SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE FOR JANUARY 27, 2017
Presidency Insists Buhari is Not in a London Hospital
President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina launched another attempt yesterday to allay fears over the health of his principal, who is on a ten-day vacation in the United Kingdom, but has not been seen or heard from since his departure last week. Read more
2017 Budget Passes Second Reading In Senate
After a three-day comprehensive debate on the general principles of the 2017 Appropriation Bill, the Senate yesterday, passed the fiscal estimates for second reading.
While committing the document to the Appropriations Committee, the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, urged the standing committees to ensure a thorough review of the estimated revenues and expenditure for the year, so as to produce a realistic and implementable budget for the nation. Read more
Police arrest four suspects in Turkish school kidnap
Four suspects are already with the police for allegedly kidnapping pupils and teachers of the Nigeria Turkish International School in Isheri, Ogun State. Also, N1.2 million, said to be part of the ransom collected, has been recovered from the suspects.
The suspects are: Bekewei Agbojule, aka Prince Yellow, 29; Philip Kakadu, aka General Kakadu; Romeo Council, aka Raw; and Totki Okoda, 34. A statement issued by the force spokesman, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Don Awunah, said Okoda, who resided in the creek behind the school, provided information for the gang. Read more
NTDC sets up panel to access United Nations funds
The Acting Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh, has set up a seven-member committee to access United Nations Tourism Intervention Funds.
A statement by Rae-Omoh said the committee would work with the Institute for Tourism Practitioners (ITP) to facilitate the development and promotion of tourism assets. Read more
Petrol station fire kills two, injures seven in Ogun
Two persons, including a seven-year-old boy, were confirmed dead and seven others injured as a petrol station located in Adigbe area of Abeokuta, Ogun State went up in flames yesterday.
The station, RAB Engineering petrol station, located opposite the popular Iya Sunday food canteen, was reported to have caught fire as a welder worked on a fuel tank beside a gas base in the premises. The fire later spread to about six shops opposite the fuel station. Read more
Buhari means well for Niger Delta, says Ndoma-Egba
The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), has said President Muhammadu Buhari means well for the Niger Delta.
He hailed the President for his determination to develop the crude oil and gas-rich region. Read more
Collapsed Reigners’ Church: Apostle’s lawyer shot
Gunmen yesterday shot Ini Ekpo, lawyer to the founder of Reigners’ Bible Church International in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, Apostle Akan Weeks.
The lawyer’s assailants were said to have attacked him at his home in the capital city. Read more
NiMet staff enjoy regular promotion –DG
THE new director general of Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMet, Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi, has said that contrary to the speculation that NiMeT staff have not been regularly promoted, staff of the agency have enjoyed regular promotion under the former director general, Dr. Anthony Anuforom. This is just as he revealed that there is no disquiet in the agency since his assumption of office as the new director general. Read more
Osinbajo lauds Aba artisans, says FG’ll remove bottlenecks militating against SMEs
ACTING President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has described Aba, the commercial city of Abia State as “easily the manufacturing and smallscale business centre of Nigeria”, saying that the Federal Government would do everything possible to encourage small business operators in the country. Read more
NYSC scheme, major unifying factor —Obaseki
GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, yesterday, described the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, scheme as a major unifying factor for the nation, appealing to the Federal Government to ensure it was sustained. Read more
Nigerians withdraw N4.7 trillion through ATMs in 2016
THE value of cash withdrawals through Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) rose sharply to N4.7 trillion in 2016, indicating increasing appetite for cash transactions among Nigerians. This was disclosed by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) in its electronic payment factsheet for 2016. Read more
Ogun 2019, a battle from three possible fronts
Yewa elders meet Amosun lament backward development in Ogun West
The struggle to produce the successor of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, in 2019 is not taking the back burner among other crucial issues that need attention in the state. Read more
In Desperation, Job Seekers Pay N48,000 To Enlist In Peace Corps
A money-for-job scandal is brewing in the Nigeria Peace Corps following the report that unemployed youths desperate for employment are being forced to pay a recruitment fee of N48,000 to enlist in the Corps.
LEADERSHIP Friday reports that in anticipation that President Muhammadu Buhari will assent to the Nigeria Peace Corps bill recently passed by both chambers of the National Assembly, the management of the Corps had allegedly embarked on a recruitment spree, collecting the sum of N48,000 from each job seeker wishing to be enlisted into the yet-to-be officially recognised organisation. Read more
Saraki names Ndume INEC committee chairman
Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday named former Senate leader Mohammed Ali Ndume as chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ndume was controversially removed as Senate leader on January 10. Read more
Court jails two oil magnates 69 years for subsidy fraud
TWO oil magnates – Walter Wagbatsoma and Mrs. Ada Ugo-Ngali – have been sentenced to 69 years imprisonment by an Ikeja High Court, Lagos State.
Justice Lateefa Okunnu handed down the jail sentences yesterday while delivering judgment in a N754 million fuel subsidy fraud preferred against them by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Read more
Edo seeks partnership with Japanese govt
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki is seeking the cooperation of Japanese government to train youths from the state.
Obaseki spoke shortly after holding discussions with the First Secretary, Economic Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Japan, Gaku Sato, in Abuja yesterday. Read more
Senate probes alleged irregularities in award of road contracts by BPP
THE Senate yesterday mandated its Committee on Public Procurement to investigate alleged irregularities in award of multi-billion road contracts by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
This followed the consideration and adoption of a motion on “Irregularities in the award of contracts by the BPP”, sponsored by Dino Melaye (Kogi West). Read more
Manufacturers Plan Expo to Boost Industrialisation, SMEs
The Nigeria manufacturing and equipment (NME) expo scheduled to hold on March 14 to 16, 2017 at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, is designed to enhance the nation’s quest to achieve a virile industrialised economy, the organisers have said.
According to them, the programme would provide a platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to learn new processes on how to boost outputs, reduce costs, drive quality improvement and manufacture for new emerging markets across the globe. Read more
Customs Targets N900bn Revenue
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is focusing on a revenue target of between N700 and N900 billion for the 2017 fiscal year even as it justified the recent ban on vehicle imports through land borders.
The service said the ban was aimed at checkmating the smuggling of arms and ammunition which it said, were concealed in vehicles and ferried into the country. Read more
Nigeria okays WTO trade pact
Nigeria has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA),this makes her the 107th World Trade Organisation (WTO) member to endorse the agreement, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has said.
The minister’s Strategic Communications Adviser, Constance Ikokwu, in a statement in Lagos, said Enelamah submitted Nigeria’s instrument of acceptance to WTO Director-General Mr. Roberto Azevêdo at the just-concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Read more
Reps set up committee on economic recession
The House of Representatives has resolved to set up an Ad-hoc “Tactical Committee on Economic Recession” to monitor the various steps and policies of the Federal Government with a view to alleviating the pains and hardship unleashed on Nigerians by the economic recession,
The committee will also interact with the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) relevant to overcoming the challenges. It will also liaise with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), civil society organisations and any other body that is considered relevant in the bid to arrest the recession and return the economy to the path of growth and stability. Read more
CBN disburses $1.07b forex to 4,328 manufacturers
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed $1.07 billion to 4,328 manufacturers, power and other real sector operators for the procurement of raw materials, plants and machinery, the foreign exchange (forex) utilisation report by apex bank has shown.
The fund sourced from the CBN and sold to the beneficiaries at the official rate of about N305.5 to a dollar, was handled by commercial, merchants and non-interest banks using the interbank market. Read more
Agip kicks off practical sea time experience programme
The Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE), yesterday flagged –off Practical Sea Time Experience program aimed at reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign personnel in the marine operations.
Speaking at the kick-off ceremony at Onne, Port Harcourt, in Rivers State, the Managing Director of NAE, Massimo Insulla, said a gap was identified by the firm that graduates of Marine Engineering from the nation’s Universities and cadets from Nautical Academy, Oron have nowhere to perform the mandatory Practical Sea Time Experience that will enable them get international certification after the demise of the National flagship, the Nigerian National shipping Line and consequently, are not in position to be gainfully employed. Read more
NIMASA D-G to Shell: Don’t relocate your corporate HQ from P-Harcourt
THE Director-General, DG, of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has pleaded with Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, not to relocate its corporate headquarters from Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital. Read more
There will be no reduction on petrol price, says PPPRA
Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), has said there is no going back on the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, saying that under current realities, it should have been higher.
PPPRA’s defence follows recent allegations by the House of Representative, accusing the Agency of impoverishing Nigerians by making them incur unnecessary costs in its pricing template. Read more
‘States’ revenue crisis will persist over recession’
Revenue-induced economic setbacks among Nigeria’s federating states may be far from over, as federal allocations remain low, while businesses face the challenge of recession, leading to failing tax earnings for government.
The situation would sustain and aggravate development challenges in majority of the states, where physical infrastructure and provision of social services are near non-existent, as well as non-payment of salaries. Read more
‘How Etete, Adoke, Shell defrauded Nigeria through Malabu oil deal’
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) gave details yesterday of how some highly placed Nigerians, including ex-ministers and multinational oil companies allegedly defrauded the country of billions of dollars through the now notorious Malabu oil deal.
The commission also revealed how former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Mohammed Adoke allegedly aided the payment of $1.2b bribe to ex-Petroleum Resources Minister Dan Etete, using his position in the President Goodluck Jonathan. Read more
SHELL WINS COURT RULING ON NIGERIAN POLLUTION CLAIMS
Royal Dutch Shell won a court victory in London on Thursday that forces a group of Nigerian farmers and fishermen to rely on Nigeria’s justice system to hear their claims that the oil company polluted their land and water.
The High Court found that Shell’s parent company, which is incorporated in Britain, wasn’t legally responsible. Claims against its subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria, should, therefore, not be heard in the U.K. courts. Read more
Malabu: Court grants oil block’s forfeiture
A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an order of interim forfeiture of an oil well being managed by Shell petroleum Development Company (SPDC) pending the conclusion of its investigation and prosecution of all identified culprits by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Read more
Rohr shops for wing-backs
Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has started looking for big, strong and reliable wing backs for the Nigerian side who he hopes will stop the Indomitable Lions from beating Nigeria inside the Nest of Champions Stadium in Uyo, in one of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Read more
No fan slapped me, says Maikaba
Akwa United technical Adviser, Abdu Maikaba has denied a report claiming that he was slapped by a team’s fan after their Match day 4 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clash against Rangers International on Wednesday in Uyo.
The Uyo-based side played a barren draw against the league champions, Rangers on Wednesday which did not go down well with the home fans who are clamouring for their first win of the season. Read more
Kano Pillars will bounce back, says Isa Danladi
Kano Pillars goalkeeper, Danladi Isa has charged his teammates to forget their 1-0 painful defeat to Sunshine Stars in the Nigeria Professional Football League Week 4 encounter decided at the Akure Township Stadium on Wednesday.
“My message to the League Management Committee is to ensure that we should start practicing the rules of the game. Read more
McCarthy an excellent option for ambitious English clubs
As reported by The Daily Mail, Everton’s James McCarthy is a January target for both Crystal Palace and Championship side Newcastle United.
What’s the story?
Both Crystal Palace and Newcastle are eager to do business this week that can ensure they are not playing Championship football next season, the Eagles at the bottom of the top-flight and the Magpies at the top of the second-tier. Read more
Fans concerned as Kane picks up groin injury
A number of Tottenham Hotspur supporters have tweeted their concern for Harry Kane after manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed that the striker is suffering with a minor groin problem.
The England international, who is the fourth in the list of Premier League top scorers with 13 goals this season, is expected to be rested for this Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round match against Wycombe Wanderers. Read more
Manchester United Remain Over-Reliant on Zlatan Ibrahimovic
There is no doubt that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had a hugely positive impact at Manchester United this season. The aura he brought with him from Paris Saint-Germain has been lauded by the club’s fans, while his many critics in this country have, in the Swede’s own poetic words, been made to “eat their balls.”
Ball-eating aside, however, there is one criticism that could still be levelled at Ibrahimovic (though it is hardly of his own making), which was laid bare – not for the first time this season – in United’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Saturday. Read more
Time for Debuchy to cut ties with Arsenal
Mathieu Debuchy is attempting to orchestrate a move away from Arsenal after being told that he can move on, according to The Mirror.
What’s the word?
The 31-year-old has made just one appearance this season, which was in the Premier League, and it is clear that he is not part of Arsene Wenger’s plans. Read more
Ghana: Prisons Service Plans To Introduce University Education For Qualified Inmates
The Ghana Prisons Service is on the verge of introducing university education programmes to qualified inmates who want to improve academically. According to the head of public relations for the prison service, Supt Vitalis Ayeh, three Ghanaian universities have been invited to extend their distance learning programmes to inmates, local Ghanaian news portal GhanaWeb reported. Read more
Seychelles Passport, Most Powerful In Africa
It is often difficult for African passport holders to travel to diverse regions in the world including within Africa.
One of the many reasons the African Union is proposing visa-free travel requirements within Africa. Benin, Ghana and Rwanda have discarded visa requirements for other Africans. Read more
China donates medical supplies to South Sudan hospital
China has contributed medicine and medical equipment worth 60,000 US dollars to the Paloich Friendship Hospital in Upper Nile state, northern South Sudan, the Chinese Embassy said Thursday.
The donation made through the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan included 27 categories of medicines such as Ampilcllin, Saline, Amoxilline, pain killers among others. Read more
Australia’s wine exports boosted by 40% growth to China, says report
China’s increasing thirst for premium wines has helped boost the value of Australia’s wine exports by 7% to $2.2bn in 2016.
Industry body Wine Australia said there was exceptional growth in exports to China, rising 40% to $520m last year. The group’s annual Export Report, released on Friday, shows the average value of Australia’s wine exports rose 6% to $2.96 a litre, the highest since 2009. Read more
Syria opposition await action from Trump on safe zones, Damascus silent
Syrian opposition forces urged President Donald Trump to fulfil a pledge to create safe zones in their country, but analysts doubted he would proceed with a step that could drag Washington deeper into war, hasten Syria’s fragmentation and risk conflict with Russia.
Trump told ABC News on Wednesday he “will absolutely do safe zones in Syria” for refugees fleeing violence and that Europe had made a mistake by admitting millions of refugees from Syria. Read more
Brazil police seek former billionaire Batista in graft probe
Brazilian police are seeking the arrest of fallen commodities tycoon Eike Batista as part of a vast political bribery probe, investigators said on Thursday, adding that the former billionaire appeared to have already flown to New York.
Batista, Brazil’s richest man just five years ago, seems to have left the country on a German passport on Tuesday night and will be considered a fugitive if he does not surrender soon to authorities, police investigator Tacio Muzzi told reporters. Read more
US Defence Secretary stresses commitment to Nato
US Defence Secretary James Mattis stressed America’s “enduring commitment” to Nato on Thursday, the Pentagon said. He assured German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen of “the United States’ enduring commitment to the NATO alliance,” a statement said.
It added Mattis discussed the importance of Nato in a separate telephone call with French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Read more