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US city, Boston declares March 2 ‘Burna Boy’s Day’

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The city of Boston in Massachusetts, United States, has declared March 2nd as “Burna Boy’s Day” in honour of the Nigerian singer.

This was contained in a document of the Boston City Council signed by Councillor Ruthzee Louijeune.

According to the document, Burna Boy was honoured in recognition of his “performances and advocacy works.”

The document read inter alia: “Boston’s commitment to recognizing and celebrating culture and diversity is evident in the range of cultural events, festivals, and community initiatives that showcase the city’s multicultural landscape and:

“Whereas, Burna Boy’s legacy serves as a reminder of possibility, reminding us to continue amplifying voices that have long been silenced or overlooked, now, therefore be it resolved: That March 2, 2024 is designated Burna Boy Day in the City of Boston.”

Burna Boy has held so many soldout shows in Boston since breaking into the international scene in 2018.(www.naija247news.com).

Six suspects arrested over murder of South African Rapper, AKA

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

Six suspects have been arrested in connection with the murders of South African rapper Kiernan Forbes, also known as AKA, and his close friend Tebello “Tibz” Motshoane.

Naija247news recalls that AKA and his friend were gunned down outside a restaurant in Durban a year ago.

Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial police commissioner, said hitmen were paid to target AKA but no motive has been revealed yet.


He said, “It was clear that AKA was monitored from the airport and Tibz was not the intended target in the murder on Florida Road in Durban,”, said in a press briefing on Tuesday night.

“We know they were paid for this,” Lt Gen Mkwananzi added.

He said that the six accused men played different roles in the plot to kill AKA and some of them were also linked to other murder cases.

Exhibits recovered during the arrests include four vehicles, firearms linked to the murders of AKA and Motshoane and empty cartridges.

The suspects, all aged below 36, will appear in court by Thursday.

Confirming the arrest, Minister of Police Bheki Cele acknowledged that the killings of AKA and his friend, which were caught on CCTV cameras, disturbed many people in the country.

“I hope South Africans will sleep better after this,” he said.

“We are all interested to know what the motive was. It is very clear that it was not a case of someone waking up angry in the morning. You can see that in the build-up and coordination.”

AKA began his musical career as part of the rap group Entity before he launched his solo career, winning several awards both in South Africa and internationally.(www.naija247news.com).

Benue Police Arrest Three Gun Manufacturers

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

Three gun manufacturers have been arrested by the police in Agu community of Vandekiya LGA of Benue state.

The suspects were arrested following information gathered about an arm deals at Agu, Vandeikya LGA. Addressing newsmen on Wednesday, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Adesina said;

“Following information gathered about arm deals at Agu, Vandeikya LGA, police detectives were deployed to gather intelligence and arrest the suspects involved.

“On 7/2/2024 at about 1830hrs, one Precious Ebuka Chukwu ‘m’ of Onitsha Anambra State was arrested at Agu in Vandeikya LGA. On the spot search conducted on the suspect, led to the recovery of three locally made berretta pistols.

“The suspect led the team to the hideout of his regular suppliers; one Tyav Wuese ‘m’ and Tyav Terkuma ‘m’ blacksmiths of Adikpo, Kwande LGA who specialise in fabricating guns. The two manufacturers were also arrested. Suspects will soon be charged to court.” (www.naija247news.com).

Sachet water prices to soar to N100 as production costs hit record highs

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The Association of Pure Water Producers has expressed concerns over the skyrocketing prices of pure water sachets, warning that the cost may surge to N100 if urgent measures are not taken.

According to the association, the sharp increase in the cost of production materials has dealt a severe blow to their operations.

In December 2023, materials that were purchased for N1,100 per kilogram have now surged to a staggering N3,600 to N3,700 per kilogram. This astronomical rise, coupled with the exorbitant pricing strategies of nylon producers, is placing an unbearable burden on pure water producers.

A spokesperson for the association lamented, “The frequency at which nylon producers increase prices is outrageous. Increments of N550,000 can occur three times within one week.

This leaves us with limited options as we grapple with the rising costs of production materials, not to mention the escalating expenses associated with treatment.”

The spokesperson further explained the financial challenges faced by pure water producers, noting that many resort to external funding or borrowed capital.

Banks, wary of the industry’s financial instability, are reluctant to grant loans to pure water sachet producing companies.

“This business is highly addictive. The passion behind it makes it difficult for us to leave, even when running at a loss.

We want Nigerians to understand that every water producer is facing the same predicament. With costs escalating and loans hard to come by, we find ourselves at a crossroads,” added the spokesperson.

Drawing attention to the alarming trend, the association emphasised that if the situation persists, pure water sachets might be priced at an unprecedented N100 per sachet. The  association stressed its reluctance in such an escalation, expressing the desire to keep prices affordable for Nigerians. (www.naija247news.com).

NCC orders MTN, Airtel, Glo, others to block subscribers not linked to NIN

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has insisted on its directive that telecom service providers should immediately bar telephone subscribers who have failed to link their phone numbers to National Identification Numbers (NIN) on or before February 28, 2024.

The order was made by the Executive Vice Chairman of the National Communication Commission (NCC), Dr Aminu Maida, while speaking at the NCC’s Special Day during the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

Maida, who was represented by Mr Reuben Mouka, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, insisted that as a matter of critical national security, telecom consumers must link their NIN to their SIM.

He reaffirmed that the February 28th deadline given to telecom operators to bar subscribers who failed to link their NIN to SIM, stands.

The NCC boss said:

“To this end, the National Communication Commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024.’’

Maida also said the NCC was committed to protecting consumers’ rights while ensuring their satisfaction and noting that the commission has created a universally acceptable environment to access “affordable and equitable service and supports the nation’s economic growth.”

He said, “As a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, the Commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging on ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities.’’

Speaking further, Maida said as a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country,

“the commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities.

“Conversely, as we promote economic growth through the development of local content, we must also address the challenges faced by consumers and NCC is committed to protecting their rights while ensuring their satisfaction.

“We therefore encourage businesses and service providers to prioritize customer satisfaction and uphold the highest standards of service delivery With our keen interest and commitment to consumer protection, the NCC has implemented measures to safeguard the interest of consumers and businesses alike.’’ (www.naija247news.com).

Lagos Govt Shutdown Yaba Jumia Outlet Over Environmental Violations

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday, took decisive action by closing down a Jumia outlet located on Herbert Macaulay Way in Yaba, citing violations of environmental regulations.

Tokunbo Wahab, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, announced this enforcement action through his official account on X.

According to Wahab, the closure was executed by the Lagos State Wastewater Management Office (LSWMO) due to the facility’s unauthorized disposal of sewage into the surrounding area.

The announcement elaborated that the Jumia outlet had been employing a submersible pump to illicitly expel untreated sewage from its holding tanks, dispersing it into nearby drainage systems and along road edges.

Furthermore, Commissioner Wahab emphasized that the owners of the property are subject to legal action under the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law of 2017, underscoring the state government’s commitment to enforcing environmental laws and safeguarding public health. (www.naija247news.com).

Telegram to launch ad platform in March 2024

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

Social media platform, Telegram, has announced plans to launch its ad platform in March 2024 to allow channel owners to receive financial rewards.

Telegram CEO and founder, Pavel Durov, disclosed this on Wednesday via his Telegram channel. According to Durov, the company will pay out rewards using toncoin on the TON blockchain.

Channel owners will start receiving 50% of all revenue that the company makes from displaying ads in their channels.

Telegram channels allow users to broadcast public messages to large audiences. Durov said that while broadcast channels on Telegram generate one trillion views every month, only 10% of these views are monetized with Telegram Ads, its promotion tool.

Announcing the deal, Durov in the Telegram post said:

“Next month, channel owners on Telegram can start receiving financial rewards from their work.

“Broadcast channels on Telegram generate 1 trillion views monthly. Currently, only 10% of these views are monetized with Telegram Ads — a promotion tool designed with privacy in mind.

“In March, the Telegram Ad Platform will officially open to all advertisers in nearly a hundred new countries. Channel owners in these countries will start receiving 50% of any revenue that Telegram makes from displaying ads in their channels.

“To ensure ad payments and withdrawals are fast and secure, we will exclusively use the TON blockchain. Similar to our approach with Telegram usernames on Fragment, we will sell ads and share revenue with channel owners in Toncoin.

“This will create a virtuous circle, in which content creators will be able to either cash out their Toncoins — or reinvest them in promoting and upgrading their channels.” (www.naija247news.com).

Africa records 3 years without fatal air travel accidents – IATA

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has stated that the African region has not recorded fatal air travel accidents in 3 years as highlighted by the 2023 safety performance report.

In all accident rate, the region recorded plummeting from 10.88 per million sectors in 2022 to 6.38 in 2023, surpassing the five-year average of 7.11.

Remarkably, the region reported no fatalities in 2023, pointing to the effectiveness of enhanced safety measures. Noteworthy is the absence of jet hull losses or fatal accidents in Africa since 2020.

The report highlighted the fifth instance of Africa reporting zero fatal turboprop accidents, with the initial occurrence documented in 2015.

Under the Focus Africa initiative, IATA introduced the Continuous Aviation Safety Improvement Program (CASIP) to augment aviation safety in Africa, accentuating collaborative efforts with states to fortify the implementation of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).

Despite visible progress, challenges persist. Both the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and the AFI Regional Aviation Safety Plan for Effective Implementation (EI) of ICAO ISARPs have heightened the minimum SARPs implementation threshold to 75% or greater, up from 60%.

Alarming is the fact that only 12 out of Africa’s 54 states meet this new threshold, pointing to the urgent need for substantial improvements in safety standards across the continent.

On a comprehensive scale, all accident rate for 2023 stood at a commendable 0.80 per million sectors, showcasing a noteworthy improvement from the 1.30 rate recorded in 2022 and marking the lowest figure in over a decade. This milestone outperformed the five-year rolling average (2019-2023) of 1.19, signifying an elevation in safety standards within the aviation sector.

Further highlighting positive trends, the fatality risk saw a notable decline to 0.03 in 2023, a substantial improvement from the 0.11 reported in 2022 and the 0.11 five-year average spanning 2019-2023.

To put this safety achievement into perspective, the average individual would need to embark on a daily air travel regimen for over 103,000 years to encounter a fatal accident. Notably, IATA member airlines and IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registered airlines reported no fatal accidents throughout 2023.

Nevertheless, a solitary fatal accident involving a turboprop aircraft occurred, resulting in 72 fatalities—a significant reduction from the five fatal accidents documented in 2022.

In terms of operational metrics, the report highlighted a substantial increase in aircraft movements in 2023. The total number of aircraft movements, encompassing both jet and turboprop categories, reached 37 million—an impressive 17% rise compared to the previous year.  (www.naija247news.com).

Naira appreciates to 1,609/$ at the official market

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The naira appreciated marginally against the United States dollar to N1,609 on Wednesday at the official market from N1,615.94 recorded the previous day.

This indicates an increase of N6 or 0.37 per cent.

Data from FMDQ showed that the naira dropped to N1,615.94/dollar on Tuesday from N1,582.94 on Monday.

This represents an N30 or 2.0 per cent depreciation compared to the N1,582.94 recorded at the close of trading on Monday.

During spot trading on Wednesday, the intraday high was N1,660, depreciating from N1,778/$ on Tuesday and N1,805/$1 on Monday. But, the intraday low increased marginally to N1,401 from N1,300 on Tuesday and N1,301/$ on Monday.

However, the daily FX market turnover further declined to $119.14m from $154.16m recorded on Tuesday and $166.58m on Monday.

During the day, the naira however traded between N1,300, N1,450 and N1,500 on Wednesday compared to N1,550 exchanged on Tuesday on the black market.(www.naija247news.com).

Stock market declines by 1.31%, sheds N721bn

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

Trading of equities on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange on Wednesday closed on a bearish note shedding 1.31%. This is occasioned by profit taking in 52 stocks by investors.

The All Share Index closed at 99,266.02 points, down by 1.31% against the previous close of 100,582.89 points.

The Market Capitalisation closed at N54.317 trillion, down by 1.31% from the previous close of N55.038 trillion, thereby losing N721 billion.

An aggregate of 396.2 million units of shares were traded in 10,549 deals, valued at N5.83 billion.

The Market Breadth closed negative as only 5 stocks gained against 52 stocks that declined in their share prices.


Only 5 gainers emerged at the close of trade on Wednesday. This include PZ leading the gainers chart with 10% growth, closing at N29.15 from the previous close of N26.50.

Other gainers include: Juli Plc 9.93%, AXA Mansard Insurance 1.53%, NAHCO 0.69% and NPF Microfinance Bank 0.55% respectively.


Wema Bank, Lafarge Africa (WAPCO), Sterling, FCMB, Redstar Express, The Initiate Plc, Nigerian Breweries and Oando shed their share prices by 10% respectively.

Several other stocks including FBN Holdings, Access, UBA, GTCO, Zenith among others shed their share prices by 9.97%, 9.82%, 8.89%, 8.75% and 5.94% respectively.


Transcorp traded about 52.57 million units of its shares in 597 deals, valued at N675.58 million

UBA traded about 39.47 million units of its shares in 816 deals, valued at N823.93 million

Access Holdings traded about 35.29 million units of its shares in 796 deals, valued at N620.91 million. (www.naija247news.com).

“In Awada Anambra State: School Security Chief Unveiled as Serial Killer”

February 29, 2024.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

In a shocking turn of events, the trusted chief security officer at Exceptional Kiddies Nursery and Primary School in Awada, Anambra State, has been exposed as a serial killer. Operating under the guise of a jovial security man, he conducted his sinister activities right under the noses of the school community.

Using his position of trust and access to the school compound, this individual, whose name is yet to be disclosed, carried out his gruesome deeds with impunity. Employing a clever cover-up by selling dry fish and crayfish, he disguised his heinous crimes for an extended period.

The community was jolted into horror when, on February 18, 2024, he abducted a child from the school premises. Despite efforts by the authorities and a desperate search by the boy’s family, their worst fears were realized when the child was discovered dismembered in a room within the school compound.

What’s particularly chilling is the apparent silence of previous victims, attributed to a drug administered by the killer to incapacitate them. This allowed him to carry out his atrocities undetected for far too long.

Questions loom about the fate of Mr. Harrison, the school proprietor who mysteriously vanished two years prior. Did the security chief have a hand in his disappearance? And how many other lives were tragically cut short by this insidious predator?

As the investigation unfolds, the community grapples with the unsettling reality that a supposed protector turned out to be a merciless butcher. The hope now rests on the justice system to ensure that this wicked individual faces the full consequences of his actions.

Elochukwu Ohagi’s call for justice reverberates as the community seeks closure and accountability in the wake of such unimaginable horror.(www.naija247news.com).

Tinubu insists on restructuring states based on their natural resources during Southwest tour.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has outlined his administration’s approach to restructuring, emphasizing the need to establish a solid foundation before implementing comprehensive changes. During his visit to Akure, the Ondo State capital, Tinubu clarified that successful economic and fiscal reforms must precede restructuring to ensure the sustainability of proper federalism.

Tinubu, accompanied by former APC Interim National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, assured that the restructuring process would address concerns for equity and justice. While the establishment of state police has been agreed upon by the President and governors, Tinubu emphasized the importance of a well-laid foundation to prevent the collapse of restructuring efforts.

Speaking at the meeting with Afenifere leader Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Tinubu showcased his Certificate of Return and received accolades for his courage and sagacity. Fasoranti urged the President to approach constitutional reforms with determination, seeking a future where regional competitions foster healthy rivalry.

Highlighting the challenges of population growth and migration in the Southwest, Fasoranti urged Tinubu to plan for regional-scale developments to prevent overwhelming challenges in the future. The President was encouraged to pursue institutional reforms, strengthen the federation, and prioritize the welfare of Nigerians.

**President Tinubu Unveils Restructuring Strategy During Southwest Tour**

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu unveiled his strategy for restructuring the country during his visit to Akure, where he emphasized the importance of laying a solid foundation. Tinubu clarified that economic and fiscal reforms are prerequisites for restructuring, ensuring the sustainability of proper federalism.

While addressing Afenifere leader Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Tinubu showcased his Certificate of Return and received praise for his courage. Fasoranti commended Tinubu’s implementation of the Oronsanye Report for reforming the Public Service and urged him to tackle constitutional reforms with fairness and determination.

Discussing the challenges of population growth and migration in the Southwest, Fasoranti called for regional-scale planning to prevent overwhelming challenges in the future. The President was encouraged to pursue institutional reforms, strengthen the federation, and prioritize the welfare of Nigerians.

**President Tinubu Affirms Commitment to Economic and Political Reforms**

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu reaffirmed his commitment to economic and political reforms during his visit to Akure, Ondo State. Speaking at the meeting with Afenifere leader Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Tinubu outlined his approach to restructuring, emphasizing the need for a solid foundation through successful economic and fiscal reforms.

Tinubu, accompanied by former APC Interim National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, assured that the restructuring process would prioritize equity and justice. The President showcased his Certificate of Return and received accolades for his courage and sagacity in implementing reforms.

Fasoranti urged Tinubu to tackle constitutional reforms with determination, seeking a future where regional competitions foster healthy rivalry. The President was encouraged to pursue institutional reforms, strengthen the federation, and ensure the success of Nigeria’s economic, social, and political structures.

Olam’s Shares Surge Amid Second-Half Turnaround

Olam Group Ltd.’s shares soared following a significant turnaround in its second-half performance, despite a sharp drop in full-year profits.

The agricultural trader reported double-digit growth across most metrics in the latter half of the year, with earnings climbing 15.5% to S$230.8 million ($172 million) in the six months through December, according to an exchange filing on Wednesday.

Although the company’s share price surged up to 10% at the Singapore open and maintained most of those gains by mid-afternoon, it remains nearly halved since the end of 2021 due to challenges like high borrowing costs.

Olam, majority-owned by Singaporean state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte, reaffirmed its commitment to listing its subsidiary Olam Agri in Saudi Arabia despite repeated delays.

The company also addressed concerns over fraud allegations in Nigeria, stating its internal investigation found no evidence to support the claims and that its businesses there are operating normally.

Additionally, Olam announced plans to initiate a share buyback program, citing the group’s undervaluation.

Ghana parliament passes stringent anti-LGBTQ law

ACCRA, Feb 28 – Ghana’s parliament passed legislation on Wednesday that intensifies a crackdown on the rights of LGBTQ people and those promoting lesbian, gay or other non-conventional sexual or gender identities in the West African country.

Gay sex was already punishable by up to three years in prison. The bill now also imposes a prison sentence of up to five years for the “wilful promotion, sponsorship, or support of LGBTQ+ activities”.

The bill, one of the harshest of its kind in Africa.

“My heart is broken and devastated at the moment, that’s all I can say for now” Angel Maxine, Ghana’s first openly transgender musician and LGBTQI+ activist, told Reuters, adding “My pronouns are She/ her/ hers.”

A coalition of Christian, Muslim, and Ghanaian traditional leaders sponsored the legislation.
Following the vote in parliament, the bill will be presented to President Nana Akufo-Addo after which he has seven days to assent or refuse to assent, according to Ghana’s constitution.

If he assents, the bill becomes law. Akufo-Addo, had avoided the heated debate over the bill, but said he’ll react once it is voted by parliament.
Winnie Byanyima, executive director of the United Nations Aids agency UNAIDS, said in a statement that the bill will affect everyone if it became law, adding that punitive laws as embodied by the bill, are a barrier to ending AIDS, and ultimately undermine everyone’s health.

“It will exacerbate fear and hatred, could incite violence against fellow Ghanaian citizens, and will negatively impact on free speech, freedom of movement and freedom of association,” Byanyima said in a the statement.

“If it becomes law, it will obstruct access to life-saving services, undercut social protection, and jeopardize Ghana’s development success,” she said.

“African Debt Seen Beyond Pre-Pandemic Levels Until 2025, Warns UN Official”

In a sobering address at a United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA) conference in Victoria Falls, Adam Elhiraika, the agency’s director of macroeconomics and governance, revealed that Africa’s public debt is expected to remain elevated through 2024 and 2025. Despite ongoing efforts, many countries are grappling with the daunting challenge of servicing international loans, leaving them vulnerable to slipping into debt distress.

Elhiraika highlighted that currently, eight countries are already in debt distress, with an additional 13 countries anticipated to face similar risks. The continent has endured a series of economic setbacks since 2020, ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to geopolitical tensions like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the tightening of U.S. interest rates. These crises have further strained already financially burdened governments, exacerbating political and fiscal dilemmas.

The debt-to-GDP ratio for Africa stood at 62.5% by the end of 2022, a figure that has doubled over the previous decade, reaching 57% by 2020. Without a significant shift in fiscal policies, projections suggest that this ratio could escalate by an additional 10 percentage points over the next five years, according to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Elhiraika emphasized the urgent need for African nations to collaborate with international partners to tackle the looming debt crisis. The fiscal deficit for Africa widened to 4.6% of GDP in the past year and is anticipated to further expand to 5% by 2024. Consequently, many African governments are compelled to implement austerity measures, even as interest payments escalate.

Addressing the conference, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube underscored the necessity of reevaluating the global financial system to facilitate more accessible and affordable finance for Africa. The recent defaults by Zambia in late 2020, followed by Ghana in 2022, and Ethiopia in December 2023, serve as stark reminders of the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to address Africa’s debt challenges.

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