NAIJA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [15 DECEMBER, 2017].


Below are the headlines found on The Punch Online Newspaper for today, Friday, 15 December, 2017.


Fri, 15 Dec 2017

The National Economic Council, on Thursday, asked the Federal Government to withdraw $1bn from the $2.3bn currently in the Excess Crude Account and use it to fight insurgency in the North-East.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


The council chaired by the Vice-President has all state governors as members.

Some civil society groups and analysts, however, faulted the move by the Federal Government on the basis that past allocations to defence and the anti-terrorism operations had yet to be judiciously accounted for.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed the decision of NEC to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

Obaseki said council members expected that the money would be spent on the purchase of security equipment, procurement of intelligence and logistics, among others.

He said the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, announced the governors’ decision at the meeting.

The governor stated, “The NEC also resolved through the Chairman of the NGF to support the effort of the Federal Government in the area of security.

“Pleased with the achievements that have been made till date in the fight against insurgency, particularly in the North-East, the governors of Nigeria, through their chairman, announced at the NEC meeting that the governors have given permission to the Federal Government to spend the sum of $1bn on the fight against insurgency.

“This money is supposed to be taken from the Excess Crude Account.



“As you know, the issue of security, particularly as regards the North-East, is a very comprehensive response by federal forces. So, we expect that the contribution of the states to these efforts will cover the whole array of activities required to secure the country and counter-insurgency.

“We expect that the amount will include but not limited to the purchase of equipment, procuring intelligence and logistics and all things required to ensure that we finally put an end to the scourge of insurgence.”

Towards the end of the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, the Federal Government requested and got approval from the National Assembly for a loan of $1bn to fight the Boko Haram menace.


Fri, 15 Dec 2017
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.); a former Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were  among dignitaries that on Thursday attended the 2017 Christmas Praise Concert inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

 The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, delivered the sermon at the service held inside the old Banquet Hall.



Others present were members of the Federal Executive Council as well as the wife of the Vice-President, Dolapo.

Dogara read the first lesson of the service taken from  Isaiah 6:14-15 and 9:6-7 while the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, read the second lesson from Luke 1:26-38.

The Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, read the third lesson from Luke 2:8-18.

The service featured song renditions by different groups and special prayer sessions for the country and its leaders.

 The Chaplain of Aso Rock Chapel, Pastor Kunle Malomo, led the congregation to pray for a better 2018 for the nation and the church.

They also prayed for President Muhammadu Buhari, the Vice-President and all others in positions of authority.

Prayers were also said for the nation’s peace as well as its economic growth.

Adeboye warned the congregation against pride, saying promotion comes only from God.

Groups that made special presentations included the Aso Villa Chapel Choir and the Chapel’s Children Choir.

Others were the Federal Capital Territory School of the Blind Choir,  Minna Choral Society Choir, Port Harcourt Male Ensemble International and combined Choir of Military and Para-military Forces.


Fri, 15 Dec 2017
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Post-Convention Committee on Reconciliation,  who is also the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has said the party will  need the full support of its members in the South-West to effectively execute its plan to regain political power in 2019.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as having made the comment when he led the reconciliation committee on a visit to the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, in Lagos on Thursday.



Dickson, who commended Daniel, a national chairmanship aspirant in the December 9 convention of the party, said that the PDP would need the support and the wise counsel of Daniel and other leaders in the South-West to succeed in its objectives.

He explained that the committee was in the South-West to discuss the issues that were thrown up by the last convention which produced the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee and pleaded with Daniel to sustain continuous participation in the affairs of the party.

He said, “We come with greetings from the leadership of the party that you consolidated, the party that you served as a governor for eight years.

“We are here to thank you and to remind you that you are still a pillar of our party, in your state, in the South-West, and across Nigeria. The party is relying on your wise counsel.

“You and your colleagues woke up our party when you went round the entire country to campaign. Our party, the PDP, is a viable political platform.

“We are here to discuss the issues that have arisen as a result of the convention. The party holds you, Ogun State, and the South-West Zone in very high esteem.

“Moving forward, we rely on the support and guidance of leaders like you to succeed. We look forward to your active robust participation in the affairs of the PDP going forward.”

In his remarks, Daniel said it was too late for leaders of the PDP of his status to contemplate leaving the party.
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, on Thursday described the All Progressives Grand Alliance as the “South-East hurricane “

He asked the governors in the South-East geopolitical zone to join APGA now if they would wish to be re-elected in the 2019 general elections.



Obiano stated this at the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, the Anambra State capital, during a function tagged, “Victory Rally/ Commencement of Anambra  Central Senatorial  District Rerun Campaign.”

He said many serving senators and House of Representatives’ members from the geopolitical zone had approached him to join APGA.

Describing APGA as the Igbo philosophy and identity, Obiano added, “What we are telling everybody now is to join APGA within  a reasonable time to be able to get the chance to contest election on our platform in 2019.

“What happened here on November 18 when APGA swept the entire poll in Anambra State will be replicated in Imo, Abia, Enugu, and Ebonyi states in 2019.

“APGA is a hurricane that nobody can stop in the South-East. What I’m telling my brother governors in the South-East is for them to join APGA now if they wish to be re-elected; otherwise, sorry for them, they must lose their seats to APGA in 2019.”

Obiano, who described  the January 13 senatorial rerun in the state as a simple mathematics, said he had put on his victory garb again as the chairman of the campaign organisation of the APGA candidate in the election, Chief Victor Umeh, to “crush any opposition” in the race.

Speaking, Umeh dismissed the judgment of Justice John Tsoho of the Abuja Federal High Court as dead on arrival.

Justice Tsoho had in the judgment ordered that Chief Ikechukwu Obiora be sworn in as the winner of the 2015 Anambra Central senatorial election.



N5.3bn fraud: Nnamani seeks perpetual injunction against EFCC

Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Oladimeji Ramon A former governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to perpetually restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from inviting, arresting or further prosecuting him in connection with a criminal charge involving an alleged fraud of N5.3bn. In an application brought on Thursday before Justice [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan The Ibadan Mogajis (family heads), under the aegis of the Council of Authentic Ibadan Mogajis, have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the 21 kings installed by the Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi to withdraw their threat to dethrone the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, or face the wrath of the [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Segun Olanrewaju, Umuahia The pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Placid Njoku, has suggested that water-trap technology be adopted to stop herdsmen from open grazing. This, he said, would end the clashes between them and farmers. Njoku attributed the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers to a clash of culture and [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on Thursday admonished judges to be wary of the antics of politicians as Nigeria prepares for the 2019 general elections. Speaking in Abuja while declaring open this years Annual Conference of Justices of Court of Appeal, the CJN said, Soon the tempo of political [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Sesan Olufowobi The Lagos State Government says it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a firm, Echostone Development Nigeria Limited, to build 2,000 housing units in three locations in the state. A statement from the Lagos State Ministry of Housing on Thursday said the MoU was signed at the ministrys office in Alausa, Ikeja. [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Afeez Hanafi The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has urged civil servants in the state to acquire skills that can enable them to cope with the trends in a market-driven economy. The governor said workers should be able to redesign services and execute them digitally in order to improve delivery. A statement on Thursday said [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Friday Olokor and Success Nwogu The agitation for the restructuring of Nigeria was re-echoed in Jos on Thursday with the British government expressing optimism that it would be a major determinant in the 2019 general elections. The British government also said it would not support anything that could disintegrate Nigeria, including the agitation for succession [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Leke Baiyewu, Abuja The Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate the November 21, 2017, showdown between officials of the Department of State Services and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja began its investigative hearing on Thursday behind closed doors. In attendance at the hearing were the Director General, Department of State [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Jabi, on Thursday dismissed the bail application filed by Maryam Sanda, who is being prosecuted for allegedly stabbing her husband, Bilyamin Bello, to death on November 19. But the court granted bail to her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; brother, Aliyu Sanda; and another person, Sadiya [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Femi Makinde, Osogbo An Osun State High Court sitting in Ilesa has declared that the changing of the name of Osun State to the State of Osun by the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola is illegal. Justice Yinka Afolabi , while delivering the judgment on Thursday in a case instituted by the Chairman, Nigerian Bar [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Armstrong Bakam, Bauchi The Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has challenged women and youths in Bauchi State to strive hard to acquire knowledge so that they can benefit from opportunities that may come their way. She stated this at the closing ceremony of the Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Training Programme initiated and sponsored by [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has said the report of the Ekiti State Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the state government to probe financial transactions of the state between 2010 and 2014 cannot pass an integrity test when taken before a proper court of law. The panel, [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Ozioma Ubabukoh The United Progressives Party has frowned on the destruction of the master plan and monuments in Enugu State by the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. In a statement on Thursday, the Enugu State Chairman of UPP, Mr. Ken Onyekaonwu, decried the wanton conversion of areas in Enugu city, originally mapped out for institutions, [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Gbenga Odogun, Lokoja A former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, has said Governor Yahaya Bello is chasing shadows in his bid to probe past administrations in the state. Idris, who spoke with journalists on Thursday in an interview in Lokoja, said the panel of inquiry, set up to investigate his administration and that [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Theophilus Onojeghen, Warri The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has approved the creation of three new police area commands for Delta State, bringing the total number of commands in the state to six. The new area commands are Sapele, Ozoro and Agbor. The state Police Commissioner, Zanna Ibrahim, who disclosed this on Thursday, said [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday denied issuing a bench warrant for the arrest of the ex-Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Force, Mr. Abdul-Rasheed Maina. The EFCC stated this in a counter-affidavit deposed to by one of its litigation officers, Yusuf Musa, at the Federal High Court, Kaduna. [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan A former Minister of Health, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, on Thursday, in Ibadan, blamed government health policy and poor governance for the failure of health care delivery in the country. Lambo said this in a presentation titled, Evolution and challenges of health policy and health systems development in Nigeria, at a seminar organised [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Samson Folarin The Lagos State Government has asked emergency responders in the state to improve response time to disasters through increased inter-agency collaboration. The Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, according to a statement on Thursday, spoke during a workshop for emergency responders in the state. The training, with the theme, [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Thursday presented a 2018 budget proposal of N267,436,357,912.19 to the state House of Assembly. The 2018 budget, which the governor christened, Budget of Stabilisation, was about N60.4bn higher than the 2017 budget for the state. The governor stated that the proposed revenue was projected to [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Three people, including two national police officers, were killed in a shooting at a country house in eastern Spain on Thursday, officials said. Two civil guards and a civilian died during the incident at an isolated home in a rural area of the Teruel province around 6:00 pm (1700 GMT), a local official told AFP. [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

US regulators voted Thursday to roll back so-called net neutrality rules which required internet providers to treat all traffic equally, in the latest twist to an acrimonious debate over online freedom. The Federal Communications Commission, in a three-to-two vote, adopted a proposal by Republican appointed chairman Ajit Pai, who said his plan would scrap heavy-handed [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Armstrong Bakam, Bauchi The Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has challenged women and youths in Bauchi State to strive hard to acquire knowledge so that they can benefit from available opportunities. She stated this at the closing ceremony of the Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Training Programme initiated and sponsored by her pet project, Future [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

EU leaders on Thursday agreed to extend tough economic sanctions against Russia over its meddling in Ukraine for six months, EU President Donald Tusk said. EU united on roll-over of economic sanctions on Russia, Tusk tweeted after leaders discussed the issue at a summit in Brussels. The EU imposed the economic sanctions against Russia after [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Punch Editorial Board As cases of cancer morbidity and mortality continue to mushroom globally, only a robust, comprehensive and well-funded response can help to contain the unbridled spread of the killer disease. But, for years, these critical elements have been lacking in Nigerias response. This is why the recent enunciation by the Minister of Health, [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has called on members of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party not to fail Nigerians or compromise, no matter the bait. Wike also declared that he would always work for the stability and growth of the PDP because Nigerians were yearning for [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

John Ameh, Abuja An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives on Thursday summoned chief executive officers of some telecommunications firms operating in the country over alleged default in the payment of taxes. The committee, which is chaired by Mr. Ahmed Abu, is investigating the tax compliance status of the affected firms. Abu said [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja The Independent National Electoral Commission says it has approved the immediate sacking of two of its officials and the compulsory retirement of another electoral official for their alleged role in the double registration of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello. The electoral body, however, stated that it could not take any action [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Leke Baiyewu, Abuja Members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) have expressed shock over the proposal by the Department of Petroleum Resources to spend about N415m on local and foreign trips in 2018. The committee vowed to cut the cost drastically when sending it for Senate's approval. The Director of the DPR, Mr. [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Thursday promised the National Economic Council, consisting of state governors, that the fuel scarcity being witnessed in parts of the country would end within 48 hours. The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The European Union has pledged to support the expansion of Nigeria's power transmission infrastructure with a grant of '25m (N7.6bn at the official exchange rate of N305 to one Euro). According to the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the grant will support the TCN on solar Independent Power Projects' evacuation. The Interim Managing [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Leke Baiyewu, Abuja The Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy on Thursday criticised a solar-powered streetlight project in nine universities across the country valued at N10bn. The committee also turned back the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, from the budget defence session held for his ministry over his alleged [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The Federal Government and Kingline Power Limited on Thursday signed a Power Purchase Agreement for the construction of 550 megawatts power plant worth $550m (N168.8bn at N307 to one dollar). Both parties signed the agreement at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Abuja, with the Nigerian [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Everest Amaefule, Abuja Five companies shortlisted for possible taakeover of digital mobile operator, 9mobile, have been directed to proceed to data room stage, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said. The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbattaa, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, during the 82nd edition of the Nigerian [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

John Ameh, Abuja The House of Representatives Committee on Commerce on Thursday put on hold the defence of the 2018 budget proposal of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. The primary reason was the failure of the Minister of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr.Okechukwu Enelamah, to personally attend the budget defence [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

When an account holder dies, her relatives and friends are often left to handle the details, including closing bank accounts. Bank accounts should be closed as soon as possible after death, but doing so isn't always a cut-and-dry process, according to budgeting.thenest.com. There are several steps to be taken to do this. We will examine [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Feyisayo Popoola The Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria, the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria and the Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria, have called on the Nigeria Customs Service to address the issue of illegal importation of palm oil into Nigeria. According to the Chairman, POFN, Mr. Emmanuel Ibru, unmitigated importation and dumping of [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Stanley Opara and Ifeanyi Onuba Nigeria is set to become the first country on the continent to issue a security that raises funds for environmental projects when it launches its green bond on December 18. The government plans to sell N10.7bn ($30m) and the offer is billed to close on December 20, Bloomberg quoted Lanre [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Stanley Opara The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index dropped by 1.56 per cent at the close of trading on Thursday after 34 stocks closed in the red compared to 10 that appreciated. A total of 289.303 million shares worth N6.222bn exchanged hands in 4,617 deals. The equities market continued on its downward trend, settling the [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja Over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians have been created by the $6 8m (N20.88bn at N307 to a dollar) Novare Gateway Mall in Abuja, the Chairman of the facility, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, has said. In his speech at the opening ceremony of the mall recently in the Federal Capital [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Oyetunji Abioye The Chairman, Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum, a banking industry body comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, says the stakeholders will collaborate further next year to tighten the noose on electronic fraudsters in the country. This, he said, would make the industry to record lower e-fraud cases in [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Rasheed Bisiriyu A group, the Companion, has called on the Federal Government to prevail on its ministries, departments and agencies to increase their patronage of made-in-Nigeria products. This, it said, would encourage the consumption of locally made products, generate more job opportunities and boost the nation's economy. The President of the group, Alhaji Wale Sonaike, [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Feyisayo Popoola Stakeholders have advised auditors to embrace modern technology and self-development in order to effectively improve the nation's audit processes. According to them, auditors also have a vital role to play in ensuring accountability and riding the society of corruption. The stakeholders, including the Lagos State Head of Service, Mrs. Folasade Adesoye; the State [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Ted Odogwu, Kano A prominent community leader in Gezawa Local Government of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Gezawa, on Thursday, said the recently inaugurated Fullmark Rice Mill by President Muhammadu Buhari in Amarawa had provided job opportunities to many youths, who would have constituted nuisance to the society. President Buhari had said during the inauguration that [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry has identified some investment opportunities available to private sector investors that will assist in developing the Federal Capital Territory. According to the ACCI, profitable opportunities abound in Nigeria's capital city for interested private sector players, adding that infrastructure development was a major investment area in [] 



Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Stanley Opara The Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria is in a strategic relationship with a frontline depository, the Central Securities Clearing System Plc, to float the planned Lagos Commodity and Futures Exchange. This move, ASHON said in a statement, was part of the final preparation for the commencement of the Exchange's operation. The CSCS [] 

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