In a bid to track the abductors of Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, the wife of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed helicopters along the Benin-Agbor Road, where the incident had taken place.
Idris, it was gathered, had also flooded the area with hundreds of police operatives and sniffer dogs in a move to put pressure on the kidnappers.
A senior police officer said, “We received information on Thursday that the CBN governor’s wife was abducted alongside three women and a male driver. They were on their way to Agbor, Delta State, where she hails from.
“We have deployed policemen, helicopters and sniffer dogs and we will arrest the suspects very soon.”
Gunmen had on Thursday abducted Margaret along with four others and demanded N100m as ransom.
The kidnappers were said to have made the demand after taking their victims to an unknown location.
A senior police officer told our correspondent that Margaret was abducted alongside three women and a male driver.
He said they were abducted along the Benin-Agbor Road on Thursday.
Police sources said the abductors did not know her identity, adding that they simply stumbled on her and whisked her away.
Our correspondent learnt that the IG Special Intelligence Monitoring Team, headed by Abba Kyari, has commenced investigation into the incident.
Kyari was the officer who arrested the suspects responsible for the abduction of Prof. Kamene Okonjo, the mother of ex-Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in 2012.
Another source said, “The kidnappers did not know the identity of the woman; preliminary investigation indicated that the gang just got her by chance. They have contacted her husband and they are demanding for N100m cash.”
Findings indicate that there were fears that the gang may increase their demand if they got to know the identity of their hostage.
“We actually wanted to keep the incident under wraps until the woman has been rescued, because the exposure of the victim’s identity may complicate the case; this is our fear,” a source said.
The police spokesman, Donald Awunah, could not be reached for comments as calls to his mobile telephone failed to connect. He had yet to respond to an SMS as of the time of filing this report.
Incident, very embarrassing-Security experts
Security experts described the abduction of the CBN governor’s wife as an embarrassment, noting that something must have gone wrong.
A former director, Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, stated that as a politically exposed person, Margaret must have had security operatives attached to her.
He wondered where the personnel were at the time she was abducted, noting that until the details of the incident came to light, it might be hard to know what transpired.
The lawyer urged Nigerians to take their personal security seriously.
Ejiofor said, “I don’t know the circumstances around her abduction, but this is one of the highest profile kidnap cases in recent time.
“How can the wife of the CBN Governor, with all these security challenges be kidnapped? We need the details. Was any security operative attached to her?
“As the wife of the CBN governor, I expect she would need some protection. Until I get the details, I can’t talk much, but I believe something has gone wrong, which is very embarrassing.”
Another security analyst, Ben Okezie, also observed that something must have gone wrong with the security operative(s) around Margaret.
He expressed confidence that the kidnap victim would be rescued and prayed for her safety.
“We pray they did not do anything evil to her. This should signal top people that their security should be guaranteed because they are important to Nigeria,” Okezie said.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, did not pick repeated calls made by one of our correspondents to his mobile telephone.
When a text message was sent to him, requesting for comments on the kidnap of Margaret, his response was “I am sorry, not at this time.”
When contacted on Friday evening, the acting Police Public Relations Officer, Edo State Command, Stephen Onwochei, told our correspondent to call back in 20 minutes.
But he did not pick subsequent calls made to his telephone.
He also did not respond to a text message sent to his telephone number as of the time of filing this report.
However, the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, Emeka Iheanacho, said that he was not aware of the incident.
Kenya Partners Private Sector and Development Partners to Outline Roadmap towards Achieving Energy Efficiency Goals
The Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Energy (MOE) today launched the Kenya National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (KNEECS or The Strategy) placing Kenya firmly on track toward sustainable consumption and production including renewable energy generation.
The Strategy was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) with support from the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
To date, Kenya has made significant progress in energy efficiency and conservation. In 2006, MOE and KAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC). Its activities include undertaking energy audits of industries, SMEs and public institutions on behalf of MoE, provision of capacity-building in energy efficiency and conservation, public education and awareness activities and administration of the annual Energy Management Awards (EMA). CEEC has achieved over KES 13 billion (USD 152.8 Million) in energy cost saving equivalent to 2014.8 GWh, translating into a deferment of a 230 MW power plant.
The Strategy now seeks to guide the country further towards achieving its established Energy Efficiency (EE) goals within a defined timeframe. These goals are reducing the national energy intensity by 2.8% per year, and enabling the country achieve a 30 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 relative to Business as Usual (143 MtCO2e) and meet its national targets for Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) by 2030.
Through the adoption of The Strategy, the country is expected to use less energy to produce goods and services without compromising on quality and quantity. Further, The Strategy will promote the use of technology that requires minimum energy to perform the same function and adoption of changes in behavior that encourage citizens to use a reduced amount of energy in their daily undertakings.
The Strategy sets targets for five key sectors to achieve its objectives, all of which are to be accomplished within a five-year timeline up to 2025: Households, Power Utilities, Transport, Buildings and Industry & Agriculture. Under the Households Sector, energy efficiency in domestic power consumption is expected to increase by 3%. This will be realized by increasing the number of household appliances such as television sets, subjected to Minimum Energy Performable Standards (MEPS) from the current six to ten and increasing the use of improved efficient biomass cook stoves by 50% of all households currently using biomass cook stoves. In the Utilities Sector, the strategy focuses on reducing transmission and distribution system losses from 23 to 15 % .The Strategy recommends the installation of 1 MW of energy storage facilities, whereby a total KSH. 5 Billion in investments will be required for implementation of energy conservation measures. Further, in the Transport Sector, improvement of fuel economy, increasing the share of electric vehicles to reach five per cent and raising the number of passengers using commuter trains from 116,000 to 150,000 per day are proposes. Similarly, the Building Sector has six targets while the Industry & Agriculture Sector has two.
Alongside these sectoral targets, Kenya aspires to strengthen implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures. All involved agencies will mobilize resources to improve access to finance for energy efficiency projects and accelerate actualization of the Strategy, particularly the Directorate of Renewable Energy and CEEC. Gender-focused and targeted approaches will be implemented for inclusive participation and benefit. Additionally, awareness creation, citizen engagement, training and capacity-building will be implemented. This Strategy, therefore, calls for private and public sector players to mainstream energy efficiency and conservation in education by establishing a long-term mechanism to achieve a high level of government and public awareness on their importance. This will be accomplished by bolstering relationships and engagements among ministries, inter-ministerial forums, county governments, national governments and climate change units countrywide.
Ultimately, the KNEECS will contribute significantly to the essential areas outlined in the Big Four Agenda of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.
Nigerians Say No to Fuel, Electricity Hike, Stage Protest
Nigerians Protest Increase in Fuel and Electricity Prices
Following the decision of the Federal Government to increase fuel price and raise electricity tariff after increasing Value Added Tax (VAT) by 50 percent, Nigerians have taken to the street of Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, to protest the persistent increase in prices despite low earnings and global pandemic that have rendered most Nigerians jobless.
This is coming a day after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the nation’s inflation rate increased by 13.22 percent in the month of August.
The protesters called the government’s recent hikes despite the negative impacts of COVID19 and surged in the unemployment rate to over 27 percent an anti-people policy and therefore demanded a revised policy.
The protesters, who gathered at the Ojuelegba area of Lagos, said while nations are injecting funds into their economies to ease the effect of COVID-19 on their citizens, Buhari led government is compounding Nigerians suffering amid insecurities.
Experts have blamed the decision to raise prices on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. According to economic experts, the two multilateral financial institutions do not loan nations fund without forcing them to adopt their policy.
They identified some of the policies directed Buhari to implement as the unification of the foreign exchange market, Electricity tariff increase and subsidy removal even though Nigeria’s macro fundamentals are presently weak with foreign revenue falling with weak oil price and plunge in demand for the commodity.
NLC Cautions National Assembly Against Resurrecting Water Bill
NLC Warns National Assembly Against Bringing Back Water Bill
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the National Assembly leadership against passing the Water Resources Bill into law.
This was disclosed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement released in Abuja on Monday, titled, ‘Do not ambush Nigerians.’
It would be recalled that in 2018, there was outrage over the bill when the eighth National Assembly was divided over it.
But on July 23, 2020, the bill resurfaced at the National Assembly as the House of Representatives referred it to a “committee of the whole,” for third reading and passage.
Last week Thursday, Prof Wole Soyinka, a playwright and social critic; and organisations such as the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Middle Belt Forum, also warned the Federal Government and the National Assembly against resurrecting the bill.
Wabba in the statement said that the nation is already facing a lot of challenges, saying it would be costly to cause fresh and unnecessary controversy.
He said, “Information in the public domain has it that the National Assembly leadership is working surreptitiously with vested interests outside the assembly to pass the bill without due legislative process.
“Although the National Assembly is constitutionally vested with law-making, we warn against the National Assembly ambushing Nigerians.
“We equally warn against legislative abuse or betrayal of Nigerians as this is what it will amount to if the bill is passed or caused to be passed without public engagement and scrutiny. Already, the sentiments expressed against this bill are too grave to be brushed off.”
Wabba, therefore advised that the bill should not be pass into law “because of the danger it portends to national unity.”
He said, “In the light of this, we state unambiguously that the National Assembly should listen to the voice of reason by resting this bill.
“As a pan-Nigerian organisation, we would continue to work assiduously for unity, development, justice and accountable leadership.”
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