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AfDB, UNECA, UNDP, AU agree on partnerships for climate impact

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Partners of the Africa Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Hub have stressed on the importance for African countries to implement their NDCs to adapt to climate impacts.

This is contained in a statement from the Communication and External Relations Department, African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday.

NDCs represent the commitments of each country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

They were agreed to by countries during the Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris in 2015, a commitment known as ‘The Paris Agreement.’

Partners hosted a session titled “Enabling faster and efficient NDC support through advocacy and partnerships” at the just-ended Africa Climate Week.

The partners included the AfDB, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and the Global Green Growth Institute.

The representatives from across the continent gathered to share their experiences of implementing the NDCs.

They noted that partnerships and effectiveness in measuring, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions would be key to African countries hitting their various targets.

The session showcased a collaborative platform for partner institutions to leverage one another’s strengths to support African countries deliver their NDCs faster and efficiently.

In his opening remarks, Gabon’s Minister of Water, Forest, the Sea and Environment, Prof. Lee White said: “Gabon is a net positive country and is committed to remain carbon neutral to 2050.”

White noted that Gabon had submitted a second NDC in 2022 in collaboration with several development partners, some of them members of the NDC Hub.

Speaking of one of the country’s key sectors, he stressed that Gabon’s timber should not be embargoed as it is certified, and produced legally and sustainably.

He also pressed a point made by Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba earlier during Africa Climate Week to, “let Africa lead” on climate issues.

“The continent has a lot to offer,” he said.

Mr Jean-Paul Adams, UNECA’s Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, said: “To be effective, NDCs needed to be integrated in national budgeting systems to receive funding from the national treasury.”

Looking ahead to COP27, Adams said that Africa’s priorities should include a just and equitable transition, finance and resource mobilisation through such instruments as debt for climate swaps.

Dr Richard Munang, Deputy Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Africa Office said there was no one size fits all model.

Munang added that African countries should consider their own individual contexts and prioritise sectors in which they enjoy a comparative advantage.

He also stressed the importance of tapping Africa’s youth dividend.

Davinah Milenge, AfDB’s Principal Programme Coordinator in the Climate Change Department said, “The African Development Bank established the Africa NDC Hub to leverage the power of partnerships in delivering the NDCs with efficiency, urgency and at scale.”

Milenge said the bank had targeted its NDC support to prioritise a holistic approach that stimulates economic growth, and delivers inclusivity and regional integration.

She cited the Desert to Power initiative, which will add 10 gigawatts of solar generation capacity and provide electricity to around 250 million people in 11 Sahelian countries by 2030.

Representatives from Kenya, Nigeria and Gabon provided country experiences on NDC implementation, current needs and priorities.

During the last session of the side event, Africa NDC Hub partners institutions outlined their country-support programmes for NDC implementation.

Africa NDC Hub partners will launch a flagship publication at COP27 outlining progress in NDC implementation across nine thematic areas.

The report is expected  to spotlight key priorities ahead of the United Nations Global Stocktake (GST) on the Paris Agreement, scheduled for 2023.

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‘Tinubu paying fuel subsidy more than before’ – El-Rufai

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The former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has claimed that the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government is currently subsidising fuel for Nigerians.

Fielding questions from journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Monday, El-Rufai said the FG is now paying fuel subsidy more than before.

President declared during his inauguration on May 29, 2023, that the country can no longer subsidise fuel for the citizens, saying the petrol subsidy is gone.

The development skyrocketed the price of fuel and other products and services, triggering the economic hardship that has been bedevilling the nation since 2023.

But the former governor told journalists on Monday that the subsidy is back.

According to him, the FG returned the subsidy because “the impact has been seen and the packages of support that would reduce the impact have not been so effective in reducing the impact, so the federal government is back now subsidising petrol.”

He said many people don’t know that the fuel subsidy is back.

“If they want to know whether we are subsidising or not, they should compare the price of petrol and diesel because petrol should be more expensive than diesel but diesel is priced above a thousand naira while petrol is at N600 per litre.

“So, we are still subsidising Petrol because the government has realised that the way it implemented the fuel subsidy initially required some adjustments,” El-Rufai said.

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Clark calls for special taskforce for release of Chibok girls

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Pa Edwin Clark, Leader of  the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has urged the Federal Government to appoint a special taskforce to ensure the rescue of the remaining Chibok girls held by Boko Haram

The elder statesman made the call while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday at a ceremony to mark the Chibok girls’ 10th anniversary in captivity.

While expressing displeasure over the failure of past administrations to rescue the girls, Clark urged President Bola Tinubu to leave no stones unturned to secure the release of the girls.

“About 90 of them are still missing after 10 years. This should be a source of worry and concern to any government.

“Tinubu should appoint a special taskforce with brave soldiers, who are competent and transparent and not nepotic.

“Their main duty will be to travel at all times to Sambisa forest or where ever these citizens are, to look for these girls and rescue them.

“In giving this advice, I also want to add that a time limit should be given to them to carry out this task.”

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Oodua Nation Agitation: NSCDC puts personnel on red alert in Ondo

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Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State Command, has ordered divisional officers and tactical teams to be on red alert and ward off any incursion into the state by Oodua nation agitators.

NSCDC Commandant in the state, Oluyemi Ibiloye, who stated this at the weekly muster parade where the corps’ operations during the last Eid-el Fitr celebration were reviewed, also ordered the teams to be on standby for other miscreants.

Ibiloye, in a statement made available to newsmen by the command’s Spokesperson, Aidamenbor Daniel on Monday in Akure, admonished officers to take positive posture toward their job.

He reminded the officers and men of the corps of the ongoing political activities within the state and the need to be professional and apolitical in their operations.

“The intelligence department, armed squad, counter terrorism unit, rapid response squad and operations are to be on red alert to ensure that the security breach that took place in Oyo State does not happen in Ondo State,” he said.

According to him, this has become imperative especially now that various political parties are having their rallies in the state, with mixed crowds in attendance.

“The command wishes to reiterate its commitment to safeguarding lives and properties, and ensuring the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.

“We would do all within the ambits of the law to ensure the safety of all good and law-abiding citizens of Ondo State.

“For quick intervention and actionable intelligence sharing, the command’s quick response lines 08034027234, 08037871044 and 08032797388 are open for public use,” Ibiloye said.

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