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EU Inaugurates 25 Nigerian Youths Into Decision-Making Board

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The European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS on Monday inaugurated a 25-member Youth Sounding Board, a body of young Nigerians, who will help in shaping and implementing EU programmes and strategies in the country for more inclusiveness.

The union said the inauguration was part of its commitment to incorporating young Nigerians in its decision-making process.

Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Charge d’Affaires at the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Alexandre Gomes, said the members of the EU-YSB will have an unpaid mandate of two years, noting that the board serves as a bridge between young Nigerians and the EU Delegation.

He stated, “The Youth Sounding Board will allow young people to have an influence on the policy and programmes of the EU in Nigeria, thereby contributing to making EU action more participatory, relevant and effective for the large young population in Nigeria.”

According to Gomes, the board members were selected based on their knowledge and experience in one or more of the areas that are of key interest to the EU, including gender equality, youth inclusion, climate change, and culture, out of hundreds of applications from across the country.

The diplomat observed that the 25 youths had a proven track record of playing outstanding roles in their communities, both online and online or offline, and had set up and participated in creative and innovative initiatives to empower youth at the grassroots level.

“The EU, therefore, believes that the future of Nigeria will largely depend on the ability to provide young Nigerians with opportunities for employment, education, health and access to decision-making processes,” Gomes stated.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Youths Development and Sports, Sunday Dare, described the board as a window of opportunity for the youths, stressing the need for agenda for action.

The minister claimed that the Federal Government is fighting poverty with various empowerment initiatives, noting that about 6,000 Nigerians have benefitted from the Nigerian Youths Investment Fund since its establishment last year.

Dare stated, “Exactly one month from today, we are going to have the first national youth conference; 370 Nigerian youths under one roof, meeting for four days on five thematic areas. They will set an agenda for action and present it to the Federal Government. We believe that would be a major event for our youths.”

Speaking on behalf of other board members, Ismail Bello said he was excited to be amongst the first set of beneficiaries of the initiative even as he urged the EU to sustain it p as a way of creating opportunities for young people and youth organizations to express their views, connect and exchange ideas.

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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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EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja

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The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.

Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.

“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.

Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.

He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.

The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.

“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.

The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.

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Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea

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President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.

Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.

The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.

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