Copy of 115 year old man leads protest against poor road ◉ Tenth month of no salary for ex-presidents ◉ Nigeria is structured for wealth sharing and guzzling ◉ Ekweremadu repeats call for restructuring ◉ Another African govt (Cameroon) gets social-media-phobia ◉ A Friday of suicide bombings: 3 attacks, 6 deaths ◉ “Come back Baba Jonathan” – Sokoto people ◉ CBN’s “by fire, by force” Naira measures will only worry investors further

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From the headlines and news of major local and international news sources, Breaking presents the Breaking Radio from Lagos; Nigeria’s mega city. I have got news from Thisday, Daily Post, Daily Independent, The Punch, Nigerian Guardian, Vanguard, Nigerian Pilot, Premium Times, Sun Newspaper, PM News, Leadership newspaper, The Herald, The Nation, Royal Times, Sahara Reporters, News Agency of Nigeria and more. You can head over to breaking.com.ng on your mobile phone for direct links to news on one page.

115 year old man leads protest against poor road
Tenth month of no salary for ex-presidents
Nigeria is structured for wealth sharing and guzzling
Ekweremadu repeats call for restructuring
Another African govt (Cameroon) gets social-media-phobia
A Friday of suicide bombings: 3 attacks, 6 deaths
“Come back Baba Jonathan” – Sokoto people
CBN’s “by fire, by force” Naira measures will only worry investors further

I bring you the headlines

The Nation: 115-year-old man leads protest in Anambra

I have no much time to live on earth,” declared 115-year-old Godwin Nwosu. “It could be days, it could be months and it could be years, but I will be the happiest man on earth if Governor Willie Obiano comes to the aid of the people before I join my ancestors.”

Pa Nwosu is one of the elders of Aguluezechukwu, one of three communities in Anambra State cut off from other parts of the state. The two other communities are Ogboji and part of Oko communities. The communities are in Aguata, Orumba North and Orumba South local government areas respectively.

Pa Nwosu took it upon himself to rally the communities in a protest in a bid to get the state government to fix the road, even if it was the only thing he did before his transition.

The road linking the three communities from Pal Junction in Oko-Aguluezechukwu-Ogboji has been abandoned for many years without any government attention.

As a result, erosion has cut off the neighbouring communities, leaving the residents in severe pain.

And also from The Nation: Police foils suicide attacks on Catholic Church in Maiduguri

Two suicide bombers were in the early morning of Friday averted from wreaking havoc on Saint Hilary Catholic Church, Maiduguri located at Jidari Polo area.
The church and the check point where the suicide bombers were apprehended is not far from the residence of the Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese.
A security source informed that the bombers were apparently heading for the church targeting early morning worshipers who normally come for morning mass.
One of the priests who does not want his name mentioned said the sound of the exploded bomb shook the their building and sent everyone in fear of a possible Boko Haram attack.
“We heard a loud bang which shook our entire building. I thought we were under a Boko Haram attack until I latter found out it was suicide bombers that exploded at the check point,” the priest informed.
Our Correspondent gathered Student of the school managed by the Catholic Church Stayed away From coming to school because of the blast.
The Borno state police spokesman Victor Isuku who confirmed the incident disclosed that the suicide bombers, two females and one male tried to penetrate a mobile police check point at Jidari Polo but were prevented before one of them blew of herself killing the second bomber while the other female was arrested.
He also added that normalcy has been restored in the area after police EOD successfully diffuse the live IEDs on the bodies of the dead suicide bombers.
Mr. Isuku said, “By 3:50am today, mobile police personnel on guard duty opposite the federal high court, sighted three suspected suicide bombers (2 females & a male) running towards their sandbag. They ordered them to a halt for questioning.
“In the process, one of them detonated the IED strapped to her body, killing herself and one other male accomplice. The other female survivor was arrested alive and subsequently handed over to the military for further exploitation and necessary follow up actions.
“Police bomb disposal units also mobilized to the scene to detonate unexploded IEDs on the bodies of the deceased suicide bombers.
“The second bang was as a result of the demolition of the remaining IEDs by police EOD units. Normalcy has already been restored,” Isuku explained.

Leadership Newspaper: Govt Floats Schemes to Rescue 58 Million Nigerians From Poverty

In its determination to make life better for the over 58 million Nigerians living in abject poverty, the federal government has expressed its determination to remedy the situation through people-oriented programmes.

Speaking at a Forum for Accountable Society (FAS) organised by Actionaid Nigeria and the Africa Human Development Centre (AHDC) in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, Mohammed Braimah, who works at the Social Investment Office of the Vice President, said the federal government was committed to tackling the issues in line with its pre-election promises to Nigerians.

According to him, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed to bridging the inequality gap by implementing key policies that would turn around the fortunes of Nigerians, especially the rural poor.

Under the scheme, the federal government has earmarked billions of Naira for the school feeding programmes, targeting no fewer than 5.5 million pupils in public primary schools from primary 1 to 3 in states including Osun, Kaduna, Enugu, Borno, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Zamfara, in the first phase of the programme.

He explained that the administration has budgeted 70 naira worth of meal per child for 200 days in a year and urged states to complement the effort by feeding pupils in Primary 4 to 6.

Also from Leadership: Govt to Probe Abuse, Excesses of Revenue Generating Agencies

The federal government is set to probe the abuse and excesses of revenue generating bodies, which have been ongoing for a decade.

This was one of the decisions reached at the end of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Briefing State House correspondents, Anambra State governor, Willy Obiano, who was accompanied by his Bauchi counterpart, Mohammed Abubakar and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said the vice president informed the council that the government is paying keen attention to the issue of abuses and excesses of certain revenue generating agencies (RGAs).

According to him, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun briefed the council on certain activities of some RGAs that amount to financial abuses of the revenue they generate which were supposed to have been remitted to the Federation Account, but diverted through several illegal means and ploys.

He listed the abuses as paying salaries above specifications of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

Vanguard: Bombshell – Govt Revenue Generating Agencies Loot 90 Percent Cash

Indications emerged yesterday that the Federal Government might soon go after heads of revenue generating agencies that had been engaged in financial abuses and failure to remit huge amount of revenues generated by their organizations to the federal purse.

Vanguard learnt Thursday night that the Federal Ministry of Finance, which has been studying the diversion of generated funds by the key agencies of the government, laid bare the matter before the National Economic Council, NEC, with convincing evidence that the nation had been short-changed by agencies engaged to generate revenue for it.

“In fact, this ungodly practice has been going on for over a decade, making the government to lose revenue in trillions of Naira and we have reached a point in this country to put a stop to the fraud and bring the culprits to account for their misdeeds,” a top Federal Government official said.

Also from Vanguard: Why Govt Is Owing Shagari, OBJ, IBB, Gowon, Abdulsalami, Shonekan, Jonathan 10 Months Salaries, Allowances

ThePresidency revealed yesterday that in the last 10 months, the federal government has not paid the salaries and allowances of all former Presidents in the country.

They include 91-year-old Alhaji Shehu Shagari; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Dr Goodluck Jonathan; former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida; General Abdulsalami Abubakar; General Yakubu Gowon and Chief Ernest Shonekan.

These was revealed to senators yesterday when the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs, led by Senator Tijjani Kaura (APC, Zamfara North) visited the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Dr David Babachir Lawal.

A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the non-payment of former Presidents was due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to give approval.

And: Ekweremadu Blames Economic Crisis On Federal Structure

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has blamed Nigeria’s economic woes on wrong federal structure, which he said had predisposed the country to wealth sharing, indolence, and poor governance since the fall of the First Republic.

He reiterated that restructuring remained the true and lasting solution to the nation’s many woes, as it would promote wealth creation, productivity, good governance, and national development.

According to the statement issued by Uche Anichukwu, the Special Adviser (Media) to the Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu made the assertions at the investiture of Dr. Omede Idris as the 15th President of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, APBN, in Abuja, Thursday night.
Hear him: “Instructively, well-meaning Nigerians, including my humble self, have continued to warn, even long before now, that our nation is not structured for wealth creation and economic prosperity, but for wealth sharing and guzzling. Otherwise, there should have been no reason to continue to lament over the fall in oil price in a knowledge-driven global economy.

Premium Times: Exclusive – Police Plot to Tackle Shiites in Borno

The police in Borno State are mobilizing for a planned rally by Shiites, sources have told PREMIUM TIMES.

A source said the police received a special intelligence report that the protest would kick-start shortly after the Friday Jumat prayer.

The protest is expected to start at two main mosques – the Mai Saje Mosque, a popular Friday mosque, centrally located in the heart of Maiduguri, and Fodiya Centre, near a spot called Yan Nono in Bulumkutu along the Kano-Maiduguri highway.
“The aim of the protest is to show their anger over the detention of their national leader and the recent clash with the police in Kano,” a police intelligence report reviewed by PREMIUM TIMES showed.

It is not clear if the police plan to forcefully stop the protest as was done to similar Shiite marches in Abuja and Kano, but the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, according to a source, directed several units including the police mobile force and the counter terrorist unit to deploy their men to various Friday mosques within Maiduguri and other liberated communities across the state for “decisive actions to any untoward development”.

PREMIUM TIMES further learnt that the police is not taking any chance in ensuring that the proposed Shia protest does not escalate the already tense situation in the state. Mr. Chukwu had to cancel the weekly briefing with his officers as the police prepared for the Shiite protest.

Officials at the police headquarters have reported that canisters of tear gas were released at about 10.30 a.m. on Friday to be possibly used against the protesters.
Unlike several states in the northern Nigeria, Shia processions have been very rare in Borno.

The Shiites are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been held without trial since last December after over 300 of his followers were killed by soldiers. The army accused the Shiites of blocking a major road and plotting to kill the army chief, Tukur Buratai, an allegation the Shiites denied.

Another rally by the Shiites on Monday in Kano led to the death of at least 9 people including a police official as the police tried to stop the protesters.

Local and international rights groups and foreign countries have called on the Nigerian government to exercise caution in dealing with the Shiites.

The U.S. government on Friday issued a statement calling for “greater communication between Shia citizens and government authorities.”

Cameroon: Govt Cracking Down on Social Media
Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Social media use has exploded in Cameroon, as have the government’s efforts to police it.

These members of the Presbyterian church Bota in Limbe, southwestern Cameroon are praying for three local men: Fomusoh Ivo Feh, Afuh Nivelle Nfor and Azah Levis Gob.

They were convicted by a military court this month after allegedly sharing an SMS joke about recruitment for the Boko Haram terrorist group. The proceedings were closed to the public and Amnesty International and local rights groups condemned the conviction.

Among those gathered at the church is Tabot Timothy, a 22-year-old law student at the University of Douala-Cameroon.

“It was normal for a thorough investigation to be carried out to ascertain that these guys were joking. It is unjust,” Timothy said. “Thorough investigations were not carried out.”

Cameroon’s government has used several laws to crack down on mobile and online communications, including a 2014 anti-terrorism law and the newly revised penal code.

Barrister George Marcellin Tsoungui, a member of the Cameroon Bar Council says prison time of six months to two years and fines of $10,000 to $20,000 await those who use electronic media to propagate information without proof. He says the sanctions can be doubled if it is found that the communications were intended to destabilize social peace.

Police detained a journalist in January after he erroneously reported on social media that President Paul Biya had visited soldiers in the north.

In March, police arrested people accused of sharing a leaked confidential letter on social media. The letter was from the country’s minister of defense and said that Boko Haram terrorists had arrived in Yaounde.

The country’s National Communications Council has the power to suspend journalists and seal media houses.

The council is investigating 20 complaints of what it calls “social media blackmail” submitted by senior state officials. One of the complaints concerns a minister who was seen on Facebook dancing to the music of Franko, an artist whose songs were banned by the government.

Despite the arrests, social media and mobile messaging apps and networking sites are increasingly popular in Cameroon, and are used by opponents and supporters of the government alike.

“Social media is inevitable. It’s like a devil that you are called upon to live with. It is difficult to suppress it. It’s just going to be like throwing water on a duck’s back,” said Nelson Tawe, a social media consultant. “Social media has come to stay there is no way you can suppress it. I think that government is going to have an uphill task to succeed in what it is trying to do.”

Cameroon is not the only country getting jittery about the fast form of communication.

Several countries in Africa have taken similar measures, and a new report from the Washington-based Freedom House says internet freedom has declined globally for the sixth consecutive year.

AFP: Boko Haram stages three suicide attacks in North East Nigeria

Maiduguri (Nigeria) – Boko Haram Islamists staged three suicide attacks in Nigeria’s restive northeast on Friday, leaving four attackers and two civilian vigilantes dead, police said.

“Aside from the explosion near a mobile police location in Jiddari, we had two other suicide bombings along Maiduguri-Gamboru road,” Borno state police commissioner Damian Chukwu told reporters in Maiduguri, epicentre of Boko Haram’s seven-year insurgency.

The Islamist group have multiplied their attacks in recent days, Chukwu said, without detailing the incidents.

“This is about the sixth or seventh suspected suicide attack in the last couple of days. The police and other security agents are working hard to stop the ugly trend,” he said.

The first attack took place before dawn when a female suicide bomber blew herself and another bomber up near a police checkpoint at Jiddari, Borno state police spokesman Victor Isuku earlier said,

A third suspected bomber survived and was being questioned.

“At 3:50am today, mobile police personnel on guard duty opposite the federal high court in Jiddari sighted three suspected suicide bombers comprising two females and a male running towards their sandbag,” Isuku said.

“They ordered them to a halt for questioning but they refused,” he said. “One of the females detonated the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strapped to her body, killing herself and one other male accomplice,” he said.

Later in the morning a male suicide bomber detonated his explosives after being stopped at the entrance of a garage on the Maiduguri-Gamboru road where traders had gathered to travel under military escort.

The bomber died instantly, police said.

Another male suicide bomber detonated his explosives on the same road a few meters away a little later, killing himself and two local vigilantes, assisting the military to fight the jihadists.

Ahmed Satomi of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said five villages in Monguno had been attacked by Boko Haram insurgents early in the week, leaving eight dead and dozens injured.

“Boko Haram gunmen attacked the five villages late Monday and continued until Tuesday. They killed eight people and injured dozens,” he said.

He said the victims had been evacuated by soldiers who deployed to the area.

Boko Haram, which seeks to impose strict Islamic sharia law in Nigeria’s mainly-Muslim north, has killed at least 20,000 people and left more than 2.6 million homeless in its six-year insurgency.

A counter-offensive backed by a regional force has seen the Nigerian military retake swathes of territory from the insurgents, but the jihadist group still poses a security threat to civilians.

On November 1, a truck carrying eight suspected Boko Haram extremists exploded near a military checkpoint in Maiduguri, killing all the occupants.

Ghanastar: Supporters Begs Former Nigeria President

Supporters held up banners bearing the words “Come back Baba Jonathan” as he was welcomed to Sokoto.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan appears to have been begged to return to power by some residents in northern Nigeria as he visited to pay his respects to the late former Sultan of Sokoto.

Some held up banners bearing the words “Come back Baba Jonathan” as he was welcomed to Sokoto to visit the family of Ibrahim Dasuki – the former spiritual leader of Nigeria’s Muslims – who died on Monday at the age of 93.

The images were reported by the Vanguard newspaper.

Mr Jonathan handed over power to President Muhammadu Buhari last year after the latter won an election – the first time an opposition figure had won a presidential election in Nigeria since independence in 1960.

Mr Buhari has been grappling with a range of challenges facing the country and the economy has recently gone into recession.

In a tweet last week congratulating US President-elect Donald Trump on his victory, Mr Jonathan said conceding victory to his rival had taken “great self-sacrifice”.

Mr Jonathan has described the late Sultan of Sokoto as a “bridge builder and father figure who was ever committed to fostering unity in Nigeria”. Look at the kinda reception GEJ received in Sokoto when he arrived to commiserate with Dasuki’s family over the death of their father.

I thank the Dasuki Family, the Sultan, the Government and the good people of Sokoto State for their warm welcome and wonderful hospitality, he tweeted.

Platts: Red tape, not militancy, putting Nigeria’s oil future at risk

Nigeria, mired in some of its toughest battles yet to halt resurgent militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta, is facing longer term threats to its oil wealth; the government’s failure to endorse fiscal and regulatory reforms needed to keep oil investors interested.
While militancy and pipeline vandalism remain the short-term major headache, it is the uncertainty around fiscal terms and the slow progress in implementing key oil and gas legislation that has been the major handbrake on oil growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest crude producer.
Lauded as the biggest shake-up in Nigeria’s oil industry for decades, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) aims to bring in sweeping reforms of the country’s dysfunctional sector. But it has been stuck in Nigeria’s legislature for eight years, held up by political wrangling and objections by the IOCs which argue that the significantly higher fiscal terms envisaged in recent PIB drafts are unacceptable, especially in the current low oil price environment.
Nigeria is ripe for a comprehensive review of the fiscal and regulatory framework applicable to its oil and gas industry. Existing laws are severely outdated and in need of change. Though oil and gas accounts for about 80% of government revenues, the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is considered one of the most corrupt corporations of any oil-producing nation.
Oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu, who has been given the task with overseeing the restructuring of the NNPC, wants to break up the corporation into seven units, with each given responsibility for overseeing 20 separate NNPC divisions.
But the NNPC has proven remarkably resilient to past reform initiatives. Faced with plummeting global oil prices and dwindling state coffers, how long can the government afford to allow the NNPC to operate much as it did before?
Costly delays
The delay in passing the bill into law has not only cost Nigeria’s $15b a year in lost investments but what is more worrying for the oil-dependent country is the slump in both its output in the past two years and its fast depleting oil and gas reserves. Nigeria’s crude reserves have dropped from 37 billion barrels to 28.2 billion barrels over the last five years, according to NNPC.
Today, with oil production still below the 2.2 million b/d level of early 2016, its deepwater production is standing in for the ongoing losses and shut-ins of shallow water and onshore fields exposed to attacks and oil theft.
According to the Nigerian Association of Petroleum and Explorations (NAPE), there is now a need for investors and the government to look beyond the Niger Delta and at other frontiers such as the Chad Basin with potential for oil and gas resources. But petroleum engineers in Nigeria argue that the hunt for hydrocarbons in the basin could be hampered by the lack of clarity with the review of Nigeria’s hydrocarbons legislation and unwillingness of oil companies to drill outside the Niger Delta with already proven reserves in the current low price environment.
The fall in global oil prices has not only slashed Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and plunged the country into its first recession in more than 20 years, it has also exposed the cost of the OPEC member’s failure to reform.
The legislature whose responsibility it is to pass the bill will have to give the PIB the attention it deserves. But the current economic turmoil might finally present the opportunity to pass the PIB and revive much-needed investment. Inertia is no longer an option.

Bloomberg: Nigeria Proposes Jail Time, Fines as It Tries to Bolster Naira

Nigeria plans to give the central bank more power to control capital flows and prevent foreign-exchange being taken out the country, including jail times and fines for offenders as authorities battle against a shortage of dollars.
Authorities should be able to jail for as long as two years anybody holding dollars in cash for more than 30 days, or fine them 20 percent of the amount, according to a draft amendment to Nigeria’s Foreign-Exchange Act. The proposals were published on the website of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, which reviews legislation, this week. Regulators should also be able to prevent money being repatriated “in accordance with the terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the central bank from time to time,” the draft said.
The existing law is “narrow in scope” and “prohibits the seizure, forfeiture or expropriation of imported money by the government without providing for exceptions,” according to the document. The amendments are necessary “for effective monitoring and control, and to ensure probity in foreign-exchange transactions in Nigeria.”
Nigeria has increased capital controls since oil prices started crashing in the second half of 2014, reducing government revenue and export earnings. Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele pegged the naira for 15 months until June this year, a move analysts blamed for causing investors to flee the country, the economy to contract in the first half of the year and the inflation rate to rise to an 11-year high.

The latest move will further worry foreign investors, according to Lagos-based SBM Intelligence. Last week, the intelligence service threatened to arrest black-market money-traders if they exchanged the naira at a rate weaker than 400 per dollar, compared with the existing street-rate of around 460. The currency’s official exchange rate, which analysts say the central bank is still manipulating, is 315 against the greenback.
“The CBN wants to take its regulatory onus to frightening proportions,” analysts at SBM said in an e-mailed note Friday in response to the new draft law. “The move smacks of desperation and can only result in negative investor perception and capital flight.”
The central bank’s spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone or immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.

Vanguard: Govt Cancels Joint Venture Cash Calls With Oil Coys

The Federal Government has finally announced the cancellation of joint cash call with oil companies operating in Nigeria.

The announcement came on a day the government said it had also uncovered heinous acts of frauds in the revenue generating agencies.

Main reason for the cash call withdrawal was principally hinged on the paucity of funds arising from the drastic fall of crude oil prices in the international market, which had made it almost impossible for Nigeria to meet its cash call obligations.

Cash calls is the counterpart funding which the Federal Government, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, pays annually as its 60 percent equity shareholding in various oil and gas fields operated by international oil companies and indigenous oil firms.

The development, however, is expected to generate about $15b worth of investments.

Premium Times: Nigerians Have 3rd Highest Rate of Premature Births in the World

About 15 million babies are born prematurely worldwide annually and Nigeria is the third largest contributor to this, an official has said.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Oyewole, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at an event held to mark the World Prematurity and Pneumonia Day.

Mr. Adewole, a professor of medicine, said Nigeria has an estimated 871,000 babies born preterm every year.

He stated that “one of every three newborn deaths is attributable to complications of prematurity, while those who survive may face lifelong disabilities, including learning, visual and hearing problems and their quality of life is greatly affected.

African News Agency: Singapore hangs Nigerian for 2.6 kilos of cannabis

A 38-year-old Nigerian man was hanged in Singapore on Friday for drug trafficking after being caught with 2.6 kilograms of cannabis.

“A 38-year-old male Nigerian national, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, had his death sentence carried out on November 18 at Changi Prison Complex,” the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said in a statement.

Obioha, who graduated in industrial chemistry from Nigeria’s Benin University, had originally moved to Singapore in 2005 hoping to be a footballer, the BBC reported.

He was arrested in 2007 by drugs officers who found 14 blocks of cannabis in a bag he was carrying and another 14 blocks in the flat he was renting, Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper reported.

Under Singapore law, anyone caught with more than 500 grams of cannabis can be sentenced to death.

Obioha had originally, and unsuccessfully, appealed against his execution in 2010.

Obioha then turned down the possibility of applying for re-sentencing after a change in the law that came into force in 2013, the BBC reported.

On Thursday, his lawyers launched a final bid to have his sentence commuted to life in prison but that was refused by a three-judge court.

Singapore executed four people in 2015, one for murder and three for drug offences, according to prison statistics.

Breaking Times: Court of Appeal Suspends ruling on Ondo PDP Cases, Indefinitely

The Court of Appeal on Friday, November 18, suspended ruling in all applications concerning the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leadership and the PDP Ondo State crises indefinitely.
The panel said its decision was as a result of a case before the Supreme Court challenging the legitimacy of the panel to sit and deliver judgement on the appeals arising from a Federal High Court judgement on the PDP leadership and candidacy in the Ondo State governorship election.
According to the lead judge on the panel, Justice Ibrahim Salauwa, the panel was forced to suspend ruling sine dile until the Supreme Court rules on the suit before them challenging the legitimacy of the panel.

Punch: Buhari didn’t donate $500m to Clinton campaign – Presidency

The Federal Government on Friday dismissed as untrue claims that President Muhammadu Buhari donated $500m to Hillary Clinton campaign in the just-concluded US election.

A video, purportedly circulated by a US non-governmental group, the American Black Group for Democracy, had last week alleged that Nigeria donated $500m (about 150 billion Naira) to Clinton’s failed bid for the White House.

It claimed that the money was “pledged to the US Secretary of State, Sen John Kerry, and US Ambassador in Abuja”; adding that “the donation may create a huge misunderstanding between Nigeria and the incoming Trump’s US government.”

But in a reaction on Friday, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Garba Shehu, described the accusations as crazy, insisting that “Nigeria doesn’t have this kind of money to throw around.”

“What is the craziest accusation made against President Buhari?” Shehu posted on his Twitter handle, @GarShehu.

“That he donated $500m to Hillary’s campaign and that Donald Trump is angry. This has gone viral, sadly Nigerians are believing it!

“President Buhari’s Nigeria doesn’t have this kind of money to throw around. Even if the money is there, this President is the least likely person to give it as donation, and for what?”

Mr. Shehu noted that President Buhari is in discussion with the US government to repatriate loots stashed in American banks.

He said, “A FGN account has already been given for the return of one million dollars from Alamieyesiegha.

“Judgement on the $480m Abacha loot has been won and our Attorney-General, Malami (SAN) will be in the US next week to speak to the Department of Justice on the next steps for the return of that as well.

“The U.S is paying to Nigeria, not the other way round.”

Daily Trust: China Exim Bank Commits $1b to Nigeria’s Railway Projects

The China EXIM Bank will grant Nigeria $1bn loan for railway projects across Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja, yesterday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said that the fund would be utilised for the development of Lagos-Kano rail line and rail lines connecting the South and South-east parts of the country.

Enelamah said that infrastructure development has attracted the highest value of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country.

BBC Sports: Super Falcons go for eighth title in women’s Africa Cup of Nations

A first ever continental title is the goal for Cameroon when the women’s Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on Saturday but will the hosts flourish or collapse under the weight and pressure of expectation?

The Indomitable Lionesses are one of seven teams desperate to deny Nigeria another African title.

The Super Falcons are the dominant force on the continent, having been crowned African champions seven times.

On the two occasions that they misfired, Equatorial Guinea took the honours.

Florence Omagbemi’s side are not exactly hot favourites this time around but they are warm enough to suggest it would be an upset if it went the other way.

As captain of the Super Falcons, Omagbemi won the African title four times but this is her first tournament as coach.

“Yes, it’s my first tournament as a coach but my experience as a player has prepared me for this. Teams want to beat Nigeria, we will work extra hard to retain the title,” Omagbemi told BBC Sport on the eve of the 10th edition of the continental championship.

Apart from Nigeria, only South Africa and Cameroon have appeared at every tournament since the event began in 1998 as the African Women’s Championship.

After finishing third in 2012 and runners-up in 2014, the hosts have set their sights on winning the big prize on home soil.

They have been boosted by the return from injury of the reigning African Women’s Player of the Year, Gaelle Enganamouit.

Tricky Group A

The presence of South Africa and Zimbabwe in their group – two teams that played at the Olympic Games in Rio – compels the hosts to be on their toes in each match lest they find themselves struggling to qualify for the next stage.

But coach Enow Ngachu is unmoved: “Our objective is to lift the trophy and we have what it takes to win. We have faith and conviction that we can win.”

Despite enormous resources at their disposal, South Africa have delivered very little over the years and are hungry for something more tangible in Cameroon.

Banyana Banyana have been runners-up three times (2000, 2008 and 2012).

They have an interim coach in Desiree Ellis, the former captain who was appointed following the departure of Dutchwoman and Fifa Best Women’s Coach nominee Vera Pauw.

“I don’t like the word ‘interim’ so I’m aiming to do well so that the South Africa Football Association will have no choice but to give us (the technical team) the job full time.”

As usual, the eight teams have been split into two groups based in the capital Yaounde and the coastal town of Limbe.

Group A: Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt

Group B: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mali

From CAFOnline: Ngachu Targets Title On Home Soil

Having lost 2-0 to Nigeria in the final of the last edition in 2014 in Namibia, host Cameroon, have their eyes fixed on lifting the title in front of their home fans.

Cameroon coach Enow Ngachu tells CAFOnline.com he is optimistic his side has what it takes to win the trophy, having had massive improvement over the last few years.

“In 2012, we finished third; 2014 we finished second. Now we are in 2016. What next? Finishing first of course! I believe in the ability of my girls and I know definitely this year, adding to the advantage that we are playing at home we have some very good chance,” he said.

“There has been massive improvement in the team and definitely we expect to do better. There are still a few things to do before the tournament and I believe we will firm up to be 100% ready,” the tactician added.

Apart from reaching the semi-finals in the last two tournaments, ‘Les Lionnes’, one of three teams together with Nigeria and South Africa are looking no further than the ultimate at home.
The host are housed in Group A alongside Egypt, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“Every team that has qualified for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations is strong. We cannot underrate anyone. I am expecting very tough matches against all our opponents. I can’t pick up one and say we will look out for them,” Ngachu offered.

“We need to take a match at a time and give our best. We are banking on the home support and we can’t afford to let them down,” he concluded.

The host suffered a shocking 1-2 loss to Tanzania last Sunday in their final preparatory match at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde. They had beaten Tanzania 2-0 at the same venue four days earlier.

Les Lionnes also beat Kenya, 1-0 in Nairobi and 2-1 in Yaounde as part of their preparations for the final tournament.

The Nation: Buhari inaugurates boards of NNPC, NCDMB, NNRA

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday challenged members of the newly inaugurated boards in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to ensure decency and transparency in the management of the nation’s oil industry.

The inaugurated boards included the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA).

Buhari specifically tasked the new boards to ensure that they devise practical strategies aimed at tackling current challenges within the oil industry.

He said the boards, which would be chaired by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, should advise the minister and the corporations’ management on the most effective ways for Nigeria to get value for money from its assets.

“Oil and gas are the country’s foreign exchange earners. Therefore, the importance of these boards cannot be over emphasised. Your job should be to ensure propriety in management of these most vital national institutions

“You should advise the Minister and the Corporations’ management on the most effective way for Nigeria to get value for money from our assets.

“My expectations from the members of the boards is for them to ensure that NNPC charts a way to face current economic challenges.

“This will involve a careful look at the ongoing reforms designed to steer the corporation to achieve better performance and efficiency,’’ he said.

Buhari further stressed the need for the new NNPC board to come up with innovative ways of addressing the constraints in funding Joint Venture projects between the corporation and international oil companies as well as other investment issues.

According to him, his administration has introduced transparency in the management of the country’s oil industry through the monthly publishing of operational and financial reports of the NNPC.

The President expressed optimism that with the members’ experience and knowledge, the country’s aspiration in the oil industry would be achieved within a reasonable time frame.

Responding, the Chairman of the inaugurated boards, Kachikwu assured that they would ensure transparency and accountability in running the affairs of the boards.

Chicago Tribune: Nigeria reaches $5.1b debt settlement with oil majors

Nigeria reached a $5.1b settlement to reimburse foreign oil companies including Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell for past operating costs.

The amount, less than the $6.8b previously discussed, will be settled through crude-oil sales over five years and will be interest free, Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told reporters in the capital, Abuja, Thursday.

“What we have been able to put together has enabled us to shave about $1.7b in savings for the federal government from the $6.8b that was owed,” he said. “The barrels to pay those will come from incremental barrels generated by the oil companies, not from the current 2.2 million-barrel-a-day production.

“In other words, if we do not meet those thresholds we will not pay the $5.1b,” he said.

Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Total and Eni are owed money for costs incurred from 2010 to 2015. Nigeria still owes the companies $2.6b from operations this year.

Shell and Total declined to comment. The other producers didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

Nigeria could pay more than its share of costs from October to December this year to reduce the outstanding bill for 2016 to $1.5b, Kachikwu said.

Crude’s collapse has hurt the economies of oil-producing countries including Venezuela and even Saudi Arabia. Lower government revenues have prevented state-run companies from contributing their share of expenses and foreign producers — also hurt by the slump — in some cases haven’t been paid.

In Nigeria, the debt has been a point of contention for the oil companies, and the settlement could unlock investment. The agreement is likely to result in $15b of spending by the international oil companies, which may be announced within weeks, the minister said. That could bring back some of their projects in the country, he said.

Nigeria surpassed Angola as Africa’s biggest oil producer in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The country is restoring output shuttered by militant attacks and is exempt from any potential production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is due to meet in Vienna later this month.

Kachikwu sees oil production rising to 2.5 million barrels a day by 2019 and 3 million by 2021. The country also plans to reduce production costs to $18 a barrel in two years from $27 now, and to $15 a barrel in four years.

Daily Trust: Africa’s richest entrepreneur and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has advocated Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the funding of tertiary education in Nigeria.

Dangote who was conferred with a honorary degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.), alongside two other eminent Nigerians, Professor Niyi Osundare and Chief Bode Amao, by the University of Ibadan (UI) at the 68th Foundation Day Ceremony of the university yesterday, asked that the university be accorded a special attention in this regard.

ThisDAY: Nigeria’s recent success in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers has seen the country improve four places on the FIFA monthly rankings.

The Super Eagles have won two games on the bounce defeating Zambia 2-1 away in Ndola and followed it up with a resounding 3-1 win over Algeria in Uyo to head Group B of the Africa zone of the World Cup qualifiers.

Nigeria is now at number 60 on the World rankings moving up four places with 562 points from the previous 534 points.

Despite the improvement in the world rankings, the Eagles are yet to crack into Africa’s top ten sides as the Cote d’Ivoire lead the continent for the second straight month after toppling Nigeria’s Group B rivals Algeria.

Cameroun, whom the Eagles face next in the Russia 2018 qualifiers is in 10th place, just one spot above the Eagles while Zambia is way down at number 94 in the world and 24th in Africa.

Argentina still occupies the top spot in the world just ahead of Germany and Brazil.

AFRICA’S TOP TEN

Ivory Coast

Senegal

Algeria

Tunisia

Ghana

Egypt

Congo DR

Congo

Mali

Cameroun

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