Foreign

Experts from ECOWAS meet on deployment of regional visa

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Experts on visa issues from the ECOWAS member states have met on the deployment of the regional visa (ECOVISA) aimed at facilitating the seamless movement of citizens of West African states within the region.


The Directorate of Communications in the ECOWAS Commission disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

The experts held a virtual meeting on Aug. 4 to present and discuss security features for the ECOVISA document.

They also discussed the necessary accompanying measures for the implementation of the decision of the heads of state and government of ECOWAS on the matter.

According to the ECOWAS Commission, besides consolidating the proposed road map for the roll-out and deployment of the ECOVISA, the experts are also examining data exchange/registration platform.

This platform, it explains, takes cognisance of migrants amongst member states’ consular services, host country immigration services, and ECOWAS itself.

It stated that Mr Tei Konzi, ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Trade, Customs, and Free Movement, said it was important for delegates to make concrete recommendations for future validation by regional ministers in charge of security and migration.

Konzi, who declared the meeting open, noted that the regional visa should help facilitate mobility in the ECOWAS area.

He stressed that in working out modalities for the proper implementation of ECOVISA, member states are to be engaged in developing a regional visa roadmap for the emergence of a Schengen-type visa for the region.

He added that this should be done while reassessing and updating the consideration of the evolution of migration in the ECOWAS region especially during the COVID-19 period.

“Commissioner Konzi particularly took note of the need for a consolidation of the roadmap proposed for the deployment of ECOVISA, the data exchange and registration platform for migrants.

“At the level of consular services of ECOWAS member states and immigration from host countries and ECOWAS,” he said.

Konzi also disclosed that the commission’s expectations are for the regional visa to be made a powerful tool for tourism, a source of foreign exchange, and to create a regional environment conducive for the free movement of investors and foreign workers.

He thanked stakeholders, representatives of the technical and financial partners of ECOWAS for their support in the strengthening of regional integration, peace, cohesion, and socio-economic development.

The commission said that Mr Hassane Ismail, Chair of the meeting and Commissioner of Police of Niger, underscored the importance of the meeting’s agenda while looking forward to the progress to be made.

It noted that amid presentations, the delegates also ascertained the current status of information request for citizens domiciled in the ECOWAS host nation to immigration offices.

They also considered the increased understanding by member states’ delegates of the shared regional opportunities and challenges presented by the harmonised visa.

The adopted recommendations of the meeting are expected to be submitted to the ECOWAS Ministerial Meeting for further consideration.

LIZ/

(
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim) (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/experts-from-ecowas-meet-on-deployment-of-regional-visa/

Politics

Wrap-up: An overview of Edo governorship election 

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The Edo governorship election on Saturday held across the 18 local government areas of the state with commendation for the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) for a peaceful conduct of the election from observers.


Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN), who monitored  the exercise in the three senatorial  districts of the state, report that voters and election monitoring groups expressed satisfaction over the process in spite of the pre election apprehension of violence.

NAN observed high turnout of voters across the polling units, with substantial compliance with the COVID-19  safety protocol while INEC staff, who arrived early in most of the polling units with voting materials, provided hand washing buckets, sanitiser and thermometers.

The polling units witnessed visible presecence of security personnel in all the polling centres visited.

In Edo North, Mr John Atsegameh, an election observer,  with Centre for Democracy and Development CDD, described the election as peaceful devoid of any violence.

“From the reports am getting from other places the election is free and devoid of violence.

“The electorate conducted themselves properly; there was a strict adherance to COVID-19 safety protocols.

“So far, no form of violence, party agents conducted themselves and corporated with INEC personnel’” he said.

Similarly, the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba and Sen. Francis Alimikhena (APC-Edo-North) expressed satisfaction on the conduct of the Edo governorship election.

Agba stated this shortly after casting his vote at Uzani, Ward 3, Unit 8 in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo.

The minister commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the process, saying that he was impressed with the exercise.

“I can only say here and if it is the reflection in other places then it is good” the minister said.

Sen. Alemikhena, APC Edo-North Senatorial District, said that he was impressed with the large turnout of voters.

“The turnout here today is totally unprecedented,” he said.

Alemikhena, however, expressed confidence that with the turnout and peaceful conduct of the poll, his party would win.

“This area is APC and we expect 100 per cent, I am very confident thst if everything goes well like this our party, APC is sure of victory,” he said.

In Edo Central district, aside the report of slight delay in one polling unit arising  from failed card reader, which was promptly replaced, the electorate and respondents applauded the conduct of the Governorship election.

There was large turnout of voters across all polling units in Esan West Local Government Area of the state.

 

Most of the voters arrived in the various polling units before officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 

Some of the polling units visited by our correspondent included those in Ward 6 (Ogbomoide Primary School) with polling units 6, 7 & 8, and polling units 3, 4 & 5 (Central Primary School) all in Iruekpen, Esan West.

 

Others included polling Unit 2 in Ward 5 (Uhunmudumu Primary School) in Ekpoma which has six voting points.

 

Accreditation of voters and voting commenced on scheduled at these polling units.

 

While electoral materials and officials arrived on time at the polling units, security personnel were visible in all the polling units visited.

Also at the polling units were Policemen as well as personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). 

The situation was not different in Edo South as the only two cases of police authority dismissed the two alleged reported cases of gunshots at Oza in Orhionmwon LGA and Ologbo, a border town between Edo and Delta.

There was calm situation at Ugboko ward 5 unit 26, in Orhionmwon

and ward 5 Unit 19 in Oredo Local Government Area, where Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Godwin Obaseki, both governorship candidates of APC and PDP, respectively, voted.

Some of the electorate who spoke with NAN in separate interviews commended INEC for adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols during the electoral process.

Mr Benson Ibizugbe said that he was impressed that the process was going on peacefully and violence-free.

Ibizugbe said ”INEC did a good job by conducting a peaceful election here.

“There has not been issues of faulty equipment and they provided face masks for voters who don’t have to make them eligible to vote”.

An INEC observer, Ada Opkara, from Smile Africa, said that the voting process was seamless and commended the people of Ugboko ward for their peaceful conduct.

“I resumed here at 7: 18 a.m. before the INEC staff resumed activities, from that time till now, about three hours later, everywhere is calm.

“The electorate are cooperative and they are obeying the rules of COVID-19 and INEC officials,” he said.

She expressed optimism that the peaceful atmosphere at the polling unit would continue throughout the voting process going by the presence of security personnel.

Another electorate, Mr Monday Erhabor, said that he was happy that there was no violence at the voting centre.

“Everywhere is calm and peaceful, there is no violence, the security is tight and we are sure of a free and fair process,” he said..

Some of the electorate who spoke with NAN in separate interviews commended INEC for adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols during the electoral process.

Mr Benson Ibizugbe said that he was impressed that the process was going on peacefully and violence-free.

Ibizugbe said ”INEC did a good job by conducting a peaceful election here.

“There has not been issues of faulty equipment and they provided face masks for voters who don’t have to make them eligible to vote”.

An INEC observer, Ada Opkara, from Smile Africa, said that the voting process was seamless and commended the people of Ugboko ward for their peaceful conduct.

“I resumed here at 7: 18 a.m. before the INEC staff resumed activities, from that time till now, about three hours later, everywhere is calm.

“The electorate are cooperative and they are obeying the rules of COVID-19 and INEC officials,” he said.

She expressed optimism that the peaceful atmosphere at the polling unit would continue throughout the voting process going by the presence of security personnel.

Another electorate, Mr Monday Erhabor, said that he was happy that there was no violence at the voting centre.

“Everywhere is calm and peaceful, there is no violence, the security is tight and we are sure of a free and fair process,” he said..

Obaseki, however, expressed different opinion taking a swipe at INEC and security operatives on his noticed lapses on their parts.

The PDP governorship candidate said he expected better preparations from INEC for the Saturday’s governorship poll, after queueing for over an hour before voting.

He stated this, shortly after he cast his vote  at 11:48a.m, having joined the queue for hand washing at 10:24a.m.

According to him, to wait for one and half hours on the queue before exercising his franchise is a bit disappointing.

“Given that this is a sole day election, I expected a bit more planning and preparation, and resources should have been put into this election.

“During the last presidential election in my polling unit, there were two polling points which helped thep voters. You all are witnesses of how long this has taken.

“The card reader is working very slowly, and this is the situation in all the major voting centres in Oredo Local Government area of the state as I speak.

“In Garrick Memorial Secondary School, I understand that more than 500 voters are already stranded because they can’t vote because of the slow processing of the card readers.

“One would have expected that INEC will have deployed more card readers and more voting points in highly numbered polling centres,” he said.

On the issue of vote buying at polling units, the governor said that the security agencies were not doing what they assured Edo people and Nigerians of, before the election.

“The security agencies assured us that they won’t allow anybody who don’t have business of voting in a particular place to be there, but they are working on the contrary to what they promised us.

“You can see cars parked with a lot of cash being disbursed to people and it seems to be normal practice, but we are not perturbed. People know what to do; cash can’t buy their future,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Adeleye Oyebade, in charge of Edo governoship election, has said nobody who violated electoral laws would be above the law.

Oyebade spoke after inspecting INEC’s office where the final collation and results of the Edo governorship election would be announced.

He said that the security agencies had appealed to the electorate and major actors not to cross the line, but do the needful.

He explained that the inspection was to further strengthen what was on ground, adding that minor issues that had been brought before the security agencies were being handled.

He noted that every security agency in the state under the banner of Inter Agencies Consultative Committee on Election Security were all involved in the election security to ensure free, fair and acceptable results at the end of the poll.

He said that security agencies were committed to ensuring that the election was conducted peacefully, adding that nothing was too much to sacrifice for the success of the election.

On the allleged shooting of an electorate at Ologbo in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government area and the alleged shooting at Oza, in Orhiomwon Local Government Area, Oyebade said that there was nothing of such.

Reporters/

Edited By: Kayode Olaitan
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/wrap-up-an-overview-of-edo-governorship-election/
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Agriculture

FG seeks collaboration with Agric stakeholders to curb post-harvest losses

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The Federal Government on Saturday urged stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to collaborate with governments at all levels to minimise the incidence of post-harvest losses of farm produce being recorded in the country.


Dr Muazu AbdulKadir, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made the call in llorin, the Kwara capital, when he paid a visit to the Nigerian Stored Products Research institute (NSPRl), llorin.

AbdulKadir, while addressing the management of NSPRl, noted that Nigeria was losing billions of naira annually to post harvest losses of various farm produce due to lack of well-equipped storage facilities.

“Over sixty per cent of tomatoes, onions, cashew, mangoes, oranges and water melon, among others harvested in Nigeria are lost after harvesting.

“The Federal Government is working round the clock to address the problem, to allow the country maintain food sufficiency.

“I, hereby, call on stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to collaborate with the government by coming up with modern scientific approaches on curbing post-harvest losses.’’

AbdulKadir praised the foresight of NSPRl in the preservation of farm produce, fabrication of farm implements, storage facilities and ensuring reduction of post-harvest losses of farm produce, as a priority.

He said the Ministry would continue to give necessary assistance within the available resources to NSPRl, to meet its mandate in farm produce storage and other agricultural activities.

The Executive Director of NSPRl, Dr Patricia Pessu, in her remarks, told the permanent secretary of several interventions currently being embarked upon by the institute, aimed at curbing post-harvest losses of farm produce.

Pessu appealed to the Ministry to assist the institute in the realisation of its objective at curbing post-harvest losses, to create employment for the teeming unemployed, and further boost the national economy.

She called on the Federal Government to allow NSPRl be represented in the intervention committee related to food security.

The NSPRI boss requested that the Ministry give intellectual property rights to agricultural researchers, as a way of encouraging them to do more at ensuring food preservation.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the permanent secretary later inspected the laboratories of the institute and its fabricated farm implements with storage faculties.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Idonije Obakhedo
Source: NAN

 

 

 

https://nnn.ng/fg-seeks-collaboration-with-agric-stakeholders-to-curb-post-harvest-losses/
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General news

Lawyer advocates leadership training for youths

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An Ilorin based legal practitioner, Mr Suleiman Ahmed, has advocated the need for the training of youths on leadership skills to help reposition Nigeria’s future.


Ahmed, who spoke in Ilorin on Saturday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , agreed that youth’s development remain critic in nation building.

He said it has become necessary for Nigeria youths to be equipped with leadership skills in order to do things differently from the past.

“Bad leadership in the past has put Nigeria in a serious mess. Our youths should be shown the way to manage the God’s given abundant resources at hand.

“Nigeria is blessed, but we have people in the past, who lacked those leadership skills in the corridors of power.

“With proper orientation and leadership training for the youths, we can get it right and place the country on the right path.

“We cannot afford to make the same mistakes of our past leaders. We cannot claim to be giant of Africa and see our people dying of hunger and poverty,”he said.

The legal practitioner however called on NGOs and the three tiers of governments to ensure leadership training were organised for the youths.

He advised that the future of the country is at stake if the youths are left out and not well prepared and equipped for leadership position.

“We cannot allow the youths to emulate the past trend. We want them to do things differently and safe the future of the country,”he said.

He also advised Nigerian leaders to stop being selfish, show love and care for the people for them to be proud of their country.

 

https://nnn.ng/lawyer-advocates-leadership-training-for-youths/
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Environment

3-storey school  building collapses in Lagos

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A three-storey building of the Excell College, a private school  in Ejigbo, Lagos, collapsed on Saturday, two days to  reopening of secondary and private schools in the state.


The building is located at No. 15, Ansarudeen St., by Ile Epo Bus stop, Iyana Ejigbo.

NAN reports that public and private primary and secondary schools in Lagos State are to re-open on Monday after about six months closure due to COVID-19.

Lagos State-owned tertiary institutions re-opened on Sept. 14.

The Director-General of  the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, told newsmen that no person was trapped in the collapsed building.

He noted that the school had been under lock and key since March due to the COVID-19-induced restrictions.

According to the LASEMA director-general, the building, which collapsed at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, is part of a conjoined (twin) three-storey building.

He said that the collapse was attributable to “visible distress”, adding that the collapsed portion affected the second wing, as shown by visible cracks on the walls, pillars and decking of the second portion.

“Distress calls received established that the building collapsed at about 8:15a.m.

“Information gathered from some officials of the school revealed that the building had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate and refortify the structure.

“The three-storey building has two wings; the wing that collapsed seriously affected the second wing, as visible cracks can be seen on the walls, pillars and decking.

“Fortunately, nobody was trapped.

“Responders to the incident are LASEMA, Lagos State Building  Collapse Agency and the police,”  he said.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Ijeoma Popoola
Source: NAN

 

 

https://nnn.ng/3-storey-school-building-collapses-in-lagos/
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