TOP NEWS IN NIGERIA TODAY(MORNING EDITION)
Foreign currency speculators, who launched an unprecedented attack against the naira in the last two weeks, got their fingers burnt on Tuesday when the nation’s currency staged a major recovery, rising to N310 to a dollar at the close of business, compared to N375 at which it sold on Monday.
The naira fell to an all-time low of about N400 to a dollar on the parallel market last week fuelling concerns that it would plummet further to N450-N500/$ this week.
But findings from THISDAY showed that the naira defied expectations, climbing to as high as N305 to the dollar at some parallel market points in Lagos on Tuesday afternoon, before settling at N310.
Forex dealers and currency analysts attributed the significant gain on the parallel market to excess supply of the greenback in the market, even as it looked like a lot of speculators lost the shirts on their back.
THISDAY gathered from a reliable source that speculators who thought that by attacking the currency last week, coupled with misplaced concerns that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was going to stop the allocation of forex for school fees and medical bills abroad, this would compel the central bank and President Muhammadu Buhari to alter their stance against the devaluation of the currency.
But they were disappointed when Buhari, in Egypt at the weekend, adamantly ruled out the devaluation of the naira on the grounds that Nigeria does not have the competitive advantage to benefit from an official currency adjustment.
Reacting to the president’s stance, speculators who had been betting that the naira would depreciate further, started dumping the dollars with reckless abandon, effectively creating excess supply of the greenback in the parallel market.
=>N200 Per Dollar Proposal: Ifeanyi Ubah Stakes N500bn Assets-AuthorityNgr
Ubah’s magic working already as Dollar dips to N305 after his challenge
The Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Services Limited, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, on Tuesday staked his N500 billion assets on his proposal to the Federal Government to stem the free fall of the Naira against the Dollar.
Ubah said if given the opportunity by the government, he would halt the slide of the national currency and bring it back to N200 to the dollar within one month.
The billionaire businessman, who addressed journalists in Abuja, backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision against devaluing the Naira, noting that such move would not augur well for the economy.
He stated that it was wrong to blame the fall of the Naira on low price of crude oil in the international market, insisting that other major oil exporting countries were not facing similar challenge with their national currency.
Ubah said if he failed to fulfil his pledge, government was free to take over his assets. He therefore called on the government to make him its chief consultant on financial stability, stressing that he would work with any government agency or groups including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to achieve his target.
Indeed, Ubah’s magic seems to have started working already. The Naira had been trading at N385 to the dollar at the black market in the last few days. However, within 48 hours of Ubah’s challenge to bring the dollar down to N200 within one month, if mandated by the Federal Government, the Dollar dipped significantly yesterday, trading at N305 in some bureau de change outfits within the Federal Capital Territory.
“This shows that the scarcity was artificial. The masses, especially traders, are suffering. Some traders are almost packing up their things to go home, because of the high cost of foreign exchange which is crippling their businesses. Those manipulating and benefitting from the foreign exchange racket should be fished out and punished,” Chief Ubah said.
He explained that having built the Capital Oil and Gas Services Limited to a position where it now accounts for 34 percent of Nigeria’s daily consumption of petroleum products, through his ingenuity, and without any form of waiver, grant or concession from the government, he was ready to assist the country to stabilize the economy by growing the value of the Naira.
According to him, “I want to reiterate my earlier my proposition to the Federal Government about my capacity to bring down the value of the Naira. It is not about who is Ifeanyi Ubah, what can he offer, it is about creative thinking.
“Nine years ago I created a structure at 36 years in the downstream of the nation’s oil sector that contributes close to 35 percent of the nation’s oil use. That record has not been broken and one thing the nation lacks is competitive governance as they all rely on Abuja to share money at the end of every month.READ FULL NEWS
=> WAEC’s Response To NGO Seeking To Sponsor Best Students-
=>Over 300 militants attack Benue community, scores feared dead.-Naij.com
According to former Senate president, David Mark, who tweeted the incident via his official Twitter handle, an ‘army of militants has stormed the community. View the tweets below: I have just received reports of an ongoing attack on the people of Agatu by an ‘army’ of over 300 militants. – SDM — Senator David Mark (@SenDavidABMark) February 23, 2016 The unprovoked attacks on the people of Agatu fueled by political interests from outside Idoma land is worrisome and condemnable. – SDM — Senator David Mark (@SenDavidABMark) February 23, 2016 I call on the Federal Government and all relevant security agencies to immediately intervene in the ongoing attacks on Agatu. – SDM — Senator David Mark (@SenDavidABMark) February 23, 2016 The attacks, feelers have informed, may not be unconnected to the recent political unrest in the state following the south district rerun of election which was held last weekend. Another twitter user thesignalng tweeted that the community may have been attacked over their refusal to vote for Mark in last weekend’s election and that casualties have been confirmed already.
=>Ex-militants set Senator Abe’s campaign office on fire-Vanguard
The campaign office of Senator Magnus Abe in Bori, Gokhana local government area of Rivers state has been reportedly set on fire by supporters of an ex-militant leader, Solomon Ndigbara alias General Osama Bin Laden’. Vanguard reports that the office was set on fire after soldiers allegedly invaded the residence of the ex-militant leader in Yeghe and razed it down. There was commotion as there was heavy shooting between the soldiers and men of the former warlord. Indigenes of the community were said to have abandoned their homes and fled to neighbouring communities as the soldiers took over Ndigbara’s house and its surroundings, shooting sporadically. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Senator Abe’s office before it was burnt Senator Abe’s office before it was burnt Earlier in the day, Ndigbara who has been declared wanted by the military for suspected gunrunning, kidnapping and other sundry offences attributed his travails to an unnamed top politician of the APC. Some youths working for the former militant leader were said to have taken their revenge on Abe’s property. READ ALSO: Governor Wike is preaching anarchy in the state – Senator Abe When contacted, Senator Abe in a text message alleged that the PDP burnt the campaign office. A statement by Parry Saroh Benson, spokesperson to Senator Magnus Ngei Abe said, armed men clad in army uniform suspected to be thugs of the state PDP were allegedly responsible for the dastardly act.
=> Court strikes out charges against 22 ABUAD students-The Nation
An Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrate’s Court has struck out criminal charges against 22 students of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) for their alleged complicity in the February 7 riot.
They were accused of committing burglary, arson and attempted robbery during the unrest.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Gbenga Adaramola, told the court that the students’ parents had written a letter of apology to the ABUAD management.
He claimed that the management of the university has consented to withdraw the criminal charges against the students based on the letter of apology and affidavit of facts admitting their involvement in the incident.
He said five of the students had case to answer and urged the court to remand them in police custody.
The counsel of the accused, Chris Omokhafe, thanked the university management and the DPP for withdrawing the charge against their clients.
He thanked the court for sitting after closing hours to see that the students were released from prison having being kept there for over three weeks.
Omokhafe prayed the court to order the police to allow the parents have access to their wards in police custody.
He expressed surprise that the DPP wanted five of the students remanded in police custody.
Chief Magistrate Adesoji Adegboye struck out the charges and discharged the students accordingly.
He remanded five of them in police custody, saying they have a case to answer from the DPP office.
The Magistrate urged the Divisional Police Officer to allow the parents have access to their children.
=> Buhari Rejects Invitation To Join Coalition Of Islamic States – Thisday
President Muhammadu Buhari has tactically rejected an invitation by Saudi Arabia to join the Coalition of Islamic States against Terror.
Buhari, who is on a week-long visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, told his host and ruler of Saudi Arabia. King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz, that rather than joining the coalition, Nigeria would support the coalition.
He spoke at a bilateral meeting between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh hosted by the ruler, King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz.
The president, who made his first pronouncement on the invitation to join the coalition of Islamic states against terror spearheaded by the Saudis, congratulated the Kingdom on forming the coalition.
He said: “Even if we are not a part of it, we support you. I must thank the Kingdom of SaudiArabia for the recent creation of a coalition to address the menace of international terrorism.
“Nigeria will support your efforts in keeping peace and stopping the spread of terror in your region. This is in consonance with our own commitment and on-going efforts in seeking to stamp out Boko Haram terrorists from the West African sub-region and Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).”
=>Buhari & Saudi King Abdul Meet,Nigeria,Saudi Arabia Commit To Raising Oil Price
Leaders of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have expressed commitment to a”stable oil market” and a “rebound of oil price.”
At a bilateral meeting between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh hosted by the ruler King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz, the two leaders accepted the fact that their two economies are tied to oil and that all cannot be well with both countries when then the world oil market is unstable. They therefore committed themselves to doing all that is possible to stabilize the market and rebound the oil price.
The two leaders who engaged in extensive discussions on regional and global issues also agreed that terrorism posed a common threat to their states and would require close cooperation to prevail over the threats.
President Muhammadu Buhari who was making his first pronouncement on the invitation to join the coalition of Islamic states against terror spearheaded by the Saudis congratulated the Kingdom on its formation.
“Even if we are not a part of it, we support you. I must thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the recent creation of a coalition to address the menace of international terrorism. Nigeria will support your efforts in keeping peace and stopping the spread of terror in your region. This is in consonance with our own commitment and on-going efforts in seeking to stamp out Boko Haram terrorists from the West African sub-region and Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC),” the President said.
Speaking on global terror generally, President Buhari said that “international terrorism made a statement by attacking one of the advanced countries by carrying out an attack on Paris in which 130 were killed. Now we have to come together to find a common solution to the problem of terrorism.”
He thanked the Saudi government for it continuing support to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
=> $24 Billion oil swap deal: They lied against me — Diezani-Nigerianeye
The embattled former minister’s denial comes as she strongly refuted claims that she approved $24 billion for Renewal of the Crude Oil/Refined Products Exchange Agreement, otherwise called oil swap deals without contracts.
From the inception of the deal in 2009, Federal Government was meant to realise about $1.82 million per 60,000 barrels per day, bpd, against the then losses of $1.47 million being recorded by the corporation. It is uncertain if all the proceeds from the deal were remitted to the federation account. During their appearances before the legislators last week, Mr. Austin Oniwon, who was GMD, NNPC, from May 17, 2010 to June 12, 2012, and Mr. Andrew Yakubu, June 12, 2012, to August 2, 2014, said Alison-Madueke had granted them approvals for contracts extension. In a statement meant to set the records straight yesterday, she rejected some newspaper and online reports, which claimed that she granted an “extension” instead of ‘Approval for the Renewal of Contracts’ for the swap arrangements.
Alison-Madueke, who is currently undergoing extensive cancer treatment in London, was quoted as describing the latest attack as “fabricated tissues of lies deviously concocted to sustain the escalating evil narratives against her person.”
The embattled former minister, who spoke through her spokesman, Mr. Clem Aguiyi, recalled that she gave the following approvals for renewal of contract: one-year term each for both Messrs Trafigura Beheer BV, and Messrs Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR), in August 2010; two-year term in August 2011 for the same companies, and one-year term to NNPC subsidiary, Duke Oil, in January 2011.
=> Ay’s Wife, Mabel, Moves Out Of Matrimonial Home – Stella Dimoko Korkus
Comedian AY’s Wife Mabel Moves Out Of Matrimonial Home…
Insiders confirm to Stella Dimoko Korkus Blog that there is a raging storm in the home of laugh maker Ayo Makun a.k.a AY……The whisper which is becoming quite loud is that his beautiful wife Mabel has moved out of their matrimonial home ….The whispers do not indicate if it is a permanent move or if she will return.
As you read this the comedian is busy working In London on a film set whilst Mabel has long gone with the wind…..I do not have details of what caused the marriage to crumble (Okay lets say the details are too dirty to be posted) and i am sure you will bear with me and pray for them.
I am sure the Comedian will issue a press release asking you all to mind your businesses or deny this report but whatever happens,I pray that the God that parted and closed the red sea will heal up and close whatever gulp that has developed between them….AMEN.