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Lagos inaugurates effluent treatment plant, air monitoring station, e-library

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By Dada Jackson

The Lagos State Government has inaugurated a mini effluent treatment plant that will determine the toxicity of effluents and industrial/ hazardous wastewater before being released by industries into the atmosphere.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, MrTunji Bello, disclosed this at Alausa at the unveiling of an air monitoring station located at six different locations; a digital e-library and a hybrid vehicle.

According to him, the new additions would empower the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to be better positioned to perform its regulatory role.

He added that in times past when industrial concerns sought the help of LASEPA to assist in analyzing effluents, the agency could not respond as quickly as it should, adding that some industries even went beyond board of releasing such effluent into the atmosphere without seeking the advice of the agency.

His words: “This mini effluent plant came about because of the need to treat wastewater and leftover samples of industrial wastewater from LASEPA’s laboratory. It is regrettable that LASEPA, which has the responsibility for protecting the environment, lacked an acceptable means of treating wastewater until now.”

Bello noted that vigilant members of the public were also not unmindful that with such scenario, LASEPA would have compromised her status as the environmental policeman that ran afoul of the same law it sought to enforce.

He emphasised that now, things could only get better for residents of the state because there is also room for expansion of the capacity of the mini effluent plant in case request for usage increased geometrically, adding that the state would maintain its leading role in environmental management in Nigeria.

He reminded all that the Lagos State Environmental Protection Law 2017 under the relevant sections empowers LASEPA to survey and monitor surface, underground and portable air, land and soil environments in the state to determine pollution levels in them and collect baseline data.

The commissioner commended the World Bank for partnering with the Lagos State Government through LASEPA for the provision quality air monitoring stations located at six different locations in the state.

According to him, the air quality measurement stations are at the LASEPA headquarters, Alausa, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Lekki, Abesan Estate, Ipaja, University of Lagos, Akoka, Jankara, Lagos Island and Ikorodu will measure the air quality across its locations and aid better policy formulation on the environment in the state.

Bello reiterated that the air quality measuring station would ensure comprehensive knowledge of the air quality of the Lagos environment, while helping to identify pollution and their sources.

He said the e-library would fast-track the achievement of the goals and objectives of monitoring, controlling and regulating the environment to make it safe and healthy.

Bello commended the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, and her management team for driving the process that had seen renewed vibrancy in the agency in terms of the delivery of its core mandate.

“I feel proud of what LASEPA has become today due to the innovativeness and shrewd management of resources of the leadership and it is worthy of commendation now that the Agency is responding adequately to its job as the policeman of the atmosphere and the environment”, he said.

Earlier in her welcome address, Fasawe said the maintenance of the environment is a collective responsibility especially on noise pollution and global warming, while urging residents to always ensure its sustainability.

She said the inaugurated projects were aimed at promoting environmental sustainability as the state is moving from a linear economy to a circular economy whereby before manufacturing, recycling would have to be put into consideration.

She commended the United Nations for its technical support always and the World Bank for material provisions to the agency at the event which also had in attendance the Special Adviser on Drainage Services and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe; Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Service, Mrs Belinda Odeneye, and her Office of Drainage Services counterpart, Olalekan Shodeinde, with representatives of the United Nations, UNIDO, Zenith Bank, partners agencies and associations.

 

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Former Ondo deputy governor agrees to return vehicles

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Former Ondo Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has finally agreed to return the two vehicles in his possession to the Ondo State Government.

The state government last week said it would embarrass Agboola if he failed to return the four vehicles.

But Agboola, who said he had only two vehicles, insisted they were part of his benefits.

The state government also petitioned the Ondo State Police Command to help recover the vehicles.

In a statement on Sunday, the former deputy governor said he was not the problem of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.

Agboola stated it was in the interest of everybody that Governor Akeredolu demonstrated good governance, transparent policy making and effective change.

He said it was unfortunate some members of the inner circle of Akeredolu have prioritised harassing him on a number of issues most especially the return of vehicles

Agboola said he hoped “these petty interactions would have ceased after the recent inauguration.

“To be clear – if the return of these two vehicles will make the administration focus more on the avalanche of pressing needs, challenges and predicaments facing the state most especially insecurity, the absence of governance and unpaid salaries across the entirety the Ondo public sector – then I’m ready to make the sacrifice and return the two vehicles which they so desperately need.

“I am not the problem of the present administration. I have moved on.”

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Pensioners demand payment of N35bn arrears

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Nigeria pensioners who retired from the electricity sector have urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to come to their aide in order to resolve the lingering issue of their owed N35billion pension arrears.

The pensioners under the aegis of Electricity Sector Retiree Welfare Association (ESREWA), led by its  President, Elder Benjamin Amako, asked President Buhari to save countless dying pensioners whose fate are tied to the delayed payment of their pension arrears.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Amako said every Nigerian, including President Buhari, knows the pathetic situation of pensioners in the country.

Amako said: “First we thank God that Mr President returned from his medical trip healthier, stronger and successfully. The news of his return gave us pensioners so much joy because we know  he will not sit quiet and watch more pensioners lose their lives because of humanly inaction. So far, his administration has ensured that pensioners gets their rights and this arrears we are asking for is our right.

“Interestingly, President Buhari had already directed that this same arrears (N35billion) be paid to us, but for over five years ago he issued the directive, the relevant authorities who it is their responsibilities to ensure we get this arrears for our dying members seems to be working contrarily.

“So for the past five years, these arrears have always been part of the National Budget under Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) budget and accordingly transferred to Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD). But sadly, we have not been paid a dime even as I speak, for reasons that are totally and obviously human making.

“So we are pleading with President Buhari, the SGF, Minister of Finance, Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Accountant General of the Federation, PTAD and other relevant authorities to save our lives by paying us this money without further delay.”

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We’ll make South-East hot for governors if…, IPOB warns

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The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, has raised the alarm that South East governors in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some “treacherous’ tradinonal rulers, and President Generals of some communities, are compiling names of suspected operatives of the Eastern Security Network, ESN as well as IPOB members and supporters for persecution.

The group stated that if the governors don’t rescind their plan, “IPOB will make the zone too hot for them.” IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary Emma Powerful, claimed that its intelligence unit uncovered “a secret file” containing the list of the suspected ESN and IPOB members.

The list according to the statement is to be handed over to the security agencies for torture and elimination. IPOB which said the idea was suggested to South East Leaders by the federal government to weaken ESN regretted that efforts of the security outfit for flush out killer herdsmen from the zone were being sabotaged by the selfish political elite. It noted that since the establishment of ESN, efforts to rid the zone of bandits and killer herdsmen had intensified, a development that has making the masterminds uncomfortable.

The statement read in part: “The South-Eastern Governors in collaboration with Traditional Rulers in the Zone and some PGs of communities are compiling names of suspected IPOB members in their respective communities to hand over to Nigeria security agencies for possible executions. “The arrangement has been perfected to help Nigeria Police and Army to quickly pick anybody suspected to be IPOB member and ESN operatives in the zone. “Our intelligence further revealed that they took this decision to launch this joint military operation to quench and permanently silence what they termed as IPOB and ESN menace in the zone. “IPOB intelligence unit gathered that these enemies within and without have perfected arrangements to abduct our people and put them incommunicado in the security dungeons in unknown locations. “It is unfortunate that our so called leaders could not see or observe how Fulani terrorist herdsmen are raping and murdering our mothers, wives and sisters in the farms across the Biafra territory but they see us as their problem.” IPOB denied any link with the unknown gunmen suspected to the behind the wave of bloody attacks against security formations in the zone and wondered why its members would be marked for elimination. “We have severally explained that ESN has nothing to do with the unknown gunmen responsible for the attacks in South East. The unknown gunmen are not ESN or IPOB.

We wonder why Government will continue to associate us with that group without investigations.” IPOB argued that a government that treats bandits and killer herdsmen with kid gloves cannot claim to be unaware of the said unknown gunmen.

The pro-Biafra movement warned South East Leaders to retrace their steps or brace up for the grave consequences of their action. “If South East Governors do not stop this plan against their people, IPOB will make the zone too hot for them. “We expect all tradinonal rulers and PGs in the South East communities to retrace their steps before it gets too late. The land will also rise against them if they allow this to happen! “Any IPOB member or ESN operative killed shall be avenged! The statement also advised the federal government to jettison any plans to persecute pro-Biafra groups as doing so would come with some price. “We advise Nigeria government and her partners in crime in the zone to desist from this evil agenda because it will backfire. We are aware of their secret file, but we are not going back until Biafra is finally achieved.”

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