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CCII, Stakeholders Charge Gov Seyi Makinde to Activate Waste To Wealth Project

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By Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan

Oyo State government has been urged to start work on the Waste to Wealth project which was part of cardinal programmes of the Seyi Makinde-led administration to bring to a barest minimum, the problem of indiscriminate refuse dumping in the State.

The call was made by the President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Yemi Soladoye and other stakeholders at an advocacy meeting organized for Stakeholders by the government to sensitize the populace on immediate solution to the menace of poor waste disposal culture, pervading the State.

Soladoye noted that before long, waste collectors would be paying those that generate the waste instead of collecting money from them whenever waste recycling begin in the State.

He called for haste in the implementation of the Orita-Aperin recycling project, which he said has suffered abandonment overtime.

The CCII President said:  “While commending the efforts of the State in its unrelenting stride to eradicate poor waste disposal culture, I need to call on our Governor to start work on the Waste to Wealth project so as to not only beautify our environment but to also create wealth for the populace and generate more revenue for government.

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“I have travelled far and wide but there was a time I found it so difficult to come home to Ibadan because of the culture of filth then. Today, the story has changed and we have a clean environment which needs to be sustained.

“Imagine a time that we allocated a parcel of land for Olubadan’s palace but within short time, people turned the land to refuse dumping ground. We invited the police and they left within a week as they were frustrated.

“We need to do more advocacy and enforcement especially at all local communities while I want to reiterate the call for the commencement of the waste recycling project in Oyo State. Soon, you will see people collecting money instead of paying to dispose refuse.”

In her remarks, the Head of Service in Oyo State, Mrs Ololade Agboola who presided over the meeting said the people must spread the gospel of collective responsibility in order to stop the poor waste disposal culture.

Ololade who applauded what she called an impressive attendance by stakeholders at the gathering declared that the State government has concluded all preparations to kick off the operation of environmental mobile courts in the State.

She also reminded the people of the interest of the present administration to bring in as many foreign investors as possible as well as create enabling environment for local business to thrive especially in a clean environment.

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She said: “This meeting is at the behest of the governor of Oyo State who was worries over the state of filth in the State and various meetings have been held with other sectors and strategic members of the society to achieve more understanding about the need for a clean environment which will engender good health and promote business.

“Soon, Oyo State Mobile Court will be in operation to dispense express justice to sanitation offenders and deter the poor attitude to waste disposal. Also, the Orita-Aperin Waste to Wealth project will soon begin work to complement other efforts at imbibing good environmental culture.”

Contributions were made at the event by members of the steering committee on environment in Oyo State which include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr Olusoji Oguntola, his colleague from the Ministry of Works, Mr Olusola Oyedele and Mrs Christiana Abioye, of Ministry of Women Affairs.

Others are Iyabo Olaleye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju.

Various groups and organizations that were represented at the meeting include the National Council of Women Society (NCWS), Community Development Association, NGOs and royal fathers from different communities.

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Metro

Regular Demolitions ‘ll End Insecurity – FCTA  

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja 

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Thursday, said its commitment to ensuring the security of Abuja, was the utmost reason for the periodic demolition of shanties and other illegal structures that aided criminal activities.

Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah made this known to journalists during the cleanup exercise at the Idu area of the federal capital.

Ikharo also condemned the building of makeshift houses at road junctions and at green areas by the illegal occupants of Idu.

“Such structures shall be demolished,” he said.

According to him, the structures that were demolished contravened the city’s urban and regional planning acts, and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board Acts.

“People see every busy junction, empty lands, as a place where they can just put shanties, thereby endangering the lives of other legal residents.

“Worst still, is that some of these structures served as hideouts for criminals; so when we succeed in removing these illegal structures, we would not have only restored the city’s master plan, but we would have also won the war against crime,” added Ikharo.

Speaking, the Head, Monitoring and Enforcement, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) Kaka Bello, decried the stealing and vandalization of public properties in the area.

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“As we can see the drainage manholes have been stolen; these cost the government a lot of money to provide. Aside from that it portends negative implications for the environment. It is an eyesore for a city like this, and we won’t allow this!” Kaka vowed.

Also speaking, the Field Coordinator, FCT Special Ministerial Committee on Transportation and Public Nuisances Olumiji Peter, said the demolition being carried out was essential.

“Some criminals lurk in these shanties, and they come out at night to rob innocent people of their valuables,” he said.

An occupant of one of the demolished shanties Sadiq Abubakar, said he is a native of Zamfara State, married to two wives, and has six children.

“I want to appeal to the government to give us space to sell and repair things. I don’t want to go into kidnapping,” Sadiq said.

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NEWS

FCTA Vows to Demolish Structures on Waterways

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja 

As part of the proactive measures to mitigate flooding in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Thursday commenced swift inventory and removal of structures on waterways.

“The Department of Development Control issued strong directives to all its sector monitors to forward their list of developments on flood plains, so as to remove them where necessary, before the rains come fully,” Town Planning Department Director Mukhtar Galadima made this disclosure during the removal of a perimeter fence and other obstructing structures on a flood plain in Mabushi District, Abuja.

Galadima added that officials of the Department are going to identify more locations and start removing the obstructing structures before the rains begin fully.

He explains: “What we did today (Wednesday) was as a result of an outing with my management team, where we spotted these developments across the flood plain in Mabushi District, which we had to return and removed.

 “We need to be more proactive. Our investigations showed that there are developments across flood plains. We can’t wait any longer, as we have to start removing them before the rain fully comes. We have issued directives to all our sector monitors to forward their list of developments on flood plains. 

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“We are aware that the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has flagged off sensitization on flooding, and in line with this, we are going to identify these locations and start removing the structures before the rains begin fully. So it is an ongoing exercise, we will keep moving around, take notes and remove where necessary.

“There are no limitations to sensitization or awareness on why people should not build on waterways because it is disastrous. We have seen the floods and other natural disasters, and their consequences across the globe.”

While answering a question of whether there are sustainable punitive measures against the menace, the Director said,

“At a point in time, the FCTA had directed its Legal Secretariat to review in its entirety all legal framework governing developments in the FCT. 

“This (blocking of waterways) will definitely be part of the FCT laws and regulations governing development and management of the Territory.”

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Business News

Agba Leads Govt Delegation to South Korea on Bilateral Cooperation

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, is at the head of a Nigerian government’s delegation to Seoul, South Korea, for a week-long mission for strategic dialogues with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Korea-Africa Foundation (KAF).

The visit is intended to, among other purposes, forge new frontiers of mutual cooperation between the countries and deepen existing bilateral ties.

As a prelude to the series of meetings and dialogue sessions, Agba met with the Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Ali Mohammed Magashi, with top officials in the Embassy, and discussed cross-cutting  issues bordering on the status of the bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Korea.

Issues that featured during the discussions included outstanding Agreements such as the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement; Labour; Avoidance of Double Taxation to be concluded to further boost the investment climate and the volume of trade of USD 2 billion in 2021 and the way forward.

The Minister took the opportunity of the meeting to shed light  on the Nigeria’s National Development Plan 2021- 2025 and the investment opportunities for the South Korean private investors in key sectors  such as  Agriculture, Manufacturing, ICT, Oil and Gas (midstream) to accelerate the country’s  economic growth that is already diversified.

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He urged the ambassador to canvass for investments in the identified sectors in pursuance of Nigeria’s unwavering effort at ensuring and consolidating its concentric diversification of the national economy.

At the meeting with the President of the 5-year-old Korea-Africa Foundation,  Mr Lyeo Woon-Ki, the minister applauded the purpose of establishing the Foundation as an affiliate of the South Korean’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is to, among other things, foster business and cultural cooperation between the country and African continent as well as promote genuine partnership in political and  academic spheres.

He noted that South Korea had a vibrant private sector and gave insight into the plan envisaged for the sector in the NDP 2021-2025 for investment in Nigeria.

The minister allayed the fears expressed by the Foundation President regarding doing business in Nigeria and apprised him of the immigration and customs reforms in place and the country’s upward leap, by 20 points, in the ease of doing business ranking.

He also paid a courtesy visit to the Acting President of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Mr. Youn-Young Lee. 

As a grant aid provider under the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the minister lauded the “excellent cordial relationship” between the Federal Government of Nigeria and KOICA since it began operations in 2008.

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He thanked the President of the Republic of South Korea, His Excellency, Yoon Suk Yeol, the Government and people of South Korea for the prestigious National Award of Diplomatic Service Merit (Heungin Medal) recently awarded to him in Abuja as first recipient in Africa.

Agba said the several grant aids and technical cooperation projects implemented by the Agency had been impactful.

He acknowledged the various KOICA-supported capacity-building training extended to the Nigerian government officials in several fields of human endeavours as well as technical cooperation.

The training, according to him, “covers short-term, long-term, Masters and Postgraduate scholarship programmes and in-country training programme.”

The minister noted the future areas of cooperation mentioned by the KOICA President and confirmed their alignment with Nigeria’s priorities as encapsulated in the NDP 2021-2025.

Meanwhile, the Minister, consequent upon receiving a report about a Nigerian family who lost four children in domestic fire that razed their apartment in Ansan Danwon, on the outskirts of Seoul, decided to pay the family and the Nigerian community in Ansan Danwon a condolence visit.

The visit happened on Monday, March 27, 2023, in company with the Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea.

They condoled with the Nigerian family of seven, Mr. Felix Nwafor, who lost four children (2 boys and 2 girls) to an inferno that occurred in the early hours of that day.  The couple and a two-year old daughter who survived are receiving medical attention at a Korean Hospital in the area.

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