Connect with us

OPINIONS/OTHER NEWS ARTICLES

Flood: Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta among states in danger, to stockpile food

Published

on

Abuja—Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states are among about 13 states that have been told to brace up for heavy floods between now and next month by the the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The other states are Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Edo, Anambra and Cross River.

According to TheCable, NEMA urged governments in the identified states to stockpile food items and evacuate those living in coastal communities to avoid disaster.

The agency said three dams – Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba would soon overflow following the opening of Lagdo Dams in Cameroon.

Over 300 persons have been killed, 500 seriously injured, 100,000 displaced and 500,000 affected by flooding in 29 states, according to NEMA.

A man was swept off by flood at Abule Egba, a Lagos community early yesterday.

Passersby were seen in a viral video trying to rescue him.

An eyewitness said: “The flood must have been sweeping him from a different location because it was just his hand that we saw inside gutter.

“He was waving for help and we tried to pull him out, but we couldn’t. I think debris hacked him down. It was slippery and the force of the water was massive.”

In Adamawa State, a major highway, the Yola-Mubi road, was flooded.

Vehicles could not get from Yola to Song, Gombi, Hong and the other towns and communities northwards, including Mubi, Maiha, Michika and Madagali.

The flood covered a long section of the road between Girei and Jabi Lamba in the Girei Local Government Area, making it impossible for any vehicle to pass either towards Mubi or Yola.

The flood cut off the highway near Jabi Lamba, with some houses, shops and schools almost submerged.

Flood also sacked many communities in Nasarawa State, with the House of Assembly urging the state government to provide relief materials to victims.

The Speaker, Ibrahim Abdullahi, read the House resolution after the Majority Leader, Tanko Tunga, raised the issue under matters of public importance.

Abdullahi said: “I have also directly been affected as 50 per cent of my people are living in riverine communities.

“Many lives, animals, buildings, farm lands among other properties have been lost or destroyed.

“Many communities across the state affected by the flood are homeless.

“I want to call on the state government to provide relief materials to the flood victims without delay.

“I also want to call on the state government to relocate communities affected by flood to safer places for their comfort and to improve their standard of living.”

The Speaker urged the state government to provide more funds to the Nasarawa State Emergency management Agency (NASEMA) to enable the agency discharge its duties effectively.

NEMA asked Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa states to prepare for the worse.

Its Director General, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, spoke at an emergency technical meeting on flooding in Abuja.

He said: “So far, it is on record that 29 states, including the FCT, have experienced heavy flooding with more than 500,000 persons already affected.

“Our records indicate that more than 300 lives have been lost, over 500 persons are seriously injured with more than 100,000 others displaced and living either in temporary shelters including schools, other public buildings amongst benevolent host families.”

Ahmed believes the discharge of water from the Lagdo dam compounded the problem.

He said: “Based on our communication with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroun have commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by 13th September, 2022.

“We are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue and its tributaries thereby inundating communities that have already been impacted by heavy precipitation.

“The released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeria’s inland reservoirs, including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro are also expected to overflow between now and October ending according to NIHSA.

“According to NIHSA, Kainji and Jebba dams have already started spilling exess water from their reservoirs.

“This will have serious consequences on frontline states and communities along the courses of rivers Niger and Benue.

“These states include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kogi.

“Niger Delta states including Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are expected to record heavy floods due predicted above normal rains coupled with the combined waters of rivers Niger and Benue as they empty into the region.

“The situation requires urgent attention of all stakeholders to match this early warning with early action.

“Consequently, I want to advise all the governments of the frontline states to move away communities at risk of inundation, identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons and preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items, portable water, hygiene, safety and security to enable them a fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement.

“These actions become necessary as we collectively work towards a lasting solution to the annual threats of floods. I also call on the media to support NEMA in the sensitisation of the public to enable them comply to early warning messages effectively.

“I implore the media, which has always proved to be a reliable partner of NEMA, to give us all the necessary support including communication in local languages.”

The NEMA chief said the organisation was monitoring the situation and would consider the activation Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) to coordinate the flood disaster response in all the states at risk.

Ahmed sought the support of state governments, especially through their State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and other critical state level actors.

OPINIONS/OTHER NEWS ARTICLES

CBN limits cash withdrawals to 20k daily, 100k weekly

Published

on

By

Abuja—The Central Bank has directed banks and other financial institutions to ensure that cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities per week do not exceed N100,000 and N500, 000, respectively.

The directive is contained in a circular issued by the bank on Tuesday, according to TheCable.

These new directives is however set to be effective from 9th January 2023

“The maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week shall henceforth be N100,000 and 500,000 respectively. Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively,” the letter reads.

“Third party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist.

“The maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.

“Only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.”

Continue Reading

OPINIONS/OTHER NEWS ARTICLES

Nigerian Navy accuses NNPC of deceiving Nigerians about figures of oil theft

Published

on

By

Abuja—The Nigerian Navy has stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s (NNPC) claimed figures of crude oil theft in the country are bogus and not substantive.

According to SaharaReporters, the Navy accused NNPC of reeling out exaggerated figures to save its face, noting that they are hiding the truth from the public.

This was made known by the Navy Chief of Training and Operations, Rear Admiral Solomon Agada, while speaking to the Senate Committee on Economic and Financial Crimes during an interactive briefing of the relevant agencies implementing the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 at the National Assembly, as observed and reported by Sunday PUNCH.

Agada revealed that at several interactions with the NNPC, the Navy had explained the causes of fuel scarcity to the company and that there was no way anyone would steal 100,000 barrels of oil in a day, but the NNPC had deliberately continued to mislead Nigerians.

When Agada was asked why the Navy had not been able to stop oil theft, while claiming that the waterways were secure, he said, “The challenge is that because of the criminal activity inshore by the illegal refiners in tapping into the export lines, those export lines have not been in operation since early this year.

“The major terminals have not been able to process fuel for export since around February/March and instead of the NNPC telling the Federal Government that this product is not brought out to be able to process as export, they say the oil was stolen.”

He explained that the Navy had argued that the NNPC should tell people the difference between the oil that they have shut in and not brought out, and what is being stolen.

“The stolen produce that we have been dealing with among illegal refineries is nothing compared to what the NNPC is declaring as being stolen.

“If you’re talking about stealing 100,000 barrels a day, you need about five-tonne batches 20 times a day from the creek to the high sea, which is very unrealistic.

“I told them at the NNPC that if that were to be the case, even a blind man would observe that something was happening in Nigeria’s waters and we are there on patrol and not seeing this.

“The only reasonable explanation why the fuels are not coming out is because the Shell platform on Bonny Island is not exporting and the Chevron terminal in Escravos is also not exporting. All these things are very clear, but because it is easier to say these things are stolen, then they just come up with that.

“Let’s get someone who can do a proper analysis of these figures and we’ll find out that these claims are just bogus; there is nothing substantive about them.

“We have communicated appropriately with the NNPC; even at our last interface with them, they agreed with us; but when they come to the public, they say oil theft, hiding the fact from the public.”

Agada also responded to the alleged tapping of pressure pipe under the sea, from where crude oil was said to be transferred into vessels.

He said; “On the tapping of the vessel, I also visited that location with the Chief of Defence Staff and there is a directive by the President from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to set up a committee on that particular incident.

“We are not indicting the NNPCL; we are just saying that let matters be presented correctly so that people can make informed decisions. The Navy has no hand in any stealing of oil in this country. I have no ship or vessel, nor do I know anyone who has; you can investigate me.”

The Navy boss further explained that the increase in diesel price was because of an ongoing operation to stop illegal bunkering on the waters.

“People who have been doing this illegal business will confirm to you that since we started this special task force operation in April, their business has gone sour.

“This is also responsible for the increase in diesel price in the country. Since we stopped the illegal diesel from coming to the market, the price has gone up, because once there is high demand and the supply is low, the price will go up.

“People who ought to import will cut corners and buy the illegal products, but now that they can’t import and the illegal ones are not coming, this has reduced the quantity in the country. But somehow, nobody is coming to share this information with the people.”

He added that the Nigerian Government had invested in infrastructure through the Maritime Domain Awareness Infrastructure, which had assisted the Navy in detecting and arresting illegal refiners and vessels that were usually handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution.

Agada stated, “And right from Abuja here, we have the capacity to see the entire Nigeria Exclusive Economic Zone. We have 24 hours watch on the exclusive economic zone. Any vessel that enters Nigerian waters that is not permitted to be is immediately arrested because we see their movement.

“Any vessel in the international waters is expected to have their automatic identification system on and that shows that you’re transparently operating; so, any vessel that switches off its identification system automatically becomes a vessel for the Nigeria Navy and we will immediately arrest them and thereafter investigate.

“So, as of today, there is no tanker that can enter Nigerian waters to carry anything without being noticed. All these things that happened now have sent a very strong signal to the international communities that Nigeria is now a place where illegal activities can’t take place anymore.”

Continue Reading

OPINIONS/OTHER NEWS ARTICLES

Oil can no longer feed Nigeria’s growing population—Obasanjo

Published

on

By

Abeokuta—Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said the oil and gas sector can no longer feed the growing population of Nigerians, according to Daily Trust.

Obasanjo spoke at the weekend when the leadership of the apex socio-cultural group in Tiv land of Benue State, Mzough U Tiv (MUT) paid him appreciation and friendship visit at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Penthouse residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

He said only farming and agribusiness could tackle the nation’s growing population.

He called on people to focus on farming and agribusiness as an alternative to Nigeria’s oil-dependent economy.

“If Nigeria is ready to get it right, the 2023 election should be a turning point. We should not go for emotion that will destroy us,” Obasanjo, who was conferred with the title of a “Great Warrior” of Tiv land by the socio-political group, said.

Earlier, the President-General of the Tiv body, Chief Iorbee Ihagh demanded the former president’s intervention on the need for the establishment of a fruit juice industry in Benue State, agitation for inclusive national politics, herder’s attack on Tiv land and the power sharing formula.

Continue Reading