SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 23, 2017
Buhari Speaks to Ganduje, Says He’s Feeling Better
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday spoke to the Kano State governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje and extended his appreciation to Nigerians for their goodwill messages and prayers, saying he was on the mend.
Buhari, who spoke on the phone in Hausa for about three minutes with the governor while a prayer session was going on at the Government House, Kano, said he was feeling better. Read more
Osinbajo writes N’Assembly, seeks fresh $500m Eurobond
The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday wrote the National Assembly, seeking approval for the executive to float another $500m Eurobond. The money will be used to fund the “implementation of the 2016 budget, which is still ongoing.”
The period for the implementation of the 2016 budget had earlier been extended to March 31, 2017 by the National Assembly. Read more
Amnesty Int’l Alleges 240 Boko Haram Suspects Including 29 Children Died in Giwa Barracks
Amnesty International has again accused the military of human rights abuses, this time of arbitrarily detaining 240 Boko Haram suspects, including 29 children at Giwa Barracks who later died in overcrowded cells.
The international rights group also accused staff of the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency of secretly burying the suspects at a cemetery in Maiduguri. Read more
Court freezes 21 accounts linked to Stella Oduah
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has restrained Senator Stella Oduah and Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Limited from making any withdrawals from their accounts and those of three other companies domiciled with 21 commercial banks. The other companies are Sea Shipping Agency Ltd, Rotary Engineering Services Ltd, and Tour Afrique Company Ltd.
The court order was sequel to a suit over an alleged indebtedness of the defendants in the sum of about $16.4 million and N100.5 million to Sterling Bank Plc. Read more
CD condemns indiscriminate killings of IPOB members
A human rights group, Campaign for Democracy, CD, yesterday, condemned what it termed as indiscriminate shootings and killings of members of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, by those it identified as Nigerian security forces. CD specifically mentioned the recent invasion of IPOB meeting venue in Asaba, Delta State by soldiers, opening fire on them, killing some, injuring some and arresting others, for no just cause. Read more
Army, Amnesty trade words over alleged killings, torture of IPOB members, others
Army responsible for 1,967 deaths, arrested over 1,000 individuals from Dec 2015 to Feb 2017 — AMNESTY Contrived lies to blackmail, ridicule Armed Forces — Gen. Abubakar Defence headquarters and Amnesty International are currently trading words over alleged killing of 240 persons in Borno and 177 agitators, under the aegis of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB. Read more
Beware of S-South govs, militants tell Osinbajo
Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, a militant group, yesterday, warned Acting President Yemi Osinbajo not to allow governors of the South-South to hijack his fact-finding mission to the oil-rich region for their political benefit. The group, in a statement by its spokesperson, W O I Izon-Ebi, also lamented the silence of the Federal Government, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and other stakeholders to the plight of the people of Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, the community where oil was first found in Nigeria. Read more
NBC gives broadcast stations three weeks to settle N5b debt
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has given broadcast stations in the country three weeks to pay up over N5 billion licence fees they owed the commission.
It also directed all stations that have installed more than the allotted TX power to procure and install 2KW transmitters within six months and warned that it would de-commission such transmitters after the expiration of the grace period. Read more
Gunmen kidnap two Germans in Kaduna, two feared killed
Gunmen yesterday abducted two German professors, Peter Breunij and Johannes Buringer, at Jenjela village in Kagarko Local Council of Kaduna State.
Breunij, an archaeologist from the University of Frankfurt, Germany, led a four-man team to the country to work on the relics of Nok culture. They were said to be working in the site in collaboration with officials of the National Commission for Museum and Monuments. Read more
Defection, Sheriff’s affirmation weigh down Lagos PDP
A burden that continues to deter the progress of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since 1999, when Nigeria returned to civil rule, is internal crisis.
In the South West zone, which comprises six states, Lagos is the only state where the PDP has not savoured power. Internal crisis has not only kept the party losing to the better-organised All Progressives Congress (APC), it has also prevented it from playing the expected vital opposition role. Read more
Nigeria, others to boost trade as WTO’s TFA enters into force
By receiving four more ratifications for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the World Trade Organisation has obtained the two-thirds acceptance of the agreement from its 164 members needed to bring the TFA into force.
Indeed, the action brings a major milestone for the global trading system as the first multilateral deal was concluded in the 21 year history of the World Trade Organization entered into force. Read more
N600bn debt profile sparks off fresh agitation in Delta
The over N600 billion debt profile of the Delta State government is causing disquiet among the populace. It was gathered that the debt profile has been described as unfortunate and misplaced priority on the part of its leadership amid calls for a thorough investigation.
Although, this intimidating debt profile was not incurred by the present administration led by Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, it was alleged that successive administrations incurred the debt in their bid to ensure development and prompt payment of workers’ salaries in the state Read more
Only 2.6m students secure varsity admission in six years, says NBS
A report titled: “JAMB Admitted Candidates by State and Gender Within Faculty Report (2010-2016),” made available to The Guardian on Monday lamented the disparity in the number of students seeking admission through JAMB and those who eventually secured admission.
“The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board data showed that 11,703,709 applications were received between 2010 and 2016 while only 2,674,485 students were actually admitted across the 36 states and the FCT between 2010 and 2016,” the NBS said. Read more
FUTO shut as management denies increasing tuition fees
Following the violent protests embarked upon by irate students of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), the authorities of the institution has directed the students to vacate the campus until peace returns to the troubled institution.
Announcing the closure at a radio programme monitored by The Guardian, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Israel Ndukwe; Registrar, John Nnabue and his Deputy, Child Ezenwa said the decision was taken to avert further violence on campus. Read more
Rights group laments government’s inability to meet basic education goals
A non-governmental organisation, Foundation for Education and Students Rights (FESRT) has frowned at the Federal Government’s inability to meet the basic education goals promised its citizens, saying this was responsible for the high level of illiteracy and poverty in the land.
President of the group, Dr. Ralph Inyinbor in a chat with The Guardian on the state of education in the country noted that basic education provides students with the opportunity to become responsible and respectful global citizens, as well as contribute meaningfully to their immediate and larger societies, Read more
Schools should expose pupils to national, global issues, says Ajayi
Executive Director, Africa Leadership Forum, Ibadan, Oyo State, Dr. Olumide Ajayi has charged education managers across the country to provide the kind of teaching and learning that would give students exposure to national and global issues.
Ajayi who spoke at the 20th Speech and Prize-giving event of Doregos Private Academy, Lagos said since change agents are those who act as catalysts for a new order and a new thinking, those saddled with the responsibility of raising them should be globally-minded. Read more
Developing standardised markets to boost comparative advantage
Agriculture and solid minerals have been identified as alternative sources of revenue that Nigeria can exploit to create new wealth to complement its oil resources. At least 60 per cent of the population engages in one form of agricultural activity or the other, albeit mostly on a subsistence level. Read more
N120b debts worsen GenCos’ operation challenges
The inability of the Federal Government to pay over N120 billion owed power generation companies (GenCos) has hampered their ability to operate efficiently.
Former Executive Director, National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), Dr Albert Okorogu, said power generation companies, including the NIPP plants, were in a precarious situation because of their inability to raise enough money for production. Read more
FG to issue first green bond in April
The Federal Government, yesterday, said it will commence the issuance of its first sovereign green bond in April, which will be used to fund a range of climate-related initiatives including mass transit, land re-afforestation, remediation and solar projects. It is also considering issuing international bonds by December 2017. Read more
Naira continues gain, closes at 505/dollar
The naira recorded further gain against the United States dollar on the parallel market on Wednesday, reversing part of the loss it had recorded in recent days.
Specifically, the naira rose to 505/dollar on Wednesday, up from 512/dollar on Tuesday, as the Central Bank of Nigeria started increasing dollar supply at the official market. Read more
New Forex Policy May Stabilise Banks, Says Fitch
Fitch Ratings, an international rating agency, has expressed optimism that the new policy actions on forex implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may help to ease the foreign currency liquidity pressure faced by the country’s banking sector and also bring about stability in the banks.
Specifically, Fitch noted that “the most important aspect of the CBN’s announcement is a plan to normalise the FX interbank market, in our view’, adding that it is a measure that intended to clear the backlog of overdue foreign currency obligations owed by banks to their international creditors. Read more
New Forex policy: CBN to sanction erring bank CEOs
Chief Executive Officers and other officers of commercial banks that violate the new foreign exchange policy unveiled by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will henceforth be sanctioned, the apex bank warned.
“Any bank that fails to comply with the rules of this and other extant forex guidelines shall be sanctioned, which will affect the executive and other officers of the bank,” CBN Director, Financial Markets Department, Alvan Ikoku said in circular to all banks. Read more
Fitch: forex market changes may ease scarcity
Measures announced on 20 February by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may ease some of the severe foreign currency liquidity pressure faced by the country’s banks, Fitch Ratings says.
The most important aspect of the CBN’s announcement is a plan to normalise the foreign exchange (forex) interbank market, the group said. The intention is to clear the backlog of overdue foreign currency obligations owed by banks to international creditors. Read more
Nigeria lost N217bn to gas flaring in 2016 – NNPC
The country lost at least N217bn last year as oil and gas companies flared a total of 244.84 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas in that period, data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have shown.
The latest monthly report from the NNPC showed that 22.32 billion scf of gas was flared in January; 20.38 billion scf in February; 20.11 billion scf in March; 18.7 billion scf in April; 15.8 billion scf in May, and 14.8 billion scf in June. Read more
Africa demands 10 World Cup slots
Africa will be looking to double the number of places it has at an expanded World Cup, the continent’s football association presidents have told soccer’s world governing body FIFA, Reuters reports.
Africa wants at least 10 spots in the 48-team World Cup that FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed from 2026 as the continent gave a ringing endorsement to the expansion plans. Read more
Don’t be discouraged, NFF tells Iheanacho
Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation, Bitrus Bewarang, has advised Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho not be discouraged over his lack of playing opportunities at the Premier League powerhouse.
City manager Pep Guardiola has lost faith in the abilities of the Super Eagles rising star, with his last appearance coming against Everton on January 15, or in other words he has not been involved in the last seven matches contested by the Etihad outfit across all competitions. Read more
Chukwu Unfazed by Zamalek’s Continental Record
Enugu Rangers Chief Executive, Christian Chukwu, has declared the Nigerian champions have respect for five-time African champions, Zamalek, but are not afraid to take on them.
Rangers will first play away to the Egyptian giants next month in a CAF Champions League first round match with the return leg in Enugu a week later. Read more
Manchester United thrash St Etienne to enter Europa League last 16
Manchester United strolled into the Europa League last 16 despite having Eric Bailly sent off after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first-half goal secured a resounding 4-0 aggregate victory over St Etienne on Wednesday.
The only negatives in a comfortable win for United were injuries to Mkhitaryan and midfielder Michael Carrick, who could both miss Sunday’s English League Cup final. Read more
TRANSFER NEWS: ZINEDINE ZIDANE “UNDERSTANDS” IF ISCO WANTS SUMMER EXIT
Zinedine Zidane has admitted that he understands if Isco wants to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season
Isco admitted earlier this week that he was seriously considering his future at the Santiago Bernabeu and that he would be making a decision on what his next move was at the end of the season, with many seeing that as a sign that he would almost certainly be leaving. Read more
Leicester grabs away goal, but falls to Sevilla
Sevilla was unable to capitalize on its dominant performance in a 2-1 Champions League win over Leicester on Wednesday as Jamie Vardy scored a crucial goal — his first of the year — to keep the English champions alive in the Round of 16.
Vardy capped a spirited second half for Leicester in the first leg with a 73rd-minute goal in one of the few chances created by the visitors at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in Seville. Read more
TRANSFER NEWS: FC BARCELONA SET TO OFFER MANCHESTER UNITED AND CHELSEA FC TARGET IVAN RAKITIC A NEW DEAL UNTIL 2021
FC Barcelona are reportedly primed to offer midfielder Ivan Rakitic a new contract until the end of the 2021 season
According to Albert Masnou of Sport, Spanish side FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with midfielder Ivan Rakitic to make him put pen to paper on an extension that will see him stay on at Camp Nou until the 2020-21 season. Read more
Celeb Chef Gordon Ramsay’s In-Laws Charged in Computer Hacking Case
Four of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s in-laws — including his father-in-law, whom he fired from his company seven years ago — are in a real pickle over charges of computer hacking.
Chris Hutcheson, 68 — the father of Ramsay’s wife, Tana — and three of Hutcheson’s other adult children are scheduled to appear in court March 14 on charges of conspiracy to access computer data without authorization, London’s Metropolitan Police Service said Tuesday. Read more
Australia Post chief resigns despite bumper profits
Australia Post’s chief executive has resigned, weeks after controversy over the size of his salary.
Ahmed Fahour had been widely credited for turning around the government-owned organisation, returning it to profit.
But earlier this month it emerged he earned A$5.6m ($4.3m; £3.4m) last year, 10 times the salary of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Read more
Le Pen increases first round lead in French election – poll
French far right leader Marine Le Pen has increased her lead in the first round of France’s presidential election, though she is still seen being beaten by a wide margin in the runoff, a BVA-Salesforce poll published on Thursday showed.
The National Front head would win 27.5 percent of the vote in the April 23 first round, up 2.5 percentage points from the last time the poll was conducted on Feb 4. Read more
Donald Trump’s new travel ban ‘delayed until next week’
Donald Trump’s new travel ban has been delayed until next week, a White House official has said.
The new executive order, replacing the directive suspending access to the US to citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries, was expected this week but will now be issued “sometime next week”, said the official. Read more
Japan’s crown prince says will model himself after father as emperor
Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito turned 57 on Thursday saying he is ready to become emperor after his father Akihito, who could abdicate as soon as next year, and that like him, he will be an emperor who “shares the pain and joy of the people”.
A government panel is debating how to allow the 83-year-old Akihito, who has had heart surgery and prostate cancer treatment, to step down after he said in August that he feared age might make it hard for him to fulfil his duties. Read more
Syria’s warring sides brought together for Geneva talks
UN-sponsored peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition are to get under way in Geneva for the first time in nearly a year.
The meeting follows weeks of difficult negotiations in preparation. Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special Syria envoy, said on Wednesday he was “not expecting a breakthrough”. Read more