Below are the headlines found on The Nation Online Newspaper for today, Thurday, 1st March, 2018.

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
The United Nations (UN) yesterday demanded that the abductors of the 110 pupils of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State should release them immediately.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he “very much hopes that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, and just as importantly, that the girls will be found and returned to safety”.

“I think the fact that these young women were abducted in an educational setting, where they should have been safe, where they should feel safe, just adds to the horror of the story.”

In a statement by his spokesperson, Mr Stephane Dujarric, Guiteres said he was gravely concerned over the situation.

The UN chief urged the Nigerian authorities to swiftly bring those responsible for this dastardly act to justice.

Guterres reiterated the solidarity and support of the UN to the Nigerian Government and other affected countries in the region in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

The UN had earlier described the abduction as “another horrific incident where young women and girls are targeted by terror groups”.

Yesterday in Abuja, National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno inaugurated a 12-man panel to look into the circumstances leading to the kidnap of the girls, which he said  did not portray Nigeria in good light.

Monguno said: “The abduction of the schoolgirls by the terrorists is a worrisome incident that requires deliberate, urgent and relentless efforts on the part of government.

“There has been conflicting reports from various quarters on the event that led to the abduction, the number of persons abducted, as well as their identity.

“This does not portray the country in good light. There have also been reports, especially in the social media, which tend to support some level of inactivity by relevant organisations.

“Therefore, there is a need to verify the circumstances surrounding the abduction of these girls from the Government Girls Secondary School.”

Monguno listed the committee’s terms of reference. They are:

determine the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the students from the school on the 18th of February;
determine the exact number of persons abducted alongside their identity as there are conflicting reports in this regard;
confirm the presence, composition, scale and disposition of security emplaced in Dapchi, as well as the school itself before the incident;
ascertain the existing communication in the Dapchi and their functionality;
suggest measures that can lead to the location and immediate rescue of the abducted girls; and
to recommend measure to be emplaced in preventing future occurrences, and any other detail the committee may deem necessary.
“Considering the importance of the issue and the urgency required to promptly address the terms of reference and associated concerns, you are to commence sitting immediately and submit your report to me in two weeks, “ Monguno told the committee.

He urged the members “to be objective in their findings in order to address this ugly development”.

The NSA went on: “I must emphasis here also that there is a lot of cynicism outside in the wider society.

“This is not the first time such incident has taken place. On the 14th of April, 2014, a lot of girls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok.

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Some unknown gunmen yesterday in Kaduna abducted the wife and child of a Voice of America (VOA) reporter.

The abductors killed an official of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), who attempted to help the victims.

The reporter, Malam Nasir Birnin-Yero, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that about 30 men attacked his residence in Birnin Yero, near Kaduna at about 1:30 am.

“They came to my house at about 1:30 am. I was not at home. They forced themselves into my house and asked my wife of my whereabouts and she told them I was not at home.

“They vandalised my television set and refrigerator before taking my wife and son away, insisting that they must take them to where I was.

“One of my neighbours, who works with the FRSC, Mr. Sabitu Abdulhamid, was shot dead when he rushed out in an attempt to save my family.

“The kidnappers have not made any contact yet,” Birnin-Yero said

Kaduna State FRSC Sector Commander Umar Ibrahim confirmed the death of the corps personnel.

Ibrahim described the deceased as a very hard working person, who was also a member of the community’s vigilante.

“I am just coming back from the burial. It is a sad day for members of his family and the entire FRSC family, “the sector commander said.

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Nigerians are getting poorer despite the ongoing economic recovery after the recession, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

The Fund urged the government to urgently begin economic reforms to turn things around, according to the IMF Annual Article IV review of Nigeria quoted by Reuters.

The Fund expects the government to “muddle through” in the medium term, and any progress could also be threatened if elections next year consume political energy and resources, the report said.

The report said economic managers had continued to boast that they had set the economy back on track after emerging from recession in the second quarter of last year.

It said critics insisted much of the recovery came from a return to oil dependence after a rise in global oil prices and a recovery in crude production, mainly as a result of the militants in the Niger Delta stopping attacks on oil facilities than of economic policy under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The IMF said in the report that the outlook for growth had improved but remained challenging. “Comprehensive and coherent” economic policies “remain urgent and must not be delayed by approaching elections and recovering oil prices,” it said in its annual Article IV review of Nigeria’s economy.

“Higher oil prices would support a recovery in 2018 but a ‘muddle-through’ outlook is projected for the medium term under current policies, with fiscal dominance and structural constraints leading to continuing falls in real GDP per capita,” the IMF said.

In the report, IMF identified risks to growth, including additional delays to implementing policies and reforms ahead of 2019 elections, security tensions, and oil prices, a fall which could see capital flows reversed. “Further delays in policy action — including pre-election pressures — can only make the inevitable adjustment more difficult and costlier,” the report said.

The lender repeated its call for Nigeria to simplify its “complex” foreign exchange system, a bugbear for the IMF for more than a year which has left large gaps between official rates and various windows that certain groups can use to get other rates.

“Moving towards a unified exchange rate should be pursued as soon as possible,” the IMF said. “(IMF) staff does not support the exchange measures that have given rise to the exchange restrictions and multiple currency practices.”

The Fund singled out the Central Bank, saying it should discontinue direct interventions in the economy. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) frequently injects hundreds of millions of dollars into the foreign exchange market to keep its own rates stable.

Commercial banks struggling to remain solvent were also called out, but not identified by the IMF, including one that the lender said was already insolvent: “Some of these banks are kept afloat through continuous recourse to the CBN’s lending facilities.”

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
More facts emerged yesterday on the fate of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The process of extending party executives’ tenure is spelt out in the Nigerian Constitution, legal sources said, quoting Section 233 (1).

Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello had announced on Tuesday that the National Executive Committee (NEC) granted the John Odigie-Oyegun-led  NWC an extension of tenure  –  a claim that was debunked by Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) Chairman and Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari.

Yari said such an extension could be effective with a constitutional amendment, which only a National Convention could do.

“Article 30 of the APC constitution states: The constitution and the schedules hereto can be amended only by the National Convention of the party.

“The process of amending the constitution is also expressly provided in Article 30 sub section 2. This states: “Notice of any proposed amendment by any member or organ of the party shall be given to the National Secretary at least 14 days before the date of the National Convention. The Notice shall be in writing, shall contain a clear statement of the proposed amendment and reasons for it,” Yari said.

Yari added:  “What was done today (yesterday) is only an expression of a desire to extend the tenure of Chief Oyegun-led National Executive.”

Many party chiefs and members yesterday realised that those who claimed that the NWC’s tenure had been extended were wrong.

Many members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Executive Committee (NEC) were yesterday backing out of the decision to extend the tenure of the party’s executives when they discovered that it requires an amendment to the constitution.

The party has slated another NEC meeting for this month to begin the march to the national convention, the only organ of the party that can amend the constitution.

Article 30 of the APC constitution stipulates that “this constitution and the schedule hereto can be amended only by the National Convention”.

This is in conformity with article 223 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution which stipulates: “The Constitution and rules of political party shall provide for the periodical election on a democratic basis of the principal officers an members of executive committee or other governing body of the political party.”

Oyegun said yesterday that the NEC decision to grant the tenure elongation was because of the “the mighty task” ahead of the party.

He told reporters in his office that the party wanted to avoid going into the general elections in a crisis, pointing out that congresses and electoral process were potential conflict areas that could affect the general election.

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the final forfeiture of two penthouses valued at $4.760m belonging to former Petroleum Resources Minister Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

They are: Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11th floor (Bella Vista Estate) Banana Island, Ikoyi; and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate), also in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Ruling on an application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), JJustice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered that they be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The commission’s lawyer, Mr ABC Ozioko, told the court that he had a motion on notice for a final forfeiture order in respect of the properties.

He added that the interim forfeiture order made last December 5 was advertised in The Nation  as ordered by the court.

He also prayed for an order prohibiting the disposal of any mortgage or sale of the properties, and for an order authorising the EFCC to appoint a competent person or firm to manage the properties.

Respondents’ counsel Mr Emmanuel Bassey did not object to the prayers.

Justice Olatoregun granted the orders as prayed.

She said: “I have observed the facts and exhibits attached and I am also mindful that the second, third and fourth respondents have no objections to the application.

“I, therefore, have no hesitation in ordering a final forfeiture of the properties to the Federal Government.”

Mrs Alison-Madueke, Donald Amangbo, Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Property Limited are the respondents.

The commission said the companies in whose names the properties were acquired belong to the former minister.

An EFCC investigator, Abdulrasheed Bawa, in an affidavit, said sometime in 2016, a search warrant was executed at Amangbo’s premises.

He said Amangbo was “an acquaintance of former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Alison Madueke”.

The investigator said one of the documents recovered from Amamgbo led the operatives to the Deputy Managing Director, YF Construction Development and Real Estate Limited, Mr. Fadi Basbous.

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Governments exist primarily for the protection of lives and properties of the governed. Sadly in spite of President Buharis giant strides in his crusade against corruption, revamping of the economy and ending the nations drift after 16 years of impunity, the February 19 carting away of 110 students of Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, in 11 trucks by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in military fatigues, was but a confirmation that all that has been going on either in Ab 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
IT SOUNDED far-fetch when the news broke in the night of Monday, February 19. It cannot happen again, we chorused, looking at one another as we shared the news of the abduction of another set of school girls in the Northeast. No, not after what happened in Chibok, Borno State, about four years ago. In our subconscious minds, we silently prayed that the news would not be true. But the abduction of over 100 pupils of the Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC) in Dapchi, Yobe State, 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Sixty-five-year old Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, after the disgraced former President, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was forced to resign, assumed office as president of South Africa as fifth president of the new South Africa following the footsteps of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,(1994-1999), Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki (1999-2008), Kgalema Motlanthe (2008- 2009) and Zuma (2009- 2018). The regime of Zuma was marked by what South Africans call state capture by Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta and Varun Gupt 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Okay independent assembliesReject LG autonomyDespite opposition by governors, Houses of Assembly have voted for financial autonomy for the legislature at the state level.They also endorsed an amendment to the 1999 Constitution, which will grant the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly autonomy.But the Houses rejected proposals for Local Government autonomy and abrogation of the State-Local Government Joint Account.By the development, states will still be interfering with statutory fund 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Ogun State Governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun has said traditional institutions are symbols of sovereignty as well as the melting pot for communal efforts towards socio-economic development of communities.Amosun spoke at the installation and presentation of staff of office to Oba Clement Akinola Omosowon of the Orisanwo Ruling House as the new Elewo of Ilewo Orile.The ceremony was held at Ilewo Community High School, Ilewo-Orile in Abeokuta North Local Government Area.The governor, who was represe 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Seventy-two people have died of Lassa fever since January 1, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said yesterday.The development is contained in the centres situation report on the virus.According to the report, dated February 25, 1,081 suspected cases were reported in 18 states.The states are: Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe and Ekiti.Of the suspected cases, 317 are said to be confirmed and 72 death 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Fayose, Ahmed set up peace panelEight persons have been wounded in a bloody boundary clash between Obbo Ayegunle in Kwara State and Eda Oniyo in Ekiti State.Youths from both communities used weapons against one another while several property were reportedly destroyed in the mayhem.Governments of both states have resolved to set up a joint committee for a lasting peace between the two neighbouring communities.Eda Oniyo is located in Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti State, while Obbo Ayegu 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Officials wives conference opensOsun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has urged Nigerians to pray for the safe return of the 110 Dapchi schoolgirls who were abducted in Yobe State recently.Also, the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, noted that the virtues of motherhood had declined.She said those who abducted the girls were born by women, have sisters and probably have daughters too.Aregbesola spoke at the opening of a two-day conference of Osun Officials Wives Association (OSUNOWA) 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
A photo shoot campaign which aimed at showcasing Nigeria to the world has been launched by Canon.The one month campaign the organiser said would avail Nigerians to tell their Nigerian stories to the world believing that nobody can tell more about Nigeria more than Nigerians.The campaign tagged Live for the Story was launched on Wednesday in Lagos.Omotayo Omodia, Country Manager, Canon Nigeria; TY Bello, famous Nigerian photographer; and Somesh Adukia, Sales & Marketing Director B2C, Canon Ce 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson has just celebrated his six years in office by commissioning some projects. At the ceremony, he also rekindled hope in the ability of the Restoration Government to tackle the socio-economic and political challenges confronting the Southsouth state. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU reports.Expectations were high when Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson succeeded Chief Timpreye Silva in 2012. There was division in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Nigerian female disc jockey, Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, aka DJ Cuppy said she is closer to accomplishing her goals for the year.The entertainer who is currently on a tour in India, said: Been feeling really fulfilled these days.She stated on Instagram: Must be getting closer to my purpose in life. Its Feb, and Ive already sent 3 people to university! Im closer to my goal than I thought Id be.Recall that early in February, DJ Cuppy offered scholarship to a physically-challenged music producer and 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) on Wednesday announced dates for general elections in the country for the next 36 years, starting from 2019 to 2055.Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mamood Yakubu, made the announcement at a consultative meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja.In 2019, the dates are Feb. 16 and March 2; in 2023, the dates are Feb. 18 and March 4.In 2027, the dates are Feb. 20 and March 6; in 2031, it is Feb.15 and March 1.In 2035, it is Feb. 17 a 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
The under 18 and the under 20 male handball teams will begin camping tomorrow, Thursday in Kaduna for the qualifying tournament of the International Handball Federation trophy, which takes place in Niger Republic at a yet to be fixed date (the earlier date of March 28 was cancelled).Technical director of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Ferdinand Emeana, who disclosed this yesterday, stated that the players were expected to arrive in Kaduna today to begin camping for the tournament in N 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
The International Olympic Committee have lifted their suspension of Russia just few days after the curtain fell on the Winter Olympics inPyeongchang South Korea.The decision was announced by the Russian Olympic Committee on Wednesday, and later confirmed by the IOC.President Alexander Zhukov stated that the remaining doping tests on the neutral Olympic Athletes from Russia team had come back negative from Pyeongchang 2018.Russia was banned from the Olympics because of a massive doping scandal at 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Several Nigerians have expressed divergent views on the trending video showing BBNaija, Double Wahala housemates, Oluwabamike Olawumi, a.k.a BamBam and Tope Adenibuyan, a.k.a Teddy A, allegedly having sex.The two housemates have been criticised after pictures and video of the act from the episode aired in the wee hours of Tuesday on DSTV, surfaced on various social media.While some viewers felt the content was too revealing for the Nigerian audience, others are of the opinion that such scenes ca 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
LeBron James had yet another memorable night in a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey on Tuesday night as he became the first player to reach 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists.The 14-time NBA All-Star also finished the calendar month by averaging a triple-double for the first time in his career.James, 33, now has 12 triple-doubles this season and 67 during his incredible 15 years in the NBA.A triple-double is defined as a performance in which a player accumulates a double digit number total 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Arsene Wenger has fired back over doubts surrounding his future as Arsenal managerWenger has refused to confirm he will be Arsenal manager next season as uncertainty over his future mounts.In an intriguing press conference, the Frenchman grew tetchy at questions about his job, ultimately declining to confront assertions that his time at the club is drawing to a close.The under-pressure boss claimed he is amazed his job is under such scrutiny given he has turned down the world to remain in north 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Serena Williams is set to play in her first Womens Tennis Association event since giving birth to Alexis Olympia Jr.And the tennis pros husband Alexis Ohanian surprised her with four billboards alongside the 1-10 freeway into Palm Springs days before the tournaments kickoff.The billboards, which read Greatest Momma Of All Time, also featured oversized images of their five month-old daughter with Serena, 36.The incredibly sweet tribute was seen by Serena as she made her way to the 2018 BNP Pariba 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Estate surveyors have been urged to explore the Geographic Information System (GIS) in land administration as it provides great business oportunities and strategies for practitioners and the government.The Deputy Director Estate, Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mrs. Olayinka Patunola-Ajayi, gave the advice at a Stakeholders meeting of the Faculty of Land Administration and Geographic Information System (GIS) of the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV).According to her, GIS 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
As global demand for fossil fuels begins to dwindle, Nigeria needs to increase its investments in renewable energy, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council, has advised.Its Chairman, Mr. Chikezie Nwosu, gave the advice while unveiling the societys plan for the upcoming SPE annual Oloibiri Lecture series in Lagos with the theme: Nigerian oil industry in a world of changing energy supply: Are we prepared' He said it had become clear that with anticipated growth in energy dem 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has advised private waste managers against sabotaging the governments Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).Speaking against the backdrop of some Private Sector Participants (PSP) arrested for allegedly dumping waste on major streets across the state, Oba Akiolu said the development was unfortunate and cautioned them against discrediting the new waste management regime.He warned residents against dumping refuse in public places, saying the CLI was for the benefit of all 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
No fewer than 100 modular re-fineries should be operational by 2020, if the Federal Government wants to improve fuel supply and stop scarcity of the product, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited Chairman Capt Emmanuel Ihenacho has said.He said the government was moving in this direction by approving some modular refineries. He urged government to approve more for investors to boost fuel supply.Modular refineries despite their lower capacity, he said, can complement the production of bigger and traditi 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
We need a policy for local productionNigerias failure or inability to refine petroleum products locally keeps haunting it. At least two news reports, last week, are pointers to this sad fact. The first was the disclosure by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that we spent $5.8bn importing petroleum products last year. The second is the demand by the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) that the Federal Government must pay subsidy arrears if the persistent fuel scarc 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
The Senate Committees on Gas and Petroleum Resources (Upstream) have commended Total and its partners for the remarkable progress made towards the completion of the Egina Floating Storage, Production and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is currently being finalized at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in LADOL Free Zone, Lagos.who is chair of The Senate Committee Chairman on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, and his counterpart, Senate Gas Committee Chairman, S 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
House of Representatives should focus on the fundamentalsCAN the National Assembly legalise the Excess Crude Account (ECA) that the courts have ruled runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution' This is one knot the House of Representatives is attempting to untie in the months ahead. Last week, the legislators pushed aside an objection by Mrs. Nnena Ukeje to moves to enact a law that would legalise the account. Ukeje observed that it would be an exercise in futility if a la 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Nigerias natural gas re-serves have risen by 4.067 trillion cubic feet (tcf) from 187.998tcf in 2014 to 192.065tcf in 2015, the Nigerian Natural Resource Chapter (NNRC) has said.In its 2017 Benchmarking Exercise Report obtained by The Nation, the body said gas reserves in 2013 stood at 181.95 tcf, 182. 258tcf in 2012, 183.434tcf in 2011 and 182.817 tcf in 2010.The report added that the reserves included associated and non-associated gas, adding that the country remained one of the largest produc 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
NLNG may invest $10b in Train 7 gas supply, infrastructureNigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) Managing Director/CEO Tony Attah has said projections put gas in the top quartile of the most competitive and strategic investments in the global energy market.Attah, who spoke at an executive roundtable discussion titled: Growth Outlook and Strategies for Staying Competitive after a Global Downturn, at the first Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), in Abuja, said a combination of fac 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) President, Mr. Adekunle Mokuolu, has described the Executive Order-5 just signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari as a major driver in national development and technological advancement that the country has been yearning for.Mokuolu, an engineer, who spoke at the weekend during the 60th anniversary of NSE and the installation of Mrs. Rose Madaki as the sixth chairman of Victoria Island Branch, noted that the Order would help accelerate development th 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
For the third time in three weeks, officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) embarked on an enforcement across the state.Last weekend, the LASBCA enforcement train berthed on the Lagos Island Local Government Area, where it toked and sealed 20 buildings for contravening building laws. LASBCA officials were accompanied by members of the Lagos Task Force.The did not have the requisite approvals, such as building permit, building plan approval and no building submission before t 

Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Oil giant lifts Industry Games trophyThe in-country Subsea Tree Refurbishment feat by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), has earned Shell Companies in Nigeria the Best Performing International Company in Technology and Innovation at the awards night of the maiden edition of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja.Chevron Nigeria Limited(CNL), operator of the jointventure between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) NNPC/CNL JV, also won 
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