Sabinews Morning News Update for April 7, 2016
Senators split over Saraki’s fate, rule out impeachment
The commencement of trial of Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over alleged false declaration of assets has thrown the Senate into confusion regarding what should become the fate of the embattled number three citizen.
As many senators resolved to stand with him till the logical end of the trial, others were said to have mooted the idea of persuading him to resign in exchange of a possible soft landing. Read more
Danjuma named in Panama Papers leaks
Like Pandora’s box, the extent of alleged corrupt deeds of prominent personalities all over the world who are being accused of engaging in fraudulent lodgment of heavy sums of money in secret accounts in tax havens across the globe, is yet to be fully comprehended.
Yesterday, an online medium named former Defence Minister, General Theophilus Danjuma, as the fourth Nigerian to be named in what has now been described as the biggest scam on the international financial scene. Read more
Troops Kill Suspected Militant, Recover Arms in Bayelsa
The Nigerian Army wednesday said its troops have killed a suspected militant implicated in the killing of two Nigerian soldiers and arrested suspected sea pirates who kidnapped an expatriate along the Ogbia-Nembe Road, Bayelsa State on Tuesday.
A statement signed by Col. Isa Ado, spokesman of the Joint Taskforce fighting criminalities in the Niger Delta, noted that troops of the Operation Pulo Shield during a manhunt for the suspected criminals on the same day along Soku Gas plant, were engaged in an exchange of gunfire with some suspected militants. Read more
CPC: All Pay TV Operators Must Unlock Free-to-Air Channels
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) wednesday said the directive it earlier issued to MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, owners the Digital Satellite Broadcast Television (DStv) to unlock all free-to-air channels irrespective of whether subscribers have active subscriptions would be applied across board on all satellite/pay television stations operating in the country.
In February, the council had issued far-reaching directives to MultiChoice to among other things, make compensations to its subscribers within 90 days, after the council established allegations of violations of consumer rights against the broadcaster. Read more
Police to Carry out Drug Tests Before Issuing Lethal Weapons
The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, said the Force will henceforth carry out snap urine tests for signs of drug abuse on all policemen before they are issued lethal weapons or at their operational points.
Arase stated that apart from retrieving their weapons, the police would provide appropriate help to wean them from drugs or other emotional or psychological issues that may trigger fatal outcomes in their line of duty. Read more
IPOB Rejects ‘Secret Trial’ for Kanu, Others
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) wednesday rejected the ongoing trial of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, saying it had been turned into secret trial.
IPOB’s position was based on its review of what happened at the high court on Tuesday in continuation of Kanu’s trial on treasonable felony charges. Read more
Fuel Scarcity: Lagos to Shut Filling Stations Creating Gridlocks
Consequent upon the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, the Lagos State Government yesterday warned filling stations dispensing petrol in any part of the state to desist from causing gridlocks.
The state government also warned that its law enforcement agents would temporarily shut any filling station, whose activities ignited gridlocks or obstructed traffic in any part of the state. Read more
Fares rise by 200 per cent as fuel scarcity persists
Amid efforts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and independent marketers to ensure the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country, fares have increased by over 200 per cent in major cities in the country.
There are signs too, of restiveness in some parts of the country just as Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday appealed to residents of the state to bear with the government over the lingering shortage of fuel and electricity across the state. Read more
NANS Gives Education Minister Ultimatum to Reinstate Sacked 13 VCs
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) wednesday gave the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, an ultimatum to reinstate the sacked 13 vice-chancellors whose appointments were recently terminated or face the wrath of the body.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, NANS President, Tijani Shehu, said the minister acted unilaterally without recourse to the extant laws governing such appointments. Read more
FG Bans Ministers, Others from Flying First Class
In a bid to reduce the amount being spent on overheard expenditure, the federal government wednesday banned minister and other top officials of government from flying first class while embarking on officials trips.
It said henceforth, all top officials of government such as ministers, permanent secretaries, chairmen of federal government committees, as well as chairmen and chief executives of parastatals and agencies are to travel on business class. Read more
Kaduna Has More Gold Deposits than South Africa, Says El-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, disclosed wednesday that the raw gold deposits in one local government of the state is larger than the entire mineral deposits in the Republic of South Africa.
The governor said this at the opening of the Kaduna economic and investment forum at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Indoor Sports Hall, Murtala Square, Kaduna. Read more
FG Reaffirms Commitment to Fix Bombed UN Building by October
The federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to meet the deadline of October 2016, which it had slated as the deadline to fix the United Nations building in Abuja that came under a devastating bomb attack by Boko Haram terrorists in 2013.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, gave the reassurance while receiving a delegation of the UN Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Fatma Samoura, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office. Read more
#PanamaPapers: Exposed Nigerian Public Officers May be Prosecuted
Nigerian public officers named in the #PanamaPapers leak could face prosecution if the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice decides to press a case.
This came as news emerged yesterday that a Swiss attorney, Enrico Monfrini, hired by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to track missing Abacha loot in Swiss banks is himself operating over 178 companies in offshore tax havens, a massive leak of secret documents belonging to offshore shell companies has revealed. Read more
NAICOM Releases Names of Qualified Insurance Brokers
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has made public, names of insurance brokers that are qualified to operate insurance broking business in the country.
The Commission published the names in its official website. Read more
Government to raise debt stock by N365b in Q2
A schedule of planned debt deals by the Federal Government in the second quarter of the year, showed that the country may raise between N274 billion and N365 billion to support the current fiscal challenges.
The debts, which would be naira-denominated bonds, have maturities from five to 20 years and would be a reopening of the previously issued liabilities. Read more
Caverton group maintains flat profit in 2015 financial year
Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, a leading provider of marine, aviation and logistics services to local and international oil and gas companies in Nigeria has announced its audited report for the 2015 financial year.
The report showed a seven per cent drop in revenue while profits remained flat compared to last year.Administrative expenses however declined by 16 per cent, which highlighted the firm’s effort at streamlining its operations. Earnings per share retained last year level at 29 kobo. Read more
Osinbajo to Speak at The Nation’s Economic Forum
The Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo will thursday lead eminent stakeholders including governors, bureaucrats, investors and the international community to the maiden edition of THE NATION’s Forum On The Economy.
Messages from the Office of the Vice-president and Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the host governor, confirmed their readiness for the historic event. Read more
Government unfolds roadmap for agricultural sector
The Federal Government yesterday unfolded its blueprint to drive the agricultural sector with the plan to build an agribusiness economy capable of achieving food security requirements.
The plan include generating exports to increase the national revenue and support sustainable income and job growth potentials through wealth creation, promotion of entrepreneurial activities for fostering youth employment and enhancing national productivity. Read more
GTB, Zenith Bank Pay N110bn in Naira Rain to Shareholders
As Nigerians continue to bear the brunt of the economic downturn and the debilitating cash squeeze in the country, the shareholders of two of Nigeria’s largest banks – Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Zenith Bank Plc – were able to smile yesterday when both banks held their respective annual general meetings (AGMs) on Tuesday and Wednesday, and got approval to pay a whopping N110 billion to them. Read more
NLC Deplores FG on Economy
Reacting to the outcry against the excruciating pains felt by Nigerians under the current economic clime, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has deplored the Muhammadu Buhari administration for failing on several fronts in its promises to the electorate.
The NLC also threatened to declare a one-day nationwide strike to protest against the insistence by the federal government to go ahead with the electricity tariff hike, the perennial fuel scarcity in the country, and the current economic hardship Nigerians are facing under the Buhari administration. Read more
FG, banks begin talks on N1.8tn borrowing
The Federal Government on Wednesday said it had commenced discussions with local banks and other international finance institutions such as the World Bank and China Export-Import Bank on its planned borrowing of N1.8tn this year.
The N1.8tn, which has already been approved in the 2016 budget by the National Assembly, will be needed to bridge the fiscal deficit of N2.2tn in the 2016 period. Read more
Zenith Bank loses N200.5m to fraud, forgeries
Zenith Bank Plc, in its group annual report and financial statement, recorded a loss of N200,523,436 to fraud and forgeries in 2015.
The Corporate Governance Report of the bank, subtitled under analysis of fraud and forgeries returns, showed that five fraud cases perpetrated by the bank’s staff members resulted in a N155,727,899 loss. This accounted for 78 per cent of losses in the fraud/forgeries category. Read more
Frozen fish scarcity looms over CBN forex restriction
Frozen fish and other seafood may soon become scarce in markets across the country as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s foreign exchange restrictions for the importers of the items.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that there had been no importation of the items since February and over 80 per cent of cold rooms, especially in Lagos, had been shut, while about 75 per cent of workers in the sector had been laid off. Read more
Buhari to sign loan deal with China
President Muhammadu Buhari will sign a loan deal with China during a visit next week as the Federal Government seeks funds to finance the over N2tn budget deficit
This is expected to help the government to finance badly-needed infrastructure projects. Read more
Nigeria’s industrial purchasing index closes at 54
Nigeria’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased marginally to 54.4 in March 2016, from 50.6 the previous month. According to latest report by FBN PMI, the country’s manufacturing industry recovered slightly in the month under review.
PMI is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector based on five major indicators: output, new orders, stocks of purchases, supplier deliveries and the employment environment. According to the survey, the PMI was based on the responses of manufacturers to set questions on core variables in their businesses. Read more
Uncertainty over FG’s planned Eurobond sale
The commencement of bond roadshows this week by Kenya and Ghana, which may likely lead to both countries becoming the first on the continent to launch Eurobonds this year, has again thrown the spotlight on the Federal Government’s plan to embark on such a move in early 2016.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, revealed last December that the Federal Government was planning to issue international debt early in 2016 for the first time since 2013, as part of measures to plug its fiscal deficit. Read more
Telcos’ monthly voice revenue falls by 31%
Monthly revenue that accrued to Nigeria’s telecoms operators from the provision of voice services to their over 151 million subscribers has witnessed a dramatic crash by an estimated 31 per cent in one month, New Telegraph investigations have shown.
From N241.6 billion in December last year, aggregate voice revenue by the operators including the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and fixed networks fell to N166.4 billion in January. Read more
Oil and Gas
Communities pledge support for 20,000bpd Lagos refinery
The proposed 20,000 barrels per day modular refinery to be built in Lagos by Integrated Oil and Gas Limited has received the support of the host communities.
The refinery, which is to be located in Tomaro Island in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, was described as the first of its kind to be undertaken by any private marketer of petroleum products in Nigeria. Read more
NNPC, Chevron spend N17bn on Niger Delta projects
The joint venture of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Chevron Nigeria Limited has spent a sum of N17bn on various developmental projects in the Niger Delta in the last 10 years.
The General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs of Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Deji Haastrup, disclosed this in Akure, Ondo State. Read more
Global Agreement on Oil Output Freeze Imminent, Says Kuwait
The Kuwait Governor of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Nawal Al-Fuzaia, has said that there are strong indications that a meeting of oil-producing countries on April 17 will reach an agreement to freeze output.
This is coming as Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) has confirmed that two employees of its contractors died as a result of Tuesday’s fire incident at the company’s container facility in Escravos, Delta State. Read more
Fashola: Court Cases Slowing Down Progress of Electricity Sector
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, wednesday said there are a lot of court cases instituted against ongoing electricity projects in the country which are slowing down the progress of work on the projects.
A statement from the Ministry of Power quoted Fashola to have said this at a workshop for judicial officers in Abuja. Read more
Nigeria loses 3,100MW to gas constraints
The nation’s power generation is significantly being limited by gas constraints, a development that has driven down electricity supply to households and businesses across the country.
The nation’s unutilised generation capacity caused by gas supply challenge stood at 3,100.5 megawatts as of Tuesday, April 5, 2016, industry data obtained by our correspondent showed. Read more
NERC begs consumers over blackout
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Wednesday begged Nigerians to exercise patience with the power generation and distribution companies with respect to the drop in electricity supply and the attendant blackouts being experienced nationwide.
According to NERC, the drop in power supply is due to vandalism of critical installations and heavy downpour witnessed in parts of the country recently, adding that the Federal Government was working hard to repair the vandalised gas pipelines. Read more
FIFA President ‘Dismayed’ by Panama Papers
Recently-elected FIFA President Gianni Infantino was “dismayed that his integrity was being doubted” in media reports about a contract he signed several years ago, the global soccer body said in a statement on Tuesday.
The reports from multiple news organisations, citing leaked documents, said Infantino had signed off on a contract with two Argentine businessmen, Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who were later indicted in the United States. Read more
Red Card: Torres Hit Back at UEFA, Referee
Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has hit out at UEFA after being sent off against Barcelona, in the first leg of their Champions League clash, suggesting that centre referee Felix Brych was not ready for such a big game.
The Spain striker was given his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards in the first half at Camp Nou, with defending champions Barca eventually emerging 2-1 victors against 10 men. Read more
Iwobi wants to be part of Siasia’s Rio 2016 team
Arsenal exciting youngster, Alex Iwobi, has confirmed his intention to represent Nigeria in the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, reports www.justarsenal.com.
The winger has rapidly rose to prominence in North-London, and is now an integral part of the first-team squad. Iwobi will be expected to play a huge part in the Gunners bid to win next season’s Premier League title, but looks set to miss out on their entire pre-season, as well as the opening few matches also. Read more
Korea recently opens hospital in Tanzania: RFA
North Korea has recently opened a hospital in Tanzania and since been striving to boost earnings apparently to make up for its foreign income squeezed by international sanctions, a media report said Thursday.
Maibong Sukidor Medical, a Korean traditional medical center, opened near the East African country’s former capital of Dar es Salaam in early February, the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) said. Read more
It Is Now Illegal to Pay for Sex in France
France’s Parliament passed a law Wednesday that makes it illegal to pay for sex. Offenders may be fined up to €3,750 (about $4,300) and required to attend classes about the conditions of sex workers.
The controversial law makes France the fifth European country to criminalize the clients of prostitutes, joining Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the U.K., according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Pimping is already penalized across the region. Read more
Harvard plaque honours slaves who once lived, worked there
Harvard University’s president has dedicated a plaque that honours slaves who worked on campus centuries ago.
The slate plaque was placed on Wadsworth House, which served as the official residence of Harvard’s presidents until 1849. Read more
Johannsson seeks approval to become next Icelandic PM
Iceland’s fisheries and agriculture minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson is to seek the president’s approval to become the country’s next prime minister following the resignation of the previous leader amid revelations he held offshore accounts.
Iceland’s fisheries and agriculture minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson is to seek the president’s approval to become the country’s next prime minister following the resignation of the previous leader amid revelations he held offshore accounts. Read more
Panama moves to boost transparency amid offshore accounts leak furore
Panama’s government is creating an international committee of experts to recommend ways to boost transparency in the Central American country’s offshore financial industry.
Panama’s government is creating an international committee of experts to recommend ways to boost transparency in the Central American country’s offshore financial industry. Read more