New evidence obtained by BBC Africa Eye contradicts the official explanation for the cause of an explosion which killed 23 people and destroyed a girls boarding school in Lagos on March 15th 2020. In its reaction to the incident at the time, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) claimed the explosion occurred as a result of a truck that hit gas cylinders near one of its petroleum pipelines. New video evidence filmed at the explosion site, five minutes before the blast, contradicts that claim. It shows a catastrophic leak of vaporised liquid at the exact location where the NNPC high-pressure petroleum pipeline runs beneath the ground through that area. The evidence the BBC has uncovered indicates the heavily laden truck stopped on an eroded, unsurfaced road that had been softened by rainwater. This could have pressured the pipeline to breaking point, releasing a cloud of vapourised flammable petroleum product that ignited. The BBC said the NNPC was contacted but it denied the pipeline was inadequately protected, reaffirmed their explanation for the explosion’s cause, and said there was no leakage prior to the explosion.
The FG saw its crude oil sales revenue plunge by 74.89% in July to a record low of $55.29 million, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. The NNPC’s latest data on the Federal Government’s export lifting showed that its crude oil sales proceeds stood at $219.58 million in June, up from $120.50 million in May. Following the collapse in global crude oil prices and demand, Nigeria’s crude oil revenue tumbled from $336.65 million in January to $281.14 million in February, $184.59 million in March and $148.86 million in April. Oil and gas accounts for about 50% of government revenues and over 90% of export earnings, although it represents only about 10 per cent of the country’s GDP. “A total export sale of $84.63 million was recorded in July 2020, decreasing by 66.95 per cent compared to last month. Crude oil export sales contributed $55.29 million (65.34 per cent) of dollar transactions compared with $219.58 million contribution in the previous month,” an NNPC statement said.
The Nigerian Army has confirmed the death of a colonel, D.C. Bako, commander of 25 Task Force Brigade based in Damboa, who was killed in an ambush by Boko Haram insurgents over the weekend. Military spokesman of the Nigeria Army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, Ado Isa said Bako led a patrol to clear insurgents from a position in Sabon Gari-Wajiroko near Damboa when his patrol team entered an ambush at about 10 a.m on Sunday. The troops cleared the ambush, according to the military, resulting in the killing of scores of terrorists and recovery of weapons and equipment. Colonel Bako was wounded in action and immediately evacuated to the 7 Division Hospital at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri and was reportedly recuperating well after a successful operation before his demise. “We are most grateful for his contributions and sacrifices to the motherland,” Isa said in a statement.
Mali’s former defence minister Ba N’Daou has been announced as president of a new transition government, the leader of the country’s ruling military junta said on national television on Monday. According to a roadmap backed by the junta, the new president is meant to lead the country for several months before staging elections and returning Mali to civilian rule. The African Union had called on the military junta in Mali to quickly appoint civilian leaders to manage an 18-month transition towards elections after last month’s coup. Last week, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) called for a civilian-led transition government to be installed “in days” and said the bloc would lift its sanctions — which include closed borders and a ban on trade and financial flows — once the change has been made.