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Newspaper Headlines: Freed Niger travellers recount ordeal and why unemployment may persist

Newspaper Headlines: Freed Niger travellers recount ordeal and why unemployment may persist
February 23
08:39 2021

The ordeal of the abducted Niger travellers, who were freed on Sunday, made the headlines in many Nigerian newspapersA report that the country’s unemployment woes may persist owing to the struggles of the job-creating sectors and speculations on the likely increase in the price of petrol also made the headlines. 

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The Punch reported as its cover story the circumstances surrounding the abduction of some students and workers of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger state. The newspaper reported that a source close to the state government said division among the bandits is causing delay in the release of the students. A negotiator was said to have told the newspaper that the kidnappers are still negotiating among themselves. In another report, the newspaper said the landing cost of petrol imported into the country has risen to N186.33 per litre as crude oil price hits $64 per barrel.

The Guardian said trade restrictions and climate change are threats to Nigeria’s food supply. The newspaper interviewed global researchers and agricultural scientists in the wake of the food insecurity prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) — owing to climate change and insecurity hindering farmers from engaging in agricultural activities. On Nigeria’s vaccine strategy, the newspaper reported that the federal government said the country will not purchase vaccines from private organisations or the black market. In another report, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it will not be discouraged by the death of seven of its personnel in a plane crash in Abuja.

The ordeal of 53 travellers, who were released at the weekend, after spending about a week in kidnappers’ den in Niger state, was the cover story of The Nation. Pictures of the freed travellers taken immediately after they arrived at the state government house were used as the cover photos of the newspaper. In another report, the newspaper said Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, accused his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammad, of sponsoring terrorism.

Business Day reported that the struggles of the job-creating sectors indicate that Nigeria’s unemployment woes may persist — even though the country may be out of recession for the second time in five years. In another report, the newspaper said growing e-commerce boosts the demand for warehouses.

The comment of Ahmad Gumi, prominent Islamic cleric, on bandits is the cover story of the Nigerian Tribune. The cleric, in his recent interview, said Fulani nomads feel their existence is threatened; so, they should be referred to as militants fighting a war for their existence. The newspaper also reported that gunmen have kidnapped a traditional ruler in Rivers state, and a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).

President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the 36 states are expected to meet on Thursday to discuss the fuel-pricing framework, Daily Sun reports. The statement of the federal government that Nigerians should not panic over its borrowings also made the headline. On Nigeria’s vaccine strategy, the government said four million doses of COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be delivered to the country soon.

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