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Boko Haram attack on Oil Exploration workers - 48 Dead, many Missing

Not fewer than 48 corpses have been recovered after Boko Haram terrorists ambushed oil exploration workers in the Lake Chad Basin, ThisDay is reporting.

ThisDay, quoting sources, said 48 bodies of the victims of the attack were deposited at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) mortuary.

It said that 18 soldiers, 15 Civilian JTF members, 5 staff of University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) and 4 Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) driver were among the deceased.

The report added that 6 persons who had escaped the ambush with injuries were found dead in Yobe state.

Nigerian Army gives Different Fatality Figure

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, in a statement on Wednesday, said that an officer, eight soldiers and a civilian, died in the incident, a claim that is different from reports in mainstream media.

Usman added that the Nigerian Army had rescued all the NNPC staff kidnapped by the terrorists.

Usman said the corpses had been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital.

“Suspected Boko Haram terrorists ambushed the escort and team of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) staff returning from oil exploration at Barno Yasu, Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno on Tuesday.

On receipt of the information, the Brigade mobilised and sent reinforcement, search and rescue party that included the Armed Forces Special Forces and guides that worked and pursued the terrorists throughout the night.

So far, they have rescued all the NNPC staff and recovered the corpses of the Officer, 8 soldiers and a civilian who have been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital.

The team recovered 4 vehicles one of which include a gun truck mounted with an Anti-Aircraft Gun,two white Hilux taken away from NNPC staff and one blue Hilux belonging to CJTF.

The team also recovered large quantities of arms and ammunition, several spare tyres, many jerry cans containing Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant, assorted drugs, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making materials, reflective jackets and a Motorola handheld radio, among others.

The team also neutralised many of the terrorists,” the army spokesman said.

According to him, the troops are not relenting in the pursuit, search and rescue effort.

Premium Times reports that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) UNIMAID chapter confirmed that 5 of its members died in the attack and 4 others are still missing.

Osinbajo Orders Service Chiefs to return to Maiduguri

On Thursday evening, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at an emergency meeting in the State House, Abuja, told the service chiefs to relocate to the Command and Control Centre of Nigerian Defence in Maiduguri to monitor operations from there.

NNPC Suspends Exploration Activities

Daily Trust reports that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, & Chairman of the NNPC Group Ibe Kachikwu, has announced the indefinite suspension of crude oil exploration in the region.

Kachikwu, who said that the NNPC was cleared by security agencies to begin exploration in the area, also commiserated with families of the deceased.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, in November 2016 directed that oil exploration begins in the Lake Chad basin region after it was suspended in 2012 due to Boko Haram’s activities.

Governor Shettima of Borno condemns Attack

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno, has condemned the attack in a statement issued on Thursday in Maiduguri by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau.

He said that since he first got information concerning the attack on his way to visit President Muhammadu Buhari in London, he hasn’t been his normal self and is yet to recover from the shock of the attack.

“I haven’t been myself normal self since I received information of that attack. What happened in the first instance was a tragic setback in the fight against Boko Haram and in Nigeria’s effort to expand its economic fortunes. I am deeply pained by this incident especially coming at a time when we were beginning to pick up the pieces of our lives,” Shettima said.

He added: “Even though the attack should never have happened given the successes recorded by the military and multi-national joint forces since 2015, I nonetheless still deem it necessary to commend the military for re-mobilising and countering the initial gains of the insurgents. On behalf of government and people of Borno State, I mourn and salute the soldiers and our sons in the civilian JTF who paid the supreme price by giving their lives in this fight.”

Shettima expressed sadness over the development and commiserated with their families and loved ones.

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Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

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Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

A former staff of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company BEDC, in Agbor, Delta State, who was dismissed in 2009, was, on Tuesday, electrocuted in Agbor.

According to reports, the deceased, identified as Monday Ebor, was illegally working on high tension lines when electricity was restored.

Eboh who was wanted by BEDC for his illegal activities which destroyed many transformers, was said to be illegally diverting lines from one feeder to another when power was restored.

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United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

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United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

Former President of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)Dapo Adelegan, has announced that the British Government will henceforth begin accepting Nigerian currency from Nigerian business owners in the UK.

Adelegan made the assertion in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

The British Government on February 9, through its export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), said it will accept Naira payments from Nigerian business owners trading with the UK.

Adelegan said that the initiative was a monumental step that will deepen trade, open more opportunities, expand patronage and market scope of products from both countries.

“If we look at the quality of manufactured equipment and technology; Made-in-Britain is number one.

“Through this, we will access technology transfer, boost the capacity of workforce and impact on our outputs of consumables and products in the market.

“It is a win-win situation that will go beyond procurement, as there are multiple layers of benefits that this will bring to the economy,’’ Adelegan said.

Joyce Akpata, Director-General, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), also said the initiative will ease importation of goods from the UK to Nigeria and strengthen economic ties.

“The UK has the largest concentration of Nigerians in the diaspora and given cultural ties, it is something that should have happened before now,’’ Akpata said.

The director general said the initiative would improve knowledge sharing and technology transfer.

“We will see a lot of businesses in the UK supplying equipment and machinery backed by this finance to their Nigerian counterparts.

“This will enhance the activities of manufacturers, especially the growing SMEs that are into processing.

“It will also take off issues of foreign exchange challenges and instability in the market,’’ she said.

Akpata noted that the scheme would be a welcome opportunity for most Nigerian businesses that could not access financing locally.

She urged other countries, especially the United States, to take a cue from the UK to evolve initiatives that will assist businesses to maximise opportunities and strengthen trade ties.

Trade experts put the value of trade between Nigeria and the UK at about £8 billion, with oil and gas making up 60 per cent of the figure.

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South Africa’s Embattled President Jacob Zuma resigns

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President Zuma must face corruption charges - Supreme court rules

South Africa’s Embattled President Jacob Zuma resigns

The embattled President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma has resigned his office with immediate effect.

Zuma made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, Mr Zuma’s governing ANC party told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday.

The 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.

His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.

He said he did not fear a motion of no-confidence, adding: “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.”

According to President Zuma, violence and division within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.

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