Connect with us

News

RSG Decries Impact Of Oil Exploration On Environment, People

Published

on

The Rivers State Government says the issues of oil exploration and the degradation of land and water of the Niger Delta region, especially Ogoni land has impacted negatively on the lives of our people.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike stated this during the commissioning of office building and laboratory of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said that since the last quarter of 2016, Port Harcourt atmosphere has suffered from the appearance of black soot which was very injurious to the health of the people as they could no longer engage in their natural vocation to carter for their families.
He said the state government had to set up a high-powered technical committee which expressed the need for the Federal Government to implement the stop gas flaring policy that has been in the archives since 1979, and also to ensure that the gas flare sites were handed over to investors by 2020 as captured in the gas flare commercialisation programme of Nigeria.
Wike said one of the things that came out of the report was the fact that illegally refined petroleum products were being set ablaze by the security forces in a manner that was further endangering the community, the land and the water.
The state chief executive called for the establishment of a tank farm, where seized illegal products can be stored and used for the benefit of the Federal Government and the people.
According to him, the legality of artisanal refining has promoted unregulated use of technology, stressing that the Federal Government should accelerate plans for the establishment of modular refineries in the crude oil-bearing regions of Nigeria.
The governor also advocated that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) should be compelled by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Environment to have remote sensing and command control centres which can detect oil spills, leakages and oil facilities tampering across their operational areas, to enable them spot vulnerable points on the pipelines.
Wike, who expressed the state government’s willingness to partner with NOSDRA to achieve results, expressed the hope that the commissioning of the laboratory would positively impact on the lives of the people in the oil producing region.
In her keynote address, the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, said the Federal Government was committed to oil spill management in Nigeria, noting that the implementation of the United Nations Environment Report (UNEP) on Ogoniland led to the setting up of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
According her, remediation works were underway and it was intended that all remediated sites would be restored to all practical extent, and directed that the facilities available in the National Oil Spill Response Laboratory should be patronized by HYPREP and its contractors as well as the oil companies operating across the nation to maximize the potential of the facility.
She congratulated NOSDRA for the completion of its office in Port Harcourt, which according to her, was the hub of oil exploration and production in Nigeria, and urged the agency to ensure that standards were kept and maintained in line with international best practices.
In his remark, the Director General of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Idris Musa, said the building was designed to serve as administrative block, warehouse for oil spill response equipment and reference laboratory for the agency.
Musa noted that the sitting of the National Oil Spill Reference Laboratory in Port Harcourt by the agency was deliberate in view of its central location in the Niger Delta region, where oil prospecting and production activities were predominant in Nigeria at the moment.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

FG, South-West Govs Agree On Amotekun

Published

on

The Federal Government and Governors of the South West States yesterday agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure on the establishment of the regional security outfit, Amotekun.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met with the South West Governors and the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after the expanded National Economic Council, NEC, meeting.
Recall that the AGF had declared the regional security initiative of the South West Governors aimed at curbing security challenges in the zone as illegal.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently announced that his administration was coming up with Community Policing policy to fight the insecurity in the polity.
Meanwhile, for the second time in about a week, the Federal Government, through the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has declared the Southwest Security outfit, Operation Amotekun, as an illegal entity not known to the constitution of Nigeria and which can never be allowed to stand.
Malami, made the declaration in Abuja in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Dr Umar Gwandu and made available to newsmen yesterday.
Malami maintained that no amount of sentiments would make the Federal Government abandon the path of rule of law and trade of illegality in the administration of Nigeria.
The minister, who maintained that the Nigerian constitution makes no room for a regional army, pointed out that the government was not at war with any of the states of the federation.
Malami said: “No amount of effort to hide the truth will work. People could be carried away by sentimental or emotional inclinations, but the truth remains apparently palpable. The bottom line is that the current Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not accommodate the formation of regional security architecture.
“This is a fact which is undisputable and undeniable. Mr Falana was prevaricating and circumlocuting using evasive techniques when he was asked by the media to justify the presence of lacuna within the law which could establish or protect the concept of regionalism in any operation in the country.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Coronavirus, Lassa Fever: States On Red Alert, Govs Confirm …Insist On Review Of N614bn Bailout Deductions Payment Process

Published

on

The governors of the 36 states of the federation on the platform of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have said that they are on red alert over the Lassa Fever epidemic and coronavirus that reportedly claimed 17 lives in the city of Wuhan, China since the virus was detected.
So far, over 500 people have reportedly been infected by the virus in China’s Wuhan City, leading authorities to suspend planes and trains in and out of the city of 11million people, as well as buses, subways and ferries.
The Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), last Wednesday, confirmed that a total of 82 cases of Lassa fever, including 14 deaths have been recorded.
Briefing reporters at the end of its first meeting of the year, Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said that the governors are working hand and hand with the Federal Ministry of Health and other agencies to intensify efforts to ensure the diseases are contained.
He said that, to this end, the governors have agreed to carry out immediate actions on the implementation of the Seattle Declaration, including the Constitution of a multisectoral Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) implementation committee, quarterly review of PHC performance in State Executive Council meetings, review of states‘ performance on the Abuja commitment and organisation of advocacy meetings with traditional and religious leaders.
Fayemi said: “The forum received an update from the NGF Secretariat on health priorities for the year 2020, including the implementation of the Seattle Commitment signed by the forum at a two-day High-Level Roundtable on Primary Health Care and Human Capital Development convened in November, 2019 (by Aliko Dangote and the Bill and Melinda Gates).
“On the Lassa Fever, we recorded cases in one or two states, Ondo in the South-West and Kano in the North.
“I believe all our states are taking precautionary measures to address this in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“We are working to ensure that this does not spread any further than they have at the moment.”
The NGF chairman speaking on other matters mentioned that, in regard to bailout deductions, even though states were meeting their obligation of paying back, they feel the monthly deductions ought to be lower than N162million.
Fayemi said: “On reconciliation for budget support facilities, that is something that has been handled. We have come up with our own recommendations of special fund generally not just budget support facilities.
“On budget support facilities specifically, states are already honouring their obligations. They are already paying back what is owed to the Federal Government.
“The question of the amount is something that we will continue to review. It is our view that we should be paying a lot less what we are paying but that is something that has not been addressed yet. But that has not stopped us from honouring the obligation to the Federal Government that lend the resources to us at the time that they did.”
The forum chairman also pledged the governors’ resolve to work with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to achieve broadband penetration and digital economy targets in Nigeria.
He said the commitment followed a presentation to the forum by a delegation led by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, to familiarise the governors on the new National Digital Economic Policy.
“The minister briefed the forum on the new national digital economy strategy, and solicited the support of states on the development of business regulations around the right of way and multiple taxations, around skills and innovations, infrastructure and indigenous content promotion.”
On the specific demands of the minister on waiver on the right of way, Adeyemi said: “The main demand with the minister is that we maintain the fee agreed in the year 2013 at the National Economy Council which is N145 per linear meter in the state.
“The context within which the issue of waiver came up is what has been offered in Kaduna State, for example, where the state government has waived the right of way fee and that is not compulsory or the decision of the forum even in demand from the minister, that should be a condition for broadband penetration or fibre optic laying in our states. It is just that where we think it might be viable, and then states will look at the possibility of doing this in our states; but the key demand which we are all interested in pursuing is to ensure that we do not increase the right of way fee beyond what has been generally agreed by governors and NEC.”
However, the 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), yesterday, agreed that there should be a review in the payment process of the N614billion that was advanced to thirty five states as budget support facility.
The governors, who converged on Abuja, last Wednesday night, for the meeting at its Secretariat in Maitama, Abuja, discussed among others, issues of deductions for Budget Support Facility loan granted them by the Federal Government as top of the agenda.
The meeting which was the first in the year 2020 was ahead of yesterday’s National Economic Council (NEC) at the Presidential Villa.
Responding to a question on reconciliation for budget support facilities after the meeting of the governors ahead of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, Chairman of NGF and Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said, “that is something that has been handled. We have come up with our own recommendations of special fund generally not just budget support facilities.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Xenophobia: S’Africa Boils Again As Violence Erupts In Diepsloot

Published

on

Another round of xenophobic attacks loom as anti-foreigner shut-down has been triggered in Diepsloot, Johannesburg North, South Africa, the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) has said.
According to NUSA President, Adetola Olubajo, violence directed at foreign nationals, including Nigerians started in Diepsloot area of Johannesburg, last Wednesday evening.
A message circulated by residents of the area on Wednesday called for a total shutdown beginning from 4am, yesterday, and directed each extension to organise itself to main roads.
The ‘no movement’ message had a further directive that all things will remain at a standstill until the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, addressed residents of the area.
The residents, in the message, demanded that the law enforcement agencies must come down to Diepsloot and close everything which was illegal and remove all undocumented foreign nationals in Diepsloot.
“When we fight, we fight together with our kids,” the message read.
Olubajo added that the angry residents of the area began burning tyres and chanting songs, saying that foreigners living in the area must leave immediately.
He, however, said normalcy was restored temporarily in the area following the intervention of the South African police, adding that violence erupted again in the morning.
“The community members want undocumented foreigners to leave the area. They accused foreign nationals of criminal activities and killing of a senior police officer,” he said.
“Our public relations team has issued a security alert to Nigerians to stay away from the area until the area is safe for foreign nationals. Though there is a heavy police presence in the area, the local residents are not backing down in their demand. The area is still very tensed and not safe for foreign nationals. We call on our nationals to exercise caution and avoid the affected areas.”
While saying that there was no death recorded in the area, Olubajo commended the South African police for their intervention, even as he said more intervention was needed to avoid casualties.
“For now, there is no record of death. We commend the intervention of the members of South Africa Police, yesterday evening, but more still needs to be done to avoid casualties,” Olubajo further said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending