Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Video - Nigeria's spicy cuisine

A typical Nigerian meal is an inferno in your mouth, at least for first time visitors. Nigerians love their meals laced with blended pepper sauce. 

Former minister Sambo Dasuki arrested over $2 billion fraud

 Nigeria's former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has been arrested for allegedly stealing $2bn (£1.3bn), his representatives say.

Mr Dasuki is accused of awarding phantom contracts to buy 12 helicopters, four fighter jets and ammunition. He denies the allegations.

The equipment was meant for the fight against Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Mr Dasuki was picked up early in the morning by security agents, a PR firm representing him said.

Two weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered Mr Dasuki's arrest after he was indicted by a panel investigating the procurement of arms under the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

PRNigeria said he was picked up by intelligence agents from his home in the capital, Abuja, where he was already under house arrest facing separate charges.

His arrest follows those of some of his associates by Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday.

The anti-corruption body said they included former Minister of State for Finance Bashir Yuguda and the sons of some prominent politicians of the former ruling party over allegations of impropriety in relation to the arms deal.

Earlier, Mr Dasuki said he had not been given a chance to defend himself before the investigative panel and described its recommendation as "politically motivated".

The former army colonel is already facing a trial for allegedly possessing illegal firearms.

He is the first senior official of the former government to be charged under the rule of President Muhammadu Buhari, who took in office in May.

Boko Haram has killed thousands in north-eastern Nigeria in its six-year campaign to create an Islamic state.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Former Super Eagle and U23 coach Samson Siasia's mother rescued from kidnappers

The kidnapped mother of Samson Siasia, Nigeria’s Under 23 coach, has regained her freedom.

Madam Beauty Siasia, aged 72, was kidnapped about two weeks ago at her Odoni country home in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa State by three armed men.

Vanguard gathered that the septuagenarian who was forcibly taken away on a motorcycle exactly twelve days ago was rescued Saturday along the East-West road by men of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Bayelsa State Police command where she was abandoned by her captors.

Spokesman of the state police command, Asinim Butswat confirmed the development.

He said the victim was rescued at about 0130hrs , Saturday, after a hot pursuit by men the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Police Command.

His words, “Madam Beauty Siasia, who was abducted on the 16 November, 2015, was abandoned by her abductors along the East West Road, at about 0130hrs, 28 November, 2015, due to hot pursuit by the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Police Command.

“She is hale and hearty and has been reunited with her family. The Police has intensified efforts to arrest the fleeing suspects.”

Related story: Former Super Eagle and current head coach of Nigeria's U-23 football team Samon Siasia's mother kidnapped

Seven students die in school dormitory fire in Kano, Nigeria

At least seven female students have died after a fire at a boarding school hostel near the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Sunday night, officials say.

Most of the deaths resulted from a stampede as hundreds of students rushed to escape the blaze through two exits, the Kano state officials said.

Twenty-five others were injured in the fire which broke out as students were sleeping at the government-run girls school in Jogana village, they added.

It is not being treated as suspicious.

Fire-fighters spent seven hours trying to put out the blaze, an eyewitness told the BBC's Hausa service.

The government has closed the boarding school and ordered a full investigation into the fire.


Stocks in Nigeria fall to a 3 year low due to exit of foreigners

Nigeria’s stocks headed for their lowest close in almost three years as foreigners exited the market amid fading hopes that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government can revive an economy growing at its slowest pace this century.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index fell 1.2 percent to 27,294.27 at 1:36 p.m. in Lagos, the lowest on a closing basis since Dec. 2012. The gauge has declined on 18 out of 21 trading days in November and is headed for a monthly drop of 6.5 percent.

“The government has not come up with a definitive policy for the economy,” Pabina Yinkere, an analyst at Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., said by phone from Lagos. “The continued lack of clarity is affecting the stock market.”

While Buhari, a 72-year-old former general who came to power in May, has prioritized stamping out corruption in Africa’s biggest economy and oil producer, investors have been irked by a delay of more than five months in forming a cabinet, and his support for the central bank’s currency-trading restrictions that are choking businesses of the dollars they need to pay foreign suppliers.

More than two stocks declined for every one that rose. Nigerian Breweries Plc, the country’s biggest beer-maker that is controlled by Heineken NV, fell 1.7 percent to 118 naira ($0.59). The company, whose stock declined 29 percent this year and which imports about 40 percent of its inputs, said this month it had approached the central bank about the scarcity of foreign-exchange.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, the nation’s biggest lender by market capitalization, dropped 2.7 percent to 20 naira ($0.10). The stock is down 20 percent this year. The overall index has plunged 21 percent this year, the most in sub-Saharan Africa after the Zimbabwe Industrial Index.

Specialist African funds including Alquity Investment Management Ltd. and Duet Asset Management Ltd. have lowered their Nigerian exposure because they think central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele will be forced to devalue the naira, which would cause losses on holdings in foreign-currency terms. Last week’s interest rate cut by the central bank, its first in six years, will heap more pressure on the currency, according to David McIlroy, Alquity’s chief investment officer.

The naira was unchanged at 199.05 per dollar and has been all but fixed at 198-199 since early March. Forward prices suggest it will weaken 18 percent to 242.5 in a year.

Pressure on Currency

“The surprise reduction in rates has probably worried international investors even more,” McIlroy said by phone from London. “Given the inflation rate is above the central bank’s target, there’s pressure on the currency and they need to attract foreign capital, you’d expect interest rates to be rising.”

Alquity held about seven Nigerian stocks at the beginning of 2015, including Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank Plc. It now holds only Dangote Cement Plc. Equity funds are more underweight in Nigeria than any other frontier and emerging markets bar Kuwait and Morocco, analysts at Renaissance Capital Ltd. said in a Nov. 23 note to clients.

“We’ve increased our positions in Egypt and Kenya at the expense of Nigeria,” McIlroy said.

Nigeria is reeling from crude prices that have plunged 57 percent since June 2014. Growth will fall to 3.2 percent this year from 6.3 percent in 2014, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. That would be the slowest pace since 1999. Annual inflation was 9.3 percent in October, higher than the central bank’s target of 6 to 9 percent.