Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Thursday, 8th February, 2018.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
The House of Representatives yesterday unanimously called for the immediate sacking of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris. The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Abubakar Nuhu Danburam (APC, Kano) at a plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.Danburam had alleged that the IGP, in cahoots with the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Yusuf, turned a blind eye to the spate of thuggery in the state.

The ensuing debate, however, pitted the supporters of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former Kano State governor, and his successor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, against one another before the House turned the heat on the IGP, adopting an amendment proposed by John Dyegh (APC, Benue).Dyegh said the House needed to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the IGP, alleging the police boss ignored the directive to relocate to Benue State in the wake of attacks by herdsmen.

He claimed that the IGP not only ignored intelligence report indicating where the herdsmen were camped, but also chose to stay in neighbouring Nasarawa State for unknown reasons. He called for the appointment of a “professional “ IGP able to discharge duties effectively.

Dyegh’s motion was seconded by Ali Sani Madaki (APC, Kano) who had earlier accused the IGP and Yusuf of trampling on the constitutional rights of members of the Kwankwasiyya group to freedom of association and movement. Madaki particularly cited the refusal to allow Kwankwaso hold a rally on January 31, 2018.

But the Chief Whip of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC, Kano) and Abdullahi Mahmoud Gaya (APC, Kano), both members of the Gandujiyya movement in their state, described the claims by Damburam and Madaki as misleading and mischievous.Doguwa explained that the Kwankwasiyya rally coincided with the one by the Kano APC chapter which had the approval of the state police authorities.Before passing the vote of no confidence in the IGP, the House adopted a motion sponsored by Mark Tersee Gbillah (PDP, Benue).

Gbillah demanded an unreserved apology from the IGP over disparaging remarks by Police Spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, against the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, during a television programme.The House urged the police authorities to strip Moshood of his role. The spokesperson had described Ortom’s position on the clashes between farmers and herdsmen as the action of a “drowning man”.

Emmanuel Agbonayinma (APC, Edo), however, faulted calls for the IGP’s sacking. He told journalists: “Rumours cannot give us the right opinion. It is wrong to take a decision after hearing from one side of the divide.”

Also yesterday, the Senate rejected a report by its Committee on Police Affairs detailing failings of the Nigeria Police at curbing killings in Benue and other states.It asked the committee to withdraw the report, do a more objective investigation, and submit its findings within one week.

The Senate was particularly unhappy that the committee failed to get Ortom’s views, even after it had met Idris, who spoke against Ortom.While presenting the report, Senator Abu Ibrahim, an APC member from Buhari’s home state of Katsina, highlighted the IGP’s “achievements” on the crisis, saying they deserved commendation.

The report notes partly: “The Nigeria Police is grossly underfunded. Therefore, it is recommended that a percentage of excess crude oil fund should be made available through appropriation to the police in order to beef up their operations.”It called on politicians and opinion leaders to desist from statements capable of inciting violence, and recommended the disarming of all armed militias in Benue State and in the country.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, pointed out the defects in the report, saying: “I didn’t see where the committee made an effort to speak with the governor of Benue. This is sad because if in the circumstance they did not interview the governor and his name has been mentioned in respect of certain statements and actions, it would only be fair to him, to be invited by the committee to state his own side of the story, so that we have a balanced view of what transpired.”

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Kaduna Zone have appealed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase fuel supply to seven states under the zone.

The Zonal Operations Manager of DPR, Alhaji Isa Tafida, said shortage in the supply of fuel to Kaduna and other northern states under the zone had worsened the scarcity experienced in Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kebbi and Sokoto, adding that “this has made the monitoring exercise of the DPR difficult.”

Tafida, who spoke at a press conference in Kaduna, said “since the beginning of the year, the state (Kaduna) receives an average of 30 trucks of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) (fuel) per day which is below the state sufficiency requirement of 70 trucks per day.”Meanwhile, the DPR has shut down three stations and imposed a fine of N6 million on any petroleum marketer who diverts trucks conveying PMS to filling stations.

The Operations Controller of DPR in charge of Cross River State, Mr. Bassey Nkanga who shut down the three stations in the state over un-accounted three trucks of fuel that were loaded from the depot, said: “We have given them 24 hours to report back to us, and if they fail to do so, we will conclusively deduce that they have diverted the product and we will apply all the sanctions accordingly.”

Also, the DPR has closed down 16 filling stations in Borno and Yobe states for “hoarding and selling” petrol above
the official pump price.The North-East Zonal Operation Comptroller, Ali Idriss Zoaka, disclosed this while briefing journalists on outcome of operation
crackdown on erring fuel stations.

In a related development, two filling stations belonging to Azman Oil & Gas have been ordered by the NNPC to pay about N16.5 million for diverting 66,000 litres of PMS.In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, said that a joint task force monitoring the persistent fuel crisis in the FCT had also arrested six persons in the Central Business District of the city for hawking petrol in jerry-cans.

He said managers of the stations, located in the Nyanya and Kuje suburbs of Abuja, were arrested after close monitoring by the team for diverting trucks of petrol meant for their stations to unknown destinations.

The filling stations, according to him, would pay N250 fine for each litre of petrol diverted, amounting to N16.5 million.He said three of the arrested illegal hawkers – Samila Umar, Atlahim Abdullahi and Bashir Sani – were charged and prosecuted at the Area Court, Gudu, where Justice Sidi Bello sentenced them to two-month imprisonment or a N2,000 fine which they promptly paid.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
International Air Transport Association (IATA), has announced global passenger traffic results for 2017, with Nigerian, South African, Ethiopian, and other African carriers pooling a 7.5 per cent rise in passenger traffic compared to 2016.
According to IATA, capacity rose at less than half the rate of demand (3.6 per cent), and load factor jumped 2.5 percentage points to 70.3 per cent. While indicators in South Africa are consistent with falling economic output, “Nigeria has returned to growth, helped by the recent rise in oil prices,” the association stated.
The African carriers, which accounts for 2.2 per cent of the global market share, showed marginal improvement when compared with other regions in the year under review.Global passenger traffic results show that demand (revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) for the year ended 31 December rose 7.6 per cent compared to 2016.

This was well above the 10-year average annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent. While the rate of demand growth slowed to 6.2 per cent in December 2017, compared to December 2016, this largely was owing to less favourable comparisons to the even stronger growth trend seen in the year-ago period. Full year 2017 capacity rose 6.3 per cent, and load factor climbed 0.9 percentage point to a record calendar-year high of 81.4 per cent.
IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac, observed that 2017 got off to a very strong start and largely stayed that way throughout the year, sustained by a broad-based pick-up in economic conditions.
“While the underlying economic outlook remains supportive in 2018, rising cost inputs, most notably fuel, suggest we are unlikely to see the same degree of demand stimulation from lower fares that occurred in the first part of 2017,” de Juniac said.
2017 international passenger traffic soared 7.9 per cent compared to 2016. Capacity rose 6.4 per cent and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to 80.6 per cent. All regions recorded year-over-year increases in demand, led by the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions.
Asia-Pacific carriers posted annual demand growth of 9.4 per cent, compared to 2016, driven by robust regional economic expansion and an increase in route options for travellers. This was the first time since 1994 that Asia-Pacific led all the regions in annual growth rate. Capacity rose 7.9 per cent, and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to 79.6 per cent.
European carriers’ international traffic climbed 8.2 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year, underpinned by buoyant economic conditions in the region. Capacity rose 6.1 per cent and load factor surged 1.6 percentage points to 84.4 per cent, which was the highest for any region.Middle East carriers’ traffic increased 6.6 per cent last year. The region was the only one to see a slowdown in annual growth compared to 2016, and the region’s share of global traffic (9.5 per cent) fell for the first time in 20 years.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Stakeholders in the health sector, led by the Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN), have condemned the reinstatement of suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf.They accused President Muhammadu Buhari of preferring ethnicity to competence and ignoring the report of a panel that indicted and suspended Yusuf over an alleged N919 million fraud.

Yusuf, currently under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was on Tuesday reinstated by Buhari in a letter to Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole.

The minister had set up the panel that indicted Yusuf because the NHIS is under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH). Yusuf, however, had insisted he is answerably only to Buhari.

HMCAN described the recall as shocking and disturbing, warning that the development spells doom for the health insurance sector. It urged Buhari to remove Yusuf from office, arguing he has no moral justification to continue as NHIS boss.HMCAN is the umbrella body of Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) in Nigeria.

In an interview with The Guardian in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the association, Lekan Ewenla, said the reinstatement proves the current administration’s anti-graft war has failed. “It is a shock that someone that is being investigated and that has been found culpable by the EFCC is being reinstated without any consultation. Yusuf was interrogated by the EFCC on Monday and Tuesday. Is there no platform for this government to feel the pulse of the nation? The industry is doomed because if someone has spent N1 billion and is being reinstated after suspension, it means he can do whatever he likes,” he said.

Ewenla said the move is condemnable and inconceivable. “This should not be happening in the health sector which is very critical. If the president likes him so much, let him give him any other office, not NHIS because he does not posses the technical capacity,” he said.The President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Mike Ogirima, declined to comment. “I will prefer to leave it to the politicians. What we are interested in is that mandatory health insurance should be available for all Nigerians. Whether it is a goat or sheep that is there, what we want is anyone that can perform and make health insurance universal,” he said.

The President, Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN), Dr. Umar Sanda, also said: “We just heard the news today. We will wait until things unfold. We are not going to comment because we have not got the full details. We do not know the circumstances.”HCPAN is the umbrella body of retainer hospitals paid by the HMOs under the NHIS.

The Guardian could not reach Prof. Adewole or any of his aides, as their phones were switched off. Prof. Yusuf refused to pick his calls.The phones of the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Ahmed Yakasai, were also switched off.The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) also criticised the reinstatement, saying the action suggests the anti-graft war is selective.

In a statement, the Secretary-General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, urged Buhari to rescind the action and allow Yusuf to leave the system. He said: “How can a government official being investigated for a whopping N919 million fraud by the EFCC be reinstated by a government that came to power promising to sanitise the system? This is one intervention too many.” 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Governor Nyeson Wike of Rivers State yesterday said the Federal Government had failed in providing security to lives and property.Wike, who spoke in Makurdi while commiserating with the people and government of Benue, berated the Police Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, over his “unruly statement on Governor Ortom.”
Wike declared that it was an insult to term an elected official ‘a drowning man.’He said: “I have instructed the governor’s forum to react to that statement made by the force spokesperson. It is an insult that a person elected by the people would be referred to as a drowning man. It is only in this our democracy that you can hear that kind of statement.”

According to him, “the problem I have is that when we see issues that affect the nation, we play party politics. But we should go beyond that. It doesn’t matter whether the governor is of the APC or PDP.

“It denigrates the office. It is no longer about the person, but about the office. So, if you say today it’s about the Benue State governor and nothing is done, it may be Zamfara State governor tomorrow.” Noting that his visit was to share in the pains of the people, Wike advised the citizens to be law-abiding.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Suspected herdsmen ‪on Tuesday evening alleged killed the Area Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Sheu Magu, in a village near Ogboro-Agbone Road, in Saki area of Oyo State. Other policemen were said to have received varying degrees of injuries during the attack.

The officers were said to have gone to the village to arrest some suspected herdsmen robbing travellers on the highway when the incident occurred.The Police Public Relations officer (PPRO) for the state command, Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the incident, said four suspects had been arrested while investigation was ongoing.

It was gathered that after the police team had made the arrests, they were confronted by the herdsmen who shot some officers.A source said there was a tension in the community, as commercial activities were grounded to a halt following the development.He said: “Saki is boiling now. Members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), police and other bravemen are in the bush as I am talking to you now, hunting for the suspected herdsmen.

“The whole thing started when the police arrested one of the herdsmen for robbery. Precisely, a village along Ogboro-Agbonle road in Saki East local government area of the state. On getting to the village, the informant that led the team was first attacked and killed. The leader of the police team popularly called Sheu was also matcheted while others escaped. “One of those who escaped told us that they used cow to surround the police officers attacking them.”

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Do not underestimate the damage that stress does to your body, research it and you will see. If your hectic lifestyle has got you down, experts say relaxation techniques can bring you back into balance - some in 5 minutes or less. 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
An unwelcome return of political risk and uncertainty amid the current developments, could create significant headwinds for the nation as it continues to consolidate the growth that began last year. 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
The Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has passed a no confidence vote in President Muhammadu Buhari, saying his administration had failed to decisively tackle the herdsmen's pogrom currently threatening the corporate existence of the nation. 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Party people 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has explained that he ordered the freezing of the World Bank's Nigeria Environment Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), because he discovered discrepancies in the award of the contracts for erosion project in the state. 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
The trial of the accused, who are facing a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder and stealing, started at 3p.m. and ended at 4:05p.m.Chibuzo and his brother, Igwe pleaded guilty to the charge of murder brought against them, while the other accused entered a 'not guilty' plea. 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Former Super Eagles captain Vincent Enyeama is the sixth highest paid African footballer in the French Ligue 1, according to information from L'Equipe, The goalkeeper is presently out of favour at Lille, with no appearances to his name for the first team this season.... 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
As part of efforts towards improving the quality of family planning and primary healthcare services delivered by Community Pharmacists (CPs) and Proprietary Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) in underserved areas of Lagos and Kaduna states, a project of Society for Family Health.... 
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