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FLOOD: Navy provides humanitarian services to Bayelsa, Rivers victims



FLOOD: Navy provides humanitarian services to Bayelsa, Rivers victims
…Lions Club donates relief items to Kogi victims; Yobe govt. supports 2,000 households***

The Nigerian Navy says it is providing security and ferrying stranded commutters across the flooded East-West Road linking Port Harcourt, Rivers, and Yenagoa in Bayelsa.

Sub-Lieutenant Tochukwu Okeke, the Base Information Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) SOROH, a unit of Central Naval Command, said this on Sunday.

He said that the navy had been ferrying people and goods from flooded spots between Yenagoa and Port Harcourt, and deployed medical personnel to care for those in need.

The Base spokesman added that the operation was being coordinated by the Commander of NNS SOROH, Commodore Sunday Daniel-Atakpa.

“As directed by Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command and under the strategic directive of the Chief of the Naval Staff to deploy men and materials to bring this hardship to the barest minimum.

“Under the directive of my Commander, this operation will continue until the flood recedes, this operation is not stopping, we will continue to deploy men and materials to render help and humanitarian needs to Nigerians because we are here for them.

“The motto of the Navy is “Onward Together”. So we are moving with everybody.

“We are informed of the hardship persons are facing here, the flood is unprecedented, on Friday, we got reports that five persons lost their lives, that’s to show you how devastating it is.

“We have been providing intervention in terms of humanitarian needs, we have been providing ferries from this Ahoada point down to that place where there is a ferry point.

“Basically, we have been providing ferries at flooded parts of the road from Bayelsa to Port Harcourt and Port Harcourt back to Bayelsa. We have also been providing medicare for persons,” he added.

According to him, the Navy operation which lasted about one week also prioritizes vulnerable people such as the sick, aged persons, nursing mothers, and their infants, and helps convey them to safer grounds.

Okeke however said that no casualty had been recorded since the naval interventions started.

He added that the nefarious activities of hoodlums who take advantage of the situation to rob travellers of their valuables and extort money from tipper drivers along the route had been curbed.

It was reported that the flood had cut off the East-West Road which connects states in the South-East and South-South to the South-Western part of the country.

The intervention of the navy will help commutters struggling for three weeks to navigate the flooded portions and continue with their journeys to and from Yenagoa, Ahoada, Omoku, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Uyo, Calabar and other cities.

Meanwhile, drivers of tipper trucks are making brisk business as they transport persons and goods such as foodstuffs, drinks, and livestock across the flooded sections.

A commuter, Mrs. Rita Ayaku, commended the Navy for the intervention, saying it has eased the hardship faced by people affected by the flood.

In another development, The Lions Club International, District 404A2 Nigeria, on Sunday donated food items to victims of flood in Lokoja and Kotonkarfe Local Government Areas of Kogi.

Speaking to newsmen at the IDP camp Adankolo, Lokoja, Mr. Jide Bello, the Club’s District Governor, Abuja, said, ”The Lion club is a charity organisation that is always there to help where there is need”.

Bello said they were in Kogi to distribute food items and clothing materials to the displaced indigenes of the state.

”We heard about the flood disaster that submerged their homes and we made our inquiry to get the statistics of their numbers in various IDP camps in Lokoja and Kotonkarfe.

”We are able to identify four camps, which are Kotonkarfe, Serki-Noma, Adankolo, and Gadumo.

”So, we have brought food and other relief items to share and sympathise with them, and to say ‘where there is need there is always a lion’.

”On the whole, based on our statistics, we have reached out to over 3,000 victims including males and females in Kogi.

”We give Kogi a priority because it is worst-hit by the flood disaster. Next week by God’s grace, we shall be visiting Rivers, Bayelsa, Anambra, and Ebonyi states,” he said.

He disclosed that the distributed items were donated by people, fellow lions, and the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) Abuja, worth over N10 million.

He commended the IDP camps’ coordinators for ensuring proper coordination at the camps without chaos.

Items donated included rice, garri, tomatoes, sugar, milk, Maggi, salt, oil, pepper, clothes, shoes, bags, and antiseptics, among others.

Lions Club’s District Governor, 494 A2 Nigeria, Lion Hide Belli, distributing relief items to flood victims in Lokoja, Kogi

Also speaking, Dr. Ozi OKonofua, the club’s District Committee Chairperson for Site Preservation and Awareness, enjoined government at all levels to be more prepared for the recurrent flood disaster.

He expressed the club’s dissatisfaction with the humanitarian aspect of the camps visited, saying there was no good sanitary condition which could result in outbreak of diseases.

He urged governments to look at the plight of the victims to find a lasting solution through collaborations with the club and other critical stakeholders to tackle the menace.

Some of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Teni Isa, Hauwa Suna, and Mrs. Mary Sunday thanked the club for alleviating their suffering and pray God to bless them.

”In fact, I am so happy because we never expected that such kind of items will come. May God bless them,” Isa said.

The lions club members had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the palace of Ohimegye Igu of Koton-karfe, HRM Alhaji Abdulrazak Isakoto.

In his remarks, Isakoto appreciated the club for their visit, saying he was overwhelmed by the gesture toward his people.

The traditional ruler said the extent of destruction by the flood disaster in the area and all over was massive and beyond comprehension.

”Our place is always flooded and badly hit because our people settled along the banks of River Niger and Benue.

”I want to, on behalf of the Traditional Council of Lokoja and Kotonkarfe. as the Chairman, I say thank you for your donations, we pray that God will bless you,” the royal father said.




FAAC: FG, States, LGs Share N1.208trn Revenue For April



FAAC: FG, States, LGs Share N1.208trn Revenue For April

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), has shared the sum of N1.208 trillion as revenue for April among the Federal Government, states and Local Government Councils (LGCs).

The revenue was shared on Thursday at the May meeting of FAAC in Abuja.

A communiqué issued by the committee said that the N1.208 trillion total distributable revenue comprised statutory revenue of N284.716 billion, and Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N466.457 billion.

It also comprised Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N18.024 billion, and Exchange Difference revenue of N438.884 billion.

The communique said the total revenue of N2.192 billion was available in April.

“Total deduction for cost of collection is N80.517 billion; total transfers, interventions and refunds is N903.479 billion.

The communique said the Gross statutory revenue of N1.233 billion was received for the month under review. This was higher than the sum of N1.017 billion received in March by N216.282 billion,” it said.

It said that the gross revenue available from VAT in April was N500.920 billion, which is lower than the N549.698 billion available in March by N48.778 billion.

The communiqué said that from the N1.208 trillion total distributable revenue, the Federal Government received N390.412 billion, the state governments received N403.403 billion and the LGCs received N293.816 billion.

“A total sum of N120.450 billion (13 per cent of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting states as derivation revenue,” it said.

It said that on the N284.716 billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N112.148 billion, the state governments received N56.883 billion and the LGCs received N43.855 billion.

It said that the sum of N71.830 billion (13 per cent of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting states as derivation revenue.

“The Federal Government received N69.969 billion, the state governments received N233.229 billion and the LGCs received N163.260 billion from the N466.457 billion distributable VAT revenue.

“A total sum of N2.704 billion was received by the Federal Government from the N18.024 billion EMTL, the state governments received N9.012 billion and the LGCs received N6.308 billion.

“The Federal Government received N205.591 billion from the N438.884 billion Exchange Difference revenue; the state governments received N104.279 billion, and the LGCs received N80.394 billion.

“The sum of N48.620 billion (13 per cent of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting states as derivation revenue,” it said.

According to the communiqué, Oil and Gas Royalties, Companies Income Tax (CIT), Excise Duty, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), EMTL and CET Levies increased significantly.

It, however, said that Import Duty and VAT recorded considerable decreases.

“The balance in the ECA was 473.754 million dollars.

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Extension Of Nigeria’s Continental Shelf As Lesson On Continuity



Extension Of Nigeria’s Continental Shelf As Lesson On Continuity

On May 14, the High Powered-Presidential Committee on Nigeria’s Extended Continental Shelf Project was in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The committee came to brief President Bola Tinubu on recommendations given to Nigeria regarding its submission for an extended continental shelf by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

The briefing was led by veteran diplomat, Amb. Hassan Tukur, the Chairman of the committee.

The update with the president featured technical presentations by Prof. Larry Awosika, a renowned marine scientist and Mr Aliyu Omar, Member/Secretary of the Committee and former staff of the National Boundary Commission (NBC).

Omar also served as the Desk Officer for the project office in New York for several years.

Worthy of note, Nigeria’s request to have it continental shelf extended was approved by the CLCS in August 2023.

The project, which aims to extend Nigeria’s maritime boundaries under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), has granted Nigeria sovereignty over an additional 16,300 square kilometres of maritime territory.

This is roughly five times the size of Lagos State.

The CLCS is mandated to, inter alia, consider the data and information submitted and provide recommendations on the outer limits submitted by the coastal state.

Article 76 of UNCLOS (1982) allows a qualifying coastal state to extend its continental shelf up to a maximum of 350M (350 nautical miles) or 150m nautical miles beyond its traditional Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles.

Extension Of Nigeria’s Continental Shelf As Lesson On Continuity
President Bola Tinubu receiving Nigeria’s CLCS report from the committee

The continental shelf is the natural submerged prolongation of its land territory.

The journey to extend Nigeria’s continental shelf project began in 2009 with the country’s submission to the CLCS.

The project faced delays due to a lack of funds and administrative challenges; in 2013 the Senate of the Federal Republic in its resolution of Feb. 14, 2013, urged the Federal Government to fund the project and set up an independent body to handle it.

However, it was only in November 2015 that the then President Muhammadu Buhari revitalised it.

Subsequently, he appointed the High-Powered Presidential Committee (HPPC), headed by the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Malam Abubakar Malami, to oversee the project.

The HPPC operated as an independent technical body, effectively managing the project by cutting down on government bureaucracy.

Omar had led the Nigerian Technical Team through the question-and-answer sessions with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

He was also the Member/Secretary of the HPPC with a strong institutional memory of the project, highlighted this during the committee’s briefing to President Tinubu on May 14.

Omar said that when the HPPC briefed Buhari in 2022 on the status of the project, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) was still considering Nigeria’s submission and having technical interactions with the HPPC.

”These interactions and consideration have now culminated in the approval for Nigeria to extend its continental shelf beyond 200M (200 nautical miles).

”As it stands now, the area approved for Nigeria is about 16,300 square kilometres, which is about five times the size of Lagos State”, he said.

Nigeria’s extended continental shelf is in an area that is referred to as the ‘Golden Triangle of the Gulf of Guinea’ due to its abundance of natural resources such as hydrocarbons, natural gas, and a variety of solid minerals.

Awosika, a pioneer member and former Chairman of the CLCS, explained that the technical team’s work involved lengthy processes.

He said it also required highly technical steps in the acquisition, processing and analysis of extensive marine scientific data offshore Nigeria’s margin for the submission to the UN CLCS.

He said that the Nigerian team had to defend the submission with the CLCS which involved highly technical question-and-answer sessions and provision of additional data and information.

Receiving the report, Tinubu commended the members of the technical team for working tirelessly.

He applauded their high technical and scientific expertise and solidarity to national cause throughout the eight years of service to the nation before an agreement was finally reached with the UN CLCS in August 2023.

It is instructive to note that Tinubu highlighted the interactions he had with his predecessor, Buhari, on the project; given that it was he, Buhari, who set up the HPPC to oversee the project in 2015.

Tinubu recounted how Buhari briefed him on the importance of the project.

”This is a big congratulations for Nigeria. I commend the team and we must take advantage of this and invite you again to have a repeat of this knowledge exploration on geography, hydrography and marine life.

”Nigeria is grateful for the efforts that you put into gaining additional territory for the country without going to war; some nations went to war; and lost people and economic opportunities.

”We lost nothing but have gained great benefits for Nigeria; we will pursue the best option for the country,” Tinubu said.

Tinubu has also promised to ‘pursue the best option for the country’ on the project, even though the CLCS recommendations fall short of Nigeria’s submitted claim.

Perceptive observers say the achievement is a lesson on the importance of continuity in government projects. Abandoning projects due to changes in administration can lead to wasted resources and lost opportunities.

The extended continental shelf is a significant achievement of Tinubu’s administration and to Nigeria.

According to experts, this is something that has never happened in the nation’s history, and may never happen again.

By learning from the ECS project, Nigeria can improve its approach to governance and project management, ensuring that with perseverance and continuity strategic initiatives are completed despite challenges.

The ECS project, initiated in 2009, faced delays and funding issues but persistence through the efforts of the immediate past administration paid off, and was finally approved by the UN in August 2023, shortly after Tinubu assumed office.

The country has taken note of articles 7 and 8 in Annex II to the Convention on the Law of the Sea concerning recommendations received from the CLCS.

The project also demonstrates the importance of long-term thinking in governance.

Discerning stakeholders hold that while the project’s benefits may not be immediate, it will surely have a significant impact on Nigeria’s economy and maritime boundaries in the future.

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Naira Gains N61.38 Against Dollar At Official Market



Naira Gains N61.38 Against Dollar At Official Market

The Naira on Wednesday appreciated at the official market, trading at N1,459.02 to the dollar.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange revealed that the Naira gained N61.38.

This represents a 4.04 per cent gain when compared to the previous trading date on Tuesday, when the local currency exchanged at N1,520.40 to a dollar.

Also, the total daily turnover increased to 289.14 million dollars on Wednesday up from 128.76 million dollars recorded on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,593 and N1,401 against the dollar. 

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