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Apapa Gridlock Killing Trade Facilitation Programme, Says NPA

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  • Apapa Gridlock Killing Trade Facilitation Programme

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, said the traffic gridlock in Apapa had affected access into the ports and killing trade facilitation programme of government.

According to a statement by NPA on Monday in Lagos, Usman said this at a stakeholders meeting held in her office.

She said that the bad access roads into Apapa was killing the trade facilitation programme of the government and had affected the smooth delivery of cargoes to importers.

“NPA is not happy that all modalities and measures adopted so far have not translated into quick cargo movement in and out of the ports,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes the managing director as saying.

She told the stakeholders that a positive action would be taken by the NPA in the interest of all and the economy.

Usman told the stakeholders that “the quick rehabilitation of the road remains a priority to her team to reposition the ports and salvage the economy’’.

She received the report on traffic decongestion of Apapa and its environs.

The managing director appealed to Messrs Dangote Construction Nig. Ltd and the Management of Flour Mills Nig Ltd. to expedite action toward an early reconstruction of Wharf Road.

Usman also appealed to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and members of the National Assembly to include the reconstruction of Creek Road linking Tin-Can Island Port in the 2017 budget.

She said the minister and the lawmakers should help to see to the quick completion of the trailer park opposite the Tin-Can Port to keep the trucks away from the road.

Usman also called for synergy between the Federal and State Governments as well as the stakeholders to find a permanent solution to the perennial gridlock on the road.

She urged port users to always subject themselves to security checks at the gates leading to the ports and warned that unauthorised persons intruding into the ports should stop or face sanctions.

The managing director said that NPA would soon introduce measures that would make it impossible for those without genuine business to access the ports.

Usman said NPA would continue to hold meetings with stakeholders to workout modalities on measures to be adopted to resolve the gridlock in the interest of all stakeholders and the nation’s economy.

She said the Federal Government was determined to find a lasting solution to the chaotic traffic situation along Apapa axis.

Usman said that efforts were being made by the Federal Government and the NPA to improve and sustain efficient road transport network within and around the ports.

The managing director said that government would promote trade, improve cargo delivery and boost the economy.

In another development, the Commandant, 9th Infantry Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Sani Mohammed has appealed to the managing director to visit the widows of the soldiers of the Brigade, who lost their lives in the on-going Nigerian military’s counter insurgency campaign in the North Eastern part of the country.

Mohammed made the plea during a courtesy visit to the NPA managing director’s office in Lagos.

He said there should be a visit by the NPA boss to see the widows to use her advocacy work to better the lots of the widows, whom their breadwinners died fighting to conquer the insurgents.

“Considering all she did with the BringBackOurGirls Campaign, we would want her to come and see our widows and employ her advocacy initiative to better their lots,’’ Mohammed said.

“I know the managing director when she was fighting for the abducted Chibok girls. Considering all she did with the BringBackOurGirls, we want her to come and see our widows,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that the Brigade, having taken part in all Nigeria’s military campaigns at home and abroad, was also part of the security apparatus in Lagos tagged: ‘Operation Mensa’.

He said that the Brigade was extending its hand of fellowship and relationship to the ports authority with a view to exploring ways it could add value to the security of the Nigerian ports industry.

Responding, Usman, who was represented at the event by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr Sokonte Davies, said the advocacy works of the managing director, was a passion which she inherited from her parents.

“The managing director’s advocacy works were not what she just learnt but what she saw her father doing, so it is in her.

“I believe that she will really find time to visit the widows of the soldiers, who lost their lives in the counter-insurgency campaign,’’ Davies 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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