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FCTA to partner with South Korea, Turkiye on vocational education, agriculture – Wike

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FCTA to partner with South Korea, Turkiye on vocational education, agriculture – Wike

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, said on Tuesday that the FCT Administration would partner with the Republic of South Korea on vocational education.

Wike also expressed willingness to partner with Turkiye on agricultural development.

The minister stated this when the Ambassadors of South Korea to Nigeria and his Turkiye counterpart visited him in his office.

He told the Ambassador of South Korea to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae on Tuesday, that he visited the country while he was the minister of education and discussed the issue of vocational education.

He described South Korea’s vocational education model as “impressive”, saying that the model enables students who do not want to go further, to have some skills.

“It was my desire that we would have concluded with that partnership then, but unfortunately, that was not to be.

“I would also like to reintroduce that as the FCT minister to see how we can also have that vocational school,” he said.

Wike added that he would like to introduce a hands-on model to the vocational schools and skill acquisition centres in the FCT.

This, he said, would be in partnership with the Republic of South Korea.

He said that he was impressed when he visited Samsung and noticed that sometimes, the company supplies refrigerators and cars to the vocational schools for practical purposes.

“I think we have to see how we can come back to that issue because vocational education is very key to us,” he said.

Earlier, Young-Chae informed the minister about his country’s collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Rural Electrification Agency.

He said that the aim was to build a mini electricity grid in the FCT which was ongoing.

He also disclosed that South Korea plans to introduce a grant project to help young businessmen start new businesses.

This, he said, was in addition to the Nigeria-Korea Model School in the FCT and other training programmes for teachers.

“In addition to that, we have launched a smart school project, one in each of the six geopolitical zones, to help innovate schools in terms of communication technology and teachers’ education,” he said.

In a related development, the FCT minister, while hosting the Turkiye Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hidayet Bayrakter, on Monday, said that FCT has large arable land for agricultural development.

He said that collaboration with Tirkiye in that regard would be beneficial for both countries.

On the Abuja metro rail line, the minister said that the FCT Administration has an open-door policy and would be willing to discuss with companies from Turkey.

Wike, however, appealed for a review of Turkish visa policy, pointing out that the policy of short-term, single-entry visas may not be good enough to enhance business collaborations.

Earlier, Bayrakter sought the collaboration of the FCT Administration in the construction of the second phase of the ongoing Abuja metro line system.

The ambassador said that Turkiye had very capable construction companies with experience in rail constructions as well as suspension bridges.

Some of the companies, he said, were involved in the construction of the metro system in Dubai and Qatar, in addition to building one of the biggest suspension bridges in the world.

He said that the companies have expressed interest in partnering with the FCT Administration.

He expressed the readiness of Turkish investors to meet with the FCT minister for further discussions on the second phase of the rail project.

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Putin Registers As Candidate For Russia’s Next Presidential Election

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Russia on Monday officially recognised Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidential elections in March, a vote that he is all but certain to win.

The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.

The Central Election Commission said it had registered Putin, who nominated himself, as well as right-wing firebrand and Putin-loyalist Leonid Slutsky as candidates for the vote.

The election will be held over a three-day period from March 15 to 17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.

Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers are likely to be barred from monitoring the vote.

While Putin is not expected to face any real competition, liberal challenger Boris Nadezhdin has passed the threshold of signatures to be registered as a candidate.

However, it is still unclear if he will be allowed to run, and the Kremlin has said it does not consider him to be a serious rival.

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Hong Kong court grants Chinese real estate giant reorganisation postponement

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Hong Kong’s Supreme Court has once again granted the highly indebted Chinese real estate giant Evergrande a postponement for its reorganisation plan.

Judge Linda Chan surprisingly postponed the decision until Jan. 29, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

The property developer, which has liabilities estimated at more than 300 billion dollars, is threatened with liquidation.

However, creditors from abroad had taken the company to court because of its missing several payments.

Chan had already said at the previous hearing that this would be the last postponement and that she would very likely agree to liquidation if China Evergrande did not find a plan for restructuring with its creditors.

According to reports, however, the lawyers of the Hong Kong-listed group had now held out the prospect of being able to reach an agreement with the lenders in the coming weeks.

In the case of liquidation, an insolvency administrator would monetise the company and pay out the creditors.

Meanwhile, some experts were of the opinion that liquidation would return less money to creditors than a reorganisation, China Evergrande argued the same in court, according to reports.

The group had been trying to submit a restructuring plan since 2022, without success. Its founder and once China’s richest man, Hui Ka Yan, is being investigated by the Chinese authorities.

Like many other property groups, the company had been in a serious crisis for some time because it is earning significantly less on the slumping property market.

The company is finding it more difficult to obtain state support and is no longer able to service its loans.

“The Evergrande case also shows that the era of large private property developers in China is coming to an end,’’ says Max Zenglein from the Merics China Institute in Berlin.

If Chan decides to wind up China Evergrande, this could also have an impact on other companies.

“One challenge for the government will be to prevent domino effects in the economy caused by major bankruptcies,’’ says Zenglein.

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