Makinde Okays Appointment Of Olakunleyin As 43rd Olubadan

Mohammed Shosanya

Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has approved the appointment of Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakuleyin as the 43rd Olubadan of lbadanland.

He gave the approval in a memo signed on June 14, 2024, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 19 (Cap 28) Law of Oyo State 2000 as amended.

According to a statement by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters,Olusegun Olayiwola,the approval is a culmination of a series of processes stipulated by the extant laws of the state regarding ascension to royal thrones.

The statement added that the governor congratulated the new Olubadan, praying that his tenure will birth greater developments in Ibadanland and Oyo state as a whole.

Oyo SSS3 Student Emerges One-Day House Of Representatives Member

Mohammed Shosanya

A senior secondary school student of Favourland College, Igboora, Oyo State, Miss Peace Oladosu will participate in a plenary session of the House of Representatives when the Green Chamber resumes from its Sallah break on July 2, 2024.

Miss Oladosu’s symbolic one-day membership of the House of Representatives is courtesy of the member representing Ibarapa Central/Ibarapa North Federal Constituency, Oyo State, Adebayo Adepoju, after she won an intellectual competition sponsored by the lawmaker.

The winner alongside her parents, will travel to Abuja by air, where they will be lodged in a five-star hotel, preparatory to her participation in a one-day session with federal lawmakers in plenary.

This is contained in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the lawmaker, on Media and Publicity, Mr Hassan Olaoniye.

The statement explained that the young Oladosu, a native of Idere town, emerged victorious in the intellectual competition which enjoyed the massive participation of students from secondary schools in the five principal towns of the federal constituency.

The statement read in part, “On Monday, June 17, 2024, the Ibarapa region of Oyo State achieved a historic milestone by producing its first-ever One-Day House of Representatives Member.

“This unique initiative, a product of the Ibarapa Central/Ibarapa North Federal Constituency, was spearheaded by Hon Adebayo Adepoju.

“The One-Day House of Representatives Member programme aims to engage young minds, foster future legislators from the federal constituency and inspire children to succeed regardless of their socio-economic background.

“It is also aimed at incorporating youth-driven initiatives previously overlooked. The programme also seeks to develop intellectually-minded young leaders for the constituency’s progress.”

The statement added that the event was attended by traditional rulers, academics, eminent individuals, political officeholders from local, state and federal levels, religious leaders and many other Nigerians

The grand finale, it stated, coincided with the lawmaker’s one-year in office celebration, and was an extension of the Ibarapakan Essay Competition.

The statement further read, “The finalists were evaluated on presentation (oratory skills), essay writing (writing proficiency), and spelling bees (spelling and pronunciation accuracy).

“The judging panel included Barrister Lekan Awolusi, Senior Legislative Aide to the lawmaker, Feyisitan Ijimakinwa and Chidinma Danjibo from the University of Ibadan.

“The winner’s benefits include free return flight tickets to Abuja with her parents, a day of decision-making for the constituency, and witnessing a live House of Representatives plenary.

“She will also sit in the lawmaker’s official seat, gaining practical legislative knowledge, meeting the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and staying in a five-star hotel.”

A cash award of N50,000 was given to each finalist.

“He (Adepoju) released a 54-page account of his one-year in office, expressing gratitude to the constituency for their support.

“His report detailed job opportunities in various federal agencies, numerous constituency projects, bills, motions, social responsibilities, and pioneering initiatives within the constituency,” the statement added.

Rivers: Fubara Orders Audit Of Councils’ Accounts

Mohammed Shosanya

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara,has directed the Auditor-General of Local Governments to commence immediate audit of the accounts of the 23 councils in the state.

He gave the order on Wednesday when he sworn-in caretaker committee chairmen and members for the 23 local government councils.

He implored them to eschew violence, maintain the peace, and be guided by the vonstitution, so as to always promote unity, inclusive administration and achieve progress at the grassroots.

He disclosed that the swearing-in of the chairmen will ensure seamless administration of local governments following the expiration of tenure of elected chairmen and councillors in the state.

The Governor performed the swearing-in at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, amid cheers, jubilations and commendations as the right step to douse the tension and bring everybody in the political space together.

The swearing-in followed the screening and confirmation of the nominees for caretaker committee chairmen and members by the State House of Assembly at the plenary presided over by its Speaker, Rt. Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo, on Wednesday.

The list of seven-member nominees per local government council had been forwarded to the Assembly pursuant to Section 9 (5) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018, for screening and confirmation.

The Governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, said the exercise demonstrated his administration’s commitment to upholding the tenets of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that does not provide for tenure elongation.

He explained: “What is happening here now is a defence of democracy. We will not allow the wrong precedent to be created in this country.

“It is not about Rivers State. It is not about Fubara. But if in any way this attempt of tenure elongation succeeds in Rivers State, it becomes a norm in Nigeria.

“So, we have taken it upon ourselves to say, not on our own watch will it happen because it is completely alien to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Governor Fubara wondered why the tenures of elected officers will expire and they want to perpetuate themselves in office against their oath of office and the provisions of Constitution of Nigeria.

He clarified that any insistence to elongate tenure of council chairmen will not happen in Rivers State and advised the out-gone chairmen, vice-chairmen and councillors to let go and return home.

He said: “So, for those people who are saying, the only reason why we (they) want to continue in office is because election has not been conducted, we have more than 85 percent of the States in Nigeria that are being run by caretaker committees.

“Ours is not different, you had your tenure, you have completed your tenure, it is proper you let go. Life doesn’t create a vacuum. If you are not there again, that is, if your tenure has expired, doesn’t mean I should, because I want to please you, allow you to stay longer. No. It doesn’t happen like that. People must take over, manage the affairs and elections will be conducted.”

Fubara,who expressed concern about how the finances of the 23 Local Government Councils were managed in the last three years, directed the Auditor-General of Local Governments to begin auditing the accounts and make the report available within the next one month.

“I also want to say that, for the local government activities in the past three years, I would want to mandate: which is official assignment, not even a statutory duty, that the Auditor-General should immediately commence the audit of the 23 Local Government Councils in the past three years, and come up with the result in the next one month.

“It is important so that we will know what has happened and how our funds were being used in those 23 Local Government Areas. It is important so that it will be a check for those people who are also coming.”

He told the new CTC chairmen that their tenure will not be too long because the process for the conduct of fresh elections of local government chairmen and councillors in our dtate has started.

He advised them to resume at their respective local government councils with utmost sense of duty and commitment to serve the people and protect the interest of Rivers State.

He warned them against any form of confrontation, insisting that such is not in his nature and style but advised them to be law-abiding as they take full control of the local government councils.

He said, “Whatever happened yesterday (Tuesday), I know and the world knows that it is not from you people. Some persons caused it. So, let us not give them the opportunity to continue to make our State look bad in the comity of states.

“So, when you go back, if there is any situation, you should be law- abiding. I don’t want any confrontation. You can operate from anywhere for now. But the most important thing is that you have the control of the Local Government today.”

Governor Fubara urged them to ensure that they compute and pay the outstanding financial benefits and entitlements, including salaries of the outgone chairmen, vice-chairmen and councillors.

He added, “I am not of the class to say that because something happened, you should maltreat them. No. Whatever is their entitlement, ensure that they get it.”

He instructed the CTC chairmen to work hard to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order in their various council areas.

The Governor expressed worry about the negative media portrayal of the State as ridden with crisis, and urged them to ensure that what they do changes such negative narrative.

“Please, I want to appeal to you that when you go back, I don’t want crisis. Just manage the situation as much as you can. God does not start and end half-way. That is the truth. Since God has started with us, He will definitely complete His work in our lives.

“I don’t want any fight. I don’t want any life to be lost because it does not earn me anything. We know that we can overcome, and we have been overcoming,” he advised the chairmen.

Those sworn-in include: Madigai Dickson as chairman of Abua/Odual; while Hon. Happy Benneth is chairman of Ahoada East; Ahoada West has Mr. Daddy John Green as chairman; just as Barrister Otonye Briggs chairs Akuku-Toru; with Andoni chaired by Barrister Reginald Ekaan; and Asari-Toru, chaired by Orolosoma Amachree.

In Bonny, Alabota Anengi Barasua returned as chairperson; while in Degema, Anthony Soberekon is the chairman; with Eleme having Brain Gokpa as chairman, just as David Omereji is the chairman of Emohua; while John Otamiri Nkugbo is the chairman of Etche.

Also, Gokana has Κεννετη Kpeden as chairman; Ikwerre has Dr. Darlington Orji; Khana has Amb. Marvin Yobana; Obio/Akpor has Amb. Chijioke Ihunwo; Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni has Princewill Ejekwe as chairman; Ogu/Bolo is chaired by Rt. Hon. Evans B. Biρι; Okrika is chaired by Princess I. B. Ogan; Omuma chairman is Promise Reginald; Οροbο/Νκoro chairman, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam returns; while Oyigbo has Hon. Gogo Phillip as chairman; with Ichemati Ezebunwo in charge of Port Harcourt City; just as Hon. Matthew Dike is the CTC chairman of Tai.

Tinubu’s Food Security Committee Fails To Stop Increasing Prices,CPPE Boss Laments

Mohammed Shosanya

The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has fault President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s committee on food security for its lack of impact on Nigeria’s rising food prices.

Its Chief Executive Officer,Muda Yusuf,who conveyed this in a statement, said that Nigeria’s headline and food inflation rates for May 2024 were 33.95 percent and 40.66 percent, respectively.

He bemoaned the declining purchasing power of Nigerians amid persistent inflation.

He identified several factors driving the inflation such as: depreciating exchange rates, increasing transportation costs, logistics and supply chain issues, forex market volatility, high energy costs, climate change, insecurity in farming communities, seasonality of agricultural outputs, and structural production bottlenecks.

He added:“Regrettably, inflation drivers are not receding. There is also the factor of seasonality of agricultural outputs, which triggers seasonal price surges in some food crops. It is important to stress that insecurity in farming communities remains a major factor in disrupting agricultural production and perpetuating the food supply crisis.

“The food security situation is frightening and requires an urgent and emergency response. Meanwhile, the impact of the Presidential Committee on Food Security is yet to be felt. We believe that the proposals contained in the government’s Inflation Reduction and Price Stability Plan will have a significant impact in moderating inflationary pressures if implemented. We request that the plan be urgently implemented.

“The government could review the tariff policies by granting concessionary import duty on intermediate products for industrialists. The same is true for investors in the logistics sector. Some of these measures are already contained in the draft Accelerated Economic and Sustainability Plan proposed by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy”

FG Says Abuja Murtala Muhammed Way Not Renamed After Soyinka

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Government has clarified that the Murtala Muhammed Expressed Way in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has not been renamed after Nigeria’s Nobel Laurent, Professor Wole Soyinka.

Rabiu Ibrahim,Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of Information and National Orientation,quoted in a statement that the Federal Government said the clarification became necessary following rumours being circulated that the Expressed Way has been renamed.

He declared that such decision has never been contemplated by the administration of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

“We have noted the rumours being circulated that the Murtala Muhammed Expressed Way in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has been renamed as Wole Soyinka Way.

“The renaming of the Murtala Muhammed Expressway Way has never been contemplated by this administration.

“For the record, on June 4, 2024, President Bola Tinubu inaugurated a new road in the FCT codenamed Arterial Road N20 (from Katampe to Jahi), which links the existing Outer Northern Expressway (also known as Murtala Mohammed Expressway) to the Northern Parkway (also called Ahmadu Bello Way).

“During the inauguration of the N20 (which is a new road), FCT Minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike, proposed to the President that the road be named after Prof Wole Soyinka, and the President agreed.

“Therefore, it is the Arterial Road N20 that is named after Prof Soyinka. The Murtala Mohammed Expressway remains unchanged and continues to bear the name of our esteemed former Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed.

“We urge all citizens to disregard any misinformation regarding the renaming of the Murtala Mohammed Expressway. The report is entirely false and only exists in the imagination of its purveyors” reads the statement in parts.

Police Claim Over Release Of EndSARS Detainees Unfounded-Activist

Mohammed Shosanya

Human right activist and lawyer, Tope Temokun has implored President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ignore the claim by the Police that all EndSARS detainees had been released or prosecuted accordingly.

He advised President Tinubu to direct the Controller-General of Nigerian Correctional Service and the Minister of Interior to compile the names of EndSARS detainees for release in heed to the call of Senator Shehu Sanni.

Senator Sanni had advised President Tinubu to pardon those who are still incarcerated over EndSARS protest in 2020.

In a statement on Monday,Temokun called President Tinubu not to takes seriously the quick response of the Police that no EndSARS detainee is still in the custody.

He described Senator Sanni’s message to the President as “a thoughtful and introspective call on the President to genuine service and his thought on that is more patriotic and correlates more with record and reality than the reaction of outright denial by the Police that there is no EndSARS protester in custody again across the country.”

He said: “I call on the President to heed the patriotic, introspective and humanity-driven statement of Senator Shehu Sanni and call on the Controller-General of Nigerian Correctional Service and the Minister of Interior to go to the records and publicize the particulars in terms of number of inmates in their custody in connection with EndSARS across Nigeria as at October 2020 and those who have regained their freedom either by bail, discharge, acquittal or pardon.

“The revelation might shock us all. Maybe for President Tinubu, that is where the healing process for this bleeding country you wish to govern will start.”

He noted that “Police lack the genuine record and data, as a primary source of information, to hastily respond to Shehu Sanni’s patriotic call, with denial and with such vague phrase that they have been processed according to law. How? What is this supposed to mean?

“The governments of various states and the Nigerian Correctional Service are in the best and first position to respond from their records.

“The reaction by the police that all individuals arrested have been processed according to law and none remains in custody, citing the facts that Governor Sanwo-Olu pardoned about 100 suspects in Lagos suffers from fallacy of hasty generalization.

“EndSARS protesters were arrested across the states of the country and apart from Lagos, which other state officially pardoned those arrested in connection with the October 2020 EndSARS protest?

“Then what is the number of the total protesters arrested in Lagos and other states? What is the number of protesters charged to court? What is the number of protesters successfully prosecuted or pardoned or discharged?

“What is the percentage of those arrested in Lagos and outside Lagos had legal representations and how many of those legal representations, billed or pro bono, followed those cases to logical conclusions? .

“I expect the government to come up with data and statistics on these. That is when the Police could now officially make a conclusive statement on the matter.

“Just the way we always have many arrested persons, particularly larger number of the citizens who have nobody to look for them or stand in for them, languish in remands across the country, without arraignment or trial, the same way many EndSARS protesters who had no legal representation after their arrest and since their arrest would also have been forgotten in various remand centres across the country.”

Temokun cited the case of an EndSARS detainee, Kemisola Ogun niyi who was arrested on October 22, 2020 in Akure by the Police when she went out to “get some drugs for her sick mother, Mrs. Eniola Felicia Ogunniyi, who had been bedridden for two weeks.”

He explained that Kemisola was remanded in Surulere correctional centre in Ondo town on November 24, 2020. “She was in prison till the 16th day of June, 2021 when she delivered a baby boy in prison which threw her case up for global attention to her ordeal.

“I represented Kemisola in court. On the 22nd of June 2021, she was granted bail by the High Court of Ondo State sitting in Akure after nine months of her arrest and remand since October 22, 2020 and after seven days she gave birth in prison.

“How many people knew that the case against the EndSARS detainee, Kemisola, was not dropped and was prosecuted in court by the Ondo State Government ever since till the 25th day of July, 2023, that the government withdrew the charge against the young girl on the grounds that it had become impossible for the prosecution to locate the vital witnesses needed for her prosecution following which the court struck out the vharge.”

Toluwalope Fourthman Emerges Africa Union Mathematics Ambassador

Toluwalope Fourthman, a pupil of Tender Oaks Private School,Ibadan,has been confered with Africa Mathematics Ambassador on account of the excellence award she won recently.

She was presented with the Award of Excellence Certificate on the 6th of June 2024 for an outstanding and exceptional performance in Mathematics in the 2024 edition of the Africa Mathematics Project organized by the African Union.

Speaking at the presentation of the award, the Head Teacher
Mr Oluwaseun Ojo commended Toluwalope on the award, saying she demonstrated enough courage and determination to emerge as one of the winners.

He implored Toluwalope and other winners in the competition to up their games in the Mathematics, with a view to sustaining enviable legacy of excellence in Mathematics.

According to him,Tender Oaks Private School would continue to support novel ideas on how best to simplify mathematics, as well as encouraging the pupils to excel in the subjects.

Receiving the certificate,an elated Toluwalope dedicated the award to her parent,who she said gave her the necessary support to excel in mathematics that culminated in conferment as Africa Mathematics Ambassador.

She said:”My parents are the pillar of my support in academic pursuit,especially in mathematics. They have me the necessary support to excel and emerge the best in the subject. My win is, therefore, a promise fulfilled and manifestation. of my parents’ resolve to bring the best out of me always.

She also thanked Tender Oaks Private School for the huge impact of supporting her dream, promising that she would not rest on her oars.

Her mother, Mrs. Olubukonla Fourthman commended Toluwalope on the award, adding that her feat excites the family.

She added:”Toluwalope,we are proud of you for clinching this award and emerging Mathematics Ambassador. We have no doubt in your academic pursuit, especially in mathematics, where you’ve shown brighter than the brightest star. We will continue to encourage and support your dreams to realize your dreams and aspirations in life. We pray God to crown your efforts and bless your path as you move higher in your life. “

2022 Police Recruitment List Filled With Non-Applicants—FHQ

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has raised alarm on the irregularities and alleged corruption of the recently released names of successful candidates in the ongoing 2022/23 Police Constables Recruitment Exercise.

A statement from the Force Spokesperson, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi on Saturday said, this becomes “necessary upon being inundated with a series of complaints and allegations of corruption raised by unsuspecting candidates and stakeholders on the irregularities that marred the exercise most especially the disappearance of the names of screened candidates who were successful to the last stage.”

On completion, Adejobi said, “careful scrutiny of the list released on the PSC portal revealed that, “Several names of persons purported to be names of successful candidates are those who did not even apply and therefore did not take part in the recruitment exercise.

“The published list contains several names of candidates who failed either the Computer Based Test (CBT) or the physical screening exercise or both.

“There are those who made it to the last stage of the exercise but were disqualified having been found Medically unfit through the standardised medical test but who also made the list of successful candidates as published by the PSC.

“Most worrisome is the allegation of financial dealings and corrupt practices leading to the outcome where unqualified and untrainable individuals have been shortlisted.”

He also stated that, “The Inspector General of Police had on 10th June 2024 written a letter of objection to the list addressed to the Chairman of the Commission, citing the discoveries listed above.

“The reaction of the IGP was without prejudice to the power of the Commission to recruit for the police as ruled by the Supreme court but this power does not include the power to recruit unqualified and untrained individuals for the police.

“Noting that it is the police that bears the brunt of recruitment of unqualified individuals and not the PSC. The same people who recruited anyhow for the police today will turn round to accuse the police tomorrow of inefficiency when their recruits start messing up.

“The Police therefore has since dissociated itself from the published list and called for a review that will be transparent and credible. It will be recalled that the leadership of the Police Service Commission, after the pronouncement of the Supreme Court ruling on the powers of the Commission to recruit for the Police, constituted a Joint Recruitment Board, to be headed by one of the Commissioners of the PSC, with the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Training and Development in the Police Force as its Secretary.

“But surprisingly, the Board was crippled and never allowed to carry out its mandate, insomuch that even the final list was not consented to by the Board.

“The Nigeria Police Force therefore takes exception to this unpleasant development and calls for a total review of the process with a view to recruiting qualified, competent, trainable and productive hands into the Nigeria Police Force, in line with the vision of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s led administration on police reform.

“The NPF hereby reiterates that we are not unconcerned about the plights and ordeals of prospective recruits, who have been subjected to all forms of rigorous screening exercise, assuring that it is our commitment to ensure that the process is thoroughly reviewed, stands fruitful and successful for the betterment of the Nigeria Police, and by extension the country.”

Tinubu Ready To Fight Corruption- EFCC Boss

Mohammed Shosanya

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),Ola Olukoyede has disclosed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has greatly shown immense political will in the fight against economic and financial crimes by not interfering in the works of the Commission.

He stated this in Ile-Ife,Osun State during a recent courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II).

He disclosed that, “since I was appointed the Chairman of the EFCC, the President has never called me to stop,impose, dictate or prescribe any directive as regards the affairs or activities of the Commission, rather the anti-graft agency has so far enjoyed adequate support needed from the Federal Government towards achieving the mandate of the Commission”.

He told the Ooni of Ife that given the autonomy the Commission has gotten so far, “I can assure Nigerians that the EFCC will stop at nothing to curb if not eradicate corruption in the country and hold political office holders accountable for their activities regarding the management of the resources that are meant to better the lives of Nigerians”.

He added that President Tinubu has continued to support him immensely in the way and manner needed for the Commission to achieve its mandate despite all unhealthy complaints and criticisms coming from some elites and political office holders in the country.”

Expressing his gratitude to the foremost monarch for the support and royal blessings coming from him so far in the fight against corruption,Olukoyede assured that “the EFCC will fight head-on those entrusted with our common wealth for robust economic growth but using them for their personal gains”.

He stated that the EFCC under his leadership has adopted new dynamic measures in looking into the roots of corruption by creating a new department called “Fraud Risk Assessment and Control” saddled with the responsibility of working through the budgetary allocations in all ministries, departments and agencies of Nigerian Government to demand and ensure accountability on how our common wealth is being utilized.

“Few months after I assumed office, I created a new department that will ensure that all public office holders are strictly held accountable for the resources entrusted in their hands by Nigerians which are meant for the effective growth of our economy.

“Let me state this clearly that all what I do in the course of discharging my duties as a public servant is not to witch-hunt anybody and not for any personal reasons but to ensure that the grand strategic plans of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu towards a better Nigeria is achieved”, he said.

Oba Ogunwusi thanked the anti-graft czar for his commitment, deliberate efforts and passion he is deploying towards the fight against corruption.

He commended the community engagements and collaboration initiatives among relevant stakeholders in combating the menace of corruption adopted by the Chairman to ensure corruption is brought to its knees.

The monarch thanked Mr. President on behalf of the EFCC for non-interference in the activities and duties of the Commission.

“This shows that truly, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu stands to achieve a corrupt- free nation and we all must support him by contributing our quotas”.

He assured the EFCC’s chairman of his continuous support in the fight against corruption as he encouraged the “ dogged crime fighter” not to succumb to pressures and threats from those who are benefitting from corruption and putting the image of the country in bad light.

Reps, NAFDAC Lift Ban On Sachet Alcohol Sales

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal House of Representatives and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have decided to lift the ban on the sale and consumption of sachet alcoholic beverages.

Philip Agbese, the Deputy Spokesman of the House,said the decision will remain in effect until the economy recovers from the current downturn.

The House of Representatives,has on February 7, 2024, directed its committee on NAFDAC to investigate the circumstances surrounding the agency’s ban on the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small bottles in Nigeria.

Speaking at a briefing on Friday, Agbese announced that the decision to temporarily lift the ban was reached following a meeting between the House Committee and NAFDAC officials.

“During the meeting, we all agreed that, at a certain point in history, it is essential to advance alongside our global counterparts. However, we also concurred with NAFDAC that there would be a temporary lifting of the ban until the economy recovers its strength.”

On how the decision was reached, Agbese, who represents the Ado/Ogbadigbo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency in Benue State, stated: “There was a motion before the parliament to investigate the activities that led to the ban placed by NAFDAC on the use and sale of sachet beverages in the country. In its wisdom, the parliament delegated the House Committee on NAFDAC, led by Hon. Regina Akume, to investigate the matter and report back. The committee dutifully carried out its legislative function as mandated.

“We engaged with various stakeholders, including NAFDAC and the organized private sector. During our meeting, resolutions were reached based on submissions from stakeholders, civil society organizations, and other interested parties. The recommendations presented to parliament included the view that the ban was untimely given the current economic realities. The five-year moratorium granted by NAFDAC, the impact of COVID-19, and other ongoing economic challenges have made it difficult for industry operators to comply with the terms.

“After that, the parliament in its wisdom adopted the House Committee Report as a whole. Following the questions we received yesterday (Thursday) after the final meeting we had with the leadership of NAFDAC headed by Prof Mojisola Adeyeye; we all agreed as a government, parliament at one end and the executive in charge of that agency to, in the interest of the masses of our country and the mood of the nation, that the ban be suspended.”

“The lawmaker said that the modalities for lifting the ban will be publicly announced by July. He stated, ‘We have agreed to convene in July to finalize the details, with NAFDAC’s Director General expected to have outlined the temporary removal process by then.”

Agbese dismissed the idea that lifting the ban could lead to increased health risks associated with the sale and consumption of alcohol in small sachets.

He pointed out that cigarette packets display warnings in multiple languages indicating the health risks of smoking. Despite this, many people continue to purchase and smoke cigarettes. He emphasized that adults have the right to decide what they consume, citing it as a fundamental human right.”

“I find it hypocritical to suggest that consuming the same content from sachet drinks versus bottles has vastly different health implications, when in reality, the differences appear to be very mild.”

He further stressed that the opposition to the ban was fueled in part by low-income earners who felt that NAFDAC had violated their fundamental human rights.”

“In the presentations we received during the briefing, individuals earning lower incomes highlighted fundamental human rights issues, including discrimination, harassment, and victimization. If everyone has the right to choose and purchase gourmet bread with butter at supermarkets, we should similarly ensure that everyone can afford their basic necessities, like Agege bread.

“We are aligned with NAFDAC now. The health concerns weren’t why the ban was imposed. Regarding children drinking sachet drinks, what about codeine and other cough syrups consumed by wealthy children? They’re still available in pharmacies without bans. This policy seems unfairly aimed at the poor,” Agbese added.