Press zooms in on cancellation of one week sit-at-home order by IPOB, others

The cancellation of the one week sit-at-home order by the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday ahead of tomorrow's…

The cancellation of the one week sit-at-home order by the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday ahead of tomorrow’s governorship election in Anambra State dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Guardian reports that amid the brewed mix of fear and optimism ahead tomorrow’s governorship election in Anambra State, the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) last night cancelled the order it issued across the Southeast zone of the country.

IPOB said it called off the order after consultations with elders, traditional and religious leaders from the region. The group’s Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, made this disclosure in a statement. He stated that it is not IPOB’s intention to add to the pains of the people it claims to fight for since all business activities would be brought to a halt with the sit-at-home order.

The spokesperson said: “Following the genuine intervention of our elders, esteemed traditional institutions/rulers and religious leaders, and after due consideration of the positive impacts of their engagement, and sequel to the fact that our elders have spoken in our terms, the leadership of IPOB, ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, hereby and immediately call off the one-week sit-at-home earlier declared to commence November 5 to November 10.

“We have equally considered several appeals by our mothers who earn their living based on their daily economic activities, which will obviously be affected if Biafraland is locked down for one whole week. It’s never our intention to add to the pains of our people, hence our decision to suspend the sit-at-home.“IPOB leadership is only interested in our referendum and peaceful agitation for self-determination, and cannot by under any guise be seen to be interfering with any electoral process.

“The people of Anambra should go out en-masse and peacefully exercise their franchise on Saturday and accordingly, chose a leader of their choice. They should not be intimidated by anybody, group of persons or security agents.

“Credible intelligence available to us confirm that security agencies have concluded arrangement to deploy a group of armed persons to unleash mayhem on our people and attribute the killing to IPOB members.

“Anambrarians should vote and standby to protect their votes. No rigging of any kind will be tolerated. It must be transparent, free and fair to all,” he said.

The newspaper says that foreign airlines operating in and out of Nigeria have taken their protest to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over difficulties in repatriating accumulated funds, now in excess of $800 million (N328.8 billion).

The airlines, about 30 in number, expressed displeasure over rising difficulties in repatriating earned revenue through an official window approved by the government.

Meanwhile, the fallout of the development is already affecting consumers as foreign airlines have adjusted the Rate of Exchange (RoE) from N411to N450, raising airfares some notches.

Though the repatriation is not peculiar to Nigeria, operating airlines have lately been having difficulties getting the dollar equivalent of tickets sold in Naira, for remittance to their home countries.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had in August, said approximately $963 million in airline funds are being blocked from repatriation in nearly 20 countries, including Nigeria that then owed $143.8 million.

An official of one of the airlines told The Guardian that the operators were compelled to meet with the CBN on Monday, to lodge formal complaints on the forex liquidity problem. He hinted that operators’ threats of temporary withdrawal from Nigeria were able to elicit commitment of the apex bank to make dollars available for repatriation.

ThisDay reports that in a bid to tackle the impact of extreme weather and climate change, the United Kingdom (UK) government has announced a £143.5million funding to support Nigeria and other African governments to roll-out critical adaptation projects.

In a statement, the UK said the £143.5 million programmes to support African countries in adaption to the impact of extreme weather and changing climate include, “£20 million to the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP); £42 million of adaptation allocations under the new Africa Regional Climate and Nature Programme (ARCAN).

Others are £22 million of premium financing support to help African countries pay for drought insurance; £19.5 million for the Shock Response Programme in the Sahel, including support to the World Bank to strengthen government social protection systems and its committed of about £40 million to the Climate Adaptation and Resilience research programme (CLARE) to support action-focused research to inform development in a changing climate in Africa.”

Aside the above, the UK government said it has a new ‘Room to Run’ guarantee to the African Development Bank (AfDB) that is expected to unlock up to £1.45billion ($2billion) worth of new financing for projects across the continent.

The Punch says that the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has said obsolete and weak equipment are the major problem affecting electricity transmission and distribution in the country.

Aliyu told the House of Representatives on Thursday that the drawdown on the N160bn bilateral loans secured for power projects across Nigeria had been deferred to 2022.

The House Committee on Power decried the low performance of the N176.721bn appropriated for capital projects in the sector, out of which only N43.240bn had so far been released, while N32.518bn had been spent.

While responding to questions from the lawmakers on the hostilities between the Transmission Company of Nigeria, generation and distribution companies, the minister said: “The power sector is mostly privatised. Some of the responsibilities are outsourced.

“Our partners are at the generation and distribution levels, and the government is handling the transmission. And for it to work effectively, all of them must be up and doing. As it is now, we have serious challenges here and there along this value chain.

“Apart from the three major players, we have an interface, because the generators need fuel, either from a natural source, which is the hydro, which contributes about 20 per cent of the generation, or gas to fuel their plants. So, this is another challenge. And you know how gas is in the international market.”

The newspaper reports that MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has said it is set to proceed with a public offer for the sale of 575 million shares.

In a statement, the company said Its parent company, MTN Group, is set to proceed with this sale by means of a bookbuild to institutional investors and fixed price to retail investors.

The company said, “The Offer is anticipated to open in November 2021 with a bookbuild to institutional investors, after which a fixed price is expected to be announced for retail investors also in November 2021. “The offer is expected to close in December 2021.

This is the first step in MTN Group’s previously communicated statement of intent to sell down approximately 14 per cent of its current shareholding in MTN Nigeria.”

MTN also said in another statement that it successfully completed the issuance of its N89.99bn series II 10-year 12.75 per cent fixed rate bonds due 2031 under the N200bn bond issuance programme.

The telecommunications company disclosed this in a statement titled ‘MTN Nigeria issuance of N89.999bn series’. It said the bookbuild process commenced on October 8, 2021 and was completed on October 15, 2021. notes worth N698.59bn last year.

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