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US to spend $537m on new Consulate building in Lagos

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The US Embassy in Nigeria has flagged off the construction of its $537 million new consulate building at Eko Atlantic City in Lagos.

The construction of the proposed consulate, located on a 12.2-acre site in the rapidly developing Eko Atlantic City, will take approximately five years to be completed in 2027.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said that the new consulate in Lagos would support diplomatic and commercial relations between the US and Nigeria.

Leonard added that the new consulate would also provide American and Nigerian consulate employees with a safe, secure, sustainable, and modern workplace.

“The soon to commence 10-storey building will be the largest US consulate in the world and our goal is to achieve leadership in energy and design,” she said.

Also speaking, Claire Pierangelo, US Consul General in Lagos, said both countries had a long-standing history of people-to-people engagement which fostered bridges.

She stressed that the US was looking forward to the many accomplishments that would continue to be achieved with Nigeria in the future.

Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the construction of the largest US consulate in the world in Lagos was an indication of the importance of US-Nigeria relations and Lagos in particular.

He said the groundbreaking project would bring a new chapter in the bilateral journey of both countries.

Sanwo-Olu said: “When it is completed, it will present new opportunities for Nigerians and Americans that will come into this facility.

“The consulate design also highlights the great deal of thorough and meaningful collaboration between local and international designers and the careful selection of symbolic Nigerian and American elements is truly inspiring.

“It is not about the aesthetics of the project alone but also the functionality, sustainability and focus on local collaborations.”

Nidal Zayed, Chief Executive Officer, Pernix Group, the design/build contractor of the project, said that an estimated $95 million would be invested in the local economy in executing the project which would employ approximately 2,500 Nigerians.

This, he said, will include engineers, architects, artisans, construction workers, and administrative staff.

“These workers will have the opportunity to learn new technical skills and safety awareness that will help distinguish them in the local market,” Zayed said.

NAN reports that the construction targets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification, a globally recognised designation for achievement in high performance, best-in-class, green buildings.

It also incorporates many features designed to make the building more sustainable.

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Benue Catholic priest suspended for joining state governorship race

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The Catholic Diocese of Gboko in Benue State, has suspended Reverend Father Hyacinth Iornem Alia, for expressing interest in the state governorship contest.

The priest is among the 12 governorship aspirants who purchased expression of interest and nomination forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to participate in the party’s primary election.

However, a suspension letter addressed to all priests, religious and laity of the Catholic Diocese of Gboko, dated May 20, 2022 and signed by the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Gboko, Bishop William Avenya, who is also Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Kastina-Ala, indicated that the affected priest was earlier warned in line with the church’s rule on partisan politics.

The letter read, “I write to communicate to you the suspension of my priest, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Iornem Alia from public ministry after series of admonitions to him.

“The mother church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own Ex can. 285, 3 CIC. You’re aware that my son, your brother and your priest has purchased the party’s form to contest for the office of the governor of Benue State under the All Progressives Congress which is usually against our vocation,” the letter said.

“Therefore, to respond to the spiritual and pastoral needs of the church in the Catholic Diocese of Gboko, I have suspended him from exercise of sacred ministry. This canonical suspension takes effect from the moment it is communicated to him and last until he ceases from contumacy.”

Reacting to the suspension, Head of Media and Publicity, Alia 2023 Gubernatorial Organization, Kula Tersoo, said it was a normal practice of the church.

According him, as stated clearly in the letter of suspension, Alia was only suspended from celebrating public Eucharistic masses, but that he remains a priest of the Catholic Church forever, adding that when his tenure ends in public civil service he shall resume his public masses and ministry.

Tersoo said his principal remains resolute as he urged supporters not to be anxious because the cleric is well prepared and focused, stressing that he had seen the genuineness in the agitations for him to step in and help salvage the situation in the state.

He recalled that a former Governor of the state, the late Rev. Fr. Moses Orshio Adasu, who served as the second civilian governor of the state went through the same process.

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2023: I am most educated aspirant, will restructure Nigeria ― Nwachukwu Anakwenze

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A presidential aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze, has promised to implement the restructuring of Nigeria to a balanced federation, regionalisation and devolution of powers expressed in a new constitution if elected.

This is just as he said he is the most educated presidential aspirant under the umbrella of the PDP.

Anakwenze, an American based medical practitioner, who is already cleared by the PDP as one of its presidential aspirants who would contest the party’s ticket at the forthcoming National Convention in Abuja, described the party as one big family.

While commending the party for giving all the aspirants equal recognition during the screening to participate in the convention, he pledged that he will continue to support the party at all levels.

The medical doctor promised that if elected as president of the country in 2023, he would eliminate corruption, and develop real security throughout Nigeria focusing on youth and women development and economic empowerment.

Furthermore, he vowed to make the schools safe and overhaul the Education System, creating a Nigeria that would enjoy 24/7 electric and renewable energy.

Dr Anakwenze said: “Our agenda is, we want true democracy in Nigeria beginning with freedom for fellow Nigerians and by extension, Africa, as a whole; a Nigeria where the various ethnic groups feel that they have a stake in the future of the country.

“We envision a Nigeria where leadership is based on merit; hard work, fairness for all and accountability the measure of our national character.“We envision a United Nigeria, where every Nigerian feels a sense of belonging and is not marginalized; where the governed have trust in the governance and the governed truly believe that they can vote, and be voted in to serve and understand the true meaning of “public trust”; the country where regardless of one’s ethnic and/or religious backgrounds, all must feel that they are part of the equation.

“We envision a Nigeria where ethnic diversity is seen as a strength and asset to be harnessed and celebrated as part of our rich heritage.

“Equity, fairness and justice should be the guiding principle for a just society that we envision. We want a Nigeria where the majority’s right is balanced with the minority’s right.

On his twelve point agenda, the PDP Presidential aspirant said he would fight corruption, equip the military, provide affordable education, and skills acquisition programs, and encourage startups and others.

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Revealed! Details Of South-West APC Leaders Meeting With Presidential Aspirants

MORE revelations have emerged about Friday’s meeting held by South-West leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with aspirants from the zone, whose main objective, was on how to avert a crisis that will create a fractured party as it prepares for primary on May 30 and 31, Sunday Tribune has reliably gathered…

2023: I am most educated aspirant, will restructure Nigeria ― Nwachukwu Anakwenze

Supreme Court Has Cleared Civil Servants To Participate In Politics, Falana Tells FG

2023: I am most educated aspirant, will restructure Nigeria ― Nwachukwu Anakwenze

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