Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 15 January, 2018.
Mon, 15 Jan 2018
Former military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Pastor Tunde Bakare have strongly condemned the current insecurity in the country and charged President Muhammadu Buhari to end the bloodletting and other dangers besetting the nation. Bakare, a former running mate to Buhari in the 2011 elections, yesterday, outlined the shortcomings of his ally’s administration, concluding that the country was in urgent need of restructuring.

In a state of the nation broadcast titled: ‘It’s Time To Renegotiate Our Union,’ the head of the Latter Rain Church said although the government anchored its policy outlook on security, job creation and anti-corruption, there are signs of retrogression everywhere.Babangida has called on the Federal Government to urgently end the current bloodletting in the country.

“The Federal Government should stop the flow now,” the former leader stated in a statement on this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day.“We should eschew hate speeches, discrimination and other vices that trigger senseless violence and bloodshed.”

“I must also call on governments at all levels, religious leaders, traditional rulers, social activists and the media to serve as national vanguards in resolving some of the recent disturbing incidents affecting our national security.’’And in the aftermath of the recent violent attacks on communities in Benue by Fulani herdsmen, political, traditional and opinion leaders from the state are expected to meet with Buhari today, to address the security challenges .  

According to the Presidency yesterday, the meeting has become inevitable because of the frequency and disturbing menace of such violence and the reactions that have trailed the incidents.A Presidency source said it has been embarrassed by the large- scale loss of lives caused by such repeated violence against innocent people. 

The source, who did not want to be named, said that the discussions at the meeting will address the issue of the Fulani herdsmen, but may go beyond their menace to include the issue of the arming, training and financing of militia groups by some state governments. Buhari’s government appears to be merely patching cracks on the wall, Bakare said.He stressed that opponents of restructuring were doing so for political gains.

Bakare noted that despite efforts at improving enterprise and job creation, unemployment rose to 18.8 per cent from around 8.2 per cent in June 2015. He said the figure indicates that between 2015 and 2017, the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from about 6 million to almost 16 million.He faulted the economic diversification policy, saying oil still accounts for over 90 per cent of total exports revenue.

The ineffectiveness of the anti-corruption war could be seen in the loss of crucial corruption cases, he said. “For instance, in April 2017, the Federal Government lost four high-profile corruption cases in 96 hours. These are in addition to bizarre developments such as failure of the government to confirm a substantive chairman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), despite the fact that the same political party controls both the executive and the legislature. This is not to mention the public showdown between EFCC and the Department of State Services (DSS) officials, or the opposition of the director general of the DSS to the confirmation of the acting chairman of the EFCC.”
Mon, 15 Jan 2018
The reported conversion from Islam to Christianity of one Miss Nabila Umar Sanda Galadima has become a subject of controversy in Jos, the Plateau State capital.The 200-level student of Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State, was said to have met one Engineer Simput Dafup for the first time in Dubai. Dafup was on his way back to Nigeria from the United Kingdom. The two got talking and exchanged contacts.Said to have shown interest in Christianity, Nabila made her intention known to Dafup who asked how her father, Galadima Biu, would react.

Nabila, 19, was said to have replied that she was of age and could take decisions of her own. Uncomfortable, Dafup sought the advice of one Evangelist Jerry Datim.Addressing journalists at the NUJ press centre in Jos on Saturday, Datim said that, sensing the implication of the conversion for the cordial relationship between the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI), he decided a discussion with leaders of Nabila’s religion was necessary.

Datim said he and Dafup met the JNI leadership alongside Nabila, with a view to avoiding a religious crisis.He said but while this was going on, detectives from the Department of State Security Service (DSS) stormed his house, assaulted his wife, daughter and eight-month-old baby, and whisked Nabila away.

“As I address you, we do not know the whereabouts of Engineer Simput Dafup and Daniel Hassan, the taxi driver whose vehicle Miss Nabila boarded from Abuja to Jos.“I want to state for the avoidance of doubt that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees the right of anyone to propagate his faith and the right to also practice any religion of one’s choice. Miss Nabila told me she is 19 years old and therefore free to choose a religion for herself.

“I understand that her father has said he has all the connection in this country to deal with me, Engineer Dafup and any other person found to have converted his daughter to Christianity, and that he will ensure we rot in jail.

“I want to state here, without fear of contradiction, that Engineer Dafup, myself or any other person that has established any contact with Nabila, has breached any law of this land.” He challenged the DSS to produce Nabila “and place us side by side, so that they can ask her if she was forcefully converted to Christianity or abducted or brain washed. She is of age. Let her speak for herself on this matter. Let the whole world hear her.”
Mon, 15 Jan 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari will commission the new office complex of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abuja on January 18, 2018, consolidating the country’s position as the bank’s largest shareholder.

According to a statement, the state-of-the-art Nigeria Country Department (RDNG) office complex, situated in the central business district of Abuja is the first permanent structure to be designed and constructed in any regional member country of the bank.

Nigeria is the AfDB’s largest shareholder with a portfolio of approximately $6 billion and country operations accounting for 13 percent of the bank’s total portfolio.

Following the board of directors’ approval of the “Rent or Acquire Premises for Field Offices” policy and the recommendation to construct a new office in Nigeria, construction work started in January 2016 and lasted 16 months. The 220-staff capacity four-storey building will now become a model for replication in other countries.
Mon, 15 Jan 2018

PAN-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced its upcoming board meeting, slated for Monday, January 29, where the board will consider the financial statements for the financial year ended 31 December 2017, and also proposals for final dividend for the year.
The bank had earlier paid an interim dividend of N0.20 per share, following the audit of its 2017 half year performance. In 2016, the board declared a final dividend of N0.55/share, in addition to the N0.20/share interim dividend. With the bank’s earnings growth performance in 2017, shareholders may have a bumper harvest for the final dividend for the year.

In the first nine months of 2017, UBA Group reported 33 per cent year-on-year growth in profit before tax to N78.3 billion, against N58.8billion profit declared in the corresponding period of 2016. Notwithstanding higher effective tax rate, the profit after tax grew 23 per cent year-on-year to N60.9billion, compared to N49.5billion a year earlier.

Relying on the continuous improvement in customer service, and growing market share across its African operations, the Management, in a statement made available to The Guardian, reassured of the Group’s capacity to sustain the sterling earnings recorded in the first three quarters of 2017, and thus investors are betting for a strong finish to 2017.

“With the bank’s results, which we believe, are currently being audited, market has been bullish on the shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, gaining 129 per cent in 2017, to rank as one of the best performing stocks of the year. Year-to-date, the stock has also gained 18 per cent to close at N12.07 on Friday, January 12, 2018,” the statement said.

As a mark of its sound corporate governance, and in line with NSE Rule Book and the Amendments to the Listing Rules, the Bank also announced the commencement of its closed period on Friday, January 12.

This means that directors, persons discharging managerial responsibility, employees with sensitive information, advisers, and consultants of the Bank, and their connected persons may not directly or indirectly deal in the securities (equity and debt) of the Bank until 24 hours after the publication of its audited 2017 Full Year Reports and Accounts.

UBA is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than fourteen million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 19 African countries, with presence in New York, London, and Paris.

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
Fresh facts have emerged that the Presidency has waded into thedispute between the Raw Material, Research and Development Council (RMRDC) and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) over the occupation of the office premises in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. 

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
With the gale of retrenchment sweeping through the private sector, public workers were not smiling either, as they were variously owed months of salary, while others were apprehensive of the likelihood of wage cuts. 

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
The curtain-raiser for the 2018 Tennis Calendar serves up in Australia, aptly named the Grand Slam of Asia Pacific. It was at this event last year that the winner and finalist garnered huge points that kept the pair atop the rankings, after another Grand Slam title each. Nadal and Federer come to Melbourne Park determined [] 

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
Edo State government has given illegal occupiers of its land ten days ultimatum to quit or forfeit their property. The Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Taiwo Akerele who read the riot act stated this at the premises of Benin Technical College, Benin City.... 

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
The riches and diversity of Nigeria's culture has always been considered as strong reason why tourism is bankable and should be a primary foreign exchange earner for the country. The country is naturally endowed with rich tourist sites across all geopolitical zones. 

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
The N10 billion loan obtained by Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello to pay workers salary is stoking another controversy, as some stakeholders have again, questioned its legality and appropriateness. 

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
The running mate to the late candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21 and December 5, 2015 governorship polls in Kogi State, James Faleke, berated Governor Yahaya Bello for buying into the proposed cattle colony policy of the Federal Government ... 

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
Given the increasing prevalence of expensive household goods, cars and consumer electronics, insurance has become an unavoidable and often necessary cost in modern life. Mobile phones and smartphones in particular, are no exception to this trend. 

Mon, 15 Jan 2018
The misunderstanding between the Ijaw and Itsekiri of Warri, Delta State over the name of the community hosting the Maritime University, is degenerating and it may cause communal clash. 
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