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Lagos hosts African forum on air pollution

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Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Fellow Press

The air quality stakeholders in Africa will convene in Lagos for a five-day CLEAN-Air forum to discuss the pressing issue of air pollution in the continent.

The forum is expected to attract over 300 participants from over 40 cities in 40 countries.

This is contained in a statement signed by Dr Rose Alani, Lead, University of Lagos Air Quality Monitoring Research Group (AQMRG), on Friday in Lagos.

The statement said the participants represent the air quality communities in practice in Africa comprising different stakeholders including policymakers, representatives from civil society organisations, the private sector, development partners and the scientific communities.

It said the forum would take place from July 8 to July 12.

The statement said the forum would foster knowledge sharing and transdisciplinary collaborations, while emphasising the need to strengthen regional networks and multi-regional partnerships for sustained interventions for clean air in African cities.

The statement said the forum is organised by AirQo, a pan-African research initiative at Makerere University, Uganda.

It added that it would be hosted by the Air Quality Monitoring Research Group (AQMRG) and EUEPiN from the University of Lagos, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and UrbanBetter, among other stakeholders.

It added that the forum built on the success of its inaugural event in Kampala, Uganda, in 2023, which brought together participants from over 31 cities worldwide.

“A study from the Global Burden of Disease indicates that air pollution is responsible for around 1.1 million deaths annually in Africa.

“It has become the second leading cause of death on the continent, largely due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.

“However, air quality experts point out that Africa lacks the resources and capacity to develop and implement effective measures to address air pollution in its cities,” the statement said.

It quoted Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha, the AirQo Project Lead, as saying that the CLEAN-Air Forum underscores the urgency of addressing and championing clean air in Africa’s urban environments.

“The forum will provide pathways to air quality management for African cities and increase awareness of air quality and air pollution issues for better health outcomes in Africa,” Bainomugisha said.

It quoted Alani as saying that 39 air quality monitors have been installed in Lagos City providing real-time air quality data.

Alani noted that access to real-time air quality data and ongoing research is crucial in developing effective strategies to mitigate air pollution.

“This forum will enhance our efforts to discuss how we can create sustainable air quality interventions and improve public health outcomes not only here in Lagos but across the continent,” Alani said.

The statement said the week-long forum would feature plenary sessions discussing evidence-informed policy development for air quality management in African cities, health impacts of air pollution in Africa and knowledge-sharing sessions to advance science-policy interface and public awareness of air quality.

It said that Dr Babatunde Ajayi, the General Manager, LASEPA, would be one of the keynote speakers.

According to the statement, Ajayi said the forum presents a unique opportunity to accelerate our ongoing efforts to tackle air pollution in Lagos.

“Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city and Africa’s largest megacity, and with its rapid urbanisation comes various challenges.

“We are committed to addressing air quality issues in the city.

“Together with our partners from the University of Lagos, we have installed an air quality monitoring network to provide real-time data on the status of air quality in Lagos.

“With this data we have reliable information that we are using to inform sustainable interventions to improve the quality of air in Lagos,” it said.

The statement also said that the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) will be participating in the forum.

It quoted Mr Abimbola Akinajo, the Managing Director, LAMATA as saying: “At LAMATA, we are committed to transforming urban mobility in Lagos.

“The transport sector plays a vital role in air quality and our participation in the CLEAN-Air Forum underscores our dedication to sustainable transport solutions.”

The statement quoted Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority, as saying that the authority is committed to implementing effective waste management strategies that not only keep Lagos clean but also significantly improve air quality.

“Proper waste management is crucial in reducing pollutants and ensuring a healthier environment for all.
“Our involvement in the CLEAN-Air forum highlights our commitment to innovative solutions and collaborative efforts that drive sustainable development and protect our communities from the adverse effects of air pollution,” Gbadegesin said.

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Nigerians paid N721bn in cash bribes to govt officials in 2023 – NBS

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Nigerians paid a staggering N721 billion in cash bribes to public officials in 2023.

The survey, titled “Corruption in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” released on Thursday, July 11, revealed that over 95 percent of these bribes were in monetary form.

According to the report, there has been a decline in Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption efforts during the period under review.

The report stated, “Overall, it is estimated that a total of roughly N721 billion ($1.26 billion) was paid in cash bribes to public officials in Nigeria in 2023, corresponding to 0.35 percent of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.”

The report further revealed that bribes paid in a public official’s office and on the street accounted for approximately 35 percent and 36 percent of all bribes respectively while, 11 percent of bribes were paid in respondents’ own homes, while 7 percent occurred in public buildings such as restaurants, malls, or stations.

The report highlighted that healthcare professionals and public utility officers were the most frequent recipients of bribes, accounting for 30 percent and 24 percent of encounters respectively. Police officers followed closely with a contact rate of 20 percent

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Nigerian Army arrests fleeing IPOB members in Anambra

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Last Updated on July 11, 2024 by Fellow Press

Troops of the Nigerian Army have arrested two Indigenous People of Biafra members identified as Ifeanyi Godwin and Uche Onuoha in Anambra State.

The two suspects were intercepted inside an SUV near Umunze, Orumba South Local Government Area with two pump-action rifles and 41 cartridges, among others.

Onuoha and Godwin, according to a post by the Nigerian Army on Wednesday on X.com, had been on the wanted list of the Nigeria Police since 2023.

The Army said, “In Anambra State, troops on patrol successfully intercepted and arrested two suspected IPOB/ESN members identified as Ifeanyi Godwin and Uche Onuoha, in a Toyota Highlander SUV, near Umunze, Orumba South LGA.

“The suspects were found in possession of two pump-action rifles, 41 cartridges, a hand-held communication radio, and fetish objects. Further investigations revealed their involvement in criminal activities and they have been on the Nigeria Police Wanted list since 2023.

“Preliminary investigations further revealed that Ifeanyi Godwin allegedly owns a hotel from proceeds of kidnapping used as an IPOB/ESN operations base.”

The Army said troops also raided the residence of a kidnap kingpin, Bello Chinjdawoje, in Ibadan and recovered two AK-47 riffles.

“Similarly, in Oyo State, troops acting on credible intelligence raided the residence of a suspected kidnap kingpin identified as Bello Chikidawoje, in the Bodija area, Ibadan North LGA. The operation led to the recovery of two AK-47 rifles, magazines loaded with ammunition, and additional rounds buried inside an animal’s cage. Efforts are underway to apprehend Bello Chikidawoje and dismantle his criminal network,” the post added.

In another operation conducted in Katsina, the Army said troops engaged terrorists who blocked the road in Ruma, Yargamji and Batsari in a gun duel, causing them to flee.

It said three empty AK-47 magazines were recovered from the operation.

“In Kankara LGA, Katsina State, troops acted on intelligence about terrorists planning an attack on commuters returning from the village market. Troops confronted the terrorists, leading to the neutralisation of one terrorist and the recovery of an AK-47 rifle and ammunition. The decisive actions of the troops prevented a potential attack and disrupted the terrorists’ plans,” it said.

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