‘ Chibok Girls are in Gwoza’
Over 200 girls abducted in Chibok in April 2014 are being held in Gwoza town in Borno State, a woman who was recently released by Boko Haram has told the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).
She had been held in the same location as the abducted Chibok girls.
The 56-year-old woman, Mbutu Papka, who was kidnapped in July, 2014 and held by the insurgents for eight months in two locations, said confidently that the abducted girls were being kept under very tight security in a house in Gwoza. Read more
Two Al Jazeera journalists detained in Nigeria
Two Al Jazeera journalists covering the upcoming Nigerian presidential elections have been detained by government forces in the city of Maiduguri in Borno state.
Ahmed Idris and Ali Mustafa, both Nigerian nationals, remain confined in their hotel room and their equipment confiscated after being questioned by the military officials on Tuesday. Read more
UPN rejects Jonathan’s endorsement, backs Buhari
A faction of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, led by its National Secretary, Abubakar Sokoto, yesterday declared its support for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, for Saturday polls.
The faction distanced itself from the suspended National Chairman of the party, Dr. Fredrick Fasheun, who had earlier declared support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election. Read more
NLC raises panel to woo aggrieved members
Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has constituted a reconciliatory committee to look into all issues arising from the 11th National Delegates’ Conference with a view to bringing the aggrieved members back to its fold.
The rescheduled NLC election, which produced Ayuba Wabba as president, has factionalised the union as the major opponent, Joe Ajaero, of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, led other aggrieved members to form a parallel union. Read more
Tertiary institution workers carpet PDP, endorse Buhari
Tertiary institution workers under the aegis of Progressive Intellectuals of Nigeria, PIN, yesterday asserted its support for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, stating that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has failed to provide good governance and enviable national leadership.
The group urged the electorate to vote out the ruling party by casting their votes for the APC in the 2015 elections. Read more
UPN dumps Abiola’s wife, endorses Agbaje
The Dr. Fredrick Fasehun-led Unity Party of Nigeria has dumped its Lagos State governorship candidate, Mrs. Dupe Onitiri-Abiola, who is the wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, MKO Abiola.
The UPN subsequently endorsed the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje at a rally on Wednesday. Read more
Boko Haram ‘using human shields’
Boko Haram is using an unknown number of civilians as human shields as its fighters flee an offensive by multinational forces, a top Nigerian official said on Wednesday.
Mike Omeri, the director-general of the National Orientation Agency, would not say how many people are being used. Read more
INEC Commences Distribution of Sensitive Materials
With less than 48 hours to the presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday said it had started the distribution of sensitive materials to different locations in the country.
INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, disclosed this at meeting with Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room election day situation room in Abuja. Read more
Travellers besiege Lagos Int’l Airport
The Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos, has witnessed massive upsurge in travellers since the beginning of the week, as passengers leave the country in droves.
International airlines like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, South African Airways, Kenya Airlines and a few others have witnessed enormous increase in passengers’ traffic in the past four days. Read more
NCC plans cheaper Internet access, price caps on cable transmission
For market competitiveness and to ensure affordable ubiquitous Internet access in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is planning to set price caps on the cable transmission segment of the nation’s $32 billion telecommunications market after a careful cost based determination has been completed.
Though, NCC statistics put Internet subscribers at 82 million, majorly on the narrow band, majority of Nigerians still have no access to affordable broadband services, coupled with increasing bad services. Read more
FG deploys 590 tractors for 2015 farming season
The Federal Government has procured and deployed 590 units of tractors to provide mechanisation services to the Nigerian farmers for 2015 farming season under the pubic-private partnership arrangement.
At a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sonny Echono, said no fewer than 590 tractors, various harvest and post-harvest equipment have been deployed to farmers in 2015 cropping season. Read more
FG to Secure $2bn World Bank, AfDB Loan to Fund Budget
The federal government has said it will source $2 billion from the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the 2012-2015 External Borrowing Plan to help in the implementation of the 2015 budget.
The loan is primarily targeted at addressing foreign exchange demand and strengthening of the naira, which has been devalued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) following the increasing pressure on the local currency largely precipitated by a fall in the price of oil. Read more
Nigeria records highest cocoa exports of N131b
The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) said the country recorded the highest exportation of Cocoa and its products valued at N131.2 billion in 2014.
This is contained in statistics made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by the council on Wednesday in Abuja. Read more
Skye Bank issues N100 billion Commercial Paper
Nigeria’s next mega bank, Skye Bank has today signed an agreement with StanbicIBTC Bank and Financial Market Dealers Quotation System (FMDQ) to issue N100billion in commercial paper to increase its ability to do more transactions.
The first tranche of the transaction is in the size of N20b, which opens on March 23rd and closes on March 27th, 2015. Read more
Oil and Gas
Nigeria’s Bonny light under pressure of crude oil price decline
Nigeria’s crude oil grade, bonny light is under pressure of price decline and insufficient export, due to force majeure regularly declared by Nigerian oil companies as a result of vandalism.
Besides, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, has sold Oil Mining lease (OML) 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (OML29 and NCTL) and related facilities in the Eastern Niger Delta for $1.7 billion. Read more
Navy destroys 260 illegal refineries in Delta
The fight against oil theft in the Niger Delta yesterday recorded huge success as no fewer than 260 illegal refineries containing over 500,000 metric tons of crude oil were destroyed by officers of the Nigerian Navy in the creeks of Warri South, Delta State.
Commanding Officer of Nigerian Navy ship, NNS Delta, Commodore Musa Gemu, who led a team of armed officers for the raid, told newsmen that the command was working hard to ensure the creeks were free of illegal oil bunkering and other criminal activities inimical to the peace and security of lives and property in the riverine areas. Read more
Nigeria’s crude oil exports to hit 1.81m bpd in May
The nation has concluded plans to export 1.81 million barrels of crude oil per day, including condensate in May, this year. Reuters which confirmed the development has it that the export level is slightly in excess of 1.795 million bpd April export target.
“Crude oil exports from Nigeria were set to reach roughly 1.81 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, according to traders and provisional shipping lists, slightly above the initial April export plan that included around 1.795 million bpd,” it maintained. Read more
Minister Directs DPR, PPPRA to Sanction Erring Marketers
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on the public to shun panic buying and stock-piling of petrol, especially during the general elections.
This is contained in a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, Abuja. Read more
In Nigeria, Oil Price’s Slide Deters Theft
Oil is so cheap these days that for people around here, it isn’t even worth stealing anymore.
Just months ago, villagers regularly took hacksaws to pipelines, transforming their homeland of rivulets winding through bayou forests into a calamity for global oil giants and environmentalists.
Hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude spurted daily into buckets, jerrycans and drums that were loaded into canoes. Some got cooked in makeshift refineries fashioned from metal cylinders built along riverbanks. Read more
NNPC, Shell, Aiteo Conclude Sale of OML 29, Nembe Creek Trunkline
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and a local oil and gas firm, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited, have concluded the transaction involving the acquisition of SPDC’s 30 per cent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) by the indigenous firm under the latest divestment programme of the oil giant.
Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited have also assigned their interests of 10 per cent and five per cent respectively in the lease, ultimately giving Aiteo Eastern E&P Company Limited a 45 per cent interest in OML 29 and the NCTL. Read more
Saudi Arabia Launches Strikes On Yemen Rebels
Saudi Arabia has led airstrikes against Iran-backed rebels who have been laying seige to a city where Yemen’s president had taken refuge.
Warplanes launched an attack on the Yemeni capital Sanaa’s airport and its al Dulaimi military airbase shortly after the Saudi ambassador in Washington announced the action. Read more
Australia murderer of Jill Meagher guilty of more rapes
An Australian man jailed for the rape and murder of an Irish woman has been convicted of three more rapes.
Adrian Bayley was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013 for killing Jill Meagher, an ABC Radio employee. Read more
Amnesty International accuses militants in Gaza of war crimes in 2014 conflict
Amnesty International said in a report Thursday that Palestinian militant organisations had committed war crimes during the 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, by killing both Israeli and Palestinian civilians using indiscriminate projectiles.
The report comes after two other reports issued in late 2014 that accused Israel of war crimes for attacks on multi-story civilian buildings and attacks on Palestinian residential homes during the war. Read more
China’s Inner Mongolia police chief held for murder
A retired police chief from China’s Inner Mongolia region has been formally arrested on suspicion of murder, state media report.
Zhao Liping, a career policeman, headed the police service in the autonomous northern region between 2005 and 2010, said the Xinhua news agency. Read more
Provision of power key to SMEs’ growth, says Jonathan
Resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday commissioned the phase 1 segment of the 1074MW Alaoji combined cycle power station in Abia State, with a firm promise to transform Nigeria and move the country forward.
Government is optimistic that the plant would restore the East as an industrial hub in the country. “Power is key to development. Without power, small and medium enterprises cannot do well. That is the focus of this administration,” he said. Read more
Keshi given new contract by Nigeria
Keshi has re-signed just in time for a personal grudge match against Bafana Bafana in Nelspruit on Sunday.
According to Nigeria’s second-most read newspaper, The National, Keshi was asked to select the squad for the Eagles’ two friendlies this week – they hosted Uganda last night – despite being out of contract. But the coach’s original list was thrown out. Read more
Cranes humble Eagles, dent Enyeama’s day
At the ultra-modern Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo, where the Bafana Bafana of South Africa last November stopped Nigeria from going to the Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea, Super Eagles were yesterday, also at the same venue defeated by the Ugandan cranes in an international friendly match.
Uganda’s Faruku Miva scored the decisive goal in the 81st minute that made nonsense of the halftime prediction of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, that Eagles would beat the Cranes 2-0, a result that was not to be because a hotchpotch of players called up by caretaker coach, Daniel Amokachi, did not blend and displayed no individual brilliance. Read more
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