Press focuses on inauguration of $2.5bn Dangote Fertiliser Plant, others

The inauguration of the $2.5bn Dangote Fertilizer plant in Lagos by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.

The Punch reports that President Muhammad Buhari on Tuesday, inaugurated the $2.5bn Dangote Fertilizer plant in Lagos.

The plant has capacity to produce three million metric tonnes of fertilizer yearly.

The President, who expressed happiness over the multi-billion dollar plant, also said the plant would reduce the nation's dependence on the import of fertiliser.

He said nation stands to enjoy a boom in foreign exchange through the exportation of the product.

The president also explained that the plant would help further the administration's drive towards achieving self-sufficiency in food production.

He said, “I am delighted to commission this Dangote Fertiliser plant which has the capacity of producing three million metric tons of Urea per annum which makes it the second of such plants in the world”

“This is expected to further our administration drive towards achieving self-sufficiency in food production, in the country. I commend the chairman, board and management of Dangote Industries Limited for their business initiative in bringing this plant which will help in reducing the importation of fertilizer, create jobs and increase the inflow of foreign exchange and accelerate economic growth”

The newspaper says that the House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to “reinforce the use of coins as a legal tender and ensure that banks comply with the use of coins to the fullest.”

Members of the House had at the plenary on Tuesday unanimously adopted the motion moved by a member, Muda Umar, titled ‘Call on the Central Bank of Nigeria to Reinforce the Use of Coins as a Legal Tender in Nigeria.'

Umar, while moving the motion, recalled that a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, on February 28, 2007, reissued N50, N20, N10 and N5 banknotes with new designs as well as the coining of N1 and 50 kobo, while a new N2 coin was introduced, as part of the economic reforms.

The lawmaker said despite the huge budgetary sum that was expended by the Federal Government in the production of coins as part of the country's legal tender, “the said coins seem to be extinct at the moment.”

He said, “The day-to-day business transactions of ordinary Nigerians have been significantly affected, as the lack of coins and other lower denominations have resulted in prices being summed up to the nearest naira equivalent, a situation that can best be described as inflation in economic terms.

“The House is worried that while other countries make use of coins for their daily financial transactions, the Nigerian coins, comprising 50kobo, N1 and N2, have not been fully utilised in that regard.

The Guardian reports that the House of Representatives, yesterday, began probe into the recent nationwide power outage, directing the Ministry of Power to take measures that would immediately address the challenge.

The Chairman, House Committee on Power, Magaji Da'u Aliyu, lamented the nonchalant attitude of the ministry whenever there is a national emergency.

Minister for Power, Abubakar Aliyu, had appeared before the lawmakers to shed light on the blackout.

Aliyu enumerated challenges facing the sector, including low gas supply, low hydro levels, high cost of gas, as well as disequilibrium between power generation, transmission and distribution.

The minister, who was represented by Permanent Secretary Nebolisa Anoka, said all measures were been put in place to fix the problem.

Reacting, however, the committee chairman said: “There is nothing to show in this presentation that you are trying to resolve the problems; it is mere speech and thesis.”

The chairman had earlier explained that the interactive session was necessitated by the fact that Nigerians were facing the worst energy crisis in recent times.

The committee directed the minister to return on Friday with more practical evidence of planned interventions.

The newspaper says that no fewer than 7,000 Boko Haram/ Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), terrorists have surrendered to the Nigerian Army in the past one week.

Maj-Gen. Christopher Musa, Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) ‘cooperation' in the North East Joint Operation made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Maiduguri, on Wednesday.

Musa said that the military onslaught against the ISWAP and Boko Haram terrorists in the North East Region has continued to record significant successes.

He said: “This is evident as thousands of the insurgents comprising of combatants, non-combatants, foot soldiers alongside their families, continued to lay down their arms in different parts of Borno to accept peace.”

Musa explained that the surrendered terrorists and their families are expected to be carefully profiled by the Nigerian army and other stakeholders before they undergo rehabilitation processes.

The Theatre Commander said that the Nigerian Military and other security agencies will continue to devise and implement effective strategies to bring Boko Haram terrorism to a speedy end.

NAN reports that authorities say 30,000 insurgents and their families had so far surrendered to the Nigerian military in the last nine months.

The Nation reports that the African Movie Academy Awards, (AMAA) has partnered with one of Nigeria's leading pay-tv companies, StarTimes, to hold a unique film festival for short films.

AMAA's founder, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, made the announcement in Lagos, saying, “I am happy to announce a new venture in the long-term partnership between AMAA and StarTimes. The two media and television companies have partnered to grow the Nigerian and African film industry through a film festival solely for short films.”

On his part, StarTimes CEO, Alex Jian, said the collaboration with AMAA is very crucial and strategic with the growing demand for quality local content by Nigerian and African film practitioners. Jian further noted that StarTimes is glad to strengthen its partnership with AMAA to bring significant impact to the Nigerian and African film industry by ensuring the growth of filmmakers and getting value for their productions.

Ms Anyiam-Osigwe further shed more light on the film festival saying, “Our partnership will see short films airing from Mondays to Fridays on StarTimes leading channels like ST Nollywood plus, ST Nollywood, and ST Yoruba between 4PM and 6PM amongst other offerings.

“This partnership is big to us because it enables us to grow the short film industry in Nigeria and across Africa. We are happy that StarTimes keyed into this journey with us to give opportunities to young and existing filmmakers.”

Anyiam-Osigwe also noted that the festival will also include a competition of some of the best short films registered and winners will be rewarded with cash prizes of up to six thousand Dollars.

“Already, we have begun a massive call for submission of entries from filmmakers, who specialise in or have short films. Entries can be submitted between March 20, 2022, and April 14, 2022.