*External Reserves Fall to $33.873bn* *Ivory Coast beat Ghana to win African Nations Cup*

*External Reserves Fall to $33.873bn* *Ivory Coast beat Ghana to win African Nations Cup*

Sabinews Daily Morning News Update for February 9, 2015MORNING NEWS

 

National News

 

External Reserves Fall to $33.873bn

Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $619 million in one month to close at $33.873 billion as at February 5, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continues to defend the naira.

Data gathered from the central bank showed that the country’s reserves, mainly derived from crude oil earnings stood at $34.492 billion as at January 5. Read more

Air Peace Boss Lauds FG’s Policy on Pilots’ Employment

Chairman of the new domestic carrier, Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, has commended the new policy introduced by the federal government that stipulates that every commercial flight must have a Nigerian pilot in its cockpit in order to address the problem of unemployment among the pilots.

It is hoped that the new policy would address the lopsided situation where over 60 per cent of pilots operating commercial and private flights in Nigeria are expatriates while over 500 Nigerians pilots are unemployed. Read more

Plight of Refugees Fleeing Terror of Boko Haram

The terror of Boko Haram has forced a six-week delay for Nigeria’s presidential elections – but few Nigerians who have escaped the extremists believe their power will be curbed in that time.

Safety has come at a heavy price for tens of thousands of Nigerians who have run away from the Islamic militant group and are now sheltering in neighbouring Cameroon. Read more

Nigeria election: Minister ‘confident’ poll will happen

Nigeria’s interior minister believes the fight against Boko Haram will be successful enough for the postponed elections to go ahead, he told the BBC.

Abbo Moro said he had been advised by the military that enough troops would be available in six weeks’ time to secure the presidential ballot. Read more

Group Urges IG to Investigate Jega

The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Suleiman Abba, has been urged to urgently commence investigation to unravel the authenticity of the allegations by the Alhaji Balarabe Musa and the Southern Nigerian Peoples Assembly (SNPA) against the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, that he is working to favour a candidate.

Musa, under the auspices of Credible Alternative Alliance (CAA), a few days ago, had alleged that Jega was twisting the distribution of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) in favour of a particular candidate.  Read more

‘Election Postponement Ample Opportunity for INEC to Deliver’

The Chairman of Okowa Mandate Group, Paul Bebenimibo, on Sunday said democrats in Nigeria should not despair rather they should be hopeful that the postponement of the general election in the country would give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ample time to correct all identified shortcomings in the electoral agency’s preparations for the exercise.

Bebenimibo, who made the observation in a chat with journalists on certain political development in the polity in Warri, said rather than  view the postponement as a huge setback, well-meaning Nigerians ought to hope for the best and encourage INEC to remove any irregularities in its plans. Read more

Niger army repels fresh Boko Haram attack on border town

Niger’s army has repelled the second attack in three days by Boko Haram on the border town of Diffa, a day before its parliament votes on whether to join a regional offensive against the Nigerian Islamist group.

Several people were killed in fierce early morning fighting on Sunday when Boko Haram gunmen attempted to advance toward the town but were pushed back by the army, military sources said. Residents reported hearing heavy weapons fire. Read more

PDP destroying our candidates’ posters, billboards –APC

Lagos State All Progressives Congress, APC, has decried the way and manner billboards and posters of its presidential and gubernatorial candidates, General Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, and others were being destroyed by those it described as Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, thugs, calling on the Nigeria Police to act fast and stop the brigandage. Read more

Area boy docked for allegedly torturing man to death

A 30-year-old miscreant, Abiola Ogunmola, has been remanded in Ikoyi Prisons for allegedly torturing one Alhaji Nasirudeen Ajawesola, 68, to death.

Magistrate E.O. Ogunkanmi of an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos gave the order at the arraignment of the accused. Read more

N26b debt: Court hears bank’s suit against Odogwu’s companies today

A Federal High Court in Lagos will on Monday (today) entertain arguments in a suit filed by Diamond Bank against popular businessman, Sunny Odogwu and his companies over alleged non-payment of huge debt.

Trial judge, Justice Saliu Seidu had earlier ordered 19 commercial banks in Nigeria not to allow Odogwu and his companies – Robert Dyson & Diet Limited and SIO Properties Limited to withdraw funds from their accounts. Read more

Kidnappers of Dariye’s Father Demand $10m Ransom

The gunmen that kidnapped Mr. Dariye Dafweng, father of Senator Joshua Dariye, in his Mushere village, Bokkos Local State Government Area of Plateau, at the weekend, have asked for $10 million as ransom.

“We have just confirmed that the kidnappers dropped a letter in which they asked for $10 million,’’ Maj. Gen. Dave Enetie, Commander of the Special Task Force (STF), maintaining security in Plateau, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday. Read more

Civil Society Groups Ask Jega to Publish Contracts for Ballot Paper Printing

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Corruption Watch UK, and the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) have sent an open letter to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega, seeking “clarification on the contracts for the printing of ballot papers for the 2015 elections.”

In a statement signed for and on behalf of the civil society organisations (CSOs) by SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, they expressed “concern at suggestions that INEC may have overpaid considerably for the ballot papers. Read more

NigComSat Set to Launch Ka-Band

As part of the federal government’s effort to expand technology to rural communities, and to improve the delivery of ultra-high speed connectivity and content in the mainstream of Nigeria businesses, the Nigeria Communications Satellite, (NigComSat) is set to launch its own Ka-band satellite solution. Read more

 

Economy

 

French firms to invest 240bn Euros in Nigeria, others

France has set aside 240 billion Euros for investment in Nigeria and other African countries in a move aimed at re-invigorating the European country’s presence on the continent, the French President, Mr. Francois Holland, has announced.

Speaking at the second French-African Economic Forum in Paris, weekend, he said the initiative was already a success and marked the beginning of a rejuvenated partnership between his country and the African region. Read more

CBN Awards PTSP Operational Licence to Computer Warehouse

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued Computer Warehouse Group Plc (CWG) a  licence to perform the activities of Payment Terminal Service Provider (PTSP) to Point-of-Sale terminals (PoS) in Nigeria.

This followed a visit by a delegation of the apex bank to CWG late last year to assess the company’s preparedness and ensure that the company has fulfilled all conditions necessary.
CBN declared CWG qualified to be licensed as a Payment Terminal Service Provider in the country, shortly after the visit. Read more

BDCs: $76.3m special fund fails to lift naira

The naira ended at a record closing low against the dollar on Friday despite Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) $76.32 million special intervention to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators.

The naira, which opened at N193.60, strengthened to N185.80 to dollar after the intervention but it quickly fell back to close at 193.90. Read more

Nigeria facing major economic crisis, economists warn

Nigeria is on the verge of a major economic crisis and may be thrown into a perplexing hardship worse than the Shehu Shagari regime in 1982 when the prices of crude oil crashed in the international market, economists have warned.

The economists argued that the current economic managers led by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, should be blamed for failing to save for the rainy day, after a five year period of oil boom that left the price of crude oil above $100 per barrel. Read more

Nigeria, UK Strengthen Ties to Boost Capital Market, Trade

As part of efforts to strengthen economic cooperation, promote mutual development and trade between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock at the weekend held a strategic meeting with the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

The meeting was a follow up to an earlier agreement signed between the NSE and London Stock Exchange (LSE) on how to mutually support both markets that took place in Lagos last November, when a UK delegation came to Nigeria. Read more

 

World News

 

Venice carnival: Masked revellers celebrate city’s festival

Revellers wearing elaborate masks and costumes have taken to the streets of Venice to open the city’s centuries-old carnival officially.

The event is a public party leading into the Roman Catholic fasting month of Lent which begins on 18 February. Read more

China court gives out new death penalty after wrongful execution

A court in Chinasentenced a man to death on Monday for crimes including the murder and rape of a woman in 1996 which another person was wrongly executed for before being exonerated last year, state media reported.

Zhao Zhihong, 42, was detained in 2005 and confessed to a series of rapes and murders, including one in a public toilet in Inner Mongolian capital Hohhot in 1996 that was blamed on Huugjilt, then aged 18. Read more

Teenager arrested after taking selfie with dead body, say police

Authorities say a western Pennsylvania teenager charged in the shooting death of another teen took a selfie with the body and sent it to a friend on social media.

The 16-year-old boy is charged with homicide and a firearms count in the death of 16-year-old Ryan Mangan, who was found on Wednesday evening in his home in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Power

           

Discos Record Revenue Losses Due to Metering Gap, Vandalism

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo has stated that vandalism of gas pipelines and inadequate metering of customers have forced the revenue that accrued to the various electricity distribution companies across the country to drop from N18 billion monthly before privatisation to N12 billion.

Speaking at a recent regional workshop on metering, billing and loss reduction for distribution utilities held at the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) in Lagos, the minister stated that commercial losses were still high. Read more

N18.2b loan won’t solve gas problems

The N18.261billion  okayed for five electricity firms under the Nigerian electricity Stabilisation Facility (NESP) will not address the fundamental problems besetting the energy sector, stakeholders have said.

The President, Petroleum and Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Emeka Ene, said the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide two distribution firms and three hydro-power generation firms with the fund, was a good step in the right direction, adding that gas is the critical issue facing the industry. Read more

 

Sports

 

Ivory Coast beat Ghana to win African Nations Cup

Stand in goalkeeper Boubacar Barry was the unlikely hero as Ivory Coast beat Ghana 9-8 in a dramatic African Nations Cup final penalty shootout to win his nation’s second continental championship following a 0-0 draw.

Barry, only playing because first-choice Sylvain Gbohouo was injured, scored the decisive penalty as Ivory Coast ended their 23-year drought for the continental championship. Read more

Eaglets to Play Final Test Game in Sokoto

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets face Fasbir Football Academy at the Giginya Memorial Stadium in Sokoto on Wednesday in their last warm-up match before travelling to Niamey for the 2015 African U17 Championship.

Coach Emmanuel Amuneke said it was imperative to play a local club partly as a token of appreciation for their hospitality to the team by fans and football stakeholders since their arrival on Friday. Read more

Chukwu to NFF: Get Eagles a coach now

Looking at the pace of Nigeria’s tumbling from FIFA’s rankings to 43rd in the world now, former Super Eagles Chief Coach Christian Chukwu has urged the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to effect the appointment of a new Super Eagles Coach immediately if the Federation so wishes.

Chukwu also advised that they should start contract discussions with the out of contract coach of the team Stephen Keshi if the NFF wishes too. Read more

Pillars deserved win over Ghana U-23s, says Loute

Kano Pillars left-back Isaac Loute has told AfricanFootball.com  his side worked hard to beat the Ghana U-23 team in a friendly on Saturday in Accra.

Saturday’s clash was Pillars second in Ghana as they prepare for a CAF Champions League game against Malaika of South Sudan. The Nigeria champions drew the first test match 2-2 with Hearts of Oak. Read more

NFF to Decide Keshi’s Fate Tomorrow

The Technical Committee of the country’s football house will hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the future of the embattled Eagles handler among other issues

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical and Development Committee will meet on Tuesday February 10 in Abuja to discuss issues relating to the future of the Super Eagles’ technical crew among others pertinent issues. Read more

ITTF Ranking: Quadri slides to 32

The quarterfinal defeat suffered in the men’s singles event by Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Senior Championship held in Cairo, Egypt has adversely affected the fortune of the ITTF Star Player at the February world rating released by the world table tennis ruling body at the weekend.

For being beaten by Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali, Quadri dropped from 30 in the world to 32 in the latest ranking while his conqueror improved in his rating as the Egyptian moved from 195 to 179 in the world. Read more

 

 

 

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