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THE STATES

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Bauchi

 

The Bauchi State House of Assembly committee on

budget and appropriation has commended the state government for pudent budget management and spendings in the 2012 fiscal year.

Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Abdulkadir Dewu, made the commendation in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi.

Dewu said that his committee had specifically commended the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) for the way it handled the security situation in the state and the relative peace enjoyed in 2012.

 

FCT

 

A Zuba Grade 1 Area Court has sentenced a 19-year-

old man, Salisu Magaji, to six months imprisonment for stealing 11 baskets of onions.

Police prosecutor Momoh Ibrahim told the Court that Magaji of Dankogi, Abuja, stole the onions belonging to one Abdulhamidu Lawal of Fruit Market, Zuba, in the FCT.

He said that only six of the 11 baskets were recovered from the convict, who pleaded guilty to charge and begged the court to temper justice with mercy.

The Presiding officer, Alhassan Kusherki, sentenced Magaji to six months imprisonment and 12 strokes of the cane. Kusherki, however, gave the convict an option to pay N10,000 fine and N7,000 as compensation to the complainant.

He said the sentence was not harsh because the convict, who pleaded guilty to the crime, was a first time offender.

 

Gombe

 

Gombe State Government has distributed 900 tonnes

of grains to 6,653 farmers affected by the 2012 flood disaster in the state.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Dahiru Buba-Biri, disclosed this to newsmen in Gombe on Thursday.

He said the foodstuff, comprising sorghum and millet, were delivered to the state by the Federal Government, to cushion the effects of the flooding on the victims.

“Gombe State received 900 tonnes of sorghum and millet for distribution to victims of the flood disaster. “To ensure that the grains reached the targeted beneficiaries, the ministry created five redemption centres for the 11 local government areas.” Buba-Biri announced plans by the state government to complement the Federal Government’s efforts by providing other relief materials to the victims.

 

Jigawaa

The Provost of Jigawa College of Education, Gumel,

Dr Dahiru Abdulkadir, said that the school would begin degree programmes in the 2013/2014 academic session.

Abdulkadir disclosed this in Gumel, Jigawa, in an interview with the newsmen.

He said the college had put all necessary facilities in place to start the programme in six courses.

According to him, the courses are Biology, Chemistry, English language, Hausa language, Agricultural Science and Physical Health Education. The provost stated that the courses would be run in conjunction with the Bayero University Kano.

 

Kaduna

Kaduna State Government has constructed two new

hostel blocks at the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Kaduna, to ease accommodation problem.

The State Coordinator, Mrs Victoria Ango disclosed this while speaking with newsmen on Thursday in Kaduna.

She said that with the additional facility, the camp now has the capacity to accommodate 2,800 corps members and 300 camp officials.

On general camp development, the coordinator said it was the collective responsibility of the federal, state and local governments.

“ The responsibility of providing hostel accommodation and office is the responsibility of the state government that is why I have been pushing them’’, she said.

Kano

 

The Police Command in Kano State on Thursday said

it recovered 1,123 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) between January and December 2012.

This is contained in a statement by the command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Magaji Majiya, in Kano.

According to the statement, 68 IEDs were successfully defused in different parts of the state by the Anti-Bomb Disposal Unit of the command during the period.

“Even though the early part of the year 2012 was characterised by terrorists attacks, the situation was immediately brought under control through concerted efforts of the police and other security agencies.’’

and the public for their prayers which had “greatly helped the command against evil intention of criminals in the state”. The command also expressed gratitude to all those who assisted the police and other security agencies with timely information that led to successes in its operations.

 

Lagos

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos has remanded two busi

nessmen, Prince Emenike and George Egotanwa, at the Ikoyi Prisons over alleged importation of bullet proof jackets and other contraband.

Emenike, 37, and Egotanwa, 33, are facing trial on a two-count charge of unlawful importation and false declaration before Justice Okechukwu Okeke.

Okeke ordered that the men, who did not have legal representation but pleaded not guilty to the charges, be remanded in custody and adjourned the case till Feb. 1.

The judge advised the accused to secure legal representation to defend them before the next adjourned date.

The prosecutor, Mrs Salamatu Yakubu, told the court that the accused, both residents of Ilupeju in Lagos, were arrested by officials of the Nigeria Customs Service on Dec. 27, 2012, on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

 

 

Nasarawa

 

Nasarawa state governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura inaugurated 33-member visitation panels for the four tertiary institutions in the state.

The institutions are Nasarawa State University, Keffi; College of Education (COE), Akwanga; Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia and College of Agriculture, Lafia.

Prof. Festus Ogunlade is the chairman of the nine-member panel for the university and Dr Abdullahi Liman is the chairman of the six-member panel for COE. Dr Silas Gyar, is chairman of the nine-member panel for Nasarawa polytechnic, while Prof. Musa Enna is to serve as the chairman for the nine-member panel for the College of Agriculture. Speaking at the ceremony, Al-Makura said that the gesture was to reposition the state-owned tertiary institutions for better performance.

 

Osun

 

An Osogbo Magistrates’ Court last Thursday sen

tenced a 20-year old man, Dada Jimoh, to nine months imprisonment for stealing N500 telephone recharge card and N5,000 cash.

Jimoh, who pleaded guilty to the one- count charge of stealing, was convicted based on evidence presented before the court by the prosecution.

The police prosecutor, Insp. Solomon Oladele, had earlier told the court during a summary trial, that the convict on Jan. 7, at Jaleyemi area, Osogbo, “criminally unlocked a shop and carried out the act“.

According to Oladele, the convict broke into the shop of one Mrs Adetoro Eunice and stole the card and N5,000.

 

Oyo

 

A football academy based in Ibadan, New Glory Acad

emy, last Thursday said it would improve on the game’s technical skills to ensure its further development in the country. Babs Oderinde, the proprietor of the academy, newsmen in Ibadan that the academy was also to groom young talents into stardom.

“Whenever I watch some of the matches played in Ibadan, I am not always impressed by the technical approach to the game.

“Due to this, the academy, based at Loyola College, Ibadan, has concluded plans to enhance the technical know-how of the game for improved cohesion, “ he said.

 

Plateauu

 

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Plateau, says

it has begun a massive sensitisation of students against the menace of examination malpractice. Its Director, Musa Chantu, told newsmen in Jos last Thursday that the programme had begun in secondary schools and would be extended to the polytechnics and universities.

“Examination malpractice is an epidemic that can be more dangerous than the cultist groups existing in most Nigerian schools; that is why we are making a priority to create the needed awareness,’’ he said.

Chantu lamented that most students had abandoned proper reading and hard work which used to be the main path to effective growth and development in any society.

 

 

Yobe

 

Artisans, professionals and traders, who fled Damaturu

last year at the peak of insurgency attacks have returned to the city. Our source said that normal commercial activities in the state capital have returned as the fleeing traders have openned their shops.

In Damaturu, restaurants, furniture makers, masons, building materials and automobile spare part dealers, among others, have returned to base.

Mr Sunday Emmanuel, one of the traders, said: “I returned back to Damaturu following the relative peace recorded in the state capital. “It has not been easy since we left our businesses due to the attacks, but we thank God that everything is coming back to normal” he added.

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95% Of Small Businesses Should Be Off Tax – Oyedele

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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

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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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NDLEA Intercepts Three Trailer Loads Of Opioids, Others, Arrests Suspects

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted three trailer loads of opioids, comprising 3,450,000 pills and 344,000 bottles of codeine syrup.
The agency said the illegal drugs at Abule Ado in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, last Thursday.
The NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement, yesterday, adding that three suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.
The statement partly read, “The multi-billion naira consignments were loaded into two 40-ft container trucks and another 20-ft truck at the AML bonded terminal, Abule-Osun, near the International Trade Fair complex before heading to a large warehouse at Abule-Ado, where NDLEA officers eventually arrested the suspects and recovered the opioid consignments on Thursday, May 9, 2024.
“Those arrested include the warehouse agent, Cosmas Obiajulu, 51; Ridwan Balogun, 25, and Banjo Tayo, 30, both drivers of two of the trucks, while the third driver jumped off to escape arrest.”
The statement also revealed that in Ekiti State, a 75-year-old grandpa, Jibril Audu, was arrested on Friday with 7.5 kilogrammes of cannabis at Oke-asa village, Ijero-Ekiti, during a raid operation, while a 70-year-old grandma, Tikwase Nytor, was nabbed with 15.6 kilogrammes of the same substance on Thursday during a raid operation at Achusa and International Market Road, Makurdi, Benue State.
“It also stated that in a separate operation on Tuesday, NDLEA operatives arrested a suspect, Nwankwo Ejike, in the Coker area of Lagos, where 100 litres of codeine syrup were recovered from him, while 60 litres of the same substance were seized from one Clinton Akinye in the same area on the same day.
The statement added, “Not less than 37.5kg of cannabis sativa loaded in a Toyota Camry car was recovered from another suspect, Adegbola Segun, 47, when the car was intercepted at Mile 12 area of Lagos on Monday, May 6th.
“Another consignment of opioids consisting of 59,106 pills of tramadol and different quantities of codeine syrup and Rohypnol being taken across the border to Garua, Cameroon, was intercepted by NDLEA officers on Monday, May 6th, along Mubi-Yola Road, Adamawa State.
“Two suspects linked to the drugs: Abubakar Auwal, 39, and Adamu Abubakar, 25, (a.k.a. Bamanga), a trans-border trafficker who was to take the consignment from Mubi across to Cameroon, were promptly arrested.”
Similarly, NDLEA officers in Edo State were reported to have raided the Iguiye forest in Ovia North East LGA on Saturday, “where a total of 11, 636.185 kg of cannabis was destroyed on three farms measuring 4.654474 hectares, while an additional 188kg of the same psychoactive substance was recovered, and a suspect, Itah Nyong, was arrested during the overnight operation.”
In the statement, the NDLEA Chairman, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Marwa commended the officers for their efforts and pledged continued collaboration with local and international partners to combat drug trade in Nigeria.

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