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NAIJA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [31 DECEMBER, 2017].


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Below are the headlines found on The Leadership Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 31 December, 2017.

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
Ten years after the last recapitalisation exercise in the insurance industry, the 58 insurance companies in the country will in the new year, face a new form of recapitalisation to cope with the current business reality, our correspondent exclusively gathered. The new recapitalisation process, investigation shows, will categorise underwriting firms into tiers, while the level of capitalisation will determinesl the risk the companies underwrite. The new capital base, it was learnt, would be adequately spelt out in the Risk Based Supervision(RBS) framework, that would be made public in the first quarter of 2018. In a proactive approach by underwriting firms, our correspondent learnt that about 25 out of

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the 58 insurance companies in the country have already commenced recapitalisation process through mergers and acquisitions deals. Some of them, investigation reveals are currently in acquisition talks with their local and foreign investors to acquire substantial stake in their firms. Already, six insurance firms are planning to raise N22 billion funding from new and existing shareholders through the capital market in a bid to recapitalise and become stronger to play active roles in insurance market by the time the new supervision model, that is, RBS kicks off, in the country, next year(2018). Already, WAPIC Insurance PLC, Sovereign Trust Insurance(STI) PLC, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance PLC, Royal Exchange PLC, Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC and Law Union and Rock Insurance PLC have concluded plans to raise a cumulative N22 billion through public offers, rights issue and private placement respectively. The likes of Niger Insurance Plc, Universal Insurance PLC, International Energy Insurance (IEI), among others, are already discussing with various foreign investors who have indicated interest to invest in Nigeria’s insurance industry. In the same vein, Standard Alliance Insurance PLC, has restructured its holding structure as part of plans to further raise additional capital to be competitive when RBS finally takes off.

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
While the federal government  ows more than 14 months pension arrears, amounting to over N250 billion under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS), 20 states  of the federation owe a cumulative N200  billion to their retirees. ZAKA KHALIQ presents industry experts’ perspectives on the way out. While the achievements so far recorded under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) known as the new pension system is commendable, however, the inability of Federal Government and some state governments to honour pension obligations of their respective workers as and when due has created N450 billion pension arrears for the two tiers of governments,

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both under the old and the new pension schemes. To this end, retirees are groaning in pains, for they could not get what they have laboured for during their working career. Federal government is already owing more than 14 months pension arrears amounting to N250 billion to its workers, while there  has been a decline in the budgetary provision for funding of the Retirement Benefit Bonds Redemption Fund (RBBRF) account and the remittance of monthly contribution from 2014 till date, meaning that retirees would not be able to get their monthly pensions. Twenty states, especially, the financially strapped ones, are owing as high as 20 months pension arrears amounting to N200 billion,  while pensioners continue to live in penury, with some dying in the process. Information from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) shows that as against the N91billion needed to offset pension arrears through RBBRF, only N50billion was budgeted for in the 2016 national budget, leaving a shortfall of N41.71 billion. FG had earlier said it has released N41.5 billion to PenCom as pension arrears under CPS for the year 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Fri, 29 Dec 2017
The Presidency has hailed the performance of the agricultural sector in 2017 which posted consistent growth levels throughout the recession, leading other sectors into positive growth rates. This was disclosed by the special adviser media to the President ,Femi Adesina in a piece titled key achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017. He expressed hope that the gains of 2017 in agriculture will be further improved upon in the new year. According to him ,Nigeria saw bumper food harvests, especially in rice, whose local production continues to rise significantly with states like Ebonyi, Kebbi and Kano leading the pack, while Ogun joined the loop by the end of 2017. He said the price of a 50kg bag of rice has fallen by about 30 per cent since the beginning of 2017, as local production continues to rise saying the price will keep falling, as production remains consistent and rises. Adesina noted that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the number of

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Nigerians facing food insecurity in the northeast dropped by half this year. Against all odds, the Presidential Spokesman noted that 2017 has turned out the Year of Nigeria’s Agriculture Revolution, embodied by the successes of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) and the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which were launched by President Buhari. For the records, he said more than a dozen moribund fertilizer blending plants were revived under the PFI this year. He said despite global economic challenges and initial outlook of slow, or unlikely, recovery, the Nigerian economy trumped predictions and witnessed some remarkable changes in 2017, which include exiting from the worst recession in decades and a gradual stabilization of the naira. He contended that in their review of the economy based on facts and figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, the government is pleased to note that the economy has been on the path of steady growth since the second quarter, after contracting for five consecutive quarters. According to him,president Buhari is hopeful that the exit from recession, stabilization of the naira and robust harvest in the agricultural sector will continue to impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.
Fri, 29 Dec 2017
Fewer than 300,000 direct jobs will be created in Kaduna and environs when President Muhammadu Buhari commissions the Kaduna Inland Dry Port on Thursday, 4 January 2018, LEADERSHIP Weekend’s findings have revealed. The Inland Dry Port in Kaduna, LEADERSHIP Weekend has learnt, is to serve other states in northern part of the country even as countries like Chad, Niger, Cameroon and the Central African Republic. To this end, the federal government, the Nigerian Shippers Council and other stakeholders are set for its commissioning next week. Already, port activities have already taken off in the Kaduna Inland Dry Port, thus making it the first of such in the country. The port manager, Mr Rotimi Oledele Raimi, told our correspondent that northern businessmen, importers and exporters as well as their counterparts from Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Central African Republic could now consummate their transactions using the port. The facility, gazetted on May 26, 2015, is now equipped for port operations and shipping services, international and local logistics, freight and forwarding to the inner reaches of Northern Nigeria and landlocked neighbouring countries of the Niger Republic, Chad, and Cameroon. According to the Nigerian Shippers Council, Kaduna State Chapter, it is expected that about 300, 000 people will get direct jobs from the dry port in a few years to come. Our correspondent observed that the port was fully equipped to handle more than 29,000 containers per annum, and agents could legitimately take delivery of their imported cargoes and as well as forward their export goods directly to various countries abroad without hindrances. Already, Nigerian Customs and other relevant agencies now operate at the port having been provided with well-equipped office accommodation within the premises to enhance

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trade facilitation and reduce turnaround time. Maritime experts are also on ground at the port to provide counselling and consultancy services for import and export business processes and procedures. The dry port has an expansive container terminal, accessible by both rail and road with availability of modern cargo handling equipment and tools to facilitate quick delivery and turnaround time. Available are large warehouses for cargo storage; export consolidation, stuffing/unstuffing operations and groupage coupled with fully equipped technical workshop, modern examination bay, expansive container terminal, and modern Assycuda systems (for customs). Speaking with our correspondent, the president of NSC, Kaduna State Chapter, Mohammed Kasali Abdulsalam, said he was optimistic that activities taking place at the port would transform the state into a business and commercial hub of the North. He said, “For instance, as a shipper, I don’t need to go to Lagos to clear my goods. All I need to do is to inform my suppliers anywhere in the world that the final destination of the goods is Kaduna. Thus, what you need to do is to just write: Lagos/Kaduna Port. When your consignment reaches Lagos, it would be in transit to the final destination which is Kaduna.” Abdulsalam said apart from government employees working in the port, over 300, 000 people would be directly employed within a period of at least five years. “No fewer than 300,000 people will be affected directly by this gigantic port within a period of five years. The hospitality business will also be boosted because more restaurants and hotels will be needed,” he said. Raimi said what finally emerged as Kaduna Inland Dry Port was the Inland Container Nigeria Limited, which the federal government had to upgrade to a dry port.
Fri, 29 Dec 2017
BY ADEBAYO WAHEED, IbadanThe World Bank has lauded the Oyo State Government on the 2016/2017 Annual School Census report.The Banks representative in Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Adekola who gave the recommendation on Thursday during a presentation of the report to the key-stakeholders in the state said, Oyo State has better educational services for all.According to him, the report will help in appropriating resources and making appropriate decisions base on available data to enhance efficiency.He said thi 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By BUKOLA IDOWU, LagosThe West African Examination Council (WAEC) has extended the closing date for the registration for the first set of private candidate examination for January/February following clamour by candidates for an extension.The deadline which was earlier fixed for today, Friday December 29, 2017 has been extended by two weeks to Friday, January 12, 2018.This according to the spokesperson of the examination body Demianus Ojieogu, is to allow more candidates complete their registrati 

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Fri, 29 Dec 2017
BY ALO ABIOLA, Ado EkitiEkiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose has joined other Nigerians to pray for the speedy recovery of President Muhammadu Buharis son, Yusuf who was recently involved in a power bike accident.The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Idowu Adelusi , quoted him to have prayed on his verified Twitter Handle that God will be with the Presidents family at this trying time.He said; I wish the Presidents son speedy recovery. May the healing hands of the Almighty God be upon t 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
BY BUKOLA IDOWU, LagosLagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on has approved the appointment of Dr. Nosiru Olajide Onibon as the Acting Provost of the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Noforija, Epe.Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh in a statement on Thursday said the appointment takes immediate effect.Onibons appointment follows the demise of the former Provost, Professor Olurotimi Sikiru Akeusola who passed on early this year.Born on 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
BY JOSHUA DADA, OsogboGovernor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State haa presented 2018 budget proposal of N173,980,083,007 to the Osun State House of Assembly for approval.The budget, Christened Budget of Enduring legacy is N27,347,336,027 higher than that of 2017 that was N146,632,746,980.00.Aregbesola, while presenting the draft Budget said it is anchored on the avowed commitment of his administration to provide a conducive living environment for the people of Osun State.Summarising the draft 2018 re 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By BAYO AMODU, AbujaCapital Market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pledged to work with Finance Correspondents to ensure proper reporting of the capital market to enlighten and educate the investing public.Acting Director General of SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair stated this when Executive of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) Abuja Chapter visited him recently.Zubair commended the journalists for their assistance so far in propagating the initiatives of the Com 


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Fri, 29 Dec 2017
Sen Robert Borofice represents Ondo North in the Nigerian Senate. In this interview with RUTH CHOJI, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, stated that restructuring might not solve Nigerias problems but devolution of power will definitely change things. He also spoke on some other issues.The world seems to have left Nigeria behind in terms of science and technology, what is happening'I have been in science sector for a long time from the university level to government an 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
In this report, AHURAKA YUSUF ISAH takes a look at major developments in the senate in 2017 and writes that the mutual mistrust, suspicion and lack of confidence between Presidency and the Senate leadership, laid by events of June 9, 2015, continue to take their toll on governance in the country. While reacting to the situation reminiscent of todays Nigeria in US, when there was so much corruption being unearthed in all realms of life, when there was a crying need for institutions which put char 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
TAIWO OGUNMOLA-OMILANI examines the Revised Import & Export Guidelines recently announced by the Ministry of Finance requiring all imports and exports to be palletised, effective January 2018; and highlights stakeholders anxieties over the negative effects the policy might have on the Ease of Doing Business initiative launched by the federal government last June.In its effort to ensure seamless business transactions and eliminate obstacles creating hiccups to ease of doing business in the co 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By FESTUS OKOROMADU, AbujaA team of officials from Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and security agencies on Thursday dispensed 57,000 litres of petrol free to motorists in Abuja.Mr Umar Ajiya, the managing director, Nigerian Product Marketing Company, NPMC, also known as PPMC, had on Dec. 13, warned petrol profiteers to desist or face losing their products.The team, which was on its fifth day of monitoring, got more information from anonymou 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By NANNo fewer than four persons were killed in a suicide bomb attack yesterday at Amarwa community of Konduga local government area of Borno State.The incident occurred at about 2 pm when a male suicide bomber infiltrated the village and detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strapped to his body.An eyewitness, Bukar Fantai, told NAN that the bomber managed to sneak into the village disguising as a grain merchant.Fantai said that the insurgent first approached a shop keeper and offered 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja and Alo Abiola, Ado EkitiFormer President, Goodluck Jonathan has joined in praying for the quick recovery of President Buharis son, Yusuf.Jonathan, in a message on his Facebook page, said I have been in Liberia monitoring elections and only just heard the sad news. My family and I are in prayers for the quick recovery of Yusuf Buhari.It is my deep desire that a young man so full of promise should live and thrive to fulfill the promises God has domiciled in him. I also ca 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By Ruth Tene Natsa, AbujaThe Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has opposed the removal of mining from the exclusive lists of the federal government to allow more states participation.MANs president, Alhaji Sani Shehu stated the position of the association while briefing newsmen on the state of mining in Nigeria at the Associations End of Year 2017 Press Conference in Abuja yesterday.The recent suggestion from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development on the removal of mining from the exclusi 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
BY AHURAKA ISAH AND SOLOMON AYADO, FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja, NAN, CHIKA IZUORA, LagosThe Senate yesterday cut short its three-week recess to convene a meeting with stakeholders in the oil sector, with a view to addressing the fuel scarcity which appears to have defied solutions.This is as the Senate has vowed to unveil forces or factors behind the fuel scarcity which has caused Nigerians untold hardship in lasted last three weeks.Consequently, its committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), ha 

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Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By OLUSHOLA BELLO And KAYODE TOKEDE, LagosNigerias stock market has been named to be amongst the five top performers in 2017, topping equities markets of most major European, Middle Eastern and Asian countries, a CNN report has revealed.The report which examined the performances of global equities markets, listed the United States stock market to have average 25 per cent, Nigeria 43 per cent, Turkey 43 per cent, Argentina 73 per cent and Hong Kong 35 per cent as the major outperformers.Analysts 

Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By Bernard Tolani Dada, UyoNo fewer than 14 fleeing inmates of Ikot Ekpene prisons in Akwa Ibom State have been rearrested following intense manhunt for them by the guards.It was gathered that the 14, who are serving various terms of imprisonments, were recaptured within Ikot Ekpene environs.The Controller of Prisons (CP), Mr Alex Oditah, who gave update of the incident yesterday, said the recaptured prisoners were among the 47 that forcefully escaped from the facility, yesterday.According to hi 

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