Death Toll In Collapsed Church Building In Uyo Rises To 29

The number of people who died in Saturday’s collapsed Reigners Bible Church building in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital, has risen to 29.

The state Police Commissioner, CP Murtala Mani, confirmed this on Monday in Uyo while speaking with correspondents. But Reuters is disputing the figures, anchoring doubts on witness accounts.

According to the news agency, no fewer than 100 people were killed by collapsed church, belonging to Reigners Bible Church International, according to a resident and photojournalist who visited a morgue. It was earlier reported that 27 died as at Sunday, while 37 persons, who suffered from various degrees of injury were receiving treatment in designated hospitals.

The latest figure now shows that 35 persons injured are currently receiving treatment. The police commissioner said,“ the remaining 35 persons are responding to treatment.”

He however declined to confirm whether any member of the Akwa Ibom Executive Council (EXCO) was involved. “I don’t know of any EXCO member involved,” Mani said.

He said that he was not aware of the arrest of the contractor and the engineers that handled the church building project.

Read More:

Cement Price Rises By 44 Per Cent, Hits N2,300 Per Bag

Dreams of lower construction costs by prospective homeowners might have become a nightmare, going by fresh increase in the price of cement products by manufacturers.

The development has already triggered a ripple effect in the open market, with prices going up by about 44 per cent in few days.

Investigations revealed that operators under the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN) have raised prices of brands by N600 per bag in factories, including additional N100 cost for haulage. This has increased retail prices from N1,600 to N2,300 depending on location. In some areas, prices have shot up to N21,350 or higher.Members of the CMAN include Dangote Cement Plc, which is emerging as a market leader and has factories in Gboko, Benue State; Obajana, Kogi State; and Ibeshe, Ogun State.

Other are: Lafarge Cement WAPCO Plc; Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc; Ashakacem Plc and Cross-River based United Cement Company.

Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Building, Kunle Awobodu, said: “This is going to create crisis in the construction sector and bad blood between clients and contractors, as developers will make claims for fluctuations.

“Invariably, it will lead to upward reviews of contract sums. New and on-going projects will be delayed until there is agreement on the contract variations. It can also expedite construction activities because of the anticipation of further increase.”

According to an official in one of the cement manufacturing companies, the hike is not unconnected to difficult operating environment.

Read More:

Death Toll Of Military Personnel Killed In Niger By Bandits Rises

The death toll of military personnel killed by suspected gunrunners and bandits in Kopa, Dagma and Gagaw villages of Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State, has risen to 12 following the recovery of the dead body of a soldier earlier declared missing.

This came as the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade vowed that the military would not rest until all those involved in the killings were arrested and brought to justice. It will be recalled that one officer, eight soldiers and two Airmen were killed by gun runners and bandits after they were ambushed when troops of 31 Artillery Brigade, under 1 Division Nigerian Army, in conjunction with Nigeria Air Force detachment on Internal Security Operation, MESA went on quick cordon and search in the affected areas to recover suspected arms and ammunition .

In a statement, General Officer Commanding, GOC, 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade who noted that the situation had been brought under control, insisted on the need to contain the nefarious activities of the gun runners and the armed bandits in the area as “it has direct bearing with the influx of weapons and general insecurity in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory and the North West geo-political zone of the country.

“The same gun runners have been confirmed to be the suppliers of arms to armed robbery gangs that were involved in series of armed robbery attacks along Minna-Bida road and the general environment. The military will continue to deal with any violent threat to our national security. All law abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their lawful duties as the cordon and search operation continues in the general area and if necessary expand to other identified areas to keep our people safe.”

Justifying the invasion of the villages, the GOC said: “If the weapons recovered in the communities had found its way outside the state, a lot of lives would have been lost. Those who are busy criticising and condemning us unjustly don’t even realise how we have saved millions of lives.”


Naira Falls To N390/$1 On Parallel Market, Rises On Interbank

The naira crashed to N390 to the dollar on the parallel market Wednesday, lower than the N382 to a dollar from the previous day.

A currency analyst, who preferred to remain anonymous, blamed the continuing slide of the nation’s currency on the parallel market to demand pressure.

According to him, demand for FX for most of the 41 items that had been excluded from the interbank market was still being met with dollars bought from the parallel market.

The source also attributed the development to the fact that banks that act as agents of international money transfer operators were yet to comply with a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive instructing them to sell foreign currency remittances to licensed bureau de change (BDC) operators.

On the interbank market, on the other hand, the naira strengthened to N311.03 to the dollar yesterday, higher than the N316.83 to a dollar from the previous day.

Credit: Thisday

A New Jihadist Threat Rises In Syria As ISIS Recedes

As the U.S.-led coalition has begun to gain ground against the Islamic State in Syria, officials have begun focusing attention on another jihadist group they fear may pose a more dangerous long-run threat there, the al-Qaeda affiliate known as Jabhat al-Nusra.

Jabhat al-Nusra has played a clever waiting game over the past four years, embedding itself with more moderate opposition factions and championing Sunni resistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The group has mostly avoided foreign terrorist operations and has largely escaped targeting by U.S. forces. Meanwhile, it has developed close links with rebel organizations such as Ahrar al-Sham that are backed by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Credit: WashingtonPost

Crude Oil Production Rises To 1.9M Barrels Per Day

Nigeria’s crude oil production has risen to 1.9million barrels per day, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu disclosed yesterday.

Speaking when he formerly handed over to the newly appointed Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr. Maikanti Baru, the minister said the upstream sector of the oil industry was being repositioned to attain about 3million barrels per day.

Lately, Nigeria’s crude production had dropped to about 1.1 million barrels following attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region by the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers.

Expressing satisfaction in the performance of NNPC under his leadership, the minister said the Corporation has been positioned as a profit focus organisation, compared to what it was before he came on board.

While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve as both the Minister of State Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of NNPC, Kachikwu noted that public perception of NNPC was gradually changing for the better.

Credit: Leadership

Oil Price Drops As Nigeria’s Output Rises

Oil prices dropped more than three per cent yesterday due to return of Nigerian and Canadian crude output from outages and as traders booked profits at the end of the best quarter in seven years.

According to Reuters, the market soared more than 25 per cent in the second quarter, as part of an 85 per cent rebound since hitting 12-year lows early this year, as unplanned production cuts from Canada to Nigeria eased the glut that prompted the worst price rout in a generation.

However, production in Nigeria has risen to about 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.6 million, due to repairs and a lack of new major attacks on pipelines in the Delta region, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said.

Resurgent Nigerian supply will put pressure on prices, Goldman Sachs said, adding that outages caused by Canadian wildfires would virtually end by September.

 OPEC’s oil output rose in June to its highest in recent history, a Reuters’ survey showed, as Nigeria’s output partially recovers from militant attacks and Iran and Gulf members boost supplies.

Brent futures for August delivery, which expired yesterday, settled down 93 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $49.68 a barrel. The more active Brent contract for September delivery settled at $49.71, down 3.1 percent.

Credit: Nation

Nigeria’s Oil Output Rises To 1.6mbpd, Barkindo Appointed OPEC Secretary-General

Nigeria’s crude oil production has climbed to 1.6 million barrels per day (mbpd), following repairs on some of the oil and gas installations damaged by militant groups in the Niger Delta, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed yesterday.
According to reports from Reuters and Bloomberg, Kachikwu said in Vienna, Austria, where oil ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) unanimously appointed the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Mohammed Barkindo, as the cartel’s Secretary-General, that the country’s production had rebounded to this level after it fell to about 1.4mbpd in May due to a string of militant attacks and an accident on the ExxonMobil Qua Iboe export platform.
He also said despite continued attacks by militants in the restive Niger Delta, Nigeria was still on target to produce 2.3mbpd in 2016.
His disclosure also followed reports that OPEC, which appointed Barkindo, has again failed to agree on production cuts or freeze to shore up crude oil prices in the international market as disagreements between two Middle East rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, resurfaced.
Barkindo by his appointment becomes the second Nigerian, after former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Rilwanu Lukman, to serve as the oil cartel’s secretary-general.
Kachikwu, in a tweet from his tweeter handle, confirmed Barkindo’s appointment. He also congratulated him on the feat.
“Congratulations to Dr. Barkindo Sanusi Barkindo on your appointment as OPEC Secretary General,” Kachikwu tweeted.
Kachikwu was credited with playing a huge role in Barkindo’s emergence as the cartel’s secretary-general, as the minister was said to have worked hard behind the scenes at convincing OPEC’s influential members to allow a Nigerian to oversee the administration of OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna.
Similarly, Indonesia’s Energy Minister Sudirman Said disclosed in Vienna that Barkindo’s appointment was by consensus.
Barkindo will succeed outgoing Abdalla El-Badri who had been on the job for nine years. Barkindo was also the acting head of OPEC in 2006.
Credit: Thisday

Inflation Rises To 12.8 Per Cent

The currency curbs introduced by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, coupled with fuel scarcity, have contributed to the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, to 12.8 per cent in March, compared to 11.4 per cent in February and 9.6 per cent in January, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated on Tuesday.

It blamed the 1.4 per cent rise in the headline index on an increase in the prices of goods and services across the country, the highest year-on-year rise since July 2012.

The NBS stated that the planting season, transportation costs, as well as foreign exchange movements created significant upward pressure on the food index in March.

It further stated that the knock on effect of foreign exchange movements, which have in turn affected the prices of imported food and non-food items, the importation of petrol as well as the adjustment in the electricity tariffs nationwide resulted in a surge of rates.

According to the CPI figures for March released by the statistical agency yesterday, the food index increased by 1.4 per cent to 12.7 per cent compared to what was recorded in February.

It added that all major food groups that contribute to the food sub-index increased at a faster pace while imported items as well as other domestic shocks continued to have ripple effects across many divisions that contribute to the core index which increased by 1.1 per cent to 12.2 per cent in March.

Credit: Thisday

Savings From Fuel Subsidy Removal Rises To N647m Daily

Nigeria, as at yesterday, is currently saving N647.2 million daily from the suspension of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol. Particularly, at the current price of N86.50 per litre in petrol stations across the country, the country is making an extra N16.18 per litre.

The Federal Government had stated that this extra savings is kept in an escrow account to serve as a cushion in case of eventuality, such as if the price of crude oil rebounds, leading to an increase in the selling price of PMS. The saving is partly due to the continuous decline in the price of crude oil in the international market, which dragged the open market price of petrol to N70.32 per litre. The amount the country is saving is based on a 40 million litres average daily consumption of PMS by Nigerians as declared by the Federal Government. Since the announcement and commencement of the price modulation regime by the Federal Government, the open market of PMS had fluctuated between N4 and N12 per litre before rising to its current level. Data obtained, yesterday, from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, in its pricing template for PMS for February 9, 2016, revealed that at a retail price of N86.50 per litre as approved by the Federal Government, the country is saving N16.18 per litre of the product. The PPPRA put the landing cost of the product at N56.02 per litre, composed of Cost plus Freight — N51.19 per litre; Lightering Expenses — N2.02; NPA Financing — N0.15, Jetty Throughput Charge — N0.60 and Storage Charge — N2.00 per litre.

Credit: Vanguard

Oil Price Rises To $33pb As Russia Okays OPEC’s Position

Hope was rekindled yesterday after crude oil price rose 40 cents to $33.12 per barrel, paring earlier losses after fresh comments from Russia about its openness to talk with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) over output cuts.

Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said if there is consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC members to meet, “then we will meet”.

This helped push the price of oil, which had been set for a third day of decline after data on Tuesday showed another big build in U.S. inventories, off the day’s lows.

Brent for April delivery rose 40 cents to $33.12 a barrel, pulling away from a session low of $32.30.

US crude futures rose 46 cents to $30.34, off a session low of $29.40.

“Is there going to be a meeting between Russia and OPEC? That is a supportive factor in this rally that we’ve seen in the last one hour,” PVM Oil Associates analyst, Tamas Varga, said.

Oil is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy and the country is reeling from huge revenue loss following the crash of crude oil price.

Credit: Leadership

Death Toll In Maiduguri Mosque Bombing Rises To 28

At least 28 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a mosque in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on Friday, raising fresh security concerns after a wave of similar attacks.

The attack happened shortly after 5:00 am (0400 GMT) in the Jidari area of the Borno state capital, which has previously been targeted by Boko Haram militants.

Maiduguri has now been hit six times this month, killing a total of 76 people, according to an AFP tally, underscoring an increased risk to civilians after similar strikes in neighbouring states and near the capital, Abuja.

Umar Sani, a civilian vigilante assisting the military in the counter-insurgency, and local resident Musa Sheriff both told AFP there were two blasts at the mosque.

“People from various mosques nearby rushed to the scene to assist the victims,” said Sani.

“I was involved in the evacuation. We counted 28 dead bodies apart from the two bombers, who were identifiable by the mutilation of their bodies.

“Over 20 other people were injured.”

Credit: Vanguard

Hajj Stampede: Nigeria’s Death Toll Rises To 145

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, on Sunday, confirmed that 145 Nigerians were killed in the September 24 stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

Although Saudi authorities confirmed more than 769 pilgrims from across the world dead, the death toll is believed to be over 1,000 with Iran having the higher death casualty of over 400 people. About 1,000 people were also injured during the stampede on one of the roads leading to the Jamarat complex (stone throwing site) in Mina.

Briefing journalists in Mecca in an update, NAHCON’s commissioner in charge of Planning, Research, Information and Library Services, Saleh Okenwa, said that seven of the 42 injured pilgrims were still on admission at various hospitals in Saudi Arabia.

He, however, said that the number of pilgrims earlier declared missing had reduced from 214 to 165 following the discovery of additional bodies of some Nigerians killed in the stampede.

Read More: dailytimes

Cameroon’s Military Deployed As Boko Haram Threat Rises

The central African nation of Cameroon is taking steps to guard against attacks from Boko Haram militants. The government has deployed troops to all major towns to search people, goods, businesses and even private homes. Now, Cameroonians of all ages are learning todeal with the increased security.

A soldier gives search orders at the main train station in Cameroon’s capitalYaounde. It is the first time railroad passengers have been asked to line upand pass through a metal detector. If no metal object is found, they are free tocontinue moving and get on their train.

Susan Ngam is a member of the armed forces. She says the governmentdeployed her and other soldiers to towns across the country after four BokoHaram suicide bombings last month.

Here we search everybody. We search the customers, we search the employers.”

Businessman Emmanuel Ngufor is travelling to northern Cameroon. He admits the increased security has led to delays. But he welcomes the effort.

“It is for our security. We can never tell judging from the looks of people. So it may be inconveniencing but in as much as we know that it is for our good, it is worth it.”

Read More: voanews

Foreign Reserves Rises To $31.89bn

As a result of tight fiscal policy anchored on blocking of leakages, Nigeria’s foreign reserves has risen from $29.1 billion left by the immediate past government to $31.89 billion presently.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele made this disclosure yesterday while briefing the Senate leadership on the state of the nation’s economy and actions being taken by CBN to boost it.

Emefiele, at the briefing explained that though the crash in the price of crude oil in the international market since last year still has serious rippling effect on Nigeria’s economy, being a mono-product one over the years, signs of recovery are already emerging, one of which is the rise in the nation’s foreign reserves from $29.1billion to $31.89billion within a space of five weeks.

He said: “Reflecting the sharp fall in oil prices and speculative foreign exchange activities, the external reserve declined from $37.3 billion in June 2014 to $29.1 billion at the end of June of 2015.

“But today, I am delighted to note that with the strong efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari, to block all leakages as well as the vigilant demand management strategy of the CBN, we have seen our foreign exchange reserve begin a gradual recovery.

“As at the 7th of July, 2015, the reserve stood at $31.89 billion, a trend we find extremely gratifying”.

Read More: leadership