Bomber Kills 17 in Maiduguri Market, Explosion Hits Kaduna
• Fashola meets with Lagos depot operators, calls for vigilance
• US: Boko Haram is funded by Al Qaeda,
Ejiofor Alike, Chiemelie Ezeobi in Lagos, Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and John Shiklam in Kaduna with agency report Pandemonium broke out in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State yesterday when a suicide bomber suspected to be a member of Boko Haram detonated an impoverished explosive device (IED) at the popular Maiduguri Monday market, killing 17 persons and injuring 69 others. In addition to the bombing in Maiduguri, another bomb blast occurred in Kaduna last night but no causalities were recorded. This is just as Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday met with operators of Tank farms in Apapa and asked them to be more vigilant around their operational bases, while also promptly reporting vehicles that cannot be accounted for in their areas of operation to the police and security agencies. It also emerged that the United States is in possession of evidence that Boko Haram receives financial support from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an offshoot of the jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden. The Maiduguri explosion, which occurred at 8.30 am affected mostly petty traders and members of the youth vigilante group, popularly called Civilian JTF in the area. The Civilian JTF were said to have lost nine of their members.
Thisday, from the net
Doctors’ strike paralyses services nationwide
It was a pathetic situation in all federal and state-owned hospitals across the country as services were shut down by medical doctors, leaving hundreds of patients, who turned up for appointments, hopeless. Women, children and men who turned up at the hospitals, irrespective of their conditions, were left unattended to. The situation in the hospitals was so bad that in some, nurses and pharmacists took over the duty of the striking medical doctors. In some hospitals, out of frustration and pity for the patients, medical directors were forced to take over the consulting rooms in a bid to ensure that patients who desperately needed medical attention had some form of treatments. However, the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, yesterday took a swipe at Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, over its ongoing strike and advertorial it placed in the media advising Federal Government to stay action on its agreement with it, warning of imminent crisis in the nation’s health sector. From the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH; Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Ebutte-Metta; Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH; Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba; Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, to Federal Medical Centre, Bida, the situation was the same.
Jonathan signs 2014 pension law
Defaulters risk 10-year jail term, others • Reps okay amended National Health Bill, workers hail move• Lawmakers plan constituency devt fund
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday signed into law the 2014 Pension Reform Bill, effectively repealing the 2004 Pension Reform Act. Meanwhile, after exhaustive deliberations, the House of Representatives yesterday passed the amended version of the National Health Bill (NHB) 2014 or rather the ‘People’s Version’. In the same vein, if a legislation being considered by the House of Representatives sails through, a constituency development fund would be established in no distant time from now. The new pension law prescribes among others, upward review of penalties and sanctions to pension defaulters and employers which fail to remit deducted monies of their employees. The new law was passed between May and June, this year by the National Assembly and subsequently forwarded to the President for assent. The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 27, while the Senate passed it on June 3. According to the signed document, “The Pension Reform Act 2014 also makes provisions that will enable the creation of additional permissible investment instruments to accommodate initiatives for national development, such as investment in the real sector, including infrastructure and real estate development. This is provided without compromising the paramount principle of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets.”
The Guardian, front pg, cont on pg2
U.S. can’t track Boko Haram’s funding
•20 feared killed, as explosion rocks Borno market
impunity. As the United States, Nigeria and others struggle to track and choke off its funding, Reuters news agency interviewed more than a dozen current and former U.S. officials who closely follow Boko Haram. Reuters said the interviews with the officials provide the most complete picture to date of how the group finances its activities. Central to the group’s approach includes using hard-to-track human couriers to move cash, relying on local funding sources and engaging in only limited financial relationships with other extremists groups. The report also said it also has reaped millions from high-profile kidnappings. “Our suspicions are that they are surviving on very lucrative criminal activities that involve kidnappings,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said in The insurgent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has succeeded in thwarting efforts of the United States and Nigeria to track its source of funding, some U.S. officials have said.
Daily Independent, pg2
Fashola wants Apapa tank farm owners to act more responsibly
In the wake of the huge traffic problem and the new security threat in the Apapa area, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, Tuesday met with operators of Tank farms in the area and urged them to conduct their businesses with more consideration for others and to be vigilant. Apapa which is home to two of the nation’s busiest sea ports and several other businesses has been plagued by traffic gridlocks which take hours to navigate and cuase pain and losses to commuters and businesses. The main cause are the hundreds of fuel trailer-tankers which park in unauthorised areas, obstructing traffic, in a quest to lift petroleum products from the tank farms located in the area. Also, last Thursday night, there was an explosion in one of the tank farms in the area, which led to loss of lives. Fashola urged the tank farm owners to reflect on the negative impact of their operations on other businesses and the environment generally.
Don’t work for APC, Jonathan, Mu’azu beg Oyinlola
A former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, on Tuesday met behind closed doors with President Goodluck Jonathan inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja. A source close to the meeting said the former governor was begged by the President to support the PDP during the election. Oyinlola, a former National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, was led to the meeting with the President by the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.The meeting, which lasted about an hour, was said to have discussed the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State and the disputed position of the PDP National Secretary, currently being occupied by Prof. Wale Oladipo. At the end of the meeting, Oyinlola told State House correspondents that Mu’azu brought him to meet with the President on how to improve the party’s fortunes.
The Punch, pg13
Pension contribution now 18% of pay
Pension contributions have gone up to 18 per cent of monthly emolument – up from 15 per cent. Employers are to contribute 10 per cent. The remaining eight per cent will come from the employee, according to the Pension Reform Act 2014, which was signed into law yesterday by President Goodluck Jonathan. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, broke the news on his Twitter (social media page), saying the upward review will provide additional benefits to workers Retirement Savings Accounts, thereby enhancing their monthly benefits at retirement.
The Nation, front pg, cont on pg4
Low access to electricity in Africa worries Kufuor
THE former President of Ghana, Mr. John Kufuor, said on Tuesday that at least 1.3 billion out of the 7.173 billion people across the globe did not have access to electricity in spite of the 2015 deadline set by United Nations for the actualisation of the Millennium Development Goals. Kufuor explained that only four out of the 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, had shown commitment towards the provision of electricity and other areas of the Millennium Development Goals.
Plane crashes into shops in Kenya, kills four
A cargo plane crashed into a commercial building in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, shortly after taking off from the city’s main airport on Wednesday and the four crew members on board were feared dead, the Kenyan Airports Authority said. KAA said on its Twitter feed that all the crew members were “feared to have perished” after the plane crashed into shops in Nairobi’s Embekasi neighborhood.
Dredging of five seaports approved
The Federal Government has approved the dredging of the channels of five seaports in the country, including Bonny, to enable them accommodate bigger vessels. The Transport Minister, Senator Idris Umar, said this at the inaugural ceremony to mark the arrival of one of Maersk Lines’ biggest vessels, which berthed at Onne port. Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Nebolisa Emodi, the minister said the five seaports are Calabar; Lekki; Badagry; Ege; Olokola and Ibaka.