By Maduka Nweke, [email protected] 08034207864
NIGERIANS from all walks of life have slammed President Muhammadu Buhari over his statement which they said suggested that he is a president for only All Progressives Congress Party (APC) and not for all Nigerians. Mr. Ayodele Fafunwa, an electrical engineer at an oil and gas firm, said that Nigerians voted for Buhari at the presidential election and so he should not do selective governance.
“It is true he is an APC person but he should know that he is a president for every Nigerian so for him to be championing building of housing units for only APC states is an indication that he is out for a selective governance.
“Buhari should ask every state irrespective of party in government to build housing for its teeming population and not the way he is going about it. It is Nigeria we are talking about and not APC as a country,” he said.
In the same vein, Mr. Chris Nwankwo, an insurance expert said that for Buhari to say that show the divisive tendency he is habouring adding that what is good for the geese is also good for the gander.
“Nigerian leaders must know how to carry everybody along. This is why people criticise the question of state of origin and religion while filling employment and educational forms. It is wrong. What we should be asking for is whether the person in question is a Nigerian or foreigner and not things capable of dividing us,” Nwankwo said.
President Buhari tasked the 22 states governed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to build 250,000 housing units per annum.
According to him, this was to meet up with the election campaign promise of providing one million houses for Nigerians yearly.
As part of the opening session of the two-day National Economic Council (NEC) Retreat on the economy at the old Banquet Hall, Abuja, Buhari charged foreign investors and local construction companies to take part in the new effort to cover Nigeria’s housing deficit.
He said: “Some estimates put Nigeria’s housing deficit at about 16 million units. In our successful campaign to win the general elections last year our party, the APC, promised to build a million housing units a year. This will turn out to be a very tall order unless.
“The Federal Government builds two hundred and fifty thousand units. The 22 APC States together manage another two hundred and fifty thousand units. We invite foreign investors together with local domiciled big construction companies to enter into commercial housing building to pick up the rest,” he added.
Buhari listed the challenges in the housing sector to include severe shortage of housing, high rents, unaffordable prices for prospective buyers especially middle and low-income earners.
Youths urge African leaders to check climate change fallouts
YOUTHS from various African countries have said that climate change has had a far reaching negative impacts on the continent urging leaders to work towards reversing it.
About 5,000 youths from eight West Africa countries who stated their concern on the matter called on governments and relevant private sector players to be more proactive to facilitate the establishment of sound institutional frameworks to help empower citizens to reverse the impact of climate change on sources of livelihoods and sustainable growth across the region.
The youths, who constitute members of groups from Nigeria, Senegal, Nigér, Ivory Coast, Bénin, Togo, Ghana and Gambia, made this call during the 2016 Earth Hour celebration, a global event dedicated to raise awareness on the devastating impact of unpredicted changes in weather pattern on agriculture, water and energy sources, as well as the role of citizens in ensuring environmental conservation.
2016 marks the 10th lights-out event since Earth Hour’s debut in Sydney, Australia in 2007. In the past nine years, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Earth Hour teams around the world have harnessed the power of the movement to raise support and funds for access to renewable energy, protection of wildlife and their habitats, building sustainable livelihoods and driving climate-friendly legislation and policy.
Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development (CODE), which promotes the programme in the region, said the event provides opportunity not only to discuss the negative, but also the abundant opportunities and positive aspects of climate change as well as how to live sustainably to save the environment from destruction.
“For us at Connected Development, we felt we should support groups like these across the West Africa region not to only depend on the government to take action. But we want people to take individual action, because from individual action we are going to have collective action where we are able to create jobs and sustain the environment,” Lawal said.
With the theme of this year’s celebration tagged: “Change Climate Change,” the group in Nigeria as part of its commitment extended its voice to support a petition asking the Federal Government to stop the Cross River State Super Highway project, a massive road construction exercise environmental advocates said would undermine protection of the largest forest cover in the country.
Participants from Lagos, Abuja, Cross River, Taraba and Benue states, mobilised and carried out a candle light procession, cultural display, comedy as well as musical shows during the celebration to raise awareness and increase public knowledge on how to create a low carbon economy.
Oludotun Babayemi, West Africa Regional Director of Earth Hour, and the Monitoring & Evaluation expert to CODE said, “In 2016, Earth Hour would continue to compliment grassroots efforts including driving a petition to save the Ekuri Forest and biodiversity in the Sahel of Africa, as well as help devise a comprehensive solution to the persistent waste management crisis by working with governments, businesses and civil society groups simultaneously”.
Participants who spoke on the significance and involvement of young people in climate matters described the occasion as a trend setter that brings awareness to communities and various stakeholders with a message that emphasised the fact that it takes little effort to contribute towards sustainable development.