Effects

Iran’s smog, blackouts made worse by power-sapping crypto mining

Outages have been compounded by cryptocurrency mining, which uses banks of high-powered computers. Cities across Iran have been cloaked in thick layers of toxic smog and darkened by blackouts, as the alleged use of low-quality fuel and power-sucking cryptocurrency mining deepen the country’s hardships. Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, the country’s most-read daily, ran the headline, “20 Days Living in Smoke,” on Wednesday over a photo of the capital covered in smog. Power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oils to generate electricity because high levels of domestic consumption have led to natural-gas shortages, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied earlier this week that any of Iran’s power stations are us...

Nigerian government begins three-month special public works scheme in Jigawa

The federal government on Friday inaugurated the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) programme in Jigawa with 1,000 unskilled youth benefiting from the 27 local government areas of the state. Each participant will receive N20,000 monthly for three months for the duration of the programme. The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who made this known at the ceremony in Dutse, said that the extended programme was an outcome of the pilot SPW in rural areas approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020. Mr. Adamu said that the programme was introduced following the emergence of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, as a measure to cushion the adverse socio-economic effects on citizens. “It aimed at shielding the vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic which included, but are ...

World Bank predicts 4% global economic growth, 1.1% for Nigeria in 2021

ABS-CBN The World Bank says global economy is expected to grow by 4 per cent in 2021, assuming an initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout becomes widespread throughout the year. It said this in a statement issued in Washington D.C. on Tuesday at the presentation of the January 2021 Global Economic Prospects. It added that the said recovery would likely be subdued unless policy makers moved decisively to tame the pandemic and implement investment-enhancing reforms. The bank also said that growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was forecast to rebound moderately to 2.7 per cent in 2021, while Nigeria’s growth was expected to resume at 1.1 per cent. For the region, it said that while the recovery in private consumption and investment was forecast to be slower than previously envisioned, export growth was expe...

Ogun government creates trust fund for sports development

Ogun State will soon set up a Sports Trust Fund that would help in creating an enabling environment to tap from the multiplier effects of Sporting activities. The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, stated this when officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), led by the President, Mr. Amaju Pinnik, paid him a courtesy call in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, saying that sports, over time has moved from an entertainment past time to a Money spinning venture. “We are putting in place, a Sports Trust Fund to create enabling environment to engage and enjoy the multiplier effects of Sporting activities. We are going to launch that very soon, so that our sports have enough funding”, he noted. The governor, who described Sports as a means of youth employment, opined that when youths a...

Lai Mohammed: My only regret as minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said his only regret as a minister is that some Nigerians have failed to appreciate that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is doing so much with little resources. Mr Mohammed stated this at a Special Forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. He said with dwindling resources, no government in the history of Nigeria has implemented programmes alleviating poverty among women and vulnerable groups as well as created jobs for the youth as the Buhari administration had done. The minister said his regret was that some Nigerians have failed to appreciate the efforts of the government but keep celebrating negative developments. “My regret in this government is that Nigerians have failed to appreciate that the ...

Governor Sanwo-Olu: Lagos can’t afford another total lockdown

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the state cannot afford another total lockdown amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Friday said there were indications that the country had entered a second wave of the pandemic. “In Nigeria, the indication is that we have entered a second wave of infections, and we stand the risk of not just losing the gains from the hard work of the last nine months, but also losing the precious lives of our citizens”, Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, who represented Boss Mustapha, chairman of the PTF, said. Sanwo-Olu, who went into isolation last Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19, advised residents to adhere to health protocol and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to help limit the ...

President Buhari a true leader and democrat – Reps deputy speaker

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a true leader and Democrat with a listening ear to the yearning of the Nigerian people. Wase who congratulated the President on his 78 birthday said President Buhari has been able to showcase true qualities of a good leader and have proven to have a listening ear as he is always ready to do the yearnings of Nigerians. In a birthday message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Muhammad Puma, Wase joined the millions of Nigerians and well-wishers globally in extolling the virtues of the President as not only the Father of the whole nation but as a true leader and democrat. “True to his words before assuming office, President Buhari has stayed faithful to the yearnings o...

Nigerian government says 300,000 mass housing scheme strictly for low income earners

The Federal Government says its Social Housing Programme, one of the components of the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), is targeted at low income earners. Imeh Okon, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, who made this clarification on Tuesday in Abuja, said the scheme was not meant for politicians or highly placed persons. The 300,000 social housing programme is a component of the NESP designed by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on Nigerians. She explained that one of the objectives of the administration was to provide houses for citizens across the country. Okon said that the houses would be durable and of high quality not minding the low prices. “It is a social ...

Air passengers decry upsurge in fares, seek urgent attention to roads, railway

Nigerians, who travel by air, have decried the “sudden” upsurge in air fares and urged the Federal Government to intervene to avoid poor patronage that could dwindle the fortunes of the aviation industry. Newsmen report that the air fares shot up by about 100 per cent in the last one week, with some airline operators even raising their fares by as much as 120 per cent or more. At Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the fare from Abuja to Lagos, which was N35,300 (Economy Class), rose to between N70,000 and N75,000. Newsmen found that Business Class travellers were charged between N100,000 and N120,000, depending on the airline. Our correspondents, who visited other airports across the country, found that the rise in airfares was the same, a situation that forced some passengers to...

Nigerian government commences N30,000 grants to Uber drivers, Keke NAPEP riders

The federal government has commenced the disbursement of N30,000 grants for transporters as a measure to support those affected by COVID-19 pandemic under its economic sustainability plan (ESP). This was disclosed in a statement signed by Laolu Akande, senior special assistant to the vice president on media and publicity, on Sunday. The funds are being disbursed under the federal government’s micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) survival fund scheme for artisans and transporters. The transport support track opened on November 30, 2020, after the artisans’ support track launched on October 1, 2020. According to the statement, the artisans track is under federal government’s survival fund, while the transport track is a different scheme also under the same fund. Those to benefit from th...

India’s Serum Institute seeks approval for COVID-19 vaccine

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer by volume, has sought government approval for emergency-use authorisation of the coronavirus vaccine that it has developed in partnership with the University of Oxford and British drugmaker AstraZeneca. “As promised, before the end of 2020, @SerumInstIndia has applied for emergency use authorisation for the first made-in-India vaccine, COVISHIELD,” the company CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted on Monday. The experimental vaccine can be stored at two to eight degrees Celsius and can be distributed more easily in India, which has the world’s second-highest number of infections at 9.6 million. The company has applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), with Poonawalla saying the vaccine will “save countless lives” witho...

CIBN urges banks to strengthen cyber-security

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has urged the banks to strengthen their cyber-security architecture in order to prevent attacks by fraudsters. President/Chairman of Council of the institute, Mr. Bayo Olugbemi, made the call while delivering his remarks at the 2020 CIBN Fellowship Investiture in Lagos, at the weekend. The CIBN at its investiture formally conferred its honorary fellowship awards on 19 distinguished bankers in recognition of their contributions to the banking industry and the economy; 77 associates as elected Fellows while 105 senior management staff of banks and the academia became Honorary Senior Members of the institute at the event with the theme: ‘Financial Services in a post COVID 19 Environment: Strategic Imperative’. Some that were conferred with ...

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