Sabinews Morning News Update for March 20, 2016
Western govts ‘knew where Chibok schoolgirls were’
Both the British and United States (U.S.) governments knew where some of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram members from Chibok but felt powerless to launch a rescue mission, it has been reported.
More than 200 girls have remained missing since 2014 when they were kidnapped by the terrorist group from a boarding school in Chibok while preparing for end-of-year exams. Read more
Troops Ambush, Kill 7 Terrorists in Borno Village
Troops of 7 Brigade have ambushed and killed seven Boko Haram terrorists at Dawashi, Borno State, yesterday.
According to the statement issued to journalists yesterday by the acting director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, the gallant troops laid in wait at the terrorists suspected crossing point, and engaged them on sight and killed seven of them. Read more
Lack of maintenance caused Mile 12 building collapse – LASG
24 hours after a one-storey building sited at 9 Alli close, Mile 12, Kosofe Local Government, collapsed, Lagos State Government, said there was no single columns (pillars) in the building to support structure.
When Vanguard visited the scene, it was gathered that the building was constructed over 30 years ago, 1985, and partially collapsed at about 9 am on Saturday, allegedly killing one person and injuring another. Read more
3 injured, as fire guts biscuit firm
Three persons, yesterday, suffered severe burns, when fire razed Niger Biscuits Company on Creek Road, Apapa Local Government Area, destroying property worth several millions of naira.
Also burnt were two Sports Utility Vehicles, SUV, parked within the premises. Read more
2 electrocuted in Nsukka
The university town of Nsukka was thrown into mourning, weekend, as a paint manufacturer in Umunkashi Uwani Ugwu community, Samuel Ezema, and an electrician were electrocuted.
The paint manufacturer employed the services of an electrician identified as Emmanuel, who hailed from Okuje in Nsukka Local Government Area, to effect repairs on his faulty factory water pumping machine. Read more
We impersonate police, Army to seize Okada— suspect
A member of a three-man robbery gang, Goodness Allison, has disclosed that his members disguise as policemen and military officers to impound motorcycles, popularly called Okada, which they sell.
Allison, 31, from Idda Local Government, Kogi State, stated that the gang, comprising Wilson, Aboki and himself, have collected over seven motorcycles from riders in Ejigbo, Ikotun and Bucknor. Read more
Army has improved under Buhari, says Okorocha
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has said the Army has improved under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, especially in the fight against insurgency in the Northeast.
Okorocha spoke when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Major-General Tukur Yusufu Buratai visited him at the Government House in Owerri. He said “we have watched with keen interest what is happening in the Northeast. We encourage you and your men in the way you have tackled Boko Haram head-on and today, Nigerians are singing a better song than what it used to be”. Read more
Lagos to organise religious conference
The Lagos State government will in July organise an inter-religious conference to foster unity, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said at the weekend.
The governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Grace Oladimeji, said his administration was determined to promote religious harmony. Read more
Lagos to establish waterways laws enforcement authority
As part of measures to curb the incessant boat mishaps, Lagos State Government has concluded plans to establish an enforcement authority similar to Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, with the mandate to manage and control activities of boat operators in the state.
On the plan, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Dayo Mobereola and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Anofiu Elegushi, disclosed this at the weekend during a Stakeholders’ forum organised by the state Ministry of Transportation on the proposed transformation of the Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS Bus Terminal into world class. Read more
‘No collation of results in Ikwerrre’
Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Saturday survived heavy gun attacks in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, a collation officer, Allwell Egeonu, has said.
Egeonu, a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, said the attack started at about 7:30 pm when collation was about to start in Isiokpo, headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government area. Read more
Osun assures workers of March salaries
The Osun State Government has debunked insinuations that it would not pay March salaries because of the N6 million federal allocation it received for February.
In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon, the government assured workers of payment of their salaries. Read more
INEC suspends action on bloody Rivers rerun poll
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last night suspended further action on Rivers State rerun elections into the National Assembly and the House of Assembly.
It said it decided to take the action because several permanent and ad hoc officials had been attacked. Some were abducted and taken to unknown destinations. Read more
Journalists Have Nothing to Fear from FG, Says Minister
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said journalists in Nigeria have nothing to fear from the federal government in the performance of their duties.
‘’Under this dispensation, we have never even contemplated stifling the freedom of the media not to talk of hounding them to death,’’ the minister said in Doha yesterday when he featured as a panelist at the ongoing 2016 Annual Congress of the International Press Institute (IPI) in the Qatari capital. Read more
Why FG Withdrew Case against Orubebe at CCT
Fresh facts are now emerging on why the federal government last week withdrew the charges against Mr. Godsday Orubebe, a former minister in charge of the Ministry of Niger Delta under the Goodluck Jonathan administration who was arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on allegations of false declaration of assets.
Sources confirmed that the decision to withdraw the charges was based on a legal advice from the Federal Ministry of Justice in which it was strongly canvassed that the case against Orubebe as presently constructed and filed was fundamentally defective. Read more
IPOB Rejects Army Investigations, Wants ICC’s Investigation
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has rejected the moves by the Nigerian Army to investigate the alleged killings of pro-Biafra activists in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State on February 9, 2016.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, had last week announced that the army was “already investigating” the incident as it was usually “our procedure” to investigate incidents involving loss of lives. Read more
FIRS, Police Meet to Check Illegal Fees, Levies at Road Blocks
The Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Mr. Tunde Fowler, has asked for collaboration between the Nigeria Police Force and various tax authorities to stem collection of illegal fees and levies at road blocks.
Fowler made the request when he led a delegation of some members of the JTB on a courtesy call on the Inspector General of Police (IG) , Mr. Solomon Arase. Read more
Exports Slumped 40% In 2015 Over Fallen Oil Price
Nigerian exports slumped 40.3 per cent last year after a fall in crude prices slashed government’s revenues, weakened the currency and caused the economy to grow at its slowest pace in decades, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, faces its worst economic crisis in years, triggered by the fall in the value of its exports, mostly crude, which brings in the hard currency it uses to finance imports. Read more
Financial stocks lift NSE’s turnover by N18.3 billion
Heavy transactions in the shares of some banks and insurance stocks, especially Wema Bank Plc and Unity Kapital, last week, buoyed the volume of shares traded, as a turnover of 11.907 billion shares worth N18.338 billion were recorded by investors on the floor of the Exchange.
This amount recorded was, however, higher than a total of 1,111 billion units valued at N7.448 billion that changed hands in 15,562 deals during the preceding week. Read more
Dangote borrows Brazilian model to boost local rice production
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/CEO, Dangote Group has hired a Brazilian agricultural expert to replicate in Nigeria the model that Brazil used to transform the country from a net importer of rice in the year 2000 to a net exporter in the year of 2009.
In a statement, the company said that Mr. Lulu Carlos, the Brazilian, has already started work in the country as Special Adviser to Alhaji Aliko Dangote on Rice and Coordinator of Dangote Rice Farm Ltd’s out growers’ scheme. Read more
With $24.547m, Zenith Records Highest Forex Allocation from CBN
For the second time since banks started publishing their returns on foreign exchange (forex) utilisation purchased from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Zenith Bank Plc got the highest allocation garnering a total of $24,547,235.36 million. Zenith Bank was in fourth place in last week’s review of forex returns by THISDAY.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, which occupied the number one slot in the last two weeks, did not publish its returns. Read more
Unemployment: NEPC to create 1.5m jobs
Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has announced plans to create about 1.5 million jobs in the next five years via Nigerian Diaspora Export (NDEX) Programme.
Director-General, NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo, made this known at a stakeholders’ workshop organized by the council in Lagos, explaining that the NDEX programme had been part of the council’s efforts to rebrand the image of Nigeria, outside its shores, thereby generating more revenue for the nation. Read more
Oil and Gas
DPR denies withdrawing private licences
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has denied withdrawing licences for private refineries.
The DPR, in a statement yesterday, said: “In line with our commitment to entrench transparency in oil and gas regulation, we wish to make the following observations about private refineries: There are three stages of licensing for establishment of private refineries in Nigeria namely; Licence to Establish (LTE), Approval to Construct (ATC) and Licence to Operate (LTO). Read more
Nigeria Turns To Oil Swap To Stave Off Petrol Shortages
Nigeria is set to ramp up the amount of crude oil it swaps for vital petrol imports by more than a third as it grapples with the worst economic crisis in years and upheaval in its graft-ridden energy sector.
A more than 60 per cent drop in global oil prices since 2014 has hammered Nigeria’s economy and triggered a currency crisis, leaving it short of funds to pay for imports of oil products. Read more
Power: NERC Approves Licence for 550MW Ondo IPP
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued a generation licence to Ondo State Government and its partners, Kingline Development Company, a South Korean firm, to generate 550 megawatts (MW) of electricity in the state’s Independent Power Project (IPP) project.
A statement confirming this was sent to THISDAY yesterday in Abuja. Read more
Pinnick Banks On Iwobi, Ighalo, Mikel To Beat Egypt
Pinnick is particularly thrilled with the performance of Iwobi whose first EPL goal lifted Arsenal above home side Everton, winning 2-0 in the EPL game last Saturday. Pinnick boasts that the 19 year old will be in the groove when the Eagles clash with the Pharaohs in Kaduna.
“Our boys are in the best form for the Egypt game, and if they reproduces such form in Kaduna on Friday, goals will rain against the visitors. Already, some of the players have called to reassure us that they would show no mercy against Egypt and I believe them. We are not taking any chances against the Pharaohs,” Pinnick states in chat with Completesportsnigeria.com. Read more
Maigari Drums Support For Siasia, Super Eagles
Former president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari has called on Nigerians to rally round Samson Siasia to ensure that the Super Eagles beat their Egyptian counterparts in Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kaduna.
Maigari believes Siasia has the experience and technical ability to lead the Super Eagles and beat the Pharaohs of Egypt, but adds that the coach needs all-round support from Kaduna fans and the entire Nigerian football fans. Read more
Congo presidential polls close under media blackout
Congo voted on Sunday under a nationwide media blackout in a tense ballot expected to see President Denis Sassou Nguesso prolong his 32-year rule over the oil-rich but impoverished nation.
Voting seemed largely quiet in the capital, but it was impossible to get information from the rest of the country after the government shut down communications during the polls. Read more
Morocco expels over 80 members of UN mission in WSahara
More than 80 civilian members of a UN mission have left Western Sahara under a Moroccan expulsion order, airport sources and an AFP correspondent in the disputed territory said Sunday.
It was the latest chapter in a row between Morocco and the world body since UN chief Ban Ki-moon angered Rabat by using the term “occupation” to refer to the status of Western Sahara. Read more
Mbeki in Khartoum Monday to discuss consultative meeting outcome
The head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki will return to Khartoum on Monday to brief the Sudanese government on the position of the holdout opposition groups on the national dialogue.
Mbeki is exacted to meet the President Omer al-Bashir and to brief him about the outcome of the Strategic Consultations Meeting which meant to discuss the way forward to end way and national dialogue. Read more
Opposition returns to power in Cape Verde after 15 years
Cape Verde’s main opposition party won an absolute majority in general elections, according to nearly complete results, ousting the PAICV after 15 years in power.
The head of the ruling party, Janira Hopffer Almada, conceded defeat after the liberal opposition MPD party took more than 53 percent of the vote with nearly all ballots counted. Read more
Two Chinese nationals jailed for 30 years in Tanzania for killing 226 elephants
Two Chinese nationals have been sentenced to 30 years in jail in Tanzania for illegal possession of 706 pieces of elephant tusks, according to Reuters Africa.
Huang Gin, 53, and Xu Fujie, 25, were ordered to either pay 54.3 billion Tanzanian Shillings (HKD$193 million) or face jail time. Read more
Children among five dead after car goes over Buncrana Pier into the sea
Three children are among several people feared dead after a car plunged into the sea at a beauty spot in Ireland.
Five people are believed to have drowned and one person has been rescued after a car went over the end of Buncrana Pier in Co.Donegal in north-western Ireland. Read more
Chinese journalist linked to criticism of Xi Jinping detained by police, lawyer confirms
A lawyer for a missing Chinese journalist has confirmed that police removed his client from Beijing airport on Tuesday last week as he prepared to board a flight to Hong Kong.
The journalist, Jia Jia, has been linked to a detailed critique of Chinese president Xi Jinping that was briefly shared on the internet in March before censors took it down. Read more
Biden says Israel settlements raise questions about commitment to peace
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called on Israel’s government on Sunday to demonstrate its commitment to a two-state solution to end the conflict with the Palestinians and said settlement expansion is weakening prospects for peace.
“Israel’s government’s steady and systematic process of expanding settlements, legalising outposts, seizing land, is eroding in my view the prospect of a two-state solution,” Biden said in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a leading pro-Israel lobbying group. Read more
Two British ships arrive in Japan to carry plutonium to US
Two British ships have arrived in eastern Japan to transport a shipment of plutonium large enough to make dozens of atomic bombs to the US for storage under a bilateral agreement.
Kyodo News agency said the two ships arrived on the coast of Tokai village, north east of Tokyo and home to the country’s main nuclear research facility, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. Read more
Bus crash kills 13 exchange students in Spain
The 57 passengers included Spaniards and foreign nationals from around 20 countries, authorities said.
The bus appeared to have hit a guardrail of the AP7 highway before cartwheeling across the road, slamming through a divider and landing on its side, said Jordi Jane, spokesman for Catalonia province. Read more
Human history in Ireland rewritten as scientists get down to bear bones
Analysis of a bear bone found in an Irish cave has provided evidence of human existence in Ireland 2,500 years earlier than previously thought, academics have announced.
For decades, the earliest evidence of human life in Ireland dated from 8,000 BC. Read more
MH370 search: Mozambique debris arrives in Australia
Two pieces of debris found in Mozambique which may have come from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 have arrived in Australia for analysis.
One item was found on a sandbank by an amateur US investigator in late February and the other in December by a South African tourist. Read more