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Cash prizes given to winners of National Essay Competition on climate change

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Cash prizes given to winners of National Essay Competition on climate change

Cash prizes given to winners of National Essay Competition on climate change

The Centre for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ebonyi State has given cash prizes to three top winners of this year’s essay on climate change.

This is the second year running that the award would be given. The title of this year’s essay is “Climate Change and Nigeria’s Economic Development: A letter to my incoming President.

The candidates whose essays were adjudged the best after a thorough review and assessment by independent panel of judges received N200,000, N150,000 and N100,000 during an award ceremony event in Abuja organised by the Centre in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Centre.

The winners, Israel Oghenefiro Orere, an undergraduate student of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Lagos,; James Afomare Owan , an Engineering graduate  and Promise Okwuchukwu an undergraduate of Law at University of Nigeria Nsukka, , emerged first, second and third best winners, respectively, were among the over 200 entries received by the Centre.

Speaking during the hybrid event, the Director Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Prof Chukwumerije Okereke eulogized the participants in the essay content for submitting quality essays that encouraged him to opt for an event that would show the winners to both national and international audience.

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He said that climate change is not just an environmental problem but a national economic development problem. He said the reason for the second national essay competition is to encourage Nigerian youths to be engaged with climate change and also necessary to alert the incoming President on the economic development implications of climate change for Nigeria and the need for urgent action to tackle the challenge.

He said the CCCD-AEFUNAI will continue to do it’s best to encourage the Nigerian youths to get involved in articulating and advancing action on climate change.

The Director General of the National Council on Climate Change, Dr. Salisu Dahiru said Nigeria has made several bold commitments on climate change led by President Muhammadu Buhari. According to Dr. Dahiru, the President desires to see Nigeria play its own role in tackling the menace of climate change. He said he was delighted to see several young people in the audience and said that the NCCC is an inclusive institution that is desired to accommodate different voices including the youth, women and people of disability in tackling climate change.

The DG called the youth to engage on climate change and to engage with the council to pull all efforts together to ensure that climate change is tackled adequately in Nigeria.

Salisu Dahiru, represented by Michael Ivenso who is the head of the Directorate of Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation of the National Council on Climate Change commission also said that climate change is a national emergency that requires everybody to participate. He said that the DG has asked him to thank all of the youth present or participating and asked him to enjoined the Nigerian youths to work together with the council to build effective responses to climate change.

On his part, the sponsor of the climate change act and a member representing the Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South in the Federal House of Representatives and the former chairman House Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Sam Onuigbo, said that there is strong interconnection between climate change and economic growth but also that Climate Change action represents an opportunity to build a prosperous sustainable green economy for the country.

Onuigbo said that the Nigerian youth is already championing a vote for climate change and the youth awareness is necessary to ensure that climate change remains on the agenda of the incoming administration.

The lawmaker, who was represented by Mr. Nnaemeka Oruh  talked about the need to integrate climate change into the national education curriculum in schools.

He disclosed that he is looking forward to continuously interacting with students and to tell them more about the role legislation can play in tackling climate change.

Cash prizes given to winners of National Essay Competition on climate change

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N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

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N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

By Halima Abdulkadiri

Chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Oyo State, Sadiq Atayese, has stated that the newly-approved N70,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers is not the solution to the country’s economic challenges.

Atayese made this assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ibadan.

He emphasized that sustainable solutions to the cost of living require positive economic policies from the government. Atayese highlighted the exchange rate as a key factor influencing fuel costs and subsidies.

He stressed that the government must prioritize fighting corruption and implementing policies beyond just increasing the minimum wage. According to Atayese, corruption in high places accounts for over 90 percent of corruption cases in Nigeria.

“Will this new minimum wage actually assuage the daily rising costs of foods and services? Can it bring a stable solution to the nation’s economic challenges? The answer is No,” he said.

Atayese also urged the government to focus on agricultural development and address issues such as security and funding for effective farming. He believes that addressing these critical issues would have more significant benefits than even a minimum wage of N150,000.

“Labour Party will continue to stand for the wellbeing of the people and development of the society,” he said.

The Federal Government and labor unions recently agreed on N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers. Initially, the government proposed N60,000, which was raised to N62,000, while labor demanded N494,000 before revising it to N250,000. Labor leaders agreed to the N70,000 offer due to additional incentives attached.

N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

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NDA 29th Regular Combatant Course Reunites in Maiduguri, Pledges Continued Nation-Building Efforts

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NDA 29th Regular Combatant Course Reunites in Maiduguri, Pledges Continued Nation-Building Efforts

NDA 29th Regular Combatant Course Reunites in Maiduguri, Pledges Continued Nation-Building Efforts

…as Buratai Lauds President Tinubu’s Increased Support in Counterinsurgency Operations

By Lawrence Audu

Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, played host to the 29th Regular Combatant Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy NDA as they gathered for their 2024 Annual General Meeting. The event was a celebration of their rich heritage and a reunion of old colleagues.

The evening was filled with cultural dances, jokes, and sumptuous meals, creating a relaxing atmosphere for the members.

Former Chief of Army Staff and former Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, commended the federal government for the support in the war against insurgency.

“Nine years ago, we would never have had the opportunity to gather like this here in Borno and in Maiduguri in particular. Once it is 2 o’clock as someone said, everyone goes inside and remains there till the following morning probably nine or ten. The restrictions were heavy, the atmosphere was charged with so much insecurity. But today, to the Glory of Almighty God, we are thankful to God for the sustained counterinsurgency operations leading to the sustainable security being achieved and being experienced today in the Northeast,” he said.

“We must appreciate the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and thank President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the increased support to the Armed Forces to prosecute the counterinsurgency operations against Boko Haram and its subsequent version of ISWAP.”

Buratai also praised the members for their support during his tenure as Army Chief. “You have been wonderful for over forty years precisely 44 years when we met together for the first time 3rd January 1981 and we have maintained that relationship. I want to thank you for your support to me in particular.

“You stood by me when I was Chief of Army Staff in a very difficult period, the time of the Boko Haram rampage and it was a period that was volatile, uncertain, complex and of course ambiguous environment and times as well. The environments were charged with so much opposition and mischief that is within the sociopolitical environment and within the geographical environment of the northeast also was tensed with the various attacks that have been going on in this area but you stood by me and supported me and together, we succeeded.” He adds.

The Betara of Biu equally applauded the Theatre Commander Major General Wahidi Shuaibu, the other components as well as troops for their resilience and sacrifice.

Commodore MB Teidi (Retd), President of the Association, reflected on the journey that began over four decades ago. “Let me take a moment to reflect on the journey that has brought us to this moment. The history of NDA 29th Regular Course started on 3rd January 1981 when 155 young men reported for military training at the Nigerian Defence Academy. Most of us received the Presidential Commission and thereafter were posted to various services in the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force to pursue their Military career, while some opted out of the training to pursue their next best destined options.

“The inaugural meeting of this association was initiated by Major TY Buratai when most of the members were on Staff Course at the Command and Staff College Jaji. It was not until 2014 after the burial of one of our course mates, that the idea of a formal body with a constitution was muted. Since then the association has enjoyed consistent yearly meetings in line with its constitution.”

The event brought together former colleagues from across the services and the business community, including serving military personnel such as Major General Wahidi Shuaibu, Theater Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, and the Air Component Commander.

The reunion demonstrated the strong bonds and camaraderie forged during their military careers. As they reminisced about their past experiences, they celebrated their achievements and the progress made in the fight against insurgency.

The 29th Regular Combatant Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy is no doubt, a shining example of the power of friendship and service to the nation. As they look to the future, they continue to stand together, committed to their objectives and to the development of the nation.

NDA 29th Regular Combatant Course Reunites in Maiduguri, Pledges Continued Nation-Building Efforts

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Reps Probe Cement Price Hike, Summon Companies

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Reps Probe Cement Price Hike, Summon Companies

Reps Probe Cement Price Hike, Summon Companies

By Halima Abdulkadiri

The House of Representatives Joint Committee has initiated an investigation into the rising cost of cement in Nigeria, summoning major producers, including Dangote Cement Company and Lafarge Africa PLC, to present detailed production cost documents.

During a public hearing on Friday, Committee Chairman Rep. Jonathan Gaza (APC-Nasarawa) emphasized the need for transparency in the production costs from 2020 to the present, to assess whether the current market price of over N10,000 per bag is justified. The committee plans to visit production plants after reviewing the companies’ financial records.

The committee has requested information on the average daily consumption of raw materials such as coal, gas, gypsum, limestone, clay, and laterite, as well as daily cement production figures.

Additionally, they seek details on the prices of imported and local components used in cement production, monthly production quantities, and the companies’ audited accounts, including customs duties and tax incentives received.

Rep. Dabo Ismail (APC-Bauchi) highlighted the significant profits reported by Dangote Cement Company, with profits of N524 billion in 2022, N553 billion in 2023, and N166.4 billion so far in 2024. He questioned the continuous price hike in the market despite the company’s substantial local sourcing of raw materials.

Dangote Cement’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Arvind Pathack, attributed the price increases to the rising costs of imported and forex-linked materials, which have seen 100 to 333 percent hikes. He cited logistics challenges, forex shortages, and high-interest loans as contributing factors to the increased production costs.

Pathack noted that, despite the average selling price of N7,200 per bag, prices above N10,000 were due to retailer markups beyond the company’s control. He compared Nigeria’s cement prices to those in neighboring countries, where they are higher when converted to dollars.

The committee urged the companies to reconsider their pricing policies to alleviate the burden on Nigerian consumers. Rep. Gaza also criticized the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) for failing to curb middlemen’s excessive pricing, which has significantly inflated market prices.

“We are hopeful that this engagement will lead to a reduction in the price of cement,” Gaza stated, blaming the FCCPC’s inaction for the current price escalation.

The committee’s investigation aims to ensure fair pricing and protect Nigerian consumers from unjustified cost increases.

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