Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Thursday, 14th March, 2024

Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Thursday, 14th March, 2024

Good morning Nigeria. Welcome to the Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Thursday, 14th March 2024

1. ‘No Dime Will Be Paid As Ransom To Rescue Abducted Children’ – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has said that no ransom will be paid for the rescue of the children abducted from Kuriga in Kaduna State.

This comes barely two days after Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi appealed to the federal government to allow him dialogue with the bandits as a way of rescuing Nigerians abducted by the bandits.

Gumi urged President Bola Tinubu not to be like his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to negotiate with the bandits.

The Kaduna-based cleric said he is ready to facilitate comprehensive discussions between the federal government and bandits in order to secure the freedom of all victims in the captivity of the bandits.

Gumi also condemned the decision of the Kaduna State government not to negotiate with the bandits who recently kidnapped 287 school children from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in Chikun local government area of the state.

However, speaking on behalf of the President, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammad Idris, in an interview with State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting on Wednesday, said Tinubu reiterated his directive to security chiefs to ensure that the children are rescued and brought back safely to their homes.

According to Idris, Tinubu made his stance against payment of ransom to kidnappers and that the current administration is determined to tackle kidnapping and other criminal activities in the country.

He said kidnapping, especially mass abduction, will not be tolerated under the current administration.

2. Tinubu Opens Land, Air Borders With Niger Republic, Lifts Sanctions

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed the opening of Nigeria’s land and air borders with the Republic of Niger and the lifting of other sanctions against the country with immediate effect.

President Tinubu also approved the lifting of financial and economic sanctions against the Republic of Guinea.

Naija News reports that this was made known on Wednesday by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.

The statement noted that the directive is in compliance with the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government at its extraordinary summit on February 24, 2024, in Abuja.

ECOWAS leaders had agreed to lift economic sanctions against the Republic of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

3. FG Postpones Student Loan Scheme Launch Indefinitely

The Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government has indefinitely postponed the launch of the Student Loan Scheme.

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), Akintunde Sawyer, made this known on Tuesday, March 12.

Sawyer said that the launch had been postponed because there was some fine-tuning that was being made around the scheme launch itself.

In an interview on Arise News, the NELFUND boss, however, did not give a new date for the launch of the scheme.

Sawyer’s comments come hours after President Bola Tinubu said the reason for the delay of the scheme, which ought to have commenced, was that it is being worked on and fine-tuned.

4. Tinubu Govt Orders Binance To Provide Names, Transaction Details Of 100 Top Users In Nigeria

The Federal Government has reportedly asked cryptocurrency trading firm, Binance, for information on its top 100 users in Nigeria.

Naija News gathered that the government, through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), made the request to establish the negotiations between Binance and Nigeria.

According to the Financial Times, the Nigerian government also asked the cryptocurrency firm to submit all transaction history in the country for the past six months.

Also, the government is asking Binance to resolve any outstanding tax liabilities in the country before the release of its detained executives.

In a chat with Peoples Gazette on Wednesday, a official of Binance declined to comment on the request, saying that it would violate users’ privacy.

5. Insecurity: Details Of Wike’s Meeting With Senators

Federal Capital Territory Minister Nyesom Wike, asserted on Wednesday that the administration has been able to stem the wave of insecurity.

Making this assertion while appearing before the Nigerian Senate, Wike bemoaned that the challenge is that some of the kidnap cases were stage-managed by individuals working as aides to the victims.

Naija News reports that Wike stated that the legislators had provided him with numerous recommendations, which he intends to put into practice, and that the Senate was satisfied with the FCT’s improved security situation.

6. Miyetti Allah’s Leader, Bodejo Detained For National Security, FG Tells Court

The Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has clarified why the arrest and continued detention of the President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Bodejo, remains imperative.

Arrested on January 23, following his involvement in unveiling a vigilante group, Bodejo’s apprehension took place at Miyetti Allah’s office located in the Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

Naija News reports that his arrest by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) sparked a legal tussle, leading to a court application filed by Bodejo to enforce his fundamental right to freedom. However, the government strongly opposes this plea, citing concerns about national security.

At the hearing at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the federal government, through its lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Ms. Y.A. Imana, firmly requested the court reject Bodejo’s application for unconditional release.

Imana’s plea to the court emphasized the gravity of the issue, stating, “This is a matter that touches on national security.”

Bodejo’s legal representative, Mr. Mohammed Sheriff, countered with a bail application dated February 26, arguing for his client’s release pending an arraignment. Despite these efforts, Justice Inyang Ekwo, presiding over the case, has postponed the decision on the bail application to March 22, leaving Bodejo in custody until then.

Adding to the tension, the government has charged Bodejo with establishing an ethnic militia group named Kungiya Zaman Lafiya without proper authorization.

7. FG Reacts As SSANU, NASU Threaten Fresh Strike

The federal government has said it would continue to engage with the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) over the threat of a strike by the two university-based labour unions.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, stated this while fielding questions from newsmen over the strike action threatened by the unions.

Naija News recalls that SSANU and NASU had threatened to embark on a seven-day warning strike beginning March 18, 2024.

They warned that if the Federal Government does not respond to their demands by Monday, March 18, 2024, they will close all university hostels and cut off all university power.

Speaking after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, Idris said the matter didn’t come up for discussion during the meeting, but assured that the government was addressing the issue.

8. ‘You Still Owe Nigerians Clarification’ – Peter Obi Hits Senate Over Ningi’s Suspension

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Peter Obi, has berated the Senate over the suspension of Senator representing Bauchi Central in the National Assembly, Senator Abdul Ningi, from all legislative duties.

Naija News reported that Ningi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was suspended for three months during Tuesday’s plenary over allegations of padding the 2024 budget.

In a statement via X on Wednesday, Peter Obi noted that the suspension of Ningi does not solve the issue of the budget padding and the Senate still owes Nigerians clarification over the various claims and counterclaims regarding the N3 trillion padded into the 2024 budget.

The former Governor of Anambra State also stated that the Senate leadership should address fresh allegations that have cropped up over the indiscriminate and unbalanced allocation of constituency projects.

Peter Obi added that the amount being padded, if channelled into any of the critical areas of development in the country, would positively impact the nation and uplift the people.

9. Lawmakers Summon Dangote, BUA, Others Over Increase In Price Of Cement

The House of Representatives on Wednesday took decisive action by summoning top cement manufacturers, including industry giants Dangote and BUA, over alleged arbitrary price increases.

The legislative body has also tasked its Committees on Solid Minerals Development, Commerce, Industry, and Special Duties with investigating the surge in cement prices across the country.

This initiative was sparked by a motion presented by Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi and Hon. Ademorin Kuye during a plenary session in Abuja.

The lawmakers raised alarms over a dramatic upsurge in cement prices by as much as 50%, which has significantly driven up the costs of building blocks, overall construction expenses, and consequently, the price of rent nationwide.

A critical point highlighted during the motion is the localization of cement manufacturing’s raw materials, such as lime, silica, alumina, iron oxide, and gypsum, which shields the industry from exchange rate fluctuations.

Additionally, it was noted that the production factors and elements of the cement production flow chart have remained stable over the years, casting doubt on the justification for the price increase.

10. 2024 Budget: Abaribe Reveals How Funds Were Distributed Among Senators

The Senator representing Abia South in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has revealed how funds were allocated to lawmakers for the Zonal Intervention Project included in the 2024 budget.

According to him, he got only N266 million from the money allocated to lawmakers in the six geo-political zones, and not a bulk sum of N500 million as alleged by the senator representing Cross River North, Agom Jarigbe on Tuesday during plenary.

The Abia South lawmaker explained further that the amount gotten by each lawmaker depends on the number of states in his or her zone.

Abaribe said lawmakers from some zones, like the Northwest, which has seven states, would expect to get less than what he got, as his Southeast zone has only five states.

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

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