NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [5th April, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Thursday, 5th April, 2018.

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
After a flurry of meetings spanning over 24 hours, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Wednesday finally caved in to President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of the tenure elongation approved for the elected and appointed executives of the party at all levels, and resolved to go ahead with congresses and a convention for the election of new party executives

Following the resolution reached by various stakeholders of the party on the tenure elongation, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as well as executives at the state and local government levels will be expected to step down on June 13.

By siding with Buhari on the issue, it means that the National Leader of the APC, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who had pushed for Oyegun’s ouster, has gotten his way.

At a meeting held Wednesday between some governors of the APC and members of the NWC, the party agreed that it would adhere to Buhari’s advisory to drop the one-year extension granted to the executives at the February meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC.

The decision was a follow up to the meeting five governors of the party had with Buhari at the State House, Abuja Wednesday, where it was agreed to hold the congresses and convention of the APC to pave the way for the election of new executives.

It was also agreed at the meeting with the NWC that the job of the technical committee set up by the party leadership on Tuesday to review the tenure elongation issue was a mere formality.

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However, the committee headed by the Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong was asked to go ahead and conclude its assignment including a position paper that will be presented to the party’s next NEC meeting scheduled for Monday.
Addressing reporters at the end of a four-hour meeting with the governors, Oyegun said all issues relating to the disagreement over tenure elongation had been resolved.

“Today, the governors and the National Working Committee of the party decided to sit and look at the issues that are seemingly dividing us. I want to say to you with absolute satisfaction and pride that all the issues you have been commenting about in the last two days have been completely and totally resolved,” he said.

Oyegun, who was flanked by Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Abubakar Badau of Jigawa State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Jubril Bindow of Adamawa State, Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, however, appeared to contradict the governors when in one breath he said that with the resolution of the issue, APC was now “back tougher as one big family”, but in another breath added that the technical committee headed by Lalong would take a decision on the tenure elongation quagmire and present its recommendations to NEC on Monday.

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
The reconstituted Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rose from its first meeting this year and retained key monetary policy rates, keeping the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 per cent, Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30.0 per cent, and the asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

The committee also observed the increasing monetisation of oil proceeds as evident in the recent growing Federation Account allocations to the three tiers of government, relative to disbursements in 2017, and urged the fiscal authorities to initiate strong stabilisation programmes and freeze the growth in its aggregate expenditure and FAAC distributions in order to create savings.

This, the committee said, was needed to stabilise the economy against future oil price-related shocks.
Briefing journalists at the end of the MPC meeting in Abuja Wednesday, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said in reaching its decision to retain the rates, the committee appraised the potential policy options in terms of the balance of risks.

“The committee also took note of the gains made so far as a result of its earlier decisions, including the stability of the foreign exchange market, the moderation in inflation rate as well as the restoration of economic growth.

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“The committee was, however, concerned about the fiscal distortions associated with absence of buoyancy between GDP growth and tax revenue, and urged the fiscal authorities to deploy appropriate corrective measures to address this phenomenon.

“The committee was of the view that further tightening would strengthen the impact of monetary policy on inflation with complementary positive effects on capital flows and exchange rate stability. Nevertheless, it could potentially dampen the positive outlook for growth and financial stability,” Emefiele said.

However, the committee, he added, was of the view that loosening would strengthen the outlook for growth by stimulating domestic aggregate demand through reduced cost of borrowing. This may, however, lead to a rise in consumer prices, generating exchange rate pressures on the currency in the process.

“The committee also believes that loosening could worsen the current account balance through increased importation. On the argument to hold, the committee believes that key macroeconomic variables have continued to evolve in a positive direction in line with the current stance of macroeconomic policy and should be allowed more time to fully manifest.

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
United States Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington and his UK counterpart Ambassador Paul Arkwright have paid separate visits to the Chairman of Forte Oil Plc, Mr. Femi Otedola, during which the parties held discussions on the Nigerian economy and the role of businesses in the country in exploring partnerships with international businesses to create more job opportunities for Nigerian youths.

At the breakfast meeting with Otedola at his Ikoyi, Lagos residence, the U.S. ambassador commended the Nigerian energy magnate for his continuing investments in the country and for being a role model for other indigenous entrepreneurs.

The American envoy drew Otedola’s attention to Nigeria’s growing population, noting that the private sector has a critical role to play in creating opportunities for youths to be gainfully employed and in nation building.
This, Symington added, would help to address poverty in the country and rising insecurity due to the high rate of unemployment.

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He encouraged Otedola to explore partnerships with U.S. companies interested in investing in solar power projects and exports.

Responding, Otedola, who in addition to being the majority shareholder in Forte Oil, is also an investor in the Geregu power plant in Ajaokuta, Kogi State and is expanding into solar power, thanked the U.S. ambassador for the visit and expressed his commitment to working with international businesses to expand his footprint in the country.

“Nigerians are very entrepreneurial and would latch on to any opportunity to start and grow a business. The problem, however, has been access to cheap and long-term capital which remains an impediment.

“That is where we would like the U.S. to come in by encouraging private equity firms, venture capitalists and using U.S. export guarantees, among others, to support Nigerian businesses to become competitive and make good returns on their investments,” he said.

He reminded Symington that despite the political and economic risks in the country, Nigeria remains one of the few countries in the world where the returns on investment are still high due to the infrastructure and technological gaps, making foreign investment a worthwhile venture.

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari has given approval for the release of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fight the rising spate of insecurity across the country.

The Minister of Defence, Col. Mansur Dan-Ali, who made the disclosure after a meeting of the president with security chiefs at the State House, Abuja Wednesday, told journalists that the president recently approved the use of the money for the purchase of military equipment.

“What I can add, after all that I have said, is to inform you that of recent, President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth $1 billion,” he said.

The minister, who stressed that the money had earlier been approved by governors, described Wednesday’s meeting as “a normal meeting of the security agencies in the country”, adding: “We discussed current activities that affect most of the states in the federation like Taraba, Zamfara and other states.”

At the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in December last year, the federal government was given the nod to withdraw $1 billion from the $2.31 billion left in the ECA to fight the insurgency in the North-east.

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The NEC decision, however, led to criticism from both the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some of the governors, notably Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose at the time.

The National Assembly also joined the fray, saying it must be consulted before the withdrawal could be made.
Since then, nothing was heard of the money until the defence minister disclosed Wednesday that the president recently gave the approval for its use.

Dan-Ali was also silent on if the state Houses of Assemblies had given the federal government the green light to withdraw the funds from the ECA, even after the governors had given the approval at the NEC meeting for the $1 billion to be taken from the account.

Given that the funds in the ECA belong to the three tiers of government, the 36 state Houses of Assembly are required to give the federal government the go ahead to withdraw funds meant for projects for the federation. 

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
Whistle-blower says firm directed AggregateIQ to target voters with Islamophobic video in 2015 Cambridge Analytica sought to influence the Nigerian presidential election in 2015 by using graphically violent imagery to portray a candidate as a supporter of Sharia law who would brutally suppress dissenters and negotiate with militant Islamists, a video passed to British MPs [] 

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
Says APC having pre-election trauma Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded that the presidency immediately make public all issues relating to the private visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the United Kingdom. The party, which queried the presidency for always shrouding issues around the president in secrecy, pointedly demanded a [] 

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
Wole Ayodele in Jalingo Four members of a family were wednesday killed by herdsmen at Mbiya village in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State. The attack, which occurred in the early hours of yesterday, left the entire village razed down by the herdsmen. Confirming the incident to journalists in a telephone interview, the Chairman [] 

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Thu, 05 Apr 2018
The planned closure of the Marine Bridge and Wharf Road in Apapa, Lagos, concurrently from next week will spell doom for the country's seaports. Dangote A.S. recently announced plans to close both sides of the Wharf Road inward and outward Apapa while the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing also announced plans to shut [] 

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
Ejiofor Alike with agency reports Crude oil production by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell in March to an 11-month low as a result of declining Angolan exports, Libyan outages and a further slide in Venezuelan output, thus increasing compliance with a supply-cutting deal by the oil producers to another record. OPEC pumped [] 

Thu, 05 Apr 2018
Two soldiers were reported killed wednesday killed in a gun battle with bandits in a village in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State. The soldiers lost their lives in a fierce shoot-out between them and the bandits, Premium Times learnt. The Chairman of Anka Local Government Area, Mustapha Gado, who confirmed the death of [] 

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