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WMBD 2022 Campaign: NCF calls for review, enforcement of laws to protect animals



…Urges humans to co-exist in harmony with nature

By Gloria Akudoro, Abuja

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NFC) has charged the law enforcement agencies to ensure that laws protecting wildlife in the country are being reviewed and enforced.

The Senior Conservation Manager, Head of NCF, Mohammed Garba Boyi made this call during a public lecture on the commemoration of World Migratory Bird Day with the theme; “Light Polution: Dim the light for Birds at Night” at Government Secondary School in Abuja on Thursday.

The world Migratory Bird Day is a global occasion set aside by the United Nation and is celebrated bi-annually to intensify its awareness by raising campaign and highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and habitats aimed at drawing attention to the threat faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance as well as the need for international cooperation to conserve them.

Boyi disclosed that law enforcement agencies need to also prevent some laws that tend to inflict harm on birds and bring to book anyone caught in the act of killing them unjustly.

“In all the state’s ministry of environment, we have agency with the mandate to take care of wild animals such as the National Parks and NGOs like the Nigerian Conservation Foundation that have the mandate to ensure these Resources are protected. So we need to collaborate and see how these laws can be strengthened and also look at the challenges that prevent the laws from being enforced like the challenge of lack of vehicle to move to places where illegal activities are taking place. These are things Government should look at and develop a roadmap that will address the whole scenario.

“It is illegal for one to kill any kind of bird as it’s stated categorically in our laws but the lapses is that we don’t enforce the law. The law enforcement agencies have to see to these laws being enforced, and to stop those laws inflicting harm on a bird and anyone caught must be persecuted.

“These birds face a lot of challenges especially in Nigeria, people actually hunt them, kill them anyhow and in some places they being poisoned with chemicals, and thousands found dead. Then they are packed to sell which is bad for human health and that is why we have to sensitize those who are really involved in illegal activity to save life as well by coming up with strategies on how that can be addressed.

“We are also working with agencies to enact policies that will promote the existence of nature and mitigate its negative impact on environment. It is the mandate of the agency to ensure that human lives exist in harmony with nature and that the country prospers while being at peace with nature,” he stressed.

Speaking on the importance of birds to life, he said they play a significant role in the ecosystem, contributing to food web and food chain which promotes good health and also serve as biological clot. Adding that presence of birds in a place at a particular point in time tells very much about climate condition, scientifical information.

“These birds tend to migrate whenever the weather condition of a place becomes uncondusive to countries with favourable climate condition that they can also exploit food resources available in such environment.”

On projects established to intensify awareness on conserving birds and other animals, Boyi revealed plans are being initiated towards establishment of conservative clubs whereby children can be sensitized at early stages of their lives on the importance to preserve these resources in order to grow with such mindset.

He further disclosed that the project will be extended to rural communities where people will be saddled with the responsibility of conserving the resources that are within the community starting with a bottom line approach towards addressing the situation around birds and nature by engaging those at the grassroot.

He also emphasized that the awareness is cut across six geo-political regions in the country which Abuja zone cordinates all activities in the Northern parts. “We have representatives in all the state’s working for the organization. We have established this kind of conservation clubs with all the NCF promoters clubs in six states so far.”

Boyi however noted that NCF oftentime organizes programs enlightening people about alternative source of livelihood rather than cutting down trees that forces birds to migrate.

Earlier, the Vice Principal Administration, Government Secondary School, Tidy Wada, Mrs. Chinwe Anaekwe, stressed that the event is an eye opener for the millennium children who do not have prior knowledge of the importance of nature as well as adults who needs to be sensitized.

She said birds and other animals on the planet are God’s creation as are human beings, and it is very important for all to appreciate these gifts of nature by placing high value to the resources for the greater good.

The WMBD celebration witnessed students from Government Secondary School Tudu Wada, Garki, and Wise as well as Model Secondary School Maitama who expressed the benefits of the sensitization and how they can also impact meaningfully what was learned to the society.


Abiodun eulogies Alaba Lawson, says legacy will be sustained



Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Friday said that the late Iyalode of Yoruba land, Chief Mrs. Alaba Lawson left a legacy that would be a reference and an inspiration to generations yet unborn.

Abiodun stated this at the funeral and outing service held at the African Church, Cathedral of St. James, Idi-Ape, Ago-Oko, Abeokuta, even as he noted that the late educationist life and times are inspiring narrative of great accomplishments.

According to the governor, as the first female president of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), former Chairman, Board of Governing Council, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Fellow and Council Member, Institute of Directors, Chairman Board of Trustees, Nigerian Quality Infrastructure Forum, among others, the deceased dedicated her life to serving the nation, Ogun State and the society at large.

He added that her accomplishments are extraordinary and challenging to replicate.

The governor said: “Chief Alaba Lawson was a woman of remarkable achievements, leaving indelible marks and lasting impact, not just in our dear State, but throughout the entire country. A great philanthropist who garnered numerous accolades throughout her life time and her contributions to the society were immense.

“The Lawson family of Abeokuta has lost a true gem, and the Association of Academics in Nigeria mourns the loss of a distinguished member with exceptional intelligence. Her eventful life will continue to inspire many especially the younger generation.”

He described the late Alaba Lawson as the cultural ambassador who held on to her root by promoting the cultural values and the Adire fabrics wherever she went, adding that as an advocate of women rights, she was fearless and tireless and was always ready to sacrifice for the benefit of the society.

Mrs. Lawson, the governor emphasized, was a loving mother to her children and those of others, saying she lived an impactful life, and was a strong supporter of the present administration, assuring that his administration would do the needful to sustain her legacy.

“We as government, we will do the needful in sustaining your legacy. Let me assure you that we will continue to ensure that we sustain the legacy of our own dear Iyalode Oluwaseun Alaba Lawson,” Prince Abiodun said.

In his sermon, the Primate, African Church, His Eminence Julius Olayinka Abbe, said the late Alaba Lawson lived an impactful life as she was kind and generous to the people, the church and the society.

Iyalode Lawson, according to the Primate, was a defender to the defenceless, a reliable and worthy mother who was not only interested in the welfare of her biological children, but to anyone who crossed her path during her life time.

Taking his text from the Book of Matthew 5 verse 8, the Cleric decried the attitude of some wealthy individuals who care less about the well-being of others, noting that late Alaba Lawson, apart from being a well known educationist, an industrialist with wide network of connections, was a beacon of hope.

He added that her death has created a big vaccum that would be difficult to fill.

He called on the wealthy and those in authority, to work towards alleviating the sufferings in the land brought about by the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, saying many people are struggling to survive due to the hardship.

The service had in attendance the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and his wife, Chief (Mrs) Bola Obasanjo; former Governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun his wife, Olufunso; the wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, amongst others.

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Ministry sensitizes staff on cost cutting in governance



By Matthew Denis

The Head of Efficiency Unit Federal Ministry of Finance, Busola Ajiboye said that activities of Efficiency Unit are effectively helping the Federal Government to cut down the cost of governance.

Ajiboye made the disclosure in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital today during a one-day sensitization exercise on Cost Cutting Measures in Governance.

Ajiboye in her welcome address said that, the Efficiency Unit through its critical role in enhancing the “prudent and transparent management of public resources” in the country has efficiently reduced wastages and improved value for money in government spending, adding that, the Unit has continually contributed significantly towards achieving the nation’s development goals.

She noted that the Unit’s main objective was to share knowledge on cost cutting devices through sensitisation programme such as this, reviewing all government overhead expenditures with a view to reducing wastes, promoting efficiency and ensuring quantifiable savings for the nation.

She added that the participants would be equipped with knowledge and tools at the end of the sensitisation programme to contribute to the efficient and effective use of public resources, noting that, cutting cost and blocking of loopholes is what the country needs at the moment so as to save for the rainy day.

She further explained that the aim of the workshop was to explore opportunity to learn, collaborate and make positive impact on efficient financial management, adding that, participants would also learn various initiatives, policies and strategies for ensuring optimal utilization of resources at every level of government.

She explained that it would serve as a platform for engaging in meaningful dialogue, sharing of experiences and fostering collaborations across different sectors.

The Head of Efficiency Unit disclosed that the Efficiency Unit would be established in all government’s Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Mr. Fatimehin Adebayo, Assistant Director Efficiency Unit Federal Ministry of Finance in a vote of thanks said, “The workshop was timely because of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda whose core objective is cutting cost, prudent spending, blocking of loopholes and maximising available resources.” Adebayo also added, “Though the challenges are many but we will get there.”

He commended the Honourable Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, the Permanent Secretary Finance, Okokon Ekanem Udo, the Honourable Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Nsikan L. Nkan, the Permanent Secretary Finance and Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Uwem Andrew -Essien, the government and people of Akwa Ibom State, the workshop participants for their support and encouragement for the success of the sensitisation programme.

The workshop was well attended by representatives of Federal and State Governments Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

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Crude Oil Theft: Navy nabs oil vessel with 17 crew



The Nigerian Navy says its Forward Operating Base (FOB), IGBOKODA, in Ondo State, hasi n the early hours of Thursday apprehended a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS involved in crude oil theft.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Naval Information, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, in Abuja.

Ayo-Vaughan said the vessel, which had 17 crew members onboard at the time of arrest, was caught engaging in illegal siphoning of crude oil from one of the well heads at EBESAN oil field about 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo state.

He said the arrest of the vessel followed credible intelligence received by the Base on the illegal activities of crude oil thieves at the location, which informed the swift deployment of FOB IGBOKODA personnel to nab the vessel and her crew.

“Notably, as the anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of FOB IGBOKODA approached  MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS, the 2 x boats attached to the vessel fled on sighting the naval personnel, which confirmed the engagement of the vessel in illegality.

“Accordingly, on arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the vessel was actively involved in siphoning crude oil from both sides of the well head.

“Consequently, upon further search and interrogation, it was further discovered that the vessel had onboard 17 crew members of Nigerian nationality.”

Ayo-Vaughan said the vessel had storage capacity of about 15,000 metric tonnes, adding that it loaded about 500 metric tonnes of crude oil as at the time of arrest.

According to him, the arrest of MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS attests to the Nigerian Navy’s determination to curb crude oil theft and all manners of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime domain.

He warned that the Nigerian navy would use all legitimate means at its disposal to track and arrest perpetrators of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime environment.

He solicited the cooperation of patriotic and well-meaning members of the public to promptly report any form of criminality, especially in the coastal communities to the navy for necessary action.

According to him, it is believed that Tantita Security Service (TSS) is involved in these illegalities because Awoye riverine area which is close to the place of arrest is covered by TSS.

“Again, it was upon the arrest of the vessel by the Nigerian navy that TSS began to raise false alarm, totally unfounded and indeed mischievous.

“Nonetheless, the Nigerian navy remains resolute in the pursuit of her constitutional mandate for the protection of Nigeria’s Maritime Environment for national economic development and prosperity,” he stated.

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