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.
Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa
Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.
Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.
Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.
According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.
Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.
He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.
“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.
Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.
He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.
According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.
“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.
The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.
He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.
Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.
Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.
Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.
She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.
The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.
“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.
“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.
“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.
“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.
“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.
“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”
While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.
Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.
Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.
However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023 -NBS
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.
In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent
It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.
Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.
The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.
“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”
In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.
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