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UN and FIFA Share Strategic Social Goals

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The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina J. Mohammed had a virtual meeting with FIFA  President Gianni Infantino in which they exchanged views on shared priorities and the importance of urgent actions and commitments to implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

They discussed the role of football as a force for good and a tool for hope, particularly as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of opportunities for engagement and collaborations were highlighted in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, at the World Cup and beyond.

“The United Nations welcomes the collaboration with FIFA, particularly football’s potential in supporting the SDGs,” Ms. Mohammed said. “Our engagement is important to best identify how we can advance the Sustainable Development Goals not only at the global level but also at the regional and local level to ensure no one is left behind”.

The FIFA President agreed, adding that it was important for football to be at the service of society. “It is important for us at the new FIFA to be able to engage with the UN. The new FIFA is a responsible body and a sustainable organisation. It is an organisation that is aware that football goes beyond playing competitions. Football is much more than that”.

The call, which took place on 8 March, International Women’s Day was an opportunity to reflect on the role of the sport in advancing gender equality and building better mechanisms to protect from abuse and marginalisation.

Both leaders agreed that while having a vaccine was an important step in the effort to end the pandemic, the vaccine needed to be a people’s vaccine with equitable availability around the world. Ms. Mohammed highlighted the Secretary-General’s call for reimagining multilateralism and the need for working with new and untraditional actors around the world to promote the Global Goals and the United Nations Agenda.

The FIFA President spoke about the need to build on positive examples around the world when communities and countries came together, how football can support the recovery process, and also the role that football can have in education.

“The common language of football works everywhere, and it is in the DNA of the new FIFA to be open and we will use our competitions to get the message across,” the FIFA President said. “Through the Football for Schools programme and via a new African schools tournament programme, our focus is not only on football. FIFA strongly believes that through football, you can speak about everything, as it teaches children about values and rules, and we want to use football’s force for education”.

The two leaders concluded by agreeing to strengthen existing relationships and to develop further plans in relation to the SDGs.

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Over 8,000 Nigerian Doctors Now Work In UK, 353 Registered In The Last 100-Day

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The United Kingdom (UK) registered about 353 Nigerian doctors in the last 100 days, according to data from the General Medical Council – the body which licenses and maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the UK.

The GMC licensed at least 353 Nigerian-trained doctors between June 10, 2021, and September 20, 2021.

The statistics also showed that between July 24, 2020, and September 21, 2021, about 862 Nigeria-trained doctors were licensed in the UK despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data also showed that 8,737 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice in the UK.

Officials of the National Association of Resident Doctors are speculating that the rate of migration might double in the coming weeks since doctors were not given the right remuneration.

They said that many Nigerian doctors are migrating to Saudi Arabia, which might be more than those moving to the UK.

A poll by NOI in 2018 showed that 88 percent of Nigerian doctors were considering work opportunities abroad, but experts say the figure may be higher due to the rising insecurity and economic crunch.

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Elections in Africa Must Follow Democratic Process – Osinbajo

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Africans must continue to make the extra effort in ensuring that elections in the continent go through the democratic process, remain transparent and fair, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

He said this yesterday while receiving the President-elect of Sao Tome and Principe, Mr. Carlos Manuel Vila Nova who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa.

On the 18th of July, 2021, elections were held in Sao Tome to replace President Evaristo Carvalho, whose tenure expired on 3rd September, 2021. Based on constitutional provisions, an outright winner did not emerge from the polls and a run-off led to the emergence of Mr. Vila Nova, who would be sworn in 2nd October, 2021.

According to Prof Osinbajo “there is no question at all that for those of us in Africa, we must make the extra effort to ensure that the democratic process is very transparent. It is such a pleasure to see that that was what took place in your country which led to your election.”

Speaking about areas of cooperation between both countries, the Vice President said, “we already talked about some of the areas of cooperation…your tenure might be an opportunity to bring some of those things to fruition.”

Prof Osinbajo reassured Mr. Manuel Vila Nova of Nigeria’s support to ensure that “your tenure is as comfortable and effective as possible as partners and friends.”

In his own remarks, President-elect Vila Nova expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting Sao Tome and also thanked the Vice President for his attention, stating that Nigeria is a “friendly country” and the relationship between both countries dates back many years.

In attendance at the meeting were the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and a member of the Sao Tome and Principe’s cabinet, Mr. Americo de Oliveira Ramos.

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Ethiopian Airline To Resume Flight To Enugu Oct. 1st

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The Ethiopian Airline said on Sunday it would resume flights to Enugu as from Oct. 1, two years after it suspended flight to the South-Eastern state.

The airline’s General Manager, Shimeles Arage, who confirmed the proposed resumption in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, said that every week there would be a flight on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with B787 Dreamliner.

“Oct. 1 is Nigeria’s Independence Day and the flight to Enugu on that day will reinforce Ethiopian Airline good relations with Nigeria since the first flight to Nigeria in 1960,” he said.

Arage recalled that the airline stopped flights to Enugu in 2019 when the Nigerian aviation authorities closed the airport to refurbish the runway.

He said before the closure of the airport for runway repairs, Ethiopian was the only international airline flying to Enugu.

The airport was officially re-opened to domestic flights in 2020 and to international flights in Aug. 2021.

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