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FG reacts to inclusion of Nigeria on religious freedom blacklist by United States

The FG will engage the US government in order to get its name off a list of countries blacklisted over religious freedom concerns.

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Xenophobia, FG reacts to inclusion of Nigeria on religious freedom blacklist by United States

The Federal Government has reacted to the designation of Nigeria as a country of concern on religious freedom by the United States Government.

The government said that Nigeria will vigorously engage the US government to remove its name from its blacklist of countries over concern on religious freedom.

READ: #EndSARS: US Secretary of State demands prosecution of those involved in shooting

The government’s reaction is contained in a press statement which was issued by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, and signed by the ministry’s spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye.

While expressing its displeasure to the US government on this development, the Nigerian government said that it remained committed to ensuring respect and protection of all citizens’ rights to religious freedom and promotion of religious tolerance and harmony.

READ: FAAC disburses N639.9 billion in October 2020, allocation drops by 6.2%

The statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry reads, “The attention of the ministry has been drawn to an announcement made by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, stating that the government of the United States of America has designated Nigeria as a ‘country of concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998’.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria received the news with surprise, that a secular country under a democratic government will be so designated. Although the Nigerian state is multi-religious and multi-ethnic, the Nigerian constitution expressly states that the government shall not adopt any religion as state religion.

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READ: Nigeria’s foreign trade with US slumps as trade with China grows stronger

“Furthermore, section 38 of the constitution guarantees that every Nigerian citizen is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion including freedom to change his/her religion or belief. And freedom to manifest and propagate his/her religion or belief. Religious liberty in Nigeria has never been in question, therefore any claim contrary to that is completely false and untrue.

“The ministry wishes to assure that the Nigerian government will engage the U.S government to express its displeasure and request that Nigeria be removed from the list.”

READ: FG to revive 3 power projects in Abia by first quarter 2021

What you should know

  • Nairametrics had earlier reported that the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in a statement on Monday, December 7, 2020, added Nigeria for the first time to the blacklist on religious freedom, giving rise to possible sanctions being placed on the country if this record is improved upon.
  • Some of the other countries on this list, which includes Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, DPRK, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, were accused of engaging in systemic, ongoing, egregious religious freedom violation.
  • However, Pompeo did not give further explanations on the reasons for including Nigeria on that list.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business

Lagos State seeks investors in aquatic and livestock agriculture value chain

The Commissioner revealed that the scheme was in line with the State’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap.

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Lagos State begins recruitment for Agripreneurship programme, Sanwo-Olu confirms Abisola Olusanya as new Agriculture commissioner

The Lagos State Government announced it is seeking private sector collaboration for Agriculture sector value chain development in livestock feed mills, fisheries and red meat.

This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.

The Commissioner revealed that the scheme was in line with the State’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap, as the State identified the 3 main sectors for value chain disruption.

READ: Lagos goes tough on illegal conversion of land use, enforcement begins in Ikeja GRA, Lekki, others

She also added that investment in the sectors would also develop jobs for the industry and boost the State’s GDP growth, through Private Sector collaboration as Lagos residents consume over N5 trillion worth of food annually.

“The objective is to stimulate and encourage more public-private partnerships in the three value chains,” she said.

“When you consider this pool of transactions happening in Lagos, it shows that we are the market. For instance, we demand over 400,000 metric tons of fish on an annual basis.

“But our fishermen and our aquaculture farmers are only able to produce just about 174,000 metric tons with deficit of 200,000 metric tons,” she added.

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READ: CBN invests over N120 billion on 320,000 farmers across CTG within four years

She also disclosed that the state has 9,000 artisanal fishermen, and bringing more youths into the space will increase the level of fish and seafood being harnessed from our water bodies. Looking at the transactional value on an annual basis, the fisheries sector is worth well over N120billion according to her.

In case you missed it: Nigeria exported agricultural products worth N321.5 billion in 2020, representing a 19.16% increase when compared to N269.8 billion recorded in 2019 and a 6.27% increase compared to N302.28 billion recorded in 2018.

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#DigitalSkillsTraining: FG announces conclusion of selection process

Only successful applicants that are contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue.

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President Buhari to address Nigerians on Lekki toll plaza shootings after investigation , Youth Investment Fund:  Ministry of Finance and CBN to launch provision of funds- Minister, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports launch DEEL initiative

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports disclosed that the selection process for the upcoming Digital Skills Training has been concluded for the #DigitalSkillsTraining from April 11th to 30th, 2021.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry of Youth and Sport on Sunday evening.

“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development wishes to inform the general public and all Nigerian Youths that the selection process has been concluded for successful applicants for the #DigitalSkillsTraining scheduled for April 11 to 30, 2021,” the statement said.

The Ministry added that only successful applicants that were contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue. Those who were not successful but arrive at the training would not be admitted.

Upcoming #DigitalSkillsTraining Programmes of the Ministry will be widely publicized on youthandsport.gov.ng , on : noya.ng and on the Ministry’s social media handles,” the statement added.

What you should know 

Recall that Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development announced it will scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youths across the country after securing funding under the COVID-19 stimulus budget.

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