Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Video - Workers in Nigeria demand increase in minimum wage

As the International Labour Day was being marked around the world, in Nigeria, workers rallied around a demand to raise the country's minimum wage by nearly 300%. In Abuja, the seat of the country's central government, thousands of workers and government officials added their voices to the call for a drastic shift in Nigeria's minimum wage policy.

Nigeria loses $15bn in arms procurement fraud

Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has accused the previous administration of stealing some $15 billion (13 billion euros) of public money through fraudulent arms deals.

Osinbajo said the huge sum was “lost... to fraudulent and corrupt practices in... security equipment spending during the last administration”, according to a statement released by his office on Tuesday.

The figure is more than half of Nigeria's current foreign exchange reserves of $27 billion, he said on Monday in a speech in the southwestern city of Ibadan.

President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May last year vowing to crack down on endemic corruption and impunity in government and has set about bringing offenders to book.

The most high-profile figure arrested and charged so far is Sambo Dasuki, who was national security advisor under Buhari's predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

Dasuki is accused of diverting money earmarked for military procurement to fund Jonathan's presidential election campaign, in bogus arms deals totalling billions of dollars.

Former chief of defence staff Alex Badeh is also on trial, accused of fraudulently diverting $19.8 million from salaries meant for service personnel for his own use.

Buhari has previously complained that Jonathan's administration left government coffers “virtually empty”, worsening economic difficulties caused by a slump in global oil prices.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed said in January that just 55 people stole some $6.7 billion in public funds between 2006 and 2013.

Buhari, a former army general and military ruler, has vowed to recover “mind-boggling” sums of cash stolen by the corrupt elite over decades.

Osinbajo said there would be consequences for the corrupt and that “no public officer can steal the resources of this country and expect to escape”.

Instead of shamelessly stealing public funds with impunity, Nigeria's elite needed to set an example.

“Society fails when the elite abdicates its role,” the vice-president added.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Video - Real Estate booming in North East Nigeria after Boko Haram retreat

Property prices are booming in northeast Nigeria where Boko Haram fighters have been forced to retreat.

There's a scramble for land and homes in the city of Maiduguri, where homeowners who've already bought at cheap rates are enjoying the rewards.

Video - Nigerian army targets Boko Haram stronghold in Sambisa forest

The Nigerian Army has set out to destroy all camps and hideouts of members of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest, the sect's stronghold. The country's Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan'ali said the troops are now at the verge of entering the forest to flush out the insurgents terrorizing some states in the northeast. He said tremendous success had been recorded in the fight against Boko Haram since the beginning of the present administration. The Nigerian government said in December 2015 that Boko Haram had been technically defeated and was no longer capable of conventional warfare, instead resorting to guerrilla attacks on soft targets.

Video - 359 police officers killed on duty over the past 2 years

A new report indicates that 359 policemen were killed on duty in Nigeria between January 2014 and April 2016. Nigeria's police chief said 272 policemen sustained various degrees of injuries within the same period.He added that police personnel required diverse skills to tackle modern crimes, especially since criminal elements are arming themselves with more sophisticated weapons. The killing of police personnel had steadily been on the rise since 2009 due to terrorist attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.