Wednesday 20 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
A Nigerian lawyer who helped secure the release of more than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram was on Monday awarded one of the United Nations' top prizes. The UNHCR said Zannah Mustapha was given the annual Nansen award for his "crucial mediating" role as well as his work helping children affected by the long-running conflict. Last year's recipients of the award were more than 2,000 volunteers who saved the lives of thousands of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Mustapha, who is in his late-50s, said the award was unexpected but he was "exceedingly happy" to have been chosen.
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Four people were killed by gunmen in southeast Nigeria, police said Saturday, after a week of clashes with security forces as inter-community tensions rise in the former Biafra region. The attack appeared to target a market and mosque in a neighbourhood of the city of Asaba inhabited mainly by the Hausa and Peul ethnic groups, who are originally from northern Nigeria. "Three armed men, all in black outfits, suspected to be members of a cult group or Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) fired indiscriminately into Abraka market at Asaba... and in the process killed four persons," a local police statement said. Five others were wounded. The IPOB is demanding an independent state for the Igbo people, the most populous ethnic...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
A Nigerian minister accused the government’s political opponents of sponsoring a campaign for secession in part of southeast Nigeria formerly known as Biafra, where unrest has been rising. Secessionist sentiment has simmered in the southeast since the Biafra separatist rebellion plunged Africa’s most populous country into a civil war in 1967-70 that killed an estimated one million people. Campaigners from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have intensified calls for secession since their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was released on bail in April. He was detained nearly two years on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society. The military on Friday labeled IPOB a “terrorist organization” after a week in which it was accused of surrounding Kanu’s home...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
A Nigerian lawyer who helped to secure the release of dozens of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 was on Monday announced the winner of a U.N. prize for providing an education to children uprooted by violence in northeast Nigeria. Zannah Mustapha is the founder of two schools which offer free education, meals and healthcare to its pupils, and even enroll children born to Boko Haram fighters to learn alongside those orphaned by the Islamist group’s eight-year insurgency. The Nansen Refugee Award, which is bestowed by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), has been won in the past by Eleanor Roosevelt and Luciano Pavarotti, and the winner receives $150,000 to fund a project complementing their existing work. “I...
(Leadership 09/18/17)
A group, the South-South Reawakening Group (SSRG) has applauded the Federal Government over the recent ban on the activities of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and it’s subsequent classification as a terrorist organisation. SSRG, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital yesterday and signed by its President, Joseph Ambakaderimo, pledged to continue to support steps being taken by President Muhammadu Buhari, in curtailing activities of IPOB and other similar organizations. Noting that members of the group had crossed the national red line and were fast becoming a threat to the nation’s national security, Ambakaderimo said, “Our national security is at stake. The liberty of any individual or the right of any group of persons takes the...
(This Day Live 09/18/17)
The federal government through the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has set the guidelines for the marginal oil field bid round scheduled to take place later this year or early 2018 and could potentially see scores of investors jostling to acquire 46 oil acreages during the exercise, THISDAY has learnt. Of the 46 acreages up grabs, it was however gathered that the DPR is considering setting aside some of the oil blocks for discretionary award to firms owned by Niger Delta indigenes, in order to sustain the prevalent peace in the oil-rich region and give its citizens a sense of ownership in Nigeria’s oil wealth. Though federal government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo initiated efforts to enthrone open, transparent and...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will pass through London, where he has spent several months this year treating an undisclosed illness, when he travels back from the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The 74-year-old leader of Africa’s most populous country will head to the U.S. on Sunday to participate in the U.N. gathering and deliver a national statement, the presidency said in an emailed statement. It did not specify the reason nor the planned length of the London stop. While in New York, Buhari will also have a lunch meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders, the presidency said. Buhari traveled in May to London where he spent more than three months on medical leave. It was...
(Leadership 09/18/17)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Nigerians to take advantage of the introduction of sovereign SUKUK offer by the federal government, saying it is geared towards infrastructural development and worthwhile investment. Speaking at a one-day investors’ forum organised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in Kaduna on Thursday, CBN’s deputy director of Financial Markets Department, Mr. Demenongu Yanfa, assured participants at the forum of the apex bank’s commitment to the smooth running of SUKUK. According to Yanfa, SUKUK will not only allow Nigerians take ownership of the roads with half yearly rental incomes, but will also fast track the building of road infrastructure in the country. “The world is looking for new areas of investment. As of today,...
(Leadership 09/18/17)
Nigeria can make a whopping N56billion in 3 years by reviving the coal industry, especially with the use of coal briquettes for industrial and domestic use, economic experts in the country have said. They told LEADERSHIP that the use of coal briquettes will help in the diversification agenda of the federal government, especially as the global market for oil and gas appears to be shrinking by the day. An industrial pharmacist and specialist in marketing new technologies, Mr Emmanuel Nwankwo, said Nigeria really needs to go back to basics, which is the use of coal since it has it in abundance, starting from Enugu State. He said, ‘‘Nigeria once invested in coal but when the issue of oil came up,...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
At least 33 people drowned after an overloaded boat carrying traders from Niger capsized in northwest Nigeria, the National Emergency Management (NEMA) said on Friday. They were travelling from Gaya in the Dosso region of southern Niger to Lolo, in the Baguda area of Kebbi state, when the accident happened on Wednesday morning. NEMA coordinator Suleiman Mohammed Karim said the boat had a capacity of 70 passengers but survivors said 150 people and their goods were on board. "Eighty-four passengers were rescued by Nigerian and Nigerien rescue officials and the assistance of local divers," he told AFP.
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
Nigeria's military on Friday branded a pro-Biafra group "a militant terrorist organisation", as state governors moved to calm fears of a wider outbreak of ethnic violence. In recent days, members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement have clashed with security services in the southern city of Port Harcourt and southeastern state of Abia. The military claims a build-up of troops in Abia around the home of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in the state capital, Umuahia, is part of an operation against violent crime. But IPOB suspects it is designed to crack down on its activities. The group wants an independent state for the Igbo people who dominate the southeast.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will pass through London, where he spent five months on medical leave this year, on his way home from the United Nations General Assembly, his spokesman said on Friday. Buhari will depart for New York on Sunday, his spokesman said in an emailed statement. It will be the first time he has left Nigeria since returning on Aug. 19 from Britain, where he received treatment for an unspecified ailment. Spokesman Femi Adesina said Buhari would hold a lunch meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders, adding: “President Buhari will transit through London on his way back to the country.” Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by cabinet ministers and the governors of three...
(AFP (eng) 09/15/17)
Civilian militia helping the Nigerian military against Boko Haram have promised to stop using children as part of their security operations, the United Nations said on Friday. The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) agreed to the measure as part of a new action plan signed in the northeastern Borno state capital, Maiduguri, Unicef said in a statement. The UN's annual report on children and armed conflict, published in May, found that 228 children, some of them as young as nine, were working for the CJTF. The youngsters were assisting with intelligence searches, night patrols, crowd control and at checkpoints. Unicef said an action plan developed since then involves the CJTF promising not to recruit and use children, and to release...
(Punch 09/15/17)
The National Bureau of Statistics on Friday released the Consumer Price Index report which measures inflation with the rate dropping year-on-year from 16.05 per cent in July to 16.01 per cent in August. The bureau in the report which was made available to our correspondent said this is the seventh consecutive months that the index would be declining since January this year. On a month-on-month basis, the NBS report said the headline index increased by 0.97 per cent in August 2017, representing a 0.24 per cent points decline over the rate of 1.21 percent recorded in June. The report reads in part, “The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 16.01 per cent (year-on-year) in August 2017. “This...
(This Day Live 09/15/17)
Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves have risen to a 31-month high of $33 billion, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed Thursday. It was also positive news for Nigeria from the oil markets where crude prices touched a five-month high, with Brent, the benchmark crude, up one per cent at $55.72 a barrel, after a session high of $55.99, its highest since April 13. CBN spokesman, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, spoke on the rise in foreign reserves on the sidelines of a seminar for finance correspondents and business editors in Awka, Anambra State Thursday. The accretion in reserves, derived mainly from the proceeds of crude oil earnings, represents an increase by $7 billion, compared with the $26 billion at the end of...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Interswitch Ltd., a Nigeria-based payments-processing company, expects to complete its delayed dual listing in London and Lagos before the end of 2019. The initial public offering to raise as much as $1 billion had been scheduled for 2016 and was delayed because equity markets were not as “favorable as we would have liked,” Interswitch’s divisional chief executive officer for switching and processing, Akeem Lawal, said in an interview. “We will come back to it because it is an important part of our strategy,” Lawal said on the sidelines of a conference in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. “It will happen before the end of 2019.” Lawal was in Nairobi to promote Interswitch’s use of quick-response, or QR, codes to drive merchant payments...
(APA 09/15/17)
The Nigerian Army is forging ahead to launch ``Operation Python Dance II (Egwu Eke 11)’’ on Friday in spite of violent opposition in the South East. The opposition to the deployment of troops had triggered conflict between the military and supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The IPOB members suspect that the army was in Abia state, for instance, to arrest their controversial leader, Nnamdi Kanu. The soldiers were on Sunday confronted by the youths, who hauled stones and bottles in an attempt to prevent the military from parading the streets near the home of Kanu. Kanu, who is currently on bail after being charged for treason, is championing the secession of South East from Nigeria. The attempts...
(APA 09/15/17)
Nigeria’s Inspector- General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has told the country’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that police detachments have been deployed in Abia State following the outbreak of violence. IGP Idris said on Thursday that the police are adopting a three-pronged approach to resolving the security crisis in northeastern Nigeria sparked by resistance by members of pro-secessionist movements against the deployment of troops in Abia. “The strategy we are using is to ensure that we deploy policemen throughout the country. Secondly, we are in touch with the government as we try to mobilise the political leadership to be able to intervene where necessary and reduce the tension that is already in the South East’’ he said. The situation in...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/15/17)
The prospect of receiving cocoa from less desirable origins such as Cameroon and Nigeria has dampened demand for the London September contract, with even deep discounts failing to whet buyers’ appetites. Open interest in the September cocoa contract has dropped dramatically in the last few sessions, and was standing at 11,827 lots by the end of Wednesday. On Thursday, some 11,108 lots were “exchanged for physicals” (EFP), signaling most remaining open positions in the futures contract had been swapped in exchange for positions in the physical market, where buyers have more control over the quality and origin of supplies. Official exchange data on the delivery is due on Friday but dealers said they expect the remaining volume sold against the...

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