We’ll no longer condone xenophobic attack on Nigerians, Lawan tells South Africa

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Senate President, Ahmad Lawan on Monday condemned the continuous killings of Nigerians in South Africa, warning that further attack on Nigerians would no longer be condoned.

Lawan expressed concern that about 118 Nigerians have so far lost their lives in different attacks over the years, out of which 13 were by South African Police.

A statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammed Isa said Lawan made this known when he hosted the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe.

Moroe and his delegation paid the visit to brief the Senate leadership on his government’s investigations to unravel the causes of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and steps being taken to stop it.

The meeting, according to the Senate President, became pertinent considering the incessant attacks on Nigerians residing in South Africa.

He said: “We in the Parliament must speak and prevent any further killings. These killings must stop. This is the era of social media where corpse of a victim may spark violence that may go beyond the control of government.

“The South African government must as a matter of urgency do whatever it takes to protect the lives and property of Nigerians living there, just as Nigerian government remain committed to the safety of South Africans residing here and their investments.

“I believe we have faced enough, we will no longer take it anymore. We want to write the names of Nigerians killed, and the South African parliament must act fast to put a stop to this menace.

“Over the years, 118 Nigerians have been killed, while 13 out of these were killed by South African Police”.

He recalled the enormous contributions of Nigeria to South Africa during the apartheid rule, adding that, “we must establish events leading into these killings, … Read More...

AU summit: Nigeria donates 47 vehicles, military equipment to Niger Republic

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Nigeria donated a total of 47 vehicles and military equipment to Niger Republic to assist the country ensure successful hosting of the ongoing 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Niger is also hosting AU First Mid-Year Coordination Meeting and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Niamey.

Amongst the items donated at the request of the Nigerien government are 100 bullet proof vests worth 2.8 million CFA, five Toyota Coastal buses and two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).

It was gathered that the deal which was concluded during the last meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), also includes another 40 vehicles of different brands which will be returned to Nigeria at the end of the meeting

The Nigerian Ambassador to Niger Republic, Attahiru Dahiru, who confirmed the donation of the items in Niamey on Saturday, said “everything they requested for has been provided for them and they are happy.”

President Muhammadu Buhari who departed Abuja on Saturday morning to participate at the conference, is expected to sign the AfCFTA agreement on Sunday.

The Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union is also expected to launch the operational instruments of the Agreement establishing AfCFTA.

The instruments include: AfCFTA Rules of Origin, Tariff Concession Portals, Portal on Monitoring and Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers, Digital Payments and Clearing Systems and African Trade and Observatory Dashboard.

Recall that President Buhari had delayed signing the documents until his administration embarked on extensive consultations with stakeholders, culminating in the submission of the report by the Presidential Committee to Assess Impact and Readiness of Nigeria to join the AfCFTA.

The committee had recommended that Nigeria should sign the agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade.


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UK government plans African summit to explore continent’s investment potentials

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The United Kingdom government would be hosting the Africa Investment Summit in London on January 20, 2020 with the aim of bringing together businesses, governments and international institutions to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across the continent.

Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria while speaking at 18th Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital, stated that mutual prosperity existed at the heart of the UK’s partnership with Africa.

The United Kingdom continues to promote the merits of Nigeria and the broader African continent as an economic partner of choice ahead of the UK’s upcoming Africa Investment Summit taking place in London.

The three-day conference themed “Promoting Investment & Collaboration in Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry” is one the most-attended industry events in the country and served as a meeting place for senior decision makers from government and energy industry organisations in Nigeria.

In her goodwill message as the guest of honour, during the opening ceremony, the UK High Commissioner acknowledged that a key focus of discussions at the conference centred around increasing foreign direct invest into Nigeria.

The envoy added that Nigeria’s FDI strategy was very much in line with the UK government’s trade and investment strategy of increasing investment opportunities into Nigeria and across the broader African continent to meet the ambition of making the UK the number one G7 investor on the African continent by 2022.

According to her, “The City of London has unparalleled expertise in the services that enable companies to access capital, along with a range of specialist legal and professional services.

The London Stock Exchange is home to 7 of the largest 10 listed oil & gas companies globally, and proud to say, home to quite a few Nigerians ones … Read More...

Middle East’s power struggle moves to the Horn of Africa

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After troops launched a deadly night-time raid on Sudan’s pro-democracy protesters, blame immediately focused on the Rapid Support Forces. The notorious paramilitary unit, made up of remnants of a militia that wreaked havoc in war-torn Darfur in the 2000s, had led the June 3 assault, victims said. Demonstrators were beaten, shot and raped. The bodies of dozens of the 100 people killed — according to local estimates — were tossed into the Nile.

The crackdown suggested the country’s military leaders, who have ruled since the protests triggered a coup against Omar al-Bashir in April, were sending a deadly message that they would not bow to popular pressure and accept a transition to civilian rule. But it was not just the RSF and the generals who faced scrutiny: as the body count mounted, attention intensified on their regional backers — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Many Sudanese activists even asked whether the powerful Gulf states gave the green light for the raid.

Two days after the attack, the US state department issued an unusually curt readout of a call between a senior US official and Prince Khaled bin Salman, the Saudi deputy defence minister and brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto leader. David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, described the crackdown as “brutal” and told Prince Khaled of the “importance of a transition from the Transitional Military Council to a civilian-led government”.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE strongly deny prior knowledge of the raid, diplomats say. And both insist they are promoting stability in the region and have a long history of economic and political ties to Sudan, a country that bridges the African and Arab worlds and has a long coastline along the Red Sea.… Read More...

AfCFTA agreement: Buhari fails to take stand on Nigeria’s signing

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 After over eight months of waiting President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday failed to take definite position on Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

This is despite the recommendations by the Presidential committee on the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Nigeria’s readiness for it, that Nigeria should sign the agreements

 Recall that the Federal Executive Council FEC presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had recommended Nigeria’s signing of the AfCFTA, a decision that was later turned down by President Buhari.

 The decision was followed by the inaugurated the Presidential committee on the 22nd of October, 2018, to carry out the “Impact and Readiness Assessment of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, as well as to address risks associated with signing the AfCFTA agreement.”

The committee was charged to, among other things, study the key issues raised by stakeholders, which included “Abuse of rules of origin, smuggling arising from difficulties in border controls and unquantified impacts of legacy preferential trade agreements.

Others include low capacity and capabilities of local business to conduct international trade, cost of finance, insufficient energy; and transport logistics infrastructure.

 But Chairman of the Committee, Desmond Guobadia, while submitting the reports on Thursday, urged the President to sign the agreement, adding that “our reports show on the balance, that Nigeria should consider joining the AfCFTA and using the opportunity of the ongoing AfCFTA Phase I negotiations to secure the necessary safeguards required to ensure that our domestic policies and programs are not compromised.”

The Committee also recommend the setting up of a National Action Committee on AfCFTA to coordinate relevant ministries, departments and agencies to drive the implementation of the AfCFTA readiness projects and initiatives.

The President, while receiving the reports, expressed