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Showing posts from April, 2017

Buhari’s health: Presidency rules out resignation

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The Presidency has ruled out the possibility of President Muhammadu Buhari resigning his position over his ill health as being suggested by some Nigerians.
In an interview with journalists in Lagos on Friday, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said those calling for the President’s resignation were merely expressing their opinion.


According to him, the views of over 15 million Nigerians that voted for the President were more important than such opinions, while expressing confidence hat God would fully restore Buhari’s health.
The President returned from medical vacation to the United Kingdom on March 10, where he spent 49 days. And since his return from vacation, Buhari has been absent at some Federal Executive Council meetings, including that of last Wednesday, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided.
It was learnt that the President needed some rest and had “asked that all the files on his table be brought to him at his official residence…

My father’s regret before he died —Samuel Ogbemudia Jr.

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Mr Samuel Ogbemudia Jr is the eldest son of the former two time governor of old Bendel State, late Dr Samuel Ogbemudia. In this interview with Saturday Vanguard, he shared his experiences with his late father whom he described as a genius and a man who sacrificed his personal interest for the interest of the majority He gave reasons why his father supported Governor Godwin Obaseki rather than his nephew and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and other national issues. He also shared his father’s regret on Nigeria before he died. Excerpts: Can you share with us briefly how your late father brought you up.   He brought us up very strictly. I was born in Kaduna, then he took me to England for my education and I concluded in America. Anytime he had opportunity to talk to me it was always very touching. One thing he always told me was “don’t drink, don’t smoke” and I found that to be very useful. He was always there to keep us in line, al…

Court seizes senator’s house over alleged N1.5bn contract scam

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The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the temporary seizure of a 12-storeyed building belonging to the senator representing Delta North Senatorial District, Peter Nwaoboshi, over an alleged contract scam of N1.5bn.
The said building which the court ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to seize from Nwaoboshi, a Peoples Democratic Party member, is located at 27, Marine Road, Apapa.


Justice Abdulaziz Anka made the seizure order after entertaining an ex parte application brought before him on Monday by the anti-graft agency.
Joined with Nwaoboshi in the application were his two companies — Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, and Bilderberg Enterprises Limited.
The EFCC told the judge that Nwaoboshi, through his company, Bilderberg Enterprises Limited, got a N1.580bn contract to supply some construction equipment to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency sometime in 2010.
The anti-graft agency, however, claimed that Nwaoboshi’s company supplied second-han…

‘University of Africa to export nurses to other countries’

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The newly established Africa International University, Toru-Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has boasted that exporting nurses to other countries of the world will be one of the core priorities of the institution.
The Coordinator, AIU, Mr. Theo Theodorus, who disclosed this in an interview, said the institution was modelled after universities in Europe.


The AIU, which began academic activities last week with 510 students, is an initiative of the Bayelsa State Government and is approved by the National Universities Commission in July 2016.
The university will be run as a Public-Private Partnership venture. The state government will only provide the enabling environment, while the funding will come from the private sector.
Theodorus said, ‘’The institution will export nurses to different parts of the world, as obtainable in Europe, because nursing is one of our priorities. If universities in Europe can do it, why can’t we do it?
“A plan for the establishment of a…

Suicide bombers kill seven in Maiduguri

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Seven persons have been killed in suicide attacks at two separate locations in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
In one of the attacks, a female suicide bomber lost her life when she prematurely detonate an explosive strapped on her body upon being accosted by some vigilantes.


The terrorist died alone, while two other suspected female suicide bombers who seemed to be on the same mission with her, chickened out and took to their heels.
But they were gunned down by the vigilantes before they could escape.
In the second attack, which took place on the outskirts of Maiduguri, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive which claimed the lives of three persons.
The police spokesperson in Borno State, Murtala Ibrahim,  in a message to journalists, said, “Today (Monday) at about 0510hrs, three female suicide bombers with IED strapped to their bodies,  attempted to infiltrate Mamanti Village in Jere Local Government Area. They were intercepted by the civilian JTF.
“In the process, one of the s…

FG fails to release N100bn subsidy, say power firms

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The 11 electricity distribution companies operating in the country on Monday said the Federal Government had failed to release the N100bn subsidy it promised operators in the sector after private investors took over about 18 successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria on November 1, 2013.
Speaking under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, the power firms also faulted the poor funding of the transmission unit of the power sector, saying this had resulted in the huge load rejection cases by them.


The Director, Advocacy and Research, ANED, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, explained in a statement issued in Abuja that the Federal Government held 40 per cent equity in the power distribution firms and noted that it committed to many interventions in the performance agreement between the Discos and the Bureau of Public Enterprises.
“To date, the government has not met the privatisation transaction foundational requirements of providing N100bn in sub…

Sanusi didn’t inherit N4bn –Emirate Council

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The Kano Emirate Council on Monday dismissed as false the  reports that the  Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi (11) inherited N4bn  on ascending the throne.
It said the monarch inherited the sum of N1.8bn not N4bn.


Prior to ascending the throne, the council said it had in its coffers the sum of N2.8bn in different banks.
Walin Kano, Alhaji Mahe  Wali, who addressed reporters  on behalf of the emir in Kano on Monday,  said out of the said amount, the council withdrew N981, 784, 503.79 for the payment of the late Alhaji Ado Bayero Royal City project, leaving a balance of N1.8bn.
Other expenditures, he explained,  were  the payment of  N152m for the procurement of furniture for the palace, adding that after the passing  of Emir Ado Bayero, his furniture were removed and distributed to his heirs in accordance with Islamic injunction.
He also  said N108m  was paid to the heirs of the late emir by the council in respect of his personal cars inherited by Sanusi.

Wali added  that the pay…

Naira drops to 390/dollar, CBN sells fresh $246m

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The naira reversed some of the gains it recorded last week, closing at 390 against the United States dollar on the parallel market on Monday.
The local currency had closed at 380/dollar on Friday.


The naira has been hovering between 380/dollar and 410/dollar in the past two weeks as the Central Bank of Nigeria continues to intervene in the foreign exchange market to stabilise the exchange rate.
The interventions are aimed at narrowing the spread between the official and black market rates of the naira against the dollar.
The CBN has sold around $4bn since intervention began in February, according to analysts.
After touching an all-time-low of 520/dollar in February, the CBN had increased forex supply into the market to enhance the naira.
As a result, the naira appreciated to 375/dollar in March. However, following some speculative activities and other market dynamics, the local currency fell to 410/dollar two weeks ago.
Last week, the naira reversed the loss and rose to 380/dollar af…

FG begins talks with illegal crude oil refiners

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The Federal Government on Monday announced that it had commenced discussions with illegal refiners of crude oil in order to have them work as duly recognised modular refinery operators.
It also stated that it would ensure that militancy in the Niger Delta ended by the end of this year, adding that it would sustain its engagements with stakeholders in the region in that respect.


The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this at the 10th Nigerian Association for Energy Economics/International Association for Energy Economics Conference in Abuja.
The theme for this year’s NAEE/IAEE conference was, ‘Energy, Economy and the Environment: The Interplay of Technology, Economics and Public Policy’.
Kachikwu, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Dr. Bello Gusau, said the Federal Government was working out how to involve illegal refiners in the new modular refinery scheme.
He stated, “In the past two weeks,…

N23bn Diezani bribe: INEC official remanded for receiving N112.4m

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A serving senior official of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Fidelia Omoile, has been remanded in prison for allegedly receiving N112.4m as a bribe during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.
The money Omoile allegedly collected was said to be part of the $115m (N23bn as of 2015), allegedly disbursed by the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.


Omoile, who works at  INEC office in Isoko-South Local Government Area of Delta State, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday.
Justice Efreti Abang of a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State,  ordered Omoile to be remanded in prison after she was arraigned on two charges.
The INEC official was arrested on April 11, 2016 following an intelligence report received by the EFCC on the activities of some INEC officials, who allegedly connived with some Non-Governmental Organisations to  defraud the Federal Government of millions of naira.
The first cha…

Nigeria must eliminate multiple exchange rates – Soludo

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A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, on Monday highlighted steps the Federal Government needed to return the country out of the biting economic challenges and get back on the path of growth.
Soludo said policymakers must get the country out of the current multiple exchange rates’ regime and reduce the wide spread between the official and parallel market exchange rates of the naira to a maximum of three to five per cent.


The currency currently has about five exchange rates, according to analysts.
The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who was the Chairman of the Economic Discourse organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, spoke in Lagos while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the event.
He pointed out that policymakers were expected to be taking bold steps that would navigate the country away from crude oil dependency to a non-oil economy on the long run.
Soludo commended steps taken by the CBN in t…

Osinbajo committee quizzes suspended NIA DG again

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The suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ayo Oke,  on Monday appeared before a committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate him and the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.
Oke is being investigated by the committee chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo over his claim that the money uncovered  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at  a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos,  belongs to the NIA.


He had earlier appeared before the committee on Wednesday after his suspension was announced.
The acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, on Friday appeared before the same committee to give evidence on what his commission discovered about the money, the owners and their plans.
Oke’s appearance on Monday is believed to be aimed at giving him the opportunity to answer some questions arising from Magu’s submission to the panel.
The committee that has the Attorney General of the Fe…

EFCC charges ex-Niger gov, Aliu, with N3bn fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged the immediate past Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, and the 2015 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Umar Nasko, with an alleged N3bn fraud.
It was learnt that the charges had been filed before a Federal High Court in Minna, Niger State.


Nasko also served as Chief of Staff and Commissioner for Environment under Aliyu’s administration between 2007 and 2015.
According to the EFCC, Aliyu, who is popularly known as the chief servant, allegedly diverted N520m from the Niger State Government Security Account domiciled in Zenith Bank account between January and March 2011.
Within the same period, the former governor also allegedly diverted a separate N1.7bn from the same account.
The commission said in 2015 Aliyu and Nasko allegedly diverted about N1.09bn,  which was 16 per cent shares of Niger State in the North South Power Company Limited.
The alleged crimes are believed to be in contraventi…

LASG to spend N1.25bn on workers training

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The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved N1.25bn for the training of civil servants in 2017.
This was disclosed at the 2017 first bi-annual meeting of the Lagos State Public Service Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) held at the Public Service Staff Development Centre in Magodo on Monday.


The Acting Head of Service, Folashade Adesoye, said the government increased the funds for capacity building of workers from N1bn in 2016 to N1.25bn in 2017.
She said, “The increase is in recognition of the role of human resources in governance and to improve the state workers’ skills and competence.”
The Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr Benson Oke, said all stakeholders must sustain the existing atmosphere of industrial harmony in the state and transform such harmony into greater productivity.
Oke said the state was committed to a regimen of training and retraining of workers.
He advised the JNC to be committed to the promotion of teamwork, adding that such wo…

African developers celebrated at Facebook’s annual F8 conference

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Facebook celebrated the achievements and products of its growing African developer and partner ecosystem at its annual F8 developer conference held in San Jose, California, on April 18 and 19, 2017.
African developers shared the stage with Facebook and developers from around the world, showcasing products and services they have created for their local communities and the global market.
F8 hosts more than 4,000 people in person and hundreds of thousands of people, watching via Facebook Live for two days of new products, tools, interactive demos and speakers to help developers build, grow and monetise their apps.


This year, Facebook brought F8 to developers around the world through F8 Meetups hosted with tech hubs around the world.
In Africa, it hosted F8 Meetups in Nairobi, Lagos, and Cape Town, where participants watched live streams of the sessions in San Francisco.
“We are partnering many African developers to launch products that not only meet the needs of their local markets, but…

Ihedioha laments state of Imo

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Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and 2015 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in  Imo State, Chief Emeka Ihedioha,  has berated the Governor Rochas Okorocha administration for the poor development of the state.
Ihedioha spoke at  a lecture entitled “The Role of the Political Class in Realising the Collective Dreams of Justice, Equity, Fairness and Financial Accountability in Imo State”, at the 2017 Diocesan Synod of the Diocese on the Lake, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) St Mary’s Magdalene Parish Oguta on Monday.


He said  Imo had  the highest Gross Domestic Product  in the South-East, saying  it does not  impact on the living standard of the people in the  state.
Ihedioha said, “I need to remind us that the attainment of justice, equity, fairness and accountability in Imo State will remain elusive so far as our constitution the very instrument of our federation is applied in breach and until the legislature indisputably oversights the …

FG laments hindrances to end malaria by 2020

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The Federal Government has appealed to the United States for support to eliminate malaria in Nigeria by 2020.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made the call on Monday at the 2017 World Malaria Day celebration organised by the US Embassy in Abuja.


He stated that the Federal Government was determined to achieve the feat by 2020, noting that available indices in the country indicated that the dream of a malaria-free nation was far from being realised.
He said, “Our target is to achieve zero mortality rate from malaria by 2020, very ambitious target but do-able; we can achieve it that no Nigerian died of malaria by 2020.
“We are working together with the (Nigerian) Governors Forum to build a strong alliance on health system, to treat malaria  with the prevention of malaria and make sure we take malaria off the street.
“I use this occasion to solicit for more support to enable us to achieve a pre-elimination phase in 2020.”
He commended the US Agency for International Developm…

Customs seize 750 bags of rice in Kwara

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A Deputy Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Abdullahi Umar, on Sunday said Customs officers seized over 750 bags of rice and other prohibited goods estimated at over N52m in Kwara State after clashes with smugglers.
He added that some smugglers and residents attempted to lynch some of the operatives, who, however, escaped by a whisker.
Umar noted that smugglers at border areas had become more daring and had devised means to evade arrests.


He said the NCS was making efforts to improve on trade facilitation and revenue generation.
According to him, the NCS generated about N400m from excise duties in March, and N100m from vehicle duties within two weeks.
He said, “What we have seized are enormous. There are over 750 bags of rice in our custody. We have seized goods worth millions of naira. All our warehouses are filled up; we do not even have where to put seized goods now.”

The state Public Relations Officer, NCS, Mr. George Onuma, warned against smuggling of second-hand ty…

Lagos community protests govt neglect, demands road construction

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Residents of Soliyi community, Gbagada,  in the Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State, have decried the alleged neglect of the area, saying the state government abandoned them for the past 40 years.
The community said the only road linking the community to the outside world was too narrow for the more than 500,000 residents, who were usually held in heavy traffic jams.


They said they were afraid that the inauguration of a newly-constructed auditorium of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, could worsen traffic congestion in the community.
The Chairman of the Action Commitee, Mr. Moses Eniayewu, said residents wanted the government to create five additional routes to ease traffic in and out of the community.
He said, “Our community can only be accessed through one route – the Ayodele Okeowo Street – which serves as both the inlet and outlet to the community. There are over 500,000 people living here, who are mostly career men and women in various organisations, including traders …

Father, children, sisters-in- law die in Anambra accident

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No fewer than eight persons were reportedly killed in auto crashes in Anambra, Lagos and Ogun states, while about 12 persons sustained varying degrees of injury.
In the Anambra incident, which occurred on Awor Road, Oraifite village, in the Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state, a man identified as Chinedu Nwannem, his two children and two sisters-in-law were killed by a speeding convoy.


While two persons lost their lives and seven others were injured in a head-on collision at the Odogbolu Junction, along the Ijebu Ode-Benin Expressway, Ogun State on Sunday, a bus conductor died in the Lagos multiple crashes which happened on Isolo-Oshodi Road on the same day.
A Facebook user, Francisca Odina, who shared the news of the family’s death on her wall, said the convoy fled the scene after the incident, which happened around 9pm on Thursday.
She wrote, “They were knocked down by a convoy on high speed. The owner of the convoy is yet to be identified. Five people died on the spot–the …