| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
A Nigerian rights group on Tuesday called for an investigation into "attacks" on the Amnesty International office in Abuja following heavy criticism by the country's military. Protesters had surrounded the Amnesty office in the Nigerian capital on Monday and Tuesday, demanding that the London-based rights group leave the country immediately. The demonstration comes less than a month after the Nigerian military issued a press statement urging Amnesty to "desist from meddling into security issues in our country which is inimical to national interest, cohesion and unity." Military spokesman Rabe Abubakar in February had accused Amnesty of "taking sides with terrorists and other belligerent groups to cause internal disorder". In response to the protests, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP),...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
The president of Nigeria's upper house of parliament is to be investigated by lawmakers over allegations that he attempted to evade payment of customs duties on a car, after parliamentarians voted on Tuesday to examine the matter. The allegations, which could lead to Senate President Bukola Saraki, Nigeria's third-ranking official and a member of President Muhammadu Buhari's party, being impeached if found guilty, are the latest in a series of such claims leveled at him. He has denied any wrongdoing. Saraki still faces charges of falsely declaring his assets when he was a state governor from 2003 to 2011, to which he has pleaded not guilty. The car duty allegations relate to newspaper reports that the Senate failed to pay...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Gunmen killed 17 people, mostly women and children, after invading a farming community in central Nigeria, police said Tuesday, the latest violence linked to grazing rights disputes. The attack in Benue State occurred Monday, state police spokesman Moses Yamu told AFP, saying attackers on motorcycles and in a car opened fire on a market and set buildings on fire. "There was indeed an attack yesterday afternoon on a market in Zaki Biyam by unknown persons. Seventeen people were killed and 11 injured by the gunmen," Yamu said. "We have not made any arrests and we are yet to find out the motive for the
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
Faced with a contracting economy, surging inflation and a rigid exchange rate, Nigeria’s central bank will have little choice but to keep its key interest rate unchanged on Tuesday. The Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Godwin Emefiele has held the policy rate at 14 percent since July and is unlikely to make a change, according to all 17 economists and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Foreign-exchange policy has become a common agenda-item for the committee as the nation maintains a managed currency float and has stopped importers of goods it deems non-essential from buying dollars on the official market. While this has contributed to a rapid increase in consumer prices, Emefiele said on March 11 that allowing the naira to...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
More than 2,600 Nigerians who fled into northern Cameroon to escape Boko Haram jihadists have been forced to go home since the start of the year, the UN said Tuesday. Thousands of Nigerians have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has seen deadly attacks since 2009 in pursuit of a caliphate in northern Nigeria. Some 85,000 have sought refuge in Cameroon but the UN refugee agency said many had been sent back, with officials citing security reasons. "So far this year, Cameroon has forcefully returned over 2,600 refugees to Nigerian border villages against their will," UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told reporters in Geneva. He said UNHCR staff in Nigeria had heard and documented accounts about Cameroon troops forcing...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
Nigeria's central bank will leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Tuesday to try and curtail high inflation as Africa's top economy grapples with its first recession in 25 years, a Reuters poll found on Friday. But in a sharp turnaround from a January survey, the median from the poll projects a 100 basis-point cut to 13.0 percent in the third quarter and an identical chop in the last months of 2017. In January, no cuts were predicted this year. The change in view comes just days after the United States Federal Reserve increased borrowing costs, prompting many other central banks to follow suit. One of the 13 economists polled said a cut would come next week but the remaining...
(Xinhuanet 03/21/17)
Nigeria has attained self-sufficiency in the production of cement and is now an exporter of the commodity, Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi said Monday. In a statement made available to Xinhua in Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub, the minister ascribed the feat to Dangote Cement which spearheaded the backward integration policy introduced by the government. The minister who leads a team of the federal government to the Dangote Cement plants in Ibese, Ogun State, said the government is happy with the leadership roles played by Dangote Cement in executing the backward integration policy in the cement industry. The Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, Onne Van der Weijde had in February while presenting the financial results of the company...
(Vanguard 03/21/17)
The divestments of international oil companies, IOCs from Nigerian assets appear to be beneficial to indigenous operators as three independents Aiteo, Eroton and Newcross, collectively produced about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) at peak, close to the end of 2016. Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, the operator of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29, reported gross production of 92,000bpd in October 2016, figures in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC’s December 2016 report showed. production shut-in Eroton Exploration and Production, in OML 18, was said to have averaged 63,764bpd gross output in the same month. There were no figures published for Newcross Petroleum Limited in October 2016 and November 2016, (the last months for which figures are officially available), but...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
The demolition of homes in a shanty town in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, in defiance of a court order, has left thousands of people homeless and raised eviction fears among a further 300,000 slum dwellers, residents and activists said on Monday. The homes of nearly 4,700 people in the Otodo Gbame waterfront slum were destroyed on Friday by bulldozers as security forces used teargas and gunfire to clear the area, said several rights groups, including Amnesty International. The razing came less than two months after the Lagos State High Court ruled that planned demolitions of waterfront slums would be "inhuman", and said the government must enter into mediation with dozens of eviction-threatened communities. The demolition has sparked alarm about the...
(Premium Times 03/21/17)
A group of protesters on Monday barricaded the Abuja office of Amnesty International and asked the international organisation to quit Nigeria within 24 hours. Speaking for the protesters, Melvin Ejeh warned that the group would lead other Nigerians on a five-day Occupy Amnesty International protest as a first warning, if the organisation does not shut down its operations and leave Nigeria in the next 24 hours. “Let us warn at this point that there will be no interval of respite if AI failed to leave Nigeria at the end of the five days as we will activate other more profound options to make them the organization leave Nigeria”, Mr. Ejeh, who is Executive Director, Global Peace and Rescue Initiative, GOPRI,...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has announced plans by the National Assembly to put a legal framework expected to actualize the bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Morocco, in place. This he assured during a meeting with the President of the Morrocan House of Councillors, Abdelhakim Benchamach, and the President of Moroccan House of Representatives, Habib El-Malki, last weekend. Let’s recall that Nigeria signed several bilateral agreements with Morocco during the recent state visit by the King of Morocco to the country. These agreements were signed in the areas of agriculture, energy and gas as well as the trans-African gas pipeline project.
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
The World Bank plans to commit $57 billion in investment in Nigeria and 52 other countries in the sub-Saharan African region for the next three years. According to the institution, $45 billion will come from the International Development Association (IDA), while an estimated $8 billion which is to injected in private sector will come from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The remaining $4 billion will come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “In December, development partners agreed to a record $75 billion for IDA, a dramatic increase based on an innovative move to blend donor contributions to IDA with World Bank Group internal resources, and with funds raised through capital markets. Sixty percent of the IDA financing is...
(This Day Live 03/20/17)
Based on extant Senate rules, the upper legislative chamber will not reconsider Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should he be re-nominated. Citing Senate Rules, Order 131, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) said President Muhammadu Buhari could not validly re-nominate Magu for the job again as the provision would not allow members consider his nomination, having been rejected at a senate session. Order 131 of the Senate Rules states that, ”nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session or within 21 working days in the case of ministerial nominees shall be returned by the Clerk to the National Assembly to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and shall not again...
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
GreenWish Partners, a Paris-based independent power producer, will invest $280 million to build solar-power plants in Nigeria that are expected to start producing electricity in the first quarter of next year. A plant in the southeastern state of Enugu will produce 100 megawatts, while the company will build two others of 50 megawatts each in the northern Kaduna and Jigawa states, Chief Executive Officer Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian said in an interview in Lagos. The project will be funded 70 percent through debt and 30 percent through equity and on completion will provide power to 2.5 million people, she said. “We only take risks where solar makes sense, where it is competitive and where there is political support,” Aubin-Kalaidjian said. “This government...
(This Day Live 03/20/17)
Desirous of ensuring monetary and fiscal collaboration in order to turn the economy around, managers of the economy from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Industry, Trade and Investment confirmed THISDAY’s exclusive report on Sunday of their meeting in Abuja at the weekend to harmonise their policy perspectives. Speaking at the opening of the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) retreat at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, with the theme: “Pathway to Price Stability Conducive to Economic Growth,” the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, at whose instance the meeting was convened, reiterated the need for the country’s monetary and fiscal authorities to collaborate and harmonise standpoints so as to develop the economy...
(Premium Times 03/20/17)
The presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, says efforts to get the nation out of its present economic challenges are beginning to yield positive results, especially in agriculture. The presidential aide said this in Abuja on Sunday. According to him, an increase in the volume of rice production and processing across the country is already saving the country a lot of foreign exchange. Mr. Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, said that Nigeria only imported 58,000 tons of rice from Thailand in 2015 as against 1.2 million tons in 2014. He revealed that due to the country’s growing rice production occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to deny foreign exchange for the...
(News24 03/20/17)
At least five large black bags containing bundles of cash valued at $155 000 were reportedly seized at a Nigerian airport last week. Nigeria's anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on its website that the cash, in the local naira currency, was still sealed when it was discovered near the check-in points at the Kaduna airport. The anti-graft unit said that the bags were found during a regular screening, and the five bags were "unattended and without tags containing fresh bulk items suspected to be money". The EFCC said that investigations were at an advanced stage, but the owner of the cash had not yet been identified. "Operatives [of the EFCC] intercepted a sum of 49...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
Recent data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown that Nigeria’s external reserves increased by $58 million to $30.23 billion on March 14, 2017. According to the data, the reserves were lingering between $29 billion and $30 billion this month. Although the apex bank is yet to disclose the reasons behind the recent increase, experts attribute the rise to a steady increase in global oil prices, amongst others. “As indicated in earlier Exchange Rate analysis, the external reserves was weak all through 2016 and greatly limited the CBN’s ability to support price stability. The weak oil receipts in the course of the year resulted in depletion of the reserves account which eventually hit a 15-year low of $23.89...
(Premium Times 03/20/17)
The Federal Government has officially confirmed that Nigeria has attained self-sufficiency in the production of cement and is now an exporter of the commodity, ascribing the feat to Dangote Cement which spearheaded the “backward integration policy” introduced by the government. The Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, who led a government team to the Dangote Cement plants in Ibese, Ogun State, at the weekend, said the government was happy with the leadership role played by Dangote Cement in executing the backward integration policy in the cement industry. The Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, Onne Van der Weijde, had last month, while presenting the company’s financial results, declared that the company had commenced exportation of cement to Nigeria’s neighbouring...

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