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Osinbajo Disowns Comments on Spate of Kidnapping in Nigeria

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Nigeria Vice President Professor Yemi Osibanjo
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With a view to putting the records straight, t he presidency, hereby released the exact words of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the rate of kidnapping in Nigeria

Osinbajo, who spoke in New York while addressing some Nigerians as part of his official visit to the US, stated in a statement by his spokesperson as claiming that cases of kidnapping were being exaggerated.

“I don’t think the problem (kidnapping) is as massive as that” the presidency quotes Mr Osinbajo as saying:

Nowhere was the word exaggerated used

Our attention has been drawn to misleading reports in a section of the media purportedly made by and attributed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on the security situation in Nigeria, in New York.

For the purpose of clarity, and the records it is pertinent to state that Prof. Osinbajo was entirely misquoted and his words taken out of context in the said media reports especially those that quoted him as saying that “Kidnapping in Nigeria is exaggerated and not entirely new”

Nowhere in the Vice President’s remarks at the townhall meeting with the Nigerian community did he use the word “exaggerated,” not even by implication.

His remarks about the social media being hysterical was a general response to comments made by participants at the meeting about information on happenings in Nigeria especially as they relate to security being shared on social media platforms by unverified sources.

What the VP Said

According to the Vice President “I really will urge that you don’t rely entirely for information on social media. I think that the social media tends to be hysterical about practically everything.

“I think there is also a lot of politics involved in some of the information as it comes up. I think it is also important to point out that this new wave of issues of security came immediately after the elections. And there is always a connection between this issue of security and elections because many times, politicians’ arm several of these individuals during the electioneering period, and immediately after an election cycle, many of them, having nothing to do and with arms all over the place, resort to the fastest way of making money which is to abduct somebody and ask for a ransom. And that is just one side of the problem.

“But let me dimension it so that you can really understand it better.

“When people say there is security problem here and there, it is not one thing, it is several different things but if it is described as one thing then it will look bigger than it really is. And I am deeply worried about the fact that we might find ourselves unable to resolve these problems unless we drill down to see what the problems are.”

“With respect to general kidnapping which we have seen in certain parts of the country, again this is not entirely new. When you listen to some of the stories, some of them are simply not true anyway. Some are fueled by politics, but there are cases of kidnapping, there is no question at all about that….and every story we try to track and trace. When you track them, you find out that people just tell some stories, but the truth anyway is that there is kidnapping in places where it has taken place. The way to check it is the work we are doing with State governments namely using technology to track cases. These are economic crimes; if people know that they will be caught, and they will not be allowed to get away with their loot, it will stop in the places where it is taking place. That is really the work we are doing with the State governments. We are doing this in the various zones where we see that there are a rash of incidents. We are trying to put in place trackers and all sorts of other equipment that can be used to locate these criminals.

“I am not so sure how many follow the number of arrests that have been made in different state police commands, several have been made. I don’t think the problem is as massive as that, I think we can deal with the question of kidnapping quite easily. I am sure that not so long a time, the news will be a lot better in terms of kidnapping and we will feel more comfortable about life at home.”

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FCTA Moves to Curb Medical Tourism

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
Federal capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has pledged to provide the necessary support for the successful completion and operation of the African Medical Center of Excellence, with a view to reversing medical tourism.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, made this pledge during a site tour of the state of the art facility, of African Medical Centre for Excellence, billed to be operational in early 2025.


Mahmoud noted that the partnership between the African Export-Import Bank and Kings College Hospital London to establish the 170-bed hospital was a testament to the commitment to advancing clinical care, training, and research in specialty areas such as oncology, cardiovascular services, hematology, diagnostics, and general medical services.

The minister further added; “The potential impact of this initiative in reversing medical tourism and reducing healthcare worker migration is commendable.
“I am encouraged by the prospect of over 1000 workers being employed to support the hospital’s operations.
“Therefore, I am fully committed to ensuring that the Federal Capital Territory Administration provides the necessary support for the successful establishment and operation of the African Medical Center of Excellence.
“We are happy to see, that the 6.5 hectares of land, which was donated by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, as part of the host country agreement, has been developed to accomodate this hospital.”
While conducting the minister round the project, the Chief Executive Officer, African Medical Center of Excellence, Mr. Brian Deaver, commended the FCT Administration for the strategic partnership.
He used the occasion to inform the minister that the management staff of the medical centre are looking forward to further contributions of the Administration to improvement in the management of non communicable diseases in the territory.
Deaver stressed that the potential benefits of the location of this hospital in Abuja is significant, just as he expressed confidence that the partnership would yield positive outcomes for the healthcare sector in the region.

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Ortom, Ode, Asemakaha Felicitates  With Alia on 58th Birthday

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi  
Former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, the incumbent Deputy Governor, Barr Sam Ode and the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC), Dr Raymond Asemakaha, Wednesday, extended their felicitations to the State Governor, Rev Fr.

Hyacinth Alia on his  58th birthday celebration.

The former governor in  a statement signed by  his Media Aide,Terver Akase and made available to newsmen in Makurdi, prayed God to grant Governor Alia the wisdom and health to steer the affairs of the state.

 He maintained that God would grant Alia the enablement to surmount all challenges fronting his administration and wished him a memorable birthday celebration and many more years ahead.

The statement  read in part: “Your Excellency, as you celebrate, I pray that God grants you wisdom, good health and strength to enable you to continue to steer the affairs of our dear state.
“Leadership comes with its numerous challenges, but I have no doubt that with God’s grace and guidance, all problems are surmountable.”
Similarly, the Deputy Governor of the State, Barr. Sam Odeh, on behalf of the State Executive Council (SEC), prayed that Governor Alia’s birthday would be a celebration of his uncommon passion for speedy transformation of the state.
“On behalf of the Benue State Executive Council, I write to warmly felicitate with Your Excellency, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, Executive Governor of Benue State on the occasion of your 58th birthday anniversary.
“As you mark your years of existence on earth today, we heartily join your family, the good people of Benue State and the entire nation in wishing Your Excellency a very happy birthday.
“May your 58th birthday be a celebration of your positive energy and uncommon passion for speedy transformation of Benue State. As Governor of our dear state, you have, in the last one year, demonstrated pragmatic leadership with selflessness and dedication, by rendering quality service to the good people of Benue.
“Your ability to turn challenges into opportunities is truly admirable. We have every reason to celebrate you today, because your transformation drive has brought the state to national and global prominence with many laudable initiatives and partnerships that are now yielding positive results in various sectors of Benue economy.
“Happy Birthday! Your Excellency, you are truly a special gift to the state and a beacon of inspiration for us all. May your birthday mark the beginning of a new chapter filled with even greater successes and fulfillment.
“We pray that the Almighty God will continue to uphold, keep and strengthen you for His glory and to the benefit of humanity. Congratulations and happy birthday!, Ode stated”.
On his part, the MD/CEO, BIPC, Dr Raymond Asemakaha, on behalf of the management and staff of the company, said  the governor had so far demonstrated visionary leadership, tireless efforts, and unwavering commitment to the transformation of Benue State.
Governor  Alia’s exemplary governance and dedication to the welfare of the people are truly inspiring, stressing that this milestone birthday marks the beginning of another remarkable year filled with wisdom, good health, and unparalleled success.

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CBN Unveils Strategy to Boost Remittances

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has activated plans to double foreign-currency remittance flows through formal channels by granting 14 new International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) Approval-in-Principle (AIP).
This was disclosed in Abuja on Wednesday, by the Bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs.

Hakama Sidi Ali, who stated that the initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs to lower the cost of remittance transactions and boost financial inclusion.

She said, “This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira.

“It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, had recently declared: “We’ve set ourselves a target to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, a goal I firmly believe is within reach.
“We are wasting no time driving progress to remove any bottlenecks hindering flows through formal channels permanently. We have a determined pathway and a sequenced approach to tackling all challenges ahead, working hand in hand with key stakeholders in the remittance industry,” she stated.
Continuing, Sidi Ali, said that the CBN viewed increasing formal remittance flows—one of the major sources of foreign exchange, accounting for over 6% of GDP—as a means of reducing the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors, such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.
The increase in the number of IMTOs is one of the primary actions initiated by the CBN’s remittance task force, overseen by Governor Cardoso as a collaborative unit pulling together specialists to work closely with the private sector and market operators to facilitate the ease of doing business in the remittance ecosystem in Nigeria.
The task force was established as a direct result of an executive learning session with IMTOs during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings held in Washington DC, United States of America, in April 2024. The task force will meet regularly to implement strategy and monitor the impact of its measures on remittance inflows.

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