Posts tagged as: intelligence

Odinga – ‘My Withdrawal Not to Blame for Confusion’

As police clash with opposition protesters defying a government ban on demonstrations, Kenya’s opposition candidate Raila Odinga tells DW his reasons for withdrawing from newly-scheduled elections.

In an exclusive interview with DW, Raila Odinga, the presidential candidate for the National Super Alliance Coalition (NASA), talks about his decision not to stand in Kenya’s rerun election scheduled for October 26 and why he believes these these new elections are also invalid.

Why did you decide to withdraw from the election this week?

Raila Odinga: I had no choice but to withdraw because the electoral commission and the government colluded not to implement what they were ordered to do by the Supreme Court, in order to have a free and fair election. The Supreme Court had identified irregularities and illegalities which forced them to nullify the elections. They ordered that the electoral commission should do the elections in accordance with the constitution and the laws of the land. Unfortunately, they did not do this and that is what forced us to reluctantly withdraw from the race.

There is a lot of confusion around this rerun on October the 26th. Do you think that your withdrawal in any way added to the confusion?

No. My withdrawal did not add to any confusion. Actually the law is very clear. In accordance with the Supreme Court ruling of 2013; if one of the candidates, that is the president-elect or the challenger who was the petitioner, withdraws from the race, then there will be no elections. The electoral commission is then required to start to do a fresh nomination exercise and then a subsequent election. So there is really no election on the 26th in accordance with the law as we stand right now.

What they are trying to do is basically purporting to do an election, but it cannot happen. They need to do fresh nominations. The High Court ruling in the case of Mr. Ekuru Akuot [where they ordered the electoral commission to allow Aukot to run as a presidential candidate in the repeat election] is a nullity because the High Court cannot overturn a ruling of a Supreme Court. Therefore there’s going to be no election on the 26th of this month.

The IEBC [Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission] says that you haven’t formally withdrawn yet. Will you be formally withdrawing?

I don’t know what they mean by formally withdrawing because I have written a letter, which they’ve acknowledged receipt, in which I am telling them that I have withdrawn from the poll. So they are basically just playing a game of ping pong but they know it clearly that I have withdrawn because I have served them with a letter and they have received that letter.

You have said all along that you have been fighting for free, fair and credible elections. Do you think that there is an institutional problem in Kenya which stops free, fair and credible elections going ahead?

I don’t think there’s an institutional problem. I think it is more of governmental interference, a government which is interfering with free and fair elections, because they want to manipulate the outcome of the electoral process. So you find like the IEBC right now is hostage to the government. They cannot act independently. They have been infiltrated and penetrated by the government. About four commissioners are now agents of the government. Then there are several individuals, officials within the IEBC who are basically acting for the government. So until the government desists from this interference and allows the independent commission to be truly independent, we’ll keep on having problems.

The other institution that is involved in electoral manipulation is the National Intelligence Service. It is involved right from the beginning: from the recruitment of the electoral officials, presiding officers, returning officers and so on. You find that some of them are government officials. In that kind of situation, you have a situation where you don’t have a truly independent electoral commission. And therein lies the problem.

Do you think you have lost any political momentum in pulling out now and hopefully restarting the election from the beginning?

Not at all, I think the people of Kenya are very disappointed and they’re very angry at what is happening right now. They have been saying that we have not been campaigning, whereas [the ruling Jubilee Party of Uhuru Kenyatta] has been all over the country rallying around, buying defectors and so on. We don’t need to campaign. The people know that these failures being bought by Jubilee are adding no value to the other side. In other words, they are not translating into votes, far from it. The people are actually waiting to cast their vote. We have found ourselves preaching to the converted. Our campaign is complete and our agenda is told to the people.

So we have not lost any momentum. We are sure that if they level the playing field and we go back to the field, our majority will even increase over what it was on August 8 [when the original election took place]. We have nothing to regret. We think that this has been useful, the country is charged. And when the elections are called, we are definitely sure that we will win by a much bigger majority than we did last time. If anybody has doubt, ask them to ask the IEBC and Jubilee to agree to open the server of the elections of August eighth and to show how people voted. And you’ll see that we had a resounding victory, and we are convinced that next time round, our victory will be even bigger.

This interview was conducted by Emma Wallis.

Nigeria: NCC Says USPF On Course for Availability, Accessibility & Affordability Services

By Ugo Onwuaso

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has stated the strategic activities of the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, were targeted at ensuring availability of service, accessibility of service, and affordability of service which are the constitutive hallmarks of universal access.

Prof. Danbatta made this statement in Calabar through Kelechi Nwankwo, USPF’s Head of Strategy and Corporate Performance Monitoring, who represented him at the South-South Zonal Workshop on ICT Utilization and Sustainability organised by USPF.

He noted that the workshop was designed to enrich the experience of USPF implementing partners such as the Community Resource Centre managers and the desk officers of the School Knowledge Centre, as well as teachers, students and other stakeholders interested in deepening ICT penetration.

Meanwhile Opinion leaders including community leaders, government functionaries and the enthusiasts of the institutions of the civil society are also invited to key into faith in the alignment of rural ICT projects to the developmental goals and the real needs of the beneficiaries.

Danbatta told an enthusiastic assembly of over 250 youths, representatives of community-based organisations, journalists, government officials and development workers who gathered in Calabar for a two-day knowledge-sharing process designed to deliver concrete results on NCC/USPF determination to expand the frontiers of ICT penetration and usage among the citizens of Nigeria.

Ayuba Shuaibu, Secretary of USPF, represented at the workshop by Adejoke Atte, USPF’s Principal Manager for Strategy and Corporate Performance Monitoring, added to Danbatta’s voice when he declared that USPF mandate to promote availability of ICT services in rural, un-served and under-served areas will contribute measurably to Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan’s (ERGP) objectives on telecommunication and ICT.

According to him “These objectives are to: Develop sufficient, efficient, affordable and critical ICT infrastructure; as well as encourage rapid ICT penetration among all socio-economic levels and increase the current coverage of the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20.95 to 50 percent by the Year 2020”.

He also revealed to the workshop participants that the programmatic drivers of these objectives within the context of USPF mandate include the Accelerated Mobile Phone Expansion Programme (AMPEP), the Backbone Transmission Infrastructure (BTRAIN) project, the Rural Broadband Initiative (RUBI), the School Knowledge Centre (SKC), the Community Resource Centre (CRC), and the E-Library, E-Health, E-Accessibility, as well as the Universities Intercampus Connectivity (UNICC) projects among others.

Shuaibu said “the USPF strategic goals for 2013-2017 include the promotion of universal access and service that facilitate connectivity for development; facilitate an enabling environment for ICT; and institutional development.

“Thus, the Fund’s vision of Equitable ICT Access for All will be given concrete expression by instituting processes that ensure universal access and service to ICT through market-based investment that stimulate development in rural, unserved and underserved communities.

“These are the underlying philosophies that birthed the zonal workshops.The second day of the workshop was devoted wholly to training on technological transfer tagged: BOOTCAMP, where participants will be exposed to Web Development, Android Development, and Anduino – Robotics and Artificial Intelligence – also called Machine Learning.

According to an official of the consultant to USPF on the zonal Workshop programme, Edition 56, Cyril Nyulaku PhD, he said, “the bootcamp is a concrete practical session of the application of ICT to enhance agriculture, health, education among others.

“The intention is that when the participants get back to their base they will apply the knowledge as practically as possible” .

Sudan: Cholera Epidemic Rages On

Darfur / Khartoum — The cholera epidemic that is sweeping Sudan has claimed further lives in Darfur and elsewhere across the country, however the Khartoum government – as well as some international agencies – still resolutely refer to ‘acute watery diarrhoea’.

On Wednesday volunteer activists and doctors reported to Radio Dabanga that two people died of cholera and six others were infected in the South Darfur capital of Nyala on Tuesday.

A doctor reported to Radio Dabanga that one of the deaths was in El Jebel district and the second one was at El Wehda district in the city.

The isolation centre of the nearby Kalma camp for the displaced persons recorded two new cases of cholera on 26 and 27 of September.

Yesterday Salah Eisa, the general -secretary of camp Kalma, told Radio Dabanga that four of the infection cases were discharged from the centre, while four other cases have remained hospitalised at the centre for treatment

On Wednesday a woman and her son died of cholera at Murnei Hospital in West Darfur and two others were infected.

Two people died and eight others were infected at camp Otash in South Darfur.

‘Acute watery diarrhoea’

In Khartoum, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Esam Abdallah confirmed that there are states continuing to record cases of ‘acute watery diarrhoea’, including Khartoum which has recorded five cases during the past few days.

The Undersecretary acknowledged that there is a shortage of health personnel because of the emigration of doctors.

He has stressed that the emigration is still ongoing despite the treatments resorted to by raising the incentives for specialist doctors who move to the states to limit emigration.

Denial

In spite of numerous independent confirmations (conducted according to WHO standards) that the disease currently ravaging Sudan is indeed cholera, the Government of Sudan and several international organisations still refuse to refer to it by this name.

Yesterday, a delegation led by Abdelbagi Jibril, president of the Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre today handed an open letter to the Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging him and his organisation to urgently intervene and address the cholera epidemic in Sudan. The letter was signed by 30 human rights and civil society advocates, organisations, and activists.

Mentioning the infectious disease by its real name is not allowed in Sudan. Activists confirm that this compromises the treatment of the disease and contributes to the lack of medicines and rehydration solutions made available.

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has repeatedly warned the press in the country not to cross this “red line”. In April, an eastern Sudanese journalist was detained for reporting about cholera.

However, some international humanitarian organisations, for example, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) still insist on referring to ‘acute watery diarrhoea’ in their reports. Radio Dabanga asked UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, about the rationale behind this but has yet to receive a response.

Sudan

Nearly 100,000 Affected by Rains and Flooding

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Kenya Now Exports Maize to Uganda

By Maryanne Gicobi

Kenya has now started selling maize to Uganda, as official data shows that grain from Tanzania is still going into Kenya.

The Regional Agriculture Trade Intelligence Network (Ratin) report shows that Kenya exported more than 42 tonnes of maize to Uganda through the Busia border this past week.

Grain prices in Kenya fell after the end of a long dry spell. Many parts of the country have harvested their crop, with businesses now turning to regional markets for higher profit margins.

This past week, a 90kg bag of maize dropped from $41.98 to $36.73 in Kenya, while in Uganda it increased from $27.46 to $27.86 and increased significantly in Rwanda from $24.2 to $40.42.

Uganda also increased its exports of maize to Rwanda to 1,116.5 tonnes in the past two weeks, and to 1,263 tonnes to Kenya in the same period.

According to the Rwanda Grains and Cereals Corporation, even with a good harvest in May, which came after a prolonged drought, grain supplies have continued to tighten in the local market and pushed up prices of maize.

Traders and millers have attributed the increase of prices to various reasons, including disease and drought that led to poor maize harvest and eventual shortages.

Despite a ban on exportation of maize to Kenya from Tanzania, 130 tonnes of maize was sold through the Isebania border.

In June 2016, Tanzania’s Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Charles Tizeba banned maize grain exports in an effort to curb practices that jeopardised food security — such as pre-harvest sale of produce — and encourage value addition and promote the exportation of flour.

Kenya resorted to getting maize from Zambia; Lusaka negotiated with Tanzania to allow passage of the grain through the country, with a special lane to facilitate faster clearance and transportation to Kenya.

According to an analysis by the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, maize exports from Tanzania also increased in the informal market.

The ban on maize exports to Kenya by Tanzania has led to the grain being the most dominant commodity traded on the unofficial market between the two countries.

Exports from Tanzania to Kenya in the second quarter increased by 4,300 tonnes — a 17 per cent increase — compared with the same period last year, primarily because of high June prices in Kenya.

The report said the grain was smuggled through the Namanga and Isebania borders.

Late last year Tanzania said it had an excess of three million tonnes of cereals, and that it exported almost half of that to neighbouring countries with the remainder stored in its strategic reserves.

Maize shortage

In the past few months, Kenya was hit by a severe maize shortage leading to a subsequent rise in the price of flour.

The country imported 30,000 tonnes of maize from Mexico, via South Africa, in an effort to reduce the price of maize flour, which had reached a high of $1.8 for a 2kg pack.

Due to the high demand at the time, consumers were limited to buying just two 2kg packs of maize flour at retail outlets.

With the current increase of maize supply, the government announced plans to end the subsidy programme, allowing market forces to dictate the price of flour.

Kenya’s maize production volumes fell from a high of 3.6 million tonnes in 2012 to 1.83 million tonnes last year, mostly due to insufficient rainfall.

Bujumbura remains the region’s most expensive market for maize, trading at $63.80 for a 90kg bag, data from Ratin shows.

More than 1.5 million people in Burundi are in dire need of food assistance, according to the a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

South Africa: New Biometrics Ecosystem Tackles Identity Theft

By Mthulisi Sibanda

Johannesburg — IDECO, the South African biometrics innovation leader, has unveiled its next generation identity assurance ecosystem aimed at curbing rampant identity theft costing organisations billions annually. The new Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) ecosystem, designed to deliver fraud-proof trusted identity authentication, has been launched at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Africa conference and exhibition in Sandton. It is in realisation of statistics indicating fraud costs South African considerably, and with losses of up to R15 billion (US$1,13 billion) per year in the medical sector alone, identity fraud is possibly the single biggest governance, risk and compliance challenge facing organisations today. The new ecosystem delivers next-generation identity verification as a service to organisations requiring Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) or Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA) compliance, managing large financial transactions, or otherwise requiring identity verification to secure banking services, communications, healthcare, education and social protection. Ideco CEO, Marius Coetzee, said building on Ideco’s ground-breaking biometrics and authentication solutions, including the Identity 4.0TM three way digital key sharing system, they had developed a next generation ecosystem designed to offer trusted identity assurance in real-time, eliminating the complexity and risk associated with traditional verification processes. “As the first foolproof next-generation identity verification ecosystem in South Africa, we believe Ideco’s IDaaS delivers unprecedented levels of authentication and full trust in identity for the first time,” Coetzee said.

South Africa

Court to Decide If Australian Who Abused 8 Children Should Be Extradited

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Review Burundi’s Membership in Top UN Rights Body – HRW

press release

Human Rights Watch welcomes the report and the oral update of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi.

The Commission of inquiry recently confirmed “the persistence of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and sexual violence in Burundi since April 2015.” The Commission attributes most of these violations to members of the National Intelligence Service, the police, the army and the youth league of the ruling party, known as Imbonerakure, findings confirmed by Human Rights Watch.

Instead of facing up to its responsibilities under international law, the Burundian government is in complete denial. High-level officials repeatedly state that Burundi is “peaceful” and “calm,” and rebuke all criticism as an obscure “conspiracy.” As one Burundian activist in exile told us: “It really hurts to hear our government say such things.”

As a member of this Council, Burundi has an obligation to uphold the highest standards of human rights, and to cooperate with the Council and its mechanisms. Yet, Burundi’s blatant refusal to cooperate with the Commission – even to just open its doors for access – shows its disrespect for the Council, and for its membership responsibilities.

In addition, it has suspended its cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Commission of Inquiry has concluded, on reasonable grounds, that crimes against humanity have been committed in Burundi.

A sitting Council member found to have committed crimes against humanity, and to have violated every membership standard, brings this body into disrepute. The Council should call on the General Assembly to suspend Burundi’s membership, or at least to consider the issue in the light of the findings of the COI.

As the political crisis in Burundi drags on, prospects for human rights improvement are bleak. It is therefore critical for the Council to extend the Commission’s mandate, so it can give the victims in Burundi the attention they deserve, and bring increased attention to the need for accountability, with a view to putting a brake on the worst abuses and paving the way towards justice.

Burundi

President, UK’s Boris Johnson Discuss Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi

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Nigeria: With N5bn Intervention Fund, FG Seeks to Boost Solid Minerals Sector

Olaseni Durojaiye examines the impact of a N5 billion funding support for artisanal and small scale miners in the continuing effort of the federal government to diversify the revenue base of the economy

Efforts to grow and develop the country’s mining sector to make it contribute more effectively to government revenues got a boost with the launch of a N5 billion fund for artisanal and small scale miners recently. Besides providing loans for the miners, the fund is seen as a means of bringing the hitherto unwieldy sector under a structured regime.

The launch was almost overshadowed by the euphoria of celebration bordering on the country’s exit from recession. But economic watchers believed the moment called for deep introspection to find ways to consolidate the efforts to diversify the country’s foreign exchange revenue base beyond oil. Developing the solid minerals sector is seen as a veritable step in this regard.

Exit from Recession

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics penultimate Tuesday indicated that Nigeria’s economy was finally out of recession, as it recorded 0.55 per cent growth. Many celebrated this as an indication of success in the federal government’s efforts to revamp the economy.

However, analysts at SBM Intelligence said, “A growth of 0.55 per cent does not only compensate for the lost ground, it is also below expectations considering the low base the growth is starting from.” They noted on the company website that the positive growth had been predicted by many analysts.

“It was expected, given how the negative growth had already caused the economy to contract, providing a low base for growth to start from,” SBM Intelligence analysts stated. They explained, “Coming out of a recession is not the same as the economy making a recovery. Nigeria is very far from recovering from the loss of the last 18 months. It will be more beneficial if the government and its agents shelve the unnecessary celebration and backslapping.”

They added, “We have wasted a crisis. We will do well not to waste the aftermath of the crisis. It is time to get to serious work.”

Solid Minerals to the Rescue

Economic analysts believe the mining sector is a good area to channel resources in the attempt to achieve economic diversification. They say optimal utilisation of the resources and opportunities that abound in the sector requires the concerted efforts of the different tiers of government.

According to the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, there are over 30 different kinds of solid minerals and precious metals, including Sapphire, Aquamarine, and Topaz, buried in Nigerian soil waiting to be exploited.

While Nigeria’s rich reserve of zinc found in several states is left untapped or left to illegal miners to exploit, the item has gained over 90 per cent in price in the global zinc market since January 2016. Zinc has fetched countries like China, Peru, United States, and Australia huge revenues, according to Investment News, an international journal published in Vancouver, Canada.

The roadmap for the growth and development of the solid minerals sector was first announced in August 2016 after a federal executive council meeting. Announcing the roadmap, Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, had stated, “What distinguishes this roadmap, which builds on the old roadmap that was approved in 2012, is its determination to set up an independent regulatory agency, which investors have been insisting on that the ministry which has been serving as facilitator should not be the one that regulates them.”

Intervention Fund

The launch of the N5 billion fund for the benefit of small and medium scale miners, THISDAY gathered, was in furtherance of the solid minerals development roadmap. The initiative, a collaboration between the Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development and the Bank of Industry, will see both parties contributing N2.5 billion each to a N5 billion pool that will be made available to small scale miners in the country. Qualified artisanal miners would be allowed to access between N100, 000 and N10 million, while small-scale miners could get between N10 million and N100 million.

Before the latest initiative, the ministry had embarked on a systematic approach to confronting the challenges facing the sector. THISDAY findings revealed that the ministry recently organised capacity building exercises for miners during which they were trained on various stages of mining and educated to impact on the environment positively in the process of mining.

Other efforts by the ministry to address the challenge of insufficient funding and lack of access to capital include the N20 billion from the mining sector component of the Natural Resources Development Fund and the $150 million from the World Bank to the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) programme.

Speaking at the launch, Fayemi noted that small scale miners accounted for the bulk of activities in the sector, adding that the launch of the fund was to address the challenge of insufficient funding and poor access to capital, a major factor militating against artisanal and small-scale miners. The minister said the BoI would serve as the custodian and manager of the fund, to be given to the artisanal and small scale miners at five per cent interest rate. He said with the appointment of BoI as the custodian and manager of the fund, it would facilitate financing of artisanal and small scale mining projects involving industrial minerals, precious stones, precious metal (gold), dimension stone and such other strategic minerals in Nigeria as would be approved by the ministry and BoI from time to time. Fayemi also stated that proper funding would help to integrate the artisanal and small scale miners into the formal sector, enhance their growth and development in a structured manner, and spur productivity and job creation in the mining sector.

“The Solid Minerals Development Fund is now spearheading the assembly of a $600 million investment fund for the sector, working with entities as the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and others,” the minister said, “In addition to the funding support from multilateral agencies, partnerships on technical cooperation.”

He added that several agreements had also been brokered or re-activated with foreign governments, including existing technical partnerships with the governments of South Africa, China, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and United States of America in line with the framework of Africa Mining Vision.

Analysts

Economic policy analysts have hailed the latest funding initiative. They say it is key to unlocking the huge potentials in the solid minerals sector to make it attractive to foreign investors. But many also say there is need for appropriate legal framework, like is the case in the oil and gas industry.

An economist and research analyst with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Rotimi Oyelere, said, “The mining sector is critical to diversifying Nigeria’s revenue base or sources of foreign exchange away from oil and hydrocarbon.

“The sector holds great potential for foreign exchange for the country; but we must make the sector attractive to foreign investors as was the case with the oil and gas sector and the only way to do that is to put in place a proper regulatory framework in place. The National Assembly should ensure that mining is taken off the exclusive list and placed in concurrent list.”

The governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, spoke in a similar vein in an interview with THISDAY recently. Ishaku reiterated the need for proper legal framework that would remove mining licensing and administration from the exclusive list so that the states could be involved in mining administration in the country.

The governor said, “There are a lot of taxes which for now we are not getting. After agriculture, the second revenue endowment in the state is mining, and up till now we only have illegal miners, no thanks to lack of enabling law or laws that are not implementable.

“We have more than 30 different kinds of solid mineral resources in Taraba State, the seven rarest minerals are found here. Somebody like me has no business in Abuja going to look for subventions to pay workers’ salary if things were made to work properly.”

Nigeria: Govt Urged to Enforce Mining Regulations

Stakeholders in the mining sector tuesday kick-started discussion on the future of the industry, with a call on the federal government to focus more on strengthening sector governance in order to fully realise its economic diversification plan through mining.

Strengthening the sector governance, according to them, would enable government to manage the available mineral resources and compete favourably in the global mineral and mining market.

The stakeholders spoke through different presentations at the opening session of the inaugural edition of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD), which started in Abuja.

The opening session which was chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mohammed Abass, was attended by state commissioners and permanent secretaries of mining ministries, officials of the Federal Ministries of Environment, Justice and Defence, scholars, operators and representatives of financial institutions and host communities.

Speakers include renowned geologist and Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof Shehu Ibrahim Garba; Director, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, Mr. Patrick Ojeka; Mr. Ebhota Al-Amin of the Mining Research/Policy Development of the MinDiver Office.

Others include Director, Mines Inspectorate, Mr. K.F. Wuyep; Prof Peter Akper of Equity Law Partners; and the Immediate Past President of Nigeria Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS) /Chairman of Mining Implementation Strategy Team (MIST), Prof. Gbenga Okunlola.

The speakers laid the ground for discussion by participants at the event by identifying various obstacles bedevilling the growth of the sector. They also hailed the on going reform in the sector with its attendant growth.

Noting that the country has well structured mining laws, they are of the opinion that government needs to do more in the area of enforcement of existing laws and strengthening of institution in order to achieve excellent result.

They also urged government to tackle issues such as geoscience data, illegal and unauthorised exports of minerals, illegal issuance of mining licence by some state governments, defaulting in the payment of taxes and royalties and multiple taxation among others.

Garba, in his presentation, urged the federal government to ensure that MIRENCO was put to work

Al-Amin, in his presentation said mining has not been able to contribute meaningfully to the GDP because a good percentage of export in the sector remained unrecorded.

He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should be more involved in exportation of minerals, as it is done in other mineral-rich countries.

NAF Sustains Aerial Bombardments of Terrorists Hideouts

The Nigerian Air Force (NAFfor the fourth day running, has sustained of the ongoing intensive bombardment of Boko Haram terrorists hideouts in the Sambisa general area.

The NAF conducted air interdiction on a settlement in Njimia.

A statement by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, said: “NAF Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms had previously confirmed that several structures used by the terrorists as meeting points were in the location. The air interdiction was conducted by the Alpha Jet and F-7Ni aircraft, which took turns to attack the location with bombs. Subsequent Battle Damage Assessment showed that the targeted oko Haram terrorists structures were destroyed as a result of the attacks.

“The attacks were designed to further break the will and capability of the BHTs to regroup against own surface forces.”

Nigeria: Africans Break UN’s Threshold On Mobile Phone, Data Spending

By Prince Osuagwu

Just like in other activities Africans are breaking known boundaries and creating new records, while the continent, for the wrong reasons, is also calling the shots in telecom spending.

GSMA Intelligence report released recently has singled out the continent as one which its citizens place priority on communication and also pay through the nose to maintain it.

The 2017 report disclosed that the total cost of mobile ownership (TCMO) for purchasing a handset and 500 MB of data per month represents on average 10 per cent of monthly income, well above the five per cent threshold recommended by the UN Broadband Commission.

The report, which covers 27 countries in the region where data is available, alarmingly noted that high prices have the most adverse impact on those on lower incomes, who are ordinarily, to benefit the most from access to mobile technologies.

A further breakdown shows the cost of an equivalent basket as a share of income is 25 percent for those in the bottom 40 per cent income group, reaching as high as 68 per cent in the DRC.

It also stated that taxation represents 22 per cent of the TCMO, while sector-specific taxes represent five per cent of the TCMO on average. “In certain countries, the level of taxation on mobile ownership represents more than five per cent of monthly income, making the service unaffordable – without even considering the price of the device and service,” the report added.

Nigeria

Nigeria’s Political Elite See Buhari As a Meal – Shehu Sani

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Sudan: 13 Cholera Dead in South Darfur Capital

Nyala / Kass / Kalma / Garsila / Nierteti / Foro Baranga — Thirteen people died of cholera in a district of Nyala, medical sources reported on Sunday. One of the nearby camps for displaced people is treating “dozens of infected people”.

The medics and medical volunteers in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, reported the deaths of 13 people and the infection of 91 people in El Wehda district in the southern part of the city.

There are other casualties which have not been counted yet in El Fiteihad, Kararai, and Khartoum Bileil districts in Nyala. “The situation in Nyala is out of control and poses dangers to the residents.”

A sheikh in El Salam camp for displaced people, south of Nyala, told Radio Dabanga that two people died of cholera, and five others were infected on Saturday.

“We are concerned that the rate of cholera infections will increase because of the lack of health education and life-saving medicines, amid the continued rains.”

Otash, Kalma camps

Two people died in Otash camp in Nyala, South Darfur, on Monday. One of the camp sheikhs told Radio Dabanga yesterday that dozens of people were being treated in the isolation centre of Block 3 in the camp. “The parts of the camp which are affected the most are Blocks 1, 8 and 9.”

Activists who volunteer in the campaign against cholera reported the death of four people in Kass in South Darfur on Saturday. There are ten new cases of cholera, four of them from Kass town, and 6 other from villages near Kass on Saturday.

Seven residents of Kalma camp for displaced people were infected with cholera, while 79 other displaced people contracted the disease from Friday until Sunday, the secretary-general of Kalma, Saleh Eisa told Radio Dabanga. “The number of hospitalised cases in the two health centres here amounted to 35 until Sunday.”

Central Darfur

In Garsila locality in Central Darfur, six people died on Sunday. Three people were infected and taken to Garsila hospital, sources informed Radio Dabanga. Earlier this week it was reported that cholera victims from Bindisi also were being transferred to Garsila hospital.

Nierteti hospital in Central Darfur received seven new cholera cases in its isolation centre on Saturday and Sunday. One of the camp elders in Nierteti locality informed Radio Dabanga that two of the cases came from neighbouring villages of Nierteti on Saturday.

“On Monday, the centre also received three cases coming from neighbouring villages and from inside the town. The total number of hospitalised cases in the centre has been nine, until Monday.”

One person died in Anjoucti in West Darfur where six others were infected and taken to Foro Baranga hospital.

‘Acute watery diarrhoea’

The National Epidemiological Corporation reported in July that nearly 24,000 Sudanese have been infected and 940 cholera patients have died since the outbreak of the infectious disease in Blue Nile state in August last year.

The Sudanese authorities however, refuse to call the disease by its name, and refer to it as “Watery Diarrhoea”. The National Intelligence and Security Service has repeatedly warned medics and the press in the country not to make mention of cholera. Cholera “seems to be a stigma for the government,” a Sudanese specialist told Radio Dabanga in January.

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