Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Wednesday, 6th March, 2024

Good morning Nigeria. Welcome to the Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Wednesday, 6th March 2024

President Bola Tinubu has directed the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to sell seized food products to vulnerable Nigerians as a means of curbing the hardship and hunger in the country.

The Comptroller General of the Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, disclosed this on Tuesday during an appearance before the House of Representatives.

According to the Customs boss, President Tinubu has directed that food items produced in Nigeria and seized at the Nigerian land borders, be sold directly to vulnerable Nigerians to ease the challenge of hunger in the country.

Adeniyi said the service has arrested about 120 trucks smuggling food items from Nigeria to other countries in the past two weeks.

Disclosing that most agriculture inputs attract zero duty and zero VAT, the Customs boss decried the attitude of border communities who have engaged security agents in a bid to smuggle grains out of the country, adding that the decision to halt the smuggling of food items was to fight hunger and not encourage those who want to enrich themselves at the expense of the people.

He added that the service would play its part in addressing the food scarcity in the country, adding that the country must put in place long-term measures to address the situation.

The Presidency has denied media reports that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has lifted the ban on visa services for Nigerians.

It was earlier reported that the UAE had announced the restoration of visa services for Nigerians, confirming that they can now visit the country again.

Reports stated that the restoration of visa services was announced in a joint statement by the federal government of Nigeria and the UAE titled “Resumption of Visa Services for Nigerians Travelling to the UAE, ” dated March 4, 2024.

The statement noted that the achievement follows the discussions between President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.

The statement disclosed that the commencement of visa issuance, which resumed on March 4, 2024, is a milestone, reflecting the successful outcome of in-depth talks between the two nations.

But in a post via his official X handle on Tuesday evening, presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, refuted the reports, saying that UAE has not resumed visa issuance to Nigerians.

The Special Adviser to President Tinubu on Information and Strategy said the document in circulation is not authorized either by the Nigerian or the UAE governments.

The House of Representatives has called on Minister of Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola and Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali to address allegations of fraudulent port infrastructure concessions.

The list of individuals invited for questioning also includes, Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Mohammed Koko; Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise, Mamman Ahmadu; and Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Micheal Ohiani.

Naija News reports that the APC’s representative for Kaduna and chairman of the House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Ibrahim Hamisu convened a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday with seaport terminal operators where he issued the summons.

The lawmaker bemoaned the top government officials’ absence, who were needed to clarify their involvement in the concession of the seaport terminals, while the committee members denounced the concessioning process’s lack of clarity that enabled five companies to operate beyond their contract terms for five years, thus depriving the Federal Government of significant revenue.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has dismissed reports of a plot by the military to overthrow the Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration, expressing the commitment of the Nigerian military to defend the country’s democracy.

Speaking on Tuesday at a seminar on career planning and management organised by the Army headquarters in Abuja, Lagbaja said the military has come to terms with the country’s choice of democracy as the preferred system of governance.

He said: “Permit me to seize this opportunity to reiterate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian Army, has come to terms with the country’s choice of democracy as the preferred system of governance.

“We are, therefore, agents of democracy and have no desire to truncate it. The Nigerian Army will continue to defend our constitution and not suspend it for whatever reason.

“It is the duty of our elected leaders to lead while the military does its job as enshrined in our constitution. Nigerian Army personnel must, therefore, remain professional and be above board as they discharge their constitutional duties.”

Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, had last month, shortly after he inaugurated the main entrance of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army and Officers Transit Accommodation, at the Division Headquarters in Port Harcourt, maintained that the Nigerian military would continue to defend and protect democracy in the country.

The Nigerian Senate has said the sudden power outage experienced on the floor of the chamber was caused by a faulty generator that provides electricity to the Red Chamber.

Naija News earlier reported that a power outage at the Senate Chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday delayed plenary for up to 30 minutes.

The Senators were forced to wait for power to be restored to the National Assembly before they could commence the sitting on Tuesday.

It was gathered that Senate President Godswill Akpabio later commenced plenary after power was restored some minutes later and apologized for the development and the heat.

He explained that about nine offices still experienced outages as work was ongoing to rectify the situation.

Speaking with reporters after plenary, the Chairman of the Committee on Senate Services, Senator Sunday Karimi, stated that the situation was caused by a faulty generator.

The lawmaker stated that the power outage had nothing to do with fuel scarcity, saying that the situation was eventually resolved.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has admitted that Nigerians are currently facing challenges but stressed that the country’s economy is not distressed.

While emphasizing that the current circumstances are not beyond repair, he said there are ongoing efforts to steer the country out of its current challenges.

Naija News reports that the president disclosed this at the 16th edition of the Leadership 2023 conference and Awards held at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who represented President Tinubu, admitted that the country is facing some challenges, but it is not helpless.

The presidential candidate of Labour Party at the2023 general election, Peter Obi has suggested that Nigeria is getting grain donations from Ukraine because of economic mismanagement and widespread hunger.

Making this comments in response to the defense made by the President Bola Tinubu led government after Obi frowned at the Nigerian government for taking grain donations from war torn Ukraine, the former Anambra governor said that Egypt, who the defendants of Tinubu government used to validate the decision move to accept grains from Ukraine, shared a historic business relationship with the European nation.

Naija News reports that Obi, in a post via his official X account Tuesday, argued that the donation made by the Ukraine to Nigeria was an emergency donation that was geared towards fighting growing hunger.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, has mentioned smuggling as a key issue impacting the food supply in Nigeria.

Naija News reports that the minister mentioned this during his address to the House of Representatives on Tuesday as part of the policy debate series at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

The Minister of State (Agriculture and Food Security), Sabi Abdullahi, and the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, along with other high-ranking government officials, were present at the esteemed chamber.

“We have seen smuggling of foodstuff to other neighbouring countries. This has affected the availability of food items in the country,” Kyari said.

In November 2023, the 10th House led by Abbas Tajudeen introduced the Sectoral Debate series, a strategic initiative aimed at enhancing the constitutional supervision of the executive branch of the government.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that over 40 million telephone lines barred because owners failed to link their SIM cards with their National Identification Number (NIN) will soon be unable to make calls.

According to the NCC Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Mouka, on Tuesday, if the affected lines are not acted upon in the next 180 days, they won’t be able to receive calls but will only be able to text and make calls. But after the stipulated days, they will also be barred from making calls.

He added that if no action is taken to rectify the SIM’s status within 365 days, the owners will lose such lines completely to the service providers.

According to him, the phone lines blocked by telecommunications companies have exceeded the deadline of February 28, 2024, set by the regulatory body requiring telecom customers to connect their SIM cards to their National Identification Numbers (NIN).

Senator representing the Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State at the National Assembly, Sani Musa, has expressed optimism that President Bola Tinubu will fix the ‘anomalies’ facing the country.

Naija News reports that the removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of the naira by the Tinubu-led government heightened economic hardship in Nigeria as the cost of living continues to soar daily.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday, Sani said the moves are needed to reposition the economy.

According to him, with time, the reforms of the Tinubu government will begin to yield positive results.

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

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