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Osun, American Firm sign $450m MoU on Environment

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…As Kaduna State Govt seeks Senate support to access $350m loan***

The Osun State government and an American company, American Green Environmental Global Solutions Nigeria Limited, yesterday signed a $450 million partnership agreement on waste management.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and American firm, which is on turning waste to consumables, took place at the Governor’s Office in Osogbo, the state capital.

The partnership will create jobs, expand the economy, create a new era in tourism and keep the environment clean.

President of Green Environmental Services of America (GESA) and America Green Environmental Solution Nigeria Limited (AGEGS) Patrick Onyeije said the machinery and building on the planned projects will take  between eight and 12 weeks to complete.

The company chief noted that the first phase of the projects will cost $250 million, adding that the company will begin operation soon.

Onyeije, who was represented by Major Samuel Adewumi (retd), said the partnership would help to improve the economy, as waste will be collected from tenants and recycled for valuable products, such as tissue papers, plastics and organic manure (fertiliser) for farmers.

He said: ”Today marks a great and important historical beginning in the epilogue and annals of captivating history of our people in the State of Osun. Accepting the arduous but admirable responsibility to take care of our environment is a lofty ideal to behold and, as such, a new day is born.

“We are here to change the story on the environment with the enunciation of these wonderful projects of garbage and sewage collection.

“It is befitting that the State of Osun has been selected to lead the rest of the country towards an evolutionary approach of reclaiming our environment. One thing we all have taken for granted from the time we were born to the time we die is our environment.

“Today marks a new beginning as we take the solemn commitment to protect our environment. We have to do our little best, not to litter the streets but to recycle everything coming out of our homes and work places. Every household will purchase various containers from AGEGS for different items from the household for which they can recycle.

“These containers will be picked up from your homes on designated days of the week and may include weekends as the need may arise.

“On behalf of Green Environmental Services of America (GESA) and America Green Environmental Global Solution Nigeria Limited (AGEGS), we say a big thank you to the government of the State of Osun.

“It is with great pleasure and gratitude that we have accepted to begin these great projects here in Osun. This amazing state, though small but mighty, has the propensity and foresight to always lead the way in innovations as the cradle of ingenuity, making Osun the pioneering state for the America Green Environmental Global Solutions in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa.

“We are here to create jobs, expand the economy, create a new dynamic economy in tourism and, above all, keep your environment clean. We reiterate our gratitude to all our stakeholders locally and abroad and, most especially, our worthy partners in government who have shown unparalleled commitment to the success of this project since inception.

“With these projects, Osun has accepted to set an international standard in Nigeria for other states in the country to follow.”

Governor Rauf Aregbesola said the partnership would complement his administration’s efforts at keeping the environment clean, safe, green and sustainable.

The governor said his administration never failed in its responsibilities to making Osun the safest state in Nigeria through its consciousness to environmental preservation and maintenance.

He noted that despite the economic challenges confronting the state, his administration remained committed to the environment.

Aregbesola said: “We are not signing this MoU for fun but to ensure that our efforts at maintaining and keeping our environment safe remain non-negotiable.

“It is on record that one thing one cannot take away from our administration is our commitment to the environment. There has been a tremendous improvement from what our environment was before with what we have now.

“We have been very conscious and passionate about the wellbeing of our people and this made us to commit reasonable resources to environmental sanitation to advance the general wellbeing of our people, particularly to enhance healthy living.

“It is evident that very few states could compete with us in environmental cleanliness as our state remains the reference point in avoiding opportunistic environmental and public health challenges.

“We have maintained a remarkable standard in environmental sanitation and public health management.”

In the meantime, the Kaduna State House of Assembly said on Tuesday it had sought the support and approval of the Senate to enable the state government to access 350 million dollars loan.

The Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Alhaji Bello Sani-Gimi, announced this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria.

“Last week, during a retreat to discuss the 2018 Budget, the state governor told us that the loan, being sought by Kaduna State from the World Bank, was subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

“That we should assist in anyway possible to see the actualisation of that loan. After the retreat, some of us met him and asked if we could go to the extent of meeting these people.

“He said why not, in fact, he is ready to do anything to see that the loan is actualised. After the meeting, the speaker set up a committee to meet the senators,” he said.

According to him, Sen. Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna Central) happens to be the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Domestic Debts.

In view of this, Sani-Gimi said Sen. Sani was supposed to be the first person to be met by the committee.

“Therefore, the committee went and met him; it was a fruitful discussion. He gave his words that he is not against the loan and he is not against reconciliation.

“But we should do a lot of homework by bringing everybody on board, while in his own part, he is ready to cooperate so that Kaduna State will excel.

“After the meeting, the committee came back and briefed the speaker and the house,” he said.

Sani-Gimi said another committee was set up to see Sen. Danjuma Laa (PDP-Southern Kaduna), saying that the discussion went the same way with that of Sen. Sani.

The lawmaker added that the committee also went to Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC-Northern Kaduna), who assured of readiness to make a positive input to actualise the loan.

“As you know, Sen. Hunkuyi is a vocal person and he has opened up; we intended to stay for just 30 minutes but we ended up spending more than three hours with him.

“We discussed a lot of issues that had to do with the state, his issues with government and so many other things.

“Finally, he told us that he is also ready for reconciliation and promised that they are going to look at the loan issue and see to the possibility of accessing it,” he said.

Sani-Gimi said during the visits, some of them raised issues that the year was coming to an end and why seeking such huge amount as loan now.

He said being the chairman of finance committee in the house, he was able to explain to them issues they didn’t understand before.

“In Kaduna State, we are running a medium term framework budget, which is about four years budget, 2016 to 2020.

“So, we are talking about breaking this amount to run through these four years; we are not talking about collecting this loan and spend it this year, 2017.

“My explanation cleared some misconceptions about the loan and they were all convinced with the explanation,” he said.

Additional report from Nation

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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