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Nigeria worries over Ghana’s lipservice to bilateral agreement

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Nigeria worries over Ghana’s lipservice to bilateral agreement

Vice President Yemi Osibanjo has expressed dismay that Ghana is yet to honor its pledge to reopen hundreds ofshops belonging to Nigerians which were locked down on account of some stiff business regulations imposed on them.
Osibanjo spoke on Tuesday evening during a meeting with representatives of the Nigerian community in the West African country.
“There have been direct communications between our President and President Nana Akufo-Addo. Our President has spoken to him about this, he has made a formal complaint to him, and that conversation has been going on.”
What the Ghanaian government pledged to do, on three occasions, was that the shops will be reopened. In fact, I am a bit surprised that it has not taken place because my understanding was that, that was going to be done.

He vowed to ensure that Nigerian traders caught in the web of Ghanaian crisis get justice, notwithstanding the seeming delay in resolving their concerns regarding some stiff business regulations imposed on them by the authorities.
On efforts made in the past and even recently to resolve the crisis, the Vice President submitted: “I have followed closely developments here, and many of the incidents that you have described, I am already very familiar with. As a matter of fact, the President had asked that a review of all that had taken place be done.
Osinbajo said: “I will certainly convey the depth of your grievances to the President. I am sure that he will be deeply disturbed to hear that despite the assurances that he had received (from the Ghanaian government), there are still problems and complications, many of which have been discussed at the highest level.
“I look forward to getting the details and making sure that we are able to begin to resolve some of these issues as quickly as possible. But I think you must also recognise that generally speaking, governments tend to be very slow, processes are slow, bureaucracies are slow, but we will make sure that we do the very best we can to get you your rights, so that at least you are dealt with justly.”

The parley, which held at the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana in Accra, was to address the challenges facing the traders, including the locking of hundreds of shops owned by Nigerians.

First Vice President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG), Chief Kizito Obiorah, and an online publisher, Mr. Destiny Austin Omon, had taken turns to present copies of their petitions to the number two citizen before voicing out the several impediments they contended with in their host nation.

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AfCTA will lift 100 million Africans from extreme, moderate poverty by 2025, says secretary General

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AfCTA will lift 100 million Africans from extreme, moderate poverty by 2025, says secretary General


The Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Mr. Wamkele Mene, has indicated that the continent has the opportunity to lift almost 100 million people in Africa from extreme poverty and moderate poverty through trade by the year 2025.
The newly elected Secretary General of AfCFTA Wamkele Keabetswe Mene,
spoke when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to the senate President Ahmad Lawan, Tuesday.

He noted that the success of the trade agreement was largely dependent on the measure of benefit accruing to African countries.
He however expressed the fear that should AfCFTA benefit only the big countries in Africa it is not going to work.
According to him, the secretariat going forward, would look up to Nigeria for guidance in coming up with policies and ways of implementing the content of the trade agreement to accommodate the interest of all African countries.
“Using digital platforms. It is very possible for the AFCFTA to connect the informal sector across the African continent.
“We know for example that they are women farmers in Kenya who exports their flowers to the European Union using digital platforms.”
Hence he indicated that it is possible the African countries to use the latest Innovations to bring on board the people as they implement the AfCTA agreement.

He said his vision is and what I see this agreement that was originally. Its Inception is here in Abuja. So it is entirely appropriate for me to be here today and having this engagement with you on the basis of their Abuja treaty itself.

It’s going to be incredibly difficult. It is going to be very very challenging.

“The road that heads the work ahead is going to be very very difficult, but we’ve got to do it because they are 1.2 billion people that are looking to us.

He said since his election by several African heads of States he has received over 7000 emails.
“And the common theme Was that you are not to fail do not fake? Because if you fail history will judge us very very hashly
‘So we as Africans have a unique opportunity to significantly Advance our Economic Development objectives leveraging on trade. We have the opportunity to double inter-african trade by the year 2035.”

“That it’s possible for us to do with this new vision of the African continent on free trade area. We owe it to the populations. We all wait to our peoples to do it.
“But some of these challenges will of course have to be tackled and with the support of Nigeria and with the support of yourselves distinguished Senators, I know that we can take the necessary steps to create a better Africa, too.”
He said it will help in jump starting double inter African trade.
According to him he has recieved overwhelming support from across the African continent
He said he will be meeting with the chairman of zenith bank on ways of helping to see how they can move the idea forward because the chairman believes in it.
“We want to devise a payment platform so that when you trade within the African continent of free trade area, you can transact in your local currency payments and settlement platform that will significantly reduce the costs of payment, to enhance affordability and enhance access of small medium Enterprises to other markets around the continent.
“I am very much excited about this collaboration with African export-import Bank under the leadership of Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah leadership.
“It is African ingenuity. We’re not going to the World Bank. We’re not going to the IMF. We’re doing it ourselves as Africans. And that is why I am very very grateful for his support as I conclude distinguished Senators.
“Let me once again say how pleased I am to be here and I’m very pleased to have heard from the minister yesterday that Nigeria is almost at the point of ratification.
“He told me at the special Summit of heads of states in December or perhaps in February at the ordinary session where Nigeria will be able to deposit the instrument of ratification. So I thank you very much.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said for the AfCFTA to yield intended results, it must be backed by requisite legal frameworks, right policies, and robust implementation.


The Senate President who was represented by the Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice, said the intent behind Nigeria’s decision to sign the agreement on July 7th, 2019, during the 12th Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, in Niamey, was to benefit Africans on the continent and outside it.

According Lawan, aside facing the challenges of unemployment, and underemployment, which have been a trigger for both regular and irregular migration, the economies of African countries have been characterized by low productivity, reduced efficiency, and the problem of limited resources.

He, therefore, described the African Continental Free Trade Agreement as “a step in the right direction for the growth of African economies, through limited restrictions, leading to the stimulation of trade, commerce, and industry.”

“In signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), and depositing the instrument with the African Union Commission, our countries made a statement on the determination of our collective economic fate. This fate is in our hands, through requisite legal frameworks, right policies, and a robust implementation.

“The initial momentum from the signing of the agreement needs to be continued, for a greater continental impact, to benefit Africans, both on the continent and outside it”, he said.

The Senate President added that, “the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations, which is the agency of government, responsible for managing, coordinating, and leading all trade and trade related negotiations, has the clear mandate of managing Nigeria’s side of the agreement.”

“Nigeria’s action in signing was not just an evidence of our commitment to the spirit of Africa, but a sign of our trust in a unified economic growth. The multiple benefit of the arrangement is also not lost on us.”

“As the biggest market and economy on the continent, we have a strategic role to play in the evolution and stabilization of the African economy. We are ready to expand the possibilities through our status, with your confidence in us, and the demands of posterity,” the Deputy Senate Leader said.

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AfDB: Obasanjo lauds Buhari’s statesmanship in Adesina’s re-election

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AfDB: Obasanjo lauds Buhari’s statesmanship in Adesina’s re-election

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has lauded President Muhammed Buhari’s statesmanship in his support at ensuring successful re-election of the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.

Obasanjo, who was reacting for the first time after Adesina’s re-election penultimate week, commended some past and present African leaders for their supports during the period.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Assistant Media Kehinde Akinyemi.

The former President the Statement indicated made the disclosures when the leadership of the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters  Association of Nigeria (FIBAN), led by the National President,  Comr. Desmond Nwachukwu paid him a courtesy call at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Pent House residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

Obasanjo who was responding to remarks made by the FIBAN President on the support given to Adesina, added that education played a vital role in the success so far made by him and other Nigerians doing the country proud in their different endeavour.

“I must commend the Federal government for the support given to him to get this second term ticket. You know that the former President, Goodluck Jonathan recommended him before this new government came on board. The government  could have rejected him. So, I must commend the President for supporting him all through.

“Also, let me acknowledged and commended some of my colleagues, the 14 former Presidents in Africa for joining me immediately I drew their attentions to it. Some present Presidents also deserved commendations too,” Obasanjo said.

The former President emphasized on the importance of education, noting “if Adesina had not gone to school, no matter the innate ability God might have given him, he would not have got to where he is today.

“So, the first thing is how do we get the about 14m children, who are out of school now back to school. 14m children who should have been in school, undergoing education training that will make them to contribute to the development of the country in the near future.

“It is having good education, that will make them a good product to market in the global world like Adesina. Not only him, we have several like him, including the AFRISM President, Dr. Oramah,” Obasanjo said, even as he observed that the country’s present image was not fairing to assist these potentials.

Obasanjo appreciated the members of the Association for the visit, moreso for the commendation on his support for the AfDB President.

The FIBAN national president had earlier disclosed that the former President’s penchant for grooming talents for leadership positions led to the emergence of Adesina,  and as such, “the association is therefore using this opportunity to congratulate you on the historic re-election of Adesina.  

“And we are ready to make our doors opened for you to equally tap from many of our qualified members for such leadership positions.”

Nwachukwu also hinted that the proposed School of Broadcasting in Abeokuta, is to be name after the former President.

On the entourage of the President were the 2nd National Vice President, Hellen Okon, Member of the Board of Trustees Gbenga Adebayo-Oladunni, Veteran Broadcasters Ibiyemi AJADI and Asamu Akinrinde.

Others include Femi OMILANI – Chairman, Ogun State chapter, Adekunle Abolade, Chairman, Osun State Chapter and Seun Awodele of the Oyo State Chapter among others.

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Borno Gov, Refugee Commission Visit Niger preparatory to returning stranded Nigerian refugees

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Borno Gov, Refugee Commission Visit Niger preparatory to returning stranded Nigerian refugees

The Borno state governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum and the Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed have visited Niger Republic over the weekend preparatory to returning stranded Nigerian citizens.

The visit was part of the advanced plan by the Commission and the Borno state government to assess the situation of stranded Nigerian Refugees in Niger for proper arrangement for their strategic return and integration.

Speaking to the refugees in Diffa, Senator Mohammed said the visit there was long overdue addint he wished it had happened earlier.
He lauded the Governor of Borno State, Professor Zulum for engaging the Commission in such an important fact-finding trip.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has given directives to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development and her agencies to commit to prioritizing the safe return of Nigerian refugees inNiger, Chad and Cameroon.
According to him, since July they kickstarted progressive talks with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Nigeria (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) adding that the consensus is the safety of each stranded Nigerian in those countries

“It is our plan to return you to places that are secure. We hope to return you to better lives and reunite you with loved ones, friends and family”.

“I am pleased to also announce that the Refugee Commission is making plans to build the first NCFRMI Resettlement City Rehabilitation & Reintegration Project in four states within the country”.

“Each city will include a primary healthcare centre, educational learning centre, religious worship centre and skills assessment and training for all inhabitants. We are committed as one government – state and federal”.

“I have had deep discussions with various stakeholders on my way here and I remain humbled and equally challenged to do my best to bring you back home safely.”
He thanked thir partners, the UNHCR in Niger and Borno State government for the support rendered to every Nigerian.

It would be recalled that as an agency under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development tasked with the responsibility for the return, the NCFRMI has begun the process of a series of discussion that will lead to the signing of a tripartite agreement with Niger Republic.

This agreement will ensure a safe and orderly return of Nigerians within the region and also serve as a sign of true partnership between Nigeria and the government of Niger towards issues of a humanitarian nature.

As of July 2016, there are 280,000 refugees in Diffa region of Niger and approximately 6,000 and 10,000 displaced persons in refugee camps of Sayam Forage and Kabelawa respectively. According to a report by the National Emergency Management Agency, there 138,321 refugees in Niger Republic.
Other official on the trip included, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management, Grema Alhaji Aliyu.

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