March 23, 2018

*Rivers confirms Lassa fever case *Shiites protest across Northern Nigeria, demand El-Zakzaky’s release

*Rivers confirms Lassa fever case *Shiites protest across Northern Nigeria, demand El-Zakzaky’s release





Rivers confirms Lassa fever case

Rivers State government has confirmed the outbreak of the deadly disease of Lassa fever at a private health facility in Emohua Local Government council area of the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Theophilus Odagme explained yesterday that the patient upon discovery was expertly managed by the medical personnel and has fully recovered from the ailment. He added that the primary and secondary contacts are being followed up. Read more

Shiites protest across Northern Nigeria, demand El-Zakzaky’s release

Thousands of Shiite IMN members on Wednesday held protest marches in major cities across northern Nigeria to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention without trial since December 2015.

The cleric was detained after over 300 members of the IMN were killed by soldiers who accused them of blocking the road and plotting to kill the army chief, Tukur Buratai. The IMN denied the army’s claims. Read more

Herdsmen/Agatu farmers clash: Over 3,920 persons reported killed since 2013.

Barely four years after continuous clashes, it has been revealed that not less than 3,920 persons of Agatu extraction lost their lives in the bloody crisis between Agatu farming communities and Fulani herdsmen in Agatu local government area of Benue state.

It was also revealed that the crisis had also ravaged property, farmland and other economic social life of the people worth several billions of Naira within the said period. Read more

JAMB to deploy CCTV to monitor candidates in UTME

The Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) has announced plans to use Closed Circuit Camera (CCTV) to monitor candidates writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, disclosed this in an interview in Abuja yesterday.He said the measure became necessary to further strengthen public examinations, particularly, the entry-level examinations into higher institutions. Read more

Imo pays retirees N9.3b out of N21b pension arrears

The Imo State Government is owing retired workers in the state about N21 billion, the state governor, Rochas Okorocha has said.Okorocha disclosed this recently during a broadcast he delivered in Igbo specifically to the retirees on the state radio station, Orient FM of the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) in Owerri.

The governor revealed that the state government has only set aside N9.3 billion to clear the arrears and start on a clean slate.Some of the retirees were pushing for 100 per cent payment for ex-workers on grade levels 01 to 06 and 40 per cent for levels 07 to 17 but the governor insisted on 40 per cent across board. Read more

Kogi State Poly workers stage protests against unpaid salaries

The academic staff and non-academic staff of Kogi State Polytechnic staged a peaceful protest at the gate of the institution over the non-payment of their salaries by the Kogi State Government.

The aggrieved unions faulted the recently concluded screening exercise saying it does not represent the true position of their status.They urged Governor Bello to pay eight months salaries being owed them insisting that they are not ghost workers. Read more

N’Assembly approves MTEF, raises oil benchmark to $44.5

The two chambers of the National Assembly on Wednesday finally approved the revised version of the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Senate approved all the critical projections in the MTEF/FSP as proposed by the executive, except the oil benchmark, which was increased to $44.5 a barrel from the proposed $42.5. Read more

States generated N3.5tn IGR in 66 months – NBS

A total sum of N3.5tn was earned as Internally Generated Revenue by the 36 states of the federation within a 66-month period from January 2011 to June of 2016, figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics have revealed.

An analysis of the states’ IGR report made available showed that the IGR of the 36 states recorded a sharp increase between 2011 and 2013, after which it declined steadily up to 2016. Read more

Governor Okorocha threatens to dismiss local council employee with 60% attendance at work

Any worker in the local councils that record less than 60 per cent attendance would be sanctioned, the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha has said.Also, the governor has directed that the first session of 200 workers of the councils be trained on the Information Communication Technology (ICT), to expose them to computer literacy.

Okorocha, who said this recently while inspecting some prototype projects in the councils, regretted that records indicated that many workers at that level had 40 per cent attendance receiving salaries with tax payers money. Read more

Again, Gas Shortages Cause Transmission System Collapse

There is no end in sight to the worsening electricity supply in the country as the transmission infrastructure yesterday suffered another collapse as a result of gas shortages to the power generating stations across the country, THISDAY has learnt.

THISDAY gathered that before the collapse of the system, which occurred around 7.38 am yesterday, power allocation to the 11 distribution companies had averaged 2,118.86 megawatts, according to the Daily Hourly Load Demand Records obtained exclusively by THISDAY. Read more

Army arrests six over murder of command school’s commandant

Six persons are currently being held at the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Oyo State, in connection with the murder of the Commandant of the Command Secondary School, Apata, Col Anthony Okeyim.

Okeyim was found dead in his house situated within the school premises on December 12, 2016. His killers allegedly strangulated him on December 11 and his lifeless body was discovered the next morning. Read more

FG’s programmes aim to empower Nigerians, says Osinbajo
Empowerment of Nigerians is at the heart of the social investment programmes of the Federal Government, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.He spoke yesterday in Davos where he led the Nigerian delegation to the yearly World Economic Forum. He also participated in several events, including a packed international business interaction group of investors focused exclusively on Nigeria. Read more

Combating the menace of Lassa fever

This week, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed nine deaths and 20 cases arising from fresh outbreaks of Lassa fever in seven states of the Federation. A breakdown shows that there were three deaths out of six confirmed cases in Plateau State while Nasarawa also recorded three deaths. Two persons died in Ogun State, one death was recorded in Taraba out of the six confirmed cases even as Edo, Ondo and Rivers States recorded one confirmed case each. Read more

Ijaw not in secession struggle —IYC presidential aspirant

A leading Ijaw activist,  Oweikeye Endoro, has said the struggle for Ijaw advancement driven by the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, is not about secession from Nigeria as clearly noted in the historic Kaiama Declaration, KD, of 1998. Endoro, who is a presidential candidate for the forthcoming IYC elections, said in Warri, yesterday, that wrong perceptions of the Ijaw/Niger Delta struggle had hampered national understanding of the objective of the struggle which was self-determination, resource control and social justice within Nigeria. Read more

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Southern Kaduna: El-Rufai shuts down Zangon Kataf as gunmen kill 3, injure 5

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has ordered a 24-hour curfew in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, in Southern Kaduna, after suspected armed herdsmen opened fire in Samaru Kataf, a busy market, Tuesday evening, killing three and injuring five.  Read more

Manager urges N-Delta leaders to embrace Buhari’s peace offer

Senator James Manager, representing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta South, has called on leaders and youths of the Niger Delta to embrace the new offer of peace from the Presidency, saying it is a window that must be explored for the overall good of the polity. Reflecting on the visit of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to the Niger Delta, Senator Manager also said the goodwill of the Niger Delta people should be reciprocated by the Federal Government in scaling down the militarisation of the region. Read more

Women throw weight behind Aisha’s ‘Future Assured’ programme

WOMEN under the auspices of Virtuous Women and Youth Empowerment Initiative, VWYEI, has thrown their support for the programme of the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, ‘Future Assured’. This was stated by the National Coordinator, VWYEI, Mrs Esther Akwo, while appraising the programme, Future Assured. She described it as an engine for poverty reduction and better health for women in the country based on the contents of the programme. Read more

FG, UCH screen 3,000 for non-communicable diseases

REPRIEVE has come the way of thousands of indigent people in rural areas and cities in Oyo State as the University College Hospital, Ibadan, UCH,  in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health has begun free screening, treatment and surgeries for those who have non-communicable diseases like uterine fibroid, diabetes and others Read more

VC of UNILORIN alleges mudslinging by factional ASUU

The Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali, has carpeted factional members of the institution’s chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), for allegedly engaging in a campaign of calumny against the university.

He has, however, charged affected unionists to jettison the negative attitude, and join the mainstream ASUU to uplift the institution, which is running an uninterrupted academic calendar for 17 years. Read more

Disquiet in Nimet over resumption of new Director General

There is apprehension in the Nigerian Metrological Agency (Nimet) over the inability of the new Director General of the Agency, Prof Sani Abubakar Mashi from assuming duties.

The Guardian learnt that the letter appointing Prof Mashi directed him to resume duties on the 9th January, 2017 but that has been overturned by the Ministry of Aviation. The Ministry has issued another letter to Mashi directed him to resume on the 25th March, 2017 after under-study the out-going Director General who is expected to proceed on terminal leave on the same date. Read more

ECOWAS Troops Move To The Gambia Border As Parliament Extends Jammeh’s Tenure

West Africa regional leaders yesterday signified their readiness to carry out their threat to force The Gambia President Yahya Jammeh out of office if he does not vacate the seat today for President-elect Adama Barrow.

They had threatened to use military force to remove President Jammeh should he refuse to hand over power to Barrow. Countries in the sub-region, under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) yesterday began the deployment of troops to the Gambia’s borders in Senegal, in a show of force to pressure President Yahya Jammeh to stand down today. Read more

NASS Makes Volte-face, Approves 3-year Budget Plan

The National Assembly yesterday approved the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) with the adjustment of the crude oil benchmark from projection $42.5 to $44.5 for the 2017 budget.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the three-year plan was submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Read more


Tomato paste manufacturers tackle CBN over FX policy
THE Union of Tomato Paste Manufacturers in Nigeria has raised alarm over the danger of the foreign exchange policy on the industry. They said that the once vibrant industry might cease to exist next year if the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not amend its policy on forex to exclude triple concentrate tomato paste from the scope of the 41 items under the restricted list. Read more

BoI approves NAFDAC number for lending to SMEs

THE Bank of Industry, BoI, has beckoned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators whose products have met quality certification by National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to come for loan to expand their operations and create employments. Read more

Cashew farmers target $650m export income

CASHEW farmers   in Nigeria are working on a four-year plan to earn $650 million annual income from cashew exports. The country earned $253 million in 2015 and to achieve their new target, the farmers intend to cultivate more land and boost exports to about 500,000 metric tonnes a year to raise annual earnings to $650 million.

Tola Fasheru, President of the Nigerian Cashew Association, told Bloomberg in an interview, that with about 160,000 hectares(395,000 acres) of land producing about 150,000 tonnes a year, farmers are seeking to bring an additional 340,000 hectares into cultivation to achieve industry targets. Read more

Nigeria loses 60% cargoes to neighbouring countries

DIVERSION of Nigeria bound cargoes have increased from about 40 percent in 2014 to about 60 percent as at 2016 due to unfriendly import policies, stakeholders in the industry have said. The stakeholders made this known at the round table organized by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, MARAN, in Lagos. Read more

Anambra to boost MSMEs with N3bn in 2017

THE Anambra State government plans to generate over N3 billion in 2017 to assist the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector in the state. Managing Director, Anambra State Small Business Agency, ASBA, Mr Clement Chukwuka, said, in Awka, that the plan was part of the agency’s target to raise N20 billion in the next seven and half years in furtherance of government’s commitment to remain the choice destination for commerce in the country. Read more

Brass Fertiliser methanol plant to create 20,000 jobs — Vice Chairman

BRASS FERTILISER &   Petrochemical Company Limited (BFPCL), says its $6 billion methanol plant has capacity to create 20,000 jobs in the host community. The Brass Fertiliser plant is located in Brass Island, Bayelsa State.

In a statement, Chief Ben Okoye, the company’s Vice Chairman, said: “The project will employ 15,000 workers indirectly during construction and 5,000 permanent workers after the project is completed.” Read more


Why kerosene, diesel are scarce, by DAPPMA

Why  is kerosene and diesel scarce?They are scarce because of the high exchange rate, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) has said.

In an interview, DAPPMA Executive Secretary  Mr. Olufemi Adewole said: ‘’There is shortage of foreign exchange (forex)for marketers to import petroleum products, including kerosene hence the product is scarce and expensive. The winter period also contributed to the challenge because prices of petroleum products usually rise during this period. Read more

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Court adjourns Chevron’s appeal against Brittania-U on oil blocks sale

The Court of Appeal in Lagos has adjourned hearing on the divestment of oil mining leases (OMLs) 52, 53 and 55 by Chevron.

Two and half years after Chevron U.S.A Inc. and others appealed the judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos, which assumed jurisdiction to hear a suit brought against them by Brittania-U Nigeria Limited over the divestment of Chevron interests in OMLs 52, 53 and 55. The court has fixed a date for hearing. Read more

FG amends charges in $245m oil export suit against Total

A Federal High Court on Monday in Lagos granted the Federal Government’s application to amend processes in its suit against Total Nigeria Plc over alleged under-declaration of crude oil exports, Premium Times reports.

The plaintiff, FG, had sued Total Nigeria Plc, alleging that it under-declared the volume of crude oil it shipped out of the country between January 2011 and December 2014. The plaintiff accused the oil company of short-changing it to the tune of $245 million by allegedly shipping several barrels of crude oil out of Nigeria without making due remittance to the Federal Government. Read more

IndustriALL Global Union berates IOCs over unfair labour practices

GENEVA-based IndustriALL Global Union has decried the upsurge of unfair labour practices by International Oil Companies, IOCs, against Nigerian workers, even as it commended National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and its Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, counterpart for standing against the practices The global unions with over 50 million members, including Nigerians, insisted that IOCs must obey international laws and extant labour laws in Nigeria. Read more


Rangers fined for Supporters’ disorderly conduct

Rangers International, Lobi Stars and Niger Tornadoes have been issued summary jurisdiction notices by the League Management Company (LMC) for various breaches they committed in the course of Match Day 1 of the Nigeria Football Professional League (NPFL) 2016/17 season concluded over the weekend. It was Rangers that got cited for more serious breaches which include Rules B13.52, B13.18 and C1.1 which attracted a cumulative fine of N2.750milliom. Read more

World Cup: NFF bows to pressure from Sand Eagles

The Nigeria Football Federation has bowed to pressure from the national beach soccer team to state in black and white the amount of money each player will be paid before and during the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas.

The Super Sand Eagles qualified for the April 27 – May 7 tournament following their second-place finish at the 2016 Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations. Read more

FIFA to amend football rules for 48 teams World Cup

FIFA’s technical director  Marco van Basten has revealed that changes will be made to the rules of the game, to make football more entertaining. This is after the world soccer governing body voted to expand the FIFA World Cup to 48 teams. The former Dutch international disclosed that these new rules will be introduced before the 2026 World Cup. Read more

Manchester United return to top of football rich list

They may be struggling to rediscover past glories on the pitch – but Manchester United are back on top of football’s money league for the first time in 12 years.

United pipped Real Madrid and Barcelona – but experts are predicting the pound’s fall against the euro could see them fall behind the Spanish giants again next year. Read more

Arsenal remain confident of securing deal for key man despite contract stand-off

ARSENAL still reportedly remain confident over securing a new deal for Mesut Ozil. Talks over a new deal for Mesut Ozil have so far reached a deadlock.

The German midfield maestro’s current contract expires in 18 months. However, he is thought to be demanding a new deal worth more than £200,000 a week. Read more

Newcastle end miserable FA Cup run

Rafael Benitez is on his way to guiding Newcastle United back to the Premier League and he has also ended the club’s long wait for a victory in the FA Cup.

Squawka Football has revealed an astonishing statistic – before tonight, the Magpies last won a match in this competition more than five years ago. Read more

Diego Costa demands £300k-a-week contract: Chelsea reopen talks but will only pay this

Antonio Conte has reintroduced the striker into training ahead of Sunday’s clash with Hull (4.30pm) following last week’s bust-up. Express Sport understands Costa intends to snub a new deal and wants to quit Chelsea in the summer.

However, since holding clear-the-air talks with Conte this week, he apparently agreed to a truce so long as negotiations over a pay rise are reopened. Read more


Rights Groups Ask China to Free Tibetan Education Advocate

International human rights groups are calling on China to drop charges against a Tibetan entrepreneur and education advocate who was indicted by court officials this month for “inciting separatism.”

The Tibetan advocate, Tashi Wangchuk, was detained nearly one year ago after speaking to The New York Times for a documentary video and two articles on Tibetan education and culture. Read more

Vegemite back in Australian ownership after A$460m Bega deal

Vegemite will return to Australian ownership after Bega Cheese agreed to buy a range of well-known food brands in a deal worth A$460m (£280m; $345m).

Bega said it would acquire Vegemite, ZoOSH mayonnaise and Bonox beef extract from Mondelez International. The deal will also give the dairy producer the right to use the Kraft brand under licence. Read more

Theresa May set to reassure business leaders in Davos

Theresa May will attempt to reassure nervous business chiefs about her plans for Brexit when she holds key meetings in Davos later today.

The Prime Minster is attending the World Economic Forum at the Swiss alpine resort in a bid to “engage with a wide range of business leaders” and discuss the “type of relationship” Britain will have with the EU going forward. Read more

Trump inauguration: Taiwan delegation will attend in another red flag to China

The war of words between China and Donald Trump flared again as China urged the US not to let a Taiwanese delegation attend his inauguration.

Trump previously broke decades of diplomatic protocol by speaking directly with Taiwan’s president after winning the US presidential election in November. China said it opposed the Taiwan delegation’s attendance, which could “disturb or undermine Sino-US relations.” Read more

Germany reviewing nearly 550 migrants deemed a security risk

Germany said on Wednesday it would review the cases of nearly 550 asylum seekers who have been deemed a security risk, spurred by new questions about the handling of a Tunisian migrant who killed 12 people last month at a Berlin Christmas market.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told lawmakers the country’s Joint Terrorism Task Force would look carefully at each of the 547 people identified as a security risk to determine if they needed to be deported or taken into custody. Read more





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