President Tinubu Swears in 45 Ministers in Abuja Ceremony; Peter Obi Addresses Merger Speculations with Atiku and Kwankwaso | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • President Tinubu Swears in 45 Ministers in Abuja Ceremony
  • Peter Obi Addresses Merger Speculations with Atiku and Kwankwaso
  • New Health Minister Ali Pate Aims to Curb Medical Tourism
  • Wike Says He Secured PDP’s Approval for Ministerial Role
  • Nigeria’s Debt Burden Poses Economic Challenges for Tinubu – MAN

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

President Tinubu Swears in 45 Ministers in Abuja Ceremony

In a significant development yesterday, President Bola Tinubu officially welcomed 45 ministers into their roles, following their clearance by the Senate. The grand inauguration ceremony took place at the State House Conference Center in Abuja, where an esteemed gathering of attendees witnessed this pivotal event.

Accompanied by prominent figures, including Vice President Kashim Shettima, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abass, and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, President Tinubu administered the oath of office to the newly appointed ministers.

As a testament to the meticulous organization, the ministers were sworn in batches, culminating in their collective inauguration on Monday. This momentous occasion marks a significant stride in Nigeria’s governmental landscape, as these ministers embark on their roles to contribute to the nation’s progress.

Peter Obi Addresses Merger Speculations with Atiku and Kwankwaso

Responding to recent reports of alleged discussions regarding a potential coalition aimed at challenging the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, used a mega rally in Edo State to set the record straight. He expressed unwavering dedication to his party and urged his supporters to dismiss the circulating rumors.

In front of an enthusiastic crowd, Obi emphasized the Labour Party’s growth trajectory and stated, “Labour Party will continue to grow. We will continue to go stronger (and) better.” He urged attendees not to heed the speculations, asserting, “Half of the things you are hearing everywhere are rumours, don’t listen to them.” His words resonated with the audience, who responded with resounding cheers.

Obi’s statement comes in the wake of reports suggesting discussions between him, Atiku Abubakar, and Rabiu Kwankwaso about a possible coalition to challenge the APC’s hold on power. These rumors gained traction after the recent presidential election, in which Obi secured the third position. Both Obi and Atiku are currently challenging the election results in court.

While the report hinted at a potential alliance in the future, Obi focused his attention on the Labour Party’s immediate goals. Addressing contestants for the Edo local government elections, he emphasized the importance of fulfilling campaign promises and delivering tangible results to the people. His rallying cry underscored a departure from empty pledges, urging candidates to prioritize authenticity and commitment to their constituents.

New Health Minister Ali Pate Aims to Curb Medical Tourism

Addressing a critical concern for Nigeria, Health Minister Ali Pate underscores the imperative of elevating the nation’s health outcomes and reducing the prevalence of medical tourism. Pate’s remarks came during his debut meeting with Kachollom Daju, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, on Monday.

Pate asserts that bridging the gap in health outcomes is paramount, noting the anomaly of medical tourism. He insists, “When you fly from Addis Ababa to New Delhi you see a lot of people going for medical tourism and it is not a thing we in the health sector should rest on our oars and regard as normal. We should do something about it and improve our health outcomes.”

He calls for comprehensive action, stressing the importance of enhancing governance in the health sector through collaborative efforts. Pate emphasizes a unified approach, involving the federal government, states, local governments, and other stakeholders. He believes that this approach, encompassing all voices including those with different abilities, will lead to more effective health policies and implementation.

Highlighting the economic potential of the health sector, Pate emphasizes the need for stakeholders to contribute to a carefully crafted strategy. He underlines the broader significance of his ministry’s scope, pointing out, “The president also included social welfare in the health portfolio indicates he also considers the people as the basis.” Pate aligns this holistic approach with the President’s vision of positively transforming the nation and enhancing citizens’ lives.

Wike Says He Secured PDP’s Approval for Ministerial Role

In a candid disclosure during his inaugural press conference as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Nyesom Wike sheds light on his acceptance of President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial appointment. Wike, a prominent figure in the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), clarifies that his decision was made in collaboration with party leaders and garners their approval.

With his confirmation as one of the 45 ministerial nominees by the senate, Wike’s appointment raised questions within his party due to his association with members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Notably, some PDP members called for his suspension over these affiliations and his acceptance of the ministerial role.

Setting the record straight, Wike discloses that he proactively engaged PDP leaders, including acting chairman Iliya Damagum, and secured their endorsement for his role in President Tinubu’s cabinet. In addressing the uproar, Wike states, “They said they’ll sanction me that I took an appointment — that’s ridiculous.”

Wike emphasizes the systematic process undertaken before embracing the ministerial role, highlighting the involvement of PDP governors in nominating individuals for appointments in the current government. He emphasizes, “Before this appointment came, I wrote to the national party chairman, minority leader of the house of representatives and senate, zonal chairman of the party, my state chairman, and my governor.” The collective response from these key figures was unequivocal: “Accept it.”

Nigeria’s Debt Burden Poses Economic Challenges for Tinubu – MAN

Nigeria’s Manufacturers Association (MAN) has expressed concern that the substantial debt burden of N77 trillion could pose challenges for the economic goals of the Tinubu-led administration. MAN’s recently released CEOs’ Confidence Index (MCCI) first quarter 2023 report underscores the adverse implications of the nation’s escalating public debt on the manufacturing sector.

The report highlights the ripple effects of rising domestic debt on private investment within the manufacturing sector. It indicates that increasing domestic debt reduces credit availability, leading to higher lending rates. The sector’s challenges are further exacerbated by the foreign currency demands associated with servicing external debt, which contributes to naira depreciation and elevated import costs for manufacturers.

MAN emphasizes that excessive debt servicing is contributing to a shortage of foreign exchange, which has long plagued the manufacturing sector. The association critiques the government’s approach to generating revenue through high and multiple taxes on manufacturers, attributing the sector’s ongoing challenges to this strategy.

Contrary to the assertion of a revenue problem, MAN contends that Nigeria’s debt crisis is not solely due to inadequate revenue. The association recommends measures to enhance revenue collection and fiscal discipline. This includes widening the tax net by capturing data from the informal sector, implementing the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), and addressing tax law loopholes to minimize revenue leakage.

MAN acknowledges the formidable challenge that the N77 trillion debt poses to the new administration’s achievements. To navigate these challenges, the association underscores the need for comprehensive strategies that encompass revenue enhancement, fiscal responsibility, and efficient governance practices.

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