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The Migration and Economic Development Partnership Between Rwanda and The United Kingdom

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By Dolapo Aina

On Tuesday, 5th of December 2023, there was a signing of a joint treaty by Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vincent Biruta and the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary James Cleverly in Rwanda. The signing of the joint treaty aims at strengthening the United Kingdom and Rwanda’s Migration and Economic Development Partnership.

In an official statement, Rwanda reaffirmed her commitment to making the Migration and Economic Development Partnership work. Whilst the United Kingdom via the Home Office stated that: “The agreement is part of the government’s plan to ensure that illegal migrants can be lawfully relocated to Rwanda under the government’s ambition to stop the boats ensuring that people know that if they come to the UK illegally, they cannot stay here (UK).”

Rwanda stated that the new treaty will re-emphasise, in a binding manner, already existing commitments that address concerns raised in the legal process about the protection of asylum seekers. It will also see the introduction of a new appeals tribunal, to be established under Rwandan law and overseen by two co-presidents, one Rwandan and one drawn from another Commonwealth country, and a panel of judges from various nationalities, who will hear appeals in the event an applicant’s asylum claim is turned down.

The Home Office’s statement reiterated that: “The treaty also enhances the functions of the independent monitoring committee to ensure compliance with the obligations in the treaty, such as reception conditions, processing of asylum claims, and treatment and support for individuals including up to 5 years after they have received final determination of their status. The committee is made up of 8 independent members. The monitoring committee will also develop a system which will enable relocated individuals and legal representatives to lodge confidential complaints directly to them. It will have the power to set its own priority areas for monitoring, and have unfettered access for the purposes of completing assessments and reports. It may publish reports as it sees fit on its findings. To further bolster assurances that relocated individuals will not be returned, under the treaty, Rwanda’s asylum system will be strengthened through a new appeal body. The appeal body will consist of a Rwandan and other Commonwealth national co-president, and be composed of judges from a mixture of nationalities with asylum and humanitarian protection expertise (appointed by the co-presidents) to hear individual appeals.”

In his remarks, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vincent Biruta stated: “This partnership with the UK reflects Rwanda’s commitment to protecting vulnerable people, and builds on our track record of welcoming and hosting refugees and migrants from around the world. Rwanda and the UK both understand that there’s a critical need to find innovative solutions to address the suffering of migrants making dangerous, desperate journeys, under the exploitation of criminal human smugglers. The people relocated to Rwanda will be welcomed, and they will be provided with both the safety and support they need to build new lives. Today’s treaty signing, negotiated by the new Home Secretary, sits alongside work with the Rwandans to strengthen their asylum processes.”

United Kingdom’s Home Secretary James Cleverly stated: “This is a crucial step forward in our commitment to stopping the boats and saving lives. Rwanda is a safe country that cares deeply about supporting refugees. It has a strong history of providing protection to those that need it, hosting over 135,000 asylum seekers who have found sanctuary there. I am grateful to our Rwandan partners for their willingness, dedication and commitment to strengthening this partnership further. The Supreme Court recognised that changes may be delivered which would address their conclusions and this treaty responds directly to that. We remain steadfast in doing everything we can to stop to illegal migration, and our wider, ongoing work operationally and internationally has led to crossings coming down by a third compared to last year (2022).

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Whiz Kid, Abdul-salam, Seeks Assistance to Prosecute M.Sc Studies in Scotland

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By Eric Elezuo

Teslim Abdul-salam, a 24-year-old Nigerian, from Oyo State, has sent a save our soul message to well meaning Nigerians to come to his aid in his quest to become a Global Energy Leader and establish a Youth-led Sustainable Energy Company in Africa.

Abdul-salam made this disclosure during an exclusive chat with The Boss. He noted that he intends to extend his high flying academic sojourn with an opportunity to obtain an M.Sc degree in Energy Economics and Finance at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, the admission he had already secured.

On why he thinks he is qualified for assistance from well meaning Nigerians to pursue the Masters honours, Abdul-salam said:

“My name is Teslim Abdul-salam, a 24-year-old Petroleum Engineering graduate from the First Technical University, Ibadan, Nigeria. I graduated with a Second Class Upper and have furthered my education with masterclasses in Leadership for Young Engineers from Guardian of the Nation International (GOTNI), Abuja, and in Business Management from the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

“Additionally, I hold diplomas in French Studies and Entrepreneurship Studies from the First Technical University, Ibadan.

“Throughout my academic and professional journey, I have achieved notable accomplishments. I received the Tech-Upreneur (Entrepreneur) Ambassador award in 2020, led a team that qualified for the Hult Prize Regional Entrepreneurship Competition in Cairo in 2020, and was among the Top 100 out of 17,000 applicants in the International Breweries Foundation (IBF) Kickstart Entrepreneurship Contest in 2019.

“I possess strong skills in public speaking, data analysis, business writing, and digital marketing. Currently, I run a digital freelance business in Nigeria.

“My long-term vision is to become a Global Energy Leader and to establish a Youth-led Sustainable Energy Company in Africa. I am a passionate advocate for climate action, focusing on making clean energy accessible and affordable for underserved communities in Africa.”

His avalanche of distinguished achievements notwithstanding, Abdul-salam is unable to move closer to his dreams of becoming a better person, and contributing his quota to the making of a better Nigeria with the MSc in Energy Economics and Finance, and therefore, seek financial assistance or sponsorship.

“I have been offered conditional admission to the MSc in Energy Economics and Finance programme at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. However, I am unable to meet the financial requirements for the programme.

“I am reaching out to request assistance in obtaining a scholarship or financial support to cover the tuition and living expenses for my postgraduate programme. This opportunity is crucial for me to achieve my goal of becoming a Global Energy Leader and contributing significantly to sustainable energy solutions in Africa. Any support or guidance you can provide would be immensely appreciated,” he said.

With the importance this administration has attached to education, it will not be out of place if the likes of Abdul-salam are assisted to achieve noble objectives in science, management, finance among a host of other academic disciplines that can turn the fortunes of the nation, and reduce youth restiveness in the country.

Abdul-salam needs your assistance. Please, help!

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FG Endorses Groundbreaking Clean Cookstoves Project, Partners GreenPlinth Africa

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In a landmark move towards sustainable development and environmental conservation, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Council on Climate Change has officially endorsed a revolutionary initiative aimed at addressing global climate crisis, environmental challenges and improving livelihoods across the nation.

Under the auspices of GREENPLINTH AFRICA LIMITED, in collaboration with strategic partners, an ambitious Article 6.4 project has been launched to distribute 80 million clean cookstoves free of charge to households throughout Nigeria.

This initiative, the largest single clean cooking systems project in the world, marks a significant step forward in combatting the adverse health and environmental impacts associated with traditional cooking methods, such as indoor air pollution and deforestation.

The provision of clean cookstoves is set to transform the lives of millions of Nigerians, particularly women and children, who are disproportionately affected by the harmful effects of traditional cooking practices. The adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves by households will lead to improved indoor air quality, reduce respiratory illnesses, and largely contribute to mitigating climate change through lower carbon emissions.

In a statement by Dr. Olawale Akinwumi, president and CEO of GREENPLINTH AFRICA LIMITED, the Director General of the National Council on Climate Change, Dr. Salisu Dahiru recently issued a formal Letter of Endorsement (LoE) for the Improved And Efficient Cooking Energy Solution For Nigeria – a Programmatic Article 6.4 Project.

Dr. Dahiru, who is also the Designated National Authority (DNA) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point in Nigeria averred that the project would result in greenhouse gas emission reduction and more importantly lead to sustainable forest development and job creation in Nigeria.

According to him, besides reduction in domestic emissions, the project will decrease upper respiratory infections, thereby leading to improved health conditions; and equally enhance the nation in achieving sustainable development and the goals of Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Speaking on the importance of the project, Dr. Victor Fodeke, vice president and GMD of Greenplinth Africa Limited stated that the initiative will particularly benefits vulnerable communities, women, and children, who bear the brunt of health issues linked to traditional cooking practices. “Nigerians will experience tangible benefits while collectively contributing to global efforts in combating climate change”, he said.

Dr. Fodeke, a former Technical Adviser on Climate Change to the African Union (AU), declared that in addition to the deployment of clean cookstoves, the project includes an ambitious afforestation campaign, with plans to plant a staggering 4 billion economic trees across the nation. This initiative not only aims to combat deforestation but also to promote sustainable land management practices, enhance biodiversity, and create economic opportunities for communities across Nigeria – stimulating economic growth by creating new avenues for employment and income generation.

“The Article 6.4 Clean Cookstoves Project will be a foreign exchange earner for the Nigerian economy. This is first time anywhere in the world that efficient clean cookstoves project of this magnitude is being launched to be fully funded for every household, and 100% financed by Carbon Credits.

“Our PANDA Cookstove is also the first clean cookstove in the world to be launched with the co-benefit of Innovative Tree Planting and Nurturing to eliminate or reduce Poverty, Hunger, and Diseases,” he concluded.

The Federal Government’s endorsement of this groundbreaking Article 6.4 initiative underscores its commitment to fostering sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and the well-being of its citizens.

The Improved and Efficient Cooking Energy Solution for Nigeria is a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Global Climate Action Portal (GCAP) registered Initiative.

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Court Denies Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan Bail

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Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Friday, refused to grant bail to an executive of Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan.

Justice Nwite held that Gambaryan is likely to jump bail if granted to him.

The company and its executive were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering before Emeka Nwite, judge of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Moving an application, Counsel to the Defendant, Mark Mordi, argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.

The prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, however opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a flight risk.

He stated that the defendant attempted to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, and this is a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague’s escape from custody.

He added that the court cannot risk granting Gambaryan bail, especially as he is not attached to any community in Nigeria.

“The fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth.

He urged the court to refuse the application and instead remand him in EFCC custody to ensure his safety and prevent potential flight risk.

Delivering ruling, the judge said several factors including the nature of offence and its severity must be considered when trying to decide whether or not bail should be granted to the defendant applicant.

Justice Nwite agreed with the depositions made by prosecution and was of the view that the applicant will jump bail if bail is granted to him.

He subsequently ordered that the trial be given an accelerated hearing.

After the ruling, the EFCC called its first witness, a staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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