South African President Jacob Zuma to visit Nigeria; Nigerian government to unbundle the national oil corporation, NNPC; Nigerian government explains why it collected N50 billion from MTN Nigeria; Abducted Ese Oruru is 5 months pregnant; Court grants Nigeria’s ex-minister Moro bail; Dasuki escalated the Boko Haram crisis – FG; Nigeria’s former defence chief in arms procurement scandal . . .
Zuma begins two-day state visit to Nigeria March 8
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma will begin a two-day state visit to Nigeria on March 8, the Presidency has announced. In a statement on Wednesday, the Presidency said Zuma was travelling to Nigeria at “the invitation of President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“During the State Visit, President Zuma is expected to address the Joint Session of the National Assembly of Nigeria, and will, together with President Buhari, address the South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum,” the Presidency said.
FG to unbundle NNPC into 5 operational zones
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Thursday said that a major overhaul of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) system would be announced in the next one week. Kachikwu stated that NNPC would be unbundled to four or five main operational zones comprising 30 companies to be headed by a director each.
In his remarks at the 2016 Annual Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum organised by Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) Nigeria Council, Kachikwu said:
“For the national oil company, a lot of work is going on; I am sure some of you have seen the effects.
“But within the next one week, we are going to be announcing some really major overhaul of the system; one that hasn’t been done in over 20 years.
“The effect of that would be to quite frankly unbundle the huge company into four to five main operational zones.
“The upstream, downstream, midstream, refining and of course every other companies that are trending to the venture group,” he said.
Why we collected N50 billion from MTN — Nigeria
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has cleared the air over the controversy trailing the role of the Ministry in the out-of-court settlement by MTN Nigeria, and its payment of N50 billion to the Federal Government.
In a statement released on Wednesday by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Victor Oluwadamilare, he described as strange and curious, a report by a section of the Nigerian media that Nigerian Government sidelined its own regulator, NCC by striking a secret deal with MTN. Contrary to the reports, the statement noted that there was no negotiation of any kind by the Communications Minister and MTN over the fine regime imposed on it by the NCC.
Abduction: 14-yr-old Ese Oruru 5 months pregnant
The 14-year-old Ese Oruru, the Delta State-born girl-child, resident in Yenagoa in Bayelsa state, who was abducted by Yunusa Dahiru, alias Yellow, but rescued by the Police in Kano, has been discovered to be about five months pregnant. (Photo above: Yunusa a.k.a. Yellow & Ese Oruru)
A directive was given to a team from the Medical Department of the Police Force to carry out a comprehensive medical examination on the girl at the Police Medical Facility in Area 1, Garki, Abuja.
The white Hijab she wore on her arrival from Kano on Tuesday may have been used to cover the pregnancy, according to reports.
Immigration job scam: Court grants ex-minister, Moro bail
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted bail to a former Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, and others with whom he was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of defrauding graduate applicants to the tune of N675m in the botched March 15, 2014 National Immigration Services recruitment exercise.
Justice Anwuli Chikere granted bail to Moro on self-recognition, but imposed on the two others, bail sum of N100m each with one surety in like sum. All the accused persons including Moro are, however, to deposit their passports and other travel documents with the court registrar throughout the period of their trial.
The other accused persons, who were granted bail, are a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mrs. Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, and former director in the ministry, Mr. F.O Alayebami. Moro, Daniel-Nwobia and Alayebami were on Monday arraigned along with the firm contracted to execute the recruitment exercise, Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd.
We’ll Pass 2016 Budget On March 17 – NASS
The National Assembly has categorically said that it will pass the proposed 2016 Appropriation Bill into law on Thursday, March 17, 2016.
At a joint press conference addressed by the chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje and Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin respectively, the committees said they will lay their final collated reports before both chambers on Wednesday, March 16 after which it will be considered and passed the next day.
For his part, Senate Appropriation Committee chairman, Senator Goje said a lot of diligent efforts had been put into the 2016 Budget, adding that the two chambers have interacted with the various Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA’s).
“The various sub committees of the two chambers have interacted with there various respective MDAs, the Committees have produced their reports and all the Committees of the two chambers have fully submitted their reports.
FG accuses Dasuki of escalating Boko Haram crisis
The federal government has claimed that the inability of the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki to procure arms caused the increase in insurgency in the North East.
The counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Dipo Okpeseyitan (SAN) stated this position in opposition to an application by Dasuki asking a Federal High Court in Abuja to discharge him from the five-count charges of unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering.
Dasuki had through his counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN), contended that despite the orders of three courts for his bail to enable him prepare for his defence, the DSS has refused to comply with the orders. He therefore begged Justice Adeniyi Ademola to prohibit any further hearing in the case and order his discharge. He added that disobeying court orders was discouraging foreign investors.
The judge has adjourned the case to April 4 for ruling.
Badeh faces 10-count charge for diverting N3.97b NAF funds
ALL is set for the trial of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, for diverting N1.1 billion, among others, meant for Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to buy a choice mansion for himself in Abuja.
Other allegations against Badeh include alleged spending of NAF funds to build a shopping mall worth N878,362,732.94; another N650 million for the purchase of a commercial plot of land and $2 million on a duplex in Abuja.
He was also accused of lavishing N240 million on another semi-detached duplex; buying a duplex for about N260 million for his son, Alex Badeh Jr. and spending N90 million to furnish the duplex. The EFCC listed Badeh’s alleged financial recklessness in the 10-count charge filed against him at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “The arraignment of the ex-CDS will be on Thursday; the court has given the date.” Baden was slammed with a 10-count charge.