Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 18 March, 2018.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Only days after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) claimed that the federal and state governments have been providing free diagnosis, treatment and care for all sufferers of Lassa fever in government hospitals in the country, some survivors and their relatives have punctured the claim.
In fact, some of the survivors and relatives of patients currently on admission at Irrua Specialist Hospital, in Edo State, told The Guardian that aside the drug-of-choice, Ribavirin, they have also had to pay for the cost of blood, feeding, antibiotics, oxygen, dialysis, face mask, hand gloves and some other items, (except at FMC Owo, Ondo State, where these costs have been taken up by the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA).

The NCDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, had told The Guardian, “While we acknowledge the high cost of treating Lassa fever cases in Nigeria, especially the cost of the drug Ribavirin, we want to state unequivocally that the Federal Government has ensured that Ribavirin has been provided free-of-charge to patients, for every single case of Lassa fever reported in Nigeria in 2018.

“Despite the significant costs, there has not been a single day of stock-out of Ribavirin in any of the treatment centres in Nigeria. No single patient has been deprived of care in any of the treatment centres in Nigeria because of their ability to pay.

In addition to this, the NCDC has ensured that every state in Nigeria has an emergency stock of Ribavirin and other response commodities available to manage cases.”

Ihekweazu, an epidemiologist also said in addition to Ribavirin, the treatment centres have been provided with other essential commodities required for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lassa fever cases.

He added that the NCDC has rapid response teams, supporting the governments of Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states for six weeks in all aspects of the response. And, “all three state governments have supported treatment centres with dialysis machines and other equipment necessary for the treatment of Lassa fever patients,” Ihekweazu said.

But an undercover investigation at Irrua Specialist Hospital, reveals that the situation is not what Ihekweazu claimed.

One of the Lassa fever survivours, Fredrick Patrick (not real name) who narrated his experience to The Guardian, was only discharged two weeks ago, from Irrua Specialist Hospital. His hospital number 2011842K can be verified at the hospital).

Patrick, a nurse at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Jalingo, Taraba State, contracted Lassa fever in January this year through a patient.
“I contacted Lassa fever in January this year through a suspected patient at the ward. From Jalingo, the hospital started managing me, but they were not successful.

So, my relations decided that I should be referred to Irrua Specialist Hospital. And on February 3, I was transferred to Irrua. I was semi unconscious at the time I arrived there, but my younger ones told me that I was placed on Ribavirin immediately.

I was given oxygen until after five days when I regained consciousness. I was on Ribavirin for 18 days,” he said.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
The Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, yesterday, berated the Federal Government over what he described as poor handling of the menace of killer herdsmen in the country. 
He stressed that if the trend continues, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may not have the moral right to ask for votes from Nigerians next year, even as he urged the party’s leaders from the South West to close ranks, if they wish to produce the party’s presidential candidate after 2019.

This came as the former governor of Adamawa State, Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd), described the controversial tenure elongation for the party’s national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun and other states executives, as death sentence for the party if urgent action is not taken to address the illegalities and the impunities going on in the party.

Nyako spoke in Yola, yesterday, while addressing thousands of APC supporters at his residence. He said APC has lost moral grounds to speak on due process, rule of law, enforcement of democratic norms and culture.

He contended that the only way out of the APC crisis over tenure elongation is organising a convention. He said anything besides this would not work. According to him, the actions of those who feel the party is their private estate will not make APC move forward.

“Even if a mechanic takes APC to court today over the unconstitutional and undemocratic tenure extension of party officials, it is very clear that the court can lock the national secretariat of the party. If there is no convention in APC before the general elections, the party may become a spectator instead of a participant,” he warned.

While emphasising that only fairness, legality, justice and the rule of law can sustain the APC ahead of the 2019 general elections, Nyako urged his party to learn from what led to the collapse of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2015 general elections and retrace its steps before it is too late.

He regretted the action of some Nigerian leaders, stressing: “Some of our political leaders seem to take ‘Ogogoro’ before taking action or making public statements on important issues, because some of their statements do not reflect or contain any reasonable sense.”

Senator Sani, who spoke at the 5th summit of the Olalekan Olomide Platform for Development, held at the Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, urged the leadership of the party to intensify efforts at checking the activities of killer. 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
As countdown to the July 14 Ekiti State governorship poll continues, many beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s N-Power scheme in the state, yesterday, took to the streets to campaign for the Deputy Governor, Prof. Olusola Kolapo Eleka.
Governor Ayo Fayose had few months ago promised many of the beneficiaries in the state permanent jobs.

A mild drama played out as two factions of the N-Power beneficiaries: that of President Buhari and Governor Fayose; and that of Olusola, rallied for their benefactors.

While those for the All Progressives Congress (APC), campaigned for President Muhammadu Buhari, their colleagues displayed placards with inscriptions such as: ‘Fayose leads, we follow’, ‘Olusola Eleka for governor, 2018’, ‘Support continuity agenda’.

Those for President Buhari in turn appreciated him for the scheme. But supporters of Fayose and Olusola stressed that the governor has promised them permanent jobs, pointing out that they firmly believe the governor, and that if Olusola wins the election, they would be offered employment, because Fayose has been a promise keeper.

The drama began as early as 8:30 a.m. yesterday, when the about 3,000 beneficiaries gathered in front of the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital along Adebayo Road for the simultaneous Pro-Buhari and Pro-Fayose rallies.

The development almost resulted in a clash between the two factions. But security men on ground ensured there was no rancour, as each campaigned for their benefactor.

Another drama played out also at the accreditation centre when officials of N-Power wanted to prevent those loyal to Fayose from entering the venue, only to be overwhelmed by a huge crowd in support of Fayose, who eventually forced their way in.

Explaining why the beneficiaries loyal to Fayose joined in the rally, Ajibade Segun, a beneficiary, who was among those that supported Fayose and Olusola Eleka, said: “A few months ago, His Excellency, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, invited us to Government House and promised N-Power beneficiaries in Ekiti permanent employment. This is why we are happy and came out to campaign for his deputy, Olusola Kolapo Eleka, and support the continuity agenda.

“We are telling the president that we don’t want just a temporary relief in the name of N-Power, we want permanent employment. We also want the number of beneficiaries of N-Power in Ekiti to be more than what we have presently. But most importantly, we want a permanent job like the governor has promised to give a good number of us.”

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Director General of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. OLUSEGUN OSHINOWO, says failure of the Lagos State government to reconsider the controversial new land use law would be tyrannical, and capable of stifling entrepreneurship and inhibit small businesses. He spoke to VICTOR GBONEGUN.
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) is of the view that the Land Use Charge Law (LUCL) 2018 is “a bad law for a good state.” Why such a description?

The Land Use Charge Law (LUCL) came into existence during the tenure of former Governor Bola Tinubu.

When the first law came out, it had quite a number of obnoxious provisions, the totality of which had to do with very high rate, which residents, whether individual or corporate were to pay.

This was completely unrealistic and ran counter to the reality of the economy of the state.

The organised private sector came out to say that the law would not only stifle businesses, but was also anti-development.

The government on its part argued that it needed to raise revenue to develop the state. It was really a protracted diatribe between the organised private sector and the government.

But at the end of the day, common sense prevailed, and government came to the table and worked out an arrangement, which did not necessarily undermine the objective of the law, but ensured that government realised its objective and the private sector not unnecessarily strangulated. That was how the LUCL took off in 2012.

In fact, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) was already in court and part of the settlement was that the case should be withdrawn from the court.

Through dialogue, the government and the organised private sector were able to come up with rates that were supportive of economic development.

One lesson from that is that the government at that time recognised the fact that you cannot talk about developing Lagos in isolation of other sectors.

We are surprised that nobody has taken note of the history and lessons from that experience. We now have to pass through that bus stop again.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
If the Lagos State government expected mere screams or verbal darts fired at it by residents and property owners over the 2018 Land Use Charge Law, which has now been tagged obnoxious, it was clearly mistaken.
Not only have the vexed residents and property owners registered their opposition to the reviewed law in diverse ways and with all the strength they can muster, they are also vowing to sustain the tempo until the government puts on its thinking cap, reverts to status quo or becomes more realistic.

While they wait for that to happen, professional groups including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), which has already described the law as a “bad law for a good state” are exploring legal and sundry options.

Not only are the residents and property owners alarmed at the mind-boggling figures that the government is demanding of them, they are also livid with the use of market value of the property as the basis to arrive at the appropriate land use charge.

Allegations of high-handedness, the application of the policy to vacant plots of land, and inflated rates of over 400 per cent have also contributed to irking the people the more, despite government’s spirited attempts to get the people to see otherwise.

Right now, whether the state has begun to misstep by targeting homeowners, and the super-rich with exotic property in choice locations like Lekki Peninsula, Ajah, Victoria Garden City, and commercial property in the metropolis with the crazy charges is a different kettle of fish, but what has come true already is the fact that protests and resistance to the new law are taking root.

In fact, many Lagosians are still not convinced, despite Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his team’s explanations, clarifications that there were so many misconceptions and misinformation about the new rates, as the law was a progressive enactment duly made by the state House of Assembly, and handed over to the executive for implementation, in the overall interest of the people.

Also, in spite of the overtures made by the government, including a reduction in the rates and waiver of penalty for late payments across board, some stakeholders are of the view that this was not far-reaching to stop their protests.

In the review last Thursday, rates payable on commercial property were reduced by 50 per cent, while the charges for owner-occupier with third party, including industries and manufacturing concerns got a rebate of 25 per cent. Tax credits were also given for land use charges already paid, in addition to the introduction of installment payment system.  

It would be recalled that the law, recently reviewed by the state Assembly and signed into law by Ambode on February 8, 2018, is a merger of all property and land- based rates and charges. The new law is also a consolidation of ground rent, tenement rate, and the neighbourhood improvement levy.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Several decades ago when the great Tai Solarin wanted to establish the nexus between painful sacrifice andbreakthroughs, he reached for a famous saying he credited to Jawaharlal Nehru, India's illustrious first Prime Minister. 'You cannot make omelets without breaking eggs,'' he said, ''throughout the world, there is no paean without pain.'' Simply put according to [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Deliver us from evil 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
As the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is marked this Saturday, physicians have said the disease affects nine million people and causes death of about 1.5 million globally in a year. TB is said to be the ninth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above Human Immunodeficiency [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Despite facing scathing criticisms over the controversial increment in the land use charge, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, told Property & Environment Editor, CHINEDUM UWAEGBULAM, that the purpose of the jerk is to increase internally generated revenue, and to ensure that all economic activities on real estate give returns to the [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
For the many Nigerians who looked on in despair as the presidency maintained an ominous silence over the activities of armed herdsmen across the country, news of the eventual intervention by President Muhammadu Buhari must have been received with a sigh of relief. Making his comments in Jalingo during his condolence visit to the Taraba [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
The Babcock University Alumni Association has made true its promise to five unengaged alumni with best business plan, with the sum of N200, 000 each under the Babcock Alumni Best Business Plan Award. The award was part of activities marking this year's Babcock University's career fair organised for the graduating students and attended by several [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Chairman of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Adesina Ogunlana, in this interview with BERTRAM NWANNEKANMA, explains why the NBA is against the 2018 Lagos State Land Use Law. Why is the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) against the new Lagos Land Use Charge Law' We are against it for two fundamental reasons- [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Rebecca Omordia is a London-based Nigerian-Romanian pianist who performed recently at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Apart from her unbelievable proficiency on the piano, she comes off as someone living a charmed life, as everything around her smells of conviviality and a pleasant mien. In this interview with SAMUEL OSAZE, OMORDIA reflects on her first visit [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
The land of the living was not far removed from the domain of the ancestors. There was coming and going between them, especially at festivals and also when an old man died, because an old man was very close to the ancestors. A man's life from birth to death was a series of transition rites [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
The assembly of traditional rulers that Friday afternoon inside the conference hall of Western Sun International hotel, NYSC Camp Road, Ede, Osun State was symbolic. They came from far and near to felicitate with the Royal Majesty, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal (Laminisa 1), Timi of Edeland whose 10th coronation anniversary had drawn national and global [] 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs in this interview with FEMI ADEKOYA, explains the implications of the revised land use charge for consumers and operators in the real sector. What is Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN's) position on the recently revised Land Use Charge law' WE are saying that there [] 
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.