Below are the headlines found on The Nation Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 29 January, 2018.

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
LAWMAKERS are set to dare the Executive on the amendment to the Electoral Act, a senator said yesterday.

The problem is likely to be the plan to reorder the schedule of elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has placed the presidential election before the Assembly elections, but the Senate and the House of Representatives are planning to change that.

If President Muhammadu Buhari decides to veto the Bill, “we will know what to do”, Senate spokesman Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) said yesterday.

Lawmakers want the Assembly elections to come first. The thinking, it seems, is that if Assembly elections come first, the winners may inspire a “bandwagon” effect, which may swing the presidential election.

In other words, the party with the majority in the National Assembly is likely to carry the day in the presidential election.

The Senate yesterday said it would push through the amendments after the harmonisation of the versions passed by it and that of the House of Representatives.

INEC’s schedule of the 2019 elections sticks to the order of elections used in 2015, which places the Presidential and National Assembly elections first. The House of Representatives passed its version of the amendment to the Electoral Act and concurred with the Senate to put the Presidential election last.

The Senate, which last year passed its own version, immediately set up a panel to meet with the House to agree on a joint position.

The new bill reordered the order of elections. It places the National Assembly elections as the first in order of elections with the presidential poll coming last.

The Presidency is believed to be unsettled with that arrangement.

Abdullahi said: “If you recall, for us in the Senate, as far back as 2016, we had already commenced action in the various amendments and as early as 2017, the Senate had already passed its own version of amendment. And the House of Representatives has just come out with its own version.

“Immediately they did that, the Senate President announced the conference committee to be chaired by Suleiman Nazif, who is the chairman of INEC so that they can do the harmonisation. So, for us, it is already done.

“The key issues have been debated and agreed upon. All that is remaining is to bring the two chambers together through the conference committee, which by next week, I want to assure you, will be concluded. Senator Nazif has travelled out of the country. He called me last Thursday and we discussed and I have it on very strong authority, next week, they are surely going to meet.

“As soon as they meet, the areas of contentions are not much. And I believe they will work together to make sure that we have an agreeable component that Nigerian people will be happy that we are deepening the electoral process.

“And barring any last-minute issues, I do not think that should take them two weeks. What we did was transparent. INEC was part of it. People with interest were part of it. Since we are passing what is popular, the presidency too should not take time in assenting to it.

“If the President decides to veto to bill, we will know what to do when we get to that bridge. For now, I do not envisage that extreme situation. This is democracy. I am hoping that we work based on consensus. At the end of the day, we should be able to agree. The interest of Nigerians is paramount and we must not take it for granted.”

Former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission Prof Chidi Odinkalu said last night that “if it is within the competence and the scope of what the national Assembly can do, I don’t see why not.

“Nigerians are used to speculating and imputing motives into such moves, which I don’t think is healthy. In many ways, I can also rationalize it, because the presidential election is very huge and requires a lot of logistics. Why don’t we peg those logistics with the parliamentary elections first, before going into the presidential election? Why don’t we perfect the system with the governorship election first, before embarking on the presidential election? It all seems to me to be perfect and rational but sometimes the nature of our speculation is neither rational nor logical.

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Three unregistered companies, one of which got N300 million contracts, are allegedly owned by former First Lady Patience Jonathan.

The firms are Euroricia Concept Limited, Pasturage Vert and Mabelt Construction Limited, according to the Economic and FIancial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mrs Jonathan is under probe for allegedly using one of the firms to secure contracts from the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) for the fencing of Kuje Prison and supply of beddings to some other facilities.

Funds were also allegedly diverted from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to the “bogus” firms.

The EFCC has released Mrs Jonathan’s sister Esther Oba after interrogation. She was arrested last week at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in connection with alleged laundering of over N359, 397,458.26 through two firms linked with her sister.

Her passport was not returned to her to restrict her movement to the country pending the conclusion of the investigation.

A source close to the latest findings said:  “Contracts were given to companies owned by her but not registered.

“Our detectives went to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), searched the database and discovered that these companies were unregistered.

“The companies are Euroricia Concept Limited, Pasturage Vert and Mabelt Construction Limited. Funds were diverted into these companies from some government agencies, including the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).”

The EFCC believes that Mrs. Jonathan used one of the companies to get an unspecified amount of money for a project named Rural Information Technology Centres across the country.

The NPS could not defend some of the N300m contracts given the firm.

EFCC investigators are to interrogate Mrs. Jonathan in connection with alleged laundering of over N359, 397,458.26 through two firms.

The companies are AM-PM Global Networks Limited and Finchley Homes Limited.

About N317, 397,458.26 was traced to the suspect in AM-PM Global Networks Limited.

She is expected to explain how she came about the management of N42million in Finchley Homes Limited.

“We are probing some of the assets of Esther Oba and we may approach the court to place all these assets under Interim Assets Forfeiture in line with Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004,” the source said.

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Troops are likely to be deployed in some herdsmen/farmers crises flashpoints in Benue, Taraba and other states, it was learnt at the weekend.

The troops will have the mandate to flush out the rampaging bandits and mercenaries.

The government may also allow each state to meet with its stakeholders to design own solutions to the herdsmen challenge as the Federal Government will not impose any solution, such as the controversial cattle colony, on states.

These are some of the highlights of the Working Group raised two weeks ago by the National Economic Council (NEC).

There are nine governors in the committee, which is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

A source said intelligence report on the likelihood of mercenaries behind the killings in some states might have accounted for the planned deployment of troops.

The source said: “The Federal Government has drawn the battle line to end the impunity and killings in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and other states.

“At the end of the Working Group meeting last week, it was clear a major turning point had been reached in the management of the crisis and sufficient consensus recorded on the need to stop the impunity by engaging the military in a more decisive manner.

“Decisive military force will now be fully engaged to deal with the bandits believed to be behind the killings in parts of the country, especially regarding the crisis often associated with herdsmen.”

The military is already engaged and would soon begin to implement decisive military steps to tackle the situation.

“Indeed one of the firm outcomes of the Working Group’s meeting was the expressed readiness of the federal Govt to locate and identify the bandits who perpetrate the killings and the violence, and using all necessary means, including military involvement, to flush them out of their hideouts in forests across the country as a definite move to secure the lives and property of Nigerian citizens.

“The role of bandits and suspected mercenaries in what has become known as herdsmen/ farmers clashes and violence may have provoked the need for a fresh approach to dealing with the crisis.

“The settled view in official circles is that the reported killings and violence recorded are the work of bandits and mercenaries since in many cases the herdsmen are often well-known in the communities where their cattle normally graze.”

The crisis also required a political solution, considering the religious and ethnic tones that could easily worsen the situation.

A source said: “This is the reason analysts argue, even with some critical opinions, on the composition of the Working Group, that the idea of gathering together governors across the country, including the states where the crisis has been intense to collaborate actively among themselves and with the Federal Government to address the situation is useful.”

Another source said the Federal Government might strengthen law enforcement and intelligence agencies to tackle the matter.

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Few days after giving a damning verdict on the Muhammadu Buhari administration in a “special statement”, former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday met with President Buhari in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

It was at the African Union (AU) headquarters shortly before the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

Obasanjo, a wry smile on his firm lips and his face betraying some warmth, grips Buhari by the hand. He is sprightly and stylish in a blue embroidered agbada and a blue cap with white stripes.

Buhari is smiling broadly, his mood apparently no expression of any animosity against Obasanjo over his controversial “open statement”.

There were no discussions; just an exchange of pleasantries and cracking of jokes as the two leaders were joined by former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, according to their aides at the scene.

Gen. Abubakar  handed over power to Obasanjo in 1999.

Obasanjo accused the Buhari’s administration of nepotism and failure to revive the economy, among others. He “advised” the president not to seek reelection. Besides, Obasanjo wrote off both All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and offered to be in the vanguard of a movement to save Nigeria.

The Presidency however said the former President might have been too busy to notice the government’s achievements, which it itemized, in a response by Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
The body of Second Republic Vice President Alex Ekwueme will arrive Enugu today. It will be brought in from Abuja where it was kept since its arrival from London where Ekwueme died in December. Governors of the southeast, lawmakers, traditional rulers and other categories of people are expected to turn up at the Akanu IbiamRead MoreThe post Ekwueme's body for Enugu today as final rites peak appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
The Federal Government has begun investigation into over 200 whistleblowing tips on tax officials demanding gratification and taxpayers involved in under declaration of taxes. Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun spoke yesterday in Abuja while presiding over the meeting of the Whistleblower Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Initiative on ContinuousRead MoreThe post Tax fraud: Govt probes 200 whistleblowing tips appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Business Eye magazine, owned by a former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, has returned to newsstands. The latest edition is a bumper of 88 pages, packaged in all-gloss, full-colour inside. The Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Mrs. Semenitari, a CNN award-winning journalist, yesterday in a statement, noted thatRead MoreThe post Business Eye returns to newsstands appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Dr Supo Ayokunle, yesterday said the killings and bloodshed across the country is without comparison in Nigerias history. The CAN leader, who is also the President of Nigerian Baptist Convention, spoke in Sagamu, Ogun State, in his sermon at the 13th annual New Year Thanksgiving and MemorialRead MoreThe post Nigeria passing through turbulent time, says CAN appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
In this report, Ephraims Sheyin of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) writes that opinions are sharply divided on Federal Government's policy to establish cattle colonies to end the lingering clashes between itinerant herders and farmers. SINCE it was announced three weeks ago by Agriculture Minister Audu Ogbeh, the planned establishment of cattle colonies byRead MoreThe post How ready is Nigeria for Cattle colonies' appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
The Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) will on Wednesday hold its first 2018 seminar series on the economy. The seminar titled, 'Transiting from Bust to Boom: Fiscal, Financial, and Infrastructure Options' will hold at ISGPP'S premises, No 24 Awolowo Road, Bodija, Ibadan. This event will be hosted by Prof Akin Mabogunje, ChairmanRead MoreThe post ISGPP to host seminar on economy appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Drivers are among the most critical and vital workers in any organisation. They are most often the closest to their principals even more than their wives or husbands as the case may be. They more often know the secrets that even the spouses and children of their principals do not know. Drivers have many opportunitiesRead MoreThe post Driver recruitment and management appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with its local distributor Coscharis Motors, has presented a Ford Ranger to Iyeh Kennedy, winner of the Next Titan, Season 4. The winner was announced last December 10. Coscharis Motors General Manager Marketing Abiona Babarinde congratulated Kennedy on his achievement, saying: 'We are proud to be a sponsor of theRead MoreThe post Coscharis presents Ford Ranger to Titan winner appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
The next Mercedes A-Class will be unveiled on February 2 in Amsterdam, Netherland. The announcement was accompanied by a new teaser image. Mercedes is looking to shake up the small premium car market when the new A-Class goes on sale later this year with a fresh, bold design that features a hi-tech interior packed withRead MoreThe post Mercedes A-Class set for Feb debut appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
First Bank of Nigeria Limited in the 20017 financial year received an avalanche of awards in recognition of its activities and interventions in various sectors in the financial services industry. The awards epitomised the bank's sustained relevance to its customers and the nation at large for 124 years. FirstBank was named the 'Most Valuable BankRead MoreThe post FirstBank celebrates awards appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
African economies have been resilient to negative shocks, but poor infrastructure is a serious impediment to inclusive growth, according to the 2018 edition of the African Economic Outlook (AEO) presented to delegates in Addis Ababa at the African Union Summit on Friday. The African Economic Outlook ' the African Development Bank's flagship analysis of theRead MoreThe post African Economic Outlook: Poor infrastructure impeeds growth appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Giving up to its theme, Against The Odds, the maiden edition of the Stanbic IBTC Youth Leadership Series provided a platform where three exceptional Nigerians spoke on the imperative of resilience, hard work and perseverance to achieve individual, corporate and national goals. The event, which held in Lagos last week, attracted a huge audience ofRead MoreThe post Stanbic IBTC gives success tips to youths appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
A patent filed by Ford that was recently published has revealed plans by the automobile manufacturer to build driverless police cars. With all the hype surrounding driverless Ubers and taxis, it appears a downside of the technology is now rearing its ugly head. The patent shows a police car driving close to a regular vehicleRead MoreThe post Ford to produce driverless police car appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
WITH a cash haul of N4.03trn in the 2017 fiscal period, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) can afford to roll out the drums over its achievement. Although short of the year's target of N4.89trn target by 17.62 percent, the performance came to an impressive leap of 20 percent (by N720bn) over the 2016 collectionRead MoreThe post Quantum leap appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
World Bank Statistics have shown that remittance to African countries have declined by an estimated 6.1 per cent to $33 billion. The figure, which was for last year, was triggered by slow economic growth in remittance-sending countries and a decline in commodity prices. It said rising sources of income for Africans are being realised throughRead MoreThe post Remittances to African economies dip at 6.1% to $33b appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
A recent declaration that some 250 private primary and secondary schools in Bayelsa State will be closed down because of their sub-standard quality is very welcome news. According to Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, the state's commissioner for education, the environment, location and infrastructure of the schools, which represent 50 per cent of schools in the state,Read MoreThe post Private plague appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
African countries are in angst with American president, Donald Trump, for allegedly describing them derisively as 'shithole' countries. Their reactions, one of which was the summoning of American ambassadors in some African countries, including Nigeria, were exercises in futility. Meanwhile, President Trump is having fun for rattling these poverty-stricken countries, and by extension shaming theirRead MoreThe post Not a 'shithole' but hellhole appeared first on The Nation Nig 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will today begin the implementation of its amendments to the pricing methodology and par value rules, which remove the stopgap that has supported stocks at their nominal value and will allow shares of quoted companies to trade as low as one kobo. After a long-drawn stakeholders' engagement and training includingRead MoreThe post NSE implements new kobo-based pricing rules appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
SIR: Yoruba and Africans as a whole lay much emphasis on the imperative of having good elders in the community hence the adage which translated say something like ' when the head of a child is wrongly placed, a good elder naturally steps in to put it in position. It is within the context ofRead MoreThe post Obasanjos unguided missile appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
The modern world is thinking smart and creating digital community but here we are in Nigeria going back into primitivism and placing more value on cattle than human life. Our leaders in the 21stcentury prefer to encourage citizens to remain foraging in the open field and sleeping with cattle in the bush in the worstRead MoreThe post The problem of a cattle colony appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has spent $15.9 billion in nine months in its weekly intervention in the foreign exchange (forex) market, Managing Director, Afrinvest Securities, Ayodeji Ebo, has said. He spoke at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) Economic Outlook with the theme: Nigeria economy and financial market outlook: 2017 Review andRead MoreThe post Forex market intervention: CBN spends $15.9b' appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Through an advocacy campaign, dubbed 'Access Nigeria: Disability Votes Matter', a non-governmental organisation, Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), is making efforts to improve the participation of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the electoral processes. Deputy Political Editor RAYMOND MORDI examines the campaign to remove the barriers that make it difficult for PWDs to exercise their votingRead MoreThe post 2019: Campaign spares a thought for the disabled appeared first on The N 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
A propensity to resort to violence is a function of at least two things: either you dont have the capacity to think (and raw braggadocio rushes to your rescue); or youre simply a bully. But what did Chinua Achebe say about bullies, via Igbo proverbs, in many of his works' When a bully (or coward)Read MoreThe post Softly, softly Avengers appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, or MKO for short, was known for his amazing prosperity as well as his amazing generosity. Indeed, the late businessman and politician was a generous soul with a generous spirit. This is why it is amazing that his children are ironically divided over his assets, which is a sad signRead MoreThe post Abiola: Filial dishonour appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
MIXED reactions have continued to trail the advice by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Muhammadu Buhari should not seek re-election. Lagos lawyer and human rights activist Monday Ubani said Obasanjo's letter was long expected, adding that it was belated. He said the former President had written such letters to everyone that took over fromRead MoreThe post Mixed reactions trail Obasanjo's verdict on Buhari appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi represents Delta North District at the Senate. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs spoke with reporters on plans to amend the Niger Delta Develoment Commission (NDDC) Act 2000 and other issues. EMMANUEL OLADESU was there. What actually made you to initiate the NDDC Amendment Bill' The Niger DeltaRead MoreThe post 'Why NDDC is under-funded' appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
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