Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Video - Nigeria introduces new immigration regulations

Nigeria has unveiled a new immigration policy to check the entry of terrorists and other trans-border crimes in the country. According to the country's Interior minister, the policy known as Immigration Regulations 2017, is also aimed at fast-tracking the ease of doing business in Nigeria. Abdulrahman Dambazau says new regulations would include temporary permit, visa on arrival, entry for business purposes and immigrants register among others. He said new documents to be issued will go a long way in tackling terrorism and herders/farmers clashes in the country.

Bomb blast kills 3 in Maiduguri, Nigeria

At least three people have been killed and 18 others wounded in multiple suicide blasts at a refugee camp on the outskirts of the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, security sources told Al Jazeera.

Police said five male suicide bombers detonated explosives at the camp which is located at the Muna Garage area of the city in the early hours of Wednesday.

Those wounded were taken to hospital to receive treatment.

The blasts triggered fires which burned down tents in the vast Muna camp, Tijjani Lumani, a coordinator at the camp told the AFP news agency.

"There were four explosions inside the camp. The bombers struck at different locations around 4:30 am." Lumani said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Maiduguri has been frequently targeted by fighters of the Boko Haram armed group.

According to eyewitnesses, the bombers had sneaked into the camps late on Tuesday night alongside those who sell charcoal to refugees, who use it to cook their food.

Most of the people living there are those who have fled their homes due to the spate of attacks by Boko Haram in the country's northeast.

Wednesday's blasts were the latest blamed on suicide bombers, who continue to pose a threat to civilians despite military claims of success against Boko Haram.

Four people were killed on Saturday when suicide bombers blew themselves up in a village near the city.

On Tuesday, Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari met security chiefs in the capital Abuja to review the security situation in the country. The nearly seven years Boko Haram crisis topped the agenda of the review, according to a presidential aide.

Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno state, is the birthplace of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has claimed the lives of over 20,000 people and forced 2.6 million from their homes since 2009.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Nigeria ranked 6th happiest country in Africa

Nigeria has been ranked 6th in Africa in the latest World Happiness Report of 2017 and 95th in the World. The Report, ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels.

Despite the economic recession, Nigerians are Africa’s sixth happiest people, according to the new report released on Monday that called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.

Algeria leads the rest of Africa in happiness, followed by Mauritius. Strife-torn Libya is surprisingly ranked third, ahead of Morocco.

And even a bigger surprise, another crisis-torn nation, Somalia is Africa’s fifth happiest country ahead of Nigeria and South Africa, ranked 7th. Tunisia is eighth and Egypt ninth, while Sierra Leone is tenth.

At the bottom ten are Benin, Madagascar, South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the worst of them, Central African Republic.

On the global stage, Norway displaced Denmark as the world’s number one happiest nation.

The Nordic nations are the most content, according to the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a landmark survey of the state of global happiness, first published by the United Nations in 2012.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked in the fifth annual report released at the United Nations.

“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government,” Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.

The aim of the report, he added, is to provide another tool for governments, business and civil society to help their countries find a better way to wellbeing.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.

Germany was ranked 16, followed by the United Kingdom (19) and France (31). The United States dropped one spot to 14.

Sachs said the United States is falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust and corruption. Economic measures that the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to pursue, he added, will make things worse.

The rankings are based on six factors — per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.

“The lowest countries are typically marked by low values in all six variables,” said the report, produced with the support of the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

Sachs would like nations to follow United Arab Emirates and other countries that have appointed Ministers of Happiness.

The report also shows that Africans are optimistic about the future, with Nigerians the leaders in this regard.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Video - Nigerian businessmen eager for xenophobic tensions to settle

A high level Nigerian delegation is visit South Africa this week to discuss the recent xenophobic attacks. Tensions flared between Nigerian and South African residents in and around Johannesburg in recent weeks. There have been several attempts to quell the violence but Nigerian nationals are still being targeted. Well known South African brands MTN, Shoprite and DSTV run successful businesses in Nigeria. Nigerian run businesses in South Africa are also thriving. However the recent violence has raised concerns around the relationship between the two countries and the businesses run by citizens of the two countries. Sumitra Nydoo caught up with a Nigerian businessman who's been living in South Africa for over 20 years.

EFCC seize large bundles of cash at Kaduna Airport in Nigeria

Large sacks containing bundles of "crispy" banknotes worth a total of $155,000 (£130,000) have been seized at a Nigerian airport, officials say.

The cash, in the local naira currency, was found near Kaduna airport's check-in and was still in sealed packs.

An investigation is under way to trace the source of the cash, a spokesman for Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says.

Tackling corruption was a key election pledge for President Muhammadu Buhari.

"Operatives [of the EFCC] intercepted a sum of 49m naira in five large black 150kg... sacks following a tip off," the EFCC said on its website.

It added that investigations are "in top gear" to find the "culprits behind the attempted illegal movement of the cash".

EFCC official Ibrahim Bappah said the cash haul, made up of "crispy naira notes", was discovered on Tuesday when airport security detected a distinctive aroma during a routine screening.

It is not known where the cash were being sent, and the EFCC has said it is looking into whether the money is linked to any crime.

The discovery of the money at the airport fits into a pattern of cash being found by the anti-graft team.

In February the EFCC seized nearly $1.75m in cash at a house belonging to the former boss of the country's giant oil firm.

In another case, a corruption-related probe against the former minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, resulted in a federal high court directing the confiscation of $150m.

Last year, the commission recovered some cash stashed away in a hole dug at the house of ex-air force chief, Marshal Adesola Amosu.

In this case, Nigerians are very keen to know who left the bundles of crispy notes and what they planned to do with the cash.