These are the stories that drove the conversation today:
The Federal Government is to borrow N1.6 trillion to finance part of the N9.12 trillion 2018 budget.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at the presentation of the approved 2018 Budget of Consolidation said N793 billion would be borrowed domestically, while N849 billion would be borrowed from foreign sources to finance the budget deficit.
He added that the overall budget deficit of N1.950 trillion in the budget represented 1.74 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
A Policeman has been reportedly stoned to death and a patrol van set ablaze in the clash between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN) and the police in Kaduna on Thursday .
The incidence which took place along the Ibrahim Taiwo Road in the heart of the city on Thursday, occured while the leader of the sect, Ibrahim El Zakzaky and wife, Zeena were arraigned before the Kaduna State High Court four(4), whose trial could not hold because of the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Mukhtar Aliyu, confirmed the incident, but said he was going to give details later.
The Department of State Service (DSS) said it had arrested two Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) commanders in Kukuntu village, Gwgwalada, Abuja.
According to statement issued by an operative of the service, Tony Opuiyo on Thursday in Abuja, said the suspects, Bashiru Adams and Rufai Sajo were arrested on May 5, after special operations on identified targets.
Opuiyo said the suspects were discovered to have concluded plans to perpetuate the ideals of the group in the area, and in collaboration with Boko Haram, carry out heinous violent attacks on innocent persons.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s submission that the 2018 budget will be difficult to implement.
National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement signed in Abuja on Wednesday said the President’s statements “is a clear admission that he lacks the capacity and competence to run a development-oriented economy as desired by Nigerians,” adding that his comments on the budget has further de-marketed our economy before international investors, thereby worsening our woes as a nation.
The party also faulted President Buhari for picking holes on items that would directly impact on economic productivity, infrastructural advancement, rural development as well as those that would provide urgent palliatives to the plight of Nigerians, shows his aversion to developmental economy as well as insensitivity to the welfare of our citizens, urging the National Assembly to ensure strict implementation of the 2018 budget.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Yobe says it has 1.3 million registered voters in the state, while Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) is ongoing.
Yobe Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Ahmadu Makama, who disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday in Damaturu, added that the figure was likely to go up as the CVR progressed.
The commissioner said INEC had taken measures to ensure that only eligible persons were registered as well as eliminate multiple registration.
And……stories from around the world:
The Dynamites of Denmark have maintained their unbeaten run in the World cup after they were held to a 1-1 draw by the Socceroos of Australia in an entertaining encounter on Thursday.
Similarly, Les Bleus of France became the 3rd team to qualify in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup after Hosts Russia, and Uruguay. In a game that the Peruvians dominated in both halves, the French handed them a 1-0 defeat to halt their progress out of Group Cin this year’s tournament.
United States President Donald Trump said on Thursday that North Korea was blowing up four of its big test sites and that a process of “total denuclearization … has already started taking place.”
Speaking at a meeting of his Cabinet at the White House, Trump said: “They’ve stopped the sending of missiles, including ballistic missiles. They’re destroying their engine site. They’re blowing it up. They’ve already blown up one of their big test sites, in fact it’s actually four of their big test sites.
South Sudan’s armed opposition on Thursday rejected any “imposition” of a peace deal and said more time is needed to secure lasting peace in the country and it would be necessary to address the root causes of a civil war after the first face-to-face meeting between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar in almost two years.
An opposition statement called Wednesday night’s meeting “cordial” and said both sides discussed the prospects for peace “in broad terms.” But it warned that the current model for the peace process is “unrealistic” and that “there is no shortcut to peace.”
“For any meaningful dialogue to take place, it should be within the context of a comprehensive political settlement, ….so that the guns can fall silent and a conducive environment for dialogue established,” the group said. (Aljazeera)
Melania Trump has made a surprise visit to the US-Mexico border a day after the president retreated on immigration policy and signed an executive order to end his policy of family separations amid enormous political pressure.
The first lady was taking part in briefings and attending a tour of a “nonprofit social services center for children who have entered the United States illegally and a customs and border patrol processing center”, according to a statement from her office.
“Her goals are to thank law enforcement and social services providers for their hard work, lend support and hear more on how the administration can build upon the already existing efforts to reunite children with their families,” the statement said. (The Guardian, UK)
Turkey and India announced on Thursday retaliatory tariffs worth hundreds of millions of dollars on goods imported from the United States, joining the growing list of Washington allies that have taken similar measures.
Ankara said it is imposing $266.5m of levies on imports of US automobiles, coal and several food items, in response to the “ill-advised” and “unsupportable” additional steel tariffs enacted by Washington, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said.
The tariffs will also affect US products such as walnuts, almonds, tobacco, unprocessed rice, whisky, cosmetics, machinery equipment and petrochemical products.
“The total tariff burden today being imposed by Turkey on the US is commensurate with the additional costs Turkey faces due to the tariffs imposed on it by the US,” Zeybekci said in a statement.