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US Embassy Denies NUJ President Visa Over Forgery



  • Beams searchlight on THISDAY employees

The United States embassy in Nigeria has turned down the visa applications of the embattled National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mr Christopher Isiguzo, on reasons ranging from certificate forgery and other criminal offences.

Reliable sources within the embassy disclosed this to two top media executives in the country on Wednesday, saying that Isiguzo’s applications had been turned down twice in three weeks on the conviction that he had forged multiple documents.

Isiguzo is an employee of Thisday Newspaper and is currently facing trial at the National Industrial Court, Abuja for multiple certificate forgery, fraud, among other crimes.

According to the sources, his forgery streak include academic certificates of notable Nigerian and American institutions, which he uses to gain job opportunities and NUJ positions.

“The embassy will not grant visa to any one who is said to have forged a certificate of a degree or diploma awarding institution in the United States of America. Never! More so, we will not grant visa to an individual who has a pending case in court for a crime as weighty as forgery,” the sources said.

They said the embassy would not ordinarily make denial of visa applications of individuals public, but it chose to do so because of Isiguzo’s behaviour at the embassy after he was denied visa the second time.

“He was ranting and making noise here, asking if we knew who he was; that he is the national president of  NUJ and will mobilise journalists against the embassy. He started calling people on phone, people we presume might be his colleagues, to come over to the embassy to cause chaos,” one of the sources stated.

She said, “He mentioned names of some state governors he would call and the the embassy will be shut down, and all that. What powers do state governors have to shut down an embassy. Was he really thinking?

“He said a lot of other things we couldn’t comprehend in his strong accent. He showed desperation to flee Nigeria because no right thinking individual would re-apply for a visa just two weeks after s/he has been denied the first application.

“From our investigations, we also found out that he has no travel history, aside a very recent trip to China. Could that be the reason he is not knowledgeable about issues concerning visa applications? Even at that, we expected a better behaviour from a man who is clearly in his mid-50s and claims to superintend over the entire Nigerian journalists.”

The source added, “If Thisday could permit a journalist with forged certificates to work for the reputable newspaper, then we will henceforth beam our searchlight on the company’s employees in future visa applications.”

Meanwhile, Isiguzo recently filed a forged letter of appointment from Winner Newspaper during hearing on his matter at the National Industrial Court.

He claimed to have worked at Winner Newspaper prior to joining Thisday, but the management of Winner Newspaper has denied ever issuing such letter to him. The case was adjourned to a later date.

A veteran media practitioner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “As a journalist, I was embarrassed but what else do you expect when intruders and misfits get to such positions. I weep for journalists in Nigeria.

“This is what we get from Thisday. And I heard his certificates are being questioned, yet Thisday employed him.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Canada Raises Cost-of-Living Requirement for Study Permit Applicants

IRCC Announces Adjustments to Financial Guidelines and Student Work Hours Effective January 1, 2024



EU-Canada Trade Deal

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has revealed changes to the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants, effective January 1, 2024.

The new requirement, set at $20,635 for a single study permit applicant, more than doubles the existing amount of $10,000 established in the early 2000s.

The adjustment aims to align with the rising cost of living in Canada, preventing instances where students’ funds fall short of covering their expenses.

This financial guideline applies to study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024, and is in addition to the first-year tuition and travel costs.

Furthermore, IRCC states that the cost-of-living requirement will now be annually adjusted based on Statistics Canada’s updates to the low-income cut-off (LICO), reflecting the minimum income necessary in Canada.

In addition to the financial adjustments, IRCC has extended the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week work cap for international students until April 30, 2024.

This extension applies to students currently in Canada and those who submitted a study permit application by December 7, 2023.

The waiver, initially introduced on November 15, 2022, allows students to work more than the standard 20 hours per week during the academic term.

Minister Miller also announced two updates related to the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

The provision allowing international students to include online study terms toward their future PGWP, as long as it doesn’t exceed half of the total program duration, will be extended until September 1, 2024.

However, there will be no further special extensions for PGWPs beyond this period, emphasizing IRCC’s commitment to maintaining clarity and stability in its policies.

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Kidnapping Spree Hits Northern Nigeria: Eight Abducted in Dan Honu Attack



Gunmen targeted the Dan Honu community in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state, abducting at least eight people in the latest incident of kidnapping for ransom in the region.

This form of criminal activity has become increasingly prevalent in northwest Nigeria, where armed gangs, locally known as bandits, have been wreaking havoc, targeting schools, villages, and travelers.

As a result, it has become perilous to travel by road or engage in farming activities in certain areas.

The attack occurred late on Tuesday in the Chikum local government area of Kaduna state. While the police are actively investigating the incident, residents shared harrowing experiences.

Mohammed Danjuma, a resident who narrowly escaped the abduction, reported that approximately 16 people were taken, but eight managed to evade capture.

During the attack, a vigilant member of the community fired a shot into the air, creating enough disturbance to unsettle the bandits, who subsequently left.

Malam Suleiman, another resident who was initially kidnapped, seized an opportunity to escape while being led into the bushes. Unfortunately, his teenage sons were among those taken by the assailants.

These incidents add to the pervasive insecurity in Nigeria, which includes a longstanding 14-year Islamist insurgency in the northeast and ongoing deadly clashes between farmers and herders in the central region.

Authorities are grappling with the multifaceted challenges posed by these security threats, seeking comprehensive solutions to safeguard the well-being of the population.

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Fidelity Bank Set to Host 2 Days of Family Entertainment



In the spirit of the Yuletide, leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced plans to host the maiden edition of the Fidelity Family Weekend.

Scheduled to hold on Saturday, 16 and Sunday, 17 December 2023 at the Fidelity Grounds, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos, the event is designed to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere for children to play, parents to relax and young adults to unwind during the festive season.

“The Yuletide season is all about coming together and spending quality time with loved ones especially as we wind down the year in anticipation of a new year. As a bank committed to providing memorable experiences for its clients, we pioneered the Fidelity Family Weekend to fete host our customers and clients to two fun filled days of family entertainment. We believe this is one more way of thanking our customers for a successful year,” noted the Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, Fidelity Bank Plc, Meksley Nwagboh, Ph.D. in a chat with journalists.

The Fidelity Family Weekend would run from 10am to 10pm daily and would feature dedicated fun activities for children including dancing competitions, bouncing castles, train rides, Santa’s Grotto, balloon games, amongst others.

Similarly, the programme for the adults’ section would feature exciting activities like karaoke competitions, games arcades, couple games, musical performances and so many more fun games that are geared towards providing a memorable experience for guests.

Entry into the event is free but guests are required to pre-register at before 12 December 2023.

Commenting further, Dr Nwagboh said, As a bank dedicated to helping individuals grow, businesses thrive and economies to prosper, we boast of an array of products and services for our diverse client base.  These include the Fidelity SWEETA account for young children below the age of 17 years, Fidelity Flex for teenagers and undergraduates; and even the Fidelity Vintage Account for senior citizens; all tailor-made to meet our customers specific needs. The Fidelity Family Weekend is therefore another demonstration of this devotion to provide platforms for our customers to fulfill their lifestyle requirements”.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.


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