Colors: Blue Color

The new Chief of Staff (CoS) has been sworn in before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Aso presidential Villa, in Abuja.

The man whom many described as the medal on the block is a Nigerian academician, diplomat and had held positions in the diplomatic circle in the course of the trajectory of his career and public life.

Professor Gambari whom many also refer to as another ‘global citizen’ hails from a royal family in the Kwara State Capital.

The National Chair, diplomat, friend and private sector’s leading icon, who is the most recent of former president of the ABR (African Business Roundtable), HE Ambassador Dr Bamanga Tukur described Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari as a to[ professional diplomat, seasoned mediator an one who believes in meritocracy.

Dr Tukur added that the new Chief of Staff will bring new ways of doing business and strengthening the Nigerian brand globally.

According to him, “Post coronavirus, Nigeria will need to focus on the economy, not politics, which should be a driving force for Africa’s development.

“It is time for the sleeping giant to wake up and take its rightful position”.

He continued: “To lead the private sector in the economic revival and development should be through one strong trade path, the necessary foundation.

“Organisations such as AfDB, ABR, African Free Trade Zone must be brought together.

“If Nigerians are given the chance to head such, it will take the continent higher and ABR can co-ordinate and put the necessary structures under a new trade platform to flourish. Having partners in North, South, East and West Africa with an overseeing committee, I have no doubt that the Ambassador will succeed on this major call and an assignment to the nation”.

Also, former Chair and an Executive of Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation NIDO and Commandant of Nigerians in Diaspora Mentoring Corp, Alistair Soyode, in his message did say: “It’s with a good sense of responsibility and expectation, especially from the Diaspora community who are their millions that we send our best wishes believing as a meritous diplomat.

Professor Gambari will deploy his skills to bring in the best of the Diaspora to participate in the nation’s building”.

MC Alistair also used the medium to call non Nigerians all over the world to support the new CoS to deliver on good and sustainable governance – especially during the post Covid-19 era”.

More than two-thirds of people surveyed in as much as 20 countries in Africa said that it would be likely that they would run out of food and water if they had to stay at home under lockdown.

Just over half of the people who responded said that they would run out of money.

The research carried out by The African Centre for Disease and Prevention was conducted to help governments to map out further policies on how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

It warns that if no measures are adapted to local needs, there is a high risk of unrest, rebellion and violence.

The research was conducted in 28 cities in 20 countries to assess the impact of the life-some areas.

Several African countries which had responded swiftly to the coronavirus threat are now easing restrictions.

The report said; ‘The proliferation of peaceful protests demanding government relief is evidence of the strain that some people are already under and highlights gaps in current responses.’

It did, however, find that there was currently general support for restrictions that had been put in place.

Opposition was highest to measures such as closing workplaces and shutting down markets.

Matshidiso Moeti, Africa director of WHO (World Health Organisation), said: “What we’ve learned from Ebola and other outbreaks is that countries need decentralise the response to the community level and increase their capacity to identify and diagnose cases”.

Governments in Africa have been facing a dilemma when deciding how best to respond to the pandemic.

Millions need to leave their homes every day to go and work to feed their families.

‘Countries must now find a balance between reducing transmission while preventing social and economic disruption’, the report said.

To date, Africa has recorded nearly 50,000 cases of coronavirus, with under 2,000 fatalities.

 

 

As Africa remains rigid in its position as the richest continent in the world, one of its most recognised and decorated ‘sons’ remains unflinching in his drive to see his beloved homeland ‘sit at the top table when the world’s more financially astute countries make the kind of decisions that others have to ‘sing’ to.

Called the ‘Voice of Africa’, Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba PhD, LL.B, LL.M is passion about discussing the fate of Africa and he’s not afraid to apportion blame for Africa’s fate.

A former Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, a lecturer in Law at the Faculty of Law at University of Nairobi, and Trustee and Executive Director of the African Institute of Leaders and Leadership, again, in Nairobi, he is now the Director of The Kenya School of Law and often makes powerful speeches about African solutions to African problems.

A compendium of all things Africa, he has written several books, and been the co-author of the prestigious ‘The Constitution of Kenya’.

A staunch Pan-African, he wrote 27 other books – one of which being ‘Stolen Kenya’ as he always said that: “Africans must take a historical journey. The rise and fall of Africa is on account of African politicians.

“Africa started to produce leaders that they didn’t recognise”.

Having served in the National Committee on Implementation of International Humanitarian Law, followed by being the Secretary to the constitution Kenya Review Commission, Professor PLO Lumumba often call for ‘hygiene’ in Africa, as it had been “disappearing from African politics – ably assisted by Europeans.

“After slavery ‘lost its sheen’ Europeans abolished it and created a new enterprise – ‘colonisation’

“In 1884 they (Europeans) then looked at the map of Africa and shared it out - they thought that they were ‘demi-gods’; calling it the ‘Messiah Complex’.

“But, we – our ancestors - built Europe and the USA. Now we have to reclaim what has always been ours.

“The Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, is the richest country on Earth – but one of the poorest on Earth.

“The question there is; ‘Where is the ‘democracy’?

“African leaders”, he says, “feel that they have the divine right to rule.

“It’s time, now, for African’s voices to be heard – as one”.

PLO Lumumba is one of THE voices that will forever be heard..

 

Pakistan is set to ease the country-wide lockdown this weekend – despite the fact that increased testing highlighted that new coronavirus cases rose.

Prime Minister Imran Khan cited the state of the country’s economy as being in “havoc” when he declared the intended measures.

Prime Minister Khan called on Pakistanis to continue to follow social distancing measures as businesses began phased re-opening.

He did, however, say that a lockdown would be re-deployed is another lockdown was to be declared.

In a televised address declaring the easing of the lockdown, PM Khan said: “We have to discipline ourselves. We can’t send the police to make raids. That just doesn’t happen in an independent society.

Schools in the country will remain closed until mid-July. There are no plans yet to restart public transport, or domestic flights.

Authorities recently had to relent under overwhelming pressure from religious groups ahead of the holy month of Ramadan and allowed mosques to hold daily prayers and evening gatherings, with clerics promising to instruct religious leaders to keep the facilities clean and tidy.

The level of infections had been rising as testing increased.

In a population of 220,223,844, the amount of fatalities due to coronavirus, according to government figures, was 564.

Some businesses in Nigeria have started to slowly re-open after the country started to ease a lockdown which was imposed in key urban areas in a bid to start Africa’s largest economy.

But the main doctor’s association described the move as “very premature”.

In the country’s leading commercial hub of Lagos, traffic jams were absent, which indicates that many people there were remaining indoors.

Last week, President Muhammad Buhari said that the measures had imposed “a very heavy economic cost.

“I have approved of a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures”, he said in a television broadcast.

He unveiled new measures including nationwide night-time curfews, the mandatory wearing of facemasks and a ban on “non-essential” travel between different regions.

He also announced an immediate lock-down in northern Nigeria’s largest city of Kano after officials said that they were probing a spate of “mysterious deaths”

The government is facing a difficult balancing act trying to curb the spread of the virus and contain the growing desperation of a vast number who are living hand-to-mouth in Africa’s most populated country.

More than 25 million residents in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states has been under federal lockdown since March 30, with other states introducing their own lockdown.

It has been confirmed that China Merchants Port Holdings have taken full control of Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), the entity that manages the Port of Kingston under a 30-yearconcession agreement with the Jamaican government.

This was made possible by the international French-led shipping and port management company – CMA CGM selling its interest in KFTL to a subsidiary company, Terminal Link, which was up to that point a joint venture of CMA CGM (51%) and China Merchants (49%).

The effect of the change is that CMA CGM has sold its shares in the 30-year concession agreement for KFTL, meaning that China Merchants now has full control of the entity.

Kingston Freeport was the company used by the Terminal Link-CMG CGM consortium to operate, Kingston Container Terminal under the 30-year deal signed with The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ in April 2015 to finance, expand, operate and maintain the Port of Kingston.

The overall deal involved more than just the Kingston Freeport, as China Merchant Port Holdings announced recently that the company had completed the initial closing of the proposed acquisition with respect to eight target terminals, including Kingston Freeport, worth US$814.78 million.

On the move, Jamaica’s opposition PNP (People’s National Party) spokesperson on national security, Peter Bunting, said: “The move is a form of economic colonialism by Chinese businesses in Jamaica.

“The Jamaican people are well aware of the long history of fraternal between our two peoples. However, we believe that the concerns that arise from the existing situation could be problematic if they remain unaddressed”.

It follows his appearance in a video, called ‘Chinese Take Over?’, where he made several anti-China statements.

In response, the Chinese Embassy said that it was offended by the “unsubstantiated claim” by Bunting.

The company said that the eight terminals assets include 50 per cent of Odessa Terminal Holding Ltd (Ukraine), 49 per cent of CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal Pta Singapore), 100 per cent of Kingston Freeport Terminal Ltd. (Jamaica), 30 per cent of Rotterdam World Gateway (Netherlands), 24 per cent of Qingdao Qianwan United Advance Container Terminal (China), 47.25 per cent of First Logistics Development Company (Vietnam), 14.5 per cent of Laem Chabang International Terminal Co. Ltd. (Thailand) and 100 per cent of CMA CGM Terminal Iraq SAS.

Regarding the change of ownership, of KFTL, authorities there reported that “CMA CGM notified the Jamaican government about the intended transfer before action took place”.

According to the PAJ, the potential transaction was complete and approved, with several similar agreements highlighted as proven successes – with PAJ, KFTL investing over US$250m to dredge the access channel to the harbour, as well as upgrading facilities and equipment.

The investments is set to allow larger vessels carrying up to 14,000 20-foot container units (TEUs) which now transit the expanded Panama Canal, to enter Kingston Harbour and to be processed efficiently at the container terminal.

Previously vessels that were processed at the terminal averaged 3,500 TUEs.

The United States Department of Defence has released three declassified videos of “unexplained aerial phenomena”.

The Pentagon said that it was to “clear up any misconception by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulated was real”.

The video had already been leaked in 2007 and 2017.

Two were published by the New York Times, while the third was leaked by an organisation c0-founded by former Blink-182 singer, Tom DeLonge.

In a statement, the Pentagon said: “After thorough review, the department has determined that the authorised release of the unclassified video does not reveal sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigation of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena.

“The Department of Defence is releasing videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is far more to the video.

“The aerial phenomena observed in the video remain characterised as ‘unidentified’.”

 

The Premier of Nevis, Mark Brantley, has announced that he will forgo his whole monthly salary, for the foreseeable future, as a personal stance of solidarity with people of the Caribbean island whose own loss of earnings caused by the severity of coronavirus has impacted on them dramatically, due to the economic fallout.

Premier Brantley recently informed Nevisians of his decision when he said: “I have foregone my monthly salary and benefits in full, and I will continue to do so until this major crisis is over”.

This follows the announcement of the leaders of other island states in the region – and international arena – who are said to have taken anywhere between 30 and 70 per cent pay cuts as the revenues of their individual governments decreases.

As leader of the Nevis administration, Premier Brantley informed that Ministers would also be making their own personal financial sacrifices to aid the financial recovery of the islanders.

“We fully recognise the pain and anxiety of the Nevisians”, he said, “who have lost their jobs - and some, their homes – and the general loss of income has made it difficult for some of us to even ensure that we have food to eat”.

 

As the coronavirus pandemic makes its mark in Africa, in Nigeria, The Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, fulfilled his position as Royal King of the ancient Yoruba city of Ife by leading by example when he set about the fumigation of Ile Ife, before providing the wider State of Osun, and 35 other State, with fumigators, as the country, and continent at large, stood strong as, together, they stood up to the crisis.

And in highlighting the advanced, forward-thinking nature of The Ooni – as well as the inventiveness and integrity of Nigeria-at-large - the whole operation took place with fumigators and drones that were locally invented and provided.

It was before the full operation was ready to take place, that The Ooni, in a press conference, described his actions as “a necessity to eventuate the State’s, and country’s creativity at its best - Especially that of our young people!

He continued: “Their innovation stemmed from ‘thinking outside the box’ – just like major inventive creators have done in the past, and still doing the world over today.

“The motorised fumigator”, he said, “is a creation out of necessity that can also serve purpose in the fields of agriculture and industry once we – and the whole world – finally successfully tackle the pandemic.

“We need an abundance of fumigators right now, and that’s why we have partnered with suppliers of drones to then be able to widen coverage”.

Of equal standard as those found in any western country, China or other leading Asian states, and unequalled in Nigeria each Ife-made fumigator’s range capacity covers some 20-30 feet in radius.

“With it being heavily tested and approved by royal accent, not only is it cost-effective, but, it is easy to assemble. And, we fully approve of its workability.

“We need to do now, is to make sure that we roll this out to the general public”.

As Co-Chair of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN), The Ooni of Ife stressed that, by way of support, he will be donating two of the fumigators to every one of the States of the Federation of Nigeria.

This is in addition to what he is already doing – as he continues to assist the Nigerian government by sharing out food and sanitizing items to people most in need in the country.

 

The UN (United Nations) observers have warned that the world is at risk of widespread famines of “biblical proportions” which is caused by the coronavirus pandemic,.

David Bearsley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), said that urgent action was needed in order to avoid a catastrophe.

A report estimates that the number of people who are suffering from starvation could easily rise from the figure of 135 million, with a steep increase to 250 million worldwide.

It is said, by WFP, that more the 30 countries in the developing world could experience widespread famine, before adding that most people at risk are more particularly situated in 10 countries that are affected by conflict, economic crisis and climate change.

Addressing the UN Security Council during a video conference, Bearsley also said: “We could face multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months.

“The simple truth is that we have very little time on our side.

In a call to action, he added: “I do believe that with our collective expertise and our partnerships, we can bring together the teams and the programmes to make certain that the coronavirus pandemic does not become a human and food crisis catastrophe”.

 

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise globally, 18º North findings look at the countries in the Caribbean recording the biggest weekly percentage increases in their coronavirus counts.

The percentage increases are not useful for comparing countries, but rather just to illustrate how each nation’s numbers have changed week-on-week.

The period covered for this analysis is as of 12:30PM EST on both days between March 26 and April 2, 2020. As a result, numbers updated later in the afternoon or evening of April 2 will not be reflected in the data.

Below are the findings….

Grenada, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico had the biggest weekly percentage increases in the number of reported positive COVID-19 cases, with jumps of 900% (from 1 to 10 cases), 500% (from 3 to 18), and 386% (from 65 to 316), respectively, during March 26 – April 2, 2020.

26 of the 43 countries or islands in our dataset have seen the number of cases this week double or more than double compared to last week.  

As the country emerged as the first Sub-Saharan African country to make such cuts in its battle to combat coronavirus, the president of Ghana has announced that his government will pay people’s water bills for the next three months as the country continues it ceaseless fight against the deadly global crisis that is showing no immediate signs of coming to any full stop.

As the pandemic continues to take its hold on lives on people throughout the world, in the West African country, President Nana Akufo-Addo made a televised address to the nation where he said that his government has urged the country’s utility companies to ensure a reconnect any disconnected supplies.

Water-supply tankers have now been made available to provide water to the most vulnerable communities. It (Ghana) was also the first country in the region to cut interest rates to reduce its benchmark of 16% to an eight-year low of 14.5% - the first cut since January..

Meanwhile, Ghana’s health workers who are treating patients with coronavirus will receive a boost to their basic pay and all health workers will also be granted with a three month tax holiday.

In a resent account, the national figure there showed a total of 214 cases of people contracting the Covid-19 virus – with five deaths.

The Majority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament and the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensa, has given the assurance that the country will bounce back strong once the coronavirus pandemic passes.

He has also explained the government’s decision to absorb water bills in the wake o the virus.

“Don’t forget that the country will have to bounce back after all these things”, he said, “so you will want to see which recourse will not will not inflict a mortal wound on the economy”, as he hinted that the government is also considering absorbing electricity bills for all Ghanaians as part of the way of fighting the Covid-19 virus.

Earlier the Suame lawmaker hinted that the government had intended to absorb electricity bills or reduce the tariff in the country which was announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa-Addo previously.

“This has been on the table and the cabinet was considering it over the past two weeks”,
Osei Kyei Mensa said. “But a determination will be made and, of course, you would have to look at the circumstances and standing of the country, the national purse now before you make any decision”.

The president earlier announced that the government will absorb water bills of Ghanaians for the next three months to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

 

After inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to this year’s COP26 climate change summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was said to be hugely disappointed after it had to be cancelled due to the worldwide coronavirus epidemic.

 

He (Johnson) was very interested in investing Nigeria’s clean energy sector after the UK won the bid to host COP26 (the 26th Conference of the Parties) having entered into a partnership with European counterparts Italy.

 

A United Nations environmental gathering, which was set to take place in Glasgow, in Scotland, later this year, it was designed to produce a worldwide response to the climate emergency

 

After winning the hosting bid, the UK was set to hold the main COP26 summit, with – as part of the agreement - Italy due to hold preparatory event; which includes a youth event.

 

Prime Minister Johnson’s invited President Buhari follows the recent UK-Africa Investment Summit, in London.

 

The UK’s nominated COP26 president, Claire Perry, said: “The world’s leaders were due to gather to discuss how we can tackle the climate change on a global scale.

 

“And, with it being one of the UK’s most sustainable cities, there was nowhere better than Glasgow – with its great track record for hosting highly successful, high-profile international events like this”.

 

Currently, Nigeria’s’ gross power supply is generating just over 7,000MW – way below the much-required 40,000MW required for the general, every day needs of the country.

 

The west-African country is, however, leading the way into movements to introduce cleaner energy, as they are encouraged to look into wind, solar and recycled waste although getting investment to pursuit those lines is said to be a big struggle.

 

With it being the largest in the world, the United Kingdom’s total off-shore wind power capacity stands at 8,183MW – a third of Europe’s total off-shore resource.

 

It equates to three-times the UK’s electricity needs.

 

On-shore, the UK’s total number for wind turbine power equals 13,532MW.

 

In excess of 30,000 delegates were expected at the Scottish Events Campus for the 26th Conference of the Parties.

 

With CO26 now postponed, revised plans will be set out to reschedule COP26.

After inviting President Muhammed Buhara to the COP26 climate change summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be interested in investing Nigeria’s clean energy sector.

 

The UK won the bid to host COP26 (the 26th Conference of the Parties) after entering into a partnership with Italy.

 

A United Nations environmental gathering, set to take place in Glasgow, in Scotland, later this year, is designed to produce a worldwide response to the climate emergency

 

After winning the hosting bid, the UK is set to hold the main COP26 summit, with – as part of the agreement - Italy due to hold preparatory event; which includes a youth event.

 

Prime Minister Johnson’s invite to President Buhara follows the recent UK-Africa Investment Summit, in London.

 

The UK’s nominated COP26 president, Claire Perry, said: “The world’s leaders are due to gather to discuss how we can tackle the climate change on a global scale.

 

“And, with it being one of the UK’s most sustainable cities, where better than Glasgow – with its great track record for hosting highly successful, high-profile international events like this”.

 

Currently, Nigeria’s’ gross power supply is generating just over 7,000MW – way below the much-required 40,000MW required for the general, every day needs of the country.

 

The west-African country is, however, leading the way into movements to introduce cleaner energy, as they are encouraged to look into wind, solar and recycled waste although getting investment to pursuit those lines is said to be a big struggle.

 

With it being the largest in the world, the United Kingdom’s total off-shore wind power capacity stands at 8,183MW – a third of Europe’s total off-shore resource.

 

It equates to three-times the UK’s electricity needs.

 

On-shore, the UK’s total number for wind turbine power equals 13,532MW.

 

In excess of 30,000 delegates are expected, all permitting, at the Scottish Events Campus for the 26th Conference of the Parties.

Saudi Arabia has asked Muslims from around the world who are planning to take part in the Hajji pilgrimage to delay booking amid uncertainty over the covid-19 epidemic.

 

Hajj minister Mohammed Banten said the kingdom was concerned about the safety of pilgrims and urged people to “wait before concluding contracts”.

 

In excess of 2million people were expected to travel to Mecca and Medina this July and August for the annual gathering.

 

Muslims who are physically able must undertake the Hajji once in a lifetime.