Tuesday, 24 May 2016

FG begins process of appointing ambassadors, says minister

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, on Tuesday said the Federal Government had begun the process of appointing a new set of ambassadors to represent Nigeria in various countries of the world.

Onyeama stated this at a news conference to mark one year anniversary of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration The 26 non-career ambassadors and ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary on tour of duty abroad were recalled in June 2015.

They were among the 93 envoys posted out in 2012.

The minister explained that the reason for the delay in their appointment was that the current administration wanted to do a thorough job to ensure that very competent hands were sent out.

“It is a work in progress; it is being done and may be in short time we will have the list of ambassadors going to various countries.

“Sometimes, it is on the approach of getting the best hands.
“So we want to be very clear of the ones we send out to represent the country; we want to be sure we have representations that will reflect real vision of this government,” he said.

He said that government was set to implement all the agreements signed with various countries to achieve the goal of signing such pacts.

Onyeama said that government had set up an inter-ministerial committee to work on them, to ensure effective implementation of the agreement.

“So far, what we have done is to set up inter-ministerial committee and identified all the follow up actions and set up timeline for them.’’

The minister added that government had identified the ministries, departments and agencies that would be responsible for different aspects of what was required in the agreement.

“That is a very concrete follow up mechanism put in place to actualise the agreements,’’ he said.


Forex: CBN throws Naira into open market, nullifies N197/$ exchange rate

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, announced a flexible exchange rate regime aimed at making foreign currencies more accessible. With this action, the CBN has nullified the official exchange rate regime of N197/dollar. 

The CBN took the measure following severe pressures on external reserve and foreign exchange supply crisis.

Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who announced this at the end of the Monetary Policy Meeting, in Abuja, also said the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, was retained at 12 per cent; Cash Reserve Ratio, 22.5 per cent; and Liquidity Ratio, 30 per cent.

In the face of severe pressures on external reserves and foreign exchange supply crises, the CBN abandoned its fixed rate policy in favour of a flexible and multiple market model, which implied a floating exchange rate regime.

The apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, which made this decision, chose to retain its Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, at 12 per cent, Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR, at 22.5 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent. Details of the new foreign exchange market policy, according to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, would be released in due course. 

He, however, said the apex bank would retain a special window to fund critical transactions in foreign exchange, which would likely attract a concessionary rate. 

By this development, the interbank foreign exchange market, which has been dead for sometime now, is revitalised on unrestricted exchange rate basis, while the Bureaux de Change, BDCs, would continue their operations, thus creating multiple exchange windows. 

He, however, ruled out any consideration for channelling foreign exchange to the BDCs. Briefing the media after the MPC meeting, Emefiele explained that “the MPC voted unanimously to adopt a flexible exchange rate policy to restore the automatic adjustment properties of the exchange rate,” adding that it voted also to “retain a small window for funding critical transactions” and that “details of operations of the market would be released by the Central Bank at the appropriate time.” 

Policy implications

By the new exchange rate regime, CBN would allow the Naira to float against the US dollar at the inter-bank market, rather than holding on to a fixed peg. 

What this means, however, is that buyers of foreign exchange for importation of goods, holiday, school fees, medical tourism, online payments etc, will have to source from the inter-bank market-determined rates and will no longer be able to buy forex at N199 or whatever official rate the CBN decides to adopt.

By this development, the parallel market would have been suppressed, while there would be a near rate convergence among the different market segments except the special window.

It also means that round tripping and arbitrage have been curtailed. However, exchange rate is expected to spike, even as many dealers have already speculated that rates would go up by over 50 per cent today.

Analysts at Nairametrics said yesterday: “It is unclear how this will work as the CBN will need to put a massive structural operational framework in place to ensure this works perfectly. 

“A market determined rate will also require strong regulations around a market that involves everyone with prices that are market determined.

“One expects the black market to disappear as all you need to do is walk to the bank and ask to buy forex at the market rate.” Analysts questioned the wisdom of announcing a major shift in policy without spelling out how to implement it.

“Any real liberalisation would be accompanied by some tightening, as a stabilisation measure, at least in the short term,” said Razia Khan, Chief Africa Economist at Standard Chartered in London. “That does not appear to have been considered. This is at best curious, at worst very worrying.”

Reacting to the development, analysts from Cowry Assets Management Limited said: “The CBN adopted a more flexible exchange rate policy. A flexible exchange-rate system is a monetary system that allows the exchange rate to be determined by supply and demand. 

“In our opinion, the policy decisions will impact the economy on several fronts: We expect current inflationary pressure will continue unrestrained as budgetary disbursement commences. Also, Interest Rate is expected to continue to hover at current levels with an increased double digit outlook. Likely increase in liquidity mop up through Open Market Operation in response to expected increase in budgetary spending. Naira will remain under pressure ,as market forces adjust the fixed CBN’s clearing rate to a more realistic parallel market rate. There will likely be foreign exchange inflows from domiciliary accounts estimated at USD20 billion as currency exchange risk minimises and capital market activities expected to witness gradual recovery as foreign exchange risk diminishes, with the adoption of a more flexible exchange rate regime.”

Inflation to spike further 

However, analysts at Vetiva Capital Management expect inflation to spike in the near term. They said that “it is clear that the MPC has chosen its battle carefully, deciding to loosen one of the key impediments to economic growth (the FX illiquidity). Following from this, we expect the inflation picture to worsen in the near term as a result of the emergence of a new exchange rate to consumer prices. Like we had noted in our April inflation note, we expect inflation to recoil in 2017 from base effects. We believe this view could have further emboldened the MPC’s resolve to adopt the more flexible FX framework.”

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14 Things President Buhari Has Changed Since Assuming Power

The presidency over the months have been jibbed by many. While some see President Muhammadu Buhari’s government as slow and inactive, others see it as in capable of bringing the promised change.

However, one need to ask; have things remained how they were when President Muhammadu Buhari took over about a year ago? Certainly not! Here are 14 things that have changed:

1. The government closed 40 accounts in NNPC to give room for accountability.

2. The Port Harcourt and Warri refineries are back in operation with 60 per cent capacity and producing 7 million litres of PMS daily. The Kaduna refinery also resumed production at the end of the April, 2016.

3. President Buhari directed the CBN to disburse N689.5b as bailout to 27 states to pay salaries.

4. 34,000 The number of ghost workers draining the nation’s resources now expunged from the Federal Civil Service, saving N2.29b in the process.

5. President Buhari saved $1m by his directive stopping the appointment of a government delegation for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

6. On assumption of office, the President cut down the number of ministries from 42 to 25 to reduce the cost of governance.

7. $321m The amount Switzerland will repatriate to Nigeria from the illicitly acquired wealth of the Gen. Sani Abacha family.

8. The Nigerian troops has rescued a total of 11,595 in the ongoing operations in the Northeast as at February 2016.

9. The Presidential Committee set up to probe contracts awarded by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) from 2011 to 2015 has recovered N7b.

10. The President secured a $5m support from U.S. government June last year and another $40m in April 2016 for the fight against the terrorists in the sub-region.

11. The government saves $1b annually by the elimination of the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) through the introduction of the Direct Sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme with reputable off-shore refineries

12. The Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna Refineries now produce 7m litres of PMS per day.

13. The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which stands at N3trillion has provided greater visibility of government revenues and cash flows. A war on high pedestal.

14. Buhari intensified the anti-corruption war which has led to the arrest of high profile public officers. Such cases include the ones against former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman Olisa Metuh, Daar Communications Chairman Dr Raymond Dokpesi and former Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh.

Nigerian Serving military officer remanded over armed robbery

The Police in Ekiti on Tuesday charged a serving Military man, Olasoji Damilola, 30, and Koki Tunde, 26, before an Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court over alleged armed robbery.

The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Bayo Ajiboye, told the court that the accused committed the offence on May 15, at a Petrol Station in Ado-Ekiti.

He alleged that the accused and others now at large, on the said date, while armed with guns and cutlasses, robbed a Petrol Station at Ado-Ekiti.

According to him, the offence contravened Section 1(a) (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Law, 2004.

He added that he had duplicated and forwarded their case file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), for legal advice.

The plea of the accused were not taken as their counsel, Mr Ayorinde Busuyi, prayed the court for a short date of adjournment, pending the advice from the DPP’s Office.

The Magistrate, Mrs Modupe Afeniforo, ordered the remand of the accused persons in Prison Custody, pending the issuance of the DPP’s legal advice and adjourned the case to June 13, for mention.

PHOTOS: Humble Ayo Fayose halts his official convoy to buy Local Bread and Beans

Ekiti state governor is however living an exemplary life, simple and classy. Right from the inception he has been carrying his people along and Yes! many are in love with it. 

According to reports, the governor alighted from his long convoy and dropped at a nearby food vendor to buy Bread And Local beans (Ewa Agoyi).

Now many will criticise this move, but imagine the kind of happiness that will becloud this food seller today?.


Fayose Gives Another Order: Kill Erring Cows & Herdsmen

To many this decision is timely, most especially considering the menace that these headsmen has been constituting around. SPY NIGERIA is on his kneel tonight begging President Buhari to address this menace once and for all. 

Read the story after the cut.....

Controversial governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose has declared a war on herdsmen, after a group of herdsmen allegedly attacked communities in the state.

Fayose said people to rise against the herdsmen and kill them to defend their lives, families, farmlands.

Fayose visited Oke-Ako community in Ikole area of Ekiti, where suspected herdsmen killed two residents and injured four others in a night attack on Friday.

He was accompanied by Commissioner of Police, Etop James; Director of Department of State Services (DSS) Andrew Iorkay; Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, John Ikemefuna and traditional rulers led by the Elekole of Ikole-Ekiti, Oba Adewumi Fasiku.

The community has become a ghost town as many residents have fled.

Fayoose told local hunters, who mounted a guard of honour, to always be on guard as his administration would give them moral, financial and logistics support.

The governor, who revealed that he has banned grazing in the state, pledged to follow up the ban with a bill to the House of Assembly to criminalise grazing.

Ibe Kachikwu Makes Shocking Confession About Niger Delta Militants

Minister of Petroleum for state, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has revealed that the Federal Government is considering opening a dialogue with Niger Delta militants as the militants cannot be stopped through military barrels.

Describing militants as “my brothers”, Kachikwu stated that dialogue was the most viable way to end the tumultuous bombings in the Niger Delta.

“The military barrels cannot stop or solve problem of militancy in the Niger–Delta region. I will have to go back to my brothers, they are our brothers we will go and dialogue with them,” he said.

Kachikwu also disclosed that fuel importation will soon be a thing of the past.

“For the first time, I am putting so much strength in terms of what do we do with our refineries, because that ultimately is the solution,” he said.

“I must make the refineries work so that the staff can justify their work.

“I am going around looking for investors to come in a joint venture basis to put in money into the refineries and make them work.”

UAE Government Releases List Of Nigerian Politicians Who Have Properties In Dubai, Abu Dhabi

President Muhammadu Buhari’s agreement with the United Arab Emirates to help recover stolen money may have yielded quick results as the UAE government has released names of Nigerian politicians who have properties in the oil rich country.

According to Sahara Reporters, some notable Nigerians who served under Goodluck Jonathan had several businesses and properties linked to them in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

See the list below

Governor Ayodele Fayose owns a house in Dubai

Senate Minority Leader and former Akwa-Ibom governor has a plush home in Dubai linked to him

Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan has three properties in Dubai as well as several businesses

Former Bauchi governor, Isa Yuguda has a property in Abu Dhabi where he is currently hiding.

Former ‘Chief Servant’ of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu has a property linked to him in Dubai.

Former Aviation minster, Femi Fani-Kayode has a property linked to him in Dubai.

Former Minister of Transport Idris Umar also owns a property in Dubai where he is currently hiding in Dubai.

Former Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe also owns a property in Dubai.

Former Attorney General and minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke owns a house in Abu Dhabi.

Former minister of state for finance, Bashir Yuguda who is currently on trial has two houses linked to him in Abu Dhabi.

Former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke has several businesses linked to her in the UAE.

Many Nigerians on social media are happy that the anti-corruption war of this administration is yielding results but many are also of the opinion that the war is one-sided and only focusing on the political opponents of the President and his allies.

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For that reason, people with diabetes are advised to keep their blood pressure as close to the ideal as possible, and always less than 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
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BREAKING: EFCC Declares Senator Iyiola Omisore Wanted!

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has declared wanted a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

The EFCC said this on its official Facebook page on Tuesday.
The commission said Omisore allegedly received N700m from a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)

The anti-graft agency said Omisore had been evading arrest for several months and it thus had no choice but to declare him wanted.

The statement read, “The EFCC, today,  May 24,2016, declared a former deputy governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore wanted.
“The former senator is wanted in connection with a case of receiving and misappropriating the sum of over N700, 000,000.00 from the Office of the National Security Adviser, between June and November, 2014.

“Omisore has been elusive and refused to report to the Commission after invitation was extended to him on April 7, 2016 requesting him “to come and make clarification on the ongoing investigation.”
The EFCC explained that instead of responding to the Commission’s investigation, Omosore had approached the Federal Capital Territory High Court for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights.

It added, “Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf consequently ordered that Omisore should only be arrested through a due and legal process. The EFCC thereafter obtained a warrant to effect the arrest of the politician.”

Credit: The Punch

BREAKING: President Buhari Appoints New Prison and Immigration Bosses

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Ahmed Ja’afaru and Mohammed Babandede as the Controller General of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) and Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) respectively.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Bassey Okon Akpanyung disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

Until his appointment, Ja’afaru was an Assistant Controller General of the NPS at the Prisons Headquarters.

He replaces Dr Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu who retired from the Service after the mandatory thirty-five years in service.

Akpanyung said the appointment of Ja’afaru took effect from 17th May, 2016.

Also, Buhari approved the appointment of Babandede as the Immigration boss following the retirement of former Comptroller General Martin Kure Abeshi.

Until his appointment, Babandede was a Deputy Comptroller General (DCG) of the NIS.

The appointment of Babandede, according to the Ministry of Interior’s Permanent Secretary, took effect from 15th May 2016.

Credit: Daily Trust

87 years Old man allegedly commits suicide in Gombe State I SEE PHOTO

An 82-year-old man, Oriola Adegoke, has reportedly hung himself to death in Ondo State.
Adegoke was found hanging in a room in his apartment at 45, Ayeyemi Street during the weekend.

According to the report, the daughter of the deceased, Taye Adegoke, raised the alarm after she saw her father dangling from a rope on the roof.

See the full photo after the cut…

See traditional marriage requirement a groom is expected to provide in Afikpo, Ebonyi State?

Nvunvu is the traditional marriage rite performed by intended groom by the Afikpo people in Ebonyi State. And according to the person who shared the photo, a groom is expected to buy all of this. Na true? Photo credit: Amanda Chisom.

NUPENG threatens to suspend fuel loading

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers have threatened to shut down loading activity, if the Federal Government fails to repair the Sagamu–Ikorodu road leading to Mosimi Depot, Ogun State, PM News reports.

Lagos Zonal Chairman of NUPENG Tokunbo Korodo made this known at the inauguration of the secretariat of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mosimi Unit.

The Mosimi depot supplies petroleum product to Lagos, Ogun and some states in the Southwest.

Korodo lamented that despite the significant amount of money the government gets from the depot, the road has remained in a bad shape.

Also read: Fuel queues will reduce soon - NUPENG

He warned that NUPENG would suspend loading of fuel for Lagos and Ogun consumers as well as adjourning states in the Southwest, if the poor state of the road persists.

Speaking on the state of the road, according to Businessday the NUPENG leader in the South West said “the state of Sagamu-Ikorodu road is in a very bad shape and very sympathetic. This is where Nigerian government is getting volume of money from Mosimi depot, and the road that is doing that is not well rehabilitated.”

He added that NUPENG would not hesitate suspending loading of fuel for the people in Lagos and Ogun states as well as other adjourning states within the South West if the road was not repaired by the Federal Government to ease sufferings attached to haulage of petroleum product to other parts of the country.

- News 24

Court remands Fani-Kayode in custody over stolen N1.5b

A Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos yesterday ordered the remand of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for three weeks.

Chief Magistrate Mrs. Bola Osunsanmi granted the remand application after taking arguments from counsel to the commission, Mr. A. N. Anana and Wale Balogun, for the defendant.

Ordering Fani-Kayode’s remand, she said: “The defendant is hereby remanded in EFCC custody for three weeks pending a proper arraignment in court.

“The applicants have never suppressed the date of the arrest of the defendant before this court.

“Also, no evidence of the suit of the defendant before the FCT High Court was tendered by his counsel before the court.”

The EFCC brought Fani-Kayode to court to seek a remand order against him over a two-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and the alleged theft of N1.5 billion, property of the Federal Ministry of External Affairs.

The anti-graft agency said the remand order was urgently needed to prevent Fani-Kayode from tampering with evidence.

During the proceedings, the counsel to the EFCC urged the court to remand the ex-minister.

His words: “We have an ex parte application for an order of remand dated May 10, 2016, made pursuant to Section 261 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

“Attached to the application is a nine-paragraph affidavit of urgency, seeking the remand of the defendant in the EFCC custody.

“We need this order of remand because, if he is not remanded, he might interfere with the investigations in this matter,” Anana said.

But counsel to Fani-Kayode, however, opposed the EFFC’s application for remand.

He said: “The applicants have suppressed some facts which your lordship would question why the application of the EFCC is being taken ex parte.

“There is a pending suit before the FCT High Court to challenge the detention of the defendant.

“The suit is between the defendant and the EFCC, who are aware of the suit and have been served.

“The defendant has been in EFCC detention since May 9 after which he was granted administrative bail, the conditions of which he met on May 12.

“In Abuja, they got another detention order for 14 days and what the EFCC did after was to bring him to Lagos.”

Balogun urged the court not to detain Fani-Kayode because of the pending suit he had instituted against the EFCC.

“My client’s detention is a breach of the constitution; it is either he is granted bail or charged to court,” Balogun said.

The chief magistrate, thereafter, adjourned the matter to June 15, 2016 when the 21 days remand order will lapse.

Fani-Kayode arrived at the court at about 10.55a.m.

He was dressed in a white Kaftan with a pair of white slippers.

At about 12:30p.m. when the matter was called, Anana told the court of the application for an order of remand against the defendant.

But the matter was stood down for 2.00p.m.

At 2.07p.m., the matter was called again and the chief magistrate delivered her ruling in three minutes.
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