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Alcohol manufacturers mull price increase as new excise tax takes effect

BUSINESS
Alcohol manufacturers in the country are set to raise prices on their goods following the increase in excise duty by the Federal Government on the product which came into effect on Monday June 4, 2018. According to a report on Friday by the Punch Newspaper, manufacturers said their price increase will take effect immediately and in tandem with the new excise duty regime ushered in by the government. The Chief executive Officer of a wine manufacturing firm in Lagos, PEL Extract Limited, Mr. Kotey Linus, estimates that there will be over 15% increase in the price of wines. Explaining further, the CEO said that a crate of wine from his firm which used to sell for ₦3,000 will now be sold for ₦3,500 following the new tariff increase on locally produced wines by the federal government. The Group

The calculations of Muhammad bin Salman

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THE holy month of Ramadan used to be an occasion for royal amnesties in Saudi Arabia. But instead of granting pardons, Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince and power behind the throne, has added to the 2,000 or so political prisoners detained since September. Over the past month his goons have arrested 17 liberal activists. Nine are women, some of whom campaigned for the right to drive. Prince Muhammad has loosened the kingdom’s social restrictions. The decades-old ban on female drivers will be lifted on June 24th. But when citizens demand new rights, instead of waiting patiently to be granted them by royal decree, they are often locked up. The effect has been stifling. Before talking politics over the phone, Saudis take precautions, such as using virtual private networks and encrypted

Ely Calil, backer of a farcical coup plot, died on May 28th

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Mr Calil, dapper and brazen THE sudden, violent death of a man who had prospered for decades from oil brokering in Africa is not necessarily suspicious. Ely Calil was Nigerian-born, of Lebanese descent, and well known to African presidents, European ministers and Western oil firms. He died on May 28th, reportedly from a broken neck after falling down the stairs of his large London home. Mr Calil amassed a fortune thanks largely to his chumminess with two Nigerian dictators of the 1980s and 1990s, Ibrahim Babangida and the flagrantly corrupt Sani Abacha. He was one of a breed of “fixers”, or “bagmen”, who flit between Africa and Europe, cultivating ties with politicians and taking a cut from “facilitation payments” from investors bidding for licences to drill for oil or dig for gold. Al

Ethiopia’s new prime minister wants peace and privatisation

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THE speed of events caught Ethiopians off guard. When Abiy Ahmed took office as prime minister on April 2nd he did so as the head of a deeply divided ruling coalition. The inexperienced 42-year-old, who came from the Oromo wing of the ethnically based coalition, was viewed with deep suspicion by many of his establishment colleagues. He was taking charge of a country under a state of emergency after more than three years of anti-government protests and ethnic unrest. Few expected him to achieve much soon. The past few weeks have pleasantly surprised. After an inaugural address in which he called for unity and apologised for the government’s killing of protesters, the former army officer toured the country to muster support. At mass rallies and town-hall meetings he adopted a strikingly d

Fighting between Nigerian farmers and herders is getting worse

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MARIS GIDWELL unwinds the bandage from her forearm and removes a wooden splint. Two fingers are missing. Her arm shakes as she tells how, as dawn broke, she heard shouts warning the residents of Lawaru, in Adamawa state in north-east Nigeria, to flee. She ran towards a neighbouring village with her 25-year-old son. Tragically, men wielding machetes caught them. They robbed and wounded Ms Gidwell, and murdered her son. The attack on Lawaru and its surrounding villages was probably carried out by nomadic Fulani herdsmen, a group that is scattered across much of west Africa’s semi-arid Sahel, from Mali to the Central African Republic. Many of those killed were sedentary farmers, mostly from the Bachama tribe. The incident is part of a growing wave of violence between nomads and farmers tha

Yemen’s main port could become the next battleground

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YEMENI forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been on a roll lately. Over the past month the coalition has pushed 80km north (see map), repelling the Houthis, a group of Shia rebels that chased the government out of Sana’a, the capital, in 2015. It is now 12km from Hodeida, the main port, which is held by the Houthis. Were it to take Hodeida, the coalition could further squeeze Houthi-controlled areas, where most Yemenis live. The port is Yemen’s primary conduit for humanitarian aid, which 22m people, or 80% of the population, depend on. War would disrupt the flow, leaving 8m people at risk of starvation, says the UN. The UN and some Western governments have urged the coalition to stop. Six times over the past two years, humanitarian appeals and American