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Fire guts INEC’s electoral institute
The Independent National Electoral Commission’s Electoral Institute in Abuja has been gutted by fire.
The fire began on Saturday at about 11pm and destroyed bags, envelopes, election forms and electrical control panel/ switch in the institute’s warehouse before it was contained at 2am on Sunday.
Mr. Shettima Ngilladar, the Director of Security for INEC conducted journalists around the affected area, said there was a power surge which caused the electrical panel/ switch to go up in flames, he also explained that no materials for the general elections were in the warehouse as of the time of the fire as they had been moved to all the states of the federation.
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Fulani Herdsmen Kill 80 in Attack on Benue Communit
It was a bloody Sunday in Egba village in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, when suspected Fulani herdsmen in the early hours attacked killing over 80 persons and injuring several others including women and children.
It was gathered that the herdsmen who stormed the village at about 4 am killed their victims, most of whom were fast asleep in their homes after which they razed the community, destroying economic trees, food barns and farmlands.
According to a resident, the casualty figure could be higher following the disappearance of many other villagers.
“Many survivors with injuries are being evacuated to hospitals, but the problem is that we do not have a hospital in this area that is big enough to cater for the situation we have at hand at the moment,”.
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Naira battling for stability after heavy loss
Amid continued efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to prop up the value of the weakening naira, the currency strengthened by 1.7 per cent against the United States’ dollar in January as it closed at 187.6 on Friday, January 30.
Prior to the slight improvement, there had been widespread speculation of further devaluation of the naira as the currency continued to trade outside the new official band that emerged in November last year.
The postponement of the general elections on February 7 fueled further depreciation of the naira, stoking speculation that the CBN might devalue the currency again.
On February 12, the naira hit an all-time low of 206.60 against the dollar at the interbank segment of the foreign exchange market, a decline of 20 per cent since the start of November.
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Importers abandon cargoes due to high clearance cost
On Thursday, the Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) announced that importers had been abandoning their cargoes at Nigerian ports, due to high costs of clearing such cargoes.
Mr Jonathan Nicol, the President of the association, made this announcement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said the cost of cargo clearance had become uncontrollable, suggesting that the way out was for government to review the nation’s import policy, he also said diversion of cargo to other African ports has become the option for many importers.
He attributed this development to the sliding naira exchange rate, and explained that clearing a 20 feet container was costing as much as N840, 000 while to clear a 40 feet container now cost N1.2 million.
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