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Boat Mishaps:NIMASA, NIWA to make water transport safer

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Boat Mishaps:NIMASA, NIWA to make water transport safer
By John Akubo,

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) are set to make water transportation safe and viable mode of transportation devoid of boat mishaps.
This was contained in a statement by the Chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Maj.-Gen Jonathan India Garba (rtd.) while commiserating with the families of the victims of the recent marine accidents.
The boat mishaps in Munya local government area of Niger state and Bagudo local government area of Kebbi state which collectively claimed over a hundred lives.
The NIMASA boss in the release signed by an aide, Adakole Ejegbudu, and made available to reporters yesterday said NIMASA and NIWA were exploring ways of pulling their knowledge base and other resources together to achieve their shared mandate.
It explained that they would achieve that mandate with other stakeholders in making water transportation a safe and viable mode so they can play their part in fulfilling the dream of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to fully develop a truly intermodal transport system in the nation.

“I hope to share news of a concrete collaboration strategy between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA ) and National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and other relevant stakeholders soon.”
He said as a father and a citizen he felt a deep sense of loss.
“I wish to use this medium to extend my heartfelt condolences to all those who lost loved ones in these terrible accidents and to the governors of those states, their excellencies Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger and Sen Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
“A few days ago I put out a press statement commending the leadership of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for keeping the nation’s waterways navigable and for their vision of making all 10,000 km of our waterways viable.
“I stand with the leadership of NIWA in this period of mourning and share in their renewed resolve to make marine transportation safer.”
He said recent events on the Nigerian waterways do not inspire public confidence however he observed that for Marine transportation to be seen and utilized as a sustainable and viable mode of transportation it must be safe.
“This is the challenge that all stakeholders must rise up to. As is often said in the maritime world, all hands must be on deck.”
He aligned with the recent statement by the Corps Marshall Mr Boboye Olayemi Oyeyemi for the development of rail and marine transport so as to ease the pressure on the roads and consequently reduce the frequency of road accidents.
He said NIMASA believes in the vision of the Honourable Minister for Transport, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for establishing a truly intermodal transport system and the underlying need for interagency co-operation.
“The governing board of NIMASA has made it clear several times that we are willing to collaborate with various MDAs in improving the efficiency and safety of transportation and for the greater good of the nation. I restate that commitment now .
“I am aware that the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) already has a sensitization and awareness program for stakeholders and waterways users. This is a step in the right direction.
“I call on Civil Society Organizations and well meaning citizens to volunteer and play a role in this sensitization program.”
He said besides sensitization ,there are other issues to address such as education/ training of operators, utilization of safe and stable vessels , enforcement of rules and regulations and provision of relevant infrastructure and navigational aids, fast disaster response capability and a well articulated policy to guide stakeholders, investors and operators.

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households 

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power Jedy-Agba has disclosed that the country is set for a ‘bounce back’ programme in its green recovery initiative that will provide solar home systems to 5 million households

He spoke at a UK hosted Climate Change Conference Roundtable on Clean Power Transition on 11 January during a virtual visit to the UK on 10–12 January by United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres which he attended. 

The Minister added that off-grid power sources have become more competitive since the removal of fuel subsidies.

He stressed that Nigeria was taking steps to merge its energy access and energy transition plan. 
He acknowledged that the largest population without electricity globally resides within its borders, and identified financing as a major constraint to Nigeria’s clean and renewable energy transition plans. 
According to him, 

“With the help of the international community, we can improve the decentralized renewable energy market to create jobs, provide energy more quickly to those without access, and ensure that we maintain and eventually reduce our emission levels to achieve our net-zero objectives.

“As the COP26 Presidency, the UK Government is committed to supporting the Nigerian government to develop ambitious evidence-based plans to deliver on Nigeria’s own commitments ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November 2021. 
“The UK supported the solar sector in Nigeria with a £66m programme between 2014 and 2020 which  helped provide energy access to   5.5 million Nigerians since 2015.
He said the UK is delivering ongoing programmes to develop quality standards, financing and manufacturing arrangements for solar home systems.
“Many UK companies are also active in the solar home system market in Nigeria.
“The UK considers the licensing of mobile money to facilitate Pay As You Go arrangements for solar home systems a positive development.”

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres at the event challenged developed nations to fulfil their pledges to provide $100 billion annually for developing countries’ clean energy transition.
During the roundtable, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK will pledge up to £38 million to the Climate Compatible Growth programme, supporting developing countries to accelerate their transition to clean energy while growing their economies.
“The UK is already moving to clean power faster than any major economy, and last year committed to protect at least 30 per cent of its land and ocean by 2030.
“Together these announcements address the two leading sources of global emissions – electricity generation and land use – and demonstrate the UK’s leadership in fighting climate change ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.”

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Akpabio denies giving Attorney general $5m bribe over NDDC sole administrator

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Akpabio denies giving Attorney general $5m bribe over NDDC sole administrator

 
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has denied paying $5 million bribe to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and others to secure the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This was contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja on Sunday by his chief press secretary Anietie Ekong
He described the claim as a piece of fake news.
The statement reads in part,
“We wish to state categorically that this is a piece of malicious concoction manufactured from the pit of hell by mischief -makers.
“It is a figment of the imagination of the author of the fake news. Senator Akpabio denies the story in its entirety. The authors of the fake news should be ready to back up their claim or face the full wrath of the law.
 
“The story is a desperate attempt by some unscrupulous bloggers to impugn the integrity of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as the claim is not only spurious but utterly ridiculous. 
According to him, in a suit number ABJ/CS/617/2020 filed by a Civil Society Organization, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had granted an order restraining the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC from performing the functions of the board and accessing the Commission’s offices and files.
 
“The Order clearly listed the Managing Director Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Acting Executive Director of Projects Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Mrs Caroline Nagboh and Cecilia Akintomide as those restrained.
He said the Order also asked that “the most senior civil servant or administrator in the Commission be appointed” to take charge of the Commission.
 
“It was based on this order that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the elevation of the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Effiong Akwa, being the most Senior Administrator to take over the headship of the NDDC as an Interim Administrator pending the completion of the Forensic Audit Exercise.
 
“It is therefore absurd for anyone to even imagine that the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio would bribe the Attorney General before an Order of the Court is complied with as the purveyors of the fake news have stated. “
He therefore advised the general public to discountenance the piece of trash.
 
He said, “It is obvious that some persons who are scared of the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari are working tirelessly to scuttle the exercise by blackmailing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. 
“Their modus operandi is to churn out fake news in a bid to stop Senator Akpabio from sanitizing the NDDC.
“Otherwise, how can a responsible news website make such a grievous allegation without any shred of evidence to back up its claim.”
 
However, he restated the resolve of Senator Akpabio to continue to do the right thing as mandated by President Buhari adding that no amount of sponsored fake news and blackmail would deter him from achieving his mandate. “The Minister has the overwhelming support of the impoverished masses of the Niger Delta who have borne the brunt of underdevelopment of the region over the years.”
 
 

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NEF warns Nigerians against stoking religious war with unguarded statements

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NEF warns Nigerians against stoking religious war with unguarded statements

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has asked Nigerians to watch and guard their statements so as to prevent any form of religious war in the country.
This was coming against the backdrop of inflammatory and inciting statements after the Christmas day sermon by fiery Bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese leading to the issuance of a quit notice on the revered Bishop to leave Sokoto State.

NEF in a statement on Wednesday by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed warned that Nigeria should not be subjected to further difficult circumstances capable of imposing fear in the mind of citizens.

Baba-Ahmed who expressed worries about certain disturbing comments in the polity, therefore, warned those spreading explosive and inciting statements to check their ways and desist from such acts.

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