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Activist describes ban on charcoal in Kogi as misplacement of priority

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Executive Director of Conscience for human rights and conflict Resolution, Idris miliki Abdul has Described the banned of charcoal in Kogi State, by the commissioner of Environment, as an after thought and misplacement of priority.

The media reports in the last few days suggest that those who came up with that reactionary pronouncement are not in tune with the reality of the situation on ground.
The Kogi State government had banned the production of charcoal across the 21 local government areas of the state.

The Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Victor Omofaiye, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

He said that charcoal production in Kogi was illegal and highly prohibited.

He said that any person or group of persons caught producing or in possession of the fuel would be arrested and prosecuted in court.

“Any vehicle caught carrying charcoal shall be impounded by the Kogi State Government,” he said.

In recent years the sale of charcoal had become a lucrative business in Kogi due to its high demand as a result of the high cost of domestic cooking gas and kerosene.
However, Miliki querried,
“In the first instance is the production of charcoal going on in kogi state? Are we in a military regime in Kogi state?
He pointed out that there are numerous environmental challenges facing the state, that are yet to be attended to by the ministry of environment.

“Where was the stake holders meeting that agree on that draconian policy? Was it ever discoursed at the state executive council meeting and when?
“How can someone wake up from the wrong side of the bed to say no one can transport charcoal across the 21, local government of the State.

“We call on the state governor to talk to his appointees to consult widely before making policies that do have any meaningful impact and unsustainable on the people.
“If the people can produce charcoal, why can’t they buy and bring to the state for their usage, if any one travel to the federal capital territory, charcoal is every where.
“We call on the commissioner and the ministry of environment to reason and rescind the unpopular policy of ban in the production, transportation, usage of charcoal in the state, in the interest of the people, peace and the economic realities in Nigeria and Kogi state.
“A government that is paying percentage salaries can not sustain such unpopular and reactionary policy.”

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FRSC confirms death of 5 persons, 3 survivors in Kogi auto crash

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Kogi State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has confirmed the death of five persons in a fatal auto crash on Kabba-Obajana road in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of the state.

The State Sector Commander, Samuel Oyedeji, who confirmed the accident and death of the five to newsmen on Thursday in Lokoja said three others survived the accident with serious injuries.

Oyedeji attributed the accident which involved a Ford Galaxy space wagon and a Mazda car, to speeding and wrongful overtaking.

“The head-on collision between the two cars moving in the opposite directions happened due to speeding and wrongful overtaking by one of the drivers.

“We have been preaching against drivers flouting road safety rules and regulations, yet these motorists hardly heed our warnings.

“Five persons lost their lives in the fatal accident that left three others seriously injured,” he said.

The Sector Commander said that officers from the command immediately carried out a rescue operation at the scene of the accident and rushed the three injured persons to General Hospital, Kabba for medical attention.

Oyedeji said the remains of the five dead persons were also deposited at the mortuary of the Kabba General Hospital.

The Kogi Sector Commander admonished motorists to always endeavour to always obey road safety rules and regulations to avoid fatal auto crashes on the highways. (Ends)

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Sen. Kawu Sumaila mourns victims of Wudil accident

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***Calls for urgent action to complete Kano-Maiduguri Road

The Senator representing Kano South Senatorial District Sulaiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila has expressed sympathy with the families of 11 persons who lost their lives in an auto crash along Kano-Maiduguri federal Highway on Friday.
11 people lost their lives while 16 others were injured, with one person rescued unhurt in the auto crash at Gaya junction along the Kano – Maiduguri road.
The accident involved two vehicles – a Toyota Hummer bus with registration number KTG 190 XB and a Hijet mini pick-up with registration number KTG 501 YG.
In a statement he personally signed, Senator Sumaila expressed grief over the death of 11 persons, regretting that Kano-Maiduguri road has remained a death trap to many road users.
He said, the over 550 kilometre dualization project was awarded by the Federal Government at the end of the second tenure of the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is yet to be completed 17 years after.

Senator Sumaila explained that the importance of the road to the Nigerian economy cannot be over emphasized as it serves as an international link between Nigeria and the Chad republic, Cameroon, Niger republic and the Central Africa, which is supposed to serve as a boost for businesses among the affected countries.

According to him, also the road also connects Kano with Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno states, where it is playing a greater role in the economic activities of the states.

Senator Sumaila, however, lamented that despite its important, the road has claimed several lives due to non-completion of the project.

He said for almost 17 years since the award of the project, a portion of the road particularly from Wudil to Gaya has not been completed.

He said it is regrettable that although over 50 kilometers of this portion of the road have been completed, however, a distance of less than 30 kilometers of the portion has not been completed, thereby, causing accidents for its users.

Sumaila, regretted that the non-completion of the project has compelled traders from within Nigeria and the neighbouring countries to divert their businesses to other states other than Kano.

“Apart from cases of accident, armed robbery has been a constant occurrence on the road for several years. I have personally complained to the relevant authorities, yet, the problem persisted,” he said.

“It is very sad that the Federal ministry of works and housing and the contractor handling the project have failed to complete this project despite allocation of huge amount of money in the budget. I will continue to pursue for the completion of this road.”

Senator Sumaila lamented that “This is the reason why we are fighting for fairness in the budgetary allocations to the six geopolitical zones, but some people for their selfish interests are kicking against our moves.

“With enough budgetary allocations to the geopolitical zones, this kind of projects would have been finished in time. It is our duty as members of the National Assembly to channel the plights and yearnings of our constituents to the executive arm of government for the right thing to be done to improve their wellbeings.

“And one of the surest way to achieve this is to ensure fairness and equality in budgetary allocations. This is the only way projects that have direct bearing to the lives of the common man will be executed. Kano-Maiduguri, is one of the roads that is playing significant role in the wellbeing of many Nigerians, therefore, the federal government should not joke with it.

The senator, therefore, appealed to the Federal ministry of works and housing and the contractor handling the project to ensure completion of the road in order to save the lives of the people.

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Rising electricity tariffs killing small businesses, NASSI calls for urgent action

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The Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has expressed deep concern over the recent increase in electricity tariffs that is threatening the survival of its members
A statement by issued on Friday by the National President of NASSI, Chief Dr. Solomon Vongfa Daniel indicated that the hike poses a significant threat to the survival and growth of small-scale industries across the nation.
“The recent increase in electricity tariffs is a major blow to small-scale businesses in Nigeria. Many of our members are already struggling with rising input costs and a challenging economic climate. This additional burden threatens to push many of them out of business altogether.”

According to him increased electricity costs will directly eat into already tight profit margins, jeopardizing the financial sustainability of small businesses.
In a bid to manage costs, some businesses may be forced to reduce production, leading to job losses and decreased output.
“The additional financial strain will hinder the ability of small businesses to invest in expansion or modernization, hindering overall economic growth.

NASSI urged the government to consider providing targeted subsidies or tax breaks to support small businesses during this difficult time.
“We encourage the government to invest in renewable energy sources and promote energy efficiency measures to create a more sustainable and affordable electricity supply.
The association calles for open dialogue with policymakers and stakeholders to explore solutions that address the concerns of small businesses and ensure a stable and affordable electricity supply for all Nigerians.

“NASSI remains committed to supporting its members and advocating for policies that promote a thriving environment for small-scale industries.
“We urge the government to take urgent action to address this critical issue and ensure the continued success of this vital sector of the Nigerian economy.”

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