Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State said he would bring to bear the experiences he got from the international conference on mining in Cape Town, South Africa, in the repositioning of the state mining sector by his administration.
Sule said this shortly after the state’s Committee on Solid Minerals submitted its report to him at the Government House, Lafia, on Thursday.
He described the conference held recently as an eye opener, especially as it provided an opportunity to parley with global mining investors and miners, adding that together with the recommendations presented by the committee, the mining sector in the state would be better re-positioned.
He commended members of the committee headed by the Emir of Azara, Dr Kabiru Musa-Ibrahim, for their dedication, commitment and loyalty toward making the mining sector beneficial to the state.
The governor said the recommendations of the committee were in line with the policy thrust of his administration, particularly as it regards mining.
He said all the recommendations would be effective in the mining sector, promising to follow and implement them to the latter.
Earlier, while presenting the report, Chairman of the committee, Emir of Azara, Musa-Ibrahim, disclosed that 338 mining titles were issued in the state, out of which only 64 were presently active.
The committee further disclosed that out of the active 64 licenses, only 35 had organised community development agreements, 10 have environmental impact assessment, while only 17 companies are paying loyalties, which explains why Nasarawa State was the least on the 13 percent derivation from the Minerals Development Fund.
Some of the recommendations proffered by the committee include, revisiting the law domesticating mining in the state, organizing a stakeholders forum, with a view to bringing both the formal and informal miners in the state together in order to discuss on the way forward, as well as setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to handle mining activities on behalf of the state.
It would be recalled that the Committee on Solid Minerals Development was inaugurated on Oct. 18, 2019, saddled with the responsibility of looking into the activities of both the formal and informal miners in the state, as well as proffer suggestions on the way forward, among other terms of reference.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusufhttps://nnn.ng/gov-sule-pledges-to-use-south-africa-experience-to-re-position-mining-sector/
Barbados tourism expert advises African operators on innovation
Jamie-Lee Abtar, Executive Director, Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Women in Travels from Barbados, on Tuesday urged innovativeness among African tourism practitioners to enhance speedy recovery from COVID-19 pandemic losses.
Abtar gave the advice during the youth tourism conference session of the 16th AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market, organised by Mr Ikechi Uko, with the theme: “The Role of the Youth in Restoring Tourism Growth in Africa”.
She said that being innovative distinguished a leader from a follower, urging tourism practitioners across Africa to turn their visions into products and services.
According to her, innovators understand that innovation never happen in a vacuum.
“To be able to recover from the losses of COVID-19 pandemic, we must be inspired to be innovators, leaders, collaborators, digital disruptor and be distinctly different.
“The characteristic of a great innovator is that they see a space others do not and they invent something new, they don’t just listen to what people say but they take initiative.
“These are virtues we must imbibe to scale through this critical period; as tourism practitioners, always be prepared for change and be active in making the change happen.
“To be distinctly different can be challenging but essential for your business to thrive,” she said.
Mel Tlhapi, Managing Director, Mel Prods South Africa, advised African governments to allow youths participate in tourism policy creation to generate experienced and unique ideas.
Tlhapi urged the youths involved in tourism business to always upgrade themselves academically to stay relevant in the industry, advising them to stay fearless regardless of the negative effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
She urged practitioners to solely embrace an aspect of the tourism value chain and remain vibrant in it instead of embracing so many chains without being professionals.
“I advise the youths to create niches for themselves in the industry, be fearless and embrace just an aspect of the tourism value chain, be well grounded in it and do not be a jack of all trade,” she said.
Chiamaka Obuekwe, Managing Director, Social Prefect Tours, spoke on the importance of collaborations to promote intra Africa travels.
Obuekwe said that personal rebranding, reputable business arena and mentorship were very essential to restoring tourism growth in Africa, urging tourism practitioners across Africa to take them seriously.
She said that Africans must consciously rewrite their stories to correct the negative perception of the international communities, going by the challenges of insecurity, poor infrastructure and other social vices projected to the world.
According to her, the negative perception could only be corrected by beginning to tell beautiful stories of Africa and rebranding the continent.
” The youths have a lot to do in tourism development across Africa but African governments must create the needed infrastructure to woo investors and tourists.
“I advise that we in Nigeria create a tourism package to showcase our tourism potential, just like we have events like Magical Kenya, Remarkable Rwanda and Incredible Ghana.
“I suggest we have a tourist festival like “Great Nigeria” or “One Nigeria” to showcase our rich cultural and tourism endowments which will be an annual event,” she said.
Carmen Imbili, Chief Executive Officer, Xceptional Tourism Services from Namibia, said huge confidence must be displayed by operators to forge ahead, be innovative in order to achieve post COVID-19 recovery in the tourism industry
Imbili urged practitioners to explore the power of technology and invest hugely in it as a way of life.
She called for collaborations across tourism practitioners in Africa for speedy recovery of the industry.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Wale Ojetimi
Ramaphosa urges UN to take decisive action against racism
South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has urged the United Nations to spare no effort at ending racism and other forms of prejudice.
Ramaphosa, who is the Chairman of the African Union, made the call in his pre-recorded video statement to the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
It is the UNGA General Debate since the death of African American, George Floyd, in police custody on May 25 sparked protests in the United States and around the world.
“The year 2020 will be remembered for the massive groundswell to push back the frontiers of racism under the umbrella of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
“As a country that has known too well the anguish of institutionalised racism, South Africa supports the demands for swift action against racism, whether committed by individuals, companies, officials or the state.
“South Africa calls on the United Nations to spare no effort to end prejudice and intolerance in all its forms and wherever it may be found.
“In the words of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’” he told the virtual world gathering.
Ramaphosa also expressed the commitment of his country and the AU to the pursuit of global peace and security.
“As African countries we will continue with our effort to ‘silence the guns’ once and for all through conflict resolution and peace-building.
“Cooperation between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council has contributed to improved peace and security in the Darfur region of Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic.
“It is imperative that this collaboration is institutionalised and that the financing of AU peacekeeping operations is addressed and resolved.
“South Africa is currently serving its second year as an elected non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
“We have used our tenure to promote international peace and security by advocating for the peaceful settlement of disputes and inclusive dialogue,” he added.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Flood: NASG distributes relief materials to victims in 45 communities
The Nasarawa State Government has distributed food stuff and other relief materials to 45 communities ravaged by flood in Awe and Nasarawa Local Government Areas of the state.
Mr Zakari Allumaga, Executive Secretary, Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency, (NASEMA), disclosed this while monitoring the distribution of the items on Tuesday in Lafia.
Allumaga said the gesture was in compliance with Gov. Abdullahi Sule’s directive for immediate distribution of relief materials to the hapless victims.
He said that items given to the flood victims were mainly grains and non-food items such as building materials, children clothing, cooking utensils, mats, among others.
The NASEMA Executive Secretary said that no fewer than 700 homes were submerged in Ara, Udenyi Magaji, Ugya and Gude and Nasarawa towns in Nasarawa Local Government.
Also hit by the flood are Ribi and Gidan Soja villages in Awe Local government Area,” he added.
According to him, the state government is working with traditional and community leaders to stop the sale of land located near the rivers.
He said that the agency had set up committees to check cases of diversion and other sharp practices.
“Anyone caught diverting items meant for the displaced persons will be dealt with, no matter how highly place the person may be,” he warned. .
Edited By: Azubuike Okeh and Ephraims Sheyin
At UNGA, AU chairman solicits ‘comprehensive stimulus package’ for Africa
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa on Tuesday solicited a comprehensive stimulus package for Africa to enable its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ramaphosa made the appeal in his pre-recorded video statement to the virtual General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the African Union (AU), he also called for suspension of interest payments on Africa’s external and public debts.
The South African president said although the continent had responded “swiftly and effectively” to the pandemic, it would “inevitably set back our developmental aspirations”.
He said: “The resources we have had to redirect to fighting the pandemic has set back our efforts to provide housing, health care, water and sanitation and education to our people.
“When the Secretary-General António Guterres delivered the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in July, 2020, he called on the nations of the world to forge a New Social Contract and a New Global Deal.
“He said we must create equal opportunities for all, that we must advance a more inclusive and balanced multilateral trading system, that debt architecture must be reformed, and that there should be greater access to affordable credit for developing countries.
“It is in the spirit of this New Global Deal, that we call on the international community and our international partners to support the rollout of a comprehensive stimulus package for Africa.
“This will enable African countries to not only mitigate the health impacts of COVID-19 but to aid us in the immense task of rebuilding our shattered economies.”
He, however, acknowledged joint efforts by the G20, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the UN to address debt sustainability in developing countries.
He noted that pandemic had underscored the urgency with which the world strive to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ramaphosa reiterated the AU’s call for the lifting of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan to enable their governments to adequately respond to the pandemic.
According to him, relieving both countries of sanctions will also ensure no one is left behind as the world races against time to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
Zeroing in on SDG 1, poverty education, the AU chairman noted that the purpose of the UN would remain a mirage until global poverty was eradicated.
He called for expansion of economic opportunities to all our people, especially young people, women and the vulnerable.
Ramaphosa further urged decisive action to rid the continent of corruption, which he said is “robbing our people of the opportunities and services that are their right”.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi