The Federal Government on Monday called on the Islamic Development Bank to assist in implementing some of its intervention programmes in the North-East that had been badly hit by the activities of insurgents.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who stated this while receiving the President of the IDB Group, Dr. Ali Madani, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, stressed that the government would deepen its partnership with the bank to fund critical projects in the infrastructure sector.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President commended the bank for supporting several developmental projects across the country.
‘‘We can’t thank you enough for the height you have achieved for the bank in 41 years. Now that you are about to retire, we thank you for the quality leadership which the world has recognised,’’ the President said.
Buhari also thanked the IDB Group and other countries for extending their assistance to Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.
The President assured the visiting IDB chief that Nigeria, a major financier of the bank, would meet all its obligations to the development institution within the shortest time possible.
The President highlighted efforts of the current administration at diversifying the economy with emphasis on agriculture and expressed strong optimism that Nigeria would achieve self-sufficiency in rice and sugar, and export both commodities in the next three years.
In his remarks, Madani congratulated Buhari on the positive outcomes of the war against corruption and terrorism.
He said the bank was ready to mobilise resources from Arab fund for developmental initiatives of the Nigerian government and the private sector, particularly agriculture.
Similarly, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, while speaking during the inauguration of the IDB country office in Abuja, said since the administration of President Buhari was working hard to rebuild the region, there was a need for the IDB to assist in the critical infrastructure and capacity-building programmes.
UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.
The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.
Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.
British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use”
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.
“It is very good news,” Hancock said.
Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.
On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.
Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.
“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.
“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
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