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LIVE: CBN’s Explanation On N500 Billion Scandal Calls For Extensive Investigation - Economist

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 1:20pm

Dr. Ganiyu Oladapo, an economist, has weighed in on the audio released by SaharaReporters exposing plans by Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and some top officials at the apex bank to cover up stolen N500 billion from the bank.

He called for an extensive investigation into the activities of the bank and other ministries and agencies mentioned in the audio.

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Categories: audio

The Federal Government Is Shutting Down Enugu Airport For 'Security Reasons'

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 1:07pm

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to shut down the Akanu Ibiam International Airport due to security reasons.

Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, said on Friday that reasons for the closure include bad runway, proximity to a market and the wrong location of the state radio mast.

More to come.

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Categories: audio

Is Yahaya Bello A Hard Choice For President Buhari? By George Oyedepo

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 12:04pm

For anyone who cares to listen, the Governor of Kogi state Yahaya Bello will proudly thump his chest and say he is the godson of the president, Muhammadu Buhari. Since he assumed office, Bello made his subservient ways to please the president very overt. He is not ashamed to be at the beck-and-call of the president even when his duties are not needed. Bello somehow manages to worm his way through, positioning himself as the true son of the president. His frequent visits to Aso Villa was once seen as a political move to seek the hand of the president's daughter in marriage. As a Muslim who is already married, his intentions are by no means illegal.

If anything, it will only be seen as a strategy by the governor to stamp his foot in the corridors of power. So far, that has not been the case. Yet, Bello’s visits didn't dwindle. Instead, he has taken the onus upon himself to declare himself the one who has the president's ears. After all, it was due to his intervention that the president considered bidding for a re-election. His victory in the last election is a celebrated feat for Bello who again blows his trumpet that he indeed delivered Kogi state to the president.

A blatant lie that his detractors, even those who work with him make mockery of behind his back. But Bello is full of himself that he is only focused on those who dared to challenge him publicly, particularly from the state party. More recently, he bragged that the National Leader of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu respects him because he is known as the son of the president.

On more than one occasion, the president has demonstrated his viral slogan that he belongs to no one in his four-year tenure. His stance in supporting the people's interest over the interest of friends and allies are evident in the recent sagas in Ogun, Imo and Kano states.

For a president whose best credential is not only that he does not like corruption but clearly detests it as shown in the body language and confusion of Gandollar or Gandujegate issue. On national TV, the president was reluctant to raise Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s hand even when he knew he will secure votes for him. His refusal to support Ganduje's after the bribery allegations cost him an almost defeat in the state. 

Likewise, in Ogun, he refused to assist his former best friend from the Southwest to pervert the will of the people.  When the outgoing governor Ibikunle Amosun hosted at the rally and tried to pressure the president to support his own candidate, the people’s president raised the hand of the APC candidate, but told the people to vote who they think will be best for them.  President Buhari refused to bow to the vested interests of the party, or the vested interest of Governor Amosun.

His former best and only political ally in South-east, the very Hausa-speaking Governor Rochas Okorocha ran to Abuja many times looking for presidential salvation against the party. The people’s president did not interfere.

Similarly, in Oyo state, the president did not spare his longtime close friend and political ally since the days of his former party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu. Shittu was also a former governorship aspirant of the party in Oyo before he was appointed Minister of Communication in Nigeria. From the first day, he gave the governor trouble, but because of his closeness to president, the president showed his usual character of being steadfast to his friends and kept him as a minister.

Soon allegation of financial impropriety and lack of paying his assistants their salaries which is what this president has worked against in the states were made. President Buhari still stood with his friend after he confessed that he did not carry out his National Youth Service Corps obligation. Unlike the former Minister of Finance of Kemi Adeosun who was asked to vacate her office, Shittu was not sacked because the president does not bow to vested interest.  

When the primaries for Oyo state came, Shittu was denied access. Those who were present at the screening said he didn't qualify. The president didn’t come to his aid; he allowed the will and interest of the people. Now the APC has lost Oyo state because the president said the interest of the people should prevail.

Thus, it is quite alarming that the president refused to call to order Bello's flagrant disregard of the will of the people. How come the president is not querying Bello on his inability to pay workers’ salaries for years or the squalor he has pushed most Kogites into due to the lack of development in the state? How come the president is not concerned about the untold hardship Bello has inflicted on the people? Is it that in Kogi the President chose politics over people? Is it that the cries and sickness from non-payment of salaries don’t get to the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja? 

As the primaries draw near, Bello in his bloated ego is walking down the streets of Kogi, drumming support from those who are too scared to call him a fraud. He is raising his chest up and breathing confidently that he will return to power at the November 2 scheduled governorship elections. Needless to say the tactics he will employ to achieve his goal. 

The Buhari we know will not allow Bello to even contest primaries in Kogi.  He will not be permitted. President Buhari said “he does not know how governors go to sleep without paying salaries”, but Bello his ‘son’ is sleeping well under President Buhari’s protection without paying salaries. Is it because in Kogi, for the president, it is politics, not people? Or vested Yahaya Bello interest not people interest?  Has the President given up the burden of the father of the nation in Kogi to make a choice to be father of Yahaya Bello? Is it that everywhere he is for all and belongs to no one, but in Kogi, he is for Bello and belongs to Bello?

So why is he supporting Bello when all are crying and begging him to save and rescue them from Bello?  

The president has a good opportunity to show example by denying Yahaya Bello and telling him the truth. If he is truly a son, he will not disgrace and spoil his father’s name and so he should not contest.  He should not contest not because there is fear he can win, but because there is fear presidency is behind him. There is concern that his violent antecedents will come during elections and his do or die attitude will be on ground.  He should not contest not because he can win because he can never win. If only ten people vote, Bello will still lose elections. He should not contest so that there will be no loss of life in Kogi.

Openly condemning what Yahaya Bello has done and plans, denying him the ticket is the only message from the presidency and APC that can be loud in Kogi. It's the only message that cannot be misinterpreted by Bello’s militia.  It is the only message that can assuage the pain of many. It is the only message that can assuage the pain of the sick, and workers who have not been paid, some of them for years; the pain of children who have not been to school because teachers have not been paid and parents have not been paid so no school fees for private school; to assuage the pains and sorrow across Kogi from East to Central to West; all over Kogi.  The president should prove that like in Katsina, the interest of the people in Kogi is paramount and above the vested interest of Bello.

Oyedepo writes from Lokoja, Kogi State

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Categories: audio

Open Letter to Federal Minister of Power, Works & Housing of Nigeria By Taiwo Tope Adetiloye

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 12:02pm

His Excellency,

Hon. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN)

The Honourable Minister of Power, Works & Housing,

Federal Government of Nigeria, Abuja

I am a Nigerian who has been following the Dangote development plan in Africa over a long time. I must commend the Dangote Group for their consistency and hard work. The group over the years has provided employment for quite a number of the teaming population of Nigeria and other African countries.

However, I will like to bring to the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria one of the reasons why Nigerian roads do not last long and how corporations such as Dangote and the oil and gas industry should be held accountable for their contributions to the rapid damage of our roads. This has taken a toll on infrastructural development in the country as a whole. Manufacturing companies operate heavy duty trucks laden with materials and goods thereby causing devastating impacts on our roads which include but not limited to traffic congestion, accidents, road deterioration, and disruption of the aesthetic beauty of cities.

Having had the opportunity to live and study abroad, I have some humble suggestions to help solve the problem. My solution is cost-effective in the long run as it helps save our roads and enhance durability. Nigeria needs to scale up investments in rail infrastructure by all means. Advanced countries like Canada rely extensively on rail transport to move goods and services from province to province.

Here are some of the benefits of conveying cargos via rail:

Investment in cargo rails will improve lives and make movement of goods and services more efficient. It will lead to less heavy duty truck accidents on Nigerian highways which over the years have contributed to high casualties and mortality rate of our young population. Safety measures should be top most priority to ensure lives and properties are well catered for.

There is no doubt that cargo rails are cost effective in terms of hiring truck drivers and also cost of maintaining and running chains of trailers. In addition, they provide better ways of managing logistics and the Federal Government can mandate stakeholders in the manufacturing industry to convey a large percentage of their services via rail. Furthermore, when heavy duty vehicles are reduced, it mitigates the rate of road damages as a result of weight and pressure which ultimately contribute to road compression and collapse. It is quite smart to generate revenue and increase returns on investment (ROI) by focusing on cargo rails.

The benefits of investing in the rail industry can easily be achieved by compelling private investors to contribute their quotas in this area. A typical case study of successful private investments is seen in the telecommunication industry in Nigeria. Over time, more investors can come into the country when commodities are easily conveyed from source to destination. An efficient rail system will steer Nigeria in the right direction of growth in terms of GDP and make us join the league of fast growing economies of the world.

The importance of using cargo rails cannot be overemphasized since the Dangote group is investing in oil and gas sector at the moment. Trucks in Nigeria are known to contribute to a high death rate because of the volatile content they carry and the devastating impacts they have when they are involved in accidents.

Lastly, modern researches in creating durable and sustainableroads with cements, waste product, etc. should be evaluated and appropriated in order to provide alternatives to asphalt and bituminous components for road construction.

More police patrols and road cameras are needed at major intersections to ensure heavy duty trucks comply to rules and regulations and they should be made to move at night to reduce traffic, accidents and high rate of casualties. The government should be actively involved as they bear the brunt of road maintenance and repairs.

For more on my work, please see my videos on YouTube on how to help solve the problems of herdsmen attacks in Nigeria and other related ways of developing Nigeria. I also touched on resolving the political crises in Cameroon.

Best regards,

Taiwo Tope Adetiloye

B.A. Sociology and Political Science (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)

Project Manager

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Categories: audio

The Problems And The Solutions To The Nigerian Power Sector By Ettu Mohammed

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 11:45am

The Transmission Company of Nigeria is 100 % owned and managed by the Federal Government of Nigeria and it is the weakest in the Nigerian Electricity Network.

TCN is the heart of the Generating and Disco Company that was privatized in 2013.

Hence technically the FG owns the Disco and Gencos. Moreover The FG still owns 40% of  the privatized Genco and Disco.

When the heart is not working it means you are dead no matter what you do with the body. 

The TCN is morribund and can't push more the more than 5000MW over 24hrs as it has never since inception it will never happen. 

We have over 12500MW Electricity Generating Plants  installed in Nigeria but the absence of necessary Gas network to the plants left most of them idle. Many were built during the PDP era apart from the biggest IPP in Edo which started in 2014 kitted with Siemens gas engine. 

It was situated 1km to a gas network. 

Government is saddled with the responsibility to build a robust gas network but they ain't doing same.

The Same Federal Government of Nigeria via NERC and NBET controls the tariff and everything in the Power Sector is technically managed by Government. 

All the agencies that drive the power sector are controlled by the Nigerian Government hence they should  never attempt to abdicate power responsibility.

Every equipment used in the power sector is import dependent and when Nigerian government  devalued her currency  in 2016 , energy was sold at N30/kWh averagely circa 2016  that was 15.2¢ after devaluation it dropped to  8.3¢ today that is 45% loss in tariff.
We should not forget the Discos and Gencos  borrowed in USD and they will pay back in dollars. With devaluation they owe 132% extra on the borrowed funds because they earn in Naira.

It is simply you borrowed $1m in 2013 that is N155m without interest rate and you want to pay back in 2019 that is N360 million=$1m without interest rates. 

It means this companies are indebted to the tune of N205m extra because they will earn in Naira and pay in Dollar and your currency has been devalued.

How will they survive with this mess? 

This does NOT also exonorate the Discos from the mess the power sector is saddled with. Majority of the Disco owners have no business running a power utility firm but this is Nigeria where anything goes. 

To make the power Sector work we have to rejig the Power sector Policy.

It is whacked and will never work.

A comprehensive Power policy should address as opined by Mr Adekunle Shotubo who is also versed in the power sector and I agree 100%.

1. Pricing of gas 
2. Payment systems at end user and across value chain 
3. Ownership of gas pipelines 
4. Location of power generating  stations 5. Grid flexibility 
6. Entry requirements for diverse power generating sources 
7. Extent of government involvement 
8. Gas exploration, production and distribution 
9. Power and all energy should be under one ministry and not a separate one for petroleum and gas 
10. A real professional either in governance, discipline or commercial space in power, oil and gas sector should head the ministry 
11. Transparent governance structures 
12. All power facilities (from gas to home) should be covered by the national treasures act (I hope we even have one) is the practice in Ghana and SA.

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Categories: audio

The Yoruba Deserve 2023 Presidency, The Igbo Are Not A Serious People By Fredrick Nwabufo

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 10:26am

Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

There is nothing as fatal as a blow from a “consanguineal fist”.  A cut from a “sibling” hurts deeper than that from a stranger. I have been inflicted severe cuts – caustic verbal attacks - by some Igbo persons for advocating a president of Igbo extraction in 2023. While some of them are irritated by the attention that I have been able to generate for the cause, a few others see the “advocacy” as a means of cutting deals for filthy lucre.

The fiercest opposition to the cause, “president of Igbo extraction in 2023”, has been the people for which it is championed – the Igbo.  While some of my kinsmen argued that they want restructuring and not the presidency, a great number of them say that they only want to “secure Igbo-land economically, politically and security-wise.” But when you ask them, how they intend to actualise these “dreams”, they just let off inchoate pieces of babble. As a matter of fact, most of these objurgators are just fortune seekers pinning and angling to benefit from “anything Igbo.”

I recall when Ifeanyi Uba, senator-elect, Anambra South, was trying to make an inroad into the fold of the dominant party at the national assembly, he was brutally hacked down with vicious criticisms by his own people. I have reflected pensively on what the Igbo political agenda could be, but at every point I become sectioned with a brain fag.  What do the Igbo really want?

I have written a couple of essays, expounding the reasons the Igbo deserve the 2023 presidency and why all Nigerians of dispassionate interest and untainted conscience must support the group in actualising this noble goal. I still believe, for the sake national cohesion, the southeast region deserves a shot at the presidency. But it appears they are not ready for it.

In my essay, ‘With Buhari’s 4+4, Igbo presidency in 2023 is now non-negotiable’, I wrote: “I believe healing will begin for Nigerians when political justice is seen to have been done to all. At that point we can build a country defiant to disunity. But political justice must be done to all to get to this stage.”

However, I failed to add: “Political justice must be demanded when it is not given”. How can justice be done to a people who have resigned to hopeless fate? How can a people who are stuck in political stasis be called to the table for negotiations? How can a people who are on the path of no certain destination be taken seriously?

Really, I was surprised at the reactions to the essay by most Nigerians from the north and the south-west. I have messages from reputable Nigerians across ethnic divides in my phone log, telling me that it will be grave injustice if the Igbo are schemed out of the 2023 presidential race. I remember one retired general asked at the end of his message to me, “But what is the southeast doing about the 2023 presidency?” I only responded with a “smiley OMG”. But the answer to that is, “nothing; just whining, blowing hot air, fantasising about restructuring and mouthing off about Biafra”.

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. I can see the southwest positioning itself strategically and making the necessary noise and calculated connections for a 2023 presidential bid. I cannot begrudge a people who are resolute about what they want, and who are, most importantly, feisty about their destiny.  The cake will certainly be taken by a fiercer cat; it will not be handed to a gutless kitten.

You can demand political justice when it is not given; injustice only persists because you allow it.

Fredrick is a media personality.

Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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Categories: audio

How Captain Iniobong Ekong, Special Aide to Akwa Ibom State Governor Tried To Conceal Love Affair By Jailing Mistress

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 9:57am

Captain Iniobong Ekong, the Senior Special Adviser on security matters to the Akwa Ibom state governor, has been reported to be  involved in a love affair that went awry.

It was gathered that he had the love affair with one Adiaesup Etukudoh and the affair resulted in pregnancy. 

The pregnancy, however, was said to be 'cryptic'  and hence could not be detected by scans.The result of her pregnancy thus proved to be negative.

She gave birth on the 15th of November 2017.

According to the Etukudoh, the captain was in the know of everything and had given her four hundred thousand naira (N400,000) to buy things in preparation for the arrival of the kids. When the kids finally arrived, a set of twins, she had called him to come and see the kids but he refused and made no more attempts to cater for their upkeep. 

Frustrated by the burden of raising the kids alone, Etukudoh, decided to pay Ekong a visit but was prevented from entering the house and therefore resorted to causing a scene.

Captain Iniobong Ekong, who was out of the country when this happened, decided to file a petition upon hearing about her public outburst.

Ekong then had his lawyer, Bar. Mfon Udeme, put a call through to Etukudoh on the 6th of May 2019 stating that he was interested in opening an account for the kids and she should meet him at Zenith Bank. It however turned out to be a ploy by the captain to have her arrested.

Etukudoh was taken to the state police headquarters at Ikot Akpan Abia and was kept there from morning to evening. She was asked to call someone to bail her but she felt it was another ploy in the captain's grand 'script' of getting her jailed . Sensing how serious the matter was, she later considered contacting her mother by 6 pm in the evening which by then was too late for a bail.

There was a twist to the story the next day when she was asked to provide the children for a DNA test before she could be granted bail.

Etukudoh however refused to provide the kids deducing the influence of Captain to have the DNA results doctored in his favour.

She was held behind bars till Monday, 13th of May 2019 and was eventually charged to court without the knowledge of her lawyer, Barr. Ekanem. In court, the magistrate asked that she be remanded in the prison pending the sitting on Wednesday.

After a magistrate sitting on the 15th May, the trial judge said the case was not in his jurisdiction and therefore Etukudoh could not be granted bail. The case has however been transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions to file charges at the High Court in the state.

Meanwhile, all efforts to contact Captain Iniobong Ekong and his lawyer, Barr. Mfon Udeme, through calls and text messages proved abortive.

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Categories: audio

EFCC Arraigns Two Lawyers In Court For Stealing N188.7m From Dead Boss

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 9:45am

Tom Awhana, the former Head of Chambers for the Law Office of Mr. Mogbeyi Sagay, a late Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was on arraigned on Friday at an Ikeja Special Offences Court for stealing N188.7 million belonging to the law firm of the late senior lawyer. 

Awhana was arraigned alongside Paul Okoro a former lawyer in the law firm who is also accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of stealing N3.6million from the firm. 

Awhana and Okoro pleaded not guilty to a joint charge of conspiracy to steal.

Okoro denied the charge of stealing while Awhana pleaded not guilty to a 16-count charge of stealing. 

According to the EFCC, Awhana was the Head of Chambers of the law firm of Mogbeyi Sagay and Co. from 2010 to 2018. 

Sagay his Principal, died in 2012.

He was made signatory to the law firm's Zenith Bank Account alongside three administrators of the late SAN's estate. 

It was allegedly mandated that three persons out of the four administrators can withdraw from the bank account with the cheque booklet of the Zenith Bank account in Awhana's possession. 

The prosecution said that unknown to the staff of the firm, other administrators and the consultant to the law firm, Awhana opened other secret bank accounts in the name of Mogbeyi Sagay (SAN) and Co. in FCMB, Union Bank and Heritage Bank Plc. 

The first defendant (Awhana) is alleged to have diverted drawn cheques into those secret accounts. He is also alleged to have from 2012 to 2017, stolen a total of N188.7 million belonging to Mogbeyi Sagay (SAN) and Co. 

Okoro, the second defendant, is alleged by the prosecution to have from Oct. 14, 2012 to June 28 2013, stole N3.6 million belonging to the law firm. 

According to the EFCC, the offences contravene Sections 287 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.

Following the plea of the defendants, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead prosecuting counsel for the anti-graft agency,  requested for a trial date adding that  the court should impose stiff bail conditions on the lawyers. 

"I have discussed with my learned friends, I will leave it to my lordship to impose bail conditions that will make the defendants available in court throughout this trial," Oyedepo said. 

Ms. Oluwaseun Olusiyi, the defence counsel to Awhana, via a bail application dated May 17 asked the court to grant him bail in self recognisance. 

"The first defendant is a legal practitioner of high repute and negotiations towards an amicable resolution are underway with the complainant. He was the Head of Chambers of the firm," Olusiyi said. 

Mr. K. U Ani, the counsel to Okoro the second defendant in his bail application dated May 17 also asked the court to grant him bail on self recognisance. 

"The second defendant has fractured his legs and is depending on medical treatment. I ask that ypu grant him bail on self recognisance My Lord," he said. 

Justice Mojisola Dada in a short ruling noted that settlement talks were ongoing between the complainant and the defendants. 

She ordered that as a bail condition, Awhana and Okoro should submit their international passports to the court. 

"The  defendants shall however submit their international passports pending the determination of this suit. 

"They shall be remanded in prison custody till the perfection of their bail condition. This case is adjourned until June 4 for trial," she said.

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Categories: audio

Legality Of Marijuana In Nigeria: A Legal Opinion By Kayode Ajulo PhD

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 9:29am

In the recent times, there have been calls from different quarters on the need to legalize the use of Marijuana in Nigeria. This legal opinion considers the mischief behind the laws proscribing the production, possession, sale and use of Marijuana and thereafter considers the benefits of legalizing Marijuana in Nigeria.

Classified as an illicit drug in many countries, marijuana is outlawed by many governments. In Nigeria, it is often referred to as ‘Indian hemp’, in the country, Cannabis Sativa, which has enjoyed use as fibre, seed and seed oils, medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug traces its origin to Central and South Asia. The drug also has many other aliases igbo, dope, ganja, sensi, kuma, morocco, eja, kpoli, weed, trees, etc. Though usually smoked, the plant can be soaked in alcoholic drinks dubbed ‘monkey-tail’, and consumed mostly in the south-south parts of the country. Some people cook food with it, some boil it to drink as tea, while others just chew the plant and seeds. 

Physiologically, cannabis causes euphoria, relaxes the muscles and increases appetite. On the downside, the drug can impair motor skills, cause anxiety and paranoia and decrease short-term memory.

Deemed an illicit drug by the law, it had always been an offence in Nigeria to smoke marijuana, and it has largely been frowned upon by society. However, paradoxically, despite increased hounding of growers, sellers, and users, marijuana appears to be consumed in ever greater quantities.

The Agency saddled with the enforcement of drug laws in Nigeria is the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). The Agency has the job of curtailing the consumption of drugs in Nigeria. The general powers of the Agency is contained in section 3 of the NDLEA Act.

Under the NDLEA Act,  which came about by the promulgation of Decree Number 48 of 1989, the possession or smoking of cannabis, or even allowing one’s premises to be used for dealing in cannabis, can result in a prison sentence from 15 years to life. Its precursor, the Indian Hemp Act, was even harsher, carrying a maximum sentence of death.

Marijuana in Nigeria
Statistics show that cultivation to transportation and to sales, the marijuana industry connects different cities throughout Nigeria. At many outdoor markets and public motor garages, it is not strange to see marijuana smokers puffing away.

The 2011 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report stated that cannabis use was prevalent among 14.3 per cent of 15 to 64 year olds in Nigeria. The same report in 2014 revealed that Nigeria had made the highest number of cannabis seizures of any African country. Following this report, the NDLEA launched a programme dubbed ‘Operation Weed Eaters’ that aimed to rid the country of cannabis.

While marijuana can be grown in all parts of the country, according to the NDLEA, the states that are notorious for cultivating the plant are Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta. In September, the NDLEA destroyed cannabis farms in Ute and Ose local government areas in Ondo State and arrested 30 suspects, seizing 31 kilograms of dried weed suspected to be marijuana in the Suleja area.

Between January and June 2014, NDLEA arrested 4,511 suspected drug traffickers and seized 47,423 kilograms of drugs. Of that number, cannabis accounted for 45,875 kilograms. Though these seizure figures are high, large quantities of marijuana still find their way to the market baffling the law enforcement system.

Legalizing Marijuana in Nigeria
While it is important to note that many countries including Nigeria have enacted harsh laws against the cultivation, possession or sale of cannabis. In fact, dealing or using marijuana in countries such as Singapore, China, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia could land one from four years in jail to public beheadings.
But in recent years, some nations have adopted a different strategy, of decriminalizing marijuana usage as a way of combating it. These societies have also often reduced the penalties for possession of small quantities of cannabis, so that it is punished by confiscation or a fine rather than by imprisonment. The idea has been to focus more resources on those who traffic the drug.

Uruguay made history by becoming the first country to legalise cultivation, trade and usage of marijuana in December 2013. In countries as varied as the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Peru, and Canada, the emphasis has shifted towards the decriminalization of marijuana. Jamaica, a country where marijuana smoking has long been popular, is set to decriminalize it too.
In 2018, Thailand’s military government unanimously approved medical marijuana use, which would make it the first country to legalize cannabis use in any form in Southeast Asia.
There are several laws in Nigeria which prohibit cultivating, possessing and using Marijuana.

Section of 11 of the NDLEA Act provides that:
Any person who, without lawful authority-
(a) imports, manufactures, produces, processes, plants or grows the drugs popularly known as cocaine, LSD, heroine or any other similar drugs shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for life; or
(b) exports, transports or otherwise traffics in the drugs popularly known as cocaine, LSD, heroine or any other similar drugs shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for life;
(c) sells, buys, exposes or offers for sale or otherwise deals in or with the drugs popularly known as cocaine, LSD, heroine or any other similar drugs shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for life; or
(d) knowingly possesses or uses the drugs popularly known as cocaine, LSD, heroine or any other similar drugs by smoking, inhaling or injecting the said drugs shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than fifteen years but not exceeding 25 years.
See also Okewu v FRN (2012) LPELR-7834(SC); Nwadiem v. FRN (2018) LPELR-9845 (CA)
Similarly, section 7 of the Indian Hemp Act prohibits the use of Indian hemp.
From the above provisions, the law proscribes the illegal cultivation, use, sell and possession of Narcotics. The poser from the above is “whether there could be instances of legal cultivation, use, sell and possession of Narcotics?”
A careful perusal of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act will reveal that there was no mention of legal use of Narcotics. What could appear to seem as a provision for legal use is provided for under section 3 of the NDLEA Act. The section provides that:
(1) Subject to this Act and in addition to any other functions expressly conferred on it by other provisions of this Act, the Agency shall have responsibility for-…
(h) the facilitation of rapid exchange of scientific and technical information and the conduct of research geared towards eradication of illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;
It is on the heels of this provision that the NDLEA had given a letter of “No Objection” to Medis Oil Company Limited and two others to import seeds of industrial cannabis for research purposes.
Similarly, Under Article 3 paragraph 5 of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to which Nigeria is signatory to, it is envisaged that as a result of research, a drug may be deleted from schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention if researches reveal its therapeutic advantages. At the risk of repetition but for the sake of emphasis the Paragraph provides:
A Party shall, if in its opinion the prevailing conditions in its country render it the most appropriate means of protecting the public health and welfare, prohibit the production, manufacture, export and import of, trade in, possession or use of any such drug except for amounts which may be necessary for medical and scientific research only, including clinical trials therewith to be conducted under or subject to the direct supervision and control of the party.
(Underlining supplied for emphasis) 
A careful reading of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs reveal that Narcotics may be used by signatory states for research and medical purposes. Cannabis plant or its resin or extract with THC content lower than 1% is considered as CBD (medical) cannabis and not psychoactive.
Economic benefits of Marijuana: Thailand as a Case Study

Despite the facts that the mischief which several stringent laws against Narcotics seek to prevent is the harm they do to human health, recent medical studies have also indicated that marijuana can also be beneficial to health.

Thailand’s military government unanimously approved medical marijuana use, which would make it the first country to legalize cannabis use in any form in Southeast Asia.
It is apropos to note that Thailand was once infamous for its harsh penalties on drug users, including the death penalty. Cannabis was also once extensively used in Thailand for medicinal purposes as well as clothing, where fibers from both marijuana and hemp plants were used in creating fabrics. Thailand’s cannabis is one of the country’s largest exports.
Globally, the medicinal cannabis industry is projected to be worth $55.8 billion dollars by 2025.
Considering the High rate of employment in Nigeria, legalizing Marijuana will provide job opportunities for many Nigerian youths.  
Health Benefits of Cannabis
One of the first big medical issue that cannabis was shown to effectively treat is Glaucoma. Ingesting cannabis helps lower the pressure in the eyeball, giving patients at least temporary relief.
It can improve lung health. Some conditions like lung cancer and Emphysema have been shown to regress when cannabis is thrown to the mix.
Cannabis can also offer serious relief for arthritis, especially when using quality cannabis creams and balms. It’s helpful for those with post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). It could help regulate metabolism: as it helps your body process and deal with food and obesity, it also helps maintain and regulate metabolism.
It also helps people with AIDS/HIV in the sense that cannabis helps those living with it cope by helping them maintain their diets and handle associated pains and aches.
It proved effective for treating nausea: chemical compounds in cannabis react with brain receptors to regulate feelings of nausea.
Cannabis could potentially treat headache naturally and won’t chew through your stomach lining or take its toll on ones body.
It has also been found to be at least somewhat effective in the treatment of a handful of sexually transmitted diseases, including Herpes and Chlamydia.
It could help with speech problems: if anyone has an issue with stuttering, cannabis can help in the same way that it helps calm spasms and twitches.
It can improve skin conditions and treat skin conditions like eczema vide cannabis topical.
Recreational Benefits of Marijuana
Apart from the argument for the legalization of cannabis for medical and medicinal purposes, there is the argument that its possession and use for recreational purposes should be decriminalized. As would be seen, some countries have passed legislation that decriminalizes possession up to certain amounts and allows recreational use and cultivation up to certain amounts too.
Notwithstanding, there remain ethical questions to its widespread use. At the core of this ethical debate is the question: Is it morally wrong to be high? I am certain that we will agree that we might not have a winner in that debate.
If we are to go by the fact that it impairs cognitive abilities, then it might be morally wrong to ingest anything that impairs our sense of judgment in any way.
Taking clue from the Utilitarian theory that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness”, from the facts and benefits highlighted above, there is really a need to legalize the use of Marijuana in the country.

It is succinct to point out that war on drugs is often far costlier than the drugs themselves.  Thus if the money pumped against the use of drugs could be redirected in cultivating Marijuana for economic use, there will be a great boast in the economy of the Country. 

Finally, one of the greatest problems in policing the illegal use of cannabis is the enforcement of the laws governing its illegality. This in itself has been one of the big drivers for the calls for its legalization across many countries of the world. Most of the proponents of the legalization of its use for both medical and recreational purposes have stated that its criminalization has not stopped its increasingly widespread use but instead, has helped deny people of its ‘wonder working powers’, as a drug, especially in treating chronic pain as earlier mentioned.
Having considered the benefits accruable to the production, sale and use of Marijuana, it is hereby recommended that the National Assembly should be lobbied to amend the provisions of the NDLEA Act and other relevant laws in order to make room for the legal production, manufacturing, sale and use of Marijuana in Nigeria which in turn boast the economy of the Nation as a whole.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency should also enforce the provisions of 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and allow the use of Marijuana for medicinal purposes.

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BREAKING: Plateau State Gov, Lalong Emerges Chairman Northern Governors' Forum

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 8:34am

Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State has emerged chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.

He was elected at a meeting of Nothern governors which was held in Kaduna on Friday.

Lalong's association with the caucus in the past has caused rancor especially among some Plateau indigenes who feel his presence in the bloc is baseless.

The position was  previously held by Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno State.

More to come.


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Nigerian Judicial System Favours Rich 'Over' Poor, Says Falana

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 7:56am

Femi Falana (SAN), foremost human rights lawyer in Nigeria, has condemned the Nigerian bar and bench as well as the criminal justice system for working in favour of the rich as against poor Nigerians.

Speaking at the 2019 law week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Epe branch, Lagos state, Falana stated that the Nigeria judicial system treats the rich with respect, presuming them innocent of all criminal activities until proven guilty.

The veteran lawyer also said that the anti-graft agencies in the country are part of the problem because they are yet to secure the convict many high profile cases.

Falana stated that “By virtue of section 17 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law. 

“But in practice, the rich and poor defendants are not treated equally by Nigerian courts. Apart from the fact that rich litigants have the means to hire the services of the best lawyers in any area of the law, the courts are manned by judges who are not neutral in the class struggle being waged daily by the Nigerian people.”

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria noted that apart from two former governors, Messrs Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, other convicted persons are lowly-placed individuals in the society.

“Notwithstanding that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been accused by the bourgeois media of engaging in Gestapo tactics with respect to the treatment of suspects, it cannot be denied that the rights of influential criminal suspects are well respected by the commission,” he said.

Falana also posited that rich defendants have continued to frustrate their prosecution with the connivance of some senior lawyers adding that rich suspects do apply to be kept in EFCC’s cells rather than police and prison cells.

He said: “The big men and women implicated in allegations of serious economic crimes being investigated by the commission usually receive polite letters of invitation, telephone calls or text messages advising them to contact named investigators whose telephone numbers are supplied.

“If and whenever influential criminal suspects report themselves they are treated with the utmost courtesy by the investigators. Since they are presumed innocent until they are proved guilty by the State they are never paraded before the media, regardless of the gravity of the offence committed by them.”

He urged the Nigerian judicial system to follow the pattern obtained in Western countries where the rich and the poor are treated equally before the law.

“Unlike what obtains in western countries it is infra dignitate to subject big men and women to the restraint of handcuff in Nigeria. Hence, hell was let loose when a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party on trial for money laundering was recently handcuffed by the Kuje prison authorities.

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Should Indian Hemp Be Legalised In Nigeria? By Natasha Akpoti

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 7:53am

It suddenly turned cold in Boston and I wasn’t properly dressed for the weather.

My hotel was far away and my only option was to dash into a store for some jeans or leggings to wear under my long dress. 

Patagonia was right beside me. 

I walked in and began hunting for the perfect pair. 

Then I saw a signage “HEMP CLOTHING “ and in smaller letters : 

Natural . Misunderstood. Legal. 

I walked up to the racks beneath and behold, all clothing from jeans to skirts; baby wears to socks were made out of hemp. 

Trust my Nigerianess... Indian Hemp ke. I no dey buy . Make cold kuku kill me. I remembered all the horrible ideas of how destructive hemp is. 

So I ended up walking away from that store into another for my purchase. 

However, curiosity got the better part of me... so I opened my laptop and began my research into hemp.  

My discovery left me astonished 

Hemp has been used by humans for over 10,000 years and it’s the strongest natural fiber in the world. 

Interestingly, there are no wasted parts of the hemp plant . Both seeds and stalks are used to produce the following;

Hemp Seed
From hemp seeds we get lotions, hair creams, makeup, nail polish, cooking oil, paint production, fuel production, ink, animal feeds, bakery products, dairy production, beer production, butter, milk, chocolate , cereal etc. 

Hemp stalks
All clothing made out of cotton can be made from hemp e.g jeans, shirts, face caps etc. Moreover, Fiber board for construction, fiberglass , compost, fuel as biodiesel and ethanol, carpets, plastic products, baby diapers, papers, bags, canvas, shampoo, sneakers and so much more are made from hemp. 

Little wonder, China’s hemp market generated $1.1b in 2017 while America’s hemp market generated $1b in 2018. 

So let’s ponder, if the world has created over 50,000 uses from hemp and countries cashing in on the vast market thereby generating revenue and jobs, why is Nigeria still stuck on its illegal pronouncement by the Indian Hemp Act of  31st March of 1966. 

Do you think we are being hypocritical in the management of hemp in Nigeria? 

Is there a way legislative reforms and of course some regulatory measures can be put in place to balance hemp’s consumption while Nigeria operates a sustainable manufacturing industry? 

Remember, Hemp is illegal in Nigeria yet Nigeria is the 8th ranking country in the world’s hemp consumption. Sadly by mostly idle youths who are not properly educated about its vices. 

Probably, discussions and debates on hemp and cannabis generally should be held often to help educate and guide our youths against its abuse... this would also help create a world of entrepreneurial opportunities and have our youths gainfully employed from the same “destructive” product . 

Suffice it to applaud the out-of-the-box economic diversification efforts of Governor Akeredolu of Ondo state who is charging Nigeria to key into the 2025 forecasted $145b Cannabis market. 

By the way, we are talking about industrial hemp. 

Note: it’s about time we get leaders who are disruptive in their ability to create thriving innovative yet inclusive economics. 

Leaders bold enough to challenge our blind-spots and launch Nigeria out of hopelessness into adventurous prosperity. 

Natasha Akpoti is a senatorial candidate, Kogi Central, 2019 general election.

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BREAKING: INEC Debunks Sowore's Suspension From AAC, Says 'He Is The Only Chairman We Recognise'

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 6:26am

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would only continue to recognize and relate with Mr. Omoyele Sowore as the substantive National Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC).

INEC's decision is coming five days after one Mazi Okwy read a resolution of suspension to journalists in Abuja while installing the expelled secretary of the party, Leonard Ezenwa as acting party chairman.

The electoral body in a statement signed by Rose Oriaran-Anthony, secretary to the commission on Friday said: "The commission after reviewing the content of the letter has established the following.

"There is no documentary evidence that a meeting of the AAC National Executive Committee (NEC) was convened by the National Chairman as required by Chapter 9 Section 59(a) of the Constitution of AAC.

"The party did not provide a 21-day notice of the NEC meeting as required by Section85(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

"There are no minutes or evidence of attendance of the AAC National Executive Committee meeting where the National Chairman and eight (8) others were purportedly suspended.

"Accordingly, the Commission shall continue to recognize and relate with Mr. Sowore Omoyele as the substantive national Chairman of the African Action Congress."

More to come.


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Kenya’s Ex-President, Arap Moi Ordered To Pay $10.05m For Seizing Widow's Land

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 5:23am

A court in Kenya has ordered former President Daniel Arap Moi to pay 1.06bn shillings ($10.5m; £8.2m) in compensation to a widow for illegally seizing her land.

Mr. Moi transferred to himself 53 acres of land belonging to widow Susan Cheburet Chelugui, the judge ruled.

The land was illegally seized 36 years ago but only transferred to Mr. Moi's name in 2007.

Ms. Chelugui's husband Noah Chelugui was a local chief during Mr. Moi's rule.

The former president, who remains Kenya's longest-serving leader, was accused by Ms. Chelugui and her son David Chelugui of transferring their family land into his name two years after Ms. Chelugui's husband passed away.

Mr. Moi is then said to have sold the land to Rai Plywood Limited, a timber firm, the BBC reports.

Rai Plywood Limited told the judge that it had bought the land from Moi in 2007 after thorough legal checks.

According to report garnered by newsmen, Mr. Moi was unable to provide the court any proof of how he came to possess the land.

Judge Anthony Ombwayo said Mr. Moi had behaved in a way that was "unconstitutional, irregular, unprocedural" and "tainted".

Mr. Moi became Kenya's second president in 1978 and served until 2002.

He ruled the country with an iron fist and was accused of human rights abuses.

Under international pressure, he allowed multi-party elections in 1992, which were marred by widespread violence and allegations of rigging.

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'Young People In Africa Lack Economic Hope, Opportunities', Tony Elumelu Cries Out

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 5:08am

Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings and Tony Elumelu Foundation, has said young people in Africa are leaving because they lack economic hope and opportunities. 

He raised the alarm while speaking on Thursday in Paris at the 'Tech for Summit' organised by Emmanuel Macron, president of France.

On why young people on the African continent are migrating to countries in the global North, Elumelu said the lack of economic opportunities is a driving force.

He said: “Africa needs this type of gathering – we are a continent with over 60% of its people under the age of 30 – they need economic opportunities, they need hope”.

“I represented the African continent to draw attention to our young ones who seek economic hope and opportunity via technology.

“Technology is a great employer of labour, technology drives inclusiveness, technology helps to alleviate poverty, but we must not forget that in Africa we are just starting out and we cannot afford to lag behind.

“We need the world to pay attention to Africa so that young Africans are not disenfranchised and left behind in this new technology era. We need the world to pay attention to the plight of young Africans so that issues of migration can be addressed in a more fundamental way – by tackling the root cause which is a lack of economic hope.”

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Court Throws Out Suit Challenging Defection Of Saraki, Dogara, 52 Other Lawmakers

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 4:17am

The Federal High Court has struck out the suit filed by a civic group, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP),  to order lawmakers to vacate their seats in the National Assembly and return all salaries and allowances earned since their defection.

In July 2018, 37 members of the House of Representatives defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC). About 32 of them joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), four joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC) while one did not announce his new party at the time.

On the same day, 14 APC senators defected to the PDP.

Meanwhile, being part of the defendants, Mr. Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in their response asked the court to dismiss the suit filed by the group on grounds that it is an abuse of court process.

The duo added that the suit lacked merit.

The defendants had submitted that the plaintiff has no ‘locus standi’ to institute the case.

Delivering judgment on Friday, the judge, Okon Abang, held that “the plaintiff’s case has merit but lacks locus standi to institute the case.”

“The plaintiff that instituted this case is not a political party that sponsored the election of the lawmakers.

“Also the plaintiff is not Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that regulates the activities of political parties and monitor elections.

“The plaintiff is not a registered voter in Nigeria.

“They are not members of the National Assembly.”

“None of the political party that sponsored the lawmakers is a party in this case.”

“They, therefore, lack the capacity, legal power to institute the case.

“The plaintiff’s case is incompetent and thereby struck out,” Mr. Abang ruled.

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Painter Lands In Lagos Court For Stealing Noodles, Spagetti

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 4:15am

Michael Anifowoshe a 26-year old painter on Friday stood before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court, for allegedly stealing five cartons of noodles and five cartons of spaghetti.

Anifowose who is being tried for conspiracy and stealing has pleaded not guilty. 

The Prosecutor, Inspector Mathew Akhaluode told the court that the defendant committed the offences with some persons now at large on April 27, at about 11 pm in Ikeja.

Akhaluode said that Anifowoshe stole five cartons of noodles valued at N21,000 and five cartons of spaghetti valued N14,000, property of one Mr. Ahmed Salami.

“Salami was trying to repair his faulty car when Anifowoshe and his accomplices walked up to him, distracted his attention and stole the items.

“The complaint raised an alarm and with the help of some passersby the defendant was arrested,” the prosecutor said.

Akhaluode said the offence contravened Section 411 and 287 of Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The Magistrate, O.O. Fagbohun, granted the defendant a bail of N20,000 with one surety in like sum and adjourned the case until May 24.

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Supreme Court To Consider Motion Challenging Onnoghen’s Suspension

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 3:40am

The Supreme Court has crossed out a motion filed by the Rivers State Government challenging the suspension of Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The application, which had initially faced a dismissal, was reconsidered by Justice Mary Odili.

It would be recalled that the Rivers State Government had approached the Supreme Court following Onnoghen's suspension in January, by order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, and made a request that the apex court should invoke section 232 (1) of the constitution to assume original jurisdiction on the matter.

The section provides thus: “The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute between the Federation and a State or between States if and in so far as that dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends. ”

The import of the above provision is that where the Supreme Court assumes original jurisdiction, a matter does not necessarily have to emerge from the lower court before it can be entertained by the apex court.

In reaction to the application, the federal government said the section relied upon by the Rivers State Government only allows the Supreme Court to assume original jurisdiction where the matter involves a particular state and federal government.

According to the court, the matter for which the instant application was brought does not involve a dispute between the Rivers government and the federal government.

In a lead judgment agreed to by four judges, read by Paul Galinje, the apex court agreed with the submissions of the federal government that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Consequently, the court upheld the objection raised by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, and ruled that it would not delve into the merit of the substantive application.

However, in a dissenting judgment delivered by Justice Mary Odili however, the judge said the section also allows the Supreme Court to assume original jurisdiction where the dispute involves any question on which the extent of a legal right depends.

She, therefore, held that the court had jurisdiction in the matter and decided to entertain the original application.

The Rivers State Government had demanded the nullification of the January 25 suspension of Mr. Onnoghen, citing violations of the constitutional provisions.

 In the dissenting judgment, Mrs. Odili agreed with the submissions of the Rivers State Government and allowed their application.

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'Goodluck Jonathan Promised Us N100bn In 2015', Says Miyetti Allah

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 3:14am

Miyetti Allah group

Miyetti Allah group

Salah Alhassan, the National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has admitted that the group demanded N100 billion from the Federal Government of Nigeria. 

The admittance from the group is coming after the federal government denied it had a conversation about money to end incessant herdsmen attacks around the country. 

The group made the admittance in an interview with The Punch on Thursday. 

Alhassan said former President Goodluck Jonathan promised to give them the money and that was what informed their decision to support his re-election in 2015.

On if the money was meant to be hush money from the Federal Government, Alhassan said: “That is a mischievous statement. Do they pay money like that? Have they ever paid any money like that? That N100bn has been on the table for mini-ranches since 2014 when (former) President Goodluck Jonathan was trying to address the lingering crisis between farmers and herders.

“So, part of that money was, I think, used by state governors under the committee chaired by the then Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam. But I don’t think the bulk of the money has reached the pastoralists, the herders.

“As part of that policy, they (the Federal Government) are trying to see how they can now assist livestock producers to address farmers/herders conflicts via a policy.

“So, people now saying they have given Miyetti Allah N100bn to stop kidnappings are just being mischievous because from what we have observed, there are certain people that are twisting narratives.”

Alhassan lamented that some Nigerians didn’t want any kind of support to come from the government for livestock development.

“If we are going to have ranches, definitely, some support would come from government,” he said.

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NYSC To Pay Corpers New Minimum Wage

Sahara Reporters - 17 May 2019 - 3:03am

Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, has said that National Youth Service Corps members will now receive the new minimum wage as allowance.

While speaking to the press on Thursday, the minister revealed the government's effort to work on the modalities of the new minimum wage.

“Apart from the increase of the minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000, there is also a consequential adjustment that we have to negotiate with the labour unions,” she said.

“The total implication of that would be worked out only after the negotiations and that would involve determining how much increase every other employee above the minimum wage would get.

“It could be a flat amount or a proportion, but the other aspect that is clear is that there would be an increase for the National Youth Service Corps as well because, by the Act, they should earn at least the minimum wage and the NYSC also has to increase to that N30, 000.

“So, because we have not done the negotiation with labour, I cannot give you the details of what we are projecting because it is simply on projections.”

Ahmed also announced that a sum of N649.43bn would be distributed to state governments as the final refund for the Paris Club debt.

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