- The Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker National Assembly Hon Dogara met President Buhari today in Abuja House, London.
|Minister Meets with Trade Officials, State Department|
WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, February 15, 2017/ — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Africa Business Center Tuesday hosted the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah (www.FMITI.gov.ng) for a roundtable discussion with U.S. business executives at their office in Washington, D.C.
The conversation focused on enhancing trade and investment relationship between both countries.
This comes in the context of a telephone call between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Donald TrumpMonday, where both Presidents discussed security and economic issues. It is seen as suggesting the U.S. consideration of Nigeria as a strategic partner.
“The U.S. has historically been one of Nigeria’s top trading partners; it was the biggest importer of Nigeria’s crude oil at some point. In the last five years, however, the sharp decline in U.S. imports of our crude, on account of rising domestic production of shale, has altered the trade balance between our two countries. This development presents Nigeria with a good opportunity for diversification and to explore and increase non-oil export – especially in agricultural products, services and the digital economy,” said Minister Enelamah.
On his part, the President of the U.S.-Africa Business Center and Vice President for African Affairs at the Chamber Scott Eisner, stated that “With the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria is an important partner for U.S. businesses. Our conversation highlighted the work being done to strengthen the economic relationship between our two countries and how we can continue to build on this relationship.”
Enelamah also participated in a Facebook Live conversation with the U.S.-Africa Business Center following the roundtable. Some of the companies that attended the gathering include Google, Microsoft, Blackstone, Procter and Gamble, UPS, Johnson and Johnson, Boston Scientific, Philip Morris International, Lekoil Oil, ITIC, etc.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country-and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad. The U.S.-Africa Business Center is the preeminent voice in the global business community advocating for increased trade between the United States and Africa.
After the roundtable, the Minister went on to attend events focusing on the Ease of Doing Business and Investment at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Hudson Institute. He answered questions from a mixed audience of business executives, government officials, diplomats and others.
He similarly had meetings at the State Department with the outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas Greenfield and U.S. Trade Representatives for Africa at the Commerce office.
Issues on the agenda at the state department ranged from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), SMEs, Nigeria’s leadership on the Continent and continued engagement with the new administration, while the commerce office focused on trade and the WTO.
Minister Enelamah was accompanied by his Trade Adviser and Chief Negotiator Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, Special Adviser Bunmi Adeoye and Strategic Communications Adviser, Constance C. Ikokwu.
|Development should consider indigenous cultures and their relationship to the earth, says Pope Francis in meeting with delegation from IFAD|
|Rome, 15 February 2017 – In a private meeting with indigenous peoples’ representatives, Pope Francis stressed the need to reconcile development, both social and cultural, with the protection of indigenous peoples and their territories, “especially when planning economic activities that may interfere with their cultures and their ancestral relationship to the earth,” he said.
The 36-member delegation, which included representatives from the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), were in Rome to take part in the Third Global Meeting of the Indigenous People Forum of IFAD.
During the morning meeting, the Pope emphasized the need for governments to pay attention to indigenous identity, and to generate guidelines and development approaches that include young people and women.
“For governments this means recognizing that indigenous communities are a part of the population to be appreciated and consulted, and whose full participation should be promoted at the local and national level,” he said.
Mirna Cunningham, President of the Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Autonomy and Development (CADPI), headed the delegation.
“I think the Pope’s words are important,” she said. “He went straight to the point. We have to remember that technological and economic development is not progress in itself and IFAD can play a very big role with technical and financial support to ensure that these measure are considered with indigenous peoples.”
Antonella Cordone, Coordinator for Indigenous and Tribal Issues Policy and Technical Advisory Division at IFAD, said that “recognizing and institutionalizing indigenous peoples’ rights is essential, but we also have to work to set self-implementation strategies to support local economies. Otherwise we risk that indigenous peoples’ societies will disappear.”
Members of the delegation brought gifts to illustrate the work of indigenous peoples around the world, including an alpaca coat from Bolivian Andes, a blanket from the Igorot people in the Philippine Cordillera, and a bible translated into Miskitu from Nicaragua.
On 10th and 13th February, IFAD hosted the Third Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples Forum, bringing together representatives of indigenous peoples organizations and leaders of partner organizations to discuss the ongoing challenges faced by these communities.
THERE is mounting pressure on the Federal Government by some private and public institutions to further review the laws governing the Tertiary Education Trust Fund for them to be listed as beneficiaries of the intervention fund.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr Abdullahi Baffa who made this known in Kano after commissioning some of the agency’s projects, expressed concerns about the “ugly” development.
Responding to a question on a request earlier made by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Professor Aminu Zakari Mohammad, for TETFund to extend its intervention to the Teaching Hospital, Dr Baffa, said it would amount to illegality for the Teaching Hospitals to be included as beneficiary institutions.
He also said reviewing the TETFund Act 2011 to accommodate more institutions would dilute the impact and defeat the aim for the establishment the intervention agency.
Baffa said: “When I said over 300 institutions are jostling to be included as beneficiaries, it was a conservative estimate. They are more than that. They include all private universities, all private Polytechnics, all private colleges of education, all Monotechnics that are public, all research centres, all jostling to be listed as beneficiary institutions.
“We have 203 beneficiary institutions that we are supporting and we have request from over 300 other institutions who are not qualified by the Act to be brought on board.
“It is something worth looking at for us to expand the perimeter of the fund to include all these institutions but we also have to look at the other side of the coin. Diluting the impact TETFund is making at the beneficiary institutions is going to be very counterproductive to entire educational landscape.
“You recall that before 2011, TETFund was called ETF, Education Trust Fund, supporting education from primary schools to basic and tertiary education. Because the original conception was targeted at supporting university education alone, government saw the opportunity to support the entire educational landscape which is good.
“But when it was experimented up to 2010, the regulation or control was extremely difficult and government decided to review the Act and concentrate the intervention on tertiary eduction. The Act defines tertiary education as public universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education. In other words all monothecnics were excluded.
“All other tertiary institutions that are not universities, Polytechnics and colleges were excluded so that we concentrate the intervention fund to lift public tertiary institutions from the doldrums that they found themselves.
“We are to provide the basic infrastructure for teaching and learning, support the equipping of laboratories, workshop studios, support research activities, training of scholars to acquire higher education, attend conferences, support the publishing of manuscript and also be able to support the publishing of journals by these institutions and such other things that will be needed to improve the overall quality of tertiary education in the country.
“From 2011 till today, educational landscape has changed because of the concentration of intervention in these institutions.
“For instance if are able to give N300 million to every university, once we expand, may be we will be able to give 30 million to each university and this will go nowhere,” he said.
The Executive Secretary noted that in 2015 for example, all universities in category A, were given N338 million normal intervention out of which N100 million was allocated for physical infrastructure.
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday revealed plans to set up 500 Coding Centres in public and private schools across the State ahead of the launch of the CodeLagos Initiative in April, 2017.
The CodeLagos project is an initiative of the State Government targeted at equipping at least one million Lagosians with the skills of computer programming aimed at making the State the technology frontier in Africa.
Addressing a news conference in Alausa on Tuesday, Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh said the target of government is to set up 500 coding centres in schools, public libraries and community centres across the State in the course of the year.
He said modalities are already in place to set up 300 centres by April in partnership with private organisations, adding that an agreement has been concluded with one of the leading financial service providers in the country, ARM.
According to Bank-Olemoh, “ARM will be setting up 15 centres and these centres will be established in Low Income Schools in line with His Excellency, Governor Akinwumi Ambode’s commitment to promoting inclusive governance and qualitative education for all citizens.
“This, we intend to achieve by providing equal access to knowledge for all Lagosians regardless of their socio-economic status and location.”
Bank-Olemoh said the partnership with ARM demonstrates the commitment of Governor Ambode’s administration to equip citizens with the necessary skills to create sustainable solutions to the challenges confronting the State.
In her remarks, Managing Director of ARM, Jumoke Ogundare said the organization was excited about the partnership with Lagos State on the CodeLagos initiative, saying that the project was in line with the commitment of the firm to improve continued access to education for all.
It will be recalled that the registration and screening of facilitators for CodeLagos started last week and is ongoing.
At the end of the process, 1,500 facilitators would be selected and deployed to centres across the State.
BEN TV Lagos
By Ossom Raphael
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reacted claims suggesting that about 20 per cent of the Naira currency notes in circulation are counterfeited.
The Apex bank equally frowned strongly at attempts to counterfeit the Naira, saying it remain committed to safeguarding the value of the Naira by ensuring that Nigeria’s Naira banknotes are not susceptible to counterfeiting.
According to a statement made available to journalists in Abuja and signed by the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, the CBN acknowledged that no currency in the world is immune from counterfeiting and therefore stated that the rate of counterfeiting in Nigeria has been very minimal, due to appropriate policies put in place by the Bank.
The Apex Bank added that its records at the Bank clearly indicate that the prevalence of counterfeit notes in Nigeria from January to December 2016 was less than one per cen (0.0014%) or 14 counterfeit pieces out of one million bank notes.
“in line with our core value of proactivity, we have always endeavored to use strong security features to make it difficult for dishonest persons to counterfeit the currency.
“In addition to that, we have carried out periodic massive nation-wide enlightenment of Nigerians on easy identification of fake banknotes and the reporting of such.
“We therefore find it rather curious that a former high ranking official of the CBN would make such bogus and unauthentic claims apparently calculated to destroy confidence in our national currency and sabotage the collaborative efforts of the CBN and the Federal Government at ensuring enduring stability of the financial system.”
The statement further said that the unfortunate implication of the fabricated claim of the said former official of the Bank, is that “it gives the false impression that two bills out of every ten Naira pieces held by an individual is ‘fake’.
“We also work constantly with relevant security agencies to monitor and check the activities of counterfeiters”, the statement added.
The CBN therefore challenged the said former CBN official to make public the empirical evidence suggesting that 20 per cent Naira currency in circulation is fake, therefore urged members of the public to disregard the false alarm raised its former official, and be wary of the activities of counterfeiters and report any case of counterfeiting to the police and their banks.
|The Estée Lauder Companies Partners with Jumia Online Retailer to Provide Clinique, Estée Lauder and Aramis Brands to Nigerian Consumers|
|“With this new partnership on the Jumia platform customers and beauty enthusiasts all over Nigeria can now access the premium products from Clinique, Estée Lauder and Aramis with the assurance of Jumia’s buyer protections”|
|PARIS, France, February 15, 2017/ — The Estée Lauder Companies (www.ELcompanies.com) has partnered with Jumia (www.Jumia.com.ng) the leading online retailer in Nigeria to launch for the first time three of the Company’s brands – Clinique, Estée Lauder and Aramis.
“With this new partnership on the Jumia platform customers and beauty enthusiasts all over Nigeria can now access the premium products from Clinique, Estée Lauder and Aramis with the assurance of Jumia’s buyer protections. Each of our visitors will enjoy country-wide delivery, 7-day free returns, and varied payment options including cash on delivery” shares Juliet Anammah, Jumia Nigeria CEO.
“The Estée Lauder Companies is excited about this partnership with Jumia in Nigeria. Many of our consumers currently do not have regular access to our products, specifically in Lagos and Abuja. Our fully branded “stores-in-store” on Jumia will provide women and men all over Nigeria with the opportunity to enjoy our brands via an educational and convenient online shopping experience, and with full confidence on our products authenticity,” shares Mario Lazzaroni, Country Manager for The Estée Lauder Companies, Sub Saharan Africa.
Rome, 14 February 2017 – Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, former Prime Minister of Togo, has been appointed as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution that invests in eradicating rural poverty in developing countries around the world.
“I have come from the rural world. I have first-hand knowledge of the harshness of this kind of life,” said Houngbo, who was appointed by IFAD’s member states at the organization’s annual Governing Council meeting.
Houngbo takes up the helm at a time when changing government priorities and the more immediate needs of humanitarian crises – like natural disasters, conflict and refugees – threaten to divert funding away from long-term development.
With growing global demand for food, increased migration to cities and the impact of climate change, investments in agriculture and rural development will be essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of ending poverty and hunger.
“We have to keep our ambition and at the same time be realistic and pragmatic,” he said. “We have to demonstrate that every dollar invested will have the highest value for money.”
Houngbo has more than 30 years of experience in political affairs, international development, diplomacy and financial management. Since 2013 he has served as Deputy Director General of the International Labour Organization, where he has been responsible for external programmes and partnerships. Prior to that, he was Assistant Secretary General, Africa Regional Director and Chief of Staff at the United Nations Development Programme. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. His candidacy was unanimously endorsed by the governments of the African Union.
As someone who was born and raised in rural Togo, Houngbo believes that the inequality in today’s world should never be accepted, and that IFAD has a crucial role to play in bringing opportunities to the poor and excluded.
“The privilege of attaining high-quality education helped me develop a strong sense of responsibility towards improving the condition of those who have not had similar opportunities,” he wrote in answer to questions during the nomination process. “I believe that through a dynamic leadership of IFAD, I can contribute to visible change in the hardship-laden lives of the world’s rural poor.”
Houngbo was among eight candidates including three women vying for the organization’s top leadership position. He succeeds Kanayo F. Nwanze, who was President for two terms beginning in April 2009. Houngbo will take office on 1 April 2017.
|Developers, in teams of up to three people, are invited to create bots in three categories: gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good|
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, February 15, 2017/ — Facebook (www.Facebook.com) is challenging developers across the Middle East and Africa to create innovative bots in the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge. This aligns with Facebook’s commitment to promote innovation in the Middle East and Africa by providing developers and start-ups with the tools they need to build, grow, monetize, and measure products and services.
Facebook grew out of a hacker culture and thrives by promoting innovation on new platforms. That’s why Facebook is launching the Bots for Messenger Challenge, a contest to recognize and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.
Developers, in teams of up to three people, are invited to create bots in three categories: gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good.
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