Sabinews Morning News Update for August 3, 2015
Buhari confirms plans to reduce ministries
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday confirmed, for the first time, the plan by his administration to reduce the number of ministries in the country.
There have been media reports that the President’s Transition committee, led by Ahmed Joda, had recommended a drastic reduction in the number of ministries. Read more
Military Rescues 178 Captives, Captures One Boko Haram Commander
The Nigerian military, in their ongoing mop-up operations in some parts of Borno State, has rescued 178 people held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists.
The Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Col. Tukur Gusau, disclosed this yesterday, saying that number of those rescued include 101 children and 67 women. Read more
LG grounds Guinness operation in Benin
Operations at Guinness Nigeria Benin plant has been paralysed by officials of Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, LGA of Edo State, who mounted a blockade at the entrance to the brewery compound over unpaid fees. The blockade stalled exit and entry into the premises for a few hours. The blokade was led by Mrs. Itohan Ogbeide,Chairman, Ikpoba-Okha LGA, who claimed that Guinness Nigeria have been obstructing the local government from collection of fees from third party logistics companies engaged in the provision of haulage services. Read more
Ooni: We’re Yet To Receive His Body – Chief Priest
The reported arrival of the remains of the late Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, may however not be true as the chief priest of the ancient town has insisted that the monarch is hale and hearty.
But a resident who was pessimistic about the claim said the body may have been kept somewhere outside the palace because of the concentration of the entire world on happenings within the premises of the palace. Read more
I Need Criticism, Not Praise, El-Rufai Tells Kaduna People
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Sunday told the people of the state that he does not need praises from them.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Zaria, the governor said what he needed from the people is constructive criticisms that will put him on the right track and not praises. Read more
Court declares Igbindo stool vacant
An Ondo State High Court sitting in Ondo town in the suit No HOD/131/2015 filed by Prince Adetutu Ifashole and other members of the Ogbowokun Lobirin ruling house of Igbindo town, challenging the eligibility of one Mr John Olaniji Ogundoju to aspire to fill the vacant stool or become candidate to fill the vacant stool of the Akinnuwa of Igbindo from the Ogbowo-Okin ruling house because he hailed from the female lineage as against the age long customs and tradition of who ascended the throne, has declared the Igbindo stool vacant. Read more
ICPC seeks court order against corrupt civil servants
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission has commenced steps to seize some choice properties belonging to ‘super rich’ civil servants in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; and other locations in the country.
An operative of the commission, who confided in our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said that the legal unit of the ICPC would obtain court injunctions this week in order to have legal backing to confiscate some of the properties detected to have been built by serving civil servants with looted funds. Read more
EFCC invites judge who accused Aregbesola of fraud
There were indications in Osogbo on Sunday that Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, who recently accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of graft, had been invited to the Abuja headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
A source close to the judge told journalists in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, on Sunday that the judge was contacted by an official of the EFCC, who asked her to come to the Abuja office of the commission to assist them in the investigation into the allegations. Read more
Respect host law, Buhari counsels Nigerians in Benin
President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerians residing in Benin Republic to drop their ambition of returning home without cogent plan for livelihood, saying they should stay put in their country of residence where they are currently doing well, rather than rushing back to add to Nigeria’s plethora of problems.
Buhari said this at the weekend when he met with the Nigerian community in Benin Republic during his oneday visit to the country. Read more
Three feared killed as OPC members clash in Kwara
No fewer than three people were feared dead on Sunday at Agbamu in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, following a clash among members of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress.
An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said no fewer than six people, sustained varying degrees of injuries during the fracas. He added that the injured victims were rushed to some undisclosed private hospitals in the council, where they were receiving medical treatment. Read more
Answer audit queries within 24hrs, Buhari orders civil servants
In the bid to tackle corruption in the civil service, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that all audit queries must henceforth be answered within 24 hours.
The President has also directed the Auditor General of the Federation to resolve all outstanding audit queries within the next 30 days. Read more
Alleged N1.3bn fraud: EFCC charges Goodie Ibru, 3 firms
Chief Goodie Ibru, the elder brother to the publisher of The Guardian, the late Mr. Alex Ibru, has been charged before a Lagos High Court over his alleged role in alleged N1.3 billion fraud.
According to the charge filed before Justice Raliatu Adebiyi by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibru was said to have conspired with three corporate organizations, Associated Ventures International Limited, IHL Services Limited and Clearview Investment Limited, to allegedly commit the fraud between 2010 and this year. Read more
50 insurgents killed as troops repel insurgents attack on Borno community
NO fewer than 50 insurgents were killed over the weekend as out-of-control Boko Haram militants clashed with troops.
The troops overpowered the rampaging insurgents and repelled them from raiding Bita, a village in Borno State. Read more
Fire Guts INEC Office at Obingwa
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at Mgboko, the headquarters of Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State was on Sunday razed down by unknown persons.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Daviotu Onyeke, confirmed he incident, saying that full investigation had commenced to unravel the cause of the fire. Read more
N150m Declared Missing from Niger Govt House
About N150 million has been declared missing from the Niger Government House in Minna.
The money was said to have disappeared from one of the offices, despite the heavy security already put in place by the new administration since assuming office on May 29. Read more
CBN urged to review COT policy over weak banks’ earnings
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been urged to review its policy on Commission on Turnover (COT) charges given the prevailing headwinds in the financial sector and economy, which are hurting banks’profitability.
The President, Concerned Banks Stakeholders (CBS), an advocacy group seeking better earnings for banks, Jonathan Chikezie, said only few banks are complying with the new policy, which stipulates the gradual phase out of the COT charges on current accounts by next year. Read more
Dangote Opens New Cement Plant in Zambia, Output Hits 45m Tonnes
As Dangote Cement Plc prepares to formally open its new cement plant in the Southern African nation of Zambia tomorrow, the company’s total output is expected to hit 45 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) on the African continent.
An investor relations report sighted by THISDAY on Dangoe Cement’s operations showed that with the company’s plant expansion in various African countries including one in Nepal, Dangote Cement’s total projected capacity will stand at 53mmtpa by 2017. Read more
CBN May Expand List of Restricted Items from Forex Market
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it may increase the list of items excluded for funding from the official foreign exchange (forex) market as it seeks to reduce pressure on the naira and preserve the country’s external reserves.
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, said this during an exclusive interview with THISDAY in Lagos at the weekend. Read more
SEC postpones hearing on BGL, others’ cases
Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has postponed hearing on the complaints levelled against BGL Plc by more than 30 investors.
The postponement was sequel to a Federal High Court order, which directed the commission not to take further action on the matter. Read more
Increasing External Reserves To Boost Confidence
Nigeria’s external reserves has continued its steady rise, standing at $31.27 billion dollars as at July 28, 2015, according to data on the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The reserves which had declined to $29 billion as at June 30, 2015, had risen by $2.27 billion or 7.8 per cent within one month and the present level of reserves can cover six months of import. Read more
Forex measures hit demand, reserves rise by 7.9 per cent
The series of policy measures aimed at stemming the speculative demand for foreign exchange (forex) in the country may have trickled in earlier results with the reserves’ 7.9 per cent increase in July.
The external reserves, which resurged to $31.3 billion in July, was expected by some analysts, given increased efforts to reduce speculative attacks on the local unit by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Read more
External Reserves Rise By $2.27b In July
Latest data by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend showed that the nation’s external reserves pool improved by $2,270.437 million or 7.82 per cent, to $31.270 billion on July 29, from $29.00 billion the end of previous month.
On a month-on-month basis, the rise was $2.262 billion or 7.80 per cent, while on year-to-date basis, the drop in reserves level reduced to $3.197 billion or 9.28 per cent from $34.468 billion as of December 31, 2014. Read more
Foreign Investors Withdraw N304bn From NSE – Report
Foreign investors alarmed by the uncertainty in the economic environment in the country pulled out N303.59 billion from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) between Janua=ry and June, 2015.
A report on foreign portfolio investment (FPI) for the first half of the year obtained at the weekend, indicated that about 52 per cent of total foreign transaction value during the six months were divestment, underlining the sell pressure being experienced on the stock market. Read more
Oil and Gas
Weak oil prices hurt Exxon Mobil, Chevron results
Plunging crude oil prices weighed on quarterly earnings at the world’s biggest oil company.
Exxon Mobil reported it earned $4.2bn (£2.68bn) in the second quarter, which marked a drop of more than 50 percent from last year. Read more
Agip’s, Arco’s signed, sealed, undelivered deal
The business deal looked good– on paper. Alfred Okoigun, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (GMD/CEO) of Arco Group Plc, also thought so and appended his signature.
No one could accuse Okoigun of naivety in oil and gas; his pedigree comes in leaps and bounds. He is a former pioneer student of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Warri, Delta State and also a member of the pioneer staff of Warri refinery. Read more
Capital Oil Accuses IPMAN of Unpatriotic Dealings, Denies Allegations of Corrupt Practices
An indigenous oil marketing company, Capital Oil and Gas Limited, has said the allegations made by a faction of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) that it was hoarding petroleum products of its members worth N2 billion in its tank farm and product storage facilities and selling same through the black market were untrue.
Capital Oil said in a statement at the weekend and signed by one of its officials, Mazi Okoronkwo Oji and made available to THISDAY in Abuja that it decided to shut out certain petroleum marketers from taking products from its tank farms because they were involved in unpatriotic dealings. Read more
NEITI: IOC Reports Show Nigeria Lost $13.7bn to Oil Theft in Four Years
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has quoted reports submitted by international oil companies (IOCs), which showed that the country lost about 160 million barrels of crude oil valued at $13.7 billion to theft from 2009 to 2012.
NEITI disclosed in a statement on Sunday that from the records of the three IOCs – Shell Producing Development Company (SPDC), Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) – it was able to establish that the country lost that much crude oil to theft within the identified period. Read more
Compel oil companies to employ Nigerians, PTDF tells FG
The Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, has called on the Federal Government to compel both local and international oil companies (IOC) operating in the country to employ Nigerian oil and gas professionals.
Speaking at the Close Out seminar of the 2012/2013 Annual Oil and Gas research Grant competition in Abuja, Executive Secretary of the Fund, Mr. Femi Ajayi, lamented the fact that after excelling in their studies and having undergone rigorous and world class training in both local and international institutions, majority of the professionals ended up without jobs. Read more
Oil spill ravages Delta communities
Ovwor, Oteri, Adjekota, Otor-Egor and other immediate surrounding communities in Ughelli North and Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State are currently constrained as a result of a massive oil spill from a vandalized gas pipeline belonging to the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC.
A security source in the area, told Vanguard that the damaged spot on the pipeline, is located in Oteri community and was damaged Friday morning. Confirming the incident when contacted yesterday, Mr. Zino Onaemo of Tezino Nig. Ltd., the company in charge of Pipeline Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering Project for OML 26 and OML 30, said that according to intelligence reports received, the pipeline was hack-sawed by some vandals who are currently on the run and have been declared wanted by security agencies. Read more
Petrol Subsidy Drops To N1.7b daily
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), at weekend released a new template for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) which puts its open market price at N131.57 per litre.
With the new price government is paying N3.03/litre less than it did last month when the open market price was 134.60/litre. Read more
NNPC, others get deadline on queries
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS) to respond to all outstanding queries within 30 days or face sanctions.
The development has created anxiety in more than 50 MDAs, including Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) – all indicted in the 2012 Auditor-General’s Report. Read more
The Allegory Of Petrol Paucity In Nigeria
Recently, the petroleum industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) summoned a stakeholders meeting in Lagos.
The meeting which involved the media was intended to search for solution to the pigheaded and tenacious scarcity of petrol across the country. Read more
Importers shun Onne, take cargo to nearby countries
Nigerian importers of oil and gas cargoes have carried out their threat to divert cargoes away from Onne Port as they now consign their goods to ports of neighbouring countries and then move them into Nigeria. It will be recalled that the last administration had ordered that all oil and gas cargoes be consigned to Intels Logistics terminal in Onne, Rivers State, a development some importers kicked against, saying charges at Onne were too exorbitant for them. Read more
Nelmco stops fraudulent claims, verifies N462bn PHCN debts
The Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company Limited, NELMCO, has made moves to stop fraudulent claims even as it has verified liabilities worth N462 billion under the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
It was gathered that the verification which was initiated by the new Managing Director, Fagbemi Nathaniel Adebayo was earlier frustrated by actors in the power sector. Read more
Arsenal beats Chelsea to claim Community Shield
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed victory over Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho at the 14th attempt, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal gave the FA Cup winners a 1-0 win in Sunday’s English FA Community Shield.
The England midfielder struck in the 24th minute at a sun-soaked Wembley Stadium to break Mourinho’s longstanding hold over his French rival and gave Arsenal hope of a sustained assault on Chelsea’s Premier League title. While Chelsea improved in the second half, they could not find a way past their former goalkeeper Petr Cech, who registered a clean sheet as his new club claimed their 13th outright Community Shield. Read more
NPFL Round-up: Enyimba Overtake Sunshine To Take Top Spot
Enyimba International have overtaken Sunshine Stars at the summit of the Nigeria Premier League table after scrapping a point in the Oriental derby clash against regional rivals Enugu Rangers on Sunday. Despite dropping points at home and settling for a 1-1 draw in the derby clash, it was still enough to hand Enyimba the number one position after the first set of games in the second half of the League. Read more
Dream Team VI Qualifies For Africa U-23 Championship, Falcons Falter
The Nigeria U-23 team, the Dream VI have qualified for the African U-23 Championship; Senegal 2015 after their brave display in Pointe Noire on Sunday where they held their hosts, Congo to a goalless draw.
The result means that the Coach Siasia tutored side get the coveted ticket to compete for one of the Olympic football event slots ceded to Africa as they had won the first leg tie 2-1 in Port Harcourt a fortnight ago. Read more
Martins Open To Super Eagles Recall
Seattle Sounders striker Obafemi Martins has not ruled out a Nigeria return, but admitted he is focusing on his MLS club career.
Martins was called up just once in the last three years, against Kenya, in a 2014 World Cup qualifier. Read more
UAE ship with food supplies arrives in Somalia
Under the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, a ship carrying 450 tonnes of humanitarian food supplies has arrived at the port of Bosaso in Somalia, as part of the country’s efforts to help alleviate the suffering of the Somali people.
A spokesperson at the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation said that the humanitarian shipment included 11 different varieties of basic food supplies and is in implementation of the directives of the wise leadership to help ease the suffering of the brotherly people of Somalia, who are facing difficult humanitarian conditions. Read more
UN Peacekeeper killed in Central African Republic
One United Nations peacekeeper was killed and eight were injured Sunday in Central African Republic’s capital after they came under attack by armed men bearing machine guns and grenades, a U.N. spokesman said.
The peacekeepers were attempting to carry out an arrest warrant issued by the public prosecutor in Bangui’s PK5 district, said the spokesman, Hamadoun Toure. Read more
U.S., Egypt resume formal security talks with Kerry visit
Despite persistent human rights concerns, the United States on Sunday resumed formal security talks with Egypt that were last held six years ago and kept on hiatus until now amid the political unrest that swept the country in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Two days after the U.S. delivered eight F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of a military support package that the Obama administration is boosting to help Egypt counter an increasing terrorist threat, Secretary of State John Kerry restarted the so-called “strategic dialogue” with Egyptian officials in Cairo. Read more
Call for calm in Burundi
The assassination on Sunday of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s former intelligence chief General Adolphe Nshimirimana has sparked fears of a plunge into widespread violence in the country.
Nshimirimana was killed in his car by rockets in the capital, Bujumbura. He was regarded by many Burundians as the president’s right-hand man and enforcer, widely credited with putting down a military coup attempt on May 13, but also responsible for violence against the president’s political opponents. Read more
South Sudan to compete in Rio after becoming 206th Olympic nation
South Sudan has become the Olympic movement’s 206th member, crossing the final hurdle to competing at the 2016 Rio games.
Sports leaders from South Sudan and Sudan, along with International Olympic Committee executive members, were emotional as the IOC accepted the country by acclaim at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur. Read more
Botswana Metals reveals 19 metre new zone of nickel sulphide
Botswana Metals has revealed that the latest drilling at Maibele North has discovered a new zone of up to 19 metres of nickel sulphide mineralisation.
The discovery confirms the continuation of the Maibele North mineralisation and indicates the potential for resources to significantly increase at the project. Read more
Zimbabwe suspends big game hunting
The Zimbabwean government has suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in areas outside Hwange National Park, the country’s main conservation area for an unspecific period of time, an official said Sunday.
The measure comes after two Americans were accused by Harare of being involved in two separate poaching incidents that resulted in the death of two lions this year. Read more
Jehovah’s Witnesses let ‘repentant’ child sex abusers return to church
The Jehovah’s Witnesses church let “repentant” child sex abusers return to the congregation, who were then kept in the dark about their crimes, an alleged abuse victim has claimed.
John de Rooy, an elder in a Mareeba, Queensland, congregation in the early 1990s, was on a church judicial committee which heard a complaint from a woman who alleged her father had abused her and her three sisters. Read more
Foreign journalists are bullying Nauru in asylum abuse reports, president claims
Foreign journalists are bullying Nauru, the Pacific nation that houses one of Australia’s offshore detention facilities, “based on their belief that our differences make us inferior”, its president has claimed.
Reports about the conditions faced by asylum seekers on the island – including of women sleeping in jeans for fear of being raped, threats of arrest for protests and beatings by locals – were based on a sense of superiority among foreign journalists, President Baron Waqa wrote on Monday in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. Read more
Taiwan school textbook row highlights antipathy to ‘one China’
Protests in Taiwan over textbook revisions which students say aim to brainwash them into accepting a “one China” view of history underscore the island’s growing sense of independence from its vast neighbour and geopolitical foe.
Hundreds of youths stormed the ministry of education compound on Friday and dozens were still camped out in the courtyard on Monday in a bid to repeal changes to history books likely to hit school shelves this week. Read more
Saudi king cuts short stay in south of France after beach closure controversy
Saudi Arabian King Salman left the south of France for Morocco on Sunday, cutting short a planned three-week stay after a petition from some 150,000 residents over the closure of a public beach outside his villa.
A Saudi source said the king had arrived in Morocco, saying this was part of his holiday programme and had nothing to do with the media coverage that his visit had attracted. Read more
Mexico City prosecutor confirms killing of news photographer
A prominent Mexican news photographer was among five people found dead in a middle-class neighborhood of the capital on Friday, the city’s prosecutor told reporters at a Sunday press conference.
Ruben Espinosa, who a month ago claimed in interviews that he felt threatened by the governor of eastern Veracruz state, was the lone male among five victims that police discovered bound, beaten and shot in the head in the capital’s Narvarte neighborhood. Read more
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