Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Thursday, 15th February, 2024


Good morning Nigeria. Welcome to the Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Thursday, 15th February 2024.

The administration of President Bola Tinubu has been accused of silently re-introducing the payment of fuel subsidies in Nigeria in order to keep the price of petrol stable.

The allegation was made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a statement over the weekend.

Naija News recalls President Tinubu in his inauguration speech during his swearing-in on May 29, 2023, famously announced an end to the fuel subsidy regime.

The president has since maintained that the subsidy payment is an albatross on the nation’s economy, crippling the economy and enriching a few.

The decision marked an immediate spike in the price of petrol, which went up from about N187/litre to N300, N400, and has maintained a steady increase, with most filling stations in the country currently selling above N600/litre.

The increase in petrol price has led to a sharp increase in the price of other items and commodities, including foodstuff and transportation, with many Nigerians groaning under the weight of the price increases.

However, the IMF, in a statement issued at the conclusion of its Executive Board’s Post Financing Assessment with Nigeria, however, said the Tinubu government has re-introduced subsidy through the backdoor by capping the price of fuel at retail stations.

The IMF also urged the government to completely stop the payment of subsidies on petrol to free funds to run the government.

2. Declare State Of Emergency On Insecurity, NBA Tells Tinubu

In response to the widespread insecurity across the nation, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has urged President Bola Tinubu to declare a state of emergency.

Making this call while addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the NBA president, Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, lamented that insecurity has left many Nigerians homeless and businesses destroyed.

Naija News reports that the NBA president lamented that citizens were losing confidence in the Federal Government to deal with the insecurity plaguing the country.

Maikyau further advised the Tinubu led government to take the State of Emergency measure and also ensure that the appropriate security investments are made in accordance with international security trends without jeopardizing Nigeria’s sovereignty.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has submitted that all is not well with the northern region of the country and Nigeria as a whole.

According to the Sultan, the situation in the country has made people deeply frustrated, hungry, and resentful.

He added that insecurity and poverty are the two major issues that have been causing trouble for the people of the northern region as well as Nigeria as a whole and called on the Governors and other leaders to come together to find a solution to the challenges.

The traditional ruler, who is the Chairman of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council, made the call on Wednesday in Kaduna at the 6th Executive Committee Meeting of the Council, where he spoke on the theme: “Enhanced Security as a panacea for stability and development of the North.”

The Sultan said the people of the region have not revolted openly because the traditional rulers in their respective domains have been appealing to them. He prayed that a time would not come when the northerners would no longer listen to their appeals.

The Sultan was flanked at the meeting by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir.

He lamented that with millions of youths left without jobs, education and food, Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.

Some members of the House of Representatives have made a push for constitutional reforms in order to restore the parliamentary system of government in Nigeria.

The lawmakers, not less than sixty in number, are proposing a bill to alter the 1999 constitution to return the country to parliamentary democracy as practised in the first republic.

The Rep members, led by Lagos lawmaker, Wale Raji, are seeking a constitutional transition from the current presidential system to the parliamentary system of government.

Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, ahead of the presentation of the bills to the House, the spokesman of the Parliamentary Bill Sponsors, Abdussamad Dasuki, said the return to the parliamentary system of government would drastically reduce the cost of elections in the country.

He said the plan to return to the parliamentary system of government may not take place now, adding that the sponsors are targeting the 2031 general elections for a return to parliamentary democracy.

He said, for now, about 60 members of the House who cut across different political parties have signed up for the bill.

President Bola Tinubu has requested that the Senate confirm the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, as the Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Tinubu’s request was contained in a letter read by Senate President Godswill Akpabio on the floor of the Red Chamber on Wednesday, February 14.

The President also asked the upper legislative chamber to confirm the Deputy Governors of the apex bank, namely Mohammed Sani Abdullahi, Bala Bello, Emem Usoro, and Philip Ikeazor, as members of the committee.

According to the president, the request for the confirmation of the CBN governor and his deputies was premised on section 12 of the CBN Act.

Other members of the MPC appointed by Tinubu are the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Jibia Shehu; Murtala Sabo; Uche Wogu; Maureen Agu; Mustapha Akinwumi; and Bamidele Omo.

After reading the letter, Akpabio referred the president’s request to the Senate Committee on Banking for further legislative input.

The Federal Student Loan Scheme is expected to launch in the next two to three weeks, according to the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Naija News reports that Gbajabiamila confirmed this during a meeting with a delegation from the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), led by its President, Lucky Emonefe, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He clarified that final arrangements were in progress to guarantee a seamless launch and execution of the policy. Additionally, he urged students to advocate for and oppose criticisms against the Student Loan, emphasizing that the initiative aims to ensure that every student, regardless of their background, has access to quality education.

Gbajabiamila said, “Mr President is determined that we see it through and see it through successfully. It was supposed to be launched in January, but it is anything worth doing, and it is worth doing well.”

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has announced an over 37-member constitution review committee on the 1999 constitution.

During plenary on Wednesday, Akpabio announced that the committee will be chaired by the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin.

The committee would also comprise one lawmaker from each geopolitical zone and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The committee, in particular, will review the laws in the area of artificial intelligence, state police, among others and is expected to be inaugurated next week Tuesday.

There has been a clamour for state police as Nigeria grapples with worsening security challenges such as kidnapping and banditry.

The presidency has accused human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, of being someone with a strong reputation for exaggerations and embellishments.

The accusation was made in a statement on Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Media and Publicity, Temitope Ajayi.

The statement comes as a response to a viral video in which Falana knocked the federal government for giving the sum of N135billion COVID-19 funds to the 36 states of the federation in December 2023 at a memorial event in honour of Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti.

Falana had called out the government for giving out the funds when COVID-19 was no longer a threat, saying such amounts to frivolous spending.

However, in response, the presidency said Falana’s statement was a pure representation of facts and an attempt to misinform the public.

The statement added that the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank are still supporting countries, including Nigeria, to strengthen their health systems and emergency preparedness for other outbreaks that may occur.

The presidency clarified that the N135.4billion disbursed to the states, follows an independent assessment of results achieved under the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme and the aim of the NG-CARES Programme backed by the World Bank, which is being implemented in all the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, is to mitigate the economic and social shocks faced by vulnerable people, who are yet to get their livelihoods back as a result of the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic.

Ajayi added that the Tinubu government is not afraid of accountability but won’t encourage people to sell half-truths and embellishments to the public. He added that criticisms should be constructive and fact-based.

In a notable turn of events, the Federal Government has withdrawn its initial assertion regarding the legal status of the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership signed with the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

This retraction follows a wave of criticism from Nigerians who raised concerns about the seemingly one-sided nature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK.

The Nigerian Minister for Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, took to X to clarify the government’s stance, stating unequivocally that no legal agreement had been established between Nigeria and the UK as previously indicated.

Her statement on social media served to address and allay the apprehensions voiced by the public regarding the terms and implications of the discussed partnership.

The initial announcement of the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership sparked debates over its potential impact on Nigeria’s economic sovereignty and the benefits accruable to the nation under the terms laid out in the MoU.

The minister reiterated that Nigeria does not have a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the UK and made no commitment under the MOU or elsewhere to allow UK-licensed lawyers to practise in Nigeria.

The National Working Committee of the Labour Party (LP) has suspended its National Treasurer, Oluchi Opara, for six months.

Naija News reports that the suspension was announced by the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, at a press conference on Wednesday at the party secretariat in Abuja.

Recall that on Monday, Oparah called on Julius Abure to provide a detailed account of the party’s funds, which she claimed amounts to over N3.5 billion.

She said during a press conference held in Abuja that the funds were generated through the sale of forms and various fundraisers for the 2023 general elections.

Oparah expressed her frustration at being prevented by the National Chairman from fulfilling her constitutionally assigned role of managing the party’s accounts.

While speaking on Arise TV’s “Good Morning Show” on Tuesday, Opara further alleged that Abure is in alliance with the government of Edo State, governed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and challenged him to deny the claim.

Reacting to the N3.5 billion allegations against Abure, Ifoh, described Opara as a mole used by expelled members of the party.

The LP chieftain noted that the decision to sanction Opara was taken after she failed to honour an invitation by the party’s NWC to resolve the conflict.

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


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