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Lawan seeks closer parliamentary, economic ties between Nigeria and Turkey, S/Korea

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan
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Lawan seeks closer parliamentary, economic ties between Nigeria and Turkey, S/Korea
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has advocated for closer collaboration between Nigeria, Turkey and South Korea particularly in parliamentary engagements and also in the areas of economy and technology.
Lawan made the call on Wednesday in separate audiences with the Ambassadors of Turkey,  Hidayet Bayraktar and South Korea, Kim Young-Chae who paid him visits in his office at the National Assembly.
The President of Turkey was on a visit to Nigeria last month during which some agreements were signed between the two countries.
The Senate President told his first guest the Ambassador of Turkey, that the National Assembly, particularly the Senate “will be glad to have a parliamentary relationship with the Turkish Grand Parliament.
“Whatever we do at the executive level and I know so many agreements were signed the last time the President was here.
“The National Assembly can be of help here because some of the agreements need to be actually activated or supported by legislation so that we have a better and more enduring arrangement that withstand the test of time.
“So the relationship between the two parliaments of Nigeria and Turkey is very important.
“We have already established a Senate Nigeria/Turkey Tarliament Friendship Group but we are yet to start any activities.
“So with this visit, I want to tell you clearly that we are ready as a parliament to engage with our colleagues in Turkey and convey our message to the Speaker of the Grand Parliament of Turkey that the Senate particularly is also willing to share experience with them and we are prepared to exchange visits so that we benefit from each other.”
Lawan thanked the Turkish authourities for the support that Nigeria received in the fight against insurgency and also for granting Nigerian students scholarship to study in Turkish Universities.
“We will continue to hope that this relationship is improved further and further at all times and from 1962 to date, definitely the relationship has grown but we want it to be faster and I believe that when we have more economic engagements and more parliamentary relationship, the relationship can be stronger,” Lawan said.
Earlier, the Turkish Ambassador told the Senate President that “during our President’s visit, the thing that we have noticed is that the parliamentary dimension of our relationship is not too strong.
“We are trying to intensify relationship in that field.”
Also speaking to the Ambassador of South Korea, the Senate President applauded the relationship between Nigeria and South Korea.
“The relationship between South Korea and Nigeria can only be better. The growing trade relationship is commendable but we need to improve on it so that we can benefit from your technological advancement in agriculture sector particularly.
“We need to introduce a lot of technology so that we increase and enhance our agricultural performance in many areas including the mechanisation of our system here for better and improved output.
“In the areas of commerce and other businesses, we have a lot to benefit from you just like you also have a lot to benefit from us. I believe that what we want and need more from South Korea is technology that they have been able to develop.
“So we need an adaptation of some of these technology and we need so much investments from the Korean business community here in Nigeria.
“Nigeria has a very big population and we believe that we can provide a good market instead of always importing from other countries which is inimical to our balance of trade.
“We believe that countries like South Korea should be able to locate very appropriate places within our country and bring some of these technology to be adapted in our country.
“The relationship between the two countries has been so good. I believe we can take our relationship as parliaments especially the Senate and South Korean parliament because whatever we do, we need to make it more susteanable and enduring and when we develop the relationship that we hope to develop, we also need to see areas of agreement where the countries will have mutual benefits and that is where the parliament will be of immense help because the parliament can enact laws that will support the kind of agreements that we can reach between the two countries,” Lawan said.

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Nationwide Strike : TUC Faults NLC

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NLC and TUC logo
NLC and TUC logo
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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has raised alarm that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)  not carry it along before declaring a two-day nationwide industrial action planned for February 27 and 28, 2024.

TUC Secretary General Nuhu Toro, in a letter to the NLC leadership dated February 19, 2024, expressed disappointment that the Joe Ajaero-led labour group did not carry the Festus Osifo-led trade association along before declaring a planned strike despite that the two groups unanimously issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement its agreement with the Organised Labour and address the mounting economic crisis of survival in Nigeria.

The TUC said the 14-day ultimatum will expire today (Thursday) and both centres ought to agree on the next step but the NLC on February 16 declared a two-day protest to commence after the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum it jointly issued to the government.

The TUC general secretary said, “It is important that this is the third time that such unilateral declaration is happening under your leadership, we are therefore constrained to formally put this on record as various discussions, communications and interventions have failed. First and second time could pass as human error but a third time would in our opinion translate to an intentional act to undermine us.

“Also note that we are not averse to the issuance of your resolution because our members equally feel the pain, even if it’s a weeklong national strike, but we have a huge problem with the unilateral declaration for a process we both muted and agreed, because our members are equally concerned about the rising cost of living and not particularly the ultimatum, why can’t we see through the ultimatum that expires within the same period before jointly addressing other issues of mutual concern or at worst consolidate them?

“For the avoidance of doubt, we fully understand that NLC is an independent labour force centre that has the right to take independent decision, it is pertinent that when such decisions are taken unilaterally, there is need to go ahead and implement unilaterally.”

The Department of State Services (DSS) has since urged the NLC to shun the planned strike, pursue dialogue and negotiation, instead of engaging in actions that could escalate tensions but the Ajaero-led group has insisted on going ahead with the industrial action.

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National Assembly To Consider Fresh Legal Framework For State Police – Bamidele

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Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The National Assembly has disclosed that it will consider a legal framework for the creation of state police and for the gathering of local intelligence about the activities of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists.

The legislature also challenged the local government council authorities, traditional rulers and community leaders to mobilise local vigilantes, hunters and able-bodied youths in defence of their communities and territories.

The Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele made these remarks on behalf of all the recipients of honorary doctorate degrees at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti on Saturday.

Apart from Bamidele who received Honorary Doctorate Degree in Private Law, the university conferred similar honours on Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Olamilekan Adeola and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Navy, Hon. Yusuf Daji, among others.

Speaking on behalf of all the awardees, Bamidele revealed the resolve of the National Assembly to develop a legal framework and support local intelligence gathering to tame the tide of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism.

Specifically, the senate leader pleaded with the critical stakeholders – traditional rulers, community leaders, vigilante groups and able-bodied youths – on the need to provide useful information to the state security services on the activities of criminal elements disrupting our national peace.

According to him, all the state security services require community, group and individual support to decisively confront the menace of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism across the federation.

Bamidele said: “More than ever before, the National Assembly is working tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework to strengthen community policing and multi-level security architecture.

“Developing such a legal framework has become imperative at this time in our history. This plan is in the overriding public interest of safeguarding the security of lives and property, the stability of our democracy and the progress of our fatherland.

“The cases of abduction, killings, maiming, population displacement and disruption of socio-economic activities in Benue, Ekiti, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Ondo, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara in recent times have called for an urgent and decisive action by all state actors and other stakeholders.”

He expressed dismay with spate of insecurity in the country, saying Justice would duly be served to those were complicit in the recent abduction of pupils of Apostolic Faith Nursery and Primary School, Emure-Ekiti and their teachers and the gruesome killing of two of two traditional rulers – Onimojo of Imojo Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola and Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin in the Oke-Ako area of Ikole Local Government.

He further warned that the day of reckoning “is already at hand for those behind abduction, maiming and killing in Ekiti and other states of the federation. None of them will escape the long arm of the law. In Ekiti, we are peace-loving people. But nobody should take our spirit of good neighborliness and accommodation for granted for any reason.

On the economic crisis, Bamidele reassured Nigerians that relief is already in sight soon considering strategic reforms the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been taking to revive the economy.

Also at the convocation, Adeola vowed to give priority to the country’s educational sector, especially where and whenever he had the opportunity to make such contributions.

Adeola, currently representing Ogun West in the Senate, thanked the leadership of the institution for bestowing the honorary doctorate on accountancy on him.

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Uba Sani Blames Poverty, Hopelessness, Others For Insecurity In North-West   

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Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani
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The governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, says poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and lack of education are the major reasons insecurity is festering in the Northwestern part of the country.

Sani, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, monitored in Abuja  said that the issue of banditry and kidnapping in the North-west is different from that of insurgency in the North-East.

“The North-West crisis has to do with banditry and kidnapping, it is economic problem. When you look at the situation critically, you will agree with me that most of those bandits always kidnap innocent people and ask for ransom and whenever they are given money, they will release the victims in many cases and some cases when there is a delay they end up taking the lives of those victims.

“And when you look at the situation, you also look at the problem of poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and lack of education particularly in the Northwestern part of Nigeria, that is the reason why a lot of these incidents happen,” Governor Sani said.

The governor maintained that statistics has proven that greater percentage of people living in the North-West are living below poverty line, adding that a lot of out of school children in the country are also from the North-West zone.

“The last time I checked, and you can confirm from the SDGs recent report, you would agree with me that about 80 to 90% of the people living in the Northwestern part of Nigeria are living below the poverty line and of course if you look at the statistics of out of school children, you can see that a lot of the are from the Northwestern part of Nigeria,”he said.

Governor Sani said that bringing the criminals and pardoning them when they surrender is only one aspect of non-kinetic approach of ending the insecurity which according to him, is not the most important aspect.

The most important approach to ending the menace as he noted, is looking at the condition of the people generally which includes the poverty, unemployment and hopelessness.

 

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