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Wednesday, 27 March 2019
The Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA) has expressed displeasure with the alleged violent attack of Nigerians in the latest wave of xenophobic attacks on foreigners in that country.
The Acting Secretary of NUSA, Collins Mgbo, gave the condemnation in a letter addressed to the South African authorities, a copy of which made available to the News men in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said the xenophobic attacks on foreigners started on March 24 in Brits, North West Province and Durban, Kwazulu-Natal province.
“NUSA is using this medium to bring to your attention of attacks on our nationals in Brits, North West Province which started on Sunday, March 24 2019.
“Our people are living in panic and fear of more attacks by a coalition of gang members called Russians and Taxi Drivers.
“Information available to our disposal revealed that shops and properties of Nigerians were damaged and burnt during the attacks,” he said.
Mgbo said that seven Nigerians were injured in the on going attacks with three of them hospitalised having sustained life threatening injuries.
He said that intervention from governments of South Africa and Nigeria was urgently needed, especially as the situation could easily escalate further.
“Also, earlier in the day, foreign nationals in Durban area of Kwazulu-Natal Province were attacked, beaten and their properties burnt by angry locals.
“Over 100 foreigners have taken refuge at the police station. Some of the displaced foreigners are Nigerians.
“As at the time of this report, no death of any Nigerian has been recorded; even though two foreign nationals have been reported dead,” Mgbo said in the letter.
Mgbo said that a high level delegation led by NUSA would soon engage stakeholders as well as groups that allegedly carried out the assualt with the aim of finding a lasting solution.
Published in World
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted that foreign lobbyists won't influence his country's gun laws, after an investigative report alleged the country's far-right One Nation party had sought donations and guidance from the National Rifle Association of America (NRA).
In an Al Jazeera documentary broadcast Monday, an undercover reporter filmed meetings between people who belong to the two groups. In multiple sessions, recorded secretly, NRA representatives advised on general tactics to weaken tough firearm restrictions. Al Jazeera says its reporter spent three years undercover to gather information.
One Nation was hoping to raise up to $20 million in political donations from supporters of the United States gun lobby, Al Jazeera reported. Last year, Australia passed legislation banning all foreign donations to domestic political parties beginning January 2019. 
The meetings took places in September 2018, before the legislation came into effect.
CNN has not independently confirmed Al Jazeera's reporting. CNN has contacted both the NRA and One Nation for comment.
"Reports that senior One Nation officials courted foreign political donations from the US gun lobby to influence our elections and undermine our gun laws that keep us safe are deeply concerning," the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter.
"Thankfully, our (government) has also made laws to criminalize taking foreign political donations so foreign lobbyists cannot seek to influence our politics."
Responding to the allegations Tuesday, One Nation chief of staff James Ashby and politician Steve Dickson claimed Al Jazeera was working for the Qatari government to undermine Australian democracy. "This is skullduggery at its worst. This is the very first time Australia has witnessed political interference from a foreign government," Ashby said.
Both men denied they had sought funds from US groups for One Nation, saying instead they were trying to learn political techniques, but they admitted to knowing the Al Jazeera journalist and traveling to the US with him where they met with the NRA among others.
Ashby said that during filmed discussions about getting millions of dollars from US donors he had been drunk. "We'd arrived in America, we'd got on the sauce, we'd had a few drinks and that's where those discussions took place. Not with any potential donors," he said.
But Morrison rejected Ashby's explanation at a press conference Wednesday. "Being drunk is no excuse for trading away Australia's gun laws to foreign bidders," he said.
In response to the documentary, One Nation reported Al Jazeera to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for being foreign agents and interfering in Australia's political process.
The AFP confirmed to CNN it had received the complaint.
Anti-immigrant policies
Founded in 1997, the One Nation party has a small number of elected representatives in federal and state parliaments across Australia. Its policies tend to be anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim and have sought to relax the country's gun laws.
At the 2016 national election, for example, One Nation called for security cameras to be placed in all Australian mosques.
The documentary comes at a sensitive time for both Australia and One Nation. An Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, is in custody accused of shooting dead 50 people in a terrorist attack at two New Zealand mosques on March 15.
In response, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles would be banned across the country. Parliament is expected to act within weeks.
It mirrored a decision by Australian Prime Minister John Howard in 1996 to ban a wide range of guns after a mass shooting in the state of Tasmania, which killed 35 people. The country has not suffered another such mass shooting since.
Published in World

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday announced that it has reduced the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 14% to 13.50%.

This was disclosed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele during a press conference at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja.

Government in a bid to regulate the affairs of the economy would always use MPR as one of its instruments; which is an interest rate at which CBN lends to commercial banks and other clients.

This is the first time the MPR will be reduced after it was raised by 200 basis points from 12 percent to 14 percent since July 2016.

The MPC, however, held all other key parameters, including the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) which is a 22.5 per cent remained unchanged.

He stated that the move was expedient in order to stabilize the nation’s economy and reduce the rate of unemployment.

Published in Bank & Finance
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