Monday 24 July 2017
(Agence Ecofin 07/10/17)
In Nigeria, the World Bank has said it will support the Lagos State government with a grant of up to $620 million for school infrastructure projects and other critical areas. This is to encourage out of school children to get back to the classroom. World Bank’s Senior Director for Education Global Practice, Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi (photo, 2nd right), revealed this during an official visit to the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, last weekend. According to him, the assistance was inspired by the implementation of sustainable policies by the government, which have resulted in improved standard of education in the state. “We know Lagos state government is doing well in its technical and vocational education, but a lot still need to...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/17)
A Nigerian court has thrown out a suit brought by a prominent pro-Iranian Shiite cleric against the military for human rights violations, lawyers in the case told AFP Friday. Ibrahim Zakzaky was seeking two billion naira ($5.6 million) in damages over clashes with troops in 2015 that left some 350 of his followers dead in the northern city of Zaria. The cleric himself was injured and his been in custody ever since. Three of his children were killed and his house was destroyed. Lawyer Dari Bayero, representing the military, said the case in Kaduna was struck out for abuse of process, "as the same suit was determined by another federal high court in Abuja". "The court said the plaintiff (Zakzaky)...
(Washington Post 07/07/17)
Eromo Egbejule is a Lagos-based journalist covering West Africa. He is working on a documentary about the civil war. In 2006, my freshman year at the University of Nigeria, a random adventure on campus led me to discover what many believe to be the forgotten transmitter of Radio Biafra, the crucial voice of the breakaway territory that was at the center of Nigeria’s brutal civil war 50 years ago. In May 1967, General Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu declared the southeast region of the country to be an independent republic. Radio Biafra’s broadcasts served as a medium of trusted news for citizens of the young nation, which featured news reports and war propaganda as Biafra battled Nigeria for its dear life. The secession...
(Daily Post 07/07/17)
Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has stated that Nigeria cannot go back to issues settled during the civil war. He said this following agitations for secession by different Igbo groups and counter accusations by Arewa youth groups. Osinbajo said that the Federal Government was planning to come out with policies to address perceived marginalisation, lack of inclusiveness and inequity. The Acting President spoke yesterday at the official presentation of the book, entitled “Nigeria, The Restructuring Controversy,” written by Chairman, Police Service Commission and former Inspector General of Police, Dr. Mike Okiro. Osinbajo, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojodu, said the Federal Government was taking serious note of all the talks, debates and discussions...
(Leadership 07/07/17)
The Nigerian Army yesterday sounded a very strong note of warning to advocates of the country’s breakup, saying it will continue to work hard in ensuring that the country is kept as one. Speaking at the 2017 Nigerian Army Day celebration held at the Army Resource Centre, Mambila Barracks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, said the military has done well in several military operations in different geo-political zones of the country. There had been calls for secession, following a quit notice issued the Igbos to leave the North. But the Buratai, while speaking at the event that had in attendance senior military officers (both serving and retired), said the Nigerian Army will continue to play...
(Others 07/07/17)
The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has reiterated its commitment to sustained supply of cooking gas to the local market, to boost domestic consumption and a cleaner environment. Mr Tony Okonedo, the company’s Manager, Media Communications, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Friday. Okonedo said that the Managing Director of Nigeria LNG, Mr Tony Attah, restated the commitment during a visit to key Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities in Apapa. Attah said that the assurance became necessary to ensure the use of cleaner energy for the health benefit of Nigerians and for a cleaner environment, in line with the mission of the company to help to build a better Nigeria. According to him, NLNG is the biggest receptacle...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/17)
Nigerian international goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who plays for second tier English side Wolverhampton Wanderers has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, the club announced. The 31-year-old England-born goalkeeper -- capped 10 times -- returned "abnormal blood tests" during pre-season testing and further checks confirmed the diagnosis. "It would be an understatement to say that everyone at Wolves has been shocked and saddened to hear the news of Carl's diagnosis," said Wolves managing director Laurie Dalrymple. "That relates to both players and staff as Carl has been at the club for a very long time and remains such an integral personality within the group. "At the same time, we all know what a fighter and a competitor Carl is, and I have...
(APA 07/07/17)
The Lagos Jazz Series Quintet is to perform at this year’s Cape Verde JazzSal, which opens on Saturday in Sal, Cape Verde. Sal is one of the 10 Islands that make up Cape Verde. According to a statement released on Thursday in Lagos by the group, the trip to JazzSal on Thursday ignites a musical exchange programme between the two festivals. It noted that this exchange programme has been described by some music experts and lovers as quite novel since this is the first time musicians from Nigeria are going to Cape Verde to perform on the main stage at JazzSal. The Lagos Jazz Series, which is the music festival founded by Oti Bazunu in 2010, has evolved to become...
(Daily Trust 07/07/17)
Nigeria have dropped a place in FIFA’s latest World Ranking, following a dismal 2-0 defeat to South Africa in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier. Having failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON staged in Gabon, they are now in real danger of missing out on a spot in the 2019 edition billed for Cameroon and are down to 39th in the rankings. Even at this fall, the Super Eagles remain sixth in Africa behind Egypt, Senegal, Congo DR, Tunisia and Cameroon. Meanwhile, Germany have returned to the top of the pile for the first time in two years following their Confederation Cup triumph with Brazil and Argentina sitting in second and third place respectively. Andorra were the biggest...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
Boko Haram jihadists believed to be from the IS-supported faction loyal to Abu Mus'ab Al-Barnawi have attacked three military bases in northeast Nigeria, destroying one and killing a soldier, according to the military and vigilantes. The attacks cast doubt on the Nigerian government's claim that the jihadist group is on the back foot and may mark an end to a lull since April of Al-Barnawi's deadly attacks on military targets. In the latest attack late Tuesday, Islamist fighters in pickup trucks raided and razed a military base in Kamuya village in Nigeria's ravaged Borno state. Boko Haram "attacked the (military) base around 5:30 pm (1630 GMT) and the troops engaged them in battle," a military source from the town of...
(APA 07/06/17)
Acting Foreign Minister B. Elias Shoniyin has expressed gratitude to Nigeria for its contribution to the peace and stability that Liberia now enjoys. “Knowing that you all are from Nigeria, a country that is so close to the hearts of so many Liberians, not just at the governmental level, but also the people to people interaction and exchanges. “More importantly, Liberians remain grateful for Nigeria’s contribution during Liberia’s civil war in the 1990s. We remember the blood of Nigerians that was spilled on this soil to enjoy the peace we now enjoy and we recognize that,” Acting Minister Shoniyin said amidst rapturous applauds. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Mr. Shoniyin made the commendation on Wednesday at the Gabriel L...
(Agence Ecofin 07/06/17)
As part of strategies to revive Nigeria’s power sector, the Federal Government says it has provided N40billion ($115.6million) to settle outstanding electricity bills owed by ministries and agencies. According to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma (photo), the gesture was imperative as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) predicted in the 2017 budget would not be effective without a sustainable power sector. “In order to do that, it is important that every segment of the power sector is commercialized so that the government itself is making sure to settle its bills to the Discos to make sure that power is effective. So, we are looking at N40 billion to settle some of the bills MDAs...
(Agence Ecofin 07/06/17)
Nigeria will raise between $1.18billion and $1.48 bln from the sale of a 5 and 20-year sovereign bond in the third quarter of 2017, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO). The debt office on Wednesday said it will auction a N90-120 billion in five-year note and a N135-165 billion in 10 and 20-year debt between July and September. The issuing of bond is part of the government’s strategy to plug its budget deficit for the year. Indeed, due to a plunge in the prices of oil from which Nigeria gets most of its revenues, the country slumped last year into its first recession in 25 years. As a result, a budget deficit of N2.36 trillion ($7.5billion) was forecast for...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(Agence Ecofin 07/06/17)
After reporting a pretax loss of $6.7 million last year, its first annual loss in 30 years, Guinness Nigeria is looking towards share sale to raise $126 million from existing shareholders. “Our expectation is that funds raised will help mitigate the impact of increasing finance costs, optimize our balance sheet and improve the company's financial flexibility,” Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive of Guinness Nigeria, said in a statement. The local division of the world’s leading spirit maker, Diageo, plans to issue five new shares to shareholders for every 11 held at N58 each. The beer maker said it has received clearance for the sale from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). This came after shareholders’...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Agence Ecofin 07/06/17)
The Federal Government of Nigeria plans to invest N9 billion ($27.5million) to upgrade hospitals in the country, in a bid to put an end to foreign medical trips by locals. This was revealed by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, last Tuesday in Abuja. The official who was addressing civil society organizations added: What the ministry of health is doing is going into partnership with the private sector and tertiary institutions, with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority. The idea is to upgrade a number of hospitals by getting first class facilities to have the best practice. We have some of the best doctors everywhere in the world; so, apart from the local ones, we want to...
(APA 07/06/17)
In a bid to reduce its spending and fight corruption, the Nigerian government has increased by 50% its budget for information and communication technology, bringing it to N41 billion ($118million). Moreover, it has started working with US tech giants, Oracle and Microsoft, in the same framework. Oracle has actually helped Nigerian authorities remove 50,000 ghost workers or fake entries from government payroll, according to a statement of presidency released on June 29, Bloomberg reports. As for Microsoft, Constance Ikokwu, communication adviser to the minister of industry, said her administration is currently in talks with the IT firm to improve e-services in the country. This aligns with “the government’s objective to improve its World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking”. Commenting...
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
Nigerian lawmakers on Wednesday said former president Goodluck Jonathan should give evidence at an inquiry into an oil block deal that has become a shorthand for endemic graft. The probe centres on the $1.3 billion sale of OPL 245, an oil block estimated to hold nine billion barrels of crude, to petroleum giants Eni and Shell in 2011. Both firms are facing corruption charges in Nigeria and are being investigated in Italy over the deal, which allegedly saw high-ranking government officials pocket bribes. "It (is) imperative that evidence should be taken from former President Goodluck Jonathan," the National Assembly committee investigating the deal said in a statement. Jonathan should testify because he was president "at the material time the ministers...

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