Sunday, 31 January 2016

Double taxation weighing us down--Telecom Operators

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), at the weekend decried the heavy taxation imposed on telecom operators in Nigeria by different layers of government, saying it weighs down their operations.
The group through its Chairman Engr Gbenga Adebayo, urged the federal government to harmonise levies on operators to ease access to deployments of necessary infrastructure that would enhance telecommunications services in the country.

Coca-Cola acquires 40% equity stake  in Chivita

The Coca-Cola Company at the weekend disclosed that it has invested 40 percent initial minority equity stake to acquire Chivita Limited, one of the Nigeria’s leading dairy and Juice Company.
The agreement creates a strategic relationship between two beverage industry leaders within Africa’s largest economy that together serve Nigeria’s most popular sparkling soft drinks, juices, value-added dairy and water beverage brands.
The new deal according to the company is expected to increase ownership to 100 percent within three years, subject to regulatory approvals, while working on other long-term commercial structures.
Additionally, the parties have agreed to jointly discuss and explore other opportunities in the region to further develop the relationship.
The investment in Nigeria’s leading value-added dairy and juice beverage brands which included Hollandia and Chivita further expands Coca-Cola Company’s West African portfolio of still beverages while establishing Coca-Cola’s presence in Africa’s high-growth value-added dairy category.

ZIKA VIRUS: Nigeria restricts pregnant women going to Latin America

Nigerian government has placed a travel restriction on pregnant women going to Latin America due to the recent outbreak of Zika virus infection  which was first discovered in Brazil in 2014.
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that is spread by the Aedes species of mosquito, the mosquito also responsible for the transmission of dengue and chikungunya viruses.
These mosquitoes attack and bite their prey during the daytime hours and can survive in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Over 1, 637 herdsmen slaughtered by B'Haram, 200,773 livestock rustled in Borno

No fewer than 1, 637 herdsmen were killed by B'Haram in various attacks in Borno state; with the torching of many Fulani tents and hamlets.
Chairman of Al-Hayah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigerian (ACBAN), Alhaji Ibrahim Mafa disclosed this on Sunday  in Maiduguri, while lamenting the death toll of herdsmen in the six-year Boko Haram insurgency in Sambisa Forest and Northern Borno State, comprising 10 council areas.
According to him,
since the Boko Haram insurgency, the cattle breeders association lost over a million livestock to the terrorists that operate and attack in the forest and north parts of Borno state.
This, he said could have been used to ‘finance and sustain’ Boko Haram insurgency, despite the blocking of fuel and food supplies by the military.

Maternal Health: Mrs. Saraki stresses importance of education, raises alarm over effects of Zika virus on pregnant women

Wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, has called for an increased emphasis on health education through midwives, to protect women in crisis settings by ensuring that they have the knowledge needed to protect themselves and their children.

Gen Umaru visits Dalori after Boko Haram attacks

The Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Hassan Umaru has visited Dalori Village,5km from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to inspect damages from last night’s attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.

While condoling the District Head of the Village, Alhaji Lawal Bashir over the unfortunate incident, General Umaru reassured the people of the commitment of the military to apprehend and deal with the perpetrators.

Dozens feared killed as Boko Haram invades Maiduguri village

Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members invaded Dalori village, an outskirt of Maiduguri the Borno state capital on Saturday evening and left dozens of people dead and injured.
Many houses were also set ablaze by the rampaging terrorists.
Dalori village is in South East and about 15km drive from Maiduguri metropolis. The area also hosted a number of thousands Internally Displaced Persons in one of the settlement camps near the town.
Sources said, the insurgents who stormed the village armed with AK47 rifles and petrol bombs wrecked havoc on innocent villagers, looted foodstuff and livestock before setting many houses ablaze.

Wike's victory a temporal defeat - Rivers APC

The Rivers State branch of All Progressives, APC, has described the Supreme Court judgment that upheld the election of Governor Nyesom Wike as a temporal defeat in their fight for freedom of the people of the state.
The state chairman of APC, Chief Davies Ikanya who made this statement, Saturday, during stakeholders meeting of the party in Port Harcourt said the party will give the government constructive opposition that would bring change.

Rivers PDP chairman, Felix Obuah plans reception for APC decampees

The Chairman Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah has begun plans to receive some prominent leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, across the 23 Local Government Areas of the State, who have accepted to join the PDP following hands of fellowship extended to them by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

AMAECHI: Rivers APC applauds UNITAR, Igbo for awards

The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has applauded the appointment of Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as a member of the Board of Trustees, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), even as it hailed the choice of Amaechi as the 2015 Igbo Man of the Year by the Pan-Igbo group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Rivers APC in a statement signed by its Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, described Amaechi as God’s gift to Nigeria, saying that the honours are well deserved. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Nigeria currency restrictions “Doomed To Fail”

The iShares MSCI Nigeria exchange-traded fund (NGE) tumbled 1.8% after Nigeria’s central bank disappointed investors Tuesday by keeping interest rates on hold at 11% and reiterating a committment to currency restrictions.

The Nigeria fund is down 32% over the past 12 months, including the 15% drop in January, in line with the percentage drop in oil prices. Nigeria’s economy depends on oil exports. Today, the iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (FM) was up 0.6% in recent trading, the iShares MSCI Emerging Market ETF (EEM) was up 1.3% and the SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF (GAF) was down 1.4%

Cloud: Demand for skills still high in Middle East, Africa

While the Middle East and Africa move into the mobile-first, cloud-first world at an increasingly fast pace, the software giant, Microsoft is encouraging those in the field of IT to gain skills in cloud and data architecture.
According to Oluyomi Alarape, Director, Cloud & Enterprise, Microsoft Nigeria, “As more enterprises, consumers and cities embrace the cloud and it becomes part of everyday life, the demand for cloud architects is obviously growing. It’s an exciting industry to be in, with lots of areas of specialisation, and more jobs being created each year,”
According to him, “Cloud computing will see immense growth when countries across the Middle East and Africa have strong legislation in place to ensure data protection. Governments can gain by prioritising this because cloud provides the most affordable and scalable way for businesses to be competitive, and this is what’s most exciting. Cloud drives innovation,”.

$2.1bn arms probe: Metuh ran 5 separate accounts---Witness

Image for the news result

A Diamond Bank Plc, official , Eno-Mfon Effiong, Wednesday, told the Federal High court sitting in Abuja that the National Publicity of the Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh ran five separate accounts with the bank.
Effiong said she was the account officer to Metuh’s firm, Destra Investment Limited, adding that the company already had a balance of N6, 676, 576.6 (Six million, six hundred and seventy six  thousand, five hundred and seventy six Naira) in its account, prior to the date the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, credited it with the sum of N400m on November 24, 2014.
The witness who testified as the PW-3 said she was not surprised by “the credit inflows” into the account No 0040437573, considering that both Metuh and his firm were hitherto regarded by the bank as “high-network customers”.

Babcock retools 500 lecturers with e-learning skills

To retool its lecturers to 21st century teaching environment, Babcock university has trained no fewer than five hundred lecturers in one -week intensive training on Total Classroom and Campus Digital Revolution (TCCDR).
The university is the first in Nigeria to achieve a comprehensive training and certification of all its lecturers with a view to strengthening the leadership position of the university in Nigeria and Africa.
The TCCDR project is an end-to-end first-of-its-kind- robust collaborative e-learning designed to enable the students, lecturers and parents and the school Administrators collaborate in a new integrated way that will further enhance academic excellence and boost the university global ranking as a foremost technology-driven university in the same league with the best universities in the world.
With the deployment of TCCDR, the classrooms , students and their lecturers , hostels and cafeteria on campus will be seamlessly connected.

Victims of Enugu ritual killings identified


Three of the victims in the suspected ritual killing at Ugwuaji in Enugu State have been identified by the Tricycle Riders’ Association, popularly knows as “Keke Riders”, its members.
Chairman of the union, Comrade Ikah Benjamin Ejiofor said the murder of the keke riders is “most wicked and despicable”.
The names of the victims are given as Babangida Sale, Ashahabu Dauda and Ismahil Abdulahi.
The three dead bodies were on Monday exhumed from the foundation of a building project said to a Church, located at the Enugu-Port Harcourt Express Way.

Pipeline vandalism: Police arrest Civil defence officer, 10 others

The police in Ebonyi state Wednesday confirmed arrest of  an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and 10 others for allegedly vandalising petroleum pipelines in Ivo local government area of the state

The Commissioner of Police in the State, CP Peace Ibekwe gave the name of the Civil Defense Officer to be one Igbokwe Chukwuemeka, adding that the other suspects were arrested at Amaeze Ishiagu in Ivo LGA.

Suspected Nigerian trafficker extradited to the UK

A Nigerian fugitive, Franca Asemota was Wednesday extradited to United Kingdom on allegation of child trafficking.
Asemota was moved to the UK through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati had on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 ordered her extradition to the UK following a request through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

S'Court upholds Wike’s election

Nigeria's  Supreme CourtWednesday upheld the election of Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State declaring that the election was conducted in line with the Electoral Act. 
Justice Kekere-Ekun in a lead judgment  validated the election of  Wike on the grounds  that  he  won with the lawfully valid votes.

The Supreme Court panel  lead by Chief Justice  of Nigeria,  Justice Mahmoud Mohammed unanimously declared that it will be  giving  reasons  for  its judgment  on February 12.

Bribery scandal: Orubebe's trial stalled

Nigeria's Federal Government, Wednesday, failed to open its case against the erstwhile Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Peter Orubebe‎, who is facing corruption charges before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

In the charge dated October 8, 2015, Orubebe was alleged to have falsely declared his assets while in office as a public office.

Orubebe was alleged to have failed to declare his ownership of two choice properties in Abuja.

He was equally accused of collecting bribe of N70m from one Pastor (Dr.) Jonathan Alota, the owner of a company, Chemtronics Nigeria Limited.

Chemtronics was said to have benefited from contracts that were awarded by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, whilst  Orubebe held sway as Minister.

The charge against him was initiated by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

14 die, 24 injured in Chibok market blast

Fourteen people died and over 30 others were seriously injured when two suspected female suicide bombers attacked Chibok market in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno state.
According to the report from Chibok on Wednesday, the Chibok market has been shut down since the attack in Chibok school where over 200 female students who were yet to be rescued were abducted by the Islamic militants.

MASS LOOTING: Femi Falana's takes on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala again

In my application to the Special Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week, I requested for investigation into the allegations of crimes against humanity committed by serving and retired military officers and their civilian accomplices. Having diverted over $8 billion earmarked for the procurement of arms and armament for counter insurgency operations I argued that the suspects who aided and abetted the dreaded Boko Haram sect in the barbaric killing of over 25 soldiers and civilians including children and the displacement of 2 million people ought to be prosecuted at the ICC. However, for having the temerity to request the ICC to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by some former public officers who bear full responsibility for the atrocities perpetrated by the terrorist group Dr. Okonjo-Iweala resorted to the scurrilous attack of my person.

British High Commission laments increased cases of sexual violence in Nigeria

The British High Commission has identified lack of statistical details and poor implementation of the relevant laws as the reasons for the increasing incidences of violence against women in the Country.

The Commission therefore called on the federal government to embark on awareness campaign on the existence of the law , adding that adequate statistics should be provided by government to prepare a legal and financial frameworks on how to eradicate the menace.

The  Communication Manager and Political Adviser, British Deputy High Commission, Mr Wale Adebajo, said  this on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ workshop/training on the violence Against  Persons Prohibition Act, 2015 organised by  New Initiative for Social Development.

Nigeria Police Force mourns the death of former IGP Sunday Adewusi

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, fdc, NPM, on behalf of the entire officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, announces the news of the death of former IGP Sunday A. Adewusi, GCON, NPM, who passed away at the National Hospital, Abuja on Tuesday 26th January, 2016, and expresses deepest condolences and sympathy to the families and loved ones of the late IGP.

Stakeholders pass vote of confidence on Umahi

Ebonyi State stakeholders have expressed their satisfaction with the way Governor David Umahi has been running the state, saying they have confidence that he would turn the fortune of the state  around with an improved Internally Generated Revenue.
The vote of confidence followed a motion moved by a former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Innocent Ugochima and supported by Senator Sylvester  Ngele during a town hall meeting between the governor and the stakeholders at the Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre, Abakaliki on Tuesday.
 Ugochima, who highlighted some of the key achievements of Umahi within the past seven months, called for the passage of a vote of confidence on the governor.

IGP leaves for Italy: drums up support for Nigeria Police Force

In continuation of efforts aimed at sourcing requisite support towards the advancement of the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari in relation to the professionalisation of the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase has embarked on a four-day official visit to Italy. The visit which commenced from Tuesday 26th January, 2016 is at the invitation of the Italian Government and was initiated to demonstrate the Italian Government’s willingness to support the Federal Government of Nigeria towards enhancing the capacity of the Nigeria Police, particularly, in the area of intelligence, special operations and investigations.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

MTN urged to drop lawsuit against Nigeria over fine

The Nigerian government has asked the South African cellphone operator MTN to drop its legal action over a $3.9 billion fine imposed in Nigeria to help facilitate talks on a possible settlement, the Nigerian telecommunications minister said on Tuesday.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) slapped a $5.2 billion fine on MTN in October for failing to disconnect users with unregistered SIM cards but after weeks of negotiations reduced it by 25 percent.

Nigeria ignores calls to devalue the Naira ,keeps interest rate at 11%

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has continued to  ignore calls to devalue the currency, while keeping its benchmark interest unchanged to help support an economy hit by plummeting oil prices.
The Monetary Policy Committee held the policy rate at 11 percent after lowering it from a record 13 percent in November, Governor Godwin Emefiele told reporters on Tuesday in Abuja, the capital. That was in line with the forecasts of 23 of 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Emefiele, 54, has come under pressure to devalue the naira and ease foreign-currency controls that are hurting businesses and worsening the outlook for growth in Africa’s biggest oil producer. He has favored lowering interest rates instead to ease liquidity in the economy.

Arms deal : Metuh's coy got N400m for not executing any contract--Witness

National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh's trial continued Tuesday, with a senior official from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, disclosing how N400million was electronically wired into the company account of the defendant.
The witness, Mr. Baleh Ndam who testified before trial Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday, insisted that it was the erstwhile National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, rtd, that authorized the transfer of the fund into the bank account of Destra Investment Limited, a firm that is owned by Metuh.
Ndam is the third witness the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has brought to testify against the PDP spokesman, who alongside his firm, is answering to a seven-count criminal charge that borders on criminal breach of trust and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N400million.

Biafra: Kanu should be given fair hearing —IPOB United Kingdom

Biafran soldiers during Nigerian-Biafran war

The Indigenous People of Biafra United Kingdom Branch has demanded fair trial, judgement based on facts, evidences and logic, saying that the case will make or mar Nigerian image to the international community. 

The group in a statement on Tuesday also praised what it called "Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court forthrightness in ensuring that justice, equity, and fairness in his ruling for the transfer of Mr Nnamdi Kanu from the Department of State Service, DSS cell to Kuje prison.
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