India will participate in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the country’s Olympic association and the Games organisers announced on Monday.
This means it has reversed earlier plans to boycott the event over the absence of shooting as a medal sport.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had threatened to boycott the Games after the shooting event was dropped from the Birmingham programme as it is an optional sport for host cities.
The sport supplied 16 of their 66 medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Games, as India finished third in the medals table.
But in the absence of shooting, they could slip to anywhere between fifth and eighth place in 2022, according to IOA estimates.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin and chief executive David Grevemberg met IOA officials in New Delhi last month and returned home convinced India would not take such a drastic
The IOA, after its annual general meeting, not only confirmed India’s Birmingham participation but also revealed plans to bid for the 2026 or the 2030 edition of the Games.
“The house together reviewed and decided on governance matters and other agenda, including the decision to participate in the #Birmingham2022 #CommonwealthGames,” the IOA tweeted.
“In the AGM, the house also decided on India’s bid to host the 2026/2030 #CommonwealthGames and reviewed the progress in India’s offer to host the 2023 IOC Session,” it said in another tweet.
India hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
Martin welcomed the development, which would be a big relief for the CGF.
“The CGF and the entire Commonwealth Sport Movement are delighted India has confirmed their intent to participate at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games…” she said in a statement.
“Following a useful and constructive CGF visit to India in November, we felt confident and reassured that the athletes and sports community of India places huge value and importance on the Commonwealth
“Finally, we are delighted that India have expressed an ambition to host another Commonwealth Games in the future.”
(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)
Gov. Sule urges IFAD, World Bank to support women-small-holder farmers
Gov Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has called on the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank and the Federal Government to jointly support women- small-holder farmers in the state.
Gov. Sule made the call on Tuesday when he played host to Hajiya Fatima Mukhtar-Buhari, the Market Enterprise Development Advisor of the Federal Government of Nigeria/IFAD Value Chain Development Programme Nigeria, and her team at Government House, Lafia.
According to the governor, IFAD’s support can go a long way toward value chain addition because Nasarawa State being predominantly agrarian, is also a commercial agriculture drive of the present administration.
The governor added that the inclusion of Nasarawa State among the nine states that will benefit from IFAD’s intervention, was not by accident.
According to him, the state has the agricultural potential to take over from Benue as the food basket of the country.
“By the time most of our commercial agricultural programmes , as well as the small holder farming programmes are fully incubated, Nasarawa State will take over from Benue as the food basket of the nation.
“The state will require support in the areas of value chain addition by the time the Dangote Sugar Refinery in Awe Local Government Area, covering 68 hectares of land becomes operational.
“Also, when the 10, 000 hectares of land in Doma being developed by Olams Food start operating, the state will require support for our growers who are mostly women.
“We want IFAD and the World Bank to support the women, because women are excellent farmers of rice,” the governor said.
According to him, it is the practice around the world, particularly in Thailand and in India, that women can also play key role as out growers.
The governor added that IFAD, the Federal Government and the World Bank could come together and support women in the state.
Earlier, Hajiya Mukhtar-Buhari said that Nasarawa State was selected by IFAD among eight states because of its enormous agricultural potential and its support for small, medium and large scale businesses.
She said the visit was part of the implantation support mission of IFAD and value chain development programme.
According to her, this focuses on enhancing of productivity and profitability of small-holder farmers and small scale agro processors by improving their access to market and capacity.
She said that of the 63 local government areas across the selected nine states, 100,000 households, 91,000 small holders farmers, 8,000 processors and 1000 traders would benefit from the intervention, aimed at reducing poverty.
Edited By: Deji Abdulwahab/Peter Dada
Indian Prime Minister stresses need for UN reform
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for reforms at the UN.
Modi said this at a high-level meeting at the UN to mark the 75th anniversary of the organisation.
The event opened the high-level week of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, which will run until Sept. 29.
For the first time, the leaders’ speeches are shown in the video conference mode due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
“We pay tribute to all those who’ve advanced the cause of peace and development under the UN flag, including in UN peacekeeping missions, where India has been a leading contributor.
“However… the original mission remains incomplete,” Modi said.
He said work still needed to be done in preventing conflict, ensuring development, addressing climate change, reducing inequality and using digital technologies.
“The declaration also acknowledges the need for reform of the UN itself. We cannot fight today’s challenges with outdated structures without comprehensive reforms. The UN faces a crisis of confidence.
For today’s interconnected world, we need a reformed multilateralism that reflects today’s realities, gives voice to all stakeholders, addresses contemporary challenges and focuses on human welfare,” Modi said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
FG urges states to provide infrastructure for film industry devt.
The Federal Government on Monday called on states to provide necessary infrastructure for the growth of the film industry to create wealth and employment for youths.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja while inaugurating the Steering Committee for the Reform and Commercialisation of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government is partially commercialising the NFC to effectively discharge its mandate to plan, promote, organise and co-ordinate the development of the motion picture industry in the country.
Inaugurating the committee, the minister underscored the need for states to invest in infrastructure to boost the film industry because of its potentials to create jobs and boost the economy
Relying on International Monetary Fund data, Mohammed said the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, is the second largest employer of labour and contributed N893 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015.
The minister also noted that Nollywood could perform better if the needed infrastructure such as film houses and enabling environment were provided.
In a comparative analysis, the minister disclosed that Nigeria has only 142 cinema houses compared to South Africa with 782 cinema houses.
According to him, the US has 40,393 cinema houses while India and China have 11,209 and 50,976 cinema houses respectively.
“You cannot have a successful film industry without adequate cinema houses because the major revenue source of the industry is exhibition .
“The most successful film in Nigeria today is “Wedding Party 1 and 2” that grossed about two million dollars within a week through the cinema houses.
“You can imagine a gross of 2 million dollars using only 142 cinema houses, and how much the film would have grossed if we have about 1000 cinema houses for exhibition,” he said.
“That is why it is important to appeal to our state governments to invest in infrastructure in the industry.
“I do not think it will be too much for the state government to ensure they build one cinema house in each local government area of their states to give us an additional 774 cinema houses in the country.
“In India, 14 million people attend cinema daily and I can imagine the impact it will have on the economy,” he said.
The minister also underscored the need for states to look into building purpose-built arenas for concerts and shows to encourage creative artists.
“I will advise state governments to look into having arenas in each senatorial district or one in the state capital.
“I do not know of any place where we have purpose-built arena today because most places where we have concerts are not purpose-built.
“We have artists in Nigeria that can sell out anywhere in the world; Burna boy, Wiz Kid and Davido sold out in Arena 02 in London and in other big arenas over the world.
“The biggest arena in Nigeria which is not even purpose-built can only accommodate about 7000 people whereas the Arena 02 in London accommodates up to 20,000 people,” he said.
The minister also canvassed for easy acquisition of land and tax waivers for artistes and investors who would like to build cinema houses or invest generally in the industry.
He noted that apart from wealth and employment creation, promoting the film industry would help to build inclusion and reduce social tension.
The minister noted that the intention of the administration is to make Nigeria the capital of entertainment in Africa,
He said though the film industry had been largely driven by the private sector, the Federal Government had been supporting the industry by providing enabling environment and funding.
“In 2013, there was “Project Nollywood” in which the government made available to the sector about 17 million USD for the growth and promotion of the industry.
“I am also aware of the various multilateral injection of funds to this industry and we have also embarked on revolutionary reforms to reposition the industry,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Alex Okoh, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said with the tremendous potentials of the film industry to reposition the nation’s economy, the government needed to play a prominent role.
Okoh said that the government was reforming the NFC to take the leading role in harnessing the potentials in the sector.
He, however, clarified that the reform process “is not a privatisation of the corporation but the commercialisation of this important enterprise and agency of government.”
“The clarification is that in this reform process, there is no transfer of ownership, no sale of shares and no privatisation of the entity.
“It is basically to ensure the resident value of the enterprise and its commercial viability,” he said.
He said the steering committee being chaired by the minister would consider and approve the recommendations submitted by the project delivery team for the commercialisation of the corporation.
Other members of the steering committee inaugurated by the minister were Okoh, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe and the Managing Director of NFC, Chidia Maduekwe.
The Director Information and Communication of BPE, Dikko Mohammed, will serve as the Secretary of the committee.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo)
15th Abuja Int’l trade fair to feature 500 exhibitors – ACCI
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says its 15th Abuja International Trade Fair will feature not more than 500 local and foreign exhibitors.
ACCI Media Officer Latifat Opoola who made the disclosure on Sunday said the fair would hold in October at the Abuja Trade and Convention with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.
According to Opoola, this year’s event in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols will only showcase indoor and virtual exhibitions to make room for a controlled environment that will ensure social distancing.
She noted that an average attendance of 100,000 visitors from both Nigeria and 150 countries, including U.K., United States, UAE, India, Malasyia and China would participate both physically and virtually at the fair.
She said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, among others, were expected to participate.
She noted that over the years, the fair had been an amazing trade platform for international and domestic industry professionals, leading brands and MSMEs to transact, share market insights, cutting edge technology and expertise in an interactive environment.
“This year’s event will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market opportunity as well as information. It will also help buyers, investors and traders to foster business relationships.
“Over 500 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria in all sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Tourism, Textile, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial and Service sectors are expected to participate.
“With a team of trade professionals, we are persistent in providing a conducive trading atmosphere for our exhibitors, which will lead to strategies and tactics needed to innovate, grow and promote businesses,” she said in a statement.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22, while the closing ceremony holds on Nov. 2.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Ejiofor)