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Nigerian Navy Acquires Hydrographic Research Vessel

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The Nigerian Navy has acquired a new hydrographic and oceanographic research vessel, NNS LANA, to replace the previous one which was decommissioned ten years ago, with a view to enhancing the safety of the nation’s maritime domain as well as in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Navy took delivery of the new offshore survey vessel from the French shipyard, OCEA, in Saint Nazaire, France, after the provisional acceptance trials were concluded.

The vessel is expected, among other benefits, to allow the Nigerian Navy to have a better knowledge of its maritime territory and its Exclusive Economic Zone; enhance coastal and deep-sea scientific research and studies; provide assistance and supplies to other boats, as well as helicopter winching and towing of ships.

Speaking at the Flag Transfer ceremony in France, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, disclosed that the vessel was launched in September 2020, explaining that the NN’s choice of OCEA to carry the contract followed an international call for tenders for the acquisition of a hydrographic research vessel and associated logistical support services.

The minister who was represented by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said: “The provision of survey services and charting place a crucial role in ensuring safe navigation as well as delivery of maritime security.

“Hence, this vessel will not only enhance the safety of Nigerians maritime environment but the ship will serve as a critical component in the projection of naval power for enhanced maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. It will also play a critical role in the protection of maritime resources and preservation of law and order at sea, thus, contributing significantly to the promotion of global maritime commerce”.

According to him, “It is also capable of conducting geophysical studies, search and rescue operations as well as patrol duties. The ship is equipped with state-of-the-art modern survey equipment as well as a well-equipped 7.6m surface vehicle for shallow water surveys. Furthermore, the ship has an Automatic Weather Station, AWS, wet and dry laboratories, scientific and technical workshops as well as operating and processing rooms for survey data.

“For security, the ship would be equipped with 30 mm and 2×12.7 mm guns upon arrival in Nigeria. NNS LANA was handed over to the Nigerian Navy in France on January 15, 2021, after the provisional acceptance trials were concluded. The crew training commenced in January 2021 and ended on April 12,201.”

The change of flag ceremony, according to him, marked the vessel’s readiness to embark on her maiden homebound voyage to Nigeria and is expected to join the Nigerian Navy Fleet in May 2021.

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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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