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 The North-East Zonal Office of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has sealed-up eight bakeries in Adamawa for refusing to observe approved standards in the production of bread and confectionaries.

The SON team, led by the Zonal Coordinator, Mr Cherry Achema-Alewu, on Saturday closed down the bakeries located within the twin cities of Jimeta and Yola, the Adamawa capital.

The affected bakeries are Faruk Special Bread, Lovers Bakery, Godwill Bakery, New Nigeria Bakery, Alheri Bakery, Sawaba Bakery and Adamawa Bakery all in Jimeta and Samti Bakery in Yola.

Achema-Alewu said the exercise was aimed at ridding the society of sub-standard products.



The Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese, Most Rev. Oliver Doeme, has called on the country’s authorities to ensure free and fair general elections in 2011.

The Bishop made the call in his homily during a thanksgiving mass in honour of the late Bishop of Bauchi Diocese, Most Rev. John Moore in Bauchi on Thursday.

Doeme said that some of the aspirants warming p for the 2011 elections should not have been allowed to contest, but expressed the hope that there would be no rigging.



 Three policemen on Friday at a Maiduguri High Court identified three suspects as members of the Boko Haram sect.

The three police men, who were testifying at the court presided over by Justice Yerima Sanya, said the suspects were arrested after the sectarian violence.

Emmanuel Johnson, a constable, said Hashimu Idris, an indigene of Argunun Local Government of Kebbi State, was arrested at Ngala border town while attempting to flee to Cameroon.

He said items recovered from the suspect included a bag

containing the Qur’an as well as audio and visual CD players.

Johnson said when the CDs were played, it was found to contain various statements condemning western education.



 The newly-elected FCT Area Council chairmen on Friday said that they would give priority to agriculture, health and infrastructural development, to enhance grassroots development.

One of them, Alhaji Zakari Angulu, who is the Chairman of the Gwagwalada Area Council, told newsmen that he would prioritise the provision of road network.

Angulu pledged to build on the foundation he laid during his first term in office.

“The priorities of my administration will be to ensure rapid infrastructural development, especially in the area of good road network, which we started during our first term in office.



 Gov. Mohammad Goje of Gombe State on Friday inaugurated the newly re-constituted 14-member Governing Council of the state’s university.

He called on them to pay attention to mobilisation of resources for the running of the institution.

“You should pay attention to resource mobilisation and the ability to attract investment and external funding from individuals, corporate bodies, as well as notable foundations, not only in Nigeria, but across the world.

“We should remember that the topmost university in the world, Havard University in the United States, owes its success to its ability to attract funding from the private sector,” he said.



 The Kaduna Diocese of the Anglican Church Communion said in Kaduna it realised about N804,610 from mangoe sales during this year farming season.

The Bishop of the Diocese, Idowu Fearon said this during the second session of the 18th synod of the Church.

Fearon said the sales were from the seven mangoe species grown on the church farm along Maraban Rido in the outskirts of Kaduna.

The Bishop said the farm had the capacity of trippling that yield if the irrigation system was boosted.

He expressed regret that in spite of the fine selection of trees on the farm, they were faced with the problem of irrigation.



Kano State Government has so far spent more than N4.8 billion on its rice development projects, the Commissioner for Projects Monitoring and Evaluation, Alhaji. Ibrahim Garba, has said.

Garba who disclosed this on Saturday when he visited the Magaga Dam Irrigation project in Kabo Local Government Area, said the projects were aimed at boosting food security and poverty alleviation in the state.

He, however, said that farmers on whose lands the rice cultivation project would be executed, would not be able to plant crops on their farms this rainy season.


The Kebi Police Command in Birnin Kebbi on Friday warned politicians against violation of rules and regulations guiding conduct during election period.

The Commisioner of Police, Mr Dallatu Sa’Ad, told newsmen that the command would not condone any act contrary to the rules during the forthcoming 2011 general elections.

He gave the assurance that the command would remain vigilant and make sure that people obeyed the rules before, during and after the 2011 elections, especially maintenance of peace and order.



The Katsina State Government has been urged to redeem its pledge of N20 million assistance to the victims of the recent Katsina timber market fire disaster.

The Chairman of the State Timber Sellers Association, Alhaji Halle Muazu, made the plea in Katsina on Friday in an interview with newsmen.

He said the appeal became necessary in view of the fact that five weeks after Governor Ibrahim Shema pledged to support the victims with N20 million, nothing was released to them from the state government.

Muazu said: “Because of the fire disaster, which affected 87 timber sellers, most of the victims are now out of business.

“Hence the need for the state government to redeem its pledge so as to enable the victims to resume their businesses”.



Following violent youth restiveness in Ejule, Ofu Local Government of Kogi, a traditional ruler, the Ogohi-Ejule, Chief Akwu Obaje and four others have been remanded in prison custody.

The  community leaders were on Friday remanded on the orders of a Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court, for various alleged offences ranging from culpable homicide to illegal possession of firearms.

The Ogohi is facing charges of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide following the alleged killing of one Blessing Sunday and the missing of Musa Baba during a violent clash between two rival youth groups.



The Kwara Government has said that community development is a panacea to sustainable growth as government alone cannot provide all the infrastructural needs of the people.

The state’s Deputy Governor, Chief Joel Ogundeji, stated this in Hudum Oro in the Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara on Wednesday while inaugurating a N50 million road constructed by Chief Matthew Jolayemi, an indigene of the town to commemorate his 70th birthday.

Ogundeji said communities would enjo speedy growth and rapid development if the people were ready to commit their resources, instead of waiting for government.



Amanze Uchegbulam, the Chairman, Lagos State Sub-Seat of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for FIFA U-17 World Cup, on Friday returned N1.8 million to Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State.

The committee returned the money as the unspent amount given it to manage the sub-seat during the tournament hosted by Nigeria from Oct. 24 to Nov. 15, 2009.

A statement by Hakeem Bello, the governor’s spokesman, made available to journalists on Saturday in Ikeja, said that the money was returned on Friday when the committee presented its report.

The statement quoted Uchegbulam as saying that the amount was the balance of the money given to the committee.

He thanked the Governor for his support.



Prof. Eyiwunmi Falaye, Dean, Students Affairs, University of Ibadan (UI), on Friday said cultism and other social vices have been eradicated in the institution.

Falaye told newsmen in Ibadan that vices which had negatively impacted on the development of some institutions were no longer tolerable at the premier university.

He said the prevailing peace in the institution was a result of the institution’s unique admission method which involved an on-the-spot assessment of intending students’ character.

The dean also said students were informed of their responsibilities and rights during the orientation courses organised for them.



The Plateau Police Command has appealed to relations and victims of the January Jos crisis who could not make statements to come forward for pre-trial interview with the prosecution counsel.

In a statement on Saturday, in Jos, signed by the Command’s PPRO, ASP Mohammed Lerama, the command said, in the same vein, witnesses who could not make statements to the police could now do so.

According to the command, it held a pre-trial meeting with the Federal Directorate of Public Prosecution (FDPP) Abuja, and officers and men of the state CID on Thursday in Jos.



Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State on Thursday inaugurated the 17-kilometre Wurno-Huchi-Nassarawa-Tambagarka road constructed by the government at N1.36 billion.

The road, which links several villages in Gwadabawa, Kware, Wurno, Gada and Illela Local Government Areas, also has a four-metre span bridge at Huechi.

Speaking at the event in Wurno in Sokoto State, the governor said the road was constructed in fulfillment of his campaign promises to the people.



The Zamfara Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has petititioned the State’s Police Command over the dramatic abduction of a Gusau High Court Judge, Justice Musa Anka.

Our correspondent reported that Anka was on Monday whisked away from his Tudum Wada, Gusau residence at about 10.00 p.m. by unknown gunmen, suspected to be operatives of the State Security Service.

The NBA Chairman, Alhaji Bello Umar, told newsmen in Gusau on Wednesday that the association had taken up the issue.

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Increasing SSBs Tax ‘ll Encourage Healthy Lifestyle -Experts



The Executive Secretary, Rivers State Contributory Health Protection Programme, Dr Vetty Agala, has said that an increase in Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) tax will encourage heathy lifestyle, thereby reducing the 30 percent death rates associated with the consumption of SSBs.


Agala stated this at a two-day training programme organised to create awareness on the negative effect of excessive consumption of SSBs, organised by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) in Port Harcourt.


She said it was necessary for the people to prioritize their health.


“Increase in SSBs tax will reduce the intake of SSBs consumption that is currently the cause of 30 per cent of deaths.


“The desire of the Rivers State Government is to protect her citizens by bringing up policies and various interventions and programmes such as innovative financing that help protect the health of communities,’ she added.


Also speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Oreh, noted that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases have become a public health concern globally and across the nation.


Dr Oreh, who was represented by the State Epidemiologist, Rivers State Ministry of Health, Dr Ifeoma Nwadiutor, revealed that the staggering rate of 41 million people are lost to NCDs annually, and that NCDs in Nigeria account for 30% of deaths.


“With this data, it is, therefore, paramount to address the root causes of these preventable illnesses”, she said.


The commissioner maintained that NCDs are known to result from long-term effects of unhealthy lifestyle and diets, leading to disability adjusted lifestyle years (DALYs).


“Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) or carbonated drinks also known as soft drinks, are non-alcoholic beverages that contain excessive amount of sugar.


“The sugar in these drinks is absorbed by the blood stream, thereby causing a spike in the blood sugar level, which is a risk factor for numerous health problems including obesity and other NCDs.


“Obesity is a predisposing factor for diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. It often results from taking in more calories than are burned by exercise and normal daily activities,” Dr Oreh added.


On his part, a public health scientist, Dr Francis Fagbule, advised parents to give their children balanced diet, adding that excessive intake of SSBs add no value to the health of their children.


Fagbule stressed that parents who can not avoid to give their children SSBs can give, but not in excess, adding that excessive consumption of SSBs makes children obsessed and fatigued.


“You are not adding anything useful to your children when you give them SSBs. You can only help your children to have balance diet. Give SSBs if you cannot avoid it completely, but don’t let it be in excess because excessive consumption of them makes children obsessed and fatigued”, he said.


Earlier, the Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Akinbode Oluwafemi, had stated that the training programme was aimed at equipping journalists with the necessary information to create awareness and drive the campaign against excessive consumption of SSBs.


Oluwafemi noted that the training would provide a comprehensive overview of SSB consumption patterns, their profound health implications, fiscal considerations and policy recommendations to address the growing health and economic challenges stemming from SSB consumption in the country.


He expressed worry that sugar sweetened beverages have gained prominence in Nigeria and have become a significant public health concern in the country, stressing that excessive consumption of SSBs leads to obesity, diabetes and other health challenges.


“The high rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other cardiovascular diseases highlight a health crisis in Nigeria, with over 11 million Nigerians currently living with diabetes.


“Nigeria’s status as the fourth-largest of soft drinks globally is concerning and is a looming health epidemic if not addressed promptly. The adverse effects of these preventable diseases on productivity, revenue loss, and human lives underscore the urgency for effective policy solutions,” Oluwafemi said.


The Tide reports that CAPPA is a pan-African non-governmental organisation that works to advance human rights, challenges corporate abuse of natural resources and builds community power for inclusive development and participatory governance.


Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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95% Of Small Businesses Should Be Off Tax – Oyedele



The Federal Government is working on a system that will provide tax relief to 95 per cent of the informal sector of the economy in the country.
Mr Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee, said this at the closing session of the committee on Sunday in Abuja.
He said this would be achieved through the exemption of businesses earning N25 million a year or less from the various taxes hindering their progress over time.
‘’So, we think that 95 per cent of the informal sector should be legally exempted from all taxes; withholding tax, company income tax, even payee on their staff.
‘’We’re using data to inform our decisions. Currently, if you earn N25 million a year or less, you don’t have to pay company income tax, you don’t have to worry about VAT.
‘’We think that the informal sector are people who are trying to earn legitimate living, we should allow them be and support them to grow to a point where they can then have the ability to pay taxes,” he said.
Oyedele said the new reforms being proposed would focus on the top 5 per cent of that sector, the middle class and the elite for taxes.
He said the committee was drafting the laws to effect the necessary changes in the fiscal policy and tax reform ecosystem of the country.
According to the chairman, the new laws will ensure that reviews become sustained by all governments coming in, adding that: “we don’t want this whole effort to go down the drain, after one or two years.”
On compliance, he urged all stakeholders to fully cooperate with the government in implementing a new fiscal and tax policy that would be used for the general good of the citizens.
‘’We think that the days of being above the law in paying taxes are over. The same thing we’re saying to our leaders, whether they are elected or appointed.
‘’We think they have to lead by example by showing that they have paid the taxes, not only on time, but correctly to the lawful authorities as contained in the various laws,” he said.
He said explained that some of the taxes complained about by Nigerians were those already in the constitution, which the committee had looked at and called for their review.
Oyedele said the committee report would be made to pass through the normal process of legislation in order to give it the full legal backing.
‘’So, our expectation is, as we progress now from ideation, proposal to implementation, you’ll see less and less of those issues and then you’ll see harmony in the direction of the fiscal system.
‘’Not only in the number of taxes we collect, you will also see an improvement in how those monies are being spent.
‘’In terms of priority of spending, in terms of the efficiency of spending and in terms of focusing on what impacts on the lives of majority of our population that live in multi-dimensional poverty,” he said.
Oyedele added that the committee had been working with the sub-nationals and the local government councils in its task of harmonising the taxes into a single digit in the country.
‘’So, we’re convinced, and that’s what the data tells us, that the right path we need to follow, is the path where we repeal many of these taxes, harmonise whatever is left.
‘’We think we can keep that within single digit across local government, state and federal government combined, and then improve the efficiency of collecting those taxes.
‘’We are also very convinced that we need to increase the threshold of exemption for small businesses, for low income earners because if you can’t make ends meet, the last thing you want is someone asking you to pay tax.
‘’We think in fact, when our nation gets to the level we need to be, we should be able to even add money to those who have very little or nothing,” said Oyedele.
At the ceremony, Vice-President Kashim Shettima restated President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to revitalise revenue generation in the country.
“Our aim remains the revitalisation of revenue generation in Nigeria, while sustaining an investment-friendly and globally competitive business environment.
“Contrary to speculations in some quarters, we are not here to frustrate any sector of our economy but to create an administrative system that ensures the benefits of a thriving tax system for all our citizens,” he said.
He said the dynamics of the nation’s fiscal landscape prompted the Tinubu administration to pause and reconsider the direction it was going.
“I am confident that both the Federal and State Governments stand ready to ensure the effective implementation of your reform proposals.
“We shall provide the institutional framework to guarantee the adoption of the consensus of this committee, aligning them with our economic agenda,”said Shettima.

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138.9m Nigerians Need Interventions Against Tropical Diseases -WHO



Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that 138.9 million Nigerians require interventions against Neglected Tropical Diseases.
This is according to the latest epidemiological and programmatic data for 2022, which were gathered, compiled, and analysed in 2023, and obtained from the WHO on Saturday.
The body also said NTDs are endemic in Nigeria as it ranks first in the African region and second globally after India.
WHO defined NTDs as a diverse group of conditions of parasitic, bacterial, viral, fungal, and non-communicable origin, noting that there are more than 15 NTDs in Nigeria.
The report stated, “They prevent children from going to school and adults from going to work, trapping communities in cycles of poverty and inequity. People affected by disabilities and impairments caused by NTDs often experience stigma within their communities, hindering their access to needed care and leading to social isolation.
“Nigeria is endemic for several NTDs. The only disease eliminated was dracunculiasis (Guinea-worm disease) in 2013. The population requiring interventions against NTDs was approximately 138.9 million in 2022, ranking first in the African region and second globally after India.
“This includes 138.9 million requiring treatment for lymphatic filariasis through mass drug administration; 48.7 million requiring treatment for soil-transmitted helminthiases through mass drug administration; and 43.5 million requiring treatment for onchocerciasis through mass drug administration.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government had in 2023 said it would eradicate NTDs in the country by 2027.
The Director of the WHO Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme, Dr Ibrahima Fall, said, “With a renewed focus on strategic priorities addressing advocacy for action, partnership, costing and accelerated implementation, technical gaps including research and development and leadership.
“We must intensify our collective action to address the deep-rooted inequalities that fuel the transmission of NTDs in the populations where they persist.”

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