Below are the headlines found on The Leadership Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 26 December, 2017.

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has intervened in the raging controversy between Dangote Group and BUA Group over a mining site located in Okpella area of Edo State.

Africa’s richest man and chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, owns Dangote industries limited, the producer of Dangote Cement, while business mogul, Abdulsamad Rabiu owns the BUA Group, producer of BUA cement. Both are natives of Kano.

The conflict over the rightful ownership of Mining Lease No 2541 between the duo has been on in the past few weeks, with both sides engaging in accusations and counter accusations, including name dropping in the media.

Obviously disturbed by the pace at which the war is taking, Emir Sanusi II stepped in by calling the two multi-billionaires to order so as to end the war, which is said to be doing more damage to their relationships and even affecting their business associates.

LEADERSHIP gathered that Emir Sanusi II, who by virtue of his position as the traditional ruler of Kano and father to all, opted to intervened on the matter with a view to finding a lasting solution to the scuffle.

A competent source told our correspondent that the royal father asked the two industry magnates to bury their hatchet and desist from further engaging in media war.

According to the source who did not want to be named in print, the Emir told the businessmen that the raging controversy was counterproductive.

It was gathered that the Emir who is out of the country at the moment, assured that once he returns from his foreign trip, he would call the two sons of Kano to a round table.

“The Emir was disturbed over the matter and has asked them to put an end to the media war. In fact, he has sent emissaries to both men and will interface with them as soon as he returns”, the source said.

Our source further noted that the Emir and by implication, the Kano Emirate council, is worried that the two multi-billionaires are engaged in needless scuffle, which could have been handled in a subtle manner without recourse to rancour.

In the last one-month, the two cement giants had been embroiled in a war of some sort over the ownership of a mining site, which is already a subject of litigation.

The rift took a deeper crisis dimension recently when it escalated with new allegations and counter-allegations by the two companies. Both companies have been accusing each other of using force among other illegal activities.

Several interventions by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Edo government and other stakeholders have proved futile.

The two companies got their licences from third parties; while BUA obtained its licence from the old Bendel Cement Company through its privatisation, Dangote Group obtained its licence from a company called AICO (Ado Ibrahim & Co) Limited.

The disputed area is at the boundary between Kogi and Edo States, but officials have said that mineral titles are not by state boundary but by the geographic coordinates, which means they can fall in any state.

The Mining Cadastre Office, however, is insisting that BUA overlapped the AICO’s title and that it has no case.

Meanwhile, the case has brought to the fore the weak administration of data of mineral sites in the country, as the titles claimed by both parties are from the same ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

While the BUA group presents mining rights in ML 18912 and ML 18913 in Obu, Okpella in Edo State, Dangote claims right in ML 2541 located in Okene, Kogi State.
Tue, 26 Dec 2017
Given the drive to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy on cashless society and leverage on Information Technology, a total of eight deposit money banks have spent N34.2 billion on IT and electronic business infrastructure in nine months ended September 30, 2017.

Investigations by LEADERSHIP revealed that in prior nine months, the same banks spent N25 billion on Information Technology-related infrastructure, software, computers and introduction of mobile apps.

Commercial banks operating in Nigeria have increasingly depended on the deployment of IT infrastructure to drive their processes, grow their business operations in order to deliver superior financial performance to meet and surpass customer expectations.

The banks surveyed are Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Stanbic IBTC, Fidelity Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Sterling bank Plc.

Access Bank top Tier-1 deposit money banks when it comes to IT and electronic business expenses, spending N13.3 billion in nine months ended September 30, 2017, an increase of about 50.4 per cent from N8.87 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2016.

Following Access Bank is Zenith Bank with N8.6 billion on IT expenses from N4.6 billion in prior nine months, while UBA’s IT support and related expenses dropped by 48 per cent to N1.06 billion as against N2.02 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2016.

Zenith Bank, over the years, became synonymous with the use of IT in banking and general innovation in the Nigerian banking industry.

The bank in a statement said, “We have renewed our commitment in ensuring that all our activities are anchored on the e-platform and providing service delivery through the electronic media to all customers irrespective of place, time and distance.

“Zenith group only recently scored another first, becoming the first Nigerian institution to be awarded a triple ISO certification by the British Standards International (BSI): the ISO22301, 27001 and 20000 standards”.

In reducing its branches network, Union Bank of Nigeria’s expenses on IT related gained 33 per cent to N2.97 billion from N2.23 billion, while Stanbic IBTC expenses on IT dropped by 3.7 per cent from N3.7 billion to N3.59 billion in nine months ended September 30, 2017.

Most Tier-2 deposit money banks were spending less on IT, Electronic Business Infrastructures, attributable to smaller networks.

Specifically, Fidelity Bank’s IT expenses dropped by 12 per cent to N2.1 billion from N2.42 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2016.

The MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, in a statement said, the bank is committed to driving its digital banking aspirations in line with the management medium term strategy.

“We have been able to sustain our performance trend this year through the following: disciplined balance sheet management, strategic cost reduction and driving our digital banking aspirations which are all in line with the execution of our medium term strategy”, he said.
Tue, 26 Dec 2017
President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that 2017 has been a tough year for Nigeria just as he expressed optimism that 2018 will be a prosperous one for the country.

He made the remarks yesterday when Christian faithful and FCT residents led by the FCT minister ,Mohammed Bello paid him a Christmas Homage at the presidential Villa.

He stated that the rainy season has been good this year which resulted to bountiful harvest for farmers in the country.

He said “ it’s has been a tough year for Nigeria and I hope next year will be a much more prosperous one but those listening to the Press are the majority of us the rainy season was very good.

“  Some states have got very good information from home, I never knew that the people from Kano who are more resourceful used to go to my area and hire farms, this year nobody hired farm, and nobody regretted it.

“ Governor of Sokoto state said all the people that really used to go to Mecca are farmers but he didn’t tell me if they took additional wives.

“But I am very pleased people have gone back to the land with very good harvests and taking their priorities .

The President also spoke on his illness which kept him out of the country for five months this year .

Describing the year as a tumultuous one for him, Buhari  said he was so sick to the extent  that he forgot his age.

He noted that he followed his  doctors orders to the letter hence the reason why he is looking much better now .

He remarked” I am very grateful for taking time out on a very important day to come out and spend it with us, It has been a tumultuous year I am thinking I am 75, I thought I was 74 but I was told I was 75 I have never been so sick .

“Even the 30months civil war I was stumbling under farm of yams or cassava but this sickness I don’t know but I came out better, because all those who saw me before and when I came back said I look much better.
Tue, 26 Dec 2017
Most motorists in Abuja and Lagos yesterday celebrated Christmas on long queues at filling stations, as the scarcity of petrol bites harder in the country.

LEADERSHIP checks showed that many residents stormed the few filling stations selling the product in the Lagos metropolis in a bid to get the product but ended up celebrating Christmas at petrol stations.

They lamented that the few petrol stations stop selling the product as soon as hoodlums come into the station to disrupt the queues.

Some residents who spoke with our correspondent about the situation said the federal government should have envisaged that fuel scarcity would occur this time.

Some residents were also seen doing brisk business by selling the product along some major roads in the Lagos metropolis.

Lamenting about the ugly trend, Gabriel Adegbenro said, “This is a minus for this government. How come they subject Nigerians to this kind of hardship this yuletide period? This is not fair at all. This must be probed. Why now, this festive season? They keep talking about tourism. Just imagine how tourists will see us as a bunch of unserious people”.

Also, Mr. Benjanmi Kolade who expressed disappointment at government said people could not go out as a result of fuel scarcity.

“Some are even stranded because there is no money. In short, what the nation needs is divine intervention”, he said.

Our correspondent also observed that many Nigerians celebrated the season in a low key, but appreciated God for the gift of life and good health.

Commenting on the situation, Mrs. Funke Bamidele, appealed to government to take drastic action in solving the scarcity problem.

“Above all, we appreciate God for His faithfulness despite what is happening in the country but I believe that God will deliver His people”, she said.

Also in Abuja, it was observed that there were long queues in most fuel stations visited yesterday, including NNPC, Oando and Total filling stations.

Mr Chris Abiti, in an interview with NAN, said he and his family stayed  on a queue at the NNPC Mega Station in Central Area for more than three hours.

Abiti said that something urgent needed to be done to avert the recurrent scarcity during festivities, especially Christmas and New Year seasons.
Tue, 26 Dec 2017
By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has described as such a shame the sad reality that Christmas has been, to some extent, celebrated amid the discomfort caused by fuel scarcity.He also stated that the Buhari administration is doing everything possible to quickly resolve the fuel shortages experienced by Nigerians.Osinbajo who said this during an unexpected stopover at Oando Filling Station in Lekki area of Lagos State on Christmas Eve also stopped at Hayden Petrol Station on the 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
By Carl Ndukwe The Nigerian Senate does get quite a telling from the citizenry, and sometimes they very well deserve it. However, there are also many times when they do make the people proud. So, as we take stock of the year, here are some of those memorable bills through which our senators have demonstrated that their service and fealty do indeed rest on the interests and wishes of the people.Passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun BillHere we saw a Nigerian Senate that not only listens but also has i 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has reiterated the resolve of the present administration to develop the tourism, hospitality and sports potential of the state and make it a must-visit and Africas best tourism destination.The Governor who flagged off the One Lagos fiesta at the Agege mini-stadium in the presence of an army of youths who thronged the event explained that OLF, which has become an annual event in the tourism calendar, said it is aimed at promoting 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
By SAM DIALA There are strong indications that the sustained and diversified intervention programmes of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would provide the required platform for the numerous micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to position for ultimate transformation into the arena of industrialisation. That would be a landmark achievement in the diversification agenda of the Nigerian government aimed at attaining rapid economic growth.All over the world, the role of MSMEs is crucial in a 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos In line with its strategic objective to increase the number of asset classes traded on its platform, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has revealed plans to introduce Exchange Traded Derivatives (ETDs) in the Nigerian capital market.Derivative instruments are financial contracts that are dependent mainly on a regulatory framework that supports their enforceability.The proposal, the NSE said in its notification of the draft rules and invitation for comments signed by its 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos Motorists in Lagos and Ogun States would begin to see stability in distribution of petrol as Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has confirmed that supply has reached major products holding facilities in Lagos state.The IPMAN confirmed that the Ejigbo Satellite and Mosimi depots which are critical facilities that ensure effective products distribution in the South West have been fully supplied with petrol and promised that the current ravaging f 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
By ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos Air Peace received a boost on Sunday with the delivery of one of its newly acquired aircraft. The airliner, a Boeing 737-300, touched down at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos at about 6.30 pm.The aircraft which was flown in by Capt. Ikechukwu Paul Ugochukwu and his team is the third Boeing 737 Air Peace has received this year alone.The carrier took delivery of two of its new Boeing 737 aircraft on February 21 and June 16 respectively.Air Peace recently acquired six E 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
BY Francis Okoye, Maiduguri The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has felicitated with the troops fighting Insurgency in the Northeast on the occasion of the Christmas and new year celebrations.Buratai, used the occasion to commend the hardwork and sacrifices of the gallant officers and soldiers currently engaged in operation Lafiya Dole and other operations across the country.According to the statement issued by Army spokesman, Brig Gen Sani Kukashekau Usman, to newsmen in Maidug 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos Civil society organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to take what it termed, Bold action in tackling the persistent fuel scarcity in the country.SERAP specifically asked the president to urgently propose a bill to the National Assembly that would explicitly recognize access of Nigerians to regular fuel supply as a human right, with specific responsibilities on the authorities to proactively prevent an 

Tue, 26 Dec 2017
All is set for todays presidential run-off election in Liberia, according to the countrys National Elections Commission (NEC).Spokesman of the commission, Mr Henry Flomo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Monrovia yesterday that the electoral umpire had done everything humanly possible for a smooth process.He said the commission had fully carried out the Supreme Courts directives on the exercise, including cleaning up the voter register and publishing it at polling centres across the coun 
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