Ugwuanyi said this on Wednesday during his visit to Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
He also said that government would take strategic steps to harness the tourism potential hidden in the remote recesses of the forests.
He said that it was not true that his administration had plans to destroy the caves and other tourism artefacts in a forest located in Awgu council area on the grounds that they served as hideouts and havens for kidnappers and armed bandits.
According to him, no one ever contemplated destroying the caves and other tourism relics in the area.
He said that government merely took an action that was intended to scare the hoodlums out of their hideouts in the forest, following a disturbing security report at his disposal.
He said that government’s plan was to clear and open up all the forests in order to make them impossible for hoodlums to carry out their nefarious activities there.
Ugwuanyi said that his administration would stop at nothing to make the state unattractive to criminals.
He expressed his commitment to ensure that the reputation of the state as one of the safest in the country remained untannished.
He further opined that opening up the forest would have positive impact on the agricultural sector, especially to enable farmers to easily access and utilise the land for agriculture.
He reassured the people of the area of the commitment of his administration to ensure even development of the entire state.
“I have no doubt that our tourism sector will benefit immensely from the caves and other tourism and cultural assets that government activities in the forest will unravel,” Ugwuanyi said.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has denied media reports that he plans to destroy caves and other tourism artefacts in a forest located in Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
Ugwuanyi disclosed this on Wednesday during a visit to the area.
The media have been awash of statements credited to the governor that the caves would be demolished as they had become hideouts and haven for criminals.
However, the governor said that no one had ever contemplated destroying the caves and other tourism relics in the area.
He said his administration had to take an initial action that would scare the hoodlums out of their hideouts in the forest following a disturbing security report at his disposal.
The governor said the whole forest would be cleared and opened up with a view to making it impossible for the hoodlums to carry out their nefarious acts there.
Ugwuanyi said that his administration would stop at nothing to make the state unattractive to criminals, adding that the reputation of the state as one of the safest in the country must be intact.
He said that opening up the forest would impact positively on the agricultural sector by making it easier for farmers to use the land for agricultural purposes.
The governor also said such clearance would avail the government the opportunity to harness and develop the tourism potentials hidden in the recesses of the forests.
He reassured the people of the area of his commitment to ensure even development of the entire state.
“I have no doubt that our tourism sector will benefit immensely from the caves and other tourism and cultural assets that government activities in the forest will unravel”, Ugwuanyi said.
Flood : Hadejia LG warns farmers against destroying river embankment
Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad, Chairman of Hadejia Local Government Council in Jigawa on Saturday warned farmers in the area against destroying sand-bag embankment erected to prevent flood at the bank of Hadejia River.
Muhammad, who gave the warning in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Hadejia, said any farmer caught in the act would be prosecuted.
NAN reports that some dry season farmers had either broken parts of the embankment or created holes in it to access water in the river across, using a hose.
He said breaking the embankment was a dangerous act that could put lives and properties of the people at risk.
“ Henceforth, we will prosecute any farmer caught destroying this embankment on which government had spent a lot of money to erected to protect lives and property.
“ If you want to fetch water across, get a long hose to do so; instead of engaging in this act of sabotage, which will also consume you,” he said.
The chairman assured that government would extend the erection of the embankment to cover vulnerable areas as water level kept rising by the day.
Muhammad called on residents of the area to be vigilant and inform the council if they noticed early signs of flood.
NAN reports that Hadejia was one of places badly hit by flood in 2018 that killed 21 persons and ravaged over 200 communities.
Edited by Muftau Adediran
Forum tasks estate surveyors on urbanisation, slum upgrade
The Chairman, Raden Investment Ltd., Mr Niji Raji, has called on real estate surveyors to be more proactive in influencing measures that would facilitate proper urbanisation of the country.
Raji made the call at the Investiture of the 26th Chairman and Executive Committee Members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Lagos Chapter, in Lagos on Friday.
He said that many cities of the country were rapidly becoming slum zones due to poor attitude to planning and urban renewal.
According to him, the physical conditions of most areas in Lagos State which have been abandoned to swamp can be upgraded to harbour residents through the help of the estate surveyors.
He said that the estate surveyors could influence urban policies and promote strategies that would specifically respond to the urbanisation challenges.
Raji said that estate surveyors could create an advocacy group with strong government political action committee to influence effective urban planning policies.
“I fully appreciate the agenda for the next two years of this branch particularly in the area of strategic partnership.
“We are all aware that in the recent past, we have seen the growth of public private partnerships in real estate development which I believe is a very welcome development.
“However, some of our urban centres are rapidly becoming slums because of lack of proper planning.
“I, therefore, will suggest that this branch creates, if you do not already have one, an advocacy group.
“The mission of the group will be to protect the real estate industry and, of course, your livelihood but more importantly, a strong political action committee with effective lobbying with the state government including proposing legislative reviews in key areas of the industry.
“It is in this area that I believe NIESV, Lagos Branch, should have a standing advocacy group with the Lagos State Government to influence urban policies and promote strategies that specifically respond to the urbanisation challenges of today,” Raji said.
In his keynote address, Mr Bode Adediji, the 19th President of NIESV, identified poverty as the major challenge confronting the Nigerian economy.
Adediji urged the Federal Government to focus on policies aimed at alleviating poverty in the country, saying that insecurity, killings, hatred and other challenges in Nigeria were linked to poverty.
According to him, if citizens can have access to decent houses, good living standards and other basic amenities, the rate of criminal acts will reduce.
He called on Nigerians to refrain from apportioning every blame and responsibilities to government, saying that the government alone could not do everything.
He said that both the government and citizens had responsibilities to play to facilitate economic growth and development of the nation.
Mr Adedotun Bamigbola, the 26th Chairman of NIESV, said that there was the need to establish a regulatory framework in the real estate profession for better performance.
Bamigbola said that the real estate sector of the economy had witnessed uneven growth in the country overtime as a result of limited regulation.
According to him, the challenges of the real estate sector call to question the drive toward specialisation.
“It is, therefore, our plan, as an executive committee, to take up the responsibilities the system has trusted upon us, by promoting and ensuring that NIESV, Lagos State Branch, will take favorable leadership strides in the sector, going forward.
“My vision as the 26th Chairman of the Institution has been captured in the document called ‘The Agenda: The Future Is Now’.
“The agenda is an action plan aimed at leading us to the future in our activities, development and network as the leading branch of NIESV in the real estate space.
“The programmes in the document were conceived and designed to impact both private and public sector players as well as impact on the well-being of our members,” he said.
Flooding: Delta govt. charges communities to clear drainage channels
The Delta government has charged communities in the state to clear water drainage channels and desist from blocking natural waterways to avoid flooding.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba, gave the charge on Friday in Owhelogbo community when he led officials of the ministry on an inspection tour of flood prone areas in Isoko North Local Government Area of the state.
Onogba said that in view of the perennial flooding in the area, there was an urgent need for communities to evacuate drainage channels and natural waterways to curb flooding.
“Building on natural waterways and blocking drainage channels have been a serious problem in some of our communities.
“Flooding arises whenever the river overflows its banks and when natural waterways are blocked, flood takes over.
“People should stop illegal dumping of refuse into drainage channels to mitigate the effects of flooding,” he said.
While condemning the act of dumping of waste inside drainage channels by people, Onogba urged them to cultivate the habit of patronising waste collectors to enhance proper disposal of wastes in government-approved dumpsites across the state.
The commissioner also advised people living in low land to relocate to safer places rather than wait to be displaced by ravaging flood.
Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye and ‘Wale Sadeeq
NGO calls for massive sensitization for people living in flood-prone areas in Kaduna
An Environmental Expert, Mr Yahaya Mohammed, on Friday called on relevant stakeholders to carry out massive awareness campaign to sensitize people living in flood-prone areas to relocate, to avert disaster from eminent flooding.
He noted that while some flooding in parts of the state was natural, the larger incidents were man-made due to blockage of drainages.
He added that the blockage was through indiscriminate refuse disposal, a behaviour that must be curtailed through awareness campaign to reduce flooding in the state, especially in urban areas.
Mohammed particularly frowned at the irrational behaviour of people who build on river banks, water logged areas and water ways, thereby putting their houses at risk of being flooded.
“Building in such areas is dangerous and can cause havoc to the community, affecting not only the person that caused it but the entire neighbourhood, especially vulnerable children.
“Relevant stakeholders must be proactive and embark on massive sensitization of members of the public against building on water ways and those who already built to vacate the area to avoid preventable death and loss of property to flooding,” he said.
On desilting of drainages, Mohammed urged the state government to empower relevant agencies to effectively enforce environmental laws to ensure compliance.
According to him, some of the flood incidents will be averted with full enforcement and compliance to environmental laws.
He commended Christian Aid for installing gauge in some communities in the state to assist in flood mitigation.
Mohammed appealed to the government and other stakeholders to replicate such in other communities in order to save lives and properties.
Okitipupa LG boss re-introduces monthly environmental sanitation day
Mr Abayomi Adesanya, the Caretaker Chairman, Okitipupa Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State has declared a compulsory monthly environmental sanitation day for residents.
Abayomi, in a statement on Friday in Okitipupa, said that the monthly sanitation was to ensure that the environment was clean, healthy and safe against dirt, diseases and flood, which had degraded drainages and roads.
He noted that restriction of human and vehicle movements would be enforced during the sanitation which would hold every last Saturday of the month from 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m.
“In view of the recent flooding that devastated major cities, towns and villages in Okitipupa LGA, which had caused untold hardship to our people, it is now pertinent to observe the monthly sanitation.
“The monthly sanitation is now back and compulsory for all and sundry to cushion the effect of flooding and to make our environment clean of dirt and diseases.
“We implore all houses, churches, mosques, business premises, motor parks and all residents to comply with this new directive to evacuate all drainages and clean their environment,” Adesanya said.
He appealed to traditional institutions, spiritual heads, drivers’ unions, market women, business owners, corporate organisations, school owners, artisans and health practitioners to educate their members on the importance of sanitation.
The chairman warned that offenders who flouted the directives would be arrested and prosecuted according to the environmental laws of the state.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the local government monthly environmental sanitation will be effective on Aug. 31.