Reps Demand Details Of Buhari’s $26.96bn Loan Ahead Of Debate

There were indications on Sunday that Buhari’s $26.96bn loan request might not get a smooth passage in the House of Representatives

Findings by an eye witness showed that lawmakers were already querying the rationale for the “huge loan”, which they feared was a gradual return to the debt trap of yesteryears.

An official of the National Assembly said, “There will be serious legislative fireworks this week because we are not in ordinary times in Nigeria.

“Any loan that generations after today will continue to repay raises a lot of questions, and the person to provide the answers is Mr. President himself.”

It was gathered that some lawmakers in the House had, immediately the letter conveying the loan request to the House was read, queried the lack of details on how the government planned to spend the money.

A member stated, “$29.96bn is not N29bn. This is a huge amount of money. What do you want to do with it?

“It is not enough for you to write the parliament and say approve for agriculture and all that. Where are the details of the proposed expenditure? This loan request will not have an easy ride.”

House Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, admitted that members were worried that the President opted for a foreign loan at a time his administration had yet to account for the recovery it made as looted funds.

Ogor spoke more, “We have not seen the details of the loan. We will have to see the details and compare the proposal with the provisions of the Debt Management Office Act.

“There is so much money recovered from looted funds, Treasury Single Account.  How have we utilised the money?

“We are not going to approve any loan without first seeing the details; make comparison with our DMO Act and our foreign liabilities.”

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German Officials Demand Answers After Suspect’s Suicide

German authorities are under pressure to explain how a detained Syrian man suspected of planning an airport bombing attack was able to take his own life, with politicians demanding answers and calling the death in custody a “fiasco” and a “tragedy”.

Sebastian Gemkow, Saxony’s justice minister, said in a press conference in Dresden that Jaber al-Bakr, 22, strangled himself on Wednesday evening by tying his shirt to the bars of his jail cell.

“This should not have happened even though we did everything we could to prevent it,” Gemkow said on Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday, Bakr’s defence lawyer Alexander Huebner said that he had been informed his client was “under constant surveillance.

“How could this happen?” asked Huebner.

“I’m unbelievably shocked and absolutely speechless that something like this could have happened,” he said.

Rolf Jacob, the head of the prison where Bakr was held, told reporters that a trainee guard checked on the prisoner at 730pm on Wednesday, and that when he returned for another check 15 minutes later he found him dead.

Jacob said authorities who assessed him when he entered the prison had noted there was a suicide risk but did not consider it acute. He said the suspect was checked on every quarter of an hour and given pants without a belt as a precaution.

Read More: aljazeera

South African Student Protesters Demand University Shutdown

South African students protesting against high tuition fees have demanded that all universities be shut until the government provides free education, Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) said on Friday.

Student leaders, whose protests have forced Wits and Cape Town universities to suspend classes twice in less than a month, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Wits was aiming to reopen on Monday after police clashed earlier this week with student demonstrators on the campus in scenes that recalled apartheid-era skirmishes.

Wits said in a statement that it had “no agreement from the protesting students that the academic program will continue on Monday” and that it had suspended a general assembly scheduled for midday Friday to thrash out differences.

“One of the latest demands of the protesting students is that Wits and all other universities should be shut down until government agrees to free education,” Wits said.

The cost of university education, prohibitive for many black students, has become a symbol of the inequalities that endure in South Africa more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

Wits’ vice-chancellor Adam Habib told a media briefing that the university was striving to save the current academic year, which in the southern hemisphere ends in December.

“The struggle for free education is a noble cause. But it is not a cause that requires the sacrifice of the 2016 academic year,” Habib said.

The government, grappling with a budget deficit of nearly 4 percent of GDP, has capped 2017 fee increases for next year at 8 percent, but warns that education subsidies should not come at the expense of other sectors like health and housing.

The National Treasury allocated nearly 300 billion rand ($21.5 billion)towards education in its 1.46 trillion rand 2016/17 budget, compared with 168 billion rand for health.

Read More: reuters

Adamawa Workers Protest, Demand Removal Of Some Govt. Officials

Civil servants in Adamawa on Tuesday staged a protest in front of the Government House Yola calling for the removal of three government officials from office. The protesters, led by the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Dauda Maina, shut the entrance to government house for several hours.

They were demanding for the sacking of the Chairman of the Adamawa State Primary Healthcare Agency, Dr Abdullahi Belel. They also demanded for the sacking of the Executive Secretary Adamawa State Post Primary School Board, Mallam Abdullahi Jingi and the General Manager of Adamawa State Transport Company, Mr Ahmed Nyako.

Maina said that the call for the sack of the affected persons was based on their anti workers stance. He said that the affected person where responsible for causing friction between workers and the government. He alleged that the on-going health workers strike in the state was caused by the executive chairman of the state primary healthcare agency, Dr Abdullahi Belel.

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Nigeria’s Demand For Electricity To Hit 88,282MW By 2020

Nigeria requires about 88,282 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity to meet the demand of its fast growing economy by 2020, Managing Director of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Oladele Amoda, has said.
Amoda,who  disclosed this  at a forum in Lagos, urged the nation to adopt alternative  energy sources to meet its energy requirement in the long run.

He said: “ With an estimated yearly economic growth rate of between 7 and 13 percent, as well as an urbanization rate of 3.8 percent, Nigeria’s electricity demand is projected to grow from 15,730 MW in 2016 to 41,133MW by 2018 and 88,282MW by 2020”
Amoda noted that Nigeria is endowed with fossil fuel  and other renewable energy sources, but the energy situation is not efficiently managed to ensure energy sustainability and development.
He said: “the commitment of the government towards utilizing alternative energy sources can be appreciated as we see more projects being implemented  using solar and other renewable options like bio-mass and wind”
He emphasized the need  for  the country adopt energy demand side management which has the capacity to drive energy efficiency and conservation,adding that huge benefit attached to demand side management remains untapped by Nigeria due to mainly lack of awareness.

Credit: DailyTrust

Kidnappers Of Lagos RCCG Pastor Demand N100m Ransom

The kidnappers of Kayode Bajomo, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Santos bus stop, Isawo in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State have demanded a ransom of N100m.

It learnt that the case had been transferred from the Owutu Police Division to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikorodu, of the Lagos State Police Command.

It was reported on Monday that the kidnappers, who disguised as new church members, had around 7am on Sunday come into the church.

It was reported that the gunmen, after sighting the pastor, brought out weapons and ordered him to come with them, after which they disappeared into the creek.

There was confusion thereafter at the parish, which made the Sunday service to end abruptly.

One of the witnesses had said the gunmen, believed to be Ijaw militants, came into the church with bibles, and met the pastor and four other members.

Reports from the area on Monday,  provides that one of the family friends, who did not want her name in print, said the gunmen had demanded a ransom of N100m.

 “Those men have called. They are asking for N100m. That is a big worry. The pastor was cleaning the chairs on Sunday with a few members when the men came in. But God is in control,” she said.

Reporters observed the pastor’s wife and the wife of the area pastor, who were visibly distraught by the incident, gave their statements to the policemen at SARS.

A police source said that operatives had visited the church.

He said, “Police detectives were at the church till around 4pm. Soldiers are usually stationed in the vicinity. So, it was surprising that the pastor was abducted. The church is near a stream. There are about 30 members in the parish.”

Credit: Punch

Gunmen Kidnap Three Kaduna Pastors, Demand N100m

Members of the Taraya Ekklesiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria (Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria, TEKAN), have been thrown into confusion following the kidnapping of their President, Dr. Emmanuel Dziggau.

Dziggau was said to have been kidnapped on Monday along with his deputy, Rev. Illiya Anto, and a retired reverend in the church, Yakubu Dzarma.

Anto was later released on health grounds.

TEKAN General Secretary, Rev. Moses Ebuga, told newsmen in Jos on Tuesday that the three men were kidnapped in Kaduna.

Dziggau is also the president of Haddiyar Ekklesiya Kristi A Nigeria (United Church of Christ in Nigeria) and the TEKAN/ECWA bloc leader in the Christian Association of Nigeria.

The three men were said to have been kidnapped at the church crusade ground along the Kaduna-Abuja highway on Monday morning.

It was learnt that the masked gunmen stormed the crusade ground and picked the three men while other church members fled.

The General Secretary of the church and one of the eyewitnesses, Rev Jibrailu Wobiya, who confirmed the abduction to one of our correspondents, said Dziggau and some members were at the area to clear the crusade ground for a forthcoming church programme.

Ebuga called on the Federal Government and security operatives to do everything possible to ensure the safety of the clergymen.

He said the kidnappers had contacted him and demanded a ransom of N100m.

Ebuga described the abduction of the clerics as shocking, calling for their immediate release.

He said the three men might have been kidnapped because of the oncoming CAN national election.

He added, “We are not ignorant of the recent scheming against the Nigerian church with regard to the upcoming CAN national election, where the leaders have become the subject of attacks, particularly the leadership of TEKAN/ECWA bloc in CAN.

“As a body, we are calling on the government to do everything possible to ensure the safety of the leaders,  unearth their whereabouts and to have the perpetrators fished out.

Ebuga called on the TEKAN churches and the Nigerian church to rise up in prayer against the ugly development, asking them to pray that God would expose the sponsors and perpetrators of the kidnapping.

The Kaduna State Police Command had yet to confirm the kidnapping of the pastors on Tuesday.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Abubakar Zubairu, did not return repeated telephone calls to his mobile.

The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State, Rev. George Dodo, described the pastors’ abduction as “unpleasant and shocking.”

The CAN’s chairman, while confirming the incident, said he just heard of the “unpleasant” development on Tuesday, calling on security agencies to do all they could to unmask the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

Dodo stated, “I heard about it this afternoon; it is an unpleasant news, a shocking news to everybody. Government should put in motion all its security apparatus to ensure the liberation of those abducted.”

The spokesman for the Northern States CAN, Rev. Josesph Hayab,  condemned the abduction of the clerics.

He called on the kidnappers to release the three men unconditionally or be prepared to incur the wrath of God.

Credit: Punch

Stranded Nigerian Students Abroad Write Minister, Demand Payment Of Allowances

Over 300 Nigerians on Federal Government Bilateral Agreement Education Scholarship Scheme abroad have petitioned the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, demanding the full payment of their 2015 stipends, including their allowances and return tickets for graduating students.

The students, under the aegis of “Ph.D and Senior Postgraduate Students on BEA Scholarship,” said they did not receive their entitlements between January and December 2015 thereby causing them hardship.

The scheme is a bilateral agreement between the Nigerian government, through the ministry of education and the federal scholarship board, and other countries to train students in various fields while the home government takes care of their upkeep during their stay in the host countries.

It is the largest federal government scholarship scheme with students in Russia, China, Ukraine, Cuba, Hungary, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.

In the letter dated January 3, 2016 and signed by their president, O.G Ezinkwo, the students, numbering 375, told the minister that they and 600 other beneficiaries around the world had been abandoned for 11 months with no source of livelihood due to the inability of the government to promptly release their stipends.

They said the development had exposing them to very dangerous and pernicious situation in foreign lands.

They claimed that every year Nigerian scholarship students always had to be evicted from their accommodation due to inability to pay, visas and passports get expired with no funds to renew them.

They also stated that in the process some of the students became sick and could not be treated due to the lack of the mandatory health insurance and were always being threatened with expulsion on an annual basis.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Abductors Of Bayelsa Commissioner Demand N40 Million

Abductors of the Bayelsa Commissioner for Local Government, Serefina Otazi, have demanded a ransom of N40 million,? the? family said.

Ms. Otazi, was abducted at gun point on December 20 in Otuoke on her way to Ewoi Community in Ogbia Local Government Area for funeral.

A member of the family, Endurance Frank, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the kidnappers had contacted the family and demanded N40 million to free the victim.

Mr. Frank said the family was relieved to hear from Ms. Otazi and appealed to the kidnappers to free her unconditionally.

Ms. ?Otazi ?had served as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Acting Chairman of Ogbia LGA.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Pensioners Demand Payment Of 42 Months Arrears

As part of the annual celebration of the Pensioners’ Day, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has demanded the payment of its members’ 42 months pension arrears without further delay.

In a communique released after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, the NUP also called on the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to quickly address the problems being encountered by pensioners in the ongoing biometric/verification exercise.

The pensioners appealed to the Office of the Accountant General, Budget Office of the Federation and PTAD to work together towards ensuring that their pensions are paid as at when due.

“We demand that the arrears of 42 months of 33 per cent pension increase should be paid without further delay. We also demand the balance of 20.4 per cent that is overdue,” the communique, signed by the national president of NUP, Dr. Abel Afolayan, and the general secretary, Elder Actor Zal, said.

Credit: Leadership

Anti-Saraki Senators Demand Cancellation Of Senate Committees

Two principal members of the Senate Unity Forum, senators Suleiman Hunkunyi and Kabiru Marafa, on Tuesday demanded the immediate cancellation of the additional eight committees created last week by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on the grounds of illegality.

They also sought the review of the entire process which led to the appointment of chairmen and vice chairmen of the whole committees, claiming that the Selection Committee, headed by Saraki, was not properly constituted.

The SUF is made up of All Progressives Congress senators who worked against the emergence of Saraki as the President of the upper chamber.

Hunkunyi, the Secretary of the group, and Marafa, the spokesperson, made the demand while raising different points of order on the floor of the Senate to protest the announcement of the committees by Saraki last Wednesday.

They argued that the Senate leadership erred by not seeking the approval of the entire senators before making the new committees public despite the fact that necessary sections of the nation’s constitution and the Senate Rules made adequate provisions for that.

Credit: Punch

Nigerian Workers Demand Amaechi, Fashola, Others Declare Their Assets Publicly

Nigerian workers on Thursday urged the National Assembly to ensure that all ministerial nominees declare their asset publicly before confirmation.

Among the 21 persons nominated as ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari are former Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola, ex-Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and spokesperson of the ruling APC, Lai Mohammed.

The workers, members of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, stated this in a joint statement by the union’s president, Boboi , and General Secretary, Musa Lawal.

The TUC said that the declaration would be in the public interest.

The labour union said the public declaration of asset was necessary following “worrisome” allegations of fraud against some ex-ministers and officials.

“There is need to verify the financial and material status of each nominee before they are allowed to assume such high offices,” the workers said.

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Death Penalty For Looters, Writers Demand

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has said that it would propose a bill on death penalty for anyone convicted of stealing from the public treasury.

National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the group would be sending a draft of the proposed legislation to the National Assembly when it reconvenes on September 29; adding that the proposed bill would specifically target those who steal public funds meant for essential services, especially in the health, education, roads, water, electricity and defence.

Applauding President Muhammadu Buhari’s ongoing anti-graft campaign, he however, faulted the handpicking of judges for cases involving corrupt persons.

Warning against the breach of the constitution and the principle of separation of powers, he noted that such measures are tantamount to the president operating like a monarch keen to usurp the duties of the judiciary.

“We can’t allow the nation go through jungle justice anymore,” he said. “We do not see any merit in the president setting up a panel to screen judges in a bid to get the incorruptible ones. As the head of the executive arm, he doesn’t have the power to screen judges. This is a democracy. He cannot confer on himself the powers unknown in our constitution.”


Fresh Fuel Scarcity Looms As Marketers Demand N291bn Subsidy Payment

All have not yet settled in the over three weeks acute shortage of petrol in the country.

This time the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) is claiming that government is yet to indicate when it will pay the outstanding subsidy of about N291billion

The DAPPMA in a statement by its executive secretary, Femi Adewole, in Lagos yesterday, recalled the aftermath of the Senate Committees’ meeting with major petroleum industry stakeholders which successfully persuaded the petroleum tanker drivers (PTD), NUPENG and NARTO to call off their strike on May 25, 2015, and resume loading of fuel from the various depots that had stock.

Depot owners and other fuel importers under the ‘petroleum subsidy scheme,’ he said, were still being owed billions of naira in unpaid subsidy reimbursement, interest on delayed payment and foreign exchange differentials. This much, Adewole said, was expressed to the DAPPMA and MOMAN by the former minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy, Mrs Okonjo Iweala, in her letter to both associations, a copy of which she also released to the Senate Committees for reference.He stated, however, that the letter did not state the timeline for the re-verification exercise which the minister instituted on the amount she disputed and also did not state the expected date of payment which the petroleum subsidy fund (PSF) participants had been clamouring for in all the meetings held with her since February 2015.

According to him, “It should be noted that this is the first time since the establishment of the petroleum subsidy fund scheme that marketers will not have ready and easy access to fuel import loans and it is also the first time that commercial banks will notify importers that based on CBN regulations, importers have attained their credit ceilings with their various banks and would have to make some refunds on the existing loans to the sector prior to being funded for petrol imports. Unfortunately the expected refund to the banks is yet to be reimbursed by the federal government.Due to debts owed transporters by marketers, who have been experiencing serious financial stress due to outstanding debts owed them by the federal government as a result of petrol imports under the petroleum subsidy scheme, the PTD, NUPENG and NARTO had at various times protested non-payment of their freight charges by withdrawing their services,” he said.

He regretted that the action of the transporters had caused some persons to insinuate that marketers are blackmailers holding the nation to ransom via a strike about which they know nothing.

“The DAPPMA’s initial assertion on petrol importers and marketers who participate in the petrol subsidy scheme and are therefore entitled to subsidy reimbursement is based on the widely circulated payment list from the Federal Ministry of Finance which was published in several newspapers. The publication detailed payees and other PSF scheme participants even when there was no payment due to them and the name of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited was conspicuously missing,” Adewole declared.


Kidnappers Demand AK-47, Machine Guns As Ransom

The Rivers State Police Command has said that two suspected kidnappers have confessed that they demanded one AK-47 and 12 general purpose machine guns as ransom for the release of their victim, Mrs. Chinyere Olumma. Olumma was rescued on Friday, May 22.

The suspects, according to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ahmad Mohammad, had given the family of the victim an option of paying N50m as ransom or providing one AK-47 and 12 general purpose machine guns before their victim would be released.

Mohammad, who spoke with newsmen on Tuesday, disclosed that the hoodlums had initially collected the sum of N1m from Olumma’s family for the upkeep of their victim.

Luck, however, ran out of the two suspects as they were rounded up by the police in Abua as they shared the N1m meant for the victim’s upkeep. They were caught in one of the suspects’ room.

“It was sometime around 1am in the morning, they kidnapped one woman by the name Mrs. Chinyere Oluma from Erema in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area. They kidnapped her and then made contact with the family of the victim.

“They demanded N50m with an option of providing one AK-47 rifle and 12 RPMG, that is General Purpose Machine Gun. The kidnappers called the family of the victim to give them N1m for the upkeep of the victim and themselves. The N1m you see with them is the money they demanded for the upkeep of the victim and themselves. So, this money you are seeing is the N1m that was given to them. They (kidnappers) did not know we were tracking them after they received the N1m.

“So, we tracked and caught them at Abua. When our men got there, they were four and they were with the money before they were arrested. You can see the charms we recovered from them. On their way coming from their hideout, their colleague from behind opened fire on our men. Our men injured one of the hoodlums, who later died in a hospital and then, one of them escaped. The two we have here could not escape and out of the pressure mounted on them, they took our men to where they kept the woman (their victim) inside the bush near Egbeda,” Mohammad said.

Apart from the cash sum of N1m recovered from them, a rope used in tying their victim to a tree was also recovered from the suspected kidnappers.

However, one of the suspects, identified as Solomon Obigwe, said he never knew that his friend (Christian Enwe) was a kidnapper and that he was unfortunate to be with him (Enwe) and his friends when police struck. Obigwe, who was silent on the confession he made to the police, pleaded for forgiveness and promised to turn a new leaf.

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