Boko Haram offer to release the remaining Chibok girls in return for avoiding execution


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The Boko Haram sect, who abducted over 200 school girls from Chibok two years ago, reportedly want to broker a deal with the Nigerian government. They are offering to release the remaining kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls in return for avoiding execution. Two of the girls were rescued recently. It is believed that only a third of the abducted girls are still alive.

According to a report in The Times, senior members of the terrorist group said: 

“We want to surrender because things are getting worse,” said Amir Muhammad Abdullahi, who is reportedly Boko Haram’s second in command. He said no side was winning the battle and that only a third of the girls remained as “the rest have been martyred”.

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ASUU begins indefinite strike over hike in petrol price


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Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have been directed to join the NLC in the strike action over the increased pump price of petrol.

National President of the association, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, sent out a letter to the congress nationwide yesterday May 17th. According to Ogunyemi, the move by the government to remove oil subsidy and increase fuel pump price from N86.50 to N145 per liter is obnoxious and callous.

Part of Ogunyemi’s letter reads

“Increase in Pump price of Premium Motor Spirit to N145 perlitre: Proposal for Joint Action with NLC stated that ASUU members are called upon to according to our Union’s principles, fully respect Article 2 of the Constitution of ASUU; that our Union and members shall work for the protection and advancement of the socio-economic interests of the nation. Branch Chairpersons are to conduct emergency congress meetings on Tuesday 17 May 2016 to mobilise our members for the action commencing on Wednesday. All branches of ASUU nationwide are to comply” According to Ogunyemi, the reasons for joining the NLC strike includes “delayed, partially paid and in most cases unpaid salaries for a number of months by state, federal and local governments, disguised retrenchment of workers, especially by State Governments, in the name of verification exercise and endless hunt for ghost workers and heavy taxation”.

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World’s biggest cruise ship worth a whopping $1bn arrives in Britain (photos)


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The largest cruise ship in the world – measuring more than four football pitches in length with a maximum capacity for 6,780 passengers – has docked in Southampton for final preparations before its maiden voyage. A small crowd of well-wishers, welcomed the £800million Harmony of the Seas as it arrived just after dawn today.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to visit the coastal city this week to catch a glimpse of the gigantic vessel before it carries paying customers for the first time. After sailing from a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and spending the day yesterday cruising the English Channel, Harmony of the Seas sailed up Southampton Water and arrived at Southampton shortly after 6:15am.

It will depart on a short cruise on Sunday – a four-day taster voyage to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands – and on 29 May will make its maiden voyage to Barcelona, where it will be based for 34 seven-night tours of the western Mediterranean this summer. It will sail between Florida and the Caribbean this winter. Royal Caribbean International’s 18-deck ship has set new records for length (1,1188ft), gross tonnage (227,000), width (215.5ft), passenger capacity (5,479 at double occupancy or a maximum of 6,780) and staterooms (2,747).

With a crew of 2,100 from 77 countries, the floating city boasts seven ‘neighbourhoods’, a 10-storey slide that is the tallest at sea, 23 swimming pools, 20 dining venues, 52 trees, surf simulators, robot bartenders, a casino and climbing walls.

See the photos below… 

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Breaking: Labour to proceed on strike today over fuel hike


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*Labour infuriated by court injunction
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – THE Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC and the Trade Union Congress,TUC have resolved to proceed mobilise workers to begin indefinite strike,tomorrow over fuel hike.
The workers’ action,according to Vanguard source, is to take effect from 12 midnight today.
This was the resolution of the union at its National Executive Council,NEC meeting, held today,at the NLC headquarters in Abuja.
Although,newsmen, who waited anxiously to be briefed of the development at the meeting,were left unattended to,a source told Vanguard that the workers’ unions resolved to proceed on an indefinite strike,beginning from 12 midnight.
The source said the unions took the decision to mobilise workers on strike,after exhaustive deliberations on last week’s fuel hike by the federal government and the attendant consequences on the Nigerian workers and the general public.
“Our decision not to suspend the strike was further fuelled by today’s injunction by the Industrial Court,restraining us from proceeding on the strike expected to begin tomorrow,”the source who said.
He disclosed that the two bodies were still studying development and may not honour the meeting expected with the government at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation this evening.
Vanguard gathered that the factional NLC,led by the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees,Joe Ajaero, may not join the strike.
He had hinted yesterday that his leadership was not favourably disposed to embarking on the strike.
As at the time of filing this report, the leadership of the NLC and the TUC were yet to turn up for continuation of the meeting which was adjourned earlier.

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New Fuel Price Will Create 200,000 Jobs – Lai Mohammed


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The Federal Government has said the introduction of a new price regime for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) has become inevitable in order to halt the crippling fuel scarcity in the country and ensure availability of the product.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated this at the inauguration of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) Marketers Conference in Lagos on Friday, said only the liberalization of petrol supply will ensure the availability of the products.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you that that decision is inevitable, if we are to end the crippling fuel scarcity that has enveloped the country, ensure the availability of the products and end the suffering that our people have been subjected to,” he said.
He said the crash in the price of crude oil, which has impacted negatively on foreign exchange earnings, has further compounded the crisis in fuel supply.
“With the drastic fall in the price of crude oil, which is the nation’s main foreign exchange earner, there has also been a drastic reduction in the amount of foreign exchange available.
The unavailability offorex and the inability to open letters of credit haveforced marketers to stop product importation and imposed over 90% supply on the NNPC since October 2015, in contrast to the past where NNPC supplies 48% of the national requirement,” the Minister said.
He further elaborated that in the absence of available forex lines or crude volumes to continue massive importation of PMS, it is clear that unless immediate action is taken to liberalize the petroleum supply and distribution, the queues will persist, diversion will worsen and the current prices will spiral out of control.
Alhaji Mohammed, however, said the liberalization of petrol supply and distribution will allowmarketers and any Nigerian entity willing to supply PMS to source for their forex and import PMS to ensure availability of products in all locations of the country.
He noted that the resultant fuel scarcity has created an abnormal increase in price, resulting in Nigerians paying between N150 and N300 per litre as prevalent hoarding, smuggling and diversion of products have reduced volumes made available tocitizens.
The Minister explained that the new fuel price regime should not be misconstrued as the removal of subsidy since there is no provision for subsidy in the 2016 Appropriation, saying the erstwhile PMS price of N86.50 gives an estimate subsidy claim of N13.7per litre which translates to N16.4 billionmonthly.
“There is neither funding nor appropriation to cover this,” he explained.
Alhaji Mohammed used the occasion to draw the attention of Nigerians to the renewed insurgency and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta, which have drastically reduced national crude oil production to 1.65 million barrels per day, against 2.2 million barrels per day planned in the 2016 budget thereby reducing income to Federation account and also affecting crude volumes for PMS conversion.
Listing the benefits of the new price regime, he said it would end the recurrent fuel scarcity by ensuring product availability across the country, reduce hoarding, smuggling and diversion of products substantially, improves fuel supply situation through private sector participation, creates labour market stability, as this will potentially create additional 200,000 jobs through new investments in refineries and retails and prevents potential loss of 400,000 jobs in existing investments”.
Alhaji Mohammed gave the assurance that underthe new price regime, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) will be further empowered to ensure a level playing fieldand strict compliance with market rules by all stakeholders and consumer protection.
Source: Vanguard

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One killed as new deadly disease surface in Nigeria


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A new deadly disease known as Stephen Johnson Syndrome (SJS), an unusual allergic reaction, has surfaced in Nigeria, according to the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole. 

According to Adewole, the disease has killed one person, while another is being treated at the National Hospital Abuja. The health minister announced the emergence of the new disease in Nigeria at a press briefing in Abuja earlier today…

A Senior Consultant Physician/Dermatologist at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Olanrewaju Falodun  who spoke about the disease, said 

“Stephens Johnson Syndrome, is an immune complex mediated hypersensitivity reaction that typically involves the skin and mucous membranes and was first described in 1922 by Albert Stevens and Frank Johnson. SJS is a rare and unpredictable reaction, and is also a minor form of toxic epidermal necrolysis with less than 10 percent body surface area involvement. SJS is a rare but serious and potentially life-threatening contagious drug reaction. Incidence of SJS is estimated between 1.1 and 7.1 cases per million per year and is more prevalent in women than men. Incidence in Europe is two per million per year” he said.

He listed the symptoms of the SJS disease to include fever, sore throat, running nose, fatigue, general aches and pains, ulcers in mouth, genitals, anal regions as well as conjunctivitis.

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According to him, the health complications of the disease includes pigmentation problems, skin scarring, scarred genitals, joint pains, lung diseases, obstructive disorders and eye complications, adhesions, ulcers, and blindness.

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