Connect with us
JUMIA TECH WEEK

NATIONAL NEWS

Marwa Compliments Britian On The Marine Headquarters Project For NDLEA

Published

on

Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has praised the British Government for offering to provide headquarters and personnel accommodation for the anti-narcotics body’s Marine Unit at Eko Atlantic City Beach.

Marwa, who delivered the commendation during the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the project facilitated by the UK Home Office International Operations (HOIO), promised that the agency would continue to meet the expectations of Nigerians and international partners.

He stated that President Bola Tinubu’s and the UK government’s confidence in the agency, as well as their overall support, will always serve as a morale booster for the officers and men who daily take huge risks to dismantle drug cartels with the sole goal of curbing the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria, while also significantly contributing to the global effort to address the drug problem.

He stated that the UK government’s office and accommodation facilities for the agency’s marine unit personnel will significantly improve their safety, efficiency, and confidence. “You have given us a place to stay, trainings, boats, repairs, and now accommodation. We can only say “thank you.” We want to reassure you that the NDLEA is a serious agency that does what it has to do without fear or favour, and that we will get the job done. I can give you this assurance as we continue to collaborate. Thank you very much,” the NDLEA boss said while addressing British government officials and contractors at the project’s site.

He also praised personnel from the Navy, Customs, Immigration, and other local services for their cooperation with NDLEA. “We must all stand together; while the NDLEA is the lead agency in this enterprise, the work is collaborative. To accomplish the task, we must work together. I have been informed that there is a lot of collaboration going on in the same way. I was at MMIA this morning and spoke with your senior colleagues, who are all working together while you are here. I encourage you to keep up this spirit, and I wish you continued success.”

Advertisement

Addressing Unit officers, Marwa stated that the agency’s leadership is restructuring the Marine Unit so that it “can become a lean and mean force under an able commander,” adding, “you should brace up, stand up on your two feet, and work very hard to ensure that drugs do not pass by water.”

Kris Hawksfield of the UK Home Office International Operations assured attendees at the ceremony that the project would be completed by July 2024.

Speaking earlier at a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy meeting with the leadership of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Marwa stated that the organisation must collaborate with the Agency to combat substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking. He urged PMAN President Prettywise Okafor and other executives to rally their members to use their God-given talents for the betterment of society rather than using music to promote drug abuse, particularly among young people.

Okafor’s response expressed PMAN’s willingness to collaborate with the Agency. He also discussed their efforts to organise an advocacy campaign against drug abuse across the country, as well as their plans to build rehabilitation centres as part of ongoing projects in Abuja and Lagos.

Advertisement

NATIONAL NEWS

ActionAid Urges IMF, World Bank To End Colonial Rule

Published

on

World Bank Boss

An international organisation, ActionAid has said that the time is up for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to stop perpetuating colonial rule on the world.

The call was made at the weekend as the two global financial institutions concluded their Spring meetings in Washington DC this week.

ActionAid, in the statement said for the last 80 years the IMF and World Bank have been in existence, not much has changed as global South countries have been pushed further into debt and are reeling from the impacts of IMF-imposed austerity measures.

In its 2023 report Fifty Years of Failure, ActionAid found that despite following the IMF’s advice for decades, many African countries are in debt distress or facing a high risk of debt distress. Austerity measures have blocked the recruitment of teachers, doctors and nurses, even in countries with severe shortages, and has squeezed public sector salaries at a time of a rising cost of living.

Global Lead on Economic Justice and Public Services at ActionAid International, Roos Saalbrink, said:“Countries in the global South have since the structural adjustment progammes been in perpetual austerity, eroding public health and education. At a time of unprecedented climate crisis and debt crisis in the global South, the Bretton Woods Institutions continue to oil the wheels of colonial exploitation and extraction. At the same time global South governments have very little say in the policies coming from these institutions at the centre of the international financial architecture. 80 years is enough.”

Advertisement

The statement said ActionAid is also concerned about a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ which has ensured that the IMF managing director has for 80 years been European and the World Bank president a US national.

Country Director of ActionAid USA, Niranjali Amerasinghe, said: “Kristalina Georgieva’s appointment is a continuation of the colonial era ‘gentleman’s agreement’, where rich western powers have the most say. It is unacceptable that 80 years later we are still having to call this out. The IMF must change its leadership selection process, its decision-making model, and the harmful practices that keep developing countries in a cycle of crisis.

“As the climate crisis wreaks havoc, global South countries are so deep in debt that they cannot adapt to these impacts. We are calling for debt cancellation and tax justice to help these countries free up the finances needed to build resilience to climate impacts.

“We need to see an overhaul of the international financial architecture with a proper debt workout mechanism, a UN tax convention, to ensure global South governments have a say over policies impacting them disproportionately.”

ActionAid is a global federation working with more than 41 million people living in more than 71 of the world’s poorest countries, the organisation wants to see a just, fair, and sustainable world, in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work to achieve social justice and gender equality and to eradicate poverty.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

NATIONAL NEWS

Organ Harvesting: National Assembly Orders CEO Of Alliance Hospital, Others To Face The Court

Published

on

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has ordered the defendants to return to court and defend themselves in the ongoing organ harvesting case filed by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) against Alliance Hospital CEO Dr. Christopher Otabor and three others.

In the suit Federal Government of Nigeria vs Alliance Hospital & Services, NAPTIP had arraigned Dr. Christopher Otabor, 51, and three others before a High Court of the FCT sitting in Zuba, presided over by Hon. Justice Ogbonnaya, on March 18, 2024, for alleged organ (kidney) harvest.

He is joined by Emmanuel Olorunlaye, a 36-year-old male, Chikaodili Ugochukwu, a 37-year-old female, and Dr. Aremu Abayomi, a 43-year-old man.

Currently on court bail the defendants have been ordered to report to NAPTIP Headquarters in Abuja daily and surrender their travel documents to the court.

Their arraignment came after months of thorough investigation, during which a prima facie case was established against them, implicating them in varying degrees of culpability for organ harvesting offences, as stipulated by Section 20 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act of 2015.

Advertisement

The aggrieved medical doctor, Christopher Otabor, petitioned the House Committee on Public Petitions for Redress in the National Assembly, challenging the agency’s detention of him during the investigation.

As part of its legislative duties, the Committee invited NAPTIP’s management to appear before it last Thursday.

Mr. Hassan Tahir, Director of NAPTIP’s Legal and Prosecution Department, informed the Committee in his brief submission that the matter was sub judice because the case was already pending before a court of competent jurisdiction, and all of the defendants, including the petitioner, had already entered a plea, with the trial scheduled to begin on May 6th, 2024.

In his decision, the Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Mike Etaba, directed the complainant to return to court and face the charges against him, ultimately dismissing the petition.

According to NAPTIP’s Communication Officer, Vincent Adekoye, this decision “reinforces the commitment to due process and legal proceedings in dealing with serious allegations like organ harvesting.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

NATIONAL NEWS

NDDC Set To Inaugurate Completed 25.7 kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road

Published

on

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has stated that it is ready to inaugurate the completed 25.7-kilometer Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State, which was built in collaboration with Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.

During an inspection tour of the road, which includes seven bridges, 53 culverts, and spurs to 14 communities, NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Sir Victor Antai, revealed that the Commission had begun discussions with the main contractor, SETRACO, to make minor repairs to the road in preparation for the commissioning ceremony.

Antai, who was accompanied by NDDC directors and engineers, stated that the project was not only a flagship of intervention in the Niger Delta, but also a model of development collaboration between the Commission and International Oil Companies (IOCs) in the area.

According to a statement issued on Friday by Pius Ughakpoteni, Director Corporate Affairs, the Executive Director stated that the current NDDC Board and Management will not relent in ensuring the completion and commissioning of legacy projects designed to transform the entire Niger Delta region.

 

Advertisement

He stated, “The Ogbia-Nembe Road demonstrates the importance we place on high-quality job performance. This is the standard we will maintain for all our road projects. Going forward, we want to extend this to all our projects.

“The Ogbia-Nembe Road was an excellent example of what can be accomplished when development agencies, businesses, and state governments work together. It is a clarion call to all our development partners.”

The NDDC Director, Environmental Protection and Control, Engr Onuoha Obeka noted that the road, which cut through swampy terrain, encountered many challenges.

“We are happy that in spite of the challenges, the project connecting about 14 communities in the Ogbia-Nembe axis of Bayelsa State, has been completed. These communities were hitherto, not accessible by road.

“This is the first connection between them and the upland and it will boost the socio-economic fortunes of the people.”

Advertisement

Obeka said that the project was an opportunity for the NDDC engineering crew to improve their skills.

He remarked, “The challenges we faced here were unique: building a road in a mangrove swamp.” You will notice that both sides of the road are filled with water. The road was actually built on a sand embankment of 2.5 million cubic metres of sand.”

“To conquer the swampy terrain, the construction involved digging out four metres of clay soil and filling it with sand to form a road base.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending