Vice President Namadi Sambo has assured the Nigerian community in Tanzania that the Federal Government has intensified efforts to check the activities of the Boko Haram sect.
A statement issued in Abuja yesterday by Malam Umar Sani, the vice president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, said such efforts had started yielding positive results.
Sambo gave the assurance during an audience with members of the Nigerian community in Dares Salam, Tanzania.
The statement stated that Sambo noted with satisfaction the concerted efforts of the security agencies in the fight against the terror group in the North East zone of the country.
The vice president, according to the statement, said government was particularly proud of the security agencies’ commitment to ending insurgency in the country.
He said the Federal Government was doing everything possible, including cooperating with neighbouring countries, to check the insurgents.
‘‘I want to seize this opportunity to inform you that the Federal Government is doing everything to ensure that the Boko Haram menace is addressed in Nigeria and we are getting positive results.
‘‘I must say that we are very proud of our security agencies. They have been doing very well and this issue, by God’s grace, will be a thing of the past very soon.
‘‘I want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to end this; we are co-operating with our neighbouring countries to bring this to an end soon,’’ the statement further quoted the vice president as saying.
Sambo, who commended the good reports on Nigerians living in Tanzania, urged them to re-dedicate themselves in the true Nigerian spirit to contribute immensely to the growth of the economy of their host country.
‘‘In doing so, you are in many ways also contributing to the development of your fatherland.
‘‘Our determined industrious and enterprising nature is recognised all over the world. We must put to bear this God-given quality in the pursuit of our daily lives.
‘‘I am, therefore, happy to note that we have not had any negative report concerning Nigerians in Tanzania. We cannot but remind ourselves that with good image comes sacrifices,’’ he said.
The statement quoted the vice president as informing the audience of the successes of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government.
Sambo said Nigeria’s ýrebasing of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 1990 to 2010 resulted in the increase by 40 to 70 per cent of the GDP.
The GDP, which was initially put at $262.6 billion by the World Bank, was increased to $510 billion.
‘‘This favourable economic indicator confirms Nigeria as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
“ This is a clear testimony of the prudent management of government’s scare resources and sound socio-economic policiesý.
‘‘This growth is amplified in the agriculture sector; this is leading the pace in Africa today in wholesale and retail trade, entertainment, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as in the Oil and Gas sectors of our economy,’’ he said.
Sambo also listed the successes recorded in the agriculture and transport sectors.
He said aside the remodelling of some of the countries airport , the administration was also focusing on terminals, safety facilities, infrastructure, towers, runways and fencing.
Responding to a question ýon Nigerians in Diaspora being able to vote, the vice president said, ‘‘until every Nigerian is registered and known, only then will the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) be able to allow Nigerians in Diaspora to vote.
‘‘But for now, if we don’t have your record in the country, that means anybody can vote and claim to be a Nigerian.
‘‘So, something is being done and soon Nigerians abroad will be able to vote.’’
On the concerns about the constant clashes between herdsmen and farmers, Sambo said that government was addressing the situation with a view to ending crisis.
‘‘We have taken the decision to establish grazing reserves which will grow into ranches. The ranches will also have different businesses.
‘‘We want to in fact fully participate in the Halal meat business which is over $1 trillion today and Nigeria is not benefiting.
‘‘We want to be transporting our beef in refrigerated trucks or trains after being killed in a standard abbatoirs.
The statement said Sambo welcomed the suggestion that government should form a think tank of Technical Aid Corps (TAC) volunteers with a view to sharing experiences with seasoned technocrats in an attempt to contribute meaningfully to addressing some of the country’s enormous challenges.
Earlier in his remarks, ýthe High Commissioner, Dr Ishaya Majambuý, said there were 14 Technical Aid Corps volunteers serving in Zanzibar.
He said the Tanzanian government and people regarded Nigeria as a critical factor ýon the African continent.
The statement quoted Majambu as expressing regret that the relationship between Nigeria and Tanzania had not been consummated into socio-economic gains such as bilateral investments.
According to him, Tanzania is endowed with natural and mineral resources and only recently discovered gas in commercial quantity estimated to last for more than 100 years.
The high commissioner said efforts were being made to attract foreign direct investment to Nigeria.
He noted that three Nigerian companies—Dangote Cement factory, Tony Elumelu Farms and the United Bank for Africa— had already established presence in Tanzania.
Majambu said the population of Nigerians in Tanzania were between 100 and 200 with 70 per cent of them living in Dares Salaam.
According to Majambu, the affected Nigerians were made up of retail traders, students, contract workers and United Nations employees, while those not registered with the High Commission were engaged in illegal activities.
The statement said among those at the meeting were the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, Sen. Zego Aziz and other principal aides of the vice president.
Sambo was in Tanzania as representative of President Goodluck Jonathan at the golden jubilee celebration of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibarý on April 26, 1964.
Shell Donates Subsea Training Facilities To UNIPORT
The Nigeria deep-water arm of global energy giant, Shell, has donated multimillion naira laboratory equipment and software packages to the Offshore Technology Institute of the University of Port Harcourt as part of the company’s Nigerian content human capital development programme delivered in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over the facilities to the university, last Thursday, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said, “The donations are aimed at strengthening advanced practical teaching and research in subsea engineering to give the students the required skills and competences for entry level jobs in the oil and gas industry”.
The facilities, valued at over $700,000, are in alignment with the Human Capacity Development Guideline of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Aiboni, represented by SNEPCo’s Social Investment Manager, Dr. Gloria Udoh, expressed optimism that with the level of investment by NNPC and SNEPCo in deep-water training via the establishment centres of excellence and donation of cutting-edge information and communication technology centres, among others, Nigerian oil and gas industry would surpass its local content aspiration earlier than projected.
“This investment anchored on the maintenance of subsea infrastructure on Nigeria’s pioneer deep offshore field, Bonga, is expected to develop and upskill the cognitive and technical abilities of students who pass through the Offshore Technology Institute for the ultimate benefit of our industry and of our country,” Aiboni added.
With the new laboratory and software packages, according to Aiboni, the Offshore Technology Institute is positioned to deliver effective training in engineering design; construction and installation of offshore and subsea structures; computer simulations; civil and construction tests; 3D printing/engravement capability; Measurement/Metering Technology and Robotics; Alternative Energy Technologies; and Data Acquisition Learning System.
In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Onwunari Georgewill, commended NNPC and SNEPCo with its co-venture partners for their goodwill to the university and particularly to OTI, and canvassed more areas of collaboration between the university and its industry partners.
Georgewell said, “This project’s completion is timely because it latches on to the university’s leadership philosophy, which focuses on advancing education through an integrated learning environment to produce industry-ready university graduates and workforce.
“The current administration of the university places a lot of emphasis on university and industry collaboration and partnership. This donation will therefore enhance the achievement of the postgraduate degree-awarding Offshore Technological Institute in the practical context.”
Also speaking, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, described the human capital initiatives of SNEPCo as commendable.
Wabote added, “I commend your remarkable and consistent collaboration and partnership with the NCDMB towards the development of in-country capacities and capabilities.”
Represented by NCDMB General Manager, Corporate Service and Logistics, Mr Halilu Abdulmalik, Wabote said, “Your Nigerian content initiatives are consistent with the objectives and aspirations of NCDMB’s 10-year strategic roadmap, and we hope that necessary adjustments will be made to the curriculum to ensure optimal utilization by students in the university community.”
Obasanjo, Osinbajo, Wike, Others Bag CAN Awards
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and Mummy Esther Ajayi, were among prominent Nigerians who received awards at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Sapphire awards in Abuja, last weekend.
Others, including Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, and Chief Arthur Eze, also received awards at the event; while the kidnapped Dapchi school, Leah Sharibu, won in the Young Christian Achiever award category.
Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and Goodluck Jonathan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, and some Christian governors, serving and past National Assembly members bagged awards.
The awards were part of activities for CAN’s 45th Anniversary Sapphire Celebration Dinner and Award Night.
Earlier in his welcome address, CAN National President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, had said that the gathering was to celebrate 45 years of the church in Nigeria.
He said that Governance Category awards were for Christians in politics who had shown excellent and remarkable services.
“These include past presidents, serving governors and senators in our assessment that deserve such award.
“An award ceremony is applause of vision, personal discipline and determination; it is an event like this that makes people feel that their works are valued.
“The award is a catalyst that is expected to reinforce the awardees to serve humanity more and more,’’ he said.
The CAN president said it was heart breaking that majority of those in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps were Christians who were displaced by religious fanatics, bandits and gunmen in their territories.
He solicited the awardees’ financial support in fulfilling some of CAN’s obligations to fellow Christians and bringing to fruition the association’s projects.
Obasanjo, who was represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, was the special guest of honour at the awards.
Obasanjo said that the award was significant in that it would encourage other citizens to serve humanity, adding “I will continue to do the best I can to uphold the principles of justice, love, equity, mutual respect, industry and the fear of God which epitomise the church of Christ until there’s no breath left in me.”
While showing appreciation to CAN on behalf of all the award recipients, VP Osinbajo said Nigerians needed to be more tolerant of other people’s views.
The vice president dedicated the award to those who, daily in different locations, distant and near, propagated the message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes in difficult and life-threatening situations.
He said that the awardees were not necessarily the most deserving of Christians to be given any recognition but by the special grace of God which placed them in the high capacity they served.
He said, “As we have seen in the past few years, there’s a growing ethnic and religious chauvinism, and almost intemperate, vehement and violent dismissal of the views of people of other persuasions and faith without adequate consideration.
“At the same time, there is also the rise of cultural and identity politics. The answer to hate and intolerance and conflicts is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must believe enough in it, to live it out as our article of faith.
“The gospel commands consideration of the views of others, treating them we would wish to be treated. Our words must be of grace, seasoned with salt.
“We must remain constant and relentless advocates of freedom of worship, respect for human rights, fairness, justice, rule of law because they are fundamental to peace and security. We cannot talk of peace and security without fairness and justice, and compliance with the rule of law.
“We are in the advantageous position that our contribution will be more easily noticed.
“So, this award is dedicated to the men who, daily in different locations, distant and near propagate this message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in sometimes even difficult and life-threatening situations.
“And to many who have suffered deprivations, the families of those who have lost their lives by reason of their belief.
“And we are deeply grateful to the Almighty God for the opportunity and enablement to serve in the positions to which we have been referred.
“I bring, also, the very warm felicitations of the President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 45th anniversary of the birth of this foremost association of Nigerian Christians.
“CAN was formed to, among other objectives, nurture the unity of the church in Nigeria and to work with the leaders of other faith and persuasions to build bridges and forge understanding, peace and unity among the various people and faith in our nation.
“CAN has not only been continually faithful to its founding vision, it has become a veritable force for peace, for unity and for social justice.
“Pursuant to the gospel, CAN has consistently spoken up on behalf of the least of those in our society,’’ he said.
He said that the current and past leaderships of CAN had acted in full realiasation and recognition of their roles as pivotal stakeholders alongside the government and private sector in nation building.
Earlier, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who noted the dire financial condition of the umbrella Christian organisation in the country, advised clerics to tone down their criticism of those in authority.
He said, “I just want to caution some Christian pastors concerning the way we use our pulpit and the kind of fire of insults and abuses that comes from there. When you abuse those who will give you money where will you get the money.
“The Bible says to pray for those in authority. You need to draw your leaders close. When you draw us closer and tell us what your problems are, it will energise us to help. Money will flow more than you need.”
Also, Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, who sheltered no fewer than 200 Christians in Barkin Ladi, Plateau, during an attack, was presented with the Special Recognition award.
The late Obadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Governor, was given a post-humous award of Spokesperson for Oppressed alongside Matthew Kukah, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto and Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana.
Awards were also given to best candidates in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Senior School Certificate Examination.
Highlight of the event was the cutting of the anniversary cake.
Bandits Free 10 More Kaduna Baptist Students, Keep 11
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, confirmed that 10 more students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna State have been released.
The Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja) and its Chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, said this in a short WhatsApp message to newsmen.
He said, “Ten more students of Baptist High School were released this afternoon. We have 11 now with bandits.
“We are thanking all Nigerians for their prayers and support.
“We are trusting God that the rest will be released very soon. All have been reunited with their parents.”
Earlier, 10 students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna were released on Saturday, September 18, after spending 74 days captivity of terrorists, with 22 others still being held.
Hayab had said, “10 students were released this (Saturday) evening and have reunited with their parents. We are now hoping for the remaining 21 who are still with the bandits.”
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