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Ex-MAN chairman urges FG to improve infrastructure to attract investment



Mr Wale Adegbite, former Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria(MAN) Ogun Chapter, has urged the Federal Government to improve the state of infrastructure in the country in a bid to attract more investment.

Adegbite gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Ota, Ogun.

According to him, the move, if taken, will make the country a hub for foreign and local investment, thereby boost the country’s economy.

The former MAN boss of the Ogun chapter was reacting to the increase in the inflation rate in the country from 11.02 per cent in August to 11.24 in Sept.

NAN reports that National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had on Tuesday, said that the nation’s inflation rate had increased from 11.02 per cent in August to 11.24 in Sept.

According to him, the only way the federal government can make the country one of the best business destinations is to create conducive operational environment for investors.

He listed stable electricity, good road network and security among others as critical factors that would enable manufacturers operate at the optimal level and reduce the cost of production.

Adegbite said that this would make real sector to produce more goods locally rather than importing them as well as attracting foreign investors into the country.

He expressed worry on the dangers of increased inflation, noting that inflation had never done anything good for any economy.

“It reduces the purchasing power of consumers and thereby reducing the sales of manufacturers.

“Inflation means that our costs are increasing and most time, the manufacturers cannot pass the cost increase to our customers, thus, reducing our profits margin,” he said

Adegbite further urged overnment to redouble its efforts to put in place, fiscal and monetary policies that would bring down the nation’s inflation rate.

Also speaking, Dr Samuel Nzekwe, former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), also advised the Federal Government to provide critical infrastructure that would make the real sector work effectively.

Nzekwe said that providing infrastructure like regular power supply, good road network and security would ensure increased production of ngoods in the country by the real sector.

According to him, this will create job opportunities for the teeming youths and boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP).(NAN)


Edited by Dada Ahmed


Oyo Govt inaugurates committee on management of dead persons



Oyo State Government on Wednesday inaugurated a twenty-man committee saddled with the responsibility of ensuring proper management of deceased persons in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee was made up of professionals and stakeholders from various sectors and was drawn across geopolitical zones of the state.

The committee inauguration ceremony was held at the conference room, Ministry of Health, Secretariat, Ibadan.

The committee is expected to look into issues that could affect the dignity of deceased citizens and to ensure that communities in the state are safe from hazards relating to improper disposition of dead bodies in the society.

In her remarks during the inauguration, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, said the committee would articulate necessary policies, processes, which were in line with international practices to the management of deceased citizens of the state.

Adeosun stressed that the initiative would embrace appropriate management of the dead and assist in achieving harmony between the bereaved family and the community at large.

She further said that the state Corona law 2018 would become operational while government would pay attention to “public education on death management, contemporary burial methods and all other aspects of management of dead persons.

In this COVID-19 era and beyond, the committee will ensure that utmost dignity and proper respect are accorded to victims of disease outbreaks.

“The families and communities will be treated in a professional approach to avoid any type or kind of stigmatisation,” the SSG said.

Adeosun also said the state government would not deviate from the path of progressive and innovative policies that would address the need of the people of the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello, while speaking at the event, said that the arrangement would enable the family of the departed souls have access to whatever the deceased left behind through the support of the state government.

Oyo State is the first to officially inaugurate dead management committee in the whole Federation and this is a signal of advancement level of our dear state.

“The dead will have their full honour, value and their relatives will equally have legal access to their inheritances, if everything is properly documented,” Bello said.

The Chairman of the 20-Man Committee, Dr Uwom Eze, said the committee would work together with relevant agencies, ministries and stakeholders to ensure best dead management practices in the state.

Eze is a Consultant, Forensic Pathologist, University College Hospital, Ibadan.

NAN also reports that the state government equally inaugurated 10 new standard ambulances as part of measures to strengthen health sector and eliminate all form of hindrances that could arise while dealing with emergency cases in the state.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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PMAN mourns Majek Fashek; pioneering of ‘Kpangolo’ Beat



The Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has described the  late Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly knobwn as ‘Majek Fashek’ as a wonderful music maker/performer and  the creator of the  of ‘Kpangolo’ Beat.

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Obi Casmir, the President of PMAN, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday that the death of Fashek, the ‘Rainmaker’ was a big loss to the Nigerian music industry.

NAN reports that Fashek died on June 1 at the age of 57 in New York, having battled  a prolonged health issue.

The PMAN family is in a state of mourning because a wonderful, talented music maker, performer and the  creator of  ‘Kpangolo’, a unique beat had reached his bus stop and disembarked.

“The health challenge did not allow him to live beyond 57 years but it is not the length of years one spends on earth, but the depth of life lived,” he said.

The PMAN boss popularly known as ‘Voombastic Uncle P’ added that Fashek’s album ‘Send Down the Rain’ has remained unique as he also died on  June 1 which was a rainy day.

Also, Koffi ThaGuru, a commedian and  a singe told NAN that Majek Fashek was a unique figure, irreplaceable and there were no two of his kind even in the Reggae music.

ThaGuru said that the death of Fashek came as a soothing relief as the image, pain and suffering of the rain maker in recent years had been very troubling.

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“Fashek was one of a kind, but the stress of his health challenge was just too much, so it was better that he had gone home to rest.

Personally, I think he is  now  at peace with his creator.

“He was one of the last laps of reggae musicians we have left; so a big void has been created with his exit, being a star who was cherished by both children and adults,” he said.

According to him,  the present day music enthusiasts hardly follow his genre, but for those of us who came up with the sound and doctrine we will feel the impact of Fashek’s death a lot.

“May his spiritual spirit rest in peace and I am also extending my condolences to the family, fans,  the music industry and the nation at large,” he added.

NAN reports that Majek Fashek started his music career in the 1980’s–he released the popular ‘Send Down the Rain’ 1987.

And in 1988,  he released ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ which fetched him  six PMAN awards including Album of the Year and Reggae Artist of the Year Awards.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Egypt FM holds phone talks with Russia, Germany FMs on regional issues




Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held separate phone talks on Wednesday with his Russian and German counterparts where they discussed regional issues of mutual concern, said the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

In his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and later with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Shoukry focused on the situation in the war-torn Libya and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, according to statements by Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez.

“Minister Shoukry stressed the necessity of supporting the UN efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution that would restore security and eliminate all aspects of terrorism in Libya,” Hafez said.

Both Egypt and Russia support Khalifa Haftar, head of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), in his conflict against the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by his rival Fayez al-Serraj.

Libya has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The situation escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments: the UN-backed GNA based in the capital Tripoli and another in the northeastern city of Tobruk allied with Haftar’s LNA.

The separate phone conversations also addressed efforts to revive the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis, urging for a comprehensive and just settlement based on the UN-proposed two-state solution and warning against Israeli plans to further annex occupied Palestinian lands.

They also discussed chances for resuming Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, stressing that any relevant unilateral measures “would push the region towards further complication.”

The Egyptian minister also explained Egypt’s willingness to resume tripartite negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that Ethiopia is building on their shared Nile River.

Over the past few years, tripartite talks on the rules of filling and operating Ethiopia’s grand hydropower dam have been fruitless, amid Egyptian concerns that the GERD construction would affect Egypt’s annual share of Nile water.


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German car industry maintains negative business assessment: ifo




Germany’s automotive industry continued to assess the current business situation as worse than the financial crisis in 2009, according to a business survey published by ifo Institute on Wednesday.

The index for current business recovered slightly and stood at minus 84.4 points in May, according to ifo. During the financial crisis in 2009, the index had only fallen to minus 82.9 points.

However, business expectations of Germany’s automotive industry lightened up and were “no longer quite so pessimistic” as the expectation index rose from minus 44.4 points to minus 13.4 points, according to ifo.

“The industry is down in a dark cellar, and although it has managed to climb back up a few steps, there is still no sign of light,” said Klaus Wohlrabe, head of surveys at ifo.

The production index recorded a positive value of 22.7 points in May after falling to minus 41.5 points in April. “This means more companies reported that they wanted to expand their currently very low production,” ifo noted.

Germany’s largest car manufacturers Volkswagen as well as Daimler and BMW have already started to gradually ramp up production after a five-week shutdown in March and April due to COVID-19.

For the past two days, the German government has been discussing a comprehensive economic stimulus package, including purchase premiums for cars, to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Two weeks ago, the German Council of Economic Experts advised that the government should not be led, under the influence of individual sectors, to introduce a large number of sector-specific measures, such as a purchase premium for vehicles.


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Oman reports 738 new COVID-19 cases, 13,538 in total




The Omani Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday 738 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 13,538.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, all new cases, including 324 Omanis, are related to community contact.

The statement also said 33 patients of COVID-19 have recovered, bringing the total recovered cases to 2,845. Eight new death were reported, bringing the death toll to 67.

The ministry called on people to observe the procedures for quarantine, avoid public places or places of worship, and ensure public hygiene.


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Germany loses ground in patent-power ranking: study




Germany lost some of its “patent power” in a global comparison as the international balance in innovation had shifted towards east Asia between 2000 and 2019, according to a study conducted by the German Bertelsmann Stiftung and published on Wednesday.

“While still the strongest European patent power, Germany is losing ground worldwide,” the study found. Although Germany still showed “impressive results” across nearly the entire bandwidth of technologies, its status as a leading technology nation was “increasingly challenged.”

In 2010, Germany had still been among the top three countries worldwide by patent numbers in 47 out of 58 considered technologies. By 2019, this had more than halved to 22, according to Bertelsmann.

South Korea and China in particular have “developed enormously in terms of patent quality in the last ten years,” the study noted. Especially China‘s strength in the field of nutrition would not come as a surprise in light of “growing prosperity and high population numbers” in the country.

In 2019, China was among the three countries with the largest numbers of top patents in 42 of the 58 technologies, according to the study. Almost 20 years ago, Chinese patents did not even reach a top five ranking in a single category.

The United States would remain the “greatest patent power in the medium term,” according to the study.

The 27 member states of the European Union (EU) were able to maintain top positions in the categories of wind energy and functional food. However, the study revealed that Europe was bound to fall behind in new developments, such as 5G or block chain.

“Europe needs a clear political commitment towards a common initiative. The competition lies not within the European countries or their respective organizations,” stressed Brigitte Mohn, member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board.


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UN, int’l humanitarian movement call for “people’s vaccine” against COVID-19




The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on Wednesday called on governments, the private sector, international organizations and civil society to unite toward “a people’s vaccine” against COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a global disease affecting people around the world but with a disproportionately higher impact on vulnerable groups and individuals. As the race to identify the most effective tools to combat this virus continues with a steady pace, the spirit of global solidarity must prevail: no one should be left behind, said the two organizations in a joint statement.

“A people’s vaccine should protect the affluent in cities and the poor in rural communities, the old in care homes and the young in refugee camps. A global social contract for a people’s vaccine against COVID-19 is a moral imperative that brings us all together in our shared humanity,” said the statement.

They stressed the importance of the engagement of communities, saying that biomedical interventions will only be partially effective without people’s engagement and ownership of the response to the pandemic.

“We, therefore, call for governments and nongovernment actors to prioritize investments in communities and to ensure all people, without distinctions, are provided with the relevant knowledge, resources and tools to protect themselves from COVID-19. Until a people’s vaccine becomes available, any hope of reducing the impact of this pandemic will primarily rest on the people’s knowledge and behavior and in their ability to withstand the direct and secondary impacts of COVID-19.”


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Dozens arrested in France as protests over death of black Frenchman turn violent




French riot police arrested 18 people who turned violent during an unauthorized demonstration overnight over the death of a black Frenchman in a 2016 police custody, local media reported on Wednesday.

Some 20,000 people demonstrated in front of the Paris Court near the ring road in the north of the capital on Tuesday evening, calling for justice for Adama Traore, who died in police custody in 2016 after he was arrested for a dispute over an identity check.

Violence erupted when some demonstrators hurled projectiles, set on fire rubbish bins and vandalized properties while police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Of those detained on charges of damaging public and private properties and carrying prohibited weapons, 17 remained in police custody, Le Figaro newspaper reported.

Rallies against police violence were also staged in other French cities, where 7 others were arrested and 10 policemen were slightly injured, the report added.

On Tuesday morning, Paris police announced that the demonstration was not authorized, as public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The protest came after a new probe, commissioned by Adama Traore‘s family, said the young man died of asphyxiation due to the arrest technique police officers had used during the operation.

State investigators had dismissed the charge of police brutality in the arrest of Traore, saying that the man died of heart failure due to pre-existing medical conditions.


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German jobless rate climbs to 6.1 pct in May




The unemployment rate in Germany increased “strongly” in May by 0.3 percentage point to 6.1 percent compared to the previous month as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the country’s Federal Employment Agency (BA) said on Wednesday.

The number of unemployed people in Germany in May rose to around 2.8 million, according to the BA. Compared to the previous year, the number of unemployed people went up by 577,000.

“The labor market remains under heavy pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Detlef Scheele, head of the BA.

Scheele stressed that the BA‘s financial reserves of 26 billion euros (29.2 billion U.S. dollars) would probably not be enough to shoulder the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on Germany’s labor market.

According to BA, more than 10 million people in Germany were registered for short-time work in March and April. Preliminary BA figures showed that around two million employees received short-time work compensation in March.

“The use of short-time work in March was thus already well above the figures at the time of the 2008-2009 Great Recession,” the BA noted. The record before the coronavirus crisis was in May 2009, when 1.44 million people were on short-time work during the financial crisis.


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