May 22, 2018

*Cash-strapped PDP plans to sell party membership, ministerial slots *El-Rufai’s letter to Buhari disrespectful– Shehu Sani

*Cash-strapped PDP plans to sell party membership, ministerial slots *El-Rufai’s letter to Buhari disrespectful– Shehu Sani



Cash-strapped PDP plans to sell party membership, ministerial slots

A high-powered committee set up to revamp the fortunes of the Peoples Democratic Party has submitted a report that may throw the fractious party into a new crisis. Among others, the committee advised the party to sell its membership and also restrict senior government positions and other perks to the highest bidder.

Reliable sources within the party told SUNDAY PUNCH that the plan had been accepted by the leadership of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi faction, which also set up the committee. Read more

El-Rufai’s letter to Buhari disrespectful– Shehu Sani

The senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District (APC), Senator Shehu Sani, has described Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s letter to President Muhammadu Buhari as disloyal and disrespectful to the President and leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Senator Sani while reacting  yesterday to El-Rufai’s letter, said the governor who accused him sometimes ago of being disloyal to APC for speaking out his mind, had done the worst than he did, adding that if his own utterance was blunt, El-Rufai’s was dubious.

In the same vein, former governor of Kaduna State and chairman, Caretaker Committee  of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi noted that the letter was an indication that APC is in disarray. Read more

Magu’s rejection not based on DSS report — Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has said the Senate did not reject the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, because of a damning report issued by the Department of State Services which questioned Magu’s integrity.

Saraki said this in an interview with TVC News in Morocco where he attended an African summit on climate change and food security. Read more

March 30 no longer feasible for budget passage — Reps

About 86 out of the 96 standing committees of the House of Representatives have failed to produce any report on the 2017 budget, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

The development is an indication of more delays for the N7.29tn budget. The Committee on Appropriations wrote the House for the second time on Thursday to complain that “over 80 per cent” of the committees had not reported on the budget. Read more

Makarfi: Dickson betrayed Jonathan, governors

Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee and former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed mohammed Makarfi has denounced the support of governor of Bayelsa State, Serike Dickson, for the convention being planned by Ali Modu Sheriff faction, saying it will deepen the crisis in the party.

Besides, he said the governor’s action amounted to a betrayal of the interest of former President Goodluck Jonathan, PDP governors and other stakeholders. Read more

Xenophobia: Mbeki Meets Nigerian Lawmakers

Former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki has met with Nigeria’s house of representatives’ delegation that have been in South Africa on account of the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and looting of their properties in Johannesburg.
According to a statement signed by Olanrewaju Smart, media aide to leader of the house of representatives, the delegation led by the house Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila was received by the former South African leader in his office in Johannesburg. Read more

Cross River loses Chief Judge

The Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam, is dead.In a statement, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Senior Special Assistant Media, Mr. Christian Ita, disclosed that Justice Itam died inCalabar, in the early hours of yesterday, aged 63.

The CJ’s death came to many as a shock, as he had on Thursday delivered judgment in a case instituted by the All Progressive Congress (APC) against the state, seeking an injunction restraining the state from appointing caretaker committees for local government councils. Read more

Mohammed, UN scribe, tasks Africa on Boko Haram, conflicts

The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina Mohammed, has challenged Nigeria and African countries to learn from the lessons of Boko Haram insurgency and other violent conflicts ravaging the continent.

According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, Mohammed made the remarks at a “special honorary dinner,” organised in her honour by Nigerian women at the Nigeria House in New York, where she expressed regrets that the gains of peace were becoming easily lost on the continent. Read more

Again, the Coca Cola Brand Undergoes Integrity Test

Whether negative or positive, any story associated with Coca Cola is always an interesting one. For decades, the brand has commanded huge followership globally but surprisingly, its soaring profile sometime turns out to be its burden.

Last week, Coca Cola became a major news item, albeit for wrong reason. Two of its products -Sprite and Fanta were indicted in a court of competent jurisdiction. It was not the first time the brand would be enmeshed in crisis but the advent of social media worsens the situation this time around. Read more

Presidential initiative on fertilizer kicks off

As the planting season commences, the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative has kicked off across the country, to provide farmers with fertilizers at affordable rate. A bag is expected to be sold at N5, 500, as against the initial price of N10, 000.

This development is the fallout of an agreement signed in December 2016 between the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and the OCP of Morroco for the importation of Phosphorus, one of the key ingredients for the production of fertilizer. Read more

Buhari may back Customs boss against Senate

President Muhammadu Buhari may take sides with the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), in his ongoing face-off with the Senate over his failure to wear his uniform, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

Senators had on Thursday attacked Ali for honouring their invitation without wearing a uniform. Read more

After Senate rejection, Magu receives award

Less than a week after the Senate’s rejection of his confirmation as substantive chairman of the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has been honoured with 2016 Person of the Year Award bestowed by the Leadership Newspapers, While receiving the award, he said he dedicated it to Nigerians and called for more support for the anti-graft war.

The Senate had Wednesday rejected Magu’s nomination as substantive chairman of the anti graft agency. Magu has been in acting capacity since November 2015. His rejection by the Senate, however, did not deter him from carrying out his official duty, as he joined President Buhari for Jumat service on Friday from his office. Read more

Rivers APC suffers more defections to PDP

MORE members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State.

The defectors, who were mainly from Asari-Toru, Degema, Ahoada East, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt, Omuma and Khana areas of the state, were received into the PDP at a ceremony in Port Harcourt yesterday. Read more

Biafra ordained by God –MASSOB

The Leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Comrade Uchenna Madu, has said that no amount of intimidation or killing of Biafra agitators will stop the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra insisting that the issue of Biafra has already been ordained by God.

Madu made the statement while dismissing the statement  credited to the Chief of Army  Staff, Gen. Yusuf Buratai to the effect that the sovereign state of Biafra will never be realized as long as he remains the Army Chief or in another four millennia as the arrogance of those who are not in tune with history and reality. Read more

Jonathan lauds Wike for transforming Rivers

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has declared  that Rivers State Gove1rnor, Nyesom  Wike, has performed creditably well since he assumed office 22 months ago.

Jonathan lauded the Rivers State governor for transforming the state since he became the governor. Read more

Dasuki: Court orders prosecution to list witnesses

A Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, on Friday ordered the prosecution to list its witnesses in retired Col. Sambo Dasuki’s case.
The judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, gave the order after listening to Dasuki’s counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN).
He agreed with Daudu that all witnesses billed to testify against Dasuki must be listed in the witness list.
He ordered the prosecution to make a copy of the list available to the court and also serve the defendants. Read more

PDP crisis: 23 state chairmen back Sheriff, unity convention

AS the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lingers on, 23 state chairmen of the party have called for an end to the leadership tussle, which has plagued the opposition party in the past 10 months.
The chairmen, who expressed support for the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, urged him to step up efforts to end the crisis. Read more

Nnamdi Kanu’ll be freed – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) said that it was optimistic that its leader Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and others facing trial at Federal High Court in Abuja would be freed during court sitting. The presiding judge, Justice  Binta Nyako had on March 7, 2017 quashed six charges out of 11 charges against Kanu and other pro-Biafra agitators where she fixed tomorrow for hearing of the matter.

The group however called on members who are living in and around Abuja and its environs to be in court tomorrow March 20, 2017 in solidarity with its leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and others detained illegally in Kuje prison Abuja. Read more

Oyegun, former house chief whip extol Ogbemudia

More eulogies, yesterday, poured in for the late former military administrator of Mid West State and later Governor of Bendel State, Brigadier-General Samuel Ogbemudia (rtd).

The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and former Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Samson Osagie described the late elder statesman as irreplaceable in the state.   Read more

With Lower February Inflation, Analysts Urge Caution in Policy Decision

After a 15-month rising streak, the consumer price index (CPI), which gauges inflation, reversed last month. The CPI stood at 17.78 per cent (year-on-year) in February, moving 0.94 per cent lower than the 18.72 per cent it recorded in January. The National Bureau of Statistics, which released the February CPI, report last Tuesday that the decline  represented  the effects of slower rises in already high food and non-food prices and favourable base effects over 2016 prices.  According to the agency, the price increases were recorded in all COICOP (Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose) divisions that yield the Headline Index. Read more

Growing the Economy through Import Substitution

The incipient cheery news emanating from the country’s oil sector as evidenced in the swelling of the  foreign reserves and improvement in the forex market as seen in the local currency appreciating against other foreign currencies, particularly the dollar, are signs that the economy may be  on the path of  recovery and growth. Also strategic to economic recovery and growth  is deepening of  the backward integration policy Read more

The Renewed Call for Passage of PIB

Last week, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, said the long delay in the passage of the PIB had led to uncertainty in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. Baru, in a statement from the Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndu Ughamadu, explained that Nigeria was losing a lot of business opportunities from the non-passage of the bill by the National Assembly. Read more

Bonga FPSO Repairs May Engender Temporary Drop in Oil Production

Penultimate week, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) announced that it had shut down the Bonga deep-water oilfield and commenced turnaround maintenance on it, thus executing mandatory upkeep activities that would ensure continuous optimum operations at the field.

Accordingly, the turnaround maintenance would involve inspections, recertification, testing and repair of equipment as well as engineering upgrades with Nigerian companies and subsea professional playing key roles. Read more

Ex-CDS Petinrin, Others Summoned Over Non-prosecution Of Oil Thieves

The House of Representatives committee on public petitions has summoned a former chief of defence staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin an the Joint Task Force Commander, Suleiman Apochi to appear before it on Tuesday.
Petinrin and Apochi were invited to explain their involvement in the continued seizure of a dumb barge used for oil bunkering in 2009.
Also to appear alongside the two is Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to explain why suspects who used the barge for illegal bunkering were not prosecuted. Read more

Nigeria Loses N600bn Yearly To Importation Of Iron Rods, Others

Unless deliberate policies are formulated to encourage the growth of the steel industry to produce more materials needed in building and construction works, the nation will be losing as much as N600 billion yearly to the importation of such materials, particularly iron rods.
The industry which is a key sector in Nigeria’s economy provides industrial items such as iron rods, barbed wires, coils as well as metal doors and windows and should be the bedrock of the nation’s industrialisation. Read more

Nigerian who died last week had come to Bengaluru on student visa

According to documents from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office(FRRO), Ifeayani was born in 1981 and had come to Bengaluru in 2009 on a student visa. “His visa had expired in 2012. The documents recovered from his home shows no proof of renewal,” police said.

Ifeayani, they said, was living in Horamavu-Agara, southeast Bengaluru, and worked as a helper in a small hotel in Horamavu. Police have written to the Embassy officials, seeking their intervention in reaching his family to bring them to India so that a post-mortem can be conducted. Read more

Chinese firm to establish in Calabar

In order to support the industrialisation efforts of the Cross River State Government, a Chinese firm, China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation, has announced plans to locate its Nigerian headquarters in Calabar.

The firm also indicated a strong interest in the state’s expressway project as well as the housing industry. Read more

Rising unemployment and its consequences

That millions of Nigerians lost their jobs last year should come as no surprise to anybody with or without a basic understanding of economics. Virtually in every corner of Nigeria, businesses have closed down, companies down-sized their staff, abandoned projects formerly designed for expansion are forced into liquidation by banks and other creditors. The sectors most hard-hit are banking, construction and manufacturing. Read more

Naira appreciation not sustainable, says Enugu Chamber of Commerce DG

Director General of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr Emeka Okereke, has said the Central Bank of Nigeria would not be able to sustain the recent appreciation in the value of the naira.

Okereke, who spoke in an interview with our correspondent in Enugu, said the apex bank should liberalise the foreign exchange market. Read more

Bonga FPSO Repairs May Engender Temporary Drop in Oil Production

Penultimate week, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) announced that it had shut down the Bonga deep-water oilfield and commenced turnaround maintenance on it, thus executing mandatory upkeep activities that would ensure continuous optimum operations at the field.

Accordingly, the turnaround maintenance would involve inspections, recertification, testing and repair of equipment as well as engineering upgrades with Nigerian companies and subsea professional playing key roles. Read more

NLNG Records 50 Vessel Charters in 17 Years

The Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has recorded no fewer than 45 vessels chartered-in and five chartered out since it started operations 17 years ago.

The chartered-in including liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate carriers for shipment of its products to buyers across the globe. The chartered-out of its own vessels is for other operators in the market. Read more

CAF election: Okenwa, Ikpea congratulate Pinnick

THE chairman of Nigeria National League (NNL), Chief Chidi Offor Okenwa and the National Chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Reverend Samuel Ikpea have con- gratulated NFF president Amaju Pin- nick on his CAF electoral victory last week in Addis Ababa. According Okenwa, Pinnick’s CAF electoral victory was well deserved. Read more

Super Eagles Delegation For Senegal, Burkina Faso Friendlies To Travel To London has been informed that the home-based Nigerian contingent for the international friendlies against Senegal and Burkina Faso at the Hive Stadium will travel to London in batches.

An advance party will depart the shores of the country on Sunday March 19, while the main delegation will jet out to the United Kingdom three days later, Wednesday. It’s thought that the NFF are cutting costs in response to the financial crisis rocking the Federation, and decided it’s best to arrive in London 24 hours before the national team tackles The Lions of Teranga. Read more

Nigerian Wonderkid Steals The Headlines With Hat-Trick For Chelsea Against Spurs 

Chelsea have qualified for their sixth straight FA Youth Cup final after thrashing Tottenham Hotspur 7-1 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

England youth internationals Ike Ugbo and Tariq Uwakwe were named in the starting line-up for Chelsea, Timothy Eyoma started for Spurs and teammate Keanan Bennetts was on the bench. Read more

Lacklustre Swansea suffer defeat at Bournemouth

Swansea City’s Premier League relegation jitters increased after a damaging 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Alfie Mawson’s unfortunate own goal separated the sides before the break — his leg deflecting Benik Afobe’s miscued shot past keeper Lukasz Fabianski. Read more

Didier Drogba to speak to Romelu Lukaku about Chelsea transfer

Didier Drogba is set to speak with Romelu Lukaku about re-joining Chelsea, according to reports.

The Sun claims that the Ivorian is close friends with the Everton striker and will attempt to persuade the 23-year-old to return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Manchester United are also in the race for the Belgium international, but Drogba’s connection with Lukaku could give Chelsea the edge in this transfer battle. Read more

Barca VP Jordi Mestre Gives His Thoughts On The UCL Draw

In the Champions League, many teams from around Europe compete to see who has the best club team in the continent. As the competition gets into the knockout stages the opponents begin to get tougher. PSG gave Barca a scare winning 4-0 in the first leg of their round of 16 matchup. However, Barca came roaring back winning 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. Despite the good vibe around the club, the draw was tough for Barca, but Vice President Jordi Mestre expected it Read more

Manus Island detainees riot over new food distribution system – reports

A riot has reportedly erupted between guards and refugees in the kitchen and dining area of the Manus Island detention centre, following complaints of taunting by security guards.

Detainee Behrouz Boochani, a journalist and an Iranian refugee, said the conflict began as refugees were lining up for dinner. Read more

Egypt lawyers hold nationwide strike over jailed colleagues

Lawyers in Egypt held a nationwide one-day strike on Saturday to protest a jail sentence against eight of their colleagues, the Syndicate’s spokesperson said.

“The strike aims to push for an urgent court hearing to release those lawyers in prison,” Magdy Abdel Halim told state-run Ahram Online website. Read more

Erdogan vows to reinstate death penalty in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he expected parliament to approve restoring capital punishment after next month’s referendum in a move that could end Ankara’s bid to join the EU.

“I believe, God willing, that after the 16 April vote, parliament will do the necessary concerning your demands for capital punishment,” Erdogan said at a televised rally in the western city of Canakkale, his words greeted by loud cheers. Read more

North Korea says it tested rocket engine ‘of historic significance’

Kim Jong Un has presided over a rocket engine test “of historic significance,” North Korean state media said Sunday, a test that coincided with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to neighboring China.

The young North Korean leader declared “that the whole world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won today carries,” the report said, declaring Saturday as the “March 18 revolution” because of the “great leaping forward” in North Korea’s rocket industry.  Read more

US asks Hawaii judge to clarify ruling blocking Trump travel ban

The US government is asking a judge to clarify his order blocking President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, arguing it should not apply to a global freeze on refugees entering the country. A Justice Department motion filed on Friday asks US District Judge Derrick Watson to clarify that the temporary restraining order only applies to the president’s temporary ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries.

Judge Watson issued a 43-page ruling on Wednesday after Hawaii requested he block enforcement of Trump’s executive order. Read more

China official says anti-graft drive to target govt-enterprise ties – Xinhua

The head of one of China’s top graft-busting agencies has said Beijing’s anti-corruption drive will clean up the relationship between government officials and enterprises, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

President Xi Jinping has waged war on corruption since assuming office more than four years ago, leading to a one-third jump in graft court cases in 2016. Read more

BBC apologises for ‘what is the right punishment for blasphemy?’ tweet

BC Asia has apologised after it posted the question “what is the right punishment for blasphemy?” on its Asian Network Twitter account.

The tweet was intended to promote a debate about about blasphemy on social media in Pakistan with presenter Shazia Awan. Read more






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