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Body Wants Mortgage Instituations Exempled From Tax

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The Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) in its bid to ensure effective and efficient housing delivery and orderly urban development in the country, has urged the government to exempt Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) in the payment of tax.

APBN  also reiterated its call for the creation of a Nigerian Construction Industry Board (NCIB) and also the establishment of a Construction Development Bank (CDB) to provide credit facilities  at low interest rate for development of housing and urban sectors and also  inject the needed funds into the dying construction industry.

Joseph Ajanlekoko, the President of the association in a speech at a ceremony to induct newly  registered quantity surveyors and  practicing firms in Abuja organised by Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN), said that the tax law should be amended to ensure that instead of the mortgage institution to pay the tax, it would be the beneficiaries that would pay the tax.

“We believe that people who own their homes for the first time should have  some tax concession. Once these laws are amended, it will take off. The banks and the mortgage institutions  will all go out for it. Demand for homes in Nigeria  is enormous, if you bring five million homes today and there is mortgage availability, it will be taken in two days. It is like that in every part of the country”, he said.

The APBN boss also stated that the proposed Nigerian Construction and Urban Development  Bank (NC/UDB) holds promise for the mortgaged sector  and other members  of the public, especially construction industry operators.

Ajanlekoko posited that this arrangement would instill confidence and stability in the mortgage system and ensure sustainability of the PMIs, pointing out that mortgage institution would be able to provide credit at low interest for purchase of housing under the aegis of the Nigerian Construction Industry and Urban Development Bank, as well as provide credit facilities for all activities associated with housing construction, infrastructural  and urban development.

The APBN  president, a promoter of the NCIB noted that the development of a virile construction industry requires a holistic approach, involving the private sector and the public.

He, therefore, urged the government in the spirit of the on-going reforms programme to give the desired leadership and direction to this important and strategic industry by establishing  the board.

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Health

HIV: FG Restates Commitment To Prevent HIV Among Adolescents

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The Federal Government yesterday restated its commitment to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in the country.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with NACA, UNFPA, UNICEF, launched a document on prevention of HIV in Abuja.
The document is integrated into three titles; “The HIV Investment Case for Adolescents and Young People (2021-2025), The National Condom Operational Plan (2021-2025) and National Condom and Lubricants Quantification (2021-2025).”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe, identified condom as key in the prevention of the spread of HIV among young people.
Oloruigbe, who commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and partners for the effort, called for local production of condoms.
“We need to look inwards by encouraging local manufacturing of condoms in view of government’s dwindling resources, as well as breaking away from over dependence on international donors,” he said.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu,asserted the agency’s success in the containment of HIV through prevention and treatment responses.
Aliyu said that the country was committed to achieving the 2030 target of 95-95-95 through collaboration with stakeholders by investing in adolescents.
He added, “we have made huge success when it comes to treatment and prevention with drastic reduction in transmission.”
The NACA boss however affirmed the belief of the agency in using the document to achieve the 95-95-95 target for 2030.
Mrs Zainab Garba of the Federal Ministry of Health commended NACA for launching the document, saying it would enhance young people’s access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Garba reiterated the importance of condom in reducing the spread of HIV and maternal deaths among young people, saying it was key in preventing all manners of sexually transmitted infections.

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Doctor Warns Against Indiscriminate Use Of Contraceptives

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A medical expert, Dr Umar Musa, on Monday warned women against indiscriminate use of contraceptives.
Dr Musa, President, Kaduna State Resident Doctors Association, gave the advice when he spoke with newsmen in Kaduna, noted the indiscriminate consumption of contraceptives to ward off unwanted pregnancies and cautioned that while they could forestall unwanted pregnancies, contraceptives were not antidotes for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
He said there was a particular contraceptive pill in hot demand, but also cautioned that its indiscriminate consumption could delay conception or damage the uterus.
“Too much of this contraceptive will weaken the wall of the womb and damage the uterus which will cause miscarriages in the future.
“There are lots of risks associated with the constant use of this drug. Most ladies consume contraceptives in clinically unsafe ways.
“They use these drugs without knowing the way they interact with the body system and forgetting that people react to drugs in different ways,’’ he said.
Musa also advocated tighter restrictions on the sale of contraceptives and suggested that the use of condoms was an option to stave off unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
“While a condom may look like a major inconvenience and a fun killer for many, it would protect one from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent pregnancy”.

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Covid-19: NCDC Records 213 New Infections, Two Deaths

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Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 213 additional new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 171, 324, as of July 26, 2021.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle yesterday morning.
The health agency also stated that it recorded two Covid-19 related deaths on Monday, while additional nine people recovered from the virus, as of July 26, 2021.
It added that the new infections were recorded in 12 states, namely: Lagos-157, Rivers-20, Plateau-12, Enugu-6, Oyo-6, Gombe-3, Bauchi-2, Imo-2, Kaduna-2, Edo-1, Ekiti-1, and Ogun-1.
It noted that since the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease in the country on February 27, 2020, a total of 2,134 persons lost their lives, while 164,798 recovered from the virus and discharged from health centres across the country.
NCDC added that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, had continued to coordinate the national response activities.
It stated  that the country tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus and had detected 10 Covid-19 Delta variant, recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.
The variant had been detected in over 100 countries and may spread further.
The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.

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