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Nigerians lose N10.8bn to generator fuel – EU

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Head of delegation of the European Union (EU) in Nigeria, Kurt Cornelius, has said no fewer than 81 million Nigerians, representing 45 per cent of the country’s population, lived without access to electricity. The EU envoy also disclosed that Nigeria expended an estimated $30million (about N10.8billion) annually to buy petrol and diesel to power generating sets in various households. He spoke just as Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State called for proper legislation in the country to ensure effective participation of state and local governments in the power sector. Cornelius spoke at the weekend during inauguration of 85KWP solar hybrid mini-grid project at Gbamu-Gbamu village, Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The project was collaboration with the EU and German government under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) of the federal government with technical support from USAID. Five states including Ogun, Sokoto, Niger, Cross River and Plateau, were selected for the pilot scheme. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, represented by the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Zarma; German Consular- General, Ingo Herbert and his counterpart from United States, John Bray, were in attendance.

According to Cornelius, 45 per cent of Nigeria’s population was still without electricity while the remaining 55 per cent with access often battled with epileptic power supply. He observed that the huge amount of money being expended on fuel for generators would not only have negative impact on Nigeria’s economy but also on the nation’s environment. The envoy urged stakeholders to salvage the power situation in the country, noting that rural electrification, through renewable energy had remained the only catalyst capable of improving the nation’s economy. Cornelius stressed the need to search for alternative and cleaner energy, which according to him was cost-effective and safer. He, however, disclosed that the EU had earmarked 150million Euros for the development of renewable energy in Africa, which would also benefit Nigeria.

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Herdsmen attacks, human trafficking top agenda as Oba of Benin, security chiefs parley

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Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare 11, security chiefs and other stakeholders yesterday in Benin City, Edo State capital held a strategic security meeting to tackle the menace of cattle herdsmen, illegal migration and human trafficking, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state.

The meeting held at the Oba’s palace was attended by the various heads of security agencies in the state, including the Police, the Army, the Directorate of State Security (DSS), the Immigration, Prisons and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

Others stakeholders in attendance are the Dukes or Enigies, leaders of the Hausa, Fulani and Nupe communities in Edo State as well as the Vice Chairmen of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and other Chiefs. Oba Ewuare II said the purpose of the meeting was to appraise the security situation in the state and fashion out ways of tackling the challenges for guaranteed security of lives and property.

The monarch who expressed worry over the rising activities of herdsmen, illegal migration and human trafficking said since 2015 he had started putting plans together to tackle the problems. He noted that the chaltBenin monarch, Oba Ewuare 11, security chiefs and other stakeholders yesterday in Benin City, Edo State capital held a strategic security meeting to tackle the menace of cattle herdsmen, illegal migration and human trafficking, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state.

The meeting held at the Oba’s palace was attended by the various heads of security agencies in the state, including the Police, the Army, the Directorate of State Security (DSS), the Immigration, Prisons and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. Others stakeholders in attendance are the Dukes or Enigies, leaders of the Hausa, Fulani and Nupe communities in Edo State as well as the Vice Chairmen of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and other Chiefs.

Oba Ewuare II said the purpose of the meeting was to appraise the security situation in the state and fashion out ways of tackling the challenges for guaranteed security of lives and property.

The monarch who expressed worry over the rising activities of herdsmen, illegal migration and human trafficking said since 2015 he had started putting plans together to tackle the problems. He noted that the chaltlenges posed by the scourge have adverse effects on the peace and development of the state, and called for urgent steps towards tackling the problem.

The Oba of Benin assured the various security outfits that he would continue to do more to ensure that the people enjoy relative peace and sleep with their two eyes closed in all of parts of the state. He charged the security chiefs to deploy core logistics to ensure the effective security of the state and to collaborate with the state government for immediate action. The Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe, also lamented the atrocities committed by herdsmen in the state and wondered why nobody is doing anything about the killings, raping and destruction of of farms. Other enigies and chiefs who spoke at the meeting observed that the herdsmen have other intentions apart from raring their cattle.

They stressed the need for the cattle owners to develop ranches for their cow business. Other speakers called for the establishment of community police and vigilante groups to complement the effort of the security agencies.

The leaders of the Hausa, Fulani and Nupe communities in their separate remarks said cattle dealers are part of the problem, and stressed the need for concerted efforts to ensure that herdsmen who destroy farms are made to pay for it.

They promised to hold meetings with village heads in the various local government areas to sensitise them on how to handle the issue of cattle herdsmen. The various security chiefs agreed to implement the decisions reached at the meeting, in so far as it will bring peace and tranquility to the state.

They also called for adequate logistics to enable them effectively tackle the security challenges in the state. The meeting stressed on the need for the provision of enough vehicles and communication equipment to enable them respond to emergency or distress calls. The stakeholders also called on the Enigies, Edionweres and Village Heads to provide security agents with useful information that would enable them track down these criminal elements in the society.

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Oyo provides 15 motorised boreholes for markets

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The Oyo State Government through the Sustainable Development Goals Office has constructed 15 motorised boreholes in some major markets in the state. The State Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr. Abimbola Adekanmbi, at the commissioning of one of the boreholes at Bodija Market, Ibadan, explained that the project was completed through the Conditional Grants Scheme, noting that the project is in line with achieving Goals 3 and 6 of the SDG which is Good Health and Clean Water Sanitation.

Adekanmbi, who is the also the chairman of the Conditional Grants Scheme, said the boreholes tagged Ajumose Water Points had been provided with a standby generator, stating that Bola Ige International Gbagi Market, Ibadan, Bembo Market, Apata, Ibadan, Eleeka Market, Oyo, Bodija Market, Ibadan Saasa Market, Ibadan and Towobowo Market, Igboora, the largest market in Ibarapa zone of the state, are some of the beneficiaries of the project. He pointed out that two of the boreholes are located at Sabo Market, Ibadan, while Omi Adio Market, Apata, Ibadan, Obanisunwa Market, Ayete, Aaraada Market, Ogbomoso, Odo- Oba Market, Odo-Oba, Ogo- Oluwa, Oja Agbe Market, Iseyin, Olorunda Market, Iganna and Owode Market, Igboho have one each. Speaking at the inauguration, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, said the market men and women were integral parts of the government, promising that the government will provide more infrastructures for the people of the state.

He said the informal sector is key to the increased IGR of the state, stating that more is expected from the market men and women to ensure that the government provides more facilities for the people.

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Katsina, Kano, UNICEF strategise for child survival

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As part of efforts to consolidate on the gains already made in the promotion of child survival, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Katsina and Kano State Governments are meeting in Kaduna to develop a five-year work plan for 2018 to 2022.

The plan when developed would be the first in the current UNICEF country programme for 2018, which covers Katsina and Kano states with partners from Health, Nutrition, Education, WASH and the Media. It would also entail, periodic social media content and traditional (print, online and broadcast) to highlight collaboration and outcomes, media participation at mid and end of year review meetings and report on key results.

Speaking yesterday at the closing ceremony of the states’ engagement planning meeting, Secretary to the Kano State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, said both governments should be ready and determined to give required attention for proper implementation of intervention programmes in the next five years and beyond. He said: “The commitment we are talking about here of course is funding, government must take the issue of funding very seriously and give the programme the deserved attention.

“Data collection too is very important, and there is need for synergy between government agencies, we also need to start working our talk by involving new strategies that will give us different results.”

He said for the public to appreciate what government is doing, they need to be empowered both economically and educationally, saying, educating the people will also help them to harness what they have. He also commended UNICEF for her support for Katsina and Kano States, over the years and called participants to drive the entire process that will lead to effective implementation of the work plan.

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