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Cote d’Ivoire Pledges to Strengthen Economic Relations with Nigeria



Economic of West Africa States

Mrs Toure Maman, Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to Nigeria, has called for deeper economic cooperation with Nigeria to strengthen trade relations between the two countries.

Maman said this while addressing participants on the occasion of the country’s 59th Anniversary of the Independence of Cote d’Ivoire in Abuja on Wednesday.

She said that the country had maintained growth of its Domestic Gross Product (GDP) despite political crisis recorded in 2011 for the seventh year consecutively.

According to her, the growth exceeded 7 per cent and should reach 7. 2 per cent this year, because of reforms carried out by the Ivorian Government to improve the business climate.
Maman said, “The private sector has become the main driver of growth, notably through massive investments in the telecommunications, agro-food and Public Works Building (PWB) sectors.

“This is an opportunity for companies and business people based in Nigeria and other parts of the world to do business in Cote d’Ivoire with the security index at 1.1.
“The economic upturn will not have been possible without cooperation with Nigeria; Indeed, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria maintain excellent ties of friendship and cooperation, since the diplomatic relations in 1961.
“Our bilateral relation has deepened in recent years by the will of President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire and President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.”
The envoy put the total volume of trade between both countries at $600 billion.
She revealed that the country would organise its first international forum titled “Made in Cote d’Ivoire” in Eko Hotel, Lagos from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8, 2019.

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She said that the Ivorian Government had made arrangement to ensure smooth conduct of its 2020 presidential election through the adoption of the new Independent Electoral Commission.

She listed the establishment of a bill to promote 30 per cent of women representation in elected assemblies and provision of social infrastructure to major achievements by the government in 2018.
In a message of goodwill, Mr Mustapha Sulaiman, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the relationship between both countries had been cordial.
According to him, both countries have crossed over from being just friends to becoming brothers.

“We look forward to improvement in this relationship, we are not only brothers as nationals, but we are also brothers in ECOWAS, African Union and all international participations.
“This is why I cease this opportunity to convey Nigeria’s best wishes to Cote d’Ivoire and we look forward to many more successful anniversary celebrations.

“We look forward to strengthen Cote d’Ivoire/Nigeria relations, by supporting one another in brotherhood, to enable our citizens enjoy doing business in both countries,” Sulaiman said.
The event which attracted stakeholders from the Diplomatic community in Abuja featured traditional dances and video documentary about history of Cote d’Ivoire independence. (NAN)


Plateau PDP Set to Receive Atiku, Governors, National Leaders in Jos




From Jude Dangwam, Jos

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Plateau State Chapter Hon. Christopher Hassan has disclosed that all is now set for the state to receive the Presidential candidate of the party, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, his Vice Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa alongside governors and other national leaders of the PDP to Jos for the presidential campaign flag-off.  

He said the flag-off will enable the Presidential candidate of the party to interact with Plateau people who are driven by a conscious and patriotic zeal to reverse the downward slide that has become the order of the day at the federal and state level in the last seven and half years of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration by voting PDP from top to bottom in the general elections. 

The State Chairman made this known yesterday while addressing a press conference at the PDP Secretariat in Jos the State Capital.

Explaining that the flag off is to hold at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium having followed all proceedings of applications by the Party. 

In his words, “We are by the special grace of God, flagging off our Presidential campaign on Tuesday 13th day of December, 2022 which our incoming President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Alh. Atiku Abubakar will be in Jos to meet and interact with Plateau people.

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“Gentleman of the press, let me state here unequivocally that we are setting out well prepared, with vision of the time is now to genuinely rescue and rebuild Plateau state.  

“We are driven by a conscious and patriotic zeal to reverse the downward slide that has become the order of the day in the State in the last seven and half years.”

He said the party is going into elections as a strong indivisible family, “It is worthy to note that the party is facing the 2023 election on a clean slate and we shall come out victorious. 

“Even the status of the state executive has been cleared with the judgement delivered by Justice D. V. AGISHI which clearly put to rest the non-compliance with Gangs Judgement a thing of the past” in the state. 

Hassan reiterated, “It is instructive to state clearly that the repeat State Congress held on the 25/9/2021 is not challenged by any party faithful in court. 

“The party was at a time plunged into induced crises after some aggrieved members through the sponsorship of the All Progressives Congress infiltrated the party, seeking the soul of the party using various means media war and court in the bid to destroy it. 

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“But to God be the glory a sigh of relief was brought into the party when the final case touching its soul was dismissed at the Jos Federal High Court removing all legal impediments and setting the course clear for the party to face the electorates,” joyfully stated.

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Naira Redesign: CBN Pegs Individual Withdrawals Over Counter at N100,000




By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Following the Naira Redesign, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter by individuals and corporate organizations per week shall henceforth be N100,000 and N500,OOO respectively. 

The directive was contained in a circular issued on Tuesday by the Director of Banking Supervision, Mr Haruna Mustafa and addressed to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBS) and Other Financial Institutions; Payment Service Banks (PSBs); Primary Mortqaqe Banks (PM3s) and Microfinance Banks (MFBs), takes effect from January, 9, 2023.

CBN Governor,  Mr Godwin Emefiele had announced that the newly designed naira notes to be unveiled are N1,000, N500 and N200 notes, effective December 15, 2022, while deadline of January 31, 2023 would be for the withdrawal of the old notes.

The Circular which pointed out that the directive was also in line with the Cashless policy of the CBN, said, “Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of 5% and 10%, respectively”.

According to the circular, third party cheques above N50,OOO will not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of El  on clearing cheques still subsist, while the maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) shall be NI00,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.

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The circular further reads: “Only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs; the maximum cash withdrawal via point of sale (POS) terminal shall be N20,000 daily.

“In compelling circumstances, not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits is required for legitimate purposes, such cash withdrawals shall not exceed and for individuals and corporate organisations, respectively, and shall be subject to the referenced processing fees in (I) above, in addition to enhanced due diligence and further information requirements”.

The circular further directed the banks to obtain the following information at the minimum and upload same on the CBN portal created for the purpose:

*Valid means of identification of the payee (National ID, International Passport, Driver’s License).

*Bank Verification Number (BVN) of the payee.

*Notarized customer declaration of the purpose for the cash withdrawal.

*Senior management approval for the withdrawal by the Managing Director of the drawee, where applicable.

*Approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the bank authorising the withdrawal.

The Apex Bank also directed that monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the Banking Supervision Department.

The circular also stated:

“Compliance with extant AML/CFT regulations relating to KYC, ongoing customer due diligence and suspicious transaction reporting etc. is required in all circumstances.

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“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions”.

The Apex Bank then warned “that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract  severe sanctions”.

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Al Jazeera Files ICC Case over Journalist’s Killing




The Al Jazeera network has submitted a case against Israeli forces at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the killing of Shireen Abu Aqla.

The Palestinian-American journalist was shot in the head during an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank in May.

The Israeli military concluded that one of its soldiers probably killed her, but called her death unintentional.

Al Jazeera said that was completely unfounded and that its evidence showed it was a “deliberate killing”.

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: “No-one will investigate [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers and no-one will preach to us about morals in warfare, certainly not Al Jazeera.

Israel does not recognise the ICC’s authority and has refused to co-operate with an investigation by the Hague-based court’s prosecutor into possible war crimes in the occupied territories.

Shireen Abu Aqla, who was 51, went to the Jenin refugee camp on 11 May to report for Al Jazeera’s Arabic TV channel on an Israeli raid which had seen gun battles break out between soldiers and Palestinian militants.

She was wearing a helmet and blue flak jacket marked with the word “press” when she was killed while walking along a road with other journalists, one of whom was also shot and wounded.

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Journalists, bystanders and Palestinian officials said the gunfire came from Israeli troops stationed about 200m (656ft) away – allegations which was later backed by investigations by the UN and multiple media organisations.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initially said that it was not possible to know who killed Abu Aqla. But in September a senior official told journalists that there was a high probability that she was shot “by mistake by an IDF soldier, and of course he didn’t identify her as a journalist”.

Al Jazeera, which is based in Doha and funded by the Qatari state, said in a statement on Tuesday that its legal team had conducted a detailed investigation into the killing and “unearthed new evidence”, including eyewitness accounts and multiple videos.

“Al Jazeera has highlighted in its submission to the ICC Prosecutor that the new witness evidence and video footage clearly show that Shireen and her colleagues were directly fired at by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF),” it said.

“The claim by the Israeli authorities that Shireen was killed by mistake in an exchange of fire is completely unfounded.

“The evidence presented to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) confirms, without any doubt, that there was no firing in the area where Shireen was, other than the IOF [Israeli Occupation Forces] shooting directly at her. The journalists were in full view of the IOF as they walked as a group slowly down the road with their distinctive media vests, and there were no other persons in the road.”

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