Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 20 March, 2018.

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday alleged that large sums of money in local and foreign currencies were stolen by some people in the former President Goodluck Jonathan-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration a few weeks before the 2015 general elections.He spoke at the Seventh Presidential Quarterly Business Forum for Private Sector stakeholders at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja.
He said with the level of corruption which held sway in that government, there was no way the country would not experience a major economic shock. “I must ask again what was wrong with the Nigerian economy and what do we need to do to correct the flaws? There are several issues many of which have already been articulated, but what I think is the biggest problem, which for some reasons, we hardly talk about when discussing our national economy is grand corruption in the public finance space. Sometimes the way we talk about the Nigerian economy, it does appear as if it is the economy of say Norway or somewhere where all things are equal. Even when we refer to what has taken place in our economy, we almost sound as if this is in every sense a very normal business environment, a very normal public finance environment but that is not the case.

“I do not think that any consideration about our economic development can be properly and honestly done without fully analysing corruption, especially grand corruption in the public finance space,” he said.Osinbajo lamented that despite record high levels of oil prices, very little was invested in infrastructure and a high level of leakages occurred in the past few years. He said though the country’s reliance on single commodity had been faulted,
the proceeds from that single commodity were regularly hijacked by a few.

“That is really the problem. If we had spent the proceeds from that single commodity the way we ought to, we won’t be where we are today. Most of the proceeds went to rent seekers in the industry and production.”For example, I’m sure many of us are familiar with the so-called Strategic Alliance Contract with the NNPC and NDDC. The promoters of the companies made away with close to $3 billion, almost a tenth of our reserves. There is no way, if someone made away with a tenth of your reserves, you will not have a major economic shock. And if we don’t deal with it, if we don’t talk about it, how will we be able to discuss our economy in a real honest way with a view to ensuring that these things do not happen again?

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday supported calls for the restructuring of the country.At the third annual political summit organised by the Save Democracy Africa in Abuja, Dogara canvassed the creation of a unique system of federalism that best suits Nigerians and the local circumstances in the country.
By his admonition, the speaker has joined other eminent citizens, including former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar to demand the restructuring of the country. Also, regional groups such as Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and South South leaders have demanded true federalism in the country through restructuring.

Dogara, who spoke on “Reforming the Nigerian Federation: Which Way Forward”, said this could be actualised with leaders who are visionary, selfless, prudent, intelligent and indefatigable, and having integrity and honour.He said: “Efforts at wishing away the problems associated with the Nigerian federation have only resulted in several tribal, ethnic and religious movements that have even metamorphosed into terrorist syndicates.

“One can, therefore, no longer fold his arms but engage some of the issues that have confronted us as a nation and threatened the Nigerian federation.“This forum provides one of the opportunities for such interrogation. I commend the organisers for bringing this issue to the front burner once again.“That Nigeria could survive despite predictions to the contrary by the world powers not only portrays hope but demonstrates that the Nigerian federation has come to stay.

“It is, therefore, incumbent on us to fashion out our own type of federalism, the one that is best suited to our people and to local circumstances. There should be genuine efforts to build the nation. Ethnic, religious and sectional agenda should take back place. The essence of federalism is to foster unity and development. This has, however, not been achieved.”

Dogara told the gathering that the recruitment processes of elective office holders in the country were being re-visited in the Electoral Amendment Bill to ensure that the system is able to recruit the best at all strata of leadership.

According to him, the current National Assembly has shown enough determination to ensure that the federation of Nigeria is managed effectively for the good of every citizen in its several initiatives to address imbalances.To take Nigeria to its pride of place, a reorientation of Nigerians to address the political and economic malaise they face must be addressed.

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
Nigeria’s three refineries – Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC)Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC), and Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC), recorded an operational deficit of N66.278 billion in 2017.

Breakdown of the deficits showed that KRPC suffered a loss of N32.617 billion; WRPC, N22.147 billion and PHRC, N11.514 respectively.Nigerian refineries with a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bpd) have been performing below installed capacity, resulting to heavy dependent on importation of petroleum products.

For example, total crude processed by domestic refineries (KRPC and PHRC) for the month of December 2017 was 507,732 Metric Tonnes (MT), with PHRC accounting for 370,125MT while a total of 137,607MT was processed by KRPC. This translates to a combined yield efficiency of 88.99 per cent compared to 105,735 MT of crude processed in November 2017 which translated to a combined yield efficiency of 89.61 per cent.

For the month of December 2017, the two refineries produced 300,264 MT of finished petroleum products and 151,554 MT of intermediate products out of the 507,732 MT of crude processed at a combined capacity utilization of 26.99 per cent compared to 5.81 per cent combined capacity utilization achieved in the month of November 2017.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said in its monthly financial report released recently that the ongoing revamping of the refineries will enhance capacity utilization once completed.NNPC stated: “The Corporation has been adopting a Merchant Plant Refineries Business Model since January 2017. The model takes cognizance of the Products Worth and Crude Costs. The combined value of output by the three refineries (at import parity price) for the month of December 2017 amounted to ₦66.23 billion while the associated crude plus freight costs and operational expenses were ₦69.14billion and ₦8.19 billion respectively. This resulted to an operating deficit of ₦11.10 billion by the refineries”.

Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru said as part of the ongoing reforms in the NNPC, the corporation had been holding far-reaching discussions with some consortia to get the best funding options towards the refineries’ overhaul.He added that the corporation, under his watch, had recorded remarkable progress in resuscitating some of the nation’s critical downstream infrastructure, a development which had ensured seamless supply of products Nationwide, until the recent past hiccups which is now under control.

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
Lagos lawyer and rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has described one of the oldest practicing lawyer in the country, Pa Tunji Gomez, as an ambassador that is worthy of emulation.He said the nonagenarian lawyer's life should be an inspiration to lawyers in the discharge of their profession for the betterment of the society. 

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
As journalism remains a critical sector in promoting the socio-cultural and political existence of Nigeria as well as promoting her unity, conventional media firms have been tasked to take advantage of the chaos of online media to re-launch themselves and prove their relevance. 

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
The respondents are Mak Mera Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adewale Olorunsola, Chief Michael Andrew Olorunfemi, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, the director, Department of Petroleum Resources, the minister of Petroleum Resources and Corporate Affairs Commission. 

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, in partnership with Rue 14 Studios, has launched the Smashed Project initiative for the first time in Nigeria aimed at tackling the issue of under-aged drinking amongst youths. 

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
A 16-member delegation of senior women professionals from Silicon Valley, California has arrived in Nigeria.Their mission is to mentor young women working in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). 

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
The Lagos State House of Assembly has set up a six-man ad hoc committee to review the controversial 2018 land use charge in the state.The Speaker of the House, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa disclosed this at the plenary yesterday.He urged the people to participate in the second public hearing to have the opportunity.... 

Tue, 20 Mar 2018
Recall that the committee was inaugurated last year to undertake a holistic action towards reforming the prisons. Such actions include reviewing cases of likely rights abuse and over crowding. 
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