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Surveyors seek shift in climate change battle

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Worried by various climate change-induced environmental challenges in the country, professional land surveyors are seeking roles to mitigate its adverse effects on human settlement and environment. DAYO AYEYEMI reports

 

For a long time now, the telling effect of climate change has continued to put urban centres, many lives and the environment in danger. It has consistently compelled stakeholders, encompassing the government, non-governmental/civil society organisations, religious bodies, professional institutions and residents to find ways to mitigate the negative and dangerous effects on humanity.

Part of the problem has been the rapid population growth in Nigerian city centres and urban extension, which has stretched the boundaries of some of the cities to unsustainable limits. Perturbed by the current challenges posed by climate change and the lopsided approaches being adopted in resolving flooding cases, drought and desertification – leading to incessant clash between herdsmen and farmers, professional land surveyors under the auspices of the Nigerian Institution of Surveying (NIS) have tasked the Federal Government and policy makers on the need to seek their expertise in resolving the issue.

According to them, being professionals in charge of various geo-spatial data, they have the knowledge and expertise necessary for adaptation to climate change in order to protect and prevent future disasters resulting from this change in nature.

Speaking with New Telegraph during the 13th edition of Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Annual Lecture organised by the Lagos State branch of NIS, some of the professionals blamed the crises in the middle belt on effect of climate change, saying that surveyors have a big role to play in whatever solution the Federal Government is proferring. The late Adekunle Kukoyi was the president of the institution from 1973 to 1978.

Experts’ perspective Lagos, NIS Chairman, Mr. Adeleke Adesina, stated that the issue of climate change had become a global problem that is being discussed world over, adding that surveyors as stakeholders in the environment and land matters must add their voices on ways to combat disasters posed by climate change. According to him, surveyors should be contacted in the proposal to mitigate climate change, especially the proposed grazing law in the country, adding that they have relevant land information for planning. He said that surveyors could identify, survey and manage grazing and farm sites.

He said: “Promoters of grazing law should identify surveyors; it should acknowledge that there are surveyors. “If you jettison them, the repercussion will be there later.” Immediate past Chairman of the branch, Mr. Gbenga Alara, noted that climate change had become a global phenomenon caused by human activities.

He pointed out that it had become a collective thing on the part of every human being to salvage the environment, adding that the government must put in place sustainable and right policy that will guide man in its existence. On the role of surveyors, Alara said that they were to make sure that everything is in the right position, ensure proper planning and carry out monitoring to best serve humanity.

Clarion call

A former Minister of Industry, Chief (Mrs) Oniikepo Akande, who was a guest speaker at the forum, noted that the dependence on cars and lack of public transport infrastructure has indicated both social and political problems, pointing out that sustainability of living environment had become an issue that needs to be addressed on various levels. She said: “Climate change affects livelihoods, human settlements and land use patterns.

The manner in which decisions about access to, use of, and control over resources are implemented and enforced are central to the success of climate change adaptation and mitigation.” She challenged surveyors on the critical roles of protecting the environment in the areas of development design, project management, land administration, information management and monitoring. Akande advised policymakers and the government to tap into the expertise of skilled professionals if the war against climate change and environmental degradation is to achieve the desired results of saving lives and protecting the environment.

Akande, who is also the Chairman, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Nigeria Business Group, tasked surveyors to rise to the occasion, saying that they had the knowledge and expertise necessary for adaptation to climate change.

“You work with the land, people, political and social institutions in developing, building and maintaining towns and cities. These put you at a very important position to advocate and lead the agenda to protect the present and future victims of climate related disasters,” Akande said.

Reiterating the importance of surveyors as custodians of accurate land information, Akande, who is also the immediate past Chairman, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, advised policy makers on ways to tackle challenges of climate change, saying they should consult for accurate and relevant information on land usage. She enjoined surveyors through their various associations to ensure developmental projects and also comply with best practices and environmental standards.

Last line

The starting point for surveyors in the fight against climate change is commitment to identifying and promoting global best practices and sustainable utilisation of land.

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Business

Dangote: Businesses, residents lose N86bn daily to Apapa gridlock

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Businesses and residents are losing N86 billion to Apapa-Wharf road gridlock daily, Africa’s richest man and President/CEO, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said.
He stated this in Lagos while condemning the challenges posed by traffic jam and heavy presence of different types of taskforce, including the Customs, on the major route leading to the nation’s largest port.
Dangote, who was on an inspection tour of the on-going reconstruction of N4.3 billion Apapa-Wharf road by AG Dangote recently, stated that businesses and residents are losing 20 times the project’s cost daily.
By calculation, N86 billion is being lost by business owners and residents on daily basis.

He said: “People don’t really understand how much money businesses are losing because of the gridlock here; if you quantify it in billions, it is 20 times the cost of this project every single day.”
Consequently, he urged the Federal Government to move the taskforce, including Customs, away from the route to ease traffic.
The reconstruction of the road that leads to Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports is being undertaken by Dangote Group, Nigerian Flour Mill Limited and the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), which are together committing N4.34 billion to the project.

Justifying the involvement of his company in sponsoring the project, Managing Director, Flour Mills Limited, Paul Gbadedo, lamented that it has been difficult for businesses and residents of Apapa.
Noting that the economy of Apapa is very huge, he said that businesses cannot see the traffic and road deteriorating without doing something.
He stated that 75 to 80 per cent of imports passed through the Apapa ports, noting that the road is strategic.

Dangote stressed that it did not make any commercial sense for Customs to mount check points outside the wharf after they might have checked and certified goods at the ports.
“If there should be any more checkpoints, they should be at the toll gates, not here where they are obstructing traffic flow,” he said.

Africa’s richest man said he was impressed with the progress and quality of work being done by AG Dangote, the contractor handling the reconstruction of the road.
He also lauded the palliative work going on on Apapa Oshodi Expressway and the Trailer Park being constructed by government off the expressway, pointing out that these were efforts being made to ensure that the access roads to the ports are decongested.

“My impression of this road has changed because AG Dangote is doing a great and excellent work here. You can see the quality of work being done. This is quite impressive. Even in Germany, you cannot see this kind of quality of road. This road can last at least two generations in which case you will be talking about over 60 years. It is so solid that it can take any weight and any traffic,” Dangote said.
“I can assure you that we will double our efforts to complete the project on schedule, that is, latest by the end of June,” he said.

Chief Executive, AG Dangote, Ajif Juma, stated that the company is facing a lot of challenges, citing traffic and gas pipeline as major ones.
“But now we are working hard to ensure we finish on schedule with some of our workers on night shift,” he said.

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CBN to banks: Settle customers’ complaints within 2 weeks

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Deposit Money Banks ( DMBs) and other financial Institutions have been directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to settle customers’ complaints on issues of overcharge, unauthorised deductions and other matters within two weeks.

CBN Head of Complaints management Division, Mr Tajudeen Ahmed, conveyed the Apex Bank’s directive in Abuja. He said the regulator would ensure that bank customers receive redress on issues of excess charges or unauthorised withdrawal.

Ahmed reiterated the CBN’s commitment to eradicating the culture of excess and arbitrary charges. According to him, the CBN has since issued a circular,which could be found on the its website showing all legitimate bank charges. He explained that any charge outside what is contained in the circular was not allowed and should not be charged.

“The Consumer Protection Department issued guidelines to banks dated August 16, 2011, directing all banks and other financial institutions to resolve all customer complaints within two weeks of receipt of that complaint,” he said. “Before the expiration of that complaint, the financial institution is expected to be engaging the customer on a continuous basis to update him or her on the status of the complaint. “If it is not resolved within the deadline given, then such a person is encouraged to draw the attention of Central Bank of Nigeria to find solution to that complaint.”

Ahmed enjoined customers with unresolved complaints to contact the CBN by writing to the Director Consumer Protection Department. He also advised disgruntled bank customers to visit any branch of the CBN closest to them to lay their complaints.

“The CBN continually engages the banks to find out if their conducts and practices are fair to their customers in order to stimulate people’s confidence in the banking system. “Non-adherence to that normally results to regulatory sanctions as the case may be,” he said.

Ahmed faulted banks for setting a limit on ATM withdrawals to get customers to make several withdrawals to cash large sums. “I have also observed and noted this. Don’t forget that at the beginning, it wasn’t like this. Over time, we started having this problem.

“One of the reasons is that the quantum of N500 denomination is much more than that of N1,000 denomination,” he said. “When we approached the banks about these problems, they said that the machines become easily faulty when it is set to dispense up to N30, 000 to N40, 000 units.

“However, CBN has directed that the machines that allow payment of up to N30,000 to N50,000 should be installed. “This is still ongoing. The Banking and Payment Department of the CBN is championing it.” In her remarks, Head, Consumer Protection Department, Mrs Hadija Kasim, admonished bank customers to imbibe cashless policy.

“Let’s not forget that ATM cards can also be used on Point of Sale (POS) terminals. We are encouraging people that unless it is absolutely necessary, they should reduce the carriage of cash. Cashless transactions are more convenient, safer and you will avoid the problem of overcharges,” she said. She advised bank consumers to use bank transfer channels for transactions in cases where sellers do not have POS.

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Business

DAAR Communications commends retired workers

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The Management of DAAR Communications Plc has announced the retirement of some members of staff of the organization with effect from Feb 2018.
A statement made available to New Telegraph said those affected had served the organisation between 20 and 25 years.

According to the statement, the Chairman and the Board of the media outfit commended and appreciated the retirees’ pioneering efforts, the outstanding, remarkable contributions and all the personal efforts to the organisation right from inception in 1993/1996.

“They made their respective indelible marks in their respective departments, which cumulatively made the broadcast stations of the organisation not only household names but also a reference point in broadcasting in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and indeed the continent of Africa.
“As they gracefully move into another stage in their respective lives, we wish them the very best and a most successful future endeavor,” the statement added.

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