Sabinews Morning News Update for March 8, 2016
Why FG accepted N50bn down payment from MTN —AGF
The Federal Government, yesterday, cleared the air on why it accepted N50 billion down payment of the N780 billion fine the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, slammed on MTN.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, told our correspondent that the money was accepted from MTN as a demonstration of good faith and willingness to enter into discussion with the government on the payment of the fine imposed on the firm. Read more
18 die in Bauchi road crash
No fewer than 18 passengers died on Sunday night in a road crash at Buzaye Village, along the Bauchi-Jos Road, 18 kilometres away from Bauchi, the state capital.
Seventeen of the passengers were said to have been roasted to death in the crash. Read more
Police may invite parents of abducted Bauchi, Zamfara girls
The police say they will invite the parents of the four abducted Bauchi and Zamfara teenage girls if necessary.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Olabisi Kolawole, said on Monday the police in the had intensified efforts to rescue the girls allegedly abducted in the two states. Read more
Ese didn’t know how she got to Kano – Source
Facts have emerged about what 14-year-old Ese Oruru went through in the hands of her abductor, Yunusa Dahiru, aka Yellow, who, in August 2015, abducted her from Bayelsa and took her to Kano, his home state.
Ese’s father and mother had said their underage daughter, having been converted to Islam, was being forced into marriage, without their consent. Read more
Lagos Police Arrest, Parade 944 criminals
Still basking in the euphoria of the rescue of the three female students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, the Lagos State Police Command, monday, arrested and paraded about 944 criminal suspects from different locations across the state.
Those arrested include 26 notorious armed robbery suspects, 50 suspected members of different cult groups and 868 miscreants. Read more
Ekiti NMA Slams Aregbesola over Sack of Doctors
The Ekiti State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, has condemned the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, over the sack of some doctors in the state civil service.
The NMA urged its members in Osun to discontinue any negotiation plans with the governor until the action, it described as ‘draconian and obnoxious,’ is reversed. Read more
Panic Grips Lawmakers, Fayose’s Appointees over Arrests by DSS
The arrest of some notable politicians in Ekiti State by the Department of State Services (DSS) has caused panic among the members of the state House of Assembly and top officials in the state.
The DSS had on Friday invaded the state assembly and arrested four lawmakers, including Hon. Afolabi Akanni and Hon. Musa Arogundade, representing Efon and Ado constituency II. Read more
Workers’ strike paralyses Ogun
Activities in government offices and public hospitals in Ogun State were paralysed on Monday as government workers in the state complied with the directive of the Joint National Public Negotiating Council for the commencement of an indefinite strike.
Labour leaders blocked one of the entrances leading to the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, as early as 8am, preventing workers from proceeding to their offices. Read more
Emenalo Admits Collecting $100,000 from Otedola for Lawan
Clerk to the then House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Boniface Emenalo, on monday admitted before an Abuja High Court in Lugbe that he collected the sum of $100,000 from oil magnate, Mr. Femi Otedola, as part of the alleged $3million bribe promised to the then chairman of the committee, Farouk Lawan.
Emenalo,who was initially charged with Lawan was later turned to prosecution witness. They were accused of receiving $620,000 from Otedola to remove the names of his companies from the list of companies found to have allegedly defrauded the federal government in the petroleum subsidy scam. Read more
Benue saves N2.6bn from ghost workers syndicate
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, yesterday said his administration had saved over N2.6 billion from ghost workers syndicate at the state and local government levels.
He stated that the sum was saved from the N26 billion bailout funds recently accessed from the Federal Government after the screening that preceded the disbursement of the funds. Read more
Okerenkoko hospital funded by Tompolo shuts down
THE Delta State Government- owned Okerenkoko Cottage Hospital, Okerenkoko, Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state, renovated and furnished with state-of-the-art facilities by former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, after the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, abandoned it in 2009, has again been closed down. Read more
Wigwe, Tinubu call for reforms in forex, oil sector
Meanwhile, corroborating Dangote’s position on the need for policy articulation on economic diversification, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, and Managing Director/Chief Executive Oando Plc, Mr. Adewale Tinubu, emphasised the need for reforms in the foreign exchange market and in the financing of the oil industry. Wigwe noted that there was need to adjust the current foreign exchange policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to encourage inflow of foreign exchange into the country. He said currently, many businesses found it difficult to source foreign exchange, adding that this could lead to severe impact on the economy. Read more
We’ll Start Selling Forex To CBN By 2020 – Dangote
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has projected that his conglomerate whould be selling foreign exchange to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by year 2020.
Dangote, who is the richest African man, also said the problem with Nigeria should not be blamed on oil, noting that oil traded at $9 per barrel in 1998. Read more
Firm to create 3,000 job opportunities before July
The Kwara state owned conglomerate, ‘Harmony Holdings’ (HH) has promised generation of about 3,000 jobs for the youth in the state before the end of the first half of the year.
According to Head Corporate Affairs of the Holdings, Kayode Aremu in a chat with The Guardian in Ilorin, the areas of focus would be prompt resuscitation of all the state’s owned moribund industries, remodeling of commercial centres and expansion of the routes of the Harmony Transport Services. Read more
NNPC’s Oil Revenue Remittance to FAAC Drops by N382m
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) monday said its monthly naira remittance to the federation account dropped by N382 million from N86,340,969,392 to N85,958,157,358 in the month of January.
The corporation, in its January financial and production report which was released yesterday, also explained that it has cut its monthly loss figures from N11.86 billion which it previously recorded in its December records to N3.55 billion. Read more
FG’ll exploit construction sector for economic growth – Fashola
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that the Federal Government will exploit the country’s construction sector to grow its economy.
Fashola, who spoke in Abuja during a stakeholders’ workshop organised by the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria for the validation of the draft revised quantity surveying curricula in tertiary institutions, stated that various findings had shown that the construction sector was a great contributor to the growth of the overall economy. Read more
Oil Prices Hit 2016 High, Rise Above $40/bl
The price of Brent crude monday rose for the sixth consecutive trading day in a row, hitting a 2016 peak of over $40 a barrel, as buyers were encouraged by talk that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was targeting a higher anchor price after a sell-off that has lasted nearly two years.
The rise in oil prices coincided with comments by the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who advised Nigerians to stop viewing the low oil price environment as a setback, saying that the situation offers the nation an opportunity to diversify its revenue base. Read more
Domestic transactions fall by N18.48bn in one month
Domestic transactions in Nigeria’s stock market fell from N59.21bn to N40.73bn between December 2015 and January 2016, the Nigerian Stock Exchanged revealed in a report on its website.
Total transactions at the nation’s bourse decreased by 23.93 per cent from N110.56bn recorded in December 2015 to N84.1bn in January 2016. Read more
Nigeria Ranks Low In Global Energy Access
Despite its ambitious reforms in the power sector, Nigeria ranks near the bottom at 108 out of 126 countries surveyed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its latest Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report.
The report ranks countries on the basis of their ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy across three dimensions of the “energy triangle” – affordability, environmental sustainability, security and access. Read more
Siasia Axes Mohammed, Oduduwa, Dimgba
Coach Samson Siasia has barred defender Segun Oduduwa and midfielders Stanley Dimgba and Usman Mohammed from showing up at the Bolton White Apartments camp of the Super Eagles, after they reported late to the camp of the U-23 team without an earlier permission.
“We cannot have those three in camp anymore. This is very serious business, and only serious –minded persons can be involved. They reported late to the camp of the U-23 team, so they cannot be tolerated in the camp of the senior team. Read more
Migrant stowaway survivives flight from Ethiopia
A stowaway refugee found on a plane from Ethiopia to the Swedish capital Stockholm survived the 10-hour journey via Vienna in a pressurized container in the cargo hold, police said on Monday.
The man, 27, said he was an Ethiopian national and has submitted an asylum application in Sweden, police spokesperson Lars Bystrom told dpa. Police and paramedics were alerted, but a check-up showed he did not require medical treatment. Read more
SA, Nigeria in bid to improve relations
Attempts to improve relations between South Africa and Nigeria will dominate talks between President Jacob Zuma and his counterpart, Muhamadu Buhari.
President Zuma is on a two-day state visit to Nigeria, the oil rich and most populous country on the continent. Read more
Indonesian province declares emergency as forest fires flare
The fires, which send choking smog over Southeast Asia every year, raged uncontrollably across several provinces last year, costing an estimated $16 billion, and pushed average daily greenhouse gas emissions above those of the United States.
“The governor has declared an emergency now, to be able to prevent a repeat of the haze that occurred in 2015,” said provincial government spokesman Darusman, adding that life in the province continued to be normal. Read more
Sharapova faces suspension after failing drug test
Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, the highest-paid woman in sports, said on Monday that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open due to a substance she has been taking for 10 years for health issues.
The 28-year-old Sharapova, a five-time grand slam champion, will be provisionally suspended starting March 12, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said. Read more
Pressure mounts for Mozambican govt to give harsh sentences poachers
Pressure is piling up on the Mozambican government to ensure rhino horn traffickers receive the same harsh prison sentences as poachers.
The head of the anti-poaching unit in the National Park bordering Mozambique Carlos Lopez Pereira says traffickers can currently get away with a R 120 000 fine whereas poachers receive prison sentences of up to 16 years. Read more
More refugees leave Cambodia, further straining $55m deal with Australia
Australia’s $55m refugee resettlement deal with Cambodia has been dealt another crippling blow, with two more refugees deciding to abandon the south-east Asian country and risking a return home.
Of the five refugees transferred to Cambodia, three have decided to go home, leaving just two resettled refugees in the country. Read more
Injuries reported as passenger train derails in California
A passenger train carrying 214 people has derailed and overturned in a river after hitting a tree that had fallen onto the line, according to US media.
The Alameda County fire department said on Twitter that all of those on board had been rescued and were being assessed by paramedics. The department later said 14 people had been injured, four seriously, but that none of the injuries were life-threatening. Read more
China says South China Sea among world’s freest shipping lanes
The South China Sea is one of the world’s freest and safest shipping lanes, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday, arguing that Beijing’s control over the disputed waters was justified because it was the first to “discover” them.
China has come under fire from the United States and its allies in recent months over its land reclamation activities in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes annually. Read more
Taser sets ‘petrol-throwing’ Australian man on fire
A chainsaw-wielding Australian man who allegedly threw petrol at police caught fire when he was shot with a Taser.
Police were called to the western Sydney suburb of Riverstone on Tuesday morning after receiving reports of a man trying to cut down a power pole. Read more
14 injured, four seriously, after commuter train derails in US
Fourteen people have been injured after a commuter train derailed in the US and one of its carriages fell into a creek.
Images and video posted on Twitter by Alameda County Fire showed a carriage on its side about half-submerged in the creek water. Read more
Michigan voters to road test Trump in car state primary contest
Donald Trump is facing a test of his durability with white, working-class voters in Michigan, the first industrial state to vote in the 2016 primaries and the biggest prize among four states casting ballots in Tuesday’s turbulent Republican presidential race.
Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii are also holding Republican contests, while Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off in Michigan and Mississippi. Read more
China says little to cheer in improved ties with ‘two-faced’ Japan
China sees little reason for optimism that relations with Japan will improve, China’s Foreign Minister said on Tuesday, accusing “two-faced” Tokyo of constantly seeking to make trouble.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, and Japan, the third largest, have a difficult political history, with relations strained by the legacy of Japan’s World War Two aggression and conflicting claims over a group of uninhabited East China Sea islets. Read more