The Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria (BACATMA) has commenced investigations into the activities of a HIV positive herbalist allegedly spreading the virus to his female clients.
The harbalist had been sentenced to 24 years imprisonment by a Bauchi Shari’ah Court for allegedly spreading the virus.
Dr Rilwanu Muhammad, the Executive Secretary of the agency, told newsmen in Bauchi on Friday that the agency was disturbed by the development.
Sheikh Aliyu Sa’idu, a commissioner in the Bauchi State Shari’ah Commission, alleged that the convict, Magaji Ali, had been spreading HIV by luring his female clients into sex as part of the love potion to make their husbands love them.
The Islamic scholar alleged that “the herbalist not only sleeps with them, but also collects N5,000 as service charge and possibly infects them before delivering the love potion”.
He made the allegation in a lecture organised by the Islamic Health Students Association of Nigeria, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Gombe branch.
Nigeria’s achievements in the health sector would be showcased during the forthcoming meeting of World Health Assembly, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the Minister of Health, has said.
The Minister was speaking to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja at a briefing on the forthcoming assembly scheduled for Geneva, Switzerland from May 17 to May 21
“The meeting is an opportunity for us to showcase what we have achieved in the health sector since the last meeting.
“It will also allow the World Health Organisation (WHO) to understand the peculiar problems of some countries and to also decide how those countries could be helped,” he said.
He said that Nigeria had made a lot of achievements in eradicating guinea worm.
“We have continued to sustain the zero reporting of guinea worm. In the past fifteen months, Nigeria has not recorded a single case of guinea worm,” he said.
On polio, Chukwu said that the country has recorded only three cases this year.
“Since the beginning of this year, we have not recorded more than three cases of polio. The recent one was recorded last week.
“If you compare that with the 360 cases recorded between January and May last year, you will know that this is something encouraging,” he said.
The Minister, who said that a report on Nigeria’s performance in the health sector would be issued during the assembly, said that some protocols and resolutions would be adopted at the meeting.
The Jigawa Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Muktari Birniwa, says the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) established in Maigatari Local Government Area of the state is fully operational.
Birniwa, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Dutse, said the state government had renovated all dilapidated buildings around the site.
He said that access roads, electricity, water and communications facilities were provided in the zone for effective and efficient commercial activities in the area.
The commissioner stated that two major firms were presently operating in the EPPS, including the state owned Tricycle Assembly Plant and Gum Arabic Company which were meant to export finished products to other parts of the world.
“Some American investors had visited the zone and did feasibility studies and indicated their interest to invest in the area,” he said.
Biennia stated that some companies had requested the government to establish immigration office in the area, to regulate and check the influx of people who would be doing business in the zone.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has approved the release of N91.7 million for the Kebbi Community-Based Agricultural and Rural Development Programme (CBARDP).
Dr. Usman Shehu, the Programme Manager, Kebbi Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, disclosed this in a statement in Birnin Kebbi on Friday.
The statement said the fund would be utilised to build the capacity of rural communities for the period April 2010 to March 2013.
It said the three tiers of government and benefitting communities would contribute counterpart fund totalling N506 million.
“The approval was sequel to the mid-term review meeting between IFAD and the CBARDP officials on impact of the programme.
“The review indicated that the programmme had impacted positively on the social, economic and environmental aspects as it had improved the livelihoods and living conditions of the targeted communities”, it stated.
Farmers in Zaria and its environs have expressed concern over the delay in fertiliser distribution for the 2010 farming season.
Investigations revealed that farmers in the area had already started clearing their farmlands in readiness for planting.
A farmer, Alhaji Aliyu Africana, noted that the commodity usually arrived when farmers had already resorted to other alternatives.
“Most of us do not wait for the official fertiliser rather, we procure the commodity at the black market for use as at and when due.
“Nevertheless, I want to appeal to the state government to expedite action toward ensuring the availability of the commodity in good time”, Africana said.
Another farmer, Mahmud Alfa, noted that the delay was a source of worry not only to farmers but also to the society at large, as it might lead to poor yield.
He urged the state government to distribute the commodity to encourage farmers.
One person died in a communal clash over farmland between Gbasua and Ndafu communities in Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger on Wednesday, witnesses said.
Ten other persons suffered injuries in the clash, while a house was burnt and agricultural products destroyed, witnesses told newsmen in Minna.
Sources say that the dispute over the land began some years ago when a member of one of the communities allegedly encroached on the land leading to a protest from members of the other community.
A driver attached to Mr Kole Bolodeoku, a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, committed suicide on Thursday.
The lifeless body of the driver, who was simply identified as Dayo, was found hanging in his room at Fanibi layout, Akure.
A source said that the deceased was hail and hearty the previous day and had planned to drive his boss to the House on Thursday for a mourning session in honour of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Efforts to speak with Bolodeoku, who represents Ese-Odo constituency, proved abortive as he appeared too confused to talk.
Other residents in the area also wore mournful looks and refused to speak on the development.
Mr Adeniran Aremu, the state Police Public Relations Officer, who confirmed receiving a report of the the incident, said that investigation had commenced.
“It is true that Honourable Bolodeoku’s driver hanged himself early this morning and the command has swung into action to unravel the circumstance surrounding the death of the driver,’’ he said.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Oyedemi Muslim, on Thursday in Ibadan warned residents against unauthorised cutting of roads.
Muslim gave the warning while briefing newsmen on activities to mark the third anniversary of Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala’s government.
The commissioner also said anybody caught dumping refuse on the roads would be prosecuted.
He said government would no longer tolerate the blockage of drains with refuse.
Muslim further warned those washing vehicles on roads to desist forthwith as they would be arrested and prosecuted.
Other offences, according to the commissioner, include road side trading and hawking, illegal construction on road set backs and dumping of construction materials on roads.
He said those who illegally park or abandon their faulty vehicles on the roads would not be spared.
As part of its peace-building efforts, the Military Special Task Force maintaining security in Plateau has commenced the provision of free medical services and water supply to communities in Jos.
The areas benefitting include Tudun Wada, Dogon Dutse, Dutse Uku, Rikkos and Angwan Rukuba areas.
It was gathered that no fewer than 500 patients are being treated daily in these areas by the Medical Corps of the 3 Armoured Division Hospital of the Nigerian Army, Jos.
Similarly, the Nigerian Army water tankers supply water in these areas which had suffered acute water scarcity for years.
Residents of these areas were seen trooping out to take advantage of these services, while people from other parts of the city also come, especially, for medical services.
Speaking to newsmen, on Friday, in Jos, the Commander of the hospital, Maj. Folarin Orolugbagbe, said the exercise was in the spirit of “civil-military cooperation”.
EFCC Re-Arrests Fani-Kayode
A former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has been re-invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following investigations into alleged document falsification
Fani-Kayode alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, is standing trial on alleged N4.6billion money laundering, before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.
Other defendants are Yusuf Danjuma, a former chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.
They are facing a 17-count charge of money laundering preferred against them by the anti-graft agency.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.
The trial had begun before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were still being led in evidence until Aikawa was transferred out of the Lagos division.
The charge was consequently, re-assigned to a new judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants were scheduled for re-arraignment on October 27.
Meanwhile, at the last adjourned date, FaniKayode was absent from court and the defence counsel who appeared on his behalf, Mr Fred Ajudua informed the court that he was on admission at Kubwa General Hospital in Abuja.
He had prayed for an adjournment on that ground on behalf of the second defendant
But, the EFCC prosecutor, Mrs BilikisuBuhari, informed the court that the same tactics had always been adopted by the defendant whenever he does not want to attend court.
After going through the court’s records, Justice Osiagor noted that it was clear that the defendant had issued a similar letter of excuse five times.
Abiodun Presents N350.74bn 2022 Budget To Ogun Assembly
Governor Dapo Abiodun has presented the 2022 appropriation bill of N350.74 billion to the Ogun State House of Assembly.
Abiodun, yesterday, presented the bill, tagged ‘Budget of Restoration’ to the lawmakers at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Addressing the assembly members at a ceremony presided over by the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, Abiodun reiterated his determination to give priority attention to the completion of existing projects, projects with revenue potential and projects that can enhance employment generation.
According to the governor, the total state funding is estimated at N350.74 billion in 2022.
This, Abiodun said, “includes Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) estimates of N56.30 billion and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) estimated at N96.87 billion totaling N153.17 billion. Statutory allocation (i.e. FAAC and VAT) is expected to be N73.01 billion while the capital receipt is estimated at N124.56 billion (i.e. Internal and External loans including Grants and Aids etc).”
On planned expenditure, Abiodun explained that “the aggregate expenditure of N350.74 billion is proposed for the State Government in 2022.”
Under recurrent expenditure, a total of N75B is to be expended in paying salaries and allowances in MDAs; N28b on debt service obligations and N51b on total overhead costs of MDAs and government-owned enterprises.
For capital expenditure, Abiodun said N170 billion is budgeted, being an increase of N10 billion over the 2021 approval of N160 billion.
He added that a total sum of N7.7billion is provided for transfers to the Stabilization Fund to insulate and position the State towards unprecedented activities or economic shocks.
Of the entire budget, Education gulps N56,071.21b, representing 16 percent; while Health takes N35,073.51b, being 10 percent.
Infrastructure takes the largest share of N77,775.77, which is 22 percent of the budget.
The Assembly is expected to legislate on the appropriation bill and return a clean copy to the governor for his assent.
The Speaker assured Abiodun of a speedy and thorough legislative process on the proposed budget with a view to sustaining the tradition of its passage on record time to comply with the January to December cycle in line with the international financial standards.
ICPC Uncovers N20bn Project Duplication, Personnel Budget Fraud In MDAs
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says it has uncovered gross abuse of personnel budget as well as duplication of projects by some federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) amounting to over N20.138 billion.
The duplication and padding occurred in the implementation of the 2021 budget and involved about 257 projects, the anti-corruption agency said its review shows.
The anti-graft agency said it is investigating the Ministry of Labour and the University College Hospital Ibadan as well as corrupt staff members in other MDAs suspected of massive illegal recruitment.
ICPC chairperson, Bolaji Owasanoye, made the disclosure in his welcome address at the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service and Presentation of Public Service Integrity Award on Tuesday.
Themed, ‘Corruption and the Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency’, the event was held at the State House Conference Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Many dignitaries including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, were in attendance.
In his address, Owasanoye said ICPC, through its projects tracking, found out that skyrocketing personnel in many MDAs was attributable to massive budgetary scam, including illegal recruitment, unilateral increase in wages, indiscriminate travels, among others.
“The high cost of governance and rising personnel budget in Nigeria is as a result of illegal recruitment, illegal and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs, indiscriminate local and international travels, unreasonable demands by some political appointee board members of MDAs without regard for extant circulars on cost management; procurement fraud, budget padding, etc,” he said.
“This has continued to reflect in the huge wage bill on personnel and operational cost standing at about 70 per cent of annual budget”.
According to Mr Owasanoye, the “malfeasance” the anti-graft agency uncovered in the recruitment process by some MDAs including the labour ministry is perpetrated with the connivance of some staff members of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He noted the cases and officials involved were under investigation.
“At another level, a syndicate of corrupt individuals within the service corruptly employ unsuspecting Nigerians, issue them fake letters of employment, fraudulently enrolling them on IPPIS and post them to equally unsuspecting MDAs to commence work”.
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