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FG to ensure Nigeria returns to UNESCO Governing Board

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Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Fellow Press

(Photo: Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris and Hajo Sani, the Permanent Delegate of Nigeria to UNESCO during her visit to the Minister on Wednesday in Abuja.)

The Federal Government says it will do everything humanly possible to ensure that Nigeria returns to UNESCO Governing Board.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris gave the assurance when the Permanent Delegate of Nigeria to UNESCO, Dr Hajo Sani and her team visited him on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to Idris, his Ministry is key in the activities of UNESCO, adding that it will participate fully and effectively.

The minister said he was keen to see Nigeria take advantage of full opportunities made available to Nigeria’s membership at UNESCO, urging that the ministry should always be communicated on any opportunity.

“We will put up our strategy and strengthen our engagements with other member nations to see that Nigeria returns to that seat on the board.

“If there are only 58 members, I don’t see why Nigeria should not be there. I know that we stepped out so that others could participate in the spirit of unity and togetherness.

“But now that we had that holiday, we will go back to that seat at UNESCO. The Ministry will put its thinking cap and engage member nations. We will step up our engagement activities before the time.

“We are very confident that you too will get there, this is because, it is for the good of Nigeria and Africa as a whole,” Idris said.

The minister further said that his ministry was actively involved in media information literacy, promotion of freedom of information, media independence, pluralism and inclusive knowledge.

He added that there was need to have a responsible freedom.

“Even though the government is desirous of ensuring free press and free flow of information, it also requires that those who are in the business of information dissemination do that responsibly.

“Fake news have no place in our culture and existence. This is an appeal to those who practice journalism. It is important to put out only what you know is true,” the minister said.

Speaking, Sani said that the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientations involved in the works of UNESCO in the Communication and Information (CT) Sector.

She stated that Member States work through the Intergovernmental Committees, adding that there are two main Intergovernmental Committees in which Nigeria has been active as expected.

According to her, they are; Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and the Intergovernmental Council of the Information for All Programme (IFAP)
“Nigeria is presently a member of the Intergovernmental Council of the IPDC, until December, 2023.

“Nigeria is also very much involved in the Sector’s programmes under the Committee Programme on the Freedom of Expression, Programme on the Safety of Journalists and the issue of impunity Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Programme.

“There is also a programme to provide a framework for international co-operation and partnerships aimed at building inclusive and sustainable Knowledge Societies.

“UNESCO supports the development of MIL for all to enable people’s ability to think critically and click wisely.The Organization particularly strives to enhance the capacities of policymakers, educators, information, media professionals and others.

“We are also looking forward to the adoption of the Abuja Declaration on Global Financing for Media and Information Literacy,” Sani said.

She also hinted that the 2023 Global MIL Week in Amman, Jordan, from 24-31 October 2023 had been cancelled due to the current crisis in the Middle East, adding that a new date will be announced in due course

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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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