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Reps Move To Curb Illegal Mining In Osun

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Plateau Assembly Members Pass Vote Of Confidence On Speaker-Crystal News

The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency curbed the menace of illegal mining activities in Ijesha land in Osun.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Lawrence Ayeni (APC-Osun) on the floor of the House on Wednesday, in Abuja.

In his motion, he noted that the Nigerian minerals and mining Act was passed into law on March 16, 2007 to regulate the exploration and exploitation of solid minerals in Nigeria.

He said that the Act vested the control of all properties and minerals in Nigeria in the State and prohibited unauthorised exploration or exploitation of minerals.

He observed that under the Land Use Act; all lands in which minerals had been found in commercial quantities were acquired by the Federal Government

He added that any property with mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources were lawfully won, upon their recovery.

He stated that over the past few years, certain individuals and unverified companies had embarked on
exploration activities across Ijeshaland, and their activities had caused untold hardship to the villagers.

He added that the villagers had been forcefully displaced and dispossessed of their lands by the miners, adding that the excavation of the area could expose the people to environmental hazards.

He said that the people could be unduly exposed to disaster such as; landslide, earthquakes, erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity and contamination of soil, among others.

He said if necessary measures were not put in place to check illegal mining, it could result in the breakdown of law and order.

He said that the original inhabitants of Ijeshaland being deprived access to their heritage could embark on self-help to recover their lands.

The House therefore mandated its Committee on Solid Minerals Development to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to ascertain the authorised and licensed miners within Ijesha.

The House mandated the committee to report back within six weeks for further legislative action.

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Politics

CAN Opposes Christian-Christian, Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket In 2023

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CAN President

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned  political parties not to buy the idea of  Christian/Christian tickets or Muslim/Muslim presidential tickets in 2023.

CAN President, Samson Ayokunle gave the warning on Thursday after a brief meeting with Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege at the National Assembly.

Ayokunle told politicians not to heat up the polity with utterances as campaigns commence.

Ayokunle advised them to always remember there is already tension across Nigeria due to insecurity

“We urge that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered. We don’t want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket”, he said.

Ayokunle expressed disappointment with the economic downturn and its consequences on the people.

The CAN President called for quick actions and policies that will cushion the effect.

“Unemployment is at an unimaginable level. While we appreciate the efforts of the legislature in calling the attention of the executive, more robust and daring efforts are required

“Enabling environment should be created for investments and incentives or tax exceptions given to local manufacturers on some goods”, Ayokunle added.

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NSCDC Deploys 20,000 Personnel For Anambra Election

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NSCDC

Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 20,000 personnel to provide security for the November. 6 governorship election in Anambra.

Those to be deployed include personnel in the NSCDC Arms Squad Unit, Counter-Terrorism Unit and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Unit.

NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr Ahmed Audi, said this on Thursday in Abuja while delivering a keynote address at a three-day Train-the-Trainers Capacity Building and Electoral Workshop, ahead of the Anambra poll.

Audi said that the special forces would be drafted to key areas in the state where they would be saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property.

“They will also see to the protection of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, INEC officials and all critical assets against vandalism, damage or arsonist attacks,” he said.

He said that NSCDC, in collaboration with other security agencies, had developed strategies to checkmate any act of electoral violence and other nefarious activities capable of undermining the electoral process.

The commandant-general further said that the deployed personnel would ensure effective monitoring before, during and after the election.

Audi also said that the personnel would be drafted from the NSCDC commands in all the states in the South-South and South-East zones.

“In addition, personnel from Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, and Benue have been placed on standby, in case there is the need for reinforcement,” he said.

The NSCDC boss warned the officers to strictly adhere to the ethics of the corps and comply with the law in the discharge of their duties.

“Let me warn, and I mean it, that any conduct of an officer of NSCDC that undermines the rule of law will be seriously dealt with, in accordance with the public service rule,” he added.

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Stakeholders Call On NERC, EEDC To Scale Up Performance In S’East

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Electricity

Stakeholders in the electricity industry in the South-East have charged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to scale up their performances.

The people gave the charge on Thursday in Enugu at a NERC Stakeholders’ Engagement on Consultation on the Review of Customer Protection Regulations.

They described the periodic review of the regulations after five years as worthwhile.

They, however, said the practical implementation of the regulations, especially concerning the treatment of customers’ complaints, was of greater importance than the proposed review.

An electricity consumer, Mr Joshua Itumo, said the period between the supply of bills and disconnection of defaulting customers “must be reviewed to meet present realities and hardship customers face to get the money to pay their bills.

“The review also has to include that those enforcing disconnection must do it with human face and listen when superior argument or evidence of payment is presented,” Itumo said.A landlord in Trans Ekulu, Enugu, Mr Ifeanyichukwu Okorie, urged NERC and EEDC to clearly state the amount, which when accumulated by a tenant, must be paid before he or she parks out.

Okorie said: “It is not palatable that someone will park into a new apartment and inherit over N500,000 as electricity liability.

“Where does he start as a new tenant to off-set such a huge bill?”

Mr David Emeson, who lives at Agui Road, Enugu, said it was better to ensure the existing regulations were implemented to the latter than have a review that could not be implemented.

“We are not lacking good regulations. The problem is that NERC and EEDC most times fail to carry out what the regulations say and leave customers to their fate,’’ Emeson said.

Earlier, Prof. Frank Okafor, the Commissioner in charge of Engineering and Performance Monitoring in NERC, said the review had become necessary after five years in order to accommodate new ways of doing things, technology and other innovations.

Okafor said the review was not to witch-hunt any stakeholder but ensure more efficient and robust regulations to the benefit of electricity consumers.

“We are looking for ways to ensure more proactive and fast-result oriented ways of attending to customers’ complaints and using technological devices to do this, since NERC cannot be everywhere,” he said.

He said it was difficult for NERC to be proactive due to limited manpower, pointing out that the commission had only 150 staff members nationwide.

Responding, the Managing Director of EEDC, Mr Chorghade Praveen, assured the customers that the company was eager to resolve their complaints in good time, “just as we have recorded noticeable improvement in power supply across our network”.

Praveen also said the company was designing some technological innovations for complaints to be reported and solved within few hours of the report, where possible.

“We are working to improve our customers’ experience just as we have improved in the rate and quality of power supply throughout our franchise area.

“EEDC is moving from customers’ satisfaction to customers’ affection in order to allow our esteemed customers the best quality of service and care so far.

“All the complaints raised here and others to come, I assure you will be treated with dispatch,” he said.

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