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The People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Nigeria issued a joint statement of their first plenary session of the intergovernmental committee

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The People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Nigeria issued a joint statement of their first plenary session of the intergovernmental committee

By: Michael Mike

The following is the full text of the statement.

Joint Statement of the First Plenary Session of the Intergovernmental Committee between the People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Nigeria

On June 21, 2024, H.E. Wang Yi, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, held talks with H.E. Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The two ministers co-chaired the first Plenary Session of the China-Nigeria Intergovernmental Committee.

The two sides reviewed the positive outcomes achieved since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria over the past more than 50 years, jointly planned the future development of the bilateral relations, exchanged views on China-Africa relations and major international and regional issues of mutual interest, and reached wide range consensus.

The two sides agreed that over the past more than 50 years, China-Nigeria relations have withstood the test of changes in the international landscape and have become increasingly resilient and more robust. The two countries have developed a good tradition of mutual trust on political and diplomatic issues, mutual benefit in practical cooperation, mutual support in international affairs, and mutual learning in people-to-people exchanges.

Both countries pledged to support each other in their aspirations in various international fora, particularly the UN, G20 and BRICS.

The Government of Nigerian side acknowledges that there is but one China in the world, the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. Nigeria opposes any separatist activities of “Taiwan independence” in any form, and any external attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs, and Nigeria will also support the efforts made by the Chinese government to realize national reunification.

The two sides agreed to work towards good governance and democratic values, peace, security and stability in the Sahel region and recognize Nigeria’s leading role in the fight against terrorism and other related transborder crimes. It was also agreed that necessary efforts towards ensuring economic viability of the region would be pursued through infrastructure development and sectoral cooperation.

China commends His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s leadership role in ECOWAS and his efforts towards bringing about stability in the region.

Both governments committed to intensifying efforts to protect the rights and dignity of each others’ citizens living in its country and create a business-friendly environment for their business.

The two sides agreed to support each others’ efforts to promote reunification, ethnic unity and social harmony, endeavor to enhance political mutual trust, and further support each other on matters related to its core interests and major concerns.

The two sides stressed the importance of the Forum on Chin-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to China-Africa relations and international peace and development and Nigeria supports China in hosting the 2024 FOCAC Summit.

The two sides agreed to strengthen coordination and cooperation in multilateral affairs and jointly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order underpinned by international law. The two sides advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and inclusive economic globalization that benefits all and jointly promotes building a community with a shared future for humanity. Nigeria applauds and supports the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping.

Both countries are dedicated to advancing the high-quality Belt and Road Initiative, facilitating synergies between the Belt and Road Initiative and FOCAC conference outcomes, with the Renewed Hope Agenda and the Eight Priority Areas proposed by President Tinubu, and jointly promoting high-quality, practical cooperation in an all-around manner.

The two countries will continue to strengthen cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, electricity, telecommunications, finance, agriculture, industry, mining and free trade zones. Both countries will jointly explore cooperation opportunities in fields such as digital economy, green economy and blue economy, and they will foster new growth drivers in cooperation.

The Chinese side is willing to expand imports of Nigerian agricultural products. The Nigerian side called for increased partnership in Mining and Solid Mineral development and expressed willingness to partner with Chinese companies to establish manufacturing companies in Nigeria for local consumption and exports.

The two sides stand ready to create an open, transparent, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for the corporate cooperation between the two countries, strengthen the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, oppose trade protectionism, and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. The two sides support more Chinese and Nigerian provinces and municipalities/States and Local Governments in establishing more friendly relations and encouraging sister cities.

China expressed its commitment to support Nigeria in upgrading its science and technology in the military sector, equipment, and capacity building of intelligence to respond more effectively to traditional and non-traditional security challenges at home and aboard, as well as at the regional and international levels, and to safeguard peace and stability of the country.

The two sides are willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the departments in charge of military security, military industry and trade, and police enforcement, to enhance their capacity to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests, and make joint efforts to maintain regional and world peace.

The two countries restated their commitment to enhancing the mutual bond and friendship between the two peoples, mutual trust, interest sharing and common progress through mutual exchanges, mutual leaning and mutual understanding.

The two countries are willing to continue to build culture brands such as the Happy Chinese New Year, Chinese-Nigeria Culture Week, Chinese-Nigeria Film Festival, and Abuja International Art Fair. The two sides will strengthen mutual visits and exchanges between art groups and personnel, promote human resources training in the fields of culture and tourism, and support cooperation in the fields of creative culture between the two sides. The two sides will also strengthen cooperation in cultural and tourism fields such as publishing, film and television production, cultural heritage, libraries, museums, and tourism promotion.

The two sides confirmed their readiness to maintain regular contacts and close communication at all levels on convening the second Plenary Session of the China-Nigeria Intergovernmental Committee and Sessions of its Sub-committees.

The People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Nigeria issued a joint statement of their first plenary session of the intergovernmental committee

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NAPTIP Promises Improved Strategies to Tackle Evolving Trend of Human Trafficking

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NAPTIP Promises Improved Strategies to Tackle Evolving Trend of Human Trafficking

By: Michael Mike

The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi has pledged that the Agency will continue to develop new strategies, expand cooperation, and foster more collaboration to keep pace with the evolving trends in human trafficking.

She gave the commitment in Abuja while unveiling the activities planned for the 2024 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, themed “Leave No Child Behind in the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons”.

The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2013 to be observed annually on July 30th to promote comprehensive, coordinated, and consistent responses at national, regional, and international levels to counter trafficking in persons. It aims to promote a human rights-based, gender- and age-sensitive approach in addressing all factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking, and in strengthening the criminal justice response necessary to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute perpetrators.

According to the United Nations, the 2024 World Day Against Trafficking urges accelerated action to end child trafficking, recognizing that children represent a significant proportion of trafficking victims worldwide, with girls being disproportionately affected.

On the activities lined up for the 2024 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Nigeria, Waziri-Azi disclosed that it is in collaboration with UNODC, IOM, ICMPD, and OHCHR and would be commencing from Saturday, July 28 to Sunday, August 4, 2024. She noted that the programmes have been carefully selected to reflect the theme of the celebration, insisting that: “These activities aim to create the needed awareness and impactful sensitization to address the concerns of all and reduce the vulnerability of potential trafficking victims.”

Wazir-Azi said: “I am pleased to state that our activities and interventions in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria are inclusive, involving various categories of stakeholders. For the first time, NAPTIP will commemorate the World Day together with the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP), our counterpart agency that would be visiting from The Gambia.”

She disclosed that the celebration will kick off on Saturday, July 27, 2024, with a female novelty match to “Kick Against Human Trafficking” involving NAPTIP officers and partners at the Wakanda Games Arena, Accra Street, Wuse Zone 5, starting at 8:00 am. On Monday, July 29, 2024, a Community Town Hall Dialogue will provide a platform for community stakeholders to voice their opinions and concerns, fostering engagement, transparency, problem-solving, inclusivity, and community cohesion. The Dialogue would be aired live on Radio Nigeria from 10.30am.

“On Tuesday, July 30, 2024, at 7:30 am, there will be an Awareness Walk from the Old Parade Ground through major routes in the Central Business District of Abuja, ending at the Unity Fountain. State Task Forces on Human Trafficking from 23 states across Nigeria will participate. From Wednesday, July 31 to Friday, August 2, 2024, we have planned a Bootcamp for all State Task Force members,” Prof. Waziri-Azi added.

Other planned activities include the Survivor’s Got Talent Grand Finale, sensitization and awareness creation in places of worship and public spaces, and a robust online awareness campaign.

Waziri-Azi urged everyone to join hands with the Agency to ensure a successful 2024 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons celebration .“Let us amplify our efforts, fortify our resolve, and work tirelessly to create a world where every child can thrive in safety and dignity. Together, we can and must leave no child behind in this crucial fight” the Director-General stated.

NAPTIP Promises Improved Strategies to Tackle Evolving Trend of Human Trafficking

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UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology Launched to Promote Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria

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UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology Launched to Promote Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

Nigeria’s plan to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) took a great leap with the official launch of UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology (RAM) in the country.

Speaking at the launch in Abuja, the Head of Abuja Office and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Representative to Nigeria, Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo said the event signifies a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s journey towards embracing ethical artificial intelligence practices.

Diallo said: “As we gather here at the UN House, we are reminded of the transformative potential of AI in driving innovation and sustainable development across our nation. UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology (RAM) stands as a beacon of guidance, ensuring that our advancements in AI are not only groundbreaking but also aligned with global standards of ethics and responsibility.

“We are particularly proud that Nigeria is joining us as part of UNESCO’s custodial role in promoting the ethics of AI worldwide. UNESCO’s Recommendations on the Ethics of AI, adopted by 193 countries, provide a robust framework for the responsible and ethical development and deployment of AI technologies. These recommendations emphasize human rights, fairness, transparency, and accountability, and it is heartening to see Nigeria committing to these principles as we work together to build an inclusive and ethical AI ecosystem.”

He added that: “As we gather here today, we are reminded of the profound impact that artificial intelligence has on our society. AI permeates many aspects of our daily lives, and its ethical implications have become a focal point for all actors within the ecosystem. Recognizing this, in 2023, UNESCO launched the Readiness Assessment Methodology (RAM) as a pivotal tool for implementing its Recommendation on the Ethics of AI, which was adopted by 193 countries in 2021.

“The RAM, with its comprehensive framework consisting of five dimensions, serves as a vital instrument for assessing a country’s readiness to implement AI ethically and responsibly. It highlights strengths and identifies infrastructural, institutional, and regulatory gaps, enabling nations to address these challenges effectively and create an ethical AI ecosystem.”

On his part, the Secretary General, National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM-UNESCO), Dr. Idowu Olagunju said: “I firmly believe that today’s discussions will pave the way for significant advancements in our national AI strategy, aligning with UNESCO’s global mission of promoting ethical AI.”

He asked: “Let us embark on this journey together, as we work towards a future where AI is harnessed for the greater good, in alignment with our shared values and ethical principles.”

Speaking to journalists after inaugurating the Steering and Technical Working Committees and Launching the Project, the Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy: Dr Bosun Tijani expressed the country’s readiness to take advantage of the value addition of AI, noting that the youths have already been sensitized and mobilized to evolve the use of AI

He appreciated the support from UNESCO to ensure that AI is ethically embraced, noting that the government is working on making the country one of the top countries in Artificial Intelligence.

He noted that with the diversity of the committees constituted for the AI project, Nigeria is on an interesting ride to the very top.

UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology Launched to Promote Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria

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Dangote vs. NNPC: A Tale of Sabotage and Misrepresentation

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Dangote vs. NNPC: A Tale of Sabotage and Misrepresentation

By: Shina Adewoye

During major football events, every Nigerian acts like a football coach. Around the elections period, everyone becomes a lawyer analyzing both pre elections and post elections matters.

Throughout various discussions, Nigerians take on roles as journalists and economists. This active participation is the beauty of democracy. However, problems arise when uninformed individuals try to present their opinions as facts.

On the Dangote issue, it’s striking that Nigeria, a member of OPEC and the world’s 7th largest oil producer, lacks a functional refinery. The NNPC doesn’t even have a laboratory, yet it questions the quality of products from Dangote’s world-class refinery.

Elon Musk, a vocal critic of Joe Biden and a supporter of Donald Trump, faces no personal attacks from Biden. This makes it puzzling why Dangote, Africa’s richest man, faces sabotage in Nigeria. The U.S. embraces diverse talents like Elon Musk ( a South African) and late Steve Jobs ( a Syrian) emphasizing its reputation as a land of great opportunities.

President Tinubu, also serving as the Minister of Petroleum, oversees an NNPC that falsely claims a 20% stake in Dangote’s refinery, while Dangote maintains they only paid for 7%. No action has been taken against those responsible for this irresponsible misrepresentation and embarrassment.

Moreover, Dangote’s $100 million claim for land in Lagos raises questions about the use of US $ in Nigeria as a legal tender.

Nevertheless, as an entrepreneur, Dangote is prepared for challenges. He built his refinery in a free trade zone, constructed his own port, and he can thrive without the Nigerian market by focusing on exports.

Nigerians should identify their real adversaries. Dangote can source crude oil globally and export the by-products.

Time will reveal the truth, and history will vindicate the just.

Shina Adewoye
Public Policy Analyst

Dangote vs. NNPC: A Tale of Sabotage and Misrepresentation

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