NGOs urge Senate to pass Draft National Tobacco Control Regulations



Some anti-tobacco organiations on Tuesday urged the Senate to expedite action on the passage of the Draft National Tobacco Control Regulations recently approved by the House of Representatives.

According to Oluwafemi, some of the provisions approved by the House of Representatives stipulates that all forms of tobacco products shall carry health warnings.

“They shall have stronger and better defined prohibited packaging. There shall be Principal Display Areas for all forms of tobacco products.

“Also 50 per cent Graphic Health Warning (GHW) on all tobacco products; to be automatically increased to 80 per cent after four years.

“There shall be comprehensive annual reporting system from Tobacco Industry to Federal Ministry of Health,” Oluwafemi said.

Oluwafemi said that the provisions also stipulated that there shall be increased smoke-free areas.

“It also included more enforcement officers with community level presence and annual licensing per variant for manufacturers and importers, and annual license for distributors.

“And there shall be stronger penalties for defaulters,” Oluwafemi said.

Also, the Programme Coordinator of NTCA, Mr Oluwaseun Esan, urged the Senate not to water the regulations down.

“Nigerians do not want weak regulation that detracts from the crucial recommendations of the World Health Organisation – Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) which Nigeria is signatory to.

“We demand that the Senate concurs the draft regulations approved by the House of Representatives and approve it as a lasting health legacy of the Eighth National Assembly,” Esan said.

According to him, there are no better words that capture the moment as what the Minister of State for Health, Prof. Osagie Ehanire said at the recent interactive session on the regulations at the House of Representatives.

Quoting Ehanire, “it is clearly better and cheaper to prevent tobacco-linked diseases than to cure them,” Esan said.

He said that if the Senate approved the regulations before its tenure elapses on June 6, it would serve as a lasting public health legacy.

“This is what Nigerians want, this is what Nigerians deserve.

“At this crucial stage, we will monitor every step in the regulation process to ensure that what was approved on the floor of the House is what is reflected in the final outcome,” Esan said.


Institute concludes environmental impact survey of Lagos, makes recommendations



Institute concludes environmental impact survey of Lagos, makes recommendations

The Environmental Impact Survey team from the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) assigned to Lagos State on Saturday concluded its assignment and issued recommendations to mitigate crisis.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the 10-day survey took the IPCR team to the countrysides of the state to find out those environment impact-induced things that could lead to crisis.

NAN reports that the assignment which had security undertone, bordered food security, social welfare and solution to ecological problems, in order to nip crises in the bud.

The team led by Mr Emeka Mba, an Assistant Director with IPCR, recommended that there should be collaboration with traditional institutions to create sustainable peace-building system to mediate in conflict situations in communities.

“There should be a scale up in the role of NGOs and civil societies in peace-building and reconciliation.

“There is need for government to begin conservation activities in communities prone to environmental degradation to stop the mass movement of inhabitants from their area to other areas because of environmental emergencies.

“Climate change awareness campaign should be intensified to create community resilience at combating climate change effects.

“Federal Government needs to provide support in restoration of livelihood, capacity building, empowerment, waste management, vaccination and primary healthcare services in disaster areas to stem frustration and anguish,” he said.

According to Mbah, the team co-opted locals into the work to ensure the survey meets required desire.

He said the implementation of the recommendations will aid Federal and State Governments in nipping crisis in the bud.

Edited & Vetted By: Adeleye Ajayi



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Waste managers pledge to upgrade disposal trucks for better service



Waste managers pledge to upgrade disposal trucks for better service

The Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAMN) has pledged its commitment toward replacing its  rickety waste disposal trucks with stronger one in order to upgrade the standard of waste management in Lagos State and the country at large.

The National President of AWAMN, Mr David Oriyomi made this known during a Gala and Award Night, organised by the association  in Lagos.

The Gala and Award night has the theme: ”Unlocking the Potential in Waste Management through Circular Economy”.

Oriyomi said that the association was already discussing with some banks to assist in equipment financing, toward replacing the trucks.

“The most important thing for me is the growth of the business.

“You can tie that to a clean environment.

“The business cannot grow without the cleanliness of the environment.

“My desire is to make sure that we have a clean environment, and that the business grows, to ensure the peace and professional growth of members,” he said.

The president said that the association was geared toward innovating and moving from refuse collection, transportation, and disposal, to waste recycling.

He said that to fulfill its manifesto, the executive committee of the association would work hard to ensure that waste collectors “are properly kitted, and the trucks branded”.

“The issues of rickety trucks and ill-looking workers will soon be things of the past.

“Within this short time that we have been in office – three months – we have begun discussing with some banks to assist us in equipment financing so we can replace those rickety trucks with stronger ones.

“I am happy that they are responding, and things are going on well,” Oriyomi said.

He expressed appreciation to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu for promising to work with banks to assist operators in procuring trucks.

The Publicity Secretary of AWAMN, Mr Adebola Olugbenga stated that political will is key to a sustainable partnership for effective and efficient integrated waste management system in low- and middle-income countries.

Olugbenga said that the PSP system adopted by Lagos State and which had become a model for other states within Nigeria and in some parts of Africa, should be sustained and improved upon.

Among those given awards for their contributions to waste management are the former Governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the state’s Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, and the former Managing Director of the Lagos State Waste Management Agency, Dr Ola Oresanya.

Others are the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Mudashiru Obasa, among others.

Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Yashim

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NIDCOM condemns attack on Amaechi in Spain



Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has condemned, in its entirety, the attack on Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi in Madrid.

NIDCOM condemned the attack in a statement by the Chairman/CEO, NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa on Friday.

According to NIDCOM, Amaechi was attending an official event in Madrid.

“NIDCOM appeals to Nigerians in diaspora to be of good behavior wherever they are because such incidents tarnish the image of the country in their  host countries.

“Also such attitude has multiplier negative effects on Nigerians living in that country, who are law-abiding,” the commission said.

NIDCOM applauded the prompt intervention of the Nigerian Mission in Spain and the Spanish police who ensured that the attacks did not escalate.

(Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Emmanuel Yashim)

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Emir seeks abolition of GRA in llorin



Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, the Emir of Ilorin on Friday called for the abolition of Government Reserved Area (GRA) in the state capital.

Sulu-Gambari, also Chairman, Kwara Traditional Council made the call while receiving members of the Technical Committee on the New Ilorin Master Plan, on a courtesy visit in his palace.

The monarch described some areas in llorin metropolis regarded as GRA as discrimination against the common man in the society.

Ilorin is now more developed than before and needs some modern infrastructure to meet international standard,” he said.

The royal father praised the State Government for its vision on the New llorin Master Plan, which he said will further popularise the ancient city.

Sulu-Gambari assured the committee of support needed to facilitate successful completion of its assignment.

The Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Jacob Olorunfemi in his remarks said the committee was set up by the state government with a mission to make Ilorin a Mega City.

Olorunfemi said the visit was to seek royal blessings towards successful implementation of the programme.


Edited & Vetted By: Saidu Adamu/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Shell pledges to implement NOSDRA’s directive on N2.74 remediation of spill site



The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), on Friday said it was committed to remediation of sites impacted by an oil spill from its Trans Ramos export line in Bayelsa and Delta states.

Nigeria News Agency reports that oil spill which occurred on May 17, 2018 had impacted and polluted estimated area of 113.03 hectares in Aghoro and Odumodu communities in Bayelsa and Delta respectively.

A joint Investigation Visit (JIV) report of the incident obtained by NAN had concluded that the leak on the pipeline at three spots was caused by equipment failure.

The investigation showed that this discharged about 1,114 barrels of crude oil into the environment.

The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had in a post-impact assessment report obtained by NAN recommended that the ecological damages caused by the leak be remediated with N2.74 billion.

Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Media Relations Manager, SPDC, had earlier said that the oil firm regretted the incident and assured that the firm would compensate victims as well as correct the polluted areas of the community.

Reacting to the recommendations of NOSDRA, Mr Michael Adande, Spokesman of SPDC, said the oil firm took full responsibility to correcting and renewing the polluted areas.

Adande said that the N2.74 billion recommended by NOSDRA was not to be paid to victims of the spill incident but a cost to be incurred to remediate the ecological damage caused by the leak.

He explained that the oil firm prioritised the safety of its operations.

He also said it would deploy its expertise of operating in an environmentally sustainable way to go beyond clean up of the polluted areas, but to restore and conserve them.

“The SPDC conducts a comprehensive damage assessment and enumeration exercise with active participation of other members of the JIV team, especially the impacted claimants.

“We also use geomantic map to establish the exact area of impact and extent within SPDC’s Right of Way or third party area and the degree of impact to arrive at a fair compensation value.

“In the case of the regrettable incident in Aghoro in Bayelsa and Odimodi in Delta in 2018, SPDC has paid the agreed compensation to the affected persons and communities.

“The NOSDRA Post-Impact Assessment report, however, included a N2.74 billion as ‘ecological damage assessment’ for environmental restoration and not as compensation.

“SPDC takes responsibility for clean-up, remediation and restoration,” Adande said.

NAN learnt that NOSDRA had recommended a total of N 3.68 billion as compensation while about N930 million was paid out to impacted communities.

Edited & Vetted By: Cecilia Odey/Donald Ugwu

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Environmentalist suggests measures to curb illegal dumpsites in Lagos



An Environmentalist, Mr Emmanuel Emechete, has suggested some proactive measures to curb the increasing illegal dumpsites across Lagos State.

Emechete made the suggestion in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Friday while speaking on the current state of waste management in Lagos.

The environmentalist said it was pertinent to make effective the waste collection process in the state if there is any hope in curbing the rate of illegal dumpsites in the state.

“This epileptic method of picking waste is really affecting the ideal waste management programme Lagos has in mind; the waste managers should end truancy in waste collection.

“The government needs to provide better and effective options for residents of the state to dump their refuse if we are keen in ending these illegal dumpsites.

“If we have the waste collectors coming regularly or as and when due to pick up waste in residential areas, the number of illegal dumpsites across Lagos will drop.

“The body regulating waste management and disposal in the state needs to step up their act to stop this menace of illegal dumpsites.

“There is need to put in place proper waste management processes. If we have effective collection process, there will be less illegal dump site,” he said.

Emechete noted that the unwillingness of residents of the state to pay the legal waste managers also contributed to the rise in illegal dumpsites.

“In addition, the reason for these illegal dumpsites is because of the rise in illegal waste collectors. These illegal collectors cannot take the waste to legal dumpsites.

“Some residents subscribed to illegal waste collectors because it is cheaper, hence the need to regulate the price or fee paid to legal collectors to a make it more affordable.

“The reason why most people dump waste at illegal dumpsites is because they want to escape the payment.

“There are illegal waste collectors who go from house-to-house to pick up waste; these persons do not have any legal right or authority to do so.

“These persons should be stopped or engaged so that they can become legal collectors and gain access to the legal dumping site,” Emechete said.

Edited & Vetted By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi

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WaterAid solicits collaboration on accessible water, sanitation



WaterAid — an international non-governmental organisation — has called on governments, development partners and relevant stakeholder to collaborate on providing access to clean water, decent toilets and sanitation.

Mrs ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye, Country Director of WaterAid, said this in a statement issued by Mrs Oluseyi Abdulmalik, Communications and Media Manager of the organisation on Friday in Abuja.

Aniagolu-Okoye said that clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene services transformed lives and improved livelihoods.

According to her, to make these basic needs normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation, we must keep taps running, toilets working and reinforce good hygiene behaviours.

“Everyone goes to the toilet and everyone is put at risk of deadly waterborne disease if the waste is not properly dealt with.

“So, we should join hands together and ensure that we all work it out for better Nigeria,’’ she said.

The country director also said that sanitation workers could be exposed when carrying out their jobs.

She said that sanitation workers should be provided with adequate equipment to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.

“It is shocking that those sanitation workers are forced to work in conditions that endanger their health and lives.

“Sanitation workers are coping with stigma and marginalisation, rather than have adequate equipment, recognition and celebration of the life-saving work they carry out.

“Women, children, men and youth die daily because of poor sanitation services from both the diseases caused by human waste being released into the environment,’’ she said.

Aniagolu-Okoye, however, called on all the relevant stakeholders to work in oneness to enable provide decent toilets and good hygiene facilities as well as effective sanitation services across the county.

Edited & Vetted By: Kayode Olaitan

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CSOs participation needed to achieve Great Green Wall vision – IUCN



Mr Chris Magero, Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) has said the participation of Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) was necessary to achieve the vision of the Great Green Wall.

Magero disclosed this on the sideline of the First Stakeholders Consultative Forum of the National Alliance For the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative(GGWSSI) in Nigeria,  in Abuja.

He said the IUCN was supporting the implementation of the GGW through a project called “Closing the Gaps in the GGW ” funded by Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and implemented by the UN Environment.

Magero said one key gap that had been identified in the course of the project was the need for the participation of CSOs.

“The project started in 2016 and we have engaged through a number of activities already .

“To this we are supporting countries across the Sahel that includes Nigeria to be able to convene an alliance that is able to allow the CSOs especially pastoralists and farmers from the local community to engage with government in achieving the vision of the GGW.

“The GGW covers 11 countries across the Sahel and we have trying as much as possible to get the participation of different stakeholders , CSOs to engage first of all at the regional level and this has been very successful.”

He said earlier in the year that the IUCN had one of the largest gatherings of Civil society groups, with the representatives of governments of the Sahel countries.

Magero said there farmers and pastoralists groups as well as NGOs across the Sahel were represented.

“The first engagement we had is how do civil society get to benefit . At the heart of it is the issue of land degradation.

“So many communities are unable to produce in terms of agriculture the amount of food the need, this is because the agricultural land is becoming poorer and poorer .

“This project intends to address one of those issues through allowing the communities to participate and understand what sustainable land management means to them.”

He said some challenges encountered in the course of carrying out the project include the issue of multiple policies across the different countries and different understanding of what the GGW means in different countries.

According to him, For some countries it is a region , for some countries it is the whole country,so reconciling the different thoughts among the different communities has been a challenge.

Magero said another challenge was the aspect of being able to monitor the project.

“What are the actions that are going to address land degradation and how are we able to bring this information together so that we are able to know the progress being made across the GGW.”

He said the project would be concluded in 2020 adding that they may not be an immediate renewal.

Magero, however, said for the commitment made towards sustainable land management , the IUCN would seek to find some funding and investment in that regard.

NAN reports that the 11 countries in the Sahel -Sahara region that make up the GGW include Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal.

The event which was organised by IUCN in conjunction with the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, commenced on Dec. 4 and will end on the Dec. 6.

Edited & Vetted By: Ifeyinwa Omowole

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LASG harps on effective management of construction, demolition, disaster waste



Lagos State Government says proper management of Construction, Demolition and Disaster Waste (CDDW) will ensure sustainable environment.

Mr Tunji Bello, the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, said this on Thursday, during a Stakeholders’ Forum on Construction, Demolition and Disaster Waste (CDDW) Management in Lagos State.

The forum, organised by the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), has the theme: ”Creating Value Through Responsible Management of Construction and Demolition Waste in Lagos State.”

Represented by the Managing Director of LAWMA, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, Bello said that proper and effective management of CDDW would ensure safety, liveability and sustainability of human race and the environment.

He said  the management of CDDW had evolved over the years with the introduction of various strategies with treatment options for reuse and recycling of CDDW to guard it from constituting environmental nuisance.

”Now, LAWMA is taking up the challenges to ensure efficient management of CDDW from cradle to grave in the state.

Lagos State is quite aware that the degree or choice of management options deployed to waste is critical to climate change management, mitigation and adaptation and so, Lagos state is implementing this ‘green’ approach to waste management.

”All these efforts are being concerted with due realisation that any omission or error that can be recorded in the adoption of options shall not create new challenges; otherwise, the world eco-balance will be negatively affected.

” Responsible management of construction and demolition waste is quite apt for us in Lagos at this moment that we are stepping up efforts toward solving the challenges of waste management in the state.

”We are here today to officially launch the CDDW programme of LAWMA and ensure that all stakeholders are well engaged along to own the programme,” the commissioner said.

He said that Lagos State had continued to blaze the trail in innovative approaches to effective management of the waste sector, in line with its determination and commitment to ensuring  a cleaner and healthier environment.

According to him, the state has re- energised the solid waste management sector by promoting the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, as a major thrust of waste management in the state.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director of LAWMA, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had laid exemplary effort at ensuring that the state met the highest international standard in Solid Waste Management, across the value chain.

Gbadegesin said that LAWMA was synonymous with Solid Waste Management and had focused on Domestic, Commercial, Industrial and Public waste in time past.

He said that as the population of Lagos increased, more waste was generated and construction work for shelter and infrastructure was also on the increase.

According to him, the rate of construction and demolition activities going on in the state is very alarming and the attendant waste generated from these activities must be properly managed.

”Owing to its significant impact to the natural environment, CDDW needs to be properly managed.

Lagos has limited land, yet we are producing waste at a significant rate due to the high population rate.

”An average of 13,000MT of waste is being generated on daily basis and if this trend continues, all our dumpsites will run out of space in less than five years time.

”Hence, the need to create value from waste through reuse, reduce and recycle, so we can decrease the volume of waste that goes to the dumpsite,” he said.

Gbadegesin said the recent launch of the Blue Box programme by Sanwo-Olu was an attempt to harness opportunities that abound in the waste sector and to promote a healthier environment.

He said the administration was committed to the Zero Waste Initiative, which was a means to consciously engage the populace on environmental issues, through Community Clean-up Campaign, distribution of colour coded thrash bags to encourage sorting at source.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi

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