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British High Commission Marks Remembrance Day

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British High Commission Marks Remembrance Day

By: Michael Mike

The British High Commission in Nigeria on Sunday marked the Remembrance Day.

Remembrance Day is a Memorial Day observed in Commonwealth member states since 1919; a year after the end of the First World War. Remembrance Day (which was known as Armistice Day until after the Second World War) falls on 11th November.

Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November, which is usually the Sunday closest to 11th November. It is marked by special services held at war memorials across the Commonwealth. Wreaths are laid on memorials and a two minute silence is observed at 11am.

A statement on Sunday by the British High Commission in Nigeria read: the Acting British High Commissioner, Ms Gill Atkinson, supported by the UK Defence Adviser to Nigeria; Brigadier Matt Munro, together with representatives of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Diplomatic Missions and International Partners marked Remembrance Sunday at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja. ,

The statement added that similar to the Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance Day held on 15th January, Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifice and courage of millions from across the Commonwealth, who died in the service of lasting peace. It is a Day to remember those who volunteered, served, fought, and died, all for the cause of freedom.

Attendees of this year’s memorial included faith communities (Jewish, Christian and Muslim) and Heads of Missions representing Commonwealth countries remembering West African Armed forces and their contributions to the First and Second World Wars as well as current conflicts, wreathes were laid at the cemetery’s Memorial.

Speaking at the memorial service Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa said:
“Today I joined the British High Commission at the Commonwealth Remembrance Service. A special tribute was paid to courageous soldiers of the West African Frontier Force & men and women who bravely served Our Armed Forces as a beacon of hope for a peaceful future.”

UK Defence Adviser to Nigeria Brigadier Matt Munro said: “Earlier today we
remembered brave men and women of The Commonwealth. Inspired by their courage to sow seeds of peace in fields of conflict and the ultimate sacrifice that so many paid, in a world where conflicts still rage, we must continue to strive for peace and partnership.”

British High Commission Marks Remembrance Day

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Palestinian Ambassador Sends SOS to Stop Impending Famine in Gaza

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Palestinian Ambassador Sends SOS to Stop Impending Famine in Gaza

By: Michael Mike

The Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah Shawesh, has called for urgent assistance from across the globe to safe Gaza from impending famine.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the envoy said should nothing be done to forestall the current catastrophe brought about by incessant attacks by Israeli force and distorting of humanitarian aids movement into Gaza, the besieged city may be under the siege of famine and epidemic.

According to him, Thursday marked 132 days since the war began, hundreds of people died due to lack of proper medical treatment and infectious diseases has already invaded and famine is knocking on the door.

He alleged that Palestinians in Gaza today are being forced to choose between being killed, maimed, or fleeing their homes and 70 percent of them are already refugees who fled their homeland 76 years ago.

The envoy said Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief
Coordinator said, and I quote, “Today, I’m sounding the alarm once again: Military operations in Rafah could lead to a slaughter in Gaza.

“They could also leave an already fragile humanitarian operation at death’s door.

“As a result of this continuous war, humanitarian workers have been shot at, held at gunpoint, attacked, and killed, they lack the safety guarantees, aid supplies and the staff capacity to keep operations afloat.”

Shawesh also said that there is a risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases due to unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, and the heavy burden on the health system.

“Out of the 22 health units affiliated with the UNRWA, only four are operating due to the destruction and access restrictions; only thirteen hospitals out of 36 in Gaza are functioning.

“According to the Minister of Health, there have been 223,000 cases of acute respiratory infections, 158,000 cases of diarrhea, 53% of which were among children under the age of five, 55,472 cases of scabies and lice, 38,010 cases of skin rash, and 5,330 cases of chickenpox, in addition to several cases of relapsing hepatitis,” he added.

The Ambassador stressed that international community has been warning against the dangerous consequences of any ground invasion in Rafah and the Government of Israel cannot continue to ignore these calls.

Palestinian Ambassador Sends SOS to Stop Impending Famine in Gaza

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UK Signs Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with Nigeria

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UK Signs Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

The United Kingdom has signed an Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP) with Nigeria to boost trade and investment between the two countries and unlock new opportunities for UK and Nigerian businesses.

UK Minister for Trade and Business Kemi Badenoch signed the ETIP alongside her Nigerian counterpart Nigerian Trade Minister Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP) is the first the UK has signed with an African country and is designed to grow the UK and Nigeria’s already thriving trading relationship, which totalled £7 billion in the year to September 2023.

This arrangement will pave the way for opportunities in sectors crucial to both economies such as finance and legal services as well as foster new collaborations in innovative areas like the creatives industry. The visit by the Secretary of State comes a week ahead of a UK Government-led fashion and beauty trade delegation to Nigeria.

The ETIP also initiates further collaboration on the UK’s ambitious Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), launched last year which puts in place simpler and more generous trading terms for Nigeria and 36 other African countries.

Nigeria is a major beneficiary of changes introduced by the DCTS and will see tariff reductions on over 3000 products, meaning that 99% of existing Nigerian exports to the UK by value will be duty free. Tariffs have been removed on Nigerian goods which promote value addition in important non-oil export sectors such as cocoa butter and paste, sesame oil and clothing and apparel. These changes will boost trade with the UK and support the Federal Government of Nigeria’s wider trade policy priorities.

Badenoch said: “The UK and Nigeria are vital partners, with longstanding historical and economic ties.

“UK businesses are already seeing huge success in Nigeria – one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“I’m delighted to be here to sign our new enhanced partnership which will allow UK firms to export their world-class goods and services more easily and expand their footprint in Nigeria.”

Nigerian Minister for Trade Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite said: “The UK is one of our long-standing strategic partners with whom we share strong ties, and it gladdens me that this relationship is set to deepen as we sign the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership.

“This partnership will see Nigeria-UK relations move beyond one of shared history and strong ties to one of shared economic prosperity. From increasing market access and supporting our vibrant businesses, to creating more jobs and accelerate greater investments in sectors of mutual interests.”

The ETIP will help to build on the significant progress already made in resolving market access barriers in the education and financial sectors, which have led to a more favourable trading environment for UK and Nigerian businesses.

In addition, through this partnership, there is an opportunity to leverage UK and international investment from the City of London, which is home to the top financial and professional services.

TheCityUK International Managing Director Nicola Watkinson said: “Nigeria is an important growth market for the UK-based financial and related professional services industry and TheCityUK welcomes the signing of the new ETIP.
“We look forward to continuing our engagement through the working groups to increase market access and remove regulatory frictions.”

During the visit, Minister Badenoch will also hold a groundbreaking ceremony at Abuja’s first industrial park built by UK-Turkish construction firm Zeberced Ltd to open its support services areas at the site.

The UK government has been supporting the firm in a number of areas. The $144m industrial park is set to create 620 direct jobs and 1,650 indirect jobs and provide a base for major firms to access central and northern Nigeria.

The UK trade minister will in addition, witness the signing of a landmark energy agreement between UK based energy firm Konexa and Nigerian power generation company North South Power (NSP).

The agreement will enable Konexa to supply Nigerian Breweries PLC with 100% renewable power, promote sustainable development and clean energy adoption, and lead to infrastructure investments of over £14 million.

Konexa CEO Pradeep Pursnani said: “This is a very important milestone for Konexa, North South Power, Nigerian Breweries, and all our investment partners. Over the last few years, Konexa has been working on a disruptive model that matches customer energy demand with renewable energy supply.

“We are looking forward to investing more than £120m in renewable energy generation, transmission, distribution, and battery storage solutions to help our customers transition away from the use of fossil fuel.”

UK exports to Nigeria were £4 billion in the 12 months to the end of September 2023, an increase of 3% in current prices from the 12 months to September 2022.Of this, £1.3 billion were goods and £2.6 billion were services.

The ETIP will build on the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme, which has already granted enhanced preferential access for over 3000 products, meaning that 99% of existing Nigerian exports to the UK by value will be duty free.

Tariffs have been removed on Nigerian goods in important non-oil export sectors such as cocoa butter and paste, sesame oil and clothing and apparel.

For example, 14% of tariffs have been removed on prepared tomatoes, 4.5% removed on sesame oil, 6.4% removed for woven cotton, 4.5% removed on cocoa paste, and 12.5% removed on plantains.

Working groups and business dialogues will take place to ensure businesses on both sides benefit and have access to the opportunities the ETIP presents.

Following the Secretary of State’s visit, His Majesty’s Deputy Trade Commissioner for Africa, will be leading a fashion and beauty retail Trade Mission from the UK to Nigeria with 8 UK brands looking to form retail and e-commerce partnerships in Nigeria. These include the Boohoo Group, Kartel Watches and The Gel Bottle amongst others.

Konexa has a Generation and Trading license, TUoS (Transmission use of system) agreement with TCN and DUoS (Distribution use of System) agreement with DISCOS that enables them to wheel renewable electrons through transmission and distribution networks to supply customers, including investment in improving the network.

North South Power (NSP) is an indigenous power generation company with over 600MW of operating hydro already operating on the national grid (approx. 8% of national energy supply). The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) being signed is for a new 30MW hydro asset that they are commissioning in December 2024

The new deal will help supply Nigerian Breweries (Heineken,Kaduna), with 100% renewable power – using a combination of Hydropower, battery storage and a power management system – marking a significant step towards sustainable industrial operations in the region.

UK Signs Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with Nigeria

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Israel Refusal to Transfer Our Clearance Fund is Unacceptable- Palestine

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Israel Refusal to Transfer Our Clearance Fund is Unacceptable- Palestine

By: Michael Mike

The Palestine on Thursday has described as unacceptable Israeli continued refusal to transfer their clearance fund for the third month in a row, lamenting that this has deeply affected the country’s ability to pay the monthly salaries and government daily running cost.

Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah Abu Shawesh, gave the description during a press conference in Abuja.

He said this is one of the injustice by the Israeli government who have continued to bombard Gaza, noting that Palestinians have resolved not to give up in their fight against massacre by Israeli force in Gaza Strip until other powerful countries backing Israeli call for Israeli ceasefire.

He maintained that Palestine would continue to remain committed to the prisoners, martyrs and to their people in the Gaza Strip by virtue of their national, religious and moral responsibility.

Shawesh decried that the refusal of Israel to transfer their clearance fund for the third month has set back all macro-economic measurements and micro-economics activities, pushing more Palestinian families below the poverty line and causing the unemployment rate way up.

He lamented that “this is the 125th day of the Israel genocide, massacre, revenge war in Gaza Strip and our priorities are to stop Israeli brutal military aggression and securing the delivery of appropriate humanitarian aid to the Gazans.”

He emphasized the Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr Mohamed Shetiah saying that: “There will not be a State in Gaza, and there will not be a State Without Gaza.”

He said while USA and other countries are discussing the aftermath of the war, Israeli has taken a firm stance refusing the Palestinian Authority (PNA) to rule Gaza.

He explained that PNA in the Gaza Strip has 50,000 employees, including security personal who stopped working, doctors, teachers and other State employees in the administration.

He said: “In this particular issue, l would like to stress that Gaza is an essential part of the occupied Palestinian territories, and we never left the Gaza Strip. We are responsible for managing various aspects of daily life in the Gaza Strip, such as water and electricity, 35% of the government budget is allocated to the Gaza Strip, even though there are no revenues from it.

“On the 125th day of the massacre, genocide, revenue, war, Israeli military aggression or any other name, but not Hama’s Israeli war, unless you want to follow Western-Israeli propaganda, have accepted the brainwashing process and/or are fully complicit, the number coming from Occupied Palestinian Territories are totally horrific as followed:

“On Gaza Strip, 27.487 are officially registered as martyrs with more than 66,835 sounded and 8,000 still missing under the rubble. 7,000 if the sounded are in desperate need of intensive medical treatment outside the Gaza Strip. More than 1,650,00 people have been displaced in Rafah, which means that the area is now home to majority of Gaza’s population, making it the densest place in the world.

“Two State solution is an essential part of the birth certificate of the Siamese twins called the State of Palestine and the State of Israel as outlined in the 181 UNGA Resolution November 29, 1947. Theorizing about the two State solution is not just about spouting empty words without practical steps or embody the State of Palestine on the ground.

“The two State solution means dismantling all the illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem.”

Israel Refusal to Transfer Our Clearance Fund is Unacceptable- Palestine

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