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15 million drug addicts in Nigeria

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The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse, Brigadier Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa yesterday in Katsina declared that Nigeria has about 15 million drug addicts out of her estimated population of about 150 million people.

Marwa, who described the development as alarming, further put the global average rating of drug use and abuse at five percent, while the rating for Nigeria was put at 15 percent

The Former Lagos State Military Administrator had earlier led members of his committee to the Katsina Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

He said “We have an emergency situation before us regarding the issue of drugs abuse in Nigeria, the Federal Government decided to raise the committee to proffer recommendations and steps to be taken to resolve the issue of drug abuse in the country’’.
According to him, “we started our work since December and finished the plenary and now we are visiting states across the country.

“On the whole, we are facing the supply side of the drugs, in terms of cutting the supply because you must have drugs first before the abuse.

“The government agencies involved need to be strengthened to be able to carry out their functions effectively and the demand side appears to be more difficult to handle’’.

“We also need to take preventive measures to ensure that those who do not take the drugs remain so. We have to interface with esteemed leaders across the country. We feel that there ought to be committees on drugs abuse right from the federal to the local governments and across the communities’’.

‘’We do know that the causes of drug abuse include but not limited to poverty, joblessness, and idleness which translate to looking for jobs. Rehabilitation and counseling centers are few. “We will interface with religious organizations and traditional leaders and also examine the Almajirai situation and embellish it with Western education. The Almajirai in the course of their training do other things that are not good for them.”

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July 12: President Buhari is expected to submit ministerial list to Senate

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President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to submit a list of ministers that will form his federal executive council before or by July 2.

The Ahmad Lawan-led 9th Senate would upon resumption from its two weeks recess in July begin a speedy screening and confirmation of persons on the list.

A ranking senator told The Guardian, however, that at the moment, nothing is on the ground regarding the list of persons to be confirmed as ministers but was optimistic that within the two weeks of the Senate recess, the President would have submitted the list.

Another lawmaker who just got elevated from the House of Representatives to the Senate in the February 23, 2019 election said that although the President is still within a reasonable time if he submits the list before July, expectations are that President Muhammadu Buhari would make up for the time lost during his first term when he delayed the ministerial list for six months.

The lawmaker further noted that it is particularly very strategic and helpful for the President to meet the July timeline because the Senate might proceed on its annual end of session holiday at the end of that month to reconvene in September.

He was however optimistic that within the two weeks of the Senate recess, the President would have submitted the list.

The lawmaker further noted that it is particularly very strategic and helpful for the President to meet the July timeline because the Senate might proceed on its annual end of session holiday at the end of that month to reconvene in September.

“I believe that the President should take advantage of the three weeks the Senate would spend in session between July 2 and the end of that month by ensuring that before we come back from this two weeks recess, the ministerial list is ready so that we simply screen and confirm them within the three weeks that we are going to sit before we go on end of session recess,” the lawmaker said.

“Anything short of that would amount to dragging Nigeria back to the delay experienced four years ago because the Senate won’t resume until around the third week of September.”

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Nigeria lost N44.6bn as a result of the drop in oil revenue

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Nigeria lost N44.6bn as a result of the drop in oil revenue occasioned by the shut-ins and shutdowns of some terminals by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in April 2019, latest data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed.

The CBN said the country’s oil earnings fell from the N516.88bn recorded in March to N472.28bn in April, adding that this also affected the gross federally-collected revenue for the month.

Although oil receipts accounted for 59.4 per cent of total revenue which the country made in April this year, data from the bank showed that earnings from oil dropped by 8.6 per cent when compared to the previous month’s receipts.

Also, earnings from the sector were 26.2 per cent lower than the provisional monthly budget estimate, as the apex bank explained that the shutdown and shut-ins of terminals were due to leakages, technical issues and maintenance.

The bank stated, “Oil receipts, at N472.38bn or 59.4 per cent of total revenue, was below both the provisional monthly budget estimate and the preceding month’s receipt of N516.88bn by 26.2 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively.

“The fall in oil revenue relative to the provisional monthly budget estimate was attributed to the shut-ins and shut-downs at some NNPC terminals due to technical issues, leakages and maintenance.”

Similarly, the CBN noted that at N322.93bn or 40.6 per cent of total revenue, non-oil revenue was below the provisional monthly budget estimate of N466.91bn by 30.8 per cent, but exceeded the preceding month’s receipt of N251.01bn by 28.7 per cent.

It said the lower collection relative to the provisional monthly budget estimate was due to the shortfalls in corporate tax, value added tax, Federal Government independent revenue and education tax.

On operations of the Federation Account, the bank stated that at N795.31bn, the estimated federally-collected revenue (gross) in April 2019 fell below the provisional monthly budget estimates of N1.11tn by 28.2 per cent.

“However, it exceeded the receipt of N767.90bn in the preceding month by 3.6 per cent. The decrease, relative to the provisional monthly budget estimate, was attributed to a shortfall in both oil and non-oil revenue,” it added.

It further stated that of the total N616.21bn retained revenue in the Federation Account, the sums of N88.49bn, N67.82bn and N24.72bn were transferred to the VAT Pool Account, the Federal Government Independent revenue and ‘others’, respectively, leaving a balance of N435.18bn for distribution to the three tiers of government.

Of this amount, the Federal Government received N208.39bn, while the state and local governments got N105.70bn and N81.49bn, respectively.

The balance of N39.59bn was shared among the oil producing states as 13 per cent Derivation Fund.

Similarly, from the N88.49bn transferred to the VAT Pool Account, the Federal Government received N13.27bn, while the state and local governments received N44.25bn and N30.97bn, respectively.

“Also, the sum of N78.09bn was shared as excess oil revenue,” the CBN stated.

It explained that the federal, state and local governments received N35.79bn, N18.15bn and N13.99bn, respectively, while the 13 per cent Derivation Fund received N10.15bn

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Budgets will be passed within 3-months – Senate

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan says henceforth the National Assembly (NASS) will ensure the passage of the nation’s appropriation bill within three months of its submission by the Executive arm of government.

Lawan stated this known when he fielded questions from State House correspondents after joining President Muhammadu Buhari to perform the weekly Friday’s Juma’at prayer at the Aso Rock Mosque, Abuja.

He, however, expressed the hope that the executive would always ensure early submission of the budget enable the assembly deliberate and pass it in good time.

“Well, this is a crucial thing that worries everyone, every Nigerian wants to see the National Assembly passes the budget in good time and what we have in mind we’ve campaigned with that and it’s something both of us in the National Assembly have bought into – that we’ll pass the budget within three months by the grace of God.

“But I want to say here that it takes two sides of government to pass the budget in good time.

“I am sure that the executive side of the government would like to present the budget before the National Assembly in good time – in September or early October.

“By the grace of God, we in the National Assembly will ensure that we carry out the budget defence and do the remaining parts of the processes and before we leave for Christmas break, the budget would have been passed and Mr President would have the budget before him to assent,’’ he said.

The senate president, therefore, called for sacrifice by both the assembly and the executive so as to create “a window for budget defence only, a dedicate period and timeframe- say a month of which only budget defence will be carried out in the national assembly.

“It is our desire in the National Assembly that every minister, every chief executive officer of every agency comes to the National Assembly and defence the budget of his agency or her agency before going out of the country.

“That window is going to be available within the one month but that is the only window that is going to be available.

“After that for example, every minister or head of agency who did not come to defend the budget of that institution, the National Assembly would go ahead to work on such a budget appropriately.’’

According to Lawan, the national assembly is in a hurry and thirsty to perform and will support President Buhari in his efforts to transform the nation’s economy for the benefit of all citizens.

He added “I believe that nobody would take pleasure in wasting the time of this administration.

“We are in a hurry, we are thirsty to perform, we want to support Mr President, we want to see Mr President achieve those legacies dreams that he has and we are going to work full course and full time to ensure that we give him the maximum support that he requires.’’

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Bandits raid, kill one on Ife-Ibadan expressway

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Bandits, described as Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday, June 12, attacked passengers on the Ife-Ibadan highway, killing one person.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dead man was identified as Mr Adenipekun Ademiju, a worker in the Atakumosa local government area of Osun state.

Ademiju was said to have boarded a vehicle at Osu town going to Ibadan when he and other passengers were attacked at Ikire community along the expressway. According to an eye-witness account, Ademiju was hit by bullet as the robbers fired indiscriminately in to forcefully stop the vehicle.

“The man was killed instantly by Fulani herdsmen who rob regularly on this road. While the robbers were shooting indiscriminately to forcefully stop the vehicle, the bullet hit the deceased.

“The driver ran into the nearby bush and Ademiju’s body was left on the highway by the robbers, who went away with the car,” the witness said.

The Public Relations Officer of the Osun State Police Command, SP. Folashade Odoro, who confirmed the incident in an interview with newsmen, said police were still investigating the matter.

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