Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Wednesday, 14th July, 2021 Edition)

The Senate of the Federal Republic 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.

Senate passes campaign hate speech bill, offender risks 10-year imprisonment

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill seeking to establish the Electoral Offences Commission. The red panel prescribed among others, at least 10 years imprisonment or at least N20m fine or both against any person who uses hate speech to stir up ethnic, religious or racial hatred, social or political insecurity or violence against anyone or group of persons during electioneering.

It also prescribed a 20-year jail term or a N40m fine against any candidate or agent who damaged or snatched ballot boxes, ballot papers or election materials before, during and after an election without the permission of election official in charge of the polling station.

The Senate also approved at least 15 years imprisonment for any person who influenced voters. It also prescribed three years’ imprisonment for any employee who directly or indirectly exerts undue influence on a voter in his employment.

Eid-el-Kabir: Yobe to offer free meal to 12,000 pupils

Yobe Government has said it will provide free meal and dresses to 12,000 Qur’anic school pupils (Almajiri), as part of activities to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

Executive Secretary of Yobe State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Mohammed Goje, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Damaturu. Goje said that food and dresses would be distributed to the Almajiri in 240 selected Tsangaya schools in seven local government areas of the state.

Almajiri is a Hausa word derived from the Arabic word “Al-Muhajiroun,” which literally means migration and refered to a person who left his home in search of Islamic knowledge. In northern Nigeria, Almajiri refers to a young boy of non formal Qur’anic schools (Tsangaya) commonly found in the region. They (Almajiri) engage in street begging to fend for themselves.

You can’t blackmail me out of APC, Okorocha tells Uzodinma

A former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Tuesday said that there was no truth in the speculations making the rounds in the state that he was about joining the opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party from the All Progressives Congress.

Okorocha in a statement issued by his media aide in Owerri, Sam Onwuemeodo, said that the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, can’t blackmail him out of the ruling party.

The statement said that the state government came with fake news that Okorocha was joining PDP after Okorocha led other APC chieftains in the state to the ruling party’s national secretariat in Abuja. The statement alleged that Uzodinma was not a member of the APC until the Supreme Court pronounced him the governor of the state on January 14, 2020.

Three killed as military men clash with Lagos traders

A businessman, identified only as Felix, aka Tiger, and two other yet-to-be-identified traders have been shot dead by military officers during a clash with union members and traders at the Aguiyi Ironsi International Trade Centre, in the Paramo area of Ladipo Market, Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered from witnesses that a military officer and his orderly visited the market on Tuesday to change the spare part he bought from a trader.

On their way out, some union members, who were at the entrance of the market, reportedly demanded payment of N200 from them for gate pass. It was learnt that the request infuriated the military men and in the process, an argument ensued between them and the union members. A source in the market told our correspondent that the union members allegedly beat the military man and his orderly, adding that the soldiers mobilised three other personnel, who allegedly shot the victims to death.

High unemployment threatening Buhari’s poverty reduction plan – AfDB

The Director-General of the African Development Bank Group’s Nigeria Country Department, Mr Lamin Barrow, has said the Nigerian government’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030 is threatened by the high rate of unemployment and income inequality in the country.

He said this while representing the AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, as a panelist at an investors’ webinar to showcase the investment opportunities in Nigeria’s privatisation and economic reform programme on Tuesday.

Barrow noted that the recovery in crude oil prices, increase in the Value Added Tax rate to 7.5 per cent and elimination of fuel subsidies would provide some fiscal relief for the Nigeria economy. According to him, there are high fiscal risks due to reliance on oil, weakness in non-oil revenues and high debt service payments, and the other risks to medium-term growth for the country include inflation, insecurity, and high unemployment.

PIB: Marketers, TUC disagree with Senate on fuel imports

Fuel marketers and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, on Tuesday, expressed their opposition to a provision in the Senate version of the Petroleum Industry Bill that allowed only active refinery licence holders to import petroleum products into the country.

Subsection (8) of section 317 of the bill says the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority shall apply the backward integration policy in the downstream petroleum sector to encourage investment in local refining.

“To support this, licence to import any product shortfalls shall be assigned only to companies with active local refining licences. Import volume to be allocated between participants based on their respective production in the preceding quarter,” it adds.

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