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Leave my Office, we’re in Darkness, Obaseki Tells BEDC Boss

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  • Leave my Office, we’re in Darkness, Obaseki Tells BEDC Boss

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, asked the Managing Director of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Mrs Funke Osibodu, to leave his office for “failing to meet obligations to electricity consumers in Edo and throwing the state into darkness for weeks.”

The mild drama was said to have played out while the governor was receiving members of the Federal House of Representatives Committee on Power who were in the Government House on a courtesy visit.

According to a statement from the Edo State Government, the governor was surprised to see the BEDC boss among the lawmakers as her name was not on the list of expected guests.

It said the governor had been in darkness alongside millions of Edo State residents for weeks.

Speaking to the delegation after Osibodu had left the gathering, the governor said the BEDC had continued to fail in collaborating with the state government to provide stable electricity in the state.

Obaseki said, “The BEDC has been an obstacle all the way. They will not provide electricity and will not allow you to get alternative sources of power. The state will not allow it.

“As governor of Edo State, we have lost confidence in the BEDC. We don’t want them here. We are in darkness. Let us remain in darkness until we find people who are capable of delivering electricity. This is our position.”

According to the governor, despite the fact that the state generates about 600 to 700 megawatts of electricity, the people are still in darkness.

He accused the BEDC of being noncommittal about the issue of power distribution, saying, “To assist, we set up electricity committee across the local government areas chaired by the Deputy Governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, with the BEDC as a member, to understand the challenge. But the BEDC frustrated our resolve to finding a lasting solution to the issue of providing electricity to our people.”

In its reaction to the development, the BEDC said the visit by the House of Representatives Committee on Power, in company with officials of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, BEDC, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, was aimed at updating and assisting in finding solutions to the recent power-related issues in Benin.

It said, “The BEDC continues to be a responsive and responsible distributor of electricity across the franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti and is committed to serving its customers better.

“In addition, it is on record that out of the nine per cent allocation that the BEDC gets from the national grid, Edo State gets above 40 per cent, while the other three states share the balance. We intend to continue to work towards ensuring that various bottlenecks across the power value chain are eliminated to the benefit of our customers in all our franchise states.

“As a host community, we shall also continue to support the good people of Edo State in ensuring that an enabling environment that will create jobs and improvement in the lives of the Edo citizens is sustained. It should be noted that Edo State has the highest number of prepaid meters all over the country and with the introduction of Meter Asset Provider by the NERC, we shall further accelerate the metering of consumers with effect from the first quarter of 2019 when the scheme is expected to kick off in order to rapidly reduce estimated billing.”

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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