The outrage over the worsening insecurity in Nigeria, following the killing of 43 rice farmers by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State on Saturday and the assurance by the governor of the central bank that Nigeria will exit recession with sustained intervention in the first quarter of 2021 are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.ThisDay reports that Boko Haram’s killing of no fewer than 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State yesterday sparked fresh outrage over the worsening insecurity in Nigeria.
The remains of the victims, killed on Saturday, were interred yesterday after the funeral rites witnessed by Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, among other personalities.
Top public officials, including President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Northern governors as well as
former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Afenifere condemned the carnage and urged the federal government to adopt more stringent measures to win the insurgency war.
The apex Niger Delta socio-cultural group, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) also decried the carnage, which President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, described as “senseless”.
Boko Haram fighters had slit the throats of the rice farmers in the village near Maiduguri, the state capital.
The terrorists were reported to have first tied up the farmers, who were working in rice fields, before killing them.
The Sun says that as the country graples with its newest recession, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has assured the citizenry that the sustained implementation of fiscal and monetary interventions would pull the nation out of the doldrums next quarter.
According to him, Nigerian economy could emerge from the recession by the first quarter of 2021, adding “with the sustained implementation of our intervention measures, we also expect that growth in 2021 would attain 2 percent due to high frequency data that indicates continued improvements in the non-oil sector of our economy.”
Emefiele, who expressed his optimmism at the 55th Annual Bankers Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos at the weekend, solicited the cooperation of stakeholders in the banking and finance sector to achieve this.
He fashioned out the routes expected to be taken by the stakeholders in his address at the event. He stated: “The banking sector has a significant role to play as a facilitator of growth in the agriculture sector, through its intermediation function. Some of the opportunities in the agriculture sector that banks should explore include ways to address some of the existing gaps in the agriculture value chains, such as storage centers, transport logistics, and technology platforms, that can enable rural farmers sell their produce directly to the markets.
The Nation reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to get the country a unified exchange rate for the naira. It remained stable at N378 to dollar on the CBN’s official rate.
The naira was on Sunday exchanging at N500 to dollar at the parallel market. The currency got to a long-time low after weakening by N4 from N496 to dollar it closed on Friday.
The IMF said the Nigerian economy is struggling with multiple shocks, and is expected to grow by -4.3 percent in 2020 before a modest recovery in 2021(1.7 percent).
The IMF said exchange rate rigidities have constrained the economy’s ability to absorb external shocks. It called for unified exchange rate for the naira to promote growth and attractive foreign capital.
According to the IMF, foreign exchange backlog and shortages are intensifying Balance of Payment (BoP) pressures insisting that exchange rate unification was imperative to reduce BoP risks.
The Punch says that the Transmission Company of Nigeria has said it will conduct investigations to establish the cause(s) of the multiple tripping that led to the collapse of the nation’s power grid on Sunday.
The national grid collapsed on Sunday morning, plunging parts of the country into a total blackout for hours. Before the TCN confirmed the development, two of the power distribution companies in the country, Kaduna Electric and Eko Electricity Distribution Company, had informed their customers that the collapse of the national gird had led to loss of power.
The government-owned TCN, which manages the grid, said in a statement that the system collapsed at 11:25am on Sunday.
It said it had since commenced grid restoration, adding that power had been successfully restored to every part of the country, except Calabar, Ugwuaji, Markurdi, Jos, Gombe, Yola and Maiduguri axes. The General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, said, “Effort is, however, ongoing to ensure full restoration nationwide. “We regret the inconvenience this has caused electricity consumers.
The newspaper reports that the Nigerian Government on Sunday announced that the President Muhammadu Buhari will roll out the National Gas Expansion Programme on Tuesday.
It stated that based on this, one million vehicles would be converted to run on autogas before the end of 2021.
The Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Garba Deen Muhammad, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the NGEP event would herald the formal dispensing of autogas products at two retail stations.
The autogas products include Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas, while the two filling stations selected for the formal dispensing of the products were retail outlets of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Muhammad said the roll out was the culmination of the resolve of government to deepen domestic usage of natural gas in its various forms.