President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday vowed to push headlong the war against drug abuse. The President said the fight remains one of the critical elements of the ‘Next Level’ mandate of this administration. Buhari, who stated this while receiving the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, reiterated the commitment of government to the welfare of the citizenry by fighting the scourge of drug abuse.
He said: “Winning the war becomes one of the critical elements of the ‘Next Level’ mandate of this administration. As a government, we have the responsibility to ensure the security and wellbeing of our people. “Our findings have shown that it is more difficult to bring down crime rate to acceptable levels without clearing our country of substances abuse.”
President Buhari, however, realising the enormity of the menace, solicited for cooperation of all and sundry. He called on all well-meaning Nigerians and international partners to join hands with relevant government agencies in the fight against drug abuse.
While thanking the committee for its timely and diligent prosecution of the assignment, the President assured that the matter was of utmost importance, and the report would be studied along with the recommendations. Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd), had told the President that since the committee was inaugurated in December, 2018, it interfaced with a wide spectrum of stakeholders including Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Non-Governmental organisations, Civil Society Organisations, Faith-based Organisations, professional bodies, international partners and members of drug user communities with their parents, teachers and care givers.
Adebayo calls for increased intra-African trade
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investments, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, has called for increased intra-African trade, to reduce the continent’s vulnerability to external macroeconomic shocks and protectionist trade policies.
Speaking yesterday at the 2019 edition of the Africa Industrialization Day (AID), in Calabar, Cross River State, the Minister emphasized that increased intra-Africa trade will improve export sophistication across the continent.
“If Africa is to fulfill its potential of diversifying and transforming its economies through the AfCFTA, African countries must begin the work of implementing strategies for exports, diversification, industrialization, and value chain development.
“The road ahead to realising these opportunities are tough and challenging but we have no choice but to tackle them head on.
“On our part, the Nigerian government is committed to resolving the constraints which remain in our business environment.
“Relevant teams across the government are implementing various initiatives that address key areas of concern such as the need for modern infrastructure, power supply and good road networks; improving the patronage of locally made goods; bridging the gap in skills and innovation, improving the ease of doing business, improving cost and access to finance for SMEs, resolving multiple taxation, amongst others,” the Minister said.
Eczema increases risk of fracture in adults
Researchers in the United Kingdom (UK) have found that the risk of any fracture was up to 13 per cent greater in people with atopic eczema compared to people without. According to the findings of a new study published in the ‘Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,’ people with severe atopic eczema had a dramatically increased risk of fracture: 50 per cent more hip fractures, 66 per cent more pelvis fractures, and more than double the risk of spine fractures. The study led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, involved the health records of three million adults in the UK. Atopic eczema also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), is a type of inflammation of the skin (dermatitis), which results in itchy, red, swollen, and cracked skin. Clear fluid may come from the affected areas, which often thickens over time.
The study estimated that in 100,000 people with atopic eczema, an extra 164 people would break a bone compared to the number of broken bones that would be expected in a group of 100,000 people without atopic eczema of the same age and sex.The team however, noted that the results were of public health importance given how common atopic eczema is and that broken bones could cause illness and death. Similarly, it was shown that the increased risk of fracture in people with atopic eczema persisted even after the researchers accounted for oral corticosteroids, which are drugs used to treat eczema that are linked to increased fracture risk.
Senior study author, Professor Sinéad Langan, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said: “Previous research has shown associations between atopic eczema and osteoporosis, a disease in which the density and quality of bone were reduced, making them more porous and fragile with the risk of fracture being greatly increased.
New policy requirement scares whistle blowers
Whistle blowers are skeptical about new policy requiring them to fill forms, a development that has caused a drop in the number of people with information on corrupt cases in public sector, it emerged yesterday. P e r m a n e n t Secretary(special duty) , Federal Ministry of Finance and National Planning Dr. Mohammed Dikwa, acknowledged reduction in the reported cases of whistle blowing policy, admitting that the process encountered some challenges. The occasion was a national workshop that held yesterday in Abuja, to discuss the draft bill of the whistle blowing policy .
Dikwa noted that some people that wanted to blow whistle were no longer comfortable with the new arrangement put in place to fill forms as part of process to document their claims. He said that the lack of legislative backing was also a major challenge hindering the success of the policy. He stated that improper coordination among stakeholders was a major problem confronting the policy.
“The reported cases of whistle blowing or the tips used to come frequently on daily basis when we just introduced it in November, 2016. When we started, we received 2,000 reported cases monthly but it has gone down now drastically”. “We have instituted some measures to avoid situation where people will come and give false information and go with it. With what we are putting in place now, we will make sure anyone that gives information that has to do with recovery of money is rewarded.”
Korean companies eager to invest in Nigeria, says Envoy
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Lee In-Tae, has said renowned Korean construction companies were eager to invest and build world class infrastructure in Nigeria. That, he said was to further boost Nigeria’s economy especially President Buhari’s efforts in achieving the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). Speaking at a Korea- Nigeria Joint Partnership Infrastructure Seminar on yesterday in Abuja, he said given the full economic potentials in Nigeria, both countries must seize the opportunity to deepen relations by working together to expand economic cooperation to build an infrastructure that was sustainable. He noted that with Nigeria as the top oil producer of the African continent, and as part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement which would create a single market of 1.2 billion people with a GDP of $3.4 trillion, Nigeria was presently and would continue to be Korea’s most important trading partner in Africa
Invictus Obi permanently forfeits N280.5m to FG
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture of N280.5 million warehoused in the bank accounts of two firms linked to Obinwanne Okeke, popularly known as Invictus Obi, to the Federal Government.
The 31-year-old Okeke is currently standing trial in the United States of America for an alleged $11 million cyber fraud. The two firms involved are; Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited.
Justice Aikawa’s permanent forfeiture order was sequel to the granting of a motion filed in that regard by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The judge had earlier on October 7 upon the granting of an ex-parte motion by the anti-graft agency ordered the interim forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government.
Arguing the motion for final forfeiture Thursday, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that all requirements to finally forfeit the funds to the Federal Government have been met, including the publication of the interim forfeiture order in a national daily on October 25.
The lawyer added that Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Fraud Offence Act No. 14, 2006, had empowered the judge to make a final pronouncement for the final forfeiture of the fund.
Oyedepo told the court that the funds domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Zenith Bank, were “reasonably suspected” to be proceeds of cyber crime.
He consequently prayed the court to grant the motion for final forfieture because “there is no opposition to the request from anybody”.
Granting his prayer in a Bench ruling, Justice Aikawa ordered that the sum of N280.5 million in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Zenith Bank account nos: 3341692012 and 1013714256, be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
PACAC: Don’t accuse DSS of disobeying court order until…
The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), has stressed the importance of getting facts of a case, before jumping to conclusion.
Chairman of PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, gave the charge on Thursday in Abuja, while responding to criticisms over the continued detention of convener of #Revolution Now campaign, Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the state, desire an order of court for his release.
Specifically, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria decried what he described as “negativity” to issues that concern government.
Sagay spoke in Abuja at a ‘Roundtable On The Re-Introduction of The Jury System and Review of Draft Jury Service Bill’.
He said: “What I see having been part of the government at my small level is that Nigerians do not seek facts before they jump to conclusion.
“In the case of Sowore, I think somebody should go and interview the DSS and find out why instead of jumping to conclusions which are usually negative conclusions.
“There is negativity in Nigerian orientation to situation particularly when it affects government. I don’t accept that there is disobedience of court order until I know the facts.”
Buhari: I try to obey the Constitution
President Muhammadu Buhari says he tries as much as he can to obey the constitution of the country.
The president said this on Thursday when he received speakers of state assemblies at the presidential villa in Abuja.
In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, Buhari said the constitution must be adhered to, or altered to reflect dynamics and realities of the country.
He said the autonomy of state legislature has been constrained by the constitution.
The president asked the lawmakers to always put the interest of the people first in all deliberations and negotiations.
“I try as much as I can to always be loyal and obedient to the constitution so long as it is humanly possible,” Buhari said.
“The 8th National Assembly sometimes kept the budget for seven months. And I had to call the Senate President and the Speaker then. I told them by delaying passage of the budget you are not hurting Buhari, but the people.
“We have in the last four years dedicated significant resources to key social services sectors especially in health, education as well as our massive social investment programs. We have also started restoring our infrastructure to levels that this country expects.
“I also want to assure you that we remain committed to ensuring that equity and fairness prevail in governance. I will ensure that we consult your conference to further enhance the positive impact of our interventions across the country.”
Enugu airport shutdown: Reps want FG to fix Owerri-Orlu-Ideato-Uga road
Following the renovation work going on at the Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu, the House of Representatives has urged the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently undertake remedial work on the Owerri-Orlu-Idoato-Uga road.
The House gave the advice Thursday following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Chigozie Pascal Obi (AA, Imo).
Presenting the motion, Hon. Obi noted that with the closure of the Enugu airport, there is a heavy traffic on the road, which links several local governments headquarters in Imo State expressing concern that this could constitute further hazards to communities and villages in Ideato federal constituency.
He said the Owerri-Orlu-Ideato-Uga federal road links the capital of IMO state through Uga to Awka, the capital of Anambra state.
Obi expressed worry that the stretches of the road from Orlu-Mgbee-Umuchima-Obioha-Urualla have collapsed, with devastating gullies, on both sides of the road.
He informed that: “The government of Imo State under the leadership of Senator Rocha’s Okorocha had executed projects and made appreciable efforts in this regard but the unintended over-flooding arising from the destructive climate change, destroyed some of the works to unimaginable proportions. “
Insecurity: We must develop capacity of our Force – CAS
…as Air Force decorates 47 senior officers
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has identified human capacity development as a potent tool needed to combat threats to internal security.
According to the CAS, personnel’s skill and commitment to duty, contribute in no small measure to the overall success of a fighting Force against adversaries
The Air Chief made the position Thursday at the NAF headquarters in Abuja during the decoration of 12 newly-promoted Air Vice Marshals (AVMs), and 35 Air Commodores.
In his remarks, Abubakar maintained that, for operational mistakes to be reduced, the heads of the services must be imbued with good leadership qualities.
He said it was on the basis of that, that the senior officers were found worthy of their respective promotions to the next ranks.
“These senior officers have worked hard to qualify for elevation to the enviable air rank hence we are gathered here to celebrate this diligence and to congratulate them on their promotion to higher ranks,” the CAS said.
Ogun APC to APM: Supreme Court judgement not for sale
The Ogun State branch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken a swipe at the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and its candidate at the March 9 governorship election in the state, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, on its plan to approach the Supreme Court, saying, “the judgement of the Supreme Court is not for sale”
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, had on Monday, November 11 dismissed the petition filed by the APC governorship candidate in Ogun State, against the victory of the incumbent Governor Dapo Abiodun, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In a unanimous decision, the Appeal court justices said the appeal “lacks merit and it is therefore struck out.”
However, in reaction to the appellate court ruling, the APM and its candidate told the media last weekend that they would be approaching the Supreme Court as the last port of call in gubernatorial election petition.
But in a swift reaction to the APM decision, the Publicity Secretary of APC in Ogun State, Tunde Oladunjoye in a statement issued on Thursday said the “APM and its candidates are serial losers who are merely”.
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