Saturday 25 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Twelve people were killed Wednesday evening after four suicide bombers struck in the regional capital of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, rescue workers told AFP. Two men and two women blew themselves up in the Muna neighbourhood at around 1700 GMT, the chief security officer of Borno State's emergency response agency, Bello Dambatta, said. "The total people who died in these four suicide bombings is 12, 16 including the bombers," he told AFP. "Twenty-two people were taken to the Borno State Specialist Hospital for treatment to various injuries."
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Voters in Anambra state, southeast Nigeria, go the polls to elect a new governor this weekend, with security tight after a call from a pro-Biafran group for people to boycott the polls. The result of Saturday's election is unlikely to change anything politically at national level but proceedings are being watched closely because of what analysts have said are "unprecedented" measures to stop unrest. Nigeria's federal police said it is sending 26,000 extra police officers, including counter-terrorism and bomb disposal specialists, sniffer and attack dogs. Three surveillance helicopters will monitor proceedings from the air, while there will be 10 gunboats on the river Niger, plus 15 armoured personnel carriers and 303 patrol vehicles.
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Police broke up a sit-in protest in Lagos early Thursday, dispersing hundreds of former slum-dwellers demanding compensation after being evicted from their waterfront homes. Some 600 people from the Otodo-Gbame area of the Nigerian megacity, including women and children, had earlier on Wednesday marched to the office of the state governor. They were among more than more than 30,000 people made homeless in the last year, as part of a move by the city authorities to remove shanty towns. At least 11 people are said to have died and 17 others disappeared as the bulldozers moved in and residents were chased into the nearby lagoon. Earlier this week, Amnesty International published a report calling the evictions from the poor fishing...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will move ahead with plans to borrow $5.5 billion from foreign investors after the Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari request for the move. The money is designed to plug a large gap in Nigeria’s finances that stems in part from the global fall in oil prices. Nigeria’s economy grew in the second quarter, climbing out of its first recession in 25 years, but the pace of growth was slow suggesting that the recovery remains fragile. The 7.44 trillion naira ($24.33 billion) 2017 budget projects a shortfall of $7.5 billion, prompting Buhari’s call for foreign loans. The borrowing would include $2.5 billion in Eurobonds to plug part of the 2017 budget deficit and $3 billion...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
Timu Elijah was heavily pregnant and asleep at her shanty town home in the Otodo-Gbame area on the water's edge of Lagos, Nigeria, when she was woken up by her neighbours. "People were running helter-skelter, shouting, 'They're shooting, they're setting houses on fire'," she told AFP. In the confusion, her five-year-old son went missing. Timu, 30, is convinced the trauma of looking for her son made her go into early labour. Yet even three days after the birth, she too was evicted and her home demolished. "I escaped with the baby as people destroyed and burned down the houses," she said, bouncing Faithful -- the little girl who was born in the chaos -- on her hip. "I couldn't carry...
(APA 11/14/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari's plan to appoint eight new ministers and his poor rating of the state of education in Nigeria dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday. In a move to keep to his promise to the loyalists of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari is considering a tentative proposal to restructure some of the ministries, appoint eight new ministers to his cabinet, THISDAY newspaper's front page stated. The Daily Trust reported that President Buhari has decried the state of education in the country, saying “it calls for a serious concern”. He listed the effects of decades of neglect suffered by the sector to include an estimated 13.2 million children out of school, high illiteracy level, infrastructural...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
ABUJA (Reuters) - President Muhammadu Buhari is to visit southeast Nigeria this week, his spokesman said on Monday, his first trip since taking office to a region formerly known as Biafra. Calls for secession have become increasingly loud in the last few months in parts of the southeast, where the president is deeply unpopular, prompting Buhari to say he will not allow Nigeria to be divided by separatist groups. A million people died in a 1967-70 civil war over the short-lived Republic of Biafra. Buhari, a 74-year-old former military ruler who took office in May 2015, fought in the war as a young...
(APA 11/14/17)
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said that the country recovered over $64.63 million debts from electricity supply to Benin Republic and Niger Republic. Img : Nigeria recovers over $64m electricity debts from Benin, Niger Republics – Minister Nigeria supplies electricity to the two countries in line with the agreement that they won’t dam the River Niger that sustains the hydro-power plant at the Kainji Dam in northern Nigeria. Fashola, told the 21st monthly power sector operators meeting on Monday in Asaba, the Delta State capital, that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), would work out the modalities for distribution of the funds. Fashola said that the government would make available a total of N37...
(APA 11/14/17)
Nigeria, Senegal and Cape Verde dominate the West African hotel pipeline with 77 percent of the total planned hotel rooms. W Hospitality Group’s 2017 Hotel Chains Pipeline report shows that hotel groups need tackle lengthy development periods in West Africa, according to a press release issued by API Events and seen by APA Tuesday. West Africa has been at the heart of the continent’s growth and economic transformation in recent years. Notwithstanding the sharp slowdown experienced in 2016 and 2017, the region’s economy is expected to rebound in 2017 onwards. Commodity-based economies, like Nigeria, are slowly recovering from the fall in oil prices and oil production, while countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal have shown economic resilience and sustained...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
The Confederation of African Football will meet soon to discuss a proposal for African World Cup qualifiers to play friendlies during the FIFA window in March, a Nigerian official said Tuesday. Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia will be Africa’s five flag bearers at Russia next year. However, all five teams will be engaged in AFCON 2019 in the next FIFA window in March and this will be the last window before the World Cup in June in Russia. Super Eagles spokesman Toyin Ibitoye said Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has proposed that the next FIFA window should now be used by the World Cup finalists to prepare for world football's showpiece tournament. "In the few days CAF...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Six members of a cargo ship kidnapped last month off the coast of Nigeria's Port Harcourt have been freed, their German employer said Sunday. "Peter Doehle Schiffahrts-KG are pleased to report that the six crew members of her container vessel Demeter who were taken hostage on October 21 and have spent the past two and a half weeks in captivity, were released and are now safe," the Hamburg-based group said in a statement to AFP. "Peter Doehle Schiffahrts-KG wishes to thank all the relevant authorities for helping to secure the release of our much valued seafarers," added the statement, which did not elaborate on the rescue mission. The group, which would not comment on the nationalities of the six, said...
(APA 11/13/17)
APA-Rabat (Maroc) - Une trentaine d’entreprises marocaines se rendront à Lagos du 14 au 16 novembre pour une mission de prospection, indique Maroc Export, initiatrice de ce voyage d’affaires. Cette mission, qui concernera les secteurs des BTP et matériaux de construction, de l’électrique, des énergies renouvelables, des TIC et du pharmaceutique, aura pour objectif le renforcement des échanges commerciaux avec ce pays d’une part et le développement d’un partenariat gagnant-gagnant basé sur les complémentarités entre les entreprises marocaines et leurs homologues nigérians. Les volets de cette manifestation comporteront l’organisation d’un symposium sur les échanges économiques et commerciaux entre le Maroc et le Nigéria suivi de rencontres B to B au profit de 30 participants marocains et leurs homologues nigérians. L'économie...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Nigerian sensation Wizkid retained his best artist title at this year's African Music Awards, as he carried off a clutch of prizes at a glitzy ceremony in Lagos. The 27-year-old Afrobeats star -- real name Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun -- beat his compatriot Davido and Fally Ipupa from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the top award. He also won the best song category for "Come Closer" and the prize for best West African artist. AFRIMA 2017, now in its fourth year, is considered the equivalent of the US Grammys and was held on Sunday evening at a luxury hotel in Nigeria's economic and entertainment hub. The African Union-backed awards are designed to celebrate the continent's booming music industry and were...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
At least three Nigerian soldiers and a militiaman were killed in a Boko Haram ambush on the edge of Sambisa forest near the border with Cameroon, military and militia sources told AFP Saturday. The ambush occurred as troops returned to base late Friday in the town of Gwoza near the mountainous border with Cameroon after destroying three Boko Haram camps in their forest enclave, the sources said. "We lost three soldiers and a member of the CJTF (anti-Boko Haram militia) in the ambush," a military officer involved in the offensive said. "Ten soldiers and three CJTF were injured in the fight," said the military source who asked not to be identified as he was not authorised to speak. A militia...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
A Nigerian judge on Thursday ordered the seizure of a flat linked to the former head of the country's National Intelligence Agency, after more than $43 million in cash was found during an anti-corruption raid. Judge Saliu Seidu, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos, said the apartment in the upmarket Ikoyi area of the city should be temporarily forfeited to the government, pending any challenge within 14 days. Acting on a tip-off, agents from Economic and Financial Crimes Commission raided the property on April 12 this year and discovered just under $43.5 million (37.4 million euros, £33.1 million).
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
Nigerian police investigating the kidnapping of four British missionaries said Thursday that they had arrested two people suspected of involvement while a third was killed in a shoot-out at the gang's hideout. The Britons, from a Christian medical charity providing free healthcare in villages in Delta state, in Nigeria's oil-rich south, were abducted on October 13. The foreign ministry in London announced Monday that three of the hostages were released and returned home safely while a fourth was killed in captivity, without giving further details. Delta state police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka said Thursday that two suspects were arrested in the oil hub of Warri on Wednesday. After questioning, they led officers to their hideout, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/10/17)
ONITSHA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Police in Nigeria’s southern Delta state said they killed one suspect and arrested two others accused of involvement in the kidnapping last month of four Britons. Three of the British hostages, who were taken by gunmen on Oct. 13, were released earlier this week after negotiations, but a fourth, Ian Squire was killed. Delta state police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka said officers arrested two suspects and killed a third after he opened fire, wounding two officers. Aniamaka said two other suspects who were arrested previously led police to the three men. Kidnapping for ransom is common in parts of Nigeria, including the Delta region that produces the bulk of the country’s crude oil, but is mired in...

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