Itohoimo Udosen

Itohoimo Udosen

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said the Federal Government has approved that all Africans could come to Nigeria without Visa from January 2020.

The Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, disclosed this at the inauguration of the Africa–Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC) on Wednesday in Abuja.

News reports that European border and Coast guard Agency also known as Frontex is an agency of European Union (EU) tasked with border control of the European Schengen Area, in coordination with border and coast guard of Schengen area member states.

“The announcement would be made soon by the President of the Federation.

”But we cannot succeed without a tool like AFIC. This tool is key if we want to implement an effective free movement across our border.

“The tool is actually coming at the right time. AFIC would help African countries especially Nigeria that want to open its border for all Africans to enter at will. And now that tool is available, it would make the work easier for us,” he said.

Babandede said that it was important to acknowledge the different forces in Nigeria curbing crime and insecurity.

“But our duty is unique and you may not see it as it is in Chad, Benin or Cameroon.

“The essence is that we are very keen and we have been working with EU for a long time. Frontex is in charge of border before they got another responsibility called coast guard which is also very keen to Africa especially checking member state of ECOWAS,” he said.

The CGI commended the EU and Frontex delegates for establishing the risk analysis centre, adding that analysis could not be done physically without analytical system.

“I was opportune to be at the Frontex headquarters, and I came with useful tools which are for border and control centre.

”This has brought about the building of border and control centre which will be inaugurated next year. So the analytical system from Frontex, border control system and even mobility would all be in one place,” he said.

Babandede assured the delegates that the service would maintain the equipments and called for more training of officers.

“We assure you of the site maintenance if we have a technical know how of maintaining this system. We have done that with IOM very well.

”All the equipments donated for e-Migrants registration are already been installed by all our trained officers,” he said.

Roman Fantini, the head of sector, Frontex, assured the immigration service of training the officers as requested to help maintain the system and usage.

Fantini said that AFIC was not a new development as it started nine years ago and had since grown to what it was today.

He commended the EU and NIS for collaborating to ensure the security of the country.

Ms Eleni Zerzelidou, EU head of delegates, appreciated the immigration service for beefing up the collaboration by taking a step further to ensure border opening for all Africans by 2020.

Zerzelidou added that the EU would continually support the service in delivering its mandate and ensuring the safety of the country.

She said that the long standing partnership with NIS resulted into border management such as NIS border management strategy, MIDAS, among others.

“But we believe Frontex would do more to compliment all we have done so far in assisting the service and the county at large,” she said.

A child, resident of Ciudad Juarez, looks through the bars of a wall from the side of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in this picture taken on the side of El Paso, Texas, U.S. May 25, 2019.

A federal judge issued a permanent injunction barring President Donald Trump’s attempt to transfer $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Judge David Briones, of U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas, issued the injunction in a 21-page ruling.

The ruling is a setback for Trump, whose administration has vowed to build at least 450 miles of wall along the border by November 2020, when the U.S. presidential election will take place. Trump has argued the wall will deter illegal border crossings, a major focus of his presidency.

A Justice Department spokesman said the administration would appeal the ruling.

Trump declared a national emergency last February to transfer funds from the Pentagon to build the wall after Congress refused to provide the level of funding he sought.

However, top Democrats in Congress have criticized the project as wasteful and ineffective.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, El Paso County and the Border Network for Human Rights, an El Paso-based immigration reform group, argued that Trump exceeded his authority when he declared the emergency and sought to redirect the funds.

The Union of European Football Associations, UEFA, will pay £8million each to Chelsea, Liverpool and all the remaining 14 teams that have qualified for the Champions League Round of 16 stages.

Chelsea defeated Lille 2-1 in their final Champions League group stage encounter on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge to book their place in the last sixteen.

Liverpool also qualified after beating Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 on Tuesday.

A total of 14 clubs have confirmed their places in the Champions League Round of 16 following the completion of games on Tuesday night. They are Chelsea, Liverpool, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Valencia, PSG, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Barcelona, RB Leipzig, Valencia, Tottenham Hotspur, and Real Madrid.

Atletico Madrid or Leverkusen plus Dinamo Zagreb, Atlanta or Shakhtar Donetsk will now complete the 16.

On Wednesday, Atletico must overcome Lokomotiv Moscow, to ensure a place in the last 16.

If Bayer Leverkusen fails to beat Juventus, then Diego Simeone’s side will be second.

Also, Shakhtar Donetsk will advance if they beat Atalanta. But a draw will be enough if Dinamo fails to defeat Manchester City.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says it is taking measures to address the menace of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the nation’s Oil and Gas industry.

The Group Managing. Director, Malam Mele Kyari disclosed this at the inaugural Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Policy Dialogue in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that oil theft had remained a challenge in the industry in spite of some strong interventions in the past.

The NNPC boss noted that the gradual reduction in pipelines vandalism would be sustained through improved collaboration, implementation of Global Memoranda of Understanding (GMoUs), and deployment of appropriate technologies.

Kyari, represented by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mr Roland Ewubare listed other measures to curb the menace to include a security architecture with single accountability for national critical infrastructure.

He listed others as industry and regulatory commitment to transparent crude oil and products accounting, the realistic expectation by host communities, and emplacement of sustainable social investment mechanism.

Kyari emphasised the need to inculcate shared values of integrity and transparency across every level of the governance structure for pipeline security, policy refill and enforcement of legal actions on economic saboteurs.

He harped on the need to prioritise and instil in the nation’s teeming youth a sense of patriotism and national orientation.

On the immediate and remote causes of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, the GMD said that most stakeholders were of the view that oil theft was majorly a social problem.

He noted that underlying causes of crude oil theft include poverty in the communities, community-Industry expectation mismatch and corruption.

Others, he noted include ineffective law enforcement, poor governance, poor prosecution of offenders, high unemployment in the communities, thriving illegal oil market involving both Nigerians and foreigners, and inadequate funding of resources to combat oil theft.

He expressed concern that NNPC as an operator, had suffered severe attacks on its facilities.

According to him, between 2001 to mid-2019, NNPC has recorded a total of 45,347 pipeline breaks on its Downstream pipeline network across the country.

Kyari said that for the nation’s economy to prosper, NNPC and other oil companies must be able to operate efficiently and profitably.

“Unfortunately, the combination of crude oil theft, illegal refining and pipeline vandalism has become a major threat to Nigeria in meeting its revenue projections in recent time,” he said.

Also, in his presentation, Edo Governor and Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) Ad Hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft, Prevention and Control, Mr Godwin Obaseki stressed the need to institute a proper governance structure for pipeline security in the Industry.

Obaseki called on the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA) to work with the NNPC in identifying possible international markets and destinations of stolen Nigerian crude oil.

He said that the industry must end the prevailing incentives that make it possible for crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism to flourish.

The governor disclosed that NEC had upgraded the Ad Hoc Committee on Crude Theft to a standing committee with a mandate to provide regular updates to NEC as may be required.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio gave gory statistics on the situation, challenging participants at the policy dialogue to come up with practical solutions.

The theme of this year’s dialogue is: “Stemming the Increasing Cost of Oil Theft to Nigeria.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has said that Nigeria will strengthen bilateral ties with Brazil to boost its economy through increased trade relations, agricultural initiatives, multilateralism, and tackle insecurity.

Onyeama made this known on Tuesday in Abuja when he received Mr Ernesto Aranjo, Brazilian External Relations Minister of Brazil who is on a working visit to Nigeria.

Onyeama who said that both countries had a lot in common, added that Nigeria would leverage on the expertise of Brazil to grow the economies of both countries.

He said that the Federal Government would embark on a lot of initiatives to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria to make the country more attractive to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

The minister said that Nigeria had a lot to offer in terms of return on investment.

“There are numbers of important initiatives that we are pursuing such as the Green Initiative, a very promising initiative that will be a game-changer in the agricultural sector.

“We look forward to cooperating with you in implementing this very ambitious agricultural project which is based on the success and experience of Brazil in the field of Agriculture.

“We also look to have closer and deeper ties, security-wise. We face some security challenges, terrorist challenges for a number of years now.

“And Brazil is one of the countries we also look to explore areas of cooperation in the military field and we hope that this could be something that we can achieve.

“Brazil is one of the largest economies in the world and one of the largest country population-wise and Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and the most populous country so we have a lot of similarities.

“For such too large economies, we feel that we should be doing a lot in trade between our two countries and the level can be increased much more.

“We have relations in the oil and gas sector and agriculture as well, but we can do a lot more and we are delighted that there is a business group that has come with you from Brazil to explore possibilities,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama also told his Brazilian counterpart that there is a lot of advantage for Brazil for coming to Nigeria and there is a lot of economic advantage that the ECOWAS is able to offer and now.

He told the Brazilain envoy that with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), Africa could be one of the largest global integrated common markets which should be of major interest to Brazil.

Onyeama said that Nigeria would, in close collaboration with Brazil strengthen multilateralism at the level of the United Nations.

He said that the High Level Strategic Dialogue meeting holding in March 2020 between both countries Vice Presidents would be an opportunity to look into the issues of pending Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs).

Also speaking, Aranjo said that Brazil seeks to have strong and new engagements with Nigeria basically on three pillars; Economic, trade and investment, in the area of Defense and security and on human connection and values.

He expressed conviction on the realization of the set pillars between both countries within a short time frame.

“The Green Imperative Initiative is a wonderful project and we are committed to making it happen.

“Brazil has an enormous potential in term of agricultural technology and Nigeria has potentials in agriculture that totally match.

“Brazil is in a new circle of development after many years of stagnation and the reasons Brazil survived through the difficult years of its economy has been mainly through Agric business.

“The Defence and security area is also promising, we share concerns on the need to fight terrorism and organised crimes.

“In the multilateral sphere, we want to also coordinate with Nigeria to foster a common vision for those organisations in the multilateral dimension,” Aranjo said

Aranjo said that he hopes the strategic meeting between the Vice Presidents of Brazil and Nigeria will set a good roadmap for both countries to achieve the listed areas of cooperation.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that the country’s administration will retaliate if the United States takes negative steps against it.

Mevlut said this when asked about the prospect of Washington imposing sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster A Haber, Cavusoglu also said Turkey was open to alternatives to buying U.S. F-35 jets, including from Russia, after Ankara was suspended from the program over the S-400 purchase.

The most notable split has come over Turkey’s decision to proceed with the purchase of Russia’s top-of-the-line missile defense system, the S-400, seen as a threat to NATO defense systems and the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jet.

However, the commander of U.S. European Command believes both countries have enough in common to salvage the relationship.

“The military-to-military convergence far outweighs the military-to-military divergence with the U.S. and Turkey and with NATO and Turkey,” General Tod Wolters told reporters during an appearance in Washington on Tuesday.

“I saw no cracks in the armor in Turkey’s willingness to work side by side as a NATO partner with us,” he added, referring to talks with Turkish officials during the recent NATO meeting in London. “That’s what I know from my foxhole.”

George J. Laurer, whose invention of the Universal Product Code at IBM transformed retail and other industries around the world, has died.

The former IBM engineer died at the age of 94 in his home in Wendell, North Carolina.

His 1975 invention of the Universal Product Code(UPC) at IBM transformed retail and other industries around the world. Barcodes, which are made up of black stripes of varying thickness and a 12-digit number, help identify products and transformed the world of retail.

They are now found on products all over the world.

The now-ubiquitous marking, composed of unique black bars and a 12-digit number, allowed retailers to identify products and their prices as they are scanned, usually at checkout.

Laurer said in a 2010 interview that grocery stores in the 1970s were dealing with soaring costs and the labor-intensive requirements of putting price tags on all of their products. The bar code led to fewer pricing errors and allowed retailers to keep better account of their inventory.

Eight tourists are still missing at the site of New Zealand White Island volcano as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed “unfathomable grief” Tuesday for those caught in the deadly eruption.

Five persons have been confirmed dead, with the missing eight presumed dead as well.

Among the missing are tourists from Australia, the United States, Britain, China and Malaysia, as well as New Zealanders who were acting as guides.

Prime Minister Ardern held out no hope for the missing after Monday’s tragedy, saying overnight aerial reconnaissance flights had found no signs of survivors.

“The focus this morning is on recovery and ensuring police can do that safely,” she told a press conference.

“To those who have lost or are missing family and friends, we share in your unfathomable grief and in your sorrow,” Ardern said.

“Your loved ones stood alongside Kiwis who were hosting you here and we grieve with you.”

In addition to the five dead and eight missing, Ardern said 31 people who were on the island during the cataclysm were in hospital with various injuries, including serious burns.

In the hours after the eruption, police had determined the risk was too great for on-land rescues.

Police spokesman Bruce Bird said a helicopter has scoured the area for 45 minutes, checking if anyone was still alive — without success.

Safety concerns have stalled the effort to recover bodies.

“We will only go to the island when it is safe to do so for our people,” said Bird.
A large proportion of the victims are thought to be Australian.

At the time of the eruption, the island was being visited by a group of more than 30 people from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Ovation of the Seas, which left Sydney on a 12-day voyage last week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 24 Australians were among those on the volcano tour.

“We must prepare for some difficult news in the days ahead,” he said.

Britain’s high commissioner in New Zealand said two of its citizens were being treated.

The eruption at White Island — also known as Whakaari — occurred just after 2:00 pm Monday (0100 GMT), thrusting a thick plume of white ash 3.6 kilometres (12,000 feet) into the sky.

The island is about 50 kilometres (30 miles) offshore in the picturesque Bay of Plenty and attracts about 10,000 visitors every year.

Seconds before, live camera feeds showed a group of more than a half dozen people walking on the crater floor. Then the images went black.

The threat level at the volcano had been raised in recent days, and questions are already being raised about whether it was safe for tour groups to visit.

Cruise operator Royal Caribbean had sold a day trip to White Island as an “unforgettable” adventure to New Zealand’s most active volcano, one that took visitors so close to the action they could require gas masks and hard hats.

  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« December 2019 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31