..Pledges to avoid rest until every Nigerian is lifted out of poverty
…Woos Nigerians in Diaspora to return home
…US Deputy Treasury secretary commends Tinubu, says Nigeria is proving to be a new frontier for investment
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has sounded a warning to foreigners in Africa, and Nigeria specifically, noting that the continent will no longer permit smuggling of weapons and her mineral resources.
He declared that African nations will no longer accept a situation in which human rights advocacy is used by wealthy and powerful nations to stop developing economies from dealing decisively with malign actors who illicitly siphon and smuggle out the continent’s vast mineral resources while smuggling in western-made weapons, which enrich the wealthiest economies in the world at the parasitic expense of African stability and wealth creation.
President Tinubu in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, was quoted as saying this when he met with the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, at his UN Headquarters Office in New York City.
“We are facing the great challenge of scavengers ravaging our lands and oppressing our people on illegal mines—taking our gold and mineral wealth back to developed economies by stealth and violence against Nigerians.
“Where one’s human right ends, the rights of another begin. Most especially for self-protection. If we fight, they say ‘human rights,’ but we will now be aggressive and we will question motives. We will stop what is happening in our land. We require your effective collaboration,” the President firmly stated.
The Nigerian leader noted that the United Nations must transform from being one of the world’s foremost talkshops to discuss global issues into becoming the world’s foremost action coordination center, saying that a situation in which 70% of the resources being devoted to the world’s poorest countries are being spent and sent back out on overheads and administrative costs, will defeat the purpose and objectives of the organisation where help is needed most.
Speaking further, Tinubu pledged to avoid resting until every Nigerian is lifted out of poverty.
According to him: “The poverty ravaging our continent and the question of security and counter-terrorism requires us to work in close and effective synergy. The world will ignore Nigeria at its own peril. If we engage in talkshops as real challenges wreak real havoc in real time, we will fail. The time to strike is now. The time to achieve real results is now. I fought for democracy. I was detained for democracy. I am now President and I am determined to prove that democracy can provide the development that our nation and our continent so urgently demands.
“Trace those of us here to our foundations and you will find that we have ties and links with poverty. We must not be ashamed of that history, but poverty is unacceptable. I am one of the lucky survivors of gripping poverty. Nigeria is truly a giant. 240 million people and counting with a massive youth population. We are done saying too much. We seek much action. We have arisen out of poverty as individuals, but until our people have arisen out of that, we will not rest, even if it requires decisions at home that make me temporarily unpopular,” the President affirmed.
Responding, the UN Secretary-General emphasised that the UN system is in the process of real reform that will largely address some of the institutional frailties and lack of decision-making power for the developing world, on whose behalf more than 75% of UN resources are accrued.
“We now recognise the need to reform the institution to represent the world as it is today. The questions of debt and SDRs. The fact that middle-income countries have only marginal access to concessional funding. In the SDGs Summit, we believe we have a growing political consensus and now, a declaration, in this regard. We are pursuing this with great determination,” the UN Secretary-General said.
The UN Secretary-General further assured President Tinubu of the fullest support of the UN system for ECOWAS in light of the series of military coups which have occured in the West African sub-region in the past few months and years.
“Mr. President, we have high expectations for your presidency after the many bold steps you have taken. Nigeria is an indispensable voice in the sub-region. We will give you every support needed for your success to be achieved. Your success is Africa’s success and we wish you well,” the UN leader concluded.
Similarly, the President has wooed Nigerians in the diaspora to return home while encouraging them to rise above failure by having a change of mindset for success in all their endeavours in life.
Tinubu gave the advice at the Presidential Townhall Meeting with Nigerians in the diaspora on Wednesday in New York.
The Townhall Meeting was organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly.
“I want to give you a measure that will resonate with you. I was once a diaspora. What you have been through, I have been through it. Change of mindset is necessary.
“Take it this night that Nigeria is home for business opportunities. Also, anywhere you stay, there is always going to be an opportunity in, and in everything you do, there is always going to be an opportunity, if you know how to search and put your mind into it,’’ he said.
“You are lucky to be among those who are celebrated for good manners and behaviour and are operating in an acceptable manner.
“I’m very proud of you; I have also been beneficial of inspiration, determination, commitment and perseverance and that is all you need to get to pull through.
“But, we need you back home, Nigeria has arrived; forget the frustration of the previous year’s leadership,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Chairperson of NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa introduced some Nigerians excelling in their chosen fields in in the U.S. to the president.
Some of them who spoke expressed their delight in the leadership courage of the president, pledging to continue to support him in his efforts to reform Nigeria.
They promised that they would continue to make Nigeria proud in their host country and also contribute their quotas to the development of the home country.
In his remarks, the first Nigerian-American elected into the United States Congress, Oye Owolewa, said 25 per cent of business orders in the U,S. were black and 1.7 per cent got federal contracts.
Owolewa, who represents Washington DC, said they have been supporting people to take advantage ot such opportunities for their economic empowerment.
“Those are the opportunities to make investors biggest in New York.
“In my office, we do the talk, we teach our people how to get contract, we teach our people how to get grants.,’’ he said.
…US Deputy Treasury secretary commends Tinubu, says Nigeria is proving to be a new frontier for investment
At the Nigeria-US Executive Business Roundtable, the US Deputy Treasury secretary, Wally Adeyemo has praised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the steps his administration is taking in making Nigeria a hub for investments in Africa.
Speaking, Wally said, “In Lagos, I saw, first-hand, some of the major reforms you implemented as the Governor of Lagos and the transformative effect on Nigeria’s commercial capital.
‘’People have attested to the fact that the reforms you have put in place as President are quickly enhancing confidence.
‘’American business is paying attention to that and from what we have seen for ourselves, Nigeria is proving to be a new frontier for investment.
‘’We will encourage our companies from our end as those reforms continue to deepen,” Adeyemo said.
NIMASA, MWUN dialogue on fate of disengaged NNSL seafarers
By Seun Ibiyemi
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN have begun discussions on how to resolve the lingering issue of terminal benefits of Seafarers whose appointments were terminated due to the liquidation of the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line, NNSL.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir JamohOFR, and the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress who is also the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, jointly announced an agreement for physical verification of the affected seafarers/next of kin as the case may apply; the nature of appointment of all affected seafarers, and the exact amount due each beneficiary.
The NIMASA DG also assured the Union that their position will be communicated to the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, to ensure the Government takes all necessary actions to bring to a conclusion the issue of NNSL.
“The issue of industrial harmony in the maritime sector is of uttermost interest to our administration at NIMASA. We have been at this for a while. NIMASA had offered N100 million as settlement, which the Union declined.
“We have also discovered that some of those demanding settlement did not even have any employment letter. We will follow the lead from our supervising Ministry and ensure the physical verification exercise is brought to a logical conclusion. Our Honourable Minister will be duly updated by the Agency. I look forward to closing this issue in months to come,” the DG said.
On his part, the President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adeyanju restated the commitment of the Union to peaceful resolution of disputes; to ensure the rights and privileges of workers are well protected, without disrupting productivity in the Maritime Sector. He commended the Jamoh led Management at NIMASA,urging others to follow suit.
“I would like to commend NIMASA under Dr Jamoh, for the unflinching commitment to industrial harmony. He is always a phone call away to resolve any issue. Yes, NIMASA offered N100 million to offset the terminal benefits.
“However, if others like Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council and the rest also add funds, there will be enough to go round the expected beneficiaries. As we did for dockworkers when a flat rate of two hundred thousand was paid during port concession; that is what we want, putting into consideration the realities on ground now.”
COP28: Airtel Africa calls for enabling policy environment, collaboration for climate action in Africa
The Group CEO of Airtel Africa plc, Segun Ogunsanya, has reiterated the importance of an enabling policy environment for sustainable development and climate action in partnership with Africa’s private sector at COP28.
Mr. Ogunsanya, a member of the United Nations Global Compact’s African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC), addressed a distinguished audience at a COP28 side event co-hosted by Airtel Africa and the ABLC.
Guests included the President of Botswana, His Excellency Mokgweetsi Masisi; the Finance Minister of Nigeria, Mr. Wale Edun; the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nigeria, Mr. Nyesom Wike; Ms. Sanda Ojiambo, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC); Chairman of BUA Group Nigeria limited, Abdul Samad Rabiu and several business leaders from across Africa.
The Group CEO of Airtel Africa urged African business leaders and governments to join forces to advance sustainable growth, development, and prosperity across the continent.
He said, “We stress the importance of an enabling policy environment for sustainable development and climate action in partnership with Africa’s private sector. Livelihood and living must go together.”
He also shared details of Airtel Africa’s environmental stewardship initiatives. These include ‘Project Green,’ launched in 2022, and focused on circular economy practices, especially in the responsible replacement of end-of-life equipment to minimise potential adverse environmental impacts.
Furthermore, in March 2023, Airtel Africa joined the multi-stakeholder partnership to eliminate open waste burning from Africa. This collaborative effort with local authorities, private companies, community groups, civil society and development partners targets a 60 percent reduction by 2030 and complete elimination of open waste burning by 2040.
Mr. Ogunsanya declared, “Airtel Africa’s corporate purpose, our driving force, is to ‘transform lives.’ This is not simply a slogan but a genuine passion that informs every aspect of our operations and every decision we take.”
He concluded, “It is our firm belief that African businesses, including Airtel Africa, stand ready to leverage global markets to accelerate the transition to a future-fit economy. We must deliver economic development, inclusive growth and GHG emissions reduction at the same time to enjoy the fruits of sustainability.”
The United Nations African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC) is a collaborative initiative comprising African business CEOs committed to fostering sustainable growth, prosperity, and development throughout the African continent.
Members in the coalition, including Airtel Africa, committed to escalating the adoption of renewable energy, investing in climate-adaptation solutions, and ensuring an equitable transition. During COP28, the ABLC released a policy recommendation urging governments to establish conducive regulatory frameworks that facilitate collective climate action.
The recommendation further advocates for the setting of decarbonization targets and the acceleration of initiatives such as green minerals and climate adaptation programs and calls for increased access to climate financing to support these endeavors.
Non-Interest Financing critical to funding amidst high debt service levels — Wale Edun
By Matthew Denis
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun has stated that the country needs Non-Interest Financing as a critical sector towards funding as the country is faced with high levels of debt servicing.
The Minister’s disclosure at the SEC Nigeria-Islamic Financial Service Board (IFSB) International Forum held in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said, “Non-interest financing is a critical part of funding and that is because as we all know, we are faced with three crises right now which are the climate, and biodiversity but there is also a debt crisis in major countries and of course, the available solution is non-debt, equity and financing mechanisms that will eliminate the pains of paying interest on loans. Rather, it is better to have a participatory opportunity that equity and non-interest finance gives.
“And so what we are saying here is a critical piece of the solution to the crises of the world currently, including the fact that for the rapid and inclusive growth this administration desires, we need to have green projects so we don’t only need to have projects funded by equity.
“As we all know, our debt service levels and revenue to debt service ratio are so high and currently constrained.”
The Minister stressed that there is fiscal exhaustion in many parts of the world and there is also a need to finance green projects.
“So the only way to grow our economy is not just relying on foreign direct investments, and domestic investments but tap into the world of non-interest financing.”
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