Items filtered by date: Friday, 02 November 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday in Abuja that his administration will continue to implement policies that will make Nigeria’s economy, which is already looking good, better.

Speaking at an audience with Mr Jesper Kamp, the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to Nigeria, President Buhari said Nigeria welcomes further strengthening of relations with countries, especially in the areas of agriculture and trade.

President Buhari told the Danish Ambassador he was pleased that relations between Nigeria and Denmark have remained strong; noting that in the economic sphere there is still some more work to do.

‘‘The Nigerian economy is looking good and we look forward to making it better,’’ the President told the Danish Ambassador after receiving his Letter of Credence.

President Buhari who also received Letters of Credence from Major General (Retd) Waqar Kingravi, the new High Commissioner of Pakistan to Nigeria, Mr Babacar Ndiaye, the new Ambassador of Senegal to Nigeria and Mr Vyacheslav Beskosky, the new Ambassador of Belarus to Nigeria, told them that Nigeria valued the existing cordial and friendly relations with their countries.

The President described the long-standing military cooperation between Nigeria and Pakistan as very commendable and beneficial to both countries.

‘‘Given the vast experience of the Pakistani military, your commitment in assisting us to develop our military is commendable,’’ he told the Pakistani High Commissioner:

The Nigerian leader recounted that as a former military officer, several of his colleagues who trained in Pakistan still have very fond memories of the country.

Receiving the Senegalese Ambassador, President Buhari commended President Macky Sall of Senegal for his roles in the progress achieved in the political process in Guinea Bissau.

Noting that he was aware of the economic progress taking place in Senegal, President Buhari stressed the need for stability in the West African region to ensure rapid socio-economic development, particularly in the key areas of education, health and infrastructure.

‘‘The bigger we are the bigger the problems, so we must continue to do our best to surmount our challenges in the region,’’ President Buhari, who is also the current Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government, told the Senegalese envoy.

In his audience with the Belarus Ambassador, President Buhari harped on the need for improved economic ties, while commending the Eastern European country for accommodating international students from Nigeria in their tertiary institutions.

The President wished the four Ambassadors very successful tenures, reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to continue to partner with their countries in areas of mutual concerns.

 

Source: PmNews

Published in Economy
Durban just added an impressive architectural and engineering marvel to its portfolio of landmarks. The Mount Edgecombe highway interchange was officially opened by transport minister Blade Nzimande and the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) on Wednesday.
 
The Mount Edgecombe Interchange linking the N2 and M41 highways.
The interchange boasts a first for Africa, according to Sanral CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma in an interview with the state broadcaster. He says it features the continent’s longest flyover ramp that stretches for one kilometre, linking the M41 eastbound with the N2 southbound, connecting surrounding areas like Phoenix and Umhlanga with Durban.
 
The Mt Edgecombe Interchange's flyover ramp stretches for about 1km and is dubbed Africa's longest.
 
The agency undertook major upgrades to the interchange from April 2013 to ease "chronic congestion of traffic" in the area, notorious for long waiting times, especially during the festive season, when South Africans flock to the coastal region.
 
The agency intends cutting travel time between the areas the interchange links from 25 minutes to one minute on average. The old interchange had traffic lights increasing waiting time; it has now been converted to a completely free-flowing system with limited stops, says Henk Kaal, resident engineer on the project.
 
 
Source: Business Insider
Published in Engineering
The Russian Federation and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed their readiness to expand their scope of partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
 
In a statement by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation said the partnership will be in the upstream, midstream, downstream and services sectors to further boost their various economies.
 
Speaking after a working visit to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, the Russian Federation Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, said the proposed synergy was for the betterment of citizens of both nations.
 
He added that the visit was to consolidate the collaboration and partnership with the state oil firm in ensuring the growth and development of the Nigerian oil and gas industry for collective interests.
 
The statement quoted him as saying, “With deep thanks and appreciation of further cooperation between the Russia Oil and Gas Companies and NNPC that will bring positive results of our joint cooperation.”
 
Shebarshin said the two countries have had a long history and would continue to expand their business interests as part of efforts to improve the standard of living of citizens.
 
Speaking in a similar vein during his courtesy call to Baru, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Obaid Mohammed Aitaffag, said his country would continue to partner the corporation in the development of the downstream and services sector of the petroleum industry.
 
“It was a pleasure to meet the NNPC team led by Dr. Baru. I hope that our discussion brings closer ties between UAE and Nigeria in the areas of Oil and Gas,” Aitaffag said.
 
It would be recalled that the Russian Federation, as an oil producing nation, joined other countries that make up the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the landmark declaration of cooperation to stabilize global supply of oil to the international market.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Published in Business
Although South Africa’s poaching levels fell slightly 1,028 rhino were poached in 2107. We lose up to three rhino a day to poaching; if this rate continues the species will be extinct by 2025. (Jay Caboz)
Reopening the trade on rhinoceros and tiger parts is looking more and more like a betrayal across two continents.
China has defended its move to allow such trade for the first time in 25 years, but conservationists are appalled.
According to a South African wildlife photographer and investigator, the fix is in-between China and South Africa's Wildlife Department - the professionals who are supposed to be protecting the endangered animals.
 
China has quickly found itself on the defensive after copping a flurry of global hate mail over its remarkable decision to betray a long-standing ban on the rhinoceros horn and tiger bone trade.
The state Council - the cabinet of the Chinese government and the power base of Premier Li Keqiang - made public a decision to permit the controlled sale of rhino and tiger products, tossing out a 25-year ban and seemingly walking back on China's recent commitments to wildlife protection.
 
Only last year China finally banned the trade in ivory, extending a much-needed lifeline to endangered species.
 
It seemed like a landmark moment after years of being kicked about for running amok with animal welfare. Here was an example of China adopting a path of engagement on universal values through multinational consensus.
 
But on Monday, the legislative body quietly announced that limited trade in body parts obtained from "farmed rhino and tigers" would be OK to use for scientific, medical, and cultural requirements, according to Agence France Presse.
 
The Council announced:
 
"Rhino, tigers and their related products used in scientific research, including collecting genetic resource materials, will be reported to and approved by authorities. Specimens of skin and other tissues and organs of rhino and tigers can only be used for public exhibitions.
 
Rhino horns and tiger bones used in medical research or in healing can only be obtained from farmed rhino and tigers, not including those raised in zoos. Powdered forms of rhino horn and bones from dead tigers can only be used in qualified hospitals by qualified doctors recognised by the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine."
 
Needless to say this is bad news if you are a rhino or a tiger.
 
A few years back, the price for rhino horn peaked at around $65,000 (about R950,000) per kilogram. That makes it more valuable than gold and many times more valuable than elephant ivory.
 
Opening trade and creating a demand will most likely place pressure on supply, risking sourcing moving beyond farmed animals to the remaining endangered populations.
 
While the council did not specify what those medical, cultural or scientific requirements might be, it is widely understood the high restorative value Chinese-medicine practitioners place in the powdered or condensed forms of exotic animal parts. The rhino horn and tiger parts have obvious connections to virility and strength and have been used without Western scientific basis on ailments from back pain to arthritis.
 
The horn is made of keratin, like human hair and fingernails, but has been associated with a salve for fever, a miracle cancer compound and a very costly and roundly ineffective hangover cure.
 
Of course, what drives its ongoing value and desirability is its potency as a status symbol.
 
The foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on Tuesday that China's 1993 ban on rhino horn and tiger bone products did not take into account the "reasonable needs of reality," adding that China has improved its "law enforcement mechanism."
 
Those comments have been edited out of Kang's.
 
Unsurprisingly, animal advocates have been stupefied by the decision to open trade up for scientific research, education, and medical grounds.
 
"The resumption of a legal market for these products is an enormous setback to efforts to protect tigers and rhinos in the wild," Margaret Kinnaird, of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), said in a statement on Monday.
 
And Iris Ho, a senior programme specialist at the International Humane Society said the Chinese government "has signed a death warrant" for imperilled rhino and tigers.
 
"This is a devastating blow to our ongoing work to save species from cruel exploitation and extinction, and we implore the Chinese government to reconsider."
 
Brown envelopes?
But perhaps the most deflating critique came from the South African writer, investigative journalist, and photographer Don Pinnock, who  connected the timing of China's lifting of the ban with a desire in South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs to eke out some wiggle room for itself on wildlife trade.
 
"Could it be synchronicity or careful planning that this week saw China announce that it would legalise domestic trade in antique tiger bone and rhino horn - reversing a 25-year-old ban?" he wrote in an article published by Daily Maverick.
 
By opening to the trade on bone and horn products from captive-bred animals, Pinnock reckons the very officials in place to protect animals at the source, are eyeing potential profits out of China.
 
"The department's approach is what it calls "demand management.' It sounds smart, but it's nuts."
 
While there are a seeming handful of rhino left in the wild, South Africa and other African governments have encouraged the private farming of animals like the rhino and tiger.
 
The World Wildlife Fund says there are fewer than 4,000 tigers living in the wild, but there are some 6,000 captive tigers, farmed in about 200 government-sanctioned locations across China.
 
"Selling legal horn will signal that it's ethically okay to buy it, boosting sales. The stocks of the few rhino farmers and sale of state stockpiles would soon be overwhelmed and poaching of wild rhinos - already shockingly high - would rise."
 
The only sensible approach to this problem is to reduce demand in every way possible.
 
"Without detailing how it intends to do so, the department told South Africa's parliament it would instead attempt to manipulate Asian consumer behaviour to choose legal horn over poached horn. Plans for this mammoth PR task were not in evidence, but maybe the department knew China planned to legalise bone and horn sales - we also sell China lion bones," Pinnock added.
 
What appears to be happening at the other end of China's trade link, is the South African wildlife department is angling to increase the sale of rhino horn with one hand while coming down on poaching with the other - eliminate illegal trade, but at the same time, stimulate a parallel legal market.
 
In simple terms, stop the bad guys so the good guys can make a profit.
 
 
Source: Daily Maverick 
 
Published in Business

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