Category Archives: Community
On May 20, 2015 students in the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, and Civilians from forty-four countries, including Nigeria received their post graduate degree at Air War College and University in Montgomery, Alabama. Representing the Federal Republic of Nigeria was His Excellency Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Amb./Consulate General of Nigeria, Atlanta, GA.
The outgoing Major General, Brian T. Bishop, Commander, Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education, and Commandant presided over the graduation ceremony. A light reception was held to celebrate the graduate class of 2015, and diplomatic relations with various countries and its representatives.
Air War College is the foremost center for air-power, provides students with the opportunity to further develop the knowledge, skills and attributes required to serve as senior leaders, preparing the world’s best joint strategic leaders.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and USCIS formalizes relationships between the city and immigrant communities in GA
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.
Federal Republic of Nigeria
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
Type of Government
Head of State: President Goodluck Jonathan with President Elect, General Mohammed Buhari.
The national flag consist of three vertical stripes. The green stripe represents agriculture, while the centre white represents unity and peace.
Country Calling Code
1st October 1960
Projected to be 183, 5m UN est. for 2015.
System of Government: Presidential
Suffrage: 18 years of age
Some Large Cities
Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Aba, Calabar, Jos, Uyo, Kaduna
English (official) Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, Efik, etc.
Based on English Common Law
Islamic Shariah Law (12 Northern States) and customary law.
Bicameral National Assembly, the Senate and House or Representatives
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.
Temperatures: 22-36 degrees Celsius, annual rainfall range from 381cm, along the coast to 64 cm or less in the far north.
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.
Ranges from Southern Coastal swamps to tropical forests, open woodlands, grasslands and semi desert in the far north.
Petroleum and petroleum products, cocoa, rubber. Etc.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
By Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Ladies and gentlemen, nothing is more important than food. A nation that does not feed itself becomes a threat to its own sovereign existence. Growing our own food, processing what we produce, becoming competitive in export markets, and creating jobs all across our economy, are crucial for our national security.
Nigeria was food self-sufficient in the 1960s and was well known for its global position in major agricultural commodities. We found oil and became too dependent on it. Nigeria soon became a net food-importing nation, spending on average $11 billion on importing wheat, rice, sugar and fish alone.
Diamonds may last forever, but oil does not. The future trajectory of earnings from crude oil does not look good, as other nations are finding shale oil and shale gas. We must free ourselves from dependency on crude oil. Agriculture is the sector where we have the greatest potential to achieve this – and now is the time.
Nigeria has immense agricultural potential. We have 84 million hectares of arable land but only cultivate 40%. We have 263 billion cubic meters of water – with two of the largest rivers in Africa. We have a cheap labor force to support agricultural intensification. Our population of 167 million makes us a huge market. But we must not be the market for others. We must grow our own food. We must feed ourselves. We must create markets locally for our own farmers. Charity begins at home.
While our potential is great, no one eats potential. To unlock the potential of agriculture to once again drive the economy, we embarked on a major transformation of the agricultural sector. We are doing this through the rapid transformation of key agricultural value chains – from the farm to the table. We are treating agriculture as a moneymaking business and not as a charitable development project.
President Jonathan launched the Agricultural Transformation Agenda in 2011, with the goal of adding an additional 20 million MT of food to the domestic food supply by 2015 and stimulating the creation of 3.5 million jobs along the agricultural value chains. We are working to create ecosystems in which small, medium, and large-scale farming not only co-exist but also flourish. We are focusing on creating value added products from staple crops – through an aggressive import substitution program and other policy reforms to accelerate food production and agricultural resilience.
Let me share with you a few of our policy reforms. The backbone of any agricultural revolution is access of farmers to modern agricultural inputs, especially fertilizers and seeds. For decades, successive governments in Nigeria procured and distributed fertilizers. This system was corrupt and undermined the private sector. It did not deliver fertilizers to genuine farmers. Instead, rich and powerful political farmers hijacked the subsidized fertilizers. As a result, no more than 11% of all the farmers in the country got the fertilizers distributed by the government.
Corruption was insipient, as sand was mixed with fertilizers and sold to government, payments were made for fertilizer not supplied, and subsidized fertilizers were resold back to government, with a lot more sold off to the neighboring countries.
To put it bluntly: Nigeria’s government was not subsidizing farmers; instead it was subsidizing corruption. Farmers’ powerlessness worsened as high quality seeds and fertilizers they needed to raise their farm productivity were taken over by the elite, the rich and politically powerful. For the few fortunate farmers that got fertilizers, they often got them in bowls, like beggars. Farmers lost dignity.
But we have changed all that and so much has been achieved. Within the first 90 days of my term as Minister, we ended four decades of fertilizer sector corruption. We launched the Growth Enhancement Scheme – GES – to provide subsidized inputs to farmers. To reach farmers directly with seeds and fertilizers, we developed the Electronic Wallet System, which allows farmers to receive subsidized electronic vouchers for their seeds and fertilizers on their mobile phones. Nigeria is the first country in Africa – possibly in the world – to develop the electronic wallet system for targeting farmers with subsidized farm inputs.
The system worked successfully. In 2012, 1.5 million smallholder farmers got their subsidized seeds and fertilizers using their mobile phones. This had an impact on 7.5 million persons. So far this year, over 3.5 million farmers have received their subsidized inputs via the Electronic Wallet Scheme. We have expanded the GES program beyond crops to provide support for fisheries, livestock and mechanization services. To reach even more farmers, we embarked on the nation’s first ever registration of farmers. This year, we registered 10 million farmers. Farmers now have identity cards that allow us to use their biometric information to target them more effectively.
African countries, as well as Brazil, India and China, have expressed interest in adopting the electronic wallet system for reaching their own farmers with subsidized farm inputs. Nigeria is now exporting transparency. Indeed, this is a new dawn. Our agriculture has moved into the 21st century.
Nigeria is the largest importer of rice in the world. That is a not a gold medal to be proud of. We embarked on a major effort to extricate Nigeria from decades of dependency on rice imports. To achieve this, we set a target of being self sufficient in rice by 2015. This is not a mirage. We are well on our way to achieving this goal. In one dry season last year, Nigeria produced over one million MT of rice paddy – one third of the additional rice paddy needed to become self sufficient in rice. Farmers across ten states of northern Nigeria had never witnessed such massive rice production. The villages boomed with economic activity, in the midst of the dry season when the youth would normally fold their hands with not much to do. As trailers could not make their ways into the rice farms, villagers even devised new means of transport, using camels to haul the bountiful harvest to the markets.
Large-scale commercial rice producers are also expanding the production of rice locally. Dominion Farms has invested $40 million in a commercial rice farm. Olam, another private firm, has expanded its rice cultivation by 10,000 ha, in response to the policy incentives by our government. Fourteen large-scale integrated rice mills were established by the private sector in just two years, producing international quality long-grained parboiled rice. Well-packaged, long grained parboiled local rice is now on the market. It is tastier and healthier than the 15 year-old imported rice dumped on the Nigerian market. The jinx has been broken. We will soon be free from rice imports!
To reduce our almost $ 4 billion import bill on wheat annually, we embarked on the cassava flour substitution policy to replace some of the wheat flour used in bread and confectionaries. Today, several of the major Nigerian bakers have shifted to the incorporation of 20% high quality cassava flour in producing bread. As the commercialization of cassava bread reaches its peak, it will reduce our wheat import bill by at least almost $800 million and put this money back in the pockets of Nigerian farmers, processors and bakers. To accelerate the production of high quality cassava flour, the government is supporting the private sector to access cheap financing to import and establish 18 large-scale cassava-processing plants. To further scale up nation wide production and commercialization of cassava bread, President Jonathan established a $60 million cassava-bread fund.
The whole cassava value chain is being transformed. In Kogi State, about 15,000 ha is being developed by Cargill to produce cassava starch and reduce our imports of starch. In Kwara State, the Flour Mills of Nigeria has come in to establish plants to turn cassava starch into sweeteners to reduce sugar imports. Nigeria has secured a total of 3.2 million MT of cassava chips for export to China. When concluded, this will earn farmers and processors over $800 million.
A silent revolution is also happening now for wheat. We have released new tropical wheat varieties that are heat tolerant, which give yields of 5-6 tons per ha – 500-600% more than the yields obtained previously by farmers. Over the next two years, over 450,000 ha will be planted under these new wheat varieties across the wheat growing belt of northern Nigeria. We plan to produce at least 2.5 million MT of wheat. We will reduce wheat imports by 50% by 2015. And what a relief that will be.
We are changing the narrative in our horticultural sector. Nigeria is the second largest producer of citrus in the world, but we import orange juice. We are the largest producer of pineapples and mangoes in Africa, but we import concentrates from South Africa. We are the largest producer of tomatoes, but we import tomato paste. That is now changing. Teragro, a local private firm, has established a $ 6 million plant to process oranges into concentrate. Dansa Foods, another local private firm, is investing $35 million in the establishment of a tomato processing plant. The company is also investing $45 million to set up a 6,000 ha pineapple plantation and processing plant. To develop the export market for fresh produce from Nigeria into Europe, a fresh produce value chain development program has been launched in partnership with the Ministry of Aviation. We are building cargo airports to enhance our competitiveness in the export of fresh produce.
We are restoring Nigeria’s lost glory in palm oil production. We are recapitalizing our plantations by providing 9 million high yielding improved seedlings of oil palm to smallholder farmers and plantation estates in the country – free of charge. Private sector investments are expanding with new palm oil processing plants.
In cocoa, our target is to double production by 2015. The world cocoa industry has already taken notice of the giant strides we have made. We distributed 3.5 million pods of high yielding cocoa hybrids to smallholder farmers – all free of charge – in addition to support for production inputs. Last year our smallholder cocoa farmers earned $900 million in foreign exchange. The private sector has expanded its processing capacity for value addition to cocoa beans. Really, we should be making chocolates in Africa.
We are transforming our livestock sector. Our Halal-certified beef with cold chain logistic systems is now poised to go international. We are also working to make Nigeria self-sufficient in fish production within four years, by encouraging aquaculture, inland fisheries and marine fisheries.
To further build the resilience of our food system, we completed a total of 10 new silos for strategic food reserves within one year, expanding our silo capacity by 400%. These silos are now being provided under concessions to the private sector, for the establishment of world-class agricultural commodity exchanges.
We are driving a public sector enabled and private sector led agricultural transformation. In the past 24 months, we have attracted $ 4 billion in executed letters of intent for investments. Development financing institutions, including the World Bank, African Development Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development are putting in about 2 billion dollars in support of our agricultural transformation.
The impact of the agricultural transformation agenda has been huge for Nigeria. In just one year, we have already produced an additional 9 million MT of food. At the same time, our food imports declined by $5.3 billion. Over 2.7 million farm-jobs were created – 77 % of our overall target.
And just this year, the FAO recognized Nigeria for outstanding achievement in reducing the number of people suffering from chronic hunger.
Agriculture has become the new buzz in Nigeria. Young graduates are moving into agriculture as a business. Just last week, President Jonathan launched the Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) to create a new generation of young commercial farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs (“Nagropreneurs”). The program will develop a total of 760,000 ‘Nagropreneurs’ within five years. Today, bankers are leaving the banks and heading for agriculture. The new millionaires of Nigeria will be in agriculture. It is a new dawn.
The journey to make Nigeria a global powerhouse in food is still ongoing. But the results we have achieved in two years make me confident that we will get there. For agriculture was Nigeria’s past and in agriculture – as a business – lies Nigeria’s greater future!
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)
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.
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