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UN @73: CISLAC urges increased implementation priority for SDGs in Nigeria

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As the world marks the Global Day of Action on SDGs, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) commemorates with the United Nations on its 73rd Anniversary, urging increased legislative priority and inclusive process in the implementation of SDGs.

In a statement Signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC Auwa Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) on Monday said that while the SDGs remains the globally ratified blue print to effectively drive development agenda and priorities, we find the critical roles of the legislators as paramount in actualising such priorities in Nigeria.

Rafsanjani said that as effective implementation of the SDGs requires greater transparency, accountability and political will, CISLAC calls on the legislators as custodians of the SDGs to promote, safeguard and strength oversight activities on implementation of the SDGs to high impact and efficiency at all levels.

According to the Executive Director, this syndicated action will enhance appropriate domestication and implementation of the SDGs by all levels of government with prioritised citizens’ engagements to promote sustainability and ownership.

He noted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a set of 17 aspirational “global goals” and 169 targets adopted in 2015 by the 193 UN member states. With strong commitment by member states to steer policy-making that would be incorporated into national planning processes and policies. The United Nations encouraged countries to define national targets tailored to their specific circumstances and identify locally relevant indicators and data sources that will be used to measure progress towards achieving each of the SDG targets by 2030.

Recalled that since independence, one of the inhibitors of Nigeria’s development and economic stride has been corruption. Which has caused the mismanagement of our natural resources, poor healthcare provision and education, insecurity and youth unemployment and restiveness. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of our society that it is becoming more of a lifestyle that corrupt individuals are praised and worshiped.

He noted that Nigeria in 2017 was projected to have 43,000 individuals owning assets worth at least 1 million USD. The country also boasts of 23 billionaires with collective wealth reaching almost 78 billion USD. As the number of millionaires and billionaires increases every year, the poverty rate continues to proliferate due to staggering inequality, illicitness and corruption. Much of this wealth in Nigeria by certain individuals stems from corruption and embezzlement. Corruption in Nigeria is outrageous and its growth has further sunk the economy and drowned many into poverty.

“CISLAC in the same year, with support from Transparency International (TI), presented a Shadow Report on SDG 16, which was a modest contribution to the monitoring of the SDG progress in Nigeria and aimed at providing independent and objective assessment and progress made under SDG 16, in particular targets 16.4, 16.5 and 16.10. The report responds to three key issues related to the official SDG monitoring processes: the multi-dimensional nature of SDG targets, data availability and perceived credibility of data generated by government agencies. Collectively, these limitations provide a strong rationale for an independent appraisal of the government’s anti-corruption efforts in the context of the SDGs” he stated.

Nigeria has ardently adopted the SDGs much more than it did with the MDGs and the National Assembly (NASS) has demonstrated strong leadership role and best practices on the SDGs by chairing the African Network of Parliamentarians on the SDGs, a pan-African advocacy group facilitated by the United Nations and establishing standing committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which are engaged with the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria. However, there is still a lot to be done to ensure the prompt implementation of the SDGs, particularly SGD 16 are institutionalised in governance and systems.

CISLAC joined UN SDG Action Campaign (UNSDG-AC) to mark this year’s 73rd Anniversary of the United Nations through its Global Day to #Act4SDGs to call on stakeholders and citizens to amplify the impact of local and global actions for the SDGs by encouraging legislative and civic movement for the implementation and achievement of the SDGs.

“We also seek that the recommendations of the SDG 16 Shadow report be promptly given attention to and possible implementation.
The statement read further thus:

We call on the leadership of the National Assembly who have demonstrated commitment and guidance in the implementation of the SDGs, particularly SDG 16 to provide legal and legislative actions on targets 16.4, 16.5 and 16.10. NASS should also monitor and provide legislative oversight on the appropriation, release and management of funds to the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) to enable them function effectively, transparently and accountably in implementing the SDGs.”

We also remind all stakeholders that time is of essence to begin implementing the SDGs and make it a priority as 3 years has passed after its adoption.

We call on civil society, the media and all other advocates not to be despondent in the advocacy and campaign for the goals but continue their multi-sectorial engagement, reporting and monitoring of the SDGs. They should never work in silos but work together combining resources, skills and ideas for the realization of the SDGs.

CISLAC and her partners remain committed and open to partner and provide technical support to other organizations. We will continue to ensure that processes leading to the implementation of the SDGs are transparent, accountable and effectively monitored because we believe the realization of the SDGs is everyone’s business and rest on the pockets of combined efforts of all of us while leaving no one behind.

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Group calls on govt to quell Nigeria’s Crisis

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Human rights Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, known as Association of Youths for Justice and Equal Rights, AYJER, has called on government at all levels to quell the current looming crisis in the country.

In a press statement, Chairman of AYJER from USA, Mr. Julius Gbolahan Motajo, who reiterated that the current state of Nigeria’s polity, condemned the gross ineptitude and misconduct shown by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, during the recent Osun guber elections, which he described as threat to democracy as it was characterized by violence perpetrated and malpractices of vote buying by politicians under the supervision of an electoral umpire that is expected to conduct free and fair elections.

He charged for an enabling voting atmosphere for eligible Nigerians who have attained the universal suffrage age of 18, also urging the youths to be resilient in their mandates of selecting credible candidates of their choices.

Mr. Motajo also called on for government’s intervention on security, through the enforcement of patriotic security agencies that would ensure the safety of Nigerians, mostly those in the north east/north central zones, urging them to beef up the security apparatuses to quell the onslaught of insurgency meted on innocent citizens, as he made reference to a recent case of massacre that took place in Jos, plateau state, where a family of nine were gruesomely murdered.

“During the just concluded osun state Governorship election, having denounced the activities of the INEC, and the intimidation meted on the electorate does not portray the electorate umpires in conducting a free and fair election.

“This organization reiterated that the recent political landscape is blowing an ill wind that is capable of disturbing the tents of Democracy.

“In Nigeria it is time to provide conducive atmosphere for those that had attained the age of 18, and above to confidently cast their vote for candidates of their choice. We call on all eligible voters especially the youths to be steadfast and ensure that they vote for the party that will deliver the dividends of Democracy to its citizens.

“It is no doubt that we vehemently condemned any party leader that is involved in the selling of the highest bidder of vote, this singular act does not encourage growth and development in the community.

“The media had been awash with snatching of ballot boxes, and shooting of gun at the polling stations by scaring the electorate is not healthy for our democracy.

“We urge the Government of the day to mobilize the law enforcement agencies to arrest culprits and bandits that go to polling stations to disorganised the polling state that sometimes culminate to stampede and stress.

“Government needs to send a large number of our law enforcement agencies to the crisis torn states to forestall and quell the insurgencies. Security apparatuses should be impartial in the discharge of their duties, rather than taking side on the part of the ruling party.

“The carnage for the herdsmen and farmers dual had caused untold hardship to the people of the Northeast, northwest and the north central. Only recently a family of about nine members were murdered in cold blood in plateau.” Motajo said.

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Alleged corruption allegations: Oracle Magazine withdraws suits against Aiteo Group

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…Commends Benedict Peter’s patriotism

The management of National Oracle Magazine said it has withdrawn suits filled against a foremost indigenous crude oil exploration company, the Aiteo group, compelling some government agencies to disclose all information and documents pertaining the business activities of organization.

The media house had sought an Order of Mandamus from the Federal High Court, Abuja to compel the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to release some vital information and documents pertaining the business activities of Aiteo Group.

But in a statement signed Saturday in Abuja, the Editor-in-Chief, National Oracle Magazine, Dr. Blessing Agbomhere, said his media organisation has discovered that “the corruption allegationsallegations leveled against Aiteo is an alarmist hoax being peddled by a pocket of individuals with vested interest to wear Aiteo Group and its promoters a black garment before the Nigerian and British governments.”

Dr. Blessing Agbomhere, who is also the Executive Secretary, Gatekeepers Foundation, while commending the promoter of Aiteo group, Benedict Peters, said investigations revealed that Aito group and it promoters have been in the petroleum business since year 2000, and about same time have invested billions of Naira, though borrowed, into the Nigerian oil sector.

While calling on Nigerian government to give the indigenous oil company all the necessary support, the statement said that “In furtherance of its investigation, National Oracle Magazine has discovered conspiracy by highly placed individuals against Aiteo Group and its promoters. All corrupt allegations against Aiteo is an alarmist hoax being peddled by a pocket of individuals with vested interest to wear Aiteo Group and its promoters a black garment before the Nigerian and British governments.

“National Oracle Magazine investigation reveals that the Aiteo Group and its promoters have been in the petroleum business about the year 2000, and about same time have invested billions of naira, though borrowed, into the Nigerian oil sector. What Aiteo Group has achieved today is a result of hard work, business intelligence and commitment to growing the Nigerian economy.

“Aiteo Group, an indigenous company, has contributed immensely to the development of the Nigerian oil and gas sector; empowering Nigerians in so many aspects of life. Rather than allowing individuals no matter how highly place to orchestrate clandestine plots to bring down Aiteo Group and its promoters, the Nigerian government must give Aiteo Group the needed support to continue to grow as Nigerians and the Nigerian government are the biggest beneficiaries of Aiteo’s growth.”

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International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) Media Prize awarded to journalist Mike King from Breakbulk, USA

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Mike King is a multi-award-winning journalist, as well as a shipping and logistics consultant

International Road Transport Organisation (IRU), the world road transport organisation today announces the winner of the 2018 IRU Media Prize on the future of transport and trade.

The IRU Media Prize celebrates the significant contribution of journalists to current debate within the transport sector, and coincides with the upcoming IRU World Congress in Oman, 6-8 November 2018, the new global event for road transport, mobility and logistics.

Mike King (@Break_Bulk) is a multi-award-winning journalist, as well as a shipping and logistics consultant. His piece, entitled “Trouble with Truckers” , addresses issues such as driver shortage and new opportunities for transport through e-commerce.

IRU received entries from across the world, signifying a strong interest in the industry among journalists. Mike King’s entry was one of three shortlisted. The other two finalists were Ilker Altun from Kargo Haber and Jonathan Andrews from Cities Today.

“I am looking forward to personally congratulating Mike in Oman at the IRU World Congress, where we will recognise his and the media’s important work to push debate around the critical issues for the road transport industry – and beyond,” said IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto.

The competition was open to journalists from international and regional media who published or broadcast original reports. Articles or broadcasts were submitted in English or Arabic, with eligible works published between 19 June and 10 October 2018. Stories were judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and clear reporting.

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