Latin America’s coronavirus cases exceed 6m



Coronavirus cases in Latin America, the region of the world worst-affected by the pandemic, exceeded six million on Friday and continued to accelerate, according to a Reuters tally.

This is as most of its nations begin to relax lockdown measures.

The region, which has reported an average of more than 86,000 daily infections of the new coronavirus in the last seven days and more than 2,600 COVID-19 deaths, reached 6,000,005 confirmed cases by Friday evening and 237,360 deaths.

That accounts for just under one-third of the world’s total case-load and a similar share of reported deaths from the pandemic.

The Pan American Health Organisation, the regional arm of the World Health Organisation, warned this month of an increase in other diseases due to the saturation of health services and the suspension of routine vaccination campaigns as a result of the pandemic.

The International Monetary Fund predicted in June that the regional economy would contract 9.4 per cent this year.

The region’s worst-affected country is Brazil, which has the most cases in the world after the United States, and 15 per cent of the world’s total.

Peru and Chile also have the highest case-loads and number of deaths in the world per 100,000 inhabitants, of countries with more than 100,000 cases.

The region’s climb from five million to six million cases took 11 days, one day less than it took to reach the previous million.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)


FRC partners agencies on monitoring, evaluation, project verification



The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) says it will implement a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some agencies to ensure monitoring, evaluation and project verification for the commission.

This formed part of the recommendations of a communique issued at the end of a week-long capacity building workshop organised by the FRC from Sept. 14 to Sept. 19.

The communique, made available by Mr Bede Anyanwu, the Head, Strategic Communications Directorate, signed by the Acting Chairman, FRC, Mr Victor Muruako.

The workshop had as its theme: “Maintaining Best Global Practices in Project Execution in a Post-COVID-19 Economy”.

Participants at the workshop recommended that an MoU be implemented by the FRC, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) and the Society of Project Management and Development Professionals International.

The MoU is aimed at developing a template for monitoring, evaluation, and verification of projects for the commission.

It was also recommended that the FRC launch a critical studies of the short-term effects, cost implications, opportunity or value loss and long-term impact of the present status quo.

It stated that this would pave way for integrated and sustainable funds allocation and also develop an enduring framework for monitoring and evaluation of public sector projects in the country.

It said the studies would promote the commission’s mandate to undertake fiscal and financial studies, analysis and diagnosis in line with international good practices and disseminate to the public.

The workshop also suggested that the FRC conduct an in-depth investigation into the incidence of abandoned or failed capital projects in the country.

“The investigation is expected to identify their causes, document them, and make the report accessible and available to the public and the government.’’

The participants further recommended that the ministries, departments and agencies should be online based and be established in line with the project management practices and software systems to ensure thorough monitoring and evaluation.

They also reiterated the need for the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 to be amended to provide sanctions for scheduled defaulting corporations.

It was further suggested the need for the commission to be adequately funded and trained to carry out independent monitoring and evaluation of projects.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN
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King of Jordan, Abdullah seeks end to Palestinian-Israeli conflict



Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Tuesday that the only way to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was through the two-state solution in accordance with international law and the United Nations (UN) resolutions.

“The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the one conflict that started with the UN’s formation and that continues to fester to this very day,” Abdullah told the United Nations General Assembly.

He added that the only way for a just and lasting peace “is an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state on the 1976 lines with Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in mutual peace and security.

“We cannot resolve this conflict without working to preserve Jerusalem for all humanity as a unifying city of peace.”

He called on the UN not to rest “as long as injustice and lack of peace persist anywhere in the world.

“The UN must not rest, we must not rest,” he added.

According to him, the coronavirus has exposed the cracks in the global system.

He called for rethinking the role of the UN and other multilateral organisations “to become more impactful in dealing with challenges old and new, be they pandemics or regional conflicts.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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Economic recovery: CBN reduces Monetary Policy Rate



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday announced reduction of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 12.5 per cent to 11.5 per cent.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor made the announcement while presenting the communiqué the 275th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Tuesday.

Emefiele said that the decision to reduce the MPR was made to sustain economic recovery efforts and to arrest rising inflation.

He projected that the country could enter into recession on the third quarter, while there would be growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 or first quarter of 2021.

The CBN governor said that the committee also retained Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent.

He said that recent inflationary pressures were not driven by monetary policies rather as a result of structural policies.

He called on commercial banks to respond to the reduction of deposit rate by also reducing interest rates on borrowing to encourage borrowing for investments.

He said air and road transportation, accommodation, food services were worst hit by the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He called for more aggressive funding of those sectors to engender economic growth.

“Management was directed to ensure that deposit money banks respond to lowering of interest on deposit rate by aggressively lowering cost of credit to borrowers.

“Sectors like air and road transportation, entertainment and accommodation, food services and education were most adversely affected by the lockdown.

“Committee suggested that more effort be put in place to continue to provide relief and funding to those sub sectors to catalyse growth,’’ he said.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN
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Putin calls for space peace treaty, offers coronavirus vaccine to UN



Speaking to the United Nations via video link Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for an international treaty to prohibit weapons in space and offered Russia’s coronavirus vaccine to UN employees for free.

Putin made the call while speaking to the United Nations General Assembly via video link.

“Russia is ready to provide the UN with all the necessary qualified assistance.

“In particular, we are offering to provide our vaccine free of charge, for the voluntary vaccination of the staff of the UN and its offices,” Putin said.

He also said that the global economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic had renewed the need for removing trade sanctions.

Russia has been under crippling sanctions by Western powers since it annexed a part of neighbouring Ukraine six years ago.

“Freeing the world trade from barriers, bans, restrictions, and illegitimate sanctions would be of great help in revitalising global growth and reducing unemployment,” Putin said, based on a transcript published on the Kremlin’s website.

While emphasising the need for a treaty to ensure peace in outer space, Putin said: “Russia is putting forward an initiative to sign a binding agreement between all the leading space powers that would provide for the prohibition of the placement of weapons in outer space, threat or use of force against outer space objects.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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