Press focuses on reason given for rising violence in South East, others

The explanation by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, for the rising violence in the South East…

The explanation by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, for the rising violence in the South East is due to the attention the Igbo quest for the 2023 presidency has generated is one of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Guardian reports that President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, yesterday, told the British Deputy High Commissioner, Peter Thomas, that rising violence in the South East was due to the attention Igbo quest for the 2023 presidency has generated.

Obiozor, who expressed sadness over the killings and burning of police stations and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices, stated that people of the South East were not known for violence but believed in hard work.

He told Thomas, who visited the Ohanaeze Secretariat in Enugu that the crisis notwithstanding, Ndigbo were united in the quest for a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.

Lamenting how insecurity was ravaging the region, he said the Igbo were the most exemplary in peace and security as well as the most organised with a vigorous grassroots economic activity until most recently, adding that the Igbo “are a unique set of people in terms of hard work, ingenuity, perseverance and inventiveness.”

Explaining that the people of the zone struggle to get whatever they were denied by themselves, he lamented that the recent violence in the zone was giving the Igbo a bad name.

ThisDay says that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed interest in purchasing a 20 percent minority equity stake in Dangote Refinery, Lagos, reputed to be Africa’s biggest oil refining facility and the world’s largest single-train plant.

The 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery, expected to process a variety of light and medium grades of crude, including petrol and diesel as well as jet fuel and polypropylene is owned by Nigeria’s Dangote Group and is worth about $15 billion.

NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Refining and Petrochemicals, Mr. Mustapha Yakubu, unfolded the investment plans yesterday at the end of a two-day Nigeria Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF), 2021, tagged: “Leveraging Opportunities and Synergies for Post Pandemic Recovery of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.”

He spoke just as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said it is targeting to generate and remit about N900 billion into the Federation Account in the second quarter of 2021.

The newspaper reports that the process for reviewing the 1999 Constitution as altered gathered momentum yesterday with clamours for creation of state police, devolution of powers to the states, creation of more states, restructuring and fiscal federalism featuring prominently in presentations made by stakeholders at zonal public hearings in 12 venues nationwide.

The two-day public hearings are being organised by the Senate Committee on Constitution Review.

However, while the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, advocated a return to 1963 Constitution, his counterpart in Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, called for a new constitution and not an amendment of the 1999 document.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, canvassed a special status for the state, which hitherto hosted the nation’s capital.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also submitted a 72-page document, seeking the retention of the minimum wage, among other demands, while local government workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) asked the lawmakers to make local governments autonomous.

The Punch says that the Nigerian Government has said it is expecting most of the marginal fields, which investors bid for in the recently concluded bid round, will achieve first oil starting from next year.

The Director/Chief Executive Officer, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr Sarki Auwalu, said this on Wednesday during a strategic engagement session in Lagos with the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, led by its Executive Secretary, Mr Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had said in March that it had received signature bonuses from 50 per cent of the winners of marginal oilfields following the conclusion of the bid process.

The DPR had said in February that the government was expecting to generate at least $500m in revenue (N189.5bn) from the marginal field bid round.

Auwalu said the government was already taking advantage of the success of the programme. The Federal Government, through the DPR, had announced on June 1, 2020 the start of the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round, with 57 fields available for indigenous companies and investors interested in participating in the exploration and production business in Nigeria.

The Sun reports that even with the spate of insecurity, high rate of inflation, unemployment and recessions, the 2021 World Population Review of World Bank rates Nigeria as the richest African country with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $514.05 billion.

Nigeria is followed by Egypt with $394.28 billion, South Africa ($329.53 billion), Algeria ($151.46 billion), Morocco ($124 billion), Kenya ($106.04 billion), Ethiopia ($93.97 billion), Ghana ($74.26 billion), Ivory Coast ($70.99 billion) and Angola with $66.49 billion.

“Many of the world’s poorest nations are in Africa. Most economies are unstable, and poverty is widespread. There are, however, some African countries that have the fastest-growing economies in the world.

The largest components of the African economy are agriculture, trade, and natural resources, and the African economy is expected to reach a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050”, the document says, adding that there are several ways to compare a nation’s wealth and one of the best ways to measure it is by taking a look at the purchasing gross domestic product or GDP of a nation. The Bretton Woods institution says this is the value of the goods and services that come from a nation for one year.

The newspaper reports that plant breeders and farmers are set to reap the benefits of their efforts following President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill into law.

The stakeholders in the agricultural sector had described the absence of the PVP law, which protects the intellectual property of varieties developed by breeders and farmers as the bane of investment and progress in the sector.

While reacting to the presidential assent, the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Research Institutions, Munir Agundi, thanked the president for his timely intervention in reforming the sector and for addressing the concesns of Nigerians about diversifying the economy by giving agriculture a priority.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, he said by assenting to the PVP Act, 2021, Buhari had given impetus to agricultural growth in the country.

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