SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 17, 2017
Boko Haram Insurgents Attack NAF Helicopter Conveying Medics
Boko Haram terrorists yesterday confronted men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), attacking its helicopter conveying medics on outreach programme in Gwoza area of Borno State.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, confirmed the incident, stating that “a NAF helicopter conveying personnel on medical outreach programme at Gwoza yesterday came under attack by members of the Boko Haram terrorist. “The Mi-17 helicopter was shot at severally by the terrorists however there was no casualty except for an airman that sustained bullet wound.” Read more
Bus conductors to wear uniforms, badges
National President of Bus Conductors Association of Nigeria (BCAN), Mr. Israel Adeshola, has said from March 1, it will become mandatory for bus conductors in Lagos State to wear uniforms, nametags and badges.
Adeshola, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, said the Lagos State government has approved wearing of uniforms and badges. He said that the use of badges and wearing of uniforms by over 3,000 bonafide members got the approval of the government on Monday. Read more
NPC to Include Religion, Ethnicity in 2018 National Census
The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), has disclosed that religion and ethnicity will be included in the 2018 national census.
Speaking with journalists yesterday in Abuja, ahead of the Phase three Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), Duruiheoma said religion and ethnicity would not be left out in the next census. Read more
Nigerians weigh cost of Buhari’s medical vacation abroad
The real cost of President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued stay in London for his medical vacation and the attendant fraternal trips by politicians dominated the social media landscape yesterday. Some Nigerians called on government to improve the nation’s health system and make it more suitable for medical tourism.
Circulating in social media platforms was the year 2000 World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ranking of the World Health Systems in which Nigeria was placed 187th of 190 countries — worse than Liberia (186th), Malawi (185th), Mozambique (184th) and Lesotho (183rd) and only better than Democratic Republic of the Congo (188th), Central African Republic (189th) and Myanmar (190th). Read more
‘N558m monthly upkeep for Dikko not documented’
The first prosecution witness in the on-going trial of former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Dikko, yesterday told the court that the alleged N558.200 million given to the defendant as monthly upkeep from the coffers of Nigerian Air Force was not receipted.
Umar was re-arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a seven-count charge of money laundering. Read more
‘No intimidation will stop Biafra struggle’
One of the leaders of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Kennedy Kenechukwu Ochi, has said no amount of intimidation would dim the struggle for a sovereign state of the Igbo.
He stated in Enugu yesterday that agitation for the realisation of Biafra would continue as long as the leadership of the country perpetuates ‘slavery’, arrests and clamping of innocent Igbo agitators into prison. Read more
Six Lagos PDP members defect to APC
Six members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of eight in the Lagos State House of Assembly formally defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) during yesterday’s sitting.
After the letter stating their defection was read by the acting Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni, the members: Mosunmola Sangodara, Surulere 2; Fatai Oluwa, Ajeromi Ifelodun 2; Dayo Famakinwa, Ajeromi Ifelodun 1; Hakeem Sokunle, Oshodi-Isolo 2 and Jude Idimogwu, Oshodi-Isolo 1; took time to explain why they left PDP. Read more
Senate alleges government’s insensitivity to economic hardship
The Presidency and the Senate are heading for a face-off over the gloomy state of the country’s economy, which the legislative arm said yesterday has inflicted untold hardship on ordinary Nigerians in the past two years.
The brewing misunderstanding is coming as the Debt Management Office (DMO) told the Senate yesterday that Nigeria’s economic downturn had not reached the point of seeking debt forgiveness from creditors. Read more
Ambode, Ikpeazu, Obaseki decry high unemployment rate
Prominent Nigerians, which include governors of Lagos, Abia and Edo states, Akinwunmi Ambode, Okezie Ikpeazu and Godwin Obaseki, have decried the high rate of unemployment in the country.
They warned that unless something urgent and decisive in terms of right government policies, collective responsibilities and strict anti-graft measures are taken, the country may be heading for disaster. Read more
Catholic priest abducted in Akwa Ibom
The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Donald Awunah, yesterday confirmed the abduction of Rev. Father Felix Akpan, a Roman Catholic priest of Ikot Ekpene Diocese in Akwa Ibom.
Akpan, who is in charge of St. Michael De Archangel Parish at Ikot Etim, in Ukanafun Local Council, was abducted by unidentified gunmen along Abak-Ukanafun Road. Read more
Health workers protest in Lagos, threaten strike
Health workers under the umbrella body of National Union of Allied Health Professionals yesterday at the Governor’s Office in Alausa, Lagos, protested over corruption and what they described as continued discrimination among the medical professionals and dichotomy in medical laboratory services across the country.
They marched through the major roads around the secretariat singing solidarity songs and threatening to embark on an indefinite strike on February 27, if their demands are not addressed in the shortest possible time. Read more
NNPC recorded N197.5bn loss in 2016 –Report
The group total loss of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation at the end of the 2016 financial year was N197.49bn.
Latest data released on Thursday by the national oil firm showed that the corporation earned a group total revenue of N1.726tn, but recorded an expense of N1.923tn last year. Read more
Train crushes teenager to death in Lagos
It was wailing and cursing yesterday morning at Iju, a suburb of Lagos, when an unidentified young girl, who had gone to buy petrol, was crushed to death by a moving train at Fagba rail-crossing. Residents, passers-by and hawkers in the area were seen wailing and crying, especially women, who trooped to the scene of the accident, where the remains of the young girl littered the rail track. According to an eyewitness, the young girl was clutching a gallon of fuel, which she had gone to buy from a nearby filling station before the incident occurred. Read more
FG owes retirees N143bn, says PenCom
The National Pension Commission on Thursday said that the Federal Government owed a total of N142.6bn in pension liabilities to retired workers from 2014 to 2016.
The Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, disclosed this in a memorandum submitted to the Senate Committee on Establishments and Public Service at the 2017 budget defence session. Read more
Educationist urges government to provide grants for private schools
Director, Cuddly Kids School, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, Mrs. Anuri Obijiaku, has appealed to the Federal Government to assist private school owners with grants to enable them to function optimally.
This, she said can be done by setting up academic, social and moral standards, which would in turn reward schools that meet and exceed the benchmark through the grants. Read more
Benue pensioners embark on prayer over unpaid arrears
Pensioners in Benue State have resorted to divine intervention over the unpaid 11 months pension arrears by the State government.
Expressing their grievances, after the prayers, Chairman of the Concerned Pensioners, Peter Kyado stated that they had embarked on a three-day sensitization and prayer procession to the Head of Service, the House of Assembly and Government House to remind the government about their plight. Read more
Varsity plans employment for graduates, partners New Horizons on ICT certification
Bells University of Technology and New Horizons, the world’s largest international certification-oriented IT and e-business training organisation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) boosting the employability and entrepreneurial chances of its graduates by formalising a Strategic Training Partnership.
At the MoU signing event at the university campus, Vice Chancellor, Professor Jeremiah Ojediran, expressed his excitement at the opportunities, which the programme will primarily accord the students irrespective of their academic disciplines, and the relevant university staff members who will also enjoy periodic staff training. Read more
Nigerians in London partner Lagos professionals to boost investment
A new initiative aimed at strengthening trade ties between Nigerian professionals in London and their counterparts in the country for better investment opportunities unfolded with the launch of Lagos Chapter of ‘Nigerians In The Square Mile’ (NISM).
NISM was established in 2008 to provide a networking forum for Nigerian bankers, lawyers, accountants and similar profession in Canary Wharf, Mayfair and the city of London, who are keen on how to attract investment from the diaspora to boost the nation’s economy. Read more
‘Nigeria hit by 2,175 cyber-attacks in one year’
Mr. Isa Patanmi, director-general, Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that Nigeria suffered about 2,175 cyber-attacks in 2015.
Patanmi, who disclosed this at the inauguration of a committee to implement the national cyber security strategy in Abuja, said a total of 585 government-owned websites were among the 2,175 Nigeria websites hacked in the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2015. Read more
Host community to oil firm: Give us 40% of contracts or forget new drilling project
TSEKELEWU community in Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, has vowed that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC/Elcrest will not be allowed to drill a new project in its domain unless they are accorded at least 40 percent of jobs available to contractors for the said project. Read more
Kidnapped FRSC officer, wife regain freedom
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) officer, Oluwafemi Ojo, and his wife, who were abducted by some gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Saturday along Ogotun-Igbara Odo Road in Ekiti West local government area, have regained freedom. A family source told newsmen yesterday in Ado-Ekiti that the Officer and his wife, Yemi, who spent four days in the kidnappers den, breathed air of freedom Wednesday night after the family paid a ransom of N1.5 million to their abductors. Read more
AMCON denies plan to nationalise Arik Air
Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has denied plans to nationalise Arik Air after its takeover by the Federal Government.
The denial is contrary to claims making the rounds that the distressed airline and Aero Contractors are set to be merged, to become Nigeria’s new national carrier after the defunct Nigeria Airways. Read more
‘Kaduna Airport 92 per cent ready for traffic’
Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has affirmed the readiness of the Kaduna Airport to receive Abuja-bound flights when the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) is closed in March.
FAAN said this to allay fears of air travellers that are worried about the level of infrastructure upgrade and facilities required for smooth diversion during the six-week repair work of the NAIA runway. Read more
Post-election fiscal crunch is Ghanaian politics as usual
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has taken power with ambitious plans to revive once spectacular economic growth, only to discover a $1.6 billion hole in the budget and a deficit twice as high as expected. He may have a strong sense of deja vu.
The country has a vigorous democracy, with voters ready to eject any leader who falls short of expectations. But for a third successive time, the national finances have gone off track before elections, forcing the winner to confront a fiscal crunch. Read more
Lagos to set up 500 training centres for codelagos
The Lagos State Government has revealed plans to set up 500 Coding Centres in public and private schools across the State ahead of the launch of the CodeLagos Initiative in April, 2017.
The CodeLagos project is an initiative of the State Government targeted at equipping at least one million Lagosians with the skills of computer programming aimed at making the State the technology frontier in Africa. Read more
Niger signs N300m contract to digitise radio station
Mr. Andrew Achanya, Acting General Manager, Radio Niger, has said that the state government had signed N300 million contract to ensure the digitilisation of the station.
Achanya disclosed this in commemoration of World Radio Day with the theme for 2017 edition, “Radio is You”. He also said that the state government had sent two staff of the station to Italy for two-week training on the job, to enable them manage the digitisation when in operation. Read more
Gunmen kill 27-yr-old undergraduate, watchman in Jigawa
A 27-year-old university student, Muhammad Garzali, was killed by unidentified assailants at Kafinhausa town of Kafinhausa Local Government Area of Jigawa State. Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mr Abdu Jinjiri, an ASP, disclosed that Garzali was murdered alongside a 60-year-old watchman, Ali Dan-Katsina, at a motor park in the area. Read more
Paris Club Refund: We’re Waiting For EFCC Probe – NGF
Governors of the 36 states of the federation under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) have said that they were ready for the investigations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged diversion of the refund made to states from the excess charges of Paris Club.
The governors were responding to reports last week that they may have used fictitious consultants to divert some of the money from Paris Club, which had attracted the attention of the EFCC. Read more
DMO: Nigerian Economy Too Strong to Ask for Debt Forgiveness
The Director-General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, yesterday rejected a suggestion by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt that the federal government should seek debt forgiveness in the face of Nigeria’s rising debt.
Nwankwo, who expressed his opposition to the advice while appearing before the committee to defend the 2017 budget of DMO in the National Assembly, had been advised by the committee to exploit the goodwill and popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari in the international community to ask for debt forgiveness in view of biting economic crisis confronting the nation. Read more
NEC orders CBN to review exchange rate
Rising from its first meeting for the year, the National Economic Council (NEC), Thursday, expressed concern over the current situation of the exchange rate and called for an urgent review of the current Forex Policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Read more
CBN: we don’t allocate forex directly to bank customers
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it does not directly allocate foreign exchange (forex) to bank customers. Forex transactions occur between banks and their customers, the apex bank added.
Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Financial Markets Emmanuel Ukeje stated this on a television programme while responding to allegations that the regulator was in breach of its foreign exchange administration policy. Read more
NEC demands review of foreign exchange policy
The National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently review its foreign exchange policy.
The NEC, chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, noted that the exchange rate, which had adversely affected the prices of goods and services, is no longer sustainable. Read more
FG nets $2.445bn from crude sales in 2016
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), yesterday disclosed that total export sales of crude oil and gas for the country from January to December 2016 stands at $2,445,451,363.
According to a statement from the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, the national oil firm recorded a total export sale of $195.40 million in crude oil and gas in December 2016 as against $166.18 million recorded in November 2016. The figure, he noted, is $20.22 million higher than the preceding month. Read more
Nigeria’s oil supplies to India drop 54%, differentials strengthen on tenders
Nigerian crude oil differentials were strengthening, traders said, due in large part to tender buying in India. Bonny Light had been offered as high as $1.20 above dated Brent, and Qua Iboe up to a $1.50 premium, Reuters reports. Read more
AGI Markets Monitor: OPEC reaches oil deal, Mozambique defaults, and Nigeria manages its exchange rate
The Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) Markets Monitor aims to provide up-to-date financial market and foreign exchange analysis for Africa watchers with a wide range of economic, business, and financial interests in the continent. Following the 2016 updates, the February 2017 update continues tracking the diverse performances of African financial and foreign exchange markets through the end of 2016. Read more
Fresh Nigerian LNG cargo heads for Portugal
REN’s Sines LNG import terminal on Portugal’s Atlantic coast is scheduled to receive a cargo of liquefied natural gas next week, LNG World News reports.
The cargo is being hauled by the 145,842-cbm LNG Oyo that loaded at Nigeria’s Bonny export plant, and is expected to dock at the Portuguese facility on February 20, according to the port of Sines shipping data. Read more
NIGERIA COURT: FORFEIT $110 MILLION LINKED TO OIL MINISTER
A Nigerian court handed the government more than $110 million seized from bank accounts linked to the former oil minister, declaring Thursday that it was looted from state coffers.
It’s the first major victory for the anti-corruption Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, though the amount is negligible compared to the $20 billion in oil sales that allegedly went missing while Diezani Alison-Madueke was oil minister. Read more
Moses Simon Dazzles In Front Of Man Utd Scout, Esiti Shines As Gent Beat Spurs
Belgian side Gent defeated English Premier League Europa League flag bearer Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in a round of 32 game of Europe’s second tier competition.
Gent paraded two Nigerians from the start in Moses Simon and Anderson Esiti, while Esiti lasted the entire duration of the game, Simon was replaced with 16 minutes left to play in the game by another Nigerian in Samuel Kalu. Read more
Ahmad’s CAF campaign for change gathers speed as Nigeria desert Hayatou
Issa Hayatou’s quest to hang on to power at the helm of African football has taken another jolt with the news that the highly influential Nigerian FA is backing his rival for the leadership.
Last weekend, COSAFA, the 14-strong Council of Southern African Football Association who represent a quarter of Africa’s members, unanimously endorsed Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad (sic) to succeed Hayatou at next month’s election in Ethiopia. Read more
NPFL 2016/17 top performers & projection
The 2016/17 Nigeria Professional Football League season is just eight weeks old but it has served up the necessary ingredients that highlight a complete football season.
Goals, great team performances, shocking results, coaching casualties, a hattrick and lots more have been on display for all lovers of the beautiful round leather game in Nigeria and especially the NPFL. Read more
Jose Mourinho: Why I won’t make these Man United changes against Saint-Etienne
Jose Mourinho’s men are in firm control of their last-32 Europa League tie against Saint-Etienne after a comfortable 3-0 win at Old Trafford earlier this evening.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic took the plaudits as he claimed a hat-trick – his first in United colours.
United made two changes from the side that beat Watford 2-0 last weekend, as Marouane Fellaini came in for Henrikh Mkhitaryan while Sergio Romero replaced David de Gea. Read more
TRANSFER NEWS: JORGE SAMPAOLI LEADING THE RACE TO SUCCEED LUIS ENRIQUE AS BARCELONA MANAGER, RONALD KOEMAN ALSO ON THE SHORTLIST
Jorge Sampaoli is the leading contender to replace Luis Enrique at Barcelona, while Ronald Koeman is also on their shortlist
According to the Telegraph, Sampaoli has been singled out as the man to take over from Luis Enrique, who is under massive pressure following Barcelona’s 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie. Read more
TRANSFER NEWS: BARCELONA JOIN ARSENAL AND TOTTENHAM IN KYLIAN MBAPPE PURSUIT
Barcelona are reportedly the latest club to register their interest in Kylian Mbappe as they join Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for the AS Monaco sensation.
As per an exclusive by French publication Le 10 Sport, Barcelona are showing interest in AS Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe. The exciting teenage forward has been linked with the Premier League duo of Arsenal and Tottenham recently. And it seems his performances have also caught the eye of the Spanish heavyweights. Read more
Wenger to take time on future plans but succession plans taking shape
Arsenal have begun actively working on the succession plan to Arsene Wenger ahead of his increasingly likely departure this summer but remain willing to give their longest-serving manager more time before a definitive decision is confirmed.
Friends and many club insiders believe that Wenger is now minded to stand down at the end of the season but, amid the rawness of a crushing 5-1 Champions League defeat in Munich, he is being encouraged not to rush to any final decision. Read more
Zealandia – pieces finally falling together for long-overlooked continent
Zealandia – a new continent submerged in the southwest Pacific – is a step closer to being recognised, the authors of a new scientific paper claim.
A paper published in GSA Today, the journal of the Geological Society of America, contends that the vast, continuous expanse of continental crust, which centres on New Zealand, is distinct enough to constitute a separate continent.
Despite the obvious question of how something so large could be previously undiscovered, the paper’s authors argue that even “the large and the obvious in natural science can be overlooked”. Read more
An ISIS Bombing at a Shrine in Pakistan Has Killed at Least 75 People
An ISIS suicide bomber struck inside a famed shrine in southern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 75 people in the deadliest attack in the country in more than two years.
The bomber entered the main hall of the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan and detonated his payload amid dozens of worshippers, according to three security officials, who said at least 20 women and nine children were among the dead. Read more
Donald Trump has put US government in ‘unbelievable turmoil’, says senior army general
The US Government is in “unbelievable turmoil” less than a month into Donald Trump’s term in office, a senior American army general has warned.
General Tony Thomas, the head of the US military’s Special Operations Command, said the chaos engulfing Mr Trump’s fledgling administration was causing problems for the country’s armed forces. Read more
Hong Kong police officers jailed for beating protester
Seven Hong Kong police officers have been jailed for two years each for beating a handcuffed protester.
The group were convicted of Tuesday of assaulting social worker and activist Ken Tsang as he took part in the 2014 pro-democracy rallies. TV cameras caught the officers removing Mr Tsang from the protest area to a nearby park and kicking and punching him as he lay on the ground. Read more
UN eying talks with US, Canada to resettle Rohingya refugees
THE United Nations’ refugee agency has asked Bangladesh to allow it to negotiate with the United States, Canada and some European countries to resettle around 1,000 Rohingya Muslims living in the South Asian nation, a senior official at the agency said.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya live in Bangladesh after fleeing Buddhist-majority Burma since the early 1990s, and their number has been swelled by an estimated 69,000 escaping an army crackdown in northern Rakhine State in recent months. Read more