Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Friday, 18 May, 2018.

Fri, 18 May 2018
The National Economic Council (NEC) has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other agencies in the country to refund unremitted revenues in the sum of N8trillion (about $21billion) and another N526billion into the Federation Account.

The council, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, consists of governors of the 36 states of the federation, minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and minister of finance.

The directive came yesterday, following the adoption of a report by auditing firm, KPMG.

Recall that following suspected cases of revenue leakages, NEC in August 2015 had constituted an ad-hoc committee to audit some government agencies allegedly remitting dollar revenue in naira into the national treasury.

The committee was initially chaired by former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who handed over to Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe.

Briefing State House correspondents after yesterday’s meeting, Dankwambo said the presentations and reports by KPMG and recommendations resolved to identify instances where there appeared to have been criminal infringements, and forward the same to the attorney general of the federation and the legal committee of NEC for further action.

He said council also resolved to pursue measures that would strengthen NNPC’s governance structure, to prevent recurrence of gross under remittance by the revenue generating agencies.

According to Dankwambo, after receiving the report, Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun recommended that the agencies refund the money to government’s coffers.

Dankwambo said the organisations audited included the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Ports Authority and Nigeria Customs Service.

He was joined by the governor of Zamfara State and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Abdul’ Aziz Yari; Governor of Osun State Rauf Aregbesola; and Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma.

Dankwambo said: “We are talking about Federation Account because those that paid by law to the Federal Government are the responsibility of the Federal Government. So, all the entities in the budget that are supposed to pay revenues into government’s coffers were checked from 2010 to June 2015. One of the resolutions of NEC, today, is to extend the audit to June 2017. So, the audit will continue for the remaining agencies. These are NNPC, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR), Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Services and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). All the revenue generating agencies and the details of the infringement are contained in the report.

“The most important decision that was taken is that a sub-committee will be set up, which will be an arm of the legal committee of NEC that will look into the details of these kinds of infringements and make sure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution would be handled by the office of the attorney general of the federation.

Fri, 18 May 2018
Nigeria will get its first nuclear energy plant by the mid 2020s.

The President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (Nigatom), Simon Pesco Mallam, made the disclosure at the just-concluded 2018 AtomExpo in Sochi, Russia.

Mallam told The Guardian exclusively: “We have a roadmap and that is by the mid 2020s. We hope we can get a commercial plant and add three more in five to 10 years.”

As to whether Nigeria would be partnering with Russia or not, he said: “We have a good agreement with Russia, but we have not signed any contractual agreements yet. We have signed operational agreements, project development agreements, but not any commercial contractual agreements.”

On when the deal could become reality, he said: “I can’t give a particular time, so you don’t come back and say I promised you so and so date. But just know that it is in the works, and in a few years, we will all see the results.”

Mallam refuted reports that Nigeria had signed multi-billion dollar agreements. “Some newspapers (not The Guardian) have been claiming that we signed a $20 billion contract with Russia. But I want to tell you categorically that this is not true. We have only cooperation agreement with Russia, and we are hoping that if all works well, we would develop the infrastructure and eventually sign a contractual agreement with them. But we are not closing our doors to other partners that may be interested and are ready to work with them. If we work with Russia, fine. But if we need to work with others, we are fine with that as well,” he said.

Mallam’s rebuttal was of the story that Nigeria in October 2017 signed a deal with Russia for the construction of two nuclear power plants. It claimed: Nigeria began talks with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom, in April 2015 to collaborate on design, construction and operation of four nuclear power plants by 2035, the first of which will be in operation by 2025. In June 2015, Nigeria selected two sites for the planned construction of the nuclear plants. Neither the Nigerian government nor Rosatom would disclose the specific locations of the sites, but it is believed that the plants would be sited in the states of Akwa Ibom and Kogi.

Fri, 18 May 2018
The Rise Fund, a global impact investing fund managed by growth equity platform TPG Growth, has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a stake in Cellulant, a leading digital payments provider that reaches 40 million people across 11 African countries. 

Fri, 18 May 2018
Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has advised universities to develop a comprehensive IP policy in order to strengthen... 

Fri, 18 May 2018
U.S. based laExpose' Production Inc., a non-profit organization that empowers under-appreciated individuals with crucial impacts in their society is seeking nominations for the 2018 edition of Extraordinary People Awards (EPA). 

Fri, 18 May 2018
Rack Centre, Africa's premium data centre provider has won two awards at the 2018 Beacon of ICT Awards. It won the 'ICT Infrastructure Provider of the Year' and ICT Infrastructure Provider of the Year (Data Centre)'. 

Fri, 18 May 2018
Researchers have learned that precursor cells for skeletal muscles actually also give rise to neurons, blood vessels, blood cells and immune cells, pushing science one step closer to generating body parts in a laboratory. 

Fri, 18 May 2018
Jerusalem is now the capital of Israel. Yay! Echoed by some people around the world and boos! From some. Is Palestine a Muslim enclave' Only two per cent of Israelis are Christians about 172,000. 

Fri, 18 May 2018
A report the other day by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation that Nigeria and other countries in Africa are losing about $2 billion annually via brain drain in the health sector is another badge of dishonour for a continent that has constantly been a symbol of shame and suffering. 

Fri, 18 May 2018
One of the issues that have recently dominated national discourse is the need for a generational power shift to the youth in Nigeria 2019 or beyond. Nigerian youth in the vanguard of this campaign believed... 
Naija Newspapers
Naija Newspapers

Naija Newspaper is a digital media distribution and review company focused on delivering Nigerian news across Nigerian audience. We are the biggest newspaper review company online; our value proposition is to be the all-in-one station for daily newspapers distributed in the country to various online audience. Our partnership includes and is not limited by the following Punch newspaper, Thisday online, Daily Sun Newspaper, Nigeria Tribune, BusinessDay, Leadershjip, Blue Print, Nigeria Guardian and Vanguard newspapers.