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Group Harps On Africa Investment Promotion, Industrialisation

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The United States Latino American Chamber of Commerce (USLACC) Africa, has advocated making Nigeria and Africa one of the industrialised hubs of the world through investment promotion.
The President of the group, Dr Manolo Cevallos, said this yesterday in Abuja at a one-day African and Foreign Investors Trade Summit (AFRIFITS) for business people and entrepreneurs.
The summit had the theme: “Promotion of African Businesses, Synergy and Match Making Foreign Investors”.
Cevallos, who was represented by Amb. Ifeoma Ejiogu, USLAAC Africa Representative, said AFRIFITS was a creation of USLACC to catalyse Africa’s economic growth.
He said that the central goal was to make Africa one of the world’s hubs of industrialisation.
He said this would be achieved by bringing together foreign investors, Africans in Diaspora, African Business luminaries and friends of Africa to invest in the ‘immeasurable rich resources and opportunities’ that abound in the continent.
“AFRIFITS aims at reforming all sectors of the African economy and accelerating continental and international trade and investment.
“This would be achieved by building durable bridges between foreign business persons and potential business owners in Africa.
“This will solve the decades and centuries long myths that inhibit foreign investment in Africa,” he said.
Cevallos said USLACC, a public investment institute with headquarters in Los Angeles, California U.S., has been promoting bilateral foreign direct investments, infrastructural development and international trade between U.S. and other parts of the world.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geofrey Onyeama, said that Nigeria would continue to play its role as an investment destination in Africa.
Represented by Amb. Bolaji Akimremi, Director, Trade and Economy in the ministry, Onyeama commended USLACC for its efforts at giving industrialisation a new face in Africa.
He pledged, on behalf of the ministry, to continue to ensure that Africa and other countries of the world collaborated in area of investment.
The Vice- Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul Na’Allah, in his remarks promised that the university, as one of the modern universities, was ready to work with foreign investors to turn the university into a tourist centre in Nigeria.
He urged the organisation to carry the university along in its scheme of things.
Na’Allah expressed dissatisfaction at the ongoing strike in the nation’s universities saying it was sad and unpatriotic for Nigerians to allow the universities to be closed.
Sir Mike Okiro, former Inspector General of Police and the Chief Award Presenter, said security situation in any country could discourage investment.
“People invest where there is security of lives; people fear to invest because of insecurity.
“Insecurity has become a global phenomenum, so the issue is how to manage it,” he said.
Okiro called on Nigerians to work together with government and security agencies to fight insecurity in the nation.
The former Governor of old Anambra, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, in his keynote address expressed concern at the level of corruption in the country and called for a change of attitude.
He said that Nigeria was destined for greatness and called for a collective effort to make it great as other nations of the world.
Mr Uche Egenti, Chairman Governing Board, Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), and Chairman of the Occasion, said the programme was targeted at investment and industrialisation of Africa.
He called on business men and women and entrepreneurs in Nigeria to rise up and contribute toward the socio-economic status of Nigeria and by extension Africa.
“It is time for Africa to be industrialised. Government alone cannot do everything.
“It is time to reason together and develop concepts that would catapult Africa to the world,” Egenti said.
Speaking, Mr Bethran Uzodimma, Chief Executive Officer, Fratello Properties Ltd., and one of award recipients at the programme, expressed gratitude to God for the award.
Uzodimma, on behalf of other recipients, encouraged investors not to lose faith in Nigeria and other African countries with a lot of resources to harvest from and areas to invest in.
“There are great potential in Africa; there is the confidence that Africa would develop as other continents because she has what it takes to be great,” he said.
Presenting the award to Uzodimma, USLACC said Uzodimma was given the award for his philanthropic gestures.
Some of the gestures were building houses for the downtrodden and financing the education of children in his community and beyond.
“Earlier, Mr Daniel Ibrahim, ICT Lead, USLACC Africa, in his review of AFRIFITS said that Africa was on the road to a better tomorrow.
He said the programme was to deliberate on how to improve on the economy of Africa.
According to Ibrahim, the organisation is also in Kenya, Uganda, Togo and Ghana to forge relationships with small and medium enterprises and connect them to the rest of the world.
He said the objectives were for wealth and value creation and business development opportunities enhancement.

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Tai APC Collapses As Hundreds Return To PDP …Say They Were Blinded By Fake Promises

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Over 500 former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Tai Local Government Area have returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The returnees led by the first PDP Chairman of the area, Hon Peter Gwezia, announced their return to the PDP, last Saturday, during the GDI’s sensitisation programme for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) at the Council Secretariat, Saakpenwa.
Speaking on behalf of the rest of the returnees while renouncing membership of the APC, Hon Peter Gwezia, said he and other APC members decided to leave the party due to failure of leadership.
While promising to work for the success of the PDP in the 2023 election, Gwezia said the APC lacked ideas, and was like a vehicle without engine, could not take them to their desired destination, hence their decision to leave the party.
In his remarks, Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Chukwuemeka Aaron, who received the returnees on behalf of the Chairman, PDP Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor, assured them of equal treatment, saying there are no new members in the party.
“I want to welcome you all and to say that in PDP and GDI where you are today, no person is new. We all have equal status, we all have equal rights. Some of the people that were with you there doing the jamboree that came back today, they are commissioners; they have gone to the National Assembly, become chairmen of councils.
“So, having seen what our leader, Chief Nyesom Wike has done in Rivers State, and in Tai, and what your chairman of council is doing in Tai, they have come back to take their rightful position. We want to thank all of you, and to say that the party chairman and the chairman of council will integrate you into the activities of GDI”.
Also speaking, GDI President-General, Chief Bright Amaewhule, said the performance of the present administration in the state was enough testimony for any Rivers son or daughter to reckon that PDP was the only party which had their interest at heart.
Amaewhule said that of the candidates lined up for the governorship seat in the state, only the PDP Governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, was competent and qualified to give the state good governance from day one.
He, therefore, challenged eligible voters who have not collected their PVCs to do so as soon as possible, and prepare to cast their votes for the right party which was a master of good governance and quality projects’ delivery in the state come 2023.
The returnees, alongside GDI members from the 10 wards of Tai, including youths, women and students groups, later engaged in a wild gyration, turning the entire arena into dance frenzy.
The event also featured solidarity speeches from stakeholders among them former and current National and State Assembly members, former and serving council chairmen, former commissioners, party stalwarts, and captains of industry, among others.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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MOSOP Tasks SPDC On Fresh Oil Spill

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Factional President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, has called on Shell Petroleum Development Company (Shell) Joint Venture (JV), the oil and gas multinational company, to take full responsibility and appropriate action to curb a fresh oil spill in Bodo Community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Nsuke, who noted that the spill was first noticed in the community early last week, blamed Shell for the spill and urged the Dutch multinational to alleviate its impact on the community, curtail its spread and commence proper remediation and compensation in accordance with global best practices.
The MOSOP leader noted that the oil spills from the Trans Niger Pipeline operated by the Shell JV, suddenly erupted within the residential area of the community, alleging that it must have been caused by equipment failure.
He observed that although the cause of the spills, which was occurring 11years after the release of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports, was yet to be ascertained, the spills have affected residential areas and community dwellers have been asked by the MOSOP to evacuate the area, to avoid causality in case of a fire.
“This massive spill is occurring 11 years after the UNEP released a damning report exposing Shell’s devastation of the Ogoni environment.
“We have communicated with community leaders to cooperate with investigations and ensure that every detail about this spill is communicated to our secretariat as soon as possible”, he said.On his part, Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said, “the cause of the crude oil spill which occurred inside the community where people live is not yet known at this time.”

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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Nigeria’s Freedom Of Expression Attracting Global Attention, Buhari Claims

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, said it was instructive that Nigeria was attracting positive international attention as a country that promoted media freedom and freedom of expression.
He said this was premised on the government’s understanding of the important roles that information literacy and media education played in sustainable development.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this while pledging his “full support” for three major international events scheduled to hold in Nigeria in October and November 2022.
They include: the 2022 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Global Media, Information Literacy Week in Abuja, in October, the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos, as well as the second Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference, Abeokuta, in November.
In the statement titled ‘President Buhari pledges support as Nigeria hosts major cultural, tourism and literary events,’ he said the global events were opportunities to showcase the nation’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment as well as advancements on media freedom.
Earlier, the Minister of Information ad Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy Week, would help to address the rising spate of fake news, misinformation and hate speech.
Expressing his delight to welcome international visitors to Nigeria, Buhari urged citizens to leverage the events to exhibit the values “that make us a unique, friendly and peace-loving people.”
The statement read in part, “Welcoming the decision by the UNESCO’s World Tourism Organisation and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, the President assures all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.
“On the MIL Week, Buhari notes that it is instructive that Nigeria is attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, recognising the important roles information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
“On the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, the President says the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and the Information and Communications Technology sector, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to spur government to devote more resources to the sector.”
Among other initiatives, Buhari noted that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, established by his administration and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, had provided single-digit financing to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
He noted that the $100 million re-development of the National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class creative park is also ongoing, following the handover of the facility to the CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The President, therefore, expressed confidence that the literary world would find many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s finest literary icons and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

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