The Ugandan government has lost its major airport to China for failing to repay a loan.
The government has failed to reverse a loan agreement with the Chinese which had repayment conditions of attaching its only airport.
Entebbe International Airport and other Ugandan assets were attached and agreed to be taken over by Chinese lenders upon arbitration of the loan.
According to reports, President Yoweri Museveni had sent a delegation to Beijing hoping to renegotiate the toxic clauses.
The visit was unsuccessful as China authorities refused to allow any alteration in the original terms of the deal.
The Uganda government, represented by the finance ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority at the time, had on 17 November 2015, signed an agreement with Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) to borrow U$207 million at two per cent upon disbursement; with a maturity period of 20 years including a seven-year grace period.
The deal signed with the Chinese lenders virtually means Uganda “surrendered” its most prominent airport to China.
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) said some provisions in the Financing Agreement expose Entebbe International Airport and other Ugandan assets to be attached and taken over by Chinese lenders upon arbitration in Beijing.
China has rejected pleas by Uganda to renegotiate the toxic clauses of the 2015 loan, leaving Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s administration in limbo.
According to the Daily Monitor of Uganda, the Ugandan government waived international immunity in the agreements it signed to secure the loans, exposing Entebbe International Airport to take over without international protection.
Last week, Uganda’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija apologised to parliament for the “mishandling of the $207 million loans” from the China Exim Bank to expand Entebbe International Airport.
Nigeria at high risk of Ebola – NCDC warns
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has said that Nigeria is at high risk of Ebola virus disease following the outbreak of the disease in Uganda.
The NCDC, in a release on Tuesday, signed by its Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, stated that it was on high alert, adding that “the likelihood of importation of the disease to Nigeria is high due to the increased air travel between Nigeria and Uganda, especially through Kenya’s Nairobi airport, a regional transport hub, and other neighbouring countries that share a direct border with Uganda.”
According to the NCDC, the ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease was caused by the Sudan strain of the Ebola virus in Uganda as declared on September 20, 2022.
Buhari to present 2023 budget to NASS Friday
President Muhammadu Buhari will present the N19.76trillion 2023 Appropriation bill before the Senate and the House of Representatives on Friday.
The budget Presentation will take place 10:00am at the temporary chamber of House of Representatives.
The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, read the letter on the budget presentation by President Buhari in Plenary on Tuesday.
Naija News 247 recalls that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had said President Buhari is expected to present the 2023 budget to the National Assembly in October.
Gbajabiamila stated this in September when he addressed newsmen shortly after inspecting hearing rooms 028 and 234 of the House, which was expected to serve as the temporary chamber due to the ongoing renovation of the House complex in Abuja.
“I am hoping that the budget will be presented latest by the first week of October,” he said.
Federal Govt sues Meta, seeks 30bn penalty
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has lodged a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, against Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms) and its agent AT3 Resources Limited.
The apex regulatory body for Nigeria’s advertising ecosystem, ARCON, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
According to statement, ARCON is seeking a declaration among others that the continued publication and exposure of various advertisements directed at the Nigerian market through Facebook and Instagram platforms by Meta Platforms Incorporated without ensuring the same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria.
ARCON stated that Meta Platforms Incorporated’s continued exposure of unvetted adverts had also led to loss of revenue to the Federal Government.
ARCON is seeking N30bn in sanction for the violation of the advertising laws and for loss of revenue as a result of Meta Incorporated’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on it’s platforms.
The statement read in part, “ARCON reiterates that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on the Nigeria’s advertising space.”
According to ARCON, the Council is not regulating the online media space. Rather, it’s focus is on advertising and marketing communications on the online platforms in line with its establishment Act.
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