Thursday 21 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/31/17)
Make no mistake -- Nigeria's "A Nasty Boy" is not a gay online magazine. In a country where homosexual acts can be punished with 14 years in prison, this provocative website featuring photos of men in mini-skirts is simply "pushing the boundaries and exploring masculinity". Richie Akuson, the 23-year-old founder, makes up for what he lacks in years with confidence and audacity. Even in "bum shorts" -- the local name for hot pants. "Last year, I challenged myself -- walking through Abuja with silk shorts," he told AFP. "People insulted me loudly, they were making insulting comments, it was quite a painful experience." He decided to recount his experience in Bella Naija, the country's leading digital lifestyle magazine where he...
(Agence Ecofin 08/31/17)
In Nigeria, major cement producers are strongly funding new projects in an effort to increase their installed production capacity by an additional 24.5 million metric tons per annum. According to Vanguard, expansion projects by Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa and BUA Group, will bring their total capacity from 31.25 million metric tons per annum to 53.75 million metric tons by the end of 2018. Dangote Cement’s current production stands at 20.25 million metric tons. The company is at present constructing $1 billion cement factory in Okpella, Edo State, to expand its cement production by 12 million metric tons by the end 2018. Lafarge also plans to increase its production capacity by 5 million metric tons to existing production capacity of 8.4...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday led his first cabinet meeting for five months after a long stay in London where he received treatment for an undisclosed condition. The 74-year-old retired general, who flew back to Nigeria on August 19 after more than 100 days in the British capital, has worked from home since returning and skipped last week's ministerial meeting. Buhari led the Federal Executive Council after meeting D'Tigress -- the national women's basketball team which won the FIBA Women's AfroBasket final in Mali on Sunday.
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Boko Haram jihadists have kidnapped nine people in two separate attacks in which one person was killed and two injured in Nigeria's volatile northeast, vigilantes said Tuesday. Five members of a family were kidnapped along a highway, 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside the city of Maiduguri as they waited for their car to be fixed on Tuesday, they said. "Five members of a family were abducted today near the town of Dikwa by Boko Haram terrorists," Babakura Kolo, a member of a militia fighting Boko Haram told AFP. "The hostages included a woman, her three young daughters and sister," he said. Another militia member Ibrahim Liman gave a similar account, saying the victims were heading to Maiduguri under a military...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Gunmen abducted 11 people from a bus as they travelled close to Nigeria's southern oil hub Port Harcourt late on Monday, a passenger who escaped from the attack told AFP. The region near Port Harcourt is a known hotspot for kidnappings by groups looking to receive ransom pay-offs and was the scene of an abduction that saw 16 people snatched earlier this month. "They ambushed us at about 9.00 pm... and after asking us to come out from the bus, they tried to take us inside the bush. But five of us escaped before police and military personnel arrived," said Amiekro Princewill. Security forces searched the area following the attack, according to another passenger who managed to escape the gunmen...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Amnesty International on Wednesday called on Nigerian authorities to investigate unexplained disappearances, as the rights group highlighted a pro-Iranian Shiite religious movement that claims 600 of its members are missing. "Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to investigate all cases of enforced disappearances and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice," the group said in a statement. "According to figures provided by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), at least 600 of their members' whereabouts is not known." More than 350 IMN followers, led by firebrand cleric Ibrahim Zakzaky, were killed in clashes with the military in the northern town of Zaria in December 2015. Trouble started on December 12 of that year when Zakzaky's supporters...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
The people of Belema village can only be reached after a three-hour journey aboard a rickety makeshift speedboat from the nearest major town. For 37 years their community in Nigeria's southern Rivers state has lived in the shadow of an oil pipeline transit station run by Shell's local subsidiary. Despite the enormous natural riches that pass them by, locals say they have not shared in the explosion of wealth that black gold has brought to Nigeria. The country exported petroleum products worth $27.8 billion (23.1 billion euros) in 2016 alone, according to OPEC, and is Africa's largest oil producer and exporter. But Belema residents still rely on an unhygienic open-air well for drinking water, while a complete lack of medical...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
A Nigerian court ordered the forfeiture of 7.6 billion naira ($21 million) allegedly belonging to former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, according to the country’s main anti-corruption agency. The funds, which are being held in a local bank, must be transferred to the government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement posted on its website on Monday. The anti-graft agency has charged Alison-Madueke in court after accusing her of obtaining the sum through “illegal activities,” it said. Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be in the U.K., is facing a series of corruption cases in Nigeria. Monday’s ruling came after a court on Aug. 22 ordered the interim forfeiture of properties worth $21.4 million that allegedly belonged to her...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
At a state-of-the-art plant in northern Nigeria, shiny machines stand next to a conveyor belt ready to crush tomatoes to satisfy the country’s insatiable demand for tomato paste. But a lonely cleaner mopping the floor is the only sign of activity in Nigeria’s biggest tomato factory, equipped with the latest Italian and German technology. There aren’t enough tomatoes to run it. It’s a powerful symbol of Nigeria’s uphill challenge to build up agricultural production and end costly food imports to feed its 190 million people. The West African nation imports staples from milk to wheat to tomato paste, with funds it mainly earns from exporting oil. The conglomerate of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, launched the plant in March 2016,...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
Nigeria launched a scheme on Tuesday to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) to regions not linked by pipeline, supplying power plants and industry with cheaper, cleaner fuel, officials said. Nigeria, a major oil producer, lacks refining capacity, so most crude is exported and the West African nation imports gasoline and other refined products. A creaking power network also means firms often rely on expensive diesel generators. The government has said it wants to use more of its gas. Under the new plan, the state oil firm, the Nigerian unit of France’s Total and Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria Ltd (GACN) would deliver gas to a small LNG plant run by Nigeria’s Greenville LNG, officials said in speeches at the launch. Greenville...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
Gaou Moussa stands in front of his family home nestled in the dense vegetation of Chad's Tchoukouli island, where burnt straw and charred wood still litter the ground from a Boko Haram attack three years ago. "They killed my brother and we fled," he said. Tchoukouli -- one of hundreds of tiny interconnected islands about an hour's canoe ride from Lake Chad's northern banks -- is coming back to life. Despite the ongoing threat posed by the Islamist insurgents, fishermen sit mending nets and repaired ones curl in the sun nearby, while farmers guide their cattle into the water and others tend to cornfields in the distance. All of these are activities that have been absent for more than two...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
The Pentagon notified the U.S. Congress on Monday of the sale to Nigeria of 12 Super Tucano A-29 planes and weapons worth $593 million, which the West African country wants for its fight against the militant group Boko Haram. The move on the sale, which included thousands of bombs and rockets and was originally agreed by former President Barack Obama’s administration, was announced by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The Super Tucano A-29, an agile, propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance and surveillance as well as attack capabilities, is made by Brazil’s Embraer. A second production line is in Florida, in a partnership between Embraer and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp of Sparks, Nevada. The Super Tucano costs more than $10...
(APA 08/29/17)
APA-Douala (Cameroon) - The Douala Stock Exchange (DSX) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria are in consultation to sign a partnership agreement, Cameroon’s Financial Market Commission (CMF) told APA Tuesday. The partnership agreement will ultimately facilitate opportunities for investors in both countries to use the financial instruments of one and/or the other market, not to mention regulatory cooperation and the exchange of information on deferential markets, in accordance with the recommendations of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). According to Jean-Claude Ngbwa, President of CMF, “Dangote Industries Limited’s interest in the attractiveness of the facilities offered by the government for IPOs in Cameroon’s financial market, and the interest of Nigeria’s investment fund for attractive rates and...
(APA 08/29/17)
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has said that the Federal Government has no plans to stifle the press in its ongoing fight against hate speech and fake news. Reacting to a statement by the military that it is monitoring the activities of Nigerians on the social media, Mohammed told Channels Television, a private television station on Tuesday, that the military was concerned with ensuring that such activities do not hamper the country’s security. He noted that such surveillance activity by security organisations is global in nature and assured that the military would not go against the freedom of speech of Nigerians. Meanwhile, the minister said that the government had no plans to make laws or issue directives...
(Xinhuanet 08/29/17)
The Nigerian military on Monday confirmed a top Boko Haram commander had surrendered to troops in the country's northeast region. His submission to the military was promptly followed by a confession in which the terror group commander, identified as Auwal Ismaaela, said he played a major role in the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, a Christian-dominated town in the northeastern state of Borno. Ismaaela threw in the towel as troops intensified efforts to smoke out remnants of the terror group in Nigeria. Amid many acts of bloodletting on innocent people and destruction of properties across the length and breadth of Nigeria's northeast, Ismaaela and another repentant Boko Haram fighter named Abu Hafsat led the killing of youths...
(Xinhuanet 08/29/17)
An eight-member United States Congressional delegation led by Senator Christopher Coons (Democrat-Delaware) is visiting Nigeria over issues including Boko Haram, according to a statement reaching Xinhua Monday. The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, in a statement said Senator Coons, who is a member of the Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Ethics committees is leading the largest U.S. congressional delegation to Nigeria. The delegation also includes Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan); Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado); Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware); Representative Terri Sewell (D-Alabama); Representative Charlie Dent (Republican-Pennsylvania); Representative Barbara Lee (D-California); and Representative Frederica Wilson (D-Florida). The Congressional delegation is visiting Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and The Gambia in addition to Nigeria during their West Africa tour. During...
(New Zimbabwe 08/29/17)
President Mugabe has expressed bitterness over African countries that voted in favour of a decision by western countries to invade Libya resulting in the killing of President Muammar Gaddafi. Officially opening the 67th World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa Summit in Victoria Falls Monday, President Mugabe who was the guest of honour, castigated the killing of "innocent" people by "greedy and envious" world leaders. He also spoke at length about the killing of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein adding that he (Mugabe) had no respect for former Britain and America leaders Tony Blair and George Bush after they connived to kill him (Hussein) on unfounded claims of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. "Because of envy that Iraq has...
(APA 08/29/17)
The Nigerian Government has declared Friday, September 1 and Monday September 4, 2017 as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations. Nigeria’s Minister of Interior Abdulrahman Dambazau, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government on Monday in Abuja, enjoined Nigerians to seize the opportunity to pray for the unity and peace of the country. The minister condemned in strong terms the prevalence of hate speeches in the country and warned that the government would, henceforth, deal with the perpetrators according to the law. He congratulated Muslim faithful and all Nigerians and urged them to use the occasion to pray for peace, unity, prosperity and the stability of the country’s democracy. Dambazau urged Nigerians to join hands with...

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