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Tinubu Calls For Strengthening Of Nigeria-EU Relations



President Bola Tinubu on Thursday in Abuja called for the strengthening of cross-sectoral partnership between Nigeria and the European Union (EU) based on the principles of democracy, rule of law, and freedom.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, who disclosed this, said Tinubu stated this when he received a delegation of the EU, led by Ms Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner in charge of International Partnerships.

The President welcomed the signing of eight financing agreements between Nigeria and the EU, under the “EU Global Gateway in Nigeria,” at a separate event earlier in Abuja.

“Democracy is not an easy process, but we must fight for democracy and struggle for it to win at all times,” the President said.

Tinubu stressed the importance of economic cooperation with the EU in the areas of digital education, traditional energy, renewable energy, and broadband access.


He told the visiting delegation that Nigeria’s economy was going through several long-lasting reforms to render it capable of pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

“We have a young and vibrant population, and we are determined to succeed. If we succeed, democracy succeeds. If we succeed, freedom succeeds.

“We need all of our partners’ hands on deck to sail together. We look forward to strengthening our partnerships,” he said.

In her remarks, Urpilainen commended Nigeria for playing a pivotal role as a key partner of the EU, not only in politics and economics, but also in shaping the social landscape across the African continent.

The EU Commissioner explained that over the past four years, the EU has been working to transform the nature of its relationship with Africa by shifting away from the traditional donor-recipient dynamic.


She said that the EU seeks to establish an equal and mutually beneficial partnership through the “Global Gateway” investment programme as a flagship example.

She noted that this strategy, agreed at the AU-EU Summit in Brussels last year, sets a goal of 300 billion Euros in investments, with 150 billion Euros allocated to Africa.

She thanked Tinubu for the important role Nigeria played in supplying key energy products during its standoff with Russia in recent times.

The EU Commissioner noted that the oil and gas partnership can be expanded, while adding that the “Global Gateway” strategy was designed to expedite the green and digital transformations in EU partner countries, with Nigeria standing as one of its most strategic.

”We are investing in critical infrastructure such as energy, transportation, and digital infrastructure, as well as in human capital, education, and research,” she said.


Other members of the EU delegation included Ms Samuela Isopi, Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS and Ms Rita Laranjinha, Managing Director of the Africa and European External Action Service (EEAS).

Others were Ms Lora Borissova, Africa Advisor, Cabinet of EU; and Ms Maria Pilar Palmero Vaquero, Head of Unit for Western Africa, Directorate-General International Partnerships (DG INTPA).


President Tinubu Seeks Senate Approval For Fresh $8.6billion, €100million Loans



The president made the request through a letter to the Senate, read during the plenary by the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, on Tuesday, noting that the fund was to execute critical projects in different sectors.

The President Bola Tinubu-led administration has sought the approval of the Nigerian Senate for $8.6billion and €100million borrowing plan.

The president made the request through a letter to the Senate, read during the plenary by the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, on Tuesday, noting that the fund was to execute critical projects in different sectors.

The request was said to be part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, according to the letter.

Tinubu explained that the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development.


The letter reads in part;, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.

“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023.

“The project cuts across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms.

“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.

“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.


“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”

In August, the National Assembly approved President Tinubu’s request for over $800 million loan to finance the National Social Safety Network Programme.

The National Assembly had also approved the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations Act of N819 million “for the provision of Palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal”.

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5,000 Federal Civil Servants May Not Get November, December Salaries



There is anxiety among federal civil servants as about 5,000 of them may not get November and December salaries.

The National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Dr Tommy Okon, who disclosed this in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to resolve the issues swiftly.

He explained that out of the 17,000 who were delisted from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in October 2023 are on course to receive their salaries, only those who had earlier completed their verification exercise but were mistakenly delisted have had their salaries restored.

According to him, 5,000 civil servants still have discrepancies on their date of first appointment and date of birth. A total of 2,772 have been verified and forwarded to IPPIS for payment because there were no issues.”

While advising affected civil servants to constantly check the Head of Service of the Federation website for regular updates so as not to be caught unawares, he hinted that six teams are working to ensure that the exercise is completed on time.


“It is advisable for a public servant to develop the habit of checking the HOS Website for regular updates. We have confirmed that the salary for November 2023 is concluded. Therefore, those affected will not get their salaries for November,” Okon stated.

However, he assured that some of the affected workers might likely get their salaries for December, including the arrears from September.

Okon appealed to the Federal Government through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to expedite action to ensure that December salaries are not delayed while urging members of the union to exercise patience as everything is being done within the ambit of the laws to ensure that the issues are resolved expeditiously.

On the recent promotions examination for Directors aspiring to the office of the Permanent Secretaries, Dr Okon said such examinations will increase the efficiency of civil service being the engine room of government policies.

Indeed, the Public Service Rule (PSR) states that the selection shall be through a competitive examination process including but not limited to written examination, test of ICT proficiency and oral interview and Resource persons from the Civil/Public Service and Private institutions may be involved in the selection process.


Okon added: “It is expected that when you rise in your career as a director, you have gotten to the pinnacle of your career. Hence, the position of Permanent Secretary is another kettle of fish, which requires greater responsibility and a broader scope of competence. We are yet to understand how government projects and activities are to be driven effectively without having in place the best hands and brains.”

He lamented that over time, the Civil Service has suffered exponential decadence of its pool of highly skilled and knowledgeable officers, saying, “We cannot continue to pay lip service to the need to scale the quality of the civil servants especially those at the senior level who are expected to demonstrate impeccable character and capability to drive government projects and programmes.

“A situation where only 20 candidates out of 85 demonstrated the requisite knowledge and skill at the written examination and 18 candidates from that number made it to the final stage of the recently concluded selection exercise for the appointment of permanent secretaries leaves little to be imagined about the state of the quality of officers in the Civil Service.”

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