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China Honours 49 Nigerians3 minutes read

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The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has honoured 49 Nigerian employees of Chinese companies operating in Nigeria for their outstanding performances and contributions to strengthening diplomatic ties between both countries.

Mr Zhao Yong, Charge D’ Affaires of the embassy, presented N100,000 cash awards to each of the 49 beneficiaries on Monday in Abuja.

Zhao said the award ceremony was organised to commemorate both countries’ independence anniversary on Oct. 1 and 49 years of friendship and bilateral relations.

He commended the employees whose contributions, he said, had led to Nigeria’s development, especially in the area of infrastructure.

According to him, China and Nigeria have a long history of great friendship and solidarity, both of which have grown tremendously over the years.

He said that such friendship and solidarity would continue to grow stronger.

Zhao said both countries also gave each other invaluable support at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

“The coming Oct. 1 marks the 60th anniversary of the Independence of Nigeria, as well as the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

“Celebrating Oct. 1st together constitutes a unique bond between China and Nigeria.

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank Nigerian employees in local Chinese companies for your contributions to the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation.

“With joint efforts, tangible results have been made in many areas, especially in the area of infrastructure.

“Next February will mark the 50th anniversary of China-Nigeria diplomatic relations.

“Let us work together to uplift China-Nigeria relations to new heights for the benefits of two peoples and country,” Zhao said.

Zhao said that in response to COVID-19, China would continue to support Nigeria.

He recalled that China was the first country to offer assistance to Nigeria when COVID-19 broke out in the country.

The deputy Charge d’ Affaires said that during the period, the Chinese government donated two large batches of medical supplies to Nigeria as aid.

According tom him, the third batch, which has already arrived the country will be delivered soon.

Zhao said the local Chinese community was extending its helping hand with the donation of masks and medical gloves, among other supplies and equipment.

He said that statistics from the China General Chambers of Commerce revealed that the total value of materials and funds donated by the local Chinese private stakeholders to Nigeria amounted to N3 billion.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Miss Nininlola Fafore, Public Relations Director, Huawei Nigeria, lauded the Chinese government for its sustained support and development to different sectors in Nigeria.

Fafore said as a Chinese company, Huawei was able to use its telecommunication expertise to ensure work continuity in a virtual space even at the height of the pandemic.

“This is an opportunity and event to celebrate the National Day for China on their 71st year and also the 60th year for Nigeria.

“It is an important thing to understand how much we have come together with China.

“China has brought so much growth and development to different sectors in Nigeria, across several industries.

“Without your support I do not think we would have had such growth in ICT development that runs across other industries, this has been a great support.

“We thank God we have been able to contain the spread of COVID-19. Support for provision of mask.

“Huawei has done a lot working directly with the Federal Government by provision of protective wear and aiding the continuous work in the virtual space for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and staff.

“We have been able to provide the network devices and have been able to provide tele-presence devices to the Federal government and even the President was impressed at what we have done,” Fafore said.

Fafore added that aside contributing to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Huawei has produced more than 20,000 Engineers in Nigeria who have moved from vendors to operators and working abroad in extreme position.

The Oct. 1 awards for China-Nigeria friendship began in 2018.

So far, it has been granted to 14 batches with a total of 670 recipients.

Students also receive such awards for their diligence and as a way of promoting friendship between both countries.

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#EndSARS: Edo Governor Imposes 24-Hour Curfew In State

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Edo State will be under a 24-hour curfew until further notice beginning from 4pm, October 19, 2020, the Godwin Obaseki-led government confirms.

According to a press statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, on Monday, schools and businesses will also be affected.

The government also advised parents to “rein in their children, youths and wards, to forestall further breakdown of law and order.”

The statement read in part, “This decision has become necessary because of the very disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of #ENDSARS protesters.

“While the government of Edo State respects the rights of its citizens to undertake legitimate protests, it cannot sit idly when hoodlums have taken laws into their hands to cause mayhem on innocent citizens and the state.

“By the directive, schools and businesses are to shut down activities accordingly. Those who cannot move safely are to stay put between now and 4pm till calmness is restored.

“Parents are advised to rein in their children, youths and wards, to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

“The responsibility of government is to protect lives and property and maintain law and order, therefore, anyone found outside in violation of the curfew would be dealt with according to the law.”

It would be recalled that hoodlums, pretending to be protesters, on Monday broke into the Benin Custodial Centre at Sapele Road, Benin freeing inmates.

The hoodlums’ action on Monday at the facility, popularly called “White House’’ saw many prisoners escaping, though the number could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.

It took the efforts of the prison’s armed guards to quell the riots while some prisoners who fled the centre were caught.

Benin metropolis was on total lockdown as banks, private and government-owned schools were under lock and key following continuous youth protests.

A correspondent who monitored the protest reports that all the major roads leading to the city centre were all blocked by the protesting youths.

Some of the youth were seen chanting solidarity songs and playing football, while others were busy cooking on the road.

Mr Osagie Obamogie, one of the protesters who spoke with newsmen said: “We are tired of the hardship, no sector of the economy is working and we can no longer continue like this.

“I graduated since 2012 with no job in sight. I managed to open a barbershop and there is no adequate electricity supply to run it properly.

“They have increased fuel and increased electricity tariff. Everything is on the high side. We are no longer protesting only # EndSARS, it has metamorphosed into End bad government”.

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Nigerians Protest Ghanaian Government Refusal to Open Locked Shops

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The Nigeria Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG), has carried out a peaceful protest over Ghanaian authorities’ refusal to open shops owned by Nigerians in that country.

The President of NUTAG, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, who led the protest, said in a telephone interview that Ghanaian authorities’ refused to open their shops since 2019.

He noted that the Ghanaian authorities’ refusal to open the traders’ shops was despite several meetings between top officials of both governments of Nigeria and Ghana.

He said that the protest was to press the Ghanaian authorities to open shops owned by Nigerians living in Ghana, to enable them tackle economic challenges amid COVID-19.

According to him, the shops owned by Nigerians under lock and key since past one year should be opened to enable the traders return to normal businesses, urging the Nigerian central overnment to evacuate them.

Nnaji said: “I am in talks in with my leader, Mr Ken Okoha, National President of Nigerian Traders, and he has assured us that he will take our case up to the highest level in Nigeria.

“In fact, plans are on for him to move to institutions that are related to trade; I have known him for five years now and I know what he is able to do.

“I am rest assured that the leadership of Nigerian traders are working towards achieving this goal; some of you, who still have funds, should also continue to help other traders.

“Be law abiding citizens, COVID-19 is still on and lots of businesses are affected; many of us are living from hand to mouth due to the downturn.

“If you do not have anything to do, stay at home; rest assured that at the end of October, if we are not evacuated, we will keep ourselves at the border.”

Receiving the traders, Mrs Easter Arewa, Charge de Affair of Nigeria High Commission in Ghana, said that government would remain committed to protecting Nigeria citizens.

According to her, the letter by Nigerian traders has been well received and their message will be conveyed to the highest authority.

“Government is not resting on your case; it is because of you Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of House of Representatives, came to Ghana.

“Likewise, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was here. In spite of his busy schedule, he came here and met with the leadership of NUTAG. He promised to continue with the cause on his return to Abuja.

“He has not failed; very soon your situation will be addressed because a hungry man is an angry man. It is not nice to hear that in a brotherly country as Ghana, you are being treated like this.

“We have Ghanaians in Nigeria too and they are treated as brothers, so do not worry. It is a government-to-government dialogue.

“I believe, very soon, we will get to the end of this matter and we will all be at peace,” Arewa said.

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Breaking: Tanker Explodes In Lagos Nigeria

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A midnight tanker explosion has rocked the Otedola Bridge area of Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.

No casualty has been confirmed as of this report with witnesses saying the explosion happened around 3am.

The spokesperson of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Nosa Okunbor, confirmed the incident.

The Otedola Bridge in Lagos is notorious for its accidents. In May 2020, a tanker rammed into a commercial bus and a car on the Bridge, along Lagos Ibadan-Expressway, killing a female while others sustained injuries in the process.

In November 2019, a tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of petrol with registration number KJA-900XR got burnt on the Otedola Bridge. Okunbor, in a statement at the time, blamed the incident on the tanker’s tyres which bust while it was in motion.

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