Sunday 19 November 2017
(APA 10/13/17)
APA – Lagos (Nigeria) - Some Nigerian listeners of the newspaper review programme on Radio Nigeria’s Metro 97.7 FM on Friday condemned the alleged request made by President Muhammadu Buhari to the President of the World Bank Group, Mr. Jim Yong Kim, to focus the activities of the bank in northern Nigeria. Reacting to the report by a Nigerian newspaper, the Punch on Friday during the programme, some of the listeners described Buhari as the President of northern Nigeria. The newspaper report said that the World Bank President stated at a press conference in Washington on Thursday that the bank had concentrated its activities in northern region of Nigeria in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s request. It added that Kim...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Fela Kuti was known as "the King of Afrobeat". Krizbeatz calls himself "the King of AfroDance", the Nigerian music that has got millions dancing across Africa and the world. For Fela, as he is still known to fans, music was often a life-threatening fight against corrupt military dictatorships that ruled Nigeria in the 1970s and 1980s. For the talented Krizbeatz, a child of the capitalist and democratic 1990s, music is a game. But the self-assured 22-year-old music producer -- real name Chris Alvin Sunday -- still takes his inspiration from Fela when he's at his mixing desk. "I studied House Music in South Africa but I'm a Nigerian. Afrobeat is what I grew up listening to. Afrobeat is who I...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
A Nigerian court has ordered the permanent seizure of properties worth some $7 million from the country's former oil minister, who is facing a slew of corruption claims. Judge Abdulaziz Anka, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday ordered the forfeiture of properties in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The houses and apartments, valued at 2.6 billion naira and bought through front companies, were linked to Diezani Alison-Madueke and her cousin, Donald Chidi Amamgbo. Anti-corruption investigators found documents at Amamgbo's office that he owned some 18 companies and properties in Britain and the United States, the court has heard. He told Nigeria's Economic and Financial...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA – Lagos (Nigeria) - The Fund however, commended Nigeria for the recent reforms aimed at reducing infrastructure gap in the country, adding that it was in support of the measures. The Assistant Director, Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF, Mrs. Catherine Pattillo, who gave the warning on the sidelines of the release of the Fiscal Monitor Report by the Fund in Washington on Wednesday, said: “The concern in a number of oil exporters is that unless there is action now, that debt, which has been rising in many countries, is a concern particularly because of the interest payments. “So, if you have continuing rise in debt, the interest payments will rise, and then, it will consume a large part...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
Nigerian pop star Davido was questioned twice by police over the suspicious death of his friend after two other members of his entourage died later in the same week. The incident triggered passionate reactions in Nigeria, where the 24-year-old singer, whose real name is David Adedeji Adeleke, is a generational star with 2.8 million followers on Twitter and five million on Instagram. Tagbo Umeike had a night of heavy drinking -- he had 40 shots of tequila, according to the police -- with his friends, including Davido, before his body was abandoned at Lagos Island General Hospital in the early hours of October 3. Umeike's girlfriend Caroline Danjuma, an actress in Nigeria's film industry Nollywood, accused Davido of abandoning his...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA – Lagos (Nigeria) - The Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Abdulaziz Anka on Wednesday ordered the permanent forfeiture of 56 houses linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. The order followed the granting of an application by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking permanent forfeiture of the property. The EFCC argued that the property sought to be attached were bought by the former oil minister for $21,982,224 and that it believed that the funds were proceeds of crime. Granting the application filed by counsel for the EFCC, Anselem Ozioko, Justice Anka noted that there was no response to the applicant’s motion on notice for final forfeiture...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
People made homeless by Boko Haram's brutal insurgency will need years of support to help rebuild their lives, even if security improves, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council said on Wednesday. "We will be here for the next 10 years. Donors need to stay the course. It's a marathon," Jan Egeland told AFP by telephone from Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria. "(The Boko Haram conflict) is now in its ninth year. That's two years more than the Syrian war, double the First World War. This is a long-term thing." Egeland was speaking as the NRC unveiled new research about the intentions of the 1.8 million people who are still internally displaced in remote northeast Nigeria. Of 27,000 people surveyed, 86...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - West Africa is most at risk of fatal haemorrhagic fever epidemics, including Ebola, researchers said on Wednesday, calling for greater preparedness to save lives. A study in The Lancet medical journal assessed the likelihood of four viruses - Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and Crimean-Congo - spreading on the continent, charting progress from a first human case through to a potential pandemic. The world’s worst recorded Ebola outbreak ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016, killing about 11,300 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The viruses, which are often transmitted by rodents and bats, can cause fever, vomiting and bleeding, are often fatal. By mapping high risk areas, African nations can better...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
Amnesty International on Wednesday said it had "huge concerns" about the mass trials of Boko Haram suspects, with press and the public banned from the hearings on security grounds. Proceedings began this week at four civilian courts set up at a military base in Kainji, in central Niger state, with 1,669 suspects due to appear before judges. The government has said 651 others held in the northeastern city of Maiduguri will be tried once the cases in Kainji are finished. Amnesty's Nigeria's director, Osai Ojigho, said the trials "should provide a much-needed opportunity to deliver justice" for those affected by the long-running conflict. "However, the fact the trials are taking place behind closed doors, with no access for the media...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
The media has been banned on security grounds from attending proceedings at four civilian courts set up in a military base in Kainji, in central Niger state. But the justice ministry said in an emailed statement that three separate cases, each involving 100 defendants, were heard in three of the courts. Ministry spokesman Salihu Othman Isah said the judges ordered all the defendants to be remanded in custody for 90 days, pending further investigations and preparation of charges. The hearings will resume on January 9, the judges ruled. One defendant, who is accused of attempting to bomb the main mosque in the northeastern city of Bauchi, was ordered to be transferred to face trial. A total of 1,669 suspects --...
(APA 10/11/17)
APA – Lagos (Nigeria) - President Muhammadu Buhari has requested Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, the Senate to approve another foreign loan of $5.5 billion to fund the 2017 budget. The request is contained in a letter sent to the Senate by Buhari and read by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Tuesday in Abuja. “Implementation of the external borrowing plan approved in the 2017 appropriation Act. External borrowing to refinance maturing domestic debts through the issuance of $3 billion Euro bond in the international capital market or through a loan syndication,” Buhari said in the letter. He urged the senate to refer to the 2017 appropriation Act which has a deficit of 2.356 trillion and provisions for near borrowings...
(APA 10/11/17)
APA-Abuja (Nigeria) - Bogged down by a wave of strikes in recent months, the Nigerian government has resolved to enforce its “No Work No Pay’’ policy toward striking workers. The policy is part of measures to restore harmony into the public service in the country, the Ministry of Works and Labour said in a statement seen by APA on Wednesday. The country has been overran major strike actions which paralysed more than 93 federal and state universities, hospitals and clinics, as well as the petroleum sector. University lecturers, on the platform of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended a three month strike two weeks ago but the effect of the action is lingering with many students yet to take...
(APA 10/11/17)
APA – Lagos (Nigeria) - The Speaker of the Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has called for an end to all forms of discrimination, violence and harmful cultural practices which stunt the development of the Girl Child. In his speech to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child on Wednesday in Abuja, Dogara raised concerns about the discrepancy in literacy statistics for girls, and stressed that “all hands should be on deck in order to attain a future where there is equal opportunity and a better quality of life for Nigeria’s female population”. “It is disheartening that in this century, as a nation, we still grapple with actions and attitudes, which are aimed at repressing and suppressing...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Health officials in Nigeria have called for calm after dozens of suspected cases of monkeypox were reported in seven states across the south of the country. Thirty-one suspected cases of the viral disease have been identified since the first was reported in Bayelsa State on September 22, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). States affected include Lagos, whose mega-city capital of about 20 million people is sub-Saharan Africa's largest. The national coordinator of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said in a statement on Monday that samples had been sent to laboratories and that so far no case had been confirmed. It is "unlikely" that many of the suspected cases are monkeypox, he added, but investigations are necessary.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/17)
LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria’s state oil company on Monday said allegations by the oil minister that the conduct of its group managing director lacked transparency were baseless, as a public rift between the firm and the ministry widened. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been dogged by allegations of mismanagement for decades. The OPEC member country, Africa’s biggest economy, relies on oil for around two-thirds of government revenue. The tension between the oil ministry and NNPC came into the public eye when a letter of complaint to the president from Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s oil minister, dated Aug. 30 was made pubic and confirmed by the ministry. Kachikwu’s letter alleged NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD) Maikanti Baru had bypassed...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum has signed two production sharing agreements with Uganda to explore for oil and gas around Lake Albert, the company said on Tuesday. Oranto was among several companies, including Australia’s Armour Energy, that last year bid in Uganda’s first competitive oil exploration licensing round. “We are excited to enter this agreement ... Lake Albert is home to some prime petroleum acreage,” Prince Arthur Eze, chairman of Oranto Petroleum, said in a statement. The deal covers the Ngassa Shallow Play and Ngassa Deep Play exploration blocks located near the southern part of Lake Albert, Uganda’s ministry of energy and mineral development said. Uganda discovered oil in 2006 in the Albertine rift basin along its border...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Nigeria's Boko Haram started as an Islamic anti-corruption group that became a violent, IS-affiliated movement whose insurgency has threatened stability in the Lake Chad region. But the Nigerian authorities say they are now rolling back the group and thousands of suspected members of the group were due to go on trial from Monday. Boko Haram, whose name loosely translates from the Hausa language as "Western education is forbidden", aims to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria. Its revolt has cost at least 20,000 lives since 2009. Mohammed Yusuf, the group's founder, blamed Western values left by Nigeria's British former for the country's ills and advocated a return to more fundamentalist Islam. He attracted many disaffected youths in Maiduguri,...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
Nigeria's state-run oil firm on Monday hit back at claims of corruption from a senior government minister that have put President Muhammadu Buhari's war on graft in the spotlight. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the allegations made by junior oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu were "baseless and due process has been followed". Kachikwu, a former ExxonMobil executive to whom Buhari handed the day-to-day running of the oil and gas sector, made the claims in a letter to the president that was leaked last week. In it, he said five NNPC contacts with a total value of $25 billion "were never reviewed or discussed with the board" -- and he had "many more" examples of questionable practices. NNPC group...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
Gunmen stormed a market in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt on Monday, with claims that at least 10 people were killed, in the latest violence to hit the southern oil hub. The incident happened at about 4:00 am (0300 GMT) at a meat market in the Mgbosimiri area of the city. Most of the victims were market women, said one trader, Agnes Tarila. Local resident Arutere Utuama said: "As soon as I heard of the incident I ran to the market where I counted at least 10 bodies, including a husband and wife. "Many others sustained various degrees of injuries." Police in Rivers state, of which Port Harcourt is the capital, confirmed the shooting but declined to comment on...

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