Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Friday, 23 March, 2018.

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Bill Gate, the Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, yesterday faulted the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery And Growth Plan (ERGP).
Addressing stakeholders at the special session of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Gates stressed the need for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to take a second look at the National Economic Plan in terms of its priorities for human capacity development.

He said the ERGP, which must reflect the people’s needs, should also give priority to human capital development over physical capital as it is designed currently.

“To anchor the economy over the long term, investment in infrastructure and competitiveness must go hand in hand with investments in the people.

“People without roads, ports and factories can’t flourish. And roads, ports and factories without skilled workers to build and manage them can’t sustain an economy,” Gates noted.

According to him, if the current trends in education and health continue and government spends the same amount with the same results, there will be no economic growth as the country will only be keeping with increase in population without improvement in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said his foundation had so far committed over $1.6 billion in Nigeria and was willing to invest more towards making the country a global economic powerhouse that can provide opportunity for all its citizens.

The funds, according to the philanthropist, are committed to addressing issues of improved primary healthcare systems, agriculture, financial inclusion, routine immunisation and financial inclusion, among others.

Gates noted that, although Nigeria was approaching an upper middle-income status like Brazil, China and Mexico, there was the need for all its citizens to thrive in maximizing the huge potential of the country.

He lamented that Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth, with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad.

The Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote told the NEC that there was the need for the private sector companies in Nigeria to set aside one per cent of their annual profit to support primary health care development and other critical projects that will grow the economy.

“Since the rebasing of the economy, Nigeria is no longer seen as a highly poor country. Nigeria is going to be 411 million people by 2050. Today, more than half of our population is very young and we should try to educate them and ensure that they are healthy,” he said.

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Head coach of Poland, Adam Nawalka may have decided to deploy an unpopular 3-4-2-1 formation against the Super Eagles in today’s pre-World Cup friendly match at the Municipal Stadium.
On his part, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr will hand Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho the No.10 role, usually played by Mikel Obi, in his starting line-up.

Mikel will miss this evening’s encounter in Wroclaw as he is battling to renew his work permit in China, but he is expected to join the squad in London for the game against Serbia on Tuesday according to

According to a camp source, Iheanacho has been playing off centre forward Odion Ighalo in a 4-2-3-1 formation in training and that the Leicester star is expected to keep his place for the World Cup friendly.

“Iheanacho will play Mikel’s position against Poland barring any last minute tactical switch,” the source, a member of the squad, told CSN.

“That’s his preferred role and I think he will do well there. He is solid and quick in his decision making.”

The 21-year-old Iheanacho is expected to be the most advanced midfielder ahead of the deeper central midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Ogenyi Onazi for the game.

In the Super Eagles last game against Argentina, Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi were paired in attack as Gernot Rohr deployed a 3-5-2 formation.
The former Manchester City forward curled in a brilliant free-kick as Nigeria came from a goal down to beat Argentina 4-2 at the Krasnodar Stadium in Russia last November.

Meanwhile, based on Poland’s two workouts at the old Śląsk Wrocław Stadium, coach Nawalka has opted to deploy an unpopular 3-4-2-1 formation against the Super Eagles, according to

This formation is rather untested and they have not used it except during their friendlies in November 2017 against Uruguay and Mexico in which they failed to score any goal.

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Mrs. Aisha Ahmad and Mr. Edward Adamu as substantive deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), along with three members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
The confirmed members of the MPC are Professor Adeola Festus Adenikinju; Dr. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi; and Dr. Robert Chikwendu Asogwa, while the nomination of Dr. Asheikh Maidugu, was rejected.

Their confirmation has put to an end the high level of suspense that heralded the nomination of some of the appointees prior to the screening exercise.

The confirmation has given a fresh hope for the resumption of regular meetings of CBN’s monetary policy members and a renewed confidence for investors, after two consecutive meetings were called off for lack of quorum.

The continued rejection of Maidugu, according to CBN, was on the ground that his present position as “a regular civil servant ladened with bureaucracy and red-tapism may not be independent in his judgment on each crucial decision of the MPC that affects directly the whole economy.”

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
I’m very excited to be back here at the Ogun State investment forum because it gives an opportunity for us to take stock of the journey of where the state was in 2015, when it seemed like a dream that we could build more infrastructure and attract more investment into the state and get more growth.

I think the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun has done incredibly well in sticking to the template, so it’s yielding results and very visible results but more importantly results in the lives of the people.

They’ve attracted a lot of investment and created a more hospitable business environment. It’s exciting and in terms of the themes of this particular conference, it is very appropriate.

Agriculture is still the mainstay of the state and there are huge opportunities there. Industry and of course technology which is really a game changer, that’s where there’s considerable latent opportunity.

When you look into other states, because I’ve spoken to many and they talk about how some other states can take a leaf out of Ogun State’s book. I mean, when you look at the IGR alone, it’s gone from about N730million to over N7 billion monthly.

One of the things that we’ve done is the state fiscal responsibility plan which was a 21 point reform program for states and one of the things state’s were required to do in exchange for help during the darkest part of the recession was to improve IGR.

One of the key metrics was to improve IGR and to come up with a plan for IGR that required things like reviewing obsolete tariffs, taking transactions cashless and improving their receipting, so we’re seeing this replicated across a number of states and it has been quite exciting to see the increases in IGR across the length and breadth of the nation and that is really important in terms of fiscal responsibility for the state’s because when we talk about not relying on oil we’re not saying that the government should cut back we’re saying that government should find another source of revenue and internally generated revenue for any state is a very very important part of that.

Let’s talk on the federal level. The Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration scheme, the deadline is almost here March 31st. Bring us up to speed on the progress so far?

Incredible progress so far. The signs have been very very encouraging. We knew that everyone would wait until the last minute, which was something that we expected I was just speaking to the chairman of Inland revenue here in Ogun and he said look I am at N500million already and there are just a handful of people that have complied so the signs are very encouraging.

For us it proves that the data that we have and the analysis that we did are correct. We analysed the data and saw that people are clearly under declaring on a massive scale and so far I think at federal level just 226 people account for N20 billion so if you begin to extrapolate and think about the thousands of forms that are in circulation we expect that we will bring many many more people into the tax net correctly.

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Between February 19, 2018 when the Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted by supposed Boko Haram insurgents and Wednesday, March 21, 2018, when the news broke that 101 of them had been released, I had offered perspectives on the incident in two articles.  
The first was titled: Chibok and Dapchi girls: The whoredom of Karma while the second was titled: Gbomogbomo as metaphor.

The second article, in particular, provides the take-off point for the current intervention. Therein, I had expressed a concern at the role abductions of schoolgirls play in our presidential politics.  

My thesis was that our abducted schoolgirls in the northeast zone have become objects of political bargain in the hands of our modern day real or prearranged gbomogbomo, a Yoruba word transliterated as stealer of children.

I recalled how the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls on April 14, 2014, about a year to the 2015 presidential election, shattered President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and created a yawning security hole in his re-election effort.

The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) would latch on to it to promise us maximum national security.

The APC administration under General Muhammadu Buhari has been in a hurry to prove that it has fulfilled its promise. Its claim of having technically defeated the Boko Haram insurgents accords with its promise.  

But the claim is not in pari materia with the evidence on the ground. How secure are the schoolgirls today? Schoolgirls abduction has combined with killings by Fulani herdsmen to rubbish that electoral promise.  

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
No fewer than eight persons, including the bus driver, allegedly lost their lives as the commuter bus they were travelling in yesterday fell into a ditch at the Miliken Hills valley, following the alleged shooting of the bus by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were on their chase. The [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
The National President of Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Sunday Abdu, has carpeted both the Plateau and federal governments for failing to secure lives in Bassa council area of Plateau State following the constant attacks by herdsmen. He therefore passed a vote of no confidence in the Nigerian military. Abdu, a former member of the House [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Head coach of Poland, Adam Nawalka may have decided to deploy an unpopular 3-4-2-1 formation against the Super Eagles in today's pre-World Cup friendly match at the Municipal Stadium. 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
The Kogi House of Assembly has condemned the herdsmen's attacks on some villages in Dekina, Omala and Bassa council areas of the state. It urged the Federal Government to bring the perpetrators to justice. In a motion of urgent public importance, moved by the lawmakers representing Omala, Dekina and Bassa councils, Aliyu Akuh, Moses Ododo [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
After her Ph.D programme at the University of Oxford, fully sponsored by Prophet TB Joshua at a cost of approximately N50 million, Miss Yinka Oduwole, a first-class graduate of the University of Lagos, is now set to contribute toward finding a cure for cancer. This is because with her graduation on 16 September 2017 and [] 

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