By Carl UmegboroThe profound role of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom on girls’ education in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. As a big brother to Nigeria, the United Kingdom has continued to show exemplary leadership by funding the Girls’ Education Project (GEP) considering that poverty in any society cannot be utterly eradicated without paying critical attention to child education, particularly girls.Understandably, the concern is borne out of the commitment that education is a fundamental human right that every child should enjoy, and no child should be left behind. The attention to girls’ education is premium and synchronizes an adage; when you educate a girl, you educate a nation!Unfortunately, common gender norms continue to put girls at a disadvantage, lead them to drop out of school at higher rates as well as engage in harmful practices such as child marriage. Every day, girls face barriers to education caused by poverty, cultural norms and practices, poor infrastructure, violence and fragility, and many others. In developing nations including Nigeria, tradition pushes parents to prioritize the education of their sons over their daughters and reduce them to mere child-bearing and housekeeping.These are misnomers. Educated girls are emphatical, healthier citizens who raise healthier families to contribute to the economic growth of the countries. Globally, women play critical roles in the economic growth of nations when properly educated. Examples are Ms. Amina Mohammed and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the Deputy UN Secretary-General and the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) respectively, among other high-profile women in key positions around the world.From records, there are 18.5 million out-of-school children currently in Nigeria, 60 percent of these out-of-school children are girls – that is over 10 million girls are out of school. It is also held that 1 in 5 of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria.Data also shows complex and multidimensional constraints in accessing and completing secondary education for adolescent girls in northern Nigeria. Meanwhile, education remains the most impactful way to empower girls and eradicate inequality. It must be noted that educating a girl changes many things - her destiny, as well as those of her future children, and ensures that she can contribute meaningfully to the economic life of her community.According to a World Bank report in 2012, “Girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is consistently found to not only positively influence girls’ lives, but also drive other positive development outcomes, including a reduction in child and maternal mortality rates, improvements in educational outcomes of offspring, and reducing poverty and promoting equitable growth”. Malala Yousafzai, a renowned Girls’ Education Rights activist and Nobel laureate underscored this position.“Girls have the power to boost economies, create jobs, make communities safer, and drive change… If leaders are serious about building a better world, they need to start with serious investments in girls' secondary education. When 130 million girls are unable to become engineers or journalists or CEOs because education is out of their reach, our world misses out on trillions of money that could strengthen the global economy, public health, and stability”, Yousafzai stated. However, through the FCDO-funded interventions, access to education for girls is gradually being expanded, resulting in no fewer than 1.4 million girls currently having access to education in northern Nigeria. The interventions on girls’ education in Nigeria termed GEP (Girls’ Education Project) which is present in the third phase is comparatively yielding positive results.In Kano State, for example, through GEP-3 funded by FCDO, 300 SBMC members have been trained, and selected schools have developed School Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans to mitigate the impact of potential and actual threats on schools.At Ja’en Special Primary School in Gwale LGA precisely, the school which used to record low school attendance in classrooms is now in dire demand of more teachers and classrooms to cope with the upsurge as a classroom and teacher now cater for as many as 180 pupils and even leading to morning and afternoon class sections. The PDM (professional development meeting) for upgrading and retraining teachers is pertinent. The encounters from a field trip recently are reassuring.Nonetheless, a lot still needs to be done to ensure that every girl in Nigeria is enrolled, attends school, and completes her education. The female enrolment ratio according to NPA/UBEC Survey by grades (2017/18) shows that girls' enrolment and sustenance in schools are gradually picking up through the interventions.UNICEF, with funding from FCDO, collaborates with the government in building the capacity of School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) and Community-Based Management Committees (CBMCs) on enrollment drives, school safety, and security, and to make communities more resilient. Also, the unique integrated approaches - involving mothers as well as girls-for-girls are creditable.Now, the unpleasant part is that the GEP-3 which started in 2012 will round off on September 22, 2022. The project currently covers the five states in northern Nigeria viz. Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara, (and later Kano from 2018) have the highest proportion of out-of-school girls. It is therefore dangerous, and ill-timed for FCDO to pull out at this point. By the said figures of out-of-school children mainly girls, a lot still needs to be done for a desirable future.Instructively, education is a powerful agent of change which improves health and livelihoods, contributes to social stability alongside drives long-term economic growth. On the other hand, the costs of not educating children, particularly girls, are titanic. Let’s not go there. It literally affects the entire society in the long run. The uneducated populace often manifests through public nuisances, banditry, kidnapping, religious extremism, and other social vices as prevalent in Nigeria presently.Thus, FCDO and other stakeholders should considerably do a review towards sustaining the momentum. It should be seen further than ‘Nigeria’s internal affair’ considering that the beneficiaries could migrate to other countries including the UK, the USA, and others when they grow up. Thus, the investments in children will certainly produce good harvests wherever they may find themselves as adults. So, teamwork remains the way forward.
Umegboro is an Associate of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (United Kingdom), public affairs analyst and social advocate.
The Executive Director of the Albino Foundation, Mr. Jake Epelle, says that the foundation has referred no fewer than 5,500 people with albinism skin cancer to the National Hospital in Abuja (NHA) for treatment.
He made the revelation when he appeared as a special guest at the Nigerian News Agency Forum on Sunday in Abuja.
Epelle, who is also the organization's founder, said the foundation established Africa's first free skin cancer treatment for people with albinism.
According to him, the treatment of the referrals cost more than N30 million.
He said that “when we recognized that people with albinism had serious problems with skin cancer, we approached the government and established the first free treatment for skin cancer; It was the first on the continent.
“So far, we have referred about 5,500 people to the National Hospital for treatment.
“It was an agreement that we made with Obasanjo as president and then Yar'adua and then Goodluck Jonathan; even the current administration endorsed that project.
“The Goodluck Jonathan administration actually paid the National Hospital N17.8 million and those funds would have gone to the Albino Foundation.
“I told the then Fice Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, please pay the National Hospital directly and the National Hospital was paid directly.”
Regarding other interventions, he said that the government had listened attentively to the foundation.
However, he said that in terms of funding and strengthening the foundation, he did not get much.
According to him, the foundation strives to strategically execute its activities.
“We have a grant from the European Union and, unknown to many people, the government has to sign; three signatures are required, the government signature, the EU signature and the Albino foundation signature.
"In terms of government support, we get moral support and we get platform support, but it stops at that."
According to him, the foundation also obtains funding for its projects from some corporate bodies and international organizations.
Epelle said that these funds were linked to projects of the foundation, which guarantees strict execution.
There was no direct mention of China (and Russia) during the two-day EU-Africa Summit in Brussels, Belgium on February 17-18, but the country that currently wields the most strategic and diplomatic influence on the continent African was on everyone's mind.
China (to a certain extent, Russia) has found, through its Belt and Road initiative, BRI, a route to the African hearts to close the infrastructure gaps in many countries: roads, bridges, railways, energy, water and even projects. agricultural. China is today the biggest name in African infrastructure. This was not the case a decade ago. In 2013, Europe was responsible for 37% of major African infrastructure projects, while China was responsible for 12%. By 2020, China had jumped to 31% and Europe walked away with just 12%.
To make up for lost space, Europe is now planning a €300 billion global investment fund with a regional plan for Africa taking €150 billion, which is exactly half of what is spent in the public and private sectors. . Called the “Global Gateway Project”, this is Europe's response to the BRI, to provide alternative loans from China.
In this context, the 6th EU-Africa took off with a focus on investment, security, health and migration issues.
The structure of the summit, unlike the previous ones, did not have the format of a plenary. After opening ceremonies and “Family Pictures,” leaders entered focused deliberations at thematic roundtables (seven of them) with each leader, African or European, expected to choose just two meetings to sit in. Each round table was co-chaired by one (or two) African leader(s) and one (or two) European leader(s).
For President Muhammadu Buhari, naturally, the first option he had to take was to co-chair the panel on Peace, Security and Governance. These are some of the existential challenges facing Nigeria.
The second round table he chose was on health issues and vaccine production.
Before this summit in Brussels, the World Health Organization (WHO) had selected four countries to facilitate the production of vaccines on the continent. The selected countries -obviously arising from the considered influence of their former European colonial masters- were Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal.
The Buhari administration was convinced that these were unfair elections. Like many other countries on the continent, Nigeria had suffered from vaccine nationalism during peak periods of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vaccines were not available for sale, and when it came to donations, we were given too little, too late or, in some cases, expired vaccines that had to be destroyed shortly after reaching our shores.
In addition to this, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa. We have the largest bank of professional and trained men and women. In terms of population size, one in five Africans is Nigerian.
Before the start of the summit, where a formal pronouncement on the choice of these countries was expected, the Nigerian Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had taken Nigeria's protest against its exclusion to all those who mattered and they were helped by the fact that we had our citizens. in key places where it mattered in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations with Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary General and the World Trade Organization, WTO, where Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has influence.
If the account is correct, the Director-General of the WTO is said to have told the WHO that his organization would have nothing to do with Africa's vaccine platforms if Nigeria, the most populous country, was not on the same list.
The election of the President of this round table went against his desire to make the last launch and to promote the preparation for the selection of the countries for the production of the Vaccines. And Nigeria won. In the end, six countries were chosen: Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
In Brussels, at this summit, the first meeting of the "Group of Four (G4)" of the African Union was held on the sidelines. The group is made up of Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Algeria (and Senegal and another co-opted member) and is regarded as the African equivalent of the G8 (now G7) in global affairs with a mandate to resolve various issues facing the African continent. continent.
The G4 leaders took the opportunity to discuss crisis areas in the continent with a view to finding practical and effective solutions.
Hopefully this will be a very influential and large group for Nigeria as a platform to bring African countries together, proactively coordinate actions and reactions for the continent and discuss how decisions could be better implemented.
During his stay in Brussels, President Buhari wrote an op-ed in the widely read and influential magazine Politico, criticizing unfair trade relations between Europe and Africa.
For example, the president noted that the Economic Partnership Agreements give Europe greater access to African markets. At the lower end of the value chain, these so-called free trade agreements ensure that agricultural subsidies deal another blow to African farmers. Artificially depreciated products flood markets, undermining their domestic competitors.
“At the top end of the valve chain, premature trade liberalization required manufacturers, such as textiles or agricultural processing, to close. In other cases, industries simply won't materialize because there are no incentives to enter the market. As a result, the jobs needed to satisfy the millions of young Africans who enter the labor market each year are not created.”
In a major speech addressing concern over the return of coups in Africa, President Buhari called for strong sanctions for unconstitutional leadership changes.
Noting that the African Union has often responded to these challenges by isolating such regimes and imposing sanctions, the President called on the EU and the rest of the world to go beyond condemning coups and imposing strong sanctions to countries that participate in unconstitutional changes of governments, as well as in the manipulation of constitutions in favor of term limits.
Another important message from the present is that while Nigeria in particular upholds democratic principles and institutions within ECOWAS and the AU; To ensure security in the sub-region and contain the spread of terrorist organisations, the necessary efforts and resources are important and the time has come for the EU and other global partners to become more involved.
The meeting in Belgium was expected to be a show of friendship, camaraderie and equality between the two continents and, with what we have seen in its results, the EU-Africa Summit will gain seriousness.
Garba Shehu is the senior special assistant to the president
President Wavel Ramkalawan also took the opportunity to have an exchange with the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the sidelines of the Summit, where he congratulated her on her latest appointment as head of the Organization. She is the first African woman to hold such a position.
Given that Seychelles will have its WTO Trade Policy Review this year in December, the President requested the support of the organization and its members for a rapid and very conclusive review, which takes into context the specificities of SIDS and the issue of the Treatment Special and Differentiated.
During their discussions, they touched on fishing subsidies and the TRIP exemption for vaccine production by other WTO members. President Ramkalawan assured him of the full support of the Seychelles.
Preliminary preparations for the Trade Policy Review are under way and a WTO team is expected to visit Seychelles next March.
Growth Gateway will make it easier than ever for African and UK businesses to access the support they need to drive two-way trade and investmentLONDON, UK, January 20, 2022/APO Group/ --
The UK will host the second Africa Investment Conference with a focus on sustainable investment to support the continent's transition to clean growth; Government launches Growth Gateway tool to strengthen UK-Africa trade relations, following record £2.3bn support from UK Export Finance; Video address by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to open the virtual event attended by ministers, business leaders and the Director General of the WTO from the UK and Africa
The UK is hosting the second Africa Investment Conference today (20 January 2022) to boost economic cooperation with African nations and enhance its role as the continent's investment partner of choice for greener, climate-friendly projects. .
Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan is hosting the one-day virtual event which aims to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries both in the UK and across Africa.
In a 'virtual fireside chat' with WTO Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Commerce Secretary will say that sustainable trade and investment are crucial to reducing global inequality, improving economies, increase income and create jobs.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: "Two years after the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, the UK's ambition to be Africa's investment partner of choice has never been stronger."
"The continent has enormous economic potential and our continued partnership will help businesses capitalize on investment opportunities, support high-value jobs and boost business in all parts of the UK."
“This year's conference focuses on the importance of resilient and sustainable investment to support Africa as it moves onto a more environmentally friendly growth trajectory, and I look forward to working with the continent's leaders as they continue to this path to a greener future”.
Following on from COP26 in the UK, this year's conference will explore how investment can be used to help Africa transition to a cleaner, greener growth trajectory.
In a sign of the growing partnership between the two regions in the clean growth space, UK sustainable battery technology company Aceleron has closed an investment agreement with Mobility 54 Investment SAS, a subsidiary of Toyota Group, as part of its £5m Series A funding round. to accelerate the development and use of sustainable batteries in Africa.
Along with the environmental benefits, increased trade and investment with developing countries creates opportunities for UK businesses and consumers, for example by lowering prices and opening fast-growing markets for UK exporters. United.
To enhance partnerships between the UK and Africa, the UK is today launching a new Growth Gateway, a digital tool to link African and UK businesses with UK government trade, finance and investment opportunities and services.
The service provides hands-on online support to businesses in Africa looking to export to and invest in the UK, and businesses in the UK looking to export to and invest in Africa, supported by a team of trade and investment specialists.
A further government-wide effort to facilitate trade between the UK and Africa follows, including by UK Export Finance (UKEF). The UK export credit agency significantly increased support for markets in Africa over the past year from around £600m in 2018-19 to more than £2.3bn in 2020-21, supporting a range of infrastructure projects in countries from Côte d'Ivoire to Uganda.
Investment Minister Gerry Grimstone said: "At the first UK-Africa Investment Summit, the Prime Minister stated his intention to make the UK Africa's investment partner of choice."
"This year's Conference is a key part of that legacy, bringing our business communities together to champion a closer investment partnership with a renewed focus on sustainability and clean growth."
Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said: “The UK is deepening our economic ties with countries in Africa. This conference is a fantastic opportunity to bring British and African companies together to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries both in the UK and across Africa.”
“There is much more that the UK and African countries can do together. Growth Gateway will make it easier than ever for African and UK businesses to access the support they need to drive both-way trade and investment.”
Last year's virtual conference was attended by over 2,800 delegates from over 40 African countries and across the UK.
Vimal Seeboruth, General Manager of electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival Ltd, said: “The Conference [in 2021] It was excellent and a great way to bring UK and African business together.”
“By attending, we had a much better understanding of the support mechanisms and points of contact that we can use to develop our business in Africa.”
Former Immediate Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Waziri Adio and former Daily Trust Publisher Mahmud Jega have joined ARISE and THISDAY as Contributing Editors.
A statement from THISDAY CEO Eniola Bello said they will also be members of the Editorial Board which now includes Paul Nwabuiku, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, Yemi Adamolekun, Gimba Kakanda and Aisha Shuaibu.
The statement added that Chidi Amuta and Okey Ikechukwu remain members of the Editorial Board chaired by Olusegun Adeniyi.
He said that rejuvenating the editorial board is an ongoing process that will bring on board respected professionals with the necessary experience and exposure in different fields.
“New members, with fresh ideas and energy, will bring strong commitments to Board discussions on issues that will shape the 2023 election,” Bello said.
Prior to his assignment at NEITI, Adio had held senior positions in different organizations, from Editor and Columnist at THISDAY Newspapers, Special Advisor to the President of the Senate, Communication Specialist at UNDP, etc. Adio earned his first degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University and another Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, where he was, at different times, a Fellow of the Neiman Foundation for Journalism. and Edward S. Mason Fellow in public policy and management. He is also a member of the fifth class of the Africa-West Africa Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Following his time as Professor of Biological Sciences at his alma mater, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, Jega has practiced journalism non-stop for more than three decades. For a total of 13 years, he was Managing Editor, Publisher, Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of the Editorial Board of Daily Trust Newspapers. Prior to that, Jega was editor of New Nigerian Newspapers, editor of The Sentinel magazine, Kaduna, and assistant editor of Citizen magazine.
A pioneering member of the editorial board of THISDAY, Paul Nwabuiku, who also served on the editorial board of The Guardian, is a respected public intellectual with decades of experience in journalism, advertising and public communication. Nwabuiku, winner of the DAME Awards for Informed Commentary, twice served as Special Advisor to former Finance Minister and current World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and played a key role in the communication of Obasanjo's reforms, as well as in the economic initiatives of the Jonathan years. Nwabuiku has a first degree in mass communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MBA from the University of Jos.
Sonny Aragba-Akpore has a related media practice spanning more than three decades. In July 2010, he was appointed Deputy General Manager/Head of Corporate Communications at Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Ltd with a mandate to change the media fortunes of this government agency after a satellite failed in orbit. Following his success in that task, Sonny was invited by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to change the telecoms regulator's media profile. In November 2014, he became NCC's Deputy Director/Head of Media and Public Relations, a position he held until his retirement in July 2020. Sonny attended the University of Lagos and holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in English. He is also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
Currently the Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), a non-partisan network of individuals and organizations committed to building a culture of good governance and public responsibility in the country, Adamolekun has a diverse 23-year career spanning the public and private sector. sectors She began her career in the United States as a management consultant with Navigant Consulting, before returning to Nigeria to work for Alder Consulting. In 2018, she was named one of the most influential people of African descent (MIPAD), endorsed by the United Nations in the Humanitarian and Religious category. In 2019, Adamolekun joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Africa Program in the US as a non-resident Senior Associate. Adamolekun has a BA in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Virginia; a Master of Development Studies from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Master of Business Administration from the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.
Gimba Kakanda is a noted public affairs analyst, foreign policy and media consultant, and author. He has contributed to extensive local and international media outlets, and currently maintains a weekly column with the Daily Trust on Sundays, and also contributes on foreign policy to Aljazeera.
Kakanda holds a Master's degree in International Relations from the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE) and is an alumnus of the University of Iowa's prestigious International Writing Program. He is the founder of DMC, a communication and strategy consulting firm based in Iowa. Abuja.
With a large social media following, Kakanda has been serially ranked as one of the most influential voices in Nigerian politics for influencing and driving conversations about Nigerian politics, foreign policy and socio-economic dynamics. He is also a leading voice in intergenerational conversations in politics.
A business consultant with a decade of experience in strategic and brand management, Ms. Aisha Shuaibu is CEO of Waffle Way in Abuja and President of SWA Sports, an initiative that promotes local talent in kickboxing, wrestling and taekwondo. Ms. Shuaibu obtained her B Sc in Business Studies from the University of Bedfordshire, Luton in the UK and her Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Bahcesehir University, Istanbul.
Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire says the Federal Government is determined to take a bold step in vaccine production in the country.Ehanire said this on Friday in Abuja, at the special meeting of the National Health Council, NCH, organized by the Federal Ministry of Health, FMOH.The theme for 2021 is "The path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Applying the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic towards building a resilient national health system."The Nigerian News Agency reports that the National Health Act 2014 recognizes the NCH as the highest policy-making body within the Nigerian health sector.The responsibilities of the NCH include the protection, promotion, improvement and maintenance of the health of the citizens of Nigeria and the formulation of policies.The Council is also tasked with ensuring the provision of basic health services to Nigerians.The minister noted that the urgency of the vaccine was not only for COVID-19, but that no one knows what will come in the future.According to him, countries around the world have suffered severely from the COVID-19 pandemic. Even those with strong healthcare systems appear to have been nearly defeated by the toll they suffered.Mr. Ehanire stated that as the country responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians must not believe that the pandemic is over.He added that detecting the Omicron variant should teach anyone that the virus continues to amaze the world.“We must not lower our guard. We must continue with our non-pharmaceutical interventions, the public health measures that are advised. We cannot kill them. They are the safest and cheapest ways to protect ourselves and our loved ones. "The minister revealed that the federal government is preparing to build an oxygen production plant in each state, while two would be in Lagos due to its high demand and one in the FCT."Oxygen should be available even in primary health care centers, not only for COVID-19 but for other health emergencies," he added.Former Nigerian Health Minister Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu said that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, India produced 50 percent of the world's vaccine needs.Mr. Chukwu pointed out that India shares similar demographics, they are larger than Nigeria, but it is a country that Nigeria can emulate.The former minister of health highlighted the need for a multisectoral approach for successful vaccine production in the country.According to the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Africa has suffered greatly in terms of the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.Mamora said vaccine distributions have been very low for obvious reasons.He added that it was time for the country to come together and start manufacturing the vaccines itself, given the global inequity in COVID-19 vaccine distributions."We are confident that UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and others on the world stage can play a critical role in this." . added.Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, Representative of the World Health Organization, WHO in Nigeria, said that health should be seen as a facilitating factor of economic development.Mulombo added that without good health, there is no security, development and human capital capable of promoting any development program.Meanwhile, Dr. Ngozi Azodoh, Director of Health Planning Statistics and Research, FMOH, said that the pandemic had been a turning point not only in the health sector, but in all sectors of human existence. .Azodoh added that as part of the ministry's efforts to ensure that Nigeria comes out on top during the pandemic, it has been seeking to strengthen the systems and structure that support the health sector in the country.“One of those key areas is local vaccine manufacturing."This is a special session on the CN, which the honorable minister has organized to take advantage of the visit of the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, to have a conversation again about the health security of the country," he added.
The West African Institute of Public Administration and Managers (WIPAM), on Saturday, reiterated its commitment to the promotion and development of public administration and management in Nigeria.
This is even as it awarded Nigerians who have excelled in public administration and service to humanity, including including Dr Magdalene Ikenyei-Agada and Dr Aloysius Agada of the Open Hands Amazing Charitable Organisation.
The Registrar-General of WIPAM, Dr Anayo Agu, said this at the Induction/Conferment of Honorary Doctorate and Business Leadership Awards organised in Abuja.
Represented ’s Legal Adviser, Mr Smith Enyi, Agu said that the event was designed to promote a culture of excellence in various sectors of the nation’s economy.
“It is worthy of note that the institute’s conferment of membership on any person is in recognition of the person’s distinguished effort and performance in public administration and management.
“It is expected, therefore, that the conferment of membership, honorary doctorate awards and icon of excellence, and fellowship today, imposes the responsibility on you to contribute to the development of public administration and management.
“This essentially you can do maintece and observance of ethical standards and professionalism in your practice of public administration and management.
“It is hoped that your membership of this professional body, through this conferment today, will enhance your career growth and development”, Agu said.
He further urged the awardees to always attend the various programmes of the Institute, to acquire more knowledge that would enable them actualise their professional goals.
In a keynote address, Dr Fabian Agore, Principal consultant of I am-path Research, commended the award initiative as apt, in terms of promotion of excellence in administration and management.
According to him, excellence was key because it created room for outstanding performance in administration and management, regardless of tribe or ethnic religion.
“This Institute is designed to train professionals who would excel in any field they have chosen. So, you may need to consider that seriously and on how you enrol your staff, brothers, sisters and colleagues for this programme,” Agore said.
He commended Nigerians who had excelled at various careers across the world, such as Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof. Charles Soludo, Mr Akinwunmi Adesina, among others, to be worthy of emulation.
Speaking on behalf of the awardees, Dr Prince Echem, former Vice President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), expressed gratitude to the Institute for conferring the award on them.
“We want to thank the Institute for finding us excellent enough to be awarded Honorary Doctorates.
“On behalf of the awardees, we promise and make a strong commitment to be brand ambassadors of this organisation,” Echem said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event featured conferment of eight doctorate awards and five business leadership awards to distinguished personalities, respectively.
The high point of the event was the citation, issuance of certificates and plaques to the awardees, including Dr Magdalene Ikenyei-Agada and Dr Aloysius Agada in absentia.
reports that the duo were recognised for their humanitarian assistance and series of free medical outreaches in the southern part of Nigeria where thousands of Nigerians have benefitted.
WIPAM focuses on creating professional excellence in public administration, management and business leadership.
By Ifeanyi Olannye
No fewer than 81 personalities of Delta origin, including the Director-General, World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, were honoured by the state government as it marked 30.
The icons were honoured at a Gala and Award Night on Friday in Asaba to mark the grand finale of a week-long celebration of the 30th anniversary of the creation of the state.
The awardees included Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr Jim Ovia; Chairman of United Bank for Africa, Mr Tony Elumelu; and eminent scholar, Prof. Obaro Ikime, for their contributions to the development of the state and country.
Others were Prof. Joy Ogwu, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, Prof. Emmanuel Nwanze, renowned architect, Chief Charles Majoroh, Chief E.K. Clark, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
Vanguard Publisher, Mr Sam Amuka-Pemu; frontline comedian, Atunyota Akpobome (a.k.a Alibaba); Michael Ajereh (Don Jazzy); Ese Brume; and Timipamere Akiayefa were among.
There were also three posthumous recipients – Chief Mukoro Mowoe, Chief James Otobo and Chief Dennis Osadebay, former Premier of defunct Midwest Region.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa said the state had in its three decades of existence been a centre of diversity and inclusion, trials and triumphs and growth and stability.
He thanked the people for their support and cooperation in building a smart, strong and safe state.
“After 30 years, I can boldly say that it has been three decades of diversity and inclusion, of trials and triumphs, and of growth and stability.
“More significantly, the people of the state have come to live as one big, happy family and the state has continued to forge ahead in all indices of human, physical and economic development,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the civil servants – serving, retired or late – who made huge sacrifices to ensure the successful take-off of the State.
Okowa said that his administration was breaking new grounds in job and wealth creation through entrepreneurship development while building roads and physical infrastructure of the most vital interest and impact.
“A classic example is the 20.28km Obotobo I – Obotobo II – Sokebolou – Yokri Road, beside the Atlantic Ocean in Burutu Local Government Area.
“Furthermore, the riverside communities of Burutu, Oporoza, Okerenkoko and Benekrukru, among others, have been given a facelift with well-paved roads, while most urban centres are being enhanced through growth and renewal.
“As we reflecte on the last 30 years, it is clear to us that celebration of this milestone will not be complete without recognising Deltans who have made the state proud in their various fields of endeavour.
“While the public/civil servants are holding the home front, many of our own are flying the flag of the state in the national arena.
“Hence, we decided to recognise some of our distinguished sons and daughters, and to also use the opportunity to let the whole world know the invaluable contributions Deltans are making to project Nigeria,” he said.
The governor, said the list of prominent sons and daughters was by no means exhaustive and there were many sons and daughters of Delta making waves in various aspects of life and across the nations of the world.
“As a government, we thought this is a good starting point and we are deeply grateful that the awardees considered it worthwhile to be here today and we thank you for giving us that honour,” the governor stated.
He solicited the continued support of all the people, including those in the Diaspora, to his administration in its determination to deliver a stronger Delta to them.
Okowa assured that ongoing projects and programmes would be concluded while premium would continue to be attached to the well-being of citizens..
By Témitope Ponlé
The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the US Ambassador to the United Nations say access to vaccines, digital infrastructure and inclusion of women and youth will propel economic prosperity in Africa.
This was revealed in a virtual conversation titled, “It's your turn! Africa's Recovery Talk Series ”, moderated by Ms. Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Monday.
High-level participants in the conversation were: Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO) and Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the UN.
Okonjo-Iweala said Africa was doing well before COVID-19 and gave a pan-African approach to boosting prosperity on the continent.
She said: “We need to talk about one important thing that will bring Africa back on this sustainable path and that is vaccine inequity.
“The second is young people and digital technology. Our young people are our resource and over 40 percent of them are on the Internet, doing amazing things, creating amazing businesses.
“I am optimistic that if we can encourage our young people and improve our digital infrastructure, even digitize our business, it can help.
“The other is the inclusion of women and micro, medium and small businesses. If we can empower our women and provide liquidity to our micro, medium and small businesses and the two work in tandem, because about 50% of those businesses are owned by women, I think that will help us propel a recovery.
The Director General of the WTO praised the efforts of African governments in their responses to the pan-African approach to the pandemic and in regional governance.
“It shows that we can act as one and a lot of innovations are being put in place.
“All of this gave us the leverage we needed to engage with the rest of the world and think that this will translate into more vaccines in the coming months. A continental approach is the first thing, ”she noted.
She also commended the efforts of ECA to add resources and liquidity to the continent.
“One thing that you started at UNECA, you are trying to put in place a liquidity and sustainability facility to start a buyout market on the mainland, which we don't have, so we have a way to increase the demand for our sovereign bonds, lowering the price making liquidity more available on the continent.
“This will put additional resources in the pockets and revenues of our governments and it can help us foster prosperity,” she said.
Meanwhile, Thomas-Greenfield stressed that the issue of prosperity is synonymous with the future and hope for Africa.
She said: “The United States sees this as an essential step in achieving our goals: if there is a prosperous Africa, we will all be successful. This means ensuring a multilateral vaccine response to the pandemic. "
The ambassador said the United States was determined to bring the same urgency to the international vaccination efforts demonstrated at home.
"AU member states will receive around 25 million COVID-19 vaccines to improve coverage across the continent, contributing to the AU's goal of vaccinating at least 60% of the African population," he said. she declared.
She also stressed the importance of magnifying youth and women's entrepreneurship to help create jobs and opportunities to enable investment in their countries.
“We also need to work collectively with women and young people to deal with the devastating effects of climate change,” she said.
'It's your turn!' A series of discussions has been launched to generate innovative ideas for growth that translate into actions for positive and lasting change.
Over the coming months, industry leaders, celebrities and experts will engage with the executive secretary to share their visions for how Africa will grow after the pandemic and what they will do to foster prosperity. (NAA)