The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has appealed for the signing of two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria and China on tourism promotion.
The minister made the appeal yesterday in Abuja when the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Chui Jian Chun paid him a courtesy visit.
According to the minister, the two MoU between both countries are on the Facilitation of Group Travels by Chinese Tourists to Nigeria and Travel Facilitation through the Approved Destination Status (ADS).
“Though the two MoU date back to 2019, they have not been signed.
“It is important that our two countries work together to negotiate and sign these MoU to promote tourism between them,’’ he said.
Mohammed said that the relations between Nigeria and China span about five decades and the visit by the Envoy would further strengthen the very cordial relations.
On the deep cooperation between both countries in the area of culture and tourism, Mohammed said Nigeria and China established Cultural Centres in Abuja and Beijing respectively.
He said in spite financial constraints which led to a temporary closure of Nigeria centre in Beijing, the country had enjoyed cultural exchanges and training from the Chinese Government.
“In tourism, Nigeria and China signed a bilateral Agreement in 2002 to encourage cooperation in the field of tourism between both countries.
“The Agreement focused mainly on exchange programmes, human capacity building, joint marketing and investment.
“Though some of our officers have received short training on tourism in China and online, the dearth of skilled manpower in the tourism sector here has made it imperative for us to seek more advance capacity building.
“We also seek scholarship programme in Tourism Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), tourism development, product development, etc., from the Chinese government,’’ he said.
Outside bilateral cooperation on culture and tourism, Mohammed said China had been a worthy ally of Nigeria in the building and upgrading of infrastructure, especially in roads, railways, power and aviation.
Mohammed appealed to the Envoy to use his good offices to fast-track the evaluation and approval process of a 500-million-dollar loan being sought from the China Export-Import Bank for three major projects.
The projects, according to the minister included the digitisation of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and the construction of a headquarters complex and transmission network for Integrated Television Services (ITS).
He said the loan was also to be used for the construction of an ultra-modern Media City in Ikorodu, Lagos state.
For his part, the Chinese Ambassador recalled that his country and Nigeria celebrated 50-year anniversary of robust, healthy and beneficial bilateral relations in 2021.
He said he was willing to consolidate and build more on cordial relations between the two countries, particularly in the areas of culture and tourism.
The Envoy, therefore, presented a document to the minister on his strategy to further strengthen the cordial relations between both countries which he termed “Growth, Development, Progress document’’.
Police Service Commission Promotes Magu, Seven Others As AIGs
The Police Service Commission has approved the promotion of some senior police officers including the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
The commission confirmed John Amadi as a substantive Deputy Inspector-General of Police and replaced late DIG Joseph Egbunike, who will be representing the South-East in the Force Management.
The commission also approved the appointment of DIG Zama Senchi, who was the most senior in the Assistant Inspector General cadre.
Rising from its 15th plenary in Abuja last Friday, the commission in a statement on Monday by its spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, disclosed that it equally promoted eight Commissioners of Police to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police.
The plenary which began last Wednesday, May 11, was presided over by the Chairman of the commission and former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith.
The new AIGs include Magu, who was the most senior in the commissioner of police cadre.
Other new AIGs are Abraham Ayim, Okunlola Kamaldeen, Andrew Amieengheme, Akeera Younous, Celestine Elumelu, Ngozi Onadeko and Danladi Lalas (Airwing).
The commission also approved the promotion of 23 deputy commissioners to the next rank of CPs; 31 assistant commissioners to DCPs and 63 Chief Superintendents of Police to ACPs.
The new CPs include Taiwo Jesubiyi, former DC, Admin and Finance, Akwa Ibom State Command; Kolawole Olajide former DC, Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Lagos; Julius Okoro, former DC, Maritime, Lagos and Adelesi Oluwarotimi, former DC DFA, Kwara State Command.
The statement said, “Other decisions taken by the commission at the plenary were the promotion of 57 Superintendents of Police earlier skipped when their mates were promoted to the next rank of Chief Superintendents.
“Other categories of Superintendents of Police such as the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Course 4, Inspectors Courses 37 and regular ASP’s course 25 and 26 were also promoted to Chief Superintendents, having met established requirements.
Gunmen Kill Two Soldiers, Burn Court, 32 Vehicles In Anambra
Two soldiers have been killed and a lawmaker kidnapped by suspected gunmen in Anambra State.
The gunmen who went on the rampage in the state between Sunday and Monday also set ablaze a local government secretariat, an office of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, a magistrate’s court building as well as over 32 vehicles.
The Tide learnt that a group of hoodlums, wielding weapons, including guns, opened fire on a military checkpoint at the 3-3 Estate in Nkwelle Ezunaka, near Onitsha, where they shot two soldiers dead.
The soldiers were said to have retaliated, as a gun battle ensued thereafter.
According to sources, the shooting started around 10pm on Sunday and lasted till early Monday, with bullets flying in the air and dropping on rooftops.
It was learnt that the gunmen also visited the Government Reserved Area in Onitsha, where they shot intermittently.
The attacks came less than three days after the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, visited the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in the custody of the Department of State Services.
In another attack, suspected gunmen also shot dead a vigilante at the Eke Oko community in the Aguata Local Government Area on Sunday.
The victim, who was on a motorcycle, was putting on a mobile police T-shirt when the gunmen overtook and shot him dead.
Sources said the hoodlums burnt all files and property in the council secretariat while over 32 vehicles parked inside the secretariat were also reportedly razed.
The police spokesman, Ikenga, attributed the incident to unidentified arsonists.
The Tide also learnt that the gunmen proceeded to the Ogidi district office of the EEDC, not far from the secretariat and set it ablaze.
About 32 utility and operational vehicles were reportedly burnt during the incident, including other assets and equipment on the premises.
The hoodlums also reportedly inflicted machete cuts on the security guard manning the office, cut his head, leg and arm, as they demanded his gun, while his other colleagues ran for their lives.
Confirming the incident, the Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, expressed displeasure that efforts made to reach the Anambra State Fire Service did not yield any positive result.
Ezeh said members of staff who were on ground were helpless, as they watched the office building and other assets go up in flames.
He said, “It later took the intervention of the Commissioner for Utilities, Mr Julius Chukwuemeka, around 9.05am to bring the fire service team down to the scene of the incident.
“This is a big loss to EEDC, and a great setback to the efforts being made by the company to strengthen its network and improve the quality of service to its customers within Ogidi and Anambra State at large”.
EFCC Arrests Accountant-General Over N80bn Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, over alleged diversion of funds and money laundering to the tune of N80 bilion.
The spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this on Monday in a statement titled, ‘EFCC arrests Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation, for N80billion Fraud’.
The anti-graft agency said Idris was arrested after failing to honour an invitation.
According to the commission, the Accountant-General allegedly laundered the funds through bogus consultancies.
The statement read in part, “Operatives of the EFCC on Monday, May 16, 2022 arrested the serving Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.
“The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities, using proxies, family members and close associates.
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja. Mr Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts”.
The Tide learnt that Idris is still at the EFCC custody as at the time of filing this report.
Business2 days ago
Forex Operators Demand New Exchange Window
Business2 days ago
Emirates Airlines Adopts Bitcoin As Payment Option
Business2 days ago
Household Consumption Spending Rises To N108trn -NBS
Business2 days ago
Oil Production Fell In Nigeria Over Poor Maintenance
Politics2 days ago
2023: NNPP Vows To Spring Surprises
Politics2 days ago
2023: Bayelsa PDP Delegates To Support Pro-Restructuring Aspirants – Diri
Oil & Energy2 days ago
Stakeholders Commend CBN For Power Sector Interventions
Oil & Energy2 days ago
Illegal Bunkering: NSCDC Returns Diverted 50,000 Litres PMS