Sabinews Morning News Update for May 17, 2016
Court jails Fulani herdsmen for 10 years
Without an option of fine, an Asaba High Court has sentenced two Fulani herdsmen to 10 years imprisonment each with hard labour over illegal possession of arms. The convicts, Hassan Abidu and Yakubu Salem, who are nomads, were found guilty of using arms to terrorise farmers in Osimili North Local Government Area of the state.
The Attorney-General of Delta State, Mr. Peter Mrakpor, prosecuted the herdsmen on a two-count charge of illegal possession of firearms and attempted murder, punishable under Section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap R.II, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010. Read more
Night Cattle Grazing Banned in Enugu
In a bid to avert bloody clashes between herdsmen and local farmers, the Enugu State Government has banned grazing and rearing of cattle at night. Also banned are the carrying of firearms or any form of weapons by the herdsmen as well as the movement of cattle from one location to another at night in the state. The state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, announced the ban during a meeting he held with leaders of Fulani/Shuwa Arab herdsmen in the state. Read more
Uproar in House as Kachikwu defends fuel price increase
The House of Representatives was in an uproar yesterday following a protest by members of the minority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the recent increase in the price of petrol.
The protest which stalled proceedings of the special session summoned by the leadership of the chamber to address the sundry issues bordering on the recent removal of oil subsidy and the increase in the pump price of petroleum from N86.50 to N145 per litre. Read more
SESSP backs govt on fuel price, cautions labour on strike
The South East, South South Professionals (SESSP) has backed the Federal Government on the removal of fuel subsidy and the resultant hike in the pump price of petrol.
Yesterday in Enugu, the President of SESSP, Emeka Ugwu-Oju, admonished the leaders of organised labour that rather than embark on any sort of protests, they should cooperate with the government to ensure that the ordinary Nigerians eventually become the beneficiaries of the removal of subsidy and deregulation of the market, and not the victims of the price regime. Read more
PMS selling above N200 in Ekiti, Imo, others
Prior to the increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol from N86.50 to N145 per litre, the product was already selling at N203 per litre in Imo State, N202 a litre in Ekiti State and N194 per litre in Edo State, the National Bureau of Statistics PMS price watch for the month of April has revealed.
According to the agency, consumers in Jigawa, Gombe, Delta, Akwa Ibom and Abia have been buying the product at N170.50, N182.22, N178.08, N180 and N191.67 respectively in each of the states. Read more
Amended charges, subsisting appeal stall Kalu’s trial
Trial of former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu on the N5.6 billion-fraud allegation was yesterday stalled at the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja.
The third defendant, Slok Nigeria Limited, which is owned by the accused, stalled the arraignment following a subsisting appeal at the Supreme Court. Read more
‘Arrested persons in Delta are Chevron workers, not militants’
There were indications yesterday that the five persons who were arrested last Saturday by soldiers during routine patrol of the Utunana fields of Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Warri South West, Delta State are not members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) but staff of Chevron.
The five persons, comprising two Ijaw and three Itsekiri indigenes, it was learnt, are workers of the Pipelines Facility Surveillance and Protection Team who were on official duty when the soldiers ran into them in their boat. Read more
PAC opposes strike
Police Assistance Committee (PAC), an umbrella body for Association of Tradesman /Women and Artisans are opposed to the intended industrial strike by labour unions and civil rights societies over increase in the price of petrol, arguing that such action would drastically affect the ailing economy of Nigeria at this point in time.
Arising from an emergency meeting of its executive council members in Abuja yesterday, the body implored the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to apply critical thinking and reason with the Federal Government on the fuel pump price increase, which was necessitated by scarcity of foreign exchange to facilitate importation of fuel by oil marketers. Read more
PDP resolves feud, Sheriff is sole candidate for chair
The crisis that had rocked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) preparatory to its May 21 national convention recorded a turn for the better yesterday as stakeholders shifted positions and reached compromises on earlier positions in search of peace.
The PDP National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, and the party’s 12 governors agreed to suspend the contentious amendment of the party’s constitution while the Board of Trustees as well as the Jerry Gana-led Concerned PDP Stakeholders Forum shifted ground on their earlier opposition to the holding of the national convention and the candidature of Sheriff for the position of national chairman. Read more
Passengers stranded as aviation fuel scarcity grounds flights
Lingering scarcity of aviation fuel, known as JetA1, yesterday took a harsh turn, leaving the industry reeling and almost all outbound flights in Lagos cancelled and thousands of passengers stranded.
Hordes of passengers that had thronged the local wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2) and General Aviation Terminal (GAT), as early as 6am, had their hopes dashed. Read more
FG, Labour Meeting Deadlocked, to Continue Parley Tuesday
The meeting held last night between the federal government and organised labour aimed at averting threats of a crippling nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to protest the removal of the subsidy on petrol and the consequential hike in the price of the commodity ended in a deadlock, as both sides remained unyielding but have agreed to continue the meeting today at 3 pm.
Sources who participated in the meeting said the unions informed the government team that they would only rescind their resolve to embark on the nationwide strike if it accepted their demands for a review of the minimum wage, improvement in the palliatives to cushion the effects of the fuel price hike on the citizenry, and reconstitution of the board of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). Read more
Senator: Oil Subsidy Not Beneficial to Masses but Drain on Economy
The Senator representing Katsina South senatorial district, Abu Ibrahim, monday urged Nigerians to endure the current hike in the pump price of petrol for a while, arguing that oil subsidy had only been beneficial to the rich and not to the masses.
Ibrahim told journalists in National Assembly that despite the payment of over N1 billion as oil subsidy every month, fuel was only sold at official price in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos. Read more
Traders Tell Members Not to Join NLC Strike
The National Harmonised Traders Union has called its members across the country to open their trading activities by distancing themselves from the proposed strike.
Speaking with journalists in Kano Monday, the National Chairman of the union, Alhaji Abdulaziz Bature, stated that they had taken a unanimous position not to join the purported NLC planned strike scheduled for Wednesday. Read more
Lagos Govt Reopens Lekki Gardens after Buildings Passed Structural Stability and Integrity Tests
The Lagos State Government has approved the reopening of buildings belonging to Lekki Worldwide Estates Limited, owners of Lekki Gardens which were recently sealed after an uncompleted building collapsed at one of the construction sites belonging to the company.
Subsequently, the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory was mandated to carry out integrity tests on all the houses built by the real estate giant to ascertain their structural stability. Read more
Lagos Donates 50 Buses to Cushion Effect of Fuel Price Hike
The Lagos State Government monday donated 50 new high-capacity bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicles to Primero Transport Services Limited to cushion effect of new pump price of petrol on its residents.
The firm’s Managing Director, Mr. Fola Tinubu, disclosed this at a news conference he addressed at its head office, Ikorodu alongside other top officials, ruling out likelihood of increasing fares due to rising inflation rate. Read more
LCCI sues for dialogue
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has called for a dialogue between labour and the Federal Government over the pump price hike.
Stating LCCI’s view regarding the NLC’s position, Akande said in a statement yesterday, that the Nigerian economy is already in a very fragile state with very little capacity to absorb the shocks of any major dislocations. Read more
Crude oil production drops below budget’s target
Nigeria’s crude oil production has declined by 56,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the 1.694 barrels per day it recorded in March to 1.637 bpd in April, according to the latest report of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The country has however, suffered a shortfall of 563,000 bpd from the 2.2 million barrels per day crude oil output pegged by the Federal Government in the 2016 budget. Read more
Ijaw youths demand probe of ‘unfair’ oil blocks allocation
Except the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government probes alleged unfair allocation of oil blocks in the country, there would be more hostilities in the Niger Delta region, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has warned.
Meanwhile, in a bid to end the recent upsurge in pipeline vandalism in the oil rich Niger Delta, the Federal Government has expressed interest in negotiating with the Avengers insurgency group. Read more
Stakeholders fault proposed telecoms tax
Should the bill on Communications Service Tax (CST) be passed into law, about 50 million subscribers might not be able to afford basic broadband services.
Analysis by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)-Nigeria Coalition, at the weekend, showed that the proposed nine per cent tax to be levied on consumers of communications services would disenfranchise more subscribers from having access to telecommunications services, including broadband. Read more
FMBN, AMCON partner to tackle challenge of non-performing loans
The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) have agreed to improve inter-agency cooperation in order to ensure asset quality and liquidity in the Nigerian Mortgage Banking Sector.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to AMCON, Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FMBN, Richard Esin solicited AMCON’s cooperation for FMBN’s mandate of providing liquidity for the Nigerian Housing Sector and delivering affordable housing in the country. Read more
Dangote: I’m in Business Not Just to Make Money, But to Help Africa
Africa’s richest man and the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has stated that he’s not in business solely to make money, but is just as interested in developing Africa and humanity, hence his philanthropic works through his foundation.
He equally said that labelling Nigeria corrupt based on past misdeeds undermines the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to rid the country of graft, and called on leaders of countries where stolen assets are hidden to assist in repatriating the stolen funds and support the federal government’s anti-corruption drive. Read more
UBA Leads as CBN Forex Sales to Banks Drop to $131m
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week sold a total of $130,755,294.59 to 14 commercial banks, four merchant banks and the Bank of Industry (BoI).
The amount was however lower by $5,283,163.58, compared with the $136,038,458.17 the banking sector regulator allocated to the financial institutions in the preceding week. Read more
Higher Electricity Tariffs, Fuel Prices, Imports Push Inflation to 13.7%
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation rose further to 13.7 per cent in April compared to 12.8 per cent in March and 11.4 per cent in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated monday.
It blamed the 0.9 per cent rise in the headline index on the lingering structural constraints which had continued to manifest in electricity rates and kerosene prices. Read more
Ambode: Lagos Can Now Share from 13% Derivation
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, monday said the state had officially joined the league of oil producing states in the country with the discovery of crude oil off Lagos coast by an indigenous oil firm, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited.
By implication, the governor disclosed that the state would henceforth start benefiting from 13 percent derivation due to oil producing states in line with the provision of section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution. Read more
Minister Commends Etisalat’s Commitment to SMEs
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar has commended Etisalat Nigeria for its commitment to the growth and development of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
The Minister said this recently at the inauguration of the 2016 edition of Market Access Forum, organised by the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University in partnership with Etisalat Nigeria in Abuja. Read more
Zenith Bank, French Firm Sign $100m Pact to Boost Power
Zenith Bank Plc and the French Development Agency (Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), operator of France’s bilateral development finance mechanism have signed a $100 million power sector credit facility to boost new investments in the capital expenditures of distribution companies (DISCOS).
The signing of the facility which took place in the inner chambers of the Aso Rock Villa in the shadow of the security summit was witnessed by the visiting French President Francois Hollande and President, General Muhammadu Buhari. Read more
NSE mulls alterations on price methodology
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is proposing amendments to Rule 15.29: Pricing Methodology, Rulebook of the Exchange, 2015. Rule 15.29 currently prescribes the process by which the prices of equity securities may be determined, and the minimum price movement for equity securities listed on the Exchange. Rule 15.29(a), states, ‘Securities shall trade in price increments of one (1) Kobo. Read more
CBN issues national banking licence to Jaiz bank
Having operated for three years as a regional bank, concentrating largely on the Northern part of the country, Jaiz Bank plc has been issued a national licence, as Nigeria’s first non-interest bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The banking watchdog’s national licence permits the bank to expand its presence to all 36 states of the Federation in addition to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Chairman, Board of Directors of Jaiz Bank plc, Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab, according to a statement, confirmed the new banking status yesterday in Abuja when he led board members of the bank on a courtesy visit to Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar to brief him on the activities of the bank. Read more
Stock market gains N409bn in three days
Oil and gas companies quoted on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday continued to react positively to the increase in petroleum price from N86.50 to N145 per litre. The action has boosted share prices of some of these oil companies, resulting in the growth of market indices by 4.64 per cent or N409 billion during the last three trading days Market analysts linked the positive sentiments in oil and gas sector stocks to hike in petrol price. They noted that many of the companies in that sector were into distribution and marketing of petroleum products, stressing that investors expect that these firms would make higher profit margin with the recent initiative. Read more
Naira recovers on parallel market
After plunging to N360 to the dollar at the weekend, the naira yesterday strengthened to trade at N340 to the greenback on the parallel market. On the official interbank market, the naira was quoted at N197.50 to the dollar, near the official peg rate of N197 to the dollar. Read more
NFF waits on French embassy, plans Monday departure for home-based Eagles
If all works as planned, the home-based contingent for the Super Eagles’ international friendly games against Mali and Luxembourg will depart for France on Monday, next week, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed.
Nigeria will meet Mali in France on May 27 and battle with Luxembourg on May 31 in the European country. Read more
Ekundayo set to defend African Boxing Union title against Tanzanian star
Nigerian born British-based boxer, Larry Ekundayo, has started preparations to defend his African Boxing Union title belt against Tanzanian’s Saidi Mundi on June 4 in London.
Ekundayo is the undefeated African Boxing Union champion, International Masters welterweight titleholder and the 2012 Prizefighter champion. Read more
Serena still leads in WTA rankings after Italian Open victory
Serena Williams reinforced her huge lead at the top of the WTA rankings a week out from the start of the French Open after winning the Italian Open on Sunday.
Williams beat fellow American, Madison Keys, in the final in Rome to set herself up nicely for Roland Garros. Read more
Ondo wins Lagos Invitational Artistic Gymnastic
Ondo State has won the second edition of the Invitational Artistic Gymnastic Championship hosted by Lagos State at the Indoor Hall of the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park, Yaba.
The wards from the Sunshine State won 14 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals to beat Lagos representatives to the second position on 10 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals. Read more
Saudi Arabia agrees to supply Zambia cheaper fuel
The Saudi Arabian government has agreed to supply Zambia with cheaper oil which will reduce domestic fuel prices for the next five years, state broadcaster reported on Monday.
The Saudi Arabian government has offered a 20 million U.S. dollars revolving fund through the Saudi Fund for National Development for the supply of cheaper fuel to Zambia, according to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation. Read more
Uganda to rue oil pipeline deal
Our pipeline would have given Uganda a stronger say in regional politics and opened up for it the possibility of future security collaboration and even trade with Ethiopia and South Sudan
Uganda recently announced plans to export its crude oil through a new pipeline to be built to a Tanzanian port rather than via Kenya. Though Uganda’s decision to abandon Kenya for Tanzania was formally made at the East Africa Community Summit in Kampala at the end of April, unmistakable signs that Uganda was courting partnership with our southern neighbour predated the summit. Read more
Rand dips amid anxiety over Gordhan report
South Africa’s rand hit a two-month low against the dollar and government bonds weakened sharply on Monday after a newspaper report, denied by the government, that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan faces arrest.
The police and the presidency also dismissed the Sunday Times article, which cited unnamed sources saying Gordhan would be arrested in a case related to the activities of a spy unit formed when he headed the tax revenue agency. Read more
World powers ready to arm Libya in fight against IS
The United States, Italy and Libya’s friends and neighbours agreed Monday to arm the war-torn country’s fledgling unity government to fight the Islamic State threat.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said a 25-member group had agreed to exempt the Government of National Accord from the UN arms embargo imposed to halt the Libyan conflict. Read more
IRA probes Xplico after concerns over its work
The Insurance Regulatory Authority has launched an independent probe into the operations of Xplico following a fallout among shareholders and mounting concerns over its financial position.
The IRA told the Star yesterday the authority is aware of shareholder differences at the company, adding the matter is being addressed. Read more
Twitter tipped to stop counting links, photos in character limit
MICROBLOGGING site Twitter is slated to introduce a major change in the near future, allowing 23 precious extra characters in tweets.
According to Bloomberg, Twitter. Inc plans to remove character counts for links and photos, allowing more characters for text. Read more
Shorten endorses Clinton for US president, saying Trump would be ‘very difficult’
The Labor leader, Bill Shorten, has endorsed US Democratic presidential hopefulHillary Clinton over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, saying Trump would be “very difficult to deal with.”
He criticised the Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, for calling for Australia to rethink its foreign policy, independent of the United States. Read more
Thailand to close Koh Tachai island over tourism damage
The Thai island Koh Tachai is set to close, as authorities warn heavy tourism is negatively affecting natural resources and the environment.
The island, off Phang Nga province, is part of the Similan National Park. Read more
Canada wildfire: Oil workers evacuate camps near Fort McMurray
Hundreds of Canadian oil workers have been ordered to evacuate camps near the fire-hit town of Fort McMurray as a resurgent wildfire heads towards them.
Alberta State Premier Rachel Notley said up to 600 workers were being sent to oil sands installations further north. Read more
Hillary Clinton to enlist husband, Bill, to revitalise economy
The Democratic frontrunner in the race for the White House, Hillary Clinton, said yesterday that she would enlist her husband, Bill, to revitalise the economy.
She has previously hinted that the former president would “have to come out of retirement” if she won. Read more