Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has called on Muslims in the state to use the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir to pray for Allah’s mercies on the people and the state.
AbdulRazaq, who made the call on Thursday in Ilorin in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, congratulated the people of the state and every Muslim household on the occasion of the festival.
AbdulRazaq also felicitated with the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, and the various religious establishments for their support of government’s preventive measures ahead of the festival.
“His Excellency urges every citizen to see this pandemic as a test from God which requires a combination of faith in the Almighty, collective discipline and a determination to defeat the common enemy by everyone adhering to the protocols that would lead to the flattening of the curve.
“The governor appeals to everyone, particularly the Muslim community, to spend the Arafat Day and the blessed Eid days to pray to God for His mercies upon humanity.
“He requests that everyone celebrates Eid in their homes and in strict adherence to safety rules. On his part, he will celebrate Eid privately with his family.
“As a government, one of the key takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to be proactive and inventive in filling the socio-economic and infrastructural gaps that would make life easier for our people,” Ajakaye added.
He said AbdulRazaq expressed the belief that the state would emerge from the pandemic stronger and better.
“The governor wishes Kwarans and every Muslim household a blessed Eid and God’s Grace to see many of such,” he said.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Ekiti workers suspend strike as lawmakers intervene
The organised labour in Ekiti has announced the suspension of the three-day warning strike embarked upon by civil servants in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the suspension of the strike, which commenced on Monday, was owing to the intervention of members of the state House of Assembly.
NAN also reports that the lawmakers had, early on Monday, organised a meeting with the executive arm of government and the leadership of the organised labour.
The meeting was organised by the Assembly Committee on Public Matters, Chaired by Mr Oluwajuwa Adegbuyi, at the Assembly’s complex, Ado-Ekiti.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ekiti chapter, Mr Olatunde Kolapo, said the organised labour decided to suspend the warning strike due to the intervention of the lawmakers.
He also hinged the decision on the assurance from members of the Assembly that some of their demands would be implemented.
“The House of Assembly has actually intervened and the honourable members have looked into our demands one after the other. To God be the glory, almost all our demands have been acceded to.
“Because of the position which the Assembly has taken, we will begin to work together to see to the implementation of the proposal.
“We, therefore, urge our members, who are presently at home to please, as from tomorrow, go back to their places of work.
“If the government fails to implement the new agreement reached with us at the end of the day, we have only, we will embark on the strike again, because we have only suspended it; we have not called it off, “Kolapo said.
NAN reports that in the new agreement signed by government and the organised labour and which was presented by the NLC chairman, the former pledged to ensure continuous payment of workers’ monthly salaries.
Part of the agreement also was to effect the payment of the financial benefits of 2015 promotion in September, while payment for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 would follow.
It was also agreed upon that the negotiation on the implementation of the minimum wage and consequential adjustment would resume as soon as COVID-19 subsided.
NAN reports that labour had earlier directed civil servants in the state to embark on a three-day warning strike, beginning from Monday, to compel the state government to accede to their demands.
Earlier, the chairman of Assembly Committee on Public Matters, said that the meeting was to find solutions to the demands of the workers.
He thanked the labour leaders for honouring the invitation, promising that their demands would be attended to, if possible, with necessary legislation, to promote industrial peace and harmony.
“As representatives of the people, part of our mandate is to be arbiters, especially in the ongoing industrial disharmony.
“We want to assure you that the Assembly, under the leadership of the Speaker, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, will ensure that your demands are conveyed to the executive for possible resolution,” Adegbuyi said.
Also speaking, the state Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi, restated the commitment of the Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration to the welfare of the citizenry, especially workers.
She assured that government would not hesitate to implement some of the demands by labour as soon as the economy improved.
Present at the meeting were the Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Ekiti chapter, Mr Sola Adigun and the Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council (NJC), Mr Kayode Ifatomiluyi.
The Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, Mr Oluyemi Esan and the Leader of Government Business in the Assembly, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, were also present at the meeting.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
Revised NDC will impact Nigeria’s climate, economic development, says Environmentalist
An Environmental Expert, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, says the revision of the nation’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) has the potential to impact Nigeria and Africa’s climate change policy and economic development.
Okereke, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Monday.
He stated that the ongoing revision of NDC would produce a robust document that could help to drive sustainable green economic development for the country.
According to him, there are several environmental experts that consider Nigeria’s original NDC quite ambitious.
“Some might say that Nigeria ought to demonstrate leadership by increasing its ambition.
“Others might say that the priority for the country for now should be on rebooting its economic growth.
“A critical question to ask is to what extent Nigeria has actually implemented the NDC that it pledged in 2015?
“And what are the environmental, social and economic benefits that have accrued to the country as a result.
“It is important to ensure that Nigeria is not simply making commitments it has no intention of achieving simply to please the developed countries that are financially supporting the NDC revision process,” he said.
Okereke stated that some experts asserted that the preparation of the original NDC, which started in late June 2015, was rushed to meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) deadlines.
“One implication was that some of the data and analyses on which the NDC was based relied on grey literature and are judged very suspect.
“For example, in the absence of a national emission registry, the emissions from most of the key sectors (energy, transport and forestry) on which the NDC was based were best guess projections,” he said.
The professor added that the previous NDC preparation process had limited public engagement, thus hindered the country from receiving inputs from critical stakeholders like business moguls, parliamentarians and sub-national actors.
“Till date, many of these stakeholders have remained largely unaware of or had limited involvement in the implementation of the NDC.
“Moreover, with limited public awareness of, and engagement with the development of the original NDC, there was not much from the civil society in the way of monitoring the implementation (or lack) of the NDC following its ratification in 2017,” he said.
Okereke said that in the original NDC, Nigeria committed itself to make 20 per cent “unconditional emission reduction” of its Greenhouse Gas emission by 2030 compared to the 2010 levels.
Okereke noted that Nigeria further committed that it would increase her emission reduction to 45 per cent by 2030 if help was received from the international development partners.
He stated that Nigeria’s NDC was built on the appealing philosophy of pursuing socioeconomic development while reducing carbon pollution.
Okereke added that NDCs are voluntary documents that governments agreed that parties to the UNFCCC would submit to show what each government had committed to do in order to tackle climate change.
He, however, said that though the submission and commitment are voluntary, once a country submitted their NDC, they were expected to keep the commitment or pledge made.
Okereke noted that Nigeria started the process of revising her NDC in March 2020 and would be due to conclude the exercise in November.
Edited By: Sam Oditah/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Jigawa reopens 40 schools, directs all workers to resume duty
Gov. Mohammed Badaru of Jigawa on Monday announced the immediate reopening of 40 schools in the state and also directed all categories of civil servants to return to work from Aug. 4.
The governor, who made this known while briefing newsmen in Dutse, also directed the Ministries of Health and Education to come up with time schedules for running the programme under strict compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the recalling of the workers came few weeks after officers from level 12 and above had resumed.
NAN reports that the state government had initially directed its workers to work from home for two weeks from March 24 and continually expanded the order so as to protect workers from being exposed to COVID-19.
Badaru said the decision to recall all workers back to their duty posts was sequel to the progress recorded in terms of compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures after recalling those in the category of level 12 and above few weeks ago.
According to him, government will adopt the same strategy across the workforce in all the ministries and departments in order to ensure total compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures.
He, however, said that the 40 schools would be selected from primary, junior, senior and private secondary schools from the three senatorial zones of the state.
The governor assured parents and guardians that other schools would also be reopened gradually if there were some improvements in terms of compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures in the selected 40 schools.
Badaru also announced that the state had no single COVID-19 patient for now, adding that the only remaining suspected patient had been discharged after being tested and confirmed negative.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
AFAN, OFAB, NABDA advocate use of biotechnology to scale up food production
Following the impact of COVID-19 and banditry activities in the country, some stakeholders in the agriculture sector and scientists have advocated the use of biotechnology to be deployed to scale up food production in the country.
Some of the stakeholders made it known during a webinar session tagged: “Media Summit on Status of Agricultural Biotechnology Research in Nigeria”, in a statement by the organisers – National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).
The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Kabir Ibrahim said it was imperative to explore the option of the use of innovation to upscale food production to bring about food sufficiency to avert hunger due to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, emphasised on the need to sensitise smallholder farmers to embrace technological advancement to avert hunger caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying to achieve food security modern technologies such as biotechnology must be used.
“Already, a lot of work has been going on to commercialise cowpea, maize, cassava, rice, sorghum as well as cotton and the farmers are seeing good results so it is, therefore, easy to get them to embrace biotechnology,” he said.
She said that this move was crucial and necessary for the acceptance and adoption of innovative technology.
Gidado said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of zero hunger by 2030 was fundamental for national development and well being of Nigeria, adding that the facilitation of adequate understanding of the several ways Nigeria to achieve the goal “is very fundamental”.
She said that with the current population of over 200 million people and projected population of 400 million people by 2050, an outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria is faced with the risk of the decreased farming population due to age, decreased arable land, poverty, malnutrition and hunger.
She said that agricultural biotechnology was the solution to Nigeria’s food security. She also said the conventional method of agriculture could no longer meet up with the country’s demand.
“With the current state of agriculture in Nigeria, it has become paramount to also adopt this technology to improve our productivity and revive our industries.”
“The time is now, let us sensitise people on the potential of this innovation to aid decision making and adoption in Nigeria.”
The Acting Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa harped on the importance of biotechnology application for the benefits of man, especially in the areas of health, agriculture and environment.
“Biotechnology has other applications; in agriculture, it is massive and that is where most post–COVID-19 is coming, you find out that here in NABDA, using Biotechnology we have started impacting massively in the area of agriculture.
“For instance, in our yam multiplication programme, last year, we were able to produce one million yam seedlings and this year, we are targeting five million yam seedlings, all these things are feasible because of biotechnology,” he said.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)