TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, WEDNESDAY
1. President Buhari Speaks About 5G Spectrum, Says ICT Contributed More To GDP Than Oil In Q2
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the auctioning of the 5G spectrum, because it has driven growth, created employment and generated revenue for the country.
The president said the auctioning of the 5G spectrum apart from reaching that feat has also raked in about 547 million dollars for the country.
According to him, the Information, Communication and Technology Sector (ICT) had accelerated the diversification of the economy, noting that the sector according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) contributed about 18.44% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter (Q2), which was close to three times the 6.33% contribution of the oil sector in the same quarter.
The president in Abuja on Tuesday at the National Shared Services Centre expressed his happiness about how the digital economy ensured continuity in governance during the COVID-19 global lockdown.
2. National Assembly To Pass 2023 Budget On Thursday
The National Assembly is set to pass the 2023 Appropriation Bill into law on Thursday before embarking on Christmas break.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, made this known on Tuesday while speaking with State House Correspondents.
Gbajabimaila had earlier met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The Speaker said the lawmakers will pass the 2023 Budget pass it to the President for his assent to keep up with the January-December budget cycle.
Reacting to the allegation made by Hon. Kazaure Gudaji that over N89 trillion generated from stamp duties was mismanaged, Gbajabiamila said the Jigawa State lawmaker is acting on his own.
Recall that Gudaji, Secretary to the dissolved Presidential Committee on Reconciliation and Recovery of Stamp Duties Revenue, alleged that some officials around the presidency are making attempts to scuttle the work of his committee.
3. Money Laundering: Okupe Steps Down As DG, Speaks On Current Stance With Peter Obi, Labour Party
The Director-General of the Labour party presidential campaign council, Doyin Okupe has stepped down from his position following the ruling of the Federal High Court Abuja on Monday sentencing him to jail.
Okupe, right-hand man to the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, was sentenced to a two-year jail term after he was found guilty of money laundering but given the option of paying a fine which he did.
Okupe was earlier convicted by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu who considered a money laundering case brought before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on alleged money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N702 million valid.
Taking to his Twitter handle on Tuesday, Doyin shared a copy of his resignation letter written to the presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi.
He further urged Obi to appoint a DG, whom is without any distractions to lead his campaign ahead of the 2023 general elections.
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4. Obasanjo, Atiku Punished Me And Still Could Not Provide Kilowatt To Roast A Corn – Tinubu
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has alleged that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and his vice Atiku Abubakar, punished him for being in opposition to their mismanagement of the nation’s power sector.
Tinubu while answering questions at a town hall meeting held in Calabar, the capital of Cross River on Tuesday, accused Obasanjo and Atiku of spending $16.5 billion on the power sector without any result.
Tinubu maintained that PDP under Obasanjo and Atiku failed to provide electricity for Nigerians, urging Nigerians not to vote for the party in 2023.
The former governor of Lagos State said Atiku also confirmed that they collected the country’s money from local government, state and others but could not give an account of the money.
Bola Tinubu alleged that Obasanjo and Atiku punished him for bringing power to Lagos State instead of embracing his intellect and good ideas because he was not a member of the PDP.
He noted that the government under PDP is a curse and should not be given any opportunity to return to power.
5. Cashless Policy: Buhari, Gbajabiamila Hold Closed-Door Meeting
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari and Gbajabiamila during the meeting discussed the cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other issues.
The meeting was held on the same day the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele refused to honour an invitation by the House of Representatives.
The Speaker met with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
Gbajabiamila while addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting said apart from the discussion on the cashless policy, they discussed issues related to the 2023 general elections.
6. FG To Stop Cash Withdrawals From Accounts Of All Levels Of Govt
The Nigerian Government has said there is a plan to stop cash withdrawals from federal, state, and local government accounts.
The Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Modibbo Tukur, made this known in a statement on Tuesday.
He said due to the consistent devaluation of the naira and the introduction of a new naira policy, Section 1 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act is automatically activated.
7. 2023: INEC Signs Agreement With Transport Unions, Says It Needs 100,000 Vehicles, Over 4,000 Boats And Gunboats
As part of preparations for the 2023 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has signed an agreement with members of some transport unions over the provision of transport at the polls.
The commission said it would be needing at least 100,000 vehicles, over 4,000 boats and gunboats for the conveyance of personnel and materials at the polls next year.
The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu to that effect entered an agreement with the National Road Transport Union of Nigeria (NURTW), the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) for effective logistics deployment.
The INEC boss in Abuja on Tuesday during the signing of the agreement appealed to the transporters to remain neutral, even as they render their services.
Preparation by the electoral umpire is in top gear as the commission has met with security chiefs, heads of civil society organisations, and leaders of various transport unions and heads of the transport unions in Lagos.
INEC and the transport unions have therefore sealed the agreement to provide transport logistics in the 2023 general elections.
8. Okupe’s Resignation Came To Us As A Rude Shock – Labour Party Declares, Says Its A Setback
The Labour Party has officially reacted to the resignation of the Director-General of its presidential campaign council (PCC), Doyin Okupe.
The chief spokesperson of the Obi/Datti, PCC, Tanko Yunusa said on a Channels TV programme politics today that the campaign council is yet to make an official pronouncement regarding Okupe’s resignation.
According to him, the news came to the party as a rude shock and it has set things back for the party.
Tanko, who described Okupe as an exceptional democrat who believes in the rule of law and was working hard to deliver Nigeria back to the people, said the party was immediately taken aback when the news of his resignation broke.
Okupe stepped down from his position following the ruling of the Federal High Court Abuja on Monday which convicted him of money laundering.
9. CBN Unveils Security Features Of New Naira Notes
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released the security features of the new Naira notes.
Nigerians have been asking a series of questions following the rollout of new naira notes with the consent of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The bank’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has as well defended the cause of the Naira redesign in different publications and interviews.
However, in a bid to protect Nigerians from falling victim to counterfeiters, the apex bank on Tuesday unveiled details and position of the security features in the new naira notes.
The details and position of the security features are highlighted in the documents as released by the CBN on Tuesday.
10. Buhari’s Aide, Onochie Confirmed As NDDC Board Chairman
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on New Media, Lauretta Onochie, has been appointed as the substantive Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board.
Onochie’s appointment was confirmed by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday, December 20, 2022.
The presidential aide was among thirteen people screened by the lawmakers and confirmed for the NDDC roles at the plenary today, except for two who didn’t attend the screening conducted last Friday at the National Assembly complex.
President Buhari had on Wednesday, last week, asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Lauretta and 14 others in the letter as Managing Director, Executive Directors, and members of the Board.
They included Samuel Ogbokwu, from Bayelsa State, as the Managing Director, who would serve for two years to complete the term of his predecessor in office.
Other members are Dimgba Erugba, representing Abia State, Dr. Emem Willcox Wills ( Akwa Ibom), Denyanbofa Dimaro (Bayelsa State), Hon. Orok Duke (Cross River) and Dr. Pius Odudu ( Edo State).