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Press focuses on oil facility blown up by new militant group, others

The report that a new militant group in the Niger Delta region, known as Bayan-Men, has blown up an oil facility operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Council of Rivers State is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Guardian reports that a new militant group in the Niger Delta region, known as Bayan-Men, has blown up an oil facility operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Council of Rivers State.

The group, which blew up the oil well, OB5, (Obiavu-5) operated by Agip in Omoku on Tuesday night, said their action followed the failure of the oil firm to deal directly with their communities.

The leader of Bayan-Men in Port Harcourt said on Sunday the oil company had refused to allow host communities benefit from their operations in the area, adding that the firm practised divide and rule.

He said: “The only thing we want Agip to do is to deal directly with the 27 communities of Omoku, according to the Federal Government resolution.

“We don’t want Agip to be negotiating with anybody. They should deal with the communities. If they continue like this, what we have done now is small compared to what we will do.”

Confirming the development, the Coordinator-General of Omoku Community Youth Leaders Forum, Ekeuku Pureheart, disclosed that the development was as a result of the failure by Agip to meet the demands of the people.

The newspaper says that Africa’s share of global trade remains low at two per cent, Secretary General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene, has said. Besides, a total of $36 billion transactions were sealed at the end of the 2021 Intra African Trade Fair (IATF).

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the event in Durban, South Africa, Mene said the continent might not record meaningful growth if it remains overly dependent on export of raw commodities.

He also expressed worry on Africa’s infrastructural deficit, currently at $100 billion, stating that this has continued to impede the continent’s trade growth. He insisted that Africans must shift from raw materials export to manufactured or finished products to accelerate industrial base and diversify exports.

According to him, because advanced and industrialised economies have better technology, manufacturing industries, access to finance, and market than Africa, they have a greater market proportion in world trade.

He suggested that African countries should focus on infrastructure development, in particular, electricity and transportation, and build new roads, bridges and railways to link major trade hubs that would improve economies of scale.

Earlier, in his closing remarks, Chairman of IATF 2021 Advisory Council, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, expressed gratitude to the organisers – the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the host, the Government of South Africa.

Obasanjo announced the city of Abijan, Côte d’Ivoire, as the next hosts of IATF 2023.

The Sun reports that North-South Economists’ Forum (NSEF) a focus group of development economists, has faulted the notice by some Nigerians to occupy the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in order to force the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to resign.

Some Nigerian youths under the aegis of Nigerian Youth Initiative for Good Governance (NYIGG) had vowed to mobilise the masses of Nigeria to occupy the headquarters of CBN if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to relieve Emefiele of his duty.

Alternatively, they have called on Emefiele to resign over rising food prices and general poor state of the economy.

But in a statement on Sunday, the body of development economists faulted the argument of the youth group, stressing that their threat to occupy CBN smacks of ignorance and a lack of understanding of the dialectics of basic economics.

NSEF said rather than blame CBN for the prevailing hardship with rising composite food index which, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, jumped to 18.34 percent in October 2021 compared to 17.38 percent in October 2020, Nigerians should query why crude oil, the nation’s major foreign exchange earner, is not refined locally.

The newspaper says that the African Development Bank (AfDB) is to spend a total of $563m in states across Nigeria, the President of the Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has announced.

Adesina stated that the amount, which is part of the bank’s programme for Special Agricultural Industrial Processing Zones, would focus on the development of rural roads, transportation, infrastructure, water supply, sanitation and agricultural productivity.

Speaking during a condolence visit to the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, over the death of the Mr Sani Dangote, he explained that Kano would get a total of $110 million out of the earmarked amount.

His words: “We are using $110million in Kano for our programme on Special Agricultural Industrial Processing Zone. We are, in all, having about $563 million that will be dedicated to that project in various states of Nigeria.”

Adesina said that the programme would help develop consolidated infrastructure in rural areas and allow the private sector food and agribusiness companies to reduce the number of losses they incur. He added that it would create more competitive value chains, transform the rural areas from the zones of misery to zones of economic prosperity and increase the number of resources available to the states.”

The Punch reports that net foreign exchange inflow into the Nigerian economy rose slightly to $2.77bn in July from $2.27bn in June, the Central Bank of Nigeria said in its report on forex flows.

It said despite the contraction in autonomous inflow, the upward trajectory in crude oil prices improved forex inflow through the bank, resulting in an overall net inflow in July.

The report said, “Aggregate foreign exchange inflow into the economy declined by 7.4 per cent and 8.7 per cent to $6.1bn, compared with the level in June 2021 and July 2020, respectively.

“The decrease reflected mainly the contraction in inflow through the autonomous sources, which fell by 33.3 per cent to $2.79bn in July 2021. “However, foreign exchange inflow through the bank increased by 37.7 per cent to $3.31bn in July 2021, as oil-related inflow increased due to the upward trajectory in oil prices.”

The CBN said foreign exchange outflow through the economy fell by 23.0 per cent to $3.33bn in July. It said, “The fall in outflow was due mainly to a decrease in the bank’s intervention in the foreign exchange market and lower direct payments, which reduced the outflow through the bank.

ThisDay says that the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, has stated that the federal government planned to take 35 million Nigerians out of poverty through the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021- 2025.

Speaking at the 2021 African Statistics Day celebration in Abuja, he said the plan also envisaged broad-based economic growth of about 5 per cent on average as well as create about 21 million full time jobs.

He said the NDP would also seek to increase the federal government’s net revenue at all levels to 15 per cent of GDP by 2025.

The minister said, “The Plan seeks to achieve these laudable goals in the medium term by expanding economic growth, growing an inclusive economy, leveraging on its young workforce and enhancing execution capacity at the national and sub-national levels.”

He said the plan envisions Nigeria being a leading industrialising and reforming nation in Africa, that will focus on building its institutional capacity and capability as well as fostering a private sector-led growth to help address the critical issues of job and wealth creation and poverty reduction.

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