U.S. Distributes N51 Million To 30 Nigerian NGOS

The U.S. Government has distributed N51 million grants ($167,227 at N305 per $1) to 30 non-governmental organisations in Nigeria for community-based projects.

The Ambassador’s Small Grants Programme was presented to recipients from different geo-political zones in the country on Monday by the new U.S. Ambassador, W. Stuart Symington, at the U.S. embassy in Abuja.

The small grants programme is largely funded by the special self-help programmes through the Department of State and U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Mr. Stuart said that the self-help projects have been aiding people and communities across Africa for 20 years.

With its main focus on Nigerian communities, the ambassador reaffirmed the cliché that Nigeria is the heart of Africa.

“Nigeria is the most important project in Africa and one of the most important projects in the world.

“Smart people have said if Nigeria succeeds, Africa will succeed and if Africa succeeds then the world will succeed,” he said.

He expressed delight that the grants were geared towards assisting persons and families affected by HIV and AIDS, including innovative projects that provide care and support to orphans, vulnerable children and their households.

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30 Boko Haram Insurgents Killed in Unsuccessful Highway Ambush

As the military offensive continues in the North-east, about 30 suspected members of Boko Haram were believed to have met their waterloo in the hands of Nigerian troops, when they attempted to ambush a convoy of local government officials and travellers along Bama road after Nguro-Soye in Borno State.
Troops from 121 Task Force Battalion, Pulka were escorting local government officials from Pulka to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, when the incident occurred on Saturday morning, according to reports.
The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Gwoza Local Government Area, Hon. Saeed Salisu Sambo, who was in the convoy, disclosed that the terrorists detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) and followed it with sporadic gunshots which were immediately repelled by the gallant troops.
The troops were reported to have pursued and overpowered the armed attackers with military precision.
He said: “I must commend the gallantry of the troops led by the patrol commanders of the 121 Battalion, Captain S. Suleiman, and Lt. N. Ayuba.
“The incident happened at about five kilometres into Bama town, at about 10 a.m. on Saturday after leaving Nguro-Soye. The insurgents detonated an IED, followed by sporadic gunshots which were repelled by the soldiers.”
He said six soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries, adding that “more than 30 insurgents were killed by the rocket launcher fired by troops. I vividly saw them running away, as the military engaged them in response”.
The military did not confirm whether soldiers were also killed during the ambush.
However, the soldiers injured during the encounter were rushed to the Brigadier Maimalari Barracks Hospital for medical attention, a source disclosed.
An emergency worker, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed counting the bodies of about 30 terrorists killed after the encounter.
The attack came at a time the Boko Haram insurgents have intensified their fight, resulting in the killing of senior military commanders and several troops in the battlefront.
The new attacks have sent signals of a resurgence of the terrorists, whom the federal government said had been “technically defeated”.
Credit: thisdaylive

Death Toll In Adamawa Herdsmen Attacks Hits 30

The Adamawa State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ghazzali has been criticized over his comment and handling of the Fulani herdsmen attacks on Kodomun, following the discovery of eight more corpses.

Youths from Kodomun who brought out the corpses of the slain members of the community from the bush said, the recovery of the additional bodies had raised the death toll from the attacks which started on Friday to 30.

The incident, came on the day the Adamawa State Governor, Mohammed Jibrilla, visited the paramount ruler of the area, the Hama Bata, HRH Alhamdu Teneke, and held a security meeting with him at his palace with other service chiefs in the state in attendance.

Ghazzali, who visited the area on Monday shortly after the attacks by herdsmen, had reportedly claimed no life was lost.

Ghazzali’s denial of any casualty resulting from the attacks, while addressing journalists, after the security meeting, elicited anger from those present at the palace.

Ghazzali explained that his refusal to deploy policemen to Kodomun, which had come under attacks, from Fulani herdsmen, earlier on Friday and Saturday, before that of Monday was done so as not to make him look like “taking sides”

He said, “My men were on the ground. We would not risk our men to be there just to give security to one side so that the other side will not think we have taken side with one side.

“There are two different people involved in these clashes: the herdsmen and the farmers. And we have to be very careful in handling such type of communal clashes.”

It was, however, the police commissioner’s insistence that no life was lost in the Monday attacks which sparked the uproar.

The angry youths who threatened to unleash mayhem in the aftermath of his comment were dissuaded from their action by the elders in the palace.

The monarch, who said his people had been killed in the attacks, challenged the security chiefs to visit Kodomun, to find out for themselves if indeed there were “no deaths”.

Credit: Punch

Indonesia To Execute 30 Convicts In 2017

Bambang Waluyo, Indonesian Deputy Attorney General, has said government planned to execute 30 death-row convicts in 2017.
He disclosed this on Monday in Jakarta during a parliamentary hearing.
Waluyo said that this year, his office is preparing to execute 18 convicts, after July 6, the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday, which ends of the holy month of Ramadan.
Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry said not less than 121 people are currently on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners, mostly convicted of drug-related crimes.
It explained that they include; Mary Jane Veloso from the Philippines, Lindsay Sandiford from Britain and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui.
The ministry recalled that in 2015 Indonesia executed 14 convicts, all but two of them foreigners, in a move that drew international condemnation.
Under Indonesian law, each convict would face a squad of 10 gunmen.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office in 2014, has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking, saying that the country is facing a drug emergency.



Troops Kill 30 Boko Haram Insurgents

More than 30 Boko Haram insurgents were killed when they ambushed an Army contingent in Kareto, Borno State, the Army said yesterday.

The attack by about 100 Boko Haram members on Monday occurred during patrols by the 113 Battalion.

The ground operation by the Army and a multinational force, with air cover by the Air Force, is to raid the North on a village-by-village basis, capture Boko Haram terrorists and free the captives.

Cameroonian Gen. Bouba Dobekreo said this month that the ground forces were put in place to eradicate Boko Haram threat in Nigeria.

In clashes last Friday, 34 suspected Boko Haram members were killed and 455 captives freed in Borno State.

In Monday’s battle, 24 soldiers were injured, said Col. Sani Usman of the Nigerian Army.

Military sources said: “Scores of Boko Haram insurgents escaped with gunshot wounds.”

Yesterday, the Army reported a separate incident – a Boko Haram attack on the convoy of Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, the Acting GOC (General Officer Commanding) in the Borno city of Bama. One soldier was killed and two injured.

Insurgents were killed, arms and ammunition were recovered. Gen. Ezugwu was not injured.

More than 20,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram terrorists and 2.3 million displaced since the group began violent campaign in 2009.

Credit: Nation

Oil Prices Rebound After Falling Below $30

Oil prices rebounded in Asia Wednesday, halting a plunge that saw crude fall below $30 a barrel for the first time in more than 12 years, but analysts warned of further pressure on the commodity.

Investors have an eye on the release later in the day of US commercial crude stockpiles data, which is expected to show another increase, further exacerbating a global supply glut that has hammered the market for 18 months.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February rose 38 cents, or 1.25 percent, to $30.82 per barrel at around 0600 GMT. European benchmark Brent rose 26 cents, or 0.84 percent, to $31.12.

On Tuesday, WTI fell at one point to $29.93, a level last seen in December 2003, although it was given a lift later by a private report pointing to a drop in inventories.

However, experts warned that prices remained fragile.

“The supply and demand landscape for oil continues being bearish as prices continue to take discounts,” Daniel Ang, an analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore said in a market commentary.

“US oil supply continues to remain strong.”

Bernard Aw, a market strategist with IG Markets Singapore said the long-term trend is for prices to fall, with the supply glut not showing any let up.

Oil-reliant OPEC member Nigeria on Tuesday called for an emergency meeting of the grouping to address collapsing prices, which have rattled world stock markets and hammered energy firms.

The Nigerian petroleum resources minister, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, said he expects an extraordinary meeting of the group in “early March” to discuss the crisis.

“We did say that if it hits the $35 (per barrel level), we will begin to look (at)… an extraordinary meeting,” Kachikwu said at the Gulf Intelligence UAE Energy Forum.

Poorer members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have been clamouring for a cut in the high production levels in a bid to drive prices higher.

But influential OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia have rejected any such move, preferring to fight for market share against rival producers, particularly the United States.

Crude accounts for 90 percent of Nigeria’s export earnings and 70 percent of overall government revenue.

Credit: Vanguard

Boko Haram Attacks Three Borno Villages, Kills 30

Brutal weekend attacks on three villages by Boko Haram Islamists in the restive northeast of Nigeria have left 30 dead and 20 others wounded, a vigilante told AFP.

“Most of the victims were slaughtered and most of the wounded (had suffered) machete cuts,” Mustapha Karimbe, a civilian helping the Nigerian military fight Boko Haram, said of Saturday’s attacks in the villages of Warwara, Mangari and Bura-Shika in Borno state.

News of the attacks has been slow to emerge because telecom masts in the area have been destroyed in previous Boko Haram raids, hindering communication.

The Islamists invaded the villages, hacking and slaughtering their victims before setting the villages on fire.

Credit: Punch

Boko Haram Kills 5 In Borno, 30 In Cameroon

Borno State and neighbouring Cameroon have continued to be under heavy attacks from suspected members of the Boko Haram, killing at least five persons in the former and, 30 in the latter.

On Wednesday, members of the sect stormed a Borno village called Mainari but were repelled by security forces. That was, however, not until at least five people had been killed.

A military source said gunshots rang out in the village on Wednesday evening, adding that troops engaged in firefights with the insurgents lasting about an hour.

Five villagers were killed by militants and six were injured while fleeing the attack in Mainari, 20 km southeast of Maiduguri, according to two armed civilian volunteers who helped the military repel the attackers.

Read More: dailytimes

El-Rufai Procures 30, 000 Metric Tonnes Of Fertiliser For Farmers

Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has procured a total of 30, 215 metric tonnes of fertiliser for distribution to farmers at a subsidised rate.

The governor who launched the sale of fertiliser in Kachia local government, warned that fertiliser must be sold only at publicly-designated selling points to interested farmers, adding that “every farmer in Kaduna, whether big or small will have equal opportunity to buy at first-come, first-serve basis.”

According to the governor, farmers will pay only 60 per cent of the cost of the four types of fertiliser that have been made available for sale.

Thus, he said the NPK will sell for N3,750; Urea for N3,600 while SSP and Organic will retail for N2,940 only, warning that “no farmer should pay a kobo more than these prices this year to anyone in Kaduna State.”

“This government recognises the current contribution of agriculture to keeping many of our people employed and fed. But the contributions that agriculture currently makes is as nothing compared to its potentials.