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European Parliament Approves Brexit Trade Deal

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The European Parliament on Tuesday voted to ratify the EU’s post-Brexit trade deal with Britain, but not without issuing bitter final warnings that trouble lies ahead in cross-Channel ties.

The official result of the vote was not to be published until Wednesday morning, but the decision was not in doubt.

Today the European Parliament voted on the most far-reaching agreement the EU has ever reached with a third country,” the president of the assembly, David Sassoli, said.

“This can form the foundation on which we build a new forward-looking EU-UK relationship,” he said, warning that MEPs would monitor the implementation of the deal and “not accept any backsliding from the UK government.”

“You cannot have the advantages of EU membership while being on the outside. However, this agreement goes a long way to mitigate its worst consequences.”

The vote ratifies the bare-bones trade deal that was sealed on Christmas Eve after nine months of bad-tempered negotiations.

This will provide the framework for Britain’s new relationship with the 27-member union, five years after British voters shocked the world by voting to end its 47-year membership.

But the EU parliament vote comes amid multiple feuds over the UK’s implementation of Brexit agreements and angry finger-pointing about the supply of the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca.

“We know it will not always be easy and there is a lot of vigilance, diligence, and hard work ahead of us,” EU chief Ursula von der Leyen told a session of parliament ahead of the vote.

– ‘New chapter’ -“But while today’s vote is obviously an end, it is also the beginning of a new chapter,” she said.

Britain left the EU on January 30, 2020, but its new life with Europe only really began after a transition period ended on December 31, when London was no longer bound by the bloc’s laws and rules.

Officially called a trade and cooperation agreement (TCA), the deal creates a new relationship that provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas on goods traded between the EU and UK.

But it is less ambitious than many Europeans had hoped for, with nothing on foreign policy and defence nor any commitment to close alignment on the environment, health and other regulations.

More harmonised rules would have removed the requirement for some customs checks and paperwork on goods moving between the EU and UK, which has made business more burdensome and stirred unrest in Northern Ireland.

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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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