Rabat – The Nigerian Presidency has confirmed that the President Goodluck Jonathan did not speak on telephone with king Mohamed VI last week, as claimed by the Nigerian Foreign Ministry.The Nigerian Presidency said in a statement that it has spoken to some African leaders to seek support for the candidacy of the Nigerian Agriculture Minister for the presidency of the African Development Bank (AFDB). However, it said it has not yet spoken to King Mohammed VI.Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has also ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter that sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries, with Morocco recalling its ambassador from Abuja. In a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, Goodluck Jonathan said he was “shocked and highly embarrassed by the controversy that has erupted over whether or not he had a telephone conversation with his Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco.”“The regrettable furor that has developed over the matter is due entirely to misinformation, as President Jonathan has neither spoken with King Mohammed nor told anybody that he had a telephone conversation with the Moroccan monarch,” the statement added.The controversy began when the Nigerian Foreign Ministry claimed that President Jonathan spoke to King Mohammed VI over the telephone.However, Morocco denied the Nigerian claims, saying that Mohammed VI had in fact rejected a request from Mr. Jonathan for a conversation.“The request by Nigerian authorities for a phone conversation between HM King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President was refused by the Monarch who deemed it inappropriate on grounds of the upcoming elections in Nigeria,” read a statement from the Moroccan Foreign Ministry.The Nigerian statement added that an investigation is being launched to identify all those responsible for “the unacceptable act of official misinformation, which has resulted in an unnecessary diplomatic row with another country and national embarrassment.” The investigation will also “unveil the motives of the culprits”.
US services firms grew at slower pace in March by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Apr 5, 2017 8:25 am MDT Last Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 10:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. services companies saw their growth rate taper off in March, as hiring and business activity remained positive but dipped relative to February.The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group for purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its services index fell to 55.2 last month from 57.6 in February. Any reading above 50 signals growth.The report points to the United States continuing its nearly 8-year recovery from the Great Recession, a sign that many consumers and businesses are on a solid footing. Services — which can range from home buying to doctor’s visits to hair salons — account for the vast majority of the U.S. economic activity.But some firms also reported a degree of uncertainty regarding the Trump administration in the survey used to compile the report.One finance company said there is a “large amount of future uncertainty” regarding efforts to replace former President Barack Obama’s health insurance law. Another health care firm highlighted uncertainty as well, while a company in the accommodation and food services sector said there are possible challenges because President Donald Trump’s exact policies on trade and immigration are “unknown.”The services sector has now expanded for 87 straight months. But the employment reading dropped to 51.6 last month from 55.2 in February, while business activity and production pulled back to a reading of 58.9 from a solid 63.6.Fifteen services industries reported growth in March, including retailers, real estate and food services. But three sectors contracted: information, education and scientific and technical services.The report also raises questions about job gains in the government’s employment report to be released Friday. Analysts predict that report will show 178,000 jobs were added in March, according to data provider FactSet. But a private survey by payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 263,000 jobs in March, the most since December 2014.___This story has been corrected to show that the employment reading for March was 51.6, not 51.5.