NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY’S THE NATION NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [19 FEBRUARY, 2018].

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Below are the headlines found on The Nation Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 19 February, 2018.

Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Catholic cleric John Cardinal Onaiyekan yesterday lashed out at the Federal Government over its performance.
But two government officials disagreed with the man of God. Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha agreed that there were challenges, which he said the government was tackling.
Besides, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said Nigeria is in safe hands, with President Muhammadu Buhari in the driver’s seat.
 
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja said Nigerians deserved better governance.
Cardinal  Onaiyekan, in a homily delivered at the opening Mass of the first 2018 plenary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), said the nation had slipped to the verge of misery.
The clergyman said in the last three years, Nigerians had been hearing a lot about change, but got little of it.
In Cardinal  Onaiyekan’s view, any change in human affairs must necessarily start with a change of heart.
But Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, said the government had done its best to address the issues affecting Nigerians.

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Mustapha said the CBCN was the only Christian platform that gave the president a listening ear prior to the 2015 presidential election.
 
Mustapha added that the president believed that the CBCN is a strategic partner in building the nation and noted that it has a lot to offer the nation.
“And for that reason, he remains eternally grateful. And I remember at that engagement, they asked very pertinent questions – direct, bullets to the face. And he provided answers. And because of that reason, he believes that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria is a strategic partner in the enterprise of growing the Nigeria nation and he believes that they have a lot to offer,” Mustapha said.
He cited the recent visit of the Catholic bishops to the president and said he was giving the issues they raised priority attention.
He said the government was on its toes, addressing security challenges. Perpetrators of violent crimes will be made to face the law as the Federal Government is taking measures to stem the tide of insecurity, Boss said.
Cardinal Onaiyekan said:  ”We do well therefore to remind ourselves of our need for repentance in the way we think, in the things that we do, in our entire attitude to life in ourselves and in our relations with all our neighbours. But this is not only for us who are Christians and Catholics. It is for all men and women of our nation in this era of general confusion and near chaos, anarchy and doom.

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“Yes, our nation is in a state of uncertainty and confusion. A few things are going well in the society and the economy for which we thank God and congratulate our leaders. They tell us that they are doing their best. But a lot still needs to be done and too many problems have been left to fester. Our nation surely deserves far better than it is now getting in terms of good governance, social justice and peace and minimum of well being for our people,” Cardinal Onaiyekan said.
He recalled that the Buhari administration came into power three years ago with a promise to change Nigeria for better in all aspects, adding that having tried the two major political parties and found neither of them up to the nation’s expectation, the nation is on the verge of despair.
The former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said so far the government had spent so much time and energy demonising its predecessor that it seemed to have forgotten its promise of a better life for Nigerians.
“It has, unfortunately, allowed the initial massive goodwill it enjoyed to be depleted, almost to non-existence. It is no wonder that many Nigerians are looking for a new political organisation that can truly bring about genuine change for the better. Having tried our two major political parties and found none of them up to our expectation, the nation is on the verge of despair,” Cardinal Onaiyekan added.
He said irrespective of the situation, Nigerians must not allow despair and frustration to overwhelm them, noting that the
“Another election is fast approaching. We must seize this God-given opportunity to radically change things around. We should no longer allow politics to remain business as usual in the hands of the same gang of speculators and opportunists. We must change the rule of the game, not the faces of the players.

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“Politics is not for miserable people seeking a way out of poverty, nor for selfish business people looking for an easy way to maximise profit by manipulating the system in their favour. Less still is it for the corruptly rich-seeking refuge from just accountability. Rather, it is for altruistic men and women with the talent, conviction and desire to contribute to making our nation a better home for all of us.
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Nigeria’s 42.8 billion external reserves will go up, with the successful issuance of the $2.5 billion Eurobond offer, a report said at the weekend.
Besides,  cumulative transactions in the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) forex window have hit $20 billion, said one of the reports on the economy released by two investment and research firms at the weekend.

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They said Nigeria is showing signs of recovery after a difficult economic period that followed historically low oil prices, a currency devaluation, and high inflation.
Afrinvest West Africa Limited’s report said the $2.5 billion Eurobond cash raised by the Federal Government to refinance maturing short term local debt securities will push foreign reserves to new heights. “We expect further accretion to external reserves currently at a 48-month high of $42.8 billion with positive feedback on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) ability to sustain foreign exchange intervention sales,” it said.
 
External reserve was $40.4 billion last December. The last time the foreign reserves hit the $40 billion mark was January 2014, about five months before the crash in global oil prices. In September 2008, the country’s foreign exchange reserves hit $62 billion, with the Federal Government spending $12 billion from it to settle external debts.
The report said that despite downside risks of volatility in the oil market and political uncertainty, the short term positive outlook on forex market stability and liquidity remains intact.
Another report from Exotic Capital titled: ‘Fragile Recovery, Positive Outlook’, also released at the weekend, said that Nigeria’s forex regime, although still far from ideal, had begun to stabilise.

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“A multiple currency regime evolved after the oil price fall in 2014 and the June 2016 devaluation, which led to a widening divergence between the official and parallel markets (the parallel market premium reached 100 per cent in January 2017). The current regime has shown a vast improvement this year with introduction of the I&E Forex window last April,” it said.
It said the parallel rate for naira is in the N360 to N365 range, nearly identical to the I&E Forex window rate used for international investors as well as importers and exporters, and has seen close to $20 billion in cumulative transactions since its introduction.
The Exotic Capital report said that despite the relative successes of the I&E Forex window, the current forex regime of multiple windows has hurt, and will continue to hurt, the economy over the medium term. “Not only does it create economic distortions (leading to market inefficiencies and dead-weight loss), it also builds mistrust among market participants who fear that competitors were able to access forex at different rates, doing little to create transparency and move the economy forward,” it said.
 
“Furthermore, we suspect that long-term domestic investment has been hampered as uncertainty looms not only over the future value of the currency but also over the regime. Nevertheless, we do not expect the CBN to make any major forex adjustments ahead of the 2019 presidential election unless oil prices / production falls again (as that would hinder its ability to supply forex to meet demand),” the report added.
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Former First Lady Patience Jonathan’s bid to settle out of court the brewing dispute over the strange payment of $11,489,069.03 into her domiciliary accounts has been rejected.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has  asked the ex-First Lady to come before a court by entering into a plea bargain in line with the laws of the land.
The agency said it would only accept a plea bargain in which the court is carried along.
Also, EFCC detectives have not been able to trace about 29 of the 31 individuals and companies which made the controversial deposits.

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The development has fuelled speculations that some of the depositors are “fictitious”.
Some of the shops where the ex-First Lady visited are said to have offered to give details of how much was spent and the items bought.
The EFCC believes that an out-of-court settlement suggests that there is a dispute between two parties.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have considered the January 30, 2018 letter by Dame (Mrs.) Ibifaka Patience Jonathan; we are of the opinion that  her  offer of out-of-court settlement is strange and confounding as if there is a dispute between her and the EFCC.
“We are certainly rejecting the offer from the ex-First Lady because the EFCC does not engage in such a deal.
“But we prefer the ex-First Lady approaching a court for plea bargain in line with the relevant laws if she is ready to settle all issues. The terms of the plea bargain will be open to all parties before the court.

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“I think she should emulate other high profile suspects who went to the court for plea bargain. We are ready to apply the laws in the interest of justice for all. We won’t oppose plea bargain.”
The source said the EFCC would soon make its position known to Mrs Jonathan counsel. “As an officer in the Temple of Justice, we know that the respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN) will guide the ex-First Lady accordingly,” he said.
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Officials of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI)  have raised the alarm over  attempts by those they referred to as saboteurs to frustrate  the state’s  new waste management policy.
They  said the saboteurs were determined to kill all efforts to make Lagos  cleaner and healthier.
A senior CLI, who preferred anonymity said it was unfortunate that those who felt the new arrangement would affect them adversely were working hard to sabotage it by all means, including deliberate dumping of large volume of waste in public places.

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The official said: “Take for instance, the picture of heaps of refuse under the Idumagbo Pedestrian Bridge that was published today (yesterday) in a national daily. The refuse at that spot was evacuated just overnight and the team finished by 3am today (Sunday) and by 3am, the heap of refuse was back there, including a fully loaded LAWMA big refuse container that was not there previously.
 
“As I am talking to you, our officials have returned to the same spot to clear everything. The Commissioner for the Environment was also there to see things for himself and he has asked the Private Sector Participant (PSP) operator that dropped the container belonging to the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) on the spot to remove it immediately.
“That has been the challenge. When our officials clear the heaps of refuse from a spot, before one could say Jack Robinson, the heaps were back on the same spot cleared by our officials and this really has to stop because a cleaner Lagos is in our collective interest,” he said.
The new policy encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) was introduced to address the challenges in the sector, and as well revolutionise waste management in the state in line with international best practices.
A source said the permutation of those behind the sabotage was that if they kept dumping tonnes of refuse in public places, they would achieve the twin objective of distracting CLI officials from paying adequate attention to other places while projecting the initiative, which is targeted at a comprehensive turnaround of Lagos to become one of the cleanest cities in the world, as a failure.
Another reliable source said the situation had also been compounded by members of the public who indiscriminately dump their waste in public places and not the designated spots, saying that such was also a challenge.

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Also, in a recent video that went viral on social media, an official of Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, Mr John Olawale Joseph, had lamented how people were dumping refuse on the same spots in public places, thus frustrating the efforts to rid the state of filth.
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
A Federal High Court convened at the Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger State, has ordered the release of  475 Boko Haram suspects among them Oyo state-boen twins.
The court, which is handling the trial of about 1,000 suspects held in the cantonment in relation to the Boko Haram crisis, ordered that those released should be sent to their state governments for proper rehabilitation. Media aide to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF),m Abubakar Malami (SAN) stated this in a statement yesterday.

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Mr. Salihu Othman Isah said the court ordered the release of the Boko Haram suspects at its sitting on Friday.
Isah said the suspects were arrested at different states and detained at Wawa Cantonment.
 
He said their release was upon a motion ex-parte filed by the prosecution pursuant to Section 35 (4) of the Constitution.
Isah said the prosecution sought their release because it could not charge them with any offence due to lack of sufficient evidence against them.
He said they were detained based on the information that they belonged to the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Part of the statement reads: “The court also directed states to provide for the released persons, rehabilitation at any appropriate centre provided by the states before being released to their families.
“Those suspects who suffer from mental or other health challenges  are to be provided with necessary medical assistance at appropriate medical facilities.
“The states are also to provide appropriate training in the manner and for the period that the state deemed appropriate and reasonable.

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“Among the list of the group released was a pathetic case of a female suspect, Lubabatu Yakubu who was arrested in 2014, two days after marriage and divorced by her Boko Haram husband.
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Oyo State branch, Bishop Taiwo Adelakun, associate pastor of Guiding Light Assembly Olaolu Adefarasin and Dr. Victoria Oke of Sword of the Spirit Ministries are some of the ministers slated for the annual End Time World Leadership Holy Ghost Conference. Gospel artiste Tope Alabi and Apostle Dwan JacksonRead MoreThe post Adelakun, Adefarasin, Oke, others for leadership conference appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has restated his order to troops to capture Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau doed or alive. Gen. Buratai spoke at Camp Zairo, the former command and control centre of the terrorists in the Sambisa forest during an operational visit to troops. In 2017, the army chief gave troopsRead MoreThe post Buratai to troops: get Shekau dead or alive appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has restated his order to troops to capture Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau doed or alive. Gen. Buratai spoke at Camp Zairo, the former command and control centre of the terrorists in the Sambisa forest during an operational visit to troops. In 2017, the army chief gave troopsRead MoreThe post Buratai to troops: get Shekau dead or alive appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

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Mon, 19 Feb 2018
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday said the 2018 Mock Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) would now hold on February 26. The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. According to him, a total of 245,753 of theRead MoreThe post UTME 2018: JAMB to conduct mock test next week appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday said the 2018 Mock Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) would now hold on February 26. The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. According to him, a total of 245,753 of theRead MoreThe post UTME 2018: JAMB to conduct mock test next week appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday said it will account to the House of Representatives on the alleged N17billion allocated to it. The agency however said no cash was diverted from its account. It said it has faith that House members would be fair whenever NEMA is invited by the House The agency madeRead MoreThe post NEMA ‘will give account of N17b allocation’ appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday said it will account to the House of Representatives on the alleged N17billion allocated to it. The agency however said no cash was diverted from its account. It said it has faith that House members would be fair whenever NEMA is invited by the House The agency madeRead MoreThe post NEMA ‘will give account of N17b allocation’ appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Only those who put God first in all their affairs are guaranteed of outpouring of his blessings, the general overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has declared. He spoke penultimate Sunday during the Outpouring 2108 conference of the RCCG Region I at the Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos. Outpouring, according toRead MoreThe post How to receive outpouring of blessings, by Adeboye appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
The Katsina State Elders Forum will soon reply former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019, Governor Aminu Masari said yesterday in Daura. ‘The elders forum will consider the possibility of replying the recent letter (statement) by President Olusegun Obasanjo to Buhari. ‘We intend to place an advertorialRead MoreThe post Katsina elders to reply Obasanjo, says Masari appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
The Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) has described Governor Nyesom Wike, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as a calamity and failure in governance. It accused Wike of lying against the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, a former Rivers governor. APC, yesterday in Port Harcourt, through Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) onRead MoreThe post APC accuses Wike of lying against Amaechi appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Former military president Gen. Ibrahim Babangida has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders to provide a better choice for Nigerians. Babangida spoke in Minna at the weekend while receiving members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus. A statement yesterday by the PDP National Publicity Secretary,Read MoreThe post IBB to Secondus, others: provide better choice for Nigerians appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

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Mon, 19 Feb 2018
SIR: From 1960 till date, the Igbo have been marginalised by the other major ethnic groups from having its own become the president of Nigeria. This marginalisation has been extended to the present civilian regime since 1999. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) divided the country into six geo-political regions with six states in each. ItRead MoreThe post Igbo president as APC’s survival strategy appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Accounts of how two leaders of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), University of Lagos (UNILAG) Chapter, were arrested in the early hours of February 15 are a cause for concern. The two men are Joseph Adefolalu and Adekola Adetomiwa. Chairman of the Non- Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), UNILAG, Kehinde Ajibade,Read MoreThe post An order from above appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
EFCC prosecutors need to be well trained to secure high-profile convictions The dilemma of our country hobbled by corrupt practices, but without the institutional capacity to bring those responsible to justice, played out at the special offences courts of the Ikeja Division of High Court of Lagos State, last week. The Lagos State judiciary inRead MoreThe post Hone their skills appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Executive and Legislature must be on the same page to make progress Just when Nigerians had thought that the resolution of the legal crisis between the Federal Government and the erstwhile concessionaires of Ajaokuta Steel ‘ Global Steel Holding Limited (GSHL) ‘ would herald a fresh start for the moribund steel complex, the National AssemblyRead MoreThe post Ajaokuta appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
When it comes to succession, there are kingmakers who don’t understand that kingmaking has its limits. It is interesting that Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha was quoted as saying to reporters on February 5: ‘If I show them my successor now, they will kill him. The politicians here are very wicked, but at the rightRead MoreThe post A kingmaker and his choice appeared first on The Nation Nigeria. 

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