Sunday 28 May 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
A tentative, growing acceptance of gay men and women in Nigeria offers a seed of hope, human rights campaigners said on Wednesday, in a country where the outlawing of gay sex is supported by nine in ten people, according to a new report. A 2017 survey by NOI Polls compared attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Nigeria against a 2015 poll. It found a 7 percent increase in acceptance of LGBT people, and a 9 percent rise to 39 percent of those surveyed who think that LGBT people should be allowed equal access to public services such as healthcare, education and housing. "These changes might look small, but let us acknowledge the progress," said Olumide Makanjuola,...
(Premium Times 05/17/17)
The Inequality report released by Oxfam International on Wednesday, revealed that the combined wealth of five richest Nigerians, put at $29.9 billion, could end extreme poverty in the country. The report, entitled ‘Inequality in Nigeria, Exploring the Drivers’ and obtained in Abuja, exposed the large and growing gap between the rich and poor in Nigeria. It revealed that the benefits of the nation’s economic growth had been captured by a few wealthy elite at the expense of the ordinary Nigerians. According to the report, the economic inequality is a key factor in the conflict in the north-eastern states of the country. Oxfam International also disclosed that Nigeria’s richest man earned 8,000 times more in one day than a poor Nigerian...
(This Day Live 05/17/17)
The whistle blower policy of the federal government Tuesday went awry as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the duo of Buhari Fannami and Ba-Kura Abdullahi on two separate one-count charge before Justice M. T. Salihu of the Federal High Court, Maiduguri for allegedly giving false information to the agency. EFCC Head of Media and Information Wilson Uwujaren said: “Fannami had misled the EFCC with the information about illegally acquired monies purportedly buried at the residence of one Ba’a Lawan but the information turned out to be false after the execution of a search warrant.” The charge reads: “That you, Buhari Fannami on or about the 8th day of May, 2017 at Maiduguri, Borno State, within the jurisdiction...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(Premium Times 05/16/17)
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation declined by 0.02 percent in April, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, said on Tuesday. According to the NBS in its new report, the inflation rate, put at 17.24 percent, declined a little further from the 17.26 percent recorded in March . This represents the third consecutive month of a decline in the headline CPI rate, indicating some easing in high food and non-food prices. According to the report, the top items to have recorded the highest increases between April 2016 and 2017 across all the divisions were Solid Fuels, Bread and Cereals, Meat, Liquid Fuels, Clothing materials
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
When bulldozers rolled into their forest at the start of last year, the Ekuri community in southeast Nigeria protested: "Indigenes say no!" They didn't want a superhighway that would wipe their ancestral lands in the Cross River National Park off the map. Under pressure, the earthmovers left to do their work elsewhere. But community spokesman Martin Egot said: "They destroyed all the crops, the source of our wealth: cassava, cocoa, plantain... ." The 800-billion-naira ($2.6-billion, 2.3-billion-euro) highway project, launched in 2015, is huge. It envisages six lanes, 260 kilometres (162.5 miles) long linking the regional capital Calabar and a new deep water port with Benue state to the north. - 'Ecological disaster' - At nearly 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 square...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/16/17)
Nigerian workers from an oil labor union have extended a strike to oil majors Chevron, Shell and Eni subsidiary Agip in protest over the sacking of members from Exxon Mobil Corp, the union's general secretary said on Tuesday. Nigerian labor unions have held a number of strikes in the last few months in protest at the sacking of workers by oil companies. Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) began a strike at Exxon Mobil last week. PENGASSAN General Secretary Lumumba Okugbara said the union's 10,000 members were taking part in the three-day nationwide strike which began on Monday and would continue until Wednesday. "Production activities are still on and our members on essential...
(Independent Online 05/16/17)
Pretoria – Nigeria and South Africa are to deploy "cultural diplomacy’’ to effectively tackle the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa. Towards this, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigeria was keen to work with South Africa to put an end to the attacks by deploying the "soft power of cultural diplomacy’’, widely regarded as "an effective tool" in this regard. The minister made this known in Abuja on Friday, when the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, paid him a courtesy visit. Mohammed said relevant parastatals, including the National Council for Arts and Culture, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation and the Nigerian Film Corporation, would soon embark on...
(Premium Times 05/16/17)
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Monday said no money was stolen or embezzled from the Paris-London Club refunds to states or from any other source. The Head, Media and Public Affairs at NGF Secretariat, Abulrazaque Barkindo, said this in a statement in Abuja. Mr. Barkindo denied allegation that Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara and Chairman of the Forum, was building a three-million dollar hotel from monies stolen from refunds to states. Mr. Barkindo said the false allegation gave cause for worry. The Nations newspaper was first to report that an unnamed governor was building a three-million dollar hotel in Lagos. Saharareporters later claimed the unnamed governor was Mr. Yari. “The reports contain harmful, damaging and libelous insinuations which remain...
(Premium Times 05/16/17)
A standard gauge rail line stretching from Parakou in Benin Republic will terminate in Ilorin, central Nigeria, upon completion, as part of a budding infrastructure rebirth aimed at unlocking potential investment opportunities in the West African sub-region. The project was disclosed at Africa’s premier infrastructure summit which kicked off in Abuja Monday. The event, organised by Africa Finance Corporation, was held on Monday and continues on Tuesday. It brings together some of the frontline experts in infrastructure investments who would offer suggestions on how to approach the continent’s infrastructure demands. The cross-border rail project is part of a series of investment arrangements put in place by Petrolin’s Backbone Project – which includes a rail line to be built on existing...
(Premium Times 05/16/17)
Following the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, the Nigerian government has beefed up checks at its various airports. The federal government also urged Nigerians to remain calm as it is committed to ensuring that the disease is not imported into the country. The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, spoke while inspecting thermal screening machines at the Port Health Stand of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. "We want to assure Nigerians that we have never stopped screening people, it has been going on at the international wing of all the airports in the country, although passengers may not have noticed it", a statement by the ministry on Monday quoted Mr. Adewole as saying. "There...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(AFP (eng) 05/15/17)
Boko Haram jihadists have killed six farmers who were working on their land near the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, civilian militia members and locals told AFP on Monday. Gunmen on motorcycles attacked the group who were preparing their fields for the rainy season outside Amrawa village, 16 kilometres (10 miles) from the Borno state capital, on Saturday. "The gunmen attacked the farmers with machetes as they were clearing their farms that have been taken over by weeds in preparation for the rains which start in a few days," said Ibrahim Liman, a civilian militia member. "They seized six farmers and slaughtered them while the rest fled." Liman's account was supported by Masida Bunu and Rahis Musa, who live in...
(AFP (eng) 05/15/17)
Nigeria on Monday said it had stepped up health surveillance and vigilance at its entry ports after an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least three people. "The minister has directed the director of health services at the ports to ensure that public health workers are put on the alert," health ministry spokeswoman Boade Akinola told AFP. "If you go to the ports now, you will see health workers on the ground. They have been deployed to screen people coming into Nigeria for symptoms of haemorrhagic fevers." On Friday, the World Health Organization said Ebola had killed three in DR Congo, in the first outbreak of the deadly virus since the 2014 crisis that left 11,300...
(AFP (eng) 05/14/17)
Suffering from rampant inflation, stalled investment and mass layoffs, Nigeria is still gripped by one of the worst economic crises in its history. But for the first time in months, the West African economic giant is finally looking to exit its first recession in decades. On Thursday, parliament approved the government's ambitious seven-trillion-naira ($23-billion) budget to "pull the economy out of recession as quickly as possible". The plan, bolstered by improved output in oil production and a potential billion-dollar World Bank loan, aims to kick-start growth through rail, ports and power projects. In January, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
(AFP (eng) 05/13/17)
Boko Haram late on Friday released a video claiming to show the Chibok schoolgirls who refused to be rescued as part of a recent swap deal with the Nigerian government. In the three-minute video, a woman who claims to be Maida Yakubu, one of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014, is seen wearing a black veil and holding a gun. Flanked by three other women clad in black, she proclaims her loyalty to Boko Haram, a jihadist group that has killed over 20,000 people since taking up arms against the Nigerian government in 2009. When asked by a man in the background why she doesn't want to go back home to her parents, she replies: "the reason...
(AFP (eng) 05/13/17)
Nigerian Stanley Okawuchi scored a soft late goal to ensure Zamalek of Egypt made a winning start Friday in the CAF Champions League group phase. The five-time champions scored twice in the second half to overcome plucky CAPS United of Zimbabwe 2-0 during matchday 1 in Mediterranean city Alexandria. Several squandered chances and acrobatic saves from CAPS goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda kept the Group B clash goalless until half-time at the Borg Al Arab Stadium. But Sibanda was at fault for both goals with Basem Morsy giving 2016 runners-up Zamalek the lead on 56 minutes. The striker scored with a header off a "Shikabala" cross that Sibanda appeared to have covered but allowed to slip from his grasp. Slow-reacting Sibanda was...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
Nigeria’s lawmakers approved to boost spending by 21 percent this year to help the West African economy recover from its worst slump in 25 years. The Senate, led by its President Bukola Saraki, agreed on Thursday in the capital, Abuja, to increase spending this year to 7.4 trillion naira ($23 billion). That compares to a budget of 7.3 trillion naira that President Muhammadu Buhari proposed on Dec. 14. The House of Representatives, the National Assembly’s lower chamber, approved it earlier Thursday. Nigeria’s economy, which vies with South Africa’s to be the largest on the continent, shrunk by 1.5 percent last year, the first contraction since 1991, after revenue from oil, its biggest export, fell by almost half. About 30 percent...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
Nigerian banks struggling to raise capital buffers may find their regulator is a lot more tolerant than in the past, according to Moody’s Investors Services. The Central Bank of Nigeria is able to identify stresses in the industry much earlier than during a banking crisis in 2009, when the government had to take over bad debts and recapitalize lenders, Akintunde Majekodunmi, a banking analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, said in interview in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, on Wednesday. That gives it room to “follow regulatory forbearance” in the surveillance and measurement of risks, he said. Some of the country’s small- and medium-sized lenders are struggling to meet capital requirements after a plunge in oil prices since mid-2014 cut government revenue...

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