| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(The Times of Nigeria 05/03/13)
Unpunished, deadly violence continues to plague the press globally and has notably increased in Nigeria, according to the 2013 Impunity Index, the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual ranking of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free. "In countries where authorities fail to deliver justice in the killing of journalists, the result is more killings, while journalists try to survive by exercising self-censorship," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "Nigeria's entry on the index suggests that violence is beginning to limit coverage of crucial issues, posing a grave threat to the country's democracy. The government must exert the necessary political will to solve these crimes." Nigeria appears on the index-published to mark World Press Freedom Day on...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/13)
The jailed former governor of a Nigerian oil state, James Ibori, lost a legal appeal on Thursday against a 13-year prison sentence for embezzling 50 million pounds ($78 million) in one of Britain's biggest money-laundering cases. Ibori, a founding member of Nigeria's ruling party and a behind-the-scenes kingmaker who ran Delta State for 8 years, was trying to get his sentence reduced. His lawyers argued that the original judge had indicated the term would be shorter. Judge Antony Edwards-Stuart rejected that argument at the appeal hearing and also said that money laundering should attract close to the maximum 14-year sentence. Ibori pleaded guilty to 10 charges of fraud and money-laundering in February 2012 and is the most prominent Nigerian politician...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/13)
In an unwanted daily routine lasting 17 years, Phillip Cleatus sits in the dark doorway of his shoe-making shop in Nigeria's northern city of Kaduna, waiting for the lights to come back on. President Goodluck Jonathan is trying to persuade Cleatus and some 170 million other Nigerians that will soon change. Yet while his plan to privatize power is creeping forward, it is likely to take decades to end the chronic electricity shortages that are among the main barriers to investment and growth in Africa's second biggest economy and top oil producer. Nigeria is in the process of breaking up the defunct state power company into 17 private generation and distribution companies and selling them for about $2.5 billion in...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/30/13)
Economic development researchers on Monday unveiled a database of China's aid to Africa in an effort to work around Beijing's secrecy about the numbers, as a debate rages over the intentions and impact of Chinese assistance. The study and database by the Washington-based Center for Global Development and AidData, a research project, includes 1,673 Chinese development finance projects worth $75 billion in 50 African countries from the years 2000-2011. The Chinese figures, using standard measures of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Other Official Finance (OOF), are roughly on par with U.S. aid to Africa during the same period, the Center for Global Development said. While official ODA from Western countries and some major developing countries is openly reported and easily...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/13)
Gunmen armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked a police station and a bank in northern Nigeria, killing three policemen and two civilians, authorities said on Monday, in a region struggling to control an Islamist insurgency. The gunmen struck the town of Ringim late on Thursday night, said Abdul Jinjiri, police spokesman for Jigawa state, where the town is located. "After attacking a police station and killing three of our men, they then moved to nearby Unity Bank and killed two civilians there," Jinjiri said. "They were not able to steal any money from the bank." The Ringim attack came a day before 25 people were killed in a separate clash between Nigerian security forces and suspected Islamists who robbed a bank...
(Voice of America 04/25/13)
ABUJA, NIGERIA — After pitched fighting between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces left many people dead last weekend, there are new questions about who was responsible - and the possibility of quieting the militant group with diplomacy. At first people thought it was a Boko Haram attack that killed nearly 200 people in the northern fishing town of Baga. As details emerge, however, analysts say the carnage could be part of a different pattern - one that is equally or possibly even more destructive than the Boko Haram insurgency. University of Abuja Institute for Anti-Corruption Studies Director Kabir Mato said Boko Haram insurgents may have attacked the security forces, and indeed one soldier was reported killed. In retaliation, he...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/24/13)
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan accepted deposits by bidders for 15 state electricity assets on Monday, a milestone in a privatization process meant to end decades of power blackouts. A signing ceremony at the presidential residence came a month after the bidders for 10 generation companies and five distribution companies paid deposits of 25 percent of the value of their bids. Power companies will now negotiate terms to complete the transfer from state hands before paying the remaining money and taking control of the plants and distribution firms, a process which is expected to take several months. Nigeria's dysfunctional state electricity provider is being broken up into 15 firms handling generation or distribution in different parts of the country, with the...
(Xinhuanet 04/23/13)
BORNO, Nigeria, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Up to 185 people were killed, 2,000 houses razed and 486 motorcycles damaged in clashes between the Nigerian military and the Boko Haram militant sect in a border town, according to the latest information from a local official. Malam Ali, head of the town of Baga in the northeastern state of Borno, made the revelation on Monday in a report to State Governor Kashim Shettima, who was on an assessment tour after Friday's fighting, one of the most deadliest since the sect launched insurgency in 2009. The governor later donated a sum of cash and relief materials to the victims of the confrontation and pledged to pay medical bills for the injured. He directed...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/22/13)
African finance ministers told their rich nation counterparts at weekend meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to work harder and faster to kick-start their economies to avoid a prolonged slump that could undermine strong growth in the developing world. "We are concerned," Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at the meetings of global finance leaders. "If we continue to see slow growth in the euro zone, which provides a large market for many African countries, and is coupled with a slowdown in emerging economies, then we will become more vulnerable," Okonjo-Iweala told a news conference of African finance ministers. "We need to insist that our partners in other parts of the world work harder and faster." Despite...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/22/13)
Nigerian authorities said on Monday there had been heavy fighting between security forces and Islamist militants in a remote part of the northeast, but there was no confirmation of reports from a local official that 185 people had been killed. Fighting erupted on Thursday in Baga, a fishing town on the shores of Lake Chad, adjacent to the Chadian border, spokesmen for the Borno state government that administers the area and its military said. A delegation from the state government visited the town on Sunday in the aftermath of the fighting, and a community representative put the death toll at 185, Borno spokesman Umar Gusau said by telephone. "We are investigating," he said. "For now, we don't have a very...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/19/13)
Nigerian authorities charged a man on Friday with masterminding a 2011 Christmas Day bomb attack on a Catholic church in the capital that killed 37 people. Security forces captured Kabiru Sokoto, the main suspect in the attack, in January 2012. He escaped a day later but was recaptured the following month. In court on Friday he pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism. Justice Adeniyi Ademola adjourned trial to May 2. Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, on the outskirts of Abuja, which killed 37 people and wounded 57, in the deadliest of a series of attacks at Christmas. The coordinated nature of the attacks suggested links between the...
(BBC News Africa 04/18/13)
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a new committee to look at how an amnesty for the Islamist group, Boko Haram, can be implemented. The committee will consider a 60-day timeframe for dialogue and disarmament, according to a statement from the president's office. It will also look into support for victims of the violence. The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria has left thousands of people dead since it began in 2009. The presidential committee, whose 25 members include military figures, academics and politicians, will try to address the underlying causes of insurgencies to prevent them recurring, says the statement. In addition, President Jonathan has approved the establishment of another government committee on the proliferation of small arms in an...
(Standard Digital 04/17/13)
Nigerian authorities charged two journalists with forgery on Tuesday over a story in which they accused President Goodluck Jonathan of launching a dirty tricks campaign against the opposition. Tony Amokeodo and Chibuzor Ukaibe, reporters for local daily Leadership, were detained last week after reporting that Jonathan had issued orders to frustrate a newly potent opposition by any means, including surveillance, ahead of 2015 presidential elections. They were later released. The story did not say to whom the directive was addressed, but it came complete with a document alleged to be a directive from the president. A court in the capital Abuja read out the charges of forging a presidential directive, which carry a maximum of seven years in prison and...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/17/13)
(Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signaled on Wednesday he would consider offering an amnesty to Islamist militant group Boko Haram, in an effort to end an insurgency that has killed thousands. "Goodluck Jonathan has approved the constitution of a Presidential Committee to constructively engage key members of Boko Haram and define a comprehensive and workable framework for resolving the crisis of insecurity," his office said in a statement. Boko Haram, a group fighting to create an Islamic state in religiously mixed Nigeria, has become the greatest threat to stability in Africa's biggest oil exporter and most populous country, since an uprising in 2009. The group mostly targets security forces but has attacked several churches, mosques, schools and markets, increasingly...
(Reuters 04/16/13)
(Reuters) - Nigeria's Fidelity Bank said on Tuesday its full-year pre-tax profit jumped to 21.62 billion naira ($136.92 million), from 161 million naira in the previous year, the bank said in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It gave no reason for the increase, but Fidelity is one of several banks that have posted strong results for 2012, after a lacklustre 2011 mostly caused by write offs of bad debts across the sector. Gross earnings rose to 78.99 billion naira, from 49.53 billion naira in 2011, the bank said. It also declared a dividend of 0.21 naira per share, compared with 0.14 naira per share previously. ($1 = 157.9 naira) (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Tim Cocks)
(Reuters (Eng) 04/16/13)
The Nigerian operation of United Arab Emirates phone operator Etisalat ETEL.AD plans to invest $500 million to expand its network this year, its commercial officer said on Thursday. Wael Ammar also told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit that the company plans to use local banks to finance future network expansion and growth in the coming years. The new investments will enable the mobile phone carrier grow the market share of Etisalat Nigeria, which is 40 percent owned by its parent company, to 17 percent this year, he said. It aimed to add four million subscribers to its existing 15 million this year, he said. The company currently has a mobile market share of 15 percent, behind MTN (MTNJ.J)'s 43 percent...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/13)
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth should accelerate to more than 5 percent over the next three years, far outpacing the global average, but the region must do more to convert this into reducing poverty, the World Bank said on Monday. In its latest Africa's Pulse analysis of prospects for the region, the bank saw increased investment, high commodity prices and a pick-up in the global economy driving this expected growth surge in the world's poorest continent. It said foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa were projected to increase to record levels each year over the next three years, reaching $54 billion by 2015. This compared to $37.7 billion in 2012, a 5.5 percent increase in a year when FDI...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/10/13)
Carlyle Group (CG.O) is looking at a number of banks in east and west Africa for a potential investment, its Africa co-head said on Wednesday, as the U.S. private equity firm focuses on the continent's growing consumer market. Carlyle, which last year invested in a pan-African grain trading firm, has recently signed a second deal, Marlon Chigwende also told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit. "Banking is very interesting today, and that is the general statement across a lot of sub-Saharan Africa," Chigwende told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Johannesburg. "Certainly, there are several opportunities of fast-growing banks, good management teams, interesting market positioning." Although private equity is still at a nascent stage in Africa, investor interest in the fast-growing...
( 04/10/13)
The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a a multi-country and multi-partner project which seeks to increase food security and improve the income and living standards of small-holder farmers in the 20 African countries by improving the value chains of four important staple crops – maize, wheat, cassava and rice. The project targets to demonstrate by 2016, that it is possible to increase the yields of cassava, maize, rice and wheat by at least 20% on smallholders’ farms, increase the smallholder’s household cash income to $600 from the current $370 and increase food security by at least 20% to 84% from the present 73%. According to media statement from the implementing agency, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), key stakeholders...
(BBC News Africa 04/10/13)
Nigeria's security forces have recovered the bodies of 11 of the 12 policemen killed in the oil-rich Niger Delta on Friday, police have said. Some of the bodies had been mutilated and burnt beyond recognition, AFP news agency quoted witnesses as saying. Last week, a militant group said it would it resume attacks after its leader, Henry Okah, was jailed for a bombing campaign in 2010. The oil-rich region is vital to Nigeria's economy. However, many people are poor, fuelling resentment towards the national government and oil companies. At the weekend, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) said it had ambushed a police boat in the creeks and waterways of Bayelsa state, killing the policemen. Police...

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