Donald Trump And The Muslim World, By Reuben Abati

I am not a fan of Donald Trump, the incumbent President of the United States. I didn’t stand with him. I stood with her- Hillary Clinton- in the last US Presidential election. No other election in recent American history has been more international in terms of interest and emotional involvement. Trump’s election even divided the Nigerian middle class.  Majority of Christians in Nigeria stood with Donald Trump. They liked his anti-Muslim rhetoric, and in a country where religion is such a volatile subject and the Christian community feels as if it is under siege from radical Islamic extremism, it was easy for a category of Nigerians to see Trump’s politics being in sync with their own fears and expectations.

Pro-secessionist, Biafran and Christian protesters in the South East also supported Trump. On his Inauguration Day, they organized a rally, some of them were killed, in the process, by Nigerian security agents.  It is always so easy to read American politics into every other politics globally because of America’s status as a superior power and the global dominance of its culture.  Many Nigerians who opposed Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party also did so, for example, for partisan reasons, because they felt the Democratic administration of President Barrack Obama was responsible in many ways for the outcome of the 2015 Presidential election in Nigeria. They wanted a pound of flesh – they wanted the Democrats out of the White House, the same way the PDP exited Aso Villa. The funny thing is that Nigerians who do not hold American citizenship, were not in a position to vote in the US election, but this didn’t deter us from weeping more than the Americans. In my case, I opposed Trump because I consider him a vile, navel-gazing, crude, child-like nativist, whose Presidency could pose a threat to the free world.

I have been proven right. The United States is in trouble because of Donald Trump.  In less than two weeks in office, President Trump has signed executive orders, which amount to an assault on the liberal international order. America is great because it became the dreamland and the symbol of freedom, prosperity and fulfillment for persons and families across the world. It is great because it became the melting pot for global genius, the preferred destination for generations of talented persons in all fields of human endeavour. America is great because its diversity and multiculturalism became pillars of its exceptionalism.

Donald Trump, on twitter where he spends his waking hours, and on the podium, where he rants, says his ambition is to “Make America Great Again” (#MAGA), but it is beginning to look as if Trump will end up making America small.  The Executive Orders which he has signed so far, are intended to upturn America’s foreign policy in the last 50 years, isolate the country from the rest of the world and turn it into an island. America appears destined to become a pariah state for the next four years. With Trump, America now sees the rest of the world as an ocean of enemies, with this persecution complex dressed up as national interest.

The most pernicious of the Executive Orders is Trump’s suspension of the US refugee programme for four months and the entry ban for 90 days imposed on nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Is the action legal?  Section 212(f) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (1952) empowers the President to restrict immigration access to the United States: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants and non-immigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”  The sentiment behind this legal provision is protectionism, which is ironic in a country of immigrants.

This is Donald Trump keeping his campaign promise to protect America for Americans and review immigration policies. Is this new? No. Over the years, America has always tried to control the influx of immigrants.  This was the case even under President Barack Obama. Trump reminds us of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act which turned back the Chinese, and a similar law in 1924, which targeted Asian and African immigrants, both of which were corrected by the Immigration Act of 1965, which forbids discrimination on the basis of national origin, ancestry and race.  The only problem is that Trump’s approach is crazy, a case of policy mixed with bigotry and narcissism, and an unconstitutional gambit which violates the First Amendment, hidden under the banner of “protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry.”  Given the contradictions between the 1952 and 1965 Acts and the First Amendment, Trump’s actions are perhaps better tested in the court of law.

He wants to build a wall at the Mexican border.  This has already caused a rift with Mexico. He is also holding radical Islam responsible for security breaches in the United States, and this is certainly because foreign-born Muslims have been responsible for many acts of terror in the US: the 9/11, the Boston bombing, the Nigerian underwear bomber; across Europe, radical Islamic extremism has also proven to be a problem.  Trump’s solution is to demonize Muslim-majority countries and arrive at the simple solution that the best way to protect America is to shut out the Muslims.  He insists that “This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.” I don’t believe him.

The chosen seven countries that have been shut out have not in any way been responsible for most of the acts of terror in the US in recent times.  Trump leaves out Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim-majority countries, but the kind of chaos that has been generated makes every Muslim going to the United States vulnerable. You don’t have to be from the seven targeted countries, once you bear a Muslim name, you could be subjected to greater scrutiny by Customs and Border Protection Officers.  Some of the people who have been harassed at the borders since last Friday when the Executive Order was passed are American citizens with dual nationality.

While Donald Trump is proposing greater vetting and scrutiny of the influx of Muslims, and refugees, he is nevertheless willing to allow more Christians into the United States. This is the message that comes across: Christians are welcome. Muslims should be carefully scrutinized before they are allowed in. In other words, Christians are better than Muslims.  This may sound like an over-simplification, but that is just how it is. President Trump is likely to make the United States more unpopular in the Muslim world, damage established friendships and promote a culture of hate that has proven a threat to American foreign relations in parts of the world.

American liberals are justifiably upset and angry. President Trump’s policy moves and rhetoric depart from the America they have known for the past 50 years.  But right now, America is so divided, nobody can comfortably sit on the fence, and that is why public opinion is so viciously divided too. Trump addresses the fears of those Americans who, like him, don’t want more immigrants and asylum seekers. This is the ultimate rise of American xenophobia and an attempt to turn that country into “a camp of saints.”  But there are limits to nativism as seen in Jean Raspail’s novel, The Camp of the Saints (1973) and The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants vs. The Environment (2011) by Lisa Park and David Pellow.

But no matter the tone of global outrage, Donald Trump obviously doesn’t give a damn. Mexico has cancelled a meeting with Trump, a protest calling for signatures to prevent his proposed state visit to the UK has attracted over a million signatures, Iran is threatening reciprocal action, the entire Muslim world is outraged and inside America, California is threatening to secede because of Trump! And Trump? He wants to be President of the United States, not President of the world. He wants to serve the American people who voted him into power, not some immigrants coming from the slums of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.  Across the world, there are millions who look up to the United States as the land of freedom. Trump is saying America is no longer ready to be the world’s Atlas nation.  It is not just immigration that will be affected: trade, aid, military relations as well.  This has created a regime of fear among many who depend on the United States.

There are millions of Africans living in the United States, particularly Nigerians.  They don’t all have the papers granting them the right of stay. There are asylum seekers, refugees and many who are still processing their residency papers. An American for Americans only policy is likely to place them at the risk of rejection and eventual deportation. When you talk to some of them, you can actually sense panic, fear, despair. They panic because America has become their adopted home. It is their place of work, their source of hope, and the best place in the world where they are happiest.

They panic because their original homeland offers them little hope. They don’t want to return to a Nigeria where there is no regular power supply, employment opportunities, good roads, communications or transportation system. Living in America confers a special status on them among friends, family members and the community at home.  There are others who are already naturalized Americans, and who may have nothing to fear, and there are those Nigerians who have helped to build America with their talents and intellect, and who don’t really care on what side of the bed Donald Trump is likely to wake up tomorrow morning.

Then you have the big crowd of I-must-go-to-America-by-force set of Nigerians who are daily trooping to the American embassy in search of visa. Since the Executive Order by President Trump, that crowd has not been smiling at all. I know many of our compatriots who have suddenly become experts in analyzing American immigration rules.  Nigeria is not one of the seven countries on the Trump list and the review and restriction are supposed to last for 120 days, but long-time US visa applicants in Nigeria believe that what a typical American immigration officer has actually been looking for is a President like Trump. An inconsolable applicant tells me he is no longer sure he will ever get a visa to the United States.

I assured him that the world will always need America and America will always need the world.  Isolationism discounts the ideal of an interconnected global order.  President Donald Trump’s success will be determined in the long run not by the arrows he shoots in the international arena from North Korea, to China, to Mexico and Somalia, but how well he fulfills the promise to make America greater than he met it. If they don’t want you to stay in America, come home, please. Stay at home, e go better… or go to Canada or Taiwan.

Trump Threatens Iran over Missiles

S. President Donald Trump has threatened Iran over its ballistic missile test that violated a UN Security Council resolution.

Trump, in his tweets on Thursday, said “Iran has been formally put on notice”..

“Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!” Trump tweeted.

The president blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for giving life-line to Iran through a 150 billion dollars deal.

“Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: 150 billion dollars,” he said on his Twitter handle.

Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had on Wednesday threatened Iran over the ballistic missile test, saying that the action violated a UN Security Council resolution.

“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn told reporters at the White House press briefing on Wednesday.

The controversial missile test carried out by Iran has been said to be nuclear-capable with the capability of travelling up to 3,000 kilometres and is capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Cruise missiles are harder to counter than ballistic missiles since they fly at lower altitudes and can evade enemy radar, confounding missile defense and hitting targets deep inside an opponent’s territory, the U.S. in this instance.

The Security Council’s sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme was lifted in 2016 following the 2015 pact brokered by Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the U.S.

Under the 2015 UN resolution endorsing the deal, Iran was asked to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

Under the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for lifting of most sanctions.

Iran has, however, insisted that the pact between it and the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council as endorsed by the UN, did not mention cruise missiles, insisting that the ban was only for ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. (NAN)

Consider 28m Child Refugees, UNICEF Tells Trump

The UN Children’sFund (UNICEF) has appealed to the U.S. that the 28 million children who are uprooted by conflicts need to be helped.

UNICEF, in a statement issued on child refugees on Monday in New York, said the needs of regional had never been greater than now.

The call was not unconnected with the recent Refugee Order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, temporarily banning refugees into the U.S. from seven countries.

The statement said “the needs of refugees have never been greater.

“Worldwide 28 million children have been uprooted by conflict, driven from their homes by violence and terror. They need our help.

“The United States has a long and proud tradition of protecting children fleeing war and persecution.

“We trust that this support will continue and that the recent measures will prove to be temporary.

“All refugee children need our support,” the statement read.

It said UNICEF was committed to continuing our work with governments and other partners around the world to help some of the most vulnerable children everywhere, from Syria to Yemen to South Sudan.

According to the statement, UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.

“Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere, it said.

Trump’s order temporarily banned immigration from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia and indefinitely stopped Syrian refugees from coming to the United States.

Meanwhile, a group of U.S. companies, including Starbucks, Tesla and Uber, on Monday voiced concern over Donald Trump’s recent executive order suspending refugee admissions and banning citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the country.

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, wrote to employees with “deep concern and a heavy heart” about the executive order from the U.S. president two days earlier.

Schultz said he would hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years at Starbucks businesses worldwide.

Dimon (JP Morgan Chase), Kalanick (Uber) and Musk (Tesla) are all members of Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of business people called together by the president to advise him on economic policy.

Iran open to Americans – Foreign Minister

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that all those with valid Iranian Visas, including Americans are welcome to come to Iran.
The foreign Minister took to his twitter handle to say that the country would gladly welcome anyone with a valid visa.
“Unlike the U.S., our decision is not retroactive. All with valid Iranian visa will be gladly welcomed,” he said.
This is coming hours after Tehran vowed to respond in kind to the U.S. ban on visitors from Iran and six other Muslim dominated countries.
He however said that Iran would take reciprocal measures to protect its citizens while also taking into account that it is the U.S. policies that are hostile not Americans.
He added that the ban showed that U.S. claim of friendship with Iran was baseless.
“International community needs dialogue & cooperation to address the roots of violence & extremism in a comprehensive & inclusive manner.
“Collective discrimination aids terrorist recruitment by deepening fault-lines exploited by extremist demagogues to swell their ranks.
“This ban will be recorded in history as a great gift to extremists and their supporters,” he said in a series of tweets’
Recall that U.S. President, Donald Trump on Saturday, barred refugees and visitors from Syria and six other nations from entering the United States for the next four months.
While signing the executive order, Trump said the move would help protect America from terrorist attacks while it adopts more stringent ways of screening refugees, immigrants and visitors.
The countries under this ban are: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan: travellers from these countries were thrown into confusion on Friday after Trump gave the order.
“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,” Trump said earlier on Friday at the Pentagon.
“We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people,” he said.


Google Recalls Employees After Trump’s Executive Order

Google has recalled travelling staff members to the US after an executive order from President Donald Trump restricting entry for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries.

Syrian refugees are banned from entry until further notice.

Visas for nationals of six countries, including Iran and Iraq, will not be issued for the next three months.

Google has told the BBC it is concerned about the order and any measures which could block great talent from the US.

The BBC’s business correspondent Joe Lynam says President Trump’s order means that thousands of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya may not be allowed to board flights bound for the US – even if they hold a so-called “green card” (permanent residents’ permit).

Mr Trump said the measure would “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”.

But rights groups say there is no link between Syrian refugees in the US and terrorism.

There are already reports of travellers from the countries targeted being turned away as they try to board flights to the US.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said this appeared to include “green card holders and other visa holders”.

It advised nationals from the affected countries but living in the US not to travel abroad.

Some Republicans have welcomed Mr Trump’s announcement, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, who said it was “time to re-evaluate and strengthen the visa vetting process”.

The new policy is also affecting visits from relatives.

An Iraqi journalist living in the US, Mohammed al-Rawi, posted on Facebook, saying his father had been turned away from a Los Angeles-bound flight in Qatar.

Jamal Abdi from the National Iranian American Council told the investigative journalism organisation Pro Publica: “We are inundated with calls and questions of how this is going to affect people.”

The Council on American Islamic Relations says it will file a lawsuit against the executive order.

Silicon Valley, where many employed in the technology industry are of non-US origin, is also worried.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a lengthy note, saying he was “concerned” about the president’s executive orders, and noting that he, like many Americans, is the descendant of immigrants

Scientists Move Doomsday Clock Close to Midnight, Cite Trump as Major Cause

U.S. President Donald Trump’s “ill-considered” comments about expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal are among the reasons a group of nuclear scientists on Thursday moved their symbolic doomsday clock 30 seconds closer to midnight.

The scientists, who have been assessing global security for 70 years, said the global security landscape “darkened” last year for a number of reasons, but cited Trump’s statements in particular.

“The president’s intemperate statements, lack of openness to expert advice, and questionable cabinet nominations have already made a bad international security situation worse,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said.

Dooms day clock over the years. Courtesy: AFP

Lawrence Krauss, a physicist and member of the bulletin’s board, said moving the clock to two-and-a-half minutes before midnight is historic.

“The clock has not been closer to midnight in 64 years,” he said at a news conference.

In addition they cited his “disturbing comments” about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons for their decision to move the clock and his questioning of climate change.

But the scientists also said the international community failed to “come effectively to grips” with both nuclear weapons and climate change last year.

Beyond the election of Trump the scientists listed a number of other reasons for their assessment, including strains in relations between the U.S. and Russia, which together possess more than 90 per cent of the world’s nuclear weapons, and North Korea’s underground nuclear tests.

The doomsday clock first appeared 70 years ago as a graphic on the first cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists magazine.

Over the decades the scientists have recognised climate change as an additional threat, and in their report said “it could change life on Earth as we know it”.

Stocks, Dollar Tumble after Trump Scare

European stocks and bond yields dropped on Monday and the dollar hit a six-week low after U.S. President Donald Trump began his term in office with a protectionist speech that pushed a nervous market into safe-haven assets.

World stocks hit multi-year highs earlier this month on expectations Trump would boost growth and inflation with extraordinary fiscal spending measures.

However, his inaugural address on Friday saw investors retreat to the safety of higher-rated government bonds as the new president signaled an isolationist stance on trade and other issues.

He also made it clear that he plans to hold talks with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

European stocks fell 0.7 percent and the broader Euro STOXX 600 fell 0.6 percent in early trades on Monday, both hitting their lowest level this year so far.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 dropped 1.1 percent while shares in Australia dropped 0.8 percent after Trump’s administration also declared its intention to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation trade pact that Japan and Australia have both signed.

Other Asian shares were more resilient, however, in part due to the dollar’s weakness, and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent.

“The focus this morning is on the protectionist rhetoric and the lack of detail on economic stimulus, so it’s a nervous start (to the presidency),” said Investec economist Victoria Clarke.

“The other concern is how the Fed interprets Trump’s stance, the worry being the less he does on fiscal stimulus the more nervous they may get on pushing the rate hikes through.”

The U.S. Federal Reserve, which has indicated that it expects to raise its benchmark interest rate three times this year, is due to hold its next meeting on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

Rabobank analyst Michael Avery said a more protectionist United States could lead to a U.S. dollar liquidity squeeze, with Mexico and Asia likely the most badly hit.

“We would see outright confusion over what currency to invoice, trade, and borrow in: a 19th century world of competing reserve currencies in different geographic zones, but without the underpinning of gold,” Avery said in a note.

The problem would be exacerbated if China tightens capital controls further, he said.

The U.S. dollar fell 0.5 percent against a basket of six major currencies and as much as 1 percent against the Japanese yen.

The nervous start on Monday saw safe haven assets in demand.

The yield on Germany’s 10-year government bond, the benchmark for the region, led most euro zone bonds lower, dropping 4 basis points to 0.32 percent in early trade.

This followed 10-year U.S. Treasuries yields, which fell to 2.43 percent, after having risen briefly on Friday to 2.513 percent, its highest since Jan. 3.

Spot gold prices, meanwhile, rose on Monday to their highest in two months.


Donald Trump Sworn In As U.S. President

Mr. Donald Trump has been inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.

Mr Trump was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, reciting the 35-word oath with his hand placed upon two Bibles, one used by his family and another in former president Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration.

He took the oath of office on the West Front of the Capitol just after midday, following his Vice-President, Mike Pence.

In his first speech as the new leader of free world, Mr Trump promised the American people he would put them first, and hand back the power to the citizens.

“Today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people,” he said.

“For too long a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”

Mr Trump went on to outline his vision of an “America-first” presidency, where decisions on trade, tax, immigration and foreign affairs will be made “to benefit American workers and American families”.

“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs,” he said.

“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilised world against radical Islamic terrorism which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”

The transition from a Democratic president to a Republican took place before a crowd of former presidents, dignitaries and hundreds of thousands of people on the grounds of the National Mall.

Far fewer people attended Mr Trump’s inauguration than his predecessor’s swearing-in eight years ago.

Thin crowds and semi-empty bleachers dotted the inaugural parade route and hotels across the District of Columbia reported vacancies, a rarity for an event as large as a presidential inauguration.

More than 60 House Democrats refused to attend the ceremony, but Mr Trump’s campaign rival Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, were among the guests.

Former presidents George W Bush and Jimmy Carter were present at the inauguration with their wives. Mr Bush’s father, former president George HW Bush, 92, was in Houston with his wife, recovering from pneumonia.

Mr Trump began his day with a morning prayer service at St John’s Episcopal Church, and took to Twitter to note his excitement about beginning the work of the US President.

The Trumps then shuttled to the White House for the traditional private meeting of outgoing and incoming presidents and their spouses.

Posing for photos on the North Portico, the couples exchanged hugs as Mr Obama chatted about the demands of protocol.

The Trumps and the Obamas travelled together in the presidential limousine for the short trip to the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony.

Barack and Michelle Obama were helicoptered from the Capitol to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where the former president made a short speech before heading off on a vacation in California.

Following the ceremony, Mr Trump signed his first executive order as president, ordering federal agencies to ease the burden of former president Mr Obama’s sweeping healthcare law.

Presidential spokesman Sean Spicer refused to offer details on the order.

Mr Trump was joined in the Oval Office by Mr Pence, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and other top advisers as he signed the executive order on the so-called Obamacare law that he opposed throughout his campaign.

The President also formally signed the commissions of incoming Defence Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Asked about his first day as president, Mr Trump said: “It was busy but good — a beautiful day”.

Military bands representing all the service branches played and marched outside the Capitol to start off the inaugural parade.

Police officers on motorcycles followed closely behind as the parade participants made the slow trek down Constitution Avenue.

Hundreds of police officers lined both sides of the street. Service members also stood at attention on both sides.

Mr and Mrs Trump twice stepped out of their limousine during the parade to walk and wave to the crowd.

They first walked for about a block before reaching the Trump International Hotel, where the crowds on both sides of the street were at their loudest.

As the Trumps neared the hotel, agents urged the couple to get back into their sedan.

Later, the Trumps exited the car with their children and grandchildren in tow. An announcer roared, “Welcome home, Mr President”.

Trump Fails Ethics Test- Shaub

The director of the US Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub has criticised Donald Trump’s plan to hand control of his business empire to his sons before his inauguration on 20 January.

The plan does not match the “standards” of US presidents over the last 40 years, Shaub said.

A Trump lawyer said earlier the new trust would face “severe restrictions” on new deals. But Mr Shaub said the plan would not remove conflicts of interest.

“Every president in modern times has taken the strong medicine of divestiture,” he said, referring to a process whereby Mr Trump would sell off his corporate assets and put the profits into a blind trust run by an independent trustee.

At a news conference on Wednesday, lawyer Sherri Dillon said that management of the Trump Organization would be transferred to a trust controlled by Mr Trump’s sons Don and Eric and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

The Trump Organization is an umbrella company for Donald Trump’s hundreds of investments in real estate, brands and other businesses.

Outlining a structure designed by her and colleagues at the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Ms Dillon said President-elect Trump wanted Americans to have no doubt that he was “completely isolating himself from his business interests”.

The trio in charge “will make decisions for the duration of the presidency without any involvement whatsoever by President-elect Trump”, she said.


Donald Trump to Attend Nigeria’s Roadshow

Mr. Donald Trump, the President-elect of the United States will attend a roadshow being arranged by Nigeria to attract investment to the oil and gas sector.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, said on Tuesday in Abuja when he unveiled the goals of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for 2017.

“We are going to be seeking to attract investments and complete all the MoUs we have in China and India.

“We are looking to do a roadshow to the UK, we are looking to do a road show to the US with President Donald Trump coming in,’’ he said.

The Minister said Nigeria would exploit the relationship built by President Muhammadu Buhari in taking a road show to the UK and US.

Kachikwu equally pledged the readiness of the Federal Government to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and allocate oil blocks in 2017.

“We are going to accelerate Federal Government’s revenues, look into areas where we could have made more money, so as to support the 2017 budget financing.

“We are looking to draw on the relationship that the president has built over time. We are going to be conducting oil blocks allocations and marginal flow awards to try and raise money for the government,” Kachikwu said.

He assured that Nigeria’s refineries would be revamped to produce at 60 per cent capacity.

“We need to start the revamping of the refineries. The president has given us marching orders on that.

We still remain committed on our goal of 2018 to reduce importation by 60 per cent and 2019, stop the importation of petroleum products substantially.

“Now we are going to continue to focus on downstream issues. Although we have liberalised, there are still some challenges.

We are going to see how we work within the liberalisation infrastructure such that we are able to take away the low-hanging difficulties.

The Sun

‘You’re Terminated!’: Schwarzenegger takes over Trump’s ‘Apprentice’

When Donald Trump hosted “The Celebrity Apprentice,” he dismissed contestants with what became his indelible catchphrase: “You’re fired.”

Now that Trump is poised to take over the White House, there is a new boss on the reality show. And Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t just firing people anymore.

“You’re Terminated!” the Hollywood star and former California governor said in Monday night’s premiere of the show, now in its eighth season.

“The first one wasn’t easy. But you know the line now, and the celebs know my expectations. Take risks, give everything,” the ex-bodybuilder said on Twitter after the first episode of “The New Celebrity Apprentice” aired.
The Austrian native, 69, shot to fame in the 1980s with his starring role in a number of action films, but he is perhaps known for “The Terminator” franchise.

Schwarzenegger — who became a US citizen more than three decades ago — leveraged his popularity into a career in politics, serving as governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

In the first episode of the “Celebrity Apprentice,” now shot in Los Angeles, celebrities including boxer Laila Ali, singer Boy George and reality TV star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi completed business-related challenges judged by Schwarzenegger.

Trump is trading in the show’s boardroom for the White House but is staying on as executive producer of the reality show, and his name will appear in the credits.

It was not clear whether the incoming head of state will receive a per-episode fee.