Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Friday, 22nd March, 2024

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Good morning Nigeria. Welcome to the Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Friday, 22nd March 2024

The Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government has commissioned the Mines Marshals, a paramilitary squad.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, launched the Marshals at an event in Abuja on Thursday.

Alake said the squad was formed from a unit of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to tackle the menace of illegal mining in the country.

The minister added that the unit would also curb the smuggling of solid minerals from the country to foreign nations.

Recall that the minister said on Tuesday that no mining license would be issued to prospective investors without requisite plans for value addition on minerals.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori, Alake said the federal government had resolved to ensure compliance before permitting investors to operate.

He said that his Seven-Point Agenda for the ministry had placed the mining sector on global front burner since assuming office, which had generated renewed interest from the international community in Nigeria’s mineral resources.

The 36 state governors of the federation have stated their position on the issues surrounding the new minimum wage and things that must be considered before a new figure is agreed.

Naija News reports the issue of the new minimum wage was one of the points considered by the Governors during a meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) held on Wednesday.

A communique released on Thursday by the chairman of the forum and Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, disclosed that the governors reviewed the ongoing process regarding determining a new minimum wage for workers in the country.

The Governors urged the members of the new minimum wage committee to consider the current realities, individual state peculiarities, and consequential impact on the capacity of the government as well as private sector employers before agreeing on a specific figure.

They also recommended that the final figure must be data-driven and evidence-based.

The Defence Headquarters in response to the recent tragic incidents in Okuama, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, where 16 soldiers and several civilians lost their lives, has affirmed its commitment to maintaining a strong military presence in the creeks.

The troops are on an intensive manhunt for Endurance Okodeh, also known as Amangben, the prime suspect, along with others implicated in the violence.

Major General Jamal Abdussalam, the General Officer Commanding the 6 Division, Nigerian Army/Land Component Commander of the Joint Task Force, South-South, Operation DELTA SAFE, emphasized the army’s dedication to the mission during a condolence visit by Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The visit took place at the division’s headquarters in Port Harcourt Barracks.

Abdussalam stated that the military would remain in the creeks until they have successfully retrieved all weapons looted by the assailants and apprehended everyone involved in the heinous acts.

He assured that the operations would be conducted with firmness, strength, decisiveness, and professionalism, reflecting the gravity of the situation and the need for justice for the fallen soldiers and civilians.

The incident in Okuama community has triggered a robust response from the Nigerian military, highlighting the challenges in securing volatile regions and the determination of the armed forces to restore peace and order in the affected areas.

Foreign airline operators in Nigeria have challenged the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it has cleared all valid foreign exchange backlogs.

Speaking through the President of the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN), Kingsley Nwokeoma, the operators challenged the federal government to provide evidence of payment.

“If they’ve paid, they should let us know how much has been paid. Where is the evidence of payment? They should show us evidence of payments and we will thank them because payment is what we want. The backlog of trapped funds made foreign airlines stop releasing low inventory tickets,” Nwokeoma said in a chat with Vanguard.

Nwokeoma added that although foreign airlines have been told to get their funds from the banks using the rate of the I & E window, they refused because the current I & E window rate differed from what they used in selling tickets.

The position of the operators was made public after the CBN, on Wednesday, announced that it had cleared the $7 billion foreign exchange (FX) backlog, which was pending when Yemi Cardoso took over as the Governor of the apex bank.

The Minister of Information, Mohammed Idiris, has reiterated the commitment of the federal government and the military to protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.

According to him, the Armed Forces neutralized 974 terrorists, apprehended 621 suspects, rescued 466 hostages, and recovered 1,573 weapons, in the month of February 2024 alone.

The Minister disclosed that the military has been busy keeping the country, its citizens and other residents safe.

Naija News reports Idris disclosed this on Wednesday during Ramadan Iftar with some journalists, social media influencers and others in Kano State.

Idris assured that the military operatives are taking the fight to the bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and other criminals, urging Nigerians to be patient as more results unfold.

A former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Eyitayo Jegede, has withdrawn from the April 25 governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State.

Jegede, who was the PDP candidate in the 2016 and 2020 guber elections in the state, announced his withdrawal from the 2024 race while addressing supporters in Akure.

He explained that rather than contest, it is time to work with the PDP leadership to ensure the party emerges victorious in the November governorship polls.

The former Commissioner explained that though he has withdrawn from the race, he remains committed to the PDP and would support whoever emerges as the party’s candidate.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu hosted the Governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Usman Ododo, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday to discuss the spate of insecurity in Kogi.

A statement issued by the governor’s Special Adviser, Ismaila Isah, confirmed details of the meeting with journalists.

According to Isah, Ododo visited the president to brief him on the current situation in his state, including his administration’s efforts to consistently improve the security architecture and enhance performance in securing lives and property in all parts of the state.

The governor also praised President Tinubu for his prompt response in addressing food security challenges in the country.

He informed the Nigerian leader about the positive feedback received from the people of Kogi State after distributing food palliatives last month.

Governor Ododo promised that this initiative would continue throughout the year and have long-term benefits for agricultural production in the state.

He assured the president of his dedication to ensuring food security by clearing hectares of land, providing subsidies to farmers, and improving processing facilities and market access.

Ododo expressed his gratitude to President Tinubu for the speed and commitment demonstrated by the Federal Ministry of Works in completing federal road projects in Kogi State in a timely manner.

He stressed that the Abuja-Lokoja-Benin road is currently receiving the level of attention that reflects the determination of the federal government under President Tinubu to complete the project within the stipulated timeframe.

The family of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has accused Igbo leaders and elites of benefitting from the continuous detention of their son.

They warned that Kanu’s continuous incarceration is a humiliation to the entire Igbo race.

The family tabled their concerns while reacting to the recent refusal of the Federal High Court in Abuja to grant Kanu’s bail application.

Speaking via a statement by Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, the family alleged that some selfish politicians benefiting from the insecurity in the South East are behind Kanu’s continued detention.

The family wondered why some Igbo political leaders now find it difficult to book a meeting with President Bola Tinubu since he took over power.

Controversial Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has faulted the Federal Government over its recently released list of those linked to terrorism financing in the country.

Recall that the Federal Government recently released a list of 15 entities, including nine individuals and six Bureau De Change operators and firms, involved in terrorism financing.

Naija News reports that the details of the development were revealed by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and made available to journalists.

The document, entitled “Designation of Individuals and Entities for March 18, 2024,” disclosed that the Nigeria Sanctions Committee met on March 18, 2024, and recommended that specific individuals and entities be sanctioned following their involvement in terrorism financing.

But reacting to the development, Gunmi, while speaking on Twitter spaces organised by Daily Trust on Wednesday, claimed that no Nigerian would finance terrorism.

According to him, the terrorists are financing their operations with monies made from ransom collected from kidnapped victims’ families.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has banned ministers, aides and other government officials from embarking on foreign trips in a bid to cut the cost of governance.

Tinubu gave the directive via a letter dated March 12 2024, by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, and addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

According to Premium Times, President Tinubu, in the letter, directed an embargo on all foreign trips, but stated that exemption could be given to trips deemed absolutely necessary.

The letter added that Tinubu said such exemptions would need presidential approvals which must be sought two weeks ahead of the planned trip.

According to the letter, the ban will last 90 days in the first instance and will come into effect on April 1, 2024.

In the letter, President Tinubu also expressed concerns over the rising cost of foreign trips embarked upon by government officials amid the country’s dire economic situation.

That’s the top Nigerian newspaper headlines for today. Read more Nigerian news on Naija News. See you again tomorrow.

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