NAIJA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [31 DECEMBER, 2017].


Below are the headlines found on The Punch Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 31 December, 2017.

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
There was outrage on Saturday over President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of dead people into boards of Federal Government agencies.


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Prominent lawyers and civil society groups, in separate interviews with SUNDAY PUNCH, said the inclusion of dead people on the list of appointees was a demonstration of incompetence by the Buhari administration.


 
They noted that the appointments, which were made two and half years after Buhari’s assumption of office, should have been done without errors.

Some of the dead persons on the list released included late Senator Francis Okpozo, who died in December 2016 but was named the chairman of the board of the Nigerian Press Council.

Another was Donald Ugbaja, the late Deputy Inspector General of Police who died in November but listed was as one of the members of the Consumer Protection Council.

Also on the list was the late founder of Fidei Polytechnic, Rev. Christopher Utov, who died in March but was listed as a board member of the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research.

Included on the list was the late Alhaji Umar Dange, an APC leader in Sokoto State, who was appointed as a board member of the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta.

Similarly, Kabir Umar, a former Emir of Katagum in Bauchi State, who died on December 9, was on the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Azare, Bauchi.

According to TheCable, another appointee, Ahmed Bunza, died at Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, and was buried May 22.

Bunza was reported to be a staunch supporter of the APC. He served as the sole administrator of Jega Local Government Area of Kebbi state.
Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Fitch Ratings, one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies, and foremost Nigerian economists have uplifting news for Nigerians just a day into 2018. They say the country is not expected to experience another economic recession in the New Year.

After Nigeria had endured a gruelling economic recession in 2016 with its attendant impacts felt in 2017, the United Kingdom-based rating agency told SUNDAY PUNCH that forecast growth for the country in 2018 would be 2.6 per cent.


 
The projection is a bit higher than the 2.1 per cent growth projected for Nigeria’s economy by the International Monetary Fund in 2018 while the World Bank had, this year, projected that the Nigerian economy would grow at one per cent in 2018.

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“Fitch Ratings forecasts growth of 2.6 per cent in 2018. The recovery will be driven mainly by increased FX (foreign exchange) availability to the non-oil economy and fiscal stimulus, as higher oil revenue and various funding initiatives have raised the government’s ability to execute capital spending plans,” the spokesperson for Fitch, Peter Fitzpatrick, said.

He, however, noted that the growth forecast was subject to downside risks, as the foreign exchange market “remains far from being fully transparent and domestic liquidity has also become a constraint.”

In its latest full report on Nigeria made available to SUNDAY PUNCH, Fitch said a revival of economic growth by the sustained implementation of coherent macroeconomic policies could lead to a positive rating for Nigeria while a failure to realise an improvement in the economic growth would be negative for the country.
Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has called on the Federal Government to end the current fuel scarcity in the country rather than buying time and passing blame.

Soyinka stated this on Saturday in a statement titled, “Blame passing: The New Year Gift to a Nation.’’


 
He also cited the clipping of the 1977 edition of the Daily Times when President Muhammadu Buhari, then a minister of petroleum and natural resources, was quoted as saying, “Fuel crisis may be over next year.”

Soyinka said, “I recently ran the gauntlet of petroleum queues through three conveniently situated cities – Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan – deliberately, this Friday. Even with ‘unorthodox’ aids of passage, this was no task for the faint-hearted. Just getting past fueling stations was traumatising, an obstacle race through seething, frustrated masses of humanity, only to find ourselves on vast stretches of emptied roads pleading for occupation. As for obtaining the petroleum in the first place – the less said the better.

“I suspect that this government has permitted itself to be fooled by the peace of those empty streets, but also by the orderly, patient, long-suffering queues that are admittedly prevalent in the city centres. It is time the reporting monitors of government moved to city peripheries and sometimes even some other inner urban sectors, such as Ikeja and Maryland from time to time to see, and listen!
Sun, 31 Dec 2017
The police have said that making phone calls at filling stations is a criminal offence which could land the offender in jail.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, stated that an offender could be prosecuted and jailed for attempted arson.

He noted that police officers have the authority to arrest anyone found making phone calls or smoking at filling stations.


 
He described the filling station as a public facility where motorists cannot act as they like on account of the inflammable products like petrol and other petroleum products being dispensed there.

Moshood, therefore, cautioned the public against violating the safety rules forbidding smoking and phone calls at filling stations.

He said, “Making phone calls or smoking at filling stations is a criminal offence and the police, of course, could arrest anyone violating the safety rules put in place to safeguard life and property at the filling stations.”
Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Okechukwu Nnodim The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has insisted that oil marketers are responsible for petrol scarcity across the country. According to the corporations Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, the petrol scarcity was as a result of the sharp practices of some unscrupulous marketers who were hoarding the product. Baru was quoted in a statement [] 


Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Olaleye Aluko As President Muhammadu Buharis son, Yusuf, continues to receive treatment at Cedar Crest Hospital, Gudu District, Abuja, some petty sellers close to the hospital are happy about the boost in their sales due to the influx of dignitaries, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt. The traders, who deal in food, recharge cards, and drinks around [] 


Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Tony Okafor The Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Anambra State, Most Rev. Alexander Ibezim, has asked Nigerians to stop blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for the travails of the country. The bishop said this while delivering his New Year message at a press conference in Awka, the Anambra State capital. He said Nigerias woes were not [] 


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Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Chukwudi Akasike Men of the Nigerian Navy on Saturday rescued an unnamed naval rating and his daughter, who were kidnapped on Thursday, December 28, 2017. The operatives also arrested five notorious kidnappers after a gun battle in the Ubima, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State. A statement by the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Adelani Adepegba The Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigeria Prisons Service have denied an allegation of N12.6bn fraud purportedly made in a 2015 audit report by the Auditor-General of the Federation. The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, said all the issues raised in the report concerning the service [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi The Federal Government, through the National Emergency Management Agency, has appointed Med-View Airline to evacuate 5,037 Nigerians from Libya. The airline said an agreement to that effect was signed at NEMA headquarters in Abuja on Friday. According to the terms of the agreement, the two organisations will facilitate smooth airlifting of Nigerians out [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Chukwudi Akasike Governor Nyesom Wike has said the All Progressives Congress leaders in the state only gain recognition from the Federal Government by abusing him. Wike explained that apart from insulting him in the media, the state APC leaders had no political value. The governor spoke on Saturday when he received hundreds of APC defectors [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Olalekan Adetayo The Presidency on Saturday said 38 investors had indicated interests in the establishment of mini-modular refineries in the Niger Delta region as part of the Federal Governments new vision for the area. The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said this in a statement. He [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
BAYO AKINLOYE and TOBI AWORINDE write on some of the biggest incidents and moments that shaped the past year in Nigeria Patience Jonathan's 16 bank accounts Regarded as Nigeria's feistiest ' past or present ' first lady, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, has refused to exit the limelight following her infamous 'diarisgod' [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
The advertisement and copy sales departments of PUNCH Nigeria Limited in Abuja have relocated from the Millennium Builders Plaza on 251 Herbert Macaulay Way to Plot 743, Sani A. Mashi Crescent off Mohammed Namadi Sambo Way, Cadastral Zone C 16, adjacent Salini Nigeria Limited, Idu Industrial Layout, Abuja. For advert placements, our dear customers should, [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Olalekan Adetayo The Presidency on Saturday raised the hopes of Nigerians in the New Year with a pledge to ensure major facelifts in power, rail and roads, based on the present administration's investment in infrastructure. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said this in a statement. Adesina listed [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Femi Makinde Osun State Government workers have suspended the strike action embarked upon to force government to stop paying them half salaries. The workers, on Saturday night, announced the suspension of the strike after signing a memorandum of understanding with the representatives of the state government. The MoU was signed on behalf of the workers [] 


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Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Olusola Fabiyi The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Uche Secondus, has assured Nigerians that the party will play a robust and vibrant opposition role in 2018. Secondus stated this in a New Year message to Nigerians released in Abuja on Saturday, adding that the plans of anti-democratic forces against the PDP in [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Simon Utebor Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has reiterated his call on leaders of the country to take decisive action to unite the country. Dickson lamented that the nation was too divided along ethnic and religious lines. The governor, who made the call in his New Year message to the people of the state, [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Punch Editorial Board Former World Footballer of the Year, George Weah, completed a stunning transformation from an extraordinarily talented sportsman to an accomplished politician after he was declared winner of Liberias presidential election late on Thursday. With 98.1 per cent of the votes counted and Weah leading by 61.5 per cent, the Liberia National Elections [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Femi Asu One of the nation's refineries, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, did not process any crude oil from June to September this year and made a loss of N14.43bn within the period. The three government-owned refineries lost a total of N16.67bn in the third quarter of this year, the latest financial and operations report [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
The green bond market has enjoyed strong growth in the last two years, with issuance jumping by over 105 per cent in 2016 alone to a record $81bn. Nigeria's recent move into the space presents a huge respite for its fast degrading environment, STANLEY OPARA writes Up until five years ago, Nnanna Ejekwe, a subsistence [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
To woo customers and overcome the challenges of selling intangible products, insurance companies are adopting innovative marketing strategies, NIKE POPOOLA reports Cultural factors which encourage relatives to depend on the extended families for survival in times of need and the belief that insurance is synonymous with death benefits are responsible for the low patronage of [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Ifeanyi Onuba Between January and November this year, the Federation Account Allocation Committee shared a total of N5.74tn to the three tiers of government. An analysis of the FAAC distribution shows that the amount represents an increase of N765bn over the N4.98tn, which the committee allocated in the corresponding period of 2016. The committee, headed [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
In this interview with NIKE POPOOLA, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Equity Assurance Plc, Mr. Moruf Apampa, speaks on developments in the Nigerian insurance industry How has the insurance sector fared this year' The insurance industry is an integral part of the Nigerian economy and has therefore had to cope with the economic downturn and [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi As the weather continues to disrupt flight operations, leaving many passengers stranded at airports across the country, airlines have blamed poor landing equipment for the flight delays and cancellations in the last two weeks. A passenger on Friday described the situation at Lagos airport as 'cancellation and delay galore,' as his flight to [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Ife Ogunfuwa The registration of Nigeria domain name, .ng, increased by 1,591 from October to November this year. The .ng domain recorded a two-per cent increase month-on-month from 99,382 to reach 100,973 as of the end of November 2017. An analysis of data from the Nigeria Internet Registration Association, managers of the country's domain names [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Anna Okon The National Cashew Association of Nigeria has said that cashew production in 2018 may increase by 10 per cent over the 2017 volume. The President, NCAN, Mr. Tola Faseru, told our correspondent that production increased from 175,000 metric tonnes in 2016 to 220,000MT in 2017, adding that the projection for 2018 was 242,000MT. [] 


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Sun, 31 Dec 2017
The President/Chief Executive Officer of the Coscharis Group, Cosmas Maduka, is optimistic that the company will double the achievements recorded in 2017 next year. Already, he said the group, which had made some considerable mark in the auto industry, information technology, logistics and beverages sectors, was delving into the agric industry in a large scale. [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Anna Okon Members of the Organised Private Sector have lamented the delay in getting their vital raw materials out of Lagos ports owing to the persistent gridlock around the area. In a position paper made available to our correspondent, the OPS, claimed that it took them up to eight weeks to get their raw materials [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Stanley Opara The Nigerian Stock Exchange has announced the review of the NSE-30, and the seven sector indices of the Exchange, which are the NSE Consumer Goods, NSE Banking, NSE Insurance, NSE Industrial, NSE Oil & Gas, NSE Pension and the NSE Lotus Islamic Indices. The composition of the indices would take effect from January [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. (CFA) Tomorrow, Monday, January 1, 2018, marks the beginning of a new year. A brand new year presents a new opportunity to review past strategies and come up with new ones. A number of us may have taken the time to draw up a list of goals for the coming year [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Deji Yesufu Very few people know that the controversy on tithes in Nigeria is coming exactly 500 years after a major controversy in Western Christendom. This controversy saw the emergence of the Protestant churches from within the Roman Catholic Church. On October 31, 2017, it was exactly 500 years that Martin Luther nailed 95 theses [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Onoshe Nwabuikwu Its the last day of 2017 and I cant help but look back at some issues and news that ruled the airwaves. Take your pick from any of the issues that dominated the news. The year began with the Big Brother Naija competition which was held in Johannesburg. For a minute, the debate [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Gloria Ogunbadejo I have spent the past three months in this wonderfully impossible country and as I wind down my time, it coincides with the end of the year and my thoughts and feelings are conflicted as well as complex, but also very clear. That probably sounds like an oxymoron but I will expatiate. Nigeria [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Minabere Ibelema Happy New Year! Youre going to hear that said to you a zillion times in the next several days. And it doesnt matter how often you hear it, you appreciate it. And it makes a difference. At least for the next several days, you will feel happier than beforewhatever that means. Yes, whatever [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Alexander Okere The abductors of three Catholic reverend sisters and three aspirants for the convent have demanded a ransom of N20m for their release, SUNDAY PUNCH learnt on Saturday. The reverend sisters, from the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus convent in Iguoriakhi, in the Ovia South-West Local Government Area of Edo State, and [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Alexander Okere Four persons have died in an auto crash in Abudu, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. Two persons were also said to have sustained varying degrees of injury in the accident, which occurred at 1:35pm on Friday, barely 48 hours to the New Year. It was learnt that the victims were en [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Tofarati Ige & Olushola Ricketts The outgoing year was a remarkable one for the Nigerian entertainment industry. It was characterised by lots of happenings and drama. These are some of the issues and personalities that gave us plenty to talk about Davido Popstar, David Adeleke, aka Davido, came into the industry singing at the top [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Tofarati Ige & Olushola Ricketts Sunday Scoop takes a look at some of the most outstanding events in the entertainment industry in Nigeria Banky W and Adesuas wedding When Oluwabankole Wellington, aka Banky W, proposed to Adesua Etomi, many people thought it was a rehash of the roles they played in the movie, Wedding Party, [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Musician and producer, Gabriel Amanyi, aka Terry G, speaks to JOY MARCUS about the fond memories of his trip to Egypt Where did you visit recently and why did you travel there' That would be Egypt. I travelled there early this year for an event. How long did you spend in Egypt' We spent about [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Tofarati Ige Background I was born in Kaduna State into a strong Christian home, and I have two sisters. My father is a pastor and an engineer, while my mother is a nurse and a deaconess. While growing up, discipline and humility were imbibed in us. Like we all know, Nigerian parents are very protective [] 

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Sun, 31 Dec 2017
In this report, TANA AIYEJINA takes a look at the plight of Nigerian players on the local scene, despite their huge potential That Nigerian football has followed the part of the countrys economyalways running cap in hand to the West despite its huge human talenthasnt come as a surprise to close followers of the game. [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has urged football stakeholders to remain calm over some appointments into the Nigeria Football Federation board by the Federal Government. Dalung, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said efforts were being made to correct an oversight made following the recent appointments into the NFF board. The [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be out of action for a month, but he hopes to have Romelu Lukaku back soon following his head injury. Ibrahimovic went off at half-time in Uniteds Boxing Day draw against Burnley, but Mourinho did not divulge the nature of the injury that will keep [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
Jose Mourinhos recent frustrations continued at Old Trafford as he lost Romelu Lukaku to a worrying head injury inManchesterUniteds goalless Premier League draw with Southampton on Saturday. Paul Pogba had a late effort ruled out for offside and a third successive league draw over the holiday period has effectively ended Uniteds hopes of competing with [] 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017
English Premier League results on Saturday: Chelsea 5 (Rudiger 3, Drinkwater 9, Pedro 23, Willian 73-pen, Zappacosta 88) Stoke 0 Liverpool 2 (Salah 52, 76) Leicester 1 (Vardy 3) Bournemouth 2 (Fraser 33, 89) Everton 1 (Gueye 57) Huddersfield 0 Burnley 0 Newcastle 0 Brighton 0 Watford 1 (Carrillo 11) Swansea 2 (Ayew 86, Narsingh [] 
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