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FG Expresses Commitment To Acceding Water Convention

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The Federal Government through the Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, expressed commitment to acceding Water Convention.

Adamu stated this in his opening address while declaring a 3-Day National Advocacy/Sensitisation Workshop on Nigeria’s Accession to the ‘Convention on the Protection and Use of Trans-boundary Watercourses and International Lakes’ for Key Stakeholders open in Abuja.

He said acceding to the convention provides an additional legal and institutional cooperation framework essential in the management of these trans-boundary waters.

He said: “Acceding to the Water Convention is important to us as a country because the two main surface water bodies in Nigeria, namely, rivers Niger and Benue are trans-boundary in nature.

“Another trans-boundary water body is the Lake Chad which is shared by four countries including Nigeria.  This is not peculiar to Nigeria as more than 40percent of the universal populations depend on trans-boundary waters for their livelihoods.

“Therefore, acceding to this convention provides an additional legal and institutional cooperation framework which is essential in the management of these trans-boundary waters to ensure environmental sustainability, economic growth, and conflict prevention.”

He also maintained that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources is desirous of contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 which seeks to – “Ensure Availability and Sustainable management of water and Sanitation for all”.

“Target 6.5 focuses on trans-boundary cooperation to implement integrated water resources management and the Water Convention is an excellent tool to achieve this target.

“Be rest assured that the ministry will do all in its power to facilitate Nigeria’s accession to the UN Water Convention.

“I urge you to give this workshop the attention it deserves and look forward to the integrated Accession Roadmap that will be developed during the course of this workshop”, he added.

In a remark, the Chair of the Bureau of the Water Convention, Harry Livv, asserted that, “International practise during last decades show, that principles and obligations of the Water Convention improves water resources management and water governance. So, in large extent there are many positive examples about that.

“During last decade many studies showed, that we all need to pay more attention to ecosystem and water resources as a whole, both for surface and for groundwater.

“Here, enhanced systems for trans-boundary water resource management and implementation of relevant plans are effective and can help.

“Work in frame of Water Convention can also strengthen cooperation in the basins they share; cooperation between countries also. That is very important to have peaceful and constructive management in practice.

“Political will is important factor, as we see in many places.Participation in the Water Convention and compliance with its provisions serve a clear evidence of the willingness of riparian countries to cooperate and thus enhance the eligibility of international funding.

“Funding is key factor to improve real environmental situation in basin. So, I hope, that during this workshop we are able to discuss over several important topics, with the idea speed up accession to the Water Convention.”

In another goodwill message, the Secretary of the Water Convention, Dr Sonja Koeppel, pointed that effective global legal and intergovernmental framework needed for shared waters, including groundwaters.

Koeppel also explained that the Water Convention workshop represents an important milestone and unique opportunity for thoroughly analysing the obligations of the convention, the practical tools it offers to support countries’ efforts, and the benefits associated with its accession.

She said: “At the global level, Nigeria is already a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses, commonly referred to as the 1997 Watercourses Convention.

“However, Nigeria, like many other countries worldwide, still faces significant challenges in trans-boundary water cooperation and national water management, such as increasing water scarcity due to economic development and population growth, but also climate change impacts, floods, increasing pollution, and others.

“This leads partly to conflicts and competition over water resources.For this reason, an effective global legal and intergovernmental framework for cooperation and sustainable management of shared waters, including groundwaters, is needed: such a unique platform is provided by the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).”

According to her, the Water Convention comes with a lot of benefits; which helps countries to address challenges.

“Accession can enable support by the community of parties, experience-sharing with basins and countries worldwide, facilitate access to financing and raising the country profile at the international level.

“It also strengthens national water management and trans-boundary cooperation. It offers a global platform where to bring forward your concerns, challenges and good practices”, she pointed.

 

 

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Cost Of Living: Lagos Civil Servants To Work Three Days A Week …As Sanwo-Olu Announces 25% Discount On Public Transportation 

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, announced a reduction of working days for State public servants as part of plans to cushion the cost of living crisis in the country.

Sanwo-Olu made the announcement in Lagos during the ongoing media parley on economic hardship in the country

“We want to start with our public servants, immediately from next week, Civil servants from the lower level will be working like three times a week and level 15-17 can work four times in a week,” he said.

On the rising cost of food, he said that his administration would open more markets where Lagosians can buy food items at discounted rates.

“We will open Sunday markets in at least 42 identified markets across Lagos State. You will be able to buy food items at a discounted price. You will only be able to buy items worth up to N25,000,” the governor said.

He said his administration was also constructing four food hubs to ensure food distribution in tackling rising food prices.

“Coupled with the one at Idi-Oro in Mushin, four more food hubs are under construction and seven other locations in other local governments have also been identified for more food hubs to be developed,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has said that the state will resume a 25% reduction on public transportation in the state.

“Almost immediately from this weekend, we’re throwing back a 25% reduction on all public transportation.

“We’re working with the various unions to ensure that we also can support them. But on our BRT, our trains, our ferry services, we’re going to begin to enjoy that almost immediately from this weekend.

“I’ve given an instruction, so they are working on the logistics for that.”

Recall that the Lagos State Government, in a bid to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, slashed the costs of transportation of all state-owned transport systems by 50 per cent in August 2023. It was, however stopped in November, 2023.

Furthermore, Sanwo-Olu announced a free delivery for pregnant residents across all government-owned hospitals in Lagos.

“There is an arrangement for free delivery including cesarean session at government hospitals,” he said.

On rising cost of drugs and other pharmaceutical products, the governor promised that his administration “will also give rebate on some particular drugs at our state government hospitals”.

The governor noted that his administration was also in discussions with various transport unions to reduce their fares.

“First is to express empathy with our citizens, We are not unmindful of the situation, as leaders, we must be able to solve socioeconomic problems,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He also challenged the private sector to look into what they can do for the citizens by replicating their role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

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Police To Lift Ban On Tinted Glass Permits

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The Nigeria Police Force said it has conducted a comprehensive review of the issuance of tinted glass permits and is set to lift the ban on it for vehicles.

Previously banned in June 2022, the NPF said the ban then was a proactive move to bolster national security and tackle criminal activities linked to the misuse of tinted glasses.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this in a statement yesterday.

He said that ICT analysts and Eenforcement officers nationwide would undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.

It read, “In a bid to enhance national security and curb criminal activities facilitated by the misuse of tinted glass, the Nigeria Police Force has concluded its review of the issuance of tinted glass permits, previously banned in June 2022.

“The ban was initiated due to widespread concerns regarding the role of tinted glass in aiding heinous crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, the illegal transportation of firearms, human trafficking, etc.

“With the proposed lifting of the ban, stringent measures are being implemented to prevent abuse and ensure strict compliance with guidelines governing the issuance and use of tinted glass permits.

“ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers nationwide will undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.”

The statement also noted that the training will equip ICT analysts and enforcement officers with skills to regulate tinted glass permit registration, address public complaints, and enforce compliance.

It further stated, “The training will equip ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to regulate the registration process, guide registrants on the use of the portal where required, attend to complaints from members of the public, and enforce compliance effectively.

“It will focus on the intricacies of the new guidelines, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between public safety and individual freedoms while safeguarding national security.”

Highlighting the details in the to-be-newly issued permit, the statement explained, “The proposed tinted glass permit will incorporate distinctive features aimed at enhancing enforcement efficiency and security.

“These include a QR code linked to a central database for real-time verification, unique serial numbers correlated with vehicle and owner details, as well as a digital hologram ensuring authenticity and integrity, among other measures.

“It is crucial to highlight that the guidelines for the issuance of tinted permits and the use of tinted glass will strictly adhere to the provisions of the MOTOR VEHICLES (PROHIBITION OF TINTED GLASS) ACT 1991 and other relevant extant laws.”

Adejobi said this strategic approach underscores the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to prioritise public safety while upholding individual rights and national security interests.

Earlier in 2023, the police said they would soon reintroduce permits for vehicles with tinted glass across the country.

“The Nigeria Police Force remains committed to providing updates to the general public on the implementation of the reviewed process of tinted glass permit issuance, ensuring transparency and accountability in its efforts to maintain internal security,” the statement concluded.

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NOSL Launches “you are not Alone” initiative to promote mental health

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Maintaining optimal mental health is vital for thriving in society. To survive daily stress effectively, it is essential to cultivate positive coping mechanisms and embrace mindful living. Giving sufficient time to prioritise a healthy lifestyle becomes necessary in this quest.

To this end, On January 31, 2024, Natural Oilfield Services Limited (NOSL) organised a program ‘You Are Not Alone’ mental health awareness driven in partnership with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) at the University of Lagos to create an awareness about the significance of mental well-being. This event was a proactive endeavour to initiate open dialogues and provide substantial resources for mental health care.

Mental health challenges have no boundaries. This mental health advocacy had a unique approach by inviting both mental health professionals and students from the University of Lagos to share their expertise and personal stories. This collaborative effort cultivated an environment of truthfulness that promotes acceptance and understanding.

Speaking during the event Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola expressed, ‘Navigating the landscape of mental health stigma requires collective effort and NOSL’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ is a positive initiative in mental health support. This will help to encourage dialogues and welcome different perspectives, which can reduce discrimination.’

“By unlearning misconceptions, fostering awareness, collaborating, and sharing insights, engaging in the community, every small step can contribute to a more caring world, and amplify its impact to bring a positive change. ”

Also speaking, Dr. G.A Akinbode said, ‘In a world where mental health challenges persist, NOSL’s initiative will act as a guiding force and illuminate the avenues towards a benevolent future. We appreciate NOSL for inviting the students who play an integral part in shaping societal attitudes towards mental health, where mental well-being is prioritised and identified.’

According to him Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) is Nigeria’s largest youth run and youth-focused mental health organization championing the fight against mental health related stigma and creating an environment that makes it possible for people to seek care for their mental health without fear of discrimination.

“NOSL believes that mental health conversation is fundamental. The company is poised to make an ever-lasting impression, an unwavering commitment to long-term sustainability to value psychological well-being and support mental health challenges.”

Dignitaries present at the event were Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola, Director Special Education and Guidance and Counselling, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Dr. Umar Adisa, Sub-Dean of Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos, Dr. G.A Akinbode, Head of Department of Psychology, University of Lagos, Dr. U.N Israel, Staff Adviser, Department of Psychology, University of Lagos,
Mr. Abiodun Oguntola, Executive Director, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative and Ms. Oluwatomilayo Awodoyin, Clinical Psychologist, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative.

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