Press zooms in on government’s poor management of Nigeria’s diversity, others

Africa Link Special Reports

The claim by a former military governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Abubakar Umar (retd) that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has exhibited poor skills in managing the diversity in the country is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.

The Guardian reports that the former military governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (retd), has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of exhibiting poor skills in managing the diversity in the country.

In a statement, entitled, ‘‘Nigeria: A nation challenged,’’ he said it was quite strange and disturbing that the Federal Government was according undue attention to the threats of separatist movements in contrast to the more daunting ones posed by bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the Northwest, some parts of North Central and Northeast.

The former governor, who is also the leader of Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP), a civil rights group, said the arrest and prosecution of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is not Nigeria’s problem, rather “the inability of government to put an end to insurgency, banditry and kidnapping, while injustice, lack of equity and fairness is giving rise to the agitation by separatist groups in the country.’’

The former governor called on President Buhari to exhibit the traits of uniting all the component parts of Nigeria together, instead of dividing the country, and subsequently, leading it to disintegration.

Recall that the respected critic had in an open letter dated May 30, 2020, warned the President that his knack for appointing people from his section of the country will ruin Nigeria.

The Punch says that the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, approved the Federal Government’s 2021 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, raising the estimates from the proposed N895.84bn to N982.73bn.

The House Committee on Appropriations raised the amount by N86.89bn in its report laid earlier on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the House considered the recommendation as a Committee of Supply and unanimously adopted the report in plenary. The cover letter on the bill presented to the National Assembly by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had read in part, “The supplementary budget request is for a total sum of N895, 842, 465, 917.”

The House Committee on Appropriations, however, recommended a total sum of N982.73bn of which N123.33bn is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while the sum of N859.4bn is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending December 31, 2021.

Explaining the increment, chairman of the committee, Muktar Betara, said, “The proposal submitted by Mr. President was in the sum of N895, 842, 465, 917, with the objective of making funds available for the military, COVID-19 programme and additional funds for public service wage adjustment.

The newspaper reports that the Senate on Wednesday approved the request of the President, Major General Muhammadu (retd.), to borrow N2.34tn to finance part of the 2021 federal budget of N13tn.

The Senate resolution following the approval of its Committee on Local and Foreign Loans was presented by the chairman, Clifford Ordia.

The committee recommended that the Senate approves Buhari’s request for the issuance of $3bn but not more than $6.18bn Eurobond in the International Capital Market.

The external borrowing of N2.34tn, according to the panel, should be for the financing of part of the deficit authorised in the 2021 Appropriation Act.

The committee also recommended that the Senate should approve that the amount authorised may be raised from multiple sources such as the International Capital Market and any other multilateral or bilateral sources as may be available.

The Nation says that the Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Suman Bagbin has asked Nigeria to consider review of the prohibition list banning the importation of specific goods and commodities into the Nigerian market from countries, including Ghana.

The Ghanaian Speaker also decried the low level of trade among African countries, saying out of about $460 billion trade volume, only $69 billion was transacted among African nations.

Addressing members of the House of Representatives during yesterday’s plenary, the Ghanaian Speaker said the Ghanaian parliament was making efforts to resolve the trade impasse between Nigerian traders in Ghana and their Ghanaian counterparts.

“We are making progress in resolving the concerns of the Nigerian traders in Ghana. It has been a joint effort between our two countries. That is always the way to go if we are interested in the peace and development of our countries. I am confident that the intervention of our two legislatures in this effort will yield results.

“While at it, it is said it must be peace without victory. Only peace between equals can last.

The Sun reports that nine Russian firms have indicated interest to invest over $500 million in the Nigeria’s manufacturing sector in a bid to deepen the bilateral trade between Nigerian and Russian businesses.

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Russia, Mr. Sampson Uwem-edimo, made this known in Lagos, ahead of the forthcoming Russia- Nigeria Business conference. NIDO chairman pointed out that the volume of trade between both countries was below expectation, notwithstanding the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of both countries.

“No investment happens without trade; the trade volume between Nigeria and Russia today is around half a billion dollars; sometimes, it gets to a billion dollars.

“It is a very small amount for this kind of business, and for Russia and Nigeria that currently have more than three trillion dollars GDP market.

“What we want to do is to see how we can improve the volume of trade between the two countries within the next two years. “We do not just want trade, but we want it to lead to investment in terms of manufacturing. “So, we are not only looking at these nine companies, but using them as a test run to see the response from the Nigerian side.

ThisDay says that the federal government has begun ramping up its preparedness to handle emergencies resulting from the use of nuclear and radiological materials in the country.

The government stated that a protection strategy in such emergencies remain one of the elements that must be put in place for taking response actions in cases of emergencies, given the growing use of peaceful deployment of nuclear power in the country.

Speaking during a workshop which brought together all the emergency response agencies of government in the country, acting Chairman of the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Prof. Yusuf Ahmed, noted that part of the objectives was to ensure that all the nuclear energies deployed in various parts of the country are kept safe.

 He noted that in cases of emergencies, the first responders needed to know what to do to protect people, communities and the environment around the facilities, adding that the national coordination of response team has been a challenge.

GIK/APA