| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(CBC News 03/13/17)
Muhammadu Buhari, 74, says he needs to rest and his deputy is still in charge for now. Picture this hypothetical scenario: it's mid-January and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travels to the U.K. without any fanfare. Officials in Ottawa announce in a press release that he has left for a 10-day holiday, and while in London he'll "undergo routine medical checkups." No one sees or hears from him, but it's common knowledge he's staying at the Canadian high commissioner's official residence. Trudeau's spokespeople say he's well and there's nothing to worry about. They ignore questions about why he's gone abroad to get treatment and how much it's costing taxpayers. But ten days becomes seven weeks. Canadians only ever see the head...
(Bloomberg 03/13/17)
For sale: stakes in oil fields. Bids from world class energy companies preferred. Pipelines and terminals associated with the deposits only blown up about a dozen times in the past year. Deal may depend on crude prices. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s government on March 7 proposed a plan to jump start the economy by, among other things, selling stakes in joint-venture oil projects within the next three years. Given a militancy escalation that blighted those very assets last year, and previous struggles to privatize state businesses, analysts inside and outside the west African country say such sales won’t be straightforward. “Nigeria’s track record on privatization and divestments has not exactly been the best, so people are probably going to greet...
(The Guardian Nigeria 03/13/17)
Determined to expose the investment opportunities in Nigeria, 500 Startups, in partnership with Ingressive and African Technology Foundation, is to host the inaugural Africa’s edition of ‘Geeks on a Plane’ programme in Lagos, the Nigerian economic capital, from the 20th-23rd of this month. In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, the Founding Partner at 500 Startups, Mr. Dave McClure, said the programme would engage local thought leaders and ecosystem drivers in a series of events and activities meant to celebrate Nigeria’s entrepreneurial talents, highlight disruptive technologies as well as showcase available investment opportunities in the country. His words: “The African region is definitely of interest to 500 as we continue to look for and source deals from traditionally...
(This Day Live 03/13/17)
The Vehicles Owners Association of Nigerian (VOAN) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have expressed their opposition to the Nigerian Customs Service’s (NCS) ultimatum to all vehicle owners in the country to pay the duties on their cars between March 13 and April 12, failing which they would have their cars impounded. Both bodies have described the policy as unrealistic, with VOAN threatening to drag the Customs Service to court if it fails to withdraw the directive within seven days. VOAN, in a letter to the Comptroller-General of NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.), through its counsel, Tolu Babaleye, called on the Customs Service to consider the interest of 35 million Nigerians who would be adversely affected by the “ill-timed and ill-conceived”...
(Xinhuanet 03/13/17)
Nigerian government forces in the northeastern state of Borno have rescued 211 civilians from the Boko Haram group, the army authorities said Sunday. Troops of 22 Brigade Garrison, Operation Lafiya Dole, rescued the victims during an operation in Cingal Murye and Maja villages on Saturday, Sani Usman, the army spokesman said in a statement made available to Xinhua. One terrorist was neutralized while 11 bicycles were recovered from the fleeing terrorists, he added, noting that security team also escorted two heavy-duty trucks and 18 pickup vans to recover Internally Displaced Persons' food stuff from Mala Maja. The Boko Haram insurgency has been blamed for more than 20,000 deaths and displacement of 2.3 million people since 2009. Nigeria has made a...
(Xinhuanet 03/13/17)
Police authority in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri Sunday said two suspected female suicide bombers were shot dead by security agents. The bombers were shot on Saturday when they attempted to enter Maiduguri through the Umarari in Molai, near Damboa road, Victor Isuku, the Borno State police spokesman said in a statement reaching Xinhua. "On Saturday at about 20:45 hrs, two female suspected suicide bombers, of about 18 years of age, attempted to enter Maiduguri through Umarari in Molai General Area which is about 9 Kilometers to the township," he added. "They were sighted by local vigilantes- the Civilian JTF- and consequently shot dead by security personnel on duty at the area," he said. The two bombers died in the...
(This Day Live 03/13/17)
Young men, ageing widows and local chiefs — even civil servants — have taken to the fields to work in rice paddies that stretch for miles around Tarasa, a village in Kebbi State. Two years ago, the land in one of the West African nation’s poorest and least developed regions lay fallow. But rice farming is now enjoying a boom — a rare bright spot in a country enduring its worst economic crisis in a quarter of a century. “Life is getting better around here,” says Labara Hassan, a rice farmer whose income doubled last year, enabling him to put a new roof on his house. This year, the 30-year-old plans to cultivate a larger area and save towards his...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/17)
Civilian vigilantes foiled a suicide attack on the outskirts of Nigeria's flashpoint city of Maiduguri, killing two teenaged female bombers, police said on Sunday. Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency has frequently used young women and girls to stage suicide bombings. "Two female suicide bombers, about 18 years of age... were sighted by the civilian JTF (vigilantes) and consequently shot dead by security personnel," police spokesman Victor Isuku said in a statement. The would-be bombers were killed Saturday as they tried to break into Maiduguri, the provincial capital of Borno state where Boko Haram was born. Isuku said no one else was killed or injured in the incident, though a rescue services official said a vigilante had been hurt. Boko Haram has...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/17)
Nigeria's southern oil-rich Rivers state on Saturday backed a government call for major oil companies to move their offices to the Niger delta region, as part of measures to stem unrest in the oil-rich area. Attacks by rebels seeking a fairer share of Nigeria's multi-billion-dollar oil wealth for local residents have slashed output and hammered revenue at a time of falling global crude prices. Last week, Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo ordered major oil companies including Anglo-Dutch Shell as well as US groups Mobil and Chevron to relocate their main offices to the troubled Niger delta region, where most people remain impoverished despite decades of oil extraction. "We are in full support of the acting president," Rivers state information commissioner Austin...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday returned to Nigeria after nearly two months' medical leave in Britain but did little to quell fears about the state of his health by saying he would not start work again immediately. The 74-year-old, who has been in London since mid-January, said that although he felt better, he still required rest and further treatment in the coming weeks. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would remain in charge at least over the weekend, he added. Buhari, who looked gaunt in a billowing black kaftan, did not specify when he would resume his duties but his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said his return would be formalised on Monday. He will write a letter to the National Assembly on Monday, Adesina...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
Nigeria's next presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in February 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced. INEC said on Thursday the early release of the election timetable was "to allow for proper planning by the commission, political parties, security agencies, candidates and all stakeholders". Presidential and national assembly elections will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019, while regional and local elections to elect new governors and local assembly members will be held two weeks later on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Nigeria's constitution stipulates that elections must be held in the closing months of the president's term, within a period not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before it officially ends. The...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari arrived back in Nigeria on Friday after nearly two months in London receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment. The 74-year-old landed at the airport in the northern city of Kaduna at about 7:40 am (0640 GMT) and was flown by helicopter to the capital, Abuja, according to an AFP photographer and TV pictures. In Abuja, the head of state, wearing a black kaftan and hat, stepped off the helicopter and walked across the tarmac to be greeted by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo. A Periscope video on the Twitter account of the presidency's digital communications team showed him
(Bloomberg 03/10/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in the capital, Abuja, after spending more than seven weeks on sick leave in the U.K. “I have rested as much as humanly possible,” Buhari told reporters on Friday at the presidency. “I have received, I think, the best treatment I could receive.” He said he will need follow-up tests “within some weeks.” The president, whose absence has fueled concern about government paralysis, landed at an Air Force base in Kaduna, before traveling to Abuja, his personal assistant, Bashir Ahmad, said on Twitter. He may address the nation later on Friday to quell concerns about his ability to govern, Lagos-based ThisDay newspaper reported. Buhari, leader of Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, left on Jan. 19 for...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/10/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari returned home on Friday after nearly two months of medical leave in Britain during which his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, stamped his authority on economic policy in Africa's top oil producer. Dressed in a black kaftan and Muslim prayer cap, the 74-year-old former military ruler walked stiffly but unaided from his plane after it landed at an air force base in the northern city of Kaduna. After greeting a handful of provincial and military officials, he boarded a helicopter to Abuja for meetings with Osinbajo and his top military commanders, a government official said. Buhari, who first came to power in a military coup in 1983, is a northern Muslim while Osinbajo is a lawyer from Nigeria's...
(Agence Ecofin 03/10/17)
Last Wednesday, the World Bank announced it would provide more than $1.6 billion to Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Southern Sudan and Yemen to fight hunger. More than 20 million people are to benefit from the facility. “Our first priority is to work with partners to make sure that families have access to food and water. We are working towards a financial package of more than $1.6 billion to build social protection systems, strengthen economic reliance, and maintain service delivery to the most vulnerable,” said World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim. “This package includes over $870 million worth of existing projects which will help fight hunger. I am also working with the bank’s board of directors to secure the approval of...
(This Day Live 03/10/17)
A face-off may be brewing between the Senate and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), following the directive issued Thursday by the Senate that the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hammeed Ali (rtd.), must appear unfailingly in full uniform to explain the decision by the Customs Service to stay the course on the ultimatum given to car owners nationwide to pay duties on their vehicles between March 13 and April 12, 2019, or risk having their cars impounded. The directive that Col. Ali, a retired Nigerian Army officer, appears in the uniform of the NCS, is not unconnected to the fact that the comptroller-general has never worn the uniform of the service since his appointment two years ago...
(This Day Live 03/10/17)
In a bid to sustain the tempo of foreign exchange (FX) supply to the interbank FX market and ensure improved dollar liquidity, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Thursday intervened with a total of $170 million. A breakdown of this showed that the central bank sold the sum of $100,000,000 as wholesale interventions, just as it sold about $70,000,000 to meet requests for Business/Personal Travel Allowances. The latest dollar injection by the CBN took the amount so far offered in the interbank forex market within the past few weeks to over $1.2 billion for both wholesale and retail interventions. Disclosing this Thursday, the CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said the bank remained resolute in ensuring that it supplies...
(Agence Ecofin 03/10/17)
The Federal Government has revealed plans to prosecute those who import frozen fishes through Nigerian borders illegally. This is aimed at stimulating local production and exports. The government in this framework plans to set up a taskforce to seal and prosecute operators of cold rooms selling illegally imported produce. According to the Minister of state for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, the offenders would be fined a sum of $250,000 or spend five years in prison. Lokpobiri noted that the illegal venture has resulted in a huge loss of revenue, decreased local production and resulted in job losses. “The smuggling of unhealthy frozen fish into the country is detrimental to the progress being made toward guaranteeing the good health...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...

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