| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(Premium Times 03/15/17)
The Federal Government has instituted a panel of inquiry to investigate Nigeria’s failure to clinch the post of Commissioner for Peace and Security at the African Union (AU), the News Agency of Nigeria has reported. Nigeria contested for the position of the post at the AU meeting in Addis Ababa on January 30 and lost the election to the incumbent, Algeria. Citing presidential sources, NAN said the constitution of the panel was informed by the reported acts of sabotage leveled against some staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The source said already a senior staff of the ministry had been identified as the brain behind the plot against Nigeria before and during the election. “A serving Director and two...
(Agence Ecofin 03/15/17)
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed on Tuesday that Nigeria’s annual inflation dropped to 17.78% last month from the 18.72% in January driven by a slower rise in general price levels. This is the first decline in 15 months. According to the statistics office, the major sectors responsible for the slower rise in the headline index were Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuel, Education, Food and Alcoholic Beverages, Clothing and Transportation Services. Nigeria’s inflation rose to 18.72% in January, its highest level in over 11 years, as the country struggles with an economic recession, a currency crisis and dollar shortages caused by low oil prices. In order to pull the economy from recession and stimulate growth, President Buhari...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/15/17)
Islamist militant sect Boko Haram on Tuesday released a video purporting to show the execution of three men the group accused of being Nigerian military spies. The seven-minute clip, the first online video posted in two years of an execution said to be by Boko Haram, showed three men wearing orange jumpsuits. One is decapitated by masked men while the other two are shot. The masked men criticize President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria's military campaign against Boko Haram's eight-year long insurgency in the northeast of the country. The militant group has killed more than 15,000 people and forced more than 2 million to flee their homes. "These are your boys you sent," says one militant in a message aimed directly...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
The leader of Boko Haram splinter group Ansaru appeared in court in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday charged with the abduction and murder of 10 foreigners. Khalid al-Barnawi, one of three Nigerians listed by the US government as a "specially designated global terrorist", appeared alongside six other defendants, including his second wife. All pleaded not guilty and all seven were remanded in custody until a further hearing on April 11. The charges relate to the abduction and murder of foreign workers in Nigeria between 2011 and 2013, including Italian engineer Franco Lamolinara and his British colleague Chris McManus. Both were killed by their captors in the northern city of Sokoto just moments after the start of a joint British-Nigerian...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Nigerian inflation slowed for the first time in 15 months to 17.78 percent in February, driven by lower energy and utility prices, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday. The cost of living in Africa's most populous nation began rising in November 2015, when inflation increased slightly to 9.37 percent from 9.3 percent a month earlier. It had risen steadily since then, peaking at 18.7 percent in January this year. "This represents the first time in 15 months that the headline CPI (consumer price index) has declined on year-on-year basis representing the effects of slower rises in already high food and non-food prices
(AL Jazeera 03/14/17)
'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
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to lift Nigeria’s economy from its worst slump in a quarter century may entail short-term pain for potential long-term gain. The blueprint released this month proposes ways to expand the economy by 7 percent by 2020 after a 1.5 percent contraction in 2016, the first full-year decline since 1991. It aims to create 15 million jobs by increasing oil output in the continent’s second-biggest exporter of the fuel, opening up farmland and boosting investment in power, roads and ports. It also proposes to “allow markets to function,” with a market-determined exchange rate and cost-reflective power tariffs. This may see the currency weaken and electricity prices rise, which will hurt citizens, more than half of whom live...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
When OPEC reached a deal last year to cut oil output, the decision to exclude Nigeria and Libya from the restrictions was seen as a risk to the group's efforts to curb a global crude glut. An oil price rally has already stumbled since the deal, but Nigeria and Libya are not to blame. Output from both nations has slipped since December and violence in the two African states makes their ambitions to hike production look optimistic. "The success of these cuts, debatable as they may be, will not hinge on Nigeria and Libya," said ING analyst Hamza Khan. OPEC members and non-OPEC producers agreed to cut output by 1.8 million bpd for six months from Jan. 1. OPEC has...
(The Associated Press 03/14/17)
Nigeria's president is officially getting back to work after nearly two months in London on medical leave. President Muhammadu Buhari's aide Femi Adesina tweets that Buhari has signed a letter informing the National Assembly "of his resumption of duty from today." The president returned to Nigeria on Friday but left Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in charge of Africa's most populous nation over the weekend as he rested. The government has not explained what is ailing the 74-year-old president, who has made reference to blood transfusions and said he had not been so sick in decades. Buhari on Friday said further medical checkups will be needed in the coming weeks. Concerns have grown that he is not fit to resume power.
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
Nigeria’s central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said he is committed to a currency regime that sent foreign investors fleeing from the nation’s markets and exacerbated a dollar shortage. The Central Bank of Nigeria won’t allow “faceless and criminally minded people to destroy the currency under the guise of a free float as is being canvassed,’’ Emefiele said in a speech on Saturday in Abuja, the capital, while accepting an award from a local newspaper. Independent estimates and “purchasing power parity analysis” by the regulator showed that the currency shouldn’t be so low on the unofficial market, which has been influenced by “criminal activities,” he said. Speculation that Nigeria would allow the currency to drop became widespread after the Abuja-based central...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
When Opec reached a deal last year to cut oil output, the decision to exclude Nigeria and Libya from the restrictions was seen as a risk to the group's efforts to curb a global crude glut. An oil price rally has already stumbled since the deal, but Nigeria and Libya are not to blame. Output from both nations has slipped since December and violence in the two African states makes their ambitions to hike production look optimistic. "The success of these cuts, debatable as they may be, will not hinge on Nigeria and Libya," said ING analyst Hamza Khan. Opec members and non-Opec producers agreed to cut output by 1.8 million bpd for six months from 1 January. Opec has...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Lagos State government during the weekend revealed plans to kick-start a proposed Bus Reform Initiative this year with the sum of N30billion ($97 million). This initiative is aimed at providing Lagosians with an integrated public transportation system. According to Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the reform initiative is a three-year plan under which 5000 air-conditioned buses would be introduced to replace existing yellow commercial buses known as Danfo. “We decided that the best thing is to allow the yellow buses go and bring in new buses of 5,000 units in the three-year plan. The bigger size buses will take 70 people and then the medium range buses will take 30 people,” Ambode said. He explained that his administration plans...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
Four militant groups in Nigeria’s Niger Delta have warned oil companies operating in the region to suspend production until further notice or face unfavorable consequences. The militants namely, the Adaka Boro Avengers, Niger Delta Creek Warriors, Ogunuma Camp of Niger Delta and Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, issued the warning last Sunday. According to the militants, the Federal Government is yet to start resolving issues relating to crude oil production in Niger Delta. As a result, production should be suspended until the conclusion of the dialogue with the government. “The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken the people of the Niger Delta region as blind people. The Vice President who toured the Niger Delta region has not fulfilled any of the...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
Etisalat has announced that it is considering selling its stake in its subsidiary, Etisalat Nigeria, following the unit’s failure to repay its $1.2billion debt. According to sources with knowledge of the matter, the Abu Dhabi-listed firm wants Etisalat Nigeria’s debt restructured before initiating the sale process. The sources explained that the parent company is keen to clear the debt and in this regard plans to meet with local lenders in Nigeria this week, to discuss the payment. Meanwhile, Nigeria's National Communications Commission (NCC) said last week Friday, it made an agreement with the central bank and the concerned lenders to halt the firm’s takeover. “Friday's meeting succeeded in halting the attempt by Etisalat's creditors at bringing it under any form...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
Mechanical failure and pilot error caused a 2012 air crash in Nigeria that killed 159 people, accident investigators said in a report published on Monday. The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said two engines on the doomed Dana Air flight from the capital, Abuja, failed mid-air before it crashed on approach to Lagos airport. "Engine number one lost power 17 minutes into the flight, and thereafter on final approach, engine number two lost power and failed to respond to throttle movement on demand for increased power to sustain the aircraft in its flight configuration," the report stated. The "inappropriate omission of the use of the checklist and the crew's inability to appreciate the severity of the power-related problem, and their subsequent...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
Tens of thousands of people who fled Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria are facing a severe lack of water, compounding widespread food shortages and security fears, aid workers said on Monday. For the past week supplies have been low at the Muna camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the city of Maiduguri after one of its five solar-powered water pumps broke down. "We are facing a serious water shortage in the camp," said camp coordinator Tijjani Lumani, adding that the four other pumps on the sprawling site were "inadequate". Muna camp, on the edge of the city, is currently home to some 41,000 people, Lumani said. The water drawn up from boreholes is used for cooking and, crucially, washing...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari officially returned to work on Monday after sending a letter to the country's parliament following a health scare, the presidency said. "President Muhammadu Buhari today resumed duties after his vacation," said presidential spokesman Femi Adesina in a statement. Buhari, 74, returned to Nigeria last week Friday after nearly two months' medical leave in Britain, saying he "couldn't recall being so sick since I was a young man". The health of Nigeria's president has become a sensitive issue following the 2010 death of president Umaru Musa Yar'Adua from a long-standing, but undisclosed, kidney complaint.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
Hard currency curbs imposed by Nigeria's central bank have helped boost local food production, central bank governor Godwin Emefiele was quoted as saying by two newspapers on Sunday. Entrepreneurs have criticized a halt to hard currency allocations by the central bank for the import of almost 700 goods to prop up the naira hammered by a fall in oil revenues and boost local food production. "This policy was basically borne out of necessity to conserve foreign exchange," Emefiele said in a speech, referring to the import ban, according to Vanguard newspaper. "This policy needs to be supported not just in response to the pressure on the naira but as an opportunity to change the economy's structure, resuscitate local manufacturing and...

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