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Today's Headlines: US To Impose Visa Ban On Nigerians Undermining Democracy; President Joe Biden expects to meet lawmakers Tuesday For Debt Talks

US To Impose Visa Ban On Nigerians Undermining Democracy

Photo credit: channels television

The United States has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process during the just concluded 2023 general elections.

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, disclosed this on Monday.

In a statement, Blinken said the administration of President Joe Biden is committed to advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world.

Biden expects to meet lawmakers Tuesday for debt talks, says he is optimistic

Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday he expects to meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday for talks on a plan to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid a catastrophic default.

Speaking to reporters in Delaware, Biden said he remained optimistic about agreeing on a deal.

Biden had been scheduled to meet with lawmakers on Friday but the meeting was postponed.

U.S. President Joe Biden departs from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One as he departs for Dover, Delaware, from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., May 13, 2023. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts.

Biden said he had received an update on how talks had gone between administration staffers and their congressional counterparts.

"I remain optimistic because I'm a congenital optimist," Biden said. He said he believed there was a desire on both sides to reach an agreement. "I think we’ll be able to do it.”

It’s an insult to zone Deputy speaker to S/East

Photo Credit: Vanguard News

THE Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, has described as a charade the decision of the leadership of All Progressives Congress, APC, to zone the position of deputy speaker in the 10th national assembly to the South East, saying it is an insult to the Igbo.

President of the group, Comrade Goodluck Ibem and publicity secretary, Comrade Okey Nwaoru said the people of the South East would not accept the zoning arrangement by the ruling party.

Their statement read: “This charade by the APC is an insult to the political sensibility of Ndigbo and we reject it in its entirety, no matter those behind it.

The circumstances surrounding the emergence of Benjamin Kalu, who the party has micro zoned the office of deputy speaker to, following the February 25 presidential and national assembly elections, are still mired in a lot of controversy.

Suspend $800m Loan Disbursement, SERAP Urges W’Bank

Photo Credit:Punch Newspapers

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged the World Bank “to suspend any disbursement of the $800m loan to the Federal Government and to request the incoming administration to provide satisfactory explanations for the loan.”

Noting that the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will wind down by May ending, SERAP urges World Bank President, Mr David Malpass, “to reopen discussion” to clarify the rationale and use of the loan in the twilight of Buhari’s regime.

The PUNCH reported that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning had, last week, revealed to State House correspondents that the Federal Government had secured $800m loan from the World Bank to provide post-petroleum subsidy palliatives for over 50 million Nigerians ahead of the proposed June 2023 removal of subsidy.

In a letter dated May 13, 2023, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the group said, “The World Bank should comply with its own Articles of Agreement in disbursing any loans. The bank should not sacrifice international standards in the rush to disburse the $800m loan to the government,” adding that, “Suspending any disbursement of the loan to the government would reduce the risks and vulnerability to corruption and mismanagement.”

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