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Okonjo-Iweala counsels Nigeria’s diaspora to support the nation’s economy for peace

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
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Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has said the contributions of Nigerians at home and abroad could positively impact the nation’s economy to bring about peaceful coexistence.

The DG said this at a webinar to celebrate the National Diaspora Day on Sunday, in Abuja, organised by the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) to commemorate its establishment and its achievements so far.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was themed: ” Diaspora Integration for National Peace and Development”, which NiDCOM described as being anchored on the levers of peace that would accelerate Diaspora engagement for national growth and development.

The commission observed that no nation could succeed in an atmosphere anchored on insecurity, hatred and divisive tendencies.

In her contribution, Okonjo-Iweala applauded the Diaspora for their huge contributions to the nation’s economy, citing in particular how their remittances had brought about development of the rural areas and the sustenance of the economy.

”Let me applaud fellow Nigerians in the Diaspora because they are contributing so much, in many ways; the remittance that the Diaspora send home is in millions of dollars which has contributed in sustaining our economy.

“It helps people living in the rural areas to get resources to send their children to school, take care of their health, build and run businesses, but we can do more wherever we are in the Diaspora, for there’s no place like home.

“So, what we should be thinking of is how we can help to make things better wherever we are, be it in the village or the town to make things better at home, either through creating employment, business, a civil society organisation, or helping to support what the local government is trying to do.

“This is what helps to create peace and I am not saying that is all of it, but the fact remains that there are so many young people who do not have jobs and the COVID-19 situation had made that worse with the lockdown.

“I think we should be thinking of what we can do to help improve the economic situation of people at home because that’s what helps to bring peace.

“If we did not have so many disoriented and disorganised unemployed youths , some of the activities that we see at home that are detrimental towards peace and security might not happen,” she said.

Speaking earlier, Amb. Zubairu Dada, the Minister for State for Foreign Affairs, stated that the Federal Government was willing to create an enabling environment that would encourage direct investment by the diaspora.

Dada added that Nigerians in the Diaspora had continuously shown great dedication, with their time, skills, talents, resources and global exposure, to the development of the country.

“The theme of this year’s event encapsulates the intention of Nigeria in high engagement with her diaspora, especially in these times when we badly need peace, if any development is ever to take place.

“This celebration is also a networking event intended to showcase the achievements of Nigerians in the Diaspora, particularly our internationally acknowledged surgeons, educationists, world class athletes, engineers, lawyers and scientists, among others.

“Men and women who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers for their huge contribution to the peace and progress of their host countries and humanity in general.

“I wish to assure you that the federal government of Nigeria will provide an enabling environment, through policies and programmes tailored to support you and your wellbeing, and in turn encourage you to give back for the upliftment of your country,” he said.

He added that the government had taken a further step by approving and adopting the National Diaspora Policy 2021 and its Action Plan, for a more holistic approach to the nation’s engagement with the diaspora.

Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, noted that development could only thrive in a peaceful environment, hence the need for maximum cooperation to collaborate.

She urged the diaspora to collaborate with Nigeria, their country of origin, in sharing ideas , technology and others skills, that would promote her development.

NAN reports that the National Diaspora Policy 2021 was unveiled by the NiDCOM Boss, Mr Franz Celestin, Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Sir Chibuzor Ugochi of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, (NIDO UK-SOUTH). (NAN)

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International

Bin Laden’s Deputy Al-Zawahiri Killed In US Drone Strike

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Al Zawahiri
Al Zawahiri
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A United States drone strike killed Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri at a hideout in Kabul, President Joe Biden said Monday, declaring that “justice had been delivered” to the families of the 9/11 attacks.

Zawahiri’s assassination is the biggest blow to Al-Qaeda since US special forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 and calls into question the Taliban’s promise not to harbour militant groups.

It was the first known over-the-horizon strike by the US on a target in Afghanistan since Washington withdrew its forces from the country on August 31 last year, days after the Taliban swept back to power.

“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in a sombre televised address, adding he hoped Zawahiri’s death would bring “closure” to families of the 3,000 people killed in the US on September 11, 2001.

Zawahiri was believed to be the mastermind who steered Al-Qaeda’s operations — including the 9/11 attacks — as well as bin Laden’s personal doctor.

A senior administration official said the 71-year-old Egyptian was on the balcony of a three-storey house in the Afghan capital when targeted with two Hellfire missiles after dawn Sunday.

“We identified Zawahiri on multiple occasions for sustained periods of time on the balcony where he was ultimately struck,” the official said.

The house is in Sherpur, one of Kabul’s most affluent neighbourhoods, with several villas occupied by high-ranking Taliban officials and commanders.

The interior ministry previously denied reports of a drone strike circulating on social media, telling AFP a rocket struck “an empty house” in Kabul, causing no casualties.

Early Tuesday, however, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that an “aerial attack” was carried out.

“The nature of the incident was not revealed at first,” he said.

“The security and intelligence agencies of the Islamic Emirate investigated the incident and found in their preliminary investigations that the attack was carried out by American drones.”

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African Union Hails Landmark Russia-Ukraine Grain Deal

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The African Union on Saturday hailed a landmark deal between Ukraine and Russia that will allow Kyiv to resume exports of grain through the Black Sea and relieve a global food crisis.

Ukraine’s farms are a major source of grain for the world market, in particular in the Middle East and Africa, where food supplies are critically tight.

Cereal prices in the world’s poorest continent have surged because of the slump in exports, sharpening the impact of conflict and climate change and sparking fears of social unrest.

“The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomes the signing by Russia and Ukraine of agreements,” a statement said, praising Senegalese leader and AU chair Macky Sall “for having called for the urgent need for the resumption of cereals from Ukraine and Russia to global markets as made to President Vladimir Putin during a joint AU mission to Sochi” in early June.

Ukraine and Russia and two of the world’s largest grain producers.

But Ukrainian mines laid across the Black Sea to avert an amphibious assault, as well as Russian warships, have blocked exports from Ukraine, leaving up to 25 million tonnes of wheat and other grain in danger of rotting in ports and silos.

Sall thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who oversaw the signing ceremony in Istanbul on Friday, as well as presidents Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
“This was the objective of the mission I led in Sochi on June 3,” Sall tweeted.

The International Rescue Committee, which helps people affected by humanitarian crises, also welcomed the accord, saying countries in East Africa relied “on Russia and Ukraine for over 90 percent of their wheat imports”.

“The lifting of these blockades will go some way in easing the extreme hunger that over 18 million people in East Africa are facing, with three million already facing catastrophic hunger conditions,” Shashwat Saraf, IRC’s East Africa emergency director, said.

AFP

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International

Boris Johnson Agrees To Resign As Prime Minister

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
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British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Thursday finally agreed to step down as Britain’s prime minister.

The Tory leader announced his resignation this afternoon at 10, Downing Street, London.

His agreement to step down comes after several weeks of intense calls for his resignation and a loss of party support, borne out of his mishandling of damaging scandals including parties held at Downing Street in defiance of coronavirus lockdowns and the appointment of Chris Pincher into his government despite knowing of past allegations of sexual misconduct.

“It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister,” Mr Johnson announced.

“I have agreed with Graham Brady, the Chairman of our back bench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now.”

More details soon

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