Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been absent from some executive meetings, these has stirred debates regarding his health.
The presidency has said Buhari is hail and hearty, but is just resting as prescribed by the doctors.
While President Buhari may not be seen every now and then, the presidency has continued to work assiduously to see that Nigerians get the dividends of democracy.
All the events surrounding the president's health and the developments in certain areas of government, are the stories that have made it to the front pages of national dailies on this Friday, May 5.
We begin with The Nation which bears the title, "Amaechi: Jonathan govt blew N34b on River Niger"
After paying a contractor N34 billion for the dredging of the River Niger, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration failed to get the job done.
The Muhammadu Buhari administration is spending N100m on the job, Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi said yesterday in Lagos.
It was at the opening of a conference on Fast-tracking Port Reforms hosted by The Nation in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Epsilon Limited.
The minister said: ”When the River Niger was first approved for dredging by the previous administration, it was approved for N47billion and N34billion was paid to the contractor. Dancers were called in and there was a party.
“We are not dredging the River Niger with billions of naira; we are dredging the River Niger with just N100m. When we flagged it off recently, did you see us dancing? Was there a party? I just went to see the governor and told him that the project will start today and will be finished in one month.
“The governor said he will accompany me, and I said ‘ok’. So, I asked the governor to flag it off since it’s located in his state.”
This Day bears the headline: "Buhari Meets Emefiele, Pleased With Stability in Forex Market"
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, thursday revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari is satisfied with the stability in the foreign exchange (FX) market, following the sustained intervention by the central bank.
Emefiele made this disclosure at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while fielding questions from journalists after a closed-door meeting with the president.
The CBN boss who said the visit was one of his routine visits to the president to brief him on the state of the economy, added that Buhari was excited to hear the news on improving economic stability in the country, supported by the exchange rate of the naira which has stabilised at between N380 and N385/$ on the parallel market.
Emefiele said the price of crude oil in the international market which has been hovering at between $50 and $56 per barrel, has also helped in improving revenue generation and by extension fortified the nation’s currency.
The Punch bears the headline: "Make your health status public, douse tension, NMA tells President"
Amidst growing concerns on the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari, the President’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, on Thursday, disclosed that the President would go on another medical vacation.
She however said the ailing Nigerian leader would not do so by being hounded by anyone.
Onochie disclosed this on her Twitter handle, @Laurestar, while reacting to statements by individuals and groups on the matter.
She said Buhari, who returned to the country on March 10 after a 49-day medical sojourn in the United Kingdom, would embark on the medical vacation only on his doctor’s appointment.
“President Buhari will go on medical leave but only on his doctor’s appointment. Not by being hounded,” she stated.
Vanguard bears the headline: "Insecurity making Nigeria ungovernable"
Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, yesterday, x-rayed the state of the nation and returned a grim verdict: ‘’Nigeria has broken down, it is not working and we are not safe.’’
Cardinal Okogie Arriving at the unpalatable conclusion, Cardinal Okogie looked at the rippling waves of insecurity, menace of herdsmen, restiveness in the Niger-Delta, agitation for the Republic of Biafra, faulty constitution, corruption and unaccountable leadership and urged urgent solutions to save the country and the citizenry.
The clergyman raised the alarm in a a statement, titled: “Do we have a nation? A Stitch in Time Saves Nine.”
Contacted, the Presidency said it would not trade words with Cardinal Okogie because he expressed his personal opinion.
The Guardian bears the title: "Despite N1.4tr CBN lifeline, prices of goods to remain high"
Although there are no less than 22 Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-initiated interventions for the foreign exchange market which amounted to $4.44 billion or N1.35 trillion (at N305.85/$), concerns persist about the high prices of goods and household items.
Consumers and industry observers, however, differed on the development, noting that the situation may be attributable to local manufacturers and retailers attempting to cash in on their losses when the naira fell to about N525 to the dollar in the first quarter of the year.
The local producers, on their part, blamed the high cost of production for the spiraling price regime.
The situation calls for concern as disposable incomes continue to be insufficient to meet daily demands, despite assurances by government of the easing recession and continued defence of the national currency by the apex bank.