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39 troops lost in Boko Haram Attack not 118, Nigerian Army Clarifies.

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The Nigerian Army has finally provided numbers on casualty figures arising from a recent Boko Haram attack. The army said it had lost 39 soldiers contrary to reports that over 100 soldiers were killed.

The attack in Metele, located in the northeastern Borno State was widely reported as the deadliest by insurgents in recent times.

The attack was claimed by Islamic State in West Africa Province, ISWAP. The Air Force has since bombarded terrorist locations in the Lake Chad region.



The army in an earlier statement said it had not reported on the incident because it was supposed to inform next of kin of the slain soldiers before making a public announcement.

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President Muhammadu Buhari was in Maiduguri capital of Borno State on Wednesday to open a conference of top military chiefs and to visit troops. He assured that the government was doing everything in its power to equip the troops to fight insurgency.

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Across the Northeast we have officers and men fighting bravely and tirelessly to keep our country safe from terrorism and violence. I salute their sacrifice on our behalf. And may the souls of the fallen rest in peace.

As at Thursday morning, Buhari flew to the Chadian capital, Ndjamena to attend an emergency meeting of leaders in the Lake Chad basin Commission, LCBC.

The objective of the one-day meeting is to review the security situation in areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, as well as adopt measures to enhance the capacity of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to secure the region.

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Nigeria Customs suggest 35% levy on imported vehicles reduction to check smuggling.

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The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (retd.) has called on the Federal Government to reduce the 35 per cent levy on imported vehicles so as to check the rising cases of smuggled vehicles into the country.

Ali said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the unveiling of a Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative which was held at the Ministry of Finance.

He said already the Nigeria Customs Service had made a proposal to the Ministry of Finance on the need for a reduction in the 35 per cent levy on imported vehicles.



Ali said currently, any new vehicle imported into the country attracted an import duty of 35 per cent and an additional levy of 35 per cent.

This, he noted, brought the total duty payable on such a vehicle to about 70 per cent.

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He described the 70 per cent being charged by the government as high, adding that time had come for it to be reduced.

In achieving this, he said, the government could still retain the 35 per cent import duty while the additional 35 per cent levy could be tinkered by bringing it downwards.

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He said, “First, we must understand the fact that smuggling in most cases did not really occur because of the tariff that is placed on goods in Nigeria.

“When we talk about vehicles, yes, new vehicles attract 70 per cent duty; that is 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent levy but most of the vehicles that are being smuggled through our borders are not new vehicles, they are used vehicles.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who unveiled the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative, said that the government was concerned about the inability of some of its agencies to meet their revenue target.

She admitted that it had become a challenge for the government to mobilise fiscal resources to deliver on its developmental objectives, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that revenue generation needed to be enhanced.

According to her, while oil revenue to oil Gross Domestic Product ratio stands at about 39 per cent, non-oil revenue to non-oil GDP is about 4.2 per cent.

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24 days to Election in Nigeria, Obiageli Ezekwesili quits presidential race.

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The leading female candidate in Nigeria’s presidential election said on Thursday she had withdrawn from the race weeks ahead of the poll to help build a coalition to provide a viable alternative to the country’s two main parties.

Former government minister Obiageli Ezekwesili, co-founder of a group to raise awareness about more than 200 girls kidnapped by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram in 2014, said on Twitter that she had been in talks for three months with other candidates about a coalition.



Nigeria’s presidential election is scheduled to take place on Feb. 16. The main candidates in the race to head Africa’s top oil producing country are the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, and Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president who is representing the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

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“I have decided to step down from the presidential race and focus on helping to build a coalition for a viable alternative to the #APCPDP in the 2019 general,” said Ezekwesili in a tweet.

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Ezekwesili was not considered to be among the frontrunners in the race. Analysts see President Buhari and Abubakar as the only genuine contenders due to the financial power and patronage networks provided by their parties.

Ezekwesili, a former government minister, is a founder of the civil society organization Transparency International. She was considered for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her anti-corruption work.

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