Offa robbery a shock, says Fed Govt

•IG deploys special forces to Kwara, Taraba •20 suspects arrested, arms recovered  THE Federal Government has assured the citizens that

ceasefire

•IG deploys special forces to Kwara, Taraba •20 suspects arrested, arms recovered 

THE Federal Government has assured the citizens that those behind Thursday’s armed robbery attack and killings in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State will be arrested and prosecuted.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed gave the assurance yesterday when he visited the Kwara State Governor Abdulfathah Ahmed at the Government House, Ilorin.

This came as the Inspector General (IG) Ibrahim Idris directed state commands across the country to be on red alert.

The directive was sequel to the attacks in Offa as well as the killings at Donga and Bali Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Taraba State.

Mohammed said the entire nation was “shocked and grieved” by the dastardly acts during which 17 persons, including nine policemen, were killed.

The minister later visited Offa to commiserate with Olofa of Offa Oba Muftau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II and his people over the unfortunate incident.

He also visited the headquarters of the state police command in Ilorin to commiserate with the Police Commissioner, Lawan Ado, over the death of the nine policemen.

He was also at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital  (UITH), where he sympathised with the victims of the armed robbery attacks, who were on admission.

The minister said the state and the public must learn  from “the mistakes” from the incident with a view  to improving on the country’s security architecture.

“What happened in Offa on Thursday shocked the entire nation and is our prayers that the souls of all the victims will rest in peace and also that those badly injured would be heeled and recover very soon.

“I want to take this opportunity to also let you know that the entire country is grieving and the entire country is sympathising with Kwara State and  the entire people of Offa.

“But there is also a silver light, despite the losses of the police, it is quite heart-warming to know that some of the suspects have been arrested.

“I spoke yesterday with the IG and he assured me that all the people responsible for the dastardly act would be arrested and brought to justice.

“I hope also that we are all going to learn from the mistakes – both the larger public and everybody – and we are going to factor this into the larger security architecture  in a manner  that we will have a much more secured and safe states and country,” he said.

Ahmed thanked the “presidency for its intervention so far”.

He expressed delight with the promise made the IG to deploy an armoured personnel carrier (APC) that will be stationed in Offa to prevent future occurrence.

He described the level of the crime perpetrated as “unexpected”, a situation which he said was an indication that the country was in a “challenging situation”.

The governor said government at this time must accept the fact that the nation was going through challenging  time  and redoubled efforts towards improving on its security architecture, saying: “This is not the time for blame game”.

He advocated for effective community policing and improved synergy through effective communications, particularly between the military and the police.

At the palace of Olofa of Offa, the monarch thanked the minister for the visit and solidarity with his people.

He asked the minister to use his good offices in ensuring the deployment of two armoured personnel carriers to Kwara south to beef up security in the area.

According to a statement by police spokesman Jimoh Moshood, an Assistant Commissioner (ACP), Idris also ordered the deployment of three Police Mobile Force Units, high powered police investigation team, Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) with 10 crew members and anti-robbery equipment to Kwara State and three additional Police Mobile Force (PMF) units to Kwara and Taraba states to beef up security, prevent further attacks and arrest culprits.

It was learnt that eight principal suspects have been arrested in connection with the bank robbery and 12 others said to have direct involvement in the Taraba killings were also apprehended.

Moshood said seven AK47 rifles, four locally made revolver pistols, 30 rounds of AK47 ammunition and seven armed robbers’ operational vehicles were recovered in the two incidents.

He said: “The deployments, which have arrived the two states, will cover Offa LGA and its environs and other vulnerable points in Kwara State, while the deployment of the three in addition to the five recently deployed to Taraba State will cover Donga, Bali, Lau, Gassol, Karim Lamido LGAs and other flash points in the state.

“The police teams will carry out intelligence gathering, raid identified criminal spots/flashpoints, stop and search operations, visibility and confidence-building patrols, arrest of perpetrators and further investigation into the incidents.

“The immediate intervention and preliminary investigation carried out by the high-powered police investigation team deployed by the IG working in synergy with the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) in the two commands resulted in the arrest of eight principal suspects in the Offa Bank Robbery and 12 suspects directly responsible for the recent killings in Donga and Bali LGAs of Taraba State.”

 

Ahmed pledges new police station in Offa

KWARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has promised to build a new police station for Offa at a strategic position in the town within the next 45 days.

He spoke when he visited the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II, at his palace in Offa to commiserate with him and people of Offa over the Thursday, armed robbery attack that claimed several lives in the town

Ahmed said he would do everything within his power to prevent a re-occurrence.

Besides, the governor promised to facilitate an  Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) for the community to beef up security in Offa and its environs.

Ahmed said he has secured the assurance of the Inspector General (IG) that the security infrastructure of the town would be rapidly scaled-up.

He said these measures were necessary to forestall incessant attacks on the existing police station each time there was armed robbery attack, assuring that those behind the act would soon be apprehended and brought to justice.

Oba Gbadamosi thanked the governor for the visit and concern.

He requested government assistance to prevail on the commercial banks not to abandon the town due to the incident.

 

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Dasuki sues DSS, AGF for ‘rights violation’

Former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki has sued the State Security Service (SSS), its Director General Lawal Daura and Attorney

Dasuki’s

Former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki has sued the State Security Service (SSS), its Director General Lawal Daura and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami over his continued detention.

Dasuki has been in the custody of the SSS since December 29, 2015. The Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in a judgment delivered on October 4, 2016  declared his detention unlawful and ordered his release.

In a fundamental rights enforcement suit marked filed on March 15 before the Federal High Court, Abuja, Dasuki is praying the court to order his unconditional release.

He is also praying the court to award in his favour, and against the respondents, N5billion as “general damages and compensation” for the alleged violation of his rights.

The ex-NSA wants the court to order the respondents to the suit to tender public apology to him in two  widely published newspapers for allegedly violating his rights “as enshrined under Sections 34(1), 35(1), (4) & (5), 37 & 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)”.

Dasuki also wants the court to declare that the applicant is entitled to the dignity of his person, personal liberty, freedom of movement, private and family life as enshrined under Sections 34(1), 35(1), (4) & (5), 37 & 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“A declaration that the continued detention of the applicant, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), by the operatives of the 2nd respondent under the instruction and direction of the 1st respondent (Daura) since Tuesday December 29, 2015 till date violates his fundamental rights under Sections 34(1), 35(1), (4) & (5), 37 & 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and is therefore unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal, null and void.

The suit has been assigned to Justice Ahmed Mohammed , but no date has been scheduled for hearing.

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Naira’s long-road to stability

The measures introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to curb foreign exchange (forex) volatility have taking the naira

The measures introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to curb foreign exchange (forex) volatility have taking the naira for shaky grounds to stability. COLLINS NWEZE writes that the introduction of Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) Forex window by the apex bank and its continued dollar interventions have ensured a settled forex demand at the retail end of the market.

Michael Martins, a civil servant based in Abuja, planned his annual vacation in the United States. Sadly, his holiday was cancelled after it dawned on him that getting the needed dollar for the event would be difficult and expensive. That was in January last year when the naira exchanged at N485 to the dollar and getting it was even more tasking given the acute shortage of the greenback.

By February last year, the exchange rate had climbed to N520 to dollar at the parallel market and many parents abandoned their children in foreign schools because of the difficulty in accessing foreign exchange (forex) from the market.

Those experiences persisted till April 2017, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) Foreign Exchange Window that allowed foreigners and investors to pump in dollars into the economy at their own rate. The pricing for the dollar was then determined by market forces.

In the first two weeks of introducing I&E window, forex speculators lost over N500 million, as the CBN sustained its dollar interventions in the interbank market. The losses grew to over N1 billion in the first two months after more foreigners began to use the window, and its impact on the forex market deepened.

The economy has also enjoyed major inflow of forex in recent months with over $20 billion recorded in the I&E FX Window. The window, also called “willing-buyer willing-seller window”, allows foreign investors to find buyers for their dollars at a mutually-agreed price. The CBN controls about 15 per cent of all the transactions carried out in the window.

As it stands now, Martins will have no problem accessing forex for his vacation trips given the level of stability and liquidity already attained in the forex market.

The introduction of I&E Forex window was followed by continuous interventions by the CBN which enabled banks and Bureau de Change (BDC) operators to meet forex demand at the retail end of the market. The naira now exchanges at N362 to dollar at both the BDC and parallel market rates while the official rate for the local currency stood at N305.6 to dollar.

Aside establishing the I&E Forex window, the CBN also opened a special forex window for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The window, which allocates $20,000 per business per quarter, helps the SMEs import “eligible finished and semi-finished items” needed for their businesses.

Explained what necessitated its special intervention, the CBN said its investigations showed that many SMEs were being crowded out of the forex space by large firms.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had earlier called for a change of lifestyles among Nigerians to sustain the local currency’s recovery against the dollar. In a campaign shared by the bank’s spokesman Isaac Okorafor, Emefiele said: “The size of Nigeria’s reserves and the value of the naira critically depend on our lifestyles and on the value and types of imports we allow into the country.”

Emefiele’s message implied that a change in consumption pattern from foreign to indigenous goods would impact positively on the value of the local currency.

Analysts said the CBN’s assurance to stakeholders of its continued intervention in the forex market, a promise it has kept for more than seven months, stabilised the market.

But, stability is bad news for forex speculators. They prefer volatility which means more profits to them.

According to the Currencies Market Head at Ecobank Nigeria, Olakunle Ezun, the forex market has lost its drive for profitability and it is no longer exciting for players. He said the boom time for forex dealers ended after the CBN kept its dollar intervention promises.

“In terms of forex business, it is not as exciting as it used to be. What makes the market exciting is volatility. The operators are not always happy when market becomes stable, because their profit margin drops. The profit-taking opportunity in the market is very lean at present and so are the turnover and spread,” Ezun said.

He said the Naira’s currency crisis was triggered by the dip in crude oil prices, which adversely affected Nigeria’s foreign reserves and created chronic dollar shortages. It was the need to curb these dollar shortages and stabilise naira against world currencies that prompted the CBN to regularly inject dollars into the market to narrow the spread between the official and black market rates. This measure has not only led to convergence between parallel and black market rates, but has chased currency speculators out of the market.

The banks get dollar supplies to meet genuine forex users’ demand, just as the black market operators, whose cost of operation, though the lowest in the value chain, remain in business.

“The black market operators do not need licence to operate. Neither do they demand for documentation from forex buyers. They are simply doing cash and carry business and have largely benefited from the rate convergence although their profit margin has also dropped,” a Lagos-based BDC operator, Isah Yakubu, said.

He said that the black market forex has been in operation for over 100 years, adding that patronage for this market has continued at all times, not-withstanding the state of the economy and forex market.

For currency speculators, who buy dollar for keep, and sell when it strengthens, the forex business has been a nightmare after the CBN sustained its interventions. After recording huge losses in naira and foreign currencies, the speculators seem to have been chased out of the forex market.

Confirming the development, the President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, said that with rate convergence at both the BDC and parallel markets, and transaction margins narrowed to N2 in most cases, the market seems unattractive to speculative dealers.

Afrinvest West Africa Limited Managing Director Ike Chioke said the jump in foreign inflows was not a surprise given the development in the forex market, particularly the launch of the I&E forex window in April.

Chioke said “The knock-on effects of strong portfolio flows are already evident in performance of the domestic equities market which has historically been driven by foreign portfolio investors.”

According to him, there has been a strong positive correlation between the exchange rate and crude oil price in the country.

Sub-Saharan Africa Economist at Renaissance Capital and co-Author of the Fastest Billion Yvonne Mhango said the CBN has shown absolute commitment to dealing with dwindling fortune of the naira.

“While Nigeria cannot do much to influence the oil price, the combination of measures sends a powerful signal to all stakeholders on the CBN’s intent to do what it can to preserve macroeconomic stability,” she said.

 

The restriction on 41 items

 

The forex restriction placed by the CBN’s on 41 items from accessing forex from official windows was one of such policies. More than two years after the policy shift, its objectives, such as encouraging local production of the affected items and boosting local industries suffocated by the importation of competing products are being realised.

The policy implementation was part of the home-grown solutions introduced by the apex bank to sustain forex market stability and ensure the efficient utilisation of available forex to grow critical segments of the economy.

The policy implies that those who import these items can no longer buy foreign currency from the official window to pay overseas’ suppliers. They source forex from the parallel market or BDCs to pay for their imports.

Emefiele said the bank has been developing home-grown policies to surmount challenges that plunged the economy into turbulence in recent times.

For instance, over the last 10 years, the CBN had invested over N2 trillion in funding agriculture, SMEs and other manufacturers in the value-chain.

The regulator said the apex bank would continue to support operators in the agriculture, SMEs and manufacturing enterprises through its development finance initiatives, with a view to complementing the Federal Government’s efforts at diversifying the economy and making the nation self-sufficient in food production.

Speaking on the banned items, Emefiele said: “The issue of those 41 items, unfortunately, is one that has been on my table. But, I think it is important that in the life of an economy, there is a need for us to take a look and ask ourselves: what really are we importing into this country?

“When this thing started, we said: ‘Why should we import rice? Why should we import toothpick? Why should we import palm oil?’ At a point in this country, Nigeria was the largest producer and exporter of palm oil and we were controlling 40 per cent of the market share.

“So, there is the need for us to say at this time when there is a scarcity of forex, it should be set aside for the import of items we cannot produce in this country.”

Emefiele’s logic was that the importation of items, such as palm oil, makes local producers poorer.

“When we import rice, we impoverish the rice producers in Abakaliki, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina and other parts of the country. We need to look at that very seriously because God has blessed this country, with good climate, good weather, which should be taken advantage of. Since we can produce these things, let’s use them to feed our people so that we can save foreign exchange for the country.”

The CBN chief said he was satisfied with the outcome of the policy, adding that more time was needed to evaluate its success. He said the policy could be reviewed when it was concluded that local manufacturers of the restricted items had become very competitive.

He clarified further: “My view would be that if you have forex, you should devote it for the import of items that are important and can’t be produced in the country.

“If you have excess forex, save it or create reserves. My view, which is the view of the government, is that there are certain items that we can produce locally.

“But, by importing some of these items, you impoverish the people. How can we create jobs for our people by living like that! Donald Trump is the President of the largest economy in the world. When he was campaigning, he said everything must be about America and he takes the interest of Americans first into consideration and by doing that, you create wealth for your people.

“I got engaged with some of these people where Nigeria imports from and I said to them: ‘You want us to import fish from you, please tell me, what can you import from Nigeria, and he said nothing.’ I feel that is not a good answer from a colleague in the financial sector. So, that is the reason you have to be smart to tell yourself that I can produce it and because I can produce it, I have to produce it and use it to feed my people and save the country foreign exchange.”

Emefiele disclosed that the government policy on support for local production was gaining ground and attracting the interest of multinational companies who were already investing in rice production.

He said: “We have seen multinationals coming to say they want to join in palm oil production. For instance, go to Cross River State, PZ Wilmar has been cultivating 58,000 hectares of palm plantation; Presco, Okomu are all doing something. So, if a PZ Wilmar needs foreign exchange because there is a little gap, I will not mind giving them because I have seen the interest they have shown cultivating more land.

“We have seen people like Coscharis, who hitherto had been in automobile imports, has acquired thousands of hectares of land in Anambra trying to grow rice. We were there last year and this year we would be there again to see what they have done.”

The CBN said part of its mandate would be to act as financial catalyst in targeted sectors of the economy with humongous potential for creating jobs, reducing the country’s import bills in a very significant manner.

It said monetary policy alone cannot fully achieve the objective of macro-economic development through real sector financing.

 

Measures to strengthen naira

 

Some of the measures put in place by the CBN to end the naira crisis include the first Naira-Settled Over-the-Counter (OTC) Forex Futures Market (FFM) launched with FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the planned resumption of dollar sales to the BDCs.

The FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (FMDQ) is an organisation with the strategic intent of bringing about revolutionary changes and fostering the development of the Nigerian financial markets

The Naira-Settled OTC Forex Futures are non-deliverable forwards, or a contract where parties agree to an exchange rate for a pre-determined date in the future, without the obligation to deliver the underlying dollar on the maturity/settlement date.

On the maturity date, it will be assumed that both parties would have transacted at the spot forex market rate. The party that would have suffered a loss with the spot forex rate will be paid a settlement amount in naira to ensure that both parties enjoy the rate that had been guaranteed to each other through the OTC Forex Futures.

The FMDQ’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Bola Onadele Koko said: “The Naira-Settled OTC Forex Futures product is a major milestone development in the evolution of the Nigerian financial markets. The Futures market is an opportunity to transform risk into certainty – a major paradigm shift in the financial markets landscape.

“This innovation offers opportunities for government, businesses, pension fund administrators, investors and individuals among others to hedge (not speculate) to cope with exchange rate risk.

“It also affords the CBN a greater opportunity to manage exchange rate volatility, thus achieving greater market confidence, liquidity, improvement in business planning, job security, employment, better allocation of resources, global competitiveness of the Nigerian financial markets, and all in all, a thriving economy.”

 

Stakeholders proffer solution

 

To Chioke, the incorporation of a long-term diversified strategy in fiscal policy is required to cushion shocks in various segments of the economy.

He said the persistent pressure on the naira could have been minimised if a counter fiscal policy had been developed, as the CBN cannot continue to defend the naira with foreign reserves.

“To reduce this pressure, an inward looking policy (tax incentives, infrastructure development and production subsidy) should be emphasised to reduce the dependence on imported goods”, Chioke said.

Ezun said: “There is a limit to how far a policy can support naira. Demand for dollar is huge because the economy is import dependent. A lot of industries still depend on importation of raw materials and finished goods making our import bills to go up.”

Gwadabe said the country has not been able to build strong buffers, so that when crisis of this nature occurs, as seen in other countries, the economy would be protected.

He said: “The United Arab Emirates has over $400 billion in its reserves and that is a very big buffer for them as it protects their local currency at any given time and that is what I would want to see in Nigeria. Don’t forget that without the buffers, there is no way one can defend the local currency.

“As a Nigerian, anytime I see the gap increasing, I’m worried and I say that this gap has to be reduced. The rising gap between both markets is fueled by compromise. Nigeria is an economy where you see compromise. Speculators are the biggest challenge facing the naira.

“Don’t forget that speculation is on its own a business. Once the CBN follows one road, they will find a way to frustrate the policy and ensure the survival of their business.

“But, with increased transparency and liquidity, the activities of speculators will be reduced and volume of parallel market operators will also be reduced. We should move from the era of dollar allocation to think of how to bring in the dollars”.

The Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, said in an on-line report: “From 1981 to 1985, during a similar period of control and oil shocks, relative prices did not adjust to restore internal and external balances. This led to low production, economic distortions, massive retrenchment, poverty and higher unemployment.

“In contrast, from 1986 to 1991, when the structural adjustment program was introduced, the exchange rate was flexible. Economic data showed that there was increased output, better employment figures and less poverty. Both periods had negative oil price shocks.

Rewane said: “Nigeria’s current managed floating exchange rate regime combines features of both the fixed and flexible exchange rate. A lightly managed floating exchange rate regime is advocated given that the exchange rate becomes determined essentially by demand and supply forces, while allowing the CBN to intervene occasionally to moderate excessive fluctuations, which are prone in developing countries such as Nigeria.”

Besides, other factors, such as terms of trade, inflation differential, public debt, current-account deficits, interest rates, political stability and the overall economic health determine the exchange rate of a currency.

 

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Buhari leaves for UK

President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja on Monday 9th April, 2018 for an official visit to Britain where he is

buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja on Monday 9th April, 2018 for an official visit to Britain where he is due to hold discussions on Nigeria – British relations with Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May, prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings scheduled for 18th to 20th April, 2018.

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the President will also meet the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Plc, Mr. Ben van Beurden in connection with Shell and other partners’ plan to invest $15b in Nigeria’s oil industry.

“These investment ventures will lay the foundation for the next 20 years production and domestic gas supply, bringing with it all the attendant benefits both to the economy and the wider society.” the statement said

President Buhari is also due to renew discussions with the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, a good friend of the President on inter-religious harmony in Nigeria and World-wide.

Further meetings have also been scheduled for the President to see some prominent British and Nigerians residing in Britain.

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Delta communities vow to resist alleged excesses of oil asset operator

  A disagreement between the operators of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30; Heritage Energy Operational Services (HEOS) and its host communities

 

A disagreement between the operators of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30; Heritage Energy Operational Services (HEOS) and its host communities is threatening production in the nation’s largest oil field.

Expressing their dissatisfaction with alleged breach of agreements by the company at a press briefing in Ughelli, Delta state , leaders of the 111 host communities, under the aegis of the OML 30 Community Development Board (CDB), accused the company of introducing ‘the divide-and-rule’ tactics to create a crisis environment in the operation of the facilities.

Addressing journalists at the end of a meeting of the CDB and communities representatives committee, the chairman of the CDB, Hon Morris Idiovwa, alleged that the leaders of all the communities had observed that the company had started reneging on its side of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) signed with the communities.

According to him, the leaders had cause to believe that the new development, which he said started towards the end of 2017, was a deliberate strategy to create a crisis situation in the area and  a pretext for the introduction of a consultant organization, a move which the communities have vowed to vehemently resist.

Idiovwa, who spoke in the presence of all the president-generals and chairmen of the various clusters from the 111 communities, however warned that failure of the company to heed the warning against the introduction of non-government organization and consultants would force community actions, which would lead to the shutdown of oil operations in the largest facility.

“It was observed in the meeting that the OML 30 is at the brink of a crisis that could lead to the shutdown of operations in OML 30. It has come to the attention of OML 30 that the peaceful environment being enjoyed by the operators, Heritage Energy Operational Services, is at the brink of a fall, therefore the leadership has come together and has taken a decision.

“We are aware that Heritage Energy Operational Services is planning to introduce an NGO and a consultant to take over the affairs of OML 30’s GMoU and community relations. The leadership of OML 30 has unanimously agreed that we do not want to deal with any consultant or any NGO, which will come to the assets to disrupt the peaceful process and operation we’ve been enjoying.

“Also, the leadership of OML 30 wants to categorically state that Academic Associate Peace Works (AAPW) is not welcomed into OML 30 to deal with our communities as we are all ready to take over the GMoU as well as the community relations exercise of our communities. The leadership is competent and we are ready to deal with the company; Heritage Energy on issues bordering on community and GMoU affairs.

“We want to use this medium to appeal to the state government, the operators of these assets, to NPDC to call whichever NGO they are intending to introduce to OML 30 to withraw them out of the asset and tell Shoreline and AA Peace Works to stay away with their consultant, otherwise, the communities have decided that any NGO or consultant would be met with stiff resistance,” he said.

Some community leaders who spoke to journalists at the end of the meeting, including Chief James Obeowe, President-General of Oleh community; Joseph Ibuje, President-General of Oguname community; Victor Otumemene, President-General of Afiesere community, all corroborated the stance of the CDB, warning that attempt to sabotage the existing order of interaction between the company and communities would inevitably result the shutdown of operations.

However, in a brief reaction to the community’s apprehension and threat, the General Manager of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL), Celine Loader, said the company had ensured to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with its host communities, adhering to the GMoU, adding that issues raised by the CDB and the communities would be investigated and addressed.

“Heritage Energy Operational Services (HEOSL), the Operators of OML30, have in the last year of operations, nurtured and sustained peaceful and mutually beneficial relationships with all OML30 Communities, working through the tenets of GMOU and its recognized governance structure which is the Community Development Board (CDB).

“There has been some unfortunate delays to the GMOU Review process, but I cannot say that that amounts to “HEOSL shirking its responsibilities” and I’m certain that any developments or allegations of vested interests working against the shared interests of the Joint Venture Partners and the Communities would be investigated and addressed in the appropriate manner”, Loader assured.

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Rico evicted from #BBNaija

Rico Swavey has joined the list of housemates that has been evicted from the Big Brother Naija house this Sunday evening.

RICO

Rico Swavey has joined the list of housemates that has been evicted from the Big Brother Naija house this Sunday evening.

Rico who was genuinely surprised that he made it this far, admitted that he wasn’t sure how he got here. He was quick to say he wasn’t disappointed but he saw it as an opportunity.

“I don’t know how I got here. I wont say I was disappointed, going through the course of time, I found it as an opportunity. It doesn’t stop me from moving forward in life.”

Ebuka wanted to know if he played it safe but Rico said he was just being himself all through the rosy ride.

“I wasn’t playing safe I was just being me for the same reason that I wasn’t in some argument. I did me and me has brought me this far in the house. I wasn’t hiding but I had some off points. Life is good and I enjoyed the moment and have fun.”

Rico Swavey also admitted deep intense love for ex-Big Brother housemate, Ahneeka. He spoke of her as strong and passionate for whatever she stood for and he definitely picked her over Alex and Khloe.

“Over time I grew feelings for Ahneeka. She is very strong about what she wants. If someone has that kind of impact in your life, you will be genuinely attracted. Who I really liked the most was Ahneeka, of the trio of Ahneeka, Khloe and Alex.”

Moving forward, he expressed a desire to own a restaurant but was keen on music the more.

“I always wanted to have a restaurant, however I can cook, hopefully I can have restaurant.”

“I want to pay attention to music. It is what made me leave the house to sell things and get more studio time to tell my story.”

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Tinubu has all it takes to nite APC, says Kano lawmaker

The Chairman, House Committee on Education in Kano state House of Assembly, Dr. Baffa Babba Danagundi yesterday in Kano expressed

Tinubu

The Chairman, House Committee on Education in Kano state House of Assembly, Dr. Baffa Babba Danagundi yesterday in Kano expressed optimism that the national leader of All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has the capacity to reconcile all aggrieved members in the party.

Danagundi who spoke during a grand ceremony he organized in honour of Tinubu’s 66th birthday called on APC members and stakeholders across the country to repose confidence in the national leader’s capability to unite the party and lead it to victory as 2019 general elections approach.

He described Tinubu as a symbol of unity, “he is a de-tribalized leader. He has no boundary. He believes in everybody and he always strive to ensure that Nigeria remain one united country irrespective of our religious, ethnic and cultural differences.”

According to him, “the Jagaban is a man that has the interest of this country at heart. That was why President Muhammadu Buhari gave him the mandate to bring back the lost glory in our great party.

“He is on the job and people like us believe in him. There is nobody Tinubu talks to that will not listen to him. He is a man of integrity and he has the respect of all of us. I believe that those who have been offended in one way or the other will have a reason to bury the hatchet.”

Danagundi who mobilized APC leaders from across the 44 Local Government Area of the state to witness the ceremony, said the idea behind the birthday party was to give Tinubu’s loyalists who could not make it to Lagos the opportunity to celebrate the political juggernaut.

Danagundi who is representing Kano Municipal constituency also used the opportunity to endorse the second-term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

He insisted that, “come 2019, there is no vacancy in Aso Rock; there is no vacancy in Kano Government House. President Buhari and Governor Ganduje has performed creditably and I call on Nigerians and the good people of Kano state to rally round the two leaders.”

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

‘Nigeria has become a fearful place to live’

The President of United Church of Christ in Nations also known as HEKAN, Reverend Amos Kiri has said Nigeria has become

Nigeria, Leah Sharibu won't be abandoned - Buhari

The President of United Church of Christ in Nations also known as HEKAN, Reverend Amos Kiri has said Nigeria has become a fearful place to live because citizens are now kidnapped, attacked in the farm, road or even in their homes by armed bandits.

He stated this in his speech at the 52nd Annual Convention of the church held in Kaduna on Sunday.

He therefore called on the Federal and state governments to intensify security and save the lives and property of citizens.

According to him, recent allegation of compromise by some bad elements among our security forces and subsequent admittance by the Federal Government as reported by the media should be investigated and the culprits punished according to the laws of the land.

He added that the only way the spate of killings can be nipped so that we can all exercise our freedom to live or move anywhere we wish within the country is to guarantee security to all.

“While we commend the efforts of the Federal government in the release of some of the kidnapped Chibok girls.

“We were again shocked when the sad news filtered again that another set of girls were kidnapped in Dapchi. Sadden as this kidnapping is.

“We are happy that some of the Dapchi girls have been released. However, the report that one of the kidnapped girls was not released along with the others because she refused to renounce her Christian faith may have compromised the good efforts of the Government.

“I therefore, call on the government to intensify efforts that will lead to the release of all the girls. Additional security measures should also be put in place to safe guard the lives of all Nigerians, irrespective of their tribes, religion or political affiliations.”

Speaking on the 2019 elections, Rev Kiri called  on all Nigerians to come out and partake in the election of who should govern them, saying If they do not go out and vote,they should  not blame anybody when the wrong person or persons are elected or ascend the helms of affairs.

“Therefore, I want you to know that your single vote counts, don’t throw it away by refusing to endure and follow the process of election when the time comes.

“While the drums are beating, the whole exercise begins with having a valid Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC). The question is DO YOU HAVE YOUR PVC? If you don’t have, go and get yours before it is too late.

“Apart from getting your PVC, I challenge and call on all Christians to wake up from their slumber and partake in politics.

“No Christian should be deceived any longer about separation of Christianity from politics; Christians should and must vie for positions and be fully involved in government/governance. After all the holy Bible says, “When the rulers are good, the people are happy. When the rulers are evil, the people complain”.

“However, I urge Christian’s politicians seeking for elective position to do that with the sole aim to rescue Nigerians and Nigeria from ills, evil and the suffering we are going through.

“This is because the scripture says, “The righteous care about justice for the poor…” As it stands today, what our country desperately need is care for the masses and justice for all citizens.

“As of the voters, I urge you to be mindful that you don’t exchange your vote for money. Make sure that at all levels (Local, State and Federal government) you vote in persons that have the interest of all Nigerians at heart,” he stressed.

The HEKAN President  said every  true religion must care for the widows amongst us and  in obedience to this  the leadership of the Church has put in place strategies to take care of  widows.

He disclosed that a committee has been put in place to come up with workable policy guidelines on how the widows welfare can best be handled at all levels of the church.

Reverend. Kiri called  for the support of all the church members in this regard, saying the policy is not only limited to the widows alone, but will also include widowers, orphans, the less privileged and the vulnerable.

Speaking on the Theme of the Convention, the Cleric said in previous years, the leadership of the church under the leadership of the Holy Spirit came up with another befitting theme for the church. The 2018 theme “LORD, REVIVE US AGAIN( is a follow up to last year’s theme).

“We are in a time that we all need revival. The main purpose of this theme is to let every Christian know that it is possible to be revived again; no matter the situation one finds him or herself.

“We are serving a living God who has the power and ability to make dead and dry bones to rise again.

“I am confident that from my messages and the teachings we have received, we are all going back home fulfilled, knowing that whatever is the dry bones in every person’s life has been revived again. Therefore, go and serve the Lord whole-heartedly.”

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Buhari leaves for UK Monday on official visit

President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja on Monday  for an official visit to Britain where he is due to hold

Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja on Monday  for an official visit to Britain where he is due to hold discussions on Nigeria – British relations with Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May, prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings scheduled for 18th to 20th April, 2018.

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the President will also meet the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Plc, Mr. Ben van Beurden in connection with Shell and other partners’ plan to invest $15b in Nigeria’s oil industry.

“These investment ventures will lay the foundation for the next 20 years production and domestic gas supply, bringing with it all the attendant benefits both to the economy and the wider society.” the statement said

President Buhari is also due to renew discussions with the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, a good friend of the President on inter-religious harmony in Nigeria and World-wide.

Further meetings have also been scheduled for the President to see some prominent British and Nigerians residing in Britain.

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Tenure Elongation: APC non-NWC forum supports Buhari

The Forum of All Progressives Congress (APC) Non-National Working Committee has distanced itself from tenure elongation of the party’s executive

APC

The Forum of All Progressives Congress (APC) Non-National Working Committee has distanced itself from tenure elongation of the party’s executive leadership, saying it supported President Muhammadu Buhari`s position.

The group called for the dissolution of executive committees of the party at all levels and the convocation of a national convention to elect new executives.

The position of the Forum was part of the resolutions reached at the end of its meeting on Sunday in Abuja.

In a communiqué read by its Spokesman, Mr Jock Alamba, the forum said “we share the President’s unalloyed commitment to the rule of law and fine tenets of internal democracy”.

 

It stated that by opposing the tenure extension approved by the party`s National Executive Committee (NEC) in its meeting on Feb. 27, Buhari was laying a foundation to further deepen the country`s democracy.

It said that they were with the president on his position that election to party offices, starting from Ward, Local Government and State Congresses to National Convention be conducted unencumbered, with free and fair elections.

According to it, with all hands on deck, the party can avoid the risk of rancorous and conflict-ridden intra-party elections which make majority of the leaders to clamour for tenure extension.

The forum urged members and supporters of the party to disregard reports in some quarters that governors elected on its platform were plotting to use the party`s chairmen against Buhari.

“There is no such plot, and no chairman is against Buhari; we are all behind him,’’ it said.

It expressed belief that as in the Dec. 14, 2014 presidential primary and other primary elections, “APC members would work as a family to disappoint distractors’’.

It observed that Buhari had at different fora, as a convert democrat, demonstrated his commitment to democracy.

This, the group said, was exemplified in the recent gubernatorial and senatorial elections in Anambra and Rivers where the opposition parties won the elections under his watch.

“Buhari’s concern for due process is legendary and the forum cannot underrate his concern.

“Buhari should be given a chance to complete his second term in office to enable him complete the infrastructural foundations he was currently laying across the country.

“Our position is reaffirmed after a careful survey, which shows that 99 per cent of the entire membership and governors of our party are in support of the president’s second term bid.

“It is a common position that for the overall interest of our country, Buhari should complete the critical infrastructural foundations he is laying,’’ it said.

Buhari had at another NEC meeting on March 27, opposed the one-year tenure extension decision, beginning from June, saying it was illegal and unconstitutional.

He had explained that the decision was causing acrimony within the party, with some members not comfortable with the matter, dragging the party to court.

The NEC is expected to meet on Monday to look into the report of the 10-member committee constituted to advise the party`s leadership on the issue and the ward forward on other matters. (NAN)

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.