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FG Declares October 2 Public Holiday for Independence Celebration

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FG Declares October 2 Public Holiday for Independence Celebration

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government has declared Monday October 2nd 2023 as a public holiday in commemoration of the Nation’s 63rd independence celebration.

The exact Independence Day is always marked on October 1, but this year’s celebration falls on a Sunday, making government to declare Monday 2nd, a working day to mark it.

The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, while making the declaration in Abuja, congratulated all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.

Tunji-Ojo in a statement on Thursday signed by the Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Interior, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade
assured Nigerians of Government continued commitment to tackling challenges facing the country.

He said: “It is today a known fact that difficult Socio-Economic and Security challenges are global, and Nigeria is not isolated.”

The Minister however said that the Government is daily making efforts to confront these varied and numerous challenges with all the might available until respite comes our way.

Tunji-Ojo reiterated that the eminent position of Nigeria in the comity of nations and the greatness ahead of the country is achievable if we all work together in unity.

He further stated that our warm welcoming spirit and love as well as our unbounded human capital and the richness of our land makes Nigeria unarguably the leading black nation in the world being Africa’s pride and beacon of hope for the Renewed Hope of President Bola Tinubu.

The Minister while wishing the citizens a memorable independence celebration, recalled that our founding fathers, in spite of the differences in Faith, Tribe,Tongue, came together for Nigeria’s freedom which we enjoy today.

He assured that, this Administration through the Renew Hope Agenda will ensure a better Nigeria for all citizens, as a befitting tribute to our heroes past.

FG Declares October 2 Public Holiday for Independence Celebration

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Abuja: Zulum meets EU ambassador, UNHCR rep to Nigeria

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Abuja: Zulum meets EU ambassador, UNHCR rep to Nigeria

By: Our Reporter

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, on Tuesday, met with the European Union and ECOWAS Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Samuela Isopi, and the new representative of UNHCR to Nigeria, Arjun Jain, in Abuja.

Both meetings were held separately behind closed doors after the initial opening where newsmen were allowed.

Zulum’s meeting with the EU focused on collaboration in the health sector, education and social services for the people of Borno State.

Governor Zulum expressed appreciation to the European Union for supporting Borno during over one decade of insurgency that resulted in a humanitarian crisis.

Meanwhile, in the meeting with UNHCR, Zulum discussed modalities for the repatriation of Borno indigenes taking refuge in the neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.

The meeting also discussed the welfare of IDPs and plans to support them in reducing their dependency on food aid from NGOs and government palliatives.

Governor Zulum’s delegation for the meetings includes the Deputy Speaker of Borno State House of Assembly, Engr Abdullahi Musa Askira, Secretary to Borno State Government, Hon Bukar Tijjani, Chief Adviser to the Governor on External Affairs, Ambs Adamu Abbas, and the Special Adviser on ICT, Tukur Mshelia.

Abuja: Zulum meets EU ambassador, UNHCR rep to Nigeria

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Humanitarian Funding: EU Allocates €31.5 million to Address Needs of Vulnerable People in Nigeria

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Humanitarian Funding: EU Allocates €31.5 million to Address Needs of Vulnerable People in Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

The European Union is providing €201 million in humanitarian funding to address the needs of the most vulnerable people affected by the humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria.

Nigeria with specifically benefits €31.5 million

The announcement was made on the occasion of the Senior Officials Meeting on Sahel and Lake Chad, attended on Tuesday by Commissioner Janez Lenarčič in Brussels.

The funding will support food security and assistance for malnutrition, health care and protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter and education activities, as well as the transportation of humanitarian workers and supplies to remote and inaccessible locations.

A statement on Tuesday said, “the EU humanitarian aid response will continue to focus on the countries and areas directly affected by ongoing insecurity and conflict, including West Africa’s coastal countries already impacted by the spill-over from Central Sahel.The overall funding will support humanitarian projects in: Burkina Faso (€26.9 million); Cameroon (€21 million); Chad (€57.9 million, including the newly allocated €8.7 million in response to the consequences of the conflict in Sudan to the neighbouring countries and another €3.1 million to support an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operation in the East, in addition to the initial €45.3 million announced by Commissioner Lenarčič during his visit to the country at the end of January 2024);

“Mali (€24 million); Mauritania (€5.7 million, including the reinforcement of €3 million allocated in January 2024 in response to the increasing number of Malian refugees in Mauritania); Niger (€24.6 million); and Nigeria (€31.5 million).”

EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: “Insecurity, violence and over a decade of armed conflict is driving communities in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions to new depths of suffering. Today, over 35 million people across these regions are in need of aid, while the humanitarian crisis is now spilling over into West Africa’s coastal countries. At the same time, we are facing an increasingly shrinking response capacity and humanitarian access. It is therefore crucial that the international community scales up its efforts to bridge the growing gap between human need and available resources. The EU is doing its part by increasing its pledge for 2024 to over 200 million euros across the two regions. I urge the rest of the international community to play it part.”

The funding also supports the response to epidemics and population movement, through the allocation of €2.4 million through the Emergency Toolbox, an instrument to assist in sudden-onset crises specifically dedicated to emergency response for vulnerable people outside the EU.

According to the statement, the humanitarian situation faced by the population in the countries of Sahel and Lake Chad regions is alarming. More than 35 million people need humanitarian assistance in 2024 across Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria. This represents one in five people in the Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger) countries. Despite this, this crisis remains largely underfunded: in 2023, humanitarian appeals for the three Central Sahel countries received only about one third of funds required.

The statement also singled out Insecurity and violence as the main causes of the humanitarian crisis, with multiple consequences in terms of protection of the people affected, but also on their food security, on forced displacement, or on the functioning of basic services, noting that the food and nutrition crisis is one of the major negative consequences of the on-going armed conflicts. In the two regions, more than 46 million people are projected to be in food crisis between June and August 2024. The worrying trend is both on the scale of the food crisis and on its severity, with a 105% increase of the number of the population falling in food crisis, compared to the average over the last five years.

It said another worrying dimension of the humanitarian crisis is the number of people forced to flee their place of origin: the countries of Sahel and Lake Chad regions are now hosting more than 10 million internally displaced persons and refugees. The numerous attacks on civilians have led to increased forced displacement and also affects education. By March this year, more than 12 000 schools were closed due to insecurity, affecting more than 2.2 million children.

It decried that the delivery of aid and the access to local populations in conflict-affected areas remain limited. Rules imposed by non-state armed groups and by regular armed forces often result in denial of access, restrictions in the movement of civilians, bureaucratic impediments, arbitrary detentions of humanitarian staff, abductions and other forms of retaliation. The humanitarian community is still present, but the humanitarian assistance provided is not sufficient to cover the needs and the capacity of humanitarian actors to deliver life-saving assistance is in some cases also hindered by national regulations. Needs will have to be addressed by both humanitarian aid and development assistance.

Humanitarian Funding: EU Allocates €31.5 million to Address Needs of Vulnerable People in Nigeria

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Touray: Unity of ECOWAS Member States Key to Ending Security Threat in West Africa

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Touray: Unity of ECOWAS Member States Key to Ending Security Threat in West Africa

By: Michael Mike

The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray has said unity of all member states of the regional bloc is key to achieving maximum success in the battle against the pervasive threat of insecurity.

The President made the call in his message on the commemoration of the 49th anniversary of ECOWAS with the theme: “Strengthening Regional Unity, Peace and Security”, adding that everything must be done to preserve the unity of the region.

Touray, in a statement, said the theme of this year was chosen to reflect the current challenges and also to remind the Community of the need to work to preserve regional unity and peace, two cherished objectives set by ECOWAS Founding Fathers.

He noted that: These are goals that the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government work to safeguard every day through their efforts to ensure the security of our people and protect the integrity of our territories”.

He recalled that the Heads of State and Government of fifteen West African Countries established ECOWAS when they signed the ECOWAS Treaty on the 28th of May 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria.

He said neither the founding fathers nor the present or future generations would understand or forgive any breakup of the Community.

Touray said: “Precisely 49 years ago, the Founding Fathers signed the treaty creating the Economic Community of West African States. Since then, ECOWAS has served the region and continues to unite our peoples around the common ideals of shared prosperity.

“It is clear that we must stay united if we want to be successful in the fight against insecurity. But it is our unity which now stands threatened. We must do everything to preserve our unity “because to quote General Yakubu Gowon, one of the founding fathers of ECOWAS.

“We are convinced that in unity, we will preserve peace and strengthen our actions for the security of our Member States and our people”.

He added that through unity, we will preserve regional stability and the harmonious political and socio-economic development of our community Dr Touray said that in face of insecurity and other challenges the region has achieved tangible and positive results.

“ECOWAS may have realized many achievements, but the Community continues to face a number of challenges. As we celebrate our 49thanniversary, insecurity continues to threaten our region. Some of our member states are battling terrorist groups on a daily basis and large number of our population face displacement and food insecurity

“As we celebrate ECOWAS 49th anniversary, let us recall some of the tangible and positive results the Community has to its credit. These achievements can be seen in many areas including free movement of our people, Intra Community trade, regional energy, and transport infrastructure, governance as well as in peace and Security”

According to Touray, “We remain convinced that together we can build on these achievements and attain the objectives in our Vision 2050 “of a fully integrated Community of peoples in a peaceful and prosperous region with strong institutions that respect fundamental freedoms and work towards inclusive and sustainable development”.

Touray: Unity of ECOWAS Member States Key to Ending Security Threat in West Africa

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