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Many North-easterners are still chased away from their houses – EU envoy

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Many North-easterners are still chased away from their houses - EU envoy
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Many North-easterners are still chased away from their houses – EU envoy

The new Head of Delegation for the European Union (EU) and the ECOWAS, Ms Samuela Isopi, has said that over two million people remained displaced from their homes in the northeast of the country.

The new Head of Delegation for the European Union (EU) and the ECOWAS, Ms Samuela Isopi, has said that over two million people remained displaced from their homes in the northeast of the country.

Newsmen in Abuja reports that the envoy said this on Monday at the premiere of ”HOPE”, a documentary film, sponsored by the EU.

Created by Factstory, a subsidiary agency of the global French newswire service, Agence France-Presse (AFP), and also a production company specialising in audio-visual, online and editorial content present in 150 countries.

The documentary ”HOPE” was based on the ravaging effects of insurgency on displaced populations in Northern Nigeria.

It tracks the steps of an 11-year-old girl, Mariam Ibrahim, from Bama, whose father was killed when the town was overrun by the insurgents in 2014.

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In addition, it also features Muhammad Bello, a former fisherman from Baga, who fled with his family to Zabarmari, a dozen kilometres north of Maiduguri, due to heavy fighting in his hometown in 2015.

Many North-easterners are still chased away from their houses – EU envoy

Isoptin said she was happy and proud of the premiere since it was her first official public event, after presenting her Letters of Credence to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday morning.

“Am proud that this premiere presents my very first official and public event as Ambassador of the EU to Nigeria after presenting this morning my Letter of Credence to President Buhari, this morning.

“The film HOPE tells us about the challenges that the residents of the northeast faced in their daily lives of which their sources of income were destroyed by the insurgency.

“A decade after the start of the insurgency in the northeast of Nigeria, the region is still suffering from the loss of lives and property, food insecurity and a very poor standard of living.

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“More than two million remain displaced from their homes, while hundreds of thousands are living in overcrowded displacement sites, without proper access to sanitation and clean water.

“More than 3 million people have food insecurity and an equally high number of children are suffering from acute malnutrition. The number of out of school children has also increased exponentially,” she said.

She added that the EU, as Nigeria’s partner in development, has committed about 130 million euros over the past four years to assist the Nigerian government in rebuilding, rehabilitation and peace efforts.

“This support has contributed to the restoration of basic services, such as health and nutrition, agriculture, sanitation, social protection education, conflict management, among others.

“Thanks to this support we are happy to see people are gradually returning to their communities with hope for a better future,” she said.

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Also speaking, the Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, agreed with the EU envoy about the importance of food security saying that the ministry, through the Northeast Development Commission was seriously addressing this issue.

Farouq, who was represented by the Executive Director, Disaster Management, Dr Suleiman Abubakar, added that President Buhari had similarly shown commitment to address the issues of food insecurity and malnutrition.

“By initiating the national poverty reduction with a bold strategy, which specifically aims to address hunger, malnutrition and poverty through economic growth and social protection programmes.

“Furthermore, the government’s focus on promoting local production, providing loans to farmers and skills acquisition to others to enhance the social-economic capacities of the people.

“It is, therefore, worthy to know that the EU had been a key partner of the ministry in addressing some of the humanitarian challenges in the northeast.

“So, we further call on the EU to continue to support our efforts towards addressing the issues of food insecurity, particularly in the Northeast,” he said.

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks - Putin
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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, voiced his criticism regarding the state of the criticism sector at the “Russian Calling” investment forum in Moscow.

According to local news outlet lenta.ru, the president made the following remarks, as translated: “It is not backed by anything, [and] the volatility is colossal, so the risks are very high. We also believe that we need to listen to those who talk about those high risks.”

Putin called for the greater monitoring and regulation of cryptocurrencies and pointed out that certain countries worldwide are seeing significant adoption of digital currencies. Currently, cryptocurrency regulation is still in its infancy in Russia. Although the government is considering the launch of a central bank digital currency, at least eight federal laws and five legislative codes must be changed for the digital ruble to take effect.

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

Furthermore, no regulation exists in the country regarding cryptocurrency mining. This has led some to claim that $2 billion in crypto mining revenue is generated annually in Russia, but on that, no taxes are paid. Due to the lack of a regulatory framework, cryptocurrency use has soared among ordinary Russians, with transactions surpassing $5 billion each year.

In other parts of the former Soviet Union, cryptocurrencies are also rapidly gaining in traction. Kazakhstan has become the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) miner by hash rate, and its president is seeking to collect more taxes from such activities to fund the country’s expenses. In Ukraine, the government is actively encouraging legal crypto operations. Last year, the city of Olsztyn, Poland, began adopting the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain for emergency services.

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AfDB postpones 2021 Africa Investment Forum over Omicron outbreak

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AfDB postpones 2021 Africa Investment Forum over Omicron outbreak
President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina
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AfDB postpones 2021 Africa Investment Forum over Omicron outbreak

The Africa Development Bank has postponed the 2021 Africa Investment Forum due to the recent outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

The AfDB made the announcement in a statement on its website on Monday.

The event which was scheduled to hold from December 1 -3, 2021, and hosted by the Ivory Coast Government in Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, has now been postponed until further notice.

In the statement, the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, noted that the AIF presented the opportunity for countries and investors to seek business opportunities.

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He, however, stated that the health and safety of attendees was of the utmost importance.

He said, “The Africa Investment Forum is the premier investment marketplace for Africa. Several billion dollars of investment projects were scheduled for investment board rooms with project sponsors and investors at this edition of the Africa Investment Forum.

“Unfortunately, with rising global travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 Omicron variant, and heightened concerns for health and safety, it is necessary, regrettably, to postpone the event. The health and safety of everyone comes first.

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China sets to takeover Uganda international airport over bad loans

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China sets to takeover Uganda international airport over bad loans
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China sets to takeover Uganda international airport over bad loans

The African country may have to hand over its only international airport to China as part of the terms of a loan agreement.

Uganda may have to surrender its only international airport, Entebbe international airport to China as dictated by the terms of a loan the country signed with the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China in 2015. The state’s officials have been seeking to renegotiate the unfavorable parts of that agreement with China recently without success which may mean the airport will have to be surrendered to China eventually.

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Under normal circumstances, the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) would have been able to protect its asset through the protection of the state’s sovereign immunity but the state waived the immunity on airport assets in the 2015 deal. The attempts by Ugandan officials to renegotiate those terms continue to be rebuffed by the Chinese Exim Bank, leaving the Ugandan state in limbo on the matter.

This loan deal going ugly plays into the theme of the debilitating loans that the United States Secretary of State alluded to earlier this month about China tying African countries to funding agreements that are not so profitable for the continent over the long term.

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