General news

Buhari salutes ex-Minister, Adelusi-Adeluyi, at 80



President Muhammadu Buhari has rejoiced with a former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Buhari’s congratulatory message was conveyed in a letter addressed to Adelusi-Adeluyi, on Saturday.

The president described Adelusi-Adeluyi as an accomplished pharmacist, lawyer and boardroom player.

“It gives me immense pleasure to rejoice with you, as you attain the milestone age of 80 in sound mind and good health.

“Your life is one signposted by many achievements, which, undoubtedly, inspire the younger generation to noble ideals. Your imprints are clearly left on the sands of time,” he said.

“As an accomplished pharmacist, lawyer and key player in many private sector organisations, you are on the Governing Council and past president of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies; first District Governor of Rotary International, District 9110, Nigeria and Chairman of MTN Foundation,” he said.

Buhari also acknowledged Adelusi-Adeluyi as a recipient of national awards of MFR in 1986 and OFR in 2002.

“At 80, as you are celebrated by family, friends, associates and professional colleagues from far and near, I wish you longer life, greater strength and more salutary impact on our country and across all walks of life,” the president said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adelusi-Adeluyi is the Founder and Chairman of Juli Plc, the first indigenous company to be quoted on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

He was also a former Minister of Health; past Chairman of O’dua Investment Limited; Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Directors; Fellow, Institute of Management; Fellow, West Africa Post-Graduate College and pioneer President, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq


Damilare, Christiana emerge winners in Big Dreams Nigeria talent show



Adaja Damilare and Christiana Nsolo on have carted home N1 million each as star prizes after emerging winners at the grand finale of Big Dream Nigeria Talent Show on Tuesday night.

The reality show is geared toward   discovering and developing young talents in acting and music.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the youngsters were announced winners  at the grand  finale of the maiden edition of the show which held  in Abuja.

The duo beat 12 other budding talents who made it to the final day of the  5-week-long  event  to clinch the highly coveted grand prizes.

Damilare, Ondo State –born model and upcoming singer, won the grand prize for the music category of the contest, while 22-year-old Christiana from Delta State clinched the grand prize for acting.

According to the organisers of the show, the two best winners are to receive a plot of land each in the Federal Capital Territory as part of the star prizes.

The organisers also announced a plot of land each for the first and second runners-up  in both music and acting categories of the show.

Amb. Kingsley Amafibe, CEO of Peace Ambassador Agency and Principal Executive of the Big Dreams project, told NAN on the sidelines of the grand finale that contestants were selected from a nationwide audition held at the beginning of the year.

He explained that 30 housemates started the show and that the number of contestants kept reducing in a weekly eviction process until the last two persons were announced winners.

According to him, the Big Dream Nigeria talent show initiative is àimed at offering talented and passionate youth a platform to express themselves and to be discovered in the creative industry.

He said that movies and music produced by housemates in the course of the show had been premiered and that all participants would be recommended  to relevant stakeholders  for music and movie roles.

“The reality show is aimed at building the next generation of talented Nigerians in the areas of music and acting.

“During their stay in the house, contestants were coached and mentored by seasoned filmmakers, actors, singers, and even leadership experts.

“They produced a movie and a song titled ‘9JA Go Beta’, which is to commemorate Nigeria’s  60 years of independence,” he said.

Amafibe said that the housemates  were earlier quarantined in preparation for the premiere  and commencement of the contest because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He called on relevant stakeholders, especially government at all levels to support initiatives such as the talent show in order to empower and gainfully engage teeming talented Nigerian youth.

“Our youths are talented but they need to be given platforms to express themselves, and that is why we want everybody to support this project so that we can get our youth off the streets.

“The entertainment industry can create the much needed jobs for our youth, especially as the country faces economic challenges,” he said.

Speaking with NAN, Christiana, a 300-level student of Architecture at the University of Benin, who won the star prize in Acting, expressed gratitude to the orgnisers.

She described the show às the kind of veritable platform talented and passionate young Nigerians needed for mentorship and direction in pursuit of their dreams.


Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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NCDC announces 176 new COVID-19 infection in Nigeria



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 176  new cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in the country.

The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Wednesday.

According to the agency, the new infection takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 57,437.

The NCDC said that the new cases were reported from 14 states of the federation.

It stated that Lagos reported the highest infection in the country with 73, Plateau (50), FCT (17), Rivers (8), Ondo (6), Niger (5), Ogun (5), Edo (3), Kaduna (3), Oyo (2), Bauchi (1), Bayelsa (1), Delta (1), and Nasarawa (1).

According to it, till date, 57613 cases have been confirmed, 48836 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.

The health agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, have continued  to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

It added that the  drivers of COVID-19 were different across the country, therefore subnational understanding of transmission was critical.

“We can’t celebrate decline in national figures until we test sufficient numbers in every state,” it stated.

The NCDC said that the most common signs and symptoms reported by COVID-19 patients in Nigeria were cough and fever.

The agency said that in addition, most patients who died were reported to have difficulty in breathing.

“Most people who died were 61-70 years of age.

The agency said that a properly worn face mask acts as a protective barrier to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Wear a mask properly covering your nose and mouth, no gaps secured with straps.

“Remember, a face mask is a personal item and must not be shared,” it said.

Edited By: Ejike Obeta
Source: NAN
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UNGA Debate: Buhari urges global action against small arms



President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday night urged the international community to take strong action against illicit flows of small arms and light weapons.

Addressing the virtual United Nations General Assembly through a pre-recorded video statement, Buhari said Nigeria was deeply concerned over the menace.

“Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa.

“We urge the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty.

“This is to codify accountability in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy,” he said.

The president also reminded the world of the “litany of terrorist attacks across the globe”, saying it is a “harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today”.

He emphasised that the problem could only be solved through international collaboration and solidarity.

“In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits.

“We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN counter-terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.

“We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East.

“The North-East Development Commission has been established for that purpose,” he said.

Buhari also stated Nigeria’s position on other global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, illicit financial flows and nuclear proliferation.

On COVID-19, the president joined other world leaders at the forum in calling for “uninhibited supply of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines for all.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the call for global solidarity against the pandemic featured prominently in all the statements delivered on Tuesday.

The developing world has been watching helplessly as some wealthy countries pre-order millions of doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines from pharmaceutical companies.

This move, which has come to be known as “vaccine nationalism”, is a source of concern to the UN and other stakeholders.

They fear that this would leave the poor countries thereby undermine efforts to end the pandemic.

In his statement earlier in the day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted that “vaccine nationalism” is not only unfair but also self-defeating.

Buhari decried the lack of global solidarity in the battle, urging the UN to “marshal an inclusive response to the pandemic”.

According to him, failure by the orgainsation in this direction means failure in its “core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.”

Turning to illicit financial flows, he called for an overhaul of existing international structures that undermine countries’ efforts to “generate and retain their financial resources”.

Speaking further, the president expressed Nigeria’s commitment to ongoing efforts by the UN to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

He said: “We recall the adoption of the landmark Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which opened for signature on 20 September 2017.

“Nigeria participated actively in the processes leading to its adoption and was an early signatory and ratifier.

“With less than ten ratifications needed for the TPNW’s entry into force, we urge other member states who have not done so to quickly ratify the Treaty for the actualization of its important objective.”


Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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General news

UNGA Debate: Buhari advocates uninhibited supply of safe coronavirus vaccines to all




President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will continue to partner with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and some countries to ensure accelerated development, manufacturing and uninhibited supply of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines to all.

Buhari stated this on Tuesday night while delivering Nigeria’s National Statement via video link on the first day of the 75th session of the Uníted Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The President pledged Nigeria’s commitment to working with member states in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being.

The theme of this year’s General Assembly is ”The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism- Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action.”

The Nigerian leader described the theme of the conference as most appropriate and timely, saying that it captured the common desire for a renewed and revitalised UN in need of multilateral approaches to the many challenges facing the world.

”As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need, we must realise that the people of the world not only look up to us: they count on us.

”If the United Nations system cannot mobilise the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the coronavirus pandemic, then the United Nations would have failed in the core mission of giving expression, direction, and solution to the yearnings of the international community.

”The future we want must guarantee human rights, human dignity, human prospects and prosperity.

”The principles of ‘Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm’ must be expressed through accountability, strategic growth initiatives, and elimination of threats of all kinds,” he said.

He said that in order to give hope for a bright future and prosperity for all Nigerians, his administration had embarked on measures aimed at ensuring national resilience.

”We intend to achieve this through the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development for the periods 2020-2025, and 2026-2030.

”We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking on the coronavirus pandemic, Buhari stressed the need for effective multilateral actions aimed at tackling the situation.

He expressed concern that the pandemic had devastated the world economy and strained the capabilities of health systems of many countries, including Nigeria.

“In the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, we prioritised vulnerable groups, including women, children, older persons, and the unemployed, in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio-economic effects of the disease.

”Accordingly, we have expanded our National Social Register to include an additional one million Nigerians.

”Our National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 12 million households,” he said.

While applauding the UN and WHO for the efforts they put in to help combat the pandemic, Buhari noted with appreciation the two billion dollars Global Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary-General to fund the coronavirus response in the poorest countries.

He also applauded the Secretary-General’s call for a cease-fire in conflict areas so that humanitarian assistance could reach groups vulnerable to the virus.

On poverty eradication in Nigeria, the president said that in order to mitigate its impact, his administration had embarked upon the disbursement of N10.9 billion to households engaged in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises as palliatives.

According to him, an additional N500 billion fiscal stimulus package as well as sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to cater to poor and vulnerable households have been established.

He added that the Central Bank of Nigeria had also launched a N3.5-trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution.

The Nigerian leader then urged the international community to complement efforts being made to address poverty, particularly in developing countries.

In this regard, he commended the outgone President of the 74th General Assembly, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria, for launching an Alliance for Poverty Eradication in June.

He enjoined global leaders, particularly from the global North, to support the alliance at a time when ”the COVID-19 is reversing gains made toward the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and pushing an additional half a billion people into extreme poverty.”

On disarmament, international peace and security, Buhari said ”Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa.”

He, therefore, called on the international community to renew efforts that would help stem such activities and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.

On terrorism and counter-terrorism, the president urged world leaders to redouble efforts at ensuring collective security, saying that the litany of sophisticated terrorist attacks across the globe “is a harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today.”

”In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits.

”We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN counter-terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.

”We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North East.

“The North-East Development Commission has been established for that purpose,” he said.

On illicit financial flows, Buhari said that global aspiration to recover from the impact of COVID-19 would not be fully met without addressing structures making it more difficult for countries to generate and retain their financial resources.

In this regard, the president again thanked Muhammad-Bande as well as the immediate past President of the Economic and Social Council, Amb. Mona Jul, for jointly launching the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Meanwhile, a statement by Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, indicates that Buhari also spoke on other issues that are of interest to Nigeria.

Adesina said that speaking on climate change, the Nigerian leader reiterated his country’s commitment to revitalising Lake Chad.

”We are convinced that recharging the Lake will improve the living conditions of our people in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience, and assist in addressing environmental as well as security challenges threatening the region and its resources,” he said.

Buhari, therefore, renewed his call for international support for the regional efforts being made to raise 50 billion dollars required to revitalise the lake.

On quality education, Buhari announced that Nigeria would be hosting the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021.

”Quality education for all is the cornerstone of sustainable development.

”I invite you all to Nigeria to participate in the conference, which aims to advocate the protection of education from attack as we work together towards the future we want,” he said.

Buhari ended his speech at the virtual event by reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to promoting international peace and security and sustainable development.

He also said that Nigeria remained committed to strengthening partnerships and cooperation with international organisations.


Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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