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Lockdown: Commercial sex workers, traders switch to foodstuff business in Delta

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By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

Following the lockdown order including Dusk to Dawn Curfew imposed on Deltans by the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to Curtail the Spread of Coronavirus Pandemic in the state, Commercial Sex workers in Asaba and its environs have switched to foodstuff business such as garri,melon, Ogbono, tomatoes, eggs and edible oil,among others.

Commercial Sex workers in Asaba, and its environs who spoke to our Correspondent on Sunday, said” We have lost virtually all our Customers, and we are hungry, we cannot travel home since the lockdown, our male Customers are no longer Coming, or Forthcoming, even when we call them on Phone, they will give excuses that no vehicle to come, and we are suffering hence we started selling to feed”.

Also some traders in non food items in Asaba have switched to foodstuff business as the lockdown imposed persists, especially in major cities in the state, and eventhough it exempted essential workers, the traders in food stuff and medical personnel, the situation hitherto remained terrible

Some of the traders and Commercial Sex workers who switched to foodstuff business told our Correspondent in Asaba that they opted for the Foodstuff business to save them and their families from hunger and starvation

One Doris Nwosu, a dealer in Babies materials at the Popular Ogboeogonogo market who now sell garri and Palm oil, said she was frustrated staying at home with her family during the first two weeks of lockdown, adding that she was forced into the new trade by Insufficient food and Money to keep her family going,” infact, nobody told me to start foodstuff business at the temporary markets as hunger was about to send us to early grave like Coronavirus Pandemic we are running from,I am happy doing this garri and Palm oil business because that is what people want at present to cook and eat and has saved me from hunger”

Similarly,Mrs Ngozi Omeleze, a fashion designer in Achalla Ibusa layout said that she started selling sweet potatoes and breadfruit generally Called” Ukwa in Igbo language outside her Compound to assist her husband Care for their family, adding that the lockdown order was a replica of hell fire in Delta state and however believed that the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa would soon review the situation and left up the ban

In another development, teenage beggars have returned to the streets of Asaba as this time around go from house to house in adjourning streets during nightfall to beg neighbours for garri among others for their parents to Cook for them in their houses. Some of them who spoke to our Correspondent on Condition of anonymity described the situation they are currently faced with as precarious, adding that they choose to beg not to die of hunger as they manage to feed a day and be encouraged to be drinking water as measures to Cushion hunger before going to bed

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FG to deploy 100 electric buses

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President Bola Tinubu has said Nigeria is taking a significant step towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future by introducing a pioneering initiative to deploy a fleet of 100 electric buses.

The President spoke at a high-level meeting with stakeholders and investors on the Nigeria Carbon Market and Electric Buses Rollout Programme on Saturday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the margins of the COP28 climate summit.

President Tinubu explained that the strategic initiative is aimed at significantly reducing Nigeria’s carbon footprint and modernizing the country’s transportation systems as part of a larger effort to position Nigeria and Africa as the pioneering frontier of green manufacturing and industrialization with a focus on natural gas as a transition fuel alongside other renewable energy sources.

To spearhead this transformative plan, the President announced the appointment of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Mr. Dahiru Salisu, to co-chair the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan.

”This initiative stands as a testament to our dedication to environmental stewardship as clearly exemplified through our collaboration with the Africa Carbon Market Initiative. Our visionary plan is a strategic guidepost, directing Nigeria towards becoming an investment-friendly destination for carbon market investments.

”We recognize the imperative of fostering an environment that not only attracts investment but also upholds standardized and sustainable industrial practices. As a manifestation of our forward-thinking approach, we are actively looking to implement robust, enabling policies and frameworks that will serve as the catalyst for the burgeoning growth of the carbon market within our national borders.

”In further driving my commitment, I have recently approved an Inter-governmental Committee on Carbon Markets to be chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change to drive this visionary plan,” the President stated.

The President assured prospective investors that this initiative transcends being a mere pilot project.

”It is a concrete manifestation of our unwavering dedication to a carbon-neutral future. I assure you; this is only the commencement of our ambitious plans, with many more impactful initiatives on the horizon,” he said.

President Tinubu, while acknowledging the pressing need for a comprehensive global collaboration on climate-related challenges, called on global partners to join hands in accelerating collective efforts towards a net-zero future.

”As we unveil our initiatives, I challenge other nations to emulate our strides in mapping out their sustainable futures with a clear understanding that Africa is a beacon of innovative solutions to climate-related challenges.

”In this pursuit, we acknowledge the pressing need for comprehensive global collaboration, and we reiterate our commitment to being an active participant in international efforts.

”Nigeria’s plans for a greener and cleaner economy can serve as an inspirational narrative for nations worldwide. Our comprehensive approach, rooted in visionary leadership and pragmatic action supported by our technical partners, is poised to become a blueprint for countries aspiring to also develop and catalyze their markets for sustainable growth,” the President concluded.

In his remarks, FIRS Chairman, Mr. Zacch Adedeji acknowledged the visionary leadership of President Tinubu as the guiding force behind Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its vast carbon potential.

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At COP28, Sanwo-Olu seeks funding to address supply of clean water in Lagos

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Governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu has sought global support for funding in Lagos state to be able to provide clean water.

The Governor speaking at a side meeting with the theme: “Valuing Water: A Lifeline in Climate Transition”, organised by Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum and Sustainable Market Initiative at the ongoing 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP28) at Dubai Exhibition Centre pitched a sustainable funding proposal in order to raise private and philanthropic funding in addressing inadequate water infrastructure and supply shortages in Lagos.
 
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos, with 22 million population, has a daily demand of 700 million gallons of portable water, but said the State could hardly supply 210 million gallons per day due to shortage of infrastructure. 
 
The Governor said, although provision of clean water had been generally considered a social service, it was an essential element of economic necessity, given its importance to keeping humans healthy. 
 
Lagos, he said, is challenged by increasing demand for clean water. Sanwo-Olu said the inadequacy of supply infrastructure could raise disease vulnerability in underserved communities, pointing out that the State, despite being surrounded by abundant water bodies, could only manage to utilise 40 per cent of its installed water facilities.
 
He said: “Lagos has an investment of about $2.8 billion in water infrastructure, but there is a burden on the huge population, as we need to create an ecosystem where we can have access to basic needs in the 21st century. Given our meagre resources, it is really a challenge but we certainly cannot continue to give excuses. This gap is being felt by underserved communities and the risk to the public is high.”
 
“We have continued to allocate resources to this sector from our budget, but the intervention is hardly enough to serve the needs of the residents. Four years ago, I gave a commitment of $100 million, but this is like a drop, given the number of investments required to fully explore the potential in the sector. We have huge infrastructure that is not being utilised, making us to operate at less than 40 per cent of the installed capacity.”
 
“Out of the $1.7 trillion needed globally to address the gap in clean water adequacy, Lagos requires less one per cent of the funds to provide safe water. It is my belief that this conversation would lead to sustainable solution that would meet the needs of millions of people that want water adequacy. Our goal is making committed partners believe in economic viability of their investments.”
 
Sanwo-Olu listed the country’s energy crisis as another factor slowing down the provision of clean water, stressing that irregular power supply rendered resources allocated to the sector inefficient.
 
The Governor called for equity in global investment towards accelerating water adequacy, noting that humans, regardless of their gender and geographical location, need equal access to clean water.
 
With 65 per cent of its population made up of young people of under 30, Sanwo-Olu told the funders that Lagos remained an African asset on which viable investments could be made.

The side meeting, which was moderated by the Secretary General of Insurance Development Forum, Ms. Ekhosuehi Iyahen, had seven other panelists, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WaterAid, Tim Wainright, Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo, and CEO of Dalmia Cement in India, Mahendra Singh.
 
Others are Chief Operating Officer of Water.org, Vedika Bhandarkar, Managing Partner of AquaForAll, Josien Sluijs, Assistant Director General of Food and Agriculture Organisation at UN, Maximo Torero, and former CEO of Mars, Incorporated, Grant Reid.

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COP28: Gov Eno joins President Tinubu in Dubai

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency Pastor Umo Eno, is part of the delegation led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR at the ongoing COP28 climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Delegates from nearly 200 countries, leaders in business and finance, and representatives of civil society are gathering in Dubai from November 30 to December 12 for the COP28 climate conference, aiming to fast-track the transition to a clean-energy future.

COP28 stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), occurring annually.

Also in the President’s entourage are the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari and the newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Okokon Ekanem Udo, among others.

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