Yobe Govt Commits 44% Of Bailout Fund To Capital Projects

Yobe Governor on bailoutThe Yobe State Governor, Mr Ibrahim Gaidam, says his administration has committed the sum of 4.4 billion Naira from the 10 billion Naira ‘bailout funds’ it acquired from the Central Bank to capital projects.

Governor Gaidam gave the figure on Wednesday while explaining why his administration obtained the loan in the first place.

He told Channels Television in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, that the loan was aimed at accelerating the execution of new and ongoing social development projects, as part of the administration’s drive towards moving the state forward.

The Governor said: “So far, the sum of 3.5 billion Naira has been dedicated to some ongoing road projects ranging from certificates of valuation on jobs so far executed by contractors across the state”.

He further explained that the 600 million Naira had been used for counterpart fund for the rehabilitation of three major hospitals in the major towns of Potiskum, Gashua and Gaidam as well as part payment of 150 million Naira for the supply of some hospitals equipment for the just concluded “200 bed” capacity hospital in Damaturu.

On agricultural development in the state, he disclosed that 100 million Naira was used for the clearing of 500 hectares of land in four major locations for irrigation farming and drilling of some boreholes in the state.

According to him, the state’s irrigation farming would gainfully engage over 40,000 youth across the state.

While calling on the support of the people, the Governor stated that 5.6 billion Naira was still intact from the bailout fund and would be devoted to meaningful projects which would have lasting impacts on the lives of the people of the state.

Since the coming of the Gaidam administration in 2008, the bailout fund is the first loan the Governor has obtained from any financial institution within and outside Nigeria.

SSS Personnel Not Expelled From Presidential Villa

DSSThe Presidency has debunked rumours that personnel of the Department of State Service (SSS) have been expelled from the Presidential Villa.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has given no such order”, a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr Femi Adesina said.

“While it is true that a reorganization of security at the Presidential Villa which involves the realignment of personnel from various services is underway, the exercise does not translate to the expulsion of DSS personnel from the premises in any way.

“The changes being made are routine adjustments which are not unexpected in any dynamic environment from time to time”, the statement added.

Badeh Debunks Politicisation Of Renewed Fight Against Boko Haram

Air-Marshal-Alex-Badeh-11The Chief of Defence staff, Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh, has lashed out at those insinuating that the current victory recorded by the military in the north east is a political strategy, describing such allegations as uncharitable.

He also disclosed that some of the newly acquired weapons currently deployed to the troubled spot of the country were ordered for long before the insurgents escalated their attacks.

He said this in Lagos, south west Nigeria, while taking delivery of food items and drugs meant for the troops fighting the insurgency.

He further noted that war machines are not picked up on the shelf, adding that “when you place an order, it takes time to produce; takes time to train on them” insisting that “it is not today we started. We started long time ago before the war became very bad, we had placed the orders for these things.

“They have started coming in and that is why we said we needed time to finish these insurgents before elections”, he said.

He assured Nigerians that the arrival of the weapons only coincided with the elections insisting that it is not political.

The military has recaptured more towns hitherto under the control of Boko Haram after launching a high end offensive against the Islamist group.

The military also released a video of air bombardment of the enclaves of the members of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the north-east, as it continues operations to reclaim areas under the control of the terrorists.

The video released showed people running in different directions and the aerial bombardment of a community believed to be the hideout of members of the sect.

President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed optimism that the Nigerian troops will maintain the momentum they have built up in ongoing operations against the Boko Haram and rapidly recover more occupied communities from the terrorist group.

Counter Terrorism Expert Advocates Funding System Change For Nigerian Military

Williams_ObeneA counter-terrorism expert, Brig. Gen Williams Obene (Rtd) on Tuesday advocated for a change in the funding system of the Nigerian military from the yearly appropriation system to a short, medium and long term system, maintaining that it will “bring confidence and professionalism to the Nigerian military”.

“Equipping the military through yearly appropriation is not working,” he said while speaking on Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

He, however, advocated for a short, medium and long term funding system for the military and a system where Nigerians would take ownership of the Nigerian military, decide the kind of military they want and the kind of equipment that should be provided.

He said this approach would “bring confidence and professionalism to the Nigerian military,” adding that “when you have done that, we will not have the excuses of ‘we are not well equipped,'” he maintained.

He also advocated for the introduction of threat perception and threat analysis to also help in deciding the kind of arms that would be supplied to the military to attack head-on any kind of terror that may come the way of the country.

“If we do a proper threat perception and threat analysis, we will be able to equip our military,” he said, maintaining that the strategy will forestall any fall backs and failures that we have had because we have well trained and motivated soldiers,” he insisted.

Military Cannot Crush Boko Haram In Six Weeks

The retired Brigadier General also insisted that the military could not wipe the dreaded Islamist militant group from the face of the earth within six weeks.

“I wont subscribe to the fact that within the six weeks, that Boko Haram will fizzle out of Nigeria; I will not subscribe to that school of thought.

“But what I want to subscribe to is that within this six weeks, the military will be able to bring credible stability in those areas. And like we see, some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are already beginning to go back to their homes,” he said.

He, however, wondered “how motivated they will be to partake in an election when they have no home and their properties are destroyed”.

“I think what the military is trying to do within this six weeks is to bring about stability,”  he maintained.

The former Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), further maintained that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would have to be on top of their game to be sure the IDPs returning to their homes would be able to collect their their Permanent Voter Cards ahead of the elections.

Supports Deployment Of Military For 2015 Polls

Brig. Gen. Obene also added his voice to the deployment of military during the forth coming elections, insisting that the “president is constitutionally empowered to deploy troops during the elections”.

“The President has the constitutional rights to deploy the armed forces both in peaceful times and in war times. The Nigerian military is also constitutionally empowered to provide aid for civil authorities in times of national emergency and all types of insecurity problems the country may face from time to time.

“I think the President has the right, if it is expedient, to deploy the military,” he said.

These comments are coming some hours after the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu, also backed the call for troops to take charge of security to ensure peace in the forthcoming general elections.

Its Normal To Have Conflicting Reports During Fight Against Terror – Ex Naval Chief

Akpan_Insurgency_bokoharamA retired Naval officer, Mr Francis Akpan, believes it is normal to have positive and negative reports emanating from the Boko Haram infested north eastern Nigeria.

“If you go into history, you will find out we had this in ECOMOG and during campaigns we were part of and this is to be expected”, adding that “there’s a great flux globally and we cannot be shielded from the global insecurity flux”.

The retired Rear Admiral further noted that the “military has been deployed in 32 out of 36 states and that has taken a toll on the military in carrying out it’s primary role on issues such as insurgency and territorial protection.

“But it gladdens to know that we are beginning to take our place in the fight against insurgency and terror”, he said.

He harped on the importance of “operational logistics” for the Army insisting that “when you finish drawing the battle line, plans and strategy, what you should be concerned about is the sustenance of that contest.

“From the battle lines, you create a logistic chain right to the manufacturers’ quarters, so that when anything is needed it will come in when it is required.”

He, however, noted that creating such a chain might be impossible with the military’s limited resources.

He explained, “If you look at our concerns and engagements for 2012 and 2013, you will see that there is a disconnect between being able to sustain that operational logistic requirement with the kind of budget we have.

“And I would have thought that that concern would have been brought up by the legislative arm since they have oversight of the responsibilities of the military.”

He commended the “leadership of the Army for taking very stringent line of decision to change the beats” which has resulted in the reported success in the fight against terror in Nigeria.

He further harped on the need to create a digital battle space for the security forces, maintaining that $1 billion loan been sought by President Goodluck Jonathan would “come in handy” in the purchase of fighter jets, offshore patrol vessels and armoured personnel carriers.

“We haven’t done much in re-equipping the military after (Shehu) Shagari’s regime,” he added.

He also said officers who die in the line of duty “have been honoured, given very good burials and their families compensated to a certain extent; that also includes the rank and file”, but was quick to add that “if you want to enhance professionalism, you must look at the officer’s core.

“When they pay the price, other officers in the rank and file want to see what kind of reverence is given to their masters because that is key to motivating troops that the late officer led. And we have seen very impressive way of respecting the dead and their families especially in the armed forces. But I am not sure of the police,” he said.

Real Madrid, World’s Most Valuable Sports Team – Forbes

Real MadridSpanish La Liga giant, Real Madrid, has topped an annual Forbes list of the World’s Most valuable sports teams.

According to Forbes, the UEFA Champions League winner is worth an estimated $3.44bn (£2bn).

The top three slots are occupied by football clubs, with Real Madrid’s La Liga rival, Barcelona in second place at $3.2bn, and English Premier League side, Manchester United third, with a value of $2.81bn.

Major League Baseball team, the New York Yankees are in fourth spot, valued at $2.5bn while NFL American Football side, the Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.3bn.

MLB side, the New York Mets are one of three teams that dropped off this year’s list of the top 50 with NFL side Oakland Raiders and Formula One team, McLaren, the other two familiar names that dropped from the list

Forbes calculated the value of the teams based on equity, debt and stadium deals and the average value of the top 50 teams which is $1.34bn, an 8% increase on last year.

NFL teams makes up 60% of the top 50 slots, occupying 30 places.

The 20 non-NFL teams in the top 50 include six from MLB, eight from football, four from the NBA, one from the National Hockey League (ice hockey league) and one from Formula 1.


Kerry Says Only America Is Helping Nigeria To Find Kidnapped Girls

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a news conference at the APEC ministerial meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali islandThe U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, says that despite help on the ground from Britain, France and Israel, the United States is alone in helping Nigeria locate more than 200 school girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram Islamists.

Mr. Kerry was speaking during a dinner at the State Department on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the US Diplomats Corps.

With 80 military personnel sent to neighboring Chad for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, the United States is the biggest foreign participant in the effort against the militant group, Boko Haram.

Washington has also deployed surveillance drones, spy planes and about 30 civilian and military specialists to support Nigeria’s security forces.

Ibaka Seaport Will Create Thousands Of Jobs- Akpabio

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state on Saturday said the Ibaka seaport will provide thousands of jobs for unemployed Nigerians.

The governor stated this in Abuja when he received executives of the Chinese Company that has expressed interest in the project.
Governor Akpabio disclosed that fourteen thousand, nine hundred hectares of land has been acquired for the development of the seaport.
He explained that apart from providing jobs for thousands of unemployed people, the Ibaka seaport when completed will help to decongest existing seaports in the country.
A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed in September when the speaker of Chinese People’s Congress is expected to visit Nigeria

Lagos Courts Join Federal Judicial Workers Strike

The judicial workers strike entered Day 2 with the officials of the Judiciary Staff Union, (JUSUN) shutting down the federal courts in Lagos.

On Monday, a deputy chief registrar of the Federal High Court, Lagos had told Channels Television’s  Judiciary Correspondent, Shola Soyele that there was no memo requesting them to join in the strike.

On Tuesday, the Federal High Court was locked and some of the workers could be seen milling around the premises.

The situation was the same at the Court of Appeal in Lagos.

The union officials addressed the workers and asked them to vacate their offices, go home and await the outcome of talks between the leaders of the Judiciary Staff Union and the representatives of government.

The federal judicial workers embarked on an indefinite strike following the refusal of the government to implement the consolidated salary structure and scheme of service for judiciary workers in the country.

South African Brewery to commission plant in Nigeria

The South African Brewery (SAB) has made its entry into the Nigerian beer and beverage industry with its construction of a production plant in Anambra State.

The governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, while answering questions from journalists, said that the SAB production plant which will be commissioned before the end of the month, welcomed the South African company for building the brewery he described as the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa in his state.

The governor observed that foreigners’ perception of Nigeria was at variance with the true situation in the country, saying “the perception of Nigeria by foreigners is far worse than it is in reality. The truth is issues about Nigeria are usually over exaggerated by foreigners.”

“The South African Brewery, if they show you their report and perception about Nigeria before coming to build their plant in the country, they wouldn’t have invested in the country.”

He said Africa and the Middle East contribute 11.5 per cent of Heineken’s global income, “out of this 11.5 per cent, six per cent comes from Nigeria. Today, Guinness derives 6.1 per cent of its global income from Nigeria. In fact, Guinness sells more in Nigeria than its home country.”

This will tell you that despite the challenges we have, which the Ministry of Trade and Investment is working with state governments to address, Nigeria still remains the best investment destination for genuine investors across the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, SAB operates seven breweries and 40 depots in South Africa with an annual brewing capacity of 3.1 billion litres.

Its portfolio of beer brands are Carling Black Label, Hansa Pilsener, Castle Lager, Castle Lite and Castle Milk Stout.

Its full brand portfolio includes 10 brands of beer and five flavoured alcoholic beverages.


Shop Rite to spend $205 million on new Nigerian outlets

South Africa’s Shoprite plans to spend up to $205 million on securing new locations in Nigeria, its chief executive said on Tuesday, as Africa’s top retailer ramps up sub-Saharan expansion.

With outlets in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu and Kwara states, the mega shopping mall intends to spread across Nigeria and the sub Saharan region at large.

Whitey Basson made the comment following the release of the company’s full-year results.