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Commercial Felling Of Trees Crime Against Nature – Group

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State Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Roseline Konya (left) briefing journalists at end of April 2016 Sanitation monitoring in the state. With her are State Director National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mr Oliver Worlugbum. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

State Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Roseline Konya (left) briefing journalists at end of April 2016 Sanitation monitoring in the state. With her are State Director National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mr Oliver Worlugbum. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

Ghraizi and Partners, an
International NGO, has appealed to Nigerians to avoid felling trees for financial gain as it is a crime against nature.
The Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Mohammed Ghraizi, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Abuja while speaking on the 2016 World Earth Day.
He said that because climate change was real, the government must begin to implement “policies that have been put in place to help preserve the environment for our future generations’’.
“It is a crime to cut a tree because you want to use it for financial gain; it is a crime against nature.
“Before you even have to think about cutting down a tree why don’t you just take a good look at it and ask why it is there?
“Because I have seen some trees maybe hundreds of years old and if I had that in my home land I would preserve it.
“So why would you cut such a tree down? Try not to cut the tree down in the first place.
“We hope it would not fall on deaf ears and someone in the right authority, government stand will actually try and implement the policies that have been put there to help preserve the environment for our future generations.
“Global warming and climate change is real, so wake up people, wake up.’’
He also urged home owners to make provision for gardens and tress in their housing plans.
“It is really sad to see that land owners and home owners at the end of the day want to develop their land and they will maximise it, put the whole structure without allocating part of it for a nice garden and trees.
“The land is 700 square meters; they will build on 650 square meters, not even a parking lot, not even a flower. It’s such a sad thing.
“This is Africa; why don’t you integrate Africa into your living style; why can’t we be original in this, because what we have here in Africa nobody in the world has.’’
According to Ghraizi, Nigeria has the capacity to become one of the world’s best tourist destinations given the natural resources it has.
Also speaking Rosaline Agiamoh, the Co-founder of the organisation, said that there were more sustainable and cost effective ways of producing furniture without having to log trees.
Agiamoh spoke of the need to sensitise the public to the need to recycle furniture.
According to her, the recycling of furniture is better than cutting down trees and using the wood to produce furniture.
She said: “If you really have to log a tree, it has to be for a very unique job, not just let’s just log a tree to provide roofing.
“ It is sad when you see such trees being cut down for very mere purpose and you could use other sustainable materials.
“The whole world is pushing for more sustainability. There are a lot of other materials that do not cost us as much in terms of our environment and could be used in housing, construction and so on.
“So having policies that also support that, I think is important.’’

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Maritime

Five Abducted MWUN Members, Three Others Regain Freedom

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The five kidnapped members of the Nigeria Maritime Workers Union, (MWUN) in Rivers State have regained their freedom from their captors.
The five maritime workers were released along with three other passengers that were kidnapped along Kula-Abonema waterway in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, last Monday.
.Their release was secured on Saturday evening sequel to the intervention of the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, and other stakeholders.
Jamoh broke the news of their unconditional release in a statement to newsmen on Saturday night. 
The NIMASA boss, shortly after the release of the abducted five, informed the President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, at about 8:15 pm through a telephone conversation.
The abductees, Jamoh said, were all in good physical condition, saying the MWUN President General would provide a detailed report on the incidents surrounding the abduction early last week.
Jamoh did not, however, disclose if any ransom was paid to the abductors before securing their release.
The Tide recalls that the eight victims, including five MWUN members, were whisked away by gunmen suspected to be sea robbers while travelling from Kula in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State to Port Harcourt for a meeting.
The hoodlums were said to have demanded for N10 million ransom to free their victims. 
But the MWUN leadership in Rivers State vowed not to pay any ransom to the abductors of its five staff, and instead demanded for their unconditional release.
The union chairman, Comrade Jonah Jumbo, had given a 30-day ultimatum to the kidnappers to free its members, failure of which, the union would shut down all maritime operations in the state.
“In one month, if they are not released, we will shut down all maritime operations in the state”, he had threatened. 

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

IMO Vows To Stop Piracy In GoG

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A global agency, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has vowed to stop the menace of piracy and other criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG). 
The organisation noted that the continuous activities of piracy and armed robbery along the Gulf of Guinea were capable of crippling international shipping in the region. 
According to IMO, piracy and other criminal activities along GoG damage the world economy and trade.
The Secretary-General of IMO, Kitack Lim, who stated this during the inaugural meeting of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum and Shared Awareness and De-confliction conference (GoG-MCF/SHADE, said, he was encouraged by the establishment of the forum.
“This situation has continued for several years and these illegal acts must be stopped. Now is the time to make real progress”, he said 
 Lim said IMO would continue to support training and other capacity-building activities for Gulf of Guinea states as well as assist cooperative regional efforts under the framework of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct.
The Yaounde Code of Conduct is an agreement signed by countries in the region that commit to working to repress piracy and armed robbery against shipping activities.
The secretary insisted that the security situation in the GoG remains at the top of the organisation.
He said that the GoG-MCF/SHADE was aimed at facilitating shared awareness and de-conflicting activities in the region by linking all relevant stakeholders to advanced and coordinated maritime security activities.
Lim acknowledged the positive strides in the area of inter-agency cooperation and response on a regional and international level, especially the anti-piracy legislation passed by Ghana, recent convictions of pirates in Togo, and Nigeria’s Deep Blue Project.
“At the request of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission, IMO continues to work with the ICC Yaoundé, including supporting a series of regional expert level online meetings aiming to assess the implementation and sustainability of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and to provide recommendations to the three organisations”, he said.

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Maritime

Seafarers Lament Effects Of Covid-19

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)  says the impact of Coronavirus pandemic, also known as Covid-19, in the country is negatively affecting the welfare of seafarers in the sector.
The union noted that the pandemic had created huge unemployment and forced investors to abandon the maritime sector.
The newly elected treasurer of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) in Rivers State, Comrade Jonah Jumbo, disclosed this during an interview with The Tide.
Comrade Jonah regretted that the pandemic had crippled maritime activities globally, saying most ship owners and management have abandoned shipping activities, thereby affecting the welfare of seafarers.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic had created unemployment amongst crew members in the sector as ship owners refused to engage certified seafarers on board vessels.
According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many investors in the marine sector to abandon their business as most sea vessels were stranded on the sea for months without discharging their cargoes.
“The impact of the pandemic is hitting harder on the welfare of the seafarers and their families.
“Investors in the marine sectors are no longer coming into the country to invest due to the global pandemic”, he said.
Jonah whose maritime activities span through eight states including Lagos, Kogi, Ondo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Delta, called for prayers to salvage the maritime sector.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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