Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in Abuja on Friday said he was willing to enter into negotiation with the Federal Government to secure his release and end the political crisis that has continued to trail his continued incarceration.
He also denied claims that he was working with some militant groups in the Niger Delta region, including the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta and Niger Delta Avengers.
Speaking through his lawyers, Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Amobi Nzelu, at a press briefing, Kanu said he was not opposed to negotiation to secure his freedom from detention which he described as “politically motivated and orchestrated.”
They however said the IPOB leader would not renounce his ideology for him to be released, because “IPOB is bigger than him.”
Ejiofor said, “Kanu will not renounce his ideology, IPOB is bigger than him. He cannot say yes or no to renouncing it, but he is open to political resolution of the problem. Nobody has approached him for negotiation where he is kept.
“The issue of IPOB is beyond him, he is open to negotiation. We are not against discussion on this issue. A political solution will be easily achieved than legal solution but Kanu must be released unconditionally.”
While reacting to media reports that the IPOB leader and MEND were negotiating with the Federal Government, Ejiofor said Kanu has no connection, contact, ties or any form of relationship with the members of MEND.
He said, “In the past few days, the media has been awash with news on negotiations going on between the Federal Government and the members of MEND, where our client’s name conspicuously featured. It is on that note that we wish to inform the general public that Nnamdi Kanu has no connection, contact, ties or any form of relationship with members of MEND.
“MEND has no implied, direct or express authority of Nnamdi Kanu to represent him or Indigenous People of Biafra in any purported negotiation going on between MEND and the Federal Government. The general public is accordingly advised to ignore, discountenance and disregard the falsehood being peddled by MEND. Nnamdi Kanu does not know them.”
“Nnamdi Kanu welcomes genuine political solution to this case. The Federal Government does not need to sponsor their representatives to travel to far away Bayelsa State or the creeks of Niger Delta region in order to reach Nnamdi Kanu.
“They know where they kept him, which is easily accessible to them. Kanu has people of proven integrity and impeccable character who will negotiate on his behalf based on his demands when communication to this effect is established.
“The unfolding events in the polity has therefore, vindicated our long held view that Nnamdi Kanu is a political prisoner. We wish to reiterate that on Nnamdi Kanu’s total freedom is where we stand.”
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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