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Press highlights ECOWAS condemnation of terrorists attacks on farmers in Nigeria, others

The condemnation of the terrorist attacks in Nigeria’s Borno state by ECOWAS and the call by Northern Elders Forum on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign for his failure to combat increasing insecurity in Nigeria are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.

The Guardian reports that the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned terrorist attacks in the village of Koshobe and other rural communities in the Jere local government area, Borno state.

The body, in a statement, said, “ECOWAs is hurt by these senseless killings, and ECOWAS commission condemns vigorously this terrorist attack. ECOWAS commission calls that the perpetrators of this crime be brought to justice.”

It was noted that during the terrorist attack, more than 100 civilians were killed and others wounded. Others are believed to have been kidnapped.

The ECOWAS Commission extended its condolence to the Federal government, the government of Borno state, and the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

The newspaper says that the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign for failure to combat increasing insecurity in the country.

The call came just as the Senate rose from a marathon debate on last Saturday’s beheading of over 67 farmers in Borno State, declaring that the Federal Government had breached Section 14 (1), which made security and welfare the sole purpose of its existence.

The fury in the red chamber reverberated in the House of Representatives, where members, piqued by worsening insecurity in the polity, moved to summon President Muhammadu Buhari to appear in the House over the killing at Zabarmari village, in the Jere Local Government area Borno State.

Northern Elders, in a statement on Tuesday by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, noted that life had lost its value under the present administration due to the absence of political will to fight the Boko Haram insurgency and other threats such as banditry, rustling and kidnapping.

Referring to the massacre of innocent farmers in Zabarmari, the Forum regretted that Buhari had failed to listen to concerns from many Nigerians about the level of insecurity in the nation.

The Punch reports that the Nigerian Government on Tuesday at the inauguration of the autogas scheme in Abuja said motorists who run their vehicles on autogas will spend less fund in refilling their tanks than those using Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.
Although it could not state by how much cheaper the product would be, the government insisted that it would be more economical to power automobiles using autogas rather than petrol.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, told journalists in Abuja that the autogas in question included Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

Sylva, who inaugurated the autogas station of NNPC in Lugbe, Abuja, under the National Gas Expansion Programme and National Auto-gas Roll-out Initiative, stated that his ministry was working out the price for autogas.

The newspaper says that the roll out of five million new solar power connections in off-grid communities is to generate an additional N7bn in tax revenues annually to Nigeria, the Federal Government has said.

According to the government, the programme was also expected to generate $10m in annual import substitution for the country.
The Managing Director, Federal Government-Owned Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmad Salihijo, told journalists on Tuesday that the solar connection scheme would expand energy access to 25 million individuals through the provision of Solar Home Systems or connection to a mini-grid.

Salihijo, who disclosed this at a press briefing on the Solar Power Nigeria Programme in Abuja, said the initiative would also help to address the challenge of access to affordable finance through a Central Bank of Nigeria facility.

He said the facility would make low-cost local currency debt available to qualified companies, adding that the programme would increase local content in the off-grid solar value chain and facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing and assembly industry.
ThisDay reports that the digitalisation of Nigerian ports, deployment of e-Customs, investment of over $300 million in inland dry ports and the overhaul of transportation logistics will position Nigeria to take maximum advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will be operational January 1, 2021, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, has said.

Bello stated this when the head of the transport section of the Presidential Action Committee on AfCFTA, Ms. Funmi Folorunso paid him a working visit in Lagos. Trading under the AfCFTA Agreement was due to commence on 1 July 2020, but as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the date was been postponed.

It has been indicated that the new date for operationalisation is January 1, 2021. According to him, “I am not a despondent person I am very optimistic person that is why I want to believe that by early next year, the gridlock in Apapa will disappear.

This is because we are having to approach it from the scientific angle. First, we have to make our port digital and contactless, no need for anybody to go to the port to look for arrival time of vessels or to make payments.

The Sun says that the Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited has reassured the Federal Government of timely completion of the $1.5 billion Lekki deep seaport.

The Lekki Deep Sea Port Project, slated to be Sub-Saharan Africa’s deepest port and Nigeria’s first deep seaport, is located at the Lagos Free Zone, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos.

The promoters of the deep seaport stated this recently when the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, paid the project an on-the-spot inspection recently.

The Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited, Du Ruogang, assured stakeholders that notwithstanding the delays occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lekki Port team would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the project is completed and delivered on schedule and to the set standard.

Published on 28.04.2020

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