World Bank says forest fires cost Indonesia $5.2bn 



World Bank on Wednesday said in a report that forest fires that ravaged parts of Indonesia in 2019 cost the country 5.2 billion dollars.

The World Bank said that the total damage and economic losses as a result of the worst forest fires since 2015 were equal to about 0.5 per cent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product.

It said that the economic loss could cut growth in 2019 and 2020 by 0.09 and 0.05 per cent.

The report said that more than 620,000 hectares of forest, an area nine times the size of the capital Jakarta, burned between January and September in eight provinces, mainly on Sumatra and Borneo islands.

It added that more than 900,000 people had reported respiratory health diseases, 12 national airports had halted operations, and hundreds of schools in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore had to temporarily closed.

The World Bank said “Fires are considered the cheapest option among all methods to prepare lands for cultivation, or to claim lands in areas with disputes, where land ownership is uncertain and where enforcement is weak.’’

The bank said about 44 per cent of the areas burned in 2019 was located in peatlands, where fires are harder to suppress once started and release thick haze and carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

The carbon emissions from 2019 blazes in Indonesia are estimated to be almost double the emissions from the fires in the Brazilian Amazon.

Forest fires are an annual hazard in Indonesia, and the resulting haze often affects neighbouring Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, driving air pollution to hazardous levels.

Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim

Science & Technology

Facebook Launches “My Digital World” to meet literacy needs in Africa



Facebook says it has  launched  “My Digital World”, a programme designed to equip the youth and general public across Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria with skills needed to navigate the digital world.

Facebook made the disclosure in a statement on Monday.

It said that “My Digital World” was a consolidation of all Facebook digital literacy programs including Safe Online with Facebook, Ilizwe Lam, and eZibo which would all be offered virtually this year to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said over the years, it had trained thousands of people on digital literacy skills.

It noted that this year it was prepared to train close to 20,000 participants across Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Ethiopia on safe, responsible and beneficial usage of the digital platforms.

Commenting, Phil Oduor, Policy Programs Manager for Economic Impact and Digital Literacy, Facebook said: “We remain committed to equipping young people and the general public across Sub-Saharan Africa with the vital digital skills needed to navigate the digital world, especially during these pandemic.


Oduor said it had never been more important to invest and train communities, the next generation of leaders to better understand and utilise the power of digital tools to take full advantage of what the internet had to offer.


“The training is free and open to youths aged 13 years and above, and will also focus on teachers, parents and guardians.


“The sessions commence from today June 15 with the programme including up to 90-minutes Instructor-led live webinars featuring presentations, demos and virtual discussions.


“Also they will have access to digital marketing campaigns highlighting best practices, tips, quizzes and polls on digital literacy topics, with content delivered through Facebook and Instagram.


“Modules on online safety, privacy, news and media literacy, and digital citizenship citizenship would also be made available.


“Facebook is committed to the well-being of individuals and communities visiting its platforms, “Oduor said.


He said Facebook also invested in this initiative to build awareness on responsible online behaviour, critical thinking and understanding of social issues.


Oduor said Facebook had also instituted policies, tools, resources, partnerships, and programmes to help enable safe, responsible, and beneficial use of its platforms.


Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
Continue Reading


Israel observes World Blood Donor Day




Israeli volunteers donate blood in central Israeli city of Modiin, on June 14, 2020, the World Blood Donor Day. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)

Continue Reading


FBN Holdings wins World Finance best corporate governance award



FBN Holdings (FBNH) Plc, has won the 2020 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award put in place by the World Finance.

Mr Urum Kalu Eke, FBNH Group Managing Director, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.

World Finance is renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the global financial services industry, international business, and the global economy.

Eke said: “FBN Holdings is winning this award for the second consecutive year on the back of its strong corporate governance practices and outstanding leadership in the Nigerian financial services industry.

“Winning the award in quick succession is a demonstration of not only the strength of our corporate governance practices but also its resilience.

“As a holding company, we emphasise the highest standards in corporate governance across all operating entities in our quest to deliver value to our numerous stakeholders.”

World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievements in the areas of corporate governance, innovation, and market leadership in the financial services sector across all the regions of the World in the past 13 years.

FBN Holdings is the non-operating financial holding company of one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in Africa.

It is a diversified financial services group that offers a broad range of products and services, including commercial banking, merchant banking and asset management and insurance to millions of customers.

It oversees business groups that collaborate to deliver innovative financial solutions.

The bank and the non-bank subsidiaries of the holding company operate in Nigeria, as well as through overseas branches, subsidiaries and representative offices across the world.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Continue Reading


Cricket Namibia ramp up T20 World Cup prep amid COVID-19




Ahead of the T20 World Cup, Cricket Namibia has introduced strict social distancing measures for players to keep them in shape without compromising COVID-19 health regulations.

Cricket Namibia’s Chief Executive Johan Muller said the organization is also intensifying its drive to build interest in the sport, after getting an opportunity to play One Day Internationals.

Muller told stakeholders in Windhoek of the organization’s plan to stay active amid COVID-19, as well as popularizing the sport in the southwest African country.

“Obviously there are financial challenges that we are facing and COVID-19 has not made it easy. We are, however, well ahead with our World Cup preparations, and we are also driving a nationwide program to get the sport played in schools,” he said.

Muller said emphasis is being made on making sure that cricket – a largely minority sport in Namibia – is played across all demographics, using the country’s participation as a yardstick to create interest in the sport.

He added that the organization is benchmarking its development plan with neighboring South Africa to ensure they attain the highest standards.

“We have a few umpires recognized by the International Cricket Council but we obviously need to continue training these so we have a new generation of umpires coming to the fore,” he said.

Continue Reading

Okiro urges peaceful coexistence among Ex-Niger Delta agitators, Nigerians Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris dies at 84 Why FG is investing massively in railways, seaports — Amaechi FCTA moves to reposition fire service to boost service delivery Kaduna IRS seals 40 bet9ja offices, 8 others in 7 days Schools reopening: Gov. Ganduje lauds FG’s level of preparation Northern states may reopen schools before Oct. 30 – commissioners Edo poll: INEC declares additional results from 3 LGs It’s unfair to discuss 2023 election now, opposition tells Enugu PDP Edo Polls: Foundation commends security personnel Edo election: INEC begins release of results FCTA, NAPTIP sign MoU on women rehabilitation centre 8 burnt to death in Lagos-Ibadan expressway accident  Newborn safely delivered under Ajah bridge NCDC records 189 new COVID-19 cases, total now 57,145 Nadal stunned by Schwartzman in Italian Open quarter-finals, Djokovic survives Koepfer United States initiates ‘snapback’ process to reimpose sanctions on Iran – Pompeo NIDO-Ghana plans webinar to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Edo election: Why collation is delayed — INEC Nketiah’s late strike gives Arsenal 2-1 win over West Ham United Ekiti Deputy Gov eulogises late theatre icon, Jimoh Aliu Gov Bagudu, stakeholders meet over flood, insecurity, vow to surmount challenges El-Rufai to participate in maiden Kaduna Marathon on Nov. 21 Ondo election: Agboola Ajayi best candidate for good governance — Mimiko Edo 2020: Group commends INEC on equal access for PWDs Banditry: Lawmaker urges FG to deploy more security to Sokoto Ebonyi police confirm alleged murder of motorcyclist by suspected lunatic COVID-19: Lagos govt reopens cinemas, gyms Edo Poll: PDP alleges move to replace election results in Edo North Akaeze-Ukwu tragedy: Buhari condoles with govt, people of Ebonyi VAR drama as Zaha double earns Crystal Palace shock 3-1 win at Manchester United Sultan turbans 15 District Heads in Sokoto Nigerians gifted with exceptional confidence, resilience,  mental acuity – Osinbajo Cash Transfer: Zamfara to dismiss 10 Facilitators for extortion Youth hold key to sustainable democracy – Ekiti APC chieftain  Fiorentina snatch late win in Serie A opener Dortmund young guns sparkle in opening win over Gladbach Environmental advocates call for total ban of plastics Edo electorate hail INEC, security agencies Edo poll: Gov. Wike commends INEC, security agencies for peaceful conduct Edo election: Police commission lauds security presence at voting centres Bye-elections: 12 candidates jostle for Lagos East, 8 for Kosofe Constituency II Liverpool sign Portugal winger Jota from Wolves Police in Anambra arrest 3 suspects for alleged abduction, rape of job seeker Spurs sign Bale on loan, Reguilon on permanent deal Vulture Day: NCF advocates Vulture Conservation World Clean Up Day: NGO tasks Lagos residents on cleaner, greener environment Ondo Gov’s wife registers market women for democratic dividends Ebonyi Bus Plunge: FRSC confirms 14 corpses retrieved from river