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Obasanjo, Runsewe bag Chinese excellence awards



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) on Friday bagged Chinese awards of excellence.

This was announced by Dr Eric Ni, Chairman, Chinese Industrial and Commercial Enterprises Association during the Chinese 2022 Mid-Autumn Festival and National day.
Ni said former President Obasanjo was given an award of excellence for his selfless sacrifices in promoting businesses between Nigeria and China

He said Obasanjo’s efforts in creating conducive business environment for the Chinese community was highly appreciated.
Ni also said that Runsewe was given a commitment award for his selfless commitment to the promotion of arts and culture between Nigeria and China.

According to Ni, the Chinese community has enjoyed seamless cultural exchange programmes due to the support enjoyed from NCAC and Runsewe.

Chief Ikechukwu lkoh, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, also got an award of honour for his selfless commitment in the promotion of businesses in science, technology and innovation between Nigeria and China.

Brig.-Gen. Musa Sadiq, Commander, 81 division, Garrison also bagged a commitment award for his selfless commitment in defending and protecting lives and communities within Nigerian community.

Obasanjo, represented by his wife, Chief Bola Obasanjo, appreciated the award, commending the Chinese community for bringing transformation to the country in diverse fields.

” You brought transformation to the country, the Chinese community has helped our youths in providing employment opportunities, we appreciate you all,” he said.
Runsewe appreciated the gesture extended to him as he assured the Chinese community of more years of seamless collaborations.

He urged the Chinese nationals to further visit Nigeria as tourists and investors.
He said the Chinese community’s assistance was seriously coveted to ensure Nigeria took the rightful position in Africa to improve on local production and technological advancement.
” We want the Chinese community to visit Nigerians more for the purpose of investing and as tourists.

” We want to achieve a situation whereby the strength of China in Asia could be compared to that of Nigeria in Africa.

” I want to specially appreciate the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, for encouraging his people to visit Nigeria and invest; we are known as hospitable, friendly and accommodating individuals,” he said.

Runsewe also commended the Chinese community for impacting Nigerian positively.
He said the China Industrial and Commercial Association must also be commended for their various corporate social responsibility initiatives aimed at giving back to their community in form of grants, scholarships and donations.

He stressed that the NCAC was willing to have a frontline partnership with the association towards expanding the event to Abuja.
According to him, this will promote synergies and grassroot participation in the area of training, capacity building, Infrastructure development, grants and exchanges.

” I must not fail to acknowledge and commend the Chinese community for imputing arts, culture and other artistic expressions as essential components in all your programmes.

” I assure you of the commitment of NCAC to serve as catalyst for consolidating and sustaining China-Nigeria bilateral business, cultural and diplomatic relations for more years to come,” he said.


Nigeria committed to ensure security, peace in West Africa – Akpabio



The President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has restated Nigeria’s commitment to ensuring peace and security in West Africa.

Akpabio said this on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the international roundtable on Parliamentary Security Sector Governance.

The roundtable was organised by National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

The roundtable drew lawmakers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.

Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Daniel Gbenga, Akpabio recommend synergy among countries in the sub-region to address insecurity.

“Nigeria is a country that is willing and determined to ensure that the West Africa sub- region enjoys peace, security, shared prosperity in our developmental goals.

“In order to mitigate the challenges already identified, it is important to properly address insecurity in the West African sub region.

“This can be done through deep cooperation and deliberate policies and laws by our parliament, as well as empower the parliament to assume full legislative powers,” he said.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, said the security sector plays a pivotal role in ensuring peace, stability, and development within any nation.

Represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, Abbas said effective governance and reform of the security sector were essential for upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights, and safeguarding democratic principles.

“In this regard, the role of parliament is indispensable as it serves as a key institution for oversight, legislation, and budgetary control over the security sector.

“I urge all stakeholders present to consider practical strategies for enhancing parliamentary engagement in security sector governance.

“This may involve developing specialised training programs for parliamentarians on security related matters, establishing robust mechanisms for information sharing between security agencies and parliamentary committees.

“Also for fostering a culture of dialogue and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches on security policy formulation,” he said.

The Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman said that in recent times, West Africa faced a scourge of terrorism, insurgency, and transnational crime.

He said that the menace presented formidable threats to the collective peace and stability of the region.

According to him, security issues, including illicit trafficking and the movement of armed groups, further compound the complexities.

“We must confront these urgently; internal conflicts, driven by various factors, pose additional challenges that require our immediate attention.

“More recently, the series of military coups that have taken place in and around our region which remains a threat to peace, the rule of law and democratic stability within the region.

“As legislators, you stand at the forefront of crafting responses to these challenges.

“The laws and policies you shape must not only address the immediate threats but also lay the foundation for sustainable security sector governance and reform,” he said.

Sulaiman said the roundtable provided an opportunity to pool insights, share best practices, and develop legislative frameworks that are responsive to the unique security dynamics of West Africa.

Peran said that there has been a spread of terrorism and violent extremism with terrorist groups becoming more and more sophisticated.

“Wave to try to understand better why the security situation is so complex and what can be done to improve it in a sustainable fashion said the Resident Rep of KAS, Ms Marija Peran.

According to her, security sector reforms and governance plays a vital role in stabilising the region.

She said they had also been recognised as an essential precondition not only for conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building but in general for good governance.

“Security sector reforms, repurposing of security institutions and agencies, improved interagency cooperation and effective oversight of the security sector are critical enablers to create the peaceful and secure Africa,” she said.

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Senate threatens to step down NCoS budget over insufficient information



The Senate has threatened to step down consideration on the 2024 budget of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) over insufficient information

Sen. Adams Oshiomhole, the Chairman,Senate Committee on Interior, Sen.Adams Oshiomole, said this said this at the 2024 budget defence of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Interior on Thursday in Abuja.

Oshiomole said he was unhappy with the services being rendered to inmates by the NCoS.

“Your organisation has transformed from Nigeria Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service but you have yet to change in your attitudes toward inmates.

“It’s not just your fault because the government appropriates little money for you, it is either you don’t feed the inmates or you feed them only once and even at that, very miserable food.

“This is why they have completely emaciated and some can never live a decent life again even when they did not commit an offence.

“You all know the price of food items in the market, so how can you look us eye to eye and tell us that you feed a man in Nigeria with N750 a day, how much is a bottle of water,” he said.

He said that the committee would not be in a haste to approve any budget for the service until it received satisfactory answers.

He requested for a breakdown of the number of inmates and security dogs at the correctional centers and how they were fed daily.

“I would like to see a breakdown of how you feed the inmates. If you say you feed inmates three times a day with N250 each.

“How many dogs do you have and how much does it cost to feed them daily,” he said.

Responding, the NCS Comptroller General, Alhaji Haliru Nababa, said the service had a total of 81,358 inmates nationwide, saying that 53,362 of the inmates were awaiting trial.

“We feed each inmate with N750 daily and they are fed three times daily (N250 for each square meal).

“We have 900 security dogs and to feed a dog each day we spend N800,” he said.

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Army Chief tasks NASS on funding



Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, has appealed to the National Assembly to review the current envelope budgeting system of the Federal Government to ensure adequate funding for the Nigerian Army.

Lagbaja said this when he appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Nigerian Army on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the envelope system had led to inadequate funding for the Nigerian Army, especially its anti terrorism operation and other operations across the country.
Lagbaja also called on the national assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund Bill, saying that the passage would enhance the operations of the Armed Forces, through improved funding.
The Chairman, of the Joint Committee, Sen. Abdulaziz Yar’ adua assured of transparency in the handling of the Nigerian Army 2024 budget.

He comended Lagbaja for taking responsibility for the bombing of Kaduna villagers and taking steps to investigate the matter.

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