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LIGHTER MOOD: Dog enjoying Corn….!



LIGHTER MOOD: Dog enjoying Corn....!




Marina, LAGOS 

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London museum returns looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria



London museum returns looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria

 A small museum in south-east London has begun the official process of returning looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria.

The Horniman Museum, which houses a collection of 72 treasured items that were taken by force from Benin City in 1897, officially handed over ownership of the artifacts to the Nigerian government on Monday.

The Horniman described returning the looted objects as a “moral and appropriate” response after a request from Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).

There are still questions about whether thousands of items that were held at large institutions globally, including the British Museum, will ever be sent back.

However, the first six objects which were returned included two Benin Bronze plaques from the royal palace which were handed over to Nigerian officials at a ceremony marking the transfer of ownership of 72 looted items.

The items were taken from Benin City by British troops in February 1897.

Nick Merriman, chief executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, and prof. Abba Tijani, the NCMM’s director general, was asked by journalists ahead of the official handover if they were frustrated at the British Museum’s apparent reluctance to hand over the 900 objects it had held for more than a century.

Merriman, who said the Horniman had been an “excellent example” of leadership, stated that, “Journalists who ask me about the Benin return always want to ask me about the British Museum.”

“I would rather talk about what an excellent example the Horniman is rather than answer questions about the British Museum.”

The six objects selected in consultation with the NCMM as being representative of the collection of 72 items from the first wave of physical repatriation of Benin objects from the Horniman.

A new agreement between the NCMM and the Horniman will allow the remainder to stay in Britain on loan for now, with the second phase of physical repatriations to follow in due course.

Professor Tijani later explained that about 5,000 Benin bronzes were currently “scattered” around the world.

He said that he is hoping that talks with various institutions may result in deals that could herald the items being returned from places including Germany and the U.S.

– dpa

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Gum Arabic company wins Nigerian export awards



Gum Arabic company wins Nigerian export awards

 Gum Arabic company has won the most active company award at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Awards in Lagos.

Adaku Chidume-Okoro, the Managing Director of Gum Arabic Company, in a statement on Monday, said several others were also awarded.

Addressing the audience, during the award presentation, Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director NEPC, said the awardees were selected from the monthly pre-shipment inspector’s report the NEPC received about all exports at the various departure points.

He said the awardees were outstanding in their shipments, the reason they were shortlisted at the NEPC week which ended on Nov. 26 with Award and Gala Nite.

According to him, the NEPC award is designed to encourage and stimulate hard work, innovation and overall high quality in non-oil export promotion in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is a Federal Government institution established to encourage the promotion, development and diversification of exports, especially non-oil exports which make up about 20 percent of national revenue.

Chidume-Okoro, who received the award on behalf of the firm, appreciated God and the organisers of the award as she said it had been a historic journey.

She said the award was a testament to the organisation’s hard work and above all, the grace of God.

” Gum Arabic Company of Nigeria wins Nigerian Export Promotion Council award, for non-oil export award for Most Active Women MSMES in the export value chain

” It is a journey to redefine how the hardworking, highly professional and dedicated people in Nigeria, are acknowledged and celebrated.

” I am proud to be part of this journey, non-oil exports in Nigeria,” she said.

Other winners of the awards included Karflex Fisheries Ltd, Dijmed Ventures Ltd, Twindynasty Global Ltd, The Coordinator, Yobe State Sheabutter Products Women Co-Operative and Achi Greems Farm Ltd., among other top exporters.

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AMAE’s Artistic Rendition Exposes the Beautiful, Ugly sides of Nigeria’s Maritime Industry



AMAE's Artistic Rendition Exposes the Beautiful, Ugly sides of Nigeria's Maritime Industry

Art as a beautiful way of creating awareness has been used to showcase both the beautiful and ugly sides of Nigeria’s maritime industry.

This artistic impression of what the industry looks like was depicted at the maiden edition of the African Maritime Art Exhibition (AMAE).

Industry players commended AMAE for providing maritime industry stakeholders and other national and continental participants tangible artistic reminders of Africa’s shipping domain, its major challenges and numerous opportunities.

AMAE's Artistic Rendition Exposes the Beautiful, Ugly sides of Nigeria's Maritime Industry

Ezinne Azunna (middle) flanked by Maritime Stakeholders on Saturday, in Lagos

Held on Saturday at the Alliance Française, Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, AMAE is curated by Hazi’s Art, an arm of Maritime TV Africa to tell Africa’s marine/ maritime story using images and artistic impressions, painting, drawing, digitised photography, textile print, sculpture and many more.

Despite having the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy) which is a coherent long-term multilayered plan to enhance maritime viability for a prosperous Africa, the artworks exhibited at AMAE depicted the realities of the menace of marine litters, disorderly seaport terminals, value for aquatic life, coastal and riverine communities, and other maritime issues.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and former Continental President of African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA), Mrs. Jean-Chiazor Anishere, while sharing her experience at the event observed that “there is a clear distinction between the media or an operator telling you about the maritime industry and an art exhibition through pictures, designs on fabrics, among others.”

She commended the organizers for the novel initiative which also brought to everyone’s immediate notice the beautiful and the ugly side of the maritime industry as she appreciated various artworks on canvass showing either Tin Can Island or Apapa Port container depot with cars littered all around.

According to her, such a terminal shouldn’t have too many cars because it isn’t a RORO terminal and cars shouldn’t be littered that way, even if it is a RORO terminal.

Anishere pointed out that the artist is showing what a Nigerian container terminal looks like and invariably saying that it isn’t the ideal scenario. She praised the organizers for not just getting art about the maritime sector but seeking to correct the anomalies by telling compelling stories via art.

In his own speech, CEO, Genero Engineering, Capt. Suleiman Baiyee described AMAE as a beautiful and innovative way of raising awareness about core maritime issues, even as he encouraged organizers of major national and regional shipping conferences to create a platform for AMAE.

“In life, there are different ways of raising awareness of things we seek to change or improve. Art is a very beautiful way and it is a permanent medium for raising awareness. Art is unique because everyone would have a different way of interpreting one picture, whereas one speech can only give one message.”

“Since art is a powerful tool, I see this exhibition as a unique way of promoting the maritime industry. It is also special because art isn’t a popular medium for promoting things in Nigeria. Therefore, I commend the people who organized this, but I would recommend that AMAE doesn’t stand on its own. Every major maritime event in the nation should have a section like this attached to it. This way, everyone who attends a major event would be exposed to the exhibition. So, from the position of raising awareness, we may need to consider partnering with other national and regional summits,” Baiyee posited.

The Chairman of AMAE 2022, Pioneer of Maritime History in Nigeria, Distinguished Professor Ayodeji Olokuju remarked that the Maritime Art Exhibition isn’t only about beauty but also tells stories about continent’s history and environment.

Olokuju informed that Lagos had ports long before the Colonial masters arrived as Badagry was a trade port several years before colonialism.

He averred that the seas should be treated with more seriousness and there should be more awareness, saying that over the years,  governments, universities and institutions have marginalized the seas.

“Until 2006, when I started a course at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), nobody ever taught a course in Maritime History. Until this year, no one ever taught the history of the seas in relation to West Africa, but that has changed,” he said.

He expressed his delight to find children among the participants at the event, emphasizing the need to catch them young as they appreciate art, even as they learn the historical developments in the maritime sector.

“This particular event is unprecedented and I want to especially thank all the participants who decided to honour this occasion and give it the priority it deserves. Out of a population of over 20 million people living in Lagos, the number of participants here tells the story of the nation. It’s a situation maritime scholars describe as sea blindness.

“Most Nigerians aren’t aware of the importance of the seas and most residents in a coastal state like Lagos don’t have any concern about the seas. Sea blindness isn’t limited to Lagos, it’s a national issue because most of the government policies focus on other modes of transportation like land, while the seas are treated as an adjunct of land-based matters. Today’s outing corrects that impression,” the professor explained.

Earlier, the lead curator, Ezinne Azunna stressed that the intent of the AMAE is to make Africans more conscious of the maritime sector, asserting that it is also a subtle way of educating people about global issues, policies, regulations and how best to manage the industry.

“Africans are said to be alarmingly and unforgivably sea blind. Our waters are notoriously described as one of the biggest unexploited industries, as much as lands are our heritage, the waters are too, we should truly embrace our waterscapes. At Hazi’s, our portraiture is focused on the human interface with the waters, aquatic life and vice versa. We launched in 2021 with over 30 digitised oil paintings, many of which are displayed today.

“Africans have been accused of not paying enough attention to the seas, but I think that opinion is fast changing with the African Union’s AIMS strategy and Blue Economy. However, some of these initiatives don’t connect to the common man and that’s where art comes in because art reaches everyone. Whether it is a bracelet one is wearing or a t-shirt with maritime prints, it resonates differently. We want people to have a vivid memory of what we are talking about when we talk about marine pollution, aquatic life, coastal communities, among other maritime issues”, Azunna stated.

She explained that every piece of art at the exhibition connects with the sector and shows how crucial the maritime industry has become to our everyday living and in linking Africa to the rest of the world.

While the enjoyable informal ambiance provided an opportunity for stakeholders to share insights on the maritime industry, the compelling stories in the artworks were clear reminders about the current state of the region’s marine domain; from ports and jetties to ships and the sea, rivers and estuaries, coastal communities, beach scenes, seafaring, marine life and science, seascapes telling the story of various eras in Africa.

Some of the maritime industry stakeholders at the exhibition were; the Chairperson, Nigerian Ship-owners Forum, Barr. (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi; President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung; President, African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI), Dr. (Mrs.) Felicia Mogo; Convener, Lagos International Maritime Week, Mrs. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore.

Others were; former Assistant Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), ACG Charles Edike; Founder, Committee of Friends for Humanity (COFFHA), Mrs. Carol Ufere; Secretary, Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, Mrs. Chizoba Anyika; Public Relations Officer, WISTA Nigeria, Arit Nwokedi; Director, Operations and Administration, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Vivian Chimezie-Azubuike; Founder, Ocean Ambassadors Forum (OAF), Mrs. Violet Olaitan Williams; among others.


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