Niger Delta

Group lauds FG over NDDC audit



Mr Tony Uranta, Secretary General, United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS) on Thursday lauded the federal government for its commitment to the audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

He said the president’s directive to the Interim Management Committee (IMC) set up by the federal government to clean out years of corruption in that agency was commendable.

“We implore the President not be swayed in the resolve to cleanse the Augean stable of corruption in the NDDC as it is currently doing via the IMC.

“Until Nigeria learns to systemically embrace Independent Monitoring and Evaluation, corruption will never die in government Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs),” Uranta said in a statement.

He admonished the federal government to ensure that all current unjust practices in the region were stopped and the government, and to live up to its pledges to the people of the region.

UNDEDSS requested more commitment in the clean-up of Ogoni land; also the COVID-19 Stimulus Funds to states of the Niger Delta should be commensurate to the region being the source of majority of funds in the national treasury.

“The region wants the federal government to honour its own end of the bargain, before the end of 2020.

“These include clean-up of Ogoni land; more robust funding for the Maritime University in Gbaramatu; full installation and commissioning of the currently abandoned mega-Dry Dock (biggest in Africa!) in the region.

“Others are the completion of the sanitising and full funding of the NDDC; and the demilitarisation of the Niger Delta, amongst others,” the UNDEDSS scribe said.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Salif Atojoko (NAN)


Climate change effects more dangerous than COVID-19 – minister



Climate change, if not addressed, will make COVID-19 pandemic a child’s play, the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad  Abubakar, has warned.

At a one-day tour of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF),  Lagos, on Tuesday,  Abubakar called on Nigerians to give adequate attention to mitigation of climate change effects.

According to him, COVID-19 can only kill humans, but climate change can kill humans and their environments.

Abubakar said that  the present administration was committed planting 25 million trees annually to mitigate the effects of climate change.

He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was committed to raising Nigeria’s biodiversity ranking through  increased forestation and other strategies.

He said that the flagging-off of the government’s Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project in Ogoni, Rivers, and  erosion control projects across the nation, showed  the country’s seriousness in environmental protection.

The minister said that the Federal Government had an environment master plan  reviewed regularly to meet climate and environment realities.

He said that the ministry had concluded a national policy on plastic that would be presented to the Federal Executive  Council

In his address of welcome, the Director-General of NCF, Dr Muntari Aminu-Kano, described the minister’s appointment as putting a square peg in a square hole.

”This is one of the few times we have had an environmentalist appointed as the environment minister,” Aminu-Kanu said.

He lauded the minister’s efforts  in environmental protection, and pledged the support of NCF in protecting Nigeria’s environment.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the highpoint  of the visit was tree planting in commemoration of the minister’s visit.

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola
Source: NAN
Continue Reading


Obaseki’s victory rekindles people’s hope, place in democratic process — Don



A Political Scientist, Dr Charles Eghweree, says Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s victory in the just-concluded Edo governorship poll has rekindled the hope of many Nigerians in the democratic process.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday, Eghweree noted that the outcome of the election has reinforced the vital place of the people in the democratic process.

Eghweree, a lecturer in Department of Political Science, University of Benin, said that the expressed wish of the people was reflected in the outcome of the Edo election.

Eghweree added that the outcome would help galvanise docile politicians to action since any docility would mean being sacked during the next election.

“Run up to the election, a lot of boasting by political gladiators, made many doubt that the process would be free and fair.

“The outcome proved many wrong and to that extent, it shows we can get it right if the so-called ‘federal might’ will allow the process to be free from any form of interference.

“Edo election has wiped off god-father politics in Nigeria’s political culture and has shown us that power belongs to the people,” he said

The political scientist then urged INEC to fully embrace electronic voting and deepen deployment of technology in order to avoid dissappointment in the forthcoming elections.

Eghweree, who expressed dissappointment at failure of card readers in many polling units, advised the Commission to fully embrace electronic voting.

“This is unacceptable, considering the huge sum invested in that technology.

“It is high time the commission embraced electronic voting. It’s not rocket science, we can achieve it if we are committed to it.

“For Ondo elections, there is need to test run the card reader days before the election to avoid disappointment,” he said.

Eghweree advised Obaseki to keep politics aside and embrace the onerous business of governance.

“The governor-elect should commit to uniting the political class and the people to get needed support to govern effectively in the interest of all.

“Obaseki has a role of uniting Edo to achieve his ‘Make Edo Great Again’ agenda,” he said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
Continue Reading


Commercial disputes: Stakeholders canvass for virtual Court hearings for speedy resolution



Stakeholders on Tuesday called for the amendment of relevant rules and regulations to allow virtual Court hearings for speedy resolution of commercial disputes in Nigeria.

They made the call during a virtual dialogue organised by the Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP).

Participants also said that it would boost ease of doing business in Nigeria.

NICOP is an European Union (EU) co-financed initiative under the West African Competitiveness Programme, aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of Nigeria and to enhance it’s integration into the regional and International trading system.

Ms Katrine Thomsen, Head of Economic Section, EU delegate, said Nigeria is a leading trading partner with the EU.

She said that Nigeria’s partnership with the EU is highly cherished and had continued to improve daily.

“To support that improvement and trading partnership with Nigeria and West Africa in general, the EU has committed 125 million Euros to improving the competitiveness of West African economies,”she said

Thomsen said that the objective of NICOP is to stimulate and improve competitiveness of Nigeria in some selected value chains and to support the business climate in the country.

She said that a proactive legal system is critical to improving investment and business climate.

According to her, if we must diversify the economy and improve the country’s ranking in the ease of doing business, reforming the court system especially for contract enforcement and commercial dispute settlement is critical.

“We welcome NICOP and other stakeholders, joining voices with the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo who recently advocated for new set of directives to enable virtual Court proceeding in the country.

”I am sure that the Supreme Court of Nigeria had ruled and confirm the legality of virtual Court hearing.

“To this end, Nigeria is demonstrating leadership in the new normal,”she said.

Also, the Head of Programmes, NICOP, Mr Markus Wauschkuhn, said that virtual Court hearing would strengthen Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and address key issues in business areas.

Wauschkuhn said that the idea is to improve the business environment and investment climate in the country.

According to him, NICOP had supported capacity development for commercial dispute resolution in focal states of Kano, Plateau, Ogun, Kaduna.

The Managing Partner, Law Future Partners (LFP), Mr Elvis Asia, said that the COVID-19 experience had presented an opportunity for Nigeria to fix the state of commercial dispute resolution which take almost forever.

In a paper titled “Opportunity for Contract Enforcement and Commercial Disputes Settlement Reform”, Asia said that it has serious negative effects on investors.

He said that transfer of Judges and calling off of hearing which contribute to the delay in serving justice would taken care off by virtual hearing.

Asia said virtual hearing would make recording easier, eliminate time wastage and corruption and fast-track quick delivery of judgment.

According to him, more members of the public can participate in any case of their interest from anywhere in the world.

He, however said that though there is no express provision for virtual Court hearing in the Constitution, it empowers Heads of Courts to make regulation for effective proceedings.

The legal practitioner said that there was need to amend the Evidence Act to clearly give credence to electronic copies of documents in the court.

He also called for the creation of a commercial Court division with requisite technology and skill acquisition for legal and paralegal practitioners.

In her contribution, Justice Olutoyin Ipaye of the Lagos State Judiciary, said that virtual court hearing had come to stay.

She recommended that virtual Court hearing should not be limited time-bound cases but should be expanded to cover all disputes.

Ipaye said that virtual hearing has tremendous advantages that will further enhance the justice system in the country.

Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mrs A. J Offiah, said that life is becoming more virtual than physical, saying that there is the need to address disputes virtually.

Offiah, who is the founder and principal partner of OBRA Legal, said that many heads of courts were already tilting towards virtual hearing.

She said there was need to create link between the database of all relevant government agencies with the Judiciary to enable easy access to authoritative documents.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
Continue Reading

Science & Technology

NIGCOMSAT to host ‘ACTINSPACE’ innovation competition in Abuja



The Nigeria Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Ltd says it plans to host the 2020 edition of ‘ACTINSPACE’ innovation competition in Abuja.

This is contained in a statement by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of NIGCOMSAT, Mr Adamu Idris in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the ACTINSPACE is an international competition targeted at students of tertiary institutions, IT startups and entrepreneurs to create new applications using technologies, satellite data and/or licenses.

Idris said the 2020 edition of the competition was being organised in collaboration with NIGCOMSAT, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, African Aeronautics and Space Organisation (AASO).

He said other partners included the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) France , European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus among others.

“The competition entry which opened some weeks ago is expected to end on Oct. 8.

” Applicants from the ages of 18 to 35 years are expected to come up with solutions that are space-related for submission for the contest.

“The contest categories are New Space Player, Everyday Life Business and Space for Earth and Humans,” Idris said.

According to the Chairperson, local organising committee for ACTINSPACE Nigeria , Mrs Alma Okpalefe, participants are expected to devise solutions that could help to run their businesses, support humanitarian causes as well develop applications based on space technology.

Okpalefe said that the competition was open to all.

“Entries are accepted only through the NIGCOMSAT official website (

” The second phase of the competition is the Hackathon where selected applicants will present their business ideas to judges and mentors over a two-day period, “she said.

Okpalefe said finalists and runners up would emerge at the end of the Hackathon of which the first place winner would represent Nigeria at the global event in Paris, France, in 2021.

“We are expecting to see Nigeria win at the global technology innovation challenge.

“To achieve this however, we must showcase the best of what we have to offer,” she said.

Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN
Continue Reading

Climate change effects more dangerous than COVID-19 – minister Obaseki’s victory rekindles people’s hope, place in democratic process — Don Commercial disputes: Stakeholders canvass for virtual Court hearings for speedy resolution NIGCOMSAT to host ‘ACTINSPACE’ innovation competition in Abuja China not interested in ‘hot or cold war’ — Jinping NDE trains 900 unemployed youths in vocational skills in Ondo Group unveils online physiotherapy service to reduce medical tourism Kebbi Govt trains SMEs on procurement processes TUC postpones Sept. 23 planned protest Kyari challenges NASS on petroleum sector policies FG committed to proactive partnership on women, girls’ protection – Minister Gov. Lalong celebrates Rochas @ 58 Sports analyst cautions Rohr on Super Eagles’ upcoming friendly matches PDP wants late Zazzau monarch immortalised Gov. Buni mourns late Col. Bako Climate change: Kenya to experience higher temperatures, less rainfall – Agency Ebonyi NDE trains 205,000 youths in job creation schemes Man bags 14-year jail term for raping 20-year-old Ogun police parade 6 suspected robbers operating in army uniform  Edo Election: Benin Monarch thanks President Buhari, congratulates Obaseki  Ejama-Ebubu community prays Supreme Court to reject Shell’s request to reopen N17bn Judgment Fayemi presents staff of office to new Olorin of Orin-Ekiti Fayemi presents staff of office to new Olorin of Orin-Ekiti I am not under US surveillance — Atiku United States, China clash over COVID-19 at UNGA FG trains unemployed in livestock, vegetable production FG losses billions of naira to unpaid revenue from lottery operators, says Akume Recapitalisation process: NAICOM undertakes to maintain status quo pending suit determination Truck drivers sue AGF, 36 states over alleged excessive taxation Coronavirus: More than 200,000 refugee children out of school in Ethiopia – UN AMAC inaugurates gender unit to check sexual, gender-based violence Morata set to leave Atletico Madrid and return to Juventus Ekiti Assembly moves to immortalise late actor, Jimoh Aliu AfCFTA envoy assures mechanism to prevent trans-shipment Trump says UN must focus on ‘Real Problems’ including terrorism, ethnic cleansing Sunshine Stars unveil Ogunbote as new Technical Adviser Post COVID-19 lockdown: Artist seeks authorities’ assistance for practitioners to return to business Gynaecologist prescribes regular amniotic fluid checks during pregnancy Lagos bye election: I won’t disappoint if elected, says Abiru Israel to cut salaries of ministers, parliament members by 10% Food security:  CBN rallies stakeholders for dry season farming Mrs Fayemi set to tackle poverty among Ekiti women, inaugurates cooperative societies Ebonyi launches free deworming for dogs Burna Boy becomes first Nigerian artist with certified silver album in UK Hungary and UEFA taking big risk having fans at Super Cup match, health expert warns FG to attract youths into agriculture through mechanised farming Vaccine nationalism unfair, self-serving, says UN Chief Russia says COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women requires separate study  Cycling thrown into fresh turmoil with Tour doping investigation Flooding: Lagos council chairman tasks residents on drainage clearing