Some climate reality leaders, teachers, religious leaders and other stakeholders in the environment sector on Thursday, held a 24-hour reality education programme to address climate change issues.
They held the programme at the Army of God Church, Lugbe, Abuja, to join 1,600 action presentations against climate change across the world.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action is a global day of climate presentations led by climate reality leaders.
It is a day set aside by the Climate Reality Project, led by former Vice President Albert Gore of the United States.
Mrs Rose Agbo, who described herself as climate reality leader, said the climate reality project aimed at training leaders to convey message on the need to protect the planet.
Agbo said this year, climate reality leaders globally would be amplifying the global conversation and making it clear about the need to take urgent action at every level of society.
“Today is very unique day. This programme is happening globally and it is 24 hour programme of reality where trained climate reality leaders would be having contact with communities, schools and stakeholders to discuss and find ways to solve climate crises.
“Today, I particularly strategise to speak with missionaries, religious leaders and teachers because they are front liners.
“They are always found in the school and education environment. So, they will be able to relate with students, teachers that can influence others and do more of advocacy,” she said.
Climate reality leader also listed trees felling, bush burning, indiscriminate dumping of wastes and burning of fossils fuel as factors that caused climate change.
The West Africa Coordinator of Climate Reality Project, Mr David Michael, called on Nigerians to quickly take action against climate change.
According to Michael, every individual on earth must wake up and join hands with others to ensure that we take action against climate change.
“We need to speak truth to people in power and politicians to understand the urgency of climate crises.
“It is as if they don’t understand how serious the issues are but practically in Nigeria we are feeling the effect of climate change,” he said.
Pastor Shigaba Barnabas of Army of God Church, Lugbe, Abuja, said that a 24-hour reality education programme had improved his environmental knowledge.
“I benefited so much from the programme. I am going to be an advocate by impacting this knowledge to others in the church,” Barnabas said.
Mrs Mercy Nwanozie, a teacher, said with the education programme, he would be able to educate students on how to properly dispose refuse and tell them on the importance of trees in the environment.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Stakeholders want urgent FG intervention in aviation industry
They made the call in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abuja.
According to them, aviation sector accommodated many businesses and employed thousands of workers, whose jobs were being threatened by the pandemic.
They said that interventions by the Federal Government would go a long way to help many airlines to get back to their feet.
Mr Abayomi Agoro, President of the Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers`
Association (NATCA), said that the sector needed urgent bailout to recover from the effects of COVID-19.
“Aviation is one of the sectors affected most in Nigeria and globally.
“In airports , you have fuel marketers, caterers, ground handling companies, security personnel, restaurants, small shops, lounges and others.
“They have stopped because there are no flights.
“We should prepare for post COVID-19 recovery and stabilisation of the entire system,” he said.
The Max Air Executive Director, Mr Harish Manwani, said that intervention by the Federal Government would cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, in many countries, loans and relief packages have been offered to airlines to be able to sustain their operations and maintain their aircraft as safety should not be compromised.
“I believe that the Federal Government is working very hard to come up with a relief package for airline operators to assist the sector to come back to its feet.
“There are various things going on in the ministry, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and other bodies of government to ensure a decontaminated environment at all airports and on all aircraft in Nigeria.
“I have a strong belief that the aviation sector will come back soon, but we should have all the safety requirements in place,” he said.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
Democracy Day: Stakeholders urge Plateau Govt. to improve health facilities
Stakeholders in the health sector in Plateau have asked the State Government to improve the state of health facilities and manpower, as the nation celebrates Democracy Day.
The stakeholders, in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Jos, decried the condition of facilities in the state’s healthcare sector, saying they were mostly obsolete and non-functional, causing hardships for patients and healthcare personnel.
A civil servant, who pleaded anonymity, said he brought his father who had partial stroke to a hospital in Jos and struggled for one month to get mobile oxygen and access to other diagnostic equipment.
“For almost a month now, we have been asking for mobile oxygen for our patient and it has not been provided for. Equipment such as citi scan has not been operational for a while now,” he said.
Also, the Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Plateau, Dr Titus Dajel, expressed concern over the condition of some health facilities in the country, saying it was in dire need of improvement.
Dajel urged the government to implement the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of allocating 15 per cent of a country’s budget to the health sector in order to equip public health facilities to handle diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19.
“Although WHO recommends one doctor per 600 persons in Nigeria, “we have one doctor to between 10,000 and 22,000 persons,” he said.
In his reaction, the Plateau Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, said the case of inadequate number of manpower in the health sector had been presented to Gov. Simon Lalong, and that a pronouncement on the issue would soon be made.
He said the State Government was working toward getting MRI machines and Citi scans for the state, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP), but that the arrangements had not been finalised.
Also commenting on the state of the health sector, Dr Kenneth Ozoilo, President, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) said with the situation of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it was apt to rebuild the health sector.
“Medical personnel experience shortage of work materials and shortcomings in working environment,” Ozoilo said.
He said the pandemic called for a revisit of the review on their remuneration and the implementation of the hazard allowance for successful combat of the disease and to prevent brain drain.
He said medical personnel were also in danger as there was inadequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which was exposing them to more risks of being infected.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)
APC crisis: Stakeholders seek Buhari, Tinubu’s intervention
Some chieftains of APC have called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the party National leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to intervene and resolve the crisis rocking the party in some parts of the country.
The group, consists of 13-APC stakeholders, led by Mr Shaliu Mustapha, gave the advice in a statement in Abuja, on Thursday.
Mustapha described members of the group as leaders of legacy parties that merged to form APC.
He urged the President and Tinubu to ensure inclusiveness in the party, anchored on decency and respect for party members and the rule of law.
“We expect a politics devoid of imposition, dictatorial tendencies, and disregard of alternative views.
“It is time for Asiwaju Tinubu to demonstrate his democratic leadership.
“It is time he gives life to the institutionalisation that the APC stands for,” Mustapha said.
According to him, 2023 in APC must be about strengthening internal democratic rules.
“It must be about ensuring that all APC leaders respect internal rules as provided in the constitution, and it must be about fairness and justice for all members,” he said.
Mustapha also lauded the political energies pulled together by the President and Tinubu to form the APC.
“The two leaders– President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu– had at some point been victims of political injustices, and reckless abuse of power, at different levels.
“Asiwaju, for instance, was a victim of military authoritarianism.
“Lest we forget, under the military rule, Asiwaju was forced out of the country, because it was a matter of life and death,” Mustapha recalled.
The group leader added that Tinubu, as then Governor of Lagos State, was also “at the receiving end of civilian despotism under former President Olusegun Obasanjo-led PDP Government.
“As a sitting governor, the allocation of Lagos State, when he was in his second term as governor (2003-2007), was withheld by the central government in flagrant disobedience to a Supreme Court judgment,” he noted.
According to Mustapha, all well-meaning democrats resisted such executive atrocity and brazen acts of impunity to the last man.
“As for our dear President, three times he contested for President.
“Nevertheless, he stood firm for fairness, equity and justice, the key pillars that further underlined the formation of the APC.
“And once the APC was formed, President Buhari submitted himself to internal democratic processes, without attempting to manipulate the process of candidate selection.
“His respect for internal processes without manipulation made it possible for the historic APC Convention of Dec.10, 2014.
“This was acknowledged by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, one of the Presidential aspirants (then), defeated by President Buhari, as the most credible and transparent election to be conducted by any political party in Nigeria’s history.
“Since 2015, President Buhari has so far concentrated his energies, and rightly so, on building an enduring framework for good governance and the turning around of the national economy,” he said.
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Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
CBN boosts 70, 000 maize farmers under its Anchor Borrowers Programme
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said on Thursday that it would support 70,000 maize farmers under its Anchor Borrowers Programme, during the 2020 wet farming season.
Mr Nuhu Muazu, Head Development Finance Office, CBN, disclosed this in Bwari, Abuja, at the launching of farm inputs distribution to maize farmers for the 2020 wet season.
Muazu said that the programme was designed to boost food production and guarantee food security in the country.
While urging the farmers to make judicious use of the support to be received in form of cash, loans, farm inputs and technical support, Muazu reminded them that the loans would be repaid.
According to him, the Federal Government through the CBN introduced the Anchor Borrowers Programme to assist Nigerian farmers so that the nation can feed and have excess that can be exported to earn foreign exchange.
“For years, we have been using our hard earned foreign exchange to import food that we can produce, by doing so, we are importing unemployment.
“We are also empowering farmers in other countries at the expense of the farmers in Nigeria.
“Hence, the Federal Government said no, we have to feed ourselves, but we have to support our farmers with the necessary finances that will assist them to produce,’’Muazu said.
He further said that the CBN decided to collaborate with Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN) because it is a reputable association.
According to him, CBN will grant loans to farmers, use the inputs, harvest and pay back to give other people the opportunity to access the loans.
In his remarks, the National President of MAGPAMAN, Dr Edwin Uche, said that each of the 70,000 maize farmers would receive N182,000 per hectare.
According to him, this N182,000 has a composition of input and cash, technical support, extension support, land preparation and a lot of exposure embedded in it.
“It is an encapsulation of a lot of things at a time, so the farmer has an opportunity of a whole new experience,’’Uche said.
He emphasised that the association was passionate about the empowerment of the farmers, to enable them operate in accordance with international best practices.
“This is essential to enable them repay their loans and make profit, so that they can come out of poverty and empower the family and build the local economy.
“As an association, we put up performance indicator, but as a farmer, you must grow from strength to strength.
“We want to see people move from stage to stage and that is the whole essence of the Anchor Borrower Programme.
“Considering the quality of seed we are giving the farmers, we are expecting a minimum of five tonnes per hectare and when a farmer is repaying a loan with about two tonnes per hectare, he has three tonnes to play around with,’’Uche said.
Dr Victor Inyama, National President, Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN), commended CBN for the programme designed to boost food production.
Represented by Dr Bello Dogondaji, National Secretary of FACAN, Inyama urged farmers to leverage on the support for agricultural development in the country.
While urging them to maximise the use of the inputs, he cautioned them of the consequences of selling the inputs.
Representative of Eco Bank, Nkiru Ugwu, assured the farmers of the bank’s commitment to collaborate with them in actualising their goals.
One of the beneficiaries, Malam Shehu Aliyu, expressed delight over the support programme and said that it would boost agricultural development in the country.
“The programme will make things easy for farmers and will go a long way in improving food production,’’Aliyu said.
Some items distributed to the farmers include maize seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and sprayers.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Obike Ukoh (NAN)