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Boris Johnson wants Brexit renegotiated

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent an ultimatum to Brussels to renegotiate Brexit or face the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal.

Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves from the steps outside 10 Downing Street, London, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Boris Johnson has replaced Theresa May as Prime Minister, following her resignation last month after Parliament repeatedly rejected the Brexit withdrawal agreement she struck with the European Union. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

In his first statement to parliament, Johnson said: “We are ready to negotiate, in good faith, an alternative (Brexit deal).

“We will throw ourselves into these negotiations with the greatest energy and determination.”
Johnson expressed the hope that EU leaders would “rethink their current refusal” to renegotiate Britain’s EU withdrawal agreement.
“If they do not, we will have to leave without an agreement,” he said.

He added that he had asked his new ministers to make preparations for a no-deal Brexit their “top priority”.

Johnson insisted that Britain must leave the bloc by the delayed exit date of Oct. 31, with or without a deal.

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World News

Buhari nominates Adesina for second term

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President Muhammadu Buhari has re-nominated Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), for a second four-year term as head of the African regional financial institution.

Adesina became president of the Bank on May 28, 2015, twenty four hours after his tenure as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in the President Goodluck Jonathan administration ended.

Adesina disclosed his renomination for the Bank’s top position Sunday when he received a lifetime achievement award as Nigeria’s international icon at the 23rd Hallmarks of Labour awards held in Lagos.

He said, “President Bihari has nominated me again to be re-elected for a second term as President of the AfDB. I thank him for that support and I am extremely grateful to him. By the God’s grace, and with your support, I was elected president of the AfDB on May 28, 2015, exactly 24 hours after my term of office as minister of our dear nation, the nation jubilated as I became the first ever Nigerian to be elected president of the AfDB.
“We have been able to do much and God has helped us tremendously. The Bank was voted fourth most transparent institution globally last year. The Bank continues to maintain its goal through the race, we connected 16 million people to electricity within the last three years. We connected 17 million people with agricultural technology to get food security, we got nine billion people connected to finance, 55 million people with access to improved transport, and 31million people with access to improved water sanitation. Nigeria is the largest shareholder of AfDB. There is still much to do, there are still lots of challenges as we all know. I know I cannot do much unless I get a second term as President of the AfDB. I want to say that once again Nigeria has given me air in my lungs. President Buhari has nominated me again to be re-elected for a second term as president of the AfDB.”

Adesina said his election as the first ever Nigerian to head the Bank was a collective effort of Nigerians, mentioning Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Prof. Sule Gambari, Nigeria’s former permanent representative at the United Nations and Dr Ngozi Okinjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy in the Jonathan government, whom he said represented the country well and made Nigeria stand tall in the international community and made it possible for him to follow their examples.

“Some of these people may be dead but they are alive. Their achievements have become paths for us today just like the paths of the forest that leads one to the beach. I want to say that all of us must begin to take responsibility and that there is need for all of us at all times to be the best ambassadors of Nigeria and to make it the nation we want it to be,” Adesina added.

He charged Nigerians to emulate the examples set by notable Nigerians, saying that his position at the head of the AfDB was a collective effort of all Nigerians.

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World News

Oil prices fall again

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Oil slipped on Monday as China’s economic outlook remained weak even as manufacturing data improved, with an ongoing trade war with the United States weighing on demand growth for the world’s largest crude importer.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures were down 52 cents or 0.84 percent at $61.39 a barrel by 0846 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were 35 cents or 0.63 percent lower at $55.56 a barrel.

China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 49.8 in September, slightly better than expected and advancing from 49.5 in August.
However, it remained below the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction on a monthly basis, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

The PMI data “remained in contractionary territory for the fifth month in a row, indicating that economic fundamentals were still weak,” Citi analysts said in a note.

“The (Chinese) government will certainly step up fiscal and monetary efforts to boost domestic demand, which we believe can help stabilize, probably not accelerate, economic growth.”

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has restored capacity to 11.3 million barrels per day after an attack on its processing facilities this month, sources told Reuters last week, although Saudi Aramco has yet to confirm it is fully back online.

While Saudi Arabia is maintaining exports by using crude from in

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National News

Xenophobia: Nigerians in SA look forward to the two presidents meeting

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Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa (NICASA), is optimistic that the meeting between Nigerian and South African Presidents in October, will bring lasting solutions to the recurrent xenophobia.

The President of NICASA, Mr Ben Okoli, made this known in a telephone conversation with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Okoli said President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, were expected to meet in October to discuss modalities to address attacks on Nigerians living in that country.

“We are looking forward to the state visit by President Buhari and we believe his coming will help reduce the suffering Nigerians go through in South Africa.

“We will use the opportunity to lay our complaints to the president and highlight security of lives and properties of our members, as the area of concern that we want addressed.

“We will also be able to get assurance from our host country’s president towards securing lives and properties of Nigerians here.

“We hope the visit will comfort Nigerians here, because we expect our plight to be tabled before the host government, so they can provide adequate protection to ensure Nigerians feel safe,” he said.

He lamented the high handedness of police operatives in South Africa on matters that concerned Nigerians, saying issues like brutality and killings should be brought to the fore at the meeting.

“We will list all potentials that could bring about economic benefits and growth to Nigerians through the anticipated state visit,” he said.

He said that Nigerians ha, without any fear of contradiction, contributed immensely to the growth of the South African economy.

“We urge the South African Government to ensure that the attacks do not reoccur. We appeal to them to device alternative strategies since previous efforts to stop xenophobia have not worked.

“We believe xenophobia can be stopped and therefore appeal to the South African government to provide succour to foreigners who have lost their source of livelihood, especially Nigerians.

He commended the Nigerian Consulate General to South Africa, Godwin Adama, for the pro-active steps he had so far taken to douse tension via the media in that country.

“The mission’s gate has never been shut against Nigerians; it has always kept its door open.

“What happened is that after the crisis in Pretoria where South African’s destroyed Nigerian businesses and property, those whose property were destroyed went to the mission out of frustration and anger.

“I understand the situation; it is not easy for somebody to lose his property and just be watching; but the mission gate was not shut against them,” he said.

He said they were invite in and received by an official of the consulate who went as far as organising food and drinks for them to make sure that they are comfortable.

“So they were attended to and nobody would say that the gate was shut against them.

“The mission allowed them in even though they came in by force and destroyed part of the entrance.

“They were encouraged to go and calculate their losses and bring back the report through the organisation. So, we are actually collaborating with people who have lost their property.

“We are taking inventory of what our people lost, which I will make available to the high commissioner in due time,” Okoli said.

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Travel & Tourism

Uber hopes to expand its bus system to Lagos

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Uber is hoping to expand its imprint on public transportation in Africa’s largest city.

The ride-hailing firm is working on plans to help develop a bus system for Lagos, a gridlocked metropolis with over 20 million people. Company representatives have met with transport officials from the city, toured the terminals of the newly-launched smart city buses, and discussed plans for collaboration, Uber’s general manager for sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits confirmed to Quartz Africa on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town.

In June, Uber’s chief business officer Brook Entwistle visited the city and met with the Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Any plans would require full approval and collaboration by the state government which is known for its proclivity for bureaucratic control.

The moves are indicative of Uber’s plan to become the “Amazon” for transportation and tap into riders’ preferred mobility options. It’s also part of a strategy to add into its array of locally-popular forms of motorized transport, given the roll-out of boda-boda motorcycles in cities like Kampala, three-wheeled tuk-tuks in Dar es Salaam, or quick-trip, low-cost options on fuel-efficient vehicles in Nairobi. The e-hailing firm has also been partnering with transit agencies in cities to expand transportation access, decrease car ownership, and reduce congestion.

The bus options offer a “huge opportunity,” Lits said, given millions of people across the continent use them to move on a daily basis. In Lagos, about 80% of total daily passenger trips as of 2015 were made by public transport dominated by buses.

One option Uber could consider for the city is to offer real-time transit information and cashless ticketing on the Lagos Bus Services, allowing riders to plan their journeys and buy tickets. Traffic is a major challenge in Lagos with inadequate traffic guidance, bad roads, and unruly drivers making it all the worse. The city also does not yet have a modern light railway system for regular commuters though it is building one.

“I think the bus will prove to be a game-changer for Lagos and is obviously very much needed,” Lits said. He also added city officials were “excited” by the prospects of partnership. “It is a longer-term engagement but it is something we are willing to do and I think grateful for the willingness on the other side.”

The ride-hailing giant has launched similar experiments in cities including Denver, where commuters can buy, book and pay for bus and train rides using an in-app ticketing service

Six years after launching in Africa, Uber has been constantly adapting its business models to the needs of local markets amid competition from rivals. For example, African cities, led by Nairobi and Lagos, played a key role in driving Uber’s global strategy around cash. Last December, the San Francisco-based company launched its first bus service globally in Cairo: another traffic-clogged city where local firm SWVL was already using technology to help customers reserve seats on clean, air-conditioned, and high-quality buses.

After raising about $80 million in the past two years, SWVL has now expanded to Kenya and Pakistan and is looking to move into Nigeria, South Africa, and Côte d’Ivoire, chief executive Mostafa Kandil recently told Quartz. In Kenya, Safaricom-backed Little also launched a bus service to bring order to the unruly public matatu buses.”

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