* Buhari confirms talks with Niger Delta militants * Nigeria needs urgent overhaul – Obasanjo

* Buhari confirms talks with Niger Delta militants * Nigeria needs urgent overhaul – Obasanjo




Buhari confirms talks with Niger Delta militants

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday confirmed that his administration was currently engaging the Niger Delta militants in talks in order to end the spate of destruction of crude oil facilities in the region.

He said the talks were being done through oil companies and law-enforcement agencies and were meant to find a lasting solution to insecurity in the region. Read more

Nigeria needs urgent overhaul – Obasanjo

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said there is an urgent need to reform institutions in the country, adding that the education sector particularly needs a complete overhaul.

Obasanjo, who spoke at the 18th Valedictory Service of Good Shepherds Schools, Ota, Ogun State, said the decay in the country had eaten deep into the education sector. Read more

Saraki waves olive branch, names Tinubu, others committee heads

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for the first time since  2015, bowed to the wish of the Senate Unity Forum on the composition of committees in the upper chamber.

The embattled Senate President, on Thursday, conceded the chairmanship of committees that lawmakers considered to be “juicy” to some members of the SUF, who, in 2015, opposed his candidacy and supported Senator Ahmed Lawan. Read more

EFCC appeals Fayose ally’s bail, grills Obanikoro’s aide

the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it will appeal the ruling of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, which, on Thursday, granted bail to Mr. Abiodun Agbele, believed to be a close ally of the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

Earlier on Wednesday, the EFCC quizzed a former aide to an ex-Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro. Read more

Sex scandal: US envoy’s allegations lack evidence, says minister

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, on Thursday, said the outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, did not have any credible evidence to prove the allegations of sexual misconduct against three members of the House of Representatives.

The three lawmakers are the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Mr. Terse Mark-Gbillah (All Progressives Congress, Benue); Mr. Samuel Ikon (Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom); and Mr. Mohammed Garba-Gololo (APC, Bauchi). Read more

Saraki’s critics get plum offices as Senate reshuffles panels

The Senate has announced a major shake-up in its committee system.It was learnt that those appointed into the vacant offices in the “grade A’ committees were senators opposed to the election of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.

Curiously, some of the beneficiaries ‎ were those who petitioned the police over the alleged forgery of the Senate Rules and have been listed as prosecution witnesses in the case. Read more

Fayose unaware of Aisha Buhari’s suit, says Ozekhome

The counsel for Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), says his client is not aware of the suit reportedly filed against him by the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha.

Aisha, it was learnt, had dragged Fayose to court for repeatedly alleging that she was one of those indicted for involvement in the multi-million dollars Halliburton scandal. Read more

Arewa leaders fault agitation for restructuring

Northern leaders, under the umbrella of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), have faulted the calls for restructuring of the country. The forum also lamented the escalation of the activities of Niger Delta militants, Boko Haram insurgents, Fulani herdsmen, unknown gunmen and other criminals in different parts of the country.

The Arewa leaders’ meeting presided over by the Vice Chairman, Senator Abubakar Girei, said: “The ACF observed with regret that most of those discussions are taking place without regard to decorum or civility, as the issues are often presented as demands by one group or the other. Read more

Looters shouldn’t complain of rights violation – Commonwealth director

A representative of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Ms Katalaina Sapolu, has said that looters of Nigeria’s public funds have no justifiable reasons to complain of rights violation in the course of government’s efforts to recover stolen wealth from them.

Sapolu, who is the Director, Rule of Law Division of the Commonwealth, said this while speaking with journalists on the sideline of the ongoing three-day ‘National Stakeholders Workshop on the Recovered Assets Workshop’ in Abuja. Read more

Dogara demanded N40bn padding in budget, says Jibrin

A former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, opened up on Thursday on why the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, sacked him on Wednesday.

Jibrin, an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Kano State, claimed in a statement that he was being victimised by the Speaker because he objected to a request Dogara made that he (Jibrin) should allocate projects worth N40bn to him in the 2016 budget. Read more

Jubilation as OAU senate appoints Elujoba acting VC

There was jubilation at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, as the Senate of the institution appointed Prof. Anthony Elujoba, as the acting Vice-Chancellor  of OAU.

This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the Public Relations Officer of the OAU, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju. Read more

Appeal Court rules on Umeh vs PDP today

The Court of Appeal, Abuja division will today rule on the application by the senatorial candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Anambra central Senatorial seat, Sir Victor Umeh, to be joined in the main appeal filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against a Federal High Court judgment.

Justice Anwuri Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja; had in the ruling directed INEC to include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the ballot for the rerun election for Anambra Central Senatorial district, which was made vacant following the sacking of the former occupant, Senator Uche Ekwunife, by the Appeal Court, Enugu for not being properly nominated. Read more

Police arraign two, clear bishop of sponsoring Avengers

The Delta State Police Command on Thursday arraigned two suspects for false information when they had claimed that a Bishop of a new generation church in Warri was sponsoring the Niger Delta Avengers.

The Punch had on Wednesday exclusively reported that the bishop who is the founder the New Salvation Church of Christ in Igbodi area of Warri, Bishop Sunny Jero, was being interrogated by police detectives from the Warri area command over an allegation linking the pastor with the militant group. Read more

Benue Assembly suspends PDP member over alleged misconduct

the Benue State House of Assembly on Thursday suspended the leader of a splinter group in the House, Kesker Kyenge, of the Peoples Democratic Party, representing Logo State Constituency, over issues bordering on misconduct.

The House’s decision was sequel to a motion by its Majority Leader, Benjamin Adanyi. It was seconded by Hon.  Adams Okloho, of Adoka /Ugboju State Constituency. It accused the lawmaker of bringing the name of the House to odium through a press interview  he granted The Channels Television, where he was quoted to have accused some  House leaders  of corruption, among other allegations. Read more

‘VSF to supervise rebuilding of IDPs homes in N’East’

Displaced persons from the liberated communities in the Northeast sub-region are to rebuild their homes and resume normal life.The rebuilding of the destroyed homes and communities, are however to be supervised by VSF and the Borno State Ministry of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Resettlement (RRR).

The Chairman of Nigerian Foundation for Support of Victims of Terrorism (VSF), Gen. Theopholus Yakubu Danjuma, disclosed this yesterday at Dikwa, border town of Borno State, while commissioning 40 rehabilitated public buildings destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014. Read more

Fayose’s N1.3bn poultry fraud suit still in court –APC

The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has faulted claims by Governor Ayodele Fayose that he had been discharged and acquitted by the Federal High Court in the alleged N1.3bn poultry project.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed the fraud case against the governor in 2005. Read more

Rerun: Wike accuses INEC of hobnobbing with APC

AHEAD of the July 30, 2016 rerun election, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, of hobnobbing with the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Davies Ikanya.

Wike also alleged that Yakubu met with Rivers South-East senatorial candidate for the APC, Senator Magnus Abe in company with the state APC chairman on July 19, 2016. Read more

No plan to impeach me, says Yari

Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, on Wednesday evening claimed that there is no plan by members of the state House of Assembly to impeach him, as widely reported.

Yari spoke with State House correspondents shortly after presiding over a meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Read more

Buhari alone can’t fight corruption – Kwara gov, cleric

The clergy in charge of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Rev. Olawuyi James, and the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, have said President Muhammadu Buhari alone cannot fight corruption.

They called on all stakeholders to support the Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight. Read more

Falana, others kick as govs plan vocational training in Germany

state governors are currently concluding arrangements on their plan to embark on a trip to Germany.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, dropped the hint on Wednesday night while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the forum’s meeting held inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Yari, who is the Governor of Zamfara State, however, did not disclose when the governors would embark on the trip which he described as “vocational.” Read more

Gunmen attack Ogun community, kidnap landlords, rape women

No fewer than two landlords have been abducted and three women reportedly raped in a renewed onslaught by some gunmen on residents of Ibafo, Ogun State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that suspected militants attacked Gideon village, Oke Cele and Asiwaju communities in Ibafo, unleashing mayhem on residents and carting away property. Read more

Lagos police arrest teenagers for robbery, stealing

No fewer than 22 teenagers have been arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command.

The suspects, among who are four females, were allegedly arrested in separate incidents of robbery, stealing and cultism in the Agege area of the state. Read more

Reps scuttle NNPC’s $400m refineries loans bid

The House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation  yesterday stopped the bid by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC to acquire a $400 million loan for the upgrade of the four refineries in the country.

The Hon. Ahmed Yerima- headed committee said the NNPC  was breaching Section 11 (g) of the Public enterprises ( Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act 1999, which gives the National Council on Privatisation (NPC) the power to do such. Read more

Total seen unlikely to fight ExxonMobil over South Pacific gas

Total SA (TOTF.PA) is unlikely to challenge ExxonMobil (XOM.N) in a bidding war for explorer InterOil Corp (IOC.N), the French firm’s partner in a gas field in Papua New Guinea, analysts said on Wednesday. ExxonMobil this week topped an offer from Oil Search, which was backed by Total.Oil Search is due to declare on Thursday whether or not it will match ExxonMobil’s $2.2 billion bid.

Total said in a statement that it was analyzing ExxonMobil’s competing offer.ExxonMobil and Total both want to simplify the ownership of the Elk-Antelope gas field by taking out InterOil’s 36.5 percent stake. This would clear the way for the majors to tie together their rival gas export projects, PNG LNG and Papua LNG. Read more

NUPENG seeks govt policy on kerosene

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has urged the Federal Government to unveil its policy on kerosene.

NUPENG Southwest Chairman,  Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, who made the appeal in an interview with the The Nation in Lagos, said the product has become unaffordable. Read more

Peterside: IOCs must obey cabotage, other laws

The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has warned that violation of cabotage and environmental laws by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country will attract sanctions.

Peterside who spoke when he engaged representatives of the IOCs in Lagos on ways of fostering a closer synergy to develop the economy,  urged the IOCs to be mindful of all existing laws and regulations in the discharge of their duties as applicable sanctions will be meted out to erring operators. Read more

Oil services sector seeks $600m local content investment

Stakeholders in the oil and gas service sector have called for $600m investment in local content fund to boost industrialisation and job creation.

The Chairman, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, Mr. Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, made this call on behalf of the stakeholders during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Nigerian Content Development Board and the Bank of Industry for the management of the $100m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund. Read more

Russian firm to build refinery in Calabar

Safinet Group, a Russian firm, has expressed its readiness to establish a 7,000 barrels per day capacity refinery in Calabar with a provision to increase production between 60,000 to 65, 000 barrels a day.

Chairman of Safinet, Arsen Mudonov disclosed this during a meeting with the state governor, Ben Ayade in Calabar recently.Mudonov disclosed that his group decided to choose Cross River to establish the refinery because of the peace and tranquility that the state is known for in addition to the hospitable nature of the people. Read more


Govt: economy in recession

Nigerians yesterday got a piece of bad news – the economy is in recession.

But, there is no need to panic because it will be short, according to Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun.

Mrs Adeosun, broke the depressing news to Senators in plenary while briefing them on measures adopted to get the economy out of the woods. She said the Federal Government had released N247.9 billion in the last two months for capital expenditure. Read more

Experts urge more spending as FG says economy in recession

The Federal Government on Thursday said the country’s economy was technically in a recession.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who appeared before the Senate, said the current indices in the country had shown that there was an economic downturn. Read more

Nigeria hosts African central bank governors’ meetings

Nigeria is scheduled to host the 2016 Annual Meetings of the Association of African Central Banks (AACB) holding in Abuja from August 15-19, 2016. The meeting of the assembly of governors will be preceded by technical committee and bureau meetings from August 15-17, 2016 as well as a symposium on August 18, 2016, with the theme, “Unwinding Unconventional Monetary Policies: Implications for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability in Africa”.

The symposium, which will hold at the CBN Head Office, Central Area, Abuja, will be declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari, while the keynote address will be delivered by Prof. Mario Draghi, Governor, European Central Bank. Speakers at the symposium include Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, former Governor, Central Bank of Kenya and Dr. Augustin Carstens, Governor, Central Bank of Mexico. Read more

NBCC advises CBN on monetary policy

The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to sustain a monetary policy aimed at increasing capital inflows, encouraging domestic lending and enhancing production for export.

The chamber also asked the apex bank to focus more on policy that would drive infrastructural development, enhance tax compliance and ensure a favourable environment for SMEs in the country. Read more

FG to flag off external borrowing in Q3

Nigeria will flag off its offshore borrowing in the third quarter, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said on Thursday in the wake of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN)’s decision to float the naira last month.
The government has said it plans to borrow up to $10 billion, with about half of that coming from foreign sources, to help make up a budget shortfall heightened by a slump in oil prices.

Nigeria had initially planned to hold eurobonds roadshows in March but postponed sales as investors complained about the overvalued naira, according to bankers. In June, the apex bank floated the naira, removing its 16 months cap on the local currency. Read more

Naira weakens, exchanges at N377 to dollar

The naira yesterday exchanged at N377 to dollar in the parallel market, weaker than N373 on Wednesday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) failed to intervene in the market.

At the interbank rate, the currency traded at N309 to dollar at noon, but later recovered to close at 292.40 on thin trades. The interbank market traded a total of $7.27 million. Read more

Economy will pick up in Third Quarter, says Udoma

The economy is in recession, the government admitted yesterday. Budget and National Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma said two negative quarters growth “technically” amount to recession.

He was aware of only the negative growth in the first quarter, but he suspected the yet to be received second quarter report would also be negative. Read more

Skye Bank gets CBN’s loan to boost liquidity

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided loan to Skye Bank Plc to boost its liquidity after the lender breached requirements on capital and lending.

The short-term lending facility will allow the new management to “ensure that some withdrawals it suffered in the wake of the undue panic of last week do not adversely affect its operations,’’ Isaac Okorafor, a spokesman for the CBN told Bloomberg. Read more

FG, states, LGs share N559bn

For the first time in many months, the nation’s revenue made a significant rebound with federal, state and local governments, yesterday, sharing a total of N559 billion.

The amount represented accruals into the Federation Account and proceeds from Value Added Tax in the month of June. Read more

As Team Nigeria moves to Rio
President Muhammadu Buhari and other top officials of the Presidency bade the Nigerian team to the Rio De Janeiro Brazil Olympic Games goodbye on the night of Tuesday  July  19, 2016 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, charging our athletes and officials to ensure that the good image of the country does not suffer as a result of misconduct, particularly drug use.

The President, who was given the traditional investiture as the Grand Patron of the Olympic team otherwise known as Team Nigeria, told the delegation: “The eyes of the global community are on you and as such, you should desist from acts that could dent the image of our great country, Nigeria. Read more

2016 Olympic: We won’t be under pressure at Rio – Toriola

Captain of the table tennis team to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, Segun Toriola believes the team would not be under unnecessary pressure to perform at the games.

Toriola, who has been celebrated globally for being the first African athlete to feature in seven Olympic Games said they hope to make the country proud in Brazil. Read more

NFF restates vow to immortalise Keshi, Amodu

The Nigeria Football Federation officials have again said that they are working hard at immortalising Shaibu Amodu and Stephen Keshi. Both men, regarded as two of the very best coaches produced by Nigeria, passed on last month few days apart each other.

The assurance was given by the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, on Thursday while receiving, the newly-appointed Technical Director, Bitrus Bewarang. The assurance comes in a week the federation officials were heavily criticised for the way they handled the recruitment of Frenchman Paul Le Guen as the Super Eagles manager. Read more

Le Guen divides NFF as Pinnick escapes impeachment

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick narrowly escaped being impeached by his fellow executive committee members in the wake of the scandalous handling of botched appointment of French coach Paul Le Guen.
Wednesday’s executive committee meeting in Abuja was so stormy that at the height of the disagreement,  board members threatened to impeach Pinnick after they demanded to know the full details of the sponsorship deal he secured to cover the contract of a foreign coach. Read more

Yusuf: I’m ready for Super Eagles job

Super Eagles Chief coach Salisu Yusuf said yesterday that he was ready for the task of leading the national team to World Cup qualification, should the Nigeria Football Federation fail to get their choice of a foreign coach for the team.
Yusuf was named chief coach by the NFF in an arrangement that would have seen him work under Paul Le Guen. The Frenchman rejected the job thrown at him by the NFF on Tuesday, throwing officials into confusion. Read more

IAAF U-20: Amusan targets 100m hurdles gold
Nigeria’s brightest hope at the IAAF Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Oluwatobiloba Amusan who has been tipped  for the top prize in the women’s100m hurdles has promised to deliver the gold, which could be Nigeria’s only medal.
The University of Texas El Paso undergraduate takes to the track this morning armed with the best resume to win the race with her 12.83 seconds world leading time in the Under-20. Read more

Tennis: Coach hails developmental programmes

Nigeria’s junior tennis head coach, Mohammed Ubale, has stated that the NNPC Junior Tennis Championship, among other developmental tournaments, will secure Nigeria’s top position in West and Central Africa.

Nigeria has been the team to beat in the zone, which has 16 countries, and Ubale said the gap between the country and others had widened over the years due to the nation’s commitment to junior programmes. Read more

Papua New Guinea PM O’Neill survives no-confidence vote – media

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on Friday survived a no-confidence vote, EMTV reported, an outcome unlikely to end the upheaval in a country developing lucrative projects with energy majors ExxonMobil Corp and French giant Total SA.

The Supreme Court last week ordered parliament to reconvene for the first time since June protests between university students and police boiled over into violent clashes, for the express purpose of allowing the opposition to lodge a no-confidence motion against O’Neill. Read more

Chinese anti-graft protest leader arrested for taking bribes – Xinhua

A former leader of a Chinese village who was democratically elected five years ago after taking a stand against corruption has been arrested for taking bribes, said Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

Lin Zuluan, one of the Wukan village protest leaders in 2011 whose calls for an uprising attracted global attention, had called for fresh protests in June against new land grabs and graft in the fishing village in Guangdong province. Read more

Thailand: Police arrest Russian, Uzbek for stealing over $28.5m using malware

THAILAND’S tourist police have arrested a Russian man and an Uzbek woman on suspicion of embedding malware people’s computers and siphoning more than US$28.5 million from their bank accounts.

Authorities announced on Thursday that they had apprehended Dmitry Ukrainsev, 44, and Olga Komova, 25, with cooperation from the U.S.’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Police caught up with Ukrainsev in Pattaya, where he was running a business chartering yachts, while Komova was detained in Koh Chang, where she was employed at a hotel, reported the Bangkok Post. Read more

Turkey state of emergency worries EU as Erdoğan promises ‘fresh blood’ in military

The European Union has expressed its concern at Turkey’s decision to impose a three-month state of emergency as the country’s president revealed the armed forces would quickly be restructured and “get fresh blood”.

“We are following the developments regarding the state of emergency Turkey has declared after the attempted coup, which the European Union condemned, very closely and with concern,” said a statement issued by the bloc’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, and enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn. Read more

Pokemon Go finally launches in Japan

Nintendo’s Pokemon Go has finally launched in Japan, says the game’s developer Niantic Labs. The American software company behind the game announced that the game was “finally broadcasting” in Japan.

First released in the US, Australia and New Zealand on 6 July and now available in more than 30 countries, the game has been a global phenomenon. Read more

Two British police officers banned from UN South Sudan peacekeeping mission

Two British police officers have been banned from rejoining UN peacekeepers in South Sudan after they were allegedly evacuated by the Foreign Office without telling mission chiefs.

Their sudden departure is said to have damaged morale on the peacekeeping mission and prompted questions from UN figures over Britain’s future standing on the United Nations Security Council. Read more

Ivanka Trump: ‘My father will fight for all Americans’

The daughter of Donald Trump told the Republican National Convention that he has the ability to “see the potential in others” and will fight for all Americans if he wins the presidential campaign.

Ivanka Trump, 34, used her speech on Thursday to lobby female voters by revealing that the Trump Organization, where she has worked with her father for more than 10 years, champions equal pay and promotion for women. Read more




































About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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