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

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Less than 24 hours to Christmas, it has been lamentation galore for holidaymakers crisscrossing the country to spend the Yuletide with their loved ones.
Airports and motor parks in many cities were replete with forlorn passengers and families, who have either been disappointed by checkered flight schedules, or who have had to spend way beyond their budget on transport fare.

Not only have travellers been forced to pay nearly thrice of the usual fare, they have also had to cough out large sums as luggage charges, as the petrol crisis worsens.

In parts of the country, black market operators, including the very shrewd at Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Council of Lagos State, sold a four-litre gallon of fuel for as high as N2, 000, that is, N500 per litre.

In Kano, the product was sold at N250 per litre, and was unavailable in most filling stations in the metropolis, while black marketers had a field day plying their trade.

Apart from selling above the regulated pump price, most petrol stations along Murtala Mohammed Road, dispensed the product from just one or two pumps, forcing queues to run for kilometers. At A. A. Rano, along Sharada Road, where a litre went for N145, hundreds of cars queued patiently for their turn.

It was no surprise when the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), within three days of routine monitoring sanctioned eight filling stations in the state for defaulting, out of the 166 that were inspected, according to the acting Operations Controller, Kano Field Office, Mr. Paul Jehzi.

Jehzi, who claimed there was improvement in the supply of the product, said, “…we were getting between 20 to 24 trucks of the product daily. But now we get the supply between 39 to 40 trucks,” he revealed.
Sun, 24 Dec 2017
In the outgoing 2017, about N1.2t may have been paid out (N1.1t to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for implementation of projects captured in the N2.
1t 2017 Capital Votes Plan, drawn from the Federal Government Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), and another N100b raised through the newly introduced Islamic lending style for project-specific investment platform- the Sukuk Bond, floated by the Debt Management Office (DMO), where contractors handling certain roads infrastructure across the six geo- political zones were mobilised to return to site.

The 2017 budget has been fraught with several challenges, including late passage and assent (June 2017); poor revenue performance (shortfalls) against projections and irregular releases of votes, apparently arising from shortfalls.

These developments, particularly that of irregular or unplanned capital votes releases, according to economic and engineering experts, portend great danger for the country, including poor and late service delivery; increase in cost of projects and loss of weather opportunity among others.

This grim fact is confirmed by the draft report of the 2017 Second Quarter Report, by the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, obtained by The Guardian, yesterday.

According to the Report, as much as 52.58 per cent of projected revenue failed to materialise in the second quarter, thus making implementation of projects a challenging task for the government.
Sun, 24 Dec 2017
The Media and Publicity Department of the State House, Abuja, will today air a 55-minute documentary on President Muhammadu Buhari.

Titled, The Human Side of President Buhari, the documentary portrays the President in a light that majority of Nigerians have not seen him.

A statement by Special After on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, last night, said it is made up of interviews from close aides of the President and others, who have worked closely with him, carefully put together to show a side of the President that many would love to see.

“This documentary will air on the Network Service of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on Sunday, December 24, and Tuesday December 26, 2017. It will also air on Channels Television on Monday, December 25, 2017, between 8 and 9pm…” the statement said.
Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday named the former army chief who led a coup that ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule, as one of his two deputies in the ruling party, the presidency said.
Presidential press secretary George Charamba said in a statement, retired general Constantino Chiwenga and long-serving state security minister Kembo Mohadi were appointed as Mnangagwa’s deputies in the ZANU-PF party “with immediate effect.”

The party appointment is a first step in their elevation to state vice presidents. Two other top military officials were earlier this month awarded ministerial posts.


Chiwenga retired this week, slightly over a month after the military temporarily took control of the country on November 15 as internal feuding escalated in ZANU-PF over then president Mugabe’s succession.

The takeover which the army said was targeting Mugabe’s corrupt allies came days after the 93-year-old leader had fired then deputy Mnangagwa who has strong military ties and was widely tipped as the likely successor.

Mugabe’s wife Grace had indicated interest in succeeding her husband.

The army’s intervention was followed by mass street protests against Mugabe and a motion to impeach the veteran ruler who resigned in a letter to parliament as proceedings to recall him began.

The ruling ZANU PF party then appointed Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s replacement, leading to his inauguration as the country’s president on November 24.

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Despite the much-vaunted strides by the Federal Government towards attaining self-sufficiency in rice production in 2018, it appears the bulk of the so-called successes are on paper, rather than reality. In fact, even states that made huge budgetary allocations to rice production early in the year, have little or nothing to show at this time [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Permit me to institute an end-of-year Hall of Shame for all the representatives from the southern parts of the country in the National Assembly. I would like to state clearly that I am fully persuaded that we have indulged them for more than two and half years and it is time to blame them for [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
The size and quality of the audience at the Civic Centre on Victoria Island that Sunday evening underscored the appreciation of the message in the literary offering that was about to be unveiled. Indeed, Loud Whispers by Mrs Bisi Adeleye Fayemi, gender activist and wife of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
This evening from 6pm, Bez Idakula will be headlining a concert featuring Aramide, Johnny Drille and Ric Hassani at Muri Okunola Park; From 5pm, A Christmas Eve Recital will be led by Ranti (Soprano), Fatima (Mezzo) , Guchi (Tenor) to Piano accompaniment by Ayo Ajayi, at the Muson Centre. The Bolanle Austen Peters Productions BAP [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Five days after she won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts and Culture, Ayobami Adebayo was announced as one of the nine authors longlisted for the 9Mobile Prize for Literature. These recognitions concern the novel Stay With Me. Ms. Adebayo's stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, 'and one was highly [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
To 'rent' a space at ArtX 2016, the inaugural edition of the city's largest art fair, a gallery needed to pay at least '850,000. For ArtX 2017, the lowest tariff was '2Million. This 117% jump unnerved some galleries, which dropped out, but it wasn't so obvious to the audience. Afterall, Signature, which has been around [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Nigeria's rapidly expanding art market has another addition in a new art gallery to open the space in an unconventional manner. It is not the usual house gallery with spotlights and artworks neatly displayed and waiting patiently to be acquired. It is simply an online art gallery known as NIGERIANART.NET, designed and set up to [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
It was an engaging and cerebral evening two Fridays ago when Goethe Institut, Lagos, drew the curtain for the calendar year while hosting poet of the marketplace fame, Professor Niyi Osundare, at its signatory programme, Literary Crossroads series, which brings 'together African writers on the continent and from the Diaspora to discuss contemporary trends and [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Chief Eddie Ogbomah (OON) is the former chairman of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), and a notable filmmaker. He clocked 77 years last week. He spoke to OMIKO AWA on his experiences of the movie industry, some of the films he is yet to shoot and why the Federal Government should bury the notion of [] 

Sun, 24 Dec 2017
Baecelona took a huge step towards regaining the La Liga title as goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Alex Vidal beat bitter rivals Real Madrid 3-0, at the Santiago Bernabeu, yesterday, to open up a 14-point lead over the European champions. In a recurring theme of this season, Madrid were made to pay for [] 
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