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Obasanjo: Nigerians Do Not Know What They Have



Obasanjo: Nigerians Do Not Know What They Have

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday urged Nigerians to always look inwards and develop local content to move the country forward in spite of its current challenges.

Obasanjo said this in an interview with Newsmen in Abeokuta.

He said this in response to a question on “Utah Micellar Transdermal” product presented to him by the developer, Dr. Jonathan Obaje, a Nigerian Scientist based in Singapore.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo: I Am Quitting Politics

The product developed by Obaje, former President of the Nigerians in Diaspora (NIDO), Singapore (Asia), is for the treatment of Arthritis as well as body and joint pains.

Obasanjo said: “We need to know what we have; one of our problems is we do not even know what we have.

“First, we need to know what we have.  We need to know their effectiveness.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo: Gani Adams Was Wayward

”I appreciate my brother Obaje who is based in Singapore and who keeps replenishing me with the Urah product.

“It takes care of the joints as you grow old and it has helped me improve very well.

“It is very good and relieves me of what I call pains of old age.”

Obasanjo further described the product as biotechnology-based and a stable emulsion with natural extracts capable of delivering a concentration of medication seamlessly through the human skin.

He further stressed the need for adequate investment in local content development to promote self-reliance among Nigerians in particular, and Africans in general.

The transdermal product is a non-greasy and odorless therapy for degenerative diseases common in the U.S., Japan, and Singapore.

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Court Grants Ex-Director Legal Services, Ministry of Petroleum Resources N30 million Bail



Court Grants Ex-Director Legal Services, Ministry of Petroleum Resources N30 million Bail

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, admitted Grace Taiga, former Director of Legal Services, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, to N30 million bail in the multiple fraud cases involving Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID). 

Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a ruling, also ordered Taiga, an alleged accomplice in the scandal, to produce two sureties in the like sum, who must be residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on Oct. 7, re-arraigned Taiga before Egwuatu on seven counts bordering on money laundering offences.  

READ ALSO: Sanusi: How NNPC, Oil Marketers Inflated Petrol Figures

The judge also ruled that one of the sureties must have property within the FCT and deposit the titled documents with the deputy chief registrar of the court. 

Egwuatu, who held that the two sureties must have evidence of tax clearance, ordered that the defendant (Taiga) must deposit her international passport with the deputy chief registrar of the court and must get court permission before travelling outside Nigeria.  

The judge then adjourned the matter until Jan. 17 for commencement of trial. 

Though the defendant was on Oct. 7, re-arraigned before Justice Egwuatu on a nine-count charge bordering on accepting bribes and other related crimes, she pleaded not guilty to all the charges. 

The prosecution counsel, Abba Mohammed, had prayed that the defendant is remanded in prison custody, but the defence counsel, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, informed that a bail application on behalf of his client dated March 18 had already been filed.

Olanipekun had asked the judge to admit her to bail on the grounds of ill-health.

However, the Prosecution Counsel, said the EFCC filed a counter-affidavit rejecting the bail application and a further counter-affidavit, which he said they relied on.

On Sept. 20, 2019, the EFCC, arraigned Taiga in an FCT High Court in Apo, for complicity in the controversial contract Nigeria signed with an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development Company (P&ID) in 2008.

Taiga was the third person to be charged by the anti-graft agency.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government arraigned two representatives of the P&ID before a Federal High Court in Abuja on allegations of fraud.

Justice I. E. Ekwo of Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja sentenced the company, incorporated in British Virgin Island to wind up in Nigeria and its properties, forfeited to the federal government.

Ekwo convicted two directors, Mohammed Kuchazi and Adamu Usman.

Kuchazi and Usman were arraigned on an 11-count charge, bordering on obtaining by false pretence; dealing in petroleum products without an appropriate licence; money laundering and failure to register P&ID with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) as required by law, amounting to economic sabotage against the Nigerian state.

They pleaded guilty to the 11 counts of fraudulent involvement in the contract.

The court in its ruling convicted the suspects and ordered the firm to forfeit all its assets to the Nigerian government. 

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FG Working Hard To Deliver Steady Electricity To Nigerians – Minister



FG Workin Hard To Deliver Steady Electricity To Nigerians - Minister

The Minister of Power, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, has said that the Federal Government was making progress in ensuring the speedy completion of key power projects to deliver a steady electricity supply to Nigerians.

Aliyu said this in a statement in Abuja, on Wednesday, to mark his 50 days in office as the minister of power.

The minister listed some of the projects to include: The Kashimbilla 40 MW Power Station in Taraba State which had already begun generating power for the National Grid.

READ ALSO: First Bank: Otedola Is Not Our Largest Shareholder

He also noted that the Gurara phase 2 being developed in partnership with the Ministry of Water Resources would soon deliver 30MW to the grid.

” The Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project is progressing towards completion next year, to deliver another 700MW of renewable power.

Katsina wind farm, with a full capacity of 10MW, is already generating part of its full capacity for the grid,” he said.

The minister also cited the Dadin Kowa 40MW power station that had also started generating power for the National Grid, under a concession with a private investor.

Aliyu revealed that the outstanding regulatory and power purchase agreement issues were also being resolved.

Speaking on the Mambilla hydroelectric power project, which was contracted in 2017, the minister said that discussions were being intensified so that all issues preventing the full take-off of the project are resolved soon.

According to him, in its bid to accomplish an additional 7,000mw, the Federal Government has, through its Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), commenced the expansion and upgrade of the nation’s transmission and distribution critical infrastructure.

“The first phase of the PPI is the upgrading and expansion of the vital infrastructure of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Distribution Companies (Discos) with the goal of achieving the 7,000MW.

“This first phase, had started in earnest this year with the ongoing pre-engineering phase,”, he said, adding that the selected contractors would soon be contacted officially so that work on the project can commence”, he said.

The minister also revealed that the Nigerian Electrification Roadmap (NER) was a partnership that will expand Nigeria’s electricity capacity from the current average output of 4,500 MWh/h to 25,000MW.

Aliyu said that the government was confident that the NER will succeed because of the pedigree of Siemens and its footprint in the global power industry.

He said that the government was also reinvigorating important policies and regulations, especially the Eligible Customer and related regulations, that will move the electricity industry from the present interim commercial structure to a full commercial structure.

” In compliance with Clauses 25 and 26 of the Eligible Customer Act, whereby consumers contact willing GenCos directly for better services and service providers that are ready to make new investments to deliver better service,” he said.

Similarly, he explained that the Meter Asset Provider program (MAP) meant to attract investors into metering, had been activated.

He also said that the mini-grid policy and regulation allows underserved consumers to partner with investors and contractors for better services.

According to him, the Ministry of Works and Housing, for example, had started a solar pilot of 1.5MW.

“Government is optimizing the available generation capacity and putting them to good use.

“This means that we shall ensure that the unutilized capacity is used in line with the Ministry’s incremental power focus and the Eligible Customer policy.

” Strengthening the regulator to ensure that all players and stakeholders work according to the rules and guidelines especially in dealing with customers”, he said.

The minister, however, bemoaned the challenges that had impeded the growth of the sector.

“We are aware that the Nigerian Power sector is confronted by many challenges which have not enabled the sector to grow as desired. These challenges are reflected in the two over-arching problems of the sector.

“Service quality: Too many people are still not satisfied with the quality of service in terms of hours of supply, voltage, disputed/estimated bills, or have no access to electricity.

“Sector illiquidity: The payments the DisCos are able to collect from consumers do not cover the full investment and costs of the GenCos who produce and sell the power, and Transmission Company of Nigeria which wheels the power to the DisCos.

“Federal Government financial support is required to cover the shortfall. The resulting huge burden on Government is unsustainable”, Aliyu said.

The minister said that reforms take time and require patience to implement, especially in a highly regulated sector like the power sector.

”I am confident that these reforms, when fully implemented, will bring about the transformational change that we all desire to see in the sector,” he said. 

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FG Calls On Developed Countries To Redeem $100Bn Pledge For Climate Action



FG Calls On Developed Countries To Redeem $100Bn Pledge For Climate Action

The Federal Government has called on developed countries to redeem their 100 billion dollars pledge, made to support developing countries on climate action.

The. Minister of State, Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, made the call on Wednesday,  in Abuja, at a news briefing on COP26 preparation, scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, in Glasgow.

She mentioned important issues to be discussed at the COP26 as; mobilizing finance, scaling up adaptation, how to deal with the damage on economic and non-economic caused by climate impact, among others.

READ ALSO: Suspected Bandits’ Informants Killed In Kaduna State

”We require the developed countries to honor the word given made back in 2009 of mobilizing 100 billion dollars per year by 2020 to support climate action in developing countries.

“Recent announcements, including President Joe Biden’s pledge to double U.S. climate finance, have brought developed countries closer to honoring the pledge.

“However, we need more done to restore credibility and strengthen trust between developing and developed nations,” she said.

According to her, in the area of scaling up adaptation,  considering that Africa is at the receiving end of climate change impacts, our focus will be to strengthen our ability to adapt to climate change impacts.

“Also, another important element for discussion at COP26 is the question of how to deal with economic and non-economic harms caused by climate change impacts..

“The impact of climate action which cannot be avoided through adaptation or mitigation, known as ‘loss and damage’.

“As we look towards the firming up of increased finance for adaptation, we also look forward to progress in the operationalization of the Paris Agreement’s ‘Global Goal on Adaptation,” she said.

The minister said that Nigeria would have a pavilion to primarily showcase the climate action and Green efforts at COP 26.

She said that the showcase would attract investors, engage and learn especially on innovative ways to meet up with the international standards towards moving a low emission economic development pathway.

She said that Nigeria was more gas than an oil country, adding the government had requested consideration for financing projects using transition fuels, such as gas.

“We do have energy challenges for which we believe gas can be used to balance a renewable energy-based system, be it wind or sun.

“This will enable us to launch the long-term renewable energy infrastructure procurements and investments needed to have a sustainable energy supply.

The minister said that a 2050 Long-Term Vision for Nigeria (LTV-2050) had been developed, adding that the country was expecting the Vision to lay a solid foundation.

She added that the foundation would help to pursue a low carbon economy and climate-resilient society with a knowledge-driven economy that was globally competitive and compliant with Africa’s Agenda 2063.

“We also expect this vision to move us towards having net-zero emissions in the second half of the century across all sectors of development in a gender-responsive manner.

”We agree that Net Zero ambition can lead to economic transformation across all sectors,” she said.

She said that Nigeria would be taken a revised National Policy on Climate Change (NPCC) approved in June to COP26.

She said that the NPCC would enable Nigeria to implement mitigation measures and also strengthen adaptation towards a sustainable climate-resilient development pathway in the country.

Ikeazor explained that every year countries that have signatories to the UNFramework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meet to take discuss how to address climate.

She said that the meeting was done at the  Conference of the Parties (COP).“The COP is hosted by different countries each year.

“The conferences are attended by world leaders, Ministers, and Negotiators but also by representatives from Civil Society, Business, International Organizations, and the Media.

“This COP 26 is a unique one. It was to be held in November of 2020 but was postponed for one year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

According to her, it is hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy. It is scheduled to take place from 31 October-12 November 2021.

“The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland, His Excellency Boris Johnson has invited Heads of States and Government to participate in the World Leaders Summit (WSL) and High-Level segment scheduled for Nov. 1, and 2, 2021.

During which the world leaders will have the opportunity to make national statements.

“President Muhammadu Buhari will be attending the WLS and will read Nigeria’s statement at the event,” she said.

According to her, Mr. President is to attend alongside a high-powered delegation consisting of some State Governors, Ministers, and other select government functionaries.

“COP26 is a critical summit for global climate action. COP26 is important as critical issues that affect the way we earn, live, and even eat will be discussed and decisions are taken.

“So, we need to be there to negotiate and try to influence these decisions as they will positively affect our country and people even as we join in the global efforts to keep the temperatures down.

The overarching aim for the Glasgow summit is to ‘keep 1.5 degrees alive,” she said.

Ikeazor said that the UNFCCC negotiations provide a forum through which all parties openly communicate their interest and challenges on climate change issues and then reach consensuses on how to move forward.

She added that a country party delegation consisting of one or more officials is empowered to represent and negotiate on behalf of their government.

She said, based on the tradition of the UN, Parties are organized into five regional groups, mainly for the purposes of electing the bureau, such as the African States.

“Asian States, Eastern European States, Latin American and the Caribbean States, and the Western European and Other States (Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America).

“Developing country Parties generally work through the Group of 77 to establish common negotiating positions through the African Group of Negotiators, which Nigeria belongs to,” she said. 

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