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NDLEA destroys 42.9 hectares of hemp farmlands in Ekiti — Official

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About 42.9 hectares of Cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) farmlands were destroyed by the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), Ekiti Command in the year 2021.

The NDLEA Commander in Ekiti, Mr Anthony Olowonihi, said this in an interview with Newsmen on Friday in Ado-Ekiti.

Olowonihi said the destructions were carried out in Ise-Ekiti and Eporo-Ekiti, in Ise Local Government Area and Emure Local Government Area, respectively, between January 2021 and December 2021.

The Ekiti NDLEA boss, who decried the increasing rate of drug abuse in the state, said a total of 5,140 kilogrammes of Cannabis sativa, known as Indian hemp, was also seized within the period under review.

“There was a rise in the use of illicit drug in Ekiti in 2021. In January we seized 29kg of Cannabis sativa and down the line it kept increasing.

“By September we seized 61kg, while nine hectares of Indian hemp farmlands were destroyed and in October another 32 hectares of farmlands was destroyed on Use-Ekiti forest and Eporo in Emure.

“In November, we seized 2,838kg of illicit drug within Ise and Emure axis.

“In other areas of the state, we seized 1,447kg of cannabis sativa for the months of September, October, November and December all in 2021,” Olowonihi said.

He urged land owners in Ekiti not to give their lands to Indian hemp farmers.

“Do not give your lands to those who will use them for illicit drug cultivations; rather release the lands to people that will use them to farm yams, cassava, maize and cash crops that will benefit our nation,’’ he said.

Olowonihi advised Nigerians, especially Ekiti residents, to desist from smoking or use of illicit drugs, as they are destroying their future, that of state and the country at large.

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Cardoso approves CBN’s reviewed service charter

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CBN governor, Mr Yemi Cardoso, has approved the reviewed “Service Charter’’ of the apex bank.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the service charter is a requirement of the Business Facilitation Act 2022 for driving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

It compels the CBN to fully comply with the directives of SERVICOM on improvement of customer service delivery.

The CBN stated on Thursday in Abuja that the charter outlined the working relationship between the bank and its external customers.

“The document clearly outlines the bank’s mandates, vision, mission, and core values.

“It contains the list of services offered by the bank through its various departments and the service standards for each service.

“The service charter also includes a standardised customer complaints form for reporting service failures as well as a mechanism for addressing failures in any of the bank’s services,’’ it stated.

It added that the service charter reiterated CBN’s commitment to effective and prompt service delivery to its stakeholders and to its customers.

“It enables our customers to know the range of services provided by the bank as well as the standards at which these services would be provided.

“It equally states redress procedures in the event of service failure from any of our service windows.

“The charter applies to all stakeholders and customers of the bank,’’ it stressed.

In the Foreword to the reviewed document, Cardoso reiterated CBN’s commitment to providing more responsive and citizen-friendly governance through quality service delivery that is efficient, accountable and transparent.

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2024 budget to bring 61% increase to health sector, reduce brain drain — FCTA

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says the 2024 budget will bring about 61 per cent increase in the nation’s capital’s health sector and reduce brain drain.

Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, the Mandate Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA, disclosed this
on the sidelines of the 2023 Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), FCT chapter Health Week in Abuja.

Fasawe said the N27.5 trillion budget christened “Renewed Hope”, would bring about drastic infrastructure development in the FCT health sector and improved wellbeing for doctors and health workers.

She added that “the budget is an increase over the last budget. We believe this will translate to a 61 per cent increase in
our health indices, better equipment in our hospitals, and we will be able to employ more doctors.

“For every doctor who leaves the system, we replace the person. As people leave, we also have people looking for jobs.

“Most people leave not because of poor salaries or poor working conditions, but because they don’t have the right equipment to work with at times.

“We hope the `Japa syndrome’ will reduce with the improved budget; we also hope to see the right equipment and expansion of hospitals and better roll-call.”

She, therefore, encouraged FCT residents, especially the poor and vulnerable, to register under the insurance scheme at the primary or secondary health facilities to access free healthcare services.

She explained that “for the FCT health insurance scheme, we have a plan for the vulnerable; it is for the poor who cannot afford healthcare. They are by law statutorily mandated to be taken care of once they are registered under the scheme.

“So, if you fall under that group — poor, no job, no social security, visit any of our primary or secondary healthcare centres, where you will be assessed and registered.”

Earlier, Sen. Ireti  Kingibe of the Labour Party (LP), representing the FCT, had appealed to doctors and other health workers not to relocate abroad, but rather stay back in the country and support the government and stakeholders to strengthen the health system.

Kingibe, who was represented by Dr Juliet Essien, a Clinician, said “the FCT will continue to receive improved budgetary allocation for its health sector.

“It is no secret that our healthcare is facing numerous challenges, but we need to address issues such as brain drain, infrastructure, accessibity and the wellbeing of healthcare professionals.”

Also, Dr Rahman Olayinka, the President of ARD, FCTA, said the health week was to provide a platform for members to share insights and draw government’s attention to crucial matters within the health sector.

It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu recently presented the 2024 budget to the National Assembly.

A budget breakdown showed that the country’s health sector got N1.33 trillion, while the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, presented N61.6 billion budget to the lawmakers for 2024.

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CAC, FIRS strengthen collaboration for economic growth

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are strengthening their existing collaboration to ensure economic growth.

Registrar-General of the CAC, Mr Hussaini Magaji, said this on Thursday in Abuja when he visited the FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr Zacch Adedeji.

Magaji said the visit was to familiarise and further cement already existing collaboration between the CAC and the FIRS.

Speaking on CAC’s mandate vis-à-vis its relationship with the FIRS, Magaji said the CAC had created a platform for integration with the FIRS, thereby making the process of business registration seamless.

He emphasised the need for greater cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies that are strategic to national economy, especially as it relates to revenue generation.

Magaji said it was pertinent to identify and formalise the enormous number of unregistered online businesses to boost the country’s revenue.

 

Responding, the FIRS chairman stressed the need to have a robust inter-agency relationship to make FIRS to perform better.

Adedeji said while the CAC registered and nurtured companies, the FIRS awaited the companies to mature before it began to assess them.

He added that the FIRS relied on the CAC to drive voluntary compliance by obtaining data from the former.

He noted that both agencies needed to reinvigorate their existing standing technical committee to interface more often to cement their long-standing relationship and to engender capacity building.

Also speaking, the Coordinating Director, Digital and Information Support Group of the FIRS, Ms Chiaka Ben-Obi, said Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) were now generated for all entities upon registration.

Ben-Obi said this was a departure from the past when the FIRS supplied the CAC with TIN.

While appreciating the CAC for the introduction of online electronic submission of audited accounts, she said the FIRS was studying the possibility of having an interface with the CAC in that regard.

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