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Terrorists fleeing Sambisa forest to Kaduna, DSS tells civil defence

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Boko Haram terrorists are fleeing from Sambisa forest to Rijana Forest in the Chikun local government area of Kaduna State, according to a leaked memo.

In the memo marked NSCDC/NHQ/INT&INVST/323/2021 dated September 9, 2021 and signed by the Acting Deputy Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Intelligence and Investigation, B.O Bassey, civil defence officers were asked to be on the alert.

According to the document titled, ‘Re: Update on Relocation of Boko Haram Terrorist (BHTs) to Rijana General Area in Kaduna State’, the terrorists are planning to team up with one Adamu Yunusu aka Saddiqu and his supporters.

The memo read in part, “Sequel to a memo dated September 2, 2021 received from the Ministry of Interior on the above subject matter, upon an intelligence report from the Office of the Director-General, Department of State Services, National Headquarters, Abuja, dated August 20, 2021 with reference no S.314/31/B/2915.

“It has been uncovered, plans by senior Boko Haram fighter, Ibrahim (FNU) alongside his foot soldiers relocating from ‘Sambisa Forest in Borno State to Rijana Forest in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State with a view to joining their counterpart under the leadership of one Adamu Yunusu (aka Saddiqu).

“In light of the above, you are hereby directed to step up surveillance and intelligence gathering on the aforementioned areas and environs.”

Chikun Local Government Area in Kaduna State is a Christian dominated area which could make it a soft target for terrorists.
Kaduna, which borders Zamfara State, has witnessed a spike in killings and abductions in 2021 with over 545 persons killed and 1, 723 kidnapped between January and June.

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FG presents letter of Credence to Nigeria’s new envoy to Chad, Amb. Sauda Remawa-Ahmed

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The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Geoffrey Onyeama has presented Letter of Credence to Ambassador Sauda Remawa-Ahmed, Nigeria’s High Commissioner-Designate to Chad yesterday, 26th December, 2022.

Her appointment to head Nigeria Embassy in Chad is regarded as a pointer to confidence which the Federal Government of Nigeria reposed in her capacity to breathe a new life to the mission in that country and advance national interest of Nigeria.

While serving as Deputy Nigeria High Commissioner to the Republic of Cameroon, Remawa-Ahmed was an outstanding diplomat whose career trajectory, spanning 24 years, remains a reference point to teachers and students of International Relations.

Her profile speaks volumes of her elevation, especially her stint as head of the Economic/Commercial Desk at the Embassy of Nigeria in Madrid Spain (2010 – 2013).

She was also head of the Multilateral Desk at the Embassy of Nigeria in Paris, France (2017- 2020), afterwhich she was appointed ambassador and subsequently posted to Yaounde-Cameroon as the Deputy High Commissioner, a post she assumed on 27th April, 2021.

Remawa-Ahmed is one the Nigeria Ambassadors expected to grace the 10th anniversary of Naija Diaspora magazine set for 2023. The ND magazine has a broad-based readership which includes Nigerian Diplomatic and Consular Missions all over the world.

However, Nigeria High Commissioner to the Republic of Cameroon, Ambassador Olonisakin also commended Ambassador Remawa-Ahmed for the harmonious relationship between him and her, being his deputy.

“She is very hardworking, dedicated and reliable. I wish Her Excellency a very successful tenure of duty in Chad,” said Olonisakin.

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Diaspora Nigerians to Renew Passport on Arrival

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The Federal Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service, in continuation of the implementation of passport administration and immigration service reforms, have inaugurated a special fastrack service that would enable Nigerians in the diaspora with expired passports to return home without hindrance.

The Comptroller General of Immigration, Isah Idris, had in a circular dated December 9, 2022, forwarded to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, all Heads of Foreign Missions, all Immigration Attaches, all Airport Comptrollers and all airlines, stated that the special arrangement was approved by the Federal Government.

Idris had said all airlines in Nigeria were requested to allow holders of expired Nigeria passports to board without any hindrance, while all Nigerian diplomatic missions abroad were also requested to circulate the same information to airline operators and border authorities of their host countries for compliance.

However, in a statement made available to The PUNCH on Thursday, the Public Relations Officer of the NIS, Anthony Akuneme, explained that the service, which will be available for two months, will also give the returnee Nigerians opportunity to renew their Nigerian passports during their stay in the country.

He said “Dedicated Diaspora desks had been set up at all international airports across the country to ensure Nigerians returning home from abroad have hassle-free passage.

“The ongoing dedicated diasporan service available from December 12, 2022, to January 31, 2023, allows Nigerian passport holders in the Diaspora to board their countries of residence and be admitted into Nigeria with their expired international passports.

“The Comptroller General of Immigration had also directed Passport Control Offices to accord priority to the returnees and their families bearing in mind that most of them have a specific time they must return to their countries of residence after their holiday in Nigeria.”

The Deputy Comptroller of Immigration further stated that applicants for the new enhanced Nigerian e-Passport whose biometrics had been captured at the NIS offices at the Nigerian missions in their respective countries of residence did not need to start a fresh application.

Also, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, commended the NIS boss for launching a dedicated service to meet the needs of Nigerians returning home from abroad.

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$15.6bn Investment Interest Generated for Lagos-Abidjan Highway in 2022, Says AfDB President Adesina

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The President of the African Development Bank Group, (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has said from the virtual Africa Investment Forum held in March this year, the bank secured $15.6 billion in investment interest for the construction of the Lagos-Abidjan Highway.

Adesina, who stated this on Wednesday at the ongoing Africa Investment Forum 2022, in Abidjan, Cote D’ Ivorie, stated that the highway, which carries 75 per cent of trade in the West Africa region, would help unleash greater growth, trade, and investment across the region.

He also stated that the forum was delivering amazing investments for Africa, adding that in four years since its commencement in 2018, it has helped to mobilise $110 billion in investment interests to Africa.

He further explained that the $600 million securitised finance to support the cocoa board of Ghana helped the West African country to grow its cocoa production by one million metric tons, with infrastructure for warehousing and cocoa processing.

He remarked that Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Africa declined from $47 billion in 2019, to $40 billion in 2020, because of the COVID-19, noting that Africa however recovered in 2021, as FDI rose to $83 billion, doubling the inflow in 2020.

According to him, “By 2050, Africa will account for over one quarter of the world’s population. Africa has the largest sources of renewable energy in the world. Africa has 65 per cent of the uncultivated arable land left to feed the world.

“The future of electric cars in the world depends on Africa because it has the largest sources of cobalt in the world, with massive sources of lithium in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, Mali, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The African Continental Free Trade Area is the largest free-trade zone in the world connecting economies worth $3.3 trillion. So, Africa cannot be ignored.

“If you are not investing in Africa, think again! Africa is the investment frontier in the world – today and in the future. Invest in Africa today, benefit from its great future.

“The Africa Investment Forum is Africa’s premier investment marketplace which helps to connect investors to Africa. Four years ago, we began a journey together which the African Development Bank, the Africa Import-Export Bank, the Trade and Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the Development Bank of South Africa, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and Africa 50, when we established the Africa Investment Forum.

“The landmark $24 billion Liquified Natural Gas Project of Mozambique which was structured and closed at the Africa Investment Forum, is the largest ever foreign direct investment in Africa. It will turn Mozambique into the third-largest exporter of natural gas in the world and add $66 billion to its economy.”

Speaking further, he said: “In the next 72 hours, we will have curated several investment ready projects for you as investors. These range from renewable energy hydropower, gas infrastructure, railways, roads, and water transport.

‘They include agriculture, health, mining, fertilizer manufacturing, port infrastructure, and urban green transport. They include sports, urban housing, and private equity feeder funds.”

In his remarks, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange Group, Oscar Onyema, stated that the capital market has done very well considering activities on the equity side of business, which he described as being very active, “in fact, we have had record equity trading. As you know, we have had the MTN Initial Public Offering (IPO).”

He further explained that the market has had capital raising from a number of other companies in terms of rights issues, special placements and others.

Onyema also stated that on the fixed income side, the market has seen a lot of activities in terms of issuances such as from the federal government, corporates and States.

He hinted that the capital market is a very viable and credible alternative for capital raising.

According to Onyema, “There are some challenges around requirements to be expected given that you are now in the public market, and there is a lot of retail, not just institutional, but you also have retail participation.

“The Nigeria fintech space is very active and received a lot of investments, most of them are in the private sector. Yes. And so certainly we are very keen to crowd in those types of investments into the public markets as well.

“At the exchange, I am aware that NGX is working on the technology board, which is designed to really be attracted to FinTech companies, and other high tech companies that already exist in an ecosystem.

“The Nigeria Startup bill is also good one because it gives you that legal framework under which these types of activities can be supported with the necessary institutional frameworks.”

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