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N. Korea sees no chance for new negotiations with United States

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N. Korea sees no chance for new negotiations with United States


North Korea has quashed fresh hopes that negotiations with the United States to halt its nuclear weapons programme will resume any time soon.

The First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Choe Son Hui, said on Saturday that Washington was only using the dialogue with Pyongyang “as nothing more than a tool for grappling its (own) political crisis”.

“We do not feel any need to sit face to face with the United States,” the vice-minister was cited in North Korean state media as saying.

Choe was responding to speculation that a new summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un would take place before the United States election in November.

South Korean President Moon Jae In was again suggested as an intermediary.

During a video summit with the EU on Tuesday, according to officials from his office, he said that he wanted to do his best to bring about a North Korea-United States summit before the United States election.

In the United States, former national security advisor John Bolton said that Trump would meet Kim shortly before the election if he believes it will help his re-election bid.

“There are even some dreamers hoping to leverage our denuclearisation measures for (a) conditional lift(ing) of sanctions, while raising hope for (an) ‘October surprise,’” Choe said.

“The United States is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us.”

North Korea is subject to harsh international sanctions because of its nuclear programme.

Nuclear talks with the United States have not resumed since a failed Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam in February 2019.

North Korea has said repeatedly since then that it is not interested in fresh talks until Washington comes up with new proposals.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Emmanuel Yashim: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Defence/Security

Digital economy: Nigeria must shift focus from certificate to skills – Pantami

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The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has advocated for shifting of focus from certificate to skills education for the actualisation of Nigeria’s digital economic drive.


Pantami made the call at the Graduation Lecture of the National Defence Collage Course 28, titled; “Digital Economy and National Development in Nigeria”, on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that digital literacy and skills was one of the pillars outlined for the development of the digital economy of Nigeria in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

The minister added that emphasis on certificate must be reduced in engaging labour force, urging that focus should be shifted to skills if the nation must catch up with development.

He said that many developed and developing countries such as China, United States and Morocco had shifted attention to skills rather than certificate, adding that many of them had established skills centres.

According to him, certificate is important but secondary to skill and that is why we must pay attention to skills in our journey to digital economy.

“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.

“We recently provided a platform, the DigitalNigeria.gov.ng platform, to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills. Over 36,000 Nigerians have enrolled on the platform since the 2nd of April, 2020.

“We are championing a paradigm change that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills.

“The National Defence College is an institution that supports the development of skills and there are many digital techniques that can support the great work that you are doing here,’’ he said.

Pantami stated that the digital economy was a prime catalyst for development, adding that in less than one year, government’s modest efforts had already yielded remarkable results.

According to him, the recent first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that ICT contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to Nigeria’s total real GDP.

The minister further disclosed that the national security architecture must key into the digital revolution in tackling the prevailing security challenge using digital technology.

He explained that emerging technologies came with different solutions to security challenges of every nation such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic technology, drone and many more.

“These are some of the emerging technologies that will go a long way in promoting security of nations. The security officials are in better position to look into and see how to customize them and make use of them.”

Also, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, said the Federal Government had taken steps to adopt, adapt and internalise the digital economy in a functional manner.

Magashi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, said it was important that security and defence establishments show more than a cursory interest in the digital economy.

He added that the adaptation of digital economy could result in increased cybercrimes thus undermining national security.

“I wish to commend the Commandant, staff and the entire College community for their collective efforts in pursuing the ideals of the College.

“In particular, I commend you for organising the graduation lecture, which was exciting, educative and would be helpful to the economic and security needs of the Nigerian nation,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Commandant of the collage, Rear Adm. Markson Kadiri, said the lecture had become a key component of the training programme of the College and a major highlight of its annual graduation ceremonies.

Kadiri said that a total of 107 participants had successfully completed the course comprising 67 officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, seven Senior Police Officers and 15 participants from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Others according to him, include 18 senior military officers from the Armed Forces of friendly nations.

“A large part of the Course was conducted online, after the general lockdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Course was conducted under the theme “Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria”. Economic diversification is a broad based strategy designed to cause positive and multi-sectoral economic growth and development,’’ he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Economy

China’s A-share market sees IPO boom in July

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Initial public offerings (IPO) in China’s A-share market continued apace last month over advanced capital market reform, Shanghai Securities News reported Tuesday.


In July, IPOs in the country’s A-share market raised a record amount of 109.81 billion yuan (about 15.73 billion United States dollars), surpassing 100 billion yuan in a single month the first time, said the paper.

A total of 52 firms were listed in July, accounting for 30 per cent of the total number of IPOs in the first seven months of 2020, which stood to 169.

In breakdown, the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange attracted 35 listings while the Growth Enterprise Market of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange hosted 43 IPOs from January to July, the paper reported.

Meanwhile, the STAR market, or the sci-tech innovation board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, saw 73 companies listed during the same period.

The stock market posted stronger gains amid the robust IPO activities, the paper reported in July, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, Shenzhen Component Index and ChiNext Index, China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, went up 10.9 per cent, 13.72 per cent and 14.65 per cent, respectively.

Experts say that sufficient liquidity has created conditions for high-quality companies in different industries to raise funds in the A-share market, thus directing funds from the capital market to the real economy.

 

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Foreign

Ford Motor’s CEO steps down amid waning investors’ confidence

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The Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company, Jim Hackett, is stepping down on Oct. 1 after three years at the helm.


In a statement on Tuesday, the American multinational automaker said Hackett would be succeeded by Jim Farley, its Chief Operating Officer.

According to reports, Hackett’s exit is coming amid the company’s $11 billion (N4 trillion) global restructuring programme said to be floundering.

Reuters reports that the No. 2 United States carmaker also “faces slumping demand in China, its second-largest market’’.

The 65-year-old outgoing CEO failed to secure investors’ confidence in his leadership amid a sharp crash in the value of the company’s stock under his watch.

Under his leadership, Ford has struggled with product launch problems involving the Ford Explorer, the Lincoln Navigator and the Police Interceptor.

But shares of the company rose by 2.8 per cent in early trading, on Tuesday, according to the news agency.

Farley, 58, joined Ford in 2007 and headed the company’s new businesses, technology and strategy group before being named COO in March.

He will be the Ford’s fourth chief executive officer since the 2008 economic crash, reports say.

Edited By: Josephine Obute/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Judiciary

Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC rearraigns ex-AGF Adoke

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Tuesday,  re-arraigned a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), in a Federal High Court, Abuja.


Adoke was re-arraigned alongside a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, on amended 14 -count charge bordering on money laundering.

The anti-graft agency is prosecuting Adoke in connection with the controversial OPL 245 transaction, also known as the Malabu Oil deal.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Bala Sanga,  said that the re-arraignment became necessary following an increase of charges from seven to 14.

Sanga also said that the amount involved in the new charge had increased from the previous N400 million.

In the previous charges, six of the seven counts related to Adoke while only one related to Abubakar.

But with the amended charges, each of the defendants is to answer to seven charges.

The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the case until  Aug. 11 for commencement of trial.

One of the charges read: “That you Mohammed Adoke, sometime in Aug. 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court, accepted a cash payment of a sum of United States Dollars, equivalent to N300,000,000.00 (Three hundred million Naira), from Aliyu Abubakar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to the combined effect of Section 16 (1) (d) and of Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

“That you Mohammed  Adoke, sometime in Sept. 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court, made a cash payment of the sum of $2,267,400.00 (Two million, two hundred and sixty seven thousand, four hundred United States Dollars) to one Rislanudeen Muhammed and you thereby committed an offence contrary to the combined effect of Section 16 (1) (d) and of Section 1(a) of the Money Prohibition Act.”

NAN reports that Adoke and Abubakar were first arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako in February 2020 and then Justice Ekwo on June 17, 2020 on a seven-count criminal charge.

Although Justice Ekwo had, in June while admitting the defendants to bail, fixed Aug. 3 for the trial, however,, the trial could not begin on that day following the amendment of the former charge.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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