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PDP, Party Of Democrats – Jonathan

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President Goodluck Jonathan has described the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a party of democrats and not that of hooligans, assuring that, next month’s election will be internationally certified as free and fair.
Jonathan stated this at the inauguration of the PDP presidential campaign organisation held in Abuja yesterday.
he presidential campaign organisation headed by Dr. Ahmadu Ali, is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that Jonathan and vice president, Namadi Sambo are returned into office for a second term.
In his remarks at the official inauguration, Jonathan warned the campaign team against pulling down other people’s posters, noting that, “it is primitive. Please, do not join them. Every Nigerian must be free to campaign anywhere”.
Jonathan is optimistic that with his campaign team he will be reelected president. “I am fully convinced that not only are you up to the task individually or as a team, but that you also have all that it takes – the passion, intellect, drive, commitment, and the know-how to run a focused, robust and purposeful campaign that will further endear our ticket to the electorate and bring us victory once again”.
“Many of you are tested veterans of political campaigns. As we embark formally on the campaigns for our re-election, our party, the People’s Democratic Party will depend on you. I am also personally counting on you. I ask you to take on this assignment for your great party, for Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo, and also, more importantly, for the country as a whole.
“Without doubt, the forthcoming elections mark a critical point in our nation’s history. The eyes of the international community are focused on the transition that lies ahead of us; the fifth post-military rule general elections that will be conducted under a civilian dispensation in Nigeria.
“The world is asking: will Nigeria get it right? My categorical response to that is: Yes, we must. And surely, we will. It is your duty to ensure that through your campaigns, and activities, this primary objective is not lost.
“Our commitment to free, fair, credible, and violence-free elections remains unshaken. That should also be your own commitment as we go to the field to seek the people’s mandate once again.
“You must always remember that we are a party of democrats, not a party of hooligans. We are a party of patriots, not a party of renegades. We are a party of statesmen and women. We are a party of builders, not destroyers. We are a party of committed servants of the people. You must let our people see once again, that we are in this to serve and to move Nigeria forward, not to move Nigeria backwards.
Jonathan then charged them that no cause is greater than that of Nigeria. “In the coming campaigns and elections, we must see to it that Nigeria triumphs and that democracy wins. No other cause can be greater than the Nigerian cause. Without Nigeria, there will be no President.
“We have an obligation to consolidate our democracy, strengthen our institutions and project Nigeria positively by running a disciplined, issues-based and civilized campaign. That is my charge to you all.

“I am especially inspired by the positive energy, the optimism, and the enthusiasm among our party leaders and members. There may be issues arising from the party primaries, which have led to some of our members expressing grievances. But this is the time for all of us to come together and work as one family. At the end of the day, every one of us will be useful in one way or the other.
“I call on all party members to stand as one in the face of the assignment ahead of us. Losing a party primary should not result in a loss of faith in the party. No election should be a do or die contest. Whatever grievances we have can be resolved within the family and will be resolved. There is a job to be done, and all loyal members of our great party must play their expected roles.
“I urge members of the Presidential Campaign Organization to go round the country, propagating our message of transformation and continuity. I urge you to fully mobilise all the party faithful in every ward and every district to work for the victory we require to take our agenda for national transformation forward to a successful conclusion for the benefit of present and future generations of Nigerians.
“We have everything that it takes to run an excellent and victorious campaign. Our great party has demonstrated to Nigerians that it is the party with the broadest appeal. We are the strongest and the biggest. We have engaged the people of Nigeria positively with people-friendly policies, which have moved Nigeria forward.”
He stated that despite the security challenges that his government inherited, it is determined to win the war. “We have sustained the democratic tradition. We have strengthened democratic institutions. We inherited a rather complex security challenge but we are waging a determined war against it. We are succeeding in preventing terrorists and insurgents from turning more of our communities into enclaves for their dastardly activities.
“We remain fully committed to further empowering the security agencies to enable them win the war against terror. We have proven to the people that we are a party and a team that they can rely upon. In the last four years, despite the security challenges we have had to contend with, Nigeria, under our watch, has made significant strides in every aspect. Our economy today is the largest and the strongest in the African continent, and a preferred destination for foreign direct investment.
“We have focused on job creation and the expansion of opportunities for our teeming youth as well as interventions to promote Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. Through an internationally acclaimed transformational agricultural programme, we have re-established agriculture as a business, and a major driver of economic growth.
“Today, not only is the agricultural sector thriving, the value chains in the sector have been activated and have become productive. The country’s food import bill has been reduced, and the non-oil sector has witnessed significant growth. We have expanded access to education by providing schools and facilities at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Today, there is a Federal University in every state of the Federation, and every Nigerian child has been given the opportunity to go to school.
“We have successfully privatized the power sector: a process that was adjudged by the international community of investors as transparent and credible. Our trains are moving again, from Lagos to Kano, from Lagos to Ibadan, from Port Harcourt to Enugu.
“I am not campaigning to you who are already convinced. I have no doubts that you are all familiar with the achievements of this administration. But I have outlined a few of them to show that we are in a solid position to run a campaign based on our commendable record.
“Our creditable performance in the past four years should be our strongest selling point as we go to the campaign fields. Flaunt our achievements in all parts of the country, tell the story of what we have achieved and let the facts and the figures be heard in every nook and cranny of Nigeria.
“In doing this, you must be civil, decorous and law-abiding. I have repeatedly promised Nigerians and the international community that as much as it lies within our powers, the coming general elections will be free, fair, credible and violence-free. I made that pledge with all seriousness and I fully intend to fulfill it.
“As agents of the ruling party, all eyes will be on you during the campaign and elections. I therefore expect nothing but the highest standards of exemplary conduct from you as your worthy contribution to the fulfillment of our pledge of peaceful and successful elections. Some other politicians and campaigners are threatening fire and brimstone. Do not join them. Some other parties are pulling down other people’s posters. That is primitive. Please, do not join them. Every Nigerian must be free to campaign anywhere.
He then stated that the elections will be violence-free. “Thugs, violence and malpractice or rigging must have no place in our campaign and electoral activities. Do not join those who threaten to start fires and turn them into infernos in our country.
“I assure you and all Nigerians that whoever foments trouble before, during and after the elections will be promptly and decisively dealt with according to the law. With all our party leaders and members, we are going into this election season to legitimately seek our peoples’ mandate for further service, consolidation and continuity of progress for our country.
“We must place our hope for victory in nothing else but the support and confidence of the great majority of our people, and the blessing of Almighty God. We will ensure that the people’s vote counts and that their will prevails, as it should, in every true democracy,” he stated.

Permanent Secretary of Commerce and Industry, Rivers State, Ms Kadilo Brown (left) presenting an award to Managing Director, Weco, Saaaleh A. Habib (right) during the Garden City Corporate award organised by Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Port Harcourt. With them is President, PHACCIMA, Engr. Emeka Unachukwu. Photo: Egberi  A. Sampson

Permanent Secretary of Commerce and Industry, Rivers State, Ms Kadilo Brown (left) presenting an award to Managing Director, Weco, Saaaleh A. Habib (right) during the Garden City Corporate award organised by Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Port Harcourt. With them is President, PHACCIMA, Engr. Emeka Unachukwu. Photo: Egberi A. Sampson

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Nigeria’s Rig Count Rises 20.8% To 29 In Q3

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Nigeria’s rig count, a global index for measuring activities in the upstream sector, has increased by 20.8per cent Year-on-Year, YoY, to 29 in the third quarter 2021 (Q3’21) from 24 recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
This was revealed in a report by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), yesterday.
During the quarter under review, sector activities appear on the low ebb in July with just seven rigs in operation, but it quickly rose to 11 in August and maintaining same level in September.
The organization did not provide reasons for the increase, but investigations show that it might have been connected to improved activities after the complete lockdown of the oil and gas industry under the Covid-19 adverse operating environment.
This was even as the OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), for the month of October, 2021 puts the Nigeria’s oil output at 1.239million barrels per day, mb/d, excluding condensate, based on data obtained from direct sources.
However, when data obtained from indirect sources were considered, the organization, which has already increased Nigeria’s quota to 1.8mb/d from 2022, puts the nation’s output at 1.271mb/d.
Already, the government proposed its 2022 budget benchmarks on $57per barrel and 1.8mb/d, but prices currently hover at over $80per barrel, indicating that its revenue target would likely be met despite the shortfall in output.
In the budget presentation to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari had said: “The 2022 to 2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper sets out the parameters for the 2022 Budget. A conservative oil price benchmark of $57per barrel; daily oil production estimate of 1.88million barrels (inclusive of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day); exchange rate of four 410.15 per US Dollar; and projected GDP growth rate of 4.2per cent and 13per cent inflation rate.
“Based on these fiscal assumptions and parameters, total federally-collectible revenue is estimated at N17.70trillion in 2022.
“Total federally distributable revenue is estimated at N12.72trillion in 2022 while total revenue available to fund the 2022 Federal Budget is estimated at N10.13trillion. This includes grants and aid of N63.38billion, as well as the revenues of 63 government-owned enterprises.
“Oil revenue is projected at N3.16trillion, non-oil taxes are estimated at N2.13trillion and FGN independent revenues are projected to be N1.82trillion.”
In any case, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM, Lukman Otunuga, who raised hope on continued stability in oil prices, said: “One of the major themes dominating global markets is the recent surge in oil prices.
“Brent and WTI crude have appreciated to multiyear highs this month thanks to the combination of tightening supplies and rising demand. The explosive appreciation in oil is bad news for energy consumers but a welcome development for energy-producing countries like Nigeria which acquires over 90% of export earnings and roughly 70per cent of government earnings from oil sales.”

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Nigerian Makes Top 10 For $.1m Global Student Prize

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Nigerian student, Oluwadamilola Akintewe has been named a top 10 finalist for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2021.
It is a new $100,000 award to be given to one exceptional student that has made a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.
Akintewe, a 22-year-old student at Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo, Nigeria, was selected from over 3,500 nominations and applications from 94 countries around the world.
The Varkey Foundation launched the Chegg.org Global Student Prize earlier this year, a sister award to its $1million Global Teacher Prize, to create a powerful new platform that shines a light on the efforts of extraordinary students everywhere who, together, are reshaping our world for the better.
The prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills programme.
Part time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.
Chegg.org has partnered with the Varkey Foundation to create the new Global Student Prize.
The CEO and President of Chegg, Dan Rosensweig, said: “While many stakeholders are busy debating, these students are busy doing. Congratulations to all the finalists of the Global Student Prize. They truly are the change makers our world needs.”
The Head of Chegg.org, Lila Thomas, said: “Oluwadamilola and all our finalists represent the courageous and hardworking students all over the world that are fighting for their future. “Despite the challenges of Covid, this generation of students have shown the kind of resilience and creativity that give us all hope as we confront the towering challenges ahead.
“The Global Student Prize has been launched to shine a light on their stories and listen to their voices. After all, it is their dreams and their talents that will light the path to a better tomorrow.”
Akintewe was inspired by her humble background to always be committed to improving the lives and empowerment chances of girls and women in Nigeria.
She launched LetGirlsLead to provide mentorship and support for secondary school girls in Ondo, her home state.
Working with youth organizations, they teach girls entrepreneurial, financial and digital skills, so that they may become self-sufficient, and she set up a scholarship list to help them apply for places at universities and gain further qualifications.
She also launched Project Rebirth, which uses entrepreneurial action to deliver financial equality and inclusion for low income and rural women in Ondo.
They take business development and financial literacy classes and learn sustainable and eco-friendly fashion design.
The 140 women who have been impacted by the project also get loans to buy sewing machines and launch their own businesses.
Using her growing confidence and connections, she messaged an Instagram model who she noticed supports social impact projects in the global south, pitched Project Rebirth to her and secured a $2,000 grant to deliver the training project to young women participating and directly benefiting.
In 2020, her team secured a $3,000 grant from Ford to expand implementation to women in agriculture and food production while combating global scarcity and hunger.
As a former victim of gender-based violence, Oluwadamilola has herself dealt with mental health issues and trauma, and is promoting a wider social change through gender advocacy.
Reacting to the alarming rate of sexual violence in Nigeria during the pandemic lockdown, with social distancing the new normal, she leveraged social media to raise awareness, founding the Forbidden Topics Facebook platform, now with over 1,100 followers, to amplify female voices against social injustices and break the silence.
Volunteering with many global organizations, Oluwadamilola also secured a $2,000 Wishwall Foundation grant to provide internally displaced girls in Northern Nigeria with free digital skills in coding with python, JavaScript, graphics design and digital marketing as income generation to further improve their lives.
Oluwadamilola has won a string of awards, praise and recognition for her work and achievements, including 30 under 30 Changemaker 2021 from Opportunity Desk Impact Challenge as well as the Inaugural winner of the Samantha Singh Memorial Award 2021 from the ONE Campaign and the 2021 Peter Drucker Global Challenge for Leadership.
The Founder of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey, said: “Congratulations to Oluwadamilola for reaching the final 10. Her story clearly highlights the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics. It is only by prioritizing education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”
The other top 10 finalists for the Global Student Prize 2021 are Amisa Rashid from Kenya, Elliott Lancaster from the UK, Jeremiah Thoronka from Sierra Leone, Kehkashan Basu from Canada, Lamya Butt from the UAE, Matine Khalighi from the US, Mirko Cazzato from Italy, Ana Julia Monteiro de Carvalho from Brazil, and Seema Kumari from India.
Applications and nominations for this year’s Global Student Prize opened on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, and closed on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
Students who applied for the Global Student Prize are being assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.
The winner will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.
If students were nominated, the person nominating them was asked to write a brief description online explaining why.
The student being nominated was then sent an email letting them know they had been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize.
Applicants were able to apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
The winner will be announced on November 10 via a virtual ceremony taking place at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

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Omo-Agege Assures 2022 Budget Passage Before Dec 16 …As Estimate Scales Second Reading

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The National Assembly has expressed its determination to pass the N16.3trillion 2022 budget presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari penultimate Thursday before lawmakers would proceed on their Christmas break on December 16.
This is as the House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading the 2022 Appropriation Bill after a two-day debate on the general principles of the national budget.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege gave the assurance, yesterday, when he hosted his former classmates from the Nigerian Law School, Class of ’86 (The Centennial Class) led by ‘Class Captain’ Oladipo Okpeseyi SAN in Abuja,
According to Omo-Agege, early approval and signing of the appropriation bill into law will ensure planning, bring about enhanced productivity and efficiency in the management and application of the nation’s resources.
He explained that Nigerians are the ultimate beneficiaries of the return to the January to December budget cycle, stressing that this will guarantee full implementation of the economic, infrastructural, social investments and other developmental programmes contained in the budget.
“The budget process is ongoing. In the next 30 days, we will conclude it and pass it before we go on Christmas break, sometime on December 16,” he said.
On the request for the completion of a moot court at the Nigerian Law School Headquarters, Bwari, Abuja by the class, the Delta Central lawmaker promised to assist in completing the project.
He was excited that his class had taken on such a laudable project.
Speaking on a bill sponsored by his colleague that seeks to increase the number of law school campuses in Nigeria from six to 12, the federal legislator emphasised the need to reach out to all stakeholders to determine its acceptability or otherwise.
He said: “I want to thank you for the initiative you have taken on this moot court. It’s a great idea, especially for trained advocates. I really don’t see how you can hone your skills if you are not given the opportunity and privilege to have facilities like that.
“I am not surprised that this initiative is coming from ’86 Class. We are the most innovative in every respect. I appreciate what you have done. I have your back. Any assistance I can render, I will be available. I am also here in case of any legislative intervention that the class believes ought to be made.
“We have stepped in so many times to assist the Judiciary as much as we are able to by way of improvement in their welfare, especially with the FCT courts, trying to provide adequate funding to expand the court and provide facilities. And for most of us who come from the judicial family, I know what my own Dad went through using long-hand to do most of the work as opposed to what obtains abroad.
“I keep telling the judges who come before us here for confirmation that I am sure that if people like my Dad had such benefits, it would have added 10 years to his lifespan. Any assistance you need, you can always count on us”.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading the 2022 Appropriation Bill after a two-day debate on the general principles of the national budget.
The lawmakers had taken turns to criticise the internal and external borrowings by the Federal Government, the huge budget deficit and failure by the ministries, departments and agencies to generate adequate revenue to finance the budget, among other issues.
The budget is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, the total sum of N16,391,023,917,692 only, of which N768,276,616,043 only is for Statutory Transfers, N3,901,952,981,550 only is for Debt Service, N6,829,015,483,446 only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure while the sum of N4,891,778,836,654 only is for Contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending 31 December, 2022.’

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