North rejects Niger Delta’s claims to oil resources
The North’s delegates to the ongoing National Conference circulated yesterday their position paper. The 47-page document marked “Key issues before the Northern delegates to the 2014 National Conference” also has a sub-title: “Northern Nigeria the back bone and strength of Nigeria”. It was articulated by a think tank constituted by Northern Governors, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation. The position paper, which was described as “highly provocative” by some Southern delegates, detailed the position and demands of the North from the Conference. It specifically asked northern delegates to reject all claims to oil resources by oil producing areas which the document claimed led to the cancellation of the onshore/offshore oil dichotomy. It said that abrogation of onshore/offshore oil dichotomy gave away a national resource to littoral states, “seriously eroding revenue available for distribution to all parts of the country”. “The North demands a reversal to status quo ante. All mineral resources should remain under the exclusive rights of the Federal Government as provided for by the International law (1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS, Article 76 on territorial waters/boundaries which stipulated that 200 nautical miles off the continental shelves belongs to the central government exclusively,” it said. It said that the Federal Government since 1999 had taken steps which negated the principles of justice and equity to the federating units, clearly threatening the balance development of the country for the common good of all.
The Nation, front pg, cont on pg8
Committee wants President, govs stripped of immunity
The National Conference Committee on Politics and Governance has recommended for the removal of Section 305 on immunity clause from the 1999 Constitution. The Chairman of the Committee and a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, told journalists on Tuesday that the committee was concerned about the abuse of office by public office holders and the corruption that goes with it. He said the committee was of the opinion that a message should be sent to Nigerians and office holders that no one was above the law. Gana said, “Our recommendation is still subject to the approval of the plenary. We took decision on the immunity clause and it was a clear consensus in the interest of zero tolerance for corruption, to promote good governance, to promote transparency and discipline. “The fact that we don’t want people going around that the leaders are above the law, we decided that the immunity clause should be removed from our constitution. “This is not yet the decision of the conference though, but this is what we are presenting to the plenary. “I must say that the entire members of the committee went along with the decision, we had no reason to divide the committee because it was a consensus.” Also, the Committee on Power Devolution in the National Conference on Tuesday failed to reach any agreement on whether item 39, which is the mines, mineral resources, revenue and geological surveys should be on the Exclusive List or on the Concurrent List.
The Punch, pg10
Borno Senators: Abducted Schoolgirls Have Been Married by Their Captors
As Nigerians and the parents of the schoolgirls, who were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Borno State, two weeks ago pray for their safe return, it has been revealed that the girls have been ferried across the Nigerian border to Cameroun, Chad and Niger and forcibly married by their captors. Disclosing this yesterday during a solemn session of the Senate, during which senators struggled to hold back their emotions, their colleagues from Borno State narrated how the military failed to respond in a timely manner to information on the whereabouts of the abducted schoolgirls, resulting in their movement across the border and forced marriage to members of Boko Haram. The narration followed a motion by Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, urging the security agencies to immediately rescue the victims, while calling on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), other countries as well as United Nations Security Council to assist Nigeria by deploying advanced technologies to rescue the adopted students. The Senate condemned the abduction, called for prayers for the release of the abducted girls and urged governments at all levels to provide security for schools and public places in their areas.
Thisday, front pg, cont on pg8
Senate pushes for total war against insurgents
• Lawmakers ask FG to seek foreign assistance • Reps summon service chiefs • ‘Sambisa Forest should be demolished’
FED up with the cruel disregard for life and property by members of Boko Haram, the Senate has called for declaration of total war by the Federal Government on the insurgents. In a sober mood, the Senate, on resumption from Easter break Tuesday opened public debate on the un-abating violence and killings of innocent citizens heightened by the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents and called for declaration of total war against the terrorists. Similarly, a legislator representing Chibok in Borno State in the House of Representatives, Mr. Peter Biyo, has urged the Federal Government to immediately embark on a total demolition of the Sambisa Forest, saying this will ultimately put an end to the insurgency and other terrorist acts in the North-East zone. Also yesterday, the House of Representatives summoned the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, to explain why it is taking the security outfits too long time to ensure release of the school girls abducted by members of the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State. Also to appear before the lawmakers who did not mince words in saying it was high time the country seeks foreign assistance to curb the menace of Boko Haram are the Chief of Army staff, Lt. –Gen. Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin.
The Guardian, front pg, cont on pg2
N10b jet scandal: Judge summons Reps to produce order on Allison-Madueke
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday summoned the House of Representatives to come and show to it a purported order that stopped the House from going ahead with the probe of alleged N10 billion spent on chartered private jets by Minister of Petroleum Minister Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke. An angry Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed said he was embarrassed when he woke up and saw a barrage of headlines claiming that he granted an order restraining the House from going ahead with the probe of the minister. “I am interested in where they got the order from since it did not emanate from this court,” the judge said. Justice Mohammed then demanded an explanation from counsel to the Petroleum Minister and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Etigwe Uwah, especially on the source of the information that resulted in the misinformation in the media. Uwah, however, dissociated himself from the reports and told the judge that the House was the source of the reports. He subsequently produced a statement allegedly issued by Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Zakari Mohammed, purporting to show that the court had restrained the House from going ahead with the probe.
Daily Independent, pg8
Nigeria hosts WEF to showcase role in Africa’s growth promise
Nigeria will aim to use the coming World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa, to make a case for its role as the natural economic giant in the world’s last frontier continent, as it hosts a summit of government and business leaders next week. Nigeria will host heads of state and executives from companies including General Electric Co., (GE), Bharti Enterprise and the Dangote Group, controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote. The summit, with the theme, ‘Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs,’ is poised to be the biggest yet, with the World Economic Forum saying that the “interest in the Nigeria meeting has been unprecedented.” Home to the country with Africa’s largest population and consumer market, Nigeria also recently emerged as the largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of $510 billion.
BusinessDay, front pg, cont on pg3
Naira may be devalued after 2015 election says economist
The naira may be devalued after the 2015 elections if there is “a significant drop” in the foreign reserves, an economist has predicted. Charles Robertson, the Global Economist of Renaissance Capital (RenCap), in a report titled: Nigeria/Kazahstan comparison and oil sales”, said: Cumulative deterioration in the foreign reserves in 2013 and 2014 implies devaluation in 2015, after the selections.”
The Nation, pg26
New owners invest N7.3b in Egbin plant, decry rising debt
Managing Director of the Egbin Electricity Power Plc, Engr. Mike Uzoigwe, has called on the National Assembly to assist ensuring that the operating environment is friendly for investments made in the recent privatized power assets yield the desired result for all stakeholders.
Daily Independent, pg27
Dangote Joins Bill Gates, Others in Top 25 Businessmen in the World
Barely a week after he was ranked among the 100 most influential personalities in the world by the renowned Time magazine, a leading business broadcast organisation, CNBC, has ranked a foremost entrepreneur and Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, one of the 25 people who have had most profound impact on business and finance worldwide.
Veteran film-maker, Amaka Igwe, dies at 51
Acclaimed film-maker, Amaka Igwe, is dead. The producer of popular movies and soap operas that include ‘Violated’, ‘Checkmate’ and ‘Fuji House of Commotion’ passed on in Enugu, Enugu State on Monday following an asthma attack. She was 51. According to family sources, the prolific film-maker and her husband/business partner, Chief Charles Igwe, were on a pre-production trip to the Coal City when she had the attack.
The Punch, pg8 &64