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Wadume’s testimony that soldiers removed his handcuffs at army base jolts Nigeria Army

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The panel set up by the military high command to look into strained inter-agency relations between the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police is worried over a trending video of the purported confession of the re-arrested notorious Kidnap kingpin Hamisu Wadume in police custody.

The panel was constituted by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin following a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari asking the military to investigate the killing of three policemen and two civilians in Taraba State by soldiers.

The trending video revealed Wadume confessing that the Army took him to their base and had his handcuff removed through the effort of a welder before he escaped after his initial arrest by the police.

A member of the panel from the intelligence service told PRNigeria in confidence that  Wadume’s purported confession had put the military high command in bad light, stressing that the new development should have been ironed out with the police high command since the investigation is ongoing.

The member said: “We are seriously disturbed and alarmed by the latest video on the purported confession of the re-arrested kingpin, Wadume while in the custody of the police.

“Though it is a commendable effort for the re-arrest of the kidnap kingpin, the video recording of the alleged confession of Wadume while the panel is still conducting its investigation is quite worrisome as efforts are being put in place to ensure smooth relations between the military and the police before the offending confession.

“Though our panel was inaugurated on Friday, August 9 which had an initial one-week deadline, we have been mandated to continue and conclude the probe as soon as possible. The arrest of Wadume would definitely shed more light on our investigation considering the volume of arrests and interrogations so far.”

The Joint Security Panel headed by Rear Admiral Ibikunle Olaiya, has representatives of the Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Defence Intelligence Agency.

Meanwhile, PRNigeria gathered that the Chairman of the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA), Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu has summoned an emergency meeting of the forum to discuss issues on inter-agency cooperation.

In an invitation notice to the member agencies, Colonel Nwachukwu who is also the Director Defence Information said “the special meeting is sequel to a decision reached at the meeting of CDS with Service Chiefs and Head of Security and Intelligence Agencies on the need for spokesperson/Directors of Information to hold regular meeting to harmonise positions and address joint press conferences to inform the public on efforts of security agencies in addressing security challenges  in the country and other relevant issues.”

With its Secretariat at the Centre for Crisis Commission, FOSSRA has 17 member-agencies in the military, security, response, and intelligence service

By PRNigeria
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Equatorial Guinea to build first West Africa LNG mega plant

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In Equatorial Guinea at the Port of Akonikien, the landmark regasification plant will enable the storage, transportation and distribution of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the country’s mainland; 12 bullet tanks will carry 14,000 cubic meters of storage capacity, supported by a truck loading station and 12-kilometers of ten-inch gas and diesel pipelines; The project will be led by local construction and engineering firm Elite Construcciones; The project forms part of Equatorial Guinea’s regional LNG2Africa initiative which seeks to drive gas monetization through in-country gas-to-power projects.

Equatorial Guinea is set to construct the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification plant in West Africa, advancing efforts to monetize gas resources through the creation of a domestic gas-to-power infrastructure.

Located at the Port of Akonikien on the country’s mainland, the plant will enable the transportation and storage of LNG from the EG LNG plant at the Punta Europa Gas Complex on Bioko Island, to Akonikien on the southern border of the mainland. It will then be fed into the regasification plant to be distributed to smaller-scale power plants and LNG power stations throughout the country, as well as exported to neighboring countries.

The Akonikien project is the first gas-to-power development in Equatorial Guinea’s LNG2Africa initiative. Launched by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons in 2018, the initiative seeks to facilitate the production and trade of LNG through the creation of a domestic gas-to-power infrastructure and intra-African LNG industry.

Spearheaded by local construction and engineering firm Elite Construcciones, the plant will have a storage capacity of 14,000 cubic meters with 12 bullet tanks. The tanks are currently the largest factory-built cryogenic bullet tanks in the world with a capacity of 1,228 cubic meters and dimensions of  31 meters by 9.3 meters  by 8.8 meters. Built by American manufacturer Corban Energy Group, each tank is estimated to require 12 hours to complete the 12,000-meter distance from the port to the new plant. Elite Construcciones is also installing a truck loading station and 12 kilometers of 10-inch gas and diesel pipelines.

Other major suppliers include pipe supplier PFF Group, who manufactured 12,400 meters of pipes, shipping agents D&B Shipping Ltd. who facilitated the shipment of 22 40-foot open-top containers, and Meakin Logistics UK. Elite Construcciones also worked closely with German companies Noorwerk and ESC on the design and construction of the plant.

Distributed by APO Group

NNPC, Civil Defence vow hell for pipeline vandals

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have pledged to work together to run pipeline vandals and oil thieves out of business in the country.

A press release Monday by the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the two organisations made the commitment when the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, received the Commandant General of the Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.

Mallam Kyari who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Engr. Adeyemi Adetunji, disclosed that as part of efforts to rid the nation of the menace of pipeline breaks, the new management was putting in place a performance-based pipeline protection system to enable relevant security stakeholders to live up to their billings.

The GMD noted that the collaboration between the NNPC and NSCDC had gone a long way in ensuring uninterrupted supply and distribution of petroleum products through the pipelines and various depots.

“I want to applaud the NSCDC for contributing their quota towards protection and security of our pipelines. Their efforts have made our pipelines to be available for the transportation of petroleum products from one asset to another petroleum asset,” Mallam Kyari averred. 

Earlier, the Commandant General of the Corps, Mr. Muhammadu, represented by Deputy Commandant General, Aminu Abdullahi, said protection and security of NNPC pipelines and oil assets were part of the constitutional responsibilities of the Corps, stressing that NSCDC would continue to do its best to send pipeline vandals out of business.

He noted that the NSCDC would declare a date of the year that would soon be announced as an anti-pipeline vandalism day as part of concerted efforts to create more awareness on the dangers of pipeline vandalism to the national economy.

US economists expect recession in 2021

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A number of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021.

Thirty-four percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. That’s up from 25% in a survey taken in February. Only 2% of those polled expect a recession to begin this year, while 38% predict that it will occur in 2020.

Trump, however, has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets and saying on Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession.” A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 reelection prospects.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key U.S. trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada. Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But U.S. trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the U.S. and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60% of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the U.S. buys from China.

The financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession, adding to concerns over the ongoing trade tensions and word from Britain and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of U.S.-China trade negotiations. Only 5% predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64% suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25% expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

The 226 respondents, who work mainly for corporations and trade associations, were surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 1. That was before the White House announced 10% tariffs on the additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. U.S. retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.

The survey showed a steep decline in the percentage of economists who found the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade “too stimulative” and likely to produce higher budget deficits that should be reduced, to 51% currently from 71% in August 2018.

Yahoo.com

Japan’s trade surplus with US soars

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Japan’s politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States grew more than 15 percent in July, data showed Monday, as negotiators from the two economic powerhouses prepare to restart talks over a free trade deal.

According to Japanese finance ministry statistics, the trade surplus with Washington climbed to 579.4 billion yen ($5.5 billion) last month, a 15.6-percent year-on-year gain and the fifth consecutive monthly rise.

Japanese imports from the US rose 3.5 percent, led by aircraft and crude oil, but this was outweighed by an 8.4-percent climb in exports driven by chip-making equipment and construction machinery, the ministry data showed.

Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enjoy close ties but the bullish US president has frequently claimed that Tokyo has an advantage in bilateral trade and has called for a “more fair” relationship.

On a visit to Japan in May, Trump said he was expecting to announce “some things” on trade negotiations in August, but no firm deadline has been set yet for an agreement.

The two main trade negotiators, Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are slated to meet in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday.

The data showed that Japan had an overall trade deficit of 249.6 billion yen last month, a 9.8-percent increase year-on-year.

Japan’s trade deficit with China — the 16th consecutive monthly deficit — stood at 383.8 billion yen.

With the European Union, Japan booked a trade deficit of 67.9 billion yen.

Yahoo.com