Thursday, 29 December 2016

No plastic rice in Nigeria-- NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration, NAFDAC, has declared that there was no plastic rice in the country.
NAFDAC Acting Director General, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, at a joint press briefing with the Deputy Comptroller- General of the Nigerian Custom Services, Mr. Umar Ilya, confirmed that a consignment of contaminated rice was in the country and warned Nigerians not to consume it, as it could be injurious to health.
At a briefing in Abuja, the NAFDAC boss also presented the final laboratory results on the suspected commodity, confirming that although the rice was not plastic, it was unsuitable for human consumption.
She also declared that the agency has decided to set a date for public destruction of the confiscated consignment since it had failed what she called Integrity test.
"Based on the above laboratory result, the product is not plastic but rice contaminated with micro organisms above permissible limit, hence the seized rice consignment is unsatisfactory and therefore unwholesome for human consumption. The consignment upon handover by the Nigeria customs service shall be destroyed."

Omisore commends Osun citizens

Former Deputy Governor of Osun State and a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 2003 to 2009 representing Osun East senatorial district, Dr. Iyiola Omisore has commended the people of his home state for their steadfastness and perseverance in the face of the present economic adversity facing the nation.
In his new year message to his mass of followers, the Apesin Oodua of the Source who recently graduated with a Ph.D in Infrastructure Finance from the International School of Management, Paris, France, reassured the citizens of Osun and Nigeria in general that the current recession facing the nation will soon become a thing of the past.
Making reference to the ‘2017 budget of Recovery and Growth’ presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Omisore averred that “with the renewed efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration at reinvigorating the economy and if the 2017 budget is anything to go by, the economy should be able to pick up by second quarter of 2017.
With about N2.243 trillion earmarked for capital projects and N2.9 trillion as recurrent expenditure out of the N7.28 trillion federal government budget for 2017, the economy should begin to experience growth and stability as soon as possible. Many of our people have been pauperized; state governments have not been able to take care of their recurrent expenses leading to a static situation while civil servants are the worse hit. In the face of all these, our people have remained peaceful and loyal to their nation. They deserve commendation and appreciation”, says Dr. Omisore.

Delta Speaker advises politicians

The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya on Saturday urged Nigerians to pursue their cause without bitterness and recrimination.
In his Christmas message, Igbuya asked politicians, business men and professionals in the country to follow Christ’s example and give hope to the poor, the oppressed and the helpless.
In the message titled; The Principles of Hospitality, Igbuya reflected on the virtues of peace, love, honesty, justice, equity, humility and service to God which Jesus Christ espoused during his earthly mission, calling on Nigerians to be generous to others.
Christmas is a season of peace, an opportunity to revive hope, a day of love and a time to recall all that can be achieved through reflection, forgiveness and reconciliation”.
He urged Nigerians, home and abroad, to continue the practice of tolerance, generosity and compassion.

We’ll make democracy dividends reach all Deltans- Speaker

The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya, on Thursday recounted the achievements made through the year with regard to good lawmaking, representation and legislative oversight, saying the House accomplished a lot in 2016.
He also praised the officers and members of the state assembly for the speedy and constructive passage of bills.
The house has performed tremendously in terms of legislative oversight, lawmaking and the system of checks and balances” the speaker said.
In his New Year message, Igbuya charged political office holders to set new goals to quicken the pace of development in the country.

Boko Haram new video mere propaganda- Army

The Nigerian Army has dismissed a video clip released by Boko Haram Terrorist group from an undisclosed location a while ago, showing its purported leader, making spurious claims.

A statement by Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director Army Public Relations said that “while effort is on going to subject the video for further forensic analysis, the Nigerian Army wishes to reiterate that it has captured and occupied the last known stronghold of the terrorists group in the Sambisa forest.

We would like to reassure the public that this video is nothing but mere terrorists propaganda aimed at creating fear in the mind of people and to remain relevant. 

Nigeria to make key festivals attractive to domestic, foreign tourists -FG

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government is working with the private sector to make major festivals in the country attractive to domestic and foreign tourists and to leapfrog the events to the top cadre of global festivals.
He made the disclosure in Offa, Kwara State, on Thursday at the 2016 edition of the ''Íjakadi Festival'', a traditional wrestling event that dates back to the 14th century.
The Minister, who was represented by Mr. Raphael Arulogun, General Manager of NTA Ilorin, said the starting point is to train the managers of the festivals, which include the Ijakadi Festival
''As you may be aware, the training of Festival Managers is contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that we signed with the British Council.. Also included in another MoU which we signed with the Tony Elumelu Foundation is the need to ensure that festivals like Ijakadi are not just a mere jamboree but also a source of economic empowerment for the people, in terms of injecting foreign exchange into the economy and creating jobs, especially for the communities in which such festivals are situated,'' he said.

Rivers community claims loss of 400 people in cult war

Ekpeye ethnic nationality in Rivers State claimed it lost over 400 of its residents within two years to cult related killings.
The communityspoke during a solidarity visit of the chiefs of the clan, led by the former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Chief Chibudom Nwuche, to the palace of Eze Ekpeye Logbo, His Royal Majesty, Eze Robinson O Robinson.
Nwuche stated that the community of Ekpeye have been in pains in the recent past, adding that several of its innocent citizens were killed and beheaded, adding that there are no good road networks in the area.
He described Ekpeye as the third largest tribe and one of the major oil producing areas in the state, noting that the people of the area are being abandoned by the government.
Nwuche called on the government at all the levels and the oil companies operational in the area to provide jobs for the repentant cultists in the area.

Niger takes proactive measures against fleeing Boko Haram members

Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has enjoined citizens to  keep vigilant and be wary of fleeing Boko Haram members who might want to seek refuge in the state.
He said the capture and fall of Zambisa Forest, the last strong hold of the insurgents posed a serious challenge to other states because they have no other hiding place other than to spread all over the country and regrettably mix with and disguise as good people.
In a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace, Governor Sani Bello urged citizens to be  watchful and not to harbor unknown strangers stressing that security issue is a collective responsibility of everyone.
We are aware of reports that some of these fleeing miscreants have been arrested in some states therefore, it is our collective duty as citizens to keep our eyes open and report any suspicious character within our midst”.

Commend, instead of condemning security agencies, Group tells Wike

The Integrity Youth Alliance has condemned the statement credited to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike saying the violence that marred the rerun elections in the state was orchestrated by security agencies with a motive to making the state ungovernable for politically motivated reasons.
The group in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Danjuma Lamido said they were surprised that Nyesom Wike is still accusing the Police High Command in the arrest of all his personal police details who accompanied him protest at SARS office despite the Police High Command explanation that Policemen are not allowed to be partisan. 
We were surprised that Governor Wike can lie in public by saying that ‘policemen and soldiers were used by the APC at Ikwerre LGA to beat up PDP agents and force Collation Officers to concoct results”. 
Nyesom Wike should rather commend the Security agencies instead of alleging openly that the “security agencies orchestrated plans to cause violence with a view to making the state ungovernable for ulterior motives, the group said.
"We challenge Nyesom Wike to name those who called him to share electoral seats with him”. 

The group also challenges Governor Nyesom Wike to mention the names of the INEC staff who were victims of violence by security agencies who are currently under pressure from the electoral commission to deny the physical assault on them.

FG budgeting N400 million to purchase cars for former leaders- height of insensibility (opinion)

With the nation’s currency now an ordinary toilet tissue abysmally exchanging the worst value ever rating since Nigeria became a nation at 500 Naira to One US dollar; With the nation’s foreign exchange reserve that was US$62 billion dollars in 2007 before Chief Olusegun Obasanjo left office now oscillating around US$25 billion; With the power generation on which the nation had between years 2007 – 2014 committed about US$30 billion still unable to produce more than 4000 MW;  The truth must be faced that will to which never be found any where the whole world window dressing fancies with capabilities to create denial change effects to show that since Muhammadu Buhari became President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria year 2015, the nation has had woefully and generally too bad ugly situations far beyond human expectations.
The gallant efforts  of Nigeria Armed Forces’ great men and women  that of very recent captured the dreaded Boko Haram hide out in Sambisa Forest can be said having not enough propensity to swing the scale on the woes the nation is currently enveloped and wallowing in. 
It therefore makes a shame and stupidity  the aim of the Federal Government appropriating  N400 million in the year 2017 budget to provide cars for retired former Presidents, Heads of State and their deputies as height of budgetary irresponsibility, insensitivity and insensibility to the plight of the suffering masses of this nation.

FG is fighting corruption with clear strategy – Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government is being guided by a well-articulated strategy in its fight against corruption in the country, contrary to the misconception in certain circles that the government is fighting corruption without a strategy, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, the Minister said the strategy has proven so effective that it has led to, among others, the recovery of 40 brand new SUVs and other vehicles from one former Permanent Secretary who single-handedly appropriated the vehicles to himself when he left office
He said the federal government is not just fixated on prosecution alone but is also taking preventive measures to make corruption unattractive
Alhaji Mohammed listed the strict enforcement of the Treasury Singles Account (TSA), which has largely reduced the diversion of government funds into various secret accounts, and the constant fishing out of ghost workers in the public service, which many states are now adopting, as some of the preventive measures against corruption.
He however said some other measures have been perfected to strengthen the anti-corruption fight, adding that the measures include the establishment of the Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery and the Asset Tracing Committee; the setting up of an Asset Register, and the Whistle Blower Policy.
The Minister also announced the plan by the government - working through the Code of Conduct Bureau - to commence, starting in 2017, a trial run of electronic asset declaration to facilitate compliance and also to search and retrieve data on the assets of public officers
In addition, he said, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption is working with relevant MDAs, especially the National Bureau of Statistics, to improve data collection on corruption indicators generally.

Fayose's agents behind Media attacks on Adeboye, says APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has accused Governor Ayodele Fayose of deploying his aides to unleash serial media attacks on Pastor Enoch Adeboye and blame them on APC to set Nigerians, particularly christians of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, against the party and its leaders.
The party had a few days ago refuted a media report linking it with a report castigating Adeboye for praising Fayose during the visit by the man of God to the state.
Few days later, another press statement by a faceless group but ascribed to Hakeem Jamiu, who is  an aide of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, also railed against the religious leader, calling him a money-monger working for Fayose after collecting cash.
But APC scoffed at the "fraud", saying such malicious report purportedly by APC followed the same pattern of alleged Fayose's subterfuge to "criminally" set the public against the party for undeserved public sympathy.
Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said in a statement in Ado-Ekiti that the serial media attacks on Pastor Adeboye were orchestrated "by a criminal gang working for Fayose to always set communities against communities, individuals against individuals, and individuals against institutions".
The statement alleged that Fayose's media aides led by Lere Olayinka had issued two damaging press releases against  Adeboye but ascribed them to APC in a "criminal conspiracy to paint the party in bad light to incur the wrath of Redeemed Church members and general public".

Nigeria Navy raids 23 illegal refineries in Delta

The Nigerian Navy has intensified the ongoing clampdown on illegal crude oil thieves, illegal refineries and other related crimes in the maritime areas. Between 19 – 24 December 2016, the NN recorded an impressive result in this regard. This is even as the vigilance of the service personnel helped to avert the departure of more than 47 stowaways who attempted to leave the country illegally onboard some merchant vessels.
From the foregoing, the patrol team deployed by NNS DELTA arrested the Captain of a merchant Vessel, one Mr Solomon Perebo for his alleged involvement in pipeline vandalism. Additionally, under this period of time, 23 illegal refinery sites were raided by the Base’s patrol teams mainly in Obodo, Ajosolo, Isaba and Olakpashe creeks in Warri South West LGA of Delta State. During the raid, about 396 Metric-Tons (MT) of suspected illegally refined AGO and about 1,060MT of suspected stolen crude oil were destroyed, 3 suspects linked to the sites were also apprehended.
In a related development, the patrol team deployed by NNS JUBILEE raided an illegal refinery site at Ibeno community in Ibeno LGA of Akwa Ibom State. The raid which was conducted in conjunction with security partners resulted to the destruction of 2 cotonou boats, and 6 drums containing suspected illegally refined AGO.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

End herdsmen attacks‎, NHRC tasks FG

The Federal Government was Wednesday, urged to take its responsibility of protecting lives and properties of Nigerians more serious.
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC,, via a statement by its Acting Executive Secretary, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah, said it was time FG ended incessant attack of "defenceless Nigerians" by suspected herdsmen. The statement read:
"Time has come for the government and security agencies to ensure effective protection of lives and properties of defenseless Nigerians who have been victims of incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen in the country".
Ovrawah made the call while reacting to recent report of attacks by suspected herdsmen which led to loss of lives and properties in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna state as well as similar reports in different parts of the country.
The Acting NHRC boss maintained that the government and security agencies must act fast to put a stop to the menace.
"She called on security agencies to be more proactive, professional and more committed in the discharge of their duties in containing persistent attacks by herdsmen, adding that there is an urgent need to prioritize preventive measures to curtail these attacks.
"Mrs. Ovrawah stated that the Commission having received some complaints on alleged attacks by herdsmen was partnering with other stakeholders to work out amicable solution to these avoidable attacks.

Malabu OPL 245 fraud: Global Witness writes FG

The international  anti-graft watchdog, Global Witness, has hailed the Federal Government for its doggedness in confronting corruption headlong.
The agency expressed delight that a Nigerian Government has taken the challenge, which others overlooked, in dragging the individuals and entities that were implicated in the high profile graft to court to account for their actions.
In a letter, signed by Simon Taylor, Global Witness Director, the United Kingdom-based non-governmental agency said that the action of the Nigerian Government had given fresh hope that the monster of corruption would be fought to a standstill.
We were delighted to read press reports that former Attorney General Adoke, Chief Etete and others have been indicted by the EFCC for fraud and money laundering in respect of the OPL 245 oil deal.
We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our admiration for the sterling investigatory work by the EFCC, under your leadership, that has brought this case to court.

Ekiti APC takes on Adeboye; accuses him of being fake, fortune seeking & inconsistent

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has described the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor Enoch Adeboye as a fake, fortune seeking and an inconsistent political pastor who always pray for politicians for cash.
The party described Pastor Adeboye as a fortune seeking and fake pastor, asking; “Why are these fortune seeking pastors pretending to be winning souls for Christ when they are selfish traders who are busy exploiting the ignorance of worshippers? Instead of visiting the poor in prisons, our fake pastors visit corrupt politicians who have stolen billions.”
Pastor Adeboye had during his tour of the country to the state as part of the church’s annual ‘Let’s Go A Fishing” programme, said to Mr. Fayose: “We thank God for your courage, for your boldness, we thank God for your being willing to take risks so that your people can be protected. You have been a governor who knows when to say enough is enough in defence of his people. And I’m sure you know what I’m talking about and I am sure the world knows. I don’t want to say more than that but be assured that we are praying for you and you will succeed in Jesus name.”
The APC had through a statement issued on Sunday, by its State Chairman; Mr Jide Awe accused Pastor Adeboye of collecting millions of naira as bribe to commend Governor, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti Sate, for his courage and willingness to defend his people and the cause of the common man in the country.

Wike presents 2017 N470billion golden jubilee budget for accelerated development

Rivers State Governor, NyesomEzenwo Wike  (r) and the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt Hon Dabo Adams after the presentation of 2017 Budget to the Rivers State House of Assembly on Wednesday by the governor. 
The 2017 budget is christened “the Golden Jubilee budget for accelerated development.”
In 2016, the Rivers State Government budgeted N307billion.
A breakdown  of  the  2017 budget indicates that the total projected capital expenditure is N329 billion (three hundred and twenty-nine billion naira) representing 70percent, while N141, 000,000,000.00 (one hundred and forty-one billion naira) is proposed for recurrent expenditure.
Governor Wike said: "Rivers State will be 50 years old next year, and to herald this historic landmark, we have christened the 2017 budget “the Golden Jubilee budget for accelerated development.

ISPS Code Enforcement: NIMASA reopens three facilities earlier shut

Following their partial compliance and written commitments to remedy all identified deficiencies of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has reopened three jetties and port facilities recently closed.
The facilities are Heyden Petroleum Jetty Ijora Lagos; Waziri Jetty, Dockyard Road Apapa Lagos and Starz Marine Shipyard Limited Onne in Rivers State.
All three facilities have already taken steps towards complying with the provisions of the code and also provided commitments in writing to the Agency to remedy the lapses that led to the initial closure within the shortest time possible.
The reopening of these facilities is in line with the Management's commitment to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the maritime industry in line with global best practices.

Wike’s refusal to honour police panel a bad omen — Rivers APC

The refusal of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to cooperate with the panel set up by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris to investigate the violence that marred the December 10 legislative rerun elections in the State has been described as a bad omen. “This is a direct affront to Federal powers and should be swiftly met with appropriate response by those whose authority he is challenging so as not to embolden others to follow his dangerous example,” the State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said.
The party in a statement issued on Wednesday in Port Harcourt expressed dismay that Wike has the effrontery to set up a parallel Commission of Enquiry on the rerun elections. “By so doing, Wike has clearly crossed the line and should be put in his proper place by the Federal Government whose powers he is brazenly challenging,” Rivers APC said in the statement signed by the State Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya.
The party alleged that Wike’s sole purpose in setting up the kangaroo commission is to ridicule APC leaders and makes nonsense of the efforts by the Police to probe and stop further killings in Rivers State. “It is laughable and a mockery of civilised procedure for Wike, whom everybody knows is the brain behind most of the killings and insecurity in Rivers State, to set up a judicial commission on the said killings instead of submitting himself to a Federal Panel set up by a neutral party,” the statement said.

Promotion of Ekiti 15,000 workers a ruse, says APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has debunked claims by Governor Ayodele Fayose that he has promoted 15,000 workers in the state civil service as part of the end of the year package for civil servants.
It also debunked claim by the governor that workers were paid two months salaries, Christmas bonus and other allowances. 
In the last few days, news was all over the media space that Fayose had paid two months salaries and Christmas bonus, including promotion of 15,000 workers and implementation of promotion arrears approved few years back as part of welfare scheme for workers.
But APC dismissed the reports as a ruse, saying that no single worker was promoted "as at the time of writing this press release".
In a statement by the Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party said it had been discovered that the governor was "just trying to be himself as an unconscionable liar" in his promotion and two months salary payment claims.
He explained: "As at the time of writing this press release, no single worker has received any letter of promotion. 
"At best, what the governor has done is a promise of promotion to the Labour leaders he assembled at the dilapidated Ikogosi Resort where he begged them to help him mobilise workers to vote for his candidate in the 2018 governorship election with the promise of mass promotion for workers.
"The promise followed similar other one during his governorship campaigns when he asked Ekiti youths to submit their credentials to his campaign office for immediate mass employment if they voted for him.

SERAP asks EFCC to probe missing N500m Chibok safe school funds

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) requesting him to “urgently begin a thorough, transparent and effective investigation into allegation that N500 million Safe School funds for Chibok girls, commissioned by former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to rebuild the Government Girls School in Chibok, is missing and cannot be accounted for.”
The organization urged the EFCC to “invite for questioning, and name and shame anyone suspected to be involved in the alleged diversion, including the contractors allegedly handling the project.”
In the petition dated 27 December 2016 and signed by SERAP senior staff attorney Timothy Adewale, the organization said: “The allegation that N500m has been lost to corruption has resulted in denying the girls access to education, and shows the failure of the former President Goodluck Jonathan government to live up to Nigeria’s commitments under the global Safe School Declaration.”
The petition reads in part: “SERAP believes that the diversion of the funds will expose the school to attacks in the future. This is a fundamental breach of the country’s obligations including guarantees of non-repetition, which contribute to prevention and deterrence of future attacks.”

Magnus Abe, still concocting results – PDP


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has raised alarm over startling discoveries that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Senator, representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, is still concocting figures to correspond with results illegally declared in his favour on Saturday December 10, 2016, Re-run Elections, several weeks after the said election was supposedly concluded in the area.
A statement by the State Chairman of the PDP, Bro. Felix Obuah said the party was piqued to discover that Abe was still busy manufacturing figures for the election results in his private residence, in connivance with some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The statement, which was signed by the Special Adviser to the PDP Chairman on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needam, described the action of Magnus Abe as illegal,  clandestine, mischievous and an affirmation of his desperation to win election at all cost, even when he did not win election in the area and was criminally declared winner by the INEC.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

How armed forces dismantled Boko Haram

The Nigerian security agencies have revealed how they dismantled the leadership and stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents. They also confirmed that the Nigerian leader of the sect, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, was captured three months before the capture of the Sambisa Forest .

It was reported that Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who is a top Boko Haram and ISIS leader, was rated by the United States as the world’s third most wanted terrorist and a major threat to world peace.

Al-Barnawi was declared as the Nigerian leader of Boko Haram last August and was featured in the latest issue of an IS magazine.

The Nigerian security agency reportedly arrested the terrorist and took him into custody about three months ago, paving the way for the ransacking of the Boko Haram stronghold in the Sambisa Forest.
According to security sources ,“The suspect, who was responsible for major killings, kidnap of local and foreigners between 2012 and 2015, is in our custody. In fact, when the rest of the world got to know that the key terrorist had been captured by us, they had been sending their officials to come and interrogate him in our custody.

FG sacks 50,000 ghost workers

The Federal government successfully identified and sacked 50,000 ghost workers, thereby saving the country a huge amount totaling up to N200 billion in 2016. 
The is consequent upon the taking off of N13 billion from the payroll, monthly, from February to December in 2016.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, who made the disclosure in Abuja also hinted that 11 persons championing the syndicate of ghost workers have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
"The flagship program of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rid the system of fraud and instill good governance is on course. Through a notable initiative, the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the government has embarked on the continuous auditing of the salaries and wages of government departments.
"When the the Committee was constituted in February 2016, Federal government monthly salary bill was N151 billion excluding pensions. Now the monthly salary warrant is N138 billion, excluding pensions. Which means that the government  is making a monthly saving of about N13 billion. That is from February 2016 to date," he said.

Angola leads oil output in Africa, 2016

Angola has been ranked leading oil producer in Africa for 2016, having surpassed other countries including Nigeria by reaching a daily average of 1.7 million barrels, reports, said.
The figure exceeds the previous record of 1.5 million barrels a day.
It will be recalled that pumping has increased by 8,800 barrels more per day against June report, when the country surpassed Nigeria for the first time, with its steady rise against declines recorded by Nigeria for most part of this year. 
Nigeria's production has been critically affected by bombings and attacks of facilities by militants at the Niger Delta region. Angola's production represents 90 percent of exports, 50 percent of gross domestic product and 80 percent of its tax revenues, according to the Angola Press Agency. However, on average, Luanda obtained $45.93 for each barrel exported this year, compared to $100 earned in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Angolan National Fuel Company (Sonangol) has begun a process of reforms that include bringing down the production cost of one barrel of crude oil to 12 dollars, almost half of the current price. Sonangol's revenues are still lower than in 2013, the year before the economic crisis. In 2014, revenues reached $26,657 billion and in 2015 decreased to $16,212 billion. Estimation for the budget of 2017 is $46 a barrel and an annual production of 664.68 billion barrels of crude, or 1.84 million barrels daily.

Rivers Rerun: Security agencies plotted to make Rivers State ungovernable --Wike

Rivers State Traditional Rulers  praying for Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  (sitting) during their goodwill Christmas Visit to the  governor on Tuesday at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday

Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that the violence  that marred the rerun elections in the state was orchestrated by security agencies with a motive to making the state ungovernable for politically  motivated reasons.
The governor also announced that the Police High Command  has arrested all his personal  police details who accompanied  him to stop SARS Commander Akin Fakorede from rigging  Rivers East Senatorial District.  He said that all the said policemen  have been  detained in Abuja by the Police High Command. 
The governor  addressed members of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council who paid him a Goodwill  Christmas Visit  on Tuesday. 
He said  that the Police High Command  is insisting that the  policemen  shouldn't have accompanied  him to stop Fakorede.  
Governor Wike explained that  he was compelled to take action  because  the previous day, policemen and soldiers were used by the APC at Ikwerre LGA to beat up PDP agents and force Collation Officers to concoct results. 
"The security  agencies orchestrated plans to cause violence with a view to making the state ungovernable for ulterior motives.

Djibouti ratifies Afreximbank establishment agreement, signs agreement for industrial development



President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti (right) listens to Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah during their meeting at the Al Qobba Presidential Palace in Cairo

Cairo: – Djibouti has entered into an agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to collaborate in the financing and promotion of the country’s industrial base for export manufacturing and in the development of its trade-related infrastructure.
Under the terms of a protocol signed today at Egypt’s Al Qobba Presidential Palace in Cairo, Afreximbank will assist Djibouti in mobilising the human, technical and financial resources necessary for the completion of projects in the country’s logistics, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, to strengthen Djibouti’s position as a gateway for trade for landlocked African economies.
President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, who received an Afreximbank delegation led by Bank President Dr. Benedict Oramah for the signing ceremony, told the delegation that the financing of projects relating to export manufacturing in industrial parks, the renewable energy and telecommunications constituted the country’s current development priorities.

Lagos remits over N75Bn employees’ pension rights in eight months

Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke (2nd left); Acting Head of Service, Mrs. Folashade Adesoye (2nd right); Director- General, LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga (right) with one of the retirees during the 34th retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation Ceremony 
The Lagos State Government, has remitted over N75 billion to the Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs of the mandatory Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS.
Also, the state government has disbursed the sum of N1.9 billion into the Retirement Savings Accounts, RSAs, of 495 state’s employees for the month of December.
The state’s Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Oke disclosed this at the weekend during the presentation of Retirement Benefit Bond Certificates to the 34th Batch of retirees from the state’s public service organized by Lagos State Pension Commission, LASPEC, at Alausa, Ikeja.

You are a security risk, PDP tells Magnus Abe


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has again raised alarm concerning the activities and unguarded statements of the APC Caretaker Senator, representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, saying his actions pose a security risk to the State.
The Rivers PDP chairman, Felix Obuah described the directive by Mr Abe, that lawmakers elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, should invade the Assembly without being subjected to the oath of office as demanded by law, as unbecoming of one who claims to be a federal lawmaker. 
In a statement by the State Chairman of the PDP, Felix Obuah and signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needam, the party expressed worries that Abe’s recent comments and secret meetings call for concern by every patriotic Rivers man and woman.
The PDP regretted that although Magnus Abe is known for unsavory and disrespectful attacks on the government and people of Rivers State, he has continued to make statements which are not only provocative and incisive, but seriously threaten the peace and security of the State.

Arik Air fined N6m for passengers' luggage

Arik Air has been fined N6m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) over its passengers’ complaints of delay and inability of the airline to ferry their luggage from London to Lagos from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of December, 2016.
The airline was also directed to pay each affected passenger,  the sum of $150 as compensation for inconveniences suffered as a result of the delayed arrival of their luggage, within 30 days of the date of the letter.
The NCAA in a statement signed by its  General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye Tuesday disclosed the sanction.

PDP says clearing of Sambisa forest not end of war against insurgency

The Federal government and the Nation's Armed Forces have been commened for clearing the Sambisa  Forest of Book Haram  insurgents. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, made the commendation yesterday but added that it does not represent an end to the war against insurgency. 
In a statement in Abuja yesterday,  the National publicity secretary of the Party,  Prince Dayo Adeyeye commended the president for building on the successes achieved by his predecessor, President Goodluck Jonathan. 
He however added that beyond clearing Sambisa  forest,  all other forests that have acted as haven for criminals nationwide must be cleared. 
He said: "The clearing of the Sambisa forest is a critical milestone but not the end of the war against insurgency. The Government and the military must not rest on their oars. The hot pursuit of the terrorists must continue unabated and relentlessly until the entire North East is rid completely of them.  
"Beyond Sambisa all the other forests which criminals used as hideouts and bases must equally be cleared by the military. Forests such as Birnin Gwari, Zamfara, Southern Kaduna, Enugu and Benue have become killing fields. They must all be cleared of criminal elements. 
" In the spirit of the Yuletide we urge all Nigerians to extend goodwill to one another. More than ever before all hands must be on deck to ensure the peace and unity of of our dear country without which we can never hope to meet our developmental aspirations" he said. 

Monday, 26 December 2016

Canadian sisters, Nigerian who blackmail and extort Nigerian billionaires remanded

Canadian nationals of Indian descent, Kiranjot and Tara Matharoo who are siblings and a Nigerian, Babatunde Oyebade, were at the weekend remanded in prison custody by a Yaba Chief Magistrate court for blackmailing  Nigeria billionaire and oil mogul,  Femi Otedola and his daughter , Florence, who is popularly known as Dj Cuppy, using a gossip website.
The accused who were brought  before  ‎Chief Magistrate A.O. Ojo, on a four count charge, bordering on blackmail, threat to kidnap and cyber-stalking, were said to members of a syndicate which specialized in blackmailing  and extorting money prominent Nigerians.
It was gathered that the accused  who  were arrested by policemen attached to the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, were said to the owners of  Naijagistlive.com, a gossip website which they  have used in blackmailing and  extorting  huge sums of  money in foreign currencies  from several high profile politicians, including state governors, bankers, businessmen, musicians  and several others. 
The sisters who were alleged to be high-price call girls, operating from a suite in a popular five-star hotel at the Victoria Island area of Lagos, where they pay the sum of N178,000 per night, were said to have extorted the sum of $ 300,000 from a top politician from the North, when they threatened to expose on the Internet, nude pictures and videos of the  ‎politian having sexual intercourse.
Sources disclosed that the suspects, usually, contacts their victims through internet calls  and ‎after several stalking and negotiations, make them pay the agreed to amount of their demand using PayPal, an American online payment system.

Gunmen kill eight in Rivers on Christmas eve

Unidentified gunmen suspected to be members of a cult group killed over eight people during a coordinated attack in the area on the Christmas Day in Omoku Town, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State .
According to a community source who begged that his named should not be mentioned, the killers invaded the area around 9 pm Saturday and killed the number of victims.
On the eve of Christmas around 9 pm, I was sitting out with one of friends who just came and invited me when we started hearing gunshots. As usual, people started running for safety. I ran into them as I was heading to my house.
They were putting on military uniform and armed to the teeth. They were shooting from every direction. All the people that came out that night to celebrate the Christmas eve ran back to their houses.
In the morning, I took a walk around the area ad I confirmed seven corpses. Two Hausa men who may have been picked by strayed bullet were among. A member of Joint-Security Task Force was also among.

No power can bring me down because I am rooted in God -Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  (m) his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike (r) and Health Commissioner, Dr Theophilus Odagme  during a special Christmas Service on Sunday in Port Harcourt at the Rivers State Headquarters of Living Faith Church. 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  has stated that no power can bring him down because he is solidly and comfortably  rooted in God.
Governor Wike spoke at the Rivers State Headquarters of Living Faith Church  in Port Harcourt during  a  Special Christmas Church Service on Sunday . 
He was accompanied to the Christmas Church Service by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike and their children. 
The governor  said  that Rivers State will continue to overcome trials and oppressive  tendencies because of God's grace. 

Russia: Wreckage of crashed jet found in Black Sea

Wreckage from the Russian jet that crashed Sunday in the Black Sea killing 92 people has been found, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.
Pilot error or a technical fault — but not terrorism — were likely to have caused the crash, Russia’s transport minister Maxim Sokolov said in a statement.
Divers Monday afternoon located several fragments of the plane about one mile away from the shore and 82 feet under the sea, the statement said. It said some of the debris has been recovered, and the divers were going back into the water to search for more.
Everyone aboard the Russian military’s Tu-154 plane are thought to have died when the jet crashed two minutes after take off Sunday from the southern city of Sochi en route to Syria, the Associated Press said.

IBB commends Nigerian troops for recapturing Sambisa forest

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has expressed delight on the news of successful operations of the Nigeria Army in the Sambisa Forest. 
According to a statement issued  by the Media Office of the former Head State,  IBB said: "it is a sign of relief, that the Military has finally smocked out Boko Haram terrorists from their notorious enclave of Sambisa Forest" .
General Babangida also saluted the courage and determination of President Muhammadu Buhari, Army chiefs as well as armed men and women and other security personnel for their sacrifice for the painful liberation of Sambisa Forest and adjoining abode of Boko Haram. 
He said: "May I rejoice with the government and  Nigerians on the successful dislodging of Boko Haram from their base in Sambisa. 

Suicide bomber killed, another arrested in Maiduguri

Attempt by two suicide bombers to wreck havoc a day after Christmas Day has been thwarted as one of the suspects was killed while the other arrested by security personnel. 
While emergency workers have evacuated the dead body of the female bomber, Nigerian soldiers took the other away for interrogations. 
A spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North-East with an office in Maiduguri Abdulkadir Ibrahim confirmed the incident saying that “Emegency workers were immediately drafted to scene at Kasuwar Shanu, a market in Maiduguri where cattle and other domestic animals are sold.”
Meanwhile, ‎Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has described the outgoing year, 2016 as one that witnessed a major breakthrough in the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram insurgency, saying the year is so far his best in the last five years, since he assumed the mantle of leadership on May 29, 2011 and reelected in 2015.

Wike charges Ikwerre Leaders to work with other ethnic groups

L-R: Second  Vice President of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, Dr Hillary Wordu,  First Vice President, Chief Engr. L.A. Amadi , Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Outgoing President General,  Prof. Augustine W. Onyeozu  and Ochi Oha, G.A.O Omodu at the  211th Convention of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide in Rumuche on Christmas Day 
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on the leaders of the  Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality  to work with other ethnic groups  to ensure  the faster development of the state. 
In a keynote address during the 211th Convention of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation, Worldwide at Rumuche in  Emohua Local Government Area on Sunday, Governor Wike  said  that inter-ethnic cooperation  will enhance  the  development of the state.
Governor Wike who noted that his administration  will  ensure that all local government areas  in the state  benefit  from development projects,  said that the road  projects  pledged for the  four Ikwerre speaking Local Government Areas will be completed in one year.
He said: "Let us work together to develop Rivers State. Working together with other ethnic groups, we will move the state forward. 

Saraki describes Dogara as symbol of national unity

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Monday, described the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, as a young and innovative political leader that continues to serve as a bridge between the various sections of the country. 
Saraki, in his congratulatory message on the 49th birthday of the Speaker, signed by his Special adviser for Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that Dogara’s leadership of the House of Representatives, was a clear demonstration that young politicians can bring unprecedented leadership qualities and fresh ideas to the table in the development of Nigeria.
Since the 8th Assembly was inaugurated, I have had the pleasure of having Speaker Dogara as a partner in the development of the country's legislative process,” he said, “Throughout this time, he has consistently demonstrated that he is an emerging consummate statesman that always puts the interests of the Nigerian people first.

As he celebrates his 49th birthday today, I wish him continued wisdom and foresight as he steers the ship of the House of Representatives. I also wish him the best of blessings as we work together to pass laws that directly make impact on the lives of every Nigerian,” the Senate President said.

Enough of diversionary stories, Nigerians are hungry, Fayose tells FG

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said that what Nigerians are now desirous of hearing from the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government is the defeat of hunger and untold hardship ravaging the country and not recycled stories of defeat of Boko Haram insurgents, which is as usual, aimed at diverting the attention of
Nigerians from the fact that there is ravaging hunger at this time of the year.
The governor said it has become predictable that whenever Nigerians cry of the pains and sufferings they are going through, the federal government will come with stories like; “20 Chibok girls found,” “$1 billion found in Mr A, B or C bedroom,” “Boko Haram technically defeated,” “We have captured Sambisa forest,” etc just to divert attention.
In a release issued in Ado Ekiti on Monday and signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said; “It is painful that Nigeria under President Mohammadu Buhari has become directionless either due to the cluelessness of the president or his old age that has foisted a purposeless leadership on the country.
He said; “This year’s Christmas is the worse in the history of Nigeria. People cannot afford to celebrate and enjoy themselves due to the hardship caused by the APC government. To make matters worse, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also created artificial scarcity of cash, such that people could not access their hard earned money in the banks as most banks in the country do not have cash to pay their customers.

FG rallies support for victorious troops as key roads open in Borno

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and other top brass of the military reopening the Maiduguri-Monguno-Baga Road and Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak Road at a ceremony in Maiduguri on Sunday.

The Federal Government has congratulated the gallant troops of the Nigerian military for finally seizing the Sambisa Forest from the Boko Haram terrorists and securing the North-east, paving the way for Sunday's re-opening of two strategic roads in Borno State.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, appealed to Nigerians to continue to support the troops as they clear the remnants of the terrorists who are now on the run.

APC hails capture of Sambisa Forest, Boko Haram's last stronghold

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended the Nigerian Armed Forces and President Muhammadu Buhari on the great success of Operation Lafiya Dole which resulted in the capture of Boko Haram’s last stronghold, Sambisa Forest on Friday, December 23.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi on Sunday hailed the victory as well-deserved and a welcome development. The Party also commended the Nigerian people for the prayers and support offered to the military in the fight against insurgency.
The APC National Publicity Secretary said:
Friday’s capture Of Sambisa Forest, Boko Haram's last stronghold is well-deserved and a welcome development following the vigorous and focused leadership the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration has provided in the fight against insurgency in the North East. The victory is in fulfilment of one of the key promises made by the Party to protect the citizenry and effectively secure all Nigerian territory.
Going forward, the priority of government is to intensify ongoing efforts at reconstructing and rehabilitating the North East so that displaced persons can return to their peaceful and productive lives.”



Woman delivers conjoined twins in Ebonyi

A conjoined twins otherwise known as Siamese twins was delivered in Ebonyi state  by Mrs. Agbo  Josephine on 17th December, 2016.
The woman is from Umuezeka Ngbo in Ohuaukwu  local government area of the state.
The mother of four while pregnant started experiencing labour pains and went to a maternity in her village where she had registered for care and delivery .
When the delivery got complicated and the pregnancy was found to be multiple as the legs of the first twin had dropped, she was referred to a hospital in Abakaliki, St. Theresa’s hospital Abakaliki where Dr. Chudi Egbuonu took care of delivery.

NIMASA promotes 76 management staff and others

The Governing Board of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has approved the promotion of 76 Management Staff of the Agency to their next grade levels.
The promotions were approved at the 34th meeting of the Board which held in Lagos from 20th to 21st, December, 2016 under the chairmanship of General Jonathan India Garba (rtd).
Eight Deputy Directors were promoted to the level of Directors, 15 Assistant Directors were promoted to Deputy Directors while 56 grade level 14 officers were promoted to their next grade of Assistant Directors.
Those promoted to Directors include the Agency's Spokesperson, Hajia Lami Tumaka, Head of Procurement department, Mr. Sani Mohammed, Head of Financial Services department, Mr. Olayemi Abbas and his counterpart in Cabotage department, Mr. Hassan el-Yakub.
Others are the Coordinator of Western Zonal Operations, Hajia Aisha Jummai Musa, Head of Marine Environment Management department, Mrs. Susan Asagwara, Head of Shipping Development department, Mr. Akin Akinyosoye and his counterpart in Legal Services, Mr. Suleman Abdulsalam.
The promotion went through a rigorous process where independent consultants were engaged to carry out the exercise.
Similarly, the Executive Management of the Agency has also approved the promotion of a total number of 222 non-management staff between grade levels 4-14.

Meanwhile, the Governing Board has enjoined the newly promoted staff to dedicate themselves to duty as the promotions will undoubtedly come with more responsibilities, adding that henceforth promotion exercises in the Agency will be conducted as at when due. 

George Michael dies at 53

Sensational singer, George Michael is dead. He died of heart failure in bed on Christmas Day at age 53,
according to a statement by his publicist, Michael Lippman at 11pm.
"It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.
"The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."
Mr Lippman revealed George was found "in bed, lying peacefully" and that he is understood to have died of heart failure.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Panels release 465 inmates in Bauchi prisons

The Administration of Criminal Justice Committee and Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy have released a total of 465 Inmates in Bauchi State in 2016.
Making the disclosure at Legal Year Ceremony at High Court Complex, Bauchi, the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Ibrahim Y.  Umar who commended the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) for regular production of inmates in courts said: "both the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee that deals on awaiting trial inmates have in the first and second quarter of the Legal Year released 78 and 215 inmates respectively. While the Advisory committee on the prerogative of Mercy had released and pardoned 172 prison inmates including the payment of their fines.”
On the issue of condemned prisoners languishing in prisons in the state based on Sharia laws, the Attorney General said his ministry through the Advisory Committee on Prerogative of mercy is collaborating to find lasting solution to the agony of their stay in prison through high powered meetings with the State Shari'a Commission and Council of Ulama in the State.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Bauchi State Governor, Muhammed Abdullahi Abubakar Esq commended the  Bauchi State Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service for partnering with the state government in its drive to decongest the Prisons in the State.

In her remarks, the State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Rabi T. Umar also praised the NPS for timely production of inmates to various courts which assisted the judiciary in the speedy dispensation of justice in the state.

RSG berates DSS for baseless and false alarm

The Rivers State Government has described the statement by the DSS as a “false and baseless alarm”
The Commissioner for Information and Communication in Rivers State, Dr. Austin Tam-George, in a swift reaction said: “It is an irresponsible scaremongering by an agency that seems bent on a mission to blackmail the governor of Rivers State, and bring the state government into disrepute.
Governor Wike is a man of peace, and would never orchestrate disturbances in any part of the country.
The Rivers State Government challenges the DSS to leave Governor Wike alone, and instead focus their operational attention on the Boko Haram insurgency that has killed over 70, 000 people, and displaced 6 million Nigerians , in the past six years.

The government and people of Rivers State will never succumb to cheap blackmail by the DSS, or any federal agency by whatever name.”

DSO to provide N100b boost for Nollywood distribution network - FG

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, Commissioning Abuja Digital Switch Over on Thursday at the offices of Signal Distributor Pinnacle Communications Ltd. He is flanked on the right by Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed and on the left by Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Ltd Lucky Omoluwa

The Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Broadcasting is set to create a N100 billion Naira per annum FreeTV distribution network for Nollywood, among a number of positive spin-offs, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Thursday.
Speaking at the launch of the DSO in Abuja, the Minister also listed job creation, 30 free digital channels, free and easy access to Government and Public information through a touch of the remote control, current affairs and news available through the middleware on the boxes and a world class Electronic Programme Guide that will make television viewing an unbeatable experience
''We have watched our beloved Nollywood move from VHS tapes to VCD to DVD, and whereas the whole world has moved to digital consumption of content with its attendant benefits and democratisation of distribution, we have been constrained by limited penetration of Internet in our homes.
''With the middleware in our Set-top boxes/Receiving equipment, homes will be able to buy and watch the latest Nollywood movies without the need for Internet. Imagine a film released on Monday morning being immediately available to 24 million plus households at the touch of a button,'' he said
In his speech entitled ''The Best of Television For All Nigerians,'' Alhaji Mohammed said the local manufacture of Set-top boxes, which has already begun, is already extending to local Smart TV and Tablet manufacturing, thus creating jobs.
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