Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Tuesday, 09 February, 2021 Edition)

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff

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.

Buratai reels out achievements as COAS, says I’m not a politician

A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.), has attributed his appointment to his father’s love for the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

He also said although it was a tough time serving as COAS, the service chiefs weathered the storm, adding, “It was a tough time but we’ve weathered the storm. I am retired but definitely not tired insha Allah. We have left great legacies in the Nigerian Army that I hope will last the test of time by God’s grace,” Buratai stated.

Buratai and other service chiefs reportedly resigned from office on January 26 after months of calls for their sacking following the rising insecurity in different parts of the country.

El-Rufai, Bello oppose Gumi’s peace shuttle, IPOB attacks cleric

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, and his Niger State counterpart, Sanni Bello, on Monday said the effort of a prominent Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to woo bandits to lay down arms and embrace peace was an exercise in futility.

While El-Rufai spoke in an interview with the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Bello spoke through his Commissioner for Information, Sani Idris, in an interview with one of our correspondents. El-Rufai said the criminals were used to getting big money and would find it difficult to repent. He noted that his administration had no room for negotiations, adding that any bandits arrested in the state would be killed.

Supporting El-Rufai’s position, the Niger State Governor, Bello, said Gumi’s negotiation with the bandits was not the solution to the ongoing terror ravaging the North. He said the activities of the kidnappers had led to loss of lives and property in the region, adding that any bandit caught would face the law.

IMF rules out Nigeria’s full economic recovery before 2022

Nigeria’s recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 is expected to be weak and gradual under current policies, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

The IMF also stated that the country’s real Gross Domestic Product is expected to recover to its pre-pandemic level only in 2022. It stated in its report titled ‘IMF executive board concludes 2020 Article IV consultation with Nigeria’ that real GDP growth in 2021 was expected to turn positive at 1.5 per cent.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed Nigeria at a critical juncture. The country entered the crisis with falling per capita income, high inflation, and governance challenges. Policy adjustments and reforms designed to shift the country from its dependence on oil and to diversify the economy toward private sector-led growth will set Nigeria on a more sustainable path to recovery.”

Petrol landing cost rises to N180, oil crosses $60

The landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) imported into the country has risen by 13.34 per cent in one month to about N180 per litre on the back of the increase in global oil prices.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petrol, and the deregulation of petrol price by the Federal Government last year means that the pump price of the product will reflect changes in the international oil market.

Going by the petrol pricing template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, the landing cost of petrol rose to N179.67 per litre last Friday from N158.53 per litre on January 7, with the expected open market price (pump price) of the product increasing to N202.67 per litre from N181.53 per litre.

Fani-Kayode leads talk with APC, four PDP govs plan defection

In what is being described as a major move ahead of the 2023 Presidential election, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress has begun talks with four Peoples Democratic Party governors with the aim of getting them to defect to the ruling party, The PUNCH has learnt.

It was gathered in Abuja, on Monday, that a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, had met with the Caretaker Chairman of the APC, Mai Mala Buni; and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

A high ranking member of the APC informed The PUNCH that while it was true that the party leadership has reached out to Fani-Kayode, the former minister had not yet made any commitment.

FG planning to replace BVN with NIN – Minister

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has said the Federal Government plans to replace Bank Verification Numbers with the National Identity Numbers.

The minister said this while briefing newsmen after a facility tour and inspection of the ongoing NIN enrolment exercise at NIMC and other designated centres in Abuja.

He said he had made a presentation to the National Economic Sustainability Committee and drew the attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor on the need to replace BVN with NIN.

DefendLagos: Youths plan counter-protest at Lekki tollgate

Youths have announced plans to organise a counter-protest at the Lekki tollgate on Saturday, February 13. This is coming a few hours after some youths took to Twitter to call for a protest against the reopening of the Lekki tollgate.

The PUNCH had reported that the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate had, on Saturday, approved the reopening of the tollgate.

The counter-rally, which is trending on Twitter as #DefendLagos and #DemNoBornYourPapaWell, is to protest against protesters of #OccupyLekkiTollGate. The poster of counter-rally shared on social media showed that it is holding at the same venue and time as the one planned by the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters.

Why PDP must retake Anambra governorship –Wike

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, said on Monday that the Peoples Democratic Party must win the governorship elections in Anambra State to tighten its grip on the South-East.

This is as he advised the PDP National Working Committee to allow the governors to supervise the conduct of congresses and governorship primary in Anambra State.

Wike in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said winning the November governorship election in Anambra was critical to the PDP and concerted effort must be made to ensure that nobody was alienated in the processes leading to the election of the party’s flag bearer.

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