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Press focuses on leadership crisis rocking two leading political parties, others

The leadership crisis rocking Nigeria’s two dominant political parties, ruling All Progressives Congress and main opposition Peoples Democratic Party dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.ThisDay reports that for the two main political parties in the country – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – the road to 2023 appears inauspicious. Both parties are not only bogged down by leadership crises, but they are also plagued by seemingly intractable survival battles.

Strangely, since the APC was coupled together on February 6, 2013, by the different tendencies that came together, it has never been able to form a Board of Trustees.

The ruling party is today facing stringent legal complications, which have thrown its leadership into confusion since last weekend, after a Supreme Court judgement in the Ondo State governorship election sounded the alarm. PDP, too, is not only contending with a crisis of confidence but it is also desperately afflicted by a spree of defections by governors, and lawmakers elected on its platform, which has been compounded by yesterday’s resignations of top ranking party officials.

The reality of the delicate state of things in APC did not dawn on majority of members until the Supreme Court judgement in the Ondo State governorship election petition. The judgement suggested that the party would have lost the state to PDP had the opposition party’s governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, joined APC’s National Caretaker Committee Chairman and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, in the suit. .

The technicality of the case had split the seven-man Supreme Court panel to a four-three majority decision, with the minority judgement led by Justice Mary Odili, arguing that the apex court should have sacked Governor Rotimi Akeredolu since Buni acted on behalf of the party. But the majority judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim contended that since all the issues revolved around Buni, he should have been joined for the argument to be valid.

THISDAY had reported earlier this week that the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, acting on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari, had made desperate moves, after a meeting of all lawyers in the cabinet, to call off the congresses. This was for the fear that the hint from the Supreme Court judgement in Ondo State could come back to haunt the party.

But from all indications, reason is believed to have started prevailing, as governors elected on the platform of APC and other stakeholders are now considering the way forward. Their options are believed to include the possibility of cancelling the congresses to save the party from a myriad of potential future legal challenges.

To this end, a chieftain of APC, Okosisi Ngwu, has dragged the Buni-led caretaker committee before a High Court in Abuja seeking a nullification of the congresses. The plaintiff is also asking the court to declare the congresses held under Buni as illegal, flowing from the Supreme Court judgement that questioned the validity of the Buni-led Caretaker Committee.

The Vanguard says that with over 122 million Nigerians at risk of Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on Tuesday lamented that the country was battling with 15 neglected tropical diseases out of the 20 identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Some of the diseases are Trachoma, (Granular Conjunctivitis), Onchocerciasis, (River blindness) Lymphatic Filariasis, (Elephantiasis) helminthiasis, soil-transmitted, schistosomiasis, (parasitic worms) and leprosy, snakebites Yaws Rabies, Buruli ulcer, Leishmaniasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis, HAT, among others.

Addressing journalists at a TWo-Day Media Dialogue on Neglected Tropical Disease Control in Nigeria”, holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Child Rights Information, Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information, Ehanire regretted that the diseases are so devastating that they leave their victims miserable.

Represented by the National Coordinator of NTDs, Dr. Nseobong Akpan, he lamented that when household diseases such as malaria, HIV and AIDs are mentioned, NTDs will not be there despite the fact they are common among the downtrodden.

“We have done enough about NTDs but they are still raging across communities in the country. There is a need to create awareness and for communities to be involved in efforts geared towards eliminating the diseases. We will be able to eliminate the diseases if everyone including the media join in crying out loud and support in efforts and commitment of stakeholders to achieve success in the elimination of NTDs.”

The Punch reports that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has said that the Federal Government will soon unveil policies aimed at unbundling the Nigerian Postal Services.

He said this on Tuesday in Abuja during the unveiling of NIPOST revenue stamp. According to the minister, the policies were designed to transform NIPOST’s operations. He said, “We have many policies of transforming NIPOST in the pipeline and part of it will unbundle NIPOST. “We also have the NIPOST Act ready for amendment.

“We have a plan with a property and development company. The company will bring together all the properties of NIPOST, develop them, and make sure that the government generates revenue from them. “All generated revenue will go into developing sectors like health, education, agriculture, security, and other social developments.”

Patanmi added that other areas of NIPOST unbundling, which include NIPOST transport and logistics, courier services and microfinance bank, would be done before the end of the year.

The Postmaster-General of NIPOST, Dr Ismail Adewusi, said over the years, Nigeria’s history had been documented through stamps. Adewusi said, “Through stamps, NIPOST has documented Nigeria’s history, educating and preserving our national heritage among others.

The newspaper says that transit flights banned into the United Arab Emirates from Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Uganda would be lifted effective Thursday, the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority has said.

The NECMA is a UAE emergency management agency. The UAE had in June reintroduced a travel ban on Nigeria barely 48 hours after announcing that air travellers from Nigeria who had taken the compulsory COVID-19 PCR test were allowed to enter the country.

According to a statement by the NECMA on Tuesday, passengers would be allowed to transit through UAE airports from Thursday as long as the negative PCR test taken 72 hours before departure was presented.

The statement said, “Travel for transit passengers from all countries from which transit passengers have been suspended will be resumed in advance provided that the passenger’s last destination is accepted with a laboratory check-up within 72 hours of departure and state airports will allocate special lounges for transit passengers.

“Emergencies, crises and civil aviation announce the exclusion of new categories of passengers from some of the banned countries, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda, as of August 5.

The Guardian says Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled guidelines for licensing and regulation of payments system holding companies (PSHC), stressing that companies must exist as non-operating entities in the ecosystem.

The guideline is a follow-up to an earlier template on new license categorisation, which required companies with an interest in switching/processing and mobile money service to set up holding structures.

In an accompanying circular issued yesterday and signed by the Director, Payments System Management Department, Musa Jimoh, the CBN insisted that PSHC must maintain a minimum of two subsidiaries with a focus on switching and mobile money services.

The guideline covered broad areas such as licensing process/requirements, ownership, corporate governance, permissible/non-permissible activities and prudential regulation.

“For the purpose of this regulation, a PSHC is a company whose principal object clause include the business of a holding company set up for the purposes of making and managing equity investment in two or more companies, being its subsidiaries, which are payments service providers across the following categories Mobile Money Operations, switching/processing and payment solution services.

“The PSHC shall be non-operating, existing solely to carry out investment in approved subsidiaries without engaging in the day-to-day management and operations of subsidiaries,” the regulator noted in the new document.



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Published on 10.02.2021

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