FG okays merger of NCAA, NAMA, FCAA, others
• Retains NECO, JAMB, NTA, FRCN, VON, EFCC, ICPC, CCB
THE Federal Government yesterday rejected recommendations for merger and outright scrapping of some government agencies by the Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies. Some of the key agencies which the committee, headed by a former Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Mr. Steve Orosanye, recommended to be merged, but which government rejected included the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB). The two bodies were recommended to be merged with the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). The government, however, accepted the recommendation of the panel that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) should continue to exist as the central examination body for admissions into Nigerian universities and directs that it must play its regulatory role to ensure that all students for undergraduate admissions into Nigerian universities must pass through JAMB, including direct entries. The committee, which had submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan on April 16, 2012, also recommended the reduction of the existing 263 government parastatals and agencies to 161.
The Guardian, pg6
Ibadan ‘forest of horror’: Police, UCH forensic experts begin probe
•To exhume bones for analysis •50 ‘mentally-ill’ persons arrested
Forensic experts from the Police and the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday began examining the Soka “forest of horror”, where dying men and women were rescued and decomposing bodies and human parts were found. The police team of pathologists was led by Dr. Eze Nwom and the UCH team Prof. Olawoyin. They moved to the site with another police team, led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department (ACCID), Dasuki Galadachi. They arrived at the site about 11am yesterday. Police spokesperson Olabisi Ilobanafor, who was with them, said they were there to exhume the bones of victims buried at the site for forensic analysis to help investigation into the activities in the forest. She said the analysis would spur those whose relations are missing to go for DNA tests to enable investigators match results and determine if the missing persons were killed in the “forest of horror”. Men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) were at the site. Ilobanafor said: “Three teams are here, led by Galadachi from the State CID. One of the forensic teams from the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja, is led by Babale Aminu. Aminu was sent by the Inspector-General of Police with four others, including a forensic pathologist, Dr. Eze Nwom, who led the team of pathologists.
The Nation, pg9
Delta police parade kidnappers’ of Clark’s son
ASABA—DELTA State Commissioner of Police Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, yesterday, paraded the suspected kidnappers of Chief E. K. Clark’s son, Mr. Ebikeme Clark at the state police headquarters, Asaba. command was seriously worried over the whereabouts of some members of the kidnap gang that carried out the operation, which he described as “extremely dangerous.” According to him, “other gang members still at large include Timi, Abel, Ndamaw, and Jacob. “The suspects further confessed to being behind the kidnapping of one Madam Rose at Udu Road, Warri, from whose family they collected a ransom of N1.8 million. “We want to re iterate that these gang members are extremely dangerous, ruthless schemers and blood tasty, hence we enjoin the good people of Delta State to as quickly as possible alert the police command through any of our distress call numbers: 08036684974, 08125273010 and 08075390753 or alert any of the security agencies in the state with any useful information that will lead to the arrest of the wanted suspects.
I’ll back Wike to succeed Amaechi –Patience Jonathan
Wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, on Monday said she was solidly behind the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, to take over from the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, in 2015. Wike, who was at a time Amaechi’s Chief of Staff, has been at loggerheads with the governor since he (Amaechi) started having a running battle with President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife. Mrs. Jonathan, who is also from Rivers State, claimed in a statement by her media assistant, Ayo Adewuyi, that the people of the state were behind Wike and were prepared to follow him. Though she claimed that she was not meddling in the process of selecting candidates for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, the President’s wife described Wike’s ambition as a fait accompli. She was reacting to a news report that indicated that she was planning to install three governors in Bauchi, Bayelsa and Rivers states. The statement party reads, “While we consider this a figment of the imagination of the writers of the spurious story, it is also expedient to state clearly that the First Lady does not meddle in the affairs and selection process of the ruling party, the PDP. “Consequently, there is no way she can dictate or install anybody into political offices.
The Punch, pg18
Jonathan sacks NNPC Legal Adviser
President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of Ikechukwu Oguine as the Coordinator, Legal Services and Company Secretary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). An Aso Rock statement on Monday said Oguine replaces Anambra State-born Anthony Chukwuma Madichie, who had served as the NNPC Legal Adviser and Secretary to the Corporation since February 2011. Oguine, also from Anambra State, has over 29 years of legal experience, and was the General Counsel of Chevron Nigeria Limited. He has also been a partner in Advisory Legal Consultants, a law firm specialising in oil, gas, power and mining, added the statement issued by presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati. Another statement from Abati on Monday said Jonathan has extolled the patriotic dedication of Senate President, David Mark, to national unity, peace and progress, as he clocks 66 years today. In a congratulatory letter to Mark, the President also expressed his appreciation of the Senate President’s unflinching support and contributions towards the successful implementation of the Federal Government’s transformation agenda. “As you mark your 66th birthday anniversary, I extend very warm felicitations to you on behalf of my family, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Daily Independent, pg11
FIRS gets new ultimatum to raise tax collection
The Federal Government on Monday gave the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) a new ultimatum to quickly raise collection from taxes, following the rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which showed Nigeria’s tax-to-GDP ratio dropping from 20 to 12 percent. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy, said Nigeria’s revenue, especially from taxes, did not look too good for a country with as much as $509 billion GDP size. The minister said before the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) began the rebasing exercise, tax-to-GDP ratio was about 20 percent, which was not even as good as the 22 percent target by the country. Non-oil tax revenue-to-GDP ratio was estimated at 7 percent then. But with the rebasing of the GDP, Nigeria has seen its tax revenue-to-GDP ratio even decline to about 12 percent, and 4 percent for non-oil tax, which the minister said was of concern to government.
BusinssDay, front pg, cont on pg4
Reps to pass N4.6tn budget today
Barring a last minute change in plans, the House of Representatives is set to pass the 2014 budget of N4.6tn today (Tuesday). The Joint Committee on Appropriations/Finance is expected to brief the House on the budget today; following which lawmakers will consider its report and pass the budget in the Committee of the Whole. President Goodluck Jonathan had presented the budget estimates to the National Assembly on December 18 last year.
The Punch, pg27
PPMC blames fuel scarcity on non-payment of subsidy claims
THE Management of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, has blamed the lingering scarcity of premium motor spirit, PMS, otherwise called petrol across the country on lack of payment of subsidy claims to oil marketers. Managing Director of PPMC, Prince HarunaMomoh who made this disclosure in his submission before the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream in Abuja, said marketers have suspended importation of petroleum products to the country.
FG to introduce herbal medicine course in varsities
ABUJA — Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said the federal government has concluded plans to introduce herbal medicine studies in universities. Prof. Chukwu disclosed this at the 3rd Annual Guest Lecture organized by Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MHWUN, in Abuja. He said: “They say we cannot achieve universal health coverage unless herbal medicine practitioners are involved. But I say they must be trained.
Immigration tragedy: Moro knows fate today
The Senate Committee on Interior probing the ill-fated recruitment into the Nigerian Immigration Service on March 15, which led to the death of 16 job seekers, is expected to submit its report for the consideration of the upper chamber on Tuesday (today). The Punch, pg13