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Board satisfied with turnout at maiden cadet t/tennis championships

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The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Efunkoya Foundation, sponsors of the maiden National Cadet Table Tennis Championships, has expressed satisfaction at the turnout of players for the tournament.

A Member of the BOT, Toun Engore, told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that the impressive turnout showed that  young players were eager for opportunities to develop their skills.

NAN reports that 52 players, comprising of U-15 boys and girls are participating in the three-day championships which began on Thursday at the  Indoor Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

“This is the first edition of this championships, and we are having such  good turnout of young players. I must confess that I am impressed.

“The amazing thing  is the passion being exhibited by the players as they take their turns on the table,’’ she said.

She praised the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), organisers of the championships, for adequate preparation.

“Everything is going on fine; players are happy competing with their peers because the competition  is restricted to U-15; that is the age category on the table,” she added.

She added  that scholarships  would be given to players who would distinguish themselves in the boys and girls singles event, to support their education.

NAN reports that the competition is in honour of  Adegboyega Efunkoya, a former Chairman of Nigeria Table Tennis Association (NTTA), who died in 2006.

NAN also reports that 33 players were  on Thursday disqualified from the competition over age falsification.

The tournament Director, John Peters,  had told NAN that the players were disqualified during screening.

“It was a very strict and meticulous exercise, and the purpose was achieved because we were able to screen out 33 over-aged players.

The director said that the record would form a data base to monitor the progress of the U-15 players and to guard against age falsification.

“We have also taken advantage of the screening to have a genuine data base of age ages 15 and below, which we will use to monitor them in subsequent and related table tennis championships,’’ Peters said.

According to him, the players were drawn from 10 states, namely: Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Kwara, Ondo State, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Lagos State, while registered Zamfara and Akwa-Ibom players were being expected as at Thursday.

 

Economy

AfDB board authorises independent body to review ethics committee report

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The Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has authorised an independent review of the report of ethics committee of the boards of the Directors and submission made by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the bank.

The bureau of the Boards of Governors of AfDB made the resolution in a communique issued by the chairperson of the bureau, Ms Niale KABA after their meeting on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the United States department of treasury had called for an independent probe of allegations levelled against Dr Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president on corruption after being cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.

The position of U.S representative in the bank has been condemned by many African leaders and some sitting presidents in Africa as they rallied support for Adesina.

The communique stated that the bureau reiterated that it agreed that the ethics committee of the board of Directors performed its role on this matter in accordance with the applicable role under resolution /2008/11 of the board of Governors.

It also stated that the chairperson of the bureau performed her role in accepting the findings of the ethics committee in accordance with the said resolution.

According to the communique, the bureau arrived at the decision based on views of some Governors on the matter to carry every member along in resolving it.

“The independent review shall be conducted by a neutral high calibre individuals with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and integrity within a short time period of not more than two to four weeks maximum, taking the bank’s group electoral calendar into account.

“The bureau agrees that within a three to six months period, and following the independent review of the ethics committee report, an independent comprehensive review of the implementation of the bank’s group whistle blowing and complaint.

“Handling policy should be conducted with a view to ensuring that the policy is properly implemented, and revising it where necessary to avoid situations of this nature in future” it stated.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Foreign

Some downtown retail stores in Toronto board up storefronts for fear of being looted

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CANADA-TORONTO-ANTI-RACISM PROTEST-BOARDING UP” src=”https://nnn.com.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/139116123_15913286680371n.jpg” sourcename=”本地文件” sourcedescription=”网上抓取的文件”>

CANADA-TORONTO-ANTI-RACISM PROTEST-BOARDING UP” src=”https://nnn.com.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/139116123_15913286680371n.jpg” sourcename=”本地文件” sourcedescription=”网上抓取的文件”>

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Workers board up the storefront windows in Toronto, Canada, on June 4, 2020. With more anti-racism protests planned this weekend in Toronto, some downtown retail stores boarded up their storefronts for fear of being looted. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)

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Oil & Gas

Nigerian Content Board intervenes in NLNG, Macobarb N970m rift

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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), has waded into the N970 million dispute between the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), and a Nigerian company, Macobarb International.
News Agency of Nigeria
gathered that the N970 million contractual dispute is being mediated by the NCDMB as reconciliatory meetings were held at NCDMB’s headquarters in Yenagoa.
Macobarb
wants to be paid about N970m by the NLNG for what it termed wrongful termination of a contract and value for downtime and equipment on site over a period of time.
Several organisations have made unsuccessful efforts to mediate in the dispute including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, and Office of Attorney-General of the Federation amongst others.
NAN sources at NCDMB said the board got the complaint in October 2019 and invited both parties and the first sitting was held about Dec. 10, 2019 at the Yenagoa head office of the board.
A senior official of the board, Mr Alexis Emele, chaired the reconciliation meeting.
The source who participated in the talks said Macobarb asked for what it called ‘Standing Time Amount’ when the NLNG kept the company’s equipment and key personnel doing nothing on offshore contract for 559 days.
The Nigerian company said it calculated the claim with contract standing time rates to get N958 million, plus outstanding balance on turnstile and vehicle barrier Macobarb supplied the NLNG as part of the contract, all totaling N970m.
Macobarb
had complained to numerous organisations that it had been rated as a top performer in contracts with the NLNG until it was upgraded and awarded a Turnstile and Security contract in 2014.
The company said the contract’s biggest term was that there would be no mobilisation fee paid to Macobarb, but that every milestone achieved and approved would be paid for, failing which the defaulter would pay penalty.
The CEO of Macobarb, Mr Shedrack Ogboru, said that when it was time to pay the first batch, after all due technical approvals, one man in NLNG stopped payment without offering any reason.
He said the unwarranted development affected the job so badly that performance was impossible.
He said that he had taken loans from a bank to execute the early stages of the contract, only for payment to be stalled.
He expressed regret that the NLNG only turned round to terminate the contract, leading to protracted dispute.
The NLNG Management, led by Mr Tony Attah, had in a reaction said that the contract was terminated due to non-performance.
At the NCDMB brokered talks, the NLNG was said to have insisted that it terminated the contract on grounds of non-performance and paid the contractor the value of work done.
Macobarb was said to have rejected it, saying the terms of the contract were grossly violated by pushing the company into non-performance through non-payment of milestones achieved.
It was gathered that both sides tabled their positions and that the NCDMB asked them to report back on a date early in January 2020.
The NLNG was said to have disputed figures tabled by Macobarb but the mediators asked Macobarb to furnish the Board with the information itemising all outstanding claims being allegedly owed by NLNG on the contract.
The Board was said to have also asked the NLNG to revert with information concerning the status of payments on demobilisation for the contract and the 20ft container kept in their place by the contractor as part of the contract terms.
Macobarb expressed optimism that the matter would be resolved by the NCDMB instead of resorting to court so that other Nigerian companies affected in the contract could heave a sigh of relief.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

helicopter with 3 on board crashes in Northern California

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A helicopter with three people on board crashed near Fairfield, Northern California on Tuesday.

According to the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, the crash caused a power outage affecting some 40,000 PG&E customers.

Three people were believed to have been on board, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

FAA Pacific Division Communications Manager Ian Gregor confirmed that a Bell 206 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances near the intersection of Lyon Road and Soda Springs Road around 1:30 p.m., according to the local media.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

Board of Internal Revenue bill scales 3rd reading at Bayelsa Assembly

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The Board of Internal Revenue (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, on Tuesday, passed the third reading at the Bayelsa House of Assembly.
The Leader of the House, Mr Monday Bubou-Obolo
, who sponsored the bill, said at plenary that when passed, the bill would increase the state’s internally-generated revenue (IGR).
Bubou-Obolo, representing Southern-Ijaw constituency II
, said it would also align the activities of the board with global best practices.
“The bill will go a long way in resolving the conflict between revenue collecting agencies, reducing issues of multiple taxations and meeting the annual revenue target,” he said.
Also contributing, Mr Tonye Isenah, representing Kolokuma/Opokuma constituency I, said that the bill would enhance the activities of the board.
According to Isenah, it will no longer be a platform for political settlement in the state.
Mr Mitema Obodor, representing Ogbianko constituency I, said that the bill would be good for the people and bring holistic development to the state,” Obodor stated.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Politics

Reps urge AFDB Board to stop further harassment of Dr Adesina

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The House of Representatives has urged the Board of African Development Bank (AfDB) to halt further harassment of the bank’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

The call was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion of Matter of Public Urgent Importance by the Minority Leader of the house, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) at plenary on Tuesday.

Earlier, Elumelu recalled that at a conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Khartoum, Sudan, in August ,1963, an agreement was reached for the establishment of AfDB.

He said the agreement was co-signed by 23 African Governments, including Nigeria which birthed the bank.

Elumelu said that in 1964 the agreement came into force with a mission of fighting poverty and improving standard of living on the African continent.

He said the bank was also saddled with the responsibility of promoting the investment of public and private capital, through the implementation of projects and programmes that contributed to the economic and social development of Africa.

According to the lawmaker, on May 8, 2015, a distinguished Nigerian and one time Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, was elected the presumptive President of the bank, being the first Nigeria to hold the office.

Elumelu said that the AfDB under the leadership of Adesina had been very remarkable in steering the organisation as its presence was highly visible and that it impacted much in less than five years.

“Recently a group of whistleblowers petitioned Dr Adesina, accusing him of 16 breaches of the bank’s code of conduct, some of which include private gains, impediments to efficiency, preferential treatment and involvement in political activities, which he has continued to deny.

“On investigation by the ethics committee of the board of directors, the allegations were found to be frivolous, unsubstantiated, lacking merit and Dr Adesina was exonerated of all the 16 allegations.

“The chairman of board of governors being satisfied that the committee had done a thorough job,  haven followed all known rules and procedures of the bank in handling such cases, declared Adesina exonerated,” he said.

Elumelu, however, expressed worry that though the ethics committee had cleared Adesina, the United States Treasury Secretary, Mr Steven Mnuchin, rejected the verdict.

The lawmaker said Mnuchin called for an independent investigation into the allegations against Adesina, whose tenure was due for renewal, given the fact that he was the only contender to the office.

According to Elumelu, the interference portends a grave danger to the independence and laws governing the establishment of the bank and if not addressed, will be tantamount to undermining its hard earned reputation.

Elumelu said the action may be an attempt to discredit Adesina and prevent him from seeking another term at the helm of Africa’s largest multilateral lender.

He said that 11 former African Heads of State led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in their wisdom, issued a statement showing the grave danger it portended to disregard the laws governing an institution such as the AFDB.

The lawmaker said that the African leaders stated in clear terms that no nation no matter how powerful had a veto power over the AfDB.

“If this sort of witch hunt and unnecessary harassment is not put to check and discouraged, it may become a recurring decimal thereby destabilising the stability the bank has enjoyed for decades and the intended results on a steady decrease,” he said.

Rep. Olufemi Fakeye (APC-Osun) said that he was at the first inauguration of Adesina as AfDB president and that he had not lost sight and focus on his mandate.

The lawmaker said that Adesina had remained Afrocentric and had insisted on the independence of the bank.

He said that the bank’s president had repositioned the bank to move Africa to the next level as he had set the continent on the path of industrialisation.

According to him, soon, Africa will begin to produce locally most of all she imports and this is not going down well with many Western powers.

Fakeye said that under Adesina’s watch, 10 billion dollars was made available to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) said that there was no true African that did not support how Adesina had run the bank in the last four years.

He, however, cautioned the house to get more facts before making recommendations so that its position would be fact-based.

Ossai described the ongoing call for investigation into the bank as “international politics,” saying that there was need for the house to be more careful.

The lawmaker said that he was part of the committee that cleared Adesina for the office of the Minister of Agriculture and that he had no doubt about the integrity of the AfDB president.

The house urged the Federal Government to call on all African leaders to intervene in the matter with a view to protecting the independence of the bank.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the Committees on ECOWAS Parliament and Pan African Parliament to investigate, resolve the matter and report to the house within reasonable time.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Foreign

People board up storefront windows in Washington D.C.

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United States-WASHINGTON D.C.-PROTEST-STORES” src=”http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-06/02/139108068_15910832794531n.jpg” sourcename=”本地文件” sourcedescription=”网上抓取的文件”>

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A man boards up a window of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., the United States, on June 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

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Foreign

Lufthansa’s supervisory board accepts state aid package

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German flag carrier Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Supervisory Board said Monday that it has voted to accept the German government’s nine-billion-euro (10 billion United States dollars) stabilization package.

The package of loans and various measures was offered by Germany’s Economic Stabilization Fund to help the airline weather the coronavirus crisis. Monday’s decision also means accepting the promises announced to the European Commission, according to the company.

According to a statement issued last Saturday, Lufthansa said it will be obliged to transfer to one competitor each at the Frankfurt and Munich airports up to 24 take-off and landing rights for the stationing of up to four aircraft. The option is only available to new competitors for one and a half years, and will be extended to existing competitors if no new competitor makes use of it, the airline said last Saturday.

Karl-Ludwig Kley, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa said in Monday’s statement that the company has made “a very difficult decision.”

“We recommend our shareholders to follow this path, even if it demands substantial contributions to stabilize their company. But it must be said clearly that there is a very difficult path ahead of Lufthansa,” Kley said.

The package still needs the approval of the competition authorities and the shareholders after it was okayed by both the Management Board and the Supervisory Board of the company. A general meeting with shareholders to discuss the package is scheduled for June 25.

Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr said that stabilizing Lufthansa is not an end in itself, and that the company will work to defend its leading position in global air traffic together with the German government.

Lufthansa said that it is foreseeable that international air traffic will not reach the pre-crisis level in the coming years.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Majority members of Thailand’s Palang Pracharath Party’s executive board resign en masse

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A majority of executive members of the Palang Pracharath Party, core of Thailand’s current coalition government, resigned en masse on Monday, prompting the naming of the party’s entire executive board in near future.

The party will pick a new executive board within 45 day under the party’s rules.

The Palang Pracharath Party named Prayut Chan-o-cha as post-election prime minister and set up a multiple-party coalition government last year.

Prayut, who has been largely tipped to reshuffle his cabinet in the foreseeable future, will likely pick newly-named executive members of the party for the cabinet seats.

(XINHUA)

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