Friday, August 17, 2018

Edo Govt Strengthens Partnership With World Bank On Agriculture

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki (file )
 
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, says strengthening partnership with the World Bank in agricultural development will usher the state into a new era of prosperity.
Governor Obaseki, who said this on Tuesday at a meeting with a team from the World Bank at the Government House in Benin City, was also hopeful that the move would directly impact on the lives of the people.
He said the state government has implemented crucial reforms to encourage transparency, probity, and accountability in public finance and policy implementation.
According to the governor, the state government has also ensured the implementation of reforms that have made Edo attractive to investors and development partners, especially in the areas of capacity building, technical education, innovation and technology growth, as well as sustainable development goals among others.
He explained that the focus on technical education has attracted investment from the World Bank in the rehabilitation project which he said would see the technical school offer top-of-the-range education in the field and award globally-respected certificates to students.
On their part, the World Bank team assured the governor of continued support for his developmental projects and for reforms in Edo for the benefit of the people.
The state government has been pursuing a multipronged-agricultural development plan, which led to a recent visit to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to the state.
The visiting World Bank team consists of its Agricultural Economist, Adetunji Oredipe, and Lead Financial Management Specialist (Governance Global Practice), Parminder Brar.
The meeting followed extensive engagements of the state government with top officials of the World Bank.
The bank had sent expanded teams to Edo in the last couple of months, to assess the progress of development efforts by the government, including the Edo-Azura Power Project which the Bretton Woods institution is a major partner.
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Turkish Lira Rebounds After Central Bank Measures

A money changer counts Turkish lira banknotes at a currency exchange office in Istanbul, on August 8, 2018.  Yasin AKGUL / AFP
 
The Turkish lira rebounded Tuesday against the dollar, a day after the central bank took a raft of measures in a bid to soothe the markets. 
The lira was at 6.49 to the dollar and 7.41 to the euro, well off the 7.24 to the dollar and 8.12 to the euro seen Monday.
The unit has lost about a fifth of its value against the greenback since Friday.
Turkey’s central bank on Monday announced it was ready to take “all necessary measures” to ensure financial stability after the collapse of the lira, promising to provide banks with liquidity.
The bank also revised reserve requirement ratios for banks, in a move also aimed at staving off any liquidity issues.
Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will speak with about 1,000 foreign investors on Thursday via a teleconference, the private NTV broadcaster said.
Rapid growth fuelled by foreign funds and relatively low-interest rates have built up imbalances in the Turkish economy, setting the stage for the lira’s plunge.
The trigger has been a diplomatic crisis with the United States over a number of issues including the detention of an American pastor.
US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Turkish iron and steel exports, in a series of punitive actions for Ankara’s refusal to release the pastor, who is currently under house detention on terror-related charges and espionage.
AFP
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Lagos Light Rail To Commence Operation In 2022

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode,
 
The Lagos State Government has announced that its light rail project running between Mile 2 and Marina will now commence operation in 2022.
This comes after the state government signed a major agreement with French Multinational Rail Transport Company, Alstom SA, on the operation of the state rail mass transit.
The mass transit rail project called the ‘‘Blue Line” had suffered many delays due to the paucity of funds and other challenges.
The first phase one of the projects which be implemented before the end of second quarter of 2019, is expected to reduce maintenance cost and pressure on the road network, lessen man-hour from traffic for commuters when completed in the next four years.
A statement by the Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Kolawole Ojelabi, “The state government had engaged consultants to carry out  a technical review and due diligence on the implementation of the project, which substantially had focused on civil works, and reported back to government that operation of the first phase could only commence in 2022.
“Following the report, Alstom SA France, who has over 100 years of railway experience covering 60 countries, was engaged to review the report of the consultant.
“Alstom SA agreed with the submission of the consultant that the first phase of the rail project could only become operational in 2022 based on proposed funding pattern,” the statement added.
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Two Million Nigerians To Get Collateral Free Loans From FG

File
 
The Federal Government will be giving 2million Nigerians collateral free loans as part of the recently launched initiative under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), called the TraderMoni.
The aim of the initiative is to empower 2million petty traders between now and end of the year.
The scheme, which was launched last week in Lagos, would grant a minimum of 30,000 loans in each state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Traders from Lagos, Kano, Abia will be the first round of beneficiaries to partake in the loan.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, “In addition to the 30,000 loans per State, States with larger populations like Lagos and Kano are expected to get more than 30,000 loans.
“Across the country, especially in the pilot states, about 500,000 potential beneficiaries have so far been enumerated.
“In order to identify the beneficiaries, no less than 4,000 enumeration agents have been engaged by the Bank of Industry which is deploying the new scheme”, he said.
Mr Akande explained that TraderMoni is designed to help petty traders expand their trade through the provision of collateral free loans of N10,000.
The loans are repayable over a period of six months.
He explained that under the scheme, beneficiaries can get access to a higher facility ranging from N15,000 to N50,000 when they repay N10,000 within the stipulated time period.
According to Mr Akande, the goal of the Buhari Administration is to use the TraderMoni to take financial inclusion down to the grassroots, the bottom of the ladder, considering the contribution of petty traders to economic development.
“The Federal Government is also aware of the fact that many of the petty traders don’t have what the commercial banks require to grant them loans.
“This administration is keen to ensure that such traders at that level are able to build their businesses and grow.
“TraderMoni was launched last Tuesday in five markets in Lagos State, with tens of thousands beneficiaries already.
“The Lagos markets already reached are Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Ketu, and Abule Egba markets.
“The scheme will soon be taken to other states in the country, with Abia and Kano states next in line”, he added.
He further noted that the initiative which was just launched has already started receiving commendations by the beneficiaries.
 
 
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Two Million Nigerians To Get Collateral Free Loans From Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari (file)
 
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will be giving 2million Nigerians collateral free loans as part of the recently launched initiative under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), called the TraderMoni.
The aim of the initiative is to empower 2million petty traders between now and end of the year.
The scheme, which was launched last week in Lagos, would grant a minimum of 30,000 loans in each state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Traders from Lagos, Kano, Abia will be the first round of beneficiaries to partake in the loan.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, “In addition to the 30,000 loans per State, States with larger populations like Lagos and Kano are expected to get more than 30,000 loans.
“Across the country, especially in the pilot states, about 500,000 potential beneficiaries have so far been enumerated.
“In order to identify the beneficiaries, no less than 4,000 enumeration agents have been engaged by the Bank of Industry which is deploying the new scheme”, he said.
Mr Akande explained that TraderMoni is designed to help petty traders expand their trade through the provision of collateral free loans of N10,000.
The loans are repayable over a period of six months.
He explained that under the scheme, beneficiaries can get access to a higher facility ranging from N15,000 to N50,000 when they repay N10,000 within the stipulated time period.
According to Mr Akande, the goal of the Buhari Administration is to use the TraderMoni to take financial inclusion down to the grassroots, the bottom of the ladder, considering the contribution of petty traders to economic development.
“The Federal Government is also aware of the fact that many of the petty traders don’t have what the commercial banks require to grant them loans.
“This administration is keen to ensure that such traders at that level are able to build their businesses and grow.
“TraderMoni was launched last Tuesday in five markets in Lagos State, with tens of thousands beneficiaries already.
“The Lagos markets already reached are Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Ketu, and Abule Egba markets.
“The scheme will soon be taken to other states in the country, with Abia and Kano states next in line”, he added.
He further noted that the initiative which was just launched has already started receiving commendations by the beneficiaries.
 
 
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Turkey’s Lira Crisis Spills Into Asian Markets

A picture taken on August 12, 2018 shows a wad of one-hundred Turkish lira notes on display at a currency exchange in Kuwait City.  Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP
 
Asian and European markets tumbled and the Turkish lira dived almost eight percent Monday on fears that the economic crisis gripping Turkey could spill over into the global economy.
With investors already on edge over the China-US trade war, the lira’s collapse sparked a sell-off in Europe and New York at the end of last week, with safe-haven assets including the Japanese yen and Swiss franc rallying.
The lira dived to a record low of 7.24 to the dollar at one point overnight before recovering slightly after the country’s finance minister said Ankara was planning to roll out an “action plan” on Monday in response to the crisis.
That was followed by the central bank saying it was ready to take “all necessary measures” to ensure financial stability, easing reserve requirements for lenders and promising to provide them with liquidity.
“Our institutions will take necessary action from Monday in order to relieve the markets,” Berat Albayrak said, adding that the plan would center on “the state of our banks and the small and medium-sized enterprises” most affected by the lira’s plunge.
The lira has been hammered this year, having started January at around 3.70 to the dollar according to Bloomberg data, while it is also sharply down against the euro.
However, the European unit was taking a hit against the greenback on worries about the possible impact on some European banks, including Spain’s BBVA, Italy’s UniCredit and France’s BNP Paribas.
Despite the tumult, President Tayyip Erdogan remains in a combative mood, calling the rout a “political, underhand plot” against Turkey.
The crisis has been sparked by a series of issues including a faltering economy — the central bank has defied market calls for rate hikes — and tensions with the United States, which has hit Turkey with sanctions over its detention of an American pastor.
Ankara has also hit out at Washington’s cooperation with Syrian Kurdish militia in the fight against Islamic State.
 Vulnerabilities 
“The decline in the lira is multifaceted, caused not only by a weak external position in terms of current account deficit and inadequate currency reserves but also the challenging political environment which exacerbates the vulnerabilities in the lira,” said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.
“A mid-meeting rate hike and tightening of monetary policy may help to avert the lira’s decline, to some extent.”
As well as the lira, emerging market and other high-yielding currencies tumbled across the board.
The Russian ruble, already under pressure after the US hit Moscow with sanctions last week, lost two percent, while the South African rand was battered seven percent.
South Korea’s won and the Australian dollar retreated 0.4 percent and the Indonesian rupiah lost 0.9 percent and is at its weakest level since October 2015.
The Indian rupee hit a new low of 69.62, extending a recent sell-off with high crude prices also squeezing the unit as India is a net importer of oil.
The yen, a go-to unit in times of turmoil, rose against the dollar, while the Swiss franc was also higher.
“The dominating theme of this week is likely to be the Turkish situation,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note to clients.
“The ‘Turkey shock’ from last weekend, triggered by sharp plunges of the lira, has fuelled fears that it may impact financial institutions in Europe,” it said.
On equity markets, Hong Kong shed 1.5 percent and Shanghai finished 0.3 percent lower, while Tokyo dropped two percent with exporters hurt by the stronger yen.
Sydney fell 0.4 percent, Singapore was 0.8 percent lower and Seoul shed 1.5 percent. There were also sharp losses in Taipei, Manila, and Jakarta, which dived 3.3 percent after Indonesia reported Friday its biggest current account deficit in about four years.
London fell 0.5 percent in the morning, while Paris slipped 0.3 percent and Frankfurt was 0.6 percent lower.
The sharp losses come despite the fact Turkey accounts for just one percent of the world economy, meaning there is little risk to the world economy or even the eurozone.
Key figures at 0810 GMT –
Dollar/Turkish lira: UP at 6.88 lira from 6.43 lira late Friday
Euro/Turkish lira: UP at 7.84 lira from 7.34 lira
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 2.0 percent at 21,857.43 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 1.5 percent at 27,936.57 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 2,785.87 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 7,627.95
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1373 from $1.1421
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2746 from $1.2789
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.24 yen from 110.58 yen
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 28 cents at $67.35
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN 35 cents at $72.46
New York – Dow Jones: DOWN 0.8 percent at 25,313.14
AFP
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China Exports Top Forecasts, Warns Of US Tariffs Impact

Workers unloading bags of chemicals at a port in Zhangjiagang in China’s eastern Jiangsu province.  Johannes EISELE / AFP
 
China on Wednesday posted a forecast-busting surge in exports for July, but while its surplus with the US dipped slightly analysts warned that the full impact of US sanctions was yet to be felt.
The figures come as the world’s two largest economies exchange threats of stiff duties on billions of dollars worth of goods, fuelling fears of a full-blown trade conflict that could hit global growth.
Beijing reported a $28.1 billion surplus with the US in July, down from the record $28.9 billion seen in June. But it was 11 per cent higher than in the same month last year.
China’s global trade surplus also fell, from $41.5 billion in June to $28 billion in July. Exports surged a better-than-expected 12.2 per cent in July, while imports soared 27.3 per cent, also beating estimates.
But the latest readings are unlikely to ease tensions with Donald Trump’s administration.
China’s gaping trade surplus with the United States has long been a bone of contention, with the US president accusing the country of unfair practices and of stealing American jobs and technological know-how.
While July’s numbers narrow the gap, the relatively small change will do “little to cool down the escalating trade tensions between the two countries”, said Betty Wang, senior China economist at ANZ Research.
The recent decline of the yuan likely helped Chinese exporters as it makes their products cheaper, but it could fuel tensions with Trump, who has accused Beijing of manipulating its currency.
But Wang said the currency devaluation “has been largely market-driven” and “is not a preferred policy tool by Chinese policy makers as part of the retaliation measures.”
The White House on July 6 imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products entering the US, triggering a tit-for-tat response from Beijing.
Analysts were split on how much effect the tariffs had on July’s reading.
“The impact of tariffs on exports is yet to be reflected. We will see a full-month tariff effect in August,” Iris Pang, greater China economist at ING Wholesale Banking in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News.
But Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said: “Shipments to the US did weaken slightly, which hints at some impact from the tariffs.
“Equally though, this may reflect a broader softening in economic momentum among developed economies given that exports to the EU edged down too.”
 ‘Cool headed’ 
Trump has boasted that trade wars are “easy to win” and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its $335 billion surpluses with the US.
On Tuesday, US officials said they would slap 25 per cent levies on another $16 billion worth of Chinese imports from August 23.
In a statement, the office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its “exhaustive” investigation showed “China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce.”
US officials said there were 279 new goods to be targeted in the latest round of tariffs, including motorcycles, tractors, railroad parts, electronic circuits, motors and farm equipment.
The move had been widely expected but with China lining up retaliatory measures it reinforced worries that the two sides are heading for an all-out trade war that could hamper the global economy.
Washington has also lined up an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports and last week Trump said he could raise tariffs on those products to 25 per cent instead of the previously touted 10 per cent.
Beijing has called on US officials to be “cool-headed”, but has warned it will retaliate against any tariffs with its own measures.
However, the US imports far more from China than it exports to it, meaning Beijing may at some point need to look for other means of retaliation.
The US-China trade war will cut the global gross domestic product by 0.7 per cent by 2020, Oxford Economics said in a note Tuesday.
AFP
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BMW To Recall 323,700 Diesel Cars Over Fire Danger – Report

Vice President of BMW for quality, Johann Ebenbichler, talks about the company’s recall during a press conference at a hotel in Seoul on August 6, 2018.  Photo: Jung Yeon-je / AFP
 
Germany’s luxury automaker BMW is going to recall 23,700 diesel cars in Europe over an engine fire danger, following a similar action in South Korea, a German media newspaper reported Tuesday.
The recall is to fix a faulty component that was aimed at reducing emissions from diesel engines, the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in its edition for Wednesday.
Of the total recall, around 96.300 vehicles are in Germany, the newspaper said, claiming it had confirmation from BMW.
No spokesman for the group was available for comment on the press report late Tuesday.
But BMW has already recalled around 100,000 cars in South Korea over the engine fire danger, after more than 30 BMWs — mostly the 520d sedan model — caught fire this year.
 
Earlier this month South Korea opened an investigation into an alleged delay by BMW in announcing the recall.
On Monday, the German motor titan apologised at a press conference for the spate of engine fires in South Korea, and said the country was not alone.
BMW blamed a faulty component called the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler that generated excessive sediment and caused engines to catch fire, and said the problem was “not Korea specific”.
“A similar rate (of failure) was observed in other jurisdictions,” said Johann Ebenbichler, vice president of BMW for quality, without listing other countries where such accidents had been reported.
The carmaker used the same software and hardware for its vehicles sold in Europe, he said, adding that the firm had decided to undertake the “same campaigns” there as in South Korea.
AFP
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Nooyi To Step Down As Pepsi CEO After 12 Years

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi speaks during a press conference to announce a marketing partnership between the NBA and PepsiCo at Terminal 23 in New York City. Alex Goodlett / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
 
 
Pepsico announced Monday that Indra Nooyi is stepping down as chief executive after 12 years at the helm of the US soft drinks and snacks giant.
She will be replaced by President Ramon Laguarta on October 3 but will remain as chair of the board until early 2019 to oversee the transition.
“Her leadership and vision propelled our performance, transformed our company and embedded sustainability into everything we do. Thank you, @IndraNooyi!” Pepsico said on its Twitter account, announcing the change.
Nooyi, who has been with the company for 24 years, led a strategic shift away from junk foods toward healthier options during her 12 years as CEO.
Born in India, the 62-year-old Nooyi has landed over the years on numerous lists of the world’s most influential business leaders.
“Growing up in India, I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company,” she said in a statement. “PepsiCo today is in a strong position for continued growth with its brightest days still ahead.”
Under her leadership, Pepsico net revenues rose from $35 billion in 2006 to $63.5 billion in 2017.
Laguarta, who was elected to Pepsico’s board as part of the move, is a 22-year veteran of the company, praised by Nooyi for her “deep understanding of the changing preferences of consumers and other critical trends unfolding around the world.”
AFP
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Customs Redeploys 70 Comptrollers

File photo of Nigeria Customs Service office in Abuja.
 
In order to ensure efficiency in service delivery, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, has redeployed 70 Comptrollers.
According to a statement from the service’s Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, the reshufflement is to meet the challenges of fighting smuggling, revenue collection and trade facilitation.
“In the face of challenging security situation and increasing inclination to non-oil revenue drive, the Service must step up to be counted as a necessary safety valve for National growth,” the Customs’ boss said.
The affected officers include Comptrollers Abubakar Bashir, who moves from Port-Harcourt II (Onne) to Apapa; Musa Jibrin from Apapa to Human Resources Development; Comptroller Sa’idu Galadima who moves from Information Communication Technology (ICT) to Port-Harcourt Area II (Onne).
Also, Comptrollers Mohammed Aliyu of Seme Command swapped positions with Comptroller Mohammed Garba of Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ among others.
While reiterating his commitment work with the Federal Government’s policies, Ali charged all the affected officers to bring their experiences to bear in their new postings.
In doing this, he encouraged them to fight smugglers to a standstill and collect “every collectible revenue.”
The reorganization comes with immediate effect.
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Apple Breaks Record, Hits $1trn Market Value

The Apple logo is seen at the entrance to the Fifth Avenue Apple store in New York. Don EMMERT / AFP
 
Apple became the first public-sector company to surpass $1 trillion in market value Thursday following its latest surge after reporting strong quarterly earnings.
Shares of Apple briefly hit $207.05 in late-morning trading, before retreating somewhat. The gains came after the iPhone maker reported strong earnings late Tuesday that prompted a two-day rally in the share price.
The company’s stock was at $206.85, up 2.7 per cent near 1620 GMT. Apple said it currently has 4.83 billion shares outstanding.
As with other landmarks — such as the Dow crossing 25,000 for the first time — the Apple record is significant because of its resonance beyond the financial universe.
“The $1 trillion mark is more psychological, and sends a message of growth and size into the market,” said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
But many financial insiders view the record as a non-event, despite breaching the psychological barrier.
“There’s no real excitement on the trading desk,” said Karl Haeling of LBBW. “It’s one of those things that does not mean anything by itself… it’s more a testimony of the importance of Apple on the market.”
The landmark is the latest victory for Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who faced skepticism when he took reins of the iconic technology giant in 2011.
Credit to Cook 
He took over after the death of founder Steve Jobs, who was identified with launching many of Apple‘s most iconic products, including the iPhone smartphone and the iPad tablet.
But Cook has gradually won accolades from investors by pumping out a series of solid financial results and further spreading Apple‘s products to China and other foreign markets.
On Tuesday, Apple reported that net profit jumped more than 30 percent to $11.5 billion. Revenue in the fiscal third quarter soared 17 percent to $53.3 billion from the same period a year earlier due to sales of pricier iPhones, online services and wearable devices.
The record also cements the continued supremacy of US technology companies to the broader market, with other large technology giants Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook regularly rounding out the top five in market
Apple is the first private sector company to reach this level, but state oil company PetroChina briefly broke the $1 trillion barriers in 2007 during its initial public offering but has since dropped back down.
AFP
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NAFDAC Destroys Expired Drugs Worth N650m

 
Officials of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has destroyed expired pharmaceutical products worth N650 million in Kaduna State.
The agency says it is committed to ridding Nigeria of counterfeit and unwholesome drugs towards in order to ensure the protection of lives of the citizens.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Christiana Adeyeye said there would be no sacred cows in the fight against counterfeit drugs and substandard food products.
Speaking after setting the contraband products ablaze on Friday, the Acting North West zonal director of the agency, Dauda Gimba, who represented Adeyeye described the production of fake drugs as an act of terrorism and economic sabotage against public health.
“The destruction of these items will eliminate the risk of their recirculation into the Nigerian market. Drug counterfeiting is an act of terrorism and economic sabotage against public health.
“The products being destroyed today are made up of substandard and falsely labelled medicines, unwholesome food products, cosmetics and other counterfeit products seized by the agency from manufacturers, importers and distributors. The estimated street value of the products is N650 million
“Also, expired drugs voluntarily handed over by agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), non-governmental organizations, trade unions, pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and the National Association of Proprietary and Patent Medicine Dealers are included in this exercise.”
Gimba added that the ban on codeine was still in force and the agency is prepared to restore sanity in the health sector in the country.
The agency also urged Nigerians to remain alert, and stop patronising street hawkers, whom they call merchants of death, as well as to always check the labels of all consumables.
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US SEC Again Rejects Winkelvoss Twins Bitcoin Fund

 
US market regulators on Thursday again rejected a proposal to allow trading in the first Bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund created by noted tech entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
The Securities and Exchange Commission denied the request in a 3-1 vote, upholding the rejection handed down last year.
The value of Bitcoin, a digital currency not overseen or guaranteed by any central bank, has fluctuated wildly in recent months, with some price movements this week driven by hopes the SEC could approve an ETF tied to the currency.
The SEC reportedly is considering applications for a handful of other bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds.
But the SEC said BZX, an equities market operated by CBOE Global Markets, failed to demonstrate that its proposed change to market rules would not create the risk of fraud and “manipulative acts.”
BZX had not entered into “surveillance-sharing agreements” with other regulated Bitcoin markets or shown it could find other ways of complying with securities laws, the SEC said in its decision.
“Because BZX has failed to carry its burden, the proposed rule change must be disapproved,” it said.
Following the announcement, exchange rates for bitcoin fell from 2.2 percent $8,086, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg.
SEC officials told reporters the denial did not reflect any judgment on the intrinsic value of Bitcoin or the blockchain technology used for cryptocurrencies.
But they said market data showed more than 75 percent of all trades between Bitcoin and traditional currencies occur outside the United States, with annualized volatility in 2017 of 94 percent — compared to about 11 percent for gold.
The agency has taken an aggressive stance on Bitcoin investment vehicles such as initial coin offerings as they have seen cases of outright fraud explode in recent years and has launched a public education campaign to encourage investors to be skeptical.
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Fiat’s Boss, Sergio Marchionne Dies At 66

 FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’s Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne speaks during a press conference after the FCA Capital Markets Day in Balocco. Fiat veteran boss Sergio Marchionne has died at the age of 66, according to holding company Exor on July 25, 2018. Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP
 
Fiat Chrysler’s visionary boss Sergio Marchionne has died, after having driven the Italian auto giant to success for 14 years, holding company Exor announced Wednesday.
“It is with the deepest sadness that EXOR has learned of the passing of Sergio Marchionne,” the holding company, which is owned by the Agnelli family, said in a statement.
Its chief executive John Elkann said: “Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone.”
FCA had announced at the weekend that Marchionne, 66, was gravely ill in hospital in Zurich after suffering serious complications following surgery on his right shoulder last month.
The Italian-Canadian executive took the reins at Fiat in 2004.
Marchionne is credited with revamping the company, Italy’s premier private enterprise, from top to bottom.
In 2009, he merged Fiat with US automaker Chrysler, then hived off its industrial vehicles unit in 2011 to create CNH Industrial and successfully spun off the luxury brand Ferrari in January 2016.
In the statement from Exor, Elkann said: “I believe that the best way to honour his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion.”
In an indication of the profound impact that Marchionne had in Italy, members of parliament held a minute of silence in his honour, followed by applause.
‘Italian pride’ 
“Thank you for the work, the effort, the results. You spread Italian pride throughout the world”, former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni tweeted.
Meanwhile Italy’s deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said “Respect to a man who has done so much and could have done so much more.”
Marchionne, who brought Fiat back from the brink of bankruptcy, has been lauded by the Italian press since his serious condition was made known over the weekend.
FCA has scrambled to put new management in place to take over his legacy.
Marchionne will be replaced as FCA boss by Briton Mike Manley, head of the iconic Jeep brand.
The new executive head of Ferrari will be Louis Carey Camilleri, CEO of tobacco giant Philip Morris. The cigarette-maker has sponsored Ferrari for four decades.
Suzanne Heywood will take over as the new boss of CNH Industrial, which specialises in agricultural and construction equipment, trucks and buses.
Marchionne had been planning to step down from FCA next year.
Some experts have cast doubt on the ability of Marchionne’s successors to maintain the momentum he had built up over the years.
German auto expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer described Fiat Chrysler as “a weak company and now with Marchionne’s departure, it has become even weaker.”
His successor at the helm of the sprawling FCA, Manley, “is no Marchionne,” Dudenhoeffer said.
But others analysts were more optimistic.
“While the succession comes seven months sooner than we and the market anticipated, we nevertheless believe that the investment case for margin expansion and eventual strategic options remains intact,” said analysts for Barclays bank.
AFP
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LIVE: CBN Holds 262nd MPC Meeting

 
The 262nd Monetary Policy Meeting is ongoing at the 11th Floor, Wing C of the Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele chairs the meeting that brings stakeholders to deliberate on the financial stability of Nigeria.
In attendance are key officials of the apex bank, stakeholders and journalists.
At the meeting, the apex bank decided to retain the MPR rate at current level of 14 per cent, Liquidity ratio at 30 per cent.
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