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House concurs with Senate, approves $6.183 billion external loan request

The House of Representatives has approved the federal government’s request for $6.183 billion (N2.343 trillion) as external borrowing in 2021 Appropriation Act. The approval followed the consideration and adoption of clauses in the report presented by the committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, chaired by Hon. Ahmed Dayyabu Safana. The House also gave approval for the bill seeking to establish a Defence Research and Development Bureau (DRDB) to conduct and coordinate robust research and development in the Armed Forces of Nigeria. The approval was sequel to the consideration and adoption of the 5 parts and 34 Sections of the Bill’s report, presented by Chairman House Committee on Defence, Hon. Babajimi Benson. Presenting the report, Benson said the objective of the Bureau was to condu...

Ethiopia urges Tigray rebels to join ceasefire, hostilities persist

Ethiopia’s government urged Tigrayan rebels to join a unilateral ceasefire in their conflict on Thursday as aid agencies struggled to reach hundreds of thousands of people facing famine. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the former rulers of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, said on Monday it was back in control of the regional capital Mekelle after nearly eight months of fighting. The government declared a unilateral ceasefire but the TPLF dismissed it as a joke. Hostilities persisted on Thursday and pressure built internationally for all sides to pull back. “Operations are under way … and the number of prisoners of war is increasing by the minute,” TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda told Reuters by satellite phone, with light artillery fire crackling in the background. “We are closing in on...

AfreximBank to support Ogun infrastructural development with $200 million

The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) has disclosed its plans to support infrastructural development in Ogun State with an envelope of $200m. The fund, according to the bank, will be dedicated towards projects and other developmental initiatives embarked upon by the incumbent administration in the state. The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Afrexim Bank, Benedict Oramah, who made this known when he led management of the bank on a courtesy visit to Governor Dapo Abiodun at his Oke-Mosan Office, Abeokuta, on Monday, equally said the bank would partner Ogun on ensuring that the 250-bed Specialist Hospital, Abeokuta, is completed and begin operations soon. Oramah, while noting that the bank has been investing heavily in the health sector in Africa to develop vaccines ...

Lagos assembly warns local councils against extorting courier, logistics operators

Pool Photo The Lagos House of Assembly on Monday ordered local government councils and local council development areas (LCDAs) in the state to desist from extorting and harrassing operators of courier and logistics services in the state. Mudashiru Obasa, the House speaker, said the local councils do not have the power to tax logistics and courier services. He said the power of the councils was limited to the registration of bicycles as dictated by the Constitution. Mr Obasa said it was important to act against the action of the councils because it affects the ease of doing business in the state. “We have to make them understand that going out to disturb well-planned and organised businesses that stand to create employment for our youth especially with the rate at which students graduate wi...

418 police officers commissioned as ASPs in Wudil

A total of 418 cadet officers who have completed their training at the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, have been commissioned as Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP). In his remarks at the colourful Passing Out Parade ceremony held on Tuesday at the premises of the Academy, President Mohammed Buhari reminded the commissioned officers of their responsibilities, saying they were commissioned at a time the country was in need of their services The president, who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Maigari Dingyadi, enjoined the ASPs to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently while asking them to shun all acts of corruption in the course of their duty He declared that his administration has been committed to the security of all Nigerians at all time and h...

FAO reiterates support to Nigerian government’s efforts to tackle food insecurity

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has reiterated its commitment to support the Federal Government‘s efforts to ensure food sufficiency. FAO Country Representative, Fred Kafeero, said this at the 44th meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) in Abuja on Thursday. He said that the theme of the meeting, which is “Nigeria’s Agriculture and Food Security in the face of COVID-19, Floods and Insecurity, ” was timely. Kafeero, however, said that the theme was a call for action to cushion the knock-on effects of these shocks and threats on the livelihoods of a large section of the population, especially vulnerable groups. He urged the government to provide enabling environment for private participation, creating synergy, engaging other sectors, interven...

Manchester United identify Alexander Isak as Erling Braut Haaland alternative

Manchester United have identified Alexander Isak as an alternative target to Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland this summer, The Star reports. The Red Devils recently committed Edinson Cavani to a new contract, but they are still searching for a quality young striker to add to their ranks. They have been heavily linked with Dortmund, but a deal appears unlikely with the Bundesliga outfit having no plans to sanction his sale. Haaland has a release clause worth £68 million in his contract, but that does not become active until the end of the 2021/22 campaign. It is now reported that the club have a ‘Plan B’, and could look to swoop for the services of Isak, who is currently contracted with Real Sociedad. Isak had another promising season with Sociedad last term, registering 17 goals an...

MTN Nigeria tells customers about potential disruptions for business continuity

TechCentral MTN Nigeria said on Wednesday it notified some enterprise customers about a potential service disruption to enable them put in place business continuity measures. The local unit of South Africa’s telcoms firm MTN runs Nigeria’s largest mobile phone network which generates around a third of the company’s revenue. The action was “a routine notification to a small group of businesses affected by a specific challenge in very few specific locations,” MTN said. “Maintaining network stability and high levels of customer service remains a key priority for us,” Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria’s chief executive, said in a statement. Toriola said MTN aimed to inform customers in a timely manner so that they can put in place business continuity measures. Potential disruptions could be due to net...

Nigeria’s inflation drops to 17.93 percent

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation dropped to 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May compared to 18.12 per cent in the preceding month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The 0.19 per cent decline in the headline index, makes it the second consecutive month that the rate had sustained its downward trajectory after 18 months of inflationary pressures on the economy. According to the CPI figures for May which was released by the statistical agency Tuesday, food inflation dropped to 22.28 per cent from 22.72 per cent in April. Price moderation was recorded in bread, cereals, milk, cheese, eggs, fish, soft drinks, coffee, tea and cocoa, fruits, meat, oils and fats and vegetables. On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index declined to 1.05 per cent in May ...

Tunisia president wants debate on new political system, constitutional amendment

Tunisian President Kais Saied called on Tuesday for a dialogue with political parties on creating a new political system and amending the 2014 constitution, which he described as “with locks everywhere”, in an effort to ease the ongoing political crisis. Saied’s comments could pave the way for an end to a months-long political standoff with Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, who is backed by parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, over powers and political alliances. The Tunisian constitution, approved following the 2011 revolution, has been widely praised as a modernist constitution. But many politicians admit that it includes many controversial chapters and needs amendment. “Let us enter into a credible dialogue… to a new political system and a r...

Juventus eye move for Liverpool target Youri Tielemans

Juventus have joined the race to sign Leicester City winger Youri Tielemans in the summer transfer window. Tielemans is a key player for Brendan Rodgers’ side, but the Belgian international has been linked with a move away from the club. Liverpool are one of the clubs looking to sign the 24-year-old, but Leicester are unlikely to sanction a sale unless they receive a ridiculous offer. The Reds are looking to bolster their midfield options this summer, and Tielemans would be a superb addition to the side. However, fresh reports from Italy suggest that Juventus are also looking to lure him away. The Old Lady have been following the Belgian for a long time, and they now want the FA Cup winner. Juventus have already made contact with the player’s representatives. Tielemans has been simply outs...