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FG expresses determination to overcome burden of refugees challenges

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FG expresses determination to overcome burden of refugees challenges

The Federal Government has expressed the determination to work round the clock until the challenges of refugees in Nigeria are overcome now that it is having the highest number and carrying the heaviest burden of the humanitarian challenge. 

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, gave the assurance in Abuja Thursday during a two-day stakeholders meeting on implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).

She said, though the world is facing serious humanitarian challenges, Nigeria has the highest number and carries the heaviest burden of refugees in the Lake Chad Basin region.
 She said: “On December 17, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the Global Compact on Refugees, after two years of extensive consultations led by UNHCR with member states, international organisations, refugees, civil society organisations, the private sector and relevant experts. Nigeria played an active part in this process.
According to her, available statistics from UNHCR, as at 2019, shows that there are 79.5 million Forcibly Displaced Persons (FDPs), including 25.9 million refugees and 41.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the world as at the end of 2018.
In the Lake Chad Basin region, there were over 3.3 million FDPs, comprising over 2.7 million IDPs in North-East Nigeria, 513,000 IDPs in Cameroon, Chad and Niger and 244,000 refugees in the four countries.
“The adoption of GCR is a good omen for Nigeria. It has opened a new vista of opportunities for stakeholders to access support in a timely, predictable and sustainable manner. It creates an incentive for stakeholders to join forces and pull resources to address the humanitarian challenge and to do it with the intention of addressing underlying causes in a sustainable and humane manner. 
“In Nigeria, we have adopted this approach. In our efforts to advance collaboration, we worked with UNHCR and countries in the Lake Chad Basin to host a Regional Protection Dialogue, which led to the Abuja Statement of Action in 2016. In January 2019, we converged in Abuja again to review our commitment to the 2016 Abuja Statement and raise the tempo of stakeholders in its effective implementation. We also signed a Tripartite Agreement with the UNHCR and Government of Cameroon on the repatriation of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon and commenced its implementation with the return of over 130 refugees to their communities in Adamawa state. 
“In line with the spirit of the bipartite subproject with UNHCR, we equipped urban refugees in different parts of the country with skills, start-up capital and starter packs to engage in income generating activities that assisted to integrate locally in Nigerian communities. We worked with UNHCR and the Nigeria Immigration Service to issue a Convention Travel Document to enable refugees and asylum seekers to exercise the fundamental human rights of movement with all internationally recognised protection and privileges.”

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Akpabio denies giving Attorney general $5m bribe over NDDC sole administrator

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Akpabio denies giving Attorney general $5m bribe over NDDC sole administrator

 
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has denied paying $5 million bribe to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and others to secure the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This was contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja on Sunday by his chief press secretary Anietie Ekong
He described the claim as a piece of fake news.
The statement reads in part,
“We wish to state categorically that this is a piece of malicious concoction manufactured from the pit of hell by mischief -makers.
“It is a figment of the imagination of the author of the fake news. Senator Akpabio denies the story in its entirety. The authors of the fake news should be ready to back up their claim or face the full wrath of the law.
 
“The story is a desperate attempt by some unscrupulous bloggers to impugn the integrity of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as the claim is not only spurious but utterly ridiculous. 
According to him, in a suit number ABJ/CS/617/2020 filed by a Civil Society Organization, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had granted an order restraining the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC from performing the functions of the board and accessing the Commission’s offices and files.
 
“The Order clearly listed the Managing Director Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Acting Executive Director of Projects Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Mrs Caroline Nagboh and Cecilia Akintomide as those restrained.
He said the Order also asked that “the most senior civil servant or administrator in the Commission be appointed” to take charge of the Commission.
 
“It was based on this order that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the elevation of the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Effiong Akwa, being the most Senior Administrator to take over the headship of the NDDC as an Interim Administrator pending the completion of the Forensic Audit Exercise.
 
“It is therefore absurd for anyone to even imagine that the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio would bribe the Attorney General before an Order of the Court is complied with as the purveyors of the fake news have stated. “
He therefore advised the general public to discountenance the piece of trash.
 
He said, “It is obvious that some persons who are scared of the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari are working tirelessly to scuttle the exercise by blackmailing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. 
“Their modus operandi is to churn out fake news in a bid to stop Senator Akpabio from sanitizing the NDDC.
“Otherwise, how can a responsible news website make such a grievous allegation without any shred of evidence to back up its claim.”
 
However, he restated the resolve of Senator Akpabio to continue to do the right thing as mandated by President Buhari adding that no amount of sponsored fake news and blackmail would deter him from achieving his mandate. “The Minister has the overwhelming support of the impoverished masses of the Niger Delta who have borne the brunt of underdevelopment of the region over the years.”
 
 

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NEF warns Nigerians against stoking religious war with unguarded statements

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NEF warns Nigerians against stoking religious war with unguarded statements

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has asked Nigerians to watch and guard their statements so as to prevent any form of religious war in the country.
This was coming against the backdrop of inflammatory and inciting statements after the Christmas day sermon by fiery Bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese leading to the issuance of a quit notice on the revered Bishop to leave Sokoto State.

NEF in a statement on Wednesday by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed warned that Nigeria should not be subjected to further difficult circumstances capable of imposing fear in the mind of citizens.

Baba-Ahmed who expressed worries about certain disturbing comments in the polity, therefore, warned those spreading explosive and inciting statements to check their ways and desist from such acts.

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‘Deep Offshore Production Sharing Contracts paying off with $2bn earnings annually’

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‘Deep Offshore Production Sharing Contracts paying off with $2bn earnings annually’

The amendment to the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act has increased remittances from the sharing contracts into the federation account from $260 million to $2billion annually, senate President Ahmad Lawan has said

He also vowed that the 9th National Assembly this year will conquer the “demons” frustrating the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the last fourteen years.

Lawan stated this yesterday while speaking with journalists on his 62 birthday celebration in Abuja.  

He said the patriotic zeal used by the National Assembly in October 2019 to pass an amendment to the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act would be deployed for expeditious consideration and passage of the PIB already before it, latest by the end of first quarter of this year.

“PIB is like a demon. People both within and outside the country are ready to work against it as they have been doing for the past fourteen years but the 9th Senate and by extension, 9th National Assembly will defeat the demon with the current bill before both Chambers.

“The patriotic zeal, sheer determination and unity of purpose by all serving senators across party lines to do this latest by the end of first quarter of this year will be deployed on the bill immediately the Senate resumes on 26th of this month the way it did with Deep Offshore Oil Production Sharing Contracts,” he said.

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