Jonathan insists on March 28 election
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday reassured Nigerians that the March 28 and April 11 dates set by the Professor Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for the conduct of General elections remain sacrosanct.
Speaking in Abuja during the second session of the presidential debate organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group, NEDG for presidential candidates of six political parties held at the International Conference Centre, President Jonathan said, “Elections will be conducted as scheduled for March 28 and April 11 as fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. The government in these four years has improved in all the sectors and in the next four years, we will consolidate, we will move forward, we will leave legacy for our children, we cannot think of going backward.” Read more
Wike Gives $1m Monthly to Patience Jonathan – Amaechi
Rivers State Governor and Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in the state and former Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, of giving $1million monthly to the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
Amaechi spoke at a Praise and Worship session organised by the Ikwerre Youth Movement (IYM) and Ikwerre Women Forum (IWF) at Isiokpo, headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state. Read more
Chadian troops return to Gamboru after Boko Haram kill 11 persons
Chadian troops, which weekend accused the Nigerian troops of being afraid to occupy recaptured towns returned to the northeast Nigerian border town of Gamboru after Boko Haram took advantage of a lack of military presence to kill 11 people. “Hundreds of Chadian troops moved into Gamboru this morning (yesterday) from Fotokol,” said Babagana Karimbe, who lives in the town in northern Cameroon which is separated from Gamboru by a bridge.
Troops from Chad were credited last month with liberating Gamboru in Borno state from Boko Haram control but the Chadians’ withdrawal from Nigeria last week appeared to have left the town exposed. Read more
12.4m PVCs uncollected as INEC ends distribution
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday ended the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, with about 12.4m cards yet to be collected.
The commission had severally extended the deadline for the distribution of the cards with a view to allowing as many Nigerians as possible the opportunity to get their cards ahead of the rescheduled general elections. Read more
Nigerians’re clamouring for change more than APC, Buhari tells private sector forum
Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, General Mohammadu Buhari has said that the clamour for change in Nigeria’s political governance has become the desire of all Nigerians and not limited to APC as a party. Buhari made the statement during a dinner meeting with Abuja Private Sector Forum in Abuja on Saturday night.
Addressing the forum, the presidential candidate said that every Nigerian had been affected in negative manner by the bad system of government of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP noting that the worst hit was the business community. According to him, the desire for change has culminated into a national movement. Read more
Maritime workers decry crisis rocking NLC
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, weekend described as unacceptable and a shame the crisis rocking the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, following disagreement over the outcomes of March 12 rescheduled election in Abuja.
In a statement by the President-General of MWUN, Comrade Emmanuel Tony Nted, the union said it was sad that the desperation of some individuals had reduced the Congress to a laughing stock both locally and internationally. Read more
‘May 29 handover date must be sacrosanct’
The Methodist Church of Nigeria, Diocese of Egba-Yewa, Ogun State, has called on the Federal Government, the Independent National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders to ensure that the May 29 hand-over date remains sacrosanct.
The church, in a communiqué at the end of its 33rd synod, said the change in election dates should not affect the handing over date. Read more
Our Helicopters Bombarding Boko Haram – Chad Army
Two Chadian army helicopters have bombarded Boko Haram positions, killing several dozen of the militants near a village on a border town with Niger, a senior Niger military official told Reuters.
Niger and Chadian soldiers have been fighting the militants in a joint mission with Nigeria and Cameroon since March 2 in a bid to end the Boko Haram’s six-years insurgency in northeast Nigeria that is threatening regional stability. Read more
Imoke Says Nigerian Chronicle Not for Sale
The Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, has denied reports making the rounds that his administration intends to sell the state-owned Nigeria Chronicle to a private investor.
According to Imoke, the report is completely incorrect and misleading and, therefore, should not be relied on. Read more
Kidnappers Release C’River LP National Assembly Candidate
The abducted Labour Party (LP) candidate for the Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Federal Constituency in Cross River State, Mr. Dominic Aqua Edem, has regained his freedom.
Edem, a former deputy speaker in the state House of Assembly and former representative of the state on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was kidnapped last Sunday, March 15 at his residence at Essien Street in Calabar South. Read more
Agatu Killings: FG Approves Committee to Investigate Crisis
Following the recent killing of over a hundred people in Egba, Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, the federal government has approved the constitution of a committee to investigate the killings and find lasting solutions to the crisis.
This was disclosed by the Senate President, Senator David Mark, in Otukpo at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders’ town hall meeting, organised by the Benue State office of the Goodluck/Sambo reelection campaign organisation at the weekend. Read more
APC Frowns upon Washington Post’s Article on Buhari
The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) has faulted an article in the Washington Post by a one-time US ambassadorial-aide-turned-media-manager, Richard Grenell, saying that the APC presidential candidate and former military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari is an Islamic fundamentalist prone to terrorist leanings, and therefore, should not be returned to power through the ballot on March 28.
In a swift reaction in Abuja, APCPCO’s Director of Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu, punctured the said advertisement as the handiwork of a failed President and his “ruinous” party, the PDP, to tarnish the credibility and integrity of. Buhari. Read more
INEC’s Card Reader Stolen in Zamfara
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State has lost one card reader during the training of ad hoc staff in Anka Local Government Area, an official has confirmed.
Alhaji Garba Galadima, INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity in the state, who confirmed the incident yesterday in Gusau, said security agents, were investigating the matter. Read more
Concern Mounts over Jonathan, Buhari’s Planned Visits to Bauchi
Security agencies are reportedly disturbed by the possibility of the supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan clashing with those of his main political rival, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) in Bauchi should both candidates go ahead with their political programmes scheduled for Tuesday.
THISDAY gathered that the president is expected to arrive in Bauchi this Monday to inaugurate the newly built Sir Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa International Airport. Read more
NIS Repatiates 201 Illegal Immigrants from Niger
The Nigeria Immigration Service in Niger state has repatriated 201 illegal immigrants between February and March 2015.
According to the State Comptroller, Ezekiel Kaura, who made this known on Sunday in Minna, the exercise was necessitated especially by the forthcoming election and the insecurity around the country. Read more
Stranded Arik passengers protest at Magaret Ekpo Airport
Passengers, who boarded Arik Airline travelling from Calabar to Lagos on Sunday launched a protest, following cancellation of flight, which left passengers stranded as operators of the airline refused to fly them to Lagos.
Spokesperson for the protesters, Mr. Ayo Idowu, said they were aggrieved because operators of the airline showed rudeness to the passengers. Read more
Delta SSG kicks against card readers
Ahead of the March 28 presidential and National Assembly elections, Secretary to Delta State Government, SSG, Ovuozorie Macaulay, has kicked against the use of card readers in the general elections.
Macaulay, who also predicted mass failure for the opposition parties in the forthcoming general elections, said that apart from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has solid structures on ground, the opposition has none to win elections in the country. Read more
DHQ deplores Multinational taskforce’s comments
Defence Headquarters, DHQ, has expressed its displeasure over unsavoury comments credited by foreign sources to officials of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF partners in the ongoing war against Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, describing them as baseless and distracting.
The DHQ, however, said it would not dignify them with responses to the baseless speculation and falsehood aimed at making Nigeria shift focus from the battle it was already winning. Read more
PDP campaign rejects IG’s vote-and-go-home order
The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation has rejected a recent order by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, asking the electorate not to stay back at the polling units after casting their votes.
The PDP campaign said party supporters should stay back at the various polling units to check rigging and other forms of electoral irregularities. Read more
CBN fixes capital base for Devt banks at N100bn
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rolled out policy for establishment of development banks popularly known as Development Finance Banks (DFIs) stipulating a minimum capital base of N100 billion and N10 billion for those that would operate in the wholesale segment and retail segment respectively.
With this development a major adjustment has been effected in the structure of banking industry in Nigeria creating a big ticket up-tier subsector in the industry. Read more
Shareholders as victims of devaluation
The Nigerian Stock Exchange was founded in 1960 to provide a platform for buying and selling of shares of listed public companies. Consequently, the size and vibrancy of domestic stock markets generally provide a bird’s eye view of the degree of confidence and scope of activities in an economy.
The forced consolidation of banks in 2005, increased the market value of shares by over 100% from $14bn in 2004 to over $32bn by 2006. Nonetheless, the obnoxious practices of insider and margin trading in a boisterous speculative market, eventually spurred capitalization beyond $80bn (N13.4Tn) in 2007. Read more
Nigeria’s Fall Deeper Into Junk Risks Africa’s Best Bond Rally
A rally that made Nigerian bonds the best performers in Africa in March risks coming to an end as the credit rating of the continent’s biggest economy slides deeper into junk.
Standard & Poor’s lowered its assessment on Nigeria one level to B+, four levels below investment grade, on March 20, while changing its outlook to stable from negative. Naira bonds returned 2 percent this month, the most among 31 emerging markets after Russia and the Dominican Republic, according to Bloomberg indexes. Naira debt lost 5 percent in February. Read more
CBN reiterates role of MSME in nation’s economic growth
The Central Bank of Nigeria has again reiterated the strategic importance of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, MSME, to the growth of the nation’s economy.
This was made known at the thee-day workshop on the N220bn Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Development Fund organised by the Bankers’ Committee’s sub-committee on Economic Development, Sustainability and Gender in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria. Read more
African central bank governors’ caucus holds in Addis Ababa
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union (AU) Commission will host the second Caucus of African Central Bank Governors, in Addis Ababa, on March 29, 2015.
The meeting will be in the margins of the eighth Joint Annual Meetings of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the ECA conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. Read more
Banks’ losses to fraud hit N203 billion in 14 years
Total losses by the nation’s Deposit Money Banks due to fraud related cases have been put at about N203 billion in the last 14 years.
The development, which still persists in the industry, with sophistication and some unreported cases by some financial institutions however, is not peculiar to the country, but globally. Read more
Oil and Gas
S&P downgrades Nigeria’s rating from BB- to B+
Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Nigeria’s rating from BB-to B+ on the grounds that the decline in oil prices in the last seven months has significantly affected Nigeria’s external position and external vulnerability.
In its assessment released at the weekend, the agency described the Federal Government’s fiscal programme in response to the crisis in the global oil market positively as “proactive and ambitious”. Read more
Dangote to Increase Refinery Capacity to 650,000bpd
In a move that will see Nigeria having the largest petroleum refinery in the world, Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has announced that he will increase his refinery’s capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day, thus making it the single largest stream in the world.
Dangote said though the initial plan was to have 450,000bpd refining capacity, he had since gone back to the drawing board to have a bigger plant because he believes that Nigeria as a leading producer of crude oil should also be credited with such local refining capacity. Read more
Tourists flocking to Cuba ‘before the Americans come’
Bookings to Cuba jumped 57 percent for one New York tour operator in the weeks after Washington said it would renew ties with Havana. In February, they were up 187 percent; and so far this month, nearly 250 percent.
The boom is just one sign that the rush is on to see Cuba now — before, as many predict, McDonald’s claims a spot in Old Havana and Starbucks moves in on Cubita, the island’s premium coffee brand. Read more
Oil prices down as Opec remains stern about production levels
Oil prices declined further after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said it is not the sole responsibility of Opec to raise oil prices in further indication that the biggest oil exporter has no plans to reduce oil production.
Despite the decline in oil prices by a half since June 2014, the cartel was not ready to cut production, fearing that would lower the group’s market share. Opec leader Saudi Arabia has been insisting that non-Opec members cooperate with the group and prop up oil prices. Read more
Magnitude 6.1 quake hits near Tacna, Peru
A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck near Tacna in southern Peru on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The epicentre of the quake was 73 miles east of Tacna, near the Chilean border, and was measured at a depth of 123 miles. Read more
Pakistan military holds first Republic Day parade in seven years
Pakistan held its first Republic Day parade in seven years on Monday, full of flag-waving pomp and aerial military expertise, a symbolic show of strength in the war against the Taliban months after a militant attack on a school killed 132 children.
The Pakistan Day parade, complete with a 31-gun dawn salute, was held amid tight security. Cellular phone networks were blocked as a precaution to thwart any strike by militants, who have often used mobile phone signals to trigger bombs. Read more
Flying Eagles claim CAF AYC title
Nigeria beat the host nation Senegal 1-0 on Sunday night in Dakar to win a seventh CAF African Youth Championship.
The Nigerian side went into the lead after 18 minutes when Bernard Bulbwa strike a fantastic volley from the edge of the danger area to confirm their status as the most successful country in the history of the biennial championship. Nigeria’s other previous titles were in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2005 and 2011. Read more
NOC Names Igali Technical Committee Chairman
The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has appointed the president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Dr Daniel Igali, as the chairman of its technical and development commission as Team Nigeria looks set to better it’s third-place finishing at the last All Africa Games in Maputo. Mozambique.
NOC president, Engineer Habu Gumel, announced the appointment with the tacit approval of the Board and executive committee members of the NOC during their meeting at the boardroom of the NOC, National Stadium, Surulere, over the weekend, according to the committee’s public relations officer, Tony Ubani. Read more
New NFF secretary to reopen Glass House fire probe
Newly appointed General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, has promised to revive investigation into the cause of the fire that gutted a part of the Glass House secretariat of the Federation last year.
A mysterious fire last September razed the offices of the General Secretary and Chief Accountant during the height of the leadership tussle in the Football House. Read more
S’Eagles friendly games not for FIFA Ranking –Sanusi
General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mohammed Sanusi, says reason why friendly matches were organized for the Super Eagles has nothing to do with the monthly FIFA Ranking.
According to him, friendly matches are meant to bond the team and put it in proper shape ahead competitions as well as ensure utilization of the FIFA window. Read more
Pillars cry foul after 4-0 mauling
Kano Pillars defender Isaac Loute has said the referee caused his team’s heavy loss to Morocco’s Mohgreb Athletic Tetouan (MAT) 4-0 in a re-arranged CAF Champions League tie.
Loute said the loss could have been a respectable one had the referee been fair and firm in the game. Read more
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