Showing posts with label News Headlines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News Headlines. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Airort Passenger collapses, dies at Lagos MMIA

Lagos — An intending passenger collapsed and died yesterday while waiting to collect the Yellow Card from Port Health officials at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos.

This happened when the new Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka, was on facility tour of the airport. It’s the minister’s first official visit to Lagos since assuming office.
The dead man, Akunne Osei, Vanguard gathered, was a Nigerian who resided in Accra. He arrived Lagos for business transactions aboard an Arik Air flight on Friday, August 8, 2014 and was on his way back to Accra for medical treatment.
Speaking on the death of the passenger, General Manager, Corporate Communication, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr Yakubu Dati, said: “The passenger, Mr. Akunne Osei, took ill on Saturday, August 9 and started stooling. When the situation got worse, he called his doctor in Accra who instructed him to return to Ghana immediately for further treatment.
“During boarding formalities for his return trip to Accra, at the MMIA, Mr. Osei, who had become weak was subjected to Ebola virus test by port health officials, the result of which was negative.
“No further attention was paid to him after his Ebola virus result read negative but the passenger later slumped and died around the port health office.”

The sister of the dead man was seen crying, saying:“Chike, please get up.”
The body of Osei was kept at zero car park of the airport terminal when the Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka, visited. It is yet to be removed at press time.

All doses of experimental drug for Ebola treatment sent to West Africa

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US company that makes an experimental drug for treating the often deadly Ebola virus said Monday it has sent all its available supplies to West Africa.
Some 961 people have died from the hemorrhagic fever in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria since March during the largest Ebola outbreak in history.
“In responding to the request received this weekend from a
West African nation, the available supply of ZMapp is exhausted,” said a statement on the Mapp Bio website.
“Any decision to use ZMapp must be made by the patients’ medical team,” it said, adding that the drug was “provided at no cost in all cases.”
The biomedical collaboration between US and Canadian researchers involves a drug that is manufactured in tobacco leaves and is hard to produce on a large scale.
The company did not reveal which nation received the doses, or how many were sent.
CNN reported that Liberia was to receive the sample doses.

The two American missionary workers who fell ill with Ebola while working in Monrovia last month were given doses of the drug.
Both have been transported to an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where they are receiving continuous care.
A Spanish priest who was sickened with Ebola has also been given a dose.
The ethics of distributing experimental medications to some people but not others was the focus of a special meeting of the World Health Organization on Monday.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has repeatedly stressed that the drug’s effects are unknown, since it has not been through a process of rigorous clinical trials.
There is no medicine or vaccine for Ebola on the world market.(Vanguard)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Court dismisses oil marketer’s application to quash charge

JUSTICE Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Tuesday struck out the application of an oil marketer, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, seeking to quash the fuel subsidy fraud charge preferred against him and three others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
 Justice Onigbanjo in his ruling dismissed the application for lacking merit.
 The application was filed by Mr. R. A. Oluyede (Ogunbambo counsel) seeking an order of the court to quash all the count charges and information filed against him for lack of jurisdiction.
  His application brought pursuant to Section 66(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and supported by a 26 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by one Kunle Shote, also urged the court to discharge him.  
Ogunbambo was absent in court.
 The EFCC had arraigned Ogunbambo over alleged N4.4 billion fuel subsidy scam alongside Mamman Ali, son of Dr. Ahmadu Ali, a former Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Christian Taylor and their firm - Nassaman Oil Services.
 EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo in his response, asked the court to dismiss the application.
 He said the application was premature on the ground that their plea had been taken and trial had commenced.
 “The issue of competency of the charge cannot be raise at this stage when the prosecution has not close its case. Prosecution had only called three witnesses.”
 Oyedepo said the application filed by the “defendant is an abuse of court process.”
 Justice Onigbanjo in his short ruling, however, dismissed the application for lack of merit.
 The judge ealier re-emphasied his bench warrant issued against Ogunbambo in another subsidy matter before him.
 EFCC counsel had urged that another bench warrant be issued against Ogunbambo despite a pending one issued against him earlier in another matter.
  Rotimi argued that since Ogunbambo’s lawyer had tendered same medical report, he tendered in the other matter claiming to had sustained a spinal cord injury after falling from a bathtub in this same matter, another bench warrant should also be issued on him.
   The Judge re-emphasied his earlier ruling on the bench warrant against the marketer and ordered the EFCC to execute the warrant and  adjourned further hearing till May 6, 2014.(GUARDIAN)

Federal High Court issues criminal summons on Turaki

THE Federal High Court sitting in Dutse has issued a criminal summon on the former Governor of Jigawa State, Ibrahim Saminu Turaki, for consistently refusing to appear before it to answer to criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government, thereby stalling the proceedings.

   The Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) had dragged Turaki before the court for alleged graft and misuse of public funds amounting to N36 billion during his eight-year tenure as governor.

   Aisha Tahir Habib, who stood in as prosecutor’s counsel, said the case has been on without progress because the accused has not been physically available.

According to her, being a criminal matter, hearing cannot commence in the absence of the accused. 

   Counsel to Turaki, Seidu Muhammed Tundunwada, had presented a medical report indicating that his client was indisposed and could not come to court. However, the presiding Justice Sabiu Yahuza blamed the prosecution counsel for the unnecessary delay and adjourned till April 9, 2014.
(GUARDIAN)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

How we can make election rigging difficult -Onu

A cheiftain of  the All Progressives Congress (APC), and former Governor of the old Abia, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in  a recent interview Published in the Nigerian Tribune gives suggestion on how to stop election rigging in Nigeria.

 


Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and former Governor of the old Abia State. In this interview with CLEMENT OKO NNACHI, in his country home, Uburu, in Ebonyi State, he speaks on 2015 elections and other related issues.

What is the importance of the membership registration recently carried out by your party?

First and foremost, we want to know how many we are in APC. After the registration exercise, we will commence our congresses that will lead to our convention. We want to give our country election within the party, a democracy that will be considered by all as credible, free, fair and transparent. And there is no way you can do that except by knowing how many we are.

Recently, some APC officials involved in the membership registration, were attacked in Rivers, Ebonyi and a few other states.
We are very disturbed and it shouldn’t be that way. Nigeria belong to all of us. Nigeria does not belong to people who are only  in one  political party.

There are so many Nigerians who do not belong to any democratic party. If APC is registering its members,  no body  should attack any of our members. That is not right. I believe that this problem we are having now will not be there in future. If APC had not been a great party, a party that the ruling party is threatened, that can remove them from power, you wont see things of this nature. I want to appeal to all Nigerians to give the APC a chance. Nigerians want change, and this  change will come from APC. We are promising Nigerians that once we are in office, we are going to ensure that Nigeria will be different from what it is today. Nigerians will be happy, Nigeria will be peaceful and respected by other countries, the way it should be.

The election year, 2015 is fast-approaching. What gives you the confidence that your party will  defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the next election?
I tell you frankly, we are very optimistic. The strength of the APC is not just in the 16 states that we are controlling. The strength of the APC is that  Nigerians want change. Things have not been going the way they should be, and that is disturbing to many Nigerians, and they are looking for an alternative. The alternative is now available.

The APC is the only party that has people that demonstrated that they can put the interest of the nation first. Thousands of party officials in the defunct ACN, ANPP and the CPC, from the ward level up to the  national level, who gave up their position so that we can have APC.

Today, the APC is the majority party, even though we have  16 states. If you look at the number of registered voters, APC has more because  the most populous states are the APC states. We  are very optimistic  that with the support of Nigerians, with the blessings of God, we will control more states and also control the Federal Government.

The Independent National Electoral Commission recently released the time table for the 2015 general elections. How would you analyse it?

The APC is studying the time-table. But, we would want elections that are free and fair, credible, peaceful and transparent. The party, at a later date, will issue its own decision as far as the timetable is concerned. But, the APC would be interested in the following: we should hold elections on the same day, because we believe if the INEC is saying they don’t have money, then the easiest way to reduce cost is for all elections to be held on the same day. Secondly, if elections are held on the same day, we would have enough people because  if you are not interested in the  election of one office, for example, the person who is representing you  in the National Assembly, you may be interested in the person running for the governorship election, or the Senate. We are going to have more people come and it will make it more difficult for elections to be rigged. If we can have free and fair elections in Ghana, Senegal and other African countries, why can’t we have it in Nigeria? By God s grace we will have it.

What is your message to the teeming supporters of APC across the country?

Look at Nigerians, and look at the kind of problems we are having. There was a time that in Nigeria, when our universities ranked among the best in the Common wealth of Nations. There was a time people came and received treatment in our hospitals.

But today, what is happening? If you are sick, you have to go overseas.  Before, it used to be Europe. Now it is India, Egypt. Many of our students, not just because they want to go outside, may be studying certain courses we may not have here. You can see the standard of education in our country.

You recall the agreement government reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU in 2009. ASUU had to go on strike for several months to force government to keep to the agreement they entered with the union. Now, we are being told that even the one that was signed that enabled students to go back to school, government had backslide.

Nigerians are demanding for change; that things should be done properly, that no human being has two heads .If other countries are doing well, we also are endowed to do well. We are assuring our people that with effective competition in the political arena, democracy will be nurtured and that also all the dividends of democracy will come. Anybody who is in office will realise that if you don’t do well, you will be removed. It will make us as politicians to do the right thing. in office.

What is the importance of the membership registration recently carried out by your party?

First and foremost, we want to know how many we are in APC. After the registration exercise, we will commence our congresses that will lead to our convention. We want to give our country election within the party, a democracy that will be considered by all as credible, free, fair and transparent. And there is no way you can do that except by knowing how many we are.

Recently, some APC officials involved in the membership registration, were attacked in Rivers, Ebonyi and a few other states.
We are very disturbed and it shouldn’t be that way. Nigeria belong to all of us. Nigeria does not belong to people who are only  in one  political party. There are so many Nigerians who do not belong to any democratic party. If APC is registering its members,  no body  should attack any of our members. That is not right. I believe that this problem we are having now will not be there in future. If APC had not been a great party, a party that the ruling party is threatened, that can remove them from power, you wont see things of this nature. I want to appeal to all Nigerians to give the APC a chance. Nigerians want change, and this  change will come from APC. We are promising Nigerians that once we are in office, we are going to ensure that Nigeria will be different from what it is today. Nigerians will be happy, Nigeria will be peaceful and respected by other countries, the way it should be.

The election year, 2015 is fast-approaching. What gives you the confidence that your party will  defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the next election?

I tell you frankly, we are very optimistic. The strength of the APC is not just in the 16 states that we are controlling. The strength of the APC is that  Nigerians want change. Things have not been going the way they should be, and that is disturbing to many Nigerians, and they are looking for an alternative. The alternative is now available.
The APC is the only party that has people that demonstrated that they can put the interest of the nation first. Thousands of party officials in the defunct ACN, ANPP and the CPC, from the ward level up to the  national level, who gave up their position so that we can have APC.
Today, the APC is the majority party, even though we have  16 states. If you look at the number of registered voters, APC has more because  the most populous states are the APC states. We  are very optimistic  that with the support of Nigerians, with the blessings of God, we will control more states and also control the Federal Government.

The Independent National Electoral Commission recently released the time table for the 2015 general elections. How would you analyse it?

The APC is studying the time-table. But, we would want elections that are free and fair, credible, peaceful and transparent. The party, at a later date, will issue its own decision as far as the timetable is concerned. But, the APC would be interested in the following: we should hold elections on the same day, because we believe if the INEC is saying they don’t have money, then the easiest way to reduce cost is for all elections to be held on the same day. Secondly, if elections are held on the same day, we would have enough people because  if you are not interested in the  election of one office, for example, the person who is representing you  in the National Assembly, you may be interested in the person running for the governorship election, or the Senate. We are going to have more people come and it will make it more difficult for elections to be rigged. If we can have free and fair elections in Ghana, Senegal and other African countries, why can’t we have it in Nigeria? By God s grace we will have it.

What is your message to the teeming supporters of APC across the country?

Look at Nigerians, and look at the kind of problems we are having. There was a time that in Nigeria, when our universities ranked among the best in the Common wealth of Nations. There was a time people came and received treatment in our hospitals.
But today, what is happening? If you are sick, you have to go overseas.  Before, it used to be Europe. Now it is India, Egypt. Many of our students, not just because they want to go outside, may be studying certain courses we may not have here. You can see the standard of education in our country.
You recall the agreement government reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU in 2009. ASUU had to go on strike for several months to force government to keep to the agreement they entered with the union. Now, we are being told that even the one that was signed that enabled students to go back to school, government had backslide.
Nigerians are demanding for change; that things should be done properly, that no human being has two heads .If other countries are doing well, we also are endowed to do well. We are assuring our people that with effective competition in the political arena, democracy will be nurtured and that also all the dividends of democracy will come. Anybody who is in office will realise that if you don’t do well, you will be removed. It will make us as politicians to do the right thing. in office.

SOURCE:http://www.tribune.com.ng


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Amaechi registers as APC member

Gov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers on Monday said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would promote progress and create job opportunities if voted into power. Amaechi spoke at Ubima, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers, after registering as an APC member at Ubima Ward 8. The governor’s wife, Judith, was also registered as a member of the party. Amaechi said the party was on a rescue mission in the state and in the country. "From what you can see, APC is the fastest growing party in Africa. ‘’All these people you are seeing here were once members of PDP; today, they joined me in formally moving to APC and the reason for moving to APC is that we are on a rescue mission. “We are here to save Nigeria from PDP and when we do that, we will try and create employment opportunities for the army of unemployed Nigerians because you must grow the economy;’’ he said. Amaechi frowned at the attacks on APC supporters who had gathered for the party’s ongoing membership registration exercise in Degema, Akuku-Toru and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas. He said that despite the incidents, the APC would go on with the party membership registration in the affected areas. Amaechi said he had notified the national secretariat of the APC of the development and had requested for more time to enable people in the affected areas to register. He urged political players in the country to guarantee the right of all Nigerians to make their choices and express their views in a democratic Nigeria. “We are saying that we are in a democracy and because we are in a democracy, people must be allowed to express their views and make their choices,” he said. (NAN)

Okah caught on Attempted jail break

Henry Okah, sentenced in South Africa to 24 years on terrorism charges, has been caught in a failed jailbreak attempt, prison authorities said yesterday. “I can confirm that Okah is one of the five inmates that attempted to escape and whose efforts were foiled,” Manelisi Wolela, spokesman for South Africa’s department of correctional services, said. He did not give details of the attempted escape from Leeukop prison in northern Johannesburg, said to have taken place in January. Okah was convicted last year and sentenced on 13 counts of terrorism, including twin bombings that killed 12 people in Abuja on October 1, 2010. He was arrested, tried and convicted in South Africa where he has permanent residency. The department said most of the offenders involved in the botched bid to escape are serving life sentences for serious offences, including murder, kidnapping and robbery. Correctional services officials said security at the prison, which recorded 11 attempted jail breaks in the 12 months until March last year, had been tightened.

Monday, 13 January 2014

US slams Nigeria for same-sex marriage ban

WASHINGTON – The United States on Monday criticized Nigeria for approving a law that punishes same-sex marriage with prison, saying the move would curtail basic human rights. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States was “deeply concerned” by Nigeria’s new law which “dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association and expression for all Nigerians.” Kerry said the act “is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 constitution.” “People everywhere deserve to live in freedom and equality. No one should face violence or discrimination for who they are or who they love,” Kerry said in a statement. Under the new law, anyone in a same-sex marriage or union would face up to 14 years in prison, with such partnerships reached overseas considered void in Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan signed the law because he considered it consistent with most Nigerians’ views toward homosexuality, his spokesman, Reuben Abati, told AFP. The United States has generally warm relations with Nigeria but President Barack Obama’s administration has increasingly put a priority on fighting for gay rights overseas. In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has said that he will not rush into signing a law under which gays would be jailed after criticism from Obama, Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu and other global figures.(AFP)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

FALL OF PDP? more decamping! Nyako, cabinet decamp to APC


Adamawa State Executive Council yesterday announced that the cabinet members have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) along with the state Governor, Murtala Nyako.

The cabinet members said they took the decision because of alleged injustice and high handedness of the national leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by Alhaji Bamanga Mohammed Tukur.

Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Ari Thimnu Kobis, who made the announcement on behalf of the council, disclosed that the decision was the outcome of the state executive council meeting presided over by Governor Nyako, saying members were disenchanted with the way and manner the party was being ran.

According to him, with the level of mobilization already made by members of Nyako’s cabinet, the APC had registered its presence in the 21 local government areas of the state, adding that they were ready to intensify more efforts in the membership drive to the party.

“We want to state without mincing words that the members of the cabinet have declared to the APC along with our visionary leader and Governor of Adamawa State, Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako, today December 18, 2013,” Kobis said.

The SSG, flanked by members of the cabinet made the announcement shortly after the state executive meeting in the presence of Governor Nyako, all carrying the posters of the APC.

Governor Nyako in his remarks declared that APC was a party to beat in Nigeria, saying the party had packaged a 50-year-rolling-plan for Nigeria in all aspects of development, especially in agriculture, education, industrialization, youth and women empowerment, urging Nigerians to identify with the party.

Nyako accused those he described as Abuja politicians of Adamawa descent of putting Adamawa State in a political mess because of their alleged selfish interest and frowned at the said politicians polarising the state that was known for being free from primordial tendencies along ethnic and religious lines.

Meanwhile, members of the legacy parties that constituted the APC have frowned at the alleged handing over the political headship of the party to the governor, saying it would spell doom for the political future of the state under Governor Nyako.(THE SUN)

First Lady Threatens PDP Governors over Tukur


The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan has continued to meddle in the affairs of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as it has emerged that she has been haranguing the party's governors into sparing the embattled National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

Tukur has been blamed for much of the crises that have bedevilled the party, leading to calls for his removal by the governors.

His removal was also one of the key demands of the seven aggrieved governors of the party, five of whom have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Their departure notwithstanding, the remaining governors of PDP have continued to push for his ouster on the grounds that it would usher peace and reconciliation in the party.

However, in the bid to stop his removal, the first lady, THISDAY learnt, has in recent days been summoning the governors of the party and mounting pressure on them to drop the idea of Tukur's sack.

It was gathered that some of the governors she has met with include Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, with businesswoman, Ms. Bola Shagaya, in attendance.

Sources said that at the meeting, the first lady made it clear that the governors should throw his support behind Tukur, failing which she would use her influence to ensure that he does not get the ticket of the party for a second term.
The sources also disclosed that Mrs. Jonathan extended her campaign to the Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, and his Abia State counterpart, Theodore Orji.

When she met with them individually, the source said, she informed them that should they insist on Tukur's ouster, she would impede their efforts to determine who their successors will be.

They said: "The first lady is very determined to ensure Tukur remains the chairman of the party, as she is of the view that his sack could make her husband, the president, vulnerable.  She also does not have confidence that if Tukur is removed, there is a guaranty that his successor will protect the interest of the president as the elections draw near.

"Others, however, say that the reason she is interferring is because she is backing other governorship aspirants in many states, and a Tukur chairmanship will guaranty her candidates a free ride.

"But her meddlesomeness in the affairs of the party is causing anger and disquiet among the governors who have vowed to resist any attempt on her part to foist her demands on them."
The governors had at a meeting last Friday in Abuja unanimously agreed that Tukur should be shown the door, but given a soft landing to facilitate his exit from office.
They are proposing, among other sweetners, an ambassadorial posting for him to quit as chairman.

The sources said the governors determination to have Tukur sent packing was made worse following his meeting with senators last week, where he promised them that he will back them against the governors and make them full National Executive Committee (NEC) members.

The governors are expected to meet with the president today after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting to insist on Tukur's ouster.(THISDAY)

CBN, NNPC ‘reconciling $10.8b’

Just how much is the shortfall of the cash that should have been sent to the Federation Account? The question remains as knotty as it was since Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi broke the news of a missing $48.9billion. “We will continue our work, until we can come to terms of what is actually the shortfall and what is due to come to the Federation Account,” Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said yesterday in Abuja at a news conference. With the minister were Sanusi, Petroleum Resources Minister Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director Andrew Yakubu. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala was speaking on the findings of a revenue reconciliation meeting convened among the CBN, NNPC, the Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders to clarify the discrepancy. Said the minister: “At the meeting, the NNPC noted that the actual proceeds from crude oil exports over the period amounted to US$67.12 billion, and was thus about US$1.79 billion higher than the revenues reported by the CBN (possibly due to timing differences and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) listings, which were not included in the CBN report).” According to the NNPC records, the Finance Minister said, the total revenue of US$67.12 billion comprised revenues which directly accrued to NNPC (for the Federation Account) of US$14 billion; and additional revenues lifted by NNPC on behalf of other parties as follows: for FIRS (US$15 billion), for DPR (US$2billion), for NPDC (US$6 billion) and for other third party financing (US$2 billion). In addition, domestic crude lifted by the NNPC amounted to about US$28 billion. This domestic crude component, she said, was not reflected in the CBN’s foreign accounts, but rather paid directly in naira into the Federation Account. As such, “taking account of these various exports conducted on behalf of the non-NNPC parties, the total of US$67 billion was mostly accounted for. This substantially addresses the issues raised by the CBN” she said. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala added that “the Federation Account indicates that over the period January 2012 to July 2013, a shortfall of US$10.8 billion was recorded from the domestic crude oil receipts.” This shortfall she said, has been acknowledged by NNPC, but the magnitude of the shortfall is still disputed by NNPC. The shortfall is explained to be the result of subsidy claims, unrecovered crude/product losses, and cost of strategic petroleum storage (which is currently not captured in the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) template for refunds). This figure, she said, is also well-known to all stakeholders at the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), and is reported and updated monthly. “However, all parties concerned are working assiduously through the ongoing reconciliation efforts to resolve this. Both Finance and NNPC have been in discussions to reconcile; we do so every month after Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting we reconcile our figures, it is not an easy thing,” Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said. She added: “In the course of the reconciliation, from January 2012 to July 2013, we have looked at a shortfall of about N1.7trillion, the equivalent of $10.8billion. That is the amount that we have been discussing and, of course, NNPC has been disputing some of it. But it is an ongoing reconciliation. We will still continue; we do it every month.” A statement released to the media to capture the efforts to trace the “missing” fund noted that “as a result of the changing structure of the business arrangements- from joint ventures to production sharing contracts, alternative financing arrangements, and the impact of the fiscal regime on gas development- the government, take in recent years has been declining. In this regard, a quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will help to reverse this trend.” Sanusi said what the CBN had in its records was $65billion shipped by NNPC and about $15billion returned as equity to the Federation Account, but after his letter to the President, it was discovered that “out of the $65billion that NNPC shipped, $24billion did not belong to NNPC; it was crude that was paid by oil companies as tax and royalties and shipment for them from NPDC and so on. So that explains half of the sum. Now the outstanding issues are with the $28billion domestic crude, which has been taken by NNPC. From our records, we have received $16billion. There is a shortfall of $12billion and we are told that that shortfall has always been a part of an ongoing discussion with ministries of Finance and Petroleum and NNPC. So this is where we are. Finance, NNPC; all parties are going to try to resolve this matter.” Sanusi said: “The CBN has a duty to perform and if we see anything that should worry government, we alert and that is what we have done. We have alerted and this has been investigated, and looked at and this is the conclusion, the letter was not the end of the investigation.” Mrs Allison-Madueke said to mitigate and minimise the incidence of crude theft, the government has extended an “invitation to the United States to partner and assist us in this, particularly the international dimensions of this crude theft”. “We are in on going discussions with them; we met with a cross sectional team of intelligence experts last week and we had very crucial discussions that cut across many areas of the business,she said

Doctors’ strike paralyses health services

The five-day warning strike called by the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, took its toll on healthcare services in public hospitals, yesterday, as patients waited long hours without getting attention from doctors who stayed away from their duty posts. The strike, which took off on a slow pace in most hospitals in Lagos and Ibadan, later became total. Empty hospitals in At Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, only senior medical consultants, nurses, ward aides and other ancillary staff were observed attending to patients in the wards and the accident and emergency unit. The institution’s outpatient clinics, which were open for the day’s business, were devoid of the usual activities. A hospital source disclosed that contingency measures were in place to cushion effects of the strike. At the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, attention to patients was later suspended as doctors complied with NMA’s directive. A similar scenario played out at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, where dozens of patients that had booked appointments were told to go home after waiting for hours without getting attention. In a reaction to the development, Chairman NMA, LagosState branch, Dr. Francis Faduyile, said: “It is a full blown strike. This is the first strike called by the NMA in the last 10 years.” At the UniversityCollegeHospital, Ibadan, several patients, except those on emergency, were turned back and forced to seek alternative medical attention.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Jonathan unveils first indigenouS Nigerian-made drone

UNVEILING OF ‘GULMA’ NIGERIA’S FIRST INDIGENOUS UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE IN KADUNA
ABUJA,Nigeria— President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, unveiled the first indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV, named GULMA, built by the Nigerian Air Force in Kaduna.

He declared that the giant technological breakthrough of various sectors, particularly the Armed Forces, are pointers to the country’s potential for greater deeds.

In his speech at the unveiling ceremony, President Jonathan said: “We must not forget the lesson of this encouraging moment in our nation’s history; that as Nigerians we are capable of great deeds.

“In the same manner, we must not forget that ahead of us still lie challenges that we must surmount. We must, therefore, stay focused on our common national purpose.

“Today marks another landmark moment in our nation’s history, as we gather here to witness the unveiling of our country’s first indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle, which has been designed and constructed by the Nigeria Air Force.

“Besides its diverse military application, unmanned aerial vehicle provides mankind with a range of benefits in disaster management, power line surveys, law enforcement, telecommunications, weather monitoring, and aerial imaging/mapping.
“It is also rapidly becoming an important tool in news coverage, environmental monitoring, and oil and gas exploration.

“Considering the potential impact of its benefit and versatility, I cannot but say how proud I am of the men and women of our Armed Forces.

“Apart from their commitment to the protection of our sovereignty, they are helping to keep our nation ahead in military science and technology and to keep their civilian counterparts on their toes.”
Minister’s comments

The Minister of Information, who also supervises the Defence Ministry, Labaran Maku, noted that the true professionalism of the military since 1999 had given rise to the indigenous military-led technological breakthroughs.

Maku said: “The development of surveillance aircraft by the Nigerian Air Force at this crucial moment in our history is a bold statement of our resolve to provide security for the Nigerian populace.

“The GULMA UAV potentially affords the Armed Forces a window of immense opportunities in its task of acquiring timely intelligence and combating criminality, especially in light of the nation’s prevailing security challenges.”

GULMA’s history

In his speech, Air Marshal Alex Badeh explained that the surveillance aircraft was named GULMA, a word in Hausa that means gossip, because of its function as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform.

According to him, the idea began in 2005 with the acquisition of three Aerostar UAVs for the defunct Presidential Committee on Maritime Safety and Security, PICOMSS, which was frustrated “by numerous vendor-related problems that eventually led to the grounding of all the three systems in 2009.

“Following the dissolution of PICOMSS in 2012, the Federal Government handed over the UAVs to the NAF.”
He said NAF Optimising Local Engineering, NAF OLE, which handled the project, did it at the cost of $3 million, half of the $6 million quoted by foreign vendors and also trained 15 UAV pilots at less than half a million dollars compared to the $2 million quoted by foreign vendors to train only three pilots.

Ex-British Army Boss Warns Against al-Qaeda Attack On Nigeria, Others



Former head of British Army, General Sir David Richards has warned that the world should pay more attention to the sub-Saharan threat from al-Qaeda.

Richards who retired as Head of the British Army last year said Britain needed to learn from what it had done, “and failed to do”.

The retired army chief recalled that in the past year, Islamist groups have stepped up their activities in several African countries.

In Nigeria, a state of emergency has been declared in response to attacks by another group, he said.
“I do worry very much that sub-Saharan Africa is the next front - in many ways it already is,” he said. Despite signs of growth elsewhere in Africa, the militants’ actions had caused widespread disruption and held back the region’s economies”.

In Somalia, African Union troops have been battling with the militant al-Shabab which came to global prominence with its attack on a Kenyan shopping centre earlier this year.

Also, French troops spearheaded the response to Islamist insurgents in Mali.

Richards also questioned whether the NATO operation against Libya in 2011 was the right thing to do, suggesting it may have contributed to the spread of arms in the region.

‘The 2011 NATO-led campaign to remove Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 may have helped the proliferation of arms in Africa”, he said.

He added that the campaign was a tactical success but that the jury was still out on whether it was strategically wise.

“We must learn from what we have done and failed to do in other parts of the world in trying to combat this risk and do it pretty quickly or it could become pretty vicious - as if it wasn’t already bad enough.”(LEADERSHIPNG)

54% Of Nigerian Youths Unemployed - Bureau of Statistics

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday said that 54 per cent of Nigerian youths were unemployed in 2012.

The NBS stated this in a report titled “2012 National Baseline Youth Survey Report” and issued in Abuja by the NBS, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Youths Development.

“More than half, about 54 per cent of the youth population was unemployed. Of this, females stood at 51.9 per cent compared to their male counterparts, with 48.1 per cent unemployed,” the report says.

It says that out of 46,836 youths recorded against different types of crime, 42,071 representing 75.5 per cent were males, while the remaining 24.5 per cent were females.

“Among the 32 different crimes committed, Marijuana (Indian Hemp) smoking has the highest figure, representing 15.7 per cent. This was followed by theft and murder with 8.1 and 7.4 per cent respectively. The least committed crime was Immigration/Emigration, representing 0.04 per cent.”

The report says that more than five million youths indicated they were involved in conflict resolution at one level of governance or the other. “But the response of the youths shows that most of them are involved in conflict prevention at the community level, representing 64.9 per cent, while 30.9 per cent are involved at the ward level.

“Only 1.6 per cent is involved at the state level, while 83.9 per cent males are involved in football, females with 16.1 per cent.

“This is also obtainable in boxing, swimming, wrestling and tennis. However, a higher proportion of females, representing 81.1 per cent, are involved in volleyball, with males 18.9 per cent.

“In hockey, 59.3 per cent females and 40.7 per cent males are involved, while 74 per cent females and 26 per cent males are involved in track and field events.”

According to the survey, the population of youths aged between 15 and 35 years in Nigeria is estimated to be 64 million, while females are more than males in all age groups. The report says that Lagos State had the highest percentage of youths in Nigeria with 6.1 per cent, followed by Kano State, representing 5.7 per cent, while Bayelsa State had the lowest with1.3 per cent.

“Out of the group of married youths, 68 per cent were females, while 32 per cent were males. The rate of divorce and widowhood was high among the female youths with 70.9 and 71.8 per cent respectively, while 38.5 per cent females were never married.”

The report says the objective of the study was to provide useful data for the design and development of youth-focussed programmes by the Federal Ministry of Youths Development and other partners in the country. The study was aimed at generating empirical data to inform policy decisions and guide their implementation. It was also aimed at providing government and other stakeholders with useful data that would assist in the development of young people’s employability, to ensure their successful transition to the labour market. (NAN)




The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday said that 54 per cent of Nigerian youths were unemployed in 2012.

The NBS stated this in a report titled “2012 National Baseline Youth Survey Report” and issued in Abuja by the NBS, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Youths Development.

“More than half, about 54 per cent of the youth population was unemployed. Of this, females stood at 51.9 per cent compared to their male counterparts, with 48.1 per cent unemployed,” the report says.

It says that out of 46,836 youths recorded against different types of crime, 42,071 representing 75.5 per cent were males, while the remaining 24.5 per cent were females.

“Among the 32 different crimes committed, Marijuana (Indian Hemp) smoking has the highest figure, representing 15.7 per cent. This was followed by theft and murder with 8.1 and 7.4 per cent respectively. The least committed crime was Immigration/Emigration, representing 0.04 per cent.”

The report says that more than five million youths indicated they were involved in conflict resolution at one level of governance or the other. “But the response of the youths shows that most of them are involved in conflict prevention at the community level, representing 64.9 per cent, while 30.9 per cent are involved at the ward level.

“Only 1.6 per cent is involved at the state level, while 83.9 per cent males are involved in football, females with 16.1 per cent.

“This is also obtainable in boxing, swimming, wrestling and tennis. However, a higher proportion of females, representing 81.1 per cent, are involved in volleyball, with males 18.9 per cent.

“In hockey, 59.3 per cent females and 40.7 per cent males are involved, while 74 per cent females and 26 per cent males are involved in track and field events.”

According to the survey, the population of youths aged between 15 and 35 years in Nigeria is estimated to be 64 million, while females are more than males in all age groups. The report says that Lagos State had the highest percentage of youths in Nigeria with 6.1 per cent, followed by Kano State, representing 5.7 per cent, while Bayelsa State had the lowest with1.3 per cent.

“Out of the group of married youths, 68 per cent were females, while 32 per cent were males. The rate of divorce and widowhood was high among the female youths with 70.9 and 71.8 per cent respectively, while 38.5 per cent females were never married.”

The report says the objective of the study was to provide useful data for the design and development of youth-focused programmes by the Federal Ministry of Youths Development and other partners in the country. The study was aimed at generating empirical data to inform policy decisions and guide their implementation. It was also aimed at providing government and other stakeholders with useful data that would assist in the development of young people’s employability, to ensure their successful transition to the labour market. (NAN)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Aregbesola presents bill for creation of additional 27 LGs in Osun

Osun State governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Monday, presented executive bill seeking the approval of the state House of Assembly to create 27 new local government areas in the state.
Presenting the bill before the lawmakers, the governor, who said the new local governments would be called Local Council Development Areas (LCDA), emphasised that the decision to create new councils was aimed at ensuring healthy growth in all the nooks and crannies of the state.

Aregbesola
Aregbesola hinted that  the state government had constituted a committee headed by a former Speaker of the assembly, Professor Mojeed Alabi, on the creation of the new councils in line with Sections seven and eight of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
He, however, implored the assembly to give positive consideration to the bill, observing that the new LCDAs would operate a parliamentary system of government with a view to avoiding financial challenges.
According to Aregbesola, the local government creation  committee recommended the 27 Local government areas to be created for the state government, explaining that many critical factors were considered in the selection of the new councils.

He also added that the bill would seek the approval of the parliament for the creation of the office of council managers for the new LCDAs, positing that the council managers would be civil servants in the employment of the Local Government Service Commission from Grade Level 14 and above.
In his remarks the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salaam, said, “ From what we heard from the governor, the new councils will not constitute a burden on the existing ones, rather they will serve as platform for effective, efficient and all inclusive governance at the grass roots.”
He stated, “By now, we ought to be consolidating on the gains of the aborted councils created by the former governor of the state, Chief Bisi Akande, but we were forced to open a new page for the creation of new development outposts at the grass roots in our state and the only way we can appreciate history this time is to latch on the opportunities that would be created to turn around our cities, towns and rural areas.”

Merkel elected Germany’s chancellor for third term

BERLIN – Germany’s parliament elected Angela Merkel as chancellor for a third term Tuesday, ending nearly three months of uncertainty since elections that forced her to seek a ‘grand coalition’ with her rivals.
Merkel, who is now set to govern Europe’s top economy for another four years, was re-elected by 462 members of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, with 150 voting against and nine abstentions.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Maiduguri Attack: Shekau Appears In New Video, Claims Responsibility

Boko Haram
Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau said in a video obtained by AFP yesterday that the group was behind a daring raid on military installations in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri earlier this month.

 “Allah the Almighty has given us victory in the attack we launched inside Maiduguri (which was) called Borno in ancient times,” said Abubakar Shekau in a 40-minute clip.

Speaking in Arabic, Hausa and Kanuri widely spoken in North-East Nigeria, Shekau added: “We stormed the city and fought them (and) Allah blessed us with lots of booty.”

The video, which was obtained through an intermediary, shows Shekau dressed in military fatigues with a turban and Kalashnikov assault rifle leaning on his chest.

He spoke for 19 minutes in all while the rest of the tape shows images of burning buildings and aircraft said to be from the Dec 2 attack in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.

It also shows a display of weapons the banned Islamist group says it seized in the attack, including dozens of Kalashnikovs and rockets.

 The authenticity of the tape could not be verified independently.

Gunmen who arrived in pick-up trucks besieged an army and air force base, destroying aircraft, razing buildings and setting shops and petrol stations ablaze, witnesses said.

The early morning raid was seen as significant because the Nigerian military had previously claimed to have pushed the militants out of urban centres and into more remote, rural areas.

 FG Disputes ICC Report On Boko Haram

Meanwhile, the federal government has dissociated the International Criminal Court (ICC) from a report that ICC has classified the state of emergency following the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east as constituting a state of war.

Federal government stated that the letter written by the Office of The Prosecutor (OTP), ICC had never referred to the situation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states as a ‘civil war.’  It noted that the international body only referred to the situation as a ‘Non-international Armed Conflict’ (NIAC).

This was made known in a press statement signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and made available to LEADERSHIP, yesterday, where the federal government also refuted a report about an upsurge in armed confrontation in the three restive states.

The statement reads in part; “It is equally not correct to state that there has been an upsurge in armed confrontation following the declaration of the State of Emergency. Rather than an increase in intensity, attacks by Boko Haram have become sporadic, focusing on soft targets such as schools. It is therefore a matter of regret that the relative success of the Emergency Rule and the noticeable lull in the attacks by Boko Haram seem to have escaped the attention of the OTP”.

In a related development, the chief of army staff, Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika has begged Nigerians to help the military bring the Boko Haram insurgency to its knees.

He said terrorism came to the country without the nation planning for it, adding that the fight against the menace required efforts of both the security forces and the Nigerian public to assist in curtailing this situation.

‘FG’s Indifference Fuels Violence In Northern Nigeria’

Meanwhile, the indifference of federal government in investigating and quelling the killings in the northern part of the country has been linked to the increasing spate of violence in the region.

According to international watchdog, Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Nigeria’s government has largely ignored years of mass murder in Plateau and Kaduna states in central Nigeria.”

HRW in a report released yesterday catalogues horrific sectarian violence in these two states, which has left more than 3,000 people dead since 2010.

The report which examines government’s failure to hold perpetrators accountable, even though many of their identities are well-known in the affected communities, said victims of the communal violence – including women and children – were hacked to death, burned alive, or shot simply based on their ethnic or religious identity.

International Report Reveals JTF’s Alleged ‘Indiscriminate Violence’ In Boko Haram Fight

In another development, an international report highlighting ethno-religious and political violence in Nigeria has revealed alleged “heavy-handedness” and “indiscriminate violence”  of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the fight to check a Boko Haram insurgency that has ravaged most parts of the country’s North-East.

Citing disclosures by the Nigeria Police Force’s anti-bomb squad, the report stated that over 400 bomb explosions have taken place in Nigeria in the last three years.

Also, Enugu state, South-East of the country was identified as having the highest incidents of crime in the entire country. In the same vein, the report highlighted that the North-Central region has some of the highest national levels of violence with communal militias being involved in over 40 per cent of incidents of political violence and over 73 per cent of conflict related fatalities there.

The 124-page report, “The Violent Road: An Overview of Armed Violence in Nigeria,” was produced and launched yesterday in Abuja by the National Working Group on Armed Violence in Nigeria (NWGAV) with support from the government of Norway through the London-based organisation, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV).
Source-LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPER

2015 Election: Jonathan remains PDP Canddidate says Tukur

President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan
ABUJA, Nigeria - The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has declared that President Goodluck Jonathan is the party’s presidential candidate in 2015 general elections.  Bamanga Tukur disclosed this during the inauguration of National PDP Councillors’ Forum in Abuja. He further told the party faithful not to be deterred by people leaving for other parties saying that even if they leave the PDP the party remains. He further maintained that PDP remains the strongest and biggest party in Nigeria and Africa insisting that the party is insurmountable.

He said, “Don’t be deterred by some people saying they are leaving the party. People leaving the party are individuals not the party. It doesn’t mean if they leave the party the party leaves. No, the party remains. PDP is the only party in Nigeria that fields a candidate in every election that is held. Don’t be deterred; don’t be afraid, you are part of the ruling party.”

He further tasked the councillors on the role they have to play in making sure that Jonathan wins the 2015 election.

In his remarks the former governorship candidate of the PDP in Edo State Major General Charles Arhiavbere(rtd) said the inauguration showed that the members of PDP are solidly behind President Goodluck Jonathan even as he advised the executives to reach out to the 13 states including Edo State that is not under PDP and bring them under the umbrella of the party.

Speaking on the letter written to President Jonathan by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, the former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha said that Obasanjo should play a fatherly role and stop acting the way he was doing. He maintained that Obasanjo’s present style was what made the former head of state late General Sani Abacha to put him in prison.

He said, “That was exactly what he was doing till Abacha put him in prison, the same style, he has started again. Anyway I don’t think he has advisers. If he has advisers they will call him to order . He is not the only statesman we have in this country. Yes, I respect him as former president. He has contributed also to the sustenance of democracy even in the military, he played a significant role. We acknowledge all that but power is transit. When you finish your tenure you hand over the baton to others and support the person in power and not to pull him down,” he added.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

ASUU signs MoU with FG, to call off strike in a week says ASUU President

ABUJA – The Federal Government and the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, led by its President Dr. Nasir Fagge yesterday, signed Memoradum of Understanding on the restructured 2009. Agreement.
ASUU President, Dr. Nasir. Fagge said the document signed would be presented to the union to take an affirmative stand on the suspension of the 5 months old industrial action.
He said with the signing of the MOU the 5month old strike would be suspended in a week’s time.
According to Fagge, “This is the response to the letter we wrote to Mr. President and this document would now be forwarded to our members and our members would give us direction. We are hoping that we would be able to meet with our members in less than a week.
I don’t have the power to call off the industrial action, it is only our members that can do that. And our members gave us a message to give to the Federal Government which we have done and within one week our members would meet. We already have the document which shows that Government is committed”.
The ASUU President said the development and revitalization of Nigeria’s education sector is the work of everybody.
“It is never too late for the nation to turn a new leaf and do what is right. Other countries that are smaller and less powerful than Nigeria have done it and have succeeded. It is rather unfortunate that Nigeria is not close to some of these smaller nations around us. It is now, we must properly fund our universities, we have lost lot of capital to nations like Ghana and Togo”, Fagge said.
He therefore assured Nigerians that ASUU would not take long in ensuring that the right thing is done as soon as possible.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike, who led the Federal Government team said the fact that ASUU signed the resolution shows the strike has already been called off.
Wike said, “Today is historic. We have a duty to restore normalcy into our schools. What this meeting shows is that all the contending issues have been resolved and ASUU President said they have a tradition and so he has to go back to report to their members even though all the issues have been resolved. It is clear; we believe that very soon our student would go back to the classroom”.
Among those at the meeting were the Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike,  President Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulweed Umar, ASUU National President, Dr. Nasir Fagge, Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Julius Okojie, and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Dr MacJohn Nwaobiala,
-VANGUARD