Press focuses on reactions to claims of positive economic growth by govt, others

APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

The report that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and economists on Wednesday countered the claim made by the President Muhammadu Buhari, that the economy under him is better than it was in 2015 is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.

The Punch reports that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and economists on Wednesday countered the claim made by the President, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, that the economy under him is better than it was in 2015.

The Chairman of the Gas Group, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Ola Adebayo, said Buhari’s regime’s policies have not translated into positive economy growth and real sector development.

He faulted the regime’s implementation of policies under Buhari, stressing that his regime would not score a pass mark.

Adebayo said, “One thing I have observed is that policy formulation is different from implementation. With the recent events, I don’t think the government has passed. We only have very good policies on paper, but the implementation has been lacking. Once there is no implementation, it becomes just an idea.”

Also, the Deputy-President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Gabriel Idahosa, said the reality was at variance with the claims of the President.

He said the current regime has not been able to attract the private sector to invest in critical infrastructures like railways and airports, saying that the government’s economic model is counterproductive and not in the best interest of the economy.

“The business community has been consistent in saying so. It’s not a matter of disagreeing with him. It’s a matter of looking at the facts at the table.”

Idahosa further said, “We don’t really need any complicated analysis to see whether the policies are addressing the issues of the business community. Whether it is power supply, the foreign exchange market, whether it’s a model that enables the private sector to invest in infrastructure in a manner that enables business to thrive, it is clear for all to see.”

On his part, Director-General, the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Mr Sola Obadimu, said Buhari’s assessment of his administration’s economic policies did not reflect the realities on ground.

According to him, his regime had failed in all economic indices and should be humble to admit it.

The newspaper says that the majority control of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate is currently under threat as no fewer than 20 APC senators have concluded plans to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party and others.

The PUNCH learnt that the APC, which had earlier lost 13 senators to the opposition parties, might lose more parliamentarians aggrieved for losing their return tickets to the National Assembly during the party primaries.

It was gathered that the party leaders were worried that if the rate of defections continued and the opposition PDP gained more members, the ruling party might lose its majority status in the Senate.

During Wednesday’s plenary, Senator Dauda Jika representing Bauchi Central, announced his defection to the NNPP, bringing the number of APC senators to 67.

Currently, the five minority parties in the upper chamber have 43 senators with the PDP boasting 39 senators, while the Young Peoples Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Labour Party and the New Nigeria People’s Party have four senators.

To stem the gale of defections, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, met with the APC senators behind closed doors at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, some minutes past 2 pm on Wednesday

The Guardian reports that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari over his call on the United States, United Kingdom and other members of the international community to declare the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.

The Nigerian President had, on Tuesday, in his remarks during an interview with Bloomberg, urged the international allies to take an additional step to proscribe IPOB as a terrorist organisation and block the group from the international financial network.

In its reaction, yesterday, through the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, the group reminded President Buhari to remember and act on the congratulatory words of Alhaji Maitama Sule to him in 2015, that “justice is key to good governance,” which is what the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB group demands.

Ohanaeze simplified the demand of IPOB, which is “treat us as partners in the Nigerian project or allow us to go.”

The group also faulted lopsided appointments in most of the military and paramilitary agencies in the country, which are not favourable to the Southeast region.

It also lamented the fresh massacre in Benue State, where 16 residents were allegedly murdered in cold blood by marauding Fulani herders, adding that Buhari should channel his energy on these killers rather than focusing on how to label IPOB a terrorist group.

The newspaper says that the Nigerian government has rescinded its decision to suspend the country’ basketball teams from all international competitions for two years.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Ismaila Abubakar disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the latest decision is based on a letter of appeal from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), signed by Musa Kida.

The government had on May 12, via a statement from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, quoting President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the country’s immediate withdrawal from all international basketball competitions for two years.

Buhari cited “the unending crises that have plagued and nearly crippled Basketball development in the country” as reasons for “the immediate withdrawal of Nigeria from all International basketball competitions for a period of two years.”

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, further said the withdrawal of the country’s teams from international basketball was to provide the government with the opportunity to revamp the sport from the grassroots as well as revive the domestic leagues which have become moribund.

On June 2, following the government’s decision, the sport’s global governing body, FIBA, kicked the Nigerian women basketball team, D’Tigress, out of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.

D’Tigress, Africa’s most successful women’s basketball team of the past two decades, had qualified for September’s World Cup in Australia after defeating France and Mali in the Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.

FIBA’s decision came after deliberations with the Nigeria Basketball Federation to see how the decision by Abuja could be rescinded fell through.

Mali were subsequently picked to replace Nigeria at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.

“In subsequent communications with the NBBF, and despite FIBA’s request, it has become clear that against the circumstances created by the government’s decision, the NBBF is unable to confirm its participation in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022,” FIBA’s statement read in part.

The Nation reports that troops of the Nigerian Navy conducting Operation ”Dakatar Da Barawo” confiscated crude oil and other illegally refined products worth N2.7 billion in June.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan in Abuja.

“The various NN platforms deployed for ‘Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, Calm Waters 11’ and Tripartite Joint Border Patrol have continued to sustain aggressive patrols to curb the menace of crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.

”Accordingly, several Illegal Refining Sites (IRS), metal storage tanks, wooden boats, dugout pits and ovens were destroyed between June 13 and June 19.

He said five suspects were and the operatives destroyed 14 Illegal refining sites.

The Navy also said that 80 storage tanks, 22 wooden boats, 40 ovens, two speed boats, a tanker, truck, barge and a Toyota Sienna car were recovered during the various operations during the period.


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