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THE STATES

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Borno
The Federal Government said recently that it had put in
place adequate security for all Nigerians before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.
Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, the Minister of State for Power, said this in Maduguri at a town hall meeting with different socio-cultural groups who were in support of the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan.
This is contained in a statement issued in Maiduguri by Mr Olawale Rasheed, the Special Assistant to Wakil on Media.
It said the minister called on Nigerians living in different parts of the country to remain in their respective places and cast their votes toward the victory of President Jonathan, rather than flee to their home states.

Ekiti
Farmers in Ikole-Ekiti and its environs, have expressed
concern with the indiscriminate logging that is fast degrading forest and destroying their tree crops in the area.
A cross section of the farmers expressed this concern in an interview with newsmen in Ikole-Ekiti, recently.
The farmers said the illegal activities of some timber contractors, who cut down trees indiscriminately in the area, were becoming worrisome.
They urged the Forestry Department in the state to step up efforts to curb the menace, so as to reduce the level of deforestation and save tree crops from total destruction.
A cocoa farmer, Mr Ezekiel Ojo, decried increase in the number of timber contractors indulging in the felling of trees with impunity in the area.
Ojo warned that cocoa, Kola, palm trees and other cash crops in the area might soon go into extinction, if urgent steps were not taken to address the situation.

FCT
The Nigerian Navy last Tuesday disclosed that the country
lost an estimate of N 433 billion annually to crude oil theft due to poor law enforcement presence on the water ways.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, made the disclosure while defending the 2015 Budget Proposal in Abuja.
Jibrin, who was represented by the Chief of Logistics, Rear Admiral Peter Agba, credited the statistics to recent revelation made by the Chatham House, London.
He said the statistics did not include the amount of oil suspected to have been stolen from export pipelines, cost of oil spillage cleanup, loss of income to fishing communities and environmental degradation.
“The Nigerian Navy is constitutionally tasked with the protection of our maritime assets and recently the Chatham House revealed that Nigerian crude oil is being stolen at an industrial scale.
“It conservatively estimates that about 100,000 barrel per day, valued at N1.18 billion is stolen daily due to poor law enforcement presence, which is translated to N433.62 billion annually,” he said.

Kaduna
Commissioner of Police in Kaduna State, Alhaji Umar
Usman-Shehu, said the success of the forthcoming elections depended on the level at which politicians would abide by the law.
He stated this while addressing newsmen shortly after the signing of peace accord by candidates of some political parties in Kaduna North Senatorial District at Sabongari.
Usman-Shehu, “we expect to conduct peaceful elections and this can only be achieved if politicians conduct themselves in accordance with the laws of the land.
“We are here to sign a peace accord following similar ones held in Abuja and Kaduna.
“All Police Area Commands are directed to have this kind of gathering for politicians to sign peace accord,” he said.
He said that the police would not spare anybody who contravened the treaty, stressing, “Anybody who goes contrary to it will definitely be arrested and charged to court.
“Nobody is too big to be arrested if he goes contrary to the law; I assure you that there is no body that is untouchable in the state.
“The only person exempted by the law is the governor and his deputy; beside that, nobody is untouchable according to the Constitution,” the police boss said.
Kogi
The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, last Tuesday,
said the Federal Government was currently constructing special secondary schools for girls in 27 states.
Jonathan, who spoke at the PDP Women rally in Lokoja, said the project was a fulfillment of part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s social contract with Nigerian women.
She said Jonathan, who is a friend of the women, believed in the capabilities of Nigerian women hence the implementation of the 35 per cent affirmative action.
The First Lady said Jonathan’s administration had created various opportunities for women to contribute their quota to nation building.
She urged the women of Kogi to ensure that they collected their Personal Voter Cards (PVCs) to enable them vote for Jonathan at the Presidential election in March 28.
Governor Idris Wada lauded the First Lady for inspiring and creating awareness among Nigerian women.

Lagos
The PDP governorship candidate for Lagos State, Mr Jimi
Agbaje, recently promised to build a pedestrian bridge for use by traders in the Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market in the state.
Our correspondent reports that the PDP candidate made the pledge when he took his campaign to markets in Ladipo, Idi-Oro, Oshodi and Ikeja.
A crowd of admirers, including commercial motorcyclists and traders from Mushin and Oshodi converged at the Matori area and blocked the nearby Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
Addressing the crowd of traders at the Ladipo rally, Agbaje also promised to improve sanitation in the market and improve the welfare of the traders.
He said that he would build a pedestrian bridge at the Toyota Bus Stop as well as establish a system for overnight waste management.

Nasarawa
Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has urged Nigerians to vote
only leaders of proven integrity in the interest of peace and rapid development in Nigeria.
Adamu, (APC-Nasarawa West) also appealed to his people to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) before closing date.
He made call during his campaign tour to Udeni Magaji community in Udege development area of the Nasarawa State.
Adamu said the importance of PVCs in any election cannot be overemphasised, hence the need for all registered voters to collect their PVCs in order to exercise their franchise.
“I am here to solicit for your support and votes to enable me and other APC candidates of our great party to win during the forthcoming March 28 and April 11 elections in order to ensure continuity in the provision of more dividend of democracy.
Niger
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives
Party (APC) in Niger State have signed a peace pact at the Police Area Command headquarters in Bida.
The event was attended by the PDP and the APC House of Assembly candidates from the zone.
The members representing Lavun and Gbako Local Government Areas in the house, Mr Jacob Majin-Gana and Mohammed Alkali, were present.
The exercise was observed by CSP Umar Ango, Divisional Police Officer (DPO) ‘A’ Division, Bida, who represented the Area Commander, ACP Micheal Gbenga.
Others are DPO of Mokwa, Lavun, Edati, Gbako, Katcha, Doko and ‘B’ divisions, Bida, and all heads of other sister security agencies in the area.
Gbenga, who addressed the politicians, warned youths against any act that would breach the existing peace in the area before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.

Plateau
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Plateau
Statehas pledged to build two modern staff quarters in two selected Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in Pankshin Local Government.
It says another five selected PHCs in the council will be well equipped to serve the people of the council better.
Mr Peter Nyam-Gai, Plateau MDGs’ Project Coordinator, said this yesterday during inauguration of a free medical outreach at Nyelleng town in Pankshin.
“MDG has chosen two medical centres here in Pankshin, where in the next two weeks, we shall start building a modern staff quarters, twin quarters, each with a solar power in the centres.

Sokoto
The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has declared that
the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) will continue to rule Nigeria for the next 60 years.
Jonathan, represented by the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina, spoke at the party’s women rally in Sokoto recently.
She said that Nigerian women had got their fare share and attention in Jonathan’s administration by holding about 50 per cent of the posts. “The president has fulfilled all the promises he has made to Nigerian women in 2011 and he will do more if re-elected,” she said.
The first lady also said that the president had 13 women in his cabinet, and had empowered women in a myriad of ways.
She further said that the president was also working tirelessly to curb the menace of insurgency.
“We have also picked five PHCs in Pankshin which will be supplied with all the necessary Medical equipment,” he said.
Nyam-Gai said, “We will continue to ensure that the little resources we have will be deployed to help the people, especially the rural dwellers.”

Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, Enugu State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Goddy Madueke and others, at the inauguration of the rehabilitated Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Section Three, from Enugu To Lokpanta in Enugu State, yesterday.

Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, Enugu State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Goddy Madueke and others, at the inauguration of the rehabilitated Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Section Three, from Enugu To Lokpanta in Enugu State, yesterday.

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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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