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$9bn fine is a scam – Federal Government 

The Federal Government has described the P&ID contract as a scam designed to inflict economic and financial loss on Nigeria.

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FG to establish a new anti-corruption agency, P&ID, FG, malami, $9bn fine is a scam - Federal Government , UPDATED: P&ID operations shut down, assets forfeited by court order

The Federal Government has described the P&ID contract as a scam designed to inflict economic and financial loss on Nigeria. 

This was stated by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami during a press briefing on Television Continental (TVC). According to Malami, the 9.6 billion dollars arbitration awarded by a UK Court would not stand. 

The Attorney General also made a promise to the citizens that none of the nation’s assets would be confiscated as steps were being taken to investigate circumstances surrounding the judgement. He went further to express the willingness of the government to negotiate and meet the terms of the agreement reached with genuine investors. 

[READ MORE: FG bows to pressure, ready to negotiate with P&ID firm over $9 billion U.K judgement]

The backstory: In 2010, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) signed a contract with the Federal Government under the administration of President Dr Goodluck Jonathan to supply gas to a processing plant in Calabar. 

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Specifically, the deal was supposed to span 20 years. However, the Nigerian government failed to keep its side of the agreement, prompting the firm to seek legal action against Nigeria. 

In 2013, P&ID reportedly won a $6.6 billion arbitration case against Nigeria. The figure was calculated based on what the company was estimated to earn over the course of the 20 years agreement. However, with the accumulated interest payments, the sum now tops $9 billion, which amounts to 20% of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.    

[READ ALSO: FG bows to pressure, ready to negotiate with P&ID firm over $9 billion U.K judgement]

The bottom line: The founder of P&ID, Brendan Cahill denied that the agreement signed with the Federal Government in 2010 was fraudulent. He said the arbitrators in London spent five years carefully reviewing the written agreement and all the facts surrounding the deal, concluding unanimously that Nigeria was to blame for the collapse. 

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The new reaction by the Abubakar Malami has, however, cast doubt on the veracity of the claims of P&ID while raising a question on who is telling the truth in this matter. 

 

Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Africa records higher death rate than the global rate

Africa’s coronavirus death rate is now higher than the global average according to Africa CDC.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

Africa’s coronavirus death rate has been reported to be higher than the global average as the continent struggle with a shortage of oxygen and other resources during this second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The continent’s fatality rate currently stands at 2.5%, which is higher than the global rate of 2.2%, a departure from earlier in the pandemic, when the death rate in Africa was lower than that at the global level.

According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong, on Thursday, January 21, 2021, during a press conference.

While describing the trend as alarming experts, the continent’s CDC boss pointed out that earlier in the pandemic, Africa’s death rate had been below the global average.

He said, “The case fatality rate is beginning to be very worrying and concerning for all of us.’’

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Nkengasong also said that 21 African countries are now recording Covid-19 death rate of above 3% as the number of countries in the continent with a higher fatality rate than the global average continues to grow.

Some of the countries include Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and a host of others.

What you should know

  • Africa has so far recorded 3.3 million cases of the coronavirus infections with 82,000 fatalities as at Thursday.
  • These figures represent a small fraction of the global total, but cases have been reported to have increased by 14% each week in the last 1 month.
  • According to data from Africa CDC, over the past week, cases decreased by nearly 7% compared to the previous week while deaths increased by 10%.
  • The continent reported 207,000 new cases in the past week, with South Africa alone reporting 100,000 of those new cases.

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Cryptocurrency

Ex-Real Madrid Striker, David Barral becomes first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin

Former Real Madrid Striker, David Barral has become the first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin.

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Former Real Madrid striker, David Barral, makes transfer history as he became the first-ever professional player to be bought solely with virtual currency, Bitcoin.

Spanish third division side, DUX Internacional de Madrid, simply known as Inter Madrid, has officially signed the 37-year-old after teaming up with their new sponsors, Criptan that deals in cryptocurrency, The SUN reports.

Inter Madrid who are part of DUX gaming, eSports club owned by footballers Borja Iglesias and Real Madrid star, Thibaut Courtois, is yet to disclose the total value of the deal.

The Segunda Division B club went to Twitter to welcome their new signing and thank their sponsor.

“David Barral new player of DUX Internacional de Madrid, welcome to the infinite club! He becomes the first signing in history in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Criptan, our new sponsor, for making it possible,” the club tweeted.

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The 37-year-old, who made over 50 appearances playing in the Real Madrid reserve side, expressed his delight at his latest move. Barral has also played for Spanish La Liga clubs Sporting Gijon, Levante, and Racing Santander.

“Glad to join the project of @interdemadrid with eager ambition and responsibility to continue competing and achieve important challenges in my sports career,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

What you should know

  • A similar deal was when a Harunustaspor, Turkish amateur side, paid 0.0524 Bitcoin (£385) plus 2,500 Turkish Lira in cash (£841) for Omer Faruk Kıroğlu in 2018.
  • Back in December, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first high-profile athlete in the United States to be paid in bitcoin.
  • Similarly, the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks became the second NBA franchise to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for both game tickets and merchandise.

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Hospitality & Travel

Biden reverses US immigration ban on Nigeria, others

US President, Joe Biden has signed an executive order to repeal the immigrant visa ban on Nigeria and others.

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What would a Joe Biden Presidency mean for Nigeria?

Newly-elected President, Joe Biden has signed his first executive orders as US President including reversing a Donald Trump-administration travel ban on 13 countries which were mainly Muslim and African nations.

Biden’s executive orders, amongst other acts, also returns the US back to the Paris Climate agreement and stopping the construction of the border wall with Mexico.

This was disclosed in a report by Reuters after Biden signed 15 executive actions immediately after his inauguration.

“In the coming days and weeks, we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the president-elect’s promises to the American people,” Jen Psaki, Biden’s press secretary said.

Other actions by Biden include reversing the Presidential permit for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.

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What you should know

  • Donald’s Trump administration introduced a ban on citizens from countries which was upheld at the US Supreme Court, barring citizens of seven countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea — from obtaining any kind of visas, and largely preventing them from entering the US.
  • Nairametrics reported that the US subsequently added six more countries to its travel ban list. They were Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar. The extra ban meant citizens were allowed to visit but were banned from settling permanently in the United States.
  • US government gave conditions to get it to review Nigeria’s status on the ban list, including getting Nigeria to improve on its data intelligence such that it would be easy to investigate any immigrant wishing to visit the United States and meet information-sharing systems.
  • In August 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that it will take enormous resources to reverse the ban on immigrant visas for Nigerians by the United States Government. He also noted that the country was making some progress in that regard.

Biden’s reversal of Trump’s policies is part of an aggressive push to roll back some of his predecessor’s strict and controversial immigration policies which have been condemned by world leaders and civil groups in the past.

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