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INSECURITY: $1bn Spent To Recover Territories Seized By Terrorists — Buhari

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Despite spending over $1bn to reclaim Boko Haram-held territories in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States since 2015, Nigeria’s security and that of the Lake Chad Basin remains unstable due to lingering conflicts in Libya, the Central African Republic and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

President Muhammadu Buhari, said this on Tuesday, shortly after receiving the “Award for Strengthening Peace in Africa” conferred on him by the Abu Dhabi Peace Forum in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital.

“Although we are winning the war, however, as a country and sub-region, we continue to be negatively impacted by events in Libya, the Central Africa Republic, The Sahel and the war in Ukraine,” Buhari told his counterparts at the African Conference for Peace, 2023.

The President premised his argument on the free circulation of “all sorts of small and light weapons” orchestrated by foreign fighters.

He also reasoned that the idleness of African youths and non-inclusion in discussing issues that concern them is providing a steady recruitment pool for the extremist organisations wreaking havoc in various parts of the continent.

He, therefore, urged leaders to place a premium on youth development, with more seriousness and actionable ideas in promoting skills acquisitions while discouraging idleness.

This is according to a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, titled ‘President Buhari receives award for peace in Africa, lists conditions for future harmony.’

The President said, “When I assumed power in 2015, Boko Haram held about two-thirds of Borno State, half of Yobe State, and a couple of local government areas in Adamawa State, all in the North-East of Nigeria.

“We have been able to retrieve these swathes of territories by investing over $1bn to acquire hard and software weaponry from the US and other friendly countries to carry out sustained operations against insurgency since 2015.”

According to him, these monies would have been better spent on critical infrastructure such as healthcare and education.

“Our Armed Forces and those of our partners in the Multinational Joint Task Force (consisting of Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Benin Republic and Nigeria) continue to demonstrate great bravery while paying the ultimate price in securing our collective freedom.

“Despite the difficult times we face, we continue to spend very scarce and lean resources to ensure that we have a well-resourced military force to take on this task. Ideally, these are resources that could be spent on education, healthcare, infrastructure and other social services, but without peace, we have learnt the hard way that our children cannot go to school or seek good healthcare,” the President stated.

He explained that the scenario created serious instability and served as a litmus test for member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in devising means to restore the livelihoods within the region.

The President urged his counterparts to concretise efforts to curtail and possibly prevent the circulation of Small Arms and Light Weapons and the festering of foreign fighters into Africa.

To the current chairperson of the AU, Senegalese President Macky Sall, Buhari said the next Summit of Union must find a pragmatic African approach to resolving the over a decade-old instability that made the country a haven for all kinds of weapons and foreign fighters.

In his remarks, the President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, said the 2023 conference theme was based on the recommendations of the “Nouakchott Declaration” that emerged from the inaugural conference.

Bayyah explained that the award was given to Buhari for providing good leadership, promoting peace in a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-linguistic country like Nigeria and extending his experience and wisdom to other African countries.

BIG STORY

UBA Takes Centre Stage At 2024 ECOWAS Mining Forum In Cotonou, Benin As Elumelu Gives Keynote Address

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Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been announced as the official sponsor of the 4th edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF 2024) scheduled to take place at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, Benin from February 22 to February 24, 2024.

The regional event is expected to see a large gathering of key players and stakeholders in the mining and petroleum sectors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as the financial institution of choice, with presence in 20 African countries and active involvement in major continental development projects, UBA is the preferred partner for the event, underlining the bank’s commitment to the growth of mining and Petroleum industry in the sub-region but to the whole not African economic development.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, would give the keynote address during the opening ceremony of this all-important event.

Elumelu who doubles as Chairman of Transcorp Group, with extensive interests in energy and power, will be speaking on the theme: “Geo-extractive Resources and Technologies: what pooling strategies for Value Creation in West Africa”

His speech is expected to highlight UBA’s increasing effort to support and develop the African continent through strategic investments in the key sectors of mining and petroleum.

Under the esteemed leadership of the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Patrice Talon, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS, His Excellency Mr. Bola Tinubu, UBA Group will at the forum aim to restate its commitment towards supporting economic and social development across the continent.

The focus of ECOMOF 2024 underscores the significance of transforming the mining and oil sectors into economic pillars by formulating attractive policies for investors, essential for the sectors’ substantial contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of ECOWAS member states.

The Transnational Corporation Group (Transcorp Plc) – a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in various sectors, including power and energy – will also actively participate in the forum.

Key officials from UBA Group and Transcorp Plc, including the Chief Executive Officer UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah; UBA’s Group Head, Corporate and Energy Bank, Ebele Ogbue, and President/ Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo will be actively involved in discussions and panels on the sidelines of the event.

Anticipated to attract over 2,000 participants from diverse sectors, including representatives from mining and oil industries, government officials, international and national investors, industry experts, ECOWAS delegates, and international organizations, ECOMOF 2024 promises to be a significant platform for collaborative dialogue and partnership building.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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JUST IN: FG Working To Reduce Rising Food Prices Inherited From Past Government — Finance Minister Wale Edun

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Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government.

He, however emphasized the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Speaking at the Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, the finance minister acknowledged the hardships faced by Nigerians and outlined measures taken to alleviate their suffering.

He revealed that, as part of these interventions, the government has released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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JUST IN: State Police Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Representatives

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A bill proposing the establishment state police has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

Sponsored by Benjamin Kalu, deputy speaker of the house, and 14 others, the bill proposes to transfer the term “police” in the 1999 constitution from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.

The bill, which comprises 18 clauses, seeks to amend sections 34, 35, 39, 42, 84, 89, 129 153, 197, 214, 215 and 216 of the constitution.

 

More to come…

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