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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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Participants At Experience-Sharing Workshop On Child Marriage In Kaduna

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The Kaduna State Government has reiterated commitment to end child marriage by improving access to education, food security and economic growth.
The Acting Governor of the state, Hadiza Balarabe said this at the inauguration of a two-day experience-sharing workshop on child marriage in Kaduna yesterday.
She said child marriage has been identified as one of the key challenges affecting northern part of the country which portends negative consequences on education, sexual and reproductive health.
According to her, child and forced marriage are harmful and a violation of human rights, stressing the need to change the narrative towards ending the menace in the country.
“This will require that we terminate the root cause of the problem which has been proven that it will evolve, leverage and harmonise instrument of law; and will need the good intending of leaders, all socio-cultural institutions and stakeholders,” she said
Balarabe said the state government accorded premium to human capital development as panacea to the root cause of the social problem, adding that government had introduced 12-year free and compulsory education for all in the state.
She said,  “many girls in the northwest often got married before the age of 18 which called for concern.
“While some are between 15 years and taken out of school and become pregnant with complications due to long labour and undeveloped pelvic”.
The Kaduna state Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba described child marriage as a global issue and harmful practice to the society.
She advised parents and guardians not to push children under the age of 18 to early marriage, adding the practice caused devastating end to the life of a child.

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SON Moves To Curb Substandard Products

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The Director-General, Standards Organisation Of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim, has said for Nigeria to curb the menace of substandard products, the nation must surmount the challenge of low disposable income that drives purchase of substandard products.
Salim stated this during the 50th Anniversary Celebration of SON in Abuja, Monday.
Salim, who identified the challenge of foreign trade policy of some governments that actively encourage exportation of substandard products said “while acknowledging the modest achievements and strides of SON in the last 50 years, my vision for the organisation in the next 50 years is to be the foremost standardised body in Africa and among the top ranking globally.

“While this vision is achievable, the organisation will need to surmount several challenges such as changes in government policies like the often removal of the organisation at points of entry. Huge population growth with limited resources giving rise to communal restiveness.
“Limited research and development activities to keep pace with rapid innovation in the society; the likelihood of harsh weather and increased natural disaster occasioned by global warming; increase in litigation against activities of the organisation”.
He continued, “to mitigate the expected challenges, we need to evolve as a dynamic and innovative body, investing in the following critical areas: efficient workforce with the required skill set, cutting edge technology, appropriate and strategic infrastructure, and enhanced meaningful collaboration with stakeholders”.
In her keynote address, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Katagum, said SON played a crucial role in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
Katagum assured the Organisation of the Ministry’s continued support in achieving this feat.

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 FG Recommits To Lift 100m Out Of Poverty

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Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba has reiterated the Federal Government’s determination to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030 through its Energy Transition Plan (ETP).
Jedy-Agba disclosed this at the 2022 Nigeria Energy Forum Day 2, Virtual Edition, held in Lagos, Monday .Earlier at the Day 1 physical event, President Muhammadu Buhari had unveiled government’s plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms Kachollum Daju, said this when she addressed newsmen in Abuja.
According to the Minister, ETP will lift about 100 Nigerians out of poverty and drive economic growth of the country.
“It will also bring modern energy services to the full population and managing the expected long-term job loss in the oil sector due to global decarbonization.
“The plan focuses on the rapid build out of sustainable energy systems to tackle energy poverty in the nation,” the Minister said.
He said in designing the plan, key targets from relevant policies and initiatives such as the 2020 Economic Sustainability Plan, the Nigeria Electrification Project, the National Decarbonization Programme and the Presidential Power Initiative was employed.
“The ETP is geared towards low-carbon development of Energy systems across 5 key sectors; Power, Industry, Cooking, Transport, and Oil and Gas.”
Jedy-Agba said the plan had been approved by the Federal Executive Council and adopted as National Policy.
“An Energy Transition Implementation Working Group (ETWG) has been established to drive the implementation of the ETP along with key International Partners.
“The ETWG is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and comprises of several key ministers, including the Ministers for Environment, Finance, Works and Housing, Petroleum Resources, Foreign Affairs and Power.
“The Working Group and its secretariat, the Energy Transition Office, have been engaging with in-country stakeholders, development partners, financiers and the international community for the delivery of the plan,” he said.
He said the ETP analysis shows that delivering Nigeria’s net-zero target requires 1.9 trillion dollars spending up to 2060, including 410 billion dollars above business-as-usual spending.
Speaking on the plan, the Team Leader, Green Economy Co-operation Section, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS,  Ms Inga Stefanowicz, said Nigeria was not standing aloof on the ongoing transition.
According to her, EU will contribute some 400 million Euros worth of projects and programmes to the ETP.
“This amount may seem modest when compared with the needs and the ETP estimates, but it is also the role of our funds to act as catalysers of change, reforms, private sector and international development finance investment.
“We are proud to have achieved such positive spillovers for Nigeria already and we look forward to working together more,” she said.

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