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Bomb blast kills 25 in Nigeria

A bomb blast in Nigeria’s northern university town of Zaria has killed 25 people including a two-year-old, the Kaduna state governor reported. The incident is the latest in a string of deadly bombing and shooting attacks by the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group.


Buhari takes over as Nigeria leader

He takes over a nation in crisis, with an Islamic uprising that has made 1.5 million people homeless and coffers emptied by massive corruption. Similar crises confronted him when he ruled briefly as a military dictator in the 1980s. The 72-year-old says a similar prescription more judiciously imposed by a “born-again democrat” can heal the woes of Africa’s biggest nation, economy and oil producer.


Oil crunch, Islamist war, power cuts face Nigeria’s new leader

Crippling fuel shortages, power cuts, slowing economic growth and Islamist militants wreaking havoc. Muhammadu Buhari is taking on a tough job when he’s sworn in as Nigeria’s president on Friday. Former military ruler Buhari, 72, swept incumbent Goodluck Jonathan from office in March elections by pledging to end endemic corruption and Boko Haram’s rebellion in the north. His stewardship of Africa’s biggest oil producer, this time as elected president, may depend on the price of crude, which supplies the government with more than two-thirds of its income.


Nigerian stocks retreat fifth day as fuel crisis hits companies

Nigerian stocks retreated for a fifth day, with the declines seen continuing as Africa’s biggest oil producer faces a fuel shortage that’s crippling the economy and causing companies to cut back operations. Shares in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigeria’s biggest lender by market value, dropped as it closed branches early on Monday amid a shortage of diesel for generators. Dangote Flour Mills Plc’s stock fell to the lowest in almost two months as it was forced to rely on “highly erratic” electricity from the national grid to run its plants without fuel for generators, according to African Alliance Securities Ltd.


Nigerian economic growth slows on oil industry’s contraction

Economic growth in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, slowed in the first quarter as the oil industry contracted amid a slump in prices, according to the country’s statistics bureau. Expansion in gross domestic product eased on an annual basis to 4 percent compared with 5.9 percent a quarter earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.

Oil & Gas

Nigeria needs to raise gas prices to bridge $55 billion gap

Nigeria has to raise its gas prices to attract an estimated $55 billion of investment needed to plug persistent local shortages, Nigerian Gas Association President Bolaji Osunsanya said. A government increase of gas prices in August for power plants to $2.50 for 1,000 cubic feet from about $0.50 isn’t enough, Osunsanya, who is also managing director of Oando Gas & Power Ltd., said in an interview in Lagos with Bloomberg TV Africa to be aired Friday. These investments are needed to explore for more gas, set up five processing facilities at about $2 billion each and develop domestic distribution channels, he said. International oil companies, which had been export-focused due to low domestic gas prices fixed by the government, have agreed to sell off $10 billion of assets over the past three years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Those assets are largely being taken over by local companies, such as Seplat Petroleum Development Co. and Midwestern Oil and Gas Co. Ltd.

Oil & Gas

Nigeria, Algeria see oil prices staying low for a long time

Oil prices are likely to stay low for a long time after falling more than 40 percent in the past year, said officials from two OPEC nations. Nigeria and Algeria both warned that oil prices, currently at around $60 a barrel, probably won’t recover to the 2011-2013 level of more than $100 a barrel. “You forecast at your own risk, but it seems to me that we should be regarding this as a permanent shock,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian finance minister, said on a panel discussion Sunday in Washington near the end of the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings. “We should prepare our economies for that eventuality.”

Other News

Bourbon Offshore African business dealings investigated

Bourbon Offshore said a judicial investigation has been launched into its business dealings in Africa. The matter relates to tax and bribery charges by authorities in Marseilles, France. It comes after the company's former manager was arrested at the Marseilles-Provence airport when he was returning from Africa in possession of approximately €190,000 in cash in 2010.


Nigeria signs Rosatom deal for up to $80 billion nuclear power

Nigeria is in talks with Russia’s Rosatom Corp. to build as many as four nuclear power plants costing about $80 billion as Africa’s biggest economy seeks to add 1,200 megawatts capacity by the end of the decade. The West African nation signed an agreement with Rosatom to cooperate on the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of a facility, said Franklin Erepamo Osaisai, chairman and chief executive officer of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission. It will be increased to four nuclear plants with total capacity of 4,800 megawatts by 2035, with each facility costing $20 billion, he said.


Three workers kidnapped in Nigeria

French company Bourbon said three of its crew members were kidnapped from a crew boat off the coast of Nigeria. The incident happened on the Surfer 1440 after pirates boarded the vessel on April 8. A spokesman for the company said:"The 3 crew members of Nigerian nationality have been kidnapped. An emergency unit based in Nigeria has been immediately activated.


Opinion: Extraordinary times, challenges and prospects for Nigeria and Buhari

Robert Dowden had presciently anticipated Nigeria’s presidential electionsas the most important African event of the decade. Last week’s elections saw the tenacious opposition candidate former general Muhammadu Buhari triumph over incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. This was Buhari’s fourth consecutive attempt for the presidency. He had a short spell as military head of state in 1984/85. Nigerian elections are usually characterized by vote-rigging; inevitability of incumbents winning as they violence and state’s petro-resources to capture the electoral process; and losers resort to violence. Last week’s elections broke the old traditions as observers judged them as exceptionally peaceful, free, fair and credible. Nigeria’s electoral commission introduced smartcards as innovative means of identifying voters - an innovation which singularly reduced the space for vote rigging.

Other News

Buhari: Nigeria embraces democracy

Nigeria’s new leader says the nation has put a one-party state behind it and embraced democracy with his election. Former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari said now is the time “to heal wounds” after a hard-fought contest left emotions running high. He said in his acceptance speech that his election is a victory for Nigerians and shows their belief in a better future. Previous president Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat in a televised address to the nation last night, opening the way for a peaceful and unprecedented transition of power in Africa’s richest and most populous state. Mr Jonathan’s concession defused tensions and fears of post-election violence. About 1,000 people died and 65,000 were made homeless in riots in the Muslim north after Mr Buhari lost to Mr Jonathan in 2011.


Celebrations erupt in Northern Nigeria as Buhari wins presidency

Celebrations erupted across northern Nigeria after Muhammadu Buhari clinched victory in presidential elections, ending a 16-year monopoly on power held by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. Thousands of jubilant youths spilled into streets of Kano, Maiduguri, Yola and other cities, shouting, honking horns and chanting Buhari’s name. Some carried brooms, the symbol of Buhari’s All Progressives Congress party and an emblem of it’s campaign for change. Buhari, a Muslim northerner and former military ruler, won 52.4 percent of votes cast and a majority in 19 of the 36 states, including all the predominately Muslim northern ones.


Nigerian stocks gain eighth day as Buhari leads election race

Nigerian stocks gained for an eighth day and bonds extended a rally as former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari took the lead with half of the country’s states reporting results from the March 28-29 general elections. Four shares climbed for every one that fell on the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index, taking the gauge to its highest level since March 10, and paring losses this quarter to 9.3%. Yields on $500 million of Nigerian dollar bonds due July 2023 fell for a ninth day to the lowest level since December 10. “The fact that the voting is behind us now in itself is positive, even though we’re still waiting for results,” Yvonne Mhango, a Johannesburg-based economist at Renaissance Capital, said by phone.


Cliffhanger in Nigerian election

In a cliffhanger of a Nigerian election, early returns from half the states showed President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari almost even. The US and Britain warned of “disturbing indications” that the tally could be subject to political interference. Counting stopped just before midnight with Mr Jonathan winning nine states and the tiny Federal Capital Territory to Mr Buhari’s nine states. But Mr Buhari won many more votes - 8.5 million to Mr Jonathan’s 6.48. Another 18 states - including Lagos which has the biggest number of voters of any state - still have to send results to the counting centre in Abuja, electoral commissioner Attahiru Jega announced.


Nigerian stocks gain as buyers seek bargains before vote results

Nigerian equities rose to a two-week high as isolated incidents of violence spurred investors to take advantage of the cheapest stocks in Africa before final results from presidential and legislative elections are tallied. The advance extended gains over the past seven days to 4.8 percent, taking the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index to its best level since March 16. The measure is still down almost 12 percent this quarter, the most among 24 African gauges tracked by Bloomberg. It is trading at 9.3 times estimated earnings, the lowest on the continent after Zimbabwe. Investors encouraged by the lack of violence are taking “early positions” should prices rise, Ayodeji Ebo, head of research at Afrinvest West Africa Ltd. in Lagos, said by phone. “They’re cautious, they’re not being very aggressive. But they’re trying to increase their exposure, knowing that if there’s no post-election violence the only direction for the market will be upwards.”


Nigeria election result awaited

Nigerians are waiting in hope and fear for results of the tightest and most bitterly contested presidential election in the nation’s turbulent history. Collation of results starts at noon local time and winner could be named later today or tomorrow, electoral officials say. One radio station played the song written by entertainment star 2Face Idibia in Nigeria’s colloquial English: “Vote not fight; Election no be war!”


Total Nigerian asset sales total $1billion

Oil giant Total gas completed the sale of its stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 in Nigeria for $569million. Along with its exit from OML 24 and OML 18, it brings the French company's share of sale proceeds from these three onshore Nigerian blocks to more than $1billion. Patrick de La Chevardière, chief financial officer at Total, said: “The sale of these non-operated onshore blocks in Nigeria is yet another example of our strategy of dynamic portfolio management, achieved at attractive valuations".