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Legal framework gateway to harness tourism potential – NTDC boss



The Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) says the provision of a legal framework was a gateway in exploring and harnessing of tourism potential in the country

Mr Folorunsho Coker, the Director General of the corporation made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, a new legal framework will provide the avenue to harness the dividends in tourism industry, generate revenue and enable investors to tap from the abundant opportunities in the sector.

Coker described the proposed NTDC Bill as the needed legal framework upon which to grow the nation’s tourism potential.

He said that a legal framework would help people understand tourism as a business and investment, which would also make it attractive for funding.

Coker likened the NTDC’s legal framework to the required foundation laid in the communication, banking, oil and gas sectors that resulted in their huge revenue generations.

“If these measures are put in place, it would help strengthen Nigerian tourism industry and make it thrive.”

The NTDC boss further said that it was imperative for people to understand that tourism was a business that most wealthy countries depended for huge investments.

According to him, without a legal framework, it will be difficult to maximise and exploit the potential in tourism to fullest.

“Without a legal framework, we cannot in 2019 exploit our potential to the max.

“We are asking for a new legal framework that will be sensitive to our environment and that which will allow us perform like other countries that have enjoyed all the benefits of tourism.

“We need a legal framework and a platform to explore the good in tourism just as other countries explore globally. We have been trying but we need to do more; we need a structural shift to achieve our goal.

“We need to get people to understand that tourism business is what some wealthy countries depend on and until we invest in tourism, we will not reap the fruits.”

Coker stressed that tourism benefits would be harnessed if given proper attention it deserved and therefore advocated for prompt intervention.

He said the having a legal framework would prompt financial framework that would allow the agency to operate as a business entity capable of generating huge revenues for the economy.

“Currently, tourism is contributing marginally to the fortunes of this country.”

Coker, therefore, harped on the need to invest in the sector, which he likened to a goldmine for huge revenue generation and to improving the nation’s internal revenue generation.

He said that tourism investment would help in job creation, preservation of tourism historical assets and increase influx of tourists into the country. (NAN)


Edited by Grace Yussuf

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Legal practitioner seeks amendment of law on rape



An Ilorin based legal practitioner, Mr Adeola Omotunde, has advocated amendment of the law on rape and defilement of minors in the face of rampant cases of rape in the society.

Omotunde made the appeal on Saturday in Ilorin while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria .

According to him, now that the cases of rape is increasing, the law guarding it has to be amended to make it more stringent or to serve as deterrent to discourage the perpetrators.

He said that the Nigerian law was sufficient to fight the menace of rape, but the law would need to be strengthened and the punishment increased to curb the act in the society.

“The law guarding the rape cases were enacted many years ago by the colonial inheritance but recently the cases are rampant; the law has to be amended

“The level of awareness is not enough because we have large number of people in Nigeria who are illiterate.

“Somebody who is an illiterate cannot understand anything we are saying in the newspaper and television; some of them don’t even have radios at home.

“The awareness campaign should be taken to the Mosques and Churches in their communities and religious leaders should preach that rape is an offence against humanity and God,’’ the lawyer said.

He identified some of the factors responsible for the rising cases of rape as culture, religion and indecent dressing among ladies.

Omotunde said that other factors are the intake of hard drugs, alcohol and Indian hemp.

He said that if people are under the influence of drugs, they lacked the capacity to control themselves and eventually tend to rape ladies/minors or even their own children.

He added that because victims seldom speak out due to fear of social stigma, this encourages the perpetrators to go on committing similar offences.

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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FG to enhance legal framework for Nigeria’s digital identity – Malami



The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, says the Federal Government is committed to reviewing the legal and regulatory framework to accelerate the implementation of Nigeria’s digital identity for development.

Dr Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

According to him, Malami said this after attending the inaugural meeting of the Project Ecosystem Steering Committee (PESC) of the Nigeria Digital Identity Development Project System chaired by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

Malami said the Committee has the responsibility of reviewing the legal and regulatory framework for digital identity development and implementation of the Strategic Roadmap.

“It will also utilise foundational identity to access services, determining the location of the Ecosystem Strategic Unit as well as receive reports on the implementation through the Director General of the National Identity Management Commission, and provide necessary guidance and approval thereof’’.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the Committee include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha as the chairman and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

Others are Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Hajiya Zainab Ahmed Shamsuna; Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu; Minister of Interior, Ra’uf Aregbesola; Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire and Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

Other Members of the Committee are the Director General, National Orientation Agency, and the Director General of the National Identity Management Commission, who serves as the Secretary to the Committee.

Malami said the Committee was established to provide policy, institutional and operational guidance in the process of implementing the Federal Executive Council-approved Strategic Roadmap for accelerating digital identity development for Nigeria.

Mr Boss Mustapha in his address charged Members of the committee on the need to considerably reduce the number of challenges faced in identifying and locating poor and vulnerable Nigerians in the distribution of palliatives to cushion the effect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This Committee is to ensure that the Federal Government leverages the existing ecosystem of Government Agencies, States and trusted private sector partners to carry out nationwide enrolment through a viable partnership strategy with an effective public awareness campaign,” he said.

edited by Sadiya Hamza




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Physician advocates legalising abortion, use of contraceptives to stem unwanted pregnancy



A resident doctor, Dr Obinna Aniagboso, says effective family planning methods would help reduce unwanted pregnancies and risks associated with unsafe abortions.

Aniagboso, an Obstetrics and Gynaecology expert at the Chukwuemeka Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Thursday.

He also said that legalising abortion would help drastically reduce mortality, morbidity and infertility amongst women.

According to him, while awareness about family planning is about 80 per cent, its acceptance among the people is still as low as 20 per cent.

The gynaecologist blamed the poor embrace of contraceptives, which he said was the most effective planning method, on religious belief systems, ignorance and fear of side effects.

He said that withdrawal method and other natural method used by many people often failed and was contributing immensely to unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortion and population surge.

“Awareness on family planning is close to 80 per cent but acceptance is less than 20 per cent.

“Most patients shy away for religious reasons, ignorance and fear of side effects, including weight gain and irregular spotting.

“The use of contraceptives is very unpopular; only a few educated women do family planning, and funnily, lots of husbands advise their wives against it.

“We advocate the use of contraceptive as the most reliable method of spacing families and avoiding unplanned pregnancies.

“Some couples use withdrawal and natural methods that involve avoiding intercourse during the wife’s fertile period, but these methods are prone to mistakes,’’ he said.

Aniagboso told NAN that the issue of unwanted pregnancies had increased the demand for abortion by the sexually active female population.

He regretted that the stringent abortion law in Nigeria had denied these people expert services and left them at the mercy of quacks with its attendant danger that includes post-abortion sepsis, which could eventually cause infertility.

The medical practitioner said that in spite of the legal limitation and societal disapproval for abortion in Nigeria, people still sought and accessed the services.

He, therefore, advocated that the practice (abortion) be liberalised to help meet the prevailing social health challenges.

He said there was a high level of hypocrisy around abortion as most people, who opposed it in the open, access it behind the scene for their wives or mistresses.

According to him, people get abortion services because it is available and when it is done professionally, the rate of complications like infertility will reduce.

“The legality or illegality of abortion is a controversial issue and the subject of heated debate, court cases and torrid campaigns globally.

“Some medical professionals, and even some quacks that include chemists and pharmacists, offer abortion behind the scene.

“This is because the demand for abortion is high among young sexually active women.

“Many medical doctors avoid abortion mostly because of their personal principles and religious beliefs.’’

He said, however, that the prevailing opinion amongst public health professionals, especially in developed countries, was that abortion should be legalised so that girls and women could easily access these services from professionals instead of being left to die in the hands of quacks.

Legalising abortion will help drastically reduce the mortality and morbidity (including infertility) amongst our women who patronise quack abortionists, Aniagboso said.

He observed that it was difficult in Nigeria because of the strong influence of religion in our lives and politics.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Europol seizes 1,346 tons of illegal pesticides



European law enforcement authorities said that it has seized 1,346 tons of illegal pesticides, Europol announced this  on Wednesday in The Hague.

According to the European police organisation, the quantity is twice the amount seized in 2019 and would be enough to spray more than the whole of the land used for agriculture in Germany, for example.

The authorities added that two people were arrested and investigations have continued in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Europol stated that illegal pesticides can endanger people’s health and the environment, but farmers often unknowingly buy counterfeit products as these are cheaper.

Studies  showed that illegal trade makes up between 10 and 14 per cent of Europe’s pesticide market.

European officials adopted a coordinated response in 2015 to respond more effectively to the threat.

Edited By: Halima Sheji (NAN)


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Bulgaria catches 9 illegal immigrants in refrigerator van




Bulgaria has intercepted nine illegal immigrants hidden in a refrigerator truck at a parking lot near the western city of Vidin bordering Romania, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

The immigrants were found Tuesday night after the truck driver heard banging in the refrigerated trailer, the ministry said.

Police arrived immediately and found that the seal of the trailer carrying watermelons was broken and nine foreigners were hiding inside.

The foreigners, including seven men, a woman and a 16-year-old boy, said they were from Afghanistan. Three of them were treated at a local hospital, but their lives were not in danger, the ministry said, adding an investigation is underway.


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Russian guards detain drunk Ukrainian serviceman for illegal border crossing




Russian border guards have detained a drunk serviceman from the Ukrainian Armed Forces for illegally crossing the Russian border into Crimea, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said Tuesday.

The intoxicated offender was identified as E. Dobrinsky, born in 1992, the FSB said in a statement.

During a search of the detainee, a narcotic drug was allegedly discovered and seized from him, the statement added.

An illegal crossing of the Russian border is punishable by a fine of up to 200,000 rubles (around 2,900 U.S. dollars), or up to two years of forced labor or imprisonment, according to the Russian Criminal Code.


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5 dead, 1 missing in landslides at illegal gold mining site in Indonesia’s Kalimantan




Five people died and one was still missing after being buried by landslides at an illegal gold mining site in Buluh Kuning village, Kotabaru Regency in South Kalimantan province of Indonesia on Monday morning, Kotabaru’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Rusian Ahmadi Jaya said on Tuesday.

“The total number of fatalities after searching and digging the landslides in a day was already five. One is still under search,” he was quoted by online news portal as saying.

Jaya explained that the hilly area has made the personnel difficult to search the victims.

“No communication channels. It took us six hours to evacuate one body,” he said.

Jaya admitted that the area is known to attract people to search for gold illegally despite lacking of skills and proper tools. He has urged the local administration to keep the area free from miners since it was not the first fatal accident.

“That’s why this must be closed so that no more such an accident would happen,” he stressed.


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Sanitation: FCTA issues 7 days ultimatum to illegal mechanics



after the expiration of the ultimatum.

He said the FCTA would reclaim all the spots from Apo round-about to the popular junction known as Apo NEPA junction.

Similarly, Attah said the second phase of the aggressive sanitation would begin from the NEPA junction to APO mechanic village, where illegal businesses had taken over great portions of the road, making it difficult for contractors to complete their work.

“This stakeholders meeting is to enable us interface with stakeholders who engage in one form of business or the other along the Apo road corridors, also known as Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX).

“The minister has given us a directive to reclaim all the road corridors, to allow contractors complete their jobs, and also allow the Abuja Environmental Protection Board officers beautify the place in accordance with Abuja master plan.

“We have given the affected people seven days ultimatum, because we want to put up a human face in carrying out the exercise.

“The minister had wanted us to start immediately due to his desire to complete all ongoing projects there as a legacy he will leave behind for residents of the nation’s capital,” he said.

The Director AEPB, Mr Baba Lawan, disclosed that the minister had selected seasoned professionals who formed an effective squad for the exercise.

Lawan warned that at the expiration of the ultimatum, the task force would move to the area, and whoever refused to vacate the place should not blame the administration.

He added that abandoned vehicles, furniture and every other thing left on the road corridors would be removed and seized.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Malta ready to act as bridge between EU, Libya to tackle illegal migration: PM




Malta was ready to act as a bridge between Libya and the European Union (EU) to address the problem of illegal migration, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday.

He said his lightning visit to the war-torn country on Thursday confirmed that Libya was facing its own migration problems with an influx of migrants from neighboring countries which were also facing their difficulties.

Abela met Fayez al-Sarraj, prime minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), in Tripoli. The two government heads discussed the need to push the EU to help Libya to train its coastguard, obtain funding for reception camps manned by the UN, as well as to build a realistic strategy to slow down the flow of migrants into Libya.

Al-Sarraj told Abela that Libya had around 800,000 migrants to deal with.

Referring to his visit, Abela said the two countries had agreed to set up specialized units to better coordinate operations against irregular migration. These centers are expected to start operating within the coming weeks.

According to Abela, the solution lies in concrete action on Libyan shores and its southern border. This would be done through addressing and stopping human trafficking, rather than focusing on the relocation of migrants to other countries.

“Previous local and foreign administrations have always tackled the migration problem on a boat-by-boat basis but we are looking at solving the issue in a holistic manner,” he said, adding that the government had already sent out a clear message in keeping migrants aboard commissioned out at sea. There are some 425 migrants on four tourist vessels just outside Malta’s territorial waters where Malta is keeping them there until a proper solution is found to the illegal migration.

“We have saved lives and saved people from drowning, but we have also given a message that Malta cannot bring in more people,” he said.


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