*US to sell arms to Nigeria* *Naira Rebounds On Black Market, Dollar Now N200*

*US to sell arms to Nigeria* *Naira Rebounds On Black Market, Dollar Now N200*

Sabinews Morning News Update for August 4, 2015

Naira Rebounds On Black Market, Dollar Now N200

After several weeks of negative sentiments, the naira gained on the parallel market on Monday. This is coming after commercial banks stopped accepting cash deposits in dollars, a move to discourage speculation in the currency.

The naira was quoted at 216 on the parallel market on Monday, strengthening by 4.1 percent from 225 naira to the dollar on Friday. It was quoted at 240 a week ago. Read more

National

US to sell arms to Nigeria

United States, US, is considering lifting its ban on weapons sale to Nigeria, as its delegates met with the country’s security chiefs yesterday, with assurances of support in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.

The US imposed restrictions on weapons sale to the country, because of stipulations of the Leahly Law, but the meeting has commenced processes of removing all the restrictions. Read more

We’ve Identified Countries Holding Stolen Money – PMB

President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed yesterday that his administration had made headway in the bid to recover the country’s looted funds, by identifying financial institutions and countries in which payments for stolen Nigerian crude oil are deposited.

Buhari disclosed this during a meeting with United States Congressmen who paid him a visit at Aso Rock. Read more

Justice ministry writes police over Senate forgery probe

The Federal Ministry of Justice, through its Directorate of Public Prosecutions, has sent a letter to police authorities at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, stating its position and seeking clarifications on the report of an investigation into the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Order 2015,The PUNCH has learnt.

A source at the police headquarters told our correspondent on Monday that the police were expected to respond to the ministry’s letter before the end of the week. Read more

Buhari Wants Islamic Books Included in Federal Schools’ Curriculum

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Federal Ministry of Education to include two Islamic Studies books written by the late Justice Muhammad Bashir Sambo in the secondary school curriculum for all Federal Government Colleges.

The president, gave the directive at the weekend in Kaduna while launching the reviewed editions of the books which were first published in 1974. Read more

JTF Arrests 21 Suspected Oil Thieves, Destroys 31 Illegal Refineries In Delta, Bayelsa

The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) operatives in Delta and Bayelsa states, otherwise known as (“Pulo Shield”) said it has arrested 21 suspects for oil theft and destroyed 31 illegal oil refineries in multiple raids in the month of July, 2015.

According to a press release issued by the media coordinator of the security operatives, Lt. Col Isa Ado yesterday, the JTF troops who were deployed at Iguododo community and Chanomi Escraros, Orhionmwon in Edo and Warri South West local government area of Delta state, discovered and destroyed 15 illegal refining camps, adding that the suspects operated with four Cotonou boats, seven plastic reservoirs, 34 drums, 21 surface tanks filled with illegally refined automated gas oil. Read more

Six Arrested in Connection with Death of Police Inspector

The Sokoto State Police Command monday said it had arrested the Managing Director of Pinnacle Hotel and five other members of the staff in connection with the alleged murder of a police inspector, Mr. Nura Hashimu.

The Police Public Relations Officer and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. El-Mustapha Sani, who confirmed the death of late Hashimu to journalists in Sokoto, said the deceased died after he was reportedly beaten to a state of coma by the security staff of the hotel on Aug 1, 2015. Read more

Economy

LG Partners Google On OLED Marketing

Global leader in Home Entertainment and Consumer Electronics, LG Electronics is ratcheting up its marketing efforts to foster its organic light emitting diode (OLED) TV business with an aim to outpace rivals in the world’s premium TV market.

It’s no longer news that LG Electronics, Nigeria’s No.1 Leading brand in Consumer Electronics, introduced into the Nigerian Market, the World’s First Curved OLED TV some years back which has created a huge vacuum for competing brands to catch up with. Read more

Etisalat battles MTN over promo

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday struck out an application by telecommunication company, MTN, seeking a long adjournment in the suit filed against it by its competitor, Etisalat.

Etisalat had headed for the court over an allegation that the Nigerian Communications Commission was giving MTN market advantage over it. Read more

Importers won’t pay for CTN –FG

The Federal Government has assured that planned Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) will not attract any tariff whatsoever, allaying importers fears of possible surcharges when it is eventually introduced.

The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, gave the assurance at the weekend during a meeting with freight forwarders in Lagos. Read more

Trade and Investment: Commonwealth Pledges to Support Nigeria

In a bid to increase export capacity and support direct investment flows, the Commonwealth of Nations has vowed to support the Nigerian government to attract the right trade and investment opportunities needed to achieve economic growth and development.

Director General, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, Mr. Oliver Everett explained that Nigeria must find ways to address its ease of doing business in the country, noting that  it is critical to the nation’s trade and investment activities. Read more

Nigeria’s Public Debt Stock Rises to N12.11tn in June

The country’s total public debt portfolio rose by 0.41 per cent to N12.11 trillion as at June 2015 compared to N12.06 trillion in March, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Of the total debt stock, its external component accounted for $10.31 billion (N2.03 trillion) in the period in review compared to $9.46 billion in March 2015. Read more

Mixed Reactions Trail Banks’ Rejection of Dollar Deposits

Some manufacturers and financial market analysts have expressed divergent opinions on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) foreign exchange policy as well as the decision by commercial banks to reject foreign currency deposits.

While manufacturers hold the view that the policy has stifled business and discouraged entrepreneurship in the country, market analysts stressed that the measure aimed at strengthening the naira was in order. Read more

Stocks halt prolonged sell trend as new investments begin

Domestic equities delivered a positive return yesterday following eight days of losses; however, 128 tickers closed in a net offer position, indicating persistent selling pressure.

Analysts believe yesterday’s performance was due largely to bargain hunting given the attractive price levels. Read more

2016 Budget: Buhari Orders Reduction in Recurrent Expenditure

President Muhammadu Buhari monday in Abuja ordered the National Planning Commission (NPC) to go back to the drawing board and produce a framework for the 2016 budget that will reduce recurrent expenditure and prioritise developmental projects.

A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said Buhari gave the order after receiving a briefing from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Bassey Akpanyung, at the Presidential Villa. Read more

10 Nigerian varsities get N1.4b World Bank’s lifeline

World Bank has disbursed the sum of N1. 4billion to 10 universities under the African Centres of Excellence (ACE) project in Nigeria.

Executive Secretary (ES), National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie who spoke yesterday at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop on ACE Project Post-Effectiveness  in Abuja, named the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU),Ile-Ife,  Bayero University, Kano, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Redeemer University and University of Port Harcout as some of the beneficiaries of the funding lifeline. Read more

Oil and Gas

Nigeria LPG export rises by 13%

Nigeria’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, export appreciated by 13.07 per cent in 2014, according to data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Specifically, the NNPC, in its Annual Statistics Bulletin for 2014, stated that the country exported 472,537 metric tonnes, MT, of LPG in 2014 compared with 417,924MT exported in 2013. Read more

Crude Prices Fall to Six Months Low on Record OPEC Output

The price of crude oil monday hit a six-month low as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped at record levels in July, thus creating oversupply, while data from China fuelled concerns about slower growth by the world’s second largest oil consumer.

Oil output by OPEC reached the highest monthly level in recent history in July, according to a Reuters survey, with Saudi Arabia and other key members showing no sign of wavering in their focus on defending market share instead of prices. Read more

Foreign Investors Woo Bayelsa Govt on Atala Oifield

Following the determination of Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State to develop the state-owned  Atala oilfield, several foreign investors were said to have indicated interest in the marginal asset, THISDAY has learnt.
It was gathered that during the recent Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum in Yenagoa, promoters of some foreign companies met officials of the state government for possible partnership. Read more

Capital Oil stops marketers selling above N87/litre

The management of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited has said it will shut its depot to oil marketers who collect petroleum products from its terminal at the designated prices only to resell the products at prices far above what was stipulated by the Federal Government.

The company in a statement by Mr. Afam Ilounoh, it’s Director, Media Services, described the diversion of petroleum products “to locations other than those approved by relevant authorities” as “unpatriotic”, explaining that the ban has become necessary to save Nigerians from “unscrupulous practices which ultimately affect the citizens of the country as products are now sold at some locations above the fixed price of N87/litre for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). Read more

Marketers Defy DPR, Sell Petrol Above Official Prices

Despite last Wednesday’s announcement by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) that it had set up a task force to supervise and monitor the sale of petrol in some depots, some major and independent marketers have continued to sell above the official pump and ex-depot prices, THISDAY has gathered.

The regulatory agency had summoned a meeting of the stakeholders – Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC); Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority (PPPRA); Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), where the agency conveyed its displeasure at the illegal sale of petrol above the stipulated pump price. Read more

DPR Explains Closure of 22 Petrol Stations in Abuja

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has hinged its decision to close down 22 petrol filling stations in Abuja and its immediate environs to unwholesome business practices from which the marketers gained excessive profits.

DPR’s Head of Public Relations in Abuja, Mohammed Saidu explained in a statement that the 22 filling stations that were closed down by the agency were found guilty of selling their products above the government regulated price and also for under-dispensing of products to unsuspecting customers. Read more

Chevron’s Q2 Net Income Drops to $571m

The plummeting crude oil prices has taken its toll on the operation of Chevron Corporation as the company’s second quarter 2015 net income dropped to $571 million from the $5.7 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2014.
Chevron at the weekend reported earnings of $571 million ($0.30 per share – diluted) for second quarter 2015, compared with earnings of $5.7 billion ($2.98 per share – diluted) in the 2014 second quarter. Read more

Finally, Afren Plc Goes into Administration

United Kingdom-listed Afren Plc’s woes at the weekend reached its peak as the company has provided an update on the outcome of the discussions with its lenders, shareholders, senior creditors and bond holders, saying it has finally gone into administration.

The company said in a statement that decision to go into administration, which was announced publicly by the board, was reached after a town hall meeting with all the staff in Houston, London, Lagos and Port Harcourt. Read more

Exxon Mobil’s Q2 Earnings Drop to $4.2bn

Exxon Mobil Corporation at the weekend announced estimated second quarter 2015 earnings of $4.2 billion, or $1 per diluted share, compared with $8.8 billion a year earlier.

“We are delivering on our investment and operating commitments across ExxonMobil’s integrated portfolio,” said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer. Read more

Safety Issue to Delay First Oil in Otakikpo Marginal Field

Barely one month after acquiring a stake in Nigeria’s Otakikpo marginal oil field, Lekoil Limited has stated that safety issue would delay first oil from the field.

Citing “critical safety issue”, which has interrupted the development of the field, the company said first oil from the field would not be realised until the end of the third quarter of 2015. Read more

Govt’s Culpability in Crude Oil Theft

Nigeria’s loss of revenues due to crude oil theft reached alarming proportions during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan when it threatened the implementation of the federal government’s annual budgets.
During this period, top officials of the government and the international oil companies (IOCs) bandied different figures, representing what Nigeria lost yearly to crude oil theft and illegal bunkering. Read more

Power

NERC Woos Manufacturers on Embedded Generation

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has expressed its desire for the members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to drive its plan to grow investments in embedded and captive electricity generation in Nigeria.

NERC said at a recent meeting with top management of MAN led by its president, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs that it would welcome a partnership with the association to develop embedded power generation in industrial clusters around the country. Read more

NAPTIN, 10 Others to Benefit from €24.5m NESP Fund

As part of its intention to boost investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and rural electrification in Nigeria, the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP) have entered into a skilled training partnership with 11 training institutions in Nigeria’s power sector.

The 11 institutions, which included Nigeria’s premier power training institute, the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) will by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they signed with NESP and REEP in Abuja, draw training supports from a €24.5 million (N5.3 billion) funding pool. Read more

CBN’s N213bn power fund to be disbursed in 3 weeks

The Central Bank is working with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to ensure the full disbursement in three weeks, of the more than N200 billion power support fund meant to resolve a pile of legacy debts and empower generating and distribution firms to produce and wheel more electricity to businesses and homes in the country.

Issues around electricity tariff in the country and controversy have stalled the disbursement of the fund over an announcement made by the power regulator just before the recent general elections. Read more

Sports

Why I dumped Nigerian games for Wembley – NFF boss

The Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has fired back at those who criticised his trip to England to watch the Community Shield game between Arsenal and Chelsea rather than watching any of the two Nigerian teams that were involved in international matches on Sunday.

The U-23 Eagles and the Super Falcons were involved in matches leading up to the Rio 2016 Olympic games on Sunday. Some Nigerians who spoke on different radio and television programmes insisted that it would have made better sense if Pinnick had settled for the Enyimba/Rangers match in Aba rather than the game in London, which he watched with the new Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh. Read more

Falcons Must Learn From Mistakes – Hamilton

Former Super Falcons coach, Paul Hamilton, has described the team’s ouster from the race to the Rio Olympic Games by Equatorial Guinea as a wake-up call.

The Falcons lost 2-1 despite scoring first through Ngozi Okobi, to crash out 3-2 on goals aggregate. Read more

Siasia Proud Of U-23 Boys

Head Coach of the U-23 national team, Dream Team, Samson Siasia has said his boys played like true heroes and he is proud of them as they have also made him a proud coach and Nigerian.

Speaking after the game which ended 0-0 in Pointe-Noire, an elated coach Siasia said his boys played to instructions, only that they didn’t score goal as he expected them to. Read more

Okagbare Leads 22 Others To Beijing Worlds

Africa’s fastest woman, Blessing Okagbare, will lead 22 other Nigerian athletes to the World Athletics Championships this August in Beijing, China.

Although, Nigeria has not officially named its captain for the IAAF worlds, it’s believed that with Okagbare’s quality performance at the Diamond League so far, athletes’ morals would be boosted for higher performance at the Championship. Read more

LMC Gives FC Taraba 60 Days To Clear Players’ Salaries

The League Management Company (LMC) has formally charged FC Taraba for failing to meet financial obligation to its players and has in line with the provision of the relevant rules ordered the club to pay all amounts due within 60 days.

FC Taraba players have been owed salaries for 10 months and the LMC in wielding the stick citing Article B9. 45, which made it mandatory for terms of contract between a club and a player to be strictly adhered to. Read more

D’Tigers In Quest For Elusive Afrobasket Title

“I know that the players are determined for something great and have vowed to do the nation proud when the championship kicks off…”

These were the words of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President, Tijani Umar, when he was reacting to the preparedness of national team, D’Tigers, to go beyond its second place finishing of 1997, 1999 and 2003 in this year’s championship in Tunisia, starting from August 19. Read more

World News

Nairobi tops in road deaths, study ordered

Nairobi county has the country’s highest number of road fatalities, 271 since the beginning of the year. The National Transport and Safety Authority is forming an inter-agency committee to investigate and reduce accidents. Read more

Libya probes guards seemingly beating Gaddafi son

Libyan state prosecutors are investigating unidentified guards purportedly shown in a video beating a son of Muammar Gaddafi held in a Tripoli prison, a statement said on Monday.

The video was posted a week after a Tripoli court sentenced Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam and eight former regime officials to death over crimes during the 2011 uprising that toppled his father, who was later captured and killed by rebels. Read more

Libyan accused in Benghazi attacks seeks dismissal of case

A Libyan militant accused in the 2012 Benghazi attacks has asked a judge to dismiss charges against him.

Lawyers for Ahmed Abu Khattala argued in court papers Monday that he should be returned to Libya and that his capture by U.S. special forces last year was part of a “government conspiracy.” Read more

Sudanese presidency offers guarantees for rebels participating in the national dialogue

Sudan’s first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Salih, vowed that the government would provide the necessary guarantees to secure the participation of the rebel umbrella, Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) leaders in the national dialogue inside Sudan.

He said in a press conference on Monday that president Omer al-Bashir has offered religious and moral commitment to ensure the safety of the SRF leaders to come to Khartoum to participate in the national dialogue. Read more

260,000 Moroccan Students to Benefit from Health Insurance: Minister

Jamila Moussalli, Delegate to the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Executive Training, announced on Sunday in Rabat that 260,000 students will benefit -starting from the next school year- from the Compulsory Health Insurance (AMO).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 8th session of the Academy of Future Leaders, organized by the Executive Committee of the Organization of Renewal Students (OREMA), Moussalli said that this number is expected to exceed 460,000 beneficiaries over the next five years. Read more

Big data, big opportunity for Ghana – IBM boss

Ghana is in a unique position to establish itself as a regional hub for big data and analytics management due to its emerging business technology markets and fast-growing culture for innovation, says IBM Ghana.

“The onus is now on policy and decision makers in education, government and business to foster a new generation of talent with the technical expertise and disruptive ideas needed to make the most of the Big Data challenge,” Country General Manager for IBM Ghana, Ms Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh said. Read more

Republicans pledge balanced budget, end to Obamacare and immigration curbs

“In Iowa they pick corn, in New Hampshire we pick candidates,” the audience was told as they prepared to hear 14 Republicans hoping to be the party’s standard-bearer next year.

The one obvious absentee was Donald Trump, the self declared non-debater who, much to the alarm of the party’s hierarchy, appears to be cementing his status as a trail blazer in the polls. Read more

Accused Taliban leader said he was doing ‘God’s work’ – testimony

A former American soldier testifying in the trial of Irek Hamidullin on Monday said the accused Russian Taliban leader was compliant when captured, and said he was doing “God’s work.”

Hamidullin, a former Soviet tank commander who converted to Islam and was allegedly fighting for the Taliban, is the first Afghan War military combatant to be tried in U.S. federal court. Read more

Blast in Korean DMZ wounds two South Korean soldiers – military

Two South Korean soldiers were wounded by an explosion on Tuesday, possibly caused by a landmine, in the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that divides North and South Korea, military officials said.

The two soldiers, described as officers, were conducting a routine search operation inside the zone, which has divided the two Koreas since the end of the Korean War in 1953, when the so-far unexplained blast happened. Read more

U.S. Strikes in Syria and Iraq Killed 459 Civilians, Says Report

U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria have likely killed at least 459 civilians over the past year, a report by an independent monitoring group said Monday.

The report by Airwars, a project aimed at tracking the international airstrikes targeting the extremists, said it believed 57 specific strikes killed civilians and caused 48 suspected “friendly fire” deaths. It said the strikes have killed more than 15,000 Islamic State militants. Read more

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale to divorce

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale filed for divorce on Monday, seeking to end a nearly 13-year marriage between two members of rock music royalty.

The former couple cited irreconcilable differences for the breakup and said in a statement that they would work to raise their three sons together. Read more

Greek stock market dives after five-week closure

Greece’s stock market plunged by more than 22 per cent as it reopened after being closed for five weeks, giving investors their first opportunity since late June to react to the country’s economic crisis.

Bank shares suffered most, hitting or nearing the daily trading limit of a 30 per cent loss. Read more

 

 

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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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