May 26, 2018

*INEC to commence voter registration April 27 * Scrap JAMB now, ASUU tells government

*INEC to commence voter registration April 27 * Scrap JAMB now, ASUU tells government



INEC to commence voter registration April 27

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has planned to begin the continuous voter registration exercise on Thursday, April 27, 2017 to enable those without their voter’s cards to do so to partake in the forthcoming general elections.

It says it has finalised preparations for the nationwide continuous voter registration exercise, which will begin at the local council level. Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, told journalists yesterday in Abuja during a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) that the commission was committed to ensuring that every eligible voter is not denied their franchise right hence the period given for the exercise. Read more

Scrap JAMB now, ASUU tells government

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan (UI) chapter has called on the Federal Government to scrap the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The Chairman, Dr. Deji Omole, who spoke in Ibadan yesterday said the board has outlived its usefulness and reducing the standard of offering admission to students, hence, it must be scrapped immediately to allow universities set a new standard of admission. Read more

Abia lawmakers accuse Enugu DisCo of poor services, outrageous billing

Abia State lawmakers have joined other electricity consumers in the state in condemning the poor services rendered by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), and accused the company of extortion through the issuance of outrageous bills.

The lawmakers, who decried the estimated-billing method by the EEDC, even when consumers were not supplied with power, consequently resolved to summon the Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to appear before them towards finding a way to the check the EEDC poor services. Read more

FG Begins Fresh Manhunt for Absconded Failed Banks’ Chiefs

The federal government Task Force on the Implementation of the Failed Banks Act has commenced an intensive search for bank executives who fled the country in the wake of their investigation and prosecution over fraudulent practices.

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) confirmed wednesday that the task force had issued a notice to re-arrest for prosecution, directors and officers of licensed banks who had committed banking malpractices and had absconded. Read more

Nigeria’s revenue can’t sustain interest payment on debt – W’Bank

Although Nigeria’s total current debt is relatively low compared to the Gross Domestic Product, the interest rate payment is not sustainable by current revenues, the World Bank has said.

Senior Economist at World Bank office in Nigeria, Yue Man Lee, said this in Abuja on Wednesday on the sideline of the release of the 15th edition of Africa’s Pulse, an analysis of issues shaping the continent’s economic future. Read more

Ife Crisis Panel Begins Sitting

The panel of inquiry on the  civil disturbance of public peace, set up by Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, to unravel the causes of crisis that ensued between the Hausa and Ife people on March 8, yesterday commenced sitting. The panel, headed by Justice Moshood Adeigbe, during the sitting at Oba Okunade Sijuade Memorial Hall, Enuwa, Ile-Ife, urged the petitioners to assist the panel in discharging its duty within the stipulated time. Read more

No fuel crises under my watch, says IPMAN boss

Newly elected President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Engr Sanusi Abdufari has assured Nigerians that there would be no fuel crises under his watch.

Abdufari stated this to newsmen shortly after he was honoured in Katsina state by officials of the association on his recent election. He said he “would do his best to ensure availability of petroleum products” in every nook and cranny of the country. Read more

Police arrest Ijunu council administrator over attempted murder of Dino Melaye

The Administrator of Ijumu Local Council in Kogi State, Taofiq Isah, has been arrested in connection with the assassination attempt on Senator Dino Melaye. An eyewitness account said a special squad from the Police Headquarters, Abuja, arrested him at the premises of the Ministry of Education, Lokoja.

Some gunmen had recently invaded the senator’s home at Aiyetoro-Gbede area and destroyed two of his vehicles, while his house was riddled with bullets. A source at the Kogi Sate Police Command told The Guardian that the directive was from the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris. Read more

Abuja Airport: How Julius Berger saved Nigeria from embarrassment

Public anxiety was finally allayed on Tuesday April 17, 2017 as the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja was reopened for normal operations two days ahead of schedule, beating the six weeks project deadline given by the Federal government to its contractors, Julius Berger Plc.

The Nigerian government, through the Minister of state for Aviation, Hadi Sirika had given Julius Berger six weeks to complete the emergency rehabilitation of the existing runway and main taxiways to restore the integrity of the airport.  Read more

Cross River uncovers 1,458 fake teachers in SUBEB

The Chairman of the Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Stephen Odey yesterday said 700 ghost workers and 758 teachers with fake National Certificate for Education (NCE) were uncovered in its recent verification exercise.

He said: “One of the shocking revelations was the case of a head teacher who transferred his late wife’s certificates to his new wife and made her a classroom teacher, while some security men and nannies who had acquired the basic teaching qualifications were promoted to classroom teachers.” Read more

Rivers to launch 50-year strategic development plan

The Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike will next month unveil a 50-year strategic economic and social development plan for the state.

The unveiling of the plan is part of activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of the state from the old Eastern Region by the General Yakubu Gowon military administration in 1967. Read more

Anxiety in Edo community over reported killings in state varsity

There was anxiety in Ekpoma, Edo State over claims by the state police that no fewer than 16 students of the Ambrose Alli University who are suspected cultists were beheaded by rival cult groups in recent clashes.

The anxiety is also more worrisome as the police also claimed that some lecturers of the university have been discovered to be cult members and that arms were even recovered from some of them. Read more

Group urges Kachikwu to stop holding selective meetings in Niger Delta

A Niger Delta advocacy group, the Grassroots Initiative for Peace and Social Orientation (GIPSO), has warned the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to stop frustrating the peace process in the region by his selective town hall meetings.

GIPSO said the minister’s alleged selective town hall meetings with some groups and former militant leaders in the region was capable of creating tension and dividing interests against the peace package put together by the Federal Government for the region. Read more

Murdered Ibeshe family of three gets mass burial

Barely a week after a family of three were wiped out by suspected ritualists at the Ibeshe area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, they were yesterday given a mass burial by their family members.

The trio, Lucky Ebohdaghe, the father; his wife, Margaret and only child, Jonathan, who were brutally murdered at their residence last Tues, were yesterday buried at their Oyekanmi Street home. Read more

Malami warns Kebbi APC against imposing candidates in council poll

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has warned members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kebbi State against imposing candidates in the upcoming local council poll.

Malami gave the warning yesterday after a stakeholders meeting in Birnin Kebbi, following the adoption of July 15 for the election. He urged the party to allow local councils to freely nominate their candidates, so that the peace that currently exists in the party should be allowed to flourish. Read more

Isoko chieftain accuses DESOPADEC of neglect

A leader of the Isoko nation, Godwin Ogorugba, yesterday urged the management of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Commission (DESOPADEC) to provide basic amenities for the people.

Ogorugba told journalists in Ozoro that the location of projects in Isokoland was not a fair representation of the ethnic communities in the oil-producing area. Read more

Aero Contractors probes alleged mid-air fire, smoke incident

Management of Aero Contractors yesterday said fresh investigation had commenced into an alleged mid-air fire and smoke incident on its flight NG316 from Port Harcourt to Lagos on Tuesday.

The airlines said though online’ reports on the incident were conflicting, the incident had been reported to appropriate authorities, while another round of thorough investigation is ongoing. Read more

Buhari fails to convene Federal Executive Council meeting

The regular Wednesday meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa failed to hold yesterday as expected.

The president had last week also stayed away from ‎the meeting, leaving Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to preside. Newsmen had no prior knowledge of the cancellation yesterday but it was learnt that FEC was not listed as part of the president’s itinerary for this week. Read more

Sani chides El-Rufai over attack on Tinubu

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Shehu Sani, yesterday berated the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, for making derogatory remarks on the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement yesterday, Sani, who represents Kaduna Central Senatorial District, noted that the comment attributed to El-Rufai was a clear case of ingratitude to Tinubu who has contributed immensely to the growth of democratic rule in the country. Read more

Osinbajo faults calls for Nigeria’s separation

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has faulted the calls by some Nigerians for a separation of the country. Speaking with delegates of the northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) who visited him in his office yesterday at the State House in Abuja, Osinbajo condemned those who see nothing good in the unity of this country.

He said that with the diversity and huge size of the country, “it is better to be a part of a great thing than to be one tiny part of something that is not necessarily great.” Read more

Reps propose bill to stop unsolicited SMS by telecom operators

The House of Representatives is planning amendments to the constitution that will protect subscribers from receiving unsolicited text messages and other alleged “unknown deductions” by telecoms operators.

The Chairman of House Committee on Telecommunications, Saheed Akinade- Fijabi made this known while featuring at the South-West Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP), media chat yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State. Read more

FG steps up prevention measures as meningitis kills 745, affects 8,057

Determined to control the spread and fatality of the Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) serotype C epidemic in the country, the Federal Government (FG) has intensified preventive measures even as the disease has killed 745 and infected 8,057.

A breakdown of the latest figures released yesterday by the CSM National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) managed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed a 103.5 per cent increase in the number of cases and 70 per cent in the deaths, that is from 3,959 on April 5, 2017 to 8,057 on April 19, and from 438 mortality on April 5 to 745 on April 19 (yesterday). Read more

Displaced Otodo Gbame residents storm governor’s office

There was a mild drama at the Lagos State House, Alausa, yesterday, as hundreds of displaced residents of Otodo Gbame community forcibly stormed the seat of power in protest against the destruction of their homes.

The protesters, who paralysed activities at the state house for about two hours, were prevented and also tear-gased by policemen in a bid to stop them from entering the state house. Read more

Kano moves to bridge industrialisation gap

Worried by the dearth of industries, unethical professional practices in many fields and un-mentored nature of young professionals Kano Professionals Forum has scheduled a mentoring training programme for young professionals in the state. The programme slated for Saturday 22nd, 2017 at Mambayya House, Kano, is tagged “Mentoring the Young and Aspiring Professionals in Kano.” Read more

‘Government’s N1tr income target for insurance in 2017 unrealistic’

Given the prevailing challenges in the sector, insurance operators have expressed doubts over the realisation of the Federal Government’s N1 trillion income benchmark for the industry this financial year.

At a Nigeria Insurance Summit in December 2014, the government said it planned to grow the sectoral premium, which was then N300 billion to N1 trillion in 2017, and N5 trillion in 10 years. Read more

‘Foreign investors to get tax holiday in Katsina’

Foreigners interested in investing in Katsina state will enjoy tax holidays, adequate security, among other benefits. Governor Aminu Bello Masari stated this on Tuesday when he received an agro-allied Japanese company in his office.

Masari said his administration would provide “necessary assistance to any foreign investor wishing to invest in the state.” He however called on the company to provide details of their proposal preparatory to the signing of Memorandum of a Understanding with the State. Read more

Again, Nigeria seeks global support against illicit capital flows

Nigeria again urged developed countries to stop providing safe havens for corrupt individuals and their illegal funds.

The recovery of stolen funds from Nigeria was re-echoed at the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Group Spring meetings in Washington DC, United States by Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun. Read more

Bank’s capital adequacy fall below minimum requirement

Flowing from a recent Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stress tests on banks operating in the country, seven deposit money banks are said to be operating below the statutory capital adequacy ratio (CAR), pegged as high as 15 per cent of a bank’s capital.

Although there is no official confirmation from the apex bank, which constantly reassures the banking public on the health of Nigerian banks, but authoritative sources in the regulatory bank, told The Guardian that “stress test is a routine operation of the CBN, and once we discover anything untoward, we take adequate measures to check it.” Read more

Bishop Kukah condemns controversy over cash recovered by EFCC

Irked by the incidences of abandoned cash discoveries by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah has said that the situation was capable of denting the image of Nigeria before the international community.

Kukah spoke yesterday in Kaduna at a national seminar organised for religious leaders by Inter Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA). Read more

Nigeria, U.S. trade hits $1.36b in two months

Nigeria’s trade with the United States (U.S.) rose by 70.44 per cent from $799.93 million in January and to $1.36 billion in February, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

Data obtained from the Fact Sheet on Nigeria – U.S. Relations, showed that petroleum products dominated the U.S. import from Nigeria during the period in review. For instance, U.S. crude oil import from Nigeria stood at $936.65 million while gasoline import was $83.43 million. Read more

Dearth of value addition affecting non-oil exports – LCCI

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has charged local exporters to desist from exporting primary products outside the shore of Nigeria without adding any value to them.

The President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, stated this in her opening remarks during the LCCI Export Group’s symposium on non-oil exports, which held in Lagos on Wednesday. Read more

External Reserves Hit 2017 High At $30.56bn

External reserves climbed to $30.56 billion as of April 18, the highest level in 2017, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) tries to rebuild currency buffers hammered by dwindling global oil prices.

The rise coincides with a recent rise in the price of crude, which account for the bulk of foreign currency earnings. Read more

NLNG revenue hits seven-year low amid oil slump

The Nigeria LNG Limited, the biggest gas exporter in the country, said it earned a total of $4.723bn last year, the lowest in seven years.

The company, which was created to harness the nation’s vast natural gas resources and produce Liquefied Natural Gas and Natural Gas Liquids for export, saw its revenue peak at $11.592bn in 2012. Read more

Indigenous firms achieve great feats in oil exploration, production

Indigenous companies are beginning to develop capacity to compete with International Oil Companies (IOCs), which have dominated the exploration and production of oil and gas in Nigeria for decades.

ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, and Shell, are some of the IOCs that partner with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in the exploration and production of oil from some of the large fields in the Niger Delta with the capacity to produce several hundred thousand barrels of oil daily. Read more

Enyeama free to return to Super Eagles, says NFF

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has expressed dismay over a recent statement made by former Super Eagles goal keeper, Vincent Enyeama, that he is not ready to grant the request by coach Gernot Rohr to return to the Super Eagles squad because of some issues he had with the NFF.

Speaking with The Guardian in Lagos, NFF Spokesman, Ademola Olajire, stated that the federation had never at any point had problem with Enyeama, adding that NFF was not aware if Enyeama is nursing any form of grievances against the board Read more

Super Eagles camp open May 23

The Super Eagles camp in France will open on May 23, according a programme that was submitted by Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr.
The Franco- German coach has urged the NFF to approve the proposal, which will have the Super Eagles players hit the team’s Corsica camp in France on the said date, two days after the end of major European football League seasons. Read more

Barcelona fail to circumvent Juventus tactical masterclass in Champions League quarters

After the miracle comeback against Paris St Germain, Barcelona fans had high hopes to see their club do a repeat of the ‘remontada’ at home. Only this time to Juventus. Juventus won the opening leg 3-0 at home and had a healthy advantage over the Catalans going into the second leg.

However those hopes were shattered with Juventus holding Barcelona to a goalless draw as they advanced to the Champions League semifinals on a 3-0 aggregate for the 12th time in the competition. Read more

Arsenal transfer news: £51m Manchester United target eyed, Arda Turan boost, Kolasinac shock

Arsenal are keeping tabs on Porto’s Danilo Pereira.

According to reports in Portugal, the Gunners are one of several English clubs who have been watching the midfielder this season.

Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are also said to be pondering a summer move for the powerful 25-year-old. Read more

Manchester United news and transfer rumours LIVE team news and Europa League updates

Manchester United will be looking to book their place in the semi final of the Europa League when they host Anderlecht at Old Trafford tonight.

Jose Mourinho’s men drew 1-1 with the Belgian side last week but have a vital away goal thanks to Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Wayne Rooney could be back in the matchday squad after he was pictured arriving with the rest of the team at the Lowry Hotel last night. Read more

Russian government think tank came up with plan to swing US election in Donald Trump’s favour, say US officials

Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 US presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former US officials have told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what US intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the 8 Nov election. US intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, after the election. Read more

Theresa May surprises Britain by calling a snap general election

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, having repeatedly said that there would be no election until 2020, surprised the nation by suddenly standing at a lectern in Downing Street, while the wind ruffled her hair, and saying that she sought a general election on 8 June. ‘Britain is leaving the EU and there can be no turning back,’ she said. ‘The country is coming together but Westminster is not.’ She said later that she had taken the decision after a walking holiday in Wales, and had spoken to the Queen on Easter Monday. Read more

Minister allied with Ahok says Jakarta result shows Indonesian democracy ‘transparent’
INDONESIA’s minister for industry Airlangga Hartarto said Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s loss in the Jakarta election shows the country’s democracy is “transparent.”

Airlangga is a member of Ahok’s Golkar Party and a member of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Cabinet, making him a natural ally of the sitting governor who lost yesterday’s gubernatorial poll. Read more

Sex selection: medical research council criticised for not changing rules

Australia’s peak body for medical research has been accused of bowing to conservatives in not recommending parents be allowed to choose the sex of their baby.

The National Health and Medical Research Council, which sets ethical research guidelines and allocates medical research funding, on Thursday released its updated guidelines for assisted reproduction procedures such as IVF, posthumous use of gametes, surrogacy and sex selection. Read more

Billionaires, corporations and NFL owners donated a record $107 million for Donald Trump inauguration

Big money from billionaires, corporations and a roster of NFL owners poured into Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in record-shattering amounts — to pull off an event that was considerably lower-key than previous inaugural celebrations.

That leaves a bit of a mystery: What the $107 million was spent for and how much was left over — the excess, if any, to go to charity. It also raises a new round of questions about the influence of money in politics, this time for a president who promised to “drain the swamp” of Washington. Read more


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