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    President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the federal government does not have $200 million to pay Sunrise Power Transmission Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPTCL) as final settlement claims over the Mambilla dispute, TheCable can report.

    He was reacting to a request by Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation, who was seeking approval to pay the company the sum, which is a precondition to withdraw its arbitration against Nigeria at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, France, over an alleged breach of contract.

    In a memo to the president dated March 26, 2020, Malami asked him to approve the payment of the $200 million to Sunrise Power as “full and final settlement” to discontinue the arbitration and set the government free from all liabilities in the dispute.

    However, Buhari, in his reply dated Monday, April 20, said “FG does not have USD 200 million to pay SPTCL”.

    Nigeria is currently facing a serious fiscal crisis, with crude oil selling for less than half of the budget price.

    The federal government has slashed its budget and dipped into stabilisation savings at the Sovereign Wealth Fund Authority in order to augment federation allocations.

    The excess crude account (ECA) now has a balance of less than $100 million.

    With the COVID-19 pandemic upsetting the global economy, there is yet no end in sight to the country’s situation.


    Sunrise Power had, on October 10, 2017, dragged Nigeria to arbitration in Paris, seeking a $2.354 billion award for “breach of contract” in relation to a 2003 agreement to construct the 3,050MW plant in Mambilla, Taraba state, on a “build, operate and transfer” basis.

    The company also joined Sinohydro Corporation Limited, the Chinese company currently handling the project, in the arbitration.


    Specifically, Sunrise asked for “success fee” of $1.044 billion under the general cooperation agreement between it and Sinohydro; $750 million for “loss of profit” as local content partner; $263 million as accrued costs (“wasted expenditure”) from 2001 to 2017; $172 million as litigation cost; and $125 million as “reputational loss”.

    To resolve the dispute, Nigeria entered into negotiations with Sunrise Power in November 2019 and proposed to pay $100,000 million as against the $500 million being demanded by Sunrise.

    The federal government team, led by Malami and Suleiman Adamu, minister of water resources, made a proposal of $200 million to Sunrise as a “middle ground” and the company accepted the offer subject to approval by Buhari.

    The settlement claim was to be paid “within 14 days” of the execution of the terms of agreement on January 21, 2020 — but the timelines have now been adjusted.

    The government team also agreed to pay a penalty of 10 per cent in case of any default in fulfilling the settlement agreement — in addition to restoring Sunrise as the local content partner in the $5.8 billion hydroelectric project.

    The latter two conditions have now been expunged from the revised settlement agreement presented to the president by Malami on March 26.

    An addendum dated March 25, 2020 containing the revised terms was attached to the documents sent to the president by Malami.

    In it, representatives of the federal government and Sunrise Power proposed that the $200 million would be in “one or two tranches with 150 Calendar days (5 months)” from the date of the execution of the agreement.

    The first $100 million was to be paid within 30 days of execution and the balance “shall be paid within 90 calendar days (3 months) of the first payment” with a grace period of 30 days.

    But Nigeria’s inability to settle the settlement claim may further compound matters.


    Leno Adesanya, chairman of Sunrise, had in a letter dated March 31, 2017 to Babatunde Fashola, then minister of power, accused him of reneging on his promise to support the project.

    Fashola maintained that available evidence did not support Adesanya’s claims for compensation as there was nothing on ground to suggest the company was executing any contract.

    In another letter dated June 20, 2017 to the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo requesting his intervention in the matter, Adesanya accused Abba Kyari, the late chief of staff to Buhari, of taking the unilateral decision of directing the ministry of power to sideline the company from the contract “against the advice of Malami”.

    In the letter dated July 24, 2017 to Osinbajo, with a copy to the chief of staff, Malami had said SPTCL should be engaged as a local content partner to the project “as a means of accommodating its prior contractual interests on the project”.

    However, Malami backtracked a few weeks later.

    In another letter dated August 17, 2017 to the company, the AGF said he issued the previous opinion on the project based on the limited materials provided at the time.

    He added that there was no requisite federal executive council (FEC) approval for the project.

    “The logical conclusion in the circumstances should be that there was no valid contract between Federal Government of Nigeria and SPTC in respect of the project or at all,” Malami wrote.


    The China Exim Bank, which is expected to provide 85 percent of the joint funding with the federal government for the Mambilla project, had insisted on compliance with due process and terms of the November 2017 engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract signed with the partners before releasing the funds.

    The Chinese ambassador to Nigeria said his country will not support white elephant projects.

    “On 5th September, 2019, Yang Jiechi, Special Representative of President Xi Jinping informed the Nigerian President and Commander in Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari that unless the legal dispute is resolved, conforming out of court settlement funding for the loan will not be accessed,” He Yongjun, project manager for the Chinese partners, said.

    “A meeting shall be organized by the Ministry of Power for negotiation between the relevant authorities of the Nigeria government, SUNRISE, and the members of the EPC Contractor JV to resolve the legal disputes through amicable negotiations so as to let the plaintiff withdraw the lawsuit.”


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    The Economist of London says Abba Kyari, the late chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, tried to clean up Nigeria before his demise.

    Exactly one week ago, Kyari died from COVID-19 complications. He had tested positive for the disease after a trip to Germany where he attended a meeting with officials of Siemens to discuss issues relating to the Nigerian power sector.

    In a piece published on Thursday, Kyari was described as “a largely honourable man” who wanted the best for his country.

    The Economist said Kyari was often bothered about the degree of corruption in the country and thought of ways to end it.

    An instance was cited on how the boss of an energy company “forgot” a bag stuffed with $100 bills at his office but Kyari was quoted to have said: “much too much of our work is spent on stopping our own people stealing”.

    “While Mr Kyari was alive, others were much less kind. Many saw him as the figurehead for a shadowy cabal that controlled policy and appointments, and granted favours and contracts,” the piece read.

    “Cabinet ministers grumbled that they could not get past his door to discuss important issues with a distant and apathetic president. Mr Kyari’s economic thinking, which seemed stuck in the 1970s, was also criticised.

    “There was some truth to these accusations. Yet there is also a broader parable of Mr Kyari. It is one of a largely honourable man who went to the heart of a thoroughly corrupt and dysfunctional system, aiming to reform it—but who struggled to overcome its inertia amid a series of crises.

    “He was known to turn down offers of free upgrades to first class (he thought it vulgar) before taking his seat in business class on British Airways flights.

    “The corruption and decay of Nigeria’s state, and the inequality they bred, dismayed and worried him. Nigeria had to change, he argued. The question was whether it would be through orderly reform or chaotic breakdown.”

    The publication said it is unfortunate that Kyari served in a government which took power after crash in oil prices pushed the country into recession.

    It said the late chief of staff had hoped that Buhari’s second term “would provide an opportunity to liberalise the corrupt oil and gas industries by making contracts and licences more transparent and taking them out from under the thumb of politicians.”

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    Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has warned Muslims in the country to shun all forms of congregational prayers and group meals as Ramadan begins on Friday in a bid to avert spreading the deadly Coronavirus.

    Buhari, in a statement on Thursday, also wished Muslims well as they begin this year’s 30-day fast, following the sighting of the moon.

    “I congratulate all Muslims as they commence this year’s Ramadan fast which is depicted by self-denial, universal brotherhood, austerity and helping relatives and needy people,” said the President.

    Buhari described Ramadan 2020 as a challenge, falling as it is in the period of the global pandemic, which has spread to more than 200 nations, with virtually all countries advising citizens to avoid large gatherings and have their prayers and meals (suhoor and iftar) individually or with family at home.

    “In this Ramadan period, the kind of socializing you are used to now risks spreading the Coronavirus,” the President cautions Muslims, while enjoining them to refrain from those Ramadan rituals and traditions such as group meals and congregational prayers that have been put on hold by Muslim religious authorities all over the world.

    Buhari urged Muslims to endure and not to use the Coronavirus as an excuse not to participate in the Ramadan fast, unless such abstention is warranted by the excuses clearly outlined by health and religious authorities.

    He wished Muslims in the country and the world over all the blessings of the holy month.

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    There was palpable fear in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Thursday as armed policemen stormed and dispersed traders and buyers who thronged some major markets against the directive of the state government.

    The policemen, who stormed the markets around 10: 30am in six police pick-up vans and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), were civil in their words and actions with the traders and residents who came to the markets in effecting their closure.

    The policemen were at Bisi Market and Oja Oba both in Ado Ekiti and Shasha Market in Ikere Ekiti to stop buying and selling already going on there.

    Trading activities were stopped at the two large markets in the state capital as traders and residents filled them to the capacity without observing the rule of social and physical distancing.

    Besides, the outpouring of residents who were utilising the one-day window of opportunity to restock food and other necessities caused a huge traffic snarl by displaying their wares on the road.

    The Nation learnt that traders had arrived the markets from different of the state as early as 5.00 am to transact businesses.

    The Commander of Mobile Police (MOPOL 33), ACP Samuel Erhale, who led the policemen to Oja Oba and Bisi Market at about 10.30am gave the traders thirty minutes to pack their wares and leave for neighbourhood markets immediately.

    Social and physical distancing were observed at Shasha Market in Ikere Ekiti but Erhale insisted that holding the market violated government’s directive.

    After holding consultations with the Sarkin Shasha, Erhale who is also the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Operations. (AC-OPS) of the state police command, ordered all traders and their customers to evacuate their goods and leave.

    Erhale said the crowded scenes at the markets could lead to further spread of the Coronavirus in the state which, according to him, are injurious to public health.

    He advised them to take their wares to the available neighbourhood markets as directed by the government.

    The police chief further stressed the need for traders and buyers to observe physical and social distancing in line with the advisory of the state government.

    He insisted that the instruction of the state government was that Oja Oba and Bisi Market should not be opened for business, hence, the enforcement of the order to close them.

    They waited until the traders evacuated their goods from the two markets in Ado Ekiti before heading to the market in Ikere to enforce the same order.

    The markets became a ghost town after the thirty minutes given to traders to leave had lapsed.

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    Governors have endorsed a two-week inter-state lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus.

    The states’ helmsmen said the movement of people across states contributed to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

    This is in spite of the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by President Muhammadu Buhari since March 30, and the close of territories by states.

    After their sixth COVID-19 teleconference meeting on Wednesday, the governors “unanimously agreed to the implementation of an inter-state lockdown in the country over the next two weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus from state to state.”

    However, they added: “Only essential services will be permitted,” according to the communiqué made available by Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) spokesman Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo.

    The governors were briefed by their colleagues Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Bala Mohammaed (Bauchi) on their experience while undergoing treatment for the virus pandemic. Both tested positive and were isolated, treated and discharged.

    They were also briefed by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun who shared their experience in managing coronavirus cases in their states.

    Lagos is the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria with 430 cases out of the national tally of 782 as at Tuesday. One hundred and six cases have been discharged in the state.

    Because of the evidence that community transmission of the virus has led to its spread to 25 out of the 36 states, governors called for the decentralisation of the COVID-19 response and the setting up of COVID-19 committees at the regional level to strengthen coordinated implementation of necessary public health recommendations.

    They proposed that the regional committees be headed by commissioners of Health while the committees will continue to interface with the State Task Force panel on COVID-19.

    They also expressed “serious concern” about the rising spread of the virus among health workers and resolved to work with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure that health workers are adequately provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are constantly trained on the use of protective gears.

    They rejoiced with Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai who was on Wednesday discharged after “nearly four weeks of testing positive and observing very strict medical regime but has now received two consecutive negative test results to the coronavirus”.

    They also condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his Chief of Staff Abba Kyari from COVID-19 complications.

    But Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade warned that any further extension of lockdown of the country in response to the ravaging pandemic will spell doom..

    According to him, it would give rise to uncontrollable youth restiveness.

    Ayade, who spoke yesterday at the Industrial Park in Calabar, said he was recruiting 8000 youths to avoid social tension in view of the harsh economic impact created by COVID 19.

    Ayade said: “With prices of oil falling, locking out is far better than locking down because another two weeks of lockdown will find this country under siege by young people. There is no way you can hold down these young energies for too long.

    “It is demographic, it is statistics. 65 per cent of the population is below the age of 35 and the virus itself does not have penetrative force in such a demography and that is what we have to recognise as a country”

    The governor said the difference in climate conditions between the Western World and Africa is the reason the pandemic is ravaging that part of the world.

    “Our demography is different from the West. Our climatic conditions are different. If you take the wind speed, the wind direction, sun intensity, radiation and the factors that govern the movement of a virus, ours is a situation that makes it difficult to spread with the speed it is spreading in the Western world.

    “So, our response strategy should reflect our environmental sensitivity. Maybe what COVID-19 will eventually do is to sharpen the consciousness of young people to come together. That will be very dangerous and so, to nip that in the bud, we have to find jobs for them because sincerely, that is the provision in the constitution. Section 14 sub section 2 says the welfare and security of the people are the primary essence of government

    “I have to get the young people off the streets, I need to get them engaged. I need to get them to survive and that is the essence of government.”

    The governor advocated channeling of donations to the COVID-19 campaign to job creation. “If you have international support of N21 billion, you have to find how to use it to create jobs and not how to use it on COVID-19 campaign because it will end one day”, he said

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    The Rivers State Task Force enforcing lockdown measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has killed an unidentified policewoman in the state.

    It was gathered that a trigger-happy policeman attached to the taskforce pulled the killed his colleague, who was not a member of the force.

    The incident was said to have happened at Eneka Town, Obio-Akpo Local Government Area, at about 5pm.

    Sources said the tragedy occurred when members of the taskforce arrived the area and began to destroy goods belonging to defiant street traders.

    The new Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, who confirmed the development, said the policeman attached to the taskforce misused his weapon.

    He said: “A policeman attached to the taskforce did the shooting.

    “He was shooting anyhow and in the process killed another policewoman. The policewoman was hit by a stray bullet”.

    Mukan, who spoke at about 8:20pm, said the policeman was immediately arrested, disarmed and subjected to orderly room trial.

    “As I am talking to you, the orderly room trial is ongoing. If we conclude it this night, we will arraign him tomorrow”, he said.

    He insisted that there was no justification for the killing adding that the law must take its course.

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    ECOWAS leaders have appointed President Muhammadu Buhari Champion of the COVID-19 response.

    The appointment was made Thursday at the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on COVID-19 which was held via teleconferencing under the Chairmanship of Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger.

    During the teleconference, President Buhari called on fellow ECOWAS leaders to look beyond the challenges posed by the COVID -19 pandemic and tap into various opportunities that it presents for the betterment of lives in Member States:

    “In every challenging situation such as the current one, there are also opportunities. Our region must therefore seek to find those opportunities provided by this gloomy global outlook for its benefit by embarking on the implementation of such critical policies, which before now, will be difficult to accept”

    ECOWAS appoints Buhari COVID-19 champion

    Thursday, April 23, 2020 3:32 pm | Daily News Headlines | 1 Comment(s)

    Buhari: appointed ECOWAS COVID-19 champion
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    ECOWAS leaders have appointed President Muhammadu Buhari Champion of the COVID-19 response.

    The appointment was made Thursday at the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on COVID-19 which was held via teleconferencing under the Chairmanship of Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger.

    During the teleconference, President Buhari called on fellow ECOWAS leaders to look beyond the challenges posed by the COVID -19 pandemic and tap into various opportunities that it presents for the betterment of lives in Member States:

    “In every challenging situation such as the current one, there are also opportunities. Our region must therefore seek to find those opportunities provided by this gloomy global outlook for its benefit by embarking on the implementation of such critical policies, which before now, will be difficult to accept”

    While calling on his colleagues to intensify collaboration in order to save the region from “this deadly pandemic through sharing our experiences and best practices,” President Buhari outlined some measures taken by his government in response to the pandemic. These are:

    • The reduction of interest rates on all applicable Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) interventions from 9 to 5 percent and introduction of a one- year moratorium on CBN intervention facilities;

    *The inauguration of Presidential Task Force to coordinate national efforts to combat the spread of the virus and ensure efficiency and effectiveness in line with the Nigerian Action Plan on Health Security;

    *The provision of relief materials including medical and food supplies as well as conditional cash transfers of N20, 000 each for poor and vulnerable households and ;

    *The establishment of more isolation centers and testing facilities to contain the spread of the virus.

    The Nigerian leader also said that unprecedented economic uncertainties, including severe fiscal and foreign exchange constraints, amid a slowdown in global economic growth that most nations are grappling with, have made it imperative for “our sub-region to refocus on accelerating the implementation of our popular vision of ‘ECOWAS of the people’ by adopting dynamic regional policies aimed at providing relief to our citizens.”

    “Despite declining revenues, government continues to spend massively on the containment of the virus, medical care for those infected and minimizing impact of the crisis on the poor and vulnerable. This situation puts severe pressure on our finances by increasing our expenditures amid dwindling revenues. This invariably has led to a restructuring and reduction of our budget,” he added.

    President Buhari used the occasion to rally other leaders to embrace agriculture, technology and innovation in order to emerge stronger.

    “It is imperative that while addressing short term challenges, we should also explore opportunities to promote strong and dynamic agricultural policies that will guarantee food security for our people, creating jobs and reducing poverty in the region. We must innovate and use technology to boost the digital economy and do things differently, but better,” he said.

    The Nigerian President affirmed Nigeria’s solidarity with other member states as they battle the virus:

    “At a time of global uncertainty such as this, caused by the devastating impact of the COVID-19, let me convey Nigeria’s solidarity with all the Member States as we collectively battle to defeat the pandemic. I am greatly saddened by loss of numerous lives and extend my heartfelt condolences to families of those who have lost loved ones throughout the region. I also wish infected victims speedy and full recovery.”

    He reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the well-being and safety of the people in the sub-region and restated support for any initiatives that would curb the spread of the pandemic arising from the Summit.

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    The Lebanese government has arrested a national for advertising a Nigerian girl for sale on his facebook.

    The Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon had drew the attention of the country on the advertisement of a Nigerian girl for sale.

    The culprit, Mr, Wael Jerro had been on the run as the Lebanese government declared him wanted for such action.

    According to Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, “The Lebanese Govt just announced the arrest of Mr. WAEL JERRO for onward prosecution against criminal sales of a human, a young Nigerian girl.

    “A big thanks to the Nigerian mission in Lebanon for swinging into immediate action.”

    Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, had on Tuesday said the Nigerian mission in Lebanon had since reported to the host authorities on the dastard act and that a man hunt was on for the man and all out search for the young girl.

    According to Dabiri-Erewa, on Wednesday, the Lebanese Ministry of Labour issued a circular condemning the action of Jerro as completely unethical, in contravention of Lebanese Laws and against the Principles of Human Rights.

    “The circular further stated that legal action will be constituted against him for human trafficking before the competent judicial authority by the Ministry, in line with its statutory responsibility.

    “The Nigerian mission in Lebanon has also demanded an immediate hand over of the victim to the mission unconditionally and, in good health. NIDCOM will continue to follow up on the matter,” she said.

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    The deadly Coronavirus pandemic has killed two more people in Lagos, the epicentre of the disease.

    Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed this on Thursday on his twitter handle.

    According to Abayomi, 74 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Lagos on Wednesday, with the total confirmed cases put at 512.

    “Lagos recorded 2 more COVID-19 related deaths. Total COVID-19 death in Lagos is now 18,” he said.

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    The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said the origin of 223 of the confirmed 873 cases is unknown.

    The figure was revealed in the latest COVID-19 Situation report released by the agency on Thursday.

    Previously, the number of cases classified as ‘unknown origin’ was 203.

    According to the report covering 26 states, cases with travel history totalled 210, while cases with contacts were 317.

    There was ‘incomplete’ information on 123 cases.

    The NCDC reported that the virus has a gender bias, as it affects men more than women.

    According to the report 617 men have so far been diagnosed with the virus.

    This represents 70 per cent of the total and contrasts with 257 women affected, representing 30 per cent.

    The agency disclosed that it has special interest in 9,257 people.

    What should get Nigerians worried is that despite the two-week lockdown, only 9,522 tests have so far been done, with 588 done on Wednesday.



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