The United State of America yesterday removed Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom concerns, just a day before Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in the country as part of a tour of Africa.
Mr Blinken is to arrive Abuja on Thursday, where he is expected to meet with Nigerian President, General Muhammadu Buhari and give a speech on U.S. Africa policy.
Mr Blinken made an annual announcement yesterday of the countries on the list, including Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as countries of particular concern.
He also placed Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua on a watch list for religious freedom, and designated armed groups, including Islamic State and several of its affiliates, as entities of concern.
Nigeria was added to the list for the first time in 2020.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment, and it was unclear if the designation was related to the secretary’s travel.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, USCIRF, in April recommended that Nigeria remain on the list, citing “violence by militant Islamists and other non-state armed actors, as well as discrimination, arbitrary detentions, and capital blasphemy sentences by state authorities” in the country.
We urge the State Department to reconsider its designations based on facts presented in its own reporting,” Chair Nadine Maenza said, referring to the department’s report on international religious freedom in May, which cited religious freedom concerns in Nigeria.
The former senator that represented the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone, Senator Shehu Sani has once again spoken. Senator Sani is one Nigerian politician who always speaks out when there is a need for him to do so.
According to a recent tweet he made on his verified twitter handle, the former senator made it known that each time Nigerians ask the President Buhari to sack a minister, such Nigerians will remember that they(FG) don’t work by their standards, but by the standards of the governenmt.
It should be recalled that several Nigerians have demanded that President Buhari should sack the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed over the comments he made during and after the last year’s EndSARS protest.
On the other hand, I really think that some ministers should be sacked. But with the way things are looking now, I don’t think that the president is ready to do that. But let’s watch and see what will happen in the future.
What is your take on this particular issue? You can drop your comments and opinions below.
World’s richest female billionaire, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, is close to the $100 billion mark, as her net worth has risen to $95.7 billion since the beginning of 2021 and she has posted a gain of $20.1 billion.
About 33% of L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetic company, is owned by her. As a holding company director, the French woman also represents the family stake that was attributed to her mother until she passed away about four years ago.
An analysis of company filings and Bloomberg data shows that L’Oreal has paid the family more than $6.3 billion in dividends. Analysing the proceeds of her investments, market performance, insider transactions, taxes, and charitable contributions will determine the value of her cash investments.
Lancome and Garnier are also owned by the French cosmetic giant, which generated a revenue of approximately $32 billion last year. Aside from cosmetic products such as mascara, lip gloss, foundation, nail polish, lipstick, face powder, eyeshadow, primer, blusher, and concealer, L’Oréal also offers skin, hair, and body care products.
Currently, Bettencourt Meyers’ net worth would be enough to purchase 51.8 million troy ounces of gold or 1.2 billion barrels of crude oil. At the time this report was written, the 68-year-old billionaire held an estimated amount of $5.53 billion in cash.
Her grandparents, Andre and Liliane Bettencourt are the grandson and granddaughter of Eugene Schueller, the founder of L’Oreal. The world’s richest woman lives in Paris, France. Liliane Bettencourt (grandmother) was replaced by her son Jean-Victor Meyers on L’Oréal’s board about nine years ago.
Tajmeeli, a cosmetic surgery education site, compiled a list of popular beauty brands and used Google Trends to determine search interest in 108 countries, and concluded that L’Oréal Paris was the most searched cosmetics brand in the world.
Almost a quarter of the nations studied chose to buy products from the French cosmetics giant, showing clear appeal among beauty enthusiasts.
There is a strong French brand presence in the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Ukraine, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, India, Thailand, and Turkey. Asia, Europe, and South America are also the most popular continents for the brand. It appears that French consumers prefer luxury brand, Guerlain, against all odds, to L’Oréal Paris.
November 17, (THEWILL) – Senate President Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan has commended the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, for organising the 8th edition of Made-In-Aba Trade Fair in conjunction with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Abuja.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Senator Lawan applauded the organisers and the exhibitors, stressing that “this fair is a salutary reminder of what is expected of the people”.
The senate president, who was represented by Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, emphasised the fact that such fairs have the potential to generate foreign exchange and create jobs for the people.
Senator Lawan, however, noted that aside government interventions, one thing that is seriously needed is the right environment for business people to operate.
Expressing satisfaction with the success of the fair, Lawan said, “The nation is proud of all participants. Your efforts are admirable. However, you people should try to be more innovative”.
In his remark, the senate majority leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullah, also commended Abaribe for the laudable initiative.
In his response, Senator Abaribe stated that he was glad they were able to surmount the pressure of COVID-19, which stopped them from hosting the event in 2020.
Expressing his appreciation to SMEDAN, Abaribe said “I thank SMEDAN as our partner since 2013. We have always had the required support. We also thank the exhibitors. The exhibitors are able to surmount all the difficulties of leaving the South East to come to Abuja”.
When we talk about constituency projects, Nigerians always have doubts. I want to say that the Made-In-Aba fair is one of the zonal intervention projects run by the National Assembly,” Abaribe said.
“I am happy to hear that it is an annual event. We pray that the event will continue,” Senator Yahaya noted.
In his goodwill message, the senate chief whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, commended the promoters of Made-In-Aba fair saying it is the right step in the right direction.
Senator Kalu said, “I thank Abaribe for bringing our men and women from Aba to Abuja. I hope the fair will not stop. Made-In-Aba can solve a lot of problems. I urge the federal government to provide electricity”.
Also speaking, the honourable minister of state, mines and steel, Dr Uchechukwu Oga, who described Aba people as “great people with great ingenuity,” said Aba people have everything required to grow the economy in Aba. Dr Oga also reasoned that the fair’s exhibitors can have shared prosperity in the industry.
Commending SMEDAN and the honourable minister of industry, trade and investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, for their unalloyed support to see that the Aba fair keeps running,
Dr Oga said: “This trade fair is for us to think out of the box and also for us to create a better craft in the state”.
“Aba can take care of this nation in terms of leather works. This event will become a national event. We will support Abaribe anyhow. The Minister of Trade has done so much for the encouragement of trade in Aba. I also thank SMEDAN for continuing the project.”
In his speech, the director-general of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, emphasised that the Made-In-Aba fair has a positive effect on connecting the local players with the outside world
According to Radda, the programme aims to expose entrepreneurs from Aba businesses cluster for further development and standardisation of their products to meet national and international markets.
“The fair is a veritable platform for nurturing local entrepreneurial capabilities, even as MSMEs constitute the primary source of new jobs in the economy as well as play a critical role as a safety net for the bulk of the population,” Radda said.
Radda equally disclosed that MSMEs clusters in Aba have already considered the fair as an annual tradition, always looking forward to the event, adding that his agency is responsible for the development and promotion of MSMEs in the country.
The DG listed advantages of the fair to include attraction of customers, building brand image, creating public awareness, appreciating and promoting homemade goods and services, and more.
It was a beehive of activities on the 9th of November, 2021, during the opening ceremony of the 8th Made-In-Aba Trade Fair. The event held at the FCT Sports Complex, Garki, Abuja, from 9th November, 2021 to 13th November, 2021, attracting designers of Aba-made bags, shoes, belts clothings, bed liners, duvets, solar system accessories, beauty accessories, Senator’s suites amongst other products.
No fewer than 79 firms exhibited their Aba-made products on the first day of the fair. Some of the companies that exhibited their products at the fairground include Cemeviuc Global Ventures, Padic Global Nigeria, Rossy Julie Ventures, Prince Global Designers, Ojaik Concept, De Gold Attraction, Chibest Exclusive Designs, Mikky Fashion, and Ejipee Enterprises.
Others are Commy Fashion and Design, Emerenwa Collection, Goodies World, Vic-Pacis Outfit, and Adic Designs.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of partnerships in responding to health emergencies. The WHO Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) team is spotlighting partnerships between WHO, faith partners and national governments in the global conference Strengthening National Responses to Health Emergencies co-hosted with Religions for Peace.
The conference looks at the diverse contributions of faith partners in the COVID-19 response including providing spiritual care, working with national governments and WHO to support national responses, and their instrumental work advocating for vaccine equity, access and uptake.
In October four events took place regarding spiritual care during times of crisis. Panelists from around the world came together to share experiences and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic – including experiences working as chaplains, in palliative care, providing spiritual and mental health care, and from providing social care within communities. The events drew attention to the broad and impactful role faith leaders, organizations, and communities have played during this critical time.
Kenya and Zimbabwe case studies explored the innovative ways in which these three actors work together to address misinformation and mistrust, communication, psychological, mental and social needs, promotion of protective measures, vaccine access and uptake.
Vivian Mugarisi, Communication Officer, WCO Zimbabwe moderating during the Zimbabwe case study session of the global conference
In Kenya, places of worship are reported as one of the most trusted sources of information. Recognizing that faith partners are at the heart of the response the Kenyan government initiated the establishment of the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya. Dr. Salim Hussein, Head of Primary Health Care, Kenya Ministry of Health noted that “a lot of implementations would not have been possible if partners of the religious fraternity had not been complementary to us [the Ministry of Health].”
By working together, faith partners, WHO and the MOH, protect and save lives as places of worship and health facilities adhere to protocols and guidelines, health messages are technically accurate and tailored to different faiths, and communities are engaged, including for vaccination.
Together WHO, the MOH, UNICEF and faith partners in Zimbabwe hosted a series of trainings for faith leaders and communities. Reverend Dr Kenneth Mtata, General Secretary of Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), explained that “We have learnt a lot from this [pandemic]. We need to redefine and strengthen the relationship between faith-based organizations, WHO, UNICEF and MOH because we have a lot to do in common.
The new WHO strategy seeks to support this intention to strengthen collaboration both now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities around the world, and in the future as we collectively prepare for other health crises.
Recordings of the conference session can be accessed here. For further information about WHO’s overall work engaging with faith partners click here.