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Internet fraud: EFCC arrests 60, convicts 37 in A’Ibom

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Illegal mining: Group drums support for EFCC

…As EFCC recovers N423mn, $39,253, €2,330 in 8 months***

The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it had arrested over 60 suspected internet fraudsters and secured 37 convictions since 2017 in the state.

The Zonal Head of the Commission, Mr Garba Dugum, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday.

Dugum, who was represented by the Deputy Zonal Head, Alex Ebbah, said EFCC was collaborating with the America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fight against cyber crimes.

Dugum said the directives by the acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, to launch an independent raid against the fraudsters culminated in various strategic raids and onslaught on their hideouts.

“In furtherance to the acting Chairman’s directive to all the zones, we have independently launched intensive investigative actions against this infamous “Yahoo Yahoo Boys” culmination in various strategic raids and onslaught on their hideouts.

“Our efforts in this regards have recorded tremendous success which resulted in over 60 arrests, 37 convictions and recovery of exotic cars and properties suspected to have been acquired through the proceeds of the crimes,” he said.

Dugum said the commission had gone beyond arrest, investigation, prosecution and conviction of internet fraudsters.

Dugum added that the commission had so far received about 20 different cases of internet fraud reported directly by the FBI through the United States Department of Justice some of which are under investigation.

He mentioned the cases received through Mutual Legal Assistance by other International Law Enforcement Agencies to include five from Hong-Kong Police, five from Danish and Norwegian Police and four from Israeli Police.

Others include, three from Austria Police; one from Sweden Police, one from Zambian police and another from Bulgarian Police.

He said the investigation of the cases had resulted in seven arrests involving a whooping sum of money in foreign currencies.

“It yielded about seven arrests involving $226,578, €615,000 and €75,140 which the fraudsters defrauded their victims,” he said.

Also read:  Cyber Crimes: Fraudsters move Northwards, as EFCC arrests 280 suspects in Kano

In the meantime, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abuja Zonal Office says the Commission recovered over N423 million from January to August.

Head of the zone, Mr Aminu Aliyu, who made this known in Abuja on Tuesday, said other recoveries included 39,253 dollars and 2,330 euros.

Aliyu said that Section 6 of the EFCC Act, required the commission to take measures to prevent economic and financial crimes, in addition to its enforcement.

“Under my leadership, the zone has stayed focused on the commission’s vision and goal to ensure that we fight corruption to the end. From January 2019 till date, our relentless anti-corruption stance saw us secure 33 convictions.

“We currently carred out collaborative operations with other zones and it has resulted to about 293 arrests and over 465 cases are currently under investigations,“ he said.

He disclosed that 90 investigations, arrests were made mostly through intelligence gathering, 21 convictions were secured by the Cyber Crime Unit and 110 cases were still under investigation.

“Prior to the release of the FBI list of over 77 Nigerians suspected to be involved in cyber crime cases, we have, in collaboration with the FBI, two suspects indicted in the list released.”

Aliyu said that corruption had done a lot of harm to the society, calling on stakeholders to make concerted effort to fight the menace.

“Like President Muhammadu Buhari had said “We must kill corruption before it kills us.

“We have to stand together to fight it. There will be no surrender in this war against corruption. We must collectively strive to achieve the Nigeria of our dream,“ he said.

 

 

 

Health and Safety

NAFDAC NATIONAL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN: Partners With Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Stakeholders

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…On Prevention, Detection, And Response To Substandard And Falsified Medicine

The NAFDAC has Vowed to close down the sale and distribution outlets Facilitating the Spread of Fake Drugs, as It stresses it’s determination to combat the incidence of Substandard and Falsified (SF) medicines in the country,

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC has subsequently engaged stakeholders in the pharmaceutical products supply chain in its resolve to put an end to the menace and effectively safeguard the health of Nigerians.

The Director General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, at a stakeholders meeting organized by NAFDAC on Thursday, emphasized the need to explore how to combat the sale and distribution of Substandard and Falsified Medical Products within the supply chain, insisting that the Agency would not hesitate to clamp down on wholesale and retail outlets where fake drugs are dispensed for public use.

According to her, the engagement with Pharma supply chain stakeholders in Nigeria serves as a means of thinking together and putting in place a position that will represent or guide collective efforts and strategy to prevent, detect, and respond to substandard and falsified medicinal products, adding that the goal is to ensure that medical products in circulation are of the quality standard required and safe for public use. 

The NAFDAC boss noted that the high prevalence of SF in Africa is a major threat to public health, attributing this to the fact that regulation in the region is limited with about 10% of African National Regulatory Agencies NRAs having achieved ML3. 

L-R: Director, Laboratory Services (Drugs) National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr. Victor Abiola, Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director Post-Marketing Surveillance, NAFDAC, Dr. Fraden Bitrus Dasniyam, and Director Narcotics and Controlled Substances, Mrs Yedunni Adenuga, during the Agency’s engagement with the pharma supply chain stakeholders for input on the National Strategic Document on Substandard and Falsified Products in Lagos…on Thursday

Prof Adeyeye noted with dismay that this allows for poorly regulated manufacturers to supply their products in Africa where technologies to detect SF and track/trace are limited. 

She added that the menace of substandard and falsified medical products threatens access to safe, efficacious, and affordable medicines, undermining health systems and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage globally.

With the mandate to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale, and use of drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, detergents, medical devices, and packaged water generally referred to as Regulated Products, she noted that this puts a burden on the Agency to lead the fight against SF medical products in Nigeria and support efforts that will see a reduction in the prevalence of SF medical products both locally manufactured and imported. 

The DG explained that NAFDAC is not the only regulatory agency in terms of substandard falsified medicines, adding that the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) probably has more to do in the fight against fake drugs. 

She, however, relished a cordial relationship that exists between the two sister agencies, insisting that we must do this fight together. 

Prof Adeyeye explained that currently, NAFDAC is doing its best to fight this issue of Substandard and Falsified products, stating that the fight against Substandard/Falsified medical products is based on three broad thematic areas Prevent, Detect, and Respond (PDR). 

She said that NAFDAC operatives are not just going on the streets to look for substandard falsified medicines but also going after products that have been approved in Southeast Asia en route to Nigeria. 

She reiterated that 70 percent of medicines used in Nigeria come from outside which necessitated the establishment of a Pre-shipment testing scheme that has stopped over 124 products that were approved from coming into the Nigerian market. 

According to her, some of the SF medicines do not have content, some will not disintegrate, and some will not dissolve. In contrast, some of them have wrong labelling and all sorts of non-compliance, adding that the Agency is dealing with that now with the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

Prof Adeyeye further disclosed that most of the products stopped from coming into the Nigerian market have fake certificates of pharmaceutical products. Noting that it takes two to tango, Prof. Adeyeye opined that its not just India bringing substandard falsified medicines to us, it is us; Nigerians that connive with them to bring in cheap products at the detriment of lives in Nigeria. 

Furthermore, She disclosed that over 124 shipments have been stopped, adding that these are products that had been approved, that could have been in circulation in Nigeria for five years. 

So, if ten containers per year for one particular product or two containers per year should find their way into Nigeria, you can figure out what the consequences might be.

The NAFDAC boss, however, announced the berth of a new regulatory directive with emphasis on the source of raw materials used in the production process. For those that are registering new products, she said they must procure raw materials from approved sources like WHO Prequalified sources, FDA, or other stringent Regulatory Authorities. 

If you don’t source from a prequalified source, we will not register the product, she said. 

She, however, dispelled the news going around, over the alleged proliferation of fake drugs in the country, saying the proliferation news that has been going on is false. 

There is no proliferation of substandard medicines. We do a national survey, sampling of products using scientific methods from different parts of the country., she said, adding that the survey was done in 

2021 and 2022 for ant-malaria with a 10 percent prevalence level. 

We couldn’t do it in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. She explained further, If you live very close to the border where people come in and out the prevalence may be higher there. Thats statistics. 

The average is about 10%, she said, insisting that proliferation is not synonymous with shortage because the two words are now used together. The fact that we have a shortage of medicines does not mean there is a proliferation of substandard falsified medicines.

 The survey for 2023 is not ready yet. We will publish 2021 and 2022.

She noted that the Pharmaceutical Supply chain plays a vital role in ensuring that safe, quality, and efficacious medicines reach the end users, adding that there is therefore a need to foster complementary partnerships that will seek to identify lapses in the supply chain system to improve the chances of winning the war on substandard and falsified medical products in Nigeria. 

We have formal and informal markets. Do not buy medicines from the informal market. We do a lot of raids in Oke- Arin, Idumota markets Lagos, Onitsha head bridge where you can buy a product maybe 50 per cent or 80 per cent cheaper because of low quality, she added, the state of the economy shouldn’t be an excuse for people to buy poison under the guise of cheap products.

I enjoin you to sustain your support to NAFDAC to ensure that only safe, efficacious, and quality medicines are used in Nigeria. NAFDAC, as the regulatory agency is seeking the support of all stakeholders in the pharma industry and supply chain system to improve our chances of winning the war on SF medical products.

The Supply chain stakeholders made very useful contributions for input into the National Strategic document to guide our collective efforts towards combating the menace of the SF in the country.

The stakeholders present at the supply chain engagements include the World Health Organization (WHO), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria ( PMG-MAN), Association of Community Pharmacist of Nigeria (ACPN), Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association of Nigeria (PWDAN), Nigerian Representatives of Overseas Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NIROPHARM), Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN), Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacist of Nigeria (AHAPN), Nigeria Army Medical corps, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), National of Veterinary Medical Association(NVMA). Others are different companies represented under PMG-MAN, APIN, PWDAN, and Niropharm.

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Health and Safety

Clean Naija Campaign: Showcasing The Impact Of Dr Moyinoluwa Oladoye

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…In collaboration with Reckitt, Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA)

Dr. Moyinoluwa Oladoye, a young visionary leader and healthcare social entrepreneur has radically influenced sanitation and hygiene practices in Nigeria.

 In collaboration with Reckitt, Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN), and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), he plays a leadership role as the Senior Programme Officer at SRHIN in a transformative initiative to improve the practice of handwashing, hygiene, and sanitation, to about 6 million Nigerians between 2019 and 2025. 

*Dr. Oladoye with representatives from Reckitt Nigeria and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA).

With over 5 years of experience as a public health professional, Dr Oladoye has played a pivotal role in the Dettol Quest Hygiene Program that has reached hundreds of schools, health facilities and communities across 3 states in Nigeria since 2019. 

The Dettol Quest Hygiene Program, provides hygiene kits, materials, and structured education, which has led to a notable improvement in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours associated with sanitation and hygiene practices in Nigeria.

*Group photo with some of the project beneficiaries (students) at the Dettol Quest Hygiene Program closeout event in Lagos, Nigeria. 

The most recent rigorous impact assessment conducted in 2023 led by Dr Oladoye spanned through students, community members, and mothers/ pregnant women via pre-implementation (baseline) and post-implementation (endline) surveys. The results showed remarkable improvement in the knowledge, attitude and practice of the project’s beneficiaries.

Following former President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration for the Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 Order, Dr Oladoye is one of Nigeria’s leading Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) advocates whose projects on WASH have been presented at several state and national stakeholders meetings on WASH.

*Dr. Oladoye during the impact assessment presentation at the closeout event in Lagos, Nigeria. 

This includes the recent closeout event that held in Lagos, drawing a distinguished gathering of stakeholders, including Reckitt Nigeria, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN), the Federal Ministry of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and other pivotal figures in the fields of public health and education.

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NDLEA Arrests 92 Suspects, Seizes 217kg Illicit Substances In Kaduna

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NDLEA arrests India-bound businessman with 9.40kg heroin in Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna State Command, has arrested 92 suspects and seized 217.02kg of illicit substances since the beginning of 2024.

The state Commander of NDLEA, Mr Samaila Danmalam, disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Kaduna.

According to him,  the suspects comprise 88 males and four females.

He added that the seized substances included Indian hemp, cocaine, heroin, tramadol and methamphetamine.

The commander said that NDLEA operatives raided 19 illicit drugs in the state during the period.

He said that the command secured the conviction of 24 suspects and charged  25 to court during the period.

“ln its drug demand reduction efforts, 29 drug users were counselled while seven drug addicts were successfully rehabilitated.

“In a bid to dissuade members of the public from illicit drug use and trafficking, enlightenment campaigns were carried out at various locations targeting 6,956 participants.

The commander called on members of the public to provide useful and timely information to the command, saying the fight against drug abuse and trafficking requires the support of all Nigerians.

  • NAN
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