Oxfam, a global move ment of people fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice, has restated its call on the Federal Government to reject the counsel of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that West African countries should introduce austerity measures as a way to debt recovery.
The Country Director, Oxfam International, Dr Vincent Ahonsi, who made the call, said austerity measures as being advocated for by the IMF have the potential to further worsen current inequality and poverty.
Ahonsi, who spoke recently in Delta State at the Stakeholders’ Dialogue on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, facilitated by Oxfam, warned that the effects of the prolonged inequality would be worst felt by the vulnerable and marginalised people, including women, older people, racial and ethnic minorities, informal workers.
“Rather we are advocating for medium to long term recovery plans and interventions that will promote further fiscal and policy space that allows for an increase, rather than a decrease, in social spending, progressive tax policies that collect sufficient revenue and redistribute wealth fairly to all,” he noted.
According to Ahonsi, the PIA provides the legal framework for the regulation of all the players in the Nigeria oil and gas sector.
He said Oxfam, in partnership with the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), have been holding sensitisation and awareness dialogues, to discuss sections of the new petroleum law, highlight their importance, and listen to community feedbacks, all towards engendering ownership of the new law, and buy-in of the communities in its implementation.
“This ownership of, and buy-in in the implementation of the PIA will help in no small measure to facilitate a reduction in Nigeria’s debt profile, curb food inflation, reduce inequality and reduce poverty.
“Oxfam remains committed to working with Nigeria government, the private sector and the civil society towards achieving a sustainable, inclusive and just recovery, post COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to him, Oxfam, which is working across 67 countries, and with people to bring change that lasts, will continue to support the government and the civil society on policies that advance gender justice, reduce inequality, and put people and the planet first.
The sensitisation meeting was facilitated by Oxfam to enable oil producing community stakeholders to understand the inherent indicators and contents of the new PIA, and build their capacity to support government’s initiatives towards improving the economy, and reduce inequality and poverty.
FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters
The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.
Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu
A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.
Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse
The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.
SMEs2 days ago
IHS Trains Youths On SMEs Management
Featured2 days ago
We’ll Give Attention To Dev Of Satellite Towns -Wike
Politics7 hours ago
Ondo Assembly Moves To Impeach Dep Gov
Agriculture6 hours ago
Experts Chide Residents On Embracing Urban Farming
Opinion2 days ago
Cost Of Women Emancipation
Rivers2 days ago
PHCCIMA Tasks Registered Exporters On Ease Of Doing Business
News7 hours ago
Come Back Home, Tinubu Begs Nigerians In US …Says Nigerians Have No Reasons To Be Poor
Opinion6 hours ago
Southeast: Epicentre Of Insecurity?