Hello and welcome! In today’s trending news stories;
1. Mr. Taiwo Oyekanmi, the Director of Finance and Accounts for Governor Dapo Abiodun’s office in Ogun State, was killed by robbers in an ambush while returning from the bank in a homemade bullion van. The incident occurred on the NNPC Bridge near Kuto, Abeokuta. Oyekanmi, accompanied by a driver and another person, was accosted by five armed robbers who shot him and forcefully opened the receptacle containing funds. The robbers fled with the money, leaving the police escort behind. Oyekanmi was rushed to the state hospital, Ijaye, where he was pronounced dead. The police commissioner has initiated an investigation, including obtaining CCTV footage from the bank. Governor Abiodun expressed shock over the incident, describing it as a colossal loss, and vowed to ensure the perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.
2. Nigeria is facing a substantial budget deficit of N9.18 trillion for 2024, even after removing fuel subsidies that previously strained the country’s finances. The deficit is attributed to high governance costs and inefficient spending. The removal of the fuel subsidy, though deemed necessary for the economy, hasn’t fully offset the deficit. The 2024 budget proposes an expenditure of N27.5 trillion, with concerns raised about spending on recurrent items. President Bola Tinubu aims to reduce rising debt, with the deficit to be financed by new borrowings, privatisation proceeds, and loans. Experts express doubts about revenue generation, given historical challenges meeting targets. The budget assumes a conservative oil price benchmark and aims for revenue-to-GDP ratio improvement.
3. Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend a ceasefire for one more day, allowing negotiators to work on a deal involving the release of hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners. The truce has facilitated humanitarian aid into Gaza. Both sides had threatened to resume fighting, but the ceasefire conditions, including halting hostilities and aid entry, remain unchanged. The international community, including the U.S. and Qatar, has been involved in mediating the situation.
4. Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has passed away at the age of 100. His consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, announced his death without specifying the cause. Kissinger played a significant role in shaping post-World War II geopolitics, notably in normalizing relations between the U.S. and China. Despite controversies surrounding his realpolitik approach, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Vietnam War negotiations. Kissinger served under Presidents Nixon and Ford and held both secretary of state and national security advisor roles simultaneously.
5. A Chinese student and video game streamer, named Li, has died, allegedly by exhaustion after live streaming continuously for five consecutive nights. Li, a final-year student, was under contract with a Chinese media company for an internship crucial for his graduation. The terms of the contract required him to livestream for 240 hours within 26 days, which contributed to his apparent fatigue. Li’s housemates had discovered him unresponsive, leading to concerns about the impact of the demanding schedule on his health. The company has denied pressuring Li into night shifts but acknowledges challenges faced by livestreamers in balancing work and personal life. Though company offered the family compensation, Li’s father is considering options, including possible legal action and exploring compensation through insurance companies.
6. It’s been confirmed today that Gunmen attacked two communities, Pukah and Pinper, in Plateau State, resulting in the killing of six men and a woman in Pukah, and stolen sheep and other domestic animals in Pinper. The incident occurred despite the recent training of 600 personnel for the state-owned security outfit, Operation Rainbow, aimed at addressing security challenges in the state. Governor Caleb Mutfwang emphasized the need for discipline and professionalism among the security operatives to ensure the safety of citizens and their property. The military task force has been informed of the attacks.