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Tinubu Returns To Nigeria After Visit To Qatar

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President Bola Tinubu has arrived in Abuja after a two-day official visit to the State of Qatar.

The presidential jet, NAF 001, that conveyed the President landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport around 7pm, concluding his 12th foreign trip since assuming the Presidency nine months ago, and logging 75 days abroad.

Tinubu was received by top government officials including Vice President Kashim Shettima; his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike; Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Ganduje; and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, among others.

On the first day of his visit, the Nigerian leader toured Qatar’s National Museum where he stressed the importance of accurate documentation of a nation’s history, cultural evolution and challenges.

Touring the 39,994 square metre edifice centred around Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani’s original palace, the President said, “It is great to document culture from the beginning of history, the culture of civilisation, collaborations, challenges and perseverance of leadership.”

The following day, Tinubu alongside the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, witnessed the signing of seven landmark agreements between both nations after closed-door talks at the Presidential Palace in Doha.

They include: cooperation agreement in the field of education; regulation of employment of workers with the Government of Qatar; establishment of a joint business council between the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture; in addition to a cooperation agreement in the field of youths and sports.

The other agreements are cooperation in the field of tourism and business events, and a memorandum of understanding combating illicit trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The documents were signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, and relevant officials in the Government of the State of Qatar, Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education and Higher Education; Dr. Ahmad Hassen Al-Hammadi, Secretary General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Abdullah bin Khalaf bin Hattab Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior.

Later that Sunday, Tinubu presided over the Nigeria-Qatar Business and Investment Forum where he asked Qatari captains of industry to report any Nigerian official who demands any form of bribe before allowing them do business in the country.

He insisted that Nigeria will no longer be held back by its past dotted with bureaucratic bottlenecks and corruption that stifled ease of doing business.

“Do not offer a bribe to any of our people, and if it is requested or taken from you, report to us. You will have access to me,” Tinubu said.

The President also assured the international business community that Nigeria is ready for serious business as his administration will deal decisively with any and all entrenched interests in the country who undermine investor confidence in the Nigerian economy.

He also pledged to remove all bottlenecks standing in the way of profitable and legitimate enterprise saying, “Do not let perceptions become a hindrance to your will to invest. Nigeria is serious about revolutionizing investment promotion.”

Qatar is the third Gulf state Tinubu has visited since assuming the Presidency and his 16th foreign destination.

So far, he has visited Paris, France (thrice); London, the United Kingdom; Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (twice); Nairobi, Kenya; Porto Norvo, Benin Republic; New Delhi, India; Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; New York, the United States of America, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Berlin, Germany and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Damagum returns as National Chairman, urges members to work for party’s success

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Ambassador Umar Damagum has retained his position as the acting National Charman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

On Thursday, the PDP conducted its 98th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

In a communique after the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Barrister Debo Ologunagba said the NEC urged all members to continue to work together for the success of the party for the benefit of Nigerians.

A day earlier, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party passed a vote of confidence on Damagum.

Ologunagba said: “NEC charges all organs, leaders, critical stakeholders and indeed all members of the PDP to close ranks, put aside every personal or group interests and work together in the overall effort to reposition and return the PDP to power at the center in the interest of the Nigerian people.

“Consequently, NEC received and approved the Timetable for Party Congresses across the country.

“NEC also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the party.

“Similarly, NEC approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

“NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general.

“NEC charges all Party members to continue to work together for the success of the PDP for the benefit of Nigerians and sustenance of Democracy in our country.”

Before the NEC meeting, PDP members loyal to the party’s presidential candidate in the last election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had moved against Damagum, over allegations that he was working for former governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike.

Wike led a group of five PDP governors that rebelled against Atiku while contesting the presidential election last year.

Atiku lost the election to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who appointed Wike as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

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Reps Urge Ports Operators To Cooperate For Economic Diversification

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By Gloria Ikibah

The House of Representatives has appealed to ports operators in Nigeria to cooperate and align with Nigeria’s economic diversification move.

The Chairman House Committee on Ports And Harbours, Rep. Nnolim Nnaji, made the call at an interactive Session of the Committee with all Terminal Operators and Nigeria Ports Authority Licensed Agents, on Thursday in Abuja.

He explained that the Committee’s interactive session was very crucial because of the invaluable roles the sector plays in the nation’s economy and national life.

He saud: “It therefore presents us with urgent need to effect changes that will restructure this unique and high-tech sector and position it to strategically compete in the global space.

“This sector is very dynamic and we must constantly review the standards, facilities and operational guidelines to keep pace with its obtainable global best practices.

“I wish to reiterate the Committee’s commitment to ensure that the sector remains one of the best through appropriate legislation and oversight in order to bequeath to Nigerians, a Ports and Harbours that is properly regulated and better managed for greater efficiency”.

The Committee Chairman also said that it was important to harmoniously promote the objective of professionalizing the modus operandi of the sector to improve Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and revenue generation.

“We intend to collaborate with relevant Stakeholders in the industry to ensure that appropriate avenues are created for its economic development and then make it a hub for better non-oil revenue generation. It is imperative to note that the House of Representatives will continue to support total rehabilitation and upgrading of our Ports and Harbours and allied services. We shall ever be ready to provide the necessary legislation and needed oversight to achieve this purpose”, he added.

Rep. Nnaji disclosed that the purpose of the meeting was to provide the interface for members of the Committee to interact with Stakeholders in the industry, most especially Terminal Operators and NPA Licensed Agents regarding their operations and various activities in the Ports and also create the enabling environment and synergy towards achieving the goals of the Federal Government in the Maritime sector, as well as aligning the sector with its contemporary demands, developmental goals, international standards and best practices.

“It is pertinent to note that the Committee’s role is not only to oversight the NPA, but also to partner with stakeholders in the sector to achieve maximum success taking cognizance of government’s quest on increasing revenue generation, port decongestion and boosting infrastructural development for effective service delivery. Thus, we must be committed to transparency, collaboration and open dialogue with all stakeholders to enhance ease of doing business”, the chairman said.

The lawmaker enjoined the stakeholders to bring their exclusive viewpoints and experiences on board as they will be invaluable in shaping policies and recommendations of the committee.

While briefing the committee, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, Mrs Urunta Chinyere, told the committee that there was the news for the digitization of the operations of the agents.

According to her, if operators can adopt the model, it would enhance revenue generation.

“We observed that most of the terminal operators are doing partial implementation of what we ask for. They are not fully complying to what they are supposed to do”, Chinyere said.

In his response, the Managing Director of Five Star Logistics, Mr. Rigor Nazzari, said that his agency has fully complied with all the models.

According to him, there are operators specific issues at the terminals that need to be addressed by the council.

The committee chairman thereforw called on the terminal operators to comply with the council and upgrade their systems.

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Aisha Yesufu queries Gov. Ododo for trying to prevent EFCC from arresting Yahaya Bello

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Nigerian female social activist, Aisha Yesufu,  has expressed displeasure with the role played by Kogi Stars Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo in stopping the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from arresting his predecessor, Yahaya Bello.

It was gathered that the Kogi Governor on Wednesday, obstructed the arrest of Bello by operatives of the EFCC.

Recall that the EFCC operatives had stormed Bello’s residence in Abuja in an attempt to arrest him over an ongoing fraud investigation.

But Bello was reportedly smuggled out of his residence by Ododo to evade arrest by the anti-graft agency.

“I cannot imagine I, Aisha Yesufu as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a Governor will come to Abuja where I am, to prevent @officialEFCC from arresting someone.

“As in, prevent it from carrying out its constitutional sanctioned duty. Nahhhhh!
Kai! Poor Nigeria!”

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