Aisha Buhari calls for action against cancer

The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has called on relevant stakeholders to make a concerted efforts to ensure effective prevention and control of cancer in the country.

The wife of the president said this on Tuesday, when she received members of the Nigerian Cancer Society at the State House, Abuja.

“Cancer is a global burden and a major cause of death, especially among African population because many have died of breast, cervical and prostate cancer.

“Lack of proper awareness also contributed to the raising cases of death from the cancer scourge, as a founder of Aisha Buhari foundation, I am interested in working with stakeholders to save lives,’’ she said.

She, therefore, expressed determination to scale up awareness creation and providing support for the screening of breast and cervical cancer patients across the country.

Buhari told the gathering that, their efforts will go a long way in supporting the Federal Government`s determination towards accelerating the fight against cancer.

“Let us network, collaborate and intensify efforts in ensuring proper implementation of the National Cancer Control Plan to significantly reduce death rate in Nigeria.

“Cancer is preventable and best managed could lead to early detection and control,’’ she said.

In his remark, Dr Ahmadu Al-Hassan, President, Nigerian Cancer Society, expressed gratitude to the first lady for her continued support towards promoting the health and physical well being of women and children.

Al-Hassan said, cervical cancer was one of the diseases affecting women and girls in the country which can be prevented and cured through the use of Human Papillomavirus Vaccines (HPV).

“The vaccines are out of reach for many Nigerians, the struggle to make HPV vaccination available to all eligible teenage girls is something that is very dear to many Nigerian women.

“We are not unaware of the giant strides on the efforts towards ensuring that our young girls receive the HPV vaccines,’’ he said.


Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Culture advocate harps on consumption, promotion of indigenous foods

Ms May Ikokwu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), says eating local foods and fruits indigenous to Nigeria will enhance healthy living and preserve local culture.

She made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Ikokwu said the consumption of indigenous foods and fruits would also promote national integration, apart from their nutritional values.

She added that “indigenous foods are mostly natural, with capacity to renew lives; unlike processed and foreign foods.”

Ikokwu stressed the need to eat more breadfruit, especially for the elderlies, and listed some of the advantages to include lowering of cholesterol, fighting infections, promoting youthful skin and healthy hair.

She noted that “breadfruit also contains a good amount of fiber that reduces the rate of glucose absorption; it is also a heart-friendly food with nutrients like potassium that regulates blood pressure and heart rate.”

The culture advocate also called on government to devise policies with private participation in planting it, noting that climate change, competition for farm lands with real estate and population increase were factors responsible for the scarcity of breadfruit and other crops.

She urged state and non-state actors to support mass planting of breadfruit.

Ikokwu also identified indigenous vegetables such as bitter leaf and ukazi as nutritional and rich in calcium.

She said “bitter leaf is good in reduction of sugar level, while ukazi is essential in calcium, especially for older persons.

“Also, eating African walnuts may improve brain health and prevent heart disease and cancer.

“African walnuts also reduces inflammation and high in Omega 3 and 6 fats.”

Similarly, Ikokwu called for the consumption of African Star Apple called udara in Igbo and agbalumo in Yoruba, saying that “the fruit is not only rich in vitamins but prevents anaemia.

“African star apple has the potential to reduce diabetes, with low calories and capable of improving weight loss.

“African star apple is sweeter when eaten with another natural sweetener, stevia.

“Stevia is an intensely sweet-tasting plant that has been used to sweeten beverages and make tea since the 16th century.”


Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Fresh CVR registration hits 5.17m

INEC says fresh registration in the third quarter of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) nationwide has hit 5,173,335.

INEC in its weekly update on CVR for Quarter 3, Week 3, in Abuja on Monday, also disclosed that 2,665,421 registrants had completed online and physical registration.

This according to the updated statistics comprised 1,344,813 males, and 1,320,608 females.

The statisrics indicated that 24,723 of the figure were Persons Living With Disability (PWDS) and 1,854,371 were youth between the ages of 18 and 34.

It also noted that of the 2,665,421 persons that had completed their registration, 1,092,742 did it online, while 1,572,679 did physical registration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the update also revealed that INEC had received 8,550,561 applications.

The total figure include applications for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards and update of voter information records, among others.

A gender distribution of the applications revealed that 4,572,235 were male and 3,978,326 were female, while 87,733 of the applications were from PWDS across all categories.


Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Super Eagles return from Cameroon

The Super Eagles returned to Nigeria from the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team of players and officials returned via a chartered flight from Garoua where they played four matches.

They arrived at 1.10 a.m. at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, where they were received by officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The NFF officials were led by their General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, accompanied by federation Executive Committee members Yusuf Ahmed and Shehu Dikko.

A large chunk of the players and officials came down from the aircraft, alongside a large number which comprised members of the Supporters Clubs and media personnel.

The aircraft later headed to Lagos, where it dropped off the few remaining players and officials, while the rest headed to the Transcorp Hilton where they were to be lodged.

Sanusi welcomed the players and praised them for their efforts in Cameroon, saying it was now time to look ahead to the task of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

”You have tried your best. It was just unfortunate that you failed to reach the final. But, right now, what is left is the unfinished business of qualification for Qatar 2022.

” We should put behind us 2021 AFCON, and start preparing for the final qualifiers,” he said.

The team captain, Ahmed Musa, later told NAN that the team had put behind it the disappointment of failing to reach its target at the 2021 AFCON.

”We are now looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers against Ghana’s Black Stars in March. But right now it is back to club business for us,” he said.

NAN reports that the Super Eagles, after three wins in the competition’s first round which earned the tag of favourites, could not go beyond the second round.

They lost 0-1 to Tunisia in a match which saw them being reduced to 10 man just after the hour mark.

The players are expected to return to their respective clubs abroad in the next one or two days.


Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NDLEA arrests 12,306 suspects over N130bn drug- Marwa

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized drugs and cash amounting to over N130 billion between January and December 2021 nationwide.

NDLEA Chairman, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, gave the figure at a media briefing to mark his one year in office on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Marwa as the NDLEA Chairman on Jan. 17, 2021 and assumed duty on Jan. 18, 2021.

Marwa had worked as Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA) between 2018 and December 2020 along with others, to develop a blueprint on how to end drug abuse in Nigeria.

He noted that the agency had also arrested 12,306 suspects, including seven drug barons within the same period nationwide.

The NDLEA chief stated that the agency had convicted 1, 400 offenders with 1,502 cases pending in court.

Marwa described the achievement as the easiest for him because it also formed part of the development in 2021 that was well-known to the public.

“We can take solace in the fact that our achievements of 2021 surpassed the records of any given year in the last three decades.

“In drug supply reduction, our interdiction efforts yielded unparalleled results, which as of Dec. 31, 2021, we also seized over 3.4million  kilogrammes of assorted drugs.

“We destroyed 406 hectares of cannabis farms and contributed to the consolidated account through asset forfeiture with 7, 761 drug users counselled and rehabilitated in NDLEA facilities,” he said.

Marwa noted that some of the spectacular seizures recorded by the agency since January 2021 include the seizure of 230 tons of cannabis in Edo in February.

He said that a recent seizure of over 100 tons of psychotropic substance across the country in the past two weeks was not excluded.

According to him, some of the striking seizures include 451,807 captagon tablets, weighing 71.119kg in September 2021 at Apapa Seaport, Lagos.

“This was the first-ever recorded seizure of the drug in the West and Central African regions.

Marwa said that 1,994, 400 capsules of Tramadol were seized in February 2021 at the Apapa Port, while another 144, 400 bottles of Codeine syrup were confiscated in March and another seizure of 32.9kg of cocaine was recorded in October, 2021.

The agency boss stated that 43.11kg of cocaine was seized in February 2021 at the Tin Can Seaport and another 22, 590kg of Codeine syrup was seized by the NDLEA at the Port in September, 2021.

He said that 4, 996, 200 capsules of Tramadol, weighing 2 ,498kg, were impounded in May 2021 at the Onne Port and another 100,000 (100ml) bottles of Codeine cough syrups weighing 15, 325 kg in 500 cartons were intercepted at the port in June 2021.

Marwa stated that 2, 000.6kg of Cannabis Sativa were impounded by the agency in concrete mixer truck loaded in Ogbese, Ondo State.

He said that the consignment was intercepted along Girei –Yola Road in Adamawa on Dec. 2, 2021.

“In December 2021 alone, over 34,000kg of cannabis smuggled from Ghana, were intercepted at the Eko Atlantic City Beach, while more than 8.3 million capsules and tablets of Tramadol were seized in Lagos a week before Christmas.

“Just last week, about 1.5 million capsules of same drug, loaded in Onitsha, Anambra, heading to Kebbi and Kano States were also intercepted by our men in Edo,” he said.

Marwa noted that the agency also recorded a series of interceptions and seizures of cocaine and heroin at various airports in the country within the stipulated period.

He said that the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) remained the epicentre of the spectacular seizures, including what stands today as the biggest single seizure from an individual in 15 years.

This, he said, was the 26.840 kg of cocaine smuggled from Brazil in January, 24.05 kg of Heroin in April, 27.95 kg of Cocaine in May, and 26.15kg of Heroin also in May all in 2021.

Marwa said that the agency was committed to its mandate of ensuring a drug-free Nigeria, adding that the NDLEA would continue to play its role toward the achievement of that goal.


Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Group hails military for commitment to Nigeria’s unity

The Unity Advocacy Group (UAG) has commended the Armed Forces of Nigeria for the sacrifices and commitment of its personnel to the unity of the country.

The group, in a statement on Tuesday by its Convener, Mr Ifeanyi Aigbedion, said the military under the present leadership had been able to stabilise the country in the past one year.

Aigbedion said the armed forces under the present service chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, had made remarkable improvement in addressing the security situation they met on ground.

He appealed to Nigerians to continue to support, cooperate and pray for the successes of the military in their quest to keep the nation safe and secure.

According to him, the past one year has been one of good story that will get better with the support of the citizens.

“The leadership of the AFN has shown commitment, unity and determination which has brought results in the various operations across the country.

“Not forgetting that our brothers and sisters in the Northeast had a peaceful Christmas celebration in 2021 due to the dexterity of military personnel in that region.

“In the South-South, economic saboteurs stealing crude oil are not finding it easy; bandits in the North-West are under pressure while criminals in the South-East are being rooted out.

“We must appreciate the sacrifices of our dear military personnel and give them the needed support to restore peace and stability in our country,” Aigbedion said.


Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Osinbajo to attend Young CEOs summit – ACCI

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to attend the Young CEOs Summit and Honour schedule for Feb. 17 in Abuja.

A statement issued on Monday in Abuja by Olayemi John-Mensah, Media/Strategy Officer, ACCI, said that Osinbajo would be the guest of honour in his capacity as an entrepreneur ambassador passionate about youth development in Nigeria.

The Young CEOs is the fourth category of membership of the ACCI inaugurated by its President, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar in May, 2020 .

It is designed to propel young entrepreneurs towards being innovative, resilient and energetic in expanding various sectors of the economy through mentorship and networking.

Chairman of the Young CEOs, Fife Banks, said the annual Summit and Honour, which seek to host over 500 young entrepreneurs, would chart the course for developing shared and sustainable prosperity in the fourth industrial revolution.

According to Banks, this is now being fast-tracked by the aftermath of the global pandemic and the acceleration of exponential technologies.

“In a nation with high rate of youth unemployment, multidimensional poverty and all manner of social vices perpetrated mostly by young people, having a crop of young people who strive daily to create value-adding changes is a blessing.”

While acknowledging that many were fond of young people creating the Future, he said, “enough of being fond of them, it is time to fund them.

“Given strategic, sustainable support, Young CEOs will deliver the desired economic future for Nigeria,” Banks said.

The event which is to be Chaired by the Minister of Youth and Sport Development, Sunday Dare will be co-chaired by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.

Notable issues to be discussed by speakers/panelists include African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), technology, policies and leadership.

Nigerians who have contributed to the development and empowerment of young people would be presented with awards alongside the launch of the Young CEOs Africa Investors Dealroom (A.I.D).

The ACCI Young CEOs A.I.D mission is to create a veritable platform to expand and empower Nigerians, particularly the Abuja start-up ecosystem by inspiring and investing in youth-led socio-economic innovations and entrepreneurial ventures.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Firm moves to introduce ”borderless opportunities” for banking services

A financial services provider, Leatherback Limited, says it is set to introduce a banking system that will enable bank customers transact business across borders with unusual ease.

Leatherback Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Ibrahim Toyeeb, made this known in a statement on Tuesday.

Toyeeb said that the introduction of Leatherback to the global market was underpinned by a desire to “democratis” banking and provide opportunities for borderless global trade and commerce.

He said that the firm would introduce a multiple currency solution account that would make global financial services quick, easy and secure.

“Leatherback is poised to disrupt the financial services sector with its one account, multiple currency solution that allows businesses and individuals to conduct global transactions easily, quickly and securely.

“Emerging markets are the principal drivers of global growth, and given this reality, and the fact that COVID-19 has imposed numerous restrictions on travel and commerce, Leatherback was formed to simplify global trade for people and operations everywhere.

“It will allow business people to seamlessly move money from one continent to the next,” he said.

The CEO explained that the firm would provide a “much-needed” solution for all shades of international businesses that required foreign exchange.

“It will provide financial, payments and forex solutions for exporters, importers, immigrant-owned businesses, international students, the migrant population in general, tourists and multi-nationals with foreign operations,” he said.

He added that the fintech company offered multi-currency accounts with the option to exchange currency instantly across multiple countries.

“The countries include the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, South Africa, the UAE, Denmark, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire,” he said.

He added that Leatherback was fully registered and recognised by regulatory authorities in the relevant countries.

“The organisation enables clients to create local and foreign accounts to give them the option to remit funds across 40 countries, while businesses can invoice and collect directly in over 13 currencies.

“Leatherback is fully regulated by the FCA in the UK, Fintrac in Canada, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other regulatory authorities in the 13 countries it is licenced in.

“Ensuring that our users operate in a secure space is non-negotiable.

“The multi-layered cybersecurity measures we have deployed are aimed at safeguarding their money and providing them with peace of mind,” he added.

Read also: Panel tasks CBN on open banking regulation

Toyeeb assured that the company had the capacity to break down payment barriers, promote business expansion, remove barriers to business growth, and build a global digital payments infrastructure.

“Leatherback’s main objective is to remove borders from transacting, so that people and businesses are encouraged to be ambitious and provide their services freely,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Leatherback, a UK-based company that helps individual and business customers to move money from one continent to another with ease.


Source: News Agency of Nigeria

How eNaira is doing 3 months on — Emefiele

Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says Nigerians are gradually adopting the eNaira, launched three months back.

Emefiele said this while answering questions from members of the press after presenting the outcome of the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

The MPC, at the meeting, retained the country’s Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5 per cent. and also unanimously agreed to retain all other monetary policy parameters.

The Cash Reserved Ratio (CRR) was, thus, retained at 27.5 per cent, Liquidity Ratio, 30 per cent and Assymetric Corridor, +100 and -700 Basis Points around the MPR.

Emefiele, answering questions after presenting the MPC  meeting outcome, said that Person to Bank and Bank to Person transactions have accounted for 90 per cent of transactions done on the eNaira speed wallet.

“Since its launch about three months ago, Nigerians have continued to gradually adopt eNaira as a fast and reliable means of exchange.

”Transactions recorded range from P to P, that is, Person to Person; or Person to Merchant, P to M; Bank to Person; Person to Bank and Bank to Merchants and Merchants to Bank.

“The Person to Bank and Bank to Person constitute 90 per cent of what we see in the market, and as you will  observe, we spent the last three months observing and monitoring the system and addressing issues mostly around initial onboarding,’’ Emefiele said.

According to him, transactions on the system have been super-fast and remain free for now.

He said that stringent validation procedures were enforced to preserve the integrity and security of the system since it was account based, and required a digital identity.

“We  feel that you must have a BVN and you must have an account to be able to access it; And we also find that this has created some kind of constraints on people about onboarding with BVN and the rest of them.

“But again, we believe that what we do by the use of the BVN is the best so as to avoid fraudsters from hacking into the system.

“Most of the complaints received were mainly around the inability of prospective users to onboard and activate the E wallet due to a mismatch of BVN enrollment records,’’ he said.

Emefiele said that the bank together with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System and the Deposit Money Banks were working to simplify the process of updating such information.

He added that considerable progress had been made with the release of locked accounts for re-onboarding.

The CBN Governor also said that foreigners who had BVN could now onboard the system.

He added that with the recent assignment of the enaira USSD code by the Ministry of Communications and digital economy, Nigerians without a smartphone would soon be able to onboard and conduct transactions using enaira by dialling code 997.

Emefiele said that the apex bank was engaging the fintechs and other industry players to create a bouquet of products on enaira platform.

He said that while transactions on the system have so far mostly revolved around moving money to and from bank accounts, tests with licensed payment services providers were  ongoing to enable payments using enaira on E commerce platforms.

The CBN Governor explained that this would enable Small and Medium Enterprises and other commercial service providers to offer their products and services and accept enaira as a means of payment and exchange.

He said that CBN was working on a framework that would leverage the existing and new infrastructure to soon extend the service of enaira to the unbanked, as part of its commitment towards meeting targets for Financial Inclusion.

Besides, he said that the bank together with its stakeholders planned to embark on a rigorous awareness campaign to create the necessary understanding of the operations of the enaira.


Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FirstBank partners Rotary Club on infrastructure devt. in Lagos school

First Bank Nigeria Ltd. in collaboration with Rotary Club of Lagos have donated four blocks of renovated classrooms, library and borehole to Lafiaji Senior High School, Lagos, to enhance learning and sanitation.

Mr Babawale Agbeyangi, president, Rotary Club of Lagos, said at the inauguration of the projects on Tuesday that they would improve health and education in the state.

Agbeyangi noted that the club also partnered FBNHoldings to create a conducive learning environment for the students.

He said the club conducted cervical screening and vaccination for 200 female students of the school, trained the teachers in ICT and donated equipment to ensure students had access to STEM education.

The president commended the bank and FBNHoldings for supporting the project, noting that it would assist to shape the future of the students.

Agbeyangi said the club would continue to take action on sustainable projects that would have lasting impact on communities.

Dr Adesola Adeduntan, Managing Director, FirstBank, said the project resonated with the bank’s corporate responsibility and sustainability projects in health and education.

Adeduntan, represented by Mrs Chinwe Bode-Akinwande, Head, Digital Marketing, FirstBank, said the bank had provided education intervention with far reaching impacts over the last 27 years.

“During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, FirstBank launched a platform aimed at moving one million students in the nation to e-learning, and supported 20,000 public schools in Lagos with mobile learning devices.

“Notably, the initiatives have received global recognition and awards,” he said.

Adeduntan noted that investment in education would secure the future of the students and development of the nation.

According to him, returns expected from the projects is outstanding performance from the students.

He enjoined the students to maximise the use of the facilities to their advantage.

He advised the students to continue to imbibe the culture of hygiene and physical wellbeing, noting that health was wealth.

Adeduntan commended Rotary Club for its humanitarian efforts aimed at improving lives and the society.

Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, Lagos State Commissioner for Education, commended the club and its partners for supporting the state in improving the welfare of students and standard of education.

Adefisayo noted that the state was embarking on infrastructural upgrade of schools across the state, saying the government alone could not bridge the infrastructure gap in the education sector.

She said the state was committed to improving welfare and quality of education, noting that its dedication assisted to improve the state’s success rate in WAEC to 79 per cent.

Read also: Rotary Club eulogises Agba for spearheading polio campaigns

Similarly, Mr Muyideen Alade-Folawiyo, Chairman, Lagos Island East Council Development Area, said the project aligned with the state and council’s objectives for health and education.

Alade-Folawiyo said the classrooms would ensure that the students learnt in a conducive manner, while the borehole would reduce incidence of waterborne diseases.

Also, Mr Folorunsho Egharva, Principal of the school, appreciated the club and its partners, pledging to ensure judicious use of the facilities.


Source: News Agency of Nigeria