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Daily Archives: June 28, 2019

NAFDAC suspends new tariffs on pharmaceutical products, others

The Governing Council of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, said it has suspended the implementation of the new tariffs which came into effect on 1st June 2019.

The move, NAFDAC said is to douse tension and assuage the yearnings of stakeholders in the pharmaceutical, food and allied industries.

According to a statement signed by the director, Public Affairs, NAFDAC, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, the decision was reached after a marathon stakeholders forum and meeting of the Governing Council.

The board said that the decision was reached by the governing council of NAFDAC at a stakeholders meeting held recently in Lagos and was disclosed by the chairman of the council, Mr Inuwa Abdul-Kadir.

“After a marathon stakeholders forum and meeting of the governing council, it was resolved that all NAFDAC stakeholders affected by the new tariff will henceforth revert to payment of the old tariff until further notice.

“The council has considered substantially the inputs of the stakeholders in arriving at a new tariff regime which will soon be released by the agency after doing all the needful including sensitising the public before it becomes effective,” Abdul-Kadir. said.

He said that the suspension of the new tariff was borne out of NAFDAC avowed commitment to the promotion of the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.

Abdul-Kadir said that the need to carry along stakeholders in decision-making was in line with global best practices and that NAFDAC would continue to promote the manufacture, exportation and importation of good quality products.

“We need to promote local manufacture of regulated products as part of Federal Government concerted efforts to create jobs and increase foreign exchange earnings by our dear nation.

“Nigeria has the potential of producing pharmaceutical products for the domestic consumption and export to West African Countries,” Abdul-Kadir added.

The chairman of the governing council stressed the need for NAFDAC to procure new laboratory equipment, operational vehicles and other facilities to enable it to render quality and efficient services.

COZA pastor raped me at 16, says Busola Dakolo

Busola Dakolo, a celebrity photographer and wife of Timi Dakolo, has accused Biodun Fatoyinbo, senior pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) of raping her as a teenager.

In an interview with Chude Jideonwo of YNaija, she said the incident happened when she was 16 and out of secondary school.

“Immediately I opened the door (of her house in Ilorin), he just pushed me, he didn’t say anything, he didn’t utter any word, he just pushed me to one of the chairs in my living room,” she said.

“I saw him, he was removing his belt, he just said: ‘keep quiet, do what I want you to do and you will be fine.”

According to the mother of three, Fatoyinbo gave her a drink after the deed was done. She also disclosed that he raped her a second time on her way back from his house where she had gone to help his wife with domestic chores.

This is not the first time that the pastor has been accused of rape or having sexual encounters with church members.

The most prominent was that of Ese Walter in 2013. Walter shared her experience on a self-named blog, which has now been deleted.

A few weeks ago, Fatoyinbo was in the news again when another church member made public her affair with him.

Watch the video below:

 

Alaafin, Adams, Adebanjo, Odumakin decry herdsmen attacks in Yorubaland

Prominent Yoruba leaders on Thursday re-echoed the legacies of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as they reviewed cases of kidnapping in the South-West region of the country.

The leaders, who converged to honour the memory and legacies of Awolowo at the book presentation of the Yoruba translation of his autobiography titled ‘Awo’ by Alaroye, also decried the insecurity in the land.

Speakers at the book presentation held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, were the Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, represented by his deputy, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan; Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Onimeko of Imeko, Oba Benjamin Alabi; Chief Ayo Adebabjo; Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Dr Gani Adams; Ambassador Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu and Mr Yinka Odumakin, among others.

Referring to a recent security summit, Adebanjo accused South-West governors, except Governor Makinde, of paying lip service to the issue of insecurity for fear of not offending a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Bola Tinubu.

Adebanjo said Nigerians must be ready to liberate themselves if their leaders failed to live up to their constitutional responsibility of providing security.

Alaafin who minced no words over the insecurity in the land, said, “At the national level today, we have unprecedented state of insecurity culminated by kidnapping, Fulani herdsmen harassment and all sorts of criminality that have enveloped Yorubaland today.

“The Yoruba are proud of their harmonious relationship with indigenous Fulani which has spread over many centuries. Such relationships have led to inter- ethnic marriages and business entrepreneurships. At that time, cattle herders carried stick to direct the movement of their cattle. It was unlike now when supposed herders are armed sophistically like soldiers. At that time, farming and rearing were complementary unlike now where they are targeted against each other.

“As far as I am concerned, there is no solution to the current national challenge than the restructuring of our federal system to the glorious old days with some modifications where necessary. As of now, the centre is too powerful beyond any mortal capacity to supervise and superintend the whole national security.”

In his contribution, the Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland, said, “We should do whatever we have to deliver ourselves. I can still roll out one million Yoruba people.

“The Miyeti Allah is taking out their plans one after the other, while the eastern governors kicked against it, our governors are trying to be diplomatic about the matter.

“We won’t allow insecurity to overwhelm us. We will not allow it to distract us from pursuing restructuring.”

Similarly, the spokesperson for Afenifere, Odumakin, appealed to traditional rulers to warn South-West governors against giving herders land for Ruga settlement.

In her presentation, Awolowo-Dosumu expressed happiness at the presence of traditional rulers and other personalities at the event.

She, however, lamented that out of the invited six governors in South-West, only the governor of the host state was present.

She said, “We call this gathering in the name of our father, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I am so delighted to see the Alaafin of Oyo here.

“Awolowo was the premier of the western region which covers eight states of the present government.

“I encourage Yoruba elders to be visionary and not to forsake their visions. Awolowo never forsook his vision for the Yoruba race, and that’s why we’re all benefitting from it.”

The guest speaker at the event, Prof. Banji Akintoye, encouraged young Yoruba people to emulate Chief Awolowo and continue with his legacies.

Akintoye said, “We thank Alaroye for this. This is a wake-up call to the Yoruba race so that our nation, the Yoruba nation, will not be brought down by anybody.

“There is an intention by a small group of people to reduce the Yoruba race. It is a deliberate attempt by the few people to destroy the people of Nigeria. The Yoruba people must not permit.”

The Publisher of Alaroye, Adedayo Alao, lamented the security situation, saying, “The security situation is getting worse by the day. Truly, things are happening.”

 

Police arrest businessman who planned own kidnap

The police have arrested one Abdullahi Mohammed, a Nasarawa-based businessman, for allegedly planning his own kidnap.

Abubakar Kamal, public relations officer of the Bauchi police command, announced this while parading 86 suspects arrested for various offences across the state.

Kamal said one Tijjani Mohammed of Sabon Fegi in Lafia, Nasarawa, had on May 12, reported to the police that Mohammed, his brother, left home for business in Kano but did not return when he ought to.

He said Tijjani told the police that Abdullahi later called and informed him that he was kidnapped near Gusau in Zamfara state while on the business trip.

Kamal said Abdullahi told Tijjani that the abductors demanded a ransom of N10 million and directed the family to deliver the ransom before he would be released.

He emphasised that Tijjani said the ransom was later reduced to N1 million and the abductors directed that the money be brought to Bauchi.

Kamal said the command operatives attached to anti-kidnapping squad later arrested one Haruna Saidu of Gamawa local government area in Bauchi who had come to collect the ransom.

He said further investigation led to the discovery of the alleged abductor (Saidu), and victim (Abdullahi) at the residence of Saidu.

“Investigation revealed that Abdullahi Mohammed, a businessman, after his businesses collapsed, conspired with his friend Haruna Saidu and staged a false kidnapping in order to force his family to pay ransom,” Kamal said.

He said that the suspects would be charged to court after completion of investigation.

This is not the first time that the police would arrest someone who allegedly staged his own kidnap.

Last month Adewuyi Adegoke, a pastor at Methodist Church, Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti state, was arrested after he went into hiding and allegedly planned with one Oluwadare Sunday to demand N3 million ransom from his congregation.

His purported abductors later contacted the church members to demand the ransom, which they insisted must be paid latest by Thursday to prevent the reverend from being killed.

FG denies persecuting Christians, writes British Parliamentary group

The federal government has refuted claims that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is alienating Christians.

Garba Shehu, Buhari’s spokesman, made this known in a statement on Thursday.

According to the statement, the claims were made by a group “styling itself as Northern Christian Elders Forum”.

Shehu said the federal government’s response was contained in a letter to the British parliamentary group, signed by George Oguntade, Nigeria’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom.

In the letter, the Nigerian government denied the allegation that the Boko Haram insurgents were used to fight Christians in the country, describing the claim as “inconceivable and outrightly false”.

“It would be useful for me to engage with this process to ensure that you are thoroughly briefed on the situation in Nigeria,’’ Oguntade said in the letter.

“The safety and security of all Nigerians, whatever their faith, is a fundamental priority of the Buhari government. The government knows that Nigeria can only achieve its potential if there is religious tolerance and cooperation.”

Oguntade said Buhari’s cabinet is balanced between Muslims and Christians.

He explained that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is a pastor, adding that the president “has befriended church leaders and groups both within and outside Nigeria.”

Oguntade said Osinbajo had maintained regular contacts with Christian and Muslim leaders as part of efforts to build and sustain interfaith dialogue.

He also said the country’s security challenges had no ethnic and religious colouration, noting that the farmer/herder clashes predated the Buhari-led administration.

He said Buhari’s administration had taken major steps to address the root cause of the crises pitting Muslim and Christian farmers against the herders so that Nigerians can live in peace with one another.

He assured the international community that the Buhari administration would ensure “the competition over scarce land is resolved peacefully for the benefits of all parties”.

The high commissioner also said the Boko Haram insurgents “who kill both Muslims and Christians do not represent Islam”.

He said: “Boko Haram is a murderous death cult whose savagery has destroyed thousands of lives. The government is totally dedicated to eradicating their stain from our land.

“Since the Buhari administration has been in power, Boko Haram has been significantly degraded – with the support and assistance of the UK Government.

“We shall not rest until this mission is completed and the people of North East Nigeria – both Christians and Muslims – can live in peace again.”

ICPC asks Lai to appear in court over N2.5bn fraud case

The immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has been scheduled to appear before a Federal High Court, Abuja, to explain his role in the alleged misapplication of N2.5 billion Federal Government Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme.

The planned appearance of Mohammed was revealed by the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), who is prosecuting the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, over an alleged abuse of office and money laundering.

ICPC had filed a 12-count charge before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, against Kawu, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Pinnacle Communications Limited respectively. It was alleged that the NBC director general misled the former Minister into approving government funds to a private company.

The former Minister’s involvement had come under questioning following discovery by ICPC during investigations, that a government White Paper that governs the execution of the DSO programme was allegedly flouted by the head of NBC.

Mohammed had however admitted in a statement to the Commission that he was misled by Kawu, as opined in court by a witness from ICPC, Osanato Olugbemi.

Olugbemi, led in evidence by counsel to ICPC, Henry Emore, also told the court that the payment of N2.5 billion from NBC to Pinnacle Communications Limited, as seed grant was suspicious because ICPC found out through its investigations that only government owned company was approved to benefit from the grant according to the White Paper.

The court also heard that the processes that led to the final payment of the fund to the private company were shrouded in secrecy as revealed by the minute from an NBC emergency board management meeting where issues of carriage fees owed Pinnacle and not seed grant was discussed.

He told the court that 47 suspicious transactions were originated by the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications, Omoluwa, immediately after the receipt of the funds on June 2, 2017.

The transactions includes payments of N363 million to one Idowu Olatunde, N274.4 million to one James Segun and N127 million to Dipo Onifade, the Chief Operating Officer of the company.

He informed the court that Omoluwa refused to explained the reasons for the payments to Olatunde and James when asked by ICPC, but Onifade explained that he received the N127 million as legal fees he rendered to Pinnacle Communications Limited.

A Bureau de Change operator, Salisu Mamman Daura, who also testified in court, said he received N167 million in two installments of N97 million and N70 million respectively, from Pinnacle Communications Limited.

Daura added that the sums were converted into $265, 000 and $195, 735 respectively, at the rate of N360 to an American dollar, and handed in cash to one Alhaji Sabo, supposedly on behalf of Pinnacle Communications.

Counsel to the accused persons, Alex Iziyon (SAN), A Yusuf and A. V. Etuwewe for Omoluwa, Onifade, Kawu and Pinnacle Communications respectively, took turns to cross-examined both witnesses after which the matter was adjourned to July 1, 2019 for continuation of trial and ruling on two pending motions by the trial judge.

Blackout looms as FG moves to cut off three DisCos from national grid

The federal government has ordered the disconnection of three electricity distribution companies from the national grid over “non-compliance with the conditions of market rules”.

DisCos are allegedly owing the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) N231 billion energy service debt.

In notices issued by the market operator, an arm of the TCN, a directive was given for the suspension of – Eko, Enugu and Ikeja distribution companies for failing to renew their security cover.

Security cover is a deposit established to serve as a form of guarantee of payment for all amounts due from the DisCos to the market operator for energy received.

The DisCos were reportedly given the room to address the situation but they were said to have refused to respond within the stipulated time.

“The restriction of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company intake from the grid through a Disconnection Order to the Transmission Service Provider to disconnect some facilities of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company until the Event of Default stated in NIISO/2019/003 is remedied,” the notice to Ikeja DisCo read.

The market operator enforcement panel (MOEP) recommended the suspension of Enugu DisCo having defaulted in payment and not addressing the issue within the stipulated time.

“That Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) is under suspension through Market Operator issued Order TCN/ISO/MO/002,” the notice read.

“That Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has been suspended from the Market Operator Administered Market due to an EVENT OF DEFAULT that was not remedied. EEDC was notied of this EVENT OF DEFAULT by a NOTICE OF EVENT OF DEFAULT (NED/2019/002) dated May 24, 2019.”

A directive was also given for the suspension of Eko Electricity Distribution Company on similar grounds.

Reacting to the development, Paul Okeke, EEDC’s deputy managing director, said the company is making necessary arrangements to procure and deliver security cover to the market operators.

Felix Ofulue, head of corporate communications of Ikeja DisCo, said the company had sought an extension of time to fulfil its obligation.

“Notwithstanding the above, Ikeja Electric assures all its customers and other stakeholders that everything will be done to ensure that there is no deliberate disruption to services,” Ofulue said.