Sabinews Morning News Update for February 8, 2016
Disquiet in prisons over shortfall in ration budget
There is disquiet in the Nigeria Prisons Service following an alleged shortfall in the cost for feeding and catering materials for 2016 in this year’s budget estimate.
Officials of the Ministry of Interior, the Nigeria Prisons Service and ration contractors are said to have expressed concern about the issue. Read more
Minister cautions states against building airports
Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi has advised states to initiate projects to profit the poor rather than pursuing ventures serving only the rich.
Amaechi, who gave the advice at the weekend in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, while fielding questions from reporters, noted that airports were elitist projects and would not benefit the poor. Read more
Amaechi spent $150m on APC elections, says Wike
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, said on Sunday that he would not have contested a governorship rerun if the Supreme Court had failed to uphold his election.
The governor also alleged that between December 1 and 18 of 2014, the immediate past government in the state led by Mr. Rotimi Amaechi had used $150m to fund the All Progressives Congress’ elections, adding that the state government will recover all stolen funds. Read more
Presidency unfolds N500bn social welfare programmes
The Presidency has unfurled tentative details on the implementation of its N500 billion social welfare programme, revealing that one million extremely poor Nigerians would be direct beneficiaries of the N5,000 monthly cash transfer.
The payment which is to commence once the budget is approved by the National Assembly, is besides another five social interventions that include the provision of one meal a day to school pupils in some selected states. Read more
We are eager to empower more Nigerians, says Airtel
Telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has indicated its desire to empower more Nigerians and make life more meaningful to them. Chief Sales Offi cer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Godfrey Efeurhobo, who made the remark at the commissioning of a new retail outlet at the Senate Building, National Assembly Complex, Abuja said that outlet is part of its commercial strategy to deepen its retail presence as well as deliver telecoms services to the doorsteps of its consumers.
He said that Airtel is committed to its key objectives of connecting Nigerians to their dreams and empowering more telecoms consumers with access to bespoke and innovative telecoms products and services. According to him, the telecoms company is keenly interested in not just offering Nigerians the best connection but also expanding its service footprints to serve telecoms consumers better. Read more
1,500 women gave birth in Borno IDP camps –Board
No fewer than 1,500 women gave birth in 28 Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Borno State in 2015, the state Primary Health Care Management Board said on Sunday in Maiduguri.
The Executive Secretary of the board, Dr. Sule Mene, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the deliveries were recorded between January 2015 and January 2016. Read more
Senators disagree on Boko Haram’s strength in Borno State
Borno senator yesterday said Boko Haram controls about 50 per cent of Borno State contrary to the claims by the Federal Government that the sect has been degraded, weakened and unable to launch attacks.
Senator Baba Kaka Garbai (Borno Central) spoke to reporters at the weekend during a visit to Dalori village where 65 persons were reported killed last week by the insurgents. Read more
Etisalat sues MTN over Visafone acquisition
Etisalat Nigeria has sued MTN Nigeria and Visafone Ltd, challenging MTN’s use of the 800megahertz (MHZ) spectrum following the acquisition of Visafone.
MTN sued the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the imposition of N780billion fine on it by the regulator for harbouring some 5.2million pre-registered subscriber identity module (SIM) cards on its network in violation of extant rules. Read more
Pipelines destruction bad, IYC tells N’Delta youths
The President, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, has called on the youth of Niger Delta region to introduce intellectual input to their agitation for social justice and equity.
Eradiri said the result to sabotage through bursting of pipelines to send a message to the authorities against perceived injustice, was crude, uncivilised and antithetical to growth and development. Read more
Our Girls Can Be Found, Chibok Community Tells Obasanjo
Members of the Chibok community in Borno State yesterday faulted former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s declaration at the weekend that it was impossible for the Nigerian government to rescue the 219 missing schoolgirls nearly two years after Boko Haram insurgents took them away.
Obasanjo had argued that it was practically impossible for the military operatives, who failed to rescue the girls within 72 hours when there was a window of opportunity to do so, to now perform magic after the girls had spent nearly two years in captivity. Read more
SERAP appeals World Bank’s decision to hide information on Abacha loot spending
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an appeal over the decision of the World Bank to provide insufficient information on how the government of Nigeria spent the recovered stolen funds by the late General Sani Abacha.
In the appeal by SERAP to the Access to Information (AI) Appeals Board on the bank’s decision dated November 25, 2015, it requested the board to exercise its prerogative and allow disclosure of specific information and any feedback from the World Bank Evaluation Team on the several issues, including the “evidence and list of the 23 projects allegedly completed with recovered Abacha loot, and whether the projects were actually completed; and what became of the two abandoned projects.” Read more
25 foreigners rescued as Navy foils hijack of ship
Twenty five foreigners including Britons, South Africans, Indians, Filipinos and Thais were rescued as the Nigerian Navy foiled an attempt by suspected sea pirates to hijack and abduct the 25 foreign nationals aboard a Maersk merchant ship.
At the time of the attack, the Ship was carrying general cargo to Nigeria. Read more
PMB Directs Online Publication Of 2016 Budget Proposal
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that the draft 2016 budget proposal which is now before the National Assembly be put on the website of the budget office to enable Nigerians read it and make appropriate input.
The presidency also noted that the Buhari would continue to welcome well-meaning criticism of government’s policies, its budget and expenditure. Read more
Naira exchange rate may hamper Bajaj exports
Investors have been reassessing the projected export growth and margins of Bajaj Auto due to sharp volatility in the currency of Nigeria, the largest export market for the company. The investors have been more cautious due to the yawning difference between the prevailing rate of the naira and its six-month forward rate, which suggested the possibility of 25 per cent devaluation.
Despite being the Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, depends on crude oil for more than 90 per cent of its foreign exchange and nearly 75 per cent of employment. The steep fall in crude oil prices has rattled government finances while the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, lacked enough reserves to pay for its dollar liabilities. With crude prices at a 12- year low, an unprecedented spending and black market rates close to a record have been heaping pressure on authorities to scrap the country’s trading limit on the naira and allow the currency to depreciate further. Read more
NSE releases guideline on the circuit breakers’ rule
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) announced that it has released its Interpretative Guidance on the Circuit Breakers’ Rule. Rule 15.46 of the Rulebook of The Exchange, 2015 Circuit breakers are trading halts used by Exchanges to guard against sharp fluctuations on the market.
They are designed to give the market an opportunity to take a break and adjust to all available information before re-opening the market. They provide protection against excessive volatility during continuous trading sessions of the market. Read more
Govt harps on infrastructure upgrade, targets 4.2% GDP by 2017
The Federal Government has said that the need to jumpstart the economy from the near-comatose state informed its decision to tackle the nation’s infrastructure deficit with planned increase in expenditure by 30 per cent in 2016.
Besides, government has assured that the N1.8 trillion projected capital expenditure would be strictly invested in transport, roads, housing, power and health sectors. Read more
Finnish investors interested in Lagos economy — Ambassador
The Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, says investors from her country are interested in partnering Lagos State in several areas of interests, adding that the state is the nerve centre for trade and investment in Nigeria.
Suomela-Chowdhury spoke shortly after she led a delegation, including the Deputy Minister, Finland Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Matti Anttonen, to a meeting with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House, Ikeja. Read more
Oil and Gas
Oil prices slide on stronger dollar, supply concerns
Crude oil prices recorded losses yesterday after witnessing a little boost at the later part of last week.
A barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) recorded a 2.69 per cent loss at $30.89 while global benchmark – Brent crude oil was down by 1.17 per cent to $34.06 as at yesterday, against $34.14 it traded on Friday. Read more
As Labour Pickets Electricity Firms Today, DISCOs Urge Restraint
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) will today begin the picketing of electricity distribution companies (discos) across the country as part of planned protests against the increase in electricity tariff by about 45 per cent.
In Abuja, the protest is scheduled to begin from the Labour House to the head office of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) before the protesters will proceed to picket the Abuja Electricity distribution Company (AEDC). Read more
Oliseh Kicks against Kaduna as host of 2017 Afcon qualifier
The face-off between the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF and coach Sunday Oliseh over the venue for this month’s all important Nations Cup cracker against the Pharaohs of Egypt has deepened with the gaffer kicking against the choice of Kaduna, describing it as playing “AWAY on a home soil”.
Contrary to earlier reports, we can authoritatively inform that Oliseh who penned his disapproval to the NFF also alleged that the football authorities were imposing the use of Ahmadu Bello Stadium on him contrary to his contract that stipulates consultation with him over the choice of match venues. Read more
We need to trim the president’s powers
President Museveni last week promoted 496 police officers. The president is empowered under the Constitution and the Police Act to make these promotions.
Actually, these promotions are made on the advice of the Police Authority which consists of the minister for internal affairs, the attorney general, the inspector general of police and his deputy, a senior police officer in the administration department and three persons appointed, again by the president. Read more
Taiwan earthquake: Baby found as search for survivors continues
Rescue teams are continuing to search for survivors after powerful earthquake in Taiwan caused several buildings to collapse, trapping hundreds of residents.
At least 23 people are known to have died and more than 100 people are still missing after the 6.4 magnitude quake which struck on Saturday morning. Read more
South Korean navy fires warning shots at North Korean patrol boat
The South Korean navy has fired warning shots at a North Korean patrol boat, further heightening tensions already raised after Pyongyang’s launch of a long-range rocket over the weekend.
The defence ministry in Seoul said the North Korean vessel crossed the disputed Yellow Sea border just before 7am (2300 GMT Sunday). It “quickly retreated” at 7.15am after five warning shots were fired by a naval gun, a ministry official said. Read more
North Korean patrol boat crosses to South, retreats after warning shots
A North Korean patrol boat crossed into South Korean waters early on Monday and retreated after the South Korean navy fired warning shots, a South Korean military official said.
The incursion came amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, a day after North Korea fired a long-range rocket carrying a satellite into space, a launch that South Korea and other countries consider to be a missile test in disguise. Read more
Somalia plane blast: airport worker ‘handed device to bombing suspect’
Video footage analysed as part of Somalia’s investigation into an explosion that blew a hole in a passenger plane shows two men handing what looks like a laptop to the suspected bomber after he passed through security, a government spokesman has said.
At least one of the men delivering the item was an airport employee, government spokesman Abdisalam Aato said. Read more
Labor attacks omission of ‘heads of security’ from Parliament House review
The officials in charge of securing the two parliamentary chambers were not included in a review of Parliament House security but they “weren’t excluded” either, a committee hearing has been told.
Labor senators used the opening day of estimates hearings in Canberra on Monday to ask why the Senate’s usher of the black rod and the House’s serjeant-at-arms were left out of the review that began in September 2014. Read more
2 killed on Calgary bobsled track mourned
Twin teenage brothers who died during an after-hours visit to a luge-bobsled track are being remembered as dynamic members of their school communities, while prayers continued for other boys who were hurt in the crash.
Jordan and Evan Caldwell, 17, were killed and six other male teens were injured early Saturday while using a personal sled/toboggan to go down the bobsled track at Canada Olympic Park. Read more