20TH JUNE, 2018


Cholera: Death toll rises to 17 in Niger, Kogi

Death toll has risen to 17 in Niger and Kogi states in the last five days with a reported case of 72 victims in the two states.

Two deaths were recorded in Lokoja, Kogi State, over the weekend while the Niger State Ministry of Health on Monday reported that 15 people lost their lives in Bida Local Government Area of Niger State.

Medicinal cannabis use to be reviewed

The use of medicinal cannabis is to be reviewed by the UK government, which could lead to more prescriptions of drugs made from the plant.

The UK home secretary said the decision was prompted by recent high-profile cases of children with severe epilepsy being denied access to cannabis oil to control seizures.

Auditors to get N8.7bn for recovering N58bn into Federation Account

Auditors who helped to recover N58bn into the Federation Account are to receive N8.7bn for their efforts, investigation has revealed.

The amount represents 15 per cent of the recovery, which the auditors helped the government to make from banks that failed to remit the money into the Federation Account.

JCI to honour 10 outstanding Nigerians
Not less than 10 Nigerians will be honoured at the 2018 edition of the annual ‘JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria Awards’.

Junior Chamber International Nigeria disclosed this in a statement, saying that the date for the awards ceremony had been fixed for August 25, 2018.

CIA inducts Caleb varsity VC as member

The Chartered Institute of Administration has inducted the Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University, Prof. Ayandiji Aina, into its fellowship cadre and as a member of the College of Fellows.

The CIA said Aina’s election by the governing council of the institute was a testimony to his “impeccable and distinguished worth as an administrator par excellence, a patriotic leader, mentor and bridge builder.”

Leadway Assurance CEO bags HR award

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Leadway Assurance, Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale, was named the ‘HR Champion of the year’ at the 2018 HR People Magazine Award.

Receiving the award on his behalf, the company’s Human Resources Director, Kunbi Adeoti, said the feat was achieved because of Hassan-Odukale’s commitment to the promotion of human capacity development in the organisation.

Stock market finishes lower as 34 firms lose

The equities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange finished lower at the close of trading on Tuesday, after a two-day public holiday.

The market capitalisation of listed equities dropped to N14.006tn from N14.101tn on Thursday, while the NSE All-Share Index fell by 0.68 per cent to close at 38.664.15 basis points.

RenCap initiates coverage on Flour Mills, three others

Renaissance Capital, an emerging and frontier markets investment bank, has initiated coverage on the shares of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Flour Mills and NASCON Allied Industries.

According to a statement on Tuesday, the coverage aims to provide investors with the in-depth analysis necessary to make informed investment decisions.

Fidelity Bank unveils initiative to ease payment

Fidelity Bank Plc has launched a payment solution, Flashkey, which allows customers to make payments or transfers by using their phone keyboards.

The bank said in a statement that the initiative was designed to allow customers send money and pay bills using their phone keyboards without recourse to the online banking platform installed on their mobile devices.

FBNQuest Asset Management highlights investment opportunities

FBNQuest Asset Management, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, has announced the commencement of an investment awareness campaign tagged, ‘#BuildingTogether’.

The firm said in a statement on Tuesday that the initiative was aimed at providing Nigerians with extensive insights on “retail and institutional investment opportunities that will help them take advantage of what the markets currently offer”.

NNPC repairs pipeline, power generation increases by 1,304MW

Power generation has risen to 3,876.9 megawatts after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation fixed the gas pipeline that was ruptured on Friday, which supplies gas to most thermal electricity generating plants in the country.

Data obtained from the Transmission Company of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday showed that the country’s power generation increased by 1,304.3MW, as it moved up from the 2,572.6MW recorded on Sunday to 3,876.9MW on Monday, which was the latest generation figure as of when this report was filed in.

Employ more Air Traffic Controllers, stakeholders tell FG

Stakeholders in the aviation industry have asked the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, increase the number of Air Traffic Controllers in the country.

In a communique issued following the recently held Q2 2018 Business Breakfast Meeting of the Aviation Round Table Initiative, in Lagos, the stakeholders noted that “the government should, as a matter of urgency and critical safety concern, address the shortfall in Air Traffic Controllers and engineers.

First Bank to help 10,000 visually impaired Nigerians

First Bank of Nigeria Limited on Tuesday unveiled plans to deepen its intervention in the health sector with the empowerment of 10,000 visually impaired Nigerians.

The 10,000 visually impaired low-income Nigerians, according to the bank, will be provided with free pairs of eye glasses.

Gov. Dickson Wrestling Classics postponed

The Nigeria Wrestling Federation has postponed the 2018 Governor Dickson National Wrestling Classics earlier scheduled to hold from June 24 to 30.

In a statement on Tuesday, the NWF said the competition was postponed because of the ongoing 2018 World Cup in Russia, which has some of the sports stakeholders in the country in attendance as part of the Federal Government’s delegation.

Egypt crash out of World Cup despite Salahs return

The return of Mohamed Salah from injury couldn’t prevent World Cup hosts Russia virtually sealing their place in the last 16 by beating Egypt 3-1 on Tuesday.

An own goal by Egypt captain Ahmed Fathy opened the floodgates on a sodden night in Saint Petersburg before goals from Denis Cheryshev and ArtemDzyuba furthered Russian hopes they can defy pre-tournament expectations with a deep run into the latter stages.

Ikpeba leads Bet9ja customers to Russia

For their loyalty and commitment to the Bet9ja brand, nine lucky customers will watch the Super Eagles matches at the ongoing Russia 2018 World Cup .

The customers, picked randomly across the country, will be led on the trip by Bet9ja Ambassador and former Eagles striker Victor Ikpeba.

Govt to set up ranches in Oyo, Benue, Kaduna, seven others

The Federal Government and states have agreed to set up cattle ranches in 10 states — Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara to end herders, farmers’ crisis in the country. The 10 states are in the first phase of the national ranching project

Controversy surrounds death of Ekiti cop, other

There is a controversy surrounding the death of a policeman, Inspector Gabriel Kayode, and one Albert Afolayan, who were knocked down by a vehicle in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday morning.

It was learnt that Kayode of the State Intelligence Bureau and Afolayan were knocked down by a vehicle around 10am at Fajuyi in Ado Ekiti.

Suspected killers of Abuja woman lead detectives to crime scene

The two suspects arrested for allegedly killing a mother of four, Charity Aiyedogbon, have taken police detectives to Kagini, a satellite community in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, where their victim was murdered.

It was learnt that Paul Ezeugo and his accomplice, Emmanuel Adogah, led detectives to the crime scene on Saturday where more evidences were gathered.

Biafra: IPOB plans referendum, prints ballot papers

The Indigenous People of Biafra has announced plans to hold a referendum towards the ‘peaceful restoration’ of the defunct Republic of Biafra.

IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, in a statement on Tuesday, said the first phase of the ‘three-stage referendum’ would take place in 2018.

nPDP cant be ignored, Timi Frank tells Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of a request for a meeting by members of the new Peoples Democratic Party bloc of the All Progressives Congress has jolted members of the nPDP.

The PUNCH learnt on Tuesday that following the refusal of the President to meet with nPDP, leaders of the group were in a dilemma on whether to leave the APC or stay in the ruling party.

UNICEF laments high infant mortality

The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund has called on the relevant authorities in Bayelsa State to tackle the problems of high infant mortality, under-age marriage, children’s malnutrition, among others, in the state.

The UNICEF Chief of Field Services, Dr. Annefrida Kisesa-Mkusa, expressed the concern in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Saturday, during the policy dialogue with state executive and legislature on ‘Investment in maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding’.

Gene signature and early diagnosis of TB

Researchers have identified a gene signature in the bloodstream that could determine whether a person is going to develop active tuberculosis months before they show any symptoms of the infection.

According to news-medical.net, the finding comes from a study led by the Francis Crick Institute and the University of Leicester, in collaboration with BIOASTER and bioMérieux in France, as well as the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Lagos govt locks up buildings, shuts tenants in

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency have sealed five buildings on Allen Avenue, Lagos.

The PUNCH learnt that the officials stormed the buildings around 9am on Tuesday for alleged contravention of the state laws.

Gov poll: Osinbajo, Tinubu, 12 govs storm Ekiti for Fayemi

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said the immediate past Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, is the best man to lead Ekiti State.

He urged the people of the state to vote massively for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the July 14 governorship election.


Two feared dead as trucks falls off Ojuelegba bridge

Not less than two persons were feared killed Tuesday night when a truck fell off Ojuelegba bridge in Lagos, crushing a Toyota Camry and three commercial buses.

Two other persons were injured, said general manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Adesina Tiamiyu.

High broadband rate, slow connectivity cut mobile phone shipment by 6.4%

Shipment of mobile phones to Nigeria in quarter one fell by 6.4 per cent, owing to two identified challenges of expensive broadband rates and slow Internet connectivity.

The fall in smartphone shipment was not peculiar to Nigeria alone, South Africa, also witnessed cut in shipment, falling by 27.4 per cent.

Experts want women to bridge digital gap, leverage tech for jobs
Experts have urged women to leverage the digital space for information communications technology (ICT) jobs.

The call was made at a technology forum in Lagos, with the aim of empowering Nigerian women to optimise their innate potential and develop capabilities to achieve success through collaboration and empowerment.

CAN warns government against execution of five Christians

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the Federal Government to caution the Adamawa State government against a hasty implementation of the death sentence handed to five Christian youths for allegedly killing a Fulani herdsman.

Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri of the state’s High Court recently sentenced Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi to death for culpable homicide.

Stakeholders at gas roundtable seek policies to boost investment

Stakeholders who gathered at a Roundtable for Gas Development, organised by The Business Year, in partnership with the Lagos Petroleum Club, have emphasised the need for the Federal Government to implement policies that would attract more investment into the gas sector.

The event was opened by a renowned International Petroleum Explorationist, Dr. Ebi Omatsola, who delivered an address on the most significant barriers to growth in the Nigerian gas sector.

Atiku vows to fight dictatorship

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday said he was ready to face and fight dictatorship and anti-democratic forces in the country.

Atiku, who was at the Bayelsa State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat told the crowd of supporters, that he was in Bayelsa to reconnect with them and stand up for the fight ahead against anti-democratic forces.

At WTO-CAF meeting, stakeholders market Nigeria’s cultural products, destinations

The 61st meeting of United Nations World Tourism Organisation – Commission for Africa (UNWTO-CAF), has concluded in Abuja, with the organsers and other players in Nigeria’s tourism sector listing benefits and lessons drawn from the event.

The three-day meeting, which held between June 4 and 6, no doubt, afforded Nigeria opportunity, not only to tell its story beyond extreme violence and terrorism, but also to showcase its vast cultural potentials.

NFF pleads for continuous support as Eagles leave for Volgograd tomorrow

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday begged Super Eagles’ fans to desist from doing things that could cause disaffection among the players, saying the team needs to be psychologically ready for Friday’s second group game against Iceland.

The Super Eagles, based in Essentuki, are scheduled to move to Volgograd, venue of the second game, tomorrow

Odigie-Oyegun factionalised APC

The 2015 governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State, Senator Julius Ali Ucha, in a telephone chat narrated how the outgoing national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, caused division within the party, stressing that parallel congresses were a product of Oyegun’s vengeance on the party for rejecting his sit-tight schemes.

Buhari sends delegation to Bauchi over rainstorm

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to immediately lead a Federal Government delegation to Bauchi in the aftermath of the rainstorm, which destroyed about 1,505 houses.

No fewer than eight persons have been confirmed dead while 120 others reportedly sustained various degrees of injury from the incident.

FG orders verification of tax clearance certificates

The Federal Government yesterday issued a directive to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to verify all Tax Clearance Certificates
(TCCs) presented by companies and individuals engaged in public procurement processes.

In a statement, the Ministry of Finance said the validation of the certificates was a result of “the proliferation of forged TCCs purportedly issued prior to the automation of the certificates from 22nd August, 2017”, adding that the exercise would “enhance the integrity of the nation’s tax system.”

Eterna Plc’s operating revenue rises to N173bn

Despite the challenging downstream sector of the oil and gas industry, Eterna Plc’s consolidated operating revenue increased from N106.9 billion in 2016 to N173 billion in 2017, representing an increase of 61.8 per cent.

The company’s Shareholders’ funds also increased from N10.82 billion in 2016 to N12.41 billion in 2017.

Participation in GVCs can aid economic development, says UNIDO

Though participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs) can play an important role in a country’s development, countries must reach a certain threshold in industrial competitiveness to be able to integrate GVCs, a new report by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has shown.

Eid-el-Fitri holiday stalls FEC meeting today, Buhari to sign Appropriation Bill

The regular Wednesday meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) usually presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja will not hold today, the presidency has said.

A statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday said the cancellation was due to the Eid-el-Fitr holidays last Friday and Monday, which affected preparation of council memoranda.

Re-demarcated, functional cattle routes key to resolution of crisis, Masari advises

Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has warned that unless cattle routes nationwide were re-demarcated and made functional, addressing the issue of farmers-herders clashes might remain a daunting challenge.

During the kick-off of the re-demarcation of cattle routes at Kukar Babangida in Jibia council area of the state yesterday, Masari said most of the crises between farmers and herdsmen as well as cattle rustling sprang up after routes, solely meant for cattle, were encroached upon by framers.

Firm stakes N6 billion in yam, plantain processing plants

Over N6 billion is currently being invested by an investment bridge and financial news company, Footprint to Africa, to build one of Africa’s biggest yam and plantain processing plants as part of plans to bridge Nigeria’s food demand and address insecurity in the sector.

The company, which stressed the need for Africa to clampdown on exportation of raw materials, said it attracted nothing less than $5 billion investment to the continent last year alone.

Facebook wants Nigerian students to build new solutions

Social media giant, Facebook has beckoned on Nigerian varsity students to build and develop technology solutions that can help the country move forward.

Facebook used its university wide roadshow, which was part of its ongoing commitment and investment in growing the tech ecosystem, and driving innovation across Nigeria, to call on the students to come up with innovative solutions.


Lipton unveils CSR campaign in Kano, Kaduna

Building on its commitment to create better communities in Nigeria through good deeds, Lipton Yellow Label Tea returned to Kano and Kaduna on 11 June, 2018 with the “Don’t Just Think, Do” campaign as the brand celebrated with devout Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan.

The campaign has also toured several cities in Northern Nigeria including Sokoto, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Kwara, among others to promote the core messages of Ramadan – discipline, charity, piety, love, care and empathy.

Lagos Marathon: British envoy lauds organisers, Lagos

The Head of Prosperity Fund and Deputy Head of Mission, British Deputy High Commission Lagos, Mr Andrew Davidson has commended the Lagos State Government and the organizers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

At a breakfast meeting on Monday with the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Sports, Anthony Adeyinka Adeboye, top executive officers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon led by Project Consultant Bukola Olopade, General Manager Marathon Yussuf Alli and Head of Communications and Media Olukayode Thomas, Mr Davidson said he has consistently followed the progress of the Marathon and that everything about the race has been positive.

Capri-Sonne emoji pouches excite customers

Nigeria’s leading kids fruit drink, Capri-Sonne, is aiming to create further brand engagement with the launch of its Express Yourself Campaign.

Renowned for offering unique experiences with its signature taste, playful pouch and exciting consumer engagements, the campaign which entails the introduction of Capri-Sonne Emoji Pouches, looks to encourage kids to creatively express themselves with iconic emoji symbols.

FarePay wins award for Utility Payment Cards

FarePay, the largest implementation of Bank contactless cards for bus transit in Africa recently won the award for ‘card with the most utility relevance for the cardholder’ at the Digital Pay Expo Awards which held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos.

The smart payment solution introduced by Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, Sterling Bank Plc, according to a statement, eliminates challenges associated with cash and long queues for fare payments.

Hollandia soya milk unveils 100ml sachet packs

To further provide an accessible dairy alternative, Hollandia Soya Milk has introduced a new 100mL convenient pack which retails at N50.

Endorsed by the Nutrition Society of Nigeria as a healthy drink, Hollandia Soya Milk is cholesterol free and a powerhouse of Protein, Calcium, Vitamins A, C & D. At N50, the new Hollandia Soya Milk 100ml sachet pack offers competitive pricing and walks the fine line of making a high quality product, affordable and valuable.

Unease grows over proposed national carrier

There is increasing unease over the planned re-fleeting of the national carrier which the Federal Government promised will be a reality come December this year.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had assured that the much awaited national carrier would commence operation by December 24 with stakeholders expressing doubt about the feasibility of the project, but Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Mukhtar Usman, had tried calming the doubting Thomases on the feasibility of the December date.

Renaissance Capital to cover top staple food producers

Renaissance Capital, an emerging and frontier markets investment bank, initiated coverage on the shares of Nigeria’s staple food producers: Flour Mills of Nigeria, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Flour Mills and NASCON Allied Industries. This coverage aims to provide investors with the in-depth analysis necessary to make informed investment decisions.

Procurement: FG tells MDAs to authenticate tax certificates before payment

The Federal Government has mandated all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to authenticate all Tax Clearance Certificates (TCCs) presented by companies and individuals engaged in public procurement processes.

The directive is in response to the proliferation of forged TCCs purportedly issued prior to the automation of the certificates from August 22, 2017.

Western corridor rail line ready in 36 months Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi haa said Nigeria’s rail line will cover the Western corridor of the country traversing nine states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja spanning a total of 1,402Km.

He stated this at the Forum of China-Africa Transportation Convention in Beijing, China titled, ‘Better Transportation, Better World.’

Gas, power supply improve after burst pipeline repair TCN

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said there is significant improvement in gas supply to power generating plants.

It said NNPC had restored the ruptured pipeline and that gas was gradually building up in most generating stations, adding that in a day or two it was expected that gas and power supply would be back to normal.

Naira converges at N360 to dollar across major market segments

The Naira on Tuesday converged at N360 to the dollar across the major foreign exchange market, the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports.

At the parallel market, the naira traded at N360 to a dollar, stronger than the N360.6 exchanged before the Sallah break, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N489 and N423, respectively.

End to electricity challenges in sight as FG goes nuclear

The Nigerian Government has demonstrated commitment to introduce nuclear power into its energy mix to boost electricity generation in the country.

Mr Dmitry Shornikov, an expert and Chief Executive Officer, Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation (ROSATOM), said this in an interview text emailed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Vitol-led group to buy Nigeria assets from Petrobras Sources

A consortium led by top oil trader Vitol has entered exclusive talks to acquire stakes in Nigerian offshore fields that are held by Brazil’s Petrobras (PETR4.SA) and its partners, industry sources said.

The assets are estimated to be worth up to $2.5 billion, the two banking sources and one industry source told Reuters.

Fly, Eagles fly

The 2018 World Cup gets underway in Russia today with 32 countries set to battle for the ultimate prize in world football.

This once-every-four-years event will run from June 14 to July 15 in 12 stadiums spread across cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi. Nigeria’s Super Eagles are among the five African teams competing in the tournament and would be aiming to surpass their record of reaching the Round of 16 at the World Cup finals

Osun govship: Rep lends voice to zoning

The agitation for the zoning of governorship slot to Osun West is increasing by the day in Osun State, with a frontline governorship aspirant of the APC, Gafar Amere, warning that failure to allow the zone to produce the next governor may spell doom for the party in the September 22, election.

Govship aspirant decries internal crisis in Kwara PDP

A governorship aspirant of the PDP in Kwara State, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Ajia, has cautioned the party against internal wrangling and acrimony.

Alhaji Ajia said the opposition PDP could not secure victory over the APC with pervasive division among members.

APC group bemoans thuggery in Kaduna

A group, Kaduna Restoration Group (KRG), has bemoaned increasing cases of political thuggery in Kaduna State.

The group, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Tijani Ramalan, said it was collating evidence in respect of some of the cases in order to take action against those involved.

Dangiwa urged to run for presidency

A group, Goodnews Nigeria, has appealed to northern political leaders to endorse Col. Dangiwa Umar (Rtd) to contest for the presidency in 2019.

The group in a statement by its National Coordinator, Engr. Dauda Mbaya, said it was mounting pressure on Dangiwa Umar to run for the presidency and that he needed the support of more stakeholders.

Okorochas in-law urges SEast to vote Oshiomhole

Ahead of Saturday’s national convention of the APC, the Chief of Staff to the Imo State Governor and governorship aspirant of the party, Chief Uche Nwosu, has enjoined delegates from the South East to support a former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, as national chairman.

Chief Nwosu who spoke to newsmen in Owerri said Oshiomhole’s emergence as the national chairman of the APC would usher in a strong, focused and transparent leadership that would steer the party out of imminent crisis.

APC at a critical stage Aspirant

The APC and Nigeria are at a critical stage in their evolution, an aspirant for the position of national organising secretary of the party, Chidi Nwogu, said this yesterday in Abuja.

Nwogu who addressed journalists on his ambition, underscored the need for the emergence of a new crop of party leaders with the required capacities and backgrounds to weld the party and the nation together for overall national development to confront the challenges of the moment.

Ekiti: APC rally, a dramatic display of failure – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship mega rally held at the Olufemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday as a dramatic display of the failures embodied in the party.

The opposition party argued that the speakers at the rally did not disclose any significant plan which the APC has for the people of the state, saying it is an indication it has nothing except deceit and lies to offer the people.

FCT minister imposes curfew on Bwariagain

The FCT minister,  Muhammad Musa Bello,  has again,  imposed  curfew on Bwari town,  barely  a few months after he lifted one.

The minister had imposed curfew on the town last December when ethno-religious riots erupted in Bwari on Christmas Day.


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