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Nigeria’s Electoral Commission Begins Voter Registration In Q1 2021

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Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will begin another round of voter registration in the first quarter of 2021, its chairman said on Wednesday.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, after appearing before the Senate Committee on INEC to defend the Commission’s 2021 budget, told newsmen the voter registration exercise will run till six months before the 2023 general elections.

“We will resume voter registration in the first quarter of 2021. And once we resume, it will be continuous for one and half years, at least until six months to the next general election.

He also revealed that the commission is currently involved in about 1,700 pre-election and post-election court cases from 2019 general elections.

He, however, said the Commission is not paying huge legal fees but applying Federal Ministry of Justice scale of fees.

“For instance, if we have a case for governorship election before the Supreme Court, it is a maximum of N4.5 million, but because of the number of cases, we are almost getting close to 1,700 pre-election and post-election cases in 2019 alone.

“Every day you hear people going to court and joining INEC, but we will continue to do what we can within available resources,” he said.

Earlier at the budget defence, Yakubu said the Commission plans to withdraw N5.2 billion from its N10 billion fund to augment its 2020 budget.

He said the commission had not spent from the fund since it was established in 2010, noting that the withdrawal is occasioned by the reduction in its 2020 budget.

“What has happened now is, our budget for 2020 dropped to N40 billion from N45.5 billion in 2019.

“As a result of the 10 per cent COVID-19 cut, it further dropped to N36 billion in the middle of the year when we had already made preparations for expenditure.

“Therefore, since that fund is made for the rainy days, I informed the committee that the rainy day has come

“So we are taking part of the fund to balance our budget for this year,” he said.

On diaspora voting, he said the Commission is desirous to give Nigerians abroad the right to vote, noting that the actualisation requires amendment to the constitution and the Electoral Act.

“We have already worked out the document, once the law is amended, we can roll out.

“We are ready, we have had several meetings with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) but we can’t go beyond what the law provides,” he said.

Conservation News

Ghana and Switzerland sign historic pact for Climate Action

Under the agreement, the National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP) will be implemented. It is expected to lead to the transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland in exchange for financial resources and the extension of Swiss technical expertise as a demonstration of the scalability of Ghana’s conditional mitigation commitments.

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The government of Ghana and Switzerland has signed a bilateral pact as a framework for the implementation of Article Six (6) of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

After two years of negotiations between the two countries, the signing of the framework agreement marks the first of its kind in Africa, and second in the World. The new partnership will enable the adoption of green and low carbon technology solutions across the country resulting in social and environmentally beneficial outcomes.

With this Agreement, Ghana will receive funding from the Swiss side for sustainable development projects.  Switzerland will take carbon credits from the Ghanaian side for the emission cuts to meet her climate commitments without compromising Ghana’s effort to achieve her own climate actions.

The negotiations between technical teams of Ghana and Switzerland was further boosted by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Bern between Ghana and Switzerland during the State visit to Switzerland by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February, 2020.

​Read also: https://newscentral.africa/rwanda-to-create-green-energy-bank/

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner stated, “We are proud to have been able to facilitate the dialogue between Switzerland and Ghana, build trust in the process on both sides and offer our technical support in the implementation…”

Article six (6) of the Paris Agreement on carbon markets is an innovative voluntary instrument available to countries to mobilise finance and catalyse private sector investments for the implementation of nationally determined contributions.

Steiner further explains “…We hope this bilateral agreement will enable Ghana’s national clean energy access programme (NCEP) to fulfil its objectives by abating up to 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, providing energy access to millions and head towards a green recovery.”

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/experts-kenya-global-emission-challenge/

In his speech, the President of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway called on the private sector of both countries to consider “this bilateral cooperation as a step to further strengthen collaboration between Swiss and Ghanaian companies to identify commercially viable and sustainable development projects over the next decade”.  

​In formulating this agreement both parties have highlighted practical ways of operationalising the envisioned architecture of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Credit: wri.org

Read also:https://newscentral.africa/fossil-fuel-human-cost-powering-africa/

Under the agreement, the National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP) will be implemented. It is expected to lead to the transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland in exchange for financial resources and the extension of Swiss technical expertise as a demonstration of the scalability of Ghana’s conditional mitigation commitments.

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Nigeria To Ban Fish Importation By 2022

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Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, says the West African country plans to ban fish importation in the next two years.

The minister, who said this when he spoke at the 35th Annual Conference of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday, added that the Nigerian government had ordered fish importers to consider farming and production locally.

Nanono noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has initiated and is implementing programmes, especially in the agriculture sector, to diversify the economy.

Nanono, who was represented by the Director of Federal Department of Fisheries, Mr Imeh Umoh, noted that an estimated over 12 million Nigerians are actively engaged in primary fish production.

He added that contribution of fisheries to the national Gross Domestic Products is about 4.5 per cent.

He said, “Let me inform you that the vision of Mr President is to grow Nigeria’s agriculture sector to achieve a hunger-free nation, through agriculture that drives income growth, accelerate the achievement of food and nutritional security, generate employment and transform Nigeria into a leading player in the group of food and fish markets, and to create wealth for millions. It is in this regard that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, under this present administration, is pursuing a holistic approach to the development of the fisheries subsector through the diversification programme along the value chain process.

“In line with the theme of this conference, the ministry has developed various programmes to increase domestic food/fish production and the main target is the empowerment of the youth and other groups especially the women. All these programmes are tailored towards wealth and jobs creation, arrest and prevention of youth restiveness. Currently, the total demand for fish is 3.6 million tonnes annually while Nigerian is producing 1.1 million tonnes, leaving a deficit of about 2.5 million tonnes to be supplemented by importation.

“As part of the measures of the ministry to reduce this importation and generate employment, the government has directed all fish importers to go into backwards integration for local consumption and export to the international market. In this regard, several companies have complied with the policy and the ministry is optimistic that in the next two years, Nigeria will have no business with importation of fish.”

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Tunisia’s Jerandi To Chair IOF Session

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The Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emigration and Tunisians Abroad, Othman Jerandi, will be in Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday where he will chair the 39th ministerial conference of the the International Organisation of the Francophonie (IOF).

The Tunisian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that this session, which will be chaired by Tunisia as the host country of the 18th Francophonie Summit, scheduled for 2021, will be mainly devoted to discussions on ways and means to strengthen cooperation and coordination among member countries in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The meeting will also look at several initiatives and activities relating to cooperation within the framework of the IOF.

These include those concerning the economic strategy of La Francophonie for the 2020/2025 period, the Women’s Support Fund and the role of the organisation at the international level.

Preparations for the next Summit will also be presented to participants at the 39th ministerial conference.

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