The threat of impeachment and suspension of Budget 2021 Bill by the Senators to force President Muhammadu Buhari to act on heightened insecurity in the country is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Guardian reports that against the backdrop of heightened insecurity, especially the recent kidnap of over 300 hundred students in Katsina State, Senators, yesterday, threatened impeachment and suspension of Budget 2021 Bill to force President Muhammadu Buhari to act on the grave situation in the country.
Also, yesterday, the House of Representatives asked the authorities to urgently implement the Safe Schools Declaration to protect children and their teachers from attacks.
These came as Zamfara State closed boarding schools, northern elders, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Sultan of Sokoto, among others, raised the insecurity alarm to a higher pitch.
At the Senate, there was palpable anger as senators took turns to air their views on the deplorable security situation.
They submitted that the country had moved into a state of total collapse and urged the President to take full responsibility for massive security failure.
The newspaper says that the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), a northern socio-political group, said after its meeting yesterday that it was tired of advising President Muhammadu Buhari on security matters because the government appeared not to be serious in taking proactive measures to end the ugly situation.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, lamented that the Federal Government had failed to heed its advice on how to tackle insecurity in the country, thereby leaving citizens at the mercy of bandits.
Yawe charged the nation’s leaders to tell Nigerians what would happen if their own children were kidnapped too.
He, however, added that massive employment of youths by governments at all levels would reduce crime rate and check rising insecurity across the country.
“Today’s (Tuesday) meeting is very crucial to the operations of ACF because it is the first meeting of the newly-constituted BOT. We discussed security, and we are worried because Nigerians are not secure. We are not happy about insecurity in the country. We are looking at the immediate and long term ways of improving security,” he said.
ThisDay reports that analysts and members of the organised private sector yesterday urged the federal government to step up efforts in tackling insecurity and ramping up measures to ensure food security amidst mounting inflationary pressures.
They also advised the federal government to reopen the country’s land borders, even as they stressed the need to apply strict control on its neighbours to respect the ECOWAS protocol of rule of origin.
The analysts, in separate interviews with THISDAY following the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that put inflation at 14.89 percent, called for government’s continued support for local agricultural production and improving the security of farmers against insurgency, banditry and kidnappings.
They believed the measures could help address the upward trajectory in inflation rate, which increased to 14.89 percent in November, from 14.23 percent in the preceding month.
“With border closure, rising insecurity in the farms, adoption of cost-reflective tariff for electricity, multiple taxation at both federal and sub-national levels and high exchange rate, we will continue to find difficulty in subduing inflation as it persistently heads northwards as a direct impact of cost-push inflation,” they said.
The Punch says that after December 30, all Subscriber Identification Modules that are not registered with valid National Identification Numbers on the network of telecommunications companies shall be blocked, the Federal Government has said.
It was gathered in Abuja on Tuesday that the declaration was part of resolutions reached during an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the communications industry that was convened by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
The spokesperson of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the meeting was convened following the earlier directive on the suspension of new SIM registration by network operators.
He stated that at the meeting, the need to consolidate the achievements of last year’s SIM registration audit and improve the performance and sanity of the sector was discussed.
The NCC said stakeholders agreed that urgent drastic measures had now become inevitable to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process.
The newspaper reports that China has approved and will disburse its 85 per cent loan required to fund the $2.6bn Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project, the Federal Government announced on Tuesday.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, and Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, announced this during the inspection of the project in Ajaokuta, Kogi State.
The AKK pipeline project, flagged off in July this year, is 85 per cent funded by the Bank of China and Sinosure, a Chinese export and credit insurance corporation, while the Federal Government, represented by NNPC, provides 15 percent equity.
Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau-CPP Consortia and Oilserve/China First Highway Engineering Company-CFHEC Consortia were announced as the Engineering Procurement and Construction contractors for the project. Speaking on the side-lines of the project inspection on Tuesday,
The Nation reports that Access Bank Plc has started nationwide payout of dollars to beneficiaries of international remittances, in response to the recent policy change by the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN had directed that recipients of international remittances can now receive their funds in cash in dollars or to have funds paid directly into their domiciliary accounts. Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc,
Victor Etuokwu, said the nationwide dollar payment was part of the bank’s promise to create value and meet the needs of its customers.
“We are happy to announce that our customers can now receive funds sent from the Diaspora in dollars at any of our branches nationwide. The funds will be available as cash pick-up or direct transfer into customers’ domiciliary accounts,” Etuokwu said.