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Envoy to push for establishment of  Nigerian Cultural House in Italy

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Nigeria and Italy Flags
Nigeria and Italy Flags
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Nigeria’s Ambassador to Italy, Mfawa Abam has pledged to push for the establishment of a Nigerian Cultural and Information house in Italy to further promote the country’s rich culture.

Abam made this known on Sunday during the 2021 Edo Carnival organised by the Edo United Union in Rome, Italy with the theme: “Promoting Culture, Tradition, social Integration and Cultural Diplomacy”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) covering the two-day event virtually reports that the annual carnival is organized to showcase and preserve the rich Edo in diaspora.

This is also as Abam pledged the collaboration of the Nigerian Embassy in Italy to promote the course of Nigeria and Nigerians living in Italy in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties.

“Diplomacy in a way can be enhanced through Culture. That is the reason we have Culture and Information Centre in some countries of the World.

“Nigeria as a country is blessed with very rich culture, considering our over 200 ethnic nationalities that form Nigeria. Indeed our diversity and rich cultural heritage is a huge advantage to Nigeria.

“The Embassy will not relent in its effort to collaborate with any cultural group in promoting our rich culture to the outside world, and in particular to our Italtan friends.

“It 1s my intention to open discussion with our Ministry of Culture and Information and relevant Italian authorities to work out the possibility of having a Nigerian Cultural and Information House in Italy during my duty tour.

“This will afford our Children born here to learn about their culture. Such Centre will also assist Italian students interested in African Culture and Literature to have a practical appreciation of our Culture”, Abam said.

Abam further urged Nigerians in Italy and other countries abroad to remain united, law abiding to host countries as he commended the Italian government for its hospitality and favorable living conditions to Nigerians.

He commended the Edo United Union for organising the event which he described as a great platform to showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Nigerians to the Western World.

“It is heartwarming to know that, though we are thousands of kilometers away from Nigeria, we have not forgotten our home.

“I commend the orgainsers of this carnival for bringing the rich culture of the Edo people to Italy. Edo is known all over the World as one of the custodian of the rich culture of Nigeria.

“The Edo artifacts are all over the World and Tourists to Nigeria will never end their tour without purchasing Art works of the Edo people.

“Over the years, the Edo people and in particular the Benins have refused to adulterate its rich culture that our forefather handed over to us. I am a deed proud to be a Nigerian”, Abam said.

Speaking, Mr Edwin Omoregie, President, Edo United Union said the annual Carnival is organized to showcase the Edo cultural Heritage and also to intergrate with the host Country, Italy.

Omoregie said the Italian government has made Italy home to Nigerians, an example which can be seen by the attendance of the Sindaco Roma (Governor of Rome) at the event.

He added that Nigerians living in Italy would not allow anyone jeopardise their relationship with the Italian authorities as they have never been maliciously targeted.

“Because the Italian Authorities are very good in hospitality, this event will bring more integration between us Nigerians and the host country.

“And again I also pray that our children will learn and know about their heritage, that they are from the African Continent and to preserve our tradition”, Omoreige said.

NAN also reports that the event was attended by representatives of the Oba of Benin’s Place and the Governor of Edo. (NAN)

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International

Nigeria’s Senate President Akpabio seeks IPU’s voice in ending conflict in Gaza

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President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio
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The President of Nigeria’s Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has called on the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) to lend a strong voice to the restoration of lasting peace in war-torn Gaza.

Akpabio made the call while contributing to discussions at the ongoing 148th Session of the International Parliamentary Union Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said it is time for nations to rise above sentiments and invoke the spirit of humanity, by doing all they can to bring sustainable peace to the region.

Some of the resolutions, according to the Chairman of Nigeria’s National Assembly, should include access to humanitarian aid, the restoration of normal life in Gaza, and meetings on a permanent truce.

His words: ” Madam President, this is a lone voice from Nigeria. We tried our best in Angola, and we failed to lend a collective voice to what is happening in Gaza. Today, the world is very expectant.

“We must drop ego. It has nothing to do with which country brings the proposal. The basic tenets of humanity demand that we leave here with a resolution for the rest of the world, to show that we have human feelings in us.

“The issues are very clear. If you notice the proposal for 12 blocs; they attempted to even marry the proposals from South Africa. Yes! South Africa has a right to be emotional, but we have children who are dying even as we are talking now. We have people who do not have water to drink, even as we are talking now. We have people who are going to suffer infections from gunshots.

“We have to show the world that we are human beings. The cessation of hostilities must be a part of our resolutions. Access to humanitarian aid must be a part of our resolutions.

‘At the same time, the release of hostages and even those who are prisoners of war, because if both sides take steps in releasing the hostages, releasing the prisoners of war, it means that both sides have agreed that the international community can go to the next stage, which is negotiation for sustainable peace.

“If they cannot agree, I would urge that, from here, we have a three-man drafting committee to come up with those resolutions which we must make before we leave here.

‘We can no longer allow a child to die tonight without lending our voice. It doesn’t matter which side. We are all parents. If we come here to look for ego and then try to be emotional, it’s not affecting them.

“There’s nothing affecting Denmark; there’s nothing affecting South Africa. The people affected are over there and nobody will agree to the lone resolution from Israel. It must be all-encompassing so that we stand up from here as human beings. That would be my plea.

“Let them go aside, meet and remove those vexatious items. In the course of their discussions, we can have amendments. We can add items that we should add, but we must discuss the Gaza issue in this 148th IPU Assembly. That is my position.”

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Okonjo-Iweala ‘Less Optimistic’ About World Trade In 2024

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
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The World Trade Organization’s chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Wednesday said she was “less optimistic” about world trade in 2024, pointing to tensions in the Red Sea.She said weaker global economic growth, “worsening geopolitical tensions, the new disruptions we see in the Red Sea, on the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal” meant “we are less optimistic”.

Okonjo-Iweala was speaking to journalists at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos where political and economic elites are meeting to discuss global challenges.

Before the massive Hamas attack on Israel in October and the subsequent outbreak of war in Gaza, the WTO had predicted trade would grow by 0.8 per cent in 2023 and projected growth of 3.3 per cent this year.

But Okonjo-Iweala warned the figure for 2024 would now be lower in future forecasts.

“We think there are a lot of downside risks to the forecasts we had made last year of 3.3 percent of growth of merchandise volumes this year. So we expect weaker performance,” she said.

“We will be revising estimates for this year, but they won’t be ready for another month or so,” Okonjo-Iweala added.

A spate of attacks by Yemeni rebels on Red Sea shipping has disrupted the vital trade route while the worst drought in decades to hit the Panama Canal has forced authorities to slow transits.

Yemen’s Huthi rebels say their strikes are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The attacks have, however, also caused shipping companies to avoid the Suez Canal.

The Hamas attack on October 7 resulted in the death of around 1,140 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

More than 24,400 Palestinians, around 70 percent of them women, young children and adolescents, have been killed in the Gaza Strip in Israeli bombardments and ground offensive since October 7, according to the Hamas government’s Ministry of Health.

 

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Your Investments Are Safe In Nigeria, Tinubu Assures Saudi Investors

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Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
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President Bola Tinubu on Friday assured potential investors that their investments are safe in Nigeria.

Speaking at the Saudi-Africa Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, President Tinubu said Nigeria is ready for business while assuring investors of some of the world’s highest returns on investment.

“I also wish to assure all potential Saudi investors of the safety of their investments based on the sanctity of the rule of law and good returns on their investments in the largest economy in Africa,” the President was quoted in a statement by his media aide, Ajuri Ngelale.

“In this regard, the benefit attached to the early inauguration of the Nigeria-Saudi Business Council can not be over-emphasized. Nigeria, like the Kingdom, is diversifying its economy away from oil dependence to promote sustainable development.

“My administration has undertaken bold economic reforms by removing wasteful subsidies on petroleum and the merging of our foreign exchange market, among other incentives aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.”

Tinubu stated that Nigeria is desirous of enhancing collaboration with Saudi Arabia on combating terrorist organisations such as Boko Haram, ISWAP, and other violent extremist groups which have been terrorising the Lake Chad and Sahel regions.

He said, “Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed a special relationship at both the bilateral and multilateral levels. Within the past six decades, our bilateral cooperation, which was initially hajj-centric, has witnessed diversification to cover a number of areas of common interest.

“It is delightful to note the presence in this great Kingdom of a large number of our compatriots and professionals, including highly skilled medical practitioners and professional football players.

“As members of several international organizations including the UN, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the International Energy Forum, the G77, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Digital Cooperation Organization among others, our two nations have effectively used these and other platforms to enhance close interaction and coordination.”

The President expressed confidence that the countries’ joint positive disposition within those platforms would continue to be demonstrated “as we seek to advance our mutual interests”.

Further, he thanked the Middle-East nation for the various humanitarian interventions in Nigeria through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.

Speaking on climate change and how it affects Africa, President Tinubu said climate change had led to an expedited rate of desertification and incessant flooding in Nigeria and many other countries of Africa.

He commended the efforts of the Kingdom for its various initiatives to fight the effects of climate change, adding that Nigeria is also working on a number of initiatives to fight the effects of climate change and energy poverty.

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