Sabinews Morning News Update for August 7, 2015
EFCC set to dock ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi
Baring any unforeseen development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will next week dock former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, over allegations of gross financial recklessness during his five-year tenure.
Akpobolokemi who was believed to have politicised the nation’s apex maritime regulatory agency by allegedly using it to finance hate campaigns against one of the presidential candidates in the last general polls, was sacked penultimate week by President Muhammadu Buhari. Read more
Buratai Promises Army will Not Violate Human Rights
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has vowed to ensure that the Nigerian Army under his watch will uphold the rules of engagement and respect for human rights in the ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against Boko Haram in the North-east.
Buratai gave this assurance on Thursday when the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Bem Angwe, paid a courtesy to him at Army Headquarters in Abuja. Read more
Panic as Ekiti’s task force evicts estate’s residents
Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose-led government yesterday forcibly evicted owners of houses in Irewolede Estate in Ado-Ekiti, who were yet to complete payment of their mortgages.
The task force’s team stormed the estate as early as 7am, backed by armed policemen and bulldozers, with padlocks and chains. Read more
I’m not indebted to any bank, Abike Dabiri-Erewa tells court
Former House of Representatives member, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, yesterday, told a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, that she is not indebted to any bank.
Dabiri-Erewa, in the suit by her counsel, Mr Tokunbo Mumuni, said she was never involved in any scandalous activity, debt or inappropriate financial dealings. Read more
1,805 intending lawyers fail bar exams
The Council of Legal Education, yesterday, released the results of the Bar final examinations it conducted in April and May, 2015 which a total of 1805 candidates failed out of 5588 that sat for the exams.
The Council, in a statement it issued in Abuja yesterday, disclosed that whereas only four candidates made First Class, a total number of 109 candidates made Second Class Upper. Read more
My mum not sick, abandoned –Kalu
Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has denied reports that his mother, Eunice Kalu, is ill and has been abandoned by him.
In a statement by his media office and signed by Mrs. Ruby Obinna, Kalu insisted that his mother was healthy and his family remained the most important part of his life. Read more
Buhari Receives New Ambassadors from Belgium, Poland, Rwanda
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja received the letters of credence of three new ambassadors to Nigeria.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity gave the names of the new ambassadors as – Mr. Andrezj Dycha of Poland, Mr. Stanislas Kamanzi of Rwanda and Mr. Stephane De Loeckeras of Belgium. Read more
El-Rufai closes government banks accounts, maintains only CBN
Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has closed all government accounts with commercial banks to maintain aTreasury Single Account (TSA) framework with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) effective September 1st , 2015.
This was contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Samuel Aruwan, and made available to newsmen yesterday. Read more
Nigeria, Benin Customs take steps to eradicate smuggling
A crackdown on smuggling is being intensified after the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Customs Service of the Republic of Benin Customs Service, yesterday took delivery of five Nissan Frontier Vehicles donated by the Nigeria Customs Service as logistics support to increase cross border survelliance.
Receiving the vehicles in Seme, the Director-General, Customs Administration of Benin Republic, Brigadier Charles Sezan, said the donation was one of the major pledges made by the Comptroller-General of NCS, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko to support the Benin Customs in the move to strengthen survelliance of control points to prevent the entry of contraband or prohibited articles. Read more
Dasuki Reels out Weapons Procured under Jonathan
The immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), has opened up on how the previous administration of President Goodluck Jonathan facilitated the acquisition of once elusive weapons in the last one-year and recovered many local governments in the North-east, which were occupied by Boko Haram terrorists. Read more
Naira depreciates by N7
The naira yesterday could not sustain the gains recorded on Wednesday, as it depreciated against the US dollar in the parallel market, closing at N222 to a dollar. This represents a depreciation of N7 from Wednesday when a dollar exchanged for N215 in Lagos and Kano, and N220 to a dollar in Abuja.
Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN yesterday directed that banks should pay for their dollar purchases 48 hours in advance. Read more
CBN Orders Banks To Pay For Dollar Purchases 48hrs In Advance
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday directed banks in the country to pay for their dollar purchases 48 hours in advance, as part of efforts to curb foreign exchange demand.
It was gathered that banks are now required to deposit the naira equivalent of their total forex bids to the CBN 48 hours in advance before its intervention. Read more
Bullish Trend Continues As NSE Index Up 0.29%
Equities market gains extend on Thursday on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) thereby maintaining the bullish hold to boost market when two major market indicators, the All-Share Index and Market Capitalisation, appreciated by 0.29 per cent each.
Market Capitalisation added N31.523 billion to close at 10.795 trillion as against N10.763 trillion recorded on Wednesday even as the All Share Index appreciated by 91.98 basis points to close trading at 31,495.73 points compared with 31,403.75 recorded the previous day. Read more
Lafarge-Holcim merger to produce 14mtpa
The completion of ongoing Lafarge-Holcim merger is expected to produce about 14 million tons per annum (Mtpa) of cement.
Already, the merger has increased the production capacity of the firm to 8.5 mtpa. Read more
BoI advocates value addition to stimulate economic growth
The Bank of Industry (BoI) has said Nigeria and other countries in the continent must shift focus from raw commodity exports to value addition in order to stimulate industrial growth and economic development.
To drive this agenda, the bank noted that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) need to be encouraged. Read more
Emefiele: CBN’s Forex Demand Management is Starting to Work
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has maintained that CBN policies aimed at managing demand for foreign exchange were beginning to have the desired impact.
He also dismissed calls for the devaluation of the naira amid growing domestic and international concerns about the tough outlook facing the Nigerian economy after the collapse of oil prices last year. Read more
Senate Laments Ban of Nigeria’s Agric Products by EU
The Senate on Thursday directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Ministry of Health and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to be alive in its regulatory oversights especially on food and agricultural products.
The Senate also tasked food and agricultural agencies in the country to promptly embark on the standardisation of food crops that have failed to meet international export standards. Read more
Oil and Gas
AI: Shell Must Match Govt’s Commitment to Clean Oil Spills
Amnesty International (AI) yesterday appealed to Shell to ensure that it complies with the federal government’s new commitment to tackle oil pollution in the Niger Delta by dramatically improving on how it cleans up oil spills in the Niger Delta.
President Buhari’s had on Wednesday announced a trust fund to pay for the clean-up of the Ogoniland region. Read more
Defunct PHCN Owed Eight States N6.5b Unremitted Tax
About eight states may have threatened to drag the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited to court over N6.5billion unremitted Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and Withholding Tax being taxes deducted from salaries of disengaged staff of the defunct Power Holden Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and not remitted to the coffers of the affected states.
Investigation conducted revealed that the states resolved to take the action after all peaceful means to recover the money did not get prompt attention from the management of Nigeria Electricity Liability, which acquired the defunct PHCN. Read more
Abuja Disco Refunds Overbilled Customers
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has credited 32,229 electricity customers who were overestimated from October 2014 to May 2015, amounting to over N50million collected in seven months.
Recall that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) slammed a sanction on the Abuja Distribution company (Disco) on April 16 after it investigated and confirmed complaints of overbillings by electricity customers within the Disco’s franchise area of Kogi, Abuja, Niger and Nasarawa states. Read more
Eagles Move Four Places to 53rd in FIFA Ranking
Nigeria moved up four places in global FIFA Rankings released thursday with the Super Eagles now occupying the 53rd spot as against its July 57th grading. The 2013 African champions however remain in the 10th position in the continent.
The August ranking is a departure from the last when Nigeria dropped 14 places to the 57th. Read more
AFCON 2017 Qualifier: Oliseh Wants 18 Pros for Tanzania
Super Eagles Head Coach, Sunday Oliseh, has proposed a squad of 18 foreign-based professionals and five players from the domestic league for next month’s AFCON qualifier in Tanzania.
However, there are suggestions that Oliseh should accommodate more players from the league for the match against Tanzania. Read more
U-17 World Cup: Nigeria Draw Hosts In Tough Group
FIFA U-17 World Cup defending champions, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria, have been drawn into a tough group in this year’s competition.
The champions will be up against hosts Chile, Croatia and the United States of America.
The draw was held in the early hours of Thursday in Santiago, Chile. Read more
Nwobodo Applauds NFF after Successful Surgery
Junior international player Obinna Nwobodo has again commended the Nigeria Football Federation for its efforts in ensuring successful treatment of his damaged cruciate ligament.
The Flying Eagles’ midfielder returned to the country last Friday after undergoing successful surgery at Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Doha, Qatar. He was injured during the final match of the African Youth Championship in Senegal in March, in which Nigeria beat the host nation 1-0. Read more
Nationwide League Rebrands, Names Ifeanyi Ubah Patron
Lower tier league, the Nigeria Nationwide League thursday at its Extra Ordinary Congress rebranded in one of the bold moves to enhance its equity and make it attractive to sponsors.
The body changed its name to Nationwide League One (NLO). It also appointed Ifeanyi Ubah as its patron in addition to Patrick Pascal, Daniel Amokachi, Victor Ikpeba and Garba Lawal as its ambassadors. Read more
Special Olympics Nigeria Athletes Given Rousing Welcome from World Games
Team Nigeria’s athletes and officials to the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Los Angeles, USA, were given a rousing reception yesterday in Lagos with all the 41 medalists celebrated like true champions.
At the reception which held at the Vigeo Group headquarters on Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, officials of Special Olympics Nigeria rolled out red carpet to welcome the athletes who won a total of 71 medals in the seven Olympic-type sport the country participated in. Read more
Pinnick Hails LMC, Clubs, Fans over New Vista for the Domestic League
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, has again commended the League Management Company (LMC) and the clubs taking part in the Glo NPFL on their commitment and noble efforts in achieving a positive turn-around of the league.
The NFF boss was at the Warri City Stadium on Wednesday as Warri Wolves hammered FC IfeanyiUbah 3-0 and underscored the gulf in class between what used to be and what presently obtains. Read more
Sunshine Stars reclaim top spot
Sunshine Stars are back on top of the Nigeria league table after a 2-0 win over Sharks at the Akure Township stadium on Thursday.
Sunshine now have 39 points from 21 games, a point ahead of second-placed Enyimba. Read more
Esperance: Why Sokari transfer crashed
Tunisia giants Esperance have said they pulled out of a move for Nigeria midfielder Kingsley Sokari because they have more than enough foreign players and their new coach did not want any more signings.
The Enyimba midfielder was in Tunis to negotiate a deal and probably do the medical upon agreed of term but the reverse is the case as he returned to Nigeria. Read more
South Africa loses over 23,000 mining jobs
Falling metal prices and lower demand internationally are behind the loss of more than 23,000 jobs in South Africa’s mining sector and subsidiary industries since April, economic development minister Ebrahim Patel said this week.
Mining house Lonmin told employees in recent weeks it planned to cut 6,000 jobs as it readies to close several mine shafts in a bid to survive plunging prices. In total, seven mining houses listed on the local JSC stock exchange have made job cuts announcements. Read more
Sierra Leone has just 4 cases of Ebola, official says
Sierra Leone has only four recorded cases of Ebola, the West African nation’s head of Ebola said Thursday, adding that he is hopeful the countdown to zero can soon begin.
Two of the cases have proven negative after treatments, and the other two, in the north Tonkolili district, are in treatment, said National Emergency Response Center chief Alfred Palo Conteh. Read more
Almost 400 rescued after vessel sinks off Libyan coast
Almost 400 people have been rescued so far from a vessel which sank off the coast of Libya while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea with an estimated 600 refugees and migrants on board, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.
The bodies of a further 25 people had been recovered, but dozens more were still missing and feared dead after the flimsy, overcrowded fishing vessel sank minutes after it left shore, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Read more
Egypt & Sudan exchange amnesties related to detained citizens
The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued an amnesty on Thursday for 44 Sudanese detainees who were being held by Cairo over border infiltration charges during gold expedition venture.
Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir had issued a pardon yesterday for 101 Egyptian fishermen detained by Sudanese authorities since April after consulting with the justice minister. They were charged with espionage and put on trial. Read more
Violence in Burundi imperils the region
Growing violence in Burundi is a danger to the entire region and the international community must act to keep the crisis from escalating, the UN’s Special Representative for Central Africa said on Thursday.
Burundi has been in chaos since late April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term in office, a move his opponents and Western powers said violated a peace deal that ended an ethnically-charged civil war in 2005. Read more
Ghana’s solution is not IMF – CPP
The National Chairperson of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Samia Yaba Nkrumah has observed that the solution for addressing the economic woes of Ghana is not the support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Speaking to some media practitioners in Bolgatanga, during the Regional Congress of the party to elect regional executives, the National Chairperson of the party said what was needed to address the country’s problem was to strengthen the home grown economy. Read more
MP sues tabloid and two tycoons for defamation
Imenti Central MP Gideon Mwiti has sued a local newspaper and two tycoons for alleged defamation and a breach of contract.
He accused the Nairobian, published by the Standard Media Group, of publishing a false, malicious defamatory article on June 12. Read more
Greed, corruption lead to poverty among Zim’s pensioners
Thousands of pensioners’ dollars have been lost by Zimbabwe’s National Social Security Authority (NSSA) through corruption, governance failures, poor investment decisions and alleged political interference, an amaBhungane investigation has found.
With a $1-billion asset base, the NSSA is one of the biggest players in Zimbabwe’s economy, and makes huge investments in equities, the money market and property. Read more
Shallow 5.6 magnitude quake hits Congo near Rwanda – USGS
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo early on Friday local time at a relatively shallow depth of 6.2 miles (10 km), the U.S. Geological Survey reported on Thursday.
The quake struck 24 miles (39 km) north of Bukavu, Congo, not far from the border with Rwanda, at 3:25 a.m. local time on Friday (0125 GMT), USGS said. Read more
Kabul truck bomb blast leaves at least eight dead and nearly 200 wounded
A bomb hidden in a truck has exploded in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing at least eight people and wounding nearly 200.
Police said the pre-dawn blast happened near an army compound and that all of the victims were civilians – including women and children. Read more
Taiwan braces as strongest typhoon in two years churns towards island
Taiwan cancelled flights and school classes on Friday as the strongest typhoon to threaten in two years churned straight for the island and was expected to make landfall on Saturday.
Typhoon Soudelor has already claimed its first victims, with two people dead and one missing in choppy waters off the coast of Taiwan’s northeastern Yilan county, the coast guard said. Read more
GOP debate: Donald Trump goes on the offensive as ten candidates slug at one another
Donald Trump declared war on political correctness at the first Republican primary debate in Cleveland and proceeded to demonstrate more than once that he believes in his own words – calling American leaders “stupid” and blithely admitting he has called women derogatory names.
While the debate between the Republicans in the top ten in recent national polls involved sober and even specific debate about issues ranging from the Islamic State to immigration and the fate of Obamacare, the night, hosted by Fox News, occasionally veered into moments of rancor, notably involving Governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul, or Music Hall silliness, always involving Mr Trump. Read more
Coalition paying $150,000 to outsource higher education negotiations
The Abbott government is spending $150,000 outsourcing its negotiations with crossbench senators and the university sector about the higher education package that has been blocked twice by the upper house.
The talks are being led by Robert Griew, a consultant who was until recently an associate secretary in the federal Department of Education and Training with responsibility for higher education policy. Read more
MH370 crash: France launches new search for plane debris on Réunion
France said it would launch new air, land and sea searches from Réunion on Friday in the hope of finding more wreckage from MH370, after Malaysia said a wing part found on the island came from the ill-fated flight.
The find is the first physical clue to solving one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history, 17 months after the aircraft inexplicably veered off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Read more
Blows for Obama as key lawmakers come out against Iran deal
U.S. President Barack Obama’s hopes of preserving the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers were set back on Thursday when Chuck Schumer, one of the top Democrats in the U.S. Senate, said he would the oppose the agreement.
Schumer’s opposition, announced in a lengthy statement, could pave the way for more of Obama’s fellow Democrats to come out against the nuclear pact announced on July 1 between the United States, five other world powers and Iran. Read more
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