NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [30 MARCH, 2018].


Below are the headlines found on The Punch Online Newspaper for today, Friday, 30 March, 2018.

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Heads of the nation’s security agencies have expressed worry over alleged ongoing attempts by some groups to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 general elections.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday.


 
Shehu said the heads of the security agencies expressed the worry during an interactive session they had with some media owners and senior journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

The presidential spokesman listed those who addressed the media practitioners to include the Director General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura; Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar; and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin.

He quoted them as saying that the aim of the unnamed groups was to create a stalemate in the polity.

He said, “The security chieftains expressed the particular worry that there are groups in the country with evil designs to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 general elections in the hope of creating a stalemate.

“They warned the media against the activities of some unregistered groups that have lately been active in trying to undermine critical institutions such as the law-enforcement agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“The security heads also called for closer cooperation from the media to prevent terrorists and radical ideologies directed from abroad from undermining the ongoing efforts to restore security in parts of the country facing the challenges of terrorism, economic sabotage, criminality, farmers-herdsmen’s clashes and the spread of illegal weapons.”

Shehu said in the midst of the debate over the right to freedom of expression and the government’s efforts to ensure that the digital space and the mass media generally did not become a playground for terrorism and destabilisation, the security chiefs gave assurances that they would maintain a balance between openness and national security.

He said they however called on media owners and journalists to walk the fine balance between openness on one hand and national security on the other.

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Public commentators and thousands of Nigerians invaded the social media space on Thursday, condemning the roles allegedly played by some presidential aides in the controversial award for President Muhammadu Buhari by the Martin Luther King center a few days ago.

Pictures of the delegation from the centre, The King Center, presenting the award on behalf of the family of legendary American civil rights activist to Buhari at the Presidential villa, found their way into the media space hours after the visit.


 
Obviously uncomfortable with the development, The King Center tweeted on Wednesday, dissociating itself from the award.

The statement, released via @TheKingCenter, read, “The award given to President Buhari of Nigeria was not given by The King Center, at the request of The King Center or by the children of #MLK and CorettaScottKing.”

The development ignited a series of unfavourable comments from members of the public, especially when an online platform, LeadersNG, published on Thursday that the Nigerian government might have paid up to $3m to procure the ‘fake award’ for the President.

Following the outrage, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, hurriedly issued a statement on Thursday to defend the award.

She explained that the award was in appreciation of the President’s fight against corruption, noting that the visit of the MLK family members to Nigeria was not sponsored by the Federal Government.

Dabiri-Erewa in the statement by her media aide, Abdurrahman Balogun, dismissed insinuations that the government paid money for the award, stressing that nothing could be further from the truth.

“It must be categorically stated here that the trip was totally privately funded and not one kobo was spent by the Nigerian government,” she said.

The Presidential aide also clarified that the commemorative plaque given to Buhari was presented on behalf of the Martin Luther King family and not the TK Center as being speculated.

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Senate President Bukola Saraki and the All Progressives Congress Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, were absent from the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium, which was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari in Lagos on Thursday.


 
The colloquium is organised annually as part of events to mark the birthday of a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and this year’s event, which was held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, had the theme, “Investing in people.”

Other notable APC members absent were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and the Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi.

It was not clear why all of them were absent at the event, but Oyegun is at the centre of a one year tenure elongation granted to the executive of the party at all levels, which Tinubu had openly opposed.

On Tuesday, during the 5th National Executive Council meeting of the APC in Abuja, President Buhari also faulted the decision of the party’s NEC to grant one year extension to the party executive, citing a breach of relevant sections of the party’s constitution, as well as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), as the basis for his opinion.

The President therefore asked the party’s NEC to rescind its earlier decision so as not to give the opposition the grounds on which to reap from the crisis which is likely to result from the constitutional breaches.

Tinubu had hailed Buhari’s stance on the matter.

We’ll replace corruption with correctness – Buhari

At the event, President Buhari said he was happy to celebrate the birthday of his friend and political partner, Tinubu.


 
“Asiwaju is widely known as a political strategist. I have come to see him as a man who cares about people and who is a fountain of ideas for the economy of the common man and woman. He is a true humanitarian and we appreciate his contribution to Nigeria’s and Africa’s progress,” he said.

The President said his administration was working for the betterment of Nigerians, adding, “We seek to replace corruption with correctness, insecurity with safety and poverty with prosperity.

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Unity Bank Plc has said it never lied about the $1bn investment hitherto planned by Milost Global Incorporated, and that the “Term Sheet” dated September 4, 2017, which was said to have been executed, was submitted by Milost for discussion purpose only.


 
The bank informed its shareholders and other stakeholders that it made the move to open discussion with Milost following various regulators’ advice to the bank in recent times on the need to shore up its capital base, adding that the bank with the mandate of its shareholders had engaged in series of discussions and engagement with prospective “value-plus investors”.

The lender, in a document filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday, insisted that, “All through these engagements, the bank has been properly guided by the extant regulations concerning capital raising and equally made the process open to all prospective investors.”

It added, “The Term Sheet dated September 4, 2017 said to have been executed was a proposal submitted by Milost Global Incorporated for discussion purposes only and not a commitment by the parties. No definitive documentation governing the proposed financing was executed.”

The bank said Milost was one of the prospective investors introduced to it (the bank) by a local entity called Mayo BV, adding that it was not unusual that the introduction and expression of interests would involve some level of preliminary discussions and exchange of non-binding documentary communications between the intending parties towards establishing mutual foundation on which the transaction contemplated would be initiated 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja The Federal Ministry of Education has inaugurated the new curriculum for History and ordered its release to primary and secondary schools nationwide for onward teaching. The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who gave the directive in Abuja, said that the teaching of history in schools would be used as an instrument of [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja The National Business and Technical Education Board has said that graduates of technical colleges will not be allowed to practise as technicians in Nigeria without being certified and licensed by the board. The Chairman of the NABTEB Governing Board, Prof. Leonard Shilgba, stated this at a briefing held recently in Abuja. Shilgba [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Femi Makinde, Osogbo The Permanent Secretary, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Fatai Kolawole, has said that primary and secondary school pupils in the state are being closely monitored by government to ensure they do not engage in cultism and other social vices. Speaking on Thursday in Osogbo at a briefing held to herald [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Members of the Command Secondary School, Ipaja, Lagos Alumni Association recently paid a visit to the institution to share treated mosquito nets among its pupils. Before the visit, the association had elected a new female president, Taiwo Ajisefinni. Less than a week after she was sworn in, she and her executive members took the initiative [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Odilim Enwegbara, Apo, Abuja: Speaking at the Union Banks 100 years of banking in Nigeria, the ex-Central Bank of Nigeria boss, Lamido Sanusi, publicly confessed that his years at the CBN were never good for Nigerias economy. Thank God that Emir Muhammadu Sanusi has finally confessed that his neoliberal monetary policy was very harmful to [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Jinadu Austin, 10 Bale Crescent, Ikola-Ilumo, near Ipaja, Lagos State, J_Austin@yahoo.co.uk: I hereby draw the attention of the Ikeja Electricity to the terrible power supply being experienced by residents of Ikola-Ilumo, near Ipaja, Lagos State. While our electricity supply remains one of the worst in Lagos, even when the Ikeja Electric supplies us electricity, the [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Thomas Terungwa Kumba, Galadimawa, Abuja: The narrative regarding the killings by the herdsmen in the country is becoming so alarming and disturbing. There are alot of articles, news headlines and reviews almost every day regarding the detoriating security state of Nigeria amidst so many security agencies and as such one could be tempted to question [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Trading platform, OLX, is launching a brand new, overhauled app, and replacing its website and mobile site with a progressive web app (PWA), which is part of a global move to solidify OLX's number one position. The changeover will provide new and existing users with an easier, faster, safer, and more local way of buying [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Verve International has signed a partnership agreement with the United Bank for Africa to deliver cost-effective prepaid cards to farmers under the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture's FISP programme. It was gathered that as part of the partnership deal, UBA will issue Verve prepaid cards in the next season of the Farmers Input Support Programme, an [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Austine Uche-Ejeke, Magboro, Ogun State: On Tuesday, February 27, I went to Ikoyi Passport office of the Nigerian Immigration Service to renew my expired passport. After paying N30,000 and spending the whole day in the quest to get the passport as I left their office around 4.30pm on that day, I was given the assurance [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
The failure of Nigeria to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, last week, is instructive, to put it mildly. The we are not ready to compete brigades argument is a feeding bottle economy paradigm, where rather than improve like the most advantaged part of the country, others have to dumb-down [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Akeem Lasisi It was a great deal for emerging writer, Nina Ifechukwude, on Sunday when several top film-makers and other stakeholders joined her in Lagos to usher onto the shelf her collection of stories, titled, Disowned. The compact but rich library at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, beamed with celebrities that included Joke Silva, Ireti Doyle, [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
All is now set for the annual gospel music festival, tagged Embrace, holding in Ikorodu, Lagos State, today (Friday). In its 11th edition, it will feature legendary juju and gospel singer, Ebenezer Obey, and other top artistes like Tope Alabi, Chioma Jesus, Tim Godfrey, Tolu David, Battle Axe, Vickel, Olori Oladapo, The Spirit and Life [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Many dignitaries rallied round the President of the Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria, Kehinde Salami, when he presented his marketing communications book, titled, To Every Man A Brain: How to Discover and unleash the Power of Your Creative Mind. The event, held at the Renaissance Hotel in Lagos, attracted stakeholders that included the President of [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja A novelist and former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Bayelsa State chapter, Michael Afenfia, has urged up-and-coming writers in the country to be creative with the use of the social and conventional media in promoting their works. Afenfia said this in Abuja, while hosting readers of his latest episodic work, [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Gabriel Jesus returns to Premier League action following a triumphant international outing with Brazil, uncertain over his starting place in a Manchester City side that could be just two games from clinching the title. The 20-year-old forward scored the only goal of the friendly between Brazil and world champions Germany on Tuesday, suggesting that after [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Oladimeji Ramon The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged the Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Ifiesimama Sekibo, before the Federal High Court in Lagos for an alleged fraud of N605,321,051.05. Joined with Sekibo in the charge sheet marked FHC/C/95C/18 is one Kolapo Kola Daisi and a company, Greame Properties Limited. The EFCC, in the [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti The Yoruba Council of Elders has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack all the security chiefs for their alleged inability to effectively curtail killings in different parts of the country. Noting that some of the service chiefs were already overdue for retirement, the YCE urged the President to reflect [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has said that she will help to ensure that no child in Nigeria is born with the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus by 2020. According to a statement released on Tuesday, Buhari said this shortly after she was named as the new UNAIDS Special Ambassador for [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Sesan Olufowobi, Samuel Awoyinfa, Kamarudeen Ogundele and Theophilus Onojeghen The Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, have hailed the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who clocked 66 on Thursday. [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Alexander Okere, Benin The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II has announced a three-month stipend of N4.6m to 78 Libya returnees in the state. Ewuare II explained that the beneficiaries would be placed on a monthly allowance of N20,000 each. The monarch spoke when he received the returnees at his palace on Wednesday. He also [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna Indications emerged on Thursday that members of the Arewa Consultative Forum were divided over the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential election. A key member of the forum and leader of the Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, and 17 other northern groups at a summit on Saturday had [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Alexander Okere, Benin Unknown gunmen have shot dead a leader of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Mr. Samson Sedi, in the Etsako West Local Government Area of the state. It was gathered that Sedi, who was the youth leader of the APC in the area, was killed in Jattu on Wednesday. The state [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The Federal High Court in Abuja ruled on Thursday that a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Robert Azibaola, had a case to answer in respect of two charges involving $40m which he was accused of receiving fraudulently from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014. The judge, Justice [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Oladimeji Ramon The senator representing Yobe East in the National Assembly, Bukar Ibrahim, has said very serious negotiations are ongoing to ensure the release of Leah Shabiru. Leah is one of the schoolgirls abducted from Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram insurgents on February 19. The insurgents later returned all the girls (apart from five [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Ozioma Ubabukoh The Dean Emeritus Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, Rev. Ademola Ademowo, has called on the three tiers of government to invest in agriculture since the sector is now being accepted as an income earner among the youth. He stated this in his Good Friday message on Thursday, [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
A national telecommunications operator, Globacom, has called on Christians in the country to allow the lessons of Easter to guide all their actions. In a congratulatory message to Nigerians on the 2018 Easter celebrations, the firm urged all the citizens to imbibe the message of the holy season and promote love, unity and good neighbourliness [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Friday Olokor, Oladimeji Ramon and Godwin Isenyo The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and his counterpart from Plateau State, Simon Lalong, have called on Christians to imbibe the virtue of selfless service in commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ at Calvary. This was contained in Obasekis message to Christians to mark [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Friday Olokor and Adelani Adepegba The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered tight security nationwide to ensure a hitch-free Easter celebration. The police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said the IG had directed Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in charge of zonal commands and Commissioners of Police nationwide to be [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has said as the nation approaches the period of campaigns ahead of the 2019 general elections, he remained committed to bequeathing a legacy of supremacy of the peoples will through the ballot box. He also insisted that his administration would resist those who he said were making political capital [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Gbenga Adeniji A governorship aspirant in Imo State, Mr. Chidi Okoro, has said he possesses the alternative reality that will uplift the state. Okoro, who is a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, said he was urged to throw his hat into the ring to join in the development of the state. The pharmacist, [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on Thursday reportedly killed six persons and injured four others in two separate attacks on Baking Kofi, Kaninkon Chiefdom in the Jemaa Local Government Area of Kaduna State. It was gathered that the gunmen, numbering about 10, were in army camouflage and mobile police uniforms. This [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
IN a flagrant display of legislative petulance, the House of Representatives has effected amendments to the privatisation law to prevent the planned concession of the Ajaokuta Steel Company. This is in continuation of its war against the Federal Government, which is also determined to give out the gigantic complex to private interests to manage on [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Oladimeji Ramon A human rights advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has called on members of the National Assembly to voluntarily return all the running costs and allowances which they have so far collected. A member of the Senate, Shehu Sani, had recently disclosed that each senator gets N13.5m monthly as running cost. But [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Sesan Olufowobi President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday opened the ultra-modern Ikeja Bus Terminal in Lagos State and lauded initiatives of the government aimed at catering for the growing population of the state. The terminal, according to the state, was designed to redefine public transport in line with the bus reform initiative of the government. The [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Sesan Olufowobi The Senator representing the Lagos East Senatorial District in the Senate, Gbenga Ashafa, has praised the approval of N2bn for the rehabilitation of the Ikorodu-Sagamu Expressway. Ashafa, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Land Transport commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, for the [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Friday Olokor, Jos A 58-year-old man, said to be notorious in illicit drug business, Jude Okoye, alias Zuma, was on Thursday arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency before the Federal High Court in Jos. Zuma was arraigned on eight charges bordering on illegal possession of controlled drugs. The alleged drug merchant was said [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Nigerian carrier, Med-View Airline Plc, says it expects 2018 to be a year that will provide it with the opportunities for growth and investment, and within which it shall consolidate on past achievements. The firm said it would take advantage of the projected growth the Nigerian economy would offer while also delivering value to shareholders. [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja The Federal Capital Territory Security Committee said it had resolved to combat kidnapping and other criminal acts in the FCT. It pledged to maintain heightened surveillance against insurgency and fight minor crimes. Rising from its quarterly meeting, which held at the conference chambers of the FCT Ministers residence, the committee noted that [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja The Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brig. Gen. Suleman Kazaure, has warned cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna State, against the use of hard drugs, which was said to be a common practice in the academy. Kazaure gave the advice in Abuja on Thursday, while receiving 37 NDA [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Leke Baiyewu, Abuja The Senate has rejected the request by the Kaduna State Government to obtain a $350m loan from the World Bank. The rejection was based on the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts and supported by the three senators from the state. In the report, which was presented by [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Ted Odogwu, Kano The Kano State Government said 400 victims of flood disaster in the Gwarzo Local Government Area of Kano State have benefited from relief materials worth over N41m. Governor Abdullahi Ganduje disclosed this on Thursday, during the distribution of roofing sheets, cement, bags of rice, millet cooking oil, mats and blankets to the [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The N45bn severance package of former workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited will be paid after the Easter holiday as soon as the Senate resumes sitting and approves the fund, the Federal Government has said. The government stated that the money had been provided and that it was willing to pay [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Ted Odogwu, Kano The Kano State Hisbah Board, on Thursday, said it arrested 98 beggars in the Kano metropolis for allegedly contravening the law on street begging. Officer in charge of the board, Dahiru Nuhu, who made the disclosure in Kano, disclosed that the beggars were arrested at about 12.15pm in different parts of the [] 

Fri, 30 Mar 2018
Femi Asu Infrastructural deficit needs to be addressed by the Federal Government to improve the nation's business environment, Olisa Agbakoba Legal, a Lagos-based law firm, has said. The OAL, in its latest newsletter released on Thursday, noted that the Apapa gridlock caused by bad roads and unruly behaviour of tanker drivers have had an adverse [] 
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