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Northern Govs pledge 5% budget allocation to help over four million IDPs

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Governors of Adamawa, Benue, Borno and Yobe states have pledged to commit over five percent budgetary allocations in their states to help over four million Internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The Governors made the commitment during the “Launch of the State Action Plans on Durable Solution to Internal Displacement” at the Presidential Villa Abuja.

Speaking virtually through an online conferencing platform, the United Nations (UN)N Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, said attaining such solutions “is a priority for Nigeria and for the United Nations Secretary-General,” noting the global number of internally displaced persons has doubled in ten years to nearly 76 million globally.

“Over four million Nigerians remain in search of solutions to their forced displacement,” she stated, adding that the state action plans “capture the first essential steps towards solutions.”

Earlier in his remarks, the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Special Advisor on Durable Solutions, Mr. Robert Piper, commended Nigeria’s commitment and leadership in being the first country among the 15 pilot countries to launch the programme.

“Today, despite the warnings and the real challenges, I have the honour to say, on behalf of the Secretary-General, that Nigeria is the first of all our 15 pilot countries to formally launch government plans placing over 4 million IDPs and Returnees on pathways to solutions,” he noted.

Piper noted that the launch of the programme is evidence of the political commitment to addressing the plight of IDPs in Nigeria, noting that “in many ways, the plans you launch today provide a model of how governments can take responsibility for ending displacement.”

“Let me reiterate our commitment on behalf of the United Nations: We will keep supporting on the ground; we will help rally donors; we will chase missing partners; we will bring (good and bad) lessons from elsewhere; we will celebrate your successes; we may occasionally bring you unwelcome news sometimes, as friends must; but we will stand behind you. We fail or succeed together,” he said.

Reechoing their thoughts, the Vice President of Nigeria, Senator Kashim Shettima called for a global partnership to address the problem of internal displacement in Nigeria.

The VP noted that the federal government is unwaveringly committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of displaced citizens.

He outlined the strategy adopted by the President Tinubu administration in tackling Nigeria’s internal displacement challenge, saying the nation prioritises the welfare of its people, particularly in these critical times.

The Action Plan is a United Nations Secretary General’s Solution Agenda on Internal Displacement which aims to help internally displaced persons find a durable solution to their displacement, prevent new displacement crises from emerging and ensure those facing displacement receive effective protection and assistance.

Unveiling the programme being implemented in four northern states of Adamawa, Benue, Borno and Yobe, VP Shettima said, “For a country that has endured the devastations of economic disadvantages across generations, we cannot afford further expansion in the displacement of our people. So, we remain committed to ensuring that each displaced individual returns to a safer environment and is given a lifeline to start afresh.”

He recalled his experience dealing with conflict and displacement, just as he emphasised the need for a collaborative, cross-border approach to tackling the multifaceted challenge.

“Let us harness the strength of our partnerships, both local and international, to bring about lasting change,” he urged.

The Vice President welcomed the support of the United States and other global partners, stressing that the task ahead demands a united front that transcends political divides.

“We are here to craft solutions that will outlive us, that will offer future generations a place of hope, a home for all, and a land of opportunity where dreams can be pursued without worry.

“The journey is not merely about addressing the symptoms of displacement but also about tackling the root causes,” he stated.

The Vice President further pledged investment in sustainable development, education, and economic opportunities as critical components of a comprehensive solution.

“By doing so, we not only address the immediate needs of the displaced but also create a foundation for a more stable and prosperous future,” the VP said.

He called for collaborative efforts transcending borders to bring about lasting change, stating that “the task ahead is immense, but with determination, unity, and a clear vision, we can make a profound difference.”

On its part, the United Nations commended the efforts of the state governments in drafting action plans for durable solutions to internal displacement.

On his part, Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, said the State Government is fully committed to the implementation of the Action Plans on Durable Solutions, noting that 15 percent of the state’s annual budget will be dedicated to projects undertaken under the initiative.

Zulum recalled the efforts of the state government in the past few years in returning displaced persons to their communities, assuring stakeholders at the meeting that the government’s commitment to the cause of displaced persons remain unwavering.

On his part, Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State said the launch of the State Action Plans on Durable Solutions to Internal Displacement is a beacon of hope and catalyst for the transformation of lives and livelihoods in communities affected by conflict.

He commended Vice President Shettima for his inspirational leadership as well as the commitment of all the development partners involved in the project which he said aligns with the vision of the Benue State government to build a society where all residents can live in peace and harmony.

In the same vein, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, said the State Government has executed projects across health, education, social welfare and security, in a bid to ensure that displaced persons return to their communities.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the state government in the operationalisation of the action plan by allocating five percent of the state’s annual budget over the next three years.

Governor Buni called on development partners involved in the programme not to relent in their efforts towards the success of the initiative.

The representative of Adamawa State Governor and Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Human Service, Hon. Barr. Bello Hamman Diram announced the state government’s allocation of seven percent of its annual budget to the implementation of the Action Plans on Durable Solutions.

On his part, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, commended the progress witnessed during his recent visit to the North-East and the Government’s approach to encouraging more development investments.

“The progress I witnessed during my visit to the North-East recently deserves commendation.

“Nigeria is the first to prove that government-led intervention is possible. We are proud to be part of the process,” he stated.

He also called for the mobilisation of new financing, saying, “We need to mobilise additional bilateral and multilateral financing to support these plans.

“We should also think carefully about how to mobilize Nigeria’s vibrant private sector, not necessarily as a donor but as the engine for economic growth and job creation,” Montgomery added.

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35,496 suspects arrested, 1,907 rescued from kidnappers in one year — IGP

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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, says the Nigeria Police Force in the past one year has arrested  35,496 suspects and rescued 1,907 people from kidnappers.

He disclosed this on Thursday during the monthly Conference with Senior Police Officers, which coincided with a significant milestone in the current administration, its 365 days in office.

The IGP, while addressing senior officers and members of the press, highlighted the progress made and the challenges faced over the past year since he assumed office as the 22nd Indigenous Inspector-General of Police taking time to reflect, evaluate, and plan for the future.

The IGP noted that during the past twelve months, the Force has faced considerable challenges, including terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery.

In a statement made available by Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, he said, “Despite these threats, the Nigeria Police Force has remained resilient and dedicated to its mandate.” The IGP commended officers for their hard work and dedication, emphasising the positive results achieved through capacity building, service improvements, and strengthened relationships with sister services and the public.

Reflecting on the year’s accomplishments, the IGP acknowledged the vital achievements of his administration in one year including “the presentation of a total of N9.85 billion to families of deceased officers under the Group Life Assurance Scheme and the IGP Family Welfare Scheme, the declaration of April 7 as National Police Day by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the promotion of inaugural Police Commendation and Awards Ceremony, the promotion of 33,867 officers based on merit, competence, and available vacancies.”

“Also is the advancement of infrastructural development which will culminate in the commissioning of some projects such as the Nigeria Police Resource Centre, the International Conference Centre, the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC), the Force Intelligence Building, the Force Public Relations School, the Police Intelligence School located in Share, Kwara State, Evidence/Exhibits Storage facilities, and newly acquired operational assets including vehicles, APCs, Drones, Gun trucks etc.

“In the past one year, the Nigeria Police Force has arrested 35,496 suspects for their participation in various crimes, rescued 1,907 kidnapped victims, and recovered 2,750 firearms, 22,569 ammunition, and 1,540 vehicles nationwide, while the Legal/Prosecutions Section has successfully prosecuted 29,052 criminal cases, securing 16,200 convictions.”

The conference also focused on the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States, with the IGP outlining security plans to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring smooth elections.

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OML58: NNPC Ltd, TotalEnergies announce $550m investment deal on Ubeta project

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By Esther Agbo and Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited signed an agreement with TotalEnergies for the final investment decision (FID) on the Ubeta Field Development Project.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday in Abuja.

This project is expected to have a significant impact on Nigeria’s energy sector and contribute to the country’s efforts to develop its oil and gas resources.

Speaking at the event, Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO) of NNPC, said on stream, the Ubeta project will produce about 350 million standard cubic feet (MMScf) per day of gas and 10,000 barrels per day of associated liquids.

This, Kyari said, is an opportunity to tap into the vast gas reserves and contribute towards securing gas supply to Nigeria’s liquified natural gas (LNG).

Kyari said, “I’m very convinced that many more projects will come alongside this as we progress.”

“And maybe not the right moment to make those announcements, but I know that a number of projects have been enabled by the executive order of Mr. President.

“No doubt, this project will create opportunities, jobs, and everything that you can imagine, including making our energy investment much more productive.

“I know for sure that the engagements with our other partners will ensure delivery of gas sufficient to keep our train 1 to 7 active and at full capacity, and also realise our ambitions for train 7.”

While appreciating the support from stakeholders, Kyari highlighted the continuous support of President Bola Tinubu’s administration in facilitating a conducive operational environment, which he said is a major driver of the deal.

He also said the presidential executive order was instrumental to achieving the milestone and the impact of the policy is being seen.

Also speaking at the event the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, delivered a keynote address at the Final Investment Decision (FID) Ceremony for the OML58 Ubeta Field Development Project.

The Ubeta Project is projected to produce 350 million standard cubic feet per day (MMScf/d) of gas at its peak. This initiative is a testament to TotalEnergies’ commitment to Nigeria and plays a crucial role in ensuring a stable gas supply for Nigeria LNG.

Minister Ekpo emphasised the project’s alignment with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s strategic objectives and the Presidential Executive Orders of March 2024. These directives aim to transform Nigeria into a major gas hub, providing cleaner energy, creating jobs, and fostering economic growth.

The Decade of Gas Initiative has laid the groundwork for ambitious projects like Ubeta, focusing on leveraging Nigeria’s abundant gas resources to drive industrialisation, reduce environmental impact, and offer affordable energy to millions of Nigerians.

The Ubeta Field Development Project is a prime example of investments that bring technological advancements, foster local content, and generate sustainable economic benefits.

Minister Ekpo commended TotalEnergies for their continued partnership and investment in Nigeria, acknowledging their role in boosting gas production capabilities.

He said, “I want to take this opportunity to commend TotalEnergies for their continued partnership and investment in Nigeria. Your efforts not only boost our gas production capabilities but also contribute to our shared goals of energy security and economic prosperity.

“We value your commitment to employing innovative technologies and practices that ensure the efficiency and safety of your operations.”

He also highlighted the effectiveness of Nigeria’s policies in creating a conducive environment for investment in the gas sector, attributing the project’s fruition to supportive government policies and regulatory frameworks.

Looking ahead, Minister Ekpo urged for continued collaboration to harness Nigeria’s vast gas potential.

He stressed that the success of the Ubeta Project would be measured not only by gas production volumes but also by its positive impact on the economy, communities, and environment.

In conclusion, Minister Ekpo congratulated all contributors to the project, praising their dedication and hard work.

He called for ongoing cooperation to ensure the successful implementation and operation of the Ubeta Field Development Project, setting a benchmark for future projects in Nigeria’s gas sector.

The event concluded with a call for continued efforts to leverage Nigeria’s gas resources for the nation’s economic and environmental benefit.

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Federal High Court affirms Bayero’s deposition as Emir of Kano

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…Upholds validity of Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024

The ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano presided over by Justice A.M. Liman today has brought to an end, the argument on the deposition of former Emir Aminu Ado Bayero as the court ruled that the new Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024 remains valid.

According to the ruling, all five Emirates of Gaya, Rano, Karaye, Kano and Bichi remained abolished.

While delivering the ruling, Justice A.M. Liman held that the Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024 remains the law and its validity is intact but actions taken after assenting the law when an order from the court was issued are voided.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has assented to the new law and reinstated the 14th Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi as the 16th Emir of one united Kan at the same time (23rd May, 2024 by 5.10pm).

“Law is still the law, but actions carried out in the execution of the law are set aside.”

Justice Liman also granted a stay of proceeding and transferred the case to his learned brother of court three, Justice Amobeda. This bars all parties from taking any step to enforce the ruling till after determination of the appeal.

By this decision of the Federal High Court, the five former Emirs including that of Kano with 8 Local Government areas remained deposed and the defunct Emirates remained abolished.

It is therefore ascertained that the 16th Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II remains on throne and Aminu Ado Bayero remains deposed while the legal tussle continues.

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