The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlsen says the union has approved one million euros (N400million) to assist three of the nine states affected by flood in the country.
Karlsen, at a joint press conference by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the European Commission in Nigeria on Friday in Abuja, said that the states include Anambra, Kogi and Delta States.
He said that the funding was to provide shelter, medicine and other basic items for an estimated 60,000 people in the affected areas.
“We have responded decisively to the calls of Nigerian government to seek help from international partners in a situation where the on-going flooding in Nigeria has affected around two million people.
“The European Union has mobilized one million EUROs (N400 million) in support of the on-going efforts.
“This funding aims to help victims in the most affected states, to help provide shelter, medicine and basic items for an estimated 60,000 people in a three of the nine most affected states.’’
He also disclosed that EU had provided technical expertise and detailed satellite maps to aid management services.
He however said Nigerian government must acknowledge the fact that the adverse effect of climate change is having a critical impact on its people.
He therefore strongly encouraged government to double efforts to proactively prepare for future occurrence.
Karlsen said that the EU support was not limited to humanitarian aid but also included efforts to mitigate the effect of flooding through early preparation.
The envoy gave assurance that the Commission would follow up on clear supervision and monitoring to ensure prompt delivery of materials to the affected people.
He also disclosed that the European Civil and Humanitarian Aid Organisation (ECHO) had provided 48million EUROs this year to support victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east.
For his part, NEMA Director General, Mustapha Maihaja said flooding had displaced over two million people, while 199 lost their lives and 307,554 hectares of farmland was destroyed.
According to him, assessment of the farmlands has not been completed as many of them are still under water.
“The water is creating more havoc as it flows down with consequential increase in the number of the affected people.
A cross section of line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in collaboration with the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) have reviewed and validated a National Biosafety Mainstreaming Strategy.
The MDAs aim to further strengthen the biosafety regulatory regime and its inclusion in various sectors of the economy.
The National Biosafety Mainstream Strategy document, developed by the NBMA was presented, reviewed and validated by representatives of line MDAs at an awareness seminar for key policy and decision makers held on Friday in Abuja.
The strategy is to ensure continued effectiveness of the national biosafety system and synergy with sister agencies for national growth and economic development.
In his opening remarks, Dr Rufus Ebegba, the Director General of NBMA, said that the Agency had decided to regularly engage relevant stakeholders for their input in its decision making process.
He said the decision was prompted by the need for collaboration and partnership among government institutions, underscored by the present administration.
“The strategy document identifies legislations and policies of line MDAs and analyses the entry points for biosafety to ensure smooth synergy with each institution.’’
Representatives of the MDAs present conveyed their willingness to continue to work with NBMA in the regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to ensure that modern biotechnology does not pose any harm to humans and the environment.
Mrs Kadiri Halima, Desk Officer of Biosafety in National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), urged all stakeholders to work together to ensure safety of all Nigerians and the environment.
NAN reports that NBMA already has functional Memoranda of Understanding with NAFDAC, National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
This is in fulfilment of its mandate to ensure adequate protection in the field of safe transfer, handling and use of GMOs.
MDAs included in the strategy are the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Customs Service, NAQS, NASC and Consumer Protection Council.
Others are NAFDAC, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
A Nigerian human rights lawyer, Mr Adeola Austin Oyinlade, has been declared winner of the International Bar Association (IBA) Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Legal Practitioner to Human Rights for 2018.
The prestigious award was presented to him during this year’s IBA Conference held in Roma Convention Centre, La Nuvola, in Rome, Italy.
Mr Oyinlade emerged winner ahead of other finalists from countries across the world.
Each year, the IBA, with membership of over than 80,000 individual lawyers and 195 bar associations and law societies in all continents across the world, presents the award to an outstanding lawyer in human rights law.
Oyinlade received the award for his courageous stand for human rights, his pro-bono legal services to the poor in Nigeria and advocating equitable, just and fair society over the years.
He also simplified human rights laws and safeguards to the understanding of ordinary people in English and major local languages including Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba spoken by over 100 million people in Nigeria.
The IBA award winner pioneered human rights empowerment via mobile technology with the creation of his ‘Know Your Rights Nigeria’ app for millions of android, iPhone and web users in Nigeria.
Oyinlade and his team of over 50 lawyers also provide daily free legal support on human rights issues to users of his platforms.
No fewer than 200 thousand people have benefited from his free access, speedy dissemination of human rights information and free legal advisory services.
He also proffered solutions to human rights issues in Africa including the South Sudan Political Crisis, the Central African Republic Crisis, the Congo Democratic Republic Armed conflict, and the Libyan peace talks among others
Earlier this year in Lagos, U.S. Consul General, John Bray had commended and acknowledged the lawyer and UN Peace Ambassador for “his work to strengthen respect and support for the protection of human rights in Nigeria’’.
Bray asserted that the US Government sees Oyinlade’s work in Nigeria as very insightful because the country is “one of the most important countries on the continent given its large population, thriving commercial enterprises, and strategic geopolitical location.
“Nigeria is critical to Africa’s prosperity and stability,” Bray said.
The IBA Human Rights Awardee, while giving his remark, thanked the Global lawyers’ body for the award and said such recognition is a charge to do more.
“Recognition of this magnitude brings more responsibilities, since the task that follows such responsibilities will give birth to deliverables and outcomes that will shape the world for better.
“The world is looking up to us (lawyers) to consistently use our legal expertise as a tool of social engineering and problem-solving.
“I believe and hope that we shall continue to apply our knowledge of law as a glue that holds the society together.
“I am happy and fully ready to carry on”, Oyinlade said.
Oyinlade is the first Nigerian lawyer to have won the IBA award for outstanding contribution by a legal practitioner to human rights and the second from the continent of Africa after George Bizos from South Africa.
Project Pink Blue, a non-governmental organisation, has won the 2018 World Cancer Day Spirit Award at the just concluded World Cancer Congress at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Its Executive Director, Mr Runcie Chidebe, announced this in a statement on Friday in Abuja, noted that the award was presented by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
Chidebe said only four finalists, out of over 100 cancer organisations worldwide, were shortlisted for the award to recognise cancer organisations that demonstrated collaborative spirit in their fight against cancer.
“The Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society, Cyprus; Liga Portuguesa Contra o Cancro, Portugal; Project PINK BLUE, Nigeria and Shwe Yaung Hnin Si Cancer Foundation, Myanmar were the four finalists for the award.
“We were all faced with extensive external judging panels and interviews before a winner was selected.
“This is an inspirational and courageous award which means that my team and I have to do more, touch more lives and advocate for better cancer care in Nigeria,” he said.
Project Pink Blue is a non-profit organisation engaged in raising cancer awareness, patient navigation, advocacy and free breast and cervical cancer screening for the indigent, especially women.
The Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) has tasked members to enhance accountability and develop techniques for fraud prevention and detection in the country.
President of ANAN, Alhaji Shehu Ladan, gave the charge at the 23rd Annual Conference of Certified National Accountants in Abuja.
Ladan said that this would assist the Federal Government in the fight against corruption and other vices hindering the growth of the country.
“This year’s theme, “Economic Recovery and Growth: Issues and Options”, is chosen to address Nigeria’s exit from recession and the need to attain development.’’
He urged participants, who include professionals in the private and public sector as well as academics, to chart a new course for the Nation’s economic growth.
The association’s president also called on accountants to adhere to the principles, ethics and code of conduct put in place by the Professional Accountancy Organisation.
For his part, Prof. Muhammad Mainoma, 1st Vice President of ANAN reiterated the impact of the conference on Nigeria’s economic growth.
“It has a lot of impact, first it’s going to raise issues that are pertinent in the economy today in order to make people appreciate the challenges that are associated with economic recovery and growth.
“Scholars have proffered solutions and all that is required is the implementation; once the outcome of this conference is implemented, the economy is going to be the better for it.”
Mainoma lamented the challenges faced by accountants in the country but said that the association had put measures in place to check such problems and erring members.
Hurricane Michael has left no fewer than 1.6 million people in darkness and a trail of destruction that claimed at least eleven lives, shattered electrical grids and flattened entire towns.
The scenes were familiar across communities in Florida and Georgia as trees were uprooted and cracked like toothpicks, buildings with roofs peeled off and homes flattened into an unrecognisable landscape.
As dawn broke in Albany, Georgia, residents awoke to find trees sticking out of houses and blocking 100 intersections, local news station WRAL-TV reported.
Mexico Beach, Florida, looked as if a bomb had gone off as residents emerged to tally their losses.
Thirty miles up the coast in Panama City, blocks of beachfront homes were obliterated and debris lay strewn beside overturned vehicles.
Former President Barack Obama, reacting in a tweet, asked Americans to help rebuild the country.
“America is always at our best when we look out for each other,” he wrote.
At least 6 fatalities were confirmed earlier, including an 11-year-old Georgia girl who died when a carport rammed her family’s modular home, raising the number of dead to 11 so far. (NAN)