Category Archives: Community

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and USCIS formalizes relationships between the city and immigrant communities in GA

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On Thursday, April 23, 2015 Mayor Kasim Reed and USCIS Director León Rodríguez signed a letter of agreement at City Hall in the Atrium to formalize a partnership to promote citizenship awareness and education among lawful permanent residents in Atlanta. According to Mayor Reed, the initiative will foster mutual understanding, provide educational resources for immigrants and immigrant-serving organizations to prepare immigrants for Citizenship as well as promote culture, and economic development in Georgia.

 

The history of Nigeria at a glance

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Nigeria: Factsheet

Official Name

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Geography

36 States with a Federal Capital at Abuja

Geo-Political Zones: South-South, South-East, South-West, North-Central, North-West, North-East.

Number of States

36 States with a Federal Capital at Abuja

Capital City

Abuja

Type of Government

Presidential System

Head of State: President Goodluck Jonathan with President Elect, General Mohammed Buhari.

Flag

The national flag consist of three vertical stripes. The green stripe represents agriculture, while the centre white represents unity and peace.

Country Calling Code

+234

Independence Day

1st October 1960

Population

Projected to be 183, 5m UN est. for 2015.

Constitution

Federal Constitution

System of Government: Presidential

Suffrage: 18 years of age

Some Large Cities

Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Aba, Calabar, Jos, Uyo, Kaduna

Languages

English (official) Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, Efik, etc.

Legal System

Based on English Common Law

Islamic Shariah Law (12 Northern States) and customary law.

Legislative Branch

Bicameral National Assembly, the Senate and House or Representatives

Geography

Location: West Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon

Area: 923,768 Sq. Km. (356,700 Sq. miles)

Land: 910, 968 Sq. km.

Climate

Temperatures: 22-36 degrees Celsius, annual rainfall range from 381cm, along the coast to 64 cm or less in the far north.

Religions

Muslims, Christians and Indigenous beliefs

Some Ethnic Groups

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups, the most populous ones are Hausa and Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Tiv, Kanuri, Efik, Ibibios, etc.

Terrain

Ranges from Southern Coastal swamps to tropical forests, open woodlands, grasslands and semi desert in the far north.

Export Commodities

Petroleum and petroleum products, cocoa, rubber. Etc.

GDP

$510billion

Main Export Partners

United States, India, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France.

Some Natural Resources

Natural gas, Petroleum, Tin, Iron Ore, Coal, Limestone, Lead, Zinc, Bitumen, Bauxite, Rubber, arable land, etc.

Some Political Parties

  • Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

  • All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP)

  • Alliance for Democracy (AD)

  • All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA)

  • Action Congress (AC)

  • All People’s Congress (APC),

  • Labour Party, etc

Some Tourist Sites

The Country hosts a vast array of tourist sites and attractions that can be visited and enjoyed given her fine tropical climate, making the country truly the heart of Africa. Some of the tourist attractions are:

  • Mambila Plateau: This is a high grassland plateau which is the highest in Nigeria, 5000 feet above seas level. The plateau which has undulating landscape free of insects is situated in Taraba State.

  • Freedom Park, Lagos: This is located on the site of the colonial prison where prominent Nigeria had their jail terms during the colonial era.

  • Cross River Park: The fauna species inventory of this park is very rich with many of them endemic to the area. There are 23 species of primates in the country, 18 of them are found here, like gorillas and chimpanzees.

  • Obuda Hills in Cross River State: The Obuda hills lies within the highlands of Cross River States and the border with Cameroon. It has a temperature climate due to its high altitude and habits the famous Obudu cattle ranch and resorts.

  • Zuma Rock: This is located 50 km from Abuja along Kaduna road.

  • Tinapa Resort: Tinapa is a business and leisure resort north of Calabar, South Eastern Nigeria associated with the Calabar Free Trade Zone. Located by the Calabar River, contiguous with the Calabar Free Trade Zone.

  • Obudu Mountain Resort: The resort has a helipad for access by air. At the base of the hills on which the ranch is located lies a newly built world class waterpark with state-of-the-art swimming facilities.

  • Yaukari National Park: This is a large wildlife park located in the South-Central part of Bauchi State, Northeast of Nigeria. Home to several natural warm water springs as well as wide variety of flora and fauna, etc.

Economy

Nigeria is a middle income, mixed and emerging economy. The country is ranked 26th in the world economy. Crude oil accounts for over 95% of exports, and world’s 8th largest exporter of oil. Currently the largest economy in Africa based on the rebasing of the economy in April, 2014. It is also on track to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.

Why invest in Nigeria

  • The country’s democracy is stable and resilient.

  • A one-stop in place for prompt investment.

  • Fully liberalized economy and foreign exchange regime.

  • Availability of labour force that is skilled, trainable, adaptable and competitive.

  • Attractive and negotiable incentive package for investors.

  • Wide market access.

  • Excellent telecommunication facilities.

  • Constitutional guarantees and safeguards against nationalization and expropriation, etc.

Nigeria Government Amnesty programme finds bipartisan support

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On April 19, 2015 Hon. Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme paid a valedictory visit to Alabama State. In a one-on-one meeting with the Niger Delta students at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa Convention Center, he thanked President Goodluck Jonathan, faculty, government officials, and members of the press, including his team of staff and those who have made it possible in ensuring a successful program during the past few years.

Following the meeting was a Q & A section, where he addressed students concerns, urging them to make Nigeria proud by working hard to achieve their individual goals, rather than personal interests. He also, discounted rumors that have been circulating about the new Government ending the Niger Delta Amnesty Scholarship Programme, and alluded to the fact that the program has a proven track record of academic success and high student retention rate. He ended his statement by promising continuity of the programme after Jonathan’s administration leaves office in May of 2014.

Senator, Abubakar Sadiq Yar’Adua of APC  party in his speech, commended Hon. Kingsley Kuku for the successful implementation of the program, stating that Buhari’s administration believes Education is a matter of national priority for the people of Nigeria. He then thanked Jonathan’s administration for harnessing the vision of late President Umaru Yar’Adua who in June of 2009, signed an offer of unconditional amnesty for militants operating in the Niger Delta, In addition, he  indicated that the new government will review all recommendations put forward.

Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe, Amb./Consulate General of Nigeria, Atlanta in his closing remarks, thanked Hon. Kingsley Kuku for his leadership, commitment, and service, saying his selfless effort in sustaining the Niger Delta Amnesty Scholarship Programme has made a difference in the lives of many students from the Niger Delta region, and a positive impact in the community. Afterwards, he added that he will greatly be missed.

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History made as Nigeria chooses Jacksonville University to educate its future oil-industry leaders

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History was made at the signing of formal agreement between Jacksonville University and Nigeria’s Petroleum Technology Development Fund on Thursday, March 12 at the Lobby of the Davis College of Business, Jacksonville University, 2800 University Blvd. N., making JU the first American University to teach Nigerian Students in STEM-related fields . Under the new initiative, Nigerian students will be trained in STEM-related fields to qualify as academicians, professionals and technicians.

Nigeria’s growing technical and industrial industries require home-grown talent, said Nigerian  Ambassador/Consul General of Atlanta,  Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe. The country’s one hundred and twenty-eight universities are able to accommodate only about half qualified applicants. The Petroleum Technology Development Fund’s program is designed to continue Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s “Transformation Agenda” to ensure the country’s positive direction.

“We have 5,000 Nigerians studying here in the U.S., and more are coming,” he said. ““We have been producing oil and gas since 1958, but we don’t have enough local capacity to be able to sustain the industry, we need to produce manpower to move forward. Countries become leaders because of knowledge and technology, and JU is a producer of doers and thinkers. I cannot think of a better institution for this cultivation.”

The speakers and signees in attendance were;  Nigerian  Ambassador/Consul General of Atlanta,  Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Jacksonville University President Tim Cost; JU Provost, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Wenying Xu; City of Jacksonville officials, representing Femi Ajayi, Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Timipre Wolo, Deputy Manager of the Fund’s Industry Collaboration Unit, Salman Mo, Assistant Chief Officer of the Unit, and the first 18 Nigerian students to study at JU.

The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) is a parastatal of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources established by Decree 25 of 1973 for the purposes of development, promotion and implementation of petroleum technology and manpower needs through research and training of Nigerians to qualify as graduates, professionals, technicians and craftsmen in the field of engineering, geology, science and management in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria or abroad.

Its objectives are to help develop indigenous manpower, acquire and transfer technology and knowledge, and make Nigeria a human resource center for the West African sub-region in these fields. The program is a continuation of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s “Transformation Agenda” for the country’s positive direction.

See pic below:

NIGERIAN WOMEN ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA, INC. USA CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY

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Nigerian Women Association of Georgia, Inc. USA (NWAG) celebrates 15 years of service to the community with a Thanksgiving service on Sunday, April 12, 2015 at the Shadow of the Almighty Ministry church in Marietta, GA. Read More.

Jonathan make good on his promise

Jonathan make good on promise as Consul Dele Momoh from the Nigeria Consulate, Atlanta, GA celebrates with 38 Nigerian Honor roll students who graduated today at the University of Alabama under the Niger Delta Amnesty Program.

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Consular members and member of the Diplomatic Corps meets in GA

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Consular members and member of the Diplomatic Corps meets in GA to establish its first Organization of African and Caribbean Consular Corps of Georgia. The meeting was hosted by Amb. Geoffery Teneilabe, Amb./Consulate of Nigeria, Atl and Hon. Cynthia Lynn Blandford, Honorary Consulate General Republic of Liberia on March 24, 2015. In attendance were all Consular members and member of the Diplomatic Corps in the metro Atlanta region and the State of Georgia representing the sovereign African and Caribbean States.

According to Hon. Cynthia Lynn Blandford, the purpose of the Organization is to promote the unity and solidarity of African and Caribbean States in the United States of America to achieve a better life for the people of Africa and the Caribbean, support African and Caribbean Diaspora in terms of trade and economic development, promote educational, cultural, scientific and humanitarian cooperation as well as political and diplomatic cooperation between African and Caribbean States and the United States of America. Membership is open to Sovereign African or Caribbean State through their Diplomatic and Consular representatives.

See pics.

 

OPENING REMARKS BY AMB. GEOFFREY TENEILABE, AMB/CONSUL-GENERAL ON THE OCCASION OF THE NIGERIA DIASPORA DIAGNOSTIC & TRAUMA CENTER BANQUET & FUND RAISING

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Protocol

  • His Excellency, Prof. Adefuye, Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States represented by H. O. Balogun;
  • Consul-General of Nigeria, New York, Ambassador Habib Habu;
  • President of the Nigeria Diaspora Diagnostic and Trauma Foundation;
  • Chairs and members of the Committees of Foundation;
  • Invited Guests;
  • Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today marks a happy moment for Nigerians in the diaspora as a dream of nearly two years ago begins to unfold in more ways than one.

2. In August 2013, the Nigerian in Diaspora Organization in the Americas, Atlanta branch, in joint partnership with the Consulate-Generalof Nigeria, Atlanta, convened a conference on Diaspora Investment and the establishment of a Trauma Center, as a result of the needless and preventable deaths of our people in Nigeria that sometimes occur.

3. In December of the same year, the idea was sold to the Prof. Nat Njoku’s led Nigerian Community Organization and the Association of Nigerian Physician in the Americas (ANPA), in Charlotte led at that time by Dr. Michael Etomi and with its local chapter led by Dr. Phillip Igbeniadolor. Fortunately, the idea was enthusiastically received but with the caveat to give Diagnosis the primacy of place in the programme.

4. Subsequently, in March 2014, the Consulate in Atlanta, initiated and sponsored the maiden meeting of the programme and the idea of a Diagnostic and Trauma Center was born. Ever since, the Consulate has also sponsored all its other eight Stakeholders meetings at a cost of over US $24,000.00 besides other expenses. I am delighted to pledge that the Consulate would sustain its support to this programme and give every encouragement to the realization of its dreams and aspirations.

5. I commend His Excellency, the Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States, Professor Ade Adefuye, ably represented by H. O Balogun officer in charge of Consular matters and Nigerian Affairs, for being part of this vision. I also speciallycommend my good friend and brother, Ambassador Habib Habu for his total commitment, dedication and strong support for the initiative.

6. The commitment of the Nigerian Diplomatic Missions to this project is without question. Sadly, in the comity of Nations, Nigerian healthcare statistics appear not encouraging. The average Nigeria life expectancy is only 57 years; infant mortality is 74.09 deaths to 1,000 live births; maternal mortality is 630 deaths to 100,000 live births; accident rate is 33.7 deaths per 100,000 and diseases such as malaria, typhoid, river blindness, polio, cholera, among others are prevalent, although all is not gloom as government defeated the Ebola scourge, guinea worm has been eradicated and polio, nearly so.

7. Nevertheless, many preventable deaths are still commonplace. It is therefore, advisable to raise the bar of our healthcare system in Nigeria to save lives. For a population of about 175 million people, the available healthcare facilities, to say the least, are not only grossly inadequate but also to a large extent not very high for specialized care going by international standards.

8. As a result, Nigerians seek specialized medical attention from many other parts of the world, spending over one billion dollars a year. Yet our physicians are some of the best in the world serving other entities, jurisdictions and countries from the United Kingdom to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, among others.

9. For this reason, there is a need for the estimated 11 (eleven) -12 million Nigerian Diaspora population from every part of the world to come together and put forth a befitting first class facility in their name as a monument of their contribution to the healthcare delivery system of their dear fatherland. We definitely would not solve all the healthcare problems of Nigeria but, together we can certainly make a difference as little drops of water make the mighty ocean.

10. I thank the Founding Fathers and Mothers of this programme for their dedication, financial contributions and invaluable time committed to this project,(could they rise for recognition please). I also thank the President of the Foundation, Chairs and members of the functional Committees, namely:

i. the Committee of the Whole;

ii. mobilization and publicity committee;

iii. finance and accounts Committee;

iv. design/technical Committee; and

v. medical/allied services committee for their times.

11. My gratitude also goes to the Planning Committee of this event for their invaluable time and dedication. Your reward will be here on earth.

12. However, I want to point out that the founding principle of openness of operations of this programme and collective ownership should continue to be the guiding principles because any deviation from it and towards exclusivity could spell disaster and scare people away. Please invite friends, relations and partners to be part of the vision. The membership of every committee and sub-committee should remain wide open at all times to everybody that wants to serve. It is an all comers affairs.

13. I wish to welcome every one present here especially those of you who have come from far and near- from Nigeria and other States in the United States to attend this event. We appreciate your time and your contributions to the realization of the programme.

14. I hope you all will find time to explore Atlanta and savour the famous southern hospitality with which Atlanta has come to be known and identified. But more importantly, I urge you all to please open your purse strings in the evening and donate generously to this worthy cause for the benefit of Nigeria.

15. Thank you for your kind attention.

 

The 15th Annual Nigeria Oil & Gas holds in Abuja

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The annual Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition, under the auspices of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources & NNPC, took place from 16 – 19 March 2015 in Abuja, Nigeria. The conference provided a platform for the Nigerian oil and gas industry to discuss and debate the most pressing issues facing the industry as well as share successes and network with industry peers.

The distinguished speaker line-up included senior representatives from government, new and existing MDs of the international oil companies operating in Nigeria, independent oil companies, international and indigenous services companies, financiers and lawyers who were able to address the delegates, voicing the different perspectives of the industry.

The Nigeria Oil & Gas Exhibition welcomed over 6500 visitors visiting over 250 exhibiting companies, of which 85% were indigenous. The NOG exhibitors were able to showcase the latest technologies, products and services to current and potential business partners to secure deals and drive business forward.

 2015 Key Decision Makers Included:

H.E. Diezani Alison-MaduekeHonourable Minister of Petroleum ResourcesFederal Republic of Nigeria
H.E. (Prof) Chinedu O NeboHonourable Minister of PowerFederal Republic of Nigeria
Joseph Thlama DawhaGroup Managing DirectorNNPC
George OsahonDirectorDepartment of Petroleum Resources
Jonathan Kwame OkehsGroup General ManagerNational Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS)

Markus DrollVice President, Nigeria & GabonShell Upstream International Operated
Wale TinubuGroup Chief ExecutiveOando Plc
Babs OmotowaManaging Director

Boko Haram crisis: Nigerian abductees reunited with families

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A group of 158 women and children abducted by Boko Haram militants in north-eastern Nigeria in December have been reunited with their families. They were kidnapped during a raid on Katarko village in Yobe state and spent about a month in captivity.

The circumstances of their release are unclear but they were eventually handed over to the state authorities for counselling and rehabilitation.Officials said the reunion in the state capital, Damaturu, was jubilant. In April last year, the Islamist insurgents caused worldwide outrage when they kidnapped more than 200 girls from a boarding school in Chibok in Borno state, which borders Yobe.The schoolgirls have yet to be rescued despite military assistance from countries such as China, France, the UK and the US.

Of the 158 people reunited with their families, 62 were married women and the rest were children, Musa Idi Jidawa, the secretary of Yobe’s State Emergency Management Agency (Sema), told the BBC.He said husbands of 16 of the women had been killed by Boko Haram during the attack.

Muhammdu Katarko said he was very happy to see his two daughters at the reunion on Thursday.”I had given up when they were kidnapped; my hope was to see even their dead bodies,” he told the BBC Hausa service. “But fortunately I have now seen them alive, health and hearty.” One of the abductees, who requested anonymity, told reporters in Damaturu that they were treated humanely by the militants.

A screen grab showing the abducted Chibok schoolgirls - May 2014
The Chibok girls’ abduction sparked a social media campaign calling for more to be done to rescue them. She said the insurgents did not rape or abuse the women during their stay. The BBC’s Ishaq Khalid reporting from neighbouring Bauchi state says there were conflicting accounts about how the abductees gained their freedom. Some reports suggested the insurgents released them voluntarily and took them to the outskirts of Damaturu, he says.

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But Mr Jidawa said the militants had come under attack from the security forces and they had run away, leaving behind their captives. The reunited families will stay in Damaturu until it is safe to return to their village, which is still occupied by Boko Haram fighters and is in an area where the military is carrying out operations.

Originally Posted by BBC News

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