Nigeria stands to continue to benefit from an improved oil revenue as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided on Thursday in Vienna to extend cuts in oil output by nine months to March 2018 to further battle a global glut of crude. OPEC’s cuts have helped to push oil back above $50 a barrel this year, giving a fiscal boost to producers, many of whom rely heavily on energy revenues. Oil’s earlier price decline, which started in 2014, forced Russia and Saudi Arabia to tighten their belts and led to unrest in some producing countries, including Venezuela and Nigeria. In December, OPEC agreed its first production cuts in a decade and the first joint cuts with non-OPEC, led by Russia in 15 years. The two sides decided to remove about 1.8 million barrels per day from the market in the first half of 2017, equal to 2 per cent of global production. Despite the output cut, OPEC kept exports fairly stable in the first half of 2017 as its members sold oil from stocks.
Nigeria is seeking $5.2 billion from the World Bank to expand electricity generation. The money is also meant to help the nation’s economy recover from its first contraction in 25 years. The bank’s private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, may invest about $1.3 billion in power projects and electricity distribution companies. According to Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, the bank’s political-risk insurer, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, could provide equity and debt of $1.4 billion for gas and solar power programs . Disbursements with the World Bank are being worked out to start from around June, July this year, Nigeria wants to see results. The Nigerian economy shrank 1.5 per cent last year, entering its first recession since 1991, occasioned by fall in oil prices and production and dollar shortages. According to the International Monetary Fund, IMF, however, the nation’s Gross domestic product could expand 0.8 per cent this year and 1.9 per cent in 2018.
President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to London for “medical follow-up, the length of the president’s stay away is to be determined by his “London doctors”. The recent trip occurs less than two months after the president also spent over 50 days in London on medical vacation. The president had planned to leave Sunday afternoon, but decided to tarry a bit, due to the arrival of 82 Chibok girls who arrived Abuja earlier in the day. “The President wishes to assure all Nigerians that there is no cause for worry. He is very grateful for the prayers and good wishes of the people, and hopes they would continue to pray for the peace and unity of the nation”, said president’s spokeperson. Government will continue to function normally under the leadership of the Vice President.
Eighty-two Chibok schoolgirls abducted three years ago by Boko Haram have been freed in exchange for detained suspects with the extremist group. The statement from the office of President Muhammadu Buhari was the first confirmation that his government had made a swap for the girls. After an initial release of 21 Chibok girls in October, the government denied making an exchange or paying ransom. The April 2014 abduction by Boko Haram brought the extremist group’s rampage in northern Nigeria to world attention, many of the captive girls, most of them Christians, were forced to marry their captors,It is feared that other girls were strapped with explosives and sent on missions as suicide bombers.Now 113 of the girls remain captive.The freed girls were expected to meet with Buhari on Sunday in the capital, Abuja.
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has restated his commitment to completing 3000km of roads within his first four years in office, adding that more youths would be trained in road design and construction using concrete technology. He stated this as he commissioned the newly reconstructed 500m Nevis Street, which links four major roads in Benin City. Governor Obaseki stated that with the success recorded in the use of concrete technology, he would, in the next few weeks, award contracts for the construction and reconstruction of 45 roads across the state, explaining that he would construct the roads with raw materials sourced from the state. The Governor noted that the state did not need to depend on foreign exchange for road construction as all materials and human capital could be found locally, while he also urged the youths in the state to register in the Edo Jobs Initiative to be gainfully employed.
Many suspected leaders of Boko Haram may have been killed in a recent air strike carried out by Nigeria Air Force fighter jets. According to a statement issued from the Directorate of Public Relations and Information of the Nigeria Air Force, the strike took place in a village called Mangosum in Borno State. Mr. Adesanya said the attack was effected following a NAF intelligence. He said while a large number of suspected Boko Haram leaders were killed during the raid, troops also recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition at the attacked location. Battle Damage Assessment conducted after the strike showed that several leaders of the Boko Haram Terrorist Organization and their followers were killed during the attacks. In addition, a sizeable cache of weapons and equipment was destroyed. With the successful air interdiction, the Nigerian Air Force was able to frustrate yet another attempt by the remnants of the Boko Haram Terrorists to regroup in the Sambisa general area.
Mr. Samuel, a colonel, said the soldiers bravery was praised by top officers of the Nigerian Army. He said, “the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu commended the troops of 21 Brigade of the Division for delivering a devastating deep punch to Boko Haram terrorists leading to the capture of large quantities of terrorists’ equipment. In addition, the gallant troops made heavy seizures with the destruction of 1 vehicle bound Improvised Explosive Device belonging to the terrorists and capture of 1 Buffalo Gun truck”.
The Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS, DELTA said it has nabbed 10 suspected oil thieves onboard in Delta. The Commander of NNS Delta, Ibrahim Dewu, disclosed this while parading the suspects at Focados River, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta on Wednesday. Mr. Dewu said that the suspects were caught while siphoning crude oil into the vessel from Afremo A platform, a loading jacket belonging to the Shell Petroleum and Development Company (SPDC) in Forcados River. According to him, they had siphoned about 2000 metric tonnes of crude oil from the loading jacket before they were caught. “This vessel has been around our water, what they do is that they go into the high sea during the day, they come late night and connect to the Jacket and siphon crude oil”. Is now ongoing an operation called “Delta Safe Operation River Sweep Two and Operation Tsare Teku”, the navy would continue to check illegalities in the nation`s maritime domain. Oil companies owning loading jackets are being advised to keep constant watch on their platforms.
At least five people were killed when suicide bombers detonated explosives at three different locations in Muna area of Borno State. The areas affected were Muna Usmanti, Muna Garage and Muna Ethopia, 11 other people were injured in the attacks that occurred in the morning. Among the dead were four suicide bombers and a member of security volunteer group. The spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, North-East, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, disclosed that response agencies promptly responded to the distress call: “We have since taken the injured persons to hospital for proper medical attention while the dead bodies have been deposited in the mortuary” he said. Suicide bombings have become a major attack tool for the Boko Haram whose insurgency has caused the death of about 100,000 people since 2009.
The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Wednesday hosted the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, th monarch said he was in Ife to formally congratulate Ooni on his ascension to the throne and to appreciate him for his role following the recent clash between Hausas and Yorubas in Ife. The clash caused the death of at least 46 people, according to the police. The emir thanked his host and the people of Ife for the warm reception given to him and prayed for the continued relationship between Kano Emirate and Ife Kingdom. He added that: “My visit here today is a happy and sad one. It is a happy one because it is an opportunity for me to come and formally congratulate you on your enthronement and it is a sad one because it is in connection with the sad incidence that occurred at Ile-Ife recently”. Mr. Sanusi also commended the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, for setting up a commission of enquiry to look into the matter and immediate cause of the incident and to recommend appropriately so as to avoid future re-occurrence and to ensure that justice is done.