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The era of placing post-no-debit on accounts is over — EFCC Chairman

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…Explores collaboration with SMEDAN parley to foster survival of SMEs

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ola  Olukoyede has declared an end to placing post-no-debit on accounts.

The EFCC Chairman spoke when he received a delegation of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) led by its Director- General, Charles Odii at the EFCC headquarters.

He pointed out that the era of placing Post No Debit, PND, (freezing) on individual and company’s accounts is over,  adding that the Commission will separate proceeds of crime from legitimate funds to allow businesses to grow in the country.

“The era of PND on peoples’ or companies’ accounts indiscriminately is over. If you trace proceeds of crime to any account, the best thing for you to do is to separate it from legitimate funds.

“Businesses have to grow. We call them growing concerns. We have to allow them to grow. These are people having many people in their employment and if you put PND on their accounts, they can’t work, they can’t grow, they can’t operate, they can’t pay salary and they will sack their employees. How does that help the economy,” he said.

He, however, warned that the EFCC would deploy the full wrath of the law on any business that was set up to destroy the economy.

“Don’t be surprised that there are businesses set up to destroy our economy as well. Those ones we are going to attack. We are going to enforce the law against them very strictly, but the ones that probably become accessories in one way or the other, money got laundered through the account, we should be able to separate proceeds of crime from legitimate funds and deal with it,” he said.

The EFCC Chairman also commented on a new collaboration with SMEDAN to enhance growth and survival of businesses across the country.

He noted that the EFCC will partner with SMEDAN and agencies that are pivotal to the development of the economy.

“If any nation is going to grow economically, you must place your small and medium scale enterprises where they belong, support them, create an enabling environment for them to thrive and that is exactly what we are going to do with our partnership with you,” He said.

On his part, Odii stated that his team was at the Commission to create trust and enhance the existing partnership with the EFCC.

“We are here for two things: the first one is trust, there are 40 million businesses that we represent as their vanguard.  We are like their advocates and many of them want to know if they can trust the new EFCC.

“They want to know if the EFCC is not going to contribute to the demise of small businesses. Our latest report shows that we lost three million businesses and this has to do with insecurity, fraud, global competitiveness and lack of ease of doing business in Nigeria,” he said.

Continuing, he stressed that, “We want to embrace a partnership that is already in existence in the sense that if these 40 million small businesses that are contributing to our GDP trust that they can do business in Nigeria and that the EFCC is not an enemy but a partner in economic growth it will help to instill a lot of business confidence.  We want them to see EFCC as a partner for economic growth and a partner for development,” he said.

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Tinubu appoints Olatunji Bello CEO, Vice Chairman of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, pending confirmation by the Senate.

A statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu’s media aide, noted that Mr. Bello is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist.

He is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos. He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002.

Mr. Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor, Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor of National Concord.

He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed Chairman of the Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.

Ngelale said the President expects that the new CEO of this important agency will ensure the holistic realisation of the commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

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NCDC reports 1,598 suspected cholera cases in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, has reported 1,598 suspected cases of cholera across 107 local government areas.

The cholera outbreak is characterised by a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent, significantly higher than the national expected average of one per cent, underscoring the severity of the situation.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja while providing an update on the cholera epidemiological situation in Nigeria and ongoing prevention and response efforts at the national and sub-national levels.

Cholera is a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease remains a significant health challenge, especially in regions with inadequate sanitation and clean water access.

Understanding the transmission mechanism of cholera is crucial to curbing its spread and implementing effective prevention measures.

Idris said: “Government is deeply concerned about the rapid spread and higher-than-expected mortality rate, indicating a more lethal outbreak.”

He emphasised that the fatalities represented significant personal losses, including those of family members, spouses, parents and healthcare workers.

“This situation can be compounded as the rainy season intensifies,” he added.

He disclosed that Lagos State accounted for the highest number of deaths with 29, followed by Rivers with eight, Abia and Delta with four each, Katsina with three, Bayelsa with two and Kano, Nasarawa and Cross River with one each.

He added: “This alarming trend highlights the urgent need for coordinated response to prevent further escalation of the crisis. Sixteen states accounted for 90 per cent of the confirmed cases, with Lagos being the epicentre of the outbreak. Lagos State, having the highest number of cases, has received significant focus, with ongoing support and resources directed to manage the outbreak effectively.”

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NAFDAC alerts public on unregistered B-GAG syrup

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has notified Nigerians about the illegal production and sale of unregistered B-GAG mist pot CIT syrup.

The alert is contained in a public notice No. 023/2024, issued by the agency’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, in Abuja on Sunday.

The unregistered product is alleged to have been sold by a company named Babban Gida Agalawa General Enterprises.

According to the statement, the product, being presented in a pet bottle, was discovered during a surveillance operation carried out by the NAFDAC Post Marketing Surveillance Directorate Officers in Maiduguri, Borno, and Keffi, Nasarawa States.

It said that the product was found to be without a NAFDAC registration number and a misleading label.

NAFDAC in the statement said that illegal marketing of medicines or counterfeit medicines posed a risk to public health.

Adeyeye noted that without compliance with regulatory provisions of safety, quality, and efficacy of such products were not guaranteed.

The agency gave the batch number of the fake product as 0070, the manufacturing date as 01/02/2024, as well as the expiring date as 01/02/2027.

Adeyeye also gave the address of the manufacturer as No. 883/884 Western Bypass Ring Road, Kumbosto Local Government, Kano State.

Adeyeye further said that NAFDAC Zonal Directors and State Coordinators had been directed to carry out surveillance to mop up the illegal products within the zones and states.

She advised consumers and caregivers to avoid the use of the product, adding that all medical products must be obtained from authorised and licensed suppliers.

Adeyeye said that products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked before buying.

She also advised healthcare professionals and consumers to report any suspicion of either the sale of substandard and falsified medicines or medical devices to the nearest NAFDAC office.

Adeyeye called on the public to report any adverse reaction to NAFDAC on 0800-162-3322 or via email: [email protected].

She encouraged healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of medicinal products through NAFDAC E-reporting platforms.

The e-reporting platforms, according to her are: www.nafdac.gov.ng, the Med- safety application available for download on Android, and IOS stores or via e-mail on [email protected].

She said the notice about the product would be uploaded on the World Health Organisation, Global Surveillance and Monitoring System.

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