JUST IN: FG Declares December 26, 27 And January 2 As Public Holidays.

The Federal Government has declared Monday and Tuesday, December 26 & 27, 2016 and Monday, January 2, 2017 as public holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year 2017 celebrations respectively.


The declaration was made on Wednesday on behalf of the government by the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd).


General Dambazau enjoined all Christians and Nigerians in general to remain committed and support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in his sustained efforts towards building a peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria.


He also urged the citizens to use the occasion to pray for peace, unity and peaceful co-existence across the country.


The minister wishes all Nigerians at home and abroad, a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.


The announcement was contained in a statement issued by the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, Mr Muhammadu Maccido.

Yuletide: Expert Predicts 19% Inflation Rate In December

A financial expert, Dr Uche Uwaleke on Saturday predicted that inflation rate may rise to 19 per cent in December. Uwaleke, the Head of Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Keffi gave the prediction in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He was reacting to the November inflation figure which stood at 18.48 per cent. Uwaleke said that headline inflation would likely stay around 19 per cent in December due largely to increase in clothing, food energy and transport costs.

He said that December was usually associated with fuel scarcity, adding that 2016 would not be different particularly in the remote towns and villages. Uwaleke advised the Federal Government to check the trend, especially against the backdrop of an inflation target of 12.9 per cent in the 2017 budget.

He said government should commit itself and ensure strict implementation of the 2017 budget with respect to power, housing, transport and agriculture in particular. On November inflation figure, Uwaleke said that the rise from 18.33 per cent in October to 18.48 per cent in November was due to increase in food items, clothing and transportation cost.

“It is no surprise that headline inflation is still climbing especially as the festive season approaches. “From an investment point of view, the rise in Consumer Price Index further plunges real returns in the negative territory.

“This is not good news for the stock market. However, the consolation for stock market investors is the positive impact the oil price rebound is having on the market in recent times,’’ he said.

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JUST IN: FG Declares Monday, Dec. 12 Public Holiday to celebrate Eid-El-Maulud

The Federal Government has declared Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 as public holiday to mark the Eid-El-Maulud celebration.


The Minister of Interior, Retired Lt.- Gen. Abdulrahman  Dambazau, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government on today, Thursday, December 8, 2016, in Abuja.


In a statement signed by the acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Muhammadu Maccido, Dambazau enjoined all Muslim faithful and Nigerians in general to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to build a strong, united and peaceful Nation.


He also urged all Nigerians to use the occasion to pray for peace across the nation.


The minister also called on all Nigerians to be patient and supportive of the present administration for the successful implementation of its laudable programmes.


He wished all Nigerians a happy and peaceful Eid-El-Maulud celebration.

2016 Abuja Carnival begins December 3 – Grace Gekpe

The 2016 Abuja Carnival will hold from December 3 to 6, the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced on Wednesday.


Grace Gekpe, Director, Entertainment and Creative Services in the ministry, said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the annual event would commence with a street carnival from Eagles Square to Area 1.


She said that the event would also be followed by traditional circus and an opening ceremony on the first day, while Durbar, children fiesta and a cultural night would hold on December 4.


According to her, a masquerade fiesta, boat regatta and various exhibition of Nigeria’s artefacts are also expected to feature during the annual carnival.

Dasuki’s corruption trial adjourned to December.

The trial of Sambo Dasuki and others was adjourned till December 7 for further hearing following a concession agreed upon by all the counsel concerned.

The trial which came up at an FCT High Court, Maitama, before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf could not go on.

However, all counsel had a chambers meeting with the judge and agreed on the date.

All the defendants were in court except Mr. Dasuki.

Mr. Dasuki’s father, the 18th Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki, died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday.

The younger Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned before Justice Baba-Yusuf by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a
19-count charge bordering on diversion of about N13.6 billion.

He is being tried alongside Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security
Adviser, and Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director.

Also being tried were two firms, Acacia Holding Ltd. and Reliance Referral Hospital Ltd.

In a second case, Bashir Yuguda is the first defendant while Mr. Dasuki is the second.

Others are Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, Dalhatu Investment Ltd., Sagir Attahiru and Attahiru Bafaarawa, former governor of Sokoto State.

They were arraigned on a 22-count charge bordering on conspiracy, bribery, and abuse of office and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N28.315 million.

At the last sitting, the trial was streamlined by the court following the movement of the two case files to one.

The two cases were pending before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, and Justice Peter Affen.

At the previous sitting, Joseph Daudu, counsel to Mr. Dasuki, had prayed the court to consolidate the two cases against his client.

Mr. Daudu sought for an order directing the prosecution to amend charge No. FCT/HC/CR/43/ 2015 pending before Mr. Baba-Yusuf, to include the counts in suit No. FCT/HC/CR/43/2015, before Mr. Affen.

He said that his prayer was pursuant to sections 6(6)(a), 35(5) and (9) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and sections 1(1); 208; 396(3); 401and 492(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the EFCC, also said that the movement was to facilitate the quick trial of the case if the files could be in one court.

At the last sitting, the two cases were brought to Mr. Baba-Yusuf’s court.

Absence at burial

Speaking to reporters at the end of the court session, Ahmed Raji, another counsel to Mr. Dasuki, said the federal government’s claim that it offered the former NSA an opportunity to attend his father’s burial was improper.

Media houses had reported the government’s offer and Mr. Dasuki’s refusal.

Mr. Raji said the purported offer was doubtful because none of his client’s lawyers was contacted on the issue.

“As his counsel, we are not aware of that offer. Our client has not told us anything of that nature. We would have expected that if such a gesture was going to be made to him we as his counsel should have been involved so that we can advise him properly. As I am speaking to you, I am hearing of this for the first time.”

Mr. Raji said there was no basis for the continued detention of Dasuki by government having been granted bail by three different high courts in Abuja in the charges against him as well as the order of the ECOWAS court for his unconditional release in the case for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to freedom of liberty.

He said “Dasuki has been granted three bails and one outright judgement for his release by the ECOWAS court which is binding in honour of Nigeria.”

Budget: Economic recovery plan ready by December – FG

The Federal Government has again reiterated its commitment to reflating the depressed nation’s economy, even as it hinted that the national economic recovery plan for the next three years would be ready by December.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who stated this at an economics communications workshop in Abuja, weekend, explained that the plan would serve as a guide for the preparation of annual budgets.

She added that it would be a continuation of the initiatives contained in the Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget.

Ahmed said: “The plan is expected to build on the policies, initiatives, programmes and projects contained in the Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget. The economic recovery plan is expected to guide the economic management and budgeting process over the short to medium-term.

Government will continue to put in place policies to expand the revenue base, plug leakages in the system, ensure greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds, and pursue job creation and support businesses and investments, especially local investments to grow,” she said.

Rivers re-run holds Dec 10, Lagos & FCT Dec 3 – INEC

The outstanding National and State Assembly elections in Rivers State will be conducted on December 10, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced on Thursday in Abuja.


Mrs Auguta Ogakwu, Secretary to the commission in a statement said that the commission had also approved December 3 to conduct election for the vacant Ifako/Ijaiye seat of Lagos State in the House of Representatives.

The seat became vacant following the death of the member who represented the constituency in the House, Mr Adewale Oluwatayo, in July.


On the same day, according to the statement, the commission will also conclude rescheduled councillorship polls in some area councils in the Federal Capital Territory.

“After months of intensive planning and wide consultations, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday approved the conduct of Lagos’ House of Representative election on Saturday, Dec 3, 2016.


“Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Councillorship election will also hold on Saturday, Dec 3, 2016.


“Rivers, National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) and State House of Assembly elections on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016,” the statement said.

Court To Hear Patience Jonathan’s Suit Against EFCC In December

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday fixed Dec. 7 to hear a suit by ex-First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, against the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, seeking to unfreeze her account.

Other respondents in the suit are Skye Bank and a former Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripama-Owei Dudafa.

Also joined in the suit are Pluto Property and Investment company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, Transocean Property and Investment Company Ltd and Globus Integrarted Service Ltd.

The ex-first lady is demanding the sum of $200 million from the commission as damages for infringing on her rights.

She is also urging the court to issue an order discharging the freezing order and restrain the EFCC and its agent from further placing a freezing order on the said accounts.

When the case was called on Wednesday, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, announced appearance for the EFCC, while Mr. Granville Abibo (SAN) appeared for Jonathan.

Addressing the court, Oyedepo informed the judge that the case was coming up for the first time, adding that some of the respondents had yet to be served with the court’s processes.

He said the case was not yet “ripe for hearing”, having been served with the processes on Oct. 19 and is yet to file a response.

His submission was, however, not contested by counsel to the plaintiff.

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Nigeria To Host ECOWAS In December

President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to host the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Heads of Governments.

In a four paragraph press release from the Presidency, President Buhari said that vital issues bordering on security and the economy would be discussed at the summit which holds during the third week in December 2015.

He said that it was time to seek the cooperation of the sub-region in fighting the scourge of terrorism and the illegal activities in the Gulf of Guinea which he says currently undermines the West African economy.

In September, President Buhari hosted an extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government.

The main item on the agenda of the summit was the political situation which had caused violence and unrest in Burkina Faso.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Boko Haram Will Be Defeated By December, Defence Minister Assures

Nigeria’s defence minister, Brigadier- General (rtd) Mansur Mohammed Dan-Ali yesterday assured that Boko Haram will be defeated by the December deadline given to the military by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Dan-Ali gave the assurance during a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Appropriation to consider the request of President Muhammadu Buhari for a N465 billion supplementary budget.

The minister of Defence assured the Senate Committee that budgetary allocation to the ministry will be utilised to achieve the December deadline.

“We are going to ensure that the budgetary allocation given to us as Ministry of Defence is utilised to get the maximum eradication of insurgency in our territory.

“Insurgency is not something that can be removed within a day. All we are saying is that we will ensure that maximum security will be achieved within the time frame given to us,” Dan-Ali told the Danjuma Goje-led Senate Committee.

Credit: Leadership

Gowon Cautions Buhari, Military’s Confidence On Boko Haram December Deadline

A former military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, on Tuesday faulted President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian military over the December deadline for ending the Boko Haram insurgency.

President Buhari had tasked the military to end insurgency in three months, ending December 2015. The military has said it would meet the schedule.

Mr. Gowon said the military would do its best to meet the December deadline, expressing “absolute confidence” in the ability of the Nigerian armed forces to defeat Boko Haram.

He however warned that no person can confidently talk about the particular time a military operation would end.

Mr. Gowon stated this in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital, when he led an advocacy team on malaria and four other neglected tropical diseases, on a visited to Governor David Umahi.

“I can tell you this, nobody can really talk about when any particular operation is going to end. And as a (former) commander-in- chief, I know this.

“Yes, you can say you target a particular time, but it may finish before that time or it may go slightly beyond. To end it, that is the most important thing.

“I assure you that I have absolute confidence in our military that they are going to really deal with the situation as they are doing at the moment,” said Mr. Gowon, who was the military leader during Nigeria’s civil war between 1967 and 1970.

Credit: PremiumTimes

What Service Chiefs Told Buhari About Boko Haram December Deadline

The December deadline given to the Nigerian Army by president Mohammadu Buhari to completely rout out Boko Haram insurgents in the North east may not be feasible after all, as Service Chiefs on Monday told the president that their effort was being threatened by weather and logistics.

The Service Chiefs however did not specifically ask for extension of time.

Speaking to State House Correspondents on behalf of the Chiefs after a Security meeting with president Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja to brief him on the efforts of the military so far in the troubled north east, the Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, Abayomi Olonishakin and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Ismalia Aliyu, said the military was still on course despite the challenges.

Olonishakin said: “It is a normal consultation to intimate him of the issues on ground we briefed him on the security situation on ground after a 60-day review and we had to brief him on the challenges we have and ensure that the mandate we have is properly delivered.

“Of course, the challenges we are looking at are the issues of probably the weather as it were and some other logistics that we feel we should have so that the mandate can be quickly delivered. He is very excited, very happy. As for our request, he gave the mandate.

“We have not said that. The mandate is that we should clear Boko Haram from the occupied territories and ensure that we reclaim all the lost grounds. That is exactly what we are doing.

“It is a military operation and military operations have time-lines and these time-lines, we are working on the assiduously”.

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Non-performing Refineries Will Be Shut Down In December- Kachikwu

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said refineries in the country performing below 65 per cent of capacity would be shut down in December, 2015.

Kachikwu, one of the 37 ministerial nominees stated this while responding to questions by some senators during his screening at the Senate on Wednesday in Abuja.

He disclosed that the reality is that functioning refineries were operating at only 25 per cent, contrary to reports that they were doing well.
He said that it was not enough for a refinery to produce at 65 per cent today and at zero per cent the next day, stressing that anytime crude was not utilised by a refinery, the government lost money.

On recurring scarcity of petroleum products, especially petrol and kerosene, Kachikwu said that the situation would continue unless the refineries performed optimally.
“Performance levels are about 25 and 26 per cent; it is not enough to do 65 per cent one day and do zero per cent the next day. We have started a policy of not giving crude to any refinery that is not producing. Port Harcourt refinery is producing at over 60 per cent and we want to drive it to 80 by December.

“Warri Refinery has indicated that it will soon come on stream; we will begin to pump crude to Kaduna Refinery by tomorrow (Thursday) and by the next five days, we will know if they will produce above 65 per cent. Any refinery that does not produce up to 60 per cent is not into production, and at the end of December, we will only allow those who perform optimally. Those that do not, we will shut them down,” he said.

Credit: NAN

Armed Forces Will Annihilate Boko Haram By December, Buhari Insists

Despite the recent bomb blasts in Abuja and some states in the North-east, President Muhammadu Buhari has said he remained fully confident that by the end of this year, Boko Haram’s ability to attack, seize, ravage and hold any Nigerian territory will have been completely obliterated.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president spoke when he met with the Commander of United States Africa Command, Gen David Rodriguez.

Buhari said with greater support from his administration in terms of improved training, equipment, logistics and welfare, the Nigerian Armed Forces were well positioned to meet the December deadline which he gave to them to end the Boko Haram insurgency.

The president seized the opportunity of Rodriquez’s visit to restate his appreciation of the US  support for Nigeria’s efforts to overcome terrorism and insurgency.

Buhari said: “We must thank the United States of America for sending training teams and equipment to us. The positive results of our collaboration are evident.

“Structured attacks by the insurgents have reduced and by the end of the year, we should see the final routing of Boko Haram as an organised fighting force.”

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Kaduna Refinery To Resume Production In December- NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, disclosed yesterday that Kaduna Refinery will resume the production of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS (petrol), within the next three months.

This was even as NNPC stated that it had lifted the embargo earlier placed on 113 vessels, banning them from engaging in crude oil and gas loading activities in any of the terminals within Nigerian territorial waters.

In a statement by NNPC in Abuja, Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated that the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit, FCCU, and the fuel section of the refinery would be brought back to life within this period to ensure that Nigerians continue to enjoy uninterrupted supply of petroleum products.

Kachikwu, who stated this during a facility tour of the Kaduna Refining Petrochemical Company, KRPC, said the refinery will get a turn around that will make it commercially sustainable.

He said: “All the component units of the refinery, including the FCCU and the fuel section, will be fully rehabilitated for resumption of crude supply to the plant.

“You will soon have a different company; we must do all it takes to make this company a success.”

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Dangote To Create 200,000 Jobs In Jigawa Before December

The chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has promised to generate 200,000 jobs in Jigawa State by the end of this year to support the new administration’s drive at economic revival of the state.

Dangote, who disclosed this in Dutse on Tuesday, said preparations for the production of two million tonnes of sugar in Kafin Hausa and Auyo have been concluded.

He said that when fully operational, the projects will provide 200,000 direct jobs and millions of indirect jobs to the teeming youths in the state.

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