An accident involving the convoy of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has led to the death of one person while 20 others sustained various degrees of injury.
It was reported that the Officer-in-Charge of a local security outfit, Gombe State Marshal, Mr. Sunday Jika, who was on the minister’s entourage, confirmed the accident to journalists in Gombe on Saturday.
Jika said, “We received the minister at the airport and on our way back to town, a Peugeot 406 car entered the motorcade of the minister, hitting the pilot car.
“The Peugeot car was set ablaze. We were able to bring out three persons from the Peugeot car, while the driver got burnt in the car.
“In the other bus, among the minister’s motorcade, we also brought out people. All the injured persons have been taken to Gombe Specialist Hospital and the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe,” he said.
The United States and its European Union allies were locked in a trade stalemate on Saturday after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to budge on demands for concessions.
In his opening salvo at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Mnuchin urged China and the EU to respect “free, fair and reciprocal trade” amid talk of an escalating global trade conflict, but his French counterpart fired back that the US must “return to reason.”
Mnuchin was inflexible in his approach to the EU following a series of tit-for-tat measures that began with US President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“My message is pretty clear, it’s the same message the president delivered at the G7: if Europe believes in free trade, we’re ready to sign a free trade agreement with no tariffs, no non-tariff barriers and no subsidies. It has to be all three,” said Mnuchin.
– US must ‘de-escalate’ –
That brought a firm response from French finance and economy minister Bruno Le Maire at the G20 meeting, which brings together finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s 20 leading economies.
“We refuse to negotiate with a gun to the head,” he said.
“It must be the US that takes the first step to de-escalate.”
He said he expected “a change of attitude” from Trump, otherwise “there will be no choice other than to retaliate.”
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde opened the summit by reiterating her fears that increasing trade restrictions would hurt global GDP.
Lagarde said that taking into account “current announced and in process measures,” an IMF simulation indicates that in a worst-case scenario, a half point would be cut from global GDP, amounting to some $430 billion.
But Mnuchin showed no signs of a US willingness to back down.
Asked about Trump’s threat to hammer China with punitive tariffs on the entirety of the $500 billion in goods it exports to the US, Mnuchin said: “It is definitely a realistic possibility, so I wouldn’t minimize the possibility.”
He added: “We share a desire to have a more balanced relationship and the balanced relationship is by us selling more goods (to China).”
Mnuchin said China must “open up their markets so we can compete fairly,” although he insisted that to do so would be “a tremendous opportunity for us and a tremendous opportunity for China.”
The brewing global trade conflict was always expected to dominate talks in the Argentine capital and Brazilian finance minister Eduardo Guardia said many delegates had spoken of “threats on the economic horizon” that “impact on economies, particularly emerging ones.”
“Global trade cannot be based on survival of the fittest,” Le Maire told AFP.
– Argentine economy stabilizing –
Small protests against the IMF were staged in central Buenos Aires both on the eve of the summit and on Saturday, with locals angered by a 35 percent plunge in the peso between April and June.
Demonstrators call on Argentina to default on its International Monetary Fund debt on the sidelines of a G20 summit
Argentina secured a $50 billion IMF loan in June to stabilize its economy as investor confidence in crisis-hit emerging economies sunk, with some $14 billion taken out between May and June.
“The Central Bank of Argentina has put in place measures that helped reduce financial volatility and improve transparency,” said Lagarde.
Growth in the country would “stabilize in the last quarter of 2018” with a “gradual recovery in 2019 and 2020,” she added.
– Fed’s independence guaranteed –
Away from trade, Mnuchin moved to ease fears in the US that Trump would “jeopardize” Federal Reserve independence after he blasted the Fed’s interest rate hikes in a television interview aired on Thursday.
“The president has made it very clear to me that he supports the Fed’s independence,” said Mnuchin.
Sanctions were another issue on the agenda, with Mnuchin insisting North Korea would not benefit from “relief until real progress is made” on denuclearization.
While he acknowledged the US and EU “don’t see eye to eye” on Iranian sanctions, he insisted they were agreed that “Iran should never have nuclear weapons.”
And he said sanctions on Venezuela were meant to “encourage better behavior” from President Nicolas Maduro’s government and insisted it was “a reasonable guess” that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his allies would face penalties next.
Crypto currencies were another topic Mnuchin wanted to broach with counterparts “to make sure the G20 has proper rules and regulations so that this does not become a source and means for illicit activities.”
He said: “Combatting terrorist financing is obviously a critical focus of the US Treasury and the Trump administration. We want to make sure crypto assets are not a source of that.”
New Zealand retained their women’s World Cup Sevens crown here Saturday, beating France 29-0 in the final to claim the title for a second time.
Michaela Blyde was the star for the Black Ferns with a brilliant hat-trick as the New Zealanders outclassed the French at AT&T Park.
Blyde’s treble took her tally to the tournament to nine tries for the weekend, crowning a superb tournament for the 22-year-old.
France, who had earlier stunned Olympic champions Australia to reach the final for the first time, were never in contention.
New Zealand dominated the first half and took the lead when Blyde crossed in the corner for an unconverted score to make it 5-0.
France tackled ferociously in an attempt to pin the New Zealand women back in their own half but soon found themselves another try down when captain Sarah Goss broke clear and swept forward in an attack capped by Portia Woodman’s try in the corner.
Tyla Nathan-Wong then extended New Zealand’s lead after sniping up the blind side from a ruck to catch the French defence napping for the simplest of scores to make it 15-0 at the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with France tackling bravely but unable to win any sustained possession against the skillful New Zealand women.
Eventually New Zealand’s patient passing game yielded a second try for Blyde, who scampered in for a converted to make it 22-0.
Blyde then completed her hat-trick on the stroke of full-time as the French defence was split open to seal an emphatic New Zealand win.
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has declared the state’s willingness to key into Federal Government’s Livestock Agricultural Production Project when a team from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with World Bank paid a visit to the Government House, Awka on Thursday.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Nkem Okeke, said livestock business, which was highly lucrative, would help to improve the economy of the state.
He said the state was ready to develop its livestock business, but pointed out that non-availability of animal feeds was one of the problems affecting the industry.
The team’s spokesperson, Winnie Ifeoma Lai-Solarin, said they came to assess the livestock industry in Anambra in preparation for the $200 million World Bank credit to enhance productivity and resilience policy value in the industry.
‘Livestock industry has over the years suffered setbacks and neglect in addition to being bedevilled by crisis raging between herders and farmers. The livestock industry is a sleeping giant in Nigeria,” Lai-Solarin said.
She added that the team would visit 21 states in the country in preparation for the project, noting that the four major components of the industry are institutional strengthening; enhancement of the performance value chain; management of the natural resources, and development of conflict eradication strength.
“Anambra stands tall among other states and has shown its willingness to key into the project; we were able to see livestock potential in Anambra and commitment by the state farmers,’’ she said.
She then revealed that there was institutional synergy of the state to turn its comparative advantage to productive purposes and promised smooth process of the project in the state.
Earlier, the state commissioner for agriculture, Afam Mbanefo, listed some of the achievements in the agricultural sector, saying the state had recently commercialised some of its agricultural produce, in addition to having its branded ‘Anambra rice’ and ‘Anambra fufu.’
The commissioner assured them that the state would soon pay the N20 million state counterpart fund in support of the project, which would officially commence in January next year.
“Livestock industry is one of the projects in which the state has signified its interest and we believe this is quite a good one for Anambra,’’ he said.
Members of Parliament on Thursday resolved to investigate allegations bothering on loss of over $50 billion revenue accrued from exportation of unprocessed gold over the past 2 years as a result of illegal mining activities.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Johnson Agbonayinma (APC-Edo), who cited the reports from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) which indicated that in 2014 and 2015, Nigeria lost about $9 billion to illegal mining operations and gold exportation.
In his lead debate, Agbonayinma who quoted from 2016 reports credited to Signal One International (SOI), a privately owned United States Company, observed that if the deposits of minerals have been well harnessed by Nigerian government, they would contribute more to the national economy than oil.
He noted that the current average price of $1,200 per ounce of gold in the international market, which amounts to an unaccounted sum of $4,232,400 per day and $1,544,826,000 per annum, considering that one kilogram is equal to 35.27 ounces, going by international rates.
In his contribution, Aminu Shehu Shagari (APC-Sokoto) stated that when the former Minister was before the House he unfortunately showed sympathy for illegal miners to the dismay of Members.
Shehu Shagari who frowned at the spate of the regional killings going on are as a result of the illegal mining activities across the country, called for full investigation, apprehension and prosecution of all perpetrators of these heinous crimes.
On her part, Beni Lar (PDP-Plateau) stated that in the spirit of economic diversification, Federal Government needs to do more to curb illegal mining in the bud so that the continuous revenue loss would cease.
She stated that authorities have not done enough to secure the solid mineral sector and ensure all activities are done within the purview of the law guiding the sector.
Also speaking, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (PDP-Abia) stated that during the interactive session between the House and Heads of Government MDAs, the clear vision of these Heads were sought to ensure the slump in oil prices doesn’t overly adversely affect the country’s economy.
According to her, it was envisaged that the mining sector which acknowledged various deposits of marketable minerals nationwide would account for at least 10% of national revenues.
She however wondered why the shortfall and almost complete neglect of, and disregard for the benefits of the sector.
On his part, Samuel Onuigbo stated that for a nation so endowed like Nigeria, economic diversification should not be an option, but a way of life. The diversification would only be an added blessing due to the wide spread of all these minerals.
He also stated that the mining needs to be regulated for security of life and property of the indigenes of the region. He stated that the regulations of the mining sector are also of importance to ensure the activities are carried out to ensure there is no damage to the environment and people of the region.
While ruling, the House resolved to refer the motion to an already existing Ad-hoc Committee previously constituted to investigate the loss of revenue in the mining industry through the illegal mining of all solid minerals, not just gold.
Sterling Bank has started a tweeter conflict with other Nigeria’s ‘elder’ commercial banks as each banks are now taking turns to reply at each other on Twitter with many Nigerians enjoying the fun side of the chit chat.
The clash started late Friday when Sterling Bank posted a tweet which had a graphic illustration of a bank customer on a space ship shooting for the moon with a Sterling Bank logo.
The graphic also included a boy slaking on a board with what seemed like an Access Bank board. It also had somebody looking out of a window of a cube looking house with a color related to GTB while two boys each rode on an elephant and horse respectively in subtle shade to First Bank and Union Bank respectively.
However, many Nigerians are giving the bank’s creative marketing strategy and addvert a thumbs up which has in turn fetched them awareness and customers.
Union Bank responds
“Heading to the moon without a spacesuit…journey mercies”#simplersmarterSAFERbanking— UNION BANK (@UNIONBANK_NG) July 21, 2018.
Access Bank also responded to the tweet;
“We will travel on an imaginary rocket too, if we were a one-customer Microfinance Bank; but with ten million customers and counting, we rather bring the galaxy to you!”#YouAreWorthIt#TakeTomorrow#KnowYourElderspic.twitter.com/pBGuW8JaLo— Access Bank Plc (@myaccessbank) July 21, 2018
First Bank responds
“… And straight into the trash can.”#RespectYourElders#MoveOver#NextPlease#YouFirstpic.twitter.com/tkyZe9FVgc— FirstBank Nigeria (@FirstBankngr) July 21, 2018.
The Senator representing Osun West, Senator Ademola Adeleke has won the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primary election in the State of Osun.
Adeleke won the keenly contested election by scoring 1, 569 votes to beat his closest rival, Akin Ogunbiyi who polled 1, 562. Only 7 votes separated the two of them while Nathaniel Oke polled 3 votes.
However, the delegates demanded a recount but the Chairman of the election committee, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state refused and said that he had announced the winner.
Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Dr. Najeem Salaam has expressed his gratitude to thousands of his supporters and admirers who voluntarily voted for him at the APC governorship primary election, saying he was humbled by the genuine love the party faithful showed him.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butika, Dr. Salaam stressed that he has paid his due as a freeborn citizen of Nigeria and as a party loyalist, asserting that getting such a huge support that was voluntarily given, was a statement by the sincere party faithful.
The Speaker then thanked the Deputy Speaker, Akintunde Adegboye and some members of the parliament who stood by him, the Director General of his campaign organization, Mr. Bayo Oyekanmi, his colleagues and all volunteer groups that campaigned vigorously for him.
He said his belief in God who gives power to whoever He chooses stands and his love for his people cannot be forsaken.