Sabinews Morning News Update for August 31, 2015
Boko Haram kills 56 in remote Borno village
The Islamist extremist group Boko Haram killed 56 villagers in a remote area of Borno state, the governor of Borno state said on Sunday, as the government warned that the extremists were trying to extend their campaign of violence.
Kashim Shettima confirmed the attack in Baanu village during a meeting with the parents of the 219 girls abducted from a school in the region by the extremists in 2014. Thursday marked 500 days of captivity for the girls from a school in Chibok. Read more
DSS Arrests 20 Suspected Boko Haram Leaders
In line with the Department of State Service’s (DSS) renewed counter-terrorism measures to combat the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, the DSS has arrested 20 suspected leaders of the sect across the country.
They are Usman Shuaibu (a.k.a. Money) Ahmed Mohammed (a.k.a. Abubakar), Adamu Abubakar, (a.k.a. Baba), Ibrahim Musa, Mustapha Yusuf (a.k.a. Mohammed Sanni), Bakura Modu, Mustapha Ali Jamner, Abuji Sheriff, Babagana Ali, Babagana Soloy, Abba Modu Sagma, Grema Abubakar and Tijani Bagudu. Read more
Pakistan, India clash over detained Nigerian students
The Pakistani and Indian High Commissioners to Nigeria have disagreed over reports that the two Nigerian students that were arrested in India are on their way to join the terrorist group, Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.
While the Indian High Commissioner, Ajjampur Ghanashyam, insisted that the two youths from Kano, Imran Kabeer and Sani Jamiliu, were on their way to Pakistan to join ISIS, his Pakistani counterpart, Lt. Gen. Agha Farooq (retd.), described the report as false. Read more
35 jostle for Ooni stool from Giesi Ruling House
No fewer than 35 contestants have indicated their interests to succeed the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who died on July 28, in a London hospital.
Our correspondent gathered that the contestants are those from the Giesi Ruling House alone which is one of the four ruling houses in Ile-Ife. Read more
Probe: Go and defend yourself, Wike tells Amaechi
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, to go and defend himself before the judicial commission of inquiry sitting in the state.
Wike, who was reacting to Amaechi’s declaration on Saturday that he (Amaechi) would not appear before the Justice George Omereji-led panel of inquiry, said it was wrong for the former governor to describe the commission as illegal even when the court had ruled that the panel was in order. Read more
FG probes NAF plane crash
The panel of investigation set up by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to unravel the cause of the crash of the Nigeria Air Force Dornier-228 at the Ribadu Cantonment, Kaduna, will begin sitting on Monday (today).
A senior military officer who confided in our correspondent said that the panel was meant to take off with immediate effect and would commence the assignment on the first working day after the crash. Read more
Yoruba’ll regret voting Buhari – Okunrounmu
A leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, says the Yoruba will regret voting President Muhammadu Buhari.
Okunrounmu, who was the Chairman of the defunct Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference, had supported former President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term and asked the Yoruba to vote for him so that he would be able to implement the report of the conference. Read more
Obua Denies Receiving $6.9m from NNPC to Make stages for Ex-president
Mr. Gordon Obua, the former Chief Security Officer to Presiident, Goodluck Jonathan, has said he did not initiate any memo for the construction of stage for the former president.
In a statement by his lawyer, Andrew Itsekiri, Obua said he also did not receive a penny for the construction of any stage for Jonathan. Read more
Dangote Inaugurates N160M Technical Skills Acquisition Centre
Determined to bridge the skills gap in the technical sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, Dangote Group has inaugurated an Automation Skills Development Centre valued at N160million in Lokoja, Kogi State.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony at the weekend, the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the state-of-the-art skills centre is meant to support the development initiatives of the state government in the areas of technical skills acquisition. Read more
Jega Wins NSE Award as 18 Members Become Fellows
The contribution of the immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), towards rebuilding the nation’s battered image has been recognised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). The society at its 2015 third Quarterly Dinner and Conferment of Fellowship held in Lagos, honoured Jega with the NSE Special Merit Award for his role in saving Nigerian last election from reputational damage.
Aside the former INEC boss, the society also conferred the same honour on the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Spectrum Engineering Limited and the National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). Read more
Shippers kick as port levies hit N256bn
A total of N255.69bn was paid by importers and exporters as charges at the nation’s ports in one year, the latest report by the shippers’ association indicated.
Specifically, the amount (N255,694,000,000), charged on a number of imported and exported products in 2013, was said to have excluded shipping and terminal levies. Read more
Bailout: CBN Injects N338bn in 27 States to Stimulate Economy
In line with the federal government’s resolve to reflate economic activities in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will this week continue the disbursement of its special intervention fund totalling N338 billion to 27 states in the country.
Already, the funds to Kwara, Zamfara and Osun States were disbursed last week and they have commenced the payment of salary arrears to workers in their respective states, THISDAY learnt yesterday. Read more
FG to Review Import Policy on Rice, Fish, Others
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mr. Sonny Echono, has disclosed that within the next three years, the federal government will review the import policy on staple food items such as rice, fish and wheat into the country.
Echono, who disclosed this in Abuja during a meeting with the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Uju Hassan-Baba, described the current import policy on staple foods as “unfavourable,” adding that it would ensure that Nigeria becomes self sufficient in food production before the restriction of the importation of these food items. Read more
Nicon Insurance to Sell Off N20 Billion Assets
The Nicon Insurance Ltd is to start the sale of N20 billion worth of its assets to meet financial obligations and regain its lost position.
Managing Director of the company, Mr. Bayode Samuel who disclosed this at the members’ evening of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) said the company would dispose of N10billion worth of assets between now and December this year while the remaining ones would be sold later. Read more
CBN Urged to Further Devalue the Naira
The sustained low crude oil prices will continue to put pressure on Nigeria’s revenue as well as the country’s currency, a financial market expert has said. To this end, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been advised to allow for some level of adjustment of the naira.
The Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, gave the advice at a training for financial journalists organised by Sterling Bank Plc, in Lagos at the weekend. Read more
Fitch: Nigerian banks in trouble, may post decline performance indicators
Fitch Ratings has declared that Nigerian banks are operating in increasingly difficult conditions as this may result in a sharp deterioration of their profitability, asset quality, liquidity and capital ratios. Fitch in its report released weekend said “The sector outlook is negative in December. Gross Domestic Product, GDP figures for second quarter show weaker year-on-year growth of 2.4 per cent , down from 4 per cent in the previous quarter, the slowest quarterly growth rate for over 10 years.” Read more
Nigerian economy heading towards recession
As crude oil prices dived lower threatening to dip below $40 a barrel for the first time since the financial crisis of 2008 and notching their longest losing streak since 1986, economies around the world are catching cold.
Investors across the world are losing their investment in stock and property owners are also suffering losses as a result of depreciation in currencies. With deepening gloom over demand growth from the world’s second-biggest oil user, and expectations for a significant build-up in surplus oil stocks this year, most oil traders are unwilling to stabilize crude oil prices. The market seems to be stuck in a relentless downward trend. Read more
Low liquidity shores up market rates
The assessed low liquidity in the financial market last week, caused money market rates to trend high on all trading days of the week.
The market had opened the week with opening balance of N72.3 billion, causing the Open Buy Back (OBB) and Overnight rates to settle at 35 per cent and 37.5 per cent respectively. Read more
Dangote Cement’s capacity to hit 100 million tonnes by 2020
Worried by the low level of per capita consumption of cement in the continent, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has stated that his investments in new plants across the continent, is expected to increase his cement plants’ capacity to 100 million tonnes by 2020.
According to him, Africa needs to deliberately improve its per capita consumption of cement in order to aid infrastructural development by stimulating further demand and forcing down rising cost of the commodity. Read more
Oil and Gas
NNPC shuts Warri refinery over vandalism
Barely a month after it resumed production, the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited has been shut down again, a situation that may constitute a setback to the new administration’s current efforts at shoring up local supply of petroleum products.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said on Sunday that it took the action because the pipelines supplying crude oil to the Warri refinery had been compromised by vandals. Read more
The 2030 deadline to end gas flaring
The plan by the World Bank to end gas flaring by the year 2030 is welcome. For a country like Nigeria, the pollution of the environment and waste of resources that gas flaring entails call for urgent action to tackle the problem by government, oil companies and development institutions.
Currently, Nigeria is the second top gas flaring nation in the world and number one in Africa, with an estimated 22.3 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas flared monthly. Read more
Kwara NSCDC nabs five pipeline vandals
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Kwara State has arrested five oil pipeline vandals with their vehicles, as well as vandalised oil products at Jebba in Moro Local Government Area of the state and some parts of Asa Local Government Areas between June and August 2015.
Kwara State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr. Augustine Obiekwe, who disclosed this at the weekend, expressed the view that the corps was the outfit that could be engaged by governments to monitor and guide oil pipelines in any part of the country. Read more
Power firms not ready for commercial market — TCN
The continued flouting of the contractual demands of the Transitional Electricity Market by power distribution companies is a clear indication that the firms are not prepared for the take-off of TEM, which was declared in February this year, the Transmission Company of Nigeria has said.
Through the declaration of TEM, the Federal Government had opened up the power market to competition as participants commenced full trading by contracts, just as the institutional and normative structures of a competitive and efficient electricity market was put in place. Read more
PHEDC workers’ll strike every month – Ajaero
Electricity workers in Port Harcourt have threatened to continue with industrial action every month till the issues affecting workers’ welfare are resolved by the management of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company.
While addressing journalists in Lagos at the weekend, the General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees, Joseph Ajaero, said that if the short-changing and indiscriminate sacking of workers in the company continued, the next strike would spread to other electricity distribution companies in the country. Read more
Ikeja to face four days blackout
Ikeja Electric says it wishes to notify all its customers at Alausa, Ikeja Shopping Mall, Allen Avenue, Ogundana, Alade, Aromire and environs that there will be power interruption for four days.
The company, in a statement on Sunday, said the interruption would occur from September 2 to 5. Read more
Eko DISCO sacks 300 workers
Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Eko DISCO, has sacked no fewer than 300 workers creating fear among the staff of the company.
Mostly affected were engineering, marketing, accounts, human resource, security, medical, records, cleaning and driving departments. Read more
Quadri cancels Austrian Tour after injury
Nigeria’s top-ranked table tennis player, Aruna Quadri, has cancelled his participation in the ITTF World Tour, Austrian Open, to enable him to recover from a leg injury he sustained at the ITTF World Tour Czech Open and in time for the All Africa Games.
Quadri placed eighth at the Czech Open, which ended on Sunday, after he lost 5-1 to Frenchman, Simon Gauzy, in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Read more
World Championships:Team Nigeria return empty-handed
Kenya have emerged as the winners of the 2015 IAAF World Championships which ended in Beijing on Sunday. The east African nation amassed seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals to top the medals log.
Jamaica and USA are second and third respectively. The Usain Bolt-inspired Jamaicans finished with seven gold, two silver and three bronze, while USA had six gold, six silver and six bronze. Great Britain are fourth with four gold, one silver and two bronze medals. Read more
Eaglets head to Korea without Nwakali, Udofia
The delegation of U-17 National Team, Golden Eaglets, departed for the Four-Nation Suwon Invitational Tournament on Sunday without team captain Kelechi Nwakali and coordinator Prince Udofia.
The Embassy of Korea Republic in Nigeria had returned the passports of the Eaglets’ skipper and team coordinator as ‘unreadable’ – a rather strange explanation given that the two persons had been traveling with the same passports for years now. Read more
AFCON 2017 Qualifier: Leone Stars host Elephants in Lagos
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos as the venue for this weekend’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone and the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.
According to thenff.com, the official website of the NFF, a 32-man delegation of the Leone Stars led by President of the Sierra Leone Football Association, Isha Johansen, is expected to arrive in Lagos today aboard an Air Ivoire flight. The team will lodge at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island. Read more
Zambia’s copper market hit by China turmoil
The repercussions of China’s market turmoil are being felt around the world, and especially in countries that produce commodities such as Zambia.
China is a key consumer of its main export, copper. Source
Italy’s Eni finds ‘supergiant’ natural gas field off Egypt
The Italian energy company Eni SpA announced Sunday it has discovered a “supergiant” natural gas field off Egypt, describing it as the “largest-ever” found in the Mediterranean Sea.
The news came a day after Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi met in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the Egyptian leader’s office said. Read more
Egypt announces parliamentary vote for October, November
Egypt on Sunday said that long-awaited parliamentary elections will take place in October and November, a potential step toward democracy amid a harsh crackdown on dissent.
Ayman Abbas, head of the Supreme Election Committee, said about half the country’s 27 governorates will vote Oct. 18-19. The second stage will take place for the remaining governorates Nov. 22-23. Read more
South Sudan rebels accuse army of violating ceasefire
South Sudan rebels on Sunday accused the army of violating a ceasefire, just hours after it came into effect, by bombarding their positions along the White Nile River.
“A military convoy — two barges, seven gunboats — has been moving from Bor to Panijar. Whenever they see our positions on the banks, they shell,” said rebel spokesman Dickson Gatluak. Read more
Bangkok bombing: Man charged with weapons possession
A man arrested in connection with a bomb attack in Bangkok that killed 20 people has been charged with the illegal possession of weapons.
The blast at a shrine in the Thai capital nearly two weeks ago left more than 100 other people injured. Read more
At Least 13 Reported Dead in Yemen Strikes
Airstrikes by a Saudi-led military coalition killed at least 13 civilians working early Sunday at a water plant in northern Yemen, the plant’s owner said.
The bombings appeared to be the latest in a series of airstrikes by Saudi Arabia or its Arab coalition partners that have hit civilian facilities with no apparent military target nearby. Houthi rebels, who have been the main target of Saudi Arabia’s five-month military campaign in Yemen, were not in the immediate area at the time, according to Ibrahim al-Razoom, the owner of the plant. Read more
Swift leads winners but Cyrus rules at MTV Video Music Awards
It was all about the shock factor on Sunday as the MTV Video Music Awards became the unofficial Miley Cyrus show, with the scantily-clad singer cursing her way through her hosting duties.
“I’ve literally done everything on the VMA stage and none of it showed I was qualified to host, but here we are,” Cyrus, dressed in a plunging, sparkly rainbow jumpsuit, quipped as she opened the show. Read more
China state media announces confessions in probes into stocks plunge
Chinese state media announced a slew of confessions on Monday following investigations into recent stock market gyrations, including from a detained reporter who admitted to spreading false information that caused “panic and disorder”.
An official from China’s securities regulator had confessed to insider trading while four senior executives from China’s largest brokerage, CITIC Securities, had also confessed to insider dealing, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Read more
Australia’s Bishop dismisses reports of Cambodia refugee collapse
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said a deal to resettle refugees in Cambodia is on track despite reports to the contrary.
Under the deal, signed in September last year, Australia is paying Cambodia to take in its rejected refugees from its detention centre on Nauru. Read more
Wes Craven, US horror filmmaker, dies aged 76
American horror film director Wes Craven, creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, has died aged 76.
US media reported that Craven died at his Los Angeles home on Sunday from brain cancer. Read more