*$24bn contracts: Diezani shuns Reps panel* *Budget 2016 for passage March 17*

*$24bn contracts: Diezani shuns Reps panel* *Budget 2016 for passage March 17*

Sabinews Morning News Update for March 3, 2016


$24bn contracts: Diezani shuns Reps panel

The immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Wednesday failed to appear before the ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating the crude oil swap contracts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The former minister neither appeared in person nor sent a representative to the hearing of the committee, which is chaired by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Kwara State, Mr. Zakari Mohammed. Read more

Budget 2016 for passage March 17

The National Assembly has said the 2016 Appropriation Bill will be passed into law on  March 17.

The Chairmen, Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje and Hon. Jibrin Abdulmu, in in a joint press briefing yesterday, that  reports from both chambers would be laid on March 16. On the 17th, the reports will be considered and passed. Read more

JAMB: Senate to extend examination validity to three years

The Senate on Wednesday resolved to amend the Act establishing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board by extending the validity of its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination to three years.

The upper chamber took the decision after considering a report presented by the Chairman, Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust FUND, Senator Binta Garba. Read more

Zuma to meet Buhari over MTN fine

The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, on Wednesday said that the Federal Government had concluded plans to meet with the MTN Group to resolve the dispute over the N1.04tn fine imposed on the telecommunications firm, which was later reduced to N780bn.

Although the minister said that the meeting would hold “very soon,” reliable sources in the ministry told one of our correspondents that “the meeting will hold next week with the South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, in attendance.” Read more

Army commutes Ransome-Kuti’s dismissal sentence to demotion

The Nigerian Army has approved the dismissal of a former Commander of the Multi National Joint Task Force, Enitan Ransome-Kuti, by a Special Court Martial on October 15, 2015 to demotion.

Ransome-Kuti was demoted from the rank of brigadier-general to colonel. Read more

Tinubu opposes recruitment of 500,000 teachers by FG

Senator Oluremi Tinubu representing Lagos Central has condemned the plan by the federal government to recruit 500,000 teachers as part of its programmes to reduce unemployment in the country. The senator who was speaking with journalists at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Lagos during an undergraduate Art exhibition programme organised in commemoration of Prof Pat Utomi’s 60th birthday, said the proposed recruitment would amount to an insult to the teaching profession. Read more

EFCC accuses another SAN of bribing judge

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday alleged that another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joseph Nwobike, transferred a sum of N750,000 to Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court, which the anti-graft agency claimed to be a bribe.

It also alleged that another judge from the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court received N300,000 from Nwobike, which the EFCC also claimed was a bribe. Read more

Olubadan’s coronation: Police confirm planned disruption 

THE Oyo State police command yesterday confirmed that some hoodlums had concluded plans to disrupt the coronation ceremony of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadan, High Chief Saliu Adetunji which comes up tomorrow. To check this, the command has ordered massive deployment of policemen and sniffer dogs to prevent breakdown of law and order during the ceremony. Read more

Microbiologist jailed 7 years for selling fake drug

A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday sentenced a 40-yearold woman, Clara Onah, to seven years imprisonment over the sale of fake drugs. The accused, a graduate of microbiology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and a postgraduate student of mass communication, resides in Alagbado, Lagos. Onah was arraigned by the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, on February 12 on a five-count charge bordering on possession and sale of fake drugs. She had pleaded guilty to the charge. Consequently, Justice Chuka Obiozor ordered her remand in prison custody, and adjourned for a review of the facts. Read more

Police Raise Alarm Over Plans To Abduct School Children In Bauchi

The Bauchi Police Command says intelligence reports at its disposal indicate that some undesirable elements are planning to abduct under-age children for recruitment for terrorist activities.

ASP Abdulrahman Ahmed, spokesman of the command disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Bauchi. Read more

Hunger motion splits Reps

House of Representatives was yesterday thrown into serious controversy over a motion on excruciating hunger in the country, occasioned by the economic policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Consequently, Speaker Yakubu Dogara was thrown into a dilemma over his ruling on the motion, leading to suspension of further debate on the matter, having taken contributions from over six members who spoke in support and against. Hon. Karimi Sunday of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had come to the plenary with the motion on the “Need to address the excruciating hunger, hardships and depreciating welfare of the masses of Nigerian people.” Read more

Prisoners’ transfer: Ibori, others to complete jail term in Nigeria

Nigerians serving jail terms in the United Kingdom will soon be transferred to Nigeria to complete their period, following an agreement signed yesterday between the Federal Government and the UK government. 

According to a top government source, former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, will be part of those that will be repatriated to complete their jail term in Nigeria. Read more


CBN pegs mobile money monthly transactions at N40b

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pegged monthly value of mobile money transactions at N40 billion.

CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Suleiman Barau, who disclosed it at the maiden edition of the Electronic Payment Financial Incentives Scheme (EFIS) Efficiency Award, said mobile money is where the future of banking lies. Read more

FirstBank backs African Business Conference

FirstBank of Nigeria Limited will be leading a discourse through its support for the African Business Conference 2016.

The event with the theme “Africa Rising: Leveraging the power of a younger generation” will hold tomorrow at the Lagos Business School. Read more

Osinbajo, Dangote, Tinubu for The Economist’s summit

All is set for this year’s edition of The Economist Event’s Nigeria Summit.

Philip Walker, Regional Manager of The Economist Intelligence Unit, will on Monday join eminent Nigerian businessmen and top government officials—from around the world—to review Nigeria’s current economic situation and provide an overview of the global macro-economic picture, talking through the growth prospects for Nigeria and the region. Read more

Nigeria’s non-oil export freight cost up by over 30%

Strong indications have shown that efforts by the Federal Government to boost the nation’s non-oil export earnings may not yield the desired efforts due to the alarming rate of infrastructure deficit in the country, which makes movement of export produce hectic and very expensive. The Nigerian Export Promotion Council NEPC, which gave this indication, said that the high transport cost alone erodes over 30 per cent of the export value due to the poor infrastructure base. This is against the backdrop of the fact successive goverments in Nigeria have over the years stressed the need to diversify the nation’s current mono product economy, which heavily relies on oil revenue. The situation is even more worrisome, especially given the uncertainties in the global crude oil market, which led the the sharp decline in the price of the commodity from over $120 per barrel to less than $30 per barrel. Read more

Oil and Gas

Shell Faces Fresh Pollution Claims in London Court over Ogoni Oil Spills

British lawyers Wednesday brought fresh claims of damage by oil spills to a London court against Royal Dutch Shell under a renewed scrutiny of the environment record of the oil giant in Nigeria.

UK-based Daily Mail newspaper reported that a British law firm, Leigh Day, which represents the Ogale and Bille communities in the Niger Delta, filed two cases at the High Court in a bid to compel the Anglo-Dutch oil major to clean up the damage caused in the communities and also pay compensation. Read more

Loading of petrol improves at depots – Marketers

Petroleum products’ marketers said on Wednesday that loading of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) had improved in some depots in Lagos.

However, many filling stations in the state did not operate, while the few ones that were selling the product had long queues of desperate motorists to contend with. Read more

Nigeria loses $21bn oil investment, faces stiff competition

The Nigerian oil and gas industry, which saw a decline of about $21bn in capital investment in 2015, needs to be repositioned to be able to compete globally for shrinking investment occasioned by the sharp drop in oil prices.

Industry operators stated this in Lagos while discussing the issue of low oil prices, the challenges and opportunities. Read more


Power supply drops by 1,647MW

Power supply in the country has dropped by 1,647.88 megawatts from 4,447.88MW achieved on February 2, thereby worsening the rationing that the electricity distribution companies have been subjecting consumers to in recent days.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission said on Tuesday that power supply through the national grid had dropped below 2,800MW due to vandalism of vital electricity facilities. Read more

Dangote/Black Rhino Group To Construct $10bn Power Plants In Kano

Blackstone and Dangote Industries today in Kano announced a commitment by Black Rhino, a portfolio company of Blackstone Energy Partners to jointly invest up to $10bn in energy infrastructure projects in the state and across south east Nigeria, with particular emphasis on renewable energy, transmission and pipeline infrastructure.

The chairman of Black Rhino Group and Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, explained that the group and Dangote Industries would contribute $5bn each for the construction of a coal power plant and a solar energy project in Kano, as well as gas pipeline project from Akwa Ibon to South west Nigeria, where Dangote industries are concentrated. Read more


Platini takes six-year ban by Fifa to arbitration court

Michel Platini has made a formal appeal to the international sports tribunal against his six-year ban from football amid a call from a top European federation leader for him to resign as Uefa president.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CSA) said yesterday that Platini lodged an appeal which could be completed before the European Championships start in June. Read more

Foreign Coach: NFF makes U-turn, Dangles Eagles job at Siasia 

SUPER Eagles interim coach, Samson Siasia has a chance of becoming the chief coach of the team if he leads Nigeria to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations ahead of the Pharaohs of Egypt who lead a qualifying pool that also has Tanzania and Chad with six points from two matches, two points ahead of Nigeria. Siasia This cheery news was confirmed yesterday by the chairman of the Technical and Development Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, Barrister Chris Green who said that the elevation would put paid to the news that Nigeria would no longer employ indigenous coaches for the senior national team. Read more

MFM Eclipse Sunshine Stars at Agege Stadium

Goals in each half by Musa Newman and Odey Stephen helped Premiership new boys, MFM to a 2-1 defeat of better fancied Sunshine Stars at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.

Kadiri Samad’s equaliser proved insufficient for the visitors in the end as Odey’s late effort earned MFM their ninth point of the season. Read more

World News

Six militants killed by security officers in central Somalia

Security forces killed six Al-Shabaab militants and five others injured at Ceel-Cade neighborhoods near Haradhere town in Mudug region of central Somalia.

Galmudug forces launched an offensive against the militants raiding their camps in the rural towns which recently witnessed bloody clashes between local residents and Al-Shabaab. Read more

Egypt’s parliament sacks MP who met Israeli envoy

Egypt’s parliament on Wednesday dismissed one of its members who held talks with Israel’s envoy to Cairo during a dinner at his home, the assembly said.

Tawfik Okasha hosted Israeli ambassador Haim Koren last week, sparking outrage in parliament where one lawmaker hit him with a shoe– an insult in the Arab world. Read more

High Court judge dismisses ‘capricious’ charges by Djibouti against London-based businessman

A three-year multimillion-pound legal battle ended in victory for a London-based businessman, after a High Court judge dismissed the charges against him and launched a scathing attack on the President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh.

The judge ordered the Republic of Djibouti, one of Africa’s smallest nations, to pay £9.3m towards the legal costs of businessman Abdourahman Boreh, against whom it had sought damages after making a series of unfounded claims following the creation of a massive container port near Djibouti City. Read more

Kenya, TZ agree on removal of trade and integration barriers

President Uhuru Kenyatta and President John Magufuli of Tanzania held a meeting Wednesday where they resolved to work together to remove all barriers to trade and integration within the East African Community.

The two leaders who met on the sidelines of the 17th EAC Summit at Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge in Arusha, said their governments have a common vision to facilitate trade to boost economic growth and create employment for youth. Read more

Mugabe cattle donation, birthday bash an insult to Zimbabweans, says youth group

President Robert Mugabe’s 300 cattle donation to the African Union and his lavish birthday bash in Masvingo last weekend is an insult to the impoverished people of Zimbabwe, a youth group said on Wednesday.

Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD), a brainchild of former ZANU PF legislator, Temba Mliswa, said although Mugabe’s donation was from his personal property, it was a show of moral decadence. Read more

Author thought A$200k literary prize was spam

An Australian author says she “fell off her chair” when she discovered an email about a $150,000 (A$207,000; £106,000) literary award was not a hoax.

Helen Garner initially dismissed the message from Yale University as a hoax. Read more

North Korea fires missiles after UN imposes fresh sanctions

North Korea fired a barrage of rockets into the sea just hours after the United Nations Security Council imposed its toughest ever sanctions on the country.

It launched several short-range missiles into the East Sea, or Sea of Japan, at around 10am local time, according to a South Korean Defence Ministry official, quoted by Yonhap News. Read more

Netanyahu calls for expulsion of Palestinian attackers’ families to Gaza

Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened to expel families of Palestinian attackers to Gaza after a five-month wave of violence against Israeli citizens and targets that has met with deadly retaliation from security forces.

Netanyahu said on Wednesday he had asked the attorney general to examine the possibility of carrying out such expulsions. Rights groups immediately denounced the plan. Read more

Olympic chiefs give go ahead for ‘refugee team’ to take part in Rio games

A team of up to 10 refugees could take part in the Rio Olympics after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave the plan the green light on Wednesday.

So far, 43 high-performance athletes, who are also refugees, have been identified as possibly being eligible for the Games which get underway in the Brazilian city on 5 August. Read more

Indian Court Grants Bail to Student Leader Charged With Sedition

A student leader of India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, whose indictment on sedition charges last month sparked nationwide protests, was granted bail by a court in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The Delhi High Court released JNU student-union president Kanhaiya Kumar on a bail period of six months, the BBC reported. He is charged under colonial-era laws after protesters allegedly shouted “anti-India” slogans on campus. Read more

US condemns Malaysia for muzzling free press amid corruption scandal

The United States issued a rare stern rebuke to friend and ally Malaysia on Wednesday over what it said were attempts to muzzle the free press.

The southeast Asian nation is in political crisis, amid corruption allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak, and has cracked down on media reporting. Read more


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