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Five things to know to start your Wednesday

Absence of a HoR speaker slows support for Israel

American House of Representatives has been without a permanent speaker since October 3rd, when a handful of Republican rebels were ousted by Kevin McCarthy.

Days later, an attack thousands of miles from Washington, DC, highlighted the urgency of the problem: on October 7th, Hamas, an Islamist group based in Gaza, attacked Israel, killing at least 700 people and taking dozens of hostages.

America’s defence secretary, Lord Austin, has promised to send munitions and military aid to Israel. But until a new speaker is selected, no new bill can be brought before the House, curtailing America’s ability to support its ally in the longer term.

Lawmakers are frustrated. Mike Lawler, a Republican congressman from New York, described the situation pithily as “an unmitigated shitshow.”

Nigeria should brace up for dust Haze, thunderstorm – NiMET

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) has issued a weather forecast warning of dust haze and thunderstorms across the country from Monday to Wednesday.

The northern region will experience dust haze with reduced visibility, especially in the morning, and thunderstorms in Taraba State.

In the North Central States, visibility will be affected by suspended dust, with thunderstorms expected in various regions in the afternoon and evening.

The southern states will see morning thunderstorms. The agency advised caution, as heavy rainfall could lead to flash floods and strong winds may accompany the thunderstorms.

Nigerian airlines seek fuel import license, forex support

Nigerian domestic airlines, represented by the Airline Operators of Nigeria, have requested government permission to import and distribute aviation fuel, JetA1. They’ve also asked for a dedicated foreign exchange support line from the Central Bank of Nigeria to meet their financial obligations.

During a meeting with Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation, the association emphasised the need for an adequate supply of aviation fuel and a review of industry taxes.

The minister pledged to collaborate with the Central Bank to address the forex challenge and stressed the importance of airline safety.

NNPC partners with consortiums to rehabilitate Nigeria’s pipelines

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) will partner with four consortia under Build, Operate, and Transfer agreements to finance the rehabilitation of pipelines across Nigeria.

The move aims to address pipeline vandalism that has impacted about 20 NNPCL depots.

NNPCL emphasised its commitment to transparency in the selection process, with representation from regulatory bodies.

The contracts do not transfer asset control to any particular company, and the NNPCL will maintain ownership of these strategic assets.

The initiative seeks to improve pipeline integrity and product distribution.

Liberia counts votes as President Weah seeks 2nd term

Vote counting is underway in Liberia as President George Weah seeks a second term. The election occurs amid corruption allegations and economic hardship in a nation still recovering from civil wars and an Ebola epidemic.

Turnout was high, and the election will test Weah’s popularity. No major incidents were reported, although logistical problems caused delays in some areas.

Weah is likely to face a runoff, where he aims to address economic and infrastructure challenges. His main rival is former Vice President Joseph Boakai.

The election also includes selecting members of the lower house and senate.

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