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Press zooms in on British Government’s assessment of Nigeria’s security challenges, others

The statement by the British Government that Nigeria’s security challenges are both overwhelming and multi-pronged and therefore called on the federal government to firm up strategies to tackle the growing unemployment crisis is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.ThisDay reports that the British Government, yesterday, admitted that Nigeria’s security challenges were both overwhelming and multi-pronged and therefore called on the federal government to firm up strategies to tackle the growing unemployment crisis as part of moves to addressing the root cause of insecurity in the country.

Speaking on the Arise News Television, United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, who was on the programme to elucidate on the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), kicking off in London today, hinted that the British government had continued to follow-up on its request to Nigeria to allow it provide consular access to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently being tried for various offences including treason.

Arising also from the summit, Laing stated that the UK was looking to a new grant for Nigeria to the tune of about $125 million, which would enable it to reach millions of children here in Nigeria, being the largest grant available under the summit.

She, therefore, in a tweet on her verified Twitter account @CatrionaLaing1, called on President Buhari and other senior officials in his government to commit increase funding to education in the country.

Making lucid her position on insecurity, Laing argued that the issue of kidnapping both in the north and south could not be divorced from unemployment and poverty and maintainedthat the Nigeria police needed to ramp up their intelligence gathering capabilities.

The newspaper says that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday released a total of $200 million to all commercial banks in the country as part of efforts to meet dollar demand for legitimate end users in the country.

This followed the decision by the regulator to henceforth discontinue foreign exchange (FX) sale to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country.

THISDAY gathered from a senior central bank official all banks customers that require FX for legitimate transactions such as school fees, Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) and medical payments would be required to undergo minimal documentation to assess the greenback.

However, CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed the end of FX sales to BDCs while briefing journalists at the end of a two-day meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja.

Emefiele directed all commercial banks to immediately create designated branches for the sale and disposal of FX to customers who deserve it for legitimate purposes.

He said the CBN will no longer process or issue new licences for BDC operations in the country, adding that all licences being currently processed, regardless of the stage, had been suspended.

The Punch reports that naira fell slightly to the dollar at the parallel market few hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday announced the discontinuity of forex supplies to the Bureau de Change Operators in the country.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the end of forex sales and new licence approval after the Monetary Policy Committee two-day meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

He expressed the MPC’s disappointment over their continuous abuse of the privilege. At the end of the meeting, the MPC retained the lending rates and other parameters.

Reading the MPC’s decision, Emefiele said, “Based on the above considerations, the MPC made the decision to hold all policy parameters constant; believing that a hold stance will enable the continued permeation of current policy measures in supporting the recorded growth recovery and macro-economic stability.

“The committee thus decided by a unanimous vote to retain the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.”

The Guardian says that the National Palm Producer Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has unveiled plans to empower youths and women across 24 states of the Federation with free 20 oil palm seedlings.

The beneficiaries are expected to start generating a minimum of N2 million yearly from each hectare of the palm tree starting from the third year of planting over a period of 50 years.

The aim of the association is to plant 10 million palm trees across the 24 oil palm producing states and to achieve this each household would be provided with 20 free oil palm seedlings.

The National President, NPPAN, Alphonsus Inyang, while speaking on activities of the association in Abuja, solicited partnership from relevant youth and women organisations, urging them to be part of the 10 million oil palm seedlings distribution programme.

According to Inyang, when planted, palm trees can be harvested up to 50 years as one hectare of palm trees and a minimum profit of N2 million can be generated yearly from the third year.

He mentioned that the expansion programme would set in motion, the economic prosperity of young Nigerians and women in the development of oil palm plantations and estates across the country.”

The Sun reports International Monetary Fund (IMF) has retained Nigeria’s 2.5 per cent economic growth forecast for 2021.

The institution said this in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) for July entitled “Fault Lines Widen in the Global Recovery” released on Tuesday in Washington DC.

According to the report, the slow rollout of vaccines was the main factor weighing on the recovery for Low Income Developing Countries (LIDCs) which Nigeria is part of.

It also retained its 6.0 percent growth forecast for the global economy for 2021 and 4.9 percent in 2022, adding that though the global forecast was unchanged from the April 2021 WEO, there were offsetting revisions.

The IMF had at its 2021 Virtual Spring Meetings in April, projected a 2.5 percent growth for Nigeria’s economy in 2021, up from 1.5 percent it projected in January. It said that in LIDCs, the overall fiscal deficit in 2021 was revised up by 0.3 percentage points from the April 2021 WEO, mainly because of the re-emergence of fuel subsidies as well as the additional COVID-19 and security related support in Nigeria.

“Still, at 5.2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the overall fiscal deficit remains well below that of advanced and emerging market economies, reflecting financing constraints, about 60 per cent of LIDCs are assessed to be at high risk of or in debt distress.



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Published on 10.02.2021

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