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Friday, 28 February 2020
...as Institute inducts Works Commissioner
The developmental trajectory of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, is being applauded and celebrated in far away Ghana.
This was made known earlier today when a renowned institution in the West African country, The Chartered Institute of Public Resources Management and Politics inducted and recognized the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inynageyen, with a Lifetime Fellowship Award in recognition of his ability to interpret the blueprint of the governor in driving development in the State.  
The award was given in a special ceremony at the Conference Hall of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Works, Udoudoma Avenue, Uyo. 
The Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Richards Kpoku-Aquarte, who is also a United Nations Peace Ambassador and Chairman of the Africa Electoral Media Initiative, Tanzania, who decorated Mr Inyangeyen observed that, Inyangeyen is highly respectable world class professional, prolific technocrat, renowned management expert, exceptional corporate trailblazer and quintessential public service administrator who has performed  creditably in interpreting Governor Emmanuel's agenda for development, especially in the area of infrastructural development.
Dr. Kpoku Aquarte disclosed that, Inyangeyen was selected for the honour following two years of intensive research on his personality and service record.
He said the Institute looks out for highly resourceful and well meaning individuals in any part of the world who have written their names in Gold and greatly distinguished themselves in their respective areas of stewardship towards nation-building and development to honour and found Inyangeyen qualified.
Receiving the award with thanks, Akpawara Ephraim Inyangeyen, who disclosed that this is the first time he would come in contact with the Institute said he was surprised that an organization in far away Ghana could take the pains to study the blueprint of Governor Emmanuel's development agenda and thus recognize his aide with a prestigious award.  
Commissioner Inyangeyen stressed that, as far as his services as Commissioner for Works were concerned, nothing would have been achieved on his part without Governor Udom Emmanuel having given him the opportunity and supported him every step of the way for the record that is on ground. 
He described the Award as an international endorsement of Governor Udom Emmanuel as the visionary and driver of the good governance enjoyed currently in Akwa Ibom State and also thanked Directors and Staff of the Ministry for their support, harping that, the Award is dedicated to them. 
He however added that, the Award will inspire him to continue to do more for the state and the service of humanity.
The climax of the event was the adorning on the Commissioner in full regalia of the Institute, presentation of a Plaque of Excellence and a Gold Medal.
The Commissioner was flanked by the Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Itiat and senior Directors of Ministry of Works, while the official delegation of the Institute to Akwa Ibom State for the event led by , Dr. Richards Kpoku-Aquarte included an international columnist, Ambassador  (Dr.) Tom Ohikere; and Head of Administration & Correspondence, Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Sadiq.
Published in World
Friday, 28 February 2020 14:39

British Airways cancels flights to Italy

British Airways has announced flights cancellation to virus-ravaged Italy, where more than 400 people have been infected, a surge of 25 per cent in 24 hours.
Twelve persons have been confirmed dead.
British Airways earlier cancelled dozens of flights to Milan due to lack of demand.
The crisis continues to grow in Europe as Spain, France, Croatia, Austria and Switzerland have all recorded new cases this week and Greece, North Macedonia and Georgia all recorded their first cases.
The World Health Organization said yesterday that the virus is now spreading faster outside China.
According to travel experts, the outbreak could cost airlines around the world £23billion.
British companies are already suggesting employees reconsider whether personal or professional travel to certain countries is necessary in the current climate.
In Britain itself, 35 schools are on lockdown amid pandemic fears. At least two London offices were evacuated Wednesday after two separate employees began to show flu-like symptoms
Pupils at Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s school are self-isolating as they await test results.
Published in Travel & Tourism
Friday, 28 February 2020 13:30

FedEx welcomes first black female CEO

The company announced on Wednesday, February that the former VP of operations, strategy, and planning is now CEO, bringing more than 28 years of company experience to her role. She will be overseeing the Custom Critical division. As the announcement stands, Ramon is the first black woman to become CEO in the company’s history.
Hood landed an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift in 1991 as a receptionist for Roberts Express, which later became FedEx Custom Critical. It didn’t take long for her to develop that short-term win into a long-term pursuit of leadership, culminating in her latest promotion.
Reacting to becoming the company’s CEO, Hood said: “I wasn’t thinking this was going to be my career and I’d be here for 28 years. I was a young mother. I wanted a job that had a stable shift that would allow me to do (college) courses as appropriate.”
Over the years, Hood has been responsible for innovative ideas that made her stand out from her peers. She climbed up the ladder of success in the company from heading subsidiary FedEx Truckload Brokerage to obtaining an officer position at FedEx Supply Chain in 2016. She then returned to FedEx Custom Critical for an executive position. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Walsh University and an Executive MBA from Case Western Reserve University.
In the early days as CEO, Hood is looking to gain useful insight from employees, customers and independent contractors driving for Custom Critical. She has created her famous “Ramona Roundtables,” which she is wrapping up this month and involved her talking with small groups of employees.
“The next thing I’ll be doing is going out and spending time with customers and independent contractors,” Hood said. “I’m defining that as my ‘listen and learn tour.’ ”
She also mentions that under her leadership, Custom Critical will be agile in addressing customer needs and using technology, all while “looking at things in ways we haven’t in the past.”
Published in World
Dangote Cement exports from Nigeria to neighbouring countries fell 41% in 2019 when Nigeria’s government closed the land borders.
The development has made the dominant cement company in Africa move its exports to Congo Republic, producing from plants in those countries.
Nigeria shut its land border in August to curb the smuggling of rice to neighbouring states where it sells for more and an illegal arms trade. The closure has also hurt other Nigerian businesses, including cement exports, and stoked inflation.
Joseph Makoju, Dangote’s outgoing chief executive, said the border closure led exports to drop to 0.5 million tonnes in 2019 from 0.7 million tonnes in both 2018 and 2017. He said the company had exported to West and Central Africa from Nigeria.
Makoju said total production volumes last year were flat at 14.1 million tonnes. Higher discounts, marketing and haulage cost caused core profit to fall 9.1%, while margins slid 59.2%, he said.
In February, Dangote Cement appointed ex-head of Lafarge Africa Michel Puchercos as its new chief executive, Makoju said.
“We undoubtedly faced several challenges last year,” Makoju told an analyst call. “We are very optimistic about the market in 2020 and we expect to see some increase especially for infrastructure project.”
Dangote now plans to commence export of clinker, the main raw material to make cement, from Congo in 2020 and promote its Nigerian production more heavily to support growth.
The company said it planned to commence a share buy-back programme this year once it obtained regulatory approval and said it was actively considering a London listing with its long-delayed London IPO still “under review”.
Share price for Lagos-listed Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s biggest listed company, was quoted at 170 naira on Wednesday, a 41% drop from its peak of 286 naira two years ago.
Shares across Nigeria’s stock market has tumbled in the last two years. The oil-reliant economy has been stuck with low growth since it emerged from a 2016 recession.
Published in Business
Coronavirus panic sent world share markets crashing again on Friday, compounding their worst week since the 2008 global financial crisis and bringing the wipeout in value terms to $5 trillion.
The rout showed no signs of slowing as Europe’s main markets slumped 2-3% early on and the ongoing dive for safety sent yields on U.S. government bonds, seen as probably the securest asset in the world, to fresh record lows.
Hopes that the epidemic that started in China would be over in months, and that economic activity would quickly return to normal have been shattered this week as the number of international cases spiralled.
Bets are now that the Federal Reserve will cut U.S. interest rates as soon as next month and other major central banks will follow to try and nurse economies through the troubles and stave off a global recession.
“Investors are trying to price in the worst case scenario and the biggest risk is what happens now in the United States and other major countries outside of Asia,” said SEI Investments Head of Asian Equities John Lau.
“These are highly uncertainty times, no one really knows the answer and the markets are really panicking.”
Disruptions to international travel and supply chains, school closures and cancellations of major events have all blackened the outlook for a world economy that was already struggling with the U.S.-China trade war fallout
MSCI’s all country world index which tracks almost 50 countries, was down over 1% once Europe opened and almost 10% for the week – the worst since October 2008.
MSCI’s all country world index which tracks almost 50 countries, was down over 1% once Europe opened and almost 10% for the week – the worst since October 2008.
Wall Street shares .SPX had plunged 4.4% on Thursday alone which was its largest fall since August 2011. They have now lost 12% since hitting a record high just nine days ago, driving into so-called correction territory.
The CBOE volatility index , often called the “fear index”, jumped to 39.16, its highest in about two years, well out of the 11-20 range of recent months.
The index, which measures expected swings in U.S. shares in the next 30 days, typically shoots up to around 50 when bear market selling hits its heaviest and approached almost 90 during the 2008-09 financial crisis.
In Asia, MSCI’s regional index excluding Japan shed 2.7%. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 slumped 4.3% on rising fears the Olympics planned in July-August may be called off due to the coronavirus.
“The coronavirus now looks like a pandemic. Markets can cope even if there is big risk as long as we can see the end of the tunnel,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
“But at the moment, no one can tell how long this will last and how severe it will get.”
World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the virus could become a pandemic as the outbreak spreads to major developed economies such as Germany and France.
About 10 countries have reported their first virus cases over the past 24 hours, including Nigeria, the biggest economy in Africa.
The global rout knocked mainland Chinese shares, which have been relatively well supported this month, as new coronavirus cases in the country fell and Beijing doled out measures to shore up economic growth.
The CSI300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen shares dropped 2.9%, on track for its first weekly loss in three.
Oil prices languished at their lowest in more than a year having plunged 12% this week – its worst since 2016 – while all the major industrial metals have dropped between 3% and 6%.
Published in Business
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