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Cote d’Ivoire Pledges to Strengthen Economic Relations with Nigeria

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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.


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)

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Police Arrest 3 Suspects over Gold Theft in Abuja

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 The Police said they have arrested three suspects over house breaking, robbery of gold and other valuables in Abuja.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said this during a media briefing in Abuja.

He added that the suspects were arrested following an investigation by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

ADejobi said further investigation revealed that the prime suspect in the case was a fish trader at the Kado fish market in Abuja.

He said the suspects had raided three houses in the Lugbe area of Abuja before getting to the fourth house where they jumped the fence and used a motor jack to expand the bars of the burglary.

Adejobi said the suspects expanded the bars of the burglary and had access into the house where they searched for items they could steal.

He said in the process, they found a safe in the house, went away with it and used a hammer and chisel to break the safe forcefully and found money, documents and gold.

“Upon the discovery, the prime suspect contacted a buyer to dispose of the items where he realised over N60 million after selling the items,” he said.

Adejobi said operatives of the IRT had also arrested 16 suspects in connection with theft and robbery of motorcycles and tricycles in Plateau.

He said the suspects, who were particularly involved in moving around at late night, picking up any tricycle parked without supervision, were arrested following credible intelligence.

The police spokesman said the suspects were also involved in moving around and stopping motorcyclists on the road while parading themselves as police officers with fake identity cards.

He said the members of the syndicate, who posed as policemen and accused motorists of late night movement, were engaged in confiscating motorcycles and telling them to go to the nearest Police Division to retrieve the motorcycles.

He said the suspects had so far stolen several motorcycles which they had sold to the receiving group in their syndicate.

Adejobi said police operatives had recovered eight motorcycles and 11 tricycles from the suspects.

He said police operatives had in the past six weeks arrested a total of 1,284 suspects over the offences of armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, homicide, cultism and other criminal offences.

Adejobi said 307 of the suspects were arrested over armed robbery, 296, kidnapping, 301, homicide, 176, rape and defilement, and 204, cult related offences.

The police spokesman said 284 firearms, 6702 ammunition of various calibres, 107 vehicles were recovered from the suspects while 97 kidnap victims were rescued during the period under review. (NAN)

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Ebonyi LGA Elections Witness Low Turnout, Late Arrival of Materials

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The Local Government election in Ebonyi has suffered voters’ apathy and boycott by opposition parties as only the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) presented candidates for the exercise.

The election was held in the 171 wards of the 13 councils of the state on Saturday.

People came out in trickles to vote while election materials and officers of the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) arrived late to many polling units.

The electorates, who spoke with newsmen attributed the apathy to the non-fielding of candidates by the opposition parties.

In most units, the electoral officers and materials arrived late as accreditation and voting commenced simultaneously at 10:40 a.

m.

There was low voter turnout in Oroke Onuoha Community Primary School polling unit, Oroke Onuha Playground unit, Ebonyi Local Government as well as at the Stadium polling unit 003 in Abakaliki local government area.

In some areas in Abakaliki metropolis, people were seen going about their businesses, though there was restriction of human and vehicular movements.

An electorate, Mr Chigozie Nwafor, said the low turnout was due to non-feilding of candidates by opposition parties.

“You can see, it is only the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that are in for the elections and no other parties,” Nwafor said.

Another resident and politician, Onyeka Nworie, alleged that the EBSIEC did not give political parties a level playing ground to participate in the elections.

According to Nworie, only the APC, the ruling party in the state, was participating in the elections.

“PDP, Labour Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) are nowhere to be found,” he said.

Also in Polling unit 003, Edukwu Oferekpe in Izzi local government area electoral officers and materials arrived late.

Ms Lucy Nwogbaga, Returning Officer at the Edukwu Oferekpe Unit, said that the voting could not start early due to the early morning rain.

“There were also delays from the collation centre. We could not move and go to the polling on time,” she added.

On voter turnout, Nwogbaga expressed hope that the electorates would come out to vote and noted that the processes had been smooth.

Mr Chukwu Eze also attributed the low turnout to the early morning rain in the state. (NAN)

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Flooding: Benue Govt Donates Life Jackets to Boat Operators at River Buruku

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From Attah Ede Makurdi

Benue State Government on Wednesday, donated life jackets to operators of boats and other people at the River Buruku crossing point in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State.

Making the presentation, Acting Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BSEMA), Sir James Iorpuu, appealed to the people of Buruku to make judicious use of the jackets to avoid losing of lives during the predicted impending 2024 flood.

He people must put into use the device while crossing the river to be safe, should any accident occur.

 Sir Iorpuu stated that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has earlier informed Benue State of the impending flood and to respond to their alert,  Benue SEMA has swift into action to avoid disasters that will cause lives.

“Governor Alia has carefully selected energetic and vibrant people in Buruku local government to help him deliver to the good people of Benue State,” Iorpuu said.

In his speech, Commissioner for Works, Housing and Urban Development, Tiza  Imojime, commended Governor Alia for prioritizing the interest of his people and  thanked the SEMA Boss, other Government delegations and their team for swiftly responding ahead of the impending flood.

He charged his people to ensure that the life jackets are properly and judiciously put to use, stating that his people have been neglecting the use of  life jackets.

The enjoined Buruku people particularly boast operators to make sure the jackets are properly used to avert losing lives.

In separate remarks, the Commissioner for Humanitarian and Disaster Management, Aondowase Kunde and commissioner for Transport, Power and Renewable Energy, Barr. Omale Omale  all advised the people to ensure proper use of the jackets, saying it’s for their  interest.

Responding on behalf of the traditional rulers, Ter U Buruku, Chief Moses Hanior thanked Governor Alia for having the best interest of Buruku People at heart applauding Commissioner Tiza and Buruku representatives in Governor Alia’s led administration for their responsive leadership.

He assured the SEMA Boss and all Government delegations that they would ensure the life jackets are judiciously used.

When asked by Hon. Tiza if the Jackets would be used, the Secretary, Buruku Marine Association, Mr. Terhile Fefa assured the Commissioner and other Government delegations that they Would make proper use of them acknowledging the quality of the jackets.

The event features top Government functionaries, Civil Society Organisations, Benue SEMA Staff among others.

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