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Buhari signs Biosafety Management Agency, 2 other Bills into law

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President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the ​National Biosafety Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019, with a view to preventing any adverse effect to human health and environment in the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on the National Assembly (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Enang said the bill amended the National Biosafety Management Agency Act No. 20, 2015 to enlarge the scope of application of the Act by including the emerging aspects of modern biotechnology and biosecurity in the country.

According to him, the Amendment empowers the Agency to put in place measures to ensure Bio-Security across the country.

The presidential aide further disclosed that the president signed into law the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act, 2019 and Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019.

He said the Asset Management Act 2019 further amended the 2010 Act by increasing the powers of the commission in enforcement of recovery of debts from persons owing legacy banks or seizure of property subject of loan obligation.

”In particular, it empowers AMCON to place any bank account or any other account comparable to a bank account of a debtor of an eligible financial institution under surveillance.

”The new Management Corporation of Nigeria Act gives AMCON powers to obtain access to any computer system component, electronic or mechanical device of any debtor with a view to establishing the location of funds belonging to the debtor.

”And to obtain information in respect of any private account together with all bank financial and commercial records of any debtor of any eligible financial institution, banking secrecy.

“The protection of customer confidentiality is not a ground for the denial of the power of the Corporation under this section,’’ he said.

According to Enang, the law now makes it mandatory for AMCON to, despite the convention of confidentiality of banking, business and contracting relations to: “furnish the Federal Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a list of recalcitrant debtors.

”And then impose an obligation to seek clearance on the Federal Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies when the Federal Government, any Ministry, Department or Agency proposes to contract with, or pay, debtors on the list furnished by the Corporation.

”It further provides that: (1) all money standing to the credits of the Corporation in any bank account is deemed to be in the custody and control of the Corporation.

“(2) where any proceeding is pending in any court of competent jurisdiction by or any the Corporation, the grant of any interim, interlocutory or preservative order of attachment against the Corporation’s funds in any bank is prohibited.

“(3) the Corporation may require any eligible financial institution from which it has acquired an eligible bank asset or any director, manager or officer of such eligible financial institution to furnish information and produce documents, books, accounts and records in relation to any eligible bank asset acquired by the Corporation from such eligible financial institution or in relation to the borrower or other obligator connected with such eligible bank asset.

Enang further noted that: ”The Act also states that upon dissolution of the Corporation:

(a) all unresolved eligible bank assets then held by the Corporation shall be transferred by the liquidator or joint liquidator to such government agency, or for valuable consideration, to a third party asset management company or other entity specified by the Central Bank of Nigeria;

(b) all then existing staff shall be re-deployed to and absorbed into the Central Bank of Nigeria or the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The presidential aide stated that the Act provided for ‘’a part-time Chairman who shall be a Deputy Governor in the Central Bank of Nigeria to be nominated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.’’

On the Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019, Enang said: ”This Act establishes an Agency charged with the responsibility for administering pension scheme for civilian personnel of the Agency.

”This covers pension on voluntary retirement and benefit if death occurs in course of duty as well as pension if in normal course of retirement.”

SYC/DCU

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Former Niger governor extols IBB at 78

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The immediate past governor of Niger, Dr Babangida Aliyu, on Saturday extolled the virtues of former military leader, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) of contributing positively to Nation building.

Aliyu made the remark in Minna, while congratulating IBB who turned 78 years on Aug. 17.

“Many people will be interested to know about IBB’s birthday because he is an elder statesman who has contributed positively to the development of our country.

“I am happy that he is still alive and healthy, I wish him well at 78.

“We hope he will still live longer because we need him around to continue to contribute to national development,” he said.

He assured he would continue to encourage and support Babangida towards contributing to the development of Nigeria.

“I think IBB is a statesman that we will continue to pray for,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that IBB, who was born Aug. 17, 1941 was the military President of Nigeria between Aug. 27, 1985 and Aug. 26, 1993.

He previously served as the Chief of Army Staff from January 1984 to August 1985.

OCU/IS

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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First Lady celebrate APC ex-chair at 80

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First Lady Aisha Buhari has described the former national chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, as a complete gentleman and a peace maker.

She made this known in her Instagram handle on Saturday in a message to celebrate the former APC chairman on his 80th birthday anniversary.

The first lady also described the celebrant as a unifying factor who worked tirelessly for the development of his fatherland.

She therefore wished him long life in good health and prosperity.

The message reads: ”Happy Birthday, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, former National Chairman of APC.

”A complete gentleman, a peace maker and a unifying factor of our time.

”Wishing you many years ahead in good health and prosperity.”

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Chairman, Organising Committee of the event, Mr Ray Morphy, said the committee plans to mark Odigie-Oyegun’s birthday in Abuja on Aug. 17.

Morphy said that eminent Nigerians, including top APC chieftains, are expected at the event.

He urged young Nigerians to emulate the leadership qualities and values demonstrated by Odigie-Oyegun when he served as a Permanent Secretary, governor of Edo and National Chairman of APC.

“Chief Odigie-Oyegun has kept his name clean right and fair over the years.

”Even as he left office as National Chairman of the APC, you noticed that he has never engaged in any battle with anybody in the party.”

AMU/IS

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Road crash claims 1 on Lagos-Ibadan highway

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The Ogun State Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says one person lost his life in a road crash at Danco, near Sagamu, on the LagosIbadan highway.

The Sector Commander, Mr Clement Oladele, told Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Ota that the accident happened at about 8.00 p.m on Friday.

Oladele explained that a Toyota SUV with registration number GGE 30 DF, was coming from Lagos when the driver lost control due to speeding.

He said that the driver veered off the road, somersaulted and crashed into a parked bus.

“The corpse of the victim has been deposited at the mortuary of Idera Hospital in Sagamu, Ogun State,’’ he said.

The FRSC boss advised motorists to obey traffic rules and regulations to avoid avoidable road crashes and its attendant fatalities.

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FG flag-off agric. inputs distribution in Adamawa

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The Federal Government, through its North East Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project, has flagged off the distribution of agricultural inputs in Adamawa.

The over 20,000 beneficiaries would be given inputs and non food item kits from seven local government areas affected by insurgency in the state.

Maj.-Gen. Paul Tarfa, Chairman, North East Development Commission (NEDC) flagged off the distribution in Michika Local Government Area.

Tarfa, who was represented by Alhaji Muhammed Danjuma, federal project coordinator of the Programme, said the intervention included rehabilitation of infrastructure affected by insurgency in the areas.

“The North East Multi Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project (MCRP) is being implemented by the Federal Government in partnership with the World Bank in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

“The core objective of the project is to support Government of Nigeria in rehabilitation and improving critical infrastructural service delivery to improve and sustain the livelihood of conflict and displacement in affected communities in North East,” Tarfa said.

Mr Maurice Vonubolki, Adamawa project coordinator of the programme, listed the benefiting councils to include Madagali, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South, Maiha, Song and Gombi.

He said the distribution was a continuation of several interventions made by the programme in the benefiting communities.

“Apart from the distribution of agricultural inputs and non food item kits witnessed today, the project under component one had reached out to thousands of beneficiaries with improved small animal inputs, non agricultural livelihood and soft skills training for small entrepreneurship.

“Under component two, the project has commenced rehabilitation of critical physical infrastructure that include water provision, transport sector, education, health and public buildings in the affected areas,” Vonubolki said.

He noted that already about 295 hand pumps and 59 solar boreholes had been provided across the affected communities in the seven councils.

Responding on behalf of the state government and the benefiting communities, Mr Haruna Ali, Deputy Transition Caretaker Chairman of Michika, thanked the federal government for the intervention.

Ali tasked the beneficiaries to use the items to improve their living condition for sustainable economic development of their areas.

AMA/IS

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Gov. Matawalle of Zamfara appoints new HOS

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Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has approved the appointment of Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe as the new Head of Service for the state’s Civil Service.

Until his appointment, Balarabe was the Permanent Secretary, Government House.

A statement signed by Yusuf Idris, the Director-General of Press Affairs to the governor and made available to newsmen in Gusau on Saturday, said the appointment takes immediate effect.

The appointment followed the retirement of Alhaji Mujtaba Isa, the former Head of Service.

Matawalle charged the new Head of Service to live up to the administration’s expectations by restructuring the service in the state and making it a role model.

Born in March, 1966, Balarabe, a graduate of the University of Sokoto, joined the civil service as a Research Officer in the old Sokoto Military Administrator’s office in August, 1991.

He had served in various capacities including as Private Secretary to late President Shehu Shagari between 1993 and 1996.

Balarabe was also a Principal Private Secretary to the Zamfara State first civilian governor, Sen. Ahmed Sani and a former Local Government Sole Administrator of the old Kasuwar Daji Local Government.

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