Sabinews Morning News Update for March 4, 2016
DSS Arrests Umeh over Alleged Sponsorship of IPOB, MASSOB
Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the party’s candidate in the court-ordered rerun election for the Anambra Central senatorial district, Chief Victor Umeh, was yesterday arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) at his Enugu residence.
THISDAY gathered that Umeh was arrested over allegations that he was sponsoring secessionist groups such as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). Read more
Ethnic Clash Claims Five in Lagos
No fewer than five persons were killed yesterday in an ethnic clash between Hausa and Yoruba traders at the popular Mile 12 area of Lagos that also left scores with varying degrees of injuries.
The clash lasted for hours before soldiers of the Nigerian Army and police personnel drawn from Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and Area H, restored peace to the area. Read more
Buhari urges varsities to help diversify Nigeria’s economy
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday urged the country’s ivory towers to contribute significantly to diversifying the nation’s economy, especially with the decreasing revenues from oil.
The universities, alongside the National Universities Commission, Buhari noted, should develop new benchmarks in the tourism and hospitality industry as well as in management to impact positively on the nation’s economy and its people. Read more
Corps member dies of Lassa Fever
A member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Dr Ogboji Kelechi has died of Lassa Fever.
It was gathered that Dr Kelechi, who was serving at St Louis Hospital in Zonkwa, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, died after treating an infected patient. Read more
INEC May Bar Ad hoc Staff From Result Collation
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has proposed to end the involvement of none staff members in the handling sensitive election assignments such as distribution election materials and collation of results.
The proposal, which is presently being fine-tuned by the INEC leadership, has been muted during the commission’s interactive sessions with the relevant committees of the National Assembly, seeks to drastically curtail role of ad hoc staff in the conduct of future elections in the country. Read more
Railway Contracts: 19 Contractors Shun House Committee Probe
Nineteen contractors executing projects in the over N1 trillion railway rehabilitation contracts in different parts of the country yesterday shunned the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the contracts.
The contractors neither appeared nor sent any form of representation to the investigative hearing. Read more
More Troubles for Suswam as Benue Sends Probe Panel Report to EFCC
The Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Michael Gusah, has written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on behalf of the state government to commence another fresh probe against the immediate past governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam.
A highly placed source at the commission yesterday told THISDAY yesterday that the petition was signed by the state attorney-general and was received at about 3p.m. on last Monday at the Wuse II headquarters of the EFCC. Read more
Okorocha to float Igbo language newspaper
The government of Imo State will float an Igbo language newspaper to revive the language, Governor Rochas Okorocha’s aide, Samfo Nwankwo, said yesterday.
Nwankwo, who is Okorocha’s Special Adviser on Igbo Affairs, spoke yesterday when he visited the headquarters of Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation, in Lagos. Read more
APC faults Fayose’s claim on N210m monthly streetlight fuel
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has faulted Governor Ayo Fayose’s claim that his administration spends N210 million monthly on diesel to power Ado-Ekiti streetlights.
The party insisted that documentary evidence has established that the actual amount spent on diesel is N1.3 million. Read more
Kidnappers of Lagos schoolgirls reduce ransom
Indications emerged yesterday that the kidnappers of three schoolgirls of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS), Ikorodu, Lagos might have reduced the ransom amount.
Timilehin Olusa, Tofunmi Popoolaniyan and Deborah Akinayo were kidnapped from the classrooms on Monday night. Read more
Ambode closes market, restricts movement
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has ordered the immediate closure of the Mile 12 Market and announced the restriction of movement on four streets in the area. The streets are Oniyanri, Maidan, Agiliti One and Agiliti Two.
Addressing the media at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ambode said the decision to shut the market and restrict movement on the streets was to aid security agencies in restoring calm to the area. Read more
Fraud in NBC: EFCC recovers N10b, set to prosecute ex-DG Mba, three others
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered NN10,061,172,600 from the National Broadcasting Commission(NBC) being
alleged inflation of collateral funds meant for Digital Set-Top -Boxes. Read more
370,000 children malnourished in northern Nigeria — Research
Research on Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria, WINNN, has revealed that about 370,000 children with severe acute malnutrition in Northern Nigeria required lifesaving treatment. Dr Mohammed Liman, National Programme Manager, WINNN, said yesterday in Abuja, at a briefing on “Addressing the High Rates of Malnutrition in Northern Nigeria”. Read more
Ogun pledges support for manufacturers
The Ogun State Government has pledged its support for manufacturers within its domain.
The Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Bimbo Ashiru, made the pledge on behalf of the state government recently while on a tour of some manufacturing firms in the state. Read more
Oyo declares holiday for Olubadan’s coronation today
The Oyo State Government has declared Friday (today) a public holiday in the state in commemoration of the coronation of the new Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Saliu Adetunji.
The coronation will hold at Mapo Hall with eminent personalities, traditional leaders and government representatives expected at the venue. Read more
My detention scaring away foreign investors – Dasuki
The immediate-past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), on Thursday told a Federal High Court in Abuja, that his continued detention by the Department of State Services was scaring off foreign investors from the country.
Dasuki, who spoke through his lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), said his continued detention was a violation of the court’s order that granted him bail on September 1, 2015 and another that permitted him to travel abroad for medical treatment on November 3, 2015. Read more
EFCC, AGF’s lawyers clash over N43.9bn fraud case
The arraignment of Stephen Akinretoye, Peter Ololo and Falcon Securities Limited, charged with N43.9bn fraud, was further stalled on Thursday before a Federal High Court in Lagos as the issue of who would prosecute them has yet to be resolved.
Justice Mohammed Idris had on February 23 adjourned the matter till Thursday for the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to resolve the dispute as to which of them would prosecute the case. Read more
Fraudsters hack Enugu gov’s telephone
Unknown persons have hacked the Airtel mobile line of the Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
The development was uncovered on Wednesday after suspicious messages were received by some unnamed individuals from the telephone number. Read more
Provide FOREX to foreign students, Reps tell CBN
The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to make a special provision for Nigerian students studying overseas to have access to foreign currencies at the official rates for the payment of their fees.
The House said this is necessary because parents and guardians of such students had been experiencing difficulties in accessing FOREX. Read more
Manufacturing Index on the rise
Latest report of manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, PMI, has indicated a slight upbeat in business activities in the manufacturing sector with the February 2016 index rising to 50.6, showing a recovery from 44.6 recorded for January though still significantly below December record of 54.2. But manufacturing sector leaders who spoke to Vanguard, yesterday, at the Nigerian Manufacturing Sector Outlook 2016 said the sector operating environment, rather than improving, is still very adverse. PMI is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment. All developed and significantly developing economies run PMI. Read more
Naira speculators will soon burn their fingers, says CBN deputy governor
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Financial Sector Stability, Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna, yesterday said that ongoing speculative attack on the naira exchange rate will soon fizzle out.
Nnanna expressed optimism that speculators will have their fingers burnt. Read more
NSE market capitalisation rises by N114bn
The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange rose by N114bn after the close of trading on the floor of the exchange on Thursday.
The NSE All-Share Index hit 25,816.29 basis points from 25,396.83, while the market capitalisation closed at N8.88tn from N8.736tn. Read more
Forex crisis won’t derail financial obligations, says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has assured that Nigeria will continue to meet matured financial obligations to foreign investors and her international trading partners.
Speaking to visiting members of the German business delegation in Abuja, Emefiee said that Nigeria has been going through economic crisis due mainly to shocks arising from falling global oil prices, pointing out that the effect has been a severe shortfall in foreign exchange revenues. Read more
FG reiterates support for NESG to grow economy
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has reiterated government’s readiness to continue to work with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in its sustained efforts to achieve economic growth. Udoma was quoted by the Ministry’s Director of Information, Charles Dafe, disclosing this Tuesday in Abuja when the economic think-tank delegation led by Chairman Bukar Abba Kyari, presented the report of the 21st Nigerian Economic Summit held in October last year to him. Udoma commended the group for volunteering their time and efforts consistently over the years for the purposes of achieving economic development in the country. Read more
Oil and Gas
Fuel scarcity: NLC accuses marketers of sabotage
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday accused oil marketers of sabotaging supply and distribution of petroleum products to promote privatisation of the downstream sector of oil and gas.
NLC gave the management of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company till Monday to recall 400 sacked workers or have its facilities shut down by organised labour and its civil society allies. Read more
FG Unbundles NNPC Into 30 New Firms
The minister of states for petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been broken into five major operational zones with about 30 independent companies with their chief executive officers given measurable targets to achieve.
He stated that the federal government will next week, announce the final outcome of this planned major overhaul of the entire structures of the state oil company. Read more
Believe in Eagles, Siasia appeals to Nigerians
Coach Samson Siasia has invited 22 home –based professionals and 20 overseas –based players for Nigeria’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against the Pharaohs of Egypt this month. Siasia, who was named last week as Super Eagles’ Caretaker Coach, passionately appealed to all Nigerians, including the sporting media, to rally round the team and show belief as the Eagles host the Egyptians in Kaduna on Friday, March 25 and play away in Alexandria on Tuesday, March 29. Read more
Sudan Urged to Let Humanitarian Workers Move Freely in Darfur
The U.N. and African Union chiefs strongly urged Sudan on Thursday to grant freedom of movement to peacekeepers and aid workers in Darfur, where tens of thousands of civilians are homeless because of fighting.
“There is no military solution to the conflict in Darfur, and [we] call on all parties to engage in earnest in negotiations for a cessation of hostilities leading to a peaceful settlement of the conflict,” Ban Ki-moon and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in a joint statement. Read more
African Energy Resources edges closer to development of Botswana power project
Cashed up African Energy Resources (ASX:AFR) has signed a term sheet with an as yet unnamed South African investment group to develop an integrated coal mine and thermal power station at its Mmamabula West power project in Botswana.
The group has a three month exclusive period to negotiate the terms of binding documentation for a joint development agreement for mine‐mouth power generation. Read more
UN chief, head of African Union concerned over upsurge of violence in Darfur
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Thursday expressed deep concern about the upsurge of violence in Darfur, and its effect on civilians, said a UN spokesman at a daily news briefing.
Ban and the chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma issued a press statement Thursday on the fighting between the Government of Sudan forces and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid, in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the secretary-general. Read more
Egyptian Student to Be Deported from U.S. Over Trump Death Threat
An Egyptian student attending flight school in California is facing deportation after posting a message on Facebook saying he was ready to kill Donald Trump.
Emadeldin Elsayed, 23, was arrested by federal agents on February 12 at the Los Angeles-area flight school he was attending after posting what authorities said was a death threat against the leading Republican presidential candidate. Read more
Morocco’s Richest Businessman Wants to Build Africa’s Tallest Tower in Rabat
French-speaking magazine Economie & Entreprises reported on Thursday that Othman Benjelloune, who was recently ranked by Forbes as the richest man in Morocco for the third year in row, is planning to invest more than MAD 1 billion ($100 million USD) in the construction of a 200-meter tower in Rabat.
The tower, which is expected to be the largest in Africa, will be built in a very strategic place in Rabat near the the Bou Regreg River, which runs into the Atlantic Ocean between the cities of Rabat and Salé. Read more
Ghana: Conference On Sustainable Palm Oil Production Opens
A three-day Africa regional conference to discuss and agree on a shared framework for the responsible production of palm oil opened in Accra on Wednesday.
Organised by Proforest, which is leading the Initiative on behalf of Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020, the workshop is being held in collaboration with the Government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Read more
South Sudan’s entry must add value to EAC
The republic of South Sudan has been admitted as a member of the East African Community (EAC). This makes it six member states: Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
In order to be admitted to the EAC, the following criteria have to be met: adherence to universally-acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law and observance of human rights and social justice. Read more
EU foreign policy chief heads to Morocco after ties suspended
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will head to Rabat for talks on Friday, a week after Morocco suspended all ties with Brussels, a statement said on Thursday.
The North African country broke ties after a ruling by the European Court of Justice that a farm trade deal was illegal because it included the disputed region of Western Sahara. Read more
North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un Orders Nuclear Weapons ‘On Standby’
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his country’s nuclear weapons made ready for use at a moment’s notice, the country’s official state news agency reported Friday.
Kim also said his country will ready its military so it is prepared to carry out pre-emptive attacks, calling the current situation very precarious, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Read more
U.N. registered 99 sex crime allegations against its staff in 2015
There were 99 new allegations of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse against United Nations staff members across the U.N. system last year, a sharp increase from the 80 allegations in 2014, according to a new U.N. report.
The majority of those allegations – 69 in all – involved personnel in 10 peacekeeping missions, the report said. The military and police personnel accused of sexual crimes while serving for the United Nations involved some 21 countries, most of them African. Read more
Gunmen murder Honduran indigenous leader Berta Caceres
Honduran indigenous leader and environmentalist Berta Caceres has been murdered by gunmen who broke into her home.
Ms Caceres, 40, a Lenca Indian activist, w ho won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for her role in fighting a dam project, had complained of receiving death threats from police, soldiers and local landowners because of her work. Read more
Kerry meets U.N. envoy for Libya, repeats support for unity government
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met on Thursday with Martin Kobler, the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative for Libya, to discuss efforts to support a unified Libyan government, the State Department said.
Kerry said Washington would continue to support Prime Minister Fayez Seraj and the Government of National Accord ahead of a meeting in Tunis next week to discuss its establishment in the capital, Tripoli, the State Department said in a statement. Read more
Australian accused of torching Fayed’s former Ferrari
An Australian man is accused of torching a Ferrari once owned by Princess Diana’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed.
A Melbourne man and two women were arrested on Thursday, four months after police found the burning car worth more than A$2m ($1.5m; £1m). Read more