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Saturday, 12 October 2019
Saturday, 12 October 2019 12:47

US, China agree on phase one of trade deal

The United States and China agreed on Friday to the first phase of a trade deal covering agricultural purchases, currency and some aspects of intellectual property protections, and averting a threatened tariff hike, but President Donald Trump said more needed to be negotiated.
The preliminary, partial deal was the biggest step toward resolving a 15-month tariff war between the world’s two largest economies that has roiled financial markets, disrupted manufacturing and has slowed global growth.
Trump told reporters at the White House that the two sides are very close to ending the trade war and it will take up to five weeks to get the deal written. He spoke after talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Trump had agreed not to proceed with a hike in tariffs to 30% from 25% on about $250 billion in Chinese goods that was supposed to have gone into effect on Tuesday.
But Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Trump had not made a decision about tariffs that were subject to go into effect in December.
Major U.S. stock indexes, which were trading sharply higher on hopes of some sort of a deal, pared some of the gains after the announcement, with the S&P 500 index .SPX up about 1.4%.
The dollar dropped to a three-month low on Friday, as safe-haven buying eased and risk sentiment improved on optimism about U.S.-China trade negotiations as well as increased chances for an orderly British exit from the European Union.
The dollar, however, cut losses against the euro and pared gains versus the yen after President Donald Trump announced a partial agreement on trade with China, specifically on intellectual property, financial services, and huge agricultural purchases.
Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York, said the dollar’s moves after Trump’s announcement were in line with the typical “buy the rumour, sell the news” reaction.
Published in Business
A US federal appeals court gave the nod Friday to House Democrats’ subpoena demanding a trove of President Trump’s financial documents from one of his accounting firms.
The 2-1 ruling of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is the latest blow to Mr. Trump as he tries to battle an unrelenting impeachment probe.
Judge David S. Tatel, a Clinton appointee to the bench, said the Oversight Committee’s subpoena for records from Mazars USA, the accounting firm, is valid and enforceable.
He rejected the Trump’s claims that the committee was on an untenable fishing expedition, and that it needed a more firm grant of power by Congress to pursue the information.
The subpoena concerns allegations Mr. Trump paid hush money to two porn stars during the 2016 campaign.
The subpoena was issued in April, well before House Democrats announced they were in the midst of an impeachment inquiry of the president, and the fight is not directly related to that inquiry.
But the ruling is likely to boost Democrats’ hopes as they prepare to battle the president on a slew of subpoenas and demands for witnesses to testify in the impeachment inquiry.
Judge Tatel and Judge Patricia Millett, an Obama appointee, said the House’s regular investigative powers are strong enough to demand the most private information from the president.
Published in World
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, in the North-Eastern part of the country.
Drilling of the Kolmani River II Well was flagged-off in a colourful ceremony by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 2 February, 2019, in Bauchi.
The Corporation’s acting group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Samson Makoji, stated that NNPC acquired 435.54km2 of 3D Seismic Data over Kolmani Prospect in the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin.
This was to evaluate Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) Kolmani River 1 Well Discovery of 33 BCF and explore deeper levels.
The well was drilled with “IKENGA RIG 101” to a total depth of 13,701feet encountering oil and gas in several levels. A Drill Stem Test (DST) is currently on-going to confirm the commercial viability and flow of the Kolmani River reservoirs.
The Corporation explained that on Thursday 10th October, 2019, at 18:02hours, one of the reservoirs was perforated and hydrocarbon started flowing to the well head at 21:20hours in which the gas component was flared to prevent air charge around the Rig.
Preliminary reports indicate that the discovery consists of gas, condensate and light sweet oil of API gravity ranging from 38 to 41 found in stacked siliciclastic cretaceous reservoirs of Yolde, Bima Sandstone and Pre-Bima formations.
Computation of hydrocarbon volume is on-going and will be announced in due course.
The Corporation has also acquired additional 1183km2 of 3D seismic data over highly prospective areas of Gongola Basin with a view to evaluating the full hydrocarbon potential of the Basin.
NNPC has deployed world class cutting-edge technologies including Surface Geochemistry, Ground Gravity/Magnetic, Stress Field Detection, Full Tensor Gradiometry aerial surveys to de-risk exploration in the frontier basins. The NNPC plans to drill additional wells for full evaluation of the hydrocarbon volume in the Gongola Basin.
During the spud-in ceremony of Kolmani River II, President Muhammadu stated the commitment of his administration to the exploration for Oil and Gas in the frontier basins in the entire length and breadth of the country. The basins include: the Benue Trough, Chad Basin, Sokoto and Bida Basins.
He also stated that attention would be given to the Dahomey and Anambra Basins which have already witnessed oil and gas discoveries.
The discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantity in the Gongola Basin will attract foreign investment, generate employment for people to earn income and increase government revenues.
Published in Business
Saturday, 12 October 2019 08:19

Trump’s acting homeland secretary quits

U.S.Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan would step down from his position, President Donald Trump announced Friday night.
McAleenan was appointed by Trump in April following the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen.
“Kevin McAleenan has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down,” tweeted Trump, who tapped McAleenan to lead the department earlier this year.
“Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector,” Trump tweeted. “Congratulations Kevin, on a job well done!”
Trump said that he will announce McAleenan’s successor next week, adding: “Many wonderful candidates!”
Published in World
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says in the first half of 2019, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) generated N691.11 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The NBS said this in its “IGR at State Level for Quarter One and Quarter Two, 2019” report obtained from its website on Friday in Abuja.
It said that compared to N596.91 billion recorded in the second half of 2018, there was an increase of N94.2 billion, indicating a positive growth of 15.78 percent.
The report added that 31 states and the FCT recorded growth in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), while five states recorded decline in IGR in the period under review.
According to NBS, the net Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation in the first half of the year is put at N1.20 trillion, while the total revenue available to the states including the FCT is put at N1.89 trillion.
It, however, said that the value of foreign debt stood at 4.23 billion dollars, while domestic debt hit N3.85 trillion at the end of 2018.
The bureau said that the IGR was derived from Ministries, Departments and Agencies’ (MDAs) revenues, Direct Assessment, Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Road Taxes and other Taxes.
The data showed that Lagos state led the collection table with N263.25 billion, while Rivers collected N151.8 billion, Delta N145 billion, Akwa Ibom N106.7 billion and FCT N72.8 billion.
Bayelsa state generated N71.6 billion, Kano N58.5 billion, Kaduna N54.7 billion, Ogun N48 billion, Edo N47.3 billion, Ondo N47.2 billion, Oyo N42.1 billion, Sokoto N38.8 billion, Benue N38.1 billion, Imo N37.4 billion and Kwara N36.6 billion.
Others are Niger state with N36.1 billion, Enugu N35.7 billion, Katsina N35.4 billion, Cross River N33.9 billion, Jigawa N33.9 billion, Bauchi N33.7 billion, Borno N33.6 billion, Abia N33.5 billion, Anambra N32.2 billion and Kogi N31.6 billion.
It added that Plateau state generated N30.7 billion, Kebbi N30.3 billion, Adamawa N28.2 billion, Yobe N27.2 billion, Zamfara N27.1 billion, Nasarawa N26.6 billion, Ebonyi N26.5 billion, Taraba N25.7 billion, Ekiti N25 billion, Gombe N21.7 billion and Osun N20.2 billion.
The recorded IGR made by the states excludes the monthly allocation received from FAAC.
It also reports that the states IGR data was computed by the NBS and the Joint Tax Board from official records and submissions by the 36 State Boards of Internal Revenue.
These submissions were then validated and authenticated by the Joint Tax Board chaired by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
The board has the NBS and the 36 State Boards of Internal Revenue as members.
Published in Bank & Finance
Saturday, 12 October 2019 07:12

India govt trains 529 Nigerians

The Indian government has so far trained 529 Nigerians under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) in the past three years.
Mr. Abhay Thakur, High Commissioner of India, disclosed this at the 55th anniversary of the ITEC Day in Abuja.
He said in the 2019/2020 ITEC year, the Indian government is offering about 14,000 scholarships to partner countries with Nigeria having 250 slots.
“I am happy to inform you that during the ongoing ITEC year 2019-2020, government of India is offering around 14,000 scholarships to the partner countries, out of these, 250 slots are available for Nigeria, 32 for Cameroon, 10 for Benin, 5 for Chad and 5 for ECOWAS.
” In the last 3 years Nigeria has utilised 529 ITEC slots, Benin 20, Cameroon 90 and Chad 21.
“I would add that the number of slots can be increased further if we see significant, say about 80per cent utilisation of existing ITEC slots.
“Since the inception of ITEC programme in 1964 more than 200,000 professionals from across the world has participated in various training programme.
“I am particularly pleased to inform that, against the target announced at the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in New Delhi in October 2015 that India will train 50,000 people in different areas.
“We have already trained more than 40,000 persons in four years. We had also made a commitment of USD 10billion in Lines of Credit to Africa and we have crossed 6.5billion.
“I feel delighted that we have been able to add much substance to our capacity building assistance to Africa through the ITEC programme,” he said.
The envoy said short term and long term degree scholarships have been added to the ITEC programme under the Africa- Specific IAFS scholarship scheme, as well as educational programmes.
Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi said that India and Nigeria have gone a long way in their diplomatic relations since the pre-colonial independence of Nigeria.
Magashi, who was represented by the Director, Air Force Affairs Department, Mr. Ashibel Utsu, said that most Nigerians born in the early 70s were delivered by Indian doctors and taught by Indian teachers.
” India and Nigeria have a lot in common in terms of our cultural diversity, population, size and general way of life.
” It is therefore encouraging that the friendship and goodwill that have existed between both nations are being sustained through the programme and other collaborations from Nigeria.
” I sincerely commend the Indian government for these efforts and the annual hosting of the ITEC day, which brings alumni together to share their various experiences,” he said.
Published in World
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