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We Must Take Proactive Measures To Address Land Degradation In Lagos — Environment Commissioner For Environment Tokunbo Wahab

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The Lagos State Government emphasised over the weekend that everyone must engage proactively to combat land degradation and improve drought resistance.

At the grand finale of the 2024 World Environment Day Celebration held on Saturday at Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tokunbo Wahab stated this. He said that Lagos State is not immune to the natural challenges of being a megacity with growing population and rapid urbanisation.

The topic, “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” he explained, is a call to action to confront the pressing problems of land degradation, desertification, and drought that endanger the planet’s life and future.

He said that land degradation, driven by unsustainable agricultural practices, deforestation, and climate change, affects about 1.9 billion hectares of land globally.

He further explained that Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes desert and this happens in over 168 countries making it one of the most significant environmental challenges of this time, stressing that droughts have become more frequent and severe, exacerbating the impacts of climate change and threatening the resilience of the ecosystems.

“In our nation, these challenges are particularly pronounced as Nigeria, with its vast and diverse landscapes, faces significant threats from land degradation and desertification, especially in the northern regions”, he said.

Wahab stated that encroachment of deserts and the loss of arable land are affecting agricultural productivity, water resources, and the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians

He emphasised that the health nature of the land directly impacts food security, water availability, biodiversity, livelihoods and overall well-being, stressing that these crises affect millions of people worldwide.

“Sustainable Land Management initiative not only enhances soil fertility and productivity but also separates carbon, contributing to climate change mitigation”, he observed.

Wahab stated that there is a Community Engagement and Education initiative meant for empowering communities with knowledge and crucial resources, adding that the state is conducting extensive outreach programmes to educate farmers, local leaders, and citizens on sustainable practices that promote land restoration and drought resilience.

According to him, “The journey ahead may be daunting, but I am confident that with our collective determination, we can overcome these challenges; our efforts to restore our land, combat desertification, and enhance our resilience to drought will yield lasting benefits for our environment, economy, and future generations”.

The Commissioner who also dwelt on enforcement efforts of the administration said there is no going back on the application of the law to all environmental infractions.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu noted that yhe ecosystems are under immense pressure from urbanization, climate change, pollution, and unsustainable land use practices.

He added that amidst these challenges lies an opportunity for all to come together, re-imagine the relationship with nature, recreate sustainable solutions, and restore the balance that is essential for the well-being of the planet and future generations.

He said the State Government has long been at the forefront of environmental conservation and sustainability efforts which include tree planting initiatives to waste management reforms.

He said another example could be seen in the recent ban on Styrofoam food containers amongst other saying, the government has demonstrated the unwavering commitment to environmental management.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Gaji Tajudeen reminded participants of the environmental challenges confronting the planet, noting that the World Environment Day celebration serves not only to raise awareness but also to inspire action towards sustainable practices that safeguard the environment for generations to come.

The Guest Speaker at the event, Dr. Soladoye Iwajomo said land restoration is the process of arresting degradation or rehabilitating degraded land and restoring its productivity through reforestation, soil conservation and protecting natural processes.

At the climax of the event, Green Awards were presented to private sector operators in Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Reporting and Environmental Restoration Categories respectively.

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MOHBAD: Late Singer’s Family Conducts Fresh Autopsy

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The family of late singer Mohbad (born Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba) has ordered a second toxicology test to uncover the truth behind his mysterious death on September 12.

Following his burial the next day, Mohbad’s body was exhumed on September 21 for an autopsy, which was conducted on the same day.

However, in May, it was revealed that the pathologist conducting the autopsy informed the coroner that Mohbad’s body had decomposed by the time the test was performed, potentially compromising the results.

The new toxicology test aims to provide clarity on the circumstances surrounding his death.

The pathologist also said the cause of the singer’s death could not be ascertained.

Mohbad’s autopsy result from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) showed that “no significant gross finding” could be attributed to the singer’s death.

The toxicology “revealed the positive finding of Diphenhydramine, an anti-histamine; however, this concentration was not in a fatal or lethal range”.

Last month, the Aloba family rejected the autopsy result while also demanding an independent post-mortem and toxicology test.

In a statement on Tuesday, Monisola Odumosu, a member of Aloba’s legal team, said a two-part autopsy is being conducted on Mohbad.

She disclosed that the first phase had been carried out last week while the second part involved “a toxicology and histology test”.

The lawyer added that the procedure was witnessed by Joseph Aloba, Mohbad’s father, and a pathologist representing Wunmi, the late singer’s wife.

“The second autopsy as requested by the Aloba family and ordered by the Magistrate of the Coroner Court, Ms. T.A. Shotobi, was conducted on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, 2024. This autopsy is a two-part exercise, with the first part now completed,” the statement reads in part.

“If the cause of death cannot be determined from this initial examination, the second part will proceed, involving a toxicology and histology test on the necessary samples already obtained.

“This comprehensive procedure, conducted last Friday, was witnessed only by Mr. Joseph Aloba, the forensic pathologist appointed by Mr. Joseph Aloba and his team, legal representatives of both Mr. Joseph Aloba and  a pathologist appointed by Wunmi Aloba to observe the procedure.”

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Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Now $37bn, Up By $2bn In 18 Days — CBN Governor Cardoso

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The country’s foreign exchange reserves have surged to $37.05 billion as of July 18 according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso announced this development during a press briefing on Tuesday, following the 296th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The reserves experienced a significant boost, rising by $2.35 billion from $34.70 billion at the end of June to $37.05 billion in just 18 days.

“As of July 18, 2024, external reserves stood at US$37.05 billion, compared with US$34.70 billion as of June 2024. This represents 11 months of import cover for goods and services,” Cardoso said.

However, according to data published by CBN and seen by TheCable, Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood between $35.93 billion as of July 18, and $36.23 billion as of July 22, less than what Cardoso presented.

On July 18, CBN approved the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to eligible bureau de change (BDC) operators at N1,450 per dollar to meet the demand for invisible transactions.

Days after, CBN said foreign currencies worth $106.5 million were sold to authorised dealers.

CBN said the aim is to improve supply in the FX market in tandem with its price stability mandate.

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President Tinubu Signs South-East, North-West Development Commission Bills Into Law

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President Bola Tinubu has officially signed into law the South-East and North-West Development Commission bills.

The South-East Development Commission bill was sponsored by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who represents the Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State.

After passing through the Senate and House of Representatives, the bill was transmitted to the President in June for his assent.

With the signing of the bill into law, the Commission will now receive funding to execute various projects in the South-East geopolitical zone.

The allocated funds will be used to address environmental challenges such as erosion, as well as reconstruct and rehabilitate roads in Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, and Anambra states.

This move is expected to bring significant development and infrastructure improvements to the region.

In a statement issued by Levinus Nwabughiogu, his chief press secretary, Kalu expressed appreciation to the president for signing the bill into law.

The deputy speaker said the commission will “rehabilitate Igbo land” and foster unity among the people.

Tinubu also signed the north-west development commission bill into law.

Jibrin Barau, deputy senate president and sponsor of the bill, said the signing of the proposed legislation is a “testament” to Tinubu’s “commitment to addressing the challenges facing the north-west geopolitical zone and indeed all parts of the country”.

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