The claim by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that the ruling All Progressives Congress has plunged Nigerians into poverty and the rise in the number of new cases of Covid-19 infection from 1,270 on Tuesday to 1,398 on Wednesday are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.ThisDay reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of plunging Nigerians into poverty as a result of its unfulfilled electoral promises.
It also accused the APC of rolling out artificial projects that do not have organic contents to sustain them, hence their failure in accomplishing national projects.
The PDP was reacting to the commencement of the 774,000 jobs scheme initiative of the federal government to engage youths for three months.
PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke yesterday on The Morning Show on ARISE NEWS Channel, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, said the project would also fail just like others because of unfulfilled promises.
“The APC government keeps rolling out initiatives that are not people-oriented and they keep making promises that are never fulfilled. The N-Power project of APC is already a failure because they have not paid those recruited into N-Power job for the past five months,” Ologbondiyan said.
The newspaper says that Nigeria on Wednesday recorded a rise in the number of new cases of Covid-19 infection from 1,270 on Tuesday to 1,398 on Wednesday.
However, the number of deaths dropped from 12 to nine within the same period.
According to the report by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) posted on its website Wednesday night, 1,398 new confirmed cases and nine deaths were recorded in Nigeria on Wednesday.
It also said 103,999 cases had been confirmed since the outbreak of Covid-19, while 82,555 persons had been discharged and 1,382 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
Out of the 1,398 new cases reported from 23 states, Lagos (542), FCT (131), Oyo (120), Rivers (113), Plateau (111), are leading in high numbers of infections, while Kaduna recorded (71), Kwara (71), Akwa Ibom (34), Sokoto (31), Benue (28), Ogun (27), Kano (26), Kebbi (17), Osun (12), Nasarawa (11), Delta (10), Gombe (10), Bayelsa (9), Borno (9), Edo (8), Ekiti (3), Jigawa (2), and Katsina (2).
The Guardian reports that the Presidency has condemned Sokoto-based Muslim Solidarity Forum (MSF) for calling on the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Kukah, to tender unreserved apology to the Muslims, or quietly and quickly leave the state, over his controversial Christmas essay.
Professor Isa Maishanu of MSF had described the essay as “malicious comment” against Islam.
In a statement yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, the Presidency said MSF’s comment “is wrong because it is not in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
According to Shehu, under Nigeria’s constitution, every citizen has the right to, among others, freedom of speech and expression, the right to own property and reside in any part of the country, and the right to move freely without any inhibition.
“The Sultanate has historically had good relations with followers of all faiths. That is why Fr. Kukah was received on his arrival in Sokoto with friendship and tolerance.
“Under our laws, groups or factions must not give quit notices, neither should they unilaterally sanction any perceived breaches. Where they occur, it is the courts of law that should adjudicate,” he added, urging groups like MSF to share and uphold the country’s multi-religious principles.
But the Youth Wing of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has vowed to retaliate any form of attack on Kukah, over his recent message on Nigeria’s woes.
The Punch says that the pre-export requirements recently introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria is currently frustrating the export of goods from Nigeria to other nations, exporters declared on Wednesday.
Speaking under the aegis of the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria, they stated that the electronic Nigeria Export Proceed Form being required by the bank from exporters had come with enormous bottlenecks.
The President, NPNEN, Ahmed Rabiu, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the new procedure had so many layers of activities that often led to delays and loss of income on the part of exporters.
He said, “We acknowledge the CBN’s desire to ensure that all exports out of Nigeria are documented in order to ensure that the proceeds of such exports are repatriated. “However, the reality on the field shows that the process is causing undue delays and consequently, encouraging corruption.”
In the new pre-export requirements, the CBN wants an export transaction to be initiated through eNXP processing on the trade monitoring system. Exporters stated that after this, the pre-shipment inspection agent, the Nigeria Customs Service and other designated government agencies would now carry out their pre-export inspections.
The Sun says that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released the Framework for Regulatory Sandbox Operations, to ensure the safety and stability of the Nigerian Financial System, among other things.
It is also to promote the use and adoption of electronic payments and foster innovation in the payments system.
The CBN released the structure on its website on Tuesday and says one of the objectives is to increase the potential for innovative business models that advance financial inclusion.
The bank explained that it came up with the structure to ensure new and more flexible ways of engaging with the banking industry.
This, it said, is in view of increasing consumer appetite for payment solutions and emerging disruptive technology in the financial services space.
It said that the structure would enable the bank stay abreast of innovations while promoting a safe, reliable and efficient payments system to foster innovation without compromising on the delivery of its mandate.