NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY’S GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [23 JULY, 2018].

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2019 polls under threat from National Assembly, presidency rift
Mon, 23 Jul 2018

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The renewed face-off between President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly over who calls the shot on budget matters could jeopardise the conduct of next year’s general elections. Specifically, legislative approval of budget proposals for the conduct of next year’s election by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) is uncertain.

A member of the Senate Appropriation Committee and Chairman of its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South), queried the president’s motive.

The executive cannot, at this time, ask that money for key capital projects be converted for elections, he said. “That is not planning. Since we held the last poll, the next election time had been fixed. Since we did the last election, we already knew when we must do the next election, as the Electoral Act stipulates. We already knew that a new government would be inaugurated on May 29, 2019.”

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One of the three Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators from Bayelsa State, on condition of anonymity, said: “I don’t want to comment on it. Everybody knows that there would be general elections in 2019 and yet they failed to make provisions for the elections in the 2018 budget. Why did they not make provision for it then? I believe they are up to something. But we are watching very closely. For now, I will not want to talk about it.”

In a separate interview, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Mathew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), pointed out that the president does not have the final say on budget matters.

According to him, though Buhari has the constitutional right to request for it, the National Assembly must consider where the virement would be done before giving its approval. “If there is going to be contention over the appropriateness of having to move something that is very important to another one that the president considers more important, there is going to be a clash,” he said.

Another senator, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the South West, said: “There must be other ways to fund the elections than reducing what the National Assembly budgeted for projects. We all know the importance of those projects. Most are infrastructural in nature and spending on them will create employment and enhance the growth of our economy.”

In the proposal submitted to them last week, the president had asked the lawmakers to divert part of the N578 billion for constituency projects they ‘inserted’ into the 2018 budget into funds for the polls.

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Media chiefs condemn Nigerian Press Council Bill 2018
Mon, 23 Jul 2018

Media chiefs have condemned the Nigerian Press Council Bill 2018, describing it as unconstitutional and draconian.

They made this known in a statement signed by President, Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria/President Nigerian Press Organisation, Nduka Obaigbena.

Following a meeting on the matter by the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), comprising the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigeria Guild of Editors and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), as well as other media stakeholders on Thursday, July 19, 2018, they resolved:

The proposed bill is unconstitutional as it runs against the principles and tenets of the rule of law and is actually subjudice given that a case on the subject matter is still pending in the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, in view of which the bill should not have been drafted in the first instance.

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The bill is, for all intents and purposes, draconian and anti-press freedom being an amalgamation of the obnoxious Public Officers Protection Against False accusation Decree No. 4 of 1984 and the Newspapers Registration Decree 43 of 1993, both vestiges of the dark days of military rule and therefore incurably and irreparably bad, being also inconsistent with values of our democratic society.

The bill seeks to criminalise journalism practise despite the fact the laws of the country already have enough provisions and avenues for seeking legal redress.

The bill smacks of an attempt at undue interference in the operations of the media in Nigeria as businesses registered under the relevant laws of the federation.

The bill seeks for a The Nigeria Press Council to usurp the powers of the courts by assuming extra-judicial powers.

The bill seeks to incapacitate the media in the exercise of the duties and obligations imposed on it by section 22 of the constitution to monitor governance and hold government accountable to the people. The section states as follows: “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.”

The bill violates the provisions of section 39 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) sections 1 and 2 of which state as follows: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference; without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions.”

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At the same time it also violates Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act) No. 2 of 1983 to which Nigeria is a signatory and which is now part of the country’s laws.

They therefore demanded: The bill should be dropped forthwith until the determination of a similar case in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

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Discord in APC over direct primary
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
The resolution by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to introduce direct primary elections for selecting the party’s standard…
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Listing of N10.7b green bond may woo huge Diaspora funds
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
Beside the provision of liquidity, the capital operators have projected an attraction for the untapped Diaspora funds thatseem to be left out in the nation’s developmental projects,through the listing ofN10.69 billion Sovereign Green Bond on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The development, according to the experts, portends a renewed optimism that will help in developing []
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Keep enterprising spirit alive, Buhari tells Jos market victims
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged victims of the fire incident in Jos Terminus market in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State to move beyond their losses, by keeping their enterprising spirit alive.
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Osinbajo, Kasali harp on girls’ education to eradicate poverty
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, and founder, Diamond Lights Women Empowerment Initiatives, Mrs. Adefunke Kasali, have said educating girls is one of the best approaches…
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Lagos lawmaker canvases improved welfare for police
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
Lawmaker representing Lagos East zone, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, has called on officers of the Nigerian Police Force to cooperate with the new chairman, Nigerian Police Service Commission…
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High fruit, vegetable consumption may reduce risk of breast cancer
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
Women who eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables each day may have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially of aggressive tumors, than those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables…
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Black Stallions open camp for Niger Republic friendly August 1
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) has announced that the seniormen’s national team, Black Stallions will open camp on August 1 to prepare for a friendly game withNiger Republic on August 11. The camp will feature30 players.
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Stakeholders urge housing regulation, masterplan
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
Fresh impetus was added recently to the drive to enhance sustainability in Nigeria’s housing and mortgage markets, with stakeholders agitating for housing masterplan for each city in the country.
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CAF expects Amaju Pinnick’s innovations to lift African football
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) expects president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Melvin Amaju Pinnick, to introduce innovations that would place the body…
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Budget processes must be realistic to succeed, says ANAN
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
Except a collaboration between the government and the the nation’s lawmakers evolve practical processes that will end the recurring delays and improve the appropriation of funds…
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