Sabinews Morning News Update for May 11, 2016
DHQ denies granting amnesty to Boko Haram
Nigeria Defence Headquarters (DHQ), have denied granting amnesty to Boko Haram members, contrary to an online report that 800 repentant members of the sect, are currently undergoing skill acquisition training.
A statement credited to the Director of Defence Brig Gen Rabe Abubakar, quoted him as saying “the story is false and has no iota of truth in it, as the DHQ has never mentioned amnesty in all its statements.” Read more
Umar for arraignment over missing N4 billion
Baring any unforeseen changes, former Air Chief, Mohammed Dikko Umar, may be arraigned before a Federal High Court today, to answer charges on his alleged involvement in a missing N4 billion from the coffers of the Air Force.
The arraignment is coming after months of investigation and weeks of interrogation, which took place in Abuja. Read more
Unfreeze my bank accounts, says Akingbola
Embattled former Managing Director of defunct Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola has asked a Federal High Court in Lagos, to issue an order unfreezing his bank accounts.
The plaintiff is suing alongside his companies; Tropics Finance and Investments Ltd, Clifton Investment Ltd, Hijinks Ltd, Merry Thoughts Ltd, Bankinson Ltd and Tropics Securities Ltd. Read more
Ooni calls for development of domestic tourist centres
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has called for massive investment in the development of various tourists’ centres across the country, in order to generate employment and boost revenue.
The monarch made the call in his palace, in Ile-Ife, while receiving an investor from Ekiti State, who is also Chairman, Prosperous Group of Companies, Abiodun Isinkaiye. Read more
‘Killer herdsmen not Nigerians, government to set up ranches’
No! The herdsmen inflicting violence on their host communities in the country are not Nigerians, let alone being the usual Fulani known for cattle rearing and roving grazing in Nigeria. This was the position of the Federal Government yesterday.
The government also announced plans to establish cattle ranches across the country as part of the solution to the perennial clashes between farmers and herdsmen. Read more
My assets’ form tampered with, Saraki tells CCT
Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday alleged that his assets’ declaration form submitted in 2003 when he was the Governor of Kwara State had been tampered with.
He claimed that the refusal of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to interface with him on the form was because they knew he would challenge them on insertions made on the form. Read more
Nigeria records first vaccine-derived polio case since 2014
Despite recording the first case of type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) in Maiduguri district of Borno province, Nigeria is on course towards being certified polio- free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after July 2017.
And in response to this outbreak, Nigeria is planning to conduct the first ever campaign using monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 even as the Director General of the WHO has authorized the vaccine release from the global stockpile. Read more
Badeh’s house paid for in dollars, says principal witness
Former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, yesterday concluded the cross-examination of the principal witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau.
The witness had denied the authorization of the transfer of N150 million to Engineer Joe’s company, Havco Nigeria limited, the company that constructed one of the houses alleged to have been bought by Badeh in Yola. Read more
Nigeria to host second security summit Saturday
President Muhammadu Buhari is to declare open the second Regional Security Summit holding this Saturday in Abuja as part of ongoing efforts by his administration to enhance security of lives, properties and investments in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
The event, a follow-up to the first edition which held in Paris, France on May 17, 2014, is to be attended by President Francois Hollande of France and a host of other dignitaries. Read more
FAAN tightens security at Abuja airport
Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday, announced that government has introduced new security measures at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
In a statement, FAAN General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Yakubu Dati, said passengers should watch out for traffic delays while entering the airport. Read more
Army arrests 17 suspected cultists, robbers in Rivers
Seventeen persons allegedly involved in armed robbery and cult-related activities in various parts of Rivers State were yesterday paraded by the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt.
The arrest of the suspects followed series of raids on criminals and cultists’ hideouts across the state where criminal activities have heightened in recent months. Read more
Real Amount Diverted in Arms Purchase was $15bn, Says Information Minister
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that the real amount misappropriated in the arms purchase is $15 billion.
Speaking at a town hall meeting organised by the federal government yesterday in Kaduna, the minister said revelations from the $2.1 billion arms scandal was just a tip of the iceberg. Read more
Boko Haram: AI Claims Babies, Children Dying in Military Detention in Borno
The Amnesty International (AI) has claimed in its latest report that 11 children under the age of six, including four babies, were among 149 people who have allegedly died this year following their detention by the military in horrendous conditions in Giwa Barracks detention centre in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The AI in its briefing on Tuesday titled: ‘If you see it, you will cry: Life and death in Giwa barracks,’ said that evidence gathered through interviews with former detainees and eyewitnesses, supported by video and photos, shows many detainees may have died from disease, hunger, dehydration, and gunshots wounds. Read more
At Senate Hearing, Emirs, Herdsmen Clash with N’Central, Southern Leaders over Grazing Reserves
Stakeholders at a one-day public hearing on farmers and herdsmen’s clashes organised by the joint Senate Committees on Agriculture and National Security and Intelligence in Abuja were shocked on Tuesday when herdsmen rejected the federal government’s proposal to create ranches for cattle rearing.
Stakeholders were even more shocked when prominent Northern leaders threw their weight behind the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association. Read more
DHQ to Militants: We will Treat You Like Criminals
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Tuesday warned the various militant groups in the Niger Delta region who have vowed to cripple economic activities through pipeline vandalism, oil theft and kidnap of expatriate workers in that region, saying that they would be treated as criminals.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said resources would be mobilised to crush their resistance. Read more
Resident Doctors Declare Nationwide Warning Strike
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Tuesday in Abuja declared a nationwide warning strike, urging its members across public hospitals in the country to suspend services from 8a.m. today, as a move to press home its demands.
Speaking to journalists on the strike, NARD President, Dr Muhammad Askira, said though there were still some processes still going on, aimed at resolving the impasse between government and the doctors, declaring a warning strike has become imminent given government sloppiness in addressing critical issues confronting members of the association. Read more
APC Fixes Edo Governorship Primary for June 18
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has scheduled its primary election for June 18 to choose the party’s candidate for the Edo State governorship election.
The APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, who made this known to journalists in Abuja yesterday said governorship nomination forms will be sold at N5 million while intending aspirants are expected to pay N500,000 to pick expression of interest form. Read more
IPOB to Buhari: Our Freedom is Unstoppable
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on Tuesday held a peaceful rally at the commercial city of Aba, declaring that “our freedom is unstoppable”. It was in response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s vow that an independent Biafra would never become a reality.
Buhari had in a speech in Katsina yesterday reportedly vowed that an independent Biafra would not be allowed to materialise under his watch even if it would lead to Nigeria committing suicide to stop Biafra and any other separatist agitations to disintegrate the nation. Read more
Nigeria to host first ICC arbitration conference
THE International Court Of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Paris, in conjunction with the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN), will from Sunday, June 19 to Tuesday, June 21, 2016 hold the 1st ICC Africa Regional Arbitration Conference in Nigeria.
The conference scheduled to take place at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, has as theme “Arbitration and Africa – Prospects and Challenges”. Read more
Adeosun to Present 2016 Borrowing Plan to FEC Next Week
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, is to present the 2016 Borrowing Plan of the federal government to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) next Wednesday.
The Borrowing Plan is a fiscal document, which details government’s borrowing pattern, and usually comes with annual budgets. Read more
LCCI Expresses Worry over Neglect of Non-Oil Economy
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( LCCI) has decried the continued neglect of the nation’s non-oil sector, noting that Nigeria, blessed with abundant deposits of solid minerals, has competitive and comparative advantage in its non-oil resources.
The chamber, however, stressed that the sector remained underdeveloped over the years.
The President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, said considering the dwindling global crude oil prices that have largely affected Nigeria’s foreign exchange revenue base, the time to pay close and serious attention to the non-oil sector is now. Read more
OIL AND GAS
Oil workers fault govt’s temporary measures on petrol supply
As the lingering fuel scarcity continues, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has described the temporary measures by the Federal Government to cushion the crisis as a failure.
The Chairman, PENGASSAN, Lagos State Chapter, Abel Agarin, told The Guardian yesterday that the Federal Government was only putting up temporary measures which are not enough to meet the demands of Nigerians. Read more
Kachikwu promises more refineries
As part of strategies to end the fuel crisis, new refineries will soon be built, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said yesterday.
The new refineries, when fully operational, will enable Nigeria to export petroleum resources to other countries, he affirmed. Read more
Technology key to firms’ survival in low oil price regime
For oil and gas stakeholders who gathered at the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston Texas, by implementing technological solutions, the industry will be able to retain a high level of production and at much lower costs.
Along with the high-tech displays and gee-whiz presentations that highlighted the yearly event, the conference featured sessions on how to reduce operating expenses and extend the lives of aging oil and gas fields. Read more
Fuel Subsidy: It’s Time for Difficult Decisions, Says Osinbajo
Ahead of the federal government’s announcement tomorrow on the removal of subsidy on petrol, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the government will have to take tough decisions on the desirability of retaining fuel subsidies, adding that it had become necessary to remove them.
His statement coincided with a remark by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who confirmed that the government would in the next few days unveil a new policy to address the subsidy issue in the country. Read more
NNPC to Concession 5,000km of Pipelines, 30 Product Facilities
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has concluded plans to hand over to private investors with good financial standing its 5,000 kilometres of pipeline network, 21 petrol storage depots and nine Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) depots to upgrade, operate and secure under a Joint Venture (JV) model, THISDAY has learnt.
The paper gathered Tuesday in Abuja that the corporation has as part of this plan invited interested companies to bid for the assets which it has also segmented into seven for ease of operation. Read more
Govt orders Discos to submit audited financials to NERC
As part of efforts to enhance transparent monitoring of the power sector and determine the exact level of performance, the nation’s distribution companies (Discos) have been directed to submit their audited accounts covering 2013-2015 to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The directive was contained in a communiqué issued yesterday by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, at the end of the fifth monthly meeting of industry operators. Read more
NDPHC: Eight NIPP Plants Ready to Generate 2,000MW
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), operators of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), has presented the status report on its generation, distribution and transmission projects, saying eight out of 10 NIPP power plants are ready to generate over 2,000 megawatts as soon as vandalised gas processing projects are completed by the associated nominated gas suppliers.
The company has also stated that though power generation is often disrupted by acts of vandalism, it does not offer such incidences as excuses as it has continued to operate these power plants in the interest of the Nigerian economy, despite undesirable security challenges and an accumulated debt of over N94 billion owed it by the electricity market. Read more
AshakaCem Independent Power Plant to Gulp $100m
The Chairman, AshakaCem Plc, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim, Mr. Suleiman Yahyah, on Tuesday said the company’s new independent power plant, presently under construction will gulp $100 million for its completion.
The ongoing project expected to meet the company’s energy needs, he said will utilise the abundant coal resources located in Akko community of Gombe state, stressing that the project which is designed in two phases will be completed before the end of 2017. Read more
Currency-in-circulation Rises to N1.811 Trillion
The value of currency-in-circulation increased year-on-year to N1.811 trillion at the end of March 2016, compared with the N1.712 trillion it was at the end of February.
This was revealed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) money and credit statistics for March 2016. Read more
Elumelu Advocates Inclusive Development in East Africa
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) which operates in 19 African countries, New York, London and Paris has committed to deploy more resources to its East African subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
Indications to the effect emerged yesterday during separate meetings in Kampala, Uganda by the UBA Group Chairman Mr. Tony Elumelu, with President Yoweri Museveni and Governor of the Central Bank of Uganda, Mr. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile. Elumelu was accompanied by the Chairman of UBA Uganda Dr. Eric Adriko and other members of the Board of UBA Uganda. Read more
Accommodation, Food Sectors Lead Amidst Economic Downturn
Despite the downturn in the economy and the foreign exchange crisis that have crippled companies in most sector of the Nigerian economy, the food and accommodation sectors have again stood out as one of the country’s vibrant industries.
Recent data on job generation statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that accommodation and food created 1,190 jobs in the third quarter of 2015 (2.9 per cent of total formal jobs). Read more
Cynthia Uwak, Oluehi, Uchechi may return to Super Falcons
Determined to build a formidable Super Falcons for this year’s African Women Championship (AWC) in Cameroun, Coach Florence Omagbemi may be considering inviting former African Women Footballer of the Year, Cynthia Uwak, to the team.
Uwak, who currently plays for Finnish top division club, Aland United, won the African Women Footballer of the Year award consecutively in 2006 and 2007. She helped the Super Falcons to win the African Women’s Nations Cup (AWC) in 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa and 2006 in Warri, Delta State. Read more
Nigerians can break the jinx this year, says Toriola
Africa’s most decorated player, Segun Toriola, believes Nigerian players can break the jinx of not winning the ITTF Premier Lotto Nigeria Open title this year.
Twice Nigerian players have made it to the final of the ITTF Premier Lotto Nigeria Open but they have not been able to clinch the title, and with just a few days to the serve off of the 2016 edition, former African champion, Segun Toriola, believes the title will not be beyond the reach of Nigerian players. Read more
Madrid Open owner hints at ending equal pay for men, women
Madrid Open owner, Ion Tiriac, has indicated his tournament may move away from equal pay for men and women. The debate was reignited in March by controversial comments from Indian Wells tournament director, Raymond Moore, about women players “riding on the coat-tails” of the men.
Moore subsequently resigned but the issue has continued to bubble under the surface. Read more
Organisers to honour Eto’o, Terry at Yobo centenary game
The most decorated African player of all time, Samuel Eto’o Fils, along with some other top footballers from Africa and Europe are to be honoured at the Joseph Yobo Centenary Game scheduled for May 27 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The event, planned to celebrate the retirement of the former Super Eagles captain from the beautiful game, is bankrolled majorly by the Rivers State government with support from a few firms. Read more
Sanchez, Walcott linked with move away from Arsenal
Speculation linking Juventus with a move for Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has intensified after Giuseppe Marotta, the Italian outfit’s sporting director, refused to rule out a move for the Chilean. Plus, Theo Walcott is reportedly “on the verge” of a move to West Ham United.
Marotta spoke to GianlucaDiMarzio.com’s Luca Mastrolilli this week and explicitly ruled out moves for Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic and Real Madrid’s Isco, but he was significantly more at ease when quizzed on Arsenal’s maestro: “Sanchez? He’s a great player.” Read more
Ighalo mulls over Qatari club’s 20m euros four-year deal
Super Eagles’ Striker, Odion Ighalo, is in a dilemma over an offer from a Qatari club said to be worth over 20 million euros for four years.
Reports from the English Premier League say Ighalo, who last month rejected a £40 million four-year offer from Chinese club, Hebei China Fortune, is torn between staying in Europe and joining the Qatari club following the latest events in his parent club, Watford. Read more