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THE STATES

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As the global economic meltdown continues to put soco-economic growth of nations in reverse gear and unleash hardship on their citizens, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, a religious leader has provided a recipe. He has called on Christians to give to God what will attract a “Thank you” from Him, pointing out that when God says “thank you, nothing can stop your prosperity and nobody can harm you”. The Archbishop of Christ Healing Church of Nigeria (CHCN), His Grace, Most Rev (Dr) Benjamin A. Obomanu (JP) stated this Sunday at the 2009 Adult Thanksgiving Service of St. Nelson’s Church, Ikot Abasi in Akwa Akwa Ibom State. Obomanu who is also the Bishop of the Port Harcourt/Ikot Abasi Diocese of CHCN in his sermon on the theme: “I will not sacrifice to God burnt offering that costs me nothing”, said harvest is a period that the relationship of a Christians with God is put to test by what he offers to his creator for the great benefits he/she had received from His hands. According to the Prelate, many Christians make themselves their own enemies, as according to him God’s blessings can only be received through giving from the heart. “When God becomes your friend because of your giving, no one can be your enemy. The man of God urged Christians to joyfully thank God for all He has done for them in order to attract more blessings. Abuja The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday night arrested and detained the sacked Group Managing Director of Spring Bank, Mr. Charles Ojo, over alleged insider abuse, while the boss of the Commission’s spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the arrest. The commission is also set to declare the sacked Group Managing Director of Equitorial Trust Bank, Mr. Ike Oraekwuotu, wanted if he did not give himself up for arrest. He did not give any ultimatum. He is said to be in hiding since his removal by the Central Bank of Nigeria over alleged unethical handling of the bank while in charge. Mr.Francis Atuche, under whose headship the Bank PHB failed the apex bank stress test ,had been taken in by the commission last Friday. Also arrested same day was the highest individual debtor in the country, sacked Managing Director of Falcon Securities, Mr. Peter Ololo. Ojo was reportedly arrested at 11.30 pm Friday night at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. The commission’s operatives were said to have trailed him from Abuja, where he boarded a late night flight, to Lagos and was reportedly picked while trying to use the cover of night to sneak out. The commission had put all the three sacked bank chiefs on security surveillance since they were removed by the apex bank penultimate week. The audit report of the apex bank was said to have indicted them for alleged insider abuse. It was learnt that the commission would start with the arrest of the trio and move against other members of the management teams of the three banks after interrogating the sacked bank bosses. Our source was informed that their interrogation would determine those to be picked among other members of the management teams and those to be left off the hook. The trio had reportedly ignored the directive of the commission to submit themselves to it and had to go after them when it became clear that they did not want to honour the commission’s invitation. The homes of Atuche and Ololo in Lagos were searched by the commission’s operatives after their arrest. It could not be confirmed as of press time if the same treatment was meted out to Ojo. The Chairman of the commission, Mrs Farida Waziri ,last Thursday stormed Lagos with 80 operatives for the arrest of the sacked management teams of three of the five banks that failed the recent Central Bank of Nigeria {CBN} stress test and the recovery of over N1 trillion non-performing loans owed ten troubled banks by top Nigerian businessmen, oil companies and stockbrokers. The first five banks that failed the apex bank’s stress test included Oceanic Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Finbank, Afri Bank and Union Bank, while the last five are Bank PHB, Spring Bank, Unity Bank, Equitorial Trust Bank and Wema Bank. Only Wema and Unity Banks’ management teams were spared. According to CBN, debtors of non-performing loans included Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Africa, Gen. Buba Marwa, scion of the late M.K.O Abiola’s dynasty, Kola, the deported Vaswani brothers , billionaire businessmen, Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote, Professor Pat Utomi, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, Chief Cletus Ibeto of Ibeto Cement, among others. Ondo Following the uproar at the Ondo State House of Assembly over the delay in the swearing in of a lawmaker-elect, Hon. Adeniyi Akindele of Labour Party (LP), the assembly as adjourned its sitting indefinitely. Addressing reporters at the weekend in Akure, the state capital the Chairman, House Committee On Information, Orientation and Mobilisation, Hon. Kele Bolodeoku and his counterpart on the Public Account Committee, Hon. Niyi Adebusuyi, said the adjournment was due to insecurity at the assembly. The four of their colleagues, who were injured by suspected thugs on Thursday at the assembly’s premises, are responding to treatment at undisclosed hospitals. Bolodeoku said there was no way the House could sit in an unsecured environment. He urged Governor Olusegu Miniko to ensure that the security and property is guaranteed. Regretting the inability of the house of searing in the Hon. Adeniyi Akindele, who got his certificate of return last week, Bolodeoku said the assembly was constrained by the pending suit challenging Akindele’s election. He said the lawmakers will resume as soon as security there is guranteed. Ekiti The Ekiti State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti, has rejected two documents a witness sought to tender in favour of governor Segun Oni. It was at the resumed hearing of the petition filled by Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate Dr. Kayo Fayemi against Oni’s declaration as winner of the April 25 governorship rerun election. Omodan Afolabi sought to tender as exhibits his AC membership card and tag as party agent during the election. Afolabi, who claimed to have acted as a party agent for AC at Ipoti ward B Ijero Local Government Area of the state, urged the tribunal to admit the documents-his party membership card and party agent tao, as exhibits. The ruling, which threw out the two documents, was delivered shortly before the continuation of Oni’s defence of his election. Fayemi is challenging the results declared by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) in six wards of Ipoti A, Ipoti B in Ijero Local Government Area and Ifaki I, Ifaki II Orin/Ora and Usi in Ido/Osi Local Government Area. The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Hamma Barka, had in a short ruling after counsel announced their appearances rejected the two documents. He said they were not pleaded. Justice Barka upheld the objection of the counsel to the petitioners. Ibadan Unknown gunmen attacked the Ibadan, Oyo State Polytechnic Rector, Prof Moshood Nassar and other members of the institute Wednesday. The team was said to be returning from a visit from Eruna Compus before heading to Saki Satellite for an inspection tour when it was attacked by the hoodlums and the Rector was shot in the arm. At this point, the policeman simply identified as Hassan, was said to have shot one of the robbers who suddenly jumped on the road to stop the convoy. However, other members of the gang emerged from their hideout and ordered all those on the convoy to prostrate on the road, fired several shots on the policeman who died on the spot. It was said, to be a neigbouring community, Maya’s market day. The robbers had earlier robbed some other people before they got there, the police boss Baba Adisa Bolata confirmed the incident. Ogbomoso Ogbons, Christopher Chinwero, a corps member serving in Ogbomoso, Oyo State has reached out to over 2,500 persons aged 50 years and above through a community project to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. He organised two sessions in September and October at the Baptist Medical Centre, Ogbomoso during which health professionals attended to the needs of the elderly. The programme was a huge success, those in attendance included elderly persons, NYSC officials, traditional rulers of the indigenous community as well as representatives of pharmaceutical companies. Through this project, the participants were privileged to receive low-dose aspirin (Vasoprin, 75mg) courtesy of Juttel Nigeria Ltd. By this, Ogbons, a graduate of pharmacy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), hopes to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke using the wonder drug vasoprin 75mg. He, and his partners also equipped the participants with the knowledge of risk factors for some common cardiovascalar diseases such as heart attack, stroke, hypertension and congestive heart failure. Oyo Doctors at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Oyo State, Wednesday suspended their three-day old strike. The stroke was called off following a negotiation with the hospital’s management. The negotiation began last Tuesday. The UCH branch of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) had embarked on strike last Monday, following a resolution at a congress last weekend. Association of Resident doctors (ARD) secretary, Dr Sunday Ekanem, said the decision to suspend the strike was reached at a congress held Wednesday. Bauchi A former student of the department of Science Laboratory Technology of Federal Polytechnic, Offa (FEDPOFFA) Kwara State, Mr Akinyemi Rotimi Olowookere, has been given automatic employment by the Bauchi State Government for his diligence and exemplary conduct during the 2007/2008 National Youth Service (NYSC) year. Apart from working diligently in his place of primary assignment at the Government College (special), Azare, Olowookere rallied, through proposals, 25 national and international organisations to support his project for the secondary school, and was able to build a community development centre, which was rated the best in the state in Azare as his Community Development (CD) project. Kwara Four nominees have been sent to State House of Assembly by the Kwara state Governor Bukola Savaki for confirmation as commissioners. However, he is seeking approval of the lawmakers to appoint three special advisers. At this point, the commissioner nominees are Abdulaaniya Dele, Ladi Hassan, Abubakar Kannike and AbdulRaaf Shittu. Three of the nominees Hassan, Shittu and Kannike were holding various positions. Hassann was Chief of Staff Government House, Shittu, Special Adviser on Infrastructure, and Kannike, Special Assistant on Agriculture.

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Cost Of Living: Lagos Civil Servants To Work Three Days A Week …As Sanwo-Olu Announces 25% Discount On Public Transportation 

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, announced a reduction of working days for State public servants as part of plans to cushion the cost of living crisis in the country.

Sanwo-Olu made the announcement in Lagos during the ongoing media parley on economic hardship in the country

“We want to start with our public servants, immediately from next week, Civil servants from the lower level will be working like three times a week and level 15-17 can work four times in a week,” he said.

On the rising cost of food, he said that his administration would open more markets where Lagosians can buy food items at discounted rates.

“We will open Sunday markets in at least 42 identified markets across Lagos State. You will be able to buy food items at a discounted price. You will only be able to buy items worth up to N25,000,” the governor said.

He said his administration was also constructing four food hubs to ensure food distribution in tackling rising food prices.

“Coupled with the one at Idi-Oro in Mushin, four more food hubs are under construction and seven other locations in other local governments have also been identified for more food hubs to be developed,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has said that the state will resume a 25% reduction on public transportation in the state.

“Almost immediately from this weekend, we’re throwing back a 25% reduction on all public transportation.

“We’re working with the various unions to ensure that we also can support them. But on our BRT, our trains, our ferry services, we’re going to begin to enjoy that almost immediately from this weekend.

“I’ve given an instruction, so they are working on the logistics for that.”

Recall that the Lagos State Government, in a bid to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, slashed the costs of transportation of all state-owned transport systems by 50 per cent in August 2023. It was, however stopped in November, 2023.

Furthermore, Sanwo-Olu announced a free delivery for pregnant residents across all government-owned hospitals in Lagos.

“There is an arrangement for free delivery including cesarean session at government hospitals,” he said.

On rising cost of drugs and other pharmaceutical products, the governor promised that his administration “will also give rebate on some particular drugs at our state government hospitals”.

The governor noted that his administration was also in discussions with various transport unions to reduce their fares.

“First is to express empathy with our citizens, We are not unmindful of the situation, as leaders, we must be able to solve socioeconomic problems,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He also challenged the private sector to look into what they can do for the citizens by replicating their role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

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Police To Lift Ban On Tinted Glass Permits

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The Nigeria Police Force said it has conducted a comprehensive review of the issuance of tinted glass permits and is set to lift the ban on it for vehicles.

Previously banned in June 2022, the NPF said the ban then was a proactive move to bolster national security and tackle criminal activities linked to the misuse of tinted glasses.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this in a statement yesterday.

He said that ICT analysts and Eenforcement officers nationwide would undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.

It read, “In a bid to enhance national security and curb criminal activities facilitated by the misuse of tinted glass, the Nigeria Police Force has concluded its review of the issuance of tinted glass permits, previously banned in June 2022.

“The ban was initiated due to widespread concerns regarding the role of tinted glass in aiding heinous crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, the illegal transportation of firearms, human trafficking, etc.

“With the proposed lifting of the ban, stringent measures are being implemented to prevent abuse and ensure strict compliance with guidelines governing the issuance and use of tinted glass permits.

“ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers nationwide will undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.”

The statement also noted that the training will equip ICT analysts and enforcement officers with skills to regulate tinted glass permit registration, address public complaints, and enforce compliance.

It further stated, “The training will equip ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to regulate the registration process, guide registrants on the use of the portal where required, attend to complaints from members of the public, and enforce compliance effectively.

“It will focus on the intricacies of the new guidelines, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between public safety and individual freedoms while safeguarding national security.”

Highlighting the details in the to-be-newly issued permit, the statement explained, “The proposed tinted glass permit will incorporate distinctive features aimed at enhancing enforcement efficiency and security.

“These include a QR code linked to a central database for real-time verification, unique serial numbers correlated with vehicle and owner details, as well as a digital hologram ensuring authenticity and integrity, among other measures.

“It is crucial to highlight that the guidelines for the issuance of tinted permits and the use of tinted glass will strictly adhere to the provisions of the MOTOR VEHICLES (PROHIBITION OF TINTED GLASS) ACT 1991 and other relevant extant laws.”

Adejobi said this strategic approach underscores the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to prioritise public safety while upholding individual rights and national security interests.

Earlier in 2023, the police said they would soon reintroduce permits for vehicles with tinted glass across the country.

“The Nigeria Police Force remains committed to providing updates to the general public on the implementation of the reviewed process of tinted glass permit issuance, ensuring transparency and accountability in its efforts to maintain internal security,” the statement concluded.

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NOSL Launches “you are not Alone” initiative to promote mental health

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Maintaining optimal mental health is vital for thriving in society. To survive daily stress effectively, it is essential to cultivate positive coping mechanisms and embrace mindful living. Giving sufficient time to prioritise a healthy lifestyle becomes necessary in this quest.

To this end, On January 31, 2024, Natural Oilfield Services Limited (NOSL) organised a program ‘You Are Not Alone’ mental health awareness driven in partnership with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) at the University of Lagos to create an awareness about the significance of mental well-being. This event was a proactive endeavour to initiate open dialogues and provide substantial resources for mental health care.

Mental health challenges have no boundaries. This mental health advocacy had a unique approach by inviting both mental health professionals and students from the University of Lagos to share their expertise and personal stories. This collaborative effort cultivated an environment of truthfulness that promotes acceptance and understanding.

Speaking during the event Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola expressed, ‘Navigating the landscape of mental health stigma requires collective effort and NOSL’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ is a positive initiative in mental health support. This will help to encourage dialogues and welcome different perspectives, which can reduce discrimination.’

“By unlearning misconceptions, fostering awareness, collaborating, and sharing insights, engaging in the community, every small step can contribute to a more caring world, and amplify its impact to bring a positive change. ”

Also speaking, Dr. G.A Akinbode said, ‘In a world where mental health challenges persist, NOSL’s initiative will act as a guiding force and illuminate the avenues towards a benevolent future. We appreciate NOSL for inviting the students who play an integral part in shaping societal attitudes towards mental health, where mental well-being is prioritised and identified.’

According to him Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) is Nigeria’s largest youth run and youth-focused mental health organization championing the fight against mental health related stigma and creating an environment that makes it possible for people to seek care for their mental health without fear of discrimination.

“NOSL believes that mental health conversation is fundamental. The company is poised to make an ever-lasting impression, an unwavering commitment to long-term sustainability to value psychological well-being and support mental health challenges.”

Dignitaries present at the event were Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola, Director Special Education and Guidance and Counselling, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Dr. Umar Adisa, Sub-Dean of Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos, Dr. G.A Akinbode, Head of Department of Psychology, University of Lagos, Dr. U.N Israel, Staff Adviser, Department of Psychology, University of Lagos,
Mr. Abiodun Oguntola, Executive Director, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative and Ms. Oluwatomilayo Awodoyin, Clinical Psychologist, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative.

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