United Arab Emirates (UAE) has expressed its readiness to strengthen ties with Nigeria in a bilateral trade relation, as trade volume between the two countries rose to $1.5 billion.
According to The Nation, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Fahad Al-Taffaq, disclosed this at an event to mark the 48 independence anniversary of the UAE held in Abuja.
The details: Speaking at the event, Al-Taffaq noted that both countries enjoyed excellent bilateral relations across all sectors. He further noted that the volume of trade between both countries stood at 1.5 billion dollars in the non-oil sector as at 2018.
“This is set to increase with the recent opening of a consulate office in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, in June 2019.
“We are proud today to see that connectivity is improving, bilateral non-oil trade is improving, the flow of tourism especially medical and conventional tourism between the UAE and Nigeria is also increasing.
“We at the UAE are also looking forward for the participation of Nigeria in the Expo 2020 in Dubai, which is the greatest show the world has ever seen. We look forward also to welcome another 200 countries in this event to showcase human development and human genius and to connect to each other and to learn the opportunities that humanity presents now and in the future.”
In an earlier report, it was disclosed that UAE had constructed a 300-megawatt (MW) renewable energy plant in Lagos to aid power distribution. Al-Taffaq made this announcement during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman in Abuja.
Al Taffaq told the minister that the energy plant was ready for use in Lagos and was expected to support power being supplied through the national grid. The Ambassador said the plant was constructed by a member of the emirate royal family, Ahmed Al-maktum, adding that the plant has the capacity to expand to about 1,000 MW in a few months.
Boosting SMEs: Also, Nigeria is reportedly in talks with the UAE for a collaboration to help boost Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. UAE’s Consul General in Lagos, Abdulla Al Mandoos recently disclosed his country’s interest in helping SMEs grow and to aid Nigeria develop its infrastructure and human capital.
Al Mandoos also disclosed that there were plans to establish a trade zone for SMEs to showcase their products and services. He said the process had commenced and that letters had been exchanged between Lagos and Abu Dhabi.
“We are interested in the economy and infrastructure; we are looking at how we can come in and one of the things we came up with is to start a trade hub. Soon it will come up. The idea is to support the SMEs and enable them to take advantage of the hub which will be easy, safe and innovative. It will serve as a think-tank for the SMEs.”
N4.16 billion unpaid lottery revenue recovered by EFCC
The EFCC has made a recovery of the sum of N4.16 billion for the government from lottery companies.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced that it recovered over N4.16 billion for the government from lottery companies which they had refused to remit.
This was disclosed by the Acting Chairman. Mohammed Umar Abbah on Thursday evening, at the EFCC Headquarters during a meeting with Williams Alo of the Ministerial Task Force for recovery of unpaid revenues from lottery businesses.
The EFCC acting chairman said that the lottery companies were not forthcoming with remitting the revenue which had forced the anti-graft agency to intervene.
“We mapped out strategies which resulted in the recovery of over N1.16 billion from lottery companies, operating in Abuja with over N3 billion from their counterparts, operating in Lagos State,” he said.
He added that the EFCC would continue with its cooperation with the Federal Government to ensure lottery companies owing the Federal Government are made to cough out revenues they owe the government, which has already been handed over to the lottery trust fund.
“Let me acknowledge the efforts of this Commission for the assistance it has rendered not only to the Federal Government of Nigeria but specifically to the lottery industry in Nigeria. It is in our record that the EFCC has assisted the lottery business in no small way, because a lot of recoveries have been made for us by the EFCC and the money recovered has always been handed over to the lottery trust fund,” Mr. Alo said.
Presidency denies building rail line from Nigeria to Niger Republic
The Federal Government has denied plans to construct a rail line stretching from the country into the Niger Republic.
The Presidency has disclosed that the Federal Government is not constructing a rail line from Nigeria linking Kano-Dutse-Maradi into the Niger Republic, as it will only stop at the designated border point.
This follows the public outcry that greeted the Federal Government’s announcement of the rail project.
The disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, through a thread of tweets on his official Twitter handle on Thursday, September 24, 2020.
Nigeria isn't building rail line into Niger but, only to the designated Border point.
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) September 24, 2020
He revealed that, based on the agreement reached between Nigeria and Niger in 2015 for the Kano-Katsina-Maradi corridor masterplan, the 2 countries agreed to build a rail line to the border town of Maradi.
In his statement, Garba Shehu said, “Nigeria isn’t building rail line into Niger, but only to the designated Border point. An agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation has a plan for ‘Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)’ as it is called.
“Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi. Nigerian delegates to that meeting comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Boundaries Commission, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano & Katsina states.”
Going further he said, “The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources, and agricultural produce. When completed, it will serve domestic industries, and play the role of a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighboring Niger Republic, for their export and import logistic chain.”
Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, announced the approval of the total sum of about $1.9 billion, for the rail line contract and development of Kano-Katsina-Jibia that will terminate at Maradi rail line in the Niger Republic.
According to a media aide to the president, Ajuri Ngelale, the rail line is expected to connect the 3 states of Kano, Katsina, and Jigawa. It moves from Kano to Dambata, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, and terminating in Maradi, Niger Republic.
WHO says people with NCDs more vulnerable to severe COVID-19, lists how to prevent it
WHO reveals people with pre-existing Non-Communicable Diseases are more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that people with pre-existing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the coronavirus disease.
This was disclosed in a statement by the UN health agency on its twitter handle on Thursday, September 24, 2020.
The WHO, in its statement, listed some of those Non-Communicable Diseases to include:
- Cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, persons who have had and are at risk for a heart attack or stroke
- Chronic respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a chronic inflammatory living disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs
The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, disclosed that the coronavirus outbreak has shown why action on NCDs is important. He acknowledged that people with non-communicable diseases are especially at risk, which is made worse by disruptions to essential services.
He said, “The risk has been compounded by disruptions to essential services including diagnosis and treatment of cancer and diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.”
He pointed out that the health services gaps are not just in treatment and care, as he said all nations still have much more to do to prevent NCDs. He said that too many people are dying from preventable diseases that are mostly preventable.
The WHO boss revealed that to prevent and control these non-communicable diseases, one has to stop tobacco use, reduce the use of alcohol, cut salt intake, consume less sugar, increase physical activity, eliminate industrial trans-fats, and treat high blood pressure.
He said that all these interventions are part of WHO’s best buys in a set of 16 most attractive ways to save lives and save money.
#DYK: People with pre-existing Non-communicable diseases appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severally ill with the #COVD19 disease.#WashYourHands #WearFaceMask#PhysicalDistancing pic.twitter.com/fRvxQAlFSU
— WHO Nigeria (@WHONigeria) September 24, 2020
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) September 24, 2020