Environment

Lagos govt shuts Oyingbo Market over environmental infractions

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The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has put business activities on hold at the popular Oyingbo Market over sundry environmental infractions.

The Managing Director of LAWMA, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said in a statement on Thursday that the infractions included indiscriminate refuse dumping and refusal to patronise Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators.

Others were roadside trading and poor hygienic practices resulting in serious environmental problems in the area.

Gbadegesin said that an abatement notice and several warnings issued to the traders yielded no result, thus necessitating the closure.

He said that the market would be reopened when traders began to comply with government’s rules and regulations by shunning indiscriminate refuse disposal and patronising assigned PSP operators.

The LAWMA boss appealed to other markets in the state to imbibe the culture of effective waste disposal as markets whose activities were found detrimental to the health and environmental well being of the populace would be shut down until further notice.

According to him, efforts of the state government to enthrone sustainable environment are being undermined by some individuals who will rather dump refuse on unauthorised locations, hence the need for total enforcement.

He warned that the grace period for environmental defaulters in the state had expired, as there would be total enforcement against all forms of illegal and reckless waste disposal capable of degrading the environment and posing health hazards to residents.

”The act of indiscriminate refuse disposal in the city poses grave danger to public health and economic growth.

”Before now, we adopted moral suasion as a tool to persuade residents to shun indiscriminate dumping.

”In spite of our efforts, some people have bluntly refused to turn a new leaf. Now we have commenced total enforcement to put defaulters in check,” Gbadegesin said.

The LAWMA boss noted that the Enforcement Unit of the agency had been mandated to work round the clock to clamp down on all environmental infractions capable of derailing efforts of the authority toward environmental sustainability in the state.

”Section 115 (4) and 116 part IV, Environmental Sanitation Nuisances and Litters, as well as Section 81, Part III, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) of Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017 prohibits dumping of waste at undesignated places, which attracts specified sanctions,” he said.

Gbadegesin said that the agency recently published a public notice in major national dailies, stating various environmental offences and appropriate sanctions to defaulters.

”The state’s laws are quite clear on the prohibition of illegal refuse disposal. It shows zero tolerance for environmental infractions and violators would be duly sanctioned to serve as deterrent to other residents,” he said.

Gbadegesin called on residents to support efforts of the state government to establish a cleaner and healthier environment in Lagos by ensuring they bagged and containerised their wastes appropriately, as well as patronising assigned PSP operators.

He said that LAWMA would continue the distribution of waste disposal bags under its Blue Box Initiative, for residents to sort their waste and dispose appropriately.

The LAWMA boss said that residents should promptly contact the authority using the toll-free line , for complaints and relevant information.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

Environment

31 sentenced to 6 months imprisonment each for violating Oyo environmental law

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An Ibadan Magistrates’ Court, on Wednesday, sentenced 31 persons to six months imprisonment each for violating the Oyo State environmental law.

A statement issued in Ibadan by the state Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Kehinde Ayoola, said that the violators were, however, given options of N12,500 bail each by the Magistrate, Mrs Patricia Adetuyibi.

He said that 21 of the offenders fulfilled their bail conditions, while 10 others, who failed to meet the conditions, were slammed with community services.

Ayoola said that the environmental law violators were arrested during the monitoring of the environmental sanitation exercise by government officials, led by Gov. Seyi Makinde, at Ojoo interchange.

Ayoola said that the violators were arrested by officers of the ministry at different locations for indiscriminate dumping of refuse at unauthorised places within Ibadan metropolis.

Thereafter, they were arraigned before a Magistrate, Mrs Patricia Adetuyibi, for contravening the Environmental Law of Oyo State.

The magistrate ruled that the offenders be imprisoned for six months or pay a fine of N12,500 each.

Twenty-one of the offenders fulfilled their bail terms, while 10 others, who failed to meet the terms, were slammed with community services,’’ the commissioner said.

He said that the arraignment was a further proof of government’s determination to reduce the menace of unlawful disposal of refuse to its barest minimum.

When we said we would fight this menace to a stop and put saboteurs to a halt, we meant business.

This is why the state government, under the leadership of Gov. Seyi Makinde deployed its whole apparatus to enforce the law on environmental sanitation in the state.

The governor is so passionate about the cleanliness of the environment; this is why our officers will not hesitate to clampdown on all violators of environmental laws,” he said.

The commissioner urged members of the public to desist from unlawful disposal of refuse, as government had deployed its officers in strategic places to apprehend offenders.

In a related development, a middle-aged man, identified as Mutiu Odeniran, who was caught offloading his van full of refuse by the roadside, was fined N42,500 for violating the environmental laws of the state.

Odeniran, who was apprehended at the Molete axis of the state capital by the Environmental Health Officers on Wednesday last week, was arraigned before Magistrate Adetuyibi.

Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and
(NAN)
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Environment

Over 279 erosion sites in Abia receiving attention – NEWMAP

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Izuchukwu Onwughara, the Abia Coordinator, Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), said on Wednesday that over 279 erosion sites in the state were currently receiving attention.

Onwughara made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Aba. He spoke against the backdrop of a litany of complaints by erosion-ravaged communities that the agency received reports of their plight but declined to act.

He said that contrary to the complaints, the agency was always at work but had to follow operational procedures.

He explained that the process of initiating projects, which determined where priorities were placed, gave the wrong impression that NEWMAP was doing nothing regarding people’s complaints.

Onwughara said: “The process through which we operate determines how fast we react or respond.

“Before these reports you mentioned, from Ogbor Hill in Aba to Ebem Ohafia to Isuikwuato and so on, as a government agency, we have done a detailed study to map out those sites in Abia for intervention.

“To be very conservative, there are about 279 identified sites and we’ve seen those sites and a good number of them has received attention up to certain levels but what the people did not know is that such works are ongoing.

“They judge us to be intervening only when they see equipment coming to sites.

“Isuikwuato, Ogudu-Asa, Uturu and those ones on the road between Akara and the Abia State University, Uturu, the design we’ve made has been approved by the World Bank.

“Any moment from now, we shall be placing adverts to engage contractors that will execute the work. So, people may not know but we are busy,’’ he said.

Onwughara said that erosion sites at Ogudu Asaa, Igbere, Ebem Ohafia, Uduma Awoke, Elu Ohafia, and the one between Abiriba and Ohafia, were receiving attention under what he called the “Ohafia complex”.

According to him, the agency gets reports, verifies and then present them to the governor who chooses 10 sites needing urgent attention each year and then instructs the agency to act.

“It is after the governor had made choices that the agency engages experts and work on the site begins.

“The preparation of detailed designs that meet world standard and the transparent process of engaging contractors result in delays we would have loved to avoid.

“So, when we are aware and prioritise, we do our work gradually. We are not a sudden intervention agency.

“We do not run to site the moment any community cries. When communities don’t see us, it doesn’t mean we’re idle,’’ Onwughara said.

He said that the agency was receiving funding from the World Bank and not the Ecological Fund.

NEWMAP is a World Bank-assisted initiative, collaborating with the Federal Government to address gully erosion in the South-East and land degradation in the North.

(Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Sam Oditah)
(NAN)
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Environment

Traditional rulers pledge support for Niger urban policy

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Traditional rulers under Bida, Lapai and Agaie emirates of Niger, on Wednesday pledged to support the formulation of the state government urban development policy.

Alhaji Abubakar Yahaya, Etsu Nupe and Chairman of Niger state Traditional Council, gave the pledged in Bida during a town hall meeting to sensitise communities for preparation of the state urban policy in eight local government areas.

Yahaya, who was represented by Alhaji Abubakar Alkali, Mayaki Nupe, said that the emirate would give the necessary support needed for the programme to succeed.

Urban development is all about all of us, and it involves everyone and everybody’s participation, we will give the programme the opportunity to succeed,” he said.

In his address, Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger, said that the policy would enable the state and local governments to shift from over reliance on federal allocation to harness their economic potentials.

Bello, who was represented by Alhaji Baba Wachiko, Permanent Secretary, Economic Affairs, called for effective synergy between the two tiers of government and residents for the success of the programme.

This is to enable Nigerlites to demonstrate ownership and contribute resources to pay their equitable share of the cost of service provision and to install in them proprietary pride in their communities,” he said.

In his remarks, Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme, explained that the effort was to enable government harness its natural resources to become self-reliant.

Niger State has the large landmass of over 76,000 square kilometers with natural resources that are yet to be tapped especially in agriculture sector that if harnessed will make the state self- efficient,” Zubairu said

He noted that the policy would translate to reduced poverty among rural communities, create jobs for the youth and improve the state and local government internally generated revenue.

Nigeria News Agency reports that UN Habibat is assisting the state to develop a policy that will guide urbanisation process and address future challenges of town planning with 900,000 dollars grant from South Korean government.

Edited by: Razak Owolabi/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)
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Minister urges advanced countries to fulfill climate funding promise to Africa

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Dr Abubakar Mahmood, the Minister of Environment, has urged advanced countries to fulfill their commitment to climate funding to African countries.

A statement signed by Mr Saghir el-Mohammed, the Ministry;’s Director of Press, indicated that the minister made the call at the ongoing COP 25 in Madrid, Spain being  organised by Islamic Development  Bank on Climate Finance.

He observed that developed countries were the major pollutants of the climate, urging them to fulfill their promises of providing more climate funds to developing nations.

I share the sentiments of other African countries of not getting enough climate funds,” he said.

Mahmood expressed optimism that Nigerian delegates to COP 25 would negotiate to get as much climate funds as possible.

He said at the same time Nigeria would be innovative to generate its own green funds.

We will do whatever it takes in our own capacity to see that we acquire as much as we can while at the same time be as innovative as we can to generate our own green fund internally,” Mahmood said.

He added that climate financing required cooperation of many countries for global survival.

We will aim as high as we can. This is something many countries are aiming at; it is a global cooperation for survival because we belong to one planet.

Whatever happens in Nigeria can affect America and vice-versa.

The minister urged nations across the globe to give adequate attention to issue of climate change due to its threat to the peace and development of the world.

Every single nation, either near the ocean or in the desert needs to do something about climate adaptation, mitigation, resilient and nationally determine contributions in addressing climate change.

There are common denominators in the climate change issue that every country across the globe must do something about, and Nigeria is not an exception.

We have been very active in climate adaption and we will continue to progress in this regard to contribute to global efforts at ameliorating climate change threats.

He stated that the federal government had not relented in its effort toward Nigeria’s Nationally Determine Contributions (NDC) to tackle climate change as a lot had been done.

Edited by: Shittu Obassa/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)
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NDDC to resettle Niger Delta flood victims -Project Director

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The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says it will do everything possible to resettle the over two million persons displaced by flood in the Niger Delta region.

Dr Cairo Ojougboh, the commission’s Executive Director of Project gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, 280 communities in the region were completely submerged by flood, adding that the communities had nothing going on for now.

He listed the most affected states in the region to include Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Abia, saying that areas below sea level in the states were mostly affected.

Ojougboh stressed that the NDDC could no longer sit and watch while the affected persons went through pains.

He added that the commission was working to address the issue by doing everything humanly possible to ensure that persons in the affected communities were resettled and sent back to their homes.

You know that the rains had just stopped and the flood is receding, most of the indigenes of Niger Delta are now in Internally Displaced Persons camps (IDP) and will have to go back home.

When they get home, they will find their homes occupied by dangerous insects and reptiles, including snakes, and their properties would have been damaged.

So we have to find a way of resettling them, these are the things the commission is looking at now.

We are not going to stop there, we most project into the future and find out how we can stop this catastrophe from happening every year, because every year, it is the same story and these are the issues in the Niger Delta.

Ojougboh said the commission had started interfacing with the Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure that things were done according to statuesque, adding that the commission was now more focused to deliver on its mandate.

Speaking on development in the commission, Ojougboh said it was currently going through reformation to ensure more participation between it and the ministry.

He added that the commission had stabilised and functioning properly with a defined focus on delivering on its mandate.

He further added that each department of the commission was now well repositioned for greater delivery of service to the Niger Delta people.

He said most of the issues confronting the commission were being resolved, adding that it was now stable.

Ojougboh further added that the commission was presently looking at how it would honour past obligations and to identify genuine obligations.

This, he said, was what the commission was presently working on, and how it could ameliorate the hardship of the people of Niger Delta region.

According to him, the function of the commission and the Ministry of Works and Housing are intertwined, adding that it will work with the ministry to deliver its mandate.

He, however, noted that one of the commission’s challenges was conflict between tiers of government with regards to contract award for road construction in parts of the country.

You go to some states, you find out that contract that had been awarded by the NDDC is also awarded by the state and Local Government.

And you go to some places, you find out that the NDDC is on a road, and the Ministry of Works and Housing is also on the same road.

We need to know where everybody is, so we don’t pay contractors twice for jobs that had been done. These are the areas where the ministry and the commission must cooperate and collaborate,” he said.

He explained that such circumstances could be caused by genuine mistakes, saying that the way forward was to know who was where and know what was ongoing.

Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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