Here are the stories that drove the conversation today:
The Federal Government has introduced the use of biometric registration to monitor the movement of people, goods and livestock into the country.
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, who disclosed this at a special town hall meeting to address farmers/herdsmen crisis on Thursday in Abuja, said the move had become necessary as a result of the ECOWAS free movement treaty which Nigeria is a signatory.
“It is important for us to see how we can create a balance between the implementation of the protocol and the security of our borders. “We have introduced the use of biometrics in other to ensure that we take account of every person that comes into Nigeria,’’ he said.
The National Economic Council (NEC) has said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and 15 other revenue-generating agencies under-paid $21 billion and N526 billion to the Federal Government between 2010 and 2015.
Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dakwambo, who briefed State House reporters Thursday after the NEC meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the council adopted the final report of the KPMG audit or revenue-generating agencies submitted to the NEC adhoc committee and ordered the indicted agencies to refund the funds.
Other agencies indicted included the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation.
Five farmers have been killed by suspected herdsmen at Ukemberagya district, near Anyii, in Logo local government area of Benue State.
Anyii was among the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo visited while on a working visit to the state on Wednesday.
Reports say that the attackers who were armed with sophisticated weapons stormed the settlements in Ukemberagya at 6:30 a.m. and operated for about three hours.
The Nigerian Army says it has killed 15 Boko Haram insurgents and rescued 49 persons held hostage by the group.
In a statement on Thursday, Deputy director, Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, Onyema Nwachukwu, said this occurred in separate encounters between the insurgents and troops in the Lake Chad basin.
“Four men, 33 women and 16 children were rescued by the troops from the insurgents’ hideouts . The rescued hostages are currently being profiled for subsequent hand over to officials of the internally displaced persons camp for documentation and administering,” Nwachukwu added.
President of Dangote group, Aliko Dangote has called on Nigerians to get enrolled in the on-going registration for National Identity cards being carried out by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), citing the economic benefits of having a robust unified national identity card management.
Dangote told the NIMC management to copy from India with a larger population and which has also successfully carried out Digital Identification of all its citizens and that with collaboration with partners and adequate awareness campaign, the Commission can successfully accomplish the task of enrolling all Nigerians within the shortest possible time.
The NIMC disclosed that it has enrolled till date 30 million Nigerians and that effort are on to capture the entire population within the next three years.
And stories from around the world:
Opposition politicians in Burundi have urged voters to peacefully resist an effort by authorities to “steal power” in a referendum that some fear could spark widespread violence.
Aimé Magera, a spokesman for the National Liberation Forces (FNL), an opposition party, said campaigners for a no vote had made a “massive breakthrough” in recent days. “The people have overcome their fear and come out in huge numbers. We are going to resist right to the end,” he said.
Burundians are being asked to vote yes or no to a proposal to extend the presidential term from five years to seven, which would allow the incumbent, Pierre Nkurunziza, to rule for up to 14 more years after his current term expires in 2020.
North Korea’s chief negotiator called the South Korean government “ignorant and incompetent” on Thursday, denounced U.S.-South Korean air combat drills and threatened to halt all talks with the South unless its demands are met.
Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the country, criticized the South for participating in the drills, as well as for allowing “human scum” to speak at its National Assembly, the North’s KCNA news agency said in a statement.
“Unless the serious situation which led to the suspension of the north-south high-level talks is settled, it will never be easy to sit face to face again with the present regime of south Korea,” the statement said. (Reuters)
The Israeli army said its jets targeted Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip early Thursday in response to machine gun fire aimed at an Israeli border town.
One Palestinian was moderately injured from the strikes, the Gaza Health Ministry said.
“The strikes were conducted in response to the heavy machine gun fire that targeted the city of Sderot and the numerous shooting attacks that targeted IDF soldiers throughout the day,” the Israeli army said in a statement.(NAN)
The British government faces huge fines from the European Court of Justice for failing to curb air pollution linked to thousands of early deaths in Britain every year.
The European Commission announced it was referring the UK to the EU’s top court on Thursday in Brussels but the lawsuit was first reported in March by The Telegraph.
The decision fires the starting gun on a race to bring Britain back in line with air pollution limits before EU judges in Luxembourg impose hefty fines in the form of a daily penalty or lump sum.
French President Emmanuel Macron ruled out on Thursday any trade war with the United States over its withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal as a wave of European companies quit business with Tehran, fearing the global reach of U.S. sanctions.
Macron acknowledged the predicament of firms wanting to trade with Iran or invest there, especially multinationals with close business ties to the United States. But he made clear bigger matters were at stake.
“We won’t start a strategic trade war against the U.S. about Iran,” he said on arriving for a second day of a European Union summit in Bulgaria. “We’re not going to take counter-sanctions against U.S. companies, it wouldn’t make sense,” he added.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.