Sabinews Morning News Update for March 15, 2016
Petrol scarcity’ll continue — NUPENG
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has said that the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country will continue until the Federal Government took affirmative action on petroleum products availability. The declaration comes even as independent oil marketers and other private petroleum products operators insist that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is running a monopolistic system. Read more
More Votes Against Devaluation Of The Naira
The question of devaluing the naira resurfaced again last week at the summit organised by the international magazine, The Economist, where state governors took their stand behind President Muhammadu Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against the devaluation of the naira.
According to the governors, rather than ponder over the devaluation of the currency, Nigeria should seek out alternatives to devaluation of its currency that would cut down costs and boost the local economy such as reduction in the size of government and import substitution. Read more
Agatu killings: FG vows to deal decisively with perpetrators
The Federal Government has vowed to deal with the perpetrators of violence in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, where hundreds of people were killed weeks ago by suspected herdsmen. The warning came against the backdrop of claims last weekend by former Senate President, David Mark, that over 500 people were killed, while 10 communities were razed in the local government area. Read more
Ekiti private schools begin strike over levy
Private schools in Ekiti State yesterday began a three-day strike to protest imposition of N1,000 development levy per term on pupils by the state government. President of the National Association of Proprietors and Proprietresses of Private Schools, NAPPS, in Ekiti State, Alhaji Saka Adeleye, said in Ado Ekiti yesterday that the strike was to protest multiple taxation by the state government. Adeleye, who told journalists that the private schools would remain shut for three days, said the extension of the education development levy to private schools ran contrary to the spirit and letters of Section 42(1) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution. Read more
Hoodlums sack police station in Jos, cart away arms
Hoodlums operating in Rukuba area of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State on Sunday night turned the locality into a theatre of war, setting the police station on fire. It was learnt that the angry youth also looted the police armoury, leaving the security agents helpless. The action of the youth, it was gathered, was in protest of the operation of men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and the police in the area. Read more
Ogun relocates Mile 12 traders, others to Ogere
The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, on Monday, relocated Mile 12 traders and traders in the Ram Market from the Kara area to Ogere.
The process, which commenced last Friday, saw the state government providing the traders with about 300 hectares of land in Ogere. Read more
MTN to Integrate Visafone into Its Operation
Two months after the acquisition of Visafone, a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator by MTN Nigeria, there are indications that MTN may not run Visafone as a CDMA operator, which was the initial plan prior to its acquisition.
MTN is likely going to integrate the operation of Visafone into its GSM operation, and run it as voice over its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology network, THISDAY has learnt. Read more
NDLEA Arrests Four Mexicans over Fake Dollar Manufacturing Lab
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested four Mexicans who were allegedly helping Nigerians build a “super-lab” capable of producing billions of dollars’ worth of methamphetamine.
The agency’s spokesman, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said it was the first industrial-scale production of crystal meth found in West Africa, and possibly on the continent. Read more
Kaduna pupils desert schools after eating free meals
Kaduna State Government, yesterday, expressed concern over the desertion of schools by primary school pupils after taking the free meal offered them. The pupils have developed the habit of leaving school immediately after the free meal under the guise of going to drink water. …file photo The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Shehu Adamu, told newsmen in Kaduna that government was disturbed by the situation. Read more
‘Euro zone industrial output returns to strong growth’
Euro zone industrial production grew sharply and by more than expected in January, driven in particular by increased output of capital goods, such as equipment and machinery, the European Union statistics office said on Monday.
Industrial production in the 19-member single currency zone was 2.1 percent higher in January than in December, Eurostat said, and grew by 2.8 percent year-on-year. Read more
Report predicts 85 million reduction in skilled labour by 2020
Indications have emerged that the global employment market may suffer a shortfall of about 85 million high and middle skilled workers by 2020.
The report released by Intel tagged: “Increasing Employability and Accelerating Economic Growth Worldwide”, revealed that technology would play a critical role in helping people develop the necessary skills needed in today’s workplace. Read more
Group flays proposed tax on oil palm export by France
The Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (IPPA) has condemned the French Government’s proposed tax on palm oil export, describing it as a disadvantage to Africa, illegal under the WTO trade laws and one that will undermine efforts to alleviate poverty across the continent.
IPPA, the Nigeria-based public policy think tank, in a statement, noted that the proposed taxes – an additional tax of 90EUR per tonne and a differential tax for palm oil produced according to rich Western standards – is purposefully discriminatory and would lead to devastating consequences for African farmers of palm oil, and throughout the rest of the developing world. Read more
Electronic payments add $640m to Nigeria’s GDP in five years
A Visa commissioned study has revealed that electronic payments added $640 million to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2011 and 2015.
The study, conducted on behalf on Visa by Moody’s Analytics, across 70 countries, also disclosed that the impact of electronic payment has been highly impactful and engaging. Read more
Nigeria’s property market slumps amid fiscal strains, low yields
Nigeria’s property market appears to have defiled all known predictions. Prior to 2016, experts in the industry had predicted that the year would afford investors the opportunity to acquire property at low prices. It was further predicted that with the emergence of a new administration, the industry would witness large volume of activities, even as experts predicted high returns on investments in this fiscal year. Read more
Oil and Gas
Britannia-U Ltd vs Chevron: A-Court adjourns on jurisdiction
The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has adjourned to hear whether a Federal High Court, Lagos, can assume jurisdiction in the suit by Britannia-U Nigeria Limited, praying the lower court to restrain Chevron Nigeria Limited from divesting its interests in Oil Mining Leases, OMLs 52, 53 and 55 to Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited. At the hearing in the matter, yesterday, the appellate court adjourned the appeal to November 22, 2016, for hearing of the substantive appeal, after it refused an application for stay of proceedings. The court, however, granted Chevron Nigeria Limited and BNP Paribas Securities Corp., application to file their briefs out of time. Read more
Government targets export market for fuel by 2018
Notwithstanding the intrigues of fuel scarcity experienced in recent times, the Federal Government is optimistic that the country would be self-sufficient and even export refined petroleum products by 2018.
The government’s position may not be unconnected with the expectations that the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote refinery would be completed and commence operations in the next two years, amid moves to revive the existing refineries. Read more
NNPC, oil firms earn N65bn from gas export
Oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, earned about $323.55 million, or N64.71 billion from the export of gas in January, according to data obtained from the Corporation.
The NNPC, in its Monthly Financial and Operations Report for January 2016, put total gas export by the oil and gas companies at 107.85 billion standard cubic feet, BCF, in the month under review. Read more
Oil producers may meet in April over output freeze
Major oil producers are likely to meet in April to discuss a proposal to freeze output at January levels to stabilise the market, according to four Gulf Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) delegates.
Ministers from some members of the OPEC had suggested that such a meeting would take place this month in Russia. The talks are now most likely to occur in Qatar’s capital Doha, said three of the delegates, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Read more
Kachikwu lauded over NNPC’s re-organisation
Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change, NDIMRC, has commended the Minister of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, for the re-organisation of the corporation. In a statement by its President, Nelly Emma, the group hailed the minister’s action. Read more
Nigeria’s oil production activities slowing down
Oil production activities in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is slowing down dramatically, as its rig deployment is now six, down from nine as at Friday. Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.): Former NSA Although Nigeria produces just over two million barrels daily, but a lull in economic activities, occasioned by the crash in oil prices, is dampening exploration and production, E&P, activities in the country and many other parts of the world. Read more
Fuel scarcity: Private depots complain of low stock
Owners of private petroleum products’ depots in Lagos have warned that the current fuel scarcity in the country may get worse as they have yet to receive supply from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Our correspondent gathered that loading at some of the depots on Monday did not improve significantly, while there was no activity at the government-owned depot in Ibadan, Oyo State. Read more
Oil And Gas Exploration Set To Begin In North East – PMB
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday disclosed that his administration has plans to extend oil and gas exploration into new fields in the Lake Chad Basin in the North East and in the coastal states, like Lagos, where oil has been discovered in commercial quantity.
The president, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed that, as part of strategies to reposition the Nigerian oil and gas industry, his government had commenced the process of implementing carefully conceived initiatives which would see the country hitting a production target of 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. Read more
Crude Oil Slips to Below $40 as Iran Dashes Hopes of Output Freeze
Despite the pledge by Saudi Arabia to cooperate with other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to stabilise the oil market, the price of crude oil fell by almost three per cent yesterday after Iran dashed hopes of a coordinated production freeze in the nearest future.
Saudi Arabia and several fellow OPEC members had agreed with non-OPEC Russia to freeze output at January levels in an attempt to prop up prices. Read more
Nigeria eyes 2.8mb/d of crude, says Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said as part of measures to reposition the nation’s oil industry, the government has started the process of reducing production costs and encouraging exploration so as to attain a production level of about 2.8 million barrel per day (mbpd).
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the sixth African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition (CAPE VI) in Abuja, Buhari said the quantum leap would be 30 per cent increase of production level of 2.4 mbpd being pursued. Read more
Stakeholders’ forum: Consumers walk out on PHEDC
Electricity consumers in Calabar, yesterday, walked out on the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, for failure to adhere to the directive of Nigeria’s Senate to suspend the new tariff which is to be given to consumers. The consumers were at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the PHEDC on Monday to seek their support for the new tariff regime. In the course of deliberations, scores of angry consumers who disapproved of the new tariff staged a walk out saying they would never subscribe to such exploitation by PHEDC. Read more
Electricity workers flay minister over power outage claim
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, has come under fire over a statement attributed to him that the unions in the power sector were sabotaging power infrastructure, leading to outages.
Workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees challenged Mohammed to a public debate on the problems in the power sector in a statement on Monday. Read more
Former SAFA Chief among Three Banned Officials
Three South African football officials have been banned by FIFA following an investigation into international friendlies prior to the 2010 World Cup.
Leslie Sedibe, former South African Football Association (SAFA) chief executive, has been banned from football-related activities for five years. Read more
NTTF Fixes March 21 Deadline for U-16 League
To give states the chance to be part of the maiden U-16 national league, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has fixed March 21 as registration deadline.
According to the Secretary General of NTTF, Chinedu Ezeala-Ogundare, it becomes necessary to give the participants ample time to perfect their registration for the championship. Read more
Afcon qualifier: Kanu gives Siasia tips to beat Egypt
Ahead of the crucial AFCON 2017 double header between the Super Eagles and Pharaohs of Egypt, Nigerian soccer legend, Nwankwo Kanu has given interim national team coach, Samson Siasia some tips on how to overcome the Egyptians in Kaduna. Kanu Speaking in Lagos at the weekend, Kanu said unless there was unity of purpose, hunger in the players and focus from both the players and the coaches, victory over the Pharaohs would be hard to come by. Read more
NFF Mulls Paying Eagles’ Bonuses in Naira
The acute shortage of USA dollars has forced the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to consider offsetting Super Eagles’ bonuses for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt in naira, THISDAY learnt last night.
Although the leadership of the federation is believed to be making overtures to the country’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the possibility of getting the needed foreign exchange at the official rate, the resort to Eagles opening naira accounts with local banks is its Plan B. Read more
Tanzanians slam SFO’s plea bargain on Africa corruption case
The Serious Fraud Office has been asked to reopen its controversial “plea deal” investigation into London-based ICBC Standard Bank after claims the SFO were misled by the bank.
The bank paid nearly £22m after admitting it failed to prevent bribery by two bankers at a sister firm. The deal, sanctioned by a High Court judge, was the first time the SFO had used its powers to strike a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). Read more
Egypt urged to quash prison sentences of four children
Egyptian authorities should drop prison sentences against four Coptic Christian teenagers convicted of blasphemy after mocking an Isis video, Human Rights Watch has said.
In February, three of the children were sentenced to five years in a prison and a fourth placed in a juvenile facility for imitating Islamic prayer. Read more
Cancerous Bread Scare Entangles Egypt’s Effort to End Wheat Spat
Hoda El-Sayed is afraid to feed bread to her kids.
The 43-year-old teacher and mother of three has seen news reports that the daily staple sold by Egypt’s state bakeries may cause anything from kidney failure and miscarriages to cancer. Read more
Poor households to feel pinch of new fuel prices
Households who use kerosene for cooking are set to pay more for the fuel following an increase of Sh2.53 in yesterday’s oil price review.
A litre of kerosene will now cost Sh42.15 in Nairobi up from Sh39.62, according to the Energy Regulatory Commission’s monthly price review published yesterday. Kerosene is used mostly in poor households for cooking and lighting. Read more
Standard Bank economist who posted controversial tweet resigns
Standard Bank on Monday announced that prominent economist Chris Hart, who earlier this year had been at the centre of a storm around tweets deemed racist, had left the bank.
Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom confirmed that Hart, “an Investment Strategist at Standard Bank Wealth and Investment has resigned and has left the employ of the bank”. Read more
Over 59,000 cases pending in Ghana courts – Judge
A Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Samuel Marful-Sau, has advised judges to work hard to clear the backlog of more than 59,000 cases that was pending at the various courts across the country.
He said, they could do this by being proactive in the application of the CI 87 to ensure expeditious disposal of the cases. Read more
Clinton: ‘We didn’t lose a single person’ in Libya to topple Gaddafi
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton boasted Monday evening that not a single American was lost as a result of the United State’s involvement in the toppling Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Her remarks came as she answered questions about her experience as secretary of state, and her thoughts on U.S. foreign policy, during a Democratic town hall hosted by MSNBC. Read more
Iran says missiles for self defense, tests do not violate nuclear deal
Iran’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that its ballistic missiles were for self-defense and that recent tests condemned by the United States did not violate an historic nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.
Speaking in Australia, Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the missiles tested last week would never be used in aggression. The tests drew international concern and prompted a meeting on Monday of the 15-nation United Nations Security Council. Read more
Donald Trump says Saddam Hussein was ‘very good’ at killing terrorists
Donald Trump has criticised Barack Obama for pulling US troops out of Iraq too quickly and claimed that Iran had taken control of the world’s second biggest oil reserves.
Speaking in Ohio ahead of primary elections in five states on Tuesday, Mr Trump claimed that he had always been opposed to the US’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. He said he had warned it would destabilise the Middle East and that the rise of Isis was proof of that. Read more
UN chief angry at huge Morocco protest over Western Sahara
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply disappointed and angry at the huge demonstration in Morocco against him over his remarks about the contested territory of Western Sahara — and astonished at the government’s reaction, the United Nations said Monday.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the U.N. chief told Morocco’s Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar during a meeting here that “such attacks are disrespectful to him and to the United Nations.” Read more
Historic vote begins in Myanmar parliament for new president
Myanmar’s parliament voted Tuesday to elect the country’s new president, a watershed moment that will usher the longtime opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi into government.
Htin Kyaw, 70, a longtime confidant of Suu Kyi, is expected to become the country’s first democratically elected leader after more than half a century of military rule. Read more
Brazil’s Government Tries to Regroup After Huge Protests
A day after huge protest rallies urged the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff, her chief of staff on Monday acknowledged popular discontent with Brazil’s political class but said the flagging economy was the main reason behind the turnout.
Jaques Wagner’s comments came at a news conference after Rousseff met with her closest advisers early Monday as the government sought to explain what leading newspapers called the biggest political demonstration in Brazilian history. Read more
Turkey strikes Kurdish targets in response to Ankara bomb
Turkey has lashed out at Kurdish targets, bombing military positions in northern Iraq and rounding up dozens of militants at home after a suicide car bombing in Ankara.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “strong indications” that Sunday’s attack was carried out by the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. Read more
Sony buys Michael Jackson’s stake in music catalogue for £525m
Michael Jackson’s estate has sold its interest in a massive music catalogue to Sony for 750 million dollars (£525 million).
Sony and Jackson’s estate announced the sale of the Sony/ATV catalogue in a joint press release. Read more
At least two police officers shot in Chicago – police department
Two police officers and possibly a third were shot on Chicago’s West side on Monday, according to a Tweet posted by the police department.
The officers were wounded at about 10 p.m., the Chicago Tribune reported. Read more
Ivory Coast gunmen drank beer in bar before attack on resort
Gunmen from al-Qaida’s North African branch drank beer at a beachside bar before launching an attack at an Ivory Coast resort town that left at least 18 people dead.
Sunday’s raid, the details of which are beginning to emerge in witness and official accounts, was the furthest yet from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) traditional desert base, a worrying indication of the militants’ growing reach. Read more