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THE STATES

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Bauchi

The Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning
in Bauchi State, Alhaji Shehu Ningi, said the state intended to raise N1 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2016.
Ningi told newsmen in Abuja that the projected amount in the 2016 budget would be used to enhance socio-economic development of the state
“We are targeting more than N1 billion in 2016; our IGR is usually between N200 and 300 million annually, so it is very low compared to other states.
“It is low because of lack of industries, backwardness in commercial activities, but we are trying to get out of the problems.
“We are getting out of the problems by encouraging farming, establishing small scale industries and introducing some reforms in the Land Use Act in the state”.

Borno

The Borno State Commissioner for Finance, Budget
and Planning, Alh. Mohammed Kauji  said the state was now safe for local and foreign investors.
Kauji told newsmen in Abuja that economic activities were picking up in the state after years of battling with insurgency.
“There is improvement in the economy of the state; I am assuring investors that there is peace in the state now.
“Anybody who wants to see things for himself is free to do so.
“ Security personnel on ground are working hard to protect lives of the citizens, including investors,’’ he said.
The commissioner said the state had been facing security challenges which had impacted negatively on the economy of the state, including its Internally Generated Revenues.
FCT

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),
has called on the Federal Government to stop private ownership of electricity in the country.
Dr Nasir Isa, President of ASUU, who made this call at a news conference, explained that private ownership of electricity sector had jeopardised economic development and national security.
“It is obvious that the power sector epitomises the massive fraud that characterised the privatisation process.
“At the onset, there were official campaigns on how committed and experienced investors were going to inject funds to turn around the comatose power sector.
“In spite of spirited efforts by patriotic Nigerians, particularly in the labour movement, the ruling class forced the bitter pill down the throat of the helpless workers and citizens.
“Three years down the line, provision of uninterrupted electricity has remained a mirage and the story of power sector has changed for the worse.
“Nigerians now pay higher bills for less hours of brightness than they did in 2012 or earlier”, he said.

Kaduna
The Medical Director, National Ear Care Centre (NECC), Kaduna, Dr Aminu Bakari, has advised parents to take their wards for routine check-up on ear and nose diseases.
Bakari gave the advice when members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kaduna State council, visited him in Kaduna.
The medical director said a large number of children were being killed by ear, nose and throat diseases due to ignorance.
He said that most parents were ignorant of ear discharge or ear, nose and throat ailment and urged them to always take their children with ear, nose and throat problems for check up and treatment.
He noted that Nigeria has less than 200 Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists.
“Lack of adequate man power is our major challenge in West Africa because presently Nigeria has less than 200 ENT specialists across the country.
Kano

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency
(NDLEA) in Kano State says it has launched an operation tagged ‘Operation Clean Kano of Hard Drugs Users’.
The Commandant of the agency in the State, Alhaji Hamza Umar, disclosed this to newsmen in Kano recently.
Umar said that the operation was in collaboration with some neighborhood vigilance groups in the state.
He said this was part of the command’s effort to clean the state of drug abuse.
“These vigilance groups are within the communities, therefore we think they are in the position to assist us in fishing out anyone involved in hard drug abuse ,“he said.
“Other substances intercepted include Tramadol, Codene, Rochi, Pentazoline and Diazapam,” he said.

Kogi

The Nigeria National Population  has commenced the
Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in Kogi State in preparation for the 2017 population and housing census.
Alhaji Mohammed Aikoye, the state’s NPC Federal Commissioner, said at the event in Lokoja that the exercise formed the entire foundation on which the entire 2017 census would stand.
The commissioner urged traditional rulers, religious leaders and other critical stakeholders to ensure the success of the exercise.
Aikoye assured that the exercise would be professionally handled to avoid on lapping EADs, oversized enumerations areas, under sized enumeration areas and non- existent enumeration areas in 2017 census.
The commissioner said that the ongoing EAD will be the last that the NPC will conduct before a full scale census, saying that further exercise would only require updating of the EADs.

.         Kwara

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has urged chemists to play active roles in solving Nigeria’s challenges in the areas of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and agribusiness.
Ahmed made the call in Ilorin when he received the 2016 Award of the America Chemical Society and Nigeria International Chemical Societies Chapter.
Ahmed, who is a graduate of chemistry, noted that the prevailing economic challenges in the country and the quest for the diversification of the economy provide ample opportunities for chemists to play critical roles in that regard.
“At a time like this, when the country is diversifying its economic base, it is expedient that chemists increase research into areas such as agro-processing, and solid Minerals Development.
Niger
The Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna,
would tomorrow graduate 34 first class students at its 25th convocation ceremony.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Musbau Akanji, made the disclosure on Tuesday at a pre-convocation press briefing in Minna.
He said the institution would also graduate 3, 505 students in various classes for the 2014/2015 academic session.
“We shall be graduating a total of 3,505 students. Out of this, 2, 787 will be graduating with first degrees, 220 with Post Graduate Diplomas, 464 Masters and 34 Doctorate degrees.
Ogun

Ogun State House of Assembly has ordered the imme
diate probe of Mr John Mark, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Sagamu Division, over alleged extortion.
The Speaker, Mr Suraj Adekunbi, gave the order at plenary after the submission of the House Majority Leader, Mr Mafe Adeyinka.
Adeyinka had accused the DPO of large scale corruption, including demanding huge sum of money before granting bail to accused persons.

Osun

A 39-year-old man, Kazeem Ariyo has been docked at
an Osogbo Magistrates’ Court for allegedly pouring ‘strange’ water on a prophetess.
The Prosecutor, Sgt. Sunday Ajayi told the court that the accused committed the offense on Feb. 19 at about 11:00a.m, along Sabiatu Street, Osogbo.
Ajayi said that the accused was having a misunderstanding with the complainant before he poured the liquid substance on her, and caused a breach of the peace.
He said that the offence contravened section 249(d) of the Criminal Code cap34 Volume.11 laws of Osun, 2003.
Oyo

The Rector of the Polytechnic, Ibadan, Prof. Olatunde
Fawole, has  urged key players in the economy to invest more in the country’s education sector.
Fawole spoke at the inauguration of a 350-seater lecture hall donated to the institution by Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
The rector urged professional bodies with affiliation to the education sector to come up with proposals to support tertiary education in the country, particularly with reference to provision of infrastructure.
Plateau

Mr Dickson Onuoha, Director of Procurement at the
Industrial Training Fund (ITF), has taken over as Acting Director General of the organisation.
A press statement given to newsmen in Jos  said this followed a handover ceremony which took place in Abuja.
The statement, signed by Dr Felix Otuwarikpo, Head of Public Affairs Unit of the ITF, announced the change in leadership.
According to the statement, ITF is among 26 parastatals and agencies whose chief executives were recently relieved of their appointments by the Federal Government.
“In the handing over ceremony at the ITF Corporate Office in Abuja, the outgoing Director General, Mrs Juliet Onaeko urged the Acting DG to focus on consolidating the gains and achievements recorded by the fund under her leadership.’’

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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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