Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Saturday, 06 February, 2021 Edition)

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

Two suspects intercepted with N314m in Saudi currency at Abuja airport

Two persons are currently being grilled by operatives of the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for money laundering. This followed their arrest over the seizure of 3,013,500 Saudi Riyal (about #314.8m) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Monday.

The money, sealed in brown envelopes and transported in ‘Ghana must go’ bags was intercepted at the baggage hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, after being freighted to Nigeria from Saudi Arabia aboard Ethiopian Airline.

The money and the suspects, who are believed to be agents of the owners of the money, were subsequently handed over to the EFCC on Thursday for further investigation.

US backs Okonjo-Iweala to break 26-year WTO record

The United States has finally backed a former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to lead the World Trade Organisation after several months of delay of the selection process.

President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday offered its “strong support” to Okonjo-Iweala, citing her “wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.”

The move marks another sharp split with former President Donald Trump who paralysed the organisation and opposed Okonjo-Iweala who was backed by many other countries. The development came after Okonjo-Iweala’s only remaining contender and South Korea’s Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, on Friday withdrew her candidacy for the position.

Insecurity: APC’s best not yet good enough, Fayemi admits

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said the efforts of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government in tackling the insecurity in the country have not been good enough. He however argued that the current situation was better than what was obtainable under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Fayemi, who is a chieftain of the party and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, in an interview with one of our correspondents, noted that with the recent appointment of new service chiefs, he was hopeful that the war would be won, especially as it tends to boost the morale of the troops on the battlefield.

The country had been engulfed in insecurity problems, through which many lives have been lost. Apart from the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, there have been banditry, kidnappings and armed robberies in different parts of the country.

Experts kick as CBN orders closure of crypto accounts

The Central Bank has ordered banks and other financial institutions to identify persons and entities operating crypto currency exchanges and close all such accounts.

This drew the ire of experts who criticised the apex bank for not being prepared for modern financial regulation.

The CBN stated that dealing with crypto currencies and facilitating payments through it was prohibited in the country.

Use security budget to address armed Fulani’s demand, Gumi tells FG

A Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has decried the Federal Government’s use of force in the fight against what he called a typical insurgency in the North.

Gumi, who spoke in continuation of his five-day visit to bandits’ and Fulani settlements in Zamfara State, said the huge financial resources spent in the fight against insecurity in the region could have been used to address the needs of armed Fulani.

“Such billions would be more than enough if judiciously used to address all the demands of the armed Fulani, including providing them with basic amenities, training them and providing them with the needed capital,” he added.

WHO disqualifies Nigeria, eight others from global vaccine bid

The World Health Organisation-led COVAX global initiative has failed to shortlist Nigeria for the Pfizer vaccines following the country’s inability to meet the standard requirement of being able to store the vaccines at the required -70 degrees Celsius.

The Nigerian government had stated that it was expected to receive 100,000 doses through the COVAX initiative, which was set up to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level.

Speaking at a virtual press conference which was attended by Saturday PUNCH, however, the Director, WHO, African Region, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said only four African countries were shortlisted for the Pfizer vaccine out of the 13 that applied.

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