President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has reassured Nigerians that the ninth National Assembly will not pass any law to the detriment of the country.
Lawan gave the assurance on Tuesday when members of the Board and Management of the African Independent Television (AIT) paid him a courtesy call in his office.
The visit was to extend an invitation to the Senate President to a Town Hall meeting planned for next Monday by the organisation on anti-Hate Speech Bill and Social Media Bill pending before the Senate.
The Senate President said, “I want to assure Nigerians that we are not going to pass any law to the detriment of our country.
“We love this country and we will do all we can do to ensure there is good governance, that there is orderliness and that citizens have their rights protected”
He expressed delight on the debate generated by the two bills, saying that, “the reaction of Nigerians tells you that there is democracy in Nigeria and that people are listening to what is happening at the National Assembly.”
“It is encouraging to hear people expressing their views on these bills.
“When a member of the National Assembly comes up with a bill, we expect the public to be interested and we will provide the opportunity for the public to come and express their opinions, their views, their support, their objections on the bill.
“So, when these two bills are scheduled for public hearing, the public will have the opportunity to speak about them and preponderance of opinions, views and ideas by the Nigerians will shape the way forward for the bills”.
Lawan appealed to those commenting on the bills to be open minded and eschew sentiment to ensure that the bills are treated on their merits. “Hate speech in fact has become a big issue across the world, but in our effort to address it as a menace, we have to look at it in a way and manner that the rights of citizens are not tampered with.
“We cannot close our eyes to undesirable consequences brought about by hate speech and it is for us as a nation to come together and deal with it,” he said.
Lawan commended the management of AIT for initiating the engagement, saying that it would offer an opportunity to the sponsors of the bills and other senators to provide more clarifications on the contentious areas in the bills.
Earlier, the Chairman of AIT, Mr. Raymond Dokpesi (Jnr) said the town hall meeting was being organised to provide a platform for stakeholders and other Nigerians to brainstorm on the two bills.
Dokpesi said the diverse reactions by Nigerians on the bills, particularly the punitive measures they contained prompted the organisation to come up with the idea to find acceptable common ground.
At COP28, Sanwo-Olu seeks funding to address supply of clean water in Lagos
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.
COP28: Gov Eno joins President Tinubu in Dubai
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.
ECOWAS condemns disruption of constitutional order in Guinea Bissau
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday condemned the violence that erupted in Guinea Bissau in the early hours of Friday.
The condemnation was contained in a statement issued by the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.
It stated that the community learnt with deep preoccupation, the violence that erupted in Guinea Bissau in the early hours of Friday.
ECOWAS strongly condemns the violence and all attempts to disrupt the constitutional order and rule of law in Guinea Bissau.
ECOWAS further called for the arrest and persecution of the perpetrators of the incident in accordance with the law.
Also, ECOWAS expressed its full solidarity with the people of that country and the constitutional authority of Guinea Bissau.
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