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Adesina, others receive Nigerian diaspora global Icon award



Adesina, others receive Nigerian diaspora global Icon award

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina has been conferred with the prestigious National Diaspora Merit Award by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).

In a statement issued by the bank in Abuja, said Adesina was honoured in recognition of his selfless service and contributions as a Nigerian Diaspora Global Icon.

The statement said he was honoured alongside other recipients in the Global Icon category such as the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, and Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Receiving the award on behalf of Adesina, the Director-General of AfDB Group Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow expressed gratitude to NIDCOM.

“For the great recognition of president Adesina’s outstanding achievements and contributions to Nigeria and the continent’s development efforts.

“The award will inspire him further to continue his unrelenting efforts for Nigeria and Africa’s transformation,” Barrow said.

He quoted Adesina in a statement as saying,“I thank NIDCOM and I am pleased to accept the award with humility.

“I am deeply touched by this acknowledgement of my modest contributions to finance and economics and my recognition as a role model to other Nigerians in the diaspora.”

Often described as “Africa’s Optimist-in-Chief”, Adesina is widely lauded for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa’s transformation.

His bold reforms as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture turned the sector around in four years, benefiting 15 million farmers through an electronic wallet system.

As AfDB president, Adesina achieved the highest-ever capital increase and led swift responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has received numerous accolades, including the World Food Prize and African of the Year.

More than 20 other Nigerians in the diaspora, including Emeritus Professor Augustine Esogbue, Professor Mobolaji Aluko and Professor Rotimi Jayesimi, received awards in various categories.

The categories include education, politics, information and communications technology, leadership development, medicine and healthcare, automobile, philanthropy and sports.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of NIDCOM, Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the conferment of a National Diaspora Merit Award on Adesina was in recognition of his selfless service.

Dabiri-Erewa said the recognition was also for his contributions as a Nigerian Diaspora Global Icon, adding that NIDCOM appreciated Adesina’s “unflinching love and contributions to national development”.

“This award is predicated upon the importance of recognising and celebrating Nigerians in the diaspora who have excelled in their various fields of endeavour and contributing to the development of Nigeria.

“These exceptional Nigerians have, over time, contributed to making Nigeria a better place in their own capacities.

“It is thus important that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Commission, recognises their remarkable feats,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NIDCOM is an agency under Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for engaging with the Nigerian diaspora community.

The award ceremony took place during the National Diaspora Day 2023 in Abuja and was organised under the theme: “Consolidating Diaspora Engagement for National Development”.

Other guests present at the award included AfDB’s Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Prof. Kevin Urama, and Dr Adesina’s Adviser on Stakeholder Engagement, Ms Lola Visser-Mabogunje.

Also present were executives and members of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) from across the world, senior government, officials, captains of industry and members of the diplomatic community among others.


We’ll reshape hospitality industry, tourism in Abia – Otti



Alex Otti

Gov. Alex Otti of Abia has expressed readiness to reshape the hospitality industry and tourism sector through creative strategies to boost the state’s economy.

Otti said this on Thursday during a meeting with members of Nigeria Hotel Association and Hotel Proprietors Association in Umuahia.

The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Caleb Ajagba, said that he was desirous to develop and strengthen the hospitality industry as well as tourism sector to meet global standards.

He said that the rebuilding agenda of the government was focused on achievement of even distribution of socioeconomic development and added that the hotel owners had a vital role to play in this regard.

“We are here to kick start what would be an enduring legacy in terms of reshaping the perception of stakeholders in the hospitality industry.

“Also looking at creative ways to move the hospitality industry, and one of the take aways we are looking at, is building partnership with stakeholders.

“Government cannot do everything, however, government will create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, but it is the responsibility of entrepreneurs to drive the process to boost wealth creation,” he said.

Otti said that the government would create channels that would enhance the visibility of Abia’s hospitality industry on the digital space, and further drive the hospitality businesses to deliver world class services.

The Commissioner for Digital Economy, Dr Matthew Ekwuruibe, urged stakeholders in the hospitality industry to align with government’s rebuilding agenda.

Ekwuruibe said that plans were underway to build a website for hotels listing and booking , as well as connecting the hotels to Google Map, and added that the website would contain information about tourism centres in Abia.

He said that the use of digital technology to reinvent the hospitality industry had a lot of benefits such as increased visibility, enhanced ease of doing business, among others.

Also, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr Okey Kanu, said that the hospitality industry played a central role in improving the economy of any state.

Kanu said that “the hospitality industry is central to any government that is interested in growing its economy.

“The relationship between government and the hotel owners is a relationship that needs to grow into a partnership to transform the hospitality industry,”
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Kazie Uko, described the meeting as a deliberate effort by the government to transform the hospitality industry in the state.

Uko said that the engagement between the government and stakeholders had created a viable opportunity to address the issues inhibiting the growth of the industry in the state.

Furthermore, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism and Entertainment, Mr Martins Justice, described the hospitality industry as the bedrock of the tourism sector.

Justice said that the government was working to build a hospitality industry that would meet the demands of the 21st Century as well as develop the tourism sector.

Earlier, the National Treasurer of Nigeria Hotel Association, Mr Charles Ezeala, called on the state government to create an enabling environment for hotel businesses to thrive.

Ezeala said that the government had a great role to play in assisting hotel businesses to thrive, for the hospitality industry to be transformed.

Also, Mr Nnanna Ngwakwe, a member of Hotel Proprietors Association, Aba branch, said that insecurity, poor power supply and bad roads were the bane of hotel businesses in Abia and added that this was affecting the growth of the hospitality industry in the state.

Ngwakwe called for the urgent intervention of the state government in addressing the challenges threatening the advancement of the industry in Abia.

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Gov Sule charges real sector conference to proffer practical solutions to economy



Abdullahi Sule

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has charged participants at the Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) 1st International Real Sector Conference to proffer practical solutions to rejuvenate the economy.

He gave the charge on the first day of the two days conference on real sector productivity held at the University in Keffi Local Government Area of the state.

The theme of the conference is “Rejuvenating the sector productivity in Nigeria”.

Sule challenged participants to get real and proffer workable and practical solutions that would rejuvenate the real sector in Nigeria for optimal productivity which in turn would impact on the economy of the country positively.

“The question we should be asking ourselves here is that why are we not getting it right in the real sector in Nigeria?

“So let us proffer practical solutions so that we don’t just end up having an event and having all the communique and all that and then they end up in our offices. Let us ask ourselves what is that is possible and how do we contribute,” he said.

He said their recommendations should also be useful in shaping a better future for the real sector in Nigeria so that future Nigerians could build on that.

“So we must sit down and deliberate on what exactly is our problems in this sector. Are we ready to make sacrifices? And we must make sacrifices because that is the only way we can move forward.

“I want to assure you that in Nigeria we can change the narratives but it will take all of you here to convince the rest,” he said.

Prof. Suleiman Bala-Mohammed, Vice Chancellor, NSUK, commended the university’s Department of Business Administration for organizing the conference and urged the department to sustain it as it would be a platform for cross fertilisation of ideas and wider conversations on local and international issues.

He also urged participants to brainstorm and come up with policy recommendations on how to rejuvenate the real sector in Nigeria.

Mr John Mamman, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Education, however, told NAN that he expected the outcome of the conference would change the narratives because the real sector, according to him, is the driver of the economy.

“The manufacturing, construction, engineering and others are the real movers of the economy. Once we get it right from the drivers of the economy, other sectors will also be impacted positively,” he said.

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