Sabinews Morning News Update for December 28, 2015
Army averts planned suicide bombing in Kaduna
The Nigerian Army have averted a wave of suicide bombing attacks that would have killed scores of people in Kaduna as seven suspected Boko Haram terrorists found with various grades of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were arrested prior to carrying out their devilish act.
The military, in statement signed by Colonel Sani Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations said: “Another catastrophe was averted in Kaduna State and other contiguous areas when troops of the Nigerian Army arrested seven suspected Boko Haram terrorist’s bomb and Improvised Explosive making Devices (IEDs) specialists. Read more
Shiite Sect Dismisses Allegations of Impunity, Human Rights Abuses
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMIN) also known as Shiite has dismissed allegations of impunity and abuse of human rights levelled against it by some residents of Zaria, saying those behind the allegations were a faceless and mischievous people who were out to blackmail the movement.
A group led by one Alhaji Mohammed Baba had at a press conference in Kaduna at the weekend accused the leader of the IMIN, El-Zakzaky, and his followers of impunity and human rights abuses in Gyallesu area of Zaria. Read more
NCAA to airlines: remit over N6b debts from ticket sales
Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has expressed concern about airlines’ failure to remit charges collected for Federal Government’s agencies.
Domestic airlines owed the authority over N6 billion from the five per cent ticket, charter and cargo sales charges collected from the public. Read more
Doctors’ quarters razed in Rivers hospital
The doctors’ quarters at the Rivers State government-owned Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, near the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital, was razed yesterday.
The affected doctors and their families were relocated to the government guest houses, following Governor Nyesom Wike’s directive during his visit to the hospital. Read more
CAN ‘can’t work with Boko Haram’
The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) yesterday refuted a video report credited to an Iranian television station in which an Iranian lecturer alleged that the Army, Boko Haram and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have combined to destroy Shi’ites.
It said it wondered under which ideology would CAN team up with Boko Haram to destroy an Islamic sect. Read more
Fire destroys 20 shops in Ilorin
A midnight inferno at the weekend destroyed 20 shops at Ojo-Tuntun market in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
The fire destroyed goods worth millions of naira and burnt money left by shop owners. Read more
Minister suspends Abuja airport officials over Turkish Airlines fiasco
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has ordered the suspension of three top officials of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, over the recent incident involving Turkish Airlines at the airport. Sirika disclosed this while briefing newsmen after listening to explanations by the airport officials on the incident on Sunday in Abuja.
He added that the ministry had also ordered thorough investigation to ascertain the cause of the breach, as well as why the airline brought in passengers without their luggage. Read more
Visitors besiege Calabar for carnival parade
Large numbers of visitors descended on Calabar, the Cross River State capital, for the annual Calabar Carnival parade which starts today.
The parade was shifted from Sunday to today. Read more
Lagos Assembly Pledges to Pass 2016 Budget before New Year
The Lagos State House of Assembly at the weekend pledged that it would pass the 2016 appropriation bill before the end of the 2015 fiscal year.
The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had precisely 10 days ago presented a budget of N662.588 billion to the assembly, thus making it the highest ever proposed in the history of the state. Read more
Police Smash Notorious Kidnapping Gang in Imo
Following its excellent performance since the advent of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, the Imo State Police Command yesterday exhumed the remains of a 63-year-old kidnapped victim, Madam Ogo Omereji who was abducted and buried alive in a shallow grave by her abductors who were incidentally her nephews.
The family of the victim, who was abducted in her farm on September 26, this year by the three-man kidnap gang, was said to have paid N500,000 to the kidnappers who eventually killed the victim who might have identified them. Read more
Pastor Arrested Over Charm Buried In Church Premises
The police in Benin yesterday arrested one Apostle Ikenna Okafor for allegedly burying charm in his church premises in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the identity of what the suspect buried is unknown even though residents around the church located along Esigie St. in Benin alleged it was a live animal. Read more
Bill To Compel N’East States To Forfeit 15% Of Allocation For Development Underway
The proposed Northeast Development Commission (NDC) that is currently being legislated by the Nigerian Senate, if passed into law, will get its funding from 15 per cent deductions from the monthly allocations of the six states in the region.
The six non-oil producing states, which are rated amongst the poorest in Nigeria, will have to part with 15 per cent of their income from the Federation Account to enable the new commission help them fix their states which had been destroyed by Boko Haram. Read more
Union Bank faces likely drops in revenue, profit at full year
Union Bank faces the challenges of inability to grow revenue and that could lead to a drop in gross earnings for the bank at full year. Rising interest cost is hurting profit capacity and the bank isn’t likely to achieve up to one-half of its preceding year’s profit based on the third quarter growth rate. Revenue is constrained by non-interest income, which declined by 13% year-on-year at the end of the third quarter while interest income has slowed down due to a continuing drop in the investment portfolio. Read more
CBN explains forex restrictions
Foreign currency restrictions will be lifted only when reserves have been built up to an appreciable level, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
Addressing journalists in Abuja at the weekend on the recent decision by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to limit the use of their debit cards overseas, the CBN’s Director, Monetary Policy Department, Mr. Moses Tule, said the restrictions will be lifted “as soon as we build up reserves; when you see us building reserves to $50 billion, $60 billion, $70 billion, $200 billion or more”. Read more
Yields on $1.7tr euro-region bonds fall below zero
As the European Central Bank wound down its asset purchases for the year, the amount of euro-region government bonds that yield less than zero was at about $1.68 trillion, indicating investors see the potential for further easing of monetary policy in 2016.
With QE acquisitions set to resume on Jan. 4, bonds of governments from Portugal to Germany will be supported again by the 1.5 trillion-euro programme, which is scheduled to keep running until at least March 2017. Read more
Re-introduce Commodity Boards to Boost Agriculture, FG Told
The federal government has been advised to re-establish commodity boards in the agricultural sector in order to support the activities of farmers.
This is also expected to address losses incurred by farmers after harvesting their crops and boost the contribution of the sector to the national gross domestic product (GDP). Read more
Equities Rebound Despite Christmas Sell-off
Despite sell pressure in some highly capitalised stocks in the last trading day of last week, the Nigerian equities market rebounded to close the week in the green.
Last week’s performance was boosted by investors drive to take position in some highly discounted stocks for possible future gains. Read more
As Naira Depreciates, CBN Contemplates Closing BDC Window
The naira has been one of the worst hit currencies in 2015 on the continent following the crash in global oil prices, hitting an all-time low of N280 to the dollar at the parallel market. This was spiked by the declining level of Nigeria’s external reserves which depreciated by 14.9 per cent in the course of the year.
The reserves had fallen from $34.46 billion which it was as at December 31, 2014 to $29.34 billion as at December 22, 2015 according to the latest figures given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on its website, covering barely four months of imports. Read more
Relaxation of monetary policy yet to impact economy — LCCI
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI has said the relaxation of monetary conditions is yet to impact on the cost of funds in the economy and predicted that the Gross Domestic Product, GDP will rebound in 2016.
While reviewing the year, 2015, LCCI noted that the business environment was faced with multiple challenges ranging from insecurity in some parts of the country, infrastructural conditions, foreign exchanges crisis, funding issues, inconsistency of policy and the quality of institutions. Read more
Oil and Gas
Nigeria to rely on 75% importation of petrol in 2016 – NNPC
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, said the country will still rely on 75 per cent importation of fuel throughout the whole of next year.
Group Managing Director NNPC and Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated this during his tour of Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company, KRPC. Read more
Nigerian Refineries To Produce 10m Litres Of Petrol By January – Kachikwu
Nigerian refineries are expected to produce about 10 million litres of petrol daily by January next year.
Minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who disclosed this yesterday, also clarified that the federal government is not paying fuel subsidy for the present consumption due to the current low oil prices. Read more
FG to commence freighting of petroleum products by rail
Nigeria is to commence the freighting of petroleum products from its various seaports and refineries for onward distribution to consumers in the hinterlands by rail, Transport Minister, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said.
In the last 10 years, Nigeria’s underground pipeline networks where products were usually moved have collapsed, thus leaving fuel marketers with no option than to move products by road via trucks with all the attendant crisis in gridlocks caused to other road users by the tankers indiscriminately parked along refineries, depots and fuel reloading routes in Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt. Read more
Pengassan Opposes Proposed PIB, Planned ‘Retrenchment’ of Workers
Oil workers under the auspices of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have condemned the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), describing it as anti-labour.
The workers have therefore vowed to resist federal government’s plan to lay off workers, especially employees of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as a result of the restructuring, as stipulated in the proposed PIB. Read more
Communities to lose land for bunkering activities —Navy
The Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS, DELTA, in a move to end illegal bunkering activities in its domain, has warned communities not to allow illegal refining activities in their area or else such lands shall be forfeited to the Federal Government in its new strategy.
This followed Wednesday destruction of 48 (50 X50) underground storage reservoirs, several thousand drums, 8,000 metric tons of crude oil and 200 metric tons of refined Automotive Ga soline Oil (Diesel) in Warri South and Warri South West Local Government Areas of Delta State, in its bid to end illegal oil bunkering in the area. Read more
Implementation of new electricity tariff fixed for February 1
Despite public agitation, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has announced February 1, 2016 as the take-off date for the implementation of the new tariff regime.
Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, stated this while featuring on a live programme on Channels Television. Amadi said there was no going back on the new tariff structure, having abolished the fixed electricity charge. Read more
Enyimba target Dobrev, Aigbogun as Ikhana’s replacement
League champions, Enyimba FC have reportedly set it’s sights on making either former Gabros technical adviser, Mitko Dobrev or Warri Wolves technical adviser, Paul Aigbogun as their new coach should Kadiri Ikhana be sacked.
Ikhana led Enyimba to the league champions at the end of the 2014/2015 season but reports have it that the Peoples Elephants could announce Ikhana’s departure this week. Read more
Sunshine Stars Players Protest Unpaid Wages
Sunshine Stars players have threatened to take to the streets if the club management refuses to settle their outstanding salaries and match bonuses.
The Akure Gunners finished sixth in the just concluded Nigeria Professional Football League season, and the players claimed they have been abandoned by the Akin Akinbobola led board owing to their inability to grab a continental ticket. Read more
Oliseh still out of RSA trip
The Super Eagles will fly out to South Africa on Saturday, January 2, for the final build up of preparations for the 2016 Africa Nations Championship.
The team returns to training on Sunday, 27th December after a three day break which allowed the players to go celebrate the Christmas holidays with their families. Read more
North African al-Qaeda says top figure killed in ambush
A leading figure of the North African affiliate of al-Qaeda has been killed in an ambush by Algerian soldiers, one of 109 terrorists killed by Algerian security forces in 2015, the country’s Defense Ministry said Sunday.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, said that Abu al-Hassan Rachid al-Bulaydi, head of the Sharia Committee, was killed on Friday “as a result of an insidious ambush by the apostates,” according to a statement translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. The statement said he was killed in the Tizi Ouzou region east of Algiers. Read more
Benin prime minister unharmed after helicopter crash-landing
Benin’s Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou walked away unharmed after the helicopter he was travelling in crash-landed in the north of the West African nation on Saturday, his daughter said.
It was not immediately known why Zinsou’s helicopter made the forced landing in the town of Djougou, where he had been due to meet local people. Read more
Money Launderers Arrested At Mozambique-South Africa Border; US$7.3 Million Seized
South African authorities arrested two Mozambicans who were carrying millions of dollars in banknotes hidden in the back of a pick-up truck.
According to the South African police, the total seized was US$4.9 million, 2.2 million euros and 20,000 South African rands. Read more
Morocco inexplicably postpones opening of world’s largest solar plant
Morocco postponed without explanation the inauguration of Noor-1, a solar power plant due to open Sunday in Ouarzazate, part of what will eventually be the world’s largest solar power production facility.
When asked by AFP, the communications agency that organised the inauguration on behalf of Moroccan solar energy agency Masen gave no reasons for the last-minute delay. Read more
Burundi rivals head for Uganda peace talks
Rival Burundi factions travelled to Uganda on Sunday ahead of talks aimed at ending months of violence, diplomats said, as the African Union pushes the government to accept a peacekeeping force.
Those travelling include a government delegation as well as some opposition members and civil society representatives, diplomats said, ahead of talks on Monday at Uganda’s presidential palace in Entebbe, just outside the capital Kampala. Read more
Ugandan boxer Kakembo wins ABU title
Edward ‘Ring Messiah’ Kakembo defied all odds to claim the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) featherweight title at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere in Lagos on Saturday.
The Ugandan pugilist was a late replacement for injured Kenyan fighter Francis Kimani. However, despite his last minute entry into the GOtv Boxing Night fight, Kakembo looked more focused and in better shape as he battered Nigeria and West African champion Waidi ‘Skoro’ Usman to win the African crown. Read more
Emergency crews clean up after train derailed, spilling sulphuric acid
Emergency crews have continued to clean up in heavy rain after a freight train derailment in mid northern Queensland.
About 200,000 litres of sulphuric acid and diesel fuel were spilled when all 26 carriages overturned at the Quarrells site, 20km east of Julia Creek, on Sunday. Read more
Iraqi army declares first major victory over Islamic State in Ramadi
Iraq’s army declared victory over Islamic State fighters in a provincial capital west of Baghdad on Sunday, the first major triumph for the U.S.-trained force since it collapsed in the face of an assault by the militants 18 months ago.
The capture of Ramadi, capital of mainly Sunni-Muslim Anbar province in the Euphrates River valley west of the capital, deprives Islamic State militants of their biggest prize of 2015. The fighters seized it in May after government troops fled in a defeat which prompted Washington to take a hard look at strategy in its ongoing air war against the militants. Read more
Japan and South Korea to discuss comfort women issue
Japan and South Korea’s foreign ministers are set to discuss the fraught issue of so-called “comfort women”, forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War Two.
Up to 200,000 women are estimated to have been sexually enslaved by Japan during the war, many of them Korean. Read more