NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY’S PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [16 AUGUST, 2018].

2019: Saraki mulls presidential bid, promises change
Thu, 16 Aug 2018

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said that he is considering contesting the 2019 presidential election, adding that he believes he can “make the change.”

Saraki, who stated this in an interview with Bloomberg, expressed concerns about the invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services.

Bloomberg quoted the Senate President as saying, “I am consulting and actively considering it …I believe I can make the change.”

Saraki, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party, said all Nigerians should be concerned about the invasion of the National Assembly.

He stated, “If a government can go and lock up an arm of government -and it’s never happened in our history – we should all be very concerned,” Saraki said.

The Senate President said that he would not be surprised if the government used security agencies for elections.”

According to Saraki, investors and Nigerians have lost confidence in Buhari.

He stated that Nigeria needed to be governed by a genuinely pro-business administration that would be able to tackle recurrent security issues.

Saraki said, “Most of the inflows that have come in are merely hot money, and that is because the oil price has gone up. Investment in the real sector is not seen. The private sector, in my view, has probably taken a position that the confidence is not there in the government. The country requires a government that is truly pro-business and a President that sees himself as a chief marketing officer.”

read more…

Ortom kicks as EFCC demands minutes of Benue State Security Council meetings
Thu, 16 Aug 2018

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday raised the alarm over alleged continued persecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Ortom who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, claimed that the commission had continued to ground the state government with invitation of government officials to EFCC’s office.

The anti-graft agency had few weeks ago disclosed that it was investigating the state government’s expenditure of N22bn.

Few days after, the governor through his Chief Press Secretary said that the state accounts had been frozen by the anti-graft agency.

He was reported as saying then, “Yes, it is true that accounts of the Benue State Government have been frozen by the EFCC. It is part of the political witch-hunt against Governor Samuel Ortom. The action of the EFCC is already having negative impact on the running of government in Benue State. It is a move that will affect salaries, pensions and other sundry payments.

“The question we are asking is: why did EFCC not investigate the governor’s security votes when he was still a member of the APC? Why start the investigation now?

“EFCC should not allow itself to be used as an attack dog unleashed against perceived political opponents. Let the Federal Government tell us how much it has spent on prosecuting the fight against Boko Haram and how much it spent on other operations such as Python Dance, Crocodile Smile and Whirl Stroke.”

Speaking on the new development, the governor said, “EFCC is still victimising the state because what happens now is that every day, the commission invites not fewer than seven government officials to Abuja. Government activities have been grounded. The victimisation has reached a ridiculous level now as the commission is demanding minutes of the security council meetings.

read more…

N189.2bn polls budget: Reps, Senate panels grill INEC chair
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
John Alechenu, John Ameh and Eniola Akinkuotu Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral and Political Party Matters on Wednesday grilled the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, and other top officials over the budget of the 2019 general elections. The INEC chairman was also grilled by the Senate []
read more…

Aregbesola begins payment of full salaries
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Femi Makinde, Osogbo The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Osun State chapter, Mr Jacob Adekomi, has said that the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration has started paying full salaries to all categories of workers in the state. The NLC chairman said this in a telephone interview with our correspondent in Osogbo on Wednesday. Adekomi said local government []
read more…

Sallah: Ogun pays August salary, Kwara to begin payment
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Samuel Awoyinfa and Success Nwogu The Ogun State Government says it has paid all categories of its workers the August 2018 salaries, to enable them to meet up with their needs, during the forthcoming Eld-el-Kabir celebration. The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Adewale Oshinowo, in a statement released on Tuesday, said the early payment of the []
read more…

N22tn debt: Buhari, APC have wrecked Nigeria, says PDP
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party has alleged that President Muhammadu Buharis poor understanding of current global economic dynamics and humongous corruption in his Presidency have completely wrecked Nigeria. It said the limit of the economic knowledge of the President and the APC was also directly responsible for the accumulated N22tn national debt burden []
read more…

We lost 73 people in one month, say Taraba Christians
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Justin Tyopuusu, Jalingo The Christian Association of Nigeria in Taraba on Wednesday said 73 of their members were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen between June and July in the Lau and Ardo-Kola local government areas of the state. This is even as they said over 15,000 people were displaced across 49 communities in the affected []
read more…

SERAP sues NYSC DG over Adeosuns exemption certificate
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Oladimeji Ramon The anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has sued the National Youth Service Corps and its Director-General, Brig. Gen. Sule Kazaure, for the agencys failure to respond to the agencys that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, forged an NYSC Exemption Certificate. In a lawsuit, marked FHC/L/CS/1369/18, filed before the Federal []
read more…

120 monarchs to attend Olubadans 90th birthday
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan Professor Taoheed Adedoja, who is the chairman of the planning committee of the 90th birthday celebration of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has said 120 traditional rulers across Nigeria will witness the one-week celebration in honour of the monarch. The Olubadan, who ascended the throne on March 4, 2016, []
read more…

Gov el-Rufai presents N155bn budget for 2019
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Wednesday presented N155bn budget estimate for the 2019 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly. The budget tagged, 2019 budget of continuity, has a budget size of N155,865,339,539.77, with recurrent expenditure of N62,339,040,309.19 and capital expenditure of N93,526,299,230.58, representing 40 per cent as recurrent []
read more…

Security expert cautions IG on centralising SARS
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Samson Folarin A security expert, Dr Ona Ekhomu, has cautioned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on the centralisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Ekhomu, while commending Idris for promptly obeying the directive of the acting President Yemi Osinbajo to overhaul the unit due to complaints of human rights abuses, noted that the problem with []
read more…

Police arraign Premium Times reporter as coalition plans protest
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja The police have arraigned the Premium Times journalist, Samuel Ogundipe, following his refusal to disclose the source of his report. It was gathered on Wednesday that the police authorities secretly arraigned him at a Kubwa magistrate court, Abuja, in order to further keep him in custody. Ogundipe, who was arrested on Tuesday []
read more…

Ambode, Adebanjo, others warn Lagosians to be vigilant
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Dayo Ojerinde Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, has warned Lagos residents to be security conscious by being wary of illegal migrants from neighbouring countries. In his address at a security roundtable meeting powered by a Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, the Yoruba Koya Movement, held at the Oranmiyan Hall, Airport Hotel, Ikeja, on Wednesday, Ambode, who was []
read more…

Kidnapping: Gani Adams calls for security summit
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Friday Olokor, Jos The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba Land, Gani Adams, said on Wednesday time had come to declare war against kidnappers in the South-West region. According to him, kidnappers were bent on destroying the economy of Yoruba land. He lamented that weeks after writing his first letter to the South-West governors, prominent monarchs []
read more…

Workers protest paralyses activities at Head of Services office
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja Activities were on Wednesday morning paralysed at the section of the Federal Secretariat, Abuja housing the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. Workers attached to the office embarked on a peaceful protest over alleged poor welfare and lack of training for years, among others. The aggrieved workers also []
read more…

US Embassy suspends consular services in Abuja
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja The United States Embassy has suspended consular services and appointments in Abuja till further notice. It explained that appointments for visa and for American citizen services had also been put on hold temporarily. Consular operations in Lagos were, however, not affected, the mission said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. []
read more…

Stop disobedience to court orders, Falana writes Osinbajo
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has written an open letter to the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), asking him to stop the flagrant disobedience to court orders which has characterised the current administration. In a letter titled, Request to end disobedience of court orders by all authorities and persons, []
read more…

MOSOP mourns as Nunieh, Second Republic lawmaker, dies at 88
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Sampson Itode, Port Harcourt A lawmaker in the Second Republic and a renowned lawyer in Rivers State, Senator Cyrus Nunieh, is dead. Nunieh, who was also an Ogoni leader, was said to have died on Monday in Port Harcourt at the age of 88. The late lawmaker was in the news last year when he []
read more…

Delayed justice: Lawyers, CJN talk
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria held the maiden edition of its annual lecture in Lagos recently. The platform provided an opportunity for actors in the Nigerian justice sector to interrogate the challenges confronting the judiciary and suggest solutions. OLADIMEJI RAMON reports Many are the challenges confronting the Nigerian justice system but delayed justice []
read more…

Ambode wants growth in entertainment sector
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Sesan Olufowobi Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says he is committed to the growth of the entertainment sector. A statement on Wednesday from the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB) said the governor spoke at the inauguration of a new platform, AfrigoldTV. Ambode, who noted that the entertainment industry had the potential []
read more…

Aelex, UNILAG shine at young arbitrators contest
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Oladimeji Ramon Commercial law firm, Aelex, and the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos have emerged this years winners of the Lagos Court of Arbitration-Young Arbitrators Networks commercial moot competition, which held in Lagos. Aelexs team of young lawyers clinched the number one spot ahead of Aluko & Oyebode law firm team, while the UNILAG []
read more…

Group urges LASG to create avenues for youth devt
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Sesan Olufowobi The Yoruba Tennis Club has urged the Lagos State Government to create more avenues for youth development in the area of sports. The Chairman of the Club, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, gave this advice at the inauguration of an Ultra-Modern Gymnasium and SPA at the Sports Pavilion of the Club. Fabamwo noted that the []
read more…

Suit challenging lecturers appointment as Ondo monarch dismissed
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Peter Dada, Akure An Ondo State High Court, sitting in Okitipupa has dismissed a suit challenging the appointment of Prof Sunday Amuseghan as the Kalasuwe of Apoiland in the Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State. Amuseghan, a university lecturer, was appointed as the traditional ruler of the Apoiland by the kingmakers in January 2018. []
read more…

China to vaccinate afresh all children subjected to substandard vaccines
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
The Chinese health authorities will re-vaccinate more children, who used substandard DPT vaccines, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday. The re-vaccination will follow the principle of being informed, voluntary and free of charge, according to a document jointly issued by the commission and State Drug Administration. Two batches of DPT vaccines produced by Changchun []
read more…

Italian PM declares 12-month state of emergency in Genoa after bridge collapse
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte declared Wednesday a 12-month state of emergency in Genoa following the collapse of a motorway bridge that killed at least 39 people. A cabinet meeting took place in which we have decreed a 12-month state of emergency and made available a first allocation worth five million euros ($5.7 million) for []
read more…

Police arrest man over UK parliament attack
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
British police on Wednesday obtained more time to question a man arrested outside the Houses of Parliament for attempted murder and suspected terrorism after a car ploughed into cyclists before crashing into protective barriers. Three people were injured when the 29-year-old, named by media as Salih Khater, careered over a pavement and into the group []
read more…

NiMet predicts thunderstorm, rains for Thursday
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency has predicted thunderstorms and rains across the country with prospects of cloudy conditions over Nguru, Potiskum, Dutse and Yelwa during the morning hours for Thursday. NiMet made this known in its Weather Outlook by its Central Forecast Office in Abuja on Wednesday. It envisaged thunderstorms over Kano, Nguru, Dutse, Yelwa, Gusau, []
read more…

Were ready to discuss with U.S., Turkey says
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Turkey is ready to discuss its ongoing issues with the United States as long as there are no threats, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday, amid a widening dispute between the NATO allies that has sent the Turkish currency plunging. Speaking to ambassadors in Ankara, Cavusoglu also said Turkeys relations with the European Union []
read more…

White House says Turkish sanctions regrettable
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
The White House said Wednesday that Turkeys tariff hikes on US products in retaliation for sanctions against Ankara were regrettable and again called for the immediate release of American pastor Andrew Brunson. The tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, while stopping []
read more…

Police reform: Able leadership can clean the rot
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Punch Editorial Board With his focus on the benefits associated with robust policing, the newly appointed chairman of the Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith, has reopened the old debate about how to clear the rot in the Nigeria Police Force. The PSC boss wants to sanitise the system by flushing out unruly, incompetent officers. Bearing []
read more…

Buhari not healthy, cabal running his govt ‘ Tambuwal
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Adeniyi Olugbemi, Sokoto Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has affirmed that it is true that President Muhammadu Buhari has health challenges and also accused a cabal of running his (Buhari’s) government. Tambuwal also declared that he had been under tremendous pressure to join the 2019 presidential race. Addressing thousands of youths and students []
read more…

Defections under Buhari different from Jonathan’s ‘ APC vice-chair
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
The Vice-Chairman (South West) of the All Progressives Congress, Pastor Bankole Oluwajana, says the reasons politicians are currently switching parties under President Muhammadu Buhari are different from those during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in the run-up to the 2015 elections. Oluwajana, who linked the three main reasons, said politicians left the PDP for the APC []
read more…

Osun: Adeleke, Ogunbiyi rift unsettles PDP
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party is not happy over its inability to settle the rift between the camp of Senator Ademola Adeleke and some aggrieved governorship aspirants in Osun State, led by Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, The PUNCH learnt on Wednesday. Adeleke, who is a senator representing the Osun West []
read more…

Patriotism propelling my presidential ambition ‘ Atiku
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Chidiebube Okeoma and Gibson Achonu, Owerri Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, said that the desire to move Nigeria forward was the greatest factor motivating his desire to keep seeking to occupy the highest political office in Nigeria. Abubakar, who spoke when he visited an elder statesman and Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, []
read more…

2019: Buhari in support of PVC, card reader, Presidency says
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja The Presidency on Wednesday said contrary to media reports (The PUNCH not included), President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to the use of card readers for the 2019 general elections. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made the clarification in a statement made available to journalists. []
read more…

Kaduna assembly declares defectors’ seats vacant
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna The Kaduna State House of Assembly on Wednesday declared the seats of the two lawmakers who defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party vacant. The two members, whose seats were declared vacant, are a former Deputy Speaker of the House, John Audu-Kwaturu representing Kachia constituency and the member []
read more…

Group lauds Lagos APC’s direct primary adoption
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Oladimeji Ramon The United Action for Change has commended the Lagos State All Progressives Congress for its decision to adopt direct primary to pick its candidates for the 2019 general elections. The group described the decision as victory for its convener and a former National Legal Adviser of the APC, Dr Muiz Banire (SAN), who, []
read more…

I’ll join presidential race if compelled to ‘Abacha’s chief security officer, al-Mustapha
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Hamza al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, says he will join the presidential race if prevailed upon by Nigerians to do so. Al-Mustapha gave the indication Wednesday in Kaduna in an interview shortly after a meeting with United Christian Leaders Eagle Eye Forum, which backed him to join []
read more…

Lokoja/Kogi bye-election: SDP concedes defeat, congratulates APC
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
The Social Democratic Party candidate in the Auguat 11 bye-election into Lokoja/Kogi Federal constituency,Umar Imam, has congratulated the winner of the election, Haruna Isah of the All Progressives Congress. Imam, who was also the immediate past Speaker of the Kogi House of Assembly, congratulated Isah in a statement issued in Lokoja on Wednesday. Imam, in []
read more…

Stocks extend losses as emerging markets tumble
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Femi Asu The nation’s stock market extended losses for the ninth session on Wednesday as investors sold off shares from the relatively liquid banking and consumer goods sectors. The market value of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange declined to N12.803tn from N12.883tn on Tuesday. The NSE All Share Index dropped to 35,069.34 basis []
read more…

Fashola, power firms’ row threatens meter rollout
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
The recently introduced Meter Asset Provider Regulations may have hit a snag as electricity distribution companies insist that metering is no longer in their hands, ‘FEMI ASU writes Despite the recent declaration by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, power distribution companies have failed to agree that the responsibility of providing []
read more…

Investors stake N100bn on FGN bonds
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Everest Amaefule, Abuja The Debt Management Office said subscribers staked more than N100bn on FGN Bonds, which it issued on Wednesday. According to the agency, although it offered N90bn bonds, investors oversubscribed the offer by more than N10bn. More than N100bn raised at the offer would go into financing the 2018 budget, the DMO said. []
read more…

Nigerian ports handled 96.6 million MT cargo in H1
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Anna Okon The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has declared that between January and June, total cargo throughput was 96,626,737.96 metric tonnes, representing an increase of 31.24 per cent from 73,628,546.62MT recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Director General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, made this declaration in Lagos on Wednesday during an []
read more…

Revenue from crude oil not economically sustainable
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja Nigeria must stop relying on crude oil earnings as the revenue it generates from the commodity is not economically sustainable, a former United Nations Permanent Representative and Under Secretary-General to the world body, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, as well as heads of other organisations, have said. Speaking on the sidelines of the 2018 []
read more…

Currency swap deal’ll prevent substandard products importation ‘ CBN
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday said it was not possible for any importer to bring in substandard products into the country under the currency swap agreement recently signed with the People’s Bank of China. The apex bank said adequate measures had been put in place with all the regulatory agencies []
read more…

Inflation falls marginally to 11.14%
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday released the Consumer Price Index which measures inflation, with the index dropping by 0.09 percentage points from 11.23 per cent in June to 11.14 per cent in July. The bureau in the report said this was the eighteenth consecutive disinflation in headline index. The report []
read more…

MTN Nigeria signs N200bn loan agreement with 12 banks
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Ife Ogunfuwa MTN Nigeria on Wednesday signed a seven-year N200bn medium-term loan facility with a consortium of 12 banks, with FBN Quest acting as the facility agent. The telecommunication company said the credit facility would allow it to fund its capital expenditure, roll out infrastructure and extend its reach to rural communities. According to the []
read more…

FG increases Enugu-Onitsha road contract sum by N5.4bn
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the increase of the cost of the rehabilitation of Enugu-Onitsha road by N5.4bn. The decision was taken at the weekly meeting of the council presided over by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr []
read more…

TCN cancels non-performing electricity transmission contracts
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The Transmission Company of Nigeria on Wednesday declared that it had cancelled many non-performing electricity transmission contracts. It also stated that four of such contracts were cancelled in the last two months, adding that this was part of the reasons why some persons decided to stage a protest against the TCN management []
read more…