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U.S. to support Nigeria on gender equality, says official

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Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Fellow Press

Joseph Kruzich, Public Affairs Officer, U.S Consulate General Lagos, has restated the commitment of the American government toward initiative that will drive gender equality in Nigeria.

Kruzich told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the graduation ceremony of 50 beneficiaries of the ‘Break the Bias, She Can’ innitiative on Tuesday in Lagos.

The event was organised by Additional Plus Sports and Education Initiative (APSE) in partnership with Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC).

NAN reports that ‘Break the Bias, She Can’, is an initiative of the Management of APSE in partnerships with LSSC, to provide a one-tear sports and political empowerment programme to empower some outstanding girl children.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Rowe Park Sports Centre, Yaba, Lagos.

The programme was designed as education in sport and political education with major focus on taekwondo, table-tennis and sensitisation.

It also involves mentorship programme on political participation and how vote can count as a tool in combating the disturbing phenomenon.

At the graduation ceremony of the 50 beneficiaries, the U.S. envoy in Nigeria, Kruzich noted that the drive toward the gender equality was one of the American dreams.

“Gender equality is one of the core values of the Americans and I believe it is one of the core values of Nigerian government as well.

“As both country now have strong democracies, we are committed to working together with Nigeria to do more in the area of gender equality, economic development and good governance.

“We are not also forgetting the boys as well, because they are also important. We need both sides, but in traditional settings, we sometimes forget our women, their voices and needs are neglected.

“We want to focus on these, so that everyone in the society have a role to play in the rebirth of Nigeria, in her development and Africa as well,” he said.

Kruzich also stated that the American government was excited to partner the ‘Break the Barrier’ Initiative, adding that it is the right change that Nigeria needed.

“The U.S. government is excited to be part of this programme, especially because of the ambition of the initiator of this programme, Dr Oluwaseun Nariwoh.

“This is a strong initiative that gives training in sports and educational development, which in turn gives confidence and political training.

“This programme would have afford the participants good outlook on their roles in the society and what they should do to make Nigerian society a better place.

“The initiative is great and the organisation is good putting smiles on the faces of the children.

“It is now time for the children to show the world what stuff they are now made of, while we appreciate other organisations to come on board,” he said.

Mrs Adetoun Tade, the President of International Visitors Leadership Programme, (IVLP), U.S. Consulate, told NAN that the programme had been able to fulfill its mandate.

Accordong to Tade, this is shown with the successful completion of the one year intensive programme for the beneficiaries.

“This is a good way of giving back to the society which we are all proud of and we will always like to support.

“This is the way to go in raising the next generation of talents that will positively impact on our society and youths with responsible values.

“I am sure that this programme will be more encouraged to ensure its sustainability,” she said.

Also, Moses Kolawole, the Director of Sports, Lagos State Sports Commission, (LSSC), noted that the commission was proud to be part of the initiative.

Kolawole said that it was because the inniative was part of the core values being upholded by the state government.

“This is a programme that Lagos State is known for. We can’t have it better than this in raising responsible children to adulthood,” he said.

The initiator of APSE, Dr Oluwaseun Nariwoh, said that the programme was designed to identify some gaps in the development of athletes, which included combining sports with education.

“We need to prepare these young ones well ahead of the future challenges, and this is what we have been able to achieve.

“The young participants, now, know the values of education and not sports alone, which have a lifespan,” she said.

NAN reports that highlights of the graduation included the distribution of reading books such as “21 girls who made the world a better place,” some exercise books, other writing materials and certificate of participation.

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Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour

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The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

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The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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