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Fashola Raises Panel to Restructure FHA

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Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola
  • Fashola Raises Panel to Restructure FHA

Power, Works and Housing Minister Mr. Babatunde Fashola has set up an ad-hoc committee to review the re-structuring and commercialisation of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).

Fashola urged the committee to review the FHA Restructuring and Commercialisation/Housing Sector implementation Framework presented to him at a meeting with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

BPE’s Director of National Facilities and Agricultural Resources Mr. Yunana Jackdell Malo, in the letter convening the committee meeting, said the panel would entertain concerns, issues and recommendations which might form the basis of a revised implementation framework for FHA’s restructuring and commercialisation.

A document obtained listed the committee’s terms of reference to include: distilling the new reform vision for the housing sector as articulated by the Minister; review the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) approved implementation framework to better align it with the minister’s policy direction and objectives for the housing sector; review aspects of the various work streams in the implementation framework to ensure that they are fit for purpose and revisit key elements of the restructuring and commercialisation strategy, and to make recommendations on how they could be better implemented, particularly with regards to new housing policy and skills mix, property audit and the privatisation of FHA Mortgage Bank.

Others include reviewing the possibility of implementing the NCP approved strategy without necessarily repealing the FHA Act and be guided by legal advice in that regard; review the relevant aspects of the on-going housing sector reforms and make necessary recommendations, particularly with respect to the setting up of a regulatory regime and how FHA can play an effective role in a regulated and liberalised housing sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Abu Gusau Magaji, has urged FHA workers not to entertain fears of losing their jobs.

Speaking at a meeting with the Authority’s management, he explained that rather than job losses, the planned process would throw up more vacancies through the expected expansion of the Authority’s capacity to become an efficient, modern and profitable venture.

Magaji said the need for a review of the previous reform document generated by the BPE arose because it had become necessary to align it with the vision and policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for the sector.

He said the exercise would be conducted on the basis of existing presidential approval, adding that both the Ministry and the Authority were being accommodated in the development of work streams that would lead to the emergence of a new FHA.

Members of the committee are Yunana J. Malo – Sector Director/Co-ordinator (BPE); M. L. Halilu; A. Koko, and P. O Egbodo, all representing the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. The FHA is represented by Ayuba Aliyu, Hajara Kadiri, and Umar S. Gonto. Sanusi Abdu-Ali, Nurain Hassan Ibrahim, Pene Samaki, and Guful John Mankilik, are representatives of the BPE. Abba Sani Dauda, also from the BPE, will serve as Secretary.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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