Foreign

Repair work at Beirut port’s hangar may be cause of explosion – Defense Council

Published

on


A meeting of the Lebanese Supreme Defense Council said that a massive blast that occurred in the port of Beirut on Tuesday evening might have been the result of maintenance work at the site.


The council said at an emergency meeting that followed the blast that a door of the port’s hangar, where explosive materials were stored, did not close properly, local media reported.

Following the tragic incident, the city’s governor said that half of the Beirut’s buildings were damaged, and hospitals were overcrowded due to a large number of injured people.

More than 80 people were killed and some 4,000 injured.

“(Some) 2,750 tonnes – the amount of ammonium exploded in the port of Beirut – are materials that were seized in 2014 from the Rhosus dry-cargo ship, registered in Moldova, when it was heading to Africa and suffered damages during navigation,” the Defense Council said, as quoted by local LBCI broadcaster.

During the meeting, representatives of the Lebanese security service said that an explosion took place as a door was being welded, the channel reported.

It was discovered some time ago that the hangar’s door was not properly locked, and there was a gap by the wall, which made it easy to both enter and leave the hangar, the emergency meeting of the defense council said.

“A spark led to the burning of explosive materials in the hangar that then led to a blast of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which is equivalent to 1,800 tonnes of TNT,” Lebanese officials said.

The Lebanese government has declared a three-day mourning for the victims of the tragedy starting Wednesday.

In 2014, the Rhosus cargo ship’s owner abandoned the vessel in Beirut.

Meanwhile, high-risk goods – in particular, ammonium nitrate, which was prohibited from being unloaded or transferred to another vessel by Beirut’s port authorities – remained in the hold.

The cargo stored at the ship was then transported to an appropriate place, but, eventually was moved to hangar 12 at the port.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/repair-work-at-beirut-ports-hangar-may-be-cause-of-explosion-defense-council/

Foreign

UNICEF launches cash assistance programme in Lebanon

Published

on


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday launched an emergency cash assistance programme to support people affected by Beirut’s port explosions on Aug. 4, LBCI local TV channel reported.


The UNICEF noted that the programme will reach 80,000 children and adults affected by the explosions.

UNICEF Representative in Lebanon Yukie Mokuo noted that the assistance programme can play a vital role in supporting those who suffered the most from the blasts.

Two huge explosions rocked Beirut’s port on Aug. 4, destroying a big part of the city while killing around 190 people and wounding no fewer than 6,000 others.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/ Maharazu Ahmed
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/unicef-launches-cash-assistance-programme-in-lebanon/
Continue Reading

Environment

Climate Change: Environment ministry partners with German foundation on NDC

Published

on


The Federal Ministry of Environment is partnering with German foundation, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) to conduct nationwide youth consultations on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) enhancement in the country.


Mr Seyifunmi Adebote, an environmentalist and State Coordinator, International Climate Change Development Initiative, made this known in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.

Adebote said that the nationwide consultations would bring meaningful youth engagement into Nigeria’s NDC enhancement process and in tracking the implementation process.

“In continued efforts to ensure youth involvement and active engagement in climate policy development, the ministry of environment is partnering with a non-profit German foundation, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) to conduct a nationwide youth consultations on (NDC) enhancement in Nigeria.

“Building upon the International Youth Day event and the virtual validation workshop of NDC Youth Action Manual which held Aug. 12 and 25 respectively, the National Youth Climate Consultation on NDC Enhancement in Nigeria will establish clear plans.

“The plans will be for permanent and meaningful youth engagement in Nigeria’s NDC process beyond the current enhancement, including in the wider activities of the ministry

“It will be recalled that Nigeria had youths as part of its official delegation for the first time at the Conference of Parties during the COP25 in Madrid and this is furtherance of such concrete engagement.

“As an outcome of this youth consultation on NDC, eight NDC Youth Working Groups (YWGs), will be establish across the eight sectors to officially feed into the final government NDC.

“The sectors are agriculture, energy, oil and gas, industry, transport, water, waste management group and cross-cutting issues, finance and investment, gender and youth.

“ Nigerian youths are encouraged to be a part by registering to attend via https://bit.ly/3hVp2xd.

“The NDCs, which embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and central to the achievement of these long-term goals.’’

 

Adebote said that Nigeria and 185 other countries submitted their first NDCs in 2015 and Nigeria was planning to submit the revised NDC by 1st quarter of 2021.

“Considering that the NDCs are submitted every five years to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, an updated NDC is required for all party members,’’ he said.

He said that each climate plan reflects the country’s ambition for reducing emissions, taking into account its domestic circumstances and capabilities.

The coordinator said that the updated NDCs were expected to enhance the ambition of the Paris Agreement and provide a progression compared to the previous NDC while reflecting its highest possible ambition.

“Until recently, only four parties have submitted their second NDCs, namely Moldova, the Marshall Islands, Suriname and Norway.’’

He said that the consultation was expected to hold virtually on Sept. 11, via zoom with Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of State for Environment and Daniel Mann, Resident Representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Nigeria expected to deliver crucial remarks.

 

He added that Samira Ibrahim, the Centre Director, Centre for Policy Research and Development Solutions would moderate the event.

Mr Huzi Mshelia, NDC Revision Coordinator, Department of Climate Change of the ministry, Olumide Idowu, Co-founder, International Climate Change Development Initiative and Adebote, Host, Climate Talk Podcast will be speaking at the event.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/climate-change-environment-ministry-partners-with-german-foundation-on-ndc/
Continue Reading

Foreign

FG, Okonjo-Iweala seek global support as election for WTO top job begins

Published

on


Nigeria has appealed for global support for its candidate as election process for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General position began on Monday in Geneva.


Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s two-time Finance Minister and a development economist is vying for the job alongside candidates from Mexico, Egypt, Moldova, UK, Saudia Arabia, Kenya, and South Korea.

At a reception held in Geneva to garner support for Iweala, Mr Adebayo Adeniyi the Minister of Trade and Investment  described her as a global icon with proven leadership skills that the WTO required.

Adeniyi, who was represented by the Mr Abdulhamid Adamu, Charge d’ Affairs of the Nigerian Trade Office in Geneva listed some of Iweala’s achievements as spearheading negotiations and reforms that enhanced transparency of government accounts and strengthening institutions against corruption, among others.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in the first phase of the election process, Amb. David Walker, Chair of the WTO’s  General Council and his colleagues from the Dispute Settlement body, Mr Dacio Castillo as well as  that of  the Trade Policy Review body, Mr Harald Aspelund will commence consultations with all WTO members.

The consultation is geared toward assessing their preferences to determine which candidate is best placed to attract consensus support.

At the end of the first phase of consultation three candidates will be dropped thereby paving the way for five candidates to move to the next level.

Okonjo-Iweala in an interview with NAN expressed her readiness for the job saying she possessed the required competence.

“I want our partners and the WTO members to know that I have the bundle of skills required to lead the organisation at this time and put it ahead and face it towards the future.

“I am hoping that they will support me.

“I have had constructive discussions with the WTO members and feel really good and confident but nothing is done until it’s done. So I don’t want to be overconfident “ She said.

She also expressed appreçiation to President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari for nominating and supporting her.

Okonjo-Iweala also expressed gratitude to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama for his support.

The WTO election process usually lasts up to two months.

So far, no date has been fixed yet for the announcement of the winner.

HAB/

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/fg-okonjo-iweala-seek-global-support-as-election-for-wto-top-job-begins/
Continue Reading

Foreign

Okonjo-Iweala reiterates vital role WTO can play in ÇOVID-19 vaccine production

Published

on


Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has reiterated the vital role the World Trade Organisation (WTO) can play in producing a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.


Okonjo-Iweaka underscored the role of the global trade body in Geneva at a reception held in her honor by the Nigerian Permanent Mission to the UN while appealing for global support for her candidacy as the race for the World Trade Organisation( WTO) Director General position enters the election phase.

“When vaccines and therapeutic medicine are produced, the WTO should be able to facilitate accessibility and equitable distribution to all member nations.

“To this end, trade has to be a strong recovery out of the global recession. And that makes a multilateral trading system part of the solution,” she said.

Okonjo-Iweala, who currently chairs the Board of GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, is the only candidate at the centre of public health vying for the WTO top job.

She said her experiences in GAVI were an added advantage, as they would enable her to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries in the drive toward producing vaccines.

According to her,  e-Commerce and digital economy are vital forms of trade in the new normal brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

She, however, spoke of the need to address the digital divide challenge dichotomy between developing and least developed countries, where infrastructure remains a major impediment to such form of trade.

“There is need for WTO to collaborate with finance agencies to address these issues otherwise it remains an impediment to multilateral trading system.

“If elected as director general, you have an ally, who is interested in addressing these challenges,” she said.

In his remarks, Mr Adebayo Adeniyi, Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment described Okonjo-Iweala as a global icon with proven leadership skills that the WTO would require.

Adeniyi, who was represented by Mr Abdulhamid Adamu, Charge d’ Affairs of the Nigerian Trade Office in Geneva, stated that Okonjo-Iweala has achieved a lot of positives some of which are spearheading negotiations and reforms that enhanced transparency of government accounts, as well as strengthening institutions against corruption.

In separate presentations, Amb. Baba Madugu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Switzerland, and Amb. Leopold Samba of the Central African Republic, applauded  Okonjo-Iweala for her desire to be the WTO chief.

They described her as the best candidate for the position given her pedigree and skills.

The event was attended by WTO ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps of the UN in Geneva, and international trade experts.

Candidates from Mexico, Egypt, Moldova, Republic of Korea, Kenya, UK, and Saudi Arabia are also vying for the WTO top job.

HAB/

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/okonjo-iweala-reiterates-vital-role-wto-can-play-in-covid-19-vaccine-production/
Continue Reading

Wrap-up: An overview of Edo governorship election  Edo 2020: Sorting, counting of votes start Edo election: No offender will go unpunished, police warn Ekiti Police slam N5m on wanted man over alleged robberies, kidnappings World Bank Projects: Zamfara Gov’t tasks communities on maintenance  Military arrest 11 suspected members of a cult group in Jos FG seeks collaboration with Agric stakeholders to curb post-harvest losses LASG seeks quality healthcare service for increased patients’ patronage NPA expects 13 ships with petroleum products, others at Lagos port EPL: Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin shine as Everton batter 10-man West Bromwich Albion Lawyer advocates leadership training for youths 3-storey school  building collapses in Lagos Edo election: Security team investigates reports of gunshots Edo poll: Gov. Obaseki faults INEC preparations Flooding: Kebbi Gov’t assures farmers on dry season farming FUOYE pledges to appoint VC, Registrar, others based on merit Minister, senator commend INEC on Edo election Electorate, observer commend conduct of election in Edo Zamfara APC: Sen. Marafa’s loyalists react to expulsion of Sirajo Garba, 125 others Flood: 1 out of 14 passengers rescued in Sokoto mishap  Edo Election: European Centre decries non-compliance to COVID-19 protocols Edo election: FRSC certifies 496 vehicles to convey electoral materials, personnel Gov. Ganduje urges Muslims to pray for peace, stability Edo 2020: Card Readers fail to authenticate fingerprints in Esan West, Central Rivers: NEMA engages stakeholders on flooding challenge Foundation donates food, other gifts items to widows in Abuja Nasarawa APC pass Vote of Confidence on Gov Sule  Plateau: NFC trains 60 youths in Modern Film Techniques Edo Election: Obaseki queues up to vote Edo: Presiding Officers, Observer commend electoral process in Ward 4 Gunmen invade relaxation spot in Kogi, kill one, injure many Edo 2020: Voters observe social distancing Motorists decry deplorable roads in Southern Kaduna Ember Months: FRSC urges motorists to drive patiently, apply controlled-speed Edo Polls: Ize-Iyamu votes at Ugboko ward 4, commends conduct of Election NDLEA clarifies stand on drug integrity test for intending couples  Edo election: Presiding officers insist on no face masks, no voting Edo 2020: Massive turnout of voters witnessed at polling units Troops rescue 22 kidnapped victims in Zamfara, Katsina Restriction order in Edo: Motorists, travellers stranded in Okpella FEMA alerts Abuja residents of severe flood Ibadan Poly sacks lecturer over alleged sexual misconduct Edo governorship election begins orderly amid massive securirty, movement restriction COVID-19: NCDC announces 221 new cases, total infections rise to 56,956 Women affairs minister urges Ebonyi Govt. to check early girl-child marriage Reed grabs halfway lead, as Tiger misses cut at United States Open Aguero could be out of action until November, Guardiola says Whirlwind Bayern Munich dismantle Schalke 8-0 in season opener FG set to support 1.7 million businesses, individuals — Minister Niger Govt opens Minna-Bida road to articulated vehicles