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Governor Wike’s Executive Orders Are Appropriate Says Former NBA President

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•advises aggrieved persons should go to court
• says the demolition of the hotels is justified
Former President of the Nigeria Bar Association,  NBA, Chief Onueze Okocha (SAN) has declared that the Executive Orders signed by Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike are appropriate.
Okocha (SAN) advised anyone who is uncomfortable with the Executive Orders  should approach the courts.
In an interview on Monday,  Chief Okocha (SAN) lauded the steps taken by the Rivers State Governor to fight coronavirus as well thought out and well advised.  He said the steps will help check the spread of coronavirus.
He said: “I believe strongly that the measures taken by the Rivers State Government, particularly the Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike are well thought out, well advised and I believe that they will to a large extent help us to avoid or at least minimize to the barest level the spread of this coronavirus that they now say causes the illness they called COVID 19.”
“I commend the government, I commend the Governor for these bold and very laudable steps”
“And the Executive Orders put in place by the State Governor are appropriate. Everybody accepts that they are calculated to secure our safety and to reduce to the barest minimum the spread of this coronavirus. So I don’t believe that anybody has quarreled with any of these orders.”
“What I have heard are people flouting those orders and Nigerians some times do not understand, some of these measures put in place, some of these regulations, these laws and orders are for there own good, and everybody should do each of their very best to comply with them.”
He noted that it was on this basis that the Rivers State Government put in place the Quarantine Coronavirus (COVID 19) and other Infectious Diseases Regulations No. 2 of 2020 which is also in line with Quarantine Act of the Federal Government.
“Its not everything that is going to be on  written law. By the authority of written law, some orders are made, some regulations are put in place and those flow naturally from the provisions of written law”
“This is why the Rivers State Government passed a law recently and we also have the Federal Act, Quarantine Act and many other such regulations that are aimed at dealing with safety and security and then health and well being of the people”
“So, anybody that is arguing that the Executive Orders are unconstitutional should know his options. He should seek legal advice and if necessary go and challenge those orders in a court of law, duly constituted”
On the demolition of Prodest Hotel, Alode, Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne in Eleme Local Government Area, Chief Onueze Okocha said the action of the Governor is justifiable given the several warnings to hoteliers not to operate within the period.
“I do not blame the Governor for his action because am aware that the regulation was put in place over two weeks ago for hoteliers and those operating drinking parlours and entertainment centres to close down at least temporarily until we get grip on how to deal this coronavirus pandemic”
“Now people have been making all kinds if comments, the press and I have heard some on the airwaves. They do not seem to know the full facts of the matter”
“Yes, there was a regulation put in place long before now regarding the lockdown we have had in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas. I hear that this happened in Eleme Local Government Area. Two hotels and they were warned to stop operating. Indeed, a taskforce was sent to remind them about the Executive Order put in place by the Governor and they got their thugs and some local boys to beat members of the taskforce, so the Governor left with no other option wielded the big stick.”
“We also heard people saying oooh, he was impounding vehicles and arresting people on the roads for violating the law on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas. What did they expect the Governor to do? Fold his hands and watch people to openly and brazenly flaunt what we know are regulations put in place in accordance with law and order”
“So, the Governor I think was justified in wielding the big stick on the hoteliers and anybody who feels that he has any reason to dispute should approach the appropriate quarters and let’s us see how far that approach will get him.”
The one time NBA President further consent with the two days temporary lifting of the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas, saying the move will enable the citizens to keep their houses in order and well as attend to medical issues before going back to the status quo.
“Most of our citizens we are appreciate are people who earn there living based on there daily activities, even those who do not, like some of us also need to go out to get supplies, we need food, medicines and some needs to see their doctors. So, some times, the lockdown has to be applied with a human fave and which is why I feel some justification in what the Governor has done by relaxing the lockdown by one or two days”
He advised Rivers people to be patient with the state government in its effort to contain the spread of the pandemic in the state and also observed the necessary protocols put in place by WHO and NCDC to fight COVID 19.
“I advise Rivers people to please be patient with government and also strictly observe the regulations put in place not only by the government and the law enforcement agencies in Rivers State, but also by the National Center for Disease Control and all other health organizations including World Health Organization, WHO which he noted is holding the knife as we say in this situation”
“I hope that all of us in Rivers State will do our best to comply with these regulations because what is ultimate is to save our lives and save the life of our loved ones and other relations”
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FG Adopts Innovative Approach To Fund Climate Change Mitigation

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The Federal Government has adopted innovative approach, including carbon tax, to fund the mitigation of the impact of climate change in the country.
The Director-General, National Council on Climate Change, Dr SalisuDahiru, disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos.
Dahiru spoke on the sidelines of a technical workshop on Agro Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project, yesterday.
Dahiru said that President MuhammaduBuhari, in creating the council, adopted an innovative approach because the council was going to be the main vehicle that would drive his climate change policy and agenda.
“So, he decided to adopt an innovative approach that will provide sufficient funding and in a timely manner.
“This is to ensure that the council is able to operate, function and discharge responsibilities with little hindrance.
“So, two things are associated with the funding; the major funding source will be the budget.
“But within the Act establishing the council, there is going to be the introduction of Carbon Tax,” Dahiru said.
The DG said that carbon tax was done all over the world because of the grave existential threat of climate change.
“If we do not deal with climate change, climate change will deal with all of us.
“So, this carbon tax will have to come in because that’s the only way that we can clean up our environment and refresh the air,” Dahiru said.
He said that there would be the establishment of a climate change fund, where the government, the private sector and development partners would make contributions.
Dahiru said that another way the council hoped to raise fund was through the establishment of a Redd Plus registry.
“We can demonstrate through the Redd Plus programme, which is called reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
“If we show that we are no longer cutting down the forests, that we are conserving the forest, then, we will be eligible to be paid carbon credits.
“This is calculated based on how much emissions we have prevented from going to the atmosphere as a result of conserving the forest that will also be fed into the funding of the activities of the council.
“And then we will also have this support from the International Organisation for Climate Change.
He said “we are able to do clean projects; projects that will add to our ability to fulfill our obligations under the nationally determined contributions to climate change mitigation in the world”.
“Then development partners under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will provide additional support to the country,” Dahiru said.

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Nigeria Losses 400,000 Barrels Daily To Oil Theft, FG Laments

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has affirmed that the country loses 400,000 barrels of crude daily via oil theft.
Sylva stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, at the Government House, Owerri.
He described the development as a “national emergency”.
Sylva regretted that the nation had fallen short of OPEC daily quota, from 1.8million barrels to 1.4million barrels, due to crude theft.
The minister warned that such a huge economic loss was capable of crippling the nation’s economy if not given the seriousness it deserved.
He expressed concern that the menace had persisted, in spite of the efforts by the federal and state governments to arrest it.
Sylva said the problem of crude theft could not be handled in Abuja alone.
“It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and reached a very bad crescendo.
“This is because the thefts are taking place in the communities that host the oil pipelines.
“As a result, it has become necessary to involve the stakeholders, especially the host communities.
“And because of the height and orchestrated nature of the menace, Nigeria could not take the advantage and opportunities that abound in the gas production.
“This is because no investor would want to invest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure,” he said.
The minister, therefore, appealed to the stakeholders to collaborate to solve the problem.

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We’ve Disbursed N100bn To Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Buhari Boasts

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government has disbursed a total of N100billion to indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare investors as loans to expand their capital base and boost local production of medicines and medical consumables.
Buhari said this, yesterday, while receiving the new executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The president said the loan was extended through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s support to the private pharmaceutical sector.
He added that the Health Sector Reform Committee chaired by Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, was currently exploring models for revitalising the nation’s healthcare system, in ways that improve quality of care and the benefit package to care providers.
On brain drain in the health sector, the president said he has directed the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, to look into ways of turning “brain drain” to “brain gain” by engaging top Nigerian medical experts in the Diaspora in knowledge and skills repatriation.
He urged the NMA and other stakeholders in the health sector to support initiatives by the Federal Government and work with the committees set up to chart a fast track to a health system that best meets the needs of Nigerians in the 21st Century.
The president also commended the association, which is the umbrella body of all medical practitioners in Nigeria, for consistently choosing peaceful resolution of differences on matters pertinent to the National health system.
“I commend our medical professionals for their contribution to Nigeria’s exemplary management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the control of malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis, and other feats also achieved by Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora.
“Our response to COVID-19 pandemic has been praised internationally and your members are key parts of this success.
“I recall that in the last quarter of 2021, the immediate past NMA Executives visited me and presented recommendations for the health sector, which included, the review and amendment of NHIS Act; upgrading and equipping existing health institutions; loans to fund hospital equipment; the repeal and re-enactment of the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act; and Appeal for more funding for the four newly established Universities of Medical Sciences.
“I am pleased to inform you that most of these recommendations have been addressed, whilst further action is being taken to study those involving cross-cutting administrative processes with legal implications,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued, yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Buhari further congratulated former NMA President, Dr.Osahon Enabulele, on his emergence as the president-elect of the World Medical Association, the first Nigerian to hold the position.
While wishing him a successful tenure, the president expressed hope that Enabulele would use his position to support improvement in health care delivery in Nigeria and lower income countries.üÿ
He also wished the new executive members of NMA a successful tenure, urging them to earnestly continue to serve as arbiters of peace and progress.
The Minister of Health, Dr OsagieEhanire, who led the medical practitioners to the meeting, affirmed that the doctors have been good partners with his ministry, helping to regulate the health profession as well as stressing quality service delivery.
In his remarks, the NMA President, Dr Uche Rowland Ojinmah, said the new National Officers Committee (NOC) was elected on May 21, 2022.
Ojinmah commended Buhari for his “steadfast war against corruption, assent to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act which will improve the health indices of our nation, the constitution of the Health Reform Committee under Vice President YemiOsinbajo, and the various infrastructural projects embarked upon by the Buhari administration.”
He, however, enjoined the president to ensure full and appropriate implementation of the NHIA Act, provision of “adequate work equipment, conducive work environment and necessary budget support”, as well as elongation of the retirement age for medical consultants to 70 years and 65 years for non-consultant doctors and other healthcare workers.
Others include implementation of the hazard allowance circularised in December 2021 with the arrears as well as the setting up of a Health Bank.
The NMA president also requested a representation of the Federal Government at the inauguration of Enabulele in Berlin, Germany, later in the year.

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