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Sanwo-Olu Launches Five-Year Climate Action Plan For Lagos, Targets Reduced Carbon Emission In Key Sectors

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has unveiled a five-year Lagos State Climate Action Plan – a policy document that will make the State project impacts, coordinate responses, and achieve resilience under challenging climate conditions till 2025.

The Second Five-Year Plan 2020-2025 is an updated action document succeeding the 2015 Climate Change Policy and Action Plan adopted by Lagos after the landmark Paris Climate Change Conference, which encapsulated the State’s vision for achieving a zero-carbon Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, launched the new action plan at the 8th Lagos State International Climate Change Summit organized by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources at Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island.

The theme of the two-day event is: “Adapting Health, Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, and Waste Infrastructure to the Long Term Impacts of Climate Change in Lagos.”

With the new document, the State Government will be responding to prevailing issues threatening the realization of zero-carbon ambition, which are energy use, waste management, and transport. They account for 90 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in Lagos. The summit also focuses on the relationship between climate change and the delivery of critical infrastructure transportation, agriculture, and healthcare sectors.

Sanwo-Olu said the increased impacts of natural disasters felt across the world in the past year showed that climate change was no longer a speculative danger, but a real, phenomenal threat to humanity and the safety of the environment.

Given the State’s topography and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the Governor said Lagos is vulnerable to adverse events resulting from natural causes. This, he said, prompted his administration to update the action plan to facilitate proactive response and clear strategy in mitigating the effects of global warming on the environment and the State economy.

He said: “This summit is an opportunity for us to present the new Lagos State Climate Action Plan to the world. Painstaking effort has gone into it, and we are proud that we have been able to come up with a document that has a robust plan for the environment. We have successfully updated the climate change action document adopted by Lagos in 2015 to reflect the targets and goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The final product is the ‘Lagos Climate Action Plan: Second Five-year Plan 2020- 2025.

“The updated Climate Action Plan reveals three main areas of threat to our zero-carbon ambition in Lagos, which are energy, waste, and transport. They account for 90 percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions. We are now more adept at incorporating climate-friendly thinking into everything we do as a Government. Our goal is to entrench the action plan across the entire State and get Lagosians to imbibe the culture of climate-awareness in their homes, workplaces, and lifestyles.”

Sanwo-Olu said most of the projects being undertaken by his administration were to address climate change and fast-track attainment of the zero-carbon goal in transportation, healthcare, energy, agriculture, and waste management.

He said his Government’s public transport reform sought to reduce the number of personal vehicles on the roads, by providing alternative transportation models in form of low-emission buses and rail connections.

The State Government, Sanwo-Olu pointed out, has adopted composting, recycling, and waste-to-energy as part of the strategies to improve the quality of waste management in Lagos.

In the energy sector, Sanwo-Olu said the Government would be rolling out opportunities in the usage of off-grid solar systems to connect public schools, hospitals, government offices, and public facilities. He added that the State was looking into the exploring option of incentives to homes to move from fossil fuel generators to solar systems.

He said: “Lagos has been outstanding in the annual environmental reporting on the global disclosure system by the CDP, an international non-profit that measures the commitments of investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. For three consecutive years, Lagos has emerged with a B score, which is well above the African and Global average score. This annual reporting has helped us greatly in understanding where we are and what still needs to be done.”

The Governor thanked his predecessors for laying the foundation of developing the climate action plan, paving the way for consolidation by his administration.

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the summit, since its inception in 2009, had become a melting pot for researchers, investors, academicians, and stakeholders in the environment and economic sectors to make unified decisions.

Bello praised Sanwo-Olu for bringing back the climate summit, five years after the event was held.

He said: “Around the world, Governments and businesses are planning for climate instability. From flood defenses to foreign aid, climate change is now part of policy and public discussions. The theme of this summit cannot be more apt than now because we have reached a point where Lagos needs to be intentional on projects and programmes that will be climate change compliant.”

Consul General of Switzerland Embassy, Thomas Schneider, congratulated Lagos on the unveiling of the climate change action plan, noting that the effects of environmental problems knew no borders.

The envoy stressed that the call for action must be reinforced, given the significant impacts, which degradation of agricultural land has had on global food security. He reiterated the commitment of Switzerland to international conventions and protocols on climate change in its bilateral dealings with Lagos.

The updated action plan was attended by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Speaker of House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and members of the State Executive Council.

BIG STORY

‘Two COVID Tests In 72 Hours’, New Protocol For Nigeria As UAE Lifts Flight Ban

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The Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has released a new protocol directing travellers from Nigeria to undergo COVID-19 tests upon arrival at the airport in the United Arab Emirates.

Flights between both countries have been suspended since March over issues relating to the COVID-19 protocol.

In a press release on Saturday, the middle east country said the new measure is part of its efforts to ease inbound travel restrictions.

Passengers are also expected to have taken a COVID test 48 hours before departure, and have negative results to show for it.

According to the Dubai media office, the protocol will become effective from June 23, 2021.

“Passengers must have received a negative test result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure; UAE citizens exempted,” the new guideline reads.

“Passengers should present a negative PCR test certificate with a 0R Code from labs approved by the Nigerian Government.

“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.

“Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations.”

Headed by @sheikhmansoor, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in #Dubai announces updates to Dubai’s travel protocols for inbound passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India, effective from Wednesday 23 June 2021.https://t.co/Zfma4YWugQ pic.twitter.com/NkhIzaQwzI

— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) June 19, 2021

The federal government had been in talks with the authorities of the UAE over the travel protocol put in place against Nigeria in the wake of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February, Emirates Airline had directed that travellers taking off from Nigeria must conduct rapid COVID-19 tests before departure, but the federal government had banned outbound Emirates flights for violating the directive of the presidential task force (PTF) on rapid antigen tests.

The ban was lifted after the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests. It was later reintroduced on March 15, with the federal government explaining that the airline had continued to conduct rapid antigen tests for passengers before departure from Nigeria.

Thereafter, in March, the UAE embassy in Abuja announced a new COVID-19 travel protocol for Nigeria as part of measures to curtail the spread of the virus in the country.

Passengers who had been in or transited through South Africa or Nigeria in the last 14 days before travelling to Dubai were barred from entering the middle east country.

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BIG STORY

Obasanjo Contributed To Nigeria’s Crisis, He Should Mind His Utterances —– Femi Adesina

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Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says former President Olusegun Obasanjo contributed to the current chaos in the country, adding that the ex-military general should mind his utterances.

He stated this on Friday in a piece titled, ‘Nigeria’s Unity And All The Iberiberism’.

Adesina wrote, “The saber-rattling about Nigeria’s unity and the possibility of disintegration has got to the point of Iberiberism (an Igbo word which could mean stupidity). Some people have no other business than doomsday predictions of a crumbled, collapsed Nigeria, as if they actually fast and pray for that eventuality.

“When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was President between 1999 and 2007, they predicted that he was going to be the last President of a united Nigeria. It didn’t happen. When Umaru Yar’Adua came, they said he was too sick to hold Nigeria together. The country stood.

“Under Goodluck Jonathan, they said the man was too weak, and different components of the country would soon say, ‘to your tents oh Israel.’ Nigeria survived. And for six years under Muhammadu Buhari, they have not changed their songs. The Somaliasation of Nigeria was on the way. The Fulanisation of the country would be the final death knell. But Nigeria lives. It trudges on from day to day, month to month, and will surely survive.”

Adesina said though some people dwell on negativity, “some fathers of the land will not fold their hands and see Nigeria go down”.

“Fortunately, we have one of them as President now. The young Muhammadu Buhari spent 30 months in the frontlines as a young army officer, fighting the war of unity. And he has said it: we will not be around and watch Nigeria go down. Never. We will rather speak to insurrectionists in the language they understand.

“And what of Olusegun Obasanjo, a civil war hero. Despite all that he has contributed to the current upheavals by his actions and inactions, words, and bile, he says it is idiotic to wish Nigeria disintegration now. Good. But let us put our money where our mouth is. Let Baba mind his thoughts, and his language,” the presidential spokesman added.

“Nigeria will survive. The polity will endure. And the component parts will live together in amity and brotherhood. Any other option is Iberiberism,” he concluded.

Obasanjo, a military head of state from February 1976 to September 1979, was Nigeria’s democratically elected president between May 1999 and May 2007.

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BIG STORY

Three Die, 13 Injured, 25 Vehicles Razed As Gas Tanker Explodes In Lagos

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At least three persons have been confirmed dead and 13 others injured when a diesel tanker suddenly exploded along Mobolaji Bank Anthony way in Ikeja, forcing residents and several motorists to abandon their vehicles for safety in Lagos State.

It was gathered that the three persons were staff of a Chinese restaurant sited few meters away from Sheraton Hotels and Towers and that over 25 vehicles including the tanker, were razed after the fire spread to buildings and other facilities within the axis.

One of the three bodies recovered was identified as Mr. Balogun, manager of the restaurant while four women and nine men were rescued from the scene with different degrees of burns by a joint team of emergency officials including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the state fire service and others.

Confirming the number of casualties, the Public Relations Officer of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, in an interview with newsmen on Friday, disclosed that the deceased were recovered within the premises by emergency officials during a search and rescue operations.

Farinloye hinted that the emergency officials were yet to ascertain claims by residents and staff of firms in Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC), one of the buildings that were severely affected by the inferno, that a boy, believed to be within the axis before the explosion occurred, was trapped in the building.

He noted that the claim was made during a headcount carried out by representatives of the offices and supervised by emergency officials to ascertain the number of casualties that could have been trapped in the buildings.

According to him, during a headcount, all we got from the restaurant and representatives of other offices were that a boy is missing. But we were surprised when we intensified search and rescue operations and discovered three bodies. One of the bodies was identified as Mr. Balogun, who was the manager of the restaurant.

More details later.

 

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