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Over 2.3 million Children, Youths Starving in North East—Group

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starving in North-East

By Adedapo Adesanya

A charity organisation known as Save the Children has called on the Nigerian government to urgently assist more than 2.3 million children, including some 700,000 children under five, and youths starving in North East Nigeria.

The crisis in Nigeria comes at a time when the world is facing its biggest hunger crisis of the 21st century, with an estimated 5.7 million children under five on the brink of starvation across the globe. A further 13 million children under 18 are facing extreme food shortages, the organisation said.

A recent United Nations report found out that 4.4 million people in the North-East area of Nigeria are facing food shortages as attacks by militants are forcing farmers from their lands.

Save the Children also strongly condemned the reported attacks and displacement of farmers and other civilians.

The group said it was worried that an estimated 2.2 million people have fled their homes because of the violence, leaving families and children wanting food, a safe place to live and, for many children, education.

Speaking on this, Mrs Shannon Ward, Acting Country Director, Save the Children International Nigeria, said, “The situation is extremely dire. Millions of children have already been through a decade of suffering, violence and humanitarian crisis. Thousands and thousands have died, and many more saw their rights impacted to survive, learn and be protected.

“The reported loss of livelihoods, land and crop coupled with the effects of COVID-19 is beyond something the community can bear. We are extremely worried that this will lead to an even bigger food crisis in the northeast of the country.”

“We call upon the Federal and State Governments to ensure that farmers are supported and protected, so they can work their lands, and feed their families and communities.

“And we call for safe access for humanitarian workers, so we can reach those most in need.

“Children, girls and women are more vulnerable at times of attack and displacement. As a result of overcrowding, family separation, a lack of basic social services and desperate measures people take just to survive, such as marrying off their children, they run a high risk of gender-based violence, physical and sexual abuse. Many children will be urged to drop out of school, and some will never return – with their childhood dream fading away,” she added.

Save the Children urged the authorities in Nigeria and the international community to commit more resources to address the massive critical needs of the displaced people in North-East Nigeria.

The group was one of the first humanitarian organisations that responded to the humanitarian crisis in the area, reaching 1.2 million people since the start of the response.

The organisation is providing food assistance and protection services to more than 320,000 children and families regularly.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Welders Association Plan Protest Over PH Refinery Exclusion

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Welders

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Association of Welders and Fitters in Nigeria has issued an ultimatum to the management of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), requesting to be included in the ongoing rehabilitation of the oil facility or face mass protest.

During a peaceful protest at Eleme Council Secretariat, the group said the management has till Thursday to grant their request, expressing displeasure over their alleged non-inclusion in the ongoing rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.

The President of the Eleme branch of the organisation, Mr Innocent Ejire, said welders and fitters in the area are pained that the management of PHRC excluded them from jobs at the ongoing rehabilitation of the refinery.

Mr Ejire called on the management of PHRC to adhere to the Local Content Act by engaging its members, accusing the management of the refinery of giving jobs to welders from outside while sidelining those who are members of the PHRC’s host community.

“Out of 150 welders and fitters they (refinery) have taken, they have not taken anyone from our community but elsewhere like in Bonny and Omoku; NLNG contractors must give jobs to Ibani Welders and Fitters Association.

“Welders in Bonny and Omoku pass through these associations to get jobs in the companies operated there.

“But here they say no host community will work and since we cannot take the law into our hands. That is why we say let’s come and see our LGA Chairman and give them an ultimatum of 48 hours, if they don’t call us to work, we will meet at the refinery.

“We have written a series of letters which they (refinery) have acknowledged but they continue to turn us back and forth without giving us favourable response,” he said.

Similarly, the spokesperson of the association, Mr Daniel Omekea, urged the council chairman to ensure that the management of the refinery implements the Local Content Act by engaging local welders in the ongoing rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.

He regretted that Eleme, being the host community of the Port Harcourt refinery has continually been sidelined by the refinery, warning that they will resist all attempts to exclude them from benefiting from jobs at the refinery.

He also said welders and fitters under the association in Eleme are well trained and have what it takes to participate in the refinery’s rehabilitation.

“Many of us were tested and qualified for the jobs, but they did not call us for the jobs.

“There are no welding and fitting jobs we cannot do; we have worked on Shell pipelines and every other pipeline here in Eleme, so it’s not about competence.”

Responding, the Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr Obarilomate Ollor, promised to look into the complaints of aggrieved welders and fitters.

Mr Ollor assured that the council would initiate a meeting with the management of the refinery towards resolving the matter.

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NGA Calls for Multiple Approach to Energy Transition

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Energy Transitions

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) has called for a multidimensional approach to energy transition in Africa amid the lingering global energy crisis and increased calls for the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions.

NGA cautioned that Africa needs to be cautious and consider all the pertinent issues in transitioning from fossil fuel to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

According to the National Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Odianosen Masade, fossil transition in developed economies has been going on for over a century, whilst Africa was expected to transition over a few decades.

“Africa accounts for the smallest share of global greenhouse gas emissions, at just 3.8 per cent, in contrast to 23 per cent in China, 19 per cent in the United States, and 13 per cent in the European Union.

“Africa is also the least industrialized of all the continents in the world, yet one of the most vulnerable to climate change,” he noted.

Mr Masade, who is the Corporate Communications Lead at Eroton Exploration & Production Company, also provided insights into challenges inhibiting Nigeria from maximizing the opportunities presented by the conflict in Ukraine, which has reduced the global supply of gas.

He disclosed that the lack of political will, as well as Nigeria’s lack of critical infrastructure, were some of the greatest reasons for Nigeria’s disadvantaged position.

“One such infrastructure that would have generated significant income for the country is the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, which will traverse Nigeria, Niger and Algeria across the Sahara desert to Europe.

“It is estimated that once completed, the $13 billion pipeline would transport up to 30 billion cubic meters (1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per annum from Warri in Nigeria, through Niger and Algeria on to Europe,” he stated.

In July, the oil ministers of the three countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and agreed to set up a task force for the project with the aim of updating an existing feasibility study.

The idea to pipe gas across the Sahara to Europe was first conceived more than 40 years ago. In 2009, an agreement was signed by the three gas-rich countries, but progress has stalled since then.

TSGP, also known as the NIGAL pipeline, may now move closer to becoming reality as Europe attempts to cut its strong dependency on Russian gas.

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IGP Authorises Stop & Search, Raids, Others to Tackle Crime

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IGP alkali Tinted Permits

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of adequate security around schools, hospitals, and critical national infrastructures across the country.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, said the IGP has also ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality in some states of the federation.

“The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of water-tight security arrangements to cover all schools, hospitals, health workers, and critical national infrastructures around the country,” the statement added.

“The IGP has equally ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids, and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality recorded in some states of the federation,” it further said.

Mr Baba gave the directive while reviewing the reports he received from various commands and formations on the general security situations across the country.

He tasked strategic police managers at various levels to prioritize the use of intelligence gathering networks while charging officers and men of the force to take the fight against crime to the doorsteps of suspected criminal elements with a view to flushing them from their hideouts.

The IGP also called for the cooperation of members of the public, warning police officers to be civil, professional, and humane in the course of discharging their duties.

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