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FG gives qualifications for Ambassadorial appointments.

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The Federal Government has explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service will be appointed into positions of career ambassadors. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this at a send-off dinner organised in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House.

The Minister in a statement issued by Mr Abiodun Oladunjoye, Deputy Director (Information), State House, said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image-makers of the country. According to him, “Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ‘‘He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective. ‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.” The Foreign Affairs Minister recalled that President Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.

He said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, for significant investments in the region of 5 billion dollars in the Nigerian economy. He said, ‘‘It is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.” Speaking at the ceremony held at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honouree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out.’’ Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that “we are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.” In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded him for excellent service to the State House and the nation. He said, “He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well.”

The Permanent Secretary on behalf of the staff and management of State House, presented a gift to Ambassador Ahmed, who attended the dinner with his wife and children, wishing him a successful tenure in his duty tour. He urged him to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring the outgoing DOP of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff. Responding, the Ambassador-Designate thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar. He pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas. Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective.’’ He said these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests. Ahmed singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari and the State Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship. He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.

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JOHESU, AHPA issue fresh 15 days nationwide strike notice

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The Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations have issued a fresh 15 days strike notice.

This followed an unanimously resolution adopted by the two groups to step down the notice of strike due to expire midnight September 17 and issue a fresh notice of 15 days.

It would be recalled that the union had on September 2 issued the Federal Government a 15 days ultimatum to meet its demands or embark on nationwide strike at the expiry date.

The JOHESU Acting General Secretary, Chief Matthew Ajorutu, said this in a communique issued at the end of an Expanded National Executive Council emergency meeting of the union via Zoom and physical attendance on Friday in Abuja.

The expanded NEC had the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the state and branch levels.

Ajorutu said that NEC-in-session had critically appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with the Federal Government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15 days strike notice issued on September 2.

He said that NEC also noted the appeal from President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the President’s pledge to pay any debt owed health workers.

He said that NEC also received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the strike action due to commence at midnight on September 18.

According to Ajorutu, NEC, after long hours of exhaustive deliberations on issues surrounding the planned industrial action, resolved that the Federal Ministry of Health should ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

He said: “The Federal Government should ensure that the new data for the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to the ‘High Level Body (HLB)’ of the FG not later than Wednesday, September 22, as agreed.

“NEC-in-session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the High Level Body (HLB) complete and submit the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the September 30th, submission window.

“NEC urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window.

“Finally, NEC-in-Session unanimously adopts a resolution to step down the notice of strike action due to expire mid-night September 17, and issue a fresh notice of fifteen days.”

The communique further said that NEC commended all members for their commitment and understanding towards the struggle for better working conditions, improved healthcare services and social justice for all.

Eagle Online

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Defection: Gumi knocks Fani-Kayode, calls him ‘Judas of Oduduwa’

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Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described Femi Fani-Kayode as the ‘Judas of Oduduwa’ following his defection from the opposition party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Gumi wrote:

“I have for long, neglected the rantings of the Judas of Oduduwa attacking me knowing fully well that he is fake and a traitor.

“Time has now caught up with him and thanks to Allah, all his vituperations are cast in the dustbin of merciless history.

“It is him now, one wonders which of the seven circles of hell this duper will settle if he doesn’t repent.”

Recall that the Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation under President Olusegun Obasanjo, berated those fronting for bandits and terrorists in the country. Though he never mentioned names but his rhetorics suggested he was referring to Sheikh Gumi.

On joining the APC, Fani-Kayode, however, said that he was moved by the Spirit to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, pointing out that he was a founding member of the ruling party.

Arogbonlo Israel,Vanguard News Nigeria

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BDCs funding Boko Haram, kidnappings, says CBN governor

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused operators of Bureaux de Change (BDC) of funding terrorism and kidnapping in the country.

Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, stated this in Abuja on Friday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

He also vowed that CBN would not rescind its decision to ban the sale of foreign exchange to the BDCs.

Emefiele said the CBN had resolved to stop funding the BDCs in the name of stabilising the forex market.

He said, “We have decided that this will stop and it has stopped for good. It beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and involved in corrupt practices.”

He also said, “We have unwittingly supported activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them back into the country and conduct crime whether it is Boko Haram, kidnapping or all sorts of nefarious activities.

“We the CBN take our country’s dollar and sell to people to go and buy arms ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to continue to do. We cannot do that any longer.”

He told bank customers with legitimate requests for forex exceeding the official limit that “your bank will speak to us and we will give you what is even more than the limit. We will continue to monitor the banks.

“We conducted a study, one of the banks sold in one day forex to 52 people who wanted to travel. After two weeks, they went to check, 40 out of the 52 had cancelled their tickets. They will have to return the forex or we will pursue you if you are involved in this nefarious activity. We are not going to go back there again.”

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