The Senate has summoned the military and other security agencies over the rising insecurity challenges in the country.
The Red Chamber further resolved to invite the Service Chiefs to brief it in a closed session on steps being taken to mitigate rising insecurity in the country.
Senate resolutions were sequel to its consideration and adoption of a motion moved by Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua at the plenary, yesterday.
The Senate, however, commended the security forces and agencies in Nigeria for the ongoing efforts made to fight all forms of insecurity in the country.
The Red Chamber also urged the security agencies to improve and enhance their inter-operational synergy and coordination for the effective and holistic tackling of the various types of insecurity plaguing the nation.
It also asked the Security agencies to develop a National Security Policy document outlining the framework for an improved and streamlined synergy and coordination between the various security agencies and embark on joint training to enhance their capabilities and effectiveness in dealing with all forms of security challenges bedevilling the country.
Yar’Adua, in his motion, said the contemporary security landscape in Nigeria poses unprecedented challenges that outstrip the protective capabilities of any security agency alone.
He, therefore, said that the fight against insurgencies and other novel security crises requires the collaboration of all the relevant security agencies and MDAs.
The lawmaker stated, “Nigeria has various security agencies aside from the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force. These include the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other authorised Civilian Task Forces.
“Nigeria has other key security services that oversee both internal and external threats: the Department of State Service, the Defence Intelligence Agency, and the National Intelligence Agency.”
The Senator further stressed that “Nigeria is facing numerous simultaneous security crises. These include the Boko Haram in the North- East; the activities of bandits and kidnappers in the North-west; the activities of gunmen in the South-east and South-south; and other forms of criminality like armed robbery, herders/farmers clashes and cross-border crimes.”
Yar’Adua noted the “kidnapping of Major General RC Duru in Owerri, Imo State on 27th September 2023 by members of IPOB, and the overall nefarious acts of the proscribed outfits, and the much-touted ‘unknown gunmen’ in the Eastern part of the country;
“On the 3rd of October 2023, at least five people were killed, and some others injured when bandits attacked the Anguwar Dankali community in the Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN on Operation HAKORIN DAMISA IV from 9 to 16 October 2023 neutralised bandit/armed robbers and arrested 59 suspects in connection with kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, railway vandalism, gunrunning, illegal mining as well as recovered arms/ammunitions and illicit drugs.”
Meanwhile, the Senate also yesterday confirmed the nomination of Dr. Aminu Maida as the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
His confirmation followed the consideration and adoption of a report submitted to that effect by the Senate Committee on Communication, which screened the nominee on Wednesday.
The committee chairman, Senator Aliyu Ikra Bilbis ( PDP Zamfara Central), while presenting the report during plenary, said Maida’s nomination was in accordance with section 8 (1) of the NCC Act, 2003.
He said that during the screening exercise conducted for confirmation of Maida’s appointment on Wednesday, the committee found him worthy of the appointment.
He specifically informed the Senate that Maida passed security clearance as well as possessed the requisite qualifications, professional experience, competence, and capacity to occupy the office.
He also said there was no petition against his nomination and therefore recommended his confirmation.
The Senate, thereafter, confirmed the appointment of Aminu Maida as Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC.
Dr. . Maida had, before his appointment by President Bola Tinubu, served as the Executive Director, Technology and operations, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc.
He holds an M.Eng in Information Systems Engineering from Imperial College London and a PhD in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from the University of Bath, United Kingdom.
During his screening, Maida told lawmakers that if confirmed, he would focus on improving the coverage and connectivity of telecom services in the remotest parts of the country.
“The NCC under my leadership, if confirmed as Executive Vice Chairman by the Senate, would ensure that network subscribers get value for their money, drastic reduction in drop calls, improved network coverage and rural connectivity”, he said.
“Technological innovation for stoppage of hacking into subscribers’ accounts would also be at the front burner of actions to be taken in no distant time,” he added.
NiMet Forecasts Three-Day Sunshine, Haziness From Sunday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunshine and haziness from Sunday to Tuesday across the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook released in Abuja, yesterday, predicted sunny skies in a hazy atmosphere over the northern region during the forecast period.
According to it, sunny skies in hazy atmosphere are also expected over the North central region during the forecast period.
It anticipated cloudy skies with spells of sunshine over the Inland states of the South.
NiMet predicted cloudy skies over the coastal cities with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Edo, Ondo, Imo, Ebonyi, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states during the afternoon and evening hours.
The agency envisaged dust haze over the northern region on Monday during the for22ecast period.
”Sunny skies in a hazy atmosphere are expected over the North central region during the forecast period.
”Cloudy skies with spells of sunshine are envisaged over the Inland states of the South and the coastal cities with prospects of morning mist over Delta, Bayelsa, Lagos, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
”Later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states,” it said.
According to NiMet, dust haze with visibility range of 2km to 5 km is anticipated over the northern region next Tuesday during the forecast period.
It predicted dust haze over the North central region during the forecast period.
It anticipated cloudy skies with spells of sunshine over the Inland states of the South and the Coastal cities during the forecast period.
”Dust particles are in suspension, public should take necessary precautions. People with Asthma and other respiratory issues should be cautious of the present weather situations.
”Moderate to heavy rainfall could lead to flash floods. The public is advised to take necessary
caution, avoid driving and walking through flood waters.
”Strong winds are likely to precede and accompany the thunderstorms, the public is advised to take necessary safety precautions.
“Disaster Risk Managers, Agencies and individuals should be proactive, to avert loss of lives and property during the rainy season,” it said.
The agency advised the Airline operators to get updated weather reports from its office for effective planning in their operations.
Nigeria Records Over 120,000 New Cancer Cases Yearly -Institute
The Director General of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT), Prof Usman Aliyu, on Saturday said over 120,000 new cancer cases are recorded yearly in Nigeria.
Prof Aliyu said in 2020, an estimated 78,000 Nigerians died as a result of cancer-related complications, and out of this number, 44,699 were females while 34,200 were males.
Aliyu, who was represented by Hassan Zaggi, made this known at the seventh annual conference of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists in collaboration with the World Health Organisation in Nasarawa State.
“With these gory statistics, NICRAT is determined to work with all relevant stakeholders to disrupt cancer in Nigeria through intense awareness creation and improved access to treatment and research.
“We have mapped out strategies to geometrically increase cancer experts in the country through training and retraining of all categories of health professionals.
“In our commitment and preparedness to disrupt all forms of cancers and ensure those with the illness have access to the best care and support in the country; we recently launched three strategic documents.
“The three documents include the National Strategic Cancer Control Plan 2023-2027; the National Cancer Research Agenda 2024-2027; and the National Strategic Plan for Prevention of Cancer of Uterine Cervix 2023-2027,” he stated.
He stressed that the documents have priority areas of action that address governance, prevention, supply chain management, data and research, as well as surveillance which are in tandem with the aim of the current leadership of the Ministry of Health to improve the health of all Nigerians.
Naira Notes: There’s Sufficient Stock For Economic Activities, CBN Assures Nigerians
Amidst complaints by some Nigerians about scarcity of Naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says there is adequate supply of the currency.
The Tide’s source reports that CBN gave the assurance against the beckdrop of complaints by some bank customers on scarcity of Naira notes at the counters, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) Points of Sale (PoS), and Bureaux de Change (BDCs).
Some officials of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) also claimed that the DMBs were not getting adequate supply of cash from the CBN.
But, according to a statement issued by the Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, there is no shortage of Naira notes, as there is adequate supply of the currency in the economy.
The apex bank said that the seeming currency scarcity was occasioned by large volume withdrawals of cash from various CBN branches by DMBs.
It said that panic withdrawals by bank customers was also partly responsible for the seeming scarcity.
“The attention of the CBN has been drawn to reports of alleged scarcity of
cash at banks, ATMs, PoS and BDCs in some major cities across the country.
“Our findings reveal that the seeming cash scarcity in some locations is due largely to high volume withdrawals from the CBN branches by DMBs and panic withdrawals by customers from the ATMs.
“While we note the concerns of Nigerians on the availability of cash for financial transactions, we wish to assure the public that there is sufficient stock of currency notes for economic activities in the country.
“The branches of the CBN across the country are also working to ensure the seamless circulation of cash in their respective states of operation,” it said.
The CBN advised members of the public to guard against panic withdrawals as there was sufficient stock to facilitate economic activities.
It also advised Nigerians to embrace alternative modes of payment, which would reduce pressure on using physical cash.
Meanwhile, the CBN also warned Nigerians to beware of fake Naira banknotes in circulation.
Its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi-Ali, gave the warning in a statement.
Sidi-Ali said that the counterfeit Naira notes were mainly used for transactions in food markets and other commercial centres across major cities in the country.
She said that any person found complicit in the circulation of the counterfeit currency notes would face severe sanctions.
The director said that the law provided punishment by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years, for any person found culpable of counterfeiting Naira notes or any other legal tender in Nigeria.
“The attention of the CBN) has been drawn to the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, especially higher denominations by some individuals.
“The CBN is in constant collaboration with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate fake Naira banknotes, arrest and prosecute counterfeiters.
“Members of the public are also encouraged to report anyone suspected of having counterfeit naira notes to the nearest police station, branch of the CBN, or via firstname.lastname@example.org,” she said.
She enjoined all DMBs, Financial Houses and Bureaux de Change and the general public to be more vigilant.
Sidi-Ali urged them to take all necessary precautionary measures to curtail the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit notes.
“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment for day-to-day transactions to mitigate the risk of spreading counterfeit banknotes,” she said.
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