German carmaker Volkswagen on Friday said that it had agreed to invest more than 2 billion euros (2.2 billion dollars) in two Chinese electric car companies.
The vehicle which is the latest in a series of moves to muscle in on the lucrative Chinese market.
The Wolfsburg-based company said it has signed a memorandum to pay 1 billion euros for a 50-per cent stake in the state owned parent of JAC Motors, thereby raising its stake in the joint venture with JAC to 75 per cent.
It also said it would invest 1.1 billion euros in order to acquire a 26.5 per cent stake in Guoxuan High-tech Co Ltd, an electric vehicle battery manufacturer.
The transaction will make Volkswagen its biggest shareholder.
“Together with strong and reliable partners, Volkswagen is strengthening its (electrific vehicle) strategy in China,’’ said VW chief executive Herbert Diess, according to a statement.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Petition: Unions pass vote of confidence on VC
The Joint Action Committee and Congress (JAC) of the Federal University, Gusau in Zamfara, has passed a vote of confidence on the Vice-Chacellor, Prof. Magaji Garba.
Garba recently came under attack by a group of concerned staff of the university.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Information Officer of the institution, Mr. Umar Usman and made available to newsmen in Gusau on Sunday
Usman stated that the JAC comprised the university’s branches of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
According to him, the four bodies “dissociated themselves from a petition written on the University’s Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration and Internal Council Members representing the Senate of the University.
“The chairmen of the four unions have in a communique issued after their emergency meeting on Thursday, 17th September, 2020 affirmed the stand of the unions on the issue of a petition claimed to have been written by the concerned members of the University staff,” the statement added.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on Aug.5, a group from the institution referred to as “Concerned Persons,” had in a petition addressed to the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Education, urged the National Assembly to look into their grievances in order to save the university from collapse.
The petition titled “Petition about the Systematic Corruption and Abuse of Office against the Vice Chancellor/Chief Executive, Prof. Magaji Garba of the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State,” was signed on behalf of the group by N.S.Danbala Esq.
It cited among others that the vice-chancellor had arrogated all powers of running the university to himself and needed the institution’s records to be put straight before the vice-chancellor completes his term.
The petitioners also alleged that the vice-chancellor had caused “huge loses on the university funds due to illegal award of contracts”.
“The University Council has earlier ratified recommendations of an Investigation Committee which found the VC guilty of corruption, disregard to due process bribery, financial misappropriation, illegal staff recruitment, divide and rule tactics and illegal deals,” the petitioners added.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Maharazu Ahmed
15th Abuja Int’l trade fair to feature 500 exhibitors – ACCI
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says its 15th Abuja International Trade Fair will feature not more than 500 local and foreign exhibitors.
ACCI Media Officer Latifat Opoola who made the disclosure on Sunday said the fair would hold in October at the Abuja Trade and Convention with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.
According to Opoola, this year’s event in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols will only showcase indoor and virtual exhibitions to make room for a controlled environment that will ensure social distancing.
She noted that an average attendance of 100,000 visitors from both Nigeria and 150 countries, including U.K., United States, UAE, India, Malasyia and China would participate both physically and virtually at the fair.
She said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, among others, were expected to participate.
She noted that over the years, the fair had been an amazing trade platform for international and domestic industry professionals, leading brands and MSMEs to transact, share market insights, cutting edge technology and expertise in an interactive environment.
“This year’s event will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market opportunity as well as information. It will also help buyers, investors and traders to foster business relationships.
“Over 500 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria in all sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Tourism, Textile, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial and Service sectors are expected to participate.
“With a team of trade professionals, we are persistent in providing a conducive trading atmosphere for our exhibitors, which will lead to strategies and tactics needed to innovate, grow and promote businesses,” she said in a statement.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22, while the closing ceremony holds on Nov. 2.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Ejiofor)
UN urges Belarus to grant entry to UN rights expert
Belarus should grant free access to specialised UN experts to monitor human rights issues, including prisons, the UN Human Rights Council urges in a resolution.
In addition to demanding entry for UN Belarus monitor Anais Marin, the Human Rights Council also calls on Belarus to stop using violence, torture and arrests to quash civil rights.
The resolution, which was initiated by European countries says Belarus authorities should start a dialogue with the opposition and civil society.
The resolution was adopted with 23 yes votes, two no votes from Eritrea and Venezuela, and 22 abstentions.
Similarly, Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, appealed to the UN on Friday for an international monitoring mission to be sent to Belarus to document an ongoing violent police crackdown on her supporters.
“The scope and the brutality of the extensive force used by the regime is in clear violation of all international norms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN,” Tikhanovskaya said in an address to the UN Human Rights Council.
At least 7,000 protesters have been detained in Belarus since a disputed presidential election more than a month ago.
The UN has received 450 reports of torture and other abuse of detainees.
President Alexander Lukashenko, 66, has led Belarus, a former Soviet republic between Russia and EU member state Poland, for more than a quarter-century, tolerating little dissent.
Tikhanovskaya placed second in the Aug. 9 election, according to the disputed official tally.
She says she won and has demanded a new election. There have been protests in Belarus every day since the vote.
“We demand … an international monitoring mission to document the regime’s atrocities,” Tikhanovskaya, 38, told a special meeting of the UN council via video link.
She dismissed the Belarusian leadership’s allegations that, by seeking to intervene in Belarus’ post-election crisis, foreign powers have been meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
“It is very important to recognise that standing up for democratic principles and human rights is not interfering in internal affairs.
“It is a universal question of human dignity,” Tikhanovskaya said.
The UN Human Rights Council held the urgent debate in spite diplomats from Belarus and its close allies trying to prevent reports on violations from being presented at the meeting in Geneva.
“It is vital for the future of Belarus to break these cycles of increasing repression and violence,” Deputy UN Rights Chief Nada al-Nashif said.
“Civil society is a valuable partner, not a threat,” she added.
After al-Nashif’s speech, envoys from Belarus, Russia, Venezuela and China raised a long series of points of order to complain that the UN official had been allowed to speak, and to stop additional reports from a UN rights investigator and from Belarusian civil society representatives.
The Austrian diplomat, who presides over the Human Rights Council, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, finally issued a ruling to stop these interventions.
Belarusian Ambassador Yury Ambrazevic rejected all accusations voiced in the council, which heard video messages from the foreign ministers of Denmark, Slovakia, Poland, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
“We believe it is not acceptable to use this body here to interfere in the election in any individual country,” Ambrazevic said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Coronavirus: Biden says Trump trusted less than Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi
United States Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden said that President Donald Trump Administration’s way of handling the coronavirus outbreak in the United States was one of the reasons he was trusted by fewer foreigners than Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Biden said this during a CNN town hall meeting in the Pennsylvania state.
The United States is set to hold a presidential election on Nov. 3.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I never ever thought I would see such a thoroughly totally irresponsible administration,” Biden said.
“It’s one of the reasons why if you take a look at the Pew Foundation poll — guess what, Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi Jinping are trusted by more people in the world than the president of America.
“And one of the reasons they say is COVID-19.”
According to Biden, not only did the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 cause loss of lives in the United States, but it also caused Washington “to lose [its] influence in ways that are profound.”
The Democrat politician further described China as a “serious competitor” and Russia as an “opponent” to the United States, vowing more sanctions on Moscow in the case if it meddles in the upcoming presidential election.
The United States repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in its political processes, in particular, during the 2016 presidential election. Moscow has consistently denied these allegations.
In 2019, United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller, mandated to investigate the alleged interference, found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
But established that Moscow systematically interfered in the United States elections via two chief methods — social media campaigns and intelligence-backed cyberattacks.
Moscow responded by pointing to the lack of actual evidence to support this assumption.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa