As Nigeria mark 62nd Independence Anniversary, some Nigerians have expressed joy over the infrastructure development in the country since independence.
A cross section of the respondents who spoke in Bauchi and Dutse, described the Federal Government’s commitment towards roads, housing, power and rail infrastructure development as commendable.
Mr Sabo Mohammed, a political analyst in Bauchi State, said the country witnessed massive progress in infrastructure development under President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration.
He lauded the president for ensuring continuity of infrastructure development projects initiated by his predecessors.
He said the projects were designed to provide modern air, sea, rail and road transportation networks for ease of doing businesses, reduce poverty, creat jobs and enhance wealth creation.
Mohammed said that power and housing project initiatives would also address energy crisis, enhance stable power supply and provide decent houses to tackle housing deficit in the country.
According to him, the Buhari administration has executed about 5,000 kilometers of roads through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund and SUKUK Bond.The gesture, he said, would encourage investment, revamp industries and improved public service delivery to fast track sustainable social and economic development in the country.
He listed some of the projects to include the 2nd Niger Bridge; Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, East-West Road, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway, Gombe -Yola Road, Kano – Maiduguri Expressway and Kirfi – Gombe Road.Mohammed said that some of the projects had been completed and inaugurated while others were at various stages of completion.
On rail sector, Mohammed listed the Kaduna – Abuja, Lagos – Kano, Warri – Itakpe, Lagos -Portharcourt standard gauge lines as well as Kano – Maradi Rail line in Niger Republic.
In the energy sector, he said, the Federal Government initiated viable projects such as NLNG Train 7, Ajaokuta – Kaduna – Kano (AKK) pipeline project.
The AKK project on completion would saw an incremental 4,000MW of generating assets to the power sector, he said.
Mohammed said the Zungeru and Kashimbila Hydro Power Plants were designed to complement systemic reforms and investments in the distribution and transmission segments of the electricity value chain.
The analyst said, the country under the stewardship of Muhammadu Buhari also achieved giant leap in energy infrastructure development with signing of agreements on expanding gas supply to other African member states.
On July 28, 2022, Nigeria signed a Memerandum of Understanding (MoU) with Algeria and Nigerien Governments for the implementation of the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) project.
TSGP; also known as NIGAL pipeline and Trans-African gas pipeline is a planned natural gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria.
The gigantic project is seen as an opportunity to diversify the European Union’s gas supplies.
“Not to forget the infrastructure development in tertiary institutions across the country funded by Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund),” he said.
Mohammed said the projects were visible and incontrovertible assets in proof of what Nigeria’s resources were invested in.
He, however, urged the Federal Government to complete all ongoing projects before the expiration of the tenure of President Buhari in 2023.Also, Maryam Ibrahim and Babangida Muhammad, residents of Dutse in Jigawa, lauded the Nigerian government over its commitment to the infrastructure development in the country.
Muhammad noted tat the feat achieved in road infrastructure enhance transportation services as well as ease movement of goods and services across the country.
He advocated for practical measures to ensure rehabilitation and maintainance of the structures, and urged Nigerians to protect national assets in their respective communities.
Guinea has been stripped of the rights to host the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Saturday.
This development means a fresh bidding for the tournament’s hosting rights is set to be reopened on Saturday.
The rights withdrawal followed a meeting on Friday in Conakry between Guinea’s interim president, Col. Mamady Doumbouya, and CAF President Patrice Motsepe.
The meeting had discussed the withdrawal after the west African country, among the poorest of the continent, said it was not ready to host the 24-nation tournament.
Guinea’s inability was due to its infrastructure and facilities not being ready to host a world-class AFCON competition.
Motsepe was accompanied during his meeting with the Guinean leader by CAF General Secretary, Véron Mosengo-Omba.The development is expected to ginger Guinea into working towards bidding with other competing nations for the 2024 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The 2022 edition of CHAN is being hosted by Algeria in 2023.The CAF Executive Committee will be meeting on Saturday in Algiers, Algeria and will take a decision to re-open the bidding process for the 2025 AFCON.
The 2023 AFCON is already scheduled to hold in Côte d’Ivoire.
In response to the situation of thousands of migrants stranded in Niger, the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) deployed a high-level humanitarian mission in Niamey.
The mission is led by Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, and is expected to draw up an appropriate recovery and reintegration plan for the migrants.
The team, made up of ECOWAS experts and representatives of the most affected member states (Guinea, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Benin), has been in Niamey since on September 26, 2022, with the support of the International Office for Migration (IOM).
The mission's activities began on Tuesday, September 27, with a visit to the Agadez migrant center, followed by a meeting in Agadez Governorate with the authorities in charge of the vast region of northern Niger along the borders with Algeria, Chad, Libya and Mali, which is facing a massive flow of migrants expelled from Algeria and Libya to a lesser extent.
During the visit to the IOM-led center in Agadez, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr accompanied by HE N'dri Guillaume Gnamien, ECOWAS Resident Representative in Niger, held talks with Niger's Minister of Health, Mr. Illiassou Mainassara and the Governor of Agadez.
Region, Mr. Magagi Maman Dada, who also came to learn about the conditions of stay of migrants served by the United Nations agency specializing in migration issues.
The mission's program also includes a two-day roundtable, to take place on 28-29 September 2022, between ECOWAS, representatives of the most affected Member States, IOM and the Nigerien authorities to share points of view and discuss sustainable and effective strategies to ensure adequate care for migrants in Niger, as well as their return and reintegration in their country of origin.
In her opening speech, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr expressed concern about the number of women and young children among the migrants and the number of people who lost their lives during their attempt to migrate or during their expulsion from Algeria or Libya.
She praised the efforts of IOM, which is working with the Nigerien authorities to receive the migrants and repatriate them to their respective countries.
“The ECOWAS Commission stands ready to support member states in addressing the challenges related to the irregular migration of citizens from the region,” concluded Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Niger's Minister for Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management, Mr. Magagi Laouan, welcomed the efforts of ECOWAS and its technical and financial partners, in particular IOM, for their support in management of the migration crisis in the West African region.
as well as its support to Niger in the care of migrants.
It should be noted that Commissioner Fatou Sow Sarr and HE N'dri Guillaume Gnamien attended the opening of the round table on the financing of Niger's national migration policy 2020-2035 and its first five-year action plan, chaired by HE Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, Prime Minister of Niger, on the morning of Wednesday, September 28, 2022.
At the end of their mission in Niger, the experts and representatives of the Member States present in Niger will draw up an action plan and make recommendations to the ECOWAS authorities, Member States and partners in order to propose adequate solutions in the short, medium and long term for the proper management of transit migration in Niger.
The Federal Government says Nigeria currently produces about five million tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) annually and only eight per cent of the production is being utilised domestically, with the bulk being exported.
It says domestic LPG production stands at about 45 per cent of annual consumption, with Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NL supplying 450,000 metric tonnes per annum while 55 per cent is imported.
Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters in the Office of the Vice President made this known on Wednesday at the India-Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Summit Abuja, 2022. The India-Nigeria LPG summit was hosted by Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) with the support of the Office of the Vice President and World LPG Association (WLPGA).
The summit is expected to translate into bilateral exchanges to foster mutual collaboration and opportunities for the Nigerian LPG industry to learn from India’s experience, one of the world’s most successful National LPG penetration initiatives.
In a keynote address, Dipeolu said Nigeria had the ninth largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, and also the second largest producer of LPG in Africa after Algeria.
“LPG adoption in the Nigerian market, of course, is still very low with per capita consumption at about 1.8 kg, which is below the West African average.
“The household energy mix in Nigeria is about five per cent LPG, 65 per cent biomass and 30 per cent kerosene.
“The preference for the use of other sources is largely due to high switching costs associated with the acquisition of cylinders and LPG stoves, lack of awareness of associated benefits and safe LPG handling across consumer basis.
“There is also the high cost of LPG in comparison with alternative fuels, insufficient and inappropriate cylinders in circulation and inadequate infrastructure, especially trucks, roads, rail pipelines and plants,” he said.
He said the predominant use of biomass for household cooking resulted in deforestation and ambient air pollution, which also could lead to death due to stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.
The Presidential Aide underscored the imperative for policies, incentives and investment to grow the Nigerian LPG market.
This, he said, would make cleaner fuel available, accessible and affordable, not only for household cooking, but also in autogas, captive power generation, heating and cooling as well as agriculture and industry.
He expressed optimism that Nigeria would learn from Indian’s experience with the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme implemented by the Indian Government in May 2016 such that LPG penetration in that country increased from 62 per cent to 100 per cent currently.
He said the theme of the summit, `Energising the Future: Leveraging the Indian Experience to Achieve Nigerian National LPG Aspiration’ underscored the need for cooperation and collaboration between the two countries.
Dipeolu said the cooperation should dwell on policy structures; health, safety and environmental methods and standards, ICT, infrastructure management techniques, stakeholder engagement and innovative programmes to incentivise Nigerian LPG market growth.
According to him, the recently enacted PIA specifically provides enablers for robust midstream and downstream gas development through promotion of policies, incentives and wavers to stimulate investments.
Others, he said, included removal of VAT on domestic LPG, presidential waiver on duty imported LPG equipment, tax holiday on new investment on gas and approval of eight new LPG terminals and storage facilities to add 150,000 metric tonnes gas capacity.
The Lancet Oncology Commission report says Nigeria lost about 5.9 billion dollars to cancer deaths and other cancer-related factors in 2019. The Chairman, Lancet Oncology Commission for Sub-Saharan Africa, Prof. Wil Ngwa, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the public presentation of the report titled; “Lancet Oncology Commission: Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
Dignitaries at the public presentation of the Lancet Oncology Commission Report on Wednesday in Abuja.
While presenting the highlights of the report, he said that cancer was greatly impacting economies in the region with Algeria losing 2.6 billion dollars, Angola 1.2 billion dollars, Benin 209.2 million dollars, Botswana 500.6 million dollars and Burkina Faso 270.6 million dollars to the disease.
Ngwa said that cancer killed more than COVID-19 in 2021 in Africa and had caused more than 28,000 children’s death in the region in 2020. He added that as a result of COVID-19, it was estimated that there would be one million deaths per year by 2030 due to cancer in Africa.
Ngwa also said that the continent must address cancer with equal urgency, as it did with COVID-19. He also said that the challenge of cancer now faced by Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was enormous and likely to worsen rapidly if adequate measures were not taken including international collaboration.
Ngwa, however, said that cancer in Africa was characterised by late stage at presentation, delayed diagnosis, limited access to treatment, and poor outcomes relative to other geographic regions Former Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that there were various interventions by the Federal Government to reduce the burden of the disease in Nigeria.
He, however, said that what was most important was political action and not just political will.
“The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) provides health insurance to all Nigerians and cancer screening is one of the key deliverables in that document.
“So, Nigeria is likely to become one of the first countries in Africa to have cancer screening covered by health insurance.
“What we now need to do moving forward is to go on with the idea of revitalising the eight cancer centres in Nigeria.
“Things are moving up but we need to scale them up because we have more than 200 million people, so we need to improve on access, care and funding.
He added that the Cancer Health Fund was a unique innovation where people with cancer were now supported financially.
As for the region, he said that actionable plans that should be explored includes precision cancer control improving, improvement of data acquisition and cancer registration, designing health-care systems that promote equity of access and increase of cure and care improvement.
Others are effective palliation as an integral and key part of cancer care, building and maintains ace of workforce, innovation and research and identification of barriers to implement and test strategies.
This is for the adoption and scale-up of recommended approaches that can substantially increase access to cancer prevention and treatment and increase survival.
The Editor-In-Chief, Lancet Oncology Commission, Prof. David Collingridge, said that the constant long suffering and mortality driven by infectious diseases, malnutrition and poor maternal and child health in Africa was now being affected by the growing incidence of cancer and other Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Collingridge said that the double burden of disease was a consequence of lifestyle and behavioural changes and a shift in the patient population demographics to an ageing population.
“The health of the people in this part of the world where fragile health systems are under financed, under resourced and understaffed needs to be a global concern and needs to change,” he said.
He, however, said that the report advocates skin cancer research and increase in the use of telemedicine and other new technologies.
According to him, the report emphasises the importance of implementation research in clinical care pathways and enhanced service delivery.
Collingridge said, “In terms of financing, the commissioners suggests that financing should be initially prioritised for the most cost-effective measures.
“Cost-effective measures such as vaccines for prevention of preventable cancers, more affordable treatments that affect the greatest clinical cost benefit ratios.
“The recommend that transparent and dedicated revenue stream should be established with the input from international collaborators as needed to finance these specific measures.
” Collingridge said that each nation across Africa would need to adapt the recommendations to suit their specific situation, adding that with political determination and a coordinated approach across the region and the world, improved cancer care was achievable.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the commission was created to inquire into, describe and analyse the state of cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa and recommend key actions to address the growing challenge.
It brought together experts on all aspects of cancer control from Africa and around the world.
By High Instructions of HM King Mohammed VI, may God help him, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, received on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, the Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, Mr. Abderrachid Tebbi, Emissary of His Excellency the President of Algeria, Mr. Abdelmajid Tebboune, to HM the King, God keep him.
On this occasion, the emissary of the Algerian president delivered the letter of invitation addressed to HM King Mohammed VI, may God help him, to attend the Arab Summit, scheduled for November 1 and 2, 2022 in Algeria.
A controversial penalty tucked in by Riyad Mahrez and a 28-yard scorcher by Youcef Atal saw Algeria complete a comeback and left the Super Eagles to a narrow 1-2 defeat.
The international friendly played in Oran on Tuesday, saw Ngeria open scoring early in the 9th minute through France –based Terem Moffi.
This was after Moffi escaped the attentions of Algerian defenders and hooked the ball into the net as a shot by defender Calvin Bassey was deflected in a goalmouth melee.
Two –time African champions Algeria came close to getting the equalizer ten minutes later.
This was when goalkeeper Francis Uzoho upended Riyad Mahrez in the box from a counter-attack, but the hosts had already been caught off-side.
Minutes later, the Super Eagles thought they were 2-0 up when Ademola Lookman finished calmly as they counter-attacked, but Algerian referee Mehrez Melki ruled it off-side.
Mahrez leveled up scores at 1-1 for the North Africans five minutes from recess.
This was when he coolly slotted past Uzoho after referee Melki adjudged that Frank Onyeka had fouled Youcef Belaili in the Nigerian box.
The Super Eagles were missing several first-team players, including strikers Victor Osimhen and Sadiq Umar, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and defenders William Ekong and Jamilu Collins.
Not withstanding, they created a hatful of chances in a frenetic first half that would have made the game a fait accompli.
The hosts wrapped up the game when Youcef Atal, latching on to a free ball from 28 yards after a corner kick was poorly cleared, slammed past a badly-positioned Uzoho.
Nigeria will next face Portugal in a friendly in Lisbon on Nov. 17.
The Super Eagles failed to hold on to their early lead on Tuesday in Oran to lose 1-2 to hosts Algeria in an international friendly.
Terem Moffi gave the Nigerian side a ninth minute lead, but Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez drew Algeria level with a penalty kick goal in the 41st minute.
Midfielder Youcef Atal scored in the 61st minute to hand the Desert Foxes the lead and ultimately the win.
Algerian authorities must immediately release Slimane Bouhafs, an Algerian activist who disappeared a year ago from Tunisia and is now under investigation by an Algerian court, and guarantee his freedom to leave the country, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.
Bouhafs had been living in Tunisia as a refugee and reappeared in Algerian police custody under unclear circumstances.
The Tunisian authorities must investigate his apparent abduction and forcible return to Algeria, and hold all those responsible to account.
“Slimane Bouhafs fled Algeria after being persecuted by the authorities, and was granted international protection in Tunisia by the UN refugee agency in Tunisia,” said Amna Guellali, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.
"The last place Bouhafs should be is in an Algerian prison, facing possible trial."
On Aug. 25, 2021, unidentified men in plain clothes showed up at Bouhafs' house in Tunis, forced him into a car and drove away, the Bouhafs family said, citing witness information.
On September 1, 2021, Bouhafs appeared before an Algerian court, where a judge opened a criminal investigation against him for alleged links to the Kabylie Self-Determination Movement, a group that Algeria considers a terrorist organization, and for posts on Facebook, in a context of increasing criminalization of peaceful activism.
Algerian authorities had previously jailed him for two years for comments on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam.
Bouhafs, 55, is an Amazigh (Berber) activist and convert to Christianity.
In 2016, an Algerian court sentenced him to three years in prison under article 144 bis 2 of the penal code, which makes it a crime to publicly insult the Prophet Muhammad and denigrate Islam.
Bouhafs' family said he was mistreated in prison.
In 2018, he was released by presidential pardon, moved to Tunisia and applied for asylum with the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).
A letter of support from an Algerian human rights group that Bouhafs' family shared with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International says that Bouhafs feared that the Algerian courts could prosecute him again in retaliation for his activism.
UNHCR granted him asylum in 2020 under an agreement between UNHCR and the Tunisian authorities.
Citing their accounts, Bouhafs's family said the men who abducted him put a bag over his head, drove him across the border into Algeria and took him to a police facility in Algiers, threatening him during the journey.
For four days, Bouhafs's family did not know of his whereabouts.
On August 29, through informal contacts, they learned that Bouhafs was being held at a police station in Algiers.
On September 1, an investigating judge at the Court of First Instance in Sidi M'Hamed, Algiers, sent Bouhafs to prison pending investigation on 10 counts under the Algerian penal code.
They included “membership in a terrorist organization” (article 87 bis 3), “glorifying terrorism” (article 87 bis 4), “undermining the integrity of the national territory” (article 79), “offending the Prophet [of Islam]” (article 144 bis 2), “publication of false news” (article 196 bis), “incitement to hatred and racial discrimination” (article 295 bis), and “obtaining foreign financing” (article 95 bis), according to information de Bouhafs' lawyers that his family shared with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
On September 20, 2021, independent UN human rights experts asked the Tunisian and Algerian governments to explain the steps they had taken to transfer Bouhafs from Tunisia to Algeria, and the legal basis for the criminal investigation against him.
While Tunisian human rights activists say that President Kais Saied made a verbal promise on September 3, 2021 to investigate Bouhafs' alleged kidnapping, Tunisian authorities have made no formal public comment on the matter.
Algeria responded to the UN experts in a letter dated October 7 stating that Algerian security forces in Tebessa, Algeria, near the border with Tunisia, had arrested Bouhafs on August 27 after he tried to register at a hotel without showing ID.
He was transferred to Algiers authorities after uncovering evidence linking him to the Mouvement pour l'autodetermination de la Kabylie (Movement for Kabylie Self-Determination, or MAK), Algerian officials said in the letter.
Algeria has designated the group as a terrorist organization since May 2021.
In the same letter, Algerian authorities detailed charges against Bouhafs under Algerian law based on messages they say he posted on Facebook.
Authorities said they included messages attacking the Algerian state, its symbols and its institutions, as well as messages praising the MAK and about his alleged communications with members of the group.
However, the Algerian authorities have not said anything publicly about how, when and under what circumstances Bouhafs entered Algeria.
“A year has passed since Slimane Bouhafs disappeared from his country of refuge and reappeared in the custody of the country he had fled from, without a word from either government as to whether he was taken there against his will,” Balkees Jarrah said.
interim deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch.
"The Tunisian authorities have a responsibility under international law to protect Bouhafs, but there is no evidence that they have attempted to investigate the matter and hold accountable anyone who has violated his human rights."
Algerian authorities have refused to grant Bouhafs provisional release on at least four occasions, according to his family and one of his lawyers.
Algerian authorities have increasingly used the overbroad definition of terrorism in the Algerian criminal code, which President Abdelmadjid Tebboune expanded by decree in 2021, to prosecute human rights defenders and activists, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said.
The authorities have also recently targeted other critics among the Algerian diaspora with travel bans and extradition.
Both Algeria and Tunisia have ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Article 19 guarantees the right to freedom of expression.
Any restriction to this right must be proportionate and strictly necessary for a legitimate purpose.
As a party to the UN and African Refugee Conventions and the Convention against Torture, Tunisia is bound by the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits forced returns, expulsions or extraditions, both of refugees to countries where they might face threats to their lives or freedom, and from anyone to countries where they could be tortured.
The 1951 Refugee Convention prohibits the expulsion of refugees lawfully present in the territory of a contracting state, except for reasons of national security or public order.
Even in such cases, decisions must be made in accordance with due process, unless "compelling reasons of national security require otherwise."
Articles 6 and 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantee the rights to life and security, imply the obligation of governments to protect vulnerable people under their jurisdiction, including refugees.
Governments must investigate any cases of enforced disappearance and hold anyone responsible to account, according to official guidance on the implementation of the ICCPR by the UN Human Rights Committee.
Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights establishes that everyone has the right to leave any country, including their own.
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, met with Ramtane Lamamra, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. His Highness Sheikh Abdullah and Lamamra discussed the brotherly relations between the UAE and Algeria and ways to enhance cooperation in all domains to achieve the common interests of the two brother countries and peoples.
They also reviewed issues on the agenda for the General Assembly session, including climate change, renewable energy supply and food security.
The two sides also discussed regional and international developments.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed highlighted the depth of the ties between the UAE and Algeria and his enthusiasm to foster them at all levels.