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Nigeria, Ghana to end trade dispute, inaugurate parliamentary friendship group

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Nigeria and Ghana have put in place a mechanism to end the trade dispute between Nigerian traders and the Ghanaian authorities, the Speakers of the Parliaments of the two countries have said.
The dispute arose from the $1million business participation fee introduced by the Ghanaian authorities, required of foreigners to pay before they can do business in Ghana, explained Lanre Lasisi, the speaker’s spokesperson.
Speaking at a press conference after a closed-door diplomatic meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila and the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin, said the trade dispute would soon become history.
“We got assurance from both sides that the issue of trade dispute will be a thing of the past. We’re now putting up a mechanism to make sure that these issues don’t come up again in the future”, Hon. Bagbin said.
Earlier, Rep. Gbajabiamila said the closed-door meeting they held was a successful one as issues of interest to both countries were discussed.
“We’ve more or less concluded the roadmap to achieve lasting solutions to the diplomatic issues with our traders.
“The issue with our traders and the Ghanaian authorities has been addressed today. The Minister of Trade and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs were at the meeting.
“There is a technical committee set up. They will be going to Ghana next week to dot the ‘Is’ and cross the ‘Ts'”, he said.
Gbajabiamila also announced that the two parliaments had established and inaugurated a parliamentary friendship group that would hold talks on the relationship between the two countries.
He spoke more, “We’ve inaugurated the friendship group, and they will start talking on behalf of the two Parliaments.
“I want to thank you, the Hon. Speaker, for your kind words and your determination to see an end to the issue.
“The issue of the Nigerian embassy in Ghana, the Ghanaian authorities have accepted to take responsibility, though it has nothing to do with them, but they said they will put it back.
“We went beyond Nigeria-Ghana relationship. We also talked about CoSAP. Other issues will be addressed by the two friendship groups.”
Responding, Hon. Bagbin said: “I want to sincerely thank you so much for the invitation. I can only confirm that everything will be put in place to address the issue of trade between our two countries.
“Let’s ensure that the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria remains cordial and mutual. I thank the Speaker for his commitment and enthusiasm on this matter.” 
Earlier, Hon. Bagbin addressed members of the House at plenary, where he said Ghana and Nigeria had come a long way and that the relationship between the two countries would continue to be cordial and mutual.
He said despite the commonalities between the two countries, “it is important to mention at this stage, that relations between our two countries have not always been smooth. Consistent with the tongue and teeth metaphor which has it that even though the tongue and teeth play complementary roles in the digestive process, they come into conflict occasionally. Similarly, our relations have had its own challenges every now and then.”
However, he noted that the two countries had been able to address whatever issues that came up between them in the past and that they should be able to do that currently.
He gave details, “The issue of Nigerian traders in Ghana; it is on this basis that I commend my brother and colleague, Rt. Hon.Gbajabiamila, and my predecessor, Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, for their noble efforts in pursuing Parliamentary Diplomacy towards finding a lasting solution to the trade impasse between some Ghanaian and Nigerian traders in Ghana.
“The conclusions you arrived at, which were encapsulated in the joint communique issued after the visit, provided the basis for redefining our relations, in terms of our history of cooperation, to forge a better future for the citizenry of our two nations. These conclusions were reinforced by the communique issued after the recent meeting between our ministers responsible for Trade on the sides of the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on the Political Situation in Mali held on 31st May 2021 in Accra.
“Rt. Hon. Speaker, I am here just to help bring finality to the impasse. I pledge my commitment and that of the Parliament of Ghana, to contribute in every way possible to end the impasse between traders of our two sister countries.
“In furtherance of that, under my leadership, the Parliament of Ghana has appointed a seven-member committee as Ghana’s delegation to the Joint Committee of Eminent Persons of our Legislatures. They will interact with their Nigerian counterparts towards passing the ‘Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act.’
“The Act will set up the proposed ‘Ghana-Nigeria Business Council’, which is intended to provide the legal and institutional framework to sustain the continued friendship and business interests of our people.”
He also appealed to “review the prohibition list banning the importation of specific goods and commodities into the Nigerian market from other countries, including Ghana. This request is underscored by the resolution as captured in the communique of 31st May 2021 referred to supra.”


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NIPSS,dRPC Finance ministry, inaugurates TWG to monitor Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Intervention programmes

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Participants at the TWG inauguration event in Abuja comprising representatives of MDAs and CSOs in a group picture on Tuesday, 21st September 2021
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The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in collaboration with the development Research and Project Center and the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning on Tuesday inaugurates a Technical Working Group (TWG) to monitor and evaluate budgetary implementations for Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programmes and policies.

The TWG led by Dr Zakari Lawal (mni), which is part of initiatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Partnership for Advancing Women’s Economic Development, PAWED, aims at entrenching accountability in women’s economic advancement policies and programmes and the monitoring group is comprised of 10 MDAs from across Nigeria.

The event which held at the Bolton White hotels, Abuja had in attendance officials and representatives of the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies(NIPSS), dPRC, MDAs and representives of women associations as well as representatives of Christian women and Muslim women associations

The the terms of reference for the technical working group which was spelt out at the event has as parts of the objectives of the group, the provisions of support in the areas of development and implementation of the pilot monitoring and evaluation framework and to track and rate women’s empowerment project/policies/ interventions at both the national and sub national levels.

The TWG will also support the advocacy for and the dissemination of the WEE Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, support NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC WEE outreach and will function under the guidance and oversight of the NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC.

In the his address, the DG NIPSS, Brigadier C.J. Udaya, represented by Dr Nasrideen Usman, said that the TWG is constituted to foster the accountability components of the NIPSS strategies and asked that there be more clarity especially in terms of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholders and, that it should be well articulated and clearly stated so that every stakeholders like the NIPSS, dRPC TWG and the CBN will know what is expected of them and also guide the implementation of the initiative.

He said the TWG is expected to make recommendations to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), the development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) on the development of advocacy strategies for the affective implementation of WEE policies.

He further added that the monitoring group would also support NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE outreach and engagement activities; submit reports of its activities to NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE at regular intervals; and carry out other ad hoc duties as requested by NIPSS, FMFBNP & the dRPC.

He remarked that ‘with women constituting over 44.82% of the labour force in Nigeria, empowering this segment of our population is not only key to achieving economic independence, but also, it is critical in sustaining the nation’s overall economic development’ therefore, the nation stands to gain as it will go a long way in address some of its economic challenges when women are economically and adequately empowered

He concluded by imploring the 20 committee members drawn from the CBN, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, budget and National planning and other MDAs, to work hard in order to ensure transparency in the implementation of women’s economic empowerment in the country.

In his goodwill speech, Dr Zakari Lawal (mni) Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, stressed the need for strengthening the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for women’s economic empowerment in the country and gave assurance of the federal government readiness to set in mechanisms to promote transparency in the allocation and implementation of policies in the country.

He expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders and MDAs involved with the the project and urged the would be leaders of TWG to take their responsibilities with all seriousness.

At the end of the inaugural event , Princess Adeshola Ogunleye and Mrs Mary Madu Haman emerged the chair and co-chairpersons respectively .

The TWG will be training participants in techniques and skills for tracking budget allocation and implementation on Wednesday and Thursday at the Bolton White Hotel in Abuja.


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Shocker! Kidnappers detain pregnant woman till child birth, keep new baby, set mother free

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A pregnant woman, has allegedly been set free and her baby taking away by kidnappers, after detaining her till the birth of her child, introducing a shocking but gory dimension to what has now become a sort of epidemic in parts of Africa.

Reports coming from Ghana, said the woman, who was identified as Josephine Panyin Mensah, was seized and taken away from her home in Takoradi, when her pregnancy was already due at nine months, but that her abductors only allowed her to go, after she gave birth and her baby taken away.

According to the source, the kidnappers who were interested in the unborn baby bolted with the baby after she had been delivered, adding that family sources indicated that the distraught woman is currently receiving treatment at the Effiankwanta Teaching Hospital.

The victim, was said to have gone missing on Thursday, September 16, after she went for a dawn walk in Takoradi, and that the police immediately swung into action leading a search party for her after a report was made to the by her husband, Michael Simmons.


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Breaking: Davido’s photographer dies

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Davido’s official photographer Fortunate Umunname Peter aka Fortune is dead.

He died three months after the hit maker’s close friend and associate, Habeeb Ademola Uthman aka as Obama DMW passed on.

Davido had also lost his bodyguard of six years, Ogbeide Tijani Olamilekan (Teejay) in 2020.

In 2017, Davido lost two friends and team members, Tagbo and DJ Olu.

Fortune was born and bred in Bariga, Lagos but hailed from Owerri.

He has been working with Davido since 2019.

He was born on July 10, 1997 and started off as a graphics designer before he moved to photography after his aunt, Dr. Harriet, got him his first camera which forced him to move back to Lagos from Owerri.

The exceptional photographer has made portfolios for Davido, Pogba, Popcaan, Lilbaby, Cassanova, Mayorkun, Wizkid, Jidenna, Tiwa Savage, Burna boy, Patoranking, Akon, DMW and many others.

His last Instagram post was on July 10 where he made a birthday post with a caption “Rolling stone +1”


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