarter while domestic investors withdrew N248.94bn from the market.

Foreign portfolio investment outflow includes sales transactions or liquidation of portfolio investments through the stock market, while the FPI inflow includes purchase transactions on the exchange (equities only).

The market capitalisation of equities fell by N230bn in Q1 2021 from N20.66tn at the end of December 2020 to N20.43tn on March 31, 2021, data from the Nigerian Exchange Limited showed.

THISDAY says that the federal government has approved the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-SIM data verification from May 6 to June 30, 2021.

The decision to extend the date was reached at a virtual meeting chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, which was attended by the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande; the Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta; and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Azeez.
 
The recent extension, which is the sixth since December 2020, when the directive for NIN-SIM integration exercise was first issued, was based on the request by stakeholders for an extension till June 30 in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register their NIN and link same with their registered SIM cards.

The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, who announced the recent extension in a joint statement signed by both of them, also announced that NIN enrolment has tranches 54 million.

According to the statement, “Significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process. For example, almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN and this can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers, since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to 3 to 4 phone lines.

The much awaited Android enrolment system is now ready for deployment and this has the potential to significantly accelerate the speed and ease of enrolments.

The newspaper reports that the Organised Labour has tackled the Federal Government over claims of subsidising electricity supply across the country for over N50billion monthly.

The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan privatised the electricity sector in November 2013 and handed it over to 11 distribution companies and six generating companies. Last month, Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, said the Federal Government was paying N50 billion monthly to subsidise electricity across.

But Labour yesterday wondered why the government would pay subsidy for a sector it claimed to have privatised. Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, asked the government to come out and tell Nigerians the level of money they were giving to the operators of the sector.

Ajaero, who doubles as the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), asked the government to unmask the real owners of the Distribution and Generating Companies the sector was sold to in 2013.

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