Press focuses on mixed reactions to ban on open grazing in southern Nigeria, others

The divergent reactions to the ban on open cattle grazing in the entire 17 southern states of Nigeria by the…

The divergent reactions to the ban on open cattle grazing in the entire 17 southern states of Nigeria by the Forum of Southern Governors and the call for prayers by President Buhari to overcome the myriad of problems facing Nigeria are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Guardian reports that divergent reactions continue to trail Tuesday’s call by the Forum of Southern Governors to ban open cattle grazing in the entire 17 southern states of the country.

The governors had, after a four-hour meeting in Asaba, Delta State, agreed that open grazing should be banned. Open grazing of cattle has often caused conflicts between host communities and migrant herders, leading to deaths in many states. Some of the herders have also been accused of committing other criminal acts like armed robbery, rape and kidnapping.

Expectedly, while the North kicked vigorously against the position of southern governors itemised in a 12-point communiqué, southern leaders embraced the move and called for necessary legislation to back the ban on open cattle grazing.

Firing the first salvo of opposition was Prof. Usman Yusuf, former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), who faulted the decision because the Southern governors did not consult Fulani leaders before making the ‘No Grazing’ regulation.

While appearing on AIT breakfast show, Kakaaki, yesterday, Yusuf said: “Southern governors must provide land for Fulani bandits to graze their cattle if they want to ban open grazing. Gathering in one hotel and giving a blanket ban is irresponsible.”

The newspaper says that President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to pray for the nation to overcome the myriad of problems facing it.

In a goodwill message contained in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, the President urged all Nigerians to seize the opportunity of today to pray against all forms of insecurity that is currently bedevilling the country.

He also called for continued observation of the COVID-19 prevention protocols while urging citizens not to be carried away with celebrations.

He said: “Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians, are imperative, especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges, which are surmountable only when we come together as one. We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.”

The Vanguard says that the national grid again, yesterday, suffered another systems collapse, worsening the power supply situation in the country.

The newspaper gathered that the system collapse occurred, following voltage collapse in some parts of the national grid

The national grid is controlled and operated by government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). Power system collapse is the process by which the sequence of events accompanying voltage instability leads to an unacceptable voltage drop in a significant part of the power system. Vanguard learned that the collapse occurred around 11.01 am yesterday.

Confirming the development, TCN General Manager, Ndidi Mbah, told Vanguard that at about 11`.01am yesterday, there was total system collapse of the grid, as a result of voltage collapse at some parts of the grid.

She stated that TCN had commenced grid recovery immediately after the collapse, from Shiroro Generating Station to Katampe TS, Abuja through the Shiroro – Katampe line at 11:29 am, and also through Delta Generating Station to Benin Transmission Substation and had reached Osogbo and parts of Lagos.

The Punch reports that remittances by Nigerians in the Diaspora declined by 27.7 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank report.

A report by the World Bank titled ‘Defying predictions, remittance flows remain strong during COVID-19 crisis’ said Nigeria contributed 40 per cent of the remittances into Sub-Saharan Africa.

It put remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa at $42bn. Forty percent contribution of Nigeria to this means that remittances to Nigeria was $16.8bn in 2020.

A decline of 27.7 percent also put remittances into the country in 2019 at $21.45bn.

The report said remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa declined by an estimated 12.5 percent due to a decline in the remittances to Nigeria that contributes the largest amount in the region.

Nigeria has been having foreign exchange crisis resulting from decline in earnings from crude oil sale.

Diaspora remittances is the second major source of foreign exchange for the country. Drying forex remittances recently pushed the Central Bank of Nigeria to offer an incentive of N5 for every dollar remitted through official channels. The newspaper says that about 83.04 percent of banking creditors were able to access credit at below 15 percent lending rates as of February.

A member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju, disclosed this in his personal statement at the recent meeting, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Data on the industry’s credit disbursement shows that 83.04 per cent of banking creditors were able to access credit at below 15 per cent lending rates,” he said.

He said the banking stability report showed that the banking industry remained stable and resilient.

The Capital Adequacy Ratio, non-performing loans ratio and the liquidity ratio remained quite encouraging and not significantly different from where they were at the January meeting of the MPC, he said.

However, he added, there were moderate declines in returns on equity and returns on assets and a significant rise in the share of operating incomes in total interest incomes of Deposit Money Banks.

ThisDay says that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has picked 16 consortia for its new crude-for-fuel swap contracts for one year starting in August.

A report yesterday by Reuters listed the consortia to include major Swiss trading firms, Trafigura, Vitol and Mercuria, oil major Total as well as large Nigerian traders, Sahara Energy, Oando and MRS Oil.

Other companies which qualified for the contracts, according to a list sighted by THISDAY include: AY Mai Kifi, based in Kano; Litasco, a South African firm; Bono Energy, Lagos; Duke Oil, an NNPC subsidiary; Eyrie Energy, based in Abuja; Asian Energy Services; Prudent; BP and Mocoh.

The contracts, known as Direct Sale, Direct Purchase (DSDP), are coveted since they are used to supply nearly all of Nigeria’s petrol needs as well as cover some of its diesel and jet fuel consumption.

The companies were invited on Friday to submit commercial bids, which were due on Tuesday, according to the report.

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