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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue (left), and  wife  of the  Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, during the Vice President's wife visit to Idps camp in Makurdi recently.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue (left), and wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, during the Vice President’s wife visit to Idps camp in Makurdi recently.

Borno

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno has commended
President Muhammadu Buhari’s financial discipline, saying it would save many states from collapse in the face of the falling oil price at the international market.
A statement by Malam Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser to the governor on Communication, quoted Shettima as giving the commendation at a wedding reception in the Government House, Kano.
The reception was in honour of Gov. Muhammad Abubakar of Jigawa’s daughter, Amina, who got married to Lawan Dahiru Mangal at the Umar bn Khattab Mosque.
Shettima said: “The fall in price of crude oil to below 40 dollars per barrel has threatened Nigeria’s main source of revenue.
“Government in the 36 states will have been in serious trouble if not for the financial prudence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Benue

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees,
(UNHCR) has advised the Federal Government to increase its assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Agatu, Benue.
UNHCR’s Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Angele DIkongue-Atangana, gave this advice on Wednesday in Makurdi in an interview with newsmen.
She said that the IDPs in Agatu required urgent and sustained attention just like their counterparts in the North-East and other areas in Nigeria.
“The amount of damage done to Agatu communities is similar to what obtained in Borno and other affected states in Nigeria.
“As at now, over 2.2 million Nigerians have been displaced from their homes in villages and towns seeking refuge and protection in camps and communities,’’ she said.

Ekiti

Coordinator, Vanguard for Better Living, a non-
governmental Organisation, Mr Samson Olaide, has lauded an Ado-Ekiti High Court judge for sentencing a school proprietor to 10 years imprisonment for raping a 10-year- old pupil.
Olaide gave the commendation while speaking with newsmen in Ikole, Ekiti State.
He said that the judgment would go a long way in curbing the activities of rapists, describing them as “animals in human body.’’
Olaide decried increase in reported cases of rape, especially abuse of minors across the country, saying the menace was fast assuming dangerous dimension.

FCT

Meat consumers in Kuje Area Council of the Federal
Capital Territory (FCT) have raised alarm over the deplorable state of infrastructure and unhealthy operational environment of the council’s abattoir.
Some of the consumers who spoke to newsmen in Kuje faulted the reliance of the abattoir on stream water for the washing of meat before conveying to market.
Mr Adekunle Odunayo, a meat consumer, said the use of stream water and car tyres for roasting meat for human consumption was unhealthy.
He said that “the state of the abattoir, as you can see, is not healthy because in the first instance, there is no water to wash the slab after use.

Katsina

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has called on the
people of the state to exercise patience with the ongoing change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari in the country.
He made the call when he launched small-scale businesses empowerment and free treatment schemes initiated by Sen. Abu Ibrahim (APC-Katsina).
Our correspondent reports that other House of Representatives and State House of Assembly members from Katsina South senatorial zone were also initiators of the scheme.
The governor assured the people that the APC-led .
Kogi

The Secretary to Kogi Government, Dr Folashade Ayoade
said the government would set up a committee to determine the fate of 142 workers placed on compulsory leave since 2011.
Ayaode, disclosed this in Lokoja during a meeting with the representatives of the affected workers of the state transport company.
She expressed sympathy with the plight of the workers who had lived for the past five years without salary.
The SSG promised to draw the attention of Gov. Yahaya Bello to their plight, adding that the government would also offer them relief package pending the determination of their case.
Spokesman of the affected workers, Mr Usman Ibrahim said their problem started in the second quarter of 2011 when 15 serviceable buses of the transport company were “fraudulently” sold to politicians at give away prices.

Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
said it had intercepted a letter laden with heroin in Lagos.
This is contained in a statement signed in Lagos by the agency’s spokesman, Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju.
According to the statement, the letter, which was sent from Bengalore, India, via Express Mail Service (EMS), was addressed to one Mr Yunusa Amusan, 33, in Mushin, Lagos.
“Upon interception by the NDLEA, about 480 grammes of powdery substance that tested positive for heroin, was found inside the letter.
“The thin parcels of heroin were carefully hidden in the letter in a manner that makes it difficult to detect.
“This is the first case of heroin letter discovered by the anti-narcotic agency this year,’’ it said.
The statement also quoted the Chairman of the agency, Mr Muhammad Abdallah, saying that the arrest was recorded following the diversification of the agency’s operations.

Osun

Coordinating Director, Osun State Ministry of Agriculture,
Food Security and Youth Engagement, Dr Oluwabukola Aluko, has announced that butchers operating in the state would henceforth pay levy to the government.
Aluko, who made the announcement in a statement issued to newsmen in Osogbo, said that the payment of the levy would commence from April 1.
He said that each cow slaughtered as meat for consumption in the state would attract N1, 000 levy while each sheep, goat, pig and other animals would attract N200 levy.
He said that the decision to introduce the levy was reached after an interactive session between Governor Rauf Aregbesola and butchers association in the state.

Plateau

The Plateau Director of National Orientation Agency
(NOA), Mr Bulus Dabit, has urged Nigerians to be patient with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in spite of the current challenges.
Dabit, who made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Jos, said better days lie ahead for Nigerians.
“There is no gain without pain and Nigerians should be patient with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigerians need to understand that government cannot solely fizzle out the present challenges we are passing through as a country.

Sokoto

The Sokoto State Government said it would partner with
the UN Development Organisation ( UNIDO) and the Bank of Industry ( BoI) to establish leather cluster in Sokoto.
The state’s Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Industries, Alhaji Aminu Bello, made the disclosure in Sokoto in an interview with newsmen.
He said that the cluster, which would be a conglomeration of industries producing leather products in one place, was aimed at harnessing the abundant hides and skin in Sokoto State.
He added that “this is a tripartite partnership aimed at reviving the moribund leather industries and boost the activities of leather artisans.

Yobe

The Yobe Government has pledged to support Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) relocating to their communities with agricultural inputs to boost farming and promote economic rehabilitation.
Alhaji Musa Jidawa, the Executive Secretary, Yobe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), stated this in an interview with newsmen in Damaturu.
The secretary said some of the IDPs had started relocating to their communities preparatory to the farming season, noting that government would ensure that it provided them with farm inputs this cropping season.

Zamfara

The Deputy National Chairman, Ulama’u Council of the
Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa’Ikamatis Sunnah (JIBWIS), Sheik Yusuf Rigachikun, has urged the Federal Government to involve more Islamic scholars on its Hajj committees.
Rigachikun made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Gummi town, headquarters of Gummi Local Government of Zamfara.
‘’Involving more Islamic scholars on hajj committees is very important for the exercise, because they play vital role in preaching and teaching pilgrims how to perform the hajj rites to gain maximum spiritual benefits.

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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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