Press focuses on Nigeria’s appeal to US for assistance in containing insurgency, others

The appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari to the United States government to assist Nigeria in containing the spate of insecurity…

The appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari to the United States government to assist Nigeria in containing the spate of insecurity in the country is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Guardian reports that after being assailed by unrelenting insecurity across the regions of the country and yielding to calls for international collaboration, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sought the help of the United States government to contain the situation in the country.

During a virtual meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. Anthony Blinken, Buhari stressed the need for the U.S. to consider relocating its Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the Theatre of Operation, while urging the international community to support Nigeria and the sub-region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spillovers.

President Buhari said: “The security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to us and impacted more negatively, by existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central, and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad Region.

“Compounded as the situation remains, Nigeria and her security forces remain resolutely committed to containing them and addressing their root causes. The support of important and strategic partners like the United States cannot be overstated as the consequences of insecurity will affect all nations hence the imperative for concerted cooperation and collaboration of all nations to overcome these challenges.

“In this connection, and considering the growing security challenges in West and Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region and the Sahel, weighing heavily on Africa, it underscores the need for the United States to consider re-locating AFRICOM headquarters from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation,” he said. 

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC), Yaoundé, have forged an alliance to tackle the lingering piracy that has continued to threaten shipping activities in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

The duo, in a joint communiqué on the framework to tackle maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, said ICC Yaoundé and Nigeria intend to form a framework to provide shared awareness on activities in the Gulf of Guinea.

The platform, known as Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum (GOG-MCF/SHADE), according to the communiqué will be opened to all GOG countries with similar capacities to join on a voluntary basis.

“The GOG-MCF/SHADE will focus on counter-piracy and armed robbery by bringing together regional, international, industry and NGO partners to advance and coordinate near term maritime activities with a view to working toward a set of common operational objectives in order to protect seafarers and ships operating off the coast of West and Central Africa,” they stated.

The duo agreed that a number of attacks/kidnapping in the Gulf of Guinea region against merchant’s vessels is alarming and needed urgent attention.

The Vanguard reports that British Minister for Africa, James Duddridge has said the disturbing trend of violence unleashed on Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect and allied groups is a complex phenomenon that requires varied approaches to resolve.

Duddridge said this while fielding questions from reporters when he led a delegation to pay a courtesy visit on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama in Abuja yesterday.

He said the United Kingdom is a strong ally of Nigeria in the efforts to mitigate the challenges posed by terrorism and insurgency.

He stated: “The situation is massively complex and no partnership is going to resolve the multiplicity of problems whether it is Boko Haram or Daesh or a number of other issues.

‘’In the UK, you have a strong partner across the full gamut of issues, so, it is not just about intelligence and hard security and military, it is about societies, it is about humanitarian support, it is about education and development partnership.

“It is not an end game, we don’t get to a point where we would say ‘this is the end of our relationship with Nigeria,’ because we got what we want, we set a higher bar, we are long -term partners.”

Duddridge noted that the relationship between the UK and Nigeria is important on the African continent not just because Nigeria is a big and populous country but also because of the role Nigeria plays in the African region.

The Punch says that the Central Bank of Nigeria injected $1.47bn into the foreign exchange segment of the market as part of its efforts to stabilise the naira in January.

According to figures from the CBN’s January report on its foreign exchange market developments, this was a decrease of 47.4 percent and 64.0 percent from the level in the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2020. Part of the report read,

“Total foreign exchange sales to authorised dealers by the bank was $1.47bn in January 2021, a decrease of 47.4 percent and 64.0 percent from the level in the preceding month and corresponding period of 2020, respectively.

“A disaggregation showed that foreign exchange sales at the I&E, SMIS, SME, and interbank fell by 79.9 percent, 38.3 percent, 19.8 percent, and 37.3 percent to $0.22bn, $0.48bn, $0.10bn, and $0.04bn respectively.

“Similarly, foreign exchange cash sales to BDC operators and matured swap transactions fell by 19.3 percent and 48.7 per cent, compared with its level in the preceding month to $0.42bn and $0.12bn respectively in the review period.”

The report said in order to promote transparency and increase diaspora remittance inflows, the bank further updated and reiterated the modalities for the pay-out of diaspora remittances.

The Sun reports that the Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced openings for transaction advisers to organise Sukuk bonds in the Nigerian capital market.

The DMO announced this in a notice posted on its website on Monday. In 2016, the Federal Government announced similar intentions to organise its first Islamic bond in the domestic market.

“The Debt Management Office (DMO) on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) seeks to appoint Transaction Parties for the Issuance of Sovereign Sukuk in the domestic capital market through an Open Competitive Bidding process,” DMO said.

“In this regard, the DMO hereby invites Expression of Interest/Prequalification Documents (EOI) from qualified and reputable firms who are interested in offering their services.”

DMO said the transaction advisers include issuing houses, financial advisers, trustees and legal advisers. It said the appointment is for the issuance of sovereign Sukuk for the financing of infrastructure projects approved in the national budget.

DMO said the issuing house responsibilities include preparation of the prospectus; advising on marketing and distribution strategies, media campaigns and investor meetings; and managing the offering of the Sukuk.