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Thursday, 15 March 2018

Peter Obi: What Governors Earn In Nigeria Is Immoderate

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Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, says what governors earn in Nigeria is immoderate.

Speaking as a panelist at the dialogue organised by Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism in Lagos on Thursday, Obi told the audience that if he revealed how much a Nigerian governor earns, the outrage would be hotter than what trailed the N13.5 million monthly pay of senators.

“None of you knows what a governor earns, quote me anywhere if you know you won’t be here,” he said.

“It is something you can’t imagine. You just know the one of senators, and you are shouting, but what if you know that of the governors?”

Comparing Nigeria with the US, Obi spoke of the modesty in the earnings of public office holders in America.

“America’s GDP is way above Nigeria’s but an American senator earns $174,000 (about N50 million) a year and you can imagine what his Nigerian counterpart earns in a month,” he said.

“In America, governors earn according to their state. The governor of California is the highest paid in America, and he earns $192, 000. The smallest state earns $70, 000. But in Nigeria, I can tell you because I’ve been there, the cost of just keeping convoys alone is in millions. And when people ask me why am I saying these things, I tell them that even if we made mistakes yesterday, can’t we correct it today?”

Obi said while in power, he reduced the vehicles in his convoy to four, adding that he never used a bulletproof car.

“I asked them, why are all these vehicles following me, and nobody was able to explain to me. I didn’t stop it because of them following me, but the cost of maintaining them was high. I asked them why do we need to spend about N30 million fueling these vehicles that 60 percent are empty when following me?” he said.

“What is the essence of a bulletproof car? Anyone who wants to kill you would come when you are out of the car. For eight years I didn’t use, and they didn’t kill me.”

In 2017, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, made public details of his state’s expenditure, including security vote.

On the payslip shared by the governor, the Kaduna state government paid the governor a net salary of N470,521.74 for the month of February 2017.

Obi also noted that politicians are fond of making promises they cannot fulfil when voted into power.

“You told us that you are going to solve a problem, and we voted you, and now you are telling us that you met a problem, what do you expect to meet?” he asked.

“You shouldn’t tell us the story of what you met there, we do not expect 100 percent result, but 100 percent effort. We voted you because you said you aree-of-senators-if-i-reveal-what-govs-earn.

Cross River: Calapharm to produce meningitis, lassa fever vaccine

The Cross River State pharmaceutical company, (Calapharm) is to produce meningitis and lassa fever vaccines.

Disclosing this on Tuesday, the Commissioner for commerce and industry, Mr Peter Akam Egba said the company would produce drugs and vaccine that would tackle the menace of deadly diseases such as meningitis and Lassa fever, thereby stopping importation of drugs for such ailments,

Conducting newsmen around the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company, the Garment Factory and the Calabar Rice City currently under construction by the Ayade-led administration, the commissioner disclosed that Calapharm was the first of its kind in the country.

“The drugs will be produced locally. This is a gigantic project. We have the laboratories where the drugs will pass through all scientific processes; we have department in which packaging will be done. The idea behind this project is to basically reduce, if not eliminate, importation of drugs into Nigeria,” he said.

On the rice city laboratory, Egba said the State government was in collaboration with companies and experts in Thailand for technology which would multiply improved rice seedlings production so as to ensure the vision becomes a reality.

“The difference between us and other States which are into rice production is that ours is more digitalized particularly with this type of facilities.

“The technology is that hybrid seedlings are planted in such a way that you could fold it like rug carpet, take it to your farm and spread,” he said.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for information, Pastor Rosemary Archibong explained that the area would be a beehive of industrial activities as investors were scrambling to relocate their industries and businesses to Calabar.

She said “The digitalized rice city laboratory will help Nigeria dethrone Thailand and become highest rice producer in the world”, adding that research work on improved seedlings would take place in the rice city after which the improved species are sent for planting in rice farms.

On how to source for raw materials for the pharmaceutical company, Pakistani Managing Director of Calapharm, Farhan Ahmade Khan, said, “For now, the raw materials which will feed the industry will be imported because Nigeria does not have most of the chemicals to use in producing most of the drugs.

“We will import the chemical but we will do all the medical works and packaging here. Our main focus is on mother and child health. We will launch the pharmaceutical company with 40 products initially.

“We will produce syrups, tablets, syringes and injections. One thing that is not produced in Nigeria is vaccine, which we in Calapharm will produce early next year.

“We are seeking to complement AyadeCare programme with quality medicine, and this will boost economy of Cross River state. The cost of the drugs will be such that all Cross Riverians will be able to afford.”

Biafra: Human rights lawyer, Opara speaks on Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts

Human Right lawyer, Maxwell Opara, has insisted that the Nigerian Military knows the whereabouts of the elusive leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Opara claimed that the Military was holding the IPOB leader in custody.

According to Opara, “When the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said that Nnamdi Kanu violated his bail conditions which is normal, yes they have the right to say it. They went further to apply for summons asking the court to revoke the bail of Nnamdi Kanu.

“While we are waiting to hear their application on the 7th of October, 2017, the military went to his house on the 11th September with an armored car and besieged the place and people were asking why, why? Why should that happen?

“They left only for them to come back on the 14th September 2017 and killed every living thing in that house- dog, fowl, lizard, human being- everything they killed, 28 persons were killed and they left with their copses. I am talking about the Nigerian Army. Since then, we have not heard of Nnamdi Kanu.

“We heard of him last when he called the principal Counsel Ejiofor complaining of the way his house was surrounded by the military. When Ejiofor started calling the line back, up till now, it could not go through. Whether he is dead or alive we do not know.

“It is a very simple thing. Why are we being na├»ve? Why are Nigerians behaving like this? Even the journalists are not helping matters. Nobody has gone to ask the Chief of Army Staff or Director of Military Intelligence or the Army Public Relations Officer, why should they bring armoured car to his compound?

“They have a very simple case, you can’t intimidate them. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has filed his action asking the army to produce Kanu.”

Stop comparing level of incompetence, leave Jonathan alone – Aisha tells Buhari

Aisha Yesufu, co-convener of the BringBackOurGirls, BBOG, advocacy group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop game of comparison with ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.

This is in response to the president’s statement during his visit to Yobe on Wednesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said his administration responded better than the immediate past government to the February 19 abduction of 110 students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.

He said the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was slow with their response to a similar abduction in Chibok, Borno State.

According to Buhari, while his government swung into action immediately after the abduction, the last administration looked the other way when the Chibok girls were abducted in 2014.

Aisha in reaction said the Buhari’s visit was supposed to be a show of empathy to parents of 110 missing girls and not a show of comparison.

She urged the president to stop dragging level of incompetence with Jonathan.

On her twitter page, she wrote “President Muhammadu Buhari’s tour was supposed to be of empathy and condolence instead it has turned into show of incompetence.

“Can someone tell PMB he was not voted to drag title of incompetence with Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan? He should leave GEJ alone!”

Buhari a top contestant in competition of incompetents – Ezekwesili

Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as ‘a leading contestant in the competition of the incompetents.’

She accused President Buhari of unduly comparing his incompetence in office with that of his predecessor.

Ezekwesili made this known while reacting to President Buhari’s comment that his administration acted faster after the abduction of the Dapchi schoolgirls unlike Goodluck Jonathan whose government was ”insensitive” after the Chibok girls were abducted in April 2014.

The ex-Minister wrote on her Twitter handle: “Is this not a BIG SHAME? Our President Buhari is a leading contestant in the “Competition of the Incompetents”.

“We the citizens are not interested in this game of comparing one level of failure with another level of failure so please collect your #RedCardToAPCAndPDP.”





When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole (Mark 5:27-28). 

The Bible tells us of the woman with the issue of blood who, having suffered for twelve long years, made up her mind to receive a miracle. Compelled by her desire, she pressed through a huge crowd to get to Jesus, defying the injunction that forbade her from having physical contact with other people. 

According to the custom of the Jews, the haemorrhage she suffered made her unclean; therefore, she stood the risk of being stoned to death if found in public, let alone touching other people. Her desire for freedom, for her healing, pushed her to brave the odds (Mark 5:24-29). 

Likewise, until Hannah became desperate for a child, and made up her mind for a miracle, nothing happened. For many years, she maintained the status quo, until she decided she must have a miracle. She went into the house of the Lord, fell on her face before God and prayed until she prevailed. 

How strong is your desire to change your financial status? How strong is your desire to change your health status? How compelling is your desire to move to the next level? How strong is your desire to experience the supernatural in your spiritual life, in your ministry, in your academics, business or career? 

We all want to see growth and make progress; everyone of us wants to heap success upon success, but not many are ready to brave the odds and do the needful. Growth in any area requires very simple and basic principles that aren’t negotiable. One of such is a strong compelling desire. Let your desire be strong enough to compel you to take the right and necessary actions. 


Dear Lord, I thank you for the glorious Gospel of your Kingdom, which is committed to my trust. With all fervency and urgency, I preach the Gospel of righteousness, braving all odds to ensure your righteousness is established in the earth and in the hearts of men, in Jesus’ Name. Amen. 


James 5:16-18 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 

Mark 5:25-34 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in [her] body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. 

1-Year Bible Reading Plan: Mark 16:1-20, Deuteronomy 1-2 

2-Year Bible Reading Plan: Acts 27:21-31, Psalm 75-77 

GTBank Posts N170bn Profit After Tax, to Pay N2.40 Final Dividend

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Guaranty Trust Bank Plc wednesday reported growths in key performance indicators in its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017. The results showed that GTBank posted gross earnings of N419.2 billion, up marginally from N414.6 billion in 2016. Net interest income rose from N195.4 billion to N246.66 billion, while impairment charges reduced from N65.290 billion to N12.169 billion in 2017. Profit before tax stood at N200.2 billion, representing a growth of 21.3 per cent over N165.1billion recorded in 2016, while profit after tax grew faster by 29 per cent from N132.281 billion to N170.469 billion in 2017.

A further analysis of the results showed that the bank’s loan book dipped by 8.9 per cent from N1.590 trillion to N1.449 trillion while customers’ deposits increased by 3.8 per cent to N2.062trillion from N1.986trillion in December 2016.

The bank’s balance sheet recorded a 3.9 per cent growth in total assets and contingents to N3.845 trillion and shareholders’ funds of N625.2 billion. In terms of assets quality, non-performing loan (NPL) ratio increased to 7.7 per cent compared with 3.7 per cent in 2016 largely as a result of classification of a single exposure 9Mobile.

The bank is proposing a final dividend of 240 kobo per share. This will bring the total dividend per share for the year to 270 kobo having paid an interim dividend of 30 kobo last year.

Commenting on the financial results, the Managing Director/CEO of GTBank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said: “2017 was a pivotal year for the bank. We delivered a strong result in a challenging environment, achieving record growth in earnings, carefully managing cost margins and leveraging our digital-first customer-centric strategy to deliver world-class services that are simple, cheap and easily accessible.”

According to him, the performance demonstrates the fundamental strength of the bank’s franchise as well as the progress they are making in transforming the organisation into a platform on which their customers could build their businesses, connect with their consumers and access all the resources that they need to make their lives better.”

In their comments, analysts at FBN Quest said the proposed dividend imply a yield of 5.2 per cent and a payout ratio of 39.7 per cent.

“One negative in the results is an uptick in the bank’s NPL ratio which we estimate to be 8 per cent, up from 3.9 per cent in Q3 2017. The cumulative provisions set aside for these NPLs are also down year-on-year. Pending management’s comment on the asset quality metrics, we believe this could be because GTBank had substantial regulatory risk reserves of 200 per cent as at Q3 2017. It would appear that the bank did not book any (material) additional provisions relating to 9mboile in Q4 beyond the N6 billion it had set aside as of first half of 2017 2018, in line with comments made on the H1 conference call,” they said.

CBN Reschedules MPC Meeting as Senate Begins Confirmation of D’Govs, Others

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In order to give the Senate time to conclude the process of screening and confirming President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for the post of deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the central bank has decided to postpone by a few days the meeting of the MPC originally slated for Monday and Tuesday next week.

The Senate wednesday referred the CBN nominees to its Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions and mandated the committee to begin the process of confirming them.

This followed the adoption of the communication from the president, requesting the Senate to confirm the nomination of the appointees.

Moving for the adoption of the request, Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan said the process was in accordance with Section 12(1)(4) of the CBN Act.

The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, gave the committee one week to consider the requests.

However, a senior official with the CBN informed THISDAY wednesday that a decision had been taken to postpone the meeting of the MPC by a few days in order to the give the Senate time to conclude the confirmation process.

He said: “Since the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions has been given one week to conclude its work, there is no way the Senate can conclude the confirmation process of the nominees before the meeting on Monday and Tuesday.

“So the meeting will be shifted by a few days and announced accordingly by the communications department of the Bank,” he said.

The nominees for deputy governorship posts in the central bank are Mrs. Aisha Ahmad and Mr. Edward Adamu, while the nominees to be considered for the MPC are Professor Adeola Festus Adenikinju, Dr. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi, Dr. Robert Chikwendu Asogwa and Dr. Asheikh A. Maidugu.
The Senate referral followed Tuesday’s resolution by the chamber to make a concession to consider and confirm the CBN nominees so as to ensure that the MPC forms the required quorum at its next meeting.

The MPC was unable to hold its meeting last January, as it could not form a quorum.

This arose from the July 2017 resolution of the Senate to suspend all confirmation processes for presidential nominees whose offices are not specifically listed in the 1999 Constitution.

The resolution was made after Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, by his remark, deepened the rift between the Senate and the Executive over the rejection twice by the Senate of the nomination of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Reacting to the rejection, Osinbajo had said since the EFCC was not specified in the constitution, there was no need to have sent the nomination to the Senate in the first instance.

The Senate thereafter resolved to suspend consideration of all such nominees, pending the legal determination of its power of confirmation.

Police arrest killer of two Ogun school pupils

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The Ogun State Police Command on Wednesday said it has arrested the suspected mentally deranged man, Lekan Adebisi, who hacked to death, two pupils of St. John’s Anglican Primary School, Agodo, in Ogun Waterside Local Government of the state.

The pupils – Mubarak Kalesanwo and Sunday Obituyi, were hacked to death in a gruesome manner by Adebisi when he attacked the school Monday this week during break hour, prompting the police to start trailing him.

It was learnt that the suspect who was still wielding the machete used to slaughter the school pupils, attempted to attack Policemen and hunters who trailed him to a bush but was immobilised and apprehended when he was shot on the foot.

In a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, he said the suspect was arrested in the early hour of Wednesday, 48 hours after committing the crime.

Abimbola added that the combine efforts of the policemen attached to the Ogbere Area Command led by Makinde Kayode and the local hunters led the suspect’s arrest.

“The suspect who was identified has Lekan Adebisi broke into the compound of ST. John Anglican school Agodo with cutlass and hacked two pupils of the school to death after which he ran away.

“The commissioner of police CP Ahmed Iliyasu who was so furious about the incident gave a matching order to the Area commander Ogbere and DPO Abigi Division to fish out the murdered within the shortest possible time.

“In compliance with the CP order, the area commander mobilized policemen and local hunters for the manhunt of the suspect.

“Their efforts paid off in the early hour of today when the suspect was seen in a bush around the community. While they wanted to arrest him, the suspect who was brandishing a sharp cutlass attached them consequence upon which he was shot and injured on the leg. He has been taken to hospital for medical treatment,” he stated.

According to the Police Image maker in the state, the commissioner of police Ahmed Iliyasu has directed that the case be transferred to the Homicide section of state criminal investigation and intelligence department for proper investigation.

Buhari didn’t handle Dapchi kidnap better than Chibok saga ―Jonathan’s aide

SPECIAL Assistant to Former President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, Reno Omokri said on Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari lied by claiming that he handled the Dapchi Girls kidnapping saga better than Jonathan handled the Chibok girls kidnap.

A statement on behalf of GEJ Media Office by Omokri indicated that the claim made by Buhari during a visit to Damaturu, Yobe State capital was false.

The statement quoted President Buhari, as saying in Damaturu: “The Federal Government’s response to the unfortunate abduction of the schoolgirls is a clear departure from the insensitivity of the past administration which looked the other way while the Chibok girls were taken away in 2014 and held in captivity for over three years.

“Due to our commitment, over 100 Chibok girls have been rescued and reunited with their families, sent back to school and empowered with requisite skills.”

The statement, however, indicated that it beats imagination that Buhari would continue to make unfounded allegations.

It stated that it was not true that Jonathan’s government looked the other way when Chibok Girls were kidnapped in 2014.

According to Omokri, “The Chibok Girls were kidnapped on April 14, 2014. Exactly three days later, on April 17, 2014, then President Goodluck Jonathan called an emergency National Security Council meeting at Aso Rock Presidential Villa.

“Is this the act of an administration or a President that looks away?”

The statement further indicated that more than two weeks after the Dapchi Girls were kidnapped, President Buhari has failed to hold a National Security Council meeting to address the situation.

The statement read: “As a matter of fact, to prove to Nigerians how inept he is, the President cancelled the Federal Executive Council meeting that was to hold after the Dapchi Girls were kidnapped because of a conference he had to attend.

“Between a President who calls an emergency meeting after Chibok and a President who cancelled an important meeting so he could attend an economic conference, who can be described as looking the other way?

“Which serious leader cancels the most important meeting in his nation at a time when Kaduna is facing ethnic and religious killings, Zamfara is facing mass killings by bandits, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and Taraba are facing an onslaught from Fulani herdsmen and 110 girls were kidnapped in Dapchi?

“When Yusuf Buhari had an accident, President Buhari cancelled all his engagements and headed straight to the hospital. When the Dapchi Girls were kidnapped, the same President Buhari carried on as usual and went to Kano to go and dance and socialize at a Society Wedding!

“After the Jonathan administration held an emergency National Security Council meeting on April 17, 2014, the Nigerian Army and Airforce began searching for the Chibok girls with sorties being flown in search of the girls.

“Let me remind Nigerians that one of the people who undermined the then administration’s anti-terror war was Muhammadu Buhari who on June 3, 2013, said the “military offensive against Boko Haram is anti-North”. I urge Nigerians to Google this direct quote to know their President better.

“And again, the President lied when he said his administration “rescued” 100 Chibok Girls. The Chibok Girls were not rescued. As a matter of fact, they were released by Boko Haram after the alleged payment of huge ransoms and freedom of captured Boko Haram commanders by the Buhari administration.

“Only two weeks ago, Shuaibu Moni, one of the Boko Haram commanders released by the Buhari administration went back to Sambisa Forest and released a video threatening Nigeria.

“Who knows whether it was the money allegedly paid as ransom to Boko Haram or individuals freed by the government that were used to facilitate the kidnap of the Dapchi Girls and the recent killings of United Nations staff in Rann.

“Again, three weeks ago, Chief Mike Okiro, the head of the Police Service Commission, revealed that under President Muhammadu Buhari, 150,000 policemen are guarding ‘big men’ instead of performing core police duties.

“President Buhari’s son, Yusuf, alone had more guards guarding him than the guards attached to Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi at the time of the kidnapping, yet the President has the guts to say he handled Dapchi better than Jonathan handled Chibok.

“A serious President, knowing how vulnerable the Northeast is would have sent these 150,000 policemen to guard schools in the Northeast rather than send them out to guard APC big shots all over the country.

“Finally, can President Buhari, who claims to have defeated Boko Haram, tell the world how many people are killed daily by Boko Haram under his regime as compared to the previous regime?

“In the first ten weeks of 2018, Boko Haram killed 519 people in the Northeast. Only a patently dishonest leader can claim to have defeated Boko Haram with such numbers.”

Unlike Jonathan On Chibok, I Acted Fast On Dapchi Abduction – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said his administration’s response to the February 19 abduction of 110 students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State was better than the response of the last administration to a similar abduction in Chibok, Borno State.

He said while the Federal Government under his watrech swung into action immediately after the abduction, the last administration looked the other way when the Chibok girls were abducted in 2014.

Buhari said these at a town hall meeting with traditional/community leaders and other stakeholders in Damaturu, Yobe State as part of activities lined up for his official visit to the state.

Six Killed in Ebonyi in Renewed Communal Land Dispute

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Six persons were reportedly killed and properties worth millions of naira destroyed in a renewed land dispute between the people of Enyigba, Abakaliki Local Government Area and their Enyibichiri Alike-Ikwo, Ikwo Local Government in the state.

THISDAY gathered that the two communities have been at war since 30 years, following which the state government said it has taken over the disputed land.

Governor David Umahi in a bid to quell the crisis set up a committee.

The committee had concluded its reports when militia started shooting and burning houses in the area.
Angered by this, Umahi declared that the state government has taken over the disputed land and ordered security agents to shoot-at-sight anybody found encroaching on the land.

The governor made the declaration at the government house Abakaliki during a security meeting with stakeholders of the two local governments with all the security chiefs in attendance.

Umahi said: “If this crisis continues, there will be no more salaries in the two local government areas. I will slush the salaries of the appointees in the two communities into security problems
“Ebonyi State Government has taken over that parcel of land and anybody that enters there; it is shoot at-sight. I am directing the security agencies to arrest within the next seven days all the people that are doing the burnings and the shootings. They have to rebuild the houses they have burnt; anybody that crosses that land is guilty of 10 years imprisonment.

''Unlike Jonathan, I acted fast when the Dapchi abduction happened'' President Buhari says

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President Buhari today said that unlike the previous administration of President Goodluck Jonathan that was insensitive to the plight of parents of the Chibok girls when they were abducted in April 2014, his administration acted fast when 110 female students were abducted in Dapchi, Yobe state. 

Speaking in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital on Wednesday during his sympathy visit to the state, President Buhari vowed to ensure that the girls are reunited with their families.

The Federal Government’s response to the unfortunate abduction of the school girls is a clear departure from the insensitivity of the past administration which looked the other way while the Chibok girls were taken away in 2014 and held in captivity for over 3 years. Due to our commitment, over 100 Chibok girls have been rescued and reunited with their families, sent back to school and empowered with requisite skills. You may recall that recently, our negotiation efforts led to the release of abducted University of Maiduguri lecturers, some women Police personnel, students and even an NYSC member. We, therefore, have no doubt that the Dapchi girls will be rescued or released. I can reassure parents, Nigerians and the International Community that we will do all that is within our power to make sure that the girls are brought back safely to their families.

There will be no rest till the last girl, whether from Chibok and Dapchi, is released. The girls, like all our citizens, must enjoy unhindered freedom and pursue their legitimate aspirations. The Dapchi and Chibok students are our girls and must enjoy our protection. They must live to achieve their individual ambitions, to be great women of tomorrow. It is our duty to protect them. We are determined to restore peace to all part of the country – from the West to the East; North to the South. While calling for calm, I implore affected parents and families to restrain from making statements that may jeopardize the success of the rescue mission''.

Photos: Recalled lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, resumes sitting at the House of Representatives

Yesterday, the House of Representatives lifted the suspension on one of its lawmakers, Abdulmumin Jibrin and recalled him into the House. He was suspended last year after he accused the leadership of the house of padding.

He was recalled yesterday after he sent a letter of apology to the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and others. 

Nigeria should declare emergency over youths and children’s abuse of hard drugs – NAFDAC

NAFDAC, the agency for safe consumption of foods and drugs in Nigeria, has urged the Federal government to declare an emergency over the increasing abuse of hard drugs by youths and chilldren in the country. 

The agency’s Director-General, Prof Christiana Adeyeye, said the situation calls for urgent address, just as the agency intercepted and seized three trucks filled with Tramadol at the Apapa ports in Lagos State. Adeyeye said the abuse of drugs, particularly in the north, was responsible for the high rate of crimes in the country. 

He said: “we have to declare an emergency because of our youths and children who are abusing hard drugs. As I speak, we have about 33 containers of Tramadol that we intercepted. Those are the ones we could see. Some have exited the ports. We have a big problem in the country and we have to declare an emergency because of our youths and children who are abusing drugs and families being disintegrated". 

He added that “about five weeks ago, NAFDAC intercepted a 40-feet container of Tramadol and two trucks exiting the Apapa ports. We were told that these vehicles were heading for Yola and the eventual destination may be the Sambisa Forest. How can a young girl agree to have bombs tie around her, if not that her mind has been stolen through drugs? So, we have a problem to tackle. With the 33 containers, it means that some other containers are yet to be identified. We also have a problem with our porous borders.”

''You are walking on the blood of Nigerians killed under your watch''Reno Omokri attacks President Buhari for walking on a red carpet during his sympathy visit to Dapchi

President Buhari was in Dapchi, Yobe state yesterday where he visited the Government Girls Science and Technology College, Dapchi where 110 girls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists on February 19th. He also met with the parents of the girls. He walked on a red carpet while in the school premises.

Photos: Muslim groups protest National Assembly's decision to stop public hearing on Hijab-wearing law school graduate, Amasa Firdus

A coalition of Muslim organizations, yesterday staged a protest at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, over the decision of House of Representatives Committee on Justice and Judiciary to cancel a public hearing on the hijab controversy between the Nigerian Law School and Miss Amasa Firdus, the Law School graduate who was sent out of the call to bar ceremony in December last year because she refused to take off her Hijab. 

The House committee cancelled the public hearing following an injunction it received from a high court directing it to stay action.

The public hearing, which was scheduled to hold at Room 236 of the House of Representatives Wing, was cancelled immediately after the Chairman of the Committee, Rasak Atunwa, announced that the Committee had received an interlocutory injunction from a High Court restraining it from proceeding with the hearing. 

Leader of the Muslim group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, who is a Muslim scholar and Director of the Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC), started to shout, insisting that the hearing must continue. According to Akintola, the injunction was from a ''Kangaroo'' court and so should not be obeyed by the committee members. 

We reject this and we are saying that the injunction is a travesty of justice. We have come here in peace. These people do not want freedom of expression and they don't want freedom of speech. If the constitution and government fail to protect us, then we will liberate ourselves using every constitutional mechanism that will not cause violence and crisis. Amasa Firdus has challenged the status quo and she is the heroine of today. Nigerian Muslims are saying: ‘You kill one hijab, you have killed all hijab. You bar one Muslim sister, you bar all Muslims. So, this issue is not for Amasa Firdus alone. It is between the Nigerian Law School and all Nigerian Muslims," the enraged professor said

The house said it would announce a new date for the hearing.

Amasa was barred from participating in the December 2017 call to bar ceremony after she refused to take off her Hijab during the ceremony. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

President Trump fires Rex Tillerson: Live updates

Rex Tillerson has been removed as the Secretary of State, ending a tumultuous tenure as America’s top diplomat that was marked by a series of public disagreements with his boss — President Donald Trump.

Trump plans to appoint CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace the former Exxon Mobil chief executive. The president picked deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the spy agency.

Just on Monday, March 12, Tillerson visited Nigeria on the last leg of his official visits to Africa, being the first high-ranking official under the Trump administration to do so.

He met President Muhammadu Buhari during the visit, where they discussed issues of mutual interest to both countries.

The ex-Secretary of State had also warned Nigeria and the rest of Africa against accessing financial help from China.



Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari did not know about the absence of the Inspector General of Police in Benue because he is “not omniscient”.

Adesina made this known while appearing on a RayPower FM public affairs programme, Political Platform, Tuesday morning.

President Buhari has come under attacks particularly from Nigerians on social media after he told the people in Benue that he was unaware that IGP Idris flouted his order to remain in Benue until peace was restored.

Buhari met with farmers, herdsmen, government officials and other stakeholders in Makurdi as part of his visit to troubled states on Monday. He however, denied insinuations that he was not interested in what was happening to Benue State.

“I cannot overlook the killings in Benue or any other part of Nigeria. I cannot do that. I am genuinely worried about the attacks in Benue and we are doing everything to end them,” he said.

The President however said he was surprised that the IGP, Ibrahim Idris, did not spend 24 hours in Benue when he directed him to relocate to the state and remain there till peace was restored.

“I am getting to know this this meeting, I am quite surprised,” he said.

-Premium Times

Presidency Bars PUNCH, Others From Covering Buhari’s Benue Visit

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The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari disregarded freedom of the press in Benue on Monday as correspondents of The PUNCH , ThisDay, Vanguard, Tribune, New Telegraph , The Nation and others were barred from covering the President’ s visit.

About 30 correspondents from various media organisations are in the state , but only seven handpicked media organisations were allowed to cover the President’ s visit.

Our correspondent , who had gone to the Benue State Government House in the early hours of the day , was told that his organisation was not among those allowed to cover the visit .

Checks revealed that there was a directive from the Presidency to restrict the number of media organisations to cover the visit to seven .

The media allowed to cover the visit are The News Agency of Nigeria , Daily Sun, Voice of Nigeria , Daily Trust , Leadership, The Guardian and Daily Independent .

No reason was given for the decision .
Our correspondent noted that security operatives from Abuja took over the activities at the state ’ s seat of government.

Apart from journalists , invited stakeholders were turned back at the third gate of the Government House where security, mainly operatives of the Department of State Services, checked the names of guests against a list they clutched jealously.

Some protesting youths , who had stormed the venue to register their grievances over incessant killings in the state , were sent away by security men, while their placards were seized .

One of the protesters , Jonah Kwaor , who described the operatives as overzealous, said, “We wanted the President to know the magnitude of the senseless killings in our communities , but security men, including the police , drove us away and seized some of our placards .”
Members of the Peace Corps , who attempted to enter the Government House to appeal to the President to rescind his decision and sign the Peace Corps bill , were prevented from entering .

It was gathered that the itinerary of the President was adjusted as his visit to the state Chairman of the state traditional council, Tor Tiv, Prof . James Ayatse, was cancelled.

Also the President’ s scheduled visit to the Internally Displaced People ’ s camp at Gbamjiba , in the Guma Local Government Area was reportedly put off .

Copyright PUNCH .

Other Firms Can Now Provide Meters To Power Consumers – NERC

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Power distribution companies do not have the sole responsibility of providing meters to electricity consumers anymore, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission declared on Monday .

According to NERC, a new regulation , unveiled on Monday , has now introduced another class of operators in the power sector called Meter Asset Providers .

The Commissioner, Legal , Licensing and Compliance , NERC, Dafe Akpeneye, said MAPs would now take up the duty of providing meters to customers , among other functions .

Akpeneye, who spoke at the 25th Monthly Power Sector Meeting , said the commission saw the non- availability of meters as a very serious concern and met with consumers, Discos , financiers and other stakeholders across the industry in order to solve the problem .

He said, “We all arrived at the same answer that we have to do something different. We can no longer leave this very important obligation to the distribution companies alone; other players have to come into this space .

So , we went about creating the NERC Meter Asset Provider Regulation , 2018. What does this seek to do differently ?

“In the past , we left it as a sole responsibility of the Discos in their performance agreement that they are to meter customers . It ’ s been over four years since privatisation and customers are still complaining . So , to solve this problem , we are creating a new class in the industry called Meter Asset Providers. ”

He added , “MAPs will be independent people who will be approved by NERC but contracted by the Discos to bridge the metering gap . In doing this, there will be various options available to customers .

“Electricity consumers will now have the option of self - financing . Those who don ’ t want this will be able to obtain meters from MAPs and there will be a metering service charge spread over a period of 10 years .”

Akpeneye said the regulation would attract over N200 m worth of investments into the sector through meter production , adding that local content requirement was captured in the law.

He stated , “MAPs do not only have the responsibility to provide meters, but they also have the responsibility to ensure that those meters are maintained and replaced within 48 hours if anything goes wrong with a meter . This regulation will not only address the issue of metering , but we estimate that it will attract an investment of over N200 m in the next three years in the industry and will create jobs.

“We’ ve introduced local content requirement into the regulation and with its commencement , it is estimated that at least 30 per cent of all meters deployed must be procured from local manufacturers and assemblers. As the regulation progresses , the need to use local providers will be increased in line with the NERC local content regulation . ”

Commenting on the regulation , the Minister of Power, Works and Housing , Babatunde Fashola , explained that the government had to settle a meter contract problem that lasted for 14 years before it could actualise the Meter Asset Provider Regulation , 2018.

He stated , “The next thing to do is to implement the regulation and that will require the cooperation of all stakeholders in the value chain.

Government decided to pursue an out- of -court settlement on a meter contract that was awarded since 2003 , which was held up in court until 2017 . ”

Copyright PUNCH .

Top 10 Richest Countries In Africa

Rundown of top 10 richest countries in Africa in 2018

10. Tunisia

Gross domestic product – $43.02 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $11,400, Population: 11,431,780
Tunisia has a standout amongst other run economies in the landmass. The rich oil and gas delivering nation keeps running on an expanded economy with some key fares being relied upon, for example, phosphates, agri sustenance items, chemicals, materials among others. Aside from oil send out tourism has assumed a noteworthy part is soaring the economy of the nation and keep in mind Tunisia is an automobile producing parts center. On the world financial discussion worldwide aggressive report of 2015-2016 Tunisia has assumed the 92nd position. This stands at 10th position among the richest countries in Africa.

9. Libya

Gross domestic product – $29.152 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $14,600, Population: 6, 278,438
81% of the aggregate GDP of Libya economy is energized by overwhelmingly incomes from oil area and just about 96% of its aggregate fare. Among all nations in Africa Libya has the biggest affirmed oil hold in the landmass and among the planets providers of light sweet rough. Alternate fares that record a vast rate in the rundown of financial promoters of Libya are gas and gypsum. The World Bank has enrolled Libya among the couple of African nations with an upper center economy. This stands at 9th position among the richest countries in Africa.

8. Angola

Gross domestic product – $102.643 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $7,300 , Population 20,172,332
Angola’s economy has is overwhelmingly controlled by the oil area which record to 51% of the GDP and furthermore over 75% of government income and around 91% of the nation’s aggregate fares. The nation oil and gas store has assumed an exceptionally enter part in raising the nation economy no big surprise the nation has been reproduced and its turning into an extremely well known goal among African nations.. Different fares that lifts the economy are precious stones which record to 5% of aggregate fares. Albeit the greater part of the nations nourishment is imported the nation populace rehearses horticulture. This stands at 8th position among the richest countries in Africa.

Glimpse of the world’s wealthiest arab countries.

7. Botswana

Gross domestic product – $14.391 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $16,400, Population 2262445
Toward the south of Africa mainland you will meet the landlocked nation which has had its spot as one of the quickest developing economies in Africa a factor that can be credited by mining, cows and tourism division. The ways of life in Botswana have been contrasted comparative with nations, for example, turkey and Mexico. Its noteworthy financial blast can be pinpointed to the jewel mining, wary remote strategy, judicious monetary arrangements and low rate of defilement. This stands at 7th position among the richest countries in Africa.

6. Gabon

Gross domestic product – $14.34 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $18600, Population 1725292
Among the Africa’s oil creating countries Gabon has had its spot as one of the biggest maker. It’s situated in the west bank of focal Africa circumscribing Cameroon, Congo and Guinea. As far as square kilometers Gabon has 270,000. Its prosperous economy has been because of oil, manganese, uranium and timber, trades. The low populace, remote venture and political strength have likewise been a factor no big surprise it has been positioned most elevated African nation on Human Development record. This stands at 6th position among the richest countries in Africa.

Top 10 Richest Asian Countries in 2017

5. Egypt

Gross domestic product – $330.779 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $11,800, Population 91508084
Egypt is on the record for being one of the world’s first country state going back tenth thousand years BC.it is considered as one of the countries that accomplished human advancement and improvements, for example, composing, farming, government, religion among others.

Among the Middle East nations Egypt economy is one of the biggest and most enhanced also. The primary fares are unrefined petroleum, oil based goods, chemicals, farming merchandise, metal items, cotton and materials. Different components that have added to the ascent of Egypt are remote ventures and tourism also. This stands at 5th position among the richest countries in Africa.

4. Tropical Guinea

Gross domestic product – $9.4 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $31800, Population 845,060
Tropical Guinea is situated in focal Africa district and hails the distinction for being the main African nation where Spanish is the authority language. It has a zone of 28,000 square kilometers making it one of the smallest states in Africa even as far as populace. Among the financial sponsors of the nation is Oil has taken the position one as the nation is third biggest oil maker and others like cultivating, ranger service and angling following. The nation likewise has some undeveloped assets, for example, uranium, press metal, gold and titanium. This stands at 4th position among the richest countries in Africa.

Some of the world’s Densely Populated Nations

3. South Africa

Gross domestic product – $312.798 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $13200, Population 54,956,920
One of the nations with high GDP than numerous nations in Africa and the 25th biggest nation by surface territory on the planet and in addition 24th worldwide rank in connection to being crowded is South Africa. The World Bank and IMF has sorted South Africa as an upper center wage economy. Its economy has been helped by fares, for example, gold, precious stones, platinum, different metals and minerals, apparatus and hardware. We can’t overlook that South Africa since facilitating the world container tourism has been a noteworthy wellspring of income for the nation also and furthermore outside speculation. This stands at 3rd position among the richest countries in Africa.

2. Nigeria

Gross domestic product $594.257 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita $6003, populace 173,600,000
The IMF has anticipated that Nigeria is set to have its spot as the greatest African economy starting at 2016 surpassing South Africa. Nigeria today holds the 21st position all around in connection to ostensible GDP and twentieth in connection to buying power equality and in 2013 the nation was the first position as far as re-emanant producing part which was the biggest all inclusive. In spite of the fact that the nation is an oil creating nation the oil just contributes 10% of the aggregate GDP. Unrefined petroleum sends out starting at 2016 earned the nation $74B, oil gas earned the nation $13B, refined petro $4.23B, pyrophoric Alloys $1.9 B among others. The economy of Nigeria additionally thrives under air ship parts sends out, vessels, cocoa, tobacco, handled nourishment and spirits and vinegar trades. This stands at 2nd position among the richest countries in Africa

1. Seychelles

Gross domestic product – $1.438 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $26300, Population 92900
World Bank on 2015 hoisted business as usual of Seychelles to top acquiring nation this is because of its position as the most astounding ostensible per capita GDP in Africa and furthermore positions as one of the nations in Africa with most astounding human advancement file. The nation low populace, seaward monetary industry angling industry and tourism segment has made the nation to the wealthiest nation in Africa. You will have a hard time believing it that the nation has only 1% joblessness rate henceforth having its spot at number 1 among the richest countries in Africa.

Omokri: Jonathan, Who Was Called ‘Weak’, Would Sack An IGP That Disobeys His Order

Reno Omokri, former media aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for being “unaware” that Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police, did not obey his order to relocate to Benue.

The president had asked Idris to move to Benue after 73 persons were killed in herdsmen-farmers clashes in January, but during his visit to the state on Monday, the president was told that the IGP did not do as directed.

Reacting, Omokri said Jonathan, despite being labelled ‘weak’, would have sacked any IGP who flouts his directive.

He said the former president would have, in the first instance, been aware that the IGP did not obey his order.

Omokri also knocked Buhari for being unable to adequately supervise his appointees and for not knowing “what is happening in his government”.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, he wrote: “A President that cannot supervise his appointees, is that one a President? President whose orders are disobeyed, is that one a leader? President who does not know what is happening in his government, is that one in power?

“The Benue State Governor, Sam Ortom, is funny. He asked President Buhari to arrest the killer Fulani herdsmen that killed Benue people.

“A President that does not even know where his IG of Police is, who will he ask to arrest who? Please Ortom, be serious and stop cracking jokes.

“You called Jonathan weak. If an Inspector General of Police had disobeyed Jonathan’s orders 2 things would have occurred

a. Jonathan would have known because he verifies that his order [is] obeyed, and

b. Jonathan would have sacked such an IGP before you could say Jack Robinson.”

Ayo Fayose, Ekiti state governor, has also criticised the president over the development, asking if he “really know anything about happenings around him”.


The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has refused to shift ground in his determination to ensure that his son in-law and Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu, succeeds him in 2019.
Okorocha, who spoke through his Special Adviser to on Electoral Matters, Chief Steve Asimobi, told journalists that Nwosu would develop the state
He said, “People talk about his son-in-law and I want to ask: from where do we borrow our democracy? Look at the American history, some times in the history of America, it was the Kennedys, the Kennedy Dynasty and hegemony. If not for death and, perhaps some other factors, may be they may have ruled America for a very long time.
“Look at the Bush family. Bush Senior was the President of America and his two sons were governors of two states in America. If it was in Nigeria, people will shout blue murder. After Clinton, his wife wanted to become President of America and almost defeated Barack Obama. She later contested against the present American President and won the popular vote in the election.
“If America where we borrow our democracy from are wise in doing this, why are we pedestal to be talking about son-in-law? If Uche Nwosu now divorces his wife, is he qualified to run? At times, we push morality to the extreme in Nigeria! Imo State wants somebody that can perform better than previous governors. We do not want somebody that will come and take us back to Egypt.”
Asimobi spoke alongside the Special Adviser to the governor on Imo State Liaison Office and former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Edward Onyemechi.
But the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, on Monday decried the policies of the Imo State Government and asked Okorocha to stop playing god.
Ezeokafor, who condemned the assault on the Archbishop of Owerri, Anthony Obinna, also condemned Okorocha’s plot to impose his son-in-law on the people of the state as the next governor.
Ezeokafor, who spoke at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, while playing host to the members of Civil Society Labour-Media Alliance, Anambra State, said the wrath of God would visit those who attacked the Owerri bishop, if they failed to repent the action and confess their trespasses.




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