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Five things to know to start your Wednesday

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Nigeria, Germany ink $500m deals for renewable energy and gas

Nigerian and German companies sealed $500 million in deals, focusing on renewable energy and gas exports, a significant step in bilateral cooperation.

Union Bank of Nigeria and Germany’s DWS Group signed an MoU to attract investments for rural renewable energy projects.

Another agreement between Riverside LNG of Nigeria and Johannes Schuetze Energy Import AG will see Nigeria exporting 850,000 tonnes of gas annually to Germany by 2026.

This aligns with green energy goals by tackling gas flaring and harnessing Nigeria’s abundant resources.

President Tinubu endorsed these agreements, reinforcing Germany’s commitment to investing 4 billion euros in African green energy projects by 2030.

These initiatives, amid Nigeria’s economic reforms, aim to boost investment appeal, combat oil theft, and revitalise the economy.

Government revokes 1,633 mining licences, pledges sector cleanup

The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has nullified 1,633 mineral titles held by non-compliant mining companies due to their failure to pay the required annual service fees.

The revocation aims to open opportunities for new investors. Minister Dele Alake emphasised the importance of fulfilling obligations, urging defaulters to vacate sites to evade legal action, aligning with Mining Act provisions.

States splurge N1.7tn on travel, meals, and more, borrow N988bn

The 36 Nigerian states spent N1.71 trillion on recurrent costs, encompassing salaries, travel, office supplies, and more, per budget data from the Open Nigerian States.

A total of N988 billion was borrowed amid concerns over spending practises. Notable expenses included Lagos’s N289.49bn, Akwa Ibom’s N92.54bn, and Kaduna’s N27.87bn. The move aims to free funds for potential investors and tighten control over state finances.

South African lawmakers vote to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel, shut embassy

South African lawmakers voted on Tuesday in favour of closing down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria and suspending all diplomatic relations until a ceasefire is agreed upon in its war with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.

Reuters reported that the resolution is largely symbolic as it will be up to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government whether to implement it; a presidency spokesperson said Ramaphosa “notes and appreciates” parliament’s guidance on South Africa’s diplomatic relations with Israel, particularly on the status of the embassy.

“The president and cabinet are engaged over the matter, which remains the responsibility of the national executive,” Vincent Magwenya said.

Israel truce will bring in aid and free prisoners, says Hamas

Hamas said on Wednesday it agreed with Israel to a four-day ceasefire that will see the release of hostages in Gaza in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails and allow humanitarian aid and fuel to enter the besieged enclave.

Hamas said in a statement it would release 50 women and children—from among the roughly 240 hostages captured by the militants in their surprise Oct. 7 attack in Israel—in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian women and children.

It said the agreement, mediated by Qatar and Egypt, will allow hundreds of humanitarian, medical and fuel aid trucks to enter Gaza.