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Buhari inaugurates council on Climate Change, sets agenda to achieve growth

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President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the National Council on Climate Change to formulate appropriate policies toward achieving green growth and sustainable economic development for Nigeria.

The President, while inaugurating the Council on Wednesday before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting he presided over at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the inauguration marked the commencement of the implementation of the Climate Change Act 2021 and a new chapter in the renewed response to climate change in the country.

The President also directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice in conjunction with the Minister of Environment to initiate appropriate amendments of ‘noticeable implementation challenges’ inherent in the Act.

He highlighted the losses and damages caused by the recent increasing floods in several parts of the country as well in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other parts of East and Southern Africa, describing climate change as one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.

According to him, “It is complex and dynamic; and requires multidimensional and multi-sectoral initiatives to address its impacts and avert its rapid advance.

“Updated data show increases in sea level rise, heat waves, wild fires, floods, desertification, drying wetlands and many more disruptive climate occurrences.

“The latest Intergovernmental Panel on climate change report warns that rising Green House Gas emissions could soon outstrip the ability of communities to adapt, and the window for taking decisive steps needed to spare our planet from the gravest impacts of climate change is rapidly narrowing.

“We cannot ignore what is happening in our local environment. The increasing re-occurrence of floods in several parts of the country is a wakeup call,” he said, lamenting the loss of lives, damage and destruction of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and agricultural production.

Buhari, therefore, reiterated the determination of his Administration to strengthen national response to climate change and accelerate the implementation of decisive actions to reduce its impacts on the people and economy.

He reaffirmed that Nigeria is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is an established international treaty to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system,” in part by stabilizing Green House Gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

“It is against this background that in November 2021, after COP 26 in Glasgow, I signed the Nigeria Climate Change Act despite noticeable implementation challenges inherent in the Act, to set the framework for mainstreaming climate change action, carbon budgeting and the establishment of the National Council on Climate Change.

“The council is tasked with the responsibility of formulating appropriate policies and other mechanisms for achieving low Green House Gas emissions, including green growth and sustainable economic development for Nigeria.

“In a clear demonstration of our commitments as enshrined in our Nationally Determined Contributions and the Net Zero-Target by 2060, I also approved, on 25th July 2022, the appointment of the Director General and Secretary for the National Council on Climate Change.

“It is imperative therefore that those lapses earlier alluded to – which includes the establishment of states and Zonal offices creating a huge and costly bureaucracy is not acceptable. The Act also takes out the Commissioners of Environments from the states as members of Council, it also did not make transitional provisions capturing the work of the Inter-ministerial Working Group.

“This group was responsible for Energy Transition, the supervisory oversight of the Ministry of Environment and the establishment of an Executive Management structure at the secretariat level to support the DG in running the Council Secretariat.

“Accordingly, I hereby direct the Attorney General and Minister of Justice in conjunction with the Minister of Environment to initiate the appropriate amendment to reflect these observations.”

Ahead of COP27 in Sharm El Shiekh, Egypt, the President expressed optimism that the National Council on Climate Change would harmonise all issues relating to Climate Change, Energy Transition Plan, Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Trading Framework, in line with its mandate under the Act, so that Nigeria can have a robust and impactful outing that captures Nigeria’s Climate Change priorities.

He said the composition of the council is a reflection of the magnitude of the problem and the seriousness of our response, adding that it comprises the highest level of governance and a representation of all key sectors of the economy.

Buhari also used the occasion to thank Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for heading Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, presiding over the global launch of the plan and initiating its marketing by engaging key stakeholders in the United States.

He urged the Council to consolidate on these first steps and ensure a sustained marketing of the plan.

Mohammed Abdullahi, the Minister of Environment, thanked the President for “walking the talk” on climate change at the international, regional and national level, demonstrating immense leadership towards Nigeria’s quest for net-zero by 2060.

The Council is chaired by the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, with the Vice President as Vice Chairman. The Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, is also a member.

Other members of the Council are the Ministers responsible for Environment; Petroleum Resources; Budget and National Planning; Justice; Mines and Steel Development; Finance; Agriculture and Rural Development; Power; Women Affairs;  Transportation; and Water Resources.

The Governor of Central Bank; the National Security Adviser; President of Association Local Governments of Nigeria;  a representative of the private sector on climate change or environmental related matters (representative of National Conservation Foundation); a representative of National Council on Women Societies; a representative of National Youth Congress, and a representative of the Civil Society Organisation are also members of the Council.

The Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change, Dr Salisu Dahiru, will serve as Secretary.

After the inauguration, the Federal Executive Council observed a minute silence in honour of Chief Ayodele Ogunlade, a former Minister of National Planning, under former Head of State, Sani Abacha, who died on Tuesday aged 88.

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Rivers: Court outlaws LGA chairmen tenure extension

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

A High Court sitting in Rivers State has ruled against the recent extension of Local Government Chairmen’s tenures, declaring exercise by the ousted 27 lawmakers of the State House of Assembly as invalid.

 The case, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam & 6 Others vs The Governor of Rivers State & Others (Suit No. PHC/1320/CS/2024), was presided over by Hon. Justice D.G. Kio  in Port Harcourt.

Justice Kio declared that Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024, which sought to extend the Chairmen’s terms by six months, conflicts with the 1999 Constitution and Section 9(1) of Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.

The court affirmed that the lawful tenure for Local Government Chairmen and Councillors remains three years, as stipulated by the 2018 law.

The judge emphasised that the attempt to extend the tenure was not only unlawful but also violated the officials’ oath of office.

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Emir of Kano to visit Awujale of Ijebuland today

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The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, and President, Ijebu Traditional Council, Oba Dr. Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR, GCON, JP, Ogbagba II, will today play host to the revered traditional ruler, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, on a royal visit along with eight officials of the Kano Emirate.

In a letter titled Notification of Our Visit to Ijebu Ode Kingdom, dated 19th May 2024, with reference number KEC/HH/CORR/OOW/VOL.I/768 and personally signed by the Emir of Kano, the purpose of the visit is to pay “respect to His Majesty with intention to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between Awujale of ljebu-land and our father, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, of blessed memory.

The letter read, “I humbly write to notify His Royal Majesty the Awujale of ljebu-land of our resolve to pay a Royal Visit to ljebu Ode Kingdom, Ogun State, on Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024 with an entourage of 8 officials of Kano Emirate.

“The purpose of our visit is to pay our respect to His Majesty with intention to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between Awujale of ljebu-land and our father, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero of blessed memory.

“At the same time, we will seize the opportunity to felicitate with His Majesty for attaining the age of 90 years, as well as been on the throne for 64 years.

“While we pray and hope the trip will be successful, and we meet Your Majesty in good health, please accept the assurance of our esteem regards.

 ”Allah Ya kare mutuncin mu da addinin mu. Allah Ya bamu lafiya da zaman lafiya (May God protect our honour and our religion. May God grant us health and peace).”

The visit will hold at the GRA Ijebu Ode residence of Kabiyesi Awujale between 12.00 noon and 2.00pm

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Domestic violence: Speak out, don’t suffer in silence — Lagos Commissioner tells women

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By Sodiq Adelakun

The Lagos State Government has urged women experiencing violation of rights to speak out as they can only receive help when they do so.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Dada, at a ministerial news conference in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday.

“Speak up, speak out on domestic violence, there’s help! Come to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. If you cannot come, call 767. 767 is a number to call if you need help,” Dada said.

Also, she revealed that a total of 662 domestic violence cases were reported in the last one year, with 592 women and 70 men affected.

According to the commissioner, 592 women reported battering and violence against them by their husbands, while 70 men reported being beaten or battered by their wives within the same period.

She said the cases were reported directly to the WAPA ministry or through its toll-free line 767/112.

Further breakdown showed that 27 men and 247 women reported domestic violence directly to the ministry, while 43 men and 345 women reported spousal violence through the toll-free line.

In response to the growing concern, she revealed that Lagos State Government is constructing a Domestic Violence Survivors Shelter at Agidingbi, Ikeja, which will provide a safe and secure refuge for survivors of domestic violence.

Meanwhile, Dada added that the domestic violence unit created in 2015 in order to handle gender based violence cases that occur among intimate partners, relations, neighbors, among others had done a lot.

She said the domestic violence unit is saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring zero tolerance to gender based violence in the state.

The commissioner stated that the unit had been able to offer social intervention which involved advocacy (sensitisation and awareness creation programs on GBV), counseling, mediation, rescue, social investigation, empowerment, referral, medical assistance, collaboration, psychosocial services and follow up.

“The Ministry also partners with MDAs, International organisations and other relevant stakeholders to curb cases Of gender based violence in the State,” she said.

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