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Nigerian press focuses on Buhari’s plea for peace, assurance of justice for victims of protests, others

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The plea for peace and assurance of justice for victims of protests by President Muhammadu Buhari and the continued looting of items meant for COVID-19 palliatives are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.ThisDay reports that as Nigeria continues to count its losses to the arson perpetrated by hoodlums at the wake of the protests against police brutality, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pleaded again for peace, assuring the victims of the violence that justice would be done.

A wave arson, looting and killings have convulsed many states of the federation since last week when hooligans seized the #EndSARS protests against police brutality to vandalise public and private assets.

The violence, which worsened after last Tuesday’s shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, has spread to states in all the six geopolitical zones, with those in the South-west worst hit.
Buhari, briefing while briefing the Council of State, comprising his predecessors, had said last Friday that at least 69 people have been killed in the protests raging across the country.

He had given the breakdown of the death toll as 51 civilians, 11 police officers and seven soldiers.
With the breakdown of law and order occasioned by the violence, many states have imposed curfews to curtail looting and vandalism.

The Guardian says that looting of items meant for COVID-19 palliatives, which began few days ago, continued in warehouses across the country, spreading to the nation’s seat of power, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Adamawa, Taraba, and Kogi states, yesterday, had their fair share of the plundering, as warehouses and private shops were attacked in an extended #ENDSARS protests by youths. Protests against police brutality and bad governance have, in the last two weeks, rocked major cities in states and the FCT.

Many, including the National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Oodua Youth Parliament, among others, warned of immediate and far-reaching impacts on the economy.

In Abuja, looting took place despite presence of security agents, who fired teargas at the invaders. Women, youths and children in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) carted away bags of corn, LPG gas cylinders, bags of rice, gallons of vegetable oil, vehicle batteries, millet, roofing zinc, cement, among other valuables worth millions of naira.

The attack on warehouses began in early hours of yesterday and continued until 11:30am, as desperate youths and women defied police teargas and emptied the storerooms.

The newspaper reports that local airlines, yesterday, resumed skeletal services following last week’s disruption by the EndSARS protests and the attendant curfew imposed by the Lagos State government.

The demonstrations, which had forced some foreign operators to suspend flights, resulted in grounding of operations by indigenous carriers amid absence of travellers and riots in Nigeria’s economic capital.

But yesterday, life began returning to the airports, even as operators push for disbursement of the N27 billion aviation bailout announced by the Federal Government to mitigate losses incurred following outbreak of the novel coronavirus across the globe. Dana Air confirmed its resumption of flights on all routes nationwide.

The Media Communication Manager, Kingsley Ezenwa, added tickets sold within the period of the curfew remain valid, and could be rescheduled at no cost. Also, Azman Air said trips between Lagos and Kaduna, Kano and Abuja, as well as Benin and Abuja were available.

The Sun says that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) and the Emerging Markets Telecommunication Service Limited (EMTS), known as 9Mobile, to carry out trial on National Roaming Service for a period of three months.

The NCC, which disclosed this in a statement said the two mobile network operators (MNOs) are expected to configure their networks to begin test and simulation for customer experience.

The trial approval covers a few local governments, designated as the National Roaming geographic area, in Ondo State. According to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the primary objective of the National Roaming Service trial is to encourage network resource sharing among operators.

He said this would lead to operational expenditure optimisation and capital expenditure efficiencies leading to freeing up of resources to expand mobile network coverage to unserved and underserved communities across the country.

The Punch reports that the Federal Government is collaborating with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the Miners Association of Nigeria to ensure the production of mercury-free gold in Nigeria.

All three parties agreed to work together to achieve the target at the virtual inception workshop for the project preparatory grant of the Global Environment Facility PlanetGold in Nigeria. The virtual workshop, which was monitored by our correspondent in Abuja, had its theme as ‘Enhancing formalisation and mercury-free gold in Nigeria’.

In his presentation at the workshop, which was obtained on Sunday, the Minister of Environment, Mohammad Mahmood, lauded the collaboration among parties since the signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

He said the parties had leveraged on the collaboration for the successful execution of the Mercury Initial Assessment Project and the national action plan for the control of mercury use in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Nigeria project.

The Nation says that the turnover in the Nigerian fixed income and currency (FIC) markets dropped by 26.76 per cent to N14.07 trillion in September 2020, according to latest trading figures released at the weekend.

Turnover at the FIC markets for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020, declined by 7.69 per cent to N164.32 trillion by third quarter 2020 as against N178.0trillion recorded by third quarter 2019.

Transaction report and analysis for the month ended September 30, 2020 released at the weekend by FMDQ Exchange showed that total turnover in the fixed income and currency markets declined to N14.07 trillion in September 2020 compared with N19.21 trillion, a decrease of N5.14 trillion.

The performance in September 2020 also represented a drop of 1.33 or N0.19 trillion from N14.26 trillion recorded in August 2020. OMO bills and foreign exchange transactions were the highest contributors to the FIC markets in September 2020, jointly accounting for 54.48 per cent of the total FIC market turnover.

Published on 28.04.2020

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