FRSC dismisses staff for alleged faking of drivers’ licenses


The Federal Road Safety Commission has dismissed a Road Marshal Assistant, Sunny Kpogha, for alleged misconduct relating to insuring fake driver’s licenses.

The FRSC Sector Commander in Edo, Familoni Oluwasusi, made this known
in an interview in Benin on Saturday.

He said the dismissal of Mr. Kpogha, who was in the Benin office, was to serve as deterrent to other marshals in the commission.

He said that the dismissed staff had been handed over to the police
for prosecution.

“The Corp Marshal and Chief Executive of FRSC has directed that Mr Sunny Kpogha, a Road Marshal Assistant, having been adjudged guilty and his appointment terminated be handed over to the police for prosecution.

“Insuring of fake driver’s license to members of the public is a punishable offence and perpetrators should desist from it.

“Faking of driver’s licenses erodes the dignity of the country and reduces road taxes accrued to the government,” he said.

He called on members of the public to ensure that their biometrics were taken during the driver’s license insuring procedure.


NEMA Takes Over Management Of 22 Borno IDPs Camps

  • By Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri on June 20, 2015

Muhammed-Sani-SidiThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has on Thursday taken over the “feedings and management” of 22 resettlement camps for Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) in Borno state in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the state government last week.

The IDPs camps, are currently accommodating over 125, 000 displaced persons, sacked by the Boko Haram insurgency in the last two years from various towns and communities in Borno state.

The Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, disclosed this yesterday while launching a programme on the sewing of clothes for displaced persons at Dalori IDP camp in Maiduguri, the state capital.

He said the launching of clothes sewing in Maiduguri, marks the official takeover and management of IDPs in the state, along with the feeding of displaced persons in all the camps here in the metropolis and Biu.

“It is now NEMA’s responsibility to cloth the IDPs apart from feeding and medical services. The agency would do everything possible for the upkeep of all the IDPs in this state,” said Sidi yesterday at the launching.

Sidi, also at a courtesy visit on Governor Kashim Shettima, said that the agency had signed a MoU with Borno state government for managing the 22 established IDPs camps in Maiduguri metropolis and Biu.

He therefore; requested Shettima to provide befitting office accommodations for NEMA staff, so that the camps could be effectively sustained for proper management, before the displaced persons could return to their respective communities.

Earlier, the NEMA boss, while at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), said that the agency is collaborating with the hospital in the treatment of several Boko Haram victims admitted in the last two or three years.

Chairman Medical Advisory Committee in of hospital, Mohammed Bashir Tahir, also said that UMTH has been looking for an opportunity to tell the agency that they need its assistance, adding that since the beginning of insurgency in 2009, the hospital has been single handedly taking care of Boko Haram victim from the North East sub-region of the country.

Thousands join anti-austerity march in Britain

  • By afp on June 20, 2015

anti austerity marchThousands of demonstrators staged an anti-austerity march in London on Saturday, in the first major public protest since Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron won a general election.

Opposition politicians, trade union bosses and celebrities, including singer Charlotte Church and comedian Russell Brand, were among the crowds marching through the capital’s financial district.

The “End Austerity Now” demonstration — billed by organisers as the biggest in years — will finish outside parliament, while a similar march will take place in Glasgow.

There were several thousand marchers taking part in London, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Protesters called for the halting and reversal of spending cuts imposed by the previous coalition government and further measures proposed by finance minister George Osborne.

“We have seen a huge impact on our work at primary school,” said Sian Bloor, 45, a teacher from Trafford near Manchester.

“I regularly bring clothes and shoes for children and biscuits for their breakfast, just so they get something to eat.

“You can see how children are being affected by the cuts.”

Placard-waving protesters marched from the Bank of England and filed past the nearby Royal Exchange, as the sound of drummers filled the air, creating a festival atmosphere.

Some of the placards read: “Austerity Doesn’t Work”, “No to Cuts”, “Get the Tories Out” and “Austerity is Class War”.

A wide variety of campaigners were at the rally, including those opposed to Trident, hunting, tuition fees, fracking, along with various trade unions.

“It will be the start of a campaign of protest, strikes, direct action and civil disobedience up and down the country,” said Sam Fairbairn of organisers the People’s Assembly.

“We will not rest until austerity is history, our services are back in public hands and the needs of the majority are put first.”

Cameron clinched an unexpected election victory on May 7 that gave his centre-right Conservative party an outright majority in parliament for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The victory was widely seen as an endorsement of the Conservatives’ austerity programme and is likely to see a continuation of cuts to public spending as they seeks to curb a budget deficit of nearly £90 billion (120 billion euros, $140 billion).

The Conservatives had already implemented swinging cutbacks in public services and welfare spending during the previous coalition administration with the centrist Liberal Democrats.

Organisers are seeking on Saturday to highlight the impact of previous cutbacks on public services, the state-run National Health Service (NHS), welfare and education.

They will also warn over the effects of new austerity measures that Osborne is expected to unveil in a new budget on July 8.

The coalition’s austerity policies included around £20 billion of cuts to welfare, which will be reduced by another £12 billion over the next five years.

Greek debt: Fears grow over Greek banks’ health

  • 19 June 2015
  • From BBC, business section

Fears are growing over the health of Greek banks after indications that savers have withdrawn billions of euros in the past week.

Capital flight from beleaguered Greek banks this week alone could be more than €4bn (£2.9bn), reports say.

Savers are moving funds as time runs out to resolve Greece’s debt crisis.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has approved more emergency help for the banks and will review funding again on Monday, officials told news agencies.

The amount of extra funding has not been officially disclosed.

The pace of withdrawals has gained speed as talks between the government and its creditors have collapsed.

Greece has less than two weeks remaining to strike a deal or face defaulting on a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) loan repayment due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

If it fails to make the payment, it risks having to leave the eurozone and possibly also the EU.

But the European Commission, the IMF and the ECB are unwilling to unlock bailout funds until Greece agrees to reforms.

They want Greece to implement a series of economic changes in areas such as pensions, VAT and on the budget surplus before releasing €7.2bn of funds, which have been delayed since February.

‘Too little’ progress

On Monday, an emergency summit of leaders from eurozone nations will be held after the latest attempt to resolve the Greek debt crisis failed.

A meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Thursday made no breakthrough.

The head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said that “too little” progress had been made and that “no agreement as yet is in sight”.

Mr Dijsselbloem stressed that “very little time remains” for Greece.

Valdis Dombrovksis, European Commissioner for the euro, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that there had been “a strong signal” from the Eurogroup to Greece “that it’s [the] last moment to engage seriously in negotiations”.

Responding to the reports of big cash withdrawals by Greek savers, he said: “It’s very clear that one of the most urgent things Greece needs is financial stability.”

‘Quiet withdrawals’

The Reuters news agency said withdrawals by Greek savers between Monday and Friday reached about €4.2bn, which represents about 3% of household and corporate deposits held by Greek banks at the end of April.

“There are no lines [queues] or panic, it has been a quiet and gradual phase of withdrawals,” one banker told Reuters. “They are due to worries whether a deal will be clinched with the country’s lenders.”

A fully fledged run on the banks could upset the plans of the Greek government and its creditors, says BBC Europe correspondent Chris Morris.

Our correspondent says that any introduction of capital controls will depend on the behaviour of the Greek people.

He says that if the outflow of deposits from banks reaches alarming levels which no-one can really cope with, then the decision is taken out of policymakers’ hands.

Greece – deal or no deal?

  • Option 1: No deal: Greece defaults on IMF and ECB repayments; ECB pulls plug on emergency bank assistance leading to run on Greek banks, capital controls and potential Grexit
  • Option 2: Greece agrees reform deal with creditors at last minute and avoids default, staying in euro
  • Option 3: No deal reached but both sides paper over cracks and Greece stays in euro for now

Our correspondent says a member of the ECB’s governing board was quoted as saying he could not be sure that Greek banks would open on Monday, but that this comment had been selectively leaked by delegations from other countries.

Leaks like this suggest that the gloves have come off, he adds.

‘Prepared for the worst’

Ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers on Friday, UK Chancellor George Osborne said: “We have entered the eleventh hour of this Greek crisis, and we urge the Greek government to do a deal before it is too late.

“We hope for the best, but we now must be prepared for the worst.”

But Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday that there would be a solution to Greece’s debt crisis.

“The [eurozone] leaders summit on Monday is a positive development on the road toward a deal,” Mr Tsipras said in a statement.

“All those who are betting on crisis and terror scenarios will be proven wrong.”

He added: “There will be a solution based on respecting EU rules and democracy which would allow Greece to return to growth in the euro.”

Russia gas deal

Mr Tsipras was at an economic forum in St Petersburg in Russia on Friday with a delegation of ministers and business leaders.

At the forum, Greece and Russia signed a memorandum on extending the planned Turkish Stream gas pipeline to Europe through Greek territory.

Athens said funding would come from Russian state development bank VEB.

Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said at the signing ceremony that Greece needed support and not pressure, and that co-operation with Russia was not aimed against other countries or Europe.

But Russia is ready to consider giving financial aid to Greece, the TASS news agency reported.

“We will support any solution on regulating the Greek debt crisis that is suggested by Greece and our European partners,” the agency quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying.

“The most important things for us are investment projects and trade with Greece. If financial support is required, we will consider this question.”

Greek debt talks: main sticking points

  • Greece will not accept cuts to pension payments or public sector wages, saying two-thirds of pensioners are either below or near the poverty line
  • International creditors want pension spending cut by 1% of GDP – it accounts for 16% of Greek GDP. They say their target is early retirement not individual pensions
  • EU officials say Greece has agreed to budget surplus targets of 1% of GDP this year, followed by 2% in 2016 and 3.5% by 2018. Greece says nothing is agreed until everything is agreed
  • Creditors also want a wider VAT base; Greece says it will not allow extra VAT on medicines or electricity bills
  • Greece complains creditors focus on increasing taxes instead of cracking down on tax evasion; IMF is concerned Athens is not offering credible reforms


Idimu Tanker Explosion: Centenarian Seeks Govt.’s Help

  • By Laolu Adeyemi on June 20, 2015

petrol tanker fire kills 69 in OnitshaA 140-year-old man, Ramon Agbogunleri whose houses were gutted by the fire caused by tanker explosion in Idimu has cried out for help from Lagos State Government.

Agbogunleri who has been on bed since the incident occurred called on the government of Lagos State to help him rebuild his houses that were gutted by the fire.

In an Interview with The Guardian, the centenarian explained that the house is the only source of his livelihood. I no longer work and the rent I collects from this house is the only source of my livelihood. Narrating his ordeal, he said: “ I retired to bed early because of my age.

And by 12 am, my great grandchildren came to wake me up, shouting fire, fire. All I could hear was fire, fire at about this time. I managed to get up in order to run for my dare life but I fell after taking three steps. It was my children who came to carry me away and I can’t walk on my own again.”

Agbogunleri man disclosed that he walks without being supported but since that accident occurred, he could no longer walk. Asked of his loss, the old man mice no words.

He repeatedly says Government should help me rebuild my houses because that is all I live on. “I built two houses from the proceeds of my Tomato farming I did decades ago. All I have done in my life is farming.”

Export Boost

Nigeria LNG exports reach $85 billion in 15 years: official

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG), a joint venture between the government and foreign oil majors, has generated some 85 billion dollars from exports since its inception 15 years ago, the company announced late Friday.

“For us, it has been a success story. Between 1999 when we came on stream and now, we have realised some 85 billion dollars from exports of liquefied natural gas to buyers in Europe, America and Asia,” chief executive Babs Omotowa told reporters in Lagos.

He said the company, which was set up to harness Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and produce liquefied natural gas for export, has also paid billions of dollars to the state in tax.

“Just a few days ago, we paid 1.6 billion dollars to the government as tax and this will go a long way to assist the new government in solving some of its problems,” he said.

The new administration of President Mohammadu Buhari, who became the first Nigerian to oust a sitting president in democratic elections in March, is facing a severe economic crunch.

About 20 of the country’s 36 states are unable to pay workers salaries.

Omotowa said the company had paid 30 billion dollars in dividends to its shareholders over the years, including the government, which owns a 49-per-cent stake through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

NLNG’s other shareholders are Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell, which owns 25.6 percent, Total LNG Nigeria, a subsidiary of French oil giant Total which owns 15 percent, and Italy’s Eni, which has 10.4 percent.

Omotowa said plans were afoot to expand the NLNG plant in Finima on Bonny island, in the oil and gas-rich southern Rivers state, by 2017.

“With six trains (production units) currently operational, plans for building Train 7 that will lift the total production capacity to 30 million metric tons per annum of LNG are currently progressing,” he said.

He said Train 7 would cost an estimated 12 billion dollars, create 18,000 construction jobs and bring in an additional three billion dollars in exports when operational.

Nigeria currently exports 22 million metric tons of LNG, making it the world’s fourth largest LNG exporter.

Liquefied natural gas, which is created by cooling natural gas and transforming into liquid for transport on tankers, represents around nine percent of global gas demand.


Miners move to create 300,000 jobs annually

MINERS under the aegis of Mining Association of Nigeria, MAN, have resolved to create about 300, 000 jobs in the sector. This was disclosed by the Chairman, MAN, Alhaji Sani Shehu, at a news conference with theme: “Mining is the Answer,” where he said that the association has also developed a five-year Strategic Development Plan, SDP, for the mining sector.

Enugu_miningHe said the SDP will help create as well as contribute up to 10 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP. He said Nigeria has at least 33 viable solid minerals deposits, all of which contribute less than one percent to the GDP as compared to 10 percent generated from the sector before oil was discovered.

Shehu said: “The solid minerals industry is witnessing a renaissance and its relevance to Nigerian economy can no longer be downplayed, especially at a time when critical, diverse investments are needed to enhance the economic empowerment of our people.

“The Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, has developed a five-year Strategic Development Plan for the mining sector which would create 300,000 jobs annually as well as contribute 10 per cent to the GDP. “The vast occurrences of solid mineral resources in each state of the federation are yet to be accorded due attention; collective and affirmative action is desired in order to fully exploit the enormous prospects that exist.

“South Africa, which is less endowed than Nigeria in this regard, depends on solid minerals exploitation for 18 per cent of its GDP and has created over one million jobs.” The MAN boss also recalled measures taken by the former administration to reform the mining industry by creating institutions which provided a platform for the sector in line with industrial best practices.

He said even with the reform, the sector still had challenges of inadequate skilled labour, inadequate geological and bankable data, multiple taxation as well as inadequate logistical support and a host of others. He appealed to the government in the area of reliable geosciences data, and also urged the new administration to include the solid minerals sector under the local content law, which will enable human capacity building and facilitate mining cooperatives into clusters.

Meanwhile, he stressed the importance of adequate funding for the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, for its departments to be strengthened to perform optimally according to their statutory functions. He also called on the government to promote local manufacture of mining equipment and create the enabling environment to allow operators to access funds more easily and at single digit interest rates.