*Presidency: No vacancy in 2019 — APC* *Ex-PDP Chair, Bello, diverted N120m – witness *

*Presidency: No vacancy in 2019 — APC* *Ex-PDP Chair, Bello, diverted N120m – witness *

Sabinews Morning News Update for March 23, 2016

National

Presidency: No vacancy in 2019 — APC 

There will be no vacancy in the Presidency in 2019, members of the National Caucus of the All Progressives Congress, APC, declared on Tuesday night in a seeming lure to President Muhammadu Buhari to seek a second term.

The national caucus, comprising serving and former governors, the National Assembly leadership, and selected members of the national executive of the party, at the meeting said the endorsement of President Buhari for a second term would help to stabilise the polity in the face of what members described as the 16-year rot inherited from Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Read more

Ex-PDP Chair, Bello, diverted N120m – witness 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Haliru Bello, who was alleged to have illegally received N300 million from the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, diverted N120 million to his personal use.

Bello is answering to a four-count criminal charge alongside his son, Abba. The firm allegedly used to perpetuate the fraud, BAM Projects and Properties Limited, was also cited as the third defendant. Read more

2016 budget formulated on new template, say lawmakers

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Danjuma Goje and his House of Representatives counterpart, Abdulmumin Jibrin, yesterday said the National Assembly passed the harmonised 2016 budget that was formulated on a new template of $38 per barrel, different from what had existed in the past 16 years.

Addressing a joint press conference after the passage by both chambers yesterday, the lawmakers called for more collaboration between the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the budget office to avoid a reoccurrence of the errors detected in the budget. Read more

Stakeholders worry over increasing foreign airfares

Stakeholders in the travel industry have raised alarm over the astronomical increase in airfares charged by foreign airlines, which according to them have gone up by more than 150 per cent.

Besides, they alleged that the airlines are abusing and exploiting the present forex regime in the country. Read more

12.6m deaths linked to unhealthy environments

A new estimates released yesterday by the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggest that 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012 – nearly one in four of total global deaths.

According to the second edition of the WHO report, “Preventing disease through healthy environments: a global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks,” environmental risk factors, such as air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposures, climate change, and ultraviolet radiation, contribute to more than 100 diseases and injuries. Read more

INEC should announce collated results, says Wike

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has questioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s constitutional power to suspend the release of already collated results in last Saturday’s rerun state and national legislative elections.

But INEC has maintained that no further action will be taken concerning the rerun elections until it finishes the assessment of personnel and materials deployed for the conduct of the polls. Read more

We make provision for only 400,000 UTME candidates – NUC

The National Universities Commission has said only 400,000 out of the 1.5 million candidates that  sit  the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination yearly  gain admission to Nigerian universities, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie,  said  this when  Edo State Governor  Adams Oshiomhole  visited the commission on Wednesday in Abuja. Read more

Police quiz Queen’s College teacher, principal over allegation

The Lagos State Police Command has begun investigation into an alleged case of sexual abuse against a biology teacher of Queen’s College, Mr. Owoseni Osifala.

The police on Wednesday quizzed Osifala and the school’s principal, Lami Amodu,  at the police command headquarters, Ikeja. Read more

JAMB probes 15 staff for UTME centres’ crisis

The Registrar/Chief Executive of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof. Dibu, Ojerinde, has said 15 employees of the agency are currently under investigation for allegedly compromising standard in the accreditation of examination centres that defrauded JAMB on the availability of adequate infrastructure.

Ojerinde said this during the visit of the House of Representatives Committee to the JAMB head office in Abuja on Wednesday. Read more

Nigerian man assaulted for protesting Holi balloon in Delhi

Two Nigerian nationals, including a football coach, were brutally assaulted with cricket and baseball bats after one of them protested and scolded a child for hurling a water-filled balloon on him in a West Delhi locality.

They were attacked by a group of 12 young men soon after. The incident occurred in Sunday and police, who registered a case 24 hours later, after senior officers intervened, are yet to make any arrest. Read more

Economy

MPR hike triggers reaction in stock market, as indices slide by N97b

In a reaction to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s monetary policy hike, investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, embarked on profit taking as several stocks depreciated in value.

The development, which reversed the four-day rally in the stock market also pulled market capitalisation by N97 billion. Read more

BoI, First Bank, others target one million new entrepreneurs

Acknowledging the fact that entrepreneurship development will aid the creation of job opportunities to address the high level of unemployment in Nigeria, the Bank of Industry (BoI), First Bank of Nigeria Limited and the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) have announced plans to raise one million new entrepreneurs in the country. The Acting Managing Director, Waheed Olagunju, explained the urgent need to bring down the level of unemployment in the nation to single digit, maintaining that the nation will be sitting on a time bomb of youth restiveness if nothing is done in the next two to three years to address the scourge. Read more

FOREX crisis: Food, beverage sector to sack 3m workers 

ORGANISED Labour, yesterday, raised alarm that the food, beverage and tobacco sector of the nation’s economy was on the verge of shutting down and that over three million jobs were at risk due to the inability of companies to source foreign exchange to import raw material for operations.

Already, leading companies in the sector, such as Nigerian Flour Mills, Nigerian Breweries Limited, Guinness Plc, Nigerian Bottling Company, 7-UP Bottling Company Plc, Friesland Campina Wamco Plc, among others, have written to labour for discussions on retrenchment of workers. Read more

CBN approves N3m loan per beneficiary of YIEDP 

In an effort to reduce the unemployment rate in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria, said it has approved the sum of N3 million credit line to each beneficiary of Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme, YIEDP.

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this during the launch of the programme in Abuja, said that a credit line of up to N3 million would be made available to each eligible youth. Read more

CBN policy reversal: Interest rates, Bond yields rise 

Nigeria’s financial markets have been hit by the full impact of policy reversal which Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, announced two days ago with interest rates and bond yields spiking, while stock market went down.

The apex bank had raised its benchmark Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, to 12 per cent from 11 per cent, while also increasing the Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR, to 22.5 per cent from 20 per cent at end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, barely four months after the committee had reduced all the rates. Read more

Oil and Gas

Govt plans independent ownership of oil pipelines

Arrangements are in top gear by the Federal Government to incorporate independent ownership of oil and gas pipelines in other to aid smooth maintenance and operation of the pipelines transport system.

Already, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has started drafting the modalities of operation in the independent pipeline regime. Read more

Govt reviews fuel import rules to check scarcity

To end the perennial scarcity of fuel in the country, the Federal Government is exploring ways to overcome the challenges being faced by petroleum importers like securing foreign exchange (forex).

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday after the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and President of Petroleum and Natural Gas‎ Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) met President Muhammadu Buhari, explained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was overwhelmed by the additional burden of providing 100 per cent of the national consumption hence the long queues across the country. Read more

US import of Nigerian crude hits three-year high

Imports of Nigerian crude by the United States last week jumped to 559,000 barrels per day, a weekly record going back to mid-2013.

The rise comes as refining firms turned to imports of West African crude that had previously been displaced by domestic grades during the US shale boom. Read more

NNPC increases focus on gas amid oil slump

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said it is placing more emphasis on gas commercialisation, processing of gas into high-value products for both domestic use and export.

This, according to the corporation, is part of “stern measures” being taken to address the effect of sliding crude oil prices. Read more

Power

120 killed in electricity accidents last year – NERC

No fewer than 120 deaths arising from accidents were recorded in the power sector in 2015, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

According to NERC, the sector also recorded 117 injuries during the period, as it decried the high number of casualties in the industry despite having trained engineers in the workforce. Read more

NERC to Query TCN for Failing to Submit Performance Report

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) wednesday said it would query the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for not submitting six months report of its performance in Nigeria’s electricity industry in 2015.

NERC said TCN failed to submit to it the mandatory operational report between January and June of 2015. Read more

Sports

Siasia plots Egypt’s fall, affirms Musa as team captain

Super Eagles interim coach, Samson Siasia and his assistants have mapped out the strategy that would nail the Pharaohs of Egypt tomorrow when they meet at the Ahmdau Bello Stadium, officials of the team have revealed.

Speaking through the team’s Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, after yesterday evening’s training session, Coach Siasia expressed his delight at the level of commitment displayed by the players in training, saying that the Eagles were ready to demolish the Pharaohs tomorrow. Read more

Iheanacho, Mikel, Moses thrill fans, as Iwobi returns to training

The Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, yesterday wore a festive mood as fans from within and outside the city thronged the arena to catch a glimpse of the Super Eagles, who are expected to be true heroes when they confront the Pharaohs of Egypt in an African Nations Cup qualifier tomorrow.

This is the second time the Eagles will play at the stadium during this qualifying series, but tomorrow’s game has assumed a higher dimension following the quality and reputation of Nigeria’s opponents. Read more

Makinwa kicks against foreign coaches for Eagles

Former Nigeria striker Henry Makinwa has urged the Nigeria Football Federation not to employ foreign coaches to lead the national teams.

He stated that Nigerian coaches were good and only needed time and support from Nigerians. He spoke in Ilorin on Wednesday after he was unveiled as the new head coach of Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC. Read more

Oliseh to appear before sports committee today

Former Super eagles coach Sunday Oliseh is expected to give his own version to why he suddenly quit his post with just a month to the crucial AFCON qualifiers against Egypt.

“Sports Minister Solomon Dalung has insisted he be part of the committee’s hearing and so he will be in attendance on Thursday,” a sports ministry official informed. Read more

World News

 New Zealand flag referendum set to reveal result

New Zealanders are waiting to hear whether they will have a new flag, as a referendum on whether to replace their existing one draws to a close.

The postal vote closes at 19:00 local time (06:00 GMT) with a preliminary result announced soon after. Read more

Somalia’s Prime Minister Is Backing a Campaign to End Female Genital Mutilation

The Prime Minister of Somalia officially endorsed a public campaign to stop female genital mutilation (FGM) this week, in a significant step towards eliminating the practice in one of the countries where it is most prevalent.

Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke added his signature to over a million others on an online petition demanding a total ban on FGM, the BBC reported. Read more

Kenya face China, SA in Hong Kong 7s

Kenya Sevens women’s team will face South Africa, China and Kazakhstan in the Hong Kong Invitational Sevens tournament slated for next month.

Kenya team is using the tour as a build-up for the Rio Olympic Games in August. Coach Mike Shamiah said the tournament in Hong Kong is ideal preparation for the big event in Brazil. Read more

Congo Wants 20,000 Cut From UN Force, UN Wants Just 1,700

Congo’s foreign minister said the government has set a goal of cutting the 20,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in the country in half by the end of the year – a much more drastic cut than the 1,700-member reduction recommended by the U.N. secretary-general.

The mandate for the Congo peacekeeping force expires later this month and it will be up to the U.N. Security Council to decide on any cuts. Read more

Uganda now demands Yellow Fever inoculation certificates

It is clear that in an act of over reaction has Uganda’s Ministry of Health, and to make it worse with immediate effect, instituted the requirement for Yellow Fever inoculation certificates, or else ‘Ministry of Health – All persons entering Uganda must have a yellow fever certificate, otherwise, you’re vaccinated or put in the isolation unit‘.  Read more

An Israeli Firm Is Reportedly Helping the FBI Unlock the San Bernardino Killer’s Phone

The F.B.I. being apparently assisted by an Israeli tech firm in its efforts to unlock the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook — a perpetrator of December’s attacks in San Bernardino, Calif.

Apple has been steadfast in its refusal to aid the F.B.I. in accessing the phone’s information, saying that doing so would breach privacy rights, but on Monday U.S. prosecutors said that a “non-governmental third party” had provided them with a solution. Read more

North Korea tests solid-fuel rocket engine, says state media

Kim Jong-un hailed a “historic” advance in the country’s nuclear strike capability, state media said, as the North Korean regime claimed it had successfully tested a solid-fuel rocket engine.

It was the latest in a string of claims by Pyongyang regarding the growing technical sophistication of its nuclear programme – accompanied by threats of strikes on the US mainland. Read more

Brussels attacks: Paris bomb maker was one of airport suicide bombers

The second Brussels airport suicide bomber, Najim Laachraoui, was a suspected bomb maker for Isis’s massacre in Paris and was already being hunted by police before the latest attack.

The 24-year-old was previously believed to be on the run after dumping a bag containing a bomb that failed to detonate and fleeing the airport on Tuesday. Read more

 

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