Nigeria celebrates 61st Independence anniversary; Ethiopia expels seven U.N. officials

 

Nigeria Celebrates 61st Independence Anniversary

In a grand style, Nigeria celebrated her 61st independence anniversary on friay October 1st at the Eagle Square, located within the three arms zone in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.

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The celebration witnessed series of activities organised by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, through observations and compliance with the COVID-19 protocols as exemplified by the country’s President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigerian teachers set to enjoy new salary structure

At a symposium to mark the forthcoming 2021 World Teachers Day, the Nigerian Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, says Nigerian teachers will begin to enjoy the new salary structure promised by President Muhammadu Buhari from January 2022.

While the symposium is themed “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery”, Nwajiuba commended Nigerian teachers for the sacrifice in spite of the many challenges faced in the course of their duties. He encouraged teachers to take up ICT trainings in order to be relevant in the 21st century, adding that the role of the teacher was gravitating more towards that of a facilitator.

Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala Grows Frustrated With WTO inertia, Floats Quitting

Reports emerged that the leader of the World Trade Organization, 

has repeatedly told ambassadors and staff that she could easily walk away from the job.

According to officials in Geneva who declined to be identified, Okonjo-Iweala has fully grasped the frustrating reality of the WTO’s historical inertia, even privately floating the idea of resigning if no headway can be found on critical issues. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala began the year with a plan to score quick negotiating victories that she said would help reboot the dysfunctional Geneva-based trade body.

Ethiopia expels seven U.N. officials

Following the increasing international criticism of conditions in Tigray, Ethiopia has expelled seven senior U.N. officials. While the Ethiopian authorities provided no evidence to support the accusations, they accused the officials of favouring and even arming Tigrayan forces.

The seven people being expelled include the country heads of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Five of the seven people being expelled work for OCHA, while a sixth works for UNICEF and the seventh works for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which is conducting a joint investigation with Ethiopia’s state-appointed human rights commission into reports of mass killings of civilians, gang rapes and other abuses in Tigray.

S.African president Ramaphosa eases COVID-19 restrictions to lowest level

In a televised address, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced easement of lockdown and restrictions in the country, according to him, the easement is aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic to the country’s lowest alert level.

According to Ramaphosa, he said, In addition to relaxing a curfew, the maximum number of people permitted to gather outdoors will increase to 2,000 from 500, while the maximum number of people allowed at funerals could double to 100. He said this would cause the country move down one level in a five-tier system of restrictions, where five is the highest, to an ‘adjusted level 1’ as tbe country emerges from its third wave dominated by the Delta variant of the virus.

Somalia opens first public oxygen plant to help treat COVID-19 amid severe shortage

Following the rising surge of COVID-19 pandemic in Somalia, and the desperate demand for medical oxygen due experienced shortages, Somalia has opened first public oxygen plant on Thursday. According to the Somalian government, the new plant in Mogadishu was purchased for 282,000 euro ($240,700) from Turkey by the Hormuud Salaam Foundation, established by the country’s largest telecoms company, Hormuud, and It will be installed at the Banadir Maternity and Children Hospital, where the foundation has also funded the repair of its COVID-19 ward.

U.S. pledges up to $500 million to prevent African swine fever

Following the outbreaks of seine fever in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has on Wednesday donated about $500 million to prevent the spread of the fatal pig virus African swine fever. According to the USDA, the government would commit funds from its Commodity Credit Corporation spending authority to expand and coordinate monitoring and surveillance for the disease, along with other efforts.

African swine fever is harmless disease to humans but mostly deadly to pigs, leading to financial crash for farms. Governments also often block pork imports from countries where the disease has been found to prevent transmission.

Guinea junta bars its members from running in next elections

On Monday, Guinea’s junta declared its members barred from standing in the next national or local elections, and that it will agree on the length of transition to elections with an 81-member Transitional National Council (TNC).

Over the past two weeks the junta has held consultations with public figures and business leaders to map out a framework for a transitional government. And ghis has however resulted from o an agreement encoded in a charter, which empowers Doumbouya to be president, with a government composed of a civilian prime minister and cabinet, none of whom may be candidates in the elections.

South Africa, Oxfam call for fairer trade rules in response to pandemic

At a WTO public event on trade and COVID-19, South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa and the head of Oxfam has reportedly heaped pressure on World Trade Organization members and manufacturers to allow fairer access to COVID-19 vaccines on, including through a waiver on intellectual property rights.

While Oxfam’s Executive Director Gabriela Bucher claim that monopolies, not science were the biggest challenge to defeating the virus, Ramaphosa said a waiver on patents was vital and would br instrumental to save millions of lives during the pandemic.

European Union set to remove Seychelles from tax haven blacklist 

Reports by Reuters indicate that the European Union finance ministers are set to remove the Seychelles, Dominica and Anguilla from the bloc’s blacklist of tax havens next week.

The list was established in 2017 to counter widespread tax evasion and tax avoidance, and has been updated periodically to remove or add jurisdictions depending on their tax reforms.According to EU tax experts, the delisting of the Caribbean island of Dominica, the British Caribbean territory of Anguilla and the Seychelles from the list was mostly because they have committed to undergo a supplementary review of their tax systems with the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the leading international body on tax evasion, the documents show.

 

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