NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [23 MARCH, 2018].


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

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
The Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates, on Thursday said the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan was not reflective of the people’s needs.

He also said the country would do better with strong investments in health and education, rather than concentrating on physical infrastructure to the detriment of human capital development.


 
Gates spoke alongside the Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, at a special session of the National Economic Council held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The theme of the event was the role of human capital investment in supporting pro-poor and economic growth agenda.

The council, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has all the 36 state governors, relevant ministers and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as members.

Gates stated, “Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth, with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad. One in three Nigerian children is chronically malnourished.

“In upper middle-income countries, the average life expectancy is 75 years. In lower middle-income countries, it’s 68; in low-income countries, it’s 62. In Nigeria, it is lower still, just 53 years.

“The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies investing in the people as one of three strategic objectives. But the execution priorities don’t fully reflect people’s needs, prioritising physical capital over human capital. 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.”

He added that investment in infrastructure and competitiveness must go hand-in-hand with investments in the people to anchor the economy over the long term.

He noted that Nigeria’s approach placed more priority on physical capital over human capital development.


Fri, 23 Mar 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said he was committed to the freedom of the only Dapchi schoolgirl still in captivity as when all the110 schoolgirls were in Boko Haram terrorists’ den.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement.


 
Shehu said the Buhari administration would not relent in efforts to bring Leah Sharibu safely back home to her parents as it has done for the other girls.

Leah was reportedly held back by the terrorists over her decision not to convert from Christianity to Islam.

The statement read, “President Buhari is conscious of his duty under the constitution to protect all Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic background or geopolitical location and will not shirk this responsibility.

“The President is equally mindful of the fact that true followers of Islam all over the world respect the injunction that there is no compulsion in religion.

“To this effect, no one or group can impose its religion on another.

“His heart goes out to the isolated parents who must watch others rejoice while their own daughter is still away (in captivity). The lone Dapchi girl, Leah, will not be abandoned.”

The President assured the Sharibu family that he would continue to do all he could to ensure that they also had cause to rejoice with their daughter soon.

Friendly countries negotiated Dapchi girls’ release – FG


 
The Federal Government has said friendly countries and international organisations negotiated the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls.

The 105 girls were released on Wednesday, a month after they were abducted by Boko Haram in Dapchi, Yobe State.

But the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, called for investigation into the abduction and the release, which it said were stage-managed.

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
The House of Representatives went another step further on Thursday to stop the planned concession of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited by seeking to establish a Completion Fund for the project.

A bill for an Act to establish the fund passed second reading at the House in Abuja on Thursday.


 
Three hundred and one out of the 360 members of the House, jointly sponsored the bill.

The long title of the bill reads, “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund, for the Speedy Completion of the Project and for Related Matters.”

The Chairman, House Committee on Public Petitions, Mr. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, a co-sponsor, led the debate on the bill as it received speedy passage for second reading.

Nkem-Abonta explained that the essence of the bill was to create the fund, give it a legal backing and ensure that the Federal Government completed the steel firm as a national asset.

In its determination to fast-track the bill, the House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, skipped conducting a public hearing on it.

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
The Senate has confirmed the appointments of Mrs. Aishah Ahmad and Mr. Edward Adamu as deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria. It also approved nomination of three of the four members of the Monetary Policy Committee.

The confirmed MPC members are Prof. Adeola Festus Adenikinju, Dr. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi and Dr. Robert Chikwendu Asogwa. Dr. Asheikh A. Maidugu was, however, rejected.


 
The confirmation followed the adoption of the reports of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, which screened the nominees on Monday.

In the report on the MPC nominees presented by Chairman of the committee, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, the panel said Maidugu was considered not qualified to occupy the position for which he was nominated.

“The nominee was interviewed by the committee and he responded to the questions asked by the members, but the committee was dissatisfied with his response to the independence required for each member of the MPC and concerned that a regular civil servant burdened with bureaucracy and red-tape may not be independent in his judgment on each crucial decision of the MPC that affects directly the whole economy,” the report stated.

In his remarks on the nominees, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said, “At this point, let me congratulate the two nominees, particularly Mr. Edward Lamatek Adamu, whose uplifting to a deputy governor will be a great encouragement to the staff of the CBN, who will see one of their own in this position. I am sure it will boost the morale within the institution.

“Let me also commend and congratulate Mrs. Aishah Ahmad for her nomination to this very competitive role. The two new deputy governors of the CBN are coming at a time when the economy is a major issue. We have just come out of a recession and we need to continue with our economic growth and see the sustainability of the foreign exchange and other related challenges.

“We hope that the two new deputy governors will work with the governor to move the country and our economy in the right direction. We hope also, that you all will continue to work closely with the National Assembly to update us on the progress that is achieved by the CBN.”

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Toluwani Eniola The proprietor, The Polytechnic, Ile-Ife, and Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Osun State, Dr. Ramon Adedoyin, has called for the scrapping of the higher national diploma programmes. Adedoyin said the HND should be replaced with Bachelors degree in technology as obtained in advanced nations. The educationist was reacting to the decision of the Federal Government [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Godwin Isenyo with agency report There was confusion on Thursday in some parts of Narayi, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State after some irate youths set ablaze a church and a police outpost. The youths, it was learnt, set ablaze a branch of the Celestial Church of God as well as a police outpost [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Jesusgun Alagbe Father of the late wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Christopher Abebe (OFR), has died at the age of 99. A statement by the deceaseds son and President of St. Gregorys College Old Boys Association, Dr. John Abebe, said the nonagenarian died on Thursday. The statement said, In his lifetime, he joined [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
John Alechenu, Abuja A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), said the Federal Government had given him and a consortium of lawyers the go ahead to start legal proceedings against foreign banks that colluded with Nigerian officials to loot the nations treasury. Specifically, banks which warehoused money recovered from the estate of the former military [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
John Ameh, Abuja The House of Representatives on Thursday opposed the setting up of special presidential investigative panels by the Federal Government to investigate various matters, saying that the development usurped the powers of existing anti-corruption agencies and the Code of Conduct Bureau/Tribunal. The House resolved to probe the operations of such panels, particularly the [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
John Charles and Kayode Idowu Fulani herdsmen on Thursday killed two people at Tse Semaka, Umenger in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State and burnt down some houses. According to a native, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, the victims were hacked down on their farm by the herdsmen. The herdsmen were [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on Thursday declared that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission lacked the powers to declare anyone wanted without first obtaining a court order for that purpose or charging the suspect with an offence. Justice Othman Musa ruled that although, the EFCC could declare as [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has halted temporarily, the withdrawal of policemen attached to Very Important Persons to enable the force to carry out an assessment of the current personnel deployment. He stated that the withdrawal would now take effect from April 20, 2018. Idris, in a statement on Thursday, in [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Samson Folarin A former General Evangelist of the Christ Apostolic Church, Worldwide, Prophet Samuel Abiara, has lamented the spate of killings in Nigeria and the Federal Governments attitude towards rising insecurity in different parts of the country. Abiara said perpetrators of violence were emboldened by lack of deterrents, adding that many parts of the country [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Sesan Olufowobi The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday called on residents of the state, as well as stakeholders in the water industry, to prevent shortage of water supply and spread of diseases. Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Durosimi-Etti, stated this at the celebration of the [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Oladimeji Ramon The Lagos State Government on Thursday indicated its intention to go into full-scale legal battle with the Incorporated Trustees of Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, a.k.a. Private Sector Participation operators of waste. The counsel for the state, Adetokunbo Ladega, told the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere on Thursday that the state [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Adelani Adepegba with agency report The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Samson Ayokunle and other stakeholders have cautioned religious teachers and preachers against provocative teachings to ensure peace in the country. The warning came at the 2018 First Quarter General Meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council meeting, on Thursday in Abuja. Ayokunle explained that [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja A former Chairman of Punch Nigeria Limited, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, has praised Daily Trust for sustaining a culture of professionalism in the media industry in the last 20 years. He said this at an event held in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the newspaper in Abuja on Thursday. Ogunshola, who was [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Sesan Olufowobi The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has told the state civil servants to embrace time management in order to boost their productivity. The governor spoke on Thursday at the opening of two-day training for top civil servants in Ikeja. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Punch Editorial Board After one month of a heartrending experience in Boko Haram captivity, which seemed like an eternity to their parents, most of the latest victims of the terror groups pastime of mass abduction of schoolgirls are back in the warm embrace of their loved ones. In a dramatic turn of events, no fewer [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Catalan separatists failed to elect their candidate to head the regional presidency in a confidence vote Thursday after the most radical faction of Catalonias independence movement abstained from voting. Jordi Turull obtained 64 votes in favour, 65 against and four abstentions, falling short of an absolute majority in the 135-seat Catalan parliament needed to win. [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Samuel Awoyinfa and Gbenro Adeoye A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday said he would write another open letter but it would take a while before he would do so. He also advised women to come out of their self-exclusion from governance and begin to take active part in politics. Obasanjo, who said this [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Femi Makinde, Osogbo The Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr. Kunle Olajide, has said the North is a big problem and a great obstacle to the development of Nigeria. Olajide said this in reaction to the statement credited to the Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum and a former Inspector General of [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Sesan Olufowobi The Chairman of the Ojodu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, Julies Oloro, on Thursday said with the rate of infrastructural development in the state by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration, Lagos would soon rank among the top smart cities in the world. He called on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Afeez Hanafi The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, says it is fully prepared for the local government by-elections in the state on Saturday. The by-elections would hold in Ward 'B', Ogunoloko and Ward 'B', Dopemu in the Oshodi-Isolo and Agege local government areas of the state respectively, following the death of the former occupants [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
South Africas government was facing growing questions on Thursday over who should foot the legal bills of former president Jacob Zuma as he fights numerous allegations of corruption. His successor President Cyril Ramaphosa appeared to endorse underwriting the mounting legal court costs of his erstwhile political master. The acts on the basis of which it [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Everest Amaefule, Abuja The Debt Management Office on Thursday announced that it had raised N64.06bn towards the implementation of the 2018 budget through the issuance of Federal Government of Nigeria Bonds. In a statement issued in Abuja, the DMO said the bond auction was oversubscribed as investors staked a total of N142.81bn on the issue. [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Feyisayo Popoola The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, developers of Aflasafe, has signed a Technology Transfer and Licensing Agreement with Harvestfield Industries Limited, Nigeria to manufacture and distribute Aflasafe in Nigeria. The product, Aflasafe, customised for Nigerian market, was manufactured to protect maize and groundnuts from deadly aflatoxin. The IITA said in a statement that [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja Power distribution companies have said that members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria owe them about N30bn as unpaid electricity bills. According to the Discos, the debt is among the many other liquidity challenges that have impacted negatively on the sector, particularly on the distribution arm of the industry. They noted that [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
With less than a week to the end of the period afforded tax debtors to declare their indebtedness under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, individual and corporate tax debtors have been approaching the federal and state tax authorities to seek information on how to declare their previously unpaid taxes before the window shuts [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Femi Makinde, Osogbo The Osun State College of Technology says it is seeking the support of the International Breweries Ilesa in the development of a curriculum in Brewery Technology which the institution is planning to float as one of its new programmes. The Acting Rector of OSCOTECH, Dr. Samson Adegoke, said this on Thursday at [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Jennifer Abraham Everyone aims to be in the city but there are no jobs these days. At least, not the type that people envisage when they stray into the cities from the villages. What else can you do in the city if you cannot get a white-collar job' In those days, the drift into the [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Ozioma Ubabukoh In some ways, consulting can sound like one of the easiest businesses to start. You presumably already have the expertise and the industry contacts all you have to do, is line up some gigs, right' There's some truth to that, but of course it's never that easy. According to Plexus Media Interlinks Limited, [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The number of rice farmers in Nigeria is currently being increased by five million people in order to enhance rice cultivation across the country, the Federal Government has announced. It said although rice farmers in Nigeria increased from five million to 12 million in the past two years, it was important to [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has advised cocoa farmers on the need to properly ferment their cocoa beans to achieve better production and gain acceptance in the world market. The Executive Director of NEPC, Segun Awolowo, gave the charge at the opening of a one-day workshop for cocoa farmers in Ekiti [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Feyisayo Popoola Agricultural experts have advised farmers to stop exporting raw materials, but rather add value to the products to generate higher revenue. The Chief Executive Officer, Best Foods Global Limited, Dr. Emmanuel Ijewere, said farming only accounted for about 20 per cent of activities in the agribusiness sector, while value addition and other value [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Oyetunji Abioye When you're strapped for cash, a personal loan may seem like an obvious solution. If personal or consumer lending companies or banks are calling you, unpaid bills are stacking up, and the refrigerator is as empty as your bank account, you might decide to look for a personal loan. However, going down that [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Investment and Securities Tribunal on Thursday sanctioned four stockbroking firms over illegal transactions conducted by them. The Acting Director, Corporate Affairs, IST, Kenneth Ezea, confirmed the development in a statement issued in Abuja. The stockbroking firms are Union Registrars Limited, UIDC Securities Limited, Gosord Securities Limited and Kapital Care Trust Securities [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Anna Okon The Organised Private Sector has advised the government against signing the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement until further consultations and engagement have been held with stakeholders to address their concerns. The AfCTA is the biggest free trade agreement since the establishment of the World Trade Organisation. It is aimed at creating a [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Feyisayo Popoola A footwear training firm, Footwear Academy, has won the maiden edition of the 'Proudly Made in Aba' Hackathon Challenge, designed to proffer solution to challenges currently faced by Aba entrepreneurs, especially in the finished leather, garment and steel fabricating clusters. Using modern equipment and technology, Footwear Academy won the challenge by providing a [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Feyisayo Popoola One of the leading providers of business information services, Dun & Bradstreet Nigeria, has announced plans to launch a procurement portal, Vend-R, to allow for centralised vendor registration and pre-qualification system. According to the Director of Business Development, Dun & Bradstreet Nigeria, Mr. Abayomi Olomu, Vend-R is a portal that will allow all [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Ife Ogunfuwa The preferred bidder for 9mobile, Teleology, has confirmed its fulfilment of the $50m non-refundable financial requirement on Wednesday ahead of the March 22 deadline. It was gathered that the $50m payment was made to the trustee for the bank syndicate presently holding ownership of 9mobile as a sign of Teleology's financial capability and [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Anna Okon The Controller, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Mohammed Garba, has advised manufacturing firms and other business owners in the country to keep close watch on their employees in order to prevent any collusion with smugglers. He gave this advice in Lagos even as he said that the command discovered N1.6m [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi Caverton Helicopters Limited has unveiled a fleet of new helicopters following its recent selection as the air transport provider for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture based in Escravos. The firm was last year awarded a five-year logistics support contract by the CNL, operator of the NNPC/CNL JV, for provision [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Feyisayo Popoola The Lagos State Government has appealed those residing in different parts of the state to embrace good maintenance culture, by putting government facilities and assets into proper use for optimal utilisation. The General Manager, Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency, Mr. Oladeji Williams, gave the advice at a programme held in Lagos under [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
A frontline leader in Wasinmi, Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, has commended Governor Ibikunle Amosun for compensating landowners in the areas earmarked for the proposed Ogun Cargo Airport. Speaking at Wasinmi on Thursday, Akinola stated that the proposed cargo airport would make significant contribution to the economic development of the [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Stanley Opara The Nigerian equities market rebounded on Thursday after the prevalence of losses for six straight sessions. Bargain-hunting in large capitalised stocks like Zenith Bank Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc impacted positively on the market, boosting the NSE All-Share Index by 0.33 per cent. The shares recorded respective gains of [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Many Nigerians are still not getting their children fully immunised. They treat vaccinations with kid gloves in spite of serious challenges some diseases pose to child survival and endemic nature of such diseases in the country. Every minute, one child under the age of one dies in Nigeria. Many of these deaths are from preventable [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Kinsley Omose Years back when my last child was still in a private primary school, I was a member of the schools management board and a constant thorn in the flesh of other board members and the management over how the school was being administered. One day, a fire incident occurred in the schools assembly [] 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018
Ayo Olukotun It is not entirely clear why Vice President Yemi Osinbajo chose the occasion of Mondays 7th Quarterly Business Forum to, as it were, open fire on the Jonathan administration, but his widely quoted remarks have generated a sizeable backlash. Osinbajo reportedly alleged on Monday that on the eve of the 2015 elections, officials [] 
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