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How Kogi Forest reserve was raped for over 25years by environment commissioner

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How Kogi Forest reserve was raped for over 25years by environment commissioner

By John Akubo,  Lokoja

The Kogi State commissioner for environment Mrs. Ojochenemi Osunkoya has bemoaned the rape of Kogi State forestry reserve that has left it with no data and information. 

Osunkoya spoke during the inauguration of the State forestry law review committee in Lokoja recently. 

Osunkoya indicated that trees were logged at will with no recourse to the effect on climate to the extent that by March last year many species had gone extinct. 

She said the State had no updated document to hand over to the committee to show the species available. 

“There was never a study conducted and if it was there was no record if it is available. We also got interested in the physical locations of the forest reserves and found that the perimeters of those gazetted reserves of 1920, 1950 and the likes of them were never identified.

 “The information we have at the moment is that they were never there.”

Osikoya noted that Kogi State had no forestry law in operation for the past 25 years of its creation except the inherited laws from old Benue and Kwara State.

“We hope to achieve a strong and well thought out Kogi State Forestry Law, state forestry policy and necessary regulations,” she said. 

She said it took the determination of the current administration to reposition the sector when it banned illegal logging. 

“The Governor declared a ban on forestry on March,  17th 2016, that ban is still subsisting. In April he set up a State task force.  

“The legal position to give support to such task force was not actually in place. That was one of the weaknesses.”

She indicated that as at November last year because of the commitment of Government the State commissioner of police had set up a law enforcement task force of about forty man squad with one mandate to control illegal logging within the State. 

“As we speak illegal logging has been controlled up-to 90%, the other 10% is what happens at night. 

“To let you see the strong commitment of the State Government because the penalties cited in the various laws that are applicable within the State were not strong enough to serve as deterrent the State executive Council approved a penalty of N1.5M to N2.5M for every truck that is arrested and involved in illegal logging within the State and that is the highest penalty in all of Nigeria today.”
Responding on behalf of Committee members, the Chairman, Mr Julius Abu, from Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), thanked the Kogi Government for the opportunity given them to review the law of forestry in Kogi.

“For this purpose, we have requested for both inherited laws from old Kwara and Benue State and forestry laws from five other States to see the trend of modern forestry laws. 

“I promise on behalf of the entire members that we would work together towards coming up with a forestry law that is workable for the state as far as forestry is concerned,” Abu said.

The committee has two scribes; Mr Fabola Moses, from Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and Barr Iye Idama of the Ministry of Justice, Kogi State.

Other members of the committee include representatives from Federal Ministry of Environment, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), and National Park Service (NPS).

Others are Univeristy of Ibadan (UI), Kogi State University (KSU), Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN), sister MDAs: Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agric, Ministry of Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, among others

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

By Aminci Audu

The minister of communications and Digital Economy Isah Ali Pantami has declared that Nigeria is ready for 5th Generation Network (5G) as long as the major challenges are taken care of.

Pantami spoke yesterday, at a one day investigative hearing on the present status of 5G network organised by the joint Senate committee on communication, sScience and Technology, ICT and Cybercrime and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.

The minister in his presentation allayed the fear among Nigerians over the planned deployment of the network saying the Federal Government has taken all necessary precautions by investigating through research and trial on all issues raised.

He said “The position is that we are almost at the final stage. So now, Nigeria is ready for 5G as long as we address the major challenges.”

“We have not gotten there, wether we will deploy 5G but we are on track conducting research, investigations, engaging stakeholders and definitely if all issues are addressed, the executive will support the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.”

He noted that so far no negative impacts has been established from the research and trial carried both locally and at the international level. 

On the speculation that the 5G network escalated the COVID-19 he said there is no link between 5G and COVID-19.
“And there is no relationship between 5G and any desease. The only issue being raised usually is about radiation.  But people don’t realise that the radiation of 4G is more harmful than that of 5G. 
“The radiation of microwave oven at home is more harmful than that of the 5G. The radiation of even the smart phone itself is even more harmful that that of 5G

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

The South-south Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has faulted allegations of wrong doing leveled against the Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva over the choice of Saipem, an Italian firm to handle the Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract.

SELF in a statement argued that the deal also endorsed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Board Engr. Simbi Wabote was in the best interest of the country.

SELF position was in response to an online publication which accused the duo of bribe taking running into millions of naira in the deal.

SELF warned the publisher of the medium , Mr Jackson Ude, to desist from blackmailing leaders of the South-south extraction in a bid to score political goals.

Urging the Publisher of the online medium to show proof his allegation, SELF noted: “We strongly condemn the allegation leveled by Pointblanknews.com and its sponsors, this is highly condemnable and viewed as a sponsored plot to instigate hate against the Minister and derail his concentrations.

“This is ridiculous and belittling of Jackson Ude, the face behind this blackmail for being petty to the ground level for publishing tissues of lies about the persons of Timipre Sylva and Simbi Wabote.

“Nigerians should not believe this and throw it into the dust bin. It’s incumbent on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the positive drive of Minister and collaborate with him, towards the actualization of the onerous task at stake.

“Although Jackson Ude and his medium Pointblanknews.com are criminally known for thriving in the business of blackmail, especially against the officeholders from the Niger Delta region. But this forum will henceforth resist this criminality by deploying all known instrumental of law to fight the faces behind these tissues of lies.

“This Forum is using this medium to warn the likes of Jackson Ude to stay away from Nigeria and the South-south most especially if they are not ready to turn a new leaf because the business of blackmail has long become outdated and unpopular.”

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Great relief as Kidnapped Punch reporter, Nnodim regains freedom

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Great relief as Kidnapped Punch reporter, Nnodim regains freedom


It was a great relief for journalists, family members, friends and well wishers when the news filtered in that the Punch Newspapers reporter, Victor Okechukwu Nnodim who was kidnapped from his residence in Kubwa, Bwari Area Council on Thursday has regained freedom.

He was released almost 48hours hours after his abduction alongside two other neighbours who were also abducted.
It was gathered early hours of Sunday that he has been released and in high spirits.

The media world was jolted by the news of his abduction, as many turned prayer warriors supplicating for his freedom without any harm

His abductors, NationaUpdate learnt later communicated with his elder sister who resides in Lagos demanding for N10 million.

At the time of this report it could not be ascertained if ransom was paid before he regained freedom, but colleagues made efforts to contributed money towards his release, when it became obvious that the kidnappers were bent on collecting ransom.

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