Putin Says War To ‘Stabilise’, Ukraine Presses Counterattack

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech during a ceremony formally annexing four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy, at the Kremlin in Moscow on September 30, 2022. (Photo by Gavriil GRIGOROV / SPUTNIK / AFP)

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that he expected the situation to “stabilise” in Ukrainian regions annexed by the Kremlin after Moscow suffered military setbacks and lost several key towns to Kyiv.

He also ordered his government to seize control over Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in the Russian-controlled region of Zaporizhzhia, with IAEA head Rafael Grossi en route to Kyiv for consultations on the facility.

Ukraine earlier claimed victories over Russian troops in the eastern region of Lugansk, as the Kremlin vowed to recapture territory lost in a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive.

In recent weeks, Ukraine’s forces — bolstered by Western weapons — have wrested Russian troops out of a string of towns and villages in the southern Kherson region and the eastern separatist strongholds of Lugansk and Donetsk.

And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky late Wednesday said his forces had recaptured three villages in the Kherson region from Russian troops.

“We are working on the assumption that the situation in the new territories will stabilise,” Putin told Russian teachers during a televised video call.

Just hours earlier, the Ukrainian-appointed head of Lugansk Sergiy Gaiday announced that the “de-occupation of the Lugansk region has already officially started”.

A senior Russian lawmaker called on military officials to tell the truth about developments on the ground in Ukraine following the string of bruising defeats.

“We need to stop lying,” the chairman of the lower house of parliament’s defence committee, Andrei Kartapolov, told a journalist from state-run media.

“The reports of the defence ministry do not change. The people know. Our people are not stupid. This can lead to loss of credibility.”

 Regions to be ‘Russian forever’

Putin on Wednesday signed into legislation his annexation of four Ukrainian territories — including Lugansk — as the European Union agreed a new round of sanctions against Moscow in response.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would take back land it lost to Kyiv within the annexed regions, vowing they would be “Russian forever and will not be returned”.

Putin initially inked agreements with the Moscow-installed leaders of the four regions to become subjects of the Russian Federation, despite condemnation from Kyiv and the West.

The four territories — Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk and Zaporizhzhia — create a land corridor between Russia and the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Together, the five regions make up around 20 percent of Ukraine.

The Kremlin annexed the territories after hastily conducting referendums, denounced as void by Kyiv and its Western allies, but has yet to confirm what areas exactly of those regions are being annexed.

Russian forces do not have full control over Kherson or Zaporizhzhia and recently lost control of several settlements in Donetsk.

The latest battlefield maps from Moscow showed that Russian troops had left many areas in Kherson, including along the west bank of the Dnipro River.

‘Lived like rats’

In Kharkiv, the maps indicated that Moscow’s forces had almost entirely abandoned the east bank of the Oskil River, potentially giving the Ukrainians space to shell key Russian troop transportation and supply corridors.

While Russian authorities remain largely silent about the extent of the setbacks, war correspondents of pro-Kremlin media admitted that troops were in trouble.

“There won’t be any good news in the near future. Not from the Kherson front nor from Lugansk,” newspaper journalist Alexander Kots wrote on his Telegram channel with more than 640,000 followers.

In the town of Lyman, Ukrainian police officers were moving back into the station used until last week by the Russian occupation force.

“They lived like rats,” said the town’s police chief, Igor Ugnivenko, returning to his pre-invasion office and surveying the debris.

In front of the central administration building, queues of mainly elderly residents built up for two ambulances distributing meagre humanitarian aid.

“I don’t know if the situation is better or worse,” said 62-year- old Tatiana Slavuta of the town’s recapture by Ukrainian forces.

“All the shops are closed, we don’t have money, we don’t have light. Nothing.

“We don’t see any change,” she said before correcting herself and brightening.

 ‘Now there’s silence’

“At least now there’s silence — no shelling.”

Putin’s decision to wrest control of the Zaporizhzhia plant comes after months of tensions around the facility, with both sides blaming each other for strikes that had raised fears of a radiation disaster.

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden told Zelensky that another $625 million in military assistance was on the way.

The new batch includes more HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, which have allowed Ukraine to strike Russian command depots and arms stockpiles far behind the frontline.

In a powerful show of solidarity, Ukraine was added to the joint bid of Spain and Portugal to host the World Cup in 2030.

Zelensky called this “more than a symbol of faith in our joint victory”.

“Ukraine will endure, prevail and be rebuilt thanks to the solidarity of its partners,” Zelensky said on Twitter.

AFP

PSG Held At Benfica Despite Messi Stunner

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe (L) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi react during the UEFA Champions League 1st round day 3 group H football match between SL Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain, at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on October 5, 2022. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

 

Paris Saint-Germain were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday despite Lionel Messi’s brilliant curling strike.

The Argentina star scored midway through the first half in Lisbon but Danilo’s own goal before the break ensured PSG and Benfica remain level on seven points at the top of Group H.

Both clubs failed to win for just the second time this season in all competitions but are four points clear of Juventus, who bounced back from successive defeats to beat Maccabi Haifa 3-1 at home.

Sitting top of the Portuguese league despite dropping their first points at the weekend, Benfica’s high pressing rattled PSG as the hosts made a bright start.

Goncalo Ramos, who drew interest in the summer from PSG, saw his effort blocked by Gianluigi Donnarumma’s leg after he raced onto a long ball in behind the defence.

READ ALSO: Chelsea Swat Aside AC Milan To Revive Champions League Bid

Ramos then stung the palms of Donnarumma from distance before the Italy goalkeeper produced a terrific save to deflect David Neres’ shot wide.

But PSG’s vaunted three-man attack of Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe suddenly sparked into life and the visitors surged ahead as the Argentine finished the move he started in style.

Messi’s pass to Mbappe was helped on to Neymar, whose lay-off was whipped into the far top corner first-time by Messi for his 127th Champions League goal.

Donnarumma again intervened to deny Benfica by parrying Antonio Silva’s strike to safety, but the hosts got the equaliser their play deserved just before half-time.

Enzo Fernandez was afforded far too much space to swing in a teasing cross from the left that Danilo inadvertently glanced in as he tried to track Ramos.

Neymar twice went close to restoring PSG’s lead early in the second half, clipping the bar with an inventive overhead kick and forcing Odysseas Vlachodimos to punch away his free-kick.

Achraf Hakimi could only drill straight at the Benfica ‘keeper after being played in by Messi, while Benfica defender Nicolas Otamendi glanced a free-kick just past the post at the other end.

Both sides continued to create chances. Mbappe’s curling shot was turned behind by a sprawling Vlachodimos, with Donnarumma spreading himself to thwart Rafa Silva after a marauding run.

But there was ultimately nothing to separate two sides who are unbeaten this season, and will meet again in six days’ time at the Parc des Princes.

AFP

Chelsea Swat Aside AC Milan To Revive Champions League Bid

AC Milan’s Bosnian midfielder Rade Krunic (C) fights for the ball with Chelsea’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly (L) and Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount (R) during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between Chelsea and AC Milan at Stamford Bridge in London on October 5, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Chelsea climbed back into contention for a place in the Champions League last 16 with an impressive 3-0 victory against AC Milan on Wednesday.

Graham Potter’s side won for the first time in three Group E games as Wesley Fofana’s first Chelsea goal was followed by second-half strikes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reece James at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had kicked off their Champions League campaign with an embarrassing defeat at Dinamo Zagreb the day before Thomas Tuchel was sacked, while Potter’s first match ended in a draw with Salzburg.

But second-placed Chelsea are now level with third-placed Milan on four points ahead of a crucial trip to the San Siro to face the Italian champions again on October 11.

With three games left for each team, group leaders Salzburg are one point above Chelsea after beating Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 on Wednesday.

Progress in the Champions League is essential to Potter’s bid to stamp his authority on a squad expensively assembled by Chelsea’s new owners with immediate success in mind.

While Chelsea still have work to do to reach the knockout stage, Potter will be encouraged by the most dynamic performance of his three games since replacing Tuchel.

The former Brighton boss has kept a low profile so far as he gets acclimatised to the first high-pressure job of his managerial career.

Potter had never attended a Champions League game before taking charge at Chelsea, so his first victory in the competition was a memorable milestone for the modest coach.

Fittingly, it was achieved with minimum fuss as Chelsea set the tone from the moment Mason Mount’s curling effort forced a sprawling save from Ciprian Tatarusanu.

If that was an aesthetically pleasing way to take the game to Milan, the Blues wrestled control with a more rudimentary aerial assault that left Milan battered and bruised.

Exposing Milan’s weakness at set-pieces, Thiago Silva met Mount’s free-kick with a header that Tatarusanu tipped over.

Moments later, Silva threatened again with another header that deflected wide for the corner that produced Chelsea’s 24th-minute opener.

READ ALSO: PSG Held At Benfica Despite Messi Stunner

Knockout blow 

With Milan negligent in their marking yet again, Silva reached Ben Chilwell’s corner with a thumping header that was parried by Tatarusanu.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek scrambled the rebound towards Fofana and the French defender fired low into the far corner from six yards.

Fofana’s memorable evening turned sour following a challenge with Rafael Leao that forced the centre-back to limp off late in the first half.

Despite being outplayed for most of the half, Milan would have been level in stoppage-time if not for a woeful piece of finishing.

Leao scythed through the Chelsea defence to set up Charles De Ketelaere for a shot that Kepa Arrizabalaga pushed out to Rade Krunic, who blazed high over the bar from close range.

That narrow escape served to refocus Chelsea in the second half and they delivered the knockout blow in the 56th minute.

Former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori was caught out by James’ cross and Aubameyang was on hand to volley home.

It was Aubameyang’s second goal in successive games after the Gabon striker bagged his first for the club in their win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Aubameyang had endured a much longer wait to score in the Champions League — this was his first goal in the competition since he netted for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Toothless in attack with former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud anonymous and far too careless at the back, Milan were in disarray and it was no surprise when Chelsea struck again six minutes later.

Raheem Sterling fed the unmarked James with a perfectly-weighted pass into the Milan area and the defender slammed a fierce strike past Tatarusanu from a tight angle.

AFP

Buhari Happy About Release Of Train Victims, Lauds Security Agencies

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the State House while receiving members of the Nigeria Medical Association On August 9, 2022.
In this file photo, President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the State House while receiving members of the Nigeria Medical Association On August 9, 2022. Sunday Aghaeze/State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed joy over the release of the remaining 23 victims of the Kaduna train attack. 

Their release was confirmed on Wednesday, months after they were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.

“This country’s Armed Forces are as good as any. Given needed support and encouragement as we have been doing, there is no task that they cannot accomplish. I commend them for this remarkable outcome,” the President said according to a statement by his media aide Garba Shehu.

READ ALSO: Terrorists Release 23 Remaining Kaduna Train Attack Victims

“In expressing satisfaction with the successful deployment of both kinetic and non-kinetic processes leading to the eventual safe release of the remaining hostages, President Buhari also congratulated the families of the victims for having them back alive,” the statement added.

“He directed that the relief that comes to the nation arising from the closure of this unfortunate saga must be sustained at all times, all over the federation.

“The President also credited his government for resolving the issue and the de-escalation of the terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping that surged recently, giving assurances that the efforts will be sustained.”

Customs Impound 1,995 Bales Of Used Clothing In Lagos State 

The seized bales of clothing.

 

The southwest enforcement unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has impounded 1,995 bales of second-hand clothing among other contraband items.

According to the unit, this forms the largest single seizure of such goods ever made by the unit were discovered at an abandoned building around the International Trade Fair Complex in Lagos.

Speaking with journalists in Ikeja, the Acting Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Hussein Ejibunu, explained that the unit made the discovery and evacuation using combined strategies of intelligence, tact, and enforcement.

On the seized used clothing, Ejibunu said “This is the highest single seizure of used clothing made by the service this year, and we have commenced investigation to know those behind this massive importation, and at what entry point these clothes came into the country”.

READ ALSO: 10 Kaduna Teachers Killed, Several Others Kidnapped In 2022 – Union

Mister Ejibunu emphasised that the unit made a series of seizures with total duty paid value of six hundred and twenty-two million, four hundred and seven thousand, five hundred and eighty-six naira (622,407, 586) in the month of September.

“Smuggling of used clothes has economic and health implications on our people. The government in its wisdom wants the local textile industry to enjoy protection and create more jobs for Nigerians from the cotton farms through the textile and garment factories to our markets,” he said.

According to him, the seizures recorded within the period include 7,328 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, 121,550 litres of premium motor spirit, 68 cartons of frozen poultry, 37 crates of eggs used to conceal rice, 150 kg parcels of Indian Hemp, 10 pieces of military camouflage bags, six units of used cars, one unit of pump action rifle, two units of locally made guns and 35 live cartridges.

Within the same period, the unit also made a large cache of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) ingeniously concealed inside sacks which were intercepted at the Badagry axis of Lagos State.

Ejibunu added that the sum of one hundred and seven million, eight hundred and sixteen thousand, six hundred twenty-two naira, seventy-five kobo (n107,816,622.75) was also recovered in a bid to prevent losses to the government.

Five suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.

“Interestingly, the Federal High Court has passed three judgments in favor of this Unit on three criminal cases; securing the conviction of six people for being in possession of smuggled goods,” he added. “While six civil suits against the Unit were dismissed for lack of merit.”

Stating the fact according to WHO reports, the Unit boss said “According to a World Health Organization fact-sheet, ‘Monkeypox’ is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.”

“‘Monkeypox virus’ is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding.

“It is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.”

South-East APC Women Rally For Tinubu In Imo State

South-East APC women at the rally in support of Tinubu. [email protected]

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) women in the South-East on Wednesday held a rally in support of the party’s presidential candidate Bola Tinubu and his running mate Kashim Shettima.

The women’s wing of the APC presidential campaign South-East zone gathered in large numbers at the Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Square in Owerri, the Imo State capital to drum up support for their party’s candidate.

Dressed in colourful attire, leaders of the group took turns addressing the crowd and urged them to vote for the party’s candidate.

Chioma Uzodimma, South-East Women’s Coordinator for the APC Presidential Campaign and the wife to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, said Wednesday’s rally is a preamble.

She urged the women to get their permanent voter cards and on “that day, from beginning to the end,” vote APC candidates.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Will Be Back In Nigeria ‘In A Couple Of Days’ – Keyamo

[email protected]

 

On his part, Governor Uzodimma said the APC is the party to beat in next year’s exercise. He expressed confidence that the duo of Tinubu and Shettima will cruise to victory in 2022.

“APC is one united national political party in Nigeria and we are all committed to APC, and we are all working for APC.

“We believe that what is happening in Lagos should happen in Nigeria. We believe that those who initiated what is happening in Lagos should also initiate what would happen in Nigeria,” he told the women at the Government House.

“We believe that the good work the President has done for the past seven and half years has to be supported and continued. The only way this can happen is if our women will come out en masse; if our youths will come out en masse; if our politicians will come out en masse and support a winning team because you don’t change a winning team.”

The women also marched through the streets of the Imo State capital as they ramped up support for Tinubu.

Tinubu Will Be Back In Nigeria ‘In A Couple Of Days’  – Keyamo

A file photo of APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

 

Festus Keyamo says the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu will soon be back in the country. 

The spokesman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) made the comment on Wednesday following concerns raised about Tinubu’s continued stay in the UK.

“I know he would be back in a couple of days. I have that information. I don’t know the particular day,” the minister of state for Labour and Employment said on Channels Television’s Politics Today. “I can’t say Friday or Saturday but I know he would be back in a couple of days.”

Tinubu’s visit to the United Kingdom has made headlines in recent times. Critics claim his absence when political campaigns have kickstarted suggests there might be issues. Others claim the former Lagos State governor is on a medical visit to the UK.

READ ALSOAdamu Meets NWC, APC Governors Over Tinubu’s Campaign List

‘Candidate To Beat?

In the wake of the debates triggered by his absence in the country, Tinubu released a seven-second workout video,  saying he is fit to lead the country contrary to insinuations.

And when asked if the APC flagbearer is in London on a medical trip, Keyamo said, “I don’t have such information”, maintaining that “I speak for the campaign council and not for the candidate”.

Keyamo also said Tinubu has nothing to prove about his health. As far as he is concerned, the spotlight on the APC candidate is because the “candidate to beat” for next year’s presidential poll.

“In my own Twitter post on it, I said we are not trying to prove anything to anybody,” he noted.

“We are proud that he is the candidate to beat,” Keyamo argued.

According to him, Tinubu’s absence will not affect the APC campaign, recalling how the party started the campaign in 2019 50 days late.

“Buhari was around on that occasion. Was it because Buhari was sick that we started 50 or 60 days later? No! We had to properly plan a campaign,” he said.

“It is not true therefore that we have not kicked off because a candidate is sick and because he is not around. I am only saying that there is a history. So, it is not automatic (for APC to start presidential campaigns).”

Gov. Abiodun Rewards Teachers With Houses, Cash 

Governor Dapo Abiodun says rewarding the teachers is to encourage hard work. [email protected]

 

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State in the spirit of World Teachers’ Day rewarded outstanding tutors with a two-bedroom bungalow and cash.

The governor disclosed this on Wednesday at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta, saying the move is to encourage hard work. He also expressed the desire to raise the standard of education through massive investment in critical infrastructure and the welfare of the workforce.

While seeking more support and understanding, he also offered employment to a widow of a school teacher who lost his life during the struggle for a better welfare package by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).


The event also witnessed the presentation of a brand new bus to the union of teachers in the state.

APC’s Same-Faith Ticket Is A Political Calculation, Says Cardinal Onaiyekan

 John Onaiyekan
In this file photo, a former Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan attends the 7th anniversary of the abduction of 276 schoolgirls, in Abuja on April 14, 2021. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has described the same-faith presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a calculation by the party to win next year’s election but noted that Nigerians would determine the pattern of voting.

The clergyman said this at the First Synod of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo held at the St. Kizito Pastoral Centre, Ede, Osun State.

Delivering an address titled: “The Church as an Agent of Dialogue and Reconciliation In Our Community In Quest For a Just and Peaceful Social Order,” he stressed that every Christian, like other Nigerians, would have to take their own decision on the political party to vote for.

READ ALSO: [2023] Governors Contribute To Election Violence – Oshiomhole

According to him, the Catholic Church wouldn’t direct people on who to support during the electioneering period.

He explained that there’s a reason for the plurality of faith and beliefs as ordained by God and stressed that Nigeria should use such diversity to promote unity through an open channel of dialogue.

The cleric also urged religious leaders to encourage interfaith collaboration.

The 1st Synod of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo has the theme, “You’ll be my Witnesses: Faithful to Christ and Apostolic Tradition (Acts 1:8).

Standard Chartered Bank Leads Dialogue With Financial Market Experts At Global Research Summit

(L-R): Ayodeji Adelagun, Head of Financial Markets, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Nigeria Ltd; Mark Price, Regional Head of Financial Markets, AME – SCB; Linzi Blakely, Global Head, HR, Client Coverage – SCB; Sarmad Lone, Regional Head, Client Coverage, CCIB – Africa and Middle East (AME) – SCB and Olukorede Adenowo, Executive Director, Corporate Commercial and Institutional Banking, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Nigeria Ltd at the Global Research Briefing session for clients in Lagos-Nigeria recently.

 

As the world continues to contend with the effects of the COVID pandemic, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Plc recently hosted the Global Research Briefing to identify the key concerns for the Nigerian financial market, pool solutions from a cross-section of financial & oil sector experts, and chart a course in a bid to reverse the negative situation.

Held in Lagos, the event provided a conducive environment for market leaders to dialogue on an array of key economic issues ranging from the expected implementation of foreign exchange and monetary policy reforms to interventions needed to address the challenges in the oil and gas sector.

In his welcome remarks, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Lamin Manjang, noted that the session came at a time of great uncertainty and volatility both globally and locally marked by the spectre of high inflation and slow growth.

“We have seen a very aggressive tightening of monetary policy across almost all central banks in the world. in Nigeria, we have seen the same phenomenon of high inflation. But it’s not all doom and gloom. We have been through similar challenges in the past and we eventually came out of it,” he stated.

(L-R): Razia Khan, Chief Economist, Africa and Middle East (AME), Global Research at Standard Chartered Bank; Mr. Leke Ogunlewe, Group CFO, Amni International Petroleum Development Company Limited (Amni); Mr. Chikezie Nwosu, MD/CEO, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited; and Mr. Femi Ogunbi, Treasurer, ExxonMobil during the Oil & Gas panel session at the Global Research Briefing session which the Bank organised for clients in Lagos-Nigeria recently.

 

During her keynote presentation, SCB’s Regional Head of Research, Africa & the Middle East, Ms. Razia Kahn, highlighted the need for greater reassurance on FX and other policy reforms in order for Nigeria to attract foreign investor participation.

“In terms of the policy response, Nigeria has perhaps been more tested than many other economies. A lot of the transmission of the different pressures into the great slowdown has been exacerbated by the policy decisions in Nigeria. Still, Nigeria stands apart from many of its African counterparts simply because it is seen to be an economy that has scale,” she explained.

Addressing the challenges within the petroleum industry, Ms. Khan moderated an Oil & Gas panel session which included Mr. Leke Ogunlewe, former Head of Global Banking/Corporate and Institutional Banking, SCB; Mr. Chikezie Nwosu, MD/CEO, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited; and Mr. Femi Ogunbi, Treasurer, ExxonMobil.

Speaking on challenges brought on by the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, Mr. Ogunlewe noted that there were concerns regarding the regulation of the significant investments of oil & gas companies in social initiatives, particularly as they relate to their host communities.

(L-R): Razia Khan, Chief Economist, Africa and Middle East (AME), Global Research at Standard Chartered Bank; Mr. Leke Ogunlewe, Group CFO, Amni International Petroleum Development Company Limited (Amni); Mr. Chikezie Nwosu, MD/CEO, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited; and Mr. Femi Ogunbi, Treasurer, ExxonMobil during the Oil & Gas panel session at the Global Research Briefing session which the Bank organised for clients in Lagos-Nigeria recently.

 

“We now have a regulator that monitors these organizations in a way that is unfavourable to the communities. I’m curious to see how that is going to work out because I know from experience that several oil & gas companies spend much more than the PIA stipulates,” he stated.

In his own remarks, Mr. Ogunbi underscored the need for the market forces of demand and supply to play a greater role in Nigeria’s oil & gas policies. According to him, Nigeria needs more enablers and more respect for market forces in virtually every sector.

Discussing the need to attract Foreign Direct Investment, the Financial Markets panel included Mr. Ayodeji Adelagun, Head, Financial Markets, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria; Ms. Elizabeth Oguegbu, Head of Financial Markets Sales, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria; Mr. David Alao, CEO, Leadway Asset Management Company; and Ms. Tumi Sekoni, MD, FMDQ Exchange.

During the discussion, Mr. Alao noted that serious FX reforms are necessary for the international investing public to regain confidence in Nigeria just as Ms. Sekoni called attention to the likelihood of FX reforms being deferred till after the coming elections.

Speaking on the session, Olukorede Adenowo, Executive Director, Corporate Commercial and Institutional Banking said,

‘As a global bank with a rich network of experience and expertise in Africa and the Middle East, we are in a unique position to support the massive shift of capital towards sustainable finance, which has become a priority for stakeholders (investors, clients etc) alike. The people and businesses we serve are the engines of trade and innovation, and central to the transition to a fair, sustainable future. The Global Research Briefing provided an opportunity for us to share insights into the challenges within the country and more so the tremendous opportunities that exist as well providing solutions that governments can take to make their markets more attractive for investment.

We are determined to support our clients with identifying such opportunities and developing significant sustainable finance solutions to grow their businesses. This will ensure that we are able to deliver on our aspiration to be the Bank that’s continuously driving commerce and prosperity for our clients and the economies we operate in.’’

The highly interactive event was well attended by some of SCB’s Regional Heads for Africa & the Middle East, including Sarmad Lone, Regional Head, Client Coverage, CCIB – Africa and Middle East (AME); Mark Price, Regional Head of Financial Markets, AME; Linzi Blakely, Global Head, HR, Client Coverage as well as its corporate clientele in Nigeria.

Ronaldo Happy At Man Utd Despite Frustrations, Says Ten Hag

In this file photo taken on April 28, 2022, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo applauds supporters after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea in Manchester, England.

 

Erik ten Hag admitted Wednesday that Cristiano Ronaldo is frustrated when he is not playing for Manchester United but insisted he is happy at Old Trafford.

The summer transfer window was dominated by speculation over the 37-year-old’s future after the club’s disappointing campaign in 2021/22.

Ronaldo reportedly received an eye-watering offer from Saudi Arabia, but no Champions League giants made their move for the Portugal attacker, who missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family issue.

The forward could start just his fourth match in all competitions when United take on Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League on Thursday.

Ronaldo was left on the bench for Sunday’s 6-3 derby hammering at Manchester City, leading to renewed questions about his future before the trip to Cyprus.

“I never talk about my conversations with the players,” United manager Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference.

“They are between us. That’s quite clear.

“But when I tell you all the players, when you’re here and you’re happy, or satisfied, when you’re on the bench, this is not a club where you have to be, and especially Cristiano.

“He’s really competitive, as we all know. He’s not happy of course when he’s not playing.

“But I already said and, I have to repeat, he’s training well, he has a good mood, he’s motivated and he gives his best. That is what we expect.”

READ ALSO: As He Plots Liverpool Revival, Klopp Says Even Ronaldo Has Confidence Dips

Ten Hag thanked City manager Pep Guardiola and his team for the reality check dished out at the Etihad.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks in a match that showed the chasm between Ten Hag’s side and back-to-back Premier League champions City.

“Obviously it was a difficult day,” said the Dutch boss.

“As always we analyse and we do that tough, the reality. It was a reality check, so we have to learn from it and carry on.

“You always take respect of the opponent but we will still stick to our philosophy, our rules, our principles.”

He added: “So thank you for the lesson, from Pep and City. We will take that and we have to understand we have to do things much better.”

Bruno Fernandes said United’s players had held a meeting after the defeat to go through “the tough things, the mistakes that we did”.

“Obviously we know the game we played was not good enough for our standards, for what we have set for ourselves, for what we want to achieve this season,” said the attacking midfielder.

“We have let down the club altogether, not just one or two players. Altogether we didn’t do enough to win the game, to get points from that game.”

Defenders Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane are among the absentees for United’s trip to Cyprus.

The club are second in Group E after defeat against Real Sociedad and a win against Sheriff Tiraspol.

AFP

Uganda Ebola Outbreak Death Toll Up To 29 –  WHO

This file photo taken on June 28, 2014, shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated.  CELLOU BINANI / AFP

 

Sixty-three confirmed and probable cases have been reported in the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, including 29 deaths, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the vaccines used to curb recent outbreaks in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo were not effective against the type of Ebola virus circulating in Uganda.

And he said the Uganda outbreak was taking a toll on health workers.

“So far, 63 confirmed and probable cases have been reported, including 29 deaths,” Tedros told a press conference in Geneva.

“Ten health workers have been infected and four have died. Four people have recovered and are receiving follow-up care.”

He said the WHO was supporting the Ugandan government in its response to the outbreak, which has been reported in four districts.

The UN’s health agency has released $2 million from its contingency fund for emergencies and is working with partners to support the health ministry by sending additional specialists, supplies and resources, Tedros said.

“When there is a delay in detecting an Ebola outbreak, it’s normal for cases to increase steadily at the beginning and then decrease as life-saving interventions and outbreak control measures are implemented,” he said.

“The vaccines used successfully to curb recent Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo are not effective against the type of Ebola virus that’s responsible for this outbreak in Uganda.

“However, several vaccines are in various stages of development against this virus, two of which could begin clinical trials in Uganda in the coming weeks, pending regulatory and ethics approvals from the Ugandan government.”

AFP