Defence/Security

NDLEA seizes 3,546kg hard drugs, arrests 205 suspects in FCT

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), FCT Command, says it seized 3,546.632 kilograms of hard drugs from January to July.


The NDLEA, FCT Commander, Mr Lawan Hamisu, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja that the drugs seized comprised Cannabis sativa, Cocaine, Tramadol, Exol, Rophynol and Diazepam in a coordinated operation across the Territory.

He said that the operatives of the command within the period also arrested 205 suspects comprising of 180 males and 25 females.

He recalled that April and June was the period of lockdown due to COVID-19 as that clearly slow down the level of operations in the FCT.

He, however, noted that the agency had been working as much as possible to operate within the safety protocol as directed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“This is actually what account for the number to be this slightly low but it is still a worrisome development,’’ he said.

Hamisu said that the operatives of the command seized 3,295.193kg of cannabis sativa adding that the quantity alone was over three tonnes.

“0.061kg of cocaine, 0.842kg of Rophynol, 4.975kg of Diazepam, 2.46kg of Exol and 242.267kg of Tramadol were seized making the total of 3,546.632kg.

“Within the corridors of FCT, if this has been allowed to be in circulation, what will have been the catastrophe that it would have resulted.

“In the same vein, we have issues of cocaine which is very much pronounced as the most notorious drugs, which I must confess is becoming a very saddening event to most families.

“One thing I will like to draw our attention to, including our sister agencies, like NAFDAC for instance, is the increasing abuse of illicit drugs.

“Drugs that ordinarily suppose to be medicinal, but now they are being abused. Cough syrup for instance is becoming increasingly abused not only in FCT but in other parts of the country.

“This is a very serious issue for NDLEA as we are very much concern. And we have been drawing and will continue to draw the attention of relevant authorities to this,’’ he said.

Hamisu said that total conviction from January to July were 75, adding that June had the highest conviction of 37 out of the 75.

According to him, we referred about 80 out of the number arrested for counselling, while 10 persons walked themselves to the office to submit themselves to the agency.

“These 10 really wanted an intervention and we are glad to say that some are with us for three months and six months respectively. They have been discharged because they are working class and they have to return back to their work.

“At the moment, we are on the follow up and aftercare monitoring and services. I will say that is how far we have gone with the rehabilitation process in FCT,’’ he said.

Hamisu said that the number of female arrested within the 7 months could be a bit small but it was disturbing, adding that the frightening thing lately was the demography of drug abuse and trafficking.

According to him, the demography changes shape because you have the involvement of students, commercial sex workers, and you equally have even housewives.

The NDLEA commander said that the agency would continue to carry out its duties in line with global best practices to ensure that the territory was free of drug related issues.

He advised parents to pay closer attention to their wards and children to see what they were doing at home, who their close friends are especially now that they are at home.

Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/ndlea-seizes-3546kg-hard-drugs-arrests-205-suspects-in-fct/

General news

Youths should be drivers of innovation, creativity for a better Nigeria- Ex-VC Bell University 

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Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, the former Vice Chancellor, Bells University of Technology, Ogun, has charged Nigerian youths to harnessy their knowledge via the internet to be drivers of innovation and creativity for a better Nigeria.


Adeyemi gave the charge at the Mentoring and Capacity Building Summit of Shining Star Initiative International (SSII), an NGO, in Ibadan on Sunday.

According to him, the outbreak of COVID-19 is a game changer; it has changed everything and as such one should think of post COVID-19 activities and actions that will enable one to stay afloat.

“The youths are the most vulnerable to the post COVID-19 events, including the educational system.

“To position themselves for a successful career, the youths being exposed to technology should take the initiative to see to it that they use the knowledge for innovation and creativity.

‘’That will develop the economy of the country because each country is trying to design means of survival to float,” Adeyemi said.

The former VC said through collaboration with local or international agencies or organisations, some of which are online, youth can leverage and adapt knowledge to suit local situations.

“This can translate into national or state activities that can grow the economy of Nigeria and put it in the global stage.

Also speaking at the event, Prof. Seyi Osunade, Associate Professor, Computer Science department, University of Ibadan, said based on what was happening right now with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, government and education stakeholders should do more of advocacy.

“That is creating an awareness for the youths on what the pandemic is, that it is real and people still need to take precautions.

“Though the number of infected people are dropping, people still need to take precautions and as schools are preparing to resume, people should work towards maintaining the safety protocols and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

“Our curriculum should focus more on practical skills and expressions, that is they should teach things that our students can do here to provide local solutions to our challenges.

“Things they can develop into products, because if we can adapt the knowledge we have into a working solution it will go a long way for us.

“Technical and vocational education should be encouraged more even in our normal school curriculum,” Osunade said.

The Pioneer of SSII, Mrs Omokehinde Deji-Akinpelu said the organisation was focused on community service.

She said that the initiative started formally in 2014 with mentoring of undergraduate students at Lead City University.

Deji-Akinpelu stated that the vision of the organization was to raise purpose driven young men and women who would become world renowned in conduct, character and competence.

“We are set out to impart them with positive values and right attitude to life that will enable them become accountable and responsible adults

“You will agree with me that part of what we are facing today with our political leaders in Nigeria is lack of right mentoring.

“Some of these youths are taking wrong steps and decisions because they lack right and proper mentoring, we need to address this for a better Nigeria.”

Deji-Akinpelu further stated that youths would rather model their lives after celebrities and people they don’t even have direct access to and that had its disadvantages.

Two of the participants who spoke to NAN, Oluwatobi Oduola and Ayomide Olukorede said their passion to influence teenagers and mentor them towards greatness fueled their participation.

They identified lack of sense of direction and career choice as major challenges teenagers are faced with and the need to help as many youths to succeed in life despite all odds.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/youths-should-be-drivers-of-innovation-creativity-for-a-better-nigeria-ex-vc-bell-university/
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COVID-19

Schools resumption: Lalong urges parents to teach children COVID-19 safety protocols

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Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has urged parents in the state to teach their children the safety protocols against COVID-19, preparatory to resumption of schools targeted for end of October.


Lalong had in a broadcast to the people of the state said schools would resume October ending, but was not definite on the date.

He made the call on Sunday at a send off Church mass for the outgoing Prior Provincial of the Catholic Church Order of St. Augustine in Nigeria, Rev. Fr. John Abubakar, at the St. Monica’s Parish Rantya, Jos.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that St Augustinians in the Catholic Church were accredited with parish and pastoral work, scientific study, teaching and missions, among others.

The governor said he made the call because children easily emulated what parents did, more than instructions given to them elsewhere.

Besides, he said, children were most vulnerable to the disease and must be protected, first by the parents.

“I appeal to parents to comply with COVID-19 protocols for the children to emulate, they are most vulnerable because they move around more than us.

“It  is the toughest decision we will make to allow innocent children to return to school, ” he said.

Lalong explained that Plateau was now an epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic resulting from the large number of people tested daily in its three testing centres.

“In the 36 states, we are the third in terms of testing capacity and recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for doing well.

“We test 500 people to 700 people daily, we want everyone to know their health status for appropriate action,” he said.

He commended the outgoing Prior Provincial for his diligence in service during his tenure for eight years and prayed for God’s blessings on him.

“In addition to establishing a new secondary school here, he told me he was lobbying for the establishment of an Augustinian University in Plateau,” he said.

The governor expressed optimism that the university would be a reality even in his absence, because of the foundation he had laid for the process.

He thanked the Prior Provincial for his contributions to the Catholic Church and Plateau, expressing the desire that his successor would consolidate on his achievements for greater successes.

Delivering the homily titled: ` God’s Unmerited Love’, Abubakar urged the congregation to focus on their gifts and talents and desist from comparing their lives with other people.

“We should seize opportunity to be impactful with our talents and gifts and stop the mistake of comparing yourselves with others. How God chooses to operate is up to him,”he said.

He said people were appreciated when they left an office because of the value they have added to lives.

Abubakar appreciated the Plateau Government and people of the state for the love they showered on him during his stay, saying their cooperation made his work easy while urging them to extend such gesture to his successor.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye and Abdullahi Yusuf
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/schools-resumption-lalong-urges-parents-to-teach-children-covid-19-safety-protocols/
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COVID-19

COVID-19: Africa needs urgent trade finance boost, says report

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Africa needs urgent financing to re-energise its trade in the continent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a joint report has stated.


This is according to the latest trade finance report, jointly released by the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), on Sunday.

The report, titled: “Trade Finance in Africa: Trends Over the Past Decade and Opportunities Ahead”, built on two previous studies released in 2014 and 2017. 

It was also based on a survey of over 600 unique commercial banks in 49 countries across Africa for 2011 to 2019.   

The report established a benchmark for trade finances in Africa before the COVID-19 crisis and recommended policy responses to the industry in the wake of the pandemic.

According to the report, only 40 per cent of Africa’s trade is bank-intermediated (goes through the formal banking system), which is a far lower share than the global average of 80 per cent.

The trade finance gap was also stated to have remained unacceptably high at 81 billion dollars in 2019. 

The report found that these were some of the structural challenges that hindered banks’ abilities to effectively intermediate Africa’s trade with the world. 

It also highlighted the critical role of development finance institutions in supporting the industry.  

The study also found that unintended regulatory bottlenecks were one of the key constraints driving these patterns.  

“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need for financing to re-energise the region’s trade is urgent. 

“The good news is that Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) including the African Development Bank, are playing a more active role in supporting the trade finance industry in Africa,” the report said.

According to the report, more than half of banks engaged in trade finance activities between 2015 and 2019 received support from DFIs to expand their transactions. 

Yet, DFI support was skewed toward particular sub-regions and financial intermediaries, mainly foreign-owned private banks.

The report made recommendations to boost trade finance supply in Africa.

The recommendations included,  raising awareness about the impact of strict regulatory requirements on sector intermediaries and addressing geographical and institutional differences in DFI support to the sector.  

Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB’s Director of the Financial Sector Development Department, noted that the report series had become the main reference document for the industry on the continent.   

“It reflects the Bank’s increasing thought leadership role on this important subject. 

“We hope that the findings of this report will motivate policymakers and industry experts to devise and implement strategies in fragile states and low income countries to make trade finance more accessible to African traders, especially SMEs in fragile states and low income countries,” he  said.

 

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide
Source: NAN

 

 

https://nnn.ng/covid-19-africa-needs-urgent-trade-finance-boost-says-report/
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NAWOJ National Election: Akingbehin launches campaign Oct. 2

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Senior Editor Ayaba Omobolanle Akingbehin, who is contesting the Vice President’s seat, Zone B, of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), is to launch her campaign on Friday, Oct. 2.


The NAWOJ election is to hold on Nov. 11, in Minna, Niger State.

A statement by Akingbehin-For-VP Campaign Council, announced on Sunday in Lagos that Mrs Abosede Adelaja, the Assistant Secretary, NAWOJ, Lagos State chapter, is the Campaign Coordinator for Lagos.

It said that Modupeola Sobukonla, Chairperson, Ogun NAWOJ, would coordinate other states in the zone that comprises of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti.

It said that the candidate’s vision was to ensure that NAWOJ South-West, B-Zone, remained an indivisible entity while focusing on training and retraining of the female journalists in the zone.

“l will focus more on developmental programmes and trainings.

“When elected, l will ensure that NAWOJ South-West, B Zone, stands on truth and fairness,” the statement quoted Akingehin as saying.

She appealed to other contestants across the country to make their campaigns issue-based and avoid attack on personalities.

Akingbehin, former Secretary, FCT NAWOJ, is currently the chairman of the News Agency of Nigeria Correspondents Chapel in Lagos.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan and Ephraims Sheyin
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/nawoj-national-election-akingbehin-launches-campaign-oct-2/
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