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Environmentalists Warn Against Tree Logging, Insist that Activities of Loggers Wreaking Havoc

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Environmentalists Warn Against Tree Logging, Insist that Activities of Loggers Wreaking Havoc

By: Michael Mike

Environmentalists have raised the alarm over continued depletion of forests through illegal tree logging, calling for an immediate stop of the activities in order to put a check on climate change wreaking havoc across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),

This was the major resolution during a one-day seminar organised by the Development Agenda in collaboration with Environmental Media Correspondents Association of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja with the theme: “Climate Change and COP28: The Way Forward For Nigeria.”

The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) scheduled to hold in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is expected to garner more than 70,000 participants, including heads of state and government, government officials, representatives of international organisations, business leaders, academics and civil society organisations.

In his address, the Publisher and Editor-in-chief of Development Agenda Magazine, Mr Paddy Ezeala lamented that people are cutting down trees in Cross Rivers, Ondo, Ogun, as well as in some North Central States recklessly without adequate provision for massive tree planting.

He decried that Nigeria is experiencing four percent forest loss annually, which is considered as the highest globally, also noting that a further 1.5 million trees are estimated to be felled down daily through illegal logging, thereby leading to 3.5 percent deforestation annually.

Ezeala stated that the citing of a foreign privately-owned charcoal producing factory in Nsukka, Enugu state worsened the destruction caused by the foreigners, adding that the adjoining states were affected by the massive logging.

He disclosed that between 1981 and 2000, Nigeria lost 3.7 million hectares of forests which implied colossal loss of biodiversity, noting that the forest cover had depleted to less than 10 percent as against the mandate of the Food and Agricultural Organizations’ (FAO) that each state is expected to keep its forest cover to a minimum of 25 percent of its land area, while about 484 plant species are threatened with extinction.

The publisher while lamenting that the absence of measures aimed at encouraging forest regeneration was a sad one, said: “Related to this is the absence of a valuation system to place a value on forest resources so that when forests are destroyed through individual or corporate negligence, adequate compensation will be paid.”

He stated that there is a need to develop more environmentally and socially equitable approaches to forest management in Nigeria, noting that the wanton destruction of forests across the country must be checked.

Ezeala added that: “Forests perform a broad range of critical environmental and climatic functions, including the maintenance of constant supply of water. Forests harbour species and at the same time have very deep economic, aesthetic, industrial and religious significance for humans.

“However, economic development pressures often lead to the conversion of forest ecosystems without consideration for both the long-term economic costs and the implications of the immediate loss of biodiversity, ecosystem structure and function.”

He sought the need to harness the potential of the forests toward the development of eco-tourism and scientific research rather than continued illegal logging and wildlife trafficking.

The publisher maintained that Nigeria’s remaining rainforests harbour about 4000 different species of plants, including those effective in the development of alternative medicine.

“There are also animals, including birds that can be found only in Nigeria. These include the Ibadan malimbe, Anambra waxbill, Jos indigo bird, white-throated monkey (Cercopithecus erythrogaster pococki), Niger Delta pigmy hippo and Niger Delta red colobus monkey.

“The question is what has been done to protect, harness and develop these natural endowments? In other words, we should be able to fashion a sustainable development strategy that ensures the prosperity of humans while living in a way that synchronises with the natural environment”, he said.

He however promoted the need to priortise tree planting and secure protected areas, noting that the National Park Service and others managing the protected areas should be supported.

The Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril hinted that the rising sea level at the coastal areas, climate change, deforestation, drought and desertification are some of the environmental challenges wreaking Nigeria.

He said though charcoal has been banned that the government cannot stop households from cooking with charcoal without providing alternative means of fuel.

The Conservator-General of National Parks Service (NPS), Dr Ibrahim Goni noted that national parks are contributing immensely in mitigating climate change, just as he charged the media to publish more stories on climate change.

He recalled that the Federal Government had in 2020 approved the establishment of 10 new national parks to complement the existing parks across the country.
Three years down the line, the parks are yet to take-off, a situation that Goni attributed to delay in the release of gazette by the Ministry of Justice.

The CG said that as soon as the gazette is released that the parks will take-off immediately, saying that the NPS has received approval from the Federal Government.

The Chairman of EMCAN, Mr Chuks Oyema said that the essence of the seminar was to showcase how Nigeria is tackling climate change and how the government is prepared for COP28.
He urged the media to publish more stories on climate change and embark on collective actions toward mitigating the impact of climate change on the environment.

Environmentalists Warn Against Tree Logging, Insist that Activities of Loggers Wreaking Havoc

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Military

Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

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Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

By: Michael Mike

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended the British Government for offering to undertake the provision of headquarters house and personnel accommodation for the Marine Unit of the anti-narcotics body at the Eko Atlantic city beach.

Marwa, who gave the commendation while performing the groundbreaking ceremony to signify the commencement of the project facilitated by the UK Home Office International Operations (HOIO), assured that the agency will continue to live up to the expectations of Nigerians and its international partners.

He said the confidence reposed in the agency by President Bola Tinubu and the UK government as well as their all-round support will always be a morale booster for the officers and men who daily take huge risks to dismantle drug cartels with the sole aim of curbing the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria, while significantly contributing to the global effort to address the drug problem.

He noted that the office and accommodation facilities being provided by the UK government for personnel of the marine unit of the agency will in no small measure enhance their safety, efficiency and confidence. “You have provided us a place here, you’ve given us the trainings, you’ve supported with the boats and the repairs and now the accommodation. We can only say thank you. We wish to give the assurances on what you already know that the NDLEA is a serious Agency, we do what we have to do without fear or favour, we will get the job done, that I can give you the assurance as we continue to partner. Thank you very much”, the NDLEA boss said while addressing the British government officials and their contractors at the site of the project.

He also commended personnel of the Navy, Customs, Immigration and other services in the area for their collaboration with NDLEA. “We all must stand up together, though the NDLEA is the lead agency in this enterprise, the work is collaborative. We must partner to get the job done. I’ve been briefed that there’s lot of collaboration going on the same way I was at MMIA this morning and spoke to your senior colleagues there and they are all working together as you are here. I urge you to keep it up in this spirit and I wish you more success.”

Addressing officers of the Unit, Marwa said the leadership of the agency is restructuring the Marine Unit so that it “can become a lean and mean force under an able commander”, adding “you should brace up, stand up on your two feet and work very hard to make sure that drugs do not pass by water.”

In his brief remarks at the ceremony, Kris Hawksfield of the UK Home Office International Operations assured that the project will be completed latest by July 2024.

Speaking earlier at a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy meeting with the leadership of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Marwa said there is need for the organization to partner with the Agency in the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking. He urged the PMAN President, Prettywise Okafor and other executives to mobilise their members to use their God-given talents for the good of the society rather than using their music to promote drug abuse especially among the youths.

Okafor in his response expressed the preparedness of PMAN to partner with the Agency. He also gave details of their effort to organise advocacy campaign against drug abuse across the country and their plan to build rehabilitation centres as part of their ongoing projects in Abuja and Lagos.

Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

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Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

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Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

By: Michael Mike

President Bola Tinubu has been advised not to merge the Nigerian Army University with the Nigerian Defence Academy as part of the implementation of Steve Oronsaye report.

The advice was given by the Olowu of Kuta, HRM Oba Hameed Adekunle Makama, Tegbosun III, in a statement on Tuesday.

The monarch in a statement issued by his media office, said Nigerian Army University, Biu, unlike the Nigerian Defence Academy, Is a full fledged federal university like other federal universities in the country, and offers various courses, and not specialised university which the NDA is.

He added that the Nigerian Army University was established by the Act of Parliament and cannot be reversed without going back to the National Assembly to repeal the act that set it up, noting that merging NAUB with NDA means the federal government is ready to merge every federal university created by the act of parliament.

Oba Makama also reminded President Tinubu that Nigerian Army University Biu was set up to cater for the multitude of students in search of university education in the north east axis, adding that merging it with the NDA will reduce it to an institution where military personnel are trained.

Oba Makama, however, commended President Tinubu for the political will to implement a far-reaching civil service reform that was initiated twelve years ago so as to cut the over bloated costs of governance

He said: “I believe the mixed up should not have arisen if proper wide consultation is made before advising Mr. President on inclusion of NUAB because Army University is not even in existence during the Orosanye panel.”

Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

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CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

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CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

“.The Nigerian Army University Biu, (NAUB) in Borno State was established as a means to explore a non-kenetic approach in the service operations against insurgency”…Lagbaja, Lt-Gen.

By: A. G. Abubakar,*

The philosophy that guided the establishment of the NAUB was aptly captured by the above statement made by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Ge T. Lagbaja during the maiden graduation of about 417 students of the University in 2023. The assertion by the COAS underscores the difference between a formal military academy like the NDA and a conventional University with a military bend.

It recognises the fact that a “military” exists in a larger society that calls for a “strategic” relationship as a bulwark towards sustainable peace and stability. Thus, while the Academy produces combatants along with requisite hardware, the associate University deals with critical non-kenetic matters of “interdisciplinary academic field, centered on the study of peace and conflict strategies and often devoting special attention to the relationship between military history, international politics, geostrategy, international diplomacy, international economics and military power”, among others. That’s why in the USA all the major arms of military have both specialised academies and Universities in tow.

The famous ones being the US Military Academy at West Point and The US Army University (online), West Virginia. China has more than half a dozen of them under a “policy of leveraging the civilian sector to maximise Military power (known as ‘Military-civilian fusion’)”. India established one in Haryana in 2013. Pakistan and indeed many nations concerned with sustainable national security, operate the two systems concurrently. It’s therefore strange the the current Administration would consider diminishing this global best practice.
The strategic location of NAUB, provides government the ample opportunities to even undertake studies as regards the often prenial frosty relationship between Nigeria as an English speaking country with its three French speaking neighbours of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics.

The trio share boarders with Borno State, the host state of NAUB. Cross border crimes and illicit weapons have largely fuelled the insurgency in the North East, compounded by dearth of empirical and/or actionable intelligence information from communities in the region.

An Army University could play a decisive role in such cases. The swash of land from Biu, Southern Borno to Cameroon via Garkida, Gombi and Mubi to the East and also through Askira/Uba, Chibok, Gwoza into far north Cameroon enroute Chad had no specialised security-biased tertiary institution like the NAUB. Furthermore, at the time the institution was established, it filled a geopolitical void in Borno State.

Despite the existence of many tertiary institutions in the state such as the Unimaid, the Teaching Hospital, a Polytechnic, College of Agriculture, College of Health Technology, for political reasons the state government didn’t deem it fit to site the Borno State University in the South, where citizens have been yearning for more educational opportunities.
The people’s frustration with this inequitable development was addressed by the arrival of the NAUB. The University has thus, since been seen as a balancing act. The NAUB which is now underway threat has a fundamental role to play in terms of stability in the state, the region and even internationally as a Central Africa security study center.

While calling on Government to consider the NAUB strategic context and save the institution on its own merit, the Borno State Governor Zulum, his Deputy Kadafur, Senator Ndume, Hon. Betara, Haske, Jaha, Balami should impress upon the Federal Government to let NAUB be. They should deem it Honourable to lay the bare facts once more before the government.

The nation stands to gain more in the long run more than the short term resources they want to save. There is no bad education but there could be bad decisions. Let the latter be avoided.
By A. G. Abubakar,
agbarewa@gmail.com

CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

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