Surulere Super Plaza gutted by fire in Lagos



The Super Plaza on Akerele Street in Surulere area of Lagos was gutted by fire on Wednesday, destroying valuable merchandise, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). NAN correspondent who was at the scene reports that many of the shop owners were seen packing out their goods, including, furniture, to reduce their losses.

NAN reports that the plaza comprised of many shops and churches including Fountain Hall, Dominion City Worship, Omega Fire Ministries, Textiles and Fabrics, Bureau de Change and Gift Gallery, among others.

A witness, Mr. Abayomi Ayelomi, commended the effort of the Lagos State Fire Service and other emergency services who supported in putting out the fire, adding that the building was formally Super Cinema before it was converted to a shopping plaza.

Surulere Super Plaza gutted by fire in Lagos

The Director-General said that the preliminary investigation conducted on-site indicated that the fire resulted from an electrical surge in one of the shops before escalating to other parts of the plaza.

“No loss of life nor injury has been sustained so far at the scene of the fire where properties worth a fortune have been lost to the inferno,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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

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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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National Park Service in forefront of climate change mitigation- Conservator-General



Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General, National Park Service has said the service was in the forefront of climate change mitigation, drought and desertification in the country

Goni Said this when the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirate(UAE) to Nigeria , Dr Fahad Al Taffaq visited the National Park headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.

He said that the service also played important role in tackling ravaging  impact of erosion and floods.

The world is running out of time to effectively tackle the climate crisis and we must therefore change course and step up our ambition in order to prevent the worst climate impacts.

Climate and nature are intricately linked, so we would not be able to solve the global loss of nature without solving the climate crisis.

In turn, when we restore nature, we create healthy ecosystems, which locks away more carbon and helps stabilise our climate.

“This is why we at the National Park have stepped up action, and will continue to step up plans, by bringing more actors to the table to save Nigeria from the imminent effects of climate change, ” he said

Goni said the action should not just be about policy making but required a total commitment by all.

He said bush burning was a major challenge to those in protected and free areas, and advised Nigerians to avoid lighting fires, especially during this season of harmattan to avoid wildfires.

He said the activities of hoodlums, kidnappers, bandits, cattle rustlers, illegal logging, water poisoning and mining had become a source of worry for the national park.

Goni, however, said a total of 607 suspects had been arrested between January and November 2019 for various offences.

He said sighting of endangered species such as chimpanzee, leopard, gorilla, elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, vulture, wild hog, gazelle wild dog, etc had become increasingly difficult in the nations national parks.

Goni said the UAE could help Nigeria in the area of reintroducing some of these endangered species back to the wild.

Al Taffaq said the purpose of the visit was to see how the UAE could collaborate with Nigeria  to reintroduce species that were extinct back to the wild in Nigeria.

He said UAE placed importance on wildlife and had reintroduced many species, which were being extinct back to the environment.

According to him, we have also identified certain habitats across the globe where those animals which were extinct are being reintroduced in some parts of the Sahara.

In Nigeria we can identify how we can execute several initiatives in various national parks and reserves and identify species that are extinct and we are looking forward to our collaboration to reintroduce them back to the wild.

That is the purpose of the visit. So we hope you get more ideas from everyone.

“”I believe the environment sector, especially wildlife is an important diamension in our relationship and it is something we can make the differences, he said

The Nigeria News Agency reports that high point of the event included a short video on how the UAE reintroduced the Oryx animal that was going extinct back to the wildlife in Chad and Tree planting by the Ambassador.( NAN)

Edited by: Okisor Angela/Felix Ajide

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Imo Assembly moves to recover undeveloped plots at Owerri Industial Layout



The Imo House of Assembly on Thursday adopted a motion for the recovery of undeveloped plots of land at the Owerri Industrial Layout.

The motion, entitled “Motion to recover vacant/unutilised lands at Owerri industrial layout held by private persons or companies,” was sponsored by Mr Paschal Okoli (Orlu PDP) and three others.

While moving the motion, Okoli said that the plots were allocated to individuals and companies with the aim of industrialising the state and creating jobs.

He regretted that since the plots were allocated over 35 years ago, some have remained fallow while some had been resold illegally by the original allottees.

The lawmaker urged the house to set up a committee to review and recover all illegally occcupied or underdeveloped plots at the layout so they could be reallocated to investors willing and capable to develop them.

He also urged the house to advise Gov. Emeka Ihedioha to seek private sector involvement to construct the roads leading to the estate with toll gates to help speed up the industrialisation of the area.

Supporting the motion, Mrs Ngozi Obiefule (Isu AA), said it was disheartening that a majority of the allocations had remained undeveloped 35 years after.

Also, Mr Sam Anukam (Owerri Municipal PDP), however, suggested that the matter be referred to the House Committee on Lands.

Following voice votes in favour of the motion, the Speaker of the House, Mr Chiji Collins (Isiala Mbano PDP), ruled that the motion be assigned to the House Committee on Lands for further action.

The committee was directed to report back to the house on December 19.

(Edited by: Sam Oditah)

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JICA trains over 3,000 Nigerians on various programmes in Japan



JICA trains over 3,000 Nigerians on various programmes in Japan

Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) has so far trained over 3,000 Nigerians on socio-economic development programmes in various sectors in Japan,  an official says.


Mr Sasaki Taigo, the Senior Representative of the agency, disclosed this at the end of a three-day workshop on Improved Rice Parboiling Technology and Awareness Creation on Paddy Grading Standard and Grading Manuals in Abuja.

Taigo said that the training was to support Nigerians to acquire more experience and knowledge to  promote development in the country.

He added also that the purpose of the programmes was to develop potential contributors to the next face of Africa’s industrialisation.

JICA is committed to support the government of Nigeria as well as Africa to promote development in various sectors and to ensure that such programmes are put into operation.

JICA implements Knowledge Co-Creation Programme (KCCP) training in Japan, whereby government officials both in Nigeria and Africa participate in such short to long-term trainings.

The aim of the training is to equip the participants on the country`s knowledge and experiences to enhance the nation`s capacity building and development.

So far, over 3,000 officials from Nigeria have participated in the training programmes. The agency trains about 100 Nigerians every year on various activities and programmes in Japan.

The participants were selected from various organisations across the country,’’ he said.

Taigo said that the objective of the training was to integrate Nigerians and Africans with effective skills and expertise in various fields of endeavour.

He said that JICA was an incorporate administrative agency in charge of administering Japan`s Official Development Assistance (ODA).

According to him, JICA is one of the largest bilateral aid agencies supporting socio-economic development in developing countries in Africa.

Since the agency`s establishment in 1974, JICA has supported the resolution of issues in developing countries through flexible combinations of various types of assistance,’’ he said.

Taigo, however, advised Nigerians who had participated in the training to ensure that they disseminated every information and knowledge acquired from the Japan`s experts to other people.

Edited by: Chukwudi Ekezie

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