Press focuses on deployment of 34,587 police officers for governorship poll, others

The report that the Nigerian police will deploy 34,587 officers and men for the November 6, 2021 governorship election in…

The report that the Nigerian police will deploy 34,587 officers and men for the November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State to ensure violence-free election is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Guardian reports that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, yesterday, disclosed that he will deploy 34,587 officers and men for the November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State to ensure violence-free election.

He cautioned hoodlums and political gladiators who would want to use undemocratic and illegal means to achieve their aspirations to perish the thought and steer clear from the state in their own interest.

The IGP stated this in Abuja while addressing Commissioners of Police (CPs) and senior officers, saying the deployments would comprise conventional police officers, Police Mobile Force, the Counter-Terrorism Unit, Special Forces, Explosive Ordinance Unit, Force Intelligence Bureau, INTERPOL, Special Protection Unit and the medical team, among others.

He added that the deployments would also include three helicopters for aerial surveillance as well as detachments of Marine Police operatives to ensure safe, secure, and credible election in the state.

According to him, the police have also put in place adequate forward and reverse logistics arrangements for a seamless police operation in the state.

He noted that the deployment followed the outcome of the election security threat analysis conducted by the Force Intelligence Bureau ahead of the gubernatorial election in the state.

The Nation says that the Operatives of Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS BEECROFT, have reportedly intercepted 32.9kg of cocaine on a vessel, MV Chayanee Naree.

The vessel and its crew including about six Asians were arrested.

The vessel which was said to have come into the country from Brazil allegedly had the narcotic substance in 30 slabs inside a bag kept in the vessel’s Cargo Compartment One.

It was gathered that naval operatives acting on credible intelligence from International Police (Interpol), monitored the vessel said to have left Santos, Brazil on September 19.

The ship, it was learnt, was first spotted about 250 nautical miles off the coast of Benin Republic on October 1, where it drifted for about a week before sailing into Nigerian waters.

Briefing journalists at a joint press conference on Thursday, Commander, NNS BEECROFT Commodore Bashir Mohammed, said the interception was possible because of collaborative efforts between the navy, Interpol, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

He said the vessel was arrested by NNS EKULU upon entry into Nigerian waters, adding that the navy had trailed its movement through the FALCON EYE Maritime Domain Awareness system.

The Punch reports that the Federal Government is considering a return to the Eurobonds market for the balance of its $6.1bn external borrowing after it successfully raised $4bn in September.

The Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Mrs Patience Oniha, gave the hint during an interview in London obtained by our correspondent on Thursday.

Oniha said the international investors had shown interest in engaging the government after a global investor meeting and roadshow, as they were still optimistic about the country’s credit status.

She said, “One of the questions that kept coming up was the balance of the new external borrowing for 2021, which is about $6.1bn.

“We are going to have a meeting with our transaction parties after this engagement if we will come back to the market for the balance. “We need to assess the market to understand how to proceed. We remain confident international investors find our credit story enticing enough.”

The Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, in a separate interview said though investors were concerned about debt sustainability, the Federal Government had given an assurance on that.

He said, “The major concern is the debt service to revenue ratio and we are working around improving the revenue generation.”

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Communications Commission has said the plan for Fifth Generation technology deployment in Nigeria is at 97 per cent readiness.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this at the annual African Tech Alliance Forum themed ‘Embracing changes and digital transformation in the new normal’.

This is according to a statement titled ‘NCC upbeat on plans for 5G deployment’ issued on Thursday by the NCC’s Deputy Manager, Public Affairs, Kunle Azeez.

Danbatta, who was represented by the commission’s Director, Spectrum Administration, Oluwatoyin Asaju, said, “Already, we are set for the auction of some spectrum slots in the 3.5GHz band.

The other day I was at the National assembly, I informed the senate that we were 95 percent ready for 5G. “Today as we speak, I am delighted to tell you that we are already at 97 percent completion.

“The committee set up to auction the spectrum has already developed an Information Memorandum which is already published for inputs and comments from all industry stakeholders. “Prior to this, a 5G deployment plan was developed and we have since secured the Federal Government’s approval.”

Earlier, he had said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost every means of communication became virtual.

ThisDay reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has announced that it has through three commercial banks financed railway infrastructure in Lagos to the tune of N6 billion.

This, the central bank stated, is in a bid to support infrastructure development and create jobs. The banks, the CBN said are; Access Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc.

The CBN said the banks have disbursed N45 billion to fund Lagos Blue line, which is 13.5-kilometer railway situated at the businesses district in Lagos and would be easily connected and assessable to waterways bus stations to critical parts of Lagos which normally are high traffic zones.

Speaking at the site inspection in Lagos yesterday, Director, Development Finance, CBN, Yusuf Philip Yila said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria, through Some banks, as provided funding on its DCR intervention to ensure that Lagos State has the right funding for this project.

“So far, I’m quite impressed with what I see on ground Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and we can see the solid structure that has been put in place in Marina. We are confident based on what we’ve been shown that progress has been made. Remember that disbursement of this fund is being done in tranches.”

The Sun says that the South-East Shippers Association has protested the constant suspension of activities at Onitsha River Port in Anambra State.

The group said that Onitsha port is a natural deposit which Nigeria should focus on the revenue it generates rather than politics of ethnicity.

The President of Anambra State Shippers Association, Mr. Emma Akpaka, in a protest letter described the suspension of activities at the port as politically motivated against the Southeast zone.

The group lamented the dilapidated Niger road that connects the River port to the Main Market that has become a death trap for the users.

“We see it as political sabotage against us. We don’t want what happened to Warri port to happen in Onitsha port. Warri Wharf was labeled a gateway for arms and ammunition. Those who should protest were silent because they did not know it was conspiracy, until those who were illegally disengaged moved to the creeks to forment trouble.

When Onitsha River port became operational in 2017, we celebrated and expected that going forward, Onitsha will be in the same page with Jakarta in Indonesia, Guangzhou in China, Bangkok in Thailand among others. Indeed that expectation was right, but there is no enabling environment to augment the contributions of the Federal Ministry of Transport.