Newspapers Review




Ohaneze Ndigbo



Below are the headlines found on The Leadership Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 24 December, 2017.

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
In order to create employment locally, conserve meagre foreign exchange and guard against the leaking of vital information, Nigeria will soon stop the practice of printing her international passports in foreign countries, LEADERSHIP Sunday can reveal authoritatively.

The firms handling the production of the essential travel document currently undertake the printing in countries like South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore.

Multiple sources at the Ministry of Interior confided in our reporter that the minister in charge, General Abdulrahaman Dambazzau (rtd) who has not been well disposed to the current practice in the procurement and manner of issuance of the international passports to Nigerians is set to kick-start the move in his ministry to produce the document within the shores of the country.

A well-placed source in the ministry told our correspondent that despite the amount of money being expended by the country to produce the document overseas, the security features they bear are not foolproof and tamperproof enough. This, he said is in addition to some other noticeable defects, which have all created a situation that has been a cause for concern to the minister.

The source noted that it has been concluded at the highest level in the ministry that instead of creating jobs for people outside Nigeria and to stop the avoidable spending of foreign exchange on foreign passport production, the state-owned security printing outfit – Nigeria Securiy, Minting and Printing Company (NSMPC) – had been asked to produce local samples of Nigeria’s International Passport in preparation for the company’s possible take over of the production of Nigerian Passports.

“You know apart from this, there is also the issue of officials of Nigeria Immigration Service, who are in the habit of hoarding passports in order to illegally charge extra fees for personal aggrandisement. The minister is worried about the embarrassment this causes government and as a result has put the comptroller-general of Immigration on his toes in order to stop the menace,” the source stated.
Sun, 24 Dec 2017
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday exercised his powers contained in section 218 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution as well as section 09.06 of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions for Service for Officers (2012) Revised, to retain Service Chiefs in the country.

A lot of dust was generated within the week when the presidency announced the extension of the tenure of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas and the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Against the backdrop of growing disquiet within the military circle, some stakeholders who spoke to LEADERSHIP Sunday argued that in exercising his constitutional powers, President Buhari also made the right choice at this point in the country’s checkered history.

According to them, it not in contention that the team retained by the president has some of the best, brightest and finest officers that many can attest to the fact that they have given their all to secure and stabilize a country that has been simultaneously engaged in all manner of unprecedented conflicts and threats never recorded since the end of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War.

Not a few of the stakeholders agree that none but the president who is also a living war veteran feels the pinch more than anyone, taking into account that indeed the nation is currently in the throes of war. They argue that the raw exigency of the moment lays on his shoulders the responsibility to do the utmost to wrest the nation from the jaws of chaos.

The thinking is that this is the best plausible context to place the president’s decision to keep the service chiefs as a winning strategy to sustain the tempo of the war on terror in the North East as well as consolidate on the military’s successes in containing threats to national security across the country.

Speaking on the matter, the Concerned Professionals’ Congress (CPC), civil advocacy group, while reacting to Buhari’s decision to retain the CDS and three service chiefs described it as a major step in consolidating on the successful strategy employed by the military high command against grave threats to the security, stability and unity of the nation.

The pro-democracy group said that the robust inter-agency synergy and collaboration driven by the CDS with the support of the service chiefs and heads of other security agencies went a long way to sway the president’s mind in taking the decision.

At a media briefing, which he jointly addressed with the group’s Northern Regional Rapporteur, Malam Baba Al-Kasim in Bauchi yesterday, Mr. Emeka Nwankpa, the Chief Media Strategist of CPC, maintained that the widely-acknowledged success of the counter-terrorism strategy by the CDS-led team in the war against terror in the North East weighted heavily for the tenure extension for the service chiefs.

Nwamkpa contended that since no one had so far questioned the president’s powers in taking the decision, the best explanation to offer is that the CDS-led team had earned the trust, appreciation and confidence of President Buhari, the Nigerian people and the international community in the way and manner they have collectively and professionally tackled threats to national security and stability.
Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Nigerians should not despair as better days lie ahead, President Muhammadu Buhari has said. In his Christmas message to Nigerians, Buhari noted that the country has witnessed an upsurge in the activities of trans-border syndicates who lure youths to modern slavery through irregular migration, “While we have stepped up our efforts to halt this wickedness against the upwardly mobile generation, and have evacuated some of our compatriots stranded abroad, we appeal to them to shun the allure of embarking on such perilous journeys. I am deeply convinced that better days lie ahead for us as a nation as we make progress on all the major fronts where we have set our energies to surmount the challenges.”

While felicitating with all Nigerians on the occasion of Christmas, Buhari said the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ is an important opportunity for Nigerians to show love to one another and encourage unity by spending quality time with our families, friends and the less-privileged. He said it is also an occasion to draw inspiration from the exemplary lifestyle and teachings of Jesus Christ who constantly stood for what is right, true and honest.

Buhari observed that Christmas is a festival of peace, joy, healing, hope and fulfillment, adding that it kindles great expectations in the heart, irrespective of the challenges of the moment. “As we celebrate this Yuletide season, let us devote some time to pray and appreciate the sacrifices of members of our armed services to keep our nation safe and secure. By the same token, and keeping with the spirit of the season, our gallant troops serving in the frontlines in the fight against insurgency; those wounded, lying in the hospital, as well as civilians who have suffered the brunt of evil and wicked elements these past years, deserve our fervent goodwill and sustained prayers”.

“The personal fortitude of these individuals will continue to inspire us to victory as we turn the tide against the enemy and annihilate those who work against the unity of our nation. In this season of hope, let us remember to provide refuge for those who cannot enjoy Christmas at home with their families, or have been driven from their homes by insurgency or violence, particularly the Internally Displaced Persons,” he stated.
Sun, 24 Dec 2017
The Federal Ministry of Transportation recently organised its second annual Road Stakeholders Workshop on strategies to increase the contribution of road transportation to the economy and chat a way forward for the transport sector. EJIKE EJIKE repo rts the conversations.Federal Ministry of Transportation recently held a two day workshop, with the theme Role of Road Transportation in the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Nigerias Economic Recovery and Growth Plan; in Uyo, the 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

Its the season of promises in the air, again. It is that season when Harmattan dust and winter snow, ordinarily oceans apart on account of almighty visa, meld into the unpredictable hearts of maidens. In my neck of the wood, the season signals the return of abroadians wearing fake gold plaited dog chains, speaking uncooked variants of ghetto slangs picked up in the hustle, come home to woo, wed and abandon desperate damsels on the fringe of fancy inspired by the ephemeral prospects of going and 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

OLAJIDE FABAMISE writes that it may be a rough ride to the implementation of a New National Minimum Wage, looking at the fact that many states which have proved incapable of coping with the abysmal N18000 per month may just resort to mass retrenchment of their workers.Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a 30-member minimum wage committee for Nigerian workers. The committee, which includes cabinet members, state governors, labour leaders, and executives from the private sector, is ex 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

As economic realities dictate looking inwards in the real sector, OGUNMOLA-OMILANI captures the giant strides of Nigerias manufacturing concerns in backward integration.Nigerian companies, especially those in the manufacturing sector, are weathering the storm posed by a myriad of macroeconomic challenges with attendant pressure on their limited resources and attempt to cripple their move towards enhanced capacity utilization.Since the economy slid into recession in the first quarter (Q1) of 2016 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

The Federal Ministry of Transportation recently organised its second annual Road Stakeholders Workshop on strategies to increase the contribution of road transportation to the economy and chat a way forward for the transport sector. EJIKE EJIKE repo rts the conversations.Federal Ministry of Transportation recently held a two day workshop, with the theme Role of Road Transportation in the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Nigerias Economic Recovery and Growth Plan; in Uyo, the 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

SAM DIALA takes a holistic look at the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) recently launched by the federal government to widen the nations tax net, including the possible factors that could create resistance to compliance with the scheme.The settingCompelled by stark economic realities, the Nigerian government, after decades of prevarications and wishful posturing, adopted urgent measures to drastically alter the age-long narrative of citizens tepid, stand-aloof attitude to t 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

Good morning distinguished ladies and gentlemen. It is my pleasure to be here with you on this occasion of the launch of the Anti-Corruption Situation Room (ACSR).Let me sincerely commend those who are behind the formation of the ACSR. I understand they include Civil Society Organisations, Media groups and government agencies. The essence, I am told, is not just to promote transparency and accountability in government but also to ensure that the people take ownership of the fight against corrupt 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

In this report, MUYIWA OYINLOLA writes on the travail of the Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as the Appeal Court orders the retrial of the case he had earlier been discharged and acquitted of by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT)About two weeks ago, a three-man appeal court panel ordered the retrial of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).The CCT had earlier in June this year discharged and acquitted the politician who had been standing trial since 2015 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

In this analysis, OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU examines the new rapprochement between former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the apex pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere and what this romance of strange bedfellows holds for the South-west geopolitical zone as 2019 beckons.Fourteen years after he was estranged from the Yoruba socio-cultural apex body, Afenifere, former governor of Lagos and National Leader of the All Progressi 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

Former chairman, National Reconciliation Committee of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, in this interview makes a post-mortem assessment of the recently held national convention of the party; and throws light on his speculated 2019 presidential ambition. He spoke with MUYIWA OYINLOLA.Would you say the last convention of your party was a success or a failure considering the fact one of the chairmanship aspirants stormed out of the convention ground in protest and another has instituted a case in co 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017

BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, PORT HARCOURTRivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has declared that he will accept the numerous endorsements by different ethnic nationalities when he receives their firm assurance that they will defend their votes in 2019.He stated that the way that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led-federal government has failed in all areas, it will set out to write results in 2019, hence the need for the people to defend their votes.Wike, who spoke yesterday at a civic re