States Not Expecting Any New Tranche of Paris Club Refunds–FG
N691.6bn Already Disbursed via CBN
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has emphasised that there is no new tranche of Paris Club Refunds to be disbursed to states, because the money has already been disbursed in March 2019.
In a statement issued on Monday by her Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Mr Paul Ella Abechi, the Minister said a total of N691.560 billion Paris Club refunds has already been disbursed to states since March 2019 after it was verified.
Mrs Ahmed said this clarification became necessary due to news making the rounds in the media that states will soon receive disbursement of outstanding balance of the Paris Club debts on verification made amounting to a total sum of N691.560 billion by the Ministry due to exchange rate differential at the point of payment instead of the total sum of N649.434 billion that was verified.
The Minister also pointed to her address at the recent World Press Conference in Abuja that, “For the final phase of the Paris Club debts refunds, the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the Ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.
“The payments made by the CBN as at March 2019 was N691.560 billion. The increase in CBN payments partly arose from exchange rate differential at the point of payment.”
Nigeria Becomes 48th Party to Join UN Water Convention
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria has resolved to join a key United Nations accord known as the Water Convention, in which the country will play its part in using its water resources for conflict prevention, climate change adaptation, and development.
Nigeria, on March 22, officially became the 48th Party to the Water Convention and the 7th African nation to join since 2018, following the footsteps of Chad, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Togo and Cameroon.
With over 213 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous state in Africa, and shares with its neighbours most of its water resources, which include Lake Chad and the River Niger.
Governments are seizing the UN Water Convention to support practical cooperation measures – urgently needed as 153 states worldwide share water resources – as a precondition to tackle the global water crisis.
Other countries that have joined include Iraq, which declared its forthcoming accession. This makes it the first country in the Middle East to join the Convention, opening the door to expanded membership in a region facing acute water challenges.
Panama stated it would soon become a Party, which would make it the first in Latin America, paving the way for reinforced cooperation in a region with a very limited number of agreements on the management of shared waters (and a value of the associated Sustainable Development Goals indicator at less than 10 per cent.
Namibia also reaffirmed its commitment to join the Water Convention following the approval of its national assembly last week. Namibia shares all its perennial rivers with neighbouring countries and is both a mid- and downstream country. Its accession would make it the first country in the Southern African Development Community to join the Convention, opening the door to further expansion and reinforcement of cooperation in a region where the majority of freshwater crosses state borders.
Gambia, whose parliament approved its accession to the Water Convention last week, membership will make a significant contribution to the more dependable management of its water resources, jointly with its neighbouring states.
The Gambia is a downstream country along the Senegal River, which shares all its land borders with Convention Party Senegal. It also shares the Senegalo-Mauritanian Aquifer, for which the Convention is already supporting cooperation.
Niger confirmed its intention to join, bringing all major Lake Chad bordering nations under the Convention’s legal framework. This is a decisive step in the increasingly drought-prone Sahel region since it gives Lake Chad – whose volume has shrunk by more than 90 per cent since 1963 – full legal protection under the Convention.
Uganda affirmed its intention to accelerate accession to the Water Convention. Expansion of the Convention’s membership to East Africa would open significant new possibilities for stronger cooperation in the region.
Benin, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan also declared their commitment to accede to the Convention.
In East Africa, Tanzania has also confirmed its desire to join.
Through this momentum, the international community has further consolidated the UN Water Convention as the intergovernmental legal framework and platform for transboundary water cooperation, building on its 30-year track record of results to advance peace and sustainable development in shared basins.
Further scaling up membership of the Water Convention – which already covers the pan-European region and a growing number of African states – would bring long-term benefits for over 3 billion people worldwide living in shared basins. Further commitments to join from governments are expected to follow over the duration of the UN Water Conference.
This month, El Salvador confirmed its intention to join the Convention, as did the Dominican Republic in 2022.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged all Member States to join the Convention and ensure its full implementation and has stressed that “the 1992 Water Convention is a powerful tool to advance cooperation, prevent conflicts and build resilience”.
The 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), known as the UN Water Convention, whose secretariat is serviced by UNECE, is a unique global legal and intergovernmental framework.
It requires the parties to prevent, control and reduce negative impacts on water quality and quantity across borders, to use shared waters in a reasonable and equitable way, and to ensure their sustainable management through cooperation. Parties bordering the same transboundary waters are obliged to cooperate by concluding specific agreements and establishing joint bodies.
AfDB Supports Water Development in Northern Nigeria
By Adedapo Adesanya
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a €362,000 grant agreement with Hadejia Jama’are Komadugu Yobe Basin-Trust Fund to prepare additional studies under the second phase of developing a strategic plan for managing water resources in the Komadugu-Yobe Basin in northern Nigeria.
Specifically, the grant will support the preparation of a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the Challawa Gorge Dam Watershed Management Project; a stakeholder engagement plan; a grievance redress mechanism, and stakeholder consultations involving riparian communities and the Lake Chad Basin Commission comprising Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, and Niger Republic. The project will be implemented over eight months.
The Hadejia-Jama’are-Komadugu-Yobe Basin Trust Fund will execute the project. The Trust Fund is jointly funded by the six states of Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Plateau, and Yobe, in collaboration with the federal government.
Speaking on this, Mr Lamin Barrow, Director General of the bank’s Nigeria Country Department, underscored the programme’s importance, saying it would ensure long-term water security for the local people.
“The Komadugu Yobe Multi-Purpose Water Resources Development Program will support socio-economic development, enhanced livelihoods, and environmental sustainability,” Mr Barrow stressed.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Hadejia Jama’are Komadugu Yobe Trust Fund, Mr Hassan Bdliya, thanked the lender for its continued support towards sustainable water resources management in the Komadugu-Yobe Basin.
“We are very grateful to African Development Bank for its support. The Bank has been supporting us since 2016. The impact of the Bank’s support has been tremendous. The implementation of this project will have a positive impact on people within the Komadugu-Yobe Basin. The Hadejia Jama’are Komadugu Yobe Trust Fund will work diligently with all stakeholders to ensure the timely completion of the studies”.
The Komadugu Yobe Multi-Purpose Water Resources Development investment programme is a top priority of the Federal Government due to its immense long-term benefits to the inhabitants of six riparian States in Northern Nigeria. It also aligns with the country’s development agenda, including the Medium-Term National Development Plan (2021- 2025) and Vision 2050.
Created in 2006, the Hadejia-Jama’are-Komadugu-Yobe Basin Trust Fund is an innovative platform for joint intervention by the riparian states, with the support of the Federal Government for augmenting line agencies in addressing the Komadugu Yobe Basin land and water resources issues.
NCDMB Trains Indigenous Companies on Quality Management Systems
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has embarked on the training of indigenous companies on Quality Management Systems (QMS).
This is part of efforts by the board to build, improve and increase the capacity of Nigerians in the oil and gas sector.
The QMS training, which is ongoing in Port Harcourt, the capital of oil-rich Rivers State, is the first series of the second phase of the training.
QMS is a structured system that documents the processes, methods, and responsibilities for accomplishing quality policies and objectives.
In this context, it will assist the local organisations in coordinating and directing their activities to better fulfil the needs of their customers and regulatory authorities, as well as to continuously enhance their level of effectiveness and efficiency.
The most often used strategy for quality management systems is in accordance with ISO 9001:2015, which is an international standard that outlines requirements for quality management systems. The term “QMS” truly refers to the entirety of the system, despite the fact that some people use it to refer to the ISO 9001 standard or the collection of documents that detail the QMS. The document’s sole purpose is to provide a description of the system.
Speaking, NCDMB General Manager, Capacity Building Division, Dr Ama Ikuru, said the training is imperative to increase the participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry as well as accelerate the attainment of 70 per cent Nigerian content by 2027.
Dr Ikuru, represented by the Supervisor, Capacity Building Division, NCDMB, Mr Ikenna Umunnakwe, expressed delight with the trainees and conveyed Board’s expectations to them while urging them to take the training seriously.
“The training is also part of the Board’s effort to improve the capacity of personnel of Nigerian Oil and Gas companies in Quality Management Systems.
“The NCDMB values training because it aids in the achievement of one of our key mandates: Capacity Building in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. Training is critical for increasing local capacity.
“This training is also intended to simplify our work at the Board because the awareness and knowledge gained by the staff of operators on the concept of QMS will allow the Board to work faster and better in achieving 70 per cent Nigerian Content by 2027.”
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