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THE STATES

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L-R: Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Femi Adesina,Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (Nan), Mr Ima Niboro and Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu,  during a Guild of Editors' Dinner in honour of  two media icons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu in Abuja recently

L-R: Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Femi Adesina,Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (Nan), Mr Ima Niboro and Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, during a Guild of Editors’ Dinner in honour of two media icons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu in Abuja recently

Ekiti
An Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court, has remanded one
Solomon Edward in prison custody over alleged defilement of a 10-year-old girl.
Chief Magistrate, Idowu Ayenimo, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody, and adjourned the case till October 16.
The prosecutor, Sgt. Bankole Olasunkanmi had told the court that the accused committed the offence on August 18 at Iye-Ekiti.
The plea of the accused was not taken, but his counsel urged the court to grant him bail in liberal terms.
The prosecutor, however, objected to the bail application, saying the act of defilement is now alarming.

FCT

The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), has asked the
National Assembly to initiate a legislation that will collapse the Federal Government-corruption agencies into a single formidable institution.
The group also said the agency which must be adequately funded, should have a department which would be responsible for tracking and verifying source of income of Nigerians living above their means.
National President of the NYCN, Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere, stated this in Abuja at the official opening of registers to collect signatures in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war.
Ugochinyere, said the registers would be opened in all the 36 states of the federation, the Federal Capital Territory and Nigerian embassies in the United Kingdom, the United States and China for interested youth willing to support the Federal Government graft crusade.
He said the group will on September 17, mobilise thousands of Nigerian youth to stage a mass rally to the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; the National Assembly and Presidential Villa, to assure Buhari of the youth’s commitment to his anti-graft crusade.

Gombe

The Senate of the University of Maiduguri (UNMAID), says it
has approved the establishment of its first Distance Learning Outreach Center in Gombe.
The Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit on the Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, in Gombe.
Njodi called on the state government to provide a befitting place for the immediate take-off of the centre.
He said that the approval of the programme by the Senate had made the university an institution that provided both conventional academic programmes and the Distance Learning.
Jigawa

The Jigawa State Special Worker Verification Committee has
said it screened 1169 of 1206 teaching and non-teaching staff in Malammadori Local Government Area.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the area, Malam Aliyu Balarabe, who made this know to newsmen in Malammadori, Jigawa, said the exercise was conducted smoothly in all public primary and junior secondary schools.
It will be recalled that the state government had embarked on verification of pensioners, teachers and workers of the 27 local government areas of the state.
The council’s Education Secretary, Mukhtar Mukaddiri, said the exercise would enable the government to make proper planning toward improving the welfare of teachers.

Kaduna

Some Kaduna-based lawyers have urged their colleagues to
support President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption.
The lawyers spoke in separate interviews in Kaduna, while reacting to Buhari’s call on lawyers to desist from protecting crooks.
One of the lawyers, Mr Pascal Nickaf, said the call was timely and even long overdue.
He, however, said that the fight was not a one-man battle but a battle that required the support of all stakeholders.

Kano

The Kano State Agency for the Control of Aids (KSACA),
has  asked stakeholders to collaborate with it to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, particularly mother to child transmission of the disease.
The Director General of the agency Dr Sa’adatu Bala, made the call when she paid an advocacy visit to Hasiya Bayero Paediatrics Hospital in Kano.
She said the call was necessary in order to ensure continued support and stronger collaboration between the agency and the hospital to achieve the desired objective.
Responding, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Hafsat Kabir, said that the hospital needed assistance to install some laboratory equipment donated to it by a donor agency, FH1360.
Katsina
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in
Daura, Katsina State, has  distributed relief materials to no fewer than 2,000 flood-disaster victims.
The NEMA Director-General, Mr Muhammad Sani-Sidi, who handed over the materials to the victims, said the flood had affected seven local government areas of the state.
According to him, the major cause of the flooding was the blocking of drains with refuse and building of houses on water ways.
He said that the intervention was sequel to the receipt of the report of the disaster and subsequent needs assessment from conducted by the State Emergency Management Agency.

Kebbi

Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has pledged to im
prove girl-child education in the state.
This is contained in statement issued by Chief Press Secretary to the governor Alhaji Abubakar Muazu, in Birnin Kebbi.
The statement stated that the governor made the pledge when he received a delegation of a non-governmental organisation, Voices of the Girl-Child Education.
Bagudu described female education as vital to human resource and social development, stressing that education could be conveniently combined with motherhood.
The wife of the governor, Dr Zainab Bagudu, who accompanied the group during the visit, said female education was paramount in building a virile society.
Kogi

The Catholic Bishop of Lokoja, Dada Olorunmolu, has  reiter
ated Catholic church’s position against gay marriage, saying it was unequivocal and the church would not compromise on it.
The Bishop who made this known in an interview in Lokoja , said that approving gay union would amount to standing the Bible on its head.
According to him, the issue is against the teachings of the church and the Bible; it will amount to bending its teachings, its injunctions, just to accommodate what is unnatural.
The bishop prayed for those who indulged in the act, asking God to give them the grace to understand what was right.

Lagos

A coalition of civil society organisations in the country, has
alleged that former President Goodluck Jonathan, deliberately embarked on policies that directly promoted corruption and impunity in public offices during the six years that he administered the affairs of the country.
They, therefore, said it would be a great disservice to the entire Nigerian populace if his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari, heeded the advice of those asking that Jonathan should not be probed and brought to book.
The CSOs, which jointly addressed a press conference in Lagos, admitted that corruption in public offices did not begin under Jonathan, but they described the Jonathan’s era as one during which “Nigeria literally became a looting field; where big thieves became bigger; where new and powerful thieves were created; and where big, destructive ‘rats’ and ‘termites’.

Nasarawa

A 21-year-old bus conductor, Shedrach Ezekiel of Mararaba,
has been sentenced to18 months in prison by a Mararaba Grade 1 Area Court for stealing a phone valued at N11,000.
The presiding judge, Albert Maga, convicted Ezekiel after he pleaded guilty for the offence of conspiracy and theft.
Earlier the prosecutor, Cpl. Friday Adaji told the court that the convict was first arraigned on August  14 but remanded in custody for his accomplice to be arrested.
Niger

Ward Head, Nuatuko, in Bosso Local Government Area of
Niger State, Malam Usman Aliyu, has, implored the state government to provide the community with potable water and access roads.
Aliyu who made the appeal during interview in Nuatuko,  said the only source of water in the community was from Dagbai stream, three kilometres away from the village.
The ward head said the immediate past administration in the state had promised the community a borehole on four different occasions but could not fulfill the promise.
He added that the main road linking the village with Bosso was in a deplorable condition, adding that, “right now, it is not passable, especially in this rainy season.

Ogun

The Ogun State Judiciary has commenced series of refresher
courses for Magistrates, Judicial Assistants, Secretaries, Court Registrars, Clerks and Bailiffs across the state, the Chief Judge, Mrs Olatokunbo Olopade, has said.
Olopade, who made the statement in Abeokuta while speaking with newsmen, said the four-day training was organised in partnership with the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja.
She said the training was organised to improve the standard and quality of the state judicial system and judiciary staff.
The Director of Studies, NJI, Mr Cyprain Ajah, said the training, which includes Information Communication Technology (ICT), became imperative because of the need to build the capacity of judicial officers and staff.

Ondo

A commercial motorcyclist, Kamil Ibrahim, 25, was arraigned
in an Okitipupa Magistrates’ Court, for allegedly assaulting a salesgirl who refused him N200 worth of cigarette on credit.
The prosecutor, Insp. Zedekiah Orogbemi, told the court that the accused, on July 6 around 7:00 a.m. at Okitipupa market, beat up Bolaji Kusoro, and inflicted injuries on her.
Orogbemi added that the accused was still owing Kusoro N1,000, which made her to refuse further credit facility.
Magistrate Banji Ayeomoni, granted the accused bail in the sum of N20,000 and a surety in like sum, and adjourned the case till September  2 for further hearing.

Oyo

Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital
(UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge,   has said that the hospital will extend its ongoing Human Papillo Virus (HPV) vaccination to rural areas.
Alonge made this disclosure on the sideline of the ongoing 9th Annual Scientific Conference with the theme “The Role of Pathologists in Oncologic Diagnosis and Management”, in Ibadan.
The five-day conference was organised by the West African Division International Academy of Pathology in conjunction with United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.
Alonge said cervical cancer was the second silent killer in women, noted that vaccination against the virus was the surest way of preventing cervical cancer in Nigerian women.

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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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