| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/18/17)
Nigeria's amnesty program which provides vocational training and stipends to former militants who attacked oil facilities in its Niger Delta energy hub is struggling with a shortfall of funds, a special adviser to the president said. The government has been in talks with militants to end the attacks which cut Nigeria's output by 700,000 barrels a day (bpd) for several months last year, reducing total production at that time to about 1.2 million bpd. It has since climbed. Under the amnesty program, each former militant is entitled to 65,000 naira ($213.68) a month plus job training "The main challenges the Presidential Amnesty Office has faced is inadequate funds," Paul Boroh, special adviser to the president and coordinator of the amnesty...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Vanguard 03/17/17)
The World Bank Group says Nigeria will soon recover from economic recession. Mrs Eme Essien-Lore, Country Manager in Nigeria, International Finance Corporation, a member of the group, made the observation in an interview with journalsits in Lagos on Thursday. "In our perspective and with the numbers that we have seen coming from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigeria's economy has recorded about one per cent real growth. "That is a bit lower than government's expectation which is about 2.2 per cent growth for 2017.
(This Day Live 03/17/17)
Despite allegations that some state governors diverted the first tranche of London-Paris Club refunds which was released to the states last year to enable them offset the salary arrears of their workers, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday asked the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to immediately release the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to the states to ease their financial difficulties. The president, according to a statement by his media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, gave the directive while addressing the National Economic Council (NEC), comprising the governors, finance minister and other appointees of the federal government such as the Director-General of the Federal Inland...
(Daily Trust 03/17/17)
Lagos — 60 per cent of workforce of the distressed Aero Contractors may have been shown the way out following dwindling operations by the airline which is the oldest in the country. The workers who are over 1000 according to Daily Trust findings were issued letters of redundancy this week in a step to reduce operational cost. It would be recalled that the airline established in 1959, resumed operations in December 21 2016 after about four months of self-imposed closure to enable its reposition. However, the airline resumed operations 10 days to the New Year flying to four locations including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Warri, Delta State using its Boeing 737-400/500 and the Dash8-Q400. Over 10 of its aircraft...
(This Day Live 03/17/17)
Justice Baba Yusuf of the Abuja High Court has said that two sets of charges brought against former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) cannot be consolidated because of so many defendants involved in the charges. The judge said the two charges, if merged would make the trial difficult for the court to manage and therefore declined to consolidate the charges. Delivering ruling in a motion argued by Dasuki, in which he prayed the court to consolidate the two charges against him so as not to suffer double jeopardy. Justice Yusuf said the applicant had not shown to the court that he had been tried or convicted on the same offence before any other court. The judge held...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
The former boss of Nigeria's state-run oil company was remanded in custody on fraud charges on Thursday, after nearly $10 million in cash was found at a property he owns. Andrew Yakubu, the ex-group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was charged with money laundering and fraud when he appeared in court in Abuja. The charges relate to the discovery by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of $9.8 million (9.2 million euros) and £74,000 ($91,000, 85,000 euros) in cash at a property in the northern city of Kaduna. He was also charged with failing to make a "full disclosure" of his assets and for unlawfully transporting the cash to the city. He pleaded not guilty. Judge...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Boko Haram Islamists have raided a town in restive northeast Nigeria, looting food supplies and burning homes after overwhelming troops, residents told AFP on Thursday. The attack late on Wednesday happened in Magumeri, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) northwest of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. It came after a lull in raids on major towns in the remote region following sweeping military offensives which Nigeria has claimed has severely weakened the jihadists to the point of defeat. Scores of Boko Haram fighters arrived in Magumeri at about 6:30 pm (1730 GMT) in vans, motorcycles and on foot, firing heavy weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, forcing residents to flee.
(Agence Ecofin 03/16/17)
Chinese investment in Nigeria reached $13billion in 2016, according to the Deputy Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Jin Ping. Ping disclosed this on Tuesday when he led a delegation to the National Assembly to strengthen the bilateral ties between both countries. He said China is committed to Nigeria’s development and has demonstrated this through projects such as the $1.3billion Lagos-Ibadan Railway Project, rice mills distribution project worth $326million and the $984million Zungeru Hydro-Electricity Project funded by China EXIM Bank, amongst others.
(Agence Ecofin 03/16/17)
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari (photo) has written to the National Assembly to seek for approval to issue an additional $500 million Eurobond to fund capital projects in the 2017 budget. This was revealed during a Senate session on Wednesday. The leader’s demand follows the oversubscription of a similar bond worth $1B approved earlier this year by the Senate, also to finance budget. Last month, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, also asked the parliament to approve the issuance of a new $500 million Eurobond to plug the $7billion deficit in the budget. “We wish to take advantage of favorable market conditions to issue a Eurobond Debt Instrument of $500 million to fund the implementation of the budget,” Osinbajo said...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/16/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari marked his return last week from medical leave in London with a rare appearance at a meeting on Thursday of members of the economic body that advises the government. Buhari attended a meeting of the National Economic Council, which is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and whose members include state governors, the central bank governor and the finance minister. He does not usually attend NEC meetings. During Buhari's seven-week absence, when Osinbajo was acting president, the central bank devalued the naira for retail customers after the NEC called for an urgent review of the bank's foreign exchange policy. Buhari has consistently opposed devaluing the naira since taking office in May 2015. Journalists were asked to...
(Agence Ecofin 03/16/17)
In line with vows to generate 25% of Nigeria’s total power capacity before the end of 2018, Transcorp Power Limited on Monday commissioned a new 115 MW Gas Turbine (GT 15) at its Power Plant in Ughelli, Delta state. This brings the total operating capacity of the plant to 620 MW. “With the successful commissioning and synchronizing of the turbine to the national grid, it has increased the available capacity of our plant from 160 MW (at the time of takeover on November 1, 2013) to 620 MW. Our goal is to increase our capacity from 620 MW to 850 MW by the 4th quarter of 2017,” said Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Transcorp Plc, the parent company of Transcorp...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
Four female suicide bombers blew themselves up near a bus station in northeastern Nigeria early Wednesday, killing two people, the country's disaster agency said. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the blasts occurred at about 1:15 am (0015 GMT) in the Usmanti area on the outskirts of Maiduguri, a city which has been hit by several similar attacks in recent weeks. "Two men were killed due to the explosion while about 16 injured people were administered first aid," the agency's spokesman for the northeast, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, said in a statement. Usmanti is near a sprawling camp for people who have been driven from the remote countryside by Boko Haram violence and, increasingly, the need for food. The Islamist group...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/15/17)
Four female teenage suicide bombers killed two people and injured 16 others in a residential area in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a disaster agency spokesman said on Wednesday. The girls knocked on the door of a house and then detonated their devices, a representative of the state-run emergency service in Borno State said. The focus on individual homes is a new tactic. The blasts in the Muna Garage area, on the edge of the city worst hit by jihadist group Boko Haram's eight year insurgency, occurred around 1:15 a.m (0015 GMT), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said. "Four female teenage suicide bombers and two other men died," he said. The number of attacks or attempted...
(Xinhuanet 03/15/17)
Five people, including four female teenage suicide bombers, died in an early morning attack in a village near Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno, local police confirmed on Wednesday. The attackers, who targeted the local Usmanti village, killed a local chief and injured 16 local residents, according to Damian Chukwu, the Borno State police chief. He said the villagers made effort to stop the attackers who quickly detonated the explosives wrapped around their bodies. The National Emergency Management Agency said rescue operation, which was immediately conducted at the crime spot, had been completed. Local security agents had cordoned off the area, with the police anti-bomb squad also rendering it safe. Terror group Boko Haram, which is blamed...
(AL Jazeera 03/15/17)
'Early warning' system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa. South Africa says it will launch an "early warning" system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation. South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would "help prevent violence" against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday. Last month, more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, 120km west of Pretoria, while in Rosettenville, an area south of the commercial capital Johannesburg, residents attacked at least 12 houses. In response to the violence, the Nigerian government called for the African Union to step...

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