The major headlines in mainstream newspapers today, Friday, May 17 are focused on the Senate’s confirmation of Godwin Emefiele as CBN governor for a second and final term; the National Assembly okaying June 12 as Democracy Day; and the finance minister's announcement that the final tranche of the Paris Club refund is ready for disbursement to states.
Kicking off the review, ThisDay reports that the Senate on Thursday, May 16 confirmed the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a second and final term of five years, saying the latter had performed creditably in his first term.
Emefiele’s confirmation was sequel to the presentation of the report of the Senator Adebayo Ibrahim-led Senate Committee on Banks, Insurance and other Financial Institutions that screened him on Wednesday, May 15.
Emefiele’s name had been submitted to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari for the renewal of his second and last five-year tenure as CBN governor, on May 8.
The Senate at plenary on Tuesday, May 14, had referred the president’s letter to the banking committee for further legislative action.
Moving on, The Nation reports that the minister of finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has stated that the N649 billion final tranche of the Paris Club Refund will be shared among states in the federation.
Addressing reporters at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, the minister, however, added that debtor-states will have to settle their debts soon.
She said “the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.”
Ahmed also disclosed that as at March 2019, the payments made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stood at N691.560 billion.
Mirroring the previous publication, Punch reports that the federal government will soon release the sum of N649.43bn as the final refund for the Paris Club debt to state governments.
The disclosure was made by the finance minister, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, during a media briefing on the activities of her ministry on Thursday in Abuja.
The publication reports that those present at the media briefing were the comptroller-general of Customs, Hameed Ali; the director-general, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha; the managing director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, and the director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ahmed said the ministry had already verified the amount as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments. She said the refund would be made to the state governments in due course.
Rounding off the review, The Guardian reports that following an endorsement by the Senate, June 12, the date in the nation’s history when the acclaimed freest and fairest election was conducted in 1993, is now the National Democracy Day.
The upper legislative chamber on Thursday endorsed a bill earlier passed by the House of Representatives to that effect.
Hence, after about 26 years of agitation for the date to be accorded this recognition, June 12 has become fully immortalized.
Consequently, the National Holiday Act has been amended to move Nigeria’s Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12. However, May 29 remains sacrosanct as the date when one administration will hand over to a succeeding one in compliance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution regarding the tenure of administrations in the country.
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