Nigeria’s Inflation Grows to 18.72% in January – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics says the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, increased by 18.72 per cent (year-on-year) in January from 18.55 per cent recorded in December, 2016.

The CPI, which measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day to-day living, is 0.17 per cent points higher from the points recorded in December.

A report released by the NBS in Abuja on Wednesday noted that increases recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose divisions that yielded the Headline Index.

It said, “Communication, Restaurants and Hotels again recorded the slowest pace of growth in January, growing at 5.1 per cent and 8.4 per cent (year-on-year) respectively.

“However, the faster pace of growth in headline inflation, year -on- year, were bread and cereals, meat, fish, oils and fats, potatoes, yams and other tubers as well as and wine and spirits.

“Also, clothing materials and accessories, electricity, cooking gas, liquid and solid fuels, motor cars and maintenance, vehicle spare parts and fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, passenger transport by road.’’

On a month on month basis, the report stated that headline inflation was driven by passenger transport by air, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment and liquid fuels.

The report also stated that the headline inflation was driven by cooking gas, oils and fats, fruits, Mike cheese and eggs, fish, meat and bread as well as cereals.

“The Food Index increased by 17.82 per cent (year-on-year) in January, up by 0.43 per cent points from rate recorded in December 2016 (17.39) per cent.

“During the month, all major food sub-indexes increased, with Soft Drinks recording the slowest pace of increase at 7.8 per cent (year on year).

“Price movements recorded by All items less farm produce or Core sub-index rose by 17.90 per cent (year-on-year) in January, down by 0.20 per cent points from rates recorded in December 2016 (18.10) per cent.

“During the month, the highest increases were seen in Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels, Education and Transport growing at 27.2, 21.0 and 17.2 per cent respectively.’’

On a month-on-month basis, the report further stated that the Headline index increased albeit, at a slower pace in January 2017.

It stated that the index increased by 1.01 per cent points in January, 0.05 per cent points from 1.06 per cent rate recorded in December 2016.

It said, “It should be noted that the Headline Index is made up of the Core Index and Farm Produce items. As Processed Foods are included in both the Core and Food sub-indices; this implies that these sub-indices are not mutually-exclusive.’’

Meanwhile, the report stated that Urban index rose by 20.31 per cent (year-on-year) in January from 20.12 per cent recorded in December, and the Rural index increased by 17.34 per cent in January from 17.20 per cent in December.

It said, “On month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.03 per cent in January from 1.08 per cent recorded in December, while the rural index rose by 1.00 per cent in January from 1.04 per cent in December.”

The construction of the CPI combines economic theory, sampling and other statistical techniques using data from other surveys to produce a weighted measure of average price changes in the Nigerian economy.

Key in the construction of the price index is the selection of the market basket of goods and services.

Every month, 10,534 informants spread across the country provide price data for the computation of the CPI and the market items currently comprise of 740 goods and services regularly priced.


Nigerian Returnees from Libya Recount Tales of Tape, Torture

1 Nigerians returned voluntarily from Libya, assisted by the International Organisation for Migration after being detained for several months in Libya.

They said they travelled to the North African country with the hope of crossing to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea in search of jobs.

Although they arrived Lagos thanking their Creator for bringing them home safely, several of them confessed to the News Agency of Nigeria that their quest for greener pastures abroad had left them scarred.

One of the returnees, Miss Bridget Akeamo, an indigene of Anambra State, said her parents decided to send her to Italy when all hopes of securing a job after graduation faded.

Bridget, who said she left Nigeria August last year, was four months pregnant when she returned.

She said she was arrested by immigration officials while trying to cross to Italy from Libya.

Bridget said, “Ever since then, I have been moved from one prison to another until I was taken to a detention camp in Tripoli.

“We were subjected to inhuman treatment while in prison, from the food we ate to the water we drank.

“Most of the young ladies in detention camp were repeatedly raped by Libyan officials; and if you refused their advances, it would be hell for you.

“Thank God I am back in Nigeria. I know all hope is not lost, but it is painful that I will begin from scratch again with my unborn child.”

Stanley Iduh, a 34-year-old indigene of Delta State, told NAN that he was tricked by an agent popularly known as “Burger,” who promised to facilitate his journey to Spain through Libya.

He said that when his hope of crossing into Spain was dashed in Libya, he decided to stay back and work there.

He said, “I worked in a tile producing company and their salary was good, but unfortunately, I cannot save my money in the bank. I lived with other Nigerians. I dug a hole in the ground and hid my money in it.

“Unfortunately, one day, some Libyans came, kidnapped us and inflicted punishment on us. They asked us to call our relations back in Nigeria and tell them to send N300,000 as our ransom.

“The $200,000 that I saved disappeared; they moved us to another place until we got to detention camp.

“Nigerians should be discouraged from travelling to Libya because they don’t see us as human beings. Our ladies were dehumanised by Libyan officials. It is very painful.”

Iduh, who said he sold the house left by his late father before travelling to Libya, urged the federal and state governments as well as wealthy Nigerians to create job for the youths.

“It was because I was jobless for three years that I was cajoled to travel abroad to look for greener pasture. I am back in the country after eight months, devastated and humiliated. I have gone to look for greener pasture, but here I am today; I have brought nothing green back home,” he said; with tears running down his cheeks.

Paul and Marvellous Isikhuemhen are twin brothers who travelled to Libya in March and May 2016 respectively in search of better life.

Marvellous told NAN that they regretted travelling out of the country because of the bitter encounter they had in Libya.

He said though they secured good jobs in a publishing house in Libya, “it was a case of suffering and smiling’’ until they were given the opportunity to return home through the IOM.

The brothers urged the Nigerian government to stop young ladies from travelling to Libya, saying they were molested by Libyan immigration officials.

They said most Nigerian ladies bribe Nigerian immigration officers to secure travel documents to travel to Libya, adding that most of the children brought back home by these ladies have no fathers.

“I can boldly tell you that the children you are seeing in their hands and those pregnant ladies are products of Libyan immigration officers,” one of them said.


Nokia 3310 is Coming Back

Nokia will re-launch its popular 3310 mobile phone, perhaps the best-loved and most resilient phone in history.

It will be revealed at Mobile World Congress later this month, according to leaker Evan Blass who first revealed the details.

The phone was originally released in 2000 and in many ways beginning the modern age of mobiles.

According to Independent , it will be sold as a way of getting lots of battery life in a nearly indestructible body.

The new incarnation of the old 3310 will be sold for just €59 (about N23,000), and so likely be pitched as a reliable second phone to people who fondly remember it the first time around.

It’s still possible to buy the 3310 on Amazon, though only through its marketplace and not directly from the company itself.

The Amazon listing describes a range of features, including a clock, calculator, the ability to store up to ten reminders and four games: Snake II, Pairs II, Space Impact, and Bantumi.

Snake was so well-loved that it’s currently available for iPhone, Android and Windows phone users to download.

That collection of features has led to it being branded as perhaps the most resilient and long-lasting phone ever made. The reputation has let it become the star of hundreds of memes, and even led people to crush it in a hydraulic press.

Nokia struggled to bring its brand into the smartphone era and ended up being sold to Microsoft.

But since then it has targeted success by making new versions of old phones, including the Nokia 215, which costs $29 and lasts for 29 days.

Phones made under the Nokia brand are now sold by HMD Global, a Finnish company that bought the rights to the name. HMD will reveal other new mobiles – the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 – at the same MWC event.

Those other new phones wll be more like smartphones, but will retain much of the same low price.

Daily Independent UK

Osun Student Wins End Female Genital Mutilation Poster Competition

A student of Phoebestat Royalty school, Osogbo, Adetunji Tosin, has emerged the winner of a Poster Design competition to end Female Genital Mutilation.

The competition organised by Value Reorientation for Community Enhancement, VARCE.

At the grand finale which held in Osogbo, the State of Osun capital, Miss Adetunji Tosin emerged first, whilst, Adedoyin Mercy and Adedunmoye Zainab took second and third respectively.

In his welcome address, the coordinator of VARCE, Ademola Adebisi stated that the reason for their NGO engaging in the campaign was due to the fact that in the south west of Nigeria, Osun was the state with the highest case of female genital mutilation and the Art competition was a type of a wake up call to the reality of FGM prevalent in the state.

He called on all the stakeholders to pull their resources together in ensuring that female genital mutilation was indeed a thing of the past.

In relation to the art competition, the VARCE coordinator hinted that over 350 entries were received from female secondary school students round the state out of which the 3 finalists were arrived at.

According to him, “all three finalists were then screened at the state ministry of health from which the second and first runner ups and the first position was arrived at.

The three finalist apart from going home with generous financial gifts also attracted projects to their schools.

Meanwhile, the first lady of the state of Osun, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola the founder of Sherifat Care Foundation (SCARF) through her representative Mr. Rotimi Ajayi pledged some financial rewards for the three finalists and inba separate interview revealed that another spelling bee competition would be organised for students in the state and the three finalist at the end female genital mutilation art competition were qualified automatically.

FRSC To check All Forms Of Overloading Of Vehicles

The Federal road safety commission (FRSC) has reiterated its commitment to check overloading of vehicles to reduced carnage on the road.

The Zonal Commander in charge of Osun, Oyo and Ondo, Mr Augustine Aipoh, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)  in Osogbo on Monday.

Aipoh said that the commission was against all form of overloading, speeding, road traffic offences, and warned motorists to desist from the act.

 He said that the speed limit device was introduced to enhance safety on Nigeria roads and to regulate  the speed of most vehicles.

Aipoh said the stressed the device would help regulate speeding and other road traffic-related offences on highways.

Aipoh , however, urged personnel of his command to put in their best toward effective implementation of some important  strategic goals which would help in saving lives on Nigerian roads.


How ‘Ego’ And Conspiracy Theories ‎Led To Boko Haram Killings And Destructions By Kashim Shettima

Apart from the immeasurable national impact he made within just 198 days (less than seven months) in office, what is decidedly affirmed to be the late General Murtala Muhammed’s most famous speech set the stage for Africa’s epochal confrontation with colonial, racist and settler regimes in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Rhodesia (renamed Zimbabwe), and South Africa. At the Extra-Ordinary Summit of African Heads of States under the Organisation of African Unity, held in Addis Ababa, the political capital of Africa, on  January 11th, 1976, Africa’s martyr General Murtala Muhammed, put the world on notice. The speech aptly titled “Africa has come of age” declared that our countries, and by extension all their social and political organizations, “would not take orders from any extra-continental power, however, powerful.”

He, General Murtala Muhammed of blessed memory, further stated that “Africa is capable of resolving her own problems without any presumptuous lessons in ideological dangers, which more often than not, have no relevance to the problems at hand…”. 41 years after General Murtala expressed this bold vision, we must ask ourselves, is it that Africa has now retrogressed below the threshold of positive consciousness bequeathed to us to this moment when “extra-continental powers” like ISIS or Al-Qaeda are directing Boko Haram to turn its lethal weapons on social progress, with poor people as the undeniable victims of their insurgency?

For a succession of Nigerian leaders going back to the first republic under Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, through General Yakubu Gowon and General Olusegun Obasanjo who succeeded General Murtala Muhammed, the willingness to deploy resources to secure the basic rights to life and happiness, not just in Nigeria but all over Africa, was deeply rooted in the psyche of the true leaders of our people. For again, in that his famous speech, General Murtala Muhammed, minced no words in stating why it was necessary to fight evil wherever it occurred in Africa: quote, “when I contemplate the evils of apartheid, my heart bleeds and I am sure the heart of every true-blooded African bleeds.”  End of quote.

Borno Governor Shettima

Most researchers believe that the cradle of apartheid in South Africa was in 1948 and lasted till 1994 when Africa’s legend, Nelson Mandela of the ANC had to be released from prison to assume the democratic leadership of the country. But in the age or era of apartheid, a total of 21,000 persons were murdered according to reports published by the Human Rights Committee of South Africa which conducted an extensive investigation into the atrocities of the Boers against Africans. At the time General Murtala’s heart bled over atrocities of apartheid, the number of murders was less than 7,000 in the run-up to 1976 through the 1980s.

 The majority of the assassinations and killings totaling 14,000, actually took place between 1990 and 1994.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, how much more would General Murtala’s heart have bled today if he were around to know, that while it took South Africa’s apartheid 46 years to take 21,000 lives, it took Boko Haram only 7 years to cause the murders of 100,000 lives of innocent people, largely women, children and old people in Nigeria?

If General Murtala Muhammed were alive today, imagine how his heart would have bled most profusely! Certainly, his fate would have been no better than Egypt’s General Gamel Abdel Nasser’s in September 1970, when his heart failed over a lingering worry that fellow Arabs, Jordanians, and Palestinians, were killing each other. I cannot resist such a comparison, for it stands to be argued if General Murtala Muhammed was not to Africa, what Gamel Abdel Nasser was to Arabia. It took a heart failure for Gamal Abdel Nasser, whereas a black African consciously planned and carried out the assassination of Africa’s martyr, General Murtala Muhammed! May his soul rest in peace! Amen!

I came into office in the midst of the Boko Haram crisis in 2011. As at that time, the insurgents had begun serial assassinations and planting of IEDs mainly in Maiduguri metropolis, which was, and now even more so, the most populated part of the State.

Last month, my predecessor Governor Ali Modu Sheriff issued a political statement. In it, he implied that as at the time he handed over to me in 2011, Boko Haram had asserted territorial control and carried out its atrocities within Maiduguri only. According to him, Boko Haram wasn’t in control of local government areas. His statement, designed as it were to aim a cheap political shot, only stood down both the facts and internal dynamics of the Boko Haram terror strategy.

The thesis, yet to be punctured, is that the spread of Boko Haram was a consequence of creating and nurturing the enabling environment that started it in the first place, and that consciously carved out niches for it in governance and society.

Two years before I came into office, specifically, in July, 2009 when the Boko Haram launched its first (major) concurrent attacks in Maiduguri, its cells carried out similar attacks in Damasak, headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area in Borno State. Cells, then yet to become active, existed alongside visible followers in other local government areas.

In fact, the Boko Haram which spread to Bauchi (Bauchi State) and Potiskum (Yobe State) from Borno State attacked targets in these states within the same July, 2009. Boko Haram was by this time everywhere in Borno State.  I have restrained myself from blaming the previous Governor but the fact of the matter is that Governor Ali Modu Sheriff allowed his ego to override his actions by failing to amicably settle the violent disagreements that ensued between a group of armed forces and followers of the Boko Haram sect in 2009, who at that time were known as Yusufiyya. Between 2008 and 2009, the late Mohammed Yusuf was a regular critique of Sheriff’s administration in some of his sermons, I do not know the basis of their problems. Then, in June, 2009, there were disagreements between Yusuf’s followers and an anti-robbery squad codenamed, ‘Operation Flush’.


Credit: Sahara Reporters

Soldiers Sack Agatu Villages, kill Pregnant Woman And Five others

Soldiers have sacked six villages in the Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, killing six persons, including a pregnant woman.

This followed the killing of a soldier at the weekend by some youths in the area.

But the Brigade Commander of the 707 Special Force, Brig. Clement Apere, denied that soldiers attacked the people.

“The operation we conducted in the area was carried out in a professional way,” he said.

However, sources from Agatu, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday, explained that six villages — Olegadakolo, Ikpele, Otugologwu, Iwali, Okpanchenyi and Egba — were sacked by the soldiers.

At Egba community, sources said a pregnant woman was hit by a stray bullet, adding that the six villages had been deserted.

“This is genocide on our people, as I’m talking to you now, six villages have been sacked, children and women have moved out of the affected villages, while many people have been arrested by the invading soldiers,” a resident of one of the villages, who pleaded anonymity said.

The council’s sole administrator, Mr. Mike Inalegwu, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, also denied the killing of people in Agatu communities but admitted the invasion of military personnel.

“There is no iota of truth in that, no one was killed, the military were only on the mission to recover their arms and ammunition,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference, the commander, 707 Special Forces Brigade, Brig. Gen. Clement Apere,  said only one person was arrested.

Credit: Punch news

Economy Going Out Of Recession, Says Fed Govt

The recession is receding, the Federal Government said yesterday.
Proof: the about eight-fold over subscription of the government’s Eurobond (orders in excess of US$7.8 billion compared to a pre-issuance target of US$1bn).
Besides, the oversubscription, the government believes, has confirmed the confidence level of the international investment community in Nigeria’s economic reform agenda.
A report in Issue 23 of Aso Villa’s Newsletter, Government at Work, released on Monday, also gave 11 other reasons why the government believes that the economy is on its way out of recession.
After two consecutive quarters of negative growth, according to the newsletter, the non-oil economy witnessed in Q3 2016 a modest return to positive territory at 0.03%.
It attributed this marginal growth to the continued good performance of agriculture and solid minerals, two sectors prioritised by the Federal Government.
According to it, agriculture grew by 4.54% in the quarter; crop production is at nearly 5% – its highest since the first quarter of 2014.
Growth in the solid mineral sector, the newsletter said, averaged about 7%.
The second reason why the government believes the economy is recovering is the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which it said substantially raised local rice production in 2016 (yields improved from two tonnes per hectare to as much as seven tonnes per hectare, in some states) and produced a model agricultural collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi states.
Thirdly, it said that the Fertiliser Intervention Project (which involves a partnership with the Government of Morocco, for the supply of phosphate) is on course to significantly raise local production, and bring the retail price of fertiliser down by about 30 percent.
Another reason given by the government is the taking off of the newly established Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), with initial funding of US$1.3bn (provided by the World Bank, German Development Bank, the African Development Bank and Agence Française de Development) to provide medium and long-term loans to MSMEs.
The newsletter states: “A new Social Housing Programme is kicking off in 2017. The ‘Family Homes Fund’ will take off with a 100 billion naira provision in the 2017 Budget. (The rest of the funding will come from the private sector).
“More than N800 billion  has been released for capital expenditure in the 2016 budget, since implementation started in June 2016. This is the largest ever capital spend within a single budget year in the history of Nigeria. These monies have enabled the resumption of work on several stalled projects – road, rail and power projects – across the country.”
The government also gave the implementation of the Social Investment and Empowerment Programme (SIP) as a reason for growth of the economy.
All the four components of the SIP, it noted, have now taken off.
The newsletter described the SIP as the largest and most ambitious social safety net programme in the history of Nigeria, with more than 1 million beneficiaries so far: – 200,000 N-Power beneficiaries, 23,400 Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP) Scheme beneficiaries, 1,000,000 Homegrown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) beneficiaries, and ongoing Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) payments across nine pilot states.
It said: “Strategic Engagements with OPEC and in the Niger Delta have played an important part in raising our expected oil revenues. Already, Nigeria’s External Reserves have grown by more than $4 billion in the last three months.
“Collaboration with China, proceeding from President Buhari’s April 2016 visit, has unlocked billion of dollars in infrastructure funding. Construction will begin on the first product of that collaboration, a 150km/hour rail line between Lagos and Ibadan, in Q1 2017.
“The National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP), the Federal Government’s medium-term Economic Plan, is due for launch in February 2017, and will chart a course for the Nigerian economy over the next four years (2017 – 2020).” it stated.


Credit: The Nations News

Fidelity Bank Staff, Accomplice Jailed 6years For Stealing Bank’s N2m

The convicts, whose addresses were not provided, were arraigned for a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

An Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court which handed down the judgment, said it found the men culpable going by the evidence adduced and diligent prosecution.

The Magistrate, Idowu Olayinka, said investigations showed that the duo committed the offences and, therefore,
contravened Sections 383 and 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun 2006.

Mr. Olayinka, who sentenced them to three years imprisonment each on each count, said the sentences should run concurrently.

In addition, he said the convicts would pay a fine of N20,000 to the bank after they must have refunded the N2 million or part of it.

Earlier the prosecutor, Augustine Ozimini, told the court that duo and others at large committed the offences on April 14, 2015 at about noon at a Fidelity Bank located at Omida in the state capital.

According to him, the duo conspired to steal the N2 million from the banking hall.

“Idris, a staff of Fidelity Bank, got to know Sulaimon at the Mosque where he goes to pray and Sulaimon introduced him to one Alfa Isiaku Ramon.

“On April 14, 2015, Sulaimon said he went into the banking hall and told Idris not to give Alfa Ramon any money, but Ramon went to bank and collected the sum of N2 million from Idris, the banker.

“Unfortunately for Idris at the close of work, the bank noticed in its account a shortfall and during investigation, the bank was able to link the missing money to Idris.

“The bank through its CCTV camera discovered that Idris gave Ramon money packed in a nylon without any bank transaction.

“After Ramon collected the money which he said he had early asked Idris to loan him to do business, he disappeared.”

He noted that the offences violated Sections 383(1) and 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun 2006.

Credit: Today News

Father Kills 11-Year-Old Twins Over Witchcraft

The Cross River Police Command has arrested a 33-year-old man for killing his twin children for allegedly being witches.

Presenting the suspects to newsmen in Calabar on Tuesday, the Acting Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, alleged that Anyanime Festus killed his 11-year-old twins, Emediong and Mfoniso, for confessing to being witches.

Inuwa said that the incident happened on Jan. 11, 2017 in Uyanga community in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state.

He said that the matter was reported to the police by one David Innocent and Joseph Orok from the same area.

He said, “The incident happened on Jan. 11, 2017 in Uyanga community in Akamkpa Local Government Area following a report to the police by one David Innocent and Joseph Orok.

“They reported that the two female identical twins were found lying along Uyanga bush track in Akamkpa.

“According to them, one of the twins was found dead while the other was lying down and was unable to speak.

“Much later, the other twin that was lying down was able to speak and she gave her name as Emediong Festus and that of her twin sister as Mfoniso Festus, both 11 years.

“She said that on January 10, 2017, their father told them he was taking them to their mother, and on getting to a bush track, he gave them malt drink suspected to be mixed with poisonous substances.

“Shortly after they drank the malt, her sister died and their father abandoned them there.”

The commissioner further said that the other twin later died in the hospital, adding that both corpses were now deposited at the General Hospital, Akamkpa, for autopsy.

The suspect, who is a taxi driver, said that since the incident happened, he had “not been himself”.

Festus, who said he regretted his action, blamed the incident on the devil.

He said, “I poisoned them through the malt I gave them to drink. I did it because they confessed to being witches.”

Credit: Punch

Danfo Ban: Don’t Panic, Lagos NURTW Tells Members

The National Union of Road Transport Workers, Lagos Chapter, on Tuesday advised its members not to panic over the proposed ban on operations of yellow commercial buses.

The state Chairman of the union, Mr. Tajudeen Agbede, on Tuesday said that the union was discussing the proposed ban with the government, adding that the union was ready to cooperate with the state government on its mega city project.

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had on February 6 announced a plan to stop operations of yellow commercial buses popularly known as ‘danfo’ for a more efficient, well-structured and world-class mass transport system.

Ambode said that the well-structured transport system would ease movement within the state and make Lagos cleaner without burdening the people in terms of taxes.

He said, “We are still discussing with the government on the proposed ban on yellow buses, but we believe it is going to yield a positive result.

“The union is ready to comply with the conditions of making the state a mega city.

“We are ready to change the colour of our buses and also comply with the directive to follow the service lanes.”

According to him, the union members are also ready to refurbish their vehicles to attain mega city standards.

Credit: Omojuwa