NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [13 February, 2018].

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

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
State control of police gained more strategic converts Monday as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) threw its weight behind the idea that has been variously thrown up as the panacea for worsening insecurity in the country.
But the support is conditional as the forum said only states that could afford to establish their own police should be allowed to do so, while the federal police would continue to secure the others.

The shift in the governors’ position on state policing came just as President Muhammadu Buhari rose from a meeting with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, vowing to end the mounting security challenges plaguing the country.

The president had met with the security chiefs for two and a half hours Monday with none of the officials willing to speak with State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.
But a post on the president’s Twitter handle read: “Today I presided over a meeting of the Security Council. We fully understand the seriousness and urgency of Nigeria’s security issues, and are determined to implement carefully considered solutions that will not only earn the confidence of Nigerians, but also stand the test of time.”

The meeting was attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha; Minister of Defence, Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd); Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau (rtd); Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Geoffrey Onyeama; and National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd).
Also in attendance were the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Lawal Daura; Director of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ahmed Abubakar; and Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

The service chiefs at the meeting were – Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air-Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
The heads of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Fire Service (NFS), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were also at the meeting.

Stating the new position of the NGF, its Chairman, Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari of Zamfara State, on the sidelines of the National Security Summit convened by the Senate, which ended in Abuja Monday, said the governors had agreed to find a way to fine-tune the policy.
Majority of members of the forum had opposed the establishment of state police, an idea which required an amendment to the 1999 Constitution for it to fly.
The bill seeking to establish it was subsequently killed in both chambers of the National Assembly during the constitutional amendment votes last year.

But hope that a rethink of the issue was gaining ground rose last week when Vice-President Osinbajo at the opening of the security summit made a strong case asking states to establish their own police, saying it holds the key to reducing the high level of violent crimes and insecurity in the country.
Yari rekindled that hope Monday when he announced the shift in the position of the NGF, saying allowing states that could afford it have their way, would reduce the pressure on the federal police system.

Clarifying the initial rejection of the idea, he said it was opposed by many states on the ground that they could not afford it.
He explained: “That is why we are saying that it is not all the states that are supposed to have state police. Those that can, should have it. For instance, Lagos State, as rich as they are, can have state police. The number of Federal police in Lagos can then be reduced (and deployed) to Osun, Ogun and other states that cannot afford it.

“If Rivers State can afford it, more Federal police can be redeployed to Cross River and other neighbouring states like Enugu that cannot do it. If Kano State can do it, they can take to my state (Zamfara) that is not all that rich. It is something that we can’t take up at the same time.”
He noted that while the NGF was ‘unfortunately’ divided over the matter, the number of police in Nigeria was grossly inadequate, and fell far below the global standard ratio.
Yari lamented that the challenges of insecurity such as banditry, militancy in the Niger Delta, cattle rustling and others had caused the economy to dwindle and were threatening national unity.

According to him, “The take home from this summit is that the vice-president raised some of the key discussions about the issue of state police. Today, we have reiterated the position of the Vice President on the security summit we held in August that there is a need for state police.
“Internal security is supposed to be handled and managed by the police but the police of today are inadequate. There are about 4 million people in Zamfara State but we have less than 5000 policemen. If we look at the ratio, it is far below international standard.

“Therefore, we in the forum agreed that we can find a way that we can fine-tune the issue of State police.”

Also speaking with journalists, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said there was a consensus on the need for state police at the summit, particularly when considering the nation’s population.

He said: “We centralised security in the hands of the police, which basically should provide security of lives and property. At independence in 1960, we were less than 60 million in population. Today, we are about 200 million and the number of policemen cannot really police the entire country and provide security for Nigerians.

“Therefore, there is the need to decentralise that aspect and that comes under devolution of powers. We may need to rejig the Constitution to bring security under the Concurrent List of the legislature so that it will be easy for the states to set up something that will be in line with proper guidelines. State policing has been accepted by all and sundry. I have not seen anybody speaking against it. I think that is one major thing we can take out of this summit.”
He also spoke on the federal government’s bid to re-create grazing routes, to reduce the constant clashes between farmers and herdsmen and stated that ranching would be more appropriate in contemporary Nigeria.

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
There would be turmoil in the All Progressives Congress (APC) if President Muhammadu Buhari declines to seek a second term of office, the National Organising Secretary of the party, Senator Osita Izunaso, has warned.

Izunaso spoke to THISDAY Monday and said the political intrigues that would follow the president’s refusal to contest the 2019 presidential election would not only divide the APC but would also smash and cause it to lose the general election.

“It would not be in the interest of the party and Nigeria for President Buhari not to run,” he said firmly, adding: “The consequence would be unimaginable as all the big wigs that have been hibernating would come out and fight to the finish.”
He said the president should, therefore, waste no further time in declaring his intention to run.

According to him, “President Buhari should come out and run. If he declares today that he would run, it would be a popular decision and it would unite the party and galvanise it into action.”
Although the president has not stated clearly his political future, his body language fuels speculations that he intends to make a second bid for the presidency next year.

THISDAY had reported exclusively that Buhari was putting together his campaign machine, reappointing his 2015 campaign director-general, former Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi, to lead the fresh charge for 2019.

But as there was no official disclaimer of the report, two former leaders of the country, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, in separate statements, earlier in the year, asked Buhari to step down in 2019, accusing him of underperformance in his three years in the saddle.
The president’s silence on his 2019 move had been feared to cause disquiet in the APC as some ambitious power players in the party might, in their strong push for Buhari’s slot, pull down the house.

Izunaso agreed with this possibility, saying as the national organising secretary, he was in a position to know the undercurrent of the power struggle in the party.
“I think if the president declares today, it would rest the simmering power struggle, unite and refocus the party to retain power in 2019,” he said.
Izunaso disagreed with the views of Obasanjo and Babangida that Buhari had underperformed, saying the president had done creditably well.

According to him, “The president has performed exceedingly well. When we came into office, we promised three things: improve security; revive the economy; and fight corruption.
“The president has taken these three head on. He has fought Boko Haram to a standstill; pulled the economy out of recession; and corruption is on its knees right now.”

Asked if he did not consider the rampaging herdsmen as a new form of security threat that has become a serious concern to Nigerians, he said: “That is not exactly a new development. It is an inheritance that President Buhari is tackling with vigour. You know the president prefers to do than to talk.”

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Nigeria’s electricity sector is losing N24 billion monthly to the diesel generator market, which consumers especially heavy electricity users like industries embrace as an alternative to power their homes and operations, the federal government has disclosed.

Speaking on Monday, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who was represented at the February 2018 edition of the monthly power sector operators’ meeting at Katampe in Abuja by the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Suleiman Hassan, explained that on the average, 300 million litres of diesel were consumed monthly to power these generating sets.

Fashola stated this shortly after commissioning a 100 mega volt amp (MVA) transformer installed by a power firm — MBH Power Limited — for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) at its Katampe transmission substation. The high voltage transformer, which is expected to increase the transmission capacity of the substation by 48 megawatts (MW) was reportedly financed by the World Bank at the cost of N59.6 million.

The minister noted that the expenditure made on diesel consumption in Nigeria, acquisition and maintenance of the generators acounted for the huge loses to her grid power market.
He explained that the government was making efforts to ensure that up to 2,000 megawatts (MW) of stranded power in the system was transmitted and distributed to target consumers who need them the most but do not have that much of power yet.

He said: “Many of them use diesel. Diesel importation has been declining over the last two years. Many are reporting that they ran their generators for noticeably few hours. This is progress. However, Nigerians still consume about 300 million litres of diesel every month and most of this is used to power generators.

“About 75 per cent is imported, putting pressure on scarce foreign exchange. Assuming 40 per cent of the consumption is used for power generation at an average price of N200 per litre, electricity industry is losing N24 billion every month largely to imported energy.”
He further stated: “At the same time, there is about 2,000MW of electricity generating capacity that is unutilised. Therefore, the challenge of the moment before the industry is how to deliver the unutilised capacity to consumers who are willing to pay for it and are already paying dearly for alternatives.

“Problems like this require creative solutions and we don’t have any time to waste. The N701 billion intervention program is a creative solution that appears to be having the desired effect for stabilising the gas and generation end of the electricity industry.”
He said government has scheduled a meeting this week with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to try and find the best ways to implement the eligible customers regulation, which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently made.
According to Fashola, “The eligible customer regulation and the meter service provider regulation are already subjects of detailed discussions and NERC regulatory action.

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
The President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s Energy Minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, has stated that the increased production of shale oil by the United States will not hamper the efforts of OPEC and non-OPEC countries to clear the glut in the oil market.

This is coming as the Managing Director of Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), Mr. Tony Attah, has said Nigeria must unleash its gas potential and support NLNG’s expansion programme, Train 7 project, in preparation for a world that is fast making efforts to reduce its fossil fuel consumption and minimise carbon footprint.

In its monthly Oil Market Report (OMR) released Monday OPEC attributed the increase in US shale oil production to steady gains in the price of crude oil since the middle of last year.
According to the cartel, the oil price gains triggered more work in exploration and production, not only in the US shale oil sector, but also in the deep US waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
By the second half of the year, OPEC said it expected total US oil production to slow down or even stall.

At more than 10 million barrels per day, the United States is now rivalling Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, in terms of production.
Speaking Monday in an interview in Dubai, AI Mazrouei disclosed that the oil market should re-balance this year, given robust demand and producers’ compliance with their pledges to curtail supply.

He stressed that the US shale oil won’t be a “huge distorter” for the oil market as stronger demand and compliance with oil cuts have buoyed prices.
There are concerns that the surging US shale oil production would complicate efforts by OPEC, Russia and other producers to prop up crude prices by curtailing supply.
Crude oil is rebounding from its biggest weekly decline in two years, though gains are limited due to concerns over resurgence in US shale oil production.
The US oil rig count rose last week by 26, the most in a year, to 791, Baker Hughes data showed at the weekend.

American weekly crude output topped 10 million barrels a day for the first time on record, and the US government forecasts it will balloon to 11 million later this year.
Oil producers had agreed in November 2017 to extend the self-imposed limits on production output until the end of this year, seeking to counter a glut fed partly by US shale oil drillers.
“Shale oil is coming and the expectation is that it will come stronger than in 2017, and this is something that we have to watch. But considering all factors, I don’t think it will be a huge distorter of the market,” Al Mazrouei said.

He added: “What concerns us today is the level of inventories that we need to achieve the five-year average, and I see the market going in that direction and achieving balance.
“How long it will take depends on how long the increase in shale production will take. Demand for this year is expected to be good, if not better than 2017.”
This, together with “good” economic indicators and compliance with output cuts, indicate that the crude market will balance within the year, he added.
Also speaking Monday to reporters at a conference in Cairo, Egypt, the Secretary General of OPEC, Mr. Mohammad Barkindo, noted that the oil market was “on course to restoring balance” for the first time since 2014.

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Finding solutions to the perennial crises between herdsmen and farmers in several communities in Nigeria could only be achieved if the issue is approached with an open mind, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

The vice-president, who is leading a presidential committee to find solutions to the crises, said unless everyone concerned viewed all the issues in the matter objectively, it would be difficult to find lasting solutions to the problem.

Osinbajo, who spoke through Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi that represented him during a fact finding mission to Benue State Monday, commiserated with the government and people of the state, saying the New Year Day killings and subsequent ones stood condemned.

“We are here to tell you that we feel your pains because whatever happened to Benue may affect other ethnic groups in Nigeria. That is why in the national economic council meetings, the issue of farmers and herdsmen’s crises were discussed extensively after which an agreement was reached that a nine-man committee to be set up to proffer sustainable solutions to the crisis between the two bodies,” he said.

According to the vice-president, as part of the efforts to resolve the crises, a sub-committee was raised to visit the four most affected states including Benue, Taraba, Kaduna and Plateau to interact with the people and get their views.

“We have heard the presentation of the Benue people and shall also try to hear the presentation of the herdsmen so that sustainable resolutions could be found,” Umahi, his representative said, adding: “The herdsmen/farmers crises is not a Benue problem alone but a national problem, which requires national attention and solutions.”
He clarified the cattle colony policy of the federal government, saying that states could not be forced to give up their land except they buy into the programme.

Receiving the delegation, Governor Samuel Ortom thanked the committee for coming to the state.
He appreciated the committee for choosing the state as its first port of call and expressed optimism that the visit would afford its members opportunity to see things for themselves.

“We choose the path of peace in a civilized way to tackle the crisis even when Fulani herdsmen are killing our people like chickens,” he said, adding: “We remain committed to this cause in ensuring that we live in peace. We must not accept the total deceit that is going on in the country.”

Ortom said the anti-open grazing law started smoothly until Miyetti Allah issued a threat, which was actually carried out by them. “Therefore, l want to urge the committee to work assiduously to bring justice to Benue,” he stated.

The President-General, Mzoh U  Tiv, Chief Edwin Ujege, who spoke on behalf of Benue socio-cultural groups, said the people of Benue State wanted peace and the protection of the lives and property in accordance with Nigerian constitution.
According to him, since the crisis started in 2011 in Benue State, well over 2,000 people have been killed including women and children with property worth N95 billion destroyed.
He said the federal government must uphold the anti-open grazing law enacted by the Benue State more...

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Afenifere chieftains, Dickson, Ezeife, others meet Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa The clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria persisted Monday as leaders of thought from the Southern part of the country gathered in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, to review the state of the nation, warning President Muhammadu Buhari that he risks the breakup of [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
TUESDAY WITH REUBEN ABATI Dear Editor, NatGeo, I am a great fan of your magazine, National Geographic, and your sister platform, National Geo Wild, and your coverage of natural history, particularly the behaviour of animals in the wild. I must commend you and your organization for the high level of commitment, attentiveness to details and [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Rejects cattle colony in Imo Amby Uneze in Owerri Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, on Monday said his son-in-law, Chief Uche Nwosu, has the qualities of a leader, adding that he would endorse him if he (Nwosu) indicates interest to run for governorship in 2019. Nwosu is the current Chief of Staff, Government House, [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Unity workers back Buhari's decision Union insists on his suspension Senator Iroegbu in Abuja It was a mild drama on Monday at the headquarters of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Abuja, as workers continued their protest over the reinstatement of the Executive Secretary, Usman Yusuf, prompting police intervention. The protest was initially by [] 

Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri Police have repelled a suicide attack on its location in troubled Borno State, the Police Commissioner in the state, Damien Chukwu ,said yesterday in Maiduguri. Addressing a press conference, Chukwu said two female suicide bombers who targeted the police facilities in Dikwa were killed by eagle eye police officers on Sunday [] 

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