SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE FOR MARCH 23, 2017
What we told President, by Buratai, Abubakar
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with two security chiefs, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, and his Chief of Air Staff counterpart, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar over the security situation in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, Buratai said the visit was to brief the president on the security situation in the areas where soldiers are involved, as well as inform him on the prevailing administration in the army and general welfare of the troops under his authority. Read more
Why I won’t honour Senate summons- Customs CG
The Comptroller-General (CG) of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd) has said he would not appear before the Senate today following a court order, which restrained him from honouring the lawmakers’ summon.
Addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock, Abuja yesterday, the embattled customs chief said the case is already subjudice. Read more
Osinbajo to NDDC contractors: Return to site within 30 days or face prosecution
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked contractors handling various projects in the Niger Delta region to return to site within 30 days or face prosecution. Also included were contractors handling projects for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. Read more
ASUU rejects pay cut, says Nigerian lecturers least paid in Africa
THE Owerri zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, rose from its meeting in Awka yesterday, vowing to resist any move by proprietors of public –owned universities to cut the salaries of university lecturers. Addressing reporters after the meeting, the Owerri zone ASUU, comprising Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli and Imo State University, Owerri, regretted that in spite of the fact that lecturers in Nigerian Universities were the least paid in Africa, they still suffer the problem of irregular payment of salaries and shortfall in salary provisions. Read more
Autonomy: NULGE begins nationwide protest rally
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, has commenced a nationwide protest to call for constitutional amendment by the National Assembly to grant autonomy to Local Government Areas, LGAs. The President of the NULGE, Ibrahim Kahleel, who disclosed this yesterday at a media briefing in Lagos as part of the ongoing protest rally, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, intervene in the realization of local government autonomy. Read more
Umahi to Southern Churches: Assist your counterparts in the North
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has challenged Churches in the Southern states of Nigeria to assist those in the North to cushion the effect of violent attacks on them in the area. Umahi Umahi, at the 10th anniversary and foundation stone laying of Basilica of Grace Cathedral of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in Afikpo on Sunday, thanked the Primate of the Church, Rev. Nicholas Okoh, for going to Kaduna to offer assistance to Christians who were attacked for no just cause. Read more
Federal pensioners in Ogun protest 14 months unpaid benefits
Not comfortable with goverment silence, retired workers who served the Federal Government in Ogun State, have taken to the streets to protest 14 months unpaid pension and gratuities. The Pensioners who stormed Nigeria Union of Journalists Secretariat, Ogun State armed with placards with various inscriptions, appealed to the government to pay their benefits and lessen their suffering. Read more
‘Only Supreme Court can resolve PDP crisis’
Former Deputy National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South West zone, Chief Olabode George has said the ultimate solution to the lingering crisis in the party lies with the Supreme Court.
George, a supporter of the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the PDP in an interaction with reporters in Lagos yesterday, said the PDP should not fold its hands and pretend that the current crisis afflicting it was merely a political dispute that could be resolved on some round table. Read more
Uncontrolled developments hamper work on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
The Federal Government has raised concerns over the spate of uncontrolled developments on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.He says it is seriously impacting negatively on the construction of the road.
Speaking on the rate of work along the Mowe-Warewa section of the road, the Federal Controller of Works in charge of the Western Zone, Godwin Eke, lamented that uncontrolled developments have impacted badly on some drainage programmes on the road. Read more
Google raises digital literacy in Africa,trains 1m on various skills
EMPOWERING African youths with IT knowledge, global search engine, Google,has isclosed that it has trained one million Africans in digital skills in eleven months. The technology firm also confirmed that it has reached its target early, and has set itself to train even more Africans in digital skills in the coming year. Digital tutorials The Digital Skills programme offers 89 courses through the online portal, and Google works with 14 training partners covering more than 20 countries to offer face to face training. Read more
NIPOST resurrects, wears five new hats
THE rise of the internet, and with it the dearth of letter writing has relegated the once vibrant postal service industry to the background. Many industrialized countries, however, instead of sitting back and accepting defeat, restructured their postal agencies to accommodate the changing times. Read more
Obaseki reads riot act to would-be commissioners
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki yesterday read the riot act to would be commissioners in his administration, saying he would not hesitate to sack any of them who fails to perform.
His threat is coming on the heels of mounting anxiety in the state on when he would submit a list of the nominees to the state House of Assembly.He spoke when the leadership of Edo State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by Roland Osakwe paid him a visit at government house, Benin- City. Read more
NNPC ex-boss, Yakubu, gets N300 million bail
A federal High Court, Abuja Division, has admitted former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, to bail in the sum of N300 million.
Some of the conditions for the perfection of the bail however include provision of two sureties in like sum. While one of the sureties must have a landed property within the Abuja metropolis, the other must be a resident of Abuja and they shall swear to an affidavit of means. Read more
Akwa Ibom Assembly sacks officers over move to impeach speaker
Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has sacked Deputy House Leader and the Deputy Chief Whip, Mr. Aniekan Bassey and Mr. Nse Essien from Uruan and Onna, respectively.
The leadership change was sequel to a letter signed by 17 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House and addressed to Speaker Onofiok Luke, demanding a change in the two offices. Read more
Nobody’ll disrupt Bonny Jetty construction, says Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said nobody will be allowed to stop progress of construction work at the Bille/ Bonny Jetty.
Addressing youths near the project site after his inspection visit yesterday, Wike advised them to support and cooperate with the contractors.
He noted that the project is for the overall benefit of the residents of the area and the riverine communities of Bonny Island, Bille and Nembe in neighbouring Bayelsa State.
The governor wondered why youths in the community have refused to be employed by the contractor, preferring to act as stumbling blocks to the smooth execution of the project. Read more
Journalists, others escape death in Gov Ortom’s convoy accident
Ten journalists, including Special Adviser to Benue State Governor on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua and the state Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Atsaka, yesterday escaped death by the whiskers as the convoy of Governor Samuel Ortom got involved in an accident.
Other journalists involved in the accident, which occurred along Abakwa highway at about 4:20pm, while the governor was returning from the scene of Monday’s massacre in Zaki-Biam, include correspondents of Tribune Mr. Babajide Johnson; National Trail, Mr. Kajo Martins, who is also vice chairman of NUJ; Sunday Ogli, Nigerian Pilot; . Peter Duru of the Vanguard as well as Tor Acka of Daily Independent. Read more
Buhari orders probe of Benue, killings, condoles families
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned, in strong terms, Monday’s killings in Zaki Biam town in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State, by unknown gunmen, resulting in the loss of lives.
The president, who described the attack as wicked, has also directed security agencies to begin immediate investigation with a view to bringing the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book.
The unknown gunmen were said to have invaded the yam market on 12 Bajaj motorcycles and four Toyota Corolla cars and started shooting at everyone in sight. Most of those killed were said to be traders and businessmen. Read more
Harvard University Denies Senator Dino Melaye Ever Studied There, Only Attended A One-Week Seminar
Harvard University in Boston, United States, on Tuesday refuted a claim by Senator Dino Melaye that he was at any time educated at the prestigious Ivy League school, the Registrar’s Office immediately dismissing the suggestion as soon as an official cross-checked it.
Senator’s posturing is also reflected on his LinkedIn account and has been previously showcased stated in (an interview with the media)(in media interviews). Read more
Anambra Central Polls : We’ll field candidate, win – APC
All Progressives Congress (APC), Anambra State chapter, yesterday disagreed with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the status of the party in the pending Anambra Central Senatorial rerun election.
The party insisted that it must field a candidate in the election.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had on Monday declared that APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were not eligible to field candidates when the rerun election eventually takes place. Read more
‘New modular floating dockyard to yield $100 million yearly’
Nigeria is on the verge of saving over $100 million yearly from the acquisition of the fifth largest modular floating dockyard in Africa being acquired by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The Director-General, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this yesterday at a function to mark his one-year in office, said the facility would be coming in very soon from Amsterdam, Netherlands, with the potential to transform Nigeria’s maritime industry, generate wealth and create employment Read more
Certificate: ABU to speak on Melaye today, Senate begins probe
The Senate, on Tuesday, decided to investigate the allegation that an armoured Range Rover car said to worth N298m and seized by the Nigeria Customs Service belongs to the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki.
The move was based on a point of order raised by former Majority Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, who also called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to investigate the allegation that Senator Dino Melaye did not complete his first degree in Geography at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Read more
Uniform saga: Ali to shun Senate summons as AGF intervenes
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has written the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, saying it will be sub-judicial for the upper chamber to insist that the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hammed Ali (retd.) should wear the NCS uniform. Read more
Police arrest suspected killers of Edo ex-council boss
The Edo State Police Command said it has arrested some herdsmen suspected to have killed the immediate past chairman of Estako East Local Council of the state, Suleiman Afegbua. The former council boss was killed on the Benin-Auchi Road last week and has since been buried according to Islamic rites.
Also arrested were members of a gang that killed a business woman, Patience Ediri Omo-Osagie, after robbing her of N150,000 last week. The same gang also killed one Pastor Godwin Akpoguenabor on the same day. Read more
PDP women forum tasks FG on UN report, famine
Prominent members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under the aegis of PDP Women Forum have called on the Federal Government to react to the recent United Nation’s (UN) report on famine and potential widespread starvation in the Lake Chad region and parts of the North East Nigeria.
Besides, the forum which comprised of Senator Abiodun Olujimi; Chief Remi Adiukwu; former Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze and Chinwe Nnorom, among others observed that the post-Boko Haram challenges in the country have worsened the situation. Read more
Nigeria remains ‘critical’ market in Africa despite recession, say investors
Investors have expressed confidence in the resurgence of Nigeria’s struggling economy, describing it as ‘very critical’ to building African companies that could join the league of top 500 in the next eight years.
A panel of discussants, including chief executives of MTN, Honeywell, KPMG, CFAO and the Casablanca Finance City Authority, at the Africa CEO Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday said despite the volatility in Nigeria’s economy, it is still an important market. Read more
Rising bad loans choking banks – CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday warned that the rising incidence of bad loans has exposed the banking sector to macroeconomic adversity and weakened resilience in the sector.
The warning is coming one month after the Nigeria Deposit Corporation (NDIC), expressed similar concern, revealing that directors were liable for 40 percent of the N1.85 trillion bad loans in banks. Read more
CBN retains rates, tasks government on economic plan
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday retained all policy rates for the second time in 2017. It also pledged to further close the gap between interbank and parallel market rates.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, speaking to journalists yesterday, also admitted that “the market is not meant to be fixed and will move,” which analysts are already seeing as a sign of further market liberalisation. Read more
Equities market goes bearish as MPC retains rates
The Nigerian equities market shed N39bn on Tuesday as the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central bank of Nigeria kept the main interest rate at 14 per cent.
At the second MPC meeting for the year 2017, the committee voted to retain the Monetary Policy Rate at 14 per cent; Cash Reserve Ratio at 22.5 per cent; maintain the asymmetric corridor at +200 basis points and -500bps; and also maintain the liquidity ratio at 30 per cent. Read more
. . . As Presidency Says PMB Will Take Nigeria To Promised Land
President Muhammadu Buhari is fulfilling his campaign promises to Nigerians, particularly in stimulating the economy for job creation, anti-corruption campaign and security of lives and property.
Addressing a delegation of Northern Youths Initiative for Peace and Good Governance yesterday in Abuja, the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Mr Femi Adesina, urged Nigerians to keep faith with the current administration’s commitment to take “Nigeria to the Promised Land.’’ Read more
Senate invites Emefiele, Babachir over funds
THE Senate, yesterday, invited the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, over intervention fund implementation, but did not fix any date for him to appear.
It also summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal, to appear before it tomorrow as part of moves to get his side on the ongoing investigation into claims that funds earmarked for humanitarian crisis in the North-East were mismanaged. Read more
Improved FX Supply Raises Optimism about Nigeria’s Outlook
The improved foreign exchange (FX) supply by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN,) through stepped-up special intervention auctions, has given rise to greater optimism over the likely trajectory of FX policy, as well as the inflation outlook in Nigeria, a report has stated.
Standard Chartered Bank in a report titled: “Nigeria – A checklist for FX liberalisation,” noted that the improved FX availability was seen as key to any sustained deceleration in inflation. Read more
Enabling environment critical to IOCs relocation to Niger Delta
Stakeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector have emphasized the need for the Federal Government to create an enabling environment to facilitate the relocation of International Oil Companies (IOCs) to the Niger Delta region.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, during his peace tour of the oil-rich region, had directed the IOCs operating in the Niger-Delta to relocate their headquarters to their states of operation to mitigate tension in the host communities. Read more
Etebo joins Eagles, embassy stops NFF chiefs
Portugal-based midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and Bosnia-Herzegovina-based defender Musa Muhammed will arrive at the Super Eagles camp in London on Wednesday after enduring plenty of pains to obtain visas to enter Britain ahead of their friendly games against Senegal and Burkina Faso.
Nigeria face Senegal’s Teranga Lions on Thursday – and Burkina Faso’s Stallions on March 27 in the English capital. Read more
Int’l friendly: Eagles thrilled by camp atmosphere
Super Eagles players have taken to their twitter handles to express their excitement and post training pictures ahead of the much anticipated international friendly matches against the Teranga Lions of Senegal and the Stallions of Burkina Faso in London.
Thrilled by the friendly atmosphere at their Crowne Plaza hotel camp, the players , used their social media handles to announce their delight at the London reunion as well as their pride and importance of the game to the image of Nigerian football. Read more
NFPL: Falz’ Shock Appearance at Agege Stadium Excites Fans
The surprise appearance of award winning rapper, Falz, at the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match between MFM FC and Plateau United at the Agege Stadium last Sunday was an exciting experience for football and music lovers.
Falz, son of notable a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, performed an array of his hit tracks to the delight of the fans who thronged the stadium. Read more
Chelsea star: I was desperate to leave Stamford Bridge
The Blues star – who spent six years with the Spanish giants over two spells – was keen to link up with Diego Simeone again last summer.
However, Antonio Conte managed to keep the Spain international in west London. Costa, 28, has been on fire under the Italian this season, netting 18 goals in all competitions. Read more
Manchester United to Face Manchester City, Barcelona, and Real Madrid in the U.S.
Manchester United released their list of opponents for their pre-season tour in the United States this summer. The opponents include the LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho will definitely face top opposition in his pre-season tour. The Reds will play two of the best MLS teams along with three of the best teams in Europe. This will be a great exercise for the Reds to get ready for the season. Read more
Kieran Tierney has the potential for Emirates success
As reported by The Telegraph, Arsenal are the latest side linked with a move for Celtic’s star left-back Kieran Tierney.
What’s the story?
With it looking increasingly likely that Arsene Wenger will stay on at Arsenal for another year at least, it could be a dramatic summer of transfers at the Emirates. Read more
Israeli shelling kills Palestinian teenager in Gaza
A Palestinian teenager was killed and two others were injured early Wednesday after Israeli tanks, stationed on the border with eastern Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, fired on them, medics said.
The victims were brought to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in the Rafah, Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Gaza’s ministry of health said.
Witnesses said the young men approached the border area between the eastern part of the town and Israel, and tried to cross the fence to get into the Israeli side. Read more
North Korea’s latest missile test ends in failure, US says
The US military detected a failed North Korean missile launch attempt, with a missile exploding within seconds of its launch, a US military spokesman said.
South Korea said the apparent North Korean test launch on Wednesday morning did not go off normally. But the US military statement shed more light on the latest in a series of missile tests by the isolated, nuclear armed state that have raised alarm across the region. Read more
Rex Tillerson: ‘I didn’t want this job … my wife told me I’m supposed to do this’
Rex Tillerson has said he did not want to be US secretary of state and only took the job because his wife convinced him to do it.
The former ExxonMobil oil executive revealed his initial reluctance in an interview published after a controversial trip to Asia and hours before the biggest event of his two months at the state department, an international meeting on Wednesday about how to fight Islamic State (Isis). Read more
Belgium set to mark first anniversary of Brussels attacks
Belgium has learnt lessons about violent Islamists but cannot rule out another terror attack, its prime minister said.
Charles Michel gave his remarks ahead of the first anniversary of the Brussels attacks, in which 32 people were killed by the so-called Islamic State at the city’s airport and Maelbeek metro station. Read more
South Korea begins operations to recover sunken Sewol ferry
Efforts have begun to recover the Sewol ferry from the sea off South Korea, three years after it sank killing 304 people, mostly students.