Saturday, April 21, 2018

‘Don’t send Nigerian refugees back to Boko Haram violence’, UN urges Cameroon

PHOTO:AFP
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged the Cameroonian authority not to send Nigerian refugees back to the Boko Haram violence they fled from.
Despite warnings, Nigerian refugees and asylum-seekers who fled Boko Haram violence continue to be returned from Cameroon, UNHCR said, underscoring the need to accord international protection to those in need.
“We appeal once again to the authorities in Cameroon to refrain from further forced returns and to ensure protection to those fleeing insecurity and persecution in Nigeria.
“This is in accordance with Cameroon’s national and international obligations,” UNHCR said.Since the beginning of 2018, 385 Nigerians refugees and asylum-seekers had been forcibly returned from Cameroon, the majority of them in March, including 160 on April 10 and a further 118 a week later.
In total, the UN agency has registered some 87,600 Nigerian refugees in the country.UNHCR said: “The forced returns are in violation of the principle of no forced returns or non-refoulement.
“They are also a significant setback to progress previously achieved by Cameroon in granting asylum to Nigerian civilians fleeing Boko Haram violence”.UNHCR also noted that it recognised legitimate national security concerns of States affected by the Boko Haram crisis, and stressed that it is important that refugee protection and national security are not seen as being incompatible.
“Properly functioning screening, registration and asylum systems help safeguard host country security,” it said.UNHCR reiterated its support to the Government of Cameroon to ensure that all those seeking international protection have access to efficient screening and registration procedures, as well as appropriate reception arrangements.

Ozubulu Killing: Security Tension Forces Court To Relocate

File photo: Crowd gathered in front of the St. Philips Catholic Church in Ozubulu after several persons were killed on August 6, 2017, in Anambra State.
 
The Ozubulu murder case has taken a new dimension as the matter has been administratively transferred from Nnewi High Court to Awka High Court on Friday, following heightened tension over security and the increasing number of the crowd during court sittings.
Since the trial of the four suspects at Court 3, Nnewi, it is a usual sight of a large crowd from Ozubulu besieging the court premises in solidarity to any of the persons standing trial with attendant arguments and protests as part of their activities.
READ ALSO: Several Killed As Gunmen Attack Church In Anambra
As the dust of the transfer has yet to settle, the fifth prosecuting witness and former President-General of Ozubulu Development Union in South Africa, Nkwado Onyeka, gave his testimony in the case.
He gave his evidence with a chilling tale of the genesis of the killing, starting with his wife who was murdered few hours after dropping him off at Tabo Mbeki Airport in South Africa, for a flight to New York.
Onyeka said the killing did not stop as two other young men, Nonso Ikedinobi and Izuamaka Dunu, were murdered in South Africa alongside six other prominent Ozubulu people resident in South Africa.
The witness revealed further that two Ozubulu sons currently serving prison terms in South Africa were responsible for the killings, in collaboration with one of the men standing trial by name Nonso Akpunonu.
He told the court that the suspects had sworn that the killings would not stop until the sum of $1million was released to them.
The prosecuting counsel, JayJay Ezeuko, and the defence counsel, Festus Keyamo, cross-examined the witness after which the presiding judge, Justice Festus Aniukwu, adjourns the matter till May 4, 11 and 25 for continued hearing.
Several persons were killed by gunmen on August 6, 2017, while worshipping at St. Philips Catholic Church in Ozubulu located in Ekusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The state governor, Willie Obiano, as well as the Federal and other state governments had condemned the attack with some describing it as a sacrilege.
Governor Obiano had also vowed to ensure that the culprits were brought to justice and called for calm when he visited the scene of the attack to commiserate with the victims.
The post Ozubulu Killing: Security Tension Forces Court To Relocate appeared first on Channels Television.

Mace Saga: PDP calls for urgent inquest

The party made the call in a resolution at its emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for urgent inquest into the security breach that characterised Wednesday’s invasion of the Senate and forceful removal of its mace.The party made the call in a resolution at its emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja.In the resolution released on Friday, it said that security at the National Assembly complex was compromised during the incident, and that it should be expeditiously addressed.The party described the invasion as treasonable and direct attack on the sovereignty of Nigeria and her integrity, which must be jointly condemned by all Nigerians.It charged security agencies to arrest and prosecute all persons involved in the embarrassing incident “notwithstanding status’’.The party also resolved that the PDP leads a strong conversation and discussion towards a formal coalition of democratic forces to guarantee Nigerians the much-desired all-inclusive platform ahead of 2019 general elections.It directed the NEC to commence action towards the establishment of a shadow cabinet to pilot its roadmap towards national economic recovery and good governance.According to the resolution this should be done in line with the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians, ahead of 2019 elections.“In the same vein, the NEC also strongly condemns the branding of Nigerian youths as lazy by President Muhammadu Buhari. It is a direct injury on the sensibility of the youths.“Nigerian youths are known worldwide to as hardworking.“The PDP reaffirms its belief and confidence in Nigerian youths and boldly announces to the world that our youths are resourceful and agile.“Our nation is blessed with hardworking young men and women,’’ it said.

In Zamfara: UNICEF identifies 240,000 out-of-school children in 3 LGAs

The affected local government areas are Bukkuyum, Maradun and Zurmi. The United Nation Children Education Fund (UNICEF) said it had identified 240,560 out-of-school children in three Local Government Areas of the state.The affected local government areas are Bukkuyum, Maradun and Zurmi.The Chief of UNICEF in charge of Sokoto Field office, Mohameden Fall disclosed this on Friday in Zurmi at the launching of cash transfer disbursement to parents of affected children under the UNICEF’s Educate A Child (EAC) project.He said the number was derived from the household mapping and listing of out-of-school children conducted in 2016 through the state Universal Basic Education Board when the number of out-of-school children was identified in the three LGAs.“In Bukkuyum, a total of 93,849 out-of-school children were identified with 41,134 males while 52,715 were females.“In Maradun 63,943 were identified with 28,963 males and 34,980 females while Zurmi has a total of 82,768 children with 38,286 males and 82,768 females,” he said.Fall also noted that the EAC project was bring funded by Qatar Foundation as personal initiative of Sheikh Nasser of Qatar and implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and Zamfara state governments.According to him, the overall aim of the EAC was to extend the access to quality of basic education for 501, 749 out-of-school children across the four states by 2020.“We are targeting to reach out 10,347 in the first phase in Zamfara State, considering the alarming number of out-of-school children in the state.“We are calling on the state government to extend this programme to other local government areas,” he said.The project was initiated to assist households in sending their children and keeping them in school, in the benefiting communities who will receive an unconditional cash transfer of N8,000 per child that falls between six and 11 years for the period of two years.“Cash transfer is one of the seven strategic interventions under the EAC to enable the government of the target states and UNICEF to reach more out-of-school children,” he said.He thanked the state government for the recent award of N1billion contract for school renovation and the release of over N1billion UBE counter part funding on UNICEF intervention.In his remark, the state Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Ibrahim Birnin-Magaji thanked the UNICEF and Qatar Foundation for initiating the project.Birnin-Magaji said that the project was complementing the state government policy of promoting pupils enrollment and enhancement of basic education in the state.He said the state government was ready to continue to partner with the UNICEF and other development partners to improve quality education in the state.“The state government is committed to enhance teaching and learning in the state, from 2011 to date, we have renovated over 4,000 classrooms to reduce congestion of pupils.“We trained over 8,000 teachers and established 50 ICT centers across the primary and junior secondary schools in the state.“These efforts have increased our enrollment drive from 283,000 in 2012 to 600,000 as of now”, he said.Birnin-Magaji said the plan was one the ways to recruit more teachers and implement N18,000 minimum wage for primary and junior secondary school teachers in the state.Earlier, the state SUBEB Chairman, Murtala Jangebe Commended the State Government and UNICEF for the project, saying that it would increase the pupils enrollment in the state.Jangebe said 3,449 children have been selected from the 14 communities to benefit from the assistance of N8,000 under the project per term, per child.“We are disbursing N27 million as first phase to beneficiaries from Alawa, Kadage, and Doka communities from the three LGAs of Bukkuyum, Maradun and Zurmi respectively.” In each of the selected LGA, one community was chosen for the flag-off as first phase and we are going to continue with the remaining 11 communities”, he said.

In Anambra: Erosion: Communities want Buhari to declare state of emergency

They made the request in Abuja on Friday when the traditional and town union leaders, led by the member representing the federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Rep Ben Nwankwo, visited Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The people of Orumba North and Orumba South in Anambra have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency to the unending erosion disaster in the federal constituency.They made the request in Abuja on Friday when the traditional and town union leaders, led by the member representing the federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Rep Ben Nwankwo, visited Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.The lawmaker told State House Correspondents after the meeting that the disaster was beyond the capacity of the affected communities and the state to handle.He said that the disaster required urgent intervention of both the federal government and international agencies.“We are here on a triple mission; the first is to commend the federal government of Nigeria through the Vice President on their very gargantuan input toward the burial of (late) Dr Alex Ekwueme.“The second mission is to notify them of the war going on in Orumba North and South between erosion and the people as to who owns the land.“While there is Boko Haram in the North East there is `erosion Haram’ in the South East particularly in Anambra state.“The Agulu-Oko-Nanka, down to Umunze is the deepest gully erosion in the country and we have notified the Vice President of this situation; about 100 houses have caved in and hundreds of people rendered homeless.“They are squatting at various places and we are asking for international intervention especially in the area of survey, risk assessment, mapping and ecological engineering.“But most importantly, the site in-toto should be declared ecological emergency to give it the attention it rightly deserves so that the international community should be able to come into it, otherwise the next two years there will be more disaster.’’Nwankwo said that the third plea was to ask the federal government to upgrade the two federal institutions in the area to degree-awarding institutions.They are the Federal Polytechnic, Oko in Orumba North and the Federal College of Education, Technical, Umunze in Orumba South.He explained that the request was to ensure that both institutions did not continue to produce manpower that would not be utilized by the industry.The lawmaker stated that the request was trendy and international adding that more than 13 countries had such polytechnic universities.Nwankwo commended the President in the onerous task of fixing Nigeria.The Rep said that the declaration of the erosion emergency was not essentially a legislative process but one that could be started by the executive.He said the communities had properly situated it with the executive domain and promised that when the leadership tabled it before the National Assembly, it would receive positive attention.Nwankwo said that the legislative instrument that would back the request was already before the National Assembly.The traditional ruler of Oko, Prof. Laz Ekwueme, added that the erosion situation in the region had continued to grow worse with every rain and called for urgent help by the federal government.“We are pleading and praying and urging the government to do everything possible to start work on it with international help.“It is beyond the community, beyond the state even beyond the federal government but it can initiate the process of getting outside bodies to assist.“We are in the great danger of losing the whole communities and beyond; whatever the media can do to help to urge everybody to come to assist and to save our souls we will appreciate it,’’ the monarch said.

Ayuba Wabba: Invasion of hallowed chamber: Threat to democracy – NLC

The President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, made this assertion in a statement he personally signed on Friday in Abuja. The invasion of the hallowed chamber of the Senate on Wednesday by hoodlums and miscreants, who carted away the mace, has been described as “a violation of the sanctity of the Senate and a threat to democracy’’.The President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, made this assertion in a statement he personally signed on Friday in Abuja.He said that the act represented a throw-back to those dark old days when we were without democracy, adding that it was equally a sad commentary on the quality of representation.NLC president said the Congress, therefore, condemned it in its entirety and called on all lovers of Nigeria to rise and condemn what he described as crude and sordid act or conduct.“The Senate, from the days of the Greeks and Romans from whom the world borrowed this concept of democracy, has always been a sacred arena for nobility (in carriage, thought or mind), the best and the brightest.“It has also been for the gifted in oratory, a hatchery of the supremacy of ideas delivered in the most sublime and profound language in furtherance of the interest of fatherland.“As a house packed full of representatives from different parts of the Republic, there are bound to be differences (of opinion, tactics, strategy) and even conflicts.“These are expected to be resolved in a dignified manner befitting of men and women of character and learning!“It is for this reason, there are rules of engagement that every member is made to understand as a precondition to swearing in.“It is in consideration of this that we consider what has happened as a big anomaly,” he said.Wabba said that labour also believed that the National Assembly security apparatus should be called to question for laxity or compromise.According to him, whereas they have often distinguished themselves by keeping at bay constituents and peaceful protesters from the precincts of the National Assembly, these thugs seemed to had walked on a laid red carpet.Could these agencies have been acting alone? What is the degree of their complicity? He queried.“Whichever way, we condemn this primitive conduct and demand sanctions. Let it never happen again. There are better methods no matter the issues,” he added.

In Lagos: 15 customers highbrow estate for energy theft trial, says EKEDC

EKEDC alleged that the customers stole energy by bypassing their meters. No fewer than 15 residents of Victoria Garden City (VGC), Ajah, on Lagos-Epe Badagry Expressway are to prosecuted for their alleged involvement in energy theft,  Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) said on Friday.EKEDC alleged that the customers stole energy by bypassing their meters.The Managing Director, Mr Adeoye Fadeyibi, who disclosed this at a media briefing, said no effort would be spared in dealing with energy theft.He said the VGC Estate used to be billed together as a single-customer using one meter.Fadeyibi said following agitations by residents for individual metering and billing system, the company installed meters for houses few months ago.“ It was unfortunate that while the company was doing everything to respond to its customers’ demands and give them the very best in service delivery, some unscrupulous elements are out to thwart the efforts and aspirations of the company.“The company is determined not to allow such people have their way in their illegal mission as all lawful means will be employed to bring them before the law to answer for their misdemeanour.“The war against energy theft is yielding result as more and more culprits are being brought to book,” he said.The EKEDC boss restated that there was no hiding place for energy thieves in the zone.

In Lagos State: Government plans 57 collection centres to reduce plastic pollution

Adebola Shabi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Cleaner Lagos Initiative, made this known during a news briefing on Friday in Lagos. The Lagos State Government says it will establish collection centres in 57 council areas to reduce plastic pollution across the state.Adebola Shabi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Cleaner Lagos Initiative, made this known during a news briefing on Friday in Lagos.Shabi said that the plastic collection centres would be established in conjunction with Visionscape Sanitation Solution.According to him, the scheme will be a form of job creation as youths will be encouraged to bring plastics to the centres in return for stipends.”The theme of the World Environment Day this year is plastic pollution, and that is one of the biggest menace in the state today.”So we are going to have 57 collection centres in the state, we are going to encourage youths to bring plastic to the centres and you are given something in return. Then the plastics will be sold to the public for reuse.”At the end of the day, this initiative is going to help clean up the environment, because we consume a lot of bottled water on daily basis in the state.”So this will reduce the amount of plastics in our drainages, it will reduce the amount of plastic in our canals and other places,” he said.The Special Adviser said that government came up with the strategy to ensure that waste was being evacuated from streets and residences.”We have been engaging different stakeholders, the waste collection operators, the community development committees, the market women, the civil societies, landlords and tenants associations and various NGOs in the state to assess how we have performed in the last one year.”There are still ongoing discussions with the waste collection operators, the former PSP operators and the state government, in conjunction with Visionscape to have as many Transfer Loading Stations, to ease the disposal of waste in the state.”Olusosun dumpsite has been shut down by his excellency because of the safety of the people working there and public health.”And we have been asking the trucks to be going down to Ewe Elepe and Epe and we are looking at the distance, as most of the waste collectors’ trucks cannot go far distance.”So, that is why we have resolved to have more transfer loading stations within the state and at night, Visionscape will evacuate all the waste from the stations to the Engineered Sanitary Landfill sites,” Shabi said.He said that the state generated 20,000 tonnes of waste daily which would be treated and sorted at the transfer loading stations before being taken to the Engineered Sanitary Landfills.Shabi said that 60 per cent of the segregated waste would end up in the landfills while 40 per cent would be recycled and reused for other purposes.”In the next few days, all the wastes we have been seeing on our roads will be evacuated.”In the next few months, Visionscape will take stock of more trucks to enhance performance in waste collection,” he said.According to him, Visionscape has distributed over eight million garbage bags and over 400,000 garbage bins in the last two months.”What we want from people living in Lagos is to generate your waste, bag your waste and drop them in front of the houses, for effective cleaning and preventive blockage of our drainages and canals.”The garbage bags and bins are meant for the waste generated, so please ensure that the wastes are being packaged and kept at the front of the houses,” he said.

In Spite of IMF’s warning, Nigeria’s debt level under control, says Adeosun

Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, fielding questions from Nigerian journalists after participating in the G-24 Meeting, as part of events of the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF/World Bank at the World Bank Office, Washington D.C., USA
In spite of the warning by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that debt levels in African economies were rising, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, yesterday said Nigeria’s debt level was still sustainable and under control.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Adeosun, while speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings at the ongoing 2018 IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington DC, United States, noted that Nigeria had nothing to worry about.
“It is correct that debt levels in low income countries is a threat, but Nigeria is better described as a middle income country.
“The concern that has been expressed, and it is a legitimate one, is that debt levels in those countries are at 55 per cent of GDP, which is very high, but Nigeria’s is at less than 20.
“So, we are not one of the countries they have expressed concerns about. However, we will continue to manage our debt very responsibly.
“We are at 20 per cent of GDP and we do not intend to grow it aggressively. We are doing well at the moment, as debt rate to revenue is going down gradually as we replace debt with revenue and refinancing our debt,” she said.
The minister said the government would keep monitoring and analysing its debt levels at every stage, so that they don’t fall into the trap that most African States had fallen into.
She reminded Nigerians that due to recession and near collapse of major sources of income, which it had inherited from the former administration, the government had no choice but to borrow to save the country.
“There were two options. One was austerity, cut back, lay people off and wait for the oil prices to rebound.
“The other was to be more aggressive by expanding the budget, take on more debt and invest in infrastructure in the hope that you will get growth going and then you will be able to develop more revenues.
“Step one, two and three of that has been done. We expanded our budget, we pumped money into the economy, we made sure that recession wasn’t prolonged and we are now back into growth.
“What we need to do now is to accelerate that growth and focus on revenue mobilisation, which in turn will reduce our debt pressures.
“Some of the ministers that I was in the meeting with are still in recession. And that means real pain for a long time.
“In Nigeria, to shorten it, we had to borrow in order to do so, and I make no apologies for that, as that was the right thing to do,” she said.
On Thursday, the IMF Managing Director, Ms. Christine Lagarde, said global debt stood at $164 trillion, which was 25 per cent of global GDP.
She said the rising debt levels presented risk to low income countries, adding that such countries may face hardship and be unable to repay these debt if they do not look for alternative measures to borrowing.

Youth development our priority, says Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday, reacted to the allegation that President Muhammadu Buhari, during a business conference in London on Wednesday, described Nigerian youths as lazy, insisting that the President was misquoted. He insisted rather that the welfare and development of Nigerian youths are among top priorities of the federal government.
The minister spoke while fielding questions from newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State, after attending the ongoing African Drum Festival.
He said: “Some people have just made it their full-time job these days to scrutinise and twist whatever the President says out of context.
“I wonder how a government that has employed 100,000 unemployed graduates and also feeds about 7.5 million people daily could be tagged anti-youth.
“Our social investment programme has continued to generate jobs and created opportunities for our teeming youths, while our empowerment programmes have been providing soft loans to over 400,000 youths. Millions of families and individuals have also continued to benefit from our Conditional Cash Transfer initiative.
“This is a government that is so concerned and passionate about youth development and it is not right for people to begin to quote Mr. President out of context, thereby inciting the youths against the government.
“Critics should judge us by our actions and not by their emotions.”
Mohammed said the festival, which started in 2016 as solely a Nigerian affair, is now drawing participants from African countries, adding: “I am sure that with the complexities and nature of those in attendance this year, the festival will soon become a global affair.”
Read More: FG passionate about youth development – Minister
He described the drum as a connecting rod that binds the African region together, saying the festival is aimed, among others, at ensuring that the continent does not completely lose touch with its past, and consider ways of adding values to drum for preservation, in the light of infiltrations of other musical instruments from the western world.
“We have learnt from this festival that drum is not just for music, but there is something deeper and connecting about drum, as far as Africa is concerned.
“It is so central and significant to the lives of various communities in Africa, because it serves as an instrument used to herald different situations, like wars and festivities, and people can interpret it when it is beaten.
“What we are doing with this festival is to go behind and beyond the drum and see what exactly it means for Africa.
“As I look at the drums from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ghana and others, I see something connecting us by their shapes, build and other features.
“We will continue to spend time, energy, funds and other resources to explore the role and importance of drums, particularly in the African context.

Shoemaker in court for allegedly selling, wearing customer’s shoes

Court
A shoemaker, Adekole Farajimi, accused of stealing seven pairs of shoes worth N35, 000, was yesterday arraigned before a Badagry Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State.
Farajimi allegedly sold some of the shoes a customer brought to him to repair and started wearing the rest.
The accused, whose address was not mentioned, was arraigned on a charge of stealing.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Prosecutor, Akpan Ikem, told the court that the accused committed the offence on April 7, this year, at Ajara Vetho area of Badagry.
Ikem said that the shoes belonged to the complainant, Segun Aladesunmi, adding: “The complainant brought the shoes for the accused to repair, and after the repairs, the accused sold some of the shoes and started wearing the others.
“The complainant reported the matter to the Police and the accused was arrested.”
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened Section 285 of the Criminal Code of Lagos State, Nigeria 2011.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr. Jimoh Adefioye, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50, 000 and two sureties in the like sum.
He adjourned the case till May 18, this year, for hearing.

2019: Student’s leader alleges pressures from politicians

Bayero University
Ahead of next year’s general elections, president of the Student Union, Bayero University Kano (BUK), Khalid Sunusi Kani, has raised the alarm over unsolicited patronage and pressure from political actors of various platforms to support their interests.
Kani alleged that the leaderships of various student unions were being financially induced to mobile students in support of the political ambitions of the politicians.
In a statement he signed and made available to The Guardian in Kano, Kani, a 500-level medical student, said that the attitude of the political actors was threatening the ideology and philosophy of student unionism, saying the move, if left unchecked, was capable of mortgaging the bright future of the country.
He noted that regardless of the interest of students, the political class, who he said are currently on rampage, are desperate to impose their will on student’s leadership.
According to the statement: “Today, the condition of student unionism is worrisome, the desire of some students for union leadership is not driven by passion and commitment to public service, but rather for fame and to advance personal interests.
“Many students’ union leaders nowadays are in the habit of using their privilege to organise unreasonable award ceremonies in the name of ‘solicitation,’ where undeserving persons and politicians are honoured. The criteria for eligibility are usually not based on merit, but on one’s ability to give financial support.
“The money realise from such solicitations are usually embezzled among the ranks of the unions.

Globacom: Boston Consulting Group identifies telecom company, others as continental drivers of integration

According to BCG, a total of 150 companies are blazing the trail toward a more integrated Africa. In a report just released, the globally-acclaimed consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), listed Globacom as one of the six African companies driving the amalgamation of economic activities within the continent. The others include Dangote Group, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa, Nigerian Breweries and Jumia. According to BCG, a total of 150 companies are blazing the trail toward a more integrated Africa. They consist of 75 Africa-based companies and 75 multinational companies that have established impressive track records in Africa and are contributing to further integration of the continent. The 150 companies were drawn from 18 countries, namely Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius, Tanzania, and Tunisia. The multinational companies also listed in the report are mainly from France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while the rest are from China, India, Indonesia, Qatar, and the UAE. The report indicated that economic integration is gathering momentum on the continent despite the barriers of fragmentation which exist in Africa.  Globacom and the other listed companies are driving the process, according to the report. The various ways that the companies are making their impact felt on the continent include the active expansion of their footprint across several African countries, building strong African brands, using local innovation to adapt to the African consumer; investment in local talent and developing people advantage; building  local ecosystems and connecting Africa by facilitating the movement of people, goods, data, and information.ALSO READ: These 3 threats can stop Nigeria’s economy from growing in 2018BCG Senior Partner and co-author of the report, Patrick Dupoux, said: “Fragmentation in Africa is much greater than anywhere else in the world, and it adds significantly to the economic challenges facing countries that typically lack the critical mass to compete globally. Despite these barriers, we see more signs of economic integration with each passing month, quarter, and year. The primary drivers come from within the continent, led by African business.”Globacom has over the years built a reputation as an authentic African brand offering innovative solutions in voice and data services, thereby making telecommunication services more accessible to all in the markets it operates.

Buhari: May tells President to invest in young people for prosperous future

She told Commonwealth leaders that shaping the future is reliant on investing in young people to gain skills. British Prime Minister, Theresa May, urged President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of Commonwealth countries to invest in young people so as to build a more prosperous future.The PM made her plea while speaking at the closing press conference of the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on Friday, April 20, 2018. She noted that shaping the future is reliant on investing in supporting young people to gain skills.In her speech, she told Commonwealth leaders to step up efforts in reaching a series of shared commitments that will help to build a more sustainable, more prosperous and fairer future for all. She also disclosed that the summit has pledged to ensure that all girls and boys across the Commonwealth will be able to access at least 12 years of quality education and learning by 2030.Her statement read, “In building a more prosperous future, this is the first Commonwealth summit to make a unanimous statement on the need to fight protectionism.”Our Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment will help to expand investment and boost intra-Commonwealth trade to a value of $2 trillion by 2030.”And we will play a leading role in shaping the future of global trade policy, using our unique perspective to help ensure that free and fair trade truly works for everyone.”This includes stepping up efforts to share the technical expertise to enable small and developing states to benefit from the growth of free and fair trade.”It means addressing systemic barriers to women’s full and equal participation in the economy – including increasing opportunities for women to trade internationally and supporting the growth of more women-owned business.”And it means investing in supporting our young people to gain new skills.”And at this Summit we have pledged to ensure that all girls and boys across the Commonwealth will be able to access at least 12 years of quality education and learning by 2030.”Buhari criticised for lazy youths commentPresident Buhari has been in hot water back in Nigeria after he made remarks that many have considered to be dismissive of Nigeria’s young generation.While speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, President Buhari remarked that a lot of Nigerian youths wait on handouts from the government.”More than 60 percent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said.He has been heavily criticised by Nigerians for his utterance, with his opponent in next year’s election, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, remarking that Nigerian youths are hardworking with great entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and creative abilities that should be nurtured.

PDP wants INEC to make public status of polling units in Nigeria

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make public the location and status of polling units across the country.
The party made the call in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, on Friday in Abuja.
PDP alleged that INEC was secretly planning to create 30,000 illegal polling units in compromised areas in favour of All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party alleged that there were series of “clandestine meetings’’ between “compromised officials of INEC and certain agents of APC.’’
PDP said that from the meeting, there was plot to sneak in 30,000 illegal polling units in some remote areas and through which they planned to allocate votes to the APC.
“Having completely lost confidence in the integrity of INEC under Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, we unequivocally demand that all processes leading to the 2019 must be subjected to open review of political parties and stakeholders at all levels.
“In this regard, we demand that INEC makes public the location and status of all polling units.
“We also demand that the report of INEC investigation of underage voters in various parts of the country, particularly, Kano and Katsina states be made public.”
The party urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and monitor all processes leading to 2019 general elections, to ensure that it was not manipulated.
Reacting to the accusation, INEC Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, told
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the allegations were all false.
Osaze-Uzzi said “everybody knows the number of polling units in the country being published by INEC.
“The truth of the matter is that INEC cannot create illegal polling units because the law gives it the power to create polling units.
“If the commission has the power to create polling units, you cannot say it has created illegal polling units. We are not aware of such units and it is not true.
“However, any time we create additional polling units, citizens and stakeholders including political parties, media and Civil Society Organisations would be informed.