The Newspaper headlines for Wednesday, March 8, has focused on the new federal government economic recovery plan, moves to float the Naira, amongst other top stories.
According to a report on Vanguard, the federal government expects the economy to climb out of recession and grow 2.19 percent this year.
This was disclosed by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, which unveiled the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 on Tuesday, March 7.
In a statement made available to the media yesterday by Akpandem James, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the ERGP focuses on achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification by undertaking fiscal stimulus, ensuring monetary stability and improving the external balance of trade.
The ERGP, which aims to increase oil production to 2.5 million barrels per day and for Nigeria to become a net exporter of refined petroleum products by 2020.
The goal of the ERGP is also to increase export earnings and government revenues by an additional N800 billion a year.
Under the plan, the government also expects to earn N35 billion from the sale of some national assets, including oil joint ventures, and reducing stakes in other oil and non-oil assets.
Moving on, a market-driven exchange rate regime is in the works, going by the federal government’s economic plan released on Tuesday, March 7, The Nation reports.
There has been pressure that the naira should be allowed to float, its worth dictated by market forces.
This, argue some experts, will attract investors. But the government insists that no country surrenders totally its currency to market forces, adding that it will intervene when necessary. It may have changed its mind.
In other news, the Nigerian Senate has blocked the Nigeria Customs Service from going ahead with the proposed plan to collect duties on all vehicles in the country, including old ones.
According to a report on The Sun, The Senate resolved that the Customs should drop the move until its Comptroller-General Hameed Ali has appeared before the lawmakers to explain the idea behind the collection of the old duties.
The motion was moved by Deputy Senate majority leader Bala Ibn Na'Allah, who was seconded by Kogi senator Dino Melaye.
Recall that the Nigeria Customs had in a statement from its Acting Public Relations Officer, Joseph Atta, told owners of vehicles, who did not pay Customs duty to do so between March 13 and April 12.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, who was sworn in on Tuesday, March 7, by acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), making him the first person from southern Nigeria to hold the post in 30 years.
Buhari’s congratulatory message was conveyed by Osinbajo, who also decorated the new CJN with the second highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), This Day reports.
The acting president told the CJN that the president asked him to convey his best wishes to him during his phone conversation with him a day earlier.
In the world of sports, Super Eagles defender, Kenneth Omeruo, has donated the sum of two million naira to former Rangers International and Heartland FC coach, Kelechi Emetole who has been diagnosed for throat cancer Complete Sports reports.
It was gathered that Omeruo got in touch with Emetole's wife, Phoebe, from his base in Turkey and offered financial support to the former Nigeria international who needed urgent medical attention.
According to Emetole's wife, her husband needs $11,000 for an urgent surgery to be carried out in India.
Emetole, a defender during his active days and fondly called Caterpillar, played for Nigeria at the 1976 Nations Cup in Ethiopia. He has also served as assistant coach in the national teams; the U-17 world champions, Golden Eaglets of 1985, and Flying Eagles and Super Eagles.
Catch these stories and many more on the pages of your favourite newspapers today, March 8.