Sunday, 25 February 2018
Items filtered by date: December 2016

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The Presidency has said that the proposed external borrowing of 29.9 billion dollars by the government is meant for the execution of developmental projects across the country.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, stated this in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday night.

The Presidential aide was reacting to the Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi’s position on the borrowing plans.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in October requested the National Assembly to approve a foreign loan of 29.9 billion dollars to fund developmental projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.

However, the Emir was quoted by social media on Friday as expressing his disapproval of the borrowing plans by the Buhari-led administration.

Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was speaking at a policy dialogue forum organised by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development in Abuja.

“I can tell you for free, if the Senate today approves that we can borrow $30 billion, honestly, no one will lend us.

“It should be approved and I will like to see how you will go to the international market with an economy that has five exchange rates,” Sanusi was quoted as saying.

The Presidential spokesman, however, said: “With every respect to the Emir, you know he is my ruler because I come from Kano.

“He does not have his facts as far as those issues are concerned.”

According to him, the issue in CBN, that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account is true, but it is within limits.

He said: “The overdraw does not exceed N1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he did that the account was overdrawn by N4.5 trillion.”

On the Emir’s opposition to the loan, Shehu said the Minister of Finance would respond appropriately.

“As a private citizen, I want to read his statement again. I thought that the borrowing is for projects that include the railway and electricity development in the country,” he added.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: The Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow held talks with his team Saturday to plot his transition to power, with the release of political prisoners emerging as a top priority for the new administration.

Barrow’s shock election victory ended the iron-fisted 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh on Friday, and the scenes of jubilation on the streets after the results were released have given way to a calm but buoyant mood in the capital Banjul.

Jammeh’s rule over the tiny ex-British colony — which began with a coup in 1994 — was marked by frequent allegations of rights abuses and the regular arrests of politicians, journalists and activists, often on spurious charges.

Barrow, a businessman and political novice, met with the eight leaders who make up the coalition that sealed his remarkable rise to power in Thursday’s vote, with the talks focusing on the challenges facing the administration.

The talks went “very well, we are reflecting on the way forward,” said Isatou Touray, one of the leaders.

Touray said the release of political prisoners was the “most urgent” issue facing the new government, with expectations this could happen very soon.

“We are looking at next week,” she said.

The leader of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), of which Barrow is a former member, is appealing a three-year jail sentence he received with several other UDP officials for holding a peaceful protest in April.

– UN support sought –

Touray added the team expected the United Nations to play a key role in smoothing the transition that will see Barrow, a businessman who once worked as a security guard as an economic migrant in Britain, take office in mid-January.

“We will try to get the UN to give us support,” Touray told AFP by phone. “It is urgent, we need to have it as soon as possible.”

Ibn Chambas, the UN’s west Africa representative, said meetings with the opposition had been fruitful, raising expectations of a government that would reverse some of Jammeh’s policies that have isolated The Gambia internationally.

Barrow has pledged to rejoin the International Criminal Court and the Commonwealth, both institutions which Jammeh railed against and withdrew from, to the dismay of many.

The UN envoy also said he was “willing to work with the Gambians to establish a truth and reconciliation commission”, but would not be drawn on whether Jammeh could face prosecution.

Allegations of rape, torture and execution at the hand of the National Intelligence Agency, which reports directly to Jammeh, have long tarred The Gambia’s image.

Barrow told French media Saturday that “we are not witch-hunting anybody, nothing is personal” when asked whether Jammeh would be prosecuted.

Due process would be followed, Barrow said, adding he had “no problem” with the outgoing president remaining in The Gambia.

The strongman’s whereabouts are currently unknown after Gambian television broadcast an unexpected statement to the nation in which he promised he would step down in line with voters’ wishes.

Jammeh congratulated Barrow late Friday for his “clear victory” in a jovial conversation that saw him joking about becoming a farmer in his hometown, with the exchange caught on film and broadcast.

It was a shock for many to see Jammeh, who had promised to bury critics “nine feet deep” and whose regime has prosecuted peaceful protesters, calmly accept defeat.

– ’22 years is enough’ –

After late-night victory parties held by many Gambians to celebrate Jammeh’s departure after Barrow swept 45 percent of the vote, life was returning to normal.

Sulayman Drammeh, a dock worker, summed up the mood: “We are very happy. Twenty-two years is enough,” he told AFP at a Banjul market.

“That’s why Africa has a problem — if you come to power, you don’t want to move. We are all Gambians, so let’s come together to work,” Drammeh added.

The coalition will govern for three years with Barrow as its figurehead, after which elections will be held and he will step down in line with a memorandum signed by all the parties involved.

“My party will continue but I’m not part of the process,” Barrow pledged to media Saturday when asked about the three-year commitment. “I’m a businessman, I’ll continue my business,” he added.

Greeting UN officials and working with the European Union on development plans will be a completely new experience for Barrow, who until Friday had never held office or even held a senior role within a political party.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Two goals from Christian Benteke helped Crystal Palace gain a much-needed win over Southampton to ease the pressure on Eagles boss Alan Pardew.

The hosts went ahead when Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster, in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate, sliced a clearance and Benteke scored from close range.

Palace doubled their lead when an unmarked James Tomkins prodded home from three yards out after a corner.

Benteke grabbed his second late on as he tapped in after Jason Puncheon’s pull-back as Palace secured their first win in eight matches.

Published in Sports
Saturday, 03 December 2016 21:20

X365RADIO: Tottenham demolish Swansea 5-0

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: Tottenham consolidated their position on the fringes of the Premier League top four with a commanding home victory over struggling Swansea.

However, there was controversy over their opening goal, scored by Harry Kane from the penalty spot, after Dele Alli appeared to dive in the box.

Son Heung-min’s brilliant acrobatic strike doubled the lead at the end of a first half Spurs totally dominated.

Kane added his second when smashing home Son’s unintentional lay-off, before Christian Eriksen nodded home from close range and later drove in his second to further punish the Swans in stoppage time.

Defeat means the Welsh side are bottom of the table after Sunderland’s victory at home to Leicester.

Spurs’ win – just a second from their past 11 games – keeps Mauricio Pochettino’s side in fifth place, but narrows the gap to fourth-placed Arsenal to one point.

Published in Sports
Saturday, 03 December 2016 21:16

HIRING234: Madrid hold Barca in El-clasico

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: Sergio Ramos scored a stoppage-time equaliser to extend Real Madrid’s unbeaten start to the season and deny Barcelona victory in a bad tempered El Clasico.

Luis Suarez’s glancing header from Neymar’s left-wing free-kick put Barcelona ahead at the Nou Camp.

But in a frantic ending, Cristiano Ronaldo went close before Ramos headed home Luka Modric’s free-kick to earn a point for Zinedine Zidane’s La Liga leaders.

Real remain six points clear of defending champions Barca after 14 matches.

Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: The Nigerian Super Falcons have won the 2016 African Womens Nation Cup after defeating Cameroon 1-0 in Yaounde.

Nigeria won the 2016 women’s Africa Cup of Nations for an eighth time after a 1-0 win over hosts Cameroon in front of a capacity 40,000 crowd in Yaounde.

A late goal from Desire Oparanozie was enough for Nigeria to retain the trophy they won in Namibia two years ago.

The Super Falcons have dominated this competition, winning all but two of the ten editions played so far.

In a repeat of the 2014 final, Cameroon finished as runners-up again despite enjoying massive home support.

In front of Cameroon president Paul Biya, the hosts had the best of the first half, with a number of chances for Aboudi Onguene, but the Indomitable Lionesses failed to make the most of their opportunities.

In the second half, Oparanozie, who also scored Nigeria’s winner against South Africa in their semi-final, hit the decisive goal again when she broke the deadlock seven minutes from time.

She followed through on a pass from the tournament’s leading scorer Asisat Oshoala to give her team the trophy.
Stadium in Yaounde.

The winning goal from Nigeria was a huge blow for the hosts and the thousands of fans who filled the 40,000 capacity Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium more than five hours before kick-off.

Security in the stadium was stepped up for the final because of the presence of President Paul Biya and roads were blocked for several kilometres around the stadium since early morning.

Thousands more supporters were locked outside after tickets were given out free as “invites”.

There were three fan parks around Yaounde set up for people to see the game.

Ghana finished as bronze medallists after a 1-0 win over South Africa on Friday.


Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: A former chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, on Saturday, challenged her predecessor and 2015 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Adamawa State, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to “explain to Nigerians what happened to billions of funds and assets recovered from suspects under him, with no records or documentation.”

While cautioning him to stop using her name ‘anytime he needs public attention or sympathy’, she also described as lies, recent comments by Ribadu accusing her of ‘being part of his imaginary enemies who frustrated the nation’s anti-graft war.’

Waziri in a statement by her Personal Assistant in Brookfield Chambers, Ms. Omolara Oluremi, obtained by the PUNCH in Abuja, advised Nuhu Ribadu to stop weeping because garrulity does not heal frustration or depression.

According to her, the former EFCC chairman has always been obsessed with dropping her name into his script anytime he needs public pity or political relevance.

She said, “My attention has been drawn to a reckless and irresponsible statement credited to Nuhu Ribadu at a function on Wednesday in Abuja, where he, as has been his rhetoric since 2008 when I succeeded him as the EFCC Chairman, attempted to malign me by accusing me of being part of his imaginary enemies who frustrated the nation’s anti-graft war.

“There is also the need to remind Ribadu that before he succumbs to another logorrhea, he should avail himself a copy of the investigative report on recovered assets during his tenure as EFCC Chairman and use the opportunity of the next naming ceremony or birthday party, to explain to Nigerians what happened to billions of funds and assets recovered from suspects under him, with no records or documentation. He should be grateful to me that I cleaned his mess by creating an Assets Forfeiture Unit to put the records straight and do things rightly.

“If Nuhu Ribadu is yet to face the reality that EFCC is a Federal Government agency and not a personal estate of anybody eight years after, I find it compelling to remind him, otherwise one day he would wake up to blame me for his defeat in the 2011 presidential election and even his pathetic outing in the 2015 governorship election in Adamawa state despite the slush funds deployed to ensure his victory at the polls.”

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: Gambia’s opposition candidate Adama Barrow has won the presidential polls with 263,515 votes, beating the incumbent Yahya Jammeh, with over 50,000 votes.

The country’s electoral commission in announcing the result of the election held Thursday today, said Jammeh scored 212,009 votes

The commission’s chair, Alieu Njie said Mama Kandeh, the third candidate in the running, came third with 102,969 votes.

Barrow, a real estate developer is a surprised winner of the election, ending the 22 year old reign of incumbent Yahya Jammeh.

“What we see in this result is a change of government. The incumbent will call the new president to congratulate and wish him well,” Njie said.

Jammeh has ruled the tiny African country for 22 years with an iron fist and was widely accused of corruption and human rights abuses.

Gambians voted on Thursday amid total blackout of the Internet and all international calls, and with land borders sealed in a poll that posed the first serious challenge to Jammeh since he seized power in a coup in 1994.

Earlier this week, Jammeh said “my presidency and power are in the hands of Allah and only Allah can take it from him.”

Security forces deployed heavily in Banjul since yesterday and counting was slow.

Early results had shown that Yahya Jammeh had lost ground in the capital, his traditional stronghold.

However, opposition leader Barrow scored a symbolic victory in the capital Banjul, highlighting the strong challenge posed to Jammeh, who is standing for a fifth term.

Jammeh, 51 years old shot his way to power 22 years ago. The man who calls himself His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Doctor Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh Naasiru Deen seized power in a 1994 coup d’etat.

He was elected President in 1996 and re-elected in controversial polls in 2001, 2006, and 2011.

A deeply devout Muslim, Jammeh grew up in the western village of Kanilai in 1965, the year that The Gambia, a long east-west sliver of land bordered by Senegal, gained independence from Britain.

He joined the army in 1984 — his military title is the only one he has lost.

Ten years later, Jammeh mounted a coup with fellow army officers against Dawda Jawara, who had ruled the country since independence, pledging to root out corruption and hold elections.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: The Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari, is ill.

A top government official confirmed this to Daily Trust correspondent Friday night.

The official, who spoke under strict condition of anonymity, said that Kyari was flown to the United Kingdom (UK) on Thursday.

He, however, added that the chief of staff “is now stable” as he was responding to treatment.

The official declined comment on the nature of Kyari’s ailment.

According to the official, Kyari has since Friday been speaking to people in Nigeria.

Our correspondent reports that the Chief of Staff had since Wednesday not been sighted at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Daily Trust

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on Thursday lamented that Nigeria is sinking under the government of President Muhammadu Buhari as he has failed to deliver on his promises.

Soyinka, who spoke in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to Punch, which quoted AFP, said he was not surprised that Buhari had lost popularity just 18 months into office, given the high expectations that weighed on his government.

The former military ruler won the 2015 election on an agenda of “change”, vowing to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency, fight graft, fix broken infrastructure and heal the economy.

But since his election, the economy has officially gone into recession and global energy prices have plummeted. A relentless rebel campaign to sabotage the production of oil, the country’s main export, has added to the woes.

“There’s nothing surprising to me about his losing popularity, it should be expected,” said Soyinka, who was a fierce critic of Buhari’s earlier term as head of state after taking power in a coup in 1983.

“People wanted change, that word was not just a slogan, it was a promise,” Soyinka said in Johannesburg.
But when he took over power, “Nigeria was sinking”.

“Fulfilling political promises when you take over the reins of power and you have to clean up a lot of mess, it’s not easy,” said the Nobel prize-winning author.

The ex-military ruler has seen his approval ratings decline in recent months from 80 percent last year to 41 percent this September, according to analysis firm BMI Research.

Soyinka said while Buhari was the better choice of the two candidates in last year’s vote where he squared off against ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, it was high time the country weaned itself off leaders with military backgrounds.

“I was not particularly enamoured of the idea of a military person continuing — for heaven’s sake, it’s been too long,” he said.

“I feel very passionate that it’s about time that we eliminated the last vestiges of military control, of military representation. It’s as if there are no brains outside the military.”

Nigeria abandoned military rule in 1999 in favour of multi-party democracy following six military coups after independence from Britain in 1960.

Published in Headliners
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