Nigeria Signs MoU with Saudi Arabia for Smooth Conduct of 2024 Hajj

Nigeria Signs Mou With Saudi Arabia For Smooth Conduct Of 2024 Hajj

In a significant development, Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabian authorities to ensure the seamless and well-organized execution of the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage. The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) confirmed this momentous achievement in a statement released on Sunday in Abuja.

According to Fatima Sanda-Usara, the assistant director of Public Affairs at NAHCON, Nigeria, represented by key officials led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Yusuf Tuggar and acting Chairman of NAHCON Malam Jalal Arabi, solidified its commitment to a successful Hajj by formalizing the 2024 (1445AH) Hajj Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. The signing ceremony took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Before the MoU signing, the Nigerian delegation engaged in productive discussions with the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah. Nigeria took the opportunity to raise the issue of a lasting solution to the shortage of tents in Muna, an important area for the Hajj pilgrimage. Additionally, the Nigerian government emphasized the need for more favorable terms for Nigerian carriers involved in transporting pilgrims. Furthermore, the Nigerian team extended an invitation to the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah to visit Nigeria.

Mrs. Sanda-Usara highlighted that the Saudi Minister acknowledged the challenge of space in Muna and assured the Nigerian delegation that efforts were underway to optimize the utilization of the available two million square meters to accommodate the over two million annual pilgrims. The Saudi Minister expressed the ministry’s support for all measures aimed at providing the best services to pilgrims and agreed to visit Nigeria in the near future.

The meeting was attended by other key participants, including the Nigerian Consul-General in Jeddah, Bello Kazaure, senior officers from the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia, and representatives from NAHCON.

Nigeria has been allocated 95,000 Hajj slots by the Saudi Arabian Ministry for Hajj and Umrah for the 2024 holy pilgrimage. This allocation demonstrates the strong bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia and the trust placed in Nigeria to ensure a smooth and successful Hajj experience for its citizens.

With the MoU in place, Nigeria is poised to enhance its coordination and cooperation with Saudi Arabia to address logistical challenges, improve services, and provide a memorable and spiritually fulfilling Hajj experience for Nigerian pilgrims. The signing of the MoU marks an important milestone in the preparations for the 2024 Hajj, bringing Nigeria a step closer to facilitating a well-organized and hassle-free pilgrimage for its citizens.


Source: Premium Times NG

Army Drone Strike Accidentally Hits Nigerian Village, Killing Dozens of Civilians

Army Drone Strike Accidentally Hits Nigerian Village, Killing Dozens Of Civilians

In a tragic incident, an army drone strike mistakenly targeted a village in northwestern Nigeria, resulting in the deaths of numerous civilians who were celebrating a Muslim festival. The strike occurred on Sunday in Tudun Biri village, located in Kaduna State, and local authorities, the military, and residents confirmed the civilian casualties on Monday.

Nigeria’s armed forces frequently rely on air strikes to combat bandit militias in the country’s northwest and northeast regions, where a 14-year conflict involving jihadists has been ongoing. However, the army did not provide specific details or a death toll for the drone strike in Tudun Biri village. Residents, on the other hand, reported that dozens of people were killed and wounded as a result of the incident.

Kaduna State governor Uba Sani expressed his condolences and ordered an investigation into the tragic event, stating, “Muslim faithful observing Maulud were mistakenly killed and many others injured following a military drone attack targeting terrorists and bandits.” The governor’s directive aims to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident and hold those responsible accountable.

Idris Dahiru, a resident of Tudun Biri village, shared the devastating impact of the strike, saying, “We buried 85 people that were killed in the bomb attack.” He revealed that more than 60 injured individuals were receiving medical treatment in hospitals. Dahiru recounted the harrowing experience, explaining how he was inside his house when the first bomb hit and rushed to the scene to help the affected individuals, only for a second bomb to be dropped.

Husseini Ibrahim, another resident who lost 13 members of his immediate family in the attack, mourned the loss and emphasised the innocence of the victims. He stated, “They included my children and those of my brothers, seven boys and six girls. We buried the victims today.”

The strike primarily affected women and children, according to resident Hassan Ma’aruf, who shared images purportedly showing the bodies of the victims. However, the authenticity of these images could not be immediately verified.

Militia gangs, locally known as bandits, have long plagued parts of northwest Nigeria, operating from forest bases and engaging in activities such as looting and kidnapping residents for ransom. In the northeast, jihadists have faced setbacks but continue to pose a threat.

The incident underscores the challenges faced by Nigeria in addressing insecurity within its borders. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made tackling this issue a priority, aiming to attract foreign investment and ensure the safety and well-being of the country’s population.

Unfortunately, civilian casualties resulting from military operations have occurred in the past. The Nigerian military mistakenly targeted and killed at least 20 fishermen in September 2021, and a 2017 fighter jet strike on a camp housing displaced people led to the deaths of 112 individuals.

Efforts must be made to prevent such tragic incidents from recurring, including improving coordination and ensuring the proper identification of targets. The Nigerian government, in collaboration with the military, must prioritise the protection of civilian lives and work towards lasting peace and security in the country.


Source: African News

Gender Mobile Initiative Urges President Tinubu to Sign Sexual Harassment Bill into Law

Gender Mobile Initiative Urges President Tinubu To Sign Sexual Harassment Bill Into Law

The Gender Mobile Initiative (GMI) has called upon President Bola Tinubu to assent to the Sexual Harassment Prohibition in Tertiary Education Institutions Bill, which is currently awaiting his approval. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja as part of the ’16 Days of Activism’ campaign, the Lead Director of GMI, Omowumi Ogunrotimi, emphasised the urgent need for a legal framework to address the critical issue of sexual harassment in Nigerian tertiary institutions.

Ms. Ogunrotimi highlighted that sexual harassment has become a rampant problem in Nigerian universities, necessitating a comprehensive legal framework to tackle the issue effectively. With over 350 institutions of higher learning in the country, addressing the problem on an individual basis would be a lengthy process. The proposed bill, introduced in 2019, seeks to prevent, prohibit, and redress sexual harassment in tertiary educational institutions, with offenders facing up to 14 years of imprisonment.

While the bill was opposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), it passed through both houses of the National Assembly in June and was subsequently transmitted to the president for assent. However, President Tinubu has yet to sign the bill into law. The GMI emphasised the recent protest against the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar as evidence of the urgent need to address sexual harassment and protect the rights of students.

Ms. Ogunrotimi acknowledged various initiatives already in place to combat sexual harassment, including a sexual harassment prohibition policy co-designed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the GMI, and higher education institutions. However, she stressed the need for a comprehensive legal framework to provide statutory backing and criminalise sexual harassment in higher education institutions.

The GMI believes that passing the Sexual Harassment bill into law is the most promising solution. The legislation includes clear definitions of offences, stringent penalties for perpetrators, and mechanisms for prevention and redress. Ms. Ogunrotimi emphasised that the president’s action would send a powerful message about the nation’s values and commitment to creating an environment where all students, particularly female students, can thrive.

The GMI calls on President Tinubu to swiftly assent to the bill, highlighting that statutory backing is not just a formality but a fundamental requirement to enforce the provisions and bring about tangible change in the fight against sexual harassment in Nigerian tertiary institutions.


Source: Premium Times Nigeria

Nigeria Calls for Increased Investment in Mining Sector, Unveils Reforms to Boost Growth

Nigeria Calls For Increased Investment In Mining Sector, Unveils Reforms To Boost Growth

Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Oladele Alake, has outlined fresh commitments and reforms aimed at attracting investment and accelerating growth in the country’s mining sector. Speaking at the Mines & Money Conference in London, Alake emphasized the need to streamline business transactions, enhance security in mining operations, and capitalise on Nigeria’s abundant mineral resources.

Citing a report by audit firm KPMG, Alake highlighted the positive growth of the mining sector, with its contribution to Nigeria’s GDP increasing from 0.3 percent to 0.85 percent last year, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 0.63 percent. He underscored the country’s geological potential, which encompasses over 44 distinct mineral types across more than 500 locations, including the newly recognised strategic mineral, lithium.

The Minister emphasised the administration’s commitment to reforms aimed at attracting foreign investment. These reforms include streamlining procedures, reducing bureaucratic hurdles, and creating a favourable environment for solid minerals development. Alake also highlighted recent progress in data collection through partnerships with organisations like the Airborne Geophysical Survey and German firm Geoscan, which aim to gather comprehensive data on solid minerals across the country.

Alake stressed the importance of value addition and beatification in Nigeria’s mining industry. The government aims to move beyond raw mineral exports and promote processing within the country. By adding value to raw materials, Nigeria seeks to generate employment opportunities, particularly for the youth, and increase the sector’s profitability and contribution to the nation’s GDP.

The Minister called on investors to prioritise the socio-economic development of communities where mining operations take place. He highlighted the revised guidelines for the Community Development Agreement, which promotes initiatives such as social amenities, educational support, and environmental facilities to benefit local communities.

The reforms and commitments unveiled by Minister Oladele Alake indicate Nigeria’s determination to attract investment and harness the potential of its mining sector. By simplifying procedures, improving security, and promoting value addition, the government aims to create a conducive environment for both domestic and foreign investors. These initiatives not only have the potential to drive economic growth but also contribute to job creation, youth empowerment, and the overall development of Nigeria’s mining industry.


Source: Premium Times

Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty to Multimillion-Dollar Cyber Fraud Scheme Targeting US Corporations

Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty To Multimillion Dollar Cyber Fraud Scheme Targeting Us Corporations

In a significant development, 33-year-old Idris Dayo Mustapha, a British-Nigerian man, has confessed to orchestrating a highly sophisticated cyber fraud scheme that spanned seven years. Mustapha, a prominent member of a hacking ring, meticulously targeted email and brokerage accounts of US corporations from 2011 to 2018, resulting in staggering losses exceeding $6 million (£4.7 million).

US authorities had been diligently pursuing Mustapha for several years, and their relentless efforts have finally led to a breakthrough in the case. Mustapha appeared before a court in Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday, where he entered a guilty plea to four charges: computer intrusion, securities fraud, wire fraud, and access device fraud, as reported by the BBC.

According to authorities familiar with the investigation, Mustapha and his accomplices hacked into the computer servers of various financial institutions in the United States, successfully gaining access to highly confidential user data, including personal identifying information. Armed with this stolen information and passwords, they undertook a series of transactions that involved transferring funds and securities from the victims’ accounts to accounts under their control.

The cybercriminals also exploited the compromised accounts to execute stock trades without the knowledge or consent of the legitimate account holders. This covert manipulation allowed Mustapha and his ring to profit illicitly while leaving the unsuspecting victims with significant financial losses.

Given the severity and scale of the crimes committed, Mustapha faces a potential prison term of up to 20 years. His guilty plea serves as a crucial milestone in the ongoing efforts to hold cybercriminals accountable and safeguard the integrity of financial systems.

The successful apprehension and prosecution of Mustapha highlight the tireless work of law enforcement agencies in combating cybercrime. It underscores the importance of international collaboration and the continuous adaptation of security measures to address the evolving tactics employed by cybercriminals.

As technology continues to advance, the specter of cyber fraud looms ever larger. This case serves as a reminder of the need for individuals, organizations, and governments to remain vigilant in safeguarding sensitive information, enhancing cybersecurity protocols, and educating the public about potential threats.

The conclusion of this high-profile case emphasises the unwavering commitment to justice and the determination to pursue those responsible for perpetrating cyber fraud. It sends a clear message that cybercriminals will be pursued relentlessly and held accountable for their actions, as authorities strive to protect individuals, corporations, and the global financial ecosystem from the perils of cybercrime.


Source: Africa News

Nigerian Student Found Guilty of Making Terrorist Threats Against Dundee University in the UK

Nigerian Student Found Guilty Of Making Terrorist Threats Against Dundee University In The Uk

A Nigerian master’s student, Somtochukwu Okwuoha, has been remanded in custody after a jury convicted him of making terrorist threats against Dundee University in Scotland. The 26-year-old student claimed to have enlisted the support of ISIS, an international terrorist organization, to carry out a bombing at the university. Additionally, Okwuoha made alarming statements about planning a chemical attack targeting Dundee.

Okwuoha’s conviction follows his arrest and subsequent trial. The jury found him guilty on seven charges related to making terrorist threats against the university. As a result, he now faces imprisonment and potential deportation back to Nigeria. Sentencing is scheduled for December, and the presiding sheriff, William Wood, will consider the Crown’s request for a deportation order.

During the trial at Perth Sheriff Court, witnesses recounted Okwuoha’s statements to university staff members, revealing his alleged intentions to commit mass murder on the Dundee University campus. Witnesses testified that Okwuoha claimed to possess a military background and the capability to create explosive devices and unleash a deadly virus on the city.

Keith Mackle, a retired director of student services, informed the court about the serious concerns that emerged in autumn 2021 when staff members began receiving emails containing terrorist threats. One of the emails read, “Expect a massive bomb explosion at the University of Dundee. I have contacted ISIS terrorists to plant bombs on campus. I can assure you staff and students will die in great numbers. 9/11 will be a joke compared to what will happen. Blood will spill and flesh will be scattered.”

Shane Taylor, an accommodation officer, also testified that Okwuoha accused him of racism and expressed a desire to exact revenge by wiping out Scottish people.

The conviction of Somtochukwu Okwuoha highlights the seriousness of the charges and the potential threat posed by individuals making terrorist threats. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance and prompt action in response to such threats. Authorities are working diligently to ensure the safety and security of educational institutions and the communities they serve.


Source: Premium Times Nigeria

Nigerians Granted Right to Bring Claims Against Shell in UK

Nigerians Granted Right To Bring Claims Against Shell In Uk

In a ground-breaking decision, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has ruled that Nigerian citizens can bring legal claims against oil giant Shell in British courts. This landmark judgment opens the door for individuals and communities affected by Shell’s operations in Nigeria to seek justice and compensation on foreign soil.

The case stems from allegations of serious human rights abuses and environmental damage caused by Shell’s activities in the Niger Delta region. For decades, local communities have claimed that the company’s oil exploration and extraction operations have resulted in devastating consequences, including pollution, destruction of farmlands, and health issues among residents.

Until now, Nigerian plaintiffs faced significant barriers when attempting to hold Shell accountable. The multinational corporation argued that the claims should be heard in Nigerian courts, where the legal process is often slow, expensive, and susceptible to corruption. This ruling, however, paves the way for affected Nigerians to pursue justice in the UK, where they can benefit from a more robust legal framework.

The Supreme Court’s decision is expected to have far-reaching implications for similar cases involving multinational corporations operating in developing countries. It establishes an important precedent, emphasizing the responsibility of companies for the actions of their subsidiaries overseas. The ruling also recognizes the right of individuals and communities to access justice in countries where the corporation is headquartered and where its decisions are made.

Human rights groups and environmental activists have hailed the judgment as a significant victory for global justice. They argue that it will help level the playing field for communities that have long been marginalized and lack the resources to challenge powerful corporations. By allowing Nigerian plaintiffs to bring their claims before UK courts, the decision sends a strong message that companies must be held accountable for their actions, regardless of the jurisdiction in which they operate.

However, some critics express concerns about the potential flood of lawsuits that may follow this ruling. They argue that it could burden UK courts with a large number of cases and create a precedent that companies may find discouraging for future investments in developing nations. Nevertheless, proponents of the ruling contend that it strikes a necessary balance between corporate accountability and access to justice for affected communities.

Shell, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has faced numerous allegations of misconduct and environmental damage in Nigeria over the years. The company has previously settled some cases out of court, but this ruling signifies a significant shift in the legal landscape. It signals a new era where multinational corporations can be held accountable for their actions in their home countries, even when the harm occurs thousands of miles away.

As Nigerians celebrate this ground-breaking ruling, attention now turns to the practicalities of how affected communities can navigate the UK legal system. Legal experts anticipate an influx of claims against Shell and other companies operating in similar contexts. Ultimately, this ruling highlights the growing recognition that corporate responsibility extends beyond national borders and underscores the need for stronger mechanisms to address human rights abuses and environmental harm caused by multinational corporations.


Source: The Guardian

Nigeria’s Legal System Undergoes Transformation as Senate Commences Review of Outdated Statutes

Nigeria's Legal System Undergoes Transformation As Senate Commences Review Of Outdated Statutes

In a significant move towards modernisation and progress, the Nigerian Senate has embarked on a historic journey to review the country’s archaic laws. This landmark decision reflects the nation’s commitment to aligning its legal framework with the evolving needs of its citizens and the changing dynamics of the modern world. By embracing this crucial reform, Nigeria aims to foster a more just, inclusive, and forward-looking society.

Nigeria, like many other countries, has long been burdened by a plethora of outdated laws that have failed to keep pace with societal advancements. These archaic statutes, some dating back to the colonial era, have become increasingly irrelevant and out of touch with contemporary realities. Consequently, they hinder progress, impede justice, and often perpetuate social injustices.

Recognising the urgency and importance of legal reform, the Nigerian Senate has taken a proactive stance by initiating the review of these archaic laws. This ambitious undertaking signals a renewed commitment to ensuring that the legal system is responsive, fair, and effective in addressing the needs of Nigeria’s diverse population.

The review process encompasses a comprehensive evaluation of existing legislation across various sectors, ranging from criminal law to commercial regulations, from human rights to intellectual property. The aim is to identify obsolete provisions, rectify inconsistencies, remove discriminatory clauses, and introduce new laws that reflect contemporary values and global best practices.

The Senate’s commitment to inclusivity and transparency is evident through its emphasis on public participation and expert consultation. Recognising that legal reforms impact every citizen, stakeholders from civil society organisations, legal professionals, academia, and the general public are being actively engaged in the review process. This inclusive approach ensures that diverse perspectives are considered, and the resultant legal framework represents the collective aspirations of Nigerians.

The review of archaic laws holds immense potential for the socio-economic development and overall well-being of Nigeria. By eliminating outdated regulations, the country can foster a more conducive environment for investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the reform will enhance citizens’ access to justice, protect human rights, and strengthen the rule of law. It also paves the way for aligning national legislation with international standards and treaties, bolstering Nigeria’s standing in the global community.

While the task of reviewing archaic laws is undoubtedly complex, the Senate’s determination to navigate this transformative process is commendable. However, the road ahead may present challenges such as resistance to change, conflicting interests, and the need for extensive legislative amendments. Nevertheless, with political will, public support, and the guidance of legal experts, Nigeria can overcome these obstacles and emerge as a beacon of progressive legal reform in Africa.

The Nigerian Senate’s decision to review the country’s archaic laws marks a watershed moment in the nation’s legal history. This bold step towards modernization and progress reflects Nigeria’s commitment to building a more equitable and future-oriented society. By embarking on this comprehensive legal reform, Nigeria has set itself on a path to strengthen the rule of law, protect human rights, and create an enabling environment for prosperity and social justice. As the review process unfolds, it is imperative for all stakeholders to actively participate and support this transformative endeavour, ensuring that Nigeria’s legal system evolves to meet the needs and aspirations of its people in the 21st century.


Source: Daily Post Nigeria

President Bola Tinubu Urges German Investment in Nigerian Economy’s Key Sectors

President Bola Tinubu Urges German Investment In Nigerian Economy's Key Sectors

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has called for German investment in critical areas of the Nigerian economy, particularly in the fields of electricity and rail transportation. The president made this request during a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Monday, outside the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference.

In a statement released by the president’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu emphasised the need for German investment in growth-enabling sectors such as transportation, energy, and the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power. He highlighted the importance of accelerating the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative, backed by Siemens, which aims to address Nigeria’s power challenges.

Tinubu expressed his commitment to pursuing all aspects of the Siemens power project and emphasised the potential skill development opportunities for Nigerian youth in sustaining the industry. He also suggested that Siemens could contribute to Nigeria’s rail network by supplying cutting-edge trains and railroads, drawing inspiration from the company’s ongoing project in Egypt, where it is constructing a 2,000 km ultra-high-speed rail network spanning 60 towns.

In response, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his willingness to move forward with the investment proposals. However, he emphasised the importance of addressing financial and administrative obstacles resulting from governance issues within the sector.

During the meeting, Tinubu also raised the topic of value-added processing in Nigeria’s solid minerals, agriculture, automotive industry, and other job-generating sectors. He highlighted the potential for enhancing these sectors through German collaboration, further emphasising Nigeria’s commitment to economic growth and job creation.

The meeting between President Tinubu and Chancellor Scholz reflects the mutual interest in strengthening economic ties between Nigeria and Germany. As discussions continue, both countries aim to explore avenues for collaboration and investment that will drive sustainable economic development and benefit the people of Nigeria.

This development marks an important step forward in attracting foreign investment and fostering partnerships to promote economic growth and address key challenges facing Nigeria’s infrastructure and industrial sectors.

Air Peace Granted Approval for Direct Flights to Dubai as Emirates Airlines Plans Return to Nigeria

Air Peace Granted Approval For Direct Flights To Dubai As Emirates Airlines Plans Return To Nigeria

In a significant development for the aviation industry, the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has granted Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, the approval to operate direct flights to Dubai. The announcement was made by Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, who revealed that Emirates Airlines, which had previously suspended operations to Nigeria due to challenges repatriating earned dollars, also expressed its readiness to resume direct flights to the country.

During the recently concluded Dubai Airshow, the management of Emirates Airlines confirmed its intention to reinstate flight services to Nigeria. This news comes as a boost to the Nigerian aviation sector, as it signals the return of a major international airline to the country.

The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace’s Head of Press, Odutayo Oluseyi, issued a statement highlighting Minister Keyamo’s meeting with Airline Executive’s CEO, Dana Hatcic. Airline Executive expressed interest in establishing a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Nigeria, demonstrating confidence in the country’s aviation industry.

Furthermore, Minister Keyamo expressed his vision for organizing the inaugural Nigeria Air Show in November 2024, making Nigeria the first African country to host such an event. This will provide a platform for showcasing the nation’s aviation capabilities and attracting global participation.

During his visit to the Dubai Airshow, Minister Keyamo also explored the pavilions of leading aviation and aerospace companies. His objective was to examine cutting-edge technologies and modern infrastructure that could contribute to his 5-Point Agenda for Nigeria’s aviation industry. The agenda focuses on enhancing infrastructure, promoting innovation, and fostering creativity in civil aviation.

The Dubai Airshow, held from November 13 to November 17, 2023, witnessed the participation of numerous industry specialists from around the world. It served as a gathering point for aviation and aerospace experts, facilitating networking and the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

The approval for Air Peace to operate direct flights to Dubai and the readiness of Emirates Airlines to return to Nigeria mark positive developments for both countries’ aviation sectors. These initiatives are expected to enhance connectivity, boost trade and tourism, and further strengthen bilateral relations between the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria.


Source: Vanguard