The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday said that $135 million was needed from international communities to respond to the humanitarian and development needs of refugees.
 
Mr Volker Turk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, UNHCR, disclosed this in an interview with the News men on the sideline of the 2nd Regional Protection Dialogue on the Lake Chad Basin held in Abuja.
 
The 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy (HRS) and the Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP), were seeking $848 million and $135 million respectively to continue provision of food, water, shelter and protection to the most vulnerable people in Nigeria and neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
 
The Humanitarian Response Strategy also articulates a collective vision for the next three years of humanitarian action and marked the first time in Nigeria that humanitarian actors were adopting a multi-year approach.
 
Turk said that about seven million people were affected by insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states with 2.5million internally displaced persons in Nigeria.
 
According to him, the refugees’ response plan is for refugees in Nigeria and other neighbouring countries.
 
“As you know, about seven million people are affected by the insecurity and violence in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, there are 2.5million persons whose life has been disrupted.
 
“Because they have to flee to other parts internally within Nigeria, over 1.5million has also crossed into neighbouring Cameroun, Niger and Chad.
 
“We also have about half a million internally displaced people in Cameroun, it shows that people get displaced because of the insecurity.
 
“And it’s so crucial for us to find ways and means to be able to respond to their humanitarian needs. We have asked the international community to make available, 135million dollars.
 
“Based on needs assessment that we have done, including host communities, we need to respond to their humanitarian and development needs and that is precisely what the refugee response plan is trying to achieve,“ he said.
 
Turk said that the 2019-2021 humanitarian response strategy for the North-East Nigeria and 2019-2020 regional refugee response plans were launched to provide better humanitarian activities for the people who were affected.
 
He said that it was crucial that the international community worked with neighbouring countries and Nigeria to respond to the very need that the people lacked.
 
“We really need to do everything not to forget our brothers and sisters in the North East and in the neighbouring countries and this is why we have launched the humanitarian response plan.
 
“As well as the refugees response plan so that we can provide better services, better humanitarian activities for the people who are affected,“ he said.
 
 
Source: PmNews
Growth of the world economy is expected to slow as the US-China trade conflict takes its toll and undermines confidence, the World Bank said Tuesday in its semi-annual forecast.
 
The World Bank cut the global GDP forecast to 2.9 per cent this year and 2.8 per cent in 2020, slightly below the previous forecast, but warned that risks were rising and urging policymakers to prepare for a storm.
 
US economic growth is expected to slow this year by four-tenths of a point, falling to 2.5 per cent down from 2.9 per cent in 2018, and to slow even further next year to 1.7 per cent, according to the Global Economic Prospects report.
 
 
 
Source: Business Insider
One of the rare market bright spots last year, the U.S. healthcare sector remains a Wall Street darling despite a slow start to 2019.
 
As 2019 begins, healthcare .SPXHC is the most favored of the 11 main S&P 500 sectors, according to a Reuters review of ratings from 13 large Wall Street research firms, which recommend how to weigh those groups in investment portfolios.
 
Healthcare shares overall rose 4.7 percent last year, one of only two S&P 500 sectors, along with utilities, to post positive returns in 2018 as the benchmark index fell 6.2 percent.
 
Proponents cite the healthcare sector’s reasonable valuations, strong balance sheets and dividend payments among many companies, as well as the group’s upbeat outlook for earnings, which are less susceptible to economic cycles than other businesses.
 
If economic growth is slowing, some investors are wary of being too invested in cyclical sectors that thrive during an upswing, but do not want to be too defensive either.
 
“We are trying to find things that skirt both of those two categorizations, and healthcare is a really nice diversified earnings stream,” said Noah Weisberger, managing director for U.S. portfolio strategy at Bernstein.
 
Such diversity stems from the variety of companies comprising the sector: manufacturers of prescription medicines, makers of medical devices, such as heart valves and knee replacements, health insurers, hospitals and providers of tools for scientific research.
 
From a stock perspective, that means the sector includes potential fast-growing stocks, such as biotechs that can carry more risk and more reward, or large pharmaceutical companies and others that offer steadier, slower growth.
 
Investment advisory firm Alan B. Lancz & Associates sold some pharmaceutical holdings late last year that had posted big gains, such as Merck & Co (MRK.N), to move into biotech stocks it believed were undervalued, said Alan Lancz, the firm’s president.
 
“We have maintained our overweighting, which is unusual for us with a sector that has outperformed so dramatically,” Lancz said. “But mainly there are segments within the sector that still offer opportunity.”
 
For 2019, healthcare companies in the S&P 500 are expected to increase earnings by 7.5 percent, ahead of the 6.3 percent growth estimated for S&P 500 companies overall, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
 
Health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N), the sector’s third-largest company by market value, kicks off fourth-quarter earnings season for healthcare on Tuesday.
 
“Healthcare is one of the few sectors with high quality, above-market growth and it’s relatively immune to the array of macro headwinds that we see out there,” said Martin Jarzebowski, sector head of healthcare for Federated Investors.
 
Healthcare shares could also benefit from anticipation of increased dealmaking activity after two large acquisitions of biotechs were already announced this year.
 
Despite healthcare’s outperformance last year, the sector is trading at the same valuation as the S&P 500 – 14.5 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months – whereas healthcare on average has held a premium over the market for the past 20 years, according to Refinitiv data.
 
The sector also is valued at a discount, by such price-to-earnings measures, to defensive sectors, including consumer staples .SPLRCS, which trades at 16.6 times forward earnings, and utilities .SPLRCU, which trades at 15.8 times.
 
According to the Reuters review of sector weightings, healthcare is followed by financials .SPSY, then technology .SPLRCT. Real estate .SPLRCR ranks as the most negatively rated group.
 
The healthcare sector has lagged in the early days of 2019, rising less than 1 percent against a 3 percent rise for the S&P 500.
 
Some investors doubt healthcare will maintain its outperformance. JP Morgan strategists downgraded the sector to “underweight” last month, pointing in part to political rhetoric possibly turning “more negative on healthcare leading up to the 2020 presidential elections.”
 
The healthcare sector struggled ahead of the 2016 election, with the high U.S. cost of prescription medicines a prominent issue during the presidential campaign. With renewed scrutiny on drug pricing, such concerns linger.
 
The sector could suffer if investors become more optimistic about economic growth and flee defensive stocks, while the popularity of healthcare as an investment could work against it if the trade becomes overly crowded.
 
“There is risk there,” said Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital in South Carolina. But given issues affecting other sectors, he said, “when you look around the market…you arrive by default at healthcare, and so I think that’s why a lot of people are interested in the sector.”
 
 
Source: Business Insider
A report by the Secretary General of the United Nations on the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, UNIWAS, has said that Nigeria lost an estimated $2.8 billion in revenue due to oil related crimes in 2018.
 
The report, which was released in New York on Monday, covered from July 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018.
 
The report said: “Maritime crime and piracy off the coast of West Africa continued to pose a threat to peace, security and development in the region.
 
“Oil-related crimes resulted in the loss of nearly 2.8 billion dollars in revenues last year in Nigeria, according to government figures.
 
“Between January 1 and November 23, there were 82 reported incidents of maritime crime and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.’’
 
It also noted, that compared to what obtained in the previous report, there was an increase in drug trafficking throughout West Africa and the Sahel.
 
“In Benin, the Gambia and Nigeria, more than 50 kilogrammes of cocaine were seized between July and October by joint airport interdiction task forces.
 
“During the same period, joint airport interdiction task forces seized more than six kilogrammes of methamphetamines, eight kilogramme of heroin (double the amount in the first half of 2018) and 2.6 tonnes of cannabis.
 
“Drug production across the region was also reportedly on the rise, with more than 100 kilogrammes of ephedrine and phenacetin seized by competent authorities,’’ the report said.
 
The UN report further revealed that the during it covered, conflicts between farmers and herders resulted in loss of lives, destruction of livelihoods and property, population displacements and human rights violations and abuses.
 
It also added that outbreaks of violence were recorded in many states across Nigeria, although with more frequency in the Middle Belt region, as well as Adamawa and Taraba, adding that the rise in conflict between farmers and herders was closely linked with demographic pressures, desertification and the attendant loss of grazing reserves and transhumance routes, which had been exacerbated by climate change.
 
The report further identified others to include challenges in the implementation of effective land management and climate change adaptation policies, and limited enforcement of existing pastoral laws.
 
Political and economic interests, the erosion of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms, and weapons proliferation, were also listed as some of the other factors attributed to the increased cases of herders-farmers conflict.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on political actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to work together for a free and fair elections on Sunday.
 
Guterres, in a statement, also encouraged all Congolese citizens to seize “this historic opportunity” to participate in the consolidation of the country’s democratic institutions.
 
The UN chief also reminded those with a stake in the outcome of their “critical role” in preventing electoral violence, by refraining from any form of provocation and showing maximum restraint in what they say and do.
 
He urged everyone to protect and ensure safe access to health facilities in Ebola affected areas, amid serious concerns, expressed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
 
WHO had warned that recent violence in the country’s east could reverse important gains made against the disease and increase transmission.
 
In a separate statement, Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director General of WHO, said that the agency was “doing everything possible” to assist those affected by the deadly Ebola in eastern DRC in spite of deteriorating security situation.
 
Protests have reportedly erupted in three key towns – Beni, Butembo and Yumbi – following the Government’s decision to postpone elections there, amid fears of Ebola transmission, and an uptick in violence by armed groups.
 
Meanwhile, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, Leila Zerrougui, voiced regret over the postponement of elections in Beni, Butembo and Yumbi, on account of the Ebola outbreak.
 
“I was informed that there was a health concern with the hundreds of people passing by and touching a screen. I understand this concern.
 
“Personally, I regret that the people of Beni and Butembo, who have suffered much for years cannot vote,” Zerrougui added.
 
To mitigate the threat of Ebola transmission during the elections, the UN mission is working to place hand-washing and cleaning facilities at the entrance to polling stations.
 
Source: NAN
Migrants and refugees are being subjected to “unimaginable horrors” from the moment they enter Libya and throughout their stay in that country, a UN report has stated.
 
The report, released by the United Nations Political Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), also showed the horrors of attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
 
The findings were based on 1,300 first-hand accounts gathered by UN human rights staff in Libya itself as well as from migrants who had returned to Nigeria.
 
It also featured accounts of Nigerians who managed to reach Italy, tracing the entire journey of migrants and refugees from Libya’s southern border across the desert to the northern coast.
 
“There is a local and international failure to handle this hidden human calamity that continues to take place in Libya,” said Ghassan Salamé, head of UNSMIL.
 
From unlawful killings, arbitrary detention and torture, to gang rape, slavery, and human trafficking, the report covers a 20-month period up to August 2018.
 
It detailed a terrible litany of violations and abuses committed by a range of state officials, armed groups, smugglers and traffickers against migrants and refugees.
 
The climate of lawlessness in Libya provides fertile ground for illicit activities, leaving migrants and refugees “at the mercy of countless predators who view them as commodities to be exploited and extorted,” the report said.
 
It noted that “the overwhelming majority of women and older teenage girls” report having been “gang raped by smugglers or traffickers.”
 
Many people were sold from one criminal group to another and held in unofficial and illegal centres run directly by armed groups or criminal gangs.
 
The report said: “Countless migrants and refugees lost their lives during captivity by smugglers after being shot, tortured to death or simply left to die from starvation or medical neglect.
 
“Across Libya, unidentified bodies of migrants and refugees bearing gunshot wounds, torture marks and burns are frequently uncovered in rubbish bins, dry river beds, farms and the desert.”
 
Those who managed to survive the abuse and exploitation, and attempted the perilous Mediterranean crossing, were increasingly being intercepted or “rescued” by the Libyan Coast Guard.
 
Since early 2017, the approximately 29,000 migrants returned to Libya by the Coastline Guard were placed in detention centres where thousands remained indefinitely and arbitrarily without due process or access to lawyers or consular services.
 
UN staff visiting 11 detention centres, where thousands of migrants and refugees were being held, documented torture, ill-treatment, forced labour and rape by the guards.
 
Migrants held in the centres were systematically subjected to starvation and severe beatings, burned with hot metal objects, electrocuted and subjected to other forms of ill-treatment with the aim of extorting money from their families through a complex system of money transfers.
 
The detention centres were characterised by severe overcrowding, lack of ventilation and lighting and insufficient washing facilities and latrines.
 
In addition to the abuses and violence committed against the people held there, many of them suffered from malnutrition, skin infections, acute diarrhoea, respiratory-tract infections and other ailments as well as inadequate medical treatment.
 
Children are held with adults in the same squalid conditions, the report found.
 
The report pointed to the apparent “complicity of some state actors, including local officials, members of armed groups formally integrated into state institutions and representatives of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence in the smuggling or trafficking of migrants and refugees.”
 
The UN independent human rights expert on torture, Nils Melzer, estimated that given the risks of facing human rights abuses in the country, transfers and returns to Libya could be considered a violation of the international legal principle of “non-refoulement”.
 
Non-refoulement protects asylum seekers and migrants against returns to countries where they have reason to fear violence or persecution.
 
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Michelle Bachelet, while reacting to the condition faced by migrants and refugees in Libya, said: “The situation is utterly dreadful”.
 
“Tackling the rampant impunity would not only end the suffering of tens of thousands of migrant and refugee women, men and children seeking a better life, but also undercut the parallel illicit economy built on the abuse of these people and help establish the rule of law and national institutions,” Bachelet said.
 
The report called on European States to reconsider the human costs of their policies and ensure that their cooperation and assistance to the Libyan authorities are respectful of human rights and in line with international human rights and refugee law.
 
This is to ensure that they do not, directly or indirectly result in men, women and children being trapped in abusive situations with little hope of protection and remedy, the report said.
 
 
Source: PmNews

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday in New York endorsed the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), the UN Network on Migration said in a statement.

According to the statement, the GCM was formally adopted with 152 votes in favour and five against while 12 abstained.

Welcoming the formal endorsement of the Compact by the General Assembly, the Network said the adoption of the GCM represented a landmark moment in the pursuit of international cooperation on migration for the benefit of all.

The statement, made available to the Press, said that Compact’s significance also lay in its recognition that effective migration policies, and greater protection of the vulnerable, required the support of many actors.

To that end, the Compact was strengthened by the engagement of a broad alliance of partners, including civil society, the private sector, trade unions, Diaspora and migrant communities, national human rights institutions, local authorities, youth networks and other actors, it noted.

The Compact was adopted on Dec. 10, during at the two-day Intergovernmental Conference on Migration in Marrakech, Morocco.

News reports that the GCM is the first-ever negotiated global framework on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions.

Though non-legally binding, the Compact is the product of an intensive process of negotiations.

It provides a strong platform for cooperation on migration now and into the future, drawing on best practice and international law, to make migration safe and positive for all.

In her reaction, Ms. Louise Arbour, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, said in the statement that the formal endorsement of the Compact represented “a resounding commitment to an international migration framework based on fact, not myth.

“It is also based on an understanding that national migration policies are best implemented through cooperation not in isolation.

“As the many initiatives proposed by the Compact start to take root, we will see lives saved, living conditions improve, and communities integrate and flourish through increased development and prosperity.

“Looking to the future, we will be better equipped to rely on a spirit of solidarity, rather than on indifference or – worse – selfishness that could otherwise tear us apart.”

Similarly, Mr António Vitorino, the Director-General, International Organisation for Migration, said: “The Global Compact comes at an important moment.

“It contains within it the promise of an evidence-based less politically charged discourse on migration, a plan for developing more comprehensive policies to improve the lives of migrants and the communities in which they live, and the possibility to reduce dangerous, chaotic and irregular migration flows.”

Vitorino, speaking as the Network Coordinator on behalf of its Executive Committee and wider membership, described migration as a phenomenon with many dimensions.

“It touches on profound and urgent questions of sustainable development, climate change, humanitarian crisis, border control, security, fighting trafficking in human beings as well as smuggling, fostering means of legal migration, including for work, and greater protection of our universal human rights.

“No single part of the UN community can effectively address all dimensions of migration but together, we have the chance to make a real difference. That is what the Network is about,” he said.

The United Nations system expressed its commitment to supporting the implementation of the Global Compact through the creation of the UN Network on Migration.

It is a collaborative community of UN entities coming together to provide effective and coordinated support to member-states and other partners in carrying forward the objectives agreed to in Marrakech.

This Network will leverage the impact of the UN considerable expertise and capacity in helping to strengthen the benefits of migration and to address its many challenges.

It was established at the request of the secretary-general and is welcomed in the GCM.

It currently comprises 38 entities from within the UN system with an executive committee of eight which provides strategic oversight and is the principal decision-making body of the network.

Members of the Executive Committee are the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Others are UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).


Source: NAN

Oliver Stolpe, Country Representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has said that the world loses $2.3 trillion to corruption annually.
 
He disclosed this at the Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) training organised for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies of member-countries of African Union (AU) in Abuja, on Monday.
 
The training was organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
 
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was to also commemorate the 2018 UN International Anti-Corruption Day.
 
Mr Stolpe quoted World Economic Forum which estimated the cost of corruption to be at least 2.3 trillion dollars a year, saying that it was five per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
 
“Corruption begets more corruption and results in a culture of impunity. It is that corruption present in all countries, including the rich and poor, North and South.
 
“Let us stand on this International Day against Corruption together, united against the scourge.
 
“It is an assault on the values of the UN. It robs societies of schools, hospitals and other vital services; it drives away foreign investment and it strips nations of their natural resources.
 
“It undermines the Rule of Law, tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows,” he said.
 
On his part, acting Chairman of ICPC, Musa Abubakar, said corruption risk assessment was one of the preventive tools employed by ICPC to plug systemic loopholes which provided opportunity for corruption in the public sector.
  
According to him, it was first developed in the country in 2011 with the assistance of the United Nations Development Virtual School in Bogota, Colombia, which trained the first set of corruption risk assessors.
 
“Since then, a new set of 60 persons have so far received training at the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria and certified as corruption risk assessors, courtesy UNDP and UNODC.”
 
Mr Abubakar also said the commission had produced reports of CRA on the ports sector, two Nigerian International Airports and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) charged with promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
 
“The latest of these reports being the CRA of Nigeria’s e-government systems that is, Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIMIS).”
 
He said when loopholes and leakages in the systems were plugged, people would be denied access to public funds and as such, would not have the opportunity to misappropriate it.
 
“This is against pursuing individuals after the deed is done, an action that drains a lot of resources amidst challenges that create uncertainty of outcomes.
 
“To this end, ICPC stands on the principle that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a tonne of remedy.”
 
Mr Abubakar said reports revealed that the redeployment of TSA, IPPIS and GIFMIS had significantly reduced bureaucratic corruption in Nigeria.
 
He said it was attributable to factors such as reduction in human interface and elimination of direct access to cash resources.
 
Also, representative of ECOWAS Commission, Remi Ajibewa, congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his leadership and chair of ECOWAS authority of Heads of States and Government.
 
“This leadership has consistently provided support on constructive guidance to the ECOWAS Commission, enabling the commission to perform its mission and in advancing the promotion of good governance, integration and development in the region.”
 
He commended the Mr Buhari’s fervent commitment in making transparency, accountability and integrity the cornerstone of governance in the region.
 
“These qualities have undoubtedly contributed to earning the President’s appointment as the African Union Anti-Corruption Champion for 2018.”
 
High point of the event was the presentation of the report of the CRA of Nigeria’s e-Government Systems by Mr Buhari.
 
 
(NAN)
 
 
 

The population of unauthorised immigrants in the United States fell to 10.7 million in 2016, its lowest level since 2004.

It was so largely due to a decline in the number of people coming from Mexico, the media reported on Wednesday, quoting a study recently released.

The report from the Pew Research Centre pewrsr.ch/2Qptbid, based on US Census data and other figures from 2016, showed the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has declined steadily.

Their numbers were peaked 12.2 million in 2007.

Researchers believe part of the reason for the decline was the economic recession that gripped the United States in 2007.

Thereafter, there was the slow recovery that followed, which limited work opportunities for migrants.

“The combination of economic forces and enforcement priorities may be working together to discourage people from arriving or sending them home,’’ said D’Vera Cohn.

Cohn is one of the authors of the Pew Research Centre report.

President Donald Trump has made immigration enforcement a focus for his administration, most recently, pressing the US Congress to authorise funding of a wall on the border with Mexico.

He has deployed troops in advance of the arrival of a caravan of migrants from Central America.

Even before Trump took office, a decline in the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico had changed the demographic profile of unauthorised migrants in the United States.

Among recent arrivals, immigrants in the United States, who overstayed a visa, were likely to outnumber people who illegally crossed the border, it said.

Overall, the Pew study was in line with previous research that found many unauthorised immigrants have been living in the United States for years.

Their children are more likely to have been born in the country than abroad.

Among the 10.7 million unauthorised immigrants, two-thirds of adults have lived in the United States for more than a decade, the Pew Research Centre study found.

Five million US-born children with American citizenship are living with parents or relatives, who are unauthorised immigrants, the study found.

 


Source: pewrsr.ch/2Qptbid

The Federal Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) have signed a $60 million new country programme for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Nigeria for 2018- 2022.
 
The programme is to guide UNIDO’s programme/projects interventions in Nigeria during the period; build on the cumulative achievements of past Country Programme implemented by Nigeria/UNIDO; and to strengthen synergies by collaborating with other development partners, state and non-state actors, including the private sector.
 
Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister, Industry, Trade and Investment signed on behalf of the federal government, while Li Yong, the Director-General, UNIDO signed for his organisation.
 
The new country programme, the second in the series of UNIDO’s support to Nigeria, is aligned to the priorities of the Federal Government as outlined in the Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan.
 
It covers industrial governance, research and statistics; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise development; Special Economic Zones, Industrial Parks & Private sector development; innovation science and technology management.
 
Other key areas covered are agro industry and agribusiness development; minerals and metals development; trade capacity building; renewable energy development; and environmental management programme.
 
Mr Enelamah, who expressed gratitude of the federal government and his ministry for UNIDO’s collaboration said the programme was designed to build on the cumulative achievements of the past Country Service Frameworks and Country Programme implemented by UNIDO.
 
He said that UNIDO was encouraged by the success of the first Country Programme which paved way for the new programme.
 
He listed some of the achievements of the first programme, which ended in June 2018, as:
 
· support for the development of an industrial policy for Nigeria and for states including Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Oyo, Lagos, Abia, and Edo;
 
· agribusiness and agroindustry development, including value chains development with installation of modern rice milling equipment in Ebonyi State and Benue State, and installation of palm oil processing mill in Akwa Ibom State;
 
· renewable energy development with the identification of over 200 potential Small Hydro Power (SHP) sites in Nigeria; installation of SHP plants in Enugu State, Bauchi State, and Taraba State; technical support to 5 Megawatts rice husk (biomass) to energy in Ebonyi State; techno-economic feasibility studies and business plans on sawdust (biomass) to energy in 9 Local Government Areas in Ogun State and Ondo State. The SHP plant in Taraba State is the source of power for the Highland Tea Factory which has transformed from bankruptcy to profit;
 
· development of textile and garments common facility centres in Abia State (for leather and garment), Kano State (for leather and leather goods) and Delta State (for leather); and
 
· National quality infrastructure.
 
Answering questions on the direct impact of the programme on Nigerians, he explained that, among other benefits industrial development means creation of more job opportunities.
 
The minister promised effective collaboration with UNIDO for the success of the programme, which will enhance the implementation of the ERGP which started well and for which concerted efforts are being made to ensure it ends well.
 
Earlier, Mr Yong said that the signing of the agreement was important for Nigeria as the country strives toward achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 which focuses on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.
 
He promised that UNIDO will collaborate with the ministry to mobilise funds and resources required to successfully implement the programme.
 
Welcoming Mr Yong earlier on, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, said his acceptance to personally come for the signing ceremony, even at short notice, underscores the strategic place Nigeria has in UNIDO’s agenda for eradication of poverty and inclusive growth.
 
“As you are aware, once Nigeria gets it right, the entire Africa Continent is in good stead to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals,” she added.
 
 
Source: Business Insider
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