President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recruitment of 5,000 personnel for NDLEA to boost its manpower

The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd)

Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd)

, has disclosed that President Buhari has Approves Recruitment Of 5000 NDLEA Personel.

Abdallah made the disclosure on Friday at the Public Destruction of Drug Exhibits by Taraba Command of NDLEA in Jalingo.

He said that the gesture would go a long way in improving operations of the agency on campaign against drug addiction in Nigeria.
Increased consumption of illicit drugs among the youths in Taraba was worrisome, appealing to families to brace up to their responsibilities.

According to Abdallah, effective drug prevention must involve positive engagement of children, youths and adults with their families, schools, workplace and community.

He commended Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba for his support to the agency in addressing drug problems in the state.

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Nigerians welfare abroad

Over the years, 118 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa, while 13 out of these were killed by South African Police and on June 13, Mrs Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu, the Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria was found dead in her hotel room in Johannesburg when attending the conference of the African Insurance Organization, AIO, in South Africa, also Nigerians were being attacked in Ghana and Togo, especially, Nigerian traders.

Is this the way Nigerians would be attacked or killed when the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement start?

It’s high time the Nigerian government to act seriously about the attacks on Nigerians residing in other countries, issuing a warning to those countries isn’t good enough, the safeguard of Nigerians and their properties should be discussed when signing other phases of the AfCFTA agreement. Also, Mr president should issue an Executive Order which will mandate Nigerian embassies abroad to protect Nigerians, Nigerian foreign missions don’t care about Nigerians.

In 2008 when I visited Singapore for vacation, I had a problem and I went to Nigeria’s High Commission for help, getting there, I was told that they can’t help and I went my way to solve my problem.

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Import Standardization in modern Nigeria

Trade facilitation has become a fundamental role, progressively seen by government as an important element of economic policy in today’s world. Standardisation of products is a worldwide industrial practice aimed at ensuring product quality. Governments have institutions whose duty is to formulate product quality standards and see to their enforcement. Companies that flouted industrial standards may be sanctioned or sued for infringement of regulations.

Nigeria imported US$36.5 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018, down by -18.3% since 2014 but up by 26.1% from 2017 to 2018.
Given Nigeria’s population of 203.5 million people, its total $36.5 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $180 in yearly product demand from every person in the West African region country.
There is no country anywhere in the world that leaves the production of goods and services without rules and regulations for quality assurance and public safety. Without standardization, greedy and unscrupulous companies would embark on the production of goods and services that lack quality. Only the monetary consideration would be the overriding factor. The negative impacts of the products on consumers would not be considered.

Nigeria importation model

Close to 85% of products imported into Nigeria come through the ports in Apapa, Lagos. Therefore, you should direct your attention to those ports to ensure your merchandise makes it through quickly and with no issues.

Apapa Port, Lagos Nigeria

Also, keep in mind that depending on your shipping point of origin (e.g., Asia or Europe), you should know how long it typically takes for imported items to make it to these ports. For example, products from China usually take 30 days to arrive at Lagos. Therefore, you should account for not only the time it takes for items to make it through inspection but also how long it takes for the items to arrive in Nigeria.

Product Registration

Before you make your first shipment, begin the process of registering your product. There are two major governmental agencies to keep in mind during this process: The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).

Food and drugs imported will have to go through NAFDAC registration, while other products will go through pre-shipment verification through SON. The SON Conformity Assessment Program (SONCAP) was put in place so that Nigeria imports undergo verification and testing in the country from which they were supplied.

The SONCAP Certificate, which is issued by the agency, demonstrates that your products meet the applicable standards and regulations.

Clearing the Ports

After you have gone through the necessary certification and verification procedures, your item is ready to be shipped. Navigating the port system to ensure your shipment clears the port upon arrival takes insight and finesse, as clearing goods at Nigerian ports has greatly contributed to

For one thing, products which are subject to SONCAP certification must be accompanied by a SONCAP certificate, which is why it is important to know beforehand if you must obtain said certification.

Also, you will have to pay import tariffs, such as duties, levies, and value-added tax (VAT) on your shipment. Therefore, taking these fees into consideration ahead of time is crucial when it comes to pricing your products to help cover these import tariffs. Tariffs can be as low as 15% to as high as 70% depending on the goods being imported. You can find out the official import tariff for your products here.

It is evident that clearing goods at Nigerian ports can be more difficult in comparison to other countries. Therefore, instead of handling the import process yourself, you should consider hiring a local clearing agent who has the local expertise and insight needed to get your shipments cleared quickly.

This will help ensure your products make it into the country and will also mitigate any risks associated with maneuvering the importation system yourself.

Warehousing and Logistics for Nigeria Imports

Outside of making sure you’re able to get your goods cleared at the port as quickly as possible, it’s equally as important that you fully understand the distribution network in Nigeria and find a secure warehouse to store your merchandise. When searching for a place to store your products, make sure you take a few important factors into consideration, such as the accessibility of the facility, whether or not your product will be safe while stored there, the payment structures in place (i.e., monthly, yearly, or per shipment payment schedule), and the facilities product handling capabilities. The last factor is especially important if you are shipping fragile merchandise.

In particular, the procedures for quality inspection must ensure that procedures for pre-clearance audit and post-clearance audit that are according to specialized management field must be clarified; Goods subject to pre-clearance audit must be goods or goods of high risk and directly affecting epidemics, infectious diseases, people’s health, social order and security, social morality and custom and environment.

It is necessary to specify the order, time and steps for implementation of each procedure attached to the responsibilities of the State inspection agency for goods quality with the agencies and organizations involved in the inspection process; to determine the sampling, sampling time, sampling rate, sampling methods, responsibilities of agencies, organizations and enterprises involved in sampling and sending testing results; to clarify the method of implementation, requirements for dossier and simply the required documents; to publicize the payment method of fees and charges (if any) by electronic method in accordance with the implementation of administrative procedures on the National Single Window Portal; to specify the conditions and criteria on exemption from inspection, reduction of inspection or strict inspection, thereby evaluating the risk level and goods channel classification as well as taking appropriate inspection measures to shorten the Customs clearance time for goods of low risk.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is the apex consumer protection agency in Nigeria. The Commission was established by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act (FCCPCA) (Cap. 25, Laws of The Federation 2004). The overall mandate of the Commission is to protect consumers by taking both preventive and remedial measures.

Knowing your right as a Nigerian

Consumer Rights

1. Right to value for money:
Products and services MUST give value for money.
2. Right to Safety:
Protection from hazardous products, services, and production processes.
3. Right to Information:
Provision of information to enable informed consumer choice; and protection from misleading or deceptive advertisement and labelling.
4. Right to Choose:
Access to a variety of quality products and services at competitive prices. A consumer should not be compelled to buy products or services he/she does not need.
5. Right to Redress:
Redress for unsatisfactory products and services. A dissatisfied consumer is entitled to the 3Rs i.e. Repair, Replacement or Refund.
6. Right to Consumer Education:
Acquisition of the skills to be an informed consumer.
7. Right to Representation:
A consumer has a right to be heard and represented at fora where policies, regulations and standards affecting consumers are made.

Consumer Responsibilities 

Holistic consumer protection is a collective effort. Its actualisation requires input, not just from manufacturers, service providers and government, but also the consumer.
The consumer has the responsibility to:
1. Be Aware
Gather all the information and facts available about a product or service, as well as, keep abreast of changes and innovations in the market.
2. Beware
Be alert to the quality and safety of products and services before you purchase.
3. Think Independently
Make decisions about well-considered needs and wants.
4. Speak Out
Inform manufacturers and government of your needs and expectations.
5. Be an Ethical Consumer
Be fair and never engage in dishonest practices which affect other consumers negatively.
6. Complain
Inform businesses and appropriate regulatory authorities about your dissatisfaction with a product or service, in a fair and honest manner
7. Share Experience
Inform other consumers about your experience with a product or service.
8. Respect the Environment
Avoid waste, littering and contributing to pollution. Promote sustainable consumption by ensuring that what you consume does not impact on the environment negatively.

Government recent actions against sub standard product in Nigeria

Recall of certain Ford Fusion, Lincoln and Focus vehicles on account of manufacturing defect

On March 14, 2018, the Ford Motor Company in the United States initiated a recall. Approximately 1.4 million vehicles are affected by the recall. The purpose of the recall is that; on some models, steering wheel bolts could become loose and cause the steering wheel to potentially detach. This could lead to a serious accident. Ford admits that it has become aware of two accidents and one injury that may have been caused by the problem.
This particular recall applies to Ford Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ models from model years 2014-2018. Specifically, every Fusion version; Fusion S, SE, Hybrid S, SE, Hybrid Titanium, Fusion Energi SE, Engergi Titanium, Fusion Sport, Fusion Platinum, Fusion Hybrid Platinum and Fusion Energi Platinum. With respect to Lincoln MKZ, the recall also applies to every version of the Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln MKZ Premier, Hybrid Premier and Black Label.
In addition to the above, but on a separate note, Ford is also recalling another 6,000 Fusion and Ford Focus models due to a risk of fire from a fracture in the clutch pressure plate. The relevant model years are 2013-2016.
Although the recall appears to be limited to North America, the Council is in the process of contacting local Ford dealers to verify the batch, lot of group of individual vehicles involved, and whether any was exported to, and sold in Nigeria. The Council recognizes that some of the versions of the subject models were unlikely to have been manufactured for possible export to Nigeria.

Controversy over the safety of Blue Band “Spread for Bread” and solubility in rising and high temperatures 

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is aware that a short demonstration video showing how Blue Band “Spread for Bread” (a product of Unilever Nigeria PLC) reacts under certain heat conditions has been circulating, particularly on social media. The video, or impression it conveys, has become the subject of anxiety and intense controversy. It suggests that the product, which the narrator considers a functional equivalent of “Blue Band Original”, is unsafe because, when subjected to high temperature in boiling water, it did not melt or dissolve.
Available scientific information confirms that, though butter, margarine, and spread appear analogous, and share similar components, characteristics and uses, they are different products available to consumers. Butter and margarine share a particular similar characteristic; low resistance to heat. As such, both are likely to melt when subjected to certain levels of heat. Spreads however, have varying heat resistance, depending on intended use, and production process. As a result, it is not necessarily unsafe that a spread does not melt under similar heat conditions as butter, or margarine.
Spreads are produced in part by adding emulsifiers which are additives used in stabilizing and binding processed foods. They are not inherently unsafe or uncommon. The specific emulsifying agent and amount used, largely depends on many factors including shelf life, storage, handling and climatic conditions in order to prevent microbial activity.
The manufacturer of this product has made a statement seeking to address public concern by differentiating its products and explaining the purposes of the two different products.
Regardless, the Council has opened an inquiry to determine product safety, and clarify some aspects of the manufacturer’s statements. The purpose of the inquiry is to ensure their products, differentiated or otherwise, are safe and subjected to proper processes, and “in-trade” handling consistent with the different properties and characteristics of each product.

Chinese Drugs Containing Human Remains

NAFDAC has been informed by Ministry of Health of some Chinese drugs that contain human remains. NAFDAC’s Director General immediately alerted the Agency’s Ports Inspection Directorate to be on the lookout at our ports and borders since the drugs may be brought into the country as small packages. The Pharmacovigilance and Post-Marketing Directorate has also been alerted to conduct surveillance in our markets. The Registration and Regulatory Affairs Directorate is also on the lookout. Our goal is to Safeguard the Health of the Nation. ​​The Director General has also contacted her counterpart in South Korea since the news was disseminated by Nigeria and Korea Intelligence Agencies. We will keep the public updated.

Listeriosis Resulting From Consumption Of Imported Contaminated Frozen Mixed Vegetable

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control’s directorate of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN) responded to an alert from International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) on outbreak of Listeriosis in some parts of Europe. INFOSAN received the information from European Rapid Alert System on Food and Feed (RASFF). INFOSAN is a global network of national food safety authorities managed jointly by FAO and WHO whose primary responsibility is to assist member states in managing food safety risks and ensuring rapid sharing of information during food safety emergencies to stop the spread from one country to another.
The Director General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye was informed on July 11, 2018 by FSAN that the RASFF had confirmed that the compromised food (frozen mixed vegetables) was shipped to Nigeria. She immediately gave a directive for a nation-wide surveillance. NAFDAC’s FSAN directorate went into action and confirmed that some of the implicated products actually arrived Nigeria. Teams dispatched to the field found large quantities of the implicated products and placed them on HOLD. Placing on HOLD means the item cannot be distributed or sold.
The outbreak of Listeriosis in Europe was linked to frozen corn and other frozen mixed vegetables. Listeria monocytogenes, the causative agent of listeriosis can be found in many foods. Examples include smoked fish; meats; cheeses (especially soft cheeses) and raw vegetables. Consumption of contaminated food or feed is the main route of transmission to humans and animals. Infection that can lead to death may also occur through contact with infected animals or people.
NAFDAC’s next step response started with the Agency’s newly created First Responders Team (FRT). The Team (composed of staff from FSAN, Investigations & Enforcement, and Pharmacovigilance/Post marketing directorates) carried out the nationwide investigations in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. NAFDAC recovered a total of 3,300kg of the implicated product, PINGUIN brand of mixed vegetables, which have been isolated by the Agency for destruction. Therefore, health risks to the Nigerian public have been mitigated. Further surveillance is on-going nationwide.
As a member of INFOSAN, NAFDAC has the obligation to respond promptly to INFOSAN alerts and give a feedback on actions taken. In line with its obligation, NAFDAC has sent required updates on her activities to INFOSAN, with regard to this outbreak.

Take home

The Nigerian Customs Service should increase their protective strategies against Illegal commercial activities and trade in illicit goods, e.g. import of fake and sub-standard goods into the country.

The Standard Organization of Nigeria, should continue to prevent the dumping of substandard goods into the Nigeria market and as a result preventing economic loss to the importer and the nation at large.

NAFDAC should level up the inspection of imported food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, Chemicals, detergents, drinks and bottled water at ports of entry before release.

Finally, all government Agencies including CBN, Police, NDLEA, SON, NAFDAC, FIRS; should increase their collaborative efforts to fight against sub-standard imported goods which is available all over Nigeria.

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Coming Soon: Aggregating Sahel and West-Africa Security for Regional Economic Boom

 

Most West African leaders were very optimistic about their countries’ future at independence. They hoped to transform their newly independent countries so that their citizens would enjoy the fruits of independence, as colonial rule had brought only few benefits to the majority of the people. And indeed, some started well. They formulated good policies for the social and economic development of their people. School enrollment, for example, increased substantially in the first decade of independence. The road network was expanded and hospitals and clinics were built. However, these impressive developments were soon overshadowed by many problems, some of which have still not been solved. I shall discuss below the causes spheres of influence of terrorism  and the solutions to the regional security treats for economic prosperity.

For centuries, herdsmen across Africa’s Sahel headed south during the long, hot dry season. Farmers typically welcomed them because their cattle and goats fertilized depleted cropland. While herders and farmers routinely competed over scarce resources, outright violence was restrained through customary arrangements and swift mediation from local leaders. But this symbiosis is crumbling. Instead, thousands of civilians from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria are killed every year in bloody inter-communal violence. Many more are caught up in deadly overlapping conflicts that are spinning out of control.

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US tensions with Iran

The Yankees woke up Friday morning to the news President Trump nearly took them to war by calling off a military strike on Iran just 10 minutes before it was supposed to be carried out. The strike was in retaliation for Tehran shooting down a US drone.

President Trump is having a trade war with China, which is dragging on economic growth not just in the US and China, but globally even Apple which is currently the largest corporate taxpayer in the US is pleading with President Trump for China trade war truce that its tax contributions would be badly damaged by tariffs on its China-produced goods and President Trump wants to go to war with Iran. Is that the way to make America great again?

President Trump has no political or military experience, that’s why he is turning the world upside down. Arabian Peninsula is the world’s largest peninsula and Oil is a particularly strong export of the region in which OPEC countries hold nearly 82% of the world’s crude oil reserves of which 65% from that region. Hope you can comprehend what will happen if Trump goes to war with Iran. The good news is that US airlines have now been banned by the FAA from flying over the area where the drone was shot down.

To save the world from Trump’s war, the Yankees have to reject Trump at the poll in 2020.

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How Army’s Counter Insurgency Strategy Boosts Civil-Military Cooperation in Borno

At the instance and the support of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, many Nigerian Army formations and units have intensified efforts at providing infrastructures and social amenities for their host communities, all over the country so as to boost civil-military cooperation towards tackling insurgency and terrorism.

It is in line with this the 29 Task Force Brigade Nigerian Army, Benisheikh embarked on humanitarian activities in its area of responsibility.

 

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United Nation investigation into UAE military role in Libya conflict

 

 

A secret UN report, seen by Agence France-Presse , revealed on Monday that UN experts are investigating the possibility of Abu Dhabi’s military involvement in the conflict in Libya, for the missiles that had been launched, in April, from Chinese-made uncrewed aircraft, are similar to those owned by the UAE army.

According to the report, the missiles fired from the guided aircraft on the southern suburb of Tripoli on 19 and 20 April, are Blue Arrow air-to-ground missiles, based on fragments studied by UN experts.

Only three countries, China, Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates own this type of missiles. This is because these missiles could only be launched by uncrewed aircraft produced by China’s Wing Loong.

“The group of experts is investigating the possible use of variables from the Wing Loong unmanned aircraft by the Libyan National Army led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, or by a third party supporting the Libyan National Army,” the report pointed out.

According to the report, it is almost sure that Libya has not obtained these missiles directly from the manufacturing company or China.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are the main supporters of Haftar, who has been waging a military attack since 4 April to take over Tripoli.

The UAE said Libya’s “priority” is to “confront terrorism,” noting that “extremist militias” are still controlling the capital Tripoli.

Reiterated calls for a ceasefire in Libya

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki reiterated calls for a ceasefire in Libya, as Haftar’s forces are continuing their offensive attacks to control Tripoli, which is under the management of the Government of National Accord.

“The priority today is to stop the war,” Faki said in a joint news conference with Guterres in New York, stressing, that “there would be no military solution in such a conflict.”

He added: “The Libyan parties must accept the cessation of hostilities and hold discussions to resolve this crisis in peaceful and political ways.”

For his part, Guterres said that “the message directed to all the Libyans” is the need to reach a “ceasefire”, “stop hostilities” and return to the path of a political solution.

He added that the call for a ceasefire includes a “cessation of the attack” Haftar’s forces are waging on Tripoli.

The United Nations and the African Union have previously called on the two conflicting parties in Libya for a ceasefire or at least commit to a humanitarian truce. However, these calls have not been heard.

It is noted that since the start of Haftar’s attack on Tripoli, at least 432 people have been killed, 2,209 others have been injured and more than 55,000 people have been displaced, according to the United Nations.

 

Source: Middleeastmonitor.com

 

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The world reacts to New Zealand mosque attacks

Leaders from around the world react to the deadly attacks at two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers.

The attacks in the city of Christchurch were carried out when the mosques were crowded during Friday prayers [Anadolu]
The attacks in the city of Christchurch were carried out when the mosques were crowded during Friday prayers [Anadolu]
Political leaders from across the world have expressed their condemnation at the deadly shooting at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday.

Forty people were killed and at least 20 suffered serious injuries in “terrorist” shootings targeting the mosques during Friday prayers in the city of Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Police say three men and a woman are in custody in connection with the attacks.

The timing of the shootings and the posting on social media of what appeared to be live, point-of-view video footage of the assault by a gunman, added to the distress of many.

Here is how political leaders around the world reacted soon after the incident.

Indonesia

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, strongly condemned the shooting as authorities were checking on whether any of its citizens were victims.

“The government and the people of Indonesia convey deep condolences to the victims and their families,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement.

Malaysia

In Muslim-majority Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the biggest party in its ruling coalition, said one Malaysian had been wounded in the attack he described as a “black tragedy facing humanity and universal peace”.

“I am deeply saddened by this uncivilised act, which goes against humanistic values and took the lives of civilians,” he said in a statement.

“We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and the people of New Zealand.”

Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman condemned what he called a “racist and fascist” attack.

“This attack shows the point which hostility to Islam and enmity to Muslims has reached,” Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter.

“We have seen many times Islamophobic discourse against Islam and Muslims turning into a perverse and murderous ideology. The world must raise its voice against such discourse and must say stop to Islamophobic fascist terrorism,” he said.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, Wahidullah Waissi, said on Twitter three Afghans had been wounded.

“My thoughts are with the family of Afghan origin who’ve been shot and killed at this heinous incident.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal condemned the incident on social media, using the hashtag #pakistanagainstterror.

“Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has condemned in the strongest terms the tragic terrorist attack in #Christchurch, #NewZeland,” he wrote in a tweet.

“FM has expressed condolences over loss of innocent lives in the heinous attack,” he added.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country stood with New Zealand after the tragic attack.

“We stand here and condemn, absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist,” Morrison told a press conference.

He confirmed media reports that the gunman who mowed down worshippers in the main mosque in the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch was an Australian-born citizen, without providing further details.

“We are not just allies, we are not just partners, we are family,” he said.

“It is such a sad and devastating reminder of the evil that can be ever present about us,” Morrison said of the attacks.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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