FG, petroleum marketers agree on settlement of unpaid claims

By Thompson ABISOLA The Federal Government and petroleum marketers have agreed on the settlement of outstanding claims and assured that operations at all depots and sales will continue until further notice. This is contained in a statement by Mr Paul Abechi, Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday in Abuja. He said it was contained in a statement jointly signed by officials of the Federal Government and representatives of the petroleum marketers after a joint meeting on Thursday. According to him, the…

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FG pledges to sign the Petroleum Industry Bill

By Thompson ABISOLA The Federal Government has pledged to sign the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law once the bill is transmitted to the presidency. President Muhammadu Buhari gave the pledge at the 40th anniversary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Thursday in Abuja. The theme of the anniversary is, “Nigeria Oil and Gas Workers; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,”. Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said the bill would address most of the challenges of the…

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FG issues N100bn sovereign sukuk at 15.7%

By Giwa SHILE The Federal Government has begun the sale of its second tranche 7-year N100 billion sovereign sukuk, the Debt Management Office (DMO), said on Thursday. The offer circular, which was obtained from its website, said the seven year Islamic sukuk, referred to as Ijarah is at a rental rate of 15.74 per cent and would be due in 2025. The bond, which is aimed at funding road infrastructure across the six geo-political zones, is payable semi-annually. Subscription for the bond, which is guaranteed by the government, will close…

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Deposed aide to Saudi crown prince accused of role in female activists’ torture

ByAliyu DANLADI A top aide to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, fired for his role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, personally oversaw the torture of at least one detained female activist earlier this year, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. Saud al-Qahtani was a royal adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman until October, when he was sacked and then sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury over the Washington Post columnist’s murder. Now three sources, briefed on the activists’ treatment, said a group of men subjected this woman…

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Osinbajo inaugurates Google Station Initiative at Wuse Market

By Meletus EZE Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, inaugurated the Google Station Initiative at Wuse Market, Abuja, aimed at providing free public Wi-Fi service. The Google Station was hosted in partnership with Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN), a Nigerian web hosting solution provider. Osinbajo said that the event was a very exciting one for him. He added that a couple of months ago, he was at the Google office at the Silicon Valley and was told about the Google Station Free Wifi in Railway stations in India. He said…

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Yuletide: FERMA identifies 353 critical roads for urgent attention

By Giwa SHILE The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), has identified 353 critical roads across the country for urgent attention so as to make road users comfortable throughout the Yuletide period and beyond. Its Managing Director, Alhaji Nurudeen Rafindadi stated this when he briefed State House correspondents on the activities of the agency in Abuja on Thursday. According to him, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has since directed the agency to ensure that roads across the country are smooth, safe and comfortable for users especially during the end of year…

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Khashoggi: U.S. Senators debate ways to punish Saudi crown prince

By Thompson ABISOLA U.S. senators, bent on punishing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said on Thursday they want to vote next week. The vote is intended to penalise Riyadh, but the senators are struggling to agree on how best to do so. In spite of President Donald Trump’s desire to maintain close ties to Saudi Arabia, several of his fellow Republicans have joined Democrats in blaming the crown prince for Khashoggi’s death. They are also backing legislation to respond by ending U.S.…

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Reps urge FG to use Abacha loot to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company

By Elizabeth ADENUGA The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Federal Government to use the recovered funds from the Abacha loot to fund the Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi. The resolution was sequel to the adoption of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Ajaokuta Steel Company headed by Rep Idris Ahmed (APC-Plateau) at the plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker Yussuf Lasun in Abuja. The lawmakers said that since it was known that most of the Abacha loot was gotten from the deal involving Ajaokuta company, the…

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Former SGF, Babacir, denies involvement in scam allegation

By Kunle SHONUGA Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babacir Lawal has distanced himself from the allegation of scam involving one Amina Mohammed arrested in Abuja. Lawal said on Thursday in Yola that he had briefed his lawyers on the development for legal action against her. “My attention was drawn to a confessional statement made by one Amina Mohammed who was paraded together with several other persons recently by DSS operatives in connection with some alleged criminal offenses. “In the said confessional statement which has since…

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GE Nigeria unveils e-learning portal to boost innovative skills development

By Thompson ABISOLA General Electric (GE), a digital industrial company, has unveiled an electronic learning (e-Iearning) portal for its Lagos Garage advanced manufacturing training programme. The portal was inaugurated on Thursday in Lagos, during GE’s Lagos Garage Week 2018, a year-end series of events held annually at the Lagos Garage. Speaking at the portal inauguration, Patricia Obozuwa, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, GE Africa, said that the aim of the portal was to extend the training programme to thousands of Nigerians across the country. Obozuwa said that the e-learning portal…

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