Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Thursday, 22nd February, 2024

Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Thursday, 22nd February, 2024

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

Former Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon believes that Nigerians are being too harsh on President Bola Tinubu in the midst of mounting hardship caused by the government’s recent economic decisions.

Making this remark after meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the presidential villa on Wednesday, Gowon acknowledged that criticism of the administration was usual, but he encouraged Nigerians to give the president adequate time to address economic difficulties.

Naija News reports that the former military ruler revealed that his discussion with the president centred on the political crisis within ECOWAS, especially with Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali now being controlled by military juntas.

He said, “I think the government is trying their best to deal with the various problems of the country, but with Nigerians? Don’t you worry, you will get criticised, but people who get there know better than you know. I think all one can say is that Nigerians, we’ve got to give the president time to get things really done. And it is too early to sort of say absolute result, perfect result will be achieved now. That is my opinion.

“I know and if I can remember, when I was fighting the war I was told I was too slow and that probably Nigeria cannot make it and that we should now seek for discussion. Well, did we do it or not? They probably do not know the problem underground so that is where we are.”

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has confirmed the arrest of the Labour Party’s National Chairman, Julius Abure.

Naija News earlier reported that Abure was arrested on Wednesday afternoon by the Police in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday evening, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force Zone 5, Tijani Momoh, said Abure was arrested for attempted murder, illegal possession of firearms, and related offences.

Momoh said that Abure and four others were arrested over a petition written against them by a petitioner whose name he did not mention.

According to Momoh, an allegation of attempted murder was levelled against Abure by a member of the party.

The leadership of organised labour has slammed the Department of State Services (DSS) over its warning that its proposed protest, scheduled to hold February 27 and 28, should be shelved.

Naija News reported that DSS had warned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its counterpart from Trade Union Congress (TUC) to rescind their decision, stating that such actions could exacerbate tensions within the country.

Responding to the DSS, the president of NLC, Joe Ajaero, in a statement on Wednesday, said the movement is unconcerned about the warning, stressing that the secret police should not blackmail the union.

Ajaero expressed worry that DSS is aware of the plot to hijack the peaceful protest but has yet to arrest the element plotting to cause violence.

The labour leader, who described the forthcoming action as a “peaceful protest against the unpardonable cost of living”, stated that the movement would not fold its arms while Nigerians continue to live in hardship because it will be a grievous conspiracy that history will not forgive.

Former Nigerian Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, has denied rejecting an invitation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to speak on issues affecting the regional bloc.

Speaking to newsmen at the State House on Wednesday after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu, Yakubu explained that reports about rejecting an invitation from ECOWAS and the federal government was simply a case of miscommunication.

There had been reports that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission, had organized a press conference at the ECOWAS Commission Headquarters in Abuja, where Gowon was expected to address the current state of affairs in the region.

Specifically, he was supposed to discuss the issue of coups and the subsequent threat by the Republic of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso to withdraw from the organization, but the former President reportedly declined the invitation.

However, shedding more light on the development, Gowon said what happened was a case of miscommunication, and he has discussed with President Tinubu over the issue.

He disclosed that the press briefing is still expected to come up at a later date.

The federal government is set to restart the direct cash transfer to eligible Nigerians as part of measures to cushion the current economic hardship in the country.

This was revealed on Wednesday by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, during the Ministry’s retreat held in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state.

According to him, the government plans to give the cash transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians.

Edun stressed that the federal government’s direct cash transfers, which has about three million beneficiaries, would now be expanded so another twelve million can benefit from the scheme.

The Minister said the decision to inform the President of the Panel’s decision before the final report is completed to keep the President abreast of developments. He added that technology will be used to ensure smooth and transparent payments, avoiding manual processes and delays.

Former President, Muhammadu Buhari has categorically stated that he did not approve any settlement agreement with Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited over the contentious Mambilla hydroelectric power project.
This revelation follows a similar denial by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who also refuted claims of authorising a “build, operate and transfer” contract with Sunrise Power in 2003.

The dispute over the Mambilla project, intended to construct a 3,050MW plant in Taraba State, escalated when Sunrise Power initiated arbitration against Nigeria at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris, France, on October 10, 2017.

The company sought a $2.354 billion award for an alleged “breach of contract” related to the 2003 agreement.

In defense, the Nigerian government accused the award of the contract of being marred by fraud and corruption.

Efforts to resolve the matter led to a settlement agreement in January 2020, orchestrated by then Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

The agreement committed the federal government to pay Sunrise Power $200 million within 14 days, with a penalty clause of 10 percent for any default, in addition to reinstating Sunrise as the local content partner for the project.

However, internal communications revealed that Buhari refused to sanction the $200 million payment to Sunrise Power, citing financial constraints.

The Senate has asked the Federal Government to stand down the idea of an increase in electricity tariff by withdrawing subsidy.

The lawmakers have also resolved to probe a failed agreement that would have seen local manufacturers produce Prepaid Meters that would have been distributed nationwide to improve electricity usage.

These resolutions, reached during Wednesday’s plenary, were part of a motion of public importance moved by Senator Aminu lya Abbas (PDP-Adamawa Central).

The lawmakers also agreed that the government must engage the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to develop a lasting solution to the energy billing system in the country.

The legislators further resolved to investigate the operations of DISCOs to ascertain the current status of metering and their extent of compliance with relevant legal and regulatory frameworks in service delivery as well as the release of funds by the Federal Government for mass pre-paid metering.

Also, the Senate will investigate a two-trillion naira subsidy, which the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, said would be required to avoid a repeat of the fuel subsidy scenario still bedevilling the nation’s economy.

Following the resolves, the Senate Committee on Power was mandated to equally investigate the 1.3 trillion naira owed by the Ministry of Power to generating companies and 1.3 billion dollars owed to gas companies.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has removed Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State as the chairman of the Edo State governorship primary election committee.

The APC replaced Uzodinma with his Cross River State counterpart, Governor Bassey Otu.

This development was confirmed in a statement on Wednesday by the APC National Organizing Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu.

The APC also named six other persons as the members of the revised 2024 Edo State gubernatorial primary election committee.

Similarly, the party named Barrister C.C Udenwa as the chairman of the primary election appeal committee, while Yunusa Mohammed would serve as the secretary of the appeal committee.

The 2023 Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has called on the federal government of Nigeria to be consistent in duty charges for importers.

Obi, in a statement via his X account on Wednesday, said the frequent and inconsistent increases in duty charges by the federal government are negatively affecting businesses in Nigeria.

He added that the arbitrary increases in duty charges are affecting the prices of goods in the country and leading to inflation in the country, while manufacturers are shutting down because of the poor and inconsistent economic policies of the government

According to the former Anambra State Governor, arbitrary increases in the duty charges could lead to further closure of businesses in Nigeria and job losses.

Obi, therefore, called on the government to show consistency in its policies as this will help with economic forecasting and business planning.

Former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has disclosed that President Bola Tinubu is not in support of using zoning to determine the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the 2024 governorship election in the state.
According to Oshiomhole, the President wants the most popular candidate to emerge through a free and fair primary election.

The former APC National Chairman made this known on Wednesday while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting with President Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja.

On those citing examples of Kogi and Benue State, Oshiomhole maintained that after allowing Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo to succeed Yahaya Bello even though they are from the same senatorial district, and also not stopping the Tivs from dominating Benue State governorship elections, the APC cannot single out Edo State for zoning.

He stressed that the President has not endorsed zoning for the rescheduled APC governorship primary slated for Thursday, February 22.

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

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