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THE STATES

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Borno
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in partnership with popular musician, Innocent Idibia, (2 face Idibia), has inaugurated an awareness campaign to garner support for victims of  violence.
The UNHCR and the singer-songwriter are focusing their campaign on those who were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East region.
Laibia said this at a musical concert organised by the Nigerian Army at the Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri recently. He said he decided to partner with UNHCR because he was deeply touched by the conditions of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
“I visited some of the IDP camps. Their condition is heart-breaking and saddening.

FCT
House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts last Wednesday in Abuja set up a six-man panel to investigate alleged disbursement of N1.47 billion loan to unspecified beneficiaries by National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The resolution followed the consideration of a query raised by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation in 2011.
The auditor general requested the NDE to give account of how the N1.47 billion was disbursed to some Nigerians under its skills acquisition scheme since its inception.
The sub-committee, headed by the Committee’s Deputy Chairman, Rep. Ibrahim Baba, also has Reps. Legor Idagbor, Lawal Shuaibu, Sunday Adepoju, Olusegun Kehinde and Daniel Kolawole as members.
The committee is to investigate the loan disbursement and establish particulars of alleged beneficiaries.

Gombe
The Gombe State Government has shut down four private schools located in Tumfure,  Akko Local Government Area, over poor infrastructure, unqualified teachers and unhygienic environment.  A statement signed by Alhaji Saidu Malala, Chief Information Officer in the Ministry of Education, quoted the Commissioner of  Education, Hajia Aishatu Ahmed, as saying in Gombe last Wednesday, that the action followed a report sent to the ministry.
“We received a report on the mode of their operations and found it contrary to our standards.
“We have acceptable minimum standards for establishing and maintaining schools. The four schools did not meet those standards,” Malala further quoted Ahmed as saying.

Kaduna
The National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) will require about N5 billion to establish a 600-hectare Integrated Commercial Livestock Farm, says its Director, Prof. Clarence Ayodele-Lakpini.  Ayodele-Lakpini made the disclosure when he presented a paper on proposed farm in Zaria last Wednesday. Our correspondent report that the farm project is expected to be executed in collaboration with Fodder Green Technology Ltd., a livestock developer, and some foreign investors.
Ayodele-Lakpini said that the amount, which would cover the National Livestock Training (NALIT 2017), would also be used to provide training halls, hostels, power and water facilities on the model farm.

Kano
A Kano Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday sentenced 28-year-old man, Isma’il Muhammad, to six months imprisonment for allegedly inflicting injuries on the face of one Musa Shehu with an animal horn. Muhammad, who resides at Badawa Quarters, Kano, was sentenced on a count charge of causing hurt. In his verdict, Magistrate Zubair Inuwa, sentenced the convict accordingly as he admitted committing the offence. Inuwa, however, gave the convict an option to pay N15,000 fine and also ordered the convict to pay the victim N17,000, as compensation for medical bills incurred.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Sgt. Yakubu Galadima, had informed the court that on July 3, one Abdullahi Abbas of Badawa Zango Quarters, Kano, reported the case at Badawa Police Station.

Katsina
The Katsina State Pilgrims Welfare Board says it has secured approval of 3,000 travel visas, out of the 4,930 intending pilgrims expected to perform the 2017 Hajj in Saudi Arabia. The Executive Director of the board, Alhaji Muhammadu Abu-Rimi, made the disclosure at the formal commencement of pilgrims’ orientation in Daura last Wednesday. He said the National Hajj Commission had officially announced Sunday, July 30, as the official date for the commencement of transportation of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, nationwide.
‘‘Our remaining visas, 1, 930 for remaining intending pilgrims, will soon be processed,’’ he said. Abu-Rimi further disclosed that the state government had secured befitting hotel accommodation closer to the two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina for the intending pilgrims.

Kwara
Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has approved the release of N1billion to local government councils in the state to offset part of their salary arrears. The state Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu, disclosed this in a statement in Ilorin last Wednesday. He said the N1billion was part of the N5.1 billion received by the state government as its share of the Paris Club refunds from the Federal government.
Banu said the N5.1 billion received by the state government was 12.5 per cent lower than the amount it expected from the Federal Government.

Lagos
Two men, Sadiq Opebim and Abeeb Oladipupo, who allegedly gang-raped a 13-year-old girl, were last Wednesday docked before a Surulere Chief  Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
Opebim, 20 and Oladipupo, 21, whose addresses were not provided, are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy and rape. The prosecutor, Sgt. Anthonia Osayande, said that the accused committed the offences on July 1 at about 11.00 p.m under the bridge at Idumota in Ebute Ero area of Lagos State.
Osayande alleged that police patrol caught the accused raping the girl. The prosecutor said the girl told the police that both men threatened her with knife before she forcefully removed her dress.

Nasarawa
The police last Wednesday arraigned a 57-year-old security guard, Ayuba Akawu  in a Masaka Upper Area Court in Nasarawa State, on a count charge of negligent conduct. The prosecutor, Frank Swem, told the court that one Sunday Onoja of Internal Nigeria Limited, Wuse 2, Abuja, reported the matter at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Masaka, on July 11. Swem said that on the same date at about 7.40 p.m., the accused, a security man at the ‘Airtel mast’, located at Jeun Madaki Masaka, called the complainant on phone.

Ogun
A 44-year-old man, Emeka Ushiebi, was last Wednesday arraigned in an Abeokuta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Isabo , for allegedly breaking into a Bible College and stole a laptop and cash worth N533,000.
The accused is facing a three -count charge of conspiracy, stealing and break-in.
The prosecutor, Insp. Sunday Eigbejiale, told the court that the offence was committed on May 5, at Mile 7 Km 12 Ajebo Road in Abeokuta.
Eigbejiale alleged that the defendant conspired with others at large and broke into West Nigeria Christian College and School of Biblical Studies.
He said that the defendant made away with an HP laptop, valued at N180,000 and N353,000 cash, all valued at N533,000
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 516, 412, and 390 of the Criminal Law of Ogun 2006.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Osun
A dermatologist, Prof. Olayinka Olasode, has warned Nigerians against skin bleaching, saying that a bleached skin is prone to skin cancer and other diseases.
Olasode, a Professor of Dermatology at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, gave the warning in an interview with newsmen last Wednesday.
She said that skin lightening creams contained steroid and hydroquinone which have adverse effects on the skin.
She further said that those who engaged in bleaching could also suffer hypertension and diabetes, among other health conditions, including the colour of their nails turning brown.
According to her, those who engage in skin bleaching usually have body odour, experience profuse sweating, hot feelings and discomfort during the dry season.

Plateau
The Plateau State Task Group in the state’s Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (PRUWASA) on Sanitation has declared 118 communities in the state open defecation free in the last six months.
Director, Sanitation in the agency, Mrs Magdalene Jibrin,  made the disclosure at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) mid-year review meeting last Wednesday in Jos.
Our correspondent report that the meeting, organised by the UNICEF Field Office in Bauchi, was aimed at reviewing UNICEF’s activities in various sectors working in Plateau and Jigawa.
Open defecation is the practice where by people defecate outside and not into a designated toilet.
The term is widely used in literature about water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) issues in developing countries.

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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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