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     Nigeria to fast track industrialisation through gas  Sylva

    By Emmanuella Anokam

    The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has reiterated Nigerias readiness to use gas to help fast track the countrys industrialisation agenda.

    Speaking at a dinner with the diplomatic community in Abuja, Sylva said that gas was the only single energy source that could help Nigeria diversify the economy.

    Sylva, in a statement on Wednesday by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communication, Horatius Egua also said that gas was the sure way for Nigeria to bridge its energy gap.

    He said Nigeria had a proven gas reserve of 206 TCF with a potential upside of up to 600 TCF.

    The answer is not far-fetched: Energy is the basic resource for national socio-economic development and it must be secured at all times.

    As a result of its rising impact on national security and economy, the need to safeguard energy and ensure availability, reliability and affordability has made energy diplomacy an essential part of every countrys foreign cooperation.

    It is important to stress that Nigerias vehicle of choice on the energy transition journey is natural gas.

    Much has been done towards harnessing this huge potential to provide the energy needed for our growing population in terms of power generation, transport, feedstock for industries and clean cooking solutions.

    It is disheartening that Nigeria is still energy-poor despite our enormous energy resources, which include over 200 TCF of proven natural gas reserve with a potential upside of up to 600 TCF, he said.

    He decried the fact that majority of people still lacked access to reliable electricity and clean cooking fuels, adding that the pursuit was to significantly reduce this menace, with the hope of ending energy poverty in Nigeria soonest.

    Sylva said in order to reap the benefit of its gas resources, authorities had deepened on natural gas utilisation under the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).

    We have rolled out the Autogas scheme with the aim of displacing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) with Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

    This will reduce PMS use and minimise CO2 emissions, he added.

    The minister lauded the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, saying it is a game changer for the oil and gas sector.

    He said the industry had undergone positive reforms with the PIAs passage which paved way for new investment, jobs, economic and energy diversification and placed Nigeria in a position of being able to support worlds rising energy demands.

    He therefore, called on the international community to support Nigerias effort at maximising its resources in the face of global energy transition plans.

    He said Nigeria will continue to use the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) to accelerate global energy transition agenda as it continues to promote energy efficiency and renewable technologies.

    It is also fast becoming a platform for showcasing engineering and technological breakthroughs in the energy sector, he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi

    Source: NAN News

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     Int. Girl Day: Rotary clubs, NGOs sponsor 40 deaf children, donate sanitary pads
    By Cecilia Ijuo

    Empowering Girls Initiative Committee in collaboration with Rotary Clubs in Abuja and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on Wednesday sponsored 40 out-of-school children back to school.

    The NGOs are Development Initiative for Youth Excellence, Progress and Stability and LexF H Humanity.
    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the clubs and NGOs also donated items to the students.

    One hundred and twenty girls were given four pads each, 180 boys were given socks and beverages.

    The students were also taught how to make beverages, lip gloss, cake and soap among other items.

    Dr Goddy Nnadi, the Governor of Rotary District 9125, who led the clubs and NGOs on a visit to the Abuja School for the Deaf in Kuje, said it was part of activities to commemorate the International Day of the Girl-Child.

    He said the sum of N200, 000 was also donated to the school to enable students, who were sent from school over non-payment of Parent Teacher Association (PTA) levy of N5,000 each to return to school.

    Nnadi, who declared the event open, said the effort was informed by the need to ensure that no child, particularly those with special needs stayed away from school.

    Nnadi said besides sponsorship, the club in collaboration with other stakeholders would be organising a medical outreach in the school.

    According to him, the outreach will help ascertain the impairment level of the children and what can be done to restore the hearing ability of those with less serious cases.
    He appealed to well meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to come to the aid of the school.
    He said, rotarians are people of impact and we show it by what we do.
    This initiative started in 2021 and this year we decided to create awareness for the girl-child.
    The International Day for the Girl is marked every year to identify issues around the girl-child, what we owe them and the challenges they face.
    The day is also marked to identify some challenges that the girl-child tries to hide or pretend about and what we are doing here today will help bring some of those issues to the fore.
    The governor said there was the need for constant awareness creation on education and empowerment of the girl-child, saying they were critical component of the society.
    He also said that the girl-child often fell victim of drug abuse, trafficking and other vices and should be properly educated.

    The Rotary International District 9125 Chairperson of the Empowering Girls Initiative, Mrs Lovina Okorn-Ntui, said the rotary clubs decided to visit the school of the deaf to enable the students have a feel of the day.
    She said We decided to come to the school for the deaf because we thought of diversity, equity and inclusion.
    We have been impacting on the lives of girls without special needs, so this time, we decided to celebrate with girls with hearing impairment and other special needs.
    These children need all the support because their case is pathetic.
    The chairperson further said, as I speak with you, we have children who were dumped here by their parents because of their condition.
    In fact, there is a little girl that we empowered today whose mother has stroke and they live in an uncompleted building.
    We learnt that the father dumped her here and went away.
    Ntui called on government and well meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of children with disabilities around the country.
    She said there was the need for all hands to be deck to assist the children, adding government alone cannot do it.
    She further called on individuals and organisations to visit the school often to reassure them that Nigerians love them in spite of their condition.
    Mr Abdulrazaq Surajo, the Principal, Abuja School for the Deaf, Kuje, expressed appreciation for the support the school received from the rotary clubs and NGOs.
    We are grateful because of the visit.
    These children need all the support so as not to feel like second class citizens.
    These are healthy children with virtually all the abilities that can enable them contribute their quota to the growth of the nation if properly catered for, he said.
    Surah called for support, particularly in the area of ICT, infrastructure and other needs of the students.
    NAN reports that highpoint of the event was donation of school bags, uniforms, and books among other items to the students.
    The event was also marked with lectures on self-esteem, drug abuse and menstrual health and hygiene.
    The lectures also focused on sex education, and Information Communication Technology (ICT) among others.
    The Abuja School for the Deaf has a population of not less than 600 students and it operates as a day and boarding school.
    Meanwhile, the International Day for the Girl is marked every Oct. 11 to draw worlds attention to concerns of the girl-child and the 2022 theme is Our time is nowour rights, our future.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
    Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

    Source: NAN News

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     FG calls for synergy to further tackle piracy in Gulf of Guinea
    By Sumaila Ogbaje

    The Federal Government on Tuesday called for more synergy among the stakeholders to tackle headlong the perennial problems of regional piracy activities in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) nations.

    The Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, made the call at the opening of a 3-Week Counter-Piracy Course on the Core Principles and Practice of Combating Piracy, in Abuja.

    The course was conducted by Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Japan.

    The minister who was represented by the Deputy Director, UN Development System Division of the ministry, Mrs Victoria Oluyole, said this would help to consolidate the success being recorded in the fight against maritime crime.

    Agba commended the UNDP and the Government of Japan with the Nigerian Navy and other concerned nations for strategizing and planning on the ways and means of combating the menace on the national and regional waters

    He said this had also helped in making it safe and correcting the damages already done to the sector as well as restoring normalcy to the seafarers.

    While commending the Government of Japan, the UNDP and the Nigerian Navy for facilitating the programme, which he described as remarkable, Agba expressed the hope that it would help address the challenges in the Gulf of Guinea.

    This event is remarkable as we have the assurance that the perennial problems of regional piracy activities in the Gulf of Guinea nations are being confronted headlong in a new tactical dimension through training of professionals who would be able to handle state-of-the-art equipment and development of other capacities.

    We are confident that this capacity building exercise will provide the needed concept, facilitate the state of the art simulation gadgets, tactical, technological know-how to counter emerging threats as well as establish professional relationship among member States, he said.

    The minister, therefore, urged participants to get the best of the training in order to deploy it afterwards towards national objectives to salvage the region and the international communities.

    The UNDP Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, Mr Matthew Alao, said that the 3-week course would help reinforce synergies and partnership amongst stakeholders.

    Alao said the course was part of a Japanese-funded project that intends to complement global, regional and national authorities visions and efforts at combating the menace of pirates in the Gulf of Guinea region.

    He said the was aimed at building the skills, expertise and knowledge of the participants on the core principles and practice of combating piracy.

    The course consolidates on the achievement of the 2021 maiden edition of the anti-piracy project successfully implemented by MLAILPKC in collaboration with partners from Go Countries including Nigeria.

    The Counter Piracy project, which is being implemented by the Centre, will assist the Gulf of Guinea Countries to further strengthen their institutional effectiveness, inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and responsiveness.

    As well as reinforce synergies and partnerships amongst them to combat maritime crimes; promote international trades, and ensure the economic stability of the member states and of the local communities in the region.

    The project will contribute towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal 16 which aims to promote peace and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective and accountable institutions at all levels. It will help to reduce the prevalence of extremisms, violent crimes and exclusion, he said.

    The Commandant Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre Maj.-Gen. Awaul Fagge, represented by Deputy Commandant, Brig.-Gen. Sunday Makolo, expressed concern over the increased rise in the different acts of piracy threatens the maritime domain.

    According to him, this accounts for a great percentage of global merchandise distribution and exchanges.

    Fagge said incessant pirate attacks had resulted in increased maritime insurance costs, increased prices of goods merchandise, oil and gas resource and the growth of regional black markets in clandestine goods and services apart from endangering lives and properties.

    He said the costs associated with piracy and other TOCs were passed on and borne by the final consumers in the GoG littoral states.

    It is against this backdrop that the Government of Japan through the UNDP, sponsored the Centre to conduct a research project on Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea: Root Causes, Effects and Priority Intervention Measures.

    Thereafter, a curriculum for an anti-piracy course was developed, which led to the conduct of the Anti-Piracy Course in the Centre, he said.

    The commandant said that during the period of training, participants would be required to bring their various experiences, competencies and expertise to bear.

    Mr Shinozawa Takayuki, Charge d Affairs ad Interim of Japan to Nigeria, said that his country was committed to contributing to the security of West Africa and protect peoples lives through a variety of measures including capacity building for personnel in charge of maritime safety.

    Japan and Nigeria are far apart, but we are connected by sea. Therefore, as a true friend of Nigeria, it can be said that Nigerias matter is Japans matter.

    I wish to reassure everyone that the Government of Japan, in cooperation with other countries, continues to contribute to the peace and stability of the Gulf of Guinea, for the livelihood of the Nigerian people and for regional economic stability, he added.

    While describing the GoG as the worlds piracy hotspot in 2021, the envoy commended the Government of Nigeria, the Nigerian military, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and other relevant organizations for their continuous and tremendous efforts in fighting piracy through various initiatives.

    He said that countries such as UK and US were also working together with the Nigerian government on security in the Gulf of Guinea. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

    Source: NAN News

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     2022 IDGC: Foundation advocates implementation of comprehensive sexuality education in schools
    By Justina Auta

    The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has urged government and stakeholders on implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in schools to ensure the rights and future of the girl-child is protected.

    Dr Echey Ijezie, the Country Programme Director, AHF Nigeria, made the call in Abuja in commemoration of the 2022 International Day of the Girl-Child (IDGC).

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IDGC is commemorated annually on Oct. 11, to celebrate the importance, power and potentials of adolescent girls around the world, as set aside by United Nations.

    The event which was hosted by AHF has its theme: Our Rights, Our Future, which intends to educate and empower girls to succeed by taking control of their health, promoting girls rights and bringing awareness to the challenges they face.

    Ijezie said access to age appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education would promote positive attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health among children.

    The reality is that girls from the ages of eight, nine, through 10, 14 to 15, may engage in risky behaviour.

    AHF and our strategic partners, the agencies and ministries and schools must help educate everyone including girls on the need for a safe space to understand CSE, their rights and future.

    The need to avoid risky behaviour among girls which can lead to unwanted pregnancies, HIV infection is key, that is why access to appropriate CSE is very important

    Hence the information you give to an eight-year-old is important, but different from the information given to 14 years to 18 years to make sure they protect their rights and future.

    He listed some of the topics of CSE, also known as Family Life and HIV/AIDS education in Nigeria, to include setting boundaries, self-esteem, decision making and consequences, menstrual hygiene, sexual and reproductive health, puberty, among others.

    The country programme director however urged government and all stakeholders on concerted efforts in educating the public and ensuring the girl-child make right choices, become assertive and able to report issues.

    Mr Nsu Rabo, the Deputy Director, Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), said the IDGC was a significant day for every girl-child, stating that teachers play significant role in nurturing and wellbeing of a child.

    Teachers are supposed to be mothers in the children upbringing, so my advice to teachers is to see the students as brothers, sisters and children, because they are representing their parents.

    Speaking on appropriate measures mated on teachers who display unruly behaviour towards students, Rabo said the teaching profession was guided by code of ethics.

    According to him, once there is a report of misbehaviour against any teacher, the school authority must report to ensure appropriate disciplinary measures are taken.

    This starts with investigation and if established a query is given and could also lead to suspension or outright dismissal, he said.

    Mrs Francisca Osibe of Federal Ministry of Health, appreciated the foundation for organising the event and its partnership with the ministry in ensuring that the girl-child is knowledgeable about their sexuality and personal health.

    The Ministry hopes to sensitise the girls, provide free medical test and sanitary pads and educate them on reproductive health, how to take care for themselves and to avoid harmful practices.

    Speaking, Mrs Bose Enuiyin, the Counselor, Abuja School for the Deaf, also appreciated the organisers for organising the event for girls and all stakeholders including parents of children with hearing impairment.

    This will help some of the parents with children that dont have the knowledge of children and sexuality education especially for the deaf kids, many parents do not know how to go about it.

    The counselor further appealed to the foundation and other stakeholders to visit schools especially during the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) programme to educate parents on sex education.

    Ms Rapture Yakubu, a 15-year-old student of Light Way Academy, Abuja, expressed her appreciation on the event, adding that she learnt a lot about her rights and CSE.

    I learnt all I need to know about how to take care of myself especially when am menstruating, how to talk to people, speak out and be confident, she said.

    Yakubu appealed to parents to create time for the children and be interested in their wellbeing, adding that such act will encourage the children to always be open with their parents.

    NAN reports that representatives from Ministries of Education, Health and Women Affairs, FCT Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), School Based Management Committees (SBMCs), female students, among others, were present at the occasion.

    The highlight of the event included distribution of free sanitary pads, dance presentations from various government and private school students within the FCT and its environs. (NAN)
    (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

    Source: NAN News

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     MAN urges FG to resolve Kogi Govt, Dangote dispute

    By Rukayat Moisemhe

    The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to amicably resolve the dispute between Dangote Cement Plc Plant, Obajana and the Kogi Government over land ownership.

    Mr Mansur Ahmed, the MAN President, made the plea while briefing newsmen in Lagos, on the associations 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) with the theme: An Agenda for Nigerias Industrialisation for the Next Decade.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Dangote Cement Factory, Obajana, was on Wednesday sealed by some indigenes over alleged questionable circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the company.

    The Kogi State House of Assembly had ordered the closure of the company after its investigation into the cement factorys operation allegedly revealed that no valid acquisition took place for the company.

    The management of Dangote Cement had claimed that no fewer than seven of its staff members were shot and several others injured by the over 500 armed members of the states security outfit, the vigilance group, that stormed the cement factory.

    Ahmed described the development as worrisome and unnecessary use of strong-arm tactics.

    According to him, the action taken by the state government was illegitimate and could have been appropriately addressed, using legal means.

    The development is very worrisome that a government should take measures like that to shutdown a plant that provides jobs and economic activities of large numbers of people in the state.

    The appropriate thing to do is to take the company to court, because this action is illegal and wont happen in any normally managed economic situation.

    We hope the federal government will intervene so that such an issue is not repeated, he said.

    Ahmed also urged the government to reconsider its position on increasing excise duty on nonalcoholic and other beverages.

    He said that the situation was detrimental to manufacturing competitiveness in the face of inflation.

    Increasing excise duty would compound the inflation situation as you do not increase tax when the economy is contracting.

    In raising new revenue, you need to be sure that you dont undermine the revenue process itself by putting so much pressure on those paying taxes.

    Excise duty will increase cost significantly and given the current inflation situation, its not worth it, he said.

    On the associations theme at the 50th AGM, the MAN president said it was borne out of the need to take stock of the nations journey to industrialisation.

    Ahmed said the event would also ascertain the pains and pain-points; to highlight the performance limiters; recognise the gains and growth milestones and to identify the learning curves and hurdles ahead.

    He said that all these would craft a robust agenda for resetting industrialisation, albeit manufacturing in Nigeria.

    The significance of an electioneering year further propels us to bring to the consciousness of aspiring leaders of the nation the importance of a virile manufacturing sector.

    In the midst of the challenges, we are resilient and soldier on with our advocacy for a conducive atmosphere for the operation of manufacturing business in Nigeria.

    We continue to work toward ensuring that Nigeria becomes an environment that promotes competitiveness, he said.

    Ahmed said that Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, would be the Guest Speaker at the event.

    He added that President Muhammadu Buhari and Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, would be the Special Guest and Guest of honour respectively.

    The programme will, as usual, run for three days from Oct. 17 to Oct. 19 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.

    The background of the current manufacturing situation informed our choice of our distinguished Guest Speaker, who in his own right, has seen it all in manufacturing and can better point the way forward for the countrys leadership.

    He is also able to lead other members in charting a new course for the manufacturing sector.

    The speaker is an experienced industrialists, who speaks the language of Nigerian manufacturers and have had his own share of immense successes in Nigeria and Africa, he said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

    Source: NAN News

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     Women Farmers seek inclusion in Agriculture budget for food security
    By Tosin Kolade

    Mrs Mary Afan, National President, Smallholder Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), has called for inclusion of its members in budgeting processes and implementation towards contributing to food production.

    They made the call at the Public Dialogue on Gender- Responsive Agriculture Policy, an event organised in partnership with the International Budget Partnership in Abuja on Thursday.

    According to her, 75 per cent of farmers in Nigeria are women, with most of them still using obsolete equipment and their needs not included in the national agriculture budget.

    Afan said the number of those who depended on Nigerian farmers for food had increased, saying the need to mechanise the farms had become imperative.

    She explained that the socio-economic effects of insecurity and flooding across the country had led to a reduction in crop yield and income for women farmers.

    Nigeria is signatory to the Maputo Declaration, and the Maputo Declaration says 10 per cent of every countrys budget should go the agriculture sector, to achieve a six per cent annual growth.

    Over the years, the budget allocation is so slow, today; we are interacting with critical stakeholders to increase and support smallholder women farmers who do almost about 80 per cent of the workforce in the farm.

    We are also calling on stakeholders, policymakers, and the Nigerian government to come up with a national agenda on agriculture so that all our challenges will be met.

    Mr Austin Ndiokwelu, Country Manager, International Budget Partnership (IBP), said agriculture was responsible for roughly a quarter of the gross domestic product, the second-highest contributor in the country.

    He said although Nigerian government had reaffirmed its commitment to allocate 10 per cent of its annual budget to agriculture, it had not allocated more than 2.2 per cent in recent years.

    Women smallholder farmers especially are overlooked by officials overseeing agricultural policy and decision-making.

    This is surprising when they make up 70 per cent of the workforce and produce 60 per cent of the food Nigerians consume.

    In just two and a half years SWOFON, with the support of IBP, secured three critical budgetary changes to strengthen their livelihoods and contributions to the countrys agricultural sector.

    Ndiokwelu said as a result of data-driven advocacy, Nigeria increased its spending on agriculture by 18.5 per cent and made new federal budget allocations towards the sector.

    He added that through the partnership with SWOFON, issues of underdevelopment in agriculture, equitable access to farm inputs were resolved and had encouraged rural economic development and increased food production.

    Mr Eze Onyekpere, Executive Director, Centre for Social Justice, said small-scale women farmers constituted 60 per cent of the farming population and produce 70 per cent of food consumed nationally.

    He said there was need for an improved budgetary investment for smallholder women farmers, saying this would aid agriculture value chain.

    All plans and policies are based on budget and there are several plans and policies which have shown the need for investment for small-scale medium farmers.

    He said it was critical that funds appropriated for smallholder women farmers got to them directly and not diverted into wrong hands. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

    Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Sadiya Hamza

    Source: NAN News

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     Groups urge teachers to be agents of social change
    By Ruth Oketunde

    Coalition of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Support Groups for Peter Obi, presidential candidate of Labour Party, urged Nigerian teachers to be agents of social change while performing their duties.

    Dr Moses Paul, Coordinator of the Coalition, made the call at the Partys Teachers Conference organised to commemorate this years World Teachers Day on Wednesday in Abuja.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event has the theme Get involved for Good Governance and Accountability in Nigeria: The Role of Teachers.

    Paul said that teachers were critical in the democratic process in the country, as their role in electoral processes could not be over-emphasised.

    Education plays a fundamental role in development of the society, when the polity is properly educated, a new future is born.

    Teachers are educators who shape future society by their work. They are social agents of change, as no revolution in the society can be complete without involving the teachers, he said.

    Paul added that teachers should get involved in good governance by rejecting vote selling and buying in the upcoming elections.

    Vote-buying has become a disturbing feature in Nigerias democratic process, as buying and selling of votes has heightened the monetisation of the electoral process whereby the highest bidder gets the highest votes.

    When you buy votes, you corrupt the electoral process and the wrong candidates become the winner.

    As an electorate, do not expect democratic dividends from leaders who emerge through corrupt practices, he said.

    On his part, Dr Peter Piper, the keynote speaker at the event, called for an overhaul in the education system in the country.

    Mrs Ifeoma Okechukwu, Coordinator, Teachers for Obi/Datti, said the teachers would continue to engage in voter education, grassroots mobilisation and sensitisation.

    She added that teachers would continue play major role in the education sector and for a better Nigeria.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Kayode Olaitan

    Source: NAN News

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     Fani-Kayode withdraws case against estranged wife

    By Taiye Agbaje

    Former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, on Thursday, withdrew an attempted murder suit filed against his estranged wife, Ms Precious Chikwendu.

    Prosecution counsel, John Ijagbemi, told Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja shortly after the matter was called for the defendants to take a plea.

    The matter was slated for re-arraignment of the defendants today.

    However, we want to plead to your lordship for the withdrawal of the case, he said.

    Ijagbemi informed that the FCT Commissioner of Police was in receipt of a letter from the nominal complainant (Fani-Kayode) about his intention to withdraw the case.

    He said the withdrawal of the charge was provided for in Section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

    The lawyer to Ms Chikwendu and others, Peter Abang, did not oppose the request, Justice Ekwo dismissed the suit.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in the amended 14-count charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/01/2022 dated and filed on April 28, Chikwendu was the 2nd defendant in the matter.

    Other defendants in the trial include Emmanuel Anakan, Prisca Chikwendu and Osakwe Azubuike as 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively, while others are said to be at large.

    Speaking with newsmen after the sitting, Abang described the withdrawal of the suit as a welcomed development.

    On his part, Ijagbemi said the complainant, via the prosecution, had the unfettered power to withdraw a charge before the court.

    He said with the provision of ACJA, 2015, a charge could be withdrawn even until judgment against any of the defendants or accused persons standing trial before the court.

    The lawyer said the ex-minister, in his withdrawal of case letter, informed that the whole family members had sat and amicably resolved the matter without any rancour or recourse to previous occurrences and they are happily standing and living together in love and in harmony.

    And we, being an institution of government saddled with the responsibility of protection of lives and property, seeking peace and order in the society including individual family, we are glad to apply for the withdrawal of this case against the defendants.

    You all know that it is the family that is really involved and we are interested in the peace and tranquility of the family and that is why we have withdrawn it and it is our pleasure.

    NAN reports that the ex-minister and Chikwendu were in court for the proceeding.

    The duo, who came into the court elated, sat side-by-side in the courtroom. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    ======
    Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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     NIMASA wants more stakeholders collaboration to boost maritime sector, SMEs
    By Lucy Ogalue

    The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has called for more collaboration among stakeholders in realising a robust maritime sector interface with Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) in Nigeria.

    Dr Bashir Jamoh, NIMASAs Director-General said this during the agencys Special Day at the on-going 17th Abuja International Trade Fair in Abuja.

    Jamoh, represented by Mr Zailani Attah, the Coordinator of NIMASA Zonal Office, Abuja said the agency would continue to engage and educate the public on the sustainable use of the seas and oceans.

    NIMASA will prioritise the integration of Blue Economy into the nations circular economic restoration and growth plan.

    We will leave no stone unturned to create limitless opportunities for our people and lift them out of poverty through intervention and collaboration with SMEs for sustainable development of Nigerias economy.

    Jamoh said NIMASA was the Federal Government Agency with the statutory mandate to regulate maritime safety, security, marine pollution and maritime labour using the instruments of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and international Labour Organisation(ILO).

    According to him, the maritime sector is critical to the nations economy as it accounts for the movement of about 90 per cent of World Trade by volume.

    It is inevitable for income generation, wealth creation and economic development.

    It is a capital intensive sector and a major component of the contribution of the transport sector to the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria.

    NIMASA as Nigerias authorised maritime regulatory agency continues to play a leading role in the nations maritime growth and development as well as the continental and regional levels.

    This could be ascertained through various projects and initiatives of the agency such as the deep blue sea project, provision of critical satellite surveillance infrastructure and acquisition of fast intervention security vessels among others. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

    Source: NAN News

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     INEC disowns purported ad hoc staff recruitment portal
    By Emmanuel Oloniruha

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disowned a purported ad hoc staff recruitment portal for 2023 general election, describing it as fake.

    INEC said this in a release on its official social handles on Wednesday, urging members of the public to disregard the fake link.

    Our attention has been drawn to a fake ad hoc recruitment link inecnigeria.govservice.site being circulated online.

    INEC official link: pres.inecnigeria.org and Inecpress-app.com/pres

    We implore Nigerians to disregard the fake link

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