The reactions that trailed the extension of the tenure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, by President Muhammadu Buhari and the forwarding of the names of the immediate past Service Chiefs to the Senate as non-career ambassadors-designate dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Friday.
The Guardian reports that Nigerians, yesterday, kicked as President Muhammadu Buhari extended the tenure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, and forwarded the names of the immediate past service chiefs to the Senate as non-career ambassadors-designate.
Buhari extended Adamu’s tenure, which ended on Monday, by three months. The extension was announced to correspondents yesterday by the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The elongation became necessary, according to him, to allow for a robust and efficient process of appointing a new IGP.
He said: “This is not unconnected to the desire of Mr. President to, not only have a smooth handover but to also ensure the right officer is appointed into that position. Mr President is extending by three months to allow him to get into the process of appointing a new one.”
The minister dismissed insinuations that the extension had created a lacuna in the system, adding that it was within the President’s constitutional prerogative.
The ex-governor also accused the ex-service chiefs of serving Nigeria with pecuniary gains and exposed the citizens to Boko Haram insurgents and other criminal elements.
The newspaper says that Nigeria has ranked top among countries with the highest number of unserviceable aircraft in global commercial aviation.
CH aviation, a Swiss-based firm that specialises in data and information gathering for global aviation operators, estimated that Nigeria, though with smaller industry, now ranks higher than Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina, and Malaysia in the top countries with the highest number of retired airplanes.
Findings by The Guardian showed that the high toll of abandoned or retired aircraft in airports nationwide earned Nigeria the unenviable top spot.
This is not unconnected with operators’ penchant for the cheaper middle-range jet engine aircraft type, which often turns out to be a wrong choice, in the long run, coupled with the lack of maintenance facility to support the aircraft and ease the burden of the cost locally.
Experts did not spare the quality of regulatory oversight and wrong business models used by some operating carriers for the waste.
They queried the regulatory body for not, as a policy, insisting on a smaller aircraft type that fits the peculiarity of the Nigerian environment, over the popular middle-range jets that are most ideal for regional operations.
ThisDay reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday took the wind off the sail of those threatening immediate past service chiefs with criminal suits at international criminal courts, nominating them as non-career ambassadors.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president has forwarded to the Senate the names of Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin (Chief of Defence Staff), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (Chief of Army Staff), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (Chief of Naval Staff), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff) and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman, all recently retired military top brass.
While in service conducting campaigns against internal insecurity, many of the groups affected by the military’s operations had threatened to file criminal suits against them at the International Criminal Court at The Hague for alleged human rights abuse and crime against humanity.
Largely spearheaded by Amnesty International, the Nigerian military came under severe allegations of war crimes and in early December last year, the Prosecutor of ICC, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, said her preliminary investigations pointed to likely commission of crimes by Boko Haram and elements of the Nigerian military.
She said she had applied to the judges of the court for a full-blown investigation into the alleged crimes.
Analysts said yesterday that Buhari may have moved to shield the former service chiefs from criminal investigations by clothing them with the garb of diplomacy.
The Punch says that the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said there is a need for the Central Bank of Nigeria to review its policy on the repatriation of export proceeds in order to encourage exports.
The chamber also called for the unification of the exchange rates in the different foreign exchange markets in the country.
The Director-General, LCCI, Dr. Muda Yusuf, told our correspondent at the group’s quarterly press briefing that lack of access to forex remained a major challenge facing members of the chamber.
He said, “On the foreign exchange, there are a number of dimensions to the challenges that businesses faced and are still facing.
First is the exchange rate depreciation. “The economy is highly import-dependent and, therefore, highly sensitive to developments around the foreign exchange market. So, the exchange rate depreciation that has occurred over the last one year has led to significant increases in the cost of production.”
He said the naira depreciation had also affected inflation, sales, and profit margins “because it is not in all cases that investors are able to transfer the increases in costs to their customers.” Yusuf said, “The second is the liquidity challenge. I am talking about access to foreign exchange as and when you need it. So, that has been a problem; it is still a problem.
The Nation reports that the Chairman of the Lagos State Wharf Landing Fee Collecting Authority (WLFCA), Prince Gboyega Salvador-Adebayo has said that the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has consistently worked against the interest of the agency.
But notwithstanding this, he said, the Authority has not relented in its zeal to continue the collection of the fees (meant for the local government) as there are plans to work with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice in order to prosecute erring importers.
“NPA is our major challenge. I wonder why an agency of government will undermine the Joint Tax Board and the Federal Ministry of Finance. The law establishing this Authority has already been gazette,” he said.
According to the Chairman, because of the illegal fees being collected by NPA inside the ports, it has consistently refused to cooperate with his WLFCA, even after a meeting was held last year between the two authorities.
He accused the management of the NPA of not being straight forward, as after a meeting was held between the two bodies last year, NPA changed its position and refused to recognise the WLFCA.