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Issues of Biosecurity, key to National Security – DG Biosafety Agency

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The Director General (DG) National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, on Monday said that issues of biosecurity are key to national security.

Ebegba said this in Abuja at the public presentation of National Biosafety Guidelines on Genetically Modified (GM) plants with stacked genes and GM fish.

“We have put in place biosecurity policies, we are at the verge of presenting it for stakeholders to further understand how this policy will be implemented.

“In the area of insecurity in our country, we are very much aware of the way the world is going,” he said.

Ebegba said that the policy had adequately addressed the area of bio-terrorism that might likely occur.

The DG said that the agency is in collaboration with stakeholders to prevent the unintentional release of harmful biological agents.

“We must ensure that we properly curtail them so that they are not released to the environment,” Ebegba said.

Similarly, the Country Coordinator, Programme for Biosafety System (PBS) Dr Matthew Dore, applauded the presentation of the document.

“We in PBS are happy to be associated with this policy,” Dore said.

He said that the document seeks to guide practitioners and stakeholders on modern technology.

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Dore commended NBMA for its efforts to ensure development in the biotechnology field especially with the application and the challenges of regulating it. (NAN)

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Environment

U.S. Commits $200m to Address Climate Change in Nigeria

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The United States Government is to commit 200 million U.S. dollars to start-up process on Clean Energy Demand Initiative to help address climate change in the country.

The U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Mr John Kerry, made the commitment when his team paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Kerry, who also signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the minister on the initiative, said the programme started in Glasgow.

According to him, the initiative is a way by which companies and countries can make decisions to implement buying or production of green products.

“The initiative is also to accelerate the marketplace creation, so that it will help transition programme faster and help to achieve a clean energy economy as well as dealing with climate crisis.

“The minister has agreed in the letter of intent.

We have 200 million dollars at the moment committed to the startup in the process of safety,” he said.

Kerry said the initiative would take a lot of billions of dollars and trillions of investment in the country.

”We talked today about the ways in which we can be helpful to bring major amount of capital to the table with technology to help Nigeria, move faster to the clean energy economy.

See also  Flooding : Gov. Fayemi Orders Relocation of School From River Bank

“That is the future and all of the citizens of Nigeria will benefit from cleaner air,” he said.

He said that the programme would provide job opportunities and develop economic as well as promoting a healthy environment in the country.

“I will like to explore with you and listen to you to think through how we can work together as you implement your own climate change.

“As you also think about the long term future and sustainability for Nigeria for the Africa, we will like to explore with you on how we can increase the ambition that you have set out already in your Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

“I congratulate you. Nigeria is taking a lead towards COP 27 and it is an opportunity to reduce emissions and deal with the climate crisis.

“So, on that note, the initiative is a very important effort to try to send a signal to the marketplace and to bring your businesses to the table.

“We are going to work together. I’ve got a good team here.

“We are all working on this programme every day, trying to figure out the road ahead and I look forward to hearing your thoughts about that,” he said.

The minister said the MoU would help Nigeria to participate in the clean energy demand initiative being supported by the U.S. government.

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He said the essence of the initiative was to ensure a healthy and clean energy accessible in the country.

He thanked the U.S. Government for the support and commitment in ensuring that environmental crisis is tackled in the country.

Abdullahi said that the ministry was also committed to strongly work with the U.S Government for effective implementation of environmental programmes and achieve net zero in the country. (NAN)

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Environment

Buhari Laments Plight of Over 500,000 Flood Victims Nationwide

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has said he was worried over the flood situation in the country, which has affected over 500,000 Nigerians since January this year.

Extending heartfelt condolences to all the families affected by the recent flooding in different States across the country, the President pledged to provide the needed emergency assistance to individuals and communities affected by the disaster.

In a statement by Senior Special Assistant , Media and Public Affairs, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President urged other public-spirited individuals and organisations to support hundreds of thousands of people in need of urgent help in the affected communities.

“The President reiterates that these tragic events have brought to fore the need for States and local governments to step up their level of preparedness in handling emergencies, which remains a shared responsibility with the Government at the Centre,” the statement said.

Buhari affirmed that the Federal Government will continue to monitor the situation very closely to work more with states and affected communities to reduce the impact of the disaster, provide resources and improve response and recovery efforts and advised inhabitants of flood-prone areas to always adhere to the early warning advisories as issued by the organisations saddled with climate monitoring and disaster management.

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Since January this year flooding has been reported in Lagos, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Edo, Delta, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Imo, Abia States and the Federal Capital Territory, affecting  508,721 people.

The destructive floods have displaced 73,379 people, 115 casualties, and injured 277 people.

The floods and heavy rain have left around 37, 633 houses destroyed or severely damaged, according to latest data made available to the Presidency from the relevant Federal Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).

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Environment

Flooding: Kano Govt Sets up Technical Committee, to Demolish Structures on Waterways — Commissioner

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Kano State Government has constituted a technical committee to expeditiously look into the prevailing flooding occasioned by the intermittent heavy downpours recorded in the state.

The State Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Kano.

He said that the government was worried about the occurrence of the floods, which wrecked havoc on the metropolitan areas.

Garba said the committee was saddled with the task of studying the metropolitan roads, drainage systems and culverts that were dilapidated, with a view to rehabilitating them, or reconstructing new ones where possible.

He pointed out that the committee would also find out structures built on waterways that often times blocked free flow of water, thereby causing flooding.

The commissioner expressed concern over the calamity and commiserated with the victims.

He called on the residents of the state to bear with the government, as everything possible would be done to address the situation.(NAN)

See also  Flooding : Gov. Fayemi Orders Relocation of School From River Bank
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