Sabinews Morning News Update for November 4, 2015
FG’s indebtedness to oil marketers now N470bn
The Federal Government’s outstanding indebtedness to oil marketers has risen to N470 billion, arising from a backlog of unpaid subsidy claims since August 1, 2014 till date.
This is even as the marketers say they require in excess of $2 billion dollars to pay off their foreign suppliers, otherwise they will not be able to continue to import more petroleum products into the country. Read more
APC, PDP spent N11.6bn on presidential election – CSJ
The Centre for Social Justice on Tuesday claimed that the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party spent N11.66bn to finance the 2015 presidential election.
The Lead Director, CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, a lawyer, gave the figure while releasing a report on the campaign finance and the use of state administrative resources in the 2015 presidential election. Read more
Leadership: Afenifere Meets Today in Akure
Leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, will this Wednesday meet in Akure, the Ondo State capital, at the country home of its former Chairman, Pa Rueben Fasoranti, on the choice of a new helmsman for the organisation.
It was gathered that selection of a new leader for the organisation may be part of the main agenda of the meeting which is also expected to chart a new course for the Yoruba nation. Read more
Fire Guts Supermarket, Plank Market, Shop in Lagos
Although no casualty was recorded, three different fire incidents were on Tuesday recorded at different areas of Lagos – Lekki, Ajegunle and Makoko.
At the Lekki area, the popular Prince Ebeano Supermarket, located along Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, was engulfed by fire. Read more
Court approves Dasuki’s cancer treatment abroad
A Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday approved former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki’s request to travel abroad for medical attention pending the commencement of his trial.
Dasuki, who is standing trial for alleged unlawful possession of fire arms and money-laundering applied for the release of his passport which is in the court’s custody to enable him seek foreign medical attention for his deteriorating health occasioned by prostrate cancer. Delivering ruling on the application filed by Dasuki, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who was moved by the situation, granted the former NSA a period of three weeks within which to take care of his health abroad and return to the country. Read more
2 rustlers shot dead, 441 cattle recovered
Two suspected cattle rustlers have been killed in a fierce gun battle with operatives of the Nigeria Police at Falgore forest in Kano State.
Kano State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Muhammad Katsina disclosed this at the forest yesterday evening, during the handover ceremony of 441 cows and 30 sheep recovered from the rustlers. Read more
Fire guts Baale’s houses in Ajegunle
Tragedy struck yesterday in Lagos as a storey building, and another house located at No 171, Orodu Street, Ajegunle, Apapa area of the state, all belonging to Baale Onibada were gutted by fire.
Daily Sun gathered that the building housing the late Baale Onibada’s children and tenants’ shops were not left out. The fire, which started at about 9.30a.m, attracted sympathisers who assisted tenants to evacuate their belongings while street boys tried effortlessly to put out the fire with dirty water from the gutter. Read more
Fire razes building, destroys N200m property in Onitsha
Over N200 million worth of property was destroyed yesterday when an inferno engulfed a three-storey building in Nkpor junction in Onitsha, Anambra State.
The fire was said to have been caused by chemicals stored in drums in one of the three-storey buildings at No 1 Afam Uzugwu in Nkpor junction. An eyewitness, Mr. Clement Okeh said the fire started from a three-storey building and spread to other surrounding buildings before the fire service stopped it from spreading. Read more
Abia: Otti appeals as tribunal affirms Ikpeazu’s victory
Abia Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, yesterday, upheld the election of Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of the state.
In an 85-minute judgment delivered by the Chairman, Usman Bwala, the tribunal said the petitioners, Alex Otti and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), did not prove their claim to have won the election “beyond doubt.” Read more
APC thugs attack Dickson’s convoy
Suspected thugs in the All Progressives Congress (APC) uniform yesterday attacked the campaign train of Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State at the popular Swali Market in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The incident would have degenerated into a bloody brawl but for the prompt intervention of security aides attached to the governor’s convoy. Read more
FG spends N5bn on automotive labs –DG NADDC
The Director General of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Aminu Jalal, has disclosed that the Federal Government has spent about N5 billion in the establishment of world-class automotive test laboratories for emission, components and materials.
Jalal made the disclosure when the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, paid him a courtesy visit recently in Abuja. Read more
Chemical explosion sets 3 buildings ablaze
A chemical depot located at Nkpor junction in Idemili North Local Government area of Anambra State, yesterday evening set three buildings: a five-storey, three-storey and another ablaze when the chemicals stored in drums in the depot caught fire and exploded.
Properties estimated at several millions of naira were lost to the inferno despite the efforts of men of the fire service who were on hand to stop the fire. Read more
CBN Rejects FRC’s Request to Take Action against Stanbic IBTC
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rejected the request by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) that it takes disciplinary action against Stanbic IBTC Holding Company Plc (SIBTCH), saying that the council failed to follow due process in the matter.
To this end, the central bank has said it does not see any reason to advise/compel SIBTCH to comply with the sanctions meted to it by FRCN. Read more
Rights groups accuse Customs of impounding Saro-Wiwa’s sculpture
Five civil society groups, yesterday, in Rivers State accused Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Apapa, Lagos, of impounding a sculpture made in living memorial of Ken Saro-Wiwa.
According to Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Friends of the Earth, Social Action, Environmental Rights Action and Home of Mother Earth Foundation, the sculpture was seized on September 8, and all efforts to get it released had been fruitless till date. Read more
Osun plans land use charge law to boost revenue
The Osun State Government has sent a Land Use Charge bill to the state House of Assembly for passage into law.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, said at the public hearing session organised by the House of Assembly on the bill on Tuesday, that the state government decided to introduce the law to make property owners pay certain amount of levy on their property. Read more
Why all ministers won’t get portfolios, by Buhari
All is set for the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) following President Muhammadu Buhari’s receipt of the list of ministers-designate from Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The would-be ministers will begin a retreat in Abuja tomorrow to prepare them for the task ahead, it was learnt yesterday. Read more
INEC to Begin Distribution of PVCs in Kogi, Bayelsa
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would commence the distribution of the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) to the electorate in Kogi State from November 6 to November 11 while that of Bayelsa State is expected to be between November 13 and 19.
The INEC’s Deputy Director in charge of Publicity, Mr. Nick Dazang, confirmed the commencement of the exercise to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja. Read more
CCT: Saraki Files Appeal at the Supreme Court
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has formally filed an appeal at the Supreme Court over the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which last week dismissed his application seeking to stop his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on the 13-count charge bordering on false asset declaration.
Saraki in the latest appeal is seeking a stay of proceedings, urging the apex court to halt the proceedings of the CCT to try him for the alleged offences. Read more
N1.04tn Fine: MTN Apologises, Seeks Leniency
Following the N1.04 trillion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria by the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), for violating its directive on SIM card deactivation, it appears the telecoms company is already seeking pardon.
Reuters reported that two sources had informed it that the cell phone operator had written a letter to Nigerian authorities asking for leniency. Read more
NECA raises alarm over poor roads
THE Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has raised concerns on the poor state of roads across the country, which it says now poses grave danger to the citizens and the economy.
Worst hit are the nation’s 194,000-kilometre network of federal roads, which have deteriorated over the years and have been making survival unbearable for all and sundry. Read more
VSF Releases N20m for Female Victims of Insurgency
The Nigerian Foundation for the Support of Victims of Terrorism (VSF) yesterday disbursed N20 million to 1,000 women who were displaced from their homeland by Boko Haram insurgents and left without any means of livelihood.
The women were the first batch of the 2,500 to be economically empowered in Borno State which are and of the 5,000 slated to be assisted by the VSF under its Women Economic Empowerment Project (WEEP) for the women affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in North-east sub-region of the country. Read more
Tambuwal: We Must all Rise against Boko Haram
Nigerians must not let the activities of Boko Haram sow the seed of doubt and mistrust among them as allowing such will be detrimental to the peaceful coexistence of various religious and ethnic groups in the country, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has said.
He said now is the time for leaders to close ranks and work for the stability and progress of the country. Read more
Nigerian Stock Exchange May Sanction Oando over Delayed Results
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday said it was reviewing the situation regarding the delayed filings of the Audited Financial Statements (AFS) of Oando Plc for the year ended December 31, 2014, its first quarter and half year delayed fillings.
Although the exchange said it had sanctioned Oando Plc for violations of its post-listing obligations in accordance with its applicable Rules, it has also invited the company’s AuditCommittee as well as its external auditors. Read more
Recapitalisation: SEC to Release Final List of Compliant Operators December
Strong indications emerged on Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will in December, release the final list of market operators, who have complied with the new minimum capital requirement.
SEC had in 2013 announced new minimum capital requirements for all categories of market operators in pursuant to Section 313(6) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007. The compliance deadline expired September 30, 2015 while SEC released a provisional list showing that 437 operators met the capital requirement. Read more
DMO Restructures N576bn Bank Loans of 23 States into FGN Bonds
As part of efforts by the federal government to save states from their financial crises, the Debt Management Office ( DMO) has restructured the N575.516 billion bank loans owed by 23 states into Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds.
The Director General of DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, who disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday, said the move was part of the short term stabilisation package approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to bail out states who had been unable to meet their financial obligations. Read more
Oil and Gas
NNPC opts for direct sale of crude
In a major shift, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday opted to, henforth, buy crude oil and petroleum products directly from credible international companies.
This approach, it said, would ensure more transparency and eliminate middlemen in the crude oil exchange for product matrix. Read more
House Summons JTF, NNPC, Others over Illegal Refineries in Niger Delta
The House of Representatives on Tuesday opened investigations into the activities of the Joint Task Force (JTF) over the destruction and burning of equipment seized from illegal refineries’ operators in the Niger Delta.
The ad hoc committee in charge of the investigations has summoned the JTF, management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) as well as representatives of the affected communities to appear before it. Read more
NNPC sells 35% crude for its use – NEITI
Out of the 445,000 barrels of crude oil allocated daily to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the firm sells about 35 per cent (155,750bpd) to meet its own needs, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has said.
According to NEITI, crude oil allocation to the NNPC should be reduced since the country’s refineries are performing far below expectation. Read more
NERC Denies Appropriating N2.7bn for Retiring Commissioners
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Tuesday denied that it has appropriated about N2.7 billion as retirement benefits to its Commissioners who are due to retire from its service in December.
It said in a statement that contrary to a media report that it put aside such sums to settle extant benefits that should accrue to the retiring commissioners, it has just about N2 billion set aside in a severance scheme portfolio for every official that would leave the commission and not just the seven commissioners whose tenure ends in December. Read more
Golden Eaglets Battle Ready against Mexico
Going by championship records, defending champions, Nigeria led by coach Emmanuel Amuneke, are set to extend the wining streak against the their North American opposition, Mexico as both side seek a place in the final of the FIFA Under Championship in Chile.
Mexico will be seeking their pound of flesh in semi-final in Concepcion after they lost twice to the defending champions two years ago. Read more
Ghana in talks with Emirates to revive Airline Industry
Ghana is in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to see how best the latter could help revive Ghana’s national airline, Mr Daniel Osei, Ghana’s Consul General in the UAE has said.
Speaking to the media after a visit to the Ghanaian stand at the ongoing 13th Middle East Natural and Organic Products Expo (MENOPE) 2015, Mr Osei said Ghana was interested and determined in creating a national airline and was actively looking for the right partners to make the plan a reality. Read more
Morocco Expects $10 Billion From Car Industry Exports By 2020
Moroccan Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy told Reuters in an interview that Morocco expects auto industry exports to reach MAD 100 billion ($10.2 billion) per year by 2020.
The increase in auto industry exports is expected as a result of recent investments, such as the $630 million PSA Peugeot Citroen factory, planned to be operational in 2019. Read more
Egypt steps up pre-flight preparations after Russian plane crash – reports
Egypt has introduced additional security measures at all the airports, including tightening pre-flight preparation for the aircraft, in the wake of the Russian plane crash, local media reports said on Wednesday.
The country’s national security department is revising the strategy on protecting the aircraft on the Egyptian territory, the Bawaba news portal reports. All the planes will undergo full checks carried out by the special services before ground teams are allowed to them. Read more
Uganda named as one of NatGeo’s top ten wildlife destinations
Just days ahead of the ongoing World Travel Market in London did Lonely Planet once again lift Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, into their top ranked destinations, alongside the entire East Africa, to the delight of our country’s tourism marketers, giving them another promotional boost.
Now this is followed by National Geographic naming Uganda among their top ten ‘Must see Wildlife destinations’ in the world, adding to the appeal of spending a vacation visiting our acclaimed national parks, among them one named by CNN as Africa’s best, the Kidepo Valley National Park. Read more
Burundi – now off limits for all but essential travel by US citizens
Two years ago was Burundi the up and coming destination in Eastern Africa, when under the stewardship of Carmen Nibigira, then Director General of the Burundia National Tourist Office a new vision for the country was rolled out and the country was trending in Eastern Africa, buzzing with excitement over new initiatives.
The came the powergrab of President Nkurunziza for what most countries in the region, in Africa and across the world continue to view as illegal under the constitution of the country and under the Arusha Peace Agreement, which saw institutions manipulated and key opponents driven into exile before a sham election gave the regime a third term. Read more
Somalia: Soldiers Killed in Rebel Attack
At least 15 government soldiers were killed in an ambush by fighters from the Shabab, a Somali rebel group, one day after the group killed a dozen people in an attack in the capital, a military official said late Monday. The ambush happened near Walaweyn, a town in the Lower Shabelle region, about 58 miles south of Mogadishu, the capital, said Col. Ahmed Muse of the Somali military. Read more
Cairo Rejects Russian’s Theory That Doomed Jet Broke up While Airborne
Splits emerged between Russia and Egypt last night (Tuesday) as Cairo rejected Russian investigators’ conclusion that a Metrojet airliner had broken up in mid air before crashing.
Four days into the investigation into the fate of Flight 7K9268, the Egyptian government said there was no evidence to support claims by Russian officials that the Airbus A321 “broke up in the air”. It is the most public rift to date between the two governments, which initially both strongly suggested the aircraft had been brought down by a technical fault, only to concede later that foul play was a possibility. Read more
Sisi calls for NATO help in Libya ahead of controversial UK visit
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for NATO powers to help rebuild Libya, beset by violence since an uprising backed by the Western allience toppled Muammar Gaddafi, in an interview on Tuesday.
Sisi was quoted in the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph ahead of a contraversial visit to London in which he is to discuss security co-operation with Prime Minister David Cameron. Read more
Gunmen kidnap Libya government minister
Gunmen have kidnapped a minister in Libya’s Tripoli-based government, parliament said on Tuesday, and accused a group linked to its own interior minister of being behind the abduction.
The security and defence commission of the General National Congress (GNC) said in a statement that it “strongly condemned” the kidnap of Mohamad al-Gaddar, Tripoli’s planning minister, by “an armed group linked to the interior minister”. Read more
CBN Overrules FRC, Clears Stanbic IBTC Directors
Nigeria’s apex bank and chief regulator of the financial services sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cleared Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc (SIBTC) and its directors of all allegations leveled against the financial services provider.
CBN’s decision was communicated in a letter addressed to the executive secretary/chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) dated 2nd November, 2015 signed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele CON, titled ‘RE: Regulatory Decision in the Matter of Financial Statements of Stanbic IBTC Plc for Years ended December 2013 and 2014.’ Read more
China urges U.S. not to threaten its sovereignty
Last week’s U.S. naval patrol in the South China Sea threatened China’s sovereignty and security interests, and the U.S. should not take any more dangerous actions that threaten China’s sovereignty, Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan said. Read more
Filipino Militants Demand $60 Mln Ransom for 3 Foreigners
Suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen have demanded more than $60 million for two Canadians and a Norwegian they are holding in the jungles of the southern Philippines in the largest ransom the Muslim militants have sought for their hostages in years.
Army Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado said Wednesday the Philippine government maintains a no-ransom policy, adding there would be no let-up in efforts by his troops to secure the hostages’ freedom in the safest way possible. Read more
Ohio voters say ‘no’ to legalizing recreational marijuana use
Ohio voters on Tuesday said “no” to a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana, local media projections indicated.
Critics of the measure had said that it would create a monopoly for the biggest investors in producing the drug. If the measure had passed, Ohio would have been the most populous state to legalize recreational marijuana. Read more
Russian Plane Crash: Probe Turns Toward Who Had Access to Jetliner
Investigators probing what caused a passenger plane to crash Saturday in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula have turned their attention to who was on board — and who would have had access to the doomed jetliner before takeoff.
An airport source told NBC News that Egyptian security at Sharm el-Sheikh Airport has been focusing on who gained entry to the departure hall, was part of the catering and cleaning services, and had permission to be in the departure lounge. Read more
Chinese and Taiwan presidents set for historic meeting
Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore on Saturday, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday.
Xinhua did not elaborate on the meeting, the first between the two sides since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949. Read more
Houston rejects hotly contested anti-discrimination ordinance
Equal-rights activists were dealt a blow on Tuesday night as voters in Houston rejected an anti-discrimination ordinance that was the subject of a fierce battle that garnered national attention.
The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, dubbed Hero, became one of the highest-profile LGBT rights clashes since the US supreme court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage in June. Activists sought greater legal protections against discrimination, especially in places such as Texas where there is no statewide law banning discrimination against LGBT people. Read more