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Sunday, 05 January 2020

The President of the United State of America, Donald Trump has threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites “very hard” if Iran attacked Americans or United States assets over the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Trump took to Twitter to warn that the US had “targeted 52 Iranian sites” and that some were “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”

“The USA wants no more threats!” Trump said.

According to Trump, the 52 targets represented the 52 Americans who were held hostage in Iran for 444 days after being seized at the US embassy in Tehran in November 1979.

The development comes after the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) had denied conducting new Baghdad air strikes near Camp Taji north of Baghdad after a report revealed otherwise.

Reacting to the report by Iraq’s PMF which said air strikes near the area killed six people and wounded three others, adding that none of its top leaders were killed, the coalition said it was not involved.

“FACT: the coalition @cjtfoir did not conduct airstrikes near Camp Taji (north of Baghdad) in recent days,” a spokesman of the coalition said on social media network, Twitter.

Earlier on Saturday, Iraq’s state television reported the attack was carried out by the US, and that it was targeting a convoy of an Iran-backed militia.

Published in World

Up to N2.2 trillion was spent by Nigeria on imports from China between April and September 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has confirmed.

According to the data gleaned from the agency, Nigeria imported Chinese products valued at N1.02 trillion into the country in the second quarter (April to June) of 2019, indicating 25.47% of Nigeria’s total imports for the period. The import figure from China for the third quarter (July to September) stood at N1.22 trillion, constituting 31.34% of the total imports of this period.

The United States came next as Nigeria’s second largest import hub with goods worth N422.1 billion, representing 10.53% of the total imports, brought into Nigeria from the country.

Other trading partners were Netherlands, accounting for N374.1 billion or 9.33% of the total imports; India, responsible N299.8 billion or 7.48% and Belgium, accounting for N248.9 billion or 6.21%.

Nigeria’s total imports from Asia in the second quarter of 2019 stood at N1.8 trillion, constituting 44.36% of the total imports.

In the said period, Europe accounted for N1.42 trillion or 35.51% of Nigeria’s total imports, Americas N544.3 billion or N13.58%, Africa N241.7 billion or 6.03% and Oceania N20.7 billion or 0.52%.

Machinery and transport equipment, with an import value of N1.7 trillion, dominated products imported into Nigeria in the second quarter. Mineral fuels worth N909.7 billion, and chemical and related products valued at N428.2 billion were also key imports during the period.

Third quarter figures revealed that imports from Asia were estimated at N1.9 trillion of 51.3 trillion of total imports while goods imported from Europe were valued at N1.2 trillion or30.6%. Americas and Africa were responsible for imports worth N576.7 billion or 14.8% and N106 billion or 2.7% in that order.

Imports from the US was priced at N442.4 billion, India at N292 billion, the Netherlands at N265.2 billion and Belgium at N155.2 billion.

China is currently Nigeria’s biggest trade partner as imports from the Asian giant into Nigeria has been on meteoric rise with the passage of time. Nevertheless, negative trade balance defines the commercial relationship between the two countries as China was not on the list of the top ten countries Nigeria exported its goods to in the first half of 2019. Major imports from the country comprise rubber and motorcycles.

India is currently Nigeria’s biggest export destination.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on 27 April 2018 signed a three-year bilateral currency swap worth $2.5 billion with China, aimed at financing trade and investment between the two countries, maintain financial market stability and enhance other connected purpose as may e agreed by both countries.

As of the end of 2018, the CBN said it had injected about CNY669.66 million in the foreign exchange market to boost China/Nigeria trade.

Published in Business

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has revealed that the electricity tariffs being paid by consumers will increase in April this year.

This was disclosed in its ‘December 2019 Minor Review of Multi-Year Tariff Order 2015 and Minimum Remittance Order for the Year 2020,’ which was dated December 31, 2019.

The statement said, “The Federal Government’s updated Power Sector Recovery Program does not envisage an immediate increase in end-user tariffs until 1st April 2020 and a transition to full cost reflectivity by end of 2021.

“In the interim, the Federal Government has committed to funding the revenue gap arising from the difference between cost-reflective tariffs determined by the commission and the actual end-user tariffs payable by customers.”

According to NERC, all Discos are obligated to settle their market invoices in full as adjusted and netted off by applicable tariff shortfall.

It said, “All FGN intervention from the financing plan of the PSRP for funding tariff shortfall shall be applied through NBET and the market operator to ensure 100 percent settlement of invoices issued by market participants,”

“Effectively, this order places a freeze on the tariffs of TCN and administrative charges until April 2020 at the rates applied in generating MO invoices for the period of January to October 2019.”

Published in World
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