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eXp Realty Taps Real Estate Veteran Bryon Ellington To Revolutionize Agent-Driven Learning

Award-winning business development, operations leader to serve as Chief Learning Officer in this newly created role

eXp Realty Taps Real Estate Veteran Bryon Ellington To Revolutionize Agent-Driven Learning

Award-winning business development, operations leader to serve as Chief Learning Officer in this newly created role

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Oct. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — eXp Realty®, “the most agent-centric real estate brokerage on the planet™” and the core subsidiary of eXp World Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPI), today announced the appointment of Bryon Ellington as Chief Learning Officer, responsible for developing custom, agent-driven training and coaching.

Ellington, a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience in real estate and coaching, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to eXp Realty. He will focus on developing agent-driven training at every level, setting a new standard for success in the real estate industry.

“Bryon’s dedication to agent success aligns perfectly with our values, and he excels at driving growth and new revenue streams,” said Glenn Sanford, Founder and CEO of eXp Realty. “Under his leadership, eXp Realty will become the leading brokerage in training, with a focus on delivering the best education and resources to help our agents excel. Throughout his career, Bryon has helped numerous agents achieve incredible accolades, increase productivity metrics and grow their businesses.”

Ellington’s passion is helping entrepreneurs in the real estate space build businesses beyond their dreams. “I am excited to join the eXp Realty team and contribute to its mission of empowering agents to reach their full potential,” he said. “Whether you are a new agent or lead a massive team, with eXp you can continue to grow your business to exceed your goals.”

Ellington’s impressive tenure includes notable executive roles most recently as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Development Officer at Century 21. He also held positions at Keller Williams, as Chief Product Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the KW Worldwide International Franchising division. Additionally, he served as Chief Learning Officer, where his achievements earned him the distinction of winning the Training magazine T125 Top Training Companies award for four consecutive years and induction into the Hall of Fame.

Earlier in his career, at Anywhere (Realogy), he successfully created and led the training and coaching divisions for all their franchise brands and company-owned operations.

About eXp World Holdings, Inc.
eXp World Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPI) is the holding company for eXp Realty®, Virbela® and SUCCESS® Enterprises.

eXp Realty is the largest independent real estate company in the world with more than 89,000 agents in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, India, Mexico, Portugal, France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Italy, Hong Kong, Colombia, Spain, Israel, Panama, Germany, Dominican Republic, Greece, New Zealand, Chile, Poland and Dubai and continues to scale internationally. As a publicly traded company, eXp World Holdings provides real estate professionals the unique opportunity to earn equity awards for production goals and contributions to overall company growth. eXp World Holdings and its businesses offer a full suite of brokerage and real estate tech solutions, including its innovative residential and commercial brokerage model, professional services, collaborative tools and personal development. The cloud-based brokerage is powered by Virbela, an immersive 3D platform that is deeply social and collaborative, enabling agents to be more connected and productive. SUCCESS® Enterprises, anchored by SUCCESS® magazine and its related media properties, was established in 1897 and is a leading personal and professional development brand and publication.

For more information, visit https://expworldholdings.com

Safe Harbor Statement

The statements contained herein may include statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to revise or update them. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in forward-looking statements include changes in business or other market conditions; the difficulty of keeping expense growth at modest levels while increasing revenues; and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to the most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Media Relations Contact:

eXp World Holdings, Inc.

mediarelations@expworldholdings.com

Investor Relations Contact:

Denise Garcia

investors@expworldholdings.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ba1c70f4-dd70-43ad-b440-7b1197f7200d

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Zoomtopia 2023: One platform delivering limitless human connection

  • Zoom expands platform with breakthrough product, Zoom Docs, a modular AI-powered workspace for documentation, project and data management, and creating tables, wikis, tasks, and more.
  • Debuts AI Companion in Zoom Whiteboard, and expands Meeting and Team Chat summarization capabilities to Zoom higher education and healthcare customers
  • Enhances employee and customer experiences with new platform innovations and integrations, underpinned by powerful AI capabilities

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) kicked off Zoomtopia 2023, the company’s annual event, unveiling new platform innovations underpinned by powerful AI capabilities to help streamline the workday through effective communication and collaboration tools.

Zoom’s breakthrough product, Zoom Docs, is a next-gen way of collaborating, built from the ground up with AI at its core. Zoom Docs is a flexible, modular workspace that tightly integrates with Zoom and third-party apps, making it easy for teams and individuals to create, collaborate, manage projects, and stay organized. Zoom Docs includes traditional document capabilities, as well as wikis and drag-and-drop content blocks for tables, charts, and images. Zoom Docs users can also leverage its AI-powered functionality to populate docs with content from Zoom Meetings to inform and jumpstart creation, generate content with Zoom AI Companion, summarize content quickly, easily search documents, and more. Zoom Docs is scheduled to be generally available in 2024.

“As work continues to evolve and present new challenges, one thing will remain the same: effective collaboration and communication tools are crucial for businesses to succeed,” said Eric S. Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom. “At Zoom, we’re grounded in doing what’s right and caring for our customers, and we understand that business leaders are faced with new obstacles every day — whether it’s navigating hybrid work, improving engagement and collaboration among customers and employees, deciding how to leverage generative AI to empower people, or reducing the complexity of their IT solutions. Our new innovations demonstrate Zoom’s commitment to evolving our platform in ways that empower limitless human connection and solve real business problems.”

Zoom AI Companion drives impact with intelligence
The recently announced Zoom AI Companion, the company’s generative AI digital assistant, debuted a new Whiteboard capability and is expanding to new industry customers with the introduction of Meeting and Team Chat summarization capabilities to Zoom higher education and healthcare customers. And, unlike other similar offerings that cost $30 or more per user per month, AI Companion is included at no additional cost for paid users on eligible accounts.*

Zoom AI Companion helps users catch up on already-in-progress meeting discussions, summarize long chat threads, compose emails in Zoom Mail, and so much more. Now, AI Companion can also help generate ideas on a digital whiteboard and organize them into categories, so teams can get to work faster.

For more information on AI Companion and all of its real-time capabilities in the Zoom platform visit the Zoom newsroom.

Enabling flexible collaboration on a modern platform
Zoom is purpose-built for hybrid, remote, and in-office work. Delivering an exceptional employee experience in the hybrid work era that supports employees across different work styles is critical for companies to succeed. Zoom unveiled the following platform innovations to enhance:

  • Employee engagement: Workvivo, acquired by Zoom earlier this year, is an employee engagement and communications solution that provides new ways to keep employees informed, engaged, and connected in today’s hybrid work model. Having a strong ongoing employee engagement strategy is crucial for today’s distributed workforces, which is why Workvivo users will be able to access Workvivo right in the Zoom desktop client in the coming weeks.
  • Hybrid work:
    • In addition to suggesting where people can sit to be close to key collaborators, Workspace Reservation will be adding a Wayfinding feature next year that provides a map to the reserved seat and allows users to review their path on their mobile device when they’re in an unfamiliar office location, making it easier to find their desk.
    • Huddles are virtual coworking spaces that bring employees together across in-office, hybrid, and remote teams. Now, Zoom has introduced presence indicators and location information with My Office View, so users know when the colleagues they collaborate closely with are in a virtual Huddle or in the physical office. My Office View in Huddles is scheduled to be available in 2024.
  • Collaboration: Zoom has streamlined the pre-meeting process with products like Calendar, Mail, Team Chat, and, most recently, Zoom Scheduler. Now, with the latest features available in Zoom Scheduler, users can incorporate single-use booking links to maintain control of their calendar, add customized booking page logos to offer a consistent brand experience, and add multiple account support so that users can check availability across multiple accounts like their work and personal calendars. Coming soon, users will be able to incorporate unique schedules of availability per host so users do not have to block calendars for different teams or regions, delegate support so that executive assistants or other support members can book for others and integrate Salesforce with Scheduler to seamlessly link meeting records from Zoom Scheduler in Salesforce automatically.

For more information on additional enhancements to Zoom Meetings, Zoom Rooms, and other Zoom One products, visit the Zoom newsroom.

Strengthening customer relationships
Zoom’s AI-powered customer experience (CX) solutions help ensure that customer-facing teams, no matter where they are located, have what they need in one place to support and engage customers.

Zoom’s latest innovations can help the following teams strengthen customer relationships:

  • Customer support agents and supervisors:
    • With AI Expert Assist, generative AI listens, adapts, and presents real-time outputs that help streamline contact center workflows. For agents, it leverages natural conversation language to provide contextual, real-time actions and auto-surface useful customer and knowledge base information. For supervisors, it provides actionable suggestions to help them reduce the cost of manual efforts and avoid missed improvement opportunities. The agent features will be available in late Q4 (end of year), and the supervisor features will be available in Q1.
    • Brands strive to meet customers on the channels they already use to allow for personalized connections, speedier resolutions, and increased long-term loyalty. To help facilitate this, Zoom Virtual Agent and Zoom Contact Center will integrate with two popular Meta digital messaging apps, WhatsApp and Messenger, in the coming months.
  • Event managers: Event managers will receive better support around event prep and live event execution with the help of generative AI in Zoom Events through AI-composed event email invitations and lobby chats (available in the coming months), and sessions (available next year).

To learn more about these and additional Zoom innovations built to enable better customer experiences, visit the Zoom newsroom.

Providing an open ecosystem that enables choice
Zoom is an open platform, supported by an ecosystem of key integrations, apps, and partners that offer customers the choice of third-party solutions that work seamlessly with Zoom to drive key business outcomes.

For more information on additional enhancements Zoom unveiled today to make it easier for people to develop and deploy seamless workflows through Zoom, visit the Zoom newsroom.

Tune In LIVE
For the second consecutive year, Zoomtopia is a two-day hybrid experience hosted on Zoom Events, featuring thought-provoking speakers and business leaders, and including many opportunities to network, collaborate, and learn. Tune in live on October 3–4 to catch all the excitement.

About Zoom
Zoom is an all-in-one intelligent collaboration platform that makes connecting easier, more immersive, and more dynamic for businesses and individuals. Zoom technology puts people at the center, enabling meaningful connections, facilitating modern collaboration, and driving human innovation through solutions like team chat, phone, meetings, omnichannel cloud contact center, smart recordings, whiteboard, and more, in one offering. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Get more info at zoom.com.

The statements contained here are for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract. Any services, products or functionality referenced that are not currently available are subject to change at Zoom’s sole discretion and may not be delivered as planned or at all. Customers who purchase from Zoom should make their purchase decisions based upon currently available pricing, features and functions.

Zoom Public Relations
Candace Dean
press@zoom.us

*Available for customers with the paid services assigned to their Zoom user accounts. AI Companion may not be available for all regions and industry verticals.

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8942850

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Pangea Leather Announces Antimicrobial Properties in Standard and Advanced Products

ROCHESTER HILLS, MI, Oct. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pangea, a global supplier of automotive leather, has announced that its standard and advanced products hold antimicrobial properties without the need for chemical additives commonly advertised to improve this performance. The tanned substrate rich in natural components and the leather coating layers act to inhibit the biological functions of contaminating microbes tested, meaning they cannot grow or reproduce on such a surface.

Pangea, a tier-3 supplier to over 25 automotive brands, commissioned testing of its leathers to antimicrobial activity against three clinically relevant pathogens. The conclusion: these leathers have the ability to reduce living bacterial cells by 99.99%. Testing was performed by an ISO certified product test laboratory in North America and replicated in Europe for the PureTan formulated leather products in 2023 by another accredited lab.

Just about every surface that we touch—and even the ones that we don’t—are breeding grounds for potentially damaging and odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew. Luckily, leather itself is an easy-to-clean surface material that works against microbial growth. Antibacterial products have been in high demand due to germ awareness resulting from the world pandemic. In fact, over 54% of car buyers are willing to pay more for antimicrobial coatings in their car interiors.

Consumers may wonder if they need to pay more for antimicrobial coatings, but Pangea leathers inherently carry antimicrobial characteristics, without coating additives. Advancements in leather manufacturing and testing applications have made it easier to keep seating surfaces as clean as can be. Antibacterial surface treatments may become CES highlights, but in the world of automotive seating materials, you can stick to natural resources and still be protected.

Pangea’s announcement is a significant development in the automotive industry, as it provides a natural solution to the growing demand for antimicrobial products. With Pangea’s standard and advanced products, car buyers can rest assured that they are getting a high-quality, safe, and clean product.

Attachments

Jacquelyn Smith
Pangea
2484362200
JSmith@PangeaMade.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8941894

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Africa Asean English GLOBE-NEWSWIRE MENA Pakistan Press Releases South Africa

Pangea Leather Announces Antimicrobial Properties in Standard and Advanced Products

ROCHESTER HILLS, MI, Oct. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pangea, a global supplier of automotive leather, has announced that its standard and advanced products hold antimicrobial properties without the need for chemical additives commonly advertised to improve this performance. The tanned substrate rich in natural components and the leather coating layers act to inhibit the biological functions of contaminating microbes tested, meaning they cannot grow or reproduce on such a surface.

Pangea, a tier-3 supplier to over 25 automotive brands, commissioned testing of its leathers to antimicrobial activity against three clinically relevant pathogens. The conclusion: these leathers have the ability to reduce living bacterial cells by 99.99%. Testing was performed by an ISO certified product test laboratory in North America and replicated in Europe for the PureTan formulated leather products in 2023 by another accredited lab.

Just about every surface that we touch—and even the ones that we don’t—are breeding grounds for potentially damaging and odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew. Luckily, leather itself is an easy-to-clean surface material that works against microbial growth. Antibacterial products have been in high demand due to germ awareness resulting from the world pandemic. In fact, over 54% of car buyers are willing to pay more for antimicrobial coatings in their car interiors.

Consumers may wonder if they need to pay more for antimicrobial coatings, but Pangea leathers inherently carry antimicrobial characteristics, without coating additives. Advancements in leather manufacturing and testing applications have made it easier to keep seating surfaces as clean as can be. Antibacterial surface treatments may become CES highlights, but in the world of automotive seating materials, you can stick to natural resources and still be protected.

Pangea’s announcement is a significant development in the automotive industry, as it provides a natural solution to the growing demand for antimicrobial products. With Pangea’s standard and advanced products, car buyers can rest assured that they are getting a high-quality, safe, and clean product.

Attachments

Jacquelyn Smith
Pangea
2484362200
JSmith@PangeaMade.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8941894

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Resonance Consultancy Reveals the 2024 World’s Best Cities

The global place branding advisor today announced the world’s 100 top-performing cities in their ninth annual 2024 World’s’s Best Cities Report.

NEW YORK, Oct. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Resonance is a leading advisor in tourism, real estate and economic development, and its World’s Best Cities rankings quantify and benchmark the relative quality of place, reputation and competitive identity for the planet’s urban centers.

The Best Cities data is lauded as the world’s most thorough annual city ranking, based on original methodology that analyzes key statistics, user-generated reviews, social media and online activity.

The ninth annual World’s Best Cities ranking is an important, timely analysis of the urban centers that are leading the planet in post-pandemic economic recovery and a resilient future.

Access the 2024 World’s Best Cities Report and all 100 city profiles at WorldsBestCities.com.

Learn more about how Resonance Consultancy can help your city and community at ResonanceCo.com.

”The 2024 World’s Best Cities rankings benchmark the overall performance of more than 270 principal cities in metropolitan areas with populations of more than one million, based on a wide variety of measures, in order to identify the Top 100 places to live, visit and invest on the planet,” says Resonance President & CEO Chris Fair.

The overall Best Cities rankings are determined by analyzing the performance of each city for a wide range of factors that have historically shown positive correlations with attracting employment, investment and/or visitors to cities. Resonance groups these 24 metrics into a ranking of each city’s Livability, Lovability and Prosperity.

Based on each city’s performance across our methodology, these are the World’s Top 10 Best Cities for 2024:

1. London, United Kingdom
2. Paris, France
3. New York, United States
4. Tokyo, Japan
5. Singapore
6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
7. San Francisco, United States
8. Barcelona, Spain
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
10. Seoul, South Korea

The full ranking and extensive profiles of all 100 World’s Best Cities are available at WorldsBestCities.com.

About Resonance Consultancy

Resonance creates transformative strategies, brands and campaigns that empower destinations, cities and communities to realize their full potential. As leading advisors in real estate, tourism and economic development, Resonance combines expertise in research, strategy, branding and communications to make destinations, cities and developments more valuable and more vibrant. ResonanceCo.com

About World’s Best Cities

Best Cities is the home of Resonance’s exclusive ranking of the world’s top urban destinations. The data is used by leading news outlets, trusted by city leaders, and is widely considered to be the world’s most comprehensive annual city ranking. Bloomberg calls it, ”The most comprehensive study of its kind; it identifies cities that are most desirable for locals, visitors, and businesspeople alike, rather than simply looking at livability or tourism appeal.” WorldsBestCities.com | #BestCities

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Tom Gierasimczuk
Resonance Consultancy
604-649-8664
tom@resonanceco.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8942713

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Medical

NCDC registers 1,968 Lassa fever cases in 28 states

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), has registered 1,068 Lassa fever infections across 112 local government areas in 28 states of the federation.

The NCDC said this via its official website on Tuesday in its Lassa Fever Situation Report for Week 37 (Sep. 11 -17, 2023).

The centre indicated that 75 per cent of the cases were detected in Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi States.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. It is primarily found in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.

The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with the urine or feces of infected rodents, specifically the multimammate rat.

According to the NCDC, there are currently 7,352 individuals with suspected cases and the infection has resulted in the unfortunate loss of at least 181 lives in the country.

The centre said that the case-fatality ratio of the infection stood at 16.9 per cent.

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 37, 2023, 181 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 16.9 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (19.1 per cent).

“In total for 2023, 28 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 112 local government areas.

“Seventy-five per cent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from these three states (Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi) while 25 per cent were reported from 25 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

“Of the 75 per cent confirmed cases, Ondo reported 35 per cent, Edo 29 per cent, and Bauchi 11 per cent.

“The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 93 years, Median Age: 32 years).

“The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9. The number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022,” it said.

It is regretted that in 2023 Lassa fever infected 49 healthcare workers across the country.

The agency said that the National Lassa Fever Multi-partner, Multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre had been activated to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

It added that prevention of Lassa fever involves avoiding contact with rodents and their droppings, practising good personal hygiene and taking precautions when caring for infected individuals.

The NCDC said that early diagnosis and prompt medical care are crucial in managing the disease and preventing complications.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Business

TAJBank records highest Tier-1 capital, PBT

TAJBank Limited, a Nigeria’s non-interest bank has recorded the highest Tier-1 capital in the non-interest banking sub-sector in the first half of 2023.

This is according to a statement by TAJBank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Ahmed Joda

Joda said that the audited financial statements of the bank also reflected an increase in its Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N6.019 billion, which is the highest in the banking sub-sector and surpassed analysts’ projections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that TAJBank also made history early this year when it listed the first tranche of N100 billion Sukuk Bond on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) after the successful issuance.

Joda said that a further analysis of the latest audited financial statements showed that its total assets rose from N212.021 billion in December 2022 to N335.017 billion at the end of June 2023.

He said that the figures indicated a 58 per cent increase.

“Its gross earnings increased by 67 per cent from N136.149 billion at the end of December 2022 to N227.031 billion as of the end of June.

“Other highlights of the bank’s financial scorecard in first half of 2023 reflected that the financing also significantly increased by 62 per cent from N78.235 billion recorded as of December 2022 to N126.725 billion by June.

“The deposits base surged to N251.250 billion from N161.958 billion as of December 2022; while its total equity grew by 88 per cent from N19.135 billion in December 2022 to N36.706 billion as of June,’” he said.

Joda, attributed TAJBank’s enviable feat to the increasingly proactive strategies being adopted by the management to respond to emerging trends in non-interest banking and deployment of the right resources.

“What I can say about TAJBank’s latest scorecard is that we have demonstrated that hard work pays.

“As we have maintained over the past three years, our interest is in our customers and we are pursuing this goal with all resources available to us to tell the whole world that TAJBank is the way to go in non-interest banking.

“To demonstrate our commitment to this customer-friendly corporate slogan, we are investing in world-class technologies and digital payment solutions in our services nationwide, ” he said.

“In pursuit of non-interest financial inclusion drive, we have also opened five branches this year and plan to open more in other states in the next few months”, he said.

TAJBank’s bank’s Executive Director, Mr Sherif Idi, said that the successes were made possible by the bank’s shareholders and customers.

“Our thanks go to our growing customers and shareholders whose belief in our vision and capacity to drive TAJBank to the leading edge of market competition has taken us this far.

“Let me assure them that TAJBank’s management and staff will continue to do its best to serve them better and protect their interests, which we value so much in all areas of operations”,he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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General

Cement price reduction: BUA’s action demonstrates commitment to improving lives – Minister

Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, says BUA Plc’s decision to reduce price of cement to N3,500 per bag is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to improving lives.

This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday on Abuja by Deputy Director of Information in the ministry, Mr Salisu Badamasi.

Badamosi said that Dangiwa made the remark in response to the announcement made on Oct. 1 by the firm reducing the price of cement to N3,500 per bag.

“I commend BUA Cement Plc. for its socially-responsible decision to reduce the price of cement.

“Accessible and affordable housing is a fundamental right.

“This move by BUA Cement Plc. will undoubtedly alleviate the challenges faced by our citizens.

“It demonstrates a shared commitment to improving the lives of our people and furthering the goals of sustainable urban development,” he said.

Dangiwa said that the proactive gesture would reduce the cost of cement, which was a major component of housing construction.

He also said that the firm’s action was in support of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu to provide affordable housing to Nigerians.

According to him, the soaring cost of cement has led to a drastic increase in cost of building houses, thus making them unaffordable for the average Nigerian.

Dangiwa further stated that the decision represented a substantial stride toward easing the financial burden on aspiring home owners.

He said that since assuming office, he had made delivery of affordable housing as a top priority, in line with the renewed hope agenda of the present administration.

“The escalating prices of building materials, especially cement, have placed a daunting obstacle on the path to home ownership for many Nigerians.

“BUA Cement Plc.’s decision to reduce the price of cement to N3,500 is highly commendable.

“ It reflects their understanding of the struggles faced by ordinary Nigerians and it is a positive step toward making housing more affordable and attainable by all,” he said.

The minister said that the initiative would benefit individual home owners, stimulate economic growth, create jobs and lift many Nigerians out of poverty by fostering affordable housing construction and infrastructure development.

He urged other industry players to emulate the BUA example, saying that they should consider the social impact of their decisions.

The minister said collaborative efforts between the government and private sector entities was essential in overcoming the challenges of housing affordability and ensuring the realisation of decent living conditions for every citizen.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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General

Dambazau, Lagbaja call for societal efforts in protecting critical national infrastructure

A former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, has advocated for a whole-of-society efforts towards effective protection of the nation’s critical assets and infrastructure.

Dambazau made the call while delivering the graduation lecture for participants of Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) Course 7/2023, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The title of the lecture is “Coordinating Mechanism for Effective Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure in Nigeria”.

He said that national critical assets and infrastructure were the backbone of any nation which must be protected to drive national development.

Dambazau said no matter how sound a country’s economic policies are, without valid assets and necessary critical infrastructure, implementation would merely be a dream.

According to him, critical assets and infrastructure are sources of strength for any nation.

They must be protected against attacks, misuse or abuse, criminal conduct, unfair treatment, recklessness and negligence, disasters, sabotage, among others, he added.

The former army chief said Nigeria has infrastructure deficit, as captured in the country’s Vision 20-2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

He however said while it was the responsibility of the military to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, the police and civil defence have the primary responsibility of maintaining law and order, securing lives and properties.

“There has to be some kind of mechanism, whereby there will be synergy among all the security agencies and even the private sector, and individuals, so that everybody is able to contribute to that effort.

“There is also the aspect of culture, whereby you find that it is as if it has become a culture among Nigerians to vandalise national infrastructure.

“Like the second Niger Bridge which was commissioned just recently and some people have gone to start removing some of the important parts of the bridge.”

According to him, Nigeria also needs a very strong criminal justice system to deal with that.

”It is not the military that will go after justice, but the police, to ensure that anybody caught is prosecuted and punished.

“What we are here for is to encourage a kind of synergy among the security agencies and other Nigerians including the private sector, to ensure that we protect the assets and infrastructure for national development.”

In his speech, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, charged the participants to conduct further research on the culture and attitude of the people towards securing national assets and infrastructure.

Lagbaja said it behoves on all Nigerians to protect critical national assets and infrastructure, which were necessary for increased investment in various sectors.

According to him, the government should invest more on the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and the Police, to enable the two organisations to efficiently and effectively protect national assets and infrastructure.

The Commandant, Army War College Nigeria (AWCN), Maj.-Gen. Ishaya Maina, said the lecture was part of activities lined up by the college for the graduation of its course 7 participants.

Maina said that AWCN was established in 2017 as the highest professional military education institution for the Nigerian army to conduct operational level training for higher management personnel in the defence sector in Nigeria.

He said that the college had within six years of its existence, trained outstanding operational level senior military officers, who were making significant contributions to military operations across the country.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

One Chance: Police warn FCT residents against boarding unpainted taxis

The FCT Police Command has advised the residents to be wary of boarding unpainted taxis, otherwise known as ‘kabu-kabu,’ to avoid becoming victims of armed robbers, also known as ‘One Chance’.

The Commissioner of Police in the FCT, CP Haruna Garba, gave the warning on Tuesday, in Abuja at a news briefing on the command’s achievements in the fight against crime and criminality.

“I wish to advise residents of the FCT to be wary of the kind of vehicles they board. It is advised that they should board only painted taxis from designated motor parks.

“It is risky to board an unpainted taxis otherwise known as ‘kabu-kabu’ as they may fall victims of these robbers known as One Chance,” he said.

Garba said that police operatives in Abuja, while on crime prevention patrol, rescued one Ebere Alice, who boarded a Golf taxi and was robbed by the driver and the gang members of her belongings before dropping her off.

He said that the police gave the hoodlums a hot chase, halted the vehicle and arrested three suspects.

“They include Sylvester Attah, the gang leader, who has been into One Chance robbery for the past three years, Olalekan Salihu, and Gabriel Okwashi.

“The suspects confessed to the crime and the Golf car with Reg. No TKP 624 AA used in committing the crime was recovered. Suspects will be arraigned in court at the conclusion of investigation,” he said.

Garba said that police operatives from Mabushi Division, acting on a credible intelligence, also arrested one Samuel Vincent, a member of a robbery gang, who specialises in robbing unsuspecting taxi passengers of their belongings.

“The suspect was about to be lynched by an angry mob before Police intervention.

‘’The suspect, alongside three others currently at large, had picked a woman (name unknown) from Karmo heading to Lugbe, and then diverted the vehicle to Mabushi area and dispossessed the victim of her belongings.

“The suspect confessed to his involvement in the crime and the car used in perpetrating the crime has been recovered. Suspect is cooperating with the police on how to apprehend the fleeing suspects,” he said.

The CP also explained that police operatives from Mabushi Division, acting on credible intelligence trailed and arrested four other suspected armed robbers.

He said that the suspects included Oluwatobi Precious (an ex-convict), Theophilous Elkana, Ibrahim Usman and Umar Ibrahim, an ex-convict.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects robbed motorists of their phones while in traffic jam around Mobil filing station, Mabushi and zoomed off in a getaway golf car.

“Suspects confessed to the crime, while the said Golf car with Reg. No. DKA 288 RY, grey in colour, an Iphone 14 Pro Max and several ATM cards bearing different names and substances suspected to be cocaine were recovered from them,” Garba said.

He said that police operatives from Lugbe Division, acting on actionable intelligence, arrested one Emmanuel Abraham also known as ‘Mosquito’, a wanted and notorious armed robber/cultist linked to various cases of armed robbery/culpable homicide and other cult activities within Lugbe and environs.

“The suspect whose cohorts are presently in prison for robbery of one Mrs Abiodun Okunde, since 29th October, 2020 will equally be arraigned in court at the conclusion of investigation,” he said.

Garba aid that the police operatives from Kabusa Division trailed and arrested one Adamu Idris, also known as Idi, a wanted and notorious kingpin responsible for series of kidnapping around Galadimawa/Apo, Lokogoma and Kabusa axis.

“The suspect, who was sighted at Okada Junction, Kabusa, took to his heels, was given a hot chase and apprehended by police operatives.

“During interrogation, suspect confessed to being a member of a 5-man gang, whose other members are currently at large,” he said.

Garba said that the suspect was cooperating with the police to apprehend other gang members and would be charged to court soon.

In a similar development, on 21/09/2023, one Abubakar Usman of opposite Estate Galadimawa reported at Kabusa Division that two persons later identified as Auwal Wada and Suleiman Hassan of Galadimawa village threatened to kidnap him and his entire family if he failed to offer them N7million ransom.

“However, an agreement was reached that he would pay N5 million. The police operatives from Kabusa laid a siege at the point of collection in a bush around Shereti village.

“The two suspects emerged to collect the ransom and were promptly arrested.

“This has been the modus operandi of the suspects as they have successfully robbed their victims in the past. The suspects will be arraigned in court soon,” he said

Garba said that the police operatives from Mabushi Division also carried out a raid of criminal hideouts at Gishiri Village and a total of 36 bags of dried leaves suspected to be Indian Hemp were recovered.

“In the same operation, one Bello Ahmed, AKA Wizzy Bola, a notorious and wanted armed robber terrorizing Gishiri Village and its environs, was arrested,” he said.

According to Garba, all the suspects will be arraigned in Court upon the conclusion of discreet investigations.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

FG reiterates commitment to improving life, wellbeing of Nigerians

The Federal Government on Tuesday reiterated its commitment to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of Nigerians with focus on harnessing the potential of an ageing population.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said this in her address at the International Day of Older Persons ceremony at the UN House in Abuja.

The event with the theme: “Fulfilling the promise of the universal declaration of human rights for older persons across generations’’ was organised by the UN and the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC).

Edu commended the establishment of the NSCC by the NSCC Act 2017 to promote mainstreaming of older persons in the delivery of positive outcomes for the aged.

She also assured that President Bola Tinubu’s move to reposition the ministry demonstrated the government’s political will to develop mechanisms and achieve the desired goals.

According to her, such would ensure sustainable systems to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of Nigerians, as well as progressively lift 133million Nigerians out of poverty.

Edu said, “The NSCC remains the veritable agency to consolidate opportunities for the older population, in partnership with the various Ministries, Department and Agencies through multi-sectoral coordination.

“The present administration will ensure adequate support; persuasion of the state governments to domesticate the NSCC Act , VApp Act, Persons with Disability Act and National Health Authority Act.

“The present administration will focus on harnessing the potential of an aging population, combat ageism and negative stereotypes and close the gaps and inconsistencies in data.

“It would focus on research, human capital development and continue to create systems capable of supporting older persons, including age friendly environments, universal health coverage and long term care systems,” she said.

Speaking, Mr Matthias Schmale, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, reassured of UN’s support for Nigeria in the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons.

Schmale commended the event to have been tailored to provide opportunity for reflection on the impact of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the protection of the rights of older persons.

“It is my sincere hope that today’s dialogue will allow for reflections on effective promotion and protection of older persons in Nigeria, focusing on their contributions throughout their life, for the knowledge and expertise they can pass on to younger generations.

“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the UN in Nigeria is committed to supporting Nigeria’s efforts towards enhancing the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons.

“Especially, older persons living in vulnerable situations and making the promise of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights a reality for all Nigerians,’’ Schmale said.

The Director-General of NSCC, Dr Emem Omokaro, identified universally declared rights of older persons to include right to life, liberty, and security of person, freedom from discrimination, abuse, violence and torture.

Others are, right to work and education; and right to participate in cultural, social, and political life of their country and right to economic empowerment, access to justice, disability and age friendly environment.

“Today, we wish to present highlights of IE’s Report and Nigeria’s response, and have a multi-sectoral panel of discussants to make inputs.

“The outcome we hope will enhance understanding of opportunities and challenges of older persons.

“To strengthen partnerships and technical support, increased aging mainstreaming in multi-sector plans, the SDGs, equity and solidarity across generations,’’ Omokaro said.

Highpoint of the event was discussion on 75years of universal declaration of human rights, analysing Nigeria’s efforts, gaps and solutions, and rights of older persons, solidarity equity and reciprocity across generations.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

Olojo Festival: Ooni pleads with Nigerians to support Tinubu

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has pleaded with Nigerians to persevere with President Bola Tinubu’s administration in view of the current economic situation.

Ooni made the appeal during the visitation to his family compound as grand-finale of Olojo Annual Festival at Oketase area, Ile-Ife on Monday.

He admitted that Nigeria is currently at its trial period when the citizens are facing a lot of challenges in all ramifications of life.

“I know that people are passing through difficult period in which they are not finding life easy and truly this is a challenging period.

“But I know that after this festival, normalcy would return to the country, as the problems we’re facing will soon come to an end,” he stated.

The royal father admonished all and sundry to endure more and ensure their support for their leaders, saying by doing this, there would be great achievements.

“We are almost getting there, for gold has to pass through fire before becoming shinning. Government alone cannot do it without the cooperation of the masses.

“Therefore, let all hands be on deck for a tree cannot make a forest, neither any nation can get to his promised land without the contribution of the generality,” Oba Ogunwusi stated.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria