SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE FOR APRIL 18, 2016
CCT bars senators from Saraki’s trial
Mr. Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) had hard words for senators yesterday. He declared that the Senate was not on trial before the CCT, therefore the lawmakers had no reason being in court daily. Umar consequently asked them to stay back at the Senate and conduct their constitutional duties.
Umar who spoke against the backdrop of the request by the counsel to the Senate President, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) for an adjournment to enable to senators sit, noted that it was the personality of the accused, who happened to be the Senate president who was on trial and not the entire Senate. Read more
Boko Haram Attacks Soldiers in Borno
Boko Haram fighters monday attacked Nigerian soldiers near the border with Niger in the Jihadists’ North-east heartlands, the army has said.
The militants struck as the troops were on their way to the border town of Damasak, a military source said. Read more
Controversy Trails FG’s Planned Special Task Force on Vandalism
The recent pronouncement by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to create a special task force to tackle vandalism of pipelines in the Niger Delta has generated controversies within the security circle, as security experts said it would amount to duplication of the national security and civil defence corps’ mandate.
During his recent official visit to Delta State, the Vice-President was quoted as saying that the federal government was considering the establishment of a special security force to tackle vandalism of pipelines in the Niger Delta, as the country loses about 250,000 barrels of oil per day. Read more
FG May Increase Allowances to NYSC Members as New DG Assumes Office
The immediate past Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. General Johnson Olawumi, monday promised that efforts to ensure an increase in the monthly allowance for serving corps members would soon yield result.
This is just as the newly appointed Director General, Brig-General Sule Zakari Kazaure, took over the reigns of power as the 17th director general of the scheme. Read more
Military Arrests 92 Suspected Herdsmen in Nasarawa, FCT
In its efforts to ensure a crime-free environment within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs, the troops from the Guards Brigade of the Nigerian Army on Sunday arrested about 92 suspected herdsmen within Abuja and Nasarawa State.
The Assistant Director Army Public Relations (ADAPR), Guards Brigade, Capt Bashir Jajira, disclosed this in a statement yesterday, saying that about 36 suspected herdsmen claimed to be on a mission to recover their alleged stolen cattle were stopped on their track at the check point bordering FCT and Nasarawa State. Read more
Ortom denies taking N34m for China trip
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom yesterday denied allegation levelled against him by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that he had siphoned over N34 million from the coffers of the state government for his trip to the People’s Republic of China.
The governor, it would be recalled, was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s delegation on the official trip to China, where the governor is currently taking part in the 119th Canton Fair. But PDP supporters in the state had alleged that the governor collected N34 million from government’s coffer for the trip with his wife at a time civil servants were groaning over non-payment of their salary. Read more
Panama Leaks: Tinubu operates 12 secret companies in tax havens
Chief Executive of Nigeria’s biggest indigenous oil and gas company, Oando Plc, Mr Wale Tinubu has been fingered as part of the clique of wealthy Nigerians who incorporated and operated a cluster of secret companies in notorious offshore jurisdictions where they enjoyed perpetual tax holidays.
The revelations which were contained in the leaked internal data belonging to Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca showed that Tinubu had a good return on their offshore investments in 2008 and paid a front as much as $20,000 monthly to manage all these investments. Read more
IPOB: We didn’t disown Kanu as leader
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has disassociated itself from the position of a former President of Ohanaze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, disclaiming Mr. Nmadi Kanu as the leader of the group. In a statement issued and signed by IPOB’s Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, copy of which was made available to the media, IPOB, restated its loyalty to the leadership of Kanu, and described Ikedife’s statement as a mischief that should be discountenanced.
“IPOB worldwide under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is being tried for a trumped up treasonable charge at the Federal High Court, Abuja, condemned Ikedife over the statement credited to him that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not the leader of IPOB. We say it is not true”. Read more
Saraki failed to declare all assets, FG insists
The Federal Government yesterday insisted that Senate President Bukola Saraki failed to declare some landed property in the assets declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). The detective from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and a prosecution witness, Micheal Wetkas, told the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) that the Senate President failed to declare his property located at No 1 and No 3, Targus Street, Maitama, Abuja in the assets declaration he made in 2007 and 2011, even though he has acquired those property before he became governor of Kwara State. Read more
Car purchase: Senators insensitive, greedy –NLC, TUC
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have described as insensitive the recent moves by the senators to acquire 108 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps worth about N4 billion for every member after collecting car loans for the same purpose.
The unions, while condemning the act, said it was criminal for the lawmakers to acquire cars after collecting loans for the same purpose in less than one year. The labour movement described the car purchase as despicable and shameful act. The workers’ unions demand the return of the cars to the supplier and prosecution of the lawmakers for corruption. Read more
Arms scandal: Panel quizzes Service Chief
The presidential panel probing arms purchase between 2007 and 2015 has quizzed one of the serving service chiefs. Highly placed sources who spoke with New Telegraph on condition of anonymity, said that the service chief, who was involved in some aspects of the on-going counter-insurgency operations, has appeared twice or thrice before the 13-man probe panel.
It was gathered that the military chief, during the appearances, explained what he knew on procurements and logistics. He was also said to have defended some officers in the course of his presentation before the panel. It was, however, learnt that he sounded confident, as a result of what one of the sources said was his “incorruptible disposition” in both private and official conducts. Read more
How Akpobolokemi diverted N1.1b NIMASA fund, EFCC witness tells court
A witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the ongoing trial of Patrick Akpobolokemi, embattled former director general of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Orji Chukwuma, yesterday gave details of how the sum of N1.1bn released by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 for a project in the NIMASA was allegedly diverted.
Chukwuma, who is an investigator with the EFCC made the revelations before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos where Akpobolokemi and five others are standing trial for allegedly defrauding NIMASA to the tune of N2.6bn between March and June 2014. Read more
I didn’t admit receiving N75m from Dasuki, says PDP scribe
The National Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Professor Wale Oladipo yesterday denied reports that he admitted receiving money from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The PDP scribe was reported to have written a letter to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to seek exemption from prosecution with a promise to refund the alleged N75 million. Read more
‘Why prosecution of Lekki gardens building collapse suspects may suffer setback’
There are concerns that Lekki Worldwide Estate, owners of the recently collapsed building that killed at least 35 people in Lekki may be cutting corners to escape justice, according to sources within the Lagos State Government.
The company entered the Nigerian market a few years ago with its quick-to-build and relatively affordable Lekki Gardens Signature houses, was yesterday accused of flouting government building controls and regulations, especially in the use of materials of questionable quality and in failing to obtain appropriate State Development Permits. Read more
Reps probe alleged military offensive in Ogoni communities
The House of Representatives has commenced investigation into the military offensive against purported criminals in some Ogoni communities of Rivers State.
Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike has said alleged report of insecurity and political killings in the state before the re-run elections were concocted by some politicians to mislead Nigerians. Read more
Lagos reads riot act to land charge defaulters
Irked by alleged defaults in Land Use charge by property owners in the state, the Lagos State government has threatened to wield the big stick by sealing properties of defaulters.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Lagos, the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi, who read the riot act, disclosed that government had put in place a number of payment options, including banks, Land Use Charge offices, especially for residents using cash, POS or other online payment channels via credit and debit cards. Read more
Nigeria, others eye 2017 single African air transport
Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Rwanda and Zimbabwe are at the verge of meeting the target of having a single air transport market by the end of January 2017, Secretary General, African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Dr. Elijah Chingosho, has said.
Chingosho said the possibility was very high considering the fact that these nations were ready to implement the Yamoussoukro Declaration that calls for African countries to open their skies to more flights from African airlines. Read more
NLNG rakes in N235.8m in three months
The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has raked in N235.8 million ($1.179 million) in revenue in the first quarter of 2016.
Managing Director of the company, Mr. Babs Omotowa, revealed this in an interview with New Telegraph. He also said that the sack of workers was not on the cards now but maintained that other cost reduction measures put in place were yielding positive results. Read more
Shell pays N8.4trn to Nigeria in four years
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) declared yesterday that it had paid a total sum of N8.4 trillion ($42 billion) as its economic contribution to the Nigerian government in the last four years, from 2011 to 2015. Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint venture and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SPDC JV and SNEPCo) jointly contributed $145.1 million to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2015. Read more
Transcorp hotels posts N5.5b profit
Notwithstanding the decrease of eight percent earnings, Transcorp Hotels recorded N5.5billion profit before tax in its operations last year, against N4.6 billion achieved in 2014, even as its teeming shareholders smiled home with a dividend of 40 kobo per share.
Announcing the result at the company’s yearly general meeting at the weekend in Abuja, the Transcorp Hotel Chairman, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor disclosed that the 2015 financial year was quite challenging as a result of the uncertainties witnessed by the sharp decline in oil price world wide, the continuous insecurity and widening gaps between the official and parallel exchange rates of the Naira. Read more
Stock market opens on negative tract
Trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian stock market yesterday opened the week in the red, sustaining bearish trend that began last Friday.
The Exchange reported it experienced a disruption to its trading services following technical hitches. However, trading recommenced at 2.15 p.m and was extended to 4.00p.m. (from the usual time of 2:30 pm) in order to give investors the opportunity to complete their transactions for the day. Read more
Imports: Nigeria, others target countries with weak currencies
Following the downturn in the Nigerian economy, triggered by a plunge in oil revenue, importers of products are now sourcing goods from countries with weak currencies and quality products, New Telegraph has learnt.
Some of these countries where importers have shifted to include South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey among others. Imported goods from these countries include wheat, rice, fish, steel, palm oil, textile, building materials and vegetables. Read more
Inflation: Investors target valued properties
As international investors test the nation’s real estate’s waters, going by the increasing commercial Grade A office enquiries in first quarter of 2016, many of them are looking for valued properties to invest in, a new report from Fine and Country West Africa has revealed.
According to the study, the investors are seeking high yield properties to invest, as owner-occupiers and as investment to retain their value against inflation. Read more
Nigeria Loses over N127bn Annually through Cybercrime
The federal government has said the estimated annual cost of cybercrime to Nigeria is 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which represents about N127 billion.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Munguno (rtd), stated this monday during the inauguration of the Cybercrime Advisory Council, at the Office of NSA (ONSA), Abuja. Read more
Ecobank Projects Flat Loan Growth on Slowing African Economies
Pan-African lender Ecobank has said it expects flat loan growth and revenue this year.
The commercial bank has adopted a cautious strategy to lending and expects to gradually reduce the foreign currency portion of its loan book, Chief Executive Ade Ayeyemi told an analyst call. Loans declined by nine per cent last year. Read more
Zenith Bank Records N27bn Profit in First Quarter
Zenith Bank Plc on Monday announced a profit after tax (PAT) of N26.573 billion for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016, showing a decline of about four per cent compared to N27.680 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2015.
The bank ended the period with gross earnings of N84.177 billion, up from N81.421 billion, while net interest income stood at N58.157 billion as against N42.631 billion in 2015. It recorded impairment charges of N2.557 billion, up from N2.1 billion in 2015. Read more
Gainful Employment of Youth is My Priority, Says Dangote
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has assured Nigerians that topmost on his priority is how to contribute his own quota towards reducing the high rate of un-employment in the country.
Speaking in Okpella, Edo State last week at the ground breaking ceremony of its new 6 million metric tons capacity cement plant, Dangote said with more of his cement plants ready for inauguration in the next few months, more qualified youth will be gainfully employed. Read more
OIL AND GAS
Oil production output hope hits the rock
Trouble loomed yesterday for the 2016 budget as the hope of Nigeria getting oil price up through output freeze by Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) hit the rock. This came as a meeting by major exporters in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, sliding the oil prices further.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude exporter, had benchmarked oil price at $38 per barrel in the 2016 budget, with hope that the prices of the commodity would not fall below the mark. The oil price, however, tumbled to $40 per barrel yesterday with fears that the inability to get the output freeze would crash the prices further. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who had been at the forefront of talks to get OPEC to freeze output, was at the meeting yesterday. Read more
Total lifts Nigeria’s gas output with $5.7b investment
Nigeria’s gas-to-power aspirations may be inching closer to realisation as the Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) declared that its $5.7 billion Oil Mining Licence (OML58) upgrade projects would churn out massive gas supply by July 2016.
Specifically, the multinational oil company is planning to supply about 300 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas into the domestic market when it completed its numerous gas projects this year. Read more
How depot owners exploit marketers, hurt fuel supply
Instead of easing the persistent scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, depot owners are allegedly a major obstacle to its availability in the country. They obstruct the smooth supply of the product by selling a litre of the product for over N120 as against the ex-depot price of N76.50 per litre.
It was learnt that a litre of petrol has been selling well above the official ex-depot price in the last two weeks, which may have given reasons for filling stations to also sell at above the regulated price of N86.50 per litre. Read more
Kachikwu: OPEC to Restrategise on Output Freeze as Oil Slumps 7%
As crude oil prices fell as much as seven per cent in early trading monday, before rallying slightly, after attempts by some of the world’s biggest producers to freeze output ended without a deal on Sunday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will go back to the drawing board to work out a best approach to shore up oil prices.
Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said after the disappointing meeting of the cartel last Sunday in Doha where they failed to agree on a production freeze, that they would continue to push until they achieved a consensus that would eventually see to an output freeze among oil producers. Read more
Lekoil Targets 10,000bpd in Otakikpo Field by End of 2016
Africa focused oil and gas exploration and production company with interests in Nigeria and Namibia, Lekoil Limited has announced the successful well tests of C5 and C6 zones in the Otakikpo Marginal Field in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 at the rates of 6,404 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 5,684 bopd and with a target to hit 10,000 barrels per day by the end of this year.
The company, at the weekend, provided an update on operations and the well results from the Otakikpo Marginal Field, being undertaken by the joint venture (JV) partners — Green Energy International Limited (GEIL) as the operator and Lekoil Oil and Gas Investment Limited as technical and financial Partner. Read more
We are ready to reveal Power Sector problems — Union
Mr Chris Okokwo, the newly-elected president of the union spoke to journalists in Lagos during the handover ceremony of its outgoing president, Mr Bede Opara to Okonkwo.
According to Okonkwo, the focus of his administration is to ensure that the Federal Government is informed about the problems inhibiting the development of Power and how it will be solved. Read more
Flying Eagles end screening, begin preparations for qualifiers
Flying Eagles Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, has declared closed screening of players for the African U-20 Championship qualifiers, saying the team will now concentrate on getting ready for elimination matches scheduled to begin next month.
Speaking to The Guardian at the weekend, Amuneke said all the players invited to camp gave a good account of themselves, adding, however, that only the best players were included in the team. Read more
CAF’s ‘A’ Licence Coaching Course Holds in Abuja
The first-ever CAF ‘A’ Licence Coaching Programme in the history of Nigeria started in Abuja monday, organised by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Before now, a number of CAF ‘B’ and ‘C’ Licence courses have been held in the country over the years. But the two-week programme that started at the FIFA Technical Centre, Abuja is the first CAF ‘A’ course in the country. Read more
Enyimba, Others Jostle for Final Eight Spot
Despite a convincing 3-0 CAF Champions League first leg victory against Etoile Sportive du Sahel in Port Harcourt a fortnight ago, Nigerian Champion, Enyimba FC, is set for a strange midweek fixture that may turn out to be a do or die confrontation tomorrow in Sousse, about 150 kilometres from the Tunisian capital city of Tunis.
Already in Tunis for the top of the bill confrontation that will be handled by Moroccan officials with Sinko Zeli of Cote d’Ivoire as match commissioner, the Nigerians are confident of holding on to their impressive 3-0 advantage. Read more
Suprising to say no Kenyan will face ICC again
The declaration by President Uhuru Kenyatta that no Kenyan will ever face the ICC again is surprising for two reasons. First, Kenya’s current legal arrangements do not exclude the possibility of a prosecution before the ICC being applied to Kenyan nationals.
The cases against the President, the Deputy President and four other Kenyans that were charged before the court, all of which ultimately failed, are nevertheless a demonstration of the fact that, in principle, a trial before the ICC is possible in law. Secondly, although the original Kenyan cases at the ICC have now all been terminated, there are three other cases that are ongoing before the court. The three cases have to do with allegations of witness tampering affecting the William Ruto case. Read more
Memorable day in Boston for Ethiopian Baysa
Atsede Baysa, arrived at the Boston Marathon in the US nearly four years removed from capturing a major marathon title.
She marked her return to the winner’s podium with one of the most memorable comebacks in women’s race history. Read more
Dubai Islamic Bank to start business in Kenya
Dubai Islamic Bank plans to start operating in Kenya before the end of the year, despite the Central Bank of Kenya’s moratorium on issuing new banking licences, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The largest Islamic bank in the United Arab Emirates will start operating at a time when Kenyan banks have come under closer scrutiny from the regulator because of increasing bad debts, prompting officials and analysts to conclude the sector is ripe for consolidation. Read more
Colombia to use glyphosate in cocaine fight again
Colombia will resume using weed killer to destroy illegal coca crops less than a year after suspending its use due to cancer concerns, the government said Monday.
The defense minister, Luis Carlos Villegas, said instead of dumping glyphosate from American-piloted crop dusters, as Colombia did for two decades, the herbicide will now be applied manually by eradication crews on the ground. Read more
Joe Biden says US feels ‘overwhelming frustration’ with Israeli government
US vice-president Joe Biden has acknowledged “overwhelming frustration” with Israel’s government and said prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s administration has led the country in the wrong direction, in an unusually sharp rebuke of America’s closest ally in the Middle East.
Biden, in a speech to the pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy group J Street on Monday, offered a grim outlook for peace efforts, reflecting dim hopes for progress during the remainder of the Obama administration. Read more
Jewish organisation in South Africa sued for alleged discrimination
An organisation representing Jews in South Africa is being sued for alleged discrimination over a ban on women singing at the annual Holocaust Memorial ceremony.
The Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) in Cape Town has banned female voices in the secular ceremony since 2005, in order not to offend a handful of rabbis who believe women singing before a mixed audience is immodest and should be prohibited, according to the plaintiffs. Read more