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$30 Billion loan: Reps’ South-East Caucus Gives Buhari Conditions

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  • Reps’ South-East Caucus Gives Buhari Conditions

The South East Caucus in the House of Representatives Thursday said they were unclear as to the intent of the Federal Government concerning the $29.9 billion foreign loan for which it seeks approval from the National Assembly.

The Caucus also said the controversial Sharia Bill is a Constitutional matter that cannot be sneaked through without the knowledge of lawmakers and vowed that the Caucus will be on high alert for the piece of legislation.

While addressing the press on matters relating to the economy, the Caucus leader, Chukwumah Onyeama, Deputy Minority Leader, said the information concerning the loan needs to meet the threshold of transparency.

“Details of the terms of the loans- duration cost, and application are unclear. Details of the loan utilization must be made available, to us to ensure geographical spread and relevance to current economic outlook with a view to Jon creation and inclusive growth for all sectors/ sections if the country.

“We therefore insist that as part of this country, the South East infrastructural deficit must be captured to ensure uniform development and inclusive growth.

Recall that the Senate had earlier in the week rejected the request of the Federal Government to borrow $29.9 billion foreign loan while the House is yet to debate the loan.

The Caucus while speaking on the economic situation downturn in the country said: “”We recognize that as our country goes through an economic recession which has resulted in the loss of jobs, decreased spending, more valence of hunger and uncertainty in the polity, we stand with our fellow Nigerians in this difficult period

“We urge the Executive Arm of Government to speedily formulate Fiscal and Economic Policies that will see an end to the present economic downturn.”

The lawmakers said that there is need for the President to brief the Legislature on the true state of the economy and his road map to economic recovery. “The urgency cannot be overstated at this time,” they said.

On the controversial Sharia Bill, they said: “the passage of the Sharia bill passing second reading. You all know gentlemen of the press that any matter that concerns the constitution will, must, in fact, let me use the word “shall”, pass second reading. Then it goes into committee where we are going to debate it.

“Now be rest assured that the people you see here (the caucus members) I’m sure you recognize all of them on the floor. They cannot sit there and… We’re waiting for it to come on the floor for debate that is when we can discuss this issue.”

The Caucus also condemned the killing of prominent Ndigbo in the FCT. “Arinze Vhikwem was brutally murdered in Kabusa with over 72 knife stabs. He hails from Mbieri Mbatoli LGA of Imo State.

“David Nkwazema was stabbed to death in Kuchigoro, he hails from Amakohia Ikeduru LGA of Imo State and Ikechukwu from Enugu State was beheaded at Apo by an Okada rider.

“We strongly condemn the gruesome murders of the three prominent Mdigbo in the FCT. We call on all relevant authorities including the Nigeria Police Force and the Judiciary to expedite action in bringing the culprits to book,” The lawmakers said.

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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