Itohoimo Udosen

Itohoimo Udosen

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Official Spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu has revealed that some developed countries find it difficult to render assistance to Nigeria because they believe the country is rich.

Garba Shehu issued this statement on behalf of President Buhari while receiving letters of credence from newly appointed diplomats of three nations namely, India, Kuwait, and Namibia.

According to him the country is viewed as being richly blessed in crude oil as a result of its participation in Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

He said: Nigeria’s continuous support of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) policies, sometimes, discourages assistance from developed countries, with wrong assumptions that the country is rich.

He added that Nigeria will “appreciate support in education, technology, infrastructure and projects that directly impact on livelihood of people”.

Snakes have been found in Liberian President George Weah’s office, forcing him to work from his private residence, the BBC has learnt.

Press secretary Smith Toby told the BBC that on Wednesday two black snakes were found in the Foreign Affairs Ministry building, his official place of work.

All staff have been told to stay away until 22 April.

“It’s just to make sure that crawling and creeping things get fumigated from the building,” Mr Toby said.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts the office of the president, so it did an internal memo asking the staff to stay home while they do the fumigation,” he said.

The office of the president has been based in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since a fire in 2006 gutted the nearby presidential mansion.

“The snakes were never killed,” Mr Toby said. “There was a little hole somewhere [through which] they made their way back.”

Police and presidential security were seen guarding Mr Weah’s residence in the capital Monrovia. A fleet of vehicles including escorts jeeps were parked outside.

Mr Toby said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs started to fumigate on Friday.

“That building’s been there for years now, and [because of] the drainage system, the possibility of having things like snakes crawling in that building was high,” he said.

The president is definitely returning to his office on Monday after the fumigation whether or not the snakes are found and killed, Mr Toby said.

A suit filed by Spectrum Wireless Communications Limited (SWCL) challenging the sales of telecommunications firm, 9mobile has been dismissed by a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The presiding Judge, Justice C.J. Aneke on Wednesday said the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to maintain the action against Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS)

The judge upheld the preliminary objection by EMTS, which denied any direct shareholding relationship between it and SWCL, to give the plaintiff the right to challenge 9mobile’s sale.

SWCL had sued EMTS in a suit that had United Capital Trustees Limited, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission as co-defendants.

SWCL claims that it acquired indirect holding of 30 per cent of the shares of EMTS after a private placement and was allotted 4,041,096 Class A shares.

Striker Olivier Giroud said on Wednesday he has been approached by other clubs to play for them next season, but he added he wanted to extend his stay Chelsea.

The Frenchman however pointed out that staying at Stamford Bridge would depend on if manager Maurizio Sarri could offer him regular first team opportunities.

Giroud, who is the top scorer in the UEFA Europa League with nine goals, is out of contract at the end of the campaign.

Chelsea however have an option to extend it for another 12 months.

The 32-year-old Frenchman has started just seven English Premier League games this season.

He has seen limited opportunities since the arrival of Argentina international striker Gonzalo Higuain in January.

“Trust me (to agree that) I’m very frustrated when I’m not on the pitch, but I just don’t want to show it,” Giroud told a news conference in London ahead of Chelsea’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague on Thursday.

“You need to keep that frustration for you, and transform that into positive energy on the pitch.

“I’m not happy to play the second role. That’s why I said next year I will need to have a more important role to play in the team.”

When asked whether he has already had offers to go elsewhere, Giroud added: “Yes but I won’t reveal that now. The priority is Chelsea.

“With what I’ve achieved here, there is no reason they won’t give me one more year. But I need to be happy, also.”

Chelsea hold a 1-0 advantage over Slavia Prague from the away leg, courtesy of a late headed goal by defender Marcos Alonso.

They will be without defender Antonio Rudiger, who limped out of Sunday’s 2-0 league defeat against Liverpool at Anfield with a knee injury.

However, Chelsea’s assistant coach Gianfranco Zola expects the German international to return for the league trip to top-four rivals Manchester United on April 28.

“It looks not as bad as we thought, luckily. When he came off limping, we were worried,” Zola said.

“Yes, there is a strong possibility that we see him (against Manchester United). He’s a warrior and won’t want to miss a game like that.

“The next few days will be very important to see if he can continue recovering.”

Former President Jimmy Carter told a church congregation this weekend that he had spoken with President Donald Trump about China on Saturday, and said the commander in chief was worried that Beijing had outpaced its global rivals.

According to Emma Hurt, a reporter for NPR affiliate WABE, Carter spoke of the call during his regular Sunday School lesson at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.

Carter, 94, said Trump was worried that “China is getting ahead of us,” and suggested the president was right to be concerned.

He told the congregation that Trump feared China’s growing economic strength. Economic modeling indicated that China would overtake the U.S. as the world’s strongest economy by 2030, and many experts have said that we were already living in what has been dubbed the “Chinese Century.”

Carter said he did not “really fear that time, but it bothers President Trump and I don’t know why. I’m not criticizing him this morning,” he added, to laughs from fellow churchgoers.

Carter—who normalized diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing in 1979—suggested that China’s breakneck growth had been facilitated by sensible investment and buoyed by peace.

“Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?” Carter asked. “None. And we have stayed at war.” The U.S., he noted, has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history, making the country “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” Carter said. This is, he said, because of America’s tendency to force other nations to “adopt our American principles.”

In China, meanwhile, the economic benefits of peace were clear to the eye. “How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?” he asked. While China has some 18,000 miles of high-speed rail, the U.S. has “wasted, I think, $3 trillion” on military spending. “It’s more than you can imagine. China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way.”

“And I think the difference is if you take $3 trillion and put it in American infrastructure you’d probably have $2 trillion leftover. We’d have high-speed railroad. We’d have bridges that aren’t collapsing, we’d have roads that are maintained properly. Our education system would be as good as that of say South Korea or Hong Kong,” Carter told the congregation.

Before he left the pulpit, Carter noted, “I wasn’t comparing my country adversely to China. I was just pointing that out because I happened to get a phone call last night.”

The Trump administration remains locked in a costly trade war with China, though Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Saturday the end could be in sight. “I think we’re hopeful that we’re getting close to the final round of concluding issues,” Mnuchin told reporters, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, military tensions remain over Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea and its continued insistence that the independent island nation of Taiwan will eventually fall back under Beijing’s control.

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property on Wednesday said it had recovered the sum of 20 million dollars from one of the commercial banks in the country.

The panel’s Head, Media and Communication, Ms Lucie-Ann Laha, in a statement quoted its chairman Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, as making the disclosure during a meeting with Prof. Muhammad Al-Amin, the Managing Director of Federal Housing Authority (FHA).

The money is said to be part of the 232 million dollars unremitted to the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) by an unnamed agency.

The chairman refrained from naming the bank to avert customer panic, and other negative effects on the bank as well as the nation’s economy.

He said that “While investigating illegal charges and deductions by commercial banks from 2009 to 2015, the panel had inadvertently stumbled upon 232 million dollars deposited in a commercial bank by a government agency.

“The agency subsequently failed to transfer the money to the TSA Account in line with government directives.”

Obono-Obla said that the bank in question had owned up to the impropriety and agreed to pay back the money in installments of 10 million dollars per month.

“The bank pleaded that bulk deduction would cripple it.”

He added that as demonstration of good faith, the bank had paid an initial 20 million dollars to the Panel’s TSA Recovery Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Meanwhile, the Chairman has promised that the panel would assist the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to recover its property illegally appropriated by fraudulent individuals.

Obono-Obla, who re-echoed President Muhammadu Buhari’s position that corruption would always fight back, assured FHA’s Managing Director of the Panel’s commitment to deliver on its promise.

The MD said that the agency had also uncovered unwholesome dealings which resulted in zero documentation of about 800 houses in the Authority’s Gwarinpa Estate alone.

“We have decided to modernise operations of the agency, following which the FHA had studied, improved upon, adopted and deployed the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) software in an effort to computerise data using the Gwarinpa FHA Estate as a pilot.

Al-Amin also added that efforts to correct some irregularities unearthed by the exercise and recover property from illegal possessors had met with stiff resistance from within and outside the agency.

Former Peruvian President Alan García has died after shooting himself as police arrived at his home to arrest him over bribery allegations.

Mr García was rushed to hospital in the capital, Lima. His death was confirmed by current President Martín Vizcarra, BBC reports.

A crowd of supporters gathered outside the hospital and were held back by a line of police.

Mr García was accused of taking bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht – claims he denied.

Officers had been sent to arrest him in connection with the allegations.

Interior Minister Carlos Morán told reporters that when police arrived, Mr García asked to make a phone call and went into a room and closed the door.

Minutes later, a shot rang out, Mr Morán said. Police forced the door open and found Mr García sitting on a chair with a bullet wound to his head.

Mr García underwent emergency surgery in the Casimiro Ulloa hospital in Lima, but to no avail.

In a post on Twitter, Mr Vizcarra sent he was “shocked” by the former president’s death and sent his condolences to his family.

Mr García served as president from 1985 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2011.

Investigators say he took bribes from Odebrecht during his second term in office, linked to a metro line building project in the capital.

Odebrecht has admitted paying almost $30m (£23m) in bribes in Peru since 2004.

But Mr García maintained he was the victim of political persecution, writing in a tweet on Tuesday that there was “no clue or evidence” against him.

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked for a comprehensive “status reports on policies, programmes and projects” from ministers on their ministries, departments and agencies.

Buhari gave the order yesterday as the countdown begins for the end of his first term on 28 May. The following day, he will be sworn in to begin a new tenure of four years.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, the ministers have up till 24 April, to submit their reports to the Presidential Audit Committee in the office of the Vice President.

A circular to this effect issued by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, also requested members of the Federal Executive Council to “ensure that all outstanding memoranda they intend to present to the Federal Executive Council are submitted to the Cabinet Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, not later than Tuesday, 30th April, 2019.”

The circular also informed members that the “9th and 10th meetings of the Council have been rescheduled for Thursday, 25th April and Thursday, 2nd May, 2019 respectively” in view of the Easter break and May Day celebrations

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