The main headlines of mainstream Nigerian newspapers of Monday, February 15, are focused on the race for the ninth Senate presidency, Buhari's incoming cabinet, federal government's insistence that there will not be removal of fuel subsidy.
The Nation reports that the All Progressives Congress gave approval to senators-elect that they can negotiate with the opposition in their bid for principal positions in the ninth National Assembly.
The ruling party gave the approval in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu.
The party, which adopted Senator Ahmad Lawan for Senate presidency, said it has nothing against its members seeking cooperation with other legislators as it is confident that they will not betray the party.
The statement read: “We are inundated with reports of our members in the National Assembly holding consultations with members of the opposition over the election of leaders into the Ninth National Assembly. Let me state that our party has no objection to such consultations.
“It is a normal democratic practice world over to stretch hands across the divides. And contrary to some media reports, the actions of our members do not contradict the party’s position. APC has a comfortable majority in both chambers. Therefore; we have the number to produce the leadership."
This Days reports that President Muhammadu Buhari is weighing his option for a new cabinet ahead of his second term in office, which begins on May 29.
According to report, the president is considering starting his second term on a fresh slate, sending home all the incumbent ministers except one or two of them he retains confidence in.
A highly placed source said: “The president is not carried away by the euphoria of his victory at the poll. Rather, he is acutely aware that Nigerians seem not too impressed and he is determined to make amends.
“The president intends to do a clean sweep of the cabinet by gathering a new bunch that would help him deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.”
The Punch on its part reports that pension fund administrators have been barred by the National Pension Commission from investing in the bonds of nine states that are yet to amend their state pension laws and join the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
According to report, 15 states that have joined the CPS but are not showing full commitment to funding the Retirement Savings Account of their workers may also be barred.
As of March 2019, the number of states that have enacted laws on the CPS stood at 27.
The Guardian reports that the federal government, on Sunday, April 14, insisted that there would not be removal of fuel subsidy.
The minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, stated this during a joint briefing with governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele and minister of budget and national planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, on the sidelines of the 2019 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC.
She said: “There is no plan to remove subsidy now because we have not yet found an alternative package to subsidy. We will not remove subsidy without another social safety net package.
“One of the issues that always comes up in the report, especially by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a corporate body, is how we handle fuel subsidy. In principle, the IMF is saying fuel subsidies are better removed, so that you can use the resources for other important sectors.
"In principle, that is a fact. But in Nigeria, we don’t have plans to remove fuel subsidy at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that can enable us to remove fuel subsidy and provide cushions for our people. So, there is no plan to remove subsidy. We will be discussing with various groups. If we have to, what are the alternatives? We have not yet found viable alternatives. So, we are not yet at the point of removing fuel subsidy. Therefore, every rumour on plans to remove subsidy should be discarded.”
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