The Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd), has tasked military personnel to continue to be more professional and dedicated in the discharge of their duties.
He gave the charge at the 35th Anniversary Celebration and Night of the 39 Regular Course, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) at the Army Officers’ Mess on Saturday night in Abuja.
The minister, represented by Maj.-Gen. AbdulMalik Jibril (Rtd), President of the Nigerian Legion, said professionalism and dedication to duty has been the backbone of the military profession in any part of the world.
He, however, congratulated the members, adding that they had so far done excellently well in their various endeaviours and respective fields of assignments.
Magashi reminded them to also remember some of their colleagues who paid the supreme price and had gone great beyond.
“In this regard, it is worthy to mention that your noble initiative, lend credence to the vital aspect of military profession and tradition.
“I am astonished to see a pool of officers united for such a purpose.
This reflects great credit upon yourself as individual and in collectivity,” he said.
The minister commended them for their financial interventions for the families of the fallen heroes, and donations to Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Lagos and the Nigerian Air Force Hospital, kaduna.
“As well as the reequipping of research laboratory to NDA.
I have no doubt that these projects will have attracted huge resource implications in the light of our current economic realities.
“I applaud your generosity and hereby consider your gestures worthy of emulation accordingly.
“I want you to sustain all efforts directed toward making better our armed forces.
It’s pleasing to see you all in various shades of grey and glamour and even to those could not join us today due to various office exigencies.
“ I urge you to continue to discharge your duties in professional manner.
And we must do this as we strive to cover the contemporary security situation and proffer lasting solutions.
“ Also, the outgone President of the union, Emmanuel Undairdeje, said that they had the cause to celebrate bearing in mind where they were coming from as young students 35 years ago.
“For us it a thing of joy and a call for celebration of life, service, a thank to Almighty God, a special occasion for the reunion of friendships and alliances.
“That started 35 years ago as young officers who had no knowledge of what the future entails or holds for everyone of us.
“I, therefore, congratulate all of us for attaining this remarkable milestone of a very long journey and still counting and moving ahead,“he said.
According to him, the union has so far visited some institutions like the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Lagos, among others where their spouses presented a specialised medical equipment to the institutions.
“Our spouses also visited the wives of the service chiefs and donated some equipment to the skills acquisition centres to assist the wives of the fallen heroes to be self dependent.
“ The outgone president said that all these efforts aimed at making life better and meaningful to the wives of the fallen heroes.
He said the union also invited the spouses of the fallen heroes who were traceable to join in the celebration, hence the opportunity to recognise and extend a hand of fellowship to them as well.
This, he said, was one of the high points of the celebration.
Catholic Church resumes hand shake during Mass, after COVID-19 pandemic Catholic Church resumes hand shake during Mass, after COVID-19 pandemicHandshakeBy Bridget IkyadoAbuja, Sept.18, 2021 The Catholic Church has announced the resumption of traditional handshake in churches, which was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
His Grace, Most Rev. Lucius IIwejur-Ugorji, the Archbishop of Owerri diocese said in a statement that worshippers were to resume the “Kiss of Peace” during Eucharistic and other events in the liturgical celebrations of the Church.
The statement was signed by Rev. Fr. Cosmas Uzoigwe Personal Assistant to the Archbishop, released through the National Director of Social Communications of the Church, Fr Mike Umoh, on Sunday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the statement was addressed to all Priests and Lay faithful in Owerri Archdiocese.
“It would be recalled that the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pronounce stringent guidelines which affected our liturgical worship, and one of such was that which restrained all from shaking hands during Mass.“The resolution to commence the liturgical gesture of shaking of hands came following the proceedings of the recent concluded Second Plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria held at Orlu.“We thank God who led us through the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we pray Him to bless us always with His presence,” the Archbishop said.
Mr Muyiwa Akinyemi, the Deputy Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, has advised the Federal Government to take advantage of the opportunities in the creative industry for sustainable export earnings.
Akinyemi gave the advice at the annual conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) with the theme: “Boosting Domestic Capacity for Sustainable Export Earnings,” in Lagos.
He said that the country’s creative industry was the second biggest growing industry in the world spurred by the emerging digital trends in technology.
“Historically, some of us grew up in Nigeria with the groundnut pyramids in Kano, cocoa house in Ibadan and a few other places like that, but over time, when we discovered the black gold, we abandoned those our primary commodities.
“And what I see happening now is that we are moving to the third revolution of exports, ‘japa syndrome’.
So, that is knowledge export that is happening right now and not only is it happening in that space, you also have a technology revolution as well.
“Innovation Hub in Yaba portends a large pool of intelligent guys building things in the Fintech and technology world that is not even recognised; but it’s a huge potential full of export business.
We are in that technology space wherein Nigeria needs to take advantage of it,’’ he said.
Akinyemi noted that 200 exporters were responsible for 95 per cent of the $4.2 billion the country earned from non-oil export in 2021. “The $4.2 billion achieved in 2021 did not include informal exports largely in the wholesale trading in some sectors such as information technology, entertainment and solid minerals,” he said.
Akinyemi urged the government to also talk about the creative industry the same way it was speaking about export, commodities and crude oil.
He said, “most countries you go to in Africa today or globally, when you talk about Nollywood, its second biggest industry.
Music- Wizkid, D’ banj, Burna boy, all huge export earnings that we have not taken advantage of.
“The knowledge and the creative skills is the third wave of export business we are seeing in Nigeria today.
How are we supporting those young stars?
“It is not just to talk about them on Facebook or Instagram, it’s about how do we harness those capacity and build it to an industry that will generate massive earnings for us.
’’ Akinyemi commended NEXIM, NEPC for what they were doing as well as incentives given by the Central Bank of Nigeria and rebate scheme launched to boost export earnings.
He, however, said that should be done from the fiscal perspective for economic growth and development.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has recorded eight additional Lassa fever infections and one death between Sept. 5 and 11, 2022. The NCDC via its official website said the new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases and deaths in the country to 917 and 171, respectively.
It disclosed that 25 states had recorded at least one confirmed case across 102 local government areas.
According to NCDC, a total of 6,660 suspected cases have been reported in the country.
The public health agency disclosed that of the new confirmed cases, Ondo accounted for 32 per cent, Edo 26 per cent and Bauchi 13 per cent.
“In week 36 (September 5 to 11, 2022); the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 10 in week 35, 2022 to 8 cases.
These were reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, and Anambra states.
“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 36, 2022, 171 deaths have been reported with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 18.6 people which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (23.3 per cent).
“The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 0 to 90 years, Median Age: 30 years).
The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8. “The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. No new healthcare worker affected in the reporting week 36,” it said.
It said the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) has continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.
“The country’s response activities continue in all areas, particularly in areas of state advocacy, personal protective equipment (IPC) support, and laboratory diagnostics,” it added.
The NCDC said that to reduce the risk of Lassa fever, Nigerians should ensure proper environmental sanitation, “that is, keep your environment clean at all times, block all holes in your house to prevent rats from entry”.
It advised to Nigerians to cover dustbins and dispose of refuse properly.
“Communities should set up dumpsites far from their homes to reduce the chances of having rodents within homes; store foodstuff like rice, maize grits, beans, , etc in containers that are well covered with tight-fitting lids.
“Avoid drying foodstuff outside on the floor, roadside where they will be exposed to contamination; avoid bush burning which can lead to the displacement of rats from bushes to human dwellings.
“Eliminate rats in homes and communities by setting rat traps and other means; practice good personal hygiene by frequent washing hands with soap under running water or use hand sanitisers when appropriate, and visit the nearest health facility if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of Lassa fever as mentioned earlier, and avoid self-medication,” it advised.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus.
People usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected rats – present in several West African countries where the disease is endemic.
The virus can also be spread through infected bodily fluids.
People also contract the disease by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.
Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.
Catholic Bishops task INEC on technology deployment for 2023 polls Catholic Bishops task INEC on technology deployment for 2023 polls INEC By Bridge Ikyado Abuja,Sept.18,2021The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to ensure that technology was transparently deployed to increase the confidence of the people in the electoral process.
According to them, as the 2023 General Elections draw closer, measures must be taken to ensure a hitch-free elections nation wide.
This is contained in a communique signed by the President and Secretary, CBCN, Bishop Lucius Ugorji of Owerri and Bishop Donatus Ogun of Uromi Dioceses, respectively, at the end of the Bishop’s second plenary meeting for 2022 held in Orlu, Imo. The bishops said, ”as laudable as the Electoral Bill signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari may be, INEC needs to implement it transparently.
“2023 General Elections are fast approaching.
We commend the National Assembly and the president for enacting and signing into law the Electoral Act 2022. ” We acknowledge the president’s commitment to ensuring a level playing ground for all candidates in the elections.
“Furthermore, we commend INEC for its innovations, especially in the area of technology, to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
“We, however, enjoin the commission to ensure that this technology is transparently deployed to increase the confidence of the people in the electoral process,” they said.
The bishops, who also described ”as unlawful and sinful all forms of vote selling and buying”, advised politicians and voters to refrain from suc heinous acts.
They further described the protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since February 14, 2022 as unacceptable.
They urged the Federal Government and ASUU to find a quicker and better way of resolving the matters under contention.
This, according to the bishops, is to ensure that public universities re-open, saying, ”resorting to courts may not be the best and fastest way to solve the problem.
The House of Representatives will resume plenary on Sept. 20, at the temporary chamber.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Yahaya Danzaria, the Clerk to the House, on Sunday in Abuja.
Danzaria said due to the ongoing renovation in the old chamber, members are expected to resume plenary at the new improvised chamber in the new building with a capacity of 118 seats only.
He said the new chamber has been expanded by an upper deck provision with capacity of 236 seats, adding that rooms had been connected audio-visually and electronically with large screens.
He, however, said there were no designated seats apart from the allocation for presiding and principal officers, noting that all other sitting arrangements would be based on arrivals.
“It is equally important to note that because this is a temporary improvised arrangement no provisions are made for legislative aides due to want of space.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the House on July 20 proceeded on a two-month annual recess ahead of its last lap of the 9th assembly.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila on Sept. 14, called for the speedy completion of the ongoing renovation of the national assembly complex ahead of the August 2023 delivery deadline.
Gbajabiamila had inspected key aspects of the work, particularly the House of Representatives Chamber, the dome and foyer of the complex.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded his official working visit to the United States at the invitation of President Joseph Biden.
The two leaders deliberated on a variety of critical issues of national, regional and global importance during their bilateral meeting, where trade, investment, global peace and stability, health, as well as climate change and energy transition were discussed.
TRADE AND INVESTMENT On trade and investment, there was agreement on the need to create a more attractive environment for US companies to invest in South Africa, where some 600 US companies are already doing business in a variety of sectors.
A joint working group on trade and investment will be established to expand bilateral economic ties.
In 2023, South Africa will host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, which will chart the next phase of trade between Africa and the US.
President Ramaphosa welcomed the additional commitment from the US to improve the volumes of investment and bilateral trade, which will create much-needed jobs and economic growth in South Africa.
President Ramaphosa expressed South Africa's concerns about US tariffs on South African steel and aluminum products, which South Africa views as unfair and punitive.
JUST ENERGY TRANSITION Leaders affirmed their commitment to the Just Energy Transition and agreed that South Africa will require more funding to achieve a just and effective transition that leaves no one behind and protects workers and communities who would be affected by the energy transition.
to clean energy.
Work on the investment plan for the Just Energy Transition Partnership between South Africa and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the European Union is expected to be completed by the United Nations Climate Change Conference ( COP 27) in November 2022 in Egypt.
REGIONAL STABILITY AND GLOBAL SECURITY Discussions on global security and stability focused on attacks by insurgents in Mozambique.
President Ramaphosa acknowledged the assistance currently being provided by the United States to respond to the insurgent threat in Mozambique.
President Ramaphosa called for more US support in providing skills and resources to counter terrorist activities that are causing great suffering in Mozambique and threatening the stability of the SADC region.
FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA Food security in Africa featured prominently in the meeting with both Heads of State.
"After discussions at the G7 meeting held in Germany this year, there is a consensus to support Africa's efforts towards fertilizer manufacturing, which will strengthen Africa's independence to ensure the continent's food security," said President Ramaphosa.
BIIL ON RUSSIAN MALIGNANT ACTIVITIES President Ramaphosa expressed concern about the bill to combat Russia's malign activities in Africa, which is currently before the US Congress.
President Ramaphosa said that if signed into law, the law would unfairly marginalize and punish African countries for exercising their sovereignty in their pursuit of development and economic growth.
President Ramaphosa emphasized the need for an urgent end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and emphasized the leadership role that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres can provide in leading a peace process.
HEALTH AND HEALTH SYSTEMS TRAINING President Ramaphosa expressed appreciation for US support in training health services and preparing for future pandemics.
This includes continued support for PEPFAR's programs to combat HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Ramaphosa applauded the leadership role played by President Biden in helping developing economies strengthen their health systems and for supporting the WTO's TRIPS exemption for vaccine manufacturing.
UNITED NATIONS REFORMS AND MULTILATERALISM Africa's representation in key multilateral institutions was highlighted by President Ramaphosa.
This includes the proposal for Africa's entry through the African Union (AU) into the Group of 20 countries (G20).
“The lack of representation of Africa's 1.3 billion people on the United Nations Security Council remains a blight on the global democratic order,” said President Ramaphosa.
Both leaders agreed on the need for broader reforms of the United Nations.
BUILDING STATE CAPACITY President Ramaphosa submitted a proposal for a partnership with the US to support South Africa's efforts to develop public servants, especially women.
In this regard, the South African National School of Government will work closely with leading US institutions in designing training programs for South African civil servants.
Prior to meeting with President Biden, President Ramaphosa met with Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris at her official residence, where they discussed women's empowerment, health and safety, partnership in technology and space exploration.
Enugu-based Progressive Students Movement (PSM) has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to be responsible in its negotiations to resolve the ongoing strike and consider suffering of Nigerian students.The PSM also urged the Federal Government to withdraw its law suit against ASUU at the Industrial Court “as this will further waste the already wasted time of Nigerian students”.The President of PSM, Mr Bestman Okereafor, disclosed this in a statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Sunday.Okereafor noted that it was regrettable that the strike had been allowed to linger beyond seven months.The PSM boss, while appealing for a compromise between both parties, enumerated the recent losses caused by the lingering strike.“It is regrettable that actions of both parties have led to shutting down of universities for seven months over the continuous strike which has obviously drastically affected the academic calendars.“The continuous strike has also deprived university students from joining their polytechnic counterparts in mobilising and partaking in National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).“ Information at our disposal reveals a UNIBEN staff committed suicide few weeks ago,” he said.He appealed to well meaning Nigerians, especially prominent leaders and respected traditional rulers, to prevail on both parties to shift grounds and find a middle ground for an amicable agreement.He noted that Nigerian students had remained at the receiving end of each academic strike.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, sent a written letter to His Excellency João Manuel Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola, congratulating him on his re-election.
The letter was delivered to President Lourenço by His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, who attended the inauguration of His Excellency João Manuel Lourenço in Luanda.
His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan conveyed to His Excellency President Lourenço the congratulations of the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and their sincere wishes that the President of Angola for success and for the Angolan people to achieve their aspirations for prosperity and development.
In turn, President Lourenço returned these wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, wishing the government and people of the UAE further growth and development.
In addition, His Excellency President Lourenço praised the growth of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Angola, underlining Angola's enthusiasm to improve these ties in all fields.
In a speech, His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan also underlined the close relations that bind the UAE and the Republic of Angola in all fields, emphasizing the UAE's enthusiasm to strengthen and elevate bilateral cooperation to achieve the aspirations of the two countries and peoples.
The Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Henry Ndukuba, has described the late Queen Elizabeth II of England as a defender of the Protestant faith, whose entire life was guided by her belief in Jesus Christ.
The Primate made the declaration in his sermon at a Service of Remembrance for the Queen, held at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja.
He said that her messages always demonstrated her personal commitment to the rich inheritance of faith in the living God, convictions on marriage, morality and the dignity of human life, as rooted in the Scriptures.
The Archbishop said in spite of her deep convictions in Christ, the Queen accommodated and respected other faiths and people.
In the special service attended by members of the House of Bishops, clergy and laity of the Church, Ndukuba recalled her publicly declared devotion to Jesus Christ at her accession to the throne, 70 years ago.
He said: “At her coronation when she processed into the Church, she first went to the high altar to kneel in prayer and personally surrendered her life to the Almighty God before she came down to the pomp and pageantry of the coronation.
“Her message of Aug. 3, 2022 expressed this clearly when she said ‘throughout my life the message and teachings of Christ have been my guide and in them, find hope.
” The Archbishop added that the Queen had ran a good race in faith and life till the end.
“If Christ and the word of God be her hope then there is the great and glorious reward of the crown of righteousness that awaits her,” he added.
The Primate, who based his exhortation from 2nd Timothy 4: 6-8, said ” like Saint Paul the Apostle, the Queen would be remembered as the monarch whose life was spent purposefully in the service of God and her people.
” Reflecting on her life and numerous charities that touched many indigent people, the Primate said “like Paul, she was poured out in the very service she was called.
“As a young princess, she pledged to spend her whole life serving the people whether that life be long or short.
“Indeed, God blessed her with longevity and she was a hallmark of humble, patient and dedicated service to the citizens of Britain and the whole world.
”Till the very last breath of her life, she remained resolute in her service”.
“Queen Elizabeth II was a steadfast consistent guide to Britain, the Commonwealth and to world leaders in the most difficult periods of history, wars, economic recessions and political instabilities.
” He also described her as a guiding light and a measure of stability, who was always calm and unruffled by challenges, whether personal, national or international.
“She lived a purposeful and fulfilled life of service to her Kingdom and to the world,” the clergy added.
The Nigerian Anglican leader said that her reign witnessed the transition from colonial rule to the independence and nationhood of many nations under the British Empire.
“She wisely brought to birth those nations.
As a mother, she was able to constitute them into a Commonwealth of Nations that has remained a strong bloc of nations contributing to world peace,” he added.
Ndukuba used the occasion to remind Christians of life beyond this world, the second coming of Jesus Christ, eternal judgment and reward.
Reading from Psalms 39: 4-6, 90:10 and 1 Peter 1:24, the Archbishop reminded Christians of ”the inevitability of death.
“The real issue is where shall you be when this life is ended.
Hebrews 9 verse 27 says ‘it is appointed for men to die once but after this comes the judgment of God.” He prayed that “God will raise the beloved Queen Elizabeth II at the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
” The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Liang, who led members of staff of the Commission to the Service, thanked the Primate and the Church for honouring the late Queen and identifying with the people of the United Kingdom in their period of mourning.
“We share a common heritage in the Anglican faith and as we heard in the sermon, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II was the defender of that faith,” she said.
The High Commissioner recounted her previous audiences with the Queen as her representative to Nigeria, where she spoke so fondly of her two visits to Nigeria in 1956 and 2003. “King Charles III also has great interests in Nigeria, has visited and will visit again,” she said.
The Archbishop of Jos Province and Bishop of Yola Diocese, Markus Ibrahim, and Bishop Stephen Fagbemi of Owo Diocese, led intercessory prayers for the new King and the late Queen.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Cathedral’s choir ministered in hymns and a special anthem, “His Eyes are on the Sparrow.