| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/09/17)
A Nigerian court on Thursday sentenced two police officers to death over the notorious killing of six civilians on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja, nearly 12 years ago. Judge Ishaq Bello said he was "compelled to convict" Ezekiel Acheneche and Emmanuel Baba "for the extrajudicial killing of innocent people". "The two defendants have no regard for the sanctity of human lives. They are not only over-zealous but also extremely reckless," he added. The offence of culpable homicide was "punishable with death", he told the court. Six police officers were initially charged ‎with conspiracy and culpable homicide after six ethnic Igbo traders were killed in the Apo area of Abuja in June 2005. The killings caused a public outcry and...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/17)
Nigeria's military on Wednesday announced it would look into alleged human rights abuses by troops, including in the fight against Boko Haram, despite having previously dismissed such claims. The chief of army staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, said a special board of inquiry would look into allegations such as those made by Amnesty International and pro-Biafra campaigners. But he said it would not go over cases already looked at by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which has ruled out another probe of the army's mass killing of Shiite protesters in December 2015. The board of inquiry, unveiled at an event in the capital, Abuja, comprises serving and retired officers
(AfricaNews 03/09/17)
Nigeria’s Kaduna airport is now the main international airport for Africa’s most populous nation. This follows the official closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the administrative capital, Abuja. The closure is to allow a long overdue repair works on the runway which was formally announced by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo. It took effect from 12 a.m. on Wednesday. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, was in Kaduna to receive the first international flight – Ethiopian Airline Boeing 787 – landed at the airport after midday. Kaduna airport is located about 160 km (100 miles) north of the capital. The government confirmed that during the six-week closure, passengers traveling between Abuja and Kaduna were going to be given free...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
Health authorities in West Africa have set up a regional Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Abuja, Nigeria to deal with pandemics such as Ebola, a senior official of Ghana said on Wednesday. The establishment of the CDC is to ensure that "we are more prepared, in terms of early detection, epidemic surveillance, training of our staff and upgrading their capacity and research, so we can combat diseases of the nature of Ebola," Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director-General of the West Africa Health Organization told President Akufo-Addo during a meeting at the Flagstaff House in Accra. He said Ghana is serving as the platform for training of staff as the University of Ghana has been chosen for its Field Epidemiology and...
(Financial Times 03/09/17)
Agriculture has been a beneficiary of steps to counter effects of dollar shortage. 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 north-west Nigeria. 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...
(Agence Ecofin 03/09/17)
Nigeria has unveiled the much-awaited Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) that will help it tackle its current economic crisis and achieve sustained diversification. The medium-term plan for 2017-2020 released on Tuesday by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma (photo), targets job creation, improved foreign exchange inflow, 10 GW of power generation, stable macroeconomic environment, infrastructural development, amongst others, by 2020. It also aims to transform Nigeria into a net exporter of rice, cashew nuts, groundnuts, cassava and vegetable oil. According to Udoma, "this plan is a pointer to the type of Nigeria that the people desire in the short to medium-term, and encourages the use of science, technology and innovation to drive growth. The plan...
(Voice of America 03/09/17)
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress and immense challenges still facing women across the globe. To recognize this day, Voice of America hosted a discussion in which women from two of the countries impacted by extremism, Nigeria and Somalia, shared their stories. Nigeria is fighting the brutal insurgency of Boko Haram and next month marks the third anniversary of the kidnapping of the 276 Chibok school girls, most of whom are still held by their abductors. One of those girls is Sarah Samuel. Her mother, Rebecca, has not seen her for 1,059 days and cried when she attempted to talk Monday via satellite link from Abuja. “Can’t we all come together as the world and...
(Agence Ecofin 03/09/17)
The Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) has said that the country might turn to solar to generate more of its power. According to the Executive Secretary of REAN, Godwin Aigbokhan, Senators in Abuja are expected to make a decision on the allocation of $30 million to solar projects in the 2017 budget, this month. This, he said, will be used to fund off-grid solar projects, photovoltaic manufacturing, and transmission upgrades. “It just gives you an idea of how the government sees solar as part of the total energy mix,” he added. Nigeria is part of a growing list of OPEC countries increasing the use of green power, Bloomberg reports. A study by German developing agency, GIZ, has shown that...
(Agence Ecofin 03/09/17)
The Government of Sokoto state in partnership with the World Bank is committing N9billion ($28.8 million) to renovate the collapsed Lugu Dam and revive the Wurno Irrigation Scheme in the state. Out of the $28.8 million, the state will be committing $4.2million while the World Bank will provide the remaining $24.6million. “The people here who are mostly farmers have been adversely affected by the collapse of the dam as a result of serious flooding some few years back. We are working with the World Bank under the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to fix the collapsed portion of the dam at Gidan Modi Lugu and in general revive the Wurno irrigation scheme,” Aminu Tambuwal, the Governor of Sokoto...
(Voice of America 03/09/17)
Lagos has long been known as Nigeria’s pop culture hub. It’s the home of Nigeria's film industry, Nollywood, as well as many of the country’s top musicians and artists. But a group of rappers and fashion designers is creating a scene of their own in Kaduna, in northern Nigeria, some 600 kilometers from Lagos. Kaduna's is the new center of Nigeria’s growing hip-hop culture. DJ Jakes Tudu is cranking out jams on his weekly radio show, playing the latest tunes from local rap artists. Hip-hop music has taken over Nigeria’s pop music scene. Rappers like Morell, DJ AB, Kheengz, and Classiq are part of a new generation of rappers. They hail from Kaduna and they’re trying to put their city...
(Agence Ecofin 03/09/17)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed plans by the Federal Government to sell N1.13 trillion (about $3.6 billion) worth of treasury bills between March 16 and June 1, 2017. This will be used to plug the deficit in the nation’s budget, manage the liquidity shortfall in the banking system and curb the rising inflation in the economy. The apex bank aims to auction a 91-days bill of N243 billion, a 182-days bill of N198 billion and a 364-day bill of N689 billion. CBN sells treasury bills twice a month. Last month, the Government announced that it would raise N142.43 billion (about $455.6 million) from the sale of short-term treasury bills. Nigeria has a deficit of N2.36 trillion ($7.5billion)...
(Agence Ecofin 03/09/17)
The Federal Government of Nigeria plans to conclude negotiations with China regarding the Lagos-Calabar rail project worth $11.117 billion in June 2017, Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, revealed. “The federal government has already provided its portion of funding for the Lagos-Calabar route and expects that negotiations with the foreign component of the funding will be finalized within the next three months,” he said. According to him, the national project once commenced would create 500,000 jobs and support efforts to diversify the economy and enhance the country’s export potentials. “A vibrant railway system will confer many benefits on the society. Our ultimate goal is to restore a railway using culture for both commercial and personal transportation. We are confident that the national...
(The Guardian Nigeria 03/09/17)
A newly inaugurated trade group, United Labour Congress (ULC) has said plans are underway to hold talks with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) over the recent attacks of Nigerian in that country. The union expressed concern over the ongoing xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa, calling on the Federal Government to immediately evacuate Nigerians to prevent further killings. Nigerians and other Africans have been subjected to huge losses – physically, financially and mentally, following the resumption of attacks on foreigners, in a move that has attracted global criticism, as the South African Government is unable to check the escalation of the onslaught. Meanwhile the Chairman, Nigeria South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Foluso Phillips said the National...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Nigeria's transport minister Rotimi Amaechi said Tuesday that "everything is ready" for the closure of the airport serving the capital Abuja, despite worries about limited capacity at the alternative hub. Starting Wednesday, flights are being redirected from Abuja's Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to the northern city of Kaduna for at least six weeks. But all international airlines serving the city except one -- Ethiopian Airlines -- are refusing to go along with the plan, and have cancelled their flights instead. Passengers heading to and from Abuja will have to travel about 190 kilometres (120 miles) on a road where there have been a number of kidnappings, or take a train. But speaking to AFP at the launch of a railway...
(The Guardian Nigeria 03/08/17)
The Federal Government expects the economy to climb out of recession and grow 2.19 percent this year, according to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, which unveiled the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 yesterday. In a statement made available to the media yesterday by Akpandem James, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the ERGP focuses on achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification by undertaking fiscal stimulus, ensuring monetary stability and improving the external balance of trade. The ERGP, which aims to increase oil production to 2.5 million barrels per day and for Nigeria to become a net exporter of refined petroleum products by 2020. The goal of the...
(Bloomberg 03/08/17)
Nigeria plans to sell portions of its oil assets to help fund President Muhammadu Buhari’s four-year program to lift the economy from its worst slump in a quarter century and create 15 million jobs. Buhari proposes in a 2017-2020 economic blueprint to reduce the government’s stake in joint-venture oil assets and other holdings. Selling them will “optimize their efficiency and reduce fiscal burden on the government,” according to the proposal posted on the Ministry of Budget and National Planning’s website. Lenders including the World Bank are awaiting the plan to conclude funding facilities for Africa’s second-biggest oil producer. The proposed plan targets growth of 7 percent and inflation under 10 percent by 2020 by increasing oil output, opening up new...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/08/17)
Nigeria's central bank aims to achieve a market-determined exchange rate regime, according to an official economic plan released on Tuesday, as pressure mounts to let the naira float freely. The government will also review and possibly remove a ban on accessing foreign exchange for 41 goods and services, said the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020, released by the Budget Ministry. Nigeria also sees 2017 inflation at 15.74 percent, and at 12.42 percent next year, the plan said. Inflation in January hit 18.7 percent, its highest level in more than 11 years. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Paul Carsten; Editing by Alison Williams)
(Premium Times 03/08/17)
The Federal Government says it did not pledge $1 billion for recharging of Lake Chad or humanitarian assistance to the region contrary to claims by the UN Security Council, UNSC. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a news conference on the visit of the UNSC delegation to Nigeria. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that UNSC had on Monday called on Nigeria to scale up disbursement of $1 billion pledged at a conference. The conference was on humanitarian assistance for victims of Boko Haram insurgency and rebuilding of the North-East as well as to recharge Lake Chad which held in Oslo in February. A UNSC delegation to Nigeria had at a news...
(Voice of America 03/08/17)
Nigerians and travelers to and from the country are getting ready for major problems as the country's main airport shuts down Tuesday. Authorities expect Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to be closed for at least six weeks to fix a runway pockmarked with cracks and holes. Officials say the work cannot be done unless the entire facility is closed. Travelers flying into or out of the country will have to use the much smaller domestic airport in Kaduna - a three-hour drive from the capital along a highway infamous for bandits and kidnappers. The government has promised to station police and soldiers along the road, but several international airlines have already said they will not fly into Kaduna. It...

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