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Non-Oil Sector Capable Of Sustaining Nigeria’s Economy -RMAFC

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The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has stressed the need to generate more revenue from the non-oil sector to sustain the country’s economy.
Chairman of the Commission, Chief Elias Mbam, said this when the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Exchange Commodities, Mrs Zaheera Ari, visited him in Abuja.
The RMAFC boss said that the commission would collaborate with government agencies working towards enhancing revenue generation.
Mbam, who emphasised the need to diversify the country’s economy from an oil-based one, which according to him, capable of sustaining the economy, said that more efforts were needed to explore the potential in the non-oil sector.
“A typical example is that the solid mineral was not contributing to the federation account.
“But as a result of the sensitisation and advocacy and the collaboration between the commission and the ministry of mines and steel, they are now contributing reasonably.
“And we are saying that if proper things are done the non-oil revenue is capable of sustaining the economy of this country.
“In recent times, oil has not been contributing much to federation account and we are falling back to the non-oil sector which includes agriculture, tourism and solid minerals.
“And, the commission will always be ready to work with any agency that is working towards enhancing revenue generation.
“In order words, we are willing, ready and capable of working with the Nigeria Commodity Exchange for the success of this initiative,’’ Mbam said.
The RMAFC said that a six man committee would be constituted from both agencies to produce a draft of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to serve as a working document to guide the duo in the collaboration.
“I think this is necessary and is in line with government’s policy on diversification,’’ Mbam said.
He added “we as a commission has a primary role to mobilise revenue to diversify and advice all tiers of government on fiscal efficiency.
“Before now we have gone round the six geo political zones of this country to carry out advocacy and sensitisation programme of all tiers of government on the need to diversify and also bring to their knowledge what exists around them that they are not using’’.
Earlier, Ari said that the Nigeria Commodity Exchange’s quest for collaboration with RMAFC was propelled by the need to generate more revenue to the country through the non-oil sector, particularly agriculture.
According to her, we can work together to move the country forward because we know that your major mandate is to move round and generate revenue for the country.
She said that the Nigeria Commodity Exchange would serve as a veritable platform for farmers to sell their commodities and make profit for themselves and generate revenue for the country.
“This would ensure that farmers improve their productivity and their livelihoods.
“Farmers are to do their production and come and trade at the exchange. The exchange does not buy neither does it sell.
“What the exchange does is to provide that transparent trading platform so that farmers can come through a broker to trade so that they can get the exact price of their commodities,” she said.
According to her, this will ensure that the quality of the commodities are of world standard and improve productivity. This will also encourage transparency and ensure improved standard.
“Instead of shares and stock what we are trading is commodities.
“The essence of setting this up is for farmers to have a platform to sell their commodities.
“We do exactly what Nigeria stock exchange of old does and the only thing is that instead of shares and stock we are trading commodities,” she said
She said that the major bane of the Nigerian farmer wass storage.
“At harvest period, they don’t have where to store their commodities.
“And, they are forced to sell off these commodities at very low prices most times below production cost.
“So, this platform would discourage that as the farmers now have a platform to sell their commodities through a broker and make their profit as well as generate revenue for the country,’’ Ari said.

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NDLEA Arrests 774 Suspects, Seizes 3,874.3kgs Of Drugs In Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau

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NDLEA arrested 774 suspects and seized 3,874.3kgs of various narcotics and psychotropic substances in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau State in the first half of 2022.
The three states make the Zone D of the narcotics agency.
Zonal Commander in the zone Umoru Ambrose, said this in Lafia yesterday while marking the 2022 UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
He said 134 drug suspects were prosecuted during the period, while 378 drug users were counselled and rehabilitated.
He added that states in the zone had intensified their operations in the War against Drug Abuse and sensitisation.
Ambrose called on all stakeholders to get involved in curbing drugs menace in the zone.
In his remarks, NDLEA Commander in Nasarawa State, Peter Odaudu, said the celebrations underscored the need for access to proper treatment for people with drug disorders.
He stressed that the war against drugs must be intensified in Nasarawa State especially given its position as the second highest drug prevalence state in the North Central after Kwara.
“Statistics from the 2018 drug survey showed a very alarming trend, the involvement of females in drug issues.
“We have at least one female out of every four drug users; this development is worrisome and must be reversed,’’ he said.
Odaudu thanked Nasarawa State’s Governor Abdullahi Sule for his support for the NDLEA and solicited urgent intervention in the provision of operational vehicles and the construction of a rehabilitation centre.
Guest speaker, Mr Nwora Okpalaeke, who is coordinator of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria in Nasarawa State, said 494,000 users died of drug abuse in 2019.
He spoke on “Illicit Drugs in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’’
He said drug abusers suffered liver cirrhosis, stroke, hepatitis, kidney and heart failure, noting that 14.3 million Nigerians are drug addicts, while three million are suffering from drug-related disorders.
“Government should strengthen the system to prevent proliferation of drugs and pay attention to agencies charged with reversing the situation.
“Drug abuse affects economic growth; the higher the abuse the higher the level of insecurity and poverty,’’ he said.
Senior Special Assistant on Primary Healthcare to Governor Sule, Margaret Elayo, commended the NDLEA in the state and assured of partnership to curb drug abuse in Nasarawa State.
The theme for this year’s celebration of the Day is: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’

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NDLEA Arrests 218 Suspects, Seizes 1,471.314kg Of Drugs In Imo

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The Imo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 218 drug suspects made up of 171 males and 47 females.
The agency has also seized 1,471.314kg of drugs between July 2021 and June 2022.
The state commandant, NDLEA, Mr. Reuben Apeh, disclosed this while speaking to The Tide ahead of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs Trafficking.
He said that 1,458.49kg of Cannabis Sativa, 1,0513kg of cocaine, 0.2077kg of Heroine, 3.896kg of Methamphetamine and 3.184kg of Tramadol were exhibits seized within the period under review.
Apeh disclosed further that cannabis farm in hectares was also destroyed in Imo State while 0.5278kg of Rohypnol and 2.5135kg of diazepam were among the seized exhibits.
He stated that some of the arrested suspects had been arraigned and convicted for drug related offences at the Federal High Court.
According to him, “Within the period covered, 51 were convicted and 145 were charged and their cases are still on going”.
Apeh described the drug situation in Imo State as worrisome, saying women have joined the illicit trade for financial gains.
He lamented that drug peddling was alarming among the younger generation in the state.
He, therefore, called on the stakeholders to partner with NDLEA to sensitize the society on the dangers of drug abuse.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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NDE Trains 750 Youths On Apprenticeship Skills In Imo

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The National Directorate for Employment (NDE) has commenced the training of 750 youths on various apprenticeship skills in Imo State.
Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, made this known while flagging off the training programme in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The Tide reports that the training is captured under the Advanced National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (A-NOAS) and Basic National Apprenticeship Scheme (B-NOAS) of the Directorate’s Department of Vocational Skills Development (VSD).
The training skills include barbing, basic tailoring, hairdressing, welding, event planning, make- up, confectionery and auto mechanic, among others.
Nuhu-Fikpo, represented by the State Coordinator of the NDE in Imo State, Mrs Ngozi Ihenacho, explained that the trainees include youths and women drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the intensive training programme will take place in the Directorate’s training centres, one in each senatorial district of the state, and last for three months.
He urged the trainees to utilise the opportunity provided by the training programme to acquire viable skills that would enable them become self-reliant, and thereby decongest the labour market, and reduce poverty and hunger.
“In today’s world, opportunities such as these are rare and hardly come on a platter and I  urge you, my dear beneficiaries, to take this opportunity serious, be punctual at the training venue with the aim of liberating yourselves from the chains of poverty and unemployment”, he advised.
Also speaking at the programme, Director of the VSD, Mallam Isa Abdu, explained that the training scheme would run simultaneously, with the beneficiaries receiving transport allowances for the duration of training.
Abdu, represented by a senior staff in VSD, Mr Onyekwelu Igwesi, said that expert trainers had been hired to conduct the training and urged the trainees to justify the opportunity given them to become employers of labour.
“All over the world, as the value of money depreciates, entrepreneurs are adjusting with the times, hence the need for viable skills that can drive the economy. Learn the skills and be your own boss”, he said.
One of the trainees, Miss Oluchi Uchenna, who responded on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the NDE for creating the opportunity for them to thrive in their quest to become economically independent.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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