David Torough, Abuja
The growing economic partnership between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Federal Republic of Germany witnessed further expansion and strengthening as both countries signed two agreements on Tuesday
Speaking in Berlin, Germany, at the 10th German-Nigerian Business Forum, President Bola Tinubu said with a resilient democracy, Nigeria is well primed to attract foreign direct investments.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale in a statement said, the President witnessed the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU): one on the supply of gas from Nigeria to Germany and another for $500 million worth of renewable energy projects in Nigeria.
The signing of MoU was between Riverside LNG of Nigeria and Johannes Schuetze Energy Import AG of Germany on the gas export partnership, while the other signed pact brought together Union Bank of Nigeria and DWS Group on cooperation in renewable energy.
CEO of GasInvest, Mr. David Ige, who signed the MoU on gas supply, said the Riverside LNG project aims to supply energy from Nigeria to Germany, extinguishing about 50 million cubic feet per day of flared gas in Nigeria.
”The project will supply energy from Nigeria to Germany at 850,000 tonnes per annum, expanding to 1.2 million tonnes per annum.
”The first gas will leave Nigeria for Germany in 2026, and there will be further expansion. This will extinguish about 50 million cubic feet per day of flared gas in Nigeria and open alleyways of new and greater exports of gas to Germany,’’ he said.
The German partners expressed confidence in investing in Nigeria’s gas sector.
Chief Operating Officer of Johannes Schuetze Energy Import AG, Mr. Frank Otto described the partnership as a “big deal” for the German market.
Chairman of Union Bank, Mr. Farouk Gumel disclosed the commitment of $500 million for e-energy projects in Nigeria, emphasizing the importance of rural inclusion and bringing more people into the formal economy.
”We believe this would bring rural inclusion and capture more people into the formal economy. Without inclusion, there is no growth. Thank you, Mr. President,” Mr. Gumel said.
Welcoming the new deals, President Bola Tinubu assured German businesses that with Nigeria’s stable political landscape, foreign investments into the country are secure.
”Since 1999, we have witnessed changes in democratic governance, with peaceful transfers of power within and between parties. Democracy in Nigeria has proven to be flexible and resilient. Shake off any remnants of the military era syndrome; we have moved beyond that. Despite challenges faced by other African nations, Nigeria stands firm, and we are your partners,” the President declared.
Outlining some of the achievements of his administration, which include his globally-acclaimed economic reforms, the President emphasized his commitment to sustaining the reforms and building stronger Nigerian-German relations.
”For those who fear various obstacles; look at me—I come from the private sector, trained by Deloitte. I served as the treasurer in Exxon Mobil. Define corporate governance in any way, and I am in it. I governed Lagos for eight consecutive years. Today, I can proudly beat my chest that Lagos state is on the horizon and the fifth-largest economy in Africa, rising from ground zero. This is the track record that led me to the presidency.
”Nigerians voted for me for reforms, and from day one of my inauguration, I implemented the reforms. My inaugural speech did not disclose what I would do. I removed the fuel subsidy that is a great burden to Nigerians from the moment I stepped into office.
”The arbitrage regime is gone forever. Now, you can bring your money in and out as you wish. If you encounter any problems, rest assured that I have built one of the most reliable teams Nigeria has seen to address them. I appeal to you to forget the past and focus on building a relationship that removes obstacles, fostering progress and prosperity in Nigerian-German relations.
”You can rely on us; we can rely on you; both of us can chorus Hallelujah at the same time,” the President concluded.
Fire Guts Minister’s Private Residence
By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The private residence of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud was completely razed down by fire on Sunday afternoon.
Reports suggest that nothing was salvaged from 9 Justice Roseline Ukeji Close, Asokoro, Abuja as fighters were said to have arrived late.
Media Aide to the minister Mr.Austine Elemue said the cause of the fire was being investigated.
The Ag. Director, FCT Fire Service, Mr Amiola Adebayo confirmed the fire outbreak.
The Acting Director in a text message to our correspondent said the fire started around 10:40am on 7 Roseline Ukeji close, Mark Okoye Street, Asokoro, involving a 7-bedroom duplex.
He said household items on the upper floor including: beds, clothes, documents, credentials, jewelries and others like air-conditioners, roof were consumed.
The fire service boss suspected electrical fault in the children room as the cause of the fire.
The fire was brought under control around 2:51pm. No life was lost.
This is the major fire incident in Abuja this year.
On Nov. 7, 2023, a section of the Canadian High Commission caught fire.
The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said a diesel tank explosion was responsible for the incident.
Two persons died in the incident while one other person was critically injured.
At the same time, one of the Samsung electronic retail stores in Abuja was gutted by fire.
The fire was said to have been caused by careless welding activities near a pile of empty combustible cartons.
Northern Senators Jubilant as ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions on Niger Republic
By Eze Okechukwu, Abuja
Northern Senators Forum has commended the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for lifting sanctions imposed on Niger Republic as a result of military takeover on July 26th, 2023.
Recall that the regional block had a fortnight ago, lifted the sanctions it imposed on the trio of Niger Republic, Mali and Burkina Faso following military insurrections in their respective countries.
Reacting to the development, the northern senators forum yesterday in Abuja said that they were pleased to see that ECOWAS responded to the progressive requests “made by us individually and collectively on the subject matter and we commend their prudent and compassionate approach in addressing these critical issues”.
The spokesman of Northern Senators Forum, Senator Suleiman Kawu Sumaila (NNPP, Kano South) noted that the principled and empathetic decision made by ECOWAS to lift the sanctions on Niger Republic was a testament to the organization’s commitment to regional solidarity, cooperation, and respect for human rights, stressing that the action would go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the people of Niger Republic as well as ensuring the restoration of stability and economic prosperity in the region.
According to him, “We are particularly grateful that ECOWAS leaders have considered our pleas to restore electricity, open borders and lift the sanctions on Niger Republic.
“These measures will not only have crucial humanitarian implications but will also foster regional integration, trade, and cooperation.
“We firmly believe that this step taken by ECOWAS will positively impact the lives of the people of Niger Republic and Nigeria and facilitate the restoration of trust and harmony among all member states.
“As representatives of the people and advocates for justice and democracy, we commend ECOWAS for their responsiveness and understanding of the immense challenges faced by our fellow West African nation.
“The Northern Senators Forum stands in solidarity with ECOWAS in restoring democracy and rule of law in Niger Republic and other west African countries.
“And we are committed to working to promote stability, peace, and socio-economic development throughout the region.
“We urge the government of Niger Republic and its people to seize this opportunity to hasten the process of returning to democratic governance to build a stronger and more prosperous nation, harnessing their resilient spirit and unwavering determination.
“Furthermore, we urge all regional stakeholders to continue engaging in dialogue and pursuing peaceful solutions to address any remaining concern, fostering a harmonious environment for progress and development.
“Finally, we would like to reiterate our deep appreciation to ECOWAS leaders especially, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria for their proactive and benevolent intervention in lifting the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic.
“We are confident that this decision will leave an indelible mark on the collective consciousness of all West African nations and serve as a shining example for resolving differences through dialogue and diplomacy.”
Edo 2024: Ighodalo Wins PDP Guber Ticket with 577 votes
By Dasvid Torough, Abuja
All efforts to make the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in Edo State came to naught as two aspirants lay claim to victory on Thursday.
Dr Asue Ighodalo was announced the governorship candidate of the PDP for the Sept.
The Chief Returning Officer and chairman of the Edo Governorship Primary election Committee, Gov.Dada Lawal of Zamfara State, declared Ighodalo as winner after he garnered 577 votes to defeat six other aspirants.
The primary was co-chaired by Gov.
The governorship primary was held at the Lawn Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.
The Edo Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Anugbum Onuoha, led officials of INEC to monitor the process.
Ighodalo scored 577 votes to defeat other aspirants, including Deputy Gov. Philip Shaibu, who scored one vote.
In his acceptance speech, Ighodalo who thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed in him, promised prosperity for all Edo people.
He added that he would make deliberate efforts to tackle poverty and deliver good governance to the people.
Two former House of Representatives members, Mr Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama and Omosede Igbinedion, stepped down minutes before the primary.
The other aspirants Anslem Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Martin Uhomoibhi, Hafia Hadizat Umoru, Osaro Onaiwu and Arthur Esene, all scored zero vote.
Earlier, the State Chairman of PDP, Tony Aziegbemi who welcomed the Edo Governorship Primary Election Committee to the state, said the PDP was ready for the Sept. governorship election.
Aziegbemi said a total of 594 adhoc delegates were elected by party members.
Similarly, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu emerged factional candidate for the same election.
It was reported that Shaibu scored 3000 votes in a parallel primary election held at his residence on Commercial Avenue, Benin City.
The Returning Officer, Bartholomew Moses declared that Shaibu won with an overwhelming majority of votes.
It was said that some delegates who went to Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium were denied entry.
These delegates returned to the deputy governor’s lodge for the primary election.
Shaibu reportedly addressed the delegates and advised them to remain peaceful, promising to speak with the primary electoral committee chairman.
It was later resolved that a parallel exercise should hold and Shaibu emerged candidate of the election.
Delegates from 12 local government areas reportedly elected Shaibu as the candidate.
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