Press Release: An Invitation to the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) and Travel to Dubai to Cover One of the World’s Largest Events for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)

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DAKAR, Senegal, January 26, 2017/ APO (www.APO-opa.com), the press release distribution service dedicated to Africa and the Middle East, and the global leader in media relations related to Africa and Middle East, will award one African journalist with a round trip ticket and accommodation to cover the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) (http://www.AIMcongress.com/en) – one of the world’s largest events for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) –, to be held on April 2-4, 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The deadline for entry is midnight GMT on 31 January 2017

APPLY NOW to win the invitation: http://www.APO.af/WIN

The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) is one of the most celebrated conferences and exhibitions in the world, and links top Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) investors, experts and practitioners in the world. Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the theme of the 7th edition of AIM will be “International Investment, the Path to Competitiveness and Development”.

The 2017 edition of AIM expects to welcome more than 15,000 participants, heads of states and governments, businessmen and investors from over 140 countries across the globe. According to the World Investment Report 2016, Global FDI flows rose by 38 per cent to $1.76 trillion in 2015, the highest level since the global economic and financial crisis of 2008–2009.

Watch the video “Annual Investment Meeting 2016 Highlights”: http://APO.af/gmu83s

Each year APO offers journalists the opportunity to attend major events such as the African Development Bank Annual Meeting and AfricaCom as a part of its commitment to supporting journalism in Africa.

For instance, the three previous recipients of the AfricaCom invitation were science journalist Aimable Twahirwa from Rwanda (http://APO.af/nsQpxT), journalist John Churu from Botswana (http://APO.af/QpEYBG) and journalist Lilian Murugi Mutegi (http://APO.af/OObhll).

In September 2016, reporter Aggrey Mutambo from Kenya (http://APO.af/POgrGb) has won APO’s invitation to attend the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) 2016, the leading hotel investment conference in Africa.

APO also sponsors the APO Energy Media Award (http://APO.af/IVnNJR) and the APO Media Award (http://APO.af/erwHiu) where a journalist wins $500 a month for one year, one laptop and one intercontinental flight ticket to a destination of his or her choice as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges.

APPLY NOW to win the invitation: http://www.APO.af/WIN

The deadline for entry is midnight GMT on 31 January 2017.

The winner will be announced on 6 February 2017.

APO will pay for one round trip ticket and accommodation in Dubai. APO will not pay for visa, food, local transport or any other expense.

Distributed by APO on behalf of APO.

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Contact:

Aïssatou Diallo
bdm@apo-opa.org
+41 22 534 96 97

About APO

APO (http://www.APO-opa.com) owns and manages Africa Wire® and MENA Wire®, the press release distribution services dedicated to Africa and the Middle East. Founded in 2007, APO is the sole press release wire in Africa, and the global leader in media relations related to Africa and the Middle East.

With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, APO has a media database comprising over 150,000 contacts in Africa, 45,000 in the MENA region, and is the main online community for news relating to Africa.

It offers a complete range of services, including press release distribution and monitoring, online press conferences, interactive webcasts, media interactions, strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations and events promotion. To find out more, please visitwww.APO-opa.com.

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Tambuwal Appoints Chief of Staff, Reshuffles Sokoto Media Corporation

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​Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has approved the appointment of Alhaji Mukhtar Umar Magori as the new Chief of Staff, Government House.

  1. Until this appointment, Magori is into private business.

He attended Nagarta College, Sokoto for his secondary education and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for his first degree.

The new Chief of Staff  has an MSc in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales in Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Mutawallen Sokoto, has also approved the restructuring of Sokoto State Media Corporation (SSMC).

Under the new and enhanced arrangement, the following appointments have been made:

1. Malam Abubakar Shekara (Managing Director)

2. Alhaji Labaran Lumo Dundaye (Deputy Managing Director)

3. Usman Buhari Sani (Director, Rima Radio)

4. Alhaji Lawal Sadiq (Director, Rima Television)

5 Aliyu Aliyu Dogon Daji (Director, State FM)

6. Abubakar Junaidu (Director Administration)

7. Hajiya Halima S. Tudu has been appointed as a Director-General in the State Civil Service.

All other directors in the media corporation retain their current positions and schedule.

The Governor tasked the new team to introduce innovative strategies that will reposition the state media outfits for optimum results.

He also urged the new team to key into government’s overall objective of providing quality service that will lead to the upliftment of the standard of living of the people of Sokoto State.

Signed: 

Malam Imam Imam MNIPR, AMNIM

Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs

Nigeria Launches Plan to End Hunger By 2030

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L-R: Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole; Director General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Dr Nteranya Sanginga; and the Director of Policy and Program, World Food Programme, Mr Stanlake Samkange; during the launch of the “Synthesis Report of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review,” in Abuja.

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Nigeria is making gigantic plan to achieve zero hunger by the year 2030 as it launches a strategic plan and roadmap in that regard.

The 60-page “Synthesis Report of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review,” is an articulation of the needs of Nigeria needs for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2)—one of the recently adopted global goals that seeks to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture” by 2030, a statement issued by the Communication and Knowledge Exchange Expert of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Mr. Godwin Atser disclosed.

The Synthetic Report, developed by the nation’s experts and chaired by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is a reflection of Nigerians’ perspectives on the needed steps that would win the battle against hunger and malnutrition.

“The report would support and encourage the government to implement the policies, strategies, plans, and programs that have been formulated over many years, and to do so with a focus on achieving Zero Hunger by 2030, if not earlier,” Obasanjo said at the launch in Abuja adding that the Report provided a framework that would “unlock the potential of our nation and emancipate our dear country from the shackles of hunger and poverty.”

He noted that the establishment of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum based at IITA, would ensure that recommendations contained in the Report and the individual Subcommittee reports were implemented. “We must do all we can so that this effort does not suffer the fate of previous endeavours,” he stressed.

Obasanjo commended President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review; lauded Ms Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) for funding and request for the review as well as commended the African Development Bank (AfDB) for providing the larger part of the funds.

The Director of Policy and Program at the WFP, Mr Stanlake Samkange commended Nigeria for developing the strategic document, emphasising that the Report was the first in West Africa and would be a guide for other countries to emulate. He reiterated that the task of ending hunger could not be solved by a single organisation.

The Director General of the IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga said the Report was a departure from other previous reports in the sense that it would be backed by immediate actions, adding that “IITA would continue to support states with relevant technologies cutting across crops such as cassava, maize, cowpea, yam, soybean, banana and plantain among others.”

While the inauguration of the Report would be followed with immediate implementation in Benue, Ebonyi, Ogun and Sokoto states this month, eight more states would be added in January 2019 and by 2021, all states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be covered.

Nigeria, with rich agricultural potential, in 2015 endorsed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of efforts to achieve sustainable development in general as well as lift over 13 million people from hunger.

The launch of the Synthesis Report received commendations from the Minister of Health, members of the National Assembly, state governments, United Nations agencies, the African Development Bank and the private sector among others.

 

 

 

Sokoto Threatens To Revoke C of O of Filling Stations That Hoard Fuel

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state has threatened to revoke Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) of any filling station that is found to be hoarding fuel in order to create artificial scarcity as well as selling above official rate.

He said that the government will collaborate with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to set up a joint task force that would ascertain filling stations’ compliance with laid down rules and regulations guiding their operations.

The Governor’s threat came at the heat of serious fuel scarcity bedevilling Sokoto town and environs that has lingered for over two weeks.

Speaking when he inspected sale of fuel at some filling stations in Sokoto on Sunday, Tambuwal said government will not fold its arms and watch unscrupulous marketers hold the people to ransom.

He observed that since the supply of fuel from the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) has not altered, no one was expected to create artificial scarcity to burden the people.

Accompanied by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Salihu Maidaji, the Governor urged all those hoarding fuel to quickly open their stations. “The committee will go round, and any filling station found hoarding fuel will face the full wrath of the law,” Tambuwal added.

He commended the management of one of the filling stations he visited, SAK Petroleum for discharging the commodity promptly and at official price.

 

Of The Tambuwals, The Issues And The Supreme Court Judgement

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe 


It is about Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Senator Umar Dahiru Tambuwal. Both are from Tambuwal town in Tambuwal local government of Sokoto State; both are lawyers by profession and politicians; both were at the National Assembly, the former as a member of House of Representatives and Speaker and the later as a Senator and Senate Committee Chairman on Judiciary. Both were known to be friendly and worked for the development of the state.

Both came closer when former governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko’s protracted legal battle seemed to consume his seat as governor, then. They worked assiduously to ensure that Wamakko won the battle by spear-heading the fight in unison with other National Assembly members from Sokoto state. The Wamakko/Dahiru romance was said to be so deep in which case the Senator was viewed as the likely successor to Wamakko. It was then viewed as Wamakko’s reciprocal gesture, with the Senator having worked on his connections with the judiciary to rescue Wamakko from the legal hurricane.

This writer gathered that Dahiru, not taken in by the country’s political hocus-pocus, had a heart-to-heart discussion with Tambuwal as to whether he was interested in contesting the governorship seat of the state. On three occasions, the governor was said to have affirmed to Dahiru that he was not. “Senator Dahiru contacted the governor on three occasions to ask him if he was interested in the contest and on each occasions, he told Dahiru that he would not,” a staunch member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) told me. Comfortably settled that he would not have to face an opposition, at least from the former Speaker, Dahiru began his ground works.

Dahiru and all other National Assembly members except Senator Ahmed Maccido, Rt. Hon. Tambuwal and Hon. Umar Bature had defected to the APC along with former governor Wamakko. However, Tambuwal’s late defection to the APC on October 28, 2014 changed the ball-game. Tambuwal changed his stance of not contesting the governorship seat. Dahiru viewed that as a “political hypocrisy that should not happen between us.” Dahiru could not be tamed not to contest the primary election with Tambuwal. According to him, he preferred losing the primaries than be cowed to bow to simple political cowardice. This gave birth to the political hullabaloo, which in turn resulted in the current legal juggernaut.

The December 4, 2014 APC party primaries was to be the stepping stone for the legal juggernaut between Dahiru and Tambuwal. For Dahiru the entire processes in the conduct of the primaries in which Tambuwal was declared winner with over 3,000 votes, were marred with irregularities and since the party both at state and national levels failed to address his complaints, he approached the Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja. He told the FHC that provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act and the electoral guidelines of the APC as they affected the governorship primary in Sokoto state were breached in favour of Tambuwal.

Among Dahiru’s allegations was that the APC National Secretariat’s approved list of delegates were substituted with a boogie list, which was used for the conduct of the primaries in December 2014; that local and state government officials worked openly for Tambuwal in the primary that violated the APC guidelines as if affects secret balloting; that Tambuwal’s name was written on ballot papers, which were issued to delegates, freely and that non-delegates were also given chance to vote at the primaries. Dahiru told me in an interview that the governorship election committee that came to monitor the primaries from the APC national headquarters of the APC, was not allowed to listen to complaints lodged by him.

Discontented with what he terms as “injustice”, Dahiru went to the Federal High Court to challenge the primary election that led to the nomination and sponsorship of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal by the APC to contest the Sokoto State Governorship election held on April 11, 2015. He sued the All Progressive Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who were Defendants in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/11/2015 filed on January 27, 2015. Barrister Abubakar Sanyinna, who also contested the governorship primaries, was joined as second Plaintiff. 

In an originating summons, Dahiru posed the following questions for determination by the trial court: “(a) whether the procedure for the nomination and/or sponsorship of candidates for elective offices recognized by the Electoral Act 2010 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, is within the exclusive domain of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended); (b) whether the conduct of the Governorship Primaries of the 1st Defendant conducted on the 4th of December 2014 was not grossly in non-compliance with the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010, the APC 2014 Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for Public Offices and therefore unlawful, illegal, null and void.

“(c) whether in the circumstances of this case, the Plaintiffs are not entitled to relief having exhausted internal party mechanism to redress the non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), APC 2014 Guidelines for the Nomination of Public Offices and the Constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); whether it is lawful for the 3rd Defendant to act on a candidate nominated by the 1st Defendant for the purpose of the general elections when such a candidate was elected in violation of the Electoral Act, 2010, and the electoral guidelines established by the 1st Defendant.”

In the same vein, Dahiru sought court’s declarations that the procedure for nomination/sponsorship of candidates falls within Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 and APC Guidelines; that the conduct of the governorship primaries was grossly in non-compliance with the section of the Electoral Act and APC Guidance; the Plaintiffs were entitled to relief having exhausted internal party mechanism to address non-compliance with the Act and Guidelines; that it was unlawful for the 3rd Defendant (Governor Tambuwal) to act on a candidate since he was elected in violation of the electoral guidelines put in place by the APC; among other declarations.

Tambuwal challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Abuja because elections were conducted and he had won. He contended that Dahiru’s case had become an “academic exercise.” The FHC however overruled the preliminary objections raised by the APC, INEC and Tambuwal, and held that it had jurisdiction to hear and determine Dahiru’s cause of action. The court also considered on May 26, 2015 that “The issue is simple and straight forward, and that the conduct of election, does it extinguish the right of the Plaintiff to the action. My obvious answer will be in the negative. So the mere fact that election took place does not extinguish the right of an aggrieved party to the suit. On this my proposition of the law, I will place reliance on the case of GWEDE VS INEC & 3 OTHERS (2014) LPELR 23763 SC.”

Disappointed by the ruling of the Federal High Court, the APC, INEC and Tambuwal appealed against the ruling of the FHC to the Appeal Court and the Appellate Court on December 21, 2015 found merit in the appeal and agreed that the suit by Dahiru had become an academic exercise because Tambuwal had been elected as governor on April 11, 2015. “…In conclusion, this Court has jurisdiction to entertain this appeal on substitution of a candidate for an election which is a pre-election matter. This application lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed,” the Appeal Court held.


  1. Also dissatisfied by the Appeal Court, Dahiru and Sanyinna approached the Supreme Court to determine whether the matter had actually become an academic exercise and whether courts, including the Supreme Court, lack the jurisdiction of determining hypothetical and academic issues. The Supreme Court observed that “The real issue in controversy between the parties is not whether the trial court lacks the jurisdiction to hear and determine appellants’ cause of action but whether the jurisdiction as conferred under section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended has become academic in other words needless, empty and incapable of being enforced with the conduct of the Sokoto State gubernatorial election on 11th April, 2015.”


Though the Supreme Court affirms Justice Abdu Aboki’s lead judgement in ADEOGUN VS FASHOGBON & OTHERS (supra), it found in the Abuja Appeal Court’s decision on this matter, an “intriguing and a manifest somersault,” especially when the same Aboki is the presiding judge. The superior court observed that the action of the Appeal Court was responsible to the public’s negative perception of the judiciary. “With such a visibly unpardonable refusal to be bound by the decision of this Court on a similar legislation, the negative perception the public has of the judicial process cannot be said to be without basis. The public is entitled, in the face of this brazen disobedience to the authority of the apex court, to conclude that the judiciary is compromised,” the Apex Court lamented.

In his judgement, Justice Musa M. Dattijo stated that for the Supreme Court to allow the Appeal Court’s perverse decision was to enthrone judicial impertinence. The Supreme Court set aside the judgment of the Appeal Court and ordered a retrial of the substantive case by the Federal High Court. “Accordingly, I find merit in the appeal and set aside the lower court’s judgement. The matter is hereby remitted to the trial court for same to be heard and determined expeditiously,” he stated.

Commenting on the Supreme Court judgement and Tambuwal’s preparedness for the retrial at the Federal High Court, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Suleiman Usman said in an interview with this writer that since the main case was halted by preliminary objection, the Supreme ordered that the case be trait on its merit.

“Any discerning mind, any right-thinking person that watched the way the primary was conducted in a transparent, fair manner will know that there is no real likelihood or chances of success of that case. At the end of the day, it could be dismissed for lack of merit. This is because primaries were conducted in a fair atmosphere and he was roundly defeated. From the over 4,000 votes cast at the election, he did not win up to 50 votes.

Assuming but not conceding that the court decides the matter and, and for the fact that he did not get up to 40 of the 4,000 votes cast, is it possible for him to be declared as the winner of that primary election and the person that ought to be presented as the candidate of that party? The answer is no. So, even if the case is retried there is no real likelihood of his succeeding in the matter. However, we are set for the retrial. Our lawyers are up to the task.”

On the whole, as the Federal High Court acts on the order of the Supreme Court to retry and determine the matter based on its merit, the burden of proof now lies on the palms of Senator Dahiru. He must not only provide valid but also admissible evidence to prove that the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), APC 2014 Guidelines for the Nomination of Public Offices and the Constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) were not complied with during the primaries by the defendants.

On the other hand, Tambuwal must be ready to defend himself by proving that his election as APC’s governorship candidate of Sokoto state was qualified by the essential provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), APC 2014 Guidelines for the Nomination of Public Offices and the Constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). Until then, it is apprehension and excitement as to which way the case would go – Governor Tambuwal’s or Senator Tambuwal’s?

PRESS RELEASE: Simple Motorised Weeders Demonstrate the Imperatives of Cassava Mechanization

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Gasoline powered simple weeders adapted for weeding in cassava farms hold promise and may take off the burden of weeding faced by small-scale farmers in Africa.

Initially acquired as tillers, these simple tools are being modified and adapted as weeders by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) led Cassava Weed Management Project. Last year, the machines were being tested on farmers’ fields across 58 sites in Nigeria.  Following this progress, a team of Nigerian engineers and fabricators are also working on a local version with materials sourced locally for its construction.

Demonstrating the machines during a field trip organised by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), 25-26 October 2016, in Abeokuta; the Project Leader, IITA-Cassava Weed Management Project, Dr Alfred Dixon said the adoption of the machines would help smallholder farmers come out of poverty, and it would create jobs for youths in rural communities.

The meeting in Abeokuta was aimed at reviewing the progress, exploring opportunities, and discussing options for interventions to increase Nigerian cassava farmers’ access to mechanization services in a sustainable manner. 

During the field trip, participants assessed what weed control options are available for cassava farmers in particular, and most importantly, to what extent the AATF led Cassava Mechanisation and Agroprocessing Project (CAMAP) has impacted on the lives of rural farmers.

A joint resolution by participants endorsed mechanisation in cassava as the way to go to help resource-poor farmers especially women and youths out of poverty.

Dr Emmanuel Okogbenin, AATF Director of Technical Operations while presenting the communiqué of the meeting noted that mechanisation such as the simple motorised weeders could create a big impact at farm level, considering that majority of African farmers operate on small scale.

Based on CAMAP’s experience, tractors and other bigger machinery are also critical for mechanisation where smallholder farmers could be mobilised into clusters.

Participants unanimously agreed that the CAMAP approach to mechanisation deserve support from donors and governments so the initiative could be taken to scale.

There was also the consensus that future intervention in mechanisation in Nigeria should capitalise on and align efforts with ongoing government initiatives such as the Agriculture Equipment Hiring Enterprises.

Other entry points identified were individual tractor owners, associations of tractor owners, large farms that service neighbors, and state and local governments that own tractors.