Press zooms in on new move to regulate social media by Nigerian government, others

The report of the new move to regulate social media by the Nigerian Government requires that Twitter, Facebook and other…

The report of the new move to regulate social media by the Nigerian Government requires that Twitter, Facebook and other social media giants doing business in Nigeria must register in the country before being allowed to operate unhindered dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Guardian reports that as part of its new move to regulate social media, the Federal Government has said Twitter, Facebook and other social media giants doing business in Nigeria must register in the country before being allowed to operate unhindered.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, yesterday also disclosed that Twitter, which was last week suspended, has called for a ‘high-level’ discussion.

Mr. Mohammed made this known in Abuja while briefing journalists after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

He said that he got the message yesterday morning and repeated government’s stance that Twitter was suspended because it provided an avenue for people threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.

According to him, the owner of Twitter helped to fund the recent #EndSARS protest and is also allowing the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to use the platform to call for the killing of security operatives. He added that Twitter failed to take down Kanu’s tweets despite repeated requests to do so.

The newspaper says that despite concerns about xenophobia between Nigeria and South Africa, bilateral ties between the two countries hit $2.9 billion last year with hopes of improved trade with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

According to Nigeria’s Consulate in Johannesburg, Nigeria accounts for 64 per cent of South Africa’s trade in West Africa and is one of South Africa’s top three sources of crude oil.

The Consulate noted that in 2020, South Africa imported R35 billion ($2.48 billion) worth of goods, predominantly crude oil from Nigeria and exported R6 billion ($425milion) to Nigeria.

The Consulate added that while the economic relationship may be considered as a win-win situation, the balance of relationship favours South Africa, hence the need to consolidate the ties and nip in the bud any irritants to the partnership.

Also, the consulate says it issued a total of 10,341 passports to Nigerian citizens in South Africa between March 2020 and May 2021. The Consul General, Malik Abdul, in a statement from Johannesburg, South Africa, said that the consulate had a backlog of 3,946 applications awaiting production, while 1421 applicants had been scheduled for data capturing.

ThisDay reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Boko Haram insurgency in North-eastern part of the nation is largely fuelled by youth unemployment and poverty.

The president, who said this in an interview Thursday morning on Arise TV, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, said he believes the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians after being told so by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

According to him, his government has done a lot to fight the terrorists but the problem in the “North-east is very difficult”.

President Muhammadu Buhari also declared that it’s been extremely difficult fighting corruption under a democratic setting in the country.

He emphasised that it had not been easy for him to fight corruption since he became a democratically elected President six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

President Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The Punch says that Nigeria’s total debt stock rose by N191bn in the first quarter of this year, according the figures released by the Debt Management Office on Wednesday.

The DMIO said the debt stock rose to N33.107tn as of the end of March 2021 from N32.916tn in December 2020. It said the country’s external debt however reduced due to the redemption by Nigeria of the $500m Eurobond in January.

The debt office said, “Total public debt stock, which comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government of Nigeria, 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, stood at N33.107tn or $87.239bn.

“The debt stock also includes promissory notes in the sum of N940.22bn issued to settle the inherited arrears of the FGN to state governments, oil marketing companies, exporters and local contractors.

“Compared to the total public debt stock of N32.92tn as at December 31, 2020, the increase in the debt stock was marginal at 0.58 percent.” A further analysis of the public debt stock showed that the domestic debt stock grew by 2.11 percent from N20.21tn in December 2020 to N20.637tn as of the end of March 31, 2021.

The newspaper reports that Niger, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso are collaborating to buy the unutilised power produced in Nigeria, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the West African Power Pool, Sule Abdulaziz, said on Wednesday.

Abdulaziz, who is also the acting Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, said the four countries were collaborating to make the power purchase from Nigeria through the Northcore Power Transmission Line currently being built.

He disclosed this at the WAPP meeting on the Northcore project in Abuja. He said, “The power we will be selling is the power that is not needed in Nigeria.

“The electricity generators that are going to supply power to this transmission line are going to generate that power specifically for this project. So, it is unutilised power.” He said Nigeria was expecting new generators to participate in the energy export for the 875km 330KV Northcore transmission line from Nigeria through Niger, Togo, Benin to Burkina Faso. Abdulaziz said, “In addition, there are some communities that are under the line route, about 611 of them, which will be getting power so that there won’t be just a transmission line passing without impact.”

The Sun says that manufacturers in Nigeria have continued to decry worsening security situation that is negatively impacting businesses and lowering their resilience capacity.

The spate of insecurity, according to them has caused huge revenue losses in production as some warehouses are filled with unsold goods nationwide, leading to artificial scarcity of products in some parts, while raw materials for production are also becoming scarce. Part of their complaints is that insecurity is compelling manufacturing firms to pay high premium for insurance cover.

At the moment, news have it that armed bandits insist on payments before farmers can have access to farmlands in the planting season, only to return during the harvest season and extort farmers for further payments.

Many displaced people cannot access their farms to plant or harvest crops. This has led to scarcity and a surge in the prices of certain food commodities.

Insecurity has led to many businesses and households bearing newer security costs to protect their assets and, in many cases, secure their safe passage from one destination to another.

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