The German government subsidised the expansion of fleece production by local company Innovatec in order to boost production of face masks in the country, Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) announced this on Friday.
“We intend to significantly expand our production capacities for protective equipment in Germany and thus effectively reduce our dependence on imports,’’ said German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, when handing over the first notice of funding for fleece production.
Innovatec would invest more than 11 million euros ($12.5 million) in two new units for fleece production and could manufacture an additional 1,500 tons of fleece in the future, enabling the production of more than 1.5 billion face masks, according to BMWi.
The programme was aiming to stimulate an additional fleece production of 4,000 tons per year.
However, Altmaier stressed that “our long-term goal is to cover the entire value chain, from machines to filter fleece and protective masks’’.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/german-govt-supports-local-fleece-manufacturer-to-boost-face-mask-production-2/
NIBCARD Games to represent Nigeria in world’s largest game exhibition
A Nigerian game company, NIBCARD Games, has been selected to exhibit alongside 40 other countries in Germany.
The company will be attending the world’s largest games’ convention known as SPIEL, which attracted over 200, 000 guests in 2019 in Essen, Germany.
The SPIEL convention will be held from Oct. 22 to Oct. 25, and participants can join for free.
More guests are expected to participate in 2020, which will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the event, Kenechukwu Ogbuagu, NIBCARD’s Creative Director said, “We are also releasing our educational games and puzzle; all of which are designed and made in Nigeria, hence creating economic value.
“Spiel Digital will be an opportunity to show what we do to a bigger audience.”
Ogbuagu also revealed that one of the company’s recent games, ‘Village War: The Calamity’ would be released at the convention.
He said the content would be on “experiencing the folklore, history, mythology and the imagination of the Igbo culture’’.
“We are excited to announce that ‘Village War: The Calamity’ will be released at SPIEL digital 2020,” he said.
Speaking on the importance of the café to the industry, Ogbuagu told NAN that having a serene environment where games could be played could foster social development.
“The café was eventually set up and currently houses over 250 games from around the world; it was created by gaming company, NIBCARD Games with the support of board gamers around the world,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in 2018, Ogbuagu led an online campaign to set up Nigeria’s first board game table top café.
The appeal went viral on social media with positive response from the local and international gaming community helping to raise funds and awareness for the café.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Grace Yussuf
Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France
Italy on Monday announced compulsory virus testing for anyone wishing to enter the country from Paris or other parts of France with high rates of coronavirus infection.
Explaining the decision on Facebook, Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote that the situation in Europe “cannot be underestimated” and called for “great caution.”
“Italy today is doing better than other countries, but great caution is still required in order not to jeopardize the efforts made until now,” he wrote.
Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the pandemic but, after a severe health emergency in March and April, it brought infection rates under control in the following months.
However, virus numbers have crept up again since the second half of July and, with the reopening of schools this month, fears of a possible second wave of infections have increased.
By comparison, Spain has had 300.5, France 192.5 and Germany 25.9.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Felix Ajide
Bayern Munich fans undergo Super Cup coronavirus tests, Munich premier concerned
Bayern Munich fans started undegoing coronavirus tests on Monday ahead of their trip to the European Super Cup match in Budapest, amid grave concern voiced by Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder.
UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich are offering free testing for ticket-holders until Tuesday, ahead of Thursday’s match against Europa League champions Sevilla, and on their return.
Europe’s ruling football body UEFA is sticking to its plan to host the Super Cup final at the Puskas Arena and in front of fans.
Both clubs were allowed to sell 3,000 tickets to their fans as 30 per cent of the 67,000 stadium capacity are to be used.
Club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said 2,100 Bayern Munich fans are expected to travel to Hungary.
A negative test not older than 48 hours is needed to gain entry into the country.
But there have been ticket cancellations after German health authorities declared Budapest a high-risk area.
The number of new coronavirus infections in seven days there has been stable at high value of 100.
Bayern Munich are traveling with a very small delegation, and Soeder is considering stricter quarantine rules in connection with the game.
Soeder said on Monday that everyone should think “carefully” before attending the game, saying: “I really have stomach ache when it comes to the Super Cup.
“It is a very high risk area and we must be very, very careful to not have an additional risk, a football version of Ischgl so to speak,” Soeder said.
He was comparing it to the ski resort in Austria where many holiday-makers were infected with the virus in the past winter.
For now anyone who has been abroad in a risk area for less than 48 hours does not have to be in a two-week quarantine at home.
But Soeder wants to propose to the cabinet on Tuesday that people attending sports and other cultural events abroad should respect the quarantine regulations.
This means football fans would have to go into self-isolation or take appropriate tests after their return, even if they stayed less than 48 hours abroad.
“My appeal, however, will be to reconsider whether [the game] is really necessary. The Super Cup is an exciting game, but not the most important one”, Soeder said.
Due the increasing number of coronavirus infections in Munich, no spectators were allowed at Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga opener against Schalke 04 at the Allianz Arena on Friday.
That was after originally 7,500 were permitted to attend.
Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn praised that decision and, with Cologne also having to play behind closed doors on the weekend, has not ruled out similar short-term steps in the future.
“The city of Munich has done the right thing,” Spahn said on Monday.
“As bitter as it may be for the fans and the football atmosphere, if the regional numbers are increasing, no fans should be allowed in the stadiums.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Why FG is investing massively in railways, seaports — Amaechi
The Federal Government’s focus on railway and seaport development is a necessity to drive the nation’s economy, according to the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi stated this at the virtual 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York on Sunday.
“Many Nigerians have asked why the construction of railways.
“Eighty per cent of the cargoes we have in Nigeria are mostly imported, because the Nigerian economy is yet to generate enough production.
“However, the president is of the view that if we must produce, we must have infrastructure that enables that production, hence the focus on transportation, power and works,” he said.
The minister said although the railway project had started before the President Muhammadu Buhari, the nation’s seaports were not included in the design.
He stated that one of the first things the administration did was to rework the plan to link the rail network to seaports across the country.
“So, we started with the Apapa seaport. We are working there now and I believe by December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port.
“We then added the Warri Seaport, the Calabar seaport and Tin Can Island. We are making sure that all of them include seaports,” Amaechi said.
According to him, contract for the 386km rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Republic of Niger will be awarded on Wednesday.
He added contract award for the 1,500km eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri would follow on Sept. 30.
The minister highlighted other rail line projects in the country, including Abuja to Itakpe, and Itakpe to Warri, which he said had been completed
He said the Warri line would also be extended to the Warri seaport being developed by the federal government.
Amaechi also highlighted the government’s seaport digitalisation programme, which he said would be completed in 2021.
Mr Gurjit Singh, former Indian Ambassador to Germany, Indonesia and the African, described Nigeria as the giant of Africa.
Singh, who is the Chairman of the CII Task Force on Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, said the Nigerian rail sector had the potential to drive the nation’s development as was the case in India.
He urged Nigeria to take advantage of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor initiative to access public private partnership funding for its infrastructure projects.
Organised by United States-based Kaleidoscope Business Project, the event brought together Nigerian state governors, ministers, business executives and prospective foreign investors.
The participants included Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Samuel Ortom of Benue and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara,
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, and the Minister of State for of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Uchechukwu Ogah, also participated.
They took turns to highlight the investment opportunities that abound in their respective states and sectors in addition to the invest facilitation and security measures in place.
Welcoming the participants, the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, said the conference was part of the government’s efforts to open more windows of business opportunities in Nigeria to the world.
“With the opportunities that abound in Nigeria, this Conference aims at identifying those investors that are able, willing and committed to long term direct investment into the Nigerian economy.
“And it goes without saying that those from the Nigerian side are as desirous to meet investors in order to establish mutually beneficial relationships.
“Let me emphasise the need for us to jointly work together to enhance NIgeria economic growth and industrialization on our shared values and sound principles of mutually beneficial partnership and on a win-win business matrix,” Okoyen said.
Edited By: Felix Ajide