NAIJA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [29 NOVEMBER, 2017].


Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Wednesday, 28 November, 2017.

Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Millions of Nigerians risk health and economic consequences following Federal Government’s failure to meet deadline on importation of high sulphur (dirty) fuels.A communiqué jointly issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Economic Communities of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) noted that switching to low-sulphur diesel and use of cleaner vehicles would result in annual savings in health costs of about $6 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa.

At the ministerial meeting on promoting low sulphur fuel held in Abuja last year, governments in the ECOWAS sub-region had agreed that all imported fuel should meet 50ppm max, in line with the African Refineries Association (ARA) -AFRI4 specification by July 1, 2017.
 
Already, neighbouring countries like Ghana, which also signified interest in reversing the trend, has since raised its standards and begun importation of cleaner products.

 
In late 2016, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire agreed to ban importation of Europe’s dirty fuel, limiting sulphur from 3,000 parts per millions to 50ppm.
But almost a year after, Nigeria has continued to import the commodity to the detriment of its consumers, despite the release of new guidelines on petroleum products by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

Unless removed, sulphur, a natural component of crude oil, is retained in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and diesel. Its presence in petroleum products impairs the effectiveness of emission control systems and contributes to air pollution. The toxic substances in the fuel increase incidences of bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory tract problems, said Consultant Public Health Physician/Epidemiologist and former Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Akin Osibogun.

In fact, a study conducted by the Department of Physics at the University of Port Harcourt in 2012 linked rising cases of respiratory diseases to pollution mainly caused by combustion, especially of dirty fuel. The study analysed epidemiological data collected from the St ate Ministry of Health in relation to ambient air quality data of the state and National Ambient Air Quality Standard data and found that 30,435 disease cases were reported during 2003 to 2008, out of which 61 patients died.

The diseases found to be prevalent in the study area as a result of air pollution were pertussis, pulmonary tuberculosis, cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM), pneumonia, measles, chronic bronchitis, and upper respiratory tract infection (URT).Osibogun said there are formations of oxides of sulphur from the combustion of sulphur. These oxides combine with moisture in the air to form sulphuric acid, a known carcinogenic agent and a respiratory tract irritant.

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The presence of high levels of sulphur in fuel reduces their efficient combustion and results in high levels of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides emissions, thus affecting air quality, Osibogun explained. He said: “Acid rain formed from various oxides of sulphur, nitrogen and carbon, contribute to rapid deterioration of housing infrastructure e.g., roofs and paints, in addition to increased health costs and premature deaths.

“Reducing the level of sulphur in fuel attract additional costs and that makes lower sulphur content fuel to appear more expensive. In the long run, however, if we consider the health and environmental effects, lower sulphur content fuel may be cheaper. National economists, environmentalists and health experts have to conduct cost-benefit analyses to arrive at acceptable national standards.”

According to SON, the old standard for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), NIS 116: 2006, was replaced by NIS 116: 2017. The former NIS 149: 2006 standard for gas oil (diesel) was replaced by NIS 948: 2017. The standard for Household Kerosene (HHK), NIS 141: 2006, was replaced by NIS 949: 2017.
Wed, 29 Nov 2017

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Debate on the general principles of the 2018 budget proposal began on a heated note at the Senate yesterday, with some members describing the fiscal document as “unrealistic, ” “fictional” and “imaginary.”Many senators who contributed to the debate across party lines declared that the N11 trillion collectible revenue proposed could not be met and called for increase in oil price benchmark from $45 to $50 per barrel.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia State) was unsparing in his assessment of the proposal, declaring it “dead on arrival”. Joshua Lidani (PDP, Gombe State) called it “wishful thinking”. For Ben Murray Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa), it was merely “a budget of active imagination”.

Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, however found one of Abaribe’s expressions uncomfortable and sought leave of the chamber to mandate the senator to withdraw the word.“You cannot describe as ‘fictitious’ the budget presented by Mr. President to a joint session of the National Assembly,” said Lawan.


But instead of renouncing the term, Abaribe said if ‘fictitious’ was unacceptable, “I withdraw the word and say that it is totally imaginary.”
Senator Abubakar Yusuf (APC, Taraba North) regretted that instead of the presidency to make agencies responsible for non-oil revenue generation brace up, it was projecting unrealisable revenue collections, as witnessed this year where only N155b was realised out of projected N807b independent revenue generation.

Deputy whip, Francis Alimekhena (APC, Edo North), also faulted the proposal. “Year in, year out, we are faced with bloated budget estimates that cannot achieve performance implementation beyond the 15 per cent it achieved this year,” he said.

He noted that since the price of crude oil in the international market is now above $60, the oil price benchmark should be jerked up from the proposed $45 to $50, as a way of maximising the projected N6.387 trillion oil revenue, since the projected N5.597 trillion non-oil revenue is not realisable.

The lawmakers spoke as the upper chamber kick-started consideration of the general principles and second reading of the 2018 budget as contained in a bill for an act to authorise issue of N8,612,236,953,214 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.


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Of the amount, N456,458,654,074 is for statutory transfers; N2,233,835,365,699 is for debt service; N3,494,277,820,219 is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure; while the sum of N2,427,665,113,222 is for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending December 31, 2018.
Wed, 29 Nov 2017
The Federal Government may have shelved its promise of floating some high-tech machinery meant to combat maritime crime in the nation’s troubled waters.Under the initial target, the facilities were expected to have arrived Nigeria in August, but three months after, the project now appears elusive.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier this year, approved the sum of $186million (about N56.9billion) to procure machineries to fully combat maritime crimes.

The fund is meant to acquire three helicopters, three aircrafts, three big battle-ready ships, 12 vessels, and 20 amphibious cars to combat the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.


The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who disclosed the plan at an industry forum in Lagos, on May 3rd, had assured, “In the next three months, you will see them operating; and by the time we finish, you will see that the change is coming. Change is not talked about, it is felt, and so you should give us time to fix it.”

Upon inquiry about the update on the facilities, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Navy, Chris Ezekobe, told The Guardian that he is not aware of the plan, adding that the Navy is really in need of more vessels, but coping with the existing ones.

“Although, I am not aware of that promise to acquire those machineries, but in all our presentations to the presidency, we have been asking for additional vessels and our vessels of choice are what we called offshore patrol vessels.

“We have two existing that were bought from China. Those are: NNS Unity, and NNS Centenary. Within the constraints on our resources, we have been making our pitch for additional platforms, which will help us address some of these issues,” he said.

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Months after the unveiling of the plan, Nigeria’s marine territory has continued to report many attacks and kidnappings.A recent incident is the report of the kidnap of six crew members, including the captain, from a Liberian-flagged containership ‘Demeter’ offshore Bonny.

However, a new report by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC’s) International Maritime Bureau (IMB), said: “Nigeria remains risky, as there were 20 reports received against all vessel types for Nigeria, 16 of which occurred off the coast of Brass, Bonny, and Bayelsa. 
Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Mr. Amaju Pinnick has explained that the resolve of the Federation’s leadership to avoid distractions around Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup preparation and participation informed the offer of a fresh two–year contract to Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr.
 
Franco-German Rohr, who was signed by the NFF in August 2016, has met the first milestone of his contract, which is qualifying the Super Eagles for a sixth FIFA World Cup finals. Nigeria thoroughly overhauled a so–called Group of Death, spanking 2012 AFCON winners Zambia home and away and earning four points from home-and-away clashes with fellow 2014 World Cup finalists Cameroun and Algeria. Second–placed Zambia finished six points behind the Super Eagles.
 
“We have decided to confront head-on any possible area of conflict or controversy, and fully resolve each and every possible friction point well ahead of the competition.


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“After signing the agreement on payment to the team from expected FIFA income, the next stage was to take care of the Technical Adviser. He has done very well and does not need to go into the World Cup uncertain of his future,” stated Pinnick.
 
The 64 –year old Rohr, a former Germany defender, flaunts a sterling record with the Super Eagles, winning seven of 12 matches and drawing four in his 15 months in charge so far. His only loss was the 0-2 reverse to South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in a 2019 AFCON qualifier in Uyo in June 2017.

Wed, 29 Nov 2017
The objectionable low ranking by an international rating body of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as the worst in the world is, of course, objectionable, not only out of patriotic instincts but also because that rating is not within objective context and therefore unfair. 

Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Mr. Amaju Pinnick has explained that the resolve of the Federation's leadership to avoid distractions around Nigeria's 2018 FIFA World Cup preparation and participation informed the offer of a fresh two'year..... 

Wed, 29 Nov 2017
A middle-aged man, Emmanuel Omohodo ,has narrated to a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, how his wife and day-old baby died due to negligence from suspected quack doctors. 


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Wed, 29 Nov 2017
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and stakeholders in the galvanized steel roofing sheets have partnered to improve the modification of existing roofing sheets for better performance and efficiency. 

Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Kaduna State government has sacked 4,042 workers in the 23 local councils of the state.The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Jaafaru Ibrahim Sani, who confirmed the sack yesterday at a press conference.... 

Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Smartflow Technologies, a flow and level automation company in Nigeria, and Energy 360 (E360) Africa Limited, a retail fuels technology company, have introduced a solution that uses the power of real-time data to reduce operational losses. 


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Wed, 29 Nov 2017
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has partnered with Kunoch Nigeria Limited, as well as public and private sector organisations to champion the revolution of Nigeria's agricultural sector. 

Wed, 29 Nov 2017
The publicised 2018 budget presentation by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State was unceremoniously called off yesterday following an apparent misunderstanding between the executive and the state House of Assembly. 


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Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Carnival floats, dances, music of all genres, ranging from pop to traditional and other culture offerings would be performed by stars as well as other displays that add colour and enchantment to the usual Lagos' glitz. 

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