Sunday 28 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
A schoolgirl who was among more than 200 kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 refused to be part of a release deal because she had married a militant fighter, Nigeria's government said on Tuesday. Presidency spokesman Garba Shehu said the Islamist militants had agreed to the release of 83 of the teenagers, who were abducted from their school in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, in April 2014. But Shehu told the local Channels television station: "One said, 'No, I have a husband. I'm happy where I am'. And then 82 came back." The 82 were released on Saturday following months of talks and the exchange of a number of suspected militants held in government custody. Twenty-one of their classmates were freed in...
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
Military pressure, in-fighting within Boko Haram and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's health combined to secure the release of 82 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, sources said Monday. The latest batch of the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted in April 2014 were freed Saturday in a prisoner swap for three senior jihadist commanders, all of them Chadian nationals. A source with contacts among the Islamist militants under leader Abubakar Shekau said the students were handed over in a forest to the northeast of the town of Banki, on the border with Cameroon, after months of talks. "Shekau kept unnecessarily dragging the negotiations to gain more leverage," the source, who has previously provided regular
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
The United Nations on Monday welcomed the release of 82 Nigerian schoolgirls after years of Boko Haram captivity and appealed to their families and communities not to ostracize them. The teenage girls kidnapped in 2014 from a school in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, were freed on Saturday after a prisoner swap agreed with the Islamist group. One of the freed girls brought her infant son, according to a military official. "We appeal to all Nigerians, including the families and local communities of the liberated girls, to fully embrace them and provide all necessary support to ensure their reintegration into society," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau had vowed to sell the girls as sex slaves or force...
(Bloomberg 05/09/17)
Nigeria is seeking $5.2 billion from the World Bank to expand electricity generation and help the economy recover from its first contraction in 25 years. The bank’s private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, may invest about $1.3 billion in power projects and electricity distribution companies. Its political-risk insurer, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, could provide equity and debt of $1.4 billion for gas and solar power programs, according to Power, Works and Housing Minister Babatunde Fashola. That’s in addition to loans of $2.5 billion Nigeria is seeking from the lender to help improve the distribution of power, expand transmission-capacity and increase access to electricity in rural areas, Fashola, 53, said. “Disbursements with the World Bank are being worked out...
(Xinhuanet 05/09/17)
China on Monday provided Nigeria with 5 million U.S. dollars in emergency humanitarian aid as part of its support for relief efforts by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in northeast Nigeria. The cash contribution from China is to help purchase 4,305 metric tons of rice to support 410,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in the northeastern states of Borno and Yobe. A total of 184,500 men and 225,500 women are currently affected by the food shortage in that region, according to official data. At the hand-over ceremony at the warehouse of WFP near Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, Chinese ambassador in Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, said the emergency support was to ensure food sufficiency in the region. Nigeria's...
(This Day Live 05/09/17)
Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited’s (Intels) dominance of the nation’s oil and gas logistics business at the ports has ended with President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of a policy review, which guarantees the right of importers to choose terminals or ports of their choice for the discharge of their cargo. The president also approved the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone Terminal in Rivers State as a multi-purpose cargo terminal, saying its non-designation as such previously did not in any way legally obstruct or compromise the operations of the free zone for all cargoes, including oil and gas. The presidential approval was contained in a letter dated May 5, 2017, which was signed by the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),...
(This Day Live 05/09/17)
The federal government on Monday said that it did not grant exclusive operational rights to the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in their areas of operation when it privatised the distribution assets in 2013. It also said that none of the Discos could claim such exclusive rights on any of the distribution areas, except they can guarantee their ability to consistently provide electricity services to the areas. Following from this, the government, which also accused the Discos of frequently instigating industrial disharmony in the country’s electricity sector, stated that their opposition to “eligible customers” clause declaration was unlawful and unfair. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, stated this at the 15th edition of the monthly power...
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
Nigeria have called up 25 mostly Europe-based players for a friendly against Corsica on May 26 in Ajaccio. The squad includes Premier League stars Wilfred Ndidi, Ahmed Musa (Leicester City), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) and Isaac Success (Watford). Nigeria, whose next World Cup 2018 qualifier will be against Cameroon in August, will get together two days before the game with Portugal-based Mikel Agu as well as domestic stars Alhassan Ibrahim 'Muazzam', Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun the fresh call-ups. Defensive midfielder Agu has shone on loan from FC Porto to Vitoria Setubal, while 'Muazzam' and Odey are the leading scorers in the domestic league. Germany-based Victor Osimhen and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu, who is based in Portugal, were handed recalls to...
(AFP (eng) 05/08/17)
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari headed to London on Sunday for what his office said was a "follow-up medical consultation" with his doctors, after weeks of mounting concern about his health. Presidency spokesman Femi Adesina said the 74-year-old doctors would determine how long he stayed in the British capital, where he spent nearly two months undergoing treatment from mid-January. "The president wishes to assure all Nigerians that there is no cause for worry," Adesina said in a statement posted on the presidency's Facebook page and Twitter feed. "He is very grateful for the prayers and good wishes of the people, and hopes they would continue to pray for the peace and unity of the nation."
(AFP (eng) 05/08/17)
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday vowed to help to 82 schoolgirls who have been freed from more than three years of Boko Haram captivity after a prisoner swap. The girls -- who were among more than 200 kidnapped in 2014 from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria -- travelled to the capital Abuja a day after their release to meet Buhari. "I cannot express in a few words how happy I am to welcome our dear girls back to freedom," Buhari said in a statement, pledging that the presidency would "personally supervise" authorities charged with ensuring the girls' "health
(Reuters (Eng) 05/08/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to London on Sunday night for follow-up medical tests, handing over power to his deputy Yemi Osibanjo, his office said. Buhari, 74, returned to Nigeria two months ago after receiving medical treatment in Britain. Officials have refused to disclose details of his medical condition. The president met on Sunday a group of 82 girls who had been released after being held captive for three years by Islamist militants, but he did not attend a cabinet meeting last Wednesday. That was his third consecutive absence from the weekly meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. "The length of the President's stay in London will be determined by the doctors," the president's office said in a...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/08/17)
Boko Haram militants have released 82 schoolgirls out of a group of more than 200 whom they kidnapped from the northeastern town of Chibok three years ago in exchange for prisoners, the presidency said on Saturday. Around 270 girls were kidnapped in April 2014 by the Islamist militant group, which has killed 15,000 people and displaced more than two million during a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic caliphate in northeastern Nigeria. Dozens escaped in the initial melee, but more than 200 remained missing for more than two years. Nigeria thanked Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross for helping secure the release of the 82 girls after "lengthy negotiations", the presidency said in a statement. President...
(This Day Live 05/08/17)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend indicated that it would sustain its foreign exchange intervention into various segments of the market, thereby heightening expectations that the naira will appreciate in the coming days. The expectations became rife following the inability of the authorised dealers to fully subscribe to various amounts offered by the bank on two consecutive times last week. Those two events alone sent jitters to currency speculators perceiving dollar glut as imminent in the market. Laying credence to this development, the spokesman of the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the anticipated interventions in most segments of the market during the week, with effect from today. According to him, the Bureau De Change (BDC) and the...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/08/17)
Nigeria has almost tripled the budget for an amnesty program for militants in its oil-producing heartland, the presidency said on Saturday, a key factor in maintaining a tenuous peace in the Niger Delta and supporting crude production. An additional 30 billion naira ($98.47 million) would be released for the former militants and an extra 5 billion naira added at some later stage, the presidency said in a statement. Until 2016 the annual budget was 20 billion naira. Funding of former militants under the 2009 amnesty is key to maintaining the relative stability in the Delta and stopping attacks on oil facilities, as it was last year by militants who cut crude output by as much as a third. Under the...
(AFP (eng) 05/07/17)
Eighty-two of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria in 2014 on Sunday headed to meet President Muhammadu Buhari after a prisoner swap deal with Boko Haram secured their release. The presidency announced late on Saturday that months of talks with the jihadists had "yielded results" some six months after 21 of their classmates were freed with the help of international mediators. "Today 82 more Chibok girls were released," a statement said. "After lengthy negotiations, our security agencies have taken back these girls, in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities." No details were given about how many suspects were released or their identities.
(AFP (eng) 05/07/17)
Scores of Nigerian schoolgirls who were among more than 200 kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 have been released, multiple sources told AFP on Saturday, with unconfirmed reports that at least 80 have been freed. "I can confirm they have been released," said a senior government minister, who asked not to be identified, adding that an official statement would be released later. A military and a civilian militia source in Banki, near the border with Cameroon, said "at least 80" girls were brought to the town late afternoon on Saturday. "The girls are now lodged in the military barracks and will be flown to (the Borno state capital) Maiduguri tomorrow (Sunday)," said the military source. The civilian militia member gave...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Britain and the United States on Friday said Boko Haram was preparing to kidnap foreigners in remote northeast Nigeria, which is in the grip of a food crisis caused by the conflict. The Foreign Office in London said it had received reports the Islamist militants were "actively planning" to seize foreign workers in the Bama local government area of Borno state. Both said in travel advice that the affected area was "along the Banki-Kumshe axis", which is near the border with Cameroon. The US embassy in Abuja said in a message to its nationals that the report was "credible". Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of women and children, including more than 200 schoolgirls from the Borno town of Chibok in...
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
Five people were killed in two suicide bombings in northeast Nigeria, police said on Friday, in the latest attacks blamed on Boko Haram jihadists. Borno state police spokesman Murtala Ibrahim said two women with explosives strapped to their bodies blew themselves up in the Konduga area on Thursday night, "killing themselves and five others". "Six persons sustained various degrees of injuries," he said in a statement about the attack, which happened at about 10:45 pm (2145 GMT) in the Mandarari area. According to a member of the civilian militia enforcing security, the first bomber detonated her explosives near a group of people, killing four and injuring six. A young girl was killed in the second explosion, he told AFP. Boko...
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a new video published online on Thursday, rejecting claims he had been injured in an airstrike in remote northeast Nigeria. The jihadist chief was said to have been wounded and one of his deputies killed when two air force jets bombarded fighters at Balla village, on the edge of the Sambisa Forest in Borno state, last Friday. Surveillance footage showed missiles being fired on what the air force said were Boko Haram fighters, while the army announced it had "neutralised quite a number of terrorists", including in Balla. "There were indications that quite a number of the terrorists' key leaders have either been killed or wounded," army spokesman Brigadier-General Sani Usman said earlier...
(Bloomberg 05/05/17)
The Nigerian central bank’s creation of a market-driven foreign-currency window has given hope of revival to manufacturers faced with closure or shrinking capacity by easing their raw material imports, an industry group said. “The recent pronouncement of the central bank comes as a relief,” Segun Ajayi-Kadir, director-general of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, said in a May 3 interview in Lagos, the commercial capital. “If the intervention is sustained, there’s no doubt that we will have continued improvement in sourcing raw materials.” The Central Bank of Nigeria on April 24 opened a new foreign-exchange trading window where currencies sell at market rates. That eased access to foreign currency that’s been restricted since last year as the bank limited the supply...

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