Sabinews Morning News Update for March 18, 2016
PMB Vows To Make Boko Haram History
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday vowed to pursue the Boko Haram sect relentlessly until they are completely uprooted from Nigeria.
He also described the group as diabolical and disclosed that the federal government would commission a sociological study into the group’s overall concept and activities in order to forestall such evil from happening again. Read more
Ekiti Govt Alleges Death Of Lawmaker In DSS Custody
Ekiti State Government has claimed that Hon. Afolabi Akanni ,one of the members of House of Assembly detained by the Department of State Service (DSS) has died in custody in Abuja.
Akanni, representing Efon Constituency, was arrested on March 4, when the DSS allegedly invaded the House for undisclosed reason. Read more
Bello uncovers N2bn fraud in Kogi ministry
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has vowed to prosecute those connected with a N2.1bn fraud recently discovered in one of the ministries in the state.
Bello, who paid an unscheduled visit to some ministries on Wednesday, lamented the fraud in the account of one of the ministries that he visited. Read more
House Wants JAMB to Make CBT Optional
The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) to consider making its Computer Based Test (CBT) optional to allow candidates elect to take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) as Paper Pencil Test (PPT).
The House noted that it was necessary to discontinue the sole option of the CBT, until a time when the examination body is able to conduct the examination effectively. Read more
Ibinabo back in prison as bail bid fails
Embattled star actress Ibinabo Fiberesima, who was convicted by the Court of Appeal in Lagos on March 11, was yesterday unable to secure bail from the Court due to incompetent application. Ibinabo Fiberesima The three man-panel, presided over by Justice UI Ndukwe-Anyanwu, said that the appellant failed to attach copies of the judgment that was delivered by the court which affirmed the five years jail sentence imposed on her. Read more
Navy vows to crush oil thieves in Niger Delta
THE Nigerian Navy has warned those engaged in criminal activities in the Niger Delta to relocate or get crushed. The warning is coming on the heels of the acquisition of 15 gunboats to dominate the waterways of the region. Read more
Senate divided over inclusion of card reader in Electoral Act
The Senate was sharply divided yesterday over a Bill seeking to include Card Reader in the Electoral Act.
The Bill pitted senators fromthe North and the Southagainst one another. Read more
CPC to Investigate Customer Rights Abuse in Banking Sector
The Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Dupe Atoki, on Thursday said it was investigating allegations of customers’ rights abuse in the banking sector, adding that a major intervention would soon be launched to address the infractions.
Speaking in Abuja at a stakeholders forum as part of activities to commemorate the World Consumer Rights Day, she added that the hospitality segment would also be probed. Read more
Battle for Rivers Gets Bloodier, Army Major, Soldier Killed
The battle for the control of Rivers State got bloodier on Thursday when a major in the Nigerian Army and a soldier were slayed in cold bold in the Abonnema creek in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
THISDAY gathered that a troop of soldiers from the 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, which was on patrol, was ambushed by people suspected to be pirates. In the exchange of gunfire, the major and soldier were gunned down, while two other soldiers were said to have sustained serious injuries. Read more
Borno bombing death toll rises 27
The death toll in Wednesday’s two suicide bombings, which targeted a mosque in a Borno village, has risen to 27, an official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said yesterday.
NEMA Northeast coordinator Mohammed Kanar the death toll rose from 24 after three other victims died while receiving treatment at a local hospital. Among the dead were the two bombers. Read more
FG Launches N10bn Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme
Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah on Thursday officially inaugurated the Bank of Industry (BoI)’s N10billion-Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) scheme, aimed at developing the entrepreneurial capacity of youths and providing start up loans at concessionary interest rates to executive their business plans.
The scheme will allow each of the eligible beneficiaries to access a maximum of N5 million loan for the procurement of machinery and equipment, including working capital. Read more
Judge denies Metuh’s petition, vows to continue trial
Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday denied the petition written against him by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, asking for the transfer of his corruption trial to another judge.
The judge disclosed in the open court on Thursday that one of Metuh’s lawyers, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), had sent a petition to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, asking for the reassignment of the case to another judge. Read more
Dollar scarcity: Companies’ sales declining, says report
About sixty-one per cent of companies operating across 13 sectors of the Nigerian economy recorded huge declining sales over the past 12 to 18 months due to limited availability of foreign exchange and slower economic growth, a new report has found.
The report, which was unveiled in Lagos on Thursday, revealed that 42 per cent of the companies had been implementing aggressive cost-cutting measures, while 18 per cent were already sacking staff. Read more
UBA Expects 15% Loan Growth in 2016
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) expects loan growth of 10 to 15 per cent this year, reversing a 3.3 percent decline last year, it said on Thursday.
The top tier lender had originally forecast loan growth last year of five to eight per cent but that did not materialise. Loans grew 14 percent in 2014, the bank said. Read more
Dangote Bids For Peugeot Nigeria Stake
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and president, Dangote Group, has teamed up with Kaduna and Kebbi states to bid for a majority stake in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Limited, a local joint venture with the French automaker, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State said on Thursday, reports Reuters.
El-Rufai said the states along with development lender, Bank of Industry (BoI) and Dangote had submitted bids for the stake which Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), is looking to sell. Read more
Nigeria’s Economy is in Recession, Says Economist
An economist, Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo, has said the Nigerian economy is currently in recession, after studying relevant macroeconomic and social indices.
In economics, it is possible to ascertain that an economy is in recession through the comparative study of statistics like the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment rate, inflation rate, among others. Read more
NEC to Hold Retreat on Economy
The National Economic Council (NEC) will hold a two-day retreat next week beginning from Monday, March 21 to Tuesday on policy actions that state and the federal governments can consider in order to stimulate local production, cut costs and enhance public revenues among other measures to stimulate the economy.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, said President Muhammadu Buhari would deliver the keynote address during the formal opening session on Monday morning. Read more
Oil and Gas
Oil price rises to $40.71 as OPEC mends fences
Oil price rose, yesterday, after the world’s biggest suppliers firmed up plans to meet to discuss an output freeze.
Oil producers, including Gulf OPEC members, support holding talks next month on a deal to keep production at current levels, even if Iran declines to participate, OPEC sources said on Wednesday. Read more
Paucity of Funds Forces NFF to Shelve Chartered Flight to Egypt
As part of measures to cut costs, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is considering the option of a regular scheduled flight to ferry Super Eagles players and crew to Egypt for the second leg of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Pharaohs on March 29.
Nigeria will meet her old adversaries in Alexandria four days after the first Group G tie in Kaduna on March 25, as the journey to reach Gabon, where the continent’s foremost football spectacle will be staged next year, gathers pace. Read more
Iwobi’s Performance against Barca Excites Okocha
Former Super Eagles Captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, has hailed the performance of his nephew, Alex Iwobi, in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at Barcelona in the Champions League second leg, Round of 16 match at Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
With the Gunners facing obvious elimination against the Champions League holders after their first leg 2-0 defeat in London, manager Arsene Wenger, against expectations, opted to start 19-year-old Iwobi ahead of the pair of Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell. Read more
Nasarawa face CAF tight-rope walk
Nigerian club Nasarawa United face another CAF Confederation Cup tightrope walk this weekend as they seek a round-of-16 place.
A Philip Azango goal four minutes from time in Abuja earned them a 1-0 first-leg lead over 10-man CS Constantine of Algeria last weekend. So, for the second successive round, the Nigerians take the narrowest of leads into a return match. Read more
Enyimba Arrives Burundi Thursday
Officials and players of Enyimba FC arrived Burundi on Thursday to honour their CAF Champions League first round, second leg tie against Vital’ O FC fixed for Saturday in Bujumbura. The team left the country around3.00am on Thursday.
Enyimba is holding a 5-1 goals advantage after the team made mincemeat of the visitors in the first leg played last Sunday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt. Felix Anyansi, Chairman of the club, charged the players and the technical crew to make qualification certain by winning on Saturday. Read more
Cameroun Sentences 89 Boko Haram Members to Death
Cameroun has sentenced 89 members of the Boko Haram terrorist group to death over terror charges.
In contrast, Nigeria where the deadly insurgency started and has recorded tens of thousands of deaths caused by the violent sect, has only convicted a handful of terrorists to prison terms. Read more
Two Ebola deaths and three suspected cases in Guinea ‘flare-up’
Two people from the same family have died from Ebola in Guinea, the government has said, in the first re-emergence of the virus in the country since an outbreak was declared over in December 2015.
Test samples from the two patients “revealed the presence of the Ebola haemorrhagic fever virus”, the government said in a statement, while officials feared further suspected cases. “For now we have two confirmed cases and three suspected cases.” Read more
Morocco Tells UN Peacekeepers to Leave Western Sahara in 3 Days
Morocco gave the United Nations a three-day deadline to pull 84 peacekeepers from its Western Sahara mission amid a dispute with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over remarks he made, though Rabat reversed a decision to withdraw all its troops from peacekeeping missions, reported U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric Thursday.
“All of these measures would seriously impede the functioning of MINURSO,” said Dujarric to reporters. Read more
Tanzania to launch new anti-poaching drive
Tanzanian authorities said on Thursday that plans were afoot to launch a new anti-poaching campaign that will mainly rely on intelligence.
“The new anti-poaching drive will depend on the use of intelligence than haphazard military crackdown that has negative implications,” the east African nation’s Permanent Secretary for Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry, Gaudence Milanzi, told a meeting of tourism stakeholders in Arusha. Read more
4 migrants dead, 187 rescued off Libyan coast
Libyan coast guards on Thursday rescued 187 illegal migrants off the coast of west of the capital Tripoli after their boat caught fire, according to the coast guards, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
A Libyan coast guards spokesman said four migrants died and 43 others were injured when the boat caught fire for an unknown cause near the coast of Sabratha, about 65 km west of Tripoli. Read more
Ghana calls for efforts to tackle deforestation in Africa
The rate of loss of Africa’s forest cover is alarming, a Ghanaian minister has observed, and called for urgent efforts to restore lost forests.
Nii Osah Mills, Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, made this call during the International Working Conference on Landscape Restoration that opened on Thursday. Read more
Rand tumbles to two-week low versus dollar
The rand slumped to a two-week low against the dollar and was the biggest loser among emerging market and major currencies after tensions between the Hawks, a special unit of the police, and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan heated up.
Emerging market currencies weakened for a second day as sliding oil prices weighed on assets of commodity exporters and growing wagers the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as the next quarter dampened demand for risk. The rand tumbled 3.3 percent to R16.0248 to the dollar, by 4.48pm, the lowest since February. At 5pm, it was bid at R16.0138. Read more
Congo’s Sassou Nguesso seeks new term after 32 years in office
Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso will seek re-election Sunday after 32 years at the helm of an oil-rich but impoverished nation which is clamouring for jobs and decent living standards.
One of Africa’s five longest-serving leaders, the 72-year-old former paratrooper colonel is running for a new term after an October vote modified the constitution, removing a 70-year age limit and two-term barrier to enable him to extend his rule. Read more
After legal battle, Kenyan runner gets Israeli citizenship
A Kenyan runner may race for Israel in this summer’s Olympics after being granted Israeli citizenship on Thursday, she said.
Lonah Chemtai, a 27-year-old who originally moved to Israel in 2011, had been fighting for citizenship for years. Read more
New Chinese ship activity spotted at disputed South China Sea shoal
The United States has seen Chinese activity around a reef seized by China from the Philippines nearly four years ago, which could be a precursor to more land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea, the US navy chief said on Thursday.
The head of US naval operations, Admiral John Richardson, expressed concern that an international court ruling expected in coming weeks on a case brought by the Philippines against China over its South China Sea claims could be a trigger for Beijing to declare an exclusion zone in the busy trade route. Read more
LA Law actor Larry Drake dies aged 66
Larry Drake, who earned back-to-back Emmy Awards for his sensitive portrayal of mentally challenged character Benny Stulwicz in “L.A. Law,” has died. He was 66.
Drake’s body was found Thursday in his Los Angeles-area home by a friend, said Charles Edward Pogue, himself a longtime friend and collaborator of Drake’s. Read more
New dengue vaccine proves 100 percent effective in trials
A dengue vaccine called TV003, currently undergoing clinical trials, could be the next best defense against the spread of the disease, and could potentially lead to a vaccine for the Zika virus as well, say researchers.
A recent study published in Science Translational Medicine revealed that the vaccine had proven 100 percent effective against a modified version of Type 2 dengue after being tested on a small pool of human test subjects. Read more
Exiled Tibetans to elect leader to sustain Dalai Lama legacy
Tens of thousands of exiled Tibetans across India and overseas will vote on Sunday to elect a political leader, hoping the democratic exercise will help sustain their struggle to secure complete autonomy for Chinese-ruled Tibet.
The second election of its kind follows a decision by the Dalai Lama, the 80-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate, to relinquish his political authority and vest it in a democratic system that could outlive him. Read more
Seattle police release photos of the gun Kurt Cobain used to commit suicide
Police in Seattle have released photos of the shotgun Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain used to kill himself more than two decades ago.
Seattle police cold case Detective Mike Ciesynski is shown holding Cobain’s gun at different angles in five photos posted to the police department’s website on Wednesday. Read more
EU leaders struggle to agree on ‘potentially illegal and impractical’ deal with Turkey
The European Union’s planned refugee deal with Turkey is hanging by a thread as leaders meeting in Brussels struggled to agree on how it would work.
The draft scheme aims to reduce the flow of refugees from war zones such as Syria by sending back to Turkey anyone landing illegally in Greece. Read more
Pervez Musharraf leaves Pakistan for treatment after travel ban lifted
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who faces charges of treason and murder, has left the country for what his lawyers said was urgent hospital treatment after a three-year travel ban was lifted.
Musharraf boarded an Emirates flight bound for Dubai that departed from Karachi airport at 3.55am (2255GMT) an airport source told AFP, adding that the retired general appeared “relaxed”. Read more