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We look forward to working with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Haris – Buhari

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By Abdullahi Muhammed, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday welcomed the inauguration of Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States of America, respectively.

The president expressed hope that their presidency would mark a strong point of cooperation and support for Nigeria and African continent.

The president congratulated the leaders, and entire country on the successful transition, which marks an important historical inflection point for democracy as a system of government and for the global community as a whole.

“We look forward to the Biden presidency with great hope and optimism for strengthening of existing cordial relationships, working together to tackle global terrorism, climate change, poverty and improvement of economic ties and expansion of trade.

“We hope that this will be an era of great positivity between our two nations, as we jointly address issues of mutual interest,” he said.

The president said Nigerians rejoice with Joe Biden, sharing the proud feeling that the first woman elected Vice President of the United States has an African and Asian ancestry.


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We’ll explore constitution amendment to address violence against women, says Gbajabiamila

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has reiterated the determination of the 9th House to remove all obstacles militating against the development of women through relevant legislation.


In addition to collaborating with all critical local and international stakeholders, Gbajabiamila said the ongoing constitutional amendment exercise would be explored to achieve the set goals which was a priority area on the Legislative Agenda of the 9th House.
The Speaker, who disclosed this on Monday, while declaring open the commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, organized by the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians at the National Assembly, expressed the determination of the House to holistically address the issue of violence targeted at women. 


He said: “I assure you that this 9th House of Representatives will continue to take actions to address the challenges militating against the advancement of women in all spheres of human endeavour.


“I ask all of you here today to support the House in this regard so that together we can make the world a better place for all our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and colleagues. 
“This is part of our Legislative Agenda, and we must at the end of it be able to tick that box that we said we would; we have this contract with Nigerians and we did”. 


“This is a matter of constitutional amendments in many regards, and we will be up and doing. I trust the 9th House to be up to the ultimate task in removing whatever obstacles in the past to make sure that this thing is a thing of the past”.
Earlier, the chairperson, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Rep. Zainab Gimba, said gender inequality remains one of the greatest threats to Africa’s future, noting that the International Women’s Day is dedicated to celebrating the socio-economic, cultural and political achievements of women and a platform for action to accelerate gender parity.
“To achieve this goal, we must take conscious steps to ensure women’s involvement in every sphere of the decision-making process to usher in an inclusive development,” she said.


On his part, the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Arc. Ojo Amos Olatunde, tasked women parliamentarians in the National Assembly to rise to the occasion to drastically reduce domestic violence against women in Nigeria.


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Breaking: In Syria, President, wife test positive for COVID-19

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma have tested positive for Covid-19 after experiencing mild symptoms, the presidency said Monday.

“After experiencing mild symptoms that resemble… Covid-19, President al-Assad and first lady Asma Al-Assad took a PCR test, and the result showed that they are infected with the virus,” the presidency said in a statement.

“They are in good health and their condition is stable,” the statement added.

More to come…


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U.S. mission pledges commitment to improve visa services, renovates Consular Pavilion

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By Busayo Onijala

The United States Consulate in Lagos, on Friday unveiled its newly expanded and renovated consular pavilion that seeks to improve the experiences of visa applicants and American citizens in Nigeria.

The U.S. Consulate in Lagos is one of the busiest consular sections in sub-Saharan Africa and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; the section received an average of 1,000 visa and American Citizen Services customers per day.

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Consul General Claire Pierangelo said that the renovated consular pavilion would provide a new safe space for visa applicants to socially distance while waiting for their appointment.

She said that the Consulate was working hard to reschedule visa applicants that were affected by the pandemic, adding that the new consular pavilion would go a long way in helping achieve this goal.

“For most Nigerians and U.S. citizens in Nigeria, their main interaction with the U.S. Consulate is through our consular section.

“The consular customer experience is something we continuously improve on and this new pavilion is an example of that effort.

“From the pavilion to the interview, we want our customers to have a positive experience,” Pierangelo said.

In her remarks, Liliane Hudspeth, Consular Chief noted that the new consular pavilion offered visitors a larger, more comfortable covered waiting area, protection from sun, rain, and inclement weather as well as a great view of the Lagos lagoon.

She added that the consular section had introduced a range of measures to meet the increased expectation of safety.

“We have put in place safety measures that not only protect our visa applicants but also consular staff who serve those applicants,” Hudspeth said.

William Bridgeland, Management Officer lauded the cooperation between the U.S. Consulate Facility maintenance team and the local Nigerian construction contractor.

“Over the past six months, our team and the Nigerian contractor have worked tirelessly to construct this comfortable waiting area and we thank them for a job well done,” Bridgeland said. (NAN)


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