Police officers protest non-payment of salaries; Naira hits new low against dollar | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Police officers protest non-payment of salaries
  • FG to penalise airlines selling tickets in dollars
  • Gunmen kidnap Plateau council boss
  • Naira hits new low against dollar
  • Four women, seven-month-old baby die in another Jigawa boat accident

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldnt miss:

FG to penalise airlines selling tickets in dollars

The police special constabularies in Osun State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest over the non-payment of 18 months’ salary.

The constables gathered at the Oke-Fia roundabout and moved through Alekunwodo to the Olaiya areas of Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.

They were dressed in the police uniform and carried placards with inscriptions like “Pay us now,” “We’re dying,” We’re hungry,” “18 months no kobo,” “Okada riders are sleeping with our wives,” among others.

The constabularies said they were committed to their duties despite the fact that they were not paid.

Tijani Adewale, one of the aggrieved constabularies, said three of his colleagues have lost their lives in the course of discharging their duties.

“We lost three persons in Ikire and one in Iree. These people died in the course of discharging their duty,” he said.

“We are very dutiful despite the fact that we have not been paid a dime. Due to unpaid allowances, tricycle and Okada riders have snatched our wives because of inability to take care of them,” he said.

“We have gone to the local government, honourables, and dignitaries and yet nothing is done.”

Yemisi Opalola, the police spokesperson in the state said after the protest that the police authorities are in a meeting with the constabularies to resolve the crisis.

FG to penalise airlines selling tickets in dollars

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it would penalise international airlines selling flight tickets in dollars.

Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, revealed this to the media after the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret. ), chaired the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting at the Aso Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has learned, according to Sirika, that some foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have started selling tickets in dollars, in violation of the country’s current legislation.

In August, the International Air Transportation Association revealed that as of July 2022, the Nigerian government has withheld a total of $464m in revenues belonging to foreign airlines, disallowing repatriation.

The amount emanates from ticket sale revenues that Nigeria is yet to remit to the airlines owing to FOREX scarcity.

But explaining the situation on Wednesday, the aviation minister said some of the airlines have resorted to banning local travel agencies from accessing their websites for ticket purchases.

He revealed that the NCAA will sanction airlines found guilty of such acts as it undermines the country’s laws.

Making a case for the long-anticipated national carrier, Air Nigeria, Sirika said the foreign airlines have made over $1.1bn from the Nigerian market since 2016.

The monies, he said, would have been retained in the economy had the airlines been locally owned.

He said the foreign airlines remitted over $600m to their home countries in 2016 while over $265m was disbursed in 2022, as part of the $484m due them.

The minister also urged the airlines to follow diplomatic channels to communicate their complaints to the FG rather than resort to social media.

Gunmen kidnap Plateau council boss

The Chairman of Kanke council area of Plateau State, Mr. Henry Gotip, has been kidnapped by gunmen.

Although a source claimed it was his twin brother that was abducted but it was gathered that Gotip, who is also the Secretary of ALGON in Plateau State, was kidnapped when the armed men invaded his house in Jos, yesterday, shooting to scare his family members and neighbours before whisking him away at about 1 am.

A member representing the Kanke constituency in the state House of Assembly, Wallok Goma, was reported to have said, “I heard about it yesterday night. I had an assignment from the House that they asked me to compile. I just collected the document. I want to go to his house to meet with the family to get details from them.”

However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Alfred Alabo, who confirmed the incident, said, “In view of the ugly incident that occurred on Tuesday, 06/09/2022 at about 2200hrs where a distress call was received by Anglo-Jos Division that gunshots were heard in Kwang area of Jos South LGA, the DPO of the Division and his battle-ready team swiftly raced to the scene of the incident but discovered that one Henry Jam Gotip, the council chairman of Kanke LGA, had been whisked away by gunmen to an unknown destination.”

Naira hits new low against dollar

Naira weakened further on Wednesday, falling 0.11 percent against the U.S. dollar to its lowest level in the spot market.

This occurred as foreign exchange turnover surged 30.4 percent from $63.05 million posted on Tuesday.

Before the close of trading on Wednesday, Naira opened at N431.88 per $1 but closed at N436.50, depreciating 0.11 percent from N436.00 it traded in the session that preceded Wednesday, data recorded on the FMDQ website, where forex is officially traded, showed.

With this, the naira has depreciated 0.4 percent in the past three business days consecutively.

The currency traded within an intraday range of N437.50 (low) and snowballed to a high of N418.00 before closing at N436.50 per $1— the lowest official market rate the Naira has touched ever at the NAFEX window.

Within the past weeks and months, the Naira has hovered within the market range of N419.00 and N430.00 and above the mark, amidst lingering inflationary pressures, the surge in forex demands, and depleting foreign reserves.

Also, the Naira volatility against the dollar in the unauthorised market was further exacerbated on Wednesday by the rising demand and scarcity of the greenback currency in circulation.

At the Uyo black market currency dealers exchanged the dollar at N700.00 and sold within the range of N703.00 and N705.00 to a dollar on Wednesday.

“The market scattered today, we had high demands but there is a scarcity of dollars. Banks are not selling to us as we want. They are not paying customers the quantity dollars they are demanding, that’s why we have this scarcity,” a currency dealer at Uyo Udi market said in an interview.

Four women, seven-month-old baby die in another Jigawa boat accident

Four women and a seven-month-old baby died in a boat accident in Guri Local Government Area of Jigawa State, the police have said.

The incident occurred less than two weeks after similar incidents were reported in Miga and Gwaram local government areas. The earlier two incidents led to the death of seven people.

Transportation by boat in Jigawa, like many parts of Nigeria, is not regulated thus operators often overload their boats and seldom provide life jackets to commuters.

In a statement, the police spokesperson in the state, Lawan Adam said the latest victims were returning from Nguru Local Government Area of Yobe State to Guri council area in Jigawa when their boat capsized.

“That on 06/09/2022 at about 6:00 pm, information at our disposal revealed that (on Friday) four women and a child boarded a canoe from Nguru Yobe State to Adiyani village in Guri LGA of Jigawa State.

“Unfortunately, the canoe capsized close to their destination,” Mr. Adam said.

The driver escaped alive, but the passengers drowned, he said.

The police said three corpses were recovered on the spot: “One Yaniwura Kasagama, 50, Lafiya Bulama, 40, and her seven-month-old baby, Mai Madu Bulama, a seven-month-old baby, died in the accident.”

The bodies of the deceased were taken to the Adiyani Primary Health Care (PHC) and certified dead, the police said.

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