Sabinews Morning News Update for March 29, 2016
Rivers abandons monorail project
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has disclosed that though his administration will strive to complete numerous projects abandoned by predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, the abandoned monorail will not be one of them.
“Rivers people have told me not to touch the monorail left behind by the other government,” he said today in an interview on Channels TV. Read more
Senate Summons Kachikwu Over Unending Fuel Scarcity
Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, is to appear on Tuesday before the Senate to answer to summons issued on him over unending fuel scarcity across the country.
After taking a tour of the Abuja metropolis for hours, checking and asking questions from fuel dealers and motorists on the persistent fuel scarcity, the upper legislative chamber described the situation as unwelcomed and directed the petroleum minister to come over and explain why the situation is not abating. Read more
Army Offers N1m Reward for Information on Kidnapped Colonel
The 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, has offered a N1 million reward to anyone with any useful information that could lead to the arrest of the abductors of Colonel Samaila Inusa who was kidnapped in the state on Saturday.
The military officer, serving with the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, near Kaduna, was abducted at about 7.30 pm when he went to visit his in-laws at the Kamanzo area, near NNPC junction, Kaduna. Read more
Nigerians Mourn Passing of Fiery Lawyer, Activist and Presidential Hopeful, Tunji Braithwaite
Family, friends, political associates and legal luminaries monday thronged the Teslim Elias residence of the late fiery lawyer, politician and human rights activist, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, 82, who died at 5.55 am monday.
The second son of the deceased, Olumide Braithwaite, said his late father suffered a stroke and heart failure. Read more
PDP Commences Committal Proceedings Against Amaechi, Army Chiefs, Others
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has asked a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt to commit the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin, and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai, to prison for deploying soldiers during the March 19 rerun elections in defiance of a court order.
Others included in the committal proceedings are the Commander of the 2 Army Brigade, Port Harcourt, Brigadier General Stephenson Olabanji, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak. Read more
FG Sends Photograph of Suicide Bomber to Chibok Community for Identification
Photographs of the suspected Boko Haram bombers who claimed to be one of the 219 Chiboks girls have been sent to the Chibok community for possible identification, the Presidency disclosed Monday. The girl was arrested by the Camerounian authorities.
A statement issued yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said Camerounian health and security officials had started providing medical care to the girl. Read more
Presidency: Buhari Has N3tn to Spend on Projects
Following growing concerns over the untold hardship borne by Nigerians due to unpaid wages, the fuel shortages, constant power outages and job losses, the presidency monday said the federal government was expected to spend a portion of the N3 trillion sterilised in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the coming weeks on projects in a bid to cushion the effects of the economic downturn.
The president’s media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu, told journalists in Abuja monday that the president aims to introduce various interventions that would bolster the economy, thereby enhancing spending and investment in the economy. Read more
Spending of Abacha Loot: FG Must Obey the Law, Says Court
The Federal High Court in Lagos has insisted on the enforcement of the judgment which order the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to publish widely the spending of recovered stolen funds since return of democracy in 1999.
The details of the judgment are contained in the certified true copy released monday by a civil society organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Acacountability Project (SERAP to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN). Read more
Army Denies Involvement in Arrest, Detention of 76 Awgu Farmers
Almost two weeks after about 76 hapless farmers, including youths and aged men from Ugwuneshi, in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State were remanded at a federal prison in Afara, Umuahia, Abia State following a clash with Fulani herdsmen, the Nigerian Army has dismissed reports that those who rounded them up were soldiers.
Spokesman of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col. H. Gambo, who spoke with THISDAY, said the Division was not aware of the arrest by its men, noting that information available to them showed that none of their men was involved in such dastardly act. Read more
Kaduna defends proposed religious edict, verification exercise
Kaduna State Government has defended the system of governance adopted by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, saying that the criticisms trailing some of the policies of the administration were from mischief makers bent on politicising the religious bill and verification exercise.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affairs, Mallam Uba Sani, who spoke yesterday on the various policies embarked upon by the governor in the state, said that: “We are not going to get tired of explaining to our people that all the policies, programmes as well as legislations currently being implemented or about to be implemented by the El-Rufai administration will always be in the best interest of the state.” Read more
Six-month blackout forces estate residents to fetch stream water
Residents of Yotomi Golden Estate along the Ofada-Owode Road, Mowe, Ogun State, say life has been made difficult by a six-month power outage in the area.
PUNCH Metro learnt that since October, 2015, when the estate’s only transformer was vandalised by hoodlums, power had been cut off from the area, which also affected water supply and forced some residents to fetch water from a stream near the estate. Read more
Street Urchins Sack Market, Traders In Lagos
Commercial activities in Lagos State are increasingly coming under the threat of street urchins (Omoniles), who unlash mayhem on markets, destroy shops and sack traders from their businesses.
Ashada market, located between the boundary of Agege and Ikeja local government areas of the state, is the latest victim of the unruly activities of these street urchins. Read more
Zenith Maintains Lead in Forex Allocation from CBN
For the second week in a row, Zenith Bank Plc has maintained its lead with the highest allocation of foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the returns on utilisation of forex published by banks last week have shown.
Zenith Bank with an allotment of $23,630,485.39 was closely followed by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) which got $23,549,564.32, to come in second, while Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited with $20,003,513.17 held the third slot. Read more
Elumelu to Speak at Harvard, Columbia Universities on Development Strategies for Africa
The Chairman of Heirs Holdings; Mr. Tony Elumelu, will at the weekend engage with the academics, thought leaders and students in two of America’s prestigious universities; Harvard and Columbia on development strategies for Africa.
The African business leader, who is also Chairman of United Bank for Africa, will deliver a keynote address at the 2016 edition of the annual Harvard International Development Conference (HIDC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Saturday, April 2, 2016. Read more
Minister, NIPOST clash over stamp duty
The Ministry of Communications and the Nigerian Postal Services are on a collision course over the appointment of agents for the collection of stamp duties in several sectors of the economy.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by a consultant to the ministry, Tajudeen Kareem, the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, said NIPOST had not been authorised to appoint any new agent for the collection of stamp duties. Read more
MSMEs have lost N30bn to fuel scarcity – ACCI
About N30bn has been lost by Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises in the last 30 days owing to the persistent fuel scarcity being experienced across the country.
The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, gave the figure in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday. Read more
Most NSE stock prices not fair value – Shareholders
The prices of most stocks quoted on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange have been described as ‘not fair’ considering the positions of the firms in question and the level of investment in them by shareholders.
Some shareholders, who spoke to our correspondent on the issue, pointed out that most of the stocks were undervalued. Read more
How CBN new rates will reduce, induce inflation, by experts
The rates decisions reached at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meetings last week have continued to generate mixed reactions among financial experts and market operators.
While some are seeing the decisions as the beginning of another effort towards reversing economic challenges and losses, others are of the opinion that the four-month monetary easing programme should not have been started at all. Read more
Heritage launches N500m grant for young entrepreneurs
Heritage Bank Limited has raised its support for entrepreneurship and education in the country with the launch of a N500 million Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) grant.
The initiative, which is in partnership with the Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF), according to the bank, will support students and young entrepreneurs toward socio-economic freedom. Read more
Lagarde seeks Lipton’s reappointment as Deputy MD
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Christine Lagarde, announced yesterday her proposal to reappoint David Lipton as First Deputy Managing Director to a five-year term beginning September 1.
In announcing her decision, Lagarde said: “I am delighted to propose having David Lipton continue as the First Deputy Managing Director. Combining international expertise, public sector policy making and private sector experience, and a proven track record in economic crisis management, David has demonstrated over the last five years his excellent policy-making acumen, a drive toward innovation, a highly developed set of communication and negotiating skills, and invaluable appreciation of IMF policies and procedures. Read more
Oil and Gas
Tension in PPPRA over Alleged ‘Waiver’ for Appointment of Executive Secretary
The waiver allegedly obtained from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) for the appointment of Mrs. Sotonye Iyoyo as the acting Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has continued to create tension at the agency after the expiration of the one month promised by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu to resolve the issues surrounding her controversial appointment, THISDAY has learnt.
Iyoyo was until her appointment, the manager in charge of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Read more
Cooking Gas Operators Decry Payment of Associated Costs in Dollars
Marketers of cooking gas and other operators in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) market have denounced the practice whereby certain associated costs, which they describe in the LPG sub-sector as agent fees, are paid in foreign exchange.
Some of the marketers, who spoke to THISDAY at the weekend, noted that while the purchasing price of the commodity is paid in Naira, the associated costs are paid in foreign exchange, thus contributing to higher costs in view of the current scarcity of forex. Read more
Shell Increases Gas Production in Eastern Niger Delta
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture has announced that more gas is being produced from Agbada field in the Eastern Niger Delta in support of federal government’s aspiration of increasing domestic gas production for manufacturing and power generation.
This development is coming at a time Nigeria’s power supply has dropped significantly due to gas shortages to power stations. Read more
NNPC Unveils Strategies to End Current Fuel Scarcity in Next Few Days
Apparently miffed by the controversy generated by the declaration of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, that the current petrol shortages could last up to two months, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has unveiled strategies to end the scarcity within the next few days.
The corporation has also reassured Nigerians that it was on top of the petroleum products supply and distribution situation, and remained committed to eliminating this endemic issue once and for all within the next few days. Read more
ExxonMobil Announces 2015 Reserves Additions, Makes Additional Oil Discoveries in Nigeria
Exxon Mobil Corporation has said that it added 1 billion oil-equivalent barrels of proved oil and gas reserves in 2015, replacing 67 percent of production, including a 219 percent replacement ratio for crude oil and other liquids.
The oil major said that at year-end 2015, its proved reserves totaled 24.8 billion oil-equivalent barrels, noting that liquids represented 59 percent of proved reserves, up from 54 percent in 2014. Read more
NLNG Refutes Airborne Disorder Allegation In Bonny
The management of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has disputed a report that some staff and community residents were seriously ‘sick and hospitalised’ as a result of ‘airborne disorder from dangerous gas related to routine maintenance work being undertaken at our facility in Bonny.
In a statement by the General Manager External Relations of Nigeria LNG Limited, Kudo Eresia-Eke, the company said: “Nigeria LNG’s (NLNG) attention has been drawn to a recent news story on a Nigerian social media platforms alleging that over 50 of our staff and community residents are seriously ‘sick and hospitalised’ as a result of ‘airborne disorder from dangerous gas related to routine maintenance work being undertaken at our facility in Bonny. We wish to state for avoidance of doubt that the allegation is false and irresponsible.” Read more
Shell Restates Commitment to Efficiency in Energy Consumption
The Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor has restated the company’s commitment to the promotion of energy efficiency in Nigeria.
Speaking at the recent inauguration of the Imani-Shell Estate Phase 2 located in Maitama District of Abuja, which was developed by Shell Nigeria Closed Pension Fund Administrator (SNCPFA), in partnership with Imani and Sons Nigeria Limited, Okunbor said the new apartments were designed to be energy-efficient. Read more
Fashola Secures Release of 300,000 Legally Encumbered PHCN Meters
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has disclosed that he has secured the release of about 300,000 electricity meters which belonged to defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) but were locked up in a warehouse because of a lingering legal case against the contract for their procurement.
Fashola said in a YouTube question and answer webinar which THISDAY monitored in Abuja monday that hopefully this huge volume of meters would be put to good use by the electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country. Read more
NERC Harps On Efficient Service Delivery To Consumers
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has called on all electricity distribution companies to make efficient and effective service delivery to their customers their watch word.
He said this would not only win the confidence of the customers for their service provider but also allow customers to benefit from the gain of the privatisation of the power sector. Read more
Former Honduras President Pleads Guilty in FIFA Scandal
Callejas, a member of FIFA’s television and marketing committee and the country’s president from 1990 to 1994, told the judge in a Brooklyn federal courtroom in the USA that he had taken bribes and distributed some of the money to others, acts that he acknowledged knowing were wrong.
He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy, with each charge including a maximum of 20 years in prison. Read more
Nigeria Confronts Egypt in Battle of Blood and Thunder
The Super Eagles face an uphill task in their bid to reach the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon next year, when they meet Egypt in a Group G fixture in Alexandria this evening.
Such is the importance attached to the fixture, one of the matches on Super Tuesday across Africa, that it can fittingly be regarded as one of the most important matches by the Eagles in about three decades. Read more
Siasia promises different eagles, Amunike admits Nigeria faces tough task
Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia, has promised Nigerians that they would see a better performance from his team than they witnessed in Kaduna on Friday when Nigeria met Egypt in the first leg of their 2017 African Nations Cup qualifying series double-header. But the team’s Assistant Coach, Emmanuel Amunike, has admitted that Nigeria faces a tough task in Egypt today.
Nigeria will meet Egypt today in a make or mar tie in the city of Alexandria. Read more
Angolan Rapper Among 17 Jailed for Alleged Plot to Overthrow the President
Angolan rapper and activist Luaty Beirão, an outspoken critic of his country’s authoritarian government, has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail for allegedly attempting to overthrow the President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
Beirão was sentenced along with 16 of his fellow activists — who received jail terms ranging from two to eight years — in the African nation’s capital Luanda on Monday, reports Agence France-Presse. Read more
Robert Mugabe lands in Japan for state visit
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has landed in Japan for a five-day state visit pleading for aid as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hailed him as an “esteemed African elder”. In a bid to counterbalance China’s growing influence in the African nation, Abe also offered Mugabe a generous ¥600m (£3.7m, $5.2m) package for a road development project.
The 92-year-old African leader, who has one of the worst human rights track records, is being courted by Japan despite being widely ignored by the West. Japan is also aiming to resume full-scale official development assistance (ODA) — which includes a comprehensive package to help set up infrastructure and public establishments. Read more
City of Joburg urges residents to ‘pick it up’
Fed-up residents of Alexandra have embarked on a clean-up drive as the strike by Pikitup employees shows no signs of ending.
The City of Johannesburg is urging other communities to do the same. Read more
Egypt sacks government auditor who leveled major corruption claims
Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency said Monday that President el-Sissi had dismissed Hesham Genena, head of the Central Auditing Organization.
Genena ran into controversy in December after he was quoted by the newspaper Youm 7 as saying corruption had siphoned off $67.6 billion (60.4 billion euros) in 2015. Read more
Militants hold 10 Indonesians hostage after hijacking ship
Ten Indonesian nationals are being held hostage after their ship was hijacked in Philippine waters.
Indonesia’s foreign ministry said the owner of the hijacked tug boat and coal barge has received two telephone calls purportedly from militant group Abu Sayyaf, which is demanding a ransom. Read more
Predecessor confident Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff can survive impeachment bid
Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says he believes his embattled successor Dilma Rousseff can survive mounting pressure in Congress for her impeachment.
Mr Silva told international journalists in Sao Paulo that Ms Rousseff can resist even if junior partner PMDB party leaves the Cabinet in a Tuesday meeting. Read more
Belgium Releases Brussels Bombing Suspect Citing Lack of Evidence
Belgian authorities have released the only living person they had directly linked to the March 22 terrorist attacks on an airport and subway station in Brussels that killed at least 35 people and injured scores more.
The man identified by police as Fayçal C was freed after the clues that lead to his arrest “were not substantiated by the ongoing inquiry,” the Belgian federal prosecutor said in a statement cited by the BBC. Read more
Fire hits UAE residential tower, no casualties reported
A major fire broke out in a residential tower at Ajman in the United Arab Emirates late on Monday, the latest in a series of blazes in the country’s high-rise buildings.
Residents of the tower were evacuated and firefighters were trying to extinguish the blaze, local newspaper Khaleej Times reported. There were no immediate reports of casualties and the cause of the fire was not immediately known. Read more
Gun disguised as a smartphone to go on sale in America
A smartphone-shaped gun will soon be available for Americans to buy.
Minnesota-based company Ideal Conceal is expected to start selling the new weapon from mid-2016. Read more