Sabinews Morning News Update for February 23, 2016
Oil swap deal: Reps invite Diezani
The House of Representatives adhoc Committee investigating the controversial crude oil swap deal yesterday formally invited former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke to clarify her role in the agreement between the Federal Government and some oil companies.
In a letter dated February 22 and signed by the Chairman, Zakari Mohammed, the committee directed the former minister to appear before it on March 2. The letter was sent through the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Read more
Militants threaten blow-up of more oil installations
Niger Delta Avengers, the militant group which claimed responsibility for blowing up the Forcados Terminal Pipeline in Delta State, recently, has served notice of attacks on more oil installations in the region until the Federal Government addresses its grievances.
The group vowed: “Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Forcados terminal is our latest casualty. There are many more to follow in the days and weeks ahead.” Read more
‘Police treated 1,946 complaints against cops in 100 days’
An Assistant Commissioner of Police and 16 junior officers are currently facing disciplinary action following reports of misconduct against them by the public.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Kolawole, said the officers were under investigation for professional misconduct, adding that the Complaint Response Unit, which recommended their investigations, had handled 1,946 complaints against police officers since it was inaugurated by the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, in November 2015. Read more
NJC to clear two Justices for S’Court Wednesday
The National Judicial Council is hold its first quarterly plenary for this year on Wednesday and Thursday.
Our correspondent learnt on Monday that a major item on the NJC’s plenary would be consideration of the outcome of the interview conducted to fill two vacancies at the apex court bench. Read more
Court frees 22 students as ABUAD withdraws case
A Magistrate’s court in Ado Ekiti on Monday evening struck out the criminal charge filed against 22 students of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, over the February 7 protest in the school.
The court struck out the case after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Gbenga Daramola, withdrew the case against the students. Read more
LASU students, touts clash over extortion
For over three hours yesterday, commuters along Iba/LASU Expressway axis were stranded when students of the Lagos State University (LASU) and touts clashed over alleged extortion on buses branded with the school’s franchise.
Daily Sun investigation indicated how commercial drivers operating the buses with Lagos State University Students Union (LASUSU) inscription were initially exempted from the alleged extortion by security agencies and touts operating in the area. Read more
Navy Arrests Six Ghanaian, Nigerian Pirates, Recover Oil Vessel
In line with its zero tolerance to illegalities in the maritime domain, operatives of the Nigerian Navy (NN) has arrested six suspected pirates, of Ghanaian and Nigerian nationalities, who hijacked an oil vessel off the Coast of Cote D’Ivoire.
This is just as two of the pirates escaped from the stolen vessel by using two crew members, a Pakistani and an Indian, as hostage bait. Read more
EFCC Arrests Abba Moro, To Arraign Him In Court
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested, quizzed and detained former minister of interior, Abba Moro, over his involvement in the botched immigration job scandal.
Also arrested by the EFCC for their alleged complicity in the scam were a former permanent secretary in the ministry of interior, Fatima Bamidele, and a deputy director, simply identified as Ibrahim. Read more
INEC Reverses Self, Declares Ogembe Winner of Kogi Central Senatorial Rerun
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) monday reversed itself on the Kogi Central senatorial rerun election, as it declared Alhaji Ahmed Ogembe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of Saturday’s election.
The election was declared inconclusive on Sunday following the cancellation of results in some areas. Read more
Tompolo Denies Link with Threats to Blow Oil Installations in Niger Delta
The leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a. Tompolo, has washed his hands off the reported new threats to blow up oil installations in the Niger Delta.
In an e-mailed statement to THISDAY in Asaba Delta State, yesterday, Tompolo, who is currently locked in legal tussle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court in Lagos over his failure to comply with subsequent summons and repeated warrant of arrest by the court, dissociated himself from the alleged renewed threats to blow oil facilities in the region. Read more
Army Sacks Railway Police Station Umuahia
Troops stormed the railway police station, Umuahia in the Abia State capital monday and whisked away the divisional police officer (DPO) and another policemen after raining blows on them following the arrest of an army captain for parking his bus at an unauthorised place close to the station.
Trouble started at about 11 am when the DPO, who just assumed duty last Thursday was driving to his office and saw a bus parked close to the station and alighted from his jeep. Read more
Borno prepares fresh 4,500 IDPs for schools
As Borno State government intensify efforts at re-opening schools in the state, the State’s Relocation Committee (SREC) yesterday commenced the evacuation and transportation of 4,506 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs from Government College to Bakassi camp in Maiduguri metropolis.
Addressing journalists yesterday at Government College, Maiduguri, the Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Musa Inuwa Kubo, who doubles as SREC Chairman, disclosed that the Bakassi camp has the basic facilities for family size tents, water and security to accommodate and protect the lives of 4,500 displaced persons from the college. Read more
I Will Not Resign, Sheriff Replies Critics
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has said that he will not be forced to relinquish the task of rebuilding the party entrusted to him by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP.
Speaking at his first interactive session with journalists at the party’s national secretary in Abuja yesterday, Sheriff said since he was given the major task of rebuilding and repositioning the party, he believed that it was the responsibility of the leadership to decide on his tenure. Read more
Naira rises to 375 as dollar demand drops
The naira rose to 375 against the dollar at the parallel market on Monday as the demand for the greenback began to drop.
The demand for the United States’ currency, which closed at 390 against the naira on Friday, had been on the rise in the past two weeks, forcing the local currency to enter a free fall mode. Read more
Maritime industry can generate N500bn yearly — Amaechi
Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday expressed optimism that the maritime industry has the capacity to generate N500 billion revenue yearly for the nation.
Amaechi, who said this, yesterday, during a one-day summit organised by Tell Magazine and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in Lagos, noted that the shipping sub-sector was a major aspect of the maritime industry that was crucial to the economy and could be the second revenue earner for government. Read more
No more intervention fund for stockbrokers — AMCON
As prices of equities continue to plummet on account of the recent lull in the stock market, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), yesterday, said it was not considering another bailout for stockbrokers in line with recent calls by the stockbroking community.
The corporation also assured that being a key shareholder in the market, it was ready to work with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to deepen and make the market more professional as well as ensure that it bounced back in the interest of all stakeholders. Read more
CBN to sanction banks over hidden charges
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the weekend disclosed it would penalise erring Deposit Money Banks (DMB) for fleecing bank customers with illegal charges.
Already, the bank said it has recovered about N6.2 billion of excess charges imposed on customers by banks in 2015. Read more
Nigeria earns N3.6trn from oil in 11 months
Nigeria earned about N3.549 trillion from the oil and gas sector in eleven months, between January and November 2015, according to data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
In an analysis of receipts in the Federation Account, the CBN, in its Monthly Economic for November 2015, said oil revenue accounted for 54.73 per cent of total federally-collected revenue of N6.484 trillion during the period, while non-oil revenue of N2.935 trillion made up 45.3 per cent. Read more
Oil and gas
Oil pollution: NHRC threatens to shut down oil companies
The National Human Rights Commission on Monday threatened to shut down oil companies whose operations have resulted in environmental degradation to the detriment of the people and their host communities.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, issued the threat while speaking with reporters after inaugurating an investigative panel on the complaints of some host communities about environmental pollution caused by the activities of the oil companies. Read more
NUPENG canvasses tougher penalties against pipeline vandals
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday called on the Federal Government to impose tougher penalties against petroleum pipelines vandals.
The South-West Chairman of NUPENG, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, made the call in Lagos. He alleged that some known vandals would walk the streets freely two months after arrest, adding that such scenario was ridiculous. Read more
Freezing output won’t help prices — Goldman Sachs
THE agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia as well as other countries to freeze production will have “little impact on the oil market as proposed, while there remains high uncertainty that it even materialises,” Goldman Sachs Group Incorporated has said.
This is coming a week after Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, embarked on a diplomatic shuttle to get Saudi Arabia and Russia to agree to production cuts in order to shore up oil prices. Read more
Shell declares force majeure on Forcados oil lifting
Exactly a week after discovering a crude oil spill on water around Forcados Terminal, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited has declared force majeure on the lifting of oil from the terminal.
The company, in a statement on Monday, said the force majeure became effective 15:00hrs (3pm), Nigerian time on February 21, 2016, following the disruption in production caused by the spill on the Forcados Terminal subsea crude export pipeline. Read more
NNPC deploys additional fuel trucks to end FCT scarcity
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday announced the deployment of additional trucks of petrol to arrest the emerging fuel queues in some filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The NNPC in a statement explained that it increased the fuel truck-out to Abuja and environs from the usual average of 160 trucks per day to 250 trucks (8.25 million litres) to arrest the lull experienced due to last weekend’s State House of Assembly re-run election in Niger State, which affected truck movement from the Suleja depot. Read more
Group wants Kachikwu to cancel $260m Usan oilfield deal
As President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade faces a litmus test in recent times, stakeholders have called for the cancellation of the $260 million Usan oil field contract awarded ExxonMobil.
Stakeholders under the aegis of Nigerian Content Front (NCF), specifically requested the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, to suspend the multi-billion naira deal, which was awarded by ExxonMobil’s Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited. Read more
Crude Oil Price Rises by over 6%
Crude oil prices monday rose by over six per cent after the world’s oil consumer body, the International Energy Agency (IEA), said it expected United States shale production to fall this year and next, potentially easing a glut that has driven prices to their lowest in more than a decade.
Reuters reported that a bounce in global stock markets and the after-effects of a fall in the US oil rig count last week also supported prices. Read more
Buhari’s Energy Policy Underway, Says Fashola
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said the energy policy of President Muhammadu Buhari administration would be unveiled soon.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, had while acting as the president unveiled a comprehensive power roadmap on August 26, 2010, which laid the groundwork for the privatisation of the power sector in line with the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005. Read more
Amadi: Discos Still Have Backlogs of 2m Meters to Offset
The immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi has said that the last regulatory audit of the metering gap in Nigeria’s power sector showed that up to two million electricity consumers are yet to be provided with meters by the electricity distribution companies (Discos).
Amadi stated in an interview in Abuja that the metering audit by the NERC was done in December 2015 preparatory to the conclusion of the new tariff review. He however noted that the gap can be bridged through multiple creative means, which include government subvention and private investments. Read more
Tariff hike: Court bars NERC from increasing electricity tariff
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, refused an application by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, seeking to stay further proceedings in the suit challenging the hike in electricity tariff by Distribution Companies, DISCOs.
The suit was instituted by a lawyer and rights activist, Toluwani Adebiyi, following which the court had restrained parties to maintain status-quo. Read more
Power generation slides to 4245MW
Hopes of having a stable power supply in the country may have become elusive as more power stations and sub-units remain inactive, bringing the generation level down to 4245 Mega Watts (MW).
The nation recorded the peak generation of 5074MW on the 2nd of February, but the daily operational report, including the national statistics on generation profile exclusively obtained by The Guardian yesterday indicated that about 20 power stations are operational out of the 25 power facilities in the country. Read more
NPFL: Enyimba, Akwa, Nasarawa matches rescheduled
Match Day 2 fixtures involving three clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) have been rescheduled and will now hold on March 16, 2016.
The fixtures are Akwa United versus Ikorodu United, Enyimba International versus Shooting Stars and FC IfeanyiUbah vs Nasarawa United. Read more
Ambode okays FC Barcelona Academy in Lagos
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says the decision of the Barcelona Football Club of Spain to establish its first African football academy in the state was in sync with his administration’s philosophy for sports development.
Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House in Ikeja while receiving senior management staff of the football club, pledged the support of the government in ensuring the successful take-off of the project. Read more
Players want permanent deal for Hiddink —Mikel
MIKEL Obi claims Chelsea’s players are desperate for Guus Hiddink to stay at Chelsea.
The Stamford Bridge midfielder hopes owner Roman Abramovich stops looking elsewhere for a permanent manager and appoints Hiddink — who has led the club to the FA Cup quarter-finals — on a permanent basis. Read more
Unpaid salaries: Oliseh, others get Buhari’s lifeline
There is light at the end of the tunnel over the arrears of money the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and other sports federations owed their coaches and players, as President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the funds to offset the backlog of debts.
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, who made the disclosure blamed the delay to the transition in government, pleading that it was not deliberate. Read more
China calls for more representation of African countries in UNSC
Security Council reform should give top priority to increasing the representation of developing countries, especially African countries, said Chinese envoy Liu Jieyi on Monday.
“The quantity and composition of UN member states have changed a lot since the world organization was founded 70 years ago,” Liu told a General Assembly meeting on Security Council reform. Read more
South African Muslims call to arrest Peres
Muslim Lawyers Association of South Africa asks prosecutor to arrest former Israeli President during his upcoming visit to the country.
The Muslim Lawyers Association of South Africa is working to have former Israeli President Shimon Peres arrested during his upcoming visit to the country, Channel 10 News reported on Monday. Read more
Ethiopia faces severe drought, and food aid may soon run out
Ethiopia is in the grip of a devastating drought sparked by the worst El Niño in a generation, and aid agencies warn that food aid could run out as soon as May.
Unlike in the past, the government and aid groups have kept food shipments flowing to areas ravaged by drought in recent months. But they need more money, at a time when international donors are distracted by a string of humanitarian disasters around the world. Read more
Vienna police fine man €70 for ‘loud belch’
Visitors to Vienna might want to go easy on the beer and sausages, after a man was fined by police for offending public decency with a loud burp.
Edin Mehic was fined €70 ($77) for belching while standing close to a policeman in the city’s famous Prater Park. Read more
Bill Cosby’s wife forced to testify under oath
Bill Cosby’s wife underwent a two-and-a-hour inquisition under oath on Monday from lawyers for seven women who accused him of sexual assault and then sued him for defamation.
Camille Cosby, 71, who has been married to the comedian for 52 years and manages his business affairs, faced questioning at the Marriott Hotel in Springfield, Massachusetts after a judge rejected her claim that she should not have to testify. Read more
Mystery high-pitched noise keeps Oregon town awake at night
An unexplained high-pitched tone has kept residents of a Portland suburb awake at night for at least a week, confounding the best efforts of police and firefighters to pinpoint its source.
Adding to the mystery is the fact that the noise, a steady, whistling note like that of a flute, has only been reported after dark in Forest Grove, a rustic community of 22,500 people located about 25 miles (40km) west of Oregon’s largest city. Read more
Life sentence for 4-year-old ‘a mistake’ says Egyptian court
The authorities in Egypt have admitted that a life sentence for murder handed down by an Egyptian court to a four-year-old boy was a mistake.
The child was found guilty, along with 115 other defendants, of participating in deadly riots in 2014, but a spokesman said the court should have sentenced a 16-year-old with a similar name. Source
U.N. panel agrees to ban battery shipments on planes
A U.N. panel approved on Monday a temporary ban on cargo shipments of rechargeable lithium batteries on passenger planes because they can create intense fires capable of destroying an aircraft.
The decision by the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization’s top-level governing council isn’t binding, but most countries follow the agency’s standards. The ban is effective on April 1. Read more
Marco Rubio returns to his roots in Nevada
Sam’s Town Casino is just a handful of miles from the famed Las Vegas strip, but it feels like the other side of the world.
The glitz and glamour of the big Sin City hotels stand in marked contrast to the dingy, frontier-themed collection of buildings and parking structures, surrounded by strip malls and low-rent homes. Read more
Pakistani filmmaker on Oscar hopes
When Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won an Oscar for her film Saving Face in 2012 she became the first Pakistani to triumph at Hollywood’s biggest awards ceremony.
The documentary maker is nominated again this year for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiving, which addresses the issue of honour killings in Pakistan. Read more