Nigeria may, in five years, generate 10,000 megawatt (mw) of electricity if United States (US) President Barack Obama implements the report of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) before leaving office in January.
The PAC-DBIA comprising 15 American private sector leaders with business operations throughout Africa was appointed by Obama in 2014 to advise him on how to advance the US-Africa business agenda.
It recommended, among others, the acceleration of energy infrastructure in Nigeria where the U.S. is expected to pursue a detailed action plan to achieve 10,000mw of electricity.
The report advised that as a result of Nigeria’s enormous potential as the largest country in the continent in terms of both population and GDP, and because the electricity generation and distribution capacities in Nigeria are among the least developed on the continent, President Obama should focus on Nigeria as the focal point for energy infrastructure on the continent.
The advisors recommended that US and Africa policy makers should collaborate on identifying and facilitating investment in electricity generation, especially for the hard- to-finance early stage projects.
They further asked Obama to see the provision of electricity in Nigeria and other sub Saharan Africa countries as his greatest achievement to drive growth and development in sub Saharan Africa.
They asked President Obama to pursue tax treaties with key African countries poised for large scale growth and development, including Nigeria and Ethiopia.
While the advisors all have active business operations on the continent, they travelled as a delegation led by US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to East and West Africa to meet with presidents, ministers of trade, investment and commerce, as well as the leading private sector players in both African and US owned businesses.
Pritzker believes the private sector representatives comprising the PAC-DBIA have been instrumental in helping the Obama administration develop the trade and investment priorities that have led to an expanded U.S.-Africa commercial relationship.
“We have utilised their invaluable information, analysis, and recommendations to create sustainable commercial partnerships that lead to job growth, a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem, and expanded economic opportunities. PAC-DBIA’s efforts continue to pay dividends for companies on both continents in areas as diverse as workforce training, energy, and transportation infrastructure.”
One of President Obama’s greatest legacies will be Power Africa, a comprehensive set of resources including US government backed financial and technical support to electrify Africa it added.
“Energy infrastructure is a fundamental enabler of growth, security and quality of life. It is for this reason that PAC-DBIA recommends that the US president make electricity its first and foremost priority”.
They also suggested the strengthening of vocational and skills training noting that Africa cannot develop without huge investment in skills training or sustained, without a well-trained workforce. Most countries in Africa have a skills shortage it added. There is a wide gap between the strong academic programs offered by many universities in Africa, and the pragmatic skills required to advance the economies of most African nations”.
Another recommendation the group is to improve travel routes and transportation based on their observation that Africa is the least connected continent, with less than 12 per cent of its trade being intra-regional versus over 60 per cent for the European Union.
They also recommended that US develop a coordinated financing strategy for Africa aviation projects across US government financing institutions, including the Export Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, both of which have programs that assist in the financing of aviation infrastructure.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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