Monday, April 30, 2012

Nigeria: Nasir El-Rufai backs Andrew Azazi statement

Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, yesterday, threw his weight behind the embattled National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi (rtd), saying he only confirmed what some people have been saying that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is the cause of all politically-related violence and terrorism in the country.
Speaking exclusively with Vanguard on his reaction to Azazi’s statement that the menace of insecurity and series of attacks in Nigeria by the Boko Haram sect could be traced to the zoning policy of the PDP, El-Rufai said the extra-judicial murder of the Boko Haram leadership during the late Umaru Yar’Adua’s PDP regime laid the foundations for the nation’s current insecurity problem.

Nigeria has become laughing stock said David Mark

Senate President David Mark said, yesterday, that with the unabating wave of terrorism by an Islamic sect where scores of lives have been lost with property destroyed, Nigeria has now become a laughing stock among the comity of nations.
The Senate President who reiterated that the act is condemnable, uncalled for and clearly avoidable, stressed that no matter the level of anger or grievances in a man’s mind, taking the life of another cannot provide a solution, adding, “this is ungodly. It is inhuman and does not enjoy the support of any right-thinking member of the society.”

Edo State Governor - Oshiomhole said: They were after my life

Governor of Edo state Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, said weekend’s accident involving his convoy, in which three journalists lost their lives, was an attempt on his life, as the tipper driver rammed into his official vehicle, while the car he  personally drove, escaped by the whiskers.
Oshiomhole, who spoke on the accident at Government House, Benin City, lamented that it took him and other survivors close to 40 minutes to remove the journalists from their mangled bus.
Meanwhile, a crack team of detectives is investigating the ghastly motor accident,  in which three journalist lost their lives on the Warrake-Auchi Road, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Olatunji Jacob and George Okosun, both of Independent Television, ITV, and Fidelis Ohani camera man attached to African Independent Television, AIT and a driver attached to the state Government House, Samson Inobemhe, lost their lives.

Nigeria Bomb blast again in Taraba Adamawa State, 5 killed

The bomb blast which occurred at the early hours of Monday,in Jalingo Taraba state, according to eye witness report said, two motorcycle-riding suicide bombers drove into a convoy carrying a top police official, detonating their explosives and killing at least five people. The attack targeted police commissioner Mamman Sule who was being driven in a convoy toward his offices, near the governor's office in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba state, said police spokesman Ibiang Mbaseki. The bombers missed injuring Sule, but the explosives caused massive damage at a roadside market and blew out the glass windows of the nearby state Ministry of Finance building, witnesses said.
The commissioner "was the prime target," Mbaseki said.

FCMB disengages 550 Finbank staff, as merger ends

First City Monument Bank, FCMB, in its acquisition bid of Finbank will today determine the fate of about 550 staff of Finbank whose services overlapped with employees of FCMB.
The 550 staff will be given the option to resign and pursue any other career of their choice through the generous severance package being worked out by the management of the two banks.
The package, apart from the financial provisions for those affected, also has counselling and training session that would enable them adapt to a new environment and possibly a small business of their own.
Giving the hint of the progress of the merger between FCMB and Finbank, Managing Director of FCMB, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said in the process of trying to achieve the synergy of the two banks, the decision was taken to close a number of branches of Finbank that were considered not to be viable. Finbank, he said, had a total branch network of 183 and 44 of these branches will be shut down based on the fact that some of them are close to FCMB branches that are profit making and those in some other places that are not profitable. He disclosed that 320 staff of FCMB were earlier disengaged in preparation for the merger and integration of the two banks.

Regional integration my foot says Deputy National Chairman-Bode George

Erstwhile Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George has seen the best and worst of times in his political odyssey -from the pinnacle of political mastership to the loneliness of confinement. In all, Bode George as he is well known is unchanged in his passions, pursuits and politics as he recently demonstrated in this encounter with Vanguard in his Ikoyi, Lagos office.
In the extensive interview he discusses, albeit with reluctance the wave of crises in the Lagos chapter of the PDP, the permutations on the chairmanship of the BoT of the PDP and dismisses with ignominy the plans for regional integration by the Southwest Governors of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. Excerpts:

Vatican condemns christians attacks in Kenya and Nigeria

The Vatican condemned what it called “terrorist” attacks on Christians in Kenya and Nigeria on Sunday which claimed around 20 lives and called for restraint against a cycle of violence.
“The new terrorist attacks in Kenya and Nigeria at Christian celebrations are horrible and despicable acts,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nigeria: Tsav calls for General Andrew Azazi resignation-NSA

National Security Adviser(NSA), General Andrew Azazi (rtd), yesterday received more knocks and praises in equal measure for attributing the strong wind of insecurity blowing across the land to the zoning and power sharing arrangement of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
While the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and members of the House of Representatives on the banner of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) hailed Azazi, former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, asked the NSA to resign and save the present Federal Government more embarrassment.

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan meets with Tinubu, Fashola, Akiolu

President Goodluck Jonathan, weekend, met with national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu behind closed doors.
The meeting in State House, Marina, Lagos took place as President Jonathan returned from Ivory Coast where he joined other regional leaders for an emergency summit of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.

Tanzania's Simba looking good in Africa Confederation Cup

Tanzania's Simba have taken a big step towards a place in the next round of Africa's Confederation Cup with a 3-0 home win over Al Ahly Shandy of Sudan.
Last week Simba had to delay celebrating winning the Tanzanian title because of controversy at another game, but there was no doubt about this win.
All three goals game in the second half, with man of the match Emmanuel Okwi inspiring the team.
The goals came from Haruna Moshi, Patrick Mafisango and Okwi himself.

African champions Esperance thump Zimbabwe's Dynamos

Title holders Esperance took a huge step towards a place in the group phase of this year's African Champions League with a 6-0 thrashing of Dynamos of Zimbabwe on Saturday.
Tunisian sides did well over the weekend, with Etoile du Sahel also earning a big win - a 4-1 victory over Amadou Diallo of Ivory Coast.
There was a good away win for Zamalek of Egypt over MAS of Morocco, while Mali's Djoliba and Nigeria's Sunshine Stars drew 1-1 and DR Congo's TP Mazembe beat Sudan's Al Merreikh 2-0.
Esperance's win came thanks to an opener from Walid Hichri in just the 7th minute, with Karim Aouadhi doubling the lead before 15 minutes had been played.

Sudan 'declares emergency' on border with South Sudan

Sudan has reportedly declared a state of emergency along its border with South Sudan after weeks of clashes.
The decree will apply in the border districts of the South Kordofan, White Nile and Sennar states, according to the state-run Suna news agency.
Meanwhile, South Sudan has said it is willing to pull its police forces out of the disputed Abyei border region.
Sudanese local authorities have ordered a group of 12,000 ethnic South Sudanese people to leave Sudan within a week.

Libya ex-Minister Shukri Ghanem was found dead in Danube River

The body of Libya's former Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem has been found in the Danube River, Austrian police say.
A spokesman said there were no signs of violence to Mr Ghanem's body, which was in the river that flows through Vienna.
The former prime minister, 69, worked as a consultant for a Vienna-based company. He apparently left his home early on Sunday, police said.
Mr Ghanem defected from Libya as the country was engulfed in the uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi last year.

Church attack in Nairobi Kenya

At least one person has been killed and 10 wounded in a suspected grenade attack on a church in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, police have said.
The attack targeted the God House of Miracle Church, in Ngara neighbourhood.
There has been a string of small arms attacks and explosions in Kenya since Kenyan troops crossed the Somali border.
Kenyan police have blamed previous attacks on Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab Islamists.
However, no-one has yet said they carried out the blast.

Ugandan army says Sudan is backing Joseph Kony's LRA

The Ugandan army says the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony is being supported and supplied by the Sudanese government.
The LRA is accused of rape, mutilation, murder and the recruitment of child soldiers.
A Ugandan Defence Force colonel told the BBC they captured a member of the LRA who was wearing a Sudanese uniform, and carried its weapons and ammunition.
The US has sent special forces to help in the hunt for Mr Kony.

UPDATED: Two Professors, and many killed in Nigeria church attack Kano

Twenty persons were killed yesterday, including two university professors with several others injured when gunmen armed with bombs attacked St Stephen Catholic Chaplain, Bayero University, Kano. The attack occurred at Theatre Two, near Sports Complex, at the old Campus of the institution as Christian worshippers were holding Sunday services. Vanguard gathered that two professors, one identified as Prof. Ayodele of the Chemistry Department and Andrew Leo of the Library Department, were among the dead. The university’s Public Relations Officer, Malam Zaharadeen, confirmed the death of the professors.

Bomb blast in Nigeria's Bayero university in Kano

At least 15 people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack at a university in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, witnesses and police said.
Bodies were lying around Bayero University campus where Christian worshippers were holding a service.
A bomb squad and military units are searching for the gunmen.
No group has said it launched the attack, but the violent Islamist Boko Haram group is active in Kano. It has recently attacked churches.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nigeria Vice President Namadi Sambo calls on security

Vice President Namadi Sambo has charged the government and people of Gombe State to contribute to the effort of the Federal Government towards ensuring that the society protects the lives and property of Nigerians.
Vice President Sambo gave this charge yesterday during his one day official working visit to Gombe State which turned out to be a hectic day for him as he commissioned a number of projects executed by the government of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of the state and as well laid the foundation stone for other various projects including the new Federal secretariat in the state capital.  The charge was part of his response to the remarks of the Emir of Gombe, Ahaji Shehu Usman Abubakar when he paid a courtesy visit to the Emir.

Ikeja bomb blast victims’ families call for assistance

The families of January 27, 2002 Ikeja bomb blast victims have called on the Federal Government  to fulfill the promise it made to them.  The Federal Government had promised to compensate the families and assist the victims children.
Speaking at a press briefing, the coordinator of the families, Mr Olaniran Majekodunmi, said  lack of response by the Federal Government  prompted them to consult their lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, who, in turn, wrote the Ministry of Defence and copied  relevant government agencies and has also written  reminders, but the initiative did  not yielded positive answer. According to him, they were asking for justice for the spilled blood of their relations at Oke- Afa  and other places in Lagos.

Nigeria Police declare Saraki wanted

Special Fraud Unit of the police, SFU, yesterday, declared former Kwara State governor, Senator  Bukola Saraki, wanted following  the refusal of a court to grant his request for restraining order.
Also wanted by the SFU is his wife, Toyin, over alleged N4 billion  loan fraud.
She allegedly collected the loan from Access Bank through her firm, DALTRADE.
The SFU has a warrant for Saraki arrest from a High Court in Lagos because the  alleged offence of N21 billion loan fraud  against him was committed in Lagos. Commissioner of police Tunde Ogunshakin of the SFU confirmed the story.

Nigeria kogi State clash 3 killed

At least three persons were, yesterday, reportedly shot dead while many others sustained injuries when a rival political youths engaged in a shootout in Ejule, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State. Confirming the incident, the state public relations officer (PPRO), Mr. Olusankanmi  Ajayi, said he could not ascertain whether there was any casualty.
However, a former chairman of the state Pensions Board and a political chieftain in the area,Hon. Adamu Enape, confirmed the killing in a telephone interview.

Nigeria South-South govevernors says 'Restructure, unbundle Nigeria'

Governors of the six South-South states, at the weekend, called for an urgent restructuring and unbundling of the Federation. They also want the review of the revenue allocation formula to give more powers, responsibilities and funding to the states and local governments as centres of growth.
The governors: Hon Henry Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Obong Godswill Akapbio (Akwa Ibom); Senator Liyel Imoke (Cross River); Comrade Adams Oshimohole (Edo); and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), made the call in a 13-point communiquĂ© issued at the end of the two-day 2nd South-South Economic Summit,  held in Asaba, Delta State capital.
They recommended the strengthening of “the nascent governance structure in the region to incorporate private sector and other non-state actors with a view to creating favourable policy, legal and regulatory environment that will stimulate greater private sector participation in the development initiatives of the region”.

Nigeria: 3 Journalists died as Oshiomhole escapes death

Three journalists, Olatunji Jacob and George Okosun, both of the Independent Television, as well as Fidelis Ohani, a  camera man of  the African Independent Television (AIT), attached to Edo State Government House,  yesterday, lost their lives while Governor Adams Oshiomhole escaped death after a tipper rammed into the governor’s convoy along Warrake  Road  in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Six other journalists in the press bus and security operatives attached to the governor sustained various degrees of injuries while a photo journalist of  the state owned Observer Newspaper, Mr David Acha, and a driver, are in coma. Unconfirmed reports said  the Chief Detail to the Governor  was among those wounded.
Sunday Vanguard learnt that the tragic incident happened when Oshiomhole was on his way to Auchi after he received some decampees from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to his Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at Afuze in Owan East Local Government  Area. A visibly shocked Oshiomhole was speechless when he was contacted. Sunday Vanguard learnt he was deeply touched by the incident and wept profusely.
It was learnt that Jacob was killed on the spot while the two others died after they were rushed to a private hospital in Auchi.

Nigeria Security Adviser make comment on PDP: Boko Haram tears Jonathan’s govt apart

*President takes on Azazi: He must explain himself
*PDP says he committed grave error
By Jide Ajani, Henry Umoru and Ben Agande
In what is becoming a very messy affair, President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, took on his National Security Adviser, NSA, General Patrick Azazi, on his comment that the insurgency in the country could be traced to the zoning arrangement of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, declaring that “people need to ask the NSA to explain what he really meant”.
Jonathan’s statement, which attempted to create a soft landing for Azazi by insinuating that he didn’t believe “that the NSA meant that the practice in the PDP are anti-democratic”, is coming at a time the PDP castigated the statements of the NSA.

Eritrea President Isaias Afewerki goes on TV to dispel health rumours

Eritrea's president has made an appearance on national TV to dispel rumours he is either dead or ailing.
"I do not have any kind of sickness," Isaias Afewerki said.
He accused those peddling such rumours of being "sick" themselves and said they were indulging in psychological warfare to "disturb" the people.
Mr Isaias, 66, has led Eritrea since its independence in 1993 from Ethiopia - but faces criticism for failing to implement democratic reforms.

South Sudan 'make $8bn loan deal with China'

Officials in South Sudan say China has agreed to loan it $8bn (£4.9bn) for major development projects.
A government spokesman said funds would be used to build roads, bridges and telecom networks, and to develop agriculture and hydro-electric power.
However, there was no mention of plans to build a new pipeline to export oil from the newly independent state.
News of the deal emerged after South Sudan's president returned from his first official trip to China.
His visit came amid a flare-up in the dispute between the two Sudans over the oil-rich Heglig border region.
China imports the bulk of oil output from the two countries.
It wants to maintain good relations both with Sudan - a long-time ally - and with the South, which acquired the lion's share of the region's oil production when it seceded in July 2011 after decades of conflict.
Since then, South Sudan's relations with Sudan have been tense - primarily over the division of oil reserves and the full definition of borders.
'Beginning from zero'
South Sudan Information Minister Barnaba Mariel Benjamin told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that the Chinese wanted to help develop the country.
"There are no strings attached to it," he said.
"You know we are beginning from zero but we have enormous resources. At least [if] the resources are developed, I'm sure it will be for the benefit of the people of South Sudan, and the region and internationally."
The Chinese funding would be provided over the coming two years, and projects would be conducted by Chinese firms.
In January, South Sudan shut down oil production, which provides 98% of its revenue, after Khartoum impounded South Sudanese oil shipments amid a dispute over transit fees.
It currently relies on pipelines to seaports in Sudan to export the oil. It is proposing a new pipeline that would take oil to an Indian Ocean port rather than north to Sudan.

Nigeria thursday bomb blast suspect held

At least six people have been killed in explosions at two offices of a major Nigerian newspaper, witnesses say.
Three people were killed in a blast in Abuja, with another three killed at the paper's offices in the northern city of Kaduna.
Witnesses say at least one was a suicide bombing, but officials have not confirmed this.
No-one has said it carried out the blasts although the Islamist group Boko Haram has staged similar attacks.
The blasts at the offices of ThisDay newspaper, a leading daily, happened around 11:30 GMT.
Several witnesses, including the chairman of ThisDay's editorial board, said the blast in the capital was the result of a suicide attack.
"The suicide bomber came in a jeep," Olusegun Adeniyi told reporters at the scene in Abuja.
"[Security guards] opened the gate for them. The guy drove in through the gate and rammed into the building and exploded," Mr Adeniyi said.

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The guy drove in through the gate and rammed into the building and exploded”
Olusegun Adeniyi ThisDay's editorial board chairman
However, a spokesperson for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency earlier said the Abuja blast appeared to be caused by a bomb planted inside the building.
Parts of the newspaper's office, including the printing press, have been completely destroyed.
Suspect held The Kaduna explosion happened outside a complex housing a number of newspapers, including ThisDay.
A suspect has been arrested and is thought to be a member of the Boko Haram group, news agency AFP quoted police as saying.
The BBC's Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar in Kaduna says that another, smaller explosion occurred in the city just before 16:00 GMT.
Witnesses told our correspondent an explosive device was thrown by the passenger of a motor bike at the junction of a major highway.
Two people were taken to hospital, our correspondent says.
Footage filmed by the Nigerian paper the Daily Trust, showed a scene of confusion in Abuja as people sifted through the rubble while a number of small fires burned.
Police and paramilitary forces cordoned off both offices while emergency workers evacuated the injured and removed the bodies of those who died.
"The ceiling of our building collapsed on to our computers because of the force of the blast," an Abuja office worker in the building next door to ThisDay told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
A ThisDay employee, Samson Oliver, was dozing after a night shift when the blast occurred: "When I woke up with shock and fear, I saw everywhere was so dark, something like smoke everywhere, and I ran out and saw that it was a bomb explosion."
Boko Haram - whose name means "Western education is forbidden" - wants to establish Islamic law in Nigeria and has launched a series of deadly attacks across the country, including the capital, in the past 19 months.
Last month the group warned journalists not to misrepresent its views.

Nigeria acts on Jos football bars

Nigerian authorities have banned bars in Jos from screening fooball matches following recent attacks by Islamic militant sect, Boko Haram.
Nine people were injured on Tuesday after a blast outside a bar as fans watched the Chelsea-Barcelona match.
The explosion gave rise to fears that football fans would become sitting ducks for Boko Haram's militants.
Police have now slapped an indefinite ban on all such centres across Jos.
"The Commissioner of Police in Plateau State has taken this decision to safeguard lives of football fans and the people of Jos," police spokesperson Samuel Dabai told BBC Sport.
He added: "I can't say for how long this ban will remain in place but the lives and property of the people remain of paramount importance.
"No matter your love for football, I think the most significant thing is to stay alive."
But bar operators have been outraged by the police ban, saying it will harm one of their major sources of income.
Some have suggested that government provides them with security instead.
However, Dabai asked those affected by the police order to bear with the authorities.
"Only a man who's alive can celebrate during football matches, so it's better to be alive.
"For now the ban may be inconvenient but the plan is to keep everyone safe."
Nigerians are, like most of the world, obsessed with the English Premier League.
Many fans choose to watch the action from football bars up and down the country, many of which to charge for the privilege.

Lechantre appointed to coach Senegal

Former Africa Cup of Nations winner Pierre Lechantre has been appointed the new coach of Senegal.
Lechantre got the nod ahead of French compatriot Bruno Metsu, who led the Senegalese to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals.
Lechantre replaces Amara Traore, who was fired after a disastrous Nations Cup earlier this year.
The Teranga Lions were one of the pre-tournament favourites but lost all three of their first round games.
The 62-year-old has previously coached Cameroon, leading them to the 2000 Nations Cup and Olympic titles.
He has also coached Mali's Eagles but with little success.
Lechantre's other national coaching post was in Qatar and he last worked with Qatari club Al Arabi.
The Frenchman has vowed to put his own imprint on Senegalese football as the country seeks to reach the dizzy heights of 2002.
Lechantre faces his first competitive match on 2 June against Liberia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

ECOWAS Troop's Rejected by Mali Coup

The leader of last month's coup in Mali has rejected the West African decision to send troops to the country.
Captain Amadou Sanago said the military had not been consulted by the regional grouping Ecowas.
The coup leaders handed power to an interim civilian government earlier this month.
A meeting between Ecowas mediators and the interim government was disrupted by soldiers shouting "Down with Ecowas" and cocking their guns.
They only backed down when Capt Sanago left the meeting to tell them to disperse.
The military leaders are unhappy about Thursday's decision by Ecowas heads of government to send at least 3,000 soldiers to Mali.
Their planned deployment was designed to help secure the transition back to civilian rule, and help the government defeat rebels who now control the northern half of the country.
Officers led by Capt Sanogo seized power on 22 March, accusing the elected government of not doing enough to halt the rebellion in the northern desert region.
Powerful military They agreed to hand over power to a civilian government on the understanding it would hold fresh elections within 40 days.
But the military is unhappy after Ecowas said the interim government should have up to a year to organise fresh elections.
The country's interim president Dioncounda Traore was at the Ecowas meeting.
Capt Sanago told reporters after the meeting that it was up to the military to decide what institutions run the country after the end of the 40-day period.
He did not make clear whether elections would then be held.
The BBC's John James in neighbouring Ivory Coast says it seems the coup leaders still exercise considerable power and fear any Ecowas deployment would threaten their position.
The military leadership said it seized power last month because the previous government had not done enough to combat rebels.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nigeria fuel subsidy report 'reveals $6bn fraud'

Nigeria's parliament has discussed a report said to reveal that $6bn (£4bn) has been defrauded from the fuel subsidy fund in the past two years.
The debate, which was televised live, made official findings that have been widely leaked in recent days.
The fuel sector probe was set up in the wake of angry nationwide protests in January after the government tried to remove a fuel subsidy.
Nigeria is a major oil producer but has to import most of its fuel.
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"We are fighting against entrenched interests whose infectious greed has decimated our people," House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said as he opened the two-day debate.
"Therefore, be mindful they will fight back and they normally do fight dirty."
The 205-page parliamentary report uncovers a long list of alleged wrongdoings involving oil retailers, Nigeria's Oil Management Company and the state Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.
According to the leaks, a total of 15 fuel importers collected more than $300m two years ago without importing any fuel, while more than 100 oil marketers collected the same amount of money on several occasions.
The leaked report also says that officials in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan were among those who benefited from the subsidy fund.
Many of the people named in the document have denied any involvement in fraud, with some taking out full-page adverts proclaiming their innocence in local newspapers.
The BBC's Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi in Abuja says at least some of the findings are likely to be adopted by Nigeria's lawmakers because of the huge public anger over the attempt to withdraw the subsidy.
Many Nigerians were livid when they were told by their government that the fuel subsidy was economically unsustainable - only to now find out the scale of fraud in the operation of the fund, our correspondent says.
Despite being a major oil producer, Nigeria has not invested in the infrastructure needed to produce refined fuel, so has to import much of its petrol.
The annual $8bn subsidy means prices are lower than in neighbouring countries - and correspondents say many Nigerians see cheap fuel as the only benefit they get from their country's oil wealth, much of which is pocketed by corrupt officials.
After a week of street protests and a general strike, the government agreed to restore some of the subsidy - and reduce the pump price of petrol to 97 naira (about $0.60) per litre after it had doubled to 140 naira when the subsidy was removed without warning on 1 January.
But President Jonathan defended the subsidy cut, saying Nigeria must either "deregulate and survive economically, or we continue with a subsidy regime that will continue to undermine our economy."

Uganda Turinawe 'sexual abuse' police officer suspended

A Ugandan police officer has been suspended over the alleged sexual assault of an opposition activist, the authorities have said.
Footage shows an officer squeezing the breast of Ingrid Turinawe of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) as she was arrested last week.
"One officer has been suspended pending further investigation," Internal Affairs Minister James Baba said.
His statement did not say whether the police officer was male or female.
Ms Turinawe, who is the head of the Women's League of the FDC led by Kizza Besigye, was arrested on Friday as she tried to drive to an opposition rally just outside the capital, Kampala.
"The incident occurred during the arrest of a female who was suspected of committing a number of traffic violations and who failed to comply with the lawful instruction of a police officer," Mr Baba said.
"It is alleged that this lady suffered an assault as she resisted arrest," he added.
Ugandan television footage clearly shows that, as several officers tried to pull her out of her vehicle, another grabbed and squeezed her breast - and she is heard shouting out in pain.
The incident has sparked outrage - and on Monday a group of women stripped to their bras and marched through the centre of Kampala waving placards, including one that read "How would you feel if we squeezed your balls?"
Six protesters were arrested after they refused to put their tops back on - but they were released two hours later without charge.
Since President Yoweri Museveni's controversial re-election in 2011, opposition supporters regularly stage demonstrations - many of which have ended in violence and arrests.

Mali coup: ICC to consider allegations of atrocities

The International Criminal Court has warned it may investigate allegations of atrocities committed in Mali since violence erupted there in January.
Prosecutors are assessing reports of killings, rapes and of conscripting child soldiers allegedly carried out in the rebel-held north.
Tuareg separatists and their Islamist allies exploited the chaos created by a military coup in March to grab control of much of the desert region.
Civilian rule has since been restored.
Deteriorating human rights
The ICC said they would consider claims from several sources, including senior UN officials, before deciding whether or not to to open a war crimes investigation.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has said that she is "concerned that the longer the instability continued, the more the human rights situation appeared to be deteriorating, with thousands of people already fleeing the northern region to seek refuge in neighbouring countries."
Last week, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said there had been a huge rise in people fleeing the northern region because of the presence of armed groups and Mali's political uncertainty.
There are two main groups behind the rebellion in Mali: The secular National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Ansar Dine, an Islamist group that has started to impose Sharia in some towns.
The MNLA is made up partly of Tuareg who had fought in Libya on the side of Col Muammar Gaddafi and returned to Mali after he was killed.
They complain they have been ignored by the authorities in the capital, Bamako.
Despite the junta handing back power to civilian rule on 12 April, political tensions also remain in the south of the country - and last week ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure fled to neighbouring Senegal after several of his political allies had been arrested by the army.
They were released - but correspondents say Mr Toure had clearly thought it prudent to get as far away as possible from Mali's soldiers, who have previously threatened to arrest him and who seem to still be a force behind the scenes.

Egypt generals ban Mubarak-era presidency candidates

Egypt's ruling generals have approved an amendment to a law that would bar senior officials from the Mubarak era from running for president.
The change could affect Ahmed Shafiq, who served as prime minister last year.
Reports say the amended law could be published on Thursday, when the final list of candidates will be announced.
Legal experts say that if the amendment is published second, it might have no legal bearing on the candidate list, allowing Mr Shafiq to stand next month.
Hosni Mubarak's former vice-president and spy chief, Omar Suleiman, has already been disqualified for different reasons, along with two Islamists.
Publication delay
The BBC's Jon Leyne says the amendment to the law governing political rights bars was rushed through the Islamist-dominated parliament after Mr Suleiman announced he was standing for president.
It bars from the presidency anyone who served in senior positions in government and the ruling National Democratic Party under President Mubarak in the decade before he was forced to step down by an uprising in February 2011.
The list of positions does not include that of minister, so it does not threaten to derail the candidacy of Amr Moussa, who was Mr Mubarak's foreign minister before he became Arab League secretary general.
The amendment would disqualify Mr Shafiq, a former air force commander and cabinet minister who was appointed prime minister in the last days of Mr Mubarak's rule and served for a short period under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), which assumed presidential powers.
The military council had been expected to veto the idea.
Now the generals have made it clear they have ratified the law, but it is still not clear that it will actually come into force in time for the first round of the election on 23 and 24 May, our correspondent adds.
State newspaper al-Ahram noted that if the law was published before the Higher Presidential Election Commission (HPEC) announced the final list of candidates on Thursday, it would lead to Mr Shafiq's disqualification.
But it also cited a legal expert who said that according to the constitutional declaration approved in a referendum in March 2011, if the law was issued afterwards, the HPEC's list of candidates could not be challenged, allowing Mr Shafiq to run.
Another newspaper, Youm al-Sabaa, said the law would be announced in an official gazette on Thursday and would take effect on Friday.
The main candidates still in the race beside Mr Shafiq and Mr Moussa are the independent, moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Mohammed Mursi, the chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

Egyptian riot club Masry to be relegated on return

Egypt's Al Masry have had their punishment for a riot which killed 74 people earlier this year increased.
The club's existing ban remains in place, but when they return for the 2013/14 season they will be forced to play in the second division.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) extended the sanctions following an appeal hearing on Tuesday.
The club whose fans bore the brunt of the violence, Cairo's Al Ahly,were furious at the initial punishment.
More than 70 people face charges arising from the violence, which erupted after a league match between Masry and Ahly on 1 February.
The ban on Masry applies to their senior team only - but the club is to be obliged to honour the contracts of its top players, even though they will not be in action for more than 12 months.
A four-year ban on the Port Said stadium stands and the club's fans will be excluded from all their matches for the first year of their return.
A number of lesser punishments were imposed on Ahly for their role in the riot.
They appealed against those, and a four-match ban on their fans has been reduced to only one game.
But midfielder Hossam Ghaly has had a four match ban increased to six games.
Ahly's response to the increase in Masry's punishment, and reaction to the changes in their own, is likely to be determined at a board meeting, which will be held shortly.

Frank Odoi: Kenya mourns Ghanaian cartoonist

Tributes are being paid to one of Africa's leading cartoonists, Ghanaian-born Frank Odoi, who died over the weekend in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.
He was killed in a traffic accident involving a minibus tax, known as a matatu, on Saturday but his family only learnt of his death on Monday.
His Driving Me Crazy comic strip that tackled the subject of the matatu's notoriously reckless driving.
Mr Odoi, 64, moved to Nairobi in the 1970s and worked there ever since.
Golgoti - white man in Africa
Mr Odoi was one of two passengers to die when the matatu in which they were travelling veered off the road into a ditch on Saturday.
When the cartoonist did not return home over the weekend, family members searched all the hospitals before finding his body in a Nairobi mortuary on Monday morning.
Mr Odoi was one of the first visual artists to be given a daily slot in Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper about 30 years ago - and he has dominated the Kenyan artistic scene ever since.
His work - fiction and political commentary - was also featured in newspapers all over Africa and the BBC's Focus on Africa magazine.
He was most famous for his Golgoti series, about a white man who comes to Africa, and Akokhan, the tale of two centuries-old squabbling men which was based on the folklore of his native Ghana.
News of this death broke on Monday evening in Kenya.
Fellow cartoonist Paul "Maddo" Kelemba, who was a fellow director of the media company Four Dimension Innovative, was among those to pay tribute to his colleague.
"Looking at the empty desk in the corner and expecting to see Frank has been very difficult, disturbing and has made us very angry," Mr Kelemba told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
"It is so sad that he met his end at the hands of the matatus which were the subject of his comic strip," he said.