*Buhari Approves NNPC’s Unbundling into Four Autonomous Units* *Five Killed in Onitsha as Soldiers Shoot at Jubilating Supporters*

*Buhari Approves NNPC’s Unbundling into Four Autonomous Units* *Five Killed in Onitsha as Soldiers Shoot at Jubilating Supporters*

Buhari Approves NNPC’s Unbundling into Four Autonomous Units

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the next restructuring phase of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the corporation’s group managing director, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed on Thursday.

Kachikwu said at a town hall meeting with journalists and civil society organisations in Abuja that the next phase of the restructuring, as approved by the president, would see the state oil company broken into four different autonomous profit-oriented companies. Read more

 

Sabinews Morning News Update for December 18, 2015

National News

Kanu’s Release: Five Killed in Onitsha as Soldiers Shoot at Jubilating Supporters

The jubilation by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Onitsha, Anambra State, over the decision of a Federal High Court in Abuja to unconditionally release the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, turned soar yesterday, when soldiers attached to the 302 Artillery Regiment in the commercial town allegedly shot at them, killing five instantly and injuring 25 others.

The soldiers, THISDAY learnt, erroneously thought the IPOB supporters had trooped out to protest against the detention of their leader, Kanu, not knowing that they were celebrating his release. Read more

Recovered Abacha loot is $26.4m, £19m –FG

The Federal Government has disclosed that ‎as at November 30, total amount recovered from late military head of state, Gen. Sanni Abacha, stood at only $26.4 million and £19 million.
This was disclosed at the end of a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, which has all state governors as members. Read more

N1.04 trn fine: MTN refuses to pay, threatens court action

MTN Nigeria has finally concluded it would not pay the N1.04 trn fine, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC imposed on it, for its failure to disengage about 5.1 million improperly registered subscribers on its network in August and September 2015 and has decided to challenge the NCC in court. Not even the reduction of the fine to N780 billion last week by the commission, could sway the telecommunications company.

Addressing its shareholders, yesterday, MTN said that “all factors having a bearing on the matter have been thoroughly and carefully considered including a review of the circumstances leading to the fine and the subsequent letters received from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Read more

EFCC quizzes Stallion Group MD over N1.275b gift to Yuguda

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)   yesterday quizzed the Managing Director of Stallion Group , Harprrie Singh over alleged N1.275billion gift to former  Minister of State for Finance  Bashir Yuguda.

The MD has said his firm had a $170million contract with the Office of the National Security Adviser( ONSA) to supply some vehicles. Read more

Three million Nigerians living illegally in UK, says Senate

No fewer than three million Nigerians are living illegally in the United Kingdom (UK), the Senate said yesterday through its Committee on Foreign Affairs.

It also said investigation showed there was no plan by the British government to deport 29, 000 Nigerians, contrary to a recent report. Read more

Nnamani may emerge PDP BoT chair

FORMER Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, may emerge the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the board holds an emergency meeting today.

The parley, slated to hold at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, is coming four days after the judgment of an Abuja High Court sacking the Acting National Chairman, Uche Secondus. Read more

Ajimobi Wins Again as Appeal Court Dismisses Ladoja’s Case

A former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala has called on aggrieved contenders to stop all law suits and join hands with Governor Abiola Ajimobi in moving the state forward.

In the same vein, the governor advised the Accord governorship candidate, Senator Rashidi Ladoja to stop further litigation over the April 11 election by not proceeding to the Supreme Court. Read more

Igbo leader hails Kanu’s release

Igbo leader, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka has lauded the release from detention of Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra and leader of Indigenous People of Biafra by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, describing it as a great news of immense importance as it will douse the already heated tension surrounding his detention.

Ezeonwuka who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) while speaking in Onitsha, told newsmen that Kanu’s discharge from the case leveled against him by the SSS is a landmark victory for justice, Ndigbo and the masses who are agitating for their right in a way they decided to do it, adding that the court has once more proven to be the last hope of the common man. Read more

Army, Shi’ite Showdown: El-Rufai Set Up Judicial Commission Of Inquiry

Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, yesterday said a judicial commission of inquiry is to be established into the recent showdown between the Nigeria Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, otherwise known as Shi’ite in Zaria.

Governor El-Rufai, who disclosed this in a state broadcast, said the commission of inquiry is to be set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, and will examine the immediate and remote causes of the Zaria incident, and assemble a factual and authoritative account that the government can study and act upon. Read more

WAEC Releases Nov/Dec SSCE Results

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) on Thursday released the results for the November/December 2015 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) where 79,490 candidates representing 33.51 per cent out of a total of 237,154 who sat for the examination obtained six credits and above.

The new Head of the Nigerian National Office of the council, Mr.  Isaac Olutuse Adenipekun, who briefed journalists in Lagos, said 113,573 candidates, representing 47.88 per cent obtained five credits and above. Read more

Troops Kill 49 Insurgents, Rescue 150 Captives

The Nigerian Army on Thurdaysaid its troops, deployed for the counter-insurgency in the troubled North-east, killed 49 Boko Haram insurgents within the last one week in a series of assaults in Borno State.

Also during the same period, the army said 150 persons who were being held by the insurgents as human shields in confrontation with them were rescued. Read more

Economy

Rice Importers Shun Lagos Ports

As the Yuletide countdown begins, Nigerian importers have shunned the nation’s seaports situated in Nigeria’s commercial centre, Lagos, THISDAY checks have revealed.

Lagos is home to Nigeria’s busiest port, Apapa. It is also home to the largest port in the country, Tin Can Island Port (TCIP), Apapa, among other terminals dedicated to specific cargoes. Read more

Panicky policy measures intensify on foreign exchange market

There appears to be increasing tension and instability in the Nigeria’s foreign exchange market with depreciation of Naira accelerating as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the banks push for more restrictions on the market.

Yesterday, the local currency crashed further to N280/$1 at the parallel market, pushing the market premium to all time high of over 41 per cent against the official exchange rate range of N196-N198/ $1.0. Read more

BVN: Beware of Fraudsters, CBN Warns Bank Customers

Following repeated complaints from bank customers over unsolicited mails and text messages, alerting them of deactivation or suspension of their bank  accounts due to   uncompleted   Bank   Verification Number (BVN) registration, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again cautioned customers to beware of fraudsters.

Issuing the warning in a statement, the bank’s spokesperson, Mr. Ibrahim Mu’azu, cautioned individuals against revealing their personal details with which the fraudsters intend to defraud them. Read more

Oil and Gas

Dwindling oil price: Explore alternative sources of revenue, FG tells states

As the price of oil in  the international market continues to dwindle, the Federal Government insisted that state governments must begin to explore alternative sources of generating revenues in their respective states to augment what they were getting from the centre as monthly allocations.

Addressing newsmen, yesterday, after the National Economic Council, NEC, meeting in Abuja, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said the advice became imperative in the face of the country’s present daunting economic challenges. Read more

NNPC Awards Crude Lifting Contract

The Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation(NNPC) has awarded crude lifting contracts to 21 off-takers who emerged winners of the open bid exercise it conducted in October. The exercise witnessed the unprecedented public harvesting of 278 bids submitted by indigenous and foreign firms seeking to secure contract for the sale and purchase of the 26 Nigerian crude oil grades on offer.

The contracts cover 991,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, worth $13.5 billion at current crude oil prices. Read more

Nigeria no longer has resources to fund oil industry — FG

The Federal Government stated, yesterday, that the country no longer has the resources to fund the oil and gas industry, and is therefore, considering and developing new models of financing the industry in the days ahead.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Abuja, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said in January 2016 the final decision on the fate of the country’s refineries would likely be made, while it had also concluded arrangement to adopt a price modulation mechanism that would see it setting a price ceiling of between N87 and N97 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol. Read more

NEITI backs FG on subsidy removal

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has said the possible policy shift by the Federal Government towards removal of fuel subsidy is a welcome development and a step in the right direction.

Acting Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said the proposal to remove fuel subsidy was consistent with the recommendations contained in NEITI’s independent audit reports conducted in the last six years, adding that the policy has served as a tool by the rich to exploit the poor. Read more

Power

Lagos needs 5000MW electricity, says Ambode

The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has put the state’s power requirement at about 5000 Mega Watts (MW) against 1,000MW being supplied to the state from the national grid.

Ambode, who lamented the shortfall during the inauguration of a committee on light up Lagos imitative, said the current situation has impacted negatively on the socio-economic development of the state. Read more

NERC Approves Eight New Licenses to Generate 1,648MW of Electricity

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has stated that it has given eight new companies with a combined capacity to generate 1,648.25 megawatts (MW) of electricity, operational licenses to begin developing their respective projects.

A statement from the commission in Abuja explained that the licences were a mixture of on-grid; off-grid; embedded generation and distribution of electricity. Read more

Sports

NFF Proposes N7.2bn Budget for 2016

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board has proposed a budget of N7.2 billion for the 2016 year. The board tabled the amount before the football stakeholders at the Annual General Assembly (AGA) held in Abuja on Wednesday.

Much of the federation’s revenue is expected to be generated via government subventions, local sponsorship, FIFA grants and local competitions. Read more

CAF to Honour Buhari at Glo-CAF Awards

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced its plan to honour Nigeria’s leader, President Muhamadu Buhari with a special Platinum Award at the forthcoming 2015 Glo-CAF Awards.

At a joint press conference by CAF, the highest football authority in Africa and Globacom, the sponsor of the annual CAF Awards, CAF said the investiture of  President Buhari (GCFR) with the Platinum Award will be held during the Glo-CAF Award Gala at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on January 7, 2016. Read more

Pepsi team face Barcelona at Copa Lagos

Pepsi Football Academy team are perfecting their strategy game plan to tackle Barcelona beach soccer team, Kano Pillars and Shooting Stars of Ibadan at the 2015 COPA Lagos. The event is scheduled for December 18 to 20 December at the Eko Atlantic, Lagos.

The Pepsi Academy youngsters who have been on training in Lagos for the past few weeks will play Kano Pillars on Friday (today) and Shooting Stars on Saturday. The biggest encounter will be the match against Barcelona on Sunday. Read more

World News

UNHCR Repatriates Nearly 6,000 Somali Refugees From Kenya

The UN refugee agency said it has voluntary repatriated 5,853 Somali refugees from the Dadaab settlement in northeast Kenya to areas in southern Somalia which have been pacified.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said some 448 returnees were assisted to return by flight to Mogadishu in November. Read more

Angola signs decade-long oil deal with China

Angola’s state energy company Sonangol has signed a 10-year agreement with China’s Sinochem Group, adding to the 1.7 million barrels of day in crude oil exports the country alraedy sells to China, Reuters reported. Sources said the deal was directly related to loans that the Chinese government had given to Angola as its commodity-reliant economy struggled with this year’s slump in crude oil prices. China agreed a year ago to lend Sonangol US$2 billion to expand oil and gas projects, and Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos visited China in June seeking a two-year moratorium on debt repayments and financing for projects including a US$4.5 billion hydropower plan. Source

Rwandans in Uganda vote in referendum

Thousands of Rwandans living in Uganda yesterday thronged the Rwanda High Commission in Kampala to vote on the revised Constitution.

The 2003 Constitution was revised by both chambers of Parliament after the lawmakers received petitions from more than 3.7 million Rwandans – about 60 per cent of voters – imploring them to initiate a constitutional amendment process to waive presidential term limits from the supreme law. Read more

Niger’s president says coup plot foiled, suspects arrested

Niger’s government has “foiled” a coup plot, resulting in a number of arrests, President Mahamadou Issoufou said in an address broadcast on national radio and television Thursday, adding that the situation was “under control”.

The announcement came after local media and social media reports on Monday said at least four senior military officers had been arrested, information that was not immediately confirmed by the Niger authorities. Read more

Libyan rivals sign UN-brokered deal to settle political crisis

Libya’s conflicting parties signed a UN-brokered deal in Morocco on Thursday to end the country’s political crises.

 

The agreement was signed by the rival parliaments, the internationally-recognized House of Representatives in Tubruk and the Islamist self-proclaimed General National Congress in Tripoli, alongside representatives of Libyan political parties, municipalities and civil society groups. Read more

Burundi on cusp of civil war – UN human rights chief

Burundi is on the verge of civil war because of a campaign of political repression in which at least 400 people have been killed and almost 3,500 arrested, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Thursday.

The surge of violence in Burundi has unnerved a region that remains volatile two decades after a genocide in neighbouring Rwanda. The country’s current political crisis pits supporters of President Pierre Nkurunziza against opponents who say his re-election in July for a third term violated the constitution. Read more

Trade ministers negotiate non-stop at WTO to work out Nairobi deal

Trade ministers from World Trade Organisation’s member countries are literally burning the midnight oil to reach a breakthrough on issues such as the future of the Doha round, a special safeguard mechanism for developing countries and phase-out period for export subsidies to arrive at some sort of a pact at the on-going ministerial meet at Nairobi.

“Meetings have been going on since last night and are now spilling over to Friday as trade ministers try to arrive at a ministerial declaration. However, the chair of the negotiations, Kenyan Minister Amina Mohamed and WTO director general Roberto Azevedo, want that talks should be completed on Friday, and there shouldn’t be any extension,” an official familiar with the talks said. Read more

Australia wins court challenge to tobacco plain packaging

A Singapore-based court has refused a challenge by Philip Morris to Australia’s landmark plain packaging legislation passed in 2011, which the tobacco giant had brought under a bi-lateral trade treaty with Hong Kong, the company said.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration declined on jurisdictional grounds to allow the case to proceed, effectively ending the challenge through this venue, which was based on claims that Australia was violating intellectual property laws. Read more

Mexico opens first deep-water oil and gas blocks to bidders

Mexico’s government is offering its first deep-water oil and gas exploration blocks to bidders as part of the historic energy industry overhaul that opened the sector to private investment.

The secretary of energy says 10 blocks will go up for bid in September 2016, four of them in the “Lost Belt” in the Gulf of Mexico maritime boundary between Mexico and the U.S. A Thursday statement says the auction was set for late next year to give multinational companies time to analyze the projects. Read more

IMF chief Christine Lagarde to appeal French trial decision

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde plans to appeal a decision to send her to trial over a 400 million euro (£290 million) payment made to French businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.

Ms Lagarde, who was French finance minister at the time, denies any wrongdoing and said in a statement released by adviser Marc Vanghelder that she “always acted in this affair in the interest of the state and in respect of the law”. Read more

 

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