No Going Back On Niger Delta Republic, NDA Stresses October 1 Deadline

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), yesterday, said the October 1 dealine for the  declaration of the region as an independent state remains sacrosanct.
Reaffirming its commitment to the date in a press statement signed by its spokesman, Brig. Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, yesterday, the group expressed lack of confidence in the ability of President Muhammadu
Buhari to address some of the critical issues facing the nation, especially the restructuring of the country.
The NDA statement read: “The Buhari-led government has fail Nigerians with their misdirected policies that has divide the country, as such nobody wants to be part of that failed state not even the Niger Delta.”
“The October 1st, declaration of independence is still sacrosanct.  If the Nigeria government fails to retrace its step by restructuring this country”, the group said.
It further urged the federal government to intensify its search for oil in commercial quantity in the northern region as that would be the only basis the north would agree to restructuring that would guaranty the freedom of the Niger-Delta region.
The statement read: “Our prayer for Buhari and the Northern hypocrites (Northern Governors) is for oil to be found in commercial quantity in the North, so they can let the Niger Delta go.”
Meanwhile, the group also warned individuals or groups parading themselves as their appointed agents “to defraud innocent members of the public, especially multi-national oil companies within the region”
to desist or be prepared to face the consequences.
The group said it has received reports on how some persons and groups have approached private individuals and corporate bodies for financial and material support on its behalf.
While dissociating itself from such dubious act, the group noted that it had started compiling such fraudulent cases and would come out with a clear cut decision to how to deal with those involved in such acts,
stressing that; “we want to inform the general public that the day of reckoning for those using NDA to defraud the people is close.”
Another group, Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA) had threatened to declare Niger Delta Republic at Kaiama, Kolokuma/ Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State on August 1, but shelved the plan after the Federal Government deployed troops to the community.
The group claimed that former President Goodluck Jonathan, foremost Ijaw leader, Chief  Edwin Clark, King Diete-Spiff and other prominent Niger Deltans prevailed on them to drop the idea.

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Solid Minerals Operators Rush To Beat License Deadline

The Federal Government has raised more than N500m as licensees and leaseholders in the solid minerals sector struggle to beat Thursday’s deadline for them to activate their operations or lose their licenses.
Investigation by our correspondent on Wednesday showed that the Mining Cadastral Office handling the regularization of the licenses was besieged by the beneficiaries of leases and licenses due to the revocation threat.
As a result, it was learnt that more than N500m had been paid into the government coffers as the beneficiaries had been going to the banks to pay necessary fees that had accrued from holding dormant approvals granted by the Federal Government.

Nigeria To Sign UN Gas Flaring 2030 Deadline Agreement

With the support of the National Assembly, Nigeria intends to sign the United Nations Agreement on Zero Routing Gas Flaring by 2030, according to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

He was speaking on Monday at the opening of the 6th African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Vice President, who declared the conference opened, said that ending gas flaring was an imperative for African oil producers considering the amount of waste involved, adding that the Nigerian government had set an earlier national target of 2020 to end gas flaring in the country.

While calling on African countries to take advantage of the gas-to-power potentials, he observed that “there is also the gas-to-power challenge in many member-states and the paradox of much gas but precious little gas to fire power plants.”

“It’s time to take a much further stand on gas flaring, both from environmental and a waste-of-needed-resources perspectives,” the Vice President stated to the gathering composed of oil and energy ministers from several African countries and chieftains in the oil and gas sector.

The Vice President explained that the incremental use of gas in Africa’s energy mix has become an imperative, stressing that “if Africa must meet her future energy needs, the issue of the development of a robust gas infrastructure must be jointly addressed.”

According to him, of the over 150 billion cubic metres of associated gas flared annually in the world, “Africa flares an estimated 40 billion cubic metres, while about half of that is flared by Nigeria.” He further observed that Nigeria has the 7th largest deposit of gas in the world with reserves estimated at over 185 trillion cubic feet (TCF), and also the highest quality.

Credit: ChannelsTv

BoT Gives Jonathan March Deadline To Reject Sheriff

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders are still quarelling over the choice of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as Acting National Chairman.

Some former ministers and members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) have raised a committee to meet with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who is to be told —reject Sheriff or face a mass exodus. The deadline is March.

Sheriff barged into a BoT session yesterday but members only promised to get back to him on his plea for acceptance.

The BoT resolved not to endorse Sheriff. It may advertise the job, a source hinted.

But the  anti-Sheriff forces in the party and some members of the National Working Committee(NWC) are pushing for the tenure of the acting chairman to end in March.

Credit: Nation

Customs Officials Jittery Over Assets Declaration Deadline

Following last weekend’s directive by the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Hammed Alli that all senior officers should declare their assets within the next 14 days indications have emerged that palpable fear has gripped the affected senior officers.

The circular signed by the Comptroller-General and addressed to all Deputy Comptrollers-General (DCGs), Customs Area Controllers (CACs), Zonal Coordinators directing the officers to declare their asset was aimed at ensuring transparency and compliance with the rule of law.

 An officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that, the asset declaration exercise might be aimed at getting at officers who are perceived to have amassed wealth illegally but equally expressed apprehension that the exercise might be a futile one as smart officers won’t declare more than what their salaries could afford.

According to the CG, the assets’ declaration directive was in compliance with “the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act Cap B1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”, ?the circular said although the Act provides for asset declaration by all bank employees, it also empowers the president to extend its application to other categories of persons.

Credit: DailyTimes

NCC May Enforce N780bn Fine On MTN As Deadline Expires Today

As the December 31 deadline expires today, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may enforce payment of the N780billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria, a source close to the commission has said.

NCC is prepared to enforce payment of its $3.9 billion fine against South African telecoms giant MTN, a spokesman for the NCC told an online agency yesterday.

The deadline over the payment of the fine imposed on the MTN expires today.

But the MTN has filed suit in the Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking to quash the fine. MTN’s view is that the court case has delayed payment of the fine until there is a ruling.

But that is not the view of the NCC.

“If the MTN doesn’t pay the fine by tomorrow (today), the NCC will enforce the fine in line with relevant provisions of the NCC Act. The fact that they have gone to court doesn’t affect the fact that they have a fine hanging on their neck. These are two separate issues,” the source said.

Credit: Leadership

Buhari May Extend December Deadline On Boko Haram

President Muhammadu Buhari said his government is open to modifying the December deadline on ending Boko Haram in the country.
Represented by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Gabriel Olonisakin, Buhari made the remark at the annual chief of army staff (COAS) conference yesterday in Dutse, Jigawa state.
He said new operational exigencies may require a modification of the December deadline of ending insurgency.
Olonisakin said “Let me emphasize that the time frame given is only a guide line and if exigencies of multiple operations across the country advices a modification the federal government will not hesitate to do so in order to address the flash points that are rearing their heads in this country.”
He said the army must therefore develop new strategies to address current security challenges facing the country and ensure total elimination of insurgents.
“Despite the achievements of the military in combating terrorism in the Northeast, the challenges of terrorism in other parts of the country remains issue of serious national concern with the potential to impede our change drive,” he said.
Boko Haram has intensified its attacks after the president declared the December ultimatum to end the insurgency, executing bomb attacks on civilian targets as well as the military’s.
The military suffered serious attacks by Boko Haram recently with dozens personnel reportedly killed in their effort to rout the insurgents in Sambisa forest.
Credit: DailyTrust

MTN Gets Dec 31 Deadline To Pay N674bn Slashed Fine

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has reduced the N1.04 trillion fine it imposed on MTN Nigeria to N674 billion.

However, the commission has also mandated the telecom operator to pay the fine on or before December 31, 2015.

The fine imposed on the telecom operator was due to what NCC described as MTN’s inability to disconnect about 5.1 million Nigerian subscribers improperly registered on its network, after several warnings in August and September 2015.

In reaction, MTN has said it would carefully study the new development and would mandate its Executive Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, to immediately and urgently re-engage with the Nigerian authorities before responding formally.

The reduction, which represents a 25 per cent slash, provides MTN with a reprieve, after series of meetings which have seen several officials from South Africa thronging the country to negotiate the fine.

Credit: Vanguard

Boko Haram Conflict Deadline ‘Unrealistic’, CCC To Buhari

Senior military, security and intelligence figures in Nigeria on Thursday questioned President Muhammadu Buhari’s December deadline for an end to the Boko Haram conflict, calling it “unrealistic”.

The Centre for Crisis Communication, a research and advisory body independent of government, said the deadline was “not tenable” given the continued wave of bombings in the northeast.

The CCC executive secretary, retired Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, told reporters in Abuja there was a real concern about Boko Haram’s persistent targeting of civilian “soft targets”.

Anas said he was not against imposing targets on the military but added: “It must also be stated that this target date might be unrealistic.

“This submission is predicated on the fact that asymmetric warfare which Boko Haram is prosecuting against Nigeria is not such that can be easily stamped out by the armed forces.”

Credit: AFP

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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Boko Haram Likely To Fall Before 3 Months Deadline- Presidency

Mallam Garba Shehu, has expressed confidence that the wave of Boko Haram attacks could end before the three months given by President Muhammadu Buhari to end the insurgency.

He also said that hope was not yet lost on the efforts by Nigeria’s security forces to secure the freedom of the Chibok school girls taken hostage by Boko Haram more than a year ago.

Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja yesterday, Shehu said the terrorists were now in disarray, having lost their central command and had been broken into splinters due to the efforts of the Nigerian troops under the new leadership.

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CDS Summons Commanders On Boko Haram Deadline

Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin, yesterday summoned all Field Commanders as well as Principal Staff Officers, PSOs and senior officers at the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, to review efforts towards achieving the presidential directive to end Boko Haram in three months.

A statement through the Director of Defence Information, DDI, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, said that the CDS also unveiled his vision for the armed forces, while commending the field commanders and troops for sustaining the momentum in the fight to crush Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

The CDS, according to the DDI, said “all hands must be on deck to ensure that the presidential directive of ending terrorism very shortly is achieved.”

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Why CBN Extended BVN Registration Deadline

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN), yesterday extended the deadline for customers to enrol for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) by four months till October 31, 2015.

Director, Banking and Payments System Department, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, announced the extension in a circular to the public.

The circular stated:  “You would recall that as part of its effort in the implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) project, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued circulars stipulating milestones for the successful completion of the project. One of such milestones was that by June 30, all Deposit Money Banks (DMB) customers should have the BVN. Any bank customer without the BVN attached to the account would be deemed to have inadequate requirement with respect to the Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines.

“It has come to our notice that the BVN registration has elicited tremendous interest from the Nigerian banks’ customers who crowded the bank halls, in order to beat deadline. Furthermore, there is need to give Nigerian banks’ customers in diaspora, ample time to enrol on the programme. The guideline for their enrolment is being finalised and will be released soon.

“In view of the foregoing, it has become imperative for the bank to extend the timeline for all bank customers to have the BVN. The deadline for enrolment is hereby extended from June 30, 2015 to October 31, 2015. This extension is expected to facilitate a smooth completion of the registration exercise.”

Read More: vanguardngr

CBN Rules Out BVN Registration Extension As Deadline Approaches

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ruled out the possibility of an extension of the deadline for customers to register for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) which closes tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

The director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Ibrahim Mu’azu, who spoke to a reporter on the telephone, yesterday, said that the window was open for one and a half years and customers had ample opportunity to register.

According to him, as at the last check over 14 million bank customers have already registered.

Mu’azu assured that not having the BVN will not prevent bank customers from making transactions, such as payments and withdrawals, on their accounts. However, he said that customers using remote access services, such as internet banking and other services online, and even Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), would not be able to transact business.

Meanwhile, the apex bank also directed banks to provide online platforms for Nigerians in diaspora to register. Although the registration closes tomorrow, many customers are still unaware of the BVN or its benefits, especially Nigerians living outside the country but who have accounts with local banks.