Newspapers Review




Ohaneze Ndigbo





Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 13 November, 2017.
Tue, 14 Nov 2017
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday threw his weight behind Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s decision to sack 22,000 teachers in Kaduna State who failed competency test and recruit 25,000 new ones.

El-Rufai had vowed that threats of industrial action by the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teac‎hers (NUT) would not deter his government.

Digressing from his speech after addressing participants at a special retreat of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the challenges facing the education sector in Nigeria, which held at the Banquet Hall, Abuja, Buhari who gave the tacit support to El-Rufai, described the development as “a serious situation.”

If nothing else, the presidential endorsement will embolden Governor El-Rufai whose decision last week to sack almost the entire teachers in public schools in Kaduna State has attracted criticism from around the country.
Buhari said his administration was committed to revitalising the education system and making it more responsive and globally competitive.

“It is a very serious situation, when teachers cannot pass the exams that they are supposed to teach the children to pass. It is a very tragic situation we are in.

“For nine years, I was in boarding school, three in primary and six in secondary school. In ‎those days, teachers treated students or children like their own children. If you did well, they would tell you that you did well. If you didn’t do well, they never spared the rod.

“I listened to one Nigerian I respect. He said after his training here in Nigeria and the United States, he went to his alma mater, his primary school, to see what he could contribute.

“I won’t mention his name, but when he went, he couldn’t differentiate between the students, the children and the teachers.

“And what El-Rufai is trying to do now is exactly what that man told me about 10 years ago. It is a very serious situation, when teachers cannot pass the exams that they are suppose to teach the children to pass,” the president said.
Tue, 14 Nov 2017
For the most part of 30 years in which Nigeria’s foremost culture edifice, National Theatre, has been in comatose, government has lost over N300 billion.

The 5,000-capacity main bowl has not been put to use since 1992 due to structural errors. The other halls run skeletal services at best, with most of them as non-cultural or artistic events. Organisers of artistic events have since shifted to other well-maintained venues.

The government has continued to incur overhead costs in terms of salaries of staff of both the National Troupe of Nigeria and the National Theatre. “A source close to the operations at the facility put the overhead expenses on the National Theatre within the last one year (although not regular) at N18 million monthly, and N4 million for National Troupe of Nigeria. This has, however, stopped to be regular in the last two years, but whenever it comes, the two establishments get that much,” the source disclosed.

In spite of the monthly allocations and monies collected from the few event organisers and patrons, the edifice has been in total darkness for most part of 2017. It is currently experiencing a blackout because it owes N20 million electricity supply debts.

Notable filmmaker, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, has accused managers of the theatre of incompetence for running down the prime venue where he screened his celluloid films alongside Chief Herbert Ogunde and Dr. Ola Balogun in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The main bowl, Ugbomah disclosed, has lost close to N90 billion in about 30 years while the other halls also lost another N200 billion in 18 years. He based his estimates on what he and the late Yoruba film doyen, Ogunde, and Balogun, used to rake in at most weekends for showing their celluloid films. He said while Ogunde, whose Yoruba language films were very popular, made about N5 million most weekends, he (Ugbomah) made about N3 million with his English films like The Death of a Black President, Oyenusi and Black Gold.

Ugbomah noted that the theatre has more halls than any event centre in the country and if well managed, revenues from them could be used to sustain it with reserves sent to government’s coffers.

“There is the exhibition hall, two cinema halls, the banquet hall, the VIP hall, and the 5,000-seater main bowl,” Ugbomah said. “No other venue in Nigeria has this capacity. The main bowl also has a revolving stage, which is rare to come by in most event centres, and this stage has not been used in the past 30 years. Imagine how much money government would be making if 5,000 people pay at least N500 to watch a film or play that would be shown thrice or four times a day?”

Another filmmaker and first president of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Mr. Mahmoud Ali-Balogun (producer of Tangle with Me), spoke in agreement with Ugbomah, but said the financial loss at the National Theatre was unquantifiable given the resurgence in the cinema-going tradition in the past few years in the country.

Mo Abudu’s The Wedding Party grossed N200 million in just 16 days of four weekends in box office earnings in cinema halls that seat only 100 people at a time. Also, AY’s (Ayo Makun) A Trip to Jamaica earned N168 million in less than four weekends. The two cinema halls at the National Theatre seat well over 500 people each at the same time, the exhibition hall well over 800 people.

Ali-Balogun spoke further: “Earnings from cinemas are just one aspect of what can be done with the National Theatre. If you look at what is being done at Terra Kulture, FilmOne House, Silverbird Galleria, and Genesis in terms of raising revenues, I will say National Theatre’s loss is too much, too unquantifiable, and it’s a shame. The National Theatre is like a cultural headquarters. It is a place where you can have exhibitions like fine arts, film shows like cinemas, plays performed and corporate AGMs. Do you know the kind of affinity artists have for that place? But it’s being left fallow right now. It’s just unfortunate. I believe that things have to change. What is responsible for this I don’t know, but I know government is making efforts to make it work.”
Tue, 14 Nov 2017
The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) said it has paid more than N100 billion to depositors of liquidated Deposit Money Banks in the country till date.

Besides, the corporation revealed that it deployed all legal means to recover loans of failed banks, sale of assets and ensure transparent distribution of the liquidation dividend among the uninsured depositors.

The payments, according to the safety net institution, are not done in secret, as it has been publishing them in newspapers, radio and television whenever insured deposits and uninsured deposits were due for payment.

The Managing Director of NDIC, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, who made the disclosure at the corporation’s Day at the just concluded Lagos International Trade Fair, said the institution has redoubled its efforts by providing an enabling regulatory and supervisory environment that ensures small savers are protected.

Represented by the Director, Claims Resolution Department, A. S. Bello, he said: “We implore those depositors who have not responded to our calls to come forward to collect their insured deposits and liquidation dividends already declared for uninsured deposits to do so.”

The NDIC chief however, reiterated his warnings against patronising those he described as “dubious fund managers”, adding that the promises of unrealistically high returns sometimes lead to disastrous consequences to the assets of their victims and their lives too.

“The emerging trend of investing in digital currencies popularly known as Bitcoins is equally dangerous because just like the ‘Wonder Banks,’ the digital currencies are not licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and therefore not insured by NDIC.

“The protection of the depositor remains our top priority. That is why we continue to stress the need for depositors to patronise only financial institutions that are licensed by the CBN and which display the NDIC sticker with the words ‘insured by NDIC’ in their banking halls or entrances,” he said.

He explained that NDIC would continue to be at the forefront of driving the key objectives of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to reduce the percentage of adult Nigerians that do not have access to financial services, as a way to meet the 20 per cent exclusion rate by 2020.

“To this end, the corporation has redoubled is efforts by providing an enabling regulatory and supervisory environment that ensures that the hard earned savings of small savers are protected.

“This is very vital to financial inclusion because the poor people need assurance that the licensed deposit taking institutions are safe and that they have access to their money whenever they need it,” he added.
Tue, 14 Nov 2017
What manner of a goalkeeper is he? That is the question Deportivo La Coruna shot stopper will answer today if he gets the opportunity to man the post against Argentina in the international friendly scheduled to hold in Krasnodar, Russia.

Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr hinted yesterday that he would give the former Golden Eaglets’ reserve goalkeeper the opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the Russia 2018 World Cup squad today. However, there are those who believe that Rohr may choose to play the main team that qualified Nigeria for the World Cup instead of fielding some rookies due to the opponent’s pedigree.

Camp sources said yesterday that Rohr has seen so many attributes in the 19-year-old Uzoho and would want to see him in match situation against a strong opposition.

“Uzoho has one thing working for him as soon as you see him. He is a big lad and Germans like their goalkeepers big and that was the reason former Super Eagles coach Berti Vogts preferred Austin Ejide to Vincent Enyeama a few years ago.

“Aside his physical attribute, Uzoho is also very good at taking crosses, he commands his area very well and with all due respect to the goalkeepers we have now, Uzoho is the best in playing with his legs, something Rohr likes a lot,” one of the camp sources told a local website.

Rohr revealed that the game against Argentina would be the first in the series of matches lined up for Nigeria’s preparation for the World Cup.

The coach is working hard to ensure that Nigeria made good use of the six available FIFA free windows for friendly games against some tough opposition.

Error loading media: File could not be played
“It is very good we have two games to prepare our team between November and March but it is not enough.

“We’ll like two games in May, two games at the start of June. We could have six games during the pre-World Cup preparation, with training sessions used as match conditions,” he said.

The Franco-German explained that the Eagles decided to play Argentina in in Russia because they wanted to see the country before returning for the 2018 World Cup.

‘’Why do we hold a friendly game here in Russia? It turned out that the last match against Algeria in the qualifying tournament for the World Cup was held when we already qualified,’’ he told Sport Express Russia.

‘’It turned out that we were looking for who would play the second match. It was possible to play in Russia against Argentina.

‘’It is important for us to see how everything is arranged here before coming to Russia in 2018.’’

Meanwhile, Argentina warmed up for today’s match with Coach Jorge Sampaoli planning as many as 11 changes to the squad that defeated Russia 1-0 in a friendly game on Saturday.

Ole reported that in yesterday’s training session, Sampaoli experimented with what will most likely be the starting ‎line up against Nigeria today.

According to Ole, the only decision yet to be made by the coach is who will start on the left between Angel Di Maria and Diego Perroti with goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin likely to get his first start.

Juventus forward Paulo Dyabala will start upfront alongside Dario Benedetto and Cristian Pavon, who set up Sergio Kun Aguero for the winner against Russia will most likely start.
Tue, 14 Nov 2017
Stakeholders at the international construction and building exhibition, Elan Expo, have hinged the ability of operators in the construction and real sectors to reduce their operational... 

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
Former Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has described as scandalous alleged sale by the Governor Willie Obiano-led administration of dollars he saved and invested in the Anambra Future Growth Funds. 

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
After a smashing debut, "Thor: Ragnarok" thundered to the box office top spot once again for its second weekend, taking $57.1 million, according to data released Monday. 

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
In July 2015, a few months after President Buhari was sworn in, he took a trip to Washington D.C at the invitation of then US President Barack Obama to discuss bilateral cooperation on Nigeria's economy, corruption, and security. 

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Chima Centus Nweze, has reiterated the need for adherence to true constitutionalism and democratic governance. 

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday decried the rot in the education sector, saying Nigeria could not 'progress beyond the level and standard of its educational system. 

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
In spite of the seemingly rosy economic and business relations that exist between Nigeria and Ghana, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ghana, Carlos Ahenkora, has decried... 

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
Anthony Joshua has warned fans he will not fight Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Joseph Parker in 2018. 

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
Community leaders in Ekiti and Osun have decried the near hijack of the statutory functions of local governments by the states. This they say is seriously hampering concrete development efforts at the local level. 

No comments: