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Lagos State Commissioner Stands Firm on Styrofoam Ban, Extends Grace Period Amidst Industry Pleas

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Lagos State Commissioner Stands Firm on Styrofoam Ban, Extends Grace Period Amidst Industry Pleas

Lagos State Commissioner Stands Firm on Styrofoam Ban, Extends Grace Period Amidst Industry Pleas

In a resolute stance against the environmental menace caused by Styrofoam, the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, reaffirmed the state’s commitment to the ban on Thursday, January 25, 2024. The declaration came during a crucial consultative meeting at the Alausa secretariat in Ikeja, where stakeholders, including the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Restaurant and Food Services Proprietor Association of Nigeria (REFSPAN), gathered to address the pressing issue.

Wahab, addressing the assembly, emphasized that the enforcement of the ban would not be compromised and hinted at the possibility of a three-week extension to facilitate a smoother transition for producers and entrepreneurs in the hospitality business to deplete their existing Styrofoam stock.

The commissioner’s firm stance was in response to pleas from MAN representative Okpe Sunday and REFSPAN spokesperson Olaoye Kazeem, who implored the state government for additional time to exhaust their inventories. Wahab highlighted the urgency of the situation, stressing that the conversation around the ban had been ongoing for over three years, awaiting a decisive step towards enforcement.

He stated, “Enough damage has been done to the health of the people, state, and environment. The number of lives lost due to the effects of Styrofoam, the destruction of the ecosystem and aquatic life, as well as the overall environmental menace, cannot be quantified.”

Wahab underscored the detrimental impact of Styrofoam on the healthcare system, describing the appeals to delay the ban as akin to prolonging the ingestion of poison merely to mitigate manufacturers’ commercial losses. He asserted, “Government is putting a human face to this ban by giving a three-month moratorium to producers and entrepreneurs in the hospitality business. They should also know that leadership and governance involve taking tough decisions.”

The ban, initially announced by Wahab, aimed to address the environmental challenges posed by ‘takeaway packs’ and other single-use plastics. The commissioner cited the urgent need for a decisive step to curb the menace, signaling a shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives.

As the stakeholders grappled with the ramifications of the ban, the meeting became a battleground of perspectives, with industry representatives advocating for more time to adapt to the sweeping changes. The commissioner’s extension offer, while providing a grace period, underscored the gravity of the issue at hand and the imperative for swift action.

The three-month moratorium served as a compromise between the state’s commitment to environmental conservation and the practical challenges faced by manufacturers and entrepreneurs in the transition away from Styrofoam. It reflected the delicate balance required to navigate the complex intersection of environmental responsibility and economic considerations.

While the ban aimed to address the immediate environmental fallout from Styrofoam usage, it also sought to rectify the long-term consequences that had been building up over the years. The detrimental effects on aquatic life, ecosystems, and public health had reached a tipping point, prompting the Lagos State government to take decisive action.

The commissioner’s insistence on not relenting in the face of industry pressure underscored the gravity of the situation. Wahab’s emphasis on the irreparable damage already inflicted on the environment and public health painted a stark picture of the urgency surrounding the ban. The ripple effect on the healthcare system and the larger ecosystem prompted a realization that delay equated to further endangering lives and compromising the state’s environmental integrity.

In the broader context, the ban reflected a global trend towards phasing out single-use plastics and adopting more sustainable practices. Lagos State positioned itself as a proactive player in this global movement, recognizing the need to break free from the shackles of environmental degradation caused by Styrofoam and similar materials.

As the consultation continued, the meeting became a platform for a clash of interests and priorities. On one side, industry representatives voiced concerns over potential economic losses and logistical challenges associated with the transition. On the other, environmental advocates and government officials argued for the necessity of prioritizing long-term sustainability over short-term financial considerations.

Wahab’s characterization of the ban as a tough decision tied into the broader discourse on responsible governance and leadership. The commissioner’s unwavering commitment to the ban, despite industry pressures, sent a clear message about the government’s dedication to the well-being of its citizens and the preservation of the environment.

The three-week extension offered a lifeline to businesses navigating the transition, acknowledging the practical challenges of depleting existing Styrofoam stock. This gesture of flexibility demonstrated the government’s willingness to collaborate with industries, albeit within the confines of an impending and non-negotiable ban.

In conclusion, the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, stood firm on the Styrofoam ban, emphasizing the irreversible damage caused by the material to public health, the environment, and aquatic ecosystems. The extension provided to manufacturers and entrepreneurs represented a delicate balance between environmental responsibility and economic considerations, highlighting the challenges faced in transitioning away from harmful materials. As the ban echoed global efforts to combat plastic pollution, the Lagos State government positioned itself at the forefront of sustainable governance, setting a precedent for other regions to follow suit.

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

 

In a bid to safeguard Nigeria’s food security and combat the illicit exportation of grains to other African nations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has vowed to ramp up its efforts to curb this menace. Ify Ogbudu, the Zonal Coordinator of Zone B of the service, made this declaration during a courtesy visit to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, at his palace.

During the visit, Ogbudu reiterated the NCS’s commitment to curbing the illegal exportation of Nigeria’s grains. She emphasized the importance of ensuring that the 42,000 metric tons of grains approved for distribution by the Federal Government reach those in need, as directed. Ogbudu sought the emir’s support in this critical endeavor, underscoring the pivotal role of the Customs Service in advancing the government’s agenda for poverty alleviation and food security.

In response, the Emir of Kano expressed gratitude for the Customs Service’s dedication to safeguarding Nigeria’s economic integrity, despite facing numerous challenges. He commended Customs officers for their diligence and urged them to exhibit compassion towards local traders who may inadvertently engage in illegal activities due to ignorance.

NAN reports that the emir emphasized the significance of enlightenment and community engagement in stemming the tide of illicit activities. He pledged the emirate’s full support in facilitating legitimate trade and commended the progress made in reducing disputes between traders and customs officials through stakeholder engagements.

Furthermore, the emir lauded the ongoing enlightenment initiatives aimed at supporting local traders and businessmen in conducting lawful trade activities. This collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and local authorities signals a concerted push toward ensuring food security and economic stability in Nigeria.

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

 

 

In a sweeping enforcement action, authorities in Ogun State have shuttered the Nursing Department of Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta. The crackdown, led by officials from the Ogun Ministry of Health and the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee, comes in response to the college’s operation of an unaccredited nursing programme.

Dr. Kayode Oladehinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ogun Ministry of Health, underscored the severity of the situation, highlighting that the private institution had been offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). This unauthorized operation, spanning six years, posed a significant threat to public health and perpetuated quackery within the nursing profession.

NAN reports that during the enforcement exercise, Oladehinde, represented by Acting Director of Nursing Services, Serifat Aminu, emphasized the grave implications of pursuing a nursing degree from an institution lacking NMCN accreditation. Such degrees, he asserted, hold little to no value, rendering graduates ineligible to obtain a valid license to practice nursing in Nigeria or internationally.

“We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer nursing degrees to unsuspecting students,” stated Oladehinde. “Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the nursing profession. This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted.”

Oladehinde urged prospective nursing students and their parents to exercise caution and diligence in selecting educational institutions. He advised thorough research, including consulting the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, as the regulatory body updates the list annually. Additionally, he cautioned against falling prey to false claims made by unaccredited institutions, reaffirming the government’s commitment to combating quackery in nursing education and practice.

In response to the enforcement action, a 300-level student, speaking anonymously, expressed shock and dismay over the lack of accreditation at Harvarde College. The student lamented the financial investment made by her parents on her behalf, underscoring the personal toll of the college’s deceptive practices.

The closure of Harvarde College’s Nursing Department leaves students in a state of uncertainty, grappling with the realization that their academic pursuits may have been in vain. As authorities continue to crack down on unaccredited institutions, the incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of regulatory oversight in safeguarding the integrity of professional education and protecting public health.

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

 

In a significant development, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Hafsat Abubakar Bakari as the Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), succeeding Modibbo Hamman-Tukur. This decision, announced by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, underscores Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing financial intelligence and combating illicit financial activities in Nigeria.

Hafsat Abubakar Bakari, a seasoned lawyer and financial intelligence expert, brings a wealth of experience to her new role at the helm of the NFIU. Having previously served as Deputy Director within the NFIU, Bakari’s appointment signals a strategic move to leverage her expertise in areas such as anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing.

NAN reports that, Ngelale highlighted Bakari’s distinguished career trajectory, noting her tenure in various leadership positions within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Bakari’s roles included heading the General Services Unit, leading the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and overseeing the Board Secretariat. Her multifaceted experience within the EFCC equips her with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of financial crime investigation and enforcement.

Emphasizing the significance of Bakari’s appointment, Ngelale expressed confidence in her ability to navigate the complex landscape of illicit financial flows and other nefarious activities plaguing Nigeria’s foreign exchange markets. Tinubu’s administration remains steadfast in its commitment to curbing financial crimes and fostering transparency and accountability within the financial sector.

While Bakari assumes her new responsibilities in an acting capacity, her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Nevertheless, her track record and expertise position her as a capable leader poised to advance the mandate of the NFIU and bolster the government’s efforts to combat financial crimes effectively.

As Nigeria grapples with the challenges posed by illicit financial flows and economic malpractice, Bakari’s appointment signifies a proactive step towards strengthening the nation’s financial intelligence framework. Her leadership is expected to enhance coordination between relevant stakeholders and facilitate the implementation of robust measures to safeguard Nigeria’s financial integrity.

In accepting this critical role, Bakari is poised to leverage her expertise to tackle emerging threats in the financial landscape and uphold the principles of accountability, transparency, and integrity. Her appointment aligns with Tinubu’s vision for a more resilient and prosperous Nigeria, free from the scourge of financial crimes and illicit activities.

As Bakari assumes her duties at the helm of the NFIU, stakeholders anticipate her strategic leadership and unwavering commitment to driving positive change in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. With her appointment, the nation embarks on a new chapter in its fight against financial crimes, signaling a renewed resolve to safeguard Nigeria’s economic interests and promote sustainable development.

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