Below are the headlines found on The Leadership Online Newspaper for today, Friday, 22 December, 2017.

Thu, 21 Dec 2017

As part of the measures to arrest the suffering of Nigerians due to the shortage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), the federal government is expecting the delivery of one billion litres of the product before end of December.

Also, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has doubled its supply and distribution efforts, raising nationwide distribution to 80 million litres a day as against the 30 million litres a day supply before the present crisis started.

Confirming these developments, NNPC group managing director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the corporation doubled the daily supply of petrol from 700 trucks (about 27million – 30 million litres) per day supply to 80 million litres per day since the current hiccup in the supply chain was noticed a few days back.

Baru, who disclosed this shortly before the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Corporation and the Benue State Government on the Agasha-Guma Bio-fuels Projects in Abuja, attributed the hiccup in the supply of PMS to rumours about a planned increase in the price of petrol.

He blamed marketers for the scarcity, saying that some of them, in their quest to cash in on the situation, suddenly started hoarding products, but “we (the corporation) swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide.”

The NNPC boss further revealed that at the time the rumour started, the corporation had about 30-day sufficiency, adding that the normal daily supply to the nation was 700 trucks, equaling about 27 million -30 million litres per day.

According to him, presently, the NNPC had enough products to supply the country for up to 30 days.

Baru further revealed that cargoes carrying at least one billion litres of petrol were heading to Nigerian shores at the end of December which, he said, would return the country to a 30-day-plus sufficiency.

He expressed joy at PENGASSAN’s suspension of its planned strike and called on motorists not to engage in panic buying as the corporation had more than enough products for domestic consumption, even as he gave the assurance that the fuel situation would soon fizzle out this week.

Baru warned marketers against hoarding, stressing that any filling station found wanting in this regard would lose its entire products to motorists.

He commended NNPC’s sister agencies, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), for their support in helping NNPC to tackle the menace of hoarding by filling stations.

This is, however, coming as the scarcity in Lagos has caused a hike in transport fares by up to 150 per cent.

Our correspondent who monitored the situation observed that most filling stations are fast running out of stock as long queues continue to build up, creating serious traffic squeeze in the metropolis.

Thu, 21 Dec 2017

Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, yesterday launched the state’s own branded rice, MITROS, at the Farmers Market, Asero, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Governor Amosun, who launched about 110,000 bags of MITROS Rice, made up of Ofada and parboiled rice, produced, processed and packaged by the state government, said the state remains the industrial capital of Nigeria, following its determination towards improving and revamping the agricultural sector.

He further said his government was taking pro-active steps to provide infrastructural and agricultural demands for the influx of people relocating to the state from neighbouring states.

The governor added that his administration would continue to partner with the federal government and the organised private sector to actualise its vision of attaining sufficiency in agriculture.

MITROS is the acronym for Mission To Rebuild Ogun State (MITROS).

Also, in his remarks, Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, said the federal government had, in the last two and half years under President Buhari, had taken steps to ensure that the country’s agriculture sector was revamped.

Bagudu, who is also the chairman, Presidential Task Force on Commodity and Production, said the president graciously approved the establishment of a Presidential Task Force on rice and wheat to make Nigeria self-sufficient in the production of those commodities.

Thu, 21 Dec 2017

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday predicted that the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) will be hit by mass defections that would leave the party empty before the 2019 general elections.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbodinyan, who made this comment, also accused the governing party of trying to destabilise the PDP, adding that the APC was planning to ensure that no other party fields a presidential candidate against it in 2019.

While speaking at a press conference, the spokesman of the PDP dismissed a recent splinter PDP group of concerned candidates and stakeholders, which recently opened a parallel office, describing the issue as a storm in a tea cup.

According to him, the friction generated by the group would be resolved before the yuletide is over.

LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Johnson Agbonayima, had defected from the PDP, citing the emergence of a splinter group that opened a parallel national party office in Abuja.

But Ologbodinyan said: “The national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, has been reconciliatory; he has met with some aggrieved members. We will not allow APC to distract us. APC has become very worried since our convention.

“As we speak, the constitution of APC requires them to hold convention every two years but they have not done so. They are so unsettled that PDP is progressing and progressing progressively.

“That is why they are looking up some people to cause confusion in our party, but we have gone beyond that. What is more important now is that we are embarking on membership drive to win more members back to PDP.

”We are going to stand as a party and we are going to fiercely contest election in 2019. Our doors are open to Nigerians and anyone who is interested in contesting election in 2019 can come in.

“I can assure that majority of people still hanging around in ‎APC are coming back to the home, the PDP. APC is going to the next election as an empty party.”

He, however, asserted that the main opposition party was not folding its arms against the onslaught of the governing party, but that “just as APC is monitoring our members, we are also monitoring them too.

“Every move to destabilise our system will be resisted. We won’t allow them to muscle us out. Despite the harassment of our leaders, we will stand as a party and fiercely contest in 2019.
Fri, 22 Dec 2017
Azu IshiekweneIfirst did it at 50. Before then I had not done a comprehensive medical check up. Older friends above fifty would often tell me to have a complete check up at least once every year after forty.For men, a checkup is incomplete without a prostrate check. Forty per cent of men in Nigeria, particularly those over forty, are living with prostrate cancer and many dont even know it.Yet, I thought a medical checkup was a funny piece of advice, but never said so out of courtesy. Were all go 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
BY AHURAKA ISAH AND SOLOMON AYADO, AbujaThe Senate President, Bukola Saraki, yesterday reiterated that the country needs a strong and effective National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to safeguard the health of the nation and eliminate the production and distribution of drugs and other illegal substances in the country.Saraki, according to a statement by his chief press secretary, Sanni Onogu, made the remarks when the newly appointed director general of the NAFDAC, 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
By OLUSHOLA BELLO, LagosThe management of Dangote Industries Limited has again vehemently rejected the many assertions of BUA Group, on its claim to being the rightful owner of Mining Lease No 2541.Dangote in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP, yesterday, revealed that its reaction became very necessary as a result of its status as a publicly quoted company and to further re-assure its shareholders, the regulators and members of the public that the company is and remains a responsible corp 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
By Omonu Nelson, with agency reportThe United Nations General Assembly, yesterday, dealt a decisive blow to President Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as the new capital of the State of Israel. The UNGA voted 128 to nine, with 35 abstentions.Trump had warned ahead of the vote in the 193-nation assembly that, we re watching and promised a payback for countries voting against US stand on Jerusalem.Seven countries Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah, AbujaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), to work with the government to avert the collapse of public confidence in the justice system of the country.Speaking while receiving the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NBA at the State House yesterday in Abuja, the president in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu warned that a collapse of public confidence in the justice system will have disastrous consequences for the entire co 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
..Oil prices trade at $64.58 per barrelBy CHIKA IZUORA, LagosKey oil producers appear calm at the level of discipline by both members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and non-OPEC members who endorsed output cut to stabilize gliding oil price which recorded highest compliance in November.According to Kuwaits oil minister, Bakheet al-Rasheedi, the compliance of OPEC and independent producers with oil output cuts, in force since January, reached an unprecedented level o 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
By FESTUS OKOROMADU, AbujaThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has denied allegations that it awarded crude oil term contracts to fake companies and has consequently allowed same to lift about 67.2 million barrels of Nigerian crude valued at about $3.5billion in the first ten months of the year, covering January to October 2017.A press statement issued by the spokesperson of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, and sent to LEADERSHIP Friday yesterday, said the corporations attention was drawn to a 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
By Suzan Nwachukwu, AbujaThe Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) has recorded the highest revenue collection ever of N1.012 trillion against the set target of N770.5 billion for year-end 2017.Apart from being the highest revenue ever recorded by the service, the spectacular performance shows N241.6 increase (23.9 per cent) over the years target and well above the N898.6 collected in 2016.Customs Public Relation Officer, Mr Joseph Attah, while briefing newsmen on the remarkable feat in Abuja, yesterday, 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
By YUSUF BABALOLA, LagosThe Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has expressed readiness of the council to lobby other government agencies in the maritime industry to tackle the high insurance premium tagged war risk insurance slammed on Nigeria-bound ships by foreign insurance companies to insure ships against attacks in the nations Niger Delta region and the larger Gulf of Guinea area.The Executive Secretary of the Council, Hassan Bello disclosed this when he received the Director-General of the Ni 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017
As NNPC raises daily supply to 80m litresBy CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos, and FESTUS OKOROMADU, By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah AbujaAs part of the measures to arrest the suffering of Nigerians due to the shortage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), the federal government is expecting the delivery of one billion litres of the product before end of December.Also, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has doubled its supply and distribution efforts, raising nationwide distribution to 80 million litres a day 
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