*Boko Haram Offering Different Groups of Chibok Girls for Ransom* *Military Places Ban on Herdsmen, Cattle in Bauchi, Plateau*

*Boko Haram Offering Different Groups of Chibok Girls for Ransom* *Military Places Ban on Herdsmen, Cattle in Bauchi, Plateau*



Boko Haram Offering Different Groups of Chibok Girls for Ransom

Following the broadcast of the proof of life video showing 15 of the abducted Chibok girls by US cable news network, CNN on Wednesday, THISDAY has confirmed that the 219 girls who were kidnapped from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, exactly two years ago have been broken up into groups and are being offered by different Boko Haram cells to federal government negotiators in exchange for huge sums of money.

Their abduction sparked a social media campaign and global outrage which drew attention to the horror of the six-year-old insurgency in the Northeast. Read more

Military Places Ban on Herdsmen, Cattle in Bauchi, Plateau

Military task force deployed to restore peace in Plateau and parts of Bauchi State has placed ban on the movement of cattle and herdsmen after 7 p.m in all its areas of operation as part of efforts to restore peace in the states.

Commander of the task force, Major General Tagbo Ude, on Thursday issued the ban after a town hall meeting between various community leaders, village heads and Ardos of Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos South and Mangu Local Government Areas in the state. Read more

I share your pains, Buhari tells Chibok girls’ parents

Although he was not at home in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday spared a thought for the over 200 Chibok girls in Boko Haram’s captivity. From China, the president sympathised with parents and relations of the girls as the world observed the second anniversary of their abduction.

Buhari said he shared in the ordeal of the parents as they remembered their children. The girls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State in April 2014. Read more

We’ll build resilient Nigerian cities, says President

President Muhammadu Buhari has given assurance that his administration would give priority to building and developing resilient and viable cities.

He made this declaration at separate meetings with the Mayor of the Chinese City of Shanghai, Mr. Yang Xiong and the Director of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Liu Fangzhou. He said the Federal Government would give full support to Free Trade and Export Processing Zones (FTEPZs) in the country to spur rapid economic development. Read more

N1.5b transferred from NIMASA to various accounts, witness tells court

A Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere was yesterday told how N1.5 billion belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA) was allegedly laundered in accounts of various companies.

Prosecution witness, Teslim Ajuwon, was testifying before Justice Raliat Adebiyi in the money laundering suit instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the agency’s former DG, Patrick Akpobolokemi, Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Limited. Read more

Saraki absent as Senate moves to review CCB, CCT Act

The Senate yesterday began legislative moves to review the Code of Bureau (CCB) and the Conduct Tribunal (CCT) by initiating amendment to the Code of Conduct‎ Act to “ensure the fair hearing for the accused” as well as restricting the CCT from adjudicating on criminal matters.

The second reading of the Bill, tagged “Code of Conduct Act Cap C15 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016,” was done yesterday on the floor of the red chamber in the absence of its President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who abstained for undisclosed reasons. Read more

Absence of Tribunal Chairman Stalls Orubebe’s Trial

The absence of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Umar Danladi,on Thursday stalled trial of the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe.

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the Head, Press and Public Relations of the tribunal, Ibraheem Alhassan, said the judge’s absence followed the death of his aunty last Monday. Read more

NLC Carpets Governors, Senators, Ministers over Double Salaries

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday lambasted governors, senators and ministers, who are still under the payroll of the states where they had served previously before their new appointments and elections.

NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the drawing of salaries by former political appointees and elected officials was disingenuous to the nation, given the current economic hardship in the country. Read more

IMF Seeks End to Presidency, National Assembly Budget Impasse

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday waded into the impasse between the executive arm of government and the National Assembly over the 2016 budget, advising the Nigerian government to resolve the issues surrounding the budget and have it assented to, just as it renewed the call for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement a flexible foreign exchange regime. Read more


SEC extends CMOs’ recapitalisation deadline to December

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the extension of the new minimum capital requirement deadline for Capital Market Operators (CMOs) to December 31.

The deadline was extended by 15 months against the initial period of September 30, 2015. Read more

Manufacturers seek greater regional collaboration in drug production

The West African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (WAPMA) has called for greater regional collaboration in the production of essential drugs for the populace.

The group has already hinted of its resolve to achieve production self-sufficiency‎ in the Sub-region. Read more

UNDP to support Nigeria on sustainable development

In line with the commitment of the Federal Government’s fight against poverty and unemployment in the country, the United Nations (UN) has expressed its readiness to support and promote equitable and sustainable growth in Nigeria.

Speaking at an interactive forum organised by New Nigeria Foundation and Consensus Building Institute, a non-profit organisation in Lagos on Tuesday, UN Nigeria Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Miss Fatma Samoura, said the global body will pursue together with its national partners, especially the government, an economic diversification programme that elevates agriculture, non-oil manufacturing, solid minerals and the service sectors, shifting emphasis and attention to higher value adding activities, whilst reducing reliance on volatile commodity exports such as oil and gas. Read more

NCC targets local, foreign firms in 2.6GHz spectrum auction

Ahead of next month’s frequency spectrum auction in the 2.6GHz band, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it also expects foreign firms to participate in the auctioning processes.

While debunking claims that the commission wanted to use the auction, which is slated for May 16, to rake in money for the Federal Government, the telecoms regulator said the success of the exercise holds much more for Nigeria’s broadband penetration target. Read more

SEC Makes Fresh Moves to Handle Unclaimed Dividends

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in collaboration with other market stakeholders in the capital market are making fresh moves to tackle the issue of unclaimed dividends. In this regard, a market-wide committee is to be set up to come up with the best solution that will benefit investors and encourage more participation in the market.

Unclaimed dividends in the market stood at over N80 billion and various efforts are being made to reduce the volume. However, speaking at the commission’s 2016 first quarter post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) media briefing in Lagos yesterday, the Director-General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo said a committee comprising market operators, shareholders and regulators, would be set up. Read more

Plateau Refurbishes Abandoned Bottling Company

Plateau state government has signed an agreement with Hummer Drinks Limited, a soft-drinks producing company to refurbish Highland Bottling Company in Barkin Ladi, that has been abandoned for over 20 years.

Chairman Technical Committee of Plateau Investment and Property-development Company (PIPC), Chief Ezekiel Gomos, while commending the state government over the laudable steps to revamp the company, noted that the development was in line with the industrialisation policy of Governor Simon Lalong’s administration. Read more

DIL Repositions Flour Subsidiary to Deliver Value to Stakeholders

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), which has reacquired Tiger Branded Consumer Goods (TBCG)  has begun repositioning of the company for better performance and delivery of  value to all stakeholders.

DIL  had  sold TBCG, formerly Dangote Flour Mills Plc  to  Tiger Brands, a leading South African fastmoving consumer goods company in 2012.  But after years of losses,  Tiger Brands announced its withdrawal of further funding in November 2015. Read more

World Bank Ranks Nigeria Low on Ease of Doing Business

The World Bank has again rated Nigeria low on the ease of doing business amongst countries. According to the World Bank, Nigeria presently ranks 169 out of 189 countries examined for trade index for the year 2015.

The World Bank’s trade index is a tool that measures the ease of doing business amongst other indicators in each country. Read more

GTBank Empowers Female Entrepreneurs

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), through its SME hub, has partnered African-focused entrepreneurship accelerator, She Leads Africa (SLA) and the Work in Progress! Alliance (Oxfam and VC4Africa) to launch the ‘She Leads Africa Accelerator.’

The initiative is a 3-month program designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur Showcase is the flagship program of She Leads Africa, geared towards shining a spotlight on women who are driving Africa’s growth through leadership, commerce and innovation. Read more

States’ IGR Decreased by N25.18bn in 2015

All the 36 states of the federation altogether raked in a total of N682.67 billion in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated on Thursday.

But the amount represented a decline of 3.69 per cent or N25.18 billion when compared with the N707.85 billion which they recorded 2014. Read more

FG to Promote Free Trade, Export Processing Zones

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Shanghai said his administration would give priority to the building and development of resilient and viable cities comparable with other developed cities across the globe.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said Buhari, at separate meetings with the Mayor of the Chinese city of Shanghai, Mr. Yang Xiong, and the Director of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Liu Fangzhou, said the federal government would give full support to Free Trade and Export Processing Zones in the country to spur rapid economic development. Read more

AMCON debt: Court freezes Capital Oil accounts

The Federal High Court, Lagos Division, on Wednesday granted the application of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria for an interim injunction freezing the accounts Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited owned by Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah.

Justice M. B. Idris, while granting the exparte order on the application of Mr. A. B. Mahmoud SAN, counsel for AMCON, restrained Capital Oil and Gas and Ubah from dealing with any assets or funds of the company within the jurisdiction of the court. Read more

We buy dollar at N320, says PZ Cussons

PZ Cussons Plc says it is paying as much as 70 per cent more than the official rate for dollars as the Central Bank of Nigeria trading restrictions reduce availability of foreign currency in Africa’s biggest economy.

“Whilst the official naira exchange rate continues to be stable, a lack of availability at that rate is resulting in the majority of dollars being purchased at a premium of 50 per cent to 70 per cent,” the Manchester-based maker of Imperial Leather soap said in a trading update on Thursday. Read more

Extortion by security agents, illegal fees hinder trade — Ashiru

The Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Abimbola Ashiru, has said extortion of traders who move their goods from one state to the other by some security agents who mount checkpoints along the roads, most especially inter-state ones, can hinder the growth of commerce and trade in the country.

He said this on Wednesday in Abeokuta at a meeting of traders in Ogun State and the representatives of different law enforcement agencies in the country organised by the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ and the state government. Read more

Naira to weaken on budget spending

The naira will likely weaken against the dollar at the parallel market next week due to an anticipated increase of naira liquidity from the Federal Government, foreign exchange players and analysts have said.

Specifically, the naira is expected to fall marginally at the parallel market in anticipation of rising naira liquidity from budgetary allocations to the Federal Government agencies, but will remain unchanged on the official interbank market. Read more


PH Refinery Injects 28m Litres of Petrol into Domestic Market

Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited has announced that 28 million litres of petrol have been pumped into the domestic market to help address the current product scarcity that had crippled the economy.

This is coming as fuel supply has drastically improved in Abuja and its environs, following the increase in truck out by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from 186 to 240 trucks daily. Read more

$24bn crude scam: Reps vow to sanction indicted firms

The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the controversial crude oil swap contracts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said its report would not spare persons or firms with cases to answer.

The controversial crude swap deals ran from 2010 to 2014, during which the NNPC exchanged parts of its daily 445,000 barrels of crude for refined petroleum products. Read more


JEDC Begins Distribution of 120,000 Pre-paid Meters

Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) has commenced distribution and installation of 120,000 pre-paid meters in its four franchise states of Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe and Benue.

Managing Director, JEDC, Mohammed Gidado Modibbo stated this at a ceremony in commence  the  pre-paid electronic meters distribution, which also saw the distribution of transformers and other materials of the company in Jos. Read more


Super Falcons lament N10,000 pay after Nations Cup qualification

At a time female athletes all over the world are canvassing equal treatment with their male counterparts, what appears a setback for women football in Nigeria has taken place.

On Tuesday players of the senior women football team, Super Falcons, were paid a ‘meager’ N10,000 as ‘transport fare’ after being decamped from their Abuja camp. Read more

Nigeria gets old foes, Japan, Sweden, Colombia

Nigeria was yesterday at the Estadio Maracana auditorium drawn against old foe, Japan, in the opening stage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games’ football event. Also in Group B with the national U-23 team are Sweden and Colombia.

Nigeria met Japan on its way to winning Africa’s first Olympic football gold medal in 1996 with Tijani Babangida and Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha’s goals separating the sides. Read more


Burundi violence follows escapees across borders

Teams of thugs are slipping out of Burundi and into refugee camps in neighbouring countries to launch murderous attacks on exiles, as government militias’ campaign of terror spills over the country’s borders, survivors say.

The central African nation slid into violence last year after the president, Pierre Nkurunziza, pushed aside the constitution and ran for a third term in office. Since then more than 250,000 people have poured across its borders seeking safety in neighbouring Rwanda, Tanzania and Congo. Read more

North Korean missile ‘blew up’ on launch as country marks key anniversary

ANorth Korean missile blew up shortly after its launch on Friday morning, an inauspicious start to a day of celebrations to mark the anniversary of the birth of the founder of the nation.

South Korean and US military sources say the missile was fired from a location on the east coast of the Korean peninsula, making it likely that the weapon was fired from a mobile tractor-erector-launcher unit. Read more

Hillary Clinton gets booed at Democratic debate

Hillary Clinton attempted to navigate a tense situation at Thursday night’s Democratic debate when she was confronted over her refusal to release Wall Street speech transcripts.

The former Secretary of State was booed after Sanders repeatedly attacked Clinton’s speeches for some financial institutions. Read more


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