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Why Nigerians In The Diaspora Are Reluctant To Help Those Back Home, Healthcare Trainer Shares Experience

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In a conversation, an Ireland-based entrepreneur, accredited training provider, health and social care professional reveals that many home based Nigerians end up victimising the very people who genuinely come to support them.

Dr Olayinka Dixon, is a professional Vocational Education Trainer and Adult Skills Assessor for more than 35 years since 1985, with a first degree from University of Benin in 1983 who taught in University of Calabar during NYSC before travelling abroad.

She retrained into different industry disciplines, several times, across Europe and the USA, including teaching Computing skills, Programming, Hardware maintainance and Software configuration, and health and social care, and she has used her combined skills in the teaching of adults in different UK and some Ireland colleges since leaving Nigeria in 1985. She is also a Journalist and a John Maxwell trained coach, trainer, and mentor.

Dr Dixon has, over several years now, silently run several youth empowerment programs inside Nigeria to support many businesses of young Nigerians from her personal and business income. Recently she set up an NGO in memory of her late father, where she pays school fees, attends to calls for medical support, and other emergencies from people she met on social media. She does not know and has not met many of these people. She supports young women set up their businesses. She said they remind her of her own life.

While discussing in an interview with our reporter, Dr Dixon revealed that a lot is going on in the Diaspora, to the point where many diasporans offering genuine support, end up being duped, cyber bullied, harrassed or blackmailed by some Nigerians they try to support. “Abroad is hard and we work hard but we miss home. So, the smallest we can do is to support the few that we can.”

“I can’t really blame anyone in Nigeria though,” she said, “it can be hard to know who to trust, especially with all the stories of diasporans that do dupe Nigerians. But you must understand that many genuine Diasporans are serially scammed by some Nigerians, and some of them mistake people who are for scammers, based on dubious stories and allegations by aggrieved persons. You can never know the real motive of anyone who is telling you negative stories about others. The truth is that, no matter where you live, you can’t please everyone and no matter how good you choose to be, there will always be those who dislike you forwhatever reason, or wish they could be like you. Those disgruntled ones will therefore, try to bring you down. This is how life is,” she said.

Relating some of the experiences of herself and her business partner, Mrs Isioma Ogonuwe, she recalled a very recent incident of severe harassment and bullying while she was on her sick bed with high blood pressure. Nobody can get away with that kind of harassment anywhere in Europe without being arrested, regardless of the issue. But, Nigeria seems to be a place where people get away with lots of criminally abusive behaviour.

“There was this woman who presented her daughter-in-law for training because she claimed she wanted her to travel to the UK via the UK visa program.

“As you know, the UK was running a Healthcare workers Visa Program which they have merged into the Highly Skilled profram now. This was to address severe staff shortages in the industry. However, many Nigerians and other nationals in the Diaspora were charging up to £17,000 per individual and £27,000 per family. You won’t believe this. Many of them were demanding a deposit of £7,000 upfront for Sponsorship Certificates and jobs that do not exist. Then the people would get to the UK and for many months they didn’t work because, of course, they had no jobs. To make it worse, the remaining £10,000 or £20,000 is demanded from them as monthly repayments over three years. How much is the salary?

“It was Pastor Ossai that alerted us to the danger that people were going through and Isioma and I were really dismayed. “Why are our people like this?” So, between us, we decided to train some people up to Diploma level, in two stages, and help them search for jobs. Once we are able to build their skills capacity, they immediately increase their chances of getting jobs anywhere in the world.

“I remember Isioma said, “If our people are well qualified, they won’t be scammed in this way, and can even get jobs, confidently, in any country, because the jobs are there.” We then agreed to roll out training that will help those who want to avoid Loan Sharks. We discovered that some of those businesses are travel agents, but the pandemic had affected many businesses. So, one can’t also blame those agents. It’s their business, and there was no shortage of people ready to pay.

“We work in the healthcare industry, and some have over 25 years of experience (on and off). We decided to train as many as we can, from absolute beginner levels, right up to Diploma levels, supported with hands on practicals. Our complete program is in two stages, and we decided to help them search for jobs after training first stage and diploma next with job search prepare them for job and visa interviews and help them to settle, after helping them get suitable property when they arrive.

“We extended our business services to be able to do business in the UK and I offered to train my own family first. I told my cousin the package fees for the two stages £2,550 and, £3000. He immediately enrolled three of his children and his brother on the training. He said, “it’s cheaper than searching for £15k to £18k college fees for each of the twins. I plan for my family to go first on our program, and we agreed.

“After we started, I became a Registered Manager on the program we registered for, as an accredited training provider. We are part of a large community of hard-working and dedicated registered managers who are committed to delivering outstanding care. Training forms a major part of this because untrained and unskilled workers have been known to kill patients in their care. Our duty of care is, first and foremost, to the patients. So it’s important that people we recommend are trained. That’s what our business is set up to address.

“They count on us to deliver excellence in care. And that is what we are determined to do. There has been pressure on us to purchase employer “Certificates of Sponsorships” and to assume ourselves as employers. We are not employers. The legal work of being and employer is much and we can’t combine it. We are trainers, and we already work from a database of more than 50 government approved employers. So all we are to doing, is providing a “Win-Win” situation for both the employers and the new healthcare workers.

“Our trainees would be trained and accredited by CPD, coming to the employer. After their probation, if they don’t like to remain in healthcare, they can do a quick retraining, as guided by us, and move into Social Care. That is our setup and that’s what we packaged. Anyone who concludes the first training, which includes the FREE Care Certificate, we offer to Assess, set up with Practical sessions, conduct observations, and 15 modular assessments
After this they could decide not to continue with 2nd stage because we realise that £3000 may be much for some, going into Diploma. They could still get jobs. My cousins preferred the Diploma option because they said it is far cheaper than college fees.

“This is how we started. We did not want to advertise. However, one of my friends, Remsy, in her enthusiasm, apparently announced my approval as a registered manager in a WhatsApp group. Before I knew it, people had started calling my personal number, ignoring the business number. We had to quickly set up application forms for them to fill, and I explained our setup to them befire they pay. We are not employers. That’s how we got three non family members to join our program. One of the ladies, Mrs Naomi Dike, introduced the first two, and then later also, one Mrs Omonori.

“Unfortunately, I developed a severe high blood pressure just as the practical sessions were going on in Lagos, and had to organise almost everything else from my sick bed.

“The last person to join was the one who didn’t believe I was sick. She nearly killed me on that sick bed. She called every minute, sent voice messages, she creamed my pictures from Facebook, and almost harrased the life out of me. I almost died in that harassment.

‘I remember suffering severe blackouts, migraines, fever, and being unable to function normally. Naomi knew it. Remsy, Vivian, Ossai, even Philomena, and the others in the team. Many couldn’t reach me because I was far away, almost across the Irish border.

“Mrs Omonori kept screaming and cursing that she wants her FULL money back. “How can you say you are sick? You’re a scammer, fraudster, 419, ole thief.” Eventually, I told Vivian (Isioma), “Please let’s refund her the full £6000 so that she won’t kill me. Vivian is our business Finance Officer, modular trainer, and internal assessor. She refused because Mrs Omonori’s daughter in-law had concluded the first training. When she realised that my health was declining, she yielded to my please, and agreed that I find out how to transfer the money to the woman so that I could concentrate on my health. That mistake cost us almost £7500 because the pound had fallen then, and we had to source naira from different parts of the world.

“Anyway, my team decided we were no longer going to allow me to make unilateral decisions for refunds. All cards and bank books were taken from me, because they all saw me as “soft hearted and vulnerable.

“Someone even suggested that Mrs Omonori must have used juju on me to collect more than she was due, because she was only due £3000 for the Diploma and Job Search program.

“After more than 12 weeks of agreed initial training plus assessment of all prior learning, underpinning knowledge and compilation of questions and answers, bringing them up to Level 5 Diploma levels, Naomi now also wants her full money back. And just like Mrs Omonori, she’s raining curses, abuses, and shouts on me. Isioma spoke with her for over about hour (we have the recordings) explained that we had started job search. Initially we were hoping to get student admissions for all of them, to fast track their entry, and proceed from there. Naomi and the others agreed with the plan. Dramatically, Naomi changed her mind and started calling for a full refund, just like her friend, Mrs Omonori. Naomi that was nice before, started calling me all sorts of names.

“Our accountant was informed and we booked appointment. After accounting, he advised that we refund Naomi for services that we had not completed or rendered. This came to £954. A Credit Note was raised. Our association supports us with templates of forms. So we sent her one of the association’s standard “Complaints Resolution forms” (with the address of the UK Office of the Financial Ombudsman), which regulates all financial business dealings in UK.
As soon as she received it, she set anonymous callers to harrass me with threats”. Dixon said.

In chat messages and voice notes in the possession of our reporter, both Naomi Dike and some others threatened Dr (honorary) Dixon they would blackmail her on social media through blogs, adding that they are “already talking to Sahara Reporters, to expose” alleged “fraudulent ways,”

One of the chats from a person with no name reads: “We are on it. The bloggers are waiting. We listened to ur discussion wt Naomi this morning. It’s now obvious to us that you are a fraudulent person. We are compiling the names of poor Nigerians u hv scammed. Even the ones u hv refunded their money like Mrs Omonoli. We HV spoken to all of them in Nigery and Diaspora including one Mr Israel. My advice is that u settled with all these people as soon as possible. What you did is against the law. We HV search all information about u and notice that all through ur life it hs be scamming. The law will be on u this time. Just wait and see. It has started. U do t need to reply this message pls.” (sic)

” We are already talking with British and Dublin Embassies in Nigeria. That’s our job. ICPC and EFCC know how to deal with financial prostitutes like u. Check our the story next week. We just finished meeting wt Sahara Report now” “How Dr Olayinka Dixon-Oludaiye a fraudster duped Nigerian seeking jobs in UK Million of Dollars.” (sic)

Our reporter questioned Ms Dixon extensively about these allegations. We also listened to a recorded audio of meeting between Naomi, Isioma and Ms Dixon where Isioma took time to explain to Naomi that all her assessments have been completed, which is why it was possible to award her with CPD certificates for the appropriate levels.

Ms Dixon explained that “Vocational Education is not like Academic Education. There are no exams. We only use every available means to verify the evidence and underpin knowledge of the participants. They don’t always have to be in class because of how we agree to conduct assessments. But assessments are paperwork intensive. In Vocational Education, assessors do most of the work because the aim is to ensure that the participants can demonstrate or explain the subject matter and demonstrate competence at the appropriate level.

“This was explained to all of them, which is why my cousin agreed for his children and brother to participate in the training.”

Our reporter also spoke with Ms Dixon’s cousin, based here in Nigeria, who confirmed her claims.

Ms Dixon mentioned that Clear Choice Careers and Staffing Services is registered in Ireland with offices in Northern Ireland, UK, and we are duly certified as approved training providers offering CPD courses. We are authorised to issue appropriate level of competence certificates. She lamented that she was shocked that Naomi is suddenly claiming ignorance of this process as she then refused to allow them to continue with job search. When pressure for time was mounted on her, Ms Dixon said she asked if they wanted to try the Student option. Some agreed including Naomi. She even sent her passport but changed her mind two days later.
Instead, she is demanding for a full refund after more than 12 weeks of training and CPD certificates and also resorting to employing the same tactics of bulling and blackmailing, like Mrs Omonori did, also could be heard in audio threatening Ms Dixon’s career, and life, while declaring “I am from Delta. I will fight you with everything if you don’t pay me my money in full, I swear to God. You don’t know anything yet.”

“This is why I was reflecting on Why many Nigerians abroad who are in business do not offer to support people back home. It can be quite traumatising. It also deflates your emotions and willingness to support anybody”, she said.

In conclusion, Ms Dixon said: “The sure thing is that my conscience and that of every member of my team is very clear. We have nothing to hide and are working perfectly according to laws of UK and Ireland. All of us have lived, worked, and done business for many years. Our bank accounts are not closed for any shady deals. We know people who engage in nefarious activities. We don’t even know how they do it, and we are not interested.

“So, we welcome the invitation from the EFCC or ICPC, as Naomi’s nameless friend mentioned. My legal team have advised I block him or her because this is the second time I’m getting such spam messages from the person. The EFCC is formed of educated people, not sentimentalists. They too, will use sense to check and to verify. In my opinion, it is also okay for the hired bullies to go to Oriyomi Hamzat, Sahara Reporters and Linda Ikeji as they have threatened.

“However, Yorubas say, “when a wicked person narrates a story, the judges will not always be wicked as well.” What is deplorable in Nigeria that we are all trying to change, is this issue of jungle justice, cyberbullying, gangster harrassments and all underhand forms of criminal defamation. There are laws against such here in Europe, and this is one of the reasons many reasonable Nigerians in the Diaspora don’t want to do business back home. A dry morsel eaten in peace is usually better than rich food eaten in pain. I am not one to shout about injustice done to me. I usually just take the “Flight option”. I am just tired of running away from battles. I told myself that “whoever fights and runs away, will ultimately, return to face that fight or another one like it. But, frankly, I’m tired of running from fights”, said Dr Dixon

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Society

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo: Simplifying Public Service With Quality Delivery

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By: Oladapo Sofowora

Like the proverbial Swizz knife; Hon. Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo is by default a versatile and proactive member of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration because of his incredible approach to work and his burning passion for results even at the tightest corner. Representing the youth demography; Olubunmi cut his teeth first as a public servant representing Akoko North East/ North West Federal Constituency at the hallowed green chambers at the 9th assembly that’s where as a first-term Representative member, he displayed the stuff he was made off as chairman of first term lawmakers who galvanized support for the speakership election of former speaker Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in 2019.

Like the proverbial goldfish that has no hiding place in the water; his distinctiveness and magic wand were easy to spot by the leadership of the house who bestowed on him the House committee chairman on Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC. As Chairman; BTO led several campaign against misappropriation within the NDDC. He knows the legislative business like the back of his hand. Anytime he shows an intention to speak on the floor of the house; he speaks sense and everyone is willing to tap from his repertoire of knowledge. Despite being young; he wears intelligence like a badge of honour. Anytime he is addressing the parliament, you should be sure it’s proffering pragmatic solutions to issues of National interest. While as a member of the house, he sponsored several bills deviating from his colleagues who were at the green hallowed chamber to ‘Siddon Look’.

The Ondo-born lawmaker and minister for interior played his part actively and showed the world that he is indeed not to be shoved aside with the wave of a hand. When the current administration came into power; BTO was nominated and during his screening on the Senate floor he didn’t waste time to emphasize how he intends to contribute his quota to the growth of the country. He never failed to dazzle as he answered questions convincingly. When many are told to take a bow and go; BTO remained fierce with the truth, by systematically and synchronously laying down his point with workable plans on how to use his lofty ideas to move the country forward. Again he shined like a glittering star that he is.

When the appointment was announced and he was allocated the newly created ministry of Marine and Blue economy; Bunmi didn’t waste any time as he immediately swerved into action by engaging stakeholders and holding a series of meetings on how to make a loud impact in the nation money money-spinning economy sector. He was proactive and robust with his idea of repositioning the nation’s water asset and how it will increase the IGR monthly to surpass the imagination of all sundry. In the prerogative of Mr President; before their swearing-in, he was redeployed to the Ministry of Interior and that was regarded as one of the biggest moves in the renewed Hope administration. This was tagged one of the biggest calculative chess moves by the administration putting a fitting peg in the right hole.

Like the Boy Scout slogan which says; ‘Be Prepared’ BTO in his usual element didn’t wait for the whistle before he hit the ground running. From the first day of his wearing in; he read the riot act to all the agencies under him and stated that he was ready to work and one of his goals is to leave a lasting legacy and also do what is right to the glory of Nigeria. Immediately after that, he didn’t waste any time meeting with staff and familiarising himself with them and also visited several agencies to do an on-the-spot assessment and how he can further bring more efficiency in discharging their duties.

While receiving all necessary briefs; BTO acknowledged his predecessor and all the work and template he left behind and not only built on it; he also added his twerk putting more firepower and also infusing dedication. All these provided a pathway to him being the ‘StarBoy Minister’ of this administration. BTO have said that success in public service is not rocket science but only takes dedication and the ability to bring prosperity out of every misfortune and that is what has stood him out and put him in the cynosure of all eyes.

Like the speed of light, the interior ministry became a leading light with solutions created to clear backlogs of over 250,000 passports he inherited in three weeks under the Nigerian Immigration Service. To ensure effectiveness in job delivery, he commissioned thirty (30) operational vehicles dedicated to the surveillance and patrol of Nigeria’s border. While many pondered what must have caused the delay of such a passport; BTO tacked the root cause putting strategies in place leveraging technology advancement to make it easier. For the very first time; passport papers were more than sufficient. He didn’t stop at that in a bid to sanitize the system of corrupt heads who are known to milk and beat the system to their advantage; he reduced human contact when applying for a passport which has cut short middlemen who love to extort Nigerians. He is also working vehemently to localize passport production.

This also gave an easy modality for passport application without help from a third party which has been tagged seamless and hassle-free. In other to make Nigerians in the diaspora regain their confidence in their country, he Unveiled Enhanced e-passport Facilities in Nigerian embassies across Europe and also moved abroad to tackle the issues of passport shortage by putting in place channels of easy registration, capture and collection. This led to restored confidence when many were getting their newly minted passport at their doorstep. This further gathered accolades from many corners as many more people rejig their faith in the process of rebranding Nigeria’s shattered image. BTO became a household name within a few months.

While he got a commendation from Mr President for his outstanding blistering performance on delivery of his KPI he didn’t let that into his head rather he went back to the fearing board to tackle the issues of the queue at the immigration points by installing electronic biometric gates for immigration clearance in all Nigeria’s international airports when Nigerian passengers entering and exiting Nigeria. While many said it would take a long while to achieve such a humongous project BTO made it look like a piece of cake as he showed his colleagues that he is serious about making a difference.

He quickly acquired the technology instrument needed and ordered its installation at the international airports. Mock trials were done and it was certified OK for public use. With his innovative ideas, Nigeria is fast becoming a developing country that is embracing technology to its advantage. The Minister also disclosed that similar facilities will be installed in other international airports including Lagos, Kano, Enugu, and Port Harcourt airports. With also partner with another sister ministry to ensure we witness the much-needed change we crave for as Nigerian.

While it’s important to note his quest to guard national assets against vandals and economic saboteurs, the Minister is holding a presentation and demonstration session on a proposed 24-hour surveillance security technology project designed to monitor activities around critical national assets to curb vandals and saboteurs. To promote medical tourism and other means to attract foreign direct investment FDI to Nigeria easing visa restrictions for people who intend to do business in Nigeria and also benefit from our booking medical tourism in Nigeria He reviewed the visa application process, particularly for short-stay visitors such as entertainers, sports athletes, and tourists among others.

Not leaving all stone unrolled BTO also ensured our correctional centers were well decongested. He also worked to secure the release of over 4,000 inmates from correctional facilities nationwide. This has helped people with minor sentences regain their freedom in a bid to bring more sanity to correctional centres across the country. In a bid to curb the constant jailbreak; he ordered more security tightening around the Centres to curb the constant jailbreak we have witnessed in the past. Despite all the measures put in place to curb jailbreaks; the Suleja Correctional facility was damaged recently by the wind which caused many inmates to escape but with the help of forensic documentation, the correctional centres have been able to apprehend some substantial amount of those who escaped while a search is still ongoing. This has also galvanized the need to ensure more safety and reconstruction of all correctional facilities to avert such disasters from happening.

In a bid to foster a more healthy civil service, BTO also approved the promotion of over 32,000 personnel of the agencies under the ministry which has ensured a substantial amount of staff climb the ladder in the civil service. While he has done many more things within a short while, many are still wondering what he has in plan for the country but for BTO; he said he is yet to unveil his best and he will keep working around for clock to restore the confidence Nigerians have lost in the country.

In appreciation for a job well done; he has bagged several Laurel as he was named Leadership Newspaper ‘Public Service of the Year’ 2023, New Telegraph ‘Minister of the Year’ 2023 and also Vanguard Newspaper will this month bestow him with ‘Vanguard Personality of the Year’ 2023; among many more Laurel. While Dr Olubunmi is living up to the hype; he has said he will not let down all those who believe in him as he will continue to do things that will place the country on a high pedestal with #TheBTOEffect

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Business

ACCESS BANK (SL) LTD STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP TEAM WITH KEYBOARD APPOINTMENTS, NAMES NEW CHAIRMAN

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Access Bank Sierra Leone Ltd (‘Access Bank (SL) Ltd’) has announced the appointment of new executives to its Board of Directors (‘the Board’), further strengthening its leadership team and advancing the implementation of its growth and transformation strategy. These appointments also reflect the Bank’s commitment to fostering growth and development while maintaining the highest standards of governance and stewardship.

Joining the Board as Non-Executive Directors are Maurice Nathaniel Cole, Nsikak N. Usoro, Michala Mackay, Ibrahim Khalil Lamin, and Kolawole Augustine Ajimoko. The appointees boast a wealth of expertise from diverse sectors, including banking, telecommunications, corporate governance, compliance, and finance. Their combined
experience and vision will contribute to shaping the future trajectory of Access Bank (SL) Ltd. Cole will serve as Chairman, following the exit of Alice Marie Onomake and will bring his experience to the fore as Access Bank (SL) Ltd works to consolidate its market position and deliver value for all its stakeholders.

 

“We are thrilled to welcome our new executives to Access Bank (SL) Ltd,” said Ganiyu Sanni, Country Managing Director, Access Bank Sierra Leone Ltd. “Their leadership and vision will be invaluable as we navigate through challenges and pursue sustained success. We extend our gratitude to the outgoing Chairman, Alice Marie
Onomake, and Non-Executive Director, Aminata B. Dumbuya, for their dedicated service and contributions to the Bank.” Access Bank (SL) Ltd remains committed to excellence, transparency, and accountability as it embarks on this exciting new chapter. The Bank looks forward to leveraging the collective expertise of its leadership team to drive innovation, foster growth, and create lasting impact for its customers and communities.

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Entertainment

AFRIMA: Beat S’Africa to hosting rights, stakeholders tell Tinubu, Musawa

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…insists one edition must be held in Abuja, Jos, Kaduna

A culture and creative industry advocacy group, Arewa Creative Industry Heritage Vanguard, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hanatu Musawa, to lead efforts in securing the hosting rights for the next two editions of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA)offered by the African Union Commission to Nigeria and South Africa as reported in the media recently. They want to ensure that at least one edition of the prestigious event takes place in the northern region of Nigeria of Kaduna, Jos or Abuja due to years of deliberate marginalization and deprivation of international events of this nature.

According to Dr Shehu Samadi, the President of the Vanguard, speaking from Kaduna, they have learned that the African Union (AU) invited the governments of Nigeria and South Africa to submit bids for the hosting rights for the next editions of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA). As such, they are imploring and advising President Tinubu not to allow South Africa to beat Nigeria to the hosting rights as this will have implications on the national psyche of Nigerians and the development of the music industry. It called on the Honorable Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hanatu Musawa to update Nigerians on the progress made thus far in securing the AFRIMA hosting rights, for Nigerians to know how and where to assist in achieving this common objective.

The group, which comprises cultural enthusiasts, music industry stakeholders, and advocates for Northern Nigeria’s music heritage, recognizes the significance of AFRIMA in promoting African music and fostering cultural exchange across the continent and with the rest of the world. Therefore, they believe it is essential for Nigeria, especially the Northern region, to play a central role in hosting the event and showcasing the country’s rich creativity and cultural diversity from its point of expertise and cultural expression.

Samadi emphasized three significant reasons why President Tinubu should champion the course of securing the hosting rights. The group recalls with nostalgia how President Tinubu in 2015, in person received a 23.9 karat gold plated AFRIMA trophy as the pillar of Art and Culture in Africa presented by the African Union commission.” This should motivate the President to intensify efforts to secure the hosting rightshaving experience the creative power and the global influence of AFRIMA personally.

The second reason is that as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, President Tinubu can utilize the opportunity of hosting a large-scale event like this to further his commitment towards promoting unity, economic development, and cultural diversity in the region and on the continent. Although an event of AFRIMA’s scale can cause significant ripples across the continent and around the world, Nigeria stands a chance of benefiting the most, and we in the North hope to tap into the inherent benefits as against the past practice of marginalization where such international events are preserved for the exclusive experience of the southern part of Nigeria..”

Thirdly, the Nigerian Music industry has witnessed astronomical global growth with little or no input from successive governments. Hosting an AFRIMA by this government provides an appropriate platform for the Tinubu Administration to establish itself as a creative industry supporting the government as well as engendering a positive perception and image for Nigeria to attract tourism and foreign direct investment.

“Fourth, we believe that Northern Nigeria has the potential to become a tourism hub, and hosting events like this can help mitigate the effect of insecurity in our region. We are eager to host an event like this because we strongly believe that it could be used to address the issues that have plagued our region, including terrorism and banditry. By promoting peace and tranquillity, our youth can embrace hope and prosperity as well promote the budding music talents in the region who require inspiration and pragmatic motivation” he said.

The group is advocating for the cities of Abuja, Jos and Kaduna to be considered as host cities for at least one of the two editions of AFRIMA. The group believes that these cities are strategically located, culturally significant, and have vibrant music scenes, making them ideal venues for the event.

The group expresses concern over what they perceive as a pattern of neglect in the hosting of key musical events, and they call for greater inclusivity and representation for the Northern region. They note that in recent years, there has been a growing sentiment among stakeholders in the Northern music industry that the region is often overlooked when it comes to hosting major international events.

Samadi said: “Despite boasting a wealth of cultural heritage and a thriving music industry, Northern Nigeria has frequently found itself sidelined in favour of other regions when it comes to hosting events of national and international significance. This is unfortunate.

“We strongly believe that hosting AFRIMA in Abuja, Jos and Kaduna would not only stimulate economic growth and promote tourism in the region but address this feeling of discrimination against us.

“In addition to the big music superstars from this part of the country, Abuja, Jos and Kaduna have the infrastructure, capacity, and cultural significance to host AFRIMA successfully. It is time for Northern Nigeria to be given the recognition it deserves on the continental stage.”

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