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U.S. Army Helps Set Up Mideast Maritime Security Program



Col. John Conklin (U.S. Army) received three days’ notice before deploying to Bahrain to lead the setup of a headquarters operation for Operation Sentinel, the international mission to ensure freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf region. Conklin’s Joint Planning Support Element, or JPSE (pronounced “gypsy”) deploys on short notice to assist joint force commanders with establishing joint force headquarters. 

“It’s a tremendous tasking to stand up a coalition task force — with this unique mission, and the operating environment, but what we’re accomplishing is incredible,” Conklin said.

When he arrived in early October, Conklin served as the chief of staff of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC). He integrated a U.S. joint team with officers from the Royal Navy to plan and stand up Coalition Task Force Sentinel, the military organization under IMSC. The coalition task force soon integrated another team from the Australian Navy. The team developed a plan, wrote an operations order and stood up IMSC. Bahrain joined the coalition in August. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined in September, and Albania, the newest member, joined in November.

In a little over two months, Conklin and his inter-agency crew built a joint force headquarters from nothing. Officially dubbed the IMSC, the U.S.-led coalition formally launched in November, opened a new command center at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, and welcomed its first appointed commander, Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey. The IMSC leads Operation Sentinel, U.S. Central Command’s multinational maritime effort to ensure freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf region. Its mission is to protect freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea, the Straits of Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb – a response to recent Iranian interference with merchant shipping. 

Countries that join the IMSC provide warships to escort their nation’s commercial vessels through the region. Through the construct, participating countries share information and surveillance in one of the most vital shipping lanes in the world. More than 17,000 ships per year pass through the Bab al-Mandeb and 42,000 through the Strait of Hormuz. 

“Coordinating with the various countries’ navies to provide vessels in the right place at the right time is a rewarding mission,” Conklin said. “I don’t think very many people in the Army ever get experience in this — where you are standing up an international maritime task force, where you watch allies join, and you see the impact you’re having.”

–The Maritme Executive

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Women United for Economic Empowerment (WUEE) is a non-governmental organization with a mission to promote women/children rights, human development to the rural/urban poor women, youth, children and other vulnerable groups. WUEE in partnership with United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) announces a Call for small grant application for interested and eligible CSOs/CBOs in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, on STRENGTHENING GOOD GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL IN NIGERIA

Purpose for Fund

The project seeks to increase the capacities of 20 civil CSOs/CBOs and Local Government Chairmen in order to help them fulfill their roles and responsibilities more effectively in a democratic system. It is meant to strengthen good governance and democratic processes at the local level in Nigeria and to increase citizen participation. The project shall be conducted in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. Trained representatives of selected CSOs and CBOs shall in conjunction with local stakeholders organize civic education programs for Twenty Thousand (20,000) local citizens in their local communities (1,000 per CSO/CBO), in order to promote citizens’ understanding and participation in the democratic processes.


Applicants must:

  • Be Not-for-profit organizations.
  • Have expertise in governance programming.
  • Have presence in the Local Government/community in which the program will be conducted.
  • Be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
  • Have a track record of working with indigenous women, youth, persons with disabilities (PWD).
  • Be willing to comply with all technical and financial requirements for participation in the program, including reporting and documentation of project activities, communication strategy and capacity development opportunities.
  • Be willing to participate in assessments, trainings, workshops, meetings and other activities considered important for achieving project goal.


Interested organizations shall submit 4 hard copies of grant proposal including Certificate of registration with CAC to Women United for Economic Empowerment Office located at No. 70 Nwaniba Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and soft copy via Email: or Applications must be received not later than Thursday, 13th August, 2020 at 16.00 hrs.  No late application will be accepted

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Nigerian stock market opens with N119 billion loss



Nigerian equities market resumed trading on Monday with a loss of 0.91 per cent as a result of profit taking in some blue chips.

Speficially, the All-Share Index which opened the week at 25,182.67 lost 228.35 points or 0.91 per cent to close at 24,954.32.

Accordingly, Month-to-Date and Year-to-Date losses increased to -1.2 per cent and -7.0 per cent, respectively.

Also, the market capitalisation shed N119 billion or 0.91 per cent to close at N13.017 trillion against N13.136 trillion posted on Thursday.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN), BUA Cement, Zenith Bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Guaranty Trust Bank.

Analysts at United Capital Plc said: “Looking ahead, we expect the market to remain volatile, as investors lock funds in cheap and fundamentally sound stocks, while taking profit on some stocks that gained last week.”

Consequently, market breadth closed negative with 16 stocks compared with 25 decliners.

Prestige Assurance led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping by 10 per cent, to close at 63k, per share.

Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals followed with 9.73 per cent to close at N2.32, while AIICO Insurance shed 9.32 per cent to close at N1.07, per share.

ETI dropped 7.34 per cent to close at N5.05, while UACN Property Development dipped 6.73 per cent to close at 97k, per share.

Conversely, Fidson Healthcare and Red Star Express led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, appreciating by 10 per cent each to close at N3.30 and N3.63 per share, respectively.

Cornerstone Insurance followed with a gain 9.80 per cent to close at 56k, per share.

Honeywell Flour Mills rose by 9.78 per cent to close at N1.01, while Unity Bank appreciated by 8.77 per cent to close at 62k, per share.

In the same vein, the total volume traded declined by 29.51 per cent with an exchange of 237.65 million shares, worth N1.61 billion, and traded in 4,808 deals.

This was in contrast with a total of 337.13 million shares valued at N3.41 billion achieved in 3,880 deals on Thursday.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 24.35 million shares worth N128.76 million.

Zenith Bank followed with 24.14 million shares valued at N392.36 million, while FCMB Group accounted for 19.47 million shares valued at N33.48 million.

Caverton Offshore traded 17.37 million shares worth N39.02 million, while United Bank for Africa transacted 14.64 million shares valued at N95.74 million.

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