Wednessday, December 1, 2021 Edition

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Budget: Buhari frowns at agencies presentIng new projects as ongoing PAGE 2

•Vows to sanction perpetrators of illegal recruitments

Court declares Emir Sanusi’s banishment unconstitutional PG 4

President Muhammadu Buhari presented with awareness materials to mark his identification with Nigerian women as they observe 16 days of activism for this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2021 by Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs at State House, November 30, 2021

Omicron: Reps task Health Ministry on strategy to tackle new Covid-19 variant

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Fairness, justice, equity will be my guiding tenets as APC Chairman - Saliu Mustapha PAGE 2

AfDB approves $217m to Insecurity: Address Kano APC: Court sacks finance vital African road incessant banditry Ganduje led exco, upholds project attacks, killings in Niger Shekarau's faction PAGE 19

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PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

NEWS CONTENTS News

2-10, 14

Editorial

11

Op.Ed

12-13

Politics 15-17 Health

18

Business

19-20

Feature

21

World News

22

Africa News

23

World News

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Fairness, justice, equity will be my guiding tenets as APC Chairman - Saliu Mustapha By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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top contender for the chairmanship position of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Saliu Mustapha, has said that his mission to lead the ruling party, would be guided by the tenets of fairness, justice and equity. Mallam Mustapha, who was the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), disclosed this while fielding questions from journàlists in Abuja on his aspiration to emerge as APC chairman in the party’s National Convention slated for February 2022. He said his administration would ensure listening ears to the party members, adding that under his watch, the APC will not be a cabal unto itself, but a party that will carry everybody along in the scheme of affairs and decision making. “First and foremost, I want to see a party that promotes equity, fairness

and justice. It is when you have a party of that sort that you are able to allow popular candidates emerge. “Whent popular candidates emerge based on their merit, then you do not suffer the fear of election rigging. It is when you bring an unpopular candidate on board, then you start thinking of how to go and rig the general election. “And when you rig the general election with bad products, the end result is bad governance or bad representation. “So, I want to bring on board a party that will promote internal discipline, that will be held to account for their manifesto and their promises where you will have fairness, equity and justice so that we all can sit back at home and enjoy the dividends of democracy. And I want to also be able to bridge the gap”, he said while explaining what his objectives world be as APC Chairman. Speaking on the crisis rocking

the party especially in some States, including his own State, Kwara, Mustapha, said political parties are aggregation of storage bedfellows, but pointed out that his agenda is about managing everybody’s opinions, ideas or ideals. He said the most important thing is to ensure that party faithful subject to the rules and norms of the party and adhere to the party manifesto as being preached as a promise to the people. On what gives him an edge over other aspirants, the APC chieftain said “I believe I have the experience. I believe age is on my side. More importantly, I believe I have the goodwill and the administrative skills. Political party Administration is not an executive administrative work. “As a political party administrator, the most important thing is for you to be able to accommodate everybody, for you to be able to give the listening ears and to be able to temper justice

with mercy because you must have at the back of your mind that being a chairman of a party is not where it ends. “The most important thing is for your party to be victorious and for you to deliver the dividends or the promises of your manifesto. So, like I said, I want to come on board to do things differently. Yes, APC has done well, but I believe there is room for improvement”, he said. He also revealed his plans of keeping APC one by running open structures, saying doing such will discourage room for a lot of dissenting minds or voices. “I always tell people sometimes, a political party administrator is somebody who gives people the listening ear, but an executive Governor, they tell him what he wants to hear. But the Chairman of a party, you must listen to what people want to say. Which is an attribute I believe I have”, he said.

Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor(R), discussing with the HRM. King of Ogoniland King Tai Gininwa, during the Minister’s courtesy visit to Port-Harcourt on Monday (29/11/21).

Omicron : Reps ask Health Ministry for urgent strategy to tackle new Covid-19 variant Pg 4

Environment 25 Feature

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Sports 30-31 Back Page

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Buhari expresses solidarity against gender based violence By Egena Sunday Ode

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resident Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday expressed solidarity with Nigerian women as they observe 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Against Women & Girls from November 25 to December 10, 2021. The President spoke when he received in audience the Minister

of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen in State House, Abuja. According to the President, “women are the bedrock of the society and are largely responsible for stabilising the home front. My faith in the capability of Nigerian women remains steadfast as exemplified by the key positions they occupy in the present administration.

“I assure you that I will always be here for you and you can count on my support in your activities.” The Minister had briefed President Buhari on various enlightenment activities of her Ministry towards the international campaign. She further explained that the 16-day activism with the theme, “Orange the World: END VIOLENCE

AGAINST WOMEN NOW!” which started Thursday, November 25 which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women will continue until Friday, December 10, 2021, the World Human Rights Day. Dame Tallen thereafter presented the President with commemorative items to mark his identification with Nigerian women.

Stakeholders call for review of guidelines to strengthen environmental health practice

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takeholders in the health sector have called for the review of draft guidelines in the practice and regulation of environmental health. They made this call at a twoday stakeholders meeting organised by Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja. The Council’s Registrar, Dr Baba Mohammed, said the review of the draft guidelines in addition to 16 pre-existing ones were critical to the practice of environmental health. He said the meeting would simplify and develop guidelines

aimed at strengthening the practice using new technologies to solve identified problems and initiate workable methodologies to address issues of environmental health. “The guidelines identified as critical to the practice of environmental health will identify housing problems and toilet facilities in premises and will have Environmental Health Officers using modern methods to inspect premises. “Another guideline that is very critical at this time is that of operation of public health, pest and vector control.

“Pests and vectors are disease transmitting agents; for instance, malaria is caused by a vector known as mosquito. “In trying to curtail or completely eradicate malaria, you attack mosquito; then environmental health practice is easy to see if it’s working. If it’s working, the disease will be drastically reduced. “The guidelines on public health, vector and pest control will be explicit, step- by-step guidelines, given new technology to enable health practitioners to drastically reduce the burden of diseases,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that the Ministry of Environment had done a lot already by engaging substantial number of Public Health Officers. He said the Council would develop the capacity of the officers on sectorial level and deploy them to all relevant stakeholder ministries to coordinate environment health. The Registrar called on states and local governments to buy into Federal Government’s policies and recruit health officers. According to him, governments’ roles are to provide the necessary policies and guidelines. NAN


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PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

NEWS

Ag News Editor, Tobias Lengnan Dapam

Court declares Emir Sanusi’s banishment unconstitutional By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

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ustice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, declared the banishment of deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II from Kano State as unlawful and unconstitutional. Sanusi, had on March 12, 2020, sued the Inspector-General of Police and Director-General, State Security Services, SSS over unlawful confinement. In the judgement, the court

held that the Emirate Council Law, 2019, used by the state government in banishing Sanusi was in conflict with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended. The court held that the restrictions placed on Sanusi after his deposition on March 9, 2020, on allegations of insubordination are a clear arbitrary violation of his right to freedom of movement and personal liberty granted by the Nigerian constitution. She further held that the right

to freedom of liberty and personal dignity granted under Section 34 of Nigeria’s constitution cannot be taken away as done by the Kano Government, Police, Department of State Services (DSS), and AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) except with express order of the court. According to Chikere, the constitution of this country is supreme and any law that is inconsistent with it shall be null and void. Justice Chikere agreed with

Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, counsel to Sanusi, that his client was moved out of Kano to Abuja and later to Awe, in Nasarawa State against his wish. Also joined in the motion are the Attorney-General of Kano State and Attorney General of the Federation. The former emir, however, sought an interim order of the court releasing him from confinement of the respondents also challenged the respondents violating his fundamental human rights. The judge subsequently voided

IFA identifies how govt, agencies can offer free education, security, others to PWDs

President Buhari with R-L: Awardee Asst. Commander of Narcotics NDLEA Muhammad Tukur Ahmad, Chairman of ICPC Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, and Awardee Mr. Nelson Okoronkwo of Federal Ministry of Information during the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector 2021 and presents Public Service Integrity Award in State House on 30th Nov 2021

By Musa Baba Adamu

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group which champions the cause of Persons With Disability (PWDs), Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) has identified a number of ways through which life for PWDs could be made more meaningful and inclusive in the county. Executive Director, IFA, Grace Jerry, disclosed this at a program in Abuja titled: “Building Young persons with disabilities to advocate on Gender based violence against women and girls with disabilities.” The group said from its findings it found that there were gender based violence against women and girls with disabilities. It said these groups of people do not get enough attention of the security and other government agencies whenever they approached them for redress and accommodation. To overcome these, therefore, the group has suggested more Persons with disabilities, their family members and care givers should be enlightened on what Disability Based Violence is. It said: “They should be enlightened to know what and what is not acceptable, what amounts to a violation, what to do when they are being violated and how to go about it.” It called for the building of the law enforcement agents capacity to deal with issues that have to do with persons “with disability with a view to eradicating attitudinal, physical or systemic barriers that persons with disabilities face when trying to access their services.” It further recommended that “Media outfits should take it upon themselves as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility to report issues of persons with Disabilities so as to enlighten the public and make them more aware and concerned with issues of persons with disabilities such that they no longer stigmatize a survivor of any form of violence or their family, and are able to stand up and speak up for them from now on.” To support this, it called on “other Corporate organizations should sponsor media campaigns and projects that protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Government should strengthen social protection systems and mainstream such programs to cater for the needs of persons with disabilities.”

the arrest, harassment, and banishment of Sanusi to Abuja and later to Nasarawa State and set it aside on ground of being an infringement of his fundamental human rights. The court, awarded a N10 million fine against the respondents. The court also issued an order directing the respondents to tender a public apology to Sanusi to be published in two major national dailies for the embarrassment caused him by breaching his fundamental human rights.

Reps ask Power Minister to provide electricity substation in Ogun By Christiana Ekpa

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he House of Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Ministry of Power to install a 100 MVA Sub–station at Obasanjo Transmission, Ota and A132/33KV Substation in Yewa, Egbado South/ Ipokia Federal Constituency of Ogun State. The House equally asked the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to expedite action on their efforts at improving power supply to Owode–Yewa, Ajilete, Oke–Odan, Idiroko,

Agosasa, Ijofin, Ajegunle Ilaro and Ipokia in Ogun State. The Green Chamber urged the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to, as a matter of urgency, convert the existing single 33KV line from Papalan to Sub–station to a double circuit line. The House resolutions followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Kolawole Lawal. Lawal while moving the motion noted that the importance of Electricity to the socio–economic development of every area cannot be overemphasized.

The Lawmaker lamented that the lack of electricity supply due to a non–functional sub–station in Yewa Local Government Area has adversely affected socio–economic activities in the area. He expressed concerns that many communities, especially Owode–Yewa, Ajilete, Oke–Odan, Idiroko, Agosasa, Ijofin, Ajegunle, Ilaro and Ipokia have barely electricity in the last ten years, thus causing disruptions in economic activities in the area. He added that the continuous erratic power supply in the area

has paralyzed many businesses and rendered business owners jobless, while hospitals have been rendered inoperable, thus denying the people access to adequate health care. Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committee on Power to ensure implementation. In a related development, the House urged the Federal Government to extend the standard gauge railway line to the Sanusi Railway Station near Igboora in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state and make it functional.

Buhari in condolence letter to Emir of Kano says late Sani Buhari was an inspiration to many

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resident Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday sent a delegation of Ministers to represent him at the funeral of Kano businessman and industrialist, the Walin Daura, Alhaji Sani Buhari Daura. This was disclosed in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu. The late founder of the Bayajidda Group of Companies, who passed on in Dubai after a protracted illness was buried in Kano city after funeral

prayers were offered at the Palace of the Emir, the statement said. According to the statement also, the President’s delegation, led by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, delivered the President’s condolence to the people of Kano, through the Emir, Aminu Bayero and to the family of the deceased at Yar Mai Shinkafi quarters in Kano City. In a letter to the Emir, President Buhari said: “I wish to commiserate with you on the demise of well-known

businessman and industrialist, Walin Daura, Alhaji Sani Buhari Daura. His death is a great loss not only to Katsina and Kano States but also the entire country because of his role in the nation’s economy. “He was one of the oldest pioneer businessmen in the country who contributed immensely to the economy and helped to create jobs for hundreds of people. Men like Sani Buhari rose to success through sheer hardwork and drive. “The late Sani Buhari

demonstrated that we can achieve success through labour. His life story is inspiring because of his commitment to hardwork and perseverance. “I pray for you, the Sani Buhari families in Daura and Kano, as well as Government and peoples of Katsina and Kano for the fortitude to bear the loss. The Emir, who received the team along with his brother, the Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero thanked the President for standing with the people of Kano in good and bad times.

Edo industrialist offers recipe for Nigeria’s greatness By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

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r Osaheni Iyayi, a renowned industrialist on Tuesday, charged the Nigerian government to mobilise local entrepreneurs to Industrialise the economy in order to attain greatness.

Iyayi made the call at a press briefing on the book he authored titled; “ABC of How to Industrialise Nigeria”. He noted that industrialisation remains a viable way to develop the Country amidst the prevailing economic challenges. “I believe that Nigeria will

succeed, because the success of Nigeria will usher in the development of the black race. “Up till now, the black race is not contributing anything to the development of mankind; I say that with the full emphasis it deserves. “We can delude ourselves, but the fact remains that without

the industrialised efforts of the developed world, the black race would have remained in the dark. “The good things about it is that we are not helpless. If we remain focus and we are able to identify our vision, we can develop this country within a very short spell,” he said.


PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

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NEWS By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja & Mustapha Adamu, Kano

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ustice Hamza Mu’azu of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, has nullified the congresses of the Kano State All Progressive Congress (APC) conducted by the Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje led faction. Consequently, the court upheld the congresses conducted by the Senator Ibrahim Shekarau led faction of the party. In his judgement, Justice Mu’azu held that the Shekarau led faction, ”tagged G-7” conducted election that was signed by the 7man committee of the APC, hence the election is valid. The suit with marked CV/2030/2021, also has Muntaka Bala Sulyman with 17, 907 members of the partyas applicants. While the defendants are All Progressive Congress, as first defendant, Mai- Mala Buni , Caretaker Chairman, Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary, Independent National Electoral Commission, as the fourth defendant and 4 others. Recall that the Kano APC under the leadership of Ganduje had on July 31, 2021, returned all its candidates unopposed across the 44 local councils, unanimously electing the 13,068 ward executive members across the 484 wards. Rejecting the option of consensus, a member representing Kano Municipal Federal Constituency, Shaaban Ibrahim Sharada lamented that the process had excluded some party loyalists. Sharada, Chairman, House Committee on Security and National Intelligence, alleged that the party had denied members willing to contest in the ward congress opportunity to do so. He subsequently teamed up with Senator Ibrahim Shekarau to conduct a parallel congress and submitted its report to the APC leadership in Abuja. Amid the controversy, the faction loyal to Sharada and Shekarau approached an FCT High Court to challenge the authenticity of Ganduje’s exercise. Their lawyer, Nureni Jimoh, SAN, argued that the Ganduje faction did not conduct any election but merely wrote a result under the guise of ‘consensus candidacy’. They sought four reliefs including an order “voiding and

Kano APC: Court sacks Ganduje led exco, upholds Shekarau’s faction or setting aside any other list of any other report/ directives given by the defendants on August 9, 2021, or any other date, other than the valid, proper and authentic summary result sheets for ward congress, elected delegates and state delegates

of Kano State consisting of the plaintiffs’ names as the duly, valid and democratically elected ward executive committees, ward delegates to the local government areas and ward delegates to the state party congress of the 1st defendant of Kano State.”

They also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the APC from receiving, accepting and acting or purporting to act on, rely on or approving any other list or purported list emanating from other than the duly constituted ward congress of the APC

consisting of the names of the plaintiff. Justice Muazu ruled that the consensus committee report by Ganduje was invalid while that of Shekarau’s faction was authentic having conducted elections and produced results. R-L: IODC chairman, Mr. Folasade Adekoya delivering his welcome address, Dr. Bisi Olawunmi, a mass communication lecturer at Adeleke University, Ede who was a Special Guest, Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Asiwaju of IbidoOgbo and Otunba Adejare Adesanya, representing chairman of the occasion, Dr. Teni Adesanya during the 2021 Ibido-Ogbo Day celebration

Ayo Adebanjo urges priority for child education By our correspondent

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fenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has urged communities to prioritise education of their children as investment in future community development . Chief Adebanjo who gave the charge while speaking at the 2021 Ibido-Ogbo Day celebration at the weekend said that mothers must be willing to make sacrifices for the education of their children because mothers constitute the bulwark of the family. Chief Adebanjo, who is the Asiwaju of Ibido-Ogbo and Father of the Day at the event, stated that many fathers cannot shoulder the responsibility of educating the children alone and recalled that in his youth days, especially with

polygamy, mothers sold some of their belongings to ensure the education of their own children. The Afenifere leader, who is an indigene of Ogbo community, near Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, pointed out that while multiple wives in a polygamy setup was a major reason why mothers had to take care of their own children, the harsh economic realities of today, which have rendered many men incapacitated financially, demand that women, in polygamy or monogamy, would also need to make sacrifices, like mothers of old, in the education of children. He commended the leadership of the Ibido-Ogbo Development Council ( IODC) for seeking to sustain the community’s legacy in education by sponsoring the education of brilliant but indigent children in the community.

The chairman of IODC, Mr. Folasade Adekoya, had in his welcome address announced that the Council had initiated a programme of educational counseling and financial support of children of the community. He stated that education had always been a priority in the community, and pointed out the trail blazing achievement of an indigene of IBIDO-OGBO , late Samuel Olukoya, who was among the pioneer students of St. Andrew’s College, Oyo in 1896. Mr. Adekoya, who announced the launching of a Palace Building Appeal Fund at the event, appealed for the continued support of community members and well-wishers in implementing the Council’s educational, cultural and economic development agenda. The IODC chairman specially thanked

the youths of the community for their efforts in the village, ‘’ especially in areas of security, supervising our economic resources, assisting the elderly ones in cases of emergencies and general welfare of the village’’. The 2021 IBIDO-OGBO DAY celebration, with the theme : EDUCATION FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, was a three-day event which featured free medical examination and provision of drugs for community members on Thursday, November 25, while Friday featured ‘’ IKOKORE NIGHT, ikokore being a special delicacy of the Ijebus, with the grand finale on Friday, November 27 which featured a fund raiser, award of prizes to school children in the community, cultural dances and performance by the ‘Agbo’ masquerade.

Omicron : Reps ask Health Ministry for urgent strategy to tackle new Covid-19 variant By Christiana Ekpa

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he House of Representatives on Tuesday called for urgent strategy towards tackling the new Covid-19 variant, named Omicron by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This was just as the House called on the Federal Ministry of Health, to mandate Nigeria’s COVID-19 Task Force to immediately activate strategies to be implemented in monitoring adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and ensure residents continue to comply with all advisories aimed at curtailing the spread of the disease. The House further called on the

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure intensive observation and check on travel protocols for inbound passengers, and also that the agency step up the national response to control the emergence and spread of new variants in order to spare Nigeria the full brunt of the third wave of the pandemic. The House resolutions followed a motion sponsored under matters of urgent public importance, by Hon. Dachung Bagos The Lawmaker cited reports that on the 26th of November, 2021 a new, heavily mutated Covid-19 variant named Omicron Variant was discovered in South Africa, and had spread across the globe on

Sunday, shutting borders and renewing curbs as the EU chief said governments faced a “race against time” to understand. “On 26 November 2021, WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named Omicron, on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE). “This decision was based on the evidence presented to the TAG-VE that Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes. Here is a summary of what is currently known”, the lawmaker noted. According to him, researchers in South

Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and will continue to share the findings of these studies as they become available, and thus the need for Nigeria to take early steps. “A total of 126 genomes of this variant have been detected globally and published on GISAID, a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data, and there seem to be a high number of mutations present in the Omicron variant and the exponential rise suggesting the virus to be highly transmissible and may also present an increased risk of reinfection compared to other variant of concern (VOC),” he said


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PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

Insecurity: Address incessant banditry attacks, killings in Niger - Reps By Christiana Ekpa

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he House of Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Government to address the incessant banditry attacks leading to killings in Agwara/Borgu federal constituency of Niger State. The House also urged the Federal Government to deploy sufficient Military Personnel to 221 and 101 battalions in Wawa and 407 Air Weapon Training School New Bussa to protect lives and national assets. The House resolutions followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Jafaru Muhammad, at the plenary on Tuesday. Muhammad had while moving his motion, noted the frequent banditry attacks on communities within Agwara/Borgu Federal Constituency of Niger State. He expressed concerns that during the attacks, many people, including the District Head of Wawa and the aged mother of a serving Member of the Niger State House of Assembly were abducted while others, including the District Head of Dekare and many guards at Kainji National Park, were killed. “Concerns that Nigeria’s Super Tucano Fighter Jets, which are being kept at the 407 Air Weapon Training School, New Bussa are exposed to the risk of getting destroyed, given its proximity to the location of bandits at the Kainji National Park in the Borgu Game reserve. He added that the correctional centre which was situated in 221 and 101 battalions and has some insurgents incarcerated therein poses great risk to public safety, lives and properties in the areas within the constituency. The House also called on the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the victims of banditry attacks within Agwara/Borgu Federal Constituency. It further urged the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to convert a greater part of the Kainji National Park for agriculture and commercial investment to eliminate hideouts for bandits. In a related development, the lawmakers while adopting a motion sponsored by Hon. Bashir Uba Mashema also called for the reconstruction of Jama’are and Itas/ Gadau divisional police stations in Bauchi State. In his motion, Mashema recalled that on 18 April 2011 and 12 November 2012, the Jama’are and Itas/Gadau Divisional Police Stations were respectively attacked by insurgents. He said the Insurgents who were armed with sophisticated weapons and explosives engaged in a gun battle with men of the Nigeria Police Force, which led to the death of one police officer at Itas Gadau and another policeman sustained gunshot wounds, and leaving the constituents vulnerable to further attacks as they live in constant fear due to the absence of security personnel.

NEWS

Budget: Buhari frowns at agencies presentIng new projects as ongoing By Egena Sunday Ode

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he Federal Government will sanction those who bring in personnel into the public workforce by illegal recruitment, pad their payroll and retain ghost workers, President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday in Abuja. Declaring open the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector, the President warned that his administration would not hesitate to punish Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that fraudulently present new projects as ongoing projects in the budget. ‘‘We reduced the cost of governance by maintaining our promise to complete abandoned or ongoing projects commenced by previous administrations and have ensured that MDAs do not put forward new capital projects at the expense of ongoing projects. ‘‘Government has, however, noted from the activities of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) that some MDAs have devised the fraudulent practice of presenting new projects as ongoing projects. ‘‘Necessary action and sanctions will continue against the heads of such errant MDAs. I am confident that ICPC will continue to maintain the vigilance required of her by the ICPC Act in this regard,’’ he said. The President described the summit

• Vows to sanction perpetrators of illegal recruitments with the theme “Corruption and Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency,’’ as auspicious. He noted that it reminds us of the negative impacts of unnecessary cost of governance and offers an opportunity for critical stakeholders to offer suggestions on ways to further reduce the cost of governance and promote transparency and accountability in government expenditure. ‘‘I am delighted that the Legislative and Judicial arms of government are also under focus on managing the cost of governance because government is a collective and is not the business of the Executive branch alone. ‘‘On 19th August 2020, the Federal Executive Council adopted the National Ethics and Integrity Policy which I launched on 25th September 2020. ‘‘I am delighted that some public officers continue not only to demonstrate the core values of ethics, integrity and patriotism but have been identified for their sterling anti-corruption disposition in their workplace,’’ he said. A highpoint of the event attended by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad and a representative of the Senate President Ahmed Lawan was the presentation of the 2021 Public Service Integrity Awards to three distinguished Nigerians. They are Nelson Okoronkwo, Deputy Director, Legal, Federal

Ministry of Information and Culture, Muhammad Ahmad, Assistant Commander of Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Ikenna Nweke, a PhD student, from Imo State, studying in Japan. Okoronkwo, who was recognised for his consistent acts of integrity in the different ministries where he served, is a committee member on fertilizer distribution that led to the recovery of billions of naira from racketeers with collaborators within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. He was credited to have reported corrupt practices that led to the Ogoni cleanup investigation in the Federal Ministry Environment. As Committee Chairman on Illegal Recruitment in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the Deputy Director facilitated the detection and removal of over 3000 fake employers from the Service thereby saving the government millions of naira in terms of salaries and emoluments. The NDLEA officer, Ahmad, was recognised for demonstrating the highest ideals and standards of the public service in the discharge of his responsibilities. Also a recipient of the Chairman/ Chief Executive Award for Outstanding Performance and Integrity, Ahmad recently recovered and declared to his

Agency the sum of 24,500 USD offered to him as bribe by a drug baron to compromise an investigation of 27.950 kg of cocaine, worth billions of naira Nweke, the Nigerian PhD student in Japan who found a wallet containing a very large amount of money and other valuables returned it to the Japanese police. He declined 10 per cent of the money offered to him as a reward. The Nigerian, who joined the event virtually from his base in Japan, was recognised for his act of ‘‘honesty and integrity,’’ by the President. On Nweke, President Buhari said: ‘‘I am also happy to note the ICPC special award to Ikenna Steve Nweke, a Nigerian Ph.D student from Imo State studying in Japan. ‘‘He has done Nigeria proud in far-away Japan by displaying traditional Nigerian values of honesty and integrity and returning a wallet containing a very large sum of money and other valuables to the police. ‘‘He also declined 10% of the money found as a reward offered to him. ‘‘I join the ICPC in declaring him ICPC CITIZENS ANTI-CORRUPTION VOLUNTEER GROUP ICON. ‘‘He is indeed an icon and a beacon for our youths. I also congratulate all those to be awarded the ICPC Certificate of Integrity through their agencies.’’ From Left: Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Ltd (NGX), Abubakar Mahmoud, Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the opening of the NGX Capital Market Conference at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Photo: Speaker’s Office.

Editors holds self-scrutiny town hall meeting in Lagos By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

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he Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) is to commence its Town Hall Meeting in the South-west geo-political zone on Thursday at De Rembrandt Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, with a theme: ‘’Agenda Setting For Sustainable Democratic Culture.’’ NGE in a statement by its President, Mustapha Isah and General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, said the main objective of the meeting, which is supported by the US Embassy in Nigeria, is to assess the media performance in consolidating Nigeria’s democracy - citizens’ verdict and outlining media agenda for the future. It said the meeting will also provide a platform for the media’s stakeholders to remind editors and other media managers of the sacred duties they are tasked to perform by the constitution on behalf of the citizens.

Drawing copious examples from democracies around the world, the statement added that the meeting, will be taken across the six geo-political zones of the country, is expected to instil in the editors the need to perform their duties with the highest form of standard and sense of responsibility. “The Town Hall Meeting will provide a platform for media stakeholders to undertake self-introspection and also begin a conversation on a framework for media regulation, which will not only have their buy-in but also improve the standard for media practice in Nigeria thereby reducing, if not eliminate, incidents of sub-standard and unprofessional reportage in the Nigerian media. “Such conversations and hopefully eventual adoption of self-regulatory framework could also have a regional spin-off whereby countries within the region, and indeed Africa, could

be encouraged to borrow a leaf from the Nigerian example, as was the case with the adoption of a Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria subsequently having a positive spin-off in Ghana’’, the NGE added. Those invited for the Town Meeting, which will be followed by a two-day capacity building for editors, are leading pro-democracy/human rights activists in the zone, renowned scholars from the academic community, promedia rights groups, students from different higher institutions, faith groups, members of the international community and the media. On the expected impact of the meeting and the capacity building workshop, the NGE said that a pool of Nigerian editors and media managers would be galvanised and would be committed to the highest ethical standard and taking robust actions to ensure same. And committed to

the promotion and protection of the right to independent press, freedom of expression and the deepening of democratic space. The statement added, ‘’The NGE is hopeful that at the end of the project, a pool of editors will be mobilised to constantly projecting issue-based governance for the benefit of the Nigerian people - in line with Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’ The NGE explained further that the programme looks to galvanise the key stakeholders to act responsibly and deny the authorities the moral authority to take punitive actions against the media for performing their constitutionally assigned role to hold the government to account, and to the general citizens the right to hold and voice their opinions on the conduct of public officers.


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Gatefield, MIT, Ekiti gov. partner to launch first innovative accelerator

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sunny Echono (3rd right front row) Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office, British High Commission Abuja, Johanna Koernig (2nd right), Director, Human Resources Management, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. David Gende (right front row) and other officials, during the British High Commission lead delegation working visit to the Ministry of Education, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin ImoOwo

By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

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n Abuja-based public strategy firm, Gatefield, said it is partnering with a leading American university, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Governance Lab (MIT GOV/LAB), CC Hub, and Ekiti State Ministry of Health and Human Services to launched first governance innovation accelerator in Nigeria. This was contained in a statement signed and issued by Vice President, People Operations Gatefield,Chika Akintan,yesterday in Abuja. Akintan disclosed that, the announcement of the partnership by the company came after a meeting with Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi at the State Government House in Ado Ekiti. Th statement further explained that,the accelerator will be a launchpad to develop governance innovation ideas and prototypes within the health sector. “Over the past nine months, MIT GOV/LAB, Gatefield, and CC Hub have co-created a novel Governance Innovation Framework. The framework is an iterative process grounded in traditional human-centred design, emphasizing the complexities of designing in complex political, social and economic environments. The accelerator programme will last for eight months and be deployed in phases, beginning with an intensive introduction to governance innovation and human-centred design for the public service teams. At the end of the eight months, two teams will be trained and supported with technical expertise to undertake research, to co-create and pilot an innovative governance innovation solution”. Also speaking,the Lead Strategist Gatefield, Adewunmi Emoruwa,expressed that “We are excited by this partnership with MIT GOV/LAB and the state ministry of health led by Dr Oyebanji Filani. We could not be more proud that we are empowering innovators in the public sector at an important time where there is a global appreciation of the significance of strong healthcare systems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The accelerator will support the quality of care and public health security teams to develop a governance innovation solution and provide a plan to develop further, institutionalize, and support the proposed innovation within the Ministry”. Meanwhile, the programme will start with an intensive boot camp and training on human-centred design and the innovation framework.

NEMA, NAFDAC collaborate on medication of disaster victims

By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

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he Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Mustapha Ahmed has requested collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) towards delivery of quality medicaments to persons affected by disasters in the country. This was contained in statement signed and issued by Head, Public Relations NEMA,Manzo Ezekiel. The statement said Ahmed made the request during a courtesy call on the Director

General of NAFDAC Prof Mojisola Adeyeye in Abuja, yesterday. He said the paradigm shift adopted by NEMA towards disaster risk reduction and building of a national resilience could not be achieved without the support of partner agencies like NAFDAC. He said, “Nigeria in recent times is confronted with significant humanitarian crises. Nature induced hazards especially floods, windstorms, marine, gully erosion, desertification amongst others which are constantly exacerbated by climate change and variability have also posed great challenge to development planning across socio economic

sectors.” According to the NEMA boss, “the cocktail of challenges has been complicated by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant physical and emotional lockdowns and global economic sectors”. However, he said “the good news is that as an outcome of lessons learnt under crises, NEMA is adopting to the new normal and is getting better prepared for improved service delivery, developing technology and building new networks to confront both old and emerging challenges.” While noting the imperative for collaboration between the

two agencies, he said “NAFDAC’s mission of safeguarding public health by ensuring that only the right quality drugs, foods and other regulated products are manufactured, imported, distributed, advertised, sold and used in Nigeria is in tandem with NEMA’s mandate of disaster management coordination and building of national resilience.” Responding, Director General of NAFDAC Professor Adeyeye assured the readiness of her agency to collaborate with NEMA, especially to enhance the quality of supports given to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affected by insurgency and other related disasters in the country.

Gbajabiamila advocates more access to capital for Nigerian youths By Christiana Ekpa

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he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for more access to capital to enable young people in the country to get the resources they need to make their dreams become a reality. The speaker made the call while delivering a goodwill message at the Nigerian capital market conference organized by the Nigerian Exchange Group on Tuesday in Abuja. Gbajabiamila emphasized the importance of capital to commerce and innovations needed to change the world. He said, “Capital is the lifeblood of commerce. Without capital, it is impossible to scale trade and services to take full advantage of

existing opportunities. Without capital, innovations capable of changing the world, improving lives and creating wealth remain unexplored ideas. “In ways, both obvious and subtle, our lives, our ability to conduct business and manage the affairs of state in the best interests of all our nation’s people, depends on the free flow of capital and the ability to raise and access resources when they are needed. “Therefore, governments worldwide, in considering and implementing policies, making laws and building infrastructure, have a special responsibility to ensure the free flow of capital, subject to the necessary regulations for prohibiting illicit transactions that harm us all. This conference

provides an opportunity for us to jointly think through the ways we can improve the policy and legislative process in government to make sure that government facilitates rather than inhibits, allows capital to flow.” Acknowledging the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the international networks of trade, the speaker said recent events offered many warnings and several lessons. “For us in Nigeria and in Africa, recent events offer many warnings and ought to teach several lessons. In choosing the theme of this event, the organisers of this conference have identified that we need to address the sustainability question in our efforts at socio-economic recovery. “ Let me add that we must

also think critically and advance solutions for democratising access to capital so that more of our population, particularly our massive population of young people, can access the resources they need to transform their best dreams into actual achievements for the common good”, he stated. While congratulating the Nigerian Exchange Group Limited (NGX) for convening the event as a platform for constructive interactions between the public and private sectors, the speaker assured the gathering that the House of Representatives was committed to being a useful partner in promoting policies and legislation that would expand growth in the capital market and the nation’s economy at large.

Teachers Registration Council bill scale second reading in Reps By Christiana Ekpa

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he House of Representatives yesterday passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the Teachers Registration Council to increase the penalty for Teachers without registration. Sponsored by Rep. Jude Idehen (PDP, Edo), the bull seeks to amend the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria Act Cap. T3 2004 to accommodate matters emerging,

which were not contemplated when the Act was enacted during the period under review. Leading the debate, Idehen said the bill becomes important because it will enhance professionalism in the teaching profession by regulating and controlling of the Teaching Profession at all levels of the Nigerian Educational System, both in the Public and Private Sectors. The Lawmaker said, the will also promote the exchange of ideas/best practices and lead

in the development of skills, knowledge and orientation in the teaching profession. He said the bill is necessitated due to the rising explosive number of unregistered, unqualified and quack teachers in the sector. The bill when passed, will be an offence for those not registered by the Teachers Registration Council to teach as such person’s will on conviction liable to a fine of N1 million or a two years jail term or both.


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NEWS

Zamfara NSCDC commences forensic, physiological test on arm carrying personnel From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau

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he Zamfara State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), has embarked on a forensic and physiological test on arm carrying Officers and Men with a view to checkmate

their mental wellbeing for better discharge of their constitutional duties. Addressing the first batch of the officers selected for the flag off ceremony at state Command in Gusau, the Commandant, Mr A.A. Sparks, said the exercise was duly reintroduced by the office of the Commandant General in order to

sanitize the service. Mr Sparks, further said the main aim was to ensure that all the arm carrying officers of the Command who directly deal with civilians are mentally fit, to avoid further accidental discharges, adding that, “Although the NSCDC has been recorded the least in that aspect compared to

other security agencies”. The Commandant further explained that, the expectations after the exercise were to ensure that personnel serving under the Command were mentally and physically fit enough to guarantee the safety of themselves, their colleagues and the general public as they are always expected to

Yoruba social club celebrates 15years anniversary, appeals for N15m

S p e a k e r , House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila exchanging pleasantries with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the opening of the NGX Capital Market Conference at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

By Usman Shuaibu

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he leadership of Bomo Deoku Social Club Zuba, Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sunday celebrated fifteen years’ anniversary as the club appealed for N 15million to build its hall in the area. Speaking to Peoples Daily correspondent during the celebration of the anniversary in Zuba, the patron of the club, Dr Wasiu Tunwase, who is also the Otunba of Yoruba community in the FCT, urged the leadership of the club to continue to handle the club diligently. Tunwase said he would continue to support the club 100% in order to achieve its goals for the members. He noted that despite the challenges faced by the club the leadership of the club had done a lot of things, and prayed for the executives to get more money to build the hall. He, explained that the executives, as well as the members of the social club, are always ready to take advice from the elders that will move the club to the next level. The Bomo Deoku Social Club Patron, therefore, used the occasion to call on the entire Yoruba in the FCT to live as one indivisible entity for the sake of togetherness. When asked to comment on the 2022 FCT Area councils’ elections, Otunba charged the Yoruba to vote for credible candidates who would take them to the promised land.

respect rules of engagement guiding their operations. “The primary duty of security personnel was in the first instance, to create and maintain cordial relationship with civilians as they have working relationship to achieve adequate security, and ensure protection of lives and property”.

Photo: Speaker’s Office

Nigeria will continue to strengthen bilateral ties with S/Africa – Onyeama

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he Nigerian government has reassured the Republic of South Africa that it will continue to strengthen bilateral ties between both countries for the mutual benefits of both country’s citizens and economies. Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said this on Monday at the closing of the Ministerial Meeting of the 10th Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission in Abuja. Onyeama said that he was optimistic that the just concluded meeting would facilitate the implementation of all signed MoUs/Agreements between the two countries. He noted that during the meeting, senior officials of both countries deliberated extensively on a number of important issues related to bilateral relations between both countries. He said both countries had a productive exchange of views, given the unique nature of the forum which brought together, a cross

section of the key stakeholders dealing with the issues from a variety of perspectives. “I look forward to the implementation stage of all signed MoUs/agreements between the two countries. “While the formal part of this meeting ends today, I hope that this visit will add some practical insight to the discussions you have had. “I wish to reassure that Nigerian Government will continue to work with South African Government towards advancing the cooperation between the two countries for the benefit of our citizens,” Onyeama said. Onyeama said that Nigeria and South Africa “have enjoyed cordial relations over the years, underpinned by fraternity and a shared historical struggle”. He added that in spite of the challenges posed by the Coronavirus and the many resultant restrictions it imposed on both countries, Nigeria and South

Africa had, through determined effort, actualised the target of hosting the bi-national commission “at this time”. “This is testimony to our common commitment to continually improve our relations and consolidate every gain made in this regard. “It is therefore, with gratitude that I warmly welcome you. Your presence, notwithstanding the hindrances, testifies to the importance South Africa attaches to the opportunities for mutual benefit that the Bi-National Commission provides. “As well as the opportunity to strengthen cooperation and synergy between our two countries in all areas of mutual interest,” Onyeama said. Dr Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, expressed appreciation over the continuous commitment to African solidarity shown by Nigeria towards South Africa.

Pandor said that the actions from Nigeria “is a reflection of its well known solidarity in difficult times of the anti-apartheid struggle. “Today we also mark the celebration of the 22nd anniversary of our Bi-National Commission, a great milestone in the history of our diplomatic relations. “Our visit is intended to affirm South Africa’s commitment to strengthening and fostering greater collaboration and cooperation in bilateral and multilateral relations to address our common challenges for mutual benefit. “Nigeria and South Africa are critical to Africa’s development and progress and must use their attributes to advance Africa’s cause,” Pandor said. “It is through our resolute commitment to our bilateral cooperation and the implementation of the developmental aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals that we can change the lives of our people,” he added. (NAN)

COVID-19 Variant: Okowa urges Nigerians to embrace vaccination By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

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elta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on Nigerians to take the COVID-19 vaccines, saying that vaccination was safe and that no death had been recorded as a result of administration of the vaccine in the country. Okowa made the call at his quarterly interaction with journalists on Tuesday in Asaba. He said that it had become very imperative

for Nigerians to embrace vaccines, especially with the Omicron and Delta variants currently ravaging the world. He stated that there was no shortage of vaccines in the state and the country and urged the people to take the vaccines as they were safe. “Deltans and Nigerians are not accessing the vaccines enough; it is safe and many people are not taking advantage of the free vaccines. “There has been no single case of death in Nigeria as a result of the vaccine,’’ the governor

said On the Omicron Variant of COVID-19, he advised Nigerians not to panic but to continue to observe necessary pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical prevention protocols. “There is a panicky approach to the whole thing and the way countries are placing travel bans on South Africa is not right. “I don’t think it’s the best way to approach this because once you begin to have this level of punishment, when they detect new variants they may not speak out and that would be

worse to handle. “We have not had strong resistance to vaccines and I want to encourage Deltans and Nigerians to take the vaccines. “There is no shortage of the AstraZeneca and Modena vaccines; we have them in our various health centres designated for COVID-19 vaccines. “The vaccines are there just that the people are not accessing them enough, so, I urge the media to assist us in educating the people on the need to take the vaccines,” he said.


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2021/2022 season: LMC to ratify NPFL Dec. 17 kickoff in Abuja By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

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he League Management Company (LMC) said it will ratify the Dec. 17 kick-off date and fixtures for 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season at its General Assembly in Abuja. Alloy Chukwuemeka, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Club Owners Association, who confirmed this to journalists in Abuja, on Friday. He said the General Assembly had been scheduled for Dec. 7. Chukwuemeka said the kickoff date was agreed at a meeting held in Lagos between the LMC Executives, Club Owners Association representatives and LMC Directors. He revealed that the allimportant LMC General Assembly in Abuja would amongst other issues/agenda discuss and ratify the new NPFL season date as proposed. According to the fixtures made available to NAN by the secretary, the first round of the league is expected to begin on Dec. 17, and end with Match day 19 fixtures on March 20, 2022. There would be a one-week break before the resumption of the second round, which is expected to start on March 27, and end the season with Match day 38 fixtures on July 17, 2022. The NPFL Club Owners scribe also revealed that the LMC had introduced an asymetrical fixture list for the 2021/2022 campaign. It said it was expected to make the fixtures less predictable and more exciting. The match day one fixtures expected to be played in 10 centres across the country from 4.00 p.m.are as follows: Gombe United v Shooting Stars, Akwa United v Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars v Rivers United. Others are, Katsina United v Rangers International, Enyimba v Abia Warriors, Sunshine Stars v Wikki Tourist, Niger Tornadoes v Plateau United. Also fixed are, Kwara United vs Dakkada, MFM FC v Remo Stars and Heartland v Nasarawa United.

FG woos foreign investors to maritime sector, others

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inister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says Nigeria’s maritime sector is a haven of opportunities for the world to exploit. Amaechi said on Tuesday at the virtual 2021 Greek-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Technology Investment and Trade Forum that Nigeria is a strategic destination for investments opportunities by Greece. He stressed that the maritime sector should be particularly attractive to Greek trading and shipping financing. The minister noted that security

on Nigeria’s waterways had improved so tremendously as to encourage increased investments. According to him, Nigeria is open to investments in seaports and other maritime activities. “Presently there is huge investment in security and efforts are in place to sustain it,’’ he said. Amaechi also said that Federal Government’s approval for the construction of three new seaports is critical in boosting efficient transportation system. The new seaports would be at Onne, Rivers; Lekki in Lagos State and Warri in Delta.

Amaechi said the Lekki Seaport would be inaugurated in December 2022. Earlier, Mr Emeka Offor, Managing Director, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), restated the commission’s commitment to assist investors to navigate challenges in investing in Nigeria. He noted that the Federal Government had shown strong commitment in addressing the challenges militating against investments. According to him, Nigeria is one of the most entrepreneurial,

innovative and ingenious economies in Africa. “The Federal Government has put in place reforms that would ensure that Nigeria moves up in terms of ease of doing business. “Nigeria enacted the Companies and Allied Matters Act supported by the Finance Act so it is easier to do business in Nigeria now,’’ Offor said. While identifying possible areas of interest for investments, Offor pointed out that the 36 states in the federation and the FCT have various areas of competitive advantage. (NAN)

Bureau organises capacity workshop to improve ICT services in MDAs

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he Bureau of Public Service Reforms(BPSR) on Tuesday in Abuja organised ICT training for members of staff of Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs), as part of efforts to attaining a world class public service. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2-day workshop, which focused on website development and hosting management, was organised in collaboration with Nigeria Internet Registration Association. The Director General of the Bureau, Mr Dasuki Arabi said that the training workshop was to bring about a post COVID-19 digital revolution in the MDAs. He appreciated the association’s support to the Bureau in building the capacity of MDAs and ensuring

the implementation of the Scorecard of ranking their websites. According to Arabi, the focus of the collaboration was to have a world class public service committed to the delivery of timely services to the public. “For three editions running now, the Bureau has made tremendous stride towards improving the standard of websites of Nigerian Government. “This is made possible through the instrumentality of the Scorecard, with majority of the MDAs attaining global level in the quality of goods and services rendered to the public. “While this is an impressive achievement and worth celebrating, our findings has equally shown that there are challenges of skill gap, which must be adequately bridged

for the success of the Scorecard to be adequately consolidated and sustained,” he said Arabi further said that the 2021 Scorecard was paramount to the new breed of public service the Federal Government was innovating in this era of post COVID-19 digital revolution. He stressed that the challenges of the pandemic has pressed the fast-forward button on the global shift to e-government. The director general added that by extension, the pandemic has pushed the e-government transition forward at great speed, shifted many workers to work from home and made government to understand who the essential workers are. “Institutional websites, which provides the digital space to keep

government business up and running in the face of the pandemic must be kept at optimal standard to ease intention and readiness to adapt the new normal “It will as well drive investors’ and citizens’ confidence in terms of ease of doing business, Open Data and Freedom of Information Act. “It will place all Federal MDAs on the same level playing field. “The training programme was required to equip all relevant desk officers managing government websites to be fully accustomed with and appropriately apply the criteria of the Scorecard,” he noted. The director general further added that the Scorecard was an important index, the National e-Government Masterplan employed to determine the Nigeria e-Government Status.

Representative of FCT Minister Abdullateef Bello (6th right), and other dignitaries during the Public destruction and burning of 19,960kg of illicit drugs at the Military Cement Guard Brigade by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) FCT Command, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Benue govt decries diversion of IGR

From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

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enue State Government has decried the rate at which revenue meant for the state government is being diverted through illegal collections, multiple taxation by several unapproved groups among others.

Hence, the government has warned some Ministries Deparrtment Agencies, MDA’s who are in the habit of diverting monies collected from PAYE to desist from the unwholesome practice as it contravenes the state revenue generation laws. Governor Samuel Ortom who read the riot act in a communique issued at the end of

Revenue Generation stakeholders meeting held at the new Banquet hall, Makurdi, yesterday, also warned Local Government Chairmen to henceforth, desist from multiple taxations in their council areas which discourage traders from coming into Benue State to buy produce. The communique which was also signed

by the Secretary to the State Governemnet Prof. Anthony Ijohor and the Speaker of the State Assembly Titus Uba further called for the dismantling of illegal revenue collection checkpoints forthwith, averring that any person or group of persons caught operating such illegal revenue collection checkpoints shall be punished.


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NEWS

Niger youths plan to halt Zungeru Dam commissioning From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna

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oalition of Shiroro Associations of Niger state have threatened to institute legal action against the

Federal Government restraining it from commissioning Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Dam if their demands were not met. Spokesperson of the group, Comrade Salis Sabo made the declaration while

addressing journalists in Kuta, headquarters of Shiroro local government council. Comrade Sabo added that they will also occupy the dam site in a peaceful protest against the commissioning as clamoured by

those affected. According to him, they will also petition the World Bank on inability of Federal Government to fulfil its side of the agreement.

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya ( m) with All Progressives Congress, APC Executives from 11 wards of Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area when they paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Gombe yesterday

Women initiative felicitate with Atiku Abubakar at 75 By Usman Shuaibu

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he leadership of Liberate the Women Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has felicitated with the former Nigerian Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubkar who clocked the age of 75 years on the 25th of November, 2021. The celebration of the former Nigerian vice-president birthday took place at the Christ Treasured Orphanage Home Bako in Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory. In an interview at the occasion, the national president/ founder of Liberate the Women Initiative (LIWI), Dr Tobechukwu Princess, said the purpose of celebrating the birthday of the former Vice-President was due to his concern to the less privileged ones in the society. She also described the former Nigerian vice-president as a destabilized Nigerian, adding that Atiku Abubakar is a true Nigerian. She, however, pointed out that Atiku Abubakar is not tribalistic, saying that women initiative would continue to pray for the former Nigerian vice president to become the president of Nigeria. In another development, the leadership of LIWI on Saturday celebrated the 3rd anniversary in a grand style in Gwagwalada. While speaking to newsmen during the anniversary, Dr Tobechukwu princess, said the women initiative was aimed at liberating the women from poverty and laziness. She said: “We need to encourage women to do something. We need to mentor the women because many of them have ideas of doing things, but they do not know how to go about it”. Princess, however, said plans are underway next year to sensitize the women on the activities of the organization, pointing out that the organizations is not politically motivated. Meanwhile, the 3rd anniversary of Liberate the Women Initiative featured the conferment of awards to some personalities.

Niger APC resolves to end internal crisis

From Yakubu Minna

Mustapha,

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iger state All Progressives Congress (APC), has organized a stakeholders meeting aimed at resolving all the

internal crisis rocking the party in the state. The State APC Secretary, Barrister Ibrahim Khaleed, in a statement issued after the meeting in Minna, said all party members have resolved to chart a new course

for the unity and development of the state. Khaleed said all forms of indiscipline and creation of any forum will no longer be tolerated in the party in the state, to ensure one indivisible APC.

He called on elected office holders to henceforth hold quarterly town hall meetings with the electorates, adding that the party will ensure proper monitoring of projects and activities of elected and appointed office holders in the state.

Reps amend customs excise act for effectiveness after 63 years By Christiana Ekpa

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he House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a Bill seeking to repeal the customs and excise management act. Peoples Daily report that the move to amend the act is coming 63 years after the piece of legislation came into effect through the instrumentality of the colonialism. Titled “Bill for an Act to Repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap.C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Nigeria Customs Service (Establishment) Bill; and for Related Matters”, it is sponsored by Hon. Leke Joseph Abejide representing Yagba East, Yagba West, and Mopamuro Federal Constituency of Kogi State.

Leading the debate on the general principle of the bill at the plenary, Abejide who is incidentally the Chairman, House Committee on Customs said that the extant law has become obsolete and ineffective for the operations of the Nigerian Customs Service. “Before us today is A Bill for An Act to Repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and to Enact an Act to establish the Nigeria Custom Service Act, 2021. The need for a holistic overhaul of our Customs and Excise legislation cannot be overemphasized in view of its contribution to fiscal and national policy development. “Since 1958, more than half a century ago, the Nigeria Customs and Excise Management Act has not undergone any major reform.

You will agree with me that in today’s competitive world, the Act, its Regulations, and its Operational Guidelines are archaic, obsolete, and no longer in tandem with modern day challenges, and this has unfortunately reduced measurably the accruing revenue against the volume of trade.” The lawmaker also gave some highlights of the objectives and benefits of the bill. He said, the bill if successfully passed into law will enable the collation of all Customs and Excise Legislations into a single compendium of Customs and Excise Act to facilitate easy reference and easy knowledge driven Customs and Excise policies. The Act, he said, will also position the Nigeria Customs Service to be financially stable in order to recruit

the required number of Officers they need to man our porous border stations. “The Nigeria Customs service recently have 15,349 officers instead of 30,000 officers needed for the Service to function optimally. The current 7% cost of collection from Duties payment is not enough to pay salaries of officers, not to talk of improving the infrastructures. For this reason this Bill provides for additional funding system based on 4% FOB, according to international best practice, to address funding problems, and to reposition the Service for improved efficiency and service delivery. “Making the Act more readable to the understanding of the Principal Stakeholders thereby deviating from hitherto strict legal drafting of the aged.

COVID-19 Pandemic: AMAC set to vaccinate 972,000 persons By Usman Shuaibu

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he Administration of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has concluded arrangements to vaccinate about 972,000 persons across the vaccinated centres in the territory on COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Chairman of the Area Council, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido who disclosed this while delivering his keynote address during the flag-off ceremony of COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign in Mabushi Primary Healthcare Centre. Candido, who was represented by his vicechairman, Hon Lawrence Onuchukwu said: “COVID-19” is a communicable respiratory disease caused by a new strain of Corona virus

that causes sickness in human body. “It is a disease that spreads very rapidly from infected person to the vulnerable people through fluid or droplets during sneezing, coughing and touching your eyes, nose and mouth”. “The spread of the disease is like a wild fire and capable of killing so many people at a time. It is neither a disease for the white nor black or rich man disease as some of us insinuated. “It is a worldwide disease that kills both the rich and the poor and also the black and white alike, that is why WHO declared it pandemic”. The Chairman said: “The Council in collaboration with FCT Primary Healthcare Board and all our partners made concerted efforts to ensure that we save over 1.5million lives within FCT in 50 days”.

He said his leadership would provide the necessary support to ensure the victory of the campaign against COVID-19 pandemic, pointing out that out that the Council would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to actualise its goals. Candido, however, solicited the support of the traditional and religious leaders, opinion leaders and other stakeholders to take the campaign to the grassroots. On their parts, the Executive Secretary in charge of the FCT Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Iwot Ndaeyo as well as the Head of Department in Charge of Health in AMAC, Dr Modupe Adeyinka, charged the residents to come out to get vaccinated during the exercise.


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Almakura FG advocates use of quality seeds to urges enhance food nutrition Northern youths to W help govt overcome challenges By Amaechi Agbo

ith dry season setting in, the federal government has advocated for the preservation and use of quality seeds in order to enhance food nutrition and security. The Minister of Agriculture and

Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar disclosed this during the 4th Edition of SEEDCONNECT Africa 2021 Conference and Exhibition held in Abuja on Monday. With the theme: ‘’Partnership for a Resilient and Robust seed industry in Nigeria’’ the minister

said quality seed is the panacea for food and nutrition security, stating that the growth of the agricultural sector would be hampered without a proper structured of seed system to support the industry. He stated that food and nutrition is hinged on seed security that would depend on solid seed

L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives committee on Navy, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi; Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, Chief of the Naval staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and Chairman Senate committee on Navy, Senator Ishiyaku Abboh during the opening ceremony of the Sea power for Africa Symposium, yesterday at the Naval headquarters in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

S

enator Tanko Almakura, representing Nasarwa South Senatorial District has called on the Northern youth to get involve in governance and help in efforts to overcome the current challengers facing the region. This was made known during his address at the inauguration of the newly elected Speaker, principal Officers and Members the Third Northern Youths Assembly of Nigeria (NYAN) yesterday in Abuja. According to Almakura the capacity and viability of the north lies on the youths and members of (NYAN). He said, “You cannot drive the political and economic activities of Northern Nigeria without the youths. ``I admonished you today, to take the lead in the conscientisation of the region to overcome the current challenges bedeviling the region. ``You need to participate actively in the affairs of the state so as to help the government in addressing all the issues that is causing set back to the region.” Almakura was represented at the event by the Director-General of his Campaign Organisation, Mr Dominic Alancha. Speaking shortly after his inauguration, the new Speaker, Mr Ibrahim Lawal said the perception of creating minorities and majorities among Northerners should have no place in the region. He explained that discrimination base on place of birth; faith or ethnic group of any Northerner should not be allow to continue. ``We therefore demand with immediate effect other region governors must take proactive steps to protect members of northern communities who live in their regions. ``We also call on the Federal Government to protect both herders and farmers and to prosecute attackers, and as well as carry out its National Livestock Transformation Plan. ``We condemned the continuous senseless killings, abduction and destruction of lives and properties in the Northern region of the country by terrorist group.”

systems to achieve sustainable agricultural revolution in the country. Dr. Abubakar stated that Nigerians at all levels need to join forces together to build strong and sustainable seed delivery system - from research programmes to variety release.

Gbagyi elders lament killing in communities From Minna

Yakubu

Mustapha,

G

bagyi Elders Forum in Niger state have raised alarm over the rate of killings and perpetrated by bandits and kidnappers in Shiroro, Munya and

Rafi local government areas of the state. Speaking to journalists on behalf of the forum in Minna, Hon. Pius Wakili narrated series of attack in the affected communities. He decried that if nothing is done to put an end to the wanting

destruction of lives, farm produce, food insecurity is certain. Wakili applauded the doggedness and patriotism exhibited by the proactive vigilantes and other security agencies in curtailing series of attack in Zazzaga and Kachala

communities. He charged them to redouble their efforts in combating the menace in those communities. He noted that it is time for harvest of farm produce and if nothing is done to assist this communities it would be disastrous.

NAFDAC harps on quality of products for long-term trade among countries By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

T

he Director General (DG), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, has insisted that quality of products that are being traded are important for sustenance of trade relations among countries. She stated this at the 2nd Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference, in Lagos, insisting that “Without Quality Trade, the PakistanAfrica Trade Development will be short lived”. Adeyeye, therefore, assured of the preparedness of her agency to remain open in order to encourage collaboration between Nigeria and Pakistan.

According to her: “It has been a wonderful time of exchange of culture and most of us could feel the music and the dance which are universal, it is only the language that is left out of these three events of culture . “So, this is an important event for Nigeria and Pakistan. When you talk of trade, you also talk of quality that is where the regulatory agencies come in. Without quality, trade will be short lived. “What we did in NAFDAC is to create an office of trade and international relations because we do not want to leave trade out of our regulations. “Regulatory agencies are supposed to be universal in terms of what they expect from their

clients or stakeholders like you. “The mandate of NAFDAC is to control and regulate importation, exportation, manufacture, and distribution. “Other are advertisements, sales and use of seven regulated products that include drugs, medical devices, diagnostic, vaccines, foods, cosmetics, chemicals, packaged water and beverages.” She noted that the federal government attaches importance to exchange of culture and regulatory ideas, explaining that NAFDAC welcomes trade, investors and they have created room for partnership in terms of pharmaceuticals and foods. According to her, “we

have improved our regulatory control over the last four years, and the WHO is recognising us for that because without strong regulatory agency there cannot be good trade. “So all our Pakistani friends that are here you are most welcome, and in fact is a reciprocity of culture as our minister said this morning and this is part of what we have to watch tonight, understanding each other and that will foster trade. Over 100 pulse companies participated at the event including pharmaceutical, paints and chemicals, Surgical instruments, beauty and cosmetics, leather products and accessories among many others.


PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

PAGE 11

Letter to the Editor

EDITORIAL

Umar, you’ve done Nigeria proud

A

ssistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Garba Baba Umar was last week elected Vice President (Africa) and Executive Committee member of the International Criminal Police Organisation (ICPO) or INTERPOL. Police Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, who disclosed this in a statement, said Umar, who heads INTERPOL’s national central bureau (NCB) in Nigeria, was elected in the early hours of Friday in Turkey. He was elected at the 89th INTERPOL General Assembly held at the Halic Congress Hall, Istanbul. N i g e r i a ’ s delegation to the 89th INTERPOL General Assembly was led by the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi. Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo (represented by the Naval Provost Marshal) also attended.

With this appointment, which will span three years, Garba is expected to bring his wealth of experience to bear in coordinating INTERPOL operations targeted at ensuring a safer world for people and communities across the African continent. This is in addition to drawing international policing support and cooperation towards advancing public safety and security, protecting the cyber space and generally a d d r e s s i n g challenges faced by The indirect primary law enforcement officers and policing is easier for me, managers in the at least, as far as continent.

my constituency is concerned. But, because I don’t want to be selfish, because I want to look at the bigger picture, I will rather go with direct primaries. Let everybody go and vote

The 2021 General Assembly, which has in attendance 470 police chiefs, ministers and senior law enforcement officials from the 195 INTERPOL member countries, seeks to identify areas where the organisation can reinforce the global security architecture and enhance collaboration against national and transnational crimes. AIG Garba, described as one of Nigeria’s finest criminal investigators and professional strategic police manager, OUR MISSION “To be the market place of ideas and the leading player in the industry by putting the people first, upholding the truth, maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards while delivering value to our stakeholders”

has over 30 years of policing experience both at national and international levels. In the election he polled the highest number of votes.

No doubt, by his victory, Garba has done Nigeria a great deal of good. It is a bright sliver lining slicing through the doom cast over the nation by banditry, kidnappings and wanton killings. He joins the elite league of Nigerians who have caught the eyes of the outside world that rarely sees anything good coming from Nigeria. It is instructive that these “good things” are happening under the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari. Described as one of Nigeria’s “finest” crime fighters, the weight of responsibility put on his shoulders is enormous. However, we are convinced, as are millions of his good compatriots, he will be equal to this big and difficult task. We wish him the best of luck in what he will do in Nigeria and on his additional job at the INTERPOL going forward.

OUR PEOPLE Chief Operating Officer /Editor, Hameed M. Bello, PhD Manager, administration Hassan Hammanyaji

HEAD, ADVERT Patrick UGAMA

OUR VISION

“To be a reputable, profitable, innovative and technologically reliant media company offering world class services and products”

Why Ethiopia must not fall apart By Benjamin Ujumadu

T

he immediate and unmistakable consequence of the collapse of Libya in 2011 following the military intervention of the Western military alliance, NATO was chaos in the country. With the destabilization of Libya, arms and weapons from its unsecured armory flowed across to the Sahel region and Nigeria, triggering brutal insurgencies, banditries and assorted criminalities that still bedevil the sub region up to this day. Following the flow of weapons, the then, low level insurgency in North-Eastern Nigeria spiked and assumed a more serious intensity. In the present time, the proliferation of light weapons has spawned an audacious criminal militancy in Nigeria, including insurgencies, banditry and kidnapping. In the Sahel including Burkina Faso, Niger Mali, the fallouts from the destabilization of Libya have created hotbeds from where extremist Islamic militancy which has even linked up to the deadly ISIS in the middle East grown. Without the NATO intervention, the Libyan internal conflict would have reached a negotiated and peaceful settlement and spared both the country, Sahel region and Nigeria, the brutal consequences it currently endures. Libya with its population of nearly 7 million pales into insignificance when compared with Ethiopia’s 110 million people with even far more significance to Africa. Since 4 November 2020, a devastating armed conflict has been raging in northern Ethiopia. Developments in this war, which started with a wellprepared nightly assault of the then-ruling Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF[1]) on federal army bases in Tigray Regional State, are going fast. The war was expanded by the TPLF into areas outside Tigray, where major abuses on local inhabitants were perpetrated. No end is yet in sight to the fighting, which had expanded deeper into the Amhara Region to the important cities of Dessie and Kombolcha by early November 2021. Although this conflict is primarily a domestic problem within an African state, there are ramifications towards neighboring countries, such as Sudan, Somalia and Egypt. As Walt (1996) has argued, revolutions or domestic turmoil in a country can have a disruptive impact on international relations. Sudan has been maneuvering at the Ethiopian border and Ethiopia’s withdrawal of troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force in Somalia has led to more terror activities by the Al Shabaab movement. But in turn, international relations can also have an impact on such a national crisis. The Ethiopia conflict has evoked a specific response pattern by the ‘international community, primarily the United States of America (USA), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN): they address, or rather ‘target’, the Ethiopian government and not the insurgent TPLF which has caused most of the killing and destruction. A subsidiary role is played here by global media discourse toward this conflict, reporting haphazardly on a succession of events, but unconnected to historical lines and context of the state in question. Such reporting – in dominant news producing media like Reuters, AFP and AP as well as global newspapers – often uncritically supported the insurgent TPLF, despite its appalling human rights record and its devastating campaigns against civilian populations. This again had an effect on international policymaking towards Ethiopia. Indeed, the omissions and failures of the global media and the (Western) international community which tend to blame the Ethiopian federal government for the armed conflict and the events since its outbreak, have an impact on the Ethiopian state and reveal a misplaced normative streak in international relations thinking among these actors. Especially remarkable in this case is the lack of commitment to the ideal of ‘democracy in international relations, nominally proclaimed by the USA and EU. This ideal was easily side-lined in their policy approaches to Ethiopia, as they de facto preferred the deeply undemocratic TPLF above the democratically elected government of Prime Minister (PM) Abiy Ahmed and the agenda of democratization that he implemented since in April 2018. The Western ‘donor country’ policymakers and the UN were selective and incomplete in their appraisal of the conflict and in diplomatic actions towards it, despite their alleged ‘concern’ for civilians as victims of violence and food scarcity in the first phase of the conflict. Especially the Ethiopian federal government, led since April 2018 by the reformist prime minister Abiy Ahmed, initially widely acclaimed as a leader

and reconfirmed incredible elections in June 2021, has been blamed for the conflict by international parties, notably the USA, the EU and the global media. It is indeed worrying how the global news media, like CNN, AP, the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, Le Monde, and others have often played an obfuscating and biased role in reporting on this yearlong conflict, e.g. by routinely accusing primarily the federal government of excesses. Numerous items in these media have distorted or misrepresented events in an incomplete and tendentious manner, akin to sensationalist and attention-grabbing not backed up by the facts or by proper investigation. These reports, in addition to the cyber ‘warfare, and the repeated lecturing by Western countries of Ethiopia as the ‘bad guy’ taking on a smaller region (Tigray), reveal a measure of ignorance and misplaced ‘victim bias’, and evoke a host of questions not only on the interests of the global media but also (again) on the role of social media propaganda and on the workings of the international system and the UN. Most of those tabling resolutions, doing news items or writing press articles do not know much either – or perhaps do not care – about the history and complexity of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region (Hibist 2021). One major example is the neglect of the first mass killing that occurred in this conflict on 9 November 2020: an ‘ethnic cleansing’ operation in the town of Mai Kadra perpetrated by TPLF-affiliated militia on Amhara-speaking inhabitants (nonTigrayans). An estimated 1500 non-combatants were killed, causing a shock effect throughout Ethiopia because of its exceptional nature. But this defining event and its implications are hardly discussed in the global media or in policy circles. Regarding this aspect of what often seems Western lecturing and selective outrage, recent controversial talking points are: a) US President Biden’s ‘Executive Order’ of 17 September 2021 announcing sanctions; b) the EU Parliament’s resolution of 8 October 2021 on ‘Tigray’, Ethiopia (RC9-0484/2021), and c) the expulsion of seven UN officials from Ethiopia on 30 September 2021, and d) recent USA sanctions. The EU resolution is an embarrassing document that does not take into account a whole range of facts on the ground regarding the war. It primarily shows a wish of EU parliamentarians (from left, right, and center) to score ‘moral points’: wanting to be seen as concerned about the civilian population in Tigray suffering for food scarcity. That is of course legitimate. But they stopped there and did not consider the equal if not much worse suffering from both mass displacement, food scarcity and gross violence that was seen in Afar and Amhara Regions. Those watching the debate in the EU Parliament on this resolution saw a level of ignorance hard to swallow, reflecting indeed a lingering neocolonial mindset of Europeans towards an independent African country that ‘does not listen to the good-willing Europeans’. On the third point, an inquiry into the facts behind this decision of expelling UN personnel makes it clear that it was justified: several UN officials were transgressing the mandate of their function (e.g., in their assisting the TPLF insurgent leaders with several kinds of services, allegedly including in getting them advanced radar communications equipment[2]). They flouted the neutrality and professionalism that their job prescribes. The reactions from UN SecretaryGeneral A. Guterres, the EU, and of course the everangry USA, were predictable. The USA gave an unconsidered response on the same day that the expulsion was announced, contesting the legitimacy. But the USA, have been expelling diplomats and UN staff left and right over the years. It is also to be noted that in 1998 when the TPLF-EPRDF government expelled 30 UN officials, there was protest from the UN but no sound from the US or other foreign powers. The same in 2020 when Burundi expelled four UN functionaries. The indignation is also unproductive because Ethiopia or any other nation has the right to expel such officials under Article 9 of the ‘Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations’, the UN resolution 46/182 of 1991 (‘Strengthening the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance’; annex, articles 2 and 3), and the additional Memorandum of Understanding signed between the federal government and the UN. In any case, UN staff has no mandate under any law in any country to undermine the government, as these people have done.

Dr. Ujumadu is international affairs analyst based in Abuja


PAGE 12

PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

OPINION

Why Ethiopia must not fall apart By Benjamin Ujumadu

T

he immediate and unmistakable consequence of the collapse of Libya in 2011 following the military intervention of the Western military alliance, NATO was chaos in the country. With the destabilization of Libya, arms and weapons from its unsecured armory flowed across to the Sahel region and Nigeria, triggering brutal insurgencies, banditries and assorted criminalities that still bedevil the sub region up to this day. Following the flow of weapons, the then, low level insurgency in North-Eastern Nigeria spiked and assumed a more serious intensity. In the present time, the proliferation of light weapons has spawned an audacious criminal militancy in Nigeria, including insurgencies, banditry and kidnapping. In the Sahel including Burkina Faso, Niger Mali, the fallouts from the destabilization of Libya have created hotbeds from where extremist Islamic militancy which has even linked up to the deadly ISIS in the middle East grown. Without the NATO intervention, the Libyan internal conflict would have reached a negotiated and peaceful settlement and spared both the country, Sahel region and Nigeria, the brutal consequences it currently endures. Libya with its population of nearly 7 million pales into insignificance when compared with Ethiopia’s 110 million people with even far more significance to Africa. Since 4 November 2020, a devastating armed conflict has been raging in northern Ethiopia. Developments in this war, which started with a well-prepared nightly assault of the thenruling Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF[1]) on federal army bases in Tigray Regional State, are going fast. The war was expanded by the TPLF into areas outside Tigray, where major abuses on local inhabitants were perpetrated. No end is yet in sight to the fighting, which had expanded deeper into the Amhara Region to the important cities of Dessie and Kombolcha by early November 2021. Although this conflict is primarily a domestic problem within an African state, there are ramifications towards neighboring countries, such as Sudan, Somalia and Egypt. As Walt (1996) has argued, revolutions or domestic turmoil in a country can have a disruptive impact on international relations. Sudan has been maneuvering at the Ethiopian border and Ethiopia’s withdrawal of troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force in Somalia has led to more terror activities by the Al Shabaab movement. But in turn, international relations can also have an impact on such a national crisis. The Ethiopia conflict has evoked a specific response pattern by the ‘international community, primarily the United States of America (USA), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN): they address, or rather ‘target’, the Ethiopian government and not the insurgent TPLF which has caused most of the killing and destruction. A subsidiary role is played here by global media discourse toward this conflict, reporting haphazardly on a succession of events, but unconnected to historical lines and context of the state in question. Such reporting – in dominant news producing media like Reuters, AFP and AP as well as global newspapers – often uncritically supported the insurgent TPLF, despite its appalling human rights record and its devastating campaigns against civilian populations. This again had an effect on international policymaking towards Ethiopia. Indeed, the omissions and failures of the global media and the (Western)

international community which tend to blame the Ethiopian federal government for the armed conflict and the events since its outbreak, have an impact on the Ethiopian state and reveal a misplaced normative streak in international relations thinking among these actors. Especially remarkable in this case is the lack of commitment to the ideal of ‘democracy in international relations, nominally proclaimed by the USA and EU. This ideal was easily side-lined in their policy approaches to Ethiopia, as they de facto preferred the deeply undemocratic TPLF above the democratically elected government of Prime Minister (PM) Abiy Ahmed and the agenda of democratization that he implemented since in April 2018. The Western ‘donor country’ policymakers and the UN were selective and incomplete in their appraisal of the conflict and in diplomatic actions towards it, despite their alleged ‘concern’ for civilians as victims of violence and food scarcity in the first phase of the conflict. Especially the Ethiopian federal government, led since April 2018 by the reformist prime minister Abiy Ahmed, initially widely acclaimed as a leader and reconfirmed incredible elections in June 2021, has been blamed for the conflict by international parties, notably the USA, the EU and the global media. It is indeed worrying how the global news media, like CNN, AP, the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, Le Monde, and others have often played an obfuscating and biased role in reporting on this year-long conflict, e.g. by routinely accusing primarily the federal government of excesses. Numerous items in these media have distorted or misrepresented events in an incomplete and tendentious manner, akin to sensationalist and attention-grabbing not backed up by the facts or by proper investigation. These reports, in addition to the cyber ‘warfare, and the repeated lecturing by Western countries of Ethiopia as the ‘bad guy’ taking on a smaller region (Tigray), reveal a measure of ignorance and misplaced ‘victim bias’, and evoke a host of questions not only on the interests of the global media but also (again) on the role of social media propaganda and on the workings of the international system and the UN. Most of those tabling resolutions, doing news items or writing press articles do not know much either – or perhaps do not care – about the history and complexity of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region (Hibist 2021). One major example is the neglect of the first mass killing that occurred in this conflict on 9 November 2020: an ‘ethnic cleansing’ operation in the town of Mai Kadra perpetrated by TPLF-affiliated militia on Amhara-speaking inhabitants (non-Tigrayans). An estimated 1500 non-combatants were killed, causing a shock effect throughout Ethiopia because of its exceptional nature. But this defining event and its implications are hardly discussed in the global media or in policy circles. Regarding this aspect of what often seems Western lecturing and selective outrage, recent controversial talking points are: a) US President Biden’s ‘Executive Order’ of 17 September 2021 announcing sanctions; b) the EU Parliament’s resolution of 8 October 2021 on ‘Tigray’, Ethiopia (RC9-0484/2021), and c) the expulsion of seven UN officials from Ethiopia on 30 September 2021, and d) recent USA sanctions. The EU resolution is an embarrassing document that does not take into account a whole range of facts on the ground regarding the war. It primarily shows a wish of EU parliamentarians (from left, right, and center) to score ‘moral points’: wanting to be seen as concerned about the

civilian population in Tigray suffering for food scarcity. That is of course legitimate. But they stopped there and did not consider the equal if not much worse suffering from both mass displacement, food scarcity and gross violence that was seen in Afar and Amhara Regions. Those watching the debate in the EU Parliament on this resolution saw a level of ignorance hard to swallow, reflecting indeed a lingering neo-colonial mindset of Europeans towards an independent African country that ‘does not listen to the good-willing Europeans’. On the third point, an inquiry into the facts behind this decision of expelling UN personnel makes it clear that it was justified: several UN officials were transgressing the mandate of their function (e.g., in their assisting the TPLF insurgent leaders with several kinds of services, allegedly including in getting them advanced radar communications equipment[2]). They flouted the neutrality and professionalism that their job prescribes. The reactions from UN SecretaryGeneral A. Guterres, the EU, and of course the ever-angry USA, were predictable. The USA gave an unconsidered response on the same day that the expulsion was announced, contesting the legitimacy. But the USA, have been expelling diplomats and UN staff left and right over the years. It is also to be noted that in 1998 when the TPLFEPRDF government expelled 30 UN officials, there was protest from the UN but no sound from the US or other foreign powers. The same in 2020 when Burundi expelled four UN functionaries. The indignation is also unproductive because Ethiopia or any other nation has the right to expel such officials under Article 9 of the ‘Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations’, the UN resolution 46/182 of 1991 (‘Strengthening the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance’; annex, articles 2 and 3), and the additional Memorandum of Understanding signed between the federal government and the UN. In any case, UN staff has no mandate under any law in any country to undermine the government, as these people have done. So, in general, the responses of the ‘international community’, notably the ‘donor countries’ of the EU and the USA in the current conflict in Ethiopia have been a problem and have even prolonged the conflict. Although the war started with that surreptitious attack by the TPLF (and collaborating Tigray soldiers) on sleeping soldiers of the federal army and the theft of numerous heavy weaponries, the TPLF was labeled as the ‘underdog’. There is still a peculiar ‘positive bias’ towards the TPLF and the Tigray Region, related to the alleged and real abuses in the first phase of the war and perceptions of the so-called ‘humanitarian aid blockage’ – which is a TPLF propaganda point disproved by the recent joint report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. However, the war and the gross human rights abuses are no longer there in Tigray – apart from serious food shortages and TPLF repression – but to the south, due to the TPLF expanding its campaigns there. When a unilateral ceasefire was offered by the Ethiopian federal government on 28 June 2021, followed by its troop withdrawal, the TPLF refused and mocked it. They took the opportunity to glorify their alleged military victory in Tigray and to extend the armed conflict into the Afar and northern Amhara regions outside Tigray – an unacceptable move endangering humanitarian aid routes and stabilization. Dr. Ujumadu is international affairs analyst based in Abuja

Fighting Covid-19 pandemic: The Russian way By Kester Kenn Klomegah

W

ith a strong structured plan and that includes President Vladimir Putin weekly meetings with regional governors and related ministry officials, Russia is indeed making headway in mobilizing first its own domestic resources in fighting and controlling the coronavirus pandemic. Under these time-testing conditions, the Russian government also ponders on the necessity to adopt a concerted approach to the economic sectors related to public health system, making efforts to strengthen fundamental research in all health disciplines and close the pitfalls in its policy. Arguably, Russia is really moving with innovative orientations, exploring to find lasting solutions. Without doubts, Russia is far ahead, both in terms of medical tests and vaccines. Currently, it is partnering with India and South Korea in manufacturing vaccines for immunization of both foreigners and Russians. “India and South Korea are already producing the vaccine, and many of these enterprises will reach full capacity in April. Thus, this is truly the greatest achievement of Russian science, which is widely acknowledged by the entire world,” Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev told Russian President Vladimir Putin during an early April meeting to review developments as well as production and promotion of Russian vaccines. In addition, he informed the president that RDIF and its partners are actively working with Russian manufacturers, it took

three months to build Sputnik Technopolis, one of the largest plants to produce the vaccine, and together with R-Pharm. Russia is setting up international production per agreements with 10 countries and 20 manufacturers, including the world’s largest producers. Beyond that, the Russian Direct Investment Fund is actively implementing a programme, of course, with a focus on vaccinating Russian citizens, but part of the vaccine produced abroad will simultaneously be delivered to foreign markets and external countries that show interest in using them, according Dmitriev. According to his assessment, Russia is not only one of the current leaders in the world in terms of vaccination rate, but it can provide vaccines to all people in Russia who want to be vaccinated before June using the production capacities in Russia and abroad. “As I understood from talking to experts, our vaccine is effective against all known strains of the virus,” Putin commented during the discussion, and Kirill Dmitriev smartly added that “due to the two jabs, it is better than the other vaccines as relates to mutations. We believe that our vaccine is one of the best in the world, including against new strains of Covid-19.” In an official statement, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Panacea Biotec, one of the leading vaccine and pharmaceutical producers in India, have agreed on cooperation to produce 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V. “Production of Sputnik V at Panacea Biotec sites will help facilitate global supply of Sputnik V to international partners of RDIF. Vaccine partnerships are the only way to overcome the

pandemic. Cooperation with Panacea Biotec is an important step to produce the vaccine in India and to supply our international partners around the world,” Dmitriev was quoted by local news agencies as saying. To date Sputnik V has been registered in 59 countries globally with total population of over 1.5 billion people. Efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6% as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals. Reports show that Russia has produced 20.1 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine as of March 17, while 4.3 million people, out of a population of 144 million, have received both shots of the vaccine. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, at 225,572, the total coronavirus-related death toll places Russia third after the United States, which has reported over 553,000 deaths, and Brazil, with over 325,000. According to the Russian Statistics Service, this April Russia has recorded over 225,000 deaths related to coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. That Russia has the third highest death toll in the world. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 by the Russian government to make investments in leading companies of highgrowth sectors of the Russian economy. Its mandate is to coinvest alongside the world’s largest institutional investors – direct investment funds, sovereign wealth funds and leading companies Kester Kenn Klomegah is an Int’l Affairs Analyst.


PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

PAGE 13

COMMENT

Breathing life into the UN’s ‘Common Agenda’ By Morenike Babington-Ashaye

I

t is heartwarming to read through the 2021 Report of the United Nations Secretary General titled “Our Common Agenda,” and to see his assertion that the world is at the inflection point. According to him, “[i]n our biggest shared test since the Second World War, humanity faces a stark and urgent choice: a breakdown or a breakthrough.” A breakdown or a breakthrough has a great impact on the future of the world. This is the honest opinion of an honest individual and I share this opinion having researched for sometime how to create a new world order rooted in equity and established for the common good. The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore the stark realities of inequality, power dynamics, and injustice across the civil, political, and socio-economic spectrums of society. Climate change threatens our existence and conflicts rage daily from Syria to Ethiopia, Afghanistan to the long-forgotten war in Eastern Congo. At the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, world leaders recognized that “our challenges are interconnected, across borders and all other divides,” and addressing these challenges requires an “equally interconnected response, through reinvigorated multilateralism and the United Nations at the centre of our efforts.” Once again, an honest reflection from an honest individual. For a breakthrough to happen we must be bold enough to recognize and condemn the continuing effects of imperialism in the world and in the very institutions designed to respond to our collective challenges. Though the UN Secretary General’s report is not so explicit, it is apparent that the challenges he itemized are rooted in the legacies of colonization, the militarization of the international peace and security agenda, indirect imperialism disguised in the form of democratic regimes, and global trade inequalities, to name a few. With the United Nations at the “centre of our efforts” to forge an “equally interconnected response,” much self-reflection is needed to see where and how the United Nations has contributed to the status quo. A breakthrough is possible through honest reflection and action, but a breakdown is guaranteed if we fail to conduct the self-reflection needed to ensure equity prevails. As the UN Secretary General stated, we are all interconnected in the challenges we face with some as creators of these very challenges. For instance, reportsshow that rich countries

including Canada, the United States, and much of Western Europe are “responsible for 50 percent of all the planet-warming greenhouse gases released from fossil fuels and industry over the past 170 years.” Unfortunately, in the current world order, we do not all have an equal seat at the table to forge the remedies we need. However, we all have a voice and a part to play. As a global citizen and with a belief that we can set up egalitarian societies for the peoples of the world, I lay down five sets of observations, comments, and suggestions. The United Nations was established in 1945 to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and promote social progress, better living standards and human rights. Yet, its effectiveness in achieving these goals has been severely hampered by its structural power imbalances, bureaucracy, internal inequality, and the legacies of colonialism that remain despite the institution’s best efforts. Lest we forget, at its creation, nearly a third of the world’s population lived in territories under colonization. The very structure of the United Nations, with the Security Council at its helm, reinforces global power imbalances. While we celebrate the UN’s involvement in peacekeeping missions and the provision of developmental aid to isolated communities, we cannot ignore areas where the institution has fallen short. Such as its refusal to accept legal responsibility and pay compensation for the 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti caused by UN peacekeepers which claimed 10,000 lives. Such as the scandal of UN peacekeepers engaging in sexual abuse and exploitation of the very people they are sent to protect. Such as the UN’s complicity in the failure of the responsibility to protect doctrine in failing to respond at all, or in a timely manner, to conflicts. We cannot forget the slow and ineffective response to the Rwandan genocide that allowed almost a million people to be killed within 100 days. Due to its structure which permits the national interests of particular states, the permanent members of the Security Council, to govern the institution’s actions, the United Nations is long overdue for restructuring. One suggestion is to re-conceptualize the organization as the United Peoples Organization. The Charter of the United Nations commences with the phrase “We the people […].” The people – not the politically created States – ought to be at the centre of this institution. Rather than perceiving the people of the world as beneficiaries of UN handouts, the people are the custodians of

global power and their rights to self-determination should not be hampered by a State’s national interest. The reconceptualization I propose is people-centred. Whether it takes the form of a formal organizational name change or simply rethinking its approach to justice, governance and world peace, the United Nations would do well to reflect on the ill-effects of the current dynamics and veto powers vested in self-serving States. If people are central to the institution’s governance, we would see scrutiny by the institutions of foreign policies that perpetuate imperialism. Action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and eliminating climate change will be generated and concretized by global citizens and not governments that do not always represent the interests of their people. Power to the people not power to the nations – however such nations are constructed. A second suggestion is to revisit the activities of world powers and ensure reparations for the destabilization of global peace and security both now and in the past. It is pleasing to see the return of artefacts looted by former colonial powers but disappointing to know that such returns are few and far between and only the result of decades of lobbying and shaming. It is good to hear of apologies for historical genocides such as the 1904 massacre by German soldiers of the Herero and Nama people in Namibia. However, it is disappointing to see that the amount proposed in no way correlates to the gravity of the crimes committed nor was it in direct reparations for these offences. It is interesting to note the regrets of the last Apatheid President of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk before his death on November 11, 2021. In his words, “It was as if I had a conversion. And in my heart of hearts, realized that apartheid was wrong. I realized that we had arrived at a place that was morally unjustifiable.” The African war captives and those kidnapped by slave merchants, the European war captives and the Irish people who were kidnapped for forced labour share the same history as slaves in America. The Irish slave trade history and the massacre of the Irish people are not myths. The Irish slaves served the English masters for centuries before the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade began, the Portuguese slave trade in Japan, the sale of Europeans as slaves in North Africa to Arabs (the Mediterranean Slave Trade), and exporting Chinese slaves as replacement of Africans are all part of historical wrongs. Morenike Tejuade Babington-Ashaye, FCA, FCTI In solidarity with United Peoples For A Better World

As Omicron beckons, governments should be less panicky and more transparent By Isaac Asabor

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here is no denying the fact that with the fast spread of the global pandemic, Coronavirus Disease in 2019, popularly known as COVID-19, that people around the world expressed panic in various behaviors thereby putting their businesses in danger, and to a large extent damaging the global economy. Without any iota of exaggeration, the impact devastatingly affected the economy of Nigeria, social values, and psychological stress of the people involved regardless of the directness of contact with the infected. Today, evidences abound that the consequences of the panicky measures adopted or rather exhibited is still been paid for. In fact, after-effect of the pandemic is highlighted in the Human Rights Watch Report that has it that the Covid-19 impact worsens hunger in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos, and noted that inadequate support highlights need for expanded Social Security System. In the same vein, the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the plight of families living in poverty across the nation and have left many people struggling to afford food and meet other basic needs even as not few people that are wont to dodge responsibility find the impact of the pandemic as readily available excuse. For instance, most companies that are no longer fulfilling the obligations they owe their stakeholders, particularly the workers and suppliers, are now known to use the prevalence of Covid-19 as excuse. Worse still, survey data shows that federal and state government supports, including cash transfers and food assistance, reached only a fraction of families going hungry. Even the cash transfer and the food, where available, lasted for just few days. In fact, for the governments not to repeat the mistakes made during the apogee of the Covid-19 pandemic as an Omicron variant has being detected in Botswana on November 11, 2021, and reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South Africa on November 24, 2021, after it began spreading rapidly in Gauteng Province, a predominantly urban area containing the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, it is expedient panicky measures are not adopted. It is arguably not to repeat the mistakes made while warding off Covid-19 that compelled President Cyril Ramaphosa of South

Africa on Sunday, November 28, 2021, to warn of the dangers that are inherent in “unjustified” travel bans imposed by many countries following the emergence of the Omicron variant. “The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said. The South African leader called on countries to “urgently reverse their decisions” before “further damage is done to our economies.” He added that “the prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant.” The South African Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation said the latest round of travel bans “is akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker.” It added in a statement that “excellent science should be applauded and not punished.” In the United States, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. met in person on Sunday with his Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, and members of his White House COVID Response Team, and he was told that the current vaccines are likely to provide ‘a degree of protection’ against Omicron variant. “Dr. Fauci informed the President that while it will take approximately two more weeks to have more definitive information on the transmissibility, severity, and other characteristics of the variant, he continues to believe that existing vaccines are likely to provide a degree of protection against severe cases of COVID,” the White House said in a Statement. While it is expedient for Nigeria to be proactive as Omicron is fast spreading, it is necessary for the governments, at all tiers, to infuse transparency and trust in the disbursements of financial and condiment and food assistance to the people. It would be recalled that in June 2020 that the federal government passed a 2.3 trillion Naira (US$6 billion) Economic Sustainability Plan that included money to expand a federal cash transfer program. Thus, cash transfers reached 921,445 households in March to April 2020 but tapered off as the crisis worsened, benefitting 400,734 households in November and December 2020. It would also be recalled that the federal and Lagos State government also provided food assistance during the pandemic, with state government officials claiming food

handouts reached around 500,000 people. Unfortunately, the foregoing data are just bandied on media landscape as many Nigerians can hardly identify anyone that has benefited from the foregoing handouts. In fact, cash transfers, food, and other government assistance, however, have fallen far short of need. NBS data from April and May 2020 showed that just over 2 percent of households had received cash transfers since the start of the pandemic and 12 percent had received food assistance, whereas more than half had run out of food in the previous 30 days. By November 2020, just 0.6 percent of households had received cash transfers in the last month and 3.5 percent had received food assistance, while almost half had recently run out of food. In Lagos, government assistance has had an even more limited reach, in part because of state government delays signing people up for federal cash transfers. Lagos residents, despite making up more than 10 percent of Nigeria’s population, received less than 1 percent of the cash transfers paid nationwide between March and December 2020. A new rapid response cash transfer program, intended to reach an additional 1 million people nationwide, began in January 2021. Against the foregoing backdrop, not few Nigerians confessed that they heard about all the monies the government was supposed to be getting for Covid-19; billions of Naira, and the government talked about the food they were distributing, but most of the communities never got any. It suffice to say that the war against Omicron is imminent that both the federal government and state governments should avoid all the flaws that engendered distrust and suspicion in their bid to ward off the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, as Omicron beckons, there is an urgent need for the government to increase its focus on expanding social safety nets even as the people expect it to embark on key reforms that would include legal recognition of Nigerians’ right to social security, national and state-level strategies. This is to pave the way for the realization of the rights that are inherent in the expansion of cash transfers and other programs that would be used to respond to the pandemic, and new entitlements, such as unemployment benefits for informal workers, that are key elements of an effective social security system. Isaac Asabor is a Public Affairs Analyst.


PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

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NEWS

Niger Assembly wants EHORECON develops guidelines report on N5.7b pension to strengthen practice fund misappropriation E made public By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

From Minna

Yakubu

Mustapha,

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he Niger State House of Assembly has called on Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to make public the report of the investigative panel into the N5.7b pension fund misappropriated during the past administration of Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu. The Assembly gave this directive during an oversight visit of its Committee on Labour to the Niger State Pension Board in

Minna. The panel was headed by the deputy governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso. The House Committee on Labour and Productivity also headed by Hon. Malik Madaki Bosso further expressed concern over the deductions made over 13 months from workers salaries by state ministry of local governments. The committee said the money deducted were not remitted to the board since the resumption of the new pension scheme.

nvironmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) has developed four guidelines aimed at strengthen the practices of environmental health in the country. The Registrar of EHORECON, Dr. Baba Mohammed made the disclosure at the opening of a two days workshop on stakeholders critique meeting on the development of guidelines for disinfection of microbial (COVID-19) clinical impacted surface in Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja . Dr.Mohammed said that the meeting was very necessary and critical to identify the practices of environmental health professionals. He said the guideline was apt and timely. “Firstly, the development of the guidelines for premises inspection and sanitary inspectors majorly is to inspect premises, through identifying the issues and problems in those houses.

“Also, it was to check toilet facilities in the premises and the processes of certification of the premises”. He explained that “Environmental Health Officers will use modern methods for certification habitation continuously”. The EHORECON boss pointed out how critical the guidelines for operation of public health,pest and vector control was. “The guidelines for vector control will be explicit, given the new technology that will be used step by step by the Environmental Officer in local government, to reduce the numbers of vectors that are of medical importance”. Also speaking,Prof. Agwu Amadi, of Federal University of Technology Owerri, said without proper guidelines in any profession it cannot be effective. “But with a proper guideline delivery, it will be effective. More environmental practitioners should be recruited in every community in Nigeria.”

Group Ayo Adebanjo urges priority for child education partners BOA on A food security By our correspondent

From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

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he National Apex of Nigerian Farmers Cooperative Societies Limited (NANFACOS), in line with the Federal Government policy, is set to partner with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to ensure food security in the country. The National President of NANFACOS, Honourable Nwagwugwu Uzoma disclosed this when he led the National Officers of the society on a courtesy visit to the Bank of Agriculture in Kaduna yesterday. He said the society established in 2019 is to among other things, compliment the efforts of the Federal Government in the agricultural sector. The President explained that the Apex Cooperative body is designed to support the Federal Government in ensuring that agriculture maintains its stay in Nigeria as the giant of Africa.

fenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has urged communities to prioritise education of their children as investment in future community development . Chief Adebanjo who gave the charge while speaking at the 2021 Ibido-Ogbo Day celebration at the weekend said that mothers must be willing to make sacrifices for the education of their children because mothers constitute the bulwark of the family. Chief Adebanjo, who is the Asiwaju of Ibido-Ogbo and Father of the Day at the event, stated that many fathers cannot shoulder the responsibility of educating the children alone and recalled that in his youth days, especially with polygamy, mothers sold some of their belongings to ensure the education of their own children. The Afenifere leader, who is an indigene of Ogbo community, near Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, pointed out that while multiple wives in a polygamy setup was a major reason why mothers had to take care of their own children, the harsh economic realities of today, which have rendered many men incapacitated financially, demand that women, in polygamy or monogamy, would also need to make sacrifices, like mothers of

old, in the education of children. He commended the leadership of the Ibido-Ogbo Development Council ( IODC) for seeking to sustain the community’s legacy in education by sponsoring the education of brilliant but indigent children in the community. The chairman of IODC, Mr. Folasade Adekoya, had in his welcome address announced that the Council had initiated a programme of educational counseling and financial support of children of the community. He stated that education had always been a priority in the community, and pointed out the trail blazing achievement of an indigene

of IBIDO-OGBO , late Samuel Olukoya, who was among the pioneer students of St. Andrew’s College, Oyo in 1896. Mr. Adekoya, who announced the launching of a Palace Building Appeal Fund at the event, appealed for the continued support of community members and well-wishers in implementing the Council’s educational, cultural and economic development agenda. The IODC chairman specially thanked the youths of the community for their efforts in the village, ‘’ especially in areas of security, supervising our economic resources, assisting the elderly ones in cases of emergencies and

general welfare of the village’’. The 2021 IBIDO-OGBO DAY celebration, with the theme : EDUCATION FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, was a three-day event which featured free medical examination and provision of drugs for community members on Thursday, November 25, while Friday featured ‘’ IKOKORE NIGHT, ikokore being a special delicacy of the Ijebus, with the grand finale on Friday, November 27 which featured a fund raiser, award of prizes to school children in the community, cultural dances and performance by the ‘Agbo’ masquerade.

R-L: IODC chairman, Mr. Folasade Adekoya delivering his welcome address, Dr. Bisi Olawunmi, a mass communication lecturer at Adeleke University, Ede who was a Special Guest, Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Asiwaju of Ibido-Ogbo and Otunba Adejare Adesanya, representing chairman of the occasion, Dr. Teni Adesanya during the 2021 Ibido-Ogbo Day celebration

Engineering company to produce electric cars in Nigeria By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

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n engineering company, Zeetin Engineering, said it has concluded plans to set up a multi-billion naira factory in Idu Industrial area of the federal capital territory (FCT) to produce electric cars. Speaking with journalists recently in Abuja, Robert Azibaola, promoter of the company, said he has invested about N3.5 billion in setting up the place. Azibaola said, so far, he has not borrowed money from the bank, adding that he is desirous to receive bank facilities that would assist him to accelerate the

completion of the factory. He said the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Nigeria Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank have expressed their readiness to furnish Zeetin Engineering with a loan facility of N2.5 billion each. “As a visioner, this is my vision and it is to make Nigeria great,” he said. “Except we get our act together, the black race globally will not have a proper footing in spite of their inventions in the western countries. This is my personal contribution towards making Nigeria a great country. “Zeetin focuses on all types of metal works of high-end engineering.

It has acquired and installed the most sophisticated production machines (CNCs, Plasmas, 5Axis Milling, Lathes, etc) in the metal works industry in Nigeria. “With its capacity, Zeetin will be functioning as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for Nigeria and will be churning out full-scale industrial product for the Automotive, Aeronautic, Aviation, Railways, Marine, Agricultural sectors, etc. “The lack of OEMs in the country has been a great hindrance to the growth and development of manufacturing and assembling companies. Manufacturers

in Nigeria usually resort to importation of all their spares amidst scarce foreign exchange and lead time. “When fully operational, most Nigerian businesses in need of specialised spare-parts will get from Zeetin direct and would not be waiting for importation from abroad. Thus, Zeetin Engineering shall be bridging a vital gap. “Zeetin has array of machines that are for the manufacture of other machines, spares and equipment. “This is why Zeetin is leading the way to become Nigeria’s proudly OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) at full-scale industrial levels for Nigeria.”


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PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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hairman of the Anambra state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Basil Ejidike, has been excommunicated from the party, following the party’s abysmal performance at the November 6 governorship election in the state. The decision to excommunicate the embattled chairman came during a meeting held at the party secretariat Awka. The resolution of the party signed by its state secretary, Chukwuma Agufugo, has it that the party will embark on a peace mission to return Chris Ngige, George Moghalu and some others to the fold, while the chairman remained suspended and excommunicated forthwith. The resolution reads,

Senator Amosun felicitates with Sarafa, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK

APC sacks Anambra Chairman, Basil Ejidike, for losing gubernatorial election ”Events in our dear party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Anambra State Chapter in the last couple of days have not been particularly fascinating considering our poor outing at the just concluded Governorship election three weeks ago. “The alleged suspension of the state publicity secretary, Arc Okelo Madukife, by the State chairman and now the suspension of the state chairman, Chief Basil Ejidike, both certify the above assertion. “Political parties are set up to mobilise membership, campaign, run and win elections and not for internal bickering among

members. Perennial failure and continuous internal wrangling in our party calls for soul searching. “It is bad enough that APC was not declared winner of the 2021 governorship election, a situation occasioned by several reasons according to our preliminary assessment. “The array of suspension in the APC, Anambra State chapter shows that all is not well, hence the need for unity and refocus. “The State Working Committee has received an official letter of suspension of the State Caretaker Committee chairman and has deliberated on that and other matters.

“As a result, it requested the Caretaker Chairman, Chief Basil Ejidike to step aside. Consequently, a five-man investigation committee will immediately be constituted to look into the matter and turn in a report. “We also resolved that in the spirit of pursuing the right course, it is important to reach out to Sen. Dr. Chris Ngige (Onwa), the leader of the party for consultation with other leaders including Sen. Dr. Andy Uba, Chief Dr. George Moghalu, Bar. Sharon Ikeazo, Dr. Nkem Okeke, Hon. Azuka Okwosa, Engr Johnbosco Onunkwo, Engr Bart Nwibe, Engr

L-R: Prince Salih Yakubu congratulating Engr. Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi , NIDCOM Secretary after the presentation of the award, yesterday in Abuja

By Musa Baba Adamu

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ormer Governor of Ogun State and Chairman Senate Committee on Capital Markets, Ibikunle Amosun, has sent a congratulatory message to the Nigerian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Isola. The letter captioned “Double congratulations to a consummate Diplomat” and dated 25th November 2021, observed that on that date which was his 61st birthday, Sarafa Isola was going to present his credentials in a ceremony to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. He observed that for the two events to hold on the same date, reflects the personality of Isola as a man who attracts celebrations and honours. Going down his memory lane, the former Governor of Ogun State observed that his services to the state as a Local Government Chairman, Secretary to the State government and Minister of Mines to the Federal government had been laced with high quality service and celebrations. He also noted that since his appointment the High Commissioner he has been able to introduce new innovations that have improved credibility and efficiency to Nigeria’s mission in London. He prayed for the good health of the High Commissioner so that he will continue to render the good services he has been rendering to humanity since he came into public service.

Nelson Onubuogu, all former Governorship aspirants and other leaders too numerous to mention. “We hope to very quickly request and summon a caucus meeting where we shall present the report of the investigation committee and also for leaders to meet one on one to brainstorm on the way forward. Thereafter a stakeholders meeting will be held. “We hope that you consider this misunderstanding an internal family issue that does not need to be blown out of proportion because it can only get worst before it gets better and this is the first point of recovery.”

APC asks police to arrest, prosecute Progressive Youth Movement over felony By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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he All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Nigerian police to arrest and prosecute the leadership of one Progressive Youth Movement over what it described as the group’s felonious activities against President Muhammadu Buhari leadership of the party. Recall that yesterday, the group had told journàlists in Abuja that it has sacked the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention

Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Mai Mala Buni, who is also the Governor of Yobe State. But in reaction to this, the National Secretary of APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), John James Akpanudoedehe, said the group is not registered with APC and has been disowned by the party. “We have received several enquiries from the media and concerned APC members on the felonious activities of a purported

group parading themselves as “Progressive Youth Movement”. “The purported group and membership are unknown to the party, its structure or as a registered support group. Hence, we completely disown them and cannot account for their activities or join issues with them”, APC Secretary said. He however described as laughable, “the criminal attempt of the purported group to usurp the leadership of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC

now bothers on treasonable felony. Relevant security bodies must now check and address their unscrupulous activities. “The attention the purported group seeks will not be given to them by the party. We can only advise that the general public completely disregard them. Members of this group are not registered members of the APC and are being used by opposition elements and fifth columnists to cause confusion.

Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu visits IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody By Musa Baba Adamu

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hief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday paid a visit to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, where he said the latter was in good health.

In a post on his verified Facebook page, Kalu said, “This afternoon, I visited my brother, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody , Abuja . I met him in good health and care and we discussed ‘Umunne’. In 2001 when I was Governor, I made his father Eze Israel Okwu Kanu traditional ruler of Akwara

Ukwu and since then the family has been very close to me. “I understand that Nnamdi has an insane amount of people rooting for his back home and I encouraged him to consider the consequences of certain actions and utterances for the sake of the same people. “Even though my ideology and

his ideology are totally different , God has made us brothers and we can’t run away from each other. I owe him and Nigerians good counseling …Whether he and his family listens to me or not, I will continue counseling him as I have always done in the past. What we need most is a peaceful and secure society.”


PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

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POLITICS

By Musa Baba Adamu

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he Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law. The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled: ”Time to Strengthen Democracy in Nigeria” on Monday in Abuja. Wabba recalled that on November 9, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed into law amendments to the Electoral Act. He said the most topical items of the amendment included the adoption of direct primaries for internal political parties’ contestants. Wabba said the other was the accommodation of the use of technology in the conduct of general elections in Nigeria. He said there was need for the expansion of the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to develop guidelines as it deemed fit to guide

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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he Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to yesterday’s tanker explosion that killed a woman and her grandchild in Lafenwa area of Abeokuta, the state capital. The party said the Governor Dapo Abiodun government did not need its advice to fix the road. Recall that the Lafenwa explosion was the third in recent times across Ogun State, claiming many lives in similar incidents within the month of November. While commiserating with the people of Ogun and families of the victims of the Lafenwa Market inferno, the PDP reminded the public of its “sustained advocacy and patriotic calls to the fumbling APC government under Prince Dapo Abiodun to earnestly rehabilitate the terribly impassable Lafenwa/ Ayetoro road.” The opposition party expressed sadness that “this inhumane government chose to play deaf and dumb to the plight of the people whose means of legitimate livelihood depends largely on that road.” In a statement made available to journàlists by its Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Bankole, the PDP in Ogun State said the Abiodun government has

NLC urges Buhari to sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law the deployment of technology during elections in Nigeria. The NLC president noted that the majority of Nigerians had described the 2021 amendments of the Electoral Act as one of the most progressive enactments that Nigeria has had in a long time. “This is also the view of the NLC. The leadership of the congress commends the House of Representatives and the Senate particularly the leadership. ”Also those who stood rock solid behind the proposal for direct primaries for all political parties and rallied their colleagues in the House and the Senate to pass the bill into law. ”This is the proof of committed leadership and true statesmanship. The congress must, however, caution that the passage of the 2021 amendment to

the Electoral Act is only a journey and not a destination. ”A lot more certainly needs to be done in order to fully sanitise Nigeria’s challenged electioneering system, especially building on the 2007 to 2011 electoral reforms which the NLC actively participated in. ”First is to tackle the menace of god fatherism, ‘god motherism’ and money politics which were the major concerns that necessitated the new law on direct primaries for all political parties. ”Due diligence and oversight must be applied to ensure that unscrupulous politicians who have been cultured to vote buying, monetisation of Nigeria’s electoral process are not allowed to extend their habitual criminal subversion of our democracy during political party primary elections,” he

said. Mr Wabba said this was in order to further safeguard the right of Nigerians to freely choose their leaders at both political party level and during general elections without being subjected to the obscene pressure of financial lure. “We recommend that the National Assembly should expeditiously consider developing a bill for the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission.” He said this would expedite the prosecution of politicians and their agents who indulge in vote for cash, election rigging and violence. ”On the full mainstreaming of the use of technology in our electoral law, we urge all stakeholders, especially INEC to continue to constructively engage the Nigerian people to ensure that the lessons from recent and remote

deployment of technology during elections are not lost. ”Particularly, we call for confidence building measures by INEC, particularly through voter education and sensitisation. ”It is also important that the security of the software and hardware components of technology to be deployed for elections should be well scrutinised and reviewed by all stakeholders. ”This is to guard against significant failures and to facilitate public ownership,” Mr Wabba said. “By returning internal party democracy to the people through direct primaries, it appeared that democracy in Nigeria was about to live up to its fullest and truest meaning,” Wabba said.

‘We warned you’ – PDP blames Abiodun as two die in Lafenwa tanker explosion “intentionally weaponised dilapidated roads against the very people it swore to protect. There is no gainsaying that the incident in which a truck loaded with PMS overturned could have possibly been avoided if the Dapo Abiodun government had heeded our party’s several calls on the need to make the Lafenwa-Ayetoro road passable before now.” According to Bankole, the party

urged the “road show erroneous government”, led by Abiodun to imbibe high sense of patriotic zeal and be more proactive to the genuine concerns of Ogun people. The spokesperson was concerned that a responsible and responsive people friendly government would certainly not wait till a disaster such as inferno occurs in an economically viable area like Lafenwa market before

showing responsibility. “It is indeed worrisome to note that as the state still griefs in the face of widespread activities of members of secret cults across the state, we have a case of large scale inferno presently, struggling for wicked attention. “Therefore, with all sense of compassion, we urge the good people of Ogun state to take solace in the fact that this era of

deliberate insensitivity manifestly demonstrated by the sinking APC government would not last. It can not guarantee safety of lives and property. “We hereby call on the people to continue to organize their energy while they remain calm and law abiding. Every shade of agony which the ruling APC government represents will soon be over,” the PDP submitted.

Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba (middle) with other participants during the workshop on Better Education Service Delivery for All, recently in Abuja Photo-,; Justin Imo-owo

APC hasn’t zoned National chairmanship position to north-central - Akpanudoedehe

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he All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied zoning its national chairmanship position to the northcentral. The ruling party said this in reaction to reports that it has zoned the position to the zone. Speaking with reporters on Monday in Abuja, John Akpanudoedehe, national secretary of the APC caretaker committee, said zoning positions are not part of the mandate of the committee’s panel. Akpanudoedehe said since President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the national convention for February 2022, it is

normal for there to be speculations. “I have the mandate to report that whatever decision the CECPC takes and to the best of my knowledge the committee has not discussed zoning,” NAN quoted him as saying. “People are just flying what will favour their interest, all I know is that the caretaker committee has not discussed or reached a zoning decision.” Meanwhile, Victor Lar, media director of the Ali Modu Sheriff campaign organisation, also dismissed the speculation. “We find the purported story as very laughable because the organs of the party

that are supposed to communicate that kind of information are not the ones communicating it,” the media director was quoted as saying. “For that reason, we will take it with a pinch of salt. The APC as a party has never adopted zoning, therefore, the story of it zoning the national championship to the north-central can better be described as a figment of the imaginations of those who planted it. “We find the report to be very poor scheming of people who are scared of contesting the position with Sheriff.” “Though we had commended the

Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) for taking the initiative to meet with Buhari on the need for the party’s national convention to be conducted. “The decision to hold the convention in February 2022 has to be taken by the party’s NEC. The president does not have the constitutional powers to call for a meeting; “Neither do the governors elected on the party’s platform. It is only the party’s NEC that can take such a decision as regards to when its national convention will be held. “The February date must therefore be ratified by the party’s NEC to make it constitutional.”


PAGE 17

PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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he Progressive Consolidation Group (PCG), a political pressure group working to ensure that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo takes over the reign of powers from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 presidential election, has refuted the reports in a section of the media alleging that the Vice President has opened a campaign Office in Abuja ahead of the election. Recall that yesterday afternoon, it was reported in the media that the Vice President opened a

El-Rufai killing APC in Kaduna with inhuman policies – PDP chieftain, Usman

POLITICS

2023 Presidency: Osinbajo didn’t open campaign office in Abuja - PCG says

campaign office near EFAB plaza, a highbrow Area of Abuja. But, in a statement titled ‘OSINBAJO HAS NOT OPENED A CAMPAIGN OFFICE’, which was issued yesterday by Barrister Emmanuel Pippa, the Publicity Secretary of the Progressive Consolidation Group (PCG), the group clarified that the said office belongs to its coalition of support groups which believes in Professor Osinbajo as the leader Nigeria needs in 2023. It said though Professor Osinbajo is yet to be acquainted with its activities, the PCG expressed its determination to get him to declare an interest in running for the office of President as early as possible.

The statement said “Our attention has just been brought to online publications which allege that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has opened a campaign office in Abuja ahead of the 2023 elections. “We wish to clarify that the said office belongs to our coalition of support groups which strongly believes in Professor Osinbajo as the leader Nigeria needs in 2023, and is determined to get him to declare an interest in running for the office of President as early as possible. “Solely for this purpose, our recently acquired administrative office is located in the heart of Wuse area of Abuja. “Even though Professor

Osinbajo is yet to be acquainted with our activities, we intend to operate through a new organ, The Progressive Project (TPP) to coordinate youth, women and other groups across the federation. “Ours is therefore not a campaign office but a venue for coordination, handling of increasing volume of correspondence and meetings in readiness for the time when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo accedes to our request for him to run and consolidate gains made under President Muhammadu Buhari. Party chieftains will of course lead the real campaign when that time comes.” The group said being a heartbeat away from the number

one job, there are countless APC members and even non-partisan citizens across the federation who are pushing for Professor Yemi Osinbajo to succeed President Buhari, solely in the interest of the nation. “We are convinced that Osinbajo’s level of familiarity with the vision, achievements and challenges being handled by President Buhari is second to none, and that such insight would enable a new APC administration to hit the ground running in 2023. “We anticipate that various new and existing pro-Osinbajo platforms will become part of the group to which their focus appears more relevant”, the group pointed out in the statement.

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Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State, Lawal Usman, on Sunday said Governor Nasiru El Rufai is killing the All Progressives Congress (APC) gradually in the state. Usman said it was obvious that the PDP will take over the state in 2023 going by recent developments. Usman, also known as ‘Mr LA’, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the current All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration in the state had failed the people, especially with its policies. “The Gov. Nasiru El Rufai led administration has been killing the APC gradually in the state with its inhuman policies. “The state government is pushing thousands of people into poverty daily with its urban renewal policy. The policies actually lack human face. “Although the idea of urban renewal is not a bad thing, you have to put in human capital development before it can work. “You can’t build a city without people, you must also consider building people as you build your city because they go hand in hand, ” he said. Usman said the policy had created anger among the people, as they had been pushed to the wall. “The Kaduna people are actually tired of what is happening, they are yearning for change and the PDP is ready to provide that change come 2023. “There is always need for infrastructure to be upgraded in every society, but you have to make provisions for the people likely to be affected by the programme. “Except you want them to turn to armed robbers or other criminals, you cannot just demolish their homes without resettling them. “In other countries like Dubai or U.S government always provide resettlement for people affected by urban renewal programmes,” he said. (NAN)

L-R: .Director Corporate Services, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr, Babatunde Faleke, Director Trade Information NEPC Mrs Evelyn Obidike, Executive Director/ CEO NEPC, Dr, Ezra Yakusak, during the reception in honour of New ED/ CEO of the council, Dr Yakusak, held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

ALGON crisis: Court has declared Alabi Presidency null and void – Group By Christiana Ekpa

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he Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Association of All Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), has said that a court order has declared Hon. Alabi Kolade David presidency null and void, hence the IMC will continue to stand on the Court order. To this end, the association’s chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors forum, have said the various organs stand on the court order declaring Hon. Alabi Kolade David presidency null and void. This was part of resolutions reached by the statutory members of ALGON and the IMC under the leadership of Hon. Abdullahi Shuaibu Maje in a statement read after the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held in Abuja at the weekend.

While addressing journalists, the leadership of the IMC also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to intervene for relevant authorities to effect the court order sacking Alabi leadership and salvage ALGON from the hands of impostors. The statement reads in part, “The Interim Management Committee of Association, Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councilors Forum who are statutory members of ALGON after its NEC meeting have unanimously agree to further retrieve the association from the hand of malicious lawbreakers. “The National Executive Council Meeting which held in Valancia Hotels Abuja on Thursday saw in attendance concerned statutory members of ALGON, the IMC under the leadership

of Hon. Abdullahi Shuaibu Maje reiterates its position that Hon. Alabi Kolade David is not a chairman of any of the recognized local government areas enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria hence does not have a stake in deductions at source or even the affairs of the association in general. “Alabi called a NEC meeting in Lagos inviting Chairmen, alongside council members, an action which is indeed in flagrant violation of the subsisting court order restraining him from parading as the leadership of ALGON, as the President of the IMC, I and my team will by every means possible do everything legitimately to rescue ALGON from the hands of usurpers. “Sincerely, there is no singular achievement in any state under the imposed leadership of Alabi and

his cohorts. “The IMC is in full gear to gain back good momentum for ALGON, we also use this opportunity to let you know that the IMC have gotten a befitting office to carry out the activities of ALGON, as a body duly elected by General Assembly and we shall thus write to the necessary organisations, MDAs and others to preempt them on the recent development as we have a lot of activities and agenda lined up for the association. “Again, by the power bestowed on me as the Interim President of ALGON, Alabi’s Presidency by the court order is null and void hence the just concluded meeting he held in Lagos under ALGON is just a means to nothing, a complete dead end and in all a charade to mislead the unsuspecting general public.


PAGE 18

PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

Stock Watch: Tuesday, November 30, 2021 Low

OPEN Volume Close High

2.80 3.15 0 1.94 3.94 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.64 0.64 0 4.60 8.60 0 37.00 68.30 0 3.79 4.21 0 9.65 10.05 0 31.50 34.00 0 1.90 1.92 0 18.45 18.45 0 1.72 1.84 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.20 0.20 0 6.10 6.10 0 1.75 1.75 0 186.00 186.00 0 6.00 6.65 0 14.60 14.55 0 1.80 2.00 0 3.37 3.37 0 4.30 4.70 0 14.00 14.00 0 7.35 7.80 0 1.62 1.65 0 1.91 1.96 0 4.95 4.95 99 0.33 0.33 0 21.85 21.85 0 29.60 30.70 0 0.20 0.20 0 12.20 13.05 0 32.60 32.95 0 72.00 72.00 0 1.18 1.18 0 1.53 1.53 0 31.50 31.50 0 0.51 0.54 0 0.20 0.20 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.44 0.44 0 0.30 0.30 0 1.36 1.36 0 0.72 0.72 0 0.52 0.49 0 1.83 1.83 0 2.45 2.45 0

Top Gainers

Symbol CHANGE

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5.80 6.00 ACCESS -0.35 3.94 3.94 AFRIPRUD 0.00 0.27 0.27 AGLEVENT 0.00 0.64 0.64 AIICO 0.00 8.60 8.60 BERGER 0.00 67.00 67.00 BETAGLAS -1.30 3.79 3.79 BOCGAS -0.42 9.65 10.05 CADBURY -0.40 31.50 31.50 CAP -2.50 1.90 1.90 CAVERTON -0.02 18.45 18.45 CCNN 0.00 1.72 1.72 CHAMPION -0.12 23.25 23.25 CONOIL 0.00 0.20 0.20 CORNERST 0.00 0.20 0.20 COURTVILLE 0.00 6.10 6.10 CUSTODIAN 0.00 1.75 1.75 CUTIX 0.00 186.00 186.00 DANGCEM 0.00 6.00 6.25 DANGFLOUR -0.65 14.60 14.60 DANGSUGAR 0.05 1.80 2.00 DIAMONDBNK -0.20 3.37 3.37 EKOCORP 0.00 4.30 4.30 ETERNA -0.40 14.00 14.00 ETI 0.00 7.45 7.60 FBNH -0.35 1.62 1.67 FCMB -0.03 1.92 1.98 FIDELITYBK -0.04 4.95 4.95 FIDSON 0.00 0.33 0.33 FIRSTALUM 0.00 21.85 21.85 FLOURMILL 0.00 29.60 29.60 FO -1.10 0.20 0.20 FTNCOCOA 0.00 12.20 12.20 GLAXOSMITH -0.85 33.50 33.50 GUARANTY 0.55 72.00 72.00 GUINNESS 0.00 1.18 1.18 HONYFLOUR 0.00 1.53 1.53 IKEJAHOTEL 0.00 31.50 31.50 INTBREW 0.00 0.53 0.53 JAIZBANK -0.01 0.20 0.21 JAPAULOIL 0.00 23.25 23.25 JBERGER 0.00 0.44 0.44 JOHNHOLT 0.00 0.30 0.30 LASACO 0.00 1.36 1.36 LEARNAFRCA 0.00 0.72 0.72 LINKASSURE 0.00 0.52 0.52 LIVESTOCK 0.03 1.83 1.83 MANSARD 0.00 2.45 2.45 MAYBAKER 0.00

Stock Close Gain UPL 1.14 0.13 LIVESTOCK 0.52 0.01 SOVRENINS 0.21 0.03 OKOMUOIL 60.00 1.80 GUARANTY 23.50 0.55

Low 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

OPEN Volume Close High

Symbol CHANGE

Trades

0.11 0.21 0 0.21 0.21 MBENEFIT 0.00 0 0.43 0.43 0 0.43 0.43 MCNICHOLS 0.00 0 1.05 2.05 261 2.05 2.05 MEDVIEWAIR 0.00 0 124.80 184.80 0 184.80 184.80 MOBIL 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 970 0.20 0.20 MULTIVERSE 0.00 0 3.50 3.50 0 3.50 3.50 NAHCO 0.00 0 18.00 18.00 0 18.00 18.00 NASCON 0.00 0 78.50 78.70 0 79.50 79.50 NB 0.80 0 0.78 0.78 0 0.78 0.78 NEIMETH 0.00 0 2.60 2.60 0 2.60 2.60 NEM 0.00 0 552.20 552.20 150 552.20 552.20 NESF 0.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 NESTLE 0.00 0 1.60 1.65 0 1.60 1.60 NPFMCRFBK -0.05 0 4.60 4.80 0 4.60 4.75 OANDO -0.20 0 80.00 76.20 0 80.00 80.00 OKOMUOIL 3.80 0 64.00 64.00 0 64.00 64.00 PRESCO 0.00 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 PRESTIGE 0.00 0 12.30 12.30 0 12.30 12.30 PZ 0.00 0 4.20 4.20 0 4.20 4.20 REDSTAREX 0.00 0 0.20 0.21 0 0.20 0.21 REGALINS -0.01 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 RESORTSAL 0.00 0 0.21 0.23 0 0.21 0.22 ROYALEX -0.02 0 640.00 640.00 405 640.00 640.00 SEPLAT 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.21 0.21 SOVRENINS 0.01 0 46.50 46.00 0 46.50 46.50 STANBIC 0.50 0 102.00 102.00 122 102.00 102.00 STANBICETF30 0.00 0 1.97 1.96 0 1.97 1.97 STERLNBANK 0.01 0 203.00 203.00 0 203.00 203.00 TOTAL 0.00 0 6.10 6.10 632 6.10 6.10 TRANSCOHOT 0.00 0 1.15 1.21 0 1.16 1.18 TRANSCORP -0.05 0 9.60 9.60 0 9.60 9.60 UACN 0.00 0 1.74 1.92 0 1.74 1.74 UAC-PROP -0.18 0 7.60 7.80 0 7.90 7.95 UBA 0.10 0 6.00 6.05 0 6.00 6.05 UBN -0.05 0 2.89 2.94 0 2.89 2.91 UCAP -0.05 0 36.30 37.00 0 36.30 36.30 UNILEVER -0.70 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.27 0.27 UNIONDAC 0.00 0 1.00 0.99 0 1.00 1.00 UNITYBNK 0.01 0 2.04 1.97 0 2.14 2.14 UPL 0.17 0 0.23 0.23 0 0.23 0.23 VERITASKAP 0.00 0 4.50 4.99 0 4.50 4.50 VITAFOAM -0.49 0 11.30 11.50 0 11.30 11.65 WAPCO -0.20 0 0.40 0.40 0 0.40 0.40 WAPIC 0.00 0 0.59 0.61 0 0.59 0.61 WEMABANK -0.02 0 21.20 22.70 0 21.70 22.50 ZENITHBANK -1.00 0 Copyright © 2021 NgTradeOnline

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Stock Close Loss DIAMONDBNK 1.30 -0.10 BOCGAS 2.59 -0.22 VITAFOAM 3.50 -0.39 DANGFLOUR 6.00 -0.45 UAC-PROP 1.74 -0.18


PAGE 19

PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

AfDB approves $217m to finance vital African road project By Etuka Sunday

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he Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved $217 million in loans to fund a project that will improve road transport services in Kenya’s northeastern region. The loans comprise $75 million from the nonconcessional window of the Bank Group and $142 million from the concessional lending division, known as the African Development Fund. The Kenyan government will contribute $6.3 million. The $223.3 million project covers the 740 km IsioloMandera corridor and will enhance regional integration and trade between Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. About 867,000 people who reside around the project area are expected to benefit from the initiative. The road network, including the 142 km El Wak-Rhamu stretch, is one of the four priority corridors identified under the Horn of Africa Initiative, driven by the governments of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti. The

initiative is supported by the African Development Bank, World Bank and European Union. The road project is

expected to contribute to the socio-economic development of communities along the corridor, which is characterized by high poverty levels and

prone to insecurity. According to World Bank estimates, 70 percent of the residents in the project area live in poverty, with poor

access to basic services. This is exacerbated by frequent droughts that pose a threat to livestock, the main source of food and income here.

Officials of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) FCT Minister Representative, Members of Military and Para-Military organizations, Representative of Federal High Court Chief Judge and others, at the Public destruction and burning of 19,960kg of illicit drugs, Seizure from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, FCT Command of the Agency and it Environs by the officials of NDLEA, held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

How NCC’s Oshadami emerged Winner of Prestigious CIO Awards By Etuka Sunday

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he status of the Nigerian Communications Commission as a flagship public sector brand, got another fillip, yesterday, as Engr. Abraham Oshadami, a Deputy Director at the Commission and Head of Spectrum Database Management, was declared winner of the CIO OF THE YEAR AWARD for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), a nomenclature for one of the awards to the public sector group. The Award, conferred on Oshadami at Oriental Hotel Lagos on 26th November, 2021, “celebrates and honours successful and outstanding individuals and organisations that are using digital innovation and information technology systems to bring about real growth and transformation to businesses”. TheFact Nigeria reports that Oshadami was Head of NCC’s Information Technology Department since 2016 until 1st September, 2021 when he was reassigned to Spectrum Administration Department in keeping with Commission’s strategic realignment.

Organised annually by Edniesal Consulting Limited – an enterprise governance and corporate services firm – the Chief Information Officer (CIO) award is given in both public and private sector categories to Nigerian or African citizens or persons eligible to work in Nigeria. Such persons/executives must be serving in the capacity of senior Information Technology Executives, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Digital Officers or Chief Information Officers, and their entities must have been registered and doing business for at least two years by July 31 when entries are submitted for assessment annually. The CIO Award by Edniesal Consulting Limited is the “Largest CIO Awards in Africa”. The awards are in different categories, namely: MDAs, banking, telecoms, insurance, technology, energy and so on. Participants, who are usually persons primarily responsible for IT operations in the organisations they work, officially submit applications,Wow which are reviewed by a project team. The reviews are forwarded to an interim jury which

undertakes the first major assessment. The Interim Jury then presents three top nominees in each category to a Grand Jury for assessment. The grand jury conducts assessment and presents a list of final winners to an Independent Assurance Team for a final review and submission of report. This is the process Engr. Oshadami’s application passed through and he’s adjudged the best CIO in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government as the best of the public sector executives supervising Information Technology operations where they work. The NCC website, one of the items in the purview of the IT Department of the NCC which Oshadami supervised for 5 years, is been serially referred to as a forest of resources, due to the volume and quality of resources therein and its reliability as a source of credible information to journalists, other communication professionals and several close and farflung stakeholders seeking information about Nigeria’s telecom sector. In 2018, the Nigerian Communications Commission’s website was adjudged the

Best Website of the Year in the MDAs’ Category by the Nigerian Online Merit Awards (NIOMA). The award particularly noted NCC website as the most “interactive, current, relevant and errorfree” among all MDA websites assessed. The Director Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde in a statement said, same year, the NCC also received the best awards for use of social media to disseminate information and to promote visibility on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to promote visibility and interaction. The social media handles are solely in the purview of the Public Affairs Department of the Commission, while the Information Technology Department and the Public Affairs Department collaborate in administering some aspects of the Commission’s website. Oshadami, a first class graduate of electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Ibadan, has worked in different capacities and mostly in Management positions since September 2004 when he joined the Nigerian Communications Commission.


PAGE 20

PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

BUSINESS By Etuka Sunday

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he Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi has said that the Duport Modular Refinery is on track to be completed before the end of December 2021. He made this statement recently during an inspection visit to Duport Energy Park situated at Egbokor in Edo state. The project is being developed with equity contribution from the NCDMB in line with the Federal Government’s policy of catalyzing modular refining, which is geared towards increasing in-country refining of petroleum products, adding value to crude oil resources, and creating jobs from oil and gas operations. The Executive Secretary indicated that the installations and civil works

Wabote assures timely completion Duport Modular Refinery at the plant as well as all mechanical works would be concluded before the 23rd of December 2021, noting that by first quarter of 2022, the gas gathering facility will also be completed. Speaking further, the NCDMB boss hinted that local content opportunities on the project are numerous, noting that 100 percent of the total workforce are all Nigerians from the clearing of the site to the civil works. He further stated that all the contracting and subcontracting phase of the project went through local businesses.

Wabote explained that one of the key benefits of the Board’s partnerships for the establishment of modular refineries is the steady rebuilding of local skills in refinery operations especially amongst the nation’s teeming young workforce. The Executive Secretary while giving his impression over the progress of work done at the project site said: “I am impressed. It is part of what we try to do at NCDMB when we take up any project, we follow it through end to end to see that it is delivered, and

we are very optimistic this will also be delivered at the right time with the right quality”. Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Duport Midstream Company Limited, Dr. Akintoye Akindele appreciated the Board for its continuous partnership. He mentioned that NCDMB support has been invaluable and goes beyond the capital support to include catalyzing the new project. He reiterated that Duport Energy Park is the first SMART energy park in

the world that comprises of a 10,000 barrels per day modular refinery, a 60 million standard cubic feet per day gas gathering facility, a 50MW power plant and a data analysis centre. Also speaking, Engr. Kashim Ali, member of the NCDMB Governing Council expressed delight at the progress of work executed on site and the steps taking by the Board to invest in the project. He assured that the Council will continue to support indigenous businesses in delivery of their scope.

Nigeria, Korea, Cameroon collaborate on e-government capacity building plan By Etuka Sunday

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he Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy FMoCDE is fostering a pivotal relationship through a triangular cooperation on eGovernment capacity building plan among Nigerian, Korean and Cameroonian Government. During the opening ceremony of the three-day workshop facilitated by the Korea International Cooperative Agency (KOICA), the Zonal Director of the eGovernment Training Centre (e-GTC), Prof. Suleiman Mohammed, welcomed the KOICA team and the delegates from Cameroon while giving a brief history on the collaborations between Nigeria and KOICA. Capacity building, according to Prof. Suleiman, has been identified as key ingredient in the successful implementation of the Nigeria eGovernment Masterplan, which

led to the establishment of e-GTC under the KOICA. Prof. Suleiman disclosed that the Centre was handed over to FMoCDE in November 2019 by KOICA after a six-year contract execution period. In December 2019, the FMoCDE inaugurated the governing committee and later the management in July 2020. Due to delay caused by the outbreak of CORONA virus in 2020 the Centre did not commence training until November of the same year. “The Digital Governance Projects through the KOICANIGERIA partnership covered the creation of the eGovernment Master Plan, Capacity Building Program, and the establishment of the eGovernment Training Centre,” said Prof. Suleiman. He further explained that the centre has adopted a collaborative model in its administration. This he said is based on the belief that

eGovernment program is multistakeholder and cross cutting in nature. He confirmed that while 1,777 public officers have been trained on eGovernment capacity building in Nigeria, 131 have been trained in Korea since the centre commenced operations a year ago. In the bid to ensuring the triangular cooperation relationship among the three countries, the KOICA Country Director (Cameroon Office), Mr. Lee Gyuhong, led delegates from four different government establishments in Cameroon namely; the Presidency Office, Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reform, National School of Administration, and the Magistracy to the workshop. Mr Lee explained that the workshop is to foster knowledge exchange and experience sharing on eGovernment capacity building between Nigeria and

Cameroon through workshops and engagements with key eGovernment stakeholders in Nigeria in order to gain better understanding on the administrative and technological factors that supported the country’s eGovernment implementation, the delivery of Cameroun’s eGovernment project experience, and the conduct of notable field visits to key eGovernment service centres in Abuja, Nigeria. He added that, in enabling a sustainable development goal to ensure inclusiveness, equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, KOICA Nigeria has actively championed the delivery of quality basic education through the aid of multimedia tools for better learning outcomes for the Nigerian child. KOICA-Nigeria program officer, Mr. Kayode Adebisi, while elaborating on the Digital Transformation projects in Nigeria,

laid emphasis on the massive Nigerian governmental support received through efficient and transparent service delivery with a citizen centered approach in actualizing a Digital Governance structure in the country. He noted the impact of Digital Education Projects in Nigeria, saying; “KOICA-Nigeria partnered with Universal Basic Education (KOICA-UBEC) to establish a multi-media model school in Abuja, this was aimed at improving the educational environment of Smart Schools and enhance the quality of public education in Nigeria through the utilization of ICT.” He closed by adding that the second phase of the digital education project on smart education by KOICA-UBEC is expected to cover six states across Nigeria namely: Kano, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Lagos, Edo, and Anambra States.

Communications expert, Omolaraeni Olaosebikan unveils three corporate brands By Etuka Sunday

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n its commitment to the process of brands engagement and detailed brand storytelling, McEnies Global Communications has officially launched as a 360-degree marketing communications powerhouse with cross-solution services delivered by two new other businesses – Perfect Clicks Signature, a creative visual production firm and modelling services agency, Ruby Models. The three-in-one businesses were unveiled on Friday, November 19th, 2021 at a grand event held in Ibadan, Oyo State. While delivering her keynote speech during the three-in-one opening, Omolaraeni Olaosebikan, Group CEO of McEnies Global Communications said the three businesses are poised to integrate to offer extra value, provide solutions, re-define quality service delivery, and drive brand visibility for all its clients. “Our goal is to create total marketing communications effects that leave a lasting memory of professional fulfilment, superlative business result and personal endearing experience. We have

not come to this space to claim we know better, but we are bringing a collection of innovative ideas and youthful touches, using technologydriven processes to bring to fore your personality, organization and brands for a remarkable experience. “The three corporate brands offer what your companies, products, services, personal life need to stay on the competitive edge whilst you keep a great feel of your decision to come along with us”, she said. McEnies Communications, which has been in existence for almost a decade, is an upwardly wholly company with vast expertise and competency in integrated marketing communications services providing top-notch solutions to big and medium firms across all sectors and industry. McEnies takes a holistic approach to marketing communications services and digital engagements. Its in-house expertise and services allow the company to offer agile, flexible and value-driven solutions for its clients. Narrating how the three companies were established, Olaosebikan stated that “McEnies Communications discovered the undisputed importance of visual

representation and maximally deploying technology to bear creativity within the industry for effective brand engagement. That led to the birth of Perfect Clicks Signature, a new definition of photography and video production. “Perfect Clicks Signature is a game-changing brand, passionate about creating delightful experiences for customers. It is a brand that renders premium photography, videography and cinematography, equipped with cutting edge technology and highly experienced experts. Under Ruby Models, we build children’s confidence and nurture their talents. We believe that’s one of the greatest gifts you could give a child. We do this through our talent coaching, technology and photographic skills. Ruby Models agency is a trusted modelling hub for kids. We work through various diverse needs for kids to be deployed for advertising, promotional and media needs for all forms of businesses and engagements”, she disclosed. Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Charles Ajibade, in his remark, applauded the vision of

the consummate communication expert, Olaosebikan for her passion and tenacity to help her clients meet their personal and business goals. “The focus on marketing in the future is going to be oneon-one customer relationships instead of a one-to-many massmarket approach. This is why businesses like McEnies Global Communications, Perfect Clicks Signature and The Ruby Models Company are primed for the future. Leveraging on these services will keep many smart companies at a competitive advantage.”, he urged. In the same vein, the Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism in Oyo State, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun stated that the launch of McEnies Global Communications, Perfect Clicks Signature and The Ruby Models Company in Oyo State is a welcome development that would greatly help both individuals and businesses in the state. “In this age of technology, the world has become a global village where people can now communicate in real-time and to a large heterogeneous audience, hence the need to consult professionals for public relations,

advertising, digital marketing, photo and video production etc. These cross-solutions are what three companies are offering so it’s a one-stop-shop for smart business in need of these services in Nigeria”, he said. Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Investment & Commerce, Barr. Olasunkanmi Aremu Olaleye also commended the Group CEO of the company, Omolaraeni Olaosebikan, for launching the three businesses in Oyo State. According to him, “it would no doubt create jobs for the youths, contribute to the socio-economic development of the state and deliver premium services for residents”. Other dignitaries present at the grand opening include Jibola Ogunkeyede, MD/CEO, Ufitfly Worldwide; Hakeem Akintoye, Partner at Synergy Law Partnership; Charles Ajibade, Chairman of the occasion; Hon. (Mrs.) Folashade Ajala, Board Member of Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB); Chief Abimbola Davis, Chairman/CEO Capital 3 Limited and SI Salami, Senior Partner, SI Salami and Co amongst other guests.


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FCTA raids BDC operators over invasion of green area By Stanley Onyekwere

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or allegedly turning a green area into a parking lot, the officials of the FCT Administration yesterday raided and confiscated vehicles belonging to some Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in Wuse area of the nation’s capital city. In particular, the FCTA officials under the umbrella of Taskteam of Directorate of Road Traffic Devices (DRTS) and FCT Command and Control Centre accompanied by joint team of security agencies ransacked the green area situated at Ladi Kwali Street, adjacent Sheraton Hotel. Explaining the exercise, Head, DRTS Taskteam, Adamu Shehu Maiwada, who failed to disclose the number of vehicles confiscated, decried the illegal conversion of the green area into a car parking lot, in the busy highbrow area. Maiwada said the vehicles confiscated during the ongoing exercise and those impounded during its operation last month will be charged before Mobile Court accordingly. “ Yesterday , we impounded no fever than 26 vehicles, and this morning we have continued with the exercise. “ Maybe the defaulters feel that the government is not

serious about clean up exercise, but they are mistaken, as we determined to do our job, and we are not going to be tired. “This is because, the government is supporting us with the necessary incentives , so we will continue doing the job”, he stated. On his part, Secretary, FCT Command and Control Centre, Peter Olumuji, said there is no

justification for what the BDC operators did, hence the raid to clear the nuisance. He said the affected BDC operators’ leadership confirmed that they have been informed not to park their cars there, which is meant for people to relax and enjoy their lives. According to him, “What they are doing is illegality , the FCT Minister cannot tolerate

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he Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria have been enjoined to embark on public enlightenment and education campaigns on issues of mental health especially in the area of drugs abuse, depression and suicide. This charge was handed down to the Psychiatrists by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, yesterday, at the 52 Annual General Scientific Meeting (AGSM), tagged: Abuja 2021 of the association. Bello, who was represented by Dr Mohammed Kawu, the Acting Secretary of FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, noted that mental health in Nigeria was often not given the prominence it deserves because patients and their families usually choose not to speak out or seek professional help for fear of stigmatisation. “ It is therefore imperative that your association embark on public sensitisation campaign to shed more light on the issues of mental health. “ Your theme for this gathering which is Mental Health and National Development in Nigeria: A call to

ensuring that we enforce there removal from the place that they are not meant to be.” Recall that the Taskteam on Monday raided and cleared illegal car marts along the corridors of Benin and Akure Streets, in Area 10, and some roadside mechanic workshops and car wash marts in Utako District .

The Lord Bishop of Kubwa Diocese (Anglican Communion Church) Abuja, The Right. Rev Dr.Duke T. Akamisoko, assisted by other priests laying the Foundation Stone of the Children Church, during the dedication of the main Auditorium of the Chapel of Grace Anglican Church, Nigerian Law School Bwari in an effort of providing a befitting place of worship for the Anglican law students, held in Abuja.. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Psychiatrists tasked to up enlightenment campaigns on mental health

By Stanley Onyekwere

that. And government had given them places where they can be to transact their business without anybody disturbing them, then why must they come and encroach on others right , and you want your own right not to be encroached upon. “This operation is a continuous exercise , and as long as they are ready not to obey the law, we too will not be tired of

Action, is therefore very timely, and germane. “ I will therefore like to underscore the importance of this meeting which has brought together leading Psychiatrist from within and outside the country. “ There is no doubt that this gathering will advance the frontiers of Psychiatrist practice in Nigeria,” Bello said. Earlier, the President of the association, Prof. Taiwo Sheikh, said the national development of any country rests on the well being of its citizens. “ In the same vein we know that there is no health without mental health. It is no only an adage but a stark reality. “ I believe our erudite academics and highly experienced clinicians are here and ready to dwell thoroughly into this theme that aptly captures the present state of our country.” Similarly, Dr Olusola EphraimOluwanuga, Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of Department of Psychiatrist, National Mosque, Abuja, said the programme would contribute immensely towards addressing issues of mental health in the country.

FCT to implement new retirement age for teachers By Stanley Onyekwere

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ollowing President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for elongation of retirement age from 60 years to 65 years and length of service from 35 to 40 years for Teachers in the 36 States of the country and FCT, the Federal Capital Territory Administration(FCTA), has inaugurated a high powered Committee to fast track the immediate domestication and implementation of the new policy in the Territory. The Permanent Secretary Mr. Olusade Adesola , who on behalf of the FCT Administration inaugurated the Standing Committee on the Implementation of the New Retirement Age and Length of Service for Teachers in the employ of the Federal Capital Territory Administration in the education, expressed confidence that the new policy will address the issue of brain drain as well as enrich teaching profession in the Territory. He further explained that the inauguration of the Standing Committee became necessary following the release of a Service-Wide Guideline for the implementation of the new policy by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. The Permanent Secretary equally disclosed that all backlog of applications of beneficiaries that falls within the

effective date of implementation being 1st January,2021 will be immediately processed, adding that this will ensure industrial harmony in the Territory. He therefore charged all FCTA teachers to guard against abuse of the new policy by resisting the temptation to turn themselves into super teachers, by becoming unavailable to render the teaching service, for which they are being paid for, but rather reciprocate Government’s kind gesture by becoming extra dedicated and committed to their profession. According to the Permanent Secretary, the Committee which is to be chaired by the Director of FCTA Human Resource Management, Malam Mohammed Bashir, has the following terms of reference: collation of applications from interested officers, screening of applications to determine eligibility based on extant guidelines, verification of documents and forwarding of recommendations for consideration and approval respectively. Responding on behalf of the Committee, the Chairman of the Committee, Bashir expressed appreciation for the confidence reposed in the Committee to carry out such a sensitive assignment. While assuring the Administration that the Committee will immediately get to work to ensure the new policy takes off immediately.


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world news

international_peoplesdailyng@yahoo.com

Covid: Omicron variant in Netherlands earlier than thought

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he new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, was present in the Netherlands earlier than previously thought, officials say. It was identified in two test samples taken in the country between 19 and 23 November, which is before the variant was first reported by South Africa. It is not clear whether those who took the tests had visited southern Africa. It was previously thought that two flights that arrived from South Africa on Sunday had brought the first cases of the variant to the Netherlands. Fourteen people on the flights to the capital, Amsterdam, tested positive for Omicron, among 61 passengers who were found to have coronavirus. However, while the two new samples reveal Omicron was in the Netherlands earlier than thought, they do not predate the cases in southern Africa. The variant was first found in a specimen collected on 9 November, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Early evidence suggests Omicron has a higher re-infection risk. But scientists say it will take about three weeks before it is known how the heavily mutated variant impacts on the effectiveness of vaccines. “In a special PCR test, the samples showed an abnormality in the spike protein,” the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) which announced the earlier cases, said on Tuesday. “This raised the concern that the Omicron variant... might be involved. [Health officials] will notify the people involved and start

It had been thought that flights from South Africa had brought the first cases of Omicron to the Netherlands on Sunday source and contact tracing,” it said. The RIVM also said that a number of different strains of Omicron were found among the passengers on board the two flights on Sunday. “This means that the people were very probably infected independently from each other, from different sources and in different

locations,” a spokesman said. It’s unlikely we will ever know precisely when or where Omicron first emerged. South Africa alerted the world to the new variant on 24 November after it found its first case. Since then, other countries have been on the lookout for it and more cases have been

identified around the globe thanks to genome sequencing tests. Not every nation has the ability, however, to carry out these added checks. Even the UK, which is one of the frontrunners using the technology, is unable to screen every positive Covid case to determine which variant is the cause. PCR tests, meanwhile, can hint if a Covid case might be Omicron, but cannot confirm it for sure. Dutch authorities, meanwhile, are also seeking to contact and test thousands of passengers who have travelled from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The US, Canada, the UK and the EU have all restricted travel from southern Africa amid concern over the new variant. But the UN Secretary General António Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” about the isolation of southern Africa, adding that “the people of Africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low level of vaccinations available”. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said the wider region had been the victim of unfair discrimination, adding that the bans would not be effective in preventing the spread of the variant. A foreign ministry statement also said the travel bans were “akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker”. “Excellent science should be applauded and not punished,” it said. Source: BBC

School-enterprise cooperation enriches curriculum, boosts employment By Shao Yuzi, People’s Daily

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he war epic film “The Battle at Lake Changjin,” which maintains a top spot in the Chinese mainland box office in 2021, has impressed moviegoers with its amazing special effects. Zhangjiakou Saishang Culture Media Co. Ltd. based in Zhangjiakou, north China’s Hebei province, produced quite a lot of the special effects. “We completed 800 post-production special effects in the movie,” said Wang Xiqing, head of the company. Wang was among the first batch of students graduating from the Zhangjiakou Vocational and Technical Education Center with a degree in animation (postproduction). The 50 team members who took part in post-production of “The Battle at Lake Changjin” are all graduates from the school, having a shared identity as “animation experts in Zhangjiakou.” Since the Zhangjiakou Vocational and Technical Education Center launched the major of animation in 2001, it has cultivated over 3,000 high-quality talents specializing in cartoon, games, design and post-production of movies for more than 100 domestic enterprises, building a distinctive labor service brand in the locality. The secret for the success of the labor service brand lies in the strategy which focuses on cooperation between school and enterprises and integration between

industry and education, according to Wang Zhidong, vice principal of the Zhangjiakou Vocational and Technical Education Center. “The courses are solidly designed and the teaching content perfectly meets the requirements of the industry that I want to be in after I graduate,” said 21-year-old Jia Yuting, a student of game arts. After two years of learning of the professional knowledge, Jia has become well-versed in games design. Nowadays, animation has become a popular major among the students because what the school teaches is job-oriented. However, at the beginning, animation was not as popular as it is now due to difficulties such as a lack of teachers and an incomplete curriculum system. “We take the demands of the enterprises as educational standards,” said Wang Zhidong, who added that by carrying out investigations and surveys multiple times, they found that the key to break the bottleneck was to conduct in-depth exchanges with enterprises, knowing about their needs, and establishing a cooperation mechanism with them. Before the first animation class opened in 2001, the school sent some backbone teachers to Beijing to take part in a training program that lasted nearly three months. It also cooperated with enterprises by inviting best technicians from the latter to give lectures to the students and work with the school’s teachers on curriculum

development. The cooperation yielded results quickly. To better meet the demand of the market, the school expanded the animation major from covering only the subject of animation to covering six subjects including game design and production, and post-production of movies, establishing a complete set of curriculum system for each subject. “The animation market is constantly changing, and the enterprises are also upgrading technologies they adopt,” said Wang Zhidong, explaining the reason why the school chose to cooperate with enterprises in talent cultivation. “In the first two academic years, the students will be taught drawing and sketching, as well as other basic courses, by their teachers, and in the third academic year they will study core courses while taking part in projects launched by the enterprises. The school will also invite the enterprises to take part in its teaching program, with the latter sending some of their best technicians to come to the school and help the students access knowledge from the latest trends of the industry,” Wang Zhidong introduced. To improve the efficiency of the marketoriented education program, the school built full-size workshops of the enterprises on campus and the two sides jointly established a practice base for the program of the integration of industry and education that covers 860 square meters.

“At the base, the students can know what the experience will be like to work as an employee and take part in projects operated by the enterprises,” said Wang Zhidong. So far, the students and their teachers have taken part in and completed more than 300 projects operated by the enterprises. Moreover, they’ve also contributed their efforts in the postproduction of 140 animated cartoons, including the well-known Chinese cartoons “The Monkey King” and “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf,” and more than 60 hit movies including “Transformers 3” and “Wolf Warrior II.” “We kept the passageway through which the students moving from finding internship positions to getting employed unimpeded, enabling them to get a fulltime job offer from their internship,” said Wang Zhidong. Wang also disclosed that each subject under the animation major has a designated teacher in charge of dealing with matters associated with internship, who will first learn about the needs of the enterprises and the market and then work out a list of companies that can provide suitable job openings. Under the concerted efforts of the school, the enterprises, and all other relevant parties, the school has established close partnerships with more than 40 topnotch companies in Beijing, Shanghai and other places in the country, providing a wider range of choices for the students to find the most suitable jobs.


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Why broken African phones are shipped to Europe E ric Arthur does not have much time for hobbies - he spends most weekends driving all over Ghana collecting broken mobile phones. From his home in Cape Coast he can rove more than 100 miles (160km) in one weekend visiting repair shops and scraps yards - anywhere that has a decent supply of broken devices. In a good weekend he can collect 400 of them. On top of that, he manages a team of six agents doing the same thing in other parts of the country, and between them they expect to collect around 30,000 phones this year. Mr Arthur and his agents pay a small amount to sellers for each phone, 2.5-2.7 Ghanaian cedis, or around 44 US cents (33p). Even though the phones are beyond repair, sometimes it can take some persuading to get people to part with them. “A [new] Android phone goes for like $150 and I offer them less than $1 for it. Even though it is no longer usable, they’re like: ‘But I bought it at this price. So why should I give it as cheap as that?’” His weekend work is paid for by a Dutch company called Closing the Loop. The company ships the phones collected by Eric and his team over to Europe, where they are broken down and recycled. Then a specialist smelting firm retrieves around 90% of the metals in the phone - a process which incinerates the plastic parts. But why ship phones thousands of miles from West Africa? Joost de Kluijver, who co-founded Closing the Loop with Reinhardt Smit, says the answer is simple. Africa does not yet have the sophisticated smelting plants needed to retrieve the small quantities of highly valuable metals that go into making a mobile phone. “Everything you need to have in a plant that is financially sustainable, is missing,” he says. “There’s no legislation, infrastructure and no consumer awareness. As a result, you don’t have any money to fund proper collection and recycling.” Meanwhile around 230 million phones are sold in Africa every year. When they are no longer needed, some are picked up by the informal recycling industry, but most are thrown away. According to the Global E-waste Monitor, Africa generated 2.9 million tonnes of electronic waste in 2019, of which only 1% was effectively collected and recycled. “African countries are experts in lifecycle extension, in repair and also to some extent in recycling. So the mindset is already there but the proper tooling is missing, especially for this type of waste,” says Mr de Kluijver. To pay for the collection of phones in Africa, Closing the Loop strikes deals with companies and organisations which pay Closing the Loop around €5 ($5.60; £4.20) per new phone that they buy or lease from whoever provides their technology. For every new workplace device, Closing the Loop recycles an equivalent amount of electronic waste in countries that lack formal recycling capacity. The €5 per phone covers the collection, shipping and recycling of a phone in Africa, plus some profit for Closing the Loop. The growing list of customers includes the Dutch government and financial services firm, KPMG. For the clients it is a relatively small investment but it has a

significant environmental benefit. Mr de Kluijver is critical of some recent efforts to set up waste recycling schemes in Africa. He argues that without a sustainable financial model and enforced legislation in place they will struggle to get off the ground. Simone Andersson is well aware of those challenges. She is the chief commercial officer of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Centre (WEEE) which recycles these goods in Kenya. Kenya does not have a national government-run recycling system, just a waste collection service in some areas. The idea for WEEE Centre sprang from Computers For Schools Kenya, a nonprofit organisation which supplies schools with refurbished computers. Its work with schools showed that there was a need to deal with unwanted electronic waste and in 2012 the recycling firm was launched. This year, WEEE Centre expects to collect 250 tonnes of electronic waste, mostly through deals with big firms like Total Energies and Absa. But this is only a small fraction of the estimated 50,000 tonnes of e-waste that Kenya generates every year. Ms Andersson has ambitious plans to set up collection points all over the country where people will be able to leave their unwanted electronics. She says that Kenyans are becoming more aware of the environmental problems caused by e-waste and would like to do something about it. “Most people are very aware of the general waste problems. Many would like to change their ways, if there was only some infrastructure, supporting it - we want to be part of solving that when it comes to e-waste,” she says. The Kenyan government is taking some steps to help: there is a plan underway to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility legislation (EPR), which will assign the financial burden of recycling products back to the producers or importers of electronic goods. “We are pushing for it because we see it’s needed in this country,” says Ms Andersson. “And we also want Kenya to be a good role model for the rest in Africa. “Having the EPR is going to help if we get the laws in place. Maybe not immediately, but for sure it puts a totally different mindset and will have a great effect on targets and structures.” WEEE Centre’s technicians dismantling electronic devices - iron and copper can be recovered in Kenya, but precious metals have to be dealt with out of Africa WEEE Centre’s workshop team of 10 technicians carefully sorts and dismantles electronic devices. Some metals - iron and copper - can be recovered locally, but precious metals like gold, platinum and palladium that are embedded in the circuit boards can only be retrieved by specialist smelting firms in Europe or Asia. One day Ms Andersson would like to build a smelting plant in Kenya: “As we expand, we definitely want to bring that technology to Africa. Why not eastern Africa? Why not Kenya and Nairobi? That is one part of our vision.” Mr de Kluijver also hopes that Closing the Loop will be able to finance recycling plants and smelters in Africa, but until then, the next best option is to ship phones to Europe.

Eric Arthur collects broken phones at the weekends

Simone Andersson with technician Ibrahim Kimani at WEEE Centre’s workshop

Closing the Loop expects to collect 300,000 phones this year Back in Cape Coast in Ghana, Eric Arthur has seen improvements in the handling of electronic waste in recent years, but thinks more needs to be done. “With more education, I believe that

people will come to understand the need for one to dispose of electronic waste,” he says. Source: BBC


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N e w s F r o m A S I A China issues white paper on China-Africa cooperation in new era By Li Feng, People’s Daily

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hina’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) released a white paper titled “China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals” on Nov. 26, several days ahead of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which is scheduled for Nov. 29 to 30 in Dakar, capital of Senegal. The white paper consists of about 21,000 Chinese characters and three parts, namely foreword, main body, and conclusion. The main body of the document was divided into four sections: Building an Even Stronger China-Africa Community of Shared Future, AllRound China-Africa Cooperation in the New Era, Strengthening Mutual Support, and Breaking New Ground in China-Africa Relations. Thoroughly implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Foreign Affairs, the white paper gives a full account of the positive results of China-Africa cooperation since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), expounds on China’s Africa policy and position on China-Africa relations, and lays out a beautiful vision of realizing new progress in China-Africa relations and building an even stronger China-Africa community of shared future, said Shou Xiaoli, deputy head of the Press Bureau of the SCIO and SCIO spokesperson. “China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries.

Shared past experiences, similar courses of struggles and development tasks have brought China and Africa close together,” said Wu Jianghao, China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs, at the press conference on the white paper held by the SCIO on Nov. 26. “The traditional friendship between China and Africa enjoys popular support and special historical position in the landscape of China’s diplomacy,” Wu noted. The white paper titled “China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals” is the first white paper released by the Chinese government to comprehensively introduce the cooperation between China and Africa and also the first white paper on the fruits of the cooperation between China and a region in the world since the 18th CPC National Congress, according to Wu. The white paper is aimed at providing a comprehensive introduction to the principles of China’s Africa policy as well as the practice and rich fruits of China-Africa cooperation in the new era, welcoming the successful convocation of the FOCAC ministerial conference in Dakar, enhancing the international community’s understanding of China-Africa cooperation, and contributing China’s experience and wisdom to international cooperation with Africa and even global development and cooperation, Wu pointed out. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping has paid high attention to the development of ChinaAfrica relations and has personally drawn blueprint for China-Africa

A press conference is held by China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) to release a white paper titled “China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals” in Beijing, Nov. 26. (Photo/ Zhang Yu) cooperation, Wu said. At the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit and the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, Xi and African leaders unanimously decided to elevate the ChinaAfrica relations to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and reached a strategic agreement to build a China-Africa community of shared future characterized by joint responsibility, win-win cooperation, happiness for all, cultural prosperity, common security, and harmony between humanity and nature, Wu recalled. These important decisions ushered in a new era of ChinaAfrica relations, brought cooperation between the two sides to an unprecedented high level, and set an example for advancing the building of a community with

a shared future for mankind in the new era, Wu noted. According to Wu, pragmatic cooperation between China and Africa has enjoyed rapid development since the beginning of the 21st century, especially after the founding of the FOCAC in 2000. China has built more than 80 large-scale power facilities for African countries, funded over 130 medical facilities, 45 sports venues and over 170 schools in Africa, trained more than 160,000 personnel for various fields in Africa, and built a series of flagship projects on the continent, including the African Union (AU) Conference Center, he disclosed. Besides, Chinese enterprises have utilized various funds to help African countries build and upgrade more than 10,000 km of railways,

nearly 100,000 km of highways, nearly 1,000 bridges and 100 ports, Wu said. They have also helped African countries build a communications backbone network of 150,000 km and a network service covering nearly 700 million user terminals, he added. China and Africa have also continuously expanded their cooperation in emerging fields, such as digital economy, aviation and aerospace, clean energy, and new infrastructure, said Wu. China-Africa cooperation has yielded fruits across the African continent, he said, adding that the bilateral cooperation has improved the conditions for economic and social development in Africa, brought tangible benefits to both Chinese people and African people, and created favorable conditions for international cooperation with Africa. Currently, both China and Africa have entered a new development stage, Wu Peng, director-general of the Department of African Affairs of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at the press conference on the white paper. China is promoting the building of a new development paradigm featuring dual circulation, in which domestic and overseas markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay, Wu Peng said, noting that the endeavor will generate more opportunities for Africa’s development. Africa is making efforts to expedite economic integration, providing broader room for growth in China-Africa cooperation, Wu Peng pointed out.

China and BRI countries share fruits of agricultural cooperation under BRI By Gao Yuncai, People’s Daily

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uring the past eight years since China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the country has made continuous efforts to promote pragmatic cooperation with countries participating in the BRI in agriculture, a key sector of BRI cooperation, and realized mutual complementarily and common development in the sector with relevant countries. So far, China has signed agreements on agricultural cooperation with 86 BRI countries and established stable working mechanisms with more than half of them. Over the past eight years, China has invested in more than 820 agricultural projects in BRI countries. The country’s investment stock in BRI countries has exceeded $17 billion. Last year, its trade volume of agricultural products with countries participating in the BRI totaled $95.79 billion. In 2012, China Shandong International Economic & Technical Cooperation Group Ltd. (CSI) and Shandong Lumian Group, both based in Jinan, capital of east China’s Shandong province, jointly registered a new company named New Epoch Agriculture Development

Company in Sudan for the building of China-Sudan Agricultural Cooperation Development Zone. The first phase of the project involves a total planned investment of $50 million, of which $46 million has been realized. In 2017, the China-Sudan Agricultural Cooperation Development Zone was recognized as one of the first batches of 10 overseas agricultural cooperation demonstration zones by China’s Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs. Consisting of a central area in the Rahad irrigation area in El-Fau town, El-Gadarif State, Sudan, and multiple industrial parks, the ChinaSudan Agricultural Cooperation Development Zone focuses on the development and building of free trade platforms for various links of the industrial chain from cultivation bases for superior varieties and breeds, planting and breeding bases to agricultural products processing, logistics services, and trading. Through a development model featuring shared benefits and win-win results, the agricultural cooperation development zone has driven the agricultural development of the entire Rahad irrigation area that covers an area of 2.2 million mu (about 146,670

hectares). The continuously deepened agricultural cooperation between China and Sudan has brought tangible benefits to local Sudanese people. At present, the ChinaSudan Agricultural Cooperation Development Zone is advancing the construction of its industrial parks with steady steps, according to Sun Lei, deputy general manager of new era agricultural development company, Ltd., adding that it is also conducting negotiations with relevant enterprises in the industrial chain on cooperation. The construction of these industrial parks has to a large extent, helped solve the problem of employment for local people and increased their income, Sun disclosed. With the construction of these industrial parks progressing steadily, great changes have taken place in ElFau town in recent years, Sun said, explaining that the road condition in the town has got better, its markets have become busier, and many local people have replaced their bikes with motorcycles. In September, 2016, Guangdong Guangken Rubber Group Co., Ltd., based in south China’s Guangdong province, took over Thai Hua Rubber Public Company Limited, which

was the third-largest natural rubber producer in the world, becoming one of the largest natural rubber operators in the world that own a complete industrial chain. The Chinese company has launched 42 natural rubber projects that are independently run, in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, and Singapore, building a development framework that features a complete industrial chain including research and development, breeding of saplings, plantation management, deep processing, storage and logistics, and international trade. The company produces and sells more than 700,000 tons of dry rubber products from its overseas projects in a year. In recent years, by carrying out mergers and acquisitions and building its factories, Guangdong Guangken Rubber Group Co., Ltd. has opened 26 natural rubber processing factories in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia with a total production capacity of 1.3 million tons. The rubber factories invested by the Chinese company have boosted the benefits of planting rubber trees, created a large number of jobs for local people, and boosted tax revenues for the local governments. The Chinese company also opened schools for children of

its local employees and built public facilities, improving the livelihood of the local communities. In recent years, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and relevant authorities have jointly issued the Vision and Action on Jointly Promoting Agricultural Cooperation on the Belt and Road, and held the International Food Loss Reduction Conference and the International Forum on Black Soil Conservation and Utilization, sending a signal of strengthening agricultural cooperation and sharing the development outcomes of modern agricultural development to the world. Sui Pengfei, director-general of the international cooperation department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, expressed that in carrying out Belt and Road agricultural construction, China aims to improve top-level design further, facilitate docking of policies and mutual recognition of standards with participating countries, promote agricultural service trade to become a new growth point for international cooperation, build a platform for agricultural cooperation, push forward agricultural cooperation, and share development results.


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COREN begins evaluators training for Outcome-Based Education By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

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n order to produce graduates with the required skills to excel in the workplace, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), has began training programme for evaluators for the Outcome Based Education (OBE) system in Nigeria. The two days training workshop which took place yesterday at the Nigerian Turkish, Nile University Abuja,drawn stakeholders across the country . Speaking at the opening ceremony of the programme,the president COREN Engr . Ali Rabiu, said the workshop was to train and equip programme evaluators of the OBE who would form COREN database for accreditation of Engineering programmes. Rabiu explained that,every aspect of the accreditation process have been streamlined to enhance the credibility of the evaluation. He said, “In Nigeria, accreditation is necessary for recognition of programmes By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

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resident Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the 24-kilometre Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch Road connecting seven communities in Benue State to Cross River State in Tsua town, Vandeikya local government area of Benue State. Buhari who was represented by the minister of special duties and intergovernmental affairs, Senator George Akume, enjoined Nigerians to avoid these practices that could aggravate wear and tear on the roads and also report persons found committing them to the appropriate enforcement agencies. “We must all do our best to avoid these practices, report them when they occur and act in a lawful manner to stop them,” he stated. He charged Nigerians to be responsible in using the road so that it could last long because the design was of the highest quality. He said, “This road has been built to the highest quality of design and workmanship and if is well used, it should last for the designed service life.” He identified what constituted road abuse as “overloading of vehicles and trucks which accelerate pavement damage, spilling of petroleum products, which dissolves all the components and allows water to

and registration of engineering graduates as professional engineers. According to the president, OBE helps to empower a work force that can compete in the a global economy of the 21st century as it equips learners to transfer academic success to life in a complex, challenging and high -technology future. “Under OBE approach,the graduates are completely prepared for the workforce after graduation with relevant soft skills needed in jobs, such as communication skills and human relationships skills”, Rabiu. He emphasized that,the goal of the workshop is to train and equip programme evaluators of OBE who will form COREN database for accreditation of engineering programmes. “Every aspect of the accreditation process has been streamlined to enhance the credibility of the evaluation. Contrary to earlier practice, there is no quantitative mechanism for final decision making. Therefore, programmes under

accreditation must sustainably comply with the requirements in all areas of evaluation.” “Every action of the evaluators must be driven by responsibilities and conducts, according to the stipulated code of ethics for evaluation. Constituency amongst various accreditation team members in terms of evaluation and final recommendation must be maintained,”he said . According to him, the COREN Outcome Based Education regional train the trainers workshop have been successfully held in three geopolitical zones, which includes; North West zone at Amadu Bello University, Zaria Kaduna (20th-24th of Sept 2021), South South zone at University of Benin, Edo State. 11th-15th of Oct 2021, and South East zone at University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC) (16th-20th Nov 2021). The president said the workshop was to train participants to acquire the knowledge and skills of OBE, “and be able to train others in the principles and implementation of OBE in Nigerian Universities.”

Engr. Ali Rabiu, COREN President

Buhari commissions 24 kilometers VandeikyaObudu Cattle Ranch Road penetrate and converting the road shoulders to permanent parking places that brings the onset of road failure from the shoulder.” He said his major concern is for the safety of commuters on the roads, Buhari declared, “Now that we have these new and well-built roads, we have duties to ourselves and to other road users. One of those duties is to ensure that we drive in accordance with the law as stipulated in the Highway Code”, adding that the “maximum driving speed on this and other Federal Highways nationwide is 100 (hundred) KM and no more”. He also cautioned against abuse of the roads saying as the Federal Government committed to delivering on its promise to give Nigerians good and quality road network, it was incumbent on the people not

to abuse the roads in order to enable them service the nation through their design life. Earlier, the minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola said that the road projects across the nation, “represent a major investment in transport infrastructure which is a commitment of the Buhari administration as a driver for economic growth and prosperity.” Fashola, who was represented by the Director Highways, North Central Zone, Engr. Rugba Emenoge, listed other such roads to include the 142.2 x 2 (dual) Kilometre Kano- Maiduguri Road (Section II) between Shuwarin and Azare, connecting Jigawa and Bauchi States, the 106.3 x 2 Kilometre Kano-Maiduguri Road (Section III) between Azare and Potiskum, connecting

Bauchi and Yobe States and Nnewe- Uduma- Uburu Road covering 26.27 Kilometers with 14 Kilometers spur to Ishiagu connecting Enugu and Ebonyi States, in Ebonyi State. He Also expressed delight at the commissioning of the Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch Road, the Minister declared, “These projects represent major investment in road Transport infrastructure, which is a commitment of the Buhari administration as a driver for economic growth and prosperity. They are visible and incontrovertible Assets in proof of what Nigeria’s resources are invested in, from a combination of our earned resources, and borrowings”. Fashola also thanked the Ministry’s staff and contractors who, he acknowledged, “have worked very hard to bring these projects to

conclusion” as well as the host communities for their cooperation without which progress would have been impossible. “I hold them out as examples of what peace can achieve, and the investments that collaboration and some sacrifice can deliver if we embrace partnership with Government”, he said. The Minister’s gratitude also went to the Federal Executive Council, which included all Ministers in the first term and the current term, for their support, the President and Vice President “who presided for long hours over the Council meetings” and the Governors of Bauchi, Jigawa, Benue, Cross Rivers, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Enugu and Ebonyi, who, according to him “bear witness to fruits and the evidence of change by the Buhari administration. “And there is more to come”, he said.

Fashola, Malami Commission Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega Road

Minister of Works Babatunde Fashola

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasholaand AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami led the federal government’s delegation to commission the newly-completed 155-kilometre (Phases I and II) of the Sokoto-TambuwalJega-Kontagora-Makera Road. In his opening remark, Fashola said the Muhammadu Buhari administration had brought good tidings to the people and governments of Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger states,

who will be impacted by the Sokoto-TambuwalJega-Kontagora-Makera Road that the president commissioned yesterday. He said, “My principal message to you all is that this is the first of many more project completion and handovers our country will experience in the next few weeks and months as we enter what I call a season of completion and impact. “In this phase of completion, Mr President has approved that ministers from the various states where projects have been completed should represent him to perform the handover

formalities,” Fashola said. He said the other handing over formalities that would follow that of yesterday in Kebbi includes the commissioning in Jigawa State of section II covering 142.2 x 2 (dual) kilometers between Shuwarin and Azare, connecting Jigawa and Bauchi states; Bauchi for section III covering 106.3 x 2 kilometers between Azare and Potiskum, connecting Bauchi and Yobe states; Benue for Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch Road covering 24 Kilometers connecting Benue and Cross River states and Ebonyi for New-Uduma-

Uburu Road covering 26.27 kilometers with 14 kilometers spur to Ishiagu connecting Enugu and Ebonyi states. The minister said the projects represent major investment in road transport infrastructure, which is a commitment of the Buhari administration as a driver for economic growth and prosperity. According to him, “They are visible and incontrovertible assets in proof of what Nigeria’s resources are invested in, from a combination of our earned resources, and borrowings.


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FEATURE

‘A rich exchange’: The refugees teaching languages in Brazil

Look forward, not backward,” is what farmer Heloisa Daher was often told by her family of Syrian and Lebanese immigrants while growing up in Brazil. Ms Daher remembers watching her family argue in Arabic over the dinner table, or so she thought. They wanted her to integrate into Brazilian society and so they banned her from learning Arabic. But hunger to better understand her roots lingered despite her parents insisting she grow up speaking only Portuguese. Fifty years on, the mother of four is now enrolled in Arabic classes at Abraço Cultural (Portuguese for “cultural hug”), a refugee-led language school in São Paulo. After learning the basics of Arabic, she realised that what she had thought had been arguments over the dinner table had instead been friendly chatter. “It was just the guttural ‘r’ sound in Arabic,” she says to explain her childhood misunderstanding. “It brings me joy to understand that now.” Abraço Cultural looks like any other language school, complete with scrawled whiteboards and beige school chairs. But it exclusively employs teachers from war-torn and crisisstricken lands, including Haiti, Congo, Venezuela and Syria. From war zone to World Cup The school’s main goal is to generate income for refugees. In five years, the school has paid over 2m reais (£370,000) in salaries to 55 refugees and vulnerable immigrants. Ms Daher’s Arabic teacher, Syrian Ali Jeratli, has been teaching here since 2015. When two car bombs exploded in Damascus in December 2011, the year Syria’s civil war erupted, Mr Jeratli was two kilometres away on a bus. He was on his way home from his job at the Four Seasons hotel. That night, 44 people died and 166 were injured. “My bus was late that day,” Mr Jeratli recalls. “If it had left on time, I would have been at the heart of that explosion. And I might not be alive today.” The war in Syria caused the tourism industry to collapse so Mr Jeratli tried his luck in Iraq and Turkey before finally moving to Brazil. His decision was practical. The Brazilian government had adopted an open-door policy for Syrian nationals and his visa was approved in one day. But starting over was not easy. “When I arrived here, I

didn’t know anyone and couldn’t speak a word of Portuguese,” he recalls. After a few tough months, his fluency in English and Arabic landed him a temporary job as a translator during the Football World Cup, a dream come true for the avid football fan. It was during that time that he met people involved with Abraço Cultural, and became one of the first teachers working at the school. Brazil has taken in just under 5,000 Syrians citizens like Mr Jeratli since 2011. Plenty of potential Abraço Cultural’s cofounder, Daniel Morais, was volunteering at a local charity when the idea for the school struck him. He had met refugees who were doctors and polyglots but were struggling to get a job. “I saw they had a lot of potential but didn’t have any help to get started,” he said. “Syrians spoke fluent English and Arabic. Many Haitians speak up to five languages once they get to Brazil. So I thought: we need to make the most of this and start a language course.” Genevieve Cherubin came to Brazil from Haiti The non-profit school charges lower prices than other language schools and 5,200 people have signed up to its courses since its inauguration. Today, the school receives 90% of its revenue from students, and 10% external funding for special projects. All teachers go through a twomonth pedagogy programme to learn how to teach English, Spanish, French or Arabic. “We talk about giving people opportunities to contribute. These aren’t just people that need help. They have a lot to offer. It’s a rich exchange,” says school director Mariângela Garbelini. Two-way street French student Victoria Silva enjoys learning from her Congolese teacher, Joly Kayembe. “It’s amazing to learn French from someone who looks like me,” she explains. In Brazil, most French courses are geared towards a largely white elite.

Heloisa Daher’s family is of Syrian and Lebanese descent but they insisted she only speak Portuguese

Ms Daher has fond memories of family dinners when her relatives would speak to each other in Arabic

Ali Jeratli used to work in a hotel in Damascus before fleeing the war

But accessible prices attract some students who do not always appreciate the school’s core goal, says Ms Garbelini.

The war in Syria caused the tourism industry to collapse so Mr Jeratli tried his luck in Iraq and Turkey before finally moving to Brazil. His decision was practical. The Brazilian government had adopted an open-door policy for Syrian nationals and his visa was approved in one day.

“There is resistance from some students. They want to learn French to go to Paris. They don’t want to learn African French,” she says. “But we strive for this to be valued.” Lessons at Abraço Cultural bring in elements of history, culture, music, dance and food and Mr Jeratli has made it his mission to dispel misconceptions about his home country. “People have such a poor idea about my country. They think Syria is just bombs

and desert,” he says. While continuing to spread knowledge about Syria, Mr Jeratli is also trying to make a new life for himself in Brazil. He has applied for Brazilian citizenship, which he expects to be granted soon. But it is not just a one-way street. Through his lessons, Heloisa Daher has fallen in love with her ancestral land and plans to visit it with her children once the war is over. Source: BBC


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PEOPLES DAILY

Sports

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sports@peoplesdailyng.com, SMS- 08142929046

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2021

SWAN honours Okowa with merit award By Albert Akota

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n recognition of his genuine commitment to sports development and industry, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has been honoured with a merit award by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN). Performing the investiture inside the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, during the finals of Zenith Bank Delta Principals’ Cup, President of SWAN, Sir Honour Sirawoo who led an expanded National Executive Committee (NEC) described Okowa as an “enabler

of generational shift in sports growth and development.” He stated that Governor Okowa has contributed immensely to sports development, not just in Delta but across the federation. Speaking at the occasion, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said the state will continue to take school sports seriously adding that it from the young ones will the future champions emerge. Okowa also commended SWAN for their contribution to sports development in the country, even as urged them not to relent despite all the challenges they face.

The nation’s number one sports writer stressed that under Okowa’s administration, Delta has excelled in every sphere of sports. According to him, “Governor Okowa must be commended for his genuine love for sports and its development. He is indeed a square peg in a square hole when it comes to passion for sports. “Under his administration, Delta State has maintained commanding positions in practically all sphere of sports. This clearly shows that the governor is a lover of sports. “By giving all the needed

impetus for sports to thrive, he is at the same time creating opportunities for athletes to earn means of livelihood and contribute to the state’s economy.” Sir Sirawoo disclosed that SWAN Merit Award is given to those who truly deserve it and as such, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has joined an exclusive list of awardees. At the end of the end of regulation time, none of the teams; Osadenis Mixed Secondary School, Asaba and College of Commerce,Warri could score and the two teams went into a penalty shootout.

Defending champions, College of Commerce, Warri won the match after converting all their kicks while Osadenis only managed to score three kicks and the game ended 5-3 goals. The winning team also went home with the brand new 18 seater bus donated by the Delta State government and a cash sum of one million Naira. Also sponsor of the tournament, Zenith Bank of Nigeria made a cash presentation of N500,000 to the second placed team as well as individual cash awards to outstanding players.

Waldrum okey with Super Falcons 9-day training camp in Abuja

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uper Falcon coach Waldrum has described the 9-day camping in Abuja as marvellous experience. He however commended the Nigeria Football Federation for its continued total support for the country’s Senior Women National Team as the Super Falcons were set to round off a 9-day training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja. The training camp that commenced on Monday last week would come to an end on Tuesday. “I am very delighted with the support the Federation has always given to the team; this has helped our work. I am happy we had this training camp as we were able to see the home-based players and the overseas-based, and everyone bonded very well. It has been a marvelous experience and the joy among the players is palpable. “We will look to have periodic campings like this in order to be able to put forward the best of Nigeria women players for matches and championships at any time.” General Secretary of the NFF, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, who received the players and their officials at the NFF Secretariat, said the football –governing body

will always ensure to provide the Falcons with the best conditions to train and play friendly and competitive matches, in order to do the nation proud each time.

“We will set aside resources to organize more of this type of camping so that we will always get the best from home and abroad and blend them to perform at

optimal level when the need arises. We are aware of the challenge that Cote d’Ivoire will pose when we confront them for a place at next year’s Women AFCON.

We need players who are committed and are proud to dorn the country’s colours and will strive to deliver no matter the circumstances.

NFF’s search for Rohr’s replacement faces hitches as FG wades in PG30 >>>PG30


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Volleyball: Naira rain as Kada Kings, Kwara United win National Division 1 League K

ada Kings of Kaduna state and Kwara United VC have emerged winner of the male and female category of the National Volleyball Division One League. The 2021 National Division 1 League played at the indoor of the package B of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja came to an end in style as Kwara United ended the unbeaten run of Kada Kings 3-2 (13-25, 24-26, 25-21, 25-21, 15-13). The Head Coach of Kada Kings of Kaduna, David Jonathan said his players were carried away with the two first sets they won. “Kudos to Kwara United the really fought well to win the game, this is the only one match we lost in the league with that we are still the winner. “My boys did well in all their matches, now we need to start preparing for premier immediately,” he said. Meanwhile, the coach of Kwara United VC, Adewale Gbadamosi said he is happy that they won the last match against Kada Kings. “People have been calling Kada Kings unbearable so we wanted to prove them wrong by defeating them which is what we did. “My boys were determined to win this match and they did. We camp for one month training morning and evening, my players were fit for the league. “We will go back home and fortify the team with two to three players ahead of the premier league next year,” he said. In the female category, only two teams feature Zamfara Queens and Kwara United VC babes. Kwara United defeated Zamfara Babes 3-0 (25-17 25-20 25-23) to emerge champions of the female category. In the female league , Kwara United female team, won the league, with prize

winning N300,000 while Zamfara Queens with second position received a prize winning of N250, 000. In male category Kada Kings finished first with a prize of N400,000; Kwara United male team finished second with a prize winning of N300,000, the third position Wikki Spikers of Bauchi N250,000.

Kada Kings finished first position with total of 40 , Kwara United finished second total of 33points, Wikki Spikers of Bauchi finished third with 31 points, Sparkans VC of Yola fourth with 27 points. A total of 10 teams participated in the league, eight male teams and two female teams.

They are Kada Kings of Kaduna , Wikki Spikers of Bauchi , Kwara United, ABM of Kastina, Oluyole Spikers of Oyo, Spartans Spikers of Yola, Caliphate Spikers of Sokoto and Equity Spikers of Kebbi are the men’s team. The only two female teams are Kwara United and Zamfara Babes.

Joshua hopes for Fury unification bout

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nthony Joshua’s latest admission could boost hopes for Tyson Fury to face a heavyweight unification bout against Oleksandr Usyk in his next match. AJ was long seen as the perfect challenger for Fury, with a fight agreed for Saudi Arabia last summer, but the heavyweight landscape has shifted significantly in the months since. Fury was ordered to honour his rematch clause against Deontay Wilder, which he did last month and secured victory, while Joshua defended his belts against Usyk in September. However, the chances of Fury vs Joshua were shattered following the London fighter’s mauling at the hands of Usyk, with the Ukrainian emerging as comfortable winner. Joshua has exercised his rematch clause with Usyk, likely to take place in the spring, which means that Fury’s hopes for a unification shot will be left waiting for a few more months – or so it seemed. The latest admission from Joshua

has indicated that he’d be willing to step aside in order to see Fury vs Usyk go ahead – but the money would have to be

right. “Step aside in terms of, I don’t know if that goes in line with what I morally stand

for. But let me be real, I want to be known as one of the smartest businessmen as well,” he told iFL TV.


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Waldrum praises NFF as Falcons round off training camp in Abuja By Amaechi Agbo

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ead Coach Randy Waldrum has commended the Nigeria Football Federation for its continued total support for the country’s Senior Women National Team as the Super Falcons were set to round off a 9-day training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja. The training camp that commenced on Monday last week would come to an end on Tuesday. “I am very delighted with the support the Federation has always given to the team; this has helped our work. I am happy we had this training camp as we were able to see the home-based players and the overseas-based, and everyone bonded very well. It has been a marvelous experience and the joy among the players is palpable. “We will look to have periodic campings like this in order to be able to put forward the best of Nigeria women players for matches and championships at any time.” General Secretary of the NFF, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, who received the players and their officials at the NFF Secretariat, said the football –governing body will always ensure to provide the Falcons with the best conditions to train and play friendly and competitive matches, in order to do the nation proud each time. “We will set aside resources to organize more of this type of camping so that we will always get the best from home and abroad and blend them to perform at optimal level when the need arises. We are aware of the challenge that Cote d’Ivoire will pose when we confront them for a place at next year’s Women AFCON. We need players who are committed and are proud to dorn the country’s colours and will strive to deliver no matter the circumstances. “Football is the strongest unifying force in our country, as you can all attest given the diversity in your camp. We have players who are home –based, some overseas –based and some that are visiting the country of their birth for the first time! I believe it is a very interesting and pleasurable experience for those who are in the country for the first time ever.” Veteran defender Onome Ebi, who spoke on behalf of the players, said the pain of being eliminated from the qualifying series for the Tokyo Olympics

Super Falcons in training on Saturday in Abuja by the Ivorians is yet to fully subside. “I can tell you that we still nurse the pain of missing out of the Tokyo Olympics as a result of the loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series. This time, we will repay them in their own coins. Personally, I want to play in the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup, and I know it is the same for my team mates.” Also at the occasion were NFF’s Director of Finance & Admin, Mr Charity

Kadiri; Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire and; Director of Competitions, Ruth David. Injured forward Desire Oparanozie, of Dijon FC of France was replaced by Sweden –based Anam Imo at the training camp. This year, the Super Falcons have played at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya, participated at the USWNT Summer Series in the USA, had a training camp in Austria and played at the 1st

Aisha Buhari Invitational Tournament. The Super Falcons will confront the Ivorians in a home-and-away final elimination fixture for the 12th Women AFCON slated for Morocco in the summer of next year. Both legs of the fixture will take place in the month of February. It is at the Women AFCON in Morocco that Africa’s flagbearers at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand will emerge.

NBBF congratulates D’Tigers after strong FIBA World Cup qualifying start By Amaechi Agbo

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he Nigeria Basketball Federation has congratulated the D’Tigers for starting their 2022 FIBA World Cup on a strong note after picking two victories in three matches. With 5 points from a possible 6 and a superior point difference, the team sits comfortably atop group A ahead of the

next round of games coming up by the 27th of June, 2022. The NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida described the team’s performance as inspiring despite peculiar circumstances surrounding the federation’s election as well as FIBA’ stance over Nigeria’s participation at the qualifiers. “It is really nice to start such important qualifiers on a winning note which is

very good for our chances of qualifying for the World Cup. We had to put our administrative differences aside for the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians”. “We feel elated and justified that our decision to give FIBA the go ahead to register the team which enabled them participate paid off in the long run as we join hands with all stakeholders to continue growing the game in Nigeria”.

16 teams are vying for the available five spots at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Nigeria grouped alongside Mali, Cape Verde and Uganda. The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round of the African Qualifiers and will join three other teams to create two six-team groups with results from the preliminary rounds carried over.


. . . putting the people first

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021

SPORTS LATEST

Didier Drogba “worried” over Salah’s records in EPL

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ormer Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has admitted he is worried that ex-Blues player Mohamed Salah is going to break his current goalscoring records. Speaking to Mehwar TV, Drogba said: “If he continues, he’s going to destroy all my records - I want to cry!’ The pair were teammates during the 2014/15 season at Stamford Bridge, during Drogba’s second period at the club. Even though they never got to play together for long, the Ivorian remembers their time together at Cobham. “When you look at the squad we had at the time, it was not easy to play,” said Drogba. “But what really got me attached to Mo is that he’s really nice, he’s really polite. “Even when he was not playing, he was sad not to contribute, but he was always in good spirits,” Salah left and joined AS Roma before finding his way back into the Premier League with Liverpool. He has since become one of the most feared forward in world football, breaking Premier League records along the way. He is currently the highestscoring African player in the league’s history, beating Drogba’s record that stood at 104 goals. The Egyptian is also closing in on Drogba’s goal-scoring record in the Champions League. Drogba is the highest-scoring African in the competition, with 36 goals with Salah only five goals away from matching the feat.

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The unending, unviable PMS subsidy regime in Nigeria

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he non-ending controversy over the removal of government subsidy on PMS pump price has resurfaced again and the street cum political biased discussion and disagreement is again on the rise. Some of us think it is high time we ended this once and for all; it is about time the government acts decisively to bring the gains of the oil industry to Nigeria. I had written on this topical issue some years ago and it is quite unfortunate that the country has not since then been able to muster the will to end its non-performing subsidy regime on PMS consumption in the country. Our failure, across the board, to align with the global and economic reality of a market-led PMS pump price and to stimulate local production capacity has continued to negatively affect our economy. Opposition to every planned attempt to end the subsidy regime has always been more political as against the wellness of the nation. The economic and developmental prospects of this natural endowment would easily be understood when we recognise what has become of the UAE and others; what has become of Dubai over the same period of oil exploration as Nigeria, as a result of possession of a similar petroleum prospect as our country. These are nations that, unlike ours, have risen from the status of backward states to a masterpiece of global development; a unique enviable state of masterclass in infrastructure and social development across the board of national essentials. These are nations that altogether and effectively have engaged their critical industries to develop their nations’ economies, infrastructural and even social engagements. These are nations that do not allow individuals and groups within their system to hijack the benefits of any industry for personal usages, unlike what has become the norm with us in Nigeria. In Nigeria, altogether, the oil industry hasn’t been engaged to really benefit the country. While we have gloomy records of huge daily crude productions, and on paper, the accounting record of huge income from daily sales of the product, the real net accrued income to the country from the product has never been at par with what it ought to be. Corrupt practices, including individuals and organised conglomerates have continued to take advantage of the country and through many malign setups, inclusive of the subsidy regime to milk the country.

0806 564 8620 0704 385 9705 0814 292 9046 08074420617

WEDNESDAY COLUMN By

USSIJU MEDANER info@medaner.com, justme4justice@yahoo.com In the past, these people with vested interest had, on behalf of the country, gone into very poorly designed oil-for-product-swap deals at about the same time when NNPC started - unilaterally - taking part of the crude oil proceeds and without reflecting it on the Federation Account or providing accountability for its retirement. In the oil boom period between 2011 through 2014, we were selling our crude for as high as $110 per barrel but our treasury receipt kept falling significantly. The balance and unaccounted revenues we lost to oil thefts by a few Nigerians. Then we played the Domestic Crude Allocation (DCA) card, originally designed to feed the nation’s four refineries but as the refineries were utterly nonfunctioning, NNPC unilaterally exported 75% of the DCA crude allocations without any proper retirement of the payments. It is assumed that the unremitted balances were discretionarily spent by NNPC all through to 2015; this amounts to a sum of about $6 billion yearly. The DCA became like others a node of waste and misappropriation of the national revenue from oil sales. In only 2013, the Federation Account was shortchanged by as much as $7.056 billion having received only $9.744 billion of the total $16.8 billion of the worth of the sales of the DCA crude. Then they designed the revenue retention principle of NNPC and its subsidiaries; through the NNPC five oil trading subsidiaries, while acting as middlemen on large sales volume platform of close to 144,000 barrels per day worth of $6 billion in 2012 and raking in commission on those sales throughout the period that was never disclosed to the public or remitted any to appropriate government coffer. The countries mentioned earlier and almost all others that are benefiting from ownership of petroleum resources are known to literally operate a deregulated petroleum industry. Here in Nigeria, we took away the country’s refinery power, and turned the blessing of the resource to a curse in disguise. Deregulating the product translates to opening up the

sector totally for the free market principle to operate and thereby turning off all opportunities to rob the country of derivable proceeds while encouraging all comers’ participation that would eventually bring down prices to favour Nigerians. How do we expect the Dangotes to effectively commit to the industry and others coming in when they would not have the freedom to decide prices that encourage business? How do we expect to enjoy a replay of what we have seen happening in the telecommunication industry over the years? While the academia has repeatedly concluded that the country would have to totally deregulate its oil and gas industry to bring home the real benefits of crude oil local value chain to the country; and government after government since the days of Abacha have been advised to go the way of deregulation by economic advisers, for political reasons, we have up till now remain glued to the unfavourable subsidy regime. In the UAE, Dubai specifically, deregulation of the industry has since been taken and today’s pump price of PMS is 2.58 AED per litre, an equivalent of N287.93 in Nigerian currency. In Saudi Arabia with similar experience with the oil production and prospect, the pump price is 0.62 USD per liter currently, being an equivalent of N254.132 at the current exchange rate. The same is applicable in the developed western states. These countries mostly have national oil corporations that are wholly business oriented. Saudi Arabia’s Aramco is engaged in exploration, production, refining, distribution and marketing of oil and gas. Though owned by a country, it is the world’s largest oil and gas producer. The company operates the Kingdom’s proven reserves of 332.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent, and earned an annual revenue of $465.4bn. The same is applicable to China’s Sinopec Group, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Mexican Pemex, National Iranian Oil Company, Malaysian Petronas

and others. The summary is, the industry has stopped benefiting Nigerians; hijacked by jackals who would use any route to exploit the industry for personal gains; and obviously, the corruption embedded cum economic damaging oil subsidy regime is perhaps the most potent avenue that has been used and is still being used to swindle the country. Originally the subsidy policy was designed to pass on benefits to the poor but has since been hijacked by a few who rearranged the scheme such that the benefits started going to these few individuals. The Federal Government paid subsidies on products that are mostly subsequently transported to neighbouring nations at the detriment of the Nigerian citizens. Currently we spent as much as N250 billion monthly to finance the fuel subsidy regime that had minimal economic impact on the common man. This was the same way we spent about N409 billion on subsidies in 2009, N667 billion in 2010 and then skyrocketed to N2.105 trillion in 2011 and spent, between 2012 and 2015, N971 billion on fuel subsidies. Though we had expected that the President Muhammad Buhari-led Administration would have followed through with his decision to totally deregulate the industry before now, but it is never too late to do what is right. We cannot afford to, in the name of politically oriented rhetoric of the effects of subsidy removal on the citizens, continue to play into the hands of those few elements who are the real benefactors of the subsidy regime. One after the other, inbuilt corruption in the sector must be taken care of, brought to its end; the economic sabotage via the fuel subsidy regime must also become a thing of the past - put to an end. GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

DAN GAYE GAYE DAN

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Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234 814 292 9046. Cell: +234 802 443 2099; 803 7007 759. e-mail: contact@peoplesdailyng.com; pmlnewsdesk@gmail.com ISSN: 2141– 6141


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