Sabinews Morning News Update for September 16, 2015
Buhari: Boko Haram demands release of its bomb maker
Government officials have met with the leaders of Boko Haram sect for talks on freedom for the abducted Chibok girls, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said in France.
He however added that apart from ensuring that it negotiates with genuine leaders of the sect, the government rejected the condition given to it by the sect to proceed with the negotiations. Read more
National Security Adviser Sacks 12 Directors
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd), is believed to have sacked 12 directors assigned to his office by directing them to proceed on immediate retirement, THISDAY gathered last night.
The affected directors – employed by his predecessor, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) – according to a source, are those in charge of Counter-insurgency Operations, Defence Affairs, Legal, Special Duties, Intelligence Operations, Internal Security Operations, Joint Services and Foreign Liaison. Read more
Buhari urges journalists to join anti-graft war
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged journalists to join the fight against corruption.
He said they should work towards strengthening the media because of its critical role in democracy. Read more
Immigration jobs tragedy: EFCC invites board secretary
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited the Secretary to the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prison Service Board, Mr. Sylvanus Tapgun, in continuation of its probe of the Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment scandal.
Tapgun is expected to explain how N212million voted for the ill-fated job test ‘disappeared.’ Read more
Buhari: Govt in Talks with Boko Haram on Chibok Girls
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday disclosed that the federal government had opened up negotiations with members of the Boko Haram sect with a view to securing the release of over 200 female students kidnapped from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State well over a year ago.
The president stated this yesterday while responding to questions from members of the Nigerian community in Paris, France under the auspices of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO). Read more
Boko Haram: Amnesty Int’l Beams Its Spotlight on Camerounian Military
The Amnesty International (AI) will today launch a report that will focus on the activities and human rights records of the Camerounian Armed Forces in their counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the northern part of their country.
The AI’s Press Officer, Mr. Sadibou Marong, in a statement yesterday, said the report to be launched in Younde, Cameroun today is titled: ‘Human rights under fire: Attacks and violations in Cameroun’s struggle with Boko Haram’. Read more
Presidency Orders Payment of Public Sector Workers’ Salaries
The presidency has ordered ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government to compile the names of all public sector workers who are owed arrears of salaries and allowances within seven days so that they can be paid without further delay.
The directive was contained in a circular from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, and released to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria. Read more
Court Stops Probe of Amnesty Fund, Bars EFCC, ICPC, DSS from Further Arrest
The Federal High Court in Abuja has stopped the probe of the alleged diversion of the Presidential Amnesty Fund set up by the federal government for the rehabilitation and re-integration of former Niger-Delta militants.
To this end, the Justice Valentine Ashi barred the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Department of the State Security (DSS), Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), and National Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) from arresting or detaining the principal actor in the management of the fund, Mr. Kingsley Kuku. Read more
Jang Carted Away 15 Vehicles Belonging to Plateau Govt, Says C’ttee.
Former Governor of Plateau State and senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Jonah David Jang, allegedly carted away 15 vehicles belonging to the state illegally.
This was disclosed yesterday by the committee constituted by Governor Simon Lalong to investigate the hoarding of government vehicles by the Jang administration. Read more
Ambode Writes Lagos Assembly, Demands N24bn Budget Re-ordering
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has asked the state House of Assembly to re-order a sum of N23.97 billion in the 2015 appropriation law to enable his administration execute some strategic projects.
The governor conveyed the request for the budget re-ordering in a letter he sent to the assembly on September 3, proposing N5.697 billion for recurrent expenditure and N18.278 billion for capital expenditure. Read more
Investigate FERMA Operations in Lagos, Lagos Assembly Tells FG
The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday asked the federal government to investigate the activities and funding of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in respect of federal roads in the state in the last eight years.
The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, made the request in a motion he moved at a plenary on Tuesday, stating that it was the federal agency, which has an annual budgetary allocation to maintain and rehabilitate federal roads in each state of the federation. Read more
Finally, Popular Blogger Granted Bail After Three Failed Attempts
The popular blogger, and Publisher of CKN Nigeria, Mr. Chris Kehinde Nwandu (CKN), was on Tuesday granted bail by the Lagos High Court.
Nwandu regained his freedom barely a week after his wife, Mrs. Oghogho Nwandu raised concern over the life of her husband who until then could not get bail on three occasions.
According to reports, the news, was broken by his friend, Mr. Emeka Oparah, who said that CKN “was granted bail this morning by Justice Mohammed Yinusa.” Read more
Anambra traders back SON on war against substandard products
TRADERS in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State, last week rose in defence of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s (SON) efforts to rid markets in the state of substandard products.
The traders described recent protests and attacks on SON in the state as misleading and unwarranted. Read more
NYSC Bars Posting Requests from Mgt Staff, Govt Officials
The management of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has warned senior staff of the service and top government functionaries against seeking concessional posting for prospective corps members.
NYSC, in a circular dated September 4, dispatched to all directors, heads of units and state secretariats noting that such request would not be honored from any staff irrespective of its status. Read more
Osinbajo: FG to Adopt Zero-based Budgeting for 2016
The federal government has planed to use a zero-based budgeting format for its 2016 budget planning, the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has declared.
The vice-president said the zero-based budgeting would be carefully coordinated to ensure that it is policy-driven, especially regarding the proposed social intervention policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. Read more
ICPC returns N1bn looted funds to environment ministry
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) yesterday returned about N1 billion looted funds from the Federal Ministry of Environment and some schools in Ogun State.
Chairman, ICPC, Barrister Ekpo Nta handed over the monies totaling N980.258 million to officials from the ministry and Ogun State at the head office of the anti-graft agency in Abuja. Read more
Fire guts shopping mall, bank in Lagos
Textile materials and fashion accessories estimated at millions of naira have been consumed after fire gutted a shopping plaza on Broad Street on the Lagos Island area of Lagos State.
Also, a section of the Skye Bank branch in Ikeja was gutted by fire, destroying some property. Read more
Ogboru rejects kingmakers’ decision on Ooni selection
The Ogboru Ruling House has rejected the decision of Ife kingmakers to narrow the selection of the next Ooni of Ife to the Giesi Ruling House.
The head of the ruling house, Prince Adenekan Olubuse, in an interview with our correspondent in Osogbo on Tuesday, said the family would challenge the decision of the kingmakers. Read more
FG plans special fund for roads, power
The Federal Government is planning to set up an infrastructure fund in order to facilitate easy funding for critical areas of the economy.
The infrastructure fund, according to Vice President Yemi Osibajo, will be planned outside of the budget, to handle major segments of the economy such as road and power. Read more
CBN Eases Liquidity as TSA Compliance Rattles Interbank Market
As commercial banks struggled to comply with the federal government’s directive on the treasury single account (TSA) whose deadline elapsed on Tuesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria moved to ease liquidity in the banking system, in response to a severe liquidity squeeze in the interbank market.
The CBN, THISDAY gathered, moved to make refunds to commercial banks for the equivalent of the amounts they had transferred to the TSA from the cash reserve ratio sterilised with it. Read more
Leading Telecoms Operator, Energy Company to List on NSE
The announcement by JP Morgan that Nigeria will be phased out of its GBI-EM index has not dampened investors’ appetite for the Nigerian market as strong indications have emerged that large size companies are set to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
For instance, an energy company has announced plans to list on the NSE within one year, while a leading telecoms operator in the country is concluding arrangements to list on Africa’s second largest capital market. Read more
Foreign portfolio flow hits N778b in eight months
Foreign portfolio transactions totalled N777.59 billion in the first eight months of this year as foreign investors continued to dominate transactions at the Nigerian capital market.
The latest report on foreign portfolio investment (FPI) in Nigeria also showed that speculative foreign portfolio transactions might have contributed significantly to the sustained recession at the Nigerian stock market. Read more
Agric sector attracts N1.58tn investment –NEXIM Bank
Nigeria’s agricultural sector has received $8bn (N1.576tn) worth of investment commitments between 2011 and now, the Nigerian Export Import Bank has said.
According to the bank, Nigeria also has the potential to feed the world considering the fact that the country is one of the world’s largest producers of major agricultural commodities in spite of challenges in the sector domestically. Read more
Oil and Gas
Shell: Insecurity, others inhibiting gas flare out
Insecurity, inadequate funding and lack of commitment from joint venture (JV) partners stalling the plan to end gas flaring in Nigeria, Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) has said.
The firm in its latest journal, Shell in Nigeria, stated that since 2000, it has worked with the Federal Government to end the flaring of associated gas but that security and funding, among others, have been hindering that goal. To acheive this goal, the problems must be addressed, it added. Read more
Oil theft bigger threat than price slump – Experts
Stakeholders in the upstream segment of the nation’s petroleum industry under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists have raised the alarm over the spate of oil theft and illegal crude refining in the country, saying they are more devastating than falling oil prices.
Attributing the current low oil prices to an over-supply in the world market, the stakeholders said it was important for the Federal Government to refortify its security apparatus so that the massive leakage in the sector was curtailed in the shortest possible time. Read more
NNPC to review production agreements with oil companies
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says it is set to revisit the fiscal terms of the existing Production Sharing Contracts entered into by it with some international oil and gas companies with a view to seeking favourable benefits to the country based on prevailing realities in the industry.
Speaking at the France-Nigeria Business Forum organised to mark the state visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to France, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that in the weeks and months ahead, the corporation would be re-negotiating the contracts to extract as much benefit as possible for the nation. Read more
Why vandalism thrives, by Eko DISCO chief
Pipeline vandalism occurs because of the way the pipelines were constructed, and failure of the Federal Government to develop the communities that play host to the pipelines, the Managing Director/Chief Executive officer, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Oladele Amoda, has said.
Amoda said poor location of the pipelines, and the low level of development of the host communities are the two major reasons that make people to break pipelines, without considering its socio-economic implications to the country. Read more
How gas shortage delayed N1tr power projects – Experts
The over five billion dollars (about N1trillion) electricity stations built under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) are almost idle over lack of concrete gas supply terms, Daily Trust gathered.
According to the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Ramson Owan the over $5billion invested in the NIPPs, they are down as gas is not there to power them. The projects cannot come to a financial close because there is not enough gas for the plants. Read more
BPE, NBET differ on $146.8m Yola Disco refund
Two government agencies are at loggerheads over the refund of about $146.8m to Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company, which had acquired and relinquished the Federal Government’s 60 per cent equity in the Yola Electricity Distribution Company Plc.
Apart from the power of approving and authorising the payment for the share buyback deal, investigation by our correspondent showed that the absence of a substantive Finance minister had created a chasm for disagreement on the responsibility for the refund. Read more
Nigeria’s Adesokan Wins Gold in Para-powerlifting
Nigeria’s Yakubu Adesokan has won a Para-powerlifting gold medal and in the process set a new world record with a lift of 182.5kg in the 49kg weight class yesterday at the ongoing 11th African Games in Brazzaville.
Adesokan lifted the 182.5 kg in his third attempt to win the gold medal. An Algerian settled for the silver medal in the event. Read more
D’Tigress Overrun Tough Gabon to Reach Semis
Adaora Elonu scored 22 points and scooped eight rebounds to pivot the D’Tigress to a 73-65 defeat of Gabon yesterday in the basketball event of the ongoing 11th African Games.
The victory ensured the National female basketball team advanced into tomorrow’s semi-finals of the competition, even though it was not as smooth as expected. Read more
‘Why I Left Ifeanyi Ubah FC’
Daniel Amokachi, former head coach of FC Ifeanyi Ubah, has revealed that he has no ill feelings leaving the Anambra Warriors and that his friendship with the owner of the club still remains very intact despite his desire to terminate his appointment.
Amokachi resigned his appointment as the Technical Adviser on Sunday night shortly after his team lost 0-1 to Sharks FC in Port Harcourt in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Week 29 tie. Read more
Dream Team, Falcons crash out
Nigeria U-23 team, the Dream Team VI Tuesday failed in their bid to play in the finals of the All Africa Games football event following a 3-1 loss to Burkina Fasso.
The Samson Siasia tutored side appeared to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed as their woes started very early with the first goal conceded very early in the game no thanks to Sydney Sylla in the 11th minute. Read more
The U.S. Warns North Korea About Restarting Its Nukes Program
Washington has warned Pyongyang to refrain from “irresponsible provocation” after North Korea announced that the country’s main nuclear facility was up and running on Tuesday after eight years of deactivation.
The White House said North Korea should “focus instead on fulfilling its international obligations,” the BBC reports. Read more
Thailand: Release Dozens of Asylum Seekers
Thai authorities should release 64 asylum seekers detained in a recent raid who are being held in immigration detention, Human Rights Watch said today. The asylum seekers – including 7 children – are from Pakistan and Somalia, and possess “person of concern” documents issued by the United Nations refugee agency. Read more
US warns Russia: Assad has no role in fight against ISIS
Washington warned Russia on Tuesday that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has no role in coalition operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) group and must step down to allow a political settlement.
Secretary of State John Kerry called his Kremlin counterpart Sergei Lavrov to restate the US position after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin promised to maintain military support for Assad. Read more
Australia launches first air strikes against ‘Islamic State’ in Syria
Australian warplanes have carried out their first air strike against Islamic State group in Syria, destroying an armoured personnel carrier, Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said Wednesday.
“This is part of our logical extension in the fight against Daesh to operate not just over northern Iraq but also to operate over eastern Syria in order to degrade and destroy Daesh Forces,” the minister told reporters using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State. Read more
John Kerry tells Russia its support for Syria’s Assad risks ‘extending conflict’
US secretary of state John Kerry on Tuesday made his third phone call to his Russian counterpart in the last 10 days, the State Department said, seeking to clarify the intent of Moscow’s military buildup in Syria, and warning that ongoing aid to President Bashar Assad will only prolong the Syrian conflict.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry called Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Mr Kerry “made clear that Russia’s continued support for President Assad risks exacerbating and extending the conflict, and undermining our shared goal of fighting extremism if we do not also remain focused on finding a solution to the conflict in Syria via a genuine political transition,” the State Department said later in a written statement. Read more
Obama Weighing Talks With Putin on Syrian Crisis
For more than a year, President Obama has resisted meeting one on one with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and only reluctantly taken a phone call, freezing out the Kremlin leader over his intervention in Ukraine in their own personal cold war.
But this month, the two leaders will be in the same city at the same time amid rising tension in Syria, and the White House is divided by a debate over whether they should meet to try to work out their differences before the tumult in the Middle East escalates even further. Read more
As California fire rages, volunteers search for wounded, sick animals
Dr. John Madigan usually works as a professor at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. But since Monday, he has been driving through fire-ravaged communities in northern California searching for animals left behind by residents who fled for their lives.
Madigan was working with a handful of volunteers in Middletown on Tuesday providing relief and attempting rescues for stranded pets, animals and livestock as firefighters have focused their efforts on battling the 67,000-acre (27,000-hectare) blaze. Read more
IMF approves $11.8 million in aid for Central African Republic
The International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board has approved about $11.8 million in financial assistance for Central African Republic, the IMF said on Tuesday.
The assistance, under the IMF’s Rapid Credit Facility, is to help Central African Republic meet urgent balance of payments needs and to support its emergency economic recovery program, the IMF said in a statement. Read more
Libya peace talks hit snag over proposed deal amendments
Delegates for Libya’s internationally recognized government said on Tuesday it was recalling its team from U.N.-backed peace talks with rivals, complaining about amendments to a draft agreement meant to end their conflict.
It was the latest setback for United Nations efforts to reach a deal by Sept. 20 over the crisis between Libya’s official government and a rival, self-declared administration that has taken over the capital Tripoli since fighting last year. Read more
Brazil’s economy tanks as multibillion-dollar corruption scandal expands
Rodrigo Muchinelli, owner of a computer sales and repair store in Rio, said his business was in the red for the first three months of this year and is still limping. “It is a fight, daily,” said the 38-year-old businessman.
Laercio Soares closed a lucrative deal with a Rio samba school for his embroidery company in December. He used the money to close a family business whose workforce had fallen from 60 to eight. “We saw the perspective was bad,” said Soares, 65. “That’s why we took this drastic decision.” Read more