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Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Thursday, 29th February, 2024

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Good morning Nigeria. Welcome to the Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Thursday, 29th February 2024

1. ‘I Can Only Describe Akeredolu As A Fearless Fighter’ – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has described the late former Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, as a fearless fighter whose legacies will endure forever.

Naija News reports that Tinubu said this during his private visit to the Paramount ruler of Owo, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, to commiserate with the citizens over Akeredolu’s death.

During the visit, Tinubu visited the family of the late governor and later visited the national leader of the Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

Speaking during the visit, Tinubu said the void left by the departed governor will be difficult to fill, stressing that it is honourable to depart the world when the ovation is loudest.

The President acknowledged the courage and fearless nature of the late governor, especially his passion for good governance.

2. Binance Will Destroy Nigeria’s Economy If Not Stopped – Onanuga

Special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has warned that cryptocurrency trading platform, Binance will destroy the country’s economy if it is allowed to continue to arbitrarily fix the country’s foreign exchange rate.

Making this assertion on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Wednesday, Onanuga argued that Binance was capable of destroying the country’s economy if the government dues not take decisive actions against the platform.

Naija News reports that Onanuga encouraged Nigerians to stop patronising the parallel market for FX rates, saying the website of the apex bank is the only legal platform.

3. Reps Reject Bill Requiring Winner Of Presidential Election To Secure Over 50% Votes

The House of Representatives has rejected a bill that sought to make it compulsory for presidential and governorship candidates to secure more than 50 percent of the total votes cast, to be declared winners.

Naija News reports that the bill, which was Sponsored by Awaji–Inombek Abiante (PDP- Rivers), is seeking to change the current simple majority system of electing the president and governors, which is in line with Section 134 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The bill sought to make it mandatory for a presidential candidate to be declared winner only if he or she scores more than half of the total votes cast, where there are more than two candidates in the contest.

But Abiante’s bill proposed that in a presidential race with more than two candidates, a candidate must secure a majority of the total votes, which constitutes over 50 per cent.

The Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas, had called for the bill to be seconded after its presentation by Abiante.

However, as soon as the bill was seconded and put to a voice vote, it was rejected with louder “nays” than “ayes”. The bill had not even been debated when lawmakers roundly rejected it.

The bill’s rejection process was highly unusual, as bills are typically rejected after the general principle has been debated.

4. ‘We Were Threatened’ – NLC Reveals Fresh Reason For Suspending Second Day Of Protest

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has revealed that its members and leadership were threatened and intimidated against carrying out their planned two-day nationwide protest.

The Labour Union, however, revealed that despite the threats, it went ahead with the protest on Tuesday.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, who made this known in a press conference on Wednesday, also disclosed that the union got information that several agents were mobilized to cause violence along protest routes, and that is part of the reasons they had to suspend the second day of protests.

It would be recalled that the NLC had declared a two-day nationwide mass protest for February 27 and 28, 2024, over the economic hardship and rising cost being faced by Nigerians since the removal of subsidy on petrol in May 2023.

However, after Tuesday’s successful protest across various state capitals and major cities, the NLC announced the suspension of its planned second-day protest, saying the objectives of the protest had been achieved on the first day.

Shedding more light on the development, Ajaero on Wednesday revealed that the cancellation of the second-day protest was a strategic move on the part of the NLC.

He, however, added that if the federal government fails to comply with the demands of the union within the new ultimatum given, the National Executive Council of the NLC would reveal the next line of action.

5. Oronsaye Report: FG Speaks On Retrenching Workers

The Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, has said that the implementation of the 12-year-old Steve Oronsaye report will not lead to the retrenchment of workers.

He stated that the essence of the implementation was not to retrench workers but to maximise the agencies’ effectiveness and efficiency and reduce costs.

Idris disclosed this during his remarks at the Ministerial Press Briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.

Naija News reports that the Federal Executive on Monday approved the implementation of the recommendations of the Oronsaye panel on the restructuring and rationalisation of the Federal Government’s agencies and commissions.

The government said the implementation of the policy would involve the merging, subsuming, and scrapping of agencies with similar functions.

6. NCC Directs MTN, Glo, Airtel, Other Networks To Start Blocking SIM Cards Without NIN

The National Communication Commission (NCC) has directed telecom operators in Nigeria to disconnect telephone subscribers who have not linked their National Identification Numbers (NIN) by February 28, 2024.

This directive was further reiterated today by the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr Aminu Maida.

Maida, who spoke during the NCC’s Special Day at the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Wednesday (today), stressed the importance of linking NIN to SIM cards for critical national security.

Represented by the Director of Public Affairs at the NCC, Reuben Mouka, Maida also confirmed that the deadline of February 28th remains in effect for telecom operators to disconnect subscribers who have not linked their NIN to their SIM cards.

The NCC executive vice chairman emphasized that this was appropriate because the theme aligns with the commission’s principles and goals of advancing local content development in the telecommunications industry.

Maida further expressed the NCC’s dedication to safeguarding consumers’ rights and ensuring their contentment.

He highlighted that the commission has established a universally recognized environment that enables affordable and fair services, contributing to the nation’s economic progress.

7. ‘Part Of Oronsaye Report Already Implemented Before Tinubu’s Recent Directive’

Director-General of the Bureau of Public Sector Reforms, Dasuki Arabi, has informed Nigerians that some aspects of the Oronsaye Report have already been implemented prior to President Bola Tinubu‘s recent directive.

Naija News reports that the Federal Executive Council on Monday approved the implementation of the recommendations of the Oronsaye panel on the restructuring and rationalisation of the Federal Government’s agencies and commissions.

The government said the implementation of the policy would involve the merging, subsuming, and scrapping of agencies with similar functions.

Speaking on Channels TV on Wednesday, Arabi explained that the Oronsaye report goes beyond scrapping or streamlining ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs).

According to him, the report calls for a comprehensive restructuring of the entire federal civil service and critical government ministries.

Arabi also urged Nigerians to remain patient as the team assigned to implement the report was officially formed, emphasizing that positive changes would emerge from the wonderful work.

8. NLC Reveals New Style For Attending Meetings With Government

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has declared that it would no longer attend meetings with the federal government on the eve of any planned action.

This was made known on Wednesday by the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, during a press conference in Abuja.

According to him, the government only uses meetings held on the eve of planned actions to delay their plans and mobilization of members in a bid to prevent them from carrying out their actions.

Ajaero added that while the NLC would continue to attend meetings with the government and engage in dialogue, it would no longer do so on the eve of any of its actions.

9. NLC Hardship Protest: ‘Ajaero Is A Very Unreasonable Labour Leader’ – Onanuga

Presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga has tagged the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, as a very unreasonable leader.

Making this assertion while speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Wednesday, Onanuga frowned at the labour leader for embarking on the protest against growing hardship that has ravished the country months into the administration of President Bola Tinubu as the leader of Nigeria.

Naija News reports that he suggested that the labour leader should have held further talks with the government to know where the problem lies instead of embarking on the hardship protest.

Naija News recalls that the NLC on Tuesday held a nation-wide rally in protest of the growing hardship across the country. The protest, which was supposed to be continued on Wednesday, was, however, suspended, with the labour union issuing a fresh ultimatum to the federal government to meet its demands.

10. Senate Backs Tinubu’s Request To Sack Irukera As FCCPC Boss

The Senate has approved the request of President Bola Tinubu to sack the Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera.

In a letter read at the plenary on Wednesday by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, President Tinubu asked for the Red Chamber’s permission to remove Irukere based on inefficiency.

Presenting the letter, the Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, said the President needs the approval of the National Assembly to sack Irukera in accordance with Section 8(1)(b) & (2) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act, 2018 as amended.

After deliberations, the request was put to a voice vote where the ayes had it, and the Senate President hit the gavel.

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