Press zooms in on Labour’s rejection of planned removal of petrol subsidy, others

The rejection by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) of the proposed N5,000 for 40 million poor Nigerians when the subsidy…

The rejection by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) of the proposed N5,000 for 40 million poor Nigerians when the subsidy on petrol is removed is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Guardian reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the proposed N5,000 for 40 million poor Nigerians when the subsidy on Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) is removed.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said in Abuja last night that there was no ongoing talks between labour and the Federal Government, as negotiation was adjourned sine die many months ago.

NLC accused government of adopting monologue in arriving at its conclusion on subsidy removal, stressing that it will continually reject a deregulation that is anchored on importation of petroleum products.

It also said that constant devaluation of the naira wouldn’t guarantee a realistic pump price of petrol.

“This situation will definitely be compounded by the astronomical devaluation of the naira, which currently goes for N560 to 1US$ in the parallel market. Thus, any attempt to compare the price of petrol in Nigeria to other countries would be set on a faulty premise as it would be akin to comparing apples to mangoes,” the NLC stated.

It submitted that the contemplation by government to increase the price of petrol by more than 200 per cent is a perfect recipe for an aggravated pile of hyper-inflation and astronomical increase in the price of goods and services, saying this will open a wide door to unintended social consequences such as degeneration of the current insecurity crises and possibly citizens’ revolt.

The newspaper says that elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has demanded the immediate implementation of the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led All Progressives Congress (APC) report on true federalism.

The Delta native, who leads the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANFEF) in a chat with reporters in Abuja, argued that true federalism remains the solution to the multiple challenges besetting Nigeria.

The nonagenarian said it behoves President Muhammadu Buhari to act on the document that tallied with APC manifesto.

He argued that 98 per cent of report was already captured in the 600 recommendations of the 2014 National Constitution Conference.

Clark posited that the call for restructuring was not anti-Buhari or anti-north, but a call for equity, fairness and justice geared at advancing Nigeria and the citizens.

Justifying his position, he argued: “The effect of insecurity is biting so hard in every facet of our lives. There is so much hunger in the land. People can no longer go to the farm because farmers are killed, raped and maimed. It reminds me of the message of the Emir of Katsina to Mr. President, through the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.”

He went on: “The warning of Chief Ayo Adebanjo is very apt and should not be taken lightly. The country needs to be salvaged urgently, so, “let it be heard loud and clear that Nigeria must be restructured. Whether you are a northerner or a southerner, everyone stands to lose if Nigeria is not restructured.

“The President himself knows that, the leaders of the world know that. Nigerians know that, except unpatriotic Nigerians.”

The Sun reports that the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has disclosed that it was harnessing technology and digital ecosystem for the establishment of tech-hubs and co-creation centres in the association’s three geo-business zones to bridge unemployment gap.

Its President, John Udeagbala, who disclosed this during the association’s visit to the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, commended the governor on the recent commissioning of the Edo Tech Park, an elite software engineering and leadership-training institute.

He noted that this was also a keen area of interest during his tenure, adding that technology is the new frontier of most economies which provides opportunities to trigger significant inclusive economic growth and reduce unemployment.

The NACCIMA boss appealed to Governor Obaseki to raise his support for the chambers in the state by ensuring that it has a permanent site and location to carry out its activities.

ThisDay says that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is taking a decisive regulatory move to ensure sustainability, profitability and fair competition in the Special Numbering Service (SNS) segment of the nation’s telecommunications sector.

The move informed the decision of the Commission to hold a Stakeholders’ Forum on the ‘Determination of Call Termination Rate for Special Numbering Service Providers in Nigeria.

The forum, which held at the NCC’s Head Office in Abuja recently, was attended by representatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs),

Special Numbering Service (SNS) providers and other stakeholders who participated actively in the discussions. Addressing the gathering, the Director, Policy,

Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, said the meeting was convened following the extensive work of a committee set up by the Commission to look into the issues and complaints emanating from the SNS segment of the telecoms market.

A key concern according to her, was the perception of high cost of delivering services to end-users in the SNS segment.

The Punch reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission has vowed to continue to crack down on Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers amid the recent resurgence of their activities.

The Director-General, SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, made the pledge at an enlightenment workshop and investor clinic session with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and its agencies in Abuja on Wednesday.

He was quoted in a statement as saying, “The Nigerian financial sector is experiencing a resurgence of Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers.”

According to him, they lure subscribers by making promises of huge and unjustifiable returns on investment and still enjoy massive patronage from Nigerians. He added that the problem remained a concern for financial sector regulators.

Yuguda said, “Thus, the commission is poised to continue to apply measures and seek the cooperation of relevant stakeholders to combat the activities of these unlawful schemes, which have undermined the reputation of our financial markets and dampened investors’ confidence, among other things.

“The SEC firmly believes that the Nigerian capital market can attain its potentials if market operators/participants contribute their respective quotas to the growth of the market.”

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Communications Commission has said that Nigerians should expect gigabytes per second for smart cities, self-driving cars, robust telemedicine, and others with the deployment of the fifth-generation technology in Nigeria.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, hinted this while responding to questions during a webinar, titled: “Unlocking 5G potential in Africa”, held on StreamYard, on Monday.

This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘We are conducting training, sensitising stakeholders and collaborating to deploy 5G effectively – Danbatta’, which was sent to our correspondent on Wednesday.

Danbatta emphasised Nigeria’s readiness to deploy 5G and highlighted some of the steps taken by the commission towards deploying the technology in the country.

The statement read, “Danbatta indicated that Nigeria continued to receive visitations by countries who wished to benchmark their operations, just as Nigeria has also visited other countries to explore how 5G and associated technologies can be deployed effectively because 5G technologies are not just valuable, they are so significant due to their derivable social and economic benefits.”

The EVC discussed the innovations that could be triggered in the country through 5G deployment