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News Roundup: Riot at the US Capitol, Handover to Biden, Don Davis, Nigeria’s economic growth

Trump Rioters Invaded the US Capitol to Reject Biden’s Election Victory
Shortly after 1 p.m. ET Wednesday hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers “traitors” for doing their jobs.
About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Shortly after, the House floor was evacuated by police. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from the chamber, where he was to perform his role in the counting of electoral votes.
Although the US capitol was declared secured later that day, it has been reported that at least four deaths were recorded based on that incident.

Trump finally agrees to handover peacefully after failure to overturn Biden’s win
Donald Trump has promised an ‘orderly transition’ of power after Joe Biden’s election win was finally certified by Congress – a process delayed by hours after the President’s followers ran riot in the US Capitol, leaving four dead.
Trump, who has been temporarily banned from Twitter in the wake of the riot, issued a statement via his social media director Dan Scavino which said: ‘Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.
‘I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!’

World Bank has projected the Nigerian economy to rebound by 1.1 percent in 2021
The Nigerian economy is currently facing its second recession in five years but the World Bank has projected that that growth in Nigeria will resume at 1.1 percent in 2021, significantly weaker than previous projections, and edge up to 1.8 percent in 2022.
The Bretton Woods Institution, in a new report, titled: “Global Economic Prospects” released on Tuesday warned that Nigeria’s economy would face severe challenges in 2021, worsened by dampened low oil prices, falling public investment due to weak government revenues, constrained private investment due to firm failures, and subdued foreign investor confidence.

Read Also: FG urged to prioritise national COVID-19 response

Grammy awards has been rescheduled for March 14th due to the COVID-19 surge in Los Angeles
THE Grammy Awards ceremony, due to take place on Jan 31, has been rescheduled to March 14 because of the coronavirus surge in Los Angeles, organisers said on Tuesday.
The Recording Academy and broadcaster CBS said in a joint statement that the ceremony to present the highest honours in the music industry had been delayed by six weeks after talks with various health experts and musicians.
“After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd annual Grammy Awards to be broadcast on Sunday, March 14, 2021,” the statement said.
The postponement was earlier reported by Rolling Stone magazine and Variety. The Recording Academy had also told its members in an earlier memo that the new date would be March 21.

The Nigerian government has increased electricity tariff by 50 percent
The Nigerian government has yet again approved an increase in electricity tariff payable by electricity consumers in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), approved over 50 per cent hike in electricity tariff payable by customers of the 11 Distribution Companies, DisCos.
The new increment is coming barely two months after the implementation of the controversial hike proposed last year.

In the new order, NERC said it considered the “…14.9% inflation rate rise in November 2020, foreign exchange of N379.4/$1 as of December 29, 2020, available generation capacity, US inflation rate of 1.22% and the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) of the power firms to raise the tariff…”
Unlike the erstwhile order implemented in 2020, which exempted low power consumers, the revised Service Based Tariff (SBT) also saw increase in the rates payable by all classes of electricity users.
The order is effective till June 2021 while a Cost Reflective Tariff (CRT) expected to raise the new cost higher will be activated from June to December 2021.
Flight fares might reduce as the federal government has exempted commercial flight tickets from Value Added Tax

As contained in the 2020 finance bill which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2020, airline transportation tickets issued and sold by commercial airlines registered in Nigeria and hire, rental or lease of tractors, ploughs and other agricultural equipment for agricultural purposes have been exempted from VAT.

NIN registration suspended as officials embark on indefinite strike
Registration for the mandatory National Identification Number (NIN) has been put on hold as staffs of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) have proceeded on an indefinite strike.
The notice of the strike which begins on Thursday, 7 January, 2021 was signed by the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), NIMC branch Lucky Michael, and its Secretary, Odia Victor.

The association directed that members on grade level 12 and below to report to their respective duty posts and “do nothing”.
“All members at the local government offices and special centres are advised to stay away from their various centres as task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance to the directive,” the statement read.
According to a communiqué issued, the union is angry over the state of NIMC enrolment centres across the country, especially in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, exposure of staff to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in promotion, and poor funding.

Access Bank acquires Zambian Cavmont Bank
Access Bank Plc has announced that its Zambian subsidiary (Access Bank, Zambia) has completed the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited, following the fulfilment of pre-requisite conditions, including regulatory approvals.
The tier-1 bank made the disclosure through a press statement signed by the Bank’s secretary, Sunday Ekwochi and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In a recent development, the financial giant through a press statement on Wednesday stated that the merger between the aforementioned firms is set to take place before the end of January 2021.
The deal is a highly complementary transaction that is expected to combine Access Bank Zambia’s wholesale and trade finance capabilities with Cavmont Bank’s retail and commercial banking operations.
In addition, the deal has the potentials to enlarge Access Bank Zambia as a stronger and well-capitalized banking franchise with improved scale and capacity to deliver sustainable and best-in-class financial services in the Zambian market.

Update on the Don Davis case
On December 20, in a video that went viral on social media, Deborah Okezie, the mother of an 11-year-old JSS1 student of Deeper Life High School, Uyo, Don Davis, narrated how her son was allegedly starved, sexually molested and assaulted in the school.
Although the video garnered a lot of reactions from the public including the Governor of Akwa Ibom, the mother of the child has mentioned that she was being threatened by the Commissioner of Education in Akwa-Ibom State, Enobong UdemeAbasi Mbobo.

According to her, the commissioner had invited her for a meeting, citing that parents of the accused students and the Deeper Life School Board were around. But on getting there, Deborah said the commissioner asked her to take down her videos, claiming that the videos are painting her office in a bad light.
It didn’t end there, one of the parents threatened to slap her and another brought out his belt to flog her. Deborah said she had to lie that she was wearing a camera and their actions were being recorded before she could escape them.

The Deeper life church has put up statements in this regard stating that they are investigating the matter. The mother of the boy has however announced that she caught a Doctor from Deeper Life High School taking blood samples from her son at the hospital where Don Davis was first admitted. The said Doctor has however been arrested according to Deborah the boy’s mother.
Nonetheless, the principal of the school has been insisting that Don Davis is HIV positive. After series of tests conducted on the boy, Doctors have declared him HIV negative.

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