*We Have Won The War Against Boko Haram – Buhari* *FG to sell interest in new oil firm*

Sabinews Morning News Update for December 24, 2015

National News

We Have Won The War Against Boko Haram – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said that the country’s military has “technically won the war”against Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group that has killed thousands of people mostly in northeastern Nigeria since 2009.

“I think, technically, we have won the war,” Buhari told BBC. He added that by the end of December they will completely defeat the extremist group. The president had given a 31 December deadline to the Nigerian military to win its war against Boko Haram militants. Read more

FG to sell interest in new oil firm

The Federal Government is expected to sell to the public at least 30 per cent of the shares of the National Oil Company, one of the commercial entities to be created to replace the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

According to the Petroleum Industry Governance and Institutional Framework Bill 2015, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, the divestment of the shares will be done within six years from the date of the incorporation of the NOC. Read more

Onitsha killings: IPOB drags FG to court, demands N8.5bn compensation

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has slammed an N8.9 billion suit against the Federal Government for alleged killing of their members at separate incidences in Onit­sha, Anambra State.

Also, the group has signalled intent to drag the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the IGP to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against human­ity. Read more

Judge hands off trial of Kanu, pro-Biafra leader

The trial of the leader of one of the Pro-Biafra groups, Nnamdi Kanu, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, was stalled following an objection raised against the presiding judge.

Kanu was arraigned along with Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on a six-count charge bordering on terrorism and money laundering. Read more

Operator flays unbriddled iron, steel importation

The huge amount of money spent by Nigerians on importation of finished iron and steel products has triggered concerns from the local manufacturers who recently berated the capital flight of about N2.3 trillion expended yearly.

Indeed, facts from the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) indicated that Nigerian business men imported 61,500 tons of steel pipe (finished goods) in 2014. Read more

LASG urges Nigerians to remember fallen soldiers

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, says Nigerians need to acknowledge the bravery of officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces, both in protecting the territorial integrity of the nation and keeping the country united.

Ambode spoke at the Lagos House, Marina, while inaugurating the 2016 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem Appeal. Read more

FUTA workers protest colleagues’ sacking as SSANU begins strike

Members of staff of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, on Wednesday staged a protest over the dismissal of 45 of their colleagues who were teachers of the FUTA Staff Primary School by the Federal Government.

The workers, under the auspices of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, said the affected members had already received their letters of dismissal and vowed to resist the development. Read more

NDDC inaugurates roads in A-Ibom community

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has inaugurated road projects in Uquo Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

The 28.6km road, which was inaugurated by the former NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Dan Abia, was said to have been awarded by the commission in 2011 to JCC Construction Limited. Read more

Ayade lights up Calabar, pledges to eradicate unemployment

Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has pledged to reduce to the barest minimum, the scourge of unemployment in the state by the end of his first tenure in office.

Ayade, at the City Lighting event at the Millennium Park, Calabar, to herald activities in this year’s Calabar Festival, reiterated his resolve to ensure that only policies which will create jobs for the people are formulated by his administration with a promise that no Cross Riverian, who is willing to work, will be unemployed at the end of his tenure. Read more

Youth group urges Taraba govt to establish ICT centres

Coordinator of the group, Mr. Dennis Shima made the appeal at a press conference in Jalingo.

Shima noted that the estab­lishment of the centres in sec­ondary and tertiary institutions across the state would prepared the youths to brace up with the challenges of the Information Age and reduce the rate of un­employment in the state. Read more

Gunmen attack APC chieftain, kill Police escort in Rivers

A foiled attempt to allegedly assassinate a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, Mr. Chikordi Dike, has claimed the life of a police escort attached to him.

It was gathered that armed men had allegedly attempted to kill Mr. Dike who is a onetime Caretaker Committee Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state. Read more

Immigration repatriates 712 illegal immigrants in Delta

Delta State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service, said it has captured and repatriated 712 illegal immigrants in the state to their respective countries.

The command in a statement by its Comptroller, Mr Madu Musa said; “In our effort to control the influx of irregular immigrants in Delta State, we have embarked on this mop-up exercise across the length and breathe of the state to remove undocumented immigrants, this is a routine operation. Read more

Gombe Spends N230m for Compensation on Seven Roads

Gombe state government has paid the sum of N229, 658,604.00 as compensation to 468 people affected by roads earmarked for construction in Jekadafari area of the state capital, THISDAY has learnt.

Chairman of the Committee on payment of compensation, Alhaji Shehu Abubakar Durbi, made this known recently in Gombe and added that the exercise began some time ago in October. Read more

FG Trains Two Hundred Undergraduates in Taraba

The Federal Government has completed the training of two hundred undergraduates in Taraba state under the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS).

The trainees, who were beneficiaries of the GIS which was initiated by the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Finance to curb the rising wave of unemployment in the country, were trained to acquire skills and knowledge to become successful entrepreneurs as well as develop soft skills that would make them sought after by employers. Read more

MTN doesn’t need to pay fine before deadline, says official

Nigerian authorities will wait for the outcome of a court challenge filed by MTN [JSE:MTN] before deciding on whether to enforce a $3.9bn (R59.24bn) fine, a spokesperson for the telecommunications ministry said.

The ministry spokesperson contradicted a source in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), who earlier said “appropriate action” would be taken against MTN if it failed to pay the fine by a December 31 deadline for failing to disconnect users with unregistered SIM cards. Read more

 Enugu police nab gang leader, kidnappers of Okonjo-Iweala’s

The police in Enugu have nabbed three of the suspected kidnap kingpins that abducted Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, mother of the former Minister of Fi­nance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in 2013.

The Enugu State Police Command, which disclosed this through its Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in Enugu, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, a Deputy Superintendent of Po­lice (DSP), said the operatives of the Anti-kidnap unit of the command arrested the gang leader, Peter Nweke from Umumba Ndiagu Ndiuno in Ezeagu Local Government Area of the State, who lives at Bucknor Street, Mushin, Lagos with his wife as he was involved in another kidnap op­eration. Read more

Hajj Stampede: 43 Nigerian Pilgrims Still Missing As FG Receives Report

The report on the 2015 Hajj submitted to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. Babachir David Lawal, yesterday, revealed that 43 Nigerians out of the 75,081 pilgrims who attended this year’s Hajj are still missing.

The report also informed that Nigeria recorded a total of 280 deaths from the two tragic events which occurred during the 2015 Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Read more

3 arrested for killing mother, church member, housemaid

A young man, Endurance Ak­pan, 18 years old, has killed his mother in Akwa-Ibom State. Similarly, a pastor, Gideon Idio has killed her fe­male church member while a man, Mr Anietie Obong has also killed his 16-year-old housemaid on allegation of witchcraft.

The three murder suspects arrested by the police are cooling off their heels in the cell at the Akwa Ibom State command headquarters, Uyo where they were paraded on Tuesday. Read more

Emefiele Appoints Abdulhameed Managing Director NIRSAL

Following a competitive process, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele has approved the appointment of Mr. Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed as substantive Managing Director of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

Also, Babajide Arowosafe was appointed the Executive Director (Technical) for NIRSAL.
Abdulhameed holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Masters Degree in Public Administration with specialisation in Public Policy. He also holds an Executive Masters Certificate in Project Management from the Project Management College (UK). Read more

Minimum wage should be increased, not reduced —NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress has stated that the N18,000 Minimum Wage is due for upward review, saying it will resist attempts by state governors to reduce the current wage.

NLC, in a communiqué at the end of the Central Working Committee’s meeting of the union, said it was ready to mobilise its members for a protest in any state that the prevailing wage or retrenched workers. Read more

Economy

Naira Appreciates on Parallel Market after CBN Dollar Sales

The naira firmed to N266 to the dollar on the unofficial market on Wednesday, gaining 1.5 per cent after the Central Bank of Nigeria sold dollars to exchange houses and as demand for the US currency slowed, traders said.

The central bank sold $10,000 to each of more than 2,000 bureau de change operators, Aminu Gwadabe, the head of Nigeria’s bureaux de change association, told Reuters. Read more

SEC Advises Stockbrokers on Direct Cash Settlement

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has directed dealing firms (stockbroking firms) to send relevant information to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) by December 30, 2015 so as to facilitate the commencement of Direct Cash Settlement (DCS) in the nation’s stock market.

The DCS is a process where cash proceeds from trades executed by brokers on the Exchange settles directly into investors’ bank account. DCS is aimed at improving transparency, entrenching investor confidence, reducing market infractions and improving trading velocity. Read more

PWC predicts 5.4% growth in hospitality industry

Despite the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria of possible recession hitting the economy by 2016, latest report from PriceWater- HouseCoopers forecasts higher cash receipts for the hospitality sector.

According to PriceWater- HouseCoopers, the global accounting firm, although the domestic market took a knock in the first half of the year, an increase in hotel bookings is projected to occur at a 6.6 per cent compound annual rate to 2.2 million by 2019. Read more

CBN allows new businesses borrow from N220bn MSME Fund

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed the guidelines for the N220 billion Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Fund to allow new businesses (start-ups) borrow from the fund.

The CBN also said that banks and other finance institutions that lends to business start-ups under the fund will be allowed to access the fund at zero interest rate. Read more

Oil and Gas

Kaduna refinery petrol output rises to 3.2m litres daily

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, stated that Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, has commenced production of 3.2 million litres of petrol daily, from an initial production of 1.5 million litres recorded over the weekend.

This was even as the NNPC stated that 914 truckloads of fuel have been dispatched to petrol stations across the country, while 1,939 trucks, conveying 64.04 million litres of the products, have been evacuated from its coastal depots to inland depots in the country. Read more

We are not diverting fuel – NUPENG

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has said its members are not involved in fuel diversion, as scarcity of the product persists in parts of the country.

The union, in a statement signed by its President, Dr. Igwe Achese, said its members had not stopped hauling petroleum products to their destinations from the depots. Read more

Sports

NFF Does Not Sell Players – Pinnick

The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has condemned insinuations in sections of the press that the football federation sells players.

According to Pinnick, statements by the minister of youth and sports, Solomon Dalung, were misconstrued by sections of the press and, as a result, cast the NFF in bad light. Read more

 I won’t set goals target –Ighalo

Nigeria’s goal scoring sensation, Odion Ighalo has insisted he would not set any goals target for himself this season as that has not been his practice in the past.

Speaking with mtnfootball.com on his brace in the game against Liver­pool last weekend, the Watford strik­er noted there was nothing special about his goals. Read more

World News

French companies to invest in Zimbabwe

A number of French investments are lined up for Zimbabwe in 2016 with power giant, Schneider Electric, expected to enter the Zimbabwean market, French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Delahousse has said.

Delahousse told businessdigest in an exclusive interview this week that the firm, which already has a branch in South Africa , will open a branch in the country with a view to set up a manufacturing plant in the near future. Read more

Burundi rebel groups form armed force aimed at ousting president Nkurunziza

Burundi’s rebels came together Wednesday for the first time as a force aimed at ousting President Pierre Nkurunziza, after months of bloodshed in the troubled central African country.

The formation of the insurgents comes amid mounting regional pressure on the government to accept African Union peacekeepers it calls an “invasion force”. Read more

Libya: No Immediate Call for Foreign Airstrikes Against IS

Libya’s UN ambassador has said his country will hold off asking nations like the United States and Britain to intervene with airstrikes against the growing presence of the Islamic State group in the oil-rich north African nation as a new national unity government tries to establish itself.

Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi yesterday told The Associated Press he would rather see a UN arms embargo loosened so Libya can defend itself against IS instead. Read more

ANC to fight for harsher punishment for Kohler Barnard

The ANC says it’ll fight for harsher punishment for the DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard.

She was reinstated as an MP following her successful appeal against her expulsion from the party. Read more

Sinopec refinery in Guangzhou catches fire after blast

An explosion occurred at a Sinopec refinery in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Thursday, the local fire department reported on its microblog.

The blast occurred at 0643 am local time, or 2243 GMT, at a hydro-cracking facility and a fire was put out within 90 minutes, the department said. Read more

N Korea diplomat expelled from S Africa for rhino horn trading

A North Korean diplomat has been expelled from South Africa for illegal rhino horn trading, according to a spokesman for South Africa’s Department of International Relations.

The diplomat was arrested in neighbouring Mozambique in May. Local media named him as Park Chol-jun. Read more

Myanmar men sentenced to death for murder of British backpackers in Thailand

A Thai court sentenced two Myanmar migrant workers to death on Thursday after convicting them of the 2014 murders of two British tourists on a holiday island in a case mired in controversy.

The battered bodies of backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found on a beach on the island of Koh Tao in September 2014. Read more

Underwater Search for Flight MH370 to Be Completed by June 2016

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean will conclude in June 2016, according to a statement put out on Wednesday by the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC).

More than 30,000 square miles of the sea floor have already been searched since the aircraft disappeared in March 2014, making it the largest and most expensive aviation investigation in history. Read more

US blocks UK Muslim family from boarding plane to Disneyland

British Prime Minister David Cameron will look into claims that U.S. officials prevented a British Muslim family of 11 from flying to Disneyland for a planned holiday.

The issue is sensitive because U.S. Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslims visiting the U.S. due to concerns about extremist attacks. Read more

 

 

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