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135 Indian companies invest $19bn in Nigeria — Envoy

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The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri G. Balasubramanian, says over 135 Indian companies so far invested 19 billion dollars in Nigeria in the last four decades of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Balasubramanian, who said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, commended the India-Nigeria mutual bilateral relations.

He said that the relationship between India and Nigeria had been excellent, saying the visit was to deepen news and cultural programme exchanges between both countries.

According to him, the visit seeks to promote avenues, whereby India and Nigeria could cooperate through information sharing, news networks, among other things.

“The cultural relations, the connection between our people is really good and with your assistance I will certainly like to strengthen this tie.

“There are over 135 Indian companies, which have invested about $19billion in Nigeria over a period of years, not in one year, but for the past four decades.

“Most of them are in Lagos, they are in every part of Nigeria and are in the manufacturing sector of the economy, steel, oil and gas or pharmaceuticals.

“Three billion dollars of that is in pharmaceuticals manufactured in Nigeria by Indian companies; there is strong relationship we have in pharmaceuticals and other business activities.

“Nigeria is home to about 60, 000 Indians who are living and who have made Nigeria as their home literally, for the past four decades.”

The envoy also promised to strengthen the relationship between his country and Nigeria, with the assistance of NAN management.

He said that Nigeria’s invitation as guest participant to the G20 Summit scheduled for 2023 in India would form a unique opportunity to showcase the priority of developing countries to the world.

He said that the importance of the relationship between the two countries was well known in India, therefore Nigeria’s invitation to the Summit from Sept. 9 to Sept.10, in New Delhi.

The envoy listed plans by the mission to host journalists from across West Africa on field visits to India with a renewed offer of 500 scholarships to Nigerians and promote the study of Mass Communication in India, in 2023.

He further reeled out the mission’s programmes to be India National Day on Jan. 26, Food Festival and Cooking Competition on Jan. 28,  and facilitation of “Yoga” weekly-exercise to boost healthy living.

Responding, the Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle, commended Balasubramanian for the visit, saying it was apt in deepening relations on information sharing and news network between the two countries.

He said that the relationship between the mission and the agency started on a very nice note, adding that a lot would be done to explore other spheres to produce best results for both countries.

Ponle said, “We are friendly, we accommodate and we want to be friends forever for mutual benefit; it extends to us in NAN to see outsiders as part of us.

“NAN and India share a common goal right from inception, the agency was established by an Act in 1976 and we started operation in 1978 and incidentally I was a pioneer member of staff.

“We also had a partnership with the Press Cross of India, we were always going to India for further studies in Mass Communication, but there was a stage when the agreement was no longer in vogue.

“With renewed relationship we hope the partnership will be revived; we will offer everything to make your stay highly rewarding in areas of coverage, enhanced visibility and exposure.

“We are always at your service and that also translates to making ourselves available for your country’s activities in Nigeria and over there in India.”

He reiterated that such practice would be informed by news and cultural exchange through information and communication sharing, as well as other areas that would be beneficial to both countries.

The managing director assured Balasubramanian of adequate support by the agency in coverage of the forthcoming G20 Summit.

The agency boss also appealed for facilitation of the exchange programme between the NAN and News Agency in India through signing of agreement to ensure seamless flow of information and communication on a daily basis.

Ponle noted that the agency had two agreements with the Bulgarian News Agency, as well as Turkey in addition to news exchange programmes in line with Reuters, AFP and China News Agency.

He said that the agency sought to establish such a partnership with India too.

The high point of the visit was group photograph between Balasubramanian and the NAN management.

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Ribadu to declare open workshop on 21st century policing

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The National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, is billed to declare open a two-day workshop on “21st Century Policing: Capacity Building Techniques and Brand Management for Security Image Makers,” which begins on Wednesday 24 April, 2024 in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, will give the keynote address while Chief Executive Officer of Halogen Security Services, Chief Wale Olaoye, is the Special Guest of Honour.

The workshop is packaged by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), in collaboration with Fountain Bloom Limited, a Lagos-based strategy and development outfit.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN, will deliver the welcome address while the ACAN Provost, Prof. Olatunde Babawale, is the Chief Host.

Participants are drawn from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, the Police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service and registered private security organisations.

Resource persons who will deliver papers include Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Frank Mba; celebrated columnist and former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Mr. Bola Bolawole; one-time Permanent Secretary, Lagos Television, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo and retired Director at the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa.

Papers will be delivered on the Challenges of Media Management and Public Affairs in Crisis and Emergency Situations; Crafting impactful Press Statements, Opinion articles and Speeches; Conference Organisation and Documentary Production for Optimum Publicity; Quality Assurance as Essential Element of News Copy; Sustaining audience Interest in Broadcast News and Documentary and Contents in Public Relations Question; Social Media and In-house Publication for Desired Effect.

The workshop will address critical aspects of the officers’ job schedule to further strengthen their work performance in accordance with the present administration’s policy objectives.

It will also sensitise participants to their duties and responsibilities in a democratic setting, with a view to reducing tension inherent in the interface with their various publics.

At the end of the workshop, participants would have had an improved understanding of image-making strategies, reputation management techniques, identity and personality interpersonal communication formulas, attitudinal change and behaviour modification patterns that will further enhance their capacity to interface with their various publics.

 

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ITF launches ‘SUPA’ initiative to empower five million Nigerian artisans

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In a bid to enhance the skills and opportunities of Nigerian artisans, the    Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has introduced a groundbreaking initiative called “Skill-up Artisans (SUPA).”

The Director-General of ITF, Dr. Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun unveiled the SUPA initiative yesterday during the organisation’s 2023 Annual Merit Award ceremony in Jos, Plateau State.

Dr. Ogun emphasised that SUPA will revolutionise the artisan sector by providing training, certification, and licensing to artisans across Nigeria, thereby improving their employability and standard of living.

This transformative program aims to upskill, license, and empower up to 5 million artisans within a year, offering them better prospects both locally and internationally.

The implementation of SUPA involves the comprehensive collation of data on Nigerian artisans, identifying areas where training is needed, and facilitating certification processes.

However, the initiative has already registered thousands of artisans, with ongoing efforts to reach out to more individuals interested in enhancing their skills.

One notable aspect of SUPA is the establishment of a dedicated call center, operational round-the-clock, to address inquiries from the public and provide essential information about the program.

Dr. Ogun emphasised that SUPA underscores the Nigerian government’s commitment to promoting economic development and uplifting the standard of living for citizens nationwide.

“It is intended to drive national development, ensure the availability of skilled artisanal workers for domestic industries, and create a sustainable pipeline for labour exports. It will equally boost the pool of local artisans with proficiency in diverse skills, among other benefits,” he mentioned.

The Director-General called on the state governments, the organised private sector, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, and well meaning Nigerians to collaborate with the ITF in an effort to revitalise the Nigerian economy, especially in the area of SUPA.

On the implementation of skills intervention programs, Dogun pointed out that ITF has so far trained over 42,000 Nigerians who were empowered with start-up packs under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Skills Training and Empowerment for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C), Construction Skills Empowerment Program (CONSEP), N-BUILD, Project T-Max, Modular Skills Development, and Technical Skills Development Program (TSDP) in collaboration with the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

He added that in the area of direct training and capacity development for MSMEs, the Fund implemented 565 scheduled and unscheduled training programs for 11,992 organisations from 908 organisations.

“In addition, we carried out performance and productivity improvement surveys for 48 companies and developed 35 training programs, of which 28 were implemented. Similarly, in appreciation of the importance of MSMEs to Nigeria’s economic growth, the Fund conducted monitoring and evaluation of MSMEs clinics for 241 participants and provided business support services and business needs assessments for 159 and 254 MSME operators, respectively.”

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Illegal arms: Kaduna Police seek collaboration with residents to end banditry

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…Nabs notorious gun runners, recover firearms

By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

Kaduna State Police Command has called on residents to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal arms proliferation and criminal activities.

The Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Command, CP Ali Audu Dabigi made the call in a statement issued to journalists in Kaduna on Monday by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Mansur Hassan.

The statement said the command had arrested some notorious gun runners and recovered sophisticated weapons.

According to Hassan, the Command’s operatives acted on credible intelligence and intercepted one Alkali Danladi, a 45-year-old man of Ungwan Hayatu Village, Yarkasuwa, Lere LGA, who was suspected of engaging in the illegal supply of firearms to bandits, he was arrested while coming from Jos, Plateau State.

He said Mr. Danladi, during the interception was found to have concealed several prohibited firearms, including one fabricated AK-47 rifle, five fabricated revolver rifles, and two fabricated pistols. Additionally, working tools such as fliers, screwdrivers, spanners and as well as charms, were discovered in his possession.

“The Kaduna State Police Command reports a significant development in the ongoing efforts to curb crime within the state, with the arrest of a notorious gunrunner and the recovery of prohibited firearms.

“On April 4th 2024, at about 0600hrs, diligent police operatives, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted one Alkali Danladi, aged 45, of Ungwan Hayatu Village, Yarkasuwa, Lere LGA, at Tsurutawa Village along the Kaduna-Jos Highway. Mr. Danladi was suspected of engaging in the illegal supply of firearms to bandits. He was arrested while coming from Jos, Plateau State.

“During the interception, Mr. Danladi was found to have concealed several prohibited firearms, including one fabricated AK-47 rifle, five fabricated revolver rifles, and two fabricated pistols. Additionally, working tools such as fliers, screwdrivers, and spanners, as well as charms, were discovered in his possession.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of one Gayya Koddi, aged 40, of Bundu Dingi Village. However, two suspects are still at large.

“The Kaduna State Police Command, under the leadership of Commissioner of Police CP Ali Audu Dabigi, assures the public that efforts are ongoing to apprehend the remaining culprits.

“The CP also urges citizens to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal arms proliferation and criminal activities,” he said.

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