NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY’S PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [7 JULY, 2018].

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Killings: Though God is our insurance, we need special life cover MBelt clerics
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Disturbed by the incessant killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt, including death of priests and worshippers in recent times, some Christian clerics have asked for special insurance against harm and death for them and other church workers.

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A cross-section of Christian clerics, including heads of church bodies and units in the region, in separate interviews with Saturday PUNCH, said although their insurance was from God, they still needed life insurance because God would not come down from heaven to help them.
According to them, the special insurance package was necessary considering the level of insecurity in the region and risks they face as clerics.

For instance, Presbyter of Methodist Church Nigeria, Makurdi Circuit, Benue State, Very Reverend Ochoche John-Friday, said with the incessant killings and attacks on churches by suspected Fulani herdsmen/militias, it had become imperative for church authorities to provide life insurance covers for their pastors.

“God has called us to do his work and we are convinced that as Methodist ministers, God is doing everything to ensure that our lives, family members and property are safe. We know God is our insurance, but the church needs to insure us, particularly now because of the killings by herdsmen in our state.

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“Day after day, people are being killed; and worst of all, the Federal Government that is supposed to ensure the safety of lives and property of its citizenry, is doing little or nothing at all to bring these killings under control,” he said.

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John-Friday noted that attacks by suspected herdsmen had affected the church and the well-being of the people in the state. He said two branches of Methodist Church Nigeria in Asagbande and Usambe in Gwer West Local Government Area of the state had since been abandoned because the entire communities had been displaced following attacks by suspected herdsmen.

He added that the residents had subsequently taken refuge in an unofficial camp at Industrial Layout in Makurdi.

“How can we not appeal for insurance package? Just recently in Osun State, a Methodist minister in company with three church members was kidnapped while returning from a church programme. This is giving us a lot of concerns,” he added.

Suspected Fulani herdsmen had in April unleashed terror on Ayar Mbalom community in the Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, killing 19 Catholic faithful, including two Reverend Fathers, who had gone for morning mass.

In May, gunmen suspected to be herdsmen also stormed Secret Heart Minor Seminary in Jalingo, Taraba State capital, shooting a priest and destroying valuables reportedly worth millions of naira. The priest survived but the incident led to the closure of the school for one week.

Similarly, the cleric in charge of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Minna, Rev. Bembem Ayami, made case for insurance cover for all missionaries in the state, noting that, “Even as we believe that God cares for us and protects us, insurance is vital in our churches, especially for those of us in the Middle Belt.”

Also, a Senior Pastor of the Evangelical Church Winning All, formerly known as Evangelical Church of West Africa, Rev. Philip D. Weishe, said there was now a need for church authorities to discuss and come up with a concrete plan to provide life insurance for workers and pastors in the Middle Belt so that they could carry out their activities without problem.

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Saraki: CSOs, PDP, Atiku, Emir of Ilorin, others hail SCourt judgment
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
An alliance of over 20 Civil Society Organisations, the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, among others, on Friday hailed the Supreme Court judgment which put to rest the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki on false assets declaration and sundry charges instituted against him before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in 2015.

They described the apex court ruling as a triumph of justice and a pointer to the neutrality of the judiciary in the country.

The Federal Government had commenced the criminal proceedings against Saraki in September 2015, accusing him of failing to declare some of his assets in Lagos and Abuja despite having acquired them before he became the governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

He was also said – among other things – to have made anticipatory declarations in one of the assets declaration forms he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau while being the Kwara State governor.

The prosecution, led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), alleged that the various offences flouted the Code of Conduct for Public Officer as provided for in the Nigerian Constitution and the Code of Conduct/Tribunal Act.

But Saraki had filed a no-case submission, urging the Danladi Umar-led CCT to dismiss the case and should not call on him to defend the case as the prosecution failed to provide credible evidence linking him to the alleged offences.

The CCT, in its ruling delivered in June 2017, agreed with Saraki’s legal team, led by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), by dismissing the entire 18 counts preferred against the Senate President.

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However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja, ruling on December 12, 2017 in an appeal filed by the Federal Government against the decision of the CCT, restored three out of the dismissed 18 counts and ordered Saraki to return to the CCT to defend the three charges.

While Saraki had appealed to the Supreme Court against the part of the Court of Appeal’s decision restoring three of the 18 counts, the Federal Government had cross-appealed against the part of the decision affirming the tribunal’s dismissal of the rest of the 15 counts.

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Coach of Thai boys trapped in cave offers apology to parents
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
The coach of a youth football team trapped for two weeks in a flooded Thai cave has sent his apologies to their parents in a scrawled note handed to divers, as officials Saturday appeared to rule out an immediate rescue. With fresh monsoon rains forecast to arrive within a day and fears mounting over the []
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Thailand: Over 100 chimneys drilled into mountain in bid to reach trapped boys
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
More than 100 chimneys are being drilled into the mountainside in a frantic bid to reach a Thai youth football team trapped in a cave complex below, the head of the rescue mission said Saturday. The unprecedented rescue effort is attempting to establish new ways to extract the boys from above, if the underground chambers []
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England target World Cup semis after Belgium stun Brazil
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
England will bid to end their 28-year wait to reach a World Cup semi-final when they face Sweden on Saturday after Brazil were dumped out in the last eight by Belgium. Gareth Southgates young side face the Scandinavians in Samara with a place in the last four against either Croatia or hosts Russia up for []
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NAPTIP rescues 13,005 human trafficking victims
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Alexander Okere, Benin The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons on Friday said that it had rescued 13,005 victims of human trafficking in Nigeria. It also said that Nigeria was winning the war against human trafficking cartels. The Director-General of the agency, Mrs. Julie Okah-Donli made this known during an interview with []
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Police arrest five for killing Imo APC chieftain
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri The operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the Imo State Police Command have arrested the alleged killers of an All Progressives Congress chieftain in the state, Amos Akano. Akano, who was abducted before the just concluded APC national convention, was found dead days after. Southern City News learnt on Friday []
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Kidnappers free Imo activist after N7m ransom
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Chidiebube Okeoma,Owerri A popular Imo State based pro-democracy activist, Paulcy Iwuala, has regained his freedom after spending 14 days in kidnappers den . Southern City News learnt on Friday that he was dropped off at Atta in the Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State by the kidnappers in the early hours of Tuesday. According []
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My wedding NightWith Biyi Samuel
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
How long have you been married’ Ive been married for 12 years now. How did your marriage happen, did you plan for it or it just happened’ You know sometimes you might say you want to get married at a particular time or you want to get your first car at a certain age. Sometimes []
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Illegal migration has reduced in C River borders, says Immigration
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Mudiaga Affe, Calabar The Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Service in Cross River State, Mr. Felix Uche, has said that illegal migration by migrants in and out of the state, to and from neighbouring countries has reduced drastically. Uche disclosed this at the commands headquarters in Calabar during the passing-out-parade of 84 newly recruited personnel of []
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Human trafficking: British envoy hails conviction of UK-based nurse
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Alexander Okere, Benin The Deputy British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, has hailed the sentencing of a UK-based nurse, Josephine Iyamu, by the Birmingham Crown Court for human trafficking. Thompson stated this shortly after the inauguration of the Joint Border Task Force office in collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons []
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FMBN has created N80bn mortgages since inception ‘ Dangiwa
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi The Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, says the lender has created more than N80bn mortgages since inception. Dangiwa stated this during the tour of Sedona Housing Estate in Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos, which was financed by the FMBN and developed by Sedona Business Consults, an Abuja-based firm. The figure []
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AfDB to invest $12bn in Nigeria’s energy, others
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Feyisayo Popoola The African Development Bank has revealed plans to invest $12bn in Nigeria’s energy programme and other African countries. A statement by the bank quoted the President, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, as saying this, adding that there was a need to act speedily to accelerate the plans to light up and power Africa. He spoke []
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Unemployment rate dropped by 1.1% in Q1 ‘ NBS
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Feyisayo Popoola Unemployment in the country reduced by 1.1 per cent in the first three months of this year, data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday showed. According to the statistical bulletin on formal employment and earnings for the first quarter of 2018, the average formal employment increased from 48,192 in the []
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Ambode advises directors on decision-making
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Nike Popoola Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has urged senior officers in the state public service to make good decisions and implement policies for the benefit of the state. The governor said this during a training for director-level officers tagged, ‘High impact decision-making programme for directors in the Lagos State Public Service’ in Lagos. Ambode, []
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Manufacturing sector still sick, say experts
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Anna Okon An economist at the University of Uyo, Prof Leo Ukpong, and the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Muda Yusuf, have expressed worries over the zero per cent growth rate of the manufacturing sector. According to the executive summary of the 2017 economic review released by the Manufacturers Association []
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Trigger-happy cop dismissed, arraigned on killing corps member
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja A policeman, Inspector Benjamin Peters, who killed a member of the National Youth Service Corps, Angela Igwetu, in Abuja on Wednesday, has been dismissed from the force and arraigned. The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Sadiq Bello, told journalists in Abuja on Friday that the errant cop []
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Midwife gets N50,000 bail for selling newborn baby for N250,000
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Afeez Hanafi A Lagos Magistrates Court sitting in Ikeja has granted a quack midwife, Regina Ibeto, bail in the sum of N50,000 following her arraignment for selling a newly born baby. Ibeto, 50, was arraigned alongside three others, Joy James, Gold Chukwunonye and Nkiru Ekezie, on two counts of child stealing. It was gathered that []
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SARS operatives torture womans only child to death over phone
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Afeez Hanafi A Kano-based single mother will live with an irreparable loss for the rest of her life after some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Kaduna State allegedly tortured her only child to death. The victim, 21-year-old Richard Gora, was a 200 level Architecture student at Kaduna State University and lived with his []
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Civil servant jailed for employing daughter
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja A Delta State High Court sitting in Ozoro, has sentenced a former Education Secretary of Bomadi Local Government Education Authority, Mr. Abayomi Kelekumor, to five years imprisonment for employing his daughter, Miss Preye Tom, into the service of the organisation. Kelekumor was arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences []
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Supreme Court affirms death penalty imposed on three Bakassi Boys
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the death penalty imposed on three members of Bakassi Boys vigilante group in 2006. The High Court of Abia State had in February 26, 2006 sentenced the three men to death for the murder of two persons which they were said to have apprehended for an []
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Police launch probe over arrest of fake recruiter in Edo
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Alexander Okere, Benin The Edo State Police Command said it had launched an investigation into the activities of a Business Administration graduate identified as Benjamin Chukwurah, who was accused of operating a fake recruitment agency. Chukwurah had been arrested by police operatives in Benin after the state government raised the alarm over his alleged fraudulent []
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Barber who set self ablaze on Lagos road dies
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Afeez Hanafi A barber has taken his own life after setting himself ablaze on a road leading to Omole Estate, near Akiode Bus Stop, Lagos. He died while he was receiving treatment at a hospital. The barber had reportedly emerged on the road around 4:30pm on Wednesday holding a five-litre jerrycan of petrol. READ ALSO:More []
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Macrons visit would have made Fela very happy Yeni Kuti
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Ademola Olonilua and Timileyin Akinkahunsi The New Afrika Shrine recently played host to the French President Emmanuel Macron, and during his visit, he was treated to undiluted African hospitality. While speaking to Saturday Beats during the week about France number one citizens visit, Yeni Kuti described how Fela would have felt if he was alive []
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Nigerian celebrities not doing enough to stop killings Blackface
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Ademola Olonilua and Timileyin Akinkahunsi Popular singer, Blackface, is currently unhappy about the spate of killings around the country. Sadly, his state, Benue, seems to be one of the worst hit by suspected killer herdsmen. In a chat with Saturday Beats, he said that the killings around the country would have reduced if only Nigerian []
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How my sons kidnapper was caught Omoawori
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Ademola Olonilua and Timileyin Akinkahunsi During the week, fast rising singer, Abayomi Isiba fondly called Omoawori, survived a scare that would leave any parent jittery for a long while. The singers infant was almost kidnapped at a crche in Abesan Estate, Ipaja, Lagos, while he was busy shooting the visuals of one of his songs. []
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Dapo releases Necessary visuals
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Ademola Olonilua and Timileyin Akinkahunsi When Dapo said he was going to shake the music industry in Nigeria with his incredible talent, the young man wasnt mincing words as he has just released the powerful visuals of his hit single, Necessary. Dapo, the young X3M music newest kid on the block, is a product of []
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Were tough to beat, Sweden coach warns England
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Sweden coach Janne Andersson said his side were easy to analyse but very difficult to beat ahead of Saturdays World Cup quarter-final against England in Samara. Sweden are attempting to reach a first semi-final since 1994, when they were beaten 1-0 in the last four by eventual champions Brazil. They saw off the Netherlands in []
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Man United face Leicester in EPL kickoff on August 10
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
The clash between Manchester United and Leicester City will now be the opening match of the 2018/19 Premier League season as television demands forced the organisers to hold the encounter on August 10, AFP reports. Uniteds neighbours and reigning champions Manchester City will have to wait until Sunday for their first outing when they travel []
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Serena reaches Wimbledon fourth round
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Serena Williams passed her first proper test with style by beating Frances Kristina Mladenovic to reach the Wimbledon fourth round, BBC Sport reports The 23-time Grand Slam champion, on a comeback after giving birth, went a break down against the former top-10 player but won 7-5 7-6 (7-2). While the womens seeds have been tumbling []
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Kempes joins Maradona in offering to coach Argentina
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Hot on the heels of Diego Maradona, another Arentine World Cup winner has thrown his hat into the ring to become the next national team coach. Jorge Sampaoli may still be resisting pressure to resign after Argentinas World Cup debacle and last 16 elimination against France in Russia, but now Mario Kempes has said he []
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FIFA warns Subasic over tribute to dead friend
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was issued a warning by FIFA after his teams World Cup victory over Denmark for revealing a T-shirt with a message honouring a former teammate who died a decade ago from injuries suffered during a match. Subasic, 33, saved three penalties in Sundays round-of-16 shootout win in Nizhny Novgorod, and afterward []
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Russia try to keep dream alive after miracle win
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Russia will try to keep their unlikely dream alive on Saturday when the host nation face Croatia in their first World Cup quarter-final since 1970. It has been an enchanted summer for the worlds largest nation as it hosts the biggest event in sport. Russias once-hapless team have suddenly turned into giantslayers who dispatched 2010 []
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France beat Uruguay 2-0 to reach semi-finals
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
France became the first team to reach the World Cup semi-finals as goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann gave them a deserved 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Friday. It is the first time France have been in the last four since 2006 and sets up a mouth-watering clash against either Belgium or Brazil, who []
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Belgium stun Brazil to reach semis
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Belgium produced a brilliant performance to knock five-time winners Brazil out of the World Cup and reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1986. Roberto Martinezs side turned on the style in Kazan to clock up their fifth straight win of the tournament and ensure the semi-finals will be contested by four European sides []
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Uruguays Tabarez admits France deserved victory
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
A disappointed Oscar Tabarez conceded that his Uruguay side were second best in their World Cup quarter-final loss to France on Friday, which saw the European side progress to the last four. The veteran coach, who has been in charge of Uruguay for 12 years in his second spell as national coach, also refused to []
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England must cash in on opportunity Southgate
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Manager Gareth Southgate says England might not have this opportunity again as he plots a way past Sweden in the quarter-finals to a first World Cup semi-final appearance in three decades. Southgate told the BBC on Thursday his team of youngsters led by Golden Boot contender Harry Kane must make the most of the way []
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Martinez hails Belgium heroes
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said his side deserve to be heroes back home after downing five-time champions Brazil on Friday to set up a World Cup semi-final clash against France. The Red Devils tore Brazil apart on the counter-attack in the first half, before hanging on in the second to close out a famous 2-1 []
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Sweden vs England: Wedding guests face tough choice
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
World Cup fever in England will not extend to weddings round the country on Saturday with those tempted to glance at their mobile phones during the match with Sweden facing a red card. Englands first World Cup quarter-final in 12 years, following their nerve-wracking penalty shootout victory over Colombia, takes place when many weddings or []
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Akanji: A rising star lost to Europe
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Festus Abu, Saint Petersburg Manuel Akanji is still earning rave reviews for his slick movement and robust playing style despite crashing out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia with Switzerland. The young Switzerland centre-back also added another dimension to defending with his marauding runs down the right flank. He is 6ft1in but he turned []
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I need help; this load is too much for me Father of triplets cries out
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Eric Dumo Meeting him for the first time, you could think he is in his mid 40s. Eyes sunk deep into their sockets, jaw ruffled by beards and head fast losing the hair on it, there are many reasons to think in this manner. But despite these features, Sunday Asogba is only 35. A native []
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Jonathan mourns Ciroma as PDP plans to immortalise him
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja Former President Goodluck Jonathan has lamented the death of Mallam Adamu Ciroma, who died on Thursday at the age of 84. Jonathan described the late former Minister of Finance and governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as a patriot who played historic roles in the countrys development. In a condolence message []
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Protect yourselves and shun cow meat, Dokubo- Asari tells Middle-Belt residents
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Friday Olokor, Jos Following the series of killings by suspected herdsmen in the Middle Belt region, the founder of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, has called on the people of the region to protect themselves against attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen. He said even though the people of Plateau, Benue, Kogi, []
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Primary Health Care: Sani commends NPHCDA
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has praised the leadership of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency for the construction and handing over of the Model Primary Health Care Centres. He said they were of high standards and excellence, especially in the under-served communities in Kwara State. []
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Mobile verification for all drugs not possible now NAFDAC
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says mobile authentication of all drugs is not possible for now. The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, said this in a statement on Friday. The statement was in response to a call by the House of Representatives, that the Consumer Protection []
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Disgruntled politicians sponsoring violence in several states Buhari
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday promised to wield the big stick against some unnamed politicians who he alleged were behind the violence rocking parts of the country. He said such politicians would be fished out and dealt with accordingly. According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the []
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Fashola urges youths to contribute to national development
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Eric Dumo The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has called on youths across the country to support ongoing efforts by the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari at developing the society. Speaking at an event organised in commemoration of his 55th birthday in Lagos, the former governor of the state urged young []
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Lagos explosion: FG reviews operations of tanker drivers
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The Federal Government on Friday said it had commenced a review of the operations of tanker drivers nationwide, following the tragedy that struck at the Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, after a petrol-laden tanker crashed and exploded last Thursday. According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, []
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Suswam arraigned for illegal possession of firearms, money laundering, gets N500m bail
Sat, 07 Jul 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, on Friday, arraigned a former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, on three fresh charges of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering. Suswam, who was produced from the custody of the Department of State Services, pleaded not guilty []
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