Today’s Punch Newspaper Headlines, Saturday 5th January 2019

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Today’s Punch Newspaper Headlines, Saturday 5th January 2019

2019: Experts forecast weak, sluggish economy
Sat, 05 Jan 2019

Nigerians are to brace for austere times this year again as notable economists have predicted a bleak future for the country this year, saying the economy will experience “weak and sluggish growth.”

Specifically, they said the economy would record feeble growth of between 1.8 and two per cent this year, a situation they said would make life difficult for most Nigerians because the country’s population was still growing at a higher rate of three per cent.

A cross-section of the seasoned economists, who spoke to Saturday PUNCH in separate interviews, hinged their predictions on the country’s poor economic environment and declining oil prices in the international market.

Similarly, available economic reports indicate poor economic performance for the year.

The price of crude oil, which is expected to provide over 70 per cent of funding for the 2019 budget, dropped last week to $50 per barrel, approximately $10 below the country’s 2019 budget benchmark of $60 per barrel.

A professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo Univeristy, Sheriffdeen Tella, said, “In 2019, the outlook is going to be bleak. “He hinged his prediction on Nigeria’s reliance on oil revenue, which he said was uncertain. He said, “What is important now is having a plan and letting the international community and local business people know where we are going in the next five or 10 years.

“Secondly, we have to start looking for customers for our oil because the United States, China and India are not buying our oil as it used to be. We should be looking for other customers for our oil and gas.

“We have to look at the way in which we can bring in other sectors of the economy and how to improve on them. Particularly, the policies must be very clear and fashioned in such a way that will encourage the private sector.”

He added, “The country does not have a national plan on a long term. We have been using medium-term planning but that is a not a plan. When a country has a national long-term plan, people who want to assist us from other countries will know where to fit in and would move along with us.”

In his assessment, an economist and Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Limited, Johnson Chukwu, said the economy would continue to experience weak growth in 2019 unless there was a shift in the policy environment.
Chukwu said, “In 2017, the economy grew by only 0.80 per cent, in 2018, we saw a 1.95 per cent growth in the first quarter, 1.5 per cent in the second quarter and 1.81 per cent in the third quarter, which indicate that the economy had an average growth of 1.75 to 1.8 per cent in 2018.

“But the growth is still below the population growth rate which is currently close to three per cent.”

He said with the current oil price declining, the Federal Government would have to revise the budget by adjusting the capital expenditure due to the N4tn provided for recurrent expenditure and N2.14trn earmarked for debt service, which he described as “non-discretionary expenses.”

Also, a renowned economist and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company, Mr Bismarck Rewane, stated that the Nigerian economy would be vulnerable to oil revenue shocks, given that oil represents 80.1 per cent of total exports.

As a result, he said economic growth would be sluggish this year.

He also pointed out that life expectancy would remain low, given the level of investment in health care.

A report detailing his projections for 2019 which was released by FDC, reads in part, “The GDP growth rate (economic growth) would be at 1.9 per cent. Currency pressures will force the CBN to act, projecting a parallel rate of N375 to a dollar in the second quarter.

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Obasanjo will face prosecution if Buhari decides to probe power sector Oshiomhole
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
James Abraham, Jos The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday saidformer President Olusegun Obasanjo would not escape prosecution if President Muhammadu Buhari decides to probe the power sector. The former governor of Edo State spoke in Jos during the opening of Plateau State Governor Simon Lalongs reelection campaign at
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Only idle pastors predict politicians thatll win elections Mogekwu, Anglican Bishop of Asaba Diocese
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
The Anglican Bishop of Asaba Diocese, Bishop Justus Mogekwu, talks about national issues and the role of clerics in national development in this interview with OCHEI MATTHEW Some clergymen endorse politicians for political positions; dont you think that by doing so, the church is being partisan’ Every human being who is an adult and is
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Dino Melaye slumps, taken to the hospital after arrest
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja Eight days after holing up in his residence to avoid arrest by policemen for alleged homicide, Senator Dino Melaye, on Friday surrendered to the Police and was taken to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad office, Guzape, Abuja, for interrogation. It was gathered that senators who visited the lawmaker at his residence on Friday
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2019: Guru tips Buhari for victory as Arewa Christians reject President
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Friday Olokor and Ademola Babalola, Ibadan The founder of One Love family, Satguru Maharaj Ji, has tipped incumbent President and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, ahead other contenders including Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party in next months election. Buhari, Atiku, a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili; Mr Omoyele
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PDP protests invitation of N-Power beneficiaries to APC rally
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
James Abraham, Jos The Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau State has protested against the invitation of the beneficiaries of the N-Power programme to attend a campaign rally of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Jos on Friday. Our correspondent learnt that text messages were on Friday sent to the beneficiaries of the scheme, an idea
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Dont mock Ogun workers, APC tells Isiaka
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
The All Progressives Congress in Ogun State has advised the African Democratic Congress and its candidate, Mr. Gboyega Isiaka, not to mock workers in the state with their promises aimed at winning votes. The partys Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, made this known in a statement on Friday while reacting to the reported promise by Isiaka
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Endometriosis and sex (I)
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Dr. Abayomi Ajayi Quite often, a man finds it hard to understand how his partners monthly period pain can be so bad that she regularly has to cancel plans to be intimate. If your spouse has abdominal cramps around or beyond the time of her period, please try to realise that she is in no
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Presidential poll is battle between light and darkness Obi
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
The vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Peter Obi, has described the next presidential election as a battle between darkness and light. Speaking at Agulu, during a lecture organised by African Community of Transformers with the theme, South-East Political Culture: Peter Obi as Paradigm Shift, Obi said Nigerians have the opportunity now
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2019 elections between the rich and the poor Amaechi
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Tunde Oyekola. The 2019 General Elections will be between the rich and the poor, the Director-General, Buhari /Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said. Amaechi made the comment in Ilorin on Friday while inaugurating 1,872 election canvassers for the APC in Kwara State. Amaechi, who is the minister of transportation, said, We are gathered
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Atikull make Nigeria work again, Ogun PDP candidate says
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Alexander Okere The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Abeokuta South Federal Constituency, Segun Showunmi, has said the partys presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, remained the preferred man to make the country work again. Showunmi stated that Atiku had proven to be a competent and highly successful entrepreneur who had all it takes to
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Customs generate N1.2tn, record 5,235 seizures in 2018
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Nigeria Customs Service on Friday said it generated the sum of N1.2tn as revenue for the 2018 fiscal period. The service said this in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah. The statement said the N1.2tn was an increase of N164.89bn over the 2017 collection of N1.03tn.
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Yuletide: Nigerians spent N359m in cinemas
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Movie lovers across the country spent a total of N359m in cinemas between December 21 and 27. This is according to data provided by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria, TheCable reported on Friday. The five top-grossing movies in the cinema during the period were Aquaman, Chief Daddy, Bumblebee, Animated Spider-Man and God Calling. Aquaman
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Pirates kidnap crew members off Cotonou anchor ship in Lagos
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Anna Okon Several crew members have been reported missing following a pirate attack on one of Mediterranean Shipping Companys container ships off the coast of Benin (Republic of Benin), West Africa, according to worldmaritimenews.com. A small container ship belonging to MSC was attacked on January 2, 2019, in the Gulf of Guinea and several crew
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Azman Air Lagos-PH bound aircraft engine malfunctions mid-air
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi An Azman Air Lagos-Port Harcourt bound aircraft engine, on Thursday malfunctioned mid-air, causing passengers to panic. The situation was said to have compelled the pilot to initiate an emergency landing. According to reports, the aircraft, a Boeing 737 with the registration number 5N-NAS ,had departed the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos to Port Harcourt
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Dangote BlocMaster, best for construction in swampy areas
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
The new cement product launched by the Dangote Cement Plc is expected to address the challenges associated with building construction in swampy areas, according to the Group Managing Director, Dangote Cement Plc, Mr Joseph Makoju. He said lots of developers tried to avoid constructing on swampy land because of the cost of getting it right,
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Forex: CBN makes first intervention in 2019, injects $210m
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Nike Popoola The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Friday, made its first intervention in the inter-bank sector of the foreign exchange market for 2019 with a total sum of $210m injected into the wholesale segment and other sectors of the market. A breakdown of the figures obtained from the CBN on Friday showed that customers
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FG extends window for 50% reduction in business registration
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Corporate Affairs Commission on Friday announced three months extension for registration of business names at the reduced cost of N5, 000. The commission, in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Moses Adaguusu, said the move was part of the efforts to support the growth of the Micro, Small
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Minimum wage: FG, organised labour meeting inconclusive
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Olufemi Atoyebi, Abuja The Federal Government and organised labour on Friday failed to reach an agreement over the proposed N30,000 minimum wage after a seven-hour meeting at the Ministry of Labour and Employment headquarters in Abuja. However, the meeting was postponed till Monday for further negotiations. The meeting was called to discuss the new minimum
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2019: ASUU agrees to release striking members for election duties
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja The Academic Staff Union of Universities President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, has said the union has agreed to release its members to participate as Returning and Collation Officers in the forthcoming general elections. Ogunyemi made the announcement after ASUU leaders met with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu
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Buhari, IG in closed-door meeting, day after due retirement date
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
John Ameh, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, held a closed-door meeting on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The curious meeting was held a day after the official due retirement of Idris, who served out his working years a day earlier on Thursday. The IG turned 35 years in
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In this kingdom, anyone that is rude to the king pays N150,000 fine Okoro, Ibumeze II of Enu-Uburu
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
The Ibumeze II of Enu-Uburu Autonomus Community, in Ohazara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Eze Godwin Akpandu Okoro, tells EDWARD NNACHI about his childhood and the traditions of his people What kind of childhood did you have’ I was born into a great family. My father was an average wealthy man. I used to
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Scammed on the way to canaan: Victims of visa fraud share heartbreaking stories
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Desperate to taste new lives in foreign lands where tales of milk and honey flowing on the streets are rife, dozens of Nigerians have had their hearts broken by fraudulent travel agents, losing huge sums of money in the process. In this report, Timileyin Akinkahunsi captures the pains and agonies of some of the victims
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Zakari: Opposition parties threaten to pull out of Peace Accord as Buhari denies blood link
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Olalekan Adetayo, Eniola Akinkuotu, Success Nwogu, Abuja Opposition parties under the aegis the Coalition of United Political Parties, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, the Peoples Democratic Party and other stakeholders in the 2019 elections have again called for the removal of Amina Zakari as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commissions Ad hoc Committee on
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Its criminal to have 91 political parties in Nigeria Elder statesman
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri An elder statesman, Chief Shedrach Ikwuagwu, has described as criminal and unacceptable the emergence of 91 political parties in Nigeria. Ikwuagwu, who briefed journalists in Owerri, Imo State, said the number of political parties in Nigeria showed that the country was not ready for competitive democracy. According to the octogenarian, no sane
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I read a lot to learn something newAkande, first-class graduate
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Gracious Akande, 20, graduated with a first-class degree in Mass Communication at Pentecost University College, an affiliate of University of Ghana. She graduated with 3.82/4.00 CGPA. In this interview with TUNDE AJAJA, she talks about her educational journey and life in a foreign institution We learnt you had your tertiary education in Ghana, what informed
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FG to maintain presidential jets with N1.4bn in 2019
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja The Federal Government is proposing N1.4bn for the maintenance of presidential jets in 2019. This figure is contained in the details of the 2019 Appropriation Bill that President Muhammadu Buhari presented recently to the joint session of the National Assembly. The figure appears in the budget of the Presidential Air Fleet (State
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Revealed: New tricks beggars use to milk Lagos residents
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Eric Dumo and Toluwalope Kareem Mrs Yemi Akindele was driving home from work at about 10:20pm last Wednesday evening when she ran into an unusual sight around Irawo bus stop along Ikorodu Road, Lagos. The sight of a young man looking distressed and holding a white jerrycan forced her to pull over to the side
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Nine attitudes to imbibe to have successful year
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Tunde Ajaja For most people, a new year offers an exciting opportunity to review their lives, activities, the choices they made in the past and more importantly, what they like to do better in the current year. And this has somewhat become the custom every year. But beyond the excitement and positive feeling that comes
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Amazing tale of four delta brothers that wedded six wives same day
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Eric Dumo In many parts of Nigeria, marriage ceremonies are one of the biggest and most important social events for individuals and their families. Apart from spending weeks and even months to plan towards the success of such events, a lot of resources material and financial go into making such exciting. Food, music,
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Ethnicity causing division among actors Fidelis Duker
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Veteran filmmaker, Fidelis Duker, speaks about the current state of the Nigerian movie industry In retrospect, how would you describe last year’ The year had its ups and downs; for one, we recorded a huge number of deaths in Nigeria last year through communal clashes. We had the problem of the Boko Haram, we also
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The real change we want to see in 2019 MAN, ASUP, CACOL, Ex-NMA President, others
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Experts and professionals in various spheres of socio-political endeavours tell AFEEZ HANAFI the areas the Federal Government should focus on in 2019 Interest, unemployment rates should be brought down Prof. Leo Ukpong (A professor of Financial Economics and Dean, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Uyo) We are already in 2019, which is an election
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When I die, Ill meet God a fulfilled man Prof. Salami, VC, The Technical University
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Vice-Chancellor of The Technical University, Ibadan, Prof. Ayobami Salami, tells ADEMOLA BABALOLA about his childhood, his job as the pioneer VC of the university and how he could not assume office after he was initially appointed as the VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Osun State Can you describe your childhood days in Ibadan
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Miyetti Allah asks FG to keep Atiku under surveillance
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja Fulani socio-cultural organisation, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has asked the security agencies to keep the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, under surveillance ahead of next months elections. In a communiqu issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the group signed by Miyetti Allah Kautal National
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Ensure release of Leah Sharibu, Cherubim and Seraphim tells Buhari
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
John Ameh, Abuja The Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu, the last of the Dapchi School girls being held in captivity by Boko Haram. The church made the demand when its leaders met with Buhari in Abuja on Friday. His Most Eminence,
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Ill complete all PDP abandoned projects in South-East Buhari
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Chidiebube Okeoma,Owerri President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to complete all abandoned projects initiated by the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-East zone. Buhari made the promise while speaking with journalists at Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area of Imo State on Thursday during the commissioning of a gully erosion control project. The project was at the instance
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Boko Haram: Yobe gov begs residents not to run away
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
John Charles, Makurdi Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has appealed to the residents of the areas recently attacked by Boko Haram not to run away from their communities. According to him, the state government has intensified efforts to ensure that people are safe in the state. The governor, in a statement by his Director-General for
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210,504 PVCs ready for collection in Taraba
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Justin Tyopuusu, Jalingo The Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday said no fewer than 210,504 Permanent Voter Cards were ready for collection in Taraba State. The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Baba Yusuf, disclosed this during a press conference in Jalingo. Yusuf noted that the collection of the PVCs had been extended to the registration areas
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70 shops, goods destroyed by fire in Niger
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Enyioha Opara, Minna Over 70 shops were on Friday razed by fire at the Abdulkhadir Kure Ultra Modern Market in Minna, Niger State. It was learnt that the fire, which started at about 6am from a locked shop, destroyed clothing, palm oil and groundnut oil worth millions of naira. There was also speculation that the
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Godll deliver Nigeria from travails, Anglican primate says
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Alexander Okere The Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has called on Nigerians not to despair amid the challenges plaguing the country. Okoh said the world had known great travails in the past but came out stronger through the love of God, adding that Nigeria would survive, irrespective of
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Aisha Buhari advises Nigerians on giving
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Eric Dumo The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has called on kind-spirited and well-to-do Nigerians to imbibe the culture of giving. Speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Emmanuel Umohinyang Foundation in Lagos, the First Lady said that giving and assisting the poor with cash and other items not only solved their problems
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Governorship coming to Nkanuland in 2023 Awkunanaw people
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Ihuoma Chiedozie The people of Awkunanaw clan comprising 21 communities in Enugu South and Nkanu West local government areas of Enugu State have expressed confidence that Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, will be succeeded by somebody from Nkanuland in 2023. Representatives of the clan spoke when they presented an Ofo, a traditional symbol of authority,
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My aspiration is to assemble vehicles in Nigeria Aguebor, female mechanic
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Sandra Aguebor an auto mechanic and founder of Lady Mechanic Initiative. She has trained many underprivileged women and female victims of sexual abuse to also become mechanics. She tells ERIC DUMO about the price she has had to pay to get to where she is today You once said that the idea to become a
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Stay away from Rivers, CP warns kidnappers, others
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt The new Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Mr. Usman Belel, has warned kidnappers, cult gangs and armed robbers to stay away from the state or risk arrest and punishment. Belel, who issued the warning on Friday at his inaugural briefing with journalists in Port Harcourt, the capital, explained that he
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Church leader denies labelling murdered children wizards
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Samuel Nkemakolem, Yenagoa The President and General Overseer of Bayelsa-based Odoko World Outreach Ministry, George Odoko, has denied labelling two children, who were killed by their father, wizards. Though Odoko was said to have told the father of the deceased children, Sunday Otasi, that they (children) were behind his (Otasi) ailment, the cleric denied ever
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Group to establish N7.5m ICT project in Akwa Ibom
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Patrick Odey, Uyo A nongovernmental organisation, Mboho Ikot Abasi, is set to establish N7.5m ICT project in Ikot-Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The project, which is designed to meet the needs of indigenes of the area, would function as a data base bank for unemployed youths and as registration centres with ICT
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Im glad my skits appeal to elderly people too Steve Chuks
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Steve Chuks is an online content creator. At 21, he has carved a niche for himself in the world of comedy. Most of his videos are usually about how women react to different situations. He tells TIMILEYIN AKINKAHUNSI about his journey and the challenges and victories he has recorded How would you describe your experience
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My dream is to eradicate poverty in Nigeria Adebayo, Ibadan poly student without legs
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Eric Dumo Petite and of average height, Adenike Adebayos dream in life is by far bigger than what her small frame suggests. Soft-spoken and quick to share a smile, the 23-year-old, despite losing her legs at the age of five to a strange ailment, has not stopped aiming high. She has in fact managed to
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Do wives need their husbands permission to spend their income
Sat, 05 Jan 2019
Timileyin Akinkahunsi Issues relating to finances have the tendency to cause friction in marriages and relationships if not properly managed. Saturday PUNCH asked a cross-section of Nigerians if they think wives need their husbands permission before they can spend their income A woman doesnt need her husbands permission Ugonwa Esther Ikegwuonu In my opinion,
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