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NBC Signs MoU with Partners on Community Development in Nigeria 

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Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd., the bottling partner of the Coca-Cola Company in Nigeria, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the implementing partners of its recently announced €1 million donation.

The MoU was signed at the company’s headquarters in Lagos.

Speaking during the ceremony, the Managing Director of NBC, Mr Matthieu Seguin, said the donation reflects the company’s commitment to enriching communities in Nigeria.

Seguin added that the donation would be targeted toward empowering youths and women, the provision of water and sanitary facilities, as well as scaling its PET recycling initiatives in Nigeria.

“This donation underscores our commitment to improving the lives of our communities.

“It will be directed toward areas we believe we can have the most impact – empowering youths and women, and the provision of water and recycling facilities.

“I would like to particularly thank our partners in these initiatives, who have been selected based on their strong track record and will work with us to ensure that this investment is directed where it’s needed most,” Seguin said.

He noted that the key partners for the programmes covered under the €1 million donation include Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, West African Vocational Education (WAVE), Organised Private Sector in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (OPS-WASH) and Chanja Datti Ltd.

According to him, OPS-WASH will deliver state-of-the arts toilet facilities across identified communities in five states in Nigeria, reaching about five million people annually.

Seguin said that the fund via its parent company Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company would be deployed to support four key initiatives including the Federal Government of Nigeria’s journey toward becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2025.

He added that it would be deployed for upskilling underserved youths and women in high demand skills; and community recycling initiatives.

Seguin the execution of the projects by its implementing partners would be executed within 12 months.

He said that  WAVE Academy would undertake the up-skilling of youths in Abuja, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Edo, Rivers and Kaduna in Digital and Hospitality skills and connect them to job opportunities.

He said that Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation would focus on empowering vulnerable women across eight states with relevant skills to support economic inclusion of women.

Seguin added that Chanja Datti would drive the intervention that supports community recycling in Lagos State and Abuja.

He said that the initiative would also contribute to raise the number of recycling banks in the selected communities.

The managing director said that it would further support in raising awareness on responsible disposal of wastes, especially plastics, while empowering vulnerable women economically.

He said that the MoU provides a formal framework for the programmes based on shared values and further demonstrates NBC’s commitment to contribute to the uplifting of communities and socio-economic development in Nigeria.

Seguin said that the donation was part of NBC’s 70th anniversary celebration and reflects the company’s unwavering commitment to Nigeria and its people.

In her remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Cecilia Bolaji Dada, commended the company for the donation.

“The Ministry commends NBC on their laudable impact in alleviating poverty amongst the citizenry and the state in general, by empowering vulnerable women and young girls in the society through their various programmes.

“I encourage women everywhere to continue to avail themselves to various opportunities to become empowered, self-reliant, and independent financially,” she said.

The commissioner  was represented at the event by Funmi Raji.

Mr Jande Tarfa, a representative of one of the partners, WAVE, said the donation would enable the organisation to expand the scope and impact of its youth empowerment initiatives and reach even more beneficiaries across the country.

Tarfa said that the partnership would come to life in key areas of shared value including promoting water sanitation & hygiene (WASH).

He added that the partnership would also promote skills development programmes for women and youths as well as accelerate its World Without Waste agenda in Nigeria.

NBC is a member of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) Group.

NBC is an anchor bottler for the Coca-Cola Company in 28 countries with over 605 million consumers and 197 brands in these markets. (NAN)

Environment

Erosion Control Project: Gombe SEC Approves N389m Compensation for Residents

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The Gombe State Executive Council (SEC) has approved payment of N389 million as compensation for residents that would be affected by the gully erosion control project at Federal College of Education (FCE) Technical and its surrounding communities.

The Commissioner for Finance, Gombe State, Malam Mohammed Magaji, stated this at the end of the SEC meeting on Friday in Gombe.

Magaji said the payment, which would commence immediately, would be for individuals and organisations along the gully erosion site.

He said almost 1000 persons were expected to benefit from the gesture.

According to him, the compensation is part of the requirements of the World Bank, which specifies that such payments be made to property owners.

Magaji said the payment would also be made to ensure seamless resettlement of affected persons.

“The beneficiaries are in hundreds, almost a 1,000 people; there is compensation for houses, and also for business premises.

“There is also stipends for the elderly living around that area so that they are able to have good livelihood,” he said.

The commissioner for Education, Hajiya Aishatu Maigari, also said the SEC approved upgrade of the five mega senior secondary schools in the state to sustain improvement in the education sector.

Maigari said the upgrade would be carried out based on the needs of each of the schools.

She stated that infrastructure in some of the schools were already being upgraded to global standards.

“We have seen construction of toilets, installation of solar-powered light, construction of roads, school clinics, boreholes and many more,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had on Nov. 23 signed a N12 billion contract with Triacta Nigeria Ltd. for a 21-kilometre gully erosion control work in six communities within Gombe metropolis.

The project is under ACRESAL project, a World Bank-assisted project to address the challenges of land degradation and climate change in northern Nigeria. (NAN)

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Environment

Fire Razes Household Properties Estimated at Millions of Naira

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The Ebonyi Fire Service, on Tuesday confirmed that a fire incident destroyed properties estimated at millions of naira at the residence of Mr Chris Uchaji, a former commissioner in the state.

Mr Raphael Ibiam, the Chief Fire Officer of the agency, said that the inferno was suspected to have been caused by an electrical spark within the building.

He explained that the fire razed valuable household properties in three rooms of the storey building.

He said no life was lost in the incident as his men responded promptly and was later assisted by the Federal Fire Service.

“At about 0800 hours, there was a fire outbreak at 13 Lawrence Ónór street, off Nna street.

“It destroyed properties in a storey building belonging to Mr Chris Uchaji, a Former State Commissioner for Solid Mineral Development,” Ibiam said.

Uchaji told newsmen shortly after the incident, that he was at the stadium with his wife for morning exercise when he received a distress call from his security man that his family house was on fire.

“We quickly rushed to the scene, only to see many people on a rescue mission as the whole house had been engulfed.

“I suspected it was due to an electrical spark and it started in my wife’s room, where my six-year-old daughter was sleeping.

“The intensity of the fire was high and it spread to other rooms, causing massive damage, but thank God no life was lost.

“I thank God for people’s goodwill and the fire service. Though the state fire service came here, their water finished early, but with the intervention of federal firefighters, they were able to control the fire.” Uchaji said.(NAN)

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Environment

Nigeria’s NGO Takes Plights of Local Communities to COP28

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Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development, a Nigeria-based NGO, has called for the involvement of local communities in decision-making on climate solutions in order to build a sense of responsibility and unity.

Mr Israel Orekha, Executive Director of the NGO, made the call on Monday in his address at a side event organised at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai.

“The event is themed “Putting Local Community First in Climate Agenda.

’’

Orekha advocated policy changes that incentivised and prioritised sustainable practices at the local and national levels

According to him, empowering communities through participation will ensure that solutions align with local needs.

He also called for inclusive policies that addressed both environmental and social aspects of clean energy transitions.

The executive director particularly canvassed for the consideration of local community in the clean energy transition plan.

The local community, he said, needed clean energy transition parks and not false solutions.

“Clean energy transition parks not only combat climate change but also strengthen community resilience.

“Local involvement in these parks is key to addressing pressing environmental challenges.

“Beyond jobs, clean energy engagement enhances community knowledge about sustainable practices.

“Involving communities in clean energy decisions fosters responsibility and unity.

“Local job opportunities and skill development can result from participation in the renewable energy sector.”

Orekha also underscored the importance of transparency in decision-making processes so as to discern genuine solutions from greenwashing.

“False solutions can perpetuate environmental injustice, disproportionately affecting marginalised communities.

“False solutions, like greenwashing, hinder genuine progress.

“Thorough research and community input are essential for sustainable solutions,’’ he said.

Reports says that clean energy parks are separate areas used and planned for the purpose of clean energy development, like wind and solar generation facilities.(NAN)

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