Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 6th February, 2018.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
The Benue State government yesterday declared it had lost confidence in the ability of the country’s security agencies to bring to justice herdsmen accused of killings in the state.

It also warned the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) and other Fulani socio-cultural organisations to stop calls for a repeal of the anti-open grazing law, vowing the legislation would remain.

“The Benue State government will not repeal or suspend this law for any reason. And we appeal to the police and other security agencies to enforce the law, which is their constitutional responsibility. However, if they continue to fail, with the help of God, we shall overcome this dark episode in our history,” it said.

Addressing a world press conference in Makurdi, the state capital, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja, stated: “We are simply asking the police and other security agencies in the country to put an end to these killings, arrest the people behind them and prosecute them, to regain the people’s confidence.”

He condemned the failure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to relocate to the state, as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that the police chief was sighted for just a day, following which he left immediately.

Onoja said the IGPs initial description of the “pre-planned Benue killings by Fulani herdsmen on January 1 and 2, 2018, as mere communal clash” showed that Idris “does not accord any urgency or seriousness to arresting the perpetrators of the mass murder.”

He regretted that the body language of the police boss might have “emboldened the herdsmen militia to further lay false claim of ownership to the Benue Valley through a so-called right of conquest.”

The IGP’s statement, he said, “is highly provocative, insensitive and completely violates the basic principle of natural justice with his open bias against the innocent people of Benue State.”

According to the spokesman, Idris has “demonstrated his incompetence as a police chief and we have lost confidence and trust in him, since he has clearly shown that he either lacks the capacity to apprehend these armed Fulani militia or by his inaction and utterances portrayed himself as complicit in the grand plot to dispossess our people of their ancestral land by violent means.”

On claims by the police that the state operates an armed militia, the commissioner said: “It is not true. It is the prerogative of the police to go after such group and arrest them, rather than continue with falsehood. On assumption of office, this government declared an amnesty and hundred of youths surrendered illegal arms. These (arms) were publicly destroyed in full public glare and in accordance with specifications of the United Nations, which sent experts to carry out the exercise under the supervision of the Presidential Committee on Small Arms.”

“If the IGP is really sincere with disarming militias, the starting point should be with the Fulani herdsmen, rated the fourth most deadly on the Global Terrorism Index,” he added.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
The trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, continued yesterday.

He was brought to court in an ambulance belonging to the National Hospital, Abuja, and remained strapped to a stretcher during proceedings.

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on January 25 ordered Metuh to appear in court on February 5 or be arrested and sent to jail. This was after failed efforts by counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, to secure an adjournment to enable the former spokesperson to attend to his health.

A letter dated January 21 and signed by one Doctor Ekweogwu O. C. of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, was addressed to the court, notifying it that Metuh was sick and was receiving treatment at the hospital.

The judge had, however, doubted its authenticity, questioning how it found its way into the court file.

Not satisfied with the argument by Metuh’s lawyer, Abang stated he would no longer accept any report by any medical doctor in Nigeria until the trial was concluded.

Metuh had sought to travel abroad for treatment earlier in the trial. The court denied the application, referring him to any of the teaching hospitals in the country.

But at the resumed hearing, yesterday, his health condition forced the court to exercise restraint on compassionate ground.

After the prosecution counsel Sylvanus Tahir and Metuh’s counsel Ikpeazu had made their submissions, the court held that it was minded to grant an adjournment.

Abang, therefore, accepted Ikpeazu’s plea that the trial be adjourned for one month. He said: “The first defendant is in court. But his counsel informed the court that he is indisposed to continue trial and pleaded for a one-month adjournment. The court also noted that the prosecution counsel did not oppose the oral application of Ikpeazu that the matter be adjourned to a period of one month.

“I have considered the application of counsel to the first defendant and the response of the prosecution counsel. I must say that the court of law must be firm and fair to all parties. The court of law must also be humane.

“On account of the condition of Metuh that I have seen this morning in the courtroom, I am inclined to grant an adjournment, to enable him to attend to his medical needs. Consequently, this trial, God willing, has been adjourned to March 14,15 and 16, for continuation.”

Earlier, Tahir had told the court to use its discretion to grant an adjournment, while appealing for understanding from the defence lawyers.

“May I disabuse the mind of the court, the gallery and counsel for defence that we are prosecutors and not persecutors. We are doing our job. And in doing that, we have no ill feelings about anybody,” Tahir said.

Metuh is standing trial over alleged corruption.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
A new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the National Board of Trade Sweden has revealed that the full potential of European Union’s free trade agreements (FTAs) remains untapped to the tune of almost €72billion ($89billion).

According to the report, this is the amount that European exporters overpaid, because they did not take full advantage of the reduced tariffs offered by the FTAs that the EU as a bloc has signed with a variety of developed and developing countries.

Nigerian exporters may have also had to contribute to this figure, as the nation and the ECOWAS region refused to append signature to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) proposed to it by the EU.

As governments hurry to negotiate or review FTAs, it is important to understand if businesses are fully using the agreements, argues the report, which is the first to use the concept of utilisation rates to systematically analyse FTAs entered into by the EU.

President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs, had been consistent in his opposition of Nigeria appending its signature to the EPA fearing that goods from the advanced nations would crowd out local products, already suffering from the incidence of dumping from Asian countries.

His concerns were based on the fact that infrastructure challenge had left Nigeria’s manufacturing sector at a perpetual state of infancy.

According to Jacobs, any agreement that opened Nigeria’s markets to foreign goods would render the local industry vulnerable, and signal death to the economy as well.

The report showed that a large proportion of this under-utilisation is in exports from the EU to major free trade partners such as Switzerland, and the Republic of Korea, while the biggest share of unused tariff reductions to the EU is in imports from Switzerland, Turkey, South Korea and Mexico. This hits imports to a value of €10.5billion ($12.9billion).

In total, if all free trade agreements are considered, the EU’s importers forfeit €600million ($742million) in reduced tariffs every year. This ultimately means higher prices for the manufacturing industry and for consumers.

“This report challenges some enduring myths on preference utilisation in free trade agreements,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, and Anna Stellinger, Director-General of the National Board of Trade Sweden, write in the preface to the report. “For example, it is commonly believed that FTAs, in general, are not used to a high degree.”

However, empirical data presented in the report indicate that companies in the EU mostly take advantage of FTAs with other countries, but also that border-related aspects of their implementation might in some cases be more cumbersome than the provisions of the FTAs themselves.

The report concludes that while some potential in the agreements remain untapped, companies are for the most part making use of them.

“The EU’s exporters’ use the agreements for 67 per cent of their exports to countries with which FTAs exist,” co-author, Stefano Inama of UNCTAD said.

“But we can also note that the EU’s importers use the free trade agreements to an even greater extent. In 90% of cases where tariff reductions can be used, they are,” co-author, Jonas Kasteng of Sweden said.

The report analyses the use of the EU’s free trade agreements “in reality” and not merely what is available in the agreements on paper.

“This is important as the EU is one of the most active negotiators of FTAs at the global level with a variety of developing countries and most recently least developed countries, and because EU companies have favourable trade conditions – including through reduced tariffs – thanks to these FTAs,” Kasteng, one of the authors of the report said.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Members of the home-based Super Eagles, who were beaten 4-0 by Morocco in the final game of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) on Sunday, have apologised to Nigerians for their embarrassing loss to the hosts.

Nigeria was dragged all over the field by a fast-paced Moroccan team, who would have scored higher than four goals if they were more clinical in the box.

Looking back on what he sees as a bad outing in Casabalanca, Enugu Rangers’ star, Osas Okoro said the match completely went out of their control.

Okoro, who played in all the matches in Morocco, took to his twitter handle to apologise to Nigerians. He acknowledged that the entire team was bad, adding that Morocco was more prepared for the encounter.

He said, “We really wanted to win for every Nigerian out there but we are sorry about the end result.

“A lot to learn from this and we thank you for your endless support.”

Also reflecting on the game, Coach Salisu Yusuf the odds were stacked against his team, pointing at the injury-induced absences as part of the reasons for the loss. The team was without some of its key players, including Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Sunday Faleye.

“We lost today because we had to manage due to many injuries, Morocco played well,” Salisu said.

He also acknowledged that Morocco had a better game, saying, “They created chances and scored, it could have been better if we had all our players available. The game become more difficult with the red card.”

Salisu decided to bench their star striker Anthony Okpotu and he was replaced by Eneji on the Super Eagles starting line-up.

“It was a strategy to introduce Okpotu from the bench, Eneji did well. We wanted to win but Morocco got it,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ Manager, Gernot Rohr, has praised the team for an outstanding performance at the championship.

Rohr, who closely followed the team’s performance from the stands as he looks to finalise his squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, refused to fault the negative outcome of the final.

“Personally, I think there were lots of positives out there, far more than what people expected from the team,” Rohr told BBC Sport in Casablanca.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Justice Hadiza Shagari of a Federal High Court, Lagos has dismissed the suit filed against Architect Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) by the former executives members of Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA). 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
A global rating agency- Fitch Ratings, in its latest report, has upgraded Access Bank's National Long-Term Rating to 'A+ from 'A and at the same time affirmed the bank's Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B'. 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung yesterday told officials of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), who are in the country on a fact-finding mission... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Former IAAF World Half Marathon Champion, Godfrey Chirchir Kiprotich will be one the first international elite runners to arrive in Nigeria for the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which holds on Saturday. 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Though power availability in Nigeria may be the bane for other data centers and enterprises, the General Manager ofMainOne Data Center, Gbenga Adegbiji has said their operations have overcome power constraints in the country. 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
In brand management, SMP stands for Single-Minded Proposition. And following the controversy that greeted the letter from OBJ to PMB, I have come to the conclusion that PMB needs an SMP. 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Honeywell Flour Mills Plc has tasked youths to redevelop themselves through creative activities, since that would bring out the best in them and make them more focused and ambitious. 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
A fear of dying plays a role in people buying bottled water, even though they know it may not be good for them or the planet, a study from the University of Waterloo has found. 
Naija Newspapers
Naija Newspapers

Naija Newspaper is a digital media distribution and review company focused on delivering Nigerian news across Nigerian audience. We are the biggest newspaper review company online; our value proposition is to be the all-in-one station for daily newspapers distributed in the country to various online audience. Our partnership includes and is not limited by the following Punch newspaper, Thisday online, Daily Sun Newspaper, Nigeria Tribune, BusinessDay, Leadershjip, Blue Print, Nigeria Guardian and Vanguard newspapers.