*Nigerians in diaspora may vote in 2019 —Buhari* *LASG orders evacuation of Lekki Gardens occupants *

*Nigerians in diaspora may vote in 2019 —Buhari* *LASG orders evacuation of Lekki Gardens occupants *

Sabinews Morning News Update for March 16, 2016

National

Nigerians in diaspora may vote in 2019 —Buhari 

President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, would be encouraged to explore the possibility of Nigerians resident abroad voting  in the 2019 general elections. Buhari He also said his government would be merciless and relentless in its anti-corruption war.

Buhari stated these in Malabo, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea, during a meeting with the Nigerian community in the country, where he was on a state visit. Read more

LASG orders evacuation of Lekki Gardens occupants

The Lagos State Government has ordered residents in all buildings constructed by Lekki Gardens to vacate their apartments pending the conclusion of the integrity test that would be carried out on the buildings to ascertain their fitness.

The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, explained that the developer of the estate in which a five-storey semi-constructed building collapsed last week and resulted in the deaths of 34 persons, was in contravention of the state’s approved building development law and therefore should take responsibility for the relocation of the occupants of the buildings that would be evacuated. Read more

Tompolo Asks Court to Accelerate His Appeal against Warrant of Arrest

A former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, has urged the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal to give his appeal challenging warrant of arrest issued against him an accelerated hearing.

A Federal High Court judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, had on January 14 issued an order for Tompolo’s arrest following his failure to honour summons issued on him in respect of the 40 counts of alleged N45.9billion fraud levelled against him and nine others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Read more

Candidates, parents protest, demand cancellation of 2016 UTME

Hundreds of admission seekers to the nation’s tertiary institutions and their parents on Tuesday stormed the Lagos State Governor’s Office in Alausa, Ikeja, and the state Assembly complex to protest against alleged manipulation of the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

The protesters demanded the cancellation of the exams and the removal of the Registrar of the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde. Read more

N1.04tn Fine: House Committee Summons MTN CEO, Threatens Warrant of Arrest

The House of Representative Committee on Communications on Tuesday threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, Mr. Ferdinand Moolman, if he fails to appear before the committee on its next adjourned date.

The next adjourned date is however yet to be decided on. Read more

Police Invade Lagos Hotel, Arrest Three More Babington Kidnapping Suspects

Police operatives attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have arrested three more suspects involved in the kidnapping of three female students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS) in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

The female students, Timilehin Olosa, Tofunmi Popoolaniyan and Deborah Akinayo, were kidnapped by a 12-man armed gang from their school on the night of February 29, 2016 but were rescued on March 2. Read more

Toyota Nigeria recalls 900 units of RAV4

Toyota Nigeria Limited has announced the recall of 900 units of RAV4 produced between 2006 and 2012 to fix possible faulty real seat belts.

The Managing Director, TNL, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo, said in Lagos on Tuesday that the recall was on the order of the parent company, Toyota Motor Corporation, as a proactive safety measure to avert danger to the lives of people occupying the back seats of the vehicle in the event of an accident. Read more

Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea sign MoU on security 

Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea have signed an agreement on establish-ment of a joint Maritime Policing and Security Patrol Committee. A statement by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the signing was done in Malabo, capital of the Central African country yesterday. Read more

Herbalist, 69, marries 18-year-old girl as 57th wife 

A 69 year old herbalist, Chief Simon Odo, who married an 18 year old girl, Chidinma, as his 57th wife last November has said that he would not marry again, having had a fair of women in his life. Chidinma was married from Okutu, in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State. Odo, also known variously as Onuwa, King Solomon of Africa or King of Satan was however married to 68 women but some of them had earlier died. Augustina Odo (nee Asogwa) and Virginia, nee Mogbo from Oraifite were among the dead ones. Read more

Abia bans touting 

WORRIED by the increased level of touting in the State, Abia State Government weekend banned all forms of touting, saying the embarrassing activities of touts has been projecting the state in a very bad light and warned that it would do everything in its power to ensure that the ban stands. Ikpeazu Of late, many touting groups, some in uniform, have surfaced in the major cities of the State, particularly, Umuahia and Aba, harassing people, including motorists transiting through the cities in the name of revenue collection. Read more

Economy

ETI Says 2015 Revenue Growth Will Be Below Target Guidance

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that its expected earnings for the financial year ended December 31, 2015 may be below 2014 figures.

In a statement on Tuesday in Lagos, the bank said the low earning was due to macroeconomic challenges faced by most African economies. Read more

Nigeria’s economy needs 59 million jobs in 20 years —World Bank

A new World Bank study has suggested that Nigeria needs to create an estimated 40 to 50 million additional jobs between 2010 and 2030. The study, which was released in Abuja yesterday, noted that creation of that amount of jobs is imperative to avert a nationwide market crisis, that may result in possible economic collapse. According to the reports, majority of adult Nigerians are employed, but locked into low productivity and low income work, with no job or income security. Read more

Economy: Nigeria’s inflation rises by 11.4% in February – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday, said the inflation rate in February rose by 11.4 per cent compared to the 9.6 per cent in January.

This is contained in February 2015 Consumer Price Index (CPI)/ Inflation Report issued by the NBS in Abuja. The CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people on daily basis. According to the report, the CPI which measures inflation, has recorded a significant increase in February. Read more

Oil and Gas

Oil Leaks and Disruptions Doing the Job That Producers Won’t

Pipeline leaks and shipping disruptions are doing more to reduce the global oil glut than producers who can’t seem to agree on whether to cap output.

Outages from Iraq and Nigeria have disrupted more than 800,000 barrels a day of supply and tightened the Brent market, according to Citigroup Inc.  Read more

NLNG bags 2016 CSR Excellence Award

The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, has bagged the 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, Excellence Award by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The award is in recognition of the impact of the company’s $12million pan-Nigeria University Support Programme, USP. Read more

Nigeria to become exporter of refined fuel

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said that Nigeria will begin to export refined petrol and other petrochemical products within the next four years if plans to ramp up the country’s domestic refining capacity work out well.

Kachikwu stated this recently in Abuja when he briefed journalists on his plans for the country’s petroleum sector.
He noted that if the plans to co-locate new refinery investments within the country’s existing refinery complexes in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt become successful, and the private refinery owned by the Dangote Group comes on stream, Nigeria will produce more petrol than she needs and then export the excess. Read more

NNPC’s operational deficit down N8.3bn

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC’s, operational deficit dropped by N8.31 billion in January compared with figures for December 2015, the corporation has said.

The company, specifically, saw monthly loss figures down from N11.86 billion recorded in its December accounts to N3.55 billion in January this year. Read more

UNEP Report: Ogoni accuse Buhari of being slow on implementation  

Ogonis in South Africa, under the auspices of Ogoni Solidarity Forum, OSF, have described the steps taken so far by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration since August 2015 to implement the UNEP recommended clean-up of Ogoni environment as slow and a contrast to the president’s promise to fast-track the exercise.

A statement signed by the International Coordinator of OSF in South Africa, Pastor Barry Wuganaale, said Ogonis in that country wished the plans to commence the implementation of the UNEP report as recently announced by the Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, would not amount to “a public relations gimmick or political rhetoric devoid of any action as it has been in the past”. Read more

Shell lists challenges in Nigerian operations

The Royal Dutch Shell says security issues surrounding the safety of its people, sabotage and theft are some of the major risks and challenges affecting its operations in Nigeria.

The company also said in its recently released annual report for the year ended December 31, 2015 that non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB,  expected to overhaul the Nigerian oil and gas industry, could affect its current and future operations in the country. Read more

Oil supply, demand to find balance in 2017 – IEA

Crude oil supply and demand will likely find real balance in 2017, paving way for a possible recovery of prices, according to the International Energy Agency, IEA.

The agency said oil price may have finally bottomed out after an unprecedented drop over the past 18 months, noting oil’s “remarkable recovery” over recent weeks. Read more

Labour says NNPC reform outside PIB, meaningless 

The two major workers’ organisations in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, have described the recent Federal Government’s unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as meaningless in the absence of the planned Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB. 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

Power

AfDB’s new deal to add 160GW to Africa’s power grids 

President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, says the new deal articulated by the bank on energy for Africa in 2015 will add 160 gigawatts, GW, of new electricity generation capacity to Africa’s power grids by 2025.

In September 2015, the Bank articulated a New Deal on Energy for Africa and launched a Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa to light up and power the continent by 2025. Read more

Mixed fortunes as electricity generation hits 4,068MW

Electricity consumers in the country may not be smiling yet as generation yesterday hit 4,068 megawatts still assessed as abysmally low.

Though consumers were expected to be experiencing some respite from the recent days of darkness the transmission line that tripped from Egbin Power Station yesterday may have further dampened rising hopes. Read more

Sports

Mfon Udoh Joins CAF League Top Scorers

Mfon Udoh has become joint top scorer in this year’s CAF Champions League with four goals after his brace against Vital’O in Enyimba’s 5-1 win. The forward struck on either side of half-time to ensure the former champions take an almost unassailable lead to Bujumbura next weekend and became joint top scorer in the process, following his brace against Vipers a fortnight ago. Read more

World News

Sudan to scale down staff in its foreign embassies

South Sudan on Tuesday dismissed reports of closing down 32 of its foreign embassies, saying that it will instead downsize the number of staff due to economic slump stemming from a two-year civil war.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the world’s youngest nation was reducing the number of staff in its embassies abroad in order to cut down on the costs. Read more

Al-Shabaab captures key town in northern Somalia

Al-Shabaab militants on Monday took control of Garacad town in Puntland, northern Somalia and later raised their flag in the city centre, officials and residents said Tuesday.

Mayor of Garacad town Abdinur Abdullahi Hersi said the coastal town, which is located in the Mudug region, was seized without resistance by dozens of militants who have arrived there with three boats. Read more

UK Government to send 1,000 ground troops to Libya

David Cameron is preparing to send 1,000 ground troops into Libya’s capital without parliament’s approval.

Senior members of the Foreign Affairs Committee were surprised to learn that the UK will provide the troops as part of a 6,000-strong force being sent to Tripoli to act as security for the new Libyan unity government, and to train up the country’s army. The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, is expected to announce the deployment at a European conference this week. Read more

IMF approves 1.5bln USD standby credit facilities for Kenya

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved 1.5 billion US dollars standby credit facilities for Kenya.

A statement from the IMF said on Tuesday that the deal comprises of 989.8 million dollars two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) and 494.9 million dollars 24-month Standby Credit Facility (SCF) for Kenya. Read more

Zimbabwe marks 16th month in deflation

Zimbabwe on Tuesday marked 16 months in deflation after annual inflation for February closed at -2.22 percent.

The inflation rate was 0.03 percent down from -2.19 percent in January, pushed by a decline in health prices as well as electricity, gas and other fuels, said the national statistics agency (Zimstat).  Read more

Conservationists ‘mistakenly’ shot dead by Zimbabwe rangers

Two wildlife conservationists, an Italian father and his son, were accidentally shot and killed in the Mana Pools wildlife national park in northern Zimbabwe after park rangers apparently mistook them for poachers, the government admitted Monday.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority identified the two Italian nationals as Claudio Chiarelli and Max Chiarelli. The two might have been on an anti-poaching patrol in the park late Sunday afternoon when they were shot. Read more

Two killed in aircraft crash

Two people have died following the crash of a light aircraft a few kilometres outside Lephalale in Limpopo province, emergency services said on Monday.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said the crash occurred on Sunday night. Read more

Minister orders water utility to help Durban plug leaks

The minister of water affairs, Nomvula Mokonyane, has sent a directive to Umgeni Water to “immediately intervene” to assist eThekwini to plug its water leaks.

Speaking at eThekwini exco on Tuesday, city manager Sibusiso Sithole said that mayor James Nxumalo received a letter from  Mokonyane “advising that a directive had been issued … to Umgeni Water [to] immediately intervene and assist the city [in] dealing with water losses”. Read more

Nauru election monitors ‘would need to be invited’

The Pacific Islands Forum is “in consultation” with the government of Nauru over its forthcoming election but would need to be invited to send electoral monitors.

This week the two former presidents, Marcus Stephen and Sprent Dabwido, accused the government of trying to manipulate the election. Among their grievances were new laws that require a candidate to pay $2,000 – a 20-fold increase in the entry fee – and to resign their public service job three months before polling day. Read more

Homeless man who spotted California fugitives gets $100,000 reward

A homeless man from San Francisco who pointed police toward two Orange County inmates who had escaped from jail will get the lion’s share of a $150,000 reward, the Orange County board of supervisors voted Tuesday.

The Orange County board of supervisors awarded Matthew Hay-Chapman $100,000, said county spokeswoman Jean Pasco. Read more

It felt like a death machine, says migrant forced back to Greece

It took Hassan Omar four long hours to cross into Macedonia, his wheelchair pushed by strangers across the muddy paths of Greece’s border – but a day later he found himself back at the squalid migrant camp he had left.

Like scores of people, many from war zones in Syria and Iraq, who streamed out of the camp near the Greek town of Idomeni on Monday and crossed into Macedonia, he was rounded up and sent back. Read more

Marco Rubio drops out of presidential race

Marco Rubio has suspended his campaign after suffering a crushing and humiliating defeat to Donald Trump in his home state.

It marked the end of a high-wire race for the Florida senator who was once pegged the most likely candidate to become the Republican nominee. Read more

French woman aged 91 gets PhD after 30 years

A woman aged 91 has become one of the oldest people in France to gain a PhD after she completed a thesis that she had begun three decades earlier.

Colette Bourlier was awarded the mark of “high distinction” for her work, which she successfully defended on Tuesday before a jury of the University of Franche-Comte in Besancon, eastern France. Read more

Brussels Remains on High Alert as a Raid Linked to the Paris Attacks Continues

Brussels is on high alert as a counterterrorism operation linked to Nov. 13 Paris attacks continues through the night, so far leaving one suspect dead, up to two possibly on the run and four officers wounded.

Belgian and French officers are conducting the operation, which began Tuesday around 3:00 p.m. local time at a apartment in the Forest suburb of Brussels and brought the district to a standstill, the BBC reported. Read more

Trump takes three states but loses Ohio to Kasich

Donald Trump has claimed three victories in three states – including the big prize of Florida – but lost out on taking Ohio to state governor John Kasich.

The billionaire appeared slightly more subdued than usual during a victory speech to supporters and thanked his family before saying to his Republican Party faithful, “We have to bring our party together.” Read more

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