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Press highlights heavy casualty inflicted on terrorists, others

The Nigerian army's report that the troops of Operation Hadin Kai have inflicted heavy casualty on Boko Haram and Islamic…

The Nigerian army’s report that the troops of Operation Hadin Kai have inflicted heavy casualty on Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in an ambush in Pulka general area is one of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Guardian reports that troops of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) have inflicted heavy casualty on Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in an ambush in Pulka general area, the Nigerian Army has disclosed.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said in a statement on Wednesday that  the operation was conducted by troops deployed at 192 Battalion Forward Operations Base (FOB) on Wednesday.

Nwachukwu said the operation was intelligence-driven conducted with precision in conjunction with members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and local vigilantes.

He said that four terrorists were neutralised during the encounter while a large cache of arms were recovered.

According to him, the fierce encounter occurred in Rengye, an area suspected to be the terrorists’ crossing point.

“Aside from the neutralised terrorists, several others escaped with injuries, leaving traces of blood behind, as they fled in disarray.

“The gallant troops recovered two AK 47 rifles, three AK 47 rifle magazines, one 36 Energa Hand Grenade and oneTear gas cannister from the terrorists.

“While commending the troops for their resilience and renewed doggedness, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, charged them to continue to dominate the area by denying the criminals freedom of action,” he said.

The newspaper says that the Senate, yesterday, approved the sum of $16 billion, €1 billion and a grant of $125 million as foreign loans for President Muhammadu Buhari to fund his administration’s legacy projects.

The red chamber specifically approved the issuance of €500 million from the Bank of Industries and €750 million Eurobond in the International Capital Market. It asked the President to forward the terms and conditions of the loans from the funding agencies to the National Assembly.

The implication of Nigeria’s ever increasing debt service, however, is that the government is expending nearly all its revenue in servicing recurrent expenditure and debts, consequently causing the Federal Government to have recourse to foreign loans, and thereby further increasing the nation’s external debt profile.

The Federal Government had in July 2021, disclosed that it spent N1.8 trillion on debt servicing in the first five months of the year, representing about 98 per cent of the total revenue generated in the same period.

A total of N4.86 trillion was spent by the Federal Government between January and May 2021. While recurrent expenditure in the review period stood at N3.67 trillion, debt service was N1.8 trillion.

The Senate, yesterday gave approval following the consideration of the report of its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia.

The Punch reports that the Federal Executive Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday approved the 2021-2025 National Development Plan, which is a successor programme to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

The plan, with an investment size of N348.7tn, will be funded by the federal, state governments and the private sector.

Briefing correspondents after the council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, explained that the plan was structured on economic growth and development, infrastructure, public administration, human capital development, social and regional development.

She revealed that for the investment size, the public sector would contribute N49.7tn while the private sector would supply N298.3tn.

According to her, the funding strategy includes broadening the tax base and expanding the capacity of the private sector through creating investment opportunities and delivering quality engagements and incentives. Ahmed explained, “Today, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented a memorandum to council, requesting for approval of the National Development Plan for 2021-2025 which is a plan that is succeeding the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which will expire in December 2021.

The Sun says that Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), Wamkele Mene, has remarked that the creation of Customs Directorate and coordination is to fight trans-shipment of goods into the continent.

Mene, who made the remark at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair Special African day, with the theme “Boosting intra-African Trade, explained that trans-shipment may never be eliminated completely, but “we can indeed make it difficult for it to happen by diligently enforcing rules of origin that we all agree to. “Fighting trans-shipment is my main priority.

AfCFTA must not lead to job losses.” The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), Wamkele Mene, has remarked that the creation of Customs Directorate and coordination is to fight trans-shipment of goods into the continent.

Mene, who made the remark at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair Special African day, with the theme “Boosting intra-African Trade, explained that trans-shipment may never be eliminated completely, but “we can indeed make it difficult for it to happen by diligently enforcing rules of origin that we all agree to. “Fighting trans-shipment is my main priority. AfCFTA must not lead to job losses.”

ThisDay reports that disturbed by high cost of maize, a major ingredient in the poultry feeds, the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), has called on the federal government to rescue the poultry industry by banning export of maize, in order to make the commodity available for poultry feed millers in Nigeria.

The PAN made the call in Abeokuta, Ogun State, at the 2021 Poultry Show with the theme: “De-Risking the Nigerian Poultry Industry: Stabilising Critical Inputs and Market Prices for Sustainability.” The show, which attracted stakeholders in the public and private agricultural sector in the country, featured exhibition of products and inputs, by players in the industry.

Speaking at the event attended by commissioners for Agriculture from the six South West states, the Chairman of the 2021 Poultry Show, Mr Olalekan Odunsi, stated that poultry farmers are facing lots of socio-economic challenges, which is negatively affecting the industry.

Odunsi, who lamented that insecurity, high cost animal feeds and exchange rate had forced some poultry farmers out of the business, added that the challenges had cut number of poultry farmers producing eggs, chickens and other products as many of them had closed shop.

On the immediate effect of the current situation, Odunsi said people should prepare for high cost of poultry products as Christmas is approaching.