Press focuses on Nobel Laureate’s demand for enquiry into political murders, others

APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

The demand by Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, that President Muhammadu Buhari should disclose the outcome of his “robust pledge to open an enquiry into the spate of political murders that the nation has undergone in recent years is one of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.

The Guardian reports that Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose the outcome of his “robust pledge to open an enquiry into the spate of political murders that the nation has undergone in recent years”.

Soyinka made this known in a letter he addressed to Mrs. Funso Adegbola, daughter of the late Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige.

The letter was written to commemorate 20th year of the Bola Ige Memorial Symposium, themed: ‘Two Decades of Injustice: What Are the Implications on Nigerian Democracy’, organised by the Bola Ige for Justice Centre.

The event was held at the Lagos Airport Hotel Ikeja, yesterday.

The letter reads in part: “I particularly regret my absence, as it provides a mandatory, inescapable occasion for directing a question at the nation’s current leader, President Buhari, a demand that the entire nation, no matter the political inclination of her citizens, is morally obliged to make. My message proceeds –

“President Muhammadu Buhari, what has become of your robust pledge to open an enquiry into the spate of political murders that the nation has undergone in recent years?

“Does it all amount to yet another instance of political bravado? While we all accept that all lives should be valued equally, some impose a special responsibility on those in governance.

“Bola Ige, as the nation’s Minister of Justice, and United Nations’ civil servant designate, was unarguably one such. A nation’s honour is in question and remains so until the hour of closure.

The newspaper says that the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has said that foreign loans taken under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari have turned Nigeria into a beggar in the comity of nations.

The party, however, is assured of its readiness to rescue the nation if it receives the backing of citizens in 2023.

Ayu spoke during a chat with BBC Hausa monitored at the weekend. 

He added that the party has organised a workshop for its newly elected officials, to keep them abreast of ways to confront insecurity in the country.

“The situation in our country is so bad that anyone on a journey from Abuja to Kaduna, whether by road or by rail, would not have a peaceful mind.

“It is a must that we right the wrongs in our party to get people’s support. Every side must be given the chance to comment so that together, we work in unison to achieve what the people desire,” he said.

The Punch reports that foreign investors pulled out a total of N173.32bn from the Nigerian stock market from January to October, official data obtained on Monday show. 

The Nigerian Exchange Limited, in its latest domestic and foreign portfolio investment report, revealed that foreign investors injected N156.30bn into the stock market in the 10-month period. Foreign portfolio investment outflow includes sales transactions or liquidation of portfolio investments through the stock market, while the FPI inflow includes purchase transactions on the NGX (equities only), according to the bourse. 

Total transactions at the nation’s bourse increased by 80.34 percent from N118.15bn in September to N213.07bn (about $513.31m) in October, but fell by 13 percent when compared to the N244.90bn recorded in October last year. 

The NGX said the total value of transactions executed by domestic investors in October 2021 outperformed transactions executed by foreign investors by about 60 percent. It said total domestic transactions increased by 81.93 percent from N93.80bn in September to N170.65bn in October, while total foreign transactions increased by 74.21 percent from N24.35bn (about $58.91m) to N42.42bn (about $102.21m).  Institutional investors outperformed retail investors by 32 percent in October, according to the NGX.

The newspaper says that Nigeria’s economy has lost N499.32bn to the shutdown of Twitter since it came into effect on June 4, 2021. 

On June 4, the Federal Government announced the suspension of Twitter after the social media platform deleted a tweet by the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). Telecommunication companies had on June 5 blocked access to Twitter after receiving a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission to that effect. 

According to the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, Nigeria’s economy loses N104.02m ($250,600) every hour to the ban on Twitter. It has been 4,800 hours (200 days) since the social networking site was blocked. 

While giving his Independence Day speech, Buhari hinted that the ban would continue until Twitter registered in Nigeria, had a physical presence, and representation. Recently, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, said Twitter had agreed to the nation’s conditions for the suspension to be lifted. 

Keyamo, who is also a member of the committee set up to engage Twitter over its suspension, said, “The reason why the President took that step is to recalibrate our relationship with Twitter and not to drive them away from our country.

ThisDay reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday handed over a N621 billion symbolic cheque to the Ministry of Works and Housing in furtherance of the recent tax credit road infrastructure funding arrangement approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). 

At the event, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola dispelled insinuations that the NNPC was taking over the job of the ministry, stressing that the arrangement was coming under Executive Order 7, which existed during the last administration but was never deployed. 

Fashola explained that the instrument was first activated on the Obajana-Kabba road as well as to address the Apapa-Oworonsoki expressway, stressing that since then, a lot of progress had been made. 

He noted that when the government started the use of Executive Order, it was met with a lot of criticism that it was specifically made for Aliko Dangote, but added that even smaller companies can now come together to do smaller roads.

The Sun says that Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders (APFFLON) has warned the Federal government not to stop the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of its responsibility of revenue collection. 

Recall that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during a public hearing on a bill to repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act (2004) and the Nigeria Customs Service (Establishment) Bill had recommended that the revenue collection responsibility should be transferred to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) while the NCS facilitates trade. 

President of APFFLON, Frank Ogunojemite, argued that instead of the proposed move, the government should review the Customs Act with a view to removing bottlenecks impeding trade facilitation. 

Ogunojemite stated this while addressing newsmen during AFFLON’s end of the year party in Lagos, said that there has not been any gap in the revenue collection function of Customs to justify the takeover by FIRS. 

According to him, the Service has often met and surpassed its annual revenue target thereby contributing to the nation’s economy. He said what the government should do is to review the process and the Customs Act.


React to this article