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THE STATES

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Borno

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has mourned  the death of elder statesman, Alhaji Bukar Mandara, describing him as a true nationalist and philanthropist.

Mandara died after a protracted illness at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) last Sunday, and he was  buried on Monday at the Gwange Cemetery in the Maiduguri metropolis.

Shettima, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Communications, expressed shock over Mandara’s death, saying he was a man who worked tirelessly for the interest of the less privileged. “I received the death of Mandara with a total shock, although as a Muslim we believe that death is a necessary end to all humans,’’ he said.

 

FCT

The Lagos State Christian Pilgrim Welfare Board has been adjudged the most outstanding state in the promotion of self-sponsorship of Christian pilgrimage in the 2012 exercise.

Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC),  Mr John-Kennedy Opara, announced this at the joint conference of states pilgrims’ welfare boards and the commission in Abuja.

Rivers State was honoured for sponsoring the highest number of pilgrims; Borno State was recognised for its resilience in sponsorship of pilgrims in spite of daunting challenges while Benue was adjudged the most organised state.

Opara said that the honoured states had been consistent in their contributions to the smooth conduct of the 2012 exercise, and noted that the recognition was aimed at spurring the boards to work harder.

He said that the NCPC was committed to encouraging states welfare boards to organise intending pilgrims in a manner that appealed to requirements of both Nigerian and Israeli authorities.

In his address, the Chairman of the commission, Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, charged the secretaries and chairmen of the states boards to work hard in improving the spirituality of pilgrims in their respective states.

 

Gombe

The Pantami Magistrates’ Court in Gombe  State has sen- tenced five persons to one month  imprisonment each with an option to pay N1,000 fine each for breaking traffic law.

They are Abubakar Umar of Bakin Kura, Bauchi; Idriss Audu of Kabusa of FCT and Yohana Kalim of Tula Wange, Kaltungo local government area of Gombe. Others are Saidu Kabir and Mohammed Garba both of  Tudun Wada Quarters, Gombe.

The convicts were sentenced based on their guilty plea and plea for leniency. Police prosecutor Sardauna Pukuma had told the court that the convicts were arrested on April 6, at about 8 p.m.

He alleged that the convicts drove different types of vehicles on the Gombe-Bauchi Federal Highway and disobeyed Police officers on stop and search, stating that the offence contravened the provisions of section 62 (J) of the Road Traffic Regulation (RTR).

 

Jigawa

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) last Tuesday, appealed to farmers in Jigawa State to ensure effective utilisation of facilities provided them by the fund to boost agricultural activities in the state.

The IFAD Country Programme Manager, Atsuko Tudo, made the call while presenting work bulls and other agricultural processing equipment to some farmers in Kiyawa local government area of the state.

IFAD had in March disbursed N180 million to 36 village areas to facilitate the implementation of its Community Based Agriculture and Rural Development Programme (CBARDP) in the state.

She said that the programme was designed to reduce poverty, provide means of livelihood and encourage agricultural activity and rural development.

 

Kaduna

Kaduna State branch of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) last Tuesday expressed concern over the lack of cooperation among workers in the health sector.

The chairman of the union in the state, Mr Emmanuel Wudiri, expressed the concern at a news conference in Kaduna to mark the union’s health week.

Wudiri said the situation had contributed to the series of failures in tackling the healthcare challenges in the country.

He stressed the need for synergy among health professionals to ensure effective and efficient health care services in the country.

 

Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano State has assured non- indigenes resident in the state of adequate  security of their lives and property.

Kwankwaso gave the assurance when the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Gary Nnachi, paid him a courtesy call in Kano last Tuesday.

The state Commissioner for State Affairs, Alhaji Aminu Abdussalam, who received the Igbo leader on behalf of the governor,  said the state government would continue to accord priority to security to ensure economic growth and development of the state.

 

Katsina

The Police Commissioner in Katsina State, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji, has confirmed the attack of a police station at Ingawa local government area in Katsina State,

Magaji told newsmen in Katsina last Tuesday, that the intention of the gunmen, he described, as robbers, was to take away the police arms, and stated that one of the Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs) fell on the roof of the police station and ignited the fire that destroyed the building.

“There is no casualty on the part of the police, but some of the suspects escaped with wounds and we have recovered five IEDs and three motorcycles. “We are pursuing them and we have alerted our neighbouring states and we are going to arrest them, God willing,’’ the commissioner said.

An eyewitness said that the incident occurred at about 9.30pm on Monday, adding that the gunmen, numbering about 10, invaded the police station and threw several IEDs at the building, one of which detonated.

 

Kebbi

The Secretary to Kebbi State Government, Alhaj Nurudeen Kangiwa, says the state government would partner with recognised professional security outfits to enhance security in the state.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Department, Alhaji Sani Sarki, Kangiwa gave the assurance when he received officials of the National Peace Corps and National Vigilante Groups in Birnin Kebbi last Tuesday.

He commended the security outfits for their decision to enhance peace and security and peaceful co-existence, adding “we commend your resolve that is centred on preventive measures on security.”

The National Commandant of the Peace Corps, Dr. Dickson Akoh, said the corps was recognised by the Federal Ministries of Education and Youth Development, while UNESCO and the UN had recognised its training methods.

 

Lagos

A downpour in Lagos last Tuesday caused flooding in some parts of the metropolis, resulting in traffic gridlock on several roads, which left many commuters stranded at bus stops for hours.

Some of the affected areas include Ajegunle in Ikorodu, Ikotun, Ikorodu Road, Alaka, Carter Bridge, Mushin , Ebute-Meta and Ile-epo along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

Some motorists and commuters said that the flood on some of the major roads resulted in some vehicles breaking down, which affected the free flow of traffic.

A civil servant, Mrs Mary Udoh, said she was stranded in the rain for hours because most of the commercial buses had parked for fear of getting damaged.

 

Governor  Mu’azu Aliyu of Niger  State has called on the Federal Government to increase the funding of the National Population Commission to enable it  effectively discharge its duties.

Speaking   in Minna at the  workshop on the review and evaluation of the 2006 population and housing census, Aliyu noted that national planning and development have been frustrated by manipulation of census figures over the years in Nigeria.

According to the governor, the manipulation of census figures of the country’s population has made it impossible to get an accurate figure of the populace since 1963.

Aliyu said that many Nigerians see census only in terms of ‘sharing the cake’ based on the mono culture of ‘oil money’ instead of laying emphasis on ‘baking the cake’.

 

Ogun

An Abeokuta Chief Magistrates Court has remanded in Ibara Prison a 33-year-old security guard, Mulero Ogunleru, for allegedly beheading a mad woman.

The Police Prosecutor, A S P Paul Etusi, told the court that the accused committed the offence on January 28 at about 5 p.m. at Ishaga Orile in Abeokuta. He said that the accused unlawfully killed a woman by cutting off her head with a cutlass.

“ Ogunleru was sighted by several eye witnesses at the same spot where the madwoman was murdered earlier in the day. “ He was said to be playing with her”, Etusi said.

The prosecutor said the offence contravened Sections 316 and 319 of the Criminal Code Laws of Ogun, 2006. The accused, whose plea on the one-count charge of murder was not taken by the court, had no counsel.

 

Ondo

Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State in Akure,last  Tuesday, enjoined the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice, to restore the hope of the masses.

Mimiko during the opening of a three-day stakeholders’ workshop organised by the state judiciary,  expressed concern over the delay in dispensation of cases in the country, adding that the workshop would reverse the situation in the state. According to Mimiko, the procedure, which is affidavit evidence based, will avert lengthy cross examination of witnesses as they will now rely only on adoption of his affidavit.

“With this, many of the civil cases in our various high courts will now be quickly dispensed with.

 

Sotoko

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 10, Sokoto, Alhaji Sule Mamman, said measures had been put in place to control the importation of arms.

Mamman said in Sokoto, last Tuesday, that officers were posted to border towns of Illelah, Sabon Birni, Isa, Gudu and Tangaza in Sokoto State.

He also said that some were deplored to Kamba, Kangiwa, Bagudu and Augie in Kebbi.

“They were briefed on security methods to be adopted to ensure the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the nefarious business.”

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SON Destroys Substandard Tyres, Cables, Others In Lagos 

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Lagos Metropolis, on Wednesday, witnessed mass destruction of substandard electric cables, engine oil, LPG cylinders, stuffed new tyres, unapproved cigarettes and low grade roofing sheets by the Standard Organization Of Nigeria (SON).
Director General, SON, Farouk Salim, while destroying the substandard products, Wednesday, noted that the substandard products affected the nation’s economy negatively.
Mr Salim revealed that all the products destroyed were imported into the country and smuggled through the ports.
He, therefore, called for the return of SON to the ports to help minimise the damage done by substandard products to the nation’s economy.
According to him, the burning of the substandard products is to assure Nigerians that SON is actually destroying them after obtaining a court order to that effect.
“Most of these substandard products were captured in the market where they are ready to be sold to customers and the unfortunate thing is that they passed through our ports.
“It will be much easier for these substandard products to be detected if our employees are at the source of the import of these products”, he said.
Salim regretted that SON was not always invited for joint inspection, adding that invitations for joint inspection are rare and far between.
“I guarantee you that if our officers have opportunity to inspect these products, the moment they look at it from experience, they will be able to detect the substandard goods.
“Don’t forget that officers of the customs service are trained to check for duty, they have no idea of how to detect substandard products easily, and our personnel are trained on how to check these products”, he said.
The SON boss denied that its officers had no unfettered access as stipulated by the constitution.
“Unless the law is changed by the National Assembly, signed by the president, the law says SON must and should be at the port, not at the discretion of any organisation”, he said.
Assistant Chief Scientific Officer and Sector Head (Domestic Rubber), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Lagos Liaison Office, Bisiriyu Adesewa said NESREA was present to ensure proper disposal of the products.
“We appreciate SON for ensuring that substandard products don’t enter the market, but we are particular about what happens to these things after the destruction.
“We understand that most of them are going to recycling companies and the only one not recyclable for now is the oil and we will link SON with a facility that can help them dispose it so that there will be zero waste.
“The disposal process here is in line with our rules and regulations. The first thing is to dismantle and seperate them, which they have already done, next is the recycling”, she said.
Also, Head, Federal Competition and Consumption Protection Commission (FCCPC), Lagos Office, Susie Onwuka, said the commission had a Memorandum of Understanding with SON and different sector regulators on removal of substandard goods from the market.
She commended SON for the massive seizures, noting that more work needs to be done.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Annex, Alagbon, Lagos, Lawrence Iwodi, said the police was working with SON to ensure that standard was met in relation to goods imported into the country.

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Healthcare: Osinbajo Calls For Improvement, Cooperation Among West African States 

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on West African countries to improve their levels of cooperation to better address problems of healthcare access and out-of-school children, among other human development indices.
Osinbajo said this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, when he received the Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, Mr Nuno Nabiam, ahead of yesterday’s ECOWAS Integrated Regional Human Capital Development Forum hosted by the National Economic Council.
According to a statement signed late Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice President thanked Mr Nabiam for honouring the invitation to attend the conference, saying, “The Human Capital Development meeting is very important, it is an opportunity to share experience and help each other”.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that Nigeria’s “National Economic Council has done a lot of work on Human Capital Development, focusing on various challenges including questions around out-of-school and healthcare access” and would “significantly improve the human development indices in West Africa”.
He, however, acknowledged that the indices show that a lot more work still needed to be done.
The Vice President commended President Umaro Embalo of Guinea Bissau for his strong support for Nigeria, describing him as a very good friend of President Muhammadu Buhari and the country.
He noted that Guinea Bissau and President Embalo had always supported Nigeria internationally and congratulated the country for recently warding off a coup détat that would have ousted his government.
On his part, the Prime Minister extolled the leadership qualities of President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, stating, “What the President of Nigeria and Vice President are doing inspires us too”.

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Fuel Scarcity: Stop Panic Buying, IPMAN Tells Nigerians

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has backtracked on the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petroleum.
The Association advised Nigerians to stop panic buying, saying its members would sell petrol at government approved price of N165 per litre.
President of the Association, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, spoke at a press conference on Wednesday against the backdrop of earlier indications by petroleum dealers that the pump price of N165 per litre was no longer sustainable.
The Tide recalls that the IPMAN Secretary in Lagos State, Mr Akeem Balogun, had on Monday, declared a PMS pump price of N180 per litre.
But Okoronkwo at the press briefing, reversed the declaration and urged members of IPMAN to maintain the “status quo ante” of N165 per litre.
He said the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Marketers Company (PPMC) had released petroleum products from their tank farms that could sustain the nation for the next 32 days, hence, there was no need for panic buying.
According to him, “The status quo ante must be maintained moving forward since the NNPC and the PPMC have responded positively by releasing products from their tank farms that can sustain the product needs of the country for 32 days”.
Explaining why the IPMAN Secretary in Lagos arrived at N180 per litre on Monday, the President said: “The decision was taken because its members could no longer operate at a loss.
“While the government had fixed N165 per litre as the pump price of petrol, the current realities in the market showed that the minimum the product should be retailed at the stations should be N180.
“I told you the cost of doing business has changed and my members in Lagos before they did what they did, they called me and told me that they are now getting this product at N162 to N165 per litre with transportation another N8.00, aggregating to about N170 to N173, even the N10.00 which is supposed to be our gain has been eroded, what do we do?
“Now you know and I know that it is only NNPC that imports this product into Nigeria. Some of these tank farm owners who have gone to collect this product, don’t blame them because the cost of doing business has also changed.
“It became so difficult for them to sell at N148.17, but yesterday (Wednesday), I want to tell you that NNPC and PPMC went to their tank farms and released products.

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