NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [29 March, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Thursday, 29 March, 2018.

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
With the 2019 elections barely a year away, high stakes politicking have taken centre stage at the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), where President Muhammadu Buhari has aligned with the National Leader of the party, Chief Bola Tinubu, against most of the governors and other critical stakeholders of the party who are in support of the tenure extension granted to the elected and appointed executives of the APC at all levels at its February National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

At stake is the national chairmanship post of the APC currently occupied by Chief John APC Chair. But with Buhari’s sudden rejection of the tenure elongation for Oyegun and other executives, the jostling over who emerges as the next chairman of the party will be critical to the governors, especially those seeking a second term in office.

Buhari had at the NEC meeting of the party on Tuesday raised objections to the one-year tenure extension approved for the executives at the February NEC meeting.

He counselled that doing so would be in breach of the Nigerian Constitution and that of the APC, which could lead to endless litigations in the run up to the 2019 elections.

His stance on the issue, however, did not go down well with many members of the NWC and most governors of the party.

The party, nonetheless, said on Tuesday that it would set up a committee to review the position of the party on the tenure extension, adding that until the committee concludes its work, the party would maintain status quo.
A source, who shed light on the stakes at play, informed THISDAY that whilst there is a consensus on Buhari’s bid and his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2019 elections, the governors, especially, would have preferred for the status quo to remain with Oyegun steering the affairs of the APC for one extra year.

According to a source, “We had a reason for our decision at our February NEC meeting, the main one being that holding congresses and a convention at the state and national levels could lead to crises and divisions that we can ill-afford with the elections round the corner.

“Besides, the governors, particularly those seeking second terms, were already comfortable with the leadership of the party headed by Oyegun and were more confident of winning their primaries with him in control.

“But with Buhari’s sudden change of heart, everything has been thrown up in the air and that it is why the Tuesday NEC meeting was stormy after he raised his objection to the tenure elongation for Oyegun and others.”
The source also pointed out that Buhari’s insistence on the conduct of congresses and the convention stemmed from his desire to ensure that Tinubu is on his side in 2019 because of the latter’s control over Lagos.

He also pointed to the president’s acceptance to chair the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium slated to hold in Lagos Thursday and the two-day visit to the state as pointers on how keen Buhari is at ensuring that Tinubu delivers Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre in 2019.

“The president wants to ensure that the 2015 electoral map does not change in 2019. He is probably sure of winning most of the states in the South-west, but Lagos is the icing on the cake in terms of electoral value because of its population size.

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
EbonyLife Ltd, owners of Africa’s global TV network and producers of premium, original content, and Sony Pictures Television (SPT), Wednesday announced that they will co-develop three new exciting scripted television projects, with SPT set to distribute internationally.

The three-project deal, the first of its kind between SPT and a Nigerian production company, will also include a TV series inspired by the Dahomey Warriors, said a joint statement issued by EbonyLife and SPT.

According to the statement, the action packed series, inspired by true events that took place in the West African Kingdom of Dahomey, will tell the empowering story of the all-female warriors and show the ultimate strength of women coming together and fighting to protect and honor their people.

“Development on the Dahomey Warriors’ project will start immediately with further details of the two additional projects to follow,” said the statement.

Mo Abudu, Chief Executive Officer, EbonyLife, said: “Ever since our launch in June 2013, our vision has always been to change the narrative about Africa and to tell our stories from our perspective.

“We have invested in the creation of quality programming and the development of our people and their ideas. It is this ethos that has given us the opportunity to partner with a world-class organisation like Sony Pictures Television.

“Now we have the opportunity to bring the fascinating story of the Dahomey Warriors, and many others like it, to audiences around the world.

“It has been hard work getting here, but that’s what we are known for at EbonyLife. As I always say, ‘If you can think it, you can do it’.’’

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Royal Dutch Shell has filed a criminal complaint against its former Vice-President, sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Peter Robinson, in connection with a bribery allegation involving the sale of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42, a Nigerian onshore oilfield in 2011, to Neconde Energy Limited founded by Nigerian oil and gas magnate, Ernest Azudialu.

The case, however, is unrelated to the court case against the Anglo-Dutch company and Eni in Italy over the acquisition of a different Nigerian oil field – Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245, a Shell spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

Shell sold nine assets under its divestment programme – OMLs 4, 38, 41, 26, 29, 30, 34, 40 and 42 – between 2010 and 2015.

Neconde Energy paid $558 million to acquire a 45 per cent stake in OML 42 in February 2011 and was awarded operatorship of the asset by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2015.

Another local operator, Yinka Folawiyo Energy, has a participating stake in the 45 per cent equity interest held by Neconde in OML 42.

But Reuters quoted a Shell spokesman as saying Wednesday that the Anglo-Dutch multinational suspects that there was bribery in the transaction.

“Based on what we know now from an internal investigation, we suspect a crime may have been committed by our former employee … against Shell in relation to the sale process for Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42 in Nigeria,” the spokesman said.

“We have filed a criminal complaint with the Dutch authorities and are considering other steps we could take,” the unnamed spokesman added.

As part of the internal investigation carried out in recent months, Shell was said to have discovered that kickbacks may have been paid to a Seychelles-listed company owned by Robinson in the sale of OML 42.
The offshore company was allegedly linked to two Swiss bank accounts under his name.

OML 42 has seven fields that have produced hydrocarbons and five undeveloped discoveries.

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
In order to enhance quality of healthcare and improve the working conditions of medical personnel for effective service delivery, Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has unveiled plans to build three General Hospitals in the three Senatorial Districts of the state.

The governor gave the assurance when he received executive members of the Association of Resident Doctors with the Edo State Hospital Management Board (SHMB) at the Government House in Benin City.

Obaseki said, “This administration is aware of the challenges confronting the state healthcare system. We are working to resolve these challenges. We have held several meetings to see how to address the peculiar problems with the healthcare system in the state. We have records of medical personnel and state of facilities in the healthcare system in the state.”

Obaseki, however, appealed to the medical doctors to be patient and continue to support the reforms of the state government to revamp the health sector, noting, “The state government appreciates efforts of medical doctors. Government is working to establish one General Hospital per local government council across the state, while one super General Hospital will be sited in each Senatorial District for optimal performance.”

Noting that the state has made plans for a health insurance scheme, he said, “A Bill for a Law to set up the State Health Insurance Scheme is before the State House of Assembly. The bill is structured to make provision for affordable and accessible healthcare for people in the state.”

President, Association of Resident Doctors, Edo State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Karl Umakhine, said, “The visit is to enable us present the challenges confronting the health sector and to contribute to the solutions. It is not true that doctors in the state don’t report at their duty post. We work under difficult conditions but need to be motivated.”

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
James Emejo in Abuja The House of Representatives wednesday directed its Committee on Ethics and Privilege to investigate allegations that its members were allegedly given bribes to vote against the move to override President Muhammadu Buhari's veto of the Electoral Amendment Act. It urged the ethics committee to determine whether or not the privilege of [] 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja The Senate Wednesday passed the harmonised version of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which includes a five per cent fuel levy on consumers. The monies accrued from the levy would be deployed towards funding of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), which would also be funded from subventions, fees and other [] 
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