SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE FOR MARCH 6, 2017
Buhari Calls Obasanjo, Bello from London
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday called former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, from his medical vacation in London.
While the president called Obasanjo to felicitate with him on the occasion of his 80th birthday, he merely called to interact with Bello. Read more
INEC to suspend 227 officials this week
There are strong indications that no fewer than 227 members of the Independent National Electoral Commission will go on suspension this week.
The PUNCH gathered on Sunday that the staff to be suspended included those who were indicted for infractions in investigations conducted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Police and the Department of State Services. Read more
‘PDP’s travail is a test for democracy in Nigeria’
FOR long we have been telling Nigerians that it is not really Sheriff, there are forces behind him. Not many people believed us. But, we anticipated that the authorities might attempt to prevent us. So, what we did was to virtually hold the real meeting the night before that day, and we exhaustively discussed from 8pm to about 1am. Alas it happened. So, having exhaustively and comfortably discussed. We arrived at a communiqué, which was read. We have to stand firm; we respect the judiciary. People were hurt; they may have uttered some words because they were hurt and disappointed. But, for me we should not take it personal against their lordships. Read more
Obasanjo, best president Nigeria has ever had, says Mbang
The former Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Dr. Sunday Mbang, has said former President Olusegun Obasanjo is the best president Nigeria has ever had, given the enduring institutions he established and his programmes while in office.
He said this on Sunday while preaching at the former President’s 80th birthday thanksgiving service held at the Chapel of Christ The Glorious King, located inside the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library complex. Read more
‘Politicians should emulate Zik, Awo, Balewa’
The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, on Sunday asked Nigerian politicians to emulate the founding fathers of the country in using dialogue and compromise instead of conflict to resolve issues.
Obiano, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Strategic Communications and Legislative Matters, Prince Oliver Okpala, described dialogue as the hallmark of peace and conflict resolution. Read more
Osun West plots to produce Aregbesola’s successor
As activities gear up for the 2018 governorship race in Osun State, leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun West senatorial district, have began moves to produce the next governor.
The party expressed satisfaction in the manner governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has been managing the resources of the state to build infrastructural facilities, empowerment of youths, women among others. Read more
RRS arrests three kidnappers fleeing with ransom, SUV
Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested three suspected kidnappers fleeing from Ibadan, Oyo State, after collecting N3 million ransom.
The kidnappers, Adekunle Funsho, 31; Charles Ezeilo, 32; and Obioha Nnaji were apprehended in Abule Egba area of Lagos at the weekend after kidnapping a lady and extorting a N3 million ransom from her family. Read more
CBN, police clamp down on new note vendors in Lagos
In a fresh bid to end the abuse of currency in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the police have begun a major onslaught against naira abusers, arresting no fewer than 12 vendors in Lagos.
The vendors, all women, were apprehended at different parts of the metropolis selling naira notes to party lovers and socialites. The suspects were arrested during a raid carried out by officials of the CBN and operatives of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti-Yaba. Read more
Lagos Motor Fair, Auto parts Expo hold in April
This year’s Lagos International Motor Fair and the related Autoparts Expo, will hold at the Federal Palace Hotel, from April 24 to 29, and April 26 to 29, 2017, respectively.
Announcing the dates recently in Lagos, the organisers of the annual concurrent exhibitions, which will be marking their 12th and 6th anniversaries this year, gave the joint theme for the events as One Expo; Continental Spread.
According to the Managing Director BKG Exhibitions Limited, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, who is also the Chairman of the organising committee for the event, the focus was influenced by the determination of the organisers to catalyse activities in the autoparts sector as a means of helping to fast-track the development of Nigeria’s automotive industry. Read more
Unions berate FG over plan to sack 3,500 workers
Organised Labour has condemned the Federal Government’s alleged plan to sack 3,500 public servants on the grounds that they got appointment in irregular and unauthorised circumstances.
This is even as it has warned that the planned mass sack of public servants, if not put on hold, would trigger industrial crisis in the public service, the magnitude of which no one could predict. Read more
Navy impounds bags of rice
Officers of the Nigerian Navy have intercepted over 80 bags of rice allegedly being smuggled into the country from Benin Republic through the waterways.
The Navy said its personnel attached to the Forward Operation Base (FOB), Badagry, interceptd a wooden boat being used to ferry the bags of rice while on a patrol at the Iyana-Ipaahi waterways around the Badagry creeks. Read more
Magistrate orders journalist out of court
There was mild drama at the Magistrate’s Court, Igbosere, Lagos State, last Friday when a presiding magistrate, Mr. H.O. Amos, queried the presence of a journalist in his court.
After several questions and answers, Amos eventually ordered the journalist out of his court. He said the journalist did not obtained permission before entering his court. Read more
950 killed, 2,400 injured by fire in 3 years, says NFPAWA
Over 950 people were killed and 2,400 injured as a result of electric surge-induced fire at construction sites between 2011 and 2014 in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the National Fire Protection Association West Africa (NFPAWA). The group blamed the spate of fire outbreaks and other disasters on poor standardisation and compliance.
NFPAWA stated this at a press conference over the weekend in Lagos, with emphasis that foreign investors were being discouraged from investing in Nigeria as a result of non-compliance in operational risk management in life, fire safety and security. Read more
EFCC launches manhunt for Jonathan’s kinsman
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun a manhunt for some kinsmen of former President Goodluck Jonathan in connection with investigations into billions of naira alleged to be missing in some federal government agencies.
Investigations showed that operatives of the anti-graft commission, besides investigating relatives of former aides of Jonathan, have also extended their dragnet to Jonathan’s kinsmen that held sensitive positions in federal government agencies. Read more
Arik Air slashes airfares on local routes
The new management of Arik Air has announced a slash of airfares for passengers on all domestic routes in a special promotional fare geared at boosting patronage. The new airfare regime will enable passengers buy a-one-way ticket to any destination in Nigeria from N16, 000.
The promotional fare will run from March 6 to March 20, 2017. To enjoy this offer however, customers are to buy their ticket on or before March 20, 2017, while the last date for travel is March 31, 2017.
A statement from the airline added that tickets can be purchased at any Arik Air City Office, Airport Ticketing Office, online at www.arikair.com or the Arik Mobile App. Read more
ASUP alerts of looming crisis in polytechnics
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), at the weekend, warned the Federal Government to address the issue of shortfall in personnel, because its members are running out of patience and it can no longer guarantee industrial peace in the polytechnics nationwide.
ASUP National President, Mr. Usman Dutse said members of the association had been broken by the hardship brought to them by government as a result of receiving salaries in fraction since last year. Read more
Troops capture 14 Boko Haram terrorists
Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have captured 14 Boko Haram terrorists and neutralised many others in Borno State.
The soldiers embarked on clearance operations at Chikum Gudu in Northern part of Borno, on Friday, when they captured the terrorists. Brigadier-General Sani Usman, the Director of Army Public Relations, yesterday, in Abuja, said the troops captured many arms and ammunition from the terrorists during the operation.
“Unfortunately, four soldiers were wounded in action and they have been evacuated to medical facility where they are receiving treatment,’’ he said. Read more
Tinubu, Maryam Abacha to commission houses, apartments, schools in Borno
Former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is expected in Borno State, today, to commission 432 resettlement houses for victims of Boko Haram in three villages; 13 primary and junior secondary schools, a General Hospital, five Primary Healthcare centres as well as irrigation items, mobile fish ponds and economic animals for village women.
Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs and chairman of the committee set up on the commissioning said, in a statement emailed to newsmen, yesterday, that Tinubu will be the first in the lineup of VIP’s invited by Governor Kashim Shettima, on different dates, starting from March to end in May, 2017, to commission series of projects executed by Shettima in the face of the Boko Haram insurgency. Read more
PDP denies plan to form another party
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Caretaker Committee says it is not a party to the purported planned registration of Advanced Peoples Democratic Party (APDP).
The Publicity Secretary of the committee, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, said in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja that the committee or any of its members as individuals had no hand in such plan.
Adeyeye said the clarification became necessary to clear the air on falsehood that the committee was planning to abandon PDP structure for the Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff led group. Read more
Senate uncovers alleged N10trn fraud in NNPC
HE Senate has uncovered an alleged fraud of N10 trillion by staff of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in connivance with officials of some independent marketers and other key players in the petroleum sector between 2006 and 2016. Against this backdrop, the Senate joint committees on Petroleum (upstream and downstream) and that of Gas will this week begin a probe of the affected companies, heads of government agencies and parastatals. Read more
Two feared killed in herdsmen attack in Delta community
No fewer than two persons were feared killed in a clash between suspected herdsmen and residents of Omumu community in Ika South Local Council of Delta State last week.
Reports said the victims allegedly engaged the suspected herdsmen in the farmlands where crops worth thousands of naira were destroyed by the cattle. Read more
NCAA, stakeholders trade blames over dying local airlines
Investing in Nigeria’s domestic airline industry can be likened to a conscious and risky decision of flying an aircraft on a route saturated with the most turbulent of storms, lightening, thunder and poor visibility without any option of a smooth weather along the way and even when landing. Read more
Crude theft: How govt ramped up production to 2.1m bpd
Last week’s disclosure by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru, that the country is now producing as much as 2.1 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) from about 1.4 million bdp last year, rekindled hope among stakeholders that light seems to be at the end of the tunnel for operators in the oil and gas industry.
Baru, who made the disclosure at the 2017 Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition, in Abuja, said the ongoing negotiations with stakeholders in the Niger Delta was responsible for the surge. Read more
Investors Stake N44.39bn on Shares in January and February
The stock market recorded a turnover of 12.07 billion shares worth N44.39 billion in the first two months of 2017, showing the weak investor demand for equities. An analysis of the performance showed that January accounted for the highest turnover as investors traded 7.68 billion shares valued at N47.33 billion. The month of February accounted for 4.39 billion shares worth N37.06 billion, showing a decline compared to the month of January. Read more
Concerns over Non Payment of N5.4bn Premium for Group Life Insurance
After seven months of consistent but futile efforts to persuade the federal government to pay the N5.4 billion premium for insurance of its employees, insurance sector operators now groan under heavy load of claims but trickle inflow of premium despite the ‘no premium no cover’ regime. Read more
Nigeria’ll save N800m manufacturing toothpicks locally
Ever wondered what profitable business you can venture into in this recession when access to foreign exchange remains a great challenge? One of the products banned by the Federal Government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo was toothpick. Read more
Rising input cost, forex crisis take eggs off breakfast tables
The Federal Government’s plan to make every Nigerian child to eat at least an egg a day, is mow turning into a day dream with the price of the commodity soaring beyond the reach of many families.
Like a fiery tale, many Nigerian families can no longer afford eggs or crates of eggs as the price keeps increasing at an alarming rate despite Nigeria’s rating as the largest producer of eggs in Africa and 19th in the world with annual production of 10.3 billion eggs. Read more
IEI gets shareholders’ approval to recapitalise
Shareholders of International Energy Insurance Plc (IEI), have given the company’s Interim Board the approval to recapitalise the company for growth and competitiveness.
Besides, the expected new capital when injected would enhance the firm’s working capital, improve IT infrastructure, meet solvency requirement as well as for investment opportunities. Read more
MSMEs as determinants of Nigeria’s economic rebound
If small and medium scale businesses are rated as the wheels of every economy, with huge estimate that 96 per cent of all businesses in Nigeria are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), compared to 53 per cent in the United States and 65 per cent in Europe, then the nation’s journey to economic revival and survival is really in absolute struggle.
Of course, it will not be difficult to prove the assertion, going by the challenges that have lingered over the years, which create growth and development problems for small businesses. Read more
Survey Shows CFOs Remain Pessimistic about 2017
Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of companies in Nigeria are less confident about the prospects for growth in the economy than they were in 2016, according to a CFO survey conducted by KPMG.
The reasons given for the pessimistic outlook were: the volatility of foreign exchange rates and the poor state of infrastructure in the country. Read more
Eurobond: Re-lending withheld FAAC dollars to FGN?
IT is an open secret that Nigerian’s economy is being systematically and deliberately raped as often canvassed in this column, what is obvious is that Nigerians have become poorer despite bountiful revenue and heavy debt accumulation over the years. The above is the title of The Guardian Newspaper editorial of March 2nd 2017. It is uncanny that we now celebrate the capacity to borrow back our own money. Please read on. Read more
London magazine faults FG’s borrowing plan
Leading International business journal, the London Economist at the weekend took a swipe on the Federal Government’s borrowing habit in its quest to exit recession. In its latest report on the Nigerian government economic policy, the paper noted that the country has continued to take out expensive domestic and foreign loans. It noted that while debt remains relatively low as a proportion of GDP, at around 15 per cent, servicing it is eating up a third of government revenues. Read more
CBN new forex policy fails to excite foreign investors
While the nation’s forex market has seen increased liquidity in recent days on the back of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new policy action, foreign investors are not keen on bringing back capital into the country.
Industry experts, including the Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, say the issue of investor confidence remains unaddressed. Read more
Banks get 24hrs for BTA, PTA requests
Banks have up to 24 hours to meet all foreign exchange requests for Personal Travel Allowances (PTA) and Business Travel Allowances (BTA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed.
The maximum volume of BTA approved for sale per customer is $5,000 quarterly. A PTA customer gets $4,000. Read more
NGC: Oando to take FID on 20mmscf/d mini-LNG plant
Oando Gas and Power (OGP) is set to take the final investment decision (FID) on its planned multi-million $20 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) mini-liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to be located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, before end of June.
Its Managing Director, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, said after taking the FID, construction of the facility would begin in the third quarter of the year. Read more
US increases imports of Nigerian crude by 287%
The United States almost tripled the volume of crude oil bought from Nigeria last year, seven years after it began to depend less on the country’s crude as shale oil production surged, The Punch reports.
The latest data from the US Energy Information Administration on Friday showed that the country imported 76.9 million barrels of Nigerian oil in 2016, up from 19.9 million barrels in 2015. In 2014, when global oil prices started to fall from a peak of $115 per barrel, Nigeria saw a further drop in the US imports of its crude from 87.4 million barrels in 2013 to a record low of 21.2 million barrels. Read more
CAF election: Bako throws weight behind Pinnick
Veteran broadcaster, Danladi Bako has thrown his weight behind the move by President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick to be on executive committee of the Confederation of African Football ( CAF).
Bako who spoke exclusively to Daily Sunsports ahead of the CAF March 16 election in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia was equally quick in pointing out that the NFF president was right in queuing behind Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad who is Issa Hayatou’s opponent in the election.
Bako said he was taken aback by Hayatou’s decision to seek another term in office after leading the African soccer governing body for close to three decades. Read more
International friendly: Rohr visits Eagles invitee, Joel Bazee
Super Eagles Coach , Gernot Rohr has visited Noah Joel Bazee in Germany, following his invitation to Nigeria national team for the friendly games against Senegal and Burkina Faso.
The 20-year-old who plays for Hannover 96 in the second division was born to Nigerian and German parents – and was among the surprise players invited by Rohr.
The visit was captured by the Nigeria Super Eagles official Twitter handle.
Bazee was on parade for Hannover 96 in their 2-0 win over Karlsruher SC on Saturday. The forward who was cautioned in the 35th minute was replaced in the 58th minute by Niclas Fuellkrug. Read more
Kano Pillars Crush Enyimba as Plateau Hangs on to the Summit
Despite the one-all Match-day 12 result from the Shooting Stars clash with Plateau United in Ibadan yesterday, the Jos-based team is still hanging on to the top of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) on 22 points, just one above second placed El Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri. Read more
Make football hooliganism a sport, proposes Russian legislator
Organised groups of Russian fans, many with martial arts training, fought English supporters on the streets of Marseille during last year’s European Championship.
That inspired Igor Lebedev, who sits in the Russian parliament, to draw up rules for what he calls “draka”, the Russian word for “fight” – 20 fighters on each side, unarmed, in an arena. Read more
Tottenham and Man City keep up the chase
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City both issued timely reminders to Chelsea that the Premier League title race might not be over with impressive victories on Sunday.
After top-six rivals Arsenal and Manchester United dropped points on Saturday, second-placed Tottenham took full advantage as Harry Kane struck twice in a 3-2 home win against Everton. Read more
ARSENAL TRANSFER NEWS: PSG REPORTEDLY CONFIDENT OF SIGNING ALEXIS SANCHEZ
Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly becoming more and more confident they will be able to sign Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez this summer. The Chilean’s contract with the Gunners expires in 2018, but Ligue 1 giants PSG could be set to make their move sooner.
Kaveh Solhekol of Sky Sports News revealed PSG’s optimism about sealing a deal: Read more
United fear loss of their talisman
Mings stopped mid-sentence. The defender was explaining how Bournemouth’s 10 men had pulled off their great escape, when he was suddenly drowned out by a loud roar from the general direction of the car park. “Are those cheers for me?” he chuckled. Alas, no. The Manchester United fans waiting patiently outside Old Trafford had just landed the big one. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was leaving the building. Read more
PR blitz: Egyptian intelligence agency hires US lobbyists
Egyptian intelligence has hired two US public relations firms in Washington to boost its image, the first such engagements by the country’s powerful security apparatus to be made public.
Filings dated January 28 and seen by The Associated Press on the Department of Justice website Sunday showed that the General Intelligence Service – one of Egypt’s feared, competing intelligence agencies known as the Mukhabarat – has hired public relations firms Weber Shandwick and Cassidy & Associates Inc. Read more
China says defense budget will top $145 billion, a record high
China said on Sunday its defense budget this year will top $145 billion — a record high.
The announcement came as lawmakers gathered for the communist nation’s parliamentary pageant — the National People’s Congress.
While the NPC is a largely symbolic event, at it’s opening ceremony the premier presents China’s annual status report to the world and sets goals for the year ahead, much like the State of the Union address in the U.S. Read more
Investors Cool as North Korea Tests Missiles
Investors in Asia showed a muted initial reaction Monday to the launch of several ballistic missiles by North Korea, with most stock markets slightly higher and currencies generally little-changed. Read more
Mosul exodus grows as Iraqi army advances towards Isil-held old city centre
The exodus from war-battered Mosul passed 200,000 people on Sunday, as US-backed Iraqi forces launched a fresh push towards the Isil-held old city centre.
The speed of displacement has accelerated as fighting approaches the most densely populated areas of west Mosul, with more than 40,000 men, women and children fleeing in the past week alone. Read more
Donald Trump expected to sign new travel ban order
A White House official said plans to roll out the order are on track for Monday.
The new order has been in the works since a federal court blocked the president’s initial effort, but the administration has repeatedly pushed back the signing.
Officials have said the new order aims to overcome legal challenges to the first. Its goal will still be to keep would-be terrorists out of the US while the government reviews the vetting system for refugees and visa applicants from certain parts of the world. Read more