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  •  Prof Linus Asuquo the Director General National Metallurgical Development Centre NMDC says scraping or abandoning Ajaokuta Steel Company will be a great waste Asuquo made the observation while addressing newsmen on Monday in Abuja He said that reviving the steel company would be the best option for the country rather than neglecting the project to waste hellip
    Scraping, abandoning Ajaokuta steel coy will be a waste — D-G
     Prof Linus Asuquo the Director General National Metallurgical Development Centre NMDC says scraping or abandoning Ajaokuta Steel Company will be a great waste Asuquo made the observation while addressing newsmen on Monday in Abuja He said that reviving the steel company would be the best option for the country rather than neglecting the project to waste hellip
    Scraping, abandoning Ajaokuta steel coy will be a waste — D-G
    Economy13 hours ago

    Scraping, abandoning Ajaokuta steel coy will be a waste — D-G

    Prof. Linus Asuquo, the Director-General, National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC), says scraping or abandoning Ajaokuta Steel Company will be a great waste.Asuquo made the observation while addressing newsmen on Monday in Abuja.He said that reviving the steel company would be the best option for the country rather than neglecting the project to waste year on year.He said that lots of money had been spent on the construction of the magnificent Complex,  while  abandoning it would be suicidal.“We should not play with Ajaokuta Steel Company; I think a lot of politics has been played on it over the years, the amount spent on importation of metals on yearly basis by Nigeria is huge.“We are spending billions of naira to import metals being used for our railway construction, if we have Ajaokuta steel company working, there will be no need importing steel.He said that the company could create massive jobs for the youth, generate power for the country, among others if revived.He also said that materials such as iron ore for producing steel were available across the country in large quantum.Asuquo said that coal and iron ore needed for iron making had been researched by NMDC, adding that only foreign coal would be needed to blend with Nigeria coal for steel making. “Coal is one of the materials needed for iron making and lots of research have been done on that by the centre.“Unfortunately, even though we have coal in abundance such as Enugu coal, our coal are not prime for coking coal being used for steel making; what I mean is that we cannot have 100 per cent coke from our coal.“From our research, we can blend Lafia Obi coal with imported coal for our coke for steel production.“I will not agree with some Nigerians that said that our  blast furnace for steel production is now obsolete; it can still produce steel; Russia and India are still using blast furnace, we can modify it into sections to function adequately.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says progress is being made on the Lagos Abidjan Corridor and on issues around the movement of goods and services Osinbajo s spokesman Laolu Akande in a statement on Monday in Abuja said the vice president spoke with newsmen after the 61st Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS hellip
    Progress being made on Lagos-Abidjan Highway Corridor—Osinbajo
     Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says progress is being made on the Lagos Abidjan Corridor and on issues around the movement of goods and services Osinbajo s spokesman Laolu Akande in a statement on Monday in Abuja said the vice president spoke with newsmen after the 61st Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS hellip
    Progress being made on Lagos-Abidjan Highway Corridor—Osinbajo
    General news15 hours ago

    Progress being made on Lagos-Abidjan Highway Corridor—Osinbajo

    Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says progress is being made on the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor and on issues around the movement of goods and services.

    Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke with newsmen after the 61st Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held in Accra, Ghana.

    The Lagos- Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway is part of the Trans-African Highway within the ECOWAS region.

    The vice president said that at meeting, President Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau assumed chairmanship of the West African regional body, ECOWAS, alongside a newly composed Commission.

    He said there were high expectations regarding the output of the body and the leaders must work harder to resolve lingering issues in the region.

    “President Nana Akufo-Addo did an excellent job in a very challenging period in the history of ECOWAS and many of the challenges remain.

    “So, we expect that the new leadership will take over and work as hard and perhaps much harder to resolve some of the issues.

    “There are even additional challenges today – economic challenges, especially with the Russian-Ukraine crisis, and economic problems.

    “Other issues are the coups that have taken place in the region in the past couple of years and we are still trying to resolve some of those issues.

    “The new leadership under President Sissoco Embaló must step up efforts and address those very many responsibilities that the region faces today.”

    Osinbajo added, however, that besides the challenges, the region was witnessing appreciable progress in the ECOWAS common currency policy.

    According to him, these are things ECOWAS citizens should be happy about.

    “Also, there is progress being made on the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor, some of the issues around the movement of goods and services on that corridor.

    “These are some of the very important decisions that were taken and I think progress is being made,’’ he said.

    Earlier at the opening session of the summit chaired by President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS commended President Muhammadu Buhari.

    Akufo-Addo said that the efforts and commitment of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and in addressing other challenges across the region were appreciated.

    “Let me address on behalf of all of us, our thanks to our esteemed colleague,  Buhari,  who in his capacity as champion in the coordination of the fight against the COVID-19, has spared no effort in this endeavour.”

    He recognised Nigeria’s leadership role in addressing other challenges across the region, especially the menace of coups, terrorism, and deteriorating humanitarian situations.

    “Indeed, following the failed coup d’etat of 1st February 2022 in Guinea Bissau and our emergency summit of Feb. 3, we decided to deploy an ECOWAS Standby Force to support the stability of the country and President Sissoco Embalo’s elected government.

    “That deployment of 609 security personnel, composed of 150 Nigerian troops and 140 Nigerian police personnel, 150 Senegalese troops, 100 Ghanaian troops and 59 troops from Cote d’Ivoire, with a force headquarters of 80 officers drawn from across the region, under the overall command of a Nigerian general and force commander has now been completed,” he said.

    He condemned the menace of terrorism in parts of the region.

    Akufo-Addo said that the terrorist attacks were not only focusing on the Sahel, but also expanding to the coastal states in ECOWAS region.

    He also affirmed that ECOWAS remained committed to the restoration of democratic order in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

    Among decisions reached at the end of the meeting was the lifting of financial and economic sanctions against Mali with the expectations for improved progress in the country’s transition to democratic rule.

    A newly composed ECOWAS Commission is also now in place with the emergence of Gambia’s Omar Alieu Touray who was introduced to the meeting of The Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.

    He replaced Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou of Cote d’Ivoire.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Since joining the African Development Bank Group www AfDB org as its 81st shareholder in 2020 Ireland has shown increasing interest in strengthening its economic ties with Africa That mission received a major boost last week at the 7th Africa Ireland Economic Forum in Dublin when African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina urged the Irish business hellip
    Invest More in Africa—Akinwumi Adesina Urges Keen Irish Business Community
     Since joining the African Development Bank Group www AfDB org as its 81st shareholder in 2020 Ireland has shown increasing interest in strengthening its economic ties with Africa That mission received a major boost last week at the 7th Africa Ireland Economic Forum in Dublin when African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina urged the Irish business hellip
    Invest More in Africa—Akinwumi Adesina Urges Keen Irish Business Community
    Africa16 hours ago

    Invest More in Africa—Akinwumi Adesina Urges Keen Irish Business Community

    Since joining the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) as its 81st shareholder in 2020, Ireland has shown increasing interest in strengthening its economic ties with Africa. That mission received a major boost last week at the 7th Africa-Ireland Economic Forum in Dublin, when African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina urged the Irish business community to invest more in Africa.

    "If you're not investing in Africa, you're not in business," Adesina told her audience. "Ireland's foreign direct investment in Africa was $572 million at the end of 2020 and represented just 0.05% of Ireland's total net foreign direct investment," Adesina said. “This is too low. Ireland should invest much more in Africa. Let's set a target of 15% of Irish investment in Africa."

    The exhortation from the head of Africa's leading development finance institution was matched by publicly expressed enthusiasm by Irish officials about Ireland-Africa cooperation. Speaking at the forum on Thursday, Foreign Secretary and Defense Minister Simon Coveney spoke about deepening Ireland's economic and cultural links with Africa. He pointed to the prospects for closer trade links with the continent, noting that trade between Ireland and Africa was likely to reach €5bn by 2025.

    Hosting the head of the Bank Group on Friday, Irish President Michael D. Higgins congratulated Adesina on his work in the recent establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation. “Nothing is more important than that,” President Higgins said. He spoke about her long-standing interest in Africa and her optimism for its economic advancement. Discussing the looming global food crisis triggered by Russia's war in Ukraine, President Higgins welcomed the pre-emptive steps the Bank had taken to ensure the continent's food security.

    Describing their meeting, Adesina said, “President Higgins received me very warmly. He has a heart and a passion for Africa. He told me: 'You are doing an incredible job for Africa with your leadership in managing the African Development Bank. I'm inspired by your vision.'”

    Similar support for continued strong cooperation came from senior Irish officials Adesina met during his visit, notably: Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance and the Diaspora; John Hogan, Secretary General of the Finance Department and Deputy Governor for Ireland at the African Development Bank Group; and Paul Ryan, Director of the department's Climate and International Finance Division, which is responsible for managing Ireland's shareholding in international financial institutions.

    Adesina thanked the Irish government for joining the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund, the Bank Group's concessional lending arm, and expressed appreciation for Ireland's contribution, announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense Coveney on Thursday, of 2 million euros to the African region. Development Bank for Climate Adaptation.

    In a speech (https://bit.ly/3Ap2qkt) at the forum on Thursday, the head of the African Development Bank held a packed conference room captive as he spoke about the current African economic environment, the continent's challenges, its many opportunities and on the role of the African Development Bank Group as a "solutions bank", a valuable partner to its regional member countries, its international development partners and the international business community, whose investment he said was desirable. “You can count on the African Development Bank as a partner,” he emphasized.

    The Bank's President was also interviewed (https://bit.ly/3NFm9PZ) at the Institute of International European Affairs (IIEA) by Ambassador David Donoghue, former Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations. Welcoming Adesina, he said: “Dr. Adesina is often described as Africa's Chief Optimist and is widely praised for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa's transformation. Since he took over as president of the African Development Bank in 2015, the Bank has achieved the highest capital increase since its inception in 1964.”

    In his opening remarks, Paul Ryan said: “As well as being Africa's chief optimist, I would like to say to Dr. Adesina that he is also Ireland's closest friend at the African Development Bank and on the African continent as well. . He has been a fabulous partner for Ireland over the last few years, particularly since we joined the Bank in February 2020. […] The Bank's response, under the leadership of the President, to Covid and now to the war in Ukraine, has been absolutely exemplary. Many steps have been taken to prepare for the future in relation to food security, renewable energy and economic development, and it is exactly in line with our development goals. We are very happy to join the bank, very satisfied with the level of commitment and really satisfied with the work that the Bank has been doing on the continent”.

    Ryan added that Adesina, “first elected president of the Bank in 2015 and unanimously re-elected for another five-year term in August 2020”, is a bold reformer who completely transformed the agricultural sector in Nigeria as agriculture minister for four years. years. and that she has replicated that same success at the African Development Bank. “We are very happy with the president. Our colleagues in the constituency are very happy. And what is more important, the broader membership of the African continent is very happy.”

    Adesina spoke about the Bank's work, in particular the top 5 strategic priorities credited with developing the institution, and how he saw these priorities as the fulcrum for both transforming Africa and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the ONU.

    Adesina invited officials and operators from the private sector to the next edition of the Bank's Africa Investment Forum, which will take place in Abidjan in November.

  •  Pope Francis has rejected suggestions that he may be about to resign saying in an interview published Monday that rumors that he was suffering from a serious illness were court gossip It never crossed my mind Francis told the Reuters news agency after weeks of speculation Pressed on whether he could emulate his predecessor Benedict hellip
    Pope Francis denies resignation rumours
     Pope Francis has rejected suggestions that he may be about to resign saying in an interview published Monday that rumors that he was suffering from a serious illness were court gossip It never crossed my mind Francis told the Reuters news agency after weeks of speculation Pressed on whether he could emulate his predecessor Benedict hellip
    Pope Francis denies resignation rumours
    Foreign18 hours ago

    Pope Francis denies resignation rumours

    Pope Francis has rejected suggestions that he may be about to resign, saying in an interview published Monday that rumors that he was suffering from a serious illness were "court gossip."

    "It never crossed my mind," Francis told the Reuters news agency after weeks of speculation.

    Pressed on whether he could emulate his predecessor Benedict XVI, who was the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign, the Argentine said “for the moment, no. At the moment, no. In fact!"

    But in the interview, which took place Saturday at the Vatican, he repeated his oft-stated position that he might one day resign if ill health made it impossible for him to lead the Church.

    Asked when that might be, the 85-year-old said: "We don't know. God will say."

    Francis said he had suffered a "small fracture" in his knee, which was treated with laser and magnetic therapy.

    Knee pain forced him to postpone a July trip to Africa indefinitely.

    He denied rumors that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer during his colon operation in July 2021, saying it was simply "court gossip".

    Francis will travel to Canada this month, after which he said he would like to travel to Moscow and Kyiv if possible.

    The pontiff has repeatedly offered to help mediate the war, saying he was hoping to receive an invitation to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

  •  Japan lodged a protest with China on Monday over a Chinese navy ship sailing near the disputed islands a Japanese official said as reports surfaced that Russia also sent its own navy ship to the area The islets in the East China Sea known as Senkaku for Tokyo and Diaoyu for Beijing are at the hellip
    Japan protests Chinese navy sailing near disputed islands
     Japan lodged a protest with China on Monday over a Chinese navy ship sailing near the disputed islands a Japanese official said as reports surfaced that Russia also sent its own navy ship to the area The islets in the East China Sea known as Senkaku for Tokyo and Diaoyu for Beijing are at the hellip
    Japan protests Chinese navy sailing near disputed islands
    Foreign21 hours ago

    Japan protests Chinese navy sailing near disputed islands

    Japan lodged a protest with China on Monday over a Chinese navy ship sailing near the disputed islands, a Japanese official said, as reports surfaced that Russia also sent its own navy ship to the area.

    The islets in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku for Tokyo and Diaoyu for Beijing, are at the center of a long-running dispute between Japan and China.

    Japanese officials regularly protest the presence of Chinese coast guard ships in waters near the islands, but it is the first time since 2018 that a navy ship has been seen there, according to public broadcaster NHK.

    At around 7:44 a.m. Monday (22:44 GMT Sunday), a Chinese navy frigate "was observed entering the contiguous waters of Japan" southwest of one of the Tokyo-controlled islands, a statement from the Tokyo-controlled island said. Japanese Ministry of Defense.

    Contiguous waters are a 12-nautical-mile strip that extends beyond territorial waters.

    "We express serious concerns and present our protest to the Chinese side through diplomatic channels, and urge them to prevent a recurrence" of similar incidents, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara told reporters.

    The islets "are Japanese territory from the point of view of both history and international law," he said.

    But Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, said in response that the Chinese ships' activities are "legitimate and legal" as the islands are "China's inherent territory."

    Separately, a Russian naval ship was also seen in the adjoining waters of the disputed islands on Monday morning, NHK, Jiji Press and other Japanese media reported, citing anonymous Defense Ministry sources.

    The ministry could not immediately confirm the reports to AFP.

    In May, Chinese and Russian warplanes conducted joint flights near the East Asian country as leaders of the so-called quadruple bloc -- Japan, the United States, Australia and India -- met in Tokyo.

    While the planes did not violate territorial airspace, Japan said the move was "provocative" as the timing coincided with the leaders' summit.

    Beijing said the flights were part of the Chinese and Russian "annual military cooperation plan."