The State Online https://thestateonlinengr.com Get update of News, Sports, Politics, Business, Foreign, Entertainment, Econonny, on www.thestateonlinengr.com Sun, 17 Jan 2021 10:53:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.16 https://thestateonlinengr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/cropped-ThestateOnline-Logo.fw_-32x32.png The State Online https://thestateonlinengr.com 32 32 Trending: NIMC reactivates 20 additional NIN centres for ease of enrollment in FCT, closes HQ https://thestateonlinengr.com/trending-nimc-reactivates-20-additional-nin-centres-for-ease-of-enrollment-in-fct-closes-hq/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/trending-nimc-reactivates-20-additional-nin-centres-for-ease-of-enrollment-in-fct-closes-hq/#respond Sun, 17 Jan 2021 10:53:50 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33108 The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has ordered the immediate reactivation of 20 additional National Identification Number (NIN) enrollment centers in the Federal Capital Territory that…

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has ordered the immediate reactivation of 20 additional National Identification Number (NIN) enrollment centers in the Federal Capital Territory that were hitherto not operational, for ease of enrollment as its order on NIN-SIM synchronization date draws closer. The Federal Government also ordered the immediate closure of the headquarters of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Abuja.

Pantami who gave the directive, said it was in the need to control the overwhelming crowd that throng the NIMC headquarters on Sokode Crescent area of Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, to register for the National Identification Number (NIN).

Revealing this in a statement, yesterday, the commission’s Head of Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke, said the move was in pursuant to making the NIN enrollment “much easier,” especially as the January 19th deadline given for NIN-SIM synchronization date fast approaches.

Find bellow the list of the 20 reactivated NIN enrollment centers in Abuja:
1. 2nd Floor, Block C, No 4 Maputo Street, Zone 3, Wuse, Abuja;
2. Abaji Secretariat Complex, Legislative Section Abaji, FCT – Abuja;
3. AMAC Secretariat Annex, Kabusa Junction Apo, FCT- Abuja;
4. Area Council Complex Bwari, FCT, Abuja;
5. CIPB Building (Old Secretariat), Gwagwalada, FCT – Abuja;
6. Kwali Council Secretariat, Kwali, FCT – Abuja;
7. Opposite Forest Pasali,Along Kuje/Gwagwalada Road, FCT;
8. Beside Diamond Bank, Building Materials International Market, Dei-Dei;
9. Dutse Alhaji, FCT – Abuja;
10. GWARINPA FHA/Waterboard Beside Police Station Off 3rd Avenue, FCT – Abuja;
11. HIGHCOURT LUGBE By Police Signboard, Close to Lugbe Market, Airport Road;
12. JIWA AEDC Office, before Emir Palace FCT – Abuja;
13. Women Development Secretariat, Karshi;
14. Kenuj Angles Schools, Jikwoyi Phase 1 Extension, FCT-Abuja;
15. Chief Palace, Kurudu;
16. Nigerian Custom Service, Karu;
17. NIPOST, Opposite General Hospital, Phase 4, Kubwa;
18. NIN Enrolment Center, Ibro Hotel, 34-36, Sokode Street Wuse 2, Abuja;
19. Afritech Multi Concept, Gwandal plaza, Adjacent EFCC, Wuse 2, Abuja; and
20. NIN Enrolment Center, No 8, Nairobi Street, Wuse 2, Abuja.

• Tags: NIN-SIM synchronization, Dr Isa Pantami

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Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings acquires 45% OML 17 from Shell, Total, ENI https://thestateonlinengr.com/tony-elumelus-heirs-holdings-acquires-45-oml-17-from-shell-total-eni/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/tony-elumelus-heirs-holdings-acquires-45-oml-17-from-shell-total-eni/#respond Sun, 17 Jan 2021 10:26:55 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33105 Tony Elumelu’s company, Heirs Holdings, HH, has acquired 45 per cent participating interest in Nigerian’s oil mining licence, OML 17, from Shell Petroleum, Total and ENI. Mr Chike Anikwe, Acting…

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Tony Elumelu’s company, Heirs Holdings, HH, has acquired 45 per cent participating interest in Nigerian’s oil mining licence, OML 17, from Shell Petroleum, Total and ENI.
Mr Chike Anikwe, Acting Group Company Secretary, Transcorp to which HH is affiliated, disclosed this in a statement to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos.
The statement said the transaction is one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in more than a decade, with a financing component of $1.1 billion, provided by a consortium of global and regional banks and investors.
It said that the transaction was through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited (a related company of Heirs Holdings and Transcorp), which will have sole operatorship of the asset from Shell Petroleum Development Nigeria Plc, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and ENI.
Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings, said in the statement: “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs.
“The acquisition of such a high quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.
“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. “We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.
“I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”
Owen Omogiafo, president and group chief executive officer of Transcorp, said that the transaction was an evidence of the company’s strategy to power Africa.
“This deal further demonstrates Transcorp’s integrated energy strategy and our determination to power Africa.”
The deal also involves Schlumberger as a technical partner, as well as the trading arm of Shell as an offtaker.
According to the statement, OML 17 has a current production capacity of 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and, according to estimates, 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential.
The investment demonstrates an advance in the execution of Heirs Holdings’ integrated energy strategy and the Group’s commitment to Africa’s development, through long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth.
Heirs Holdings’ heritage and approach to business fundamentally underscores its commitment to inclusive development and shared prosperity with its host communities. Heirs Holdings is fully invested in the development of the Niger Delta region.
The statement also reported that Heirs Holdings’ strategy of creating the leading integrated energy business in Africa is executed through a series of strategic portfolio holdings.
Transcorp is one of the largest power producers in Nigeria, with 2,000 MW of installed capacity, through ownership of Transcorp Power Plant and the recent acquisition of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited.
Transcorp closed the US$300 million Afam acquisitions in November 2020. Transcorp supplies electricity to the Republic of Benin, as part of an emphasis on promoting regional integration and delivering robust power supply to catalyse development in Africa. Transcorp also operates OPL281, under a production sharing contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”).
Similarly, Heirs Holdings’ subsidiary, Tenoil is the operator of OPL 2008, under a production sharing contract with NNPC.
Tenoil also owns the Ata Marginal Field, which will commence production in Q2, 2021, with 3,500 barrels of oil per day.

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Breach of contract: Engineer drags two construction companies before Industrial Court https://thestateonlinengr.com/breach-of-contract-engineer-drags-two-construction-companies-before-industrial-court/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/breach-of-contract-engineer-drags-two-construction-companies-before-industrial-court/#respond Sun, 17 Jan 2021 10:11:10 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33102 A Civil Engineer, Oladele Taju Kuyoro, suing through Barrister Olamide Balogun, has dragged two construction companies before the National Industrial Court in Lagos over alleged breach of contract and failure…

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A Civil Engineer, Oladele Taju Kuyoro, suing through Barrister Olamide Balogun, has dragged two construction companies before the National Industrial Court in Lagos over alleged breach of contract and failure to remit pension funds.
In a statement of facts filed before the court by a Lagos Lawyer Olanrewaju Jolaoso, on behalf of the claimant, alleged that as a versatile Engineer per excellence, he was employed by Viras Limited Company on March 11, 2002.
However, upon perusal of the letter of appointment, he was apprehensive because the letter contained onerous and oppressive clauses. He decided to decline same until he was convinced by Mr Johnson Ighofese, the head of Human resources to accept the offer stating that where an employee has been transferred to work in associated company or made to act in a dual capacity, the company will adequately remunerate such employee.
At the time of his employment, the claimant was oblivious of the rationale of being offered employment by Viras Limited, as opposed to the Vita construction Limited to whom he applied and by whom he was interviewed.
The claimant was also unaware of the fact that the clauses inputted into his letter of employment to justify and facilitate already premeditated exploitation of the unsuspecting claimant by the two companies.
By January, 2012 Viras Limited stopped paying his remuneration but that Vita Construction Limited paid the claimant for the first time since he started to render services to the two companies.
Thereafter, the claimant lodged series of complaints, and threatened to take legal action especially on noticing the new sequence of events and the way the defendants had been tampering with his monthly salary.
The claimant’s legitimate demand surprisingly instigated Vita Construction Company to issue a letter dated 3rd of October, 2018 which was titled “STOOD OFF STAFF adjudged and declared the claimant redundant without any lawful justification.
The claimant is amongst Longest serving employees of the defendants. In recognition of this fact, at the tenth, and fifteenth year in the employment of the defendants, the claimant was awarded and presented with a plague in commemoration of his Long service. Despite his outstanding dedication to duty and commitment, the defendants did not hesitate to oppress him and declare him redundant for just no cause.
Following his financial constraint the claimant approached Premium Pension Limited to avail him his pension statement account to determine how much he could salvage from his pension account in order to pay his medical bills and put his children back in school. To his greatest shock he discovered that Viras Company never remitted his pension despite that same were always deducted from his remuneration.
Consequently, the claimant while urging the court to nullify the letter of STOOD OFF issued to him by the defendant is claiming:
• The sum of N355 million as general and specific damages as well as other unpaid emoluments.
• An order of the court referring all the issues of unpaid pension to the National Pension Commission and issues of unpaid taxes to the Attorney General of Lagos State for criminal investigation and for prosecution where appropriate.

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Museveni Bags 6th Term As President of Uganda https://thestateonlinengr.com/museveni-bags-6th-term-as-president-of-uganda/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/museveni-bags-6th-term-as-president-of-uganda/#respond Sun, 17 Jan 2021 10:00:01 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33099 Yoweri Museveni bagged his sixth term as president of Uganda yesterday as he he was declared the winner of the presidential election. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reported that…

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Yoweri Museveni bagged his sixth term as president of Uganda yesterday as he he was declared the winner of the presidential election.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reported that Museveni who had ruled the country for 35 years was re-elected with 58.64 per cent of the vote to defeat Bobi Wine, the pop star-turned-politician, who was his major challenger. Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, is said to have a real chance of winning against Museveni.
Eleven candidates contested for the top seat, including two retired generals who turned against their former boss, in an election already overshadowed by violence.
Museveni, 76, is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders and has changed Uganda’s constitution to enable him to run for yet another five-year term.
But announcement from Uganda Electoral Commission yesterday showed that the incumbent president was leading.
Election results from 86 per cent of polling stations indicated that the incumbent president garnered 5,300,831 votes (58%) while main opposition candidate, Wine got 3,119,965 votes (34.62%).
However, Wine has alleged widespread fraud during the election.

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University of Ilorin begins phased resumption of classes https://thestateonlinengr.com/university-of-ilorin-begins-phased-resumption-of-classes/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/university-of-ilorin-begins-phased-resumption-of-classes/#respond Sat, 16 Jan 2021 13:02:31 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33091 The University of Ilorin has announced a phased resumption of classes for its students. This was contained in a statement released yesterday by Kunle Akogun, Director of Corporate Affairs of…

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The University of Ilorin has announced a phased resumption of classes for its students.
This was contained in a statement released yesterday by Kunle Akogun, Director of Corporate Affairs of the institution. It read:
In furtherance to the virtual resumption of academic activities at the University of Ilorin on January 11th, 2021 and in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government, the University management has announced a phased reopening of the institution for the formal resumption of academic activities beginning from January 25th, 2021.
Our students and their parents are expected to strictly comply with the phased resumption schedule, as we intend to strictly enforce the timetable as itemised below:
Phase 1: 25TH JANUARY, 2021
Return of students with outstanding 1st Semester examinations who will return home after their examinations
Phase 2: 1ST FEBRUARY, 2021
Final Year and Postgraduate students come into campus
Phase 3: 15TH FEBRUARY, 2021
100 level students come into campus
Phase 4: 1ST MARCH, 2021
All other students come into campus
NOTE:
All students will sign an Agreement that in the event that anyone tests positive to COVID-19, he/she would be sent back home to self-isolate and continue to receive lectures virtually. In case such students miss any examination, make-up examination would be arranged for them.
Parents should please note that in the event that any child/ward tests positive to COVID-19, he/she would be sent back home to self-isolate and continue to receive lectures virtually.
Virtual lectures that commenced on 11th January, 2021 will continue even after physical resumption of classes
Hygiene and Welfare of Staff and Students
The University management has provided hand washing facilities in all students’ areas, such as Lecture Theatres, Examination Halls and places commonly frequented by staff and students on campus.
Each student should have at least five changeable face masks, and pocket sanitizers, among others.
Enforcement of the No-Squatting policy in the University hostels will be strictly pursued to ensure the physical distancing policy of COVID-19 prevention.
The University management will continue to support the University Health Services to ensure safe handling of emergency cases.
Please keep safe!
Signed
Kunle Akogun
Director of Corporate Affairs

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Nigeria records highest daily COVID-19 cases https://thestateonlinengr.com/nigeria-records-highest-daily-covid-19-cases/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/nigeria-records-highest-daily-covid-19-cases/#respond Sat, 16 Jan 2021 12:50:03 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33082 Nigeria yesterday reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day, with 23 lives lost and 1,867 new infections in 23 states across the country. A breakdown of…

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Nigeria yesterday reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day, with 23 lives lost and 1,867 new infections in 23 states across the country.
A breakdown of the figure from the 23 states:
Lagos 713
Plateau 273
FCT 199
Kaduna 117
Oyo 79
Enugu 58
Ondo 53
Kano 49
Sokoto 43
Ogun 37
Osun 37
Nasarawa 36
Rivers 28
Benue 24
Delta 24
Niger 24
Gombe 18
Edo 15
Taraba 12
Bayelsa 10
Ekiti 9
Borno 6
Zamfara 2
Jigawa 1
At the PTF briefing, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State for Health, warned Nigerians against complacency in containing the COVID-19 pandemic as the much-awaited vaccines may not arrive the country as soon as expected.

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Beware of fake COVID-19 vaccines – NAFDAC warns Nigerians https://thestateonlinengr.com/beware-of-fake-covid-19-vaccines-nafdac-warns-nigerians/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/beware-of-fake-covid-19-vaccines-nafdac-warns-nigerians/#respond Sat, 16 Jan 2021 12:39:09 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33078 The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, NAFDAC, has alerted and warned Nigerians of ‘fake coronavirus vaccines’ in the country. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General, DG, of the agency,…

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, NAFDAC, has alerted and warned Nigerians of ‘fake coronavirus vaccines’ in the country.
Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General, DG, of the agency, who made this known in a statement yesterday, explained that no vaccines have been approved by the agency and that Nigerians should not use any vaccines it did not approve.
The statement read:
“The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has not received any application from Covid Vaccine manufacturers yet and therefore no vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC.
“COVID-19 vaccines are new, and the side effects or adverse events must be well monitored, therefore, if NAFDAC does not approve, the public should not use.
“There are reports of fake vaccines in Nigeria. NAFDAC is pleading with the public to beware. No COVID Vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC. Fake vaccines can cause Covid-like illnesses or other serious diseases that could kill.”
“Vaccines should not be ordered by any company or corporation. The companies that manufacture the vaccines if they are genuine companies know they have to submit their application to NAFDAC.
“However, NAFDAC is discussing with manufacturers of candidate COVID-19 vaccines concerning potential Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), registration or licensing of their product as the case may be.
“The Agency assures applicants that if Phase 3 clinical data are very convincing and robust with regards to safety and efficacy, and the vaccine has been submitted for WHO for Emergency Use Listing, NAFDAC will welcome the application for Emergency Use Authorisation in Nigeria.”
Nigeria is set to receive about 100,000 free COVID-19 vaccines this month based on a COVAX arrangement put in place by the World Health Organisation and its partners.

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Kwara APC Crisis: Youths Threaten To Disrupt New Membership Registration https://thestateonlinengr.com/kwara-apc-crisis-youths-threaten-to-disrupt-new-membership-registration/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/kwara-apc-crisis-youths-threaten-to-disrupt-new-membership-registration/#respond Sat, 16 Jan 2021 12:29:37 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33074 By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin The internal crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may not end in the nearest time. The dispute is not unconnected…

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By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
The internal crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may not end in the nearest time.
The dispute is not unconnected with the differences between the governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and a section of the chieftains of the party, according to reports.
The rift had all along been more pronounced between the governor and the Chairman of the party; Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa who supervised both the shadow election and general elections that produced the governor.
As the rift continues however, the party had been factionalized along the lines of party officials, youth and chieftains, especially those known to be active in the ‘O To Ge’ campaign that fetched victory for APC in 2019.
The Youths under the aegis of the Concerned APC Youth Stakeholders have threatened that they would disrupt a proposed APC membership registration because of the crisis.
The briefing was held at the party’s secretariat jointly addressed by Comr. Abdulyaqub Ishowo, Mr. John Adegboye and Adam Abdullahi representing Kwara Central, Kwara South and Kwara North respectively.
Their statement reads:
“We wish to report to you, that we’ve found ourselves in a situation where the soul of our collective struggle” which was proudly christened “O TO GE” is being sacrificed.
“This is being done in the most Machiavellian manner, on the Altar of Politics of interest and desire to undemocratically grab more power by a handful few, in the minute minority but seemingly powerful individuals than the overwhelming convention.
“This action is clearly in contradiction of the constitution of our party which places supreme powers on the NEC of our party and thus made the reversal of any of its decisions impossible except by the convention of our great party i.e Section 13 subsection 3.
“The section reads; “the decision of the National Executive Council is binding on all organs and all members of the party, except the National Convention.
“This is why we want to know where the Buni led national caretaker committee, his Governor friends and others derived their powers to override the resolution of NEC; if not that they feel impunity is the way to go.
“We say to them, this illegality and rape of our party’s constitution will NOT STAND.
“We hereby want to emphasise that we’ll not allow any membership registration to hold in Kwara State unless the needful is done, which is the return of the duly sworn-in caretaker Chairman, Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa.”

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Community Police idea was my brain child – Former IGP Tafa Balogun https://thestateonlinengr.com/community-police-idea-was-my-brain-child-former-igp-tafa-balogun/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/community-police-idea-was-my-brain-child-former-igp-tafa-balogun/#respond Sat, 16 Jan 2021 12:23:09 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33066 By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin The former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, has disclosed that gradual implementation of community police began under his tenure as the chief police boss. Balogun…

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By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
The former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, has disclosed that gradual implementation of community police began under his tenure as the chief police boss.
Balogun who was removed from office in 2005 by President Olusegun Obasanjo made this disclosure at a security workshop in Ilorin tagged ‘Community Policing and Sensitization.’ He was there along with Alhaji Aliyu Attah also, a former Inspector General of Police.
The workshop was organised by the Kwara State Police Command.
Balogun’s words: “Without being proud, without being cocky, under the pupillage of my bosses, I make bold to say that when I was made the IG, I looked into all concepts of policing. And I saw community policing policy and I adopted it.”
According to him, he saw it as organisational strategy and therefore introduced it formally into the Nigeria police dictionary.
He said: “If you recall when I came on board, I introduced the eight point agenda. I wanted my tenure to be accessed on eight things.
“Community policing was one of them. Operation Fire for Fire was another,” Balogun reminisced to the applause of his audience.
“But Operation Fire for Fire was more popular. But pick up the document and you will see that community policing was there.”
The former Police boss said he reached out to Britain, US and Canada for assistance and training of officers on the strategy.
According to him, he got 66 officers to go for six-month training on community policing in Britain, another 60 to Chicago and another undisclosed number to Ottawa to train police officers on the strategy.
The former IGP also said on returning, Enugu and some states of the Federation were chosen as pilot states for the program. “It was very successful in Enugu,” he said.
But Balogun lamented that the bane of the strategy was that it was abandoned as soon as he left office.
The former IGP, however, disclosed that he had begun working on the new policing strategy alongside other IGPs since last October.
He said: “Sometime in October last year, the former IGs held a meeting under the chairmanship of the same Baba Aliyu Attah, here present.
“We held the meeting at the IG’s office in Abuja. We were very worried with the level of insecurity, level of turbulence, level of criminality in the country and we decided that in retirement, we should not just fold our hands. We decided we should try to redeem the image of this country, redeem the image of the police institution, and redeem other security institutions.”
Meanwhile in his keynote address at the occasion, Governor AbdulRazaq said community policing was long overdue.
He also used the occasion to reiterate the need for traditional rulers to be accorded constitutional roles in the Nigerian polity because they are the closest to the grassroots which made them better and legally engaged with certain things related to the masses.
“I have always said that the traditional rulers are the fourth tier of government, their duties encompass all we do in our society”.
“We have always been grateful to them because I receive calls daily from them on security issues, not just giving information but also curbing civil disturbances like we recently had in Ilesha Baruba.
“In that community, there was a civil disturbance earlier and the Emir singlehandedly calmed the situation and ensured that the community is safe. We deeply appreciate his efforts on what he did.
“In the last meeting of Northern Governors held in Kaduna, there was the idea that the roles of the traditional rulers should be amplified and embedded into the constitution.
“This means that we should give them constitutional roles in the society. That is an ongoing process, and I am a supporter of this initiative.”
AbdulRazaq further asserted that community policing is an idea that helps to localise policing, brings security architecture closer to the grassroots, and gets a more robust buy-in of the people. It relies almost entirely on local intelligence and constant interactions with community folks to succeed.
“However, it is important to state that the success of community policing depends on all of us seeing it as our baby that must be nurtured to success. I therefore urge every stakeholder to support the”, he said.
Former IGP Aliyu Attah in his speech observed that the existing policing system had been grossly criticized for poor performance because of its inability to meet some expectations, a development he attributed largely to inadequate manpower and funding.
He said when community policing fully comes to play, it would generate employment, reduce youth restiveness, and minimise crimes.
“When a community policing system is introduced, most communities who have not felt the presence of government in their localities would at least know the government has come to them as they will have representation who will be concerned about their safety,” he concluded.

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Aregbesola to Alaafin on 50th Coronation: You’ve Conducted Yourself with Grace, Dignity, Panache Befitting Foremost Monarch https://thestateonlinengr.com/aregbesola-to-alaafin-on-50th-coronation-youve-conducted-yourself-with-grace-dignity-panache-befitting-foremost-monarch/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/aregbesola-to-alaafin-on-50th-coronation-youve-conducted-yourself-with-grace-dignity-panache-befitting-foremost-monarch/#respond Sat, 16 Jan 2021 12:07:19 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33068 The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty Lamidi Adeyemi Iku Babayeye 111 as a foremost monarch who has conducted himself with…

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The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty Lamidi Adeyemi Iku Babayeye 111 as a foremost monarch who has conducted himself with grace, dignity and panache since his ascendancy of the throne of his forefathers 50 years ago.

The former Governor of Osun State stated this in a letter he personally addressed to the monarch to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of his coronation. The letter was titled: Congratulations on your 50th Anniversary.

“In these last five decades, you have conducted yourself with grace, dignity and panache befitting a foremost Oba and it is beyond dispute now that you have no close compare.

“You’ve demonstrated intellectual depth, especially in the history of the Yoruba and contemporary developments around the globe in the last 200 years. You’ve displayed the valour of your forebears like Oranmiyan, Sango, Awonbioju, Adeniran and others,” Aregbesola said.

He stated further that Oba Adeyemi has lived to the billing of the custodian of Yoruba culture and traditions and have been the most ardent promoter globally.

“Your reign has also been significant to the Yoruba race in that you’ve been working towards its unity and promoting its cause nationally and globally as well. The race has witnessed great strides in science, engineering, culture, arts, education, physical and urban development. Yoruba people now occupy top positions in all walks of life in business, academia, law, government, diplomacy and others locally and abroad,” the Minister said.

He stated further that, “it has been a great delight and thing of joy to me that the Almighty God has given you long life and prolong your reign and has put you in a position of leadership in all counts.

“On behalf of my wife and our other associates, I exceedingly rejoice with you on the occasion of this anniversary.

“It is my heartfelt prayer that God will continue to imbue you with strength and other endowments you will need to sustain the tempo for a long time to come.

“Congratulations sir, K’ade pe lori, ki bata pe lese, igba odun, bi odun kan ni”.
• Tags: Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty Lamidi Adeyemi Iku Babayeye 111

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Another serving police AIG dies 3 days after AIG Omololu Bishi https://thestateonlinengr.com/another-serving-police-aig-dies-3-days-after-aig-omololu-bishi/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/another-serving-police-aig-dies-3-days-after-aig-omololu-bishi/#respond Fri, 15 Jan 2021 19:14:55 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33057 Another serving Assistant Inspector General of Police, Yunana Babas, has been confirmed dead, three days after AIG Omololu Bishi died, fuelling confusion among the police high command as to how…

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Another serving Assistant Inspector General of Police, Yunana Babas, has been confirmed dead, three days after AIG Omololu Bishi died, fuelling confusion among the police high command as to how its precious officers are kicking the bucket in such a quick succession. Babas was the Zonal Commander in charge of Zone 8 with headquarters in Lokoja, Kogi State capital.

Bishi passed away three weeks after promotion to the rank.

A Lagos indigene, Bishi died after he complained of body ache, and it has not been confirmed if it was Corona virus, when suddenly AIG Yunana Babas’ death followed suit
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, commiseratiing with the police high command, in Ilorin, over the sudden death, described Babas as a perfect gentleman and a dedicated officer, who will be sorely missed.
AbdulRahman said:“I received the news of the death of AIG Yunana Babas with rude shock and sadness. It is one tragedy too many.
“On behalf of the people and Government of Kwara State, I condole with the entire police family, especially the Inspector General of Police and the immediate family of the top officer, on this devastating development.

“The late officer was a fine gentleman, a patriot, and a professional cop who was very passionate about his duty to his fatherland. I recall the gallant roles the late officer played in some recent security developments in the zone.”

The Governor prayed the Almighty God to grant his gentle soul an eternal rest, while giving the police authorities and his immediate family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
• Pix: AIG Yunana Babas(above) and AIG Omololu Bishi(below, who died soon after promotion to AIG)

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24-month unpaid salary: 30 protesting magistrates sacked from court sitting in Cross River https://thestateonlinengr.com/24-month-unpaid-salary-30-protesting-magistrates-sacked-from-court-sitting-in-cross-river/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/24-month-unpaid-salary-30-protesting-magistrates-sacked-from-court-sitting-in-cross-river/#respond Fri, 15 Jan 2021 12:45:59 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33052 It was man’s inhumanity to man in Cross River State, as 30 magistrates who began protest over their unpaid 24-month salary, were yesterday, sacked from sitting in their various courts…

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It was man’s inhumanity to man in Cross River State, as 30 magistrates who began protest over their unpaid 24-month salary, were yesterday, sacked from sitting in their various courts by the state government.

The Cross River State Acting Chief Judge, Justice Effiom Eyo-Ita, affected the withdrawal, even as the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Tanko Ashang, claimed that the recruitment of the protesting magistrates into the state’s judiciary was fraudulent. He rather threatened them with lawsuit for ‘embarrassing’
the governor.

Also reacting to the development, Governor Ben Ayade, through his media aide, said the magistrates were irregularly recruited into the judiciary, adding that, he did not sign off on the order for their final engagement.

Recall that about 30 magistrates in various magisterial divisions of Cross River State, had, on January 4 and 5, taken to the streets of Calabar to protest the non-payment of their 24-month salaries by the State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, all donning their full legal regalia.

During the protest, one of them, Richard Bassey, had collapsed and nearly passed out, until he was poured some water by his colleagues in revival mode. (Picture above).
Speaking to newsmen after the incident, the Chief Magistrate of Cross River, Solomon Abuo, had decried what he described as ill-treatment meted to them by the state government.
Abuo said since they were employed, they had undergone several screenings, adding that the protest was their last resort, adding: “We will continue to protest until we are paid./ SHARE THIS

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COVID-19: Don’t take any vaccine without NAFDAC approval, Agency warns https://thestateonlinengr.com/covid-19-dont-take-any-vaccine-without-nafdac-approval-agency-warns/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/covid-19-dont-take-any-vaccine-without-nafdac-approval-agency-warns/#respond Fri, 15 Jan 2021 11:16:09 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33043 Nigerians have been warned by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) not to take any COVID-19 vaccine, unless approved by the agency. The agency Director…

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Nigerians have been warned by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) not to take any COVID-19 vaccine, unless approved by the agency.

The agency Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who sounded this warning at a briefing on Friday, noted that it is not enough for people to follow the approval of the World Health Organisation without certification by the local approving authority, pursuant to the peculiar circumstance of the country.

“The WHO will say that unless the regulatory agency of a country approves a vaccine, it should not be used. As you can see, WHO is not a regulatory agency that will approve and say go ahead; they are essentially there to guide and give regulatory agencies more confidence.

“If a product is already on WHO emergency use listing, the regulatory agency will still look at the application. That doesn’t mean we just pass it like that, we will have to read it within the context of our environment. No vaccine or commodity can be used unless it passes through NAFDAC in Nigeria,” she said, adding “vaccines should not just be ordered by any company or corporation., as genuine manufacturers already know they have to submit their application to NAFDAC.

“No government establishment or agencies should order COVID-19 vaccines without confirming from NAFDAC if the vaccine has been approved.”

The warning might not be unconnected with Nigerians’ desperation to find medical solution to the Corona virus pandemic, prompting the desire to use any prescription available.

It is also coming on the heels of a recent tragedy that occurred in Israel where a man died two hours after receiving Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The man received the vaccine at 8:30 in the morning, and waited for the customary time at the health clinic before he was released.

Sometime later, however, he lost consciousness and was later confirmed dead from heart failure./SHARE THIS

Tags: NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye

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NNPC Restates Commitment to OPEC+ Agreement https://thestateonlinengr.com/nnpc-restates-commitment-to-opec-agreement/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/nnpc-restates-commitment-to-opec-agreement/#respond Thu, 14 Jan 2021 16:12:37 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33034 …TO FOCUS MORE ON GAS, CONDENSATES FOR REVENUE GROWTH The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reiterated its commitment to abide by the output cut agreement of the Organization of…

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…TO FOCUS MORE ON GAS, CONDENSATES FOR REVENUE GROWTH
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reiterated its commitment to abide by the output cut agreement of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies aimed at stabilizing the global oil market.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, stated this Wednesday while speaking at the ongoing virtual Gulf Intelligence “Global” UAE Energy Forum 2021.
Mallam Kyari noted that despite the negative effects of the production cut on government revenue, it was the best step towards redeeming the value of hydrocarbon resources at the global market in the interest of all.
Speaking on the topic, “Outlook for Africa/Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Sector in Post-Covid Era”, he said NNPC was hopeful that by the end of the year demand for crude oil would pick up and there would be a marginal increase in output, stressing that the Corporation was focusing more on gas, condensate and other revenue streams to tackle the revenue challenge arising from the OPEC+ production cut arrangement.
He explained that gas proved to be a steady and reliable revenue stream during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, adding that gas production and utilization would remain a key priority for the Corporation in 2021.
Earlier in his presentation, the Minister of Energy & Agriculture, United Arab Emirates (UAE), H.E. Eng. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, appealed to all oil producing nations not to flood the market with crude oil.
He said the UAE was at the moment more concerned about balancing the market forces of demand and supply in the global market than growing market share./SHARE THIS
• Tag: Mallam Mele Kyari, GMD, NNPC

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Downstream Infrastructure Rehab: NNPC Harvests Bids from 96 Reputable Firms from Various Jurisdictions for Contract https://thestateonlinengr.com/downstream-infrastructure-rehab-nnpc-harvests-bids-from-96-reputable-firms-from-various-jurisdictions-for-contract/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/downstream-infrastructure-rehab-nnpc-harvests-bids-from-96-reputable-firms-from-various-jurisdictions-for-contract/#respond Thu, 14 Jan 2021 16:05:00 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33031 Buoyed up by the culture of Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) of the current NNPC management, no fewer than 96 prominent and reputable companies from various jurisdictions have indicated…

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Buoyed up by the culture of Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) of the current NNPC management, no fewer than 96 prominent and reputable companies from various jurisdictions have indicated interest in undertaking the rehabilitation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) downstream infrastructure ranging from critical pipelines to depots and terminals through the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) financing model.
This was disclosed at a virtual public bid opening exercise which held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja for the pre-qualification of companies for the contract.
A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated that the public opening of the bids for the contract was in keeping with the NNPC Management’s commitment to transparency and accountability in all its processes and transactions.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC), Mrs. Ada Oyetunde, disclosed that the exercise was in conformity with the mandate of the Federal Government to prioritise the rehabilitation of critical downstream infrastructure across the country.
She listed the facilities that would be rehabilitated by successful bidders to include critical pipelines for crude oil supply to the refineries and evacuation of refined products, depots, and terminals, stressing that the objective is to get them ready to support the refineries when they become operational after their rehabilitation.
“An open tender for pre-qualification of interested companies was published in August 2020 in the national dailies, for the rehabilitation of NNPC downstream critical pipelines and associated depots and terminal infrastructure through Finance BOT to cover the 4 lots namely: Lot 1: Port Harcourt Refinery related infrastructure, Lot 2: Warri Refinery related infrastructure, Lot 3: Kaduna Refinery related infrastructure and Lot 4: System 2B related infrastructure,” Mrs. Oyetunde stated.
The NPSC boss said that the BOT arrangement would provide a reliable pipeline network and automated storage facilities for effective crude feed, product storage and evacuation from the nation’s refineries post-revamp through an open access model and charge market reflective prices and tariffs to recover the investment.
Earlier, the Group General Manager, Supply Chain Management, Mrs. Aisha Katagum, had commended the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) for providing guidance for the project and assured the bidding firms of a fair, equitable and transparent selection process.
On hand to observe proceedings at the public bid opening exercise were representatives of the ICRC, BPP, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
Highpoint of the event was the display of the 96 companies that submitted bidsfor the rehabilitation projects./ SHARE THIS
• Tags: Mrs. Ada Oyetunde, Mrs. Aisha Katagum, Dr. Kennie Obateru, NNPC

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Nigeria loses ₦5.4trn from tax evasion by multinational companies, says FIRS https://thestateonlinengr.com/nigeria-loses-%e2%82%a65-4trn-from-tax-evasion-by-multinational-companies-says-firs/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/nigeria-loses-%e2%82%a65-4trn-from-tax-evasion-by-multinational-companies-says-firs/#respond Mon, 11 Jan 2021 18:29:41 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33023 • CREATES ADDITIONAL AUDIT UNITS TO TACKLE LEAKAGES The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Monday, January 11, recounted how Nigeria had lost over US$178 billion (about N5.4 trillion at today’s…

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• CREATES ADDITIONAL AUDIT UNITS TO TACKLE LEAKAGES
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Monday, January 11, recounted how Nigeria had lost over US$178 billion (about N5.4 trillion at today’s rate) between 2007 and 2017 through tax evasion by Multinationals doing business in the country.
The Executive Chairman of the Service, Mr. Muhammad Nami, who disclosed this in his opening remarks at a “Workshop on Effective Audit of Multinational Corporations for Domestic Revenue Mobilisation in Nigeria,” also cited a 2014 report by the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, which pointed to the fact that “Nigeria accounted for 30.5% of money lost by the continent through illicit financial flows.” The workshop was organized by the Service in conjunction with the Tax Justice Network.
Pursuant to this, the FIRS chair said the Service has created 35 additional Tax Audit Units in the country to stem illicit financial flow out of Nigeria and improve tax compliance rate.
He said: “At the FIRS, we are paying greater attention to tax audit in general and Transfer Pricing audit in particular, in order to improve the level of tax compliance in the country. As a result, in the last one year, we have created more than 35 additional Tax Audit Units and deployed experienced and capable staff to take charge of these offices.”
Nami noted that, with signing of the 2021 budget of N13.588 trillion on December 31, 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari, and given the recent decline of oil resources, “which had been the major revenue earner for the country, taxation is expected to continue to shoulder the Government’s budget performance the way it did in 2020, noting that this underscores the importance of the workshop, as tax audit of Multinational Corporations is very crucial in Nigeria’s domestic revenue mobilisation.
Particularly, Nami who admitted that some multinational corporations were “leading in tax compliance in various sectors,” charged the workshop “to come up with a novel methodology that would be used to uncover illicit financial flows and provide an overview of related policy options for enhancing tax revenue collection in general.”/ SHARE THIS
• Tags: FIRS, Muhammad Nami

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SERAP warns Buhari against borrowing from dormant accounts in banks, unclaimed dividends https://thestateonlinengr.com/serap-warns-buhari-against-borrowing-from-dormant-accounts-in-banks-unclaimed-dividends/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/serap-warns-buhari-against-borrowing-from-dormant-accounts-in-banks-unclaimed-dividends/#respond Sun, 10 Jan 2021 13:57:37 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33009 • POOH-POOHS GOVERNMENT’s UNWILLINGNESS TO STOP SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION IN MINISTRIES, DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, CUT WASTES, AND STOP ALL LEAKAGES IN PUBLIC EXPENDITURE The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has…

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• POOH-POOHS GOVERNMENT’s UNWILLINGNESS TO STOP SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION IN MINISTRIES, DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, CUT WASTES, AND STOP ALL LEAKAGES IN PUBLIC EXPENDITURE

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari on the plan by the Federal Government to borrow about N895 billion from unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts in Nigerian banks to finance 2021 budget, noting that borrowing these dividends and funds without due process of law, and the explicit consent of the owners is arbitrary, and as such, legally and morally unjustifiable, especially given the unwillingness or inability of the government to stop systemic corruption in ministries, departments and agencies [MDAs], cut waste, and stop all leakages in public expenditures.
In an open letter to Buhari, Sunday, January 10, SERAP urged him to use his good offices “to promptly drop the plan woven around “the patently unconstitutional and illegal Finance Act, 2020, and to ensure full respect for Nigerians’ right to property.”
SERAP, in the letter dated January 9, 2021 and signed by its Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “The right to property is a sacred and fundamental right. Borrowing unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts amounts to an illegal expropriation, and would hurt poor and vulnerable Nigerians who continue to suffer under reduced public services, and ultimately lead to unsustainable levels of public debt.
“The right to property extends to all forms of property, including unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts. Borrowing these dividends and funds without due process of law, and the explicit consent of the owners is arbitrary, and as such, legally and morally unjustifiable.
“The borrowing is neither proportionate nor necessary, especially given the unwillingness or inability of the government to stop systemic corruption in ministries, departments and agencies [MDAs], cut waste, and stop all leakages in public expenditures. The borrowing is also clearly not in pursuit of a public or social interest,” the letter which was also copied to Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, stressed.
President Buhari’s plan may not have been unconnected with the Finance Act he assented to, in December 2020, authorizing the government to borrow from unclaimed dividends and dormant account balances owned by Nigerians in any bank in the country.
SERAP further stressed: “The security of property, next to personal security against the exertions of government, is of the essence of liberty. It is next in degree to the protection of personal liberty and freedom from undue interference or molestation. Our constitutional jurisprudence rests largely upon its sanctity.
“Rather than pushing to borrow unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts, your government ought to move swiftly to cut the cost of governance, ensure review of jumbo salaries and allowances of all high-ranking political office holders, and address the systemic corruption in MDAs, as well as improve transparency and accountability in public spending.
“The borrowing also seems to be discriminatory, as it excludes government’s owned official bank accounts, and may exclude the bank accounts of high-ranking government officials and politicians, thereby violating constitutional and international prohibition of discrimination against vulnerable groups, to allow everyone to fully enjoy their right to property and associated rights on equal terms.”
Continuing, it said: “SERAP is concerned that the government has also repeatedly failed and/or refused to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of recovered stolen assets, and the loans so far obtained, which, according to the Debt Management Office, currently stands at $31.98 billion. SERAP notes growing allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending of these loans and recovered stolen assets.
“We would be grateful if your government would drop the decision to borrow unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts, and to indicate the measures being taken to send back the Finance Act to the National Assembly to repeal the legislation and remove its unconstitutional and unlawful provisions, including Sections 60 and 77, within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.
“If we have not heard from you by then as to the steps being taken in this direction, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to implement these recommendations in the public interest, and to promote transparency and accountability in public spending.”
According to SERAP, the government cannot lawfully enforce the provisions on Crisis Intervention Fund and Unclaimed Funds Trust Funds under the guise of a trust arrangement, as Section 44(2)[h] of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] is inapplicable, and cannot justify the establishment of these funds. SERAP also noted that while targeting the accounts of ordinary Nigerians, the Finance Act exempts official bank accounts owned by the federal government, state governments or local governments or any of their ministries, departments or agencies.
“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution, the country’s international human rights obligations including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party, and which has been domesticated as part of the country’s domestic legislation.
“According to our information, your government has reportedly completed plans to borrow an estimated N895bn of unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts using the Finance Act 2020 you recently signed into law. “Under the law, the government will be able to access and take without consent unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts in any bank, on the basis of the vague and undefined ‘Crisis Intervention Fund,’ and patently unlawful ‘Unclaimed Funds Trust Fund’. “The government is justifying the borrowing on the ground that it would improve access of the Federal Government to much needed funds, and remove the burdens of foreign exchange and punitive loan conditions imposed by multilateral lenders.
“According to the Finance Act, the operation of the trust fund is to be supervised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) and governed by a governing council chaired by the finance minister and a co-chairperson from the private sector appointed by you. “The Nigerian Constitution in Section 44(1) provides that, ‘no moveable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law,’’ it said.
Additionally, SERAP emphasised: “Similarly, Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee the right to property, and prohibit the arbitrary deprivation of the right. Thus, everyone is entitled to own property alone as well as in association with others. Respect for the right to property is important to improve the enjoyment of other basic human rights, and to lift Nigerians out of poverty. The Nigerian Constitution and international human rights law limit the ability of any government to interfere with private property without any legal justifications.”/ SHARE THIS

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Nigeria threatened by disease deadlier than COVID-19, By Dr Abia Nzelu https://thestateonlinengr.com/nigeria-threatened-by-disease-deadlier-than-covid-19-by-dr-abia-nzelu/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/nigeria-threatened-by-disease-deadlier-than-covid-19-by-dr-abia-nzelu/#respond Sat, 09 Jan 2021 15:40:28 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=33000 The whole world is currently grappling with the second surge of COVID-19 infection. This pandemic destabilized year 2020, affecting over 85 million people and causing nearly 2 million deaths with…

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The whole world is currently grappling with the second surge of COVID-19 infection. This pandemic destabilized year 2020, affecting over 85 million people and causing nearly 2 million deaths with a global mortality rate of about 2%. For this reason, every nation is making effort to gain access to the recently developed vaccines against the dreaded virus.
Incidentally, Nigeria is also experiencing a second surge of Cervical Cancer, a disease that has a much higher mortality rate than COVID-19 and which is also caused by another deadly virus, known as the Human papillomavirus (HPV). Most Nigerians are oblivious of HPV and cervical cancer, a silent killer which disproportionately devastates women in the developing world, but is a disappearing disease in the developed world, where appropriate steps have been taken.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness on the disease and to reflect on lasting solutions to this perennial prey on the lives of our precious wives, mothers and daughters in their prime. Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix (the opening of the womb). 99% of cervical cancer is linked to infection with HPV, an extremely common virus that affects 630 million people globally and is transmitted through sexual contact. HPV is also responsible for cancer in other parts of the body, including the vulva, vagina, penis, scrotum, anus, perineum, conjunctival of the eye, mouth and throat. However, cervical cancer accounts for 84% of all HPV-associated cancers.
Cervical cancer is virtually 100% preventable and also curable if detected and treated early. Yet it is the 4th most common cancer in women globally, and the 2nd most common cancer among females in less developed countries. According to WHO, there were 570,000 cases of cervical cancer worldwide in 2018, and about 311,000 deaths. Sadly, 90% of those deaths occurred in developing nations like Nigeria, where women lack access to screening and early intervention. Furthermore, WHO has warned that if drastic action is not taken, the annual number of new cases of cervical cancer could rise from 570,000 to 700,000 between 2018 and 2030, while annual deaths would increase from 311,000 to 400,000.
In Nigeria, cervical cancer is the 2nd most common cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer deaths in females. In 2008, cervical cancer killed 9,659 Nigerian women (66% mortality rate), by 2012, this reduced to 8,070 (57% mortality rate). However, 2018 saw a new spike in cervical cancer deaths to 10,403 (70% mortality rate), whilst there was a fall in the overall cancer deaths in Nigeria during the same period, from 75,392 deaths in 2008 to 70,327 deaths in 2018 (WHO data).
Although this second wave in cervical cancer mortality is hardly surprising, given the WHO projection, it was not a fait accompli and is therefore unacceptable. To address this problem, a fleet of Mobile Cancer Centres (a.k.a. the PinkCruise) was deployed in 2017 to scale up the BIG WAR Against Cancer. The BIG WAR is operated by the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a nongovernmental initiative of mass medical mission, that has been spearheading awareness and community-based preventive cancer care to the Nigerian masses since 2007. The NCPP campaign contributed to the improvement in Nigeria’s overall cancer statistics. The BIG WAR protects underprivileged women from coming down with full-blown cancer, by picking them up and treating them in the precancerous stages.
With the current COVID-induced restriction on mass gathering coupled with the strain on the already deficient infrastructure for cancer care in the country; and the diversion of the few resources available locally towards addressing the COVID-19 crisis, there is the risk that the gains in the effort towards reducing the nation’s cancer burden would be severely undermined. This situation, if unaddressed, could potentially produce an even greater surge of cervical cancer deaths.
In this regard, in 2020, WHO launched the global strategy towards eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem. To this end, WHO proposed the 90-70-90 targets to be met by 2030 by countries towards cervical cancer elimination viz: 90% of girls fully vaccinated against HPV by age 15 years; 70% of women screened with a high-performance test by 35 years of age and again by age 45 and 90% of women identified with cervical disease receive treatment.
The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) protects both males and females from HPV-related cancers. Vaccination can prevent new HPV infections, but cannot treat existing infections or diseases, so it works best when given before any exposure to HPV. Gardasil is therefore, recommended for males and females from 9 to 26 years of age. HPV vaccination is less beneficial and is optional for those above 26 years as most would have already been exposed to the virus. For the same reason, women are expected to get regular cervical cancer screening, even after vaccination. Widespread HPV vaccination, coupled with access to screening and optimal treatment is responsible for the status of cervical cancer as a disappearing disease in advanced nations.
Sadly, the cost of HPV vaccine is prohibitive to those who need it most. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a public–private global health partnership to increase access to vaccines in poor countries. HPV vaccine is now part of the national immunization programme in 112 countries, including 17 African nations such as Senegal, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. Tragically, although Gavi is chaired by a Nigerian, our masses still have no access to the vaccine. As we strive to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, we MUST spare no effort to access Gardasil, so as to protect our people from HPV-related cancers.
When diagnosed early, cervical cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Cancers diagnosed in late stages can also be controlled with appropriate treatment and palliation. The optimal care for cervical cancer and other cancers is provided by Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCCs). A CCC is a world-class, stand-alone tertiary health institution, with all its units focused on cancer care. By housing together clinical research, preventive, curative and palliative cancer care, the CCC provides better outcomes across a range of measures – including, crucially, survival.
Sadly, whilst India has over 200 CCCs, Nigeria has none. Therefore, Nigerians who can afford it, resort to treatment abroad with about one billion USD being spent on medical tourism annually. This is a tragic case of being penny wise and pound foolish, because one billion dollars is sufficient to establish 20 CCC in Nigeria every year! Moreover, the recent COVID-related global lockdown has shown that medical tourism may not always be available, even if one could afford it. How much longer must we allow this financial haemorrhage and waste of precious lives to continue? The WHO projection is a stark warning that Nigerians will be worst hit by the cancer pandemic if we do not ACT now.
We could take inspiration from other nations. The case of Ruth Ginsburg who recently died at the age of 87 years illustrates how the positive step we take today can transform the situation for us and future generations. Ginsburg was the second female Justice of the US Supreme Court. Ruth’s mother died from cervical cancer at the age of 48 years, a day before Ruth graduated from high school. In contrast, Ruth first survived colon cancer at the age of 66 years and later survived pancreatic cancer (one of the deadliest cancers) at age of 76. While being treated for these cancers, she did not miss a day at work.
Ruth Ginsburg was a beneficiary of the legacy of some American philanthropists whose generosity had transformed the US health system between her mum’s generation and her own. These philanthropists rose to the challenge of establishing world-class Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCCs) in the USA, long before the US government became involved. Largely due to such philanthropic efforts, USA now has over 1500 Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC). The first CCC in USA is the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, where Ruth received treatment.
Before the establishment of MSKCC in 1884, cancer was a death sentence in the US. John Jacob Astor III (a philanthropist) sponsored the first wing of the MSKCC, named the “Astor Pavilion”. His attention was drawn to the need by his wife Charlotte who was on the board of the Women’s Hospital, New York, an institution that was then rejecting cancer patients. Over the years, the MSKCC went through various stages of advancement through the continuous support of more philanthropists. Today, the legacy that was left behind by these philanthropic men and women of goodwill is one of the top cancer centres in USA; saving tens of thousands of lives from all over the world, annually.
Likewise, the first children cancer centre in US (St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Tennessee, USA) was philanthropy driven. This hospital costs over $2 million to run daily, but patients are not charged, because all cost is covered by donations. St. Jude was founded by a comedian Danny Thomas in 1962, in league with a medical doctor, Lemuel Diggs and supported by public-spirited Americans. Danny Thomas built St Jude in fulfilment of a vow he made in a church in Detroit, USA.
↓↑GivingTide International is an initiative aimed at promoting synergistic, concerted and catalytic philanthropy for the common good. The current focal cause of ↓↑GivingTide is the BIG WAR Against Cancer, with the immediate goal of establishing the first Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) in Nigeria, while continuing to fund the already existing mobile cancer care system. The funds of the BIG WAR is domiciled in the ↓↑GivingTide Global Trust which is managed by FBNQuest Trustees, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings. Here is a clarion call on everyone to support the ↓↑GivingTide Trust.
Prof. Dora Akunyili (the former Minister of Information) quoted an ancient proverb at her last public outing before her death from cancer: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” ↓↑GivingTide calls on Nigerian philanthropists to heed the wisdom of those words, just as the philanthropists in other nations who established Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCCs) for the care of their own people, without waiting for government.
However, every one of us can be philanthropic. If 1 in 7 Nigerians donated only N1,000 each to the ↓↑GivingTide Global Trust, Nigeria’s first CCC would be fully ready within 7 months. Therefore, there is no reason for the holocaust of preventable catastrophic deaths from cancer. Together, it is possible!
“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” /SHARE THIS
– Dr Abia Nzelu, the Executive Secretary of ↑↓GivingTide International, may be reached via info@givingtide.org

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Just in: Court dismisses certificate forgery case against Obaseki https://thestateonlinengr.com/just-in-court-dismisses-certificate-forgery-case-against-obaseki/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/just-in-court-dismisses-certificate-forgery-case-against-obaseki/#respond Sat, 09 Jan 2021 15:15:51 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=32995 • SAYS APC HAS NOTHING TO PROVE A Federal High Court, in Abuja has dismissed the case of certificate forgery filed against the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, by the…

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• SAYS APC HAS NOTHING TO PROVE

A Federal High Court, in Abuja has dismissed the case of certificate forgery filed against the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, by the All Progressives Congress, stating that APC had nothing to prove against the governor.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed who gave the ruling, emphasized that the APC’s guts to drag the governor to court amounts to nullity and a waste of the court’s precious time. Although he was lenient not to award cost against the plaintiffs.
Essentially, Justice Mohammed held that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and one of its members, Edobor Williams, failed in entirety to prove their claim that Obaseki forged the academic certificates that he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the last governorship election in the state.
Following this, the Barrister Razak, the People’s Democratic Party counsel said it has been proven that”evil will never triumph over good as they cannot, by way of credible evidence, discharge the burden of proof placed on them by the law.” /SHARE THIS
• Tag: Gov Godwin Obaseki

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FG reveals how many SIMs that can be linked to a NIN https://thestateonlinengr.com/fg-reveals-how-many-sims-that-can-be-linked-to-a-nin/ https://thestateonlinengr.com/fg-reveals-how-many-sims-that-can-be-linked-to-a-nin/#respond Sat, 09 Jan 2021 14:23:45 +0000 https://thestateonlinengr.com/?p=32992 One thing that has been bothering Nigerians since Federal Government’s order for SIM-NIN synchronization, is their ability to harmonise more than one SIM to a National Identification Number (NIN), since…

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One thing that has been bothering Nigerians since Federal Government’s order for SIM-NIN synchronization, is their ability to harmonise more than one SIM to a National Identification Number (NIN), since an average Nigerian has more than one SIM card. But now, subscribers have to heave a sigh of relief, as the Federal Government has explained it out.
According to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, a subscriber can link as many as seven SIM numbers to a NIN. Pantami revealed this, Friday, January 8, while fielding questions from journalists on a Channels TV show. He said this is possible by using the National Identity Management Commission Mobile App.
The minister who spoke extensively on the issue, however, debunked that there will be a review of the SIM linkage if there is a fresh lockdown in the country occasioned by the new spike in COVID-19, adding that his ministry, NIMC and telecommunication operators have deliberated extensively on that.
He said: “You will be able to link up to seven SIM numbers to only one NIN. I have already launched the App, downloaded the App, and already linked some of my numbers immediately. This is effect of digitalization.”
Answering questions on the difficulties suffered by Nigerians in enrolling for National Identification Number, he said enrolment process should not be an issue to consume the time of the applicants, adding that “prospective applicants can complete the form virtually without even visiting any office.”
He reiterated that, in government’s determination to make the exercise seamless, the ministry had, on December 31, 2020, in Abuja, emphasized this in a statement , stating that it was part of overall federal government’s policy to improve the process of obtaining NIN and linking it to Subscribers Identification Module (SIM), and also aligning with the national digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria./ SHARE THIS
• Tags: NIN, SIM, Isa Pantami

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