*Ijaw youths warn EFCC against alleged plan to arrest Jonathan* *Troops rescue 14 women, kids from Boko Haram*

*Ijaw youths warn EFCC against alleged plan to arrest Jonathan* *Troops rescue 14 women, kids from Boko Haram*



Ijaw youths warn EFCC against alleged plan to arrest Jonathan

As the four-day burial programme for the late former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, ended yesterday with a thanksgiving service in Ammasoma, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) cautioned against an alleged plot by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the anti-graft agency to shelve any such plan to persecute the former president, insisting that such a move would spell doom for the country and the government. Read more

Troops rescue 14 women, kids from Boko Haram

Troops of the 155 Task Force Battalion yesterday rescued 14 people held hostage by insurgents, as clearance operations of the relics of Boko Haram terrorists continue in the North East.

A statement issued yesterday by the spokesman of the Army, Col. Sani Usman, said the soldiers rescued the people, who were mostly women and children in a village. Read more

Presidency, N’Assembly move to end rift over 2016 budget

A move to harmonise the contentious issues between the Presidency and the National Assembly over the 2016 budget is set to be fruitful soon.

This is coming as more details emerged about how the National Assembly(NASS) tinkered with the budget, moving funds away from critical infrastructure to less important projects such as building of town halls, purchase of tricycles, and building of rural roads .The resolution of the matter follows a meeting by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, ministers, and members of the Economic Management Team. Read more

Govt to simplify access to land for solid mineral investors

Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government has concluded plans to meet with the 36 state governors to simplify access to land by investors in the mining industry.

The minister stated this at the groundbreaking ceremony of the over $1 billion two-line six million metric tonnes capacity cement plant by Dangote Group at Okpella in Etsako East Local Council of Edo State. Read more

AAUA shut over students’ protest

The management of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, on Sunday announced the immediate closure of the institution.

The institution’s action was not unconnected with the protest embarked upon by the students of the institution on Saturday over the death of their colleague, who was allegedly hit by a reckless commercial motorcyclist in the town on Friday night. Read more

NDLEA arrests 24 suspected drug traffickers in Bayelsa

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bayelsa State Command, has arrested 24 suspected drug traffickers in the state.

Of the number, 20 suspects were males, while four were females. Read more

PDP ex-ministers, elders convene meeting over Sheriff

Former ministers, who served under the Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government, have convened an emergency meeting, where the plan by the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, to stay beyond May 21 will be discussed.

Also, elders of the party have called another meeting where they will also discuss the implication of Sheriff not honouring his words to leave office on the agreed date. Read more

PDP wins Ife bye-election

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ife Central state constituency, Dipo Eluwole, has won the bye-election conducted to fill the vacant seat at the Osun State House of Assembly.

The bye-election was conducted on Saturday but the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the poll inconclusive because results from two polling units were cancelled and a rerun election was conducted on Sunday. Read more

Recover $200bn loot, shelve $2bn loan plan, Falana tells FG

A human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has advised the Federal Government to shelve its plan to obtain $2bn loan from China.

He said instead of “plunging the nation into more indebtedness” the Federal Government should intensify efforts to recover some funds totalling about $200bn which were either not remitted to the Federation Account or stolen from the nation’s treasury. Read more

FG Denies Reports of $50m Ransom for Release of Chibok Girls

The federal government on Sunday denied media reports that the militant group, Boko Haram, is demanding $50 million from it as ransom before releasing the abducted Chibok school girls.

In an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said ransom reports were not new. Read more

GTBank Marks Autism Day with Walk and Cycling Campaign

Guaranty Trust Bank plc, in partnership with the Cycology Club, Patricks Speech and Languages Centre, the Centre for Children Development, Parents of children living with Autism and other non-governmental organisations, have organised a walk and cycling campaign around the Lagos metropolis to mark the 2016 World Autism Awareness Day.

The Walk for Autism kicked off from Town Planning Way Bus-stop, Ilupeju while the Cycling for Autism initiative took off at 6am from The Syrian Club, Ribadu Road, Ikoyi. Read more

Collision with New Planet Threatens Survival of Earth

A mysterious planet which wiped out lives on earth millions of years ago could do it again, according to a top space scientist. Some of scientists believe that the apocalyptic event could happen as early as this month.

Planet Nine, a new planet discovered at the edge of the solar system in January, this year, has triggered comet showers that bomb the earth’s surface, killing all life, Daniel Whitmire, of the University of Louisiana, said. Read more


BoI, Kaduna partner on N1.5tr investment plan

The Bank of Industry (BoI) has expressed its readiness to key-in into the Kaduna State Government’s five-year economic and investment development plan.

Governor of Kaduna State,Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, while unveiling a five-year N1.5 trillion economic blueprint anchored on effective exploitation and utilisation of the state’s abundant natural resources, explained that the state government hopes to partner with the private sector to provide N800 billion out of the investment plan. Read more

‘MTN’s posting of Visafone customers to GSM platform temporary’

Migration of 2.1 million Visafone subscribers to MTN Nigeria’s GSM platform may be temporary after all, according to an official of the company.

The official, who preferred anonymity, told The Guardian that the move is a temporary one, as MTN plan at the point of acquisition was to resuscitate the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) sub-sector of the country and improve the country’s broadband services through 4G-LTE technology. Read more

Pharmacists want access to forex for drug makers

To forestall possible nationwide shortage of essential medicines, pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to prioritise pharmaceutical manufacturers with respect to accessing forex to enable the expeditious replenishment of depleted pharmaceutical raw materials.

The PSN, led by its President, Ahmed Yakasai, during a courtesy visit to Buhari over the weekend said this would guarantee uninterrupted supply of high quality medicines to the Nigerian public. Read more

NNPC withheld $4.2b proceeds in second half of 2015, says report

A new analysis from the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has shown that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) remitted only $2.1 billion out of the $6.3 billion it made from the sale of oil and gas during the second half of 2015.

Though, the corporation said that it had commenced meeting with some officials of the NRGI toward reviewing the report, the analysis indicates that NNPC withheld $4.2 billion during the period. The international watchdog said that the NNPC continued to withhold revenues from sale of oil and gas worth billions of dollars from the treasury without effective rules or oversight. Read more

Interbank rates fall amid N519b NDIC premium, CRR debits, forex provisions

For the second week in a row, the interbank lending rates failed to rise even as the liquidity level in the financial system was depleted significantly towards the end of the week’s activities, from about N518.8 billion to N405 billion.

The cash withdrawals effected through premium payments to the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC); Cash Reserve Requirements (CRR) debits and foreign exchange auction provisions by bank left the Open Buy-Back and Overnight rates lower than previous week at 3.1 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively. Read more

Stock index provider to delist Nigeria as forex crisis lingers

Stakeholders in the financial market have expressed worry about the poor handling of sensitive issues in the economy by government, particularly with regard to the lingering fuel scarcity and foreign exchange needed to import the commodity.

The implications, besides the foreign exchange-related pressure on the economy so far, are the aggregate value of man-hours lost at the fuel stations and the attendant high cost of basic needs. Read more

Fidelity Bank upgrades banking app

Fidelity Bank Plc has upgrade its mobile-based banking application known as Fidelity Online Banking app, in an effort to provide cutting-edge, round-the-clock banking services to its customers.

According to the bank, the improved software application puts the financial institution in a pole position to drive efficient service delivery and customer acquisition by essentially placing innovative services in the hands of Nigerians residing in unserved and underserved communities. Read more

Financial stocks contribute 86% of Exchange’s N3.7b turnover

The financial services industry led the activity chart in terms of volume on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week, with 950.9 million shares worth N3.67 billion, contributing 85.5 per cent of the total turnover.

The conglomerates industry followed with 60.97 million shares valued at N79.9 million. Read more

Stanbic IBTC hinges entrepreneurial success on financial knowledge

Stanbic IBTC Bank has said that sound financial knowledge is the key successful entrepreneurial development and must be taken seriously by all stakeholders.

Besides, given today’s highly complex world, financial literacy campaign should become a continuous learning exercise among students and the younger generation to ensure fiscal discipline. Read more

ntel commences operations in Lagos, Abuja

ntel has commenced its phased and paced commercial operations with bumper offers for early bird pioneers and data users.

The telecoms firm said that the first 100,000 to redeem and activate their ntel Subscriber Identification Mobile cards would get free on-net calls for life while data subscribers would get three months unlimited data usage on select bundles. Read more

New technologies changing face of banking–Elumelu

The Chairman, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, says development in financial technology is fast changing the game in the financial services industry in terms of lowering operating costs and enhancing broader customer reach.

Elumelu, who made this observation at the bank’s Annual General Meeting held in Lagos, pointed out that the development was becoming a major factor in the banking sector. Read more

CBN commits N26bn to sugar production

The Central Bank of Nigeria has committed about N26bn to support the production of sugar in the country as part of measures to promote economic diversification.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, stated this during a facility tour of the new completed Sunti Golden Sugar factory located in Sunti, Niger State. Read more

Dangote commences work on Okpella cement plant

Dangote Cement Plc on Saturday began the construction of a new cement plant in Okpella, Edo State.

The new cement plant and others in the pipeline, estimated to cost $1bn, are expected to increase the $3bn the country has been saving from import substitution in cement yearly. Read more

NNPC: Kachikwu Has Cancelled Existing Contract with Vistajets

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has denied the allegations making the rounds that he expended huge resources chartering private jets.

Kachikwu, who was reacting to allegations that he and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefelie, chartered jets to attend the burial of Emefiele’s mother penultimate weekend in Agbor, Delta State, said he had not engaged the services of any private jet company since he assumed duty at the ministry. Read more

Lafarge Africa Rewards Trade Partners for Loyalty

Lafarge Africa Plc has rolled out the drum to celebrate and reward its trade partners at a customer awards ceremony in Lagos. The event, according to the company, was organised to demonstrate the fact that the company appreciated the consumer for their contributions to Lafarge business in 2015.

While welcoming the customers from across Nigeria to the event, Sales Director, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Sam Ndionyenma, explained that the Key Distribution Scheme, a strong route to market distribution system which has been vital in expanding the company’s distribution footprint would be rolled out nationwide.  Read more

Dana Air Partners Diamond Bank on Lounge Services

Dana Air is partnering with Diamond Bank to provide lounge services for its business class passengers, thereby fast-tracking boarding.

The airline said with this innovation, it has assured its business class passengers that there is no better way to relax before their flight with Dana, than with the array of benefits that the Diamond Lounge offers with an available standby Automated Teller Machine  (ATM) to ceaselessly provide service to customers. Read more


Govt begins loading of petrol for marketers

The Federal Government has commenced loading of the pending 7,000 tickets of independent petroleum marketers in its bid to end fuel queues across the country.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), which confirmed the move yesterday in Abuja, added that they had started loading product from some depots in Lagos following the intervention by the IPMAN Reconciliation/Interim Management Committee recently constituted by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. Read more

Nigeria’s Oil Production Rises Marginally

Nigeria produced a total of 66.49 million barrels (mb) of crude oil and condensate for the month of January 2016, representing an average daily production of 2.14 million barrels per day.

This represents an increase of about 2.97 per cent, relative to December 2015, according to a report by FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. Read more


Govt pledges completion of 400MW dam in Taraba

Despite dwindling resources, the Federal Government has stated its commitment to the completion of the multi-purpose Kashimbila dam in Takum Local Council of Taraba State.

The dam has the capacity to generate 400 megawatts of electricity, a water treatment plant capable of supplying 60,000 cubic meters of water to about 400,000 people, irrigation facility of about 2,000 hectares and an airstrip. Read more

Vandals steal N4m BEDC equipment in Delta

Suspected thieves operating within Owa-Nta Aliosimi community in the Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State have vandalised the Benin Electricity Distribution Company’s transformers and carted away valuables worth N4m.

The spokesman for the community, Edward Patrick, said the thieves invaded the area, comprising Edwin Patrick, Ikechukwu and Phillip Agidi streets around Power Line, a week after the transformers were installed. Read more

Aba Power Project: A New Stage in National Development

Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, displayed uncanny leadership when on Thursday, March 31, 2016, he took the nation by surprise by getting top representatives of the two feuding parties in the provision of electric supply to the industrial city of Aba in Abia State, Geometric Power Limited and Interstate Electrics, to sign an agreement ending their almost three-year internecine war. Fashola got Interstate Electrics to pull out of Aba city and its environs, in accordance with the Federal Government’s agreement with Geometric Power since 2005 and revised the following year for the latter to build a power station in Aba and supply power to the area.  Geometric Power accepted to compensate Interstate Electrics. Read more

Concerns Mount over Non-reconstitution of NERC Board

There are serious concerns among the operators in Nigeria’s power sector over the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a new Chairman and commissioners for the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) four months after the expiration of the tenure of the Dr. Sam Amadi-led management team, THISDAY has learnt.

The Amadi-led management team was inaugurated on December 22, 2010 and ended on December 21, 2015. Read more


Udoh’s hat-trick shoots Enyimba close to group stage

He is back. Mfon Udoh, who scored goals with reckless abandon in 2014 to emerge the highest goal scorer in Nigerian league history, was at his devastating best yesterday in Port Harcourt, where he netted three times to take Enyimba closer to the group stage of the CAF Champions League, where they last featured in 2011.

Their opponents, Etoile du Sahel, were expected to be a daunting opposition, but Udoh made the hard nut look so simple by the ease with which he found the back of the Tunisians’ net. Read more

No contract signed with Man United yet, says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho insists he does not have a contract with Manchester United to take over as the club’s manager next season.

Mourinho has been heavily tipped to become United manager next season as Louis van Gaal appears set for another trophy-less campaign. Read more


Three People Injured After Terrorists Attack Kenyan Police Camp

More than 100 terrorists attacked a police camp in northern Kenya on Sunday, leaving three police officials injured.

The terrorists staged the early morning attack on Diff Police Camp in Wajr, 494 kilometers (307 miles) north of Nairobi, Kenyan police said. The terrorists were not immediately identified by the police. Read more

China donates 1,700 tons of rice to war-torn S. Sudan

The Chinese government has donated 1,700 tons of rice to South Sudan in the wake of the current humanitarian crisis in the world’s youngest nation.

The move, the Chinese ambassador said, will help tackle the deteriorating humanitarian situations in the war-torn nation. Read more

Kenya aviation authorities investigate killing of South Sudanese pilot student

Civil aviation authorities in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, said an investigation was being carried out to ascertain how a South Sudanese piloting student was killed on Thursday at Malindi airstrip.

A 19-year old Nyiwalla Peter Lau died on Thursday morning after she was hit by an aircraft’s propeller which they were using for the training. A criminal investigation department official however said investigation was ongoing. Read more

Iranian opposition figure Karroubi appeals for court hearing over ‘election rigging’

Former Iranian presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, under house arrest since 2011, has appealed to president Hassan Rouhani for a court hearing where he could show two elections he lost were rigged.

Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament, said in a letter to Rouhani that Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, Basij militia and intelligence ministry falsified the results of the 2005 and 2009 polls that Mahmoud Ahmedinejad won. Read more

State of emergency declared over suicide epidemic in Canada’s First Nation community

A Canadian First Nation community of 2,000 people has declared a state of emergency after 11 of its members tried to take their own lives, national media reported.

CTV News reported on Sunday that the remote northern community of the Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario experienced an additional 28 suicide attempts last month. More than 100 people in the community have attempted suicide since last September, and one person died, according to CTV. The youngest was 11, the oldest 71. Read more

Australia prisoner carves IS slogan on cellmate’s head

An Australian prisoner who supports the so-called Islamic State has allegedly used a knife to carve a slogan into his cellmate’s head.

Reports said the Islamic State mantra “e4e”, standing for “an eye for an eye”, was carved into man’s head. Read more

CIA director ‘would not obey waterboarding order’

The director of the CIA has said his spy agency will not engage in waterboarding or other so-called enhanced interrogation techniques – even if ordered to by a future president.

CIA chief John Brennan told NBC News that he will not agree to carry out such techniques because “this institution needs to endure”. Read more


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