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First Batch Of Nigerians Arrives Abuja From Ukraine

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An update from the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) reveals that the first batch of Nigerians has arrived Abuja from Ukraine.

The announcement was made on Friday, 4th March via the commission’s official Twitter account.

The commission also revealed that most of the evacuees are students affected by the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine. The update by the NIDCOM also highlighted that the students arrived at the Nnamdi International Airport by exactly 7:10 am from Romania.

Leading the evacuation is Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama alongside Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada. This is after Nigeria’s President Muhammadu had approved the quick disbursement of $8.5m for the evacuation of stranded Nigerians affected by the crisis.

The federal government had also solicited two top Nigerian airlines – Air Peace Airlines and Max Air Airlines – to lead in the evacuation.

InvestorsKing recalls that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, had earlier disclosed that about 2,090 Nigerians will return to Nigeria from Ukraine on Thursday, 3rd March after finding their way to Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. The Ambassador revealed that the chattered flights from the airlines will depart on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, to pick up Nigerian evacuees back home.

Although it wasn’t revealed how many Nigerians were in the first batch of evacuees, this update is coming up a day later after the expected arrival date. Also, it is important to note that most of the evacuees in the first batch are students – this leaves room for more insight into the process the Nigerian government and the NIDCOM have employed in ensuring the safe return of Nigerians stranded in Ukraine.

While undoubtedly, this is a good move, the Nigerian government still needs to put in more effort to show readiness in situations like the Russia-Ukraine crisis and also in the rehabilitation of returned Nigerians.

Just like the Speaker of The House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, in his statement, called for legislative measures to ensure readiness in crisis, there should also be legislative measures enacted to help these evacuated Nigerians to successfully integrate back into society.

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Peter Obi Resigns Peoples Democratic Party’s Membership Ahead of Presidential Primaries

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The former Governor of Anambra State and the Presidential aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Gregory Obi on Tuesday announced he has resigned his membership due to recent developments that made it impossible to continue to participate and contribute to nation-building.

In a letter obtained by Investors King, the former governor cum entrepreneur submitted his resignation letter on Friday, May 20, 2022 to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2. Anaocha LGA Anambra.

He said “I am by this letter informing you of my withdrawal from the PDP Presidential Primaries.

“It has been a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making such constructive contributions.

“Our national challenges are deep-seated and require that we each make profound sacrifices towards rescuing our country. My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs.”

By ‘even if the route differs’, the vibrant politician may be suggesting pitching his tent with another party that shares his political ideologies for national building.

Peter Obi

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Education

$221m Spent By Nigerians on Foreign Education Between Dec 2021 & Feb 2022  – CBN Reveals

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In the wake of incessant strike actions by academic and non-academic unions in Nigeria, Nigerians have found solace in studying abroad to get adequate education. 

The Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), in a recent report, has now shown that Nigerians spent nothing less than $220.86m on foreign education in three months (between December 2021 and February 2022). 

According to the CBN data on the amount spent on educational service under the sectoral utilisation for transactions valid for foreign exchange for December 2021 to February 2022, in December 2021, the bank spent $90.67m on foreign education. Later in January, it spent a total of $60,202,730.84 on foreign education, while a sum of $69.9m was spent in February 2022.

According to a report by Punch, the CBN has not yet published the amount it spent in March, April and May, but has noted that the amount it indicated in December 2021 and January 2022 “might be subject to change in future.”

“This data from the apex bank shows that Nigerians remitted more than $220m to foreign academic institutions in three months without a notable “reciprocity” in form of inflows from foreign sources to the local education sector,” Punch reported.

The huge net dollar outflows has a two-way effect on the countries economy – an underinvestment in domestic education and creating pressure on the naira exchange rate. This is as a result of high demands for dollars to pay foreign educational institutions which affects Nigeria’s foreign reserves and increases pressure on the exchange rate.

Investors King gathered that over 70 thousand Nigerians were studying abroad as of 2018, according to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation. This is the highest from an African country.

During an interview with the media, National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, said the failure of the government to adequately fund education in Nigeria has negatively impacted the sector.

“You go to tertiary institutions and you see dilapidated buildings, lecturers and students alike are not happy, students do not have access to good equipment for practicals, at the end of the day, the system continues to churn out half-baked graduates.

“The only solution to this is for the government to invest fully in the sector. If we operate world-class schools in the country, there will be no need for people to go to other countries to obtain a good education”, he said.

The Convener, Reform Education sector, Olubunmi Olusanmi also noted that there is a need for the government to speedily increase its investment in the education sector.

“Education is the bedrock of any nation, you cannot neglect that sector and say you want to focus on infrastructure. Nigerians go to other countries to avoid some of the drama that goes on in our local schools.  Talks of strikes have been annual festivals and we have all seen it as normal.

 “We cannot continue to go on like this. The truth is that many individuals who have the resources or who can struggle to get the resources will continue to go out and get better quality education. The government needs to do better.”

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Travel

NCAA Alerts Airport Operators over Hazardous Weather, Calls For More Caution

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has called for more caution from pilots, airlines and airport operators, especially with regard to the hazardous weather prompted by the rainy season.

The Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards revealed this in an advisory document signed by the Director-General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu.

Investors King recalls that NIMET had earlier predicted early March to be the start of the rainy season in the southern states, while April/May and June 2022 will be the start of the rainy season in the central and northern portions of Nigeria.

“Flight crews/operators and ATCs shall ensure strict adherence to aerodrome operating minima.

“Pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET.

“Pilots /flight crew members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET aerodrome meteorological stations prior to flight operations”, the advisory noted.

The agency asked all parties to follow safety laws to the letter since infractions would be taken seriously, while travellers were urged to be patient and understanding, as their safety is more paramount.

Prior to this, Investors King earlier reported the projections of a fresh fuel crisis, following the revelation of a shortage in supply to the Nigerian Aviation by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).

Investors King gathered that the product costs N598 per litre in Lagos, N642 in Kano, N640 in Kaduna, N627 in Abuja, N635 in Enugu and Anambra, and N628 in Port Harcourt as at Monday.

Also, airlines have already begun delaying flights and raising rates around the country as a result of the shortage.

Air Peace, Dana, and United Nigeria Airlines’ economy one-way fares from Lagos to Abuja, Owerri, Port Harcourt, and Asaba have climbed to between N55,000 and N70,000.

Air Peace, Azman, and Max Air fares from Lagos to Abuja, Kano, and Kaduna have increased from N50,000 to almost N65,000.

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