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The Brazilian government has given Yoruba a pride of place among foreign languages spoken in the country.

NewsmakersNG was told in an exclusive interview with the Brazilian minister of culture, Dr Sérgio Sá leitão at the weekend in Brazil that the government has introduced the compulsory study of African History and Yoruba language into the primary and secondary schools curriculum.

The minister spoke at an event where the Institute of African Studies, University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil paraded important dignitaries including Nigerian artists and historians, as well as professors of arts and African studies at a lecture on the importance of Yoruba language in the Brazilian culture and tradition.

According to him, the inclusion of African History and Yoruba Language in the curriculum would help bring the closeness of the African Brazilian people to their roots and thus encourage the understandings of the language among other important languages in Brazil apart from Portuguese which is the official language.

The minister also mentioned the role played by Brazil during the festival of arts and culture, ‘FESTAC 77’, held in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977; the constant intercultural programmes between Nigeria and Brazil; the annual carnival of Arts, music and cultural displays featuring prominent African artists and Yoruba writers such as Yinka Shonibare, Adeyinka Olaiya, El Anatsui among many others, including the highly respected Yoruba writer, Professor Wande Abimbola.

Speaking at the event, Peruvian Nobel laureate, Prof. Mário Vargas Llosa also made mention of the African community in Peru where the African Peruvians are settled till date.

Vargas Llosa, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010, is known as one of Latin America’s most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation.

According to Vargas Llosa, Yoruba people and their culture have helped the universe, IFA has proven his existence in the beings of mankind right from the inception and IFA is still very much alive and needs to be recognized even more than it is today.

According to Prof Mário Vargas, the Yoruba language should no longer be approached as an ethnic language but a universal language that is alive in culture and tradition of the Africans and her roots around the universe.

Speaking in Yoruba and Portuguese, Prof Katiuscia Ribeiro of the Institute of African Studies drew attention to the African philosophical practices introducing the constant representation of the Yoruba culture and religion in the Brazilian traditional beliefs.

NewsmakersNG learnt that the Yoruba traditional religion today comes after the Catholic practices as the most improving religious practices in the South American country. Several houses of worships called “ILE ASE” are having the Yoruba culture, tradition and language as official, whenever the cults are declared open for the day. Babalawo, Iyalawo, Omo Awo, and Aborisa are all common Yoruba usages in the practice of the Yoruba religion called Candomblé in Brazil.

A Nigerian carnival artist, painter and illustrator, Adeyinka Olaiya, also expressed the benefits the Yoruba language would bring to the Brazilian culture if fully integrated into the Brazilian educational curriculum.

According to Olaiya, living in Salvador, Brazil, is like living in any of the western states of Nigeria where the Yoruba are predominantly located.

He said, “Most of the cultures and traditions in evidence in Brazil are all of the heritages brought along to the Latin American country by the majority Yoruba families, victims of the BARCO NEGREIROS, the NEGRO BOAT that forcefully brought the enslaved West Africans to Brazil in the 13th century. The Yoruba heritage that represents the majority of the African cultural practices in Brazil today is having several words in Yoruba roots. Akara, Dendê, Iyalode, Babalawo, Iyalawo and lots more are all derived from the Yoruba roots.”

-irohin oodua-

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UBA Continues to Innovate as RED Radio’s Podcast Now Live 24/7

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The United bank for Africa (UBA) is leading again through innovation as it launches a podcast, RED Radio, which is available 24/7. The dynamic and creative online radio channel, RED Radio now provides round the clock informative and entertaining content, bringing out the best of Africa.

RED Radio www.itsredradio.com  was berthed as part of the communication suite of UBA to provide real time content to listeners across the African continent and globally.

UBA’s Group Head Corporate Communications, Bola Atta, explained that the platform is an affirmation of the leading role that UBA is playing in the innovative space on the African continent as the bank keeps seeking more ways to reach out to and galvanise people.

She said, “RED Radio can be described as a meeting place. It is an avenue to discuss all kinds of issues that affect the youths on the continent, whether it be business related, health, relationships, sports, lifestyles.. anything. As we bring people together, we also entertain them with music from across the continent.’ ‘it’s such a cool and diverse platform with shows in different languages to appeal to a wide section of listeners.  I leave it on quietly on my ipad constantly, catching up with anything I have missed’ she added.

Some of the flagship shows on RED Radio include the Barbershop Chronicles – a talk show featuring Shody, Sess, Alhaji Popping and Femisoro who discuss life matters from the perspective of men; Diary of an Africana follows the journey of a young African woman as she manoeuvres through various obstacles whilst she explores her true self; The Red Pill which brings you exciting news and music from the Congo and so much more.

The shows are recorded in video format and are also available on REDTV.

You can access the podcasts via www.itsredradio.com

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WE’LL DELIVER SIX-LANE IBEJU-LEKKI-EPE HIGHWAY PROJECT FIRST QUARTER 2022 – SANWO-OLU

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Barring unanticipated event, the construction of 18.7-kilometre six-lane rigid pavement carriageway from Eleko Junction in Ibeju Lekki to Epe T-Junction in Lagos State will be completed and commissioned. This was the assurance from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu when he and members of the State Executive Council went on an on-the-spot assessment of the project, on Monday.

Sanwo-Olu was excited by the pace of work on the road, persuading the contractor handling the project to increase its momentum in order to push the progress to an encouraging level before the end of the year.

The Governor flagged off the first phase of the expansion on the Lekki-Epe Expressway last November, kick-starting the rehabilitation of the 40-year-old infrastructure. The second phase of the project, which will start later this year, stretches 26.7Km from Eleko Junction to Abraham Adesanya Junction in Eti-Osa axis.

At the time of the Governor’s inspection, the contractor had completed a stretch of 3km on the lane from Eleko Junction inward Epe, while the right-of-way for the entire project has been fully cleared.

After communicating the work progress to the Governor, representatives of the contractor led Sanwo-Olu and cabinet members on legwork for assessment of features on the completed stretch, including drainage channels, kerb and segregated lane for heavy-duty vehicles.

The Governor was optimistic the project would be delivered on record time, charging the contractor to scale up the pace of work.

He said: “This exercise is an on-the-spot assessment to view the status of the 18.7Km six-lane rigid pavement road construction we are doing from Eleko Junction to Epe. The contractor has been active on site in the last six months, and they have touched every part of the entire stretch. We are currently assessing the project from the 3km lane already completed. On either side are three lanes. Two lanes are for cars, while the last lane is for heavy-duty vehicles. There will be 1.5km pedestrian walkway on both sides.

“We are happy with the progress of the project, because the contractor works day and night. I believe the work is on track. Residents on this corridor are also happy with the level of work done. They are waiting on us to hand over this important infrastructure to them in earnest.

“The beauty of the work is that it has reduced the journey time, even as the road is still being constructed. There is no hindrance on the road; motorists have the right-of-way for free movement. Not until when we finish the entire construction, we would have the full benefit of this investment. We are happy with what we have seen and we believe that the contractor should be rounding off the work by end this year or first quarter next year.”

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Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line: Amaechi, a Personification of Service – Eze

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Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has joined the lengthy roll of Nigerians and Nigerians in the diaspora, aliens and diplomats alike, who have felicitated with the President Mohammadu Buhari/APC-led Federal Government for the giant strides it has continued to record in critical areas of governance especially, the revival of the nation’s moribund rail infrastructure, covering a country mile and traversing the nook and cranny of the Nigerian territory and choreography.

Recall that President Buhari, Thursday, June 10, 2021, inaugurated the commercial operations of Lagos-Ibadan railway project at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, Eze said the efforts of the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, in driving the Buhari administration’s policy on infrastructural development is selfless, worth commending and cannot be overemphasized.

He said Amaechi’s display of rare dexterity in public administration has continued to break new grounds and discover and open up opportunities for Nigerians to sustain their livelihoods in the face of the harsh economic realities of the times, and called on those on whom the responsibility of leadership is saddled especially, in the public sector, to brace up and take a clue from the Minister.

The party Chief said aside priding itself as the first double-track standard gauge rail in West Africa, the 156km Lagos-Ibadan rail project is renowned for its peculiar status as the first Nigerian railway line to be started and completed by the same administration, since 1960.

With a holding capacity of over 6,000 passengers, Eze said the Ebute Metta Station, known as the Mobolaji Johnson railway Station, is the largest in the West African region.

Describing the feat as another milestone in the drive of his administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight, Buhari pledged his administration’s commitment in ensuring that priority is given to modern railway system as a transportation backbone that can transform industrial and economic activity in the country.

Reeling out the benefits of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor as well as other on-going railway projects across the country, President Buhari said the project establishes what he described as an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country.

Lamenting the challenges posed to the nation’s economic growth by absence of strong and effective infrastructure, the President said in addition to other other ongoing railway projects, his administration has embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan – Kano.

He emphasized that the Lagos – Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano – Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in Niger Republic will be achieved.

‘‘The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic”

The project, Buhari said, would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.

Expressing delight that his directive to the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance on reaching financial agreements with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan – Kano railway was yielding results, President Buhari noted that Ibadan-Kano project would have a connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West – East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.

‘‘From the beginning of this administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones have been reached, right from when the Abuja – Kaduna railway was flagged-off for commercial operation in 2016 to this Lagos – Ibadan railway project being commissioned today for full commercial operation,’’ he said.

Commending the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity in achieving the milestone recorded today, the President praised the ‘‘wonderful team in the Ministry’’ for a job well done.

“It is noteworthy to state that work commenced on the project in March 2017 and test-run commenced around December 2020 and today, what seemed a dream has come to full materialization under Buhari and Amaechi”, Eze said.

Similarly, Chief Eze hailed Buhari and Amaechi over the official launch of assists under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as Deep Blue Project in Lagos.

The project which is the first integrated maritime security strategy in West and Central Africa is aimed at tackling the incidences of piracy, sea robbery, and other crimes at sea. With three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security on land, sea, and air, the deep blue project was jointly initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Federal Ministry of Defence, and being implemented by NIMASA the to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea.

The land assets include the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection; 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit comprising personnel from the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, and Department of State Services. The sea assets include two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats. The air assets comprise two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue operations; and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Eze said Amaechi has manifestly justified the confidence reposed in him by  President Mohammadu Buhari and Nigerians and called on Nigerians to continue to support the Amaechi as more dividends are set to be delivered.

Emphasizing the need for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of protecting public infrastructure, the party Chief said it is grossly subnormal for countrymen, who should be proud patriots to engage in acts of vandalism, destroying critical assets and frustrating the efforts of government in putting the country on the right track.

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