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174 Nigerians stranded in Libya return home

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… As Buhari swears in new RMAFC Chairman, Muhammed Bello***

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Tuesday received another batch of 174 Nigerians who had been stranded in Libya as they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the Agency, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, told the newsmen of the development in Lagos.

Farinloye said that the Nigerians arrived at the cargo wing of the airport at 3:45 p.m. aboard a Boeing 737-800 of Al Buraq Air with registration number 5A-DMG.

He said that the returnees were brought back to the country by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) through a voluntary repatriation programme.

The acting coordinator said that the programme was meant for distressed Nigerians who had left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries but could not afford to return when their journey became frustrating.

Farinloye said that the returnees comprised  75 male adults, 69 female adults, 12 male and five female children, 10 female infants and three male infants.

He said that 23 among the returnees had minor medical cases.

“This year alone, this flight was the 12th recorded in Lagos that brought returnees from Libya,” Farinloye said.

He said that so far, about 2, 044 Nigerian returnees from Libya had been assisted back to the country through Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja in 2022.

The acting coordinator enjoined the returnees to turn a new leaf in looking for opportunities in the country that are enough for everyone to achieve their desired goals.

“We admonished the returnees on the need to realise that there’s no country better than Nigeria.

” Here you have all the freedom to achieve your potential; looking for greener pastures in foreign lands is no longer a reality, those countries are not better off when you consider the challenges you encounter there and here.

” You are encouraged to be positive ambassadors toward advocacy and sensitisation against irregular migration that leave the youths vulnerable to all sorts of abuses and death in extreme cases.

“There are ample opportunities for all of us to thrive and live happily in virtuous and God-fearing manners in Nigeria without unnecessarily exposing ourselves to underserved dangers in foreign lands,” he said.

Farinloye said that the returnees were received by NEMA, along with other sister agencies such as the Immigration Service, Refugee Commission, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Police.

In another development,  President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn-in new Chairman for Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mohammed Shehu.

The newsmen report that the swearing-in of the Chairman was held shortly before the commencement of the weekly virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Newsmen report that Bello’s appointment followed the resignation of the immediate past Chairman, Elias Mbam, who contested for the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primary election in Abia.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the exercise, Bello pledged to work hard to assist the country gain more revenues within the confines of extant laws.

He said: “I can assure the president that the commission as one of the 14 constitutionally recognised ones will do what it takes to assist him to get more revenues before he leaves office next year.

“We will also ensure that we maintain our independence as enshrined in the constitution.’’

According to him, the commission will collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria strengthens its monetary mechanisms.

Bello said: “The task is challenging. So, our task as a revenue mobilization agency is how we can assist Mr. President to get more revenues for the federation and block leakages.

“And also looking at the constitutional responsibility of the commission, which of course are, monitoring of accruals to the Federation Account, disbursement and also mobilsation.

“Also taking care of the salaries of political office holders and judicial officers, as enshrined in the constitution that had not been reviewed since 2008.

And I think there is agitation for that.

“And also, from time to time, come up with a new revenue allocation formula, which the commission successfully did, sometimes I think, in February this year, and we have submitted our report to Mr. President.

“What he stated at that time was that he was waiting to see what the National Assembly will do in terms of looking at the concurrent list and exclusive list as well as a constitutional amendment.”

Bello said if the president was satisfied with what the National Assembly does, he will forward a recommendation and make it an Act so that it becomes a law.

 

 

 

Health and Safety

EFCC secures 166 convictions, recovers N1.4bn in Kano; Student docked for alleged threat to life, stabbing another with bottle

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EFCC secures 166 convictions, recovers N1.4bn in Kano

 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kano Zonal Command, said it secured 166 convictions and recovered N1.4 billion in 2022.

The Zonal Commander of EFCC, Mr. Farouk Dogondaji, made the disclosure during a courtesy visit by Head of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) office in Kano State, Aminu Garko, on Thursday in Kano.

“In 2022 the commission investigated, prosecuted, secured 166 convictions and recovered N1.4 billion in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa. We still have pending cases in court.

“The Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has given all Nigerians the opportunity to report cases of economic and financial crime.

“EFCC Chairman, Mr. Abdulrashid Bawa, brought a lot of changes and policies among which is the development of EFCC strategic plan to improve public participation in the fight against corruption.

“Fighting corruption is for all of us Nigerians. We have to put our hands together to push our country forward,” Dogondaji said.

He noted that the issue of corruption in Nigeria was of great concern to all patriotic citizens, and as such various stakeholders must work together to tame it, especially as the country goes into election.

“Citizens have to know what corruption has done to Nigeria so that when they go to cast their votes, they vote for credible Nigerians. Even as citizens, we have a duty to Nigeria,” he said.

He commended NAN for its zeal to partner with the commission to win the war against corruption.

Earlier, the head of the Kano state NAN office said corruption has been the major problem militating against the smooth implementation of government policies and programmes that would impact the well-being of the populace.

“Fighting corruption is like fighting a war among communities, we cannot move forward without fighting corruption,” he said.

Garko called for synergy between NAN and the EFCC in the ongoing fight against corruption in the country. 

In another development, a 26-year-old student, Victor Adegbulugbe, was on Friday docked in an Ogudu Magistrate’s Court in Lagos, for allegedly stabbing another with a broken bottle on the head and back.

The police charged Adegbulugbe, who resides at Kazeem Street, Ojota, Lagos, with count bordering on assault, threat to life, grievous confrontation and breach of peace.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, Insp Donjor Perezi, had told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Jan. 19, 2023, at about 9 a.m. at Muwazani hotel, located on No 22 Ogudu road, Ojota, Lagos State.

Perezi told the court that the defendant stabbed one Akeem Adebare, during an altercation and threatened the lives of Sharon Eunkoroh and Ibrahim Adebare that he would kill them with a gun.

He said that the offences contravened the provisions of Section 175, 56 (1)(a), 168 and 173 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

According to section 173, anyone found guilty of the offence will be liable to three years imprisonment

The Magistrate, Mrs M.O. Tanimola, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000, with two sureties in like sum.

She said that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must show evidence of tax payments to Lagos Government.

Tanimola adjourned the case until Feb. 15 for mention.

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Health and Safety

381 people killed, 2,082 injured during “Special Operation Zero” nationwide – FRSC

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381 people killed, 2,082 injured during “Special Operation Zero” nationwide – FRSC

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs) killed 381 people during the Yuletide “Operation Zero” tolerance to crashes across the nation.

The Corps Marshal, FRSC, Dauda Biu, said during a press briefing on Friday in Abuja that the Corps recorded a total of 626 RTCs across the nation

Biu who said that 4,698 people were involved in the RTCs added that 2,082 people were injured which included various degrees of injuries.

The Just concluded 2022 Operation Zero Tolerance Special Patrol began on December 15, 2022, and came to a conclusion on January 15, 2023.

Biu said that the gratifying development was that the Corps went into the exercise with strategic initiatives that would tackle all variables that promoted RTCs particularly speed which had been a principal risk factor over the years.

He said that the Corps was out to check and tackle it head-on by intensifying enforcement on the compulsory installation of Speed Limiting Devices by all commercial vehicles.

“We also ensured that the 2022 exercise was well put together with evidence-based projections, timely and judicious deployments of personnel and equipment complemented by a large pool of volunteers

“These are in the categories of; the Police, Military and Paramilitary Agencies, Ambulance Service Organisations, Federal and State Ministries of Works, Construction Companies, and Community Volunteers.

“During Operation Zero Tolerance to road crashes, a total of 2,295 people were rescued without injuries while 30,726 People were arrested for various offences.

“690 people were arraigned, out of which 650 were convicted with paid fines, 0 were imprisoned, while 40 were discharged and acquitted, “he said.

Biu said that there was an increase in the 2022 records as against 2021 adding that the increase recorded in most of the data presented occurred majorly because of increased visibility.

This, he said was a result of a much wider coverage by Operatives, particularly with the establishment of Local Government Stations which resulted in almost all traffic crashes across the country being captured.

The FRSC boss said that it was even more pertinent to note that the main factors responsible for the crashes were speed violations and continuous night journeys leading to Fatigue.

He said that driving Under Influence, dangerous driving, Wrongful overtaking and tyre violation (worn out and expired) were among notable factors that caused RTCs during the yuletide season.

He urged travellers to as much as possible avoid excessive speed and steer clear of night trips due to the perennial dangers that come with it.

He emphasised that poor visibility, excessive speed, fatigue and other unhealthy driving behaviours were also associated with driving during the dark hours on Nigerian roads.

“I say this because, travelling at night is a risk factor to all road users, and this must be totally avoided to save lives, “he said.

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Health and Safety

Nigeria records 23,550 cases of cholera

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Nigeria records 23,550 cases of cholera

Nigeria recorded 23,550 suspected cases of cholera in 2022 with Borno taking the lead with 12,459 cases.

The country also lost 583 lives to the scourge in 2022, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, said on Friday in Abuja.

He said that Borno’s neighbour, Yobe placed second with 1,888 cases, while Katsina State followed with 1,632 cases.

Taraba had 1,142 cases; Gombe State had 1,407 cases, while Kano State recorded 1,131 cases.

The six states accounted for 84 percent of all cases of Cholera in Nigeria in 2022, Adetifa said.

He also said that 52 percent of cholera victims in 2022 were female while males accounted for the balance of 48 percent.

He put the fatality rate at 2.5 percent of cases reported in 33 states of the federation.

Adetifa said children between the ages of five years and 14 years were the most affected.

He noted that bacterial cholera, endemic during the rainy season, is an acute diarrhoeal disease passing through faeces, contaminated foods and drinks and an unhygienic environment and causes severe dehydration.

He lamented that cholera is largely associated with rural communities and among the poor with poor nutrition, poor water quality, and poor sanitation and had not gotten the desired attention from governments.

Adetifa said the rise in cholera cases in Nigeria was exacerbated by limited access to clean water and sanitation facilities, open defecation and poor hygiene practices.

He cautioned that without proper Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices, Nigeria would continue to be at risk of cholera outbreaks along with the associated sufferings and deaths.

“The long-term solution for cholera control lies in access to safe drinking water, maintenance of proper sanitation (especially the discontinuation of open defecation) and the practice of hygiene.

“Nigerians should avoid open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping which contribute to the spread of cholera,’’ he said.

In 2016, Nigeria launched an action plan to end open defecation by 2025. The plan involves providing equitable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and strengthening tailored community approaches to total sanitation.

The country needs an estimated N959 billion to end open defecation by 2025, experts say.

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