NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [13 March, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 13 March, 2018.

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
In his first visit to Benue State since he assumed office almost three years ago, President Muhammadu Buhari Monday called on Nigerians to refrain from escalating the deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Benue and other states in the country, even as he appealed to Nigerians to continue to be accommodative and live together in peace.

The president also said that he was unaware that the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, whom he mandated to relocate to Benue after the new year day killings of 73 people in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state by suspected herdsmen, had only spent one day in Makurdi, the state capital.

The president also hinted at a presidential run in 2019, saying he might return to Benue to campaign ahead on the elections next year.

Buhari was on the third leg of his visit to condole with residents in states worst hit by the incessant clashes between farmers and herders of cattle.
He had earlier visited Taraba and Plateau States and is slated to visit Rivers and Zamfara States next, both of which recorded high casualties when criminals struck in them recently.

The president, who spent two hours in the state before flying back to Abuja to receive the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, made the call when he met with stakeholders in Makurdi.

The stakeholders, who were led by Governor Samuel Ortom, comprised lawmakers and politicians, farmers and herdsmen, the clergy, academia, traditional rulers, and civil society organisations.

The president’s scheduled visit, notwithstanding, the killings continued unabated in Benue, as two policemen were reportedly killed in Tse-Oragbo, Nyiev Council of Guma Local Government Area of the state by suspected herdsmen in the early hours of Monday.

Buhari, during his meeting with stakeholders in Benue, informed his audience that the relationship between farmers and herders of cattle will continue, adding that it behoves all to keep encouraging all parties to continue to live together peacefully.

He said God had put farmers, herdsmen and Nigerians together, adding that collectively, all sides could leave peacefully by accommodating one another.
“Governor Ortom has succeeded in passing the buck to me and I have heard all he has to say. I have made notes. But loyalty is a two-way traffic.

“I was also visited by two senators and people from the state and I have come to visit the people. As leaders, we have to be loyal to people below you. What I did when I heard of the killings, I called the IG and gave him a directive to come to Benue. I did not know that he did not stay here for more than 24 hours.

“I am however appealing to all to show more restraint. The relationship between farmers and herders will continue. It behoves on us to keep encouraging ourselves to continue to live together peacefully,” he said.
He said he has friends from Benue State and there was no way he will deliberately overlook what was happening in the state and other parts of the country.

The president pledged that the federal government would continue to address the issue of rural development and make sure that farmers are empowered.

He also said the meeting was not the best place to expose the inefficiency of his appointees and appealed to the Benue people to exercise restraint and live in peace with their neighbours.
Buhari told the stakeholders that he was doing his best to tackle insecurity in the land.
He denied insinuations that he had overlooked the killings in Benue, saying that he was genuinely worried about them.

In his remarks, the state governor, while welcoming Buhari to the state, said Benue people were happy about the meeting and appealed to the president to upgrade the ongoing military exercise in the state tagged “Ayem A Kpatema” to a full operation in order to effectively curb the attacks by herdsmen.
“If the exercise is upgraded to an operation, it will assist greatly in ending the incessant attacks and senseless killings by herdsmen,” he said.

He observed that people had always believed in the president, which is why they voted for him in 2015.
He recalled that on January 11, the state buried 73 people who were killed by suspected herdsmen, and since then 65 more people had been killed in Guma and Logo, and another 26 killed in Okpokwu, with over 5,000 displaced in the Mbatoho community.
Ortom also called on the federal government to compensate the thousands of people who had been displaced by the clashes between farmers and herders in the state.

According to him, “One hundred and seventy persons now live in internally displaced camps (IDPs) across the state. Sixty per cent of the IDPs are school children who should be in school and only today, two police officers were killed in Guma, so the federal government should compensate the people who have been displaced.”

Ortom, however, said no one was holding the president responsible for the killings, but stressed that those who had threatened to oppose the Open Grazing Law and were killing people in the state were going scot free.
Accordingly, he reiterated his call for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, maintaining that it was responsible for the killings.

Ortom also insisted that ranching was the best option for cattle breeding in the country and called on the federal government to take over the management of the Benue University Teaching Hospital, College of Education, Katsina-Ala and Benue Polytechnic, Ugbokolo.

Like his principal, the state’s deputy governor, Benson Abouno, welcomed Buhari to the state, saying that its people were happy that he came to visit.
“We believe you are here because you have heard our cries. Your children have been in pain and today as a worthy father, you have heard our cries.

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
The United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, arrived Abuja, Nigeria’s capital Monday, where he pledged the support of the U.S. in securing the quick release of the Dapchi and remaining Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists and expressed hope that a deal for their release would be struck soon.

Tillerson, who made the pledge while responding to questions from journalists at the State House, Abuja, after holding a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, said the U.S. would be involved in efforts for the release of the Dapchi girls the same way it had been part of the negotiations for the release of some of the Chibok girls.
The U.S. Secretary of State had arrived the Nigerian capital Monday on the final leg of his tour of select African countries.

He was initially slated to spend the night in the Nigerian capital but his visit was cut short, owing to what his spokesman said were pressing engagements in Washington D.C.
Tillerson, however, expressed concern that the threat posed by Boko Haram terrorists had gone beyond the shores of Nigeria and West Africa, saying the terrorists now constitute a threat to other regions.

According to him, while the U.S. acknowledges Nigeria as a country with its own territorial integrity, it has continued to support the West African country in the provision of equipment and training of its personnel for special operations.

In reference to other security threats plaguing Nigeria, especially the violence being perpetrated by suspected herders of cattle, Tillerson added that beyond the menace of Boko Haram terrorism, the leadership of Nigeria has other security threats to deal with, pledging that the U.S. would assist in engaging and coordinating efforts for the release of Dapchi and the remaining Chibok girls.

“First, we respect the responsibilities of the government of Nigeria and the territorial integrity of Nigeria. But the way we support it is in providing them capability with equipment and also training of the personnel for special operations and sharing intelligence to ensure that they have all the information available to carry out the recovery effort.

“But I think it is also important to put this in a broad regional context as well. Boko Haram is a threat to other regions and this has been the subject of my meetings elsewhere and in Africa as well.

“In my discussion with President Derby of Chad earlier today, we spoke about the threat of Boko Haram and I think it is important and it’s really been powerful, the collaboration between the Multinational Joint Task Force which Nigeria is a part of and Chad is a part of, to respond to this threat of terrorism by Boko Haram is one of the issues. There are other threats that the leadership of this country has to deal with.

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the agency tasked with cleaning up Nigeria’s murky oil industry, has said even though financial accountability has improved, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) still has not explained billions of dollars of missing revenue.

While energy producers have cooperated and complied with requirements to publish payments, NEITI has struggled with the state-owned oil firm, Waziri Adio, executive secretary of the agency, said in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

The state oil company hasn’t explained what it did with at least $22.7 billion earned from the sale of oil licences and in dividends from its stake in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company over a 15-year period, he said.

“The sector is no longer the black hole that it once was, but we could still use more transparency,” Adio said. “Things are opening up. There could be more in the area of contracts, ownership and expenditure transparency, but definitely there is some progress.”

Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC spokesman, didn’t answer three calls on his mobile phone and two text messages seeking comment. The company has said in the past it has the authority of the government in its actions.
Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Total and Eni operate joint ventures with the state oil company that account for about 90 per cent of the output of Nigeria, Africa’s top producer.

NEITI was set up in 2004 after Nigeria acceded to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which requires international energy companies and governments involved in mining to publish all their payments.
Nigeria LNG is owned 49 per cent by NNPC, 25.6 per cent by Shell, 15 per cent by Total and 10.4 per cent by Eni.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who pledged during his 2015 election campaign to fight widespread graft in the oil and gas industry, appointed Adio in February 2016 to head NEITI.

For all its work in auditing oil industry payments, critics have said the agency remains toothless, lacking the power to compel companies to disclose payments or penalise erring producers.
In its defence, Adio said NEITI’s annual audits have helped the government recover billions of dollars that would have been lost.

“The NEITI law does not give us the power to compel compliance or to enforce our recommendations,” he said. “But we have done our reports, with findings and recommendations, and we have shared them with government.”

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
Amid the sustained public objection to the enforcement of the recently enacted Land Use Charge (LUC) Law, the Lagos State Government Monday said that it would ameliorate the concerns of stakeholders in the state, mainly business executives and captains of industries, this week.

Since the state government started issuing new LUC notices to residents in Lagos, there has been a massive outcry over the astronomical increment in the charge, especially among residents in highbrow areas of the state who are the worst hit.

The state government defended the new charge, saying it needed to raise its internally generated revenue (IGR) to close the infrastructure gap in Lagos, noting that it would require at least $50 billion in the next five years for this purpose, with the exclusion of the education, health and housing sectors.

It also embarked on an enlightenment campaign last week on how properties are assessed and the rates applied to the market value of properties after a general relief of 40 per cent of the value has been deducted.

The Executive Chairman of the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr. Ayo Subair, in an interview with THISDAY last week, also advised residents who had established that they had been wrongly assessed to appeal the charge at the Lagos State Ministry of Finance.

Speaking on the issue Monday during a session with journalists at the State House, Alausa, the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said that as a responsive government, he would respond to the yearnings of residents in the state.

Ambode said the state government has been consulting with people and explaining the reason for the new law since last week, noting that the government was open to dialogue on the issue.
“I am ready to respond to the demands of concerned stakeholders. At the end of this week, I think we should be able to come up with something positive that will ameliorate the issues raised by concerned stakeholders,” he added.

Ambode said the state government “will take decisions for the development of the state. What this government is interested in, is to create a framework that would serve as permanent prosperity for Lagos”.
He said the state government had dialogued with different stakeholders in the last fortnight, promising that he would obviously respond to the yearnings of the residents.

He acknowledged that the state has over 300 tax items.
“Of these tax items, we only reviewed the land use charge upwards. The development was targeted at fast-tracking development and protecting the future of the state.

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
Nume Ekeghe Stanbic IBTC has launched its Blue Lab, a facility that avails start-ups and SMEs the platform to incubate and actualise their dreams. The inauguration of the innovation platform took place in Lagos recently, with the Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Dr. Demola Sogunle, declaring that constant innovation was imperative to secure the future [] 

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
Commission involved in 1,080 suits from 2015 polls Damilola Oyedele in Abuja The Senate yesterday cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against paying attention to misguided statements and pronouncements questioning the powers of the National Assembly to legislate on the Electoral Act. The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki said this while speaking [] 

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
Wema Bank Plc, through its 'ALAT,' a fully digital bank, has released two new features -quick short-term loans and a virtual dollar card for paying online internationally. ALAT Loans are accessible to all ALAT customers through the banks Android and iOS apps. A statement from the bank yesterday described the the ALAT Virtual dollar card [] 

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
The market capitalisation of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was reduced by N65.321 billion yesterday following the delisting of the shares of Seven-Up Bottling Company (SBC) Plc. The shares of SBC were delisted by NSE six years after its main rival, Nigerian Bottling Company(NBC) Plc was delisted from the Nigerian bourse. The NSE had last month [] 

Tue, 13 Mar 2018
Moodys: Lower Capital Will Constrain Nigerian Banks Capacity to Expand 
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