Hackers steal $2.3m from Trump’s re-election account in Wisconsin – Newstrends
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Hackers steal $2.3m from Trump’s re-election account in Wisconsin

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Hackers stole $2.3m from a Wisconsin Republican Party account that was being used to help US President Donald Trump’s re-election bid in the swing state, the party said in a statement on Thursday.

Reuters reported the Wisconsin Republicans as saying that hackers got the money by doctoring invoices sent under the name of the party’s vendors.

It said the party noticed the suspicious activity on October 22 and contacted the FBI on Friday.

There was no immediate response to an email seeking comment from the FBI.

“These criminals exhibited a level of familiarity with state party operations at the end of the campaign to commit this crime,” Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman, Andrew Hitt, said in the statement.

Trump won Wisconsin by a small margin in 2016 and it remains a state that could help decide the November 3 election, with both the President and Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, making strenuous efforts to rally supporters there.

Reuters/Ipsos polling from October 20-26 shows Biden with a solid 53 per cent to 44 per cent lead over Trump in the state.

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High cost of cement, other building materials unacceptable – Housing minister

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High cost of cement, other building materials unacceptable – Housing minister

The federal government has said cement manufacturers are not doing enough to stem the rising cost of cement in the country.

The government said it would not accept a situation where the price of essential building materials like cement continues to rise uncontrollably.

A press statement signed by the special adviser on media to the minister of housing and urban development, Mark Chieshe, revealed that his principal, Ahmed Dangiwa, relayed the message when he summoned cement manufacturers to a meeting at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday.

Dangiwa expressed displeasure over the steady, recurring, and alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials and accused the manufacturers of hiding behind unstable forex to inflict hardship on Nigerians. He described the situation as unacceptable and inimical to the growth of the country, saying that the government cannot accept such illicit price hikes.

He said the incessant hike has overtaken the country in the past few months, which has seen the price rise by over 100 percent, from N5,500 a few months ago to over N10,000 today.

“This represents a 100 percent rise. And it is not only cement; we have also seen near-record high escalations in the prices of other building materials such as iron rods and other fittings. I recall that late last year, BUA Cement announced a commendable reduction in the price of cement from N5,500 to N3,500 per bag. I applauded the gesture, and several other stakeholders did too. But today, the reality is that cement prices are escalating. Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery.

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“An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the price of houses. An increase in the cost of building houses means more and more Nigerians can no longer afford to own houses and provide decent shelter for themselves and their loved ones.

“We know that some of the key components of producing building materials, especially cement, are locally sourced, so the recurring disproportionate increase in the price of cement is unacceptable and unreasonable. Key input materials such as limestone, clay, silica sand, and gypsum within our borders should not be dollar-rated. You cannot continue to give excuses and blame it on dollars all the time. The worst part is that other building materials’ manufacturers take a cue from cement manufacturers, and once they see that you increase your price, they do the same as well. Recently, this is happening almost every week, and it has to stop,” he said.

He said rather than make Nigerians bear the brunt in their quest to make profit in the face of slight macroeconomic headwinds, cement manufacturers should be innovative and come up with a roadmap as part of the committee that has been set up to tackle the challenges for the benefit of Nigerians.

While arguing further that the situation poses a threat to housing delivery, which is the main focus of the ministry, the minister explained that if they were planning to build a one-bedroom apartment for about N8 million under the present situation, it will now cost twice that much, about N16 million to build, and lamented that if a Nigerian could afford to own a home for N8 million, it would now be impossible to do so.

Earlier in his address, the minister of state for housing and urban development, Abdullahi Gwarzo, also called on the manufacturers to make some sacrifices in their operations, understanding that they have a corporate social responsibility to stand by Nigeria in difficult times.

“This is not the time to focus too much on profit but on our collective responsibility to the people of Nigeria. Cement manufacturers must realise that, as a government, we have options, but we would not want it to get to the point where we have to use those options because it may not be good for local producers. That is not to say we do not have options. The Federal Government placed a ban on cement importation in a bid to empower you to flourish, but that cannot happen at the detriment of Nigerians,” he said.

In the meeting were the group chief commercial officer for Dangote Industries Limited, Rabiu Umar; commercial director for Lafarge Cement PLC, Gbenga Onimowo; secretary of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN), James Salako; and other top officials of cement companies.

High cost of cement, other building materials unacceptable – Housing minister

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Breaking: Tanker owners, drivers suspend nationwide strike

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Breaking: Tanker owners, drivers suspend nationwide strike

Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has suspended its nationwide strike.

National President of NARTO, Yusuf Lawal, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

NARTO members had threatened a shutdown starting Monday due to the high cost of automotive gas oil (diesel), which is essential for fueling their trucks used in transporting petroleum products across Nigeria.

The suspension followed a meeting of the association with the Federal Government and stakeholders on Monday after the tanker drivers stopped lifting petroleum products.

The NARTO boss also said the oil marketers had increased the freight rate of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N32 but could not give the new amount.

 

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Stop issuing unenforceable orders, FG tells ECOWAS court

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Stop issuing unenforceable orders, FG tells ECOWAS court

The Nigerian government has asked the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to stop issuing unenforceable orders and judgements.

Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja.

He spoke at the opening session of the statutory meeting of the ECOWAS judicial council.

He said it was important for the regional court to pay attention to the peculiarities of member states.

The minister described some of the judgments delivered by the ECOWAS court as “practically incapable of enforcement”.

Fagbemi said there was a “dire need to promote and deepen alternative dispute resolution measures within the region”.

The AGF said, “The ECOWAS Judicial Council plays a crucial role in advancing justice delivery and access to justice by recruiting individuals with requisite experience and capacity to handle the myriad of cases brought before the courts.

“As we are all well aware, we are in an era where the foundational principles of the Economic Community of West African States are being tested and this reinforces the need for the community’s justice system to respond appropriately to contemporary issues in order to engender justice, fairness and inspire confidence in community citizens.”

“It is therefore critical that the Community Court of Justice continues to undergo necessary reforms to bring it in tandem with the current exigencies and manage the challenges associated with justice delivery in the region.

“The court must adopt strategies that strengthen its jurisdiction, whilst appreciating the jurisdictional boundaries of the court and limiting unnecessary conflict with domestic laws of member states.”

Also speaking at the event, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, who is the chairman of the ECOWAS Judicial Council, said the body would continue to play a vital role towards ensuring a more just, peaceful and integrated West Africa.

The CJN called for the unification of laws within the ECOWAS region.

President of the ECOWAS commission, Omar Touray, said the meeting, attended by chief justices of ECOWAS member states, would help the region address issues affecting the effective operation of the community court.

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