APC in South East calls for additional state

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State has called for the creation of additional states in the South East geo-political zone to check current agitation for self-determination in the zone.

Osita Okechukwu, Spokesperson for the party in the state made the call Enugu while presenting the zone’s position to the APC Committee on True Federalism and Restructuring.

He stressed that the ill-feelings of not belonging in the scheme of things had fueled current agitations in the zone.

According to him, there was a need for the South-East to have equal states to be at par with other regions as proposed in the last national conference.

He, however, said that the state chapter of the party supported the current restructuring to revamp the economy as well as the strategic borrowing to reposition the infrastructure and diversification of the economy by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

“However, we are urging that the modernization of rail gauge should also be done on the Enugu-Port Harcourt rail. There is the need for revamping Enugu Coal Mine which should serve as a critical asset to the nation,’’ he said.

Okechukwu, who is also the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), said that the chapter was in support of local government autonomy both in administration and finance.

He proposed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should conduct council elections to ensure true transparency.

“We subscribe to state police in order to effectively deal with local issues and peculiarities which might only be handled by policemen and women that understand the local locations very well,’’ he said.

He added that the chapter supported the existing presidential system with some modifications including rotation of political offices at all levels of governance.

Okechukwu urged the South East to be patient and show restraint as the APC-led government was addressing the problems facing the zone one after the other.

“As we support the rotation of power, it is clear that when President Buhari finishes his eight years, the power will definitely shift to the southern part of the country.

“As we know, the South West and South-South had already taken their turns in the presidency.

“So, it is clear that the South-East will have a shot and leverage to produce the next president after President Buhari had rooted out corruption within his eight years productive administration,’’ he said.

He also urged the President to see the need to give more appointments to APC members in the South-East, especially people that had worked hard to grow the party all these years.

Earlier in his remarks, Oserhiemen Osunbor, the Chairman of the Committee and former Governor of Edo State, said that the forum was aimed at consulting at the party level on the clamour for true federalism and restructuring.

Elendureportsonline.com gathered that other members of the committee are Sen. Chris Nwankwor, Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr Simon Achoba and Yitola Abiola.

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Anambra Police ready to enforce ban on IPOB activities

The Anambra Police Command says it has taken steps to enforce the ban on all activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in the state.

“The Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013 (As Amended) provides minimum punishment of 20 years and maximum of death sentence depending on the offence”, Garba Umar, the State Commissioner of Police, said while addressing newsmen in Awka.

Umar warned that any person or persons involved in the activities of the proscribed group would be arrested and charged to court.

He defined terrorism as the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate, coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment in order to seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structure of a country.

“Meanwhile, Section 37 Sub-section (1) Criminal Code Act, Cap 77 provides that any person who wages war against the state in order to intimidate or coerce the President or State Governor is guilty of treason and is liable to on conviction to be sentenced to Death.

“Therefore, I enjoin the general public to know that participating in the activities of this group is illegal and would amount to treasonable felony,” he added.

He warned the general public to desist from aiding and abetting members of the group, urging them to provide useful information to the Police to help arrest fleeing members of the outlawed group.

“The Command also wishes to reiterate that any act of terrorism is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of the motivation; the Command urges the good people of Anambra to come together to sustain the existing peace in the state.”

The Commissioner assured that the police would continue to safeguard lives and properties of all citizens in the state in line with the vision of Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

He appealed to parents and guardians to warn their children and wards to steer away from the group.

Elendureportsonline.com recalls that the Federal Government after a court order on Wednesday had declared IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

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NERC allays customers’ fear on MYTO methodology review forum

By Our Reporter

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says the stakeholders’ consultative forum on reviewing the frequency of Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) is not meant to discuss electricity tariff review in the country.

Sanusi Garba, NERC Vice-Chairman made the clarification at a meeting on review of frequency of MYTO methodology and eligible customer regulation in Abuja.

The forum was one of a series of two days stakeholders’ consultation meetings to be held in all the six geo-political zones and the FCT.

It was organized to enable the public to make input before NERC takes final decision on MYTO methodology, Eligible Customer and Business Continuity for Companies in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

MYTO is a tariff model that seeks to reward performance above certain benchmarks, reduces technical and non-technical, commercial losses and leads to cost recovery and improved performance standards for industry operators.

It provides a 15-year tariff path for the NESI with limited minor reviews each year in the light of changes in a limited number of parameters (such as inflation, interest rates, exchange rates and generation capacity) and major reviews every five years.

Garba said NERC was only consulting on the frequency of MYTO review, adding that the consultation had nothing to do with plan to review tariff.

He said the issues being considered on MYTO was on the frequency of reviews and end-users tariff compensation.

At the forum, there were divided opinions among operators on the frequency of methodology to be adopted.

Some stakeholders preferred the status quo to remain, others like Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) wanted yearly review, while some advocated monthly and quarterly review of the MYTO.

Tomi Akingbogun, Chairman, Network For Electricity Consumers Advocacy of Nigeria, said it was important for NERC to be mindful of any decision adopted on frequency of MYTO methodology.

He said that there was the need to protect the interest of other investors in other sectors and ultimately the general public and not just operators in the electricity value chain.

“If we are not careful we are going to kill some of our industries by the frequency adopted to review MYTO.

The President, Hotel Owners Forum in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Dr Eze Udeh, said that hotel owners were made to pay for the losses incurred in the electricity value chain of generation, transmission and distribution.

This, he said, was compounding the challenges of its members, adding that there was the need for the operators to bear their operational losses alone.

He said that it was important for NERC to adopt the best method that would suit the interest of the consumers and the sector operators.

Joy Ogaji, Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), said it was necessary for NERC to consider enacting a framework to take care of the stranded power generated by the Electricity Generation Companies (GENCOS).

Ogaji said there was the urgent need to increase the transmission and distribution infrastructure in the country to accommodate electricity generated for end users.

Responding, Frank Okafor, NERC’s Commissioner for Engineering Performance and Monitoring, said stranded generation was a matter of concern in the sector.

He, however, said the completion of the eligibility customer regulation would address the issue of stranded generation in the sector.

Overdose on paracetamol causes liver failure, Expert warns

By Our Reporter

Arikawe Adeolu, a medical practitioner at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, has warned that an overdose of paracetamol drug could cause liver failure within 24 hours.

Adeolu gave the warning in an interview with our reporter in Abuja on Monday.

He said that medications generally had side effects and that some drugs, such as paracetamol, which were often abused, could lead to liver damage.

“One of the major causes of liver disease is drugs. There are some kinds of drugs that can lead to liver damage if not taken as prescribed. There is one common drug that is very popular among this class of drugs and that is paracetamol. Paracetamol if taken above the recommended dose has the ability to damage the liver” he said.

“An overdose of paracetamol can actually lead to liver failure within 24 hours. This is why it is not recommended that drugs are taken by self-medication.

“Excessive consumption of alcohol is another cause of liver disease. This substance has been shown to have a significant effect on liver function; excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to deterioration in liver function.

This is because it has direct damaging effect on the liver cells. A fatty liver can also lead to liver damage,” Adeolu said.

He explained that a fatty liver was the deposition of fats into the liver, adding that this is usually caused by obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and alcohol.

According to the expert, once there is a fatty liver, there is ongoing damage to the liver, though one may not feel any immediate symptoms.

He, however, noted that there were specific and non-specific symptoms of liver disease.

“Non-specific symptoms are nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite, while the specific symptoms are jaundice, abdominal swelling, pain, itching and dark coloration of urine,’’ said the expert.

He said that the faeces of individuals with the disease may appear pale rather than the normal brownish colour.

The expert advised that to prevent liver disease it was important for individuals to always undergo routine medical check-up for early detection and treatment.

He advised against taking drugs without prescription, stating that Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs could be dangerous to the overall health and wellbeing of an individual.

“If you feel unwell, go to a certified medical centre and run a diagnostic test to determine what the problem is.

Even if you hardly fall sick, always ensure you do a routine check-up to rule out any possibility of underlying diseases,” he said.

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If oil prices remain low, we are able to stand on our own, says Dangote

Aliko Dangote, the President of Dangote Group, has called for prayers for the international oil price to remain low, saying that “this helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum.”

Addressing investors at the sidelines of the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly in New York, Dangote said “with agriculture, agriculture, agriculture. Africa will become the food basket of the world.”

In a packed room at the headquarters of global law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC high level business leaders and international diplomats invited by the Corporate Council for Africa to hear Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame openly converse on Africa’s opportunities and challenges.

A statement from APO said both leaders underscored the ongoing movement to diversify African economies.

In the case of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Dangote stated “we should pray that oil prices remain low. This helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum. We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake,” he added.

In addition to agriculture Dangote cited Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and gas as well and the need to manufacture more goods locally for domestic consumption. Both he and President Kagame cited continued need for heavy investments in education and connected the need for young people to be well trained for the jobs of tomorrow.

Dangote predicted that “five of the 12million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria.”

“Technology of course helps us a lot and our factories are state of the art with the use of robotics but we shouldn’t be overly tech oriented to create wealth,” he told investors.

Dangote who is often cited as one of the most inspiring business leaders in the world today and a model for young entrepreneurs offered advice to Americans who tend to rely on outdated news and wrong perceptions of Africa, “Don’t be lazy. Go there and find the real story for yourself. Things have changed.”

Dangote noted the Rwanda success story where he has business interests as an example of positive change, good governance and leadership, and where corruption has been cured.

He cited a personal experience of offering a $100 US tip for services at the Kigali Airport to staff who refused to take money for work they were paid to do. President Kagame was praised for delivering the environment for growth he promised. “There is nothing African about corruption,” the Rwandan president added.

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