IMF Endorses Buhari’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan For Nigeria

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday endorsed the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017- 2020, recently launched by the President Muhammadu Buhari led government, commending it, saying this is “how fiscal policy should be thought in developing countries.”

Buhari Unveils Nigeria’s Economic Recovery And Growth Plan

The position of the IMF was conveyed by the Fund’s Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, Mr. Vitor Gaspar, while responding to a question from THISDAY, during a media briefing on the IMF Fiscal Monitor press conference at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC.

The IMF official also lauded the federal government for embracing the fiscal policies in general and tax policy in particular as part of its strategy for development.

Lending voice on the development, IMF’s Assistant Director/Head, Fiscal Policy and Surveillance, Catherine Pattillo, welcomed the country’s ERGP, saying its focus on diversification and attention to some of the problems facing the economy were steps in the right direction.

His words: “We very much welcome the ERGP. As you are aware, Nigeria went into recession last year, there have been forecasted recovery, but still very fragile this year and the need to address the fiscal situation is urgent. Our recommendation is for the continued fiscal consolidation.

“One striking statistics I think is the fact that over the past years, the ratio of interest payment to tax revenue has doubled to 66 per cent in Nigeria. So, two-thirds of all tax revenue is going into interest payment, illustrating the need to raise tax revenue. That would allow the government to implement the social and growth-friendly policies that are part of the objectives of the ERGP.”

President Buhari had launched the ERGP 2017-2020, a fortnight ago.

The Medium-Term plan has among its broad strategic objectives, the restoration of sustainable, accelerated and inclusive growth and development; investing in the people and building a globally competitive economy.

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Source: New feed2

IMF Endorses Buhari’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan For Nigeria

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday endorsed the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017- 2020, recently launched by the President Muhammadu Buhari led government, commending it, saying this is “how fiscal policy should be thought in developing countries.”

Buhari Unveils Nigeria’s Economic Recovery And Growth Plan

The position of the IMF was conveyed by the Fund’s Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, Mr. Vitor Gaspar, while responding to a question from THISDAY, during a media briefing on the IMF Fiscal Monitor press conference at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC.

The IMF official also lauded the federal government for embracing the fiscal policies in general and tax policy in particular as part of its strategy for development.

Lending voice on the development, IMF’s Assistant Director/Head, Fiscal Policy and Surveillance, Catherine Pattillo, welcomed the country’s ERGP, saying its focus on diversification and attention to some of the problems facing the economy were steps in the right direction.

His words: “We very much welcome the ERGP. As you are aware, Nigeria went into recession last year, there have been forecasted recovery, but still very fragile this year and the need to address the fiscal situation is urgent. Our recommendation is for the continued fiscal consolidation.

“One striking statistics I think is the fact that over the past years, the ratio of interest payment to tax revenue has doubled to 66 per cent in Nigeria. So, two-thirds of all tax revenue is going into interest payment, illustrating the need to raise tax revenue. That would allow the government to implement the social and growth-friendly policies that are part of the objectives of the ERGP.”

President Buhari had launched the ERGP 2017-2020, a fortnight ago.

The Medium-Term plan has among its broad strategic objectives, the restoration of sustainable, accelerated and inclusive growth and development; investing in the people and building a globally competitive economy.

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“Scrap JAMB Now” – ASUU Tells Nigerian Government

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Sequel to the alleged lopsidedness in the on-going registration of candidates, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan (UI) chapter has called on the Federal Government to scrap the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Speaking on Wednesday in Ibadan, its Chairman, Dr. Deji Omole, called on the Registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede to voluntarily resign from office.

He said the board has outlived its usefulness and also reduced the standard of offering admission to students, hence, it must be scrapped immediately to allow universities set a new standard of admission.

He noted that the fact that a mock examination was stopped due to logistic reasons underscored the point of alleged incompetence of the Registrar, noting that if candidates could not do mock how sure are they to pass the examination.

He said: “Since Prof Oloyede did not consider it appropriate to resign after failing the whole nation, I think the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, should not hesitate to sack him.

“Why will anybody make life difficult for candidates whose parents are struggling to live under the terrible condition the government has made them to live in?”

“Why would somebody introduce changes that are only known by members of the board? We have made case for the scrapping of this body because in the present instance the introduction of different registration procedures has turned candidates to victims of fraud.”

“While different centres now make business by arranging with private schools who bring all their students in group to come and register while children of the masses look on.”

“This is a failed approach to change and the Registrar admitted this with the cancellation of the mock examination. How can we ensure that the candidates prepare well for the exams when they spend weeks waiting for Personal Identification Number and are at the mercy of registration officers who force them to go to cybercafe where they have arrangements to first create their profile before they can have their PIN.”

“This is where people are duping Nigerian children. This is a total failure. Students must have at least three months for registration, its procedure must be open and their options to public universities must not be limited to serve the agenda of the proprietors of private universities”.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 25 academic programmes run by Bayero University, Kano got full accreditation of the National Universities Commission (NUC).

The NUC approval follows the national accreditation exercise conducted by the commission between November and December 2016 exercise.

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Man Slaughters Okada Rider Over N100 Fare In Katsina

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The Katsina State Police Command has arrested a forty-year-old man, Isiya Inusa, on Thursday, who admitted that he killed an okada rider because of his inability to pay the N100 fare.

Speaking in his local dialect Hausa, upon interrogation, at the headquarters of state police, where he was paraded, Inusa confessed that he attacked the rider along Kankara-Kabuki Road, in Katsina.

He said, “Yes, I slaughtered him with my knife. I asked him to take me to Kabuki village from Kankara. He demanded N100 as fare. I did not tell him I did not have that money on me.

“On the way, I brought out my knife and slaughtered him. The police later arrested me while riding on his (the victim) motorcycle.”

The Punch quoted the police sources as giving the name of the victim as Al -Hasan Usani, aged 43.

It is understood that the suspect actually tricked his victim into taking him to Kabuki village with a view to snatching the motorcycle.

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FG, Lagos In Legal Tussle Over N50 Stamp Duty

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The Lagos State Government is before the Supreme Court challenging the collection of N50 stamp duty by the Federal Government on every N1,000 transaction conducted by customers in all commercial banks operating in Lagos State.

In an appeal filed before the apex court by its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, the state government is contending that it ought to be the one collecting the N50 stamp duty rather than the Federal Government, The Punch reports.

According to Justice Kazeem, quoting Section 4(1) of the Stamp Duties Act, Cap S8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Federal Government had no right or power to collect and keep money paid as stamp duties on behalf of federating units.

He further called on the Apex Court to declare as illegal the instruction given to the Central Bank of Nigeria to deduct and remit to the Federal Government N50 stamp duty collected on every N1,000 bank transaction conducted within the Lagos State territory.

The justice also sought that the Supreme Court make an order compelling the Federal Government to remit to it all such monies it had so far collected as stamp duty on bank transactions conducted within the Lagos State territory.

Kazeem argued that Section 163(b) of the Constitution gave the state an entitlement “to the sum equal to the proportion of the net proceeds of the sum collected as duties on such transaction within the territory of Lagos State.”

While urging the Supreme Court to interprete the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act, 2004, he expressed the belief that Section 4(2) of the Act made the collection of the N50 stamp duty the exclusive preserve of the state.

The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, further urged the Supreme Court to declare that “the action of the Federal Government in collecting stamp duties within the Lagos territory without remittance is illegal.”

It would be recalled, in January 2016, in the wake of the economic crisis, Nigerian banks were ordered to begin to charge N50 stamp duty on customers.

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Death Toll In Nigeria’s Meningitis Outbreak Rises To 745

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The death toll in the outbreak of the cerebrospinal meningitis has hit 745 with over 8,057 suspected cases recorded, the federal government said.

READ MORE: What You Should Know About Meningitis

The toll was given by the technical assistant, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lawal Bakare, in a statement.

The statement read: “As of April 17, 2017 (Monday), 8,057 suspected cases of meningitis had been reported across the country; 230 (3 per cent) were laboratory confirmed.”

“A total of 745 deaths (9.2 per cent) have been recorded. Of the 8,057 cases, 7,519 (93 per cent of cases) have occurred in the five states that have reached outbreak levels for CSM serotype C.”

“The worst-hit states are Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger.”

“At the national level and in the affected states, activities aimed at driving information in the grassroots, including advocacy meetings with religious leaders, civil society organisations, health professionals, entertainers and media organisations, continue.”

“The National Primary Health Care Development Agency successfully led vaccination in Zamfara and in Katsina states targeting persons between ages two and 29 years in the priority Local Government Areas in both states.”

“Preparations are at advanced stages for the next round of vaccination in priority wards and local government areas in Sokoto State.”

Bakare further stated that the CSM national emergency operations centre at the NCDC had been leading the national coordination and support for the outbreak response in affected states.

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Naira Appreciates Further Against Dollar On Parallel Market

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The naira on Wednesday appreciated further by N12 against the US dollar in the parallel market.

It was gathered that the parallel market exchange rate appreciated from average of N397 per dollar on Tuesday to N385 per dollar at the close of business yesterday.

CBN Injects $280m Forex To SMEs, BDCs As Naira Gains

The development follows the $62 million dollar supplied to the Bureaux de Change segment by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Nigeria’s apex bank had yesterday sold $20,000 to 3,170 BDCs, amounting to $62 million supply into the segment.

Speaking on the development to newsmen Managing Director/Chief Executive, H.J Trust BDC, Harrison Owoh pointed out that “the appreciation shows the importance of BDCs in the foreign exchange market.

“Everybody is happy about the appreciation, and we expect it to continue.”

Also speaking, President, Association of Bureaux De change Operators of Nigeria, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe disclosed that the increased supply of dollars to BDCs is rattling the market.

CBN Launches Form X For SMEs Requiring Basic FX Documentation

He said: “We have already funded our accounts to purchase another $20,000 from CBN before the end of the week. So we expect the rate to further go down.”

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INEC To Begin Nationwide Voter Registration On April 27

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will commence a nationwide continuous voter registration on April 27 – across the 774 local government areas of the federation.

The commission made this known in a statement signed by its National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, after a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

According to the INEC, the exercise would take place from 9 a.m to 3 p.m on weekdays (Mondays to Fridays), excluding public holidays.

In the statement, the commission said the registration centres shall be the local government offices of the commission or such other suitable locations as would be made public by the State Offices of lNEC.

It stated that the decision was taken at the meeting following INEC consultations with stakeholders including political parties, civil society organisations and the media.

She said, “The exercise is intended to enable citizens who have turned 18 years of age since the last registration as well as those who did not register during the last exercise to register as voters.

“It will allow those seeking transfer of their registration from one State to another or within a State from polling unit to another to do so.

“The exercise also intends to enable the distribution of uncollected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to those who could not collect them before or since the last general elections.

“It will also enable citizens who have the Temporary Voter Cards (TVCs) but whose names are on the register to collect their PVCs.’’

However, the commission advised those who were already registered not to do so again as it is an offence to register more than once.

“The commission wishes to reiterate its commitment to consolidating our democracy.

`This we are going to do by ensuring that citizens are given the opportunity to register as voters on a continuous basis as enshrined in the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) well before elections.’’

It, therefore, appealed to all citizens to cooperate with the commission to ensure the success of the exercise.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had earlier said the registration exercise would continue to be a routine exercise once it commenced.

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Nigeria May Extend Whistleblowing Policy To Recovery Of Illegal Arms

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The President Muhammadu Buhari led government is looking at suggestions to extend the whistleblowing policy to illegal weapons’ possession by powerful politicians and other public figures.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

According to him, this is aimed at exposing those keeping deadly arms for communal violence and sinister political motives.

He said the Federal Government was planning on how to enhance the capacity of the whistle-blower mechanism.

Shehu said the government was considering bringing the policy under the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption or any other body.

He said: “Yes, it is true, the presidency has has received suggestions that call for the whistle blower policy to be extended to the possession of illegal weapons by powerful individuals in the country. The government will look at all that and make a pronouncement. Nigerians would be encouraged to expose the presence of illegal weapons in the homes of powerful politicians and other public figures who may use those deadly arms for sinister political agenda.”

Shehu quoted Buhari as commending Nigerians for their support and assuring that all recovered funds would be applied to their welfare and happiness, adding that no country can achieve progress with corruption.

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Police: Nigeria Plans To Recruit 30,000 Personnel Annually

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The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has declared that plans are underway to recruit 30,000 personnel annually into the Force to enhance community policing in the country.

Nigeria Police Academy Admission Form 2017 [5th Regular Course] Is Out | Here’s How To Apply

This disclosure was made by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of North-west zone, Mr. Maigari Dikko, while addressing officers at the State Police Command headquarters in Sokoto on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

The DIG said the move is aimed at addressing the challenges of inadequate manpower in the police force.

Dikko said the recruitment would focus solely on constables and cadet inspectors for adequate community policing in the country.

He further stated that the Inspector General of Police (IG) had already written to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval of the recruitment exercise.

“The Inspector General had already written to the President and as soon as he gives the approval, we intend to recruit 30,000 personnel every year for a period of three years.

“We are really facing manpower challenge in the force. We have only 375,000 personnel in the country and this is inadequate  even with the 10,000 cadets currently undergoing training.”

Recall, in March, the Force approved the promotion of 28,627 junior officers to their next rank.

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JUST IN: Buhari Bows To Pressure, Suspends SGF Babachir Lawal, DG NIA, Ayodele Oke

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President Muhammadu Buhari has yielded to pressure from the Nigerian Senate as he has suspend the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal ‘indefinitely’ on Wednesday.

This was made in a statement issued by the Presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina today.

The suspension is coming almost five months after the Senate called for the sack and prosecution of Lawal, over allegations of financial impropriety.

The president also ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process against Lawal in the award of contracts as the Chairman of the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

Buhari also ordered a full scale investigation into the discovery of large amount of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, on which the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has made a claim.

Similarly, the President has also directed the suspension of the Director General of the NIA, Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.

A three-person committee comprising the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Security Adviser, and headed by the Vice President, is to conduct both investigations.

The committee is to submit its report to the President within 14 days.

The most senior Permanent Secretary in the SGF’s office, and the most senior officer in the NIA, are to act, respectively, during the period of investigation.

It is understood that the suspended Oke betrayed emotion as he made desperate attempts to enter the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after his suspension was announced.

Oke was bluntly refused entry after he made attempts to seek an audience with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

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53 Persons Arraigned For Attending Gay Marriage In Zaria

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53 persons were arraigned on Wednesday before a Magistrates’ Court in Chediya-Zaria, Kaduna State, after they were allegedly arrested during a gay marriage in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the police prosecutor, Mannir Nasir, as saying that the accused were arrested on April 15 at Zaria Motel and were being charged for conspiracy, unlawful assembly and belonging to a gang of unlawful society.

He said the offences contravened Sections 97, 100 and 197(a) of Criminal Procedure Code, CPC.

“On April 15, 2017 at about 2100 hours a team of policemen led by DSP Muhammad Lawal-Mashi arrested and brought to police station 53 persons.

“The arrested persons included; Jibril Abdullahi, Sagir Abubakar, Anas Mohammed, Mustapha Ababukar, Musa Ibrahim and Suleiman Usman among others, all of various addresses.

“Information reached the police that these group of persons conspired to celebrate a gay marriage at Zaria Motel between one Faruk and Sanusi both at large,” the police prosecutor said.

The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and their counsel, Yunusa Umar asked the court to release them on bail in line with sections 35 (4) and 36 (5) of the Constitution.

Mr. Umar lamented that the accused persons were detained in police custody for more than 24 hours contrary to the provisions of section 341 of CPC.

“My worship all the 53 accused persons have been detained for three days and most of them are students’’ he said.

He argued that their bail was necessary in order to obtained detail information and more evidences for defence, assuring the court that the accused persons would not jump bail conditions or temper with investigations by the police.

In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Auwal Musa-Aliyu, granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of N500,000 each, with one surety each in the like sum, who must be a blood relation to the accused.

He ordered that each surety must present two passport size photographs, valid identity card, bank account number, letter of credence from a traditional ruler, a 2015 utility bill and a valid GSM number.

The Chief Magistrate adjoined the case till May 8, for further hearing.

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53 Persons Arraigned For Attending Gay Marriage In Zaria

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53 persons were arraigned on Wednesday before a Magistrates’ Court in Chediya-Zaria, Kaduna State, after they were allegedly arrested during a gay marriage in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the police prosecutor, Mannir Nasir, as saying that the accused were arrested on April 15 at Zaria Motel and were being charged for conspiracy, unlawful assembly and belonging to a gang of unlawful society.

He said the offences contravened Sections 97, 100 and 197(a) of Criminal Procedure Code, CPC.

“On April 15, 2017 at about 2100 hours a team of policemen led by DSP Muhammad Lawal-Mashi arrested and brought to police station 53 persons.

“The arrested persons included; Jibril Abdullahi, Sagir Abubakar, Anas Mohammed, Mustapha Ababukar, Musa Ibrahim and Suleiman Usman among others, all of various addresses.

“Information reached the police that these group of persons conspired to celebrate a gay marriage at Zaria Motel between one Faruk and Sanusi both at large,” the police prosecutor said.

The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and their counsel, Yunusa Umar asked the court to release them on bail in line with sections 35 (4) and 36 (5) of the Constitution.

Mr. Umar lamented that the accused persons were detained in police custody for more than 24 hours contrary to the provisions of section 341 of CPC.

“My worship all the 53 accused persons have been detained for three days and most of them are students’’ he said.

He argued that their bail was necessary in order to obtained detail information and more evidences for defence, assuring the court that the accused persons would not jump bail conditions or temper with investigations by the police.

In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Auwal Musa-Aliyu, granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of N500,000 each, with one surety each in the like sum, who must be a blood relation to the accused.

He ordered that each surety must present two passport size photographs, valid identity card, bank account number, letter of credence from a traditional ruler, a 2015 utility bill and a valid GSM number.

The Chief Magistrate adjoined the case till May 8, for further hearing.

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Boko Haram Jihadists Kill Five Soldiers In Maiduguri

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Some jihadists suspected to be militants of the notorious Islamic sect Boko Haram killed five Nigerian soldiers and injured five others in a raid on a military post in the violence-torn northeast.

Troops Kill 21 Boko Haram Fighters, Rescue 1,623 Captives In Borno State

Speaking on the incident on Tuesday, a top military source disclosed that “our men were outgunned and outnumbered.”

“We lost five men in the fight. Five more were injured,” the military officer who sought anonymity because he was not authorised to speak about the incident said in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

Mustapha Karimbe, a civilian assisting the military, said the jihadists took military vehicles and burned three armoured cars along with makeshift sheds at the checkpoint.

“The terrorists attacked the soldiers… and remained in the village for three hours before they withdrew,” said Karimbe.

This was the second attack on the same military checkpoint in under a month.

Late last month, jihadists dressed in Nigerian military uniforms attacked the checkpoint and forced soldiers to withdraw before looting food and medical supplies from the village.

57 Boko Haram Fighters Killed In Niger

It is understood that dozens of fighters loyal to the Boko Haram faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi on Monday night stormed a checkpoint near Sabon Garin Kimba village about 140 kilometres (90 miles) from Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, in its attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate in Northern Nigeria, has killed over 20,000 people with more than two million others displaced during a seven-year insurgency.

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Nigeria To Stop Uncertified Teachers From Classroom As From May 31

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The Federal Government has said that uncertified teachers – those without Professional ‎Certificate of the Teachers’ Registration Council (TRCN) – will not be allowed to teach beyond 2017.

The Registrar/Chief Executive Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Professor Olusegun Ajiboye, who made the disclosure in Ibadan on Tuesday, averred that the Registration Council will put a stop to normal registration on May 31, 2017.

While admitting that the council has registered no fewer than 1.6 million teachers since he assumed office, Ajiboye said those that register on or before May 31, this year ‎would be exempted from the professional qualifying examination.

This he said during the 3-years Ministerial Strategic Plan by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu which is designed to end unqualified teachers in Nigerian classrooms.

He said that the first examination of TRCN would hold at the end of September 2017.

The examination, he explained, was designed to fully professionalise teaching and ensure that only those qualified were employed by government for quality assurance.

The professional qualifying examination, according to Ajiboye is designed in modules comprising category A (PhD holders), B (Master degree holders), C (Bachelor degree holders), and D (NCE holders).

Ajiboye however said the induction in higher institutions will continue while the examination will be infused as part of the requirements of induction.

“By the end of 2017, Nigerian children will be taught by only qualified professional teachers who can deliver the quality education desirous for the elevation of our children and our country. Professionalism ‎is the key for entering into the profession. Those who do not have what it takes cannot be trusted with the lives of our children. We are out to ensure a guaranteed future for our future leaders by ensuring that those who teach them are the best around. This will translate to higher performances and better value for professional teachers. The professional examination takes place by September ending and it is the first of its kind and we have structured it into modules of different categories. This is in line with the 3-year Ministerial strategic Plan education policy of the Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu.”

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CBN Injects $280m Forex To SMEs, BDCs As Naira Gains

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday continued its intervention in the foreign exchange segment of the financial market with the injection of fresh $280 million into bureaux de change (BDCs), SMEs and other segments of the economy.

As a result of this, the naira appreciated by 1.2 per cent to N405/$ in the parallel market on news of a 300 per cent increase in dollar supply to BDCs to $40, 000 per week.

The Apex Bank, in a statement issued by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, said it had also commenced the weekly sale of $20,000 to Bureau de Change operators.

In the statement, the CBN also said it opened bids where it offered $100m wholesale 7-45 days forwards to end-users through the deposit money banks (DMBs).

A summary of the intervention showed that Basic Travel Allowance, Personal Travel Allowance, medical bills and tuition received $80m, while the Small and Medium Enterprises window received $100m.

Okorafor said that the new window for SMEs would boost the operations of small businesses through the importation of eligible finished and semi-finished items.

According to him, this would boost forex supply to the retail business segment of the market.

CBN Launches Form X For SMEs Requiring Basic FX Documentation

He also noted that the CBN introduced the use of Form Q for the SMEs, to ease documentation challenges usually encountered by this category of businesses.

He explained that through this arrangement, SMEs are allowed to purchase $20,000 per quarter.

On the sale of forex to BDCs, the CBN said the decision was taken to ensure that the high volume of demand by low-end users is met promptly.

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More Airlines Resume Flights As Abuja Airport Reopens

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More Airlines resumed flights on Tuesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA), Abuja as the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika re-opened the facilities a day earlier than the April 19 schedule.

Sirika, while addressing newsmen in Abuja, said he decided to reopen the airport since the runway rehabilitation had been completed on schedule.

FG Formally Announces Closure Of Abuja Airport

The airport was shut for six weeks to enable the contractor repair its failed runway with Abuja-bound air traffic diverted to Kaduna during the period.

Following the reopening, Med-View Airlines’ Chief Operating Officer (COO), Lookman Animashaun, said the airline had immediately started operations to the nation’s capital with six flights from Lagos daily.

Also speaking, the Account Manager of Dana Air, Obi Mbanuzuo suggested that the airline would from today operate five frequencies on Lagos-Abuja route daily, while Kaduna will be a flight per day.

Abuja Airport Rehabilitation: Runway Will Be Ready 2 Days Ahead Of Deadline

Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Captain Roy Ilegbodu, also said it had also re-opened its daily flights between Abuja and Lagos, while other destinations like Ilorin, Ibadan, Gombe, Yola, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt and Accra (Ghana) are due to be connected from Abuja.

It would be recalled, Air Peace on Monday said it will resume flight operations at airport on Wednesday.

An airplane of the Nigerian Police with registration 5N-HAR airlifted Sirika and some officials to the airport from Kaduna on a test-run of the rehabilitated runway.

By noon, an Ethiopian Airline Airbus 350 aircraft touched down amid fanfare, signaling the commencement of commercial flight operations to Abuja.

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Nigeria Out Of Recession – World Economics

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World Economics on Tuesday declared that the Nigerian economy which recorded negative growth and crept into a recession months ago has gotten out of the doldrums and bounced back from the economic downturn.

The London-based organisation which is dedicated to producing financial analysis, insight and data relating to questions of key importance to the world economy, had said that the recession had saw the death of businesses and caused hardship.

However, it added that Nigeria’s “Market Growth Index grew to 58.5 in April as the monthly Sales Growth Index ticked up to 56.7, its highest value since 2015 and representative of rapid growth”.

“April Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) data suggests that the Nigerian economy is continuing to grow out of the recession which saw 10 months of consecutive contraction in 2016,” it said in a release published on its website.

“The Market Growth Index grew to 58.5 in April as the monthly Sales Growth Index ticked up to 56.7, its highest value since 2015 and representative of rapid growth. Price inflation for April, which is tracked by the Prices Charged Index, remained high at 58.7 – indicative of high levels of inflation – however, a slowing trend has developed for the past 9 months.”

It said although Price inflation for April, remained high at 58.7 – indicative of high levels of inflation, it added however that “a slowing trend has developed for the past 9 months”.

“The challenges and the recent changes to the Naira’s FX rate are aiding sales transactions.

“Overall, conditions in Nigeria have improved further over the past month and managers are expressing renewed optimism that the economy will continue to grow and regain strength after the recession”, it added.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast 2.6 per cent growth for sub-Saharan Africa in 2017.

IMF projected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 0.8 per cent this year, despite current economic realities.

“Output in Nigeria is projected to grow by 0.8 percent in 2017 as a result of a recovery in oil production,” so said IMF chief economist, IMF’s Maurice Obstfeld who unveiled the fund’s World Economic Outlook in Washington yesterday.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, a modest recovery is foreseen in 2017. Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016.

“After contracting by 1.5 percent in 2016 because of disruptions in the oil sector coupled with foreign exchange, power, and fuel shortages, output in Nigeria is projected to grow by 0.8 percent in 2017 as a result of a recovery in oil production, continued growth in agriculture, and higher public investment”.

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Source: New feed2

Militant Involved In Killing Of Army Captain, 4 Policemen “Shot Dead” In Girlfriend’s Apartment

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The Police in Lagos has announced on Tuesday that one of the gunmen, who killed four policemen and an army captain at Isawo in Ikorodu, has been killed.

ACP. Abba Kyari, Commander of the Inspector- General of Police’s Response Team (IRT), made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

READ MORE: 2 Soldiers, 5 Policemen Die As Militants Raid Ikorodu

On April 9, gunmen killed six people, including an army captain, four policemen, a landlord and a member of the Oodua People’s Congress at Isawo in Ikorodu.

Kyari said that after the killing of the six people, the I-G deployed the team to Ikorodu to apprehend the suspects.

He said that close monitoring of the area by the police team led to an encounter that resulted to the death of the militant.

“On April 16, after several days of intensive follow up by the IRT team, one of the suspects, Endurance Ominisan, (a.k.a. Mighty), a native of Arogbo in Ondo State, came out from the creeks to visit his girlfriend.

“Ominisan was visiting the girl at a house he rented for her at No. 20, Joel Adebolu St., at Ibeshe in Ikorodu.”

“The IRT team immediately swooped on him and surrounded the house.

“On sighting the operatives, the militant escaped to the roof of the house from where he fired several shots with his pistol at the IRT team.

“The operatives, swiftly returned fire and wounded the militant, who was on the roof of the house.

“The injured militant was eventually brought down from the roof and rushed to General Hospital, Ikorodu, where he later died.

“He mentioned one America, Stone, Vika, etc as his gang members, who participated in the killing of the policemen and a soldier.

“He also confessed that he participated in the kidnapping of the Oniba of Iba, the Turkish School Girls and other abductions in Lagos and Ogun States before he died.

“One Turkish made Fatih 13 pistol with serial No. 12 TF00126 with four expended and five live ammunition were recovered from him,’’ Kyari said.

He said that the team had intensified efforts to arrest the remaining members of the gang.

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BREAKING: Lagos Confirms ‘Execution’ Of Rev. King And Others On Death Row

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There are very strong indications that the Lagos State Government will soon execute the General-Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, CPA, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Rev. King, and others on death row in Lagos prisons.

PM News is reporting today that barring any last minute change of plans, King and all those who have been on death roll for long are among those set to have a date with the hangman’s noose.

The online newspaper quoted the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Adeniji Kazeem as confirming the development on Tuesday while speaking at a ministerial press conference.

Kazeem said: “Very soon, you will see the action of this government on that issues, we are reviewing the case on Rev. King and others on death roll.”

“Lots of people are on death row, Rev. King is not the only one on death row, it is on the instruction of Ambode that I visited the prisons recently and I discuss the issue with the prison officials and they expressed concern.”

“We are moving in that direction of signing. The prison officials said we need to look at that seriously. Those on death row are beginning to think they have some rights. We are going to move in that direction, you will hear from me, but I will not tell you the exact date.”

The Supreme court had on 27 February, 2016 upheld the judgment of the Appeal Court which passed death penalty on King, saying the condemned reverend must die by hanging.

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Source: New feed2

China Offers Conditions For Nigeria To Get More Assistance

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For more Chinese development assistance to be extended to Nigeria, both countries should become active partners, Prof. Zhang Yong-Peng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), in Beijing, China said on Tuesday.

Yong-Peng made this known while receiving a delegation of visiting Nigerian Journalists in Beijing.

Speaking on “The Belt and Silk Road: Creating New Development in Africa,’’ he said it was imperative for Nigeria to become more active with China.

His words: “China knows Nigeria as a major power in Africa and would continue to create more opportunities to access her development assistance and funds. Let me say that Nigeria can benefit a lot more from the Chinese government.

“The Chinese Government’s Belt and Road Initiative currently covers 100 countries, including Ethiopia, South Africa and Egypt.

“Nigeria should give us good development plans, because China is ready to provide more support to Nigeria. Therefore, Nigeria needs to be more active with the Chinese government.

“China is today rising as a political power and needs to extend her political and economic power. And China also needs protection where her political and economic interest is.’’

The Professor of International Politics at the Institute of West, Asian and African Studies at CASS said that many other African countries had been benefiting from the agreements reached on the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

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Source: New feed2

CBN Launches Form X For SMEs Requiring Basic FX Documentation

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced the use of Form X for SMEs that require basic documentation.

The introduction was part of its objectives to increase foreign exchange liquidity and make it accessible to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other retail businesses.

Speaking on the development on Monday, the spokesman of the Apex Bank, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said the innovative measure is meant to ease the bottlenecks associated with documentation usually encountered by this category of businesses.

Okorafor further noted that the new form, which must be completed by all SME applicants, requires them to fill the form with a supporting application letter, as well as beneficiary invoice and bank wire transfer details.

He added that the objective of the new guideline is to remove obstacles usually encountered by those whose FX needs for either visibles or invisibles transactions are as small as or less than $10,000.

Okorafor reiterated the central bank’s determination to continue to ensure adequate supply of FX for genuine transactions in the coming days.

Last week, the CBN had opened a special FX window for SMEs to enable entrepreneurs import eligible finished and semi-finished items not exceeding $20,000 for each business per quarter.

That was in addition to the special intervention in the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the FX market that saw each operator accessing $20,000, against $10,000 per week.

Okorafor had said: “The special interventions were necessitated by findings that a large number of SMEs were being crowded out of the FX space by large firms and will also service genuine demand for invisibles like tuition fees, medical and personal/basic travel allowance.”

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Source: New feed2

13 Killed As Suspected Herdsmen Attack Community In Southern Kaduna

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At least 13 persons have been killed during the weekend in Asso village, Jama’a Local Government Area in the southern part of Kaduna State after suspected herdsmen attacked the community.

It is understood that the incident happened about 7.30 p.m. on Saturday when the herdsmen in large numbers invaded the community and started shooting sporadically.

According to a source in the village, several people who ran for their dear lives sustained injuries from gunshots and were rushed to the hospital.

The source who sought anonymity said the attackers were heavily armed, adding that the operation lasted for about 30 minutes without any help from the security agencies deployed last December to stop the persistent killings in that part of the state.

The source said the attack, in the midst of heavy security presence in southern Kaduna, made residents lose confidence in the security personnel.

While condemning the latest attack, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, condoled with the families of the victims and urged the security agencies to redouble their efforts in fishing out the culprits and bring them to justice.

The governor, in a statement by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, called on communities in the area to support the military, which would soon embark on a special operation to flush out the bandits from their hideouts, to ensure that the exercise is successful.

The statement said agencies responsible for emergency services had been directed to offer relief to victims of the attack.

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Source: New feed2

Nigeria Records Over N7 Trillion In Treasury Single Account (TSA)

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The President Muhammadu Buhari led government has recorded over N7 trillion in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as of March ending 2017.

ThisDay reports that the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, made this known in an interview with the Economic Confidential in Abuja.

Idris further said the amount represents monies belonging to different ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) put in a portal in such a way that government can view the entire balance as one.

“When we say we have over N5 trillion in TSA, it does not mean free funds for spending. These monies belong to various ministries, departments and agencies put in a portal in such a way that you can view the entire balance as one.

“The movement is now over N7 trillion. But as I explained earlier, these are not free monies. People should not be thinking of why is government borrowing to fund budget. These are budgeted monies for MDAs for projects and developments,” he said.

The AGF further disclosed that the Nigerian government, through the implementation of the TSA, has saved additional N4 billion monthly which could have been held by banks.

His words: “But let me also make a strong and important point. If not because TSA is in place and now that the recession is here, only God knows what would have happened. A monthly drain of over N4 billion and yet no revenue coming in and leakages continued. It could have been a disaster. It was government’s foresightedness and focus even as TSA was in place before the recession. And that is why we are floating and not sinking, and we will not sink, God willing.

“For instance, why would one university have over 120 bank accounts, and some of them even hidden and missing and carrying huge balances. We also discovered that there are costs associated with keeping these multiple bank accounts. Every month the government incurs over N4 billion in maintaining these accounts! Yet government is borrowing its own money. And to stop government from borrowing its money and for the fact that there was no commensurate returns on such monies, it was double tragedy! This is like a sword with two sides that can cut with any of the sides. Sanity was brought with the introduction of TSA.”

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Troops Kill 21 Boko Haram Fighters, Rescue 1,623 Captives In Borno State

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Troops of the Nigerian Army on clearance operations at Jarawa village in Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno, killed about 21 fighters of the notorious Boko Haram group in a fierce battle.

57 Boko Haram Fighters Killed In Niger

This is just as the troops rescued 1,623 captives held by remnants of Islamic death cult, a statement issued by the army spokesperson, Sani Usman, said on Monday.

In the statement, Usman, a brigadier general, said the troops also recovered 3 AK-47 Rifles with registration numbers 565222414, 563729686 and UF 3646, a 36 hand grenade, 12 cutlasses and four motorcycles.

“The rescued persons have been escorted to Rann Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp, while all the children were vaccinated,” Mr. Usman said.

He said the troops of 3 Battalion, 22 Brigade also cleared terrorists from Deima, Artano, Saduguma, Duve, Bardo, Kala, Bok, Msherde and Ahirde settlements, based on tip off.

“One significant aspect of this operation is that the unit noted for its experience in battle, resilience and bravery did not record any casualty,” the army spokesman said.

Boko Haram, in its attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate in Northern Nigeria, has killed over 20,000 people with more than two million others displaced during a seven-year insurgency.

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Source: New feed2