- Coalition Protests EU’s Planned Ban of Palm Oil
A coalition of palm oil farmers, under the aegis of Farmers Unite, on Tuesday protested what it described as the discriminatory campaign and trade policy by the European Union against the producers of palm oil.
The farmers also objected to the ongoing campaign by the EU Parliament “to ban and restrict the use of palm oil in renewable energy programmes and the food sector.”
Members of the coalition, according to its promoters and a non-profit organisation, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, have vowed to commit themselves to fighting threats against their livelihoods by western politicians, the political elite, media, and European- funded Non-governmental Organisations.
The coalition consists of small farmers and their families in Africa and Asia.
“Their campaign is based on junk science, deceit and falsehoods. If they succeed, this would have a chilling, negative impact on livelihoods, investment and trade for small farmers of oil palm across the world. Farmers Unite is organised to defeat them, their policies and to protect our way of life,” IPPA stated.
The project is supported by APKASINDO, National Association of Smallholders Malaysia, National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria, Palm Oil Smallholders Association of Nigeria, and Responsible Palm Oil Initiatives (Indonesia).
The Director of IPPA and Farmers Unite, Thompson Ayodele, in a statement, raised the alarm that organisations, including the European Commission and Parliament, were desperate to prevent the use of palm oil entirely, whether in food, biofuel or consumer goods.
He said, “They seek to define palm oil as socially unacceptable, unsafe and as risky.
“The goal of the elite at the European Commission and Parliament is to prevent the use of palm oil entirely, whether in food, biofuel or consumer goods.
“In doing this, they threaten the future livelihoods of tens of millions of small farmers in developing nations. African and Asian palm oil farmers and their communities must rise up against this threat to our livelihoods and families.
“Farmers Unite calls on the EU Commission to drop the discriminatory ‘deforestation criteria’ and end its efforts to impoverish African and Asian small farmers.
“Endorsement by European leaders and the European Commission of the ‘Deforestation Criteria’ is an endorsement of Donald Trump’s protectionist and isolationist trade policies.”
The coalition also protested the promotion of European sustainability rules, such as the Amsterdam Declaration, which discriminated against developing world farmers and harm the economic and social advancement of Middle Income and Least Developed Countries.
Other grievances of the coalition included EU’s ongoing efforts to increase barriers to palm oil exports, including developing risk-related criteria for palm oil based on flawed indirect land-use change models, high carbon stock, and ‘deforestation criteria’; failing to ban EU member states from using ‘no palm oil’ labelling; development of an EU regulation that will see the imposition of a European conceived certification scheme on palm oil producing countries.
Ayodele said, “We object to the European Union’s continued hostile actions, including blocking or restricting palm oil exports to the EU; funding organisations that make negative and unsubstantiated claims about palm oil; discouraging investment in oil palm farming, failing to acknowledge the contribution palm oil makes to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals; and failing to acknowledge that many other commodities have a much higher deforestation footprint.
“We object to the European Parliament’s ongoing campaign to ban and restrict the use of palm oil in renewable energy programmes and the food sector.”
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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