*Why we reduced MTN’s N1.04trn fine —NCC* *Kanu detained in the interest of peace FG tells court*

*Why we reduced MTN’s N1.04trn fine —NCC* *Kanu detained in the interest of peace FG tells court*

Sabinews Morning News Update for December 9, 2015

National

Why we reduced MTN’s N1.04trn fine —NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has defended its action to reduce the N1.04 trn fine on MTN Nigeria to N780 billion, saying it acted in the interest of the stability of the telecom sector.

The commission said it weighed all pros and cons and arrived at a decision it considered favourable to all concerned. Read more

Kanu detained in the interest of peace FG tells court

The peaceful protests staged by members of Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, over the continued detention of the Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and the demand for creation of Biafra state may be halted following the resolve of the two pro-Biafra groups to give Federal Government room for dialogue.

Protesters in the South-East and parts of South-South geo-political zones had vowed to continue demonstrations until they actualize Biafra, which prompted governors from the region, under the aegis of South-East Governors Forum, SEGF, to push for a dialogue to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu, among other issues of neglect and marginalzation of the people, at a meeting held at Enugu Government House. Read more

Climate change: Ayade seeks equalization fund for Africa

Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has made a strong case for a climate equalization fund for Africa if the battle to reduce Green House Gas emissions was to succeed.

Ayade, a professor of Environmental Science, made the call at the ongoing Climate Change Summit in Paris, France. Read more

Yoruba leaders charge FG over Biafra protests

Leaders under the auspices of   Yoruba Summit met in Akure, the Ondo state capital yesterday and asked the federal government to look critically into the causes of separatist feelings and initiate constitutional reforms to give sense of belonging to all constituent units of the country.

Conveners of the summit include Chairman of the Yoruba unity Forum, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, Chairman of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, leader of Oodua People Congress Otunba Gani Adams, Chairman of Yoruba Council of Elders, Gen Adeyinka Adebayo, Chairman of the Summit Planning Committee, Dr Kunle Olajide and Agbekoya. Read more

No Boko Haram sponsor ’ll go unpunished — FG

President Muhammadu Buhari administration will not spare Boko Haram sponsors, in the fight to rid the nation of terrorists and their backers, the Minister of Informational and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.

Addressing a press conference on the successes recorded by the Nigerian military and other security agencies in the anti-Boko Haram war, in Abuja, yesterday, he said due process would be followed in bringing those behind the terrorists to book. Read more

Anambra targets 2.5m children, women for immunization

No fewer than 2.5 million women and children have been targeted by the Anambra State Government to benefit from health care services during this year’s second round of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week starting in all parts of the state, today.

The break-down shows that 900,970 children from six to 59 months would receive Vitamin A supplement, while 211,993 children of zero to 59 months, 264,991 pregnant women, and 1,165,960 women of child bearing age would be immunized against diseases such as measles, yellow fever and tetanus. Read more

EFCC files fraud charges against Dasuki, Yuguda, Dokpesi, Bafarawa others

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has slammed various charges bordering on fraud and money laundering on a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki; former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; and founder of Daar Holdings Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, in the Federal High Court Abuja.

Multiple sources at the anti-corruption agency told PREMIUM TIMES late on Tuesday that a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; Mr. Dasuki; Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance at the NSA office, Mr. Bafarawa and his son, Sagir; and a company, Dalhatu Investment Limited would be docked on a 22-count charge of fraud and money laundering. Read more

Navy Impounds Five Ships Laden with N240m Stolen Diesel

The Nigerian Navy has said it has arrested five ships laden with about 1.913 million litres of stolen diesel valued N240 million in Rivers State.

Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Atiku Abdulkadir, made the disclosure yesterday at Onne, Rivers State after inspecting one of the ships. Read more

Nigerian Students Stranded in Cuba Over Non-payment of Allowances

Nigerian students  under the Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) programme of the Federal Scholarship Board in Cuba, has condemned the incessant  late arrival of their stipends.
The BEA scheme is a joint programme run by the Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with governments of other countries including Cuba, China, Russia, Morocco, Algeria, Ukraine. Read more

EFCC accuses man of swallowing $115,000

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged one Onwuasonya Augustine to court for allegedly swallowing $115,000 to avoid declaring it to officials of the Nigeria Customs Service at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

Augustine was on Tuesday arraigned along with five others for the offence of money laundering. Read more

FG to spend N500bn on poor Nigerians in 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari has proposed to spend N500bn on social services to cater for the needs of youths and other “vulnerable” groups in 2016.

The proposal was contained in the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, which he sent to the National Assembly on Tuesday. Read more

Economy

AMCON won’t buy more bad loans –Kuru

THE Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) yesterday foreclosed further purchase of Nigerian banking industry’s delinquent loans going forward, insisting that badly managed banks should be allowed to die.

The clarification came on the backdrop of anxiety that the stock of non-performing loan has gone above the mandatory 5 percent of industry loan portfolio to nearly 10 per cent. Read more

World Bank warns Nigeria over subsidy payment

AS long queues continued unabated in fuel stations across the country owing to the scarcity of petroleum products, the World Bank yesterday warned that Nigeria would be unable to accumulate a fiscal reserve in the Excess Crude Account because of the $35 billion cost of fuel subsidy incurred between 2010 and2014.

The bank also said that the $35 billion spent on subsidy could have protected the country from the recent oil price shock but the government opted to waste it on subsidy payment. Read more

N220b MSMED Fund: States access N45b, says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said state governments have accessed N45 billion out of the N220 billion Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) set aside for development.

The apex bank added that 60 per cent, two per cent and 10 per cent of the MSMEDF had been set aside for women, people with disability and start-ups respectively. Read more

Oil and Gas

Crude contracts: NNPC shuns Reps order on presidential approval

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has yet to provide document from the Presidency authorising it to trade 445,000 barrels of crude oil under its Refined Product Exchange Agreement contracts.

Otherwise known as SWAP, the transactions involved the exchange of crude oil for refined petroleum products in which the corporation gave out 445,000 barrels of crude daily to trading companies. Read more

Fresh trouble as crude oil prices’ fall continues

Despite the Federal Government’s using a crude oil price benchmark of N38 for its 2016 proposed budget, an economic crisis looms. This is because by yesterday, the oil price continued to plummet, falling below $37 per barrel and international Brent crashing to below $40 for the first time since early 2009. The prices may fall further.

Lamenting the crash in oil price, Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) said the decline had far-reaching implications in its efforts to meet obligations. Read more

Power

MAN decries lingering power supply, high tariff crises

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has blamed the plummeting fortunes of local industrial firms on inadequate power supply, high traiffs and business unfriendly tax regime.

National President of MAN Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs stated this in Benin City at the 29th yearly general meeting of the Edo/Delta chapter of the association in Benin City. Read more

Power crises: Fashola summons NERC, TCN, DISCOS, GENCOS

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has summoned management of  the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN),  Distribution Companies (DISCOS), Generation Companies (GENCOS)  and other relevant stakeholders in the power sector to address lingering issues responsible for poor power supply in the country.

Fashola, who spoke in Abuja yesterday at his maiden media briefing, disclosed that many thorny issues like estimated billing system being carried out by the distribution companies, outrageous fixed tariff, inadequate metering, among others would be addressed at the meeting. Read more

Govt to assist TCN access funding for power projects

The Federal Government has reiterated commitment to assist Transmission Company of Nigerian (TCN) in accessing long-term expansion funding, including the proposed transmission development fund, and other International development funds from banks and multilateral agencies.

The Permanent Secretary, Power, Louis Edozien, said that these funding matrixes were to ensure a reliable transmission network system capable of conveniently wheeling up to 10,000Mw of produced power in the short and medium term, as well as providing a solid foundation for future growth of the sector. Read more

Sports

Dream Team Dares Senegal for Rio2016 Ticket

When the Dream Team VI files out against host Senegal this afternoon at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar in the first semi final of the CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations, winning the ticket to the men’s football event of RIO 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil will be uppermost in the minds of Samson Siasia and his wards.

After Nigeria failed to qualify for the last Games in London due to poor outing at the inaugural U-23 tournament in Morocco, Siasia knows that there will be no excuse of any kind to assuage football loving compatriots who are looking for a repeat of Atlanta ’96 feat when Nwankwo Kanu and co won the Olympic gold for Africa for the first time. Read more

Osaze plans Premier League exit

Veteran Stoke forward Osaze Odemwingie has declared his intention to quit the Premier League at the end of the season.

The South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner, who is in the final year of his current contract and has only started one game for the Potters this season, has been sidelined by a hamstring strain. Read more

World News

Bomb attack kills four Egyptian security personnel in North Sinai

A roadside bombing killed four Egyptian security personnel Tuesday in the Sinai Peninsula border town of Rafah.

Egypt’s state-run Ahram Online quoted security sources as saying Islamist militants detonated the device as an armored vehicle passed by near the center of the city. Read more

Gabon seizes 200kg of poached ivory in what could be biggest haul ever

The central African state of Gabon, home to half of Africa’s endangered forest elephants, has impounded more than 200kg (440lb) of ivory in what may be its largest seizure ever.

Gabon is seeking to promote ecotourism and has poured money into protecting its 50,000 forest elephants, prized by ivory poachers for their particularly hard, straight tusks. Read more

Egypt’s religious body condemns Trump’s Muslim ban call

Egypt’s top religious authority on Tuesday condemned as “extremist and racist” U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, state-run Ahram-online reported.

Trump’s comments came after last week’s California mass shooting by a Muslim couple, whom the FBI said had been radicalized. Read more

Garissa massacre planner joins ISIS

The Kenyan-born mastermind of the massacre of 148 people in Garissa has defected from al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab to a pro-ISIS faction, intelligence reports indicate.

Mohamed Kuno alias Gamadhere, previously al Shabaab Lower Juba commander, joined the more extremist and violent faction in the last week of November. Read more

Malaysia seeks owners of three Boeing 747s abandoned at airport

Malaysia’s airport operator is seeking the “untraceable” owner of three unclaimed double-decker passenger jets that have been parked and left at Kuala Lumpur international airport for more than a year.

The operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, placed a notice this week in the English-language daily newspaper the Star, saying that if the Boeing 747-200F planes were not collected within two weeks, “we reserve the right to sell or otherwise dispose of the aircraft”. Read more

Ex-Australia PM Tony Abbott says Islam must reform

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said Islam has a “massive problem” and needs to reform.

Writing in Australian media, Mr Abbott said “not all cultures are equal” and the West should stop apologising for defending its values. Read more

Canada Launches Inquiry Into Murdered Aboriginal Women

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government on Tuesday launched an investigation into hundreds of murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls, stressing the need for a stronger relationship with the country’s indigenous communities.

The decision by Trudeau, a Liberal, marked another policy reversal from his predecessor Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. Read more

Nepal’s most vulnerable are still at risk as quake relief effort stalls

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, which left over 8,500 people dead and 500,000 homes destroyed, the international community pledged more than $4 billion in aid to help the landlocked Himalayan nation recover and rebuild. During the first 6 months of the relief effort, essential progress was made with aid administered to the most needy, and shelters, health centers and learning centers established in affected areas, but as the Himalayan winter sets in, and temperatures begin to drop, relief organizations are now facing huge challenges with supply routes blocked and pledged funds still inaccessible. Read more

 

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