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Press focuses on warning against another civil war by Igbo group, others

The warning by the World Igbo Congress against another civil war in Nigeria, especially one contrived with the Igbo as…

The warning by the World Igbo Congress against another civil war in Nigeria, especially one contrived with the Igbo as antagonists is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Guardian reports that the World Igbo Congress (WIC) has warned against another civil war in Nigeria, especially one contrived with the Igbo as antagonists.

It, therefore, called for cessation of the shoot-on-sight order in the South East by the Federal Government and immediate withdrawal of troops from the region.

In an open letter to South East governors, the Igbo congress said that the 1966 version would be child’s play, should another armed conflict arise.

It stated: “Any governor, who has invited the military to Igbo land, should request that they be withdrawn.” It reminded the governors that they were as guilty as the Federal Government for the blood of defenceless and innocent Igbo youth being spilled in Igbo land and elsewhere.

The group also called Buhari to rescind the shoot-on-sight order and return the soldiers to the barracks.

WIC slammed Buhari for describing Igbo land, in an interview with Arise Television, as a mere “dot in a circle” with nowhere to go. It alleged that the President’s analogy was part of the scheme to annihilate the Igbo race, starting with the shoot-on-sight order.

It added: “We have continued to witness, with dismay, the carefully planned ethnic cleansing taking place in the southeastern states of Nigeria. First, it was the AK47-totting Fulani herdsmen who made life unbearable for people in the south-eastern states, like in some other places. The security apparatus of Nigeria looked the other way, as these murderers unleashed mayhem on us by maiming, raping and killing our people while destroying our crops and occupying our farms.”

The newspaper says that the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) has berated the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on bureaucratic bottlenecks hindering businesses from accessing the over N1 trillion COVID-19 intervention funds instituted by the apex body to stimulate and revamp the economy through structured refinancing and loans.

The OPS had alleged that credible information from many businesses across the country had shown very low access to various intervention funds by the apex bank. Chairman of OPSN, Taiwo Adeniyi, alongside members of the body, who spoke at a press conference on the state of the economy, urged the apex bank to complement its efforts by synergising policies alongside fiscal authorities in bringing the needed growth and development into the economy.

He urged the CBN to review its strategies and reduce the bureaucratic bottleneck currently associated with accessing the funds.

He expressed readiness of the private sector body to partner with the CBN to ensure that credible and genuine businesses actually benefit from the fund, noting that it would further facilitate regular impact assessment of the fund.

The Punch reports that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.

Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the CBG, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.

This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.

Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.

He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia. In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.

“I note your point on currency management,” he said.  

The newspaper says that the World Bank has said rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.

This was contained in a press statement titled ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report’ released by the bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer for Nigeria, Mansir Nasir, on Tuesday.

The press statement was released in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update. The bank said the Federal Government took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession, adding that it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.

The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms’, notes that in 2020 the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 percent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 percent).

“Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households. “As of April 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60 percent of the total increase in inflation.”

ThisDay reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday called for unity among West African States and those in the Sahel to deal with security challenges in their respective nations.

Also, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, has said service chiefs now work in synergy, debunking insinuation that they failed in curbing the worsening insecurity in the country due to inter-agency rivalry.

Buhari, while receiving the new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Annadif, at the State House, Abuja, said the security challenges were enormous and, there, required concerted efforts to tackle them.

The president, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “You are our neighbour. You have vast experience on matters affecting the Sahel, having served for five years in Mali. I hope you will get the countries to work together to confront the issues affecting them.

“I hope under the auspices of UNOWAS, you will help get the problems sorted out. Most of them have to do with the instability in Libya, and it affects all of us.”

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