Nigerian Army not planning interim govt —Spokesman
The Nigerian Army, on Wednesday, maintained that there was no plan for interim government as being speculated in some quarters.
The Nigerian Army, while reacting to what it termed “spurious and unsubstantiated allegations” being circulated, particularly in the social media about the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah and some serving senior officers on the purported interim government plan, noted that the allegations were calculated attempts by unpatriotic elements to divide the Nigerian Army. Read more
Nigeria set to lose $466m in arms deal
Whistleblowers in the defence industry are raising the alarm over a massive fraud of $466.5 million about to be executed at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) with some arms dealers, using the United States’ refusal to grant export permit for military hardware to Nigeria as pretext.
A letter to the government aroused the suspicion. An arms procurement company wrote that in view of the refusal of the US to give export licence to Nigeria, it had reached an agreement with NAF to substitute the initial order for Cobra AH-IV with alternate attack platform which it claimed, has greater fire power. Read more
NCC Absolved of Withdrawal of Short Code for APC Fundraising
Fresh facts have emerged as to how the short code for the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) fundraising campaign was withdrawn from telecoms operators, which may have exonerated the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) of the allegation that it gave orders for the withdrawal.
NCC had earlier denied the allegation that the commission gave orders to telecoms operators to withdraw the Short Message Service (SMS) code, which the APC wanted to use for its fundraising campaign. Read more
World Bank to build climate change resilience in Nigeria
The World Bank has said it is ready to help Nigeria in climate change adaptation and mitigation to enable the country realise its agricultural potential.
The bank has committed $30million to combat gully erosion menace in the South East under the Erosion and Watershed Management Programme (NEWMAP). Read more
Presidential Candidates Should Tell Us Their Health Agenda – NMA
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has demanded that presidential aspirants unveil their health agenda to Nigerians.
The association expressed worry that few days before the presidential elections, none of the political parties is interested in talking about health care. Read more
Jonathan Vows Not to Disappoint Youths, to Complete $16bn Delta Gas Plant
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday promised not to disappoint Nigerians if voted for a second term in the presidential election, adding that his administration would not depart from encouraging Nigerian youths to harness their potential.
He made the pledge in Benin City, the Edo State capital, when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign berthed at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, venue of the rally. Read more
FG Unveils Take-off of High Speed Train from Abuja to Lagos
Nigerians who often feel unsafe in Nigeria’s airspace and yet cannot endure a nine-hour road trip between Lagos and Abuja, have received cheery news from the federal government who announced the planned take-off of a three-hour high-speed train project between the two cities.
Announcing this in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, disclosed the federal government’s partnership arrangements with private firms within and outside Nigeria towards the commencement of the project. Read more
NMA: Wide Scale Election Violence Will Collapse Health Sector
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Wednesday warned against over-stretching the ‘fragile’ healthcare sector, stating that the health sector could collapse should Nigeria witness another round of election violence such as the 2011 post-election crises.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, the NMA President, Dr. Lawrence Obembe, stated that the debate on the 2015 elections has not taken into cognisance health agenda for the Nigerian populace. Read more
NUPENG, others vie for NLC presidency
With a total of 3,119 delegates, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its 43 affiliated industrial unions are set to elect a new president at its 11th Delegates’ Conference scheduled for Abuja, between February 9 and 12.
The three contenders for the position of the NLC president are the President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Ayuba Wabba, President of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Igwe Achese and the General-Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Joseph Ajaero. Read more
EU budgets €4.4m for polls
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria, yesterday, revealed that the European Union (EU) has budgeted €4.4million for the forthcoming elections in the country.
Speaking during a breakfast meeting with journalists yesterday in Abuja, EU EOM Deputy Chief Observer, Ms. Hannah Roberts, also decried the implementation of only one out of the 50 recommendations the EU made in 2011. Read more
Chadian Troops Kill over 200 Boko Haram Insurgents
Chad’s army has said it has killed more than 200 militant Islamists and lost nine men during a battle to recapture Gamborou-Ngala in Borno State.
Boko Haram militants killed about 30 people after fleeing from the battle to Cameroun, a resident said. Read more
Boko Haram kill more than 100 in Cameroon, says local leader
Boko Haram fighters have killed more than 100 people in the north Cameroon town of Fotokol, murdering residents inside their homes and a mosque, a local civic leader said on Wednesday.
The massacre comes amid a major regional offensive against the Islamic group, which has kidnapped hundreds and killed thousands in neighbouring northern Nigeria and has mounted increasingly bloody cross-border raids. Read more
DHQ Condemns APC’s Advertorial Mocking CDS, Military
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has condemned in strong terms the political campaign advertorial on several media outlets by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that seemed to question the integrity and sincerity of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Chief Alex Badeh, in the ongoing counter-terrorism operations against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, in a statement on Wednesday, said the advert, which cited that Badeh could not meet the deadline he gave to defeat Boko Haram and later a ceasefire with the sect, was unfair to the office of the CDS and the military. Read more
Gamboru Recapture: South African Contractor Provided Air Cover For Chad
Contrary to a report in the media yesterday – that a joint military coalition comprising Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon had reclaimed Borno town, a military source stated only the Chadian troops carried out the operation with the help of South African Air Force which provided aerial support to Chadian troops.
Chad’s army has disclosed that it killed more than 200 Boko Haram militants but lost nine of its soldiers while 21 others were wounded in the battle to reclaim the border town of Gamboru in Borno State which had been under the control of the terrorists for months, Chad defence ministry said. Read more
EFCC declares Nyako, son wanted
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared the former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, wanted.
Also on the EFCC wanted list is Nyako’s son, Abdul Aziz Murtala Nyako, a retired naval officer. Read more
FG Cuts 2015 Capital Spending as Oil Price Slump Bites
The federal government has more than halved capital expenditure to less than 10 per cent of the 2015 Appropriation Bill, axing badly needed infrastructure investment due to the collapse in the price of oil, the country’s main source of revenue, according to the full budget submitted to parliament.
Even though Nigeria’s capital spending seldom materialises as planned, shelving projects such as port upgrades and roads will only perpetuate the inefficiencies that have plagued Africa’s most populous nation and biggest economy for decades. Read more
NSE Capitalisation Climbs to N10.2tn as Bull Run Persists
The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) climbed to N10.198 trillion on Wednesday on bargain hunting by investors, which has been on for three consecutive days.
Having dipped by 14 per cent in the first month of the year, with some stocks depreciating by 30 per cent, bargain hunters swooped on the market since Monday. Read more
Chief Economic Adviser: FG has No Reason to Manipulate Figures
The federal government has faulted a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, on employment and poverty data in the country, stating that the administration stands to gain nothing by manipulating statistics.
Soludo had at the weekend, in response to an article by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, expressed concern that the incumbent government was “the first in the history to attempt to manipulate our national statistics”, among other issues and allegations that he raised. Read more
NBCC Proffers Solutions to Nigeria’s Economic Challenges
The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has advised Nigerians and business owners to return to productive works to prepare for tough economic situations ahead.
The advice was sequel to the predictable tough time by industry analysts for the Nigerian economy, due the falling oil price at the international market and its envisaged impact on the economy. Read more
Expert Proffers Communal Agric, Wind Turbines to Tackle Unemployment
A chemical engineer and Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Oluchukwu Ekechukwu, has suggested unique ways to developing and enhancing agriculture in Nigeria, in a bid to tackle youth employment, ensure food security and reduce insecurity in the country.
Ekechukwu, also a Nuclear Production Engineer based in North Carolina, United States of America, proffered the cultivation of cash crops across a wide section of Nigeria and the use of wind turbines to generate electricity and provide employment for thousands of youths in the unemployment market. Read more
Soludo insists N30tr missing under Okonjo-Iweala
Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Prof Charles Soludo yesterday insisted that more than N30 trillion is missing from the treasury under the watch of Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
However, Soludo said he had declared a ceasefire following Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala’s decision not to respond to the allegation that N30 trillion cannot be accounted for under her watch. Read more
Naira devaluation: Experts urge CBN to liaise with ministries
The efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, in easing the pressure on the naira and the nation’s reserve can only be effective with the cooperation of the ministry of finance and the minister of petroleum, the Managing Director of Afrinvest, Mr. Ike Chioke, has said.
Chioke, who spoke in Lagos while revewing the 2014 economy and outlook said there is need for strong signals from the government towards cutting spending for the monetary policy moves of the CBN to be effective. Read more
FG Set to Inject N250 Billion into FMBN
The Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Gimba Ya’ Kumo, has said the federal government has concluded all necessary arrangements to recapitalise the apex mortgage bank to the tune of N250 billion.
While the bank generates N2.4 billion monthly from over four million contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF), its low capital base THISDAY learnt is a clog to its optimal performance. Read more
Oil and Gas
NNPC Puts Nigeria’s Current Crude Oil Losses through Vandalism at 60,000b/d
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday estimated that Nigeria currently loses about 60,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate per day through petroleum pipeline vandalism and sabotage.
The NNPC also said the current crude oil production capacity loss has increased in recent times due to upsurge in attacks on crude oil and gas pipelines, especially on the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline (ELGP) which it disclosed was vandalised at four different break points over the last weekend. Read more
MOMAN predicts crude oil price rise in 2015
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has expressed optimism that the falling crude oil prices would rise again in the global market before the end of 2015.
Speaking at a quarterly roundtable on the economy organised by Nigerian NewsDirect, the Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Mr. Femi Olawore, said that it was characteristic for the crude prices to rise and fall. Read more
Pope Francis to Talk to Kids in Google Hangout
Pope Francis — who once declared the Internet is a “gift from God” — will host his second Google hangout on Thursday morning. The online dialogue with youngsters who have disabilities or special needs is being hosted by Scolas Occurentes, an educational group launched by the pontiff. In a blog post, Google said the participants are from Brazil, India, Spain and the U.S. “The kids will share a glimpse into their lives and talk about their dreams with Pope Francis — and the world,” the post said. Read more
Egypt: Activist Receives a Life Sentence
A prominent activist, Ahmed Douma, was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison, officials said, part of a sustained crackdown on Islamist and liberal opponents of the government. Mr. Douma, a leading figure in the pro-democracy revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, was convicted of rioting, inciting violence and attacking security forces in 2011. Read more
Brazil Scientists Fear Golden Mussel Threat to Amazon River
The world’s mightiest waterway, the Amazon River, is threatened by the most diminutive of foes — a tiny mussel invading from China.
Since hitching its way to South America in the early 1990s, the golden mussel has claimed new territory at alarming speeds, plowing through indigenous flora and fauna as it has spread to waters in five countries. Now, scientists fear the invasive species could make a jump into the Amazon, threatening one of the world’s unique ecological systems. Read more
Parents Of US Hostages Criticise Obama Policy
The parents of two American journalists kidnapped in Syria have criticised the Obama administration’s hostage policies.
Speaking to Sky News, the mothers of James Foley and Austin Tice cast doubt on whether media blackouts and a blanket ban on ransom payments are truly effective. Read more
Quake of magnitude 6 strikes off Panama – USGS
An earthquake of magnitude 6.0 struck off Panama on Thursday, about 212 miles (341 km) south of its second largest city of David at a depth of 20 miles (32 km), the U.S. Geological Survey said. Read more
Jordan’s King Abdullah vows ‘relentless’ war against Isis
Jordan’s King Abdullah has vowed a “relentless” war against Islamic State (Isis) following the release of a video showing a Jordanian air force pilot being burnt alive in a cage by militants.
The king called the killing a cowardly act of terror by a criminal group that has no relation to Islam. Read more
UK must step up fight against IS, MPs say
Britain can and should step up the fight against IS, a group of MPs have said.
A report by the Defence Select Committee (DAC) found the UK has the expertise and resources to give more support to Iraqi forces. Read more
Troops kill eight in highway battles in northern Mexico
Mexican federal troops killed eight alleged gang members on Wednesday in battles along a highway near the U.S. border in the northern state of Tamaulipas, a region plagued by a bloody dispute between drug cartels.
The gunmen were killed in separate battles after they hijacked buses and used them to block a highway between the cities of Matamoros and Reynosa, opposite the Texas border towns of Brownsville and McAllen, a federal and state police task force said. Read more
Siasia invites Obiozor, Sokari
Under-23 Head Coach, Samson Siasia, has invited the duo of Christian Obiozor of Kano Pillars and Kingsley Sokari of Enyimba to fortify the team as it prepares for the All Africa Games qualifiers against Gabon in Abuja.
Siasia said he was impressed by the players’ performance at the just concluded Super Four tournament in Abuja, noting that they can add quality to the team. Read more
ITTF-Africa, Teslim Balogun Mourn Okoya-Thomas
For his enormous contribution to the growth of table tennis in Nigeria and in the continent, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) have described the demise of Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas as a setback for the sport. Read more
Nigeria has 6.5 million unregistered footballers – FIFA
There are at least 6,653,710 football players in Nigeria, out of which only 58,710 are registered, leaving 6,595,000 existing as unregistered players. This is according to information about Nigeria on FIFA’s website.
The world football governing body also has record of 52 football clubs in Nigeria as well as 33, 122 officials. Read more
Nigerian footballer jailed for cocaine peddling
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday sentenced one Umeh Henry to two years imprisonment for being in unlawful possession of cocaine.
Shortly before the pronouncement, the convict, while pleading with the court to temper justice with mercy, said he was a professional footballer based in Brazil. Read more
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