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Saturday, 20 April 2019

The Presidency says the war against corruption is all encompassing and not designed to persecute anyone for political or other reasons.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in statement reacting to the conviction of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the conviction of Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal was a major victory for the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration.

Shehu explained that the outcome of the trial demonstrated clearly that ”the law is no respecter of persons, titles, social or political connections”.

According to him, the essence of the rule of law is to hold everyone accountable before the law, regardless of their status in the society.

“The rule of law will lose its meaning and validity if only the weak, the poor and powerless are punished for their violations of the law.

”Countries succeed because the rule of law is evenly upheld and enforced. The war against corruption would go nowhere if the high and mighty are spared because of their influence and connections.

”You can’t fight corruption by allowing impunity because the rule of law cannot function where impunity is tolerated.”

He pointed out that the conviction of Onnoghen would send a clear message that the dragnet against corruption would be ”spread widely to hold public officials accountable, whether they are politicians, judges, civil servants or holders of public trust.”

Published in World

Germany’s wind and solar experiment has failed: the so-called ‘Energiewende’ (energy transition) has turned into an insanely costly debacle.

German power prices have rocketed; blackouts and load shedding are the norm; and once bucolic farmland has been turned into industrial wastelands (see above).

Hundreds of billions of euros have been squandered on subsidies to wind and solar, all in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide gas emissions. However, that objective has failed too: CO2 emissions continue to rise.

But you wouldn’t know it from what appears in the mainstream media. Its reticence to report on what’s actually going on in Germany probably stems from the adage about success having many fathers, and failure being an orphan. Having promoted Germany as the example of how we could all ‘transition’ to an all RE future, it’s pretty hard for them to suck it up and acknowledge that they were taken for fools.

Germany provided the perfect opportunity to prove that a modern, industrial economy could run on sunshine and breezes and, therefore, ditch fossil fuels, altogether. However, the wind and solar industries are shrinking, as subsidies are slashed; old coal-fired power plants are being refurbished; and dozens of new coal-fired plants are being built. On any sensible reckoning, the Energiewende has been a monumental failure.

And when STT says ‘failure’, we mean ‘failure’ at every level. Because, if the objective of the so-called ‘inevitable transition’ to wind and solar includes the prospect of providing reliable and affordable power to all comers, then Germany’s Energiewende is not just a failure, it’s a monumental economic and social calamity.

German political analysis and commentary site Freie Welt here has an article on how millions of Germans are increasingly unable to afford electric power.

While a number of commodities such as electronics, electrical goods and computing power across the country – and the globe – have gotten much cheaper over the years due to development, the price of electricity in Germany has “more than doubled since 2000”.

5 million struggling to pay for their power

Almost all of this is due to the Germany’s ‘Energiewende’: the transition to renewable energies and away from nuclear power and fossil fuels like coal.

According to the Freie Welt: “Last year, almost five million people in Germany had problems paying their electricity bills” as some 4.8 million defaulting customers “were threatened” by power companies.

“As a consequence of unpaid bills, almost 344,000 households were temporarily cut off electricity during the same period. This marks new records,” the Freie Welt reports.

“Next increases already in the pipeline”

The situation for Germans will likely get a lot worse before it gets better. Less than a third of the country’s power is supplied by wind and sun, and as that share rises – as is planned – the costs will only continue to climb and make the hardship for the poor even worse.

“Three quarters of the energy suppliers had raised their prices at the beginning of this year again on the average by five per cent,” Writes Freie Welt. “The next increases are already in the pipeline.”

At 29.42 Euro cents a kilowatt-hour, Germans pay among the highest prices in the world.

Further price increases in the medium to long term

According to Valerian Vogel of the utility Verifox: “In view of the major challenges facing the German electricity system, consumers must prepare themselves for further increases in electricity prices in the medium to long term”.

In Germany, the high prices are mostly made up of taxes, levies, grid fees and green energy feed-in tariffs.

In its report, Freie Welt cites figures from the Federal Network Agency, which says wholesales price for electricity are mostly to blame for the excruciatingly painful prices levels. According to the Federal Network Agency, “Last year was around 30 percent higher than the average price for 2017.”

Fridays for Future (unintended) Revolution

Ironically, the Fridays for Future (skip school) movement yesterday issued a call in Berlin for an even more rapid completion of the coal and fossil fuel power phaseout. They demanded that this phaseout be completed by 2030 rather than 2038. The movement, backed by activist scientists, is in fact calling for a revolution.

And a revolution they will get, but very likely not the kind they are bargaining for.


Credit: No Tricks Zone

Published in World

Sudan's ousted President, Omar al-Bashir, has been moved to a prison in Khartoum, as hundreds of people staged a sit-in outside the army headquarters, calling for a quick handover of power to a civilian leadership.

The military last week Thursday ousted Bashir following months of street protests against his 30-year rule. Right afterwards, he was under house arrest at the presidential residence in the army headquarters’ compound in Khartoum.

Organisers of the street protests had demanded the military move al-Bashir to an official prison. Officials confirmed on Wednesday that he was moved to Kopar Prison on Tuesday.

The military said it would not extradite him to the International Criminal Court for trial on war crimes and genocide charges in the Darfur region. Instead, he would be put on trial in Sudan.

Protesters worried about the military

Hundreds of people joined a march by doctors and health workers moving towards a sit-in. The Sudanese Professionals Association, which is behind the protests, called on the military council to hand over power to a transitional civilian government that would rule for four years. The group fears that the army, dominated by Bashir appointees, will hold on to power.

The military council it says would rule for no more than two years while elections are organised.



Published in Economy

Snakes have been found in Liberian President George Weah’s office, forcing him to work from his private residence, the BBC has learnt.

Press secretary Smith Toby told the BBC that on Wednesday two black snakes were found in the Foreign Affairs Ministry building, his official place of work.

All staff have been told to stay away until 22 April.

“It’s just to make sure that crawling and creeping things get fumigated from the building,” Mr Toby said.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts the office of the president, so it did an internal memo asking the staff to stay home while they do the fumigation,” he said.

The office of the president has been based in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since a fire in 2006 gutted the nearby presidential mansion.

“The snakes were never killed,” Mr Toby said. “There was a little hole somewhere [through which] they made their way back.”

Police and presidential security were seen guarding Mr Weah’s residence in the capital Monrovia. A fleet of vehicles including escorts jeeps were parked outside.

Mr Toby said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs started to fumigate on Friday.

“That building’s been there for years now, and [because of] the drainage system, the possibility of having things like snakes crawling in that building was high,” he said.

The president is definitely returning to his office on Monday after the fumigation whether or not the snakes are found and killed, Mr Toby said.

Published in World

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Official Spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu has revealed that some developed countries find it difficult to render assistance to Nigeria because they believe the country is rich.

Garba Shehu issued this statement on behalf of President Buhari while receiving letters of credence from newly appointed diplomats of three nations namely, India, Kuwait, and Namibia.

According to him the country is viewed as being richly blessed in crude oil as a result of its participation in Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

He said: Nigeria’s continuous support of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) policies, sometimes, discourages assistance from developed countries, with wrong assumptions that the country is rich.

He added that Nigeria will “appreciate support in education, technology, infrastructure and projects that directly impact on livelihood of people”.

Published in World

A suit filed by Spectrum Wireless Communications Limited (SWCL) challenging the sales of telecommunications firm, 9mobile has been dismissed by a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The presiding Judge, Justice C.J. Aneke on Wednesday said the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to maintain the action against Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS)

The judge upheld the preliminary objection by EMTS, which denied any direct shareholding relationship between it and SWCL, to give the plaintiff the right to challenge 9mobile’s sale.

SWCL had sued EMTS in a suit that had United Capital Trustees Limited, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission as co-defendants.

SWCL claims that it acquired indirect holding of 30 per cent of the shares of EMTS after a private placement and was allotted 4,041,096 Class A shares.

Published in Telecoms

Angola’s President João Lourenço annulled the winning tender for the country’s fourth telecoms operating license and ordered it be re-run to ensure “a clean and transparent process,” his office said.

The move comes less than a week after an unknown Angolan company, Telstar Telecomunicacoes, won the tender first announced shortly after Lourenço’s inauguration in 2017 and heralded then as part of an opening up of one of Africa’s most closed economies.


- Reuters

Published in Telecoms
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