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3RD BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE FORUM:China Commits To Refinancing, Completing Abuja-Kano, Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri Railways

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3RD BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE FORUM:
China Commits To Refinancing, Completing Abuja-Kano, Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri Railways

As President Jinping pledges more investments in Nigeria’s power generation

By: Our Reporter

In what could best be described as a major milestone for Nigeria at the ongoing Belt and Road Initiative Forum (BRI) in Beijing, China has committed to refinancing and completing the Abuja-Kano and Port- Harcourt-Maiduguri railway projects.

President of Peoples Republic of China, Xi Jinping, made the pledge today while responding to requests made by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who, was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, at a bilateral meeting with the Chinese leader in Beijing.

It would be recalled that since the launch of the projects, China is yet to release funds for the two major railway projects in Nigeria largely due to cutbacks and commitments.

China had agreed to provide 85 per cent financing for the construction of the Abuja-Kano and Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri railway projects, while Nigeria which had the duty of paying the balance 15% paid its part of the funding from inception of the project through appropriations.

The crucial infrastructure also termed a legacy project has the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation as the contractors named to execute the project.

The Chinese President who was visibly elated to receive the Nigerian delegation led by Vice President Shettima at the Peoples Building in China, pledged increased investment in Nigeria’s power generation and digital economy called for the protection of Chinese nationals working in Nigeria, saying he would, in turn, ensure that the Nigeria-China bilateral relation is stronger than before.

President Jinping promised that China will enhance political support and build cooperations in all fields, just as he appreciated Nigeria’s support of one China Policy.

Pledging to further deepen practical cooperations, the Chinese leader threw his weight of support behind the Renewed Hope Manifesto of President Bola Tinubu and his 8-point economic agenda adding that China will support Nigeria’s exports, especially as it relates to peanuts and others, even as the China – Africa talent initiative remains key in its cooperation with Nigeria.

In the area of security, President Jinping promised continued crackdown on terrorists, assuring categorically that China is committed to peace in the Sahel region, more so that its long-standing military trainings and MoUs on joint exercises remain sacrosanct.

Noting that China is committed to peace, President Jinping said, “Like President Bola Ahmed Tinubu stated recently at the last United Nations General Assembly, Africa does not need to run away. Africa holds the key to the World. We support Nigeria to play key roles in international relations and upholding allies’ commitments.

“Mr Vice President, you spoke about upscaling and further upgrading of our strategic relationship, and I totally agree with you. Nigeria is developing with big potentials. I totally agree with you. Our foreign Ambassadors can stay and work out this upgrading”.

Speaking earlier, Vice President Shettima who delivered the well-wishes of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu described the rail projects as very vital to the President and people of Nigeria, saying it remained a legacy project that would further open up the nation’s economy, create jobs and boost trade and investments across the country.

The vice President said President Tinubu remains committed to a stronger Nigeria – China tie, addng that it was laddened with respect, non-political interference and mutual international cooperations.

“Our relationship commenced about 50 years ago, precisely in 1971 and it has been upgraded to a comprehensive partnership but we crave your indulgence, Your Excellency, to further upgrade this relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership because of the importance we attach to our relationship with China.

“When we met in South Africa at the China Plus 1 summit I was very honest and upright with you. Beyond the infrastructural support we are getting; why we love, cherish and respect China is that you treat us with respect and dignity. You don’t dictate to us who our friends are. We don’t forget our friends. China stood by us through thick and thin from the post-colonial struggles for independence in Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, the struggle for the emancipation of our people in Southern Africa; China stood shoulder to shoulder with the African continent, we thus appreciate your friendship,” VP Kashim submitted.

President Jinping had before his audience with Vice President Kashim Shettima formally declared the Forum which had numerous heads of states and top government officials open.

Nigeria Will Leverage On Ties With China To Improve Digital Space, Says VP Shettima

Meanwhile, Vice President Kashim Shettima today said Nigeria will leverage its relationship with China to adopt programmes that will improve the country’s digital space, among other benefits.

Sen. Shettima also assured member countries of the Belt and Road Initiative of Nigeria’s readiness to “collaborate with the group and other emerging markets to bring about a positive shift in the growth and development of global economies.”

The Vice President stated these in his keynote address themed, “Digital Economy As A New Source Of Growth”, delivered during the High-Level Forum at the onging 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, China.

The Vice President who spoke on Nigeria’s efforts at leveraging collaborations with partners to deploy technology in addressing some of its challenges, noted: “We are keen on using the instrumentality of the existing robust Nigeria-China bilateral relations to maximally key into projects under the platform of the Digital Silk Road for the improvement of our digital space.”

Speaking about Nigeria’s efforts in leveraging the digital space to create jobs and diversify the economy, Sen. Shettima said, “Nigeria has recorded a number of achievements including a digitalized public service, developed banking and e-payment systems, electoral reforms through the introduction of the electronic registration of voters and e-transmission of votes, thus creating ripple effects of job creation and human capacity building opportunities for our teeming youth population.”

Continuing, the VP said, “We have recently unveiled the new strategic blueprint, accelerating our collective prosperity through technical, as part of the Federal Government’s initiative to accelerate the diversification of the Nigerian economy by enhancing productivity in critical sectors through technological innovation.”

He added: “Through this strategic blue print, the Federal Government aims to achieve three key objectives namely: Accelerate the growth of Nigeria as a global technical talent hub and net exporter of talent. One of the goals of this talent hub is to train three million early to mid-career technical talents throughout the next four years (2022-2027); Deepen and accelerate’its position in global research in key technology areas; and Raise the complexity and dynamics of Nigeria’s economy by significantly increasing the level of digital literacy across the country.”

The Vice President also spoke about Nigeria’s broadband penetration rate from 50 to 70 per cent by the end of 2025 and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s domestic card scheme code named “Afri Go” to rival foreign cards like Master and Visa cards, and stregthen the national payment system.

The Vice President was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar; Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu; Minister of Transportation, Mr Saidu Alkali; Ambassador of Nigeria to China, Baba Ahmad Jidda and others.

3RD BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE FORUM:
China Commits To Refinancing, Completing Abuja-Kano, Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri Railways

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government of Nigeria has commiserated with the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania over the passing of former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

The former President died on Thursday. He would be remembered as
an African Elder Statesman, who was an astute and influential politician that contributed significantly to laying the foundation for Tanzania’s economic development.

A statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Francisca Omayuli on Friday said: “Nigeria stands with Tanzania in this period of grief. May the soul of the departed former President rest in peace and may God grant the bereaved family, the Government and the good people of the United Republic of Tanzania the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

By: Ladi Dapson

The Borno state government has charged the youths to take the lead in peace building,conflicts management and learn how to be tolerant in respective of faiths and ethicity coloration.

The State Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof Usman Tar made this known during an inaugurating of 100 awardees of yoths as Peace Advocates in Borno State held in Maiduguri.

He urged the youths to take the advantages of their population in Nigeria just like the way China took the advantage of their population and bring some innovation to boast their economy.

“Today we inaugurating the young peace Ambassadors that we will be going into the society tricking down the capacity of peace building and tolerance that we have thought them.

“The outcome of this excise is that we now have critical young mind that will serve as ambassadors of peace go out and target specific community as well as teach the art of peace, conflict resolution, conflict management, peace building, and diplomacy.

“So that the society will be more tolerant, more engaging and society will learn to leave side by side with people of all faiths and tendency,”he said.

Earlier, the Founder of Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment, Amb. Ahmed Shehu said youths are critical stakeholders in peace processes, urging the people in the community to identify the youths in their community and give them the necessary support.

“As a civil society, we thought we have to play our role towards ensuring we have a stable society.

“What we observed in these efforts is that a critical element is missing. This is the youth groups and we thought why can’t we come up with an initiative where we build the capacity of the youth and make them youth advocates and unleash them to the society for peacebuilding.

“We carefully selected young people and voices across all sectors, from the media, CSOs and academia. Our dream is you would go back to the community and change the narratives,”Ahmed said.

He was awarded for a responsible media practice and promoting of a culture of peace.

One of recipients of the Peace Advocate Award and Social Media Influencer, Aliyu Mohammed Tong applauded the Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment and partners for finding them worthy of this award after a series of trainings and community engagements.

“As we accepted the award we equally took it as a challenge to positively make an impact in our various communities by stepping down the knowledge we gained on reintegration and sustainable peace.”Aliyu thanked.

Some of the recipients include Mohammed Usman, General Manager of Al-Ansar Radio; Usaman Mohammed, Report with Yerwa Express News; Umaru Kirawa, Correspondent of Newscentral Africa, Zainab Yetunde Adam, Reporter with NTA amongst.

The project was funded by the British Council in partnership with the Borno State Ministry for information and Internal Security and implemented by Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment.

Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

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New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

By: Michael Mike

The newly appointed Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Kemi Nandap has promised to evolve policies that would prevent illegal migration, safeguard the lives of Nigerians and foster positive bilateral relations.

Nandap made the promise on Friday in Abuja during her decoration with her new rank by the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo

The Comptroller General, while expressing gratitude to President Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Interior for her new appointment, said: “I extend my sincerest gratitude and profound reverence to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the trust and confidence placed in me to lead this esteemed organisation. I am very grateful to my Honourable Minister of Interior- Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo-for his vision, meticulous focus, tireless work ethic, and leadership. I must also acknowledge and sincerely thank the Permanent Secretary and the entire Board for their unwavering support and endorsement.”

She added that: “As I step into this role, I want to first assure our fellow Nigerians that I am fully prepared and committed to serving our nation with utmost dedication and integrity. I am not unaware of the socioeconomic challenges and pains facing our beloved country, and I pledge-to use the functions of the Nigerian Immigration Service to alleviate these struggles to the best of our
ability.

“To that end and under the guiding principles of the “Renewed Hope” agenda set forth by his excellency, President Tinubu’s administration, we will strive towards unity, growth and development. We will prioritize the welfare of our immigration officers and enhance the ease and .efficiency of engagement between Nigerian citizens and the Immigration service. We will focus on improving the entry and acclimatization processes for compliant foreigners through various visa and residency programmes.

“Furthermore, we are steadfast in our resolve to strengthen policies to prevent illegal migration, safeguard the lives of our citizens and foster positive bilateral relations. Tightening border security will be our major objective to reduce the porosity of our borders and enhance overall national security.

She added that: “We will strive to implement revenue generation programmes to bolster the economy, contribute to our tax quota, and aid in job creation.

“In addition, we will continue to integrate cutting-edge techology to modernize the Nigerian Immigration Service. Our Honourable minister has demonstrated the power of technology in creating a seamless e-passport system for citizens. We will continue under his aegis to reform the service for greater efficiency and ease.”

Earlier, the Minister of Interior has charged the new CG that it was important that she performs as no excuse for non-performance would be entertained.

He noted that the entire nation is looking up to her to perform and not ready to entertain any excuse.

New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

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