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Govs, IGP Disagree On State Police

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In what may appear to be a tacit support for the restructuring of the country, the Governors Forum last night set up a six-man committee to explore the option of actualising state police in the country.
But in a swift reaction to the governors’ action, the  Inspector General of Police , Mr Ibrahim Idris said Nigeria is not yet ripe for state police.
The committee set up by the governors, which has representatives from the six geo-political zones of the country was mandated to come up with the best way of policing the country in view of the myriads of security challenges and their attendant loss of lives its attendant lost of lives.
This decision was reached after a closed-door meeting the governors had with the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting, Chairman of Governors Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari flanked by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha said that its meeting was dominated by the presentation made by the Inspector General of Police. He also said that the IGP had sought the permission for the establishment of media outfits like radio and television for the Police Force. Governor Yari said, “We discussed and we received presentation from the Inspector General of Police.
He made a presentation to us canvassing for the support to introduce media outfits, radio and television for the force and as well the Police to go technological from the manual way of doing things.
But the  Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, says Nigeria does not yet have the political maturity for state police.
Instead, the country should improve funding for the agency under the current arrangement, Mr. Idris stated this yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with the Nigeria Governors Forum.
The I-G said he was not unaware of the agitations by some groups for the creation of state police, but argued that the federal police arrangement still remains the best.
“I sincerely believe that the Federal Police is still the best for the country and with improved funding the challenges of crime will be addressed.
“Those agitating for state police should consider the level of our political maturity,” he said, according to a statement by police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood.
He held the meeting to seek the support of the forum for the passage of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Bill now before the National Assembly.
He said if the bill was passed, the police would have enough fund to effectively police the nation.
He said this would also reduce the pressure on the state governments in the funding of the Police.
Mr. Idris noted that the Nigeria Police were one of the “least paid” security organisations in the world in spite of operating under the UN ratio of 1:400.
He added that with the current ratio of 1: 602 the Nigeria Police was operating far below the United Nation’s ratio.
He said a request to recruit 31,000 policemen had been sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.
Mr. Idris said the current police management was making efforts to establish structures that would bridge the communication gap between the police and members of the public.
Mr. Idris said one of such structures included the establishment of the Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service (NPBS).
The Chairman of the Forum, Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara State, who assured the police boss the support of the forum, said Security was everybody’s business.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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