Sunday 28 May 2017
(The Associated Press 05/12/17)
Nigeria’s government is negotiating “seriously” for the release of more than 110 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls still held by Boko Haram and will exchange more detained members of the extremist group for them if needed, an official said Thursday. “We will not relent until all are back,” the minister of women’s affairs and social development, Aisha Alhassan, told reporters in the capital, Abuja. The mass abduction of nearly 300 girls from a boarding school three years ago brought world attention to Boko Haram’s deadly rampage in northern Nigeria. Thousands have been kidnapped or killed in the group’s eight-year insurgency, with millions driven from their homes. On Saturday, 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls were released. Nigeria’s government exchanged them for five detained...
(AFP (eng) 05/11/17)
More than 1,000 people have died in an outbreak of meningitis in Nigeria, the Centre for Disease Control said Thursday, but added that the spread of the disease is slowing. The outbreak has mostly affected children in Africa's most populous country. As of May 9, a total of 13,420 suspected cases had been reported in 23 states with 1,069 deaths, giving a fatality ratio of eight per cent, the CDC said in a statement. The northern states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi, which were the worst affected, have all seen a drop in the number of cases. Two others which were also badly hit -- Kebbi and Niger -- recorded no deaths, the CDC said. A new strain of...
(AFP (eng) 05/11/17)
Eighty-two Chibok schoolgirls who were released after being held for more than three years by Boko Haram will be reunited with their parents next week, according to Nigeria's minister for women. Aisha Alhassan said the students' parents will travel from the remote northeastern town in Borno state to meet their daughters in the capital, Abuja. "Any parents that identified their children will be brought next week to see them," she told AFP at the staff quarters of the Department of State Services. The 82 have been staying at the domestic intelligence agency facility on the outskirts of the city since their release in a prisoner
(AFP (eng) 05/11/17)
Lawmakers in northern Nigeria have opened an investigation into corruption claims against one of the country's leading traditional rulers, whose progressive views have caused controversy in a conservative region. The local legislature in Kano state on Wednesday set up a committee to probe eight allegations against the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, over the "embezzlement of funds belong to the emirate council". Other claims include abuse of office and improper conduct. The eight-member committee is expected to report its findings to the state house of assembly within two weeks. The announcement came two weeks after the Kano state anti-corruption agency began looking into the finances of the state-funded
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
On days when Dayo Fabajo’s bosses can’t afford to pay the 1,250 naira ($4) wage she earns for a 12-hour shift packing biscuits, they send her home early. Sometimes on her way out, she walks past pockets of stragglers lingering at the factory gates, a glaring reminder she’s easily replaceable. “Nobody complains,” Fabajo, 25, said after her entire shift was canceled one day in April. She gestured at an abandoned factory across the pothole-ridden road that until recently manufactured kitchen utensils. “It’s easy for managers to recruit workers. People here are looking for jobs.” Fabajo’s predicament shows how the wheels of commerce ground
(Reuters (Eng) 05/11/17)
Large billboards at Lagos airport urge travelers to call a hotline to report officials asking for bribes. But there is a problem with this attempt to fight the corruption that plagues Africa's biggest economy. The phone number does not work, an indication of how little progress President Muhammadu Buhari has made in tackling a problem he promised to address when he was elected two years ago. The government has fired customs and immigration officers accused of corruption, introduced staff rotation at passport and customs desks at Lagos airport to disrupt cozy networks, and set up the phone number to report demands for bribes. That didn't end a decades-long culture of corruption at the main gateway to Nigeria. But it did...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/11/17)
Nigerian workers at U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp have gone on strike in protest over the sacking of workers, oil labor union officials said on Thursday. Nigerian labor unions have criticized oil companies for sacking workers in the last few months and held a number of strikes. Abel Agarin, who chairs the Lagos zone of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), said members of his union were on strike in protest at the sacking of 150 workers in December. He said 82 were PENGASSAN members. "We want them to be brought back and if that is not possible we want a proper severance package for them," said Agarin, who led around 50 protesters in...
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
On days when Dayo Fabajo’s bosses can’t afford to pay the 1,250 naira ($4) wage she earns for a 12-hour shift packing biscuits, they send her home early. Sometimes on her way out, she walks past pockets of stragglers lingering at the factory gates, a glaring reminder she’s easily replaceable. “Nobody complains,” Fabajo, 25, said after her entire shift was canceled one day in April. She gestured at an abandoned factory across the pothole-ridden road that until recently manufactured kitchen utensils. “It’s easy for managers to recruit workers. People here are looking for jobs.” Fabajo’s predicament shows how the wheels of commerce have ground to a halt in Africa’s biggest economy. Three years ago, Lagos, a megacity of more than...
(Agence Ecofin 05/11/17)
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation aims to more than triple Nigeria’s gas supply by 2020, reveals a statement reported by Reuters. The corporation has indeed revealed that, in collaboration with some of its partners, it has identified seven projects which will help boost domestic gas supply from 1.3 billion standard cubic feet per day (bscf/d) to 5 bscf/d. Among identified projects are the Assa North-Ohaji South gas field, OML 24 and Chevron Nigeria’s OML 49 Makaraba. “Alternative funding through third party financing option would be adopted to facilitate execution of these vital projects,” said NNPC’s group managing director, Maikantu Baru, in the statement. Worldwide, Nigeria has the ninth largest proven gas reserves, at 187 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
(Vanguard 05/11/17)
Overseer of Olivet Bible Church, Festac Town in Lagos, Pastor Owen Nlekwuwa has debunked popular notion that the major problem of Nigeria is corruption, arguing that if Nigeria can tackle tribalism, corruption in public service will be a thing of the past. Addressing newsmen in his church office ahead of this year’s 5-day annual convention/foundation laying ceremony billed for May 10-14 at its headquarters on 6th Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos, the Imo State-born gospel preacher said: “Corruption is not the biggest problem of Nigeria. If you ask me the biggest problem of Nigeria, I will say it is tribalism and that is what gives birth to corruption.” The convention titled Greater Grace 2017, Nlekwuwa, who is co-hosting with his wife,...
(This Day Live 05/11/17)
In its efforts to re-strategise in view of the current security challenges in the country, the Nigerian Army has posted 147 officers to Operation Lafiya Dole, some of its divisions, formations and training schools. In a posting released by the Office of the Military Secretary (Army), last week, Major General RO Yusuf, Commander, Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps, is now the Commander Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Minna, while Major General A Oyebade, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division Nigerian Army, will move to Army Headquarters as Chief of Logistics (COLOG). In the same vein, Major General AM Dikko has been posted from the Office of the National Security Adviser to 1 Division as GOC, while Major General I Attahiru is...
(Agence Ecofin 05/11/17)
Silicon Valley’s tech giant, Google, through its chief executive for Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, asked the Nigerian government to reduce taxes and other fees involved in laying fibre optic cables. This should, according to her, boost technology industry in the country, Reuters reported on May 9. The executive said the industry’s development aligns with government’s diversification objective. “The private sector can play a very strong role,” Ehimuan-Chiazor said in this framework. She however added that many actors of the tech industry, internet services provides especially, complain about paying multiple taxes, amongst other challenges encountered when expanding their infrastructures. “Where the government can help is just removing some of those obstacles – for example bringing down right of way fees and removing...
(AFP (eng) 05/10/17)
Italian oil group Eni's Nigerian subsidiary Agip is planning a 150,000-barrel per day refinery as part of efforts to reduce imports, junior oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said. Kachikwu met representatives from Eni and said agreement had been reached to build the facility in the southern oil hub of Port Harcourt or along the coast in Brass, he said late Tuesday. While details of the firm's new investment were still being worked out, "they have accepted and are preparing an MOU along this line," Kachikwu added. OPEC-member Nigeria produces some two million barrels of crude oil per day, but a lack of domestic refining capacity means most refined petroleum products like petrol must be imported, thus reducing the amount of...
(AFP (eng) 05/10/17)
Phizbarz is only 23 but hopes to become the next Nigerian Afropop star to be famous across Africa -- and to get himself known and earn a living, he's using his mobile phone. The young performer from the country's commercial and entertainment capital, Lagos, floods social networking sites Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with clips of his music. Sometimes he appears as a baseball-capped rapper surrounded by gyrating, scantily clad dancers, sometimes as a sheikh in a pristine white dishdasha, dripping with gold. "If you want to be someone, you have to show off," he told AFP, from behind the wheel of a sparkling red Mercedes that he borrowed from his manager. In all, Phizbarz has composed about 100 songs but...
(Punch 05/10/17)
Hundreds of protesters, on Tuesday, besieged the main gate of the National Assembly to demand an end to “blackmail and propaganda” against the legislature. The protesters were seen dancing to music from loudspeakers that accompanied their procession. The President, Coalition of Civil Society Groups, Mr. Etuk Williams, who led the protesters, passed a vote of confidence on the National Assembly. He said, “We are here to speak against incessant blackmail and propaganda against people in public places, especially the National Assembly. We observed very recently that the image and integrity of the National Assembly have been dented by unscrupulous elements who peddle rumours and propaganda, especially blackmail, against members of the National Assembly. “First on the line was the Senate...
(Bloomberg 05/10/17)
Ecobank Transnational Inc., Africa’s most geographically diverse lender, is betting that Nigeria’s plans for a digital revolution will increase the number of its customers in the country more than fivefold over the next five years. The bank is closing branches in the continent’s most populous nation to cut costs while using improving access to the internet to add clients through mobile-phone applications, Ecobank Nigeria Chief Executive Officer Charles Kie said in an interview in Lagos. The Lome, Togo-based lender still aims to expand in Nigeria even after bad loans there contributed to a record loss in 2016. “It will be a reasonable target to have 40 million customers in five years’’ in Nigeria compared with 7 million currently, he said...
(This Day Live 05/10/17)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised Nigeria and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa to implement strong and urgent policy actions to bolster growth in the region. It foresees a subdued outlook for the region in the near-term if pressures on sovereigns and spillovers to the private sector intensify. The IMF, in its latest Regional Economic Outlook, titled: ‘Restarting the Growth Engine; pointed out that growth in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole dropped to 1.4 per cent in 2016—its lowest level in two decade, with a projection that it would record a modest recovery of 2.6 per cent in 2017. This is in spite of the fact that a number of countries, especially in eastern and western Africa, continue to...
(This Day Live 05/10/17)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the sale of $100 million at the Wholesale Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) auction it announced on Monday. The CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, confirmed this yesterday, while disclosing that the sales would be settled this week. Okorafor reiterated that the CBN would continue to make every necessary intervention in the interbank market to meet all legitimate foreign exchange demands by customers. The CBN had last Friday sold a total sum of $389million to authorised dealers in the retail sector of the market as spot and forwards. Of the sum, $87.885 was for spot sales, while $300.8 million was sold as forwards in three tenors of 30, 45 and 60...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari had warned Nigerians when he returned from nearly two months of medical treatment in London that he was likely to have go back. On Sunday night, he did just that. But if few were surprised at his departure -- the 74-year-old has barely been seen in public since March -- the manner of his leaving gave cause for concern. The news came just minutes after a hastily organised reception for 82 schoolgirls, who were released in a negotiated deal after being held by Boko Haram Islamists for more than three years. Presidency spokesman Femi Adesina announced that Buhari's doctors would determine how long he was away, making his absence open-ended. "I have absolute confidence that government will...

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