*Gunmen kill 22, injure scores in Plateau* *I’ve no hands in Kanu’s travails –Uwazuruike*

*Gunmen kill 22, injure scores in Plateau* *I’ve no hands in Kanu’s travails –Uwazuruike*

Sabinews Morning News Update for December 15, 2015

National News

Gunmen kill 22, injure scores in Plateau

Twenty-two persons were killed by gunmen, who attacked two villages in Plateau State on Sunday night. The villages are Kwata in Jos South Local Government and Hoss in Riyom Council.

Both attacks were carried out simultaneously. Many people were injured. Among the victims were 15 women, four children and two men. Read more

I’ve no hands in Kanu’s travails –Uwazuruike

Leader of Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) formerly Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has said he had no hands in the current travails of the director of Radio Biafra and leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

There had been sweeping allegations in certain quarters that Uwazuruike envious of the rising profile of Nnamdi Kanu, was responsible for the running battle the director of Radio Biafra was having with the Federal Government. Read more

Olu of Warri assures subjects, neighbours on peaceful reign

The Itsekiri monarch, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri, has vowed not to betray the confidence and trust of his subjects, promising to provide true and transparent reign.

The Olu, in his first post coronation media briefing, yesterday, at the Aghofen Palace, Warri, Delta State, highlighted peace building and good neighbourliness as priorities in his reign agenda. Read more

PDP’s call for truth commission diversionary, says APC

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday dismissed the call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the institution of a National Truth Commission, describing it as diversionary tactics to stop investigation into the arms scandal.

National Secretary Alhaji Mai Mala Buni said in a statement in Abuja that this was not the time for setting up a truth commission, but a time for probe, justice and recovery of looted funds. Read more

DPO gets 10 years for killing subsidy protester

Justice Olabisi Akinlade of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere yesterday sentenced a former Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Segun Fabunmi, to 10 years in prison for manslaughter.

This followed the fatal shooting of Ademola Ade (or Ademola Aderintola Daramola) in the January 9, 2012, Lagos fuel subsidy protest. Read more

‘Conduct forensic audit on empty houses’

Chairman, National Oracle Magazine, Blessing Agbom-here has called on the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Muhammad Bello to conduct a forensic audit of empty houses in Abuja.

He said any house built but left unoccupied for six months should be scrutinized. Read more

Kuje Market: Traders grieve over demolition

Six months after the first phase of Kuje Market was demolished and reconstructed, the second phase of the market has been demolished to pave way for the commencement of the construction of the second phase of the market to be completed in six months.

Speaking to newsmen during the demolition exercise, the chairman of Kuje Area Council, Hon. Ishaku Shaban Tete said the council embarked on the exercise in order to improve the standard of the market and boost business activities in the area council. Read more

Court dismisses Stanbic IBTC, KPMG’s suits against FRC

The Federal High Court in Lagos on yesterday dismissed separate suits filed by Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and KPMG Professional Services challenging the sanctions imposed on them by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC).

Stanbic IBTC had filed its suit following the suspension of its chairman, Mr. Atedo Peterside, and three directors by FRC, over alleged irregularities in their financial statements for 2013 and 2014. Read more

FG commences probe of NIMASA

The Federal Government may have begun the probe of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), following a flurry of petitions and widespread allegations of fraud and impunity leveled against the regulatory body by stakeholders.

Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of State for Aviation, Idris Sirika, who stormed Lagos seaports yesterday for an on-the-spot-assessment of NIMASA facilities were visibly disappointed with the deplorable state of the Resource Centre, despite billions of naira reportedly expended on it. Read more

I didn’t receive money from Dasuki, Yuguda – Senator Nwobodo

Former governor of the old Anambra State and chieftain of  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Jim Nwobodo yesterday denied receiving money from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki(retd).
Nwobodo also denied  being part of the PDP chieftains that shared N3.05 billion from  the former minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda. Read more

8 ministers shun Reps panel on climate change

Eight ministers, yesterday, shunned an invitation of the House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change to parley on the subject matter.

Ministers who were invited, but failed to show up were: Ministers of Power, Environment, Transport, Science and Technology, Health, Petroleum Resources, Water Resources, Budget and National Planning. Read more

Economy

Dangote Buys 65% Of Tiger Brands Nigeria For $1

The bid by Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) to buy Tiger Brands Nigeria, has been sealed as Tiger Brands, yesterday, announced that it had agreed to sell its 65.7 per cent shareholding in its Nigerian unit, Tiger Branded Consumer Goods (TBCG), to DIL for a nominal $1.

In a statement released by TBCG yesterday, the firm said DIL would provide TBCG with an immediate cash injection of approximately R700-million, sufficient capital “to stabilise the business and place it on a sustainable path”. Read more

Oil price slump: Nigeria’s economic outlook remains difficult – World Bank

The World Bank has projected that Nigeria’s economic outlook would remain difficult in the short run due to the persistent low price of crude oil in the international market.

The World Bank in its Nigeria Economic Report 3, released recently in Abuja, stated that for the country’s economy to survive within this period, fiscal adjustment will be of critical importance, warning that even if oil prices recover, government oil revenues should continue to decline in the medium term relative to the size of the Nigerian economy. Read more

Policies to ease business transactions in Nigeria out soon –Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will soon introduce more policies to further ease the process of doing business in Nigeria. He disclosed this after a presentation on enhancing Nigeria’s trade and economic competitiveness at the Presidential Villa.
According to Buhari, the new policies will focus on increasing efficiency and transparency in government operations, and blockage of leakages from revenue-generating agencies.Buhari said his administration was fully committed to closing all loopholes in revenue generating agencies, increasing efficiency in trade facilitation and ensuring transparency in all government businesses to attract greater foreign direct investments into the country. Read more

Oil and Gas

Fuel subsidy to go next year, FG to sell petrol at N97 per litre

Following increased pressure on revenue and the expenditure profile, the Federal Government has finally yielded to domestic and international pressures to remove fuel subsidy.

This is coming as crude oil prices hit a seven-year low with global reference crude, West Texas Intermediate and Brent trading yesterday at $34.7 and $36.7 per barrel respectively, effectively disrupting Nigeria’s $38 per barrel benchmark for 2016 budget. Read more

Kachikwu urges greater cooperation among African oil producers

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu yesterday urged  member countries of the African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA), to close ranks and bring their influence to bear on the global oil and gas market.

Speaking at a media briefing to herald the  sixth Africa Petroleum Congress and Exhibition (CAPE Vl) billed for Abuja from 15th – 17th March, next year, he  said it was high time APPA members rallied round to forge common positions on critical areas of mutual interest to galvanise their stakes especially in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC). Read more

DPR Sanction: Folawiyo Energy denies breaching regulations

Folawiyo Energy Limited (FEL) has denied violating regulations that guide the sale of petroleum products, noting that the company has not had its own products in storage for the past three months.

The company said during the period that it only stored and distributed products for the NNPC, without any involvement in collecting payments from the companies taking the NNPC stock. Read more

Chevron Engages Marine Platforms on Agbami Phase 3 Project

Chevron Nigeria Limited’s Star Deepwater Petroleum Limited has awarded Marine Platforms Limited a Brownfield deepwater construction contract to carry out subsea tieback for the Agbami field, one of Nigeria’s largest deepwater developments.

By the terms of the contract, Marine platforms is tasked with the transportation, installation and pre-commissioning (TIP) of flexible flowlines, jumpers, umbilical and manifold. Read more

Oriental Energy Clarifies Status of Ebok Field, Negotiations with Afren

Oriental Energy Resources Limited, owner of 60 per cent equity in the Ebok and Okwok offshore assets and operator of record has provided an update on the progress of implementation of the Ebok oilfield transition plan, and the status of negotiations with Afren Plc, which is currently in administration, in respect of the resolution of issues arising from Afren’s insolvency.

On the status of the implementation of the Ebok field transition plan in August 2015, Oriental said at the weekend that following the implementation of the plan in August 2015, Oriental had taken full operational control of the field from Afren plc’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Afren Resources Limited. Read more

Non-Delivery of Pipes Delays Nigeria’s East-West Gas Pipeline Project

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Oilserv Limited, Mr. Emeka Okwuosa has raised the alarm that the non-delivery of pipes by a contractor has delayed the early completion of the Ob/Ob 3 East-West gas pipeline project being executed by his company.

The East –West gas pipeline, 120 kilometres x 48 inches pipeline network is the largest to be built in Nigeria with a capacity to evacuate two billion cubic feet of gas from the eastern part of the country to fire power stations in the West, Kogi and northern axis. Read more

Power

Solar plant: Hope for Shiroro communities

When, on November 1, 2013, Shiroro Hydro-electric Power Station was taken over by the North South Power (NSP) Limited, members of the host communities were optimistic that they would enjoy social and economic benefits. There was also the hope that there would be enough employment opportunities and more basic amenities.

Conversely, their hopes and aspirations are yet to be realised as the firm is yet to meet most of these expectations since it has not actually raised its power generation level to secure high market in the Nigerian electricity supply industry (NESI) owing to some technical and financial constraints. Read more

Shell Boosts Access to Smart Energy with Africa’s First Human-powered Pitch

As part of its efforts to inspire entrepreneurs with bright energy ideas that open up access to energy in Africa and beyond, Shell Nigeria has unveiled Africa’s first human and solar-powered football pitch in Lagos.

Global music star, Akon joined the oil giant to shine a light on the power of innovative options for access to smarter energy by unveiling the pitch at the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Lagos. Read more

Electricity Subsidy for Rural Consumers Uncertain, Says FG

The federal government has said that the possibility of providing some level of financial subsidy for electricity consumers in Nigeria’s rural communities remains uncertain due to its lean pockets.

This is coming as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) targets to complete some critical gas infrastructure to ease gas supply to associated power plant to generate additional 2,000MW within the next 15 months, subject to budgetary provisions. Read more

Sports

Glo-CAF Awards: Ayew, Toure, Aubameyang listed

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Abuja on Monday announced the names of three top nominees for the 2015 African Footballer of the Year Award.

The names were announced at a joint press briefing by the CAF, organisers of the most prestigious annual African footballer of the year award and its exclusive sponsor, Globacom, the Next Generation Network at a joint press conference held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja on Monday. Read more

Glo-CAF Awards: Amuneke guns for Coach of the Year

The Coach of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, who won a fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup for the nation in Chile, in October, Emmanuel Amuneke, is in the running for the 2015 CAF Coach of the Year award.

At a joint press conference the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and its sponsor, Globacom, held in Abuja yesterday, it was revealed that Amuneke, who won the African Player title in 1994, is vying for the title with Mali U-17 coach, Baye Ba, Etoile Sportive de Sahel’s Fawzi Benzarti, Frenchman Hervé Renard, who led Cote d’ivore to win the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea and Patrice Carteron, who won the CAF Champions League with TP Mazembe. Read more

World News

Tunisia Sentences 6 Men to Prison for Homosexuality

A Tunisian court Monday gave six young men the maximum sentence for homosexuality.

Each defendant will spend three years in prison. Police arrested them last month after neighbors denounced them. Read more

Grace Mugabe ‘insult’ lands Zimbabwe MP in court

A legislator from Zimbabwe’s ruling party has appeared in court accused of “insulting remarks” about President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, during a verbal exchange with a fellow Zanu-PF party member.

Member of parliament Justice Wadyajena, 35, was charged with “criminal insult or, alternatively, conduct likely to provoke the breach of peace” when he appeared before magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa in Victoria Falls. Read more

Rand, stocks respond to Gordhan’s return

South Africa’s new finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, acted swiftly to calm investors on Monday, saying he would strive to keep Pretoria’s investment grade rating after days of market turmoil that triggered calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Zuma appointed the widely respected Gordhan late on Sunday, in a dramatic U-turn that gave Africa’s most industrialised economy its third finance minister in less than a week. Read more

Sierra Leone is free of Ebola, 18 months and 4,000 deaths after outbreak

About a year and a half after it emerged, the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has officially ended.

Nearly 4,000 Sierra Leoneans — among more than 11,000 West Africans — died of the disease. It came upon some slums and villages like a wave, infecting scores overnight and posing one of the most significant public health challenges in recent history. Read more

Guinea’s president sworn in for 2nd term

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde has been sworn in for a second five-year term in a ceremony under heavy military and police security.

Conde’s second term begins weeks before the West African country hopes to mark itself free from Ebola transmission. The deadly disease killed more than 2,500 people in Guinea. Read more

California shooter messaged Facebook friends about support for jihad -LA Times

One of the shooters in the San Bernardino massacre, Tashfeen Malik, sent at least two private messages on Facebook to a small group of Pakistani friends in 2012 and 2014, pledging her support for Islamic jihad and saying she hoped to join the fight one day, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

The messages were posted before Malik, 29, entered the United States on a K-1 fiancée visa in July 2014, the Times said, citing two top federal law enforcement officials. Read more

Anger as Cyprus MP shows off banned dish of songbirds at restaurant

A Cypriot MP has stirred controversy online after posting a picture of himself at a table serving a dish of songbirds whose poaching is banned on the Mediterranean island.

Evgenios Hamboullas – a member of the environment committee in the house of representatives – uploaded the image to Facebook on Saturday with the catchline: “Soon in our restaurants! Happy Holidays!” Read more

Saudi Arabia forms Islamic counterterrorism coalition

Saudi Arabia says 34 Muslim-majority nations have agreed to form a new military alliance to fight terrorism with a joint operations center based in the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh.

The announcement carried early Tuesday by the Saudi Press Agency says the Saudi-led alliance was established because terrorism “should be fought by all means and collaboration should be made to eliminate it.” Read more

Seattle council allows Uber drivers to join a union

Seattle has passed a measure allowing drivers of smartphone-based taxi services such as Uber to join a union.

The move – a first in the US – is a setback for the companies, which have sought to avoid regulations that apply to traditional taxi services. Read more

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