NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY’S THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [22 JANUARY, 2018].

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Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 22 January, 2018.
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
A group, Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), is operational in North Central and South South Nigeria. It deploys foreign terrorists that unleash mayhem on communities, with a view to exacerbating ethnic and religious tensions.
This disclosure was made in a report presented to President Muhammadu Buhari.

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The report was described as the result of findings by security operatives, including the Department of State Services (DSS).
A presidency source, at the weekend, said the discovery of the ISWA network followed the arrest of suspected attackers consisting of Fulani herdsmen, government-sponsored militias, militants and other miscreants in Benue State.
The source noted that many of the persons in custody spoke only the French language, unable to communicate in any of the Nigerian dialects.
This is the first time security officials have confirmed the activities of ISWA.
The source disclosed that a “good number” of the terrorists have been arrested, not only in the Benue valley, but also in towns in Edo State, specifically Akoko-Edo, Okpella and Benin, and Okene, in Kogi State.
“It is understood that the cell, which has members in different parts of the country, concentrates on recruiting young men to fight for the Islamic State in West Africa by unleashing cold-blooded murder on innocent citizens.
“There was intelligence that they planned several attacks, here, before and during Christmas and New Year. Their bombing targets included fuel depots, foreign missions, police and military establishments.
“Their network is very wide. So much was achieved by the DSS, which made a significant number of arrests in the last two months that helped preempt the attacks. This saved Nigeria from the spate of major terrorist attacks witnessed elsewhere, syndicated by ISIS worldwide,” the source said.
The source added: “We are learning more and more about this complex and sophisticated network. This is the main reason the secret service is not parading those suspects so far arrested. It has become clear to us now that the challenge facing this country is a serious one.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed that Buhari has been receiving “report upon report on the situation in Benue and other states”.
He, however, said he had not been briefed on any of the reports.

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This is coming barely three days after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday, inaugurated the Sanctions Committee charged with tracking and freezing funds for terrorist groups in Nigeria.
The committee, headed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, consists of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; National Security Adviser, Babagana Mongunu; Director-General of DSS, Lawan Daura; and Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
Also included are Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; Director General of the National Intelligence Agency; and the Director General, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit.
In Taraba State, meanwhile, a helicopter allegedly packed with arms and ammunition was said to have made a stop at Jibu village, Ibi Local Government Area.
In a statement, yesterday, spokesman for the state governor, Bala Dan-Abu, said the incident might be a plot to arm a militia preparing to attack communities in the state.
He said a similar sighting preceded an attack in Agatu last year and called on security agencies to unravel the mystery behind the craft.
Member representing the area in the state House of Assembly, Josiah Aji, said he was notified of the development, adding that the council chairman and relevant agencies have been alerted.
Some residents of the area told The Guardian via phone that armed security operatives have been deployed to investigate the matter.
Police spokesman, David Misal, however, described the report as a mere rumour.
But it was real in Ondo State yesterday when suspected herdsmen burnt down the farm of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae. And in neighbouring Ekiti, Governor Ayodele Fayose, warned the leader of Fulani herdsmen, Muhammed Abashe, that he would be held responsible for any further attack in the state.
The governor was reacting to the recent killing by suspected herders of a Tiv woman at Orin Ekiti.

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Fayose said Abashe failed to provide leadership by not stopping his kinsmen from destroying farms and attacking residents at the slightest provocation.
“If you still want to stay among us, you must accept the responsibility of ensuring that none of our peoples’ farms is destroyed by herdsmen any longer. None of our people must be killed by your men. If any killing or destruction of the farms of our people occurs again in that area, I will ensure that I use the law to fight you. This is the last warning I am giving you,” said Fayose.
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
The state of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health could determine whether he seeks re-election in 2019 or not.
His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made the disclosure during an interview in Abuja.
Concerns about the President’s health reached a climax, last year, during his almost four month’s medical trip abroad, amid rumours the worst might have happened.
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, who formed the arrowhead of criticisms against the official secrecy surrounding the matter had urged the President to stand down.
“This country deserves a very healthy person. The office of the president is not for a sick man. The President is tired and should be allowed to resign and go and rest,” Fayose said.
He added: “You don’t have to be president at all costs when you are tired. You go home. I don’t want to talk about 2019. But I want to tell you that Nigeria needs a president that is agile, strong. The job is too much for an individual that does not have what it takes. It is common saying that health is wealth. Everything is about health.”

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Reiterating similar maxim, Adesina noted: “Health is wealth. ‎The President is not a frivolous person. If he thinks that his health cannot carry anything, he will not do it. So, of course, his health will matter a lot. It will be very important. But we need to give glory to God for the way he is now.”
The spokesman was, however, optimistic. According to him, “Everyday you see the President, you see a glow about him. You see freshness about him. I think he’s even in a better state than when he came in 2015. It’s all to the glory of God. So, once he assesses that his health can carry it, there’s nothing wrong if he steps into the fray. But he has the final decision.”
Adesina repeated Buhari’s commitment to leaving a legacy of non-interference in the outcome of elections conducted by the country’s umpire. “If it is the only thing he does, he wants to give free and fair elections to the country; elections that are acceptable,” he said.
He cited elections conducted under the present administration and won by the opposition, noting that things could have gone differently had the governing party chosen to wield federal might.
“You would have noticed that since this government came, there have been elections the All Progressives Congress (APC) didn’t have to win. It was not like that in the past when a certain party was in power. They won all the elections held in states.
“But you saw Anambra. Just this weekend, you saw a senatorial election there. Some months ago, in November, you saw the governorship election. If APC had wanted to overrun Anambra using federal might, it would have done so and would have won.
“Election were held in Bayelsa under this administration. APC didn’t do it. Ondo, APC won fair and square. Kogi, it won fair and square. Where APC wins, it wins. Where it loses, it loses. That’s the attitude of the President. Your party doesn’t have to win by hook or crook. So, he says if it is the last thing he does, he will leave free and fair elections for Nigeria. And that is happening.”

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Buhari has made gains and a second term would provide an opportunity for consolidation, said Adesina. “The things he has done are apparent. Despite the challenges of the moment, you can’t rule out what he has done in security. The economy went into recession, stayed there just for one year. It has come out and the indices are good. Even the World Bank has projected 2.5 per cent growth for Nigeria this year.”
The spokesman insisted: “We have to wait until he blows the whistle. You can’t start a race until the whistle is blown. So, when he blows the whistle and says, ‘Yes, this is my ambition,’ then the race starts.”
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Stakeholders in the financial sector have identified non-access to credit as the major challenge facing the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, urging government at all levels and financial institutions to create institutional support for growth of SMEs and ultimately generate more jobs opportunities for the youths.
They noted that the segment of the economy accounts for over 50% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country and enjoys less than one per cent of the banking system’s credit to the economy.
This, according to them, had made it difficult to unlock the huge potentials of small businesses in job creation, poverty reduction and economic inclusion.
Furthermore, they added that this underscores the disconnection between the small business and the banking sector, which demonstrates a critical failure in the financial intermediation role of the banking system.

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Therefore, they called for a holistic and multi prolonged intervention that would help stimulate developmental activities in the sector in a long-term basis.
The Director-General of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, pointed out that the consequence of failure of financial inclusion for MSMEs is the resort to money lenders, finance companies, informal financial markets, and micro finance banks for credit.
He noted that the lending rates in these windows are outrageous, ranging from 40 to 70 per cent.
“Some of these lenders, in some instances, charge as high as 70 per cent interest per month. This had made it difficult to unlock the huge potentials of small businesses for job creation, poverty reduction and economic inclusion,” he said.
The Managing Partner of Ciuci Consulting, Chukwuka Monye, explained that a lot needed to be done to ensure that the sector contributes significantly to the nation’s GDP as obtainable in the developed countries.
Monye pointed out that financing, infrastructure, transfer of knowledge and favorable policy are critical areas in need of intervention, adding that the sector constitute a major part of industrial activity in both developed and emerging economies.
According to him, while SMEs are defined as enterprise with less than 250 employees with an annual turnover not exceeding N18.36 billion in Europe, the U.S  Small Business Advocacy classifies it as enterprises with fewer than 500 employees and annual revenue of between $7 million to $25 million.

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Regrettably, Monye said despite that 96 per cent of Nigerian businesses are SMEs, compared to 53  and 65 per cent in the US and Europe, the sector contributes barely seven  per cent to the nation’s total export.
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Two goals in quick succession by Victor Mbaoma and Michael Ibe yesterday gave hosts, Akwa United a 2-0 victory over Yobe Stars in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Week Three encounter played at the magnificent Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
The match started on a slow note with the teams a bit too cautious, but the tempo picked up in the 30th minute following Mbaoma’s opening goal. The Desert Stars were still trying to come to terms with their deficit when Ibe made the scores 2-0 less than four minutes after the first goal.
Thereafter, Akwa United raised the tempo in search of more goals, but a combination of poor marksmanship and desperate defending kept the scores at 2-0 in the first half.
The same pattern continued in the second half with Cyril Olisema, Mbaoma and Ubong Friday failing to convert the many chances that came their way. The game ended 2-0.
Speaking after the match, Yobe Stars Coach, Baba Ganaru blamed his team’s loss on fatigue, saying the team was jaded because they arrived in Uyo a few hours before the encounter.
He added: “I praise my boys for putting up a fantastic display even under an unfavourable condition. We had a three-day journey to get here and our boys arrived by 2.00 a.m. this morning.
“It has been difficult for us because we played in Nnewi last week, went home to play on Wednesday and hit the road immediately for Uyo.
We have had no rest in the past one week.”
The Guardian learnt that Yobe Star’ bus broke down in Owerri on Saturday and was fixed late into the night before the team continued the journey to Uyo. Akwa United will travel to Minna to play Niger Tornadoes before coming back to Uyo to host FC IfeanyUbah on Wednesday.
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Consumers of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol in Lagos and Abuja, saw the return of long queues at filling stations at the weekend.

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This is despite assurance from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has enough products to bring the nation to normalcy in the supply of petrol.
A visit to some filling stations in Lagos and Abuja yesterday, showed that scarcity of petrol was far from being over as many petrol stations were shut, while a few sold product above the official pump price of N145 per litre.
Black marketers along some routes sold 10 litres of petrol at N4, 000 against the official pump price of N1, 450.
As at yesterday, Oando, Total, and Wheel Oil around Itire and Surulere area of Lagos, were not selling petrol to customers.
Also, Shark, Petroleum Manager, Sherfex and Aridot filling stations along Oshodi Apapa Expressway, were with neither attendants nor customers.
MRS filling station, which was the only outlet selling product, had long queues.
The situation was not different in Abuja as filling stations such as A.A, Rano, MRS, Rahamaniyya, Conoil and Shema petrol station along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, were all shut for lack of products.
The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Olufemi Adewole, told The Guardian yesterday that they were not getting allocations from the NNPC, making it difficult for them to release products to retail stations.
Adewole said that DAPMA members, who used to import 65 per cent of products before the NNPC assumed the role of sole importer, would only bring in supplies if the Federal Government resumed the payment of subsidy.
The Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndu Ughamadu, attributed the scarcity to some hitches encountered at the weekend.
He confirmed that NNPC now supplies product directly to MOMAN as measure to permanently end scarcity.
According to Ughamadu, NNPC increased petrol supply on Sunday to fill the gap created by the technical hitches at the weekend.
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
The Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Lokoja, Idris Miliki Abdul, has drawn the attention of the Kogi State House of Assembly to a constitutional gap in the 2018 appropriation bill. 
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
A frontline northern politician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has described President Muhammadu Buhari administration as the most corrupt in the history of the country. 
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Media Seal, the Worldwide Partner Inc (WPI) agency in West Africa, has announced the appointment of former Media and Communications Manager of Friesland Campina in West Africa, Oluwafemi Adeniba as its new General Manager. 
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
The Lagos State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has commended the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung… 
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
To mitigate the effects of climate change, the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril has stressed the need for, Nigerians 
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Kogi State government has disclosed plans to curtail the spread of Lassa fever in the state. 

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018
To ensure safety of lives and timely response to emergencies, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has commissioned the Lagos Safety Arena… 
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
New research provides some further evidence of the harms of processed meats, after linking consumption of these foods to increased risk of breast cancer. 
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Underwriting firm, FBNInsurance has been recognised by the World Finance Global Insurance Award as it emerged the Best Life Insurance Company in Nigeria, 2017. 
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
A non-governmental organisation, Ebele and Anyichuks Foundation, has donated a new two-storey building comprising six classrooms and Information Communication Technology… 

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