Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Thursday, 24 June, 2021 Edition)

Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

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.

Soludo emerges APGA gov candidate, faction suspends ex-CBN helmsman

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo, on Wednesday emerged as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, for the November 6, Anambra State governorship election.

The primary was conducted at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre Awka by the Chief Victor Oye-led faction of the party. Soludo, polled 740 votes to defeat three other aspirants, Okwudili Ezenwankwo who scored 41 votes, Damian Okolo seven votes, and Ibeh kenechukwu Christopher, four votes.

The APGA Chief Returning Officer of the APGA Deacon Samson Olalere, said a total of 812 delegates were billed to participate in the election but 795 votes were accredited. The results were announced by the party’s National Vice Chairman (South West), Samson Olalere.

Endless borrowing: Experts worry, Okonjo-Iweala, Ahmed differ on Nigeria’s debts

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Wednesday, differed on the nation’s debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio.

Experts who spoke to our correspondents also expressed worry over the nation’s rising debt profile.

While Ahmed put the debt-to-GDP ratio at 29 per cent, Okojo-Iweala said it had risen to 35 per cent. Both the minister and the WTO boss spoke at the African Development Bank High Level Knowledge Event with the theme: ‘From Debt Resolution to Growth: The Road Ahead for Africa’ which held virtually on Wednesday.

Gumi knocks Army as 200 killed in Zamfara despite Buhari’s no-fly zone

The Nigerian Army and a popular Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, on Wednesday disagreed over the latter’s allegation that security agents were collaborating with bandits.

Gumi, while featuring on Morning Show, a programme on Arise TV, on Wednesday, alleged that a lot of those he described as bad elements in the nation’s security forces were colluding with bandits. The cleric stated that the bandits had been able to access assorted weapons that they used against Nigeria due to the cooperation of the security agents.

Gumi said these as The PUNCH learnt that at least 200 residents of Zamfara State had been killed in violent attacks despite an order by the President, MajorGeneral Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), declaring a ‘no-fly-zone’ over the state’s airspace.

Why Assembly approved Sanwo-Olu’s N85bn bond request – Lawmaker

The Lagos State House of Assembly has explained why it approved Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s request of N85bn special dispensation for bond redemption and for bridge loan.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Mr Rotimi Olowo, in a statement on Tuesday said the request by Sanwo-Olu would ensure continuation of capital projects in the state.

He said, “Based on briefing and documents received, the redemption of bonds will allow for extension of maturity of the same with a two years moratorium in 2031.”Olowo noted that the request from Sanwo-Olu was “an approval of bond for a bridge loan which will allow the state to access the bond market, while the second aspect is a loan from a commercial bank at the interest rate of 9.25. What it means is that, in the next two years, after securing the bond, we will not pay any money. We will not pay the interest and the capital; it will be like a tax holiday. It will relieve the state of the burden of sourcing for money to pay the creditors.

Petrol smuggling persists, 102 million litres consumed in May – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday said it was collaborating with law enforcement agencies and other relevant downstream and upstream stakeholders to curb the menace of petroleum products smuggling and crude oil theft. It named the law enforcement agencies to include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Department of State Services, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the move was at the instance of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who mandated the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, EFCC and all other security agencies to do everything to stop crude oil theft and illicit truck-out of petroleum products.

The corporation’s boss described the menace as major economic crimes that had hindered Nigerians from enjoying the benefits of subsidised petroleum products. He urged all industry stakeholders to collaborate with the corporation to ensure that the daily national petroleum products consumption which shot up to 102 million litres in the month of May was brought down to realistic levels of around 60 million litres. Kyari stressed that it was obvious to all that the volume of petrol was not consumed by Nigerians alone.

We are interested in peace, unity, not Nigeria’s break-up – ACF

The pan-northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, said it had resolved to invite regional socio-cultural groups such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere and South-South leaders for dialogue over burning issues affecting the country

This was just as the regional body hailed South-East leaders and governors on their stand on the violent agitation for secession by the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Eastern Security Network.

They also assured Nigerians of Igbo extraction of the safety of their lives and property while carrying out their legitimate businesses in the North. These were contained in a communique read out to journalists by the National Chairman of the ACF, Chief Audu Ogbe, shortly after the NEC meeting.

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