Five Killed, 36 Injured in Yobe Suicide Bombing
Another suicide bombing at a bus station in Potiskum, the commercial nerve centre of Yobe State, has killed five persons and injured 36 others, a hospital source has revealed.
Speaking on the phone to THISDAY from Potiskum, a member of staff of the General Hospital in the town said of the 41 persons brought to the hospital, five were dead and 36 others are injured. Read more
Millions of fake PVCs in circulation -INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has discovered that millions of fake Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC) are currently in circulation, its commissioner in charge of South West, Professor Lai Olurode, has disclosed.
He said this yesterday in his goodwill message at a special national prayer for peaceful and successful conduct of the 2015 general elections, organised by the Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society (NASFAT), Kubwa branch, Abuja. Read more
2015 budget unrealistic, say senators
Some senators yesterday described as unrealistic, fundamental allocations proposed in the N4.357 trillion 2015 budget estimates being considered by the National Assembly. They noted that passing the budget as presented by the executive without the lawmakers tampering with it would be gross disservice to the country. Read more
Mass Defection Hits Nasarawa PDP
It’s no longer at ease, and the center cannot hold. This is the real description of the mass movement of supporters of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to other political parties.
The development was the aftermath of the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Read more
ASUU tasks Edo governor over demolition of members’ houses
Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State has been taken to task by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the demolition of houses of its members in the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Edo State capital.
ASUU, which condemned the brutality of its members by agents of government for assaulting, injuring and destroying their properties, asked Oshiomole to respect the rule of law. Read more
Rivers alleges plan by PDP to forcefully use stadium
The Rivers State government has raised an alarm over alleged plans by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to break into the state’s owned Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex to hold its Rivers State Presidential Rally.
“At a different time and under different circumstances the Rivers State Government would have ignored the PDP’s ranting but with the party’s penchant for violence and its recent bombings of people and property all over the state, it is pertinent that the Rivers State Government raises this alert and sounds a note of warning to the PDP that the Rivers State Government will not trifle with its responsibility to guarantee the safety of lives and property irrespective of whom is affected”, Ibim Seminetari, the commissioner for Information stated. Read more
Business Leaders to Meet Jonathan in Lagos
A forum of business leaders under the aegis of Corporate Forum on Sunday said it had concluded plans to interact with President Goodluck Jonathan on issues of national interest ahead of the February 14 presidential election.
The forum disclosed the plan in a statement, noting that the session was arranged to interact purely with the president on the success of his administration since 2011. Read more
APC Rejects Interim Govt, Election Postponement Plot
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will neither accept an interim government nor a postponement of next month’s elections as being advocated by certain individuals, saying the elections must hold as scheduled on February 14 and 28, 2015.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC warned that any attempt to scuttle the polls in preference for any other arrangement will be resisted by all available constitutional means. Read more
APC, PDP bicker over Buhari’s health
A fresh controversy is brewing over the health status of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
In fact, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition APC traded words over the issue yesterday, with the former challenging Buhari to jog around the perimeter of a stadium to prove that he is healthy. Read more
Pilots: Further Lufthansa Strikes Likely
German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said it was likely to call for further strikes at Lufthansa as a long-running row continued.
The dispute revolves around an early retirement scheme and Lufthansa’s plans to expand its low-cost operations to win back market share lost to the likes of Ryanair and easyJet, which are expanding in Germany. Read more
360,000 security operatives, US sniffer dogs for elections
NO fewer than 360, 000 security operatives as well as 25 sniffer dogs from the United States would be deployed in the states for the 2015 general elections, heads of security agencies have said.
While Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, said about 300, 000 of his officers and men had been trained in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission and development partners, the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ade Abolurin, said that 60, 000 of his men would partake in securing lives and properties during the elections. Read more
‘Why commercial banks are not funding airlines’
The Managing Director of Discovery Air, Captain Mohammed Abdulsalami, has criticised the regime of double digit interest rate, which is the base lending rates approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying it is the major reason banks are unwilling to fund the aviation industry
He said the base lending rate approved for the banks for the sector is not favourable because no domestic airline can access loan from the bank to buy aircraft and is expected to pay over 20 per cent interest on such funds. Read more
CBN Likely to Retain Interest Rate, Others
Notwithstanding the continuous threat to stability as oil prices continue to slide, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) monetary policy committee (MPC) is expected to leave the benchmark interest rate and other monetary policy tools unchanged at the end of its two-day meeting, which commences on Monday.
This is largely because the market has not fully absorbed the effects of the monetary policy measures that were decided at the last MPC meeting. Read more
CBN sold dollars to stem naira’s fall, says Emefiele
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said it sold dollars to stem the Naira’s drop to a record low after JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the debt of Nigeria may be cut from its local-currency emerging-market indexes.
This came as the Nigerian Stock Exchange,NSE said it was seeking to attract companies from outside Nigeria to sell shares as slumping oil prices weighed on local businesses. Read more
Shipping Charges: Importers, Others Decry Violation of Court Order
Importers and customs brokers at the weekend criticised terminal operators and shipping companies for continued collection of some shipping charges in violation of the order of a Federal High Court.
The stakeholders specifically accused members of the Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) and the Association of Shipping Lines Agency (ALSA) of indulging in unlawful act by collecting the same old shipping charges in utter disregard to the order of the court affirming the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) as the Ports Economic Regulator and upholding its decision to stop collection of the affected charges. Read more
Oil and Gas
Falling crude price: Nigeria risks grave economic consequences, oil firms bosses warn
Chief executive officers, senior executives of oil and gas companies and former executives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, weekend, said the Nigerian economy will degenerate into a serious crisis unless something urgent was done to safeguard the country from the shock of the falling crude oil price.
The executives also called for the scrapping of the NNPC, stating that the corporation is no longer making any meaningful contribution to the oil and gas sector. Read more
Seplat Secures $1bn Debt Re-financing Facility
A Nigerian oil company, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (Seplat), has said it has successfully refinanced its existing debt facilities with a new $700 million seven-year secured term facility and US$300 million three-year secured revolving credit facility.
According to the weekly report of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the listed oil firm told the NSE that the seven-year facility also included an option for the company to upsize the facility by up to an additional $700 million for qualifying acquisition opportunities. Read more
Nigeria targets additional 40,000bpd by Q4 2015
Despite tumbling of crude oil prices in the international market, Nigeria is targeting an additional 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bopd), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said.
The 40,000bpd, according to the Group General Manager of National Petroleum Investment Management Service (NAPIMS), a subsidiary of NNPC, Mr. Jonathan Okehs, is expected from fresh project from oil multinational, Total. Read more
Seplat top pick among African oil & gas firms
Seplat is named as a top pick among African oil and gas firms by Renaissance Capital in a January 13 note.
“Our top pick remains Seplat (BUY, TP GBp260); given it’s fully funded status and improved opportunities to expand its asset base through M&A deals. For us, the market seems to be ignoring the company’s $299mn net cash position and is giving Seplat no credit for its pioneer status,” Rencap analysts led by Ildar Davletshin said. Read more
Pope leaves Manila after drawing record crowd of 6 million
Pope Francis flew home Monday after a weeklong trip to Asia, where he called for unity in Sri Lanka after a civil war then asked Filipinos to be “missionaries of the faith” in the world’s most populous continent after a record crowd turned up in his final Mass in the Philippine capital.
President Benigno Aquino III, Catholic Church leaders and about 400 street children yelling “Pope Francis we love you,” saw him off at a Manila air base, where the pontiff, carrying a black travel bag, boarded a plane for Rome. Standing at the top of the stairs, the pope waved, slightly bowed his head and then walked into the plane. Read more
Wildfires in Oklahoma close major highway
Raging grass fires in the US State of Oklahoma forced the closure of a major interstate highway on Sunday.
The fires in Logan County have already burned more than two square kilometres (0.78 square miles) of land and destroyed many homes, prompting police to evacuate some areas. Read more
Australia asylum: Protests continue at Manus Island camp
A protest by asylum seekers at an Australian offshore detention centre has entered its seventh day, with hundreds reportedly on a hunger strike.
Detainees at one compound on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have locked staff out, according to Australian media reports. Read more
Hundreds of Chinese nationals trapped in north Myanmar
Hundreds of Chinese citizens, including miners and jade traders, are among 2,000 civilians trapped by fighting between government troops and insurgents in northern Myanmar, China’s state-backed Global Times reported on Monday.
The Chinese nationals and Myanmar civilians are trapped in the northern state of Kachin, which borders southern China, where the Myanmar military has been battling the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA) for years, the newspaper said. Read more
Gunfire erupts near Yemen’s presidential palace
Houthi rebels battled soldiers near Yemen’s presidential palace Monday morning, witnesses said. The status of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was not immediately clear.
Witnesses nearby told the Associated Press that heavy machine gun fire could be heard as mortars fell around the palace. Civilians in the area fled the fighting as columns of black smoke rose over the palace. Read more
Mali declared Ebola-free
Mali’s government and the United Nations have declared the West African nation free of Ebola following a 42-day period without a new case of the deadly virus.
“I declare on this day, January 18, 2015, the end of the end of the Ebola epidemic in Mali,” Ousmane Koné said in a statement in which he thanked the country’s health workers and international partners for their work to halt the outbreak. Read more
National grid gets 220MW boost from Egbin plant
The management of Egbin Power Plc, at the weekend, said it has enhanced the nation’s power generation capacity by rehabilitating a 220MW Steam Turbine Generator.
The company’s Chief Executive, Mike Uzoigwe, said the rehabilitation is the first in eight years after the turbine remained inoperable. Read more
Arsenal answer defensive doubts at Man City
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says victory over Manchester City has answered doubts about their defence and ability to beat top clubs away from home.
Goals from Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal a 2-0 win at City in contrast to last season’s 6-3 loss. Read more
Nigeria Ready for Africa U-17 Championship – Amuneke
Coach of the Nigerian under 17 team the Golden Eaglets, Coach Emmanuel Amuneke has said his team is fully prepared for the February African under 17 Youth Championship coming up in Niger Republic.
Amuneke revealed this shortly after his side defeated a Nigerian National League club side, Sokoto United 2-0 in a friendly match played at the main-bowl of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Saturday. He added that he is optimistic the Nigerian under 17 would have a good outing in Niger Republic even as he admitted that the challenge would not be easy. Read more
It’s painful we’re not in E. Guinea – Ambrose
Super Eagles full back, Efe Ambrose, like most of his team mates and indeed, Nigerians in general is in pains that the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament is going on without Nigeria.
The 2013 Afcon winner was full of regret when he said, “I understand the effects of not qualifying for the competition and I feel bad about it.” Read more
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