Following the series of mass abduction of schoolchildren by Boko Haram terrorists and other criminals in the northern part of the country, the Federal Ministry of Education says it has begun the relocation of pupils from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states to other states. It also said the Safe Schools Initiative of the government had not stopped, noting that its implementation was being intensified and re-invigorated. The Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Ben Goong, stated these in an interview with the Punch. Boko Haram terrorists had in the past abducted pupils, women and girls from the three states, including Chibok in Borno State and Dapchi in Yobe State. Also, criminals had in recent times kidnapped pupils from some North-Western states. When asked what the FG was doing about schools located in high-risk areas in the north, Mr Goong said, “As we speak, there are quite a number of students from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States being relocated to other schools across the country, including the Federal Capital Territory.” He cited the example of some students from Borno State who he said had been relocated to the Federal Government College, Kwali, Abuja. He said students were being moved to safer schools and were being catered for with full boarding facilities. He added that the Federal Government would be carrying out some enlightenment campaigns especially among the military to discourage the use of school facilities for military-related activities. This, he said, was necessary so that such schools are not attacked. When asked why the FG stopped the implementation of the Safe Schools Initiative, Mr Goong said it had not stopped, adding that it was being strengthened. He said, “That is not true. In fact, just recently, a national committee on the initiative was inaugurated. The committee is working with an NGO. The implementation has not stopped.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced a rebate of  ₦5 for every $1 of funds remitted to Nigeria, through International Money Transfer Organisations in its new forex policy. The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed on Saturday during a virtual event organised by Fidelity Bank at its inaugural webinar on the impact of the new forex policy on diaspora investments. Emefiele said this new policy will take effect from 8 March. He said, “Furthermore, in an effort to reduce the cost burden of remitting funds to Nigeria by working Nigerians in the diaspora, the Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced a rebate of ₦5 for every $1 of fund remitted to Nigeria, through IMTOs licensed by the Central Bank. “This rebate will be provided to the bank accounts of beneficiaries, following receipt of remittance inflows. “We believe this new measure will help to make the process of sending remittance through formal bank channels cheaper and more convenient for “Nigerians in the diaspora. This new policy is expected to take effect on the 8th of March 2021.” According to him, efforts at driving remittance inflows into Nigeria would yield positive results as it continued to ensure formal banking channels offer cheaper, faster, and more convenient ways for remitters to send funds to beneficiaries. The CBN governor said reducing the cost of sending remittances was a significant way to boost remittance inflows to Nigeria. In general, he said, the new policy was expected to enlarge the scope and scale of foreign exchange inflows into the country with a view to stabilising the exchange rate and supporting accretion to external reserves. More importantly, it would provide an opportunity for Nigerians living abroad to make investments in their home country, he noted.

The managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Hamisu Yadudu, says Kaduna’s airport will not be shut over an attack on its staff quarters. Gunmen had attacked two houses in the staff quarters and abducted 11 persons on Saturday. While receiving the Senate Committee on Aviation in Lagos over the weekend, Mr Yadudu said only a few staff members of FAAN reside in the quarters, adding that the current attack will not discourage the agency from clamping down on criminals. “This incident is entirely different from closing down the airport. It is a security concern that we have at our staff quarters,” he said.  “A lot of our staff do not even live in these quarters. If there is a need for us to close it, we will close it, but this is even far away from it. “There is no need for that drastic action. Just a small percentage of our members of staff stay in the staff quarters; the rest are all living in the town. “You can see that the staff quarters are fenced. We are taking appropriate measures, but like I said, we just have to improve to counter these challenges. “Though the fence was broken, somehow, somewhere, things happened, and now it is time for us to counter as we have been doing always.” He said FAAN had, since 2020, beefed up security at the various airports across the country. On his part, Smart Adeyemi, chairman of the Senate committee, called for the restructuring of the entire country in a bid to address the various security challenges. He said the agitation for restructuring would not lead to the secession of the country, as being claimed in some quarters.

Anti-government activists in Senegal announced three days of nationwide protests from Monday as the death toll in the most violent demonstrations in years rose to five, triggered by the arrest of the country’s main opposition leader. The opposition called on the Senegalese people in a statement “to pursue its mobilization and peaceful struggle by using all of its constitutional rights to reject the dictatorship of Macky Sall,” the country’s president. Ousmane Sonko, who came third in the 2019 presidential elections, faces charges of disturbing public order after protests broke out on his way to court to face a separate allegation of rape on Wednesday. Mr Sonko, 46, was accused of the assault last month by a beauty salon employee and was summoned to court after his parliamentary immunity was revoked. Interior Minister Antoine Felix Diome has accused protesters of “insurrection.” The deadly clashes between police and demonstrators have prompted condemnation from the Economic Community of West African States. In a statement Saturday, the regional body called on the authorities to take measures to ease tensions and guarantee the freedom to demonstrate peacefully in line with the law.