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Category: News

NCC ADVISES SUBSCRIBERS AGAINST LINKING THEIR SIMs TO ANOTHER’S NIN

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has advised telecommunication subscribers not to allow their National Identification Numbers ‘NIN’ to be linked to another person’s Subscriber Identity Module ‘SIM’ cards.

NCC Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen.

This was disclosed in a Statement during the third run of its Telecom Consumer Town Hall aired on radio on Friday, 15th October 2021, where the NCC Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, spoke on ‘the Benefits of NIN-SIM Integration.

He said: “On no account should a telecom consumer, however, circumstanced, allow another person to register a SIM with another person’s NIN. If the person, whose SIM is linked to your line, uses their own SIM to commit crimes or any form of atrocities, it is easy to be traced to you and then, you will be dealt with because the SIM is linked to your NIN”.

According to Idehen, this advice was meant to protect the true owner of the NIN from any liabilities or negative consequences arising from the use of another person’s SIM.

Story: Sani Asma’u

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“NIGERIA WILL WIN WAR AGAINST DRUG ABUSE AND TRAFFICKING”-MARWA

The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA), retired Brigadier General, Buba Marwa, has promised that Nigeria is on its way to winning the war against drug abuse and trafficking.

Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa,(Rtd).

Marwa spoke in a recent interview in New York saying that with the support from the Federal Government, foreign partners, and stakeholders, the problem of drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria is “on its way to being under control”.

He described the problem of drugs in Nigeria as “a ravaging epidemic” saying “it is for this reason that we remained upstanding to do our best with what we have and with the support we have been receiving from the Federal government”.

NDLEA

According to Marwa, the NDLEA plans to create sensitization on drug abuse and trafficking in local governments across the country. However, the organization had been constrained with the size of its workforce, but with the approval of the President, they have recruited more personnel to increase their workforce to enable them to go into the local governments so that each local government eventually has its own special command.

He also said they have special command at the seaports, international airports and are in the process of setting up engagement in the railway stations.

“I should add that we are collaborating with road transport workers because of this issue of drivers who use drugs to give them the capacity, in their thinking, to stay alert to drive for longer hours”.

“We believe that with the support we are getting from the Presidency, the matter of drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria is on its way to being under control.’’

Marwa added that the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) has been supportive of Nigeria in its fight against drug abuse, especially in the areas of Staff training and providing information materials.

Story: Sani Asma’u

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REPS SUSPEND 600 NEWLY RECRUITED FCT-IRS STAFF FOR ALLEGED BREACH OF CHARACTER PRINCIPLE

House of Representatives has ordered the suspension of 600 newly recruited staff of Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Services (FCT-IRS) for allegedly breaching the federal character principle.

The order was communicated via a letter by the Chairman, House, Committee on Federal Character, Hon. Abubakar Yahaya Kusada.

With Ref. No: NASS /HR/9/CT/37/27/17, the letter, dated 13th October 2021, was addressed to the Executive Chairman, FCT Inland Revenue Service Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service pending when the investigation into the matter is concluded.

The reason mentioned in the letter was to “… enable the Committee to establish the extent of your organization’s level of compliance with the Federal Character principles as enshrined in Chapter II S. 14(3) and Third Schedule Part I C 8 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended”.

The house, through the letter, also demanded the list of the 600 Staff recruited according to States and Local Government; a list of the 38,000 unsolicited applicants received according to States and Local Government, and 700 shortlisted applicants for interviews according to States and Local Governments.

Speaking on the matter, Hon Kusada said the Committee’s investigations would seek to establish the extent of the FCT-IRS’s level of compliance with the Federal Character principles as enshrined in Chapter II S 14(3) and Third Schedule Part IC 8(1) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

Story: Sani Asma’u

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FRCN ANNUAL LECTURE: FG TO DIRECT TV STATIONS TO USE SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said he will direct the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation to mandate all television broadcast stations in Nigeria to use sign language interpreters on their channels during the broadcast of programmes, and particularly during the news broadcast as an action to promote the inclusion of person with disabilities in society. He said this at the FRCN Annual Lecture, tagged ‘A National Dialogue on Disability Inclusion’ which took place on the 14th of October 2021 at the Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Center, Abuja.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed presenting his speech at the event

The Minister made this commitment while addressing issues raised during the plenary session at the FRCN Annual Lecture, for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Nigeria. Some of the issues raised were, better financial empowerment of persons with disabilities and proper inclusion in the entire electoral and political process where dedicated slots for candidacy are given to them.

A member of the audience, Monsurat Abdulwasiu, the Former Abuja Association of Deaf Women Leader, specifically poured out her heartfelt dissatisfaction with the poor concern for deaf people in society. She said there are no sign language interpreters in TV broadcast media and in the hospitals. She said, she just watches the news and tries to figure out what the newscasters could possibly be saying but she is mostly lost since there is usually no sign language interpreter. 

Mrs. Monsurat Abdulwasiu making her contribution during plenary

The FRCN Annual Lecture is a dialogue session held in October of every year to bring together stakeholders and set the agenda for national discourse on pressing national issues to bring suggestions and positive solutions to national issues. The 2021 edition of the Annual Lecture is done in collaboration with the Albino Foundation with the theme: ‘The Imperative of Disability Inclusion in National Transformation.’  

In attendance was, The Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu who extended the goodwill of the presidency and shared some activities of the government to support persons living with disabilities like the setting up of a disability commission and giving a directive for offices to be made accessible for persons with disability.

The Director-General of The FRCN, Dr. Mansur Liman who was the chief host of the event opened the occasion with a welcome speech where he said, though we live in the 21st Century where countries are making progress, in Nigeria and Subsaharan Africa, persons with disabilities often face stigma and unfair treatment which has a negative impact on their social inclusion. He said the lecture is timely considering the need to mainstream and include persons with disabilities in all sectors of society, in governance, and in national integration.

The Co-host and Founder of The Albino Foundation, Mr. Jake Epelle, said he is certain that the annual lecture would open a new narrative for the disability community in Nigeria. The Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs. Samuela Isopi, represented by the Programme Manager, Political Governance and Democracy Section, Mrs. Laolu Olawummi, called for the implementation of the rights of the disability community.

The guest speaker, Director General Institute for National Transformation, Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, represented by Professor of Political Science, Emeka Aniagolu, said the daily challenges faced by this group need to be addressed to give them a sense of belonging.

The panel discussants which was made up of representatives from academia, civil society, and the European Union, threw light on the intricate issues that affect these marginalised groups. Mrs. Ene Ede, the Executive Director, Equity Advocates, and Gender Advisor, Search for Common Ground brought to fore the special challenge faced by women with albinism who were experiencing menopausal symptoms and the mental and psychological health misconceptions that comes with it. 

Panel Discussants at the FRCN Annual Lecture

The Coordinator of the European Center for Electoral Support, Mr. Hamza Fassi-Fihri drew attention to the importance of making persons with disabilities a part of the decision-making process of governance. While speaking, he said, for persons with disabilities, “If you decide for us, without us, you decide against us.” 

Professor Mutiullah Olusupo, a lecturer at the University of Abuja, said, there are different models of approaching persons with disabilities. He said one of the popular models is the charity model where persons with disabilities are cared for as though they are being done a favour. However, he said, the right model for the society to adopt is the human rights model, because every person with disability has the same rights as any other person in the society does. Olusupo said that “there is no good governance where 29 million people are being excluded from the process of governance.”

As an outcome of the FRCN Annual Lecture, It is expected that disability inclusion in Nigeria would improve and would allow accessibility so that persons with disabilities can fully participate in activities such as education, politics, social interactions, and entrepreneurship and reduce their risk of violence, poverty, unemployment, poor health, and marginalization in their communities.

Story: Ehizogie Ohiani

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AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR STEPS DOWN AMID CORRUPTION SCANDAL

Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, has announced he is stepping down as chancellor following pressure on him to resign after he was implicated in a corruption scandal.

35-year-old Kurz, in a media statement on Saturday, 9th October 2021 said he wanted to make space to prevent chaos. “We need stability. It would be irresponsible to allow Austria to slide into months of chaos or gridlock while the EU member fights the pandemic”, he said.

Sebastian Kurz

Kurz also said he would nominate Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg, as the new chancellor, while he would stay on as the leader of his People’s Party, ÖVP, and a lawmaker in parliament.

Mr. Kurz became leader of the Austrian Peoples Party, (ÖVP) in May 2017 and led his party to victory in elections later that year, becoming one of the world’s youngest ever democratically elected heads of government at the age of 31.

The corruption allegations relate to the period between 2016 and 2018 when finance ministry funds were suspected to have been used to manipulate opinion polls in favour of the ÖVP that were then published in a newspaper.

Story: Sani Asmau

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PRINCE CHARLES OF WALES SAYS HIS CAR RUNS ON CHEESE AND WINE

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles has revealed that his Aston Martin car now runs on wine and cheese.

He made this known in a new interview with the BBC on Monday 11th October 2021 while speaking about the environment and climate change.


He explained how he had his classic blue 1970 Aston Martin, which was gifted to him by Queen Elizabeth II, for his 21st birthday in 1969, and which was converted and now runs on “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process”.

Prince Charles


According to Prince Charles, the Aston Martin car, which he has driven for more than 50 years, underwent a conversion in 2008 to change its fuel source to bioethanol made from wine and cheese.


The bioethanol that goes into the car is a renewable energy source created by fermenting the sugar and starch components of plant byproducts, which can be accomplished using wine and cheese.

In an interview with The Telegraph in 2020, the prince said he asked Aston Martin Engineers to make the change and find him an alternate fuel source but the request was initially met with some uncertainty.


The engineers at Aston said, ‘Oh, it’ll ruin the whole thing,’” he said


I said, ‘Well I won’t drive it then,’ so they got on with it and now they admit that it runs better and is more powerful on that fuel than it is on petrol,” Prince Charles added.


And also, it smells delicious as you’re driving along,” he said.

Prince Charles’ Aston Martin is not the only royal mode of transport he has managed to convert. He also revealed that he had battled to have the royal train changed to run on used cooking oil.

Prince Charles of Wales with his Aston Martin car


The prince admitted how difficult it was for most people to reduce their carbon footprint. He said he had changed his diet to reduce his impact on the environment and urged others to do the same.


He also explained to the BBC that he now doesn’t eat meat and fish on two days each week and doesn’t eat any dairy products on another day.


If more people did that it would reduce a lot of the pressure on the environment,” he said.


The 72-year-old heir to the British throne mentioned that low-carbon travel remains a big challenge. 

He further said he hoped flying would become easier and more sustainable when new bio-fuels, using carbon captured from the air with sustainably sourced hydrogen, become available.

Heir to the British Throne, Prince Charles


Prince Charles of Wales said he believed that systemic change was necessary to bring about the transformation of transportation and other industries that would be required to drive down emissions.


No one person can solve the problem,” he told BBC.


He said world leaders needed to do more than just talk when they gather in Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, from the end of this month for a U.N. Climate Summit, known as COP26.


The summit, which is scheduled to hold from 31st October to 12th November 2021 is being scheduled by many environmentalists as the world’s last chance to turn the battle against climate change around.


Prince Charles is expected to attend a series of events at COP26, together with some other big names in the royal family including his mother, as well as his eldest son Prince William and William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Story: Osen Attah

Pictures: gettyimages.com, Biography.com

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WHY FG CAN’T REMOVE FUEL SUBSIDY NOW

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, oil marketers, and experts have explained why the Federal Government could not stop the fuel subsidy despite its non-inclusion in the 2022 budget.

Oil Drilling

According to reports, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and experts including a professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Sheriffdeen Tella, said without functional refineries in the country, it would be disastrous for government to stop the subsidy.

NNPC Towers

It was also reported that petrol might still be subsidized in 2022, as the country’s sole importer of petrol, the NNPC, stated that there had been no counter order on subsidy from the Federal Government.

Story: Ralia Adama

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“SECOND NIGER BRIDGE, LAGOS-IBADAN EXPRESSWAY TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE 2023”- PRESIDENT BUHARI

President, Muhammadu Buhari, has said the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, PIDF, will be completed before his regime ends in 2023.

President Buhari gave the assurance on Monday, 11th October 2021, at the opening of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organized to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of this Administration.

Addressing guests at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the president expressed delight that over the past two years, ministers have submitted reports to the Federal Executive Council on their activities related to the achievement of their ministerial mandates; reports which he said speak of feats attained by his administration.

Sani Asma’u

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NARD DIRECTS RESIDENT DOCTORS TO RESUME WORK FULLY

The National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has suspended its 63-day-old-strike across Nigeria starting at 8 am on Wednesday, 6th October 2021.

President of NARD, Godiya Ishaya, in a communique he signed alongside Suleiman Ismail, the secretary-general, and Alfa Yusuf, the publicity secretary, said the decision was taken after the union’s National Executive Council meeting with doctors expected to return to their duty posts 8 am on Wednesday.

The communique read.: “After critical appraisal of the performances of both federal and state governments on all the issues that led to the ongoing strike, progress made in implementing previous agreements reached with the Federal Government, the NEC resolved by the votes of a simple majority, to suspend the total and indefinite strike action embarked upon on 2nd August 2021. Therefore, our members will resume full work on Wednesday 6th October 2021 by 8:00 am”.

The association however said the latest development will be reviewed in six weeks and will give the federal government time to address its demands.

Story: Asmau Sani

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FG DECLARES OCTOBER 1ST PUBLIC HOLIDAY

The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Friday, October 1st, 2021, as a public holiday to mark the country’s independence.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola

According to a statement released by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, on Wednesday, September 28th, 2021, the minister, Rauf Aregbesola, assured Nigerians of the present regime’s commitment to eradicating all challenges facing the country as it marks its 61st independence.

He, however, disclosed that the celebration would be low-key as a result of the ravaging COVID-19.

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