Stakeholders in the environment sector have kicked against the method adopted in coal mining activities, saying such mining and burning are responsible for global warming and climate change.
They spoke on Thursday at a training in Abuja for selected community stakeholders from Benue and Kogi where coal was currently being mined.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Owukpa Community, Ehaja Ward 1, Ogbadibo Local Government Area, Benue and Onupi Community in Ankpa Local Government area of Kogi, are parts of the communities currently mining coal.
Mr David Michael, the Executive Director, Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), said coal mining had degraded the land, while its burning had negatively impact on the environment and climate change.
“We cannot continue to degrade the land more than we have done, and this is exactly what coal mining is doing.
“Apart from the mining which is destroying the land, burning of coal is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emission which is responsible for global warming and climate change.
“So, we, as a country and as a continent, Africa, we have seen the impact now; the effect is already here with us, and it is not something of the future,’’ Michael said.
According to him, the way forward is to take steps to help people build resilience to climate change effects which are already happening.
“Already, there is poverty and with these effects, it means that we are not able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“So, we must plant trees to at least reduce the effect of flooding. We must construct small dams to harvest water and reduce the rate at which water destroys the farmland.
“We need to farm better by advising people not to build their houses on flood plains; we need to create more awareness, most especially among the local farmers.
“They need to understand that this is a new trend, and it is not just going to stop now, it will continue,’’ he said.
The executive director recalled that since 2010 when the country witnessed flooding, the number of flood cases kept increasing.
“So, we need to find a way to deal with flooding. We also need to move away from rainfall agriculture.
“As it is, many of the farmers that planted cannot predict when the rain will fall, unlike before now.
“But, if you are able to harvest water and make use of the dam we have, you will have water available to plant when you want to plant and harvest when you want to harvest or you can even farm all year round,’’ Michael said.
Also, Chief Godwin Onoja, the Chief of Al-Agada-Owukpa in Ehaja Ward 1, Ogbadibo Local Government Area, Benue, has called on the Federal Government to ensure the effective implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in the community where coal was being mined.
Onoja said relevant stakeholders of Owukpa Community where coal was being mined by an indigenous company had no input in the EIA.
In her remarks, Mrs Florence Abbah, a resident of Onupi Community, Ankpa Local Government, Kogi, decried the coal mining activities in her community.
Abbah said that mining had polluted the community’s water.
She called on the government to intervene and rescue the community.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Olagoke Olatoye
FG spends N8.9t on subsidy in 10 years -PPPRA
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) says the Federal Government has spent a total of N8.94 trillion on oil subsidy between 2006 and 2015.
The agency disclosed this in a document on subsidy payment released in Abuja on Monday.
It said that the subsidy was paid to oil marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the period under review.
A break down of the money indicated that in 2006 a total of N257.36 billion was paid, in 2007, N271.51 billion while in 2008 N630.57 billion was paid to marketers.
‘Also, oil marketers in 2009 were paid N409.31 billion and N667.08 billion in 2010 respectively as subsidy claims,” it said.
The document further revealed that in the year 2011, federal government paid a total of N2, 105.92 trillion an increase of N1,437.84trillion from 2010 payment.
The PPPRA in the document noted that in 2012, N1.35 trillion was paid as subsidy, the highest in the period under review.
“A total of N 1, 316.63 trillion in 2013, N1,217.35 trillion in 2014 and N653.51 billion in 2015 was paid as subsidy claims, “it added.
It noted that the NNPC since 2016 had being the sole importer of the product to the country.
It assured that subsequent releases would revealed the amount paid on subsidy before the deregulation of the downstream oil sector.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
NAHCON mourns Emir of Zazzau
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON) has expressed sadness over the death the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
NAHCON Executive Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, in a statement by Mrs Fatima Usara, Head, Public Affairs of the commission, on Monday in Abuja, described the demise of the monarch as a great loss to the country.
Hassan also said that the demise of the emir came at a time when dignified royal fathers like him were most needed.
He said his personality was most needed in cementing the unity of the Nigerian society along the vision of the States and Federal Government.
He said that the NAHCON family extended its condolence to President Muhammadu Buhari, Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’I of Kaduna State, his immediate family and entire people of Zazzau over the loss of the venerated statesman.
” We pray jannatul firdaus to be his final abode. May the Almighty grant his family and people the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Osinbajo Engages APC Social Media Influencers on hate speech
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government is ready to support youths to influence the passage of the hate speech bill presently before the National Assembly.
Osinbajo gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja while engaging the All Progressives Congress (APC) social media operators and influencers at a virtual meeting held at the party’s national secretariat.
The Vice President also assured that the government would not relent in expanding and sustaining youth friendly projects, including media platforms that would add value to the society.
Also speaking at the virtual meeting, Alhaji Ahmed Ismaeel, National Youth Leader of the APC, described the meeting as the first of its kind and very engaging, adding that the party would continue to organise such meetings from time to time.
He said the meeting was organised to particularly recognise the party’s online soldiers and media influencers, who had over the years, helped to shape public opinion on it.
Speaking on the party’s defeat at the just concluded Edo governorship election, Ismaeel said the party would do a postmoterm on the outcome of the election to know why it lost.
“We thought we had covered the grounds very well, but there was a blind side we didn’t see, the party intends to do a postmoterm on the election this week.
“We will conduct a postmoterm this week, to know how far and how we found ourselves in this kind of situation,” he said.
Ismaeel, who is also a member of the APC Caretaker and Reconciliation Committee, added that knowing that the party did not win the last presidential election in Ondo state, would make the election to be dicey.
He added that the state governor had, however, done what he needed to do in terms of reconciling aggrived party members, there was more to be done.
Ismaeel stressed that the party would not take anything for granted again, but would rather go out and fight to ensure that it retained Ondo State.
He said it was disheartening to note that for the first time since 2015, the APC doesn’t have a representative in the South South geopolitical zone again, adding that this was worrisome.
Ismaeel said while the party may have lost Edo state governorship election, it had to work hard, especially to ensure that it won the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election slated for October 10.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that about 100 APC media influencers participated at the event.
Nigeria like other developing nations have varieties of media technology through which information gets to the people.
Apart from the conventional media like Television, Radio and Newspapers, Digital media services such as email, social media sites, websites are among others playing the role of information dissemination.
The interface with the APC media influencers and its leadership was an opportunity to review performances and renew commitment, according to its organisers.
Edited By: Benson Iziama/Felix Ajide
Osinbajo, UNN students discuss technology, innovation
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday had a virtual interaction with students from both the university and the secondary school in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka(UNN) campus.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the Vice President featured at the virtual conference of the Centre for Lion Gadgets and Technologies, UNN.
The theme of the conference is “Technological Innovation for Holistic Sustainable Development.”
The Vice President said that deploying technology and innovation to address emerging challenges would be crucial to the country’s recovery from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must creatively imagine and pioneer our way out.
“We are in one of the worst health and economic crises in living memory and our recovery must be innovative – we must employ never-before-seen methods to fight the never-before-seen plethora of issues before us.
“Whether we are discussing the delivery of social services to vulnerable communities and promoting financial inclusion or we are talking about boosting agricultural productivity and promoting the security of our communities, how we harness technology is crucial.
“The future will be decided in groups such as yours, where young Nigerians are actively thinking about how to deploy technology in creative ways for problem-solving.”
Osinbajo said that such innovative ideas must be deployed in a manner that was inclusive and accessible to all Nigerians including the poor and vulnerable.
He said that recently, the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center concluded its Climate LaunchPad, and some very innovative ideas were unveiled.
According to him, one of the innovator companies, New Digits, generates power from water.
“The product uses water and conformed solar cells to generate energy for electricity and cooking.
“It actually works by collecting water automatically from any piping channel in the house, breaks down the water into Hydrogen which is used to cook and to power the entire house without the need for batteries of any kind.”
The Vice President also cited PowerStove Energy, founded by three young Nigerians, Okey, Abdulazeez and Glory.
He said that the trio produced a low-cost, clean smokeless cookstove.
“PowerStove Energy is the first clean cookstove to be fitted with self-powered Internet of Things (IoT) cloud system to monitor in real-time, every day that cooking is done, the amount of Co2 that is used and biomass saved, black carbon prevented and total electricity generated.
“All of that is monitored in real-time every day.’’
Osinbajo pledged the support of the Federal Government to universities especially in enhancing their capacity for research and innovation.
He said that the Federal Government was prepared but the university needed to do more by being proactive in the links with industry.
“Industry, as you know, is interested in commerce. If it will make profit and money, industry is interested.
“I think that a lot of the innovations we are seeing are certainly profitable and can be lucrative. But where government can come in is where there are needs for additional support to make the research easier or cheaper for the public to access.
“So, I certainly look forward to the cooperation between the Federal Government and the University of Nigeria.
“In education too, Covid-19 has showed us just how adaptive we can be and there are a number of ed-tech firms such as uLesson, where students can take lessons and tests on an app.
“If scaled, this could revolutionise how we approach challenges with access to education.’’
He said that the Federal Government had started the Students Innovation Challenge for all universities in Nigeria.
“We came as far as the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; there is a hub called the Genesis Hub where the competition took place for the South East.
“Three winners emerged from the University of Nsukka; and each of them got N1 million, and there were 25 of them that emerged winners at the competition.
“The Innovation Challenge is our commitment; we are committed to ensuring that innovation is done on a continuous basis,” he said.
Earlier in his remark, the Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, said the university had prioritised the deployment of technology in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Other participants at the conference included former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, the Most Rev. Paulinus Eze-Okafor, among others.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz