Sabinews Morning News Update for March 25, 2016
Military kills five terrorists, rescues 180 hostages in Borno
Troops of 7 Division Garrison and 112 Battalion of the Nigerian Army have killed five Boko Haram terrorists and rescued 180 hostages during a six-hour clean-up operation in five communities of Borno State.
The freed communities include Menari, Bulamari, Baale, Maafa, Zangebe and Kaltaram in Mafa Local Council of the state. Read more
Boko Haram Abducts 14 Women, 2 Girls in Adamawa
It was yet another tale of sorrow on Thursday as suspected members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, abducted about 14 women and two girls in Sabongari village, Madagali Local Government of Adamawa State.
The incident occurred as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, disclosed that plans were being mapped out for the final onslaught to regain total control of the North East, particularly Bornu State where the insurgents had inflicted maximum casualty on the populace. Read more
Senate PDP Caucus Asks INEC to Release Results of Rivers Rerun
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate on Thursday demanded for the release of the results last Saturday’s rerun elections in River State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Rising from a meeting held in Abuja, the caucus asked the electoral commission to release all the results collated in polling units, wards and local government areas of the state at the weekend. Read more
Senate C’ttee Accuses PPPRA of Robbing FERMA N634bn, Orders Payment
The Senate Committee on Works Thursday accused Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) of failing to remit NN634 billion revenue belonging to the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) since 2007.
Consequently, the committee ordered the agency to immediately pay the agency the money. Read more
FG to Repatriate Nigeria’s Looted Funds Stashed in UAE
The federal government Thursday said it was poised to repatriating a significant amount of Nigeria’s looted funds stashed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It said though it could not be specific on the figure of the looted funds stashed in the UAE, but noted that the amount could be on the high side. Read more
I am Ready For Trial, Says Saraki
Faced by the insistence of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja that it has jurisdiction to try him for alleged falsification of assets charges brought against him by the Federal Government, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said on Thursday that he was ready to take the opportunity of the trial to clear his name.
The tribunal for the second time yesterday held that it has jurisdiction to try Saraki for the alleged falsification of assets. Read more
I have Three Years More, Buhari Replies Critics
Critics carpeting President Muhammadu Buhari for his perceived slow performance in his 10-month presidency got a reply yesterday with the President responding that the criticisms were too early and hasty since he has three more years to prove his mettle.
“I know you are being harassed since the election that they haven’t seen anything on the ground. Well, if you have any explanation that could be accepted, it is that you have three more years to go,” he said at the opening of the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja. Read more
Court to Hear Metuh’s Request for Judge to Disqualify Self April 8
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed April 8 for hearing of the application filed by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, asking Justice Okon Abang to disqualify himself on the grounds that he would not get justice from him.
Yesterday, Justice Abang adjourned the case but warned that it would be the last time he would grant adjournment on the case. Read more
IG Visits Agatu, Deploys More Policemen, Vehicles
Following the recent killings of nine persons in Agatu Local Government Areas of Benue State by suspected Fulani herdsmen, the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Solomon Arase, has visited the area to assess the extent of damage and the impact on the people of the state.
Based on his assessment and logistical requirement, according to a statement signed by the Force spokesperson, Olabisi Kolawole, the IG immediately deployed two units of riot policemen to the area to reinforce the unit on the ground, while additional police operational vehicles were also sent to the state police command to aid operational support. Read more
Presidential panel indicts 300 firms, serving, retired military officers
Not less than 300 companies in the country, prominent individuals, serving and retired military officers have been indicted by the committee set up to reform and clean up the use of public funds in the office of the National Security Adviser.
According to a statement yesterday, which was first aired on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Network News, the committee said over N7 billion has already been recovered by the committee while another N41 billion is to be refunded by the indicted individuals and companies. Read more
Easter Holiday: IGP Orders AIGs, CPs To Beef Up Security
In order to ensure a peaceful and incident-free Easter celebration, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase
has directed all Zonal AIGs and State Command Commissioners of Police to take all necessary measures in ensuring the provision of adequate security for worshippers, travellers, picnickers and all citizens across the country before, during and after the festive season. Read more
PDP In Make or Mar Convention
The National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) slated for May 21, 2016 may determine the future of the party, especially as it plans to reinvent itself and get back the power it lost to All Progressives Congress (APC) in last 2015 general elections. Already there are indications that the congress may be derailed by the activities of some aggrieved members of the party. Only recently , a group within the party known as Restart PDP asked the court to stop the plan convention demanding that Ali Modu Sheriff the newly appointed Chairman vacate office by the end of March. Read more
Lassa Fever Claims 14 Lives in Taraba
Lassa fever has claimed 14 lives in Taraba State from January to date, an official has said. Dr Aisha Sani, the Chairperson, Lassa Fever Committee in the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jalingo, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Jalingo.
According to her, of the 49 suspected cases of the disease reported in the hospital, 21 persons were treated and discharged. Read more
Nigerian Oil Companies, Banks Still in Good Shape, Says Kachikwu
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said that oil companies and other related financial institutions operating in Nigeria will not go bankrupt following the current volatility in the prices of crude oil in the international market.
Kachikwu explained that the resilient character of these firms will keep them up through the oil prices slide, that they would survive the price plunge despite its continued impact on their bottom lines. Read more
Capital Flight from Foreign Airlines Hits $4bn Annually
Revenues from ticket sales by foreign airlines, salary emoluments from expatriate pilots and engineers, and cost of aircraft maintenance overseas have risen to over $4 billion annually, THISDAY checks have revealed.
The National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) disclosed that as much as $2.3 billion was generated by Nigerian travel agents in 2014 from ticket sales for foreign airlines and tour services. Of this amount, $1.4 billion was generated from ticket sales alone. Besides travel agents, foreign airlines sell tickets through the banks, airports and city offices, which generate almost the same amount with the travel agents. Read more
NEPC to Engage Nigerians in Diasporas to Drive Non-oil Export, Economic Diversification
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has announced plans to engage Nigerians in Diaspora to boost the nation’s non-oil export products, noting that this move was part of its contribution to the nation’s quest of economic diversification.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, explained that with the dwindling revenues from oil as a result of the sharp drop in oil prices and alternative sources of energy no thanks to the discovery of shale oil in the United States, has more than ever before, created an urgent need for accelerating the country’s economic diversification efforts. Read more
Foreign investors withdrew N31.84bn from stock market in Feb —NSE
Foreign investors withdrew a total of N31.84 billion from the country last month as they continue to sell their interest in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE. According to a data from the NSE, foreign outflows during the period increased by 20.79 per cent from N26.36 billion in January 2016 to N31.84 billion, consistent with the trend in 2015. Read more
Index up 0.63%, as International Breweries leads gainers
Trading in equities closed on a positive note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took position on stocks. The All Share Index appreciated 0.63 per cent to close at 25,899.91points, as against the decline of 1.09 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 25,736.92 points. Market capitalization gained N56 billion to close at N8.909 trillion, in contrast to the decline of N97 billion recorded the preceding day to close at N8.853 trillion. The appreciation recorded in the share prices of UBA, PZ Cussons, Zenith Bank, Nigerian Breweries and Access Bank were mainly responsible for the gain recorded in the Index. The total value of stocks traded on the floors of the NSE today was N3.28billion, up 23.91 per cent from N2.65billion recorded the preceding day. Read more
Oil and Gas
House Opens Investigations into Oil Prospecting, Mining Licenses
The House of Representatives has set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the processes of the award of Oil Prospecting Licences (OPL) and Oil Mining Licences (OML) to all its beneficiaries.
The House said the investigation is necessary as the processes were discovered to be flawed, thereby shortchanging the country. Read more
Russian Oil Exports Threaten OPEC’s Output Freeze Deal
Russia is set to export more crude oil to Europe in April than it had exported in any month since 2013, thus threatening a global agreement between the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members on freezing production in a bid to lift the price of crude oil.
This development, Reuters has reported, illustrates how hard it would be to enforce the forthcoming agreement that is due to be finalised on April 17 in Qatar. Read more
Construction of $3.8bn Egina FPSO Nears Completion
Egina oil and gas project would be successfully implemented as the construction of the $3.8 billion floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) platform is nearing completion.
The construction of the facility started in 2013 with the award of the contract to Korea engineering giant, Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI). The SHI was awarded the contract for the building of a world class oil production platform, while the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) was its local content partner. Read more
Power generation drops to 2,841MW
As if to call the bluff of President Muhammadu Buhari’s pronouncement to generate 10,000 megawatts, MW, by 2019, output from the generating plants dropped to as low as 2,841MW by mid-day, yesterday.
Data from the Nigerian Systems Operations Department of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, website, www.nsong.org, indicated that the situation had gone even worse with generation dropping again to 2,841.90MW as at 12:42pm, yesterday. Read more
Captain Mikel Leads Eagles in Battle against Pharaohs
John Mikel Obi emerged as the captain of the national team following the sensational demotion of Ahmed Musa to the vice-captain position 24 hours before Nigeria takes on Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kaduna today.
At a pre-match media parley at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, on Thursday, Musa, the CSKA Moscow striker, insisted the decision to step down for Mikel was at his instance to pave way for the most senior player to become the captain. Read more
Congolese president wins re-election
Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso has extended his 32 years in power, winning presidential elections in the first round with 60 percent of the vote, the interior minister said.
Raymond Zephyrin Mboulou, the interior minister, announced the results on national television at 3:30am local time (02:30 GMT) on Thursday after a tense weekend poll held under a communications blackout. Read more
Mali, B’Faso, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire raise efforts to fight terror
Security ministers of four West African countries yesterday pledged to improve cooperation in fighting terrorism plaguing the region. Dozens of locals and foreigners have died in hotel attacks in recent months.
Ministers from Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire ended a two-day meeting yesterday by agreeing to improve how they share intelligence and coordinate their national security services, as well as to standardise legislation for better border controls. The meeting was called in the wake of the terrorist raids in all the countries except Senegal. Read more
Malaysia hangs three men for murder in ‘secretive’ execution
Malaysia has executed three men for murder, their lawyer said, in what rights groups called a “secretive” hanging in which the men’s families were given only two days notice.
“The execution was done between 4:30 and 5:30 this morning,” lawyer Palaya Rengaiah told the Guardian. “They were hanged to death.” Read more
Turkish Cumhuriyet journalists to go on trial
Two prominent Turkish journalists are due to go on trial charged with revealing state secrets.
Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, from the newspaper Cumhuriyet, were arrested in November over a report alleging that the Turkish government had tried to ship arms to Islamists in Syria. Read more
China’s ongoing war on pollution
While air quality remains dangerously poor in many Chinese cities, over a year of stricter environmental regulations has resulted in measurably less pollution. Yet in some parts of the country, many residents have felt that the results of China’s anti-pollution measures may not be enough to justify negative impacts to the economy and employment.
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) certainly has its work cut out for it. On the one hand, dangerous levels of pollution in urban and industrial centers have resulted in unlivable conditions, a multi-pronged health crisis and public backlash against local and national government as well as the industries doing the polluting. Read more
Israel Detains Soldier Seen in Video Shooting Palestinian on Ground
The Israeli military on Thursday detained a soldier who was captured on video shooting an injured Palestinian who was lying on the ground.
The army said the incident took place in the West Bank city of Hebron after two Palestinians stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier. It said that troops then shot and killed the pair. Read more