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African parliamentarians laud Nigerian’s for orderly conduct in Presidential, NASS polls



The Network of African Parliamentarians for Defence and Security Committees have commended Nigerians for conducting themselves orderly in the Presidential and National Assembly election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the network was made up of serving legislators heading Committees on Security and National Intelligence in Africa parliaments.

The Vice President-General of the network, Mr Jimmy Smith of the parliament of Liberia gave the commendation during the Seventh Extraordinary Session of the network, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

Smith prayed for the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria as a new administration will soon be taking over the affairs of government.

“I take special honour to say a thank you to the people of Nigeria for a successful election that we have experienced in the past days.

“It is my hope and wish that peace reigns in this country as Nigeria serves the most exemplary country on the continent particularly in West Africa.

“We pray for peace and success of Nigeria,” he said.

The vice-president general said that the network was working on developing modalities that would transform the conditions of youths in Africa which makes them vulnerable to insecurity on the continent.

Smith explain that members of the network do not go around patrolling the street but are briefed on intelligence reports gathered from the security network and it is shared among the member countries.

“This network has to do with the safety and prosperity of our region; I am a witness to the professional working of this network from the Anglo xohone side.

“This has to do with the safety and security of our region; in this network, we seek to foster peace, exchange of intelligence and security technologies, sharing security ideas and information among others.

“Our continent is challenged by a young population and this network will soon be looking at modalities that will focus on the transformation of young people across the continent.

“Today in Liberia, the single national security to the country is the vulnerable youth; this is where the responsibilities come to us all as leaders, this is a phinomenon I have seen across Africa.

“It seems we have the same challenge that we need to pay attention to for peace to reign on this continent and for the transformation and growth of our young people,” he said.

Earlier, the President General of the network, Rep. Ibrahim Sharada (ADP-Kano state) of Nigeria’s parliament said that the objective of the extraordinary session is to carry out the investiture of the newly elected President General.

Sharada said that the network had strengthened the national security agencies to address disturbing security threats of Boko Haram insurgents and others.

“It has also propelled the image of Nigeria for setting exemplary leadership in fighting humanitarian crimes and ensuring a sustainable Democratic governance within the ECOWAS sub-region and the continent.

“In support of this reality, President Muhammadu Buhari administration has facilitated the enactment of laudable public sector reform legislations that have significant impact on national security.

“A few examples of such legal frameworks include the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, Electoral Act, 2022, Police Act, 2020, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

Others are the Terrorism (Amendment Act), 2015, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, the Cyber Crime Act among others,” he said.

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IWD: World Bank restates commitment to closing gender disparities



The World Bank Group has restated its commitment to closing disparities between men and women as the world celebrates International Women’s Day.

President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass, said this in a message titled; “The World Bank Group and International Women’s Day” posted on the World Bank blogs on Wednesday.

Malpass said the bank’s commitment to gender equality had increased in ambition over time.

“Gender and development has been an International Development Association (IDA) Special Theme since IDA16, recognising that reducing gender disparities is essential for reducing poverty.

“In IDA20, the number of gender policy commitments has increased from six to eight, with ambitious targets in areas including economic inclusion, gender-based violence prevention, and childcare.”

He said entrepreneurship offered an important path to empowerment.

Malpass said the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), based at the World Bank, was supporting tens of thousands of women entrepreneurs, with more than 1.2 billion dollars of financing to date.

He said the International Finance Corporation was working with private sector clients to promote women’s entrepreneurship and advance economic inclusion in the workplace.

“Across the World Bank Group and with partners, clients and donors, there is much work underway that aims to address gender disparities including the ID4D initiative that works to close gender gaps in financial inclusion.

“Others are efforts to reduce the prevalence of gender-based violence and the Gender Innovation Labs that undertake impact evaluations to generate more evidence on how to close gender gaps.

Malpass said the labs were in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia.

He said most importantly, the bank was integrating gender in its operations worldwide.

“At the World Bank Group, we continue to hold ourselves accountable for progress on achieving more gender-inclusive recruitment, promotion, leadership development, and mentoring programmes.

“We also hold ourselves accounrable in diverse candidate pools and interview panels; enhanced career development and learning opportunities; and greater opportunities for work-life balance.

“Today, women account for 53.5 per cent of our workforce, and 43 per cent of management, a share that has grown significantly.

According to him, there is much work ahead, and International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to galvanise attention and to restate our commitment to closing disparities between men and women which is in the interests of everyone.

Malpass said that addressing critical gender gaps, including female labour force participation, offers an opportunity to boost incomes and stimulate growth.

He said research from the World Bank had repeatedly made clear that accelerating gender equality could generate significant economic gains.

According to him, the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2023 report published recently, shows that 2.4 billion women of working age do not have fully equal economic opportunity.

“In 2022, only 34 gender-related legal reforms were recorded across 18 economies, the lowest number since 2001. It is important that the pace of legal reforms accelerates.”

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March 11 polls: FRSC urges Nigerians to vote peacefully, shun violence



The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), on Wednesday urged Nigerians, particularly electorate, to vote peacefully and maintain decorum during and after the March 11 polls.

The Sector Commander of FRSC, Enugu State, Corps Commander Joseph Toby, gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency o Nigeria (NAN) after attending the Inter-agency Consultation Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting in Enugu.

NAN recalls that INEC has scheduled Saturday for Governorship and State Assembly elections in the country.

Toby noted that no meaningful endeavour could be achieved in an atmosphere of rancour and violence.

According to him, Enugu State electorate and the residents in general should continue in their peaceful and matured conduct as exemplified during the just-concluded Feb. 25 polls.

“Nigerians, please go out en masse, be peaceful, cast your votes and go home.

“And if you do not want to go home, stay a distance from the polling units and maintain civility and decorum while the polls last.

“The people contesting these elections are not only Nigerians, but also people living within our neighbourhoods, local government areas and state. They are brothers and sisters, we known them too well.

“We are not foreigners, we are all brothers and sisters and at the end of the day, we will go back to our daily lives and live as one Nigeria,” he said.

The commander said that the Corps had been up and doing in ensuring that vehicles used for election duties were road worthy.

“We have continued to certify road worthiness of vehicles to be used for election duties even at the just-concluded Feb. 25. polls.

“However, it is left for INEC to mobilise them to the field of operation on the election fay as required,” he said.

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Nollywood actress assures Lagosians of high level productivity, economic boost



Nollywood actress and politician, Funke Akindele, has called on Lagosians to vote for Abdul-Azeez Adediran and herself, as their next Governor and Deputy Governor of Lagos State on Saturday.

The renowned actress, who took to her Instagram page to solicit for votes, assured Lagos residents of high level productivity and boosting of economy if voted to power.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akindele is the running mate to Dr Adediran, the governorship candidate of the PDP, Lagos State, for the 2023 election scheduled to hold on Saturday.

According to her, the most used means of transportation has been left unattended to.

She added that even the problem of traffic has continuously plagued Lagosians for years, hence affecting productivity.

Akindele noted that some of the traffic problems required infrastructure renewal, stressing that most of them could be solved with a strong political will.

“We call Lagos state a “wealthy” state and the reason for this, is because of its high level of commercial activities which could only be made possible through effective transportation.

“Some of our traffic problems require infrastructural renewal. However, most of them can be solved with a strong political will.

“This, we will bring to bear in the short term, to clear up bottlenecks, identified flash points by rejigging traffic management agencies to improve performance and delivery,” she said.

Akindele said that her team would ensure enforcement of traffic laws with the aid of technology and skew travel time for heavy duty vehicles, among others.

The deputy governorship candidate said that if elected, their administration would create more lay-bys and fly-overs for free flow of traffic.

“These we are convinced, will safe man hour wasted on our roads and improve productivity, thereby boosting the economy of the state.

“This is one of the many issues the #JandorFunke2023 administration will prioritise once elected into power.

“Vote wisely! Vote Dr Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran and Funke Akindele as your next Governor and Deputy Governor of Lagos state,” she wrote.

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