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Press zooms in on reactions to assault of Nigerian diplomat in Indonesia, others

The reaction of the Nigerian government to the assault of a Nigerian diplomat in Indonesia and the Amnesty International report…

The reaction of the Nigerian government to the assault of a Nigerian diplomat in Indonesia and the Amnesty International report that blamed the Nigerian authorities for the bloody attacks on both farmers and herders in northern Nigeria are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.ThisDay reports that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says the Nigerian Government has demanded that the Indonesian Government sanctions its officials who assaulted a Nigerian diplomat in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Onyeama made this known, while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja after summoning Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Usra Harahap, to express the displeasure of the Nigerian government over the development.

The minister said that the Nigerian government had also recalled its Ambassador to Indonesia, Usman Ogah, for consultations, including a review of bilateral relations.

It recalled that a Nigerian Diplomatic official was seen being assaulted by some Indonesian immigration officials in a video that went viral on social media.

The video sparked outrage from Nigerians as Onyeama immediately summoned the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria on Monday.

According to Onyeama, the ministry immediately contacted the Nigerian Ambassador in Indonesia, when it noticed the video of the diplomat being restrained by his neck in a moving car on social media.

He said that the Nigerian Ambassador confirmed that the video was indeed of a Nigerian diplomat in Indonesia and gave a verbal account of what transpired.

The newspaper says that a global human rights group, Amnesty International (AI), yesterday said the failure of the Nigerian authorities to live up to their obligation to protect the right to life has enabled a month of bloody attacks on both farmers and herders in some parts of Kaduna and Plateau States.

In a statement issued yesterday, the body said at least 112 people were killed, 160 abducted and thousands displaced in communities in Kaduna and Plateau States from July to August 2021.

“Our findings show that despite clear signs that there will be retaliatory attacks, enough is not being done to prevent the bloodshed, thereby fueling the ongoing circle of violence. Beyond issuing statements and condemning attacks after they have happened, the government needs to rein in on attackers and bring suspects to justice,” the Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said in a statement.

Amnesty International’s investigation has also revealed that at least 78 people were killed and 160 abducted by bandits between July 3 and August 5, 2021, in Kaduna State, including 121 school children of Bethel Baptist Church High School.

The group added: “At least 34 people have been killed in Plateau State, including seven herders who were attacked on July 1 at Dogon Gaba, two others were lynched at Fusa village while trying to locate their missing cow.

“Villagers from farming communities informed Amnesty International that innocent people and communities who don’t know anything about the attacks are sometimes targeted for reprisal.

“A retaliatory attack on July 31 and August 1 2021 led to the killing of at least 17 people, and displacements of hundreds in farming communities in Bassa and Riyom Local Government Areas in Plateau State.”

The Vanguard reports that more than 100 commanders of Boko Haram, who last weekend surrendered to troops of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) of the Nigerian Army, have asked Nigerians to forgive them.

The plea by the Boko Haram commanders and plans by the Federal Government to re-integrate them into the society drew social media reactions from Nigerians, who wondered why terrorists should be treated with respect while secessionists are being hounded.

Recall that members of the sect have launched a war against the country for over 12 years now, killing thousands of Nigerians and destroying properties running into billions of dollars.

But at their parade at Hadin Kai operational base in Borno State, the sect commanders bore placards bearing their plea for forgiveness from Nigerians.

Some of the placards bore ‘’Nigerians, please forgive us”, ‘’Borno remains the home of peace,” among others.

However, Onyema Nwachukwu, Army spokesperson, confirmed in a statement that among those who surrendered with their families was Musa Adamu, a chief bomb expert for the insurgents.

The Punch says that Nigeria generated a N1tn in the first half of the year, consisting of N512.25bn in the second quarter and N495.39bn generated in the first quarter.

The figures were contained in the ‘Sectoral distribution of Value Added Tax’ report released on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The report read, “Sectorial distribution of Value Added Tax data for Q2 2021 reflected that the sum of N512.25bn was generated as VAT in Q2 2021 as against N496.39bn generated in Q1 2021 and N327.2bn generated in Q2 2020 representing 3.20 percent increase Quarter-on-Quarter and 56.56 percent increase Year-on-Year.”

The NBS disclosed that out of the total VAT generated, N187.43bn constituted Non-Import VAT locally while N207.69bn was generated as Non-Import VAT for foreign. The balance of N117.13bn was generated from the Nigerian Customs Service Import VAT.

The report also noted that by sector, other Manufacturing generated the highest amount of VAT with N44.89bn, followed by Professional Services which generated N29.30bn and Commercial and Trading, N21.96bn.

The newspaper says that the World Bank has stated that Nigeria is among a list of top 10 countries with high debt risk exposure.

It stated this in the financial statement for International Development Association, which was among the World Bank FY21 audited financial statements released on Monday.

The financial statement said, “IDA faces two types of credit risk: country credit risk and counterparty credit risk.

“Country credit risk is the risk of loss due to a country not meeting its contractual obligations, and counterparty credit risk is the risk of loss attributable to a counterparty not honoring its contractual obligations.

“IDA is exposed to commercial as well as noncommercial counterparty credit risk.” It stated, “As of June 30, 2021, the 10 countries with the highest exposures accounted for 66 per cent of IDA’s total exposure.”

Nigeria was rated fifth on the list with $11.7bn IDA debt stock, while India led the list with $22bn IDA debt stock, followed by Bangladesh with $18.1bn IDA debt stock, Pakistan with $16.4bn IDA debt stock, and Vietnam with $14.1bn IDA debt stock.

The Sun reports that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Tuesday disclosed that N502.3 billion has so far been spent by the Federal Government to stabilize the economy after being hit by the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking in Abuja at the national dialogue on COVID-19 economic impact and assessment of national and states’ recovery plans and policy options, the Minister explained that Nigeria was deeply affected by the pestilence because it was recovering from recession before COVID-19 led to an all-time fall of crude oil prices being the economic pillar of the country.

She listed key interventions to include: the establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 crisis intervention fund to finance the upgrade and improvement of healthcare facilities; creation of a Special Public Works Programme to employ 774,000 people, among others.

The Minister added that the development demanded a cocktail of stimulus packages which were administered to rescue the economy from the doldrums.

She said: “You know that in the 2020 budget, N500 billion was appropriated and it was fully funded.”

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