Vice President Kashim Shettima, says Nigeria’s strategic partnership with China needs to be scaled up because it remains key to Africa’s development.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Office of the Vice-President.
The statement, released on Tuesday in Abuja, quoted Shettima as making the statement at the ongoing Belt And Road Initiative Forum in Beijing, China.
Reports says that Shettima spoke when he was hosted by his People’s Republic of China counterpart, Vice President Han Zheng, at the Diaoyutai State Guest House, Beijing.
He said since assumption of office, President Bola Tinubu had strategically tinkered with the country’s foreign policy to drive and boost investors’ confidence.
The vice president noted that President Tinubu had walked the talk by creating levellers for the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Shettima, who is representing President Tinubu at the forum in Beijing, expressed profound gratitude for the warm reception accorded his delegation by the host country.
He noted that Nigeria and China, having celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations in 2021, must now take their destinies into their own hands.
“Our mutually beneficial relationship will be further enhanced and upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
“Nigeria is China’s second-largest trading partner in Africa; it is the largest economy in Africa and the most populous country in the African continent.
“The Belt and Road Initiative is a big beautiful concept that can be deployed to achieve this,” Shettima said.
The vice president, who drew attention to the burgeoning relationship between Nigeria and China, stated that both countries stood to gain mutually from their friendship.
On his part, vice president Zheng assured his Nigerian counterpart of continued partnership with Nigeria.
He said that President Jinping’s meeting with Shettima would enhance political mutual trust, advance practical cooperation and better develop the bilateral relation between the two countries.
NAN reports that Shettima was later a guest at the State Banquet, hosted by President Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan.
In the meantime, attention and focus would shift to the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Initiative Forum at the Great Hall in Beijing, billed for Wednesday.
Shettima is expected to proceed to the National Convention Centre to deliver his Paper entitled, “Digital Economy As A New Source Of Growth”.
A bilateral meeting with the Chinese President and Prime Minister of Pakistan is also on Shettima’s itinerary.
Also, the vice president and other members of his delegation will be presiding over meetings with management of top construction, technology, finance and communication giants in China. (NAN)
Court Sentences Lady to Death by Hanging for Killing Enugu Make-up Artiste
From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu
An Enugu State High Court, sitting in Enugu, has sentenced Chiamaka Ifezue to death by hanging for killing an Enugu-based make-up artist, Ijeoma Nweke.
The court, presided over by Justice Kenneth Okpe, in a two-hour judgement on Wednesday, found the accused guilty of killing the victim by forcing her to drink a poisonous substance.
The corpse of the make-up artist was found in Maryland within Enugu Metropolis on Monday.
The deceased, Nweke had left home on Wednesday November 11, 2020, for a job but went missing afterwards.
Her supposed client, having refused to disclose the location for the job, asked the deceased to stop at the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) Bus Stop, where she would then be taken to the venue.
Nweke, having perceived foul play, sent the client’s phone number to her brother via text.
Her phones were unreachable after hours leading to suspicion that she might have been kidnapped.
This led to a frantic search for her by friends and relatives until early on Monday morning when her corpse was found at Maryland in Enugu.
Eyewitnesses said that her corpse was mutilated with a substance suspected to be acid.
While delivering the judgement, Justice Okpe, said every evidence pointed to the fact that the convict lured the deceased to her house where she poisoned the deceased and evacuated her body out of her house.
FCTA Disburses N4.82bn to Area Councils, Teachers, Pension Scheme
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disbursed N4.82 billion to the six area councils of the FCT, teachers and pension scheme as statutory allocation for December 2023.
The Minister of State for FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, disclosed this on Wednesday while presiding over the 185th Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting in Abuja.
According to the minister, the amount represents a slight increase when compared to N4.73 billion shared in November of the same year.
“A breakdown for the amount shows that N2.36 billion was disbursed to the six area councils, while N2.
“Of the N2.36 billion distributed to the area councils, Abuja Municipal Area Council got N549.98 million, Gwagwalada got N371.09 million while Kuje received N402.34 million.
“Also, Bwari Area Council received N364.67 million, Abaji N313.34 million, while Kwali got N362.73 million.
“For teachers and pension scheme, primary school teachers got N2.07 billion, N226.48 earmarked as 15 per cent pension funds, N107.85 million as 10 per cent employer pension contribution, while N48.16 million was earmarked as 1 per cent training fund.”
The minister commended the synergy between the Satellite Towns Development Department and the area councils, particularly in waste collections and management. (NAN)
FCTA Gives Quit Notice to Traders in Gwarinpa Illegal Market
By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The Department of Development Control in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has served a quit notice on ‘Ya Kasuwa’ market along the 16 road corridor in Gwarinpa, saying they must quit latest by Wednesday as clearance operations would commence on Thursday.
Director of the department, Mukhtar Galadima gave the order during a meeting with stakeholders including representatives of the traders union.
He said the contract for the full scope development of the arterial road had since been awarded by the FCT Administration and that the contractors had been engaging the traders since last September but that the traders kept asking for more time, a development he said could no longer be tolerated.
According to him, the timeframe for the contract had since been eaten into by the traders’ refusal to quit, saying if the contract is not executed as scheduled, the cost of materials would keep rising and could lead to demands for contract variation, which is against the policy of the present Administration.
“We want to tell them that yes the FCT Administration gave out this contract from Ring Road 2 to Ring Road 3. The Ring Road 2 starts from Katampe Extension to Life Camp to Jabi Mbora up to Galadima roundabout and in between, there is Ring Road 3.
“The contract has been awarded and we are calling on all those people doing business on the corridor to leave. All structures existing in that corridor are to be removed. We are calling on you traders and others there to please cooperate with us. Start removing your valuables before we come there.
“We are coming to clear the place. We are giving you up till Wednesday to clear your things. By Thursday, we are going to start”, he added.
According to him, the contractors had begun discussions with the traders since September 2023 and that “granting further extensions would eat into the contract time which could lead to contract variations and more costs”.
On request by the local council revenue collector for a new market site, the director said since markets are under the councils, it is incumbent on them to look within and allocate a new market to the affected traders.
Secretary of the traders union, Mohammed, said they had operated the market for over 20 years, saying he would convey the government’s message to the traders.
“We have been there over 20 years ago and now it has come to our notice that the road is to be constructed. We are grateful to have been invited and ours is to now go and sensitize our people so that the traders can look elsewhere. We are asking for more time as we are already concluding plans to relocate”, he stated.
Meanwhile, the department has pulled down a structure within an estate in the Karmo district, for obstructing a flood plain.
An official of the department, Garba Jubril said the developer had been so recalcitrant to the extent of even enlisting policemen to frustrate the department from carrying out enforcement duties on the estate.
He said; “We are on Plot 840 Cadastral Zone CO1 Karmo District. It is an estate development, but the challenge we have here is an issue of a recalcitrant developer. This structure we are removing has been marked right from the outset at the foundation level.
“While efforts to bring to the attention of the developer that this plot is outside his boundary, it is on the green area and on the flood plain. You can see the building, just a few metres to the stream here. So that means it is not safe for habitation. So, all efforts to bring this to his attention proved abortive. Sometimes, when we come here, we meet stiff opposition from the forces that are behind the man. So, we had so many such challenges here.
“There are about 12 structures that are affected. Some are on the green verge, some are on the floodplain, and some are on the road corridor.
“The developer came, and ironically, he came with his own force. In fact, if you look up there, you can see some policemen in red caps against our own policemen that we came with. In fact, they almost outnumbered our policemen. So, when they came initially, they wanted to confront us and force us to stop, but we proved to them that we cannot stop the demolition as it is a directive from above. So eventually, he had to come down and plead after seeing that force can’t work.
“They should obey the law. Abuja is a planned city. Whoever wants to build knows what to do. Once you secure a duly allocated land, you should apply for the building approval. And one thing is to get approval, another thing is at the point of implementation, or they invite our building inspector to come and assess what they are doing because even the quality of structures here is questionable”, he added.
Read Our ePaper
Public Disturbance: Court Orders Kano TikToker to Undergo Mental Evaluation
Share A Kano State Shari’a Court on Tuesday, ordered that a Kano Tiktoker Murja Kunya, be taken to a Government...
NAF Nabs Alleged Notorious Kidnapper in Kano
Share Troops of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) deployed at Durbunde in Takai Local Government Area of Kano State have...
Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Rises to 29,195 Amid Israeli Attacks
Share The death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to 29,195 with 69,170 others wounded as the Israeli attacks...
Surety Faces N500,000 Bail Bond Forfeiture Charge
Share A 47-year-old man, Ogbonna Anoka, who allegedly stood surety for a church member, but failed to produce him in...
Flood Overruns Bridge in Lagos Community
ShareThe early morning downpour which caused heavy flood on Tuesday in Lagos, overran the Command Bridge in Ipaja, Alimosho Local...
Major Oil Marketers Rally Tanker Drivers for Smooth Operations
ShareFuel marketers under the aegis of Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) have assured tanker owners of a cordial...
Fintiri Announces N10,000 Monthly Allowance for Corps Members in Adamawa
Share Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa has reiterated his administration’s commitment to the payment of N10,000 monthly allowance for corps...
Most Wanted Serial Kidnapper in Rivers Feared Dead – Police
Share A joint operation involving the military, paramilitary and Police, may have killed Gift Okpara, alias 2Baba, a suspected serial...
Attacks: FCTA Pledges Maximum Security for Contractors Handling Projects in Abuja
Share Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has promised to provide maximum security for the contractors handling various projects in the...
9 die, 7 Injured in Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway Accident
Share No fewer than nine persons were confirmed dead while seven others sustained injuries in an accident involving a truck...