Some residents of Abuja have raised alarm over the damage caused by flooding after the first rainfall on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that after the first rainfall in Abuja, some residents of the Federal Housing (FHA) Lugbe, woke up to find their roads and homes flooded with their property floating.
A resident, Miss Chika Okeke, who narrated her ordeal, said that she had been rendered homeless.
“The rain started around 3 a.m. and before I knew, it my whole house was flooded.
“I was still mopping up the water in the bedroom only for me to enter the sitting room and the kitchen to find my property floating on water.
“My property have been destroyed now and I don’t know what to do.
“The rain caught everybody unawares and all the houses in my area were affected,’’ she added.
Also in Lugbe, other residents complained about the poor maintenance of refuse disposal system in the area thereby blocking the drainage resulting to flooding.
They called for proper waste disposal system to tackle the problem when the rainy season fully sets in.
Mrs Chioma Ejekwu, another resident said, “Everywhere you look there is waste because people throw rubbish on the roads and in the drainage.’’
“The rain water then carries the waste into the streets, blocking people’s paths and drainages.
“We have environmental workers who burn the dumping sites every two weeks which is too long because the dustbins would have already too full.’’
Ibrahim Usman, a waste disposal official said that some residents, who do not want to pay the waste disposal agency, usually threw the waste inside drainages.
“Some people still to throw their waste anywhere they feel like and that is the reason we have so much waste on the road after the rains.”
Mr Joshua Ayodele, a civil servant, however called on the government to institute harsher punishment for those who do not dispose their waste properly and provide a better waste disposal system.
“If they don’t burn the waste every day, rains will continue to push it out and people will be stepping on waste as they walk.
“The government needs to provide a proper system for disposing waste in the area the way it is done in the city centre.
“Those who also dispose of waste indiscriminately should be fined or punished to act as a deterrent to others who want to do the same,’’ he added. (NNN)
Edited by Grace Yussuf
Over 100m Nigerians threathened by desertification, deforestation, erosion – Ohakim
A former Governor of Imo, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, says over 100 million or 50 per cent of Nigerian citizens are directly or indirectly threathened by desertification, deforestation and erosion.
Ohakim made this known in a paper he delivered at the 2019 Public Service Lecture and Award Series of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Imo State Branch.
The lecture which held in Owerri had the theme: “Nigeria: The Leadership Question”.
Ohakim said that the annual rate of deforestation in Nigeria stood approximately at four per cent or about 400,000 hectares to 450,000 hectares.
According to him, out of 909.890km2 of the country’s land area, about 600,000km2 or 65.94 per cent of the total land area had been lost to desert encroachment.
“Over 100 million people or 50 per cent of our citizens are directly or indirectly being threatened by desertification, deforestation and gully erosion,” he said.
Ohakim called on Nigerians to cooperate with governments in curbing deforestation by stopping what he called “people’s bizarre behaviour such as refuse madness, indiscriminate cutting of trees, open defeacation, over grazing and others in the midst of climate emmergency”.
“It is an inescapable fact that we have gotten to the point of profound disconnect from our environment and one another.
“We have behaved in a shortsighted way, dealing heavy blows to the environment, and the environment is fighting back,” he said.
The former governor said that leadership transcends politics, adding that Nigerians must take serious acount of leadership at the family, community, church, institutions and organisational levels ‘otherwise those at the helm of affairs would excape scrutiny’.
He described leadership as the ability to inspire change and make a paradigm shift, urging that leadership must promote change, move a people or an organisation to the next level.
According to him, a leader must be a man of courage and convinction if he must change the status quo as well as be visionary to effect the desired change.
Ohakim added that leadership was essentially a selfless enterprise often with a heavy price to pay.
” The urgency of our situation demands a new, clear and different structure through which our people will be organised to face the 21st century challenges,” he said.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Mike Okiro, a former Inspector-General of Police, represented by Amb. Pascal Asor, hailed the alumni association for the programme.
He urged the members of the association to live up to people’s expectation by bringing their wealth of experience to bear on the development of the country.
The Chairman of the state branch of the alumni association, Mr Richmond Amaechi, noted that the lecture was the second edition.
He said that the first held in 2018 with theme “Restructuring and National Development in Nigeria”, was delivered by Chief Jerry Alagbooso, Member representing Orlu, Osu and Oru East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
He said that the association, had through the lecture been contributing its quota to nation-building and sustenance of democracy.
Amaechi said that the assocation would give honour to Nigerians who had distinquished themselves in their chosen professions.
He hoped that the lecture and responses from ir would add value to the nation’s quest for good leadership.
Other recipient are Chief Ikedi Ohakim, who also recieved the Leadership Award of Excellence as Founder of Clean and Green Africa Initiative, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Sen. Theodore Orji, a former Governor of Abia.
The received Alumnus Award of Execellence.
Ohakim, on behalf of the award receipients, thanked the association for finding them worthy of the award, and promised to continue to support it.
Edited by: Ijeoma Popoola
Patronise our national parks during the Yuletide — Conservator-General urges
Dr Ibrahim Goni. the conservator- general, National Park Service has urged Nigerians to patronise the various national parks across the country during the yuutide season.
Goni who made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja, said Nigerians should appreciate and patronise the natural resources and priceless heritage that abound in the country.
According to him, Nigerians travel abroad often and spend money on recreation while in Nigeria, these facilities are being underutilised.
Goni assured Nigerians that in spite the security challenges in the country, adequate security had been put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and tourists intending to visit the national parks during the celebrations.
“I urge Nigerians to rethink their tendency to undertake trips abroad this holiday and turn to any of the National parks to enjoy the ambience of nature that God has blessed Nigeria with.
“Patronising the parks will go a long way in helping to develop them to acceptable global standards and also enhance the revenue drive of the parks while contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We are working to preserve and protect the nation’s natural heritage and the cultural edifices for unborn generations. If we do not patronise them, they would almost certainly go moribund.
“I want to see a situation where we visit our parks for holidays and recreation to enjoy the natural resources that God has endowed the country with.”
He said the service had constructed and renovated more chalets for the promotion of ecotourism and recreation at the various National Parks.
He said it involved the renovation and upgrade of the parks facilities to international standards, strengthening the park rangers and developing job creation initiatives for the local communities.
According to him, we want to have parks that can compete favourably with other parks around the world and do sincerely believe that with the collaboration of all stakeholders, we will achieve that dream.
He said that the Oli Tourist Camp at Kainji Lake National Park in Niger State have 52 standard chalets and boasts of a 24-hour electricity supply, a conference centre, two swimming pools, a restaurant and bar.
“Chad Basin National Park located in the extreme North-East of Nigeria between Borno and Yobe States has 12 chalets well furnished, en-suite facilities for people out for sports, fishing, boat cruising and bird watching at night.
He said The National Parks had been made safe for tourists/visitors and this has enhanced the service revenue generation.
Goni said as at September 2019, the service had recorded a total of 8,892 tourists who visited the parks as against 10,371 in 2018.
The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as at September 2019 was ₦30,690 million compared to ₦60,394 generated in 2018.
NAN also reports that Goni recently bagged a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Wildlife management. ( NAN)
Edited by: Ese E. Ekama
2 NGOs collaborate to clean up Lagos for healthy environment
Mr Alex Akhigbe, the Programme Coordinator, African Clean-up Initiative (ACI) said on Saturday that the organisation’s collaboration with the Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation (ACTF) would improve sanitation in Lagos.
Akhigbe, who led ACI’s network of volunteers to clean-up streets, roads, markets and motor parks in the Mushin area of Lagos on Saturday, said that the exercise was their 24th edition.
Nigeria News Agency in Lagos reports that the participants, clad in ACI’s branded T-shirts and caps, also cleared drainages and educated people on waste recycling to ensure healthy environment.
The programme coordinator, who attributed the success of the exercise to experience from previous exercises, said that logistics support from ACTF gave the clean-up a boost.
“The project is a quarterly one to rid the state of waste and carry out opinion survey on residents on proper waste disposal while educating them on waste recycling.
“Another variant of this campaign is to enlist people on waste-to-wealth resource management to broaden their earnings and per capita income,” Akhigbe said.
According to him, the feedback from the survey forms the baseline report and future plan for the project improvement and presentation to the agencies involved in environmental management for action.
He further said that the large number of volunteers that worked with the organisation was sourced online and from religious bodies inclined to good environment.
“The provisions from ACTF also aided the increase in the number of the volunteers,” Akhigbe said.
The ACTF Head of Public Affairs, Mr Olumide Emeralds, said that the inglorious position of Lagos being among the fifth dirtiest cities in the world was the reason the foundation supported the campaign.
“The ACTF management is not happy with the narrative of Lagos dirty status and every effort to remedy the menace and foster better environment is what the foundation is after.
“ACI earned the foundation’s support through its hard work and sincerity of purpose,” Emeralds said.
Mrs Bisi Ayoola, a resident, said that the provision of waste bins in many areas that did not have them would help in better waste management.
She said, “People tend to liter the roads with waste when they do not see waste bins nearby to dispose of their waste.”
Ayoola, therefore, called on the state environment managers to encourage healthy environment by making waste bins available to people and routinely evacuating them.
(Edited by: Sam Oditah)
Group wants Nigerians to imbibe waste management culture, recycling
The Beach Samaritans Initiative (BSI), an NGO, has urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of waste management and recycling for a cleaner and beautiful environment.
BSI coordinators, Mr Pelu Awofeso and Mrs Adesola Alamutu, gave the advice at the first Beach Conference, Exhibition and Annual Lecture held on Saturday at Freedom Park, Lagos.
The lecture was themed, “Beaches: The Million Naira Revenue Stream Everyone is ignoring.”
According to Alamutu, BSI was inspired in 2014 during a trip to Gberefu Beach in Badagry, Lagos.
“We saw that the beach was very dirty, unsafe and unattractive. Afterward, we set out to involve the Local Government in efforts to clean up the beach.
“After several unsuccessful attempts at persuading the officials to partner with us, we decided we would have to clean the beach ourselves.
“After taking the initiative to Alpha Beach, we decided to form an entity responsible for cleanups in Lagos and Southwest Nigeria, which we named Beach Samaritans Initiative,’” Alamutu said.
Speaking, a re-cyclist and consultant on waste management, Mr Gafar Odubote, said there were a lot of things that could be done with waste to generate huge revenue.
Odubote who said waste had a huge return on investment, however, advised residents to reduce waste generation.
Let’s us all change our mindset on waste and recycling for a cleaner environment,” he said.
The Director of Kids Beach Garden, Miss Doyin Ogunye, urged government to sensitise the people on waste management and importance of recycling.
She said: “We need the environment as much as the environment needs us, therefore, l implore us all to imbibe the culture of waste management and recycling in order to be financially stable.”
According to Mrs Yemisi Adesina, a re-cyclist and a legal practitioner, waste management and recycling are important, but that change starts with information and sensitisation.
Adesina said people should be aware of their environment and take good care of it.
“Nigeria is a peculiar society because of recession, and nobody wants to do anything without financial benefits.
“Government should encourage the citizenry, especially youths to begin to see waste as gold mine.
“They should encourage everyone to pick wastes on the roads, beaches among others and get financial benefits as exchange for it,” said Adesina.
Adesina also stressed on the need for the reintroduction of War Against Indiscipline (WAI).
“Government should bring back WAI, which will enable us all imbibe the culture of a cleaner environment. Also, there must be repercussions for disobedience,” she said.
NAN reports that Beach Samaritans Initiative is an NGO with the goal of encouraging and facilitating the cleaning of beaches in Nigeria.
Edited by: Edwin Nwachukwu/Salif Atojoko
FG pledges to enhance operations of River Basin Development Authorities in 2020
The Federal Government will vigorously pursue the enhancement of the operations of the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) in 2020, Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, told newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.
Adamu said that this was imperative in order to support the issue of food security of the Agricultural Policy of the administration towards ensuring adequate food security in the country.
According to him, we are going to work towards addressing the questions of the River Basin Authorities activities in the country.
“A lot of things are going on towards revitalising the River Basins, including the work we are doing with the National Council on Privatisation.
“We have selected four River Basins now, while we are working to see the best way we can commercialise their activities.
“This is in order to enhance their sustainability, so that they will not continue to be too dependent on government subventions and monthly allocations.
“We want them to improve on their internal revenue generation so that they can sustain most of their operations.
“We are also hoping that we will be able to implement the full management procedures so that the River Basins will be spending less on the maintenance of tertiary irrigation systems.
“This is in order for us to hand over some of its responsibility to the farmers to maintain their farms and also to provide them with modern techniques,‘’ he said.
He also noted that in 2020, the ministry was also going to focus on the completion of the inherited 116 abandoned projects in the sector.
According to him, we will continue in that direction to ensure that more projects are commissioned, and some are due to be commissioned anytime from now.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to do more, I do not foresee us commissioning about 116 projects during this tenure.
“But at least based on the priority we have taken we should be able to implement as many as possible and we will continue to maintain our focus on these projects,‘’ he added.
Adamu also noted that the ministry would in 2020 pursue the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” Campaign and implementation of the Executive Order No. 009 by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025.
“This Order mandates the ministry to coordinate all activities towards ensuring an open defecation-free Nigeria by 2025 through the National Clean Nigeria Secretariat, and directs all MDAs to join the Campaign.
“The Order also calls for legislation against open defecation by both Federal and State Legislatures, ‘’ he said.
Adamu also said the ministry would also pursue the implementation of Water, sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Plan and the Partnership for Expanded Water, Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme in 2020.
He added that this would be with particular emphasis on sanitation and hygiene at the Federal level, providing the impetus for the states to also do the needful.
Edited by: Donald Ugwu
Soldiers clean up Ojuelegba axis of Lagos to enhance civilian/military relations
The Army on Saturday deployed no fewer than 300 personnel to the Ojuelegba axis of Lagos for a clean-up to mark the 2019 Corps Commander Ordinance Annual Conference.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Commander, Nigerian Army Ordinance Corps, Maj.-Gen. Omotomilola Akintade, led the soldiers on the exercise.
The soldiers were seen clearing refuse dumps and drains, blocked with plastic cotainers, cellophane bags and other waste materials.
Akintade described the exercise as part of the activities lined up to commemorate the 2019 corps commander ordinance annual conference.
He expressed the hope that the exercise would further boost army/civilian relations nationwide.
“This exercise is part of our corporate social responsibility to help clean the environment and make it better.
“We have no fewer than 300 personnel, both officers and men, for this exercise and we will ensure that we clean up the nooks and crannies of Ojuelegba.
“The clean-up will not stop at Ojuelegba. It will extend to other areas of Surulere Local Government Area as a whole,” Akintade said.
He advised the residents to maintain a clean environment and to support the waste management agencies to effectively keep Lagos metropolis clean.
Traders, food vendors and other residents, who came out for the exercise, expressed gratitude to the army for its intervention.
(Edited by: Ejike Obeta/Sam Oditah)
Waste management chief urges proper waste disposal to prevent outbreak of epidemic
Mr Amechi Akora, Managing Director, Anambra State Waste Management Agency (ASWAMA), on Saturday called on residents of the state to responsibly dispose their waste to avoid outbreak of epidemic.
He said indiscriminate dumping of refuse by residents and poor attitude to waste management which exposed residents to outbreak of epidemic should be discouraged.
Akora called on residents to avoid burning of waste both at homes and at refuse collection points to avoid preventable disasters.
He urged petty traders who fried bean-cake or roast corn and suya to ensure that their fire was properly extinguished before disposing of the charcoal inside dumpsters and waste bins especially during the harmattan.
Akora said that some waste materials were combustible and could cause explosion and threaten lives and property in an area especially at the festive period.
“Emission from burning waste materials do not only cause climate change but also health challenges, occupational and social hazards,” he said.
Akora said that the agency had earmarked waste collection and disposal points across the state to ensure clean and healthy environment for all residents.
He also advised the people to ensure that they cleaned up their homes to enhance clean environment.
“Desilt drains around your homes and business premises in the other to create beautiful environment and a healthy environments for all to enjoy good health,” he said
He said enforcement of ASWAMA law 2015 had commenced in the state and appealed to people evading payment to do their civic duties of paying sanitation levies for the development of the state.
“We have intensified efforts on collection of sanitation levies to reduce visibility of waste in public domain and have implemented Clean Closer Initiative which was focused on non-disposal of refuse in public places.’’
Akora said there was need for the agency to sensitise people to exhibit rights attitude to waste disposal due to the benefits.
He added that churches, faith based organisations, schools, markets and communities would be engaged to achieve advocacy on sanitation.
He said that the state government had concluded plans to engage more hands through public-private sector partnership to scale up sanitation process across the State.
Edited by: Donald Ugwu
LASEMA begins demolition of distress buildings in Lagos
The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, has said the agency had started demolition of distressed buildings in Lagos Island with three-storey building located at Bamigbose street.
Oke-Osanyintolu made this known in an interview with Nigeria News Agency during the demolition in Lagos on Saturday.
According to him, the three-storey building located at 54 Bamgbose Street is in a state of distress with visible crackings on different parts of the house.
Oke-Osanyintolu said that another distressed building on the same street was also brought down to ground zero on Dec. 11.
He said that the owners had already removed the roof of the second building located at 52 Bamgbose Street to persuade tenants to vacate the property.
Oke-Sanyintoult said that before the agency carried out the demolition, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), the Material Testing Agency and Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning had made their recommendations to the government.
”The Ministry’s recommendations are necessary to carry out stress tests to ascertain the integrity of the building.
”After thorough investigations, the ministry agreed that the houses should be taken to ground zero.
”Consequently, the residents of the building were advised to vacate the premises within five days for their safety,” he said.
Oke- Osanyintolu said that the demolition of the building at 54 Bamgbose Street reached Ground zero between 11:30 p.m on Friday and 3:44 a.m on Saturday.
He said that the Agency was committed to safety of lives and property of residents in the state and the State government had resolved to redevelop Lagos Island.
According to him, there are many buildings that are over 100 years old across the state.
The LASEMA Boss said the demolition was in line with the state government determination to protect the lives and property of Lagos residents.
Edited by: Chidinma Agu/Felix Ajide
A picture of building at 54 Bamgbose before Demolition
FG’ll continue to support global efforts to address climate change – Minister
Minister of Environment Dr Mahmood Abubakar said on Friday in Abuja that Nigeria would continue to play significant role in global efforts at addressing climate change.
Abubakar made this known in a statement issued by Mr Saghir el Mohammed, the Director Press in the ministry.
According to the minister said this while addressing a Ministerial High-Level Segment at the climate change conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain.
He said it had become obvious that the challenges of climate change were enormous even though Nigeria was already engaged in sustainable joint and collaborative efforts toward tackling the problems.
He quoted the minister as saying that Nigeria was facing social, economic, and environmental consequences of climate change due to its dependence on climate-sensitive resources.
“Climate change impacts are already threatening the survival and livelihoods of our people.
“The devastating loss of range and croplands to desertification each year in the northern part of Nigeria, loss of forest cover, and sea-level rise in the coastline are stark reminders of our vulnerability to climate change,” he said.
The minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari had put in place advanced policies and initiatives aimed at mitigating significant challenges occasioned by climate change.
According to him, some of the initiatives are, reviving the Lake Chad, increasing forest cover, deploying smart renewable energy solutions, as well as halting and reversing desertification.
Others include land degradation, flooding, ocean surge, gender mainstreaming and the engagement of youths in climate governance.
“Nigeria has embraced issuances of Green Bond to raise finance for the implementation of a green project, which has helped the government to fundamentally reorient its financial flows within the economy through the federal budget and capital market.
“It is hoped that the issuance of the third Sovereign Green Bond recently launched will triple Nigeria’s Green House Gas (GHG) emission reductions, stimulate more economic growth, and catalyse investment in social programmes,” the minister said.
Abubakar reiterated the unwavering commitment of Nigeria to fulfilling its obligation under the Paris Agreement and actualisation of goals of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
On expectations of Nigeria from the conference, he said that Nigeria had fully aligned itself with the call by the African Group of Climate Change Negotiators (AGN), an alliance of African member states.
The AGN represents the region in the international climate change negotiations with a common and unified voice.
The group often faces significant barriers to effective participation in climate change negotiations, which in part is due to a lack of strategic and technical assistance on complex negotiating issues tailored to the interests and priorities of Africa.
As a result, the ability of African countries to constructively contribute and influence the UNFCCC process is hindered.
The group, according to Abubakar, plans to take advantage of COP-25 currently ongoing in Madrid to expeditiously and as a matter of priority, conclude negotiations on the special needs and circumstances of Africa.
He stated that Nigeria expects to see the conclusion of the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage as well as the agreement on Article 6 on market mechanism.
He added that Nigeria would expect full implementation of a long-term climate agenda, mobilisation of 100 billion dollars by 2020, and refining of the technical aspects of the transparency framework.
The minister also said that it was Nigeria’s expectation to see capacity building, adaptation and decision on Gender Action Plans, as well as the adoption of quick resolutions, amongst other things, at the end of the conference.
“Nigeria also wishes that all outstanding issues pertaining to the Paris Agreement Rulebook carried over from COP24 would be operationalised and strengthened to ensure a sustainable future for our people and planet.”
Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim
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