Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Tuesday, 20 April, 2021 Edition)

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

Your criticism of Obaseki, politically motivated, PDP tells Emefiele

The National Vice Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih, on Monday, said the criticisms against the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, over the printing of N60bn to add to March allocation for states by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, was politically motivated.

He made the remark while receiving the Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Ogundoyin Adebo, who led some youth on courtesy call on him in his Benin residence.

“I will like to use this opportunity to say something about the recent outburst of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over the sad revelations by the Edo State governor that the Federal Government printed over N60bn to be able to make up the money required to pay their statutory allocations to the various tiers of government. To me, the outburst was political. I condemn the CBN governor’s remarks because he said so much without convincing Nigerians about the economics to make the decision to print over N60bn to meet the statutory allocations,” he said.

Fuel subsidy rises to N500bn, NNPC rules out price hike

With the Federal Government leaving the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) unchanged in the first five months of this year despite the increase in global oil prices, subsidy on the product is estimated to gulp N500bn in the period.

The PUNCH had reported on January 11 that the sustained increase in global crude oil prices had pushed up the landing cost of imported petrol closer to the current pump prices of the product in Nigeria, and appeared to have triggered a return to petrol subsidy era. Going by the petrol pricing template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, the landing cost of petrol rose from an average of N143.60 in December to N158.53 per litre on January 7, with the expected open market price (retail price) being N181.53 per litre.

On February 5, when oil price neared $60 per barrel, it was reported that the expected open market price of petrol rose to over N200 per litre, based on the petrol pricing template of the PPPRA. The pump price of petrol has remained at between N160 and N165 per litre at many filling stations in Lagos since December.

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, said on March 25 that the Federal Government was subsidising petrol with about N100bn to N120bn monthly. He said while the actual cost of importation and handling charges amounts to N234 per litre, the government had been selling at N162 per litre, therefore, bearing the difference.

Report on downgrading of Anambra airport mischievous, false – Govt

The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has said a report that the Federal Government has declined to give the state a licence to run an international airport is false.

The report said the Federal Government only gave the state the patent to run a domestic airport.

But a statement on Monday by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, CC-Don Adinuba, described the story as false and the handwork of detractors. He said the airport remained an international airport and asked members of the public to disregard the report, describing the purveyors of the “false story” as “a faceless group of hired propaganda guns”

Unsafe roads: Musa opts out of Pillars away games

Kano Pillars’ new high-profile signing, Ahmed Musa, is set to miss over 80 per cent of the team’s away matches as the second stanza of the Nigeria Professional Football League begins April 28, The PUNCH reports.

The announcement of the Super Eagles captain as Pillars’ new signing elicited excitement among fans of the domestic league, but our correspondent learnt that the former Leicester City forward told the club’s management in clear terms that he would not be available for away games.

Chairman of the club Surajo Yahaya confirmed that although the player would be available for every home fixture, he would not be part of most of their away games.

“Ahmed Musa is a big player and at the moment we know the economic situation of the country and the bad roads in some regions. He is going to honour all our home matches and if there is an available flight in the state we have an away game, then he is going to attend.” He did not say that he’s totally going to be unavailable for our games on the road, but he is going to attend those matches by flight, but for the games that are close by, like a game at Katsina or Bauchi, he is ready to go. But we need to provide good facilities for him,” Yahaya added.

FG admits revenues crashing, says Nigeria faces hard times

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Monday admitted that Nigeria’s economy was facing a difficult time, saying states must improve their internally generated revenues.

Ahmed, who stated this in an interview on a daily breakfast show on the Nigerian Television Authority, Good Morning Nigeria, stated that the money shared at the March Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting was short of N50bn.

“These are very difficult challenging times because revenues are low and the demand for expenditures are very high understandably because we have to keep intervening to make sure the pandemic is contained as well as the economic impact it has caused.

Igbo 2023 Presidency now a possibility – Ohanaeze

Pan-Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo (Worldwide) on Monday expressed optimism that the South East would get the Presidency in 2023.

The group’s President-General, Prof George Obiozor, stated this at a press conference in Abuja.

“Our differences and divergent views will not rob us of the Presidency in 2023. Politics is a matter of choice. For the Igbos, having different opinions should not be a concern. For your information, no section of the polity has just one opinion, Igbos have different opinions and the opinions converge on the Presidency for South East in 2023,” Obiozor said while responding to questions on how the South East will speak with one voice to avoid ahead of the election.

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