$300 Million Dangote Cement Plant Inaugurated In Congo

A new 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) Dangote Cement Plant built at a cost of $300 million has been was commissioned in Mfila, in the Republic of the Congo.

The new cement plant has the potential for about 1,000 direct employment and thousands of several other indirect jobs.

The plant was commissioned by President Denis Sassou N’Guesso, with the Federal Government of Nigeria represented at the event by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals, and Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.

In his speech at the event, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said at the end of May 2017, total production capacity of Dangote Cement across Africa stood at 45.8 million MT per annum, adding that the company aims to be among the top ten producers of cement in the world by 2020.

He noted that the new plant is the fifth commissioned by the company across Africa in the last two years.

In the words of Alhaji Aliko Dangote:

“The Dangote Cement Plant that we are commissioning today, is the largest cement plant Congo-Brazzaville in terms of installed production capacity. With the commissioning of the plant, we become also the largest integrated cement producer in the CEMAC region comprising Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic (CAR), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and now, the Republic of the Congo.

It is our hope that our plant will help to reduce and eventually replace cement imports into Congo-Brazzaville and these other countries. More importantly, it is also our hope that this project we are commissioning today, will further cement the existing cordial ties between our two countries — the Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

As we all know, cement is one of the basic inputs in infrastructure development. For Africa, a continent, which faces severe infrastructural deficits, the need for local self-sufficiency in cement production cannot be over-emphasised.”

230 Nigerians Under UNMIL Awarded UN Peacekeepers Medal

At least 230 Nigerian peacekeeping troops serving under the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) have been awarded the United Nations, UN peacekeepers medal.

The UNMIL, which announced the awards stated that the peacekeepers were conferred with the UN medals at a ceremony in Morovia in recognition of their contributions to peace and stability in Liberia.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, SRSG, Farid Zarif, presided over the ceremony at Camp Abuja in Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia.

The UNIMIL said the UN medals were also presented to Staff Officers, Military Observers, and the Pakistani Medical Contingent, PAKMED.

In his remarks, Mr. Zarif said the peacekeepers contributed towards strengthening and consolidating peace and stability in Liberia.

In his words:

“They have brought pride and honour, not just to their contingents, but also to their nations.

You have also given meaning to the United Nations services throughout the world by helping nations in distress in order to fight back some of the challenges that may have gone beyond their capacity.”

The SRSG urged the peacekeepers to take pride in their contributions to serving the common cause of the United Nations by helping humanity and nations in distress.

He said by so doing, peacekeepers justify the presence and continuation of the work of the United Nations as the most indispensable organization without which humanity would be in difficult distress.

Mr. Zarif further stated:

“Be proud of what you are doing in supporting and maintaining peace around the world and helping other nations.”

The event was graced by top officials of UNMIL and UN Country Team, including the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, DSRSG, for Peace Consolidation, Yacoub El Hillo, Force Commander, Salihu Zaway Uba, a major-general and Director of Mission Support DMS, David Penklis.

However, UNIMIL said the Security Council at its 7851st meeting held on December 23, 2016 adopted the Resolution 2333 (2016) that extended its mandate for a final period until March 30, 2018.

A request has also been sent to the Secretary-General to complete the withdrawal of all uniformed and civilian UNMIL components, other than those required to complete the Mission’s liquidation, by April 30, 2018.

Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon Is Appointed ILO Assistant Director-General & Regional Director for Africa

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has appointed Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon as its Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa.

Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon

According to Guebray Berhane, the Senior Communication Officer of ILO Regional Office for Africa in Abidjan, in a statement:

“Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), after having duly consulted the Officers of the Governing Body, has appointed Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon of Nigeria as Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire with effect from Nov. 10, 2017.’’

Until her new position, Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon was the Deputy Regional Director for Africa, a post she held since July 15, 2016.

She joined the ILO in 1995, where she held different positions in the field and Geneva, including Chief of the ILO Programming Unit for Africa and Deputy Director of the ILO Office in Pretoria.

She has been a member of the senior management team of the ILO Regional Office for Africa for more than nine years.

The Nigerian has played an important role in the development and implementation of regional strategies to deliver quality programmes, fostering opportunities for cooperation, particularly with the African Union and Regional Economic Communities, and alliance building throughout the region.

Born in 1961, Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon holds a B.Sc in Sociology and a Masters’ Degree in Industrial and Labour Relations from the University of Ibadan.

With more than 32 years experience in the world of work, she had worked as Assistant Director of the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

She also worked as a lecturer on gender, industrial sociology and group dynamics at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Ms. Samuel-Olonjuwon was appointed to the Board of the International Sociological Association (Research Committee on Women in Society) from 1986 to 1990.

She has significant experience in leadership, management and strategic partnerships to promote decent work and development outcomes at regional, sub-regional and national levels.

Two Nigerian Airports Attain ICAO Global Safety Standard

Nigeria has become the only country in Africa to have its two airports attain Global Safety Standard certified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the only country in West Africa sub-region with internationally certified airports.

This was made known by the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Muhtar Usman during the ceremony to mark the certification of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. Last September, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos was certified, thus recognising two major airports in the country as meeting global safety standards.

The Director General said the certification has improved the rating of the two airports in safety standards in the international aviation circles and would attract more global carriers to the country which would boost air transport and create more jobs for the citizenry. As corollary to the progress made in the industry with the certification, Captain Usman hinted that this would reposition air transport to contribute more to the GDP of the country because it would boost passenger movement in domestic and international destinations.

He also disclosed during the ceremony that Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports are scheduled for completion in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2018. Usman who handed the certificate to the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma said it was an epoch making moment for the country.

In his words:

“The attainment of this safety milestone is quite significant in view of the fact that less than 25 percent of international airports in Africa and Indian Ocean are certified. It is also interesting to note that with the certification of Abuja airport today, Nigeria has become the first state to achieve the certification of more than one international airport in the AFI (Africa/Indian) Region. However, we are not resting on our oars, as the certification of Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports are scheduled for completion in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2018 in compliance with the Abuja Ministerial declaration and safety targets of 2012.”

Dunoma in his remark restated FAAN’s commitment to continue with the present tempo in the development of the other international airports.

“We made a commitment to continue with this tempo and soon we will go to Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu but for today we have achieved a milestone. I want to recognise the DG NCAA because anytime I talk to him, certification is always the main topic so I want to thank the NCAA team for their commitment. Let’s sit down and continue to improve on the safety situation because that is all that it’s all about, safety.”

Amina Mohammed Receives 2017 FP’s Diplomat Of The Year Award

Foreign Policy (FP) magazine has conferred the “2017 Diplomat of the Year” award on deputy United Nations Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.

Amina Mohammed

The diplomat of the year gong is a yearly event by the Foreign Policy magazine that reviews the accomplishments of leading officials and diplomats worldwide and seeks to identify those who have made the greatest contribution to international relations.

Mrs. Amina Mohammed, also the former Environment Minister of Nigeria takes over this award which was won by Google in 2016 and in 2015 by former United States Secretary of State, John Kerry.

In her acceptance message, the 56-year-old said she was receiving the accolade on behalf of the U.N. “that I proudly serve.” Adding, “I believe diplomacy is a tool that should bring us together to close the gap between what is and what should be in a world of peace, development and human rights.” She spoke about the challenges the U.N. faces in its global operations but stressed that there was the need to do all it takes to put the world on a good footing for future generations, adding that it was important for every one to become a diplomat in their own small way.

In her words:

“Today, as a woman of colour, a Muslim, an African, a mother of 6, a grandmother and as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, I owe it to the world to dig deep and to do my part in support of António Guterres to achieve our goals for a more peaceful world of dignity and hope, managing international relations, building trust, and leveraging diplomacy in the most unconventional ways and always speaking truth to power for those whose voices cannot reach these corridors of power.

Finally, I accept this honour for those women diplomats gone before me as I stand on their shoulders to carry on their unfinished work in our world of pain, desperation and yet we don’t have the luxury of failure.”

Before her appointment, the Nigeria and UK trained development expert, Amina Mohammed, was acclaimed in Nigeria as one of President Buhari’s most vibrant and best-performing appointees – since she took office in 2015. She served as UN Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser to immediate past Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning. She was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

As Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Mrs. Amina Mohammed has largely been in the forefront of global diplomacy much more than most of her predecessors at the global body headquartered in New York. Her appointment according to the Antonio Guterres, the U.N. Secretary-General was in line with restructuring the organization to reflect gender parity. She continues to play an outward role especially in the area of the U.N. development agenda.

The ‘‘citizen diplomat of the year’’ went to Becca Heller, she is co-founder and director of the group International Refugee Assistance project (IRAP). Wendy Sherman, a former U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs was named the ‘‘national security diplomat of the year.’’