UK to give Nigeria, 9 other countries $215mn for food

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

United Kingdom, UK, has given approval to provide additional $216millíon to Nigeria and 9 other countries for emergency food assistance.

Secretary of State of the UK, Anthony Blinken who revealed this said the other nine countries Algeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, will also enjoy from the largesse.

Blinken informed that America has pledged more than $2.3 billion in food assistance since February to cushion the impact of the Ukrainian war on the benefitting countries.

A statement from the US Department of State on Wednesday disclosed that Blinken stated this before a meeting with the foreign affairs ministers of Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, South Africa, Zambia, and Senegal, at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has led to global shortage of food and fertilizer due the inability of the two countries to produce and export corn,Rice, Wheat and cooking oil.
Recall that Russia had allegedly frozen the export of wheat from Ukraine.

The senior US official said, America is addressing the humanitarian needs that arose as a result of the crisis in Russia and Ukraine.

“First, we’re addressing the humanitarian needs caused by the war of aggression against Ukraine. Just since February, the United States has pledged more than $2.3 billion of food assistance. And pending final approval from our Congress, we’ll provide more than $5bn in additional aid, including more than $760m specifically for global food security.

“Plus, today we’re announcing an additional $215m for emergency food assistance in Algeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mauritania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya, among other countries.”

Blinken further revealed that his country was working to alleviate the global fertilizer shortage by boosting domestic production, adding that President Joe Biden committed an additional $250m just a week ago, totalling $500m invested in American fertilizer production this year.

The Secretary of State also explained that the US focused on building agricultural resilience over the long term while commending the African Development Bank on its $1bn plan to help 40m African farmers use climate-resilient technologies and increase crop yields.

Blinken stated that the US Feed the Future initiative, which is focused on creating long-term improvements to food security, including with partners across Africa, would be supported with another $5bn over the next three years and expand to new countries, including in Africa.

Born on the 6th of April 1962 (age 60 years), in New York, America ,Antony John Blinken is an American government official and diplomat serving as the 71st United States secretary of state since January 26, 2021.

He previously served as deputy national security advisor from 2013 to 2015 and deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017 under President Barack Obama

Africa tourism sector for 14mn jobs in a decade

By admin

 

African travel & tourism sector is expected to create almost 14 million new jobs over the next decade, said the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in its latest Economic Impact Report (EIR).

The global tourism body’s annual report also shows further optimism for the region’s Travel & Tourism GDP, which could approach pre-pandemic levels by 2023 – just 9 percent below 2019 level

The positive forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which shows an average of 1.4 million new jobs every year, also reveals the sector will lead the economic recovery in the region, with its annual GDP growth set to outpace the overall economy for the next 10 years.

According to the report, Travel & Tourism’s GDP is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 6.8% annually between 2022-2032, more than twice the 3.3 percent growth rate of region’s overall economy, to reach nearly $279 billion (7.2 percent of the total economy).

The sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 20.5 percent to $144 billion by the end of 2022, amounting to 5.1 percent of the total economic GDP, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 3.1 percent this year to reach nearly 22 million jobs.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Africa is clearly bouncing back and is set to experience a significant recovery over the couple of years and looking ahead over the next 10 years, the sector could create almost 14 million jobs.

“However, last year the recovery was significantly impacted by Omicron, which saw many countries reinstating severe and unjustified travel restrictions on several key African destinations.”

Before the pandemic, the Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP was 6.8 percent ($182.4 billion) in 2019, falling to just 3.8 percent ($96.5 billion) in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height, nearly halving the contribution of such a crucial sector to the economy with a 47.1 percent decline.

The sector also supported more than 25 million jobs across the region, which after a 22.9 percent drop, fell to just 19.6 million in 2020.

However, looking back at 2021, WTTC’s latest EIR report reveals a year in which we saw the beginning of the recovery for the region’s Travel & Tourism sector, Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP increased 23.5 peercent year on year, to reach more than US$119 billion.

It also saw a recovery of 1.6 million Travel & Tourism jobs, representing a positive 8.2% rise to reach more than 21 million.

Rotimi goes to Germany for exclusive shows

By Favour Nnabugwu
Olurotimi Akinosho with a stage name Rotimi appears in Germany for an exclusive show.
The American actor, singer and model, born to Nigerian parent, father is a Yoruba and mother from Igbo, will perform his debut album in Berlin on 20 May, part of his ongoing world tour to promote his debut album “All or Nothing”.
He co-signs with T-Pain, 50 Cent, JAY-Z, Jamie Foxx and TI, singer-songwriter Rotimi ushers in a new era of game changers.
While he has so far been best known for his acting roles, such as in the American hit series “STARZ”, Rotimi also really got off to a musical start with his debut album this year.
Born on 30 November 1988 in Maplewood, New Jersey. He attended Columbia High School, where he was on both the varsity basketball team and the choir. He continued his studies at Northwestern University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in Business in 2010.
A contemporary R&B artist, the singer-songwriter mixes modern R&B with traditional Afrobeat and dancehall, while adding his own smooth sound of global influences. His first EP “Jeep Music Volume 1”, which was released in 2017, generated over 40 million streams with “Want More” (ft. Kranium). But until his debut album “All or Nothing”, which was released in August 2021, fans were musically spoiled over the years with a few mixtapes such as “The Resume”, “While You Wait” or “The Beauty of Becoming”.
The latter EP includes the gold-certified track “In My Bed” feat. whales In April 2020, Rotimi released a six-song acoustic EP called Unplugged Sessions, which enthralled its listeners. At the beginning of the year he released his music video “Love Somebody” which shows a new interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve.
A creative creator at heart, Rotimi’s motto embodies both his attitude and his art: “No Limit.”
Independent Hajj Reporters to monitor 33,976 allocation to States

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

A civil society organisation under the aegis of Independent Hajj Reporters, (IHR), has vowed to monitor State Muslim Pilgrims Boards share the 33,976 Hajj 2022 seats allocation to intending pilgrims.

This is to ensure that each State are equitable distribution of Hajj seats to pilgrims,

NAHCON has allocated seats to states using a commendable 2019 airlift performance yardstick to States and private Tour Operators. A total number of 33, 976 were distributed to states and 9,032 set aside to be shared to registered private tour operators.

The Top 10 Hajj states like Kaduna received 2,419, Niger 2256,  Sokoto 2404, Kano 2,229, Katsina 2146, Kebbi 2128 , Lagos 1562, , FCT 1538, Bauchi 1362 and Zamfara 1303

The civil society in a statement signed by its national coordinator Ibrahim Muhammed said it has instructed its members across the states to liaise with the leadership of the boards and agencies in the states to know the number of intending pilgrims that has been are able to meet the criteria set by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), and those that are eventually selected to perform 2022 Hajj.

Muhammed also noted  “The allocation of 2022 Hajj Seats to States Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards follow certain criteria adopted by NAHCON and we urges States Pilgrims Boards to applied its agreed principle of first come first served.

The IHR said it is already aware that Saudi Arabian authorities have limited the maximum age of those who can perform Hajj 2022 to 65 years. This criterion alone, it said, will disrupt the philosophy of ‘first come first serve’ because there are pilgrims who paid much earlier than others but are above 65 years.

The CEO also said the projection of N2.5 Million as Hajj fare will also affect the outcome because not all those who are in priority list will be able to pay up the balance of their fare as at when due.

However, IHR advised that those who paid in 2019 should be given the right of first refusal before 2020, and 2021 depositors. This sequence of distribution should also supersede the NAHCON/SMPWBS’ 60/40 seat formula.

IHR further appeal to States Muslim Pilgrims Boards Executive Secretaries not to succumb to Politicians who may put pressure on them to allocate Hajj seats to their political foot soldiers at the detriment of intending pilgrims.

“With a few days to the primary elections of major political parties, desperate politicians may likely want to hijack Hajj seats as part of political favours to woo delegates or influence support to their candidature.

Saudi Arabia has allocated 43,008 Hajj quotas to Nigeria for this year’s pilgrimage after 2 consecutive years of suspending Hajj due to the Corona Virus pandemic.

FG blames delay in passport issuance to NIMC server breakdown, discrepancies in names

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Federal Government has blamed the delay in the issuance of international passports to the breakdown of the National Identity Management Commission NIMC server and discrepancies in names.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Abdulrauf Aregbesola stated in Abuja at the 3rd and 4th Quarter 2021 Performance Review of the Ministry.

Aregbesola made it known that the breakdown of the NIMC server makes validation of passport applicants’ biodata impossible.

He added that discrepancies in names of citizens on their Passports and National Identification Number NIN also adds to the problem.

The minister said: “You must integrate your NIN with your Passport, without which we cannot issue a passport. So the delays therefore are not caused by us at all. As long as that integration of your biodata also called biometrics with your NIN number, which is on the database of NIMC, cannot accept your biodata as similar or identical with the one in it to issue a passport, without such integration or harmonization, it will simply be impossible.

“We are not the ones holding your passports and preventing you from traveling. The problem is the inability to link your biodata with your NIN. That is responsible and it is beyond our control. Why could this be? The server of NIMC might be down, it rarely happens, but it does happen.

“Another problem is the applications themselves. Individuals shouldn’t be bearing different names on their NIN and passports. It won’t be a seamless integration. There shouldn’t be a mix up of middle names in place of first names and vice versa, as it is on your NIMC so it should appear on your passport.

“These little things conspire against speedy processing of passports. I took time to explain this, because most Nigerians do not care about these minute details, they just heap the blame on the Nigeria Immigration Service.”

The Minister noted that soon, applicants will be able to track their applications online, adding that the Ministry and its sister agencies are not where they ought to be.

“I must say that our services have improved tremendously and quite noticeably too, with presentation of our performance at the Second Ministerial Retreat organized by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation which was applauded and well received.

“We are not yet there by our own standards. Things are not yet where they are supposed to be, but I want to assure Nigerians that we will not rest on our oars”, he stated.

On his part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, said the 3rd and 4th quarter performance review of 2021 would provide the Ministry the opportunity to assess and fix any noticeable loophole.

Pure Love (1 CORINTHA 13: 1 -13) by Pastor Favour Onoja

By Pastor Favour Onoja

 

 

PURE LOVE. (1 CORINTHA. 13:1-13).

Pure Love is God’s kind of love; the agape /unconditional love. It means to want nothing and it does not expect anything.  It is natural, a gracious kind of love that does not make demands.

Gods’ love is pure without adulteration. It is not based on condition. He doesn’t measure His love, yet His love is constant.  As humans, of course we are not God, but can learn that Divine love from Him as believers. Gods’ nature is equally love and selfless.

At the same time, Pure love can be said to be that deep feeling within a person’s mind that fosters compassion, kindness and giving.

ATTRIBUTES OF PURE LOVE:

1. A Love That Is Genuine, Authentic And Real, Without Any Hidden Agenda: You cannot fake but can practically see it. It is also appealing, reflective, lasting and satisfying.

It is situation where you value each other, despite your differences. The man is respected as a man and the woman is respected as a woman. You listen to each other’s opinion, and when there is a difference, you both agree to work it out and remain happy in your relationship.

2. A Love That Is Not Self Seeking: That is, it is not a “me, me, me,” or a “I, I, I,” thing alone. This kind of love is not egocentric in nature but a love that makes allowances for others and consider other people’s feeling first before taking decision.

It is the love that synergies, i.e. where two people work together as partners. You think, decide and act not only for yourself, but for your relationship to succeed. You treat each other as two people united as one in heart, mind and soul (Amos 3:3; Psalm 133:1-3).

3. A Love That Is Born Out Of Trust: This is devoid of fear and manipulation. You hold each other in high regards and trust; and you don’t lie to each other. Truth and trust is the bedrock of such relationship.

Honesty is always practiced and it has already become a habit in your union. You and your partner enjoy it, as it helps both of you get rid of jealousy and insecurities.

You don’t have any reason to doubt your partner because you do not only trust each other, but you see each other as one.

4. A Lasting Love: This is an unconditional love, not based on circumstances. For example, you don’t say,  if this relationship does not work out, we will part ways, just like it is applicable in some modern countries today. People go into contractual love, just to get papers to work and earn a living. After few years, they divorce and thereafter, go marry whom they truly love. This kind of love is already built on lies. The Bible said “If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do” (Psalm 11:3).

But in this kind of Lasting Love, you rather work on it and keep building on it together. This can be likened to the laying of blocks in a new building. You keep laying it systematically, you don’t get tired until you see the beauty of your building. The Bible said “The path of the just is like the shining light that shines brighter and brighter unto a perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18).

Challenges in a relationship usually tries people’s patience. But in the case of a Lasting Love, those crisis makes both you stronger and be able to tolerate each other.

5. Love That Is Sacrificial In Nature: It’s the love that gives it’s time and commitments; lays down its lives for each other; and a love that says ‘make for me first’.

You are ready to give up your comfort zone, important possessions, self centered ambitions, and even your own happiness to make your partner happy and your relationship healthy.

6. The Love That Gives: Kindness is overflowing from your heart effortlessly towards each other. Hurting your partner never crosses your mind.

You are kind, generous, compassionate enough to always make sure that the other person is happy. It gives affection and demonstrates generosity towards each other.

7. Love Thst Is Humble: You can easily swallow your pride. You don’t need fame, attention or recognition to satisfy yourself. You can be happy living a peaceful and modest life with your loved ones. You don’t need to put up a show.

8. Love That Is Kind: You always want what is good for your partner. Kindness and good will always flow effortlessly from your heart towards each other.

9. Love That Is Faith Based: Your hope and trust are not just false beliefs; you believe God for the future.

You trust each other and you hope for the future because you both work hard to gain confidence that your hope and faith will not be in vain.

You build your trust and confidence in the Word of God (Hebrews 11:1; 12:2). You pray and study the Word of God together.

You share your burdens and you are willing to help in other people’s difficulties even though you may have problems of your own. You are willing to sacrifice to ensure the other person is happy. You are willing to go the extra mile.

Beloved, if you have not received Jesus into your life, could you kindly pray this prayer with me from your heart:

“Come into my life and make me a new person. Change my life and destiny today. I say ” NO” to sin and I receive the grace to serve and live for you by faith.

From today, I go forward and backward never.

Thank you for answering me, in Jesus Name.

If you prayed this prayer, you can reach me on my e-mail or telephone nos for further counseling and prayers.

E-mail: onojaaf@yahoo.com

Tel: +234(0)7034893375
+234(0)8055842594

sure Peace Chairman, Onyema promises Super Eagles N50m

Air Peace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Allen Onyema, has promised to give the Nigerian Super Eagles the sum of fifty million naira if they win the ongoing African Cup of Nations, which kicked off on January 9, 2022.

This is just as Onyema gave Ten million naira to the Eagles for beating the Egyptian national team. He had promised to give 10 million naira for every goal scored in the Eagles’ opening match against Egypt.
Onyema, who made the promise
in Garoua, Cameroon, while speaking to the Super Eagles during half time in their opening game against the Egyptians, stressed that the players carry the hopes and aspirations of over “200 million people and 350 ethnicities on their young shoulders”.

He also urged the Eagles to give their best in their subsequent matches and win the trophy.

The Air Peace chairman said : “We believe in what you can do, you have the strength as a team. Remember what I told you during the qualifying series. That it is not just an ordinary football match. You are carrying the hopes and aspirations of over 350 ethnic nationalities of our beautiful country”.

” You’re playing for the unity of Nigeria. This is your time to play your part in cementing the unity of this nation, as Nigerians from North, South, East and West will celebrate in unison. Do us proud and when you come back with the cup, I’m going to give you 50 million naira”.

He also used the medium, again, to harp on the uniting powers of football as whenever the Eagles are playing, Nigerians jettison their ethnic and religious sentiments and forge a united font in support of the team.
It can be recalled that during the qualifying stages, the Air Peace helmsman delivered a similar unity-themed and motivational speech to the Super Eagles on board one of the airline’s brand new Embraer 195-E2 aircraft, and gave them a cheque of 20 million naira.

The Falcons of the 1999 squad were also beneficiaries of 10 million naira from the aviation cognoscente during the 3rd NFF-Aiteo Football Awards last year in Lagos.
Air Peace is the official airline sponsor of the Nigerian National Teams.

AfDB cautions Fed Govt against tax increase

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

African Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr.  Akinwunmi Adesina has cautioned the Federal Government to pull the brake on tax increment.

He said the fact that Nigeria taxes are relatively lower cannot be justification for incessant tax raise.

According to him, it will be double jeopardy to over tax citizens who provide basic amenities the government has failed to offer.

The AfDB boss gave the advice yesterday in Abuja while delivering a lecture at the annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

He listed such facilities as portable water, electricity, security and neighbourhood roads among others.

Dr. Adesina said: “Low tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate in the country is not an excuse for the Federal Government to keep increasing taxes.

“While other countries with high tax rates have functional free education and free health care system among others, such cannot be said for Nigeria.”

“In Nigeria, the inefficient system has imposed an implicit tax on the Nigerians as the people are made to provide basic essential facilities that should have been made available by government.

“While tax rates are relatively low in Nigeria, it simply is not an excuse to keep increasing taxes.

“Take the case of Norway for example. Its tax-to-GDP ratio is 39 per cent. Singapore’s tax-to-GDP ratio is 13.2 per cent. And Nigeria’s tax-to-GDP is 6.1 per cent. It is easy to make the comparison and say Nigeria needs to raise its taxes to similar levels as in Norway or Singapore.

“But, also consider the following: In Norway, education is free through university. In Singapore, a country that had only 1/3 of Nigeria’s per capita income at its independence in 1965; today has 100 per cent access to electricity and 100 per cent access to water.

“While progress is being made the challenge, however, is that in many parts of Nigeria, citizens do not have access to basic services that governments should be providing as part of the social contract.

“People sink their own private boreholes to get water. They generate their own electricity often times with diesel. They build roads to their neighbourhoods. They provide security services themselves.

“These are implicit taxes, borne by society due to either inefficient government or government failure. As such, we must distinguish between nominal taxes and implicit taxes — taxes that are borne by the people but neither seen nor recorded.

“It has become so common that we do not even bother to question it. But the fact is governments can simply transfer its responsibility to citizens without being held accountable for its social contract obligations.”

In an attempt to boost tax revenue in February last year, the federal government raised VAT from five per cent to 7.5 per cent.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been persistent in encouraging Nigeria to increase its value-added tax (VAT) rate to at least 10 per cent by 2022 and 15 per cent by 2025 to boost revenues after its recovery from a recession.

Nigeria, 12 others’ll grow global trade to $30tn – Report

By admin

 

A new report commissioned by Standard Chartered and prepared by PwC Singapore has said Nigeria and 12 other countries will be responsible for driving global trade to $30tn by 2030.

The report said global exports would more than double from $17.4tn to $29.7tn over the next decade, hinting that much of the growth would be driven by 13 markets.

It said Nigeria would be growing at an annual rate of 9.7 per cent, and export about $112bn by 2030, adding that its key corridors would be through India, Indonesia and Mainland China.

According to the report, Kenya, the second African nation on the list, would be growing by 7.6 per cent annually, with $10bn in exports by 2030 through key corridors, namely Pakistan, Uganda and the United States of America.

The list consists mostly of Asian countries with Mainland China contributing the most at $5.02tn by 2030 and growing at 7.1 per cent annually.

Other countries are Hong Kong ($939bn, 5.7 per cent), South Korea ($972bn, 7.1 per cent), and India ($564bn, 7.6 per cent).

Bangladesh, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia also featured in the report.

The report is based on an analysis of historical trade data and projections until 2030, as well as insights from a survey of more than 500 C-suite and senior leaders in global companies.

According to the report, global trade will be reshaped by five key trends: the wider adoption of sustainable and fair-trade practices, a push for more inclusive participation, greater risk diversification, more digitisation and a rebalancing towards high-growth emerging markets.

It said almost 90 per cent of the corporate leaders surveyed agreed that these trends would be shaping the future of trade and would be forming part of their five to 10-year cross-border expansion strategies.

The research also found a significant trend towards the adoption of sustainable trade practices in response to climate concerns and a rising wave of conscious consumerism.

It said while almost 90 per cent of corporate leaders acknowledged the need to implement these practices across their supply chains, only 34 per cent ranked it as a ‘top three’ priority for execution over the next five to 10 years.

The Executive Director, Corporate Commercial and Institutional Banking, Standard Chartered Nigeria, Korede Adenowo, said, “The predicted doubling of global trade offers strong evidence that globalisation is still working, despite recent dislocation. In addition to the growth of intra-regional trade pathways, the corridors of the future will still cut across continents.

“Against this backdrop, we continue to focus on making globalisation work for more markets and businesses, ranging from micro to multinational, and drive a more sustainable and inclusive model for global trade. This includes growing our range of sustainable finance solutions to help our corporate clients implement sustainable and fair-trade practices across their supply chains.”

Agric Minister Seeks AfDB’s Support to Recapitalise Bank of Agriculture

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Mohammad Abubakar, has called on the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the recapitalisation of Nigeria’s Bank of Agriculture (BOA).

According to a statement on the ministry’s website, both parties have agreed to set up a task force team to develop a plan for accelerated implementation within the next 60 days during a delegation he led to the president, AFDB’s office in Abidjan.

Abubakar said his consultative mission to Abidjan was at the instruction of President Buhari.

“Our mission is to examine ways Nigeria could enhance food production, lower food prices, and create wealth,” the minister said.
Abubakar welcomed the bank’s proposed strategy to support Nigeria’s food production and described it as a landmark one that would spur Nigeria’s food supply production.

“It will reverse the ugly trend of a sharp increase in prices of food in the country. I am pleased with the bank’s strategy to facilitate the production of nine million metric tonnes of food in Nigeria and to support us in raising self-sufficiency. The bank’s Special Agro-Processing Zones initiative is a laudable one and Nigeria is grateful,” she said.

Abubakar thanked the Bank for its support and said the meeting gave him reassurances of what Nigeria can achieve with the bank’s support in the farming seasons ahead.

Earlier, the President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said that the bank’s strategic support for Nigeria’s food production would be hinged on five factors: support, scale, systemic, speed, and sustainability.

He added, “I want to assure President Buhari that the African Development Bank will provide his government with very strong support to tackle the country’s food security challenges.”

Adesina urged the Nigerian Agric Minister to concentrate on building the correct team and tactics to optimise the country’s farming seasons, saying that dramatically increased food output will result in lower food prices, which will in turn lower inflation rates.

Citing successes in Sudan, Adesina explained how the AfDB supported the country with 65,000 metric tonnes of heat-tolerant wheat varieties, cultivated on 317,000 hectares.

In response to Bank successes in Sudan and Ethiopia, Abubakar said: “This gives me an additional measure of confidence. If you can do it in Sudan, you can equally do it in Nigeria. Not just in wheat, but also rice, maize, and soybeans.”

Adesina said: “The task, responsibility, and challenge of feeding Nigeria rest on your shoulders. You will receive maximum support from me, and the African Development Bank for the responsibility that President Buhari has given you. You will not be alone.”

He added: “The bank stands ready to fully support and help Nigeria in the next farming seasons. So, we must make sure things turn around. The president must succeed, and Nigeria must succeed. Agriculture must succeed.