Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 13 February, 2018.

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Benue leaders yesterday expressed their disapproval of the Federal Government’s handling of killings by herdsmen in the state. The forum was a meeting between stakeholders in the state and the committee set up by the National Executive Council (NEC) to look into the matter.
According to one of the speakers, President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated it is safer to be a cow in Nigeria than a human.

Regretting that some persons in the corridors of power were benefitting from the crisis, Pastor Dave Ogbole told the forum: “He (Buhari) supported the law that prevents cattle rustling. But he is against the law that prevents killings and destruction of crops.

When Benue State was flooded by water, he sent his vice president who sympathised with the people. His wife also came and donated relief materials to the victims. Today, Benue is being flooded by blood. And because he has an agenda, Buhari has refused to come, yet he went to Nasarawa State to console the people.”

Ogbole, a Makurdi-based pentecostal preacher and founder of the Movement Against Fulani Occupation, also faulted the absence of Kaduna State governor, Nasir, El-Rufai, a member of the NEC committee, alleging: “He refused to attend this meeting because he has taken a position.”

He declared the people’s loss of confidence in the moves by the military to boost security in the state, describing the operations as “belated.” The soldiers “are not coming to rescue the people but to harass our children and youths,” he noted.

Ogbole warned that the Federal Government’s insincerity at resolving the issue could trigger serious political upheaval, capable of threatening the existence of the nation, even as he stressed: “If it means going the extra mile to get justice, Benue people will do just that.”

Rev. Augustine Akpen Leva, the Chairman of the Benue chapter of the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) alleged that the Federal Government masterminded the recent killing of dozens in the state. “We alerted the Federal Government to the possible attack on our people, yet it refused to take action,” he said.

He flayed the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of Defence for demonstrating “incompetence.” But if this is not the case, “then they are part of the grand plan.”

According to the CAN chairman, “It is a shame that the Federal Government is shielding Fulani herdsmen and has given them the audacity to go about killing people across the country.”

The leadership of Miyetti Allah “must be arrested,” he insisted, “while the Federal Government must cater for all the displaced persons in the state.”

Speaking on behalf of Benue socio-cultural groups, the President General of Mzoh U Tiv, Chief Edwin Ujege, stressed that people of the state want peace and protection of life and property, as guaranteed by the nation’s constitution.

He claimed that since 2011, over 2,000 people including women and children have been killed while property worth N95 billion has been destroyed.

“Our children no longer go to school. We have been chased out of our homes, markets and schools. We want restructuring, devolution of power and the establishment of state police,” he said, adding: “The Federal Government must uphold the anti-open grazing law enacted by the Benue State government.”

The Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Wilfred Anagbe, noted regretfully: “It is only in Nigeria that cows are not ranched but are allowed to freely invade communities including airport runways. If the herdsmen are out for grazing, why are they killing people?”

The Leader of the NEC committee and Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, told the stakeholders that having taken their submissions, the team would also “hear the submissions of security agents and herdsmen,” with a view to finding a lasting solution.

He refuted speculations on social media that the Federal Government had directed states to allocate five hectares of land for the establishment of cattle colonies.

Umahi denounced the killings, stressing that the crisis is delicate and must be handled seriously. “It is not a Benue problem alone but a national challenge,” he added.

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
More reasons have emerged on why no fewer than 5,405 Nigerian-trained doctors and nurses are currently working with the British National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and why many more will join the league.
The figure, released by the British government, means Nigerian medics constitute 3.9 per cent of the 137,000 foreign staff of 202 nationalities working alongside British doctors and nurses.

The Guardian investigation revealed that many more Nigerian doctors would join their colleagues soon because the U.K. has need for medics from Commonwealth countries, since some doctors in the European Union (E.U.) are already leaving because of Brexit.

It was also gathered that most of the Nigerian doctors and nurses are leaving for the U.K. because of better conditions of service. The migration has further worsened the physician-patient ratio in Nigeria from 1:4,000 to 1:5,000, contrary to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended 1:600. The physician-patient ratio in the U.K. is 1:300.

According to the WHO, countries with low physician-patient ratio have worse disease outcomes and life expectancy.

Figures from the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) showed that about 45,000 doctors are currently practicing in Nigeria. This means that 12 per cent of 45,000 Nigerian doctors, that is 5,405, are practising in the U.K. and the country is now left with less than 40,000, excluding those practising in the U.S., South Africa, Saudi Arabia and others.

NMA President, Dr. Mike Ogirima, described the exodus of doctors as worrisome. He blamed the situation on poor remuneration for medical doctors, poor working environment and inadequate medical equipment and infrastructure.

He said the trend has worsened the doctor-patient ratio of 1:4,000, caused longer waiting time at hospitals, rise in fatal disease outcomes, and more frequent medical errors by over worked doctors.

Ogirima said: “Nigeria is using her resources to train doctors and professionals that will leave to work in foreign countries. What are those things attracting these professionals outside? Can we duplicate them here?”

“Government should provide adequate remuneration. We are not saying we should pay so much, but pay them for the job they are doing as and when due.”

Consultant Public Health Physician, Prof. Akin Osibogun, however, said the situation could be reversed if the Federal Government makes the National Insurance Scheme (NHIS) compulsory for all citizens. According to him, this would provide enough funds to improve the conditions of service and working environment for health professionals.

He said: “The few ones we have are leaving because of poor conditions of service, working environment and after service package. It means the physician-patient ratio has worsened, maybe from 1:3,000 to 1:5,000. When you compare, those countries that have better physician-patient ratio have better treatment outcomes.”

Osibogun, a former Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), said Nigeria currently produces about 3,000 medical doctors every year and needs to increase the ratio by producing more, and developing plans on how to retain them.

He explained: “We need to make working conditions attractive. If they know they will have a house after 20 years of training, the lure to leave would be reduced. What are the benefits attached to the job? What are the provisions for the doctor’s family? What are the long-term prospects for the staff?

“We need to improve the work environment in terms of financing. Make it work-friendly, not crowding 10 persons in one office. Talk about electricity supply; you come to work and you are scheduled to do a surgery but there is no electricity.

“We need to be more drastic; re-organising the way we fund health service. There should be compulsory NHIS that will bring a pool of funds. We have to adopt a more holistic approach.”

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
The Nigerian skeleton athlete at the on-going 2018 Winter Olympics made her first official training yesterday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, amidst complaints by athletes and officials from the various countries about the biting cold weather in the region.
Although, Simidele Adeagbo, who is Nigeria’s sole representative in the skeleton event, had been training on her own, yesterday was the day assigned to her by the Games organisers as first official training. She will also train today and tomorrow in readiness for her event on February 16 and 17.

A board member of the Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke told The Guardian in a telephone chat from Pyeongchang yesterday that the girls are confident of doing the nation proud despite this being their first appearance at the Winter Olympics.

Mbonu-Ezeoke revealed that Nigeria’s two-woman bobsled team would have their first official training on February 17, with a repeat on 18 and 19. The bobsled team will go for battle on February 20 and 21.

The bobsled team will compete in the two-woman event, with Seun Adigun as the Driver, and Akuoma Omeoga as Brake-man. Ngozi Onwumere is Nigeria’s torchbearer at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

With a predicted windchill temperature of -25C in the city of Pyeongchang, athletes and officials from the various participating countries are complaining of serious cold weather condition.

“This is the coldest Winter Olympics ever,” Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke told The Guardian yesterday. “Everybody, including those who had been participating in the Games, is feeling the impact of the cold weather here. We only manage to go out at times, but I must confess to you that the cold weather here is something else.”

According to the Korean Meteorological Administration, the cold weather in Pyeongchang is “on par” with average February temperatures in previous years of around 0C with temperatures at night getting down to around -10C.

To date, the 1994 edition in Lillehammer, Norway, was the coldest Games on record with a low of -11C.

At nearly half a mile above sea level, Pyeongchang is regarded as one of the coldest regions of South Korea, and is Earth’s coldest location for its latitude.

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again stressed the need for capital market investors to enroll in the e dividend registration platform and stem the rising figure of unclaimed dividend in the market currently put at N103 billion as at December 2017.
The e-registration platform was designed as part of efforts by the Capital market regulatory authority to eradicate the difficulties encountered by retail investors in claiming their dividends through their savings account.

The Director-General of the SEC, Dr Abdul Zubair while addressing participants at the maiden edition of ‘Dividend Payment Awards For Nigeria’s Listed Companies,’ organised by Third Observers Nigeria Limited in Lagos at the weekend, maintained that the era of stale dividends and huge unclaimed dividends in the market will be a thing of the past if investors’ would key into the e-dividend payment platform.

The SEC boss, who was represented by the Director of the commission, Rowland Henry bemoaned the poor investors’ patronage on e dividend registration in the market, noting that huge amount of unclaimed dividend discourages investors from investing in the stock market.

“We need to encourage people to key into the platform

“Huge amount of unclaimed dividend will discourage both local and foreign investors and make them to look at other asset classes like the fixed income market.”

Subsequently, he enjoined all shareholders and investors in the Nigerian capital market to complete e-dividend mandate documents with their banks and registrars

Furthermore, the commission advised registrars to exercise caution while validating names generated by the system to avoid dissimilarity with the physical forms.

Indeed, from a little over N2 billion in 1999, the figure by the end of 2008 had risen to about N20 billion. And now the SEC estimate that the value of the unclaimed dividends had increased to about N103 billion as at December 2017.

This is despite measures put in place by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to stem the rising figure and put an end to the cankerworm, investors’ returns on investment have continued to accumulate on a yearly basis without being claimed. 

Zubair, had in a recent Capital Market Committee meeting in Lagos announce that the deadline for the free registration, that has been paid for by the commission since the introduction of the e-dividend would continue till February 28, 2018.

According to the commission, in reviewing the progress of the e-Dividend registration exercise after the December 31, 2017 deadline, it was noted that there was still a great influx of shareholders desirous of mandating their bank accounts for payment of dividends electronically.

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
In a bid to contribute to government's efforts at marketing a positive image of Nigeria, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) has chosen as theme 'Marketing Nigeria' for its conference, dinner and awards night and annual general meeting. The conference will hold on Thursday, February 15 through 16, 2018 at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja. The [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick at the weekend in Abuja urged participants at the second NPFL-LaLiga Youth Coaches' Clinic to remain focused and steadfast in their bid to produce the next big stars for the country's football. Pinnick, who was represented at the event by the Chairman of the League Management Company [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
On the 2nd of February 2018, the president of Nigeria signed an executive order ostensibly to promote science and technology acquisition and the participation of local companies in government procurement activities. In addition to the government's happiness with itself on the matter of the executive order, many newspapers have cited the approval of many industry [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) has listed the 2018 Lagos International Squash Classics in its calendar following the successful hosting of previous editions by Lagos State Government. As a PSA listed tournament, the Lagos International Squash Classics is a world ranking event where players can amass points for their global rating. Despite not staging the [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
The Federal Government earned N1.226 billion from crude oil during the last quarter of 2017, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Striker Edinson Cavani believes PSG are still growing and should not be under pressure to win the Champions League. The runaway Ligue 1 leaders face Real Madrid tomorrow in the first leg of their stand-out last-16 tie but Cavani has attempted to play down expectations. He told Spanish newspaper MARCA: 'I believe it is unnecessary [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Nigeria may soon bounce back to cocoa processing, and ultimately improve its export value chain, as the House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank to speed up the dispute settlement between the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), and Multi-Trex. To this end, the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) is also readying a [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and professor of law, University of Lagos, Wole Smith has urged lawyers and procurement officers in the country to develop laws that would govern contracts in their areas of specialization. According to him, it is safer for the procurement officers to have their own laws. His words: 'The [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
In spite their popularity among Nigerian readers, online news portals and other social media platforms will only play complementary roles to hard copy newspapers, the Managing Director of a weekly tabloid The Point newspaper, Mrs. Yemi Kolapo, has said. She spoke to journalists in Lagos recently on the advantage the print media has over digital, [] 
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