Chemical weapons: FG warns producers, marketers

Chemical weapons
Chemical weapons

By Muhammad Nur Tijani

The Federal Government has cautioned producers and marketers of chemical weapons against allowing it into the hands of non-state actors.

Mr Gabriel Aduda, the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, gave the warning at a sensitisation workshop in Kano on Tuesday.

The workshop was organised by the federal government to educate major stakeholders in the North west on sound management of chemicals as part of measures to prevent its getting into wrong hands.

Aduda said the workshop was also aimed at promoting awareness and safety, by strengthening the understanding of stakeholders on proper handling of chemical and biological weapons.

Aduda said chemical producers, marketers, transporters and users, as well  as regulatory authorities involved in implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) participated in the workshop.‎

‎”The objective among others, is to raise awareness among relevant national stakeholders and representatives of the chemical industries in the North -West zone on the CWC and its national implementation in relation to the chemical industry.

“Ensure that chemical weapons imported into the country are used for the purposes for which they are meant and government also makes sure that these chemicals do not get into the hands of non-state actors; it ‎will‎ have great repercussions,” he explained.‎

The permanent secretary said similar workshops were held in Lagos and Port harcourt.   ‎

Some of the participants who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) commeded the federal government for organising the event, which they said had enhance their knowledge on how best to handle chemical weapons.‎

They urged the government to evolve a National Action Plan to guide and regulate the use and threat of chemical weapons in Nigeria.

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Abuja-Kaduna rail travelers safe – NRC assures

Abuja-Kaduna rail service
Abuja-Kaduna rail service

By Lucy Ogalue

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), says it has intensified efforts to ensure the safety of trains and passengers that travel via the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service(AKTS).

Mr Paschal Nnorli, Manager, AKTS, NRC, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the 1955 Railway Act that established the NRC created a command  for the protection of lives and property.

“The command is usually headed by a Commissioner of Police with six or seven area commanders. On this corridor which cuts across FCT, Niger and Kaduna, there are three police divisions in Idu, Kubwa and Rigasa.

“Aside that, any train you see on this corridor is having at least 15 armed policemen and you know this trains stop at the stations.

“There are some plain clothed policemen deployed recently by the Inspector-General of Police, including Police Mobile Force units. We also have DSS personnel attached to us for intelligence gathering.

“Again, we are in synergy with the military who sometimes use helicopters to escort our trains when they have information of security threat.

“At Rigasa in Kaduna town, we have the army on ground very near to our station, so it will be extremely difficult for anyone to attack the train,” he said.

The manager debunked claims by an online media that a train was attacked along the Abuja-Kaduna route last week.

According to him, no such attack took place.

“We wish to use this medium to inform our passengers that adequate security arrangements are in place on all our trains.

“We thank the security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police and the Military, for their support toward securing our train service.

“Our passengers are appreciated for their trust and continuous patronage; we want to assure them that safety and security remains our priority,” Nnorli said. (NAN)

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Patient safety: FG tasked to curb healthcare errors, preventable deaths

Patient safety: FG tasked to curb healthcare errors, preventable deaths
Patient safety: FG tasked to curb healthcare errors, preventable deaths

By Abujah Racheal

As the World marks Patient Safety Day, some Nigerians in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on the Federal Government to ensure that healthcare errors that cause unwarranted deaths are curbed.

The Nigerians spoke to our correspondent on the sidelines of an event to mark the first World Patient Safety Day, a day set aside to create awareness on the importance of safety of patients in all developing and developed countries of the world.

Mr Solomon Onuh, a Psychologist said that the celebration should focus on creating awareness regarding the factors that contribute to preventable deaths and to ensure proper patient safety in our hospitals.

Onuh said that there was need for government to focus on the main factors that contribute to preventable deaths such as healthcare associated infections.

According to him, the infections are considered to be the most harmful cause of deaths around the world, adding that both developing and developed countries suffer such deaths

Mrs Tobias Dasat, a Teacher said that the government should conduct awareness campaigns to promote the effects of unsafe healthcare practices and the importance of ensuring proper safety.

Dasat described poor patient safety as a global threat and urged healthcare providers to emphasise the importance of proper hygiene, washing of hands regularly before and after contact with a patient.

A Cleric, Rev. Fr Timothy Chukwudi who also attributed high mortality and morbidity rates in the world to error in medication called on government to punish medical practitioners for avoidable errors.

“Doctors and nurses tend to make errors while prescribing medications which can cause harm to the patient’s life.

“ Surgery, for instance, is the most common and preferred technique for eliminating disabilities and critical injuries.

“It is estimated that surgeries are done mainly for cardiovascular diseases, cancer and orthopedic injuries, but unsafe surgical practices can lead to fatal errors and significant complications,” he said.

NAN, reports that World Patient Safety Day will be observed yearly on September, 17 .

The World Health Organisation launched a global campaign to create awareness of patient safety and urged people to show their commitment to making healthcare safer. (NAN)

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Buhari dissolves Obono-Obla’s SPIP – News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

 

Mr Okoi Obono-Obla
Mr Okoi Obono-Obla

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally dissolved the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) as currently constituted with Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla as Chairman.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been directed to immediately take over all outstanding investigations and other activities of the SPIP.

The President also said he is awaiting the final Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) report on Obono-Obla.

The panel was established in August 2017 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while acting as president, to investigate specifically mandated cases of corruption, abuse of office and similar offences by public officers.

President Buhari thanked all members of the dissolved panel for their services, said the President’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.

Buhari in August suspended Okoi Obono-Obla, from office.

The suspension letter, signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who also directed him to answer questions from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission.

According to Mustapha, Obono-Obla was to hand over to Dayo Apata, the Solicitor-General of the Federation, who was holding forte in the Justice Ministry at the time.

Among other things, he is being investigated over allegations of certificate forgery and other corruption-related charges. He was also accused of acting outside the mandate setting up the panel.

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Buhari re-appoints Adeyemi, Adeleye Special Assistants

Buhari eager to fight corruption to a standstill
President Muhammadu Buhari

By Rotimi Ijikanmi

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Mr Segun Adeyemi and Mr Williams Adeleye as his Special Assistants (Media) attached to the Office of the Minister of Information and Culture.

Mr Joe Mutah, the Chief Press Secretary to information and culture minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the re-appointment letters of the two SSAs, which were signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, stated that their appointment took effect from Sept., 6 2019.

Adeyemi and Adeleye served in the same capacity between November 2015 and May 2019.

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Woman arrested for killing ‘hubby’ over daughter’s birthday party

A knife with blood
A knife with blood

By Oladapo Udom

The homicide detectives section  from Surulere Division of the Lagos State Police Command has arrested one Stella Peter, 23, for stabbing one Mr Bala Haruna, 25, to death.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), DSP Bala Elkana, said on Tuesday that this was because Haruna refused to release money for the  birthday party of the baby Stella had for him.

Bala said that the ‘couple’ were not actually married but had been living together at No. 2. Tejuosho Avenue, Surulere in  Lagos State for three years in a statement.

Elkana said the man and woman had a  baby girl that just turned one.

Elkana said, “An argument ensued between them which turned violent and the woman used a kitchen knife to stab the man in the back which led to his death.

“The woman accused the man of refusing to release money for their daughter’s birthday party.”

The DSP said that the homicide detectives section  from the State Criminal Investigation Department ( CID), Yaba,  had taken over the investigation.

He said that the suspect had confessed to committing the crime and that she would be charged to court for murder.

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Benue to conduct LG poll on Nov. 30

Gov. Samuel Ortom
Gov. Samuel Ortom

By Emmanuel Antswen

The Benue State Government said on Tuesday said that it plans to conduct election into local government councils in the state on Nov. 30.

Gov. Samuel Ortom made the announcement at the inauguration of the state Local Government Service Commission, the state Planning Commission and a member of the State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) in Makurdi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the last local government poll was held in June 2017. The two years tenure expired in July 2019.

Meanwhile, the governor has appointed caretaker chairmen to the run the affairs of the councils before the election.

The governor said that the State Independent Electoral Commission had confirmed that it is ready to conduct the election on Nov. 30.

“I held a meeting with the state electoral commission; we agreed that tentatively, the local government election will hold in November.

“I am aware that the law requires the state to provide 40 per cent funds for the conduct of the election while the local councils provide the balance 60 per cent.

“We will ensure that the funds are made available for the exercise,’’ Ortom said.

He cautioned the service commission against use of federation allocation funds for overheads instead of executing projects.

“I want to know the exact staff strength of the local government councils. I also want to know the ghost workers in the local councils.

“If you go to Guma local council where I come from, you will see less than 20 people at the secretariat but the same council has over 900 staff in its payroll.

“Some people are working elsewhere but collect salaries as council staff. They are mechanics, business people, they don’t go to work but receive salaries monthly,’’ he said.

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Kenya to nationalise airline to boost competitiveness

Kenyan Airways
Kenyan Airways

(Xinhua/NAN) Kenyan government has concluded plans to nationalise its carrier Kenya Airways by end of the year in order to boost its competitiveness.

Sebastian Mikosz, chief executive officer, Kenya Airways, told journalists in Nairobi on Tuesday that all its regional and international competitors are also owned by their respective governments and thus have a financial advantage.

“Government has put in place a steering committee to spearhead the process of nationalising Kenya Airways by the end of the year.’’

In July, the east African nation’s parliament voted to nationalise the national carrier.

Mikosz said that legal and policy reforms will have to be undertaken in order to ensure that the Kenyan flag carrier becomes fully state-owned.

The biggest shareholder of Kenya Airways is the national treasury, which owns 48.1 per cent, while banks control 38.1 per cent and  KLM owns 7.8 per cent.

The rest is owned by the public through the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

According to the CEO, legislative reforms will be required to pave the way for the government to buy out the minority owners of the airline.

“We are currently drafting the amendments that will be passed by parliament to make the airline fully owned by the state.’’

Mikosz revealed that the government will form a holding company where the national flag carrier and Kenya’s main airport will be subsidiaries.

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Xenophobia: S/Africa denies Air Peace plane landing permit to evacuate 2nd batch of Nigerians

Air Peace fleet
Air Peace fleet

By Yunus Yusuf

The evacuation of the second batch of Nigerians from South Africa owing to ongoing xenophobic attacks, suffered an interruption on Tuesday following the delay in granting landing permit to Air Peace.

The airline has volunteered to evacuate Nigerians willing to return to the country following the recent violence against foreigners in the southern African country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the airline in collaboration with the Federal Government had on Sept. 11 evacuated the first batch of 187 Nigerians from South Africa.

There was a plan for the airline to evacuate another batch of 320 Nigerians who had indicated interest to return home, with the flight expected to arrive in Lagos at 7.00p.m on Tuesday.

However, Mr Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace, told newsmen in Lagos that the airline’s B777 aircraft deployed for the operation was still on standby at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

According to him, the aircraft is supposed to have departed Lagos at 1.00 am, but was denied landing permit by the South African authorities.

“We did not take off at 1:00 a.m. as scheduled because South African authorities are yet to give us landing permit.

“We are hopeful that they will give us the permit. Our crew waited till 3:00 am, but when the permit did not come, they went back to the hotel.

“Once we get the permit we will set off to South Africa. We don’t want to speculate but we are hopeful they will give the permit,”Onyema said.

NAN reports that the South African authorities had on Sept. 11 also prevented some Nigerians from leaving the country, by insisting on a fresh profiling exercise in spite of the one earlier conducted by the Nigerian High Commission.

The situation led to several hours of delay before 187 of the more than 300 Nigerians were successfully evacuated.

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European Parliament backs Lagarde as next ECB president

European Parliament backs Lagarde as next ECB president
European Parliament backs Lagarde as next ECB president

The European Parliament on Tuesday backed the choice of Christine Lagarde, the former Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as the next president of the European Central Bank (ECB).

In a secret ballot, 394 EU lawmakers voted in favour, 206 against and 49 abstained.

Lagarde’s appointment is due to be formally confirmed by EU leaders at their next summit, on Oct. 17, Oct. 18.

Lagarde was nominated in July to succeed ECB chief Mario Draghi, as part of a package of top EU appointments. She would be the first woman to take on the job.

The ECB’s core task is maintaining price stability across the eurozone. To this end, it seeks to keep inflation at just under 2 per cent. It had been hovering significantly below that for several months.

Socialist group leader, Iratxe Garcia, welcomed Lagarde’s pledge to prioritise green and sustainable growth, but warned that, “we will be on her heels to make sure monetary policy is used to improve people’s lives.“

According to the Head of the liberal Renew Europe group, Dacian Ciolos, Christine Lagarde faces a challenge to unite the ECB and provide coherent policies in an increasingly turbulent global economy.

“But I have no doubt that she is the right person for this job,“ he said.

Green EU lawmaker, Sven Giegold, commended Lagarde as experienced and assertive, adding, “we will pay attention that Lagarde follows up her green words with green actions.“

However, while parliament’s approval was not a legal requirement, its support was considered politically important. Many EU lawmakers had long insisted on more female representation at the helm of the ECB.(dpa/NAN)

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