SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE FOR JANUARY 25, 2017
GE Proposes Investment in Nigeria’s Three Refineries
General Electric, GE, a US multinational company, Tuesday in Abuja, proposed to invest in the nation’s three refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna. GE, in a presentation to NNPC GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru and his team stated that the company’s teams of partners, including its consortium involving the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) partners, off-takers, traders and some financiers would be engaged in the initiative. Read more
Finally, Kidnappers Release Turkish School Students, Staff
After 12 days in captivity, the kidnappers who abducted five female students and three members of staff of the Nigerian Tulip International College (NTIC) in Ogun State, tuesday finally released them into the waiting hands of their respective families.
THISDAY gathered that all the victims were freed at about 8.30p.m. and dropped off behind the school premises. Read more
Expanded PDP Caucus Meets Thursday
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi has scheduled to hold an ‘expanded caucus’ meeting of the party thursday. The meeting, which is to hold in the afternoon, is expected to have in attendance the party’s bigwigs including, governors of the PDP, National Assembly caucus, members of the Board of Trustees (BoT), National Vice Chairmen, state chairmen and other NEC members. Read more
2019: Obasanjo Backs South-east for President
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo tuesday threw his weight behind the Southeast region to produce the next president of the country.
Obasanjo, who declared that his submissions were his personal view, stated that the problem of justice, marginalisation has been a major source of conflicts between ethnic and regional divisions in the country. Read more
Between defection of PDP chiefs and Ishaku’s re-election
The politics of Taraba State has no doubt begun to take different dimensions in the last few days following the defection of the former Senator who represented the southern geo-political zone of the state, Joel Danlami Ikenya from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ikenya who recently dumped the party that brought him to political limelight, was among top politicians from the state that wanted to contest the governorship seat in the build up to the 2015 general elections but was persuaded by General Theophilus Y. Danjuma to step down for the incumbent governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku. Read more
Senate condemns alleged killing of pro-Biafra protesters
Senate has condemned alleged killing of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) protesters by security agents in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday, January 20, 2017.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki who spoke on the issue, following a motion by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, said it was wrong for security agents, who are trained to protect the people, turn around to harm them. Read more
Senate Stands by Resolution Calling for Babachir’s Sack, Agrees to Screen Magu
The Senate tuesday said it would screen the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, in accordance with legislative procedures, but elected to stand by its resolution calling for the sack of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal. Read more
Railway Concessions: FG Starts Evaluation of Bids Submitted by GE, Four Others
The federal government has commenced the evaluation of bids submitted by General Electric (GE) and four other companies in order to determine which company would emerge as the concessionaire of the 3,500km Lagos-Kano and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge railway lines, THISDAY has learnt.
Authoritative sources in the Ministry of Transportation and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) revealed that at the close of submission of bids on Monday, the five bidders who applied were being scrutinised to assess their technical and financial competence to operate the railway lines. Read more
EFCC Accuses Bank Executive of Laundering Funds for Alison-Madueke
A Federal High Court in Lagos was informed tuesday that an Executive Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FBN), Mr. Dauda Lawal, laundered funds on behalf of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. The counsel representing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, made the revelations while responding to a counter-affidavit submitted by Lawal. Read more
Power Gencos May Soon Pack up Due to Diverse Challenges, Elumelu Warns
The Chairman of Transcorp Ughelli Power, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has said the Nigerian power sector is abourt to collapse as operators reel under various operational challenges which include unpaid bills for supplies, and foreign exchange differentials, warning that the generation companies (Gencos) may not be able to hold up for too long before giving up. Read more
Budget Debate: Senate Warns Govt against Mortgaging Future with Borrowing
The 2017 budget process tuesday kicked-off in Senate with senators decrying the executive’s seeming penchant for borrowing, noting that continuous borrowing would deprive the nation of meaningful accruable revenues in future.
Leading debate on the budget, the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said the budget of N7.3 trillion was made up of N2.979 trillion recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, N2.58 trillion capital expenditure, N1.663 trillion for debt service, N419.0 billion as statutory transfers and N177.4 billion sinking fund for maturing bonds. Read more
Illegality of the Offence of Criminal Libel
Last December, the Nigerian Army demanded a retraction of the what it described as the ”unwarranted and serial provocative, unauthorized, libelous and defamatory publications against the person of Lt. Gen. T.Y. Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff and Nigerian Army counter insurgency operations in the North East” from the publisher of the Premium Times, an online medium. Read more
Imo Air begins, indigenes to fly at 10% rebate
Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday launched Imo Air at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, the state capital.Okorocha said that the airline would operate under a 10-year agreement with Dana Air until it obtains its licence.
He said it was planned to create new jobs and address the high traffic volume in the area, describing Owerri as the fastest-growing city in the country after Lagos and Abuja. Read more
‘It’s payback time,’ says Nigerian king suing Shell over claim it pumped his region’s drinking water with deadly diseases
A Nigerian tribal king has accused oil giant Shell of pocketing “blood money” after leaking pipelines allegedly polluted his community’s drinking water with deadly diseases.
Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, who is the leader of Nigeria’s Ogale people, has taken the Royal Dutch Shell company to the High Court in London as he says they are responsible for the “devastating” pollution. The court will rule on whether the case is under the UK’s jurisdiction on Wednesday. Read more
Lawmakers, Information Minister in Row over Ministry’s N100m Generators
The House of Representatives and the Ministry of Information and Culture are in dispute over N100 million set aside for the acquisition of two 250 KVA generating sets in the 2016 budget.
The House Committee on Information and National Orientation, headed by Hon Segun Odebunmi, during an oversight visit to the Ministry of Information and Culture on the 2016 budget, queried the ministry for using the allocation to acquire lower capacity generators rather than the exact items proposed in the budget. Read more
Boko Haram Kills Eight, Adopts Women and Children from Borno Village
Eight persons were killed and several women and children abducted by suspected members of Boko Haram terrorists from Dzaku village in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
According to residents of the village, the terrorist invaded the area on Monday evening, killing, carting away women and children including food stuffs. Read more
Economy: Buhari’s Government Confused, Adamant, Says Ezekwesili
Former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has described the economic policies of the government as “confusing,” expressing regret that in spite of the confusion, the government remains “adamant.”
Ezekwesili, the convener of the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) and former minister was speaking in the current edition of The Interview magazine. Read more
New Party, ADP, Submits Registration Forms to INEC Wednesday
The Action Democratic Party (ADP), a political association regarded by its members as an emerging mega party, tuesday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register it as a party. The party said it had met the requirements for a political party, as defined by the Electoral Act, It said it would submit its registration forms to INEC in Abuja today. Read more
Again, Court Grants Dasuki Bail
An Abuja High Court has again reaffirmed the bail granted former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and five others in the arm deal trial involving $2.1billion. Justice Baba Yusuf reaffirmed the bail on Dasuki on the grounds that he (Dasuki) was entitled to it and having been admitted to same since 2015 when the federal government brought charges against him. Read more
Reps probe Goodluck Jonathan’s N9bn Clean Stove project
The House of Representatives has directed its committees on Anti-Corruption, Environment and Habitat to investigate former President Gooodluck Jonathan’s “Clean Stove For Rural Women scheme.”
Contract for the project was N9.287 billion. The committees have six weeks to submit a report. Read more
Military Recorded Highest Casualties in 2015, 2016 to Boko Haram, Says FG
The federal government tuesday gave account of the number of casualties recorded by the military, stating that 2015 and 2016 had the worst casualty figure in the fight against Boko Haram in the North-east.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, explained that the ugly development had also helped heightened activities of insurgents and militancy within the period. Read more
Alleged N2.9bn Fraud: Former NBC Boss, Mba, Others Get N50m Bail Each
The immediate past Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Emeka Mba and three others, facing corruption charges were tuesday granted bail in the sum of N50million each by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Mba, the Director of Finance and Accounts, Patrick Areh, Basil Udotai and Babatunji Amure were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 15-count amended charge bordering on money laundering. Read more
Dismissed policemen averted my assassination, Wike claims
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has alleged that the police high command dismissed the six policemen attached to him because they prevented security agencies from assassinating him.
Wike claimed that there was a detailed plan by the security agencies to assassinate him, but his security details resisted the execution of the evil plot. Read more
No New Dismissal of Officials, Says Customs
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has stated that the service has not dismissed any officer besides the one it undertook last and which was duly reported.
The clarification, the NCS said, was necessitated “by a misleading publication by a section of the media, concerning a supposed dismissal of 59 officers by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd).” Read more
JAMB Endorses Harmonised Timetable for UTME
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has agreed to harmonise its timetable with other examination bodies in the country to have a hitch-free examination ahead of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The board at a brainstorming meeting with National Examinations Council (NECO), West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Business and Technical Examination (NABTEB) held at the national headquarters of the board in Abuja, unanimously agreed to harmonise the examination timetable because of the candidates desire for qualitative tertiary education. Read more
Safety is Top Priority in Asaba Airport Upgrade, Says Okowa
Security and safety of users of the Asaba Airport is being given weighted attention in the remoulding work on the airport, the Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has said.
Speaking while inspecting facilities at the airport, which was downgraded in April 2015 by Nigeria’s regulatory authorities, the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA), Okowa promised that the ongoing upgrade of facilities at the Asaba International Airport would place it at par with the best airports in the country. Read more
First Eko Art Expo Debuts in Lagos
Lagos is set to witness the first Rasheed Gbadamosi Eko Art Expo on Friday, January 27 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
This was disclosed at a press briefing held at Terra Kulture where the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, revealed that this three-day exhibition is named in honour of the late art patron who has left indelible marks on Nigeria’s cultural landscape. Read more
CBN Includes Power Firms in 60% FX Allocation, Retains MPR at 14%
Desirous of revamping the country’s ailing power sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) yesterday told commercial banks and other authorised dealers in the foreign exchange (FX) market to include electricity companies in its FX allocation policy, which provides that 60 per cent of total FX inflows from all sources (interbank inclusive) should be channelled to the manufacturing sector. Read more
Nigeria’s teledensity increased by 2.27 per cent in 2016
Nigeria recorded a marginal increase in its teledensity in 2016, ending the year with 110 per cent growth in the spread of telephony services, including voice, data, and multimedia services, and a host of others to its over 170 million populace.
Telephone density or teledensity is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area. It varies widely across the nations and also between urban and rural areas within a country. Read more
How Nigeria can benefit from WTO TFA ratification
Except Nigeria addresses challenges within its business environment, especially in the area of infrastructure, ratifying trade deals may be to the disadvantage of operators due to lack of competitiveness.
This was the view of President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs, and other operators while speaking on the issue of trade facilitation. Read more
CBN retains interest rate at 14%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Tuesday, voted to hold benchmark interest rate at 14 per cent, while Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and liquidity ratio were left at 22.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who read the communique at the end of the meeting, said the 10 members present at the meeting decided unanimously to keep the asymmetric corridor at +200 and +500 basis points. Read more
Rising Inflation Worsens Nigeria’s Misery Index
The sustained increase in the consumer price index (CPI), which is used to gauge inflation in the country has worsened misery index in Nigeria, a report by the Financial Derivatives Company Limited has stated.
Using the third quarter 2016 unemployment and underemployment rate of 13.9 per cent and 19.7 per cent (the most recent published figures), and December’s inflation of 18.55 per cent, Nigeria’s misery index is 52.15. Read more
$28.9b reserves: CBN warns against reckless forex spending
With Nigeria’s foreign reserve standing at $28.9 billion, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned against reckless depletion of the kitty.
Addressing reporters at the end of the bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja yesterday, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said the reserves today stands at $28.9 billion. “The fact that we have began to see some accretion to the reserve does not mean we should be reckless,” he warned. Read more
SON, MAN Partner to Drive SME Growth
Acknowledging that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a veritable role in economic growth and development of any nation, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have partnered to capture SMEs at the bottom of the pyramid in Nigeria. Read more
Total Nigeria Plc reassures customers on pump accuracy
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Total Nigeria Plc, Jean- Phillipe Torres, has reassured customers nationwide on pump dispensation accuracy in all its service stations.
Torres, who gave the assurance in Lagos, during the company’s Top Service Week at the Onigbagbo Service Station, Ikeja, said the oil marketing company was strict and conscious about issues of under-dispensing in all its service stations. Read more
Oil spill cripples economic activities in Bayelsa State communities
An underwater and surface crude oil leakage from pipelines owned by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has disrupted economic activities in five communities in Nembe local council of Bayelsa State.
The leakage which was discovered by the indigenes in December 2016 has affected fishing and farming activities in the area.The spillage underwater was first noticed by fishermen near the Brass River while the surface leakage occurred in the mangrove close to Nembe road. Read more
Indigenous firms nearing completion of structures for $16b Egina FPSO project
Indigenous oil firms have demonstrated local capacity in the execution of the over $16 billion worth Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility for Total’s Egina oil field project.
The Egina field, when completed, is expected to add 200,000 barrels per day to the national oil production by 2018, while the project will be completed in 2017. Read more
Kachikwu sees oil hitting mid-$60s in coming months on OPEC cuts
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu said crude oil prices, hovering around $55 a barrel since early December, will climb by about $10 in the coming months as OPEC-led measures to curb a glut take hold, Bloomberg reports.
“Ultimately, the effects over the next few months will get us to where we want to be, which is in the mid-$60s,” Kachikwu said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Rome. While militant attacks on its energy infrastructure meant Nigeria was spared from recent cuts, OPEC could ask for its participation, Kachikwu said. Read more
Is Libya A Bigger Threat To Oil Prices Than U.S. Shale?
Despite some suggestions that oil prices will level off at around $60 in 2017, since the initial surge of the OPEC production deal prices have barely nudged above $53. Over the long-term, outlooks are more bearish than bullish, and a major reason for that is the strong likelihood of increased production in three places: Libya, Nigeria and Iran.
All three countries were effectively exempt from the OPEC production cuts, for various reasons. Iran has agreed to keep its production level below 4 million bpd, allowing it to add about 90,000 bpd to its production level. Nigeria has suffered significant cuts to production over the last year, chiefly due to the activities of militants in the Niger River Delta. Read more
Chelsea braced for summer transfer saga: Three European giants plot surprise move
The midfielder has found game time difficult to come by under Antonio Conte this term, managing just five Premier League starts.
Fabregas was tipped with a move away from Stamford Bridge this month, with Inter Milan and AC Milan both long-term admirers. Antonio Conte had been eyeing several players at the start of the window, including Atalanta’s Franck Kessie, but persuaded Fabregas to stay. Read more
United fans delighted by Bailly return
Manchester United are set for a big defensive boost over the next week, with Eric Bailly returning to Old Trafford earlier than he originally planned.
Reigning African Cup of Nations champions Ivory Coast were knocked-out by Morocco in the final group match, with Bailly and his team-mates failing to secure the victory they needed to seal their place in the quarter-finals. Read more
Chelsea star: Liverpool and Arsenal have made us motivated… but we’re ready to finish them
Chelsea are now eight points clear in the title race and edging nearer to regaining their crown from Leicester.
Despite only just entering the second half of the season, the Blues’ goalkeeper believes they are just two games away from practically ruling Liverpool and Arsenal out of the running. Courtois, who declared this week he is happy and committed at Stamford Bridge, is gearing up to face the Reds at Anfield on Tuesday before the Gunners visit west London on February 4. Read more
In Focus: Gabbiadini could add attacking edge to Saints
As reported by The Daily Mail, Southampton are set to up their interest in Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini after having an initial bid rejected.
What’s the word?
Iwobi nominated for Arsenal Player-Of-The-Month Award
Super Eagles youngster, Alex Iwobi alongside Alexis Sanchez, Oliver Giroud and Lucas Perez have been nominated for Arsenal award called the Vitality Player of the Month award.
Iwobi once again caught the eye over the course ofthe month, scoring against Palace and then playing a key role in three of the four goals against Swansea City at Liberty Stadium. Read more
Rohr in China to visit Mikel
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr is to visit John Mikel Obi in his new club, Tianjin FC in China in the second week of February to find out how he is doing in his new base.
Rohr will also discuss the new developments in the Super Eagles ahead of Nigeria’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, with specific mention of the game against South Africa inside the Nest of Champions Stadium in Uyo in June and also the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Read more
Anichebe sidelined for weeks
Sunderland will be without Nigerian striker Victor Anichebe after the former Everton man was ruled out for 10 weeks following a knee ligament damage.
The out of favour Super Eagles striker picked up the injury shortly after coming on as a substitute in the 2-0 defeat at WestBrom at the weekend. Read more
We won’t celebrate Algeria’s failure in AFCON, says NFF
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says there is nothing to celebrate over the resignation of Algeria’s Belgian coach, Georges Leekens, who quit yesterday after the side crashed out of the on-going Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Algeria were one of the pre-tournament favourites for the competition, but they failed to win a game in their opening group.The North Africans are in the same group with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the qualifiers for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup. While Nigeria is leading the group with six points from two matches, Algeria has just one point from the same number of games. Read more
China: Trade war with US would harm both countries – state media
A TRADE war between China and the United States would harm both countries, the overseas edition of the state run People’s Daily said on Wednesday, reflecting concerns over the protectionist, and anti-China stance taken by new U.S. President Donald Trump.
“If a trade war developed between the two countries, both China and the U.S. would be negatively impacted,” the newspaper said in a commentary. Read more
Backed up: New Zealand’s public toilets not coping with tourist influx
New Zealand’s booming tourism industry is creating a nationwide shortage of toilets with locals and tourists clashing over access to lavatories
More than 3.4 million tourists visited New Zealand in 2016, marking a new record for the small island nation of 4.5 million people. New Zealand’s economy is heavily reliant on the tourist dollar but the surge in visitor numbers is putting a strain on public infrastructure around the country – and in particular on public toilets. Read more
Man who sailed across Tasman with daughter, 6, fails to appear in court
An arrest warrant has been issued for a man charged with illegally taking his daughter out of New Zealand and sailing to Australia, after he failed to appear in a NZ court.
Trump to announce border wall plans, reports say
President Trump will announce plans for a Mexican border wall on Wednesday, addressing a key campaign promise on the sixth day of his presidency.
Trump himself tweeted out the news, writing, “Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!” Trump is expected to begin rolling out executive actions on immigration, beginning with steps to tighten border security, including his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and other domestic immigration enforcement measures, according to two administration officials, the Associated Press reported. Read more