President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) made up of the following:
1. Prof. Doyin Salami – Chairman
2. Dr. Mohammed Sagagi – Vice-Chairman
3. Prof. Ode Ojowu – Member
4. Dr. Shehu Yahaya – Member
5. Dr. Iyabo Masha – Member
6. Prof. Chukwuma Soludo – Member
7. Mr. Bismark Rewane – Member
8. Dr. Mohammed Adaya Salisu – Secretary (Senior Special Assistant to the President, Development Policy).
This advisory council will replace the current Economic Management Team (EMT) and will be reporting directly to the President.
The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) will advise the President on economic policy matters, including fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.
The EAC will have monthly technical sessions as well as scheduled quarterly meetings with the President. The Chairman may, however, request for unscheduled meetings if the need arises, said the statement which was signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) and released on Monday.
Retired judge drags NAFDAC to court over importation of banned chemical
A retired judge of the Osun State High Court, Justice Olamide Oloyede and an NGO, Virtues Unlimited Restorative Justice Initiative (VURJI), have dragged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) before a Federal High Court in Lagos over the importation of a banned chemical, methyl bromide, into the country.
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Justice were joined as co-defendants in the suit.
The plaintiffs are asking Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo to compel the defendants to investigate, identify and destroy in a healthy and safe manner any methyl bromide, found in any part of the country.
They are also urging the court to declare that the alleged importation of the banned chemical substance into Nigeria is unlawful and illegal.
The retired judge and VURJI alleged that the chemical, which is an odourless, colourless gas used to control pests in agriculture with serious negative effect on humans and environment, was imported into Nigeria by a Lagos-based company, Toon Consolidated Company Limited, pursuant to the license issued by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) without the permit of NAFDAC.
In a 32-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the suit and personally sworn to by the retired judge, she claimed that the agro-chemical had been banned in Nigeria because it was dangerous to human health and caused environmental hazards by depleting the ozone layer.
Alleged misconduct: Judge’s outburst ‘curious’ – EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has described as “curious” and “intriguing” the chastisement of one of its prosecutors, by Justice Joyce Obehin AbdulMalik, of the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Reports say Justice AbdulMalik had, in open court, rebuked Mr. S. M. Galadanchi, for visiting her home, ostensibly to influence a judgement in a matter pending before the court.
However, the EFCC has expressed shock over the development as, according to the anti-graft agency, the decision of the judge to chastise the prosecutor, came three months after the said visit.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the commission also described a statement it said was issued by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in that regard, as “hasty”.
The EFCC wondered why the bar did not wait until investigations into the alleged case of misconduct was concluded, before issuing a statement, which it claimed, portrayed the commission “as one of the agents of state trying to destroy the judiciary”.
“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to reports in the social media on the October 8, 2019 incident at the Federal High Court, Ibadan in which Justice Joyce Obehin AbdulMalik openly chastised S. M. Galadanchi, a prosecutor of the EFCC for visiting her home with the intent of influencing her decision in a case pending before his Lordship.
“Following the outburst, even the Nigerian Bar Association, through its National Publicity Secretary, Kunle Edun, issued a statement commending the conduct of Justice AbdulMalik while upbraiding the EFCC as one of the agents of state trying to destroy the judiciary.
“However, without prejudice to the outcome of any investigation by the bar, it is important to state that facts available to the Commission makes the open chastisement of Barrister Galadanchi by Justice AbdulMalik curious and intriguing,” Uwujarem said.
FG’s media regulation, obnoxious, anti-democratic – PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as obnoxious and anti-democratic, the stringent regulations on online media by the Federal Government.
PDP said in a statement Sunday by the National Publicity Secretary, Kalu Ologbondiyan that such would amount to gaging the media and denying Nigerians their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had, two weeks ago, said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the increase of the fine for fake news from half a million to N5 million.
But PDP said it is a violation of statutory rules governing media practice and freedom of expression in Nigeria.
The party also rejected the presidential declaration of political comments as “Class A” offence, insisting that such is designed to undermine the nation’s constitutional democracy, exterminate the rights of citizens to dissenting public opinion, emasculate the opposition and foist a dictatorship and one party system on our nation.
“Our party alerts that such moves amount to an attempt to amend our constitution to take away the rights of citizens and undermine our democratic institutions; a development that has the capacity to destabilize our dear nation,” the statement added.
It added that the fine, if allowed, would lead to gradual emasculation of freedom of expression, repression of free press, infringement on the rights of citizens and foisting of siege mentality on the people.
“Nigerians are already apprehensive that the directive is geared towards clearing the ground for the introduction of certain harsh policies in our country,” the party said.
According to the PDP, the nation’s constitution has made enough provisions to guide media practice as well as the exercise of freedom of expression, adding that foisting unconstitutional and suppressive regulations
Aregbesola: FG’ll create legitimate jobs for border residents
*Says smuggling, illegal migration hurting Nigeria’s economy
As part of measures to cushion the effects of ongoing border closure in the country, the Federal Government will soon provide legitimate businesses for residents of border communities in Ogun State.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this while inaugurating a Forward Operations Base (FOB) of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at Oja Odan, a border community in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Aregbesola was at the border area alongside Governor Dapo Abiodun, NIS Comptroller-General, Muhammad Babandede and the agency’s State Comptroller, Doris Braimah, among other government and security functionaries.
Speaking at the event, which was also attended by traditional rulers, the minister said smuggling, illegal migration and subversive economic activities at the borders have over the years undermined Nigeria’s economic sovereignty.
He lamented that huge importation duty accruing to Nigeria had drastically reduced as a result of the various illegal activities at the borders with neighbouring countries.
Aregbesola, who is the immediate past governor of Osun State, submitted that perpetrators of illegal activities often took advantage of the nation’s porous borders.
He said: “In as much as we like to maintain cordial relations, it must be within the ambit of the law. Illegal migrations, smuggling, trans-border banditry, criminality, subversive economic activities and other practices have undermined our economic sovereignty and way of life.
“I urge all our agencies to be vigilant and be up to their bidding and ensure that this untoward practices are brought to a halt. Again, I want to commend the courage of our president for approving the drill that is happening now.”
The minister, who observed that many residents are unhappy about the border closure policy, assured that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will create legitimate businesses to replace the illegal economic activities at the borders.
“You seem not to be happy now, but I assure you that you would be happy later because the Federal Government will give you alternative businesses and legitimate engagement that would bring legitimate wealth to your pockets and happiness to your land,” he added.
In his remarks, Governor Abiodun said Customs operatives must be cautioned against killings of residents.
He charged the security agents to carry out their duties responsibly, saying “we cannot afford to be losing our people.”
Earlier in his address, Babandede said the FOB was part of efforts to strengthen the country’s border security.
The Comptroller-General explained that the facility was meant to provide conducive working environment for operatives at the border, noting that 12 of such FOBs have been constructed across the country.
Syria: Trump ordered troops withdrawal – US Defence Secretary
U.S President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of forces from northern Syria as the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish forces escalates, Defence Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday.
“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” Esper said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Esper said Trump made the order Saturday night for “a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria,” without providing a timeline.
It marks the latest controversial move by Trump, who is being widely criticised for leaving the Kurdish forces to face a possibly devastating Turkish assault, reports dpa.
Esper said the U.S would withdrawal less than a 1,000 troops, in a separate interview on Fox News Sunday.
“We did not want to get involved in a conflict that dates back nearly 200 years between the Turks and the Kurds and get involved in yet another war in the Middle East,” he said on CBS.
Esper said he does not know whether Turkey would fire deliberately on U.S forces.
“I don’t know whether they would or wouldn’t,” he said.
The defence chief added that the Kurds are looking to strike a deal with Russia to protect them from Turkey.
Turkey started its operation in northern Syria on Wednesday, saying it is targeting Islamic State extremists and Kurdish militias.
The U.S has been allied with Syrian Kurds since 2014 in the war against Islamic State, and together they worked to defeat the territorial caliphate.
The Kurdish-led force lost some 10,000 people in the war.
Ankara considers the Kurdish militias to be linked to the outlawed insurgent group in their country.
APC: PDP opposition is irresponsible, rudderless
… Says other parties are full of charlatans
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as an “irresponsible and rudderless party”.
APC similarly described other opposition parties as parties of charlatans, noting that Nigeria was tilting towards a one party state for lack of vibrant opposition.
According to APC in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu in Abuja, there is nothing the opposition are providing as alternative.
The ruling party opinionated that Nigeria was becoming a one party state since there was no vibrancy from the opposition parties.
The APC, which is in court with the opposition over the result of the 2019 presidential election said: “Nigeria deserves a strong, vibrant opposition to play its conventional role in the polity to deepen democracy. Sadly, Nigeria is becoming a one-party state. As a party that believes in democracy and progressive politics, we cannot pretend any longer.
“Democracy cannot be said to be fully operational in a situation where the supposed ‘main’ opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become a joke, irresponsible and rudderless.
“Even as the governing party, we recognise the importance of rigorous and intelligent interrogation of our policies and programmes by the opposition.
“There are a lot to gain by our democracy and our country in an atmosphere of robust engagement by responsible and patriotic opposition. The political system we practice has important roles for the political parties outside of power. The system envisaged that such parties would provide alternative viewpoints and put the governing party on its toes.”
Carpeting the opposition style of PDP and other parties, the APC said: “Instead, the PDP and their minions have in the name of opposition continued to distract the government and Nigerians with their post-election delusions, salacious fictions, conjured rifts in government circle and of course the lowest of it all, the pathetic and senseless Jubril of Sudan malicious tale, among other fake news. Tragic!”
Ogun Senator, Odebiyi, grants scholarships to 54 students
*Seeks jobs for border youths to curb smuggling
The Senator representing Ogun West, Chief Tolu Odebiyi, has granted scholarships to 54 tertiary institution students from his senatorial district.
Odebiyi, who is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, also announced that he had got the nod of the Federal Government to sponsor students from his zone overseas for Masters and Doctorate degree programmes.
The lawmaker spoke at the third TOD undergraduates scholarship award ceremony and launch of Tolu Odebiyi Foundation, whih held at the weekend in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege; Aboro of Iboro, Oba Abayomi Salako; the Adokun of Igan-Okoto, Oba Mukaila Salako; former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Rahman Bello; Prof Tope Popoola, Prof John Aihosu, Dr Dele Ogunsiji and Alhaji Abbas Olanigan, among others, attended the event.
In his address, Odebiyi explained that he decided to offer the scholarships to ensure that brilliant students from the Yewa-Awori extraction of the state are recognised and assisted to excel.
According to him, each of the 54 students would be given N100,000 every year until they graduate from their respective schools.
No fewer than 15 of the beneficiaries are currently in First Class category with GPAs of 4.8 and above.
“No student should be allowed to drop out of school on the account of the inability of his parents to fund his or her education,” the senator stated.
Odebiyi added that the postgraduate approval he secured from the Federal Government for students to study abroad was because of the premium he placed on education and youth development.
Two students, he said, would be sponsored to pursue each of the programmes overseas for the next four years.
The senator, who expressed sadness over the recent deaths of some youths in Ihunbo town in Ipokia Local Government Area, also bemoaned the activities of some operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service in the border areas of Ogun West.
He urged the Federal Government to explore the possibility of engaging youths in border areas as a way of curbing smuggling just as he warned against indefinite closure of the nation’s land borders.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Mrs Shade Odebiyi, said the foundation rests on four pillars, including education, healthcare, widow empowerment and youth empowerment.
She noted that in its quest to promote healthy living, the foundation also donates borehole and rehabilitate roads for needy communities.
Ecological woes: Kwara seeks FG’s special intervention
Kwara State Government on Sunday called on the Federal Government to give special consideration to the state to address ecological challenges confronting it, especially the yearly flooding arising from the overflow of the River Niger and Asa River.
“People of Kwara State have suffered greatly from ecological problems linked to yearly overflowing of these rivers and it is only fair for the state to be considered for special palliatives to fix damaged infrastructure and economic lives of our people and mitigate the effects on the affected communities,” Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Isiaka Al-Amin, who spoke at a press briefing on Sunday in Ilorin, the state capital.
The press briefing followed a sensitisation tour of flood-prone areas in the state by a committee set up by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. The inter-ministerial committee, chaired by Al-Amin, was set up as part of government’s efforts to lessen the impact of flooding in the state.
Al-Amin said the yearly overflow of the River Niger has cut off communities, destroyed farmlands and displaced thousands of people across the state and called on the Federal Government to consider urgent dredging of the river to end the perennial flooding.
He also called for urgent completion of the channelization of the Asa River to curtail the yearly flooding in the state, especially in the Kwara Central Senatorial District.
Merkel to Erdogan: Halt Syria offensive immediately
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Sunday to bring to an immediate halt the military operation in northern Syria, a German government spokeswoman said.
“The Chancellor advocated an immediate end to the military operation,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
The phone call took place at Erdogan’s request, she said.
Passenger dies while waiting to board flight at Lagos airport
A Nigerian passenger, Jude, on Saturday slumped and died while undergoing boarding procedures at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Spokesperson for the MMIA Police Command, Lagos, DSP Joseph Alabi, confirmed the development to News Agency of Nigeria ) on Sunday in Lagos.
Alabi said that the 44-year-old passenger was about boarding an Air France flight when he suddenly slumped after receiving news that his wife had died.
According to him, the incident happened around 5:30 p.m. and the deceased was confirmed dead by Dr Ajayi Olamide of the MMIA Medical Clinic.
Alabi said that the corpse had been deposited at the Air Force Hospital Mortuary.
Meanwhile, Alabi also dismissed claims that a Royal Air Maroc aircraft, with registration number CN-ROR was burgled while landing at the MMIA on October 11.
He said that the police had carried out investigation and confirmed that all necessary security landing procedures were observed.
“There is a standard procedure, which includes an escort vehicle following an aircraft that is landing, which will make it difficult for any invader to approach the aircraft.
“The aviation security officials confirmed that they arrived at the aircraft with its baggage cabin door already opened which might have been due to other factors,” Alabi said.
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