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Showing posts from March 17, 2024

APC holds Colloquium in Anambra advocates for a Pan Nigerian Project, Anchored on Pragmatic Ideals

The All Progressive Congress Party has held its south east colloquium in Nnewi, Anambra state. The colloquium with it's theme De- Marginalization of the south east and integration into national politics harped on the need for Igbo's to see reason, why they should connect to the center in a bid to get the desired democratic dividends.  Speaking at the event, the vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, who was the keynote speaker at the colloquium, said lack of appreciation and outright denial of the rights of the south-east from having access to mainstream politics, have continued because the region has failed to do the needful by over looking at the options before the zone.  He said, that the current political arrangement has not favored the south east, and recounted the fact that political marginalization has been the major problem of the south east, as it doesn't make sense, that the political representation of only two states in the north covers th

Akpabio, Kalu, Others in Geneva For IPU Meeting

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, on Friday arrived in Geneva, Switzerland as head of Nigeria's delegation to the 148th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, Switzerland. Akpabio was accompanied on the trip by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Benjamin Kalu and Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong. The Senate president and his entourage were received on arrival at the airport in Geneva, by Nigeria's Ambassador to Switzerland, Abiodun Richards Adejola accompanied by South African Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mxolisi Nkosi. This year's edition, according to a statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the Senate President, Jackson Udom, would take place from 23rd to 27th of March, 2024. A letter addressed to the Nigerian Senate President and endorsed by the Secretary General of the IPU, Martin Chungong, reads Inter alia: Dear Mr President, the 148th Assembly of the IPU and related meetings will be held at the Inter

Nigeria's $3.6bn Talent Outsourcing Initiative:A Game Changer for the Economy

The Nigerian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lab Four to channel 50,000 full-time Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) jobs to the country. The initiative, spearheaded by the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP), is set to attract $1.2 billion annually into the Nigerian economy over the next three years and unlock $60 million to develop the BPO ecosystem. The NATEP, launched on the sidelines of the 2023 United Nations General Assembly, aims to connect Nigerians to employment opportunities outside the country through physical talent export and BPO. This strategic move positions Nigeria as an outsourcing destination of choice, catalyzing the growth and development of the micro, mini, and mega BPO ecosystems and industries in the country. Nigeria’s strategic advantages in the global market include its location and time zone, highly skilled workforce, cost-effective services, robust digital infrastructure, language and cultural compatibility, go

World Meteorological Organisation Predicts Extreme Weather Conditions For Nigeria

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), has said Nigeria is likely to witness extreme weather conditions judging from the current weather conditions experienced in various parts of the country. This is even as the organisation called on Nigerians to be responsive to weather predictions released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet). The WMO representative, Bernard Gomez, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday during the celebration of the 2024 World Meteorological Day with the theme “At the Frontline of Climate Action”. According to him: “This theme recognises the critical stage that we find ourselves with regards to severe weather and climate events caused by climate variability and change and the need for enhanced action to protect lives, property and livelihoods, among others. “The recent fluctuations in the weather witnessed in Nigeria, during this transition from dry to rainy season clearly demonstrate the extreme weather events that we can face across the co

Insecurity: 16 Govs Endorse State Police – NEC

Worried by the security challenges facing the country, 16 state governors have endorsed the establishment of state police. The National Economic Council (NEC) disclosed this on Thursday in a report submitted to the Council at its 140th meeting held virtually and chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima. The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Atiku Bagudu who briefed State House Correspondents virtually after the meeting said out of the 36 states, 20 state governors and the FCT were yet to make their submissions. However, he did not mention the states. The governors who submitted their memos also called for the review of the Nigerian Constitution. In the meantime, NEC has also received the abridged report of the ad-hoc committee on Crude Oil Theft Prevention and Control. The committee identified the areas of oil leakages in the oil industry while observing cases of infractions. The committee chaired by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state calls for political will to ef


The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) have reaffirmed their commitment to provide seamless trade facilitation for exporting companies. This was disclosed by the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Nonye Ayeni who led a team of NEPC Management on a working visit to the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi in Abuja. Ayeni reiterated the important role the customs play in trade facilitation and thereby sought collaboration as regards the development and promotion of Made-in-Nigeria products. “We believe the Customs is very key to the NEPC achieving its mandate to diversify the economic base of the nation”, she added. She  therefore solicited the support of the Customs in the area of export logistics and streamlining of trade facilitation, mainstreaming of Cross Border Trade (CBT) to address the issue of fund repatriation, revamping of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Visa Stamp as well as the issue of Rul

Anambra Journalist Igniting Crisis In Umueri With False Publication -- Indigenes

BY RAYMOND OZOJI,  Awka  Indigenes of Umueri community in Anambra-East Local Government Area of Anambra State have declared that a certain publication trending online where a journalist claimed that a certain widow was assaulted, beaten and stripped naked by some persons in the community and compelled to swear before different shrines are mere falsehoods intended to ignite crisis in the area.  Although the said journalist had reported that one Obiageli Nnalue, the alleged victim was being maltreated by the people, further investigations into the matter revealed that Obiageli Nnalue was not a widow and she was not married to anyone because her bride price had been returned to her maiden home Nteje Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State.  This journalist gathered that nobody assaulted or stripped Obiageli Nnalue naked neither did anyone forced her to swear at four different shrines instead it was her 17 year old son who attempted to rape a septuagenarian as he confessed i

NNPCL Mulls Gas As Triggers For Nigeria’s Industrialisation, Economic Devt

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, has reiterated its commitment towards utilising Nigeria’s abundant gas resources to trigger Nigeria’s industrialisation and economic development. NNPC Ltd’s Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan disclosed this during a panel session at the ongoing 2024 CERAWeek conference in Houston, the United States. Eyesan, whose session addressed the theme, ‘What are the Choices for Upstream Strategies?’, said Nigeria is a predominantly gas-rich country with over 200TCF of gas that can be leveraged for the country’s industrialisation and economic development. She noted that NNPC Ltd’s plans to deepen gas utilisation domestically for industrialisation and ensure that the entire country feels and optimises the use of the resource. She said the company is vigorously opening avenues for infrastructural gas development through various gas projects spread across the country. “Our focus is how do we move from predominantly o

Sell your dollars to avoid tears, Naira’ll appreciate – Presidency Warns

President Bola Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, made this call in a statement via his X handle on Thursday. The presidential aide urged speculators to quickly sell their dollars to avoid “tears.” He stated, “With backlog FX settled, Naira is set to appreciate further, faster. Currency speculators should quickly dump their stock of dollars to avoid sorrows and tears.” Onanuga was reacting to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, disclosure that it had cleared the $7 billion foreign exchange backlog inherited by the previous management of the the CBN by Governor Yemi Cardoso. In a statement on Wednesday, CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, confirmed the settlement of all valid FX backlog claims. Ali said the apex bank employed Deloitte Consulting, an independent auditing firm, to meticulously assess the transactions, ensuring that only legitimate claims were honoured. “Any invalid transactions were referred to

BREAKING: Federal Gov’t Launches Mines Marshals To Combat Illegal Miners

The federal government of Nigeria has commissioned the Mines Marshals from a unit of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to tackle the menace of illegal mining and smuggling of solid minerals from Nigeria. The event was held at the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development in Abuja on Thursday.

Naira rises to N1,450/$ in parallel market

The naira yesterday appreciated to N1,450 per dollar in the parallel market from N1,580 per dollar on Tuesday. Similarly, the naira yesterday appreciated to N1,492.61 per dollar in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) exceeding the parallel market rate by N42.61. Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM fell to N1,492.61 per dollar from N1,560.57 per dollar on Tuesday, indicating N67.9 appreciation for the naira. Consequently, the margin between the parallel market rate and NAFEM widened to N42.61 per dollar from N29.43 per dollar on Tuesday.

Labour Party Crisis: ‘Show Of Rascality,’ Abure Faults Picketing Of Party’s HQ

The embattled Chairman of the Labour Party Julius Abure, has faulted the picketing of its party Secretariat's by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), describing it as an abuse of power. The NLC leadership had accused Abure of planning to hold an “illegal convention”. This, they said, was to perpetrate his rule or in the alternative appoint cronies to act on his behalf. He also said that the NLC’s action was a show of rascality, insisting it was politically motivated ahead of the party’s national convention. “What we saw in the Labour Party was a show of rascality, an abuse of office, an abuse of the laws of the land. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is a subject of law. The Nigeria Labour Congress under the leadership of Joe Ajaero is not above the law,” he stated. “The law precludes Joe Ajaero and the leadership of the NLC from doing what they did today to the office of the Labour Party where they besieged the office, broke the office, destroyed the faces of the office,

Slain Soldiers Will Receive National Honours, Befitting Burial – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday said the slain military personnel in Okuama, a community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, will be conferred with national honours. He disclosed this at the breaking of the Ramadan fast on Wednesday in Abuja with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, and the leadership of the House, the President said while oversight is essential for maintaining transparency and accountability in governance, excessive summoning of officials can disrupt operations and hinder service delivery to citizens. Addressing the gathering, the Commander-in-Chief commiserated with the military and the families of the deceased, assuring that the dead victims would also get what he described as a befitting burial. He, therefore, urged lawmakers to show discretion in the exercise of their oversight functions. “The baby step being taken by our country is doing well. The sacrifices we have made and we ask the people to continue t

FG names 9 persons, 6 BDCs financing terrorism

The Federal Government has named 15 entities said to be involved in terrorism financing. They include nine individuals and six Bureaux De Change operators and firms. The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, disclosed this in an email to The Punch on Tuesday. It was titled “Designation of Individuals and Entities for March 18, 2024”. According to the document, the Nigeria Sanctions Committee met on March 18, 2024. At the meeting, specific individuals and entities were recommended for sanction following their involvement in terrorism financing. The suspects Those named in the document for financing terrorism include Tukur Mamu, a Kaduna-based publisher, who is currently being tried for allegedly aiding the terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train in March 2022. Also, another was “a member of the terrorist group Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladissudam, associated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. “(He) specialises in designing terrorist clandestine communication cod

Release Nnamdi Kanu, save Southeast - Ohanaeze youths beg Tinubu

Youth wing of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has urged the Federal Government to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and restore peace in the South-East. Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, while answering questions from journalists on Tuesday, said he would end insecurity in the South-East within two minutes of his release from detention.  He spoke after being denied bail by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court.  However, in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday, the National President of the Ohanaeze youth wing, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike appealed to the President Bola Tinubu government to leverage on Kanu’s assertion and restore normalcy in the South-East.  Okwu, who said Kanu’s continuous detention was not doing the country any good, noted that “it was in the overall interest of Nigeria’s security that he should be granted bail and allowed to attend his trial from home.  “Nigeria has been contendi

Federal Gov’t To Unveil New National Policy On Land Transport

The Federal Government has initiated moves to develop a National Land Transportation Policy (NLTP), to revolutionize the nation’s land transport sector, currently burdened with inefficiencies. Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Ahmed Alkali made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abuja. The minister, through a statement by his Special Assistant, Public Affairs, Jamilu Ja’afaru, stated this while speaking at the inauguration of a pivotal stakeholders’ validation forum for the draft National Land Transport Policy. Alkali said the forum was organised to harness collective wisdom and insights to craft a transformative blueprint for the future of land transportation in Nigeria. The forum is anticipated to yield a validated policy framework that will serve as a roadmap for the transformation of Nigeria’s land transport landscape. The statement expressed the ministry’s steadfast in its commitment to overseeing the effective implementation of the policy, aligning with the broader

Catholic Bishops Asks Tinubu To Release Nnamdi Kanu

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to use his good office to explore all civil remedies to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in the best interest of the South-East. The call comes barely 24 hours after the IPOB leader’s bail application was rejected by a Federal High Court in Abuja. The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Most Reverend Lucius Ugorji, said this during the episcopal ordination of the Auxiliary Bishop of Orlu Diocese in Imo State on Wednesday. According to Most Rev. Ugorji, the release of Kanu will pave the way to economic prosperity and security in the south east. He added that his continued detention has been the major cause of insecurity in the South East, and the Monday sit-at-home has paralysed the economy of the South-East and by making many businesses lose billions of naira on a weekly basis. Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal Hi

Senate Okays Student Loan Act 2024

The Senate has passed the Student Loans Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024. The passage followed the consideration of a report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), presented by the Chairman representing Katsina South, Sen. Mohammed Muntari. This is as the bill, last week, passed a second reading. President Bola Tinubu had last week, written to the Senate and the House of Representatives, seeking the repeal of the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) Bill, and to enact a new one. The new act will enhance the implementation of the Higher Education Student Loan Scheme, by addressing challenges related to the management structure of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELF), applicant eligibility requirements, loan purpose, funding sources and disbursement and repayment procedures. Tinubu’s action came after the announcement of a temporary suspension of the commencement of the student loan sy

Breaking: Service Chiefs, Senators In Closed-Door Session Over Soldiers’ Killing

   Service chiefs, on about now appearing before the Senate Joint Committee (comprising Army, Navy, Defence and Airforce committees) to begin an investigative hearing on the gruesome killing of military personnel in Okuama community in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, last Thursday. A minute silence was first observed for the souls of the slain soldiers. Given the sensitivity of the matter, the Chairman of the joint committee, Ahmed Lawan, disclosed that the investigative hearing will be held behind closed doors. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-General Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, and Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla were present at the meeting while the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, was represented. The Senate had on Tuesday ordered the probe into the killing and directed its Committee on Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force to liaise with the Military autho


The senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District at the Red Chamber, Senator Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has called for proactive measures towards combatting crude oil theft in the country. He made this call yesterday while chairing the Nigerian Senate Joint Committee Meeting on crude oil theft.  At the meeting which was attended by the representatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Nigeria Customs Service, he emphasized on the need for collaborative efforts in combating the issue of crude oil theft in Nigeria.  He highlighted the detrimental effects of the illegal activity's of crude oil theft on the economy and the environment, and stressed the importance of taking decisive action to address the problem. Senator Ubah further called for greater transparency and accountability in the oil industry, to prevent corruption and collusion with criminal elements, while reiterating that the commitment of the Joint Committee to c

Hardship: We shall reap bountiful harvests in coming months, Shettima assures Nigerians

–Says Nigeria’s economy turning the corner As many Nigerians continue to face hard times due to the economic reforms introduced by President Bola Tinubu’s led administration, the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, has assured Nigerians that in the coming months the nation will reap bountiful harvests. Shettima gave the assurance late Tuesday night while speaking at the Iftar, which is the fast-breaking evening meal for Muslims during Ramadan, organised by President Tinubu for members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and services chiefs.  Senator Shettima also charged all appointees of the administration to rally around the president in his determination to salvage the ship of state, saying the president means well for the nation, even as he reminded them that leadership requires commitment. He reminded the ministers and the other senior state officials at the event that President Tinubu does not subscribe to bucks passing, for which reason he said posterity woul

Naira rises to N1,580/$ in parallel market

The naira yesterday appreciated to N1,580 per dollar in the parallel market from N1,590 per dollar on Monday. Similarly, the naira yesterday appreciated N1,560.57 per dollar in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM). Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM fell to N1,560.57 per dollar from N1,572.86 per dollar on Monday, indicating N12.29 appreciation for the naira. The market recorded an intraday high of N1,626.5 per dollar and an intraday low of N1,415 per dollar resulting in a N211.5 margin. The volume of dollars traded (turnover) in the market fell by 38 percent to $195.13 million from $315.21 million traded on Monday. Consequently, the margin between the parallel market rate and NAFEM widened to N29.43 per dollar from N17.24 per dollar on Monday.

Delta killings: 3 suspects nabbed, moved to Army HQ in Asaba

At least three of the suspects who killed 17 officers and men of 181 Amphibious Battalion, Nigerian Army, Otuama, Delta State, last Thursday, have been arrested. The arrest came as the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said yesterday that whoever was responsible for the killing of the military personnel, would be brought to justice. He spoke on a day the governor of Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, briefed President Bola Tinubu on the issue at Aso Rock, Abuja, saying the state is managing the tension caused by the killing and that there won’t be further attacks. This is even as the House of Representatives yesterday mandated the Armed Forces of Nigeria to conduct a thorough and wholesome investigation into the circumstances that led to the gruesome killings of military personnel. It was however gathered that the suspects were arrested in Port Harcourt yesterday and moved to Army headquarters, Asaba, where they are currently being held. Meanwhile, speaking d

NSIA, NSP Sign Agreement To Establish Shiroro Solar Generating Company

Nigeria’s energy transition journey as well as its resolve to embrace clean and renewable energy solutions remains on track under the administration of President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima has said. The Vice President stated this on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa during the signing of the joint venture agreement for the establishment of the Shiroro Generating Company, Nigeria’s pioneer 20MW On-grid Solar-Hydro Hybrid project, between the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and North South Power (NSP) Company Ltd. According to a statement by his spokesman, Stanley Nkwocha, Shettima noted that the event “marks a significant milestone and will boost the country’s energy transition journey” and an affirmation of President Tinubu administration’s resolve to embrace clean and renewable energy solutions. “The Federal Government of Nigeria under the able leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains steadfast in supporting initiatives that drive ec

Death of Ezeife, a national tragedy – Akpabio

The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio has described the death of former Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife as a national tragedy at a time Nigeria would have benefited immensely from his wealth of experience. Senator Akpabio made the remarks when members of the national burial committee of the late Elder Statesman paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja. A statement by the Special Assitant to the Senate President on Media/Communication, Anietie Ekong quoted Senator Akpabio as saying, “the reality is that the death of the former Governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife is a national tragedy. It is not something that concerns only the South-East, it concerns the entire nation. “Anyone who was not affected by his governance must have been affected by his worth as a national icon. He was such a national figure that whenever he spoke, the nation listened. Chief Ezeife was a voice for Nigeria and was recognized internationally.  “Sometimes

King Charles makes first public appearance after rumoured death

In what was his first public appearance since reports of his death started spreading online, United Kingdom’s King Charles III hosted Korean War veterans at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. The royal family said this in a post on social media, according to the News Agency of Nigeria. “This morning, the King met veterans of the Korean War at Buckingham Palace to mark 70 years since the signing of the armistice which ended the conflict,” the royal family said in the post. The UK embassy in Russia had to publish a statement on Monday after reports about the 75-year-old’s death from cancer appeared online, saying that “reports about the death of King Charles are FAKE.” Buckingham Palace said in early February that the British monarch had been diagnosed with cancer, the type and stage of which were not specified. King Charles postponed public duties while he was undergoing “regular treatments,” it said.

Why court refused Nnamdi Kanu’s fresh request for bail

….declines to transfer him to Kuje prison …as IPOB leader gives reason for violence in South East The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed the fresh application the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, filed to be released on bail, pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him. Rather, trial Justice Binta Nyako ordered accelerated hearing of FG’s seven-count charge against him. The ruling came on a day the embattled IPOB leader pleaded the court to transfer him from custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, to Kuje prison, or in the alternative, place him on a house arrest. Kanu equally gave reasons why violence has continued to fester in the South East region, saying he would have been able to tackle those using the name of IPOB to commit crimes, had it been he is not in detention. Kanu had in the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by