189 Groups Endorse Buhari, Insist “He Must Contest In 2019”

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No less than 189 groups have endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that he has no option but to run for the 2019 presidential election.

Speaking on Friday in Abuja, Abu Ibrahim, leader of the Buhari Support Group (BSG), said they have already informed the president of their decision.

Ibrahim, who led a delegation to a meeting with Buhari at the presidential villa, said the meeting was aimed to intimate the president on the activities of BSG.

His words: “We came here as members of the national committee of the Buhari support group. This is an amalgamation of about 189 different support groups that had worked for President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to win the 2015 general election.”

“We have been holding meetings, discussing the problems of this country, Nigeria. So, we thought it was high time we met with the president to intimate him about the activities of the group.

“We discussed with him about the plans to improve the situation in Nigeria. Mr President was very pleased with our programmes.”

Also speaking, Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, who was part of the delegation, disclosed that Buhari would have no option but to contest the 2019 election.

“We have issues we think that the administration will be dealing with very successfully, now that we have economic recovery and growth plan which encapsulates everything we need to move Nigeria forward,” he said.

“I believe we are going to achieve those things that we set for ourselves at the moment.

“I also believe that the future is bright and by the grace of God, by 2019, we would have achieved so much in this administration and Mr President will have no option but continue the good work he has started.

“We will continue to identify with and support all the programmes that this administration has set forward.

“And l believe that we have every justification to be happy because, the president campaigned on three major pillars of anti- corruption, fighting the insecurity across the country and revitalizing the economy of Nigeria.

“It has been a very good journey so far and also we believe that Mr. President and Nigerians have a future beyond 2019. What he has started, by the grace of God, he should be able to complete, up to 2023.”

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Daily Roundup :Latest Football News Content Across Europe

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Spain

Liverpool have significantly increased their asking price for Barcelona transfer target Philippe Coutinho. The Reds will now demand €150m (£133m) from Barcelona, which is €50m more than they wanted in the summer. The Catalan club are expected to return with a bid in January amid reports that the player’s relationship with Jurgen Klopp has broken down beyond repair. (Mundo Deportivo)

Barca’s 22-year-old forward Jose Arnaiz has emerged as a Bayern Munich and Manchester United transfer target. Arnaiz made an impressive debut for Barca during the 3-0 victory at Murcia in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday night, scoring the third goal and earning praise from his manager Ernesto Valverde. Arsenal are also said to be interested in Arnaiz, who has been identified by Bayern as a potential long-term replacement for Franck Ribery. (Mundo Deportivo)

Sevilla are preparing to make a January move for Stevan Jovetic. The 27-year-old impressed during a loan spell with the Spanish club last season and they are interested in him again. However, Monaco will be reluctant to let the former Manchester City striker leave as they only signed him in the summer. (Deportes Cope)

La Liga will introduce video assistant referee (VAR) technology from next season, according to Spanish FA chief Juan Luis Larrea. The Spanish top-flight is the only one of Europe’s top five leagues not to have introduced goal-line technology but, despite the price, Larrea admitted it was time to embrace the technological advances in football. (Cadena Ser)

Barcelona want to sign two centre-backs in the summer. As well as looking to tie up a deal for Chelsea transfer target Kalidou Koulibaly, the Catalan side are keeping tabs on Lyon’s Mouctar Diakhaby, Palmeiras defender Yerry Mina and Dan-Axel Zagadou of Borussia Dortmund. (Sport)

Italy

Liverpool are interested in making a £22m move for Roma defender Emerson Palmieri. The Reds have been criticised this season following a string of poor defensive performances and Jurgen Klopp is keen to find a solution in the January transfer window, having conceded 16 goals in just nine Premier League games. Palmieri is a left-back and is seen as an upgrade on Alberto Moreno who, despite improving this year, has yet to fully convince Klopp of his defensive abilities. (Calciomercato)

AC Milan have identified Udinese midfielder Jakub Jankto as a key transfer target. Vincenzo Montella is keen to bring in reinforcements in the middle of the park in January and has been impressed by scouting reports on the 21-year-old Czech Republic international. (Calciomercato)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has reportedly asked Everton transfer target Olivier Giroud to join him at Stamford Bridge. The Arsenal striker was close to leaving the Gunners in the summer but decided to stay in London. However, Conte is determined to bolster his attacking options in January and reportedly asked the France international if he would be interested in a move across London during the Best FIFA Awards Ceremony earlier this week. (Calciomercato)

Juventus have revived their interest in Tottenham transfer target Andre Gomes. The Portuguese midfielder is certain to leave Barcelona in the near future after failing to establish himself in the first-team and the Bianconeri are one of the frontrunners for his signature. The Serie A champions tried to sign Gomes in 2016 but he opted for the Camp Nou. (Corriere dello Sport)

Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi says he will not stay in football until he is 40 like Francesco Totti and has ruled out a move away from the San Siro. (Undici)

France

Neymar has received a one-match suspension after being sent off in Paris Saint-Germain’s draw with Marseille last weekend and will miss tonight’s game against Nice. (L’Equipe)

Meanwhile, PSG boss Unai Emery has told the Brazilian forward that he must learn from what happened on Sunday. “He is intelligent. He is also aware that he must learn from what happened on Sunday,” said Emery.

“I spoke to him about it before the match and we said not to get involved in any provocation. But on the pitch, with the intensity and the aggression, the players are people.” (L’Equipe)

PSG winger Angel Di Maria believes his time in Paris is nearing an end. The Argentina international has fallen down the pecking order following the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and is angling for a move away in January, with Juventus and AC Milan closely monitoring his situation. (Le Parisien)

Germany

Tottenham are leading candidates for Bayer Leverkusen prodigy Kai Havertz – a Liverpool transfer target in January. The 18-year-old, who is also attracting interest from Liverpool, has impressed for Bayer since becoming the club’s youngest ever Bundesliga debutante at the age of 17 and 126 days in October 2016 – and has drawn comparisons to Arsenal star Mesut Ozil. (Sport BILD)

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I Preferred Nemanja Matic To Eric Dier – Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United were interested in signing Eric Dier over the summer but Jose Mourinho says Nemanja Matic was always the player he “really wanted”.

Eric Dier is likely to be among the starters against a club whose interest in signing him is well documented, with the Tottenham boss saying in his new book that Mourinho’s interest “destabilised” the England international.

Pochettino insists they have moved on from the issue and his United counterpart certainly feels things have worked out well, having instead signed Matic from former club Chelsea for an initial £35m.

“I have the player that I want to have,” Mourinho said of the defensive midfielder.

“Probably I have the player that I didn’t think it was possible to have, but in the end we got the player that I really wanted.”

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Etienne Capoue Eager To Sign New Watford Deal

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Etienne Capoue is enjoying his Watford “adventure” and backs the club’s “big project” for success.

Etienne Capoue is hoping to secure a new contract, and the 29-year-old still has another two years left on his current deal.

Capoue, who has made 89 appearances for Watford, told the Evening Standard: “I want to stay here. I have two more years and I feel good at the club.

“It is up to me. If I’m doing well on the pitch, I will stay here. If I’m not good and someone plays in my place, maybe they will put me out.”

This is football, but I want to remain at Watford.

“I have a very good relationship with the president (owner Gino Pozzo). They have put me in the best condition to show my football, I feel grateful.

“Of course I want to carry on this Watford adventure. There is a very good goal here, a big project here.

“They don’t go anywhere for nothing when they do something it is for a reason. I like it. I feel there is a structure. It is good to keep going forward.”

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Roy Hodgson Speak About His Decision To Manage Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has indicated he will quit football the moment the pressure becomes all-consuming.

“I do not think think there is an easy way to deal with the pressures that we subject ourselves to when we take the job,”Roy Hodgson said.

“If I start complaining the pressure is too much for me then someone will ask me why I took the job and why I did not stay like I was between England and taking the Crystal Palace job.

“I took the job because I wanted the pressure. I wanted the experience. I wanted to work with the players again.

“I believe I can make a difference. I believe I can help. I took the job, that brings pressure and I will have to deal with that.”

“Do I like it? Do I still get the sleepless nights that all football managers get after bad results? Yes, I am afraid I do.

“That has not changed with time. And maybe when the day comes when it does change, and you can just as happily go home when you have won or lost, that is probably the time when you should not be in it any more.”

Hodgson insisted he cannot compare the burdens of international and club management, having led England for four years until summer 2016.

“You cannot compare those two things,” he said. “The pressure of being a Premier League manager is always going to be with you.

“It is an enormous responsibility because a lot of money is involved.

“If a team does not stay in the league, it is harder and harder to get back into the league.
“Of course you are representing a club which interests a lot of people. We like to think that, apart from our 25,000 who come and back us at Selhurst Park, there will be a good few more than that who follow us.

“England, of course, that is a different kettle altogether.

“That is 60million people you are representing there. It would be very foolish to suggest that whenever you are working for a club side that the pressure is the same as when you are representing your country.”

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Tom Werner Refutes Claims That Amanda Staveley Made A £1.5Billion Bid To Buy Liverpool

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Liverpool chairman Tom Werner insists there is no truth in the rumours that Fenway Sports Group (FSG) rejected a £1.5billion offer to buy the club from a consortium led by Amanda Staveley.

Reports originating in the Middle East claim rumoured Liverpool fan Staveley and her PCP Capital Partners Group were involved in negotiations with FSG for over a year before Reds chiefs pulled out of a potential deal.

Dubai based newspaper The National reported PCP Capital Partners offered FSG an initial £1.2billion in cash for Liverpool potentially rising to £1.5billion dependent on the club’s performances in the Champions League.

However, Werner insists there is no truth in the reports and that FSG have no intention of selling their stake in the Reds.

“We have better things to do than batting down rumours about negotiations with Ms Staveley,” Werner told the Liverpool Echo. “However, there’s no truth to them.”

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The Buharimeter: Still Monitoring Efforts At Restoring Citizens’ Hope

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The Buharimeter: Still Monitoring Efforts At Restoring Citizens’ Hope, By Udo Jude Ilo

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More than two years since the advent of the President Buhari administration, there are many questions that beg for answers. It is obvious that the lofty expectations and infectious excitement that met this government’s inauguration have given way to anger and hopelessness. One of the challenges that this government recognised that it would face was the high expectation that heralded it. Understandably, after years of bad governance, unprecedented corruption and economic challenges, Nigerians hoped for a remarkable departure from the past practices of impunity and graft. Accepted that change doesn’t come easy, what has happened over the last two years have not given Nigerians enough reasons to hope. Like they say in my village, Achi in Enugu State, it is from the picking of breadfruit that you recognise a child that is going to be greedy.

It is often said, and quite truthfully too, that it is easy to criticise government from the outside. Some of the challenges that this administration inherited may well be unprintable. So I recognise that government is dealing with a really difficult situation. In some sectors, it has tried but the enormity of the challenges makes it difficult to see these efforts. They also say, where I come from, that the goat works really had but its hairs don’t allow people to see its sweat. Therefore, we must acknowledge that there have been enormous efforts by this government to move the country forward. Sadly, if anything, our lives are not better. This is a huge source of worry. Is this government’s best not good enough or is government not doing its best?

I am convinced that Nigeria has everything it needs to overcome its problem. I am equally convinced this government has all it needs to transform Nigeria. That we don’t see this trajectory of recovery is an indictment on this administration. We are witnessing a very troubling period in Nigeria. No time since the civil war have we seen the kind of tension and bitterness across divides in Nigeria that we are witnessing today. The stuttering economy is troubling. Inability of governments to pay salaries, especially at the state level, speaks to a dangerous condition that is now seeing public officers take their lives in worrying circumstances. Unemployment is not going down and there is a general feeling of frustration. The footprints of violence is expanding – from Plateau to Kaduna.

From the marauding herdsmen to a resurgence of Boko Haram, Nigerians are worried about their safety and security. These trends may have their origins from previous administrations but besides the Boko Haram insurgency, other trends have worsened under this administration, such as the worrying pattern of the government’s reluctance to obey court orders. Nothing can justify the disrespect for the rule of law. The sense that there is lack of commitment to the anti-graft campaign that heralded the coming into power of this government is fast destroying its credentials of credibility. The leaked memo by the minister of state for petroleum on the alleged illegalities and opacity in the operations of the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) is terrifying and government’s reluctance to push for any meaningful inquiry is as curious as it is disappointing.

Months after the report of the investigation into the allegation of fraud against the former secretary to the government of the federation, Babachir David Lawal, and the then director general of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, was submitted to the president, nothing has been heard of it. These trends undermine the narrative that government is working hard for Nigerians. It seems to suggest that there are different sets of rules in the country. The discordant tunes from government, especially the drama that has surrounded the nomination and Senate confirmation of the acting chair of the EFFC, suggests incoherence and absence of coordination in government. If the government is at war with itself, how can it function? While we have a duty to appreciate the challenges facing government, it will be difficult for government to justify or excuse some of the events outlined above.

The country requires some very serious steps to deal with these challenges and to restore the hope of citizens in their government. This Town Hall event provides an opportunity for reflection and frank conversation on how this government has fared. The interest here is to find a way to move the country forward, restore hope and improve the quality of lives. This government came into power on the heels of its exceptional manifesto, which painted a believable picture of a new Nigeria. Many Nigerians bought into that vision. The Buharimeter offers the country an opportunity to monitor the effort of government to be true to these promises. Governance and democracy do not end on election day. What happens after election is equally important, if not even more so. This forum provides an opportunity for us to be part of that democratic conversation.

Udo Jude Ilo heads the Open Society Initiative for West Africa’s (OSIWA) Nigeria office. @udoilo

These remarks were delivered at the Buharimeter Citizens’ Town Hall hosted by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Friday October 27 in Abuja.

This piece was written by Udo Jude Ilo. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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Liverpool Preparing £22M Bid For Roma Defender Emerson Palmieri

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Liverpool are reportedly interested in making a £22m move for Roma defender Emerson Palmieri.

Liverpool have been criticised this season for their defensive performances and Calciomercato say they will try to get Emerson Palmeiri in January.

Apparently the 23-year-old would have been a target in the summer had he not been injured.

Emerson is still not due back in first-team action until next month but his sale would represent a huge profit for the Italians.

The Brazilian joined for £1.8m from Santos back in 2015 after a loan spell at Palermo.

Though Jurgen Klopp needs to strengthen his defensive forces, he is well stocked at left-back given the return to form of Alberto Moreno and the £8m arrival of Andy Robertson from Hull in the summer.

Liverpool are said to be unhappy with Alberto Moreno’s recent performances, and want Palmieri to replace him in the team despite signing Andrew Robertson from Hull over the summer.

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Pochettino: Mourinho Is One Of The Best

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Mauricio Pochettino says he has no hard feelings towards Manchester United boss, José Mourinho and rates him as one of the best.

Manchester United and Tottenham are level on 20 points going into an eagerly awaited clash on Saturday between them.

Pochettino has registered his anger against Mourinho, after the Portuguese was seen hugging and laughing with Dier after last season’s loss to United.

Pochettino accused Mourinho of putting Dier “in a compromising position” but, speaking at a news conference ahead of Saturday’s game, he insisted the affair had long since been put to bed.

“That is a thing that is in the past,” said the Spurs boss, who will be without top scorer Harry Kane against United due to a hamstring injury.

“I was honest. My relationship with him is very good, we are in contact. That was only one situation, a small one. It is not an issue.

“I don’t like to speak about my book because it is in the past. The book only tried to show how difficult it is for every manager. Not only me. The intention is a book that can help a lot of people understand how our life is.

“You can read in my book how he is, for me, one of the best managers in the world – admired like [Pep] Guardiola. I am not perfect, I am human too.”

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Pulis: Manchester City Are The Best Team

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Tony Pulis says West Brom will have to take a different approach on Saturday, when they welcome the best team in Europe, Manchester City.

Manchester City have stormed to the top of the table, leading with five points after nine matches and have scored 32 goals.

West Brom have not won any of their last eight matches and have only managed one clean sheet, prompting Pulis to be cautious.

“We’ll approach it a little bit different to normal,” Pulis told a news conference.

“I won’t say how we’ll do it or not do it. They’ve been special this year. We’ve watched lots of clips.

“The people who come to the ground tomorrow will watch a very, very good team. For me this is what it’s all about. Pitting yourself against the best.

“For West Bromwich Albion to be in a position to be playing, at the moment, the best team in Europe, at The Hawthorns is absolutely fantastic and everybody should go down there and relish it.

“Get behind the lads and let’s give it the best we possibly can.”

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Pulis: Manchester City Are The Best Team

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Tony Pulis says West Brom will have to take a different approach on Saturday, when they welcome the best team in Europe, Manchester City.

Manchester City have stormed to the top of the table, leading with five points after nine matches and have scored 32 goals.

West Brom have not won any of their last eight matches and have only managed one clean sheet, prompting Pulis to be cautious.

“We’ll approach it a little bit different to normal,” Pulis told a news conference.

“I won’t say how we’ll do it or not do it. They’ve been special this year. We’ve watched lots of clips.

“The people who come to the ground tomorrow will watch a very, very good team. For me this is what it’s all about. Pitting yourself against the best.

“For West Bromwich Albion to be in a position to be playing, at the moment, the best team in Europe, at The Hawthorns is absolutely fantastic and everybody should go down there and relish it.

“Get behind the lads and let’s give it the best we possibly can.”

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Alonso: I Don’t Regret Leaving Madrid For Chelsea

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Marcos Alonso has come out to state he does not regret the decision to quit his boyhood club of Real Madrid.

The defender left Real Madrid in 2010 for Bolton and has gone on to play for Fiorentina, Sunderland and now Chelsea.

The 26-year-old Alonso knows it was a huge decision to quit his boyhood club, but does not regret it.

“I lacked the patience to play there,” he admitted to Marca. “In my final season there, I got my debut but I wanted to play every week. When I had an offer from the Premier League, I had no hesitation. I don’t regret it.

“When you are a kid, you aren’t mature and you want to get up and play every week. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m very happy with my career and I want to improve even more.

“Real Madrid was my home for a long time and I’ve not forgotten it. I grew up there, I met a lot of people and I made my debut. There’s part of me that will always be there, I can’t deny it. To play for the first team was a dream.”

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Alonso: I Don’t Regret Leaving Madrid For Chelsea

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Marcos Alonso has come out to state he does not regret the decision to quit his boyhood club of Real Madrid.

The defender left Real Madrid in 2010 for Bolton and has gone on to play for Fiorentina, Sunderland and now Chelsea.

The 26-year-old Alonso knows it was a huge decision to quit his boyhood club, but does not regret it.

“I lacked the patience to play there,” he admitted to Marca. “In my final season there, I got my debut but I wanted to play every week. When I had an offer from the Premier League, I had no hesitation. I don’t regret it.

“When you are a kid, you aren’t mature and you want to get up and play every week. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m very happy with my career and I want to improve even more.

“Real Madrid was my home for a long time and I’ve not forgotten it. I grew up there, I met a lot of people and I made my debut. There’s part of me that will always be there, I can’t deny it. To play for the first team was a dream.”

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Nigeria Signs Agreement To Build $1.1b Power Plant In Akwa Ibom

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On behalf of the Federal Government, the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Qua lboe Power Plant Limited (QIPP) to build a 540MW gas-fired power facility worth $1.1billion in Akwa Ibom State.

The Nigerian Guardian reports that this led to the striking of a Put/Call Option Agreement (PCOA) between the QIPP, NBET, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Ministry of Finance.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who presided over the event yesterday in Abuja, explained that the PCOA details the government’s obligations supporting QIPP’s PPA.

The minister further explained that the agreement marks another effort to increase power supply nationwide.

QIPP was jointly developed by African energy infrastructure company, Black Rhino Group, Dangote Group and the NNPC, following the purchase of the rights to develop the project from Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a joint venture between ExxonMobil subsidiary, Mobil Producing Nigeria and the national oil company.

Fashola noted that QlPP would be one of the lowest cost thermal power plants in the country due to its efficient design and competitive gas price. The project is to get gas from Mobil Producing Nigeria under a 20-year Gas Sales Agreement via a new 400mmscfd undersea gas pipeline from the oil firm’s existing offshore production facilities.

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Nigeria Signs Agreement To Build $1.1b Power Plant In Akwa Ibom

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On behalf of the Federal Government, the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Qua lboe Power Plant Limited (QIPP) to build a 540MW gas-fired power facility worth $1.1billion in Akwa Ibom State.

The Nigerian Guardian reports that this led to the striking of a Put/Call Option Agreement (PCOA) between the QIPP, NBET, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Ministry of Finance.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who presided over the event yesterday in Abuja, explained that the PCOA details the government’s obligations supporting QIPP’s PPA.

The minister further explained that the agreement marks another effort to increase power supply nationwide.

QIPP was jointly developed by African energy infrastructure company, Black Rhino Group, Dangote Group and the NNPC, following the purchase of the rights to develop the project from Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a joint venture between ExxonMobil subsidiary, Mobil Producing Nigeria and the national oil company.

Fashola noted that QlPP would be one of the lowest cost thermal power plants in the country due to its efficient design and competitive gas price. The project is to get gas from Mobil Producing Nigeria under a 20-year Gas Sales Agreement via a new 400mmscfd undersea gas pipeline from the oil firm’s existing offshore production facilities.

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How Nigeria’s Naira Fared Against US Dollar

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The naira is expected to remain stable across its multiple exchange rates as the currency hit a resistance level for investors and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continues to intervene on the official market.

Reuters reports that the local currecny has hit resistance at 360/dollar for investors as banks are not willing to bid the United States currency below that level and as foreign investors continue to buy bonds at attractive yields, boosting dollar liquidity.

FG Takes Ownership Of Funds Held In Bank Accounts Not Linked To BVNs

On the official market the naira has been quoted at around 305 per dollar for more than three months and is expected to trade at this level next week.

The Federal Government also sold bonds at an auction on Wednesday while the CBN was offering treasury securities on Thursday to draw foreign inflows.

On the parallel market, the naira has traded flat at around 363, mirroring rates for investors.

On Monday, the country’s apex bank had injected the sum of $195 million into the interbank foreign exchange (forex) market.

Figures obtained indicated that the central bank offered $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) segment received the sum of $50 million.

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How Nigeria’s Naira Fared Against US Dollar

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The naira is expected to remain stable across its multiple exchange rates as the currency hit a resistance level for investors and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continues to intervene on the official market.

Reuters reports that the local currecny has hit resistance at 360/dollar for investors as banks are not willing to bid the United States currency below that level and as foreign investors continue to buy bonds at attractive yields, boosting dollar liquidity.

FG Takes Ownership Of Funds Held In Bank Accounts Not Linked To BVNs

On the official market the naira has been quoted at around 305 per dollar for more than three months and is expected to trade at this level next week.

The Federal Government also sold bonds at an auction on Wednesday while the CBN was offering treasury securities on Thursday to draw foreign inflows.

On the parallel market, the naira has traded flat at around 363, mirroring rates for investors.

On Monday, the country’s apex bank had injected the sum of $195 million into the interbank foreign exchange (forex) market.

Figures obtained indicated that the central bank offered $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) segment received the sum of $50 million.

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NNPC To Commence Oil Exploration In Nasarawa

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that plans are underway to commence oil exploration activities in Nasarawa state.

The Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Maikanti Baru, announced this during a visit to the Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Almakura, in Lafia on Thursday.

Baru stated that the visit was in fulfilment of the presidential mandate that the NNPC should resume oil exploration activities in some of the nation’s inland basins, including the Chad Basin and Benue Trough.

He said the presidential mandate was driven by the urgent need to increase the nation’s oil and gas reserves, “thereby improving revenue streams and creating more business opportunities for Nigerians”.

Baru added that the move was also in line with NNPC’s corporate vision of 12 business focus areas (12 BUFA), informing Almakura that the NNPC team was in Nasarawa to sensitise the government and people of the state on the mission.

“I am therefore happy to be personally here to kick-start the beginning of a high-profile stakeholder engagement towards oil exploration in the Nasarawa state’s part of the Benue trough,” Baru said.

The NNPC boss assured that the agency, through its Frontier Exploration Services, would do everything possible to operate peacefully among the people and with much respect for the environment.

According to him, the corporation’s Frontier Exploration Services had already mobilised Integrated Data Services Limited, an upstream arm of the NNPC, to acquire seismic data in the Benue Trough from the Keana area.

“I am convinced that the success of the results from the IDSL’s seismic data acquisition will lead to the drilling of exploration wells in the area, which hopefully will launch Nasarawa State into the league of oil producing states in the country,” Baru said.

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NNPC To Commence Oil Exploration In Nasarawa

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that plans are underway to commence oil exploration activities in Nasarawa state.

The Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Maikanti Baru, announced this during a visit to the Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Almakura, in Lafia on Thursday.

Baru stated that the visit was in fulfilment of the presidential mandate that the NNPC should resume oil exploration activities in some of the nation’s inland basins, including the Chad Basin and Benue Trough.

He said the presidential mandate was driven by the urgent need to increase the nation’s oil and gas reserves, “thereby improving revenue streams and creating more business opportunities for Nigerians”.

Baru added that the move was also in line with NNPC’s corporate vision of 12 business focus areas (12 BUFA), informing Almakura that the NNPC team was in Nasarawa to sensitise the government and people of the state on the mission.

“I am therefore happy to be personally here to kick-start the beginning of a high-profile stakeholder engagement towards oil exploration in the Nasarawa state’s part of the Benue trough,” Baru said.

The NNPC boss assured that the agency, through its Frontier Exploration Services, would do everything possible to operate peacefully among the people and with much respect for the environment.

According to him, the corporation’s Frontier Exploration Services had already mobilised Integrated Data Services Limited, an upstream arm of the NNPC, to acquire seismic data in the Benue Trough from the Keana area.

“I am convinced that the success of the results from the IDSL’s seismic data acquisition will lead to the drilling of exploration wells in the area, which hopefully will launch Nasarawa State into the league of oil producing states in the country,” Baru said.

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Misau’s Allegation: Aisha Buhari Denies Receiving SUVs From IGP

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Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has reacted with a denial to an allegation by the senator representing Bauchi central, Isah Misau, that she received two Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) “illegally” from the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

Misau had told the Senate Ad-hoc Committee assigned to probe the IGP on Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife had requested a Sienna and Hiace bus through her aide but Idris bought two SUVs for her.

He added that the vehicles were purchased for her personal use and was “not part of appropriation.”

“I still have some contract papers that the IG himself submitted to the court (Misau Vs FG) where the first lady through her aide-de-camp requested a Toyota Hiace and a Sienna. The same day that the ADC wrote, the IG minuted that she should be given two jeeps. And it is not part of the appropriation. If you look at the appropriation, there is nowhere they said the first lady should be given two jeeps,” the lawmaker had said.

But reacting via a tweet, the president’s wife denied the allegation.

“I am still using my personal cars,” the tweet read.

In an attempt to absolve herself completely from the allegation, Mrs. Buhari issued a statement to buttress her position on the matter.

In the statement signed by her Director of Information, Suleiman Haruna, Mrs Buhari insisted that she was still using the vehicles allocated to her during the campaigns in 2015.

The statement read:  “Our attention has been drawn to the news being widely circulated, and attributed to a member of the Senate that two SUVs from the Inspector General of Police were given to wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, personally.

“The wife of the President wants to make it clear that since the assumption of office of her husband as President of Nigeria, she did not receive these mentioned vehicles.

“Furthermore, the vehicles she is still using belong to the family and were the ones used during the campaign for 2015 elections, including the one for her entourage.”

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Buhari Apologises As Saraki, Dogara Leave Aso Rock “In Anger”

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President Muhammadu Buhari has tendered an apology to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other top members of the National Assembly over a row with security personnel earlier on Thursday.

It was gathered that the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and some principal officers of the National Assembly on Thursday night left the presidential villa in Abuja in the state of anger.

They were at the villa to meet with President Buhari over the 2018 appropriation bill as it was said to more like a dinner – slated for the new Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja by 8:30pm.

It was learnt that trouble started after the security operatives at the villa insisted that the lawmakers must alight in order to be screened.

Not comfortable with the screening, the lawmakers were said to have left in protest after all efforts to make the security guards see reason fell through.

“We were told to come down from the bus one-by-one for security check. Not even the presence of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives would make the security operatives change their mind.

“We therefore decided to turn back. We could not withstand such an embarrassment,” one of the lawmakers said.

Confirming the incident, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that his principal, Buhari, subsequently sent his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to go and make peace with the lawmakers immediately he heard about what happened.

He added that Saraki and Dogara later returned for the dinner with the President and Vice-President during which Buhari apologised for the incident.

“The Senate President and the Speaker returned and they just finished dinner with the President. President Buhari has apologised to them,” he said.

However, the Presidential dinner with the principal officers of the National Assembly is said to have been rescheduled for Tuesday.

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ISIS Claims Responsibility For Attack That Killed 8 Nigerian Soldiers In Yobe

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The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for an attack on Tuesday which led to the death of eight soldiers in Damaturu, Yobe State capital.

The incident also led to the death of a civilian, while five other persons sustained injuries.

In a statement, which it issued on Thursday, the terrorist group, which Boko Haram pledged alliance to about two years ago, narrated how its militants orchestrated the attack.

“The fighters took three four-wheel-drive vehicles and others mounted with rifles and heavy weaponry and various ammunition,” the statement said.

Reuters reports that the Islamic death cult however did not nourish its claim with sufficient evidence.

Speaking on the incident, a resident of Sassawa village – where the attack occurred – said the insurgents broke into shops and took away food items.

“The boys (insurgents) had a field day. After the attack, they forced many shops and stores open and carted food items away,” he had said.

Speaking on the incident, a resident of Sassawa village – where the attack occured – said the insurgents broke into shops and took away food items.

“The boys (insurgents) had a field day. After the attack, they forced many shops and stores open and carted food items away,” he had said.

Also, spokesman of 3 division military base in Damaturu, Kayode Ogunsanya, said there was casualty on both sides, but he could not ascertain the number.

“There was casualty on both sides but I cannot ascertain the number. Men on ground had repelled the attack,” Ogunsanya had said.

This is the first time that ISIS will take full responsibility for an attack in Nigeria.

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Zidane Not Worried About Girona

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Zinedine Zidane says he is focused on the match against Girona, despite the security concerns that arise from the Catalonia conflict.

Real Madrid are expected to take the trip to Girona for an away match, but political tensions puts the match in doubt.

Spain prime minister Mariano Rajoy approved implementing Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which will allow the national government in Madrid to take back some powers from the semi-autonomous Catalan parliament following the region’s independence referendum three weeks ago.

That referendum and vote – deemed illegal by Rajoy – was marred by violent clashes between police and protesters, which led to Barcelona playing Las Palmas behind closed doors at Camp Nou, but Zidane is not concerned.

“We’re not worried about Catalonia because security will be as it always is,” Zidane said following Madrid’s 2-0 victory at Fuenlabrada in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

“We’ll play our game without thinking about anything else. I’m not going to ask the fans for anything.

“We’re thinking about the game. We hope it’s a good match and that’s it.”

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Nigeria Recovers $85 Million From Malabu Oil Deal

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The federal government on Thursday, October 26, announced the recovery of $85 million from the United Kingdom as part of funds said to be looted from the Malabu oil deal.

The announcement was made by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, yesterday, when he spoke in Abuja at the Pre-Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) and Consultative meeting.

$1.1bn Malabu Oil Scam: FG Vows To Extradite Ex-Attorney General, Adoke

A British judge, Justice Edis of the Southwark Crown Court had in June 2015 refused to release $85 million to Malabu, a company controlled by former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Dan Etete.

The $85 million – part of the OPL 245 largesse not yet distributed – was seized at the request of Italian prosecutors who were also investigating the deal.

Etete had pleaded with the British court, seeking that the money be returned to him having sensed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was yet to find its feet on international legal matters.

Malabu Oil Deal: ‘Why Jonathan Must Appear Before Reps Committee’

But Justice Edis declared that he was not sure the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan acted in the interest of Nigeria when it approved the money to Malabu.

“I cannot simply assume that the federal government of Nigeria which was in power in 2011 and subsequently until 2015 rigorously defended the public interest of the people of Nigeria in all aspects,” he ruled.

However, while speaking on Thursday, Malami said the money had been released to Nigeria.

“I am also pleased to inform that Nigeria has just recovered the sum of $85 million from the Malabu Restrained Funds in the UK,” the AGF said.

He said despite the non-compliant nature of some countries, the government would not relent in its bid to recover more funds.

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Wagner Looking Ahead To Klopp Clash

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David Wagner has admitted he did not expect to be facing Jurgen Klopp, so soon in the Premier League.

Master will face apprentice in the match between Liverpool and Huddersfield, it is the first meeting between them.

Wagner and Klopp played alongside each other at Mainz in 1991, before they worked together at Dortmund.

“It is extraordinary because he is my best friend,” said Wagner via the Telegraph.

“But the real extraordinary story is that Huddersfield are playing Liverpool in the Premier League.”

“Did I think I would play him in the Premier League two years after arriving here? It is at least 10 years sooner than I ever dared dream,” Wagner continued.

On Klopp and Liverpool, Wagner said he knows what to expect, adding: “For the first time, my very good analysis team came to me and I tell them, ‘Don’t tell me, I know’.

“It makes it easier to play them because I don’t have to invest too much time in analysis, I know all I need to know about them and how he will set them up.”

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