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The federal government has described a statement credited to a faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) criticising the process that led to the release of the 82 Chibok Girls over the weekend as indecent, inhuman and ill-timed. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it is patently insensitive for any individual or organisation to “seek to douse, on the altar of politics, the universal joy that has greeted the release of the 82 girls - the highest number so far freed since their unfortunate abduction under the watch of the PDP over three years ago.” As deduced from the statement, the minister said that it was more clear that the PDP,whose incompetence and cluelessness precipitated the Chibok girls crisis in the first instance, is not wishing and praying for it to end with the safe return of the abducted girls. ‘’In...
Borno State governor ,Kashim Shettima yesterday  paid a thank-you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa over the release of the 82 Chibok girls over the weekend. He noted that the Federal Government under the gallant leadership of the President Buhari surprised the people of Borno State with a very precious gift and that gift was securing the release of 21 promising daughters of Borno who were amongst the 276 schoolgirls violently abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents at Government Secondary School, Chibok on the 14th of April, 2014. Shettima told the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo who represented the President that in October, last year, the release of those 21 girls brought them  overwhelming joy, adding however that  rather than coming to Villa to show gratitude, they opted to be grateful in silence. He observed that two days ago, the entire world was electrified by a record breaking negotiation which...
There was jubilation across the country yesterday, as President Muhammadu Buhari received the 82 released Chibok schoolgirls at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. On arrival in Abuja, the girls  were received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to the president. Announcing their arrival at about 11am yesterday, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, tweeted on his twitter handle: “82 Chibok girls now in Abuja. Received on behalf of the President at the airport by Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari. Congrats Nigeria”. The girls were immediately taken to undergo medical check-up at the Department of State Services (DSS) clinic in Aso Rock. The girls arrived the presidential villa at about 7:05pm in two white Marcopolo buses accompanied by security officials and Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan. The buses had window blinds which shielded the girls from the prying eyes of...
The nation’s drive towards self-sufficiency in sugar production will soon be attained as Dangote conglomerate concludes plans to establish a $450 million Sugar refinery plant in Niger State The managing director of Dangote Sugar Refinery Company, Engineer Abdullahi Sule disclosed this to newsmen in Minna, the Niger State capital after a brief meeting with the State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello in his office. Sule who led a team of experts from Dangote group to the meeting in Government House, Minna said the meeting was to brief the governor on the progress made so far on the proposed Sugar and Rice schemes to be sited in the state by the group. According to Sule, sites for both the sugarcane plantation and the refinery have been identified while the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Niger State government, the community hosting the schemes and the group is being perfected. “For the Sugar, we have...
Due to the moribund state of the three existing paper mills in the country, Nigeria loses over N400 billion annually to importation of paper products, LEADERSHIP checks have revealed. It was gathered that despite the much touted privatisation process of previous administrations, the three paper mills are not functional. They are Nigeria Paper Mill (NPM) Limited located in Jebba, Kwara State; Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company (NNMC) Ltd. in Oku-Iboku, Akwa Ibom State and Nigerian National Paper Manufacturing Company (NNPMC) Ltd., Iwopin, in Ogun State. Managing Director/CEO of NNPMC, Ebun Braithwaite, who spoke with LEADERSHIP on phone, however, assured that the company is tackling the challenges head-on. She said she was confident that with reversal at the company, activities which would impact positively on the host community and indeed the state will commence fully. She noted that the problem of Iwopin Pulp and Paper Company has to be looked at within the larger context of...
The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) will become the largest bank in the country after its restructuring by the federal government. “We have begun the process of restructuring the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and by the time we finish, it will become the largest bank in this country, with probably anything between 25 and 30 million depositors and shareholders”, he stated. In an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP, Ogbeh reeled out other achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration including bringing back the universities of agriculture under the ministry of Agriculture after 16 years in the wilderness. He said the present administration has succeeded in heavily cutting down food importation, particularly rice since its assumption of office two years ago. The minister noted that against 2015 when Nigeria imported 580,000 metric tonnes of rice, the federal government was able to cut down importation...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Sunday Isuwa, Abuja and Francis Okoye, Maiduguri Another 82 of the Chibok school girls who were abducted by the Boko Haram sect in April 2014 have been released, sources within the presidency confirmed to LEADERSHIP Sunday last night. It was gathered that the release of this set of girls was the outcome of negotiation between the federal government and the terror group. With this development, the federal government may have made real its promise that the remaining Chibok girls who were still in the captivity of the terrorists group will be released before the war against Boko Haram is considered over. President Muhammadu Buhari had assured last month that the federal government was in talks to secure the release of the remaining girls. He said the government remained “in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed”. One of...
By ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos In spite of the economic recession that impacted negatively on most businesses in different sectors of the nation’s economy last year, leasing firms braved the odds and generated N1.26 trillion lease business volumes in 2016, LEADERSHIP Sunday has exclusively learnt. Findings showed that the industry in 2016 recorded 14 per cent growth in outstanding lease volume which grew from N1.1 trillion in 2015 to the aforementioned amount in 2016. This, according to experts, means that Nigerian leasing industry has continued to be vibrant and a succour to many organisations across all sectors of the economy, in spite of the current economic realities. Stakeholders believe leasing is still attractive to new investors with massive diversification by existing players in the industry. Analysis of the volume by sector revealed that the oil and gas, with its present challenges still out-played other sectors with the lead of N398 billion, a 24 per cent...
By BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos Nigerian banks with international banking license are pulling in profit from their subsidiaries outside the country, with four out of the five banks licensed to do business internationally raking in N47.069 billion from their subsidiaries. Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and United Bank for Africa last year had their subsidiaries outside the country contributing to their profit in 2016. GTBank, in its 2016 financial year, recorded a profit after tax of N132 billion, while Access Bank, Zenith and UBA recorded profit after tax of N71.4 billion, N129.65 billion and N72 billion respectively during the 2016 financial year. UBA raked in the highest, with 18 of its African subsidiaries outside of Nigeria jointly contributing over 32 per cent to its revenue. The results released showed that of the 18 UBA subsidiaries in Africa, 16 were profitable, while the remaining two subsidiaries showed strong prospect for becoming profitable in 2017,...
By ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos As the country continues to grapple with recession, occasioned by the slump in the price of crude oil in the international market which resulted in double digit inflation rate and naira devaluation, Nigerians are now paying more to replace their insured assets, LEADERSHIP Sunday can authoritatively report. Findings showed that the prices of cars, houses and housing materials, among others, have gone up by 100 per cent, meaning that money that could buy two cars 18 months ago, can only buy one car now. To this end, most insurance consumers who paid their premium last year with the old value of their assets, will have to settle for less to replace the insured assets in case of any mishap, as insurance companies will only pay claims on the old value. Consequently, for the consumers to maintain the same standard of assets they insured, they will have to add up...