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University Don convenes 2021 APAS International Conference

The President, Association for the Promotion of African Studies (APAS), Professor Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu, OSA, has convened the 2021 APAS International Conference with the theme, “African Ideologies And Innovative Trends And Advances: Honoring The Past And Shaping The Future.”
Prof. Kanu, who disclosed this in a statement in Jos, the Plateau State capital on Wednesday, noted that the conference which is going to be virtual, comes up on 25th May 2021, which according to him, is Africa Day; a day instituted by the Organization for African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU).
He observed that this conference would be bringing together scholars of different academic backgrounds from all over the world to discuss the innovative trends and advances emerging in Africa for greater change and freedom in the people of the continent.
Prof. Kanu,  who is also a Catholic Priest of the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA), pointed out that this collective action of APAS scholars is representative of the shared energy and excitement around Africa’s potential.
He said, “The year 2021 marks the beginning of a promising decade for Africa. In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, the continent continues to be home to seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. Ours is a continent that has continued to give birth to beautiful and inspirational stories in spite of difficult circumstances.
“It is from this background that Prof. Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony, OSA, the President of the Association for the Promotion of African Studies (APAS) convenes the 2021 APAS International Conference on the theme: ‘African Ideologies And Innovative Trends And Advances: Honoring The Past And Shaping The Future.’
“To lead in the discussions at this conference are Professor Izu Marcel Onyeocha, CM, from the Imo State University, Nigeria, who would be giving the Keynote Address and Professor Mahmoud Masaeli from Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, who would present the Lead Paper. At the heart of the organization of this conference is Dr. Ejikemeuwa J.O. Ndubisi, who is the Secretary of APAS.”
While adding that this conference was inspired by a retinue of questions that had bordered the inquisitive minds of the members of APAS and beyond, he said, “We, therefore, look forward to a great interaction come 25th May 2021 as APAS scholars have taken up the challenge to respond to these fundamental questions through research.”
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Insurgency: Nigeria spends N124 billion to buy weapons in four years– NBS

An Armoury

The Eyewitness reporter

As part of the military offensive to curtail the rampaging threats of insurgents across the country, the Nigerian government has spent a whooping sum of N124 billion to buy weapons in the last four years.
In the report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), arms and ammunition worth N8.368bn were brought into the country in the third quarter of 2022 alone

Although the report did not state which agency imported the arms and ammunition, the said data for the report is from the Nigerian Customs Service through the Integrated Customs Information System, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, various companies in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Angila International Limited, Neroli Technologies Limited, Gojopal Nigeria Limited, Carmine Assayer Limited, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Ports Authority among others.

Also contained in the report was the importation of arms and ammunition in 2018.

In 2018, N1.946bn worth of arms and ammunition were imported into the country, while in 2019, N12.773bn was spent on the importation of arms and ammunition.

For 2020, N29.236bn worth of arms was imported.

 In 2021, N72.5bn in arms and ammunition were imported, and for the third quarter of 2022, N8.368bn was spent on the importation of the commodities.

This amounts to a total of N124.82bn since 2018.

Before now, there had been debate over whether to begin the manufacturing of weapons in the country to reduce the cost of importation.

Last year, at a ministerial retreat, President  Muhammadu Buhari , promised that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria would be resuscitated to produce weapons locally.

A security expert, Oladele Fajana, believed that since the nation has been unable to produce, importing is the next option.

He said, “It is good if we can produce our weapons ourselves. Even if we import, we won’t solely be depending on foreign countries for our weapons.

“I have seen some equipment produced by DICON; they are trying; they need to be encouraged and well-funded.

“However, the funds required to revive that company are greater than the funds spent on the importation of these weapons, but we have no choice but to import.”

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Sambo inaugurates Taraba state APC presidential campaign council —– counsels on unity

Sambo, Minister of Transportation
The Eyewitness reporter
The Taraba State Coordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has inaugurated the State’s Presidential Campaign Council, harping on unity and party members’ togetherness.
The State Coordinator of the campaign council who is also the Honourable Minister of Transportation said the campaign committee has been saddled with the responsibility of conducting an effective, message-driven campaign for the 2023 elections.
“I am delighted to welcome everyone to today’s Taraba State Tinubu /Shettima Presidential Campaign Council Structure Inauguration.
“At the Instance of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) we have been saddled with the responsibility of conducting an effective, message-driven campaign, leading to Tinubu/Shettima’s ticket victory in the 2023 presidential election.
“Albeit, despite the title “Presidential Campaign Council” in its official name, our responsibility is to deliver Taraba State for the All Progressive Congress in the coming election, from the councilor at the ward level to the Presidential Flag bearer.
“In the real sense, a victory for the presidential candidate alone won’t suffice and bring the coveted development to our dear state, but it will make more sense if we have an APC President, an APC Governor, APC Senators from our Senatorial Districts, APC House of Representative Members, APC State House of Assembly Members, APC Local Government Chairmen and APC Councillors.
“Therefore, in the spirit of our party symbol “the Broom” which symbolizes unity and togetherness, I call on you all irrespective of our creed, faith, beliefs, and ideology to make this happen.” He said.
Sambo while recalling how letters were sent out to all members of the structure further commended those who put their effort into the successful inauguration of the Council.
He said the Campaign structure is divided into three for effectiveness and also called on members of the council to be dedicated.
“I must thank those who co-operated and thank those who didn’t as well, the structure we are having today was birthed after a wide consultation and involvement of all our party stakeholders.
“The Campaign structure is divided into three Major Categories: The Campaign Management Council, the Campaign Advisory Council, and the State Campaign Council.
“The Campaign Management Council which is purely administrative Constitutes the State Coordinator, the Deputy State Coordinator, the three Zonal Coordinators, the Council’s Secretary/Legal Advisers, the treasurer, the Youth leader, the Organizing Secretary, the Public Relation Officer, the Women Leader, the Youth Leader, the Leader of the Disabled and the Organizing Secretary.
“Also, the Campaign Advisory Council constitutes all former Governors who are members of the Party, all former deputy Governors who are members of our party, all serving and former Senators who are members of the party, all serving and former members of the House of Representatives who are members of the party, all Ministers and former Ministers who are members of the party, all serving Ambassadors and former Ambassadors who are members of the party, all members of the National Excos and the State Chairman of the party.
“The State Campaign Council constitutes all Aspirants – Gubernatorial, Senatorial & the House of Representatives, and State Excos of our party. I am glad to say everyone in these categories has been written to and a majority have accepted, birthing this inauguration today.
“Furthermore, the task ahead may appear daunting; they might seem like a burden too great to bear. But we must not, even for a moment, abdicate our duties to work together to restore this dear land of ours for the sake of our nation, the sake of our children, and the sake of future generations,” he said.
Sambo congratulated all those nominated to serve in the Campaign Council adding that they have been selected from among the millions of party members because of their past contributions and commitment to the unity of the party.
“Naturally, not all members of our party can be in the Presidential Campaign Council. But every single member of the Taraba State APC is an important member of the party and each one of you is still entrusted with the responsibility of leading our party to victory in next year’s elections.
“Those of you who have not found yourselves in the State Presidential Campaign Council is just as important as those who have, and we do not take your contributions for granted,” he said.
Sambo further preached Unity saying that the coming days are pivotal and there is a need to come together to achieve the aim of the council.
“Finally, I call us all to Unity. Party members and Tarabans at large, Sons and daughters of my fatherland, we are Nature’s gift to the nations.
“The coming days are pivotal in the history of our dear country, this is a call to purpose, let’s come together as one. Let’s sheath our sword, let’s put aside our differences.
“We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose, we are only as strong as we are united. Let’s put aside tribal sentiments, religious beliefs, and personal interests, and embrace the ideals of genuine brotherhood and nation-building.
“You are first my brother before any other thing,” he said.
“You are the son of my mother, the daughter of my father, my kinsman. Let the Mumuye, the Jukuns, the Fulani, the itchens, the Hausas and every tongue in Taraba come together as one”.
“Let the Pastors henceforth Preach it loud from their Pulpits. Let the Imams tell it daily to all worshippers in the mosque. Let the fathers sing it to the ears of their sons and daughters. Let’s tell it even to our Children unborn”
“The unity of Taraba is non-negotiable and I am committed to this cause. We can’t all be alike, we can’t all be the same, and our beauty is in our diversity. Therefore as a Progressive, join me to deliver Taraba state for Tinubu/Shettima and the All Progressives Congress come 2023”.
“In the spirit of our party’s symbol, the “broom”, let’s work with all stakeholders, strengthening existing structures and building new ones where necessary.”
“I am a firm believer in the ideals of our great Nation and Party. I believe the Sun will yet rise on the Mambilla. Join me as I deliver on this mandate.” he declared.
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Buhari challenges NIPSS graduants to justify government investments in the institute

 

The Eyewitness reporter

President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR has charged the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) to surpass the best think-tank amongst policy Institutes in the world.

The President made the charge during the graduation ceremony of the Senior Executive Course No 44, 2022 at NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State.

The President,who was represented by the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, said he was delighted to be at the ceremony because of the historic role the national policy think-tank has played in people’s lives and the potential it has to do better for the nation.

The President revealed that he was particularly impressed as the graduation loudly attests to the consistency that NIPSS stands for.

“This is an integral aspect of the dreams of the founding fathers of the Institute. It is also an assignment in which the Institute has never failed no matter the challenges, not even in the era of COVID-19.

“While I congratulate the Institute for being resiliently consistent, I also wish to remind the Institute of the other aspects of your mandate, which is to evolve ideas, new techniques, skills, policies, and new directions to guide policymaking at the highest level.

“In other words, you need to follow the global dynamics in policies and guide the nation on the application of global best practices.

“I use the opportunity offered by this special occasion to challenge the National Institute to strive to be at par or even surpass the best think-tank amongst policy Institutes in the world.

” We will do our best in supporting you to fulfill this charge and other mandates,” he said.

The President commended NIPSS and described the Institute as a strong and dependable ally of the government.

He said NIPSS’ effort at engaging the best brains on critical national issues hasn’t gone unnoticed just like its submissions on the issues have also proved to be very useful in resolving many issues.

“At this juncture, let me place on record that this administration, like the ones before it, find in NIPSS a strong and dependable ally.

“Your submissions on course themes every year have either evolved a new policy addressing a major national issue or resulted in a review of existing policies to accommodate current realities.

“We look your way in determining solutions to several issues as well as your recommendations in charting specific paths to achieving these solutions.

“I urge you to come up with more innovations, be more committed and remain focused on your mission of a better society,” he said.

Buhari further gave assurances that the government will continue to support NIPSS towards achieving sustainable development as a nation.

“As a responsible and responsive government, our foremost desire is to provide good governance at both the national and sub-national levels.


“Our very strong desire is for all government interventions to cascade to the local levels including permeating all strata of society.

“This informed the choice of the course theme for this year. It underscores our trust in you as a strong ally in our efforts towards sustainable development as a nation.

“To achieve this, we gave you the best as participants to be groomed and guided by your world-class faculty members and facilities,” he said.

The President also advised graduands to sustain the level of seriousness with which they handled the course themes as they are of great importance to the Government.

“To the graduands, the activities and your experiences through the duration of the course must have impacted positively on you.

“I am delighted to know that you are leaving the National Institute with a better understanding of our great country and better knowledge of issues and problem-solving skills to enable you to take on more responsibilities and perform optimally at your duty posts in the interest of our nation.

“Having invested so much in you, the nation expects you to bring to bear the novel ideas you have acquired from Kuru.

“I assure you that the findings and recommendations contained in your report will be promptly attended to and applied by my government and those to come after me for the good of our dear country.

“I congratulate you all and members of your family on your graduation and wish you the best as you resume to your positions or assume higher responsibilities in your various fields of endeavors.

“To the management and staff of the National Institute, I commend you. The government buys into your mission of working towards a better society and is ever willing and ready to support you in achieving it for our nation.

“Thank you for producing very excellent results even in the face of stiff challenges. Thank you and God bless you all,” he said.

The Minister later commissioned, on behalf of the President, the Nursery/Primary School, and e-learning center donated by the graduands to the children of the NIPSS staff and the Kuru community as well as a weather center established by the Graduands in collaboration with the NIMET.

He also congratulated the Honourable Minister whose younger brother, Bello Jaji Sambo, a Director with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was among the Graduands.

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