President Buhari is planning a “complete re-engineering” of the country’s security apparatus as he expressed his displeasure over the efforts of service chiefs in addressing security challenges in the country. According to national security adviser to Buhari, Babagana Monguno, the President told the service chiefs who attended a briefing with him Tuesday that their effort is not good enough. Monguno said since the issues are operational, Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, “is working on something” and will likely give a new direction to the security agencies in the days to come. He said Buhari told the service chiefs that Nigerians have lost confidence in the security sector but he is determined to restore it. There have been complaints about the widespread insecurity in the country, with many asking the president to fire the service chiefs.
Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown that about 21 states in the country attracted zero investments in the last four months. The report which detailed the total amount of fresh investments attracted to the Nigerian economy during the period said Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kastina, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers and Yobe recorded zero capital importation in the last four months. The CBN said most of the states that failed to attract investments during the period under review also failed to attract any investments in 2019. The development indicates that either the necessary steps were not taken by the governments, or foreign investors could not find attraction in the states as the environments may not be conducive for investment. The report showed that Lagos, as expected, topped the list of states that attracted investments in the period as the state attracted the highest amount of $5.39 billion. The investment inflow into the state represents over 87% of the $6.17 billion. Following Lagos on the list is the Federal Capital Territory which attracted a total investment inflow of $754.01 million while Niger attracted a total investment inflow of $11.60 million. Sokoto attracted $2.50 million, while Kaduna attracted the sum of $1.98 million and Ogun attracted $1.70 million. Kano and Akwa Ibom states recorded investment inflows of about $700,000 and about $237,000 respectively among others, according to the monetary regulator.
The FG has announced plans to regulate illegal gold exports worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year to boost the country’s foreign reserves. According to the executive secretary of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative, Fatima Shinkafi, the programme is expected to regulate the production of the commodity by informal miners that currently provide no income to the state. The government official said as much as 18 tons of gold leaves Nigeria illegally every year to Dubai. Hence, PAGMI’s plan is to shift most of that production, which is extracted by acclaimed artisanal miners and sold to middlemen, into a supervised supply chain that ends with bullion in a central bank vault. The regulation, Shinkafi added will help diversify Nigeria’s economy at a time when lower crude prices are adding pressure on the government to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on oil. Persuading the informal gold-mining industry to come within the orbit of state oversight would not only generate much-needed tax revenue. It would also allow the central bank to stockpile the metal, according to the presidency. The price of gold has soared in recent months, reaching a record of $1,988.40 an ounce on Monday. At current prices, the PAGMI programme could add about $500 million to foreign reserves annually, as well as contribute $150 million in taxes, Shinkafi said. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s gross reserves currently stand at $35.9 billion. “That’s a hell of an incentive for a country that is earning mostly from oil and agriculture,” she said as the price of crude has rebounded and stabilised since a sharp plunge in March. The sales of oil are Nigeria’s main provider of hard currency, accounting for about half of government revenue and 90% of export earnings. The collapse of oil price has forced President Buhari’s administration to devalue the naira as a decline in revenue sapped external reserves.
The FG on Tuesday raised the fine for hate speech from ₦500,000 to ₦5 million as it mandated broadcast stations to devote airtime for public education on emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, at the unveiling of the reviewed broadcasting code, the amendments were necessitated by a presidential directive in the wake of the 2019 general elections for an inquiry into the regulatory role of the National Broadcasting Commission as well as the conduct of the various broadcast stations before, during and after elections. Mr Mohammed noted that the recommendations were approved by the President Buhari, to reposition the NBC to better perform its regulatory role in the areas of political broadcasting, local content, coverage of emergencies, advertising, and anti-competitive behaviour. Mohammed, who explained that section 2h of the NBC Act empowers the commission to establish and disseminate a National Broadcasting Code, said, “There are many desirable provisions in the new broadcasting code including the provisions on exclusivity and monopoly to boost local content and local industry due to laws prohibiting exclusive use of rights by broadcasters who intend to create monopolies and hold the entire market to themselves.